The best behind the scenes of TV series books

Jill Sherwin Author Of Quotable Star Trek
By Jill Sherwin

Who am I?

In a life that has thus far led from reader and fan to writers’ assistant to author and journalist to television story writer to editor, these are the books that helped define my passions for storytelling worlds as well as the path of my career and informed me along the way. 


I wrote...

Quotable Star Trek

By Jill Sherwin,

Book cover of Quotable Star Trek

What is my book about?

More than any other single aspect, Star Trek is defined by the strength of its ideas. For decades this television and movie phenomenon has reached out to its audience, spanning generations and inspiring them not simply with the power of its voice, but with the meaning behind it.

Quotable Star Trek demonstrates the truly universal appeal of Gene Roddenberry's extraordinary creation. Words of wit, wisdom, and compelling insight applicable to everyday life from The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation®, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine®, Star Trek Voyager®, and eight Star Trek motion pictures have been meticulously researched and collected in one volume. Intensely thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining, Quotable Star Trek has something for everyone, and is a must-have resource for every devoted fan.

The books I picked & why

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The Twilight Zone Companion

By Marc Scott Zicree,

Book cover of The Twilight Zone Companion

Why this book?

I remember the moment I walked into a bookstore and saw this book sitting face out on the shelf and thought; “Wait, they make books about every episode of a TV show?” Not just that but for the show that to this day I maintain was the greatest TV show ever made: The Twilight Zone. Marc Scott Zicree’s book was my beginner’s guide into the making of a TV production with an emphasis on my greatest love: the writers. From the day I bought this, I never sat down to watch the show again without it beside me for reference. My copy is worn and tattered but eternally loved. This was the book that made me want to work for and write about television.

The Twilight Zone Companion

By Marc Scott Zicree,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Twilight Zone Companion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Twilight Zone Companion is the complete show-by-show guide to one of television's greatest series. Zicree's well-written account is fascinating reading for even the casual fan. Coverage of each episode includes a plot synopsis, Rod Serling's opening narration, behind-the-scenes stories from the original artists who created the series, and a complete list of cast and credits.

The Making of Star Trek

By Stephen E. Whitfield, Gene Roddenberry,

Book cover of The Making of Star Trek

Why this book?

I have no idea why this book was made. Star Trek was a cult show that was nearly canceled after its second season until the first fan campaign helped it earn one more run. So whose genius idea was it—in the midst of production—to create this book detailing how the show was made from soup to nuts? My thanks to the writers, editors, and publishers who made it happen. Because the result is an extraordinary contemporaneous look at a television show from the 1960s that changed the world. And my life, too. I found Star Trek as a child and this book as an early teen. Its insights made me determined that I, too, would somehow become a part of Star Trek production. Even if the show had finished filming before I was even born. Bless my Trekkie English teacher who had this book on her “borrowing” shelf. 

The Making of Star Trek

By Stephen E. Whitfield, Gene Roddenberry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Making of Star Trek as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. 100% Money Back Guarantee.

The Trouble with Tribbles: The Story Behind Star Trek's Most Popular Episode

By David Gerrold, Tim Kirk (illustrator),

Book cover of The Trouble with Tribbles: The Story Behind Star Trek's Most Popular Episode

Why this book?

While The Making of Star Trek was a miraculous and uncalled-for contemporaneous title focused on the creation and production of the series overall, David Gerrold’s subsequent release, The Trouble With Tribbles, took one script and broke it down from beginning to end on exactly how the sausage—or rather a television show—was made. Filled with his witty observations combined with a writer’s frustrations of dealing with production limitations, it’s a fascinating insight for aspiring writers and Star Trek fans alike. This book, based on one of the most popular television episodes ever made, was originally published just a few years after production ended so all the stories were still fresh in his head. This one made me want to write for television but warned me why I shouldn’t.

The Trouble with Tribbles: The Story Behind Star Trek's Most Popular Episode

By David Gerrold, Tim Kirk (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Trouble with Tribbles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

David Gerrold, the creator of "Tribbles," recalls how this popular episode of Star Trek was made, from conceptualizing the first draft to the final script, shooting on set, and explaining the techniques and disciplines of TV writing. Plus, receive 32 pages of photos, original illustrations by Tim Kirk, and much more!

The World of Star Trek

By David Gerrold,

Book cover of The World of Star Trek

Why this book?

David Gerrold had a lot to say about the experience of writing his first episode of television in The Trouble With Tribbles. But that wasn’t all the insight he had behind the scenes of the Star Trek series. So he wrote another entire book about the show and the fandom that adopted it. Once again filled with wit and wisecracks, this book is another must-have for fans of the Original Series. At the time it came out, it was a book about a show that had only just begun to make its mark on popular culture. So the production and studio “machine” was not yet in control of what could and couldn’t be said about the property. Another raw and fascinating book by someone who was actually in the room where it happened. And one that made my entry into Star Trek fandom more understandable.

The World of Star Trek

By David Gerrold,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The World of Star Trek as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The World of Star Trek, David Gerrold opens up dialogue on the people, places, and events that made Star Trek one of the most popular series ever. Gerrold discusses what was successful and what wasn't, offering personal interviews with the series' legendary stars and dissecting the trends that developed throughout the seasons.

The complete inside story of what happened behind the scenes of the Star Trek universe, from scriptwriters' memos to special effects and more, The World of Star Trek is the companion all Trekkies need for the most all-encompassing breakdown and analysis of Star Trek.

Deep Space Nine Companion

By Terry J. Erdmann, Paula M. Block,

Book cover of Deep Space Nine Companion

Why this book?

If The Twilight Zone Companion was my original bible, then the Deep Space Nine Companion was its extensively expanded new testament. The alpha and omega for what a book about the making of a television show could be, this massive compendium was made possible by the unparalleled access the authors had to everyone as the show was in production. This book blew my mind with all the details it included and all of the aspects examined. Simply a treasure for all Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fans. That said, this is an authorized book, meaning nothing was published without the studio’s oversight, which differentiates it from the earlier books on this list. Nonetheless, it’s the one I strove to match when I compiled my own study on the making of Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda entitled Sailing the Slipstream (a book I plan to re-format and re-release in an anniversary edition). 

Deep Space Nine Companion

By Terry J. Erdmann, Paula M. Block,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Deep Space Nine Companion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Erdmann was given unprecedented access to every aspect of the production of Star Trek Deep Space Nine in order to compile this book which is considered, by some, the ultimate guide to Star Trek's grittiest and most complex series. Insight into the making of Deep Space Nine is provided by the set designers, cast and crew, and the writers and producers. Characters over the series have grown and developed, matured and met several challenges, learnt to cope with disaster and joy, defeat and victory. Each one has had his or her story played out around the space station Deep Space…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Star Trek, television, and Trekkies?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Star Trek, television, and Trekkies.

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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