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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old November 27 2012, 10:28 PM   #31
Melakon
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Re: TOS's largest one time prop.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Melakon wrote: View Post
... it didn't have an interior.
Mine did, sort of. There were seven seats (but no platform floor), an front control panel and a interior bulkhead that gave the model a bluge 3/4 of the way back from the bow.

My astronauts made of lego blocks fit the seat nicely. Plus it floated in the tub.

Maybe I'm misremembering in my old age. The last time I had the model was during the 70s. I know the door and windows were molded into the body and didn't open.
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Old November 27 2012, 10:55 PM   #32
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Re: TOS's largest one time prop.

Christopher wrote: View Post
And if you think about it, the weight and volume of all those pieces of scenery probably wasn't as substantial as the weight and volume of the cameras, sound equipment, lights, generators, trailers for the cast and crew, craft services (food) table, etc. that they would've had to truck out to the location anyway. It's not like they normally would've just driven up there in a pickup. Location shooting is a major operation. Transporting and erecting the obelisk would've been a relatively small part of the total logistics.
Wisely and very well stated, Christopher!
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Old November 27 2012, 11:23 PM   #33
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Re: TOS's largest one time prop.

Melakon wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
Melakon wrote: View Post
... it didn't have an interior.
Mine did, sort of. There were seven seats (but no platform floor), an front control panel and a interior bulkhead that gave the model a bluge 3/4 of the way back from the bow.

My astronauts made of lego blocks fit the seat nicely. Plus it floated in the tub.

Maybe I'm misremembering in my old age. The last time I had the model was during the 70s. I know the door and windows were molded into the body and didn't open.
Both of you are correct. The "hatch" was merely indented seams in the two hull pieces and (in the initial release) the viewports were just indented sections in the hull. (The 80s re-release had the viewports empty and a clear piece of styrene fitted into the holes.)

But it did have a control console, a rear bulkhead (with the scribed seams of a pocket door) and 7 bucket seats (that mounted upon stems molded into the bottom hull piece rather than the "brackets" depicted in the series).

As designed, the kit instructions suggested one NOT glue the hull sections together so that the top half could be removed to see the interior.

The kit's biggest "flaw" was the elimination of the staggered "step stair" arrangement at the stern. Instead, it was simply "squared" off. The other inaccuracies didn't detract too badly, but the bottom stern element was nothing like the miniature or the full size set piece.

Fortunately, that will be corrected with the totally new 1/32 scale kit Round2 is currently designing.

Sincerely,

Bill
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Old November 27 2012, 11:43 PM   #34
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Re: TOS's largest one time prop.

The kit was doubtless simplified to make the tooling cheaper and make fewer parts. To do the hull properly would require a minimum or four to six parts.
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Old November 27 2012, 11:49 PM   #35
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Re: TOS's largest one time prop.

I think I stopped buying the model kits when they got over $10. Now I have a low priced modeling/animation program and video editor, which I collectively describe as having a movie studio in a box.
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Old November 28 2012, 12:17 AM   #36
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Re: TOS's largest one time prop.

TremblingBluStar wrote: View Post
Could be true. I've always heard the cause was Gene Roddenberry taking more of a backseat role, and new writers being brought on board (for less pay, no doubt). A look at the writers for each season shows quite a few new ones (and Gene L. Coon using a Lee Cronin as a pen name).
I doubt the writers were paid less for their work in the third season than in the previous two years; union rules tend to keep those costs pretty stable, do they not?

A lot of writers who had previously written for the show were retained, too. D.C. Fontana, Gene Coon, Gene Roddenberry, John Meredyth Lucas, Oliver Crawford, Margaret Armen, Jerry Sohl, and Jerome Bixby had all written for the show at least once during the first two seasons. All but Sohl have multiple writing credits during the third year.

What did change was the show's production staff. Gene Coon was no longer producer (he left near the end of season two) and his late season replacement, John Meredyth Lucas, was not asked to continue in the role during season three. D.C. Fontana left her role as script consultant. Gene Roddenberry was executive producer, but in name only. Although all four of these people were still around as writers, none of them were around to re-write material to bring it in line with the series format and characters, and the show suffered for it.
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Old November 28 2012, 12:25 AM   #37
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Re: TOS's largest one time prop.

^"Retained" isn't really the right word there, since many of the writers you list were freelancers, certainly during the third season. They would've been hired on an episode-by-episode basis. They would've simply been rehired. And I think the episodes credited to Fontana (or "Michael Richards") and Coon were ones left over from season 2's script development anyway.
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Old November 28 2012, 12:42 AM   #38
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Re: TOS's largest one time prop.

"Retained" was clumsy; "rehired" would be better. All of the writers I listed were working as freelancers (except, perhaps, Roddenberry), which the series relied on heavily for stories.

Fontana signed a contract in February of 1968 to write three scripts for the third season (with an option for three additional scripts). "The Enterprise Incident," "Joanna," and "Survival" were all written for the third season as part of that contract. She hated the way all three were re-written and she declined to write further for the series.

Writing as Lee Cronin, for legal reasons outlined in the Solow/Justman book, Coon continued to work as a freelancer for the third season. Story outlines were turned in for "The Last Gunfight" and "Wink of an Eye" in March of 1968, and "Spock's Brain" in April of 1968. "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" was a second try at a story that had been junked in the first season ("A Portrait in Black and White"), but Coon wrote a new story outline in March of 1968.

So, no, those weren't leftovers from season two's script development.
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Old November 28 2012, 12:49 AM   #39
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Re: TOS's largest one time prop.

trevanian wrote: View Post
Desilu had a huge overhead charge that ate up a lot of budget, but was that overhead carried over when Paramount took over?
Desilu covered more of the overhead. Paramount made the show pay for all of it. So it ended up as a smaller amount of money to spend on actual production during the Paramount episodes. This is detailed somewhere in the Inside Star Trek book but I don't have it anymore to give a page number.

Harvey wrote: View Post
I doubt the writers were paid less for their work in the third season than in the previous two years; union rules tend to keep those costs pretty stable, do they not?
The cost per script is exactly the same. But there is usually a fund for 4 or 5 extra scripts that might not work out, because you still have to pay the writer even if you don't produce the episode due to the WGA agreement. Without that fund in the third season, they just had to produce any script commissioned.
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Old November 28 2012, 01:05 AM   #40
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Re: TOS's largest one time prop.

JoeD80 wrote: View Post
The cost per script is exactly the same. But there is usually a fund for 4 or 5 extra scripts that might not work out, because you still have to pay the writer even if you don't produce the episode due to the WGA agreement. Without that fund in the third season, they just had to produce any script commissioned.
Oh, I understand the concept. During the first season, at least thirteen stories were bought and then junked (although one, "Rock-A-Bye-Baby, or Die," was bought back by George Clayton Johnson).

What I doubt is the claim that the staff was unable to junk a single story during the third season. Looking at the writers report from the production week ending 3-29-68, in fact, I know this isn't true. The document lists three teleplays that were finished and turned in, but not produced:

"Shol" (Darlene Hartman)
"The Joy Machine" (Theodore Sturgeon)
"He Walks Among Us" (Norman Spinrad)

It lists several story outlines that were turned in, but not produced:

"Bem" (David Gerrold)
"Down from Heaven"* (Lee Cronin)
"The Godhead" (John M. Lucas)

It also lists several story outlines that were assigned at that point, but not produced (this is the last writers report in the Roddenberry papers at UCLA):

"Van Voyt's Robots" (D.C. Fontana)
"Ears" (D.C. Fontana)
"Japan Triumphant" (Lee Cronin)
"One Million, B.C." (Lee Cronin)
"Shore Leave II" (Theodore Sturgeon)

*Might this be "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"?
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Old November 28 2012, 01:43 AM   #41
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Re: TOS's largest one time prop.

The fund is specifically for *scripts* not stories, because once the script is commissioned, then the writer is paid either way. You don't have to pay a writer a script fee for an outline if it's never been approved to script in the first place. Paying for an option to use a story is much much cheaper than the full script payment.


["Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" was developed from a junked first season script. By coincidence I happened to have the information for that episode up on my screen.]
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Old November 28 2012, 02:15 AM   #42
Harvey
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Re: TOS's largest one time prop.

JoeD80 wrote: View Post
Paying for an option to use a story is much much cheaper than the full script payment.
This makes sense, and explains why the producers exercised so many "story cut-offs," but commissioned few teleplays that did were not produced.

Indeed, in the first season, I believe the only teleplays that were not produced were "From The First Day to the Last" (John D.F. Black's attempt at an "envelope" for the original pilot), "The Omega Glory" (Roddenberry's proposed script for the second pilot, and, of course, a produced episode in the second season), and "A Portrait in Black and White."

That makes the claim that the third season did not have the money to spend on scripts that would not be produced suspect, though, since the producers purchased at least three teleplays that year which were not produced (which I listed previously), in addition to exercising a number of story cut-offs.

EDIT: Although "He Walked Among Us" appears to be a teleplay carried over from season two, not the third season. Hmm.

EDIT 2: And "Shol" is a second season carry-over, too.

EDIT 3: And "The Joy Machine" is from the second season, too. Okay, that clears that up a little. It looks like they didn't shelve any teleplays that year -- just stories.

["Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" was developed from a junked first season script. By coincidence I happened to have the information for that episode up on my screen.]
That first season script was called "A Portrait in Black and White." It was written by Barry Trivers. I believe Coon's third season attempt at the same story (as Lee Cronin) had multiple titles; and for some reason I want to say that "Down from Heaven" was one of them. Not sure, though.
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Old November 28 2012, 03:22 AM   #43
Christopher
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Re: TOS's largest one time prop.

Harvey wrote: View Post
"From The First Day to the Last" (John D.F. Black's attempt at an "envelope" for the original pilot)
I've never heard of that before. Is there any more information available about its story? I couldn't find anything online except for a brief mention on Memory Alpha and a listing in the index for the UCLA Roddenberry archives.
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Old November 28 2012, 03:27 AM   #44
Harvey
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Re: TOS's largest one time prop.

I don't know much about it, alas, except when it was turned in and shelved. The copy at UCLA isn't even complete; the one time I attempted to read it was more confusing than enlightening.

I do know that John D.F. Black filed for arbitration with the WGA for credit on "The Menagerie," claiming he came up with the story of the envelope in this earlier version of it, but he lost the arbitration, giving Roddenberry sole credit. I think that information is from the Solow/Justman book, although it might be from one of the two Roddenberry biographies by Engel or Alexander.

As far as I know, Black is still alive. Perhaps someone here is in contact with him and could shed some light on this script? I'd certainly be happy to hear about it.
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Old November 28 2012, 07:14 AM   #45
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Re: TOS's largest one time prop.

It also lists several story outlines that were assigned at that point, but not produced (this is the last writers report in the Roddenberry papers at UCLA):

"Van Voyt's Robots" (D.C. Fontana)
"Ears" (D.C. Fontana)
"Japan Triumphant" (Lee Cronin)
"One Million, B.C." (Lee Cronin)
"Shore Leave II" (Theodore Sturgeon)

One Million B.C. - THAT sparks my interest in what it might have been about.
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