THE IMPOSSIBLE HAS HAPPENED

PrintE-mail Written by Alister Davison

The Impossible Has Happened is another addition to the long list of biographies of Gene Roddenberry, so may not sound such a big deal. Fans have doubtless heard it all before by now – both the good and the bad, depending on whose version of events are chosen to be believed – and may expect this unauthorised version to be just another book that dishes more dirt on the Star Trek creator.

 

If so, they’d be disappointed. Lance Parkin has produced a well-balanced chronicle of Roddenberry’s life, from his time with the armed forces through to Star Trek and beyond. It presents both sides of its subject to readers – there’s no hero worship here, nor anything too judgemental – allowing them to make up their own minds.

 

While it neither defends nor attacks the man himself, there are some jaw-dropping revelations about what went on behind the scenes of both the TV series and the films that followed. Again, there may not be much that hardcore fans don’t already know, but it’s clear from the start that Parkin has put much research into this book, quoting other autobiographies and citing those who worked with Roddenberry. It’s more about the man than the legend that has surrounded Roddenberry for years, and is refreshingly unbiased and candid in its approach.

 

It also shows the contribution of the fan network formed while the original series was on air. While stoked by Roddenberry in many ways (particularly in calling for the third series to be made), it arguably had an effect on him too, helping to transform his original vision into something more, while highlighting any potential flaws that Roddenberry would seek to address when creating The Next Generation. While shocking in places, with some stories proving only to debunk popular theories about the series, there are also some moments of warmth and humour, particularly in the relationships between the team that made the series such a success.

 

Overall, this is a fascinating book that explores the myths of Star Trek, as gripping and sometimes stranger than any work of fiction. While it may not necessarily go where no biography has gone before, it serves as an insightful guide to the stories behind the turning points that have made the series what it is today. For some, it may prove the launch pad for a quest to know more, prompting a search for the source books Parkin quotes from.

 

THE IMPOSSIBLE HAS HAPPENED / AUTHOR: LANCE PARKIN / PUBLISHER: AURUM PRESS LTD / RELEASE DATE: 4TH MAY



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