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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

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

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Old September 5 2013, 09:58 PM   #481
EnsignHarper
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

One thing on this board that has come up a few times, is the seeming 'sharing' of MI/Trek guest stars/day players, and this book has solved THAT question. Joe D'Agosta makes it very clear that, as he was casting director for THREE shows (he cast The Lucy Show also), he could work deals with actors for guaranteed appearances for a reduced rate - instead of someone getting $1,500 for one episode of Trek, D'Agosta could guarantee him/her a Trek AND a M:I at $1,000 each. That made everybody happy - a 'working actor' of the 60s getting 2G for two shows would be a pretty nice pay day in those times. Plus - two credits on prime time TV. And the studio saves itself a grand. 2 Grand was pretty good money back then - probably would pay someone's rent for a year!

So that's why you would see Malachi Throne, Windom. et al. in both shows.
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Old September 5 2013, 10:20 PM   #482
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Interesting differences. Whereas Gene Roddenberry would be involved in the writing of every script for Star Trek's first season Mission: Impossible's creator Bruce Geller basically stayed away from the writing and prefered to be involved with the post production.

Fortunately Star Trek didn't have a problem with its series lead, Shatner, while over at Mission: Impossible Steven Hill became increasingly problematic to work with. Star Trek had a series' bible that layed things out for new writers, but Mission: Impossible apparently didn't have one, or if there was one no one saw it but Geller.

Mission: Impossible's cost overrun's make Star Trek's look like nothing in comparison and episodes could be late in delvery. Apparently CBS even kicked in some extra money during the season to help the show out and they'd still be behind.

Star Trek sounds like a model of effeciency compared to what was going on over on the lot next door with Mission: Impossible.
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Old September 5 2013, 10:42 PM   #483
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Could Roddenberry's FU personality have been a carryover from his days as a street cop? Justman was astonished when he found out Roddenberry smoked weed.
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Old September 5 2013, 10:56 PM   #484
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Melakon wrote: View Post
Could Roddenberry's FU personality have been a carryover from his days as a street cop? Justman was astonished when he found out Roddenberry smoked weed.
I was wondering that too. Either that or his time in the military.

It sounds like he just wasn't very good at playing the political game in Hollywood, and just wanted to push through his ideas regardless of how many feelings got hurt along the way.

Of course he also spent quite a lot of time writing scripts for other shows before Trek (and trying to create new shows), so I can see how he could have become pretty bitter and fed up with the studios by that point.

And he did have a lot of early success in Hollywood, so I'm sure that probably went to his head as well.
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Old September 10 2013, 01:59 PM   #485
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Just got to the middle of the book, where there's a chapter on the confusion that was going on just before the series premiered. 11 eps in the can, no special effects ready yet, The Blacks leaving, Grace Lee Whitney's troubles, episodes being finished out of order, Anderson's meltdown and the scramble to find new effects houses 3 weeks before premier, trying to figure out what ep to air first... Holy crap, what a hot mess that was!!!!
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Old September 10 2013, 03:04 PM   #486
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

I think in retrospect it seems they overestimated the (relative) ease this would all come together. By the standards of the day Star Trek was a significant departure from anything that had been done before for television. Perhaps not so much in quality but in sheer quantity. Everyone was learning on the fly that what served them before wasn't good enough anymore and they had to try new things to meet the new demand, the new standard. Established writers---even the SF ones---had to learn how to adapt to Star Trek's format. The creators were taking it seriously and trying to get the idea across the show wasn't just silly escapism where pretty much anything goes and the show wasn't an anthology without episode-to-episode structure or consistency.

Today, and in no small thanks to TOS, there is (or should be) a much better understanding of what goes into a project like this. You've got to really plan in advance and try to minimize unforseen complications. You've got to hit the ground running. I doubt very few series today would get the grace period TNG enjoyed where it took more than a season for things to start to gel. Certainly on the post-production side we should have a much better handle on things then they did back then. And, in all fairness and as has been mentioned upthread, Star Trek wasn't the only series to struggle. Mission: Impossible, for one, was another high concept series with its own share of difficulties that were no end of headaches. It also wouldn't surprise me if Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea and Lost In Space had their share of major migraines.

Things might have been different if Desilu hadn't had both shows (TOS and M:I) in concurrent production. If they'd had only one then it mightn't have been such a drain on resources. But they hit the jackpot (so to speak) in getting both series sold and only one would really last, possibly and partly because it had broader appeal and was more easily accessible for a general audience.
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Old September 10 2013, 07:18 PM   #487
davejames
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Forbin wrote: View Post
Just got to the middle of the book, where there's a chapter on the confusion that was going on just before the series premiered. 11 eps in the can, no special effects ready yet, The Blacks leaving, Grace Lee Whitney's troubles, episodes being finished out of order, Anderson's meltdown and the scramble to find new effects houses 3 weeks before premier, trying to figure out what ep to air first... Holy crap, what a hot mess that was!!!!
No kidding. It was amazing to read that after all those months, the Anderson's only had a couple minutes of useable footage to show (and wow, most of the effects were shot stop motion-style? Had no idea). And the effects supervisor was obviously not paying ANY attention whatsoever to what they were doing over there, which seems almost criminal.

Although I have to say, given all the turmoil the book describes, it's always amazing to rewatch certain episodes again and see just how smooth and confident the final product almost always ended up being-- especially compared to the first two seasons of TNG, where they were also having behind the scenes problems and many eps come across as poorly written or slapped together as a result.
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Old September 11 2013, 04:45 AM   #488
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Another interesting tidbit ... Grace Lee Whitney ... the skirt design uniform ... in hindsight...
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Old September 11 2013, 04:56 AM   #489
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Warped9 wrote: View Post
It also wouldn't surprise me if Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea and Lost In Space had their share of major migraines.
I haven't read the bts books on those shows, but just by virtue of the FX being an in-house proposition, it had to have been easier in a lot of ways. They had longterm studio folks who had been doing this kind of work and other kinds of miracles for decades, so while the volume might have been heavy, they didn't have to reinvent the wheel. And it shows, because a lot of the shots in TIME TUNNEL, plus the saucer going down prior to crashing in LIS and the flying sub doing its thing were pretty hot FX moments.
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Old September 11 2013, 01:28 PM   #490
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

davejames wrote: View Post

Although I have to say, given all the turmoil the book describes, it's always amazing to rewatch certain episodes again and see just how smooth and confident the final product almost always ended up being-- especially compared to the first two seasons of TNG, where they were also having behind the scenes problems and many eps come across as poorly written or slapped together as a result.
I was surprised to discover that Enemy Within was the very first time DeForest Kelly performed as McCoy. Watching the episode, it's as if they'd all known each other for years. I guess that's ACTinggg!

Also that, De's first week on set involved Evil Kirk grabbing him by the head, yanking him almost off his feet and demanding brandy.
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Old September 11 2013, 02:00 PM   #491
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

That can't be right, De's first episode was Corbomite Manuever. The book even says the sickbay scene was the first filmed.
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Old September 11 2013, 04:14 PM   #492
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

trevanian wrote: View Post
I haven't read the bts books on those shows, but just by virtue of the FX being an in-house proposition, it had to have been easier in a lot of ways. They had longterm studio folks who had been doing this kind of work and other kinds of miracles for decades, so while the volume might have been heavy, they didn't have to reinvent the wheel. And it shows, because a lot of the shots in TIME TUNNEL, plus the saucer going down prior to crashing in LIS and the flying sub doing its thing were pretty hot FX moments.
With the exception of one book on The Time Tunnel, all of the books on the Irwin Allen shows are fan produced with no real look into the UCLA files. So we learn practically nothing other than pointless trivia and fan commentary.

However, THE TIME TUNNEL - A History of the Television Series did go into the archives and give a pretty good idea of what went on and it wasn't nearly the uphill climb Star Trek endured. Stock footage was no problem, all of the futuristic sets were redresses and odds and ends from the Fox lot, with the main issue being the scripts. The story editors would try to get the outlines into episodes to be filmed under budget but comprehensible. There were one or two very insightful editors who would point out every plot hole. Depending on the episode, the cost and/or Irwin's mood, the holes would either be fixed or ignored.
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Old September 11 2013, 04:41 PM   #493
davejames
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Speaking of Enemy Within, somehow I never realized before that the only reason they came up with the green tunic was to differentiate the two Kirks.
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Old September 11 2013, 04:43 PM   #494
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Myko wrote: View Post
That can't be right, De's first episode was Corbomite Manuever. The book even says the sickbay scene was the first filmed.
You are correct; the first shot of the series was the sickbay scene from "The Corbomite Manuever" which was with De and Shat.
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Old September 11 2013, 04:52 PM   #495
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

davejames wrote: View Post
Speaking of Enemy Within, somehow I never realized before that the only reason they came up with the green tunic was to differentiate the two Kirks.
Neither did I. That green shirt was my favorite though I preferred the 2nd season green over the 1st and most especially the one in "The Doomsday Machine" without the black trim around the v-neck.
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