In the world of Star Trek, there are many names that come to mind as far as who made the show such as Gene Roddenberry and DC Fontana and Herbert Justman and then of course the stars like William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. Flash forward a good number of years and other names like Jeri Taylor and Rick Berman come to mind............which in part led to JJ Abrahms helping to bring Star Trek back to life again after too much stagnation, but JJ wasn't the first one to do this. Back in 1982 or so, there were two others who had to give the kiss of life to Star Trek. One was producer Harve Bennet, and the other is Nicholas Meyer-whose quick writing and quick work helped get the second Star Trek movie back on track, and to this day is still considered the best of the Trek films by many. It wasn't his film, and he had more to make and work on.
Nicholas Meyer is one of those names that you never really hear too much about, especially outside of his Star Trek forte. He has made other movies either by writing screenplays or directing and some consider the work as good, and some of it is considered bad. Coming into Star Trek when he did "Is that the show with the guy with pointy ears?" he already had some movie work under him and some books and after Star Trek II jumped into the world of TV with the nuclear horror movie The Day After which triumphed when aired and from there would work on screenplays, fight to have his work being transformed by others, have his work thrown in a pile and forgotten about and finally more Star Trek before going back into the world to write some more.
If I found a failing in the book, it's that Meyer will be talking about some of his works like an adaption of Don Quixote or a movie he made called Company Business getting a royal shafting at the box office and the stories come up short. No real anecdotes or stories about making the movies. Whether the experience was too painful to talk about, or Meyer saw no point in dwelling on the pain in a book about movies few saw or work that was never made, because if he was going to do that, Nicholas Meyer would have his own internet review show.
The sections about his work on The Seven Per-Cent Solution is far more detailed as is his work with Star Trek and Time After Time. You can tell that Meyer is proud of his work because it's a point that his work will be called by a higher up as genius and that any unnecessary fiddling irks him considerably. This is best pointed in the best part of the book, in the chapter about making The Day After where two suits and he sit down to edit the screenplay he agreed to work on. "If they are going to edit it, why not do it BEFORE they hired me?" It's a good question.
While Star Trek is only a fraction of his career, it is arguably his most popular having co written Star Treks 2, 4 and 6 and directing 2 and 6 (Hey, those are EVEN numbered Trek films aren't they........wonder where the even number rule comes from.....) and while he is proud of his work, I do get the sense that he is comfortable with his place in Trek's history and lives up to his own words. He mentions it in the book in so many words that Gilbert and Sullivan may not have always gotten along and tried to work apart, but what we remember is Gilbert and Sullivan. The stars of Star Trek for better or worse with it's original stars, warts and all is what we remember them for no matter what else they did or shows that they acted on. What we remember is Star Trek and we will remember them for it.
I will always remember Nicholas Meyer in that regard because I will always remember Star Trek.
Nicholas Meyer's autobiography touches on his hits, misses and unfinished works in Hollywood. For a man who loves books and telling stories, he does skimp a little but it's all good in the end reading about what else he did outside of Star Trek.
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more