Star Trek FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the First Voyages of the Starship Enterprise

Star Trek FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the First Voyages of the Starship Enterprise

by Mark Clark

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781557839633
Publisher: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books
Publication date: 04/01/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 414
Sales rank: 1,095,705
File size: 12 MB
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Star Trek FAQ: Everything Left to Know about the First Voyages of the Starship Enterprise 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Perednia on LibraryThing 4 months ago
A long time ago in our galaxy, not one far away, network television found itself hoodwinked when writer/producer Gene Roddenberry promised NBC "Wagon Train to the stars" and instead delivered the beginning of a new part of our culture, Star Trek.For those who grew up on TOS (The Original Series), whether as teens waiting for 10 p.m. on Friday nights that final season or the syndication every weekday that endlessly recycled the original 79 episodes, Star Trek had it all and promised it all. We didn't kill ourselves during the Cold War. We ended Vietnam. We became an integrated society. We fulfilled President Kennedy's promise of space exploration. We could dream of becoming astronauts and our dreams could come true. We didn't have to be the popular kids to find a place to fit in, as David Gerrold eloquently explains in his foreward to a new compilation of behind-the-scene facts, background material and episode highlights, Star Trek FAQ.Clark's compendium has many strengths, whether the reader is a first-generation Trekker or wondering what that big 2009 movie was based on. Clark provides a concise, highly readable, rundown of the original influences and executives in various companies who contributed to what became Trek. Although Trek was Roddenberry's baby, he had to run the gauntlet of studio and network approval to get that baby on the air.The ins and outs not only show how difficult it is for any show to get on the air with any vestige of its original intent intact, it also chronicles how the Trek universe was refined and designed to become what ultimately became beloved. For example, the FAQ has excellent point-by-point notations of the contrasts between the original pilot -- "The Cage" -- and the final program that aired. Spock originally was meant to be more curious than logical. Jeffrey Hunter's Pike is closer to Roddenberry's version of Horatio Hornblower than that swashbuckler James Tiberius Kirk ended up being.The episode guide is not "full service" because, as Clark notes, "there are plenty of those available elsewhere". However, all are included with thumbnail plot sketches and notes about other aspects such as broadcast history, guests and even such details as changes in scores and opening credits.Worthwhile ideas to consider abound. In noting how Trek differed because it posits that mankind has survived and improved, there is a quick roundup of SF antecedents. It's about as cheery as The Hunger Games and other current examples of the popular YA genre of dystopian fiction. The chapter itself admirably brings together the examples of how mankind shows its better nature by rejecting killing and slavery through the run of TOS. Another Trek theme of a better civilization with cool gadgets that is still run by the people who made the gadgets, and not the gadgets themselves, is detailed in a thoughtful manner. Religion and other social issues also are dealt with as part of Roddenberry's overall philosophy, refracted through the lens of the individual Trek episodes. A philosophy can be determined from the show: Hatred hurts and kills. Humanity is better than that. Religion is one way people have tried to control others over the years. Technology is a tool for humanity but not more important than its creators. IDIC (Infinite Diversitiy in Infinite Combinations) may have originated with the logical Vulcans, but it is a philosophy of empathy and acceptance, not mere tolerance.The book also addresses, with specific examples, how TOS reflects the 1960s and the attitudes of men born in the 1920s who didn't quite get how their view of women didn't mesh with their intent to portray a future of equality and non-prejudice.Subsequent Trek series are woven into the various accounts when necessary. That this is done without having the whole Trek universe take over the book, which remains focused on TOS, is an achievement worthy of praise.Clark is not afraid to let his opinion show. The author really does not like Nimoy's singing and
jasonpettus on LibraryThing 4 months ago
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)Even the author of this trying book admits right in the introduction that there is now already a plethora of well-written books regarding each and every little sub-topic that exists concerning the long-running Star Trek franchise; and so that begs the question of why we should care about this newest one, or indeed why it even exists at all. And the answer after wading through this filler-crammed fluff piece is, "Hmm, I'm not exactly sure," which besides the serviceable, Wikipedia-quality cores of each chapter are otherwise padded out with the very definition of "page-filling pablum;" the trouble starts right at the beginning, with multi-page looks at every tiny little previous acting part every cast member of the original Star Trek had had before joining the show in the mid-1960s, and just pretty much gets worse from there. It's not terrible, which is why it isn't getting a terrible score; but like the author says, I found it difficult to understand why it even exists, and recommend that you instead pick up a better-written specific guide to whichever topic in particular you're most interested in.Out of 10: 7.1
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’ve been a Trekkie, or Trekker, ever since Star Trek’s second season. My mom wouldn’t let me watch during the first season, because it was described as an “adult science fiction program” and some of the women’s outfits were very risqué for TV back them. I did however sneak a peek at a few season one episodes at a friend’s house from time to time, but didn’t watch full time until season two. I’ve had models of the ships and gadgets, paperback books, blueprints, episode guides, trading cards, Star Fleet manuals, VHS and DVDs…everything and anything that was connected to Star Trek. I even flew to NYC for the 1974 convention. I have since attended several local Star Trek conventions. Over the past four decades I’ve read dozens of books about the classic show, but after a while they all started sounding the same. This book does hash over a lot of familiar territory, but goes far beyond that. In a sense, it boldly goes where no Star Trek book has gone before. It covers other projects by Star Trek’s many actors, writers, produces, and director before and after the original series. Many episodes are discussed in detail from a somewhat different point of view, dealing with various themes like civil rights, political unrest, religion, etc. It discusses the various feuds that formed before, during and after the filming of the three seasons. The book starts out long before Star Trek existed covering its conception, birth, life, death, and its resurrection in syndication and animation. For the first time in quite a while, I was learning new things about Star Trek. I highly recommend this book to every Star Trek fan and even those who aren’t fans, but are interested in how Star Trek has influenced our lives today. I’m now anxious for the next book to come out focusing on the many other Star Trek television series and major motion pictures.