Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Harvey, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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  2. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    ^Another fine piece, as usual. And another instance where a little more diligent research effectively puts to bed something that shouldn't have made it to print.
     
  3. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you! My next piece is the long-delayed fact check of Richard Arnold on the Mission Log Podcast, so I won't be all These Are The Voyages all the time.

    I also have more articles from Orion Press to bring over, and some new "Unseen Trek" pieces, I hope, later in the year and in 2016. Plus everything else already announced. Lots of pans in the fire, basically, and no time to work on any of it.
     
  4. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm really excited about this piece. I found myself listening to that podcast and yelling out, "that's wrong ... that's speculation ... that's an assumption ... that's just no." :lol:
     
  5. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    After reading the article (with all the hard re`search evidence you include); I really have to wonder why a 'fan' like mark Cushman would be so willing to state supposition as cold hard fact. IMO it's pretty sad to me that someone resorts to telling fan based rumors as fact in what is presented as an 'authoritative' work.
     
  6. Joe_Atari

    Joe_Atari Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Great article as always Harvey -- an enjoyable read. Thanks!

    Glad to hear you're moving on from TATV; I personally look forward to more "Unseen Trek." Given the constraints on your time though, I can't help but think your talents and efforts are being wasted on debunking Cushman and Arnold point-by-point. IMHO at this stage you're mostly preaching to the choir, and Cushman and Arnold can't be profiting much at this late date (if they ever really did; I simply cannot fathom Cushman's business model on TATV for instance).

    Speaking for myself, secure in the knowledge that Cushman is a self-serving hack, I'd perhaps like to see one final exposé on the business ("Jacobs Brown Press") and the publicity surrounding TATV. To the latter, why are so many legit parties (Doug Drexler, Walter Koenig, etc.) shilling for Cushman? Perhaps some daylight on the business behind this sketchy "work" will prevent similar occurrences in the future.
     
  7. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Because his goal is to support his own narrative, not to present an objective look at the facts.
     
  8. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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    Oooh! Looking forward to it!
     
  9. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Sometimes, I wish the choir was a little larger. I see nonsense originating from These Are The Voyages all the time on Memory Alpha, Trek Movie, Trek Core, The Trek BBS, and even on non-Trek related websites. It's aggravating to see the sloppy research and outright fabrication of that book being cited as a credible reference again and again.

    Much could be said about Mr. Cushman's business practices, but I really don't see my blog as the appropriate venue for an expose (happy to have a longer conversation about this via PM).

    Ultimately, it's Cushman's conception of television history that will be his legacy, and I'd rather focus my efforts on dismantling that work of fiction than on debunking claims about researching and writing the books themselves. Besides, as cathartic as it might be to write something like this, my real interest is in television history and primary source research:

     
  10. Indysolo

    Indysolo Commodore Commodore

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    Adding to this, on Friday at Comikaze, I heard David Gerrold mention Cushman during a panel about the original Star Trek. I wonder if Mr. Gerrold knows that the filming dates for "The Trouble With Tribbles" are incorrect in "These Are The Voyages".

    Neil
     
  11. erastus25

    erastus25 Commodore Commodore

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    The trailers existed primarily as a cost-saving measure?! That's a good piece of trivia!
     
  12. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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    I've seen TATV endorsed by several Trek figures. What is that they see as endorsing?

    The idea of TATV is very compelling. But every few pages I'd read and say "Well, I know that that's not true."

    I knew we were in trouble when the introduction names Star Trek: The Motion Picture as the highest grossing film of 1980. Because we all know TMP made more money than THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. And that it came out in 1980.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, it came out in December '79 and stayed in theaters for a very long time, as movies did back then. So most of its time in theaters would've been in 1980. That part, at least, makes some sort of sense, though the "highest-grossing" part doesn't seem right.
     
  14. Indysolo

    Indysolo Commodore Commodore

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    I had this discussion the other day. The quote from the book is, "...Star Trek: The Motion Picture had been the big box office hit of 1980...".

    I'll copy and paste portions of what I said in that discussion:

    First of all of course, TMP opened in 1979. It grossed $82,258,456. That figure makes it either the 4th or 5th biggest film of 1979 (I've seen conflicting reports for Rocky II's gross). By Christmas 1979, it had already made $39,658,976, or just under half of its total domestic gross, with a week to go in the year.

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=startrek.htm

    Therefore, I don't think anyone can say it made most of its money in 1980.

    Neil
     
  15. Joe_Atari

    Joe_Atari Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I had forgotten about Gerrold's endorsement. The Cushman and his books seem to have an incomprehensible amount of cred with Trek alumni. Besides "Story By" credit on one episode of TNG ("Sarek"), what has Cushman done to earn this? I'm not counting Roddenberry and Justman's posthumous "endorsements" of course... :lol:

    FWIW I had never even heard of him until publicity for TATV. Is he just setting himself up as a paid speaker at conventions or go to Trek "consultant" (a la Richard Arnold)?
     
  16. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Seems like it. He already showed up as an expert in the bonus features for Unification on Blu-Ray.
     
  17. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Great work, Harvey--as usual.

    Regarding other sites referring to the pornographer's work as fact--those sites need to be taken to task about that with sample comparisons from your sourced, verifiable articles to the pornographer's nonsense.

    Or, if there no professional/academic bridges to burn, you can call out the sites using that creature's work on social media--not as an attack campaign, but as an aside to your work.

    Either way, any source using such easily debunked, money-grabbing crap should be notified, or exposed.

    I had forgotten about Gerrold's endorsement. The Cushman and his books seem to have an incomprehensible amount of cred with Trek alumni. [/QUOTE]

    I will assume the alumni know the truth from their own experiences. If that's the case, then what other reason would they have for endorsing him? Shared social ideology? What?
     
  18. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think people are assuming that the endorsers actually read the Cushman books.

    I'd bet they quickly skimmed them and thought, "looks good to me, where's my check?"
     
  19. erastus25

    erastus25 Commodore Commodore

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    As one of the writers for Sarek isn't that one of the few (only) episodes he actually has the authority to talk about?

    Exactly. The books are impressive IN THEORY. But the execution is atrocious. I could see how an actor would listen to the sales pitch, flip through it, and decide it looked/sounded good enough to endorse. Sighhhh.
     
  20. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Fair. I haven't actually seen the piece (I don't have the disc). I shouldn't generalize about it.

    The thing about these books is that, if you didn't do the research, a lot of the claims made in them would seem plausible, especially if you take Cushman's claim that he spent six months carefully going through everything in the UCLA files at face value.

    For example:

    There are at least two claims here that the authors have invented. Without having the UCLA files in front of you, though, can anyone guess them? The information seems so basic that it's hard to believe there's any fabrication here. After all, why make up something that could be so easily checked for accuracy at UCLA?

    In fact, both drafts of Roddenberry's 1964 story outline were called "Mudd's Women," not "The Women," and both included the character of Harry Mudd.