What do people feel about Gene?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by TheLobes, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    He told NBC that if they gave him the early evening, Monday prime time slot he wanted for ST's third season, that he'd stay on as producer. NBC accepted that deal, then they switched ST back to an even later timeslot - on Fridays, when the young, core audience was out enjoying the end of their university week. Having threatened to walk, he carried out that threat. The show was not "dying" at the end of Season Two, although NBC wasn't happy with its ratings and wanted to try a better timeslot. The final episode of TOS for that year was a backdoor pilot for another TV series, "Assignment: Earth".

    No, he turned down involvement with TNG several times, IIRC, but Paramount was going to make a new series with GR's involvement or not. Paramount wanted his return to active involvement as part of the media hype.
     
  2. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    He may well be, but that doesn't make the script any better. The parts of Encounter dealing with the local aliens are fairly unremarkable, but the terrible stilted dialogue of the "Q" sections is only made tolerable by a couple of excellent actors. So I don't know that Kai is incorrect at all.
     
  3. Merky

    Merky Captain Captain

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    He still walked off and the show suffered in writing and in production. S3 is by far the worst season quality wise compared to the other two seasons and had Gene been there the quality probably would not have suffered as it did.

    You don't sacrifice your show because you didn't get what you wanted. You fight through and work with what you got. I wouldn't call that commendable at all.

    He jumped on and threw his name on the animated series and he jumped on for TMP, so obviously he realized the potential with the growing popularity. He should have stayed with his show until the end. Not just sit there and collect a check and watch it self implode by shitty writing, crappy production, and other stupid stuff that destroyed S3.

    And if he didn't want no part of TNG he should have just walked away. Yet, he stayed anyway. Meh, whatever.
     
  4. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Roddenberry had a good idea with TOS, but that was it. He went all casting couch with Nichelle Nichols, and Majel, if the stories are to be believed.

    He stole from Alexander Courage, as has been stated earlier.

    He sparked something but had no good ideas after. He is the George Lucas of his age.
     
  5. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ To be fair, as much as I think George Lucas went off the deep end and became creatively bankrupt, I think he contributed far more of the things we remember fondly about Star Wars than Roddenberry contributed things we remember fondly about Star Trek.
     
  6. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    In the television world, you don't show weakness to the studio or network, or else they'll expect you to backflip on every idle threat you make. Gene said he'd walk if he received an impossible timeslot.

    If he'd stayed, we'd probably have people, decades after the fact, accusing GR of being weak when he should have stood up to the network.

    Ah, I so love revisionist history. GR refused to allow other animation studios to water down TAS, and also quashed Filmation's first proposal, which had Mini Me cadets assigned to each main character. Of course NBC wanted the Roddenberry name on it. GR's company, Norway, co-produced it with Filmation. GR was determined that any animation attempt would preserve his concepts and assigned DC Fontana to ensure it went well.

    And he didn't "jump on" for TMP. It evolved out of "ST: Phase II", which GR kept presenting to Paramount and NBC until it was greenlit as a movie/telemovie/TV series/motion picture.

    He was very much a part of ST's growing popularity, doing conventions and university lectures, encouraging fanzines, encouraging an early prime time slot for syndicated reruns, setting up Lincoln Enterprises, employing Bjo Trimble to answer fan mail, attempting to put some quality control into tie-in licensing, etc.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  7. brian577

    brian577 Captain Captain

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    Deleted[​IMG]
     
  8. brian577

    brian577 Captain Captain

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    Yet he included absurd concept like inflatable decoys, dragons, anthropomorphic aliens and worst of all this

    http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:Ari_bn_Bem-colony_creature.jpg
     
  9. Paradon

    Paradon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I don't know the guy personally, but I think people shouldn't worry so much what other people do. He did really give us a great show which was the first show I was very addicted to for a while. I must have watched TNG reruns over and over again for about 4, maybe 5, years straight. :lol:

    But really nobody is perfect. That's the way people are, and there is nothing wrong with that. Everybody likes to think they are the man, but really everybody got something to offer....
     
  10. Merky

    Merky Captain Captain

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    Hun. I didn't say that.


    I disagree wholeheartedly with that. Throwing a bitch fit tantrum (figuratively) and walking off, abandoning your creation, just shows that you rather kill off your creation than fight for it. Gene allowed the show to self destruct and the poor writing, production, growing dissatisfaction from the crew and cast, all culminated to a major decrease in quality that, I am sure, affected whatever lasting chance Star Trek had on television.

    Shows have been saved from death, obviously with example from ST itself, but you don't feed shit to people and expect them to eat it. S3 was a joke to S2 and S1... Had Gene been there fighting with the studios and working with ways to save ST to make it more marketable and appealing to NBC, it probably would have never been canceled as early as it was. A fourth or maybe fifth season could have came of it. A simple time slot change doesn't kill a show - poor writing and creative control does.

    eta: He could have done more than what he did is what I'm trying to say. If he really believed in his show he would have done more.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  11. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Well the dragon was on the "Shore Leave" planet, where anything was possible if you could imagine it. It predated "West World".

    So what? Who's to say aliens won't resemble known animals? If you mean M'Ress, she's remained a pretty popular character despite only being in a few TAS episodes. How is she worse than a Tellarite or a Gorn?

    Colony creatures are a science fiction staple. David Gerrold originally pitched "Bem" for TOS, but it would have been too expensive to render in live action. I really liked Bem. As a kid it was one of my favourite, most memorable episodes.

    There also comes a time when you decide new blood might be welcome after several relentless years of not being appreciated.

    You mean an animated spin-off, 25 years worth of live-action sequels and eleven movies?

    He did put up a fight. And he lost.

    Not on a Friday night, late evening, after prime time. You can't build an audience in your best demographics when they're not even at home to watch it.

    So what brilliant ideas do you have for improving TOS's marketability and appeal after 10.00pm on a Friday night?
     
  12. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Was he a genius? Probably not.
    Was he charming and affable? Yes indeed.
    Did he live up to the hype? Who does?
    Were others able to build on his ideas so that the whole was greater than the sum of the parts? Look around you!
    Did he know how to throw a party? Apparently he did, and then some.
     
  13. Merky

    Merky Captain Captain

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    He conceded. He still had a show. He left his show.

    Not everyone in America is not at home watching television. Maybe those kids with an actual social life but then we're negating the audience of 25+ who are more likely to be at home than the 18 - 25 viewership. Not to mention that the other shows Star Trek was against, that managed to have longer life spans, such as Bewitched (9:30) and My Three Sons (8:30) still had about the same "viewer demographic" as Star Trek, but more "viewers" overall. It definitely wasn't an issue of " put on Friday nights no one is going to watch ".

    The season opened up with Spock's Brain. Come on, if that was the first episode I got exposed to I would have jumped ship as well. The quality of S3 wasn't worth watching. It's like watching Heroes... It was amazing and then it got shitty and you know what? People stopped watching.

    Fringe got moved a Friday night "death slot" just recently, a slot that has killed every science fiction show on Fox since like Firefly, and guess what? Good writing and production has saved the show for a new season.

    S3 quality killed Star Trek, in my opinion. They brought on the new producer (I keep forgetting his name) to spice up the show but instead some of the worst, crappiest, episodes came out of it. There was no feeling or thought into that S3 and I'm pretty sure the audience realized this as well and the ratings fell.

    Good writing + Plus people actually caring = Saved show.

    Gene is credited for being an ingenious, brilliant, man with great ideas and visions. He could have applied himself to ST till the end and perhaps, maybe, saved his show.

    That would have been a good argument had I not been talking about anything post-TOS. Whatever success the franchise received after TMP was definitely not solely due to Gene, especially when he got bumped out of the movie projects in the 80s to some glorified "creative executive" position. He should not receive 100% credit for the work and sacrifice put in by other people to keep this franchise going, especially between '69 - '86
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But he made a stand, if a man makes a stand then backs down... he'll constantly get pushed around. I don't blame Roddenberry for leaving the series after the network broke their end of the agreement that was made. YMMV.
     
  15. Merky

    Merky Captain Captain

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    It was penciled in for that slot, it doesn't mean it was guarantee that they were going to give him the slot nor did they make any promises. This is business and NBC had to decide who the slot should go to, and the pick was between Dean Martin and this.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Honestly, would you want to put the show that's limping on one leg in a prime time slot in which it's advertisement value has dropped or put the sure winner? Did NBC really want to shove Dean Martin's highly popular variety show to a new time slot for Star Trek? A show that has been on the bubble countless of times? That needed a writing campaign just to keep it on the air?

    [​IMG]

    Look at what the show was running against had it been in that Monday slot and how much more worth those shows were compared to Star Trek. Shove Dean Martin's show to a Friday night time slot which got no. 1 and was doing fantastic in the ratings?

    [​IMG]

    According to the Nielsen ratings, Star Trek never made it on the top 20 for the seasons that it ran. Logistically, is it wise to put a show with no guarantee of return in a prized spot?

    Gene gave up on Star Trek. He could have stayed on and fought it until the end, helped in developing ways to keep the story entertaining and utilize the show's full potential but instead he left as if the studio would have cared if he stayed on or not. He left and that shows me he didn't care enough, at the time, to keep fighting and continue his "vision". Or allow the show to go out with dignity if there was no hope in saving it.

    The whole " If you change the time slot I'm leaving " act only screams several things at me: ego, attitude, and who do you think you are?
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So something changes in you life that precludes you from working the schedule your currently working. You talk to your boss and he says 'no problem' then on the day your suppose to start the new negotiated schedule the boss goes never mind.

    You stand around and take it? You are gonna be someone's dream employee. The one who bends over and takes whatever corporate America will give them. :lol:
     
  17. AstroSmurf

    AstroSmurf Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ You bring up an interesting point, one that a lot of fans miss when viewing Gene and the rest of the Star Trek production staff. The writing and production of a television show is first and foremost a job. Based on the available information, I like to assume that Gene would like to have stayed with his show but he saw the writing on the wall and began working on other projects with the goal of feeding his family. I don't blame him for doing that. I probably would have done the same thing. This is about survival and standing around holding onto a dead idea is not going to put a roof over your head and food on the table. (And don't make me quote lyrics from "The Gambler". I will if I have too though.)

    And I am surprised at how often we take hear-say and anecdotal incidents and turn them into facts. We don't know what Gene was thinking. We don't really know his motives either. We just have a few facts and some stories to base an empty opinion on. The only way we will ever know exactly what happened is to ask him. At this point, I would suggest breaking out the Ouija board because that ship has sailed. As far as I am concerned he was a man with a good idea that the public has turned into a legend. Vilifying him or raising him to sainthood while not taking those things into account is, pardon the impertinence, illogical.
     
  18. Merky

    Merky Captain Captain

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    You're comparing a life event to a marketing influenced change in television programming. Nothing was getting in the way of Gene doing his job as Executive Producer nor was there anything holding him back from doing his job. He left his position to go work on something new. He left because he didn't care about dealing with a show that was on it's last leg. It shows to me that he gave up.

    NBC never promised anything. Tentative scheduling doesn't mean a damn thing, as self evident with how many times Star Trek rolled around throughout the week with each tentative schedule announcement from NBC during it's three years: Thursdays -> Tuesdays -> Fridays -> Mondays -> Oh look Fridays again.

    NBC isn't obligated to Gene and Gene has nothing to hold over their heads. The show wasn't making them money and NBC picked the better alternative to make sure that their station stays on top of the Nielsen for the season.

    This is business not " Boss, can I have a day off ". You want to leave, you'll be assed out of a job. Is that smart thinking? No. Gene left and his show turned into shit. Is that #winning? No, it's not. Nothing could have stopped Gene from picking up side projects or continue working on other projects. He probably did not see that it was worth the fight and gave up and moved on. Him leaving caused a domino effect of several others, important people to the creative process, leaving as well. It wasn't a victorious move at all, imo.

    I, personally, would have kept fighting and I would have tried to save my show no matter the cost. I will not look at what Gene did as "holding his guns". He wanted out and used it as an excuse, or whatever his intentions were. It definitely wasn't sticking it to the suits of NBC for that matter.
     
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Gene decided that NBC didn't have his or Star Trek's best interest at heart. While Desilu was contractually obligated to make Star Trek for NBC, Gene was not obligated to remain as the full-time show runner. That was the only card he had left to play and it was his right to play it. As creator and continuing executive producer, he was getting paid whether he was on the set daily or not.

    From my perspective, it was smart of him to try and get other projects off the ground while still being paid by Desilu for Star Trek. YMMV.
     
  20. Merky

    Merky Captain Captain

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    I have no clue what YMMV means.

    And that's fine. Gene whatever he wanted to do. Doesn't mean that I have to agree with what he did or consider it a "triumphant move" because his show didn't get that classy Monday time slot. At the end of the day, his actions killed the show creatively and that triumphs over whatever drama he had with the suits.