The story of Star Trek’s resurrection between the 1969 cancellation of the original series and the 1979 release of Robert Wise’s Star Trek—The Motion Picture, has become legend and like so many other legends, it tends to get printed instead of the facts. Drawing on hundreds of contemporary news articles and primary sources not seen in decades, this book tells the true story of the first successful Star Trek revival.
After several attempts to relaunch the franchise, ST—TMP was released on a wave of prestige promotion, hype, and public frenzy unheard of for a film based on a television show. Controversy surrounded its troubled production and $44M budget, earning it a reputation at the time as the most expensive movie ever made. After a black-tie premiere in Washington, D.C., its opening in 856 North American theaters broke multiple box-office records—a harbinger of the modern blockbuster era. Despite immediate financial success, the film was panned by both critics and the public, leaving this enterprise nowhere to boldly go but down.