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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    I still haven't polished off the piece about 'the great phaser caper' -- just procrastinating at this point, really -- but I have managed to finish an entry about how James Doohan was almost dismissed from the series after the second pilot.

    Star Trek's Chief Engineer Who Almost Wasn't

    Thinking about starting a Twitter feed to help readers (and me, heh) keep track of all the behind-the-scenes material that has leaked online. Would that be of interest/use to people, or would I mostly be providing links to material people are already familiar with?
     
  2. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Great stuff. Thanks for the nod in the previous entry.
     
  3. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Adjusted for inflation, Jimmy's $850 a week would be over $6100 now.
     
  4. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Didn't Roddenberry think that TNG wouldn't need a "regular" engineer as well?
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Indeed; the idea was that the technology by that point was so advanced that the ship could essentially repair itself. But they kept needing guest engineers anyway, so in season 2 they moved Geordi from conn to engineering.
     
  6. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    Harvey, your hard work and terrific writing style does not go unnoticed. Thank you for the great work - it's a pleasure to read.
     
  7. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Dramatically, does that strike you as a good or bad idea? In-universe, it's hard to believe that you wouldn't need someone in charge of keeping the ship running, even if its mostly automated. It's a ship with very complex equipment that can easily turn lethal, after all.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^But the idea was that the ship itself had the intelligence to do that, that it was closer to a living organism than a mindless machine, even if it wasn't fully self-aware. The idea that was talked about in the early TNG development material was "Technology Unchained," the idea that technology had become so advanced as to be all but invisible and effortless to use. Which is why the TNG bridge originally looked more like a conference lounge than a computer center.

    The problem was that technology so advanced that it never goes wrong didn't make for good action-adventure storytelling. They needed things to break down, and so they needed someone to fix them.
     
  9. EnsignHarper

    EnsignHarper Captain Captain

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    Even though Scott was IN more shows, it wasn't until Gene Coon came along that someone figured out what to do with the character. The difference between the first and second seasons, is the difference between the character being 'Scott', and the character being 'Scotty'.

    Great stuff!
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm not sure what you're saying here. Gene Coon came onboard as producer early in the first season, beginning with "Miri," and was the credited writer of five episodes in the first season, more than he wrote in the second or third.
     
  11. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's the same problem that arises with the idea of "perfected humans." If humans don't have any flaws, you don't have any conflict and if you don't have any conflict you don't have any stories.
     
  12. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Scott went from being stalwart to something more than that by late 1st season, so it is easy to attribute that to Coon. Until we have that THESE ARE THE VOYAGES book we won't know for sure, but I'd bet he did the better stuff as cowriter on ARMAGEDDON, which is seriously good Scotty work. And we already know he encouraged Gerrold to play up the Scotty/Kirk stuff in TRIBBLES.
     
  13. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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  14. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Harvey, this really is fantastic stuff! Very well done, sir. :techman:
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You forgot to mention 17:01 at the top of Forbidden Planet. ;)
     
  16. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    A little like the Liberator in Blake's 7 (among many other possible influences, aside from independent inspiration, but that was the current-ish one, as the series was just getting its first US runs around that time).

    Which B7 got round through the ship and its auto-repair systems being alien, with their own priorities, so they wouldn't necessarily put the crew's interests first (and sometimes even got actively hostile to crew interference). But for a Starfleet vessel that's not a plot option (but ooh, you could do some nice stories about the first post-Hurgh Klingons perhaps, flying captured Hurgh vessels that are actively hostile to them...)
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Interesting. Sadly typical of Roddenberry to deny that he was drawing on others' work. He not only took credit for things his collaborators came up with, he couldn't even admit his influences! He had to pretend he made up everything himself.

    Umm, I can't tell if you're joking or referring to something real about the movie. We know that Matt Jefferies picked "1701" because it was more legible onscreen than other numbers.
     
  18. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    He's joking.
     
  19. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Is he, though? I always understood that the registry number 1701 was indeed inspired by the the mention of "17:01" at the start of Forbidden Planet. So that's only a coincidence then?
     
  20. EnsignHarper

    EnsignHarper Captain Captain

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    What is important about Scotty during the series run, is that he is the one supporting character whose character was allowed to be fleshed out somewhat during the series run, and whose importance to the show (and the story) grew. Jimmy Doohan even noted that how it 'just got better and better'. In the aborted proposed phase II series, there were several scripts that would have given Doohan chances to really shine.