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Old April 10 2011, 02:59 AM   #1
TheLobes
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What do people feel about Gene?

I havent seen much TOS, mostly because I like to buy DVD's rather than watch advert filled TV, and the DVDs are so expensive for TOS. Maybe thats why I dont really hear much about Gene Roddenberry. I actually associated his name with trek more before I started watching it, about two years ago. From the outside, it seemed like trekkies worshipped him. Obviously I took this with a grain of salt, but Im still surprised at what seems like a basic lack of regard for him.

How do fans generally feel about Gene? Given the questionable decisions he made near the end, I can see why people would not particularly like him, but then he did start the whole thing.
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Old April 10 2011, 03:13 AM   #2
indolover
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

I have a maximum amount of respect for him. I wouldn't want to have anything else, since he founded the very franchise and its ethos.
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Old April 10 2011, 03:17 AM   #3
teacake
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

I always suspected that on a personal level he was a bit of a creep.
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Old April 10 2011, 03:29 AM   #4
Merky
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

TheLobes wrote: View Post
I havent seen much TOS, mostly because I like to buy DVD's rather than watch advert filled TV, and the DVDs are so expensive for TOS.
Expensive? I got the entire series for under $120. Of course I shopped around and tried to find the cheapest deal for each boxset. That's like dirt cheap.

How do fans generally feel about Gene? Given the questionable decisions he made near the end, I can see why people would not particularly like him, but then he did start the whole thing.
I don't worship him and I find him hypocritical, maybe a creep, in a lot of the things he did business wise. I can't say what I feel about him personally because I don't know him on a personal level. Apparently a lot of people adored him, but from a business perspective ... I find him to be a total creep.

A lot? A few? Selected few? Worship him as if he's god though. Meh, whatever, all he did was create a TV show and left it when things weren't going his way.
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Old April 10 2011, 04:48 AM   #5
Kai "the spy"
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

I appreciate what Roddenberry has done. He started the damn thing.

But as far as I am informed, quite a lot of what made Star Trek work and memorable came from other people, especially Gene L. Coon. The higher morales, the use of Kirk, Spock and McCoy as a trinity, the really good and memorable episodes really came from Coon.
Roddenberry himself seems to have not been a very good writer, but he loved to do unnecessary rewrites which apparently annoyed the other writers and producers (to put it mildly).

For example, I've heard D.C. Fontana's original script for "Encounter at Farpoint" was much better than the version filmed, which was rewritten by Roddenberry.

And I've read stories about what went on during pre-production of TMP, when he had to promise the studio heads not to rewrite the script before handing it to them, which he apparently did nonetheless.

Also, with TNG, I felt it was odd he didn't want to include any of the alien species from TOS. The Bolians were created for no other reason than a script asking for an Andorian and Roddenberry not wanting one, so they made him this new species instead. It seems they (Rick Berman and someone else who's name currently escapes me) practically had to smuggle the character of Worf past Roddenberry, because he was so much against using a Klingon on the show.

So I do appreciate that he created it. I actually am thankful for that. But I do not worship him.
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Old April 10 2011, 01:40 PM   #6
Navaros
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

I'm not a fan of Gene.

IMO all of his TOS-written episodes were horrible, meaningless, and incredibly boring, including "The Cage" and "Assignment: Earth." TMP was likewise horrible, also because it was from Gene.

From what I've read, Gene didn't create anything spectacular on his own. Rather, the good ideas in Trek were developed by others. Trek never would have gone anywhere if others didn't make it good in spite of Gene: he was a detriment, not an asset.

I've also read that he didn't care too much about Trek and to him it was mostly just a way to rake in money.

Gene's "no conflict among human rules" in TNG and VOY is antithetical to the definition of drama, and therefore forces them to be bad shows; Berman should have tossed that rule in the rubbish bin where it belongs instead of adhering to it like he did, out of respect for Gene.

Although Gene has made, and contributed to the making of, a lot of bad Trek, I've never seen anything good that Gene has done.
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Old April 10 2011, 02:24 PM   #7
The Laughing Vulcan
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

The Chris Carter of his generation.
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Old April 10 2011, 06:12 PM   #8
SchwEnt
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

He was a producer/writer Hollywood-type from the 1960s.
I credit him with the negative stereotypes that might come to mind.

I credit him with the idea of Star Trek.
I credit him with assembling others who made Star Trek the legend it is.
I believe directors, producers, writers, actors, other cast and crew and even the fans did more to make Star Trek special than Gene ever did own his own (granted, he is only one man)

I don't know how much Star Trek meant to Gene personally. Yes, he created it. He also created Earth II and The Questor Tapes, The Lieutenant, lots of other ideas and scripts. Why Star Trek? I suspect because of us.

If the fans hadn't been clamoring for more ST, if the popularity hadn't risen dramatically in the 70s, how important would ST have been to Gene?

If it was up to him alone, would ST be as near-and-dear to his heart as "The Lieutenant"? Or just another project he worked on decades ago?

The fans obsessed on ST, venerated Gene as the creator, and he accepted it and went along with it.

If the fan demand wasn't there and the whole popular movement lacking, how high and how long would Gene have carried the ST banner on his own, proclaiming it something special and important?
It's easy to go along for the ride when everyone is carrying him on their shoulders. On his own, what would Gene have done with ST?
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Old April 10 2011, 06:33 PM   #9
M'rk, son of Mogh
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

Navaros wrote: View Post
Gene's "no conflict among human rules" in TNG and VOY is antithetical to the definition of drama, and therefore forces them to be bad shows;
I know, I remember watching "Best of Both Worlds" and thinking that Gene's "no conflict rule" was stupid, if only writers disregarded it, they could make that episode actually watchable.

(That's Sarcasm.)
(You don't need conflict among the crew to create drama.)
(TNG did quite well knowing that.)
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Old April 10 2011, 06:39 PM   #10
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

Majel Barrett said as much in the bonus features of TMP. To paraphrase:

"Gene had moved beyond Star Trek, and wanted to develop other projects, but the fans wouldn't let it go, so Gene finally said, "I guess that's what I'm gonna be known for, so I might as well throw myself into it".

Remember, the quotes aren't exact.
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Old April 10 2011, 07:28 PM   #11
Merky
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

If it was up to him alone, would ST be as near-and-dear to his heart as "The Lieutenant"? Or just another project he worked on decades ago?
Granted that he left the show in S3 because he wasn't getting his way and he was pretty much replaced.... It shows that he didn't really care much for ST at the time to continue fighting for it... or he considered it not worth the headache. Or maybe, perhaps, he saw the show dying and decided to focus on new endeavors.

Whatever the case maybe, he was quick to jump back on that wagon train to the stars when it started becoming lucrative.
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Old April 10 2011, 07:55 PM   #12
Temis the Vorta
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

He may not have been a creative genius but he was smart enough to recognize and hire creative geniuses, and usually get out of their way.

George Lucas could learn a lesson there.
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Old April 10 2011, 09:03 PM   #13
Kail
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

I personally feel it says a lot about Gene that he wrote lyrics, that no one would ever hear, to the Star Trek theme just to steal half of the royalties from Alexander Courage.
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Old April 10 2011, 09:21 PM   #14
RyuRoots
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

Gene Roddenberry had some great ideas. He also had a lot of really damned terrible ideas, and wasn't very good at handling a show with a hands-on approach. I respect him for creating the franchise, but in my opinion, Star Trek was only at its best when he didn't have his hands on it. Rick Berman, who catches a LOT of flak (some justified, some not) honestly did a pretty okay job running things and was a fair sight better than Roddenberry; I think a lot of problems with Berman came down to being too used to ST after a while.

The tl;dr version is that Roddenberry was a visionary in a way, but like every visionary for an entertainment genre, he was also friggin' nuts.
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Old April 10 2011, 09:22 PM   #15
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

Clearly he was a very inventive writer with an unusual point of view and a contrarian streak. He created Star Trek. As an man he was reportedly charming, initially likeable and of problematic character in business dealings - but I didn't know him, so that's all second-hand. He had deep self-created health problems.
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