Sure. I know Gerrold and Fontana and some others have spoken quite a bit over the years, about many things. Even they didn't know or say anything about a concurrent TOS/TAS series?
No reason Gerrold would've known, since he was just a freelancer at the time. And given that the idea was scuttled by the show's cancellation, that suggests it wasn't really being considered until around 1968-9, by which point Fontana was no longer on staff. Which makes sense, given that Filmation had only been producing TV series since 1966, and presumably they would've needed a few years to establish themselves as a viable company before talking about doing TV spinoffs. So this discussion would've presumably happened at a time when the only people involved on Paramount's end were the likes of Roddenberry, Fred Freiberger, Douglas Cramer of Paramount, etc.
And keep in mind that we did
already know about the preliminary proposals for an animated show with teen sidekicks learning from the adult TOS characters. We just didn't know about the timing of that idea.
Of course, interviews given decades after the fact can be erroneous due to imperfect memory. I'm curious to know whether this detail comes only from Scheimer's recollections or if the book contains documentation to confirm the chronology of events.
Still, this version of the story makes sense. I have some old fanzines that were published while TAS was in production and on the air, and they had interviews and articles covering the production along with Filmation artwork. And they don't say anything about the teen-proteges idea. On reflection, I did always find it a bit hard to reconcile the existence of that idea with what I'd known before about the history of TAS. If it was a proposal abandoned years earlier, that would explain why it wasn't mentioned in those fanzine articles about the development of TAS.
There aren't too many things in TAS that throw me.
- the inflatable Enterprise ("The Practical Joker")
Which is actually a lot more plausible than you'd think
- the oversized tribbles ("More Tribbles, More Troubles")
Made more plausible by the fact that they were really colonies of hundreds or thousands of regular-sized tribbles. Basically just a more integrated version of an insect swarm or a bait ball.
- the fifty foot Spock ("The Infinite Vulcan")
- the shrinking crew ("The Terratin Incident")
- the de-aging crew ("The Counter-Clock Incident")
And yet the latter two ideas were used in later live-action Trek of TNG and DS9...though I didn't care much for them there either.
Those were pretty stupid, yeah. Although the mechanism for shrinking used in DS9 made vastly more sense, since it was basically a topological/dimensional alteration and they thought through the physics of different-sized air molecules and the like. The theory behind "The Terratin Incident" is incredibly stupid. Organic life forms shrink because their DNA is curling tighter? That doesn't make any sense, because living things are not made exclusively of DNA. It's only found in the chromosomes, along with other types of molecule. And its shape is vital to its ability to convey instructions to the body. Twisting DNA tighter wouldn't shrink people, just kill them.
about "Counter-Clock" is stupid and incoherent. None of its ideas have any logic to them and none of them could work. Just for one example, why would reversing time produce black stars on a white sky?
My big problem with "The Practical Joker" -- aside from the juvenile behavior of the crew -- is that it uses sitcom-amnesia logic to cure the problem. Why would a second trip through the cloud fix the computer instead of just making it worse? As a child I figured it was because they flew through it in the other direction, but that's a pretty stupid explanation. Also, the episode's portrayal of the effects of nitrous oxide is cartoony and inaccurate.