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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old July 5 2013, 11:25 PM   #31
Mysterion
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Re: Should Illia and Decker have survived ?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Belz... wrote: View Post
They thought they'd pass the baton over to Decker ?
That was the plan, yes. Shatner had an option of staying, leaving, or going to semi-regular guest star as the Admiral.
Wonder who'd have been Decker's XO at that point? Am guessing Sulu.
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Old July 5 2013, 11:29 PM   #32
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Re: Should Illia and Decker have survived ?

Mysterion wrote: View Post
Wonder who'd have been Decker's XO at that point? Am guessing Sulu.
Or Spock if Nimoy had agreed to be part of the series. What exactly was the timetable for his reprising the Spock role for TMP? I know that he wasn't expected to be in Phase II initially. It's why the character of Xon was created. But he eventually agreed to return for TMP. Was there any possibility he'd have been part of another TV series?

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Old July 5 2013, 11:34 PM   #33
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Re: Should Illia and Decker have survived ?

^^^
Everything I've read about the Phase II series, is that it would have been without Spock/Nimoy. This is why you get the character Xon in the Phase II scripts, and not Spock. My understanding is that he didn't jump back onto the wagon until it turned into a major-budget movie (i.e. ST:TMP).
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Old July 5 2013, 11:37 PM   #34
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Re: Should Illia and Decker have survived ?

^Thanks!

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Old July 5 2013, 11:39 PM   #35
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Re: Should Illia and Decker have survived ?

CorporalClegg wrote: View Post
I'm glad Phase II was a non starter. I have a feeling it would have been terrible.
I was certainly ready for "the next adventure" a week after seeing TMP on the big screen, and when I got my hands on back issues of "Starlog" with Susan Sackett's regular column, and a copy of "The Making of ST:TMP", I realised how close that series got to being made.

In reflection, I fear it may not have gotten past the 13 episodes. The cast, as described in the "Phase II" Writers' Bible, seemed way overextended for a 70s show. Especially after the original series essentially concentrated only on three cast members. "Phase II" was to have "the big eight" (ie, including Chapel, but with Xon standing in for Spock), plus Rand. And Decker and Ilia. Although Xon was a whole new, quite different Vulcan, I'm sure fan outrage about "Where's Spock?" would have been strong.

A failure at 13 episodes may have meant the end of new Trek forever. Making a leap to the big screen would have been unthinkable at that point.

But, yeah, I was also thrilled when I read the character decscriptions that were sent out to casting people for TNG, and I realised that Decker, Ilia and Xon/Questor had been morphed into Riker, Troi and Data.

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Was there any possibility he'd have been part of another TV series?
Nimoy's mood at the time? Nope. He was very angry about licensing, and desperately trying to shed the Spock tag. Had the ratings for "Phase II" been huge, they may have thrown him big bucks to do a guest star turn, but it was only Robert Wise's insistence re Nimoy participating in TMP that led to Paramount resolving Nimoy's salary and licensing complaints and he was offered a "favoured nations" contract to match Shatner's. A huge financial incentive.
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Old July 5 2013, 11:44 PM   #36
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Re: Should Illia and Decker have survived ?

Therin of Andor;8340583
In reflection, I fear it may not have gotten past the 13 episodes. The cast, as described in the "Phase II" Writers' Bible, seemed way overextended for a 70s show. Especially after the original series essentially concentrated only on three cast members. "Phase II" was to have "the big eight" (ie, including Chapel, but with Xon standing in for Spock), [I wrote:

plus[/I] Rand. And Decker and Ilia. Although Xon was a whole new, quite different Vulcan, I'm sure fan outrage about "Where's Spock?" would have been strong.
I think you're right, if they'd tried to feature everyone every week. It might have worked if they'd gone for more of an ensemble approach, like you see in Deep Space nine, for example. In DS9 they had a large number of regulars, plus a pretty big list of recurring characters. But you didn't see everyone all the time, just whoever was needed for a particular story.

Phase II might have worked with this. You don't need Chapel every week. Heck, you could have gone a week without Decker or Xon with the right story. That would have saved some money, and maybe given the writers a chance to explore some characters they might not have otherwise.
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Old July 6 2013, 12:00 AM   #37
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Re: Should Illia and Decker have survived ?

Mysterion wrote: View Post
I think you're right, if they'd tried to feature everyone every week. It might have worked if they'd gone for more of an ensemble approach, like you see in Deep Space nine, for example. In DS9 they had a large number of regulars, plus a pretty big list of recurring characters. But you didn't see everyone all the time, just whoever was needed for a particular story.

Phase II might have worked with this. You don't need Chapel every week. Heck, you could have gone a week without Decker or Xon with the right story. That would have saved some money, and maybe given the writers a chance to explore some characters they might not have otherwise.
Would that have worked on a ship, though? DS9 worked in part because it was set on a space station that functioned like a huge floating city. Sisko was the mayor: Odo was the police chief, and so on. Like any other community, there were the regular townspeople (Quark, Rom, Garak), plus frequent travelers who came and went as needed (Martok, Winn, Dukat, Cretak, Ross, Kassidy Yates, etc.). It wasn't necessary for the mayor or the city physician to play a huge role every week because each episode focused on a different aspect of the town and its history.

A starship is a different matter because most of the action happens on its bridge. You could write a story about something happens only in engineering or on the holodeck, but a reason would have to be given for the story's self-contained nature. After a TV series that revolved around two or three characters, it would have been difficult for the audience to accept a show that featured everyone, albeit across several episodes rather than all at once.

I think if Deep Space 9 had happened before TNG that it would have failed. The Next Generation was a nice bridge between the two concepts and allowed fans to enjoy episodes that weren't centered only on the series lead character or characters.

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Old July 6 2013, 01:37 AM   #38
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Re: Should Illia and Decker have survived ?

Mysterion wrote: View Post
Phase II might have worked with this. You don't need Chapel every week.
She was now married to the Executive Producer, though.

Heck, you could have gone a week without Decker or Xon with the right story. That would have saved some money...
No money-saving there. Front-credits regular cast get paid whether they're in a script or not.
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Old July 6 2013, 09:12 AM   #39
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Re: Should Illia and Decker have survived ?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Belz... wrote: View Post
They thought they'd pass the baton over to Decker ?
That was the plan, yes. Shatner had an option of staying, leaving, or going to semi-regular guest star as the Admiral.
I actually thought this was the cleverest thing about the Phase II treatment. They knew Shatner wasn't a given, so they incorporated a back-up captain into the format documents.

Riker was always pretty much destined to remain the the trusty Number One right through TNG from conception to reception, but Decker was always more like an heir-apparent to the Enterprise captaincy. Even though ultimately they decided he was expendable in the final movie.

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Except Decker wasn't an ass. And Illia could fly a ship.
But wasn't Sulu actually the one flying the ship? As for Decker, it's hard to know if he was an ass or not. He clearly wasn't in the best of moods for most of TMP, but that's probably Kirk's fault for taking his ship away from him.
ISTR wasn't there talk that he was Matt Decker's son? So while it's clear Kirk had some pull in getting Will Decker the captaincy, and Decker certainly resents it when Kirk shows up again, it's also possible that there might have been latent feelings because of Kirk's involvement in the incident where his dad was killed (even though obviously Kirk didn't kill Matt Decker, Matt Decker killed himself).
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Old July 6 2013, 04:16 PM   #40
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Re: Should Illia and Decker have survived ?

Mysterion wrote: View Post
Therin of Andor;8340583
In reflection, I fear it may not have gotten past the 13 episodes. The cast, as described in the "Phase II" Writers' Bible, seemed way overextended for a 70s show. Especially after the original series essentially concentrated only on three cast members. "Phase II" was to have "the big eight" (ie, including Chapel, but with Xon standing in for Spock), [I wrote:

plus[/I] Rand. And Decker and Ilia. Although Xon was a whole new, quite different Vulcan, I'm sure fan outrage about "Where's Spock?" would have been strong.
I think you're right, if they'd tried to feature everyone every week. It might have worked if they'd gone for more of an ensemble approach, like you see in Deep Space nine, for example. In DS9 they had a large number of regulars, plus a pretty big list of recurring characters. But you didn't see everyone all the time, just whoever was needed for a particular story..
But did that kind of ensemble storytelling really exist back in the late seventies? Hill Street Blues was still a few years away and that sort of approach didn't really catch onto until later--in the eighties and nineties. TV science fiction at the time was largely represented by Glen Larson-type shows. Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, that kind of thing.

We can't assume that a DS9-like show would have worked back in the those days--or would have even occurred to anyone. There's a reason that I Love Lucy isn't more like Seinfeld.

Different times, different expectations.
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Old July 6 2013, 05:48 PM   #41
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Re: Should Illia and Decker have survived ?

One of the great unanswered curiosities is, what would Phase II have really been like? In context of its time, and in context of being a follow-up to TOS at a time when the movies hadn't happened and there was very little Star Trek to compare it with?

I mean, despite TMP obviously evolving from it, we still have very little inkling of what it may have looked like, or how much closer to TOS in feel it might have been. The test footage that was shot shows actors wearing variations on the TOS uniforms, and the sets, despite in some cases being the same ones seen in TMP, have got a much more artificial look - the doors of the engine room are painted in a basic primary color not unlike the house style seen in TOS, not the sleek sheen that Bob Wise ordered be applied to the sets when he took over the production.

While the format documents hint at Phase II being more of a ensemble than TOS, to be honest the format documents for TOS were almost the same.

My bet is that had it gone into production, it's possible Phase II would have literally been a slightly updated TOS - not yet confident enough to go all out and do something different like in TNG, it might have been mired even more in basically being seen as a belated TOS season four.

We'll never truly know, but it can be fun to hypothesize
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Old July 6 2013, 06:42 PM   #42
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Re: Should Illia and Decker have survived ?

Lance wrote:
ISTR wasn't there talk that he was Matt Decker's son? So while it's clear Kirk had some pull in getting Will Decker the captaincy, and Decker certainly resents it when Kirk shows up again, it's also possible that there might have been latent feelings because of Kirk's involvement in the incident where his dad was killed (even though obviously Kirk didn't kill Matt Decker, Matt Decker killed himself).
It's generally accepted (but not cannon) that Will Decker was Matt Decker's son, so it's possible Will's feelings about his father's death (not Kirk's fault) may have affected his attitude toward Kirk. OTOH, Decker had more than two years to confront Kirk and get his feelings off his chest. That he wouldn't do that but would passive-aggressively channel his frustration over his father's death toward Kirk to get back at him for taking the Enterprise away is petty.

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Old July 7 2013, 12:46 PM   #43
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Re: Should Illia and Decker have survived ?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Belz... wrote: View Post
They thought they'd pass the baton over to Decker ?
That was the plan, yes. Shatner had an option of staying, leaving, or going to semi-regular guest star as the Admiral.
Damn. Now I really need to travel to an alternate timeline to see it happen.
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Old July 7 2013, 05:10 PM   #44
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Re: Should Illia and Decker have survived ?

Belz... wrote: View Post
Damn. Now I really need to travel to an alternate timeline to see it happen.
How do you know this isn't an alternate timeline, and Phase II was what was supposed to have happened?

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Old July 8 2013, 07:59 PM   #45
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Re: Should Illia and Decker have survived ?

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Mysterion wrote: View Post
Therin of Andor;8340583
In reflection, I fear it may not have gotten past the 13 episodes. The cast, as described in the "Phase II" Writers' Bible, seemed way overextended for a 70s show. Especially after the original series essentially concentrated only on three cast members. "Phase II" was to have "the big eight" (ie, including Chapel, but with Xon standing in for Spock), [I wrote:

plus[/I] Rand. And Decker and Ilia. Although Xon was a whole new, quite different Vulcan, I'm sure fan outrage about "Where's Spock?" would have been strong.
I think you're right, if they'd tried to feature everyone every week. It might have worked if they'd gone for more of an ensemble approach, like you see in Deep Space nine, for example. In DS9 they had a large number of regulars, plus a pretty big list of recurring characters. But you didn't see everyone all the time, just whoever was needed for a particular story..
But did that kind of ensemble storytelling really exist back in the late seventies? Hill Street Blues was still a few years away and that sort of approach didn't really catch onto until later--in the eighties and nineties. TV science fiction at the time was largely represented by Glen Larson-type shows. Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, that kind of thing.

We can't assume that a DS9-like show would have worked back in the those days--or would have even occurred to anyone. There's a reason that I Love Lucy isn't more like Seinfeld.

Different times, different expectations.
Battlestar Galactica had quite a large ensemble and not every character appeared in every episode. You also had Mission Impossible in the sixties and Space 1999 in the seventies. I doubt that the approach to the show would have been that different - most likely two male leads with a male and female support lead like in the early days of TOS plus the others as secondary support. Certainly from the scripts we've seen, not every character is mentioned in every episode, although they may have had cameos.

Seventies and eighties writing was generally quite weak though, even if there were some decent shows at the time. I think the first season of TNG is what we could have expected, which wasn't great overall. Even so, I think Phase II would have made a fun addition, especially if they did put a bit more effort into the support cast every now and then.
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