Friday, April 08, 2005

To boldly go where no man has gone before

The World of Star Trek: The Show the Network could not kill. Gerrold, David. Ballantine Books. Copright 1973. New York. Includes pictures and a complete episode guide.
I came across this book while I was browsing the used-book sections in the supermarket. There were a few Star Trek Books, even a compilation of short stories based on the Star Trek animation series, scattered about. Personally, I am not really a fan of stories based on television series or movies. I prefer to watch Star Wars than to read it as a novel. Nothing against the form I just do not like it. There are exceptions, however, this was not one them. Gerrold's book was an account of the Star Trek phenomenon, a historical narrative. A nice revealing tale.

The phenomenon of Star Trek from the eyes of David Gerrold. But who is David Gerrold?

In 1967, David Gerrold wrote and was able to sell a original story and script for the Star Trek that became the episode titled, "The Trouble with Tribles". During that same year, the story was nominated for the International Hugo Award best dramatic presentation on science fiction. It came in second in the balloting. The Tribles episode was his first professional sale. Gerrold continued to work with Star Trek, he re-wrote some of the episodes and wrote another orginal story that became the episode entitled "The Cloud Minders".

Gerrold's book is quite thorough. He writes in detail and with care the story of series through its cast, crew, and fans. The narration is interesting because it is peppered with anecdotes and direct-quote recollections of all the major personalities in Star Trek, cast and production crew. And of course there are the stories of the Trekkies. Clearly being a writer and part-time story/script doctor for the series has its advantages. And in this I think Mr Gerrold excels. He provides the reader a look behind the creative process of the series: How did Gene Rodenberry described his series? What rules did the writers follow when writing an episode? Why were there no seatbelts in the Enterprise? What were the future projects or plans of Rodenberry, which included another Science Fiction series with some named Dylan Hunt.

Mr Gerrold's analysis of the series is enlightening or at least interesting, especially if you do not agree with him. He lists down the reason why the series did not live up to its potential? Why was it cancelled? How to improve on Star Trek?

Although the book is old - it was published a few years after the series was cancelled, and again republished just before the showing Star Trek the movie - it still for the fan or someone who enjoyed the old series. The book is also of value for aspiring writers or storytellers because among other things the author discusses extensively the mental cooking process involved in crafting a science fiction series.


Post a Comment

<< Home