Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Ian R. Spelling (born 5 November 1964; age 54), though having guest starred in two Star Trek television episodes, is actually best known as freelance journalist and entertainment writer for his numerous Star Trek – related interviews for magazines, websites, and newspapers.

Spelling has been a Star Trek fan from early age on and started to interview people while still in college and working for the Albany Student Press. He attended several conventions and located the famous guests in their hotels, reaching out to them in their rooms in order to arrange sit-down interviews.

Using this method, Spelling interviewed Mark Lenard, Walter Koenig, James Doohan, and George Takei, who invited him to go jogging in Central Park and then sat for an interview. While attending one convention in New York City that featured Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett-Roddenberry among the guests, Spelling got Barrett-Roddenberry to talk and then chatted with Gene Roddenberry, who didn't have time for an interview but agreed to grant one by phone. Spelling called Roddenberry's office soon after and the interview ran in Spelling's college paper around the time of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock's release. In the meantime, Spelling had sold his first feature to Starlog magazine, an interview with Tahnee Welch about Cocoon and then managed to sell the Roddenberry and Barrett-Roddenberry interviews to Starlog, ultimately published in issue 108, July 1986, the first of many more to follow. He subsequently interviewed every major Star Trek: The Original Series actor, including William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, Walter Koenig, James Doohan, George Takei, and Mark Lenard, and from the mid-1980s onward his Star Trek interviews and articles have been published in dozens of Starlog and Starburst magazines, as well as the official, licensed magazines devoted to the various Star Trek series and feature films, virtually all of them Starlog Press publications. His writing for the Starlog Press group did not limit itself to Star Trek only, but extended to other science fiction franchises, most notably Star Wars, as well. Spelling has said he was proud to conduct the final known interview with DeForest Kelley and considered writing a Kelley obituary/ remembrance his saddest day as a Trek fan and correspondent.

His special connection to the Star Trek phenomenon allowed him access to various Trek sets, including Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek Nemesis, and Star Trek: Enterprise, where he interviewed cast and crew members, guest actors, and people behind the scenes, notably executive producer Rick Berman, whom Spelling interviewed monthly for years for the Official Star Trek Magazine. He saw James Doohan slip into the water tank on the Paramount lot during the filming of the San Francisco Bay/ Bird-of-Prey sequence in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, watched William Shatner, James Doohan, and Walter Koenig filming the deleted orbital skydiving scene from Star Trek: Generations, and visited, at the time, the biggest set ever built for a Trek production: the Enterprise-E hull scene with Patrick Stewart, Michael Dorn, and Neal McDonough in First Contact. Spelling was also on set during the filming of the series' finale of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise.

He also wrote Inside Trek for The New York Times Syndicate which was later renamed Strange Worlds, and continues to run weekly and has been, from the mid-1990s onward, a prolific contributor to Star Trek Monthly/Star Trek Magazine, writing for the UK Titan Entertainment Group, after Starlog Press went into decline and ultimate default. In addition, Spelling co-wrote The Making of Star Trek: First Contact with Lou Anders and Larry Nemecek. Spelling worked on the actors' profiles for the book.

Spelling himself was interviewed by former Deep Space Nine showrunner Ira Steven Behr on his part in that series for the latter's 2018 documentary, What We Left Behind.

Career Edit

Ian Spelling was born on Long Island, New York and attended the State University of New York at Albany where he graduated with a major in English.

As a full-time freelance entertainment writer covering the entertainment industry, Spelling has been contributed articles and interviews to The New York Times Syndicate, TV Guide, Reader's Digest, the Chicago Tribune, the Denver Post, On Direct TV, The Bergen Record, Dreamwatch, Variety, the official licensed magazines for Charmed, 24, The X-Files, Prison Break, Smallville, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc., and websites such as,, and For an Official Charmed Magazine feature, Spelling made another jump in front of the camera, this time with a brief speaking part. In the eighth season Charmed episode Kill Billie: Vol. 1 in 2005, he portrayed the unfortunate Ian, a demon assistant who just asked a question and was sent to hell by a demon, Dogan played by Eric Steinberg, who blasted him with a fireball.

As of 2008/ 2009, he'd interviewed Harrison Ford about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystall Skull (2008), Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart about Twilight (2008), the cast of J.J. Abrams' Fringe (pieces running in 2008 and 2009) during a visit to the set in Long Island City, Frank Langella about Frost/ Nixon (2008/ 2009), Amy Adams about Doubt (2008/ 2009), and written a movie review about the comic adaptation The Spirit (2008). At last word, he was preparing to cover the new Star Trek film.

Star Trek appearancesEdit

Spelling himself appeared two times in a Star Trek production. He was invited to portray a Bajoran officer in the DS9 episode "Sanctuary" in 1993. In his scene, filmed on the OPS set, he stopped behind Colm Meaney and watched the viewscreen. During this time he was also photographed with Avery Brooks, Terry Farrell, Colm Meaney, Nana Visitor, and guest actress Deborah May. Three years later he interviewed cast and crew members of Star Trek: Voyagerand DS9 and found himself portraying a Drayan soldier in the episode "Innocence" of the former series. His experiences crisscrossing the sets, talking to the actors (from leads to guests to background) and crew (from writers to editors to craft services people and the Paramount security guard protecting the Star Trek sets), were chronicled in the article "A Day in the Life of Star Trek" in the May 1996 Starlog edition, Issue #226. His costume from his latter Star Trek appearance was later sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [1]

Trek interviews and articlesEdit

External linkEdit

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