RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 139,711
Posts: 5,431,936
Members: 24,834
Currently online: 522
Newest member: fanficfan


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 17 2012, 05:48 PM   #1
Knight Templar
Commodore
 
Location: Oklahoma
Question About the James Blish Adaptions (novelizations)

In the 1970s & early 80s, before VCRs that were reliable, and when my local station wasn't broadcasting TOS, I kept in touch with the series by reading Star Trek 1-12. These were the written versions of the TOS episodes by noted science fiction writer James Blish. IIRC his wife J.A. Lawrence finished #12.

In #12, IIRC there are some writers notes about why some of the episodes differ from the aired versions and Blish explains that he worked with the filming scripts that sometimes differed when filmed.

But.

He points out that ONE episode, he had to change the ending of because it just didn't seem to make sense in print. He said he got permission from Paramount to do this.

which episode did he change the ending of?

The only one I can think of that differs significantly in the James Blish version is "The Doomsday Machine".

In Blish's version, the Enterprise does not break free of the tractor beam and the Constellation never fires on the Planet Killer.

Instead, Kirk flies the Constellation into the Planet Killer and blows it up. Kirk doesn't have to make a last minute escape. He is beamed out fully 20 seconds before the explosion and watches the detonation on the transporter room viewscreen.

The Enterprise escapes destruction because Spock orders the ship to execute a warp jump a fraction of a second after detonation but before the plume of the explosion can reach the Enterprise.

Decker doesn't sacrifice himself but remains on the bridge of the Enterprise after being relieved by Spock.

At the end, he apologizes to Kirk in much way Commodore Stocker did at the end of "The Deadly Years".
Knight Templar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2012, 06:40 PM   #2
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Question About the James Blish Adaptions (novelizations)

I don't remember which one specifically Blish might've been referring to, but I'm surprised you've forgotten how radically different Blish's version of "Operation: Annihilate" is from the aired episode. It must've been from a really early script draft, because it's a hugely different story in the back half.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2012, 06:42 PM   #3
Knight Templar
Commodore
 
Location: Oklahoma
Re: Question About the James Blish Adaptions (novelizations)

Christopher wrote: View Post
I don't remember which one specifically Blish might've been referring to, but I'm surprised you've forgotten how radically different Blish's version of "Operation: Annihilate" is from the aired episode. It must've been from a really early script draft, because it's a hugely different story in the back half.
That one I do not remember.

How did it differ?

By the way, I would love to have seen the original series episodes handled the way Alan Dean Foster handled the Animated Series in Star Trek Logs 1-10.

Foster made a point of not only being comprehensive in covering the episodes, but in explaining away some of the more ridiculous elements from TAS.

And he expanded three of the episodes into full length novels.
Knight Templar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2012, 08:46 PM   #4
MacLeod
Admiral
 
Location: Great Britain
Re: Question About the James Blish Adaptions (novelizations)

Remember James Blish is a Brit and he was writing these adaptaions based on scripts, TOS hadn't even aired in the UK yet.
__________________
On the continent of wild endeavour in the mountains of solace and solitude there stood the citadel of the time lords, the oldest and most mighty race in the universe looking down on the galaxies below sworn never to interfere only to watch.
MacLeod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2012, 08:49 PM   #5
Kamdan
Lieutenant Commander
 
Re: Question About the James Blish Adaptions (novelizations)

I remember in the Charlie X adaptation (called Charlie's Law), Kirk had a plot to capture Charlie by making Rand pretend to seduce him.
Kamdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2012, 08:55 PM   #6
Nerys Myk
Fleet Admiral
 
Nerys Myk's Avatar
 
Location: House of Kang, now with ridges
Re: Question About the James Blish Adaptions (novelizations)

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Remember James Blish is a Brit and he was writing these adaptaions based on scripts, TOS hadn't even aired in the UK yet.
He was an American who moved to Britain in the late 1960s.
__________________
The boring one, the one with Khan, the one where Spock returns, the one with whales, the dumb one, the last one, the one with Kirk, the one with the Borg, the stupid one, the bad one, the new one, the other one with Khan.
Nerys Myk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2012, 09:00 PM   #7
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Question About the James Blish Adaptions (novelizations)

Knight Templar wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
I don't remember which one specifically Blish might've been referring to, but I'm surprised you've forgotten how radically different Blish's version of "Operation: Annihilate" is from the aired episode. It must've been from a really early script draft, because it's a hugely different story in the back half.
That one I do not remember.

How did it differ?
In many ways. Kirk's family isn't involved; they rescue an elderly man named Menen and his daughter Aurelan, who, by pure coincidence, is both the sister of the man who flew his ship into the sun and the fiancee of a man Spock brings aboard to be the guinea pig for his theory that the creatures can be killed by magnetism. Which works, so Spock is never blinded. But that won't work on a planetwide scale, so Spock chooses to stay infected so he can use his neural link to the creatures' hive mind to track down their original homeworld so the Enterprise can destroy the nucleus that controls all the other creatures.

Which actually does make a lot more sense than the final episode (aside from the fact that all these randomly encountered Denevans are directly related), so maybe this is the one Blish asked to change.


Foster made a point of not only being comprehensive in covering the episodes, but in explaining away some of the more ridiculous elements from TAS.

And he expanded three of the episodes into full length novels.
Four, actually, in Log Seven through Ten.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2012, 09:09 PM   #8
Hartzilla2007
Vice Admiral
 
Hartzilla2007's Avatar
 
Location: Star Trekkin Across the universe.
Re: Question About the James Blish Adaptions (novelizations)

What episodes do the James Blish Adaptions cover?
Hartzilla2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2012, 09:11 PM   #9
Nerys Myk
Fleet Admiral
 
Nerys Myk's Avatar
 
Location: House of Kang, now with ridges
Re: Question About the James Blish Adaptions (novelizations)

Pretty sure it was all of them. Though his wife completed the ones that came out after his death.
__________________
The boring one, the one with Khan, the one where Spock returns, the one with whales, the dumb one, the last one, the one with Kirk, the one with the Borg, the stupid one, the bad one, the new one, the other one with Khan.
Nerys Myk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2012, 09:15 PM   #10
MacLeod
Admiral
 
Location: Great Britain
Re: Question About the James Blish Adaptions (novelizations)

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
Remember James Blish is a Brit and he was writing these adaptaions based on scripts, TOS hadn't even aired in the UK yet.
He was an American who moved to Britain in the late 1960s.
I stand corrected.
__________________
On the continent of wild endeavour in the mountains of solace and solitude there stood the citadel of the time lords, the oldest and most mighty race in the universe looking down on the galaxies below sworn never to interfere only to watch.
MacLeod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2012, 09:26 PM   #11
Knight Templar
Commodore
 
Location: Oklahoma
Re: Question About the James Blish Adaptions (novelizations)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Knight Templar wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
I don't remember which one specifically Blish might've been referring to, but I'm surprised you've forgotten how radically different Blish's version of "Operation: Annihilate" is from the aired episode. It must've been from a really early script draft, because it's a hugely different story in the back half.
That one I do not remember.

How did it differ?
In many ways. Kirk's family isn't involved; they rescue an elderly man named Menen and his daughter Aurelan, who, by pure coincidence, is both the sister of the man who flew his ship into the sun and the fiancee of a man Spock brings aboard to be the guinea pig for his theory that the creatures can be killed by magnetism. Which works, so Spock is never blinded. But that won't work on a planetwide scale, so Spock chooses to stay infected so he can use his neural link to the creatures' hive mind to track down their original homeworld so the Enterprise can destroy the nucleus that controls all the other creatures.

Which actually does make a lot more sense than the final episode (aside from the fact that all these randomly encountered Denevans are directly related), so maybe this is the one Blish asked to change.
Actually, I'm fairly certain that was the original script. But it was changed to focus on Kirk's family and Spocks blinding fairly late in the development process.
Knight Templar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2012, 09:31 PM   #12
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Question About the James Blish Adaptions (novelizations)

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
What episodes do the James Blish Adaptions cover?
Star Trek 1 - 12 encompass everything except the Harry Mudd episodes and the present-day frame of "The Menagerie." Mudd's Angels by J. A. Lawrence (re-titled Mudd's Enterprise in a later re-release) adapts the two Mudd episodes and adds an original, rather dreadful sequel with the odd title "The Business, As Usual, During Altercations" (evidently an homage to a short story that's well-known in some circles).

So basically the only thing that was never adapted (aside from the majority of "Operation: Annihilate") was the "Menagerie" frame story.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2012, 10:03 PM   #13
alchemist
Commander
 
alchemist's Avatar
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
Re: Question About the James Blish Adaptions (novelizations)

Knight Templar wrote: View Post
Actually, I'm fairly certain that was the original script. But it was changed to focus on Kirk's family and Spocks blinding fairly late in the development process.
Yep, you are right. This is what my script drafts show.
__________________
www.startrekhistory.com
alchemist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2012, 10:21 PM   #14
Hartzilla2007
Vice Admiral
 
Hartzilla2007's Avatar
 
Location: Star Trekkin Across the universe.
Re: Question About the James Blish Adaptions (novelizations)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
What episodes do the James Blish Adaptions cover?
Star Trek 1 - 12 encompass everything except the Harry Mudd episodes and the present-day frame of "The Menagerie." Mudd's Angels by J. A. Lawrence (re-titled Mudd's Enterprise in a later re-release) adapts the two Mudd episodes and adds an original, rather dreadful sequel with the odd title "The Business, As Usual, During Altercations" (evidently an homage to a short story that's well-known in some circles).

So basically the only thing that was never adapted (aside from the majority of "Operation: Annihilate") was the "Menagerie" frame story.
Okay. I found the whole series on Amazon and was wondering what I would be getting.

Also isn't "The Menagerie" without the framing story just "The Cage"?
Hartzilla2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17 2012, 10:41 PM   #15
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Question About the James Blish Adaptions (novelizations)

^Yes, exactly. Blish only adapted "The Cage" (though under its final title of "The Menagerie" -- it was only retroactively renamed "The Cage" in later years to distinguish it from the 2-parter). He said in a footnote that he attempted to adapt the full story but found the changes in timeframe and viewpoint "hopelessly confusing," so he just stuck with adapting the pilot, complete with its original ending.

Also be aware that the adaptations in the early volumes often take far more liberties with the episodes, both because he was often working from early drafts and because he wasn't yet under as much pressure from the fans to adapt the episodes accurately. But the early "inaccurate" adaptations are often more interesting because of the ideas Blish brings to the table.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:06 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.