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

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Old December 22 2013, 10:32 PM   #196
Christopher
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Maurice wrote: View Post
One wonders if they'd have ultimately changed Questor's background since they'd "spoiled" it in the TV movie.
As I said, they would've disregarded the movie's ending. Whether that meant just having Questor still not know his origins or having those origins change, though, is unclear.

Although we have a precedent, or maybe a postcedent: TNG's Data (who was, of course, based on Questor) was originally going to have been built by advanced aliens who'd used him as a sort of "ark" for the memories of the human colonists on the world where he was found, but the series quickly disregarded that origin in favor of the whole Noonien Soong angle, and the stored-memories angle was ignored except in "Silicon Avatar" where it was retconned as just storing the colonists' journals and such. So maybe Questor's origins would also have been changed in the series, if they'd gone ahead with the revised plan.

It's worth noting that The Six Million Dollar Man's pilot movie was contradicted in a number of ways by the sequel movies and weekly series, rendering it out of continuity. In the pilot, Oliver Spencer (Darren McGavin) is the head of the bionics project instead of Oscar Goldman (which is strange, since it was Goldman in the original novel the film was based on), and Steve is a civilian astronaut instead of the Air Force colonel he was in the series. Also, Barbara Anderson's character, a nurse whom Steve falls in love with while he's rehabilitating, is replaced by a different character and actress in a second-season episode that reflects back on the events of Steve's origins. So while the same basic story was still assumed to have occurred, a number of the details, including the identities of two of the key figures, were changed.
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Old December 23 2013, 01:58 AM   #197
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Coach Comet wrote: View Post
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Yeah, but Roddenberry was entitled to fight for the good of his show, not some other show that would benefit from his loss. The Questor-Jerry relationship was the heart of the movie. It had the potential to be as compelling a pairing as Kirk and Spock. I can't believe NBC (or Universal?) wanted to get rid of it.
You know, I'm not saying that the behind-the-scenes info that we have on The Questor Tapes is false (I mean, how would I know, right?), but we already know that Roddenberry's version of events with respect to, how do I put it, some of the other shows he's worked on are at least somewhat dodgy. Given that we're talking about something that arguably would have sabotaged the premise of the show, I'd like to understand more fully what the sources are for the narrative. Because it sure sounds incredible.
I"m pretty sure there's a STARLOG interview with Richard Colla (and one in some unauthorized Trek book too) that covers GALACTICA and QUESTOR, including some mention of Nimoy for Questor and how THAT fell through (GR!!!) ... I don't know if it is part of the online STARLOG archive or not, but maybe that would shed a bit of light (the GR version on INSIDE STAR TREK is all about him wanting the robot to sleep with Dana Wynter and the network not letting him, which sounds like all the GR stories to me.)
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Old December 23 2013, 03:43 AM   #198
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

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I"m pretty sure there's a STARLOG interview with Richard Colla (and one in some unauthorized Trek book too) that covers GALACTICA and QUESTOR, including some mention of Nimoy for Questor and how THAT fell through (GR!!!) ... I don't know if it is part of the online STARLOG archive or not, but maybe that would shed a bit of light (the GR version on INSIDE STAR TREK is all about him wanting the robot to sleep with Dana Wynter and the network not letting him, which sounds like all the GR stories to me.)
I found a scan of a Colla interview by Edward Gross in Starlog #137 (an issue I still have, by the way) that has two paragraphs about Questor:

http://www.byyourcommand.net/cylonga..._display_media

He basically just says he chose directing Questor over doing The Six Million Dollar Man because he thought the former had more of a message, that quality is no guarantee of popularity, that it was revisiting Spock/Kirk themes of intellect vs. emotion, and that he liked doing it and was sorry it didn't get picked up. Nothing about Nimoy or the network/studio politics.

I can't find any other Colla interviews in Starlog.
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Old December 23 2013, 05:40 AM   #199
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Hmm. Then I'm guessing it might in I AM SPOCK. I know that in one of these interviews Colla talks about GR's THE GOD THING, and provides a more complete view of that story than I've heard anywhere else.
...

I just checked around and according to trekweb, Ed Gross' STAR TREK THE LOST YEARS has the Colla interview about THE GOD THING.
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Old December 23 2013, 07:09 AM   #200
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

I recall seeing Spectre when it was first broadcast and liking it a lot. Of course I haven't seen it since.
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Old December 23 2013, 07:22 AM   #201
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Maurice wrote: View Post
Gene claimed he told NBC he would come back and line produce the show in the 3rd season based on the timeslot he was promised, but when the show got bumped to Friday at 10 (because of Laugh-In) he felt that in order to have any credibility with the network in future bargaining he had to stick by his guns and step back, since his coming back to line produce was contingent on the timeslot. (I can't speak to how true this is.)
I can't speak to what happened behind closed doors, but I think the following will be of interest to people here. I've been holding this for a blog post at some point in the future, but that could take ages, so I'll quote it here...

(From a February 1, 1968 letter from Roddenberry to Herb Schlosser at NBC; there are two versions of this letter at UCLA -- one has this paragraph and one has it edited out):

Again, as indicated to you in our meeting, I am prepared to take on the line producer job of STAR TREK, no doubt due to some inherited mental weakness. The only provision, and one which John Reynolds of Paramount and Alden Schwimmer of Ashley Famous indicate is workable, is negotiation of a new contract for myself which promises some return on this investment of time and energy. Some aspects of this to be discussed with Mort.
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Old December 23 2013, 03:28 PM   #202
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

trevanian wrote: View Post
I just checked around and according to trekweb, Ed Gross' STAR TREK THE LOST YEARS has the Colla interview about THE GOD THING.
Oh, darn... I think I used to have that book, but I sold it off years ago, because I felt the Reeves-Stevenses' Phase II book covered most of the same ground and I was running out of shelf space.
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Old December 23 2013, 05:15 PM   #203
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

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Then there was Battleground: Earth, the pilot that was posthumously made into Earth: Final Conflict. I gather the aliens were more unambiguously villainous in the original, meaning it would've been more like V (which was why it was changed).
Interesting. I seem to remember a bit in Yvonne Fern's Gene Roddenberry: The Last Conversation that referred to a series idea about what Roddenberry called "rational Hitlers," aliens effectively ruling Earth using fascist means, but to good ends; there would be specific exploration of whether "beneficient fascism" was possible, and whether humanity needed it. It sounded a little like what became Earth: Final Conflict, and I wonder if this might have been the same thing--though the implication in the passage I recall was that the aliens weren't villainous. (Unfortunately, I got rid of the book years ago, and can't confirm the details.)
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Old December 23 2013, 06:33 PM   #204
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

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Interesting. I seem to remember a bit in Yvonne Fern's Gene Roddenberry: The Last Conversation that referred to a series idea about what Roddenberry called "rational Hitlers," aliens effectively ruling Earth using fascist means, but to good ends; there would be specific exploration of whether "beneficient fascism" was possible, and whether humanity needed it. It sounded a little like what became Earth: Final Conflict, and I wonder if this might have been the same thing--though the implication in the passage I recall was that the aliens weren't villainous. (Unfortunately, I got rid of the book years ago, and can't confirm the details.)
Well, I could be wrong. The original idea was said to be more similar to V, and I took that to mean that they were more evil, but what you're saying here fits too. After all, V was an allegory about the rise of Nazism/fascism in Europe and an "it can happen here" cautionary tale, so if Roddenberry's aliens were fascistic as well, even in a "benevolent" Heinleinian sort of way, that could've been the basis of the similarity.
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Old December 23 2013, 06:47 PM   #205
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Well, about differences between a pilot and following episodes, they killed Baltar in the GALACTICA (original series) movie released in Canada and Europe...
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Old December 23 2013, 07:29 PM   #206
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Maurice wrote: View Post
middyseafort wrote: View Post
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Speaking of 1999: anyone seen this video by the "Space Opera Society" where they propose Lucasing 1999?

They used to have a site specifically dedicated to this project a few years back, but it was taken down at the request of the current rights-holders of SPACE:1999.
It's still on a website I stumbled into. Glad to see the project was nixed by the rights holders.

I wonder if all this Lucasing of existing shows is just the path of least resistance for people who don't have the facility or ability to produce something original, so they try to figure out some way to tweak something they like to make money from it.

Yes, that's cynical.
The 'Lucasing' as you put it was similar to the restoration job done on the episodes of Star Trek TOS and TNG, and nothing more than that.. ITV Studios (the current rights holder) must not want the show to be shown on TV anymore, then; they'll get their wish soon enough.

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God, that's awful. The original suffers from a ton of problems, but it is what it is. [Edit: in regards to the '99 Lucas-izing]
What was wrong with the proposed restoration job? Nothing that I could see, just something similar to the Star Trek restorations that would enable the shows to be seen on HDTV sets.

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I fight the good fight by showing the original Mr. Smith Goes to Wash., Grapes of Wrath, and Bad Seed in class. Black and white is very off-putting to many teens. They do not grow up seeing old movies on UHF* stations as we did. TCM is WAY up the cable lineup, far beyond what they see. Though I use all three for curricular reasons, I feel I am also doing my part to help a few broaden their tastes and imaginations a bit to see that old can be good, too. What is a deification of "the new" called? I feel like there is a word, and I am not finding one in my gray matter.

Well, gotta go, Fibber McGee and Molly is coming on, and the Mrs has my pipe and slippers warmed up.
Not everybody wants to spend time in the past?

Also, TCM is a premium cable channel (on the same tier as HBO) and maybe they don't have cable or can't afford it to be watching TCM, or they prefer watching TV on Internet (like many people here in this BBS do). As for the films not being available on UHF channels like they used to be, blame that on the owners of most of these channels, who are mostly greedy fucking assholes always wanting to maximize profits (that's why you see nothing but infomercials on them now, and if you want to see movies, you have to watch the digital sub-channels, for which you must get an antenna.) The major studios must also take their share of the blame for not promoting older movies enough when they release them on DVD as in years past when they were released on cassette and laserdisc and used to promote them a lot (e.g., Warner Archive and it's putting movies on burned DVD that has to be ordered from Amazon vs. pressed DVD sold in a store.)

Maurice wrote: View Post
I find it odd that so many young people profess being unable to get into movies which are black and white given how common that look was in music videos, etc. I suspect that black and white is just convenient shorthand/excuse for media which they consider to be out of date and inaccessible to them for a lot of things from acting style to music to cinematography.
It may be that many of the students are of color and don't relate to all-white cast of said older movies (particularly when said movies feature people of color in subservient roles to whites.) I don't think that something being in black and white is bad to them as much as it's the movie that they might object to, IMHO.

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Keep fighting the good fight (what do you teach?).

It really is depressing how averse many teenagers are to watching films made before they were born. One of my friends taught a film genre course last quarter, and at the beginning, not a single one of her students had seen a movie made before 1980 (and only a few had seen movies that "old").
Again, same thing I said above.

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
I find it odd that so many young people profess being unable to get into movies which are black and white given how common that look was in music videos, etc. I suspect that black and white is just convenient shorthand/excuse for media which they consider to be out of date and inaccessible to them for a lot of things from acting style to music to cinematography.
I suspect you're onto something here. I watch way too much TCM (including Sullivan's Travels last night), but there's no denying that vintage movies are different from modern films in ways both subtle and not so much: the pacing, the fashions, the slang, the censorship restrictions, the gender roles, etc. Which can require a mental adjustment if you're not used to them. That's probably what younger people are actually reacting to, not the lack of color.
I think that you got it.

The best way to solve this would be to start getting pissy about local TV stations and who owns them (as well as getting pissy about the content) so that older movies are shown again and only people who care about TV as something else besides being a perpetual money machine would be the ones to own stations (I'd even say getting cable rates lowered so that people could afford TCM might help, but I don't know if that would work.)
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Old December 23 2013, 08:15 PM   #207
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
The 'Lucasing' as you put it was similar to the restoration job done on the episodes of Star Trek TOS and TNG, and nothing more than that.. ITV Studios (the current rights holder) must not want the show to be shown on TV anymore, then; they'll get their wish soon enough.
What do you mean? The series was remastered in HD back in 2005, and it's been shown on ITV in that format, as well as released on Bluray.
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Old December 23 2013, 09:13 PM   #208
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

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Well, about differences between a pilot and following episodes, they killed Baltar in the GALACTICA (original series) movie released in Canada and Europe...
I believe that's true of the original theatrically released US pilot as well. It was rather awkwardly amended for the series version.

Of course, sometimes weekly series will just ignore things from their pilots without any explanation while still keeping them in continuity. The series pilot of Alien Nation suggested that a main character had a terminal disease, but this was abandoned by the second episode and never mentioned again.
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Old December 23 2013, 09:53 PM   #209
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
I wonder if all this Lucasing of existing shows is just the path of least resistance for people who don't have the facility or ability to produce something original, so they try to figure out some way to tweak something they like to make money from it.

Yes, that's cynical.
The 'Lucasing' as you put it was similar to the restoration job done on the episodes of Star Trek TOS and TNG, and nothing more than that.. ITV Studios (the current rights holder) must not want the show to be shown on TV anymore, then; they'll get their wish soon enough.
That proposal went waaaay beyond that the TOS-R team did, which was mostly replacing VFX shots. This 2099 proposal was going to make dialog changes and change the editing of the episodes to make them faster paced. They planned to actually alter the show in very significant ways.
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Old December 23 2013, 10:12 PM   #210
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Maurice wrote: View Post
Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
I wonder if all this Lucasing of existing shows is just the path of least resistance for people who don't have the facility or ability to produce something original, so they try to figure out some way to tweak something they like to make money from it.

Yes, that's cynical.
The 'Lucasing' as you put it was similar to the restoration job done on the episodes of Star Trek TOS and TNG, and nothing more than that.. ITV Studios (the current rights holder) must not want the show to be shown on TV anymore, then; they'll get their wish soon enough.
That proposal went waaaay beyond that the TOS-R team did, which was mostly replacing VFX shots. This 2099 proposal was going to make dialog changes and change the editing of the episodes to make them faster paced. They planned to actually alter the show in very significant ways.
Indeed. According to the original website, that I mentioned being taken down, episodes would have been retitled and reordered as well to create a more of an "arc". It also had more extensive videos of entire redone scenes: http://web.archive.org/web/201109140...isode_1_01.htm
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