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Old April 12 2011, 01:41 PM   #31
Therin of Andor
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

brian577 wrote: View Post
Yet he included absurd concept like inflatable decoys, dragons
Well the dragon was on the "Shore Leave" planet, where anything was possible if you could imagine it. It predated "West World".

anthropomorphic aliens
So what? Who's to say aliens won't resemble known animals? If you mean M'Ress, she's remained a pretty popular character despite only being in a few TAS episodes. How is she worse than a Tellarite or a Gorn?

Colony creatures are a science fiction staple. David Gerrold originally pitched "Bem" for TOS, but it would have been too expensive to render in live action. I really liked Bem. As a kid it was one of my favourite, most memorable episodes.

Merky wrote: View Post
Throwing a bitch fit tantrum (figuratively) and walking off, abandoning your creation, just shows that you rather kill off your creation than fight for it.
There also comes a time when you decide new blood might be welcome after several relentless years of not being appreciated.

Gene allowed the show to self destruct and the poor writing, production, growing dissatisfaction from the crew and cast, all culminated to a major decrease in quality that, I am sure, affected whatever lasting chance Star Trek had on television.
You mean an animated spin-off, 25 years worth of live-action sequels and eleven movies?

Had Gene been there fighting with the studios...
He did put up a fight. And he lost.

and working with ways to save ST to make it more marketable and appealing to NBC
Not on a Friday night, late evening, after prime time. You can't build an audience in your best demographics when they're not even at home to watch it.

So what brilliant ideas do you have for improving TOS's marketability and appeal after 10.00pm on a Friday night?
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Old April 12 2011, 03:08 PM   #32
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

Was he a genius? Probably not.
Was he charming and affable? Yes indeed.
Did he live up to the hype? Who does?
Were others able to build on his ideas so that the whole was greater than the sum of the parts? Look around you!
Did he know how to throw a party? Apparently he did, and then some.
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Old April 12 2011, 05:24 PM   #33
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Had Gene been there fighting with the studios...He did put up a fight. And he lost.
He conceded. He still had a show. He left his show.

Not on a Friday night, late evening, after prime time. You can't build an audience in your best demographics when they're not even at home to watch it.

So what brilliant ideas do you have for improving TOS's marketability and appeal after 10.00pm on a Friday night?
Not everyone in America is not at home watching television. Maybe those kids with an actual social life but then we're negating the audience of 25+ who are more likely to be at home than the 18 - 25 viewership. Not to mention that the other shows Star Trek was against, that managed to have longer life spans, such as Bewitched (9:30) and My Three Sons (8:30) still had about the same "viewer demographic" as Star Trek, but more "viewers" overall. It definitely wasn't an issue of " put on Friday nights no one is going to watch ".

The season opened up with Spock's Brain. Come on, if that was the first episode I got exposed to I would have jumped ship as well. The quality of S3 wasn't worth watching. It's like watching Heroes... It was amazing and then it got shitty and you know what? People stopped watching.

Fringe got moved a Friday night "death slot" just recently, a slot that has killed every science fiction show on Fox since like Firefly, and guess what? Good writing and production has saved the show for a new season.

S3 quality killed Star Trek, in my opinion. They brought on the new producer (I keep forgetting his name) to spice up the show but instead some of the worst, crappiest, episodes came out of it. There was no feeling or thought into that S3 and I'm pretty sure the audience realized this as well and the ratings fell.

Good writing + Plus people actually caring = Saved show.

Gene is credited for being an ingenious, brilliant, man with great ideas and visions. He could have applied himself to ST till the end and perhaps, maybe, saved his show.

You mean an animated spin-off, 25 years worth of live-action sequels and eleven movies?
That would have been a good argument had I not been talking about anything post-TOS. Whatever success the franchise received after TMP was definitely not solely due to Gene, especially when he got bumped out of the movie projects in the 80s to some glorified "creative executive" position. He should not receive 100% credit for the work and sacrifice put in by other people to keep this franchise going, especially between '69 - '86
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Old April 12 2011, 07:13 PM   #34
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

Merky wrote: View Post

He conceded. He still had a show. He left his show.
But he made a stand, if a man makes a stand then backs down... he'll constantly get pushed around. I don't blame Roddenberry for leaving the series after the network broke their end of the agreement that was made. YMMV.
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Old April 12 2011, 08:25 PM   #35
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

BillJ wrote: View Post
Merky wrote: View Post

He conceded. He still had a show. He left his show.
But he made a stand, if a man makes a stand then backs down... he'll constantly get pushed around. I don't blame Roddenberry for leaving the series after the network broke their end of the agreement that was made. YMMV.
It was penciled in for that slot, it doesn't mean it was guarantee that they were going to give him the slot nor did they make any promises. This is business and NBC had to decide who the slot should go to, and the pick was between Dean Martin and this.





Honestly, would you want to put the show that's limping on one leg in a prime time slot in which it's advertisement value has dropped or put the sure winner? Did NBC really want to shove Dean Martin's highly popular variety show to a new time slot for Star Trek? A show that has been on the bubble countless of times? That needed a writing campaign just to keep it on the air?



Look at what the show was running against had it been in that Monday slot and how much more worth those shows were compared to Star Trek. Shove Dean Martin's show to a Friday night time slot which got no. 1 and was doing fantastic in the ratings?



According to the Nielsen ratings, Star Trek never made it on the top 20 for the seasons that it ran. Logistically, is it wise to put a show with no guarantee of return in a prized spot?

Gene gave up on Star Trek. He could have stayed on and fought it until the end, helped in developing ways to keep the story entertaining and utilize the show's full potential but instead he left as if the studio would have cared if he stayed on or not. He left and that shows me he didn't care enough, at the time, to keep fighting and continue his "vision". Or allow the show to go out with dignity if there was no hope in saving it.

The whole " If you change the time slot I'm leaving " act only screams several things at me: ego, attitude, and who do you think you are?
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Old April 12 2011, 09:01 PM   #36
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

Merky wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
Merky wrote: View Post

He conceded. He still had a show. He left his show.
But he made a stand, if a man makes a stand then backs down... he'll constantly get pushed around. I don't blame Roddenberry for leaving the series after the network broke their end of the agreement that was made. YMMV.
It was penciled in for that slot, it doesn't mean it was guarantee that they were going to give him the slot nor did they make any promises. This is business and NBC had to decide who the slot should go to, and the pick was between Dean Martin and this.





Honestly, would you want to put the show that's limping on one leg in a prime time slot in which it's advertisement value has dropped or put the sure winner? Did NBC really want to shove Dean Martin's highly popular variety show to a new time slot for Star Trek? A show that has been on the bubble countless of times? That needed a writing campaign just to keep it on the air?



Look at what the show was running against had it been in that Monday slot and how much more worth those shows were compared to Star Trek. Shove Dean Martin's show to a Friday night time slot which got no. 1 and was doing fantastic in the ratings?



According to the Nielsen ratings, Star Trek never made it on the top 20 for the seasons that it ran. Logistically, is it wise to put a show with no guarantee of return in a prized spot?

Gene gave up on Star Trek. He could have stayed on and fought it until the end, helped in developing ways to keep the story entertaining and utilize the show's full potential but instead he left as if the studio would have cared if he stayed on or not. He left and that shows me he didn't care enough, at the time, to keep fighting and continue his "vision". Or allow the show to go out with dignity if there was no hope in saving it.

The whole " If you change the time slot I'm leaving " act only screams several things at me: ego, attitude, and who do you think you are?
So something changes in you life that precludes you from working the schedule your currently working. You talk to your boss and he says 'no problem' then on the day your suppose to start the new negotiated schedule the boss goes never mind.

You stand around and take it? You are gonna be someone's dream employee. The one who bends over and takes whatever corporate America will give them.
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Old April 12 2011, 09:25 PM   #37
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

^ You bring up an interesting point, one that a lot of fans miss when viewing Gene and the rest of the Star Trek production staff. The writing and production of a television show is first and foremost a job. Based on the available information, I like to assume that Gene would like to have stayed with his show but he saw the writing on the wall and began working on other projects with the goal of feeding his family. I don't blame him for doing that. I probably would have done the same thing. This is about survival and standing around holding onto a dead idea is not going to put a roof over your head and food on the table. (And don't make me quote lyrics from "The Gambler". I will if I have too though.)

And I am surprised at how often we take hear-say and anecdotal incidents and turn them into facts. We don't know what Gene was thinking. We don't really know his motives either. We just have a few facts and some stories to base an empty opinion on. The only way we will ever know exactly what happened is to ask him. At this point, I would suggest breaking out the Ouija board because that ship has sailed. As far as I am concerned he was a man with a good idea that the public has turned into a legend. Vilifying him or raising him to sainthood while not taking those things into account is, pardon the impertinence, illogical.
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Old April 12 2011, 09:50 PM   #38
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

You're comparing a life event to a marketing influenced change in television programming. Nothing was getting in the way of Gene doing his job as Executive Producer nor was there anything holding him back from doing his job. He left his position to go work on something new. He left because he didn't care about dealing with a show that was on it's last leg. It shows to me that he gave up.

NBC never promised anything. Tentative scheduling doesn't mean a damn thing, as self evident with how many times Star Trek rolled around throughout the week with each tentative schedule announcement from NBC during it's three years: Thursdays -> Tuesdays -> Fridays -> Mondays -> Oh look Fridays again.

Nonetheless, NBC renewed Star Trek for a second season in March of 1967, tentatively placing it in the 7:30-8:30PM hour on Tuesdays [23]. Instead, Star Trek was shifted to Fridays from 8:30-9:30PM when the final NBC schedule was released
NBC isn't obligated to Gene and Gene has nothing to hold over their heads. The show wasn't making them money and NBC picked the better alternative to make sure that their station stays on top of the Nielsen for the season.

This is business not " Boss, can I have a day off ". You want to leave, you'll be assed out of a job. Is that smart thinking? No. Gene left and his show turned into shit. Is that #winning? No, it's not. Nothing could have stopped Gene from picking up side projects or continue working on other projects. He probably did not see that it was worth the fight and gave up and moved on. Him leaving caused a domino effect of several others, important people to the creative process, leaving as well. It wasn't a victorious move at all, imo.

I, personally, would have kept fighting and I would have tried to save my show no matter the cost. I will not look at what Gene did as "holding his guns". He wanted out and used it as an excuse, or whatever his intentions were. It definitely wasn't sticking it to the suits of NBC for that matter.
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Old April 12 2011, 10:01 PM   #39
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

Merky wrote: View Post

You're comparing a life event to a marketing influenced change in television programming. Nothing was getting in the way of Gene doing his job as Executive Producer nor was there anything holding him back from doing his job. He left his position to go work on something new. He left because he didn't care about dealing with a show that was on it's last leg. It shows to me that he gave up.
Gene decided that NBC didn't have his or Star Trek's best interest at heart. While Desilu was contractually obligated to make Star Trek for NBC, Gene was not obligated to remain as the full-time show runner. That was the only card he had left to play and it was his right to play it. As creator and continuing executive producer, he was getting paid whether he was on the set daily or not.

From my perspective, it was smart of him to try and get other projects off the ground while still being paid by Desilu for Star Trek. YMMV.
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Old April 12 2011, 10:03 PM   #40
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

I have no clue what YMMV means.

And that's fine. Gene whatever he wanted to do. Doesn't mean that I have to agree with what he did or consider it a "triumphant move" because his show didn't get that classy Monday time slot. At the end of the day, his actions killed the show creatively and that triumphs over whatever drama he had with the suits.
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Old April 12 2011, 10:09 PM   #41
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

Merky wrote: View Post
I have no clue what YMMV means.
Your Mileage May Vary.


And that's fine. Gene whatever he wanted to do. Doesn't mean that I have to agree with what he did or consider it a "triumphant move" because his show didn't get that classy Monday time slot. At the end of the day, his actions killed the show creatively and that triumphs over whatever drama he had with the suits.
Did Roddenberry leaving the show hurt it? I'm not as certain of that as you are. By the time he leaves over the disagreement over the timeslot, I'm sure that some of the third season scripts were already being written. Add to that the fact he was already trying to sell other projects (Assignment: Earth) and that the second season didn't necessarily end on a critical high note.

Season 3 may have been just as much rubbish with Roddenberry at the helm. YMMV.
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Old April 12 2011, 10:32 PM   #42
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

BillJ wrote: View Post
Did Roddenberry leaving the show hurt it? I'm not as certain of that as you are. By the time he leaves over the disagreement over the timeslot, I'm sure that some of the third season scripts were already being written. Add to that the fact he was already trying to sell other projects (Assignment: Earth) and that the second season didn't necessarily end on a critical high note.

Season 3 may have been just as much rubbish with Roddenberry at the helm. YMMV.
If you compare the quality of episodes from Season 1 and 2 with episodes like Amok Time, City on the Edge of Forever, Mirror Mirror, etc to the episodes of Season 3 with Spock's Brain, And the Children Shall Lead, The Lights of Zetar and you can see the considerable difference and see the conflicting vision and creative differences of Fred vs Gene in the work alone. Even Nimoy said in his book, I Am Spock, that Fred pushed for more action, monsters, goules, and the usual crap S3 pushed out to "grab more viewers". Character consistency went out the window in this S3... you can not say that with Gene in the helm this would have passed.

The entire season of S3 was not written before Gene left. I stand by what I believe that had he stayed Star Trek, protected the shows integrity while doing whatever side shit he wanted to do, the show would have went out with some dignity instead.
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Old April 12 2011, 10:58 PM   #43
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

Merky wrote: View Post

The entire season of S3 was not written before Gene left. I stand by what I believe that had he stayed Star Trek, protected the shows integrity while doing whatever side shit he wanted to do, the show would have went out with some dignity instead.
Two words: IDIC medallion.
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Old April 12 2011, 11:04 PM   #44
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

BillJ wrote: View Post
Merky wrote: View Post

The entire season of S3 was not written before Gene left. I stand by what I believe that had he stayed Star Trek, protected the shows integrity while doing whatever side shit he wanted to do, the show would have went out with some dignity instead.
Two words: IDIC medallion.
The show did have to sell some toys after all
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Old April 13 2011, 05:30 PM   #45
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Re: What do people feel about Gene?

He wasn't hippocriticle. He was a divining rod to people who articulated and realized his vision. If he were to do it all alone, it would probably be done with sock puppets in his room. It was a convergance and gestalt of geniuses that transcended the medium.
But in a very real and wierd, mystical way even, he was Star Trek. Now if you want to talk despicable, let's talk Harlan Ellison. Return of the Archons blows away the hackneyed idea in COEF, even though like I say GR did something much greater than just writing IMO the greatest Star Trek episode ever written.
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