Monday 16 December 2013

Star Trek Memories - William Shatner & Chris Kreski

Title: Star Trek Memories
Author: William Shatner & Chris Kreski
Genre: Biography
Published: 1994
Formats: Hardback/Paperback

Available at:
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

“Star Trek Memories” written by William Shatner and Chris Kreski is not really an autobiography but is actually a recollection of the Original Series itself. It is written chronologically taking the reader from the initial creation of the series right through to its cancellation.

Shatner basically covers the three seasons of “Star Trek” detailing what he remembers about the episodes, guest stars and other escapades that occurred throughout the Original Series production run. However he doesn’t just rely on his own memories as he supports them via commentary gleaned from interviews he held with other cast and crew members. I liked this as it enabled him to provide some added details that he may have been unable to provide if he had just relied on his own memories.

Don’t let this fool you however; the book still does have a Shatner slant which can bother some people as the guy does have an ego and can be a bit of a ham, all of which does come across at times. Personally, I like Shatner’s sense of humour so I found myself enjoying his commentary and the manner in which he recollects the various events despite his ego. In fact, I was actually quite impressed by some of Shatner’s honesty in that he does admit early on that he was at times blinded by his own thoughts and didn’t really appreciate how his actions affected his crew mates.

One minor issue I did have with these memoirs is that there is a lot of time dedicated to the first season but as we move onto the second and then the third the amount of detail reduces. In fact, I think more time was spent detailing the campaign to save Star Trek for a third season than was actually spent going over the events of the season’s production. Whilst I understand he maybe wanted to concentrate more on the good than the bad, it did make the book feel a little bit lopsided.

A final point I wish to make is that whilst Shatner describes various events, technical details and production issues he doesn’t really capture the relationships between everyone. I felt that this was a shame as I knew a fair few of the known facts already and had been looking for a bit more about how the various cast and crew members interacted.

Overall, I found this to be a decent look back at the history of the television show which includes a look at the cast, crew and even some of the technical aspects. Yes it would have been nice to get a little bit of a deeper look at the relationships between people but in the end I suspect Shatner’s own strong viewpoints may have skewed this anyway.


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