But then Star Trek: The Next Generation was on another level altogether. Not only did the show perform spectacularly well for Paramount (it was originally intended to be the flagship program of a Paramount network – as Voyager would be years later – but the network didn’t materialize, and Next Generation instead became a syndicated program; in fact, it became the number-one syndicated television program for years. So, not only did it do well for Paramount, it was a godsend for Starlog. It provided an opportunity to feature the popular program on its cover and within its covers issue after issue, thereby boosting sales. It gave the magazine the opportunity to have former columnist David Gerrold return, a la Susan Sackett’s Star Trek Report, to chronicle the creation of this series. And Starlog won the licensing rights to publish the official Star Trek: The Next Generation magazine, which it would produce for the full run of the series (and for successor programs Deep Space Nine and part of Voyager). Licensed magazines were a very important contributor to the Starlog Group (aka O’Quinn Studios) bottom line, and I’d hazard a guess that the Next Generation magazines were the single biggest source of cash from that business line.
This issue, Starlog #118, features the first of Gerrold’s behind-the-scenes Next Generation columns, offering an exclusive look at the designs, characters, story ideas, and personnel of this groundbreaking TV series.
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.95
In Starlog company news, David McDonnell announces that he’s no longer overseeing sister magazine Fangoria’s editing chores. Those have been assumed by junior editor Anthony Timpone, who would hold onto the reins for almost a quarter century. They’re also starting to mine the merchandising possibilities of that magazine, with the launch of the Fangoria Poster Magazine, modeled on the successful Starlog Poster Magazine. In staffing news, Eddie Berganza and Daniel Dickholtz (the writer of much comics-related articles) move up the staff box to be listed as contributing editors.
In his inaugural Generations column, returning champion David Gerrold offers a first inside look at the planning for Star Trek: The Next Generation and he ends it with a suggestion that now’s a damn good time to renew your Starlog subscription, so you stay informed; another veteran returning to the Star Trek fold for Next Generation, Dorothy Fontana, is interviewed by Edward Gross; in his Booklog column, Chris Henderson covers the latest genre book releases; Steve Swires talks with actor Rod Taylor, who discusses Outlaw, TV’s Masquerade, and more; Tom Weaver interviews actor Jeff Morrow (This Island Earth, Kronos, Captain Lightfoot); Jean Airey and Laurie Haldeman profile Blake’s 7’s “cowardly safecracker” Michael Keating; the Fan Network pages include an update on Star Trek fan clubs, answers to readers’ questions (such as, “Is the two-hour, European-version of Ridley Scott’s Legend with Jerry Goldsmith’s music available on video?”), and more; William Shatner talks about spoofing Trek on Saturday Night Live, the Trek movies – including his first thoughts on directing Star Trek V – and The Next Generation in an interview with Ian Spelling, Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier.
“I think it is a mistake. To call a series Star Trek that doesn’t have the cast and the ship in it is an error. The error seems to me to be overexposure of the Star Trek name and the possibility of not having the Star Trek quality we’ve become accustomed to. It remains to be seen. [Should The Next Generation fail,] the whole thing is unnecessary jeopardy. ... It’s unnecessary to take that kind of risk. I don’t know how much money they’re going to make. I suppose it’s going to be considerable, but it can’t be more than the grosses they would make from the films. I don’t understand their reasoning. I’m not connected with this TV series at all.”
--William Shatner, actor/director, interviewed by Ian Spelling, Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier: “William Shatner: Captain’s Log: Star Trek V”To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below or visit the Starlog Project's permanent home.