Sunday 7 August 2011

Star Trek Magazine: The Ultimate Guide has posted an interview with the Star Trek Magazine's editor, Paul Simpson, in which he discusses The Ultimate Guide; the magazine's two part special to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Star Trek. Here's how he summarised the specials:

One of the things that I’ve felt is missing from the printed Trek universe is a full guide to the shows. Paula [M. Block] and Terry [J. Erdmann]’s Star Trek 101 did finally give us something that covered Enterprise, but what wasn’t there was a complete list, in broadcast order, with writers, directors and date of release…  It started from there, and I realized that it needed a personal touch as well to make it interesting for the reader. I therefore came up with the idea of giving 4 pages per season – usually; there’s the odd exception -- which would include all that factual detail, plus a mark per episode… and then the subjective stuff on top. A brief essay about the season; the author’s top 5 episodes, with a reason why; the worst episode; the best guest star… and then, from a brilliant suggestion by Marco Palmieri, the MVP, most valued performer, for each season.
The absolute minimum any episode gets is title, writer, director, airdate and a mark out of 5, but the vast majority get a lot more than that. The production overviews are, deliberately, subjective: what I might have picked out from that season’s history isn’t necessarily at all what the writers have. And it’s very important to note that no one has been asked to change what they said: it means that occasionally we have the same person awarded the MVP in successive seasons, or that what one person suggests in their piece will be a fantastic year of a show is revealed in the next article to be one of the less successful ones, in the next author’s opinion. 

The issue is already up on Zinio, which hosts the online version of the magazine. Here's an example of the guide format, the first TAS page:

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