The Return by William Shatner  is a Star Trek The Next Generation novel showcased 
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The Return

Rating: The Return by William Shatner , A Star Trek novel has been rated 2/5 by this 
Series: N/A
Author: William Shatner (Kinda)
Review by: Smiley

Picture the scene:

Shatner: Tum Te Tum, Doo Be Doo…

(Blinding flash of fire)

Oh hello boys, I wondered when you’d be getting here.

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: Yeah we’re sorry, got held up at the Voyager office.

Shatner: The what office?

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #2: Never mind, what did you want us for?

Shatner: Remember that TV series I was in a few years back?

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #2: Vaguely…something to do with doing stuff no other TV series had ever done before, wasn’t it?

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: Really? How could they possibly make any money that way?

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #2: I think that in a couple of episodes they treated the audience with respect and credited them with some intelligence…

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: Yeah, like that’d ever work!

(Both minions collapse in fits of laughter)

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: (wiping tear from eye) Seriously though Bill, what did you want to talk to us about?

Shatner: I’m a bit bored, so I thought about doing a new book…something to do with Tek War…

(Both minions collapse in coughing fits)

Shatner: What?

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: Oh nothing, it’s just the boss has changed his plans for the world, he no longer wants to flood the population with such literature.

Shatner: Oh…?

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #2: Yeah, we’re all very exited about this new idea. Think about it…’Concept books’…

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: Instead of getting authors like yourself to write freely, we’re going to introduce ‘themes’ that they have to stick to. Some ideas that will span different Trek eras…TOS, TNG, DS9…even Voyager…

Shatner: There’s that word again…

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: Sorry, got a little carried away there.

Shatner: Wait a minute…won’t these ‘concept books’ hinder the creativity of authors, not allow them to express themselves or think of new ideas? Won’t this lead to a decline in the quality of…um that word…’Trek’ books?

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #2: Exactly, great huh? Plus we can churn out loads of these on demand…Money low? We’ll just cobble some series spanning idea about um…a plague…yeah that’ll do, we’ll make a fortune!

(Both minions high-5)

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: Anyhoo, in the meantime if you’re looking for something to do, why not do a Kirk novel.

Shatner: Isn’t he dead? I thought that bloke killed him in that place I went to when they gave me money.

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #2: ‘Generations’?

Shatner: That’s the fella

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #2: Yes…um…quite, well you could always resurrect him somehow…

Shatner: I don’t know, that sounds like a lot of work…

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: Oh don’t worry, what if we get a couple of people to do most of the work for you?

Shatner: Hmm…wouldn’t that mean I wouldn’t get all the glory?

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #2: Don’t be silly! We won’t put their names on the cover, in fact the only mention of them will be inside the book, in really-really small writing.

Shatner: Hmm, it just might work…

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: Oh course it will, now just sign here…

Shatner: Why?

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: Standard contract, legal fees, promotional agendas, soul damnation under an eternal timeframe, the usual.

Shatner: Okay Dokey (Signs paper)

Mr. Burns: Excellent…

Mum’ra: Finally Lion-o you will be mine

Dukat: The Restoration of Bajor is at hand.

Goldfinger: Pah!

Captain Black: Understood.

The Joker: Goody Goody.

Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man: Aurrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhh!

Shatner: What?


Sorry about that hefty piece of text, but it had to be said and as much as I love writing comedy play type things, my job (in this case unfortunately), is to review the damn book type-things.
As you may have guessed, I’m not a big fan, it say it’s awful would be an underestimate, to say it’s ill conceived would make me the biggest liar ever.
I always thought the whole point of Generations was to say goodbye to Kirk and the TOS era when it came to the movies, to be honest I was glad, I wanted to see what the TNG crew would do with it. “The Kirk is dead, long live the Picard” kind of thing worked for me, I’m not a huge fan of Kirk or Shatner but at least his character bowed out with respect for ever from the series…Or so I thought.
The book starts off on the right note, Starfleet is taking apart the crashed saucer section of the Enterprise-D to uphold the Prime Directive (no one else will find it and get any smarter, basically). Which is a good, intelligent idea that I never even considered. Kirk’s body is to be removed and taken back to Earth for a proper burial. Again a good point.

Note: from here (about Chapter Three) it all goes wrong. The Romulans beam up Kirks body. Why? Oh to reanimate it using technology they get thanks to their alliance…with the BORG!

You: EH?

Yes it’s true the Romulans and the Borg, sitting in a tree…where did this come from? Who knows? I’m sure on paper it sounds cool but in reality (well Trek reality) it’s totally unbelievable and most of all-flat.
To cut a (too) long story short, ‘The Two Rommies’ brainwash Kirk into hating Picard, so he goes off to kill him. Oh I forgot to mention that the re-animation process isn’t perfect, Kirk only has a couple of weeks to live…

Me: Yaayyyyyyyy

On the way Kirk meets almost every character in TNG and DS9 (“Credibility straining maximum power, Captain”) until finally we get the Final Showdown™ in which Picard and Kirk kiss and make up and decide to get revenge on the Borg.
Hmm…revenge…revenge…is that like Kirk getting a little annoyed at the Klingons after they killed his son?….is that like Picard getting a bit peeved at the Borg in First Contact?…I always thought so, for some reason obliterating the ENTIRE BORG COLLECTIVE seemed a bit excessive to me.

Come with me if you will to a world full of enchantment, wonder, brimstone and most importantly Bill Shatner.

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: So how’s the work going?

Shatner: Oh fine, I’m pitching me against an Andorian

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: A what?

Shatner: The blue guys…

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #2: Hmm, um y’know what, my colleague and I need to confer for a sec.

(Furious Whispering)

Shatner: Tum Te Tum

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: Yeah about that…we have an idea that’s one hundred percent the same, except could you use the Borg as the villains instead?

Shatner: Sounds kinda Swedish…

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: Cute…we could use that… but in actuality it’s these guys in rubber suits with blinky lights where their eyes should be…

Shatner: I don’t know, I’d rather write about something I know about…

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #2: (Mutters)

Shatner: What did you say?

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #2: Nothing.

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: Anyhoo, what about the Borg forming an alliance with…um…hmm..

Shatner: The Romulans?

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #1: Sure, why not?

Soul-less minion of orthodoxy #2: One last thing, I’d like to introduce Judith and Garfield, your helpers.

(Judith and Garfield enter wearing rubber suits and blinky lights where their eyes should be)

Garfield: How may we serve you?

Shatner: Well I’m a bit stuck on my opening paragraph, it needs a dose of originality…

Judith: Originality is irrelevant!

Garfield: Research is futile!

Shatner: What?

Where was I? Oh yes Kirk destroying the Borg by pressing a button, pulling a lever (I can’t remember)…Y’see to make this all a little more believable, Kirk and Co. have found the Borg homeworld and try to get rid of them “once and for all.” Imagine my surprise when in fact…they do…
Hmm now lets think about this for a sec…The Borg possibly the most dangerous race in the quadrant being wiped out by the one weakness every race/ship has to have ™ Right. Now lets step back a little further and look at this. The Borg now possibly the coolest baddies ever in Trek history being wiped out…as far as the fans go, everyone loves them (well you know what I mean). Is it entirely likely that a Trek series would like to use them again? I would have thought so….
Is it not possible that Voyager firmly in the Delta quadrant by the time this book was conceived would run into them at one point or another? Um yeah almost definitely…
Would the rumor-mill surrounding the then ‘latest Trek film’ First Contact have build up a hype that maybe, just maybe it would feature…gasp…the Borg? If it didn’t then I think those within the industry need to slacken secrecy…
My point is this, yes I know if Kirk had to come back it’d have to be with a bang, but what about just destroying a Borg cube or two, not the ENTIRE bloody race! Yes I know the books aren’t doctrine and totally separate from the TV/Film franchise but come on, this stretches not just believability but my patience…NEXT!

Title: The Return
Author: William Shatner
Review by: Smiley