Type Book
Date 1972-02
Pages 136
Tags novelization, science fiction, collection

Star Trek 5

Star Trek

With 1972 came another entry in Blish's series of Star Trek adaptations, Star Trek 5. This volume includes adaptations of seven episodes: "Whom Gods Destroy", "The Tholian Web", "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", "This Side of Paradise", "Turnabout Intruder", "Requiem for Methuselah", an "The Way to Eden".

The stories adapted in this volume are, I think, fairly average Trek fare. The adaptation of Whom Gods Destroy is the most interesting, but even it was better for being on screen. Meanwhile, most of the others are dull, and Let That Be Your Last Battlefield is positively tedious.

Several adaptations throughout this series suffer from a common flaw: certain episodes are really only interesting on account of being acted out. Turnabout Intruder has a rather weak plot (to say nothing of its unfortunately anti-feminist dimensions), but to the extent that it was entertaining, it was all down to Shatner's overacting as Dr. Lester. Blish's condensed prose captures none of that, while retaining the cringe-worthy story ("And most of all she wanted to murder the man who might have loved her--had her intense hatred of her own womanhood not made life with her impossible."--lovely.)

The above goes equally for The Way to Eden, another very weak episode propped up (poorly) by songs, on which small support the book cannot rely.

Star Trek 5 was saddled with several very unfortunate episodes, and it didn't make any more of them than the TV series did. If you've got this one, read "Whom Gods Destroy" and ignore the rest. If not, I wouldn't go out of my way to get it. Your time will be better spent elsewhere.

Name Role
James Blish Author

Relations

Relation Sources
Adapts
  • This Side of Paradise (1967-03-02)
  • The Tholian Web (1968-11-15)
  • Whom Gods Destroy (1969-01-03)
  • Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (1969-01-10)
  • Requiem for Methuselah (1969-02-14)
  • The Way to Eden (1969-02-21)
  • Turnabout Intruder (1969-06-03)
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