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Ian R. Spelling (born 5 November 1964; age 59), though having guest starred in two Star Trek television episodes, is actually best known as a freelance journalist and entertainment writer for his numerous Star Trek-related interviews for magazines, websites, and newspapers. He served as the editor of, the official Star Trek site, from 2010 to 2019.

Spelling has been a Star Trek fan from early age on and started to interview people while still in college, 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 several hundred 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 or Titan Publishing publications. His writing for the Starlog Press group did not limit itself to Star Trek, but extended to other science fiction franchises, most notably Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. He wrote for Starlog for more than 20 years, until the magazine ended its run in 2009. Spelling has said he was proud to conduct the final known interview with DeForest Kelley (for Spelling's Inside Trek column) and considered writing a Kelley obituary/ remembrance (for Star Trek Magazine), 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 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 finales of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. More recently, he visited the set of Discovery.

He also wrote, as noted, the popular Inside Trek column for The New York Times Syndicate, which was later renamed Strange Worlds, and continued to run weekly until the mid-2010s, totaling more than 1,000 columns. He remains a regular contributor to Star Trek Explorer, formerly known as Star Trek Monthly/Star Trek Magazine. In addition, Spelling co-wrote The Making of Star Trek: First Contact (1996) with Lou Anders and Larry Nemecek. Spelling worked on the actors' profiles for the book.

A fan of how things in the world connect, Spelling has always thought it was cool that his late uncle, film and television director Gerald Mayer, the nephew of MGM legend Louis B. Mayer, crossed paths with numerous Star Trek figures during his days behind the camera. For example, Mayer directed William Campbell several times, including in the film Holiday for Sinners, Leonard Nimoy in two episodes of Mission: Impossible, Elisha Cook and Robert Lansing in an episode of Thriller, George Takei in an episode of O'Hara, U.S. Treasury, Ronny Cox in One Last Ride (a CBS Afternoon Playhouse limited series), Robert Ito and Robert Walker Jr. in Quincy, M.E., Ray Walston and Antoinette Bower in The Six Million Dollar Man (which was produced by Mayer's close friend and longtime tennis partner, Harve Bennett), Paul Fix in Judd for the Defense, and Nancy Kovack in both The Invaders and Mannix, among many other overlaps.

Spelling himself was interviewed by former Deep Space Nine showrunner Ira Steven Behr for the latter's 2018 documentary, What We Left Behind, and appeared in both the trailer and finished film. Additionally, Spelling often moderates panels at Star Trek conventions, including Star Trek Las Vegas, Star Trek: The Cruise, and Destination Star Trek, where he leads the conversation with Trek figures, including actors and directors, in front of as many as 6,000 fans. As of today, he's covering Discovery, Picard, and Lower Decks for the official Star Trek Explorer magazine.

For all Spelling's experience with the offstage aspects of live-action Star Trek, it still took him another twenty-five years before he published a second reference book after The Making of Star Trek: First Contact, when he co-wrote with Ben Robinson the 55th anniversary reference book Star Trek - The Original Series: A Celebration. [1] Spelling has also written for Heavy on Star Trek, where he continued to interview personalities from the Star Trek franchise.


Ian Spelling was born on Long Island, New York, and attended the State University of New York at Albany, graduating with a degree in English.

As a full-time freelance entertainment writer covering the entertainment industry, Spelling has 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 2018-2019, he'd interviewed Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, and Chris Carter about The X-Files reboot series, Chadwick Boseman about Black Panther, John Legend about Jesus Christ Superstar, Evangeline Lilly about Ant Man and the Wasp, Viggo Mortensen about Green Book, Brie Larsen about Captain Marvel, and Danny Boyle about Yesterday.

Star Trek appearances[]

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: Voyager and DS9 and found himself portraying a Drayan soldier in the episode "Innocence". 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. [2]

Trek interviews and articles[]

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