David Gerrold's Post- Fascinating

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Vger23, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Problem with that is I'm no longer a child and expect more from my entertainment programming.

    There are expectations, I covered that previously.

    It's a action-adventure show mostly, but it's also has drama, and occasional comedy, and to quote myself ...

    Which I stand behind, the "social justice" you refer to is on rare occasions present, but in the case of gays fell short. Look at the movie Insurrection, Picard wanted to deign the people of the Federation an important medical advance, where's the social justice there? In Homeward, Picard stood by and did nothing as the majority of the population of Boraal suffocated, social justice?

    Again, there are a few legitimate social justice episodes, just not very many in the overall mix.

    :)
     
  2. urbandefault

    urbandefault Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is where I have to repeat that just because Trek tried to tell some socially relevant stories, it doesn't mean that it was a "social justice" show. :/
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Former Democrat Premium Member

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    +1
     
  4. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Commodore Commodore

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    Nope, but there are fans that think he was. Or that he had a "race problem" or something.

    According Sisko shouldn't see himself as a black man because humans have evolved beyond racism and racial identities.

    That's a good thing. But now (according to them) it means Sisko should have no problem visiting a 60's casino that portrayed a time when people like him wouldn't be allowed inside it.

    Is that rational?

    Can a 24th century human not want to participate in an historically inaccurate holosuite program without making them ethnocentric, or hanging on to the past?


    Actually you pointed out a real irony about Trek. There are A LOT of loop holes in it's social justice concepts.

    It's just that everyone assumes it's mainly about social justice and a message show.

    I think the mainstream started the social justice stigma, and Trek just went with it, expanding it until it became part of pop culture.


    It's the premise of what the Trek universe is based on: What the characters and storylines are on record as saying about human society.

    They say there is no persecution, no bigotry, no poverty, no money ;), no sexism, etc.

    That's the key, I think. If you understand this, it's hard to understand why a person would get freaked out over a same sex kiss, a woman being captain, or an interracial kiss (60's).

    Yep, it's an action/adventure sci fi show-- And on it, look at what they've been saying about future human culture for the last gazillion years!

    And your'e shocked at seeing certain things?? :confused: :lol:

    But I do think Trek, being perceived as a show with a message, is at least part of the reason fans have certain expectations of it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nor would that same casino allow in Kira, Worf, Nog and maybe not Bashir.

    You need to re-read the past several postings. No, that isn't the assumption.

    The assumption is that the show is about spaceships and aliens and shooting laser blasters.

    No, it started with Gene Roddenberry in the 1970's giving talks on stage on college campuses and at conventions. When has the media ever talked about Star Trek being about social justice?


    Again no it isn't.

    That last one doesn't hold water, even you have to admit that.

    When Roddenberry was told that the suits at NBC didn't want his girlfriend in a prominate role, he completely dump the idea of a women in a upper command position. Instead of simply recasting the role, and then he lied about it.

    :)
     
  6. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Commodore Commodore

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    I wonder who started the "Star Trek was groundbreaking socially relevant television" story that apparently still sticks today. I know there are nods to it in Roddenberry's own words from the Inside Star Trek album...
     
  7. ThankYouGeneR

    ThankYouGeneR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Mr. Roddenberry and Gerrold's Big Important Script for sure but not so much with Mr. Roddenberry for his exit from TNG.

    I'll grant you that Mr. Gerrold shifts a lot in his StarTrek memories over the years and often has an earful to offer about Mr. Roddenberry, but one thing he has been consistent about in all his writings and all his talks, never once varying on this, is that it was the lawyer that was the epicenter of his disgruntled resentment about his treatment and the reasons he left TNG.

    As Roddenberry became more ill the lawyer was actually doing some re-writing and lots of decision making. Growing and long term illness often weakens a person's resolve and ability to make right decisions that are enforceable. Mr. Roddenberry was progressively becoming more and more ill.

    Maybe he didn't 'see' that his lawyer was the problem simply because he was in the middle of fading. Maybe he did see at least some of it but was weakened and didn't/couldn't get the emotional wherewithal to act. We weren't in his mind, we weren't his family, we weren't close to him as his slow decline toward total incapacity moved him toward his death during that time he was still working in TNG. We don't know what his lawyer was whispering in his ear.

    What we do know he 'wanted' to be out of TNG after the first season because of his health. What we do know is that the lawyer saw the weakness and moved in.

    David Gerrold remembers not-so-good times with those who tried to replace him in the Star Trek universe.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  8. Joe_Atari

    Joe_Atari Commander Red Shirt

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    This. And certainly irritated at all the money he lost out on by being forced out of the show.

    True enough, but how do we know the conversation in 1987 didn't go more like this?

    Gene: "Leonard, I'm sick and I'm gonna die soon. I won't be able to participate in the production of TNG. The show is my legacy and I need you to protect my interest in it for the sake of my family."

    Maizlish: "Okay Gene."

    I didn't know Maizlish (who died in 1994) and to my knowledge he was never interviewed and never commented on his involvement in Trek, probably due to attorney-client privilege and WGA scrutiny, but what I do know is that he was a lawyer and lawyers are hired to represent their clients' interests. He also had more than a passing knowledge of Trek as evidenced by the second memo critiquing the flaws in TFF (flaws that remained in the final film) here:

    http://www.missionlogpodcast.com/discovereddocuments/095/

    Maizlish is actually schooling GR on Star Trek! While GR was more concerned about the "quaint and outdated" (my words, referring to GR's views on religion) spiritual aspects of the script (among the least of TFF's problems), Maizlish was pointing out Shatner's ego trip of a script and the preposterousness of Spock betraying Kirk -- two years before audiences had the opportunity.

    I'm not lumping him in with the likes of Gene Coon, Dorothy Fontana, Harve Bennett, Ronald Moore, or even Gerrold as a creative influence on the Trek franchise, but it's not impossible that he may have had a positive impact on the show (if not Gerrold's career).

    How do we "know" this? Because Gerrold has said so? Everyone says this when they're fired -- this and "I wanted to spend more time with my family" which Gerrold has also said. No way he wanted out; there was big money at stake. TNG was a huge ratings (if not creative or critical) success. It was a Hollywood power struggle; Gerrold lost and he's bitter to this day -- pure and simple.

    Gerrold speaks for a lot of people here. I for one would like to hear / read some corroboration from Fontana, Justman, et al.

    Again, Gerrold is wrong. Maizlish was in no position to "take over" the franchise and probably had no desire to. He was there to represent GR and his estate and that was it.

    Gerrold has a legitimate beef that Maizlish was not a WGA member and probably should not have been allowed to exercise the creative input he did (and Gerrold reported such to the WGA; likely nothing came of it after his settlement). Gerrold also reports Maizlish was "fired and banned from the Paramount lot." While Paramount could have physically banned him from the studio, they could not "fire" him; he was never on staff nor a Paramount employee. He was hired by GR; I don't know if or for how long he continued to represent the Roddenberry estate after Gene's death, but it may have been up to Maizlish's death in 1994.

    Lest anyone think GR was just being paranoid... This may be old news (I had not heard it before), but in a personal conversation with an ENT cast member several years ago I was told that ENT was called simply "Enterprise" and not "Star Trek: Enterprise" as a way to avoid paying the Roddenberry estate royalties for the title of the show. I never thought eliminating "Star Trek" from the title made much sense otherwise (why remove a highly recognizable brand from the title of your fledgling show?); this does though. I do not know if it was later reinstated for legal reasons or marketing purposes; both are possible.
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    That person was wrong.

    Paramount owned the STAR TREK trademark, not Gene. Furthermore, the first credit after the title reads:

    BASED UPON
    "STAR TREK"
    CREATED BY GENE RODDENBERRY​

    So there's no way they were trying to duck paying royalties. They're acknowledging Gene right off the top.
     
  10. Joe_Atari

    Joe_Atari Commander Red Shirt

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    True, and I made that same point to the cast member at the time. I'm pretty sure it's a bit more complex than that.

    Certainly every future Star Trek production must carry the "Based Upon 'Star Trek' Created by Gene Roddenberry" credit, but that acknowledgment is possibly (even probably) not contractually the same as the words "Star Trek" appearing in the title proper -- the ownership of the trademark notwithstanding.

    FWIW, the exact words used were, "To avoid paying Majel." I'll acknowledge it as hearsay (albeit from one of the main cast -- the big three if you will -- present from the beginning of the show), with the provision that trademark and copyright law are extremely nuanced and none of us are privy to the no-doubt intricate agreement between Roddenberry and the studio. It is certainly possible that Roddenberry's lawyers negotiated a royalty stream specifically related to the appearance of "Star Trek" in the title of all future works. After all, who would try to market a Star Trek work without "Star Trek" in the title? Well, perhaps Paramount was testing the waters here in an attempt to distance themselves (at least financially) from the estate; could they continue their "space franchise" without the name "Star Trek"? I have no doubt the Paramount marketing department was apoplectic at the decision; again, why drop the name "Star Trek" from your Star Trek show? Berman's explanation at the time is pure nonsense:

    Not only was the show not "dramatically different" from what came before (TPTB arguably didn't "try" hard enough, and the series title really has nothing to do with the premise, writing, etc. anyway), as a producer you don't think about what would be "fun" to do; you do what will generate the most viewers to maximize ad revenue. Eliminating what is certainly one of the most recognizable trademarks from your show's title is not something you do for fun; it's not conspiratorial to read between the lines and acknowledge the strong possibility that there was a financial / legal reason behind the move. Further, if I'm a main cast member making a multi-year commitment to a series, I am (or my agent is) going to ask the question, "So you're not using the name 'Star Trek' in your Star Trek series... hmm, how come?" As the title arguably bears on the ultimate success or failure of the show (and I believe at best it didn't help the show get off the ground), I'm not going to accept Berman's PR response, and it's going to be something understood among the cast and probably not the subject of on-set conjecture.

    Star Trek is such a unique property so this may not be the best example when looking for precedent, but the closest analogue may be the Bond film series. When Danjaq produces a film -- say, Moonraker -- with the same title as an Ian Fleming 007 novel (since the films usually have little or no story resemblance to their namesake novels), could the Fleming estate receive a royalty based on the title alone? Does Danjaq pay less by naming their film "Skyfall", a name not used by any Fleming novel?
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  11. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's a bunch of groundless speculation, unsubstantiated rumor, and utter nonsense.
     
  12. ThankYouGeneR

    ThankYouGeneR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Right. Of course. Thx.

    There is evidence enough to support such a view because it is reported from various sources outside of Mr. Gerrold that during this time Mr. R. went virtually nowhere w/out Mr. Maizlish when he was doing anything business related because Mr. R.'s mental faculties were beginning to fail and he was leaning heavily on his friends/family, therefore possibly his attorney too, to keep him focused.


    First: You too are a Mission Log follower?!!!

    Virtual High Five! Me too!

    Second: Now M.L. titles that memo "Memo from Paramount Pictures to Gene Roddenberry". I do see the 'from' is LM, as is the signature.

    So are we saying that this is indeed Mr. Maizlish, and that he is indeed employeed by Paramount? Because M.L. titles the memo as coming from Paramount Pictures itself?

    Well, okay perhaps not impossible. Impossible being an all encompassing word. Though, from what I've read and listened to from various people I do not believe this is the case.

    I will accede that Mr. Maizlish could have possibly contributed something productive on occasion. I have seen or read nothing to advance my thoughts on this more than that.

    What I have read and heard from various people was that Mr. M.'s participation was divisive, polarizing, and creating a toxic workplace for a lot of good people on TNG.

    David Alexander, Roddenberry’s authorized biographer, referred to the lawyer as “Roddenberry’s dark presence.”

    Now whether Mr. M. was acting on behalf of his mentally diminishing client, whether he was acting on behalf of his 'friend' who was also his client, whether he was acting from some other motivation, it is recognized by more that Gerrold that Mr. M.'s actions and participation in TNG had a negative and detrimental general effect.

    There were skirmishes and wars going on with Mr. Maizlish consistently being the central causation.

    And during this time Gene's memory had become so poor that he was not remembering things from one day to the next. Mr. Roddenberry appears to be the Giant Of A Man losing his faculties, wanting to retain his seat, while the business world around him was crumbling due in no small part to the participation of his lawyer, for however good or ill the lawyer's intentions were.



    Perhaps it would have been more accurate for me to have worded it "moved in, possibly to help Mr. R.

    Here's the thing, even in his diminished mental capacity there were times he could still inspire people to be better than they believed they were capable of. He still had moments of greatness.

    However, he was also increasingly losing the ability to focus. Not finishing any of his various projects, and his writing was getting increasingly weird in content. Warped Factors and Inside Star Trek also recount Mr. R. getting weirdly sexual in his writing, even for him.

    Well, yeah, when asked which parts exactly of the TNG bible Gene wrote, Gerrold said: "Gene wrote one 16-page draft of the bible, and less than a dozen memos, several of which were embarrassing for their sexual content." If I come across anything for/against by Fontana, Justman, et al I will post it. What I can post is that Walter Koenig and Susan Sackett also speak to this bizarre sexual writing Mr. R. was doing that there was no way in heaven or earth could ever be part of StarTrek. Which corroborates others' recognizing the failing mind of this once great writer.

    You do have a point on Mr. M.'s position to "take over" but I will respectfully disagree it is impossible for you to accurately state "that was that". We were not there. We did not know this man's mind. He does not speak on the matter in anything I can find.

    And I 'can' argue that ESPECIALLY in the world of film power is intoxicating. I have tasted it. I have seen other drink it and change. So, you 'may truly be correct' in a supposition that "that was that". But, we were not there, we do not know how seducing it might have been to be The Power Behind The Throne of a mentally declining giant in the field. We do not have written or spoken evidence of the mind of the lawyer of Gene Roddenberry on all matters StarTrek. That could have indeed been a heady prospect; becoming the power behind the throne.

    Well we do know that Mr. Roddenberry was counciled to settle by the Executive Director of the WGAW because if he didn't a lot of damaging testimony to him would have to be made public.

    I have been unable to find information dismissing or supporting this. So I don't know, though I am interested if you come up with something I can read or listen to on 'somebody' firing/not firing him or if it was just Paramount banning him.

    I definitely agree with you on why remove a highly recognizable brand thing.

    Legally, his lawyer(s), after the OriginalSeries, got a lock for Mr. Roddenberry on creative right monies for future StarTrek film/TV for a very long time. I would suspect at the time of ENT this creative rights contract monies lock would still have been in place for the estate though I have nothing to corroborate my thinking except Ent arrived only 14 years after TNG. I have no information if the legal lock is still in place at this date, though it is still less than 30 years and falls way within the 'typical' creative rights active ownership.

    I certainly believe you were told this by cast members. However, I will also respectfully assert that there is little a cast member could actually learn, much less talk about to strangers about in a public venue except as rumor. Actors do not even know the money logistics of their cast mates. Much less huge properties like StarTrek.


    Well, this discussion has been absolutely engrossing and enjoyable, Joe_Atari. I have spent many hours today researching my files and the Internet to converse with you in this reply.

    And I am tuckered out now! :lol:

    Thanks for a very enjoyable Trek exploration afternoon.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
  13. ThankYouGeneR

    ThankYouGeneR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Maurice, I just saw and read you post. Don't know how I overlooked it.

    Informative enjoyable reading!

    Oh drat, Maurice, I just read this one too. I hope to get back to this to give more info on sources. Though Richard Arnold is one source that comes readily to mind.

    I do apologize for not seeing this earlier to be able to respond in a timely manner. I often come back to a thread and go to the last page instead of picking up where I was when last looking at the thread, which may be how I've been missing your posts.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  14. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Richard Arnold isn't exactly considered a very reliable source.
     
  15. ThankYouGeneR

    ThankYouGeneR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I will agree and disagree about Arnold, sure. As the definitive or only source he would have bias. On the other hand he was closer to and inside the family on a day to day basis for years and years. So I read & listened to him. Nor is David Alexander unbiased but I also read/listen (where ever possible) to him. Plus D.C. Fontana, Harve Bennett, Brennan Braga, Hebert Solow & Robert Justman, Walter Koenig, Nicolas Meyer, Leonard Nimoy, executives from the network, David Gerrold, Gene Roddenberry, Susan Sackett, William Shatner, Paula Block... more that I haven't pulled back up yet. Oh, yeah, a couple of other directors in TNG I don't remember right now.

    I tried to present a composite of common threads that run through multiple places from each of them in order to speak closer to better fill in the picture of what was going on during that time. It is definitely a can of worms trying to sort it out. Emotions were high, people from Mr. Roddenberry on down often felt abused/mistreated, with significant reason in many cases, and some (many?) of the same people receiving perceived mistreatment were also guilty themselves of 'kicking the cat' in turn. And in the last years Mr. Roddenberry was increasingly very ill. Which complicated everything exponentially.

    From the time Star Trek began until Mr. Roddenberry died there was alternately horrible/wonderful/terrible stuff going on all the time. It was more than a can of worms though less that a basket of vipers.

    It was complicated time in the worst possible ways for oh so many reasons and for oh so many years. And there is no one company, producer, audience, creator, writer, to point a finger at and say "THAT was the problem". To do so is simplistic and without awareness.

    But, anyway, I know the above is the bulk of what I gleaned for information for the posts I made.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    I've heard Arnold on Mission Log where he made a number of flat-out incorrect statements, so I recommended taking anything he says with a lick (not a grain) of salt.
     
  17. ThankYouGeneR

    ThankYouGeneR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There it is then. LLAP :bolian:
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015