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

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Old August 31 2013, 09:24 PM   #391
CrazyMatt
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

feek61 wrote: View Post
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In these early episodes we're certainly not hearing anything about Shatner lording it over the secondary cast regulars or cutting their lines. Hell, Takei credits Shatner with infecting people with his enthusiasm and professionalism.
Well, maybe not with the cast but in "The Galileo Seven" section the actor who played Commissioner Ferries describes how he had never been on a set like Star Trek. He said that Shatner basically told him were to stand and what to do and even Shatner was the one yelling "Cut" in the middle of scenes. He was shocked at the control Shatner had and says that the director just went along which surprised him because he had worked with the director before. It's also why I believe the director of "Shore Leave" (Sparr) was not asked back because he didn't put up with Shatner's B.S. even though Justman thought that Sparr did a great job under trying circumstances (and I agree)
It's as if Shatner saw himself, unofficially of course, as part of the production team--not truly unthinkable, as he was the only actor getting a share of the (non-existent at the time) profits.

I also believe that when Nimoy's character started to grab the lions share of attention regarding the cast, Shatner dug his heels in and decided to reinforce his leading star status. That led him to do things like count lines--and push for reassignments and deletions--such as Norman Spinrad described for the shooting of The Doomsday Machine.

It must have hurt Shatner's ego significantly to hear people (non-viewers) describe Star Trek as 'the show with the guy with the pointy ears!'
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Old August 31 2013, 09:35 PM   #392
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

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. . .I have to say, one of the most annoying things about the book is that it has no index. Although the chapters are mostly organized by episode, this still makes it pretty difficult to effectively use as a reference book (and, say, quickly look up pages where Shatner is mentioned).
Well, that settles it for me. I avoid reference books with no index. If they're not important enough for an author to include them, their books aren't important enough for me to buy.
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Old September 1 2013, 12:06 AM   #393
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

One mistake jumped out at me while reading the "Balance Of Terror" section. A reference is made to the 1957 film The Enemy Below starring Burt Lancaster. WRONG!

Burt Lancaster (with Clark Gable) starred in Run Silent, Run Deep filmed sometime before. Robert Mitchum starred in The Enemy Below.

I'm nearing the halfway point in the book. Reading this materiel now some forty years after the fact is interesting. The content on the pages gives you a sense of uncertainty in the air and a lot of people working really hard to make the show work and to get picked up for the rest of the season. Of course, we know how things will eventually play out over the years and decades, but imagine if we had been able to read this stuff back in the 1970s after having read The Making Of Star Trek. One could be left to wonder if anyone would ever again even consider in trying to resurrect Star Trek with all the headaches that ensued.

I'm somewhat impressed with Stan Robertson, the NBC guy. He doesn't come across as any kind of heavy out to make the lives of the Star Trek crew difficult. While some of his suggestions and observations can understandably be ignored he often offers valid input. He comes across as genuinely liking the show and it's potential and really seems interested in making it work and making it distinctive from what else was being done or had been done before.

If there is one myth really busted by this book it's the one about NBC not really liking or understanding the show.
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Old September 1 2013, 02:09 AM   #394
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Warped9 wrote: View Post
I'm somewhat impressed with Stan Robertson, the NBC guy. He doesn't come across as any kind of heavy out to make the lives of the Star Trek crew difficult. While some of his suggestions and observations can understandably be ignored he often offers valid input. He comes across as genuinely liking the show and it's potential and really seems interested in making it work and making it distinctive from what else was being done or had been done before.
Especially interesting given that the Solow and Justman book painted him in such an unflattering light.
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Old September 1 2013, 02:13 AM   #395
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

CrazyMatt wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
I'm somewhat impressed with Stan Robertson, the NBC guy. He doesn't come across as any kind of heavy out to make the lives of the Star Trek crew difficult. While some of his suggestions and observations can understandably be ignored he often offers valid input. He comes across as genuinely liking the show and it's potential and really seems interested in making it work and making it distinctive from what else was being done or had been done before.
Especially interesting given that the Solow and Justman book painted him in such an unflattering light.
Well, understandably it could be a matter of perspective. If you're on the inside you mightn't be objective and feel you're doing your best to work things out and someone from the outside is trying to give you input you might not think much of.
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Old September 1 2013, 02:17 AM   #396
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Warped9 wrote: View Post
One mistake jumped out at me while reading the "Balance Of Terror" section. A reference is made to the 1957 film The Enemy Below starring Burt Lancaster. WRONG!

Burt Lancaster (with Clark Gable) starred in Run Silent, Run Deep filmed sometime before. Robert Mitchum starred in The Enemy Below.
I wish this book had been more thoroughly reviewed. While mistakes like the one above don't effect the book's true purpose--bringing to light historical pre-, trans- and post-production information most of us have never seen before--it does detract from the overall reading enjoyment.

And, based on some of the comments in this thread, it gives ammunition to some who are looking for a reason to not like it and/or not buy it.
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Old September 1 2013, 02:33 AM   #397
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

^ Yes. He may have done a very intensive amount of research into the series, but if he can't get simple facts right about other productions that are easily verifiable, it raises questions about the accuracy of his research.
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Old September 1 2013, 02:49 AM   #398
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

^Granted, but I have yet to see a post here that incontrovertibly proves any of the information presented by the author in the sections regarding pre-, during and post-production are, in fact, wrong (e.g., the Justman memo says this, not that). That's what would make me doubt the sections of the book that speak to why I bought it.
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Old September 1 2013, 05:13 AM   #399
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Authors or publishers hire an indexer. Here is a page from their prof. association. http://www.asindexing.org/i4a/pages/...fm?pageID=3407
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Old September 1 2013, 05:21 AM   #400
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

From what I'm seeing in this thread, it sounds like Shatner's acts of control on the set only made the show better. Kirk was supposed be the hero who always came off looking good. Shatner understood that, and if good TV happened to be aligned with his ego instead of against it, well that's tough. He did a great job.
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Old September 1 2013, 06:08 AM   #401
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

plynch wrote: View Post
Authors or publishers hire an indexer. Here is a page from their prof. association. http://www.asindexing.org/i4a/pages/...fm?pageID=3407
From the 'Infinitely Indexed Memory Bank'?

Forgive me, I couldn't resist!
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Old September 1 2013, 06:34 AM   #402
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
From what I'm seeing in this thread, it sounds like Shatner's acts of control on the set only made the show better. Kirk was supposed be the hero who always came off looking good. Shatner understood that, and if good TV happened to be aligned with his ego instead of against it, well that's tough. He did a great job.
I can't disagree with that... however, it also appears to be true that at times he was overzealous--and regarding Nimoy, jealous--and that affected his relationship with (at least some of) his fellow cast members.
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Old September 1 2013, 02:07 PM   #403
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
From what I'm seeing in this thread, it sounds like Shatner's acts of control on the set only made the show better. Kirk was supposed be the hero who always came off looking good. Shatner understood that, and if good TV happened to be aligned with his ego instead of against it, well that's tough. He did a great job.
He did indeed. Shatner's James T. Kirk was my first and still greatest hero in all fiction.
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Old September 1 2013, 02:18 PM   #404
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

I'm halfway through the book. Seems everyone put blood, sweat and tears into that first half season. In that pressure cooker with such long days week after week for months on end it's no wonder people were getting on each other's nerves. Really good work came out of it to make the show definitely distinct from what else was then being done. You wonder how they could keep doing it.

They really hit one helluva pothole with the Howard Anderson company who just couldn't seem to get it together for the f/x. It was so bad they had to cobble together the visuals for the opening credits from essentially leftovers. HA comes across as totally lost and out of their element. If they hadn't been so back logged they should have have dumped HA's ass right there. Instead they ended up having four different f/x houses working for them at the same time.
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Old September 1 2013, 02:35 PM   #405
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

The opening credits hodge podge has been mentioned elsewhere, perhaps in Whitfield's TMoST, though I don't remember if Anderson & Company was specifically named.
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