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

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

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Old August 29 2013, 06:11 AM   #346
MauriceNavidad
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

It's easy to cherry pick numbers to make a point, but if you really wanted to compare shows you need to see if:
  1. The show routinely won its time slot (or at least wasn't in last place)
  2. If contemporary shows with equal or higher numbers got renewed
  3. If the numbers remained consistent

Also, rating aren't the whole game. As I recall, the original Battlestar Galactica never fell out of the top 25, but it was so expensive to produce that the per episode profits apparently made ABC think they could do better with two low-cost sitcoms in its place. You don't kill a top 25 show if it's making lots of money; you do if it isn't. A top 40 show that doesn't make a good return is easily on the chopping block.
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Old August 29 2013, 02:01 PM   #347
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

I am in no position to argue one way or another all the points presented - but considering the source material for much of this book, I am more than willing to give a huge benefit of the doubt accept much that has been written. I am only about a quarter of the way through it, to this point, but I am absolutely loving every page. I eagerly look forward to adding books 2 and 3 to the pile. And, no, I am not a shill - just an old schmuck who loves TOS.
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Old August 29 2013, 07:59 PM   #348
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

I'm only about thirty some pages into it, but I'm finding it a good read. Reading the details of Roddenberry's path to Star Trek nicely sets the stage for what's to come. The side stories of other players and companies and how they all eventually come together is interesting. There's detail here that I've never read before and it's interesting.

The Making Of Star Trek is a fascinating book, but it really gives you only the bare bones (comparatively) of how Star Trek came into being. These Are The Voyages along with Inside Star Trek give you a much more detailed and much clearer account of how things evolved.

Some things I find fascinating. Roddenberry's proclivities were already evident during production of The Lieutenant so what later happened on Star Trek wasn't at all new or unprecedented. Also, as much as Star Trek needed a studio and a network it came into the hands of Desilu (a studio that needed something break-out to get back on its feet) and NBC (a network needing something break-out to get out of trailing CBS and ABC. They really all needed each other.

I also like how the book sets the stage, taking you back to a time when the television landscape was very different than today. When you see things in that context you can better appreciate how different and visionary Star Trek was compared to what else was being done back then.
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Old August 29 2013, 09:10 PM   #349
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

The Quinn Martin show "The Invaders" seemed to try to capitalize on Star Trek's sci-fi element, but it was a very pessimistic show with evil aliens trying to take over Earth every week, and only ONE GUY knows they're here. Sort of like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Its format was similar to other man-on-the-run shows like Martin's "The Fugitive" and "Run for Your Life". About the only thing I liked in "The Invaders" were their flying saucer scenes, there was even a model kit of the spaceship. I think one of the model parts wound up on the original Cylon manta-ray type fighters.
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Old August 29 2013, 11:38 PM   #350
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

So the word phaser actually comes from putting two words together: photon-maser? If true that's actually cool because I always thought they'd just invented a nonsense word that sounded like laser.

Mind you from what I can gather there is no such real thing as a photon-maser. Or maybe it just hasn't been invented yet.
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Old August 30 2013, 12:57 AM   #351
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

I figured the word came from describing GR's first wife, who apparently put up with a lot.

as in, 'nothing can phase her.'
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Old August 30 2013, 04:09 AM   #352
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

In re. GR's behavior: I was recently reading a book about the Big Band era by the music editor of weekly Variety at the time. Sexual behavior behind closed doors in the music publishing business was way out: sexual contests among executives all doing "activities" with women in the same room, women under desks during meetings, public doings with chorus "girls." I can't imagine life in the go-go '60s TV world was any different. What this guy was relaying made Mad Men seem gentlemanly. It's always struck me as odd "the network" objected to GR having an affair with Nichelle and Majel. From what I can tell, most everybody in that world had flings on the side. Maybe they objected because he was open about it and somehow violating the Executive Bro code?
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Old August 30 2013, 04:56 AM   #353
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

plynch wrote: View Post
Maybe they objected because he was open about it and somehow violating the Executive Bro code?
Yeah, there's always been a lot of hanky panky going on. And it probably was that sentiment at work: "Buddy, you can do all the chicks you want, but be a little discreet, eh?"

And, yeah, Mad Men looks tame in comparison. Hell, Boardwalk Empire is probably tame by comparison.
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Old August 30 2013, 01:49 PM   #354
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Yeah, there's always been a lot of hanky panky going on. And it probably was that sentiment at work: "Buddy, you can do all the chicks you want, but be a little discreet, eh?"
This. Discretion is at the heart of the matter. I believe everyone suspects or 'knows that something is going on' - it's just that nobody wants to really 'know what's going on'.
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Old August 30 2013, 03:05 PM   #355
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

It seems like GR wanted people to think he was quite something when it came to women rather than keep his "entertainment" to himself.


I've just finished reading about "The Cage." One thing that impressed me about this section was that Jeffery Hunter seemed quite excited about the pilot and its potential for a series, but when it came to doing the second pilot he does an about face. Yet it also seems like maybe someone was talking him out of it---maybe his wife given that she came alone to the screening and JH was absent. Today science fiction isn't looked down on, but back then it was easy to understand why a lot of folks could see SF and sci-fi as cheesy "monster of the week" stuff. The anecdotes from some of those involved do impress as them not understanding what GR wanted to do with Star Trek. Some seemed to think GR was taking it too seriously and was so decided on how it had to be done (not a wholly bad thing, mind you) that he could be resistant to even valid suggestions and input.

GR liked to make the network suits the bad guys, but they did seem to get what Roddenberry was aiming for and liked it overall. The network was particularly right on a few counts:

- Majel Barrett wasn't strong enough to carry the role of Number One even though they liked the idea of the character, and it was just too obvious a case of nepotism.
- Roddenberry wasn't delivering on his pitch of a multi-racial cast.
- Much of the rest of the cast was also too bland and not dynamic enough.
- Hunter, while having star quality, didn't seem the right type for the average viewer to identify with. He was "too good looking" and didn't project much range.

It's interesting to hear that Shatner's name had actually been mentioned for the role of Pike even before "The Cage" was filmed although they hadn't spoken to him. GR also wanted Deforest Kelley for the ship's doctor right from the start. It's just a shame they couldn't have gotten Kelley for WNMHGB because he would have had a lot more presence than Paul Fixx. Mind you given the character's name was different then it's just as well. The way things happened would later allow for "The Cage" to be used as a glimpse of pre-history in TOS' universe.

Another interesting item was to see the different actors then being considered for the role of Pike and then later Kirk. If you recognize any of those actors and when they were in their prime you really wonder what the character would have been like if any of them had been cast. With that in mind it really was serendipitous for them to land Shatner because I think he brought a quality to Kirk I don't see many of the other candidates having. I certainly can't imagine Lloyd Bridges or Jack Lord playing Kirk. Someone like Jack Lord or Lee Marvin might have given Kirk more of a military bearing yet without Shatner's charming swagger. That might have worked for Pike, but not for Kirk.

Moving on to WNMHGB next and I am finding this a fascinating read. Despite the controversy of the photos it's a shame they didn't go the distance---get permission to reproduce the pics, give appropriate credit and then reprint the images nice and large. Then it would have added to the book's appeal and bolstered the content of the text which is pretty good so far on its own.
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Old August 30 2013, 06:10 PM   #356
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

I loved the story about Malachi Throne being offered the part of the doctor in WNMHGB, but declining. He'd just read a book about acting called "Third Man Thru the Door", which points out that you have the star, then you have the costar, then you have the guy nobody ever remembers. Throne didn't want to be the third guy. The author of the book, ironically, was Paul Fix!
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Old August 30 2013, 06:15 PM   #357
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Forbin wrote: View Post
I loved the story about Malachi Throne being offered the part of the doctor in WNMHGB, but declining.
Nothing against DeForrest Kelly, but Malachai Throne would have been a very interesting Dr. McCoy. I can totally picture him playing that character.
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Old August 30 2013, 06:17 PM   #358
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Warped9 wrote: View Post
I don't see many of the other candidates having. I certainly can't imagine Lloyd Bridges or Jack Lord playing Kirk. Someone like Jack Lord or Lee Marvin might have given Kirk more of a military bearing yet without Shatner's charming swagger.
I absolutely WOULD have agreed with you about this until a couple days back, when I saw part of a 12 O'CLOCK HIGH ep (from 1966) with Lord, where he was not the laid back Felix Leiter and Steve McGarrett, but instead alternately fierce and charming (he had Luciana Paluzzi - Fiona Volpe from THUNDERBALL -- onscreen with him, so I'm sure that helped a helluva lot), showing a greater range of colors than I'd've thought possible. I think he really could have essayed Kirk, but I also think it would have been at the expense of Nimoy's Spock.
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Old August 30 2013, 06:56 PM   #359
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Warped9 I would be interested in your general thoughts on the book once you have finished it.
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Old August 30 2013, 07:04 PM   #360
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Ronald Held wrote: View Post
Warped9 I would be interested in your general thoughts on the book once you have finished it.
Well, I'll probably be posting a running commentary as I work my way through. I can't read it all in one sitting. I like to read a section or two and then digest it for a bit before continuing.

So far I am quite enjoying it. As I said earlier upthread I'm learning some things I didm't know before and learning greater detail of things I had known before but in broad strokes.

Roddenberry isn't lionized in this, but he isn't demonized either. He's presented as a real human being with flaws and blind spots.
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