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The Making of Star Trek

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(written from a Production point of view)

The Making of Star Trek is a behind-the-scenes description of the creation of Star Trek: The Original Series, the first Star Trek series. A multi point of view reference book, in which input from a wide range of production contributors, from studio executives to costumers, was processed, it was the first of its kind. Liberally illustrated with two extensive black and white photo sections, this book also contains as illustrative backdrops, memos, technical information, and production concepts from the original pilot through the first two seasons of The Original Series. Published in 1968, while the Original Series was still in production, the books holds the distinction of being the very first official reference book of its kind on the subject of Star Trek.


From the first edition book jacket
What it is - how it happened - how it works! The Biography of the Leading Science Fiction TV Program. STAR TREK! The long, hard battle of television's first tentative step toward adult science fiction, with the complete story on how the U.S.S. Enterprise was designed, her weaponry, equipment and power sources, the original concept behind the show, how the continuity is maintained, backgrounds of the characters, biographies of the stars, and pictures, diagrams, illustrations - the whole authentic history.
From the second edition book jacket
The Book On How to Write for TV! The only book of its kind! The complete history of a top TV series - how a television show is conceived, written, sold and produced.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

Background informationEdit

  • For his research, author Stephen Edward Poe was given full access to the stages and offices of Desilu Productions, as part of the deal he brokered between model kit manufacturer Aluminum Model Toys and the studio. Poe, who wrote the book using his stepfather's name of Whitfield (although virtually all his other writing was done under his own name), shared a co-author credit with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. However, Poe wrote the book alone, but made a deal with Roddenberry, in which they agreed that Roddenberry would proofread the book and make his corrections and notifications before it went to print. For this, he would receive co-author credit and half the royalties. It also was thought that the appearance of Roddenberry's name on the book might make it sell better. Ultimately, Roddenberry was not able to review the book due to harsh production deadlines, but received the co-author credit, as well as half of the royalties, anyway. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p. 402)
  • The illustrations and photographs in the book were provided by the Paramount Publicity Department as well as by The Westheimer Company. (p. 15)
  • Bonnie Trust transcribed Poe's copy, notes and interviews and her work was described by an appreciative Poe as "herculean". (p. 15)
  • Though his builds were prominently featured in the book, Wah Chang was the one major production staffer, Poe could not mention by name in his book, as the former had no formal Prop Makers Union permission to work on the show.
  • The work has been an influential one. Not only was it the very first detailed and specialized book title on the production aspects of Star Trek, it was also the very first one for a television show in general, or for that matter one of the very first for the motion picture industry as a whole. Prior to its release, publications about "behind-the-scenes" aspects of motion picture productions, were either restricted to article-length magazine publications, most notably in American Cinematographer, or referenced to in (single point of view) memoirs or biographies of actors and/or directors. It has set the template for all "making of..." reference books on the subject matter that have followed suit.
  • The book was highly successful, already needing a reprint in November of the same year it was first published, September 1968, followed by a third printing in January 1969. A popular book, it has since then seen numerous reprint runs, first under the Ballantine Books imprint and subsequently under that of Del Rey. It has been to date, the most reprinted Star Trek reference book ever. The 1991 stand-alone Titan Books publication was intended specifically for the UK market only, on the occasion of the Star Trek's 25th Anniversary. Despite its immense popularity, and unlike later reference books, it has not seen any internationally translated versions.
  • For many years this was the sole book title on the production of Star Trek, and thirty years later, Poe followed up on his work with the similarly conceived 1998 title, A Vision of the Future - Star Trek: Voyager.
  • The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine production staff used The Making of Star Trek when working on "Trials and Tribble-ations". (The Magic of Tribbles: The Making of Trials and Tribble-ations)

US print historyEdit

note: this list is currently incomplete

Cover galleryEdit

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