Star Trek had a rocky life in its first iteration as what is now called “The Original Series” (which lasted for three seasons and 79 episodes between September, 1966, and June, 1969. Threatened with cancellation by NBC over low ratings, a massive fan-driven letter-writing campaign was partially responsible for its renewal for a third season, commencing in September, 1968. But the per-episode budget was cut, shows devolved into “monster of the week” plots, and no amount of fan input could save the show from cancellation in the summer of 1969. It took 10 more years for Star Trek to re-emerge as a series of movies, and the rest is history, as the franchise is still going strong.
Stephen E. Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry’s The Making of Star Trek from Ballantine Books is a true Trek collectors’ item, going back to the days when the original series was still on the air. This paperback, which I devoured as a youth in the 1970’s, was issued to coincide with the beginning of the third season of the original show, released in September, 1968. The episode list includes only the first two seasons’ episodes, and the narrative ends with the letter-writing campaign and NBC’s announcement that Star Trek would be continued for another season. The Dalenberg Library copy is a fine condition paperback, a replacement copy that takes the place of the beat-up, dog-eared copy with loose pages that I destroyed from constant reference over 40 years ago. Somebody took good care of this one, mostly by not reading it, so upon acquiring it, I put it right into a mylar sleeve, and it only comes out now and then for nostalgia purposes.
–D. Dalenberg MD