Trek guest actors in maybe surprising roles

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Maurice, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Captain Captain

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    Okay, I'll concede that one. My statement came from an interpretation of a paragraph in THE COMPLETE MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE DOSSIER by Patrick J. White, wherein Mr White writes in the notes for the seventh season episode, "Two Thousand" (emphasis mine):

    After reading that, you can understand why I thought it was a direct remake of the same script, yet the writers credits are different. So my apologies for my incorrect assumptions.

    I also have a feeling - and no proof - that there may have been episodes of BEWITCHED with recycled scripts and different Darrens. A BEWITCHED expert could probably confirm or deny that.

    As for the MANNIX recycle, the producers probably figured that the show was different enough - in season one, Mannix worked for Intertect and in all other seasons he was out on his own - that only diehard fans would remember the script.

    One of the reasons MANNIX was finally canceled after eight seasons was that Paramount wanted to sell it into syndication so that ABC could run it in late-nights. In those days, syndications didn't start until the series was finished its prime time network run - a situation that would soon change.

    So, the thought process was probably that no-one would recall that earlier version of the same script. And season one was never offered in syndication.

    Harry
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, the networks were doing "showcases" like that well into the '80s. In the '60s, though, they often did actual summer-replacement series, often variety shows and such. Reruns existed, but were far less common than they later became. In fact, I've seen it asserted that it was the success of Star Trek in rerun syndication -- with far fewer episodes, and thus more repetition, than a standard syndication package would have -- that convinced TV programmers that audiences would tolerate more reruns, and led to the ongoing reduction in the number of new episodes per year that we've had ever since.


    Those were not the same story. In TNG's "A Matter of Perspective" by Ed Zuckerman, which was a riff on Rashomon, the holodeck was used to reconstruct the crime from various perspectives. In VGR's "Ex Post Facto" by Evan Carlos Somers and Michael Piller, Tom Paris was forced to relive the victim's memories of the crime over and over, and Tuvok used a mind meld to experience Paris's own memories; no holodeck was involved.

    It's true that there were some stories that were very similar in concept, like DS9's "Shadowplay" and ENT's "Oasis" or DS9's "Children of Time" and ENT's "E^2." But they were still different scripts by different writers. Using similar concepts is not the same as actually remaking the same script, which is what we're talking about here. The two Mannix episodes under discussion had different titles and character names, but they were both credited to John Meredyth Lucas.


    Oh, come on. Different stories have similarities to each other all the time. That's not deliberate theft, it's just because there are only so many ways to put story elements together. And we're not talking about perceived similarities between different stories, we're talking about the exact same script being refilmed. That's a completely different subject.


    Quoting from my own blog review of "Two Thousand":
    Though of course neither was literally a remake; all three scripts had different credits.



    Well, that makes sense. Sort of like how The Naked Gun reused a lot of jokes from Police Squad! because that show had been cancelled after 6 episodes and they didn't expect anyone would ever see it again. But really, what surprises me is not so much that Mannix did it, but that I can't recall any other show from the era doing it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  3. Josan

    Josan Commodore Commodore

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    I've been doing a re-watch of Hogan's Heroes lately and I'm completely surprised at how many guest actors from TOS did Hogan's Heroes too.

    I'll be watching and all of a sudden, Hey! There's Eve. There's Joe Tormolen. There's Sylvia. There's Korob. There's Manager Lurry from K-7. I haven't kept count but I'd say I've probably seen about a dozen guests from TOS that did Hogan's Heroes. And Marc Daniels directed his share of Hogan's Heroes episodes.

    I just find it interesting because as a kid growing up in the late 70s and early 80s I watched a lot of 60s re-runs and I've never seen so many TOS guests. In Gilligan's Island for example, I can only think of one, which is Stanley Adams (Cyrano Jones).
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mickey Morton (Kloog) was in the same episode where Adams appeared. Also, Michael Forest (Apollo) played an island native in the Gilligan's Island episode "Slave Girl."

    Some more obscure connections: Billy Curtis, who was one of the fez-wearing gold-skinned ambassadors in "Journey to Babel," appeared in a dream sequence in "Lovey's Secret Admirer." Janos Prohaska played a gorilla in three Gilligan episodes (and probably any other show that featured a gorilla in the '60s). And Charles Maxwell, who played Virgil Earp in "Spectre of the Gun," was in more Gilligan episodes than anyone but the seven leads, though he was never credited; he was the voice on the radio.

    And he's not a TOS guest, but Frank Corsentino, who played three different Ferengi in TNG and VGR, made his screen debut as a "Native" in a GI episode. Also, the first Gilligan reunion movie had Vincent Schiavelli (TNG: "The Arsenal of Freedom") and the third had Rosalind Chao.

    Not to mention that GI's music for most of the series was composed by Gerald Fried, best known for scoring "Amok Time." (Before that it was by Johnny Williams, better known today as John Williams.)

    Maybe what's surprising is that GI guests like Hans Conreid, Vito Scotti, Nehemiah Persoff, and the teenaged Kurt Russell never did Star Trek when they were so ubiquitous on '60s TV.
     
  5. The Old Building & Loan

    The Old Building & Loan Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    I knew that "modern Trek" was getting long in the tooth when I was watching episodes of ENT and could think of at least two episodes of different Trek series that had used the same basic plot.

    On the subject of direct remakes being made within the same series over the course of years, it reminds me of a phenomenon that I've read used to happen in comics back in the 50s and 60s. Members of the Legion of Super-Heroes such as Mon-El, Star Boy, and Sun Boy were introduced in Superboy stories that were thinly-veiled remakes of Superman or Superboy stories that had only been published around 5 years earlier. The belief in the industry at the time was that kids outgrew comics and the then-current readers wouldn't have seen the earlier versions of the stories.

    Were there seven leads...or were there five leads "and all the rest"...?
     
  6. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Depends on which version of the theme song you like. ;)
     
  7. The Old Building & Loan

    The Old Building & Loan Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    ^It was the original "yada yada yada"!
     
  8. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    According to the book by Russell Johnson (the Professor), Bob Denver forced a showdown with the producers to get Johnson's and Dawn Wells' names in the opening credits. Johnson didn't learn this until years later, after the show ended. Apparently, Denver's contract allowed him to choose how he would be billed. He threatened to have his own name appear in the end credits, if Johnson and Wells weren't moved up front.
     
  9. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    No, I'm dead serious. Watch the closing scenes of both eps , B5 first, then V'ger. They're not just similar, it's c;early ripped off. There's even stolen dialog.
     
  10. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Ah, okay. Never mind then. :lol:
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I seem to recall BaBara Luna claiming her "Buck Rogers" episode pretty much recycled the plot from an episode of some old Western she'd previously guest-starred on. (Bonanza?) Luna played essentially the same part in both versions, which were also written and/or directed by the same guy. According to her, they had joked at the time about the fact they were doing the same story--but this time in space!

    Forgive my fuzzy memory, but this was something she mentioned in person at a Star Trek event many, many years ago.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    We're getting way off-topic here, but here are transcripts of both:

    "Mind War"

    "The Gift"

    I see no identical dialogue. One or two similar lines, but similar is not identical. There are some broad similarities in the climactic situations, but there are clear differences as well.

    And it's inevitable that different works of fiction dealing with similar concepts and tropes will have similarities. Creators in the same culture and the same genre are drawing on the same conceptual foundations and vocabulary, and there are only so many ways those building blocks can be put together into a coherent narrative. So stories unintentionally resemble each other all the time. Literally the most common reason why story pitches to any television series get rejected is "We're already doing a story like that." I experienced that myself twice when I tried pitching to Star Trek. Heck, I mailed in a TNG spec script and then a very similar episode aired only 10 days later! Such coincidences are unavoidable. Every writer has experienced them. It's not theft, it's just working from a common palette of ideas, inspirations, and tropes.

    Now can we please drop these ridiculous accusations and get back on topic?
     
  13. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    BarBara only did one episode of Bonanza, but neither the director or writer of the episode worked on the Buck Rogers episodes (2) she was in. She did make appearances in several western series though. And I spotted director Vincent McEveety's name on one of the Buck Rogers she did (Time of the Hawk), so maybe it's him.

    Found it perhaps, she and McEveety both worked on an episode of Cimarron Strip (The Legend of Jud Starr), with guest Darren McGavin.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  14. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    There was an episode of Alias Smith and Jones in 1971 which reused a Gene Roddenberry story/Howard Browne teleplay from The Virginian in 1963. I am not sure how similar the episodes are, having seen neither, but the co-writers received credit on both shows and the synopses on IMDB are very similar.
     
  15. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Christopher Bennet, defender of the faith!! :lol:

    Okay, okay, back to our scheduled programming.
     
  16. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    There were more than one of the BIONIC WOMAN/SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN remakes. I don't remember how many offhand, but the one I remember most involved Jaime and Rudy/Steve and Oscar getting stranded on a deserted island with an assassin after Rudy/Oscar. A lot of effort went into reusing effects while handwaving in new stories to justify them, as well.

    As far as BEWITCHED is concerned, reusing scripts was prevalent in the '60s for series that went from B/W to color. It was mostly happenstance that the new, color versions all had a new Darren as well. Several Lost In Space B/W episodes were redone in color.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Yes, that's the specific 6M$M/TBW remake I'm thinking of. I don't know of any others.

    And building stories around stock FX/action footage was a common TV practice. It happened several times on The Incredible Hulk. "Never Give a Trucker an Even Break" was built around footage from Steven Spielberg's debut TV movie Duel, and "Earthquakes Happen" was built around footage from Earthquake. Galactica 1980 also repurposed FX footage from Earthquake as a computer simulation of a Cylon attack on Earth.

    I recently saw an early '50s B-movie called The Magnetic Monster whose climactic action was mostly a reuse of footage from a 1934 German film.

    I'm pretty familiar with LiS's production background and I'm not aware of any such instances. The color seasons of the show were radically different in tone and approach than the black-and-white first season, much campier and much more focused on Dr. Smith and the Robot, who was a much more human and comical character in seasons 2-3 than he was in season 1. Any first-season script would've had to be heavily rewritten to work in a later season.

    Maybe what you're thinking of is the original ship-crash footage from the pilot, which was filmed on color stock so that it could be reused if the show later went to color -- and which was indeed reused in color in the early second season. Or maybe you're thinking of how Land of the Giants' "Wild Journey" was basically a rehash of LiS's "The Time Merchant."
     
  18. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    Never watched Land of the Giants. And the LiS episodes were, to my knowledge, heavily re-written, usually to the point that the original is summed up in a throwaway line.

    I can think of at least three other shows that started out B/W and went to color that remade episodes to go with the new format, but the only one I can remember the name of is Gilligan's Island. It was a regular practice in the '60s.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^I think we're defining "remake" very differently. I'm very familiar with Gilligan's Island and I don't remember any remakes. Rehashes of similar concepts and tropes, sure, but not literal remakes of the same scripts.
     
  20. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I think the only remake of Gilligan was replacing some of the actors from the pilot.