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

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Old September 2 2013, 08:00 PM   #436
Warped9
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Harvey wrote: View Post
A shame 'The Corbomite Maneuver' wasn't ready.
Even with the obvious Balok puppet this episode is quintessential Star Trek.
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Old September 2 2013, 08:03 PM   #437
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

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his evidence that Roddenberry didn't have a falling out with Sam Rolfe is that Rolfe penned an episode of DS9.
Cushman also mentions the TNG episode Rolfe wrote -- although that came in season three, and elsewhere in the book Cushman says that Roddenberry gave up control after season two. Better evidence would be that Roddenberry was at a party at Sam Rolfe's house in the 1980s, which is mentioned either in the Engel or Alexander books. Also, elsewhere Cushman claims that the Rolfe pilot Roddenberry produced -- 'The Long Hunt of April Savage' -- was picked up, but dropped after a contract dispute by Rolfe (which would seem to invalidate the Solow/Justman claim that Rolfe was mad that Roddenberry did a bad job producing which resulted in a non-pick up).

Yet Cushman doesn't mention either of these things when trying to disprove the claim the two had a falling out. It's not a major point of the book -- the claims about 'The Alternative Factor' and the ratings are the major claims I don't fully buy -- but it's oddly lazy.
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Old September 2 2013, 08:05 PM   #438
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

^^^That doesn't seem to jive with what Inside Star Trek said about April Savage. I loaned my copy to Middyseafort, otherwise I'd look it up.
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Old September 2 2013, 08:13 PM   #439
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

^^
Oh, not at all. Solow/Justman contend that Roddenberry was totally lazy during the production (I believe Engel makes the same claim) and that the pilot wasn't picked up as a result. Let me grab the book for the quote.
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Old September 2 2013, 08:17 PM   #440
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Here's the quote:

Herb Solow wrote:
I hired Gene to produce the April Savage pilot. Rolfe was pleased and went off to London with his wife, Hilda, and his kids.

His trip turned out to be a bad move. Gene, for some reason, coasted along and halfheartedly produced Sam's pilot. His interest seemed to be mostly in the paycheck he picked up. He even went as far as to officially inform ABC that he would not be available to produce or supervise the series should it sell. ABC made Rolfe aware of Gene's position. Sam phoned from London, furious with me. He had left his project in my hands. I explained that Gene had let us both down. Sam's close friendship with Gene ended in anger.
I thought it said something about the pilot not being picked up, but it seems my memory was wrong there. In any event, Rolfe and Roddenberry never worked together again, but they must have patched up their personal relationship at some point down the road.
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Old September 2 2013, 08:23 PM   #441
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Warped9 wrote: View Post
This book could use a little more polish. There are spelling mistakes, I don't think the word Enterprise is ever italicized and small factual errors in terms of references often not directly related to Star Trek itself. Small things that a solid proofreading could fix.
No doubt about it. As good as this book is, these errors detract from the overall enjoyment of the reading experience. It has all the earmarks of a project rushed to the publisher.

I certainly hope that a second printing contains the corrections.

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davejames wrote: View Post
Why the network didn't decide to go with the much more epic and accessible Where No Man Has Gone Before as the first episode, I'll never understand.
It's a strong episode, and I always start with it, but I can understand their reasoning. McCoy and Rand aren't in it, the color isn't as vibrant, and the production design and art direction aren't quite there yet. You want to lead with an episode that will give people a good idea of what the series to come will be like.

A shame 'The Corbomite Maneuver' wasn't ready.
The Solow/Justman book claimed WNMHGB was not considered for the premier showing because it was "too expository" (not really sure what that means), as well as the fact several of the characters (most notably the doctor), costumes, etc. were different than the production episodes.

With those factors in mind, it speaks volumes about Desilu's financial straights and the production team's ability to meet early first season air dates that NBC allowed WNMHGB to be broadcast as the third episode. I imagine a lot of viewers who had watched the first two episodes broadcast were confused by what they saw, 'what happened to McCoy?' and 'why did the uniforms change?'
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Old September 2 2013, 08:26 PM   #442
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Sam Rolfe probably would have been better off going back to Norman Felton.
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Old September 2 2013, 08:33 PM   #443
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

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A shame 'The Corbomite Maneuver' wasn't ready.
I wonder if Star Trek would have found wider acceptance with the critics and audience if TCM had been the first episode broadcast. 'Man Trap' was a sort of boring episode and the salt creature played down to critic's misconceptions that sci-fi was all about monsters.
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Old September 2 2013, 08:37 PM   #444
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Possibly, although it's worth nothing that the series gained some critical acceptance after the drubbing 'The Man Trap' received (even if its ratings slowly slipped). After all, the first season was nominated for Best Drama at the Emmys, and Cushman quotes from a few reviews at midseason (IIRC) reversing their earlier pans of the series based on the premiere episode.
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Old September 2 2013, 08:42 PM   #445
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Man Trap was dour and downbeat and a rotten choice for a first episode, but given where the production was at that point, it's debatable whether there was any better choice that was actually ready to air.
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Old September 2 2013, 08:48 PM   #446
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

"Where No Man Has Gone Before" is really the only other good candidate, and there's a good argument against it that's already been stated.

The other episodes available were (according to Solow/Justman, since it's in my lap):
"The Naked Time" (a better episode once you know the characters)
"Mudd's Women" (space hookers would have made for a worse introduction to the series)
"The Enemy Within" (I can understand NBC's objections; it's awfully dark as a lead-in)
"Charlie X" (okay, but a ship-bound tale)
"The Man Trap" (lots of planet action, all the regulars)
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Old September 2 2013, 08:52 PM   #447
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

^^^Exactly.
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Old September 2 2013, 09:33 PM   #448
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

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Harvey wrote: View Post
A shame 'The Corbomite Maneuver' wasn't ready.
I wonder if Star Trek would have found wider acceptance with the critics and audience if TCM had been the first episode broadcast. 'Man Trap' was a sort of boring episode and the salt creature played down to critic's misconceptions that sci-fi was all about monsters.
I don't know. I've recently rewatched Corbomite Maneuver, and it seemed to drag a lot more than I remembered. It's basically people just staring at the viewscreen for an hour, waiting for long periods for something to happen (or not happen).

Of course I realize I've seen these episodes way too often, and people had much longer attention spans back then, so maybe it would have seemed a lot more exciting and fast-paced at the time.
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Old September 2 2013, 10:01 PM   #449
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Re: "The City On The Edge Of Forever."

This is possibly the most complete account of this story's evolution from initial pitch to filmed episode that I've ever seen. What I get out of this is Ellison's ego and inability to accept his story being rewritten to fit Star Trek's format. That's the crux of it. He could have written the most beautiful and brilliant thing ever, but if it can't fit within what has already been established in the series then it's useless. Yeah, it could have worked for The Outer Limits, but he wasn't writing it for them. If he wanted it to stay as is then he should have written it as an original non Trek story and gotten it published that way.

The fact he could never get over it speaks to me of the guy's pettiness. No one at Desilu said his story was bad---in fact everyone loved it---but they were absolutely right it couldn't work for Star Trek in it's original form.

What this situation also underlines is no matter how people try to be reasoned and objective about anything as happens so often personal agendas, egos and human frailties come into play. The myth of NBC disliking Star Trek is truly busted. What, or who, NBC had a growing problem with was Gene Roddenberry. The very man who created Star Trek was becoming a liability in keeping it on the air because he was pissing off the very people who allowed his creation to be realized in the first place.


At this point Gene Coon hasn't been at his new job for long, but he's already shown to be a writing machine. The guy was incredible. Gene Coon and D.C. Fontana---what a pair.
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Old September 2 2013, 10:05 PM   #450
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Warped9 wrote: View Post
This is possibly the most complete account of this story's evolution from initial pitch to filmed episode that I've ever seen.
Out of curiosity, have you read Ellison's book about the episode?
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