The First Star Trek Movie

Bringing the Franchise to the Big Screen, 1969–1980

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About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

Sherilyn Connelly is a San Francisco-based writer and librarian.

Bibliographic Details

Sherilyn Connelly

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 242
Bibliographic Info: 13 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7251-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3819-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: The Redefinition of Unwarranted 1
Prologue: Star Trek—The MacArthur Premiere 11
1969: The Network’s Knife Cares Not for the Show’s Cry 25
1970–1972: What’s in Reruns Is Prologue 30
1973–1974: Choose Your Televised Pain 37
1975: Magicam to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad 49
1976: The War Within the Script, the War Without 58
1977: The Battle of the Binary Star Treks 75
1978: Into the Luminescent Powerfield I Go 108
1979: Will You Take My $44M Hand? 127
1980: The Vulcan Goodbye 177
Epilogue: Star Trek—The Mathematical Phantom 185
Chapter Notes 193
Bibliography 209
Index 221

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Connelly’s writing is so lively and littered with humor”—Psychobabble