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Star Trek by Ina Rae Hark

01/10/2008. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Star Trek in the USA - or Buy Star Trek in the UK

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pub: Palgrave Macmillan. 168 page small illustrated indexed softcover. 9.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84457-214-4).

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With a book showing forty other books in its bibliography about 'Star Trek', you would have thought that the market was already saturated with the subject. Saying that, this one is part of a series from the British Film Institute and as such, to be left out would have been odd rather than the other way around. One wonders when the BFI will have one for our own long-running series, 'Doctor Who'.

However, the topic here is 'Star Trek' and its spin-off series and author Ina Rae Hark acknowledges her fan interest and re-watching them all again for preparation for this book. In many respects, this book actually is more into trends within the series and how the various production staff influenced the product than for the anal retentive of lots of detail. Mind you, that isn't strictly true. There is a lot of detail loaded in here and by the way Hark refers to the notes source obviously was also paying attention to these books as much as her own research. Whether that will influence you to check out her source material which you might conceivably own already will have to be left to the individual.

What it does offer is a nice small paperback that you can slot in your bag and have a read on a bus or train. Hark might be a fan but she also assesses where the series started to go wrong. Considering most Trek fans already know that as well, that might seem like treading old ground. Whether this book will attract new readers will depend on the new film and whether they want to re-visit the past. Hark certainly packs a lot of information in here.

This book is informed and only a little geeky but still objective in its assessment. With only a film on the horizon, it isn't likely to get a second edition any time soon.

GF Willmetts

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