‘Star Trek Vault’ book review

A book that claims to cover 40 years of the most popular science-fiction TV show that America has ever created needs to justify such a statement with an exhaustive volume.

Unfortunately, the Star Trek Vault will not sate the most ardent of fans and will serve as a mere cursory flick through for those who only have a passing interest in the series.

Gene Roddenberry’s creation began in 1966 with the adventures of Captain Christopher Pike (soon to be replaced by William Shatner as James Tiberius Kirk) and Dr Spock, whose adventures captured a generation’s imagination as they saw the dream of space travel become a reality and the moon landing adding credence to the possibility of life existing somewhere other than earth.

Indeed, ‘to boldly go where no man has gone before’ captures the zeitgeist of the time more perfectly that any other tag line before or since.

The initial show was cancelled during the third season, but following syndication in the late 1960’s, the enduring tales of the Starship Enterprise became first a cult, then a breakthrough hit and then a regular television staple of ever since, with (to date) 726 episodes spread across the Original, Animated, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise series.

The book itself, perhaps quite predictably, spends most of its length reviewing the original series and measuring the impact and influence on all future sci-fi series and films that followed in the wake of such a ground-breaking show. There is then a diminishing amount of time spent on the later shows and films, though strangely most of the inserts seem to be concentrated on these latter spin-offs. However, it must be said that some of the vintage photographs are superb – especially the cast being shown around NASA committing a variety of sins against fashion.

Akin to Aurum’s other recent Vault books, the inserts for this volume offer a typical combination of the fascinating (blue-prints of the Captain’s chair, original sticker collections) to the banal (wrap party invites to one of the many spin-off shows) and whilst their appeal is broad, many fans would have preferred a doubling of the total pages of the book in lieu of a t-shirt transfer they will probably never use.

The most shocking anomaly of this tome is that whilst it covers all the legion of TV shows and movies, it negates to spend one word on JJ Abram’s feted reboot (a 2009 release so hardly outside of the auspice of any editor’s timeline or canon) and though Scott Tipton is evidently a fan, his love of the show and the genre is not as evident as that evident in Stephen J. Sansweet’s superb Star Wars Vault and Ian Nathan’s recent Alien Vault.

Published on Thursday 6th October 2011 by Aurum Press Ltd.

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