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Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion [Paperback]

3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the TV series itself! Nov. 25 2003
"Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion" was something of a disappointment to me.
It's not that I didn't enjoy reading how certain special effects were done on a particular episode, or how casting for a particular part was done. This companion book contains many interesting behind-the-scenes facts and was, overall, very enjoyable to read.
The disappointment I have with the book comes from the many errors I saw in the episode summaries. You would think that these summaries would be the easiest part of the book to write. Just watch the episode and then write the summary. It appears that whoever wrote these summaries did so from memory. Unfortunatley, that memory seems to be slipping.
One example is the summary for the "Star Trek Nemesis" movie. The summary makes it seem like Captain Picard does not realize that it is Data who has freed him from the lab on Shinzon's ship until after they leave the lab (supposedly he thinks he is being taken by B-4 to Shizon). However, Picard realizes that it is Data while still in the lab when Data renders the guard in the lab unconscious.
In addition to inaccurate summaries, there were also summaries that, while technically accurate, failed to completely describe the episode. In other words, they were too short. "Deja Q" is an example of this. There was quite a bit that happened in this episode, but the summary makes it appear that this was nothing more than a simple, basic show.
Although there was a lot more that could have been done to make this companion book better, it is still one of the best one out there for the TNG series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Short, sweet compliment to the DVDs March 3 2003
The synposis of the plots are quick and to the point--which is what a synposis is supposed to do provide a brief snapshot of a film or television episode. I love having this book around as I can never remember the title (or season) many of my fav episodes are on (Hollow Pursuits was one I couldn't recall for example and this book pointed me to the right DVD). By all rights an abridged version of this should have been included for each season of the DVDs.
The pictures are plentiful and although I would have preferred more backstory on the making of each episode (as well as behind the scenes photos), the info on each episode is fascinating. While this book doesn't sweep out all the dirt on the difficulities of Next Gen (for an accurate, well rounded story of the difficulties during Gene Roddenberry's second series I'd recommend Joel Engel's informed and well researched biography of the Great Bird of the Galaxy), there are a number of comments that hint at the difficult birth of Next Gen among them the large number of writer/producers that came and went prior to the arrival of Michael Pillar.
Next Gen really hit its stride during it's third and fourth season maintaining the quality for the bulk of the run of the series. Nemecek honestly asseses some of the worst episodes and the best. His comments from many of the writers also provides insight into the community writing method used to keep the quality high on Next Gen scripts. While this could and did work against some fine episodes, it also enhanced many of the best shows.
There is an exhaustive credit list of the writers/directors and guest actors for each episode. While this isn't the perfect Next Gen companion (perhaps an unoffical one will dig a little deeper into the struggles of the show and it's creative apex), it does provide a brief overview of each episode, credits and fairly objective overview on the various episodes strengths and weaknesses.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Poorly Edited Captain's Log Feb. 13 2003
The latest edition of The Star Trek-TNG Companion is something of a disappointment. Written once again by Larry Nemecek, the book takes readers from TNG's inception, through its seven years on T.V., to Nemesis, the latest feature film. Like the previous editions, the book offers episode synopsies, season overviews, film plots, credits, black and white photos and behind the scenes interviews and trivia. Sounds comprehensive right? It's not. The basic problem I have with the book is that it has a lot of inaccurate information. As an example, the entry for The Naked Now on page 32, mentions another episode called Attached. It states that the latter was a sixth season show. But later has the Attached entry in its rightful place as a seventh season show. Clearly, this is a mistake that should have been picked up by someone, an editor maybe? I would be able to overlook one or two errors like this, however, there are several more, just like that one. Another issue that bothers me is the fact that some of the entries for certain episodes are still outdated. There is no mention of the passing of actors classic cast DeForest Kelly, or Mark Lenard. Both men appeared on the show. I know this probably sounds minor to some. But when one thinks about what these men did for Star Trek in general, you would think something more would have been mentioned as a tribute...
It seems as though Nemecek and his editors just wanted to concern themselves with updating the end of the book and the last 3 films. The book reads like "a rush job" I expected the same amount of care that went into the DS9 Companion with this book. While it does have a lot of interesting stuff about TNG within its pages, I have read better researched episode/film guides about the show. Recommended read only if you must The book has 372 pages, a new introduction by Nemecek, and several indices
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I agree with one of the other reviewers. The Next Gen. Companion pales in comparison to the DS9 Companion.
The photos in the Next/Gen companion are poorly printed. Read more
Published on Jan. 21 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly Disappointing
My advice: Don't read the DS9 Companion before reading this one. Why? Because you'll agree with my review title. Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2003 by cpen
5.0 out of 5 stars New January 2003 Revised Edition
Just a quick note on this new January 2003 revised edition. This new revision now contains references to all four TNG movies including Trek X: Nemesis! Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2003 by Razr Maxx
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good companion!
The Star Trek The Next Generation Companion is a very good companion in my opinion. It is especially helpful now that we are finally getting all the seasons on DVD. Read more
Published on Sept. 5 2002 by K. Wyatt
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre reference book for a great series
ST:TNG was a great series, and frankly it deserves a better companion than this one. While there are many interesting production tidbits and (often mundane) cross-references... Read more
Published on June 6 2002 by Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide to the fan
This book gives detailed synopses of each episode (with backstage notes for each one, including trivia, effects insights, and thoughts of the creators) and also includes the... Read more
Published on July 12 2001 by Brian Gilbert
4.0 out of 5 stars Synopses a bit short, but some great prodution anecdotes!
Although I was already a pretty well-established sci-fi nut, The Next Generation was the first show to capture my interest in Star Trek. Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2000 by Zagnorch
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for trekkies
This book, or should I say companion, covers all seven seasons of Next Generation and Generations with great details of on- and off- the screen of each individual episode. Read more
Published on June 16 2000 by Mel Orr
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate TNG guide!
This book is an absolute must-have for all TNG fans, from the most casual viewer to even the most die-hard Trekker. Read more
Published on June 24 1999 by Brian M. Benway
5.0 out of 5 stars I bet you didn't know that!
Wow. This is the most comprehensive episode guide I have ever seen for any show. EVER. A good episode synapsis followed by some interesting preductin notes makes this one of the... Read more
Published on March 19 1999
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