The Making of Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan by Allan Asherman

Here’s the first in a potentially occasional series I want to call “Books I Didn’t Know Existed”.

Lately I’ve been getting back into Star Trek, probably influenced by the release of the new movie. I’m a particular fan of the original series movies and found myself looking up various bits of memorabilia online.

Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan has always been my favourite of the movies and one night I found myself thinking “you know, it’s a pity they never did a ‘making of’ book for The Wrath of Khan. I would have bought that.” This thought was inevitably followed by “huh, maybe they did do one…”

It turns out they did indeed. In October 1982 Pocket Books released The Making of Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan by Allan Asherman, author of the Star Trek Compendium.

After a bit of hunting around online I found a very inexpensive copy from a seller in the USA and ordered it. It arrived yesterday and I’m very pleased to get it. I really can’t believe I didn’t know that this book existed. In my defense I guess it was never published in the UK.

It is worth mentioning that this is not a big glossy Making-Of book with lots of full colour pre-production art. It’s more like a collection of essays on the development of the movie where the author had access to the film-makers.

I thought I’d take a few photos of the book. First of all the front cover which features a great photo of the Regula One space station and asteroid.

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And logically that leads to a photo of the back cover.

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The copyright page gives a publication date of October 1982, a few months after the movie was released in June. This allows the author to candidly talk about the controversy surrounding death of Spock without spoiling the surprise. The later date of publication also allows him to allude to the movie being well received by audiences.

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Here’s the contents page which should give you an idea of what the book, er, contains. The author has interviewed the movie makers including director Nicholas Meyer and producer Harve Bennett about the making of the movie. There is also some material about the special effects work. One section I was particularly interested in was called The Cuts and discusses some scenes cut from the final release.

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Finally I thought I’d include a photo of Kirstie Alley as Saavik. Back in the early 1980s the much younger version of me had a bit of a crush on Saavik and I’m recognising that here!

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So thirty years after first seeing the movie I’ve finally got the book. Better late than never I suppose.