Babylon 5: The Scripts of J. Michael Straczynski

Season One (Vol. 1 & 2)

Babylon 5: The Scripts of J. Michael Straczynski: Season One (Vol. 2)Babylon 5: The Scripts of J. Michael Straczynski: Season One (Vol. 1)Order this bookStory: Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski republishes the scripts from the episodes he wrote; in addition to the shooting scripts, Straczynski provides a brand new introduction discussing each episode and the series in general. Photos and memos are also included to provide a look at the show’s development.

Review: These two books are part of a planned 14-book series of script collections that Straczynski and his partners are publishing through CafePress. They include only the scripts that Straczynski himself wrote, which he has the rights to republish due to Writers Guild rules. It’s a pretty simple presentation, right down to the bare-bones cover, but the books hold together well, the typesetting’s legible, and the copy-editing is better than on some of the academic books I’ve read recently, so I have nothing against the do-it-yourself approach. The scripts themselves are the heart of the books, and if you don’t already know if you like the episodes in question, this book is not for you. (I did, so I guess it is.) […]

The Original Hitchhiker Radio Scripts

The Original Hitchhiker Radio ScriptsOrder this bookStory: The original broadcast adventures of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian, and quite a few characters who didn’t make it into the novels based on the series.

Review: This recent “10th anniversary” reprint of the complete radio scripts of the BBC’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio shows – which, for those who didn’t already know, predate the books, TV show and Infocom game, by the way – is much more of what I’d like from a script book. The scripts aren’t interrupted by the commentary; the commentary is instead placed at the end of each half-hour script, and includes such amazingly obscure and useful information as what music was licensed for use in each program, how casting decisions were made, and the origins of situations, characters, and so on. […]

The City On The Edge Of Forever

The City On The Edge Of ForeverOrder this bookStory: Harlan Ellison’s complete original script, with revised drafts, for the legendary Star Trek episode is presented in its entirety, along with lengthy essays by Harlan on the story’s creation and the rewriting of its already storied history by various other parties, including Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

Review: This volume reprints the original draft, and several subsequent revisions, of Harlan Ellison’s multiple-award-winning, career-defining, critically acclaimed, and seemingly life-ruining Star Trek script, The City On The Edge Of Forever. A lengthy essay opens the book with the full background of the episode’s birth from Harlan’s own inimitable point of view. Numerous people have taken credit for City‘s success over the years, and just as many have been more than happy to lay the blame for any perceived faults in the story at Harlan’s feet. In this book, Harlan lashes out at all of them. Every last one of them. In a way, maybe “lashes out” is too gentle – he positively breathes fire at many of his former colleagues. […]

Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series

Star Trek Phase II: The Lost SeriesOrder this bookStory: This outstanding and surprisingly thick tome tracks the progress of the attempt to revive the original Star Trek series in the 1970s which eventually mutated into something we now call Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Review: Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, the authors who brought us 1994’s wonderful “Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, have truly outdone themselves with this book, which follows the inception, development and pre-production of the second Star Trek series which never was, as well as the studio decisions which caused its metamorphosis into the first of many feature films. The book stops short of following Star Trek’s evolution to the big screen, though the authors drop a hint that they might be working on such a volume. I’ll be among the first to buy it if they should do so, based on their work here. […]