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am 29. Juni 2013
I'm not a star trek fan, but I do like the different series. When I saw the reviews, some of them mentioning a "heartless" book, I was actually glad. I figured out, if fan are disappointed, it must be a book accessible to anyone, a book discussing the series (the science behind it, the political intrigues, the races...).

This book is an extensively well researched history of the entire Star Trek saga. From the original series to the latest 2009 movie.
The author gathers a huge amount of information about everything: the cast, the writers, the studios, the fights between everyone, the lost plots, the last minute changes, the budgets.

This was not was I was hoping, and yet it could have been interesting. Unfortunately, this book often turns into an unreadable list of episodes or characters. Some of these lists would deserve to be bullet points in the appendices, but don't have their place in the core book.
If you want to know what happened behind the scene, this book is the right one. But get prepared for an uneasy reading experience: this book is far from being a nice voyage...
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am 1. August 2012
Der Film- und Fernsehkritiker Robb versteht sein Handwerk. Dieser kleine Führer durch die STAR TREK ' Welt ist ein schönes Werk für Einsteiger und Fans. Gut geschrieben, lesbar und verständlich bringt er uns die Geschichte von STAR TREK näher. Er beginnt mit einer ausführlichen Beschreibung der Biographie von G. Roddenberry und geht dann chronologisch vor bis zum neuesten Film von J.J. Abrams.
Robb stellt die Entstehung von STAR TREK immer in einen zeitlichen Rahmen mit den geschichtlichen oder soziologischen Rahmenbedingungen und bemüht sich so zu erklären, warum es zu Erfolgen oder Misserfolgen kam. Er erspart uns langatmige Zusammenfassungen von Episoden oder Filmen. Wo es notwendig ist, erklärt er grob die Inhalte.
Robb ist gleichermaßen deutlich in seiner Würdigung und in seiner Kritik. Ob man diese Meinung dann teilt, sei dahingestellt, intelligent und kenntnisreich ist sie allemal.
(Wer des Englischen nicht so mächtig ist, sollte auf die deutsche Ausgabe warten.)
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am 5. Januar 2017
As a Star Trek fan of old, I was really looking forward to reading this. But to be honest, I found it hard to get into. I hesitate to blame the rather "dry" writing (with that I mean it is not the most chatty, entertaining and amusing style). It could also be due to my own set of mind, and that I simply am not the Trekker I used to be.

There was a time when I avidly watched anything Star Trek I could find on telly, and read several books such as "A Stitch in Time" by Andrew J. Robinson (the actor who played Garak, the mysterious taylor/spy on Deep Space Nine). But priorities and interests shift as we find ourselves facing changes in our lives and the world around us, and while Star Trek will always hold a special place in my heart, I would not call myself a fan these days.

Anyway, back to the book. In 14 chapters, it explains not only how Star Trek originally came about, but also follows the development, rise and fall of everything that came after the original series. The author shows the different approach to the Star Trek universe each team of producers and writers had, and explains the role of fandom in the process.

The book ends with the highly commended 2009 film and a brief outlook of how (and if) Star Trek will survive in popular culture with its latest incarnation.

What I found really interesting was the dismantling of the Gene Roddenberry myth. Apparently, much of his "Great Bird of the Galaxy" nimbus was self-created, and he took credit for things he never did or wrote. In fact, the author says that "This Great Bird had feet of clay". Still, the original idea was his, and he is cited on the first page: "The job of Star Trek was to use drama and adventure as a way of portraying humanity in its various guises and beliefs. [It] is the expression of my own beliefs using my characters to act out human problems." And problems are certainly something humanity will never run short of, so that there will always be art in its many forms (including storytelling via movies and TV series) to pick them up and look at them from various angles.

Another interesting chapter was the one about "Unmade Star Trek" - ideas that never made it to the screen. Some of them emerged later as novels, others can be in parts detected in an episode or film, but a lot of what was written (sometimes by very well-known authors, or by the actors themselves) will probably be collecting dust in a drawer forever.

Brian J. Robb has written several biographies of film stars and directors, and for more than 10 years, he was editor of "The Official Star Trek Magazine".
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