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Inside "Star Trek" : the real story (Star Trek (trade/hardcover)) Hardcover – 3 Jun 1996

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 458 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; 1st ed. edition (3 Jun. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671896288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671896287
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 20.3 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you don't know what "TOS" means, this book is not for you.

If you are a Trekkie/Trekker, and you've read all the self-glorifying books by the "stars" involved, this is great stuff. For example, without diminishing his contribution it does demythify Gene Roddenberry (who turns out to have been quite the Great Fornicator in the Office). The book describes how the series came about, how the episodes were made (mostly on time and on budget), and how it all ended. And then how it flourished in re-runs and, later, motion pictures and more tv series, that continue to this day.
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By luikriako on 30 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For someone interested in original series this gives you all the inside info & also clears up some misconceptions . Very good .
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By Kindle Customer on 21 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 43 reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
One of My Favorite Things 13 Feb. 2006
By Karl J. Hanson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I assume that if you're reading this review, we share in common the belief that Star Trek The Original Series (TOS) was great. Perhaps you bought the complete set of DVD's, like I did. The DVD's are worth it; I consider them one of my most treasured collections. I watch the episodes with my kids, and they love it. TOS is great television, with great writing asking intriguing questions about man's existence. Television writing has devolved since that time.

I've read both "Inside Star Trek" and Yvonne Fern's "Gene Roddenberry, The Last Conversation". Both books look at different angles of Star Trek. Fern's book deals with the philosophical side of Gene Roddenberry, and how he perceived himself. "Inside Star Trek" deals with the business end of the show and all the difficulties encountered in producing it. It's an impressive story, and it's amazing that it ever got produced. Herb Solow and Robert Justman did a fantastic job producing the series.

It's been about 33 years since I was in college. After dinner in the cafeteria, a group of us would congregate to watch Star Trek reruns on the local UHF station. That was a crucial time in the success of Star Trek, when the UHF stations picked it up, because it was otherwise a ratings failure on the networks. If it wasn't for the phenomenal success of Star Trek appearing in reruns on UHF, Star Trek would have been just a vague memory.

I would not recommend this book to new viewers of Star Trek, until they have seen the shows, because the book tends to reveal the magic. Roddenberry is a god to some, but he had "feet of clay". Also, reading about the actors tends to diminish the herioc stature of the characters they protrayed. "Inside Star Trek" shows you all the nuts and bolts of how the thing was put together, and how it fell apart.

Looking back, Star Trek was an incredible achievement.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Priceless for every TOS fan and trekkie 1 April 2004
By "wkjun" - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I could never have dreamed of the value of this book - I bought it and was amazed! This book is a must-have for every fan of the original series and real trekkie!
The complete background of the beginning of the series, the problems, the costs and the riscs to make the series - all covered within this essential book. It was great fun to read and
extremely interesting. Believe it or not, I had some good laughs too!
Hard to realize how some things have been done and worked out. The real point in trying to catch a copy of it is that the writers were really there at this time! They perfectly know what they are talking about.
Try to get a copy of that book as fast as possible. Out of print for some time now it is very hard to find and I'm afraid I won't sell mine... *g*
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
About 1/4 of the Story... 3 April 2008
By William Ashbless - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I finally got around to reading this book in a spasm of Trek-related reading. It's been about 35 years since I read Whitfield's "the Making of Star Trek," which I eagerly devoured at the time. I was hoping for a similar nostalgic rush from this, but it never really happened for me.

Of the two authors, Justman was the more important player creatively, while Solow worked on the business side. The story here is far from complete, but is nevertheless interesting. There are many stories of set building, uniform fittings, budget cuts, ego issues, and script procurement. Justman was an overworked, likable jack-of-all trades on the set, while Solow was the lubricant between the show and the network and studio brass.

I didn't find the book at all dismissive of Gene Roddenberry, rather it was mostly quite respectful of him. I think some of the creative folks that were still around, such as Dorothy Fontana and John D.F. Black, could have added some much needed juice and color (unfortunately, others like Bill Theiss and Matt Jeffries have left us).

Overall, a mildly interesting read; it's subtitle might have been "The Nuts and Bolts of Keeping Star Trek on Time and Under Budget." Nothing controversial, nothing very intriguing. Ms Fontana, your memoirs please!!!
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A refreshingly different perspective on the Star Trek legend 30 May 1999
By Dana B - Published on
Format: Paperback
I read and thoroughly enjoyed Stephen Whitfield's book when it appeared in the late '60s, and have since read many of the cast memoirs, including Majel Barrett's adoring biography of Gene Roddenberry. The latter all started to fall into a mold -- 'I was great but under-appreciated, Star Trek was wonderful and Shatner was a louse'. This book gives a refreshingly more objective view of the whole thing, letting us see the people in a more realistic light (and one of the few books where Shatner isn't raked over the coals). Little tidbits, like the origin of the "Great Bird of the Galaxy", add to the fun. Yes, it drags at times, but Trek fans should find it well worth the read.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Good producers' account, but mean to Gene 6 April 2000
By Anton Karidian - Published on
Format: Paperback
Justman and Solow have given here an interesting account of the making of Classic Trek. Compared, say, to Bill Shatner's on-the-set perspective in his STAR TREK MEMORIES, this one is more of what went on in the offices. I have read a fair amount on the making of the show, and it seems to me there are new details and perspectives here. Particularly fresh and interesting is their account of the environment at Desilu Studios as the genesis of Star Trek. There is also a good section on the making of the terrific music for the series. And much more. I was a little irked, though, that the book is so rough on creator Gene Roddenberry. I don't know that the unfavorable incidents recounted here are untrue, but I thought a lot of it was unnecessary and did not leave much room for making more positive comments on him. But, all in all, INSIDE STAR TREK is surely one of the primary books on the making of the show. It's a good choice for those who know a lot about it, or know nothing at all.
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