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

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Old December 20 2013, 01:23 AM   #331
trevanian
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Maurice wrote: View Post
I submitted some spec scripts to TNG, but I didn't go through the open submissions policy. I got an agent (actually, she had been Ronald D. Moore's first agent) and submitted that way. I did three spec scripts, one of which I really really liked titled "None So Noble", which I thought had it all: at the core it was about Worf coming to terms with the fact that his idealized version of Klingon honor had little in common with what Klingons actually practiced, and eventually coming to realize that just because other people don't live up to their ideals doesn't make the ideals bad. So I had the "how does it affect the characters" thing down. .
I'm not big on 24th century klingons, but THAT sounds awesome. If I'd come up with an idea like that, I'd've probably made it a downer and called it THE KLINGON WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALLANCE!
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Old December 20 2013, 01:27 AM   #332
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

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I am Phil Lynch, of no renown whatsoever; you can tell what a neophyte I was to web 2.0 or whatever this is, since I just shortened my name and didn't think up a cool handle. .
That's the way I went with my username originally, kmart for Kevin H. Martin (I had gotten in the habit of signing my name as kmart as well, which got me in no small amount of trouble at WaldenBooks when KMart bought them from Carter/Hawley/Hale in the mid80s.) But I got so much shit from posters about the name that when THE GOD THING got me to come back many years back, i was able to take TREVANIAN (for my favorite non Ellisonian author.)

But on ILMFAN.COM I'm still KMART because I could never figure out how to change it.
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Old December 20 2013, 01:59 AM   #333
Maurice
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

trevanian wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
I submitted some spec scripts to TNG, but I didn't go through the open submissions policy. I got an agent (actually, she had been Ronald D. Moore's first agent) and submitted that way. I did three spec scripts, one of which I really really liked titled "None So Noble", which I thought had it all: at the core it was about Worf coming to terms with the fact that his idealized version of Klingon honor had little in common with what Klingons actually practiced, and eventually coming to realize that just because other people don't live up to their ideals doesn't make the ideals bad. So I had the "how does it affect the characters" thing down. .
I'm not big on 24th century klingons, but THAT sounds awesome. If I'd come up with an idea like that, I'd've probably made it a downer and called it THE KLINGON WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALLANCE!
Thanks. I compared the theme to that of a Christian who becomes disillusioned when finally noticing that people in the congregation talk the talk (turn the other cheek, don't judge, help the downtrodden, etc.) but don't walk the walk, and thus questions the rightness of the faith before ultimately realizing that the ideals are what's important, not whether others follow them. Coming at it from that angle gave me an emotional grounding for the story which I hoped would make it feel authentic.

My solution to the Klingon issue (pre TNG's exploration of the culture) was that that "Klingon" was the name of the warrior caste, and anyone who was a member of the caste, whether they were from the founding race Worf belonged to or one of the subject races that fell within their spacial "Warsaw pact". Once the Empire had lots of subject planets the founding race made them do all the real work, thus allowing them to become an almost exclusively a warrior race whose subjects grew the food and built the ships, etc. I posited that certain "2nd Klingons" (the ones from TOS) had done things which their masters didn't like, and they were all reduced to subject caste and banished from military service (I figured they'd started trading with the Romulans and opened that whole can of worms). It was a tidy solution which also helped drive the narrative of why the subject planets wanted out, and why the Klingons would never let them go (since their society had become utterly dependent on them).
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Old December 20 2013, 02:05 AM   #334
Sir Rhosis
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Thanks for the link, Maurice. Once the dust settles from our move, I'll check it out.

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Old December 20 2013, 02:16 AM   #335
SpHeRe31459
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

trevanian wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
I submitted some spec scripts to TNG, but I didn't go through the open submissions policy. I got an agent (actually, she had been Ronald D. Moore's first agent) and submitted that way. I did three spec scripts, one of which I really really liked titled "None So Noble", which I thought had it all: at the core it was about Worf coming to terms with the fact that his idealized version of Klingon honor had little in common with what Klingons actually practiced, and eventually coming to realize that just because other people don't live up to their ideals doesn't make the ideals bad. So I had the "how does it affect the characters" thing down. .
I'm not big on 24th century klingons, but THAT sounds awesome.
Indeed. That's something I'd think Ron D. Moore could have gotten behind to champion.
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Old December 20 2013, 02:18 AM   #336
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

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Yup, that's the most common reason pitches get rejected. Laypeople tend to assume that any similarity between two episodes or series or movies is proof of a "ripoff," but the fact is that it's very hard to avoid doing something similar to an existing idea, which is why creators try so hard not to. Too much similarity to a recent or current work is a surefire way to get a story rejected, assuming the parties involved realize the similarity. Far from being proof of deliberate imitation, similarity between two works is most likely proof that they had no awareness of each other until it was too late to change things.
That issue seems to be one of the main reasons why the open submission was finally killed off. It was reportedly an ongoing hassle with the producers, where people who sent in unsolicited scripts would get ticked off and claim their ideas were stolen, etc.
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Old December 20 2013, 02:47 AM   #337
Maurice
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

To be fair, sometimes it's remarkable how far coincidence can go. One of my story pitches was about a guest character who is plugged into the computer as part of an experiment to see if they can improve the response time of the ship to emergency and combat situations, and as the guy's mind is running at "machine speed" he starts doing all this impossible stuff, including plotting warp drive slingshot maneuvers around a black hole singularity to warp incredible distances. There's some superficial similarity to "The Nth Degree" in terms of the gimmicks, but I'd never go so far as to claim someone stole my idea.
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Old December 20 2013, 02:53 AM   #338
Christopher
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Maurice wrote: View Post
My solution to the Klingon issue (pre TNG's exploration of the culture) was that that "Klingon" was the name of the warrior caste, and anyone who was a member of the caste, whether they were from the founding race Worf belonged to or one of the subject races that fell within their spacial "Warsaw pact". Once the Empire had lots of subject planets the founding race made them do all the real work, thus allowing them to become an almost exclusively a warrior race whose subjects grew the food and built the ships, etc. I posited that certain "2nd Klingons" (the ones from TOS) had done things which their masters didn't like, and they were all reduced to subject caste and banished from military service (I figured they'd started trading with the Romulans and opened that whole can of worms).
That's brilliant! And a really nice subversion of the way Trek and most screen sci-fi tends to treat species and culture/nationality as equivalent.


SpHeRe31459 wrote: View Post
That issue seems to be one of the main reasons why the open submission was finally killed off. It was reportedly an ongoing hassle with the producers, where people who sent in unsolicited scripts would get ticked off and claim their ideas were stolen, etc.
Except that before you got to send in a spec script, you had to sign a waiver saying you wouldn't sue in such an event. That was the only reason the studio lawyers allowed open submissions to go forward in the first place. At least, the waivers were supposed to prevent that sort of thing. Maybe they weren't enough to do so?
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Old December 20 2013, 02:56 AM   #339
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

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Except that before you got to send in a spec script, you had to sign a waiver saying you wouldn't sue in such an event. That was the only reason the studio lawyers allowed open submissions to go forward in the first place. At least, the waivers were supposed to prevent that sort of thing. Maybe they weren't enough to do so?
That's my understanding of it, the waiver was kind of a nice idea, but not all that enforceable in our increasingly litigious society.
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Old December 20 2013, 05:58 AM   #340
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Maurice wrote: View Post
I can't know why it didn't get me a pitch session (maybe the first reader just didn't like it), but I do know my timing sucked, because it was submitted around the time "Sins of the Father" was in the pipeline and they went a very different direction with the Klingons. Oh well.
For what it's worth, I don't think their direction with Klingons ended up being entirely different than yours. That entire plotline is about Worf being more Klingon than other Klingons and how everyone else is a hypocrite (well, not entirely, but that's one of the themes). But, yeah, your timing sucked. I could see it as a prelude to Sins of the Father, but they probably didn't want to risk any timing problems.

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Sounds like a pitch isn't much different than a sound byte or even a film teaser. And, because of the lack of detail, the idea you're trying to put across might be totally different from the idea the one hearing the pitch is getting.
What I'm reminded by this is the opening scene from the movie The Player, which is noteworthy for other reasons, but does have a nice little thing in the background involving Hollywood movie pitches and how the industry tends to handle it:

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Old December 20 2013, 06:06 AM   #341
Warped9
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Amazing anything decent ever gets made.
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Old December 20 2013, 09:48 AM   #342
Maurice
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Christopher wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
My solution to the Klingon issue (pre TNG's exploration of the culture) was that that "Klingon" was the name of the warrior caste, and anyone who was a member of the caste, whether they were from the founding race Worf belonged to or one of the subject races that fell within their spacial "Warsaw pact". Once the Empire had lots of subject planets the founding race made them do all the real work, thus allowing them to become an almost exclusively a warrior race whose subjects grew the food and built the ships, etc. I posited that certain "2nd Klingons" (the ones from TOS) had done things which their masters didn't like, and they were all reduced to subject caste and banished from military service (I figured they'd started trading with the Romulans and opened that whole can of worms).
That's brilliant! And a really nice subversion of the way Trek and most screen sci-fi tends to treat species and culture/nationality as equivalent.
Thank you very much.
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Old December 20 2013, 09:58 AM   #343
Warped9
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Maurice wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
My solution to the Klingon issue (pre TNG's exploration of the culture) was that that "Klingon" was the name of the warrior caste, and anyone who was a member of the caste, whether they were from the founding race Worf belonged to or one of the subject races that fell within their spacial "Warsaw pact". Once the Empire had lots of subject planets the founding race made them do all the real work, thus allowing them to become an almost exclusively a warrior race whose subjects grew the food and built the ships, etc. I posited that certain "2nd Klingons" (the ones from TOS) had done things which their masters didn't like, and they were all reduced to subject caste and banished from military service (I figured they'd started trading with the Romulans and opened that whole can of worms).
That's brilliant! And a really nice subversion of the way Trek and most screen sci-fi tends to treat species and culture/nationality as equivalent.
Thank you very much.
Yes, it is indeed a fascinating idea. Well done.
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Old December 20 2013, 03:40 PM   #344
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

I used to have a similar idea, but I thought of "Klingon" more as a nationality -- like how Americans come from all different ethnic and cultural backgrounds but are all still Americans. The idea of it being a caste or class designation, though, is really clever, and it fits so well with their stubborn insistence on what it means to be a true Klingon and practice Klingon honor and all that stuff. Kind of like the Kshatriya warrior caste in classical India.

I think my "multispecies nationality" idea could still work for explaining things like the two different kinds of Ktarian (the ones from "The Game" and the Naomi Wildman kind).
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Old December 20 2013, 07:38 PM   #345
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

I imagine it must be quite hard to be the guy listening to the pitches as well, imagine thinking you've come up with a really neat and clever story for your next episode only to have 30 people pitch you the same basic idea over the next month. It must be quite soul destroying over time. Much like how I've seen comedians talk about what a knock to their egos Twitter can be as it reveals 2 million people coming up with the exact same joke as them in regards to any current news story.
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