Roddenberry's attempt to dump Doohan after the second pilot
I'm not up to speed on this. What's this about, please?
Checking my records, it turns out I transcribed more memos about this than I had remembered. Happy to share them.
On April 11, 1966, not long after the series had been picked up, Gene Roddenberry sent the following to James Doohan:
As you probably know by now, STAR TREK will be on the air this coming September.
Due to changes in format, budget structure, and character concepts, we cannot pick up a number of options, including yours. But we do hope that “Engineering Officer Scott” will reappear in future stories and hope we will be fortunate enough to find you interested and available at that time.
Let me thank you for your important contribution in the making of the STAR TREK pilot. As mentioned many times before, I value your talent and ability highly and it will always be a particular pleasure for me when we are able to work together.
According to Inside Star Trek: The Real Story
Doohan was confused by Roddenberry's direct communication and informed his agent, Paul Wilkins, that apparently he'd been fired. Wilkins became irate and met with Roddenberry, and by the close of business that same day, Doohan was returned to the Enterprise engine room. Millions of fans should be thankful to Paul Wilkins for getting Doohan back on board. NBC was unaware of Roddenberry's attempt to fire Doohan. (Page 153)
Although the book claims that Wilkins closed the deal after one day, it appears that negotiations actually took a few weeks, and were finally settled on May 19, 1966, according to this memo from casting director Joe D'Agosta to business affairs attorney Ed Perlstein:
James Doohan has agreed to work on the television series “Star Trek” on a non-exclusive basis subject to his availability. He will appear as the recurring character, Scott, for a guaranteed salary of $850 for six days and a guarantee of five shows out of the first thirteen shows.
Please draw up the necessary papers.
I never transcribed the terms of Doohan's original contract for the second pilot, but my speculation is that after Roddenberry made the mistake of declining his option, Doohan was able to re-negotiate for a more favorable per episode rate. Since the character was a success, his appearance in more shows was subsequently negotiated, as indicated by this memo from D'Agosta to Roddenberry on NOVEMBER 11, 1966:
I have negotiated another “handshake” agreement with Jim’s agent, Paul Wilkens, whereby we guarantee him five more shows at $850 for six days per show.
If we use Jim less than six days, we may hire him at the following rates: These shows, however, are not to be included in the guarantee.
One day 300.00
Two days 500.00
Three days 600.00
Four days 700.00
If he is originally scheduled to work one to four days and in fact works five or six days, he is to be paid a pro rata of the salary and the show will not be included in the guarantee.
By the end of the first season, the producers liked Doohan enough to sign him to an exclusive, four year contract, as indicated in this March 16, 1967 memo from D'Agosta to Perlstein:
I am happy to advise you that James Doohan has signed an exclusive contract with Desilu for the 1967/1968 broadcast season for three subsequent years after this year on a nine out of 13 of each 13 programs produced and pro rata for cycles of less than 13 shows terminable by Desilu at the end of any 13-program cycle.
The compensation which is for up to five consecutive days work per episode is:
First Year: $ 850
Second Year: $1,100
Third Year: $1,350
Fourth Year: $1,600
Billing is at Producer’s discretion.