Even if you’ve read every authoritative book available on the history of Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: Lost Scenes from Titan Books is going to take you somewhere new.
Written by David Tilotta and Curt McAloney, Lost Scenes is a beautiful, glossy, hardcover coffee table book that takes fans on a journey through the show through a series of high-quality, rich photos, many of which have rarely, if ever, been seen before.
In addition to painstaking research, the authors also put a tremendous amount of thought and work into the layout, which is what makes this book even greater than the sum of its parts. This means that the reader can choose to read it cover-to-cover or just keep the book on the coffee table and pick a page or section at random, and be thoroughly engaged either way. (Just don’t try to take it with you on your commute–it’s too big and too heavy.)
Star Trek: Lost Scenes is divided into three sections: Behind The Scenes, Deleted Scenes, and Bloopers.
Behind The Scenes
This section could be considered something of a historical document, as it outlines so many of the techniques used to create special effects in the 1960s. But even when the information isn’t all that revelatory, the pictures still make everything pop.
Most people who have read anything about TV know how split screens are used for scenes when a character has a double, but seeing a stand-in facing William Shatner across the table in “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” or lying in a sickbay bed in “The Enemy Within” is still a feast for any fan, and the authors have done a terrific job of telling you exactly what you’re looking at without cluttering up the page with too much information.
Photos of early phaser tests are included, along with a look at the evolution of the transporter effect from pilot to series. There are sections showing directors on the set, a close-up look at slates, ships, and aliens, and early makeup tests, giving readers that historical, fly-on-the-wall perspective.
The book looks at everything from interior sets (noting a spelling mistake on the hangar deck pressure gauge) to matte paintings, exterior locations, ship construction, prop and set re-use (which sharp-eyed viewers tend to notice and love having confirmed). There are plenty of other gems, including a never-seen-on-air look at the anthropoids of Taurus II from “The Galileo Seven.”
A few other highlights:
- test shots of Stratos, the cloud city from “The Cloud Minders”
- extended versions of matte paintings, like the one used for Eminiar VII in “A Taste of Armageddon”
- closer looks at makeup not highlighted on-air, like the burns on Commander Hansen in “Balance of Terror”
- extended, sweeping shots of exterior locations (from studio lot to Vasquez Rocks)
- various models and shots used for the USS Enterprise in the first two pilots
This section is the crown jewel of Lost Scenes.
The brilliance of this section is in the way it’s presented. A brief intro explains the set-up and describes where the scene would’ve gone, and then places the script pages side-by-side with frames from the scene. Some of them will be completely new, while others have turned up or been talked about in The Vault (which used different source materials), and some will definitely be familiar to fans who grew up reading the James Blish adaptations – he worked from scripts instead of finished shows and that’s why there are scenes some of us THINK we remember but never actually saw. Great to see that conversation between Nurse Chapel and Dr. Ann Mulhall, for example, at the end of “Return to Tomorrow.”
Some scenes definitely SHOULD have been deleted, like the cringe-worthy moment cut from “The Corbomite Maneuver” where Kirk talks to Sulu about being an “inscrutable Oriental,” or the scene from “Elaan of Troyius” when Spock tells Uhura that his people have rhythm. But there are some we really should have seen, like Uhura kicking Lars’ ass in “The Gamesters of Triskelion” or Kirk saluting the Romulan commander at the end of “Balance of Terror.”
The episodes are conveniently in air order and the individual scenes come to life thanks to the presentation; it’s done so well that you almost feel like you’re seeing them unfold on video.
- McCoy teasing Kirk about giving Charlie the sex talk from “Charlie X”
- McCoy and the Sergeant in the transporter room from “Tomorrow is Yesterday”
- Spock telling Kirk, “The female is right, they must scent us” from “Friday’s Child”
- Matt Decker’s death in “The Doomsday Machine”
- an extended conversation between Kirk and McCoy from “A Private Little War”
- the Enterprise crew very much enjoying their captivity in “I, Mudd”
These pages are just good fun. The authors identify the episode and then let the pictures speak for themselves. Say what you will about how the original cast got along, but as everyone knows who’s watched the blooper reels, there was an awful lot of laughter on that set. The section’s subdivisions cover frames from the blooper reels themselves, technical gaffes, pranks, general on-set mistakes, bloopers from deleted scenes, and more.
More from inside Star Trek: Lost Scenes
Here’s a glimpse at a few more pages.
This book, which includes an introduction by Doug Drexler, is a great addition to any Star Trek fan’s book collection, and will keep you entertained for a long time. It’s also a great companion piece for The Roddenberry Vault Blu-ray — and a great deal at $25.44 on Amazon. (Book specs: 272 pages, 11 x 10 inches, 4.2 pounds)