Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Ben Robinson (born 14 June 1969; age 48) is the English writer and editor of several Star Trek-related reference works and projects.

Robinson is the grandson of Bernard Robinson, most notably known as the production designer of most Hammer films made from 1957 until 1968. [1] [2] A 1991 University of York graduate holding a Masters degree in English and Related Literature, Robinson was a Star Trek: The Original Series fan from an early age.

In 1996, Robinson's first two years of working for GE Fabbri saw him serve as one of the initiators, editors and writers of the exhaustively comprehensive Star Trek Fact Files partwork magazine. He worked alongside Marcus Riley, Penny L. Juday, Larry Nemecek, Guy Vardaman, Tim Gaskill, and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens on this project.

Following the tremendous success of the Fact Files which sold over 50 million copies, Robinson was reassigned to edit its derivative US counterpart called Star Trek: The Magazine in 1998. One of Robinson's most notable contributions to this publication was his extensive interview with the Original Series' Art Director Matt Jefferies. It was published over five issues during the 2000-2002 run of the magazine and was the most comprehensive account that the legendary designer had ever given about his work on Star Trek.

Later, Robinson followed this up with an interview featuring Andrew Probert, Jefferies' successor on the next television incarnation of the franchise, likewise spread over several issues. [3] Over this period, he conducted interviews with many of the actors, designers, directors, writers, and effects artists involved with the franchise. Robinson has stated that Nicholas Meyer, Leonard Nimoy, and Robert Wise were among his favorite interviewees. Along the way, Robinson also compiled a massive archive of Star Trek production art which exists outside of CBS Consumer Products' archival vaults.

Robinson was the first Star Trek publication editor to fully realize that the computer generated imagery produced for live-action Star Trek projects, especially imagery of studio models, was singularly well-suited for illustrative purposes in licensed print publications. Foundation Imaging's Robert Bonchune became an enthusiastic and willing confederate as Robinson pursued this approach. In 1998, production-used CG imagery premiered in issue 69 of The Fact Files and was seen in all subsequent issues and in its US magazine derivative. [4] In turn, Bonchune, together with his supervisor Adam "Mojo" Lebowitz, garnered the inspiration to produce the Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendar series using similar illustrations.

When Haynes Publishing sought advice on creating the USS Enterprise Owners' Workshop Manual, Robinson was one of those approached through CBS Consumer Products, ultimately leading to him writing the manual in its entirety, apart from one chapter. Robinson approached Marcus Riley to assist him with the project and also had the assistance of Michael Okuda as a technical consultant and editor. Once again, Robinson solicited the input of Bonchune in the preparation of the CG starship imagery.

In 2012, Robinson subsequently served in a similar capacity for Haynes' follow-up publication, the Klingon Bird of Prey Owners' Workshop Manual, where he enlisted the talents of Rick Sternbach.

Robinson is currently employed by partwork publisher Eaglemoss Publishing, following its merger with GE Fabbri in 2011. His current title is Editorial Manager of Global Developments where he manages a number of licensed properties including James Bond, Doctor Who, and Marvel Comics.

He is also the project manager of the Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection partwork magazine where he has enlisted the assistance of a number of veteran Star Trek artists including Rob Bonchune, Doug Drexler, Greg Jein, Adam Lebowitz and Mike Okuda. Robinson oversees the preparation of the magazine, supervises the creation and decoration of the starship miniatures, and commissions new CGI models. He also performs that role for the Star Trek: Discovery The Official Starships Collection partwork which launched in 2018.

Robinson co-wrote the Star Trek: Designing Starships and Star Trek: Shipyards reference book series, largely based on the two Official Starships Collections' magazine articles, and supervises the Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection for Eaglemoss.

Robinson indicated that a Star Trek character bust collection was in development, and stated that more Star Trek ships may be produced in larger sizes. Two other partworks featuring large starship models from the Alien/Predator and Battlestar Galactica franchises have been launched, under his supervision.

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