Star Trek 1052: The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers

1052. The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers

PUBLICATION: Dell, 1994

CREATORS: Phil Farrand

STARDATE: Covers Seasons 1 through 3 of the original series and its 6 films. No love for the animated series though.

SUBJECT MATTER: As with his first book, The Nitpicker's Guide for Next Generation Trekkers, Phil Farrand takes writes up all the mistakes in TOS and its attendant films, separated into the same 4 categories - Plot Oversights are plot holes, plain and simple; Changed Premises are things that contradict each other from show to show; Equipment Oddities have to do with nonsense equipment flubs; and Continuity and Production Problems cover everything from bad editing to boom shadows, stock shots and costume malfunctions. For each episode, he also supplies a good synopsis and some "did you watch closely?" trivia questions. There are also Great Moments, a couple of quizzes, fun top 10s, and lists of TOS clichés (how many times does Spock say "Fascinating"? 49 times; how many past loves for Kirk? 7) as per the last book, but also some TOS-specific items such as identifying the end credit title cards and finding just what was cut from syndicated versions.

CONTINUITY: Loads.

DIVERGENCES: That's what the book is about!

SCREENSHOT OF THE WEEK - A favorite nit: Kirk splits his pants (The Savage Curtain).
REVIEW: Surely, as fine an effort as the TNG guide, but it feels far less fresh. Not because it was the second book in the series, but because we've been living with TOS and its nits for decades. There are fewer episodes, they've been in syndication longer, they've been picked apart, discussed, ridiculed and defended longer. So it's no surprise there's a sense of déjà vu here. The additions are supremely nerdy and picky, so don't bring a lot to the experience, though I do apprecaite Farrand's efforts of watching syndicated and full episodes side by side to catch the few seconds that might have been cut. And while, again, I appreciate the essays on Starfleet's military ethos and 60s sexism, I'm not sure all Farrand's attempts at humor are anything more than that - attempts. It's not that it's a bad book, it's just that it feels a whole lot less original.

Because the nits are more well known, I find that I wrote far fewer in the margins. I mean, what was left to catch after almost 30 years, right? I'll still share them with you:
Mudd's Women -PO/Captain's Log: "The women have a strange attraction... on myself. Explanation unknown." Well, I can think of at least one explanation, Kirk!
-PO/At the end, the doctor hits his heart on the right side and places Spock's on his left.
Arena -CPP/There's a strange shimmer next to the Metron. Was that effect supposed to be on top of the actor, but mismatched?
A Piece of the Action -PO/So they recreated a society from a single history book. How is that even possible? Did it have information on architecture, mechanics and textiles?
STV: The Voyage Home -PO/If the Cetacean Institute is a museum exclusively devoted to whales, why does it have aquariums full of fish?

So those were the ones I caught that Farrand didn't. Not too long to read this time, was it?

Next for the SBG Book Club: Proud Helios (DS9), Ambush (SCE), Trek to Madworld (TOS), A Call to Darkness (TNG).

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