I'm amazed that there are not more reviews of this terrific book about the original "Star Trek" TV series. Does that mean that not many people are reading BOARDING THE ENTERPRISE? Fans should definitely read this book, because it's a great anthology of perspectives about the show, mostly positive, but since it's "completely unauthorized," some negative views as well. Most of the authors are, like me, clearly fans of the original "Star Trek" and have been much influenced by it, but are willing to admit that it had its shortcomings too. These essays are very wide-ranging, from D.C. Fontana's "I Remember Star Trek" that is largely behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the show, to "What Have You Done With Spock's Brain?" by Don DeBrandt about Vulcan society and identity, to "Who Killed the Space Race?" by Adam Roberts that looks at the relationship between science fiction and real space travel, to "The Prime Question" by Eric Greene that ponders meanings behind various episodes and aspects of "Star Trek," and so on through 15 usually fascinating essays.
Greene's "The Prime Question" was helpful to me in pointing out that the show's inconsistences in applying the Prime Directive (which advocated non-interference with alien societies) reflected a difference of opinion between two of the show's producers, Gene Roddenberry and Gene L. Coon, and those inconsistencies actually provide an interesting debate on the pros and cons of interference. Another of my favorite essays was "Star Trek in the Real World" by Norman Spinrad, in which the famous sci-fi author argues persuasively that the alien Mr. Spock was important to our society in promoting the acceptance of other ideas and cultures. Another well-known sci-fi writer and media professor, Paul Levinson, points out in "How Star Trek Liberated Television" that the show's success in syndication was the first salvo in the struggle to liberate us from the dominance of the big three TV networks: ABC, CBS, and NBC. Some essays I found less enlightening, but one must remember that from infinite diversity comes infinite combinations! Notice too that this is NOT a book intended to provide a huge amount of detail about the original Trek, but rather is perspectives about the meanings and impact of the show. I have read a substantial amount about "Star Trek," especially the original series, and BOARDING THE ENTERPRISE is the most interesting book of perspectives about the original "Star Trek" that I have ever read.