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Old February 19 2014, 01:16 AM   #16
andriech
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Re: Star Trek: Phase II's "The Holiest Thing" - Delayed

hmm...well, I don't speak on behalf of the production but I can still add a few tidbits here...

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
1. "Origins" aka "Origins: The Protracted Man" aka "The Protracted Man" written and directed by David Gerrold.
It was written by Dave Galanter and David Gerrold.

And just to comment on the "title confusion". "Origins" was the title of the script I wrote back in Sept 2009 when James wanted an "origin story to correct JJ's". (actually the full title was "Origins: Eleven Sucks". When they made the poster and announced the episode, they elected to drop part of the title ) There was a lot I didn't like about that script, and wrote a new one titled "The Wreck of the Athens Queen" in January. (Which is available on fanfiction.net) I was very happy with it, but when I found out Gerrold was directing I suggested that I take a bow to the TOS alumni and we let him film his long-awaited "The Protracted Man" - which couldn't be filmed back in the 60s because VFX/CGI wasn't sophisticated enough. I was asked to write the first draft, but elected not to because of paid writing work. Dave Galanter wrote it using Gerrold's original story premise. David Gerrold polished it.

So..."Origins" stuck because no one changed the poster and for awhile the fact that we were filming "The Protracted Man" was a production secret. But it was never the name of the episode/script filmed.

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
2. "Mind-Sifter" written by Patty Wright and directed by Mark Burchett. Also, although there was general satisfaction with the script, we are contemplating going in a slightly different direction with it--yet still trying to remain faithful to the original short story on which it is based. If much of the episode needs to be re-shot (like with "Origins," we might seize the opportunity to rework the script a bit.
While I am the very first person to admire Greg's art of diplomacy and political correctness, and definitely appreciate the effort here, I am a person who tends to call a spade a spade - and since it involves me here I am free to do so.

"Mind-Sifter" was supposed to be finished in June 2014 - including refilming both David Sherin and James Cawley's parts. (as well as Kim Stinger's) While I believe that it is generally a problem to have the writer on a film set, it was very important to me to be involved in finishing this episode for quite a few reasons. (Shirley was my friend, I am a licensed therapist/social worker and have worked for 30 years in the mental health field, John Carrigan's father was afflicted by the mental health system, and another theme I added after a discussion with Shirley was dear to my heart). This became an impasse for reasons I won't detail. Ultimately, James decided to get another script and start from scratch rather than have me on set for the filming to finish mine. Feel free to blame me for the problem...but I am unwavering as to how important this is to me.

In the end, this is probably for the best - as it's probably easier to film all new than to try to replace people in key scenes that have already been filmed. It has been announced that they will be filming the "new" "Mind-Sifter", written by an unannounced person, from June 20-30 this year.

I'm looking forward to seeing the finished episode. It's a good story.
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Last edited by andriech; February 19 2014 at 03:59 AM.
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Old February 19 2014, 01:28 AM   #17
andriech
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Re: Star Trek: Phase II's "The Holiest Thing" - Delayed

JT Perfecthair wrote: View Post
Greg,

I will admit surprise that Phase 2 is doing Mind Sifter. I'd have thought that's a story that wouldn't do well onscreen, not because it's a bad story, quite the contrary. I vividly remember reading it at the time, and its effect on me. My concern is if you did a faithful retelling I'm not sure I'm not sure how entertaining it could be to see one of your favorite characters treated that way. Call it "The Empath effect", where a decent story can't help but get lost behind the unattractive imagery.
ah...someone who wasn't around when it was announced back in 2010.

"Mind-Sifter" is what actually STARTED "New Voyages". James met Shirley at a convention and they had a long chat. Shirley was very enthusiastic at James' idea to "film new TOS episodes" and encouraged him with great gusto to do so. She also handed him a copy of her original "The Mind-Sifter" fan fic....explaining in great depth how upset and angry she was at Bantam Books who "destroyed the story" with their edit, and she asked James to film her story, the way she wrote it, so people got to see it the way she intended. (the short explaination is that she wrote it as a Kirk and Chekov story - intending to show Chekov was basically young Kirk. Bantam removed Chekov entirely from the story)

James promised Shirley that one day he would do so and, in fact, named the series "New Voyages" in her honor. (or so he's said a few times.) As Shirley died long before it was possible to film the story, I was able to contact her family and get permission from them to proceed. (I was a friend and used to hang out in her house every weekend in the "Star Trek room" long before anyone else ever had one) Her grandson was actually planning to be a Starfleet crewman in the episode at one time.

So, it's not really a surprise.

However, it is a daring choice...as you point out. It also isn't a very typical TOS story if done faithfully...with Kirk out of his mind for the entire thing.
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Old February 19 2014, 01:28 AM   #18
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Re: Star Trek: Phase II's "The Holiest Thing" - Delayed

Greg, thanks so much for your consistent openness, responsiveness, and friendly professionalism. In addition to being the moderator, you also happen to be a great poster. Your insights are appreciated.

Thanks for offering your thoughts, as well, andriech.
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Old February 19 2014, 01:33 AM   #19
andriech
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Re: Star Trek: Phase II's "The Holiest Thing" - Delayed

well I felt poor Greg was rather trapped by the need to be politically secret about what happened, and he's got enough hoops to jump through without having to worry about another one. He's a class act.
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Old February 19 2014, 02:01 AM   #20
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Re: Star Trek: Phase II's "The Holiest Thing" - Delayed

Fascinating story, andriech... thanks for sharing!
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Old February 19 2014, 09:19 PM   #21
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Re: Star Trek: Phase II's "The Holiest Thing" - Delayed

Greg Thanks for the updates. Please keep us informed as to any changes in release dates.
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Old February 20 2014, 02:53 PM   #22
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Re: Star Trek: Phase II's "The Holiest Thing" - Delayed

andriech wrote: View Post
hmm...well, I don't speak on behalf of the production but I can still add a few tidbits here...

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
1. "Origins" aka "Origins: The Protracted Man" aka "The Protracted Man" written and directed by David Gerrold.
It was written by Dave Galanter and David Gerrold.

And just to comment on the "title confusion". "Origins" was the title of the script I wrote back in Sept 2009 when James wanted an "origin story to correct JJ's". (actually the full title was "Origins: Eleven Sucks". When they made the poster and announced the episode, they elected to drop part of the title ) There was a lot I didn't like about that script, and wrote a new one titled "The Wreck of the Athens Queen" in January. (Which is available on fanfiction.net) I was very happy with it, but when I found out Gerrold was directing I suggested that I take a bow to the TOS alumni and we let him film his long-awaited "The Protracted Man" - which couldn't be filmed back in the 60s because VFX/CGI wasn't sophisticated enough. I was asked to write the first draft, but elected not to because of paid writing work. Dave Galanter wrote it using Gerrold's original story premise. David Gerrold polished it.

So..."Origins" stuck because no one changed the poster and for awhile the fact that we were filming "The Protracted Man" was a production secret. But it was never the name of the episode/script filmed.

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
2. "Mind-Sifter" written by Patty Wright and directed by Mark Burchett. Also, although there was general satisfaction with the script, we are contemplating going in a slightly different direction with it--yet still trying to remain faithful to the original short story on which it is based. If much of the episode needs to be re-shot (like with "Origins," we might seize the opportunity to rework the script a bit.
While I am the very first person to admire Greg's art of diplomacy and political correctness, and definitely appreciate the effort here, I am a person who tends to call a spade a spade - and since it involves me here I am free to do so.

"Mind-Sifter" was supposed to be finished in June 2014 - including refilming both David Sherin and James Cawley's parts. (as well as Kim Stinger's) While I believe that it is generally a problem to have the writer on a film set, it was very important to me to be involved in finishing this episode for quite a few reasons. (Shirley was my friend, I am a licensed therapist/social worker and have worked for 30 years in the mental health field, John Carrigan's father was afflicted by the mental health system, and another theme I added after a discussion with Shirley was dear to my heart). This became an impasse for reasons I won't detail. Ultimately, James decided to get another script and start from scratch rather than have me on set for the filming to finish mine. Feel free to blame me for the problem...but I am unwavering as to how important this is to me.

In the end, this is probably for the best - as it's probably easier to film all new than to try to replace people in key scenes that have already been filmed. It has been announced that they will be filming the "new" "Mind-Sifter", written by an unannounced person, from June 20-30 this year.

I'm looking forward to seeing the finished episode. It's a good story.
It's a great pity with the Protracted Man that an entire episode shot is now deemed unusable. Also doesn't that story fall into 'you cannot use an episode written for Paramount' territory? It would be good to have a'canonical' Kirk origin story - seeing him meet Spock, at the Academy and of course taking command of the Enterprise.

I'm glad though that Mind-Sifter is on course for a revival soon.

"Mind-Sifter" is what actually STARTED "New Voyages". James met Shirley at a convention and they had a long chat. Shirley was very enthusiastic at James' idea to "film new TOS episodes" and encouraged him with great gusto to do so. She also handed him a copy of her original "The Mind-Sifter" fan fic....explaining in great depth how upset and angry she was at Bantam Books who "destroyed the story" with their edit, and she asked James to film her story, the way she wrote it, so people got to see it the way she intended. (the short explaination is that she wrote it as a Kirk and Chekov story - intending to show Chekov was basically young Kirk. Bantam removed Chekov entirely from the story)

James promised Shirley that one day he would do so and, in fact, named the series "New Voyages" in her honor. (or so he's said a few times.) As Shirley died long before it was possible to film the story, I was able to contact her family and get permission from them to proceed. (I was a friend and used to hang out in her house every weekend in the "Star Trek room" long before anyone else ever had one) Her grandson was actually planning to be a Starfleet crewman in the episode at one time.

So, it's not really a surprise.
James has said he wants to end the series with the Enterprise coming into drydock and the characters seeing the new (The Motion Picture) uniforms for the first time.

I don't know if you're planning to produce 22 episodes or two seasons worth but if you decide to finish SOMEONE needs to interview James Cawley, yourself and a whole load of others for a BOOK about New Voyages/Phase II as the behind-the-scenes story of the series is so rich, yes there have been a few dramas but nevertheless all the other stuff is so interesting - getting official writers/actors back onboard the Enterprise etc. with behind the scenes photos, unused poster art (there have been a few) the First Voyages idea, etc. If someone would like to give me a few pointers, I'd be happy to help compile it!
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Old February 20 2014, 04:33 PM   #23
andriech
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Re: Star Trek: Phase II's "The Holiest Thing" - Delayed

Danlav05 wrote: View Post
It's a great pity with the Protracted Man that an entire episode shot is now deemed unusable. Also doesn't that story fall into 'you cannot use an episode written for Paramount' territory? It would be good to have a 'canonical' Kirk origin story - seeing him meet Spock, at the Academy and of course taking command of the Enterprise.
Not if the rules haven't changed. When CBS handed the rule down it was "anything we've purchased". Gerrold pitched "The Protracted Man" but CBS rejected it because it was "unfilmable" at the time.

Danlav05 wrote: View Post
I don't know if you're planning to produce 22 episodes or two seasons worth but if you decide to finish SOMEONE needs to interview James Cawley, yourself and a whole load of others for a BOOK about New Voyages/Phase II as the behind-the-scenes story of the series is so rich, yes there have been a few dramas but nevertheless all the other stuff is so interesting - getting official writers/actors back onboard the Enterprise etc. with behind the scenes photos, unused poster art (there have been a few) the First Voyages idea, etc. If someone would like to give me a few pointers, I'd be happy to help compile it!
Rich Newman (the former head of security) and I both have that books in the works (two seperate books), and the film "Backyard Blockbusters" covers it as well. The first thing that has to be done is to get permission from CBS for publication. (I was able to get permission for Phase II artwork to be published in an art book, so it's not impossible.)
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Old February 20 2014, 10:38 PM   #24
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Re: Star Trek: Phase II's "The Holiest Thing" - Delayed

andriech wrote: View Post
Not if the rules haven't changed. When CBS handed the rule down it was "anything we've purchased". Gerrold pitched "The Protracted Man" but CBS rejected it because it was "unfilmable" at the time.
That's OK, means you can do what you want. Original stories are great but on the other hand doing 'lost stories' such as Mind-Sifter, Blood and Fire and Kitumba gives the show some authenticity.

Rich Newman (the former head of security) and I both have that books in the works (two seperate books), and the film "Backyard Blockbusters" covers it as well. The first thing that has to be done is to get permission from CBS for publication. (I was able to get permission for Phase II artwork to be published in an art book, so it's not impossible.)
Oh brilliant that things are already in the pipeline! I guess the permission is for the photographs/designs? The eMag you had going on for a while was brilliant and informative. And I've been looking forward to Backyard Blockbusters for a while, fan films really are a strong sub-genre. Which art book is that?
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Old February 21 2014, 01:05 AM   #25
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Re: Star Trek: Phase II's "The Holiest Thing" - Delayed

andriech wrote: View Post
...Gerrold pitched "The Protracted Man" but CBS rejected it because it was "unfilmable" at the time.
The Star Trek production rejected it, not the studio, which nevertheless would not have been CBS in 1967, but probably Desilu.

As I recall from Gerrold's book, there were other issues with the pitch beyond the expensive "West Side Story" effects, including that it focused too much on the guest characters and not the crew.
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Old February 21 2014, 04:49 AM   #26
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Re: Star Trek: Phase II's "The Holiest Thing" - Delayed

yes, the issue was TPM himself wasn't important to the E crew...one of the main points that the story editors back then were sticklers on. Basically, "why do we care?" Making TPM Kirk's father was supposed to address that issue. It was the special effects that got it rejected, Gerrold made the note about the story problem later in his book. So, yup, you're right.
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Old February 21 2014, 09:34 PM   #27
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Re: Star Trek: Phase II's "The Holiest Thing" - Delayed

Even when I read Gerrold's outline back in my youth it was obvious that the simple answer to making TPM important to the crew was to make SULU the test pilot. He's one of Kirk's own, and Kirk feels responsible. Easy.
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Old February 24 2014, 06:33 PM   #28
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Re: Star Trek: Phase II's "The Holiest Thing" - Delayed

After all this discussion on The Protracted Man, I went and looked up the brief treatment available and ... well, I'm pretty underwhelmed. It seems like a throw-away episode. I would much rather see an original "Origin" story than something that feels like I've seen it multiple times before on both TOS and TNG: a guy suffers a transporter accident, is out of phase with the rest of us, and eventually they use the transporter to put him back together. That's hardly fresh when it comes to Star Trek. It seems like canning the original Origin story was a HUGE mistake.
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Old February 24 2014, 07:34 PM   #29
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Re: Star Trek: Phase II's "The Holiest Thing" - Delayed

yeah hindsight is 20/20. chalk it up to "white coat syndrome". that is "anything a REAL Trek alumni can come up with has got to be 1000 times better than what little old me can come up with". I was being respectful.

Writer's have to have some regrets for the rest of their lives, I guess. (Anyone want to film and origins story that rocks? ROTFLOL)
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Old February 24 2014, 09:41 PM   #30
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Re: Star Trek: Phase II's "The Holiest Thing" - Delayed

The problem with the original "The Protracted Man" pitch is there's no theme. It's not about anything other than the problem.
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