Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind

Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind "Star Trek"

by Joel Engel

A no-holds-barred look at the complex and driven visionary who created Star Trek gives a backstage portrait based on inside sources that reveals the whole man, alcoholic, self-promoting, womanizing, yet intensely creative.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Media Tie In
  • Rating: 3.39
  • Pages: 304
  • Publish Date: April 1st 1995 by Hyperion
  • Isbn10: 0786880880
  • Isbn13: 9780786880881

Read the Book "Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind "Star Trek"" Online

This is the true story of STAR TREK creator Gene Roddenberry, and it's brutal. Engel is a brilliant writer but all his contacts are TV and movie people, and there's very little info on Gene Roddenberry's childhood and adolescence. One final thought: The best part of the book was where Engel contrasts Rod Serling and Gene Roddenberry, not as men but as professional writers.

Things I learned that I didn't know (or at least didn't know fully): From day one of attempting to secure scripts for Star Dreck, Roddenberry was notorious for rewriting every script no matter how good it already was or how well-established and well-known the scriptwriter was. But because of this irrepressible habit of Roddenberry's, most fans do not know that key concepts and characters from Star Dreck (especially The Next Generation) originated with people other than Roddenberry. During the gestation and first season of Star Dreck: The Next Generation, Roddenberry alienated legendary original series writers D.C. Fontana (Journey to Babel) and David Gerrold (The Trouble With Tribbles), mostly over issues of monetary compensation. I won't try to describe this issue in detail, because it's much more complicated than the older and more constant issue of Roddenberry's dictatorial control; but it boils down to money for Gerrold--Roddenberry insisted on low-balling Gerrold for his script contributions and Gerrold wouldn't have it--and, for Fontana, more that Roddenberry mistreated her professionally (but, on his end, for personal reasons) until she got fed up, referred their disputes to the Guild, and left. Maizlish was heavily involved in the final alienation of Fontana, mainly over trying to coerce Fontana to testify against David Gerrold in an ongoing script-related financial lawsuit. (If you always questioned the plausibility of an android getting infected with this contaminant and instantly losing his judgment, now you know who insisted on the scene.) The character who eventually became Deanna Troi was originally conceived by Roddenberry as a four-breasted hermaphrodite, until Fontana pointed out to him that that was (a)offensive, (b)physically rather difficult for an actress to perform. Having D.C. Fontana's foreword means she tacitly approved the book; David Gerrold also cooperated fully with the author, as many other Star Trek contributors.

Yeah, G-rod was an asshole. If he wasn't such a blatant asshole you'd feel bad for him at the end of his life, clearly suffering from dementia and strung along by his shady lawyer into utter angry incoherence.

In the 1970s, Star Trek fans were unwilling to see Star Trek as just a television show and Gene Roddenberry as just a writer/producer. * It's unfortunate that the book really seems to link Roddenberry's many character flaws with his atheism.

If you want the truth, then read this book with caution.