‘The Center Seat’ Oral History Book Based On The History Channel Star Trek Docuseries Arrives Next Week

In 2021, the History Channel released the 11-part documentary series The Center Seat: 55 Years of Star Trek (see TrekMovie review). The series has now been turned into an oral history book, which arrives one week from today.

The Center Seat – the book

Nacelle Publishing is set to release The Center Seat: 55 Years of Star Trek, described as “the complete, unauthorized oral history of Star Trek.” The book is set to hit store shelves on Tuesday, March 21, 2023.

The new 379-page Center Seat book, compiled by Peter Holmstrom, covers the Star Trek franchise from The Original Series (including its origins with Lucille Ball and Desilu studios) through to the TOS movies, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. It even covers the often-overlooked Star Trek: The Animated Series as well as the Phase II project. The oral history book is based on numerous interviews with cast, crew, and experts sharing candid backstage stories and insights.

“What’s better than making a series only about Star Trek? Releasing a book only about Star Trek!” said Nacelle Company Founder and CEO, Brian Volk-Weiss, in a statement.

The Center Seat book comes out on hardcover on March 21. You can pre-order in on Amazon for $27.95.

The Center Seat – docuseries now available on DVD and streaming

The Center Seat: 55 Years of Star Trek docuseries, directed by Brian Volk-Weiss and narrated by TNG’s Gates McFadden, featured new candid interviews with Star Trek legends such as Leonard Nimoy (believed to be his last interview), Nichelle Nichols, Brent Spiner, Kirstie Alley, Walter Koenig, Denise Crosby, Wil Wheaton, John de Lancie, Nicholas Meyer, Ronald D. Moore, Brannon Braga, Nana Visitor, Robert Picardo, Penny Johnson Jerald, Ethan Phillips, Diana Muldaur, Nicole de Boer, Roxann Dawson, Robert Beltran, Tim Russ, John Billingsley, John Dykstra, D.C. Fontana, Rick Berman, and F. Murray Abraham.

The full series is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. The series is also coming out on DVD on April 27th, you can pre-order it on Amazon for $19.99.


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Must have, obviously.

The first episode was Lucille Ball… Lucille Ball… Lucille Ball… and oh, yeah there was that guy named Gene Roddenberry.

Is there going to be a Blu-ray too?

DVD only.

It was a fantastic docuseries! I actually learned quite a bit about all the classic shows and movies.

Trek docs can be very hit or miss, but this one was quite well done, and took me by surprise. Any word on if they’ll do more? I could see further seasons digging a little deeper into specific areas of the franchise.

Um…I bought this book two years ago.

Is this different in some way?

You sure it’s the same one? Just curious since it says 1st edition March 21st,2023.

The only title I see on Abe Books is a 2023 publication, homeboy. Did you obtain your 2021 version via a time warp?

If you click on the link I posted you will see the cover for the earlier edition which I bought back in 2021.

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This is the one I have. I got it for Xmas right after the series aired.

Well Tarantino has announced his final film … and it ain’t Trek :(

I think we knew that like four years ago already! 😉

We don’t know that. We know late 1970s Hollywood and the title is THE MOVIE CRITIC. Yes, there has been Kael speculation but what happened in late 1970s Hollywood? STAR TRAK: THE MOTION PICTURE happened. At the least QT film probably has a scene with young Katzenberg driving his daily lap around LA County for the glory of the STTMP.

I love the way you think!

On a serious note, I find it hard to believe that he’ll never direct a movie again, no matter what he claims.

No bluray? It’s 2023 and we’re still selling things on DVD only?? 🙄


Amazon Prime is HD.

I am currently Photoshopping Nichelle’s hair onto Walter’s head. Looks pretty good.

You are a sick puppy.

Wonder if they got any new info from Dykstra — he covered TMP pretty thoroughly at the time of release in AmCin and Cinefex. About 15 months or so before he and Apogee actually came on to help out Trumbull, he was in the running to do the VFX with his own company, but somehow Abel landed the gig instead.

I talked to him a couple of times (for articles about SW in 1995 and about the Scarlet J. GHOST IN THE SHELL when it released) and both times he was — for him — nearly mum when I changed the subject to TMP. He did say that he thought Abel’s plan was super ambitious, that it was like he was trying to do TOY STORY but was more than a decade ahead of the capability to deliver on that level of previsualization. I don’t think he even knew about the no-blur approach Abel had locked into that Trumbull decried, but then again, that’s probably because Abel was gone months before Dykstra got there.

Oh, what a treat. I never saw it when it aired. I’ll check it out on Prime, super.

I believe when it first ran it was on Roku Channel for free, not sure if it’s still there, though.

Wasn’t the first four eps on History Channel and the remaning six on their other channel you have to pay for? I never saw the last six as I don’t pay for any channels,so will most likely get the dvd.

That’s how I remember it, JRT!

I hope the book includes at least some acknowledgement of the existence of James Doohan and Grace Lee Whitney, given that the TOS focused episode of the show did not.

Watching episode 1 on Amazon Prime and frankly I’m unimpressed. No real new information. And whoever wrote the thing… eesh…. I don’t know if it’s the writer or Gates to blame, but I heard “HarlanD” Ellison several times, and Gene “CoonS” was heard too.

It’s streamed in HD on Amazon. Release this on Blu-ray, even if it has to be burnt on demand…

that’s all I’m saying.