Jonas Grumby wrote:
The only way Takei's reaction to his "lost" promotion makes any rational sense is if maybe even at that early date he was already trying to lay the groundwork for his much yearned for "Captain Sulu" TV series.
Although...I'm not sure Takei's apparent belief that he could actually carry a TV series is all that rational either.
Takei's sense of TV history must have been poor, as the medium--up to that point--had a long stretch of spinoffs which failed to attract the public and/or reach the same level of quality of the parent series.
From Happy Days
spinoffs Out of the Blue
& Joanie Loves Chachi
to Mrs. Columbo
(starring some actress with the uncanny misfortune of leading another bad spinoff some 16 years later), The Sanford Arms
(from Sanford and Son
) or Galactica 1980
, the public usually found spin-offs to be inferior--or at least watered down versions of the original concept.
Unlike every other series mentioned, Star Trek
was a concept so tied to the "big three," that they were the literal heart and soul of the series, with everything else--including supporting characters--pulled into orbiting their
world, not the other way around. As many have pointed out, Takei allowed convention/post-series fandom to convince him Sulu was more important that anything ever seen on the live action or animated series.
He should have paid attention to the merchandisng as his crystal ball to predict the chances of a Sulu show:
when TOS merchandising exploded in the early 1970s, he did not even earn being made into one of the famous Mego action figures and I do not recall him appearing more than 4 times (if that) on the Gold Key comic tie-in covers. Tie-in covers were a strong indicator of who was percieved as the face/draw of a property, so it was no surprise to see Kirk and Spock dominating almost every issue of that comic series. Takei's absense from two major forms of off-series ST should have clued him in on Sulu's true market value to the franchise.
Add the fact Nimoy had to fight for his character's use on TAS, and should have set off red alerts (heh) that to the general public--and TV producers, Sulu was not exactly ready for prime time.