RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 139,140
Posts: 5,401,874
Members: 24,748
Currently online: 472
Newest member: ChrisCrash

TrekToday headlines

Retro Review: Time’s Orphan
By: Michelle on Aug 30

September-October Trek Conventions And Appearances
By: T'Bonz on Aug 29

Lee Passes
By: T'Bonz on Aug 29

Trek Merchandise Sale
By: T'Bonz on Aug 28

Star Trek #39 Villain Revealed
By: T'Bonz on Aug 28

Trek Big Bang Figures
By: T'Bonz on Aug 28

Star Trek Seekers Cover Art
By: T'Bonz on Aug 27

Fan Film Axanar Kickstarter Success
By: T'Bonz on Aug 27

Two New Starship Collection Ships
By: T'Bonz on Aug 26

Trek Actor Wins Emmy
By: T'Bonz on Aug 26


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 27 2013, 05:16 AM   #16
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Who were the main characters?

Harvey wrote: View Post
We're obviously just going back and forth over semantics here, but I would point out that your definition doesn't fit certain contemporary series like The West Wing and 24 which had large ensembles of regulars, but didn't feature every one of those actors in each episode.
And I didn't intend it to, because we're talking about a 1960s television series, not a 21st-century series. The ways in which the definition has begun to evolve in recent years as television has become more ensemble-driven are not relevant to the topic of TOS and which of its cast members qualified as regulars.


Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
so the movies should have brought in young people with new character names in 1979.
Which, of course, was the intention of ""Phase II": Decker, Ilia and Xon. And later movies (when begun, ST II was to have been a telemovie) adding a male "Dr Savik", who became the female Saavik, and Kirk's son, originally Dr David Wallace (his mother was from "The Deadly Years").
Yes, the original idea was to gradually phase out the TOS cast and phase in a new, younger cast to take over the franchise. Instead, as the movies progressed, it was the new characters that got written out and the old guard that kept coming back. Presumably because the audience wanted to see the familiar characters and so nostalgia won 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 27 2013, 09:26 AM   #17
Pauln6
Rear Admiral
 
Pauln6's Avatar
 
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom
Re: Who were the main characters?

Shatner & Nimoy were singed for every episode in season one. Whitney & Kelly were main characters but were not signed for every episode. I think they found it easy to write for McCoy (who I think is in all but one season one episode, whereas Whitney appeared in only 8 out of 13 episodes, some of which were little more than cameos). They painted themselves into a corner with Rand because they made the unrequited passion too up front from the start and they kept having to pedal backwards to let Kirk flirt with other women instead of building from a low point as is common today. She was written out of Dagger of the Mind because it would have shown their relationship being bumped in a new direction that was too full on and eventually she was written out altogether for a variety of reasons but a couple of which were that she was too expensive to employ if they couldn't think of how to use her in a way that couldn't be done by a Yeoman of the week, and she was a millstone around Kirk's neck because if he shagged another woman he was effectively cheating on her, although it's as likely that behind the scenes reasons could have played a bigger role. I would certainly have preferred to see her stick around for one or two episodes per season. McCoy on the other hand was such a joy to write and so successful that he became a season two regular.
__________________
Star Trek/Babylon 5/Alien crossover www.youtube.com/user/pauln6

Other Worlds Role Playing Game
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/produc...ducts_id=97631
Pauln6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27 2013, 10:11 AM   #18
Therin of Andor
Admiral
 
Therin of Andor's Avatar
 
Location: New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
View Therin of Andor's Twitter Profile
Re: Who were the main characters?

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
Shatner & Nimoy were singed for every episode in season one. Whitney & Kelly were main characters but were not signed for every episode.
Actually, I think you'll find that Whitney and Kelley were signed to 13-week contracts. They would have received some kind of minimal retainer to stop them taking other work during those 13 weeks, whether they were needed for a ST episode or not. Ideally, the writers were expected to use both characters if they could. That's partly what made it so desirable for the production to ditch Rand (GLW's health worries an additional concern, and presumably why she got written out of "Dagger of the Mind" at an early stage). She was simply too expensive for a character who wasn't getting enough lines in sufficient scripts, and the writers were stymied by her character being paired with the captain so closely and so early.

GLW's "cameo" in "The Conscience of the King" was originally longer, but it was essentially a walk-on to fulfill her contract/throw her a bone. The 14th episode filmed was "The Galileo Seven", which GLW calls her "least favourite episode" ("Dagger of the Mind" being her second worst) because Yeoman Mears was a last-minute name-switch Rand replacement.

Kelley would have had his 13-weeks renewal clause activated, but GLW was "let go".
__________________
Thiptho lapth! Ian (Entire post is personal opinion)
The Andor Files @ http://andorfiles.blogspot.com/
http://therinofandor.blogspot.com/
Therin of Andor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27 2013, 10:50 AM   #19
CorporalCaptain
Vice Admiral
 
CorporalCaptain's Avatar
 
Location: Kentucky
Re: Who were the main characters?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Instead, as the movies progressed, it was the new characters that got written out and the old guard that kept coming back. Presumably because the audience wanted to see the familiar characters and so nostalgia won out.
Of course, that trend really began with The Motion Picture, in which no less than three potential replacement characters were killed off or went missing!
__________________
John
CorporalCaptain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27 2013, 02:44 PM   #20
ssosmcin
Rear Admiral
 
ssosmcin's Avatar
 
Location: ssosmcin
Re: Who were the main characters?

Christopher wrote: View Post
^I've always taken "regular" to mean someone who appears in, or at least is credited in the main cast list of, every episode. The supporting TOS players were never more than semi-regulars. Even Kelley was missing from two first-season episodes. Nichols was in 65 episodes, Doohan in 64, but Takei in only 51 episodes and Koenig in only 35.
Well, even in the 60's there were leads, regulars, semi-regulars and recurring. Ultimately, I don’t think it had as much to do with the credits since that was contractually based and not necessarily how the show developed. Let's take the Irwin Allen shows as an example: Lost in Space and Land of the Giants listed all of their main cast up front in the opening credits. Yet, some of the characters in both shows were marginalized down to semi-regular status. In the case of Lost in Space, the lead was practically a highly paid a day player once Dr. Smith took over.

However, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and The Time Tunnel only listed the two leads. The end credits listed EVERYONE, even the leads. You can still be a "regular" if you missed a couple of episodes. On Voyage, Bob Dowdell (Chip Morton) was indeed a regular, but he missed at least two episodes during the run. His credit at the end was also in a larger font, preceded by an "and." Starting with the 2nd season, Terry Becker joined the cast as Chief Sharkey and he was in every episode (except for a batch because of a contract dispute got him fired temporarily). Neither he nor Dowdell were semi-regulars, they were regulars. Arguably, Becker should have been moved to the opening credits, he was as important to the show as Kelley was on Trek. As for the three "end credit" cast members on The Time Tunnel who manned the controls, they were in every episode, but they weren't the leads. They were regulars.

I see why you might use the credits as a guide, but it's not consistent across the dial. On Trek, the guys up front were the leads, with the back end guys being regulars, semi-regulars and recurring depending on their contributions to the series.
__________________
"Tranya is people!"
ssosmcin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27 2013, 03:56 PM   #21
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Who were the main characters?

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
Well, even in the 60's there were leads, regulars, semi-regulars and recurring. Ultimately, I don’t think it had as much to do with the credits since that was contractually based and not necessarily how the show developed. Let's take the Irwin Allen shows as an example: Lost in Space and Land of the Giants listed all of their main cast up front in the opening credits. Yet, some of the characters in both shows were marginalized down to semi-regular status. In the case of Lost in Space, the lead was practically a highly paid a day player once Dr. Smith took over.
The characters were marginalized, but they were not semiregulars. They were billed and contracted as regulars, and they still appeared at least briefly in every single episode, even if it was just to deliver a couple of lines -- with the exception of LotG's Stefan Arngrim, who was absent from five episodes, and Heather Young, who missed seven, mostly due to maternity leave. But since they were regulars, that means they got credited and paid even for the episodes they weren't in, and got paid just as much regardless of how many lines they had -- which is what distinguishes them from semiregulars or day players, who are credited/paid only for the episodes they do appear in. Acting is a business, so the distinction between job categories is a matter of contract and salary. A regular is someone who gets paid regularly, not who has a consistent amount of screen time.

There were plenty of DS9 episodes where Sisko was not a significant character, but in every case, the writers made sure to give Sisko at least one brief scene with dialogue even if it had nothing to do with the main story. Same with the other billed regulars, other than Jake. Most of the time, even if the episode only focused on a couple of the cast, the other adult regulars would still make brief appearances just long enough to justify their contractual requirements. That's what distinguished the actual regulars from recurring characters like Rom or Garak, who were hired on more of an episode-by-episode basis and didn't get gratuitously written into stories that weren't about them.

The same went for TOS. In season 1, Kelley wasn't a regular, so McCoy was absent completely from two episodes. But after that, he was a regular, so he had to be written into every episode even if it was just to hang out on the bridge and say something snarky. But the other characters were not regulars, so there was no incentive to give them token scenes. They were used when the story called for them, and otherwise were just not there.

However, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and The Time Tunnel only listed the two leads. The end credits listed EVERYONE, even the leads. You can still be a "regular" if you missed a couple of episodes. On Voyage, Bob Dowdell (Chip Morton) was indeed a regular, but he missed at least two episodes during the run.
Okay, if an actor appears in every or virtually episode despite not having main-title billing, like Lee Meriwether and Whit Bissell in TTT, then one could argue they were effectively regulars, even if they weren't contracted that way. But how is that relevant to Nichols, Doohan, Takei, and Koenig, who did not appear in virtually every episode? Nichols and Doohan were in only 80-ish percent of the episodes, the others in considerably fewer. They were semiregulars at best.
__________________
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 27 2013, 10:07 PM   #22
TREK_GOD_1
Fleet Captain
 
TREK_GOD_1's Avatar
 
Location: Escaped from Delta Vega
Re: Who were the main characters?

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
Starting with the 2nd season, Terry Becker joined the cast as Chief Sharkey and he was in every episode (except for a batch because of a contract dispute got him fired temporarily). Neither he nor Dowdell were semi-regulars, they were regulars. Arguably, Becker should have been moved to the opening credits, he was as important to the show as Kelley was on Trek. As for the three "end credit" cast members on The Time Tunnel who manned the controls, they were in every episode, but they weren't the leads. They were regulars.
Excellent point. There was not such a hardline definition of series "regular" at the time that an actor not listed in the main title was instantly bumped down to a "semi regular" or anything less, particularly if one considers his contributions to the series as a functioning character.

One could even argue Lew Parker's That Girl character Lew Marie (who appeared in 65 of all 136 episodes) was a "regular," as his character was not simply recurring, but a functioning part of the developing plot of the series despite never being listed in the main credits.
__________________
"...to be like God, you have the power to make the world anything you want it to be."
TREK_GOD_1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27 2013, 11:45 PM   #23
A beaker full of death
Vice Admiral
 
A beaker full of death's Avatar
 
Re: Who were the main characters?

This is such an amorphous question. Often the episodes aren't about the regular cast at all (nor could they be -- you can't destroy the lives of your regulars every week, and the dramatic hero of a self-contained episode must have his life changed). They served merely as our entre into another world, and they provided certain plot elements.
On the other hand, the series had leading characters as a whole.
__________________
"shall not be infringed" is naturally open to infringements of all kinds, because shut up and think of the children.
http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/...#ixzz2ImW0V3GV
A beaker full of death is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2 2013, 03:12 PM   #24
DalekJim
Fleet Captain
 
DalekJim's Avatar
 
Location: Great Britain
Re: Who were the main characters?

Unlike the others, TOS is not an ensemble show. It's the Kirk, Spock and McCoy show with prominent, memorable recurring character Scotty and a bunch of extras.

Sadly, these bunch of extras are the most insanely entitled in TV history and Takei in particular has made a career out of attacking Shatner and causing drama for profit.

Which is unfair. Shatner was the main character, the star and the fact audiences loved his performance and were drawn in by it is the reason we're all here. He should be given more attention than Takei, Nichols etc.

Since leaving Trek, Shatner has given award winning performances elsewhere, starred in a successful TV series and pioneered the undervalued music genre of spoken word. Due to the mumblings of old extras, Shatner is now undervalued. Which is a shame as the guy is a treasure and a genuine hero of mine.
DalekJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2 2013, 04:38 PM   #25
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Who were the main characters?

DalekJim wrote: View Post
Unlike the others, TOS is not an ensemble show. It's the Kirk, Spock and McCoy show with prominent, memorable recurring character Scotty and a bunch of extras.

Sadly, these bunch of extras are the most insanely entitled in TV history and Takei in particular has made a career out of attacking Shatner and causing drama for profit.
That's not what the word "extras" means. Extras are background players who have no scripted dialogue. Extras are the people sitting at the side consoles and never saying anything, or the security guards standing by the bridge doors, or the yeoman who hands Kirk a clipboard to sign and doesn't say anything, or the crowd of citizens walking past in the background on an alien planet. Takei, Nichols, and Koenig were contracted semi-regular actors.


Which is unfair. Shatner was the main character, the star and the fact audiences loved his performance and were drawn in by it is the reason we're all here.
Actually Nimoy hugely eclipsed Shatner and the others in popularity, getting more fan mail than the rest of the cast combined. Roddenberry and Shatner both had to struggle to keep Kirk central to the show when the audience and the network were pushing for Spock to be the center of attention.


Since leaving Trek, Shatner has given award winning performances elsewhere, starred in a successful TV series and pioneered the undervalued music genre of spoken word.
He's hardly the only one. Nimoy starred on Mission: Impossible for two seasons, hosted In Search Of... for several years, and later went on to a successful directing career. Walter Koenig did extraordinary work on Babylon 5. George Takei has done lots of character acting and voice work as well as performing on stage. And so on.

And you're not only underrating the others, you're underrating Shatner as well. He's had more than one successful TV series since ST, including T.J. Hooker and Boston Legal.
__________________
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 March 2 2013, 05:11 PM   #26
DalekJim
Fleet Captain
 
DalekJim's Avatar
 
Location: Great Britain
Re: Who were the main characters?

Christopher wrote: View Post
That's not what the word "extras" means. Extras are background players who have no scripted dialogue.
Wrong. Extras can have dialogue, happens all the time. Especially common in Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies and Russell T. Davies Doctor Who.

Extras are the people sitting at the side consoles and never saying anything
Or the guy sitting at the helm, only chiming in with "Aye sir!" occasionally.

Actually Nimoy hugely eclipsed Shatner and the others in popularity, getting more fan mail than the rest of the cast combined.
Well documented, but Shatner's charisma as the lead is a huge reason people got so involved with the show. Both actors were equally perfect and important.

Walter Koenig did extraordinary work on Babylon 5.
Agreed, he's terrific as Bester. Because unlike his role as Chekov, he has a proper part.

And you're not only underrating the others, you're underrating Shatner as well. He's had more than one successful TV series since ST, including T.J. Hooker and Boston Legal.
Well, TJ Hooker was a commercial success to be sure but I was trying to justify his integrity as an actor. Hardly his best work.
DalekJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2 2013, 06:02 PM   #27
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Who were the main characters?

DalekJim wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
That's not what the word "extras" means. Extras are background players who have no scripted dialogue.
Wrong. Extras can have dialogue, happens all the time.
Occasionally, yes. But it's far, far more wrong to refer to Takei, Nichols, and Koenig as extras.


Well documented, but Shatner's charisma as the lead is a huge reason people got so involved with the show. Both actors were equally perfect and important.
That's your personal opinion, but the historical record shows that Spock was immensely more popular with viewers at the time. It was only through Roddenberry's effort to keep Kirk front and center that he and Spock ended up seeming equally important to the show. If the network had had its way, if Roddenberry and Shatner hadn't fought so hard against the tide of Spock mania, then Spock would've eclipsed Kirk in the same way that the Fonz eclipsed Richie as the star of Happy Days.
__________________
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 March 2 2013, 06:09 PM   #28
DalekJim
Fleet Captain
 
DalekJim's Avatar
 
Location: Great Britain
Re: Who were the main characters?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Occasionally, yes. But it's far, far more wrong to refer to Takei, Nichols, and Koenig as extras.
Well, they're extras the vast majority of the time. Occasionally they'll get some mild focus in ship-centric episodes like The Naked Time or Mirror, Mirror but that's because there's no significant guest stars around. If there are, they're given nothing to do really.

Being considered extras is only wrong if people look down on extras. It's a perfectly valid job role that TV and film would be much worse off without. Not everybody has to be, or has the talent to be, a star. As George Takei's performance in his Voyager appearance proved.

Yet these people feel entitled to fame, think they deserve to be in the public eye and demand the attention that they feel is being robbed of them in favour of Shatner. That's just... wrong. It'd be like the guy who played Uncle Owen in Star Wars complaining that Mark Hamill hogged the lime-light. No, he's just the bloody main character. That's how fiction works.
DalekJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2 2013, 07:58 PM   #29
Harvey
Admiral
 
Harvey's Avatar
 
Re: Who were the main characters?

DalekJim wrote: View Post
Or the guy sitting at the helm, only chiming in with "Aye sir!" occasionally.
Billy Blackburn, who often sat at the navigation or helm station, was an extra. He never had any lines. (Most extras on TOS never had any lines because then they would have been owed more money). The guy saying "Aye, sir" was either a semi-regular (Takei, Koenig) or a day player -- not an extra.

Agreed, he's terrific as Bester. Because unlike his role as Chekov, he has a proper part.
Walter Koenig would agree with you. But, self-deprecating as he is, he wouldn't call the role of Chekov that of an "extra." He'd call it what it was: a mostly expository role in which he was paid as a day player, and later as a semi-regular.

Being considered extras is only wrong if people look down on extras.
Being considered extras is wrong when the person is not an extra. Takei, Koenig, and Nichols were not extras.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Takei, Nichols, and Koenig were contracted semi-regular actors.
In practice, Nichols was a semi-regular, but contractually she was never more than a day player. (Indeed, she was paid so little that she had a "no quote" deal.)
__________________
"This begs explanation." - de Forest Research on Star Trek

My blog: Star Trek Fact Check.
Harvey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 3 2013, 01:42 AM   #30
TREK_GOD_1
Fleet Captain
 
TREK_GOD_1's Avatar
 
Location: Escaped from Delta Vega
Re: Who were the main characters?

DalekJim wrote: View Post
Well documented, but Shatner's charisma as the lead is a huge reason people got so involved with the show. Both actors were equally perfect and important..
Shatner certainly had his share of fans, but Nimoy's Spock was so popular, he was the first character to be produced as a model kit during the series' production years--with the subtitle "Star Trek's Most Popular Character" on the box. That says much about perceptions at the time TOS was a first run series.
__________________
"...to be like God, you have the power to make the world anything you want it to be."
TREK_GOD_1 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 07:13 AM.

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