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

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Old December 9 2013, 06:37 PM   #766
Corran Horn
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Harvey wrote: View Post
In the new edition, or the old? I'm really curious how the photo credits in the new version read compared to the old (which credited startrekhistory and birdofthegalaxy on exactly one photo -- which was also credited to 'The Collector').
I believe mine is the old edition - it's the one with the mostly black cover with the TV on the front. I believe I've only seen the startrekhistory credit once but I could be wrong. I know it was at least that.
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Old December 9 2013, 06:45 PM   #767
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Oh, okay. Yeah, I believe they're given partial credit on one photo in that edition (I believe I noted the page number earlier in this thread).
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Old December 10 2013, 05:09 PM   #768
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Just got the revised edition. I'll do a comparison over Christmas break and let you all know what's been fixed/added. Right away I'll say there's a lot more pictures.
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Old December 10 2013, 11:08 PM   #769
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

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Just got the revised edition. I'll do a comparison over Christmas break and let you all know what's been fixed/added.
Great, looking forward to it

CrazyMatt wrote: View Post
Right away I'll say there's a lot more pictures.
That's kind of odd, I'd think they would tread more lightly on the pictures given the issues with them, but then again Cushman doesn't seem to think there is an issue with the pics...
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Old December 14 2013, 09:34 PM   #770
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

My copy (revised ed.) just arrived.

I must say I am impressed with the photos. After 30 years of reading every TOS related book I could get my hands on and more than a decade posting in the TOS forum, I thought I'd seen every possible photo of the show in existence, but this author has seriously dug deep.

On the downside, although you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, the final sentence on the back cover looks like it has been clipped off, and I have already noticed one typo inside after a 30 second skim. Smacks of a cheap effort.

Feeling a bit ambivalent at this point, but looking forward to a read as soon as time permits. The guy has obviously done a mountain of work - shame it couldn't have been edited better.

Apologies if you guys have covered this earlier in the thread, but who is this author? Did he have some aborted project to write the history of TOS with Justman and Gene in the 80's or something?
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Old December 14 2013, 09:46 PM   #771
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Doesn't the revised edition still have Marc Cushman's introduction where he explains the history of the project? That will answer your questions about the author.

Cushman previously wrote a book about I Spy, which I haven't read, but judging from this volume, it's clear that he isn't much of a television historian. He does know a lot about the original Star Trek, although I have plenty of complaints about his work, especially the way it conflates undocumented speculation with documented fact.

If you like the photos, I suggest visiting Bird of the Galaxy's Flickr page and Star Trek History, where many of the book's photos were harvested from (without permission or, at least in the first edition, credit).

Considering that this is a revised edition (arriving less than a year after the first try!), the fact that there are still typos and formatting errors being reported is mind-boggling. FWIW, the free sample on Amazon seemed to have been better proofread that the first edition, which was rife with typographical mistakes.
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Old December 14 2013, 10:41 PM   #772
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

I find the conflation of fact and theory highly troublesome in the samples I've read. Photos aside, it's the biggest issue I have with the book. There are already way too many tall tales and myths about this show without a work that creates new ones (e.g. his assertion that the show was a hit).
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Old December 15 2013, 01:18 AM   #773
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

The ratings thing seems way off given how GR was going on about how the alternate rating system that came in at the end of TOS, the one based on ages of viewers and their buying habits, had the show WAY up as opposed to the nielsen numbers.
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Old December 15 2013, 01:59 AM   #774
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Although that's also quite the exaggeration. There's an academic named Roberta Person who's done some terrific research which demonstrates that NBC was interested in and measuring Star Trek's demographics, and argues that they were crucial in the second and third season renewals. I imagine Cushman will ignore her research, though.

I'm working on a blog post about the revised edition. Was wondering if anyone here could flip through the Solow/Justman book and find out if there's any substance there to Cushman's claim that director James Goldstone lied about having a scheduling conflict with the first pilot because he didn't want to be attached to Star Trek. This seems silly for a number of reasons, but I want to check (my copy of the book, again, is out of my reach!).

The Cushman quote, by the way, is:

James Goldstone, a well-regarded TV director, was offered the job [of directing 'The Menagerie.'] Roddenberry knew him from The Lieutenant. Solow, on behalf of Desilu, approved of the choice. So did the network. But Goldstone had a 'scheduling conflict.' A man with no reputation could find one at Star Trek. An established reputation, however, could be ruined with a job like this. The search continued.
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Old December 15 2013, 04:03 AM   #775
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Unfortunately, so is mine (I will have to get it out of storage when I visit my parents over Christmas), but I read that book five times over, and I don't recall the Goldstone story. It's been a while since I read it though,and my mind could be playing tricks.

Speaking of Justman and Solow's book, they could not account for why Star Trek continued to be renewed, but they speculated that it was due to its popularity with one particular demographic : colour TV owners. Their theory was that NBC's show Star Trek was helping sales of colour TV's for parent company RCA.

As for Cushman, Harvey, yeah sorry I missed the Cushman preface after the foreword by the Blacks.
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Old December 15 2013, 05:36 PM   #776
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Here's what Pearson writes about the demographics, for what it's worth (from an earlier thread):

Harvey wrote: View Post
NBC was already measuring demographics by the mid-1960s, before Star Trek was even on the air. Their appeal among younger audiences even became part of the way NBC marketed itself, with slogans such as "number one network among young adults" appearing during this period.

Indeed, Star Trek was probably renewed after the first season because of it's appeal to younger demographics. Paul Klein, the vice president of research for the network, said as much in both Television magazine and TV Guide in 1967. From the interview in Television, he said, "A quality audience--lots of young adult buyers--provides a high level that may make it worth holding onto a program despite low over-all ratings." In the later TV Guide interview he said that the series was renewed, in spite of poor ratings, "because it delivers a quality, salable audience...[in particular] upper-income, better-educated males."

(I wish I could present this as my research, but it comes from Roberta Pearson's article "Cult Television as Digital Television’s Cutting Edge," published in the recent anthology, "Television as Digital Media.")

Roddenberry's story was that ratings that were broken down by demographics would have saved the show if they had existed in 1969, because the show appealed to a young audience with disposable income that appealed to advertisers. But NBC already had this ratings information, and likely renewed the show for a second and third season because of it. Roddenberry's version is either a lie, or just misinformed.

(He's not the only one to bring up demographics, though; Bob Justman uncritically mentions the myth about them in Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, too)
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Old December 16 2013, 05:07 AM   #777
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

To me it's clear when the author is editorializing only because it's stated outright when memos, stars, guest stars, or crew are quoted. I found it easy enough to ignore the former because I immensely enjoyed the latter.
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Old December 16 2013, 05:21 AM   #778
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

In that respect, Cushman's book reminds me quite a bit of David Alexander's biography of Roddenberry, which reprinted dozens of letters and memos. Those were useful. And like Cushman, Alexander's connective prose was awkward, hyperbolic, bloated, and frequently an exercise in hagiography.

For all those faults, though, at least Alexander's book was reasonably fact-checked -- and illustrated with images that were used with permission.
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Old December 16 2013, 09:11 AM   #779
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Editorializing is one thing, but stating things which are demonstrably factually incorrect is another.
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Old December 18 2013, 10:18 AM   #780
Botany Bay
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Harvey wrote: View Post
Here's what Pearson writes about the demographics, for what it's worth (from an earlier thread):

Harvey wrote: View Post
NBC was already measuring demographics by the mid-1960s, before Star Trek was even on the air. Their appeal among younger audiences even became part of the way NBC marketed itself, with slogans such as "number one network among young adults" appearing during this period.

Indeed, Star Trek was probably renewed after the first season because of it's appeal to younger demographics. Paul Klein, the vice president of research for the network, said as much in both Television magazine and TV Guide in 1967. From the interview in Television, he said, "A quality audience--lots of young adult buyers--provides a high level that may make it worth holding onto a program despite low over-all ratings." In the later TV Guide interview he said that the series was renewed, in spite of poor ratings, "because it delivers a quality, salable audience...[in particular] upper-income, better-educated males."

(I wish I could present this as my research, but it comes from Roberta Pearson's article "Cult Television as Digital Television’s Cutting Edge," published in the recent anthology, "Television as Digital Media.")

Roddenberry's story was that ratings that were broken down by demographics would have saved the show if they had existed in 1969, because the show appealed to a young audience with disposable income that appealed to advertisers. But NBC already had this ratings information, and likely renewed the show for a second and third season because of it. Roddenberry's version is either a lie, or just misinformed.

(He's not the only one to bring up demographics, though; Bob Justman uncritically mentions the myth about them in Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, too)
Roddenberry sure liked giving NBC a kicking. He really had only himself to blame for struggling to find work after Star Trek. I mean, who would want to employ someone who kicks their former employer around in public so often? According to Roddenberry, at various times the network was racist/sexist/stupid/unsophisticated, when every shred of evidence suggests they were very progressive, insisting on a multi-racial cast at every turn, and writing detailed memo's encouraging the show's producers or suggesting improvements to scripts when required.

Anyway, that's interesting information. You get the feeling NBC were heavily invested in Star Trek, and wanted it to do as well as it possibly could.

I just read Cushman's chapter on The Alternative Factor, and unfortunately the rumour that the network pressured Coon into removing the interracial romance subplot with 'off the record phone calls' gets another airing, without any referencing.

He does reveal lots of other interesting facts, though, which are supported with documentation. (eg : It was Roddenberry who suggested the Lazarus/Masters plot was too similar to Khan/Marla in Space Seed; Coon was under enormous pressure, getting critical memos about the script from the network even as shooting was underway; John Drew Barrymore pulled out when he saw how confusing the altered script had become).

It's clear Cushman did a lot of work, and I'm looking forward to reading more, but the whole thing would have been taken up another level he'd stuck to things that were verifiable as fact.
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