Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by T'Girl, Nov 26, 2012.
I'm thinking the Vol set/prop in the "Apple" was fairly large as well.
The Galileo shuttlecraft was a pretty good sized prop too. Regarding the Paradise Syndrome Obelisk, I was convinced it must have been something redressed from another production, until I saw Jefferies' sketches a few years ago.
Methinks Mike misremembered. It seems unlikely that a show that budget conscious would have thrown a half an episode's worth of budget at optical effects.
By the way, hi!
The difference being that it was intended for ongoing use so the cost was amortized across the full series. Also, didn't they contract the construction out to AMT in exchange for the model-kit rights, or something?
These are all excellent points, Chris. And, thanks for putting it in context w/ the village set etc.
Could be true. I've always heard the cause was Gene Roddenberry taking more of a backseat role, and new writers being brought on board (for less pay, no doubt). A look at the writers for each season shows quite a few new ones (and Gene L. Coon using a Lee Cronin as a pen name).
Though before giving Roddenberry too much credit, if you notice his two third season contributions in clue such gems as "The Savage Curtain" and "Turnabout Intruder".
Yup. Which has been giving us model-builders a for decades, because the AMT model is horribly, horribly inaccurate to both the prop AND the filming miniature.
Yes. For some reason I blanked on the thread title specifying "one-time prop" and didn't notice until after making the post. One of my disappointments with the AMT model was it didn't have an interior, and I couldn't find any 1/25 or 1/32 scale figures that seemed to match its size.
They probably saved some money on costume design for the episode. Must have been plenty of Amerindian getup lying around from old Westerns.
Mine did, sort of. There were seven seats (but no platform floor), an front control panel and a interior bulkhead that gave the model a bluge 3/4 of the way back from the bow.
My astronauts made of lego blocks fit the seat nicely. Plus it floated in the tub.
Maybe I'm misremembering in my old age. The last time I had the model was during the 70s. I know the door and windows were molded into the body and didn't open.
Wisely and very well stated, Christopher!
Both of you are correct. The "hatch" was merely indented seams in the two hull pieces and (in the initial release) the viewports were just indented sections in the hull. (The 80s re-release had the viewports empty and a clear piece of styrene fitted into the holes.)
But it did have a control console, a rear bulkhead (with the scribed seams of a pocket door) and 7 bucket seats (that mounted upon stems molded into the bottom hull piece rather than the "brackets" depicted in the series).
As designed, the kit instructions suggested one NOT glue the hull sections together so that the top half could be removed to see the interior.
The kit's biggest "flaw" was the elimination of the staggered "step stair" arrangement at the stern. Instead, it was simply "squared" off. The other inaccuracies didn't detract too badly, but the bottom stern element was nothing like the miniature or the full size set piece.
Fortunately, that will be corrected with the totally new 1/32 scale kit Round2 is currently designing.
The kit was doubtless simplified to make the tooling cheaper and make fewer parts. To do the hull properly would require a minimum or four to six parts.
I think I stopped buying the model kits when they got over $10. Now I have a low priced modeling/animation program and video editor, which I collectively describe as having a movie studio in a box.
I doubt the writers were paid less for their work in the third season than in the previous two years; union rules tend to keep those costs pretty stable, do they not?
A lot of writers who had previously written for the show were retained, too. D.C. Fontana, Gene Coon, Gene Roddenberry, John Meredyth Lucas, Oliver Crawford, Margaret Armen, Jerry Sohl, and Jerome Bixby had all written for the show at least once during the first two seasons. All but Sohl have multiple writing credits during the third year.
What did change was the show's production staff. Gene Coon was no longer producer (he left near the end of season two) and his late season replacement, John Meredyth Lucas, was not asked to continue in the role during season three. D.C. Fontana left her role as script consultant. Gene Roddenberry was executive producer, but in name only. Although all four of these people were still around as writers, none of them were around to re-write material to bring it in line with the series format and characters, and the show suffered for it.
^"Retained" isn't really the right word there, since many of the writers you list were freelancers, certainly during the third season. They would've been hired on an episode-by-episode basis. They would've simply been rehired. And I think the episodes credited to Fontana (or "Michael Richards") and Coon were ones left over from season 2's script development anyway.
"Retained" was clumsy; "rehired" would be better. All of the writers I listed were working as freelancers (except, perhaps, Roddenberry), which the series relied on heavily for stories.
Fontana signed a contract in February of 1968 to write three scripts for the third season (with an option for three additional scripts). "The Enterprise Incident," "Joanna," and "Survival" were all written for the third season as part of that contract. She hated the way all three were re-written and she declined to write further for the series.
Writing as Lee Cronin, for legal reasons outlined in the Solow/Justman book, Coon continued to work as a freelancer for the third season. Story outlines were turned in for "The Last Gunfight" and "Wink of an Eye" in March of 1968, and "Spock's Brain" in April of 1968. "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" was a second try at a story that had been junked in the first season ("A Portrait in Black and White"), but Coon wrote a new story outline in March of 1968.
So, no, those weren't leftovers from season two's script development.
Desilu covered more of the overhead. Paramount made the show pay for all of it. So it ended up as a smaller amount of money to spend on actual production during the Paramount episodes. This is detailed somewhere in the Inside Star Trek book but I don't have it anymore to give a page number.
The cost per script is exactly the same. But there is usually a fund for 4 or 5 extra scripts that might not work out, because you still have to pay the writer even if you don't produce the episode due to the WGA agreement. Without that fund in the third season, they just had to produce any script commissioned.
Oh, I understand the concept. During the first season, at least thirteen stories were bought and then junked (although one, "Rock-A-Bye-Baby, or Die," was bought back by George Clayton Johnson).
What I doubt is the claim that the staff was unable to junk a single story during the third season. Looking at the writers report from the production week ending 3-29-68, in fact, I know this isn't true. The document lists three teleplays that were finished and turned in, but not produced:
"Shol" (Darlene Hartman)
"The Joy Machine" (Theodore Sturgeon)
"He Walks Among Us" (Norman Spinrad)
It lists several story outlines that were turned in, but not produced:
"Bem" (David Gerrold)
"Down from Heaven"* (Lee Cronin)
"The Godhead" (John M. Lucas)
It also lists several story outlines that were assigned at that point, but not produced (this is the last writers report in the Roddenberry papers at UCLA):
"Van Voyt's Robots" (D.C. Fontana)
"Ears" (D.C. Fontana)
"Japan Triumphant" (Lee Cronin)
"One Million, B.C." (Lee Cronin)
"Shore Leave II" (Theodore Sturgeon)
*Might this be "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"?
Separate names with a comma.