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Summary

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. 

Narrated by:

Aaron Landon
Alex Hyde-White
David Stifel
Eric Martin
James Cronin
Jason Olazabal
John Rocha
Julie McKay
Martin Hillier

©2016 Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years: From the Next Generation to J. J. Abrams

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating insight, with some frustrations

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.

2 people found this helpful

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Good story, poor narration.

An informative book, good for any Star Trek fan, but let down by awful narration.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

SHOCKING!

O-M-G ! If the first 25 years was problematic, watch out! Here comes The Next Generation! The book really comes to the head during these years. GR goes from being bad ass to just being bad. If there's one thing you'll leave in the head after reading this book, it's the notion that Star Trek was a success because of Gene Roddenberry.

And if you are too far gone into the Star Trek Fandom scheme, watch out! This book will stuff your head in the head and give it a good cold washing.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The iniquities of Hollywood executives

This was a fantastic book. But Star Trek could have been incredible had it not been for the mental illnesses (primarily sociopathy and misogyny) suffered by those creating it. Constant stories of men (and I say that very specifically) who failed in their duties to put their own pride aside and ensure everything they did was for the franchise and not themselves. A lot of this book is a sad indictment of human failings of leadership.

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Warts and Glory: Part II

Really great book, just as good as the first. I know a lot of 'behind the scenes' about Star Trek but there were a lot of things in both books I didn't know. It's amazing having such contrasting views expressed about actors, episodes, and behind the scenes politics. Fascinating and enlightening. A few new voices with a few issues. For the first book the narrators felt as natural and passionate as if they had written it themselves. However, moving into the technobabble era there were issue. Mispronunciations of names could be distracting. They also tried to give quotes English actors an English voice but instead of making them feel more accurate they felt like insulting bad impressions. Overall though, I love it.

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Perfect Trek Fan Background Audiobook

I got this wondering if would like it and really enjoyed listening to the patchwork story of the entire trek saga. Lots of insight into the creative process and how much the actors respected the work. I could of done with double material when they were talking about the creation of TNG ds9 and voy.

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Book 2 delivers more

If you have a desire and interest in the making of Star Trek both this and the 1st book are great. Both respectfully acknowledge these are interviews and that some time memory can be fallible but by having such a range of POV it helps build a picture that you can consider yourself. There are a few recaps of the series that are inaccurate by the editors -eg saying Trip dies before the final episode of Enterprise (but I think this is more miscommunication in that originally he was going to die before the final episode). The performances are ok but annoying that the directors haven’t made sure that that the actors know how to pronounce names correctly of stuff from the show but more importantly peoples actual names involved in production. It’s not a major issue however.

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Brilliant

Loved this book real insight into the making of the shows but hated the mispronunciations of character/actor names seems like something that could have been checked

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Worth the 34+ hours, though it has... moments

The content is not at issue; it's an oral history and the vast majority of people listening will be Trekkers and will almost certainly enjoy the material. The thing that will have people pausing because they can't quite believe what they heard will be the pronounciations and accents.

Be-tazed is apparently Deanna Troi's home planet (the one that also fell to the Dominion during In The Pale Moonlight). There are other howlers that could fairly easily have been avoided, had anyone involved with the production of this audiobook (well, maybe not the narrators, I guess they just sit in their booths and read the way they're told to) thought to get even minimal guidance - every Star Trek script had a pronounciation guide at the beginning, and Trek fans aren't exactly a rare breed.

Borderline offensive, though, is the attempts at accents. Winrich Kolbe is indeed German. I've no idea what he sounds like, but there's no need for the narrator to put on such an awful accent. Similarly, Karl Urban is a Kiwi. The accent used for his quotes seemed to wander around the antipodes by way of East London. There was no narrative benefit to that, and I'm still at a loss to come up with a reason as to why anyone thought it was a good idea.

Overall, I don't regret using a credit to buy this audiobook, though if I want to refer back to it, I'll invest in the paperback and try to forget the worst of this!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

If you love Star Trek...avoid.

There is no doubt this is good value for money at over 34 hours but that's about all I can recommend about it.

It's narrated by multiple people, a few are ok but some are awful. As some others have pointed out, one (old sounding bloke) sounds bored and like a few others, makes no effort to pronounce the names of real or fictitious people and places correctly. Surely someone could have helped? Maybe they could have done a minimum of research beforehand? In addition to this frustrating annoyance, he insists on pronouncing Star Trek as "Staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar Trekkk" every single time as if he's announcing the Saturday Morning version of Flash Gordon. Just when you think he's shut up and someone reasonable takes up the story, he returns..Oh and "Gene Roadenberry?" If you can't even pronounce his name correctly, what's the point?

As for content, it's mostly 35 hours of people saying what they really think about everyone else related to the series and I don't think anyone comes out of it well. Everyone seems to have been a self-serving idiot or a total b**tard. Nobody involved seems to have been happy at any point. I'm not making this up. I persisted to the end, by which time, I was so downhearted about the whole franchise, I am forced to wonder if I'll ever be able to watch the series in the same way again. Star Trek Fans - Avoid!

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  • stufff
  • 23-06-19

Great material, terrible audiobook

The information in this book is worth it for any Trekkie, however I think you'd be much better off with the print version. This book is simply not written in a way that works in the audiobook format. 99% of it is told in the form of presenting someone's name and then a quote that is more or less relevant to the content. Unfortunately a lot of the time after the quote is over you may want to recontextualize it by checking the name again or even looking up who that person was, easy in print, pain in the ass in audio format. There is almost no narration outside the string of quotes.

The quotes are voiced by several different readers and some of them were absolutely dreadful and clearly had no familiarity with Trek, no motivation to check the pronunciation of unfamiliar words, and whoever edited the audio didn't care to correct them. Some of the mispronounced words that jumped out at me:

Qo'noS - que-no-es instead of KRO-nos
Kazon - Kah-zon instead of Kay-zon
Marquis - Mark-ee instead of Mah-key
T'Pol - Tee-Pol instead of Tuh'Pol
Locutis - low-cut-us instead of lo-ku-tus
Ensign - in-sign instead of en-sin

That last one isn't even a made up Trek word, it's just a normal English one. The funny thing is a lot of the book focuses on the bad tendancy to have people involved with Trek who didn't know our care about Trek, but it made the same mistake with the voice cast for this book.

Again, lots of great information here, the author did a fantastic job, it's just the audio version that is lacking.

16 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave
  • 26-11-16

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

11 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • E. Johnson
  • 05-06-17

Learn to pronounce!

What would have made The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years: From the Next Generation to J. J. Abrams better?

This was an interesting story but the mispronunciation of multiple "Star Trek" universe words was very distressing. I think if I read the book it would have been fine. Part of the time I didn't understand what the reader meant because words were so badly mispronounced. It was sad.

20 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 15-03-17

The narrators are not Trek fans

Priceless stories! But the narrators pronounce many key names inconsistently and incorrectly. Nitpickers will hate that. Star Trek is its own universe. It pulls fans out of the Trek world when we hear names pronounced incorrectly. We have spent two decades of watching and re-watching. As an example, "Betazed" does not rhyme with "amazed". But beyond that, this book is well worth spending your Audible credit.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kzoogal
  • 17-01-17

Very entertaining book; not-bad performance

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

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.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

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.

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Thom
  • 15-09-16

Shocking problems with organization and narration!

What disappointed you about The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years: From the Next Generation to J. J. Abrams?

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.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

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.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Simone
  • 22-09-16

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.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • advancedrebel
  • 14-09-16

Captivating.

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.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • chris c
  • 03-11-16

Great book but mispronounced names and words

This was a great and entertaining history of Star Trek post TOS to modern day. However it is marred by almost every Trek name, place, character, etc being sadly mispronounced. It is very distracting.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mitch Hicks
  • 15-02-17

Great Information, Bad Pronounciation

They mispronounced Kazon. Several times. I don't understand how you can have a book geared towards hardcore fans and not give your narrators a pronunciation guide. They mispronounce several key names, but usually it's just one person and one time. Talking about the Kazon was the worst offence and it drove me crazy.

6 people found this helpful