A new book, the first in a trilogy, These are the Voyages TOS Season One, written by Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, has just been released.
Five hundred and eighty pages in length, These are the Voyages TOS Season One gives readers the story behind the creation of Star Trek, and details about each episode from that inaugural season.
These are the Voyages TOS Season One begins with a foreword by John D.F. Black, who was an associate producer during the first season of the original series, and his wife Mary. Black also wrote the first season episode The Naked Time. This foreword is then followed by a preface from Cushman.
As one would expect, the story of Star Trek begins with its creator, Gene Roddenberry, and the book provides a detailed biography of Roddenberry and details the history of his early days in television.
This is followed by chapters on pitching Star Trek, designing the show, the pilots, and then chapters on each episode. Each chapter is written in the following format:
- Description of the episode
- Sound bites (notable lines from the episode)
- Assessment of the episode
- Story behind the story
- Production diary
- Release/reactions to the episode
- Ratings for the episode
- From the mailbag – fan response to the episode
- Memories of the episode
Other chapters sprinkled throughout the book include: Deadlines, Breakdowns, and Replacements; America Meets Star Trek Mid-Season 1966; Ratings, Reactions, Repeats (and Rewards).
The appendix includes an index of first season story assignments (in order), episodes in filming order (including names of directors), and airdates of the first season episodes.
A bibliography, quote index and memo/letters index completes the book.
It was fascinating to read how each story evolved until it became what eventually aired on television. Various conflicts and controversies are presented, such as Roddenberry’s tendency to rewrite stories, and the release of Grace Lee Whitney from the show. Readers will also discover what the censors allowed and didn’t allow back in those more restrictive days of television.
Guest actors shared their memories of working on an episode, and readers will learn what those actors were doing prior to their appearances on Star Trek.
Under the release/reactions section of each chapter, the Nielsen ratings for that episode are given, and readers can see how the episode stacked up against the competition the night it aired. Readers can also discover how much the series regulars made for each episode.
These are the Voyages TOS Season One has information for everyone; for those interested in how the show began, for those wanting behind-the-scenes information, for those who are interested in the technical details of the series, for those wanting the human story, and for those who like details.
It will be interesting to see where the next volume in this trilogy will go and what that volume will reveal. In the meanwhile, enjoy the rich detail of These are the Voyages TOS Season One. It takes a while to get through the entire book, but I suspect that this is a book that readers will read more than once and a book which will be a useful reference guide to the original series.
Excerpts from the book can be seen here.