Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Harvey, May 9, 2020.
And she's Nana Visitor's aunt!
Today we wrapped up the "Spectre" thread on Twitter (link).
Even better, our more detailed version, "Red Skies, Red Garters" is now live on our FactTrek.com blog here (link). If you didn't dig into the tweets we linked to above, we get into the writing, de Forest Research reports, production problems (an actor who got fired), and notably its abstract set design and what likely influenced it.
Where else can you find connections between Captain Kirk, Rosemary Clooney and Cyd Chrisse in a single article?
Interesting that it was Roddenberry's note to make Spock the Western expert, and that it was originally scripted to be Kirk. I think it was a poor choice. It would've made more sense for the Vulcan to need his human crewmates to explain Earth history to him. It would've been a nice in-joke if McCoy had been the Tombstone expert.
I've never been quite clear on the whole business about the pseudonym to get around Coon's contract with Universal. Was Coon actually lying to Universal and breaching his contract? Would he have gotten in trouble if they found out? Or was it more of a polite fiction where Universal knew the truth but let Coon get away with it as long as everyone kept up appearances?
I'm particularly intrigued to see that the "Vulcan mind meld" term came from De Forest Research's notes. It's an odd anomaly, since TOS had never used that term prior to "Spectre" and "Elaan of Troyius," instead using terms like mind probe, mind touch, mind fusion, and mind link. (In the first season, it was only called "a Vulcan technique.") "Mind meld" was never used at all in TAS (which favored "mind touch" IIRC), and wasn't standardized until the movies, which were probably following the lead of The Making of Star Trek, which was written around this same time and also used "meld" for it. So basically that De Forest note was the first time it was ever used, making it strange that they cited it as the standard term.
This is completely speculative, but maybe “mind meld” was the standard terminology in scene description and the like, even if dialogue was more variable.
He was technically in breach of contract, but I do wonder if Universal actually knew the truth and looked the other way. It was certainly printed in the trades that Coon had made a commitment to write for Trek’s third season when he left the show (assuming it was renewed for a third year, of course).
I suppose that could be confirmed by checking the scripts of the episodes where it was featured.
If we have the de Forest reports for “Spock’s Brain” that might also provide a clue since they refer to it in these notes.
Wonderful work, guys. I made a note on Gregg Palmer's Talk Page on Memory Alpha. Will see what, if any, the responses are.
Taking that into consideration, and that you care ferret out Star Trek facts in a journalistic fashion.... Are you Doug Dannger? (Phil Hendrie fans will get the reference)
FWIW, I lurk alot but don't comment much, as others often express my viewpoints in a much more articulate fashion than I'd probably be able to....so... I had originally purchased Mark Cushmans OS Trilogy, assuming that this would be the last word on the series. reading up on things here on this forum that seems to be far from the case, so Thank you Maurice and Harvey for the great job you are doing.
So I pulled up the de Forest Research reports on "Spock's Brain" since one of the "Spectre" reports refers the Coon re-using a term in both with different meanings.
1968-4-22 de Forest Research for Spock's Brain
Page 41 Scene 32
slon-farr–the total control of the subconscious–See 40/82 re ‘sub-consious.’ The Vulcan term, “pon farr”refers to the ‘time of mating’ and is a time of complete lack of control. Use of such a similar term is unconvincing in context. Suggest delete.
The 1968-6-13 report contains nothing relating to mind melds or anything else telepathic.
Nope. My IRL name is Maurice also, Never heard of this Doug Dannger guy before, but I've been known to quote Nick Danger on occasion.
Rocky: You haven't seen the last of me, Danger!
Nick: No, but the first of you turns my stomach.
Thanks Mike! Like many, we wished Cushman's books had been the last word. It would be a lot less work for us if they were, because we could just focus on our mission to put Star Trek in its historical context especially as far as the actual media landscape of its contemporaries and its predecessors. We try not to be all about debunking but there's just so much bad information out there it's rather impossible to try to tell the real story (as much as is possible) without having to address the elephants in the room that are the many oft poor "histories" and endlessly manufactured mythology. Cushman's a common target because people treat his books as the last word when they're demonstrably incorrect in many regards.
Today is the 52nd anniversary of the 1st airing of "Plato's Stepchilden" and we all know what that's debatably famous for. Today on Twitter TrekMovie bucked the party line (link), and they're right...mostly. We replied, but here's what we said:
While there were concerns the "kiss" would be controversial there's no evidence of much of a reaction at all. Even Nichelle Nichols has said the mail received was largely positive.
In 1968 the US was way behind the curve in terms of showing affection between blacks and whites. There were a number of "interracial" kisses aired in Europe in the decade that preceded "Plato's Stepchildren".
The big problem with the "Plato's Stepchildren" kiss is that it ISN'T a kiss; Kirk & Uhura are forced to press lips together. That's not a smooch: that's BATTERY. And Dave Kaufman's (aka "Daku") Variety review rightly and smartly called it out on that count:
But six weeks after the Kirk-Uhura facecrush, Robert Wagner gave Denise Nicholas a quick non-forced kiss at the end of an episode of It Takes a Thief. We give that the nod over the fake-o "Plato's" kiss. Sorry, Star Trek.
...and we know of a kiss on US TV that predates both, but we're still doing research on the topic so we're saving that little bombshell for a different date.
I missed this before. But a de Forest Research report on that episode warned of the similarity of the title and premise.
New thread about FACT TREKs latest blog post—about a 1972 audio recording of Desilu's Oscar Katz, made at the very first major Trek con—here (link).
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