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Star Trek: Ships of the Line (2002)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Ships of the Line 2002.jpg

Cover image

Author(s): Adam Lebowitz and Robert Bonchune
Artist(s): Various
Publisher: Pocket Books and Andrews McMeel Publishing
Series: Star Trek: Ships of the Line
Published: 26 July 2001
Pages: 16
Reference: ISBN 0743422864

Star Trek: Ships of the Line (2002) is the 2002 edition of the Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendar series, and the lone entry in the standard portrait format. Events depicted in this calendar (like the others in the series) are not considered to be canon.

After the success of the 2001 calendar, which sold out, it was obvious that a follow-up was called for. Co-author Lebowitz proposed a different approach for this edition after a visit to a bookstore where he noticed that a black and white picture of a jazz pianist full of contrast, set in a moody atmosphere, was featured prominently. Lebowitz hit upon the idea to apply this kind of artistic photography to starships, which was agreed upon by co-author Robert Bonchune and Pocket Books editor Margaret Clark. Simultaneously, it was decided to return from the horizontal format to the more standard square format, which was believed to be more fitting for the proposed photography.

Reception of the calendar has been lukewarm at best, as Lebowitz recalled:

"While a bit nervous about testing uncharted waters with a mass-market product, both Robert and I were very pleased with the final result. As to be expected, there are a few images we´d gladly do over again had we the opportunity, but we're extremely proud that most of the calendar is exactly what we wanted it to be: a different perspective of the STAR TREK universe. Is it more artistic? That´s up to the personal taste of each individual viewer. Public reaction to the 2002 calendar has certainly been mixed. Some people preferred the standard, well-lit-in-space approach of the original calendar, while others have found this new look to be bold and refreshing. What has perhaps surprised and delighted us the most is that almost everyone we've spoken to has a different favorite (last year`s edition sparked the same top two or three). One online reviewer claims to have torn the Work Bee image out and used it to wrap fish, while another has cried its praise as the best of the bunch. Several people have begged me for a frameable poster of the centerfold, but others have stated it would have been a beautiful image had it only been in color! This discussion (which has grown quite heated) over whether the 2002 "Ships of the Line" calendar is a masterpiece or a candidate for the litter box is perhaps the most satisfying aspect of the whole project; if it inspires passion and debate, it may truly be a work of art after all." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 9, page 104)

The lukewarm reception may have convinced Clark not to go ahead with the publication of the proposed book Star Trek: The Unseen Frontier Declassified Images from the History of the Federation (for which the 2001 calendar was a testbed), announcements for which no longer appeared in the calendars after the 2002 edition. Lebowitz further remarked, "As a large, coffee table book, it would have carried a price tag approaching $50. During production, their sales staff found it to be a very tough sell to the various book chains' buyers. Invariably, they elected to halt the book rather than risk spending a lot of money they weren't sure they'd recoup. Pure economics." [1] Clarke herself, however, took a slightly different view on the matter, "Unseen Frontier was brought when we were selling a respectable number of non-fiction books. It had a healthy advance and there was some money in the budget for additional plant (book) costs. But, one thing or another and the author/s could not make the first delivery date, then the second. When it looked like the third date (three years later) was possible, I had to run the numbers on the worksheet again. Not good, our sales had dropped to the point were the book would maybe, after two or three years, make back the advance. But then there were additional plant costs that was wanted, to pay for more art, yet to be delivered. The book numbers dropped into the negative numbers. We tried to see if there was anyway to save the book. No go." [2]

It should also be noted that none of the images of the 2002 calendar were incorporated in the later, less ambitious collection book Ships of the Line.

MonthsEdit

Note: Annotations are all from the co-editor Adam Lebowitz from Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 9, page 104.
  • Cover - The USS Enterprise-E emerges from the shadow of a small moon.
  • January ("A repair crew chief takes a break and enjoys a sunrise from the hull of the USS Galaxy.") - by Lee Stringer.
"January (...) was conceived after looking at photos of construction workers sitting atop massive girders whilst building New York City."
"April (...) gives a nod to a famous photo of a herd of zebra, filling the frame end to end."
"Recognition of famous structures through silhouette and attention to an object's bold shapes are what drives May and July, which feature the hull of a ship under construction and the harsh, convoluted angles of the Borg Unicomplex."
"June is clearly a STAR TREK version of photographs we've all seen in which the tail lights of city traffic are streaked along the direction of travel (in this case, the nacelle lights of starships during a busy moment at Spacedock)."
  • Centerfold ("To discover the untold stories behind these images look for Star Trek: The Unseen Frontier Declassified Images from the History of the Federation. Coming from Pocket Books, Winter 2002.") - Features the USS Enterprise-E and USS Challenger starships, by Marc Boucier.
"A breathtaking view of what Ansel Adams' camera might see in the 24th century."
  • July ("Intent on stopping Seven of Nine from rejoining the Collective, a small team quietly pilots the Delta Flyer through the massive Borg Unicomplex.") - (from: "Dark Frontier").
  • August ("This is the final image transmitted by Neutral Zone Outpost 4. The installation and all hands were lost during an attack by a Romulan Bird-of-Prey on Stardate 1709.2.") - (from: "Balance of Terror")
  • September ("Honoring the Dahar Master Kor his last command, the IKS Kahless is hurtled into the atmosphere. Its fiery trail is a symbol of the countless victories that have brought honor to the warrior and his vessel.") - by David Morton
  • October ("Commander William Duffy captured the color and light patterns dancing along the surface of the newly refitted Starship Enterprise. The commander calls this a "Song of Light.") - by William Duffy.
"October is based on an actual photograph I took of the filming model of the USS EnterpriseNCC-1701. While working on the Director's Edition DVD of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the model was on hand at Foundation Imaging, and many of us took the opportunity to grab some photos of living STAR TREK history. On one occasion I rolled out a high-powered film light and placed it at an extreme angle, hoping to catch some dramatic shots of the model. I fell in love with one particular angle that highlighted the way various curves intersected at a central point, and we decided to recreate this with our CG model for the calendar."
  • November ("Silent and abandoned over Omega IV, the sensors of the USS Exeter note the arrival of her sister ship, the Enterprise.")
  • December ("A shuttle closely follows the USS Voyager as she "goes for a Sunday drive" soon after her triumphant return from the Delta Quadrant.") – by Pierre Drolet.

Cover galleryEdit

Previous calendar:
Star Trek: Ships of the Line (2001)
Star Trek: Ships of the Line Next calendar:
Star Trek: Ships of the Line (2003)

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