Saturday, 30 November 2013

Star Trek 8 - James Blish



Title: Star Trek 8
Author: James Blish
Genre: Sci-Fi
Published: 1972
Formats: Paperback

Available at:
Amazon
Amazon UK

Review:
“Star Trek 8” by James Blish was the eighth collection of Original Series Star Trek series scripts adapted into short story form. One thing to note is that neither the various collections nor the stories contained are in any sort of chronological order so it has been an interesting experience for me in trying to decide what order I should read them as part of my chronological reading challenge.

This collection includes adaptations of the following episodes:

  • Spock's Brain (3rd Season)
  • The Enemy Within (1st Season)
  • Catspaw (2nd Season)
  • Where No Man Has Gone Before (1st Season)
  • Wolf in the Fold (2nd Season)
  • For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky (3rd Season)

  • As you can see this collection contains 2 stories from each of the 3 original series seasons but I have ended up reading this collection as part of the 2265 period due to the inclusion of the pilot episode, “Where No Man Has Gone Before” which is referenced in several other books from this period.

    In all honesty the stories themselves are probably only as good or as bad as they were when shown on the TV screen. There are some really enjoyable stories in this collection such as “Where No Man Has Gone Before” or “Wolf in the Fold” but there are also some real stinkers such as “Spock’s Brain” and “For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky”.

    One thing I noted is that the novelizations are very straight forward and workmanlike with hardly any added material. In addition Blish has been quite extreme in the way he has rigidly stuck to the scripts which results in very little insight into the characters beyond what is shown in the action and dialogue. Don’t get me wrong, the stories do capture what happened on the screen very well but dedicated fans of the show are unlikely to find anything in the stories to be engaging or suspenseful as there is quite simply nothing new. However, if you are someone who came to love Star Trek via the more modern series and have never really watched the Original Series this this collection does offer an enjoyable diversion and a nice way to quickly experience these classic stories.

    Overall, these are very competent adaptions of some Original Series episodes although they are lacking anything new or insightful. I can imagine these were superb back in the days before DVD’s enabling people to watch episodes as many times as they wished but these days I don’t think they mean as much beyond offering a quick way for someone to explore the original episodes without sitting down and watching them.