“If you wanted a thorough, in-depth look at Star Trek Voyager and everything that went into it, then this is certainly the book for you”
Ok, it’s confession time. Although I adore ‘Star Trek‘, especially The Original Series and The Next Generation, I wasn’t a huge fan of ‘Star Trek Voyager‘. Don’t get me wrong, the show was good, highly enjoyable, and boasted good characters, especially Jeri Ryan’s Seven Of Nine. But for some reason, despite a brilliant opening theme written by the legendary Jerry Goldsmith, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I probably should have.
That’s not to say that I didn’t appreciate the little nods to the how in the recent ‘Star Trek: Picard‘, the small blast of the theme as well as Jeri Ryan returning as Seven. But I do enjoy reading up about the series and the cast and crew behind it all. As such, when I discovered the Eaglemoss Hero Collector book ‘Star Trek: Voyager – A Celebration‘, I just had to add it to my collection.
STAR TREK VOYAGER: A CELEBRATION | by Ben Robinson and Mark Wright
Here is a book that I just decided would be a good fit for my library. Just by looking at the front cover alone, it attracted me to it without fail. Just seeing the Voyager itself was enough to tempt me in. And with the addition of photos of Robert Piccardo (who I had the pleasure of meeting at London Film And Comic-Con back in 2019), Kate Mulgrew, and the aforementioned Jeri Ryan, I had made up my mind to grab hold of a copy. And I’m really glad I did. The book, written by Ben Robinson and Mark Wright, is one that I can happily retire with. Beverage by my side, and read over and again to my heart’s content.
I have already described the front cover. But as we turn the book over and look at the spine, the title of the book is presented once more to us. With a Federation emblem proudly displayed at the bottom. As we now turn to review the back cover, we are greeted by the entire crew of the Voyager. All ten of the main cast lined up in groups of five running down the page on both sides along with the description of what we will find inside the book running down the center of the page.
After discovering what we can expect once we break the seal on the book, we once again return to the front cover. Here we discover a QR code stuck onto the cellophane covering the book to keep it pristine and brand new. This QR code once scanned will grant the reader a bonus interview. So I suggest not ripping it or accidentally throwing it away. And now, it is time to remove the cellophane covering and open the book in earnest.
We come across a black and white photograph of the main cast as we enter the pages, taken out of their costumes and looking very much as if it was taken at a reunion that took place recently. We come to the foreword from the authors. Here they explain that their motivation with the book was to give us, the readers ‘The best conversation ever, in a book‘.
They go on to explain that they wanted to bring to us what the cast and crew of the show are actually like off-screen. And their memories of filming the show in general, about any problems they encountered during their time onboard the Voyager set, and how everything that was seen in the show was accomplished.
FAR FROM HOME
We now enter the book and its contents in earnest. We start with a section marked ‘Far From Home‘. It is where we will find the origins of the show, how it was decided after ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘ was set mainly aboard a space station, it was time to set the new show aboard a Federation Starship. To get back to the roots of what made the franchise a success in the first place. It goes on to explain how from the very start, the producers wanted to have a female captain of the ship instead of the usual male-led shows.
Casting Oscar-Nominated actress Genevieve Bujold as their main star, the producers went headlong into securing the rest of the cast. But Bujold realized she wasn’t cut out to play the lead role and quit. Forcing the producers to quickly scour and cast a replacement. Thank your lucky stars, Kate Mulgrew! With the cast, crew, and premise in place, the producers went headlong into creating the show. All are detailed throughout this section and is accompanied by various production photographs and behind the scenes stills.
Along the way, we will discover the origins and conception of the title sequence that opened the show. The brilliant beauty shots of the U.S.S. Voyager and the planets it will encounter along its journey before making off at warp speed. We come across an interview with Kate Mulgrew, who describes how she was called back to return to audition once again for the role of Janeway. Even though she was across the world in Ireland at the time of the call. How she refused to cut her holiday short and returned to audition again a week later. During her interview, the actress drops some interesting details for the reader to discover.
The very first episode ‘Caretaker’ is looked into next. In detail. it is discovered that the two-part opener to the show had only ninety minutes to establish the show, its premise, and format. And to introduce us to a new ship, crew, and captain. If those ninety minutes didn’t click, then the show would be in trouble. Thankfully, the fans and non-fans alike took to the show and stuck with it throughout its seven seasons. During the book, we will encounter many ‘Key’ episodes in the history of the show. Ones that defined the legacy of this different incarnation of the franchise.
Throughout the book, we are treated to interviews with the principal cast and how they view their time onboard Voyager. And the fun times they enjoyed. We discover various secrets and surprises from the directors of various episodes. Alongside the guest appearances that the show gave us. From Johnathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis, Alice Kriege once more reprising her role as the Borg Queen. Right up to the guest star appearance of Dwayne Johnson. Everything is covered in detail. The makeup department is also covered throughout the pages of the book as is the music department, And of course, the visual effects.
SEVEN OF NINE
The Starship gallery is an amazing part of the book. It reveals all the designs of the Voyager, the U.S.S Prometheus, the U.S.S Equinox, the Borg Queen’s ship, the ‘Flea’ ship, the Borg Tactical Cube, and many more. Alongside full descriptions of what episode(s), they appeared in and their functions. We are coming to an end to our time with the book. But without a doubt, the one episode that remains in the mind of the fans and viewers is the series finale ‘Endgame’.
Kate Mulgrew teased that by the end of the show, one main character would die. And not see if the Voyager ever made it home. Of course, we know what REALLY happened now. But at the time, we were all worried that someone we loved would perish. It was originally envisioned that Seven Of Nine would die in the last episode. And a storyline building up to this was added into other episodes in preparation for this event.
Alas, it never came to pass (thankfully), allowing the fans to get the happy ending they were hoping for. The episode is rightfully left until last in the book. And following this, we are taken through every season. Episode by episode with a description of what it contained as the book comes to an end.
If you wanted a thorough, in-depth look at the show and everything that went into it, then this is certainly the book for you. Its mix of brilliant descriptions, full-color photographs, and memories is one to treasure, cherish, and enjoy from start to finish. It brings back the show to the minds of all those who watched it and to this day, miss its enjoyable stories, thrilling episodes and still marvel at its ties to ‘The Next Generation‘ and ‘Deep Space Nine‘.
It still makes me smile when I re-watch ‘Star Trek: First Contact‘ and see Robert Beltran onboard the Defiant alongside Worf. Or ‘Star Trek: Nemesis‘ with Admiral Janeway speaking to Captain Jean-Luc Picard by secure channel onboard the U.S.S Enterprise-E. This book is for every ‘Star Trek‘ fan out there, including ones like myself who didn’t enjoy it as much as they should have.
But after reading this book, I’ve decided to go back and re-watch the show’s seven seasons again. I could be, and probably am, wrong about the enjoyment that is to be had with the show. This delightful volume has convinced me to give it another chance. The book has brought back memories that I didn’t realize I had about the show. The enjoyment that I had completely forgotten about.
This is the greatest power the book possesses. The ability to make people yearn to re-watch ‘Star Trek: Voyager‘ once more. If that was one of its aims. then believe me when I say, it has certainly hit its target.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!