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

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Old January 17 2014, 11:14 PM   #76
Indysolo
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Regarding the fan art creeping into the revised edition, Marc Cushman posted this to facebook, after I pointed out that it was fan art, and even provided the link to "The Lensman's" page.

"I dug and dug for those answers, too, Neil. Have yet to turn up a copy, other than the artwork. My guess is it was planned but cancelled before release in the U.S. in the early 1970s. If there are any copies of this, they would be very, very rare. And I'd sure love to have one. I'm hoping that presenting that image will stir up some conversation and we can solve the mystery."

Neil
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Old January 17 2014, 11:23 PM   #77
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Going back to the subject of budgets, I found out what the budgets were for one of NBC's powerhouse shows, Bonanza:
Season Eight
Number #1 in the ratings (overall)
Airdate: September 1966 to September 1967
Day/Time: Sunday, 9:00-10:00 PM
Production Cost Per Episode: $163,000

Season Nine
Number #4 in the ratings
Airdate: September 1967 to September 1968
Day/Time: Sunday, 9:00-10:00 PM
Production Cost Per Episode: $181,600

Season Ten
Number #3 in the ratings
Airdate: September 1968 to September 1969
Day/Time: Sunday, 9:00-10:00 PM
Production Cost Per Episode: $188,900
So Star Trek was in the same ballpark budget-wise as NBC's top-rated series.
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Old January 17 2014, 11:27 PM   #78
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Having read the book, I think the author's prose style could most politely be described as "Breathless", to the point of being so enthusiastic it's like haing an eager young puppy dry humping your leg at times.

But all the behind the scenes memos are genuinely interesting. I had been under the impression that, generally speaking, the idea The Cage was rejected for being "Too cerebral" was now regarded as being a myth, a myth mainly spread by Rodenberry. So it was surprisingly to see during the early episodes that very phrase pop up multiple times in memos from NBC's man, all of which make it sound as if the "Too cerebral" thing was something that had already been discussed as a thing to avoid at all costs.

I wonder if perhaps it was Robertson who first made that comment about The Cage when he was shown it after he was brought onboard as the series proper started, and the constant repetition of the phrase just made it sink in Gene's mind as the overall objection to the first pilot over time?

What is also interesting about the NBC memos is how much they contrast with the stereotypical idea of "The suits" (espeically in relation to Star Trek), Robertson is constantly pushing for more episodes set off the Enterprise despite the fact the cliché would be him loving the cheap ship set episodes, because NBC signed up for a series exploring strange new worlds and that's exactly what it wanted even if it were budget busting. He's also very good at spotting when the series reused plot devices as well.
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Old January 17 2014, 11:41 PM   #79
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

inflatabledalek wrote: View Post
But all the behind the scenes memos are genuinely interesting. I had been under the impression that, generally speaking, the idea The Cage was rejected for being "Too cerebral" was now regarded as being a myth, a myth mainly spread by Rodenberry. So it was surprisingly to see during the early episodes that very phrase pop up multiple times in memos from NBC's man, all of which make it sound as if the "Too cerebral" thing was something that had already been discussed as a thing to avoid at all costs.
According to Inside Star Trek, the "too cerebral" reaction was NBC's "party line," but beneath the surface of the memos and such, they were really saying it was too sexual. So if it was a myth, it was one instigated by NBC rather than Roddenberry. What GR did was to take that party line and run with it, to paint the suits as too lowbrow and unable to appreciate smart TV.
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Old January 17 2014, 11:50 PM   #80
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Christopher wrote: View Post
According to Inside Star Trek, the "too cerebral" reaction was NBC's "party line," but beneath the surface of the memos and such, they were really saying it was too sexual. So if it was a myth, it was one instigated by NBC rather than Roddenberry. What GR did was to take that party line and run with it, to paint the suits as too lowbrow and unable to appreciate smart TV.
It apparently worked. Fans are still using the "cerebral" thing as a benchmark for what they want to see, one way or the other.

Good or bad, I'll leave that to others to debate.
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Old January 18 2014, 12:18 AM   #81
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Christopher wrote: View Post
According to Inside Star Trek, the "too cerebral" reaction was NBC's "party line," but beneath the surface of the memos and such, they were really saying it was too sexual. So if it was a myth, it was one instigated by NBC rather than Roddenberry. What GR did was to take that party line and run with it, to paint the suits as too lowbrow and unable to appreciate smart TV.
Interesting, though if that were the meaning behind the use of the phrase when The Cage was canned any double meaning seems to have gotten lost by the time the regular series memos were being done as it keeps getting used in contexts where it seems to just straight up mean "Not enough action" rather than anything else. When it comes to anything "Inapropiate", be it it terms of sexual or violent content, both Robertson and (more usually, at least in terms of what's quoted in the book*) standards and practices seem quite happy to speak completely plainly.





*Though I suppose that's the key phrase.
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Old January 18 2014, 12:35 AM   #82
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

I don't think it's so much that they were using "cerebral" as a find-and-replace substitution for "sexy" or anything -- just that they were focusing on their concerns about its lack of action and rarefied storyline as a cover for their unvoiced concerns about its sexuality. They had both concerns, but played one up in official memos and saved the other for more private conversations. Or so I'd interpret what IST says.
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Old January 18 2014, 06:41 AM   #83
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Maurice wrote: View Post
Going back to the subject of budgets, I found out what the budgets were for one of NBC's powerhouse shows, Bonanza:
Season Eight
Number #1 in the ratings (overall)
Airdate: September 1966 to September 1967
Day/Time: Sunday, 9:00-10:00 PM
Production Cost Per Episode: $163,000

Season Nine
Number #4 in the ratings
Airdate: September 1967 to September 1968
Day/Time: Sunday, 9:00-10:00 PM
Production Cost Per Episode: $181,600

Season Ten
Number #3 in the ratings
Airdate: September 1968 to September 1969
Day/Time: Sunday, 9:00-10:00 PM
Production Cost Per Episode: $188,900
So Star Trek was in the same ballpark budget-wise as NBC's top-rated series.
This is a great find. Where'd you uncover it?

According to the figures I've found*, which are close to (but not the same as) Cushman's figures, the first season of Star Trek cost, on average, $198,299.18 per episode (that goes up to $218,097.70 if you include the two pilot episodes).

When you compare it to the cost of Bonanza in 1966-67 (keeping in mind that Bonanza, a hit, became more expensive while the money given to Star Trek was slashed with each season) I think it's safe to say that not only was Star Trek "in the same ballpark budget-wise as NBC's top-rated series," but it was actually quite a bit more expensive.

(At least starting out; by the second season the two shows were about on part budget-wise and by the third season Bonanza was certainly more expensive than Star Trek -- although it still wasn't as expensive as Star Trek was in its first season.)

*Consider these working figures, though; I still need to compare the documentation in the Roddenberry files with the documentation in the Justman files (both at UCLA).

--

I was hesitant to post anything, but the THESE ARE THE VOYAGES Facebook page says that Cushman, John D.F. Black, and Mary Black will be doing a Q&A after a screening of "The Naked Time" at the Burbank Public Library on Jan. 30. Scott Mantz is hosting. On the one hand, I'd like to ask all sorts of questions, but I don't think I'd be very welcome!
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Old January 18 2014, 06:52 AM   #84
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

By the way, has anyone else noticed the weird changes at the Jacobs Brown Press website? Robert Jacobs is gone from the staff page, and now the site lists a number of "Books By" the publisher that were clearly published by other outfits.

--

Indysolo wrote: View Post
Regarding the fan art creeping into the revised edition, Marc Cushman posted this to facebook, after I pointed out that it was fan art, and even provided the link to "The Lensman's" page.

"I dug and dug for those answers, too, Neil. Have yet to turn up a copy, other than the artwork. My guess is it was planned but cancelled before release in the U.S. in the early 1970s. If there are any copies of this, they would be very, very rare. And I'd sure love to have one. I'm hoping that presenting that image will stir up some conversation and we can solve the mystery."
I'm confused here; is Cushman trying to claim that a piece of fan art is actually something official that was cancelled in the '70s?
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Old January 18 2014, 07:03 AM   #85
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Christopher wrote: View Post
According to Inside Star Trek, the "too cerebral" reaction was NBC's "party line," but beneath the surface of the memos and such, they were really saying it was too sexual. So if it was a myth, it was one instigated by NBC rather than Roddenberry. What GR did was to take that party line and run with it, to paint the suits as too lowbrow and unable to appreciate smart TV.
For all the talk of it being 'too cerebral,' Solow and Justman make the case that NBC almost certainly rejected "The Cage" mainly for it's sexual undertones, combined with the lack of action for a show billed as "an action-adventure show."

According to their book, Solow recalled an NBC exec telling him when NBC agreed to fund a second pilot, (paraphrasing) 'and no more green dancing girls with the bumps and grinds, ok?'

Justman also states in the book that Roddenberry already had quite the reputation at the time as being 'out there' with his sexual shenanigans. As I read somewhere else, NBC worried what GR would really try to produce with Star Trek were 'his sexual fantasies.'

Roddenberry's attempts to excuse his failure to sell Star Trek with "The Cage" was simply one of many slights and insults directed at NBC leadership that (I believe), eventually led the network to sabotage any hope the series had of succeeding by sending it to the scheduling graveyard in Season Three.

Once NBC had their fill of him, GR became Star Trek's biggest liability in addition to it's greatest asset. The motion picture side of Paramount would learn that lesson in the late 70's. Fortunately, Rick Berman et. al prevented the same sorry ending for TNG by providing the buffer that Gene Coon once provided TOS.
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Old January 18 2014, 08:11 AM   #86
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Agree with a lot of what you say, but surely if NBC wanted to do in Roddenberry, they would have demanded Desilu/Paramount just fire him, or just cancel it outright after season 2?

I just can't accept that NBC would deliberately sabotage Star Trek when it had invested so much in it.
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Old January 18 2014, 08:29 AM   #87
Indysolo
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Harvey wrote: View Post
By the way, has anyone else noticed the weird changes at the Jacobs Brown Press website? Robert Jacobs is gone from the staff page, and now the site lists a number of "Books By" the publisher that were clearly published by other outfits.

--

Indysolo wrote: View Post
Regarding the fan art creeping into the revised edition, Marc Cushman posted this to facebook, after I pointed out that it was fan art, and even provided the link to "The Lensman's" page.

"I dug and dug for those answers, too, Neil. Have yet to turn up a copy, other than the artwork. My guess is it was planned but cancelled before release in the U.S. in the early 1970s. If there are any copies of this, they would be very, very rare. And I'd sure love to have one. I'm hoping that presenting that image will stir up some conversation and we can solve the mystery."
I'm confused here; is Cushman trying to claim that a piece of fan art is actually something official that was cancelled in the '70s?
Yes, and he made that comment after I had already established and linked to the web page showing it was fan made. I'm not sure how much digging he did. A five minute Google search turned up the answer. I've suggested that if he doesn't know the source of something it may be best to leave it out of his book.

Neil
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Old January 18 2014, 09:17 AM   #88
Maurice
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Harvey wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
Going back to the subject of budgets, I found out what the budgets were for one of NBC's powerhouse shows, Bonanza:
Season Eight
Number #1 in the ratings (overall)
Airdate: September 1966 to September 1967
Day/Time: Sunday, 9:00-10:00 PM
Production Cost Per Episode: $163,000

Season Nine
Number #4 in the ratings
Airdate: September 1967 to September 1968
Day/Time: Sunday, 9:00-10:00 PM
Production Cost Per Episode: $181,600

Season Ten
Number #3 in the ratings
Airdate: September 1968 to September 1969
Day/Time: Sunday, 9:00-10:00 PM
Production Cost Per Episode: $188,900
So Star Trek was in the same ballpark budget-wise as NBC's top-rated series.
This is a great find. Where'd you uncover it?
Star Trek isn't the only show with hardcore fans. There's an official Bonanza site with a ton of behind the scenes info, with everything from the stages and locations where it was shot to information about per season ratings and budgets, etc. Behold (link).
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Old January 18 2014, 10:20 AM   #89
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

p.388 : actor Sean Kenny was to be made a regular (DePaul) as a reward for putting up with the extensive makeup required to play the injured Pike in 'The Menagerie'. The reference is given as (100-3), but this number is missing from the "Quote Index".

I have lost track of how many times I've gone to look for the source of a claim, and the number doesn't exist at all.

Edit : also on p.397, a Joe D'Agosta quote praising Shatner as the "secret weapon" of Star Trek, despite Nimoy getting all the attention, is referenced as (43-4) - this doesn't have a corresponding source either.

Edit 2 : p.410, a Shatner quote crediting Coon with bringing the show to life, and describing Roddenberry as more a background figure is given the reference number (156-1), which, you guessed it, doesn't exist in the quote index.
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Last edited by Botany Bay; January 18 2014 at 12:05 PM.
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Old January 18 2014, 12:24 PM   #90
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Indysolo wrote: View Post
Regarding the fan art creeping into the revised edition, Marc Cushman posted this to facebook, after I pointed out that it was fan art, and even provided the link to "The Lensman's" page.

"I dug and dug for those answers, too, Neil. Have yet to turn up a copy, other than the artwork. My guess is it was planned but cancelled before release in the U.S. in the early 1970s. If there are any copies of this, they would be very, very rare. And I'd sure love to have one. I'm hoping that presenting that image will stir up some conversation and we can solve the mystery."
Whoa, what? The guy really thinks those are legitimate covers? That boggles the mind. And it actually forces you to question everything written in the book. I mean, if he can't at least find the source for some images ... Those covers couldn't be more obviously created in Photoshop (or a similar software).

Warped9 wrote: View Post
^^ Yes, the numbers (Nielsen National Reports) are in the book.
Ah, okay. Thanks for that. That might be a good reason to buy the book after all. I've been holding out because of the relatively high price.
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