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

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Old September 21 2013, 01:38 PM   #31
Christopher
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Re: Joanna McCoy

Kinokima wrote: View Post
Yeah keeping Joanna McCoy's daughter and the Chekov love angle would have made sense. I wonder why they decided they had to drop Joanna entirely.
Maybe it was felt that having the character be connected to McCoy would overshadow her connection to Chekov, since McCoy was the more prominent cast member. Fontana's script would've mainly been about the Kirk-McCoy relationship, with Joanna as a catalyst. The final script was more directly focused on Chekov's relationship with Irina. And really, I'm not sure what the value would be in doing it as a McCoy-Chekov dynamic. Basically all you'd have there is McCoy in the role of the disapproving dad telling the boyfriend to have his daughter back by curfew. Since there's no established friendship between McCoy and Chekov, there's no more going on than that, so it's not as interesting as if McCoy's best friend is the one getting involved with his daughter.

Also, Heinemann was clearly more interested in focusing on Spock and his interaction with the space hippies. With Kirk vs. Sevrin as the A plot, Spock bonding with the hippies as the B plot, and Chekov and Irina as the C plot, there wasn't really any room for dealing with McCoy and his daughter.



CommishSleer wrote: View Post
I don't mean to doubt the OP but I think any script which has Spock killing McCoy's daughter (even accidentally) has to be suspect. I mean maybe it could be a first draft but could any writer be that naive?

No series could survive that (except maybe nuBSG). Did they have in the epilog that funny little banter they sometimes ended TOS ? McCoy laughing it off at Spock's expense?

Did they think that in the next week Spock and McCoy would interact normally?
Remember, this is '60s TV. Nothing had ramifications in later episodes. Kirk lost his brother in one episode, the love of his life in the very next episode, and his wife and unborn child a couple of seasons later, and yet we never again heard another word about any of them. We even saw Mr. Leslie die in one episode and be back to normal in the next. Every episode was made to be a complete, self-contained story that could be viewed in any order relative to other episodes and perfectly understandable if you'd missed prior episodes.
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Old September 21 2013, 01:53 PM   #32
CommishSleer
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Re: Joanna McCoy

I don't know. I just think that killing your friend's only child is something you can't come back from.
Even with episodic TV.
Its really shocking. Too shocking.
Way more shocking than Kirk or Picard losing their whole families IMO.
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Old September 21 2013, 01:58 PM   #33
Kinokima
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Re: Joanna McCoy

^ Chris all of what you are saying makes sense but the episode they came up with is considered one of the worst of the original series.

I am not saying a plot line where Chekov was in love with McCoy's daughter would necessarily have produced great drama but you would have been giving back story to a main character who basically had none (McCoy) and at least connecting him to another character on the ship who could always use more screentime ( Chekov)

Could it have been worse than what they came up with?

Having Joanna fall in love with Kirk could have created interesting drama because of Mccoy and Kirk's relationship but I still would have worried how they would handle it. Then again DC Fontana is a writer I tend to trust, so maybe in her hands it would have been done justice.
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Old September 21 2013, 02:45 PM   #34
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Re: Joanna McCoy

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
I don't know. I just think that killing your friend's only child is something you can't come back from.
Even with episodic TV.
Its really shocking. Too shocking.
And maybe that's why they didn't go for it (although it was not so much "killing" as being accidentally responsible for her death). But with '60s TV you never know. It's easy for modern viewers to fail to realize how dedicated '60s TV producers were to keeping each episode independent. Back then, the classiest dramas were anthologies, so that's what TV producers aspired to. The main reasons they bothered with continuing characters and situations at all were economic: having a regular cast created viewer loyalty and boosted ratings, and reusing sets, costumes, stock footage, etc. was cheaper than having to build new stuff every week.


Kinokima wrote: View Post
^ Chris all of what you are saying makes sense but the episode they came up with is considered one of the worst of the original series.
The one has nothing to do with the other. You asked why they decided to drop the McCoy's-daughter angle and I offered a couple of possible explanations for what their thinking was. I wasn't saying I agreed with their thinking; I was just trying to imagine what it might have been.


I am not saying a plot line where Chekov was in love with McCoy's daughter would necessarily have produced great drama but you would have been giving back story to a main character who basically had none (McCoy) and at least connecting him to another character on the ship who could always use more screentime ( Chekov)
But that wasn't their priority. Again, I'm not defending or endorsing their choices, just describing them. But Spock was the runaway star of TOS, the one that the network wanted the show to focus on the most. Somebody involved in the production probably thought something like, "Hey, the kids like Spock because he's this alienated outsider type like them, so let's do a story about Spock grooving with space hippies because the kids'll go for that and we'll get good ratings." I'm not saying that was a better decision creatively than focusing on McCoy -- it strikes me as mercenary and somewhat shallow -- but by the same token, it's not really that difficult to understand why they made the choice.

After all, this wasn't the first time this happened. "This Side of Paradise" was going to be a Sulu romance, but it was rewritten for Spock. And the tendency toward Spock-centrism was particularly strong in the third season -- e.g. "Spectre of the Gun" where Spock's the one giving all the historical exposition about Tombstone even though Kirk or McCoy would've been the more logical choice, or "Spock's Brain" where they were saddled with the remote-controlled Spock zombie as an excuse to keep Nimoy on camera for more of the episode.
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Old September 21 2013, 03:00 PM   #35
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Re: Joanna McCoy

In regards to the ending of the "Stars of Sargasso" script, it ends on a pretty somber note. Spock isn't involved at all, he's still recovering from his wounds (both a punch McCoy gave him earlier and the stab I mentioned a few posts back). The ending focuses on Kirk and McCoy. McCoy stares off into space, monologuing on how he'll most likely never recover from Joanna's death. And Kirk responds (half to the audience) with a monologue about the importance of dealing with pain and rising up from it. The End.
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Old September 21 2013, 03:20 PM   #36
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Re: Joanna McCoy

^Considering how late in the season that episode came, it sounds like that would have been a much better ending for the series than "Turnabout Intruder".
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Old September 21 2013, 03:56 PM   #37
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Re: Joanna McCoy

Kinokima wrote: View Post
Yeah keeping Joanna McCoy's daughter and the Chekov love angle would have made sense. I wonder why they decided they had to drop Joanna entirely.
I read somewhere that somebody thought that giving McCoy a grown daughter would make him seem too "old." Not sure if that was the deciding factor.

Also, remember that "divorce" was a controversial topic back then, which was known to make studio executives nervous. As late as 1970, CBS wouldn't allow Mary Tyler Moore to play a divorcee on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Which could be another reason McCoy's backstory never actually made it onto the screen--until 2009, that is!
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Old September 21 2013, 04:47 PM   #38
Kinokima
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Re: Joanna McCoy

Christopher wrote: View Post
The one has nothing to do with the other. You asked why they decided to drop the McCoy's-daughter angle and I offered a couple of possible explanations for what their thinking was. I wasn't saying I agreed with their thinking; I was just trying to imagine what it might have been.
And like I said your reasoning all makes sense to me. I wasn't questioning what you said but their decision. It seems to be all bad creative decisions in my opinion. Anyways my questions were meant to be more rhetorical.

From what I understand the story was originally dropped because they felt it made Kirk look bad. Even if I don't necessarily agree, I can understand.

So I was wondering why they felt the need to drop the storyline entirely, when they could have still incorporated other elements of it. It's just a shame and reeks of bad production decisions.

Although what Greg Cox says about values in the 1960's & possibly deciding that McCoy having a daughter made him too old, also makes a great deal of sense to me. But still it's a shame.

I did like that they mentioned Bones was divorced in the new Star Trek movies. It shows that one small line can add a lot to a character.
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Old September 21 2013, 06:33 PM   #39
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Re: Joanna McCoy

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
As late as 1970, CBS wouldn't allow Mary Tyler Moore to play a divorcee on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
I read that the reason behind that was the concern that some in the audience might be under the mistaken impression that her ex-husband was Dick Van Dyke....
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Old September 21 2013, 08:27 PM   #40
Kinokima
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Re: Joanna McCoy

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
As late as 1970, CBS wouldn't allow Mary Tyler Moore to play a divorcee on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
I read that the reason behind that was the concern that some in the audience might be under the mistaken impression that her ex-husband was Dick Van Dyke....
I actually was under that impression as a kid lol
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