Roddenberry's Worst Ideas

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by ZapBrannigan, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Love the memo excerpts. Is there an online source or some type of collection available to the public? Would enjoy reading more.
     
  2. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    A Few documents are available in various places online -- the teleplays to a few episodes, a couple of memos, the original pitch, a few story outlines -- but I haven't been able to find a hell of a lot. The great treasure troves are in archival collections: the Gene Roddenberry, Bob Justman, and Harve Bennett papers at UCLA; the DeForest Kelley papers at the Academy Library; the Nick Meyer papers at the University of Iowa. You have to make an appointment to see these, but they are all available to the public.

    I have transcribed or scanned between two and three hundred documents from these collections, and occasionally remember a bit pertinent to the conversation here. I have been thinking about starting a website or blog to share some of this stuff, actually, but I am hesitant because of copyright issues. (Not to mention that it would be hard work!)
     
  3. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Location:
    New York State
    That's right. The truth as I understand it went like this:

    - Gene gave a plum co-starring role to one of the women he was cheating on his wife with, Majel, who wasn't very good on screen.

    - NBC execs liked the idea of putting a woman in such a prominent spot, but said a better or more charismatic actress would be needed.

    - Gene lied to Majel to spare her feelings, saying that NBC wouldn't allow a woman to hold a high rank.

    - In order to keep up that pretense, Gene had to nix the idea of a female executive officer. This ended up being very good luck for Leonard Nimoy-- and searingly bad for gender equality in STAR TREK going forward.

    - Gene's lie to Majel, which had to be preserved for the sake of their relationship, took on a life of its own, becoming a well-publicized and self-aggrandizing story of Roddenberry fighting the male chauvinist pigs at NBC as much as he could, but just not winning. The actual executives, who had been all in favor of a strong female co-star on STAR TREK, felt slandered by this, but they apparently never tried to make their case publicly. The fan community just wasn't high enough on their radar, I'd guess.
     
  4. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Right-on. Excellent post. :techman:
     
  5. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Great information, thank you. And thank you for sharing what you can - all very interesting.
     
  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    #istandwithcbs
    He was 100% right the first time! It was bad that, in order to depict more normal interactions between people, Voyager had to have a half-Maquis crew, Deep Space Nine had to be set on a frontier space station where humans are the minority and Enterprise had to be set 200 years before this evolved TNG vision of humanity.
     
  7. CaptainStoner

    CaptainStoner Knuckle-dragging TNZ Denizen Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Hill dweller
    No money is NOT on the worst list by any means!
     
  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    ^ It's on mine.
     
  9. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    I personally interpreted it as Kirk's career precluded a relationship with Janice, he choose it over her.

    But it could be seen another way, just as it sounds coming out of Janice's mouth. Science fiction often depicts societies in the future that are different than our own. It might be that at that particular time in history Human females actually could not be assigned to the posting of Captain, that there was a "glass ceiling" in place, there had been one for some years, and would be for another twenty odd years in the Trek universe.

    There no requirement that the mid 23rd century be a exact analog of the early 21st century. Even today among the western nations, it quite rare for a female officer to be given command of a combatant naval vessel.

    Step out of the "in-universe" for a moment, and look at it from a story telling point of view. Having money in the story, with all the things that come with that, adds a level of complexity to the life's of the characters that otherwise would be absent.

    Having no money would be simplistic and easy. It'd be like having a planet with one climate (desert, forest, ice). One race. One culture. One religion. One style of dress. "In-universe," (out of range of the cameras) the worlds visited likely aren't the same everywhere, they're complex and diverse

    So "in-universe" the bolt of cloth did come out of Beverly's pay, and the poker games did have monetary gambling, the O'Brien's wedding gift from the replicator was deducted from Worf's account. And when you get food and drink in Ten Forward, you do pay for it.

    Tell you what, let us cut this down to a basic fact of the show ... WE SEE AND HEAR THEM USING MONEY.

    Take for example the house we see Kirk in (Generations). Kirk clearly states that he owned the house, and he sold the house at some point. While there is some debate, the usual interpretation is that the time period where Kirk is cooking the eggs is between TMP and TWOK. So prior to the events of TVH, Kirk owned a piece of real estate, that he would sell.

    Scotty bought a boat, Uhura tried to buy a tribble.

    This is one of the quotes I usually add to debates on this subject. The writers of the show lived in a society with a market economy, this is why (despite Roddenberry's wish) money and monetary reference keep making their way into the episodes. It's how for instants a Federation member got a major bank. And Quark was able to sell his shuttle in Earth's system for scrap. And a corporation within the Federation was able to own entire planets.

    The difference there of course is Jake actual did received monetary value for the sell of the land. It was made clear in the example of the book that Jake (as he said himself) was indeed employing a figure of speech.

    What is in the least "self-contradictory" about any of that?

    I don't think you're using that correctly.

    :)
     
    Rojixus likes this.
  10. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Location:
    Bulawayo Military Krral
    Plus, what Gary Seven did as told by Greg Cox in the novels he wrote just caused said nuclear holocaust to happen anyway.


    Methinks that on the last one, Roddenberry was becoming senile and out of it as far as TV writing was concerned, and he should have been kicked upstairs just like he was when the movies with the original cast were being made.
     
  11. Capt_Pickirk

    Capt_Pickirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    Sunny ol' Blighty
    One of Roddenberry's ideas that bugs me is the attitude to death in TNG. In 'The Bonding' we see that children are expected to repress their own feelings concerning the death of someone close to them and mourning someone is considered 'backward'.
     
  12. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination

    yes, and his attitude would actually be seen as psychologically unhealthy.
     
  13. ROBE

    ROBE Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    No money or credit makes no logical sense. If you create such a society you should explain how it works. Before money was created people would barter or use weights of silver and gold as an early money. So in Roddenberry's universe you can go into a bar and order as many drinks as you like?
     
  14. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Location:
    CoveTom
    No, because we've seen our heroes pay for things at many a bar, including one on Space Station K-7 which was run by a human.

    Look, people can try to rationalize this all they want. The simple fact is that despite what Picard may want Lily to believe, we have seen on-screen evidence time and time and time again that Federation citizens do use money of some sort. From Scotty buying a boat to Crusher buying a bolt of fabric to Sisko buying real estate. There are tons of examples. Way too many to hand wave away.
     
  15. teegirl

    teegirl Cadet Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    It was in the episode Neutral Zone that Crusher (iirc) said something to the effect of "people in the 20th century feared death."

    She said it in a way as to suggest that people in the 24th century naturally didn't.

    Thing there is we've seen people struggle to save the live's of others, rush friends to sickbay, and even duck behind rocks when fired upon. Are these the actions of individuals in a society that possessed no fear of death?

    :p
     
  16. ROBE

    ROBE Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Roddenberry also stated there were no enlisted in Starfleet, again contradicted by episodes.
     
  17. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    Also I believe in one of the last TNG episodes, Riker is talking to Quark and trying to get him to give up some information. Riker - I'm paraphrasing here - cashes in all the Federation credit vouchers he's accumulated at Quark's. So basically Riker gives Quark a specific sum of money (Federation credits) in exchange for information.
     
  18. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Especially since the concept and fear of "death" is considered by many to be what fuels all aspects of humanities endeavors from religion to the sciences to everything in between and beyond.
     
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    Anyone who doesn't fear death, IS dead. :shrug:
     
  20. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Location:
    New York State
    T'Girl is on her game. :)

    I'd say Picard's FIRST CONTACT line about "the economics of the 24th century" was the writer handing us a simplistic fairy tale of future socialist utopia. It was doubly insulting to our intelligence because there was no economic thought behind it and no respect for past continuity.

    Kirk's ST4 line, "These people are still using money," was probably intended as a statement of the same lefty Hollywood fairy tale, and similarly insulting in its vacuity, but it can be set aside as a reference to physical currency as others have said. Picard's line is unworkable and inexcusable.