Anyone receive "These Are The Voyages..." Season 2 yet?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by CrazyMatt, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Haven't got enough to do anything worthwhile or I'd have already done it. Started talking with people about TMP the second time I made a proposal to Pocket they liked about doing an ART OF STAR TREK (NOTHING like what they wound up doing a few years later, which was practically a glorified caption book.)

    Another factor is that probably two-thirds of them were done while I was working on staff at a magazine, and so I have no legal right to use them, even if still had copies (the only computer virus I've ever gotten hit within a couple months of leaving the magazine, so except for hard copies of a few things, I have NOTHING to show from 1998-2000, which is when I spoke to Marty Kline and Hoyt Yeatman and ... geez, there were a ton of folks.)

    If you (like I) really want a definitive TMP book, you should be pestering Preston Neal Jones, who has a 1600 page manuscript on that which was supposed to form the basis of a CINEFANTASTIQUE double issue. He did a kickass book on NIGHT OF THE HUNTER awhile back, but hasn't been able to get Pocket's interest apparently.
     
  2. Indysolo

    Indysolo Commodore Commodore

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    Fact checking anything is a pain, but it needs to be done for a reference book. It's clear it wasn't done for this series. Perhaps readers are entertained reading them, but please don't tell me this is what really happened during the making of Star Trek.
     
  3. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Popular opinion means little to me when working out whether I enjoy something or not. I have my own mind you know :)

    I stand by my review. None of the points I raised are contestable, the errors are there for all to see. The amateurish presentation and lack of any editing (the bad) completely undid the good (the sheer volume of effort the author must have put in). Net result = a massive disappointment in my opinion.

    As for "Mr. Gurian", do you not see there may be just a teeny conflict of interest in him giving a glowing review to his own work without disclosing his interest in the project?

    You keep insinuating I have some agenda against this project. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a massive TOS history fan, and want Cushman to make millions from this project so a renaissance in TOS non-fiction publishing takes place. Nothing would make me happier.

    After the massive disappointment I felt with Volume 1, I am keeping an open mind, and waiting for the detailed reviews of respected regulars around here before I am jumping in. I am not paying $52AUD for another unedited manuscript. If I read enough good reviews on here that show evidence the problems of Volume 1 have been fixed, I will buy. Simple as that.

    In the meantime, let's agree to disagree on this topic. You are obviously a fan of TOS, accept that people have differing views to you and instead of just cheerleading for this one book, join in the discussions and enjoy this place.
     
  4. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    i.e. Joan collins referring to Edith Keeler as "Hitler's girlfriend" in one interview! :cardie:

    I also notice in this book that when Nichelle tells the MLK story she quotes him as using the term "in the 23rd century." Trek's time period wasn't officially pinned down until Wrath of Khan, so no way he said that.
     
  5. Campe

    Campe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nichelle's story about MLK has been changed so many times, I do wonder what exactly he did say to her.
     
  6. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If anything at all.
     
  7. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well considering he was seemingly given far more access than anyone before, and probably conducted more interviews with the creators and writers than anyone before, I think it probably comes as close as it possibly could.

    With the hundreds of people involved in the making of the show, it's only natural that there will be conflicting stories and memories-- and I think Cushman actually does a decent job pointing out when certain stories conflict. But you're never going to get the absolute truth of what happened back then (or likely with the making of any TV show).

    I'm sure if Solow or Whitfield had tried to undertake a daunting, episode-by-episode analysis like Cushman is doing, they probably would have encountered the same difficulties. And with the massive amount of data he's trying to organize and make sense of, it's only natural that errors will slip through.

    I just think people are being way too hard on this book. I mean it's not like he's writing a scientific paper here.
     
  8. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Memories of details may change over time, but I have no reason to doubt the gist of her story - that she wanted to quit and MLK encouraged her to stay.
     
  9. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    It doesn't mean he gets a free license to make up a narrative and select facts which frame that narrative and ignore those which refute it. Reports that he may have done just that is the number one reason -- and really the only important reason -- I've not bought the book. I can't trust the book if I can't trust the author to refrain from asserting his opinion as fact. There are a million other cheaper Trek books which do that.
     
  10. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The only real "narrative" I see is about the ratings, and that's hardly the main focus of the book. Most of what he's doing is simply breaking down the differences between story drafts and using memos and interviews to show what went into the production of the actual episodes.

    Seems like pretty straightforward stuff to me.
     
  11. cbspock

    cbspock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am up to The Apple so far. What I found interesting so far is how much of the original ideas for The Changeling wound up morphing into TMP. The ratings information is new to me, since all we heard in the 70s and 80s was the show got canned for poor ratings. I like the books because it is shredding a lot of the myths Gene built up around the show, and cutting through a lot of the fan BS as well.

    I didn't know that Shatner developed his hearing problems from the series, I thought that happened to him on the set of the movies. The book also puts in context why the rest of the crew didn't get along to well with Shatner in the 2nd season. There was a lot going on behind the scenes with his divorce, the whole Nimoy negotiations to keep him on the series, the production team trying to keep "kirk" at the forefront of stories, etc.

    All the stories from the movie production and TNG make complete sense, Gene was a bull in a China shop


    -Chris
     
  12. cbspock

    cbspock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    People should check out Marc Cushman's interviews on TREK.FM they are really interesting. He also talks about the problems with the first volume.


    -Chris
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    We often hear of problems or conflicts reduced to one major reason while the reality is often many things coming to a head at once. I've just finished readin the section dealing with the conflict between Gene Roddenberry and Gene Coon. It clears up some uncertainties I had over why Coon eventually left.

    On the issue of the nature of the series I have to side with Roddenberry on this point. Shows like "I, Mudd," "The Trouble With Tribbles" and "A Piece Of The Action" could be entertaining, but they were definitely straying away from the overall sensibility Roddenberry and company had been fighting to maintain from the beginning. They wanted their series to be taken seriously and those episodes as filmed really strain the sense of credibility they were striving for.

    But also there were a lot of factors going into making their lives evermore difficult. Being bought by Paramount should have been a godsend but turned out to be worse than what they had had before.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  14. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah as many great, iconic episodes as Coon wrote for the show, I have to admit I kinda prefer the slightly more serious and realistic style of Roddenberry's early first season episodes.

    Not only did it feel more like a real military vessel with a real crew onboard (with more glimpses of daily life and the daily routine), but it gave the other characters like Sulu and Uhura a lot more to do as well. Instead of later on when it basically just became the "Kirk, Spock, and McCoy Show".
     
  15. plynch

    plynch Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Amen to that. So, GR wasn't thrilled with where the tone was drifting, comedy-wise in S2?
     
  16. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    He felt it was getting too jokey. "I, Mudd" and "The Trouble With Tribbles" were mostly done and in the bag when GR returned from another assignment/obligation and Coon had been in charge.

    Another bone of contention for GR (and Justman and Fontana) was the reuse of familiar elements they felt strained credibility. Coon seemed to feel if something worked before then why not use it again, but the rest of the creative staff seemed to rather prefer trying to I instill more variety and thus believability.

    I think a big part of what was going on was the amount of pressure and the workload they all had to contend with. Few people could really endure such prolonged stress that could tend to exacerbate friction between people.

    The memos can be fascinating as a glimpse into the thinking of these people. The notes from DeForest Research are also very interesting. They all were really trying to do something exceptional with Star Trek even as reality and outside pressures forced compromises. For example DeForest stressed that there really was no big difference between a spaceship and a starship. And since the survey ship Beagle ("Bread And Circuses") was capable of interstellar travel then it, too, was also a starship. So they suggested coming up with another term to make the distinction between the Beagle and the Enterprise. Unfortunately that change didn't make it to the filmed episode.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The de Forest Research stuff is really interesting. Cushman didn't include nearly enough of it in the season one volume. Is there more in season two? Did he go out and interview the surviving people who worked there?
     
  18. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    While I'm not counting the Minos there do seem to be more from de Forest research included in Volume 2. There are also anecdotes of them saying that while they'd forward their findings and suggestions they understood why sometimes their recommendations would not be used. They also that Star Trek did tend to strive for credibility more than other shows at the time.

    Seriously, I am quite enjoying this read. There are a lot of interesting things in it. I look forward to the third volume. Cushman does make note (more than a few times) when someone's recollection doesn't gel with documentation he's referenced. He quotes people saying negative things as well as positive. He touches on the friction among the the cast and fleshes that out more where one can see there is more than one side to a story. I certainly find a lot fewer typos and grammatical mistakes.

    The second volume (so far) is also furthering his assertion that while the show wasn't going gang busters in the ratings it was also far from being a disaster. It did respectably.

    And in fairness some of the blame has to go to NBC for scheduling it on Friday evenings. Everyone then knew that was an ill-considered move for a show to succeed. For whatever reason it looks like the network was setting the show up to fail no what what they might have said publicly to the contrary.

    Today we see things differently because of the success TOS enjoyed later in syndication and the franchise the grew out of it. It can be hard to accept that all the good we can see in the series was being undermined by interests to whom it was just another program. You read the anecdotes and memos and story developments and you can't help but wonder what they might have done with a more appropriate budget and a genuinely appreciative network and studio. Paramount's ownership could have really been a boost to Star Trek, but instead they chose nickel-and-dime it to death. Considering the constraints the series had to work within it's amazing they accomplished what they did.
     
  19. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Arrgh damn you Warped 9. I just caved and bought it on Amazon. You and Bonz seem pretty rapt in it, and the presentation/editing seems like it's improved. Can't ask for any more than that.

    Currency has really moved my way since the last Volume, $44 AUD (down from $52AUD last time). The thing I'm most looking forward to is more of Bob Justman's classic memos :)
     
  20. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Look out for the attacking parrot, Warped 9!

    ;D