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Star Trek Movie Memories Hardcover – Unabridged, November, 1994
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From Library Journal
The high-profile Shatner (see Tek Power in "Fiction") follows up the best-selling Star TrekR Memories with a behind-the-scenes look at all seven Star TrekR movies, including the one premiering this Thanksgiving.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Timed nicely to coincide with Captain Kirk's upcoming, long-overdue death (in the November release of the first Next Generation movie, Generations), here are Shatner's accounts of what went on behind the scenes of each of the movies to date. In the early 1970s, Gene Roddenberry wanted to do a Star Trek film but couldn't find financial backing; moreover, he was an abysmal writer, and the scripts he churned out simply weren't compelling. Studio executives underestimated--as did Shatner--the ongoing charm of the original series, however, as well as the filmgoing public's general appetite for science fiction (e.g., the epics of Spielberg and Lucas). By the time the sleeping giant that was Star Trek stumbled to its feet, it had some catching up to do, and the first of the new series, released in 1979, was a dud. Nonetheless Trekkers (not Trekkies) went crazy. Once writer Rick Berman came onboard, the films became--well, not bad. Shatner is his usual hammy self here, and he hints that he may not truly be dead after Generations. But he's always entertaining and even introspective as he contemplates growing older and getting a divorce and conveys his regrets about alienating his colleagues--particularly James Doohan (Scotty). An able sequel to Shatner's Star Trek Memories. Also of interest may be Star Trek, Where No One Has Gone Before: A History in Pictures from Pocket Books ($45, 0-671-51149-1), a coffee-table effort covering every permutation of the show, even the animated. John Mort
Top customer reviews
There won't be much that is brand new information to serious Trekkers. In addition, it was written more than 20 years after the series ended. Memories fade, and events that do stick in memory are often exceptions and not the day to day routines.. One episode that Shatner remembers well is The Devil in the Dark, during which he received word of his father's unexpected death. He describes this as his favorite episode. No doubt, emotions were heightened.
Good read, despite some of its' flaws. It isn't in the depth that some fans would hope for, but again, I don't think such a book has been written or could be written now, even if all the actors were still alive. It has been way too long. So we have to be content for little glimpses of history and be thankful for the creative efforts of a group of dedicated people some 50 years ago that against all odds, survived into syndication.
I enjoyed this book. Its hard to tell how much of it is a work of fiction - whether through the changes that memory makes to past circumstances, or through judicious PR tweaks. Fact, fiction, or both, this is an interesting book. It gives us a unique look inside a cultural phenomenon.
I'm grateful for William Shatner's contribution to one of the most influential TV shows ever. Star Trek was an inspiration to many fields. Science has perhaps benefited most of all. Although the show's stage was apparently a place of stress and emotional wounding, skilled actor's and creative innovators came together to create a force for acceptance of 'infinite diversity in infinite combinations'. The show itself was a giant leap forward in what it was possible to show on network TV, breaking down barriers and opening possibilities. Star Trek's values influenced the hearts and minds of the audience when it was first shown, and continues to do so now.
Its a credit to Shatner's coworkers that so many of them choose to work with him on this memoir. While the book does not leave the reader with the sense that Shatner ever fully "got" the pain his fellow actors worked through, it does show that that there was healing and forgiveness.
We expect a lot of those we place on a pedestal. Over time, we find many of our heros were flawed humans. This book won't lead to any nominations for sainthood for Shatner, but it helps bring understanding.
Shatner's Star Trek Memories reveals a portion of how and why Star Trek came to be - or at least, one man and his ghostwriter's version of that time. If you are into Star Trek, its well worth the read.
I HIGHLY recommend "Inside Star Trek - The Real Story" by Herbert F. Solow and Robert H. Justman, the original producers of the show. That was both funny and eye-opening.
I was really leery about reading a book by Shatner because I have read so much about his having a major ego. Therefore, I was afraid that it was going to be "Me, me, me." I was very wrong. Shatner wrote a very entertaining and informative book about "Star Trek," its origins, and the people who not only acted in it, but many others who made the show run.
Being a major "Star Trek" fan, I already knew some of the things about which he wrote, but I learned a lot, too. For instance, I didn't know that they created the character of Checkov because "The Monkees" was so popular at the time, and they wanted a character who looked like one of them!
The book is a fun read, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about "Star Trek."