PORTLAND, Maine — As the author of a book on the making and remaking of “Star Trek,” Ryan Britt, who’s from Portland, comes by his credentials honestly.
He’s a total ST geek, both fan and scholar, deeply immersed in the franchise’s big themes as well as its minutiae. Most of all, he has a pure and abiding love for the material, the kind of affection that typically comes when you fall for something at an early age.
“From 1990 to 1992, I was Spock for Halloween three years in a row,” Britt wrote. “I was never Captain Kirk because I never really identified with him. I loved Kirk, but to me, Kirk was like somebody’s dad.”
Britt’s book, “Phasers on Stun!,” is clearly a labor of love, one that covers an awful lot of ground or, in this case, space. The franchise includes eleven TV series and thirteen films, adding up to more than 800 hours of wildly uneven entertainment — some of it marvelous, some of it awful, much of it somewhere in between.
The inconsistency doesn’t bother Britt at all. In fact, he sees it as one of the hallmarks of “Star Trek” during a run that began in 1966, when the original series debuted on NBC, and continues to the present.
“The making and remaking of Star Trek isn’t just about complicated business decisions made in Hollywood. That’s part of it,” he pointed out. “But the profound aspect of Star Trek is its willingness to radically change so often. It’s the story of human survival and human triumph.”