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

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Old January 7 2013, 12:02 AM   #91
Dale Sams
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
Hell, in the Power Records book and record sets, Sulu was drawn as a black man (while Uhura was a blonde white girl).

Takei was upset over the "don't call me tiny" line in Star Trek III, thinking the fans saw Sulu as some amazing hero. "They don't see Sulu as tiny." He totally didn't get it. He did admit he was wrong when it got a huge laugh (as intended), but it really points up that his ego is no smaller than Shatner's. If nothing else, it's larger since Shatner at least earned his!
His current 'internet fame' is probably doing nothing to diminish that too.
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Old January 7 2013, 12:46 AM   #92
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

I recall reading in Russell Johnson's book about Gilligan's Island that he felt relegated to second class status due to the first version of the intro that referred to The Professor and MaryAnne simply as "the rest." As many episodes that pretty much centered around some contraption that his character put together out of the equivalent of stone knives and bear skins.... this kind of whining and complaining for years on end long after the fact doesn't do much to enhance the image of these people.
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Old January 7 2013, 04:48 AM   #93
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

But in Johnson's defense, he was a major character in a true ensemble, who got a lot of important scenes. Many of the episodes depended on his character. In contrast, Sulu was MIA for a lot of second season episodes and the only real impact was felt by Walter Koenig who suddenly had more to do. So, yeah, Johnson had reason to complain. Considering how many other people sat in the helmsman's seat and got just as many lines, Takei should whine less.
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Old January 7 2013, 06:51 AM   #94
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
But in Johnson's defense, he was a major character in a true ensemble, who got a lot of important scenes. Many of the episodes depended on his character. In contrast, Sulu was MIA for a lot of second season episodes and the only real impact was felt by Walter Koenig who suddenly had more to do. So, yeah, Johnson had reason to complain. Considering how many other people sat in the helmsman's seat and got just as many lines, Takei should whine less.
Well, when the original intro was done no one knew how it would all go, as far as cast members and storylines, etc. The very fact that as the series progressed Johnson did get plenty of meaty screen time makes it odd, to say the least, that he would come along years later and be complaining about that one little 'slight' at the beginning. Seems like the very good involvement that they gave him over time should have very nicely smoothed that over. Oh well....
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Old January 7 2013, 08:27 AM   #95
A beaker full of death
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
the public usually found spin-offs to be inferior...
Usually, yes. But let's not forget such spin-offs as
The Andy Griffith Show
Gomer Pyle USMC (a spin-off of a spin-off)
The Jeffersons
The Bionic Woman
Maude
Barnaby Jones
Mork & Mindy
LaVerne & Shirley
Happy Days itself
Lou Grant
Rhoda
Jake and the Fatman
Good Times
Benson
Green Acres
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Old January 7 2013, 08:34 AM   #96
Maurice
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

A beaker full of death wrote: View Post
TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
the public usually found spin-offs to be inferior...
Usually, yes. But let's not forget such spin-offs as
The Andy Griffith Show
Gomer Pyle USMC (a spin-off of a spin-off)
The Jeffersons
The Bionic Woman
Maude
Barnaby Jones
Mork & Mindy
LaVerne & Shirley
Happy Days itself
Lou Grant
Rhoda
Jake and the Fatman
Good Times
Benson
Green Acres
I dunno if The Andy Griffith Show can really be considered a spin-off from the Danny Thomas Show, since the episode in question was what they called a "backdoor pilot", much like Assignment: Earth was on Star Trek.
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Old January 7 2013, 09:34 AM   #97
Harvey
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

A beaker full of death wrote: View Post
Melakon wrote: View Post
Shatner owned a small percentage (5%?) of TOS
This is the very first I have ever heard of this. Are you sure?
According to David Alexander's biography of Gene Roddenberry, Shatner had a few percentage points of the profits on the series. Paramount eventually began paying him those points in the 1980s, after he filed a lawsuit against the studio (this was perhaps only threatened; I would have to consult the book to be sure).

YARN wrote: View Post
Dale Sams wrote: View Post
I'm think it's in Takei's book that he says Shatner kept tanking takes and eventually Meyer said "Let's move on".

Personally, I find it just as likely that Meyer was choosing to save taking Shatner to task over his "condo scenes" rather than belabor this minor point....as it is that Takei is lying.
So an early draft of the Star Trek II script. Is it actual shooting script? If not, then Shatner didn't tank the line.
The line was shot. I've seen a workprint of the film at UCLA, which includes this short scene, and Shatner flubs the take.

(Of course, it's a good thing Sulu wasn't promoted. If he was, he'd probably have departed the series.)

Maurice wrote: View Post
I dunno if The Andy Griffith Show can really be considered a spin-off from the Danny Thomas Show, since the episode in question was what they called a "backdoor pilot", much like Assignment: Earth was on Star Trek.
Mork and Mindy was also the result of a "backdoor pilot" on Happy Days, I believe.
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Old January 7 2013, 08:33 PM   #98
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

A beaker full of death wrote: View Post
TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
the public usually found spin-offs to be inferior...
Usually, yes. But let's not forget such spin-offs as
The Andy Griffith Show
Gomer Pyle USMC (a spin-off of a spin-off)
The Jeffersons
The Bionic Woman
Maude
Barnaby Jones
Mork & Mindy
LaVerne & Shirley
Happy Days itself
Lou Grant
Rhoda
Jake and the Fatman
Good Times
Benson
Green Acres
Ahh, but there's more:

as the medium--up to that point--had a long stretch of spinoffs which failed to attract the public and/or reach the same level of quality of the parent series.
There's not a single All in the Family spinoff held in the same high regard (and Good Times is regarded as very offensive in many ways), and that includes the show it morphed into, Archie Bunker's Place. Lou Grant is largely MIA to later generations, while parent series Mary Tyler Moore still runs and is praised frequently. While not an official spinoff, The Green Hornet eventually became part of Batman's official TV continuity, but if you ignore latter day Bruce Lee nostalgia, or memories of the crossover, TGH did not reach the skyrocketing height of Batman.

Then, there's more which failed outright, and/or never approached the success of the parent series:

After MASH.

Getting Together (a failed spinoff of The Partridge Family).

The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.

Honey West (a spinoff of Burke's Law).

Three's A Crowd (from Three's Company).

Hello, Larry was retconned during production to be associated with Diff'rent Strokes (and flopped).

Just the 10 of Us (Growing Pains spinoff).

Day by Day (Family Ties spinoff).

Open House (spinoff of Duet).

Top of the Heap (Married...with Children spinoff).

Tabitha (Bewitched spinoff).

Living Dolls and Charmed Lives (Who's the Boss? spinoffs--both earned quick deaths).

Flo (Alice spinoff).

There's more than enough failed or disregarded series over the decades--certainly enough to get that "Captain Sulu" nonsense out of Takei's mind....but when one was as delusioal as he was--thinking his character needs to be elevated to Kirk-like levels--history soared right over his head.
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Old January 7 2013, 09:30 PM   #99
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

TrickyDickie wrote: View Post
ssosmcin wrote: View Post
But in Johnson's defense, he was a major character in a true ensemble, who got a lot of important scenes. Many of the episodes depended on his character. In contrast, Sulu was MIA for a lot of second season episodes and the only real impact was felt by Walter Koenig who suddenly had more to do. So, yeah, Johnson had reason to complain. Considering how many other people sat in the helmsman's seat and got just as many lines, Takei should whine less.
Well, when the original intro was done no one knew how it would all go, as far as cast members and storylines, etc. The very fact that as the series progressed Johnson did get plenty of meaty screen time makes it odd, to say the least, that he would come along years later and be complaining about that one little 'slight' at the beginning. Seems like the very good involvement that they gave him over time should have very nicely smoothed that over. Oh well....
It actually would be a bit insulting to Johnson and Wells that five of the seven were mentioned in the opening of S1 and the two of them weren't. But I've never heard either of them complain about it. I've only ever heard them state it as fact when an interviewer or fan is asking a question or wanting to hear a story (that has already been asked/answered/heard hundreds of times anyhow).

And as any fan of the show, or 60s pop culture enthusiast, has heard it was Bob Denver that was apparently the most miffed about it. He went to the studio asking them to change the theme to include them. When the studio said it would cost too much to re-record it he reminded them that his contract allowed him to be billed anywhere and they could either change the theme or bill him after everyone else. The theme was changed and, as the story goes, Johnson and Wells didn't find out why until years after the show had ended.

And when the original intro theme was done, it was a completely different style and lyric and only four of the seven characters remained unchanged from the pilot.

Back on to the ST ego topic... I also think Takei's ego has inflated his sense of the character's importance and his own.
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Old January 8 2013, 11:20 AM   #100
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

Josan wrote: View Post
And as any fan of the show, or 60s pop culture enthusiast, has heard it was Bob Denver that was apparently the most miffed about it. He went to the studio asking them to change the theme to include them. When the studio said it would cost too much to re-record it he reminded them that his contract allowed him to be billed anywhere and they could either change the theme or bill him after everyone else.
Very generous of Denver...unlike his GI co-star Tina Louise, who was pissed with Sherwood Schwartz, because she thought the show was supposed to focus on the Ginger character. What an out of control ego. Did she bother to look at the series title on scripts or production office doors?

Back on to the ST ego topic... I also think Takei's ego has inflated his sense of the character's importance and his own.
It makes no sense--even after the fan love he recieved post ST production years; the convention/media circuit reflected the pecking order--when people thought of ST, Takei's mug was not the first to pop into fan minds.

When rumors swirled about the return of ST as TV series or movie, Shatner and Nimoy were the top concern/hope for interested parties, not Takei or his Sulu character.
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Old January 8 2013, 12:29 PM   #101
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

Hi, guys. This is my first post here and I'm enjoying all your contributions. Lots of good info.

I just have one thing to chip in and it concerns the story about Shatner visiting Harlan's house and counting lines in the script. Maybe this is well known, but I don't think it's been mentioned yet.

In 1966, agents of "leading man" actors were concerned about Jonathan Harris literally stealing LOST IN SPACE out from under Guy Williams. Harris poured on the personality and Williams became a supporting actor, a Mr Sulu at best, on his own show. It shook people.

So these agents, including Shatner's, got contract clauses that required their leading man to have at least as many lines as the next biggest part in any script.

Shatner had to check each script himself because 1) there was no Wm. Shatner Inc. with loads of assistants waiting for something to do, and 2) if you don't enforce your rights in a contract, you can lose those rights through a legal precept called laches.

Laches, in contract law, means that if you don't enforce a right soon enough to avoid inconveniencing your opponent (who might come to rely on your slackness), then you lose the right in question.

Shatner may have been vain, self-centered, and inconsiderate, but he wasn't stupid. With "Mr Spock for President" bumper stickers showing up, he didn't want to become the next Guy Williams, which on ST would mean a Sulu-sized role. Shatner had to count lines, and Harlan Ellison was entirely ignorant of the reasons.
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Old January 8 2013, 03:15 PM   #102
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Hi, guys. This is my first post here and I'm enjoying all your contributions. Lots of good info.
ZAP! About time you joined the party. Welcome!

Martin Landau had tat same clause written into his Space:1999 contract in the first year. So one episode had "Koenig narration" throughout to get his lines up to the contractual number.

In the second year, Barbara Bain had it written into Catherine Schell's contract that she never appear as "Catherine Schell" - only as Maya or a totally different actress if she were to play a human female. Nobody could be prettier than Barbara Bain (no comment).
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Old January 8 2013, 03:46 PM   #103
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
In the second year, Barbara Bain had it written into Catherine Schell's contract that she never appear as "Catherine Schell" - only as Maya or a totally different actress if she were to play a human female. Nobody could be prettier than Barbara Bain (no comment).

I can understand protecting the size of your role (although it greatly reduces the series' storytelling latitude), but protecting your status as the best-looking is a little bit sad. And forcing clauses into someone else's contract really smells.

I actually joined yesterday btw, but they put you on hold for a day and make you take an oath attesting that you aren't a robot or a salesman.
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Old January 8 2013, 04:12 PM   #104
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

How about a robot salesman?

Bain was, apparently, insecure as all hell (she was over 40 at that point - and still is, ha). When a new female regular was announced, she insisted on being in on the casting sessions, I hear. They also had to ask her to "move her face around" when she acted. That first season whe was quite the block of wood.

Getting way off topic here, sorry.
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Old January 8 2013, 04:13 PM   #105
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Re: Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

Welcome to the boards, ZapBrannigan!

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
ssosmcin wrote: View Post
In the second year, Barbara Bain had it written into Catherine Schell's contract that she never appear as "Catherine Schell" - only as Maya or a totally different actress if she were to play a human female. Nobody could be prettier than Barbara Bain (no comment).

I can understand protecting the size of your role (although it greatly reduces the series' storytelling latitude), but protecting your status as the best-looking is a little bit sad. And forcing clauses into someone else's contract really smells.
That was sad--particularly since 1970s Bain had aged considerably since her Mission: Impossible days, and was not eye candy for Space: 1999 viewers. Schell was the breakout star of the show, and instead of focusing on something which could not be controlled (Schell's beauty), Bain should have upped her legitimate acting talents to stand out in the drama department.
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