on 15 November 2003
Over the years, many books have been written about Star Trek's growth from a popular-yet-low-rated television series to the huge cultural phenomenon it is today. Some are strictly technical (Gene Roddenberry and Stephen Whitfield's The Making of Star Trek), others are a mix of in-depth analysis and insider's insights (David Gerrold's The World of Star Trek), while still others are personal memoirs (William Shatner's Star Trek Memories). Most of them describe the growing pains of Roddenberry's concept of "Wagon Train to the Stars" and tell the now-familiar story of how NBC commissioned two pilots (rejecting "The Cage" for being too cerebral); how the fans saved the show for a second season but couldn't stop NBC from cancelling Star Trek in 1969; how those same fans kept the spirit of Star Trek alive during the "in-between" decade from the show's debut in syndication to the release of 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
J.M. Dillard, author of many Star Trek novels (The Lost Years, Mindshadow, plus five movie novelizations), contributed the text for Star Trek: Where No One Has Gone Before -- A History in Pictures. Published shortly after Star Trek: The Next Generation ended its seven season run and before both the premiere of the seventh feature film and the debut of Star Trek's third spin-off, Voyager, Where No One Has Gone Before covers Star Trek's first 28 years, from its creative genesis as the proposed chronicles of Starfleet Capt. Robert April and the Starship Yorktown to the pre-production of Star Trek: Voyager (which ended its run in 2001).
Although its well-written and includes two essays by the late great Isaac Asimov, informative sidebars in each chapter and an introduction by William Shatner, Where No One Has Gone Before's main asset is the wealth of pictures, many of them publicty shots of the several casts, but also many stills from the Original Series, the short-lived animated series, the first seven Star Trek features, and the first two spinoff series.
And even though it is a history of Star Trek, don't look for juicy "dark" revelations about the troubles (real or imagined) behind the scenes. Jeffrey Hunter's departure from the show is never examined in detail (the book Captain's Logs, an unauthorized history of Star Trek, blames Hunter for being excessively demanding, telling producers what camera angles not to use when photographing Capt. Pike and other prima donna behavior). It's not written as an expose -- Dillard, after all, is a Star Trek fan who also is an authorized Star Trek writer, and the intended audience is, of course, the millions of Star Trek fans.
on 25 April 2011
This book tells how Gene Roddenberry gave up his job as a pilot to persue his dream of being a writer for television. It tells how he started off with another series called the Lieutenant and worked his way to Star Trek. The book mentions the failed pilot entitled "The Cage" which can now be seen on the third series dvd box set. It lists each cast member and how they got the job. The book tells how the series failed and was cancelled in 1969. The book mentions how Roddenberry agreed to an animated series and why Star Wars led him to make films of his creation. The book goes on to mention Star Trek The Next Genereation, his death, Star Trek Deep Space Nine and of course the then newly released Star Trek Voyager. With pictures and sub sections about each character and the ships (in the case of Deep Space Nine, a space station) and the different writer who made the brillant saga that is Star Trek.