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Old November 9 2011, 12:48 AM   #16
sonak
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Re: Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

wasn't a lot of this really later Roddenberry though, not TOS-era Roddenberry?

The heavy idealism, no money, no inner conflict stuff wasn't really a part of TOS.(I mean,the TVH no money thing was probably used more as an opportunity for easy humor rather than an expression of idealism)


It kind of reminds me of "Greedo shoots first"-era Lucas where he blatantly contradicts his earlier stuff to express his "personal growth" and changed views.
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Old November 9 2011, 01:54 AM   #17
bullethead
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Re: Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

sonak wrote: View Post
wasn't a lot of this really later Roddenberry though, not TOS-era Roddenberry?
Yup, although TOS Roddenberry had a ultra-patriotic streak, as The Omega Glory shows.

That said, he did lay out some rules in the TNG bible that should've been followed, especially the ones relating to tech malfunction plots.
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Old November 9 2011, 07:07 PM   #18
Phily B
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Re: Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

I think it encouraged originality when the writers had to think outside the box rather than go to their comfort of writing about starfleet as if it was a modern day organisation full of modern day humans. Certainly we did see people in Starfleet "fighting" with each other over issues, showing a bit of prejudice even in the early seasons.
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Old November 9 2011, 07:11 PM   #19
Phily B
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Re: Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

sonak wrote: View Post
wasn't a lot of this really later Roddenberry though, not TOS-era Roddenberry?

The heavy idealism, no money, no inner conflict stuff wasn't really a part of TOS.(I mean,the TVH no money thing was probably used more as an opportunity for easy humor rather than an expression of idealism)


It kind of reminds me of "Greedo shoots first"-era Lucas where he blatantly contradicts his earlier stuff to express his "personal growth" and changed views.
I'm sure in the 60s he had less control than he did on TNG, and over 20 years he probably changed a lot as a person. I'm not sure if the "no money" thing has ever meant literally no form of currency, especially when the pilot episode of TNG has Crusher buying pretty materials from the outpost. It's always something I wanted them to explain a bit more.

I think Gene's rules helped the show become what it was and even after his death they more or less remained mostly as those rules are what shaped the characters.
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Old November 9 2011, 07:24 PM   #20
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Re: Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

By reading this thread, I'm reminded of one of Trek's staples, that often lead to some of its better stories: that is, the trope of the evil/crazy Starfleet captain/admiral. They're not all great mind you (Insurrection), but that wouldn't happen without conflict between humans or in an idealized future.
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Old November 9 2011, 08:44 PM   #21
jayrath
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Re: Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

No. Just, no. There were lots of TOS-era rules, too. They boil down to ... good writing. Which isn't to say they weren't violated from time to time, particularly in TNG and afterward.

My three favorites, from TMOST:

Don't explain everything. Just do it. Roddenberry pointed out that cops on detective shows didn't explain how the firing pin struck the end of a shell, causing the bullet to leave the barrel. Similarly, you don't need the captain to draw a phaser and describe how it works before using it. Or the transporter. Or the engines. GR shared an example of a TOS script that contained many pages about how the ship was to change direction. He deleted it all and inserted, "reverse course." TOS is largely, blessedly technobabble-free, as a result -- even though, of all the series, it was the most scientifically vetted.

Stay in character: A contemporary U.S. aircraft carrier faces certain destruction. Does the captain reach for and hug his or her first officer in the final minutes? No. Nor should our crew go bananas when faced even with death. They are professionals who are well aware of duty. Would we believe a fleet-wide conspiracy in the U.S. Navy? A mutiny on a battleship? (We still had some, then.) No? Then, Starfleet will never suffer those dramatic cliches.

And following on from above -- believability -- the captain shouldn't have to ask for everything. For example, readouts on the ship just entering our sector should be given immediately to the captain. He (or she) shouldn't have to weigh down dialogue asking for its configuration, mass, bearing, shield status, etc. This information should be shared as soon as the specialists develop it, just as it would on a real naval vessel.

There are many more examples and, again, there are many exceptions - but not when Trek is at its best. I recommend "The Making of Star Trek" to anyone interested in TOS's most important aspect: its writing. And, of course, the role of a writer-producer.
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Old November 9 2011, 09:25 PM   #22
Maurice
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Re: Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

Paradon wrote: View Post
Humans can't be prejudice in the 23rd and 24th century, really? Everybody is prejudice in some way. You just have to open your eyes and listen more, then you'll realize how prejudice you are....
d d d
^^^Here, you dropped these.
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Old November 9 2011, 10:18 PM   #23
BillJ
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Re: Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

jayrath wrote: View Post

Stay in character: A contemporary U.S. aircraft carrier faces certain destruction. Does the captain reach for and hug his or her first officer in the final minutes?
Well, they broke this one pretty early on in Balance of Terror.
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Old November 9 2011, 10:29 PM   #24
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Re: Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

And debatably in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" when the ship is about to hit the "barrier". Gary Mitchell reaches behind him to grasp the hand of the yeoman. Yeah, he's not the captain so that's why I used the word "debatably".

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Old November 12 2011, 02:49 PM   #25
Therin of Andor
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Re: Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

Phily B wrote: View Post
I'm not sure if the "no money" thing has ever meant literally no form of currency, especially when the pilot episode of TNG has Crusher buying pretty materials from the outpost.
She was supposed to steal them?
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Old November 12 2011, 04:05 PM   #26
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Re: Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Phily B wrote: View Post
I'm not sure if the "no money" thing has ever meant literally no form of currency, especially when the pilot episode of TNG has Crusher buying pretty materials from the outpost.
She was supposed to steal them?
No. But since we don't see her bartering with the merchant, the Federation must have some type of value exchange system in place, i.e. money.
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Old November 12 2011, 04:26 PM   #27
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Re: Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

I think the thing that bugged me most was the TNG 'our heroes don't' clause, the one that basically said that the main characters weren't supposed to admit any sort of character flaw or weakness in the realm of vices or some such (and I'm probably saying it wrong, but I'm functioning on a couple of hours of sleep at the moment, cut me some slack). Particularly, I'm thinking about Symbiosis. As much as I understood making it a Prime Directive episode, I think it would have had a bit more strength had it included not just a direct reference to Tasha having used drugs to get by on her homeworld but also if she'd had a focus in the episode about facing some of the demons of her past. But because of the 'our heroes don't' clause, they just sort of danced around the subject and she took a backseat to the moral dilemma, even though reasonably, she should have had some kind of involvement in the plot because of her prior experience.
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Old November 12 2011, 04:43 PM   #28
The Dominion
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Re: Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
IIRC, Rodenberry hated the idea that any humans in the 23rd century, let alone James T. Kirk, would be racist. His humans were supposedly beyond all that.
They weren't in Balance of Terror.
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Old November 12 2011, 06:58 PM   #29
T'Girl
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Re: Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

BillJ wrote: View Post
we don't see her bartering with the merchant
Crusher: "I'll take the entire bolt. Send it to our starship when it arrives. Charge to Doctor Crusher. "

No barter necessary, she simply bought it outright.

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Old November 12 2011, 07:53 PM   #30
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Gene Roddenberry's weird rules

The Dominion wrote: View Post
KingDaniel wrote: View Post
IIRC, Rodenberry hated the idea that any humans in the 23rd century, let alone James T. Kirk, would be racist. His humans were supposedly beyond all that.
They weren't in Balance of Terror.
Gene was a revisionist. He considered much of The Original Series apocyraphl by the time The Next Generation began.
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