The 50 Year Mission Book Header

Timed to coincide with Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary next year and beaming down to a bookshop near you on June 28, 2016 is a new book entitled The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: Volume One: The First 25 Years. A bit of a mouthful, to be sure!

It is the first part of Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross’ unauthorized Star Trek oral history featuring stories about the series and its making as told by people who were there – cast, crew, producers, creators, directors, makeup artists, costume designers, and others. The Forward was written by Seth MacFarlane of Ted, Family Guy and Cosmos (remake) fame.

Altman is a journalist, writer and producer whose credits include Free Enterprise and the Castle series on the ABC network. Gross is an executive editor with the Life Story and Movie Magic magazines.

The writers have apparently unearthed and discovered some things that have never been revealed before about the franchise, and found stories that are “…charming, and daring, and horrifying and wonderful“.

I have three memories of my discovery of Star Trek. The first, during the show’s original run, I remember “playing” Star Trek on the streets of Brooklyn with my friends. I was McCoy, armed with a Tiger water gun that served as my phaser. Then I attended the first convention in Manhattan in 1972, where I realized that there was something different about Star Trek to have precipitated this kind of gathering. Then I began watching the nightly reruns at 6PM on WPIX and became absolutely hooked. It would be impossible to overstate the show’s impact on my life.
– Edward Gross

The 50 Year Mission

The book (already available for pre-order on Amazon) presents nearly 500 interviews, including every Star Trek captain, from the original classic series to J.J. Abrams’ roboot film series. Altman says this is not a re-hash of content from all the other books that look back at the making of Star Trek. The goal is to explore new ground and construct a complete portrait of Star Trek through the decades.

The advantage that this book has, which is not to be overlooked, is the hindsight that people have had. It’s always been the case with original series looking back, but now that people have had a perspective on ’The Next Generation,’ ‘Voyager,’ ‘Enterprise’ … it gives them a little distance by which to critique their own work and reflect on their experiences. And I think that is what is going make this so much more interesting than any of the books that were written at the time these things were actually being produced.
– Mark A. Altman

Altman is particularly excited about the Enterprise (series not ship) story as there’s a lot that went on there that few know about.

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