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Making of Star Trek Mass Market Paperback – August 12, 1986


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (August 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345340191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345340191
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"For would-be TV writers, directors and producers, this will be an education in itself, a polished but non-varnished look at how TV really works." -- Publishers Weekly

From the Inside Flap

A complete history of what may be the most popular TV series ever -- the original Star Trek "TM" episodes! Filled with quotations from cast members, memos to and from Gene Roddenberry, biographies of cast members, sketches, photographs, set descriptions, and even budgets and cast schedules, this volume is a fascinating, invaluable behind-the-scenes account of the development and production of the original Star Trek "TM" series.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I remember reading it the first time, wishing the show was still on TV.
Paul
It is the first book of its kind, and probably the first book about Star Trek at all.
Bernd Schneider
This is a book that all Star Trek fans must read, for it was there at the beginning.
Charles Ashbacher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Bernd Schneider on November 28, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a classic. It is the first book of its kind, and probably the first book about Star Trek at all. But The Making of Star Trek is much more than any of the later books with similar names. This book doesn't idealize or simplify the making of the series. It doesn't enthusiastically praise everything and everyone involved in its production. It is an authentic and meticulous report on how TOS in particular and a TV series in general comes to life. It shows that it is a process of try and error, that aspects have to be taken into account the viewers wouldn't think of, and that the responsible persons don't always know exactly what they want ("I need some device that does something...").
The story how Stephen E. Whitfield (aka Stephen E. Poe) asked Gene Roddenberry if he could write a book about the series sounds like a fairy tale, but is true. The Great Bird was very forthcoming, and Whitfield was granted access to everything behind the scenes of the still running show, seemingly without any restriction. The book shows production schedules, budgets, private notes, script drafts, production sketches, all things that are usually kept secret or simplified for a larger public. I don't think that something like this would be still possible today. Compared to The Making of Star Trek, Whitfield's last book (he passed away in 2000) on Voyager seems rather superficial.
The Making of Star Trek may be over 30 years old, but it is of more than only historical value. It demonstrates that TV is a business that sometimes doesn't allow technical or artistic perfection. It also shows how many things we may take for granted and that are essential parts of the Star Trek Universe today have taken a rather surprising course change.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this in the Seventies and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I've bought it again and enjoyed it all over again. Fascinating behind-the-scenes look at TOS. You have to read this book to understand what a groundbreaking series Star Trek was. You also learn how grueling a TV series is to work on. This book is fascinating, and sometimes hilarious!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1996
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A classic book for those interested in television production, especially "Star Trek".
This is the first book that gave the details of the production of a particular television series, and has served as a model for similar books to follow.
The original "Star Trek" was still in production at the time this book was written, and the book has gone into many reprints.
A good primer for those who follow the current crop of "Star Trek" shows and movies, and are interested in finding out about the classic original.
This book is definitely a must-have for fans of the original series.
Co-written by the creator himself.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Pomeroy on January 23, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are probably loads of 'Making of Star Trek' books out there, but this is particularly interesting as it was written in 1968, between the second and third series, before the show had become a phenomenon. Which is odd at first - everything is in the present tense, and there's nothing about the cultural impact of the show because that was all in the future. Doubly odd is the fact that all of the many quotes from Gene Roddenberry are reported IN BLOCK CAPITALS, giving the bizarre impression that he is not a television producer, but God Himself.
It's extremely detailed, and is as much about the making of any TV late-60s series as it is 'Star Trek'. There are bits from shooting scripts, set plans, photographs of noted theatre actor William Shatner in old-age makeup (looking nothing like he looks in genuine old age), profiles of production staff, and programme budgets which, translated dollar-for-dollar, would just about cover the catering bill on 'Star Trek : The Next Generation'. It's worth it for the stream of memos about Vulcan names alone.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By DesiluTrek on May 8, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Back when there was little else written about Star Trek, before David Gerrold's great "World of Star Trek" analysis or Franz Joseph's blueprints, "The Making of Star Trek" was the ultimate. I devoured it as a boy in the early '70s. To this day I don't think anyone can consider themselves a true original series die-hard without having read this book. It really does take you inside the making of the show, but keeps it on a professional level, without salaciousness. That's because the book wasn't written as something for the few Star Trek fans that were known of then, but as a book about how to write for TV, as older printings stated on the cover. That does leave some things out, but those details have been covered since by other books and memoirs.

Since this was written while the series was in production, it's a good view into how people felt then, even refreshing because Trek had yet to become a pop culture colossus, so the book doesn't have any of that built-in reverence. They were making a good TV show that aspired to be something better than most everything else on then, but in the end it was considered just another TV job, certainly not anything that would become legendary.

For instance, "The Defenders," one of the highest praised, most thoughtful and well-written dramas of the '60s, is scarecely remembered by anyone not old enough to have seen it. Part of the issue with that series had to do with rerun-rights issues, but another part had to do with the times then, when TV was still rather young, and shows were thought of as rather disposable, coming and going without much of an afterlife except for "Lucy" and "Honeymooners" reruns.
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