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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 July 21 2014, 03:49 AM   #16
Green Shirt
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Re: Desilu

EnriqueH wrote: View Post
I thought Justman and Roddenberry were damn close?
Isn't it common to be friendly with some people at work without actually being "friends"?
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Old July 22 2014, 05:30 PM   #17
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Re: Desilu

EnriqueH wrote: View Post
Fantastic book that "Inside Star Trek". I just read it a few weeks back. I thought Justman and Roddenberry were damn close?
Based on this work as well as several other reliable sources, Gene Roddenberry was apparently a person with a few significant personality flaws: a little fast and loose with the truth, someone who on occasion took credit for the work of others, etc.

Justman and Solow were both instrumental in bringing Star Trek to the small screen and keeping it there, at least for the first two seasons. It's obvious that Roddenberry's tendency to not readily publicly acknowledge the key roles of others (Gene Coon included) has hurt some feelings over the years.

Personally, I think Justman and Solow are simply telling us their vantage of the whole story of GR, rather than the simplistic "Roddenberry is the wonderful altruistic idealist visionary who thought up everything having to do with Star Trek" so common in fandom sources.
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Old July 24 2014, 07:43 PM   #18
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Re: Desilu

In the last few months of reading, (again, I've been binge reading tons of non-fiction Star Trek books this year), I've read a bit about Roddenberry taking credit for stuff.

But I've also read and heard (in interviews) Roddenberry giving credit to other writers for enhancing and adding to the world of Star Trek.

So I'm a bit confused as to why there's a massive amount of criticism aimed at Roddenberry for refusing to credit others, when I've actually read/heard Roddenberry giving that credit.

Can someone illuminate me here?

At this point, I have to believe that while Roddenberry may have AT TIMES taken credit, there have also been occasions when he has given that credit.

So I have to believe that the truth is somewhere in the middle.

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Old July 24 2014, 07:54 PM   #19
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Re: Desilu

The truth is always somewhere in the middle. Sometimes he was generous, for instance, giving Harlan Ellison sole credit for "City on the Edge of Forever" (though that may have been about taking advantage of the prestige of Ellison's name among science fiction fans). But on the other hand, in an ideal world, the creator credits for ST:TNG would say "Created by Gene Roddenberry, D.C. Fontana, David Gerrold, and Robert H. Justman," or something like that.

I don't think that Roddenberry really intended to deny others fair treatment. But he did tend to aggrandize himself, which he may not have realized was often to the detriment of others.
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Old July 24 2014, 08:14 PM   #20
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Re: Desilu

There was a 70s era LP called Inside Star Trek (I think) where it was just Roddenberry talking about the show. One moment I remember is him discussing the invention of the Klingons. He doesn't specifically say Gene Coon invented them, only that "we' did. It did seem a bit odd to me, though maybe there was a bullpen session before Coon came up with the story.
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Old July 24 2014, 09:28 PM   #21
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Re: Desilu

^It wasn't exclusively Roddenberry speaking, though he was the main speaker on the album. There were interviews with others like William Shatner and Mark Lenard (in character as Sarek).
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Old July 26 2014, 10:08 AM   #22
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Re: Desilu

I don't think Gene is unique in assuming credit for what other people under him contributed to the project. I think we can think of similar situations. For example didn't Eddison take credit for creations that other people under him had invented?

About the development of the Kinetoscope:
While Edison seems to have conceived the idea and initiated the experiments, Dickson apparently performed the bulk of the experimentation,
Wiki on the development of the Kinetoscope

I think he and Tesla also had such problems.
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Old July 26 2014, 02:25 PM   #23
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Re: Desilu

Oh, Thomas Edison stole credit from all sorts of other people. He wasn't an inventive genius so much as a marketing genius. Ditto Walt Disney, who built himself up as the sole auteur responsible for the achievements of many brilliant artists working under him.

And then there's Bob Kane, the so-called "creator" of Batman. He really contributed only the barest prototype of the idea that Bill Finger then developed into the character we know as Batman, and signed his name to art that was frequently or usually drawn by the "assistants" at his studio -- and then he negotiated a contract that forbade DC from ever acknowledging Finger or anyone else but himself as Batman's creator, so that to this day every Batman production is required to have "Batman created by Bob Kane" and nobody else. (Although to be fair, Finger himself largely cribbed the plot of the first Batman story from a Shadow pulp novel. Comics back then were an overlooked, disposable medium, so imitation was rampant. Superman was largely a knockoff of Doc Savage. The original Green Lantern was a thinly veiled retelling of Aladdin.)
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Old July 26 2014, 02:35 PM   #24
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Re: Desilu

Christopher wrote: View Post
^It wasn't exclusively Roddenberry speaking, though he was the main speaker on the album. There were interviews with others like William Shatner and Mark Lenard (in character as Sarek).
I stand corrected. I've not heard it since the 70s.
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Old July 26 2014, 02:42 PM   #25
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Re: Desilu

^I've had the album since I got it as part of the TMP 20th-anniversary set, which would've been 15 years ago now, but I've never listened to it in its entirety. I've been thinking of getting around to that soon, now that I have it uploaded onto my phone.
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Old July 26 2014, 03:42 PM   #26
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Re: Desilu

Christopher wrote: View Post
Superman was largely a knockoff of Doc Savage.
Well they copped the "Man of...." tag and the Fortress of Solitude from Doc, but I don't find too much similarity in the characters. Batman, with his lifetime of training and gadgets is closer to Doc Savage in my opinion.
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Old July 26 2014, 03:57 PM   #27
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Re: Desilu

Doc Savage heavily influenced both characters -- not surprisingly, as he was one of the biggest pulp heroes. And of course his first name was Clark. (And The Shadow's real first name was Kent.)
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Old July 26 2014, 04:10 PM   #28
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Re: Desilu

Christopher wrote: View Post
Doc Savage heavily influenced both characters -- not surprisingly, as he was one of the biggest pulp heroes. And of course his first name was Clark. (And The Shadow's real first name was Kent.)
The influences mentioned in that article are mostly ripping off Doc Savage plots and gimmicks in Superman stories. Superman himself, alien raised on Earth with superpowers who used them to fight crime and has a double identity, isn't very similar to Doc Savage, a wealthy man, trained almost from birth to be the peak of mental and physical perfection who fights crime from his skyscraper HQ with the help of his assistants, using various gimmicks of his own creation.
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Old July 26 2014, 04:25 PM   #29
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Re: Desilu

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Superman was largely a knockoff of Doc Savage.
Well they copped the "Man of...." tag and the Fortress of Solitude from Doc, but I don't find too much similarity in the characters. Batman, with his lifetime of training and gadgets is closer to Doc Savage in my opinion.
Batman and The Green Hornet can also trace their lineage back to Zorro and The Scarlet Pimpernel -- wealthy society figures who don a disguise to fight crime and injustice while keeping their true identity a secret.
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Old July 26 2014, 05:39 PM   #30
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Re: Desilu

Of course the characters evolved in different directions, but it's well-established that Doc Savage was one of Siegel and Shuster's main inspirations. Just because an idea evolves away from its initial inspirations doesn't mean those inspirations weren't there.
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