Fans of TV's 1960s science fiction series Star Trek will go into orbit over lead player Shatner's candid, captivating reminiscence, packed with stellar anecdotes and backstage lore. Writing with help from MTV editorial director Kreski, Shatner reveals details of day-to-day work--and some of the fights with nervous studio executives who were not quite ready for the future. Problematic were writer/producer Gene Roddenberry's proposal that the starship's strong, efficient first officer, ``Number One,'' be played by a woman, namely Majel Barrett who later became the softer, secondary character Nurse Chapel; the casting of Leonard Nimoy as the pointy-eared alien Dr. Spock; and the interracial kiss scripted for Shatner and Nichelle Nichols. We learn that every episode was filmed in the ``ridiculously inadequate timespan'' of six days, with one week for preproduction, creating excessive pressure on many actors and members of the film crew. Aided by recollections of other cast members, Shatner's memoir covers everything from turf wars to special effects in an appealing, humorous tone. Illustrations include stills, photos and drawings of sets. (Oct.)
In his seventh book since 1989 and first nonfiction work, Shatner ( Tek Vengence, LJ 1/93) provides the long-awaited history of the original Star Trek series. He recounts the series in intricate detail, from its inception to its premature demise in 1969. Through dozens of interviews and 130 never-before-seen photos, he describes the cerebral creation, multifaceted production, Emmy Award-winning special effects, and incredibly innovative process of writing, filming, and editing for which the series is legendary. In addition, he remains true to his goal of giving credit where it is due, which serves to enhance both the final product and Shatner's stature as a writer. Much of the book centers around Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek 's original creator, whom Shatner claims was ``brilliant, absolutely incontrovertibly brilliant.'' These memories will fascinate die-hard fans and leave them thirsty for more. Recommended for sf and television collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/93.-- Charles A. Weiss, ``Library Journal''