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

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Old May 15 2013, 06:25 PM   #31
ssosmcin
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Re: George Takei and Second Two of TOS

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post
Roddenberry's attempt to dump Doohan after the second pilot
I'm not up to speed on this. What's this about, please?
Apparently, according to Justman and Solow, after WNMHGB, Gene decided they didn't need a chief engineer after all tried to have Doohan fired. Doohan went to his agent and got that worked out PDQ and they wound up using the character a great deal.

I'm surprised Doohan and Gene were such good friends after that, unless Gene spun some yarn about it being a Network decision or some such.
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Old May 15 2013, 06:34 PM   #32
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Re: George Takei and Second Two of TOS

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post
Roddenberry's attempt to dump Doohan after the second pilot
I'm not up to speed on this. What's this about, please?
Apparently, according to Justman and Solow, after WNMHGB, Gene decided they didn't need a chief engineer after all tried to have Doohan fired. Doohan went to his agent and got that worked out PDQ and they wound up using the character a great deal.

I'm surprised Doohan and Gene were such good friends after that, unless Gene spun some yarn about it being a Network decision or some such.
GR probably blamed it on Shatner.
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Old May 15 2013, 06:43 PM   #33
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Re: George Takei and Second Two of TOS

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
I'm surprised Doohan and Gene were such good friends after that, unless Gene spun some yarn about it being a Network decision or some such.
It's the passage of time and other things (like wanting to make sure the fans push for a revival, keep the revival going, etc. There's also th issue that actors in general try not to 'burn bridges' with producers regardless of what the Producers do; as you never know when said producer may have another job/role for you.)

Look at William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. When the series was in production, they weren't all that friendly towards one another - and Nimoy got it into his head that while Shatner got top billing; his character of 'Spock' was the real lead/star of the show fans came to watch. Also if you believe William Windom's report of Shatner and Nimoy on set (he's one of the few guest actors not really taken by the aura of 'Star Trek' and saw the stint as just another guest TV role); Mr. Windom has said BOTH Shatner and Nimoy were line counting; and going to GR with trivial stuff, etc.

In the end, in the third season it was settled by a meeting with GR in which GR grudgingly indicated, William Shatner/Kirk was the 'star' of Star Trek.

But my point? All the above didn't keep William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy from forming a real friendship in the later years after Star Trek.
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Old May 15 2013, 07:03 PM   #34
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Re: George Takei and Second Two of TOS

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post
Roddenberry's attempt to dump Doohan after the second pilot
I'm not up to speed on this. What's this about, please?
Checking my records, it turns out I transcribed more memos about this than I had remembered. Happy to share them.

On April 11, 1966, not long after the series had been picked up, Gene Roddenberry sent the following to James Doohan:

Dear Jim:

As you probably know by now, STAR TREK will be on the air this coming September.

Due to changes in format, budget structure, and character concepts, we cannot pick up a number of options, including yours. But we do hope that “Engineering Officer Scott” will reappear in future stories and hope we will be fortunate enough to find you interested and available at that time.

Let me thank you for your important contribution in the making of the STAR TREK pilot. As mentioned many times before, I value your talent and ability highly and it will always be a particular pleasure for me when we are able to work together.

Cordially yours,
Gene Roddenberry
According to Inside Star Trek: The Real Story:

Doohan was confused by Roddenberry's direct communication and informed his agent, Paul Wilkins, that apparently he'd been fired. Wilkins became irate and met with Roddenberry, and by the close of business that same day, Doohan was returned to the Enterprise engine room. Millions of fans should be thankful to Paul Wilkins for getting Doohan back on board. NBC was unaware of Roddenberry's attempt to fire Doohan. (Page 153)
Although the book claims that Wilkins closed the deal after one day, it appears that negotiations actually took a few weeks, and were finally settled on May 19, 1966, according to this memo from casting director Joe D'Agosta to business affairs attorney Ed Perlstein:

James Doohan has agreed to work on the television series “Star Trek” on a non-exclusive basis subject to his availability. He will appear as the recurring character, Scott, for a guaranteed salary of $850 for six days and a guarantee of five shows out of the first thirteen shows.

Please draw up the necessary papers.

J.D.
I never transcribed the terms of Doohan's original contract for the second pilot, but my speculation is that after Roddenberry made the mistake of declining his option, Doohan was able to re-negotiate for a more favorable per episode rate. Since the character was a success, his appearance in more shows was subsequently negotiated, as indicated by this memo from D'Agosta to Roddenberry on NOVEMBER 11, 1966:

I have negotiated another “handshake” agreement with Jim’s agent, Paul Wilkens, whereby we guarantee him five more shows at $850 for six days per show.

If we use Jim less than six days, we may hire him at the following rates: These shows, however, are not to be included in the guarantee.

One day 300.00
Two days 500.00
Three days 600.00
Four days 700.00

If he is originally scheduled to work one to four days and in fact works five or six days, he is to be paid a pro rata of the salary and the show will not be included in the guarantee.

J’DA.
By the end of the first season, the producers liked Doohan enough to sign him to an exclusive, four year contract, as indicated in this March 16, 1967 memo from D'Agosta to Perlstein:

I am happy to advise you that James Doohan has signed an exclusive contract with Desilu for the 1967/1968 broadcast season for three subsequent years after this year on a nine out of 13 of each 13 programs produced and pro rata for cycles of less than 13 shows terminable by Desilu at the end of any 13-program cycle.

The compensation which is for up to five consecutive days work per episode is:

First Year: $ 850
Second Year: $1,100
Third Year: $1,350
Fourth Year: $1,600

Billing is at Producer’s discretion.
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Old May 15 2013, 07:16 PM   #35
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Re: George Takei and Second Two of TOS

Noname Given wrote: View Post
Look at William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. When the series was in production, they weren't all that friendly towards one another - and Nimoy got it into his head that while Shatner got top billing; his character of 'Spock' was the real lead/star of the show fans came to watch.
Well, he was. You talk like it's some delusion of Nimoy's, but the fact is that Spock/Nimoy got more fan mail than the rest of the cast combined. He was a national sensation, the breakout star of the show, and the network was constantly pushing Roddenberry to boost the size of Spock's role. It was a struggle for Roddenberry to keep Kirk as the main character despite all the fan and network pressure to focus on Spock, and he ultimately needed advice from Isaac Asimov on how to achieve it: by making Kirk and Spock inseparable friends and partners, a package deal.
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Old May 15 2013, 07:40 PM   #36
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Re: George Takei and Second Two of TOS

Harvey wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post
Roddenberry's attempt to dump Doohan after the second pilot
I'm not up to speed on this. What's this about, please?
Checking my records, it turns out I transcribed more memos about this than I had remembered. Happy to share them.

On April 11, 1966, not long after the series had been picked up, Gene Roddenberry sent the following to James Doohan:



According to Inside Star Trek: The Real Story:



Although the book claims that Wilkins closed the deal after one day, it appears that negotiations actually took a few weeks, and were finally settled on May 19, 1966, according to this memo from casting director Joe D'Agosta to business affairs attorney Ed Perlstein:



I never transcribed the terms of Doohan's original contract for the second pilot, but my speculation is that after Roddenberry made the mistake of declining his option, Doohan was able to re-negotiate for a more favorable per episode rate. Since the character was a success, his appearance in more shows was subsequently negotiated, as indicated by this memo from D'Agosta to Roddenberry on NOVEMBER 11, 1966:

I have negotiated another “handshake” agreement with Jim’s agent, Paul Wilkens, whereby we guarantee him five more shows at $850 for six days per show.

If we use Jim less than six days, we may hire him at the following rates: These shows, however, are not to be included in the guarantee.

One day 300.00
Two days 500.00
Three days 600.00
Four days 700.00

If he is originally scheduled to work one to four days and in fact works five or six days, he is to be paid a pro rata of the salary and the show will not be included in the guarantee.

J’DA.
By the end of the first season, the producers liked Doohan enough to sign him to an exclusive, four year contract, as indicated in this March 16, 1967 memo from D'Agosta to Perlstein:

I am happy to advise you that James Doohan has signed an exclusive contract with Desilu for the 1967/1968 broadcast season for three subsequent years after this year on a nine out of 13 of each 13 programs produced and pro rata for cycles of less than 13 shows terminable by Desilu at the end of any 13-program cycle.

The compensation which is for up to five consecutive days work per episode is:

First Year: $ 850
Second Year: $1,100
Third Year: $1,350
Fourth Year: $1,600

Billing is at Producer’s discretion.
Thanks for all of the wonderful historical details.

As noted, its funny that Doohan became so buddy-buddy with Roddenberry in the early 70s (and going on his "I hate Shatner" campaign), after GR nearly bumped him into acting oblivion.

Seems like desperate behavior. Or perhaps after his first brush with the boot, Doohan was jocking Roddenberry in the syndication hit years to guarantee he would have a place in any then-hypothetical ST revivals.

Very curious.
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Old May 15 2013, 07:52 PM   #37
ssosmcin
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Re: George Takei and Second Two of TOS

Noname Given wrote: View Post
ssosmcin wrote: View Post
I'm surprised Doohan and Gene were such good friends after that, unless Gene spun some yarn about it being a Network decision or some such.
It's the passage of time and other things (like wanting to make sure the fans push for a revival, keep the revival going, etc. There's also th issue that actors in general try not to 'burn bridges' with producers regardless of what the Producers do; as you never know when said producer may have another job/role for you.)

Look at William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. When the series was in production, they weren't all that friendly towards one another - and Nimoy got it into his head that while Shatner got top billing; his character of 'Spock' was the real lead/star of the show fans came to watch. Also if you believe William Windom's report of Shatner and Nimoy on set (he's one of the few guest actors not really taken by the aura of 'Star Trek' and saw the stint as just another guest TV role); Mr. Windom has said BOTH Shatner and Nimoy were line counting; and going to GR with trivial stuff, etc.

In the end, in the third season it was settled by a meeting with GR in which GR grudgingly indicated, William Shatner/Kirk was the 'star' of Star Trek.

But my point? All the above didn't keep William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy from forming a real friendship in the later years after Star Trek.
I hear you, but Doohan and Roddenberry were tight during the series. According to Doohan (in his own book), they played cards and socialized off set during the run of the show, not long after Gene tried to have him sacked.
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Old May 15 2013, 08:36 PM   #38
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Re: George Takei and Second Two of TOS

Noname Given wrote: View Post
Look at William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. When the series was in production, they weren't all that friendly towards one another - and Nimoy got it into his head that while Shatner got top billing; his character of 'Spock' was the real lead/star of the show fans came to watch.
Well, that's not true--at least from the ancillary market's point of view. All one should to do is look at the merchandising of ST during its network run; while images of Shatner and Nimoy were plastered on all manner of products, the first character choice for AMT's model kit was Spock. A Kirk kit was designed and planned (one conceptual had Kirk sitting in the captain's chair), but never produced.

However, it was Spock that was considered the "draw" to certain companies.

Arguably, that could have been to play up the most alien or "science fiction-y" element on the series (in the way the one Lost in Space character popular enough to warrant a solo model kit was the Robot), or because Spock was a breakout character. Either way, Spock was the only legitimate solo ST figure produced during the NBC/production years.

It would not be until 1974--when the MEGO Corporation produced its popular line of 8-inch ST action figures (in the wake of the cultural explosion of TOS raising the profiles of most of the main characters), that a fair recognition of the series stars occured. But again, during the 60's, it says much that Spock was not only the focus for the kit, but the subhead on the box read, "Star Trek's Most Popular Character."


Sort of hard evidence supporting Nimoy's attitude during the production years.


But my point? All the above didn't keep William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy from forming a real friendship in the later years after Star Trek.
They were not born joined at the hip, but they have more in common than with any other cast members, which allowed that friendship to blossom in honest fashion. Doohan (and Takei) had too many fragile ego issues, which they embraced, embellished and milked / sold to the public as "The Case Against Bill Shatner," over setting that childish behavior aside in order to really get to know Shatner.

When hate pulled Doohan and rest of the B-team by the nose (where Shatner was concerned), there would be no chance to settle matters.
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Old May 15 2013, 08:49 PM   #39
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Re: George Takei and Second Two of TOS

Thanks, Harvey!

I wonder why Gene would want to sack Doohan?

Forgive me; I am not savvy on television industry, by any stretch. Was it (and is it) standard practice to go through agents, regarding picking up or not picking up options, and therefore against the industry standard for Gene to send such a memo directly to Doohan about not picking his up? If so, what was Gene thinking? Just kinda speculating here, but it almost sounds like Gene was trying to bait Doohan into giving up a gig that he hadn't really lost. That seems really bizarre and unprofessional.
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Old May 15 2013, 09:04 PM   #40
Harvey
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Re: George Takei and Second Two of TOS

I'm not sure why Roddenberry contacted Doohan directly, rather than going through his agent, which would be the standard practice then and now. Perhaps it was due to inexperience (in 1966, Rodenberry had only produced a handful of pilots and one season of The Lieutenant). Perhaps, as you speculate, he was attempting to bait Doohan into leaving the role for some reason.
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Old May 15 2013, 09:43 PM   #41
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Re: George Takei and Second Two of TOS

TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
When hate pulled Doohan and rest of the B-team by the nose (where Shatner was concerned), there would be no chance to settle matters.
However, the report that I have heard from multiple sources is that Doohan and Shatner did finally manage to patch things up sometime before Doohan's death. Shatner says he began to make some attempts to repair some previously burned bridges while they were shooting Generations, and I believe both Shatner and Doohan's widow have said that they patched things up between them prior to his death.

There may very well have been some legitimate issues between Shatner and other cast members at the time of the original series. However, based on everything I have read, my gut tells me that they were not nearly as serious as made out to be. And I get the distinct feeling that as far as Shatner is concerned, all of that is ancient history. But some of his co-stars, Takei in particular, have made it part of their careers to bash Shatner, and seem uninterested in burying the hatchet, so to speak.
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Old May 16 2013, 02:39 AM   #42
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Re: George Takei and Second Two of TOS

CoveTom wrote: View Post
TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
When hate pulled Doohan and rest of the B-team by the nose (where Shatner was concerned), there would be no chance to settle matters.
However, the report that I have heard from multiple sources is that Doohan and Shatner did finally manage to patch things up sometime before Doohan's death.
I'm talking about the post TOS/TAS/movie years, when Doohan on the convention trail meant trashing Shatner like a man on a mission.

And I get the distinct feeling that as far as Shatner is concerned, all of that is ancient history. But some of his co-stars, Takei in particular, have made it part of their careers to bash Shatner, and seem uninterested in burying the hatchet, so to speak.
True. Takei is a walking sideshow because of his inability to let it go, and contrary to his own view on the matter, it is not entertaining to trash another man for decades.
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Old May 16 2013, 02:45 AM   #43
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Re: George Takei and Second Two of TOS

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Was it (and is it) standard practice to go through agents
Yes that goes through agents. Stuff like contract negotiation is exactly what the agent is for!
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Old May 16 2013, 02:50 AM   #44
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Re: George Takei and Second Two of TOS

TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
CoveTom wrote: View Post
TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
When hate pulled Doohan and rest of the B-team by the nose (where Shatner was concerned), there would be no chance to settle matters.
However, the report that I have heard from multiple sources is that Doohan and Shatner did finally manage to patch things up sometime before Doohan's death.
I'm talking about the post TOS/TAS/movie years, when Doohan on the convention trail meant trashing Shatner like a man on a mission.

And I get the distinct feeling that as far as Shatner is concerned, all of that is ancient history. But some of his co-stars, Takei in particular, have made it part of their careers to bash Shatner, and seem uninterested in burying the hatchet, so to speak.
True. Takei is a walking sideshow because of his inability to let it go, and contrary to his own view on the matter, it is not entertaining to trash another man for decades.
Maybe Takei is hopelessly in love with Shatner, and being a bitchy little girl* is how he deals with it. No? Oh, well. It was worth a shot.

*Sam Axe, Burn Notice
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Old May 17 2013, 05:47 PM   #45
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Re: George Takei and Second Two of TOS

But my point? All the above didn't keep William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy from forming a real friendship in the later years after Star Trek.
They were not born joined at the hip, but they have more in common than with any other cast members, which allowed that friendship to blossom in honest fashion. Doohan (and Takei) had too many fragile ego issues, which they embraced, embellished and milked / sold to the public as "The Case Against Bill Shatner," over setting that childish behavior aside in order to really get to know Shatner.
Shatner and Nimoy also shared the same age (birthdates within days of one another) as well a similar ethnic/cultural background; both being second generation Jewish-Americans (or Jewish-Canadian in Shatner's case) who grew up in the northeast (Montreal and Boston).
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