This is the true story behind the making of a television legend.
There have been many books written about Star Trek but never with the unprecedented access, insight, and candor of authors Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross. Having covered the franchise for over three decades, they've assembled the ultimate guide to a television classic.
The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years: From the Next Generation to J. J. Abrams is an incisive, no-holds-barred oral history telling the story of post-Original Series Star Trek, told exclusively by the people who were there, in their own words - sharing the inside scoops they've never told before, unveiling the oftentimes shocking true story of the history of Star Trek, and chronicling the trials, tribulations, and tribbles that have remained deeply buried secrets until now.
The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years includes the voices of hundreds television and film executives, programmers, writers, creators, and cast who span from the beloved The Next Generation and subsequent films through its spin-offs: Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise as well J. J. Abrams' reimagined film series.
The full list of narrators includes: Aaron Landon, Alex Hyde-White, David Stifel, Eric Martin, James Cronin, Jason Olazabal, John Rocha, Julie McKay, Martin Hillier, Nate Aldrich, Steve Marvel, and Susan Hanfield.
©2016 Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman (P)2016 Macmillan Audio
This book was, to quote Mr. Spock, "fascinating". I'd heard a few of the stories before, but quite a lot of it was candid and quite illuminating. However, some of the reader's mispronunciations of common Star Trek names and phrases and actor's names was quite irritating. Some of the readings were quite comical as when one reader read Colm Meany's comments in a dreadful Irish accent! The reader who read Winrich Kolbe's comments started in a standard American accent then switched to a hilariously bad German accent mid way through the book!!! And the reader who read Brannon Braga's comments started every reading by saying "Brannon Braga!" in a creepy voice. Overall, a must for any Star Trek fan interested in the behind the scenes stories.
Overall, I've enjoyed both parts of this book and would definitely recommend them for any die hard Star Trek fans, or people curious to know what might have been and what goes on behind the scenes.
Some of the stories I'd heard before, many of them I had not. Some of them make for uncomfortable listening when it becomes pretty clear that people you'd admired and/or defended aren't quite so great after all.
A few things that did start to bother me, however, particularly in the second half of the book:
- One of the performers sounds very bored when it's his turn to read, which I suppose is understandable after such a long book but it comes across in the reading.
- Some of them start to do 'accents' for people they're representing, which are distracting as those accents weren't done earlier in the book (particularly the guy born in Germany who apparently speaks with a strange Chinese/French accent!).
- There are some awkward pronunciations of character and place names, especially during the DS9 section. Admittedly this will probably only irritate Star Trek obsessives like me ... but surely they could have had somebody to guide them during the recording?
Overall - it can be quite a dry book that casual listeners might struggle to get through. But for a Star Trek fan who loves behind the scenes gossip and information, especially hearing about what might have been ... it's an essential purchase.
Wow wow and more wow. I thought I knew Trek, but I didn't. In fact I don't think my friends do either. If you are a fan it's a must
The next 25 years is an insight into the continuing evolution of Star Trek. This volume gives you an overview of the creators struggle to get the franchise back on TV in the late 80's and to keep the franchise alive decades after the creators death.
"Shocking problems with organization and narration!"
I felt little thought had been put into transitioning this into an audiobook. This recording literally begins with A FULL HOUR in which the narrator reads - in alphabetical order - the names and short bios of the enormous number of people who are featured in the book. This list of "dramatis personae" is obviously meant to be a useful reference to leaf back to as you read, but no-one in their right minds would listen to this entire list, especially not before they had even heard the book!!Even the narrator seemed to be getting bored, and his reading sounded more and more stilted and computer-y as the list droned on.
Why not place this information at the end, where liteners can choose whether or not they want to hear it? Or better yet, make it an attached PDF so readers can check back as they listen to read about who is who.
Star Trek has got so many fans who are also actors - couldn't they find anyone to read this who has actually seen Star Trek? This narrator clearly has no idea how to pronounce many of the people's names, nor the names of the characters they played. This seems an especially shocking oversight considering the audience for this book is likely to be overwhelmingly made up of people who do know how these names should sound, and who care very much about the franchise that is the subject of this book.
In light of that, and since this whole book is supposed to be a celebration of Star Trek, the least I would expect a professional to do is ask how these words are meant to be pronounced. One slip would have been understandable, but consistently, regularly mispronouncing name after name just seems lazy and disrespectful - to the creators of Star Trek and to its fans.
"SOOOOOO much drama! Who knew?"
Overall, my review of volume 1 applies equally to this one: It’s an ABSOLUTE MUST for Trek Fans and totally lives up to its promise in the title of being complete and uncensored; it’s one of the best Behind-the-Scenes type books I have ever read.
Specifically, I preferred volume 2 much more than the first because I’m a TGN & Voyager fan, and I can’t believe how much drama went on behind the scenes! It was fascinating to read.
Your interest in this book will correlate directly to your interest in the various TV series and movies.
"There be Light Here"
My review covers the entire 50 year work, both the First 25 and the next 25. Together they add up to over 50 hours of Star Trek listening goodness.
I thought I knew a lot about Star Trek before I listened to this mammoth undertaking but my knowledge was a rain drop in a mud puddle. It's like Ken Burns does Star Trek. The Star Trek Universe, its spin offs, reboots, the lean years, feuds, Legends, its impact on Society, Technology, and the future are all there, warts and all.
My only complaint was each section began with a glossary of the people involved in Star Trek and the list is so large listening to the whole thing takes an entire hour. Being an Audiobook, it's hard to retain the list's information and it's very awkward to try and reference back to it. That said, it is easily skipped
"Good book, mediocre producing"
Many glaring pronunciation errors hurt otherwise solid narration, I blame the producers/directors, maybe_they_shoulda_watched some Trek....
"Very entertaining book; not-bad performance"
I listened to this book, Vol. II, after listening to Vol. I, so I knew what I was getting into. I enjoyed it overall. I like oral-history storytelling; If you don't like the multiple points of view and diffused nature of oral-history stories, then this isn't for you. My only complaint about the book itself is that there was no mention of the controversy about similarities between Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5. It would have been interesting to hear what the people involved with DS9 had to say about it.
As so many people have pointed out, the producers of this audiobook were negligent in letting each narrator choose his or her own pronunciation of names and characters in the story; it was particularly noticeable when three readers were featured, back and forth, pronouncing Diana Muldaur's surname alternately Mull-Dore, Mull-dower, and Mull-dawr. It isn't that hard to call the subject's agent and ask, and then instruct each performer on the correct pronunciation.There was one reader's style that grated; she over-emoted and as a result it had the tone of a preschool teacher relating juicy gossip stories, which didn't work well, for me, with the tone of the speakers who were quoted.
"Get the names right"
Overall, this is a good story, but you should really redo this and fix all the names you mispronounced.
The oral history of Star Trek from TNG to Beyond. As a big trek fan I even learned some new things about the production of the shows. I recommend this book
"Risk Is Part of the Game"
Picking up directly after the close of the previous volume, The Fifty-Year Mission: The First 25 Years, The Next 25 Years has an awful lot of ground to cover over the course of its nearly 35 hour run-time. If the previous era of Star Trek was defined by The Original Series’s cancellation and subsequent resurrection as a film franchise a decade later, and one in which studio support was generally a cold shoulder, then the next era is best characterized as a resurgent franchise, one where the very same studio, under new leadership, recognized the cash cow of the Trek brand, that eventually grew so over-saturated the death-knells of Star Trek began ringing loudly again.
This 25 year period saw the development and success, both creatively and financially, of Star Trek: The Next Generation, its leap to the silver screen following a seven-year television run, and subsequent spin-off TV series, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and the prequel series, Enterprise (later re-branded as Star Trek: Enterprise) set a century before The Original Series, and the rebooted film franchise helmed by J.J. Abrams.
Given the amount of material covered here, 34 and a half hours almost seems too short. The prior volume had plenty of room to breath during its exploration of The Original Series three-year run and six films, and authors Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross were able to spend a lot of time on the intricacies of story development, the actors and their relationships, and the history of the series and its formation. Having to cover what amounts to a total of 25 television seasons, plus seven films between the TNG and reboot franchises, the oral history delivered here feels truncated even with the longer running-time.
This, however, is not to say that The Next 25 Years lacks depth or breadth, as there is still plenty of interesting material to cover, all of it told from first-hand accounts from the actors, directors, and writers involved. And, best of all, the stories being told don’t hold back, as the speakers approach their recollections with much-appreciated frankness. The writer’s let you know when they failed, the actors speak out about the material they liked and didn’t like. None of the behind-the-scenes drama is hidden away, and nearly everyone involved is very open about the missteps taken at various points along the way, or how harshly some actors treated their cast-mates. Several Voyager cast members speak out about the catty jealously between Kate Mulgrew and Jeri Ryan, who joined the show’s fourth season as Paramount Studios demanded the show get sexed up a bit, as a ex-Borg crewmen seeking to rediscover her humanity while wearing a skin-tight silver suit that left little to the imagination. Others speak about the difficulties in bringing the prequel series to life and being hampered by studio executive demands, only to be cancelled just as the show seemed to be finding its legs, and delivering an alienating series finale that upset fans and cast and crew alike by focusing on TNG characters in the 24th Century, rather than the 22nd Century regulars.
The ratings drop Voyager suffered over the course of its run, the premature cancellation of Enterprise, and the box office failure of the final TNG movie, Star Trek: Nemesis, gave the ready appearance the Star Trek franchise was finally finished. Once again, though, it was resurrected due to fan support – this time from within Hollywood, as those writers and directors who grew up on Trek found themselves in positions to take the reins and give the franchise new life, beginning with the 2009 movie, Star Trek, featuring a young James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, both fresh to Starfleet.
Like the prior volume, The Next 25 Years is narrated by a full-cast. Unfortunately, none of them are the actors, writers, crew, and directors themselves. I will say, though, that one of the narrators does a stellar impression of Malcom McDowell when reading the actor’s lines during discussion of the TNG film debut, Star Trek: Generations. The production side of things leaves a little to be desired, though, as several of the narrators have trouble pronouncing the names of various characters. Deep Space Nine’s Gul Dukat and Voyager’s Chakotay proved to be particularly problematic for the readers, and these names get mauled in various ways nearly every time they come up. The audio, at least, is clear, although the reading of this oral history can be a bit dry at times.
Given the turbulence involved in keeping the starship Enterprise aloft, it’s seems somewhat surprising that the Star Trek franchise has survived fifty years. This is, if nothing else, a testament to the love and loyalty of those involved in the series production, as well as the support of the fans across generations. Whether or not it will survive another fifty years is questionable, but with the resurgent film series and the launch of a new streaming series, Star Trek: Discovery, on CBS All Access in spring/summer 2017, there is at least room for hope. And hope has been the central enduring characteristic of Star Trek itself for half a century.
"Great book for any Star Trek fan"
If you're a trekkie or trekker you'll love here this history
too many to say
How was it possible that no one who has ever watched any Star Trek could allow this audio book to be published with so many painful mispronunciation of characters, planets, ships, actors, other supporting personnel. . . I could go on. Why didn't someone who knows about Trek listen to the audio book so that the many needed corrections could be made?
No, it's a bit long
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