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Old June 7 2013, 01:51 AM   #1
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Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

I'm probably on record around here at least a dozen times defending Herb Solow and Bob Justman's making-of book, Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, as the best book about the production of the original series currently out there. Having said that, the book is far from infallible. I thought it might be interesting to use the knowledge base of the posters here to ferret out all the mistakes -- large and small -- in the book. (And, if we want a real clusterfuck, we can do one of Shatner's books next.)

Maybe, like a doctor we all know, this thread will just end up with me talking to myself. But, I hope there's some interest.

Anyway, I'll point out one that I noticed, on account of a terrific gift I just received.

Owing to his involvement at Fox arranging the music for the film Doctor Doolittle, Sandy could do only two of the first season’s episodes [‘The Man Trap’ and ‘The Naked Time’]. Nevertheless, owing to the ‘royalty’ issue, it’s no wonder Sandy Courage lost all enthusiasm for the series and liking for Gene Roddenberry. Despite my efforts to convince him to score second-season episodes, Sandy never returned to Star Trek.

--Bob Justman, Inside Star Trek: The Real Story (1996), p.185
It's true that Courage didn’t return to score any episodes during the second season, but he did record thirty minutes of library music for it – some newly composed – on June 16, 1967.

On the royalty issue, the book reprints an October 3, 1967 letter from Roddenberry to Courage reminding the composer of the contractual arrangement allowing the executive producer to receive fifty percent of the royalties to the Star Trek theme music. That date was mid-way through the filming of the second season, and after all of the season's complete original scores had already been recorded (four partial episode scores were recorded later). Unless the letter was sent months after the issue first arose, its unlikely that the Roddenberry taking half the royalties had any effect on Courage's absence that season. More likely, he was still busy with his arranging duties on Doctor Dolittle and other projects at Fox.

And, contrary to the book's assertion that Courage never returned to the series, he did return during the third season to write scores for two more episodes – ‘The Enterprise Incident’ (recorded August 5, 1968) and ‘Plato’s Stepchildren’ (recorded October 25, 1968). Bob Justman had left the series by the time the last score was recorded, but he was definitely there for 'The Enterprise Incident.' When the book was written, nearly three decades after the fact, his memory must have been a bit foggy.

Lastly, in an interview recorded a few years after the book came out, Courage downplayed any rift between him and Roddenberry over the theme music royalties:

There wasn’t any rift, really, with Gene. What happened with Gene was a I got a phone call once…it was Gene’s lawyer, [Leonard] Maizlish. He said, ‘I’m calling you to tell you that since you signed a piece of paper back there saying that if Gene ever wrote a lyric to your theme that he would split your royalties on the theme.’

Gene and I weren’t enemies in any sort of way. It was just one of those things…I think it was Maizlish, probably, who put him up to doing it that way, and it’s a shame, because actually if he’d written a decent lyric we could have both made more money.

--Alexander Courage interview conducted February 8, 2000
"This begs explanation." - de Forest Research on Star Trek

My blog: Star Trek Fact Check.
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