- Mass Market Paperback: 170 pages
- Publisher: Bantam Books (November 1972)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553127314
- ISBN-13: 978-0553081503
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.1 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,761,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Star Trek 8 Mass Market Paperback – November, 1972
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Top Customer Reviews
Why did he feel the need to hit Season 3 heavy that soon? By this point, he covered 17 first season episodes (18 if you count "The Menagerie" as two), 8 from season two, and 3 from three. In this book he does six from the third season (with "This Side of Paradise" from the first season being the exception) and four more third seasons in the next book. I actually like the episodes in the next book better than this one.
Some of these worked better on TV than in print. It was hard to catch the great acting of Leonard Nimoy in "This Side of Paradise" or the more challenging role William Shatner handled in "Turnabout Intruder". But if I made a top 20 list of favorite episodes (let alone top 10), the only ones that would make it may be "Turnabout Intruder" and possibly "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield" -- namely because I'm a Frank Gorshin fan.
My criticism here is not Blish's writing, but more his episode selection. If you want to read through all the Star Trek episodes, then this needs to be in your collection. But if you want to catch the greatness of Star Trek, most of the other books would be better (especially 2, 3, 4, and 9).
One note -- this is the last book that had seven episodes covered, and I think in the next one he expanded his coverage of the episodes.
The first story is "Charlie's Law," which was the second episode of the first season. Charlie was rescued from the planet Thasus after being marooned there for 14 years, the sole survivor of a crash. The crew of the rescuing ship, the Antares, remarked that Charlie was sweet and remarkably intelligent. However, Charlie is more; much more. Soon the crew of the Enterprise is fighting for their survival as Charlie reveals the true extent of his abilities.
The second story is "Dagger of the Mind," which was the ninth episode of the first season. The Enterprise visits a penal planet where Dr. Simon Van Gelder sneaks aboard ship. Dr. Tristan Adams asks whether Dr. Van Gelder has gone aboard the Enterprise, and warns Captain Kirk that Van Gelder has mental problems. However, things are not as they seem and Captain Kirk soon finds that undocumented activities are taking place at the penal colony; activities that could cause Kirk's death!
The third story is "The Unreal McCoy," which was the television episode titled "The Man Trap," the first televised episode of Star Trek, 8 September 1966. The Enterprise has stopped at planet Regulus VIII for a routine medical checkup of Dr. and Nancy Bierce (called Crater in the television show). Soon crewmen begin dying, and suspicions slowly arise, complicated by a relationship between Nancy Bierce and Dr. McCoy.
The fourth story is "The Balance of Terror," which was the fourteenth televised episode of the first season. The Enterprise is there when a Romulan ship breaks through the neutral zone with new weapons and a cloaking device. Captain Kirk reenacts "The Enemy Below" (except for the part where Robert Mitchum rams the German submarine) as the Enterprise plays cat and mouse with the invisible Romulan ship. The Enterprise will sustain casualties!
The fifth story is "The Naked Time," the fourth televised episode of the first season. When the Enterprise travels to an unnamed planet to retrieve a science team, they discover the scientists are all dead. Mr. Spock obtains a sample of a liquid that appears to be water, but very strange water in that it is liquid in sub-zero temperatures. The crew of the Enterprise soon begins acting strangely, and the mayhem begins.
The sixth story is "Miri," which is one of my favorite Star Trek episodes and which was the eighth televised episode in the first season. The Enterprise visits a planet where the sole inhabitants are children, but the children may be 300 years old. Soon the crewmembers that beamed down to the planet are aging rapidly and begin acquiring homicidal tendencies. Can Dr. McCoy and Mr. Spock find an antidote to the strange disease before Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the others succumb to its effects?
The final story in this volume is "The Conscience of the King," the thirteenth televised episode of the first season. The Enterprise has been illegally diverted to Arcturus because a friend of Captain Kirk believes he has seen the mass murderer Kodos the Executioner in a Shakespearean troupe. Initially Kirk is skeptical, but further investigation reveals that witnesses to the murders of Kodos have been dying when the Shakespearean troupe visit. Is Karidian Kodos, and who is killing off the witnesses? Since Kirk is one of the witnesses, is he next?
James Blish did a marvelous job of adapting the television episodes. Sometimes Blish made modifications to the story to make it work better for a written short story, but Blish kept the intent of the story as faithful to the television series as possible.
Fans of the original Star Trek television series have several options to obtain the written stories of the original television series, but this particular option is one of the most beautiful. Enjoy!
Note: All the information regarding episode numbers was derived from the web site imdb.com.