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

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Old August 28 2013, 03:30 AM   #331
GSchnitzer
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Well, as I understand it, the author, "Collector," and publisher were all contacted multiple times well in advance of the book going to press regarding the uncredited/unauthorized harvesting of the images. I don't think it was an omission so much as intentionally done despite the matter being brought to their attention.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
Well, if true, I'm sure startrekhistory is more than willing to properly place credit where credit is due.
I'm sure they're great guys; I love startrekhistory. We're all friends here. But it's one thing to update a web page for some little mistake. It's something else when you've spent a year of your life breaking your back to write a book, put your personal resources into it, and it has gone to print, and now angry partisans coming out of nowhere want the book to disappear over a slight omission like this.
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Old August 28 2013, 03:36 AM   #332
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

BillJ wrote: View Post
I don't want it to disappear, I want it fixed. Which shouldn't be too much of an issue since its a print-on-demand book.
If that's right then maybe a correction will appear at some point. Edit: no, GSchnitzer is saying (while I was writing this) that that doesn't seem to be in the cards.

Also, in case anyone thinks I'm a plant: I don't know anyone connected with the book. I don't even have it because I'm a little too cost-conscious.
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Old August 28 2013, 03:38 AM   #333
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
I don't want it to disappear, I want it fixed. Which shouldn't be too much of an issue since its a print-on-demand book.
If that's right then maybe a correction will appear at some point. Edit: no, GSchnitzer is saying (while I was writing this) that that doesn't seem to be in the cards.

Also, in case anyone thinks I'm a plant: I don't know anyone connected with the book. I don't even have it because I'm a little too cost-conscious.
No one thinks you're the spy.
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Old August 28 2013, 03:48 AM   #334
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Well, they were disinterested in changing gears in advance of going to press on the Season One book. But if this dust-up is impacting their anticipated sales, they might do something different for Seasons Two and Three. (I have no idea what their sales have been and what, if any, impact people's concerns might be having.) I suggested upthread that some nice artwork could be used--something like Bjo Trimble did with her Concordance. I think pretty much everyone understands the need to break up pages and pages of dry text with something that's a bit easier on the eye.


ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
I don't want it to disappear, I want it fixed. Which shouldn't be too much of an issue since its a print-on-demand book.
If that's right then maybe a correction will appear at some point. Edit: no, GSchnitzer is saying (while I was writing this) that that doesn't seem to be in the cards.

Also, in case anyone thinks I'm a plant: I don't know anyone connected with the book. I don't even have it because I'm a little too cost-conscious.
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Old August 28 2013, 04:59 AM   #335
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Frankly, from the samples, the writing isn't stellar, either. As I mentioned a while back, the author makes unsupported statements like that the Kirk-Finnegan fight "may very well have been the best-staged fight shot for TV." By what standard? In all of Television for the last 60 years? That's just silly.
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Old August 28 2013, 05:29 AM   #336
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

I finally finished reading the book today. I will compile all of my notes into a review in the near future.

I'd say the author has a good understanding of the production history of the original series, but a weak understanding of television and film history. This leads him to frequently make claims about the uniqueness or greatness of the series, like the 'Shore Leave' claim mentioned, which don't hold water.

It is telling that he keeps falling back on I Spy when in need of an example that isn't Star Trek; the author wrote a book about that series, too.

I'm also unconvinced by his ratings thesis (that the series was a hit, but NBC suppressed this fact because of their dislike of Roddenberry). It is an interesting notion, but the numbers hardly bear it out in the way the author suggests. Of course, this argument is unfinished -- the author ends the book with a bit of a cliffhanger on the topic to get people to buy the next volume -- but the evidence so far is shakey.
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Old August 28 2013, 05:34 AM   #337
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

I'd put up at least two-thirds of the fights on THE WILD WILD WEST against the Finnegan fight and make that claim look as silly as it sounds.

SHORE LEAVE's fight works primarily because of the character aspect and the music. Not saying it was shot poorly, but it isn't "in-ter-stellar!" as Grig the lizard-navigator from THE LAST STARFIGHTER might exclaim.
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Old August 28 2013, 05:37 AM   #338
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Harvey wrote: View Post
I'm also unconvinced by his ratings thesis (that the series was a hit, but NBC suppressed this fact because of their dislike of Roddenberry). It is an interesting notion, but the numbers hardly bear it out in the way the author suggests. Of course, this argument is unfinished -- the author ends the book with a bit of a cliffhanger on the topic to get people to buy the next volume -- but the evidence so far is shakey.
Perhaps we should rename this thread The Smoking Phaser

So all the Nielsen families were in on this ratings coverup, too?
And people give ME shit about my views on JFK and 9/11!
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Old August 28 2013, 06:08 AM   #339
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Star Trek was never a big hit in first run. No one in my high school talked about it, I may have been the only fan. People were aware of it, but Batman made a much greater impression.

Zap, you've been here too long to be a plant. The publishers don't seem to be that smart.
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Old August 28 2013, 03:58 PM   #340
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

The author quotes the numbers and even reprints a full ratings sheet showing Star Trek outdrawing Batman, Lost in Space, The Invaders and The Fugitive. Obviously the series did not retain these numbers, but for the first season, the series was apparently well secure in the top 40. Unless he's intentionally lying, I find that to be pretty solid evidence the show initially hit bigger than people thought.

Star Trek was always a big hit with the older kids and college crowd, that has never been in question. Young people were the show's biggest and most vocal supporters, but that has nothing to do with the ratings if high school kids weren't part of any of the Neilsen "families."

As for why the series dropped, we'll find out, but there are hints in the book: the cost of the series was far more than Desilu or NBC wanted to spend; the episodes were always late and over budget; Gene was a pain in the ass - constantly belittling the network in public (calling them sexist and racist for example), having various affairs in plain sight, etc. All of this could have contributed to NBC putting Trek in worse time slots and eroding the audience, so cancellation at the end of the third season was unavoidable. Then Roddenberry would be out of their hair. But that's just a guess.
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Old August 28 2013, 08:32 PM   #341
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

My copy of this just arrived this afternoon and I'm looking forward to reading it. Yeah, I caved out of intense curiosity.

I've only just perused the book and I have but one remark regarding the photos: disappointing. It's not simply a matter of very few of them being shots I haven't seen before elsewhere (and with greater resolution and colour), but they're disappointingly small giving the impression of them being an afterthought. In a sense this doesn't tread on others' toes because the pics in this book are disappointing reproductions that can be seen much better elsewhere. And quite a few of these shots have been around to be seen for decades and long before startrekhistory and the like came along.

Yep, disappointing and definitely not a selling feature. As is they add little to nothing to the book's value.

And so I hope the content of the text will justify the book.
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Old August 28 2013, 08:40 PM   #342
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
I don't know if anyone else noticed this, but the startrekhistory site appears to be guilty itself of using something without giving proper credit.

In their section on deleted scenes, under "City on the Edge of Forever," the site presents an unused, never-aired music cue by Fred Steiner. They must have gotten it from La La Land's complete box set of Star Trek music.

The La La Land CD producers jumped through incredible hoops to get all the many stakeholders involved to agree to the project. Then LLL worked for like a year, going through tape reels and studio paperwork to meticulously identify and document each bit of music. And they had to make digital transfers of all the tape reels and perform restoration work on the resulting audio files.

Startrekhistory presents the "City" cue as if it was the site's own discovery. I don't see any credit or thanks given to La La Land Records or the individual producers.
Zap,

Thanks for pointing this out. We assumed that it was sufficient to credit La-La Land Records on the startrekhistory.com page where we interviewed Jeff Bond. Due to the confusion that this has caused though, we have now added an additional credit to the bottom of our "City on the Edge of Forever" page.


ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
No, I'm stating facts. If startrekhistory can use materials without giving credit or showing established rights, then what's all the fuss about with These are the Voyages-- a book that gave credit in its bibliography?
Giving attribution is not the same as asking for permission.

Well look, honest mistakes happen. We certainly make them ourselves and recognize that others make them. As an example of the latter, a book came out not long ago that used a picture that we had restored. This book, inadvertently, didn't mention the picture's proper origin and our work in restoring it. However, it was just one picture in a book that contained a lot of pictures, so we didn't say anything about it; it was no big deal. But the TATV situation is different. As we and others have pointed out, the folks at TATV were made aware of the repeated use of our pictures on their Facebook page (which were miscredited and used without our permission) before their book went to press. Despite us contacting them (several times, in fact), they continued to put screen caps from our site on their Facebook page. And we've been told that there are a lot of our pictures in their book.
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Old August 29 2013, 12:20 AM   #343
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
The author quotes the numbers and even reprints a full ratings sheet showing Star Trek outdrawing Batman, Lost in Space, The Invaders and The Fugitive. Obviously the series did not retain these numbers, but for the first season, the series was apparently well secure in the top 40. Unless he's intentionally lying, I find that to be pretty solid evidence the show initially hit bigger than people thought.
I think it has been well-established that the series was initially a hit, but that it it shed viewers over time. Inside Star Trek: The Real Story demonstrated this dramatically, by pointing out the difference in ratings between 'The Man Trap' and 'Turnabout Intruder.' Granted, due to the circumstances of both those episodes' broadcast, that comparison is a little unfair, but it makes the point.

The author references two top 40 (out of 90) lists. The first, counting the first few episodes (excluding 'The Man Trap,' which had mega numbers in part because of NBC's sneak preview week) puts the show at #33. The second, taken much later in the season, places the series at #37. Still good numbers, but a drop. It would not surprise me if season two continued a downward ratings trend (which, admittedly, was partially due to the second season time slot on Friday nights).

Also, sometimes the author presents the top 12 city ratings, and sometimes he presents the national ratings. In a couple of cases, he presents both. In those cases, it is evident that the national popularity of the series was markedly less than it was in just the top twelve markets. The author indicates as such in those cases, but when only presenting the top twelve numbers, he never mentions that those numbers are inflated compared to the national ones.

I'm not suggesting the author is lying; just that his argument isn't as sound as he thinks it is (at least, based on the evidence in volume one).
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Old August 29 2013, 05:13 AM   #344
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

alchemist wrote: View Post
Zap,

Thanks for pointing this out. We assumed that it was sufficient to credit La-La Land Records on the startrekhistory.com page where we interviewed Jeff Bond. Due to the confusion that this has caused though, we have now added an additional credit to the bottom of our "City on the Edge of Forever" page.

Well, thank you for responding with helpfulness and clarity. And let's face it, what a great website.
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Old August 29 2013, 05:32 AM   #345
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Harvey wrote: View Post
. . .The author references two top 40 (out of 90) lists. The first, counting the first few episodes (excluding 'The Man Trap,' which had mega numbers in part because of NBC's sneak preview week) puts the show at #33. The second, taken much later in the season, places the series at #37. Still good numbers, but a drop. . .
I think the goal of programs back then was to be at least #25 in the Nielsens, in order to have an expectation of renewal. The ratings criteria changed a lot through the years. The letter writing campaigns engineered by Roddenberry and a fan (was it Bjo?) convinced NBC to renew the show for the second and third years.

Then there's supposed to be some story that after Star Trek was off the air, the ratings demographics were altered, and execs and advertisers found Trek had the teen and young adult markets and started pitching to that crowd.
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