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The Star Trek Compendium Paperback – May 1, 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is mainly an episode by episode guide.
Asherman gives thoughtful analyses of each episode. He is fair to the writers and series production crew. He resists slamming the widely discredited (as goofy) third season.
My only reservation that keeps me from giving the book five stars: I wish it were more intellectual. It is fitting to expect an intellectual assessment of the series as it was one of the most thought-provoking science fiction series after the 1960s Outer Limits. Certainly, this was a more thoughtful series, in comparison to the gadget-crazy subsequent television series incarnations of Star Trek.
Awkward points: the book was first written in the 1980s, prior to the release of the series on video tapes. Thus, it lacks references to the episodes' being on tape.
A fun companion to this book would be the special "Entertainment Weekly Special Star Trek Issue" (Fall, 1994) that is devoted to Star Trek. This edition gives tongue-in-cheek number ratings for the episodes.
I consider myself something of a Trekker, but not rabidly so. I've read my share of magazine articles on Star Trek, but just scanning through The Star Trek Compendium (copyright 1989, 1993), I still managed to learn quite a bit about the original series and how it came to be. After TWO pilot episodes, NBC gave the go-ahead for the series, and the rest is history. Yet there is quite a bit of history to be had in Allan Asherman's book that details the development process that went into Star Trek. With plenty of black & white photos throughout the volume, the episode synopses are long and informative. Asherman gives the names of the characters in each episode, but disappointingly omits the names of the actors portraying those characters. However, all is not lost in this department since said actors are listed in the back of the book in an Index Of Principals (actors) which includes their character's name, and episode number in which they appeared.
There is a page devoted to the syndication of the original series, and a page devoted to the Star Trek Animated Series followed by a full episode guide for it. The synopses for these episodes are noticeably shorter, but then these episodes are only a half-hour long.Read more ›
Then there was the CONCORDANCE, compiled by Bjo Trimble. Episodes were listed in broadcast order from the original series and the animated series, each with a full-page synopsis and a list of actors & the characters they played (even stunt doubles!). Also featured several pages of fan art, and -- best of all -- a 140 page lexicon of roles, writers, props & plot details.
The COMPENDIUM covered the same ground with more depth & a production perspective. Previously unseen photos were included. Information was presented chronologically, including early development & the pilots, and episodes were correspondingly listed in production order. Each episode received a small synopsis before delving into background info: critical story evaluation, technical details, guest star histories, script changes, filming locations. Finally, ten pages were devoted to the 1979 movie, concluding on a hopeful note for more.
This "Revised And Updated" Compendium is both more and less than the original edition, as it covers more material (all TOS episodes, all animated episodes, all six TOS movies), but does it in ten less pages. This owes partly to a tighter (and better-organized) layout, but also to cuts: the introductory sections are drastically reduced, as are the pages devoted to the first film [from ten pages to three]. The comments on the individual episodes were also rewritten, compressed by a paragraph or so and eliminating dates for scripts & filming.Read more ›
When I moved to a smaller apartment I thinned my library and this was one of the books that I gave my sister, also a Trekker. Big mistake - I missed having it. Hence I hunted it down and got another copy for myself.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gives a nice overview and particulars of each TOS episode. A must for Trek geeks if they don't already have it.Published 11 months ago by MRH
Very good but nothing outstanding: for Star Trek completistsPublished 23 months ago by N. Scott Catledge
So, there was a slight crease in the corner of the cover. They said it was used and in good condition. When I received it, I first thought they'd sent me a brand new book! Read morePublished on February 26, 2014 by Terese M. Olson
I got this for my father on father's day. We both love Star Trek. He had this book back in the late 80s and always mentioned it with fondness, so I found it on here and snagged it! Read morePublished on August 29, 2013 by Craig
I decided to go back and watch all of the original series. This is a great book to have whether you powerhouse through the series or watch one every so often.Published on June 5, 2013 by Anna Ziegler
My teenage son has discovered the original Trek and uses this book during every episode to get full info' on what's airing.Published on January 12, 2013 by R. M. Davis