The first part of a new audio book, described by publisher Jacobs/Brown Press as an “audio play” and chronicling the making of the original Star Trek TV series’ first season, is available now. With a cast of 100, the 28-hour production – which took a year to produce – is released in two parts.
These Are the Voyages – Star Trek: The Original Series, Season One (Audio Book) is drawn from the 2014 Saturn Award-winning book of the same title. Both the printed book and the new streaming audio book cover the creation of the original Star Trek, the making of its two pilot films, and all 29 episodes of its formative first season (1966-67).
“Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry endorsed this book series over 30 years ago,” said author Marc Cushman. “After giving interviews and access to more than 40 boxes of documents from the series, Gene connected me to Dorothy Fontana, Bob Justman, and John D.F. Black, three of the writer/producers of Star Trek. That was just the beginning; it took decades to conduct hundreds of interviews and go through the tens of thousands of documents.”
The first half of the audio production, more than 13 hours in length, is now available from the publisher and streaming audio platform, Awesound.com. The principal reader of the audio program is Vic Mignogna, who played Captain Kirk in the award-winning web series, Star Trek Continues.
“Recording this project was a remarkable experience,” Mignogna said of author Cushman’s work. “I supervised all the sessions, and the cast included many production people and performers from the original Star Trek. They read their quotes from the book and, in the case of D.C. Fontana, read memos she’d written more than 50 years ago. I was in awe being in the company of these talented people!”
Other guest performers include Adam Nimoy, reading the words of his father, Leonard Nimoy; and Chris Doohan, who plays Scotty on Star Trek Continues, reading quotes from his father, James Doohan. Also featured is Rod Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator/producer Gene Roddenberry.
Publishers Jacobs/Brown Press says that the three-volume These Are the Voyages set is different from other books on Star Trek due to Cushman’s access to thousands of the original production memos, shooting schedules, and budgets. He also interviewed “hundreds” of those who were there, to document fully the production of the series. Each episode has its own chapter, some running 15 to 20 pages in length, in the 700-page Season One volume, which translates to between 30-minutes to an hour per episode in the audio production. The interoffice memos between Roddenberry and his staff, and representatives of Desilu Studios and NBC-TV, create a dialogue which documents not only the creativity of those involved, but also the conflicts between Roddenberry and the network over story content.
“There was a battle over every episode,” Cushman said. “Censorship issues, budgetary issues, trying to keep on schedule with the delivery of episodes; it’s remarkable they got a single show on the air.”
These Are the Voyages – Star Trek: The Original Series, Season One (Audio Book) is available through Jacobs/Brown Press and Awesound.com, and can be accessed at the publisher’s website, www.jacobsbrownmediagroup.com. Similar plans are afoot to transform the second and third volumes of the These Are the Voyages book series into audio form. This will then cover the entire original series.