By Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann
Abrams Books, out now
A guide to the second Star Trek series in quite considerable detail…
Block and Erdmann’s first book in the 365 series was one of the best guides to the original series of Star Trek, put together by two people who had an obvious love for and admiration of the show. The TNG book shows the same respect for the material, although, sadly, there are times where the visuals simply aren’t available for every episode in the detail that’s needed and screen grabs have had to be used.
That shouldn’t put anyone off at all: with the Blu-rays being pumped out by CBS now, we can see the TNG universe as presented on screen in as high detail as anyone could want, which means that the concentration is on the text and the rare shots. The former is presented accessibly and with contributions from just about everyone involved with the production of the show, from both sides of the camera. It makes it feel in some ways like the world’s biggest Star Trek convention. (For complete disclosure, I read through the text prior to publication, and it was one of those times that work didn’t feel like work!)
And as for the rare visuals – one of the treats of working on Star Trek Magazine as editor for five years was my annual trip to the CBS archives, spending time going through the books and books of pictures there. Now everyone has a chance to see some of these treats: Patrick Stewart with a wig, behind the scenes shots of Gene Roddenberry…
Verdict: A terrific trawl through the history of one of the most popular science fiction shows. 9/10