New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by neoworx, Jul 13, 2013.

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  1. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    My copy of this just arrived this afternoon and I'm looking forward to reading it. Yeah, I caved out of intense curiosity.

    I've only just perused the book and I have but one remark regarding the photos: disappointing. It's not simply a matter of very few of them being shots I haven't seen before elsewhere (and with greater resolution and colour), but they're disappointingly small giving the impression of them being an afterthought. In a sense this doesn't tread on others' toes because the pics in this book are disappointing reproductions that can be seen much better elsewhere. And quite a few of these shots have been around to be seen for decades and long before startrekhistory and the like came along.

    Yep, disappointing and definitely not a selling feature. As is they add little to nothing to the book's value.

    And so I hope the content of the text will justify the book.
     
  2. alchemist

    alchemist Commander Red Shirt

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    Zap,

    Thanks for pointing this out. We assumed that it was sufficient to credit La-La Land Records on the startrekhistory.com page where we interviewed Jeff Bond. Due to the confusion that this has caused though, we have now added an additional credit to the bottom of our "City on the Edge of Forever" page.


    Giving attribution is not the same as asking for permission.

    Well look, honest mistakes happen. We certainly make them ourselves and recognize that others make them. As an example of the latter, a book came out not long ago that used a picture that we had restored. This book, inadvertently, didn't mention the picture's proper origin and our work in restoring it. However, it was just one picture in a book that contained a lot of pictures, so we didn't say anything about it; it was no big deal. But the TATV situation is different. As we and others have pointed out, the folks at TATV were made aware of the repeated use of our pictures on their Facebook page (which were miscredited and used without our permission) before their book went to press. Despite us contacting them (several times, in fact), they continued to put screen caps from our site on their Facebook page. And we've been told that there are a lot of our pictures in their book.
     
  3. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I think it has been well-established that the series was initially a hit, but that it it shed viewers over time. Inside Star Trek: The Real Story demonstrated this dramatically, by pointing out the difference in ratings between 'The Man Trap' and 'Turnabout Intruder.' Granted, due to the circumstances of both those episodes' broadcast, that comparison is a little unfair, but it makes the point.

    The author references two top 40 (out of 90) lists. The first, counting the first few episodes (excluding 'The Man Trap,' which had mega numbers in part because of NBC's sneak preview week) puts the show at #33. The second, taken much later in the season, places the series at #37. Still good numbers, but a drop. It would not surprise me if season two continued a downward ratings trend (which, admittedly, was partially due to the second season time slot on Friday nights).

    Also, sometimes the author presents the top 12 city ratings, and sometimes he presents the national ratings. In a couple of cases, he presents both. In those cases, it is evident that the national popularity of the series was markedly less than it was in just the top twelve markets. The author indicates as such in those cases, but when only presenting the top twelve numbers, he never mentions that those numbers are inflated compared to the national ones.

    I'm not suggesting the author is lying; just that his argument isn't as sound as he thinks it is (at least, based on the evidence in volume one).
     
  4. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Well, thank you for responding with helpfulness and clarity. And let's face it, what a great website. :techman:
     
  5. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I think the goal of programs back then was to be at least #25 in the Nielsens, in order to have an expectation of renewal. The ratings criteria changed a lot through the years. The letter writing campaigns engineered by Roddenberry and a fan (was it Bjo?) convinced NBC to renew the show for the second and third years.

    Then there's supposed to be some story that after Star Trek was off the air, the ratings demographics were altered, and execs and advertisers found Trek had the teen and young adult markets and started pitching to that crowd.
     
  6. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's easy to cherry pick numbers to make a point, but if you really wanted to compare shows you need to see if:
    1. The show routinely won its time slot (or at least wasn't in last place)
    2. If contemporary shows with equal or higher numbers got renewed
    3. If the numbers remained consistent

    Also, rating aren't the whole game. As I recall, the original Battlestar Galactica never fell out of the top 25, but it was so expensive to produce that the per episode profits apparently made ABC think they could do better with two low-cost sitcoms in its place. You don't kill a top 25 show if it's making lots of money; you do if it isn't. A top 40 show that doesn't make a good return is easily on the chopping block.
     
  7. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    I am in no position to argue one way or another all the points presented - but considering the source material for much of this book, I am more than willing to give a huge benefit of the doubt accept much that has been written. I am only about a quarter of the way through it, to this point, but I am absolutely loving every page. I eagerly look forward to adding books 2 and 3 to the pile. And, no, I am not a shill - just an old schmuck who loves TOS.
     
  8. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I'm only about thirty some pages into it, but I'm finding it a good read. Reading the details of Roddenberry's path to Star Trek nicely sets the stage for what's to come. The side stories of other players and companies and how they all eventually come together is interesting. There's detail here that I've never read before and it's interesting.

    The Making Of Star Trek is a fascinating book, but it really gives you only the bare bones (comparatively) of how Star Trek came into being. These Are The Voyages along with Inside Star Trek give you a much more detailed and much clearer account of how things evolved.

    Some things I find fascinating. Roddenberry's proclivities were already evident during production of The Lieutenant so what later happened on Star Trek wasn't at all new or unprecedented. Also, as much as Star Trek needed a studio and a network it came into the hands of Desilu (a studio that needed something break-out to get back on its feet) and NBC (a network needing something break-out to get out of trailing CBS and ABC. They really all needed each other. :lol:

    I also like how the book sets the stage, taking you back to a time when the television landscape was very different than today. When you see things in that context you can better appreciate how different and visionary Star Trek was compared to what else was being done back then.
     
  9. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    The Quinn Martin show "The Invaders" seemed to try to capitalize on Star Trek's sci-fi element, but it was a very pessimistic show with evil aliens trying to take over Earth every week, and only ONE GUY knows they're here. Sort of like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Its format was similar to other man-on-the-run shows like Martin's "The Fugitive" and "Run for Your Life". About the only thing I liked in "The Invaders" were their flying saucer scenes, there was even a model kit of the spaceship. I think one of the model parts wound up on the original Cylon manta-ray type fighters.
     
  10. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    So the word phaser actually comes from putting two words together: photon-maser? If true that's actually cool because I always thought they'd just invented a nonsense word that sounded like laser.

    Mind you from what I can gather there is no such real thing as a photon-maser. Or maybe it just hasn't been invented yet. :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  11. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I figured the word came from describing GR's first wife, who apparently put up with a lot.

    as in, 'nothing can phase her.'
     
  12. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    In re. GR's behavior: I was recently reading a book about the Big Band era by the music editor of weekly Variety at the time. Sexual behavior behind closed doors in the music publishing business was way out: sexual contests among executives all doing "activities" with women in the same room, women under desks during meetings, public doings with chorus "girls." I can't imagine life in the go-go '60s TV world was any different. What this guy was relaying made Mad Men seem gentlemanly. It's always struck me as odd "the network" objected to GR having an affair with Nichelle and Majel. From what I can tell, most everybody in that world had flings on the side. Maybe they objected because he was open about it and somehow violating the Executive Bro code?
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, there's always been a lot of hanky panky going on. And it probably was that sentiment at work: "Buddy, you can do all the chicks you want, but be a little discreet, eh?"

    And, yeah, Mad Men looks tame in comparison. Hell, Boardwalk Empire is probably tame by comparison.
     
  14. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    This. Discretion is at the heart of the matter. I believe everyone suspects or 'knows that something is going on' - it's just that nobody wants to really 'know what's going on'.
     
  15. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    It seems like GR wanted people to think he was quite something when it came to women rather than keep his "entertainment" to himself.


    I've just finished reading about "The Cage." One thing that impressed me about this section was that Jeffery Hunter seemed quite excited about the pilot and its potential for a series, but when it came to doing the second pilot he does an about face. Yet it also seems like maybe someone was talking him out of it---maybe his wife given that she came alone to the screening and JH was absent. Today science fiction isn't looked down on, but back then it was easy to understand why a lot of folks could see SF and sci-fi as cheesy "monster of the week" stuff. The anecdotes from some of those involved do impress as them not understanding what GR wanted to do with Star Trek. Some seemed to think GR was taking it too seriously and was so decided on how it had to be done (not a wholly bad thing, mind you) that he could be resistant to even valid suggestions and input.

    GR liked to make the network suits the bad guys, but they did seem to get what Roddenberry was aiming for and liked it overall. The network was particularly right on a few counts:

    - Majel Barrett wasn't strong enough to carry the role of Number One even though they liked the idea of the character, and it was just too obvious a case of nepotism.
    - Roddenberry wasn't delivering on his pitch of a multi-racial cast.
    - Much of the rest of the cast was also too bland and not dynamic enough.
    - Hunter, while having star quality, didn't seem the right type for the average viewer to identify with. He was "too good looking" and didn't project much range.

    It's interesting to hear that Shatner's name had actually been mentioned for the role of Pike even before "The Cage" was filmed although they hadn't spoken to him. GR also wanted Deforest Kelley for the ship's doctor right from the start. It's just a shame they couldn't have gotten Kelley for WNMHGB because he would have had a lot more presence than Paul Fixx. Mind you given the character's name was different then it's just as well. The way things happened would later allow for "The Cage" to be used as a glimpse of pre-history in TOS' universe.

    Another interesting item was to see the different actors then being considered for the role of Pike and then later Kirk. If you recognize any of those actors and when they were in their prime you really wonder what the character would have been like if any of them had been cast. With that in mind it really was serendipitous for them to land Shatner because I think he brought a quality to Kirk I don't see many of the other candidates having. I certainly can't imagine Lloyd Bridges or Jack Lord playing Kirk. Someone like Jack Lord or Lee Marvin might have given Kirk more of a military bearing yet without Shatner's charming swagger. That might have worked for Pike, but not for Kirk.

    Moving on to WNMHGB next and I am finding this a fascinating read. Despite the controversy of the photos it's a shame they didn't go the distance---get permission to reproduce the pics, give appropriate credit and then reprint the images nice and large. Then it would have added to the book's appeal and bolstered the content of the text which is pretty good so far on its own.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  16. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I loved the story about Malachi Throne being offered the part of the doctor in WNMHGB, but declining. He'd just read a book about acting called "Third Man Thru the Door", which points out that you have the star, then you have the costar, then you have the guy nobody ever remembers. Throne didn't want to be the third guy. The author of the book, ironically, was Paul Fix! :lol:
     
  17. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nothing against DeForrest Kelly, but Malachai Throne would have been a very interesting Dr. McCoy. I can totally picture him playing that character.
     
  18. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I absolutely WOULD have agreed with you about this until a couple days back, when I saw part of a 12 O'CLOCK HIGH ep (from 1966) with Lord, where he was not the laid back Felix Leiter and Steve McGarrett, but instead alternately fierce and charming (he had Luciana Paluzzi - Fiona Volpe from THUNDERBALL -- onscreen with him, so I'm sure that helped a helluva lot), showing a greater range of colors than I'd've thought possible. I think he really could have essayed Kirk, but I also think it would have been at the expense of Nimoy's Spock.
     
  19. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Warped9 I would be interested in your general thoughts on the book once you have finished it.
     
  20. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Well, I'll probably be posting a running commentary as I work my way through. I can't read it all in one sitting. I like to read a section or two and then digest it for a bit before continuing.

    So far I am quite enjoying it. As I said earlier upthread I'm learning some things I didm't know before and learning greater detail of things I had known before but in broad strokes.

    Roddenberry isn't lionized in this, but he isn't demonized either. He's presented as a real human being with flaws and blind spots.
     
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