A great little reference guide for the casual Star Trek fan and for younger viewers new to the Original Series. And although die-hard trekkies/trekkers would probably enjoy reading this book, there is little new in here that they won't know already.
The book is a hardback without dust jacket, printed on quality glossy paper. It is printed throughout in full colour and is packed with hundreds of photos which mostly relate to each episode. Some of the photos are new and some more familiar. There are even some effects shots from the remastered DVDs which was nice and unexpected. There are other photos as well, relating to advertising, collectibles, publicity etc. But little in the way of behind the scenes photos. At the end there is a nice photo and section about the original eleven foot long USS Enterprise model and how it is now displayed at the Smithsonian Museum.
When you open the book, the page to the left contains the all the text relating to a particular episode. The righthand side is a full page photo of a scene or character from that episode. Each episode has at least eight or more pages devoted to it. The text is a basic synopsis of each episode along with some character quotes and brief background information relating to the making of the show, the characters and history of the Original Series. Missing here though, is any guest cast list, director and writer credits or original air date for each episode. Although these can be found in other books, it would have been a nice touch to have them here as well. So that the book could have been a more complete episode guide.
Although much of the information in this book will be familiar to most readers over the age of 35, there are still some annedotes that are probably not as well known. For instance, did you know that the part of Commodore Matt Decker in the episode The Doomsday Machine was originally written for the actor Robert Ryan.
The book has been published in landscape format in that it only measures 16.5cm in height and 24cm in length. This means that you get a very short, (in height), fat book. Now some people may like this style of design. Personally I don't. I much prefer the standard coffee table portrait style book. My second gripe is with the page numbering system. I have no problems with actual design of the cut-off numbers. Which incidentally is a design feature and not a printing error as some people seem to think. Its just that the page numbers are far too big for the page itself. This means that the text has been reduced in size in order to fit in between the numbers. Also on some of the text pages there is a lot of empty white space, which could have been filled by either additional text or a small inset photo. I'm sure that there must have been lots of additional photos at the author's disposal that weren't used which could have filled any empty spaces.
To sum up. This is a lovely book with lots of useful information and great colour photos. However it is not the complete reference guide it could and should have been. For the die-hard Star Trek fan there are other books with far more detailed information. But for the casual fan or newbie this book is a great starting off point. However the book is marred by unnecessary publishing design gimmicks such as the book's landscape design and page numbering system. Its a pity that the publishers didn't have enough faith in the original source material without having to resort to these gimmicks. However that said, the book is an entertaining easy read which deserves to be on the bookshelf of even the most casual fan of the Original Series. It is a perfect, (though incomplete in some ways), episode reference guide to keep alongside your Original Series DVDs. If you view the book in that way then you won't be disappointed. And at £10 including shipping, Star Trek 365 is a bargain that won't hang around for long.
Overall I would give the book four stars out of five for text and photo contents. But loses one star because of the unnecessary gimmicky nature of the book design.