In early 1964, Herb Solow had just been hired to run television production for Lucille Ball's struggling Desilu Studios when he met a soft-spoken Texan named Gene Roddenberry. Thus begins the story of the incredible odyssey to make not just a series, but television history. This all-encompasing look at the making of Star Trek offers a wonderful, behind-the-scenes adventure that could have only been written by those who helped make the legend. Photos.
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Herbert Solow and Robert Justman, two of the principal figures behind the scenes for the making of the original series of Star Trek® tell their story, from battles with the network through the processes of casting, writing, and production. Inside Star Trek: The Real Story is a long-overdue memoir of one of the most influential events in television history, offering a unique perspective on the concepts and personalities that have since become international legend.From Kirkus Reviews:
A highly detailed account of the Star Trek phenomenon, written with affection but without zest by two men who were instrumental in the creation and production of that innovative show. Solow was ``responsible for the sale, development and production'' of the series; Justman served as Star Trek's co- producer. Together, they offer a chatty encyclopedia chronicling nearly every aspect of how the show was made. Fans of celebrity gossip will find some interesting (although generally familiar) material. For instance, the book explores, as it must, the brilliant yet flawed character of Star Trek's creator, Gene Roddenberry, and the competition between series stars William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. But the bulk of this volume concerns the technological and commercial aspects of producing the show. Justman and Solow recount in fervent detail how the lighting, special effects, music, costumes, scripts, and sets of the series were created. Desilu Studios, Star Trek's home, was not a wealthy operation, and the show's first season was an especially harried one. Scenes often had to be reshot because the studio's ancient arc lights popped and squealed. Only a few sets for scenes on alien planets existed; the same props were ingeniously altered for each new show. We learn, as well, about the studio personnel, about the corporate rivalries and in-fighting that typified television production in general and Desilu Studios in particular. (The anecdotes about Lucille Ball are wonderful, as are Solow and Justman's descriptions of the manic day-to-day business of producing a series.) To their credit, the authors are not mean- spirited, rarely pompous, and seldom self-righteous. Unfortunately, the narrative is listless and without a distinctive personality. The bland prose coupled with almost numbing detail make it slow going. Still, despite its flaws, Star Trek completists and fans certainly will want to read this book. (First printing of 75,000) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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