Bold new ‘Star Trek’ book marks 55th anniversary of the original series

When “Star Trek: The Original Series” hit tv screens 55 years in the past in September 1966, it grew to become a global phenomenon that helped ignite a star-bound technology’s optimism and creativeness.

To assist rejoice the anniversary comes “Star Trek: The Original Series — A Celebration” (Hero Collector, 2021), a new hardcover from writers Ben Robinson and Ian Spelling that seeks to discover all corners of the seminal sci-fi present. The 256-page volume is full of a nostalgic compilation of revealing interviews, archival transcripts, community promo materials, never-before-seen illustrations, idea artwork, costume designs, set stills, make-up strategies, spaceship miniatures and rather more.

The book emerged from Robinson’s realization that there is by no means actually been a espresso desk book overlaying all the totally different elements of the present. “We wanted to cover the makeup and the costumes and the art department, as well as writers and stars,” he advised Space.com.

Related: Star Trek streaming guide: Where to watch the Star Trek movies and TV shows online

As preparation for this formidable challenge, Spelling and Robinson, who’ve each been writing about “Star Trek” for years, immersed themselves into present books, significantly actors’ memoirs, to grasp how the story had been advised earlier than.

And of course, the pair re-watched each episode of “The Original Series.”

“I was particularly excited to see ‘The Cage’ again,” Spelling advised Space.com, referring to the original pilot episode. “[‘Star Trek’ creator] Gene Roddenberry and [actor] Leonard Nimoy have been clearly nonetheless fine-tuning Spock, and it is, pardon the pun, fascinating.” 

Then, it was time to fill in the gaps. Spelling and Robinson went digging via outdated journal interviews, monitoring down studio memos and figuring out and approaching individuals who hadn’t but revealed their “Star Trek” tales earlier than, Spelling defined. 

“All of that let us approach ‘Star Trek: A Celebration’ from a unique perspective,” he stated. 

“There’s a story we’d never heard about [boxer] Muhammad Ali visiting the “TOS” set and hoping to satisfy Nichelle Nichols [the actor who played Uhura],” Spelling stated. “[‘Star Trek’ authority] Larry Nemecek had done some great sleuthing work and tracked down April Tatro, the actress and contortionist who played the human form of the cat Isis in ‘Assignment: Earth.’ It had long been assumed a different actress played the uncredited role. Larry spoke to Tatro for his podcast, but as far as I know, this is her first-ever print interview.”

The evolution of Nimoy’s Spock character was of explicit curiosity to the authors.

“With Spock, I was fascinated to see how all the pieces of his character fell into place,” Spelling famous. “You could see how it came together in a way that I don’t think even Leonard Nimoy ever fully expressed. The other piece of that is that I was lucky enough to have talked to [writer and editor] Dorothy Fontana about how she saw Spock and the Vulcans. Reciting that conversation and then putting it together with what Nimoy had said was incredibly satisfying.”

The book can also be an examination of why “Star Trek” stays so compelling a long time after it aired.

Robinson thinks that William Shatner, who so capably portrayed Captain James T. Kirk in the series, is onto one thing in declaring the present a contemporary mythology. “It’s the nearest thing we have to ‘The Odyssey,'” he stated. “Homer would have written some fantastic episodes of ‘Trek!’ It’s about people and ideas, and it had an incredible cast who were perfectly suited to their roles.” 

Spelling believes that “Star Trek” embraces a lot of what we as a species aspire to be.

“It’s about exploring, about improving ourselves individually and as a species, about getting along with ‘the other,’ setting aside hate, and so much more,” he stated. 

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“It’s science-fiction, but it all seems within reach,” Spelling added. “Roddenberry created something special, with a unique vision. The right actors played the parts and the right writers and crew did their part. And somehow, it resulted in on-screen magic. People see themselves in different characters. They want to live on the Enterprise. On prime of all that, “Star Trek” is pure entertainment — there’s just nothing else like it.”

You should buy “Star Trek: The Original Series — A Celebration” on Amazon or Bookshop.org.

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