STAR TREK MEMORIES by William Shatner

STAR TREK MEMORIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Finally, the Captain's Log that a zillion Trekkers have been waiting for. This isn't an omnibus Star Trek history. Shatner (a.k.a. Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise) and Kreski (editorial director of MTV) stick to Stardate mid-1960's and the original TV series, skipping both the Star Trek movies (presumably the subject of a future Shatner memoir) and the multiple series spinoffs. No matter; what remains is a fascinating account of network TV in its post-Beaver, pre-Bunker teenage years. Shatner works against his reputation for hogging the limelight (which he confronts head-on in the final chapter) by remaining off-camera for the first quarter of the text while recounting Gene Roddenberry's early Hollywood career and the making of the pilot, the ``absolutely, incontrovertibly brilliant'' The Cage. Tidbits tumble forth: at first Roddenberry envisioned a Captain Robert April at the helm of the USS Yorktown, with a half-Martian ``satanic'' Mr. Spock at his side. As the high concept took flesh, a fight arose among studio executives over Spock: How important should he be? What should his ears look like?-- questions that attained even greater importance when, to everyone's bewilderment, the mind-melding Vulcan bested Kirk as the focus of the Trekker cult. Soon the rest of the cast signed on, along with ace producer Gene Coon, whom Shatner praises to the detriment of icon Roddenberry: ``Roddenberry created Star Trek, and Coon made it fly.'' Shatner's favorite program (``The Devil in the Dark''), Leonard Nimoy's clashes with management, why laser-guns became ``phasers'': there's enough here to satiate the most avid Trekker, delivered with pop and pizazz. After just three years, a tired cast called it quits, or so they thought. Today, Star Trek prospers, and so will this memoir- -most probably at warp speed. (``Over 130 never-before-seen photographs''--not seen)

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1993
ISBN: 0-06-017734-9
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1993




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