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

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Old July 28 2013, 05:42 PM   #16
Harvey
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Paramount was only the distributor, since they hadn't yet bought the series outright from Roddenberry.
I've been a bit confused on this issue. As I recall, Joel Engel's biography mentions that Paramount bought out Roddenberry's stake in the property, but Inside Star Trek: The Real Story insists that never actually happened. What's your source on this?
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Old July 28 2013, 06:05 PM   #17
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

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They're not at all hard to find. In addition to the DVDs, they're streaming on Netflix and on StarTrek.com.

Also streaming for free on cbs.com
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Old July 28 2013, 06:09 PM   #18
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

"Mudd's Passion" *

Conman Harry Mudd returns only to be caught trying to peddle a love potion.

Ouch! This is hurt by less than inspired writing and generally flat voice acting. The episode's redeeming element is having scored Roger C. Carmel to reprise the role of Harcourt Fenton Mudd. But the rest of the story is just embarrassing and not aided by a number of WTF moments.

- Why is Nurse Chapel walking around aboard ship with a hand phaser?
- Since when do starship personal carry an identity card?
- How can Chapel be so freaking gullible after everything known about Mudd?
- Spock acts more stupid then he did in TOS' "This Side Of Paradise" (at least there he was convincing).
Kirk risks his ass in the hope the potion will make one of the gigantisaurs more friendly. Granted that you shouldn't look for any sort of credibility in a Saturday morning cartoon, but that tiny dose of potion seemed to be rather potent to work so fast on a ginormaus creature with an alien biology.

The story isn't just embarrassing but derivative as well. A new love potion (as opposed to the original Venus drug used in TOS' "Mudd's Women") again being peddled to miners (albeit alien miners now being included).

Part of the problem is the whole exercise lacks nuance. It's so obvious and heavy-handed. That said it probably could have been done as a live-action story assuming more could have been fleshed out of it given that there's so little here to work with. This is really disappointing given some of the much better efforts TAS managed to produce.

Another problem is that Harry Mudd is such a one note character: the charming rogue and conman. The only way to make it interesting is to tell an interesting story which is something they fail to do here.
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Old July 28 2013, 07:08 PM   #19
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Harvey wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Paramount was only the distributor, since they hadn't yet bought the series outright from Roddenberry.
I've been a bit confused on this issue. As I recall, Joel Engel's biography mentions that Paramount bought out Roddenberry's stake in the property, but Inside Star Trek: The Real Story insists that never actually happened. What's your source on this?
My source is the actual copyright in the TAS credits, right there onscreen. It says "(c) COPYRIGHT FILMATION ASSOC.-NORWAY PROD. 1973." Paramount didn't have a copyright on the original episodes, so I figured it didn't own them. Although it did have a copyright on the Foster novelizations, which is confusing.

Anyway, Norway gets a copyright credit along with Paramount on The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and the TMP novelization's copyright page lists both Paramount and Gene Roddenberry. But neither Roddenberry nor Norway gets a copyright credit on anything later than that as far as I can tell.

But the real point I was trying to make here is that TAS was a production of Filmation. Like the Bad Robot movies, it's a Trek production that was subcontracted to a different studio and distributed by Paramount, rather than actually being produced in-house at Paramount (or Desilu) like all the other series.


Warped9 wrote: View Post
- Since when do starship personal carry an identity card?
How do we know they haven't always and it just never came up? Or maybe it was a recently adopted security measure.
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Old July 28 2013, 07:11 PM   #20
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Christopher wrote: View Post

Warped9 wrote: View Post
- Since when do starship personal carry an identity card?
How do we know they haven't always and it just never came up? Or maybe it was a recently adopted security measure.
Seems kind of silly that they wouldn't have some type of identification.
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Old July 28 2013, 07:33 PM   #21
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

BillJ wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post

Warped9 wrote: View Post
- Since when do starship personal carry an identity card?
How do we know they haven't always and it just never came up? Or maybe it was a recently adopted security measure.
Seems kind of silly that they wouldn't have some type of identification.
And Mudd futzed it rather easily, too.
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Old July 28 2013, 07:44 PM   #22
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

You could just as well ask since when they had aquashuttles or a bridge intruder defense system. Heck, new things cropped up unexplained in TOS all the time -- new shipboard sets like the emergency manual monitor and McCoy's lab, new instruments on the bridge or engineering, etc. They didn't get spacesuits until "The Tholian Web." So if TOS got to add new details that we hadn't seen before, there's no reason TAS couldn't do the same. Wouldn't have been much of a continuation if it had been limited to what we'd already seen.
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Old July 28 2013, 07:59 PM   #23
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Christopher wrote: View Post
My source is the actual copyright in the TAS credits, right there onscreen. It says "(c) COPYRIGHT FILMATION ASSOC.-NORWAY PROD. 1973." Paramount didn't have a copyright on the original episodes, so I figured it didn't own them. Although it did have a copyright on the Foster novelizations, which is confusing.
Paramount didn't have a copyright on the original episodes? I know there was an issue with their copyright of the Desilu-produced episodes in the 1970s, but Paramount (Television) was able to reacquire their ownership and copyright them, which is why they now bear the copyright date of 1978.

But, that wasn't my question. I wanted to know if Paramount bought the rights from Roddenberry/Norway at some point, which your statement implied they did sometime after the animated series.

I believe you're right that Norway doesn't get credit on anything past TMP, but the budget for TUC does include the language "RIGHTS PURCHASED, GENE RODDENBERRY, (NORWAY CORP.)" for the price of $1,000,000.
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Old July 28 2013, 08:27 PM   #24
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Christopher wrote: View Post
You could just as well ask since when they had aquashuttles or a bridge intruder defense system. Heck, new things cropped up unexplained in TOS all the time -- new shipboard sets like the emergency manual monitor and McCoy's lab, new instruments on the bridge or engineering, etc. They didn't get spacesuits until "The Tholian Web." So if TOS got to add new details that we hadn't seen before, there's no reason TAS couldn't do the same. Wouldn't have been much of a continuation if it had been limited to what we'd already seen.
I get your point. A lot of things in TAS crop up that sometimes need a bit of pretzel thinking to rationalize them with TOS. It's just that in TOS we had seen them use voice identification/recognition for security measures while this identity card just strikes me as out of place. No matter.
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Old July 28 2013, 10:07 PM   #25
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Harvey wrote: View Post
Paramount didn't have a copyright on the original episodes?
Again: all I know is what it says onscreen. I'm not an expert, I'm just looking at the pictures and extrapolating. I didn't see an onscreen Paramount copyright on TAS, although they do have a copyright on the novelizations.


But, that wasn't my question. I wanted to know if Paramount bought the rights from Roddenberry/Norway at some point, which your statement implied they did sometime after the animated series.
Well, how could they not have? The modern status quo for a long time has clearly been that Paramount is the sole owner of ST and the Roddenberrys have no control over what's done with it. There's never been a copyright for Norway or Roddenberry on any Trek production or publication post-TMP, only for Paramount. Every Trek book I've ever written has been copyrighted by Paramount, or as it's now called, CBS, and my contracts have designated me as a contractor working for Paramount/CBS. No mention of Roddenberry or Norway in any way, shape, or form. So how could Paramount not have acquired full ownership from Roddenberry at some point? If they didn't buy Roddenberry's copyright, the only other possibility I can think of is that he let it lapse somehow, but I don't know if that makes sense since it should've taken longer to lapse.

I believe you're right that Norway doesn't get credit on anything past TMP, but the budget for TUC does include the language "RIGHTS PURCHASED, GENE RODDENBERRY, (NORWAY CORP.)" for the price of $1,000,000.
That was around the time he died, wasn't it? So maybe the family, or Roddenberry's lawyer, sold the rights then.
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Old July 28 2013, 10:40 PM   #26
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

"Mudd's Passion"

ADF adaptation:

The print version doesn't really add anything to the screen version other than fleshing scenes out more so they flow better. ADF has Mudd use his own means (hidden in his clothing) to manipulate Chapel's identity card rather than using a ship's computer terminal. What ADF doesn't do is manage to make Chapel and Spock behave much better than they do onscreen. That said, like in the other adaptations, the characters speak and behave with more nuance and it's easier to accept them as their live-action portrayals.

Overall the print version is moderately better than the televised episode, but not much given there being so little to work from.
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Old July 28 2013, 11:10 PM   #27
Harvey
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Again: all I know is what it says onscreen. I'm not an expert, I'm just looking at the pictures and extrapolating. I didn't see an onscreen Paramount copyright on TAS, although they do have a copyright on the novelizations.
The episodes do end with the Paramount logo, although you're right, the copyright doesn't list the studio, just Norway and Filmation.

That was around the time he died, wasn't it? So maybe the family, or Roddenberry's lawyer, sold the rights then.
The budget is dated April 12, 1991, about six months before Roddenberry's death. It's possible the estate sold the rights to Paramount at that point, but if they were getting a million dollar license fee per movie, I don't know why they would.

I thought the court rulings from the mid-1990s between Roddenberry's estate and his first wife might shed some light on the issue, but there's a lot of information to go through there. From skimming the documents, it's possible that a 1986 contract between Roddenberry and Paramount transferred some rights to the studio, but I'm no legal expert.

But, I think we've derailed this thread far enough at this point. Back to the original topic.
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Old July 28 2013, 11:24 PM   #28
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

The Terratin Incident" **

After being hit by an unidentifiable energy beam the Enterprise crew begin to rapidly shrink.

For myself I think this story is silly (and, yeah, I know the idea was revisited years later on DS9), but in fairness it isn't badly told as the crew is shown reasoning things out. My one question arose after they establish that only organic matter is being reduced...then why isn't the water in the fish tank not shrinking in volume as well? I did find it odd that this rapid reduction was happening so fast that the crew would become quite small within a matter of a few hours.

Shrinking people down to a very small size certainly isn't new in science fiction. The most famous examples are the films The Incredible Shrinking Man and Fantastic Voyage as well as television's Land Of The Giants. I think it was also done on The Twilight Zone. TAS' effort felt more like Land Of The Giants rather than The Incredible Shrinking Man or Fantastic Voyage. I guess it just doesn't impress me as something that TOS would have even considered doing. I think it goes without saying that from an f/x point this story would also have been impossible for TOS.
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Old July 29 2013, 01:31 AM   #29
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

Harvey wrote: View Post
The episodes do end with the Paramount logo, although you're right, the copyright doesn't list the studio, just Norway and Filmation.
Paramount was the distributor, so its logo would be there. I'm not sure how that relates to copyrights.


Warped9 wrote: View Post
The Terratin Incident" **
For myself I think this story is silly (and, yeah, I know the idea was revisited years later on DS9), but in fairness it isn't badly told as the crew is shown reasoning things out.
DS9 actually handled it a lot more plausibly -- at least, as plausibly as you could handle the idea.


My one question arose after they establish that only organic matter is being reduced...then why isn't the water in the fish tank not shrinking in volume as well?
Water is not organic matter. Organic molecules are those containing carbon. Water is just hydrogen and oxygen.

Also, the idea in "Terratin" was that the spiroid epsilon waves were causing any helical molecules to contract, so living tissues containing DNA were shrunk as a result. Water molecules are not helical.

Of course, the thing that makes this completely ridiculous is that living things are not made exclusively of DNA; it's only found in the chromosomes. So twisting the DNA molecules tighter wouldn't change the size of living cells or bodies; it would just alter the shape of the DNA sufficiently that it could no longer communicate with proteins and enzymes, the cells would stop working, and the affected people would die.


Shrinking people down to a very small size certainly isn't new in science fiction. The most famous examples are the films The Incredible Shrinking Man and Fantastic Voyage as well as television's Land Of The Giants.
Well, technically that last was about normal-sized people on a planet of giants -- at least, that usually seemed to be the case.

TISM's approach was fairly reasonable up to a point; the hero was shrinking because his cells and tissues were sloughing off mass uniformly, and he got gradually smaller over months as he wasted away -- the process accelerating as his total mass got smaller so the amount he lost each day was a larger percentage of the whole. Of course it didn't really make sense because there's no way the bones and organs would've just uniformly shrunk in every dimension and remained functional, not to mention the loss of cognitive function as his brain shrunk; and it got completely fanciful at the end. But it was better than most approaches.


I think it was also done on The Twilight Zone.
They did episodes with giants and tiny people, but I'm not sure they did any with people being shrunk. "Miniature" might technically qualify, but shrinking wasn't the focus of the story.


I guess it just doesn't impress me as something that TOS would have even considered doing. I think it goes without saying that from an f/x point this story would also have been impossible for TOS.
Which was the whole point of doing stories like this. They didn't want to be within the limits of TOS. Roddenberry and Fontana had chafed against those limits for years; this was their chance to cast them off.
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Old July 29 2013, 02:08 AM   #30
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Re: Revisiting TAS...

^^ Yeah, I can understand doing things that you'd be restricted from doing live-action and on a television budget---I love a lot of the cool ships and weird aliens and alien landscapes we got to see on TAS---but some things are just a bit too absurd even in animation.
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