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. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    The first year or two had the same writers as ILL. TLS was a gambit with CBS who wanted Lucy, but Desilu wanted things too. After the first year, the writers left, the premise became very fluid. It and its sequel sound lazy and self-indulgent (lots of guest stars playong themselves). It was highly rated through the poor-taste, middlebrow Sixties, though.
     
  2. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    I disagree; working at McDonald's and Wal-Mart and earning enough to live on would be possible if you were being paid a maximum wage of about $20.00 US, but at the rate of wages paid, you'd only be able to live on both wages from both companies if you were on welfare as well (which Wal-Mart encourages you to get!) However hard it was for him to write this, he'll probably be getting more money from sales of the book to willing fans.
     
  3. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's why The Cloud Minders was more fact than fiction--here we have Norm nixons "Freedom" ship for ex-patriots and bit-coin hoarders with no taxes paid on them.
     
  4. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    About 3/4 through and I just passed an image that credited "Courtesy of Gurian" and also had something like "also found on the Internet" and cited startrekhistory.com.
     
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  5. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    In the new edition, or the old? I'm really curious how the photo credits in the new version read compared to the old (which credited startrekhistory and birdofthegalaxy on exactly one photo -- which was also credited to 'The Collector').
     
  6. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I believe mine is the old edition - it's the one with the mostly black cover with the TV on the front. I believe I've only seen the startrekhistory credit once but I could be wrong. I know it was at least that.
     
  7. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, okay. Yeah, I believe they're given partial credit on one photo in that edition (I believe I noted the page number earlier in this thread).
     
  8. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    Just got the revised edition. I'll do a comparison over Christmas break and let you all know what's been fixed/added. Right away I'll say there's a lot more pictures.
     
  9. SpHeRe31459

    SpHeRe31459 Captain Captain

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    Great, looking forward to it :)

    That's kind of odd, I'd think they would tread more lightly on the pictures given the issues with them, but then again Cushman doesn't seem to think there is an issue with the pics...
     
  10. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My copy (revised ed.) just arrived.

    I must say I am impressed with the photos. After 30 years of reading every TOS related book I could get my hands on and more than a decade posting in the TOS forum, I thought I'd seen every possible photo of the show in existence, but this author has seriously dug deep.

    On the downside, although you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, the final sentence on the back cover looks like it has been clipped off, and I have already noticed one typo inside after a 30 second skim. Smacks of a cheap effort.

    Feeling a bit ambivalent at this point, but looking forward to a read as soon as time permits. The guy has obviously done a mountain of work - shame it couldn't have been edited better.

    Apologies if you guys have covered this earlier in the thread, but who is this author? Did he have some aborted project to write the history of TOS with Justman and Gene in the 80's or something?
     
  11. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Doesn't the revised edition still have Marc Cushman's introduction where he explains the history of the project? That will answer your questions about the author.

    Cushman previously wrote a book about I Spy, which I haven't read, but judging from this volume, it's clear that he isn't much of a television historian. He does know a lot about the original Star Trek, although I have plenty of complaints about his work, especially the way it conflates undocumented speculation with documented fact.

    If you like the photos, I suggest visiting Bird of the Galaxy's Flickr page and Star Trek History, where many of the book's photos were harvested from (without permission or, at least in the first edition, credit).

    Considering that this is a revised edition (arriving less than a year after the first try!), the fact that there are still typos and formatting errors being reported is mind-boggling. FWIW, the free sample on Amazon seemed to have been better proofread that the first edition, which was rife with typographical mistakes.
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I find the conflation of fact and theory highly troublesome in the samples I've read. Photos aside, it's the biggest issue I have with the book. There are already way too many tall tales and myths about this show without a work that creates new ones (e.g. his assertion that the show was a hit).
     
  13. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    The ratings thing seems way off given how GR was going on about how the alternate rating system that came in at the end of TOS, the one based on ages of viewers and their buying habits, had the show WAY up as opposed to the nielsen numbers.
     
  14. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Although that's also quite the exaggeration. There's an academic named Roberta Person who's done some terrific research which demonstrates that NBC was interested in and measuring Star Trek's demographics, and argues that they were crucial in the second and third season renewals. I imagine Cushman will ignore her research, though.

    I'm working on a blog post about the revised edition. Was wondering if anyone here could flip through the Solow/Justman book and find out if there's any substance there to Cushman's claim that director James Goldstone lied about having a scheduling conflict with the first pilot because he didn't want to be attached to Star Trek. This seems silly for a number of reasons, but I want to check (my copy of the book, again, is out of my reach!).

    The Cushman quote, by the way, is:

     
  15. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Unfortunately, so is mine (I will have to get it out of storage when I visit my parents over Christmas), but I read that book five times over, and I don't recall the Goldstone story. It's been a while since I read it though,and my mind could be playing tricks.

    Speaking of Justman and Solow's book, they could not account for why Star Trek continued to be renewed, but they speculated that it was due to its popularity with one particular demographic : colour TV owners. Their theory was that NBC's show Star Trek was helping sales of colour TV's for parent company RCA.

    As for Cushman, Harvey, yeah sorry I missed the Cushman preface after the foreword by the Blacks.
     
  16. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Here's what Pearson writes about the demographics, for what it's worth (from an earlier thread):

     
  17. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To me it's clear when the author is editorializing only because it's stated outright when memos, stars, guest stars, or crew are quoted. I found it easy enough to ignore the former because I immensely enjoyed the latter.
     
  18. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    In that respect, Cushman's book reminds me quite a bit of David Alexander's biography of Roddenberry, which reprinted dozens of letters and memos. Those were useful. And like Cushman, Alexander's connective prose was awkward, hyperbolic, bloated, and frequently an exercise in hagiography.

    For all those faults, though, at least Alexander's book was reasonably fact-checked -- and illustrated with images that were used with permission.
     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Editorializing is one thing, but stating things which are demonstrably factually incorrect is another.
     
  20. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Roddenberry sure liked giving NBC a kicking. He really had only himself to blame for struggling to find work after Star Trek. I mean, who would want to employ someone who kicks their former employer around in public so often? According to Roddenberry, at various times the network was racist/sexist/stupid/unsophisticated, when every shred of evidence suggests they were very progressive, insisting on a multi-racial cast at every turn, and writing detailed memo's encouraging the show's producers or suggesting improvements to scripts when required.

    Anyway, that's interesting information. You get the feeling NBC were heavily invested in Star Trek, and wanted it to do as well as it possibly could.

    I just read Cushman's chapter on The Alternative Factor, and unfortunately the rumour that the network pressured Coon into removing the interracial romance subplot with 'off the record phone calls' gets another airing, without any referencing.

    He does reveal lots of other interesting facts, though, which are supported with documentation. (eg : It was Roddenberry who suggested the Lazarus/Masters plot was too similar to Khan/Marla in Space Seed; Coon was under enormous pressure, getting critical memos about the script from the network even as shooting was underway; John Drew Barrymore pulled out when he saw how confusing the altered script had become).

    It's clear Cushman did a lot of work, and I'm looking forward to reading more, but the whole thing would have been taken up another level he'd stuck to things that were verifiable as fact.
     
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