You know the name of that episode! It's right on the tip of your tongue...Oh, geez, and who was that person that played that one character? If you don't want to have to log on the internet and search through every TNG episode, then you're in luck. The Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion has come in handy in more times than once for me personally. This is also a great book for all those trivia fans! You'd think that Larry Nemecek was there for the shooting of every episode and met every co-star.
When first TNG Companion came out in 1992, it was the first of its' kind for TNG. It had introductory chapters that help you see the process that Gene Roddenberry put into creating the characters that eventually came out on the screen in 1989 as the new breed of Star Trek characters. My favorite part in these pages is where they compare what characters started out as to what finally got on the screen. I also like the publicity pictures of the actors before their Star Trek stunts; especially Michael Dorn without his make-up.
But then, Nemecek leads you into the real world of TNG with the pilot and the first season. For every episode, there is a box to start it off with. That box may be small, but it has a boat load of information like; production numbers, when it originally aired, who directed it, who wrote, who had a guest spot in it, and some other stuff that doesn't really interest but might interest you. Under the box you go into what the episode is about full of spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen them yet. One of the best parts of book is the information that comes after the story of the episode, because that is where you find out why those guest stars were chosen and a whole bunch of information that is always great for trivia later on.
In comparison, the 1995 version (which the complete show with the "Generations" movie as an added bonus) is much better organized than the 1992 version. One thing I like better in the 1995 version is the back. There are neatly organized indexes that make it easier to look for that certain piece of information that is right on the tip of your tongue. There is definite improvement over the 1992 trial and error version, so it makes the second-time goers even more impressed.
When I first got my 1995 Companion, I think I thought that you actually had to have it provide company for you by dragging it around everywhere and I won't even show you the condition my 1992 version is in. I can't say enough good things about the TNG Companion. It's helped with my fan fiction writing, general knowledge, trivia, and finding out which episode is next on TV in rerun mode. For all its' uses, I'm giving it five pips. Priceless information like this is a rarity to be all in one book and I think Larry Nemecek realized this, because he stumbled until a gold-mine idea with the TNG Companion. Hey, at least this way with your Companion, you have seven friends right on the cover to keep you company!
Just a note: the 1992 and 1995 editions are out of print, but you can probably find them in a used book store or on line. A brand new updated version will be released in 2003 - stay tuned.
Title: The Next Generation Companion
Author: Larry Nemecek
Review by: CL5 Amanda Sielu Paris