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Old June 6 2013, 02:37 PM   #12
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Re: Roddenberry, Solow, & Justman

Gary7 wrote: View Post
Gene made a lot of mistakes and showed callous chauvinistic qualities above norm for someone of his station at that time.
Above the norm for chauvinism in the 1960s? If you're talking about sexism rather than some other kind of chauvinism, that would be a very, very high bar to clear. I don't think I can agree with this. Roddenberry was certainly a womanizer and couldn't help seeing women in sexual terms, but at least he tried to present a future where they were included on military crews and could sometimes hold positions of responsibility and authority, even if a lot of them were still just secretaries and waitresses. There were some contemporary shows that were more progressive in their portrayal of women, but the vast majority were less progressive.

While he created and envisioned Star Trek, some of the things he did may have inadvertently helped pitch it over the edge to be canceled after 3 seasons.
To an extent, perhaps. For instance, choosing to abandon his supervisory role for season 3, not helping the new producers get up to speed on how to write for the characters and the universe, as well as not doing enough to hold onto staffers like John Meredyth Lucas and D.C. Fontana, hurt the quality of season 3 and may have contributed to its demise. Although given how expensive the show was and how it struggled in the ratings, it would've been unlikely to get a fourth season in any event.

When you look at how Gene's involvement with TNG significantly dropped off into Season 2, it coincides with a shift in the series towards something better. I personally feel the series would've had an even better start if Gene hadn't been so intimately involved. He didn't even want Patrick Stewart after his first interview with him!
I don't think it works to use the behavior of the TNG-era Roddenberry, who was very ill and drug-addicted and surrounded by a hero-worshipping entourage of yes men, as evidence for anything about the behavior and personality of the TOS-era Roddenberry. I see them as two very different people. The TOS-era Roddenberry was a television producer first; he had messages he wanted to convey in his writing, but he understood that they had to come second to the business of creating entertainment that would successfully attract an audience. But the TNG-era Roddenberry had bought into his image as a great visionary and futurist, and preferred to suborn the needs of drama to his desire to preach a utopian vision of the future. I think the 1960s and 1980s versions of the man would have disagreed on a lot of things.
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