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

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Old August 24 2013, 08:49 PM   #151
Harvey
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

One more question -- does the entire script bear the July 16 date, or is most of it dated earlier?

I'm wondering if the draft circulated by Lincoln Enterprises reflects Roddenberry's second version of the IDIC scene (revised after Shatner and Nimoy's objections) rather than his first version.

The UCLA files (across three different collections; the Aroeste, Roddenberry, and Justman papers) list the following teleplay drafts:

6/18/68 (First Draft)
6/26/68 (Revised Final Draft)
7/12/68 (Final Draft)

I may have to investigate further when I get back to California.
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Old August 24 2013, 09:25 PM   #152
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Harvey wrote: View Post
One more question -- does the entire script bear the July 16 date, or is most of it dated earlier?

I'm wondering if the draft circulated by Lincoln Enterprises reflects Roddenberry's second version of the IDIC scene (revised after Shatner and Nimoy's objections) rather than his first version.

The UCLA files (across three different collections; the Aroeste, Roddenberry, and Justman papers) list the following teleplay drafts:

6/18/68 (First Draft)
6/26/68 (Revised Final Draft)
7/12/68 (Final Draft)

I may have to investigate further when I get back to California.
I was afraid you would ask that.

Yes, you raise a good question: was the IDIC scene in this Final Draft script I have even longer at some point and this is a slightly shortened version of an objectionably-long scene? Or was this really as long as it had become before it was cut back to the version as filmed, and there were no longer versions?

The script is a crazy mess. The script itself is the "Final Draft" dated 7/12/68. The individual pages themselves are all dated no earlier than 7/12/68. Without counting, I would guess that about 3/4 of the pages are dated 7/12/68. The remaining pages--scattered throughout the entire script (not really confined to one act, for instance)--were scattered among three dates: 7/15/68, 7/16/68, and 7/22/68.
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Old August 24 2013, 09:34 PM   #153
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

I've updated my post with the quoted section, with a disclaimer that it may be Roddenberry's first or second version of the scene. I suppose I'll have to go back to UCLA to find out for sure.

Hopefully, that will be happening soon. I have tentative plans to move back to California in late September/early October. Fingers crossed.
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Old August 24 2013, 09:41 PM   #154
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Harvey wrote: View Post
I've updated my post with the quoted section, with a disclaimer that it may be Roddenberry's first or second version of the scene. I suppose I'll have to go back to UCLA to find out for sure.

Hopefully, that will be happening soon. I have tentative plans to move back to California in late September/early October. Fingers crossed.
L.A.--my old stomping ground. Born and raised. (I wish I could move back.)

Do we know that there were two Roddenberry versions of the scene (other than the filmed version)?
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Old August 24 2013, 10:49 PM   #155
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

We know there was the version intended to be shot on July 16, 1968. After a whole morning was wasted arguing about it, the scene was tabled for later in the schedule. According to Ralph Senensky's blog, Roddenberry "agreed to rewrite the scene."

Senensky goes on to say that: "The portion of the dining scene that caused so much consternation that first day was rewritten by Gene Roddenberry. The business with the IDIC pin that Spock wears had been drastically trimmed so that all could dine (and act) at ease."

The use of the word "trimmed" makes me wonder if Roddenberry's "rewrite" simply involved cutting the scene down, or if the changes were more dramatic.
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Old August 25 2013, 12:26 AM   #156
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Harvey wrote: View Post
I've updated my post with the quoted section, with a disclaimer that it may be Roddenberry's first or second version of the scene. I suppose I'll have to go back to UCLA to find out for sure.

Hopefully, that will be happening soon. I have tentative plans to move back to California in late September/early October. Fingers crossed.
Yay! Then we can hang out.
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Old September 1 2013, 01:24 AM   #157
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

^^
I would love to hang out.

A completely trivial post this week, but I have some more interesting material to come in the next month. I just have to come up with the time to write it!

Found out that someone linked to a post of mine from Memory Alpha, which is cool and gratifying.
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Old September 1 2013, 05:43 AM   #158
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Harvey wrote: View Post
^^
I would love to hang out.

A completely trivial post this week, but I have some more interesting material to come in the next month. I just have to come up with the time to write it!

Found out that someone linked to a post of mine from Memory Alpha, which is cool and gratifying.
If nothing else, Cushman's given you something else to fact check!
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Old September 6 2013, 10:12 PM   #159
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

This week: was Spock's Brain intended as a comedy?

(Suggested by our very own Sir Rhosis).

http://startrekfactcheck.blogspot.co...ned-brain.html
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Old September 6 2013, 11:16 PM   #160
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Thanks, Harvey. Don't know why but this rumor has long rankled me. I think it is because so many people spout it as gospel without doing the least bit of research to determine if what they're saying is true.

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Old September 6 2013, 11:20 PM   #161
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Harvey wrote: View Post
This week: was Spock's Brain intended as a comedy?

(Suggested by our very own Sir Rhosis).

http://startrekfactcheck.blogspot.co...ned-brain.html
Well I remember Sir Rhosis putting this to bed on on site and I'm glasd to see it reiterated again here.
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Old September 6 2013, 11:22 PM   #162
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Interesting... the fact that Roddenberry suggested this as a "story kernel" suggests that maybe he only intended the title "Spock's Brain" as a placeholder, with the expectation that a better title could be devised later on. Maybe it never got a better title because GR stepped back from overseeing the writing.

In any case, as with several third-season episodes, the original story outline sounds like it would've been a considerably better episode than what we got -- though maybe not as much goofy fun.
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Old September 6 2013, 11:54 PM   #163
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Harvey wrote: View Post
This week: was Spock's Brain intended as a comedy?

(Suggested by our very own Sir Rhosis).

http://startrekfactcheck.blogspot.co...ned-brain.html
Hmm, maybe it wasn't intended as a comedy, but I can't help but read a little bit of contempt and sarcasm in that memo from Roddenberry (which we saw plenty of in other interoffice memos from the show). As if he didn't really care anymore and was just tossing off the stupidest ideas possible to appease NBC or fulfill a contract or something.

And Coon's teaser reads like he was just going through the motions as well.

I have to think that's what we're seeing here, because otherwise I just have a really hard time believing either of them would think this was a good story idea.
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Old September 7 2013, 12:10 AM   #164
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

I'd never heard of the intended-as-comedy story before. I saw it in first run, and it was simply a sign of how much production values had fallen in the series. At 17, I thought it was awful.
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Old September 7 2013, 12:20 AM   #165
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

davejames wrote: View Post
Hmm, maybe it wasn't intended as a comedy, but I can't help but read a little bit of contempt and sarcasm in that memo from Roddenberry (which we saw plenty of in other interoffice memos from the show). As if he didn't really care anymore and was just tossing off the stupidest ideas possible to appease NBC or fulfill a contract or something.
I don't know... as Roddenberry said, Christiaan Barnard's breakthrough of the first human heart transplant was big news at the time, so the idea that the science could be extrapolated to other organs, even including the brain, would not have seemed stupid at the time. When a new technology comes along, there's often an excitement around it, a sense that its possibilities are limitless. You see this all the time in science fiction -- early stories portray a technology as capable of amazing wonders that seem absurd to people in later decades who are more aware of the technology's limitations. See the portrayal of electricity in Frankenstein movies; the portrayal of radiation and mutation in '50s B-movies and Marvel Comics; the portrayal of oracular computers in much '50s and '60s SF; and the portrayal of all-powerful nanotechnology in the '80s and '90s (and to this day in TV shows like Revolution).

So we shouldn't assume that something was intended to be stupid just because it looks stupid in retrospect. Science fiction has a long habit of being either too optimistic or too conservative about the potentials of new technologies.


What's most interesting to me is that Roddenberry did more of these story kernel memos. We know about the story kernels that were part of the original 1964 pitch document, but I've never seen any other such memos from GR. Harvey, if you have access to more of those memos, I'd love to see a column on them.

(Come to think of it, I shouldn't be surprised; I'm aware he came up with similar story kernels for Genesis II, including "Robots' Return," the idea that ultimately developed into ST:TMP.)
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