In 2016, my biography of Gene Roddenberry was published in hardback. A paperback edition (with a few minor corrections and clarifications) was published in 2017.
The title comes from Where No Man Has Gone Before, the so-called ‘second pilot’ for the show. It wasn’t the first episode shown, but it was the first one starring William Shatner that was made – those are the first words spoken by Captain Kirk (after ‘Captain’s Log’ and the stardate). Shatner said the line again when he appeared in the Where No Fan Has Gone Before episode of Futurama.
I was interviewed about the project by Apex, and there I spell out why I think my book differs from the other biographies of Roddenberry, and what I saw as the reason for writing it:
“Reading about him, it felt a little like I was getting fragments of the story, and there were a few things that didn’t quite add up. There’s a mythical history of Star Trek, where Roddenberry was a voice in the wilderness and the network didn’t like the show and no one watched it at first. I looked at that and thought “well, hang on, the network ran the show for three years, and if they didn’t like it and no one was watching, why would they do that?” The answer to that leads to some interesting insights into Star Trek, but also the way TV drama was made in the sixties.”
Josh Marsfelder’s long and thoughtful review of the book for Eruditorum then did an astonishingly good job of summing up my argument.
It was also reviewed by:
SF Crowsnest – “Overall, Parkin’s biography is a good amalgamation of sources on Roddenberry and performs admirably in perforating the myths around the man while celebrating his creative imagination.”
Starburst – “‘The Impossible Has Happened’ is as much a history of the Star Trek franchise as it is of the man who created it; a well researched and unbiased analysis told through the eyes of a self confessed fan that allows the reader to make up their own mind as to how history will remember the undeniably inspirational creator of a series that has spanned five decades.”
Geek Chic Elite – (a little negative, but I’ll take – “What Parkin does well in The Impossible Has Happened is collect a complete picture from otherwise fractured sources. He quotes from various articles and books written about the show as well as the biographies of some of its biggest stars–including William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols–bringing several differing perspectives into one place. I managed to learn a lot about Rodenberry that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. And while I don’t know that Rodenberry’s time working on the short-lived The Lieutenant was worth an entire chapter, Parkin’s discussion of Rodenberry’s personal life and its unequivocal entangled relationship to Star Trek was fascinating.”)
The Unheard Nerd – “‘The Impossible Has Happened’ is an engaging page-turner that could easily warrant multiple reads given the abundance of facts, trivia and relationships explored over the lifetime of Star Trek’s creator, Gene Roddenberry.”
Kirkus – “Parkin puts all of these contributions in perspective as he looks at the colorful life of its creator.”
Buy it here: (Amazon, Amazon.co.uk)