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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 July 24 2013, 04:43 PM   #1
Warped9
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Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand...

Here's an interesting link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ok-claims.html

In "Spectre Of The Gun" we see a portrayal of Wyatt Earp (and his brothers) that runs rather counter to how he was/is usually portrayed in film and television. Usually Wyatt is portrayed as a rather righteous and sometimes reluctant lawman. But in "Spectre Of The Gun" he was portrayed more as a sinister would-be killer. He certainly wasn't portrayed sympathetically.

Is it just possible that TOS could be about the only time Wyatt was portrayed at least remotely more like the real person? I'm not saying the writers were out to deliberately correct history, but that just maybe their approach to the character just coincidentally leaned a bit closer to what the real man might have been like.

Thoughts.
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Old July 24 2013, 05:16 PM   #2
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Re: Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand...

To put it in perspective of when "Spectre of the Gun" first aired, this was the popular image of Wyatt Earp in the minds of audiences at the time (I remember when this was on too):




If embed doesn't work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZgLmEdSfVQ
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Old July 24 2013, 05:39 PM   #3
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Re: Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand...

I don't know I wouldn't say Wyatt came off as a "real person" here but that is partially because of the dream like nature of the episode (which I absolutely love, it's one of my favorites from season 3)

However I did read that the reluctant and righteous Wyatt might have been a tall tale. After all history is kinder to the victors and I believe it was Wyatt who originally told the tale of Gunfight at Ok Corral.

On another note this was Deforest Kelley's 3rd time in this story. He also played Ike Clanton in the TV series You Are There and Morgan Earp in the film Gunfight at the Ok Corral. I think he should have introduced the period they were in rather than Spock because of this, but oh well.
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Old July 24 2013, 05:53 PM   #4
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Re: Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand...

Kinokima wrote: View Post
. . .I believe it was Wyatt who originally told the tale of Gunfight at Ok Corral. . .
Earp lived long enough to actually meet and influence people in the film business, dying in 1929 at the ripe age of 80. Director John Ford had been told the OK Corral story by Earp personally, and later used Earp's version for his staging of the scene in My Darling Clementine.
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Old July 24 2013, 05:55 PM   #5
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Re: Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand...

Kinokima wrote: View Post
I don't know I wouldn't say Wyatt came off as a "real person" here but that is partially because of the dream like nature of the episode (which I absolutely love, it's one of my favorites from season 3)
True enough, he wasn't presented as a "real" person, but what is interesting is that the whole sequence was patterned after Kirk's knowledge and view of history. What Kirk knew (or could recollect) was used as "the pattern of their deaths" as the Melkot put it. And here we see Wyatt Earp and his brothers (as well as Doc Holliday) in an unfavourable light. It could be seen as Kirk's view of history running counter to what is popularly believed today and even more so when TOS was in production.

That said when you read up on the event and the people involved as well as what lead up to the event no one really comes across well. A lot of the Old West seems to be made up of bad men, badder men and a lot of those of dubious character.
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Old July 24 2013, 06:29 PM   #6
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Re: Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand...

Warped9 wrote: View Post

Is it just possible that TOS could be about the only time Wyatt was portrayed at least remotely more like the real person?
It may have gone a bit against the then-prevailing trend, but it wouldn't have been the first time the Earps were portrayed less-than-favorably. Portrayed more like the real person? No, that wouldn't be a terribly accurate statement, either. Wyatt Earp was neither the hero of one telling nor the sinister bad guy of "Spectre"; he was in a lot of ways a pretty ordinary human being, and only a temporary deputy marshal at the time of the historical shootout which occurred six doors down from the back entrance to the OK Corral.
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Old July 24 2013, 10:56 PM   #7
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Re: Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand...

That's a ver cool photo down the article with Dee Kelly playing Morgan! I never knew that.
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Old July 24 2013, 11:43 PM   #8
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Re: Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand...

In Hour of the Gun (1967) Wyatt was portrayed by James Garner as quite willing to go outside the law if need be, ostensibly in pursuit of justice but with a strong dose of revenge mixed in. Of course the main bad guy, Ike Clanton, was really bad. Good movie, nice Jerry Goldsmith score.

The little-remembered "Doc" from 1971 has probably the most amoral Wyatt I've seen, played by Harris Yulin. He pretty much just wants to be "the boss" of the town and being a lawman is the best way to get there.

plynch wrote: View Post
That's a ver cool photo down the article with Dee Kelly playing Morgan! I never knew that.
I would be even better if whoever wrote the caption knew Burt Lancaster from Kirk Douglas.
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Old July 25 2013, 02:32 AM   #9
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Re: Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand...

I think it was somewhat subversive for Star Trek to contrive a situation in which American lawmen were the villains, although this is greatly softened by the fact that they were clearly presented as alien sock puppets.

"Spectre" is an episode that really displayed the limitations of Stage 10. When lightning flashes, the trees cast shadows on the nearby sky cylcorama. The same problem can be seen on Lost in Space in "The Anti-Matter Man," which was pretty shocking because Lost in Space was usually the gold standard for believable science fiction.
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Old July 25 2013, 02:47 AM   #10
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Re: Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand...

You know thinking about OK Corral (the 1957 film) while Earp was definitely portrayed as a good guy, Kirk Douglas Doc Holliday was more gray. He was loyal and helpful to Earp but pretty nasty to the woman who was with him (almost in an abusive way). In fact I would say he was a pretty real character.
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Old July 25 2013, 03:32 AM   #11
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Re: Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand...

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
The same problem can be seen on Lost in Space in "The Anti-Matter Man," which was pretty shocking because Lost in Space was usually the gold standard for believable science fiction.
Uhm, what?
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Old July 25 2013, 04:19 PM   #12
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Re: Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand...

Zap were you being ironic?
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Old July 25 2013, 04:25 PM   #13
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Re: Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand...

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
...because Lost in Space was usually the gold standard for believable science fiction.
Uh, in what alternate universe? LiS was known as what most people expected from sci-fi (silly escapist fantasy) particularly back in the day. At no point was it ever considered "the gold standard" for believable science fiction.
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Old July 25 2013, 04:32 PM   #14
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Re: Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand...

I think it was somewhat subversive for Star Trek to contrive a situation in which American lawmen were the villains
Well, in "Bread and Circuses" we also see a less than friendly parody of the US society, complete with policemen who wear what looks like US police riot control gear of the time and stand ready to gun down unarmed people at the whim of a tyrannical government...

"Spectre" is an episode that really displayed the limitations of Stage 10.
...Or made the most of them, depending.

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Old July 25 2013, 04:38 PM   #15
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Re: Will the real Wyatt Earp please stand...

I don't see showing American lawmen as sinister as overly subversive given since the '70s all sorts of branches of government including law enforcement agencies are often shown as sinister. It was certainly a major element in The X-Files throughout the series and numerous films over the decades as well.

Hell in DS9 they've even given you a shadowy dirty tricks agency called Section 31.
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