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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 July 15 2014, 12:18 PM   #16
Otto Harkaman
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Re: What if it Went Longer

I just got finished listening to two audio books, "Inside Star Trek, the Real Story" and Shatner's "Star Trek Memories"

To add something new to the discussion I would bring up that at the end of Memories, Shatner talks about the system of analysis NBC was using to make programming decisions. They were still making decisions based on large audiences not target audiences, which Star Trek wasn't able to show. But points out Shatner when they went to target audience analysis it was discovered that Star Trek had been one of the top watched color programs and had one of the top audiences of smart and affluent people. The analysts later said to the NBC execs quotes Shatner, "you killed the golden goose." So perhaps if they had implemented this earlier they would have realized Star Trek was worth continuing at a good time slot and perhaps a budget increase.
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Old July 15 2014, 01:36 PM   #17
ssosmcin
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Re: What if it Went Longer

That was another thing which has been debunked: that NBC didn't use demographics until after Star Trek was cancelled. They apparently knew the size of their audience and by the time the third season was halfway through it's airing, it wasn't really there. At 10 on Fridays, the audience that would make it a huge hit in syndication wasn't watching TV - and if they were, it wasn't Star Trek.

Nobody should ever use "Star Trek Memories" as a real source of reference. Majel commented that she was surprised it was listed under "non-fiction."
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Old July 15 2014, 01:43 PM   #18
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Re: What if it Went Longer

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
That was another thing which has been debunked: that NBC didn't use demographics until after Star Trek was cancelled. They apparently knew the size of their audience and by the time the third season was halfway through it's airing, it wasn't really there. At 10 on Fridays, the audience that would make it a huge hit in syndication wasn't watching TV - and if they were, it wasn't Star Trek.

Nobody should ever use "Star Trek Memories" as a real source of reference. Majel commented that she was surprised it was listed under "non-fiction."
Yeah, but that demographics info did not start (or end) with Star Trek Memories, much like the truckload of TOS (usually Roddenberry-fueled) myths that still find their way into TOS discussions.

dougiezerts wrote: View Post
Star Trek only lasted 3 seasons, if I recall it right. And the final season was made only because of a strong write-in campaign from fans!
What if the show lasted longer? Would the subsequent seasons be as good, or would the show have gone into a decline? I'm surious to hear your view on this subject.
Personally, I would have liked to have seen it go longer.
In the 1970s, many a TOS fan thought a 4th season would fall below the quality of season 3, since they were aware enough (of production troubles) to not expect anything else. That's why fans looked forward to TAS as the only chance to return to that world, however, in Lou Scheimer's book, Creating the Filmation Generation, Scheimer describes the experience with ST fan concerns at conventions:

"Wherever she (Dorothy Fontana) went, she begged the fans not to hate the show because it was animated, or it might kill the chances of Star Trek ever becoming another TV show or a movie. And once the fans heard how faithful we were being and how much care we were taking to respect the intent of the original series, they soon came over to our side. Word began buzzing to the 3,000 or so Star Trek fan clubs that Star Trek was coming back!"
I believe Filmation lived up to its promise, which is why some see TAS as a 4th season of TOS.
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Old July 15 2014, 02:03 PM   #19
Otto Harkaman
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Re: What if it Went Longer

Oh so this was another Roddenberry ploy?

I haven't read any of his biographies yet but it seems like he liked to portray himself as a Don Quixote tilting at corporate windmills.
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Old July 15 2014, 02:33 PM   #20
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Re: What if it Went Longer

Lance wrote: View Post
The actor's salaries are also usually less in the early seasons, and it's well documented how Shatner and Nimoy negotiated their way into better deals each passing year of TOS.
Actually my understanding is that actors get raises every season, which is one of the factors that make shows more expensive over time and lead to cuts in other areas. This is why so many long-running shows let cast members go and bring in new ones. By season 10 of Smallville, for instance, they only had four regulars, only one of whom (Tom Welling) had been a regular from the beginning. Law and Order also periodically replaced its leads, and the CSI shows have rotated out a lot of their cast members over the years; the flagship show is now on its third lead actor. And the Power Rangers franchise has survived for 20 years by bringing in an entirely new cast of (non-union) actors every single season (or at least every second season).


So there's every chance that a fourth season, with increasing actor costs and a decreasing budget, would have simply followed the trend set in the third season. I barely wont mentioning it, but it's even entirely possible that some of the supporting cast would have to be shed to get things back on an even keel (show's are certainly not adverse to taking these measures). Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley were more or less the only 'esssentials', so it's possible Freiberger or whoever else succeeded him would look at the supporting cast and say "Sorry Nichelle/Walter/Jimmy/George, but your services are no longer requested". The Enterprise could be staffed by day-players if necessary for a fraction the cost.
Again, the animated series is worth considering as a genuine continuation of Star Trek, because what we're talking about did essentially happen there. Originally, Filmation didn't even intend to bring back Nichols, Takei, and Koenig, presumably intending to have their characters doubled by Barrett and Doohan or perhaps by less expensive voice actors (similarly to how Jane Webb played both Ginger and Mary Ann on The New Adventures of Gilligan). Nimoy convinced them that excluding both minority cast members would be a really bad move, so they paid the extra money to hire Nichols and Takei (which proved invaluable since they both played so many guest characters), but they still didn't have the money to bring back Koenig.

As for Freiberger, it might be worth looking at how he handled Space: 1999 when he took it over. In the first season, S99 had an ensemble not dissimilar to Star Trek's: a core triumvirate including a commander, science officer, and doctor (John Koenig, Victor Bergman, Helena Russell), a group of four supporting players including one black actor and one Asian actor (Alan Carter, Paul Morrow, Sandra Benes, David Kano), plus a secondary medical officer in an occasionally recurring role (Bob Mathias). Although S99 arguably did a better job fleshing out this supporting ensemble than Trek did with its ensemble, giving them nice character moments here and there and occasionally showing a developing romance between Paul and Sandra. But for season 2, Freiberger felt that the supporting cast was rather bland and he intended to replace all of them, but he was convinced to keep Alan and Sandra due to their popularity with the fans. But Bergman was replaced with the sexier Maya, Paul and David were dumped, Alan was overshadowed by the new "security chief" Tony Verdeschi (who did all sorts of things that had nothing to do with security), and Sandra was reduced to more of a bit player and replaced in a number of episodes by one of two other minority actresses (and even had her name inexplicably changed to "Sahn" in the latter half-season). Bob Mathias showed up in the first part of the season but was then replaced by another black male doctor who was in turn replaced by yet another black male doctor, treated interchangeably.



Harvey wrote: View Post
Nimoy was under contract, so I doubt he would have walked. Not that actors didn't break contracts from time to time -- Barbara Bain walked after three seasons of Mission: Impossible in 1969 -- but I think Nimoy was smart enough that he would have stuck it out rather than break his contract and risk his future career.
Oh, hadn't realized that.


So a Freiberger-run fourth season might have focused more tightly on Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty, and probably Chekov since he was popular with the girls, but Sulu and Uhura might have made only occasional appearances or been substituted with other minor players, possibly of the same gender and ethnicity.
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Old July 15 2014, 02:36 PM   #21
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Re: What if it Went Longer

Zaku wrote: View Post
Green Shirt wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Is it my imagination, or were there fewer and fewer crewmen in the background in the third season, walking corridors and manning background stations, compare to earlier seasons?

No, it wasn't your imagination. That was just one of the ways to keep costs down.
Star Trek fourth season: Ghost Ship Enterprise.
Star Trek fifth season: some guy sitting at a table reading the Captain's Log.
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Old July 15 2014, 03:20 PM   #22
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Re: What if it Went Longer

Green Shirt wrote: View Post
Zaku wrote: View Post
Green Shirt wrote: View Post


No, it wasn't your imagination. That was just one of the ways to keep costs down.
Star Trek fourth season: Ghost Ship Enterprise.
Star Trek fifth season: some guy sitting at a table reading the Captain's Log.
Star Trek sixth season: they fired the guy (too expensive) and sold the table. The log text appears directly on tv screen.
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Old July 15 2014, 04:10 PM   #23
Lance
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Re: What if it Went Longer

Green Shirt wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Is it my imagination, or were there fewer and fewer crewmen in the background in the third season, walking corridors and manning background stations, compare to earlier seasons?

No, it wasn't your imagination. That was just one of the ways to keep costs down.
I like to pretend that the reason for there being less background crewmen in Season 3 is because so many red shirts bit the dust in Seasons 1 and 2.
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Old July 15 2014, 04:21 PM   #24
Otto Harkaman
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Re: What if it Went Longer

I am glad I enjoyed the series for a long time without being interested in its production because the more you know it some what takes away from its enjoyment. Now I'll start to notice less people onboard the Enterprise in later episodes
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Old July 15 2014, 04:40 PM   #25
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Re: What if it Went Longer

Fans complained after the first season that Captain Pike was replaced by Kirk. Roddenberry says it was always part of the plan to do so.
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Old July 15 2014, 05:06 PM   #26
ssosmcin
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Re: What if it Went Longer

Otto Harkaman wrote: View Post
I am glad I enjoyed the series for a long time without being interested in its production because the more you know it some what takes away from its enjoyment. Now I'll start to notice less people onboard the Enterprise in later episodes
Not for me. The show stands on its own in spite of all I know about everything. It's more interesting to me to have answers to questions I've had about the series as it went on.

E-DUB wrote: View Post
Fans complained after the first season that Captain Pike was replaced by Kirk. Roddenberry says it was always part of the plan to do so.
I don't follow you.
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Old July 15 2014, 06:03 PM   #27
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Re: What if it Went Longer

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
E-DUB wrote: View Post
Fans complained after the first season that Captain Pike was replaced by Kirk. Roddenberry says it was always part of the plan to do so.
I don't follow you.
Babylon 5 in-joke.
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Old July 15 2014, 06:05 PM   #28
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Re: What if it Went Longer

Ahhhhhh, got it. Thanks.
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Old July 15 2014, 06:51 PM   #29
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Re: What if it Went Longer

Otto Harkaman wrote: View Post
I am glad I enjoyed the series for a long time without being interested in its production because the more you know it some what takes away from its enjoyment. Now I'll start to notice less people onboard the Enterprise in later episodes
Well, its a matter of what really distracts someone, or feel is important to their enjoyment; for decades, I did not hear many complaining about the use of pilot Enterprise footage mixed in with regular series Enterprise, even when the modifications were apparent. They just accepted it as being a part of the show--like the changing numbers of visible crew in a ship said to carry 430.
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Old July 15 2014, 08:30 PM   #30
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Re: What if it Went Longer

Maurice wrote: View Post
Well, a season and a half of animated episodes, which didn't even equal the number of a single season order of a primetime series.
I agree, if the TOS had gone into fourth season, the franchise might have ended then and there instead of having TNG, then into DS9, onto to Voyager, and movies, plus Enterprise.
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