George Takei and Second Two of TOS

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Keith1701, May 12, 2013.

  1. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Takei was a regular, with a contract for 7 out of every 13 episodes, which was apparently the union minimum for series regulars at the time. (I know, we've done this dance before.)

    Having said that, I believe he was given permission from the Desilu front office to appear in the movie, and when weather (or whatever happened) made it run long, it's not Takei's fault for sticking around and fulfilling his contract. Obviously, no one at Desilu had a problem with him, since he was kept aboard for season three.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Then I will repeat: While the distinction today is looser, in '60s TV the term "regular" would've only applied to someone whose name was in the main titles and who appeared in every or almost every episode. Only Shatner and Nimoy were regulars in season 1, and only they and Kelley were regulars for the rest of the series. The rest were semi-regulars.
     
  3. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Location:
    ssosmcin
    Wow, as the series lead in every episode and in most scenes, when did he have the time? I can see squeezing ion movies during the hiatus, but other TV series appearances would have been shooting at the same time, most likely. When it came to hard work, there was no faulting this guy....
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^I admit, I was going by airdate and it can be hard to be certain when some of these things were shot. For instance, Nimoy has a credit for a movie that was released in 1967, but it was expanded from a failed TV pilot that was apparently made in '66, probably not long before regular production on TOS began, so I didn't count it.
     
  5. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Let me quote Inside Star Trek: The Real Story (emphasis mine):

    For the first season, Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley, Whitney, and Takei were all signed as "series regulars." A May 31, 1966 document in the UCLA Roddenberry files, "First Production Year 1966-1967" confirms this. "Semi-regular" might be a useful way of distinguishing between regulars earning SAG minimum and the stars, but in the television industry in the 1960s, they were all regulars.

    (Happy to share some of this stuff if you PM me.)
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Well, if you have documentation, I'll have to take your word for it. It's not a usage I've ever encountered before, though.
     
  7. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    I have to say, due to Takei not being in every episode of seasons one and three anyway, his slightly extended absence from season two isn't perhaps as noticable as it would be if he'd been contracted for more episodes in the first place.

    It always made sense to me that Kelley, Whitney and Takei were all contracted as regulars (or 'semi-regulars'). Whitney is there front and centre alongside Shatner and Nimoy in the early publicity material. Of course, that could just be because she's a pretty face. Not to say Nimoy and Shatner aren't... oh, you know what I mean. ;)

    Just out of interest, what were the terms of Doohan's contract? I notice you don't mention him, but as a carry-over from the pilot episode like Takei surely he would have had a similar contract?
     
  8. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    In the same document, Doohan is listed as being contracted for "multiple" episodes rather than being a series regular. He was contracted for 5 out of 13 episodes, under the SAG minimum of 7 for series regulars, although the actual terms of his contract (excluding the number of episodes) are on par with DeForest Kelley and better than those of Whitney or Takei.

    The fact that he wasn't initially a regular may be related to Roddenberry's attempt to dump Doohan after the second pilot, but that is just speculation on my part.
     
  9. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    I'm not up to speed on this. What's this about, please?
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    The fact that they aired the episodes out of production order helped mask it too. In shooting order, he's missing for 9 consecutive episodes, and 10 out of 11 consecutive ones. In broadcast order, though, he's missing from episodes 5, 10, 13, 15-19, 21, 22, and 25. So there are five in a row without him, but otherwise his absences wouldn't have been quite as noticeable.
     
  11. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Location:
    ssosmcin
    Apparently, according to Justman and Solow, after WNMHGB, Gene decided they didn't need a chief engineer after all tried to have Doohan fired. Doohan went to his agent and got that worked out PDQ and they wound up using the character a great deal.

    I'm surprised Doohan and Gene were such good friends after that, unless Gene spun some yarn about it being a Network decision or some such.
     
  12. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Location:
    Planet Carcazed
    GR probably blamed it on Shatner. :lol:
     
  13. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Location:
    None Given
    It's the passage of time and other things (like wanting to make sure the fans push for a revival, keep the revival going, etc. There's also th issue that actors in general try not to 'burn bridges' with producers regardless of what the Producers do; as you never know when said producer may have another job/role for you.)

    Look at William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. When the series was in production, they weren't all that friendly towards one another - and Nimoy got it into his head that while Shatner got top billing; his character of 'Spock' was the real lead/star of the show fans came to watch. Also if you believe William Windom's report of Shatner and Nimoy on set (he's one of the few guest actors not really taken by the aura of 'Star Trek' and saw the stint as just another guest TV role); Mr. Windom has said BOTH Shatner and Nimoy were line counting; and going to GR with trivial stuff, etc.

    In the end, in the third season it was settled by a meeting with GR in which GR grudgingly indicated, William Shatner/Kirk was the 'star' of Star Trek.

    But my point? All the above didn't keep William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy from forming a real friendship in the later years after Star Trek.
     
  14. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Checking my records, it turns out I transcribed more memos about this than I had remembered. Happy to share them. :)

    On April 11, 1966, not long after the series had been picked up, Gene Roddenberry sent the following to James Doohan:

    According to Inside Star Trek: The Real Story:

    Although the book claims that Wilkins closed the deal after one day, it appears that negotiations actually took a few weeks, and were finally settled on May 19, 1966, according to this memo from casting director Joe D'Agosta to business affairs attorney Ed Perlstein:

    I never transcribed the terms of Doohan's original contract for the second pilot, but my speculation is that after Roddenberry made the mistake of declining his option, Doohan was able to re-negotiate for a more favorable per episode rate. Since the character was a success, his appearance in more shows was subsequently negotiated, as indicated by this memo from D'Agosta to Roddenberry on NOVEMBER 11, 1966:

    By the end of the first season, the producers liked Doohan enough to sign him to an exclusive, four year contract, as indicated in this March 16, 1967 memo from D'Agosta to Perlstein:

     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Well, he was. You talk like it's some delusion of Nimoy's, but the fact is that Spock/Nimoy got more fan mail than the rest of the cast combined. He was a national sensation, the breakout star of the show, and the network was constantly pushing Roddenberry to boost the size of Spock's role. It was a struggle for Roddenberry to keep Kirk as the main character despite all the fan and network pressure to focus on Spock, and he ultimately needed advice from Isaac Asimov on how to achieve it: by making Kirk and Spock inseparable friends and partners, a package deal.
     
  16. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    Thanks for all of the wonderful historical details.

    As noted, its funny that Doohan became so buddy-buddy with Roddenberry in the early 70s (and going on his "I hate Shatner" campaign), after GR nearly bumped him into acting oblivion.

    Seems like desperate behavior. Or perhaps after his first brush with the boot, Doohan was jocking Roddenberry in the syndication hit years to guarantee he would have a place in any then-hypothetical ST revivals.

    Very curious.
     
  17. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Location:
    ssosmcin
    I hear you, but Doohan and Roddenberry were tight during the series. According to Doohan (in his own book), they played cards and socialized off set during the run of the show, not long after Gene tried to have him sacked.
     
  18. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    Well, that's not true--at least from the ancillary market's point of view. All one should to do is look at the merchandising of ST during its network run; while images of Shatner and Nimoy were plastered on all manner of products, the first character choice for AMT's model kit was Spock. A Kirk kit was designed and planned (one conceptual had Kirk sitting in the captain's chair), but never produced.

    However, it was Spock that was considered the "draw" to certain companies.

    Arguably, that could have been to play up the most alien or "science fiction-y" element on the series (in the way the one Lost in Space character popular enough to warrant a solo model kit was the Robot), or because Spock was a breakout character. Either way, Spock was the only legitimate solo ST figure produced during the NBC/production years.

    It would not be until 1974--when the MEGO Corporation produced its popular line of 8-inch ST action figures (in the wake of the cultural explosion of TOS raising the profiles of most of the main characters), that a fair recognition of the series stars occured. But again, during the 60's, it says much that Spock was not only the focus for the kit, but the subhead on the box read, "Star Trek's Most Popular Character."


    Sort of hard evidence supporting Nimoy's attitude during the production years.


    They were not born joined at the hip, but they have more in common than with any other cast members, which allowed that friendship to blossom in honest fashion. Doohan (and Takei) had too many fragile ego issues, which they embraced, embellished and milked / sold to the public as "The Case Against Bill Shatner," over setting that childish behavior aside in order to really get to know Shatner.

    When hate pulled Doohan and rest of the B-team by the nose (where Shatner was concerned), there would be no chance to settle matters.
     
  19. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    Thanks, Harvey! :techman:

    I wonder why Gene would want to sack Doohan?

    Forgive me; I am not savvy on television industry, by any stretch. Was it (and is it) standard practice to go through agents, regarding picking up or not picking up options, and therefore against the industry standard for Gene to send such a memo directly to Doohan about not picking his up? If so, what was Gene thinking? Just kinda speculating here, but it almost sounds like Gene was trying to bait Doohan into giving up a gig that he hadn't really lost. That seems really bizarre and unprofessional. :confused:
     
  20. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    I'm not sure why Roddenberry contacted Doohan directly, rather than going through his agent, which would be the standard practice then and now. Perhaps it was due to inexperience (in 1966, Rodenberry had only produced a handful of pilots and one season of The Lieutenant). Perhaps, as you speculate, he was attempting to bait Doohan into leaving the role for some reason.