Robert Comsol wrote:
But back on point: on this issue FJ deliberately ignored a well established fact of the ship as seen onscreen. I'm not giving him a pass on this one.
In assuming he deliberately ignored the Auxilary Control Room, you presuppose that FJ had seen and noticed it in the first place.
After having read the interviews again at www.trekplace.com
(which is an excercise I can't repeat recommending) there is no substantial hint he was aware of these and other interior compartments not
featured in the studio set blueprint of The Making of Star Trek
or in the film stills accessible to him.
You can read in these interviews how uncomfortable he was going to Star Trek Conventions and how he emphasized that his work should not
be considered to be a bible of some kind (someone should forward these interviews to James Dixon and friends).
It shouldn't take a lot of imagination that during those conventions he meet Trekkers that did ask him those hard questions like "Where's the Auxilary Control Room". What was he supposed to say?
"Sorry, I based my work entirely on the information I got from The Making of Star Trek,
a couple of film stills and an occasional item here and there I noticed while watching the reruns with my daughter"?
Fans looked up to him like a guru, almost a Carlos Castaneda thing, and he didn't have the heart to tell them that he was not the kind of Star Trek expert fans assumed him to be. IMHO, he made that clear in the interviews. Apparently he enjoyed his status as a guru because it enabled him to promote his ideas of space exploration and political participation.
I can't, won't and don't blame him for that.
Therefore, I believe that by emancipating ourselves from his work and using our own knowledge to come up with a different kind of technical manual would rather be something he would have approved and encouraged. Didn't somebody mention IDIC in the course of this thread?
This is the first time I have read a post by you that gives me the impression you have actually looked into what Franz Joseph was about and not posted a preconceived idea that you tried to support with cherry picked data. I really, honestly congratualate you. Franz Joseph was what he was. Fallible, not a god or a guru. Fans made him into what they wanted him to be- a way of keeping Star Trek alive and "real". For whatever reason, he played along. The facts of Star Trek production, so important to the modern canon-obsessed fan, were simply not as important then as they are now, and what this man produced is reflective of that fact. There was an acknowledgement during the 1970s of the production's shortcomings - that sets were made to fit exteriors they couldn't fit within, or that sets were constantly being redressed to fulfill multiple purposes, etc - and rather than take that literally and feel bound to make a square fit within a circle, Franz Joseph took it as license to show us unseen spaces that were what he believed had actually been intended.
I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt as far as the degree to which his speculation was informed. You say he had TMoST and a few stills. i say he met and corresponded with Roddenberry, was lauded by him for his work and eventually hired by him to do the same kind of things for Roddenberry's Planet Earth series proposal that Wah Chang and Matt Jefferies had done for Star Trek. He met Jefferies. He met Justman. And he met these people only a few years after TOS had ceased production. How we can sit in our lofty, internet-informed perch and castigate a figure with such contemporary and personal access for daring to portray unseen intent instead of only what had been seen on TV is, in my view, assuming too much. Way too much. He did what fans wanted him to do, using a remarkable level of access to portray not only things that had already been seen, but things we only dreamed might exist.