What Happened to Nimoy's Voice?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Corylea, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Like all haters, you're twisting the facts. Berman did not write "Encounter at Farpoint." He wasn't even in charge yet when that was made; he was only the supervising producer, equal in rank to Bob Justman and below Gene Roddenberry. He didn't become the top man until season 2, in response to Justman's departure and Roddenberry's failing health.

    You're also completely wrong about McCoy's scene in "Farpoint." Here's the dialogue from the scene:
    http://www.chakoteya.net/NextGen/101.htm

    "Almost as bad" is "admiring the pants off Data?"

    And just in general, it's absurd to assume that writers "hate" characters just because they show them as flawed and fallible. Stories are about conflict and crisis. If you're going to tell a story about a returning character, you don't spend an hour cooing about how wonderful they are; that's what fans do at a convention, but it would make for a terrible work of drama. The only worthwhile reason to bring a character back is to tell a story about them, which means putting them in conflict with other characters or in crisis as a result of their situation. Or, yes, making a mistake and having to deal with its consequences. A character who's made a mistake is more interesting dramatically than a character who's perfect and adored by everyone. So it's not hate to make a character flawed and troubled -- just the opposite. That's what you do with characters you love, characters who are worth exploring and challenging. That's what you do when you want to give an admired actor a meaty role to play with, rather than just put them up on a pedestal.
     
  2. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I heard from other forums that either Berman or Braga or both really hated TOS and forbade its mention in TNG. That they actually had some shouting match with someone when the word Spock was used in the episode SAREK. Apparently it wasn't as simple as TNG was to survive on its own merits.

    Now I don't know what changed to allow RELICS and UNIFICATION and GENERATIONS unless it was to show how superior the TNG crew were over the TOS crew;). Or just B and B got over it or my sources on the other forum were incorrect and there was no conflict.

    I also heard that GR himself was quite prepared to de-canonise aspect of TOS at some point.

    However I realise that there are a lot of people here who know more about the behind-the-scenes stuff than me.
     
  3. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Braga wasn't even working on TNG when SAREK was in production. And while there was some debate as to whether to mention Spock or not, I've never heard this "shouting match" nonsense ever before.

    And if the powers that be really "hated" all of TOS as much as you so erroneously claim, SAREK would never have ever been green-lit in the first place!

    I suspect this to be true. :)
     
  4. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Maybe so but do you really know otherwise? If you do then I'm prepared to take your word for it as I took the word of the source at the other forum.
    Perhaps I've disliked one of the Bs for no reason for 5 years. LOL.
     
  5. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    You heard wrong? ;)

    If that were true, they would have used the part of the original pitch that involved a different ambassador, not a returning Sarek.

    I believe the discussion was whether the story needed Spock to be name-dropped. They deliberately teased the audience with Picard's line about attending the wedding of Sarek's son, and not actually specifying that it was Spock, or who was the bride.

    The ratings successes of episodes like "Encounter at Farpoint" and "Sarek", and the huge opportunities for free publicity, such as in Starlog magazine, fan word-of-mouth, and "Entertainment Tonight".

    Brannon Braga started on TNG as an intern in Season Four. No power whatsoever for some time.

    "A twenty-five year old youth, Brannon Braga started working on Star Trek in 1990 as a writer/producer on The Next Generation, it being his first professional employment within the motion picture industry. As a writer/producer on The Next Generation, he was responsible for some popular episodes including the series finale..."
    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Brannon_Braga

    As was his right as creator. He did it all through TOS as well: Vulcanians, previous terms for what became Starfleet, female captains, how warp speed was calculated...

    So go easy on the spreading of misinformation. ;)
     
  6. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  7. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh absolutely. :techman:

    I seem to recall that GR did make a comment to the effect of how he saw TNG as being a better embodiment of what his grand "vision" of the Star Trek universe was than TOS often got to portray on screen, or something to that effect, but typically this got blown up in fandom as being "Gene Roddenberry wants to DECANONIZE TOS!". Um, no and no. :)
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which was probably Berman's effort to honor Roddenberry's wishes. Berman considered it very important to live up to Roddenberry's legacy and make the kind of Trek that he thought Roddenberry would want, which was why he clung so hard to Roddenberry's dictum that 24th-century humans should be mostly perfected and free of petty conflict. Roddenberry wanted to distance TNG from TOS as much as possible, to let it stand as its own entity. That's why there were no Vulcans in the cast, why he resisted including Worf or any Klingons, why we didn't see a Romulan until the first-season finale. He understood that the show needed to be strong enough on its own merits, that it couldn't thrive as its own show if it kept having to reference things from the original. (I've also heard it alleged that he wanted it free of TOS references because he wanted to own the rights to it, but I'm not sure that makes sense since it's still a derivative work from a copyright standpoint.)

    So it's not about "hate." Berman wasn't a fanfic writer indulging his own personal likes and dislikes. He was a professional television producer trying to honor the wishes of the creator of the series he was producing, and trying to make the decisions that best promoted the survival and quality of the series he was producing.




    Actually, kinda yes. The problem is that fandom has this completely false notion that "canon" is some absolute thing, that there's a clear divide between what's "real" and what isn't. But that's because their first exposure to a work is in its finished form, so they only see one iteration of it. To a creator, that released form is the end result of a lengthy process of trial and error and draft and revision, and it isn't necessarily the ideal version of the work, it's just what they had to settle for releasing when time ran out. So creators are far, far more willing to see their work changed than fans are. As Therin said, Roddenberry was quite willing to overwrite what was in previous episodes. He saw the use of "laser" in "The Cage" as a mistake and changed it to "phaser" afterward. He redesigned the Klingons in TMP and told fans to accept that they'd always looked that way but the show had gotten it wrong. His introduction to the TMP novelization put forth the notion that TOS was an inaccurate dramatization of Kirk's "actual" adventures.

    So it's not about canon vs. not-canon. A canon is itself a mutable, evolving thing. With a single work like a novel or a movie, once you get to the end you can go back and change things that didn't work in earlier parts. But in a serial format like a TV series or comic book, you're stuck with what was released early on, and if you later decide it was a mistake or come up with a better idea, you just have to ignore it and pretend it was really some other way all along. Every long-running series does this. So canon is not about absolute fact or indisputable reality. A canon is a series of stories that pretend to represent a cohesive reality, but whose details are subject to revision over time.

    So no, he didn't want to "decanonize" all of TOS, because he wouldn't have thought in those terms, that it was an all-or-nothing proposition. But yes, he wanted to disregard those parts of TOS that he considered mistakes or unsatisfying compromises, while keeping those parts he still considered worthwhile. Every work of fiction is the result of a lengthy process of trial and revision. And creators' desire to revise their ideas doesn't stop when a work is relesed. It's hard for creators to look back on their earlier works without seeing a ton of ways they could've improved them; and thus when they get the chance to revisit those works, they do revise them, either by issuing new editions of the original works or simply retconning them in sequels. They keep the elements they still like while revising or ignoring the elements they're unhappy with.
     
  9. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The other thing to factor into this is that certain elements of what Gene did or didn't allegedly say regarding canon during that period have become muddy over the years, as details have leaked out about how some of the people in his inner circle were perhaps 'persuading' him to make one public statement or another for various unrelated reasons (or, in some cases, might even have been making those statements on his behalf).

    That having been said, I don't doubt that even in ill-health Gene certainly knew his own mind -- his unhappiness with aspects of STV and STVI is very much part of the public record.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As a rule, creators care far less about delineating what is "canon" than fans do. After all, what they create is automatically canon by definition, so they don't have to think about it. And if they change their minds, the canon changes with them, which is what fans often don't understand. (Perhaps the problem is that the word "canon" originally came from the church and means the writings/teachings that the church approves as the legitimate word of God, so it carries the connotation of absolute truth.)

    True, Roddenberry's one of the ones responsible for introducing the idea of "canon" as something important and formally defined, due to his '89 memo clarifying that TAS and the tie-ins were excluded; but even that reflected his own change of mind, since he'd originally embraced TAS as part of Trek canon, and indeed he had more unfettered creative control over TAS than he ever had over TOS. But by '89, Filmation had gone out of business and it wasn't clear yet whether Paramount owned TAS, so he had to distance the canon from it. If he'd lived longer, he would've probably changed his mind about the canon status of other things too.
     
  11. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As a somewhat insane fangirl of TOS, I don't know how I can be expected to be happy if any part of TOS is decanonised in favour of TNG especially Seasons 1 and 2.
    Every line of TOS and even ridiculous scenes are important to me. LOL.

    As a creator it is GRs right to do what he likes but if he does that I do not regard GR as an advocate of TOS
     
  12. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's not about being an "advocate of TOS". It's about being an advocate of Star Trek. The concept was the same, the execution was different.

    It's a change in outlook. A change in perspective. Roddenberry, like all of us, wasn't the same man in 1987 as he was in 1966, and he wanted his new Star Trek to reflect that. The hindsight that 20+ years of perspective brought him meant he could see the flaws of TOS (yes, it had flaws) and was keen to remedy some of those.

    The unmade 'Phase II' stands testament to the fact that he was already in the process of doing this in 1977 as well, and for the TOS characters themselves no less.

    (But I fear we really are starting to stray off-topic.)
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Something can be important without being "real." It's all just stories, after all. They're all big glorious lies for our entertainment, so it's pretty pointless to worry about which lie is less true than the other lies.

    Canon is not about individual lines or details. A canon is a story, a work of imagination, and storytelling is about interpretation. It doesn't matter whether a particular line of dialogue or a specific number on a screen display is "true" or not, since none of it is true. What matters is the overall narrative, the characters and ideas, the general feeling of the world being created.

    I mean, heck, TOS contradicted itself six ways to Sunday. Is Spock a Vulcanian or a Vulcan? Is the Enterprise an Earth ship or a Federation ship? Does it serve UESPA, Space Central, or Starfleet? Is the death penalty for General Order 7 or 4? Is the Vulcan mating cycle a deep shameful secret or something that Spock casually chats about with alien women he's just met? Was Lt. Leslie killed by the vampire cloud or alive and well in many subsequent episodes? There are so many contradictions in TOS that the only way it's even possible to pretend it represents a consistent reality is by being willing to overlook and ignore many of its details.
     
  14. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    It was Gene Roddenberry who wanted absolutely nothing from TOS mentioned in TNG -- no Vulcans, Romulans, or Klingons. It was others like Justman and Fontana who had to push to have any connection with TOS whatsoever. Roddenberry was staunchly against the character of Worf, and even up to the third and fourth seasons was against having Worf the center of any story.

    Try to find a copy of the TNG Companion if you can. It goes into some detail about these things.
     
  15. urbandefault

    urbandefault Commodore Commodore

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    Nimoy's voice changed because he got old, just like his face and hair color changed. It happens to all of us eventually, if we're lucky.

    His enunciation is different now because he wears dentures. It's not hard to figure out, at least it wasn't for me.
     
  16. Corylea

    Corylea Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    TMP was only ten years after the third season of TOS, which is not a huge amount of time, not a quantity of time that should result in large vocal changes. Mr. Nimoy was only 48 at the time of TMP, which is not old at all. Sure, his voice sounds old in the reboot movies, but he was 78 by 2009. There's a big difference between 48 and 78. ;)
     
  17. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Which Nimoy voice is this? Cold or no cold?

    :)
     
  18. Corylea

    Corylea Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It's strange that his singing voice is so non-musical, given how lovely his speaking voice was during the TOS era.

    Oh, well. Those albums helped put his kids through college. :)
     
  19. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lenny & The Shat both "talk" the lyrics against the music. You know, I actually saw a music video from the 70's, where Nimoy is "singing" about Frodo and Lord of the Rings, with a couple of cheerleader-looking cuties making these odd moves and little dances, between stanzas. It was truly bizarre and that it was Lord of the Rings related kind of took me by surprise. But then, again, from what I've gathered, Hippies loved that, even more than they loved STAR TREK.
     
  20. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Prime Spock came through to me exactly as you describe above, at peace and relaxed. I never sensed Nimoy phoning it in after TWOK either.