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Old October 10 2013, 09:34 PM   #33
Therin of Andor
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Re: Peter David comic book story

SicOne wrote: View Post
I have a question, if I may. What did David Arnold actually do that got him in Roddenberry's good graces and allowed him to achieve his exalted position?
Richard Arnold.

And what did this guy do for a living that allowed him to pay his bills while he did volunteer work for the franchise?
I don't think it's any kind of secret. When I first met Richard in January 1984, he was a senior bellboy at a Los Angeles Hotel. That was his regular dayjob, and he was a volunteer tour guide at Paramount on his days off. On weekends, he was a Trek fan. In the early 70s, he ran a fan club for Grace Lee Whitney, attended conventions, got friendly with the actors, Bjo Trimble, Susan Sackett and the Roddenberrys - and proved his worth as having a very good memory for Star Trek trivia, which made him a rather useful go-to person when the only reference book was Bjo Trimble's "ST Concordance".

Similarly, when I ran a large Trek club here in Sydney in the 80s, Australia, I was often the person getting urgent, weird calls from the media, at all hours of the day and night, asking really dumb Trek questions because I usually knew the answers.

California ain't cheap.
But it is filled with hotels.

And if he had so much power over Trek, how did his ass get cashiered when Rod died?
He was paid to read all ST tie-in proposals and manuscripts on behalf of GR, so that GR didn't have to, and to relay comments to the licensees. That was one part of his job. It was the huge financial success of ST IV, and the coming of TNG, that convince Paramount that a ST Archivist paid position was required. Prior to that, I know Susan Sackett had read all the Bantam novels' manuscripts for Roddenberry.

Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek Office on the Paramount lot was closed when Roddenberry died in September 1991. Susan Sackett, who had begun with Gene as a secretary in the early 70s, was fired immediately, as was Richard. No boss = no job. Ernie Over, Gene's chauffeur and personal assistant, had already been moved across to Roddenberry's own payroll about six months earlier when GR was too ill to be driven to the office on a regular basis, and Ernie continued as Majel Barrett's chauffeur and personal assistant for about a year.

Who ended up with the power?
Responsibility for vetting the manuscripts fell to Paula Block, then-head of CBS Consumer Products. Her office had read all manuscripts back from the Viacom days. ie. from the early 80s, all ST tie-ins were vetted by both the Star Trek Office (representing GR's interests), and Paula's team, representing Paramount's interests.

The old position of of Star Trek Archivist (doing duties such as supplying official images to the tie-ins and the media) was downgraded, and held by Guy Vardaman, who had acted as RA's assistant for several years.

I know he was fired. But I don't know who fired him
The Office was closed. His job vanished.

I'm wondering, while Arnold ran the show
No, he was simply "Star Trek Archivist".

and dicked people around
Imagine all the gross errors he caught. Literally thousands, I imagine.

who was really in charge, and why those people allowed him to do what he did
Contractually, Roddeberry was allowed to scrutinize the licensed tie-ins and ensure they represented Star Trek. And so was Paramount/Viacom/CBS.

And didn't he somehow find himself doing a lot of Trek stuff even after getting fired?
Yes, AFAIK, Richard still does actor liasion for conventions and freelance advice to tie-in licensees who seek out his services.
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Last edited by Therin of Andor; October 10 2013 at 09:48 PM. Reason: typos fixed
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