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My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The View from the Bridge

The View From The Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood by Nicholas Meyer.

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult (August 20, 2009)
ISBN-10: 067002130X

Product Description
The critically acclaimed director and writer shares his account of the making of the three classic Star Trek films
The View from the Bridge is Nicholas Meyer’s enormously entertaining account of his involvement with the Star Trek films: STII: The Wrath of Khan, STIV: The Voyage Home, and STVI: The Undiscovered Country, as well as his illustrious career in the movie business. The man best known for bringing together Sherlock Holmes and Sigmund Freud in The Seven Per-Cent Solution had ironically never been interested in Star Trek until he was brought on board to save the film series.
Meyer shares how he created the script for The Wrath of Khan, the most revered Star Trek film of all, in twelve days—only to have William Shatner proclaim he hated it. He reveals the death threats he received when word got out that Spock would be killed, and finally answers the long-pondered question of whether Khan’s chiseled chest is truly that of Ricardo Montalban. Meyer’s reminiscences on everyone from Gene Roddenberry to Laurence Olivier will appeal not only to the countless legions of Trekkies, but to anyone fascinated by the inner workings of Hollywood.

For the hard core Trek people I will tell you right off the bat that Nick Meyer doesn't only talk about  the 3 Trek movies he did but also talks about how his career began and other movies and writings that he did.  However, this is a memoir NOT a biography and he doesn't go into his beginnings nearly as much as others would.

So the first mention of Star Trek isn't until page 72. This you will have to live with.

In the beginning of the book Nicholas talks about his beginnings and when he was writing The Seven Percent Solution, which later was turned into a movie.  The Seven Percent Solution was a story of Sherlock Holmes and Sigmund Freud solving a mystery together.

When he discussed this story he mentions his father who was a psychoanalysist...when he asked his father if he was a "Freudian" his father responded with something that made me think of Chris (since his work is similar...)    "...... When a patient comes to see me, I listen to what they say, I listen to how they say it, I am especially interested in what they do not say.  In addition, I look at their body language, how the dress, whether they show up on time.  I am in short, searching for clues from them as to why they are not happy.  Very like  detective work." and at that instant I realized who my childhood "hero" Sherlock Holmes, had always reminded me of...my father.

So, naturally after he talked enough about the old Holmes books he wrote I searched amazon for used copies and found I could afford to order 2 of them for the large sum of 8.00 ! (plus 3.99 each shipping, so total of 16.00)

On page 72 he begins to talk about The Wrath of Khan and science fiction.

"We try to blur the point at which the truth blends into a lie.  If done correctly, the audience fails to notice the moment when they slip the bonds of reality and embark on the fantastic voyage.  If done well, they are so involved that they miss the moment when they willingly agree to suspend disbeliefs."

At one point in the book I had to forgive Nicholas.  He spoke of De briefly and spelled his name as "Dee", but quickly I remembered a talk with De when he spoke of misspelling his last name.  He mentioned how many years he worked for Paramount and yet many of his checks were spelled "Kelly" instead of "Kelley".  "Thankfully," he added, the bank still cashed his checks! So I forgave Nicholas his misspelling.

During his memories of when he make the Star Trek movies, there were a few things he said that I was surprised about.  Things that might not make him so "loving" in the eyes of some hard-core Trek people.  But I wondered after I got past those things if he was not being hard on himself.  But maybe that was because DeForest couldn't say enough good things about working with Nicholas Meyer.

Needless to say, I devoured this book!  I can't remember when I read a book so fast!  Well, I guess it wasn't really read "fast" so much as I couldn't put it down and read many more hours than I normally do in one day!

Although this book was mostly about Nicholas's experience making the Trek movies it was more about Nicholas and his career.  Of the Trek people who might think they want to read this book, I'd say that unless you have interest in this particular writer/ director and want to know something about him, that the book may not be for you.... but as for myself... I found it Fascinating!  And of course I couldn't read a moment of this book without remembering the brief few moments I got to meet Mr Meyer while he was directing DeForest and the Others in Undiscovered Country... I only wish I could have seen him in his glory directing more than the brief scene we were allowed to watch.

I will leave you with a quote from page 138 of the book:

"I, who never watched the show (Trek) when it first aired, now always pause when flicking around the dial at home or in hotel rooms on the road, I behold again those familiar , cherished faces.  I stay with them,... as they have remained with me."

If you are not interested in Meyers memories of working on Star Trek you might be interested his other books on  Sherlock Holmes:

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution: Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D.

The Canary Trainer: From the Memoir of John H Watson

The West End Horror: A Posthumous Memoir of John H. Watson, M.D.

Some other movies of Nicholas Meyer which I totally enjoyed:

Time After Time (1979) (writer)

Sommersby (1993) (screenplay) (story)

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976) (novel)

The Day After (1983) (TV) (director)

6 Comments:

Blogger cj said...

Time After Time is an amazing movie - at least that's how I remember it!

And, if you would, how about sending me an email with the "things that might not make him so 'loving'" for us hardcore people. I'm curious!

cjh

6:40 AM  
Blogger Cath said...

I wonder if I've seen The Seven Per-cent Solution? I can't remember it but tend to watch most things Holmesian. I'll be interested to hear about his Holmes books when you've read them. Really pleased you enjoyed the book so much, Pat. And like cj I'm wondering about the 'not so loving' things.

6:49 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

cj & cath: lol sent you guys emails hahaha

7:24 AM  
Blogger JenR said...

The book sound interesting. I've read a couple bios/memoir before by Star Trek actors but it's been a while.

Like the others I'm curious about the 'not so loving' - though I have feeling I know what some of it might be.

4:10 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

JenR: some people would not be able to get past the fact that he wasn't a star trek fan before he wrote/directed the movies. This book was only a "section" of Nicholas's career/ memories..I'm still glad he did what he did to make such good Trek movies!

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Ken S said...

Thanks so much for your review. That was great. You helped me to decide to run out and grab this book and give it a read.
I don't know if you're into Star Trek fan productions, but I'm working with one called Star Trek: Lexington which tells the story of another crew and another ship set in the same era as Meyer's movies. Abrams failed to do it, but maybe we'll even get a cameo from Captain Kirk! Anyhow, you can check it out at www.lexington.net if it interests you. I just love this era of Trek which Meyer helped to created with those "monster maroon" uniforms.

Of course, the premier Trek fan production is Star Trek: Phase II which continues the original Trek series into seasons four and five: www.startreknewvoyages.com

I love that picture of the book which you posted in your blog. Did you make it yourself or where did you get it from? I hope it's ok, but I've used this pic in a forum posting. Thanks again for your review.

12:30 PM  

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