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Customer Review

on September 22, 2012
As Star Trek: The Next Generation has been the subject of many, many reference books and articles over the years, including the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion and Star Trek, the Next Generation: The Continuing Mission A Tenth Anniversary Tribute, this work easily could have become a retread of earlier publications. However, it manages to include quite a bit of information not commonly known and many stories previously untold. Paula Block worked in licensing at Paramount during TNG's production, thus had an abundance of material and personal experiences to draw upon in order to give a unique take on the TNG phenomenon.

Rather than serve as a straight-up episode guide, it offers small vignettes about TNG (365 of them, hence the book's title), in chronological order ranging from pre-production of the series through "All Good Things..." and focusing on a variety of topics including cast, characters, production staff, costumes, props, merchandise, special effects, and more. For instance, the episode "Manhunt" is covered using an interview with the makeup artist responsible for transforming Mick Fleetwood into an Antedean. An entry connected to "A Matter Of Time" gives background info on Picard's ready room fish, Livingston. Another gives the story behind the construction of the Enterprise float featured in the 1992 Tournament of Roses parade. The authors are frank in the text: in addition to covering all of TNG's successes they also touch on the turmoil which sometimes befell the writing staff and provide honest criticism of some of the less successful aspects of the show.

The stories are accompanied by many rare photos, many of which have never been published before. These include early uniform tests, advertisements, design concepts for ships and alien makeup, and candid shots of cast and crew during production, amongst others. The book would be well worth the price for the photos alone.

The TNG motion pictures are not covered, but to be fair the book's focus was the TNG series itself. Including a few sections on the movies would sacrifice too much of the information about the show.

There is also an extensive index included, which is very helpful for locating particular stories or pieces of information.

Overall, the authors do a wonderful job of putting together a 25th anniversary celebration of TNG, complementing previous works. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about TNG, you'll learn something new here.
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