Anyone else make a Star Trek scrapbook — or just me?

I started getting serious about Star Trek at around age nine. A year or so later, I looked at my small stack of newspaper clippings and realized envelope storage wasn’t doing it anymore. I found a two-inch binder and started gluing my Trek resources onto punched note paper.

I have written twice about the importance of digging through old storage boxes (here and here) and I was doing just that when I came across the binder. I hadn’t looked at it in decades. A couple hours slipped away as I read through what the kid me collected in those days before I had a shelves full of Star Trek books and magazines. 

You have to remember that there was so little information on Star Trek. Anything, even silly clipped TV listings, were important. So, here is a selection of the stuff I glued to paper and then kept for 40 years. Some of it is a little embarrassing, but other fans may see their young selves in these yellowed pages. 

I copied a Gorn, for some reason

We open with an embarrassing entry. The Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual started out as a fan publication before it was put out by Ballantine in 1977. (Fun fact: One of its main artists was Doug Drexler, but apparently he is not exactly proud of this book today.) The manual is full of anatomical drawings of Star Trek species including Excalbians, Andorians, Vulcans and Klingons, and other lifeforms like Denebian Slime Devils, the borgia plant, the mako root and Tribbles.

It also features Gorns and I traced that drawing. Why? No idea. 

An all-important episode guide

A very crummy photocopy of an episode guide from a magazine.

Access to an episode guide was once a big deal. This is a poor photocopy from, I think, a magazine, and I was pleased to have it.

Remember microfilm?

Sometime in my early teens I spent a day at the Toronto Reference Library feeding microfilm or microfiche into a reader. I had been clipping local newspaper articles and at some point it occurred to me that I could access other publications at the reference library. How I knew which resources to pull is a mystery; I guess there was some sort of subject catalog. But somehow I found a lot of articles. I paid the library to print them for me on weird coated paper, and the pages are so small and low-res that they are really tough to read. But read them I did, and then I glued them into my binder.  

An image from the Internet of people using microfilm readers in the '80s.
Source: TC Library Blog

A surprise Topps find

A really nice wrapper from the 1976 Star Trek card set, laid flat and covered with a taped piece of plastic.

The 1976 Topps trading cards are sought-after collectibles, with a set of 88 cards and 22 stickers selling at good prices. An almost complete set, missing one sticker, recently went on eBay for about $300. 

I own a complete set and I also have one of the original wrappers, but it’s folded to fit in the sleeve with the cards. It was a nice surprise, then, to find a wrapper stored flat and in excellent condition in my scrapbook. Young me did a good job of taping a piece of plastic on three sides over the wrapper. 

Hey, Spock’s Brain is coming up

Episode descriptions clipped from the newspaper tv listings.

Again, there was so little Star Trek stuff back then. These are episode listings cut from a newspaper guide. Even I got bored with this after only 37 episodes. 

The refit looks amazing

I saved a lot of movie ads; I’ve included only a few in this post. I saw TMP a bunch of times in theatres and I was glued to my TV when CFTO played it the first time. 

Time magazine hated The Motion Picture

A poor photocopy of the one-page review of The Motion Picture from Time magazine.

From the review:

It used to be that special effects were created to serve a movie’s story, to permit the camera to capture that which could not be found — or recorded on film — in the natural world. But now, in the post Star Wars era, stories are created merely to provide a feeble excuse for the effects. Star Trek consists almost entirely of this kind of material: shot after shot of vehicles sailing through the firmament to the tune of music intended to awe. But the spaceships take an unconscionable amount of time to get anywhere, and nothing of dramatic or human interest happens along the way.

…the picture ends not with a bang but, as it were, with a bang. One of the space cadets, who had his eye on the original Ilia all along, agrees to mate with the improved model and produce a hybrid race of brainy but emotionally turned-on creatures. 

Star Trek is, finally, nothing but a long day’s journey into ennui. 

Circus of the ’80s fashions

A small article from, I think, the Toronto Star about the upcoming Circus of the Stars show. Shatner and Brooke Shields starred.

I love the headband. The sixth annual Circus of the Stars was broadcast December 13, 1981, and I have no memory of watching it.

Thanks for the huge spoiler, jerks

A newspaper article announcing -- before the movie was out -- that Spock dies in Star Trek II

So, apparently, Paramount screened a sneak peek of The Wrath of Khan at the ConQuesT 3 convention, held May 22 to 24, 1982, in Kansas City. This was shortly before the June 4 premiere of the movie.

It was nice that the fans got to see the movie early, but the press then blabbed the big reveal on the pages of the Kansas City Star

“I couldn’t ask for anything better,” (producer Robert) Sallin said of the audience, which applauded at the end of the movie in which Spock — the green-blooded alien stoically played by Leonard Nimoy — dies. 

That’s great. Thanks.

Three days until Star Trek II

A newspaper ad for Star Trek II, with a poorly drawn Enterprise.

I saw it opening night and then went back to a Famous Players theatre a bunch more times. (Also: a warrior?)

Early Memory Alpha

My notes on Star Trek II, carefully typed in all caps.

The VHS of The Wrath of Khan came out in late 1982 and my mother (bless her!) surprised me by renting a VCR and the movie. We had them for the weekend and I don’t know how many times I watched it. But it was a lot.

I apparently took notes, pausing and rewinding the tape, and then typed up this little sheet of trivia. And yes, I misspelled “Khan” a few times and “Mutara.” The editor within me cringes. 

Little interest in Hooker

The cover of the Toronto Sun Television magazine, featuring Shatner as T.J. Hooker.

Today, I am a William Shatner generalist (see my piece on The Horror at 37,000 Feet) but when I was younger I really only cared about Kirk, so I never watched a lot of T.J. Hooker

Promoting The Vegetarian World

I don’t believe Shatner is still a vegetarian, but back in 1983 he hosted a documentary on the lifestyle’s benefits. Watch the 30-minute film on YouTube. 

Secret Shatner

An ad for the TV movie The Secrets of a Married Man, with a very "sexy" shot of Shatner

Wow, this photo is really well matched to the movie’s title. Shatner is a frustrated family man who strays and is then blackmailed by a sex worker, played by Cybill Shepherd. I don’t think I saw this movie in September of 1984 but this promo really tells you everything you need to know about it. 

This blog post covers only a fraction of the 100 or so pages in my scrapbook but it gives you an idea of fandom in the late 70s and 80s. I bet a lot of people created similar collections back then.

4 responses to “Anyone else make a Star Trek scrapbook — or just me?”

    • That’s certainly possible. I don’t own that book but I looked it up and it was published in 1977, so the timing is right, and I feel like I recognize the cover. I might have borrowed it from the library and photocopied the episode guide.
      I am tempted to track down a copy, just to know for sure.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.


  1. Ah, this was wonderful! Thank you for sharing it. I had a 3-ring binder full of Star Trek clippings circa 1986-1990, but I fear I discarded it long ago. I remember I had a newspaper clipping proudly declaring Star Trek V #1 at the box office (the only weekend it held that distinction, if I recall correctly). I also had the 1986 Newsweek cover story article on Star Trek IV (I remember it declared “the series basically complete at this point” – ha!). And you watched and clipped pics of things because they had Shatner in them – I had a crush on Kirstie Alley that had me watching the “North and South” miniseries and her debut on “Cheers” 🙂
    Enjoyed looking through your scrapbook!


    • Thanks for the comment, Mike. I figured other people probably kept articles and magazine photos, in a binder or an envelope or whatever, but I wasn’t sure. I have now heard from a few people who did.
      A lot of people developed a crush on Kirstie Alley after Star Trek II. My scrapbook also has a number of articles on Nimoy (mainly because of his directorial work) and a couple on Kelley, but during the years I was doing the most clipping — around 1980 to 1986 — most of the articles I saw were about Shatner.
      I almost threw my binder out a couple of times. I am glad now I didn’t. It is part of who I was back then.


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