Type Book
Date 1971-07
Pages 134
Tags novelization, science fiction, collection

Star Trek 4

Star Trek

Seventeen months after Blish's previous Trek book, Spock Must Die!, was published, he finally put out a new volume of adaptations: Star Trek 4. It was the only one published in 1971, but he then picked up the pace substantially, publishing four more in 1972 alone.

This volume includes adaptations of six episodes: "All Our Yesterdays", "The Devil in the Dark", "Journey to Babel", "The Menagerie", "The Enterprise Incident", and "A Piece of the Action".

All of the short stories are substantially similar to the episodes as aired, with the exception of "The Menagerie". That episode, if you recall, was a retooling of the pilot: Spock is court martialed for bringing Captain Pike back to Talos IV and presents the video from the pilot episode The Cage as evidence. Blish elected to omit the frame story and simply adapt the pilot episode itself.

There are several good stories, here, though not all of equal merit. I enjoyed the episode A Piece of the Action, but I think that the short story falls flat--it was never much of a story, and most of its appeal was in the seeing. Ditto All Our Yesterdays. The other four stories are quite entertaining.

Really, the quality of the adaptations is good, but I find myself disappointed that they are so similar to the episodes. I suspect this is due to the book being written after Star Trek had finished airing, meaning that it was no longer necessary for Blish to rely on early draft scripts. This is good, if what you want are faithful adaptations of TV episodes, but it was the differences that made me interested in the books in the first place, so I think it's a shame.

Even so, Star Trek 4 is a worthwhile book, containing several entertaining stories. If any of those are your favorite episodes, I'd encourage you to give it a try, if only for the sake of nostalgia.

Name Role
James Blish Author

Relations

Relation Sources
Adapts
  • The Menagerie, Part I (1966-11-17)
  • The Menagerie, Part II (1966-11-24)
  • The Devil in the Dark (1967-03-09)
  • Journey to Babel (1967-11-17)
  • A Piece of the Action (1968-01-12)
  • The Enterprise Incident (1968-09-27)
  • All Our Yesterdays (1969-03-14)
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