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

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Old December 9 2013, 03:56 PM   #16
Christopher
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Cap'n Claus wrote: View Post
Freiberger... was a fine writer/producer in his element - which wasn't science fiction.
Except that a very large part of his resume is science fiction. He co-wrote The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, the prototype for the giant-monster genre in both America and Japan. He was a producer on The Wild Wild West and The Six Million Dollar Man for a short time as well as ST, Space: 1999, and Beyond Westworld. His writing credits include episodes of Men into Space, Sealab 2020, Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, Super Friends, and Superboy.

I'd say the only other genre that was a major part of Freiberger's resume was Westerns. Is that what you're referring to as "his element"? It seems to me, though, that anyone working in television in the '50s and '60s would have a lot of Westerns on his resume.
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Old December 9 2013, 06:06 PM   #17
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

I'll be a little harder on Freddie than the general tone of this thread.

First, he didn't get even one script credit. All the other producers were writers. I look forward to Cushman Vol 3 to find out just how much RE-writing Freiberger did. I suspect that it was of the slash-and-burn variety, e.g., "women are terrified of space" or "Star Trek is not a comedy", etc.

Second, his Script Consultant, whom I believe he chose, appears to have been even less of a writer than he. Try to find credits for Arthur Singer.

So in neither case, Freiberger or Singer, are we talking about David Milch or Vince Gilligan here. I think they were competent factory workers but hardly artists. Freiberger had the one advantage, IIRC, that he was represented by the same agency as GR, which in the world of Hollywood seems to have meant a great deal in the day.
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Old December 9 2013, 06:22 PM   #18
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Doesn't Inside Star Trek: The Real Story say that almost all of the season's stories had already been bought by the time Singer and Freiberger came onboard? If that's true, then Freiberger and Singer could only have gotten writing credit by doing (1) a major rewrite followed by WGA arbitration or (2) writing the teleplay for a bought story (which Singer did, on 'Turnabout Intruder').
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Old December 9 2013, 07:24 PM   #19
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

According to IMDb, Freiberger has a lot more writing credits than he has producing credits. So Freiberger was a writer; he just didn't get any writing credits for TOS itself, probably for the reason Harvey suggests.
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Old December 9 2013, 08:22 PM   #20
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Year two of Space: 1999 was noticeably worse than year one, mainly due to the scripts. I'm not sure who exactly gets the blame for that, either, but it has to be traceable to some of the top people responsible, because it couldn't really happen by accident. That would include in Freiberger.
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Old December 9 2013, 08:25 PM   #21
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

I don't think anyone's saying that Freiberger was a misunderstood genius -- just that he gets too much of the blame for problems that were largely out of his control. He wasn't the best choice to run the show, but maybe he could've done a better job if Roddenberry had helped him more rather than throwing him in the deep end.
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Old December 9 2013, 08:33 PM   #22
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

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Year two of Space: 1999 was noticeably worse than year one, mainly due to the scripts. I'm not sure who exactly gets the blame for that, either, but it has to be traceable to some of the top people responsible, because it couldn't really happen by accident. That would include in Freiberger.
Having suffered through the first eight or so episodes of season one -- perhaps the worst attempt at a serious sf program I've seen this side of Stargate Universe, which borrowed rather liberally from Space: 1999, actually -- I shudder at the thought of watching season two.
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Old December 9 2013, 08:38 PM   #23
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Harvey wrote: View Post
Coach Comet wrote: View Post
Year two of Space: 1999 was noticeably worse than year one, mainly due to the scripts. I'm not sure who exactly gets the blame for that, either, but it has to be traceable to some of the top people responsible, because it couldn't really happen by accident. That would include in Freiberger.
Having suffered through the first eight or so episodes of season one -- perhaps the worst attempt at a serious sf program I've seen this side of Stargate Universe, which borrowed rather liberally from Space: 1999, actually -- I shudder at the thought of watching season two.
Yeah, you could say that being worse than year one was no easy task!
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Old December 9 2013, 09:41 PM   #24
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Coach Comet wrote: View Post
Year two of Space: 1999 was noticeably worse than year one, mainly due to the scripts. I'm not sure who exactly gets the blame for that, either, but it has to be traceable to some of the top people responsible, because it couldn't really happen by accident. That would include in Freiberger.
Harvey wrote: View Post
Coach Comet wrote: View Post
Year two of Space: 1999 was noticeably worse than year one, mainly due to the scripts. I'm not sure who exactly gets the blame for that, either, but it has to be traceable to some of the top people responsible, because it couldn't really happen by accident. That would include in Freiberger.
Having suffered through the first eight or so episodes of season one -- perhaps the worst attempt at a serious sf program I've seen this side of Stargate Universe, which borrowed rather liberally from Space: 1999, actually -- I shudder at the thought of watching season two.
Coach Comet wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post
Coach Comet wrote: View Post
Year two of Space: 1999 was noticeably worse than year one, mainly due to the scripts. I'm not sure who exactly gets the blame for that, either, but it has to be traceable to some of the top people responsible, because it couldn't really happen by accident. That would include in Freiberger.
Having suffered through the first eight or so episodes of season one -- perhaps the worst attempt at a serious sf program I've seen this side of Stargate Universe, which borrowed rather liberally from Space: 1999, actually -- I shudder at the thought of watching season two.
Yeah, you could say that being worse than year one was no easy task!
Space: 1999 was shit from the concept alone (the moon would not float away from Earth, it would crash into Earth) and was not that well-acted, no matter what Johnny Byrne or John Kenneth Muir think. Hopefully, if the proposed remake by ITV Studios gets off of the ground, the concept of the moon flying through space is replaced by a space station (or L-5 habitat) doing the same thing, as shown in some artwork somebody did:

Space: 2099 / S1E2 - Any Chance of Rescue?

Space: 2099 / S1E2 - Any Chance of Rescue? (5)
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Old December 9 2013, 09:53 PM   #25
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

^^ That would make a lot more sense.

I watched Space:1999 not long ago. I certainly didn't care for it when it was new. When I did revisit it awhile I go I found it uneven. On a story by story basis it could have some decent ideas, but then it could have serious brain cramp. The first season is better overall than the second by quite a margin, but then that wasn't really a challenge.

The whole concept of the Moon flying through space has to be just ignored to focus on an episode's given story. Otherwise the whole thing falls apart. This really was a case of someone having an idea and not really thinking it through. No respectable SF writer would have conceived of such a thing. It's also just as well that the initial concept of this being a followup to UFO was abandoned. UFO (even with its own issues) is a series I think was a lot better than Space: 1999.
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Old December 9 2013, 10:30 PM   #26
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Cap'n Claus wrote: View Post
Freiberger... was a fine writer/producer in his element - which wasn't science fiction.
Except that a very large part of his resume is science fiction. He co-wrote The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, the prototype for the giant-monster genre in both America and Japan. He was a producer on The Wild Wild West and The Six Million Dollar Man for a short time as well as ST, Space: 1999, and Beyond Westworld. His writing credits include episodes of Men into Space, Sealab 2020, Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, Super Friends, and Superboy.

I'd say the only other genre that was a major part of Freiberger's resume was Westerns. Is that what you're referring to as "his element"? It seems to me, though, that anyone working in television in the '50s and '60s would have a lot of Westerns on his resume.
Well, cartoons of the 70's weren't adult or serious science fiction. Writing Saturday morning stuff like the Super Friends, a series that didn't make any real sense, or Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space isn't in the same league as penning some Outer Limits episodes, if you get my drift. The Wild Wild West was more of a "James Bond in the West" series than sci-fi. Even The Six Million Dollar Man was primarily a secret agent action series which had occasional sci-fi episodes. The one episode he wrote was pretty standard fare. The only shows he produced that I see as legit science fiction are Star Trek, Space:1999 and Beyond Westworld, which filmed only five episodes and was mostly a chase drama. In interviews regarding Space:1999, he said his background in Saturday morning cartoons was the basis of the creativity that inspired him to create Maya. Considering the three episodes he wrote were pretty childish, it's safe to say he wasn't lying.

His work on Wild Wild West and Six Mil wasn't bad. He was fine when it came to westerns and action/adventure. He did a number of cop shows in the 70's, and his Superboy episodes fell in the first season while the series was in "crime of the week" mode. However, when it came to adult science fiction, he came up short.
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Old December 9 2013, 11:44 PM   #27
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

^Okay. I wasn't so much defending the quality of his science fiction work; I was just puzzled by your comment that "his element" was some genre other than SF, and I was wondering what genre you meant. Your second paragraph clears that up.
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Old December 11 2013, 06:23 AM   #28
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
The whole concept of the Moon flying through space has to be just ignored to focus on an episode's given story. Otherwise the whole thing falls apart. This really was a case of someone having an idea and not really thinking it through. No respectable SF writer would have conceived of such a thing.
Well, James Blish did tolerably well with it.
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Old December 11 2013, 06:26 AM   #29
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

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It reached it's nadir with "The Mark Of Gideon", where the need to place the script on the regular sets resulted in a glaring plot hole that has been rightly criticized over the years (how could an overpopulated planet build a replica of a ship the size of the Enterprise anyway?)?
It was probably the first holodeck.
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Old December 11 2013, 06:30 AM   #30
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Re: Has Fred Freiberger been misblamed for Season 3 over the years?

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
Coach Comet wrote: View Post
Year two of Space: 1999 was noticeably worse than year one, mainly due to the scripts. I'm not sure who exactly gets the blame for that, either, but it has to be traceable to some of the top people responsible, because it couldn't really happen by accident. That would include in Freiberger.
Harvey wrote: View Post

Having suffered through the first eight or so episodes of season one -- perhaps the worst attempt at a serious sf program I've seen this side of Stargate Universe, which borrowed rather liberally from Space: 1999, actually -- I shudder at the thought of watching season two.
Coach Comet wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post

Having suffered through the first eight or so episodes of season one -- perhaps the worst attempt at a serious sf program I've seen this side of Stargate Universe, which borrowed rather liberally from Space: 1999, actually -- I shudder at the thought of watching season two.
Yeah, you could say that being worse than year one was no easy task!
Space: 1999 was shit from the concept alone (the moon would not float away from Earth, it would crash into Earth) and was not that well-acted, no matter what Johnny Byrne or John Kenneth Muir think. Hopefully, if the proposed remake by ITV Studios gets off of the ground, the concept of the moon flying through space is replaced by a space station (or L-5 habitat) doing the same thing, as shown in some artwork somebody did:

Space: 2099 / S1E2 - Any Chance of Rescue?

Space: 2099 / S1E2 - Any Chance of Rescue? (5)
... None of which invalidates my point. The show, by some feat, managing to get worse in year two only supports it, assuming of course that one believes it actually did get worse.
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