Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Gary7, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. AtoZ

    AtoZ Commander Red Shirt

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    Hollyweird is a strange world. It's often high school among adults, IMO.

    I remember seeing Doohan at a convention here in Toronto back in June or July 1992. He was terrific but before too long he was ranting and raving about "that man" as if Shatner had slashed the tires on Jimmy's car the week before. When I read a few of the earlier posts and that Doohan had been doing this at conventions as far back as the mid-80's, to me it casts a dim shadow on the person giving the bitter account more than anything I might want (or not, as the case may be) to believe about Shatner.

    Incidentally, Doohan appeared to be quite liquored up at that appearance, long before he started on the rant.
     
  2. TrickyDickie

    TrickyDickie Commodore Commodore

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    A hard look at the complete 'big picture' pretty much hammers it home that the world in general is a lot that way....everything from 'road rage' to fighting for items in the stores on 'Black Friday' and on and on.

    Reminds me of Burgess Meredith in the 'Grumpy' movies:

    "Damn kids....!" :rofl:
     
  3. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The only way Takei's reaction to his "lost" promotion makes any rational sense is if maybe even at that early date he was already trying to lay the groundwork for his much yearned for "Captain Sulu" TV series.

    Although...I'm not sure Takei's apparent belief that he could actually carry a TV series is all that rational either. ;)
     
  4. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Indeed. :vulcan: Thanks a lot for posting that, Dicky.

    Incidentally, what's the story behind your use of Nixon and why Spock has steam coming out of his ears? :rommie:
     
  5. TrickyDickie

    TrickyDickie Commodore Commodore

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    I was born two weeks after The City on The Edge of Forever was first broadcast. Nixon is the first president I remember. The thing is, especially after Watergate, adults around me at the time called him 'Tricky Dickie' more than anything else and as a little kid I thought that was his real name. :lol: When I first signed on here, ten years ago this week, I was trying to decide on a good screen name. I remembered Spock's line in Star Trek VI...."Only Nixon could go to China." So, that's what I chose. A bit later, I came across Doug Little's wonderful piece of artwork that he created in 1982 of Spock mindmelding with Nixon....steam coming out of Spock's ears because he is overloaded by all of the weirdness rattling around in Nixon's head. Made the perfect accompanying avatar! :rofl:

    And, I can be tricky at times....like posting the photo last year of the Enterprise saucer that wasn't that at all. :devil: Just like to keep people on their toes and make things fun and interesting on occasion. :techman:
     
  6. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ :lol: Fun to hear about this, TD. I also remember Nixon quite well. My oddity is that I thought Exxon was his company and that he still owned it while being President. I'll never forget that New Yorker magazine front cover that showed a caricature of Nixon hanging himself, holding his own noose. Anyway, I didn't know anything about Doug Little before. Apparently he crafted that piece in 1982 for Lincoln Enterprises (Roddenberry's notorious Star Trek memorabilia stint). Just checked out the large resolution copy. Really great detail in it. :)
     
  7. TrickyDickie

    TrickyDickie Commodore Commodore

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    That's a great story too....Exxon....LOL! Immediately reminded me of Mel Gibson's line in Lethal Weapon 3 where he was using his mouth to siphon gas and got a bad taste of that brand! :lol:

    Yes, Doug Little did a really great job with that.

    I still laugh about the Nixon bio movie starring Lane Smith....when he raised his arms for the dual peace signs, he got the rumpling of the suit jacket just right! :guffaw:
     
  8. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Takei's sense of TV history must have been poor, as the medium--up to that point--had a long stretch of spinoffs which failed to attract the public and/or reach the same level of quality of the parent series.

    From Happy Days spinoffs Out of the Blue & Joanie Loves Chachi to Mrs. Columbo (starring some actress with the uncanny misfortune of leading another bad spinoff some 16 years later), The Sanford Arms & Grady (from Sanford and Son) or Galactica 1980, the public usually found spin-offs to be inferior--or at least watered down versions of the original concept.

    Unlike every other series mentioned, Star Trek was a concept so tied to the "big three," that they were the literal heart and soul of the series, with everything else--including supporting characters--pulled into orbiting their world, not the other way around. As many have pointed out, Takei allowed convention/post-series fandom to convince him Sulu was more important that anything ever seen on the live action or animated series.

    He should have paid attention to the merchandisng as his crystal ball to predict the chances of a Sulu show:

    when TOS merchandising exploded in the early 1970s, he did not even earn being made into one of the famous Mego action figures and I do not recall him appearing more than 4 times (if that) on the Gold Key comic tie-in covers. Tie-in covers were a strong indicator of who was percieved as the face/draw of a property, so it was no surprise to see Kirk and Spock dominating almost every issue of that comic series. Takei's absense from two major forms of off-series ST should have clued him in on Sulu's true market value to the franchise.

    Add the fact Nimoy had to fight for his character's use on TAS, and should have set off red alerts (heh) that to the general public--and TV producers, Sulu was not exactly ready for prime time.
     
  9. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hell, in the Power Records book and record sets, Sulu was drawn as a black man (while Uhura was a blonde white girl).

    Takei was upset over the "don't call me tiny" line in Star Trek III, thinking the fans saw Sulu as some amazing hero. "They don't see Sulu as tiny." He totally didn't get it. He did admit he was wrong when it got a huge laugh (as intended), but it really points up that his ego is no smaller than Shatner's. If nothing else, it's larger since Shatner at least earned his!
     
  10. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    When I heard that Sulu was appearing on VOY...I thought for sure that Voyager would discover The Excelsior, and we would get a flashback story from Tuvok detailing "The Last Sulu Story"
     
  11. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    His current 'internet fame' is probably doing nothing to diminish that too.
     
  12. TrickyDickie

    TrickyDickie Commodore Commodore

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    I recall reading in Russell Johnson's book about Gilligan's Island that he felt relegated to second class status due to the first version of the intro that referred to The Professor and MaryAnne simply as "the rest." As many episodes that pretty much centered around some contraption that his character put together out of the equivalent of stone knives and bear skins.... this kind of whining and complaining for years on end long after the fact doesn't do much to enhance the image of these people.
     
  13. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But in Johnson's defense, he was a major character in a true ensemble, who got a lot of important scenes. Many of the episodes depended on his character. In contrast, Sulu was MIA for a lot of second season episodes and the only real impact was felt by Walter Koenig who suddenly had more to do. So, yeah, Johnson had reason to complain. Considering how many other people sat in the helmsman's seat and got just as many lines, Takei should whine less.
     
  14. TrickyDickie

    TrickyDickie Commodore Commodore

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    Well, when the original intro was done no one knew how it would all go, as far as cast members and storylines, etc. The very fact that as the series progressed Johnson did get plenty of meaty screen time makes it odd, to say the least, that he would come along years later and be complaining about that one little 'slight' at the beginning. Seems like the very good involvement that they gave him over time should have very nicely smoothed that over. Oh well....
     
  15. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Usually, yes. But let's not forget such spin-offs as
    The Andy Griffith Show
    Gomer Pyle USMC (a spin-off of a spin-off)
    The Jeffersons
    The Bionic Woman
    Maude
    Barnaby Jones
    Mork & Mindy
    LaVerne & Shirley
    Happy Days itself
    Lou Grant
    Rhoda
    Jake and the Fatman
    Good Times
    Benson
    Green Acres
     
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I dunno if The Andy Griffith Show can really be considered a spin-off from the Danny Thomas Show, since the episode in question was what they called a "backdoor pilot", much like Assignment: Earth was on Star Trek.
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    According to David Alexander's biography of Gene Roddenberry, Shatner had a few percentage points of the profits on the series. Paramount eventually began paying him those points in the 1980s, after he filed a lawsuit against the studio (this was perhaps only threatened; I would have to consult the book to be sure).

    The line was shot. I've seen a workprint of the film at UCLA, which includes this short scene, and Shatner flubs the take.

    (Of course, it's a good thing Sulu wasn't promoted. If he was, he'd probably have departed the series.)

    Mork and Mindy was also the result of a "backdoor pilot" on Happy Days, I believe.
     
  18. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Ahh, but there's more:

    There's not a single All in the Family spinoff held in the same high regard (and Good Times is regarded as very offensive in many ways), and that includes the show it morphed into, Archie Bunker's Place. Lou Grant is largely MIA to later generations, while parent series Mary Tyler Moore still runs and is praised frequently. While not an official spinoff, The Green Hornet eventually became part of Batman's official TV continuity, but if you ignore latter day Bruce Lee nostalgia, or memories of the crossover, TGH did not reach the skyrocketing height of Batman.

    Then, there's more which failed outright, and/or never approached the success of the parent series:

    After MASH.

    Getting Together (a failed spinoff of The Partridge Family).

    The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.

    Honey West (a spinoff of Burke's Law).

    Three's A Crowd (from Three's Company).

    Hello, Larry was retconned during production to be associated with Diff'rent Strokes (and flopped).

    Just the 10 of Us (Growing Pains spinoff).

    Day by Day (Family Ties spinoff).

    Open House (spinoff of Duet).

    Top of the Heap (Married...with Children spinoff).

    Tabitha (Bewitched spinoff).

    Living Dolls and Charmed Lives (Who's the Boss? spinoffs--both earned quick deaths).

    Flo (Alice spinoff).

    There's more than enough failed or disregarded series over the decades--certainly enough to get that "Captain Sulu" nonsense out of Takei's mind....but when one was as delusioal as he was--thinking his character needs to be elevated to Kirk-like levels--history soared right over his head.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  19. Josan

    Josan Commodore Commodore

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    It actually would be a bit insulting to Johnson and Wells that five of the seven were mentioned in the opening of S1 and the two of them weren't. But I've never heard either of them complain about it. I've only ever heard them state it as fact when an interviewer or fan is asking a question or wanting to hear a story (that has already been asked/answered/heard hundreds of times anyhow).

    And as any fan of the show, or 60s pop culture enthusiast, has heard it was Bob Denver that was apparently the most miffed about it. He went to the studio asking them to change the theme to include them. When the studio said it would cost too much to re-record it he reminded them that his contract allowed him to be billed anywhere and they could either change the theme or bill him after everyone else. The theme was changed and, as the story goes, Johnson and Wells didn't find out why until years after the show had ended.

    And when the original intro theme was done, it was a completely different style and lyric and only four of the seven characters remained unchanged from the pilot.

    Back on to the ST ego topic... I also think Takei's ego has inflated his sense of the character's importance and his own.
     
  20. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Very generous of Denver...unlike his GI co-star Tina Louise, who was pissed with Sherwood Schwartz, because she thought the show was supposed to focus on the Ginger character. What an out of control ego. Did she bother to look at the series title on scripts or production office doors?

    It makes no sense--even after the fan love he recieved post ST production years; the convention/media circuit reflected the pecking order--when people thought of ST, Takei's mug was not the first to pop into fan minds.

    When rumors swirled about the return of ST as TV series or movie, Shatner and Nimoy were the top concern/hope for interested parties, not Takei or his Sulu character.