The eagerly awaited second volume of author Marc Cushman’s exhaustive examination of the production of The Original Series, These Are The Voyages, was released this past Wednesday, and we have a closer look.
The first volume, which covered the history of the series from its earliest stages to the end of season one, was lauded by critics, fans, and cast members for it’s incredible attention to detail. Leonard Nimoy himself called the book’s level of research “astounding…an incredible job”.
The second volume, which covers the entirety of season two and features a forward by Walter Koenig, promises to be even more expansive than the first. According to the promotional materials the second book will cover a variety of interesting topics:
- Learn why Leonard Nimoy almost didn’t return for Season Two.
- Explore why Lucille Ball, whose Desilu Studios had gambled big on financing Star Trek, would lose her studio in trying to keep Star Trek on the air.
- Discover the real reason Gene Coon suddenly quit as series producer in the middle of Season Two.
- Learn which stories by renowned science fiction masters never made it to the screen and why.
- Find out which episodes almost didn’t make it in front of the camera.
- Read the memos from Roddenberry and his staff, and NBC, concerning all 26 episodes from Season Two.
- Witness the continuing deception by the network over the show’s ratings, and how the fans took on a corporate giant to save their favorite series.
A great deal of the book’s research comes from Gene Roddenberry’s personal collection of production notes, memos, letters, budgets and scripts, many of which are stored at UCLA.
TrekMovie’s Nancy Garrett interviewed Cushman last fall, where he spoke of the genesis of the project (pun intended), the challenges he faced, and his feelings on Trek in general. You can read that interview here: https://trekmovie.com/2013/10/27/exclusive-interview-with-these-are-the-voyages-author-marc-cushman/#more-36191
More information about the books, including the chance to purchase an autographed copy($29.95 plus shipping and handling) can be found here: http://www.thesearethevoyagesbooks.com/
Amazon also appears to be selling the book for the same $29.95, but apparently sans the author autographs.
The third volume of the series, covering season 3, will be released in the Fall.
TrekMovie will have more coverage of this title in the weeks ahead.
So many books on this, do we need another one? I’ve read the Roddenbery book, the Shatner book, even the one about the casting (can’t remember by who, Joe D’Acosta?).
I wonder on how this will compare to “Star Trek: The Real Story” by Herb Solow and Bob Justman. That seemed to me to be most accurate one on the story.
I read “..the Real Story” which I loved as well. This follows in the same vein but is much more detailed and includes the ratings of the time. If you enjoyed “The real Story” you’ll like this book even more. Read Voyages One first which is available for eReaders at a much reduced price.
Where is the kindle version?
1. Eric – April 18, 2014
I wouldn’t dismiss this book without basis, but like you I do wonder how it compares to Justman and Solow’s “Inside Star Trek,” which is a wonderful read.
A review of this new book, and especially a comparison to the Justman/Solow book, would be greatly appreciated.
kindle version is right in the store both seasons..i just bought the first e book for 9.99 downloading now cool thanks trekmovie.com
I imported this into the UK and it was very expensive to pay the import duties. When they released it in this country, it was an updated version. I’m going to wait for a UK release this time round.
I gotta get these fast!
The autograph seems like a big deal, too.
Happy April 19th!
I got a signed advance, signed copy of the book weeks ago and have read about half of it. If you’re wondering “if it’s worth it” or “how can it possibly be different,” well…start out with the fact that it is over 600 pages long and each volume is dedicated to a season. There is more detail than any other boom of its type. Also, it contains countless excerpts from actual production memos between the studios, producers and writers. Not just recounting the takes, but the memos as actually written during production. You can’t compare to that.
This is an absolute treasure. Well written, informative, and extraordinarily thorough…it’s addicting and a perfect companion piece to the series. The best part is that these books let you re-watch the show through a different lens, which is hard after almost 50 years.
For once, let’s not b!+ch about something and enjoy it.
I’d live to see Cushman conduct a similar effort on the first six films…perhaps one volume per three.
I have read all the previous books, also, but this series goes into much further details than any before it, and includes the REAL ratings for each episode, of which we were lead to believe for so long was the reason for cancellation. Now the truth comes out.
Just amazing…..must have for any TOS fan.
I think the big take away is that producing ST was a gargantuan, titanic struggle. And that’s what made it good.
I bought the bundle for 50 bucks, plus ten bucks shipping.
10, charlie, “bundle”? Please telll us what a “bundle” is, and where it’s available, thanks.
The answer to Eric’s question above is yes, it’s worth it. I thought Solow and Justman’s work was great but Cushman uses the UCLA archives to go into much greater detail on how each episode went from concept to post-production. I’ve really enjoyed seeing how ideas were added and deleted to the scripts and the different perspectives that each creative contributor (the writers, Justman, Coon, Fontana, Roddenberry, etc.) brought to the process.
There is one aspect of the books I’ve been wondering about, though. Cushman states that Star Trek’s cancellation had more to do with NBC getting fed up with Roddenberry than with the ratings. He cites a long list of credible grievances but so far I haven’t seen any sources quoted that would verify his characterization of the network execs’ position. Perhaps it’s in the third book.
I can’t say it much better than Vger23, bjdcharlie, and JB did. If you’re a fan of TOS, this book series is a must-have. It’s easily the best non-fiction Trek book since Justman and Solow’s “Inside Star Trek”. I highly recommend rewatching the series as you go – it gives you a fresh perspective on shows most of us have been watching for decades.
I know that these books are expensive, but I can’t recommend them enough. The most remarkable thing about them is that it took this long for someone to write them.
When he’s done with TOS, I hope he tackles the post-TOS era all the way through TMP. That era is a saga all it’s own.
DJT – the Kindle version isn’t out yet. I’m guessing it’ll surface within a month.
What was the combination to the safe?
This book goes into greater detail than anything you have ever read before. Cushman talks about the initial version of the story for each episode, how that story changes and develops over time, and which staff writers added which bits to the script. He talks about which parts of the episode were filmed on which days and mentions bobbles or problems in the filming. He quotes extensively from memos to show the input of Bob Justman, Dorothy Fontana, Gene Coon, and Gene Roddenberry into the developing script and has conducted interviews with writers, guest stars, directors, and lots of people who’ve never been heard from before.
It’s clear that an ENORMOUS amount of love and work and research went into producing this volume, and it’s truly a wonderful resource for the TOS fan. Yet it also has some very obvious errors, and — strangely, for a book that wants to be a reference work — no index. And while much of the book is painstakingly well documented, there are places where Cushman asserts some important and potentially controversial things without giving any documentation at all.
The book is clearly a labor of love, and yet Cushman has omitted some obvious steps, making the book a strange mixture of the astonishingly well done and the slapdash. One wonders why Cushman didn’t get the book proofread by someone at even my level of Star Trek knowledge — I’d have proofread the book for free and would have caught several errors — and he really should have gotten the book proofread by someone at the level of our most knowledgeable fans.
I’m thrilled that the book exists, and I enjoyed it immensely, but with better proofreading and more careful documentation and citation, the book could have been truly authoritative, rather than the strange mixture of things that it is now.
Even with the occasional error and the lack of index, this book is a must for any TOS fan — far and away more comprehensive and more detailed than any other Star Trek book EVER.
15. Corylea – what errors have you found so far?
The first edition of this series is absolutely a must-have for any TOS enthusiast. When I purchased it I thought that I knew all there was to know about TOS, but after reading it I realized I hardly knew anything. The depth of information is amazing.
I can’t wait for this to be available on Kindle!
I’ll have to go check for the Kindle version of the first book, as I don’t think I ever knew of its existence! Sounds great to me!
“Learn why Leonard Nimoy almost didn’t return for Season Two.”
Because he liked being the centre of publicity and controversy? To find out just how much he and his character were revered?
Holy cow! I never knew about these. Ordered the first one from the site, if I like it (and how could I not?) I’ll get the other two.
#19. Keachick (Rose) – April 19, 2014
If you recall any of my postings with regards to Mr. Nimoy you know that I am very fond of him as an actor, director, and artist in general. And I am very glad he was a part of Trek too, but I can’t help snickering, leading into a guffaw, when people try to rehabilitate him into a shining standard bearer for Trek. He simply wasn’t. He waffled and was as unsure of it as any NBC or Paramount Phase II exec. While he truthfully points out he never demanded Spock’s death, what he did do was heavily lobby for it believing, at times, that Trek was too heavy a burden that was sinking his career. I give him credit for being wise enough to realize that it could be something more and reverse course. But neither do I believe that it was best for Trek to resurrect his character to accomplish that even though as a fan I was very glad to have Spock back. What he did was what was best for HIS career and as a Nimoy fan I am glad he did, but as a Trek fan not so much. In my opinion, he derailed a much better story approach to accomplish this and movie Trek storytelling has been paying the price ever since.
Here an idea for a TV show :
A behind-the-scenes making of TOS. Basically, these books, in a TV format. Can you see who would play Shatner? Nimoy? Roddenberry? Jefferies? Part Mad Men, part West Wing, part Larry Sanders, part historical drama.
Mmmmm. Some day.
You guys have convinced me! I’m getting these!
@22 While I think a TV show is a bit too much and wouldnt gain any real traction outside of hardcore fans, a Tv movie could work. That could be something that lands on cable somewhere. I think a hard look at Roddenberry and the turmoil of keeping Trek on the air with all the infighting mixed with the crazy fandom that came out of it would be….facinating! ;)
In addition to the other comments about the treasure that this volume contains, I would add that the photos are unique and amazing additions. Clips from outtakes and other non-screen pictures add to the tantalizing feeling that one gets when they read and imagine what it was really like back then.
Having both the printed edition and the Kindle eBook puts Trek trivia accessible when needed!
It would be great if the role of an older William Shatner looking back on the days of yore (and framing the entire TV movie) would be played by none other than the Shat himself. Who else could play him? He’s truly the king of all media, appearing everywhere and doing everything.
By the way, I haven’t seen any of the daily Internet updates of Shatner’s latest media appearance or project yet, all day, and it’s already past noon. What’s the holdup?
I was only slightly exaggerating about the frequency of the Shat’s projects and/or publicity rounds: Here’s a very recent news story about his most up-to-date public involvement — and on an Easter weekend, no less!
Just checking in to see which of the regulars are still around. HEY KEACHICK!!!
*goes back to lurk mode until there’s announcement of a new show and/or movie*
Volume 1 was was amazing….after being a fan for most of my 52 years, ANYTHING new, regarding TOS was rare, but a treat to discover. The first volume delivered something new with every turn of the page! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading the behind the scenes info on an episode, then watching it. NOT ordering this book isn’t even an option.
Yep. Imma gonna get this! Even though I know all these stories already, I still read these for that mini-trivia I might have missed. I love Star Trek history!
21 Disinvited, I think they were talking about TOS, after Season 1 they were considering Lawrence Montaigne [Stonn] to replace Nimoy because Nimoy was making noises about leaving. I imagine that was because he may not have been getting the salary the putative star of the show, Shatner, was getting. While Nimoy was getting quite a bit more fan mail.
I do remember the kill-Spock! no-no-don’t-leave-Spock-dead! thing: Yeah, Nimoy was feeling pretty weighted down and unmarketable so was lobbying to end his life as Spock. Rumors began to circulate: “They’re killing Spock in the next movie!” AND BY GOD, THEY DID!
Well, let’s see, in 1983, Nimoy did a TV special about remembering Star Trek, &c., and in effect, lobbied for a return of Spock.
I attended a convention around that time [it was summer and hot as hell in St. Louis], and Nimoy and many of the cast were there. When Nimoy appeared, he said, “How many of you want Spock to come back from the dead?” Universal cheers.
So … we got the hash that was STIII. But he got to direct! And we got Robin Wood. Or whatever her name was, as Saavik. Shame.
Delighted this has appeared so soon. Loved the first volume – bought the hard copy to browse from the shelf and the kindle to read on the train.
15 – Corylea — I’m curious as to whether you’re talking about the Season One book or the Season Two book.
I posted an early positive review of Volume One on Amazon, expressing dismay at the number of typos in the first edition. To my surprise, I was invited by author Marc Cushman to help proofread Volume Two. I’m the Scott R. Brooks mentioned on pages iv and viii of Volume Two. I’m a big ol’ Trek fan from the ’70s and have a pretty good eye for catching grammar and spelling stuff. It is a curse that makes life on the internet a living hell. I’m kidding. But it did get me this swell proofreading gig on what I consider one of the most important works ever regarding ST-TOS. These books are similar to reading Stephen Whitfield’s “The Making of Star Trek,” only it covers Every Single Episode of TOS, plus Every Major Player in the show. It’s exhaustive.
I haven’t had a chance to read my comp copy of Volume Two yet (full disclosure: I was given a free copy of both Volume Two and the “expanded, revised” edition of Volume One for my proofreading efforts; that is the sum total of my compensation; I hope that doesn’t make me a sell-out :-) ), but I checked out a couple of chapters and compared them to my notes to Marc. All my suggested corrections/revisions were made. The only thing I noticed that wasn’t changed is that the photo of Kirk, Tyree, Nona and McCoy in the cave in “A Private Little War” (page 382) is still flopped (reversed).
All that to say that while I’m sure you’ll find a few niggling errors that escaped the eyes of the dedicated proofreaders and editors who worked on this latest volume, they shouldn’t be as persistent as they were in that original Season One volume. Marc is a good guy, and wants the books to be the best they can be. You can send any errors you find to him on his Facebook page, and he will do what he can to correct future editions. Don’t let a few spelling errors turn you off of the treasure trove contained there.
To me, these books (Season Three should be out later this year) mark a seminal moment in Trek history, up there with the announcement of ST-TMP, the announcement of ST-TNG, Star Trek Remastered, and the release of the LaLa Land Original Soundtrack boxed set (and any other major moments in Trek history you would add to that list). They’re essential and indispensable resources for fans of the original series. Marc has devoted a major chunk of his life to assembling these; they’re a real love letter to Trek and a great gift to those of us for whom Star Trek is more than just a cool TV show. You can read my review of Volume Two here:
If that link presents a problem, it’s easy enough to go to Amazon, find “These Are the Voyages Season Two” and look at the reviews there.
Scott B. out.
This series of books blows all previous ‘making – of’ entries out of the water because it’s based on the memos / letters / interviews of Roddenberry, Justman and Coon, etc., etc. It’s history as it happened. You are witness to the making of each episode from initial story idea right through to the post production, airing and ratings / reaction. It’s all there. There is NOTHING which compares to it.
Seems like there is an overwhelmingly positive response to these books. Was on the fence about getting these but it it sounds like everyone is learning something new about TOS from these books.
To Hat Rick’s point on Shatner’s many projects, I really hope the creative team have him and Nimoy involved in some way in the new movie.
I recently saw an article where Whoopi Goldberg was asking JJ for part in the new movie. Of course we don’t know if he would take her up on that but I would think he should look to include Shatner for the 50th anniversary before her. That being said I would not be opposed to Guinan in the movie.
Someone earlier mentioned about having these books about the production of all the films as well. Sounds like a great idea.
Yeah, these are great books, no doubt. I’ve enjoyed them both immensely.
In volumes one and two of the books, no mention is made of the restored Blu-ray editions of the series. It’s a bit annoying as he makes repeated references to the old DVDs in which the brightness was foolishly turned up, undermining Jerry Finnerman’s wonderful cinematography. He keeps suggesting to the reader, “turn down your TV brightness till the pants show pure black to see Finnerman’s original intentions.” I have a better suggestion, buy the Blu-rays!
A request to the author: In volume 3, include a review of the new remasters including the new CGI effects. I’d love to know what Mr. Drew thinks of all the work that’s gone into these episodes since the original DVDs were released.
#31. Marja – April 20, 2014
Oh, I’m talking about that too. I recently recalled his speech and Q & A at Equicon ’76 on the heels of his book “I AM NOT SPOCK”. He retcons some surprise about the reaction now, but he made it clear with his provisos, restrictions and his speech that he was there to shore up his SHERLOCK HOLMES’ box office – service to Trek was incidental. I also recall he wasn’t a big fan of cameras back then, either. Besides, I don’t think ever accurately attributed the problem fans had with the book. He assumed it was because people wrongly thought he didn’t want to play the role. It was because in his manner and demeanor it was clear he regarded the topic as an “irritation” not worthy of his time.
My point is he was just there at Trek. He never embraced the phenomenon as much as its creator or even his costar Shatner. He was darn fine at his job which was the character, Spock, but statements attributed to him such as “I think I know what makes a STAR TREK.” in trying to dismiss first fans concerns are silly at best and hubris in the worst.
This article from a German site that amass Nimoy articles catches the Nimoy timbre of the from the decade after cancellation which echoes his dance with it:
” Leonard Nimoy lifts his head as if he has just crunched down on a fishbone. His eyes flash and a controlled calm levels his voice. He has been asked one question too many about his image as Mr. Spock of Star Trek.
“I am not,” he says. “a man trapped behind the pointed ears! I lead a very creative life, am offered and accept a wide variety of jobs. I feel constantly stimulated and challenged; and I feel proud of what I’ve done … “
He does a Vulcan pinch to a piece of cracked crab, and a kind of uneasy truce settles over the lunch table.
Ask Leonard Nimoy anything, but move at your own risk on questions about his role as Mr. Spock, the green skinned, bat-eared Klingon-slugger from the planet Vulcan, and star of the phenomenally successful Star Trek series, now being turned into a major motion picture.
So touchy is he about the role that has won him three Emmy nominations, and dominated his acting career, that he pounded out a whole book titled, “I Am Not Spock.”
Admits Nimoy now: “Maybe I made a mistake, with the title. Most people interpret it as meaning I don’t want to be Spock, which is not what I had in mind.” – “The Questions I Am Tired of Answering” by By Colin Dangaard, 1978
It also hints that part of this fire may have to do with his choice to keep his original name as an actor.
Can’t believe I’d forgotten about these books. Ordering Season One today!
Just give me a quality weekly f***ing series!!
“Just give me a quality weekly f***ing series!!”
Just give US one! PLEASE!!!
@31. Yeah, I’d of left Spock dead, myself. But then, they didn’t ask me.
It’s been a long, long time since I’ve read any ‘behind the scenes’ book. Need to go get a copy of these…..
#31. Marja – April 20, 2014
Wasn’t Mark Lenard was also on that list?
IDW Publishing just announced an upcoming 6 part story in their ongoing Star Trek series. Kirk and crew will encounter… Q.
43. Who cares
“Kirk and crew will encounter… Q.”
hmmm, interesting. Wonder if that means Q in the next movie? I’d prefer Trelane. Maybe Bad Robot’s going to connect the two somehow. hmmm
Correction, I should have written: I’d love to know what Mr. Cushman thinks of all the work that’s gone into these episodes since the original DVDs were released.
In reading Cushman’s books, it would seem that several classic episodes (e.g., Amok Time, I, Mudd, etc.) ran long and had scenes cut. Also, a few scenes were censored (close ups of the big ape dudes from The Galileo Seven, the chick in A Private Little War seen topless from the back, etc.).
Seems like there were some excellent opportunities to create extended versions of those episode (as was done with The Measure of a Man for the Next Generation Blu-rays). Too bad, missed opportunities!!! : – (
Someone was asking earlier about the “bundled” book package. Not sure if I can post links on here but you can find the bundle that includes both books autographed for $50 here:
#46. Spock’s Second Favorite Organ – April 21, 2014
“Too bad, missed opportunities!!! : – (” – Spock’s Second Favorite Orga
I wouldn’t be so quick as to dismiss those opportunities as gone. I’ve lived through times when no one thought Trek’s two pilots could ever be restored and early episodes of Dr. WHO were thought lost forever.
Sounds to me as if these volumes are very important in that they show CBS they way to take advantage of any such “opportunities” as they arise. My only disappointment is that the directors of these episodes are unlikely to be around to helm such “original vision” restorations. We recently lost Cliff Bole who directed over 40 episodes of Trek from TNG forward.
just from TNG alone:
– Emergence (1994)
– Eye of the Beholder (1994)
– Liaisons (1993)
– Suspicions (1993)
– Starship Mine (1993)
– Aquiel (1993)
– Realm of Fear (1992)
– The Perfect Mate (1992)
– Unification II (1991)
– Silicon Avatar (1991)
– Redemption (1991)
– Qpid (1991)
– First Contact (1991)
– Remember Me (1990)
– The Best of Both Worlds: Part 2 (1990)
– The Best of Both Worlds: Part 1 (1990)
– Hollow Pursuits (1990)
– A Matter of Perspective (1990)
– The Hunted (1990)
– The Ensigns of Command (1989)
– The Emissary (1989)
– The Royale (1989)
– Conspiracy (1988)
– Hide and Q (1987)
– Lonely Among Us (1987)
This looks very interesting. I don’t have volume 1 either, so Amazon gets to make some money off me for both volumes. I read a lot on Kindle, but that’s for novels, not books I want to delve into, so it’s the hardcopies for me. I’ve just informed my older son what he’s getting me for my 60th birthday ;-)
Fans of Mid-Century Modern design will recognize its influence on the look of TOS. Here’s a cool little story where the bridge is reimagined: