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

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

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Old April 16 2013, 10:37 PM   #61
Danger Ace
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

Trek Survivor wrote: View Post
He was a flawed human being that often did questionable and objectionable things; he cheated on both wives, took credit for other people's work etc. But it riles me when people seem to ignore or intentionally disregard the contribution he made to Trek. It was MORE than "just the initial idea"; By all means let's burst the myth and acknowledge others' contributions, but I just feel the demonisation of Roddenberry has become something ludicrous within fandom.
I don't think people are forgetting his considerable contributions. I think folks, through the back-and-forth of these threads, are striving to find and deal with the truth after decades of lies and misrepresentations with the ultimate goal of giving all concerned their rightful due.

Is there some harshness to it? Yes, however, it is (IMO) a natural and measured backlash from feeling needlessly and unrepentantly lied to as well as the injury done to many innocent people and entities.

When people start feeling someone willfully misrepresented things far more often then they were open and honest, well, the betrayal of trust becomes hurtful.

Roddenberry villified NBC who in reality were more than fair to him by allowing him to make two pilots when the norm was one. They gave him three seasons despite poor ratings (wherein he abandoned ship, thereby, sabotaging the third season). He was routinely dishonorable in his dealings with others (under a variety of circumstances). So then the question becomes to what extent does the "good" outweigh or overshadow the "bad" (or vice-a-versa")? Where does one balance excusing GR's negatives while praising his positives?
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Old April 16 2013, 10:37 PM   #62
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

Carcazoid wrote: View Post
And they all turned into the same chick? Dayum.
Three different chicks actual, but they were identical triplets.
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Old April 17 2013, 02:17 AM   #63
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
I don't think people are forgetting his considerable contributions. I think folks, through the back-and-forth of these threads, are striving to find and deal with the truth after decades of lies and misrepresentations with the ultimate goal of giving all concerned their rightful due.

Is there some harshness to it? Yes, however, it is (IMO) a natural and measured backlash from feeling needlessly and unrepentantly lied to as well as the injury done to many innocent people and entities.

When people start feeling someone willfully misrepresented things far more often then they were open and honest, well, the betrayal of trust becomes hurtful.

Roddenberry villified NBC who in reality were more than fair to him by allowing him to make two pilots when the norm was one. They gave him three seasons despite poor ratings (wherein he abandoned ship, thereby, sabotaging the third season). He was routinely dishonorable in his dealings with others (under a variety of circumstances). So then the question becomes to what extent does the "good" outweigh or overshadow the "bad" (or vice-a-versa")? Where does one balance excusing GR's negatives while praising his positives?
That's an excellent summation of what I think.
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Old April 17 2013, 06:39 AM   #64
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

^ Agreed, one of the better summations I've seen. Nicely done, DangerAce.
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Old April 17 2013, 06:32 PM   #65
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Three different chicks actual, but they were identical triplets.
Identical triplets? Damn! One more entry on my bucket list.
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Old May 2 2013, 12:48 AM   #66
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

mb22 wrote: View Post
I think it is a reaction to the "Roddenberry is god" views popular in the '70s....
Yeah, agreed. Few humans are without flaws. And most often their flaws don't lessen the import of their achievements. I'd like to think Roddenberry had enough respect/decency not to force himself on an actress in his employ... and as said by others, I'd need to see proof, not just innuendo. But whatever the case, he was a human being.... just like you and me.
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Old May 2 2013, 01:09 AM   #67
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
Roddenberry villified NBC who in reality were more than fair to him by allowing him to make two pilots when the norm was one. They gave him three seasons despite poor ratings (wherein he abandoned ship, thereby, sabotaging the third season). He was routinely dishonorable in his dealings with others (under a variety of circumstances). So then the question becomes to what extent does the "good" outweigh or overshadow the "bad" (or vice-a-versa")? Where does one balance excusing GR's negatives while praising his positives?
So what? The first pilot was still better and Roddenberry was rightly pissed off that he had to Western-ify his Star Trek. When it comes to creative people vs. the studio I don't have to think twice about whom I side with and I certainly don't pretend that being a stubborn egomaniac (instead of a studio whore) is bad when you try to bring your vision onto the small or big screen.

Balance? When people use words like dishonorable, villify and sabotage and then talk about balance they are just bullshitting. If you don't like the guy (based on what others said about him) don't beat around the bush and just say it.
Thankfully I don't care one iota about what kind of a person he was. I care about his work.
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Old May 2 2013, 02:08 AM   #68
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

We have always built idols so that some time in the future we could tear them down. Roddenberry is just one more example of this. When we elevate someone to the status of a god, and later relegate them to a position below us, we feel better about ourselves, we feel superior.

To paraphrase Maslow, people have to eventually tear down their idols: looking up for so long makes the back of their necks sore.
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Old May 2 2013, 02:24 AM   #69
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

horatio83 wrote:
So what? The first pilot was still better and Roddenberry was rightly pissed off that he had to Western-ify his Star Trek.
I'm curious as to what you mean by this. His pitch was "Wagon Train to the stars" and he was trying to duplicate the tone, style and attitudes of the "Adult Westerns" that were popular at the time.
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Old May 2 2013, 02:25 AM   #70
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

Roddenberry was rightly pissed off that he had to Western-ify his Star Trek.
He pitched the thing as "Wagon Train to the Stars." Shame on naughty old NBC for giving him a second chance to give them what they paid for.
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Old May 2 2013, 05:34 AM   #71
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

Personally I have always loved WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE and it has been getting better the more I rewatch it, so I don't see the second pilot as a comedown at all ... more importantly, I think it also shows that the combination of an interesting notion and some measure of action was the ticket ... WHERE NO MAN doesn't have much more action than CAGE, but it sure SEEMS like it does.

I have always been monumentally unimpressed with CAGE's casting, outside of John Hoyt and the guy with the ears (even the latter has plenty of room for improvement.) So WHERE NO MAN is a total upgrade for me.

But in terms of westerniifying (nifty word, no sarcasm) ... what were the alternatives GR has to offer up to the network for pilot 2, in additon to Peeple's WHERE NO MAN:
Here Comes the Brides (sorry, that was MUDD'S WOMEN, Stephen Kandel)
The Patriot Act (THE OMEGA GLORY, GR at his worst or awfully close to it.)

Geezus and Double-Geezus! You could have had David Lean shooting after William Goldman rewriting and these turkeys would STILL be turkeys! Those are like westerns, but really bad westerns!

GR and everybody else should have been thanking the gods that the network chose WHERE NO MAN as pilot 2.
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Old May 2 2013, 11:57 AM   #72
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

I'm going to get blasted for this but The Cage is overrated. The cast is almost uniformly bland and uncharismatic. The script is only okay. The money is on the screen, and the Talosians are cool, but it's nowhere near Star Trek's finest hour. WNMHGB is a much more dramatic story with far superior casting.
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Old May 3 2013, 09:32 PM   #73
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

EnsignRedshirt wrote: View Post
I've kind of settled into this:

Roddenberry was a deeply flawed human being who got something incredible off the ground and, for that, he deserves at least a modicum of respect, while acknowledging that Trek would not be what it is and was without the enormous talent of the hundreds of people that toiled day and night on it.
What people either keep forgetting or ignoring is that Roddenberry himself rewrote a great deal of the scripts in the first two seasons. Harlan Ellison is the most famous example, while John DF Black apparently left because of it. Bob Justman and Herb Solow back it up that Gene was amazing at rewriting scripts, just not as good at generating his own from the ground up. He spent very long hours hammering away at them, as did Gene Coon and others. Again, when "Shore Leave" needed on set rewites, who was sitting under a tree on location making them? Not Coon or Fontana. Roddenberry.

Which means, yes, Roddenberry deserves a lot of credit for the success of the show: he rewrote scripts to make sure they fit his idea of the series he created. This is no way removes what everyone else contributed, but to suggest as some have that Gene "created the series, then sat back and let others do the work while he had sex with actresses" is ridiculous. However, others like Coon, Fontana, Black and so on deserve a huge share of the accolades too.
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Old May 3 2013, 10:37 PM   #74
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
What people either keep forgetting or ignoring is that Roddenberry himself rewrote a great deal of the scripts in the first two seasons. Harlan Ellison is the most famous example
I'm pretty sure this was covered upthread; Fontana did the final City re-writes.

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
while John DF Black apparently left because of it.
Black left because of the way he was treated personally. The story is in the Inside Star Trek book.

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
but to suggest as some have that Gene "created the series, then sat back and let others do the work while he had sex with actresses" is ridiculous.
He was doing work for sure; but he was also having sex with actresses. This is also covered in the book.
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Old May 3 2013, 10:48 PM   #75
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Re: The Roddenberry Reputation

Roddenberry did many polishes and re-writes, but you shouldn't underestimate the number of re-writes (often, uncredited) that Gene Coon and Dorothy Fontana did during the first two seasons. According to Inside Star Trek, Steve Kandel was hired to so a couple of rewrites, too. (So was George Clyton Johnson, but he declined, leading "What Are Little Gitls Made Of?" to be shot as written by Robert Bloch. It turned out just fine.)
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