on August 26, 2010
The best book about Star Trek TOS since the Justman/Solow book. Really well done, with great photos (many I have never seen before). The text on each episode captures many anecdotes that I had not heard before either. And I love that the authors included some early aspects of fandom -- including the first few New York conventions. If you are a fan of the original series -- this is a "must have" book. I hope they do another one for the first six movies featuring the original cast.
STAR TREK 365 is a time capsule to the magic that was Star Trek. Sure to gladden the hearts of all us moldy oldy Trekkers, it offers up a 744-page tribute to Roddenberry's original, classic show filled with clear, crisp color photographs and incisive text. To coin a phrase, it's "Fascinating!"
Authors Block and Erdmann take a roughly chronological approach to the original series, detailing the show's origins, its beloved characters and the actors who portrayed them, behind-the-scenes info, specific episodes, themes, special effects, make-up, etc. Yet STAR TREK 365 is the kind of book where you just jump in at a random page and enjoy!
Paging through the book you're reminded of what a fine job Roddenberry & Co. did back in 1966. It not only brings back fond memories of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty and all the others in action but also makes one realize how much better Star Trek was in comparison to the tripe that dominated the boob tube back then. Roddenberry, Gene Coon and Bob Justman brought a sensitivity and humanity to Star Trek that was sorely missing in so many other shows, especially in the first two seasons. The show's humanism and sense of optimism was underscored by the superb acting that helped create the endearing Enterprise crew not to mention the equally memorable villains like Khan, Charlie X and Trelane. In particular, though Spock in some respects stole Kirk's thunder, watch Season One and Two shows and marvel at what a damn fine acting job Shatner did as Kirk.
The photographs are a combination of color and b&w production shots and candids, some never-been-seen, of the regulars, guest stars, the Enterprise and other starships, aliens and monsters, special effects, dramatic scenes from various shows and so on. All in all, a visual delight.
In short, STAR TREK 365 may not be THE definitive Star Trek book but it is an engagingly-written and appealingly-presented package. And a steal at $29.95! Beam this one on board; you won't be sorry! Recommended.
on December 27, 2010
One can spend hours sitting at a couch flipping through this book. The problem is that the hardcover is cheaply made and the glue that binds the spine falls apart and then you're dealing with pages coming loose.
on August 25, 2010
This incredible Star Trek book is the perfect companion to all 3 full-season, remastered DVD boxed sets released last year. Informative, insightful and loaded with great photos and artwork, this book is a must have for even the most casual Star Trek enthusiast. Beam up your copy today!
on September 4, 2010
I'm a huge Star Trek fan, and it's a pleasure to receive a new reference book on the franchise (this time, centered around the original series, aka TOS). The Encyclopedia and Chronology were great in their time, but with all the information in the later Deep Space Nine and Voyager episodes (as well as Enterprise and the last few movies), they've become outdated. I expected 365 to be similar to the excellent Art of Star Trek (1997), and it is a great companion piece to that book, offering some beautiful images along with insights into the production and the impact of the classic series over the last 40 years.
In general, the layout has images on the right side, with brief episode teasers and other information on the left.
I'm going to note a few things that came to mind as I read through the book:
+365 comes in hardcover, with a beautiful image of the Enterprise on the front and a picture of Spock, Kirk, McCoy and Scott (from "Spectre of the Gun") on the back. The pages are semi-glossy and easy to flip through. The page numbers are colored the same as the dvd sets - yellow for season 1, blue for season 2, red for season 3 (and black otherwise).
-The cover can scratch and dent easily, and mine already has a sort of "haze" around the edges. The pages pick up fingerprints (wash your hands before reading!), and several of the text pages had ink smears and other blemishes (not a big deal, but worth noting). The page numbers are all on the text (left) sides and are cut off slightly. I guess this was a stylistic choice, but they're often hard to read.
+The episodes are presented in production order. Though this was often different from airdate order ("The Man Trap" aired before "Where No Man Has Gone Before", even though "Before" was actually the second pilot), the layout is much more logical and easier to read through.
-There's no table of contents, so it's hard to find your favorite episode or get a sense of which shows aired in which season. The opening page for each episode has a teaser for the show, which might whet your appetite, but doesn't reveal too much. They could have put the episode number on the page (1-79), the stardate, the original airdate, a list of personnel (directors, guest stars, etc) or other things, yet those are all missing. A few notes on specific actors or props might be included on subsequent pages, but you never really know what's coming.
+The big draw for 365 is in its images, and here it rarely disappoints. Many of the pictures are razor-sharp and look like they could have been shot yesterday (Spock mind-melding with Van Gelder from "Dagger of the Mind"). I've read the comments about the rest, which sometimes look a bit grainy; knowing they are from the original negatives and have been cleaned up makes up for this at times, though other times you wish they just chose another shot.
-Sometimes the pictures are from the remastered episodes (the Enterprise and Balok's ship from "The Corbomite Maneuver") without any note of that fact. It wouldn't bother me if it was consistent, but sometimes there is a really crummy original shot (The USS Constellation approaching "The Doomsday Machine") that would have looked much better if they used the remastered footage instead (the original shot used a model with almost no detail). There are also some episodes that are missing things that should be there...for instance, there are no pictures of Elaan in the collection for "Elaan of Troyius" (!), or of Mudd, who was in two episodes ("Mudd's Women" [5 pictures with the women, none of him!] and "I, Mudd"). Actually, several villains should be pictured but aren't, like Merik from "Bread and Circuses" or the Klingons from "A Private Little War".
+I guarantee you'll not only learn a lot about TOS, you'll learn things that will make you smile (like how Vaal - the big dragon head from "The Apple" - was actually made of aluminum foil!). There are nice tidbits on some of the guest actors, locations, costumes, episode scores and more. You'll find out why several planets seem "just like Earth," why Sulu was missing for most of season 2, and why William Shatner sometimes kept...pausing in the middle...of his dialogue!
-Some of the information is presented randomly (a comment on the look of the transporter platform comes in-between episode summaries for season 3). They keep mentioning how NBC gave the show a small budget, but not WHY this was so, or WHY so many people left before the third season (also no mention of Freiberger, the producer for that season). Also, there's too much information in some places and not enough in others. For instance, we get a whole page of text dedicated to the belly dancer from "Wolf in the Fold" yet nothing on Klingon warrior Kor ("Errand of Mercy") or Kodos the Executioner ("The Conscience of the King"). I also expected more interviews and actual quotes from the actors and others; how did Ricardo Montalban approach the role of Khan? What did Mark Lenard think about Sarek's relationship with Spock ("Journey to Babel", as well as the third and fourth movies)? Surely these people (and the main cast) had something to say about the show (and its effect on their lives) that could have been reproduced here. Finally, it would have been cool to include a bit on the 2009 movie, like a trivia section on the little homages to TOS people might have missed.
I know I've piled on the book a bit, but what it all boils down to is: did I enjoy it? Yes, I did. It was fun to go through once, and I'll surely be checking back to it whenever I view the episodes again. I still think the DS9 Companion is the best Trek book out there though (even if it's only in black and white).
on January 16, 2013
I am a new Star Trek fan. I grew up watching the Next Generation, and wasn't into it, except for the Captain (I thought he was cool). At 26 years old, I decided to give the original Star Trek a spin since I saw it appear on my Netflix streaming as "recommended". Little did I know what I was getting into! I am totally obsessed now! I now own most of the original cast's autobiographies, read the novelettes, have a Star Trek emblem on my car, and a motion-detecting replica of the original communication panel, which "swissssshes" whenever you walk through the kitchen...geez.
But about the book! It's FULL of awesome photos and little tidbits of info. Those that are well-read and versed in the shows history won't be surprised with a handful of the stories/anecdotes (how many times have we heard about Shatner stealing Nimoy's bike on set?). It's just awesome though. If you feel like you can't get enough visual stimuli of Star Trek, this book is an excellent coffee table purchase, and conversation starter (as if your friends didn't already realize that you are a Trekkie).
It's big and heavy (so not a good bedside reader), but the reason it's so cumbersome is because it's packed with awesomeness. Tons of full color bright photos and laid out in a non-chronological order...it's just fun to sit around and flip through.
on August 27, 2015
The information and book itself are very good...but the format is really cheap! Part of the upper page and lower page are CUT OFF! Too bad because otherwise this would be a 5 star. But really its poorly formatted and reproduced.
This fun little item is a recap of the entire 79-episode run of the original Star Trek series from the 1960's. It's filled with lots of interesting information, screen captures from the series, photos used to sell the series to sponsors, and other odds and ends that make it a great table book. You can read it either straight from the beginning or enter it at any point and begin reading. It brings back a lot of memories from the show, but also provides a few things that you might not know (unless, of course, you're full schooled in all the Star Trek publications, many of which far surpass this volume in specific information and detailed content). The photos look like they were taken from the show before it underwent that incredible restoration to bring it up to high-definition levels (see the link below), but they are generally good quality. The book is printed on heavy, soft-finish paper (not glossy), and is heavy, therefore, for its size. It's a great price, too, for what you get, and is a great gift idea for anyone interested in the series. I've enjoyed browsing through it, reading the content, and reviewing the photos. The word that keeps coming to mind as I reflect on this book is "FUN." And its really well priced, as well. Five stars.
on September 4, 2010
The anecdotes and reminiscences in this book are thoroughly entertaining and very illuminating in many instances. The episode descriptions are brief 1 page affairs, which are perfectly fine for the format this book is presented in. If you happen to want much more detailed descriptions of the actual people involved in the technical aspects of the show or more thorough story synopisis' i would suggest picking up the Star Trek Compendium. Even being as familiar as I am about the production of the original series there were still numerous stories and observations in this book I'd never heard before. The pictures chosen are also outstanding, many, many of them previously unseen before. Behind the scenes, publicity stills, alternate views of scenes from the episodes themselves.....they're really great, there was absolutely no issue for me regarding the quality of the images used in this book as i had read in an earlier review. This is a real first rate book and I'm happy to have picked it up and added it my collection, I've enjoyed reading through it over the past few nights and if your a fan of the original show, you just can't go wrong with this one! Well done Paula!
on March 14, 2014
Nothing much here. If you are a die-hard Trekker, you already have one or more books like this.
One problem/issue is the way the book is laid-out, it's rather strange. It is as if the book was originally suppose to be bound one way but got hacked-up into a totally different configuration. For example, the word "introduction" in the introduction is cut-off. Also, the page numbers (I guess they are page numbers) are treated the same way. Another bizarre thing is that the page number on the bottom of one page also appears at the top of the next page; as I wrote "bizarre". It is as if one publisher started the project, but dropped it only to be taken-up by Abrams of New York who, apparently, had no idea what the original publisher had in mind.
One good thing is that the book is heavy and appears to be solidly constructed and bound. So, I would expect many years of use.
Publishing problems aside, the book has good information for the novice. From that standpoint, it is fine. For the die-hard fan that already has many such books, I would give it a pass.