Anyone receive "These Are The Voyages..." Season 2 yet?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by CrazyMatt, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, something didn't look right, as I remember Pruitts being a bomb. Never watched it, the ads were bad enough.
     
  2. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    My thoughts exactly.
    The whole Star Trek was really a HIT! thesis seems fanboyish to me. I have been into Trek since 1972 and I don't ever remember thinking it was abysmal in the ratings, from what I read. Just not a hit. A middling show, ratings-wise, but which garnered some prestige for the network.
     
  3. Joe_Atari

    Joe_Atari Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'd love to hear thoughts from Harvey and others on the following article I've recently revisited about another SF series cut short before its time (and later resurrected, rebooted, etc.) and generally considered a ratings disaster -- the original 1978 Battlestar Galactica.

    Original scan:

    http://www.byyourcommand.net/cylongallery/thumbnails.php?album=660

    Plain text version:

    http://www.tombsofkobol.com/bsg/bsg-article-01.html

    I remember reading this article when it was originally published in the late, great Fantastic Films magazine way back in 1982. Although I wasn't around for the original run of Trek, I experienced the Galactica phenomenon first-hand: the build-up in magazines such as FF and Starlog, the blockbuster premiere (complete with the Middle East interruption -- what was that all about anyway?), the disappointing, low-budget one-hour shows with the occasional spectacular two-hour installment, the then-unbelievable (to a 10 year-old mind anyway) cancellation, to seeing the premiere again in theaters in the summer of 1979 (in Sensurround!), to Galactica: 1980, the syndicated telefilms, etc.

    At the time I didn't get a lot of the TV industry concepts in the article and only recently have I revisited the article with a more critical POV. IMO it's an interesting read in the context of Trek TOS and the Cushman arguments; it follows a similar thesis: Galactica was really a ratings hit (or at least its ratings should have led to renewal) and other factors (in this case lack of profitability for the network) led to its cancellation. Like the Cushman books, at least on the surface the article seems scholarly, well-researched, and well-reasoned (although like TATV it could have used a proofread or two -- "Six Million Dollar Man side effects"?), and it covers some familiar territory (fan response, demographics, time slot competition, viewership drops, etc.) while introducing other ideas (the effects of unprecedented media hype, manipulation rates, the historical treatment of sci-fi television programming in the post-Trek / pre-Star Wars era, the press "Star Wars rip-off" backlash, etc.).

    Essentially, the article suggests a notion similar to that in the Cushman books: the difficult to believe (and prove) idea that a network would spend millions to purchase and promote a show only to deliberately sabotage it, setting it up to fail -- in the case of Galactica simply to prove a preconceived notion that even post-Star Wars there was no audience for SF television. There's no indication of any Roddenberry-like animosity between the network and Glen Larson, who remained an in-demand television producer throughout the '80s (even with ABC). The tone in this article is so similar to TATV that it could very well have been Cushman's inspiration. It's also interesting in that the television industry in 1978-1979 (and 1982) still operated much more like 1966-1969 than it did in 1987 when TNG became a success in first-run syndication, opening the floodgates for SF/fantasy television in the '90s.

    I'm not suggesting comparisons of the shows themselves (relative quality, etc.), but rather parallels in the way the shows were managed by their respective networks in the context of the Cushman books, the pre-TNG television era, and the treatment of televised SF in general during that time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2014
  4. johnnybear

    johnnybear Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yep got mine about two months back!
    JB:vulcan:
     
  5. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What do you think of it?
     
  6. johnnybear

    johnnybear Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I loved it to be honest! I read it during our holiday in Lincolnshire, one episode at a time! Picked up a lot I didn't know before but disappointed that the shot of Uhura on her bicycle was missing!:drool:
    JB
     
  7. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I think Television Obscurities presents a much more balanced view explaining the show's cancellation.

    "Who Killed Battlestar?" -- in contrast -- presents a lot of "facts" about the series without source or explanation. I'm not sure what to make of the claims about the profitability of the series (mention is made to various trade publications, but this isn't much in terms of citing a source) and even less sure what the "manipulation rate" is actually measuring (it has something to do with preemption, I gather, but I'm not sure what the number actually means).

    Stuff like this is downright tin-foil hat territory, honestly:

     
  8. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, huh?!?
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A lot of Galactica's problems can be laid squarely at ABC's feet. They put in a series order while the original miniseries was shooting, and the staff was left scrambling to try to get scripts together with basically zero lead time. Plus Universal had to build out their own effects plant because Dykstra at MCA57 (formerly ILM) was only contracted for the miniseries, so they were stuck having to endlessly recycle stock footage. Result: bad scripts and a noticeable to everyone reliance on stock footage for a show which cost waaaay more than average (Larson says it was closer to $750K per episode, which was still 67% higher than average). So, not surprising that the rating sagged a bit when it was faced with stronger competition. Unloved critically and probably hard to make a profit on with declined ad revenue, it's no surprise ABC thought to can it. (It makes me wonder if the disappearance of characters like Boxey and Athena in the final episodes were cost-cutting measures.)
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Makes sense. Baltar vanishes after "Baltar's Escape," too, IIRC. On the other hand, later episodes added Anne Lockhart as Sheba.
     
  11. johnnybear

    johnnybear Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I preferred the original over the remake any day!
    JB
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Baltar reappears in "The Hand of God" however.
     
  13. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I read somewhere that Maren Jensen (Athena) left the show due to failing health. Apparently she was one of the first people diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. She eventually recovered, but it was a loss to BSG.
     
  14. Borjis

    Borjis Commodore Commodore

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    ^^I've read a few times that Maren's acting wasn't up to snuff and one of the higher ups wanted her gone to save a buck.



    Back on Topic, Just picked up season 1 on sale on amazon (kindle edition is now $ 9.95)

    Fun Reading. I play the episodes I'm reading about as I read them.

    Didn't see a thread for season 1
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Big loss? Hardly. She was pretty but not good or memorable. I don't even remember missing her when she vanished.
     
  16. Indysolo

    Indysolo Commodore Commodore

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    There's been plenty of discussion about this series of books. There's a large group of people, myself included, who think they aren't very good and question the validity of many of the claims in them.

    Neil
     
  17. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Amazon sent me an email promoting the books the other day, but I deleted it without reading.