TOS's largest one time prop.

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by T'Girl, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    The fund is specifically for *scripts* not stories, because once the script is commissioned, then the writer is paid either way. You don't have to pay a writer a script fee for an outline if it's never been approved to script in the first place. Paying for an option to use a story is much much cheaper than the full script payment.


    ["Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" was developed from a junked first season script. By coincidence I happened to have the information for that episode up on my screen.]
     
  2. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    This makes sense, and explains why the producers exercised so many "story cut-offs," but commissioned few teleplays that did were not produced.

    Indeed, in the first season, I believe the only teleplays that were not produced were "From The First Day to the Last" (John D.F. Black's attempt at an "envelope" for the original pilot), "The Omega Glory" (Roddenberry's proposed script for the second pilot, and, of course, a produced episode in the second season), and "A Portrait in Black and White."

    That makes the claim that the third season did not have the money to spend on scripts that would not be produced suspect, though, since the producers purchased at least three teleplays that year which were not produced (which I listed previously), in addition to exercising a number of story cut-offs.

    EDIT: Although "He Walked Among Us" appears to be a teleplay carried over from season two, not the third season. Hmm.

    EDIT 2: And "Shol" is a second season carry-over, too.

    EDIT 3: And "The Joy Machine" is from the second season, too. Okay, that clears that up a little. It looks like they didn't shelve any teleplays that year -- just stories.

    That first season script was called "A Portrait in Black and White." It was written by Barry Trivers. I believe Coon's third season attempt at the same story (as Lee Cronin) had multiple titles; and for some reason I want to say that "Down from Heaven" was one of them. Not sure, though.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I've never heard of that before. Is there any more information available about its story? I couldn't find anything online except for a brief mention on Memory Alpha and a listing in the index for the UCLA Roddenberry archives.
     
  4. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    I don't know much about it, alas, except when it was turned in and shelved. The copy at UCLA isn't even complete; the one time I attempted to read it was more confusing than enlightening.

    I do know that John D.F. Black filed for arbitration with the WGA for credit on "The Menagerie," claiming he came up with the story of the envelope in this earlier version of it, but he lost the arbitration, giving Roddenberry sole credit. I think that information is from the Solow/Justman book, although it might be from one of the two Roddenberry biographies by Engel or Alexander.

    As far as I know, Black is still alive. Perhaps someone here is in contact with him and could shed some light on this script? I'd certainly be happy to hear about it.
     
  5. gomtuu20

    gomtuu20 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    Beyond Antares
    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)

    One Million B.C. - THAT sparks my interest in what it might have been about.
     
  6. gomtuu20

    gomtuu20 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    Beyond Antares
    Was "Bem" mentioned in an earlier post utilized for the animated series?
     
  7. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Location:
    Rural North Carolina
    "Shore Leave II" and "BEM" were both used in Star Trek: The Animated Series. I recently watched them both. [TAS is the only Father's Day present I use regularly!]
     
  8. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    "Bem" was definitely repurposed for use on the animated series.

    I'm not so sure about "Shore Leave II." "Once Upon a Planet" is certainly a sequel to the original series episode, "Shore Leave." I'm just not sure it's the sequel that Sturgeon outlined.
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    ^^^"Ears" became "The Enterprise Incident", as per the menu to Shirley Stahnke from Roddenberry dated March 29, 1968.
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Ah, that's right.
     
  11. Duane

    Duane Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    Chiang Mai, Thailand
    I must be having a false memory again. I seem to recall reading somewhere (and this would have been 30 years ago) that the obelisk was trucked in from some shopping mall. At my current age that now seems crazy, and the drawing by Jeffries seems to indicate it was designed for the episode.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    It might've been a take on the "To Skin a Tyrannosaurus" story seed idea from Roddenberry's original ST proposal. The one-sentence pitch for that one was "A modern man reduced to a sling and club in a world 1,000,000 B.C."
     
  13. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    I own an original Jefferies sketch of the Obelisk, the one seen here:

    http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/misc/Obelisk6.jpg

    It is complete with elevation, and color detailing descriptions. Definitely built for production. I was hoping it would turn up in some Hollywood junkyard like the Shuttlecraft too :)

    Russ
     
  14. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Sounds possible. I haven't found any other reference to it outside of that writers report; it must not have gone far.
     
  15. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Yeah, Spinrad asked GR to kill it because he hated Coon's comical rewrite (this is the one they were trying to get Milton Berle to do.) Coon was gone partway through season 2, so that gives you a better timeframe, maybe.

    Wonder about that other Coon/Cronin one, hadn't heard of that.
     
  16. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    T'Girl
    Been wondering about this. I'd imagine that Apollo's temple, picnic table, planters, and small court yard weren't built from scratch, instead the various pieces were retrieved from studio storage (or a Hollywood supplier) and assembled on the sound stage.

    Roll out a little fake grass, and you're done.

    :)
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Indeed, the whole reason TOS did so many Earth-duplicate alien cultures was to save money by reusing props, costumes, set pieces, etc. from previous productions. Roddenberry specifically wrote it into his series pitch in order to convince network executives that the show would be affordable to make. So it's a safe bet that most of the stuff we see that's based on some historical Earth culture is pre-existing material, at least partly.
     
  18. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Returning to the original topic, wouldn't obelisk technically be a set and not a prop?

    My knowledge here is a bit spotty, but would the obelisk qualify as the largest item to be hauled out on location for the series (at least, an item that was seen on screen)? I don't think the shuttlecraft was ever brought outdoors.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    A set is an artificially constructed environment used for filming. I'd say the obelisk was more of a mock-up (i.e. a full-sized model of a thing), a term I've seen used to describe the shuttlecraft exterior.


    That seems likely, at least in terms of the volume/area of any single item.
     
  20. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    It's a structure, like a shed or a house, ergo it's technically a set.

    I seem to recall that someone on the production mentioned that it was trucked up to the location from the studio. It might be in the text from interviews I did with some members of the crew. I'll look around.