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

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Old May 11 2014, 12:20 AM   #16
trevanian
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Does anybody know what Sam Peeples was up to during the time when CAGE was first being outlined/drafted? His IMDB,which shows him immensely prolific in 60-61 and showrunning in 62, is oddly thin for the next couple of years (NO credits for 1963, though some of that time was probably spent writing a 1964 feature, but I can't imagine ADVANCE TO THE REAR took all that long to write ... and nothing else for 64 besides that movie.)

Art Wallace and Paul Schneider both worked on THE LIEUTENANT, GR obviously liked them both, and the A:E association with Wallace indicates some kind of connection, plus the guy had SF credits on both sides of TOS, dating back to Tom Corbett and ahead to Planet of the Apes & SPACE 1999.

I've read that TMOST outline for THE CAGE but never seen a script. Is there anything personalized or unique about it in the way it is written that would point in some direction other than GR? Then again, any particular like that might be obliterated via GR's rewrite, so I guess it is pointless to go that way with this.
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Old May 11 2014, 12:49 AM   #17
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

trevanian wrote: View Post
Does anybody know what Sam Peeples was up to during the time when CAGE was first being outlined/drafted?
Well, according to These Are The Voyages Vol.1 pg 35, as of May, 1964 he was helping Roddenberry flesh out his Star Trek concept.
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Old May 11 2014, 12:50 AM   #18
albion432
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Harvey wrote: View Post
Possible, of course, but highly unlikely. What shred of evidence exists to support Solow's assertion?
I've done some digging, and I can't seem to find anything to support Solow on this.
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Old May 11 2014, 01:44 AM   #19
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Peeples' IMDB profile is pretty bare from 1973 to 1977, too, but I don't think he wrote Star Wars.

The whole idea doesn't wash. Why would a professional writer work without credit or compensation? And why would he stay quiet about it except in conversation to a studio executive?
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Old May 11 2014, 02:35 AM   #20
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

The whole idea makes no sense.
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Old May 11 2014, 03:12 AM   #21
Sir Rhosis
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

In his May 27, 1965 first draft of WNMHGB Peeples refers to Spock as red-hued as in Roddenberry's original notes for the Trek characters. Surely, if Peeples had written THE CAGE (or even seen it), he would have known that the red-hued Martian of the early material had evolved into a rather sallow fellow.

I would think...

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Old May 11 2014, 03:32 AM   #22
trevanian
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Harvey wrote: View Post
Peeples' IMDB profile is pretty bare from 1973 to 1977, too, but I don't think he wrote Star Wars.

The whole idea doesn't wash. Why would a professional writer work without credit or compensation? And why would he stay quiet about it except in conversation to a studio executive?
I'm going off memory here, but in some book like STAR TREK INTERVIEWS (or the unauthorized Ed Gross interview book) didn't Peeples mention contributing a bunch of big ideas without asking for credit? That's not the same as doing a draft, but this whole Solo thing does have me wondering. There is nothing to gain by making up a phantom screenwriter (at last we shall reveal ourselves to the trekkies!), it isn't like the royalties are going to get redistributed, any more than David Gerrold is going to get REAL money as cocreator that he maybe should have gotten for TNG.
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Old May 11 2014, 05:59 AM   #23
Noname Given
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Harvey wrote: View Post
Peeples' IMDB profile is pretty bare from 1973 to 1977, too, but I don't think he wrote Star Wars.

The whole idea doesn't wash. Why would a professional writer work without credit or compensation? And why would he stay quiet about it except in conversation to a studio executive?
Ghost writing was nothing new in the 1960ies. Personally, I'd trust Solo's recollection way more than Gene Roddenberry's as Roddenberry LOVED to claim others contribution as 'his' as time went on. Again Solo came across as very credible in the video interview.
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Old May 11 2014, 04:18 PM   #24
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

I think the problem is that the script is too good. A lot of Roddenberry's writing up to them was (by his own admission) churn and burn stuff for second-rate series like "Highway Patrol". (As Truman Capote said "That's not writing, that's typing!) However "Paladin" was and is much more highly regarded. I think it's easy to suspect that someone you dislike personally and professionally might have cheated to turn out a script that I think everyone agrees was quite good. I think it's more reasonable to think that Roddenberry spent extra time and effort on a pet project and was able to produce something other than time-filling dreck. I also agree that he seems to have been in his element as a re-writer. I think a lot of the problems with the third season would have been avoided if he and the original re-write team had been in place.
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Old May 11 2014, 05:20 PM   #25
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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. 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?
of course.
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Old May 11 2014, 05:50 PM   #26
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

MikeH92467 wrote: View Post
I think the problem is that the script is too good. A lot of Roddenberry's writing up to them was (by his own admission) churn and burn stuff for second-rate series like "Highway Patrol". (As Truman Capote said "That's not writing, that's typing!) However "Paladin" was and is much more highly regarded. I think it's easy to suspect that someone you dislike personally and professionally might have cheated to turn out a script that I think everyone agrees was quite good. I think it's more reasonable to think that Roddenberry spent extra time and effort on a pet project and was able to produce something other than time-filling dreck.
That sounds reasonable, if a little harshly phrased. Sometimes a writer can do much better on a personally inspiring project than on everyday bill-paying work. For instance, most of Glen A. Larson's body of work is extremely schlocky, but his pilot script for Battlestar Galactica and some of his other episodes for same are pretty imaginative and relatively good, at least by his very low standards. Which is not to suggest that Roddenberry's typical level was anywhere near as low as Larson's, though -- just to give an example of a passion project that transcended the writer's normal level.
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Old May 11 2014, 06:16 PM   #27
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

That's pretty much what I was getting at. Weekly shows are extremely hungry beasts and have to be fed on time. People who can grind out usable scripts under that kind of pressure are quite valuable. I"m sure there aren't many of them and the subset of those who can turn out consistently high-quality work under those conditions is smaller still. All that said I don't see any reason other than personal animus to support the theory that Roddenberry didn't write the script. As far as the harshness of the phrasing, I"m not of the opinion that Roddenberry was a talentless hack that some people have, I was just trying to reflect on the mindset of someone who does think that and why they might think that he didn't write it. Script writing is hard and anyone who can do it at whatever level on a weekly basis, is I think worthy of a certain amount of respect regardless of whether their work reaches somebody's else's idea of quality.
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Old May 12 2014, 05:10 AM   #28
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Christopher wrote: View Post
That sounds reasonable, if a little harshly phrased. Sometimes a writer can do much better on a personally inspiring project than on everyday bill-paying work. For instance, most of Glen A. Larson's body of work is extremely schlocky, but his pilot script for Battlestar Galactica and some of his other episodes for same are pretty imaginative and relatively good, at least by his very low standards. Which is not to suggest that Roddenberry's typical level was anywhere near as low as Larson's, though -- just to give an example of a passion project that transcended the writer's normal level.

Speaking of harsh, "...his very low standards"?! Glen Larson is a lot better than you give him credit for. His writing for the pilot movies of Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers was arguably better than GR's script for "The Cage." Some episodes that followed were caca, but it wasn't about Larson having low standards; it was more that series TV can be a fast-paced sausage factory where the time to write things exquisitely just doesn't exist.
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Old May 12 2014, 05:16 AM   #29
2takesfrakes
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Roddenberry knew his comfort zone
... and dared not deviate from it.
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Old May 12 2014, 01:43 PM   #30
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Re: Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

For 50 years Roddenberry was the uncontested author of The Cage. One exec with a failing memory, no documentation and an ax to grind "has suspicions?"

Pass.

Next.
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