There is something about Star Trek and its lore that has kept audiences young and old attached to it. 50 years of television, movies, books, comics and video games have only made the attraction stronger. Most people do not know the backbone on which Gene Roddenberry built this Sci-Fi franchise on or why they are so attracted to it in the first place. Leave it to those who wrote for Star Trek and those who were inspired by it to be our guides for this journey.
Boarding the Enterprise is a fans road map to the interworking of Star Trek. This book is made of a collection of essays all hitting different topics that helped shape Star Trek and the fandom behind it. Star Trek is about human nature, morality and our world. When Star Trek started in 1966 and ended in 1969, the world was in the midst of both the Vietnam War and a Cold War and society as a whole was in disarray. One thing the contributors in this book wanted to get across was that Roddenberry created Star Trek to inspire hope and spark the imagination. Imagination is one of the key factors in the creation of Star Trek. Limited set pieces allowed the brilliant writers and cast of Star Trek to shine and get its deep messages and humor across.
D.C. Fontana was a story editor for the original Star Trek and a associate producer for Star Trek: The Next Generation. In chapter two, “I Remember Star Trek…,” Fontana gives insight to Roddenberry’s playful nature that contributed to Star Trek’s episodes and breaking the network TV fourth wall to make episodes work. Basically what made Star Trek, Star Trek. Fontana gives a full scope of how Roddenberry had to improvise in order to make the show and many of the episodes work. The budget for a Sci-Fi in the 1960s was not very high by today’s standards but Roddenberry and the staff of Star Trek made it work. From having to create alien species to the flora and fauna and the tone the set pieces had to give the creators worked magic with little to nothing. By Fontana’s account, Roddenberry also liked to play pranks and harass the writers. This aspect alone showed that Roddenberry truly had a passion for the show because be could have fun. I think he was also show his creators to loosen up and have fun.
If you are looking for a Roddenberry memoir or a fanfic in this book, you will find neither here. This book is more of a love letter to Star Trek and to the staff that put it together. The Science, the history, characters and the human/world problems in the 1960s drive a lot of the show and Boarding the Enterprise does a great job of explaining and examining this. This book is a great pick up for any Trekkie. It is also great for those who want more insight on how deep the themes of the show really go.