The View from the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood

The View from the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood - Nicholas Meyer I enjoyed this a lot, though you could argue that it's a bit mendacious in marketing - surprise, surprise. It is, in fact, a memoir of Meyer's career in film, as the subtitle suggests, though I'm sorry that it short-changes the fifteen years that followed his last excursion into Star Trek, probably to maintain the fiction that it is really a "Star Trek" book. Anyway, as someone who loved The Seven Percent Solution (chiefly in book form - didn't see the film until much later), but also loved the three ST:TOS films with which Meyer was associated as writer, director or both (II, IV, and VI), I'm very happy with the content. It's an interesting POV - Meyer never really was assimilated into the Borg that is the Star Trek phenomenon, although he is clearly an intelligent and sensitive man, who "got it" as myth and as pop culture phenomenon. The extent to which he refused to buy into the optimistic ideology of that universe makes both interesting and painful reading, especially where it clearly caused distress to Gene Roddenberry, who was shut out from the movie behemoth after the failure of the first ST - not Meyer's doing, but he certainly didn't make it any easier on the old visionary. Meyer also sensibly refuses to take any sides in the bitter internecine wars of the original cast, though he does comment on the apparent solidity of the friendship between Nimoy and Shatner. He also recounts stories of disputes with both those worthies, apparently without bitterness. His ego is a match for either one, I am quite sure.

The tales of how movies get made (or do not) are instructive, and made less dispiriting by Meyer's own matter-of-fact attitude towards the whole thing. He also dismisses much of his own work, including "Company Business", which, as a fan of Baryshnikov, I probably liked better than its creator. I didn't see "the Day After", the TV movie about nuclear disaster which is the other very high-profile project for which he is known. It was, of course, censored every which way from Sunday, to his great distress.

This one earns space on my bookshelf.