RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 139,550
Posts: 5,422,183
Members: 24,805
Currently online: 434
Newest member: Dylancute

TrekToday headlines

Retro Review: Tears of the Prophets
By: Michelle on Sep 12

New Wizkids Attack Wing Ships
By: T'Bonz on Sep 12

Coto Drama Sold To Fox
By: T'Bonz on Sep 12

Braga Inks Deal
By: T'Bonz on Sep 12

Remastered Original Series Re-release
By: T'Bonz on Sep 11

UK Trek Ships Calendar Debuts
By: T'Bonz on Sep 10

Quinto In The Slap
By: T'Bonz on Sep 9

Burton On Shatner’s Brown Bag Wine Tasting
By: T'Bonz on Sep 9

New Trek Trading Card Series
By: T'Bonz on Sep 8

New Red Shirt Diaries Episode
By: T'Bonz on Sep 8


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 19 2013, 09:53 PM   #46
RAMA
Vice Admiral
 
RAMA's Avatar
 
Location: NJ, USA
Re: "The Slaver Weapon"

Christopher wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
Also, I'm thinking forget Niven history, create a new one. Maybe call them the Mirak.
Well, then, why not just create a separate felinoid warrior race? It's not like the Kzinti are the only such species in SF by a long shot. So if you're going to separate them from their Nivenian elements, they're not Kzinti at all, just Felinoid Warrior Alien Race #47.

http://stexpanded.wikia.com/wiki/Mirak_Star_League
__________________
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. Carl Sagan
RAMA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19 2013, 10:16 PM   #47
Redfern
Commodore
 
Redfern's Avatar
 
Location: Georgia, USA
Re: "The Slaver Weapon"

As far as I can remember, an early issue of StarLog (maybe issue 4 or 5) also played it up as though Trek's Arena was directly inspired by the Brown short story. Not claiming that was reality, just that StarLog reported it that way. That claim prologued a reprint of the original Brown story and even had a painting by Boris Vallejo depicting the defenseless astronaut and his alien opponent. A couple of issues later StarLog printed a letter from an irate reader stating, "I thought I had accidentally picked up an issue of PlayGirl!" Boris' painting depicted nothing more than the side of the astronaut's hip. Any "crack" was hidden by shadow and soil.

Sincerely,

Bill
__________________
Tempt the Hand of Fate and it'll give you the "finger"!

Freighter Tails: the Misadventures of Mzzkiti
Redfern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 20 2013, 12:24 AM   #48
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: "The Slaver Weapon"

Well, Inside Star Trek wasn't published until 1996, and it upended a lot of conventional wisdom about ST. Maybe nobody knew the real story until Solow told it in the book. The credits did say that the episode was based on a story by Brown, and as Solow said, the production didn't tell Brown the script had already been written at the time they offered to buy the story. Maybe they were embarrassed to admit what had really happened, and so it took a while before the truth came out.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 20 2013, 12:44 AM   #49
gottacook
Commander
 
Location: Maryland
Re: "The Slaver Weapon"

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
gottacook wrote: View Post
Fascinating. I had always assumed that "Arena" was indeed based on the Brown story, probably because the 1973 David Gerrold book stated it as a fact: "And one of the scripts was based on a short story by Fredric Brown."
Ah, interesting. Which book, by the way? There are two Gerrold Star Trek books from 1973: The World of Star Trek and The Trouble with Tribbles. And, do you have a page number?
Sorry, I meant The World of Star Trek. I'm not home right now, but the quote can be seen at Google Books on page 243 (http://books.google.com/books?ei=d-I...#search_anchor).
gottacook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 20 2013, 12:48 AM   #50
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: "The Slaver Weapon"

And let's take note: the reason they called up Brown and got the rights to the story was because Coon realized that he had based his episode somewhat on elements of Brown's story; it just wasn't intentionally based on it. Coon realized he'd read the story at some point in the past and was probably inadvertently drawing on his memory of it. So it's not actually wrong to say the episode was based on the story. It's just an oversimplification.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 20 2013, 12:55 AM   #51
CorporalCaptain
Admiral
 
CorporalCaptain's Avatar
 
Location: Kentucky
Re: "The Slaver Weapon"

gottacook wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
gottacook wrote: View Post
Fascinating. I had always assumed that "Arena" was indeed based on the Brown story, probably because the 1973 David Gerrold book stated it as a fact: "And one of the scripts was based on a short story by Fredric Brown."
Ah, interesting. Which book, by the way? There are two Gerrold Star Trek books from 1973: The World of Star Trek and The Trouble with Tribbles. And, do you have a page number?
Sorry, I meant The World of Star Trek. I'm not home right now, but the quote can be seen at Google Books on page 243 (http://books.google.com/books?ei=d-I...#search_anchor).
Thanks.
__________________
John
CorporalCaptain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 20 2013, 02:50 AM   #52
gottacook
Commander
 
Location: Maryland
Re: "The Slaver Weapon"

At your service, CorporalCaptain - how's about a nice cold grape Nehi?
gottacook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 20 2013, 03:13 AM   #53
CorporalCaptain
Admiral
 
CorporalCaptain's Avatar
 
Location: Kentucky
Re: "The Slaver Weapon"

Man, you're psychic. That's my favorite drink!
__________________
John
CorporalCaptain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 20 2013, 03:22 AM   #54
GSchnitzer
Co-Executive Producer
 
GSchnitzer's Avatar
 
Location: Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, Terra
Send a message via AIM to GSchnitzer Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to GSchnitzer Send a message via Yahoo to GSchnitzer
Re: "The Slaver Weapon"

Redfern wrote: View Post
As far as I can remember, an early issue of StarLog (maybe issue 4 or 5) also played it up as though Trek's Arena was directly inspired by the Brown short story. Not claiming that was reality, just that StarLog reported it that way. That claim prologued a reprint of the original Brown story and even had a painting by Boris Vallejo depicting the defenseless astronaut and his alien opponent. A couple of issues later StarLog printed a letter from an irate reader stating, "I thought I had accidentally picked up an issue of PlayGirl!" Boris' painting depicted nothing more than the side of the astronaut's hip. Any "crack" was hidden by shadow and soil.

Sincerely,

Bill
If Coon wrote the script before he know of its subconscious source, it would be interesting to know what he had originally titled his script.

Also, the old Starlog issue (Number 4) with "Arena" in it can be found here:

http://swords-and-veeblefetzers.blog...wns-arena.html

Vallejo's pictures from the article are below. (I guess I understand the Playgirl assertion; it's not really "nothing more than the astronaut's hip.")

__________________
Greg Schnitzer
Co-Executive Producer
Star Trek Phase II
http://www.startrekphase2.com
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3348883/
GSchnitzer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 22 2013, 07:48 AM   #55
Ketrick
Lieutenant Commander
 
Location: Maryland
Re: "The Slaver Weapon"

Christopher wrote: View Post
^Interesting thoughts. But while maybe you can explain away each individual detail, to me, when a story demands that many cumulative rationalizations to make it fit, that's a sign that maybe it just doesn't belong where you're trying to force it to be.
To me, the only real problem is the Slavers. The other things don't really require much creative rationalizations. Of course, that's just me.

Though, if I were a creator of a new Trek series, I would simply be vague and only touch on what absolutely had to be touched. Only a minimum of backstory would really be necessary because I doubt most fans know much about what "The Slaver Weapon" set up. Still, the Kzinti are too cool for me to leave alone.
Ketrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 22 2013, 04:33 PM   #56
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: "The Slaver Weapon"

But the Kzinti are less cool without their backstory. Like I said, they might as well just be another generic feline warrior race. If you want Kzinti coolness, your best bet is to read the Known Space series.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 22 2013, 05:17 PM   #57
Redfern
Commodore
 
Redfern's Avatar
 
Location: Georgia, USA
Re: "The Slaver Weapon"

Hmm, how to do the "Slaver Weapon" without the overt Niven elements?

Might have to pull an "Arena" on this one, having only the vague outline of the original narrative. Let's see...

Drop aspects about the Thrint and their slave species. So instead of an ancient weapon left by a long dead race, have it be what Spock and Sulu deduce, a spy's weapon, but it's a prototype being developed by Federation intelligence. Spock, Sulu and Uhura are tasked with transporting this device to a StarFleet base. Even they don't know what it is. Since it's Fed tech' and not a Slaver box, something else is needed to make them land.

Drop the Kzinti. Make them another adversarial species. Possible candidates could be Klingons, Gorn, maybe Romulans. (If this were the "Next Gen'" era, one could play upon the often bragged upon Klingon "honor". The leader get sidewhacked by Spock, a seeming pacifist and he'd demand a rematch. But since this was years before Ruffles had ridges, er, I mean Klingons, let alone the obsession with "honor", it might have seen odd. Klingons were portrayed as the "back stabbers" until '87.

Romulans might work as we observed a sense of fair play in Mark Lenard's "Romulan Commander". Maybe the leader here is disgusted with the way Vulcans socially developed sense their "split". Again, getting ambushed by a supposed peace lover would be insulting to a warrior race.

Given their teeth, I think we can reasonably assume the Gorn are likely carnivores. so, like the Chuft-Captain, the leader would be shamed getting injured by a plant eater.

Or, if one just has to employ a feline species, build upon M'Ress' species. Make it a faction of Caitians that opposed the planet's entry into the Federation. The idea of milling about with carrion eaters and flat out herbivores is disgusting to them. they want to return to the "old ways". Again, the initial confrontation between the lead pirate and Spock can not go unchallenged. (While I personal like this twist, even i will agree that might lean a bit too close to Niven's Kzin for comfort.

Point is, the "meat" of the story could be retained while keeping it more firmly rooted in existing Trek lore.

Sincerely,

Bill
__________________
Tempt the Hand of Fate and it'll give you the "finger"!

Freighter Tails: the Misadventures of Mzzkiti
Redfern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 22 2013, 05:50 PM   #58
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: "The Slaver Weapon"

Redfern wrote: View Post
Point is, the "meat" of the story could be retained while keeping it more firmly rooted in existing Trek lore.
But that's the thing... back when Niven wrote the episode in 1973, there wasn't nearly as much "existing Trek lore" as there is now. They hadn't even pinned down exactly when the series took place, and its history was mostly unwritten. So it was easy to plug in ideas from other SF franchises. Niven did it in "The Slaver Weapon," and James Blish did it in his early TOS episode adaptations, which pretty much imply at some points that Star Trek took place in Blish's Cities in Flight universe (which, at the time, was the more established and mature franchise).

But since then, Trek history has been fleshed out in much greater detail by creators who weren't making any effort to keep "The Slaver Weapon" in mind, due to the ambiguous status of TAS as a whole and the legal issues with Niven's creations in particular. So today we have a Trek history that the details of "The Slaver Weapon" no longer fit into.

In short, the episode is an artifact of its time. I'm not that fond of the idea of rewriting books and episodes to force them to fit a more modern take, since I think it does them an injustice. I think they should be accepted and appreciated for what they are, what they were intended to be. And if that doesn't fit with modern continuity, so what? It's all equally imaginary anyway. The eccentricities of these early alternative takes are part of what makes them interesting, and I'd rather celebrate that infinite diversity than try to bowdlerize their unique attributes and bulldoze them into uniformity.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 22 2013, 06:35 PM   #59
Redfern
Commodore
 
Redfern's Avatar
 
Location: Georgia, USA
Re: "The Slaver Weapon"

D*mn...sorry I typed anything.

No, wait...I won't apologize for posting.

You are the one who keeps posting, "It doesn't belong! It doesn't belong!" So, simply as a mental exercise, just a bloody conjecture, how might have the writing staff of 1973 created an equivalent narrative, avoiding the legal hassles resulting from the Kzinti, ancient Slavers, stasis boxes, etc.

I was NOT stating they SHOULD have done it, merely HOW it could have been done within the context of 1973.

Sincerely,

Bill
__________________
Tempt the Hand of Fate and it'll give you the "finger"!

Freighter Tails: the Misadventures of Mzzkiti
Redfern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 22 2013, 07:02 PM   #60
CorporalCaptain
Admiral
 
CorporalCaptain's Avatar
 
Location: Kentucky
Re: "The Slaver Weapon"

Redfern wrote: View Post
So, simply as a mental exercise, just a bloody conjecture, how might have the writing staff of 1973 created an equivalent narrative, avoiding the legal hassles resulting from the Kzinti, ancient Slavers, stasis boxes, etc.

I was NOT stating they SHOULD have done it, merely HOW it could have been done within the context of 1973.
I get what you're getting at.

Redfern wrote: View Post
Or, if one just has to employ a feline species, build upon M'Ress' species. Make it a faction of Caitians that opposed the planet's entry into the Federation. The idea of milling about with carrion eaters and flat out herbivores is disgusting to them. they want to return to the "old ways". Again, the initial confrontation between the lead pirate and Spock can not go unchallenged. (While I personal like this twist, even i will agree that might lean a bit too close to Niven's Kzin for comfort.
From http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Caitian#Background:

The name of the species [Caitian] comes from a biography of Lt. M'Ress published by Lincoln Enterprises in 1974, which claims that the Caitians are related to the Kzinti. This is corroborated by extensive commentary by Larry Niven, author of most Known Space books, primarily found in his short story books "N-Space," "Playgrounds of the Mind" and "The Patchwork Man."
From http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Kzinti#Background:

According to The Worlds of the Federation by Shane Johnson, the Caitian homeworld is believed to be an ancient Kzinti colony. Caitians are however peaceful in nature contrary to their cousins. These data points reflect the information first published in M'Ress' biography by Lincoln Enterprises.
The "alternate universe" idea of Star Trek Kzin as actual renegade Caitians, as opposed to more distant relatives, is intriguing. Why Fontana, Niven, et al. didn't go that route at the time, I haven't a clue. If it did occur to them, perhaps they decided that there was no compelling reason to go there. In any case, none of that means that I'm sorry that we got the episode we got.
__________________
John
CorporalCaptain is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:58 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.