The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: The First 25 Years

  • by Edward Gross, Mark A. Altman, Seth MacFarlane - foreword
  • Narrated by Helen Litchfield, Alex Hyde-White, Jason Olazabal, Susan Hanfield
  • 23 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This is the unauthorized, uncensored, and unbelievable true story behind the making of a pop culture phenomenon.
The original Star Trek series debuted in 1966 and has spawned five TV series spin-offs and a dozen feature films, with an upcoming one from Paramount arriving in 2016.
The Fifty-Year Mission is a no-holds-barred oral history of five decades of Star Trek, told by the people who were there. Hear from the hundreds of television and film executives, programmers, writers, creators, and cast as they unveil the oftentimes shocking story of Star Trek's ongoing 50-year mission - a mission that has spanned from the classic series to the animated show, the many attempts at a relaunch through the beloved feature films.
Make no mistake, this isn't just an audiobook for Star Trek fans. Here is a volume for all fans of pop culture and anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of a television touchstone.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Best book I've ever heard on making pop culture

This book is a real achievement. For anyone interested in what making movies and TV is really like, and for anyone who loves STAR TREK, this is essential in the full meaning of that word.

I've read a lot of books on the making of my favorite shows and movies. This is far and away the best. If I'm ever lucky enough to teach a class in film or TV, THE FIFTY-YEAR MISSION would be the textbook. In depth and wide-ranging, it truly digs into the real forces, the dreams and the pressures, the petty strife and the inspiring hopes that are baked into any great piece of filmed culture.

What Ken Burns did for THE CIVIL WAR and Ezra Edelman did for the OJ Simpson saga with OJ: MADE IN AMERICA, Mark A. Altman and Ed Gross have done for one of the most enduring pieces of pop culture, STAR TREK. It is both thoroughly revealing and deeply interesting. It does more than tell backstage gossip or hit the highlights of a oft-told story. Altman and Gross give a deep and thoughtful examination of the day to day workings of the Hollywood system and how all the forces in that strange town have produced something as enduring, as inspiring, as plain weird as STAR TREK.

What best, from my listening point of view, is instead of boiling it all down in a dry retelling of old actor anecdotes, Altman and Gross knit hundreds of interviews together to form a quickly moving, deeply revealing oral history that is synched together like the best edited documentaries. This really is a honest, revealing history story as told by those who lived it, who were enriched by it, and who were broken by it. For me, this book equals then surpasses Tom Shales' LIVE FROM NEW YORK.

For most of my life, I've been driven to know how the stories I love are made. STAR TREK was my first, favorite piece of culture. One of my earliest memories was of my father trying to talk me into seeing STAR WARS by telling me it was like STAR TREK.

I've been lucky enough to work on the periphery of the industry, and take home two minor Emmys. A close listen to this book will tell you everything you ever wondered about how good shows are made, why they leave the air, why the same creative team makes something so good, then something so awful, seemingly back to back. It intertwines how ego, fear, ambition and hopes can create the TV and movie images which live with us forever, and what happens with those same factors unmake what we all love.

I think I've gushed enough. Now all that's left is to go and listen for yourself.
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- Chris Smith


Where does The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: The First 25 Years rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

it is the longest audiobook I have ever listened to .by far

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: The First 25 Years?

the backstory of this space adventure ,almost not getting off the ground ,was fascinating

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

so many voices from the past from the founders of this classic series grouped togetherwill keep me amused for a long time

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

itt wasn't that kind of book

Any additional comments?

I was born in 1956,so when star trek came out it was the first adult thing I had ever seen. imagine a 10 year old boy with only cartoons in my life .then BOOM i am the first to see kirk and Spock ..they were almost gods to my eyes this wasn't bonanza or the prisoner which were great in their own right but something completely new .even my parents could feel it so I had the privelidge to be there in the beginning and in COLOR

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- john

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-01-2016
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio