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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 May 10 2014, 04:52 AM   #1
CoveTom
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Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

I was just watching the Archive of American Television interview with Herbert F. Solow who was Desliu's "executive in charge of production" for Star Trek and several other shows.

In it, he is discussing the original Trek pilot, "The Cage," and he says that he has his doubts that Roddenberry actually wrote it. He said he suspects that the majority of it was written by another writer, now deceased, who is a friend of Solow's and who had said things in the past that might indicate that, but would never come out and say it.

So what do you all think? Did Roddenberry actually write "The Cage"? If not, any ideas on who this writer is that Solow says actually did most of the work?
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Old May 10 2014, 04:57 AM   #2
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

CoveTom wrote: View Post
I was just watching the Archive of American Television interview with Herbert F. Solow who was Desliu's "executive in charge of production" for Star Trek and several other shows.

In it, he is discussing the original Trek pilot, "The Cage," and he says that he has his doubts that Roddenberry actually wrote it.

If Herb Solow himself isn't sure, we're never going to know. He was awfully close to the Creation when it happened.
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Old May 10 2014, 04:59 AM   #3
albion432
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Interesting, is the interview available online? I checked youtube and didn't find it. I've never heard anything like that before, but anything is possible. Did Solow indicate if this friend was a ghost writer, or was he implying some level of plagiarism on Roddenberry's part?
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Old May 10 2014, 05:06 AM   #4
CoveTom
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

The entire interview, which is several hours in length, is available through the Archive of American Television web site. The URL is:

http://www.emmytvlegends.org/intervi...erbert-f-solow

The specific part I referenced is found in the Part 2 video at around the 19:10 mark.

The way I am taking it is not that he thinks Roddenberry plagiarized, but rather that Roddenberry had him to write the script, or most of the script, for him as a ghost writer.
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Old May 10 2014, 05:17 AM   #5
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Solow is full of it on this one. And probably a bit confused over the second pilot, which Roddenberry didn't write.
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Old May 10 2014, 05:50 AM   #6
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Harvey wrote: View Post
Solow is full of it on this one. And probably a bit confused over the second pilot, which Roddenberry didn't write.
I haven't had the chance to check out the interview yet, but what Harvey said sounds like the most likely explanation.
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Old May 10 2014, 06:04 AM   #7
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

I have my doubts. The innuendo in "The Cage" really isn't immature enough for Roddenberry to have written it, amirite?
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Old May 10 2014, 06:29 AM   #8
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Harvey wrote: View Post
Solow is full of it on this one. And probably a bit confused over the second pilot, which Roddenberry didn't write.
If you watch the interview' Solo doesn't come across as confused about the second pilot as he states four scripts were commissioned, and he recalls ho wrote what script, and which one he recommended for production to NBC.
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Old May 10 2014, 06:56 AM   #9
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

I have seen the interview, albeit a year ago, so it's not as fresh in my mind as yours. If Solow is claiming there were four second pilot scripts commissioned, though, he's wrong. There were three, and only two were finished in time (Roddenberry's 'The Omega Glory' and Peeples' 'Where No Man Has Gone Before').
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Old May 10 2014, 09:14 AM   #10
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Harvey wrote: View Post
There were three, and only two were finished in time (Roddenberry's 'The Omega Glory' and Peeples' 'Where No Man Has Gone Before').
"Mudd's Women" was definitely a concept on the list for possible development as the second pilot. Story by Roddenberry, and passed to Stephen Kandel to script it. Kandel fell ill and the final script was delayed till later in the series.
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Old May 10 2014, 04:00 PM   #11
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Right. As I said, there were three, but only two were finished in time. That was the one that wasn't finished.
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Old May 10 2014, 08:51 PM   #12
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

I'm not sure of the truth of this matter, but as was pointed out above, in the interview, Solow seems sharp as a tack and definitely seems to be clear about which pilot he's referring to. I see no evidence of him being confused between the first and second pilots.

Now, that's not to say that what he's saying is accurate. He even admits that he has no firsthand knowledge of whether or not Roddenberry wrote the script. He's just going on his own suspicion, based on the script itself, and on what was implied to him by this other writer he mentions.

It's clear from this interview that Solow doesn't think much of Roddenberry as either a writer or producer -- a fact on which I'd probably agree with him -- and so that may very well have colored his judgment on this matter. Still, agree or disagree with what he's saying, it doesn't seem to stem from confusion regarding which script is being discussed.
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Old May 10 2014, 10:00 PM   #13
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Fair. Still, Roddenberry's fingerprints are all over the first pilot and there are numerous script drafts of it in his papers. I see no evidence in support of Solow's claim here. He obviously has a lot of animosity towards Roddenberry as well as professional disregard for the man. Seems like that is coloring his version of events here.
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Old May 10 2014, 11:54 PM   #14
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Roddenberry was much better at rewriting other writers than he was at filling blank pages with dialog. Is it possible he had someone else write an initial draft, and then heavily rewrote it himself?
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Old May 11 2014, 12:00 AM   #15
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Possible, of course, but highly unlikely. What shred of evidence exists to support Solow's assertion?
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