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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 March 17 2010, 01:19 AM   #1
Trollheart
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No proper ending --- good thing, bad thing?

To be honest, it always irked me that such a ground-breaking and iconic series had no proper "last episode". Sort of just finished midstream, and I wonder why? GR must have known the series was being wound up, why not write a suitable "closer"? Nextgen had its "All good things", DS9 made sure of "What you leave behind" (of course, the less said about Voyager's "finale" the better, but at least it was an ending of sorts, even if it was a "with-a-single-bound-our-hero-is-free" type one).

Why not the one that started it all?

Was it just short-sightedness? Was it the way telly was done back then? Did they, in the face of it all, think there WOULD be another season?

Any thoughts?
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Old March 17 2010, 01:25 AM   #2
Warped9
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Re: No proper ending --- good thing, bad thing?

I don't think things were looked at the same way as today. Many could well have thought that the show was toast anyway and so what did it matter?

I don't really care because it meant my heroes were still out there going boldly beyond the final frontier.
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Old March 17 2010, 01:36 AM   #3
Wingsley
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Re: No proper ending --- good thing, bad thing?

^ I agree. Leaving TOS dangling made an opening for TAS, TMP and novels.
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Old March 17 2010, 01:38 AM   #4
Nerys Myk
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Re: No proper ending --- good thing, bad thing?

Trollheart wrote: View Post
To be honest, it always irked me that such a ground-breaking and iconic series had no proper "last episode". Sort of just finished midstream, and I wonder why? GR must have known the series was being wound up, why not write a suitable "closer"? Nextgen had its "All good things", DS9 made sure of "What you leave behind" (of course, the less said about Voyager's "finale" the better, but at least it was an ending of sorts, even if it was a "with-a-single-bound-our-hero-is-free" type one).

Why not the one that started it all?

Was it just short-sightedness? Was it the way telly was done back then? Did they, in the face of it all, think there WOULD be another season?

Any thoughts?
Not the way most telly was done back then. A show usualy just ended. No real fanfare. The war didnt end for Hogan and McHale. The Robinsons never got home. The Castaways were never rescued. The crew of the Enterprise just went on with their mission. There was no story arc to conclude or mystery to solve. Life went on, with or with out the "camera".
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Old March 17 2010, 02:21 AM   #5
number6
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Re: No proper ending --- good thing, bad thing?

I don't think the crew were told until during the filming of Turnabout Intruder. There was dialog hastily added to the briefing room/trial scene that kinda wrapped up the whole purpose of the show.

We did get a finale of sorts with TUC. I think of that as the end of the TOS era.
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Old March 17 2010, 02:31 AM   #6
Robert D. Robot
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Re: No proper ending --- good thing, bad thing?

My understanding is that production for the fourth season had begun in Spring of 1969 when "Star Trek" was cancelled quite unceremoniously. "Turnabout Intruder" had already been filmed as the first episode of the 1969/1970 season, but it ended up being shown in June, being included as the last episode of the third season.

As others had said, most shows back then just ended, with no "bookend" to the story being produced. I am wondering if M*A*S*H set the stage for TV shows wrapping up with a definitive "ending" episode (except for episodes of "Trapper John, M.D. and "AfterMash", of course!)
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Old March 17 2010, 02:32 AM   #7
Mr. Mugato
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Re: No proper ending --- good thing, bad thing?

Most shows of that era never had any endings, they just disappeared. That is what made the final episode of The Fugitive such a huge event. It was a very unusual move for a TV show in the 60's.
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Old March 17 2010, 02:33 AM   #8
Robert D. Robot
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Re: No proper ending --- good thing, bad thing?

You beat me to it, number6!
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Old March 17 2010, 02:34 AM   #9
Robert D. Robot
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Re: No proper ending --- good thing, bad thing?

Ah- how could I forget about the big ending for "The Fugitive!" My folks and my aunt talked about that for months!
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Old March 17 2010, 05:38 AM   #10
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Re: No proper ending --- good thing, bad thing?

The absence of a finale where everything is resolved helped to keep Star Trek alive in the '70s. I get the sense that without a finale, people who were demanding Star Trek's return felt the series was incomplete or that it could still continue.

I say that even knowing finales weren't common before the '80s. With a "happily ever-after" story there wouldn't have been as much fan demand for the failed revival attempts or anticipation for TMP. I'm guessing one of the largest incentives to see TMP was wondering what happened to the characters after the five-year mission.
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Old March 17 2010, 04:06 PM   #11
Trollheart
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Re: No proper ending --- good thing, bad thing?

OK guys thanks for that. Seems the prevailing opinion is that it was a) good that there was no definitive ending and b) that it was generally just "not the way things were done back then".

Fair enough.

So, to open out the subject a little more, what do you think happened that resulted in the more "finale"-type series endings we have now? Apart from cancellations, most viewers (or fans, at least) are generally annoyed if a series ends without some sort of resolution (see comments on Angel's last episode), so what has happened to make people think this way, as opposed to how it was in the sixties and seventies?

Is it just that people are more "telly-aware" now, is it that they demand more from thier progs? Is it that there is now, with the arrival of digital/cable/satellite TV (and the Net) so much more choice out there that the producers feel they have to try to accomodate the wishes of the viewers? Or do people nowadays get more into, and identify with the characters in, series in general, which in its own way leads to the birth of the phenomenon of "cult TV"?

Answers on a holo-postcard please....
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Old March 17 2010, 06:51 PM   #12
Nerys Myk
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Re: No proper ending --- good thing, bad thing?

Well there has been a shift in TV, especially with dramas, in that the show are telling a long story rather than a bunch of short ones using the same characters. While there may have been shows like from the beginning, the concept really took off with the introduction of night time soaps like "Dallas" and "Dynasty" and then more "serious" dramas like "Hill St Blues" and "St. Elswhere". On the comedy side shows like "MASH" and "Mary Tyler Moore" showed there is a ratings spike for endings. Thn there is "X-Files" which focused on a story arc about a single "mystery". Combine those elements and you have the current thinking for TV drama and in a lesser case comedy.
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Old March 17 2010, 08:14 PM   #13
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Re: No proper ending --- good thing, bad thing?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
I don't think things were looked at the same way as today. Many could well have thought that the show was toast anyway and so what did it matter?

I don't really care because it meant my heroes were still out there going boldly beyond the final frontier.
Yup. This is my second ditto of you in two minutes by the way. And I've always almost agreed with your sig. You must be smart since you think like me. [smiley here if they worked on my Mac] Be well.
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Old March 17 2010, 08:18 PM   #14
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Re: No proper ending --- good thing, bad thing?

plynch wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
I don't think things were looked at the same way as today. Many could well have thought that the show was toast anyway and so what did it matter?

I don't really care because it meant my heroes were still out there going boldly beyond the final frontier.
Yup. This is my second ditto of you in two minutes by the way. And I've always almost agreed with your sig. You must be smart since you think like me. [smiley here if they worked on my Mac] Be well.
How odd, the smileys always work on my eMac.
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Old March 17 2010, 08:48 PM   #15
sbk1234
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Re: No proper ending --- good thing, bad thing?

SNL did film the final voyage of the Starship Enterprise.

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