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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 September 4 2013, 05:53 AM   #46
trevanian
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Your views on TV movies seem a little odd, but then again I guess you didn't see many of them first-run. In the 70s, the ABC TV movies of the week were programming you could count on to get at least two viewings of that first year, plus strip syndication on the afternoon movies locally well into the 80s and even the 90s.

Regardless of what you may think of the quality, they were very easily re-viewable, and many of them on VHS as well (just about all of the David Janssen ones seemed to turn up on VHS, and the best of those, BIRDS OF PREY, is even on DVD.) I saw THE QUESTOR TAPES at least 7 or 8 times on TV, though admittedly I hadn't seen it in the last 20 years, till I ponied up for the DVD recently (money well spent, just for John Vernon's character and some funky little fx work at the end.)

THE DAY AFTER has had much more of a shelf life than most MOW, and has been available on DVD for cheap for a very long while. I don't think that makes it a matter of luck though. I would be very happy if SPECIAL BULLETIN were remastered (or even rediscovered), but since it was originated on video, it probably has degenerated massively by now.

As for your newest spin on the use of the word hack, I refer you back to the post that started all this back and forth and the words you surrounded 'hack' with, all loaded together to present a decidedly negative view of Meyer. Saying you find Stephen King a talented hack is just confusing the issue, not diffusing it, and certainly not shedding any useable light on it.
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Old September 4 2013, 08:08 AM   #47
Maurice
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

hack
noun
1 a writer or journalist producing dull, unoriginal work : [as adj. ] a hack scriptwriter.
• a person who does dull routine work.
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Old September 4 2013, 02:24 PM   #48
Christopher
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Dream wrote: View Post
Hurley was the sole showrunner for season 2? Really? You learn something new everyday!
I don't know about "sole." Roddenberry still had influence over the show at that point, and he and Hurley were reportedly close friends. But Hurley was the one running the writers' room on a day-to-day basis, I gather, which is presumably why season 2's writing was more solid and consistent than the mess of season 1, though not as good as it got when Michael Piller took over in season 3.


trevanian wrote: View Post
Back on topic: has anybody brought up PRETTY MAIDS ALL IN A ROW as an example of GR's writing talent? Pretty sure that is his only feature credit.
Well, his only feature credit as a screenwriter, yes (he produced TMP). Unfortunately I've never seen that one. I recall it's notable as one of the first feature films to have nude scenes after the creation of the MPAA ratings system and the lifting of the previous blanket censorship on adult content. Not surprising that Roddenberry would've been involved in something like that.


On another topic, look what I found while searching GR's credits on IMDb:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2461750/

It's a failed 1962 TV pilot Roddenberry wrote, evidently a cop show called A.P.O. 923. The lead character is Captain Philip Pike, and the second lead is called Lt. Edward Jellicoe! No surprise that Roddenberry reused character names a lot, but he was dead by the time the character of Captain Edward Jellico was created for ST:TNG (by Frank Abatemarco and Ron Moore). Just coincidence, or did someone dredge up this bit of Roddenberry trivia and decide to pay an homage?
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Old September 4 2013, 02:47 PM   #49
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

CorporalClegg wrote: View Post
I think Stephen King is a hack. I also think he's one talented SOB.
He's not a hack like GR, he'd never do a JFK time travel story, oh wait....
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Old September 4 2013, 03:47 PM   #50
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Timby wrote: View Post
The script for The Voyage Home was not a mash-up, but rather a result of Meyer and Bennett collaborating. There is definitely a tonal difference between the acts, but it's not like they were acting independently of one another.
Don't put words in my mouth. I never said that it was a mash-up, nor did I say they were acting independently. Good grief! Think before you post.

Timby wrote:
Don't believe all the bullshit in the Shatner books.
I never said that I did. The reason I started this thread was to encourage discussion about some of the things Shatner stated or implied about how each movie was put together and what Roddenberry's involvement was. I don't know if what Shatner said is true or not. I just know that he said it. Why are you assuming I believe his bullshit? I can't even believe the bullshit response you posted.

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Old September 4 2013, 04:29 PM   #51
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

CorporalClegg wrote: View Post
I think Stephen King is a hack. I also think he's one talented SOB.
Sorry, I know this is off-topic, but speaking of Stephen King - have you seen "Under the Dome" on CBS? Some of the most contrived writing, ridiculous dialogue and worst acting I've seen on television. And yet, I want to know what happens in the end. Perhaps I should put myself out of my misery and just buy the novel.
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Old September 4 2013, 04:30 PM   #52
Christopher
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Sran wrote: View Post
Don't put words in my mouth. I never said that it was a mash-up
Actually that is what you said. Your own words, verbatim, were:
Sran wrote: View Post
TVH is actually a combination of two scripts put together.
And that's what "mash-up" means in this case. That sentence, taken out of context, is misleading. What you went on to say is more correct:

Bennett wrote the film's beginning and end. Meyer has everything in the middle, including the bulk of the San Francisco scenes, as he used a lot of ideas that were in Time After Time.
But that's not "two scripts put together." That's two authors dividing the labor on a single script. If you'd just left out that first sentence, you would've been fine.
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Old September 4 2013, 04:39 PM   #53
Sran
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

^Fair enough. I'll admit to wording the post poorly.

In any case, I don't appreciate people assuming that I believe everything Shatner wrote in his book. As I mentioned before, that's the exact reason I started this thread. I don't know if Shatner's words are believable because I wasn't there to watch the events he describes unfold. He was obviously there for each film. But given his own lack of popularity among the rest of the cast (excluding Nimoy), it's possible his perception of the events surrounding each film has been colored by his dislike for certain actors, producers, etc. I mean, he referred to Jimmy Doohan as the "largest mammal on Star Trek" before the whale props of George and Gracie were constructed.

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Old September 4 2013, 05:02 PM   #54
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Let's not discount TV-movies too much. I can think of plenty of TV-movies that are better remembered than a lot of now-forgotten feature films.

Just in the last few weeks, pretty much every obituary and tribute to the late Karen Black mentioned her battle with the Zuni fetish doll in Trilogy of Terror. And need I mention The Night Stalker and a certain Carl Kolchak? Or Steven Spielberg's Duel?

And that's just the genre stuff. Films like The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman or That Certain Summer or Go Ask Alice were all very big deals at the time--and are still remembered today.

And, of course, there's the future classic that is Sharknado . . .
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Old September 4 2013, 05:19 PM   #55
marksound
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Sran wrote: View Post
I mean, he referred to Jimmy Doohan as the "largest mammal on Star Trek" before the whale props of George and Gracie were constructed.
Knowing Shatner's sense of humor, that might have been a compliment.
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Old September 5 2013, 12:52 AM   #56
Harvey
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Let's not discount TV-movies too much. I can think of plenty of TV-movies that are better remembered than a lot of now-forgotten feature films.
Oh, certainly. And now that feature film distribution is becoming more expensive and difficult, the distinction between "TV movies" and "feature films" is pretty blurred.

And, when you consider international distribution, things become even fuzzier. Behind the Candelabra was a TV movie stateside; overseas, it had a theatrical release. The same thing happened to Spielberg's Duel in the '70s. (Except, in the former case, the movie originated as a feature; in the latter case, it originated as a TV movie.)
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Old September 5 2013, 12:58 AM   #57
Christopher
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Harvey wrote: View Post
Oh, certainly. And now that feature film distribution is becoming more expensive and difficult, the distinction between "TV movies" and "feature films" is pretty blurred.
Except TV movies as a genre seem to have become very rare in the US, except for some cable stuff like Lifetime movies and Syfy's weekly monster B-movies. You never see them on the networks anymore. Even 2-hour pilot episodes seem less common these days. I think the niche once occupied by TV movies has been displaced by direct-to-video.
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Old September 5 2013, 01:11 AM   #58
Harvey
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Except TV movies as a genre seem to have become very rare in the US, except for some cable stuff like Lifetime movies and Syfy's weekly monster B-movies. You never see them on the networks anymore. Even 2-hour pilot episodes seem less common these days. I think the niche once occupied by TV movies has been displaced by direct-to-video.
Oh, on the networks the TV movie is a dead form. On basic cable it's pretty limited to Lifetime (unsurprising, since TV movies have been targeted at adult women for decades) and SyFy (and a fair portion of the movies there are straight-to-DVD fare that the network licensed for broadcast).

But on premium cable (especially HBO, but also Showtime -- not sure if Starz has gotten into the business yet) the TV movie is an important and growing part of programming.
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Old September 5 2013, 01:39 AM   #59
trevanian
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Let's not discount TV-movies too much. I can think of plenty of TV-movies that are better remembered than a lot of now-forgotten feature films.

Just in the last few weeks, pretty much every obituary and tribute to the late Karen Black mentioned her battle with the Zuni fetish doll in Trilogy of Terror. And need I mention The Night Stalker and a certain Carl Kolchak? Or Steven Spielberg's Duel?

And that's just the genre stuff. Films like The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman or That Certain Summer or Go Ask Alice were all very big deals at the time--and are still remembered today.

And, of course, there's the future classic that is Sharknado . . .
Serious yin and yang with those TV movies of the 70s. You had A CASE OF RAPE, which was just incredible, and then you had IT COULDN'T HAPPEN TO A NICER GUY, with Paul Sorvino forced at gunpoint to have sex with Joanna Cameron (ISIS, for those old enough to remember that particularly sexy siren, who I think was also in GR's PRETTY MAIDS ALL IN A ROW and, going by his Merv Griffin show appearance back then, she was somebody Clint Eastwood was clearly enamored of. How I remember this stuff, I just don't know.)

The most important thing I can say about TV MoW in the 70s (outside of 'keep an eye out for 'WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ROSEMARY'S BABY), wold be to declare I think PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS should be required viewing for everybody on the planet ... a video store up here actually used to have a copy on VHS that I'd dutifully re-rent every year, but some jerk stole it, so I'm jonesing for that great teamup of William Shatner and Andy Griffith and Marjoe Gortner and Robert Reed (to say nothing of Louise Sorel and Angie Dickinson), which is the cheesiest fun this side of ACTION JACKSON for me.
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Old September 5 2013, 01:56 AM   #60
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Re: Was Roddenberry a Terrible Writer?

Christopher wrote: View Post

But that's not "two scripts put together." That's two authors dividing the labor on a single script. If you'd just left out that first sentence, you would've been fine.
Or, as it usually called, "a collaboration."

And that's not at all an unusual way to write something together. Just the other day, I was reading an interview with a two-man team of TV writers, who explained that, rather than write every scene together, they tend to split the plot between themselves and edit each other's scenes.

Closer to home, I've collaborated on at least two novels that way. For example, when John Betancourt and I wrote a Deep Space Nine book together, we divided the plot and characters between us. He wrote all the Away Team scenes (with Kira and Bashir and Dax) and I wrote all the scenes on the space station (with Odo and Sisko and the rest). Then we tied everything up by writing the final chapter together.

Sometimes it's just the most efficient and time-effective way to get a project done on time.
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