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Old September 16 2013, 09:19 PM   #530
Warped9
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Location: Brockville, Ontario, Canada
Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Another little tidbit that comes to light although I found this in a book covering Mission: Impossible but also mentions Star Trek as well. This book repeats some of the myths and accepted "truths" that have been repeated for decades regarding TOS. But it mentions one interesting item applying to both Mission: Impossible and Star Trek: that both shows were sold to their respective networks under budgeted, possibly as a means to make these high concept series look more appealing financially.

Mission: Impossible appears to have had a greater tendency for going over budget per episode, and often enough seriously over budget. They were bleeding money to a degree that makes TOS look responsible budget wise. But both series called for greater budgets than had been negotiated intially. Furthermore those running the store over at Paramount were not doing very well in producing enough successful (profitable) feature films. Hence cuts had to be made and television budgets were considered easy targets for Paramount management to make up the shortfall in regard to films.

And another similar situation seemed to playing out between both series and their respective networks. Both NBC and CBS appeared quite happy with their shows, but Paramount and Desilu executives were not so enamored---understandably because the studio was picking up the tab for the production overruns while NBC and CBS were quite happy with what they were getting for the price they were paying.

Roddenberry liked to make NBC look like the heavies when his own studio bosses were giving him more grief (and so he couldn't really say much about someone standing right over his shoulder). Much the same could be said about Bruce Geller and his relationship with the studio. A key difference is that Geller openly didn't give a shit about the budget. In his mind "it costs what it costs" to get the best results. Unlike Star Trek, though, Geller resisted using stock inserts to cut costs (but if you watch the series you can clearly see some reused footage particularly in the opening scenes where Dan Briggs or Jim Phelps get their assignments).


In terms of concept I can see where Mission: Impossible was the more generally accessible of the two shows. It was more familiar and easier to understand particularly in light of the popular spy craze going on at the time. Certain things played in M:I's favour that allowed it a measure of leeway that Star Trek wasn't afforded.
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Last edited by Warped9; September 17 2013 at 02:16 PM.
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