Gene Coon Biography

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Panem et circenses, Aug 5, 2016.

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  1. Odonna

    Odonna Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I also like the early S1 episodes because they had many small gems of character highlights and interaction, including with those of the lower decks. I wouldn’t say their quality was as good as later in the season. But that’s my own taste. And no, we’ll never know Star Trek’s fate w/o GC.
     
  2. Justin Murphy

    Justin Murphy Ensign Red Shirt

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    UPDATE: An audiobook version of Gene L. Coon: The Unsung Hero of Star Trek is being developed.
     
  3. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, later in the series the producers went with some stories that centered on the Big Three, Kirk, Spock and McCoy, at the expense of the rest of the cast. I have no big problem with that decision, but I can also understand why Nichols, Takei, Koenig, et. al were not happy.
     
  4. Odonna

    Odonna Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Well, and it isn't just interaction with the regulars that I like. "Corbomite Maneuver" and "Obsession" are all the better, I think, because they aren't just dealing with the crisis of the moment, but are interacting as officers in training or "managing" their personnel (for lack of a better way to say it). It helps to make the ship environment more real when they do that IMO.
     
  5. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    In the 3rd season, with the severe budget cuts, there were episodes where hardly any crewmembers were seen wandering around the Enterprise corridors. Case in point, Turnabout Intruder.
     
  6. Justin Murphy

    Justin Murphy Ensign Red Shirt

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    In addition to Shatner's ego, this is probably the source of the tension in the cast. It'd be interesting to learn Coon vs. Roddenberry may have been a factor.
     
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  7. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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  8. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    GR said that Issac Asimov gave him the idea of centering on the triad of Kirk (decision), McCoy (emotion) and Spock (logic).
     
  9. Justin Murphy

    Justin Murphy Ensign Red Shirt

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    You sure it wasn't Coon?
     
  10. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    I'm pretty sure it was GR because he had a friendly relationship with Asimov.
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice ATARI CX5200 Premium Member

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    Here we go again with diminishing Roddenberry in favor of someone else on the show. Coon came up with the Klingons, etc., and you can list all the things he contributed, but it's not fair—as the book intro does—to say "Coon created all these things" without listing all the things Roddenberry came up with: the Enterprise, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, etc., shaping the stories which shaped the series format, etc. Coon came in an shaped scripts and wrote his own and added elements, but he didn't do the heavy lifting of creation. He worked within the structure Roddenberry created. None of that is to dismiss Coon's contributions, but neither should we ignore the considerable work Roddenberry et al did to create the show.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
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  12. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    As Bob Justman said, being on TOS production team was a family atmosphere. All members were enthusiastic and hard working in creating a show that literally went where no one has gone before. Some added more than others, but the end result was greater than the individual parts.
     
  13. feek61

    feek61 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Indeed, Coon didn't start until the first season was well into production. I think the first 10 or so episodes had been completed before his arrival. He did a great job but it was built on what had been established before he got there.

    Has anyone read this book? I am wondering if it is good information of just a puff piece.
     
  14. UnknownSample

    UnknownSample Commodore Commodore

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    If one Gene was for seriousness and the other Gene was for humor, then I'm glad we had both to counter each other and in the end, give us a great balance of both.
     
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  15. m.lp.ql.m

    m.lp.ql.m Commander Red Shirt

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    So you're saying Star Trek's excellence was genetic?
     
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  16. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't know... I read the intro and really it kinda rankles me a little bit to say that, after the first ten regular episodes, Star Trek was "all Gene L. Coon" (until his exit). As Maurice says, it greatly disrespects Roddenberry's very firm hand on the wheel in the first two years, as well as the great contributions of Bob Justman and D.C. Fontana, who both had tremendous creative say. Granted, they weren't producers, but they were heavily involved in the writing and story development of episodes written by others.

    I too enjoy the early Roddenberry/Black tenure. There was energy and verve as well as true science fiction concepts involved. Coon brought a casual familiarity to the characters and brought in his sense of humor and some great lasting concepts. He did indeed help build the universe we love, but the operative world is "help." In general, Coon does not get enough credit, but ever since Roddenberry died, there has been a tendency to give people like Coon too much at the expense of Roddenberry.

    For me, I found among the great things coon brought also came with a sense of sameness. Ideas became more and more recycled and fewer chances were taken. And, honestly, I don't think the series was best served by all out comedies. I prefer my Trek mostly serious with moments of character humor.
     
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  17. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    IDK - Within the first 10 episodes (the GR/John DF Black run) you have:

    "Where No Man Has Gone Before" = Human becomes Godlike being and absolute power corrupts...etc.
    and
    "Charlie X" = Human child given Godlike powers (to survive) - and once among regular Humans. absolute power corrupts, etc.
    ^^^
    My point: The repeat of similar themes was just done by Gene L. Coon
     
  18. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    There is a D.C. Fontana memo from June 19, 1967 that complains exactly about this point. Then again, I don't think this was uniquely a problem during Gene L. Coon's tenure. "Charlie X" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before" have already been mentioned, but you also have back-to-back shows with one of the stars facing a court-martial that were already being written by the time Gene L. Coon joined the show, plus three shows that include evil doubles/duplicates of a main character written and produced during Black's tenure.

    Stan Robertson complained early and often when the show began repeating itself. Indeed, he finally put his foot down after "The Alternative Factor" and declared that NBC would not approve any further stories with evil doulbes that season.
     
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  19. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    I wish Stan would have put his foot down about the parallel planet episodes.
     
  20. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    NBC wanted planet episodes, so probably not. Justman did do his best to space out the "planet of the hats" shows from late in season two, though.
     
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