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

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Old January 18 2014, 03:33 PM   #91
Christopher
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

CrazyMatt wrote: View Post
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.
Well, he didn't "fail" to sell ST with "The Cage." On the contrary, he succeeded in getting them to order a second pilot, which was virtually unprecedented. As Inside Star Trek explains, the main issue was that "The Cage" wasn't so much a pilot for the series as a demo film for Desilu. At the time, Desilu didn't produce any shows except one simple sitcom, The Lucy Show, so they had to prove they were capable of mounting an elaborate science-fiction production. So they pulled out all the stops to make "The Cage" the most lush and cinematic pilot film they could. Which proved they were capable of making the series, but it also meant that "The Cage" did not give a good indication of what the budgetary and logistical needs would be for a typical episode. And that's what a pilot needs to do in order to let the network assess how much they'd need to spend on a series. So once Desilu proved themselves with "The Cage," they still needed another pilot as an exemplar of a typical episode. So it wasn't a failure, it was just a two-step process. Certainly there were things Roddenberry failed to deliver for them in "The Cage"; notably, it lacked the multiethnic cast he'd promised them, and wasn't action-driven enough. But those were just course corrections.

Botany Bay is right -- a network probably wouldn't be so impractical as to sabotage an expensive series just to slight one person. Countless shows have had their showrunners replaced and continued under new leadership.

As I said, the decision to keep or cancel a show isn't exclusively about the show itself. It's about the entire schedule, the entire programming strategy. Shows often get cancelled for reasons that aren't about them at all; the decisions are made to benefit other shows, to improve the overall lineup, and the cancellations are just collateral damage.
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Old January 18 2014, 04:35 PM   #92
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

^^ But that sort of context is nice to have. It certainly goes down better than putting across the idea a show is a ratings failure.

Regardless of what one might think of Cushman's book overall I welcome the new things we're learning. And we may be seeing that the notion accepted all these years---the show initially being a ratings failure---isn't strictly true, and the later success TOS had when it went into broader syndication bears that out. For myself I find it odd that a show could be deemed a failure while in production but then a year or two later starts going gangbusters in reruns.

Of course there have been films that weren't received all that well when initially released yet they manage a staying power to become quite popular in later years. I believe Casablanca is one of them as well as It's A Wonderful Life.
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Old January 18 2014, 05:50 PM   #93
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Maurice wrote: View Post
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).
That's a terrific little site. Good find!
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Old January 18 2014, 08:25 PM   #94
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

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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).
Here's the entire conversation from facebook.





I can't trust this author. He even backtracks in his answers. Note that he says, "Thanks for helping to clear up something that was a mystery to me and others, including Richard, who I was responding to." He wasn't responding to Richard! Both times his responses are to me!

Neil
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Old January 18 2014, 08:39 PM   #95
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Those responses are just weird. How can he call it a hoax when the artist freely acknowledges it's not real and no attempt is made to conceal the facts about its origins?

Besides, the cover art on that "Arena" book is clearly a photograph with a Photoshop filter applied -- not a technology that would've been available to a 1960s cover artist.

And "Real or fake? You decide"? That's just dishonest, when he knows for a fact that it isn't real. Kind of belies his claim that he's looking for the true story. The true story is right in front of him and he's still doubting it!
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Old January 18 2014, 09:12 PM   #96
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

I've now read up to "The Man Trap". While "The Enemy Within" chapter does talk about the editing, I don't agree with the example chosen. The book says an example of the "esoteric" editing is the moment Kirk and Spock walk into the turbolift, the doors close and the evil Kirk's hand comes into frame. That seems more like a directorial decision, since it was shot intentionally for this effect. That's not something that can be created in editing.

What it doesn't talk about regarding "The Enemy Within" (and I was hoping it would) was the decision to restructure the first act. The entire thing was changed around in editing, and with access to scripts it would seem like this would be worthy of inclusion in the book. Notice they're investigating Yeoman Rand's quarters before they talk to her in sickbay. The transporter room scene with the alien dog was supposed to end Act 1, not be in the middle of it. As it currently is, Spock and Kirk seem very slow to realize the transporter duplicated him. Act one now ends with Spock saying they have an impostor aboard, something he shouldn't say knowing the transporter is creating evil duplicates.

I'd love to know who came up with the decision to do this. I suspect it's because the sickbay scene is a stronger end to the act than the transporter room scene.

Neil
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Old January 18 2014, 09:28 PM   #97
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Looking at the finding aid, it's hard to say if the Roddenberry collection has any documentation about the editing of the episode.

But the Justman papers include 4 pages of projection room notes and 2 pages of editing notes. They're probably the best bet for an archival answer, if it exists.
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Old January 18 2014, 09:39 PM   #98
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

I believe what Indysolo means is that Cushman doesn't even address the changes, even to say "this author was unable to find any documentation as to why the scenes wee rearranged, but perhaps it was to _____".

I'm a little unclear about the faux paperback cover. Did Cushman print it in the book?
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Old January 18 2014, 09:45 PM   #99
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Maurice wrote: View Post
I believe what Indysolo means is that Cushman doesn't even address the changes, even to say "this author was unable to find any documentation as to why the scenes wee rearranged, but perhaps it was to _____".

I'm a little unclear about the faux paperback cover. Did Cushman print it in the book?
It's in the revised edition.

It's disappointing to see these sort of things crop up as it undermines the good stuff in the book, the step-by-step development of each episode. From what I'm seeing what he really needs here is someone with something of a dispassionate eye going over this and pointing out what needs to be fixed before going to print. He might have spent six years researching this, but its compiled in something of a rushed manner.

Indeed I would hold off printing the next two volumes until they've been thoroughly and properly proofread and factually checked. And then do the same with the first volume again. If my name were attached to something I had such a passion for I'd do my damndest to make sure everything in it was as nailed down as I could make it. I certainly couldn't see someone like Harvey making these kind of mistakes.
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Old January 18 2014, 09:45 PM   #100
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

(RE: Maurice) Oh, I got that. I was just pointing out where the answer might be found.

By the way, the image is not in the first edition's chapter on "Arena."
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Old January 18 2014, 09:51 PM   #101
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Maurice wrote: View Post
I'm a little unclear about the faux paperback cover. Did Cushman print it in the book?
Yep!
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Old January 18 2014, 10:00 PM   #102
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

So, reproduced without credit. Cue the apologist.
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Old January 18 2014, 10:05 PM   #103
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Not only that, when presented with the facts, he ignores them!

Neil
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Old January 18 2014, 10:19 PM   #104
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

The book claims that Star Trek actually missed an airdate. On December 29th, 1966, a re-run of "What are Little Girls Made Of?" aired when a new episode should have been screened, and was trounced in the ratings by the other networks, who ran new programming.

This is a new claim as far as I know. In every other book I've read about the show, it was the clever re-use of "The Cage", and the around the clock efforts of everyone at Desilu that kept Star Trek from just barely failing to deliver.

This is a big claim. I mean, the show is lucky it was not cancelled on the spot.

Unfortunately I can't take it at face value with all the errors and omissions in the book.
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Old January 18 2014, 10:25 PM   #105
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Re: Fact checking These Are The Voyages....

Botany Bay wrote: View Post
The book claims that Star Trek actually missed an airdate. On December 29th, 1966, a re-run of "What are Little Girls Made Of?" aired when a new episode should have been screened, and was trounced in the ratings by the other networks, who ran new programming.

This is a new claim as far as I know. In every other book I've read about the show, it was the clever re-use of "The Cage", and the around the clock efforts of everyone at Desilu that kept Star Trek from just barely failing to deliver.
It's not a new claim, actually. The back story is explained in INSIDE STAR TREK: THE REAL STORY. I can pull a quote if you want.
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