Subtitled: How the Making (and Remaking) of Star Trek Changed the World

For most of the last fifty years, Star Trek along with its television spinoffs and cinematic film franchise has played a dominant role in pop culture. In Phasers On Stun!, Ryan Britt examines Star Trek in its many forms from the creation and casting of the original series up to the present day.

Britt focuses on three concepts in the course of the book. In the early years, Spock was a major driver of the popularity of the original series and the associated films. Leonard Nimoy received the lion’s share of fan mail, so much so that William Shattner was jealous of it. Spock’s struggle to balance his Vulcan and human heritage and instincts played out in nearly every episode. The book also tracked the diversity of the crew from each series in racial as well as sexual preference and gender identification terms. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry envisioned a distant future with no discrimination where all beings could exist together in peace.

I gave Phasers On Stun! five stars on Goodreads. I learned a lot about the history of the original series, and a lot about several of the spinoff series that I’d never watched. I’m not foolish enough to attempt to binge watch all of the various Star Trek offshoots available, but I am going to check out Star Trek: Discovery before deciding whether to watch the others.