Picks and Pans Review: Inside Star Trek: the Real Story

updated 08/26/1996 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/26/1996 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Herbert F. Solow and Robert H. Justman

In the past few years, Star Trek memoirs have been proliferating as fast as the show's infamous furry tribbles. But the latest, by former Desilu Studios production vice president Solow and producer Just-man, purports to go where no Trek book has gone before: into the boardrooms and executive offices from which the USS Enterprise was first launched.

Unfortunately it's a trip that proves only moderately interesting. Solow's account of how Desilu owner Lucille Ball badgered him for updates on "that South Seas series" (she assumed that a show called Star Trek would be about a USO celebrity tour to somewhere) is funny. And the book's portrait of Trek creator Gene Roddenberry as a philandering megalomaniac who steals ideas and cheats at pool is unflatteringly intriguing. But most of the anecdotes have been told before—and more colorfully—by the show's actors turned authors, including William Shatner, George Takei and Nichelle Nichols. While compulsive Trekkers will no doubt pick up the tome just to keep their archives complete, the casual fan should warp right by. (Pocket, $30)

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