STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION COMPANION - Mania.com



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  • Title: STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION COMPANION
  • Author: Larry Nemecek
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Pages: 372
  • Price: $18.00

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION COMPANION

Finally! A source for information on STAR TREK!

By Chris Wyatt     January 17, 2003

Receiving the update treatment is Pocket Books' large format trade paperback STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION COMPANION by Larry Nemecek. Ten years ago, when the first edition of COMPANION came out, it was the definitive source for information on the series. Two years later, Nemecek revised the volume to include the end of the series, and the first NEXT GEN film. Now, the second revised edition incorporates the rest of the film series, including NEMESIS.

While Nemecek does his usual good job compiling and distilling raw information, one has to wonder if a new edition of COMPANION is of much value these days. Certainly the proliferation of NEXT GEN companion books, official and unofficial web sites, internet episode guides and magazines is capable of filling the ever lessening demand for NEXT GEN info.

Still, if there is any need for a new guide book, then Nemecek should be the person to fill that need. His synopses are well-written and concise, yet information-packed. And after each synopsis is a commentary that includes information not found in a lot of other episode guides. Nemecek tracks cut scenes, production challenges, design intentions and other miscellaneous bits that will have true trivia maniacs jumping for joy.

Divided into chapters by season, each season begins with a generally valuable commentary and critical overview of how that year did. Nemecek's notes are best when his displaying his powers as an acute critical analyst, and at their worst when he seems to be kissing up to the show's creators.

Also, while always interesting, the yearly commentaries (perhaps by editorial mandate) are heavily skewed in favor of the series...glossing over things like the downturn of fan sentiment near the end of the series run. The following example of this producer-favored spin comes from the remarks on Season 6, with regards to the simultaneous launch of DEEP SPACE NINE: "...The immediate acceptance of DS9 by fans and by new viewers...[etc...]"

"Immediate acceptance"? "New Viewers"? Maybe I'm just getting old, but that's not how I remember the controversial and tumultuous first days of DS9.

But despite the bias, Nemecek is a good writer who definitely did his homework in terms of research and indexed references. Also, one advantage to the book is the fact that is has a very good photo illustrated graphic layout (though all the photos are black and white...for $18 we can't get some color plates in the middle?)

Eighteen bucks is kind of expensive for info you can mostly get off the net these days, but insofar as you are already looking to buy a NEXT GEN companion book that's largely composed of episode guides, this is definitely the book to get.

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at feedback@cinescape.com.

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