Did Roddenberry Really Write "The Cage"?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by CoveTom, May 10, 2014.

  1. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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?
     
  2. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    If Herb Solow himself isn't sure, we're never going to know. He was awfully close to the Creation when it happened.
     
  3. albion432

    albion432 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    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?
     
  4. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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/interviews/people/herbert-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.
     
  5. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Solow is full of it on this one. And probably a bit confused over the second pilot, which Roddenberry didn't write.
     
  6. albion432

    albion432 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I haven't had the chance to check out the interview yet, but what Harvey said sounds like the most likely explanation.
     
  7. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I have my doubts. The innuendo in "The Cage" really isn't immature enough for Roddenberry to have written it, amirite? :lol:
     
  8. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  9. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    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').
     
  10. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    "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.
     
  11. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Right. As I said, there were three, but only two were finished in time. That was the one that wasn't finished.
     
  12. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  13. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. albion432

    albion432 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    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?
     
  15. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  17. albion432

    albion432 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  18. albion432

    albion432 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I've done some digging, and I can't seem to find anything to support Solow on this.
     
  19. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    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?
     
  20. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    The whole idea makes no sense.