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Book Sets ‘Astounding’ Course Through ‘Star Trek’

EXCLUSIVE: Marc Cushman, John and Mary Black talk ‘These are the Voyages’ revised edition

Praised by Leonard Nimoy as “astounding,” Marc Cushman’s book “These are the Voyages, TOS, Season One” recently warped back to stores with an expanded and revised edition.

Cushman, who penned the story for the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” Season 3 episode “Sarek,” was originally tasked by “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry to write the comprehensive book, but the scope of the project delayed it until its August 2013 release.

Available through Jacobs Brown Press, the revised edition expands upon the original book’s 600 pages, adding 80 pages and 100 more photos. It takes readers through a detailed behind-the-scenes journey, which includes previously unpublished insights and recollections from the cast and crew.

Nimoy, impressed with Cushman’s work, contacted him and offered additional material that helped make the revised edition possible.

“After he read the book, he called me up and the first thing he said was that the research was ‘astounding’ and you have done a terrific job; so that meant a lot,” Cushman told 1701News. “But it sounded so much like Spock when he said ‘astounding’ that a little shiver went up my spine.

“It’s really been terrific. The responses have just been staggering.”

Also enamored with the book were John D.F. Black — who served on “Star Trek” as an executive story consultant, associate producer and penned the episode “The Naked Time” — and his wife Mary, who worked as his executive assistant on the series.

“It’s a very objective book and that’s what his intention was,” John said. “I loved it. It was beautifully written.”

“I think John and I on reading the book really felt like we were right back there in 1966 with all the important moments, the minutiae and the technicalities and everything,” Mary explained. “Marc said that is what he intended to do, but he achieved it in such a huge way that knocked us over.

“John and I were really very pleased that somebody had finally did a book that they didn’t have any ax to grind, where all they wanted to do was let people know what ‘Star Trek’ was.”

Structured like a biography, the book devotes about 15 pages to every episode, examining story outlines, drafts, communications with NBC, shooting schedules, censor reports, staff memos and budgets.

New for the revised edition are the true origins of Spock’s ears from Nimoy himself and additional insights from new sources about associate and supervising producer Robert H. Justman and writer-producer Gene L. Coon.

“We always knew that we were working to do a second edition way down the road,” Cushman explained. “Even though we hadn’t planned to do a revised edition this early on, I did not want to deny that information from the fans. I did not want to sit on that for five years.

“When you write something like that you worry that you’re overdoing it. … And you wonder if everybody wants this much information. … And when you’re going through the show files, and you see all these memos on every script and all the information — the true information, not the folklore that is out there — I just had to put it all in there.”

The vast collection of research material available forced Cushman to plan two future editions to cover the second the third seasons. “These are the Voyages, TOS, Season Two” is set to publish March 23, with preorders starting March 3 at thesearethevoyagesbooks.com.

In addition, Cushman plans to continue his work documenting the franchise beyond the original series. He is eyeing two future volumes on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” one detailing the Roddenberry years and one following the time under Rick Berman’s leadership.

With “Star Trek” now approaching its 50th anniversary, John is surprised to still be reflecting on his time working on the series.

“It was an experience unlike anything I’ve had before or ever had since,” John said. “When we finished with ‘Star Trek’ and left we figured that was the end of it and we would never hear another word, that it would just vanish like most series do and that would be it. However, that’s not the case. It’s 50 years later almost and we’re still hearing about ‘Star Trek.’”

For more on “These are the Voyages, TOS, Season One” visit the book’s official website, which offers copies signed by Cushman and John. The book is also available on Kindle and at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com in paperback and hardback.

Owners of the first edition can receive a discount on the revised version by contacting Jacobs Brown Press.

Watch our interview with Cushman during the 2013 Star Trek Las Vegas Convention by clicking here.

Source: 1701News

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