Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

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

  1. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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  2. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    For what it's worth, The Making of Star Trek reproduces a Roddenberry memo to Matt Jefferies (on page 167):


    To: Matt Jefferies
    Date: December 12, 1966
    From: Gene Roddenberry
    Re: SPACE SYMBOLS

    Dear Matt:

    Would like to see a greater use of symbols, some design of significant form and color, used to identify and tie together the particular planet cultures, alien vessels, other Earth vessels, organizations, etc.

    As always, would appreciate you coordinating with costume, property, etc.

    A handy example: In "Return of the Archons," the law-givers and the Society of Landru could have been characterized by a symbol, say an unusual triangle-circle, which could have then given us unity by allowing it to appear on their rugs, possibly on their staffs, certainly on the walls of Landru's palace. As we discovered in the past, this trick has a way of unifying things, gives it a sense of greater reality, gives the director things to play to, and furnishes guide posts for the audience. For example, an upcoming one is the other vessel in "Space Seed." Can we do anything here?

    Gene Roddenberry


    So I think it's very likely that Roddenberry had this particular "unusual triangle-circle used to identify and tie together a particular planet's culture" bee in his bonnet for a couple of years before it finally got realized in "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" It's likely that the design of the IDIC piece was a shared, team effort between Roddenberry and Bill Theiss.
     
  3. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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  4. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    I repeat myself, but great work, as always, Harvey.

    Sir Rhosis
     
  5. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you.

    Despite percolating for weeks, this one was sort of rushed, so if any errors pop out to anyone, please let me know.
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Cool. I had no idea GR had tried to get the medallion into the series earlier. I must admit the initial pitch for getting the medallion on air---as a gift from the junior officers---might have been a neat little character moment.
     
  7. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Harvey:

    I think you might have an opportunity to answer a question some people have.

    Folks sometimes wonder exactly what the point of contention was regarding the IDIC dialogue that Roddenberry wanted inserted. Was it pages and pages of stuff? Was it just a couple of lines? How much did it actually bog down the script? The Final Draft, dated July 16, 1968 had indeed been a bit longer than what was finally shot, but I think Roddenberry was too good a scriptwriter to get too bogged down in something that isn't going to further the plot much--even if it might have been somewhat self-serving. Folks can judge how far overboard the IDIC scene might have been. (The scene is the same dinner scene with Doctor Jones.)

    ********

    Busy with the search for expressing her thoughts, Miranda's
    hand touches the medallion pinned to Spock's breast.
    She touches it carefully, as though identifying it.
    McCoy sees the fleeting gesture her hand makes on contact
    with the medallion. He is very intent on her action.

    Spock pulls back, afraid he may have scratched her.

    SPOCK

    Forgive me. I forget that dress
    uniforms can injure.

    MIRANDA

    No, I was merely looking at your
    Vulcan IDIC, Mister Spock.
    (looks up,
    curiously)
    Is it a reminder that as a Vulcan
    you could mind-meld with the
    Medeusan much more effectively
    than I could?
    (to the others,
    but smiling)
    It would be most difficult for a
    Vulcan to see a mere human take
    on this exciting a challenge.

    McCOY
    (to Spock)

    Interesting question. It is a
    fact that you rarely do wear the
    IDIC.

    KIRK

    I doubt that Mister Spock would
    don the most revered of all Vulcan
    symbols merely to annoy a guest,
    Dr. Jones.

    SPOCK
    (to Miranda)

    In fact, I wear it this evening
    to honor you, Doctor.

    MIRANDA

    Indeed?

    SPOCK
    (nods)

    Indeed. Perhaps even with those
    years on Vulcan, you missed the
    true symbology.
    (indicates
    medallion)

    The triangle and the circle...
    ...different shapes, materials,
    textures...represent any two
    diverse things which come
    together to create here...truth
    or beauty.
    (indicating the
    parts, looks up)
    For example, Doctor Miranda Jones
    who combined herself and the
    disciplines of my race, to
    become greater than the sum of
    both.

    Kirk can see Miranda isn't fully sold on Spock's intentions
    ...he changes the subject.

    KIRK

    Very interesting, I might even
    say...fascinating.

    *********

    (At this point the scene picks up as aired.)
     
  8. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I will add that sometime this weekend. Thanks!

    (I must profess that I am glad that "symbology" didn't make the final cut. I assume this is something de Forest Research would have caught, but their research report for the episode isn't on file at UCLA.)

    By the way, what is the date on those pages?
     
  9. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Harvey:

    The pages for this revised Scene 25 are dated 7/16/68. FYI: This is the version of the script from Lincoln Enterprises.

    You're right about the symbology. For what it's worth, my hunch is that de Forest's feedback (if it ever surfaces) will probably be found to predate these 11th hour revisions. But if nothing else, Roddenberry seems to have been consistent in his usage of the term--even if symbolism is probably the more accurate term.
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Those really were eleventh hour changes then; 'Is There In Truth No Beauty' began shooting on that morning: July 16, 1968. Or at least, it was scheduled to begin shooting at that time; the controversy wasted the whole morning.

    The research report from de Forest Research almost certainly didn't address these changes, then. The cost of rushing a research report like that -- in a matter of hours, in the middle of the night -- was simply an expense the production didn't need.
     
  11. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    One more question -- does the entire script bear the July 16 date, or is most of it dated earlier?

    I'm wondering if the draft circulated by Lincoln Enterprises reflects Roddenberry's second version of the IDIC scene (revised after Shatner and Nimoy's objections) rather than his first version.

    The UCLA files (across three different collections; the Aroeste, Roddenberry, and Justman papers) list the following teleplay drafts:

    6/18/68 (First Draft)
    6/26/68 (Revised Final Draft)
    7/12/68 (Final Draft)

    I may have to investigate further when I get back to California.
     
  12. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    I was afraid you would ask that. ;)

    Yes, you raise a good question: was the IDIC scene in this Final Draft script I have even longer at some point and this is a slightly shortened version of an objectionably-long scene? Or was this really as long as it had become before it was cut back to the version as filmed, and there were no longer versions?

    The script is a crazy mess. The script itself is the "Final Draft" dated 7/12/68. The individual pages themselves are all dated no earlier than 7/12/68. Without counting, I would guess that about 3/4 of the pages are dated 7/12/68. The remaining pages--scattered throughout the entire script (not really confined to one act, for instance)--were scattered among three dates: 7/15/68, 7/16/68, and 7/22/68.
     
  13. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I've updated my post with the quoted section, with a disclaimer that it may be Roddenberry's first or second version of the scene. I suppose I'll have to go back to UCLA to find out for sure.

    Hopefully, that will be happening soon. I have tentative plans to move back to California in late September/early October. Fingers crossed.
     
  14. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    L.A.--my old stomping ground. Born and raised. (I wish I could move back.)

    Do we know that there were two Roddenberry versions of the scene (other than the filmed version)?
     
  15. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    We know there was the version intended to be shot on July 16, 1968. After a whole morning was wasted arguing about it, the scene was tabled for later in the schedule. According to Ralph Senensky's blog, Roddenberry "agreed to rewrite the scene."

    Senensky goes on to say that: "The portion of the dining scene that caused so much consternation that first day was rewritten by Gene Roddenberry. The business with the IDIC pin that Spock wears had been drastically trimmed so that all could dine (and act) at ease."

    The use of the word "trimmed" makes me wonder if Roddenberry's "rewrite" simply involved cutting the scene down, or if the changes were more dramatic.
     
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yay! Then we can hang out. :)
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    ^^
    I would love to hang out.

    A completely trivial post this week, but I have some more interesting material to come in the next month. I just have to come up with the time to write it!

    Found out that someone linked to a post of mine from Memory Alpha, which is cool and gratifying.
     
  18. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If nothing else, Cushman's given you something else to fact check!
     
  19. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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  20. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks, Harvey. Don't know why but this rumor has long rankled me. I think it is because so many people spout it as gospel without doing the least bit of research to determine if what they're saying is true.

    Sir Rhosis