The Machiavellian Principle by Walter Koening

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by CaptainKen, Aug 7, 2009.

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  1. CaptainKen

    CaptainKen Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Recently, while doing some Star Trek research I read about a Star Trek play written by Walter Koenig which is set to have taken place between ST II (TWOK) and ST III. I'm curious to know if this is available on video, but I doubt that it is. Does anyone have a copy of the script or know where it is posted? Here's a write-up on it from the Wikepedia entry for "Lieutenant Saavik":

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieutenant_Saavik

    Sounds fascinating, doesn't it? Did anyone attend this 1987 convention and see the play performed? Please respond if you have any info at all about "The Machiavellian Principle."
     
  2. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, I have a copy of the slim booklet, which Creation Convention published to sell whenever Walter Koenig did one of their conventions. The script is not available online.

    I wasn't at the con, but followed the unfolding debacle with fascination. What's on Memory Beta and Wikipedia is mainly my contribution.

    Walter Koenig was asked to write the play for a different, heavily-promoted ST convention, nothing to do with Creation. The convention, "Ultimate Fantasy", happened in the months following ST II, and the actors DeForest Kelly, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Kirstie Alley, Merritt Butrick and (from TOS and ST:TMP), Mark Lenard, attended.

    The whole thing quickly became known as "Ultimate Fiasco" and "The Con of Wrath", because the promoters had totally botched the thing, tickets to the gala stadium events were were overpriced and undersold (and separate to the main convention next door), and hardly anyone turned up to fill the cavernous-stadium type venue for the performances. The promoters vanished and the cast, led by James Doohan, decided to put on a convention of some kind anyway, IIRC. This was Kirstie Alley's and Merritt Butrick's convention debuts, and probably their last.

    It was all reported in places like "Starlog" magazine after it happened; "Starlog" had run the full-page, glossy ads for the con in the months leading up to it. The play did go ahead, with DeForest Kelly, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig and Kirstie Alley playing their familiar roles wearing specially-designed silver space jackets. Most of the action was confined to a shuttlecraft interior, and was presented more like a radio play. Spock was still dead (as in ST II) and "the Admiral" had been kidnapped by aliens. Mark Lenard was cast as an alien the crew encounter, and the script calls for the entrance of "the Admiral", in a halo of bright light, at the very end. As in: the play was designed so that if William Shatner agreed to a walk-on cameo it could happen. (I don't recall hearing if he did show up or not, but it seemed like the whole play was to lead-in to a convention Q-and-A from William Shatner.)
     
  3. CaptainKen

    CaptainKen Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Wow! What a story. Incredible! What a screw-up.

    So you do have the slim booklet? Does it have the script for "The Machiavellan Principle"? Do you think it's public domain? Is there any chance of scanning the script?

    I'm so curious now! The Trek BBS sure is the place to find answers!! I'm very impressed with the speed and detail of your reply. Thanks.
     
  4. PattyW

    PattyW Commander Red Shirt

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    If you email me at admin at walterknoenigsite dot com I can get you a copy of the play which was published in booklet form. It is not public domain but I can get you in touch with Walter if you're interested in asking him about the play.

    ~Patty Wright
    website administrator
    WalterKoenigSite.com
     
  5. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ...I doubt Koenig would mind.
     
  6. PattyW

    PattyW Commander Red Shirt

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    mind someone violating copyright laws and distributing his work without his permission?

    I think you presume too much, sir.
     
  7. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Caped Trek Mod Admiral

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    Well put. Let's not go there, captrek.
     
  8. CaptainKen

    CaptainKen Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Patty, You're amazing! Thanks for your quick reply. I have emailed you. Would Phase II ever consider producing this play? I know it's post STII, but your team is the most successful TOS fan production. If anyone could make it happen, it would be you guys.
     
  9. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Why would he mind? Is he planning to produce the play again? Is he planning to publish it? Is he planning to make any use of it, or to make money off of it? Is there any reason to suspect that this play might be anything to him other than a distant memory?

    I wrote some short stories 15-20 years ago. None of them were published, and I don’t even have copies of them any more. If somebody did have a copy of one of those old stories and posted it on the forum, it wouldn’t bother me at all, unless it were a crappy one and I felt embarrassed by it. Would you feel any differently in similar circumstances?

    Sure, Therin should ask Koening’s permission if he has the opportunity to do so. It would be the courteous thing to do. But if that’s not possible, it would be a real shame for the play to be lost simply because of the technicality of copyright law when there’s no reason to believe that posting it would in any way harm the author.

    It’s worth noting that “lost” footage and behind-the-scenes photographs are routinely posted on this site. Well, guess what? Film and photographs are protected by copyright law, just like plays, but nobody seems to mind when such lost treasures are discovered and given new life. This play is a lost treasure of similar nature.

    In fact, if you look at Castle Rock v Carol Publishing, it’s pretty clear that Memory Alpha and Memory Beta technically infringe upon Paramount’s copyrights, but nobody objects to posting links to those sites on this forum.
     
  10. CaptainKen

    CaptainKen Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I really did not mean to start an argument. I'm interested in reading this play. I did not think about copyright issues. I think the correct thing to do is to respect the author's wishes.

    It's that post TWOK that I find to be so fascinating! It's not been tapped into too much. In between TOS and TNG a lot of stuff must happen. We get hints of it in ST II to ST VI but I'd love to see more detail, more stories. That's why Koenig's play strikes me as so interesting.

    I've looked for fan productions covering this era. Grissom has just released it's first audio episode. As for video, it sounds like Lexington and Hathaway are still working on it but nothing has been produced so far.

    I wonder if there's any possibility of Koenig's play being produced? It would be interesting to see if Koenig has explored the possibility. After all, he worked with their stellar team to do ST:OGAM.
     
  11. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I bet he explains how the Enterprise got all that extra battle damage between TWOK and TSFS. If not, I'm going to yell the following into his answering machine:

    "CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON VIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLAAAAAAAAAATIOOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!!!!!!!!!"
     
  12. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Well, he did publish it, and Creation Con would have sold many copies over several years.

    It might be currently out of print, but it's not "lost". Many people own copies of it.

    But, it's Walter's property. (Or Paramount's.) Putting a copy on the web removes all chance of them making money on his property ever again.
     
  13. PattyW

    PattyW Commander Red Shirt

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    I was merely saying Walter, as the author, should be asked. Most people have websites nowadays and Walter can be contacted by anyone through his. (Some Babylon 5 fans recently asked him to a party at their house... and he's going!)

    One never knows the plans someone has for their work or it's value as a property. For example, a book he wrote in 68 and thought never would get printed even once has come out of hibernation and saw publication or production FOUR different times... each one of them out of the blue.

    I write fanfiction myself and, although I don't mind my work being archived or put on other websites, I like to know where it is. I once found out I won a writing contest I didn't even know existed!!

    All that being said, Walter gave me permission to send copies of this play out to anyone who writes to the website asking for it. Personally, I like "You're Never Alone When You're a Schzophrenic".

    ~Patty
     
  14. RobertMfromLI

    RobertMfromLI Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Why SHOULD anyone assume he wouldnt mind? Why should anyone feel the need to make such an assumption, when he is reachable through Patty?

    It would also be the legal thing to do.

    But as clarified earlier, it is possible. Send Patty a PM and ask her to check.

    The key word here is... yep, you guessed it... law - not to mention just how... (cant think of a word that may not be censored) it is to assume one can steal someone else's work to share with others without their consent.

    Under what premise do you make such an assumption? Besides, copyright protection has nothing to do with whether the copyright holder is harmed. You may be confusing trademark protection with copyright protection. If I write something and copyright it, and decide I want no one to see it, share it or distribute it, that is my choice - and supported by law, regardless of what others' (incorrect) opinions are on the matter.

    A big difference, when Paramount decides to allow such things to happen as it provides marketing for a product that they make money off of. And in various instances, the exact opposite reaction is the case - for instance when people tried posting ST:11 pics on various forums and websites without Paramount's permission.

    To assume Walter will not mind because others do is absurd. My neighbor doesnt mind if I walk onto their property and go into their shed and borrow their tools... I bet you if you did it, they'd be pretty upset and take action against you though. If it's me, it's borrowing... if it were you, it's trespassing and theft.

    You cannot lump in everyone, or especially not one particular person based off your opinions on the matter.

    Wrong... they do not. They do so with the full knowledge of Paramount/CBS. Again, you are trying to lump in "everyone" based off one specific group or incident. And I guarantee you, just like on our forums, the moderators here are very diligent in ensuring that no one goes too far in what they post. For instance, try posting a TOS episode here, and find how quickly they shut down your account and send you a "nasty" PM or email.

    As another for instance, I am a big Iron Maiden fan... if I want to make a copy of their latest CD and give it to my friend to get them into Iron Maiden, guess what? Maiden doesnt care - and publicly stated such. Now... if it were Metallica, a lawsuit may be forthcoming. They are both protected by the same copyright law, but Maiden has chosen to allow such. Metallica has not. Same law, different decisions by the copyright owners.
     
  15. RobertMfromLI

    RobertMfromLI Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    And there's the answer. Wow, instead of some people debating breaking copyright law, simply asking and waiting for an answer would have accomplished so much...
     
  16. PattyW

    PattyW Commander Red Shirt

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    sigh... this thread says something to me about our world today. Beyond the law, and the technicalities, the loop holes and what have you...

    it's just a matter of good manners. period.
     
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  17. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Caped Trek Mod Admiral

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    Don't let it get to you. There are plenty of very good people left in the world and on this board.
     
  18. CaptainKen

    CaptainKen Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Again, I'm sorry for creating such tension. It was not my intent. I never meant to suggest anything inappropriate. I appreciate the helpful advice I've received and the comments from fans who've read this creative work. Thanks again, Patty.
     
  19. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Normally I hate Paramount and wish they'd fail on every front and in every way possible , but I love that they nailed Carol. Those fuckers are total thieves. I remember seeing a book they did on the BTS of STAR WARS that was wholesale plagiarism (probably several thousand words of my stuff, very much in the Van Hise mode of lazy bastards copying from the competent), but they couldn't even be bothered to spell correctly on the stuff they stole. Utter horseshit, and then they managed to reprint the damned thing for a higher price when the prequels came out.
     
  20. ernie90125

    ernie90125 Ensign Red Shirt

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    I’d really like to read this, but the contact details for Patty above don’t seem to work, nor does the email address on Mr Koenig’s Website.

    Does anyone have a PDF of it ?

    Thanks.
     
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