Most of my reading that doesn’t involve comic books is usually in the non-fiction realm. I love reading behind the scenes books about the film, television and comic book industries. I am fascinated by how things come about. So, when a new book about Gene Roddenberry came across my desk I found it a pleasure to review The Impossible Has Happened: The Life and Work of Gene Roddenberry, an unauthorized biography.
Gene Roddenberry was, of course, the father of Star Trek. What more can I say about that? Star Trek was, and still is, an epic genre franchise that continues to delight fans since its inception in 1966. Lance Parkin takes us on a bit of an Enterprise-like exploration through the myths and legends of the Star Trek show. From Gene’s start as a pilot and police officer to Gene’s efforts to bring the sea faring adventures of Captain Horatio Hornblower, set in a SciFi universe, to television.
The book also delves into the myriad reboot attempts, Star Trek Phase 2, The Motion Picture, the Next Generation. We read how Gene influenced those projects and how, ultimately, he was estranged from this universe he so lovingly helped birth.
Lance Parkin is known for his heavily researched books on Doctor Who and Alan Moore. Parkin definitely doesn’t pull any punches detailing many of Gene’s idiosyncrasies and erratic behaviour. The book discusses Gene’s drug use, extra marital affairs as well as some of the difficulties he had with cast and crew. But Parkin also keeps the scales balanced by showcasing Gene’s devotion to the property and his liberal agenda in creating a Utopian and multi-racial environment at a time when these things were unheard of.
Over all the book was immensely entertaining and offered a great perspective on Gene Roddenberry. I am sure some Roddenberry fanatics might take issue with the brutal honesty within the book but if Parkin’s research is correct, you definitely get the impression that Star Trek was the product of a “perfect storm” as none of Gene’s other projects ever reached the same levels of success.
Available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2sWyryc
Title: The Impossible Has Happened | Publisher: Aurum Press
Written by: Lance Parkin
Price: $19.99 400pgs Trade Paperback