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on 9 June 2014
Pocket Books were a bit stingy when they put together Larry Nemecek's The Next Generation Companion: Star Trek The Next Generation, but they more than made up for it with this tome from Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. Just like the couple's The Art of Star Trek, this is a book on which no expense has been spared. Three hundred and two outsize pages of polychromatic picture-packed pleasure.

After a foreword by Rick Berman - where did he find the time? - there's a preliminary account of Gene Roddenberry's first twenty Trekking years, followed by a chapter on TNG's preproduction. Then Captain Picard says "Engage". There's a chapter for each of the show's seven seasons, as well as for Generations and First Contact. The first edition of this book ends with a look ahead towards the creation of the Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton; the second edition - distinguishable from the first by the gold star on its front cover - adds a chapter about the making of Insurrection, although sadly it was published too early to be able to cover Nemesis as well. Oh, and there's an afterword from Bob Justman telling the amusing tale of how Patrick Stewart was cast.

The text seems to me to be much more interesting than the average for a book of this kind. The authors were able to interview many of the most important people who worked on TNG behind the scenes, and the stories that they've extracted from their tape recorder are always entertaining. And they've augmented the anecdotes with sidebars summarizing each and every episode.

As for the illustrations: well, I think that they're just glorious. Concept art, screen grabs, production photos - and all quite beautifully reproduced. Whether it's the Borg slicing out a piece of the Enterprise's saucer, the sixties bridge recreated for Relics, the building of a shuttle - if you ever wondered how it was achieved, this book will probably show you. There are pictures of ships, sets, props, costumes, prosthetics, hundreds and hundreds of them...You can sit down meaning to browse the book for a few minutes, and find that the minutes have become an hour. Of course, the TNG Blu-rays are packed with masses of extras for Trekkies to enjoy: but I think that there's still a case for splashing out on this gorgeous coffee-table volume too.
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on 27 December 2001
The Reeves-Stevens husband and wife team have previously penned a number of Trek novels e.g. 'Federation', co-writing on Bill Shatner's Trek books, and reference books, such as 'The Art of Star Trek'. These were all of high quality, and that tradition is maintained here. From its painful beginnings right through to its triumphant later seasons, TNG's story is provided in full, with brief synopses of all episodes combined with interviews with cast and crew, and some intriguing photographs of actors and props and illustrations by Rick Sternbach and Mike Okuda, the guys who did all the dinky artwork for the computer panels and other things. The book is refreshingly honest in its assessment of the show's difficulties in its early days, and provides in its analysis of ST:G a fascinating account of how the death of Kirk was completely redone because the first version made it look like Picard's fault. Written in a fluent style born of long familiarity with all things Trek, I would heartily recommend this to anyone interested in Trek.
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on 24 January 2002
The Continuing Mission is a superb accompanyment to Star Trek:the next generation. One of the most popular of the star trek incarnations.
It is filled with behind the scenes info, intial sketches and ship designs, cast interviews and a complete synopsis for every single episode. Covering it's ambitious start (encounter at farpoint 1987) to its poigant series finalé (all good things... 1994). This together with a guide to all three TNG motion pictures, makes it a very compelling read.
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on 10 November 1998
This book takes you through the last 11 years of the history of Star Trek: The Next Generation, from the initial conception and Paramounts 'risk' of launching the series, through to the latest movie, 'Insurrection'. I was a little disappointed that this book did not have more of a perspective of the actors' and crew or taken a more anecdotal look at the series. As it stands, it is a thorough narrative on the comings and goings of the production team. It includes a description of each episode, lots of 'behind-the-scenes' photos of models of ships and props as well as many original design sketches. More of a 'The Making of ST:TNG' than something along the lines of 'I am Spock' for the Next Generation.
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