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

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Old August 29 2013, 02:07 PM   #76
BoredShipCapt'n
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Re: Who created M'Ress?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
BoredShipCapt'n wrote: View Post
I wonder why they were able to use M'Ress but not Arex.
Power Records used M'Ress's name and race, but she was drawn as a bluish humanoid (seemingly based upon Marta the green Orion from TOS). Perhaps that audio script had already been recorded?

It appears that the problem was with the physical look of the supporting characters of TAS. Perhaps there was too much red tape working out if Filmation would be owed $$$? We also have a blonde, caucasian Uhura and a Sulu with dark skin and an afro hairstyle.
Yeah, Mr. Zulu. It reminds me of the animated New Adventures of Gilligan, where they gave Ginger Grant white hair for fear of a lawsuit from Tina Louise. (Not to mention the presence of the inevitable annoying animal sidekick.)
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Old August 29 2013, 03:46 PM   #77
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Re: Who created M'Ress?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
It appears that the problem was with the physical look of the supporting characters of TAS. Perhaps there was too much red tape working out if Filmation would be owed $$$? We also have a blonde, caucasian Uhura and a Sulu with dark skin and an afro hairstyle.
Except that if you look past the coloring, Neal Adams clearly drew Uhura to look like Nichelle Nichols and Sulu to look like George Takei. Of course Sulu had the Afro added, but it'd be easy enough to photoshop the Uhura panels with the right skin and hair coloring. I'd like to see that done.

I thought that the reason M'Ress was drawn wrong is that Power Records didn't have photo reference for the character and just had to make something up.


BoredShipCapt'n wrote: View Post
It reminds me of the animated New Adventures of Gilligan, where they gave Ginger Grant white hair for fear of a lawsuit from Tina Louise.
Platinum blonde, rather. Naturally they could only use any character's likeness with the consent of the performer, and Louise has never been willing to participate in any Gilligan revivals, so they had to recast her (Jane Webb did the voice) and redesign her based on the character's original conception as a Marilyn Monroe clone. (Look at the early first-season episodes and Tina Louise is basically doing a Marilyn impression. Fortunately the show allowed Ginger to develop her own, much less vacuous personality over time. But she lost that in the animated shows and reunion movies and became just a dumb starlet again.)

TNAoG didn't get Dawn Wells either; Jane Edwards played Mary Ann. But that was probably more a budget thing, the same reason Walter Koenig was dropped from TAS. Filmation's Mary Ann did look pretty much like Wells, as much as any of the caricatures looked like the actors. For the '82 sequel Gilligan's Planet, Dawn Wells played both Mary Ann and Ginger.
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Old August 29 2013, 04:20 PM   #78
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Re: Who created M'Ress?

Christopher wrote: View Post

BoredShipCapt'n wrote: View Post
It reminds me of the animated New Adventures of Gilligan, where they gave Ginger Grant white hair for fear of a lawsuit from Tina Louise.
Platinum blonde, rather. Naturally they could only use any character's likeness with the consent of the performer, and Louise has never been willing to participate in any Gilligan revivals, so they had to recast her (Jane Webb did the voice) and redesign her based on the character's original conception as a Marilyn Monroe clone. (Look at the early first-season episodes and Tina Louise is basically doing a Marilyn impression. Fortunately the show allowed Ginger to develop her own, much less vacuous personality over time. But she lost that in the animated shows and reunion movies and became just a dumb starlet again.)

TNAoG didn't get Dawn Wells either; Jane Edwards played Mary Ann. But that was probably more a budget thing, the same reason Walter Koenig was dropped from TAS. Filmation's Mary Ann did look pretty much like Wells, as much as any of the caricatures looked like the actors. For the '82 sequel Gilligan's Planet, Dawn Wells played both Mary Ann and Ginger.
Well, platinum blonde represented by white.

And isn't it the case that Jane Webb and Jane Edwards were the same person?
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Old August 29 2013, 04:50 PM   #79
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Re: Who created M'Ress?

BoredShipCapt'n wrote: View Post
And isn't it the case that Jane Webb and Jane Edwards were the same person?
Hmm. IMDb lists them separately, but Wikipedia says that Edwards was Webb's married name and that she played both characters. Not sure why Filmation would've billed her twice on the same show, though, given that it was pretty routine for most of their cast members to play multiple roles.

Ah, except I found the credits on YouTube, and, unusually for an animated show, it credits the entire cast in the opening titles, in the style of the original show. (Following the TAS precedent, I guess, but that was only three actors/characters while this is seven.) So I guess the fiction of Webb and Edwards being different people was employed to justify crediting Ginger and Mary Ann separately. Whereas on the Gilligan's Planet credits (holy cow), they swapped the positions of Ginger and the Professor so that both Dawn Wells characters could be billed consecutively.

Oh, now I'm going to have that theme music running through my head all day...
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Old August 30 2013, 01:28 PM   #80
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Re: Who created M'Ress?

Look I'm going to show my ignorance here so forgive me. If Tina Louise could sue if they used her likeness as Ginger does that mean that every time they sell a TOS Kirk figurine, salt shaker, ninja turtle, Shatner gets a cut ? I didn't realise that - I thought that CBS got all the money. Or have I missed something?
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Old August 30 2013, 01:56 PM   #81
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Re: Who created M'Ress?

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
Look I'm going to show my ignorance here so forgive me. If Tina Louise could sue if they used her likeness as Ginger does that mean that every time they sell a TOS Kirk figurine, salt shaker, ninja turtle, Shatner gets a cut ? I didn't realise that - I thought that CBS got all the money. Or have I missed something?
Well, permission and payment are different issues. But your face is your property, so other people can't use it without your permission. Photographers or artists need the consent of anyone whose face they record or reproduce in something they intend to sell for profit. If Ms. Louise refused to allow Filmation to use her likeness, then she'd be within her rights to sue them for using it whether there was money involved or not, because they'd be using something that belonged to her without her permission.

I think there is payment involved with actors' likenesses, though, at least those who have it specified in their contracts. Lots of animated shows based on movies or TV series redesign the characters so they don't have to get likeness permission from the actors, which is probably a money issue. This is why the Ghostbusters looked so different in the animated series than in the movies (though that was also to make them more visually distinct from one another). And it's why Harry Mudd in DC's Trek comics only looks vaguely similar to Roger C. Carmel.
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Old August 30 2013, 02:05 PM   #82
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Re: Who created M'Ress?

That's why they have "armies" of lawyers. All sorts of contracts are signed and many times the conditions conflict with one another. Adhere to contract "A" and aspects of contract "B" may be violated. Stick with contract "B" and contracts "C" and "D" may be in conflict. In many cases, it boils down to how hard a person wants to persue an issue. And from the observations presented, one get the impression Ms. Louise REALLY DISLIKES any association with "Gilligan's Island" and has legally fought to maintain that position. Other actors don't care as much.

Anyway, thanks, Therin for ADF's contact information. I found his site as you were composing your reply, but I still appreciate the convenience of having the data right here.

Sincerely,

Bill
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Old August 30 2013, 02:10 PM   #83
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Re: Who created M'Ress?

And once again Christopher has beat me to the punch and no doubt conveyed more accurate information. As he is a pro writer and has to deal with some of these very issues, he knows far more about this stuff than I do. I'm just talking outa' my a$$...which would make for a very "interesting" stage performance!

Sincerely,

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Old August 30 2013, 02:18 PM   #84
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Re: Who created M'Ress?

If anyone remembers the cartoon version of "I Dream of Jeannie"... total identity shift. Jeannie is given red hair and does magic by whipping her ponytail instead of by blinking, and instead of Tony Nelson her master is a motorbike-riding teenager (played by Mark Hamill). Oh yeah, and Joe Besser plays an annoying magical sidekick.
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Old August 30 2013, 02:25 PM   #85
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Re: Who created M'Ress?

Tina Louise is the one Gilligan cast member who's consistently refused to have anything to do with the series after it ended, apparently feeling it was an embarrassment that damaged her career (although she did participate in a few talk-show cast-reunion episodes and the Gilligan-focused Roseanne episode). In the three revival movies, Ginger was recast as Judith Baldwin in the first two and Constance Forslund in the third -- which was kind of ridiculous, since both actresses were in their early 30s at the time after supposedly having been stranded on the island for over 15 years!

I don't think she's had to "legally fight" to maintain her distance, though. It's pretty much a given, as I said, that an animated series needs an actor's permission to use their likeness. All she had to do was say no. Lou Scheimer's been quoted as saying that they avoided her likeness because she could have sued them if they had, but that doesn't mean there actually was a legal fight. It just means she didn't give permission so they had to redesign the character. Which wasn't that big a deal, not something there would've been a huge legal battle over, since animated shows based on live-action films or TV series frequently redesign the characters. Either they get permission or they don't. It's just part of the business.
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Old September 1 2013, 04:47 AM   #86
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Re: Who created M'Ress?

Redfern wrote: View Post

Hmm, Alan Dean Foster... I wonder if he can be more readily reached? After all, he novelized the episodes. In theory, one can at least ask him if he made up her family members or if he worked from information already written within a "series bible".

I think I'll see if he has a site e-mail like David Gerrold does.

Sincerely,

Bill
He did back in 2004, when I wrote him. His reply was kind and he answered directly and personally - no form letter! - even though he didn't have the answer to my question.
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Old September 2 2013, 04:45 PM   #87
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Re: Who created M'Ress?

Several years ago I wrote to Mr. Foster about turning one of his TAS adaptions into a comic. He replied he wouldn't mind, but permission was not his to give. Nice guy, very gracious.
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Old September 2 2013, 07:09 PM   #88
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Re: Who created M'Ress?

Christopher wrote: View Post

I thought that the reason M'Ress was drawn wrong is that Power Records didn't have photo reference for the character and just had to make something up.
How difficult would it be to get some publicity art of TAS into Adams' hands? Heck, even Gold Key managed to ship publicity stills of TOS to Italy-based artist Alberto Giolitti for the occasionally familair illustrations of character and ships for their Star Trek comic. ...and that was in the 60s.

Moreover, Power Records lifted AMT's model box photo of their Enterprise kit, turned it into line art, it and slapped it on the cover of a few of their TOS Book & Records and LP releases, yet they could not call Filmation and/or Paramount?

Even Power Records' Planet of the Apes Book & Records sets captured (arguably) more difficult styles of the Apes and costumes, even when actor likeness was not approved.
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Old September 2 2013, 07:18 PM   #89
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Re: Who created M'Ress?

BoredShipCapt'n wrote: View Post
If anyone remembers the cartoon version of "I Dream of Jeannie"... total identity shift. Jeannie is given red hair and does magic by whipping her ponytail instead of by blinking, and instead of Tony Nelson her master is a motorbike-riding teenager (played by Mark Hamill).
Ugh. Similar to Filmation's My Favorite Martians spin-off, where Tim O'Hara bore no resemblance to Bill Bixby, while Uncle Martin was redesigned to look like the man who voiced him--Dr. Zachary Smith himself, Jonathan Harris.


Oh yeah, and Joe Besser plays an annoying magical sidekick.
Ahh yes...Babu, with the most annoying catchphrase of all time, "yapple dapple."

Not an ounce of the Screen Gems series in that hackwork.
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Old September 2 2013, 07:28 PM   #90
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Re: Who created M'Ress?

^Right -- in My Favorite Martians, Tim was voiced by Howard Morris, as I recall. Morris was a Filmation stalwart around then, starting with the role of Jughead in The Archies. He also played the title character in The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty, about a live-action cat who had cartoon daydreams about being various adventure heroes, including Catman, Catzan, Robin Cat, the Lone Kitty... and Captain Hurk of the starship Secondprize. (I'm often surprised that Waldo Kitty isn't better-known within Trek fandom.)
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