Roddenberry Considered TOS Prequel For TMP | TrekMovie.com
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Roddenberry Considered TOS Prequel For TMP February 27, 2008

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Fan Productions,Feature Films (TMP-NEM),Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

The guys behind the fan audio production Star Trek The Continuing Mission have put up a very interesting audio interview with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry from July 1976. Roddenberry discusses the creation of TOS, why changes were made between the pilots, the birth of the Klingons and Romulans plus much more. But it is the discussion of early plans for Star Trek The Motion Picture that stand out as most relevant to today’s Trek.

There have already been quite a few parallels between Star Trek The Motion Picture (which still holds the Trek record for most tickets sold) and the new Star Trek film. Not since the 70s has Paramount planned such an epic film in terms of the story, scale of production and marketing and merchandising. And from this new audio recording, there seem to be some more déjà vu moments with regards to the two films.

Roddenberry on plans for Star Trek The Motion Picture

We also had talked about maybe doing the story about how all the Enterprise crew came together years ago. But we are all seven years older and that might become such a huge make up problem that it makes it impossible. So we will probably go the direction of the five year mission is ended or has ended and for some reason there is some emergency and the entire old crew has to be put together again in a rebuilt and more powerful Enterprise.

Regarding why give the Enterprise a ‘face lift’ Roddenberry said:

It would have to anyway for this reason. The television version was of course done on a television budget. We did as good a job as we could, but we were having to deal a lot with 2x4s and ply board and that sort of thing and we just didn’t the money for fantastic excursions and all of that. Of course doing a motion picture and particularly doing it on a wide screen where you see everything in so much detail…even if we had the old bridge we would have to redo it to make it more sophisticated and better.

Roddenberry also sounded a lot like JJ Abrams or Damon Lindelof when he said this about plans for TMP casting:

As far as cameo and guest roles we do hope to have six named stars so we will be advertising to theater owners and to the public at large, this is not just an ‘inside Star Trek thing.’ We are going to give you a piece of entertainment that is worth your $3 whether you are a Star Trek fan or not.

In the end they never did get those ‘six named stars,’ but one wonders what TMP might have been had they brought on some big names from the 70s. Of course since this was 1976, Roddenberry is really most likely talking about the “Star Trek: Planet of the Titans,” which was the original planned first Star Trek picture, but that too was planned to take place after the five year mission.


Enterprise concept art for “Planet of the Titans” painted by Ralph McQuarrie

Not the first mention of Roddnberry’s prequel
Here is an interesting excerpt from the the 1997 book “The Art of Star Trek” by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens:

As early as The Original Series’ third season, Gene Roddenberry had spoken of making a Star Trek motion picture. At the 1968 World Science Fiction Convention held over Labor Day weekend in Oakland, California he drew enthusiastic applause when he told a rapt audience his plans for filming a prequel to the series telling the story of how Kirk and his crew had met at Starfleet Academy.


The human adventure is just beginning…again

More from Continuing Mission team
The interview was done by Tim Renshaw, who plays Captain Paul Edwards on Continuing Mission. The interview is broken into three parts and the above quotes were taken from the third, but there is good stuff in all three parts. Roddenberry discusses why they made changes after “The Cage,” the naming of Kirk, the design of the Enterprise and much more. Go to TCM Production to listen or download.

For more info on the new Star Trek audio production, got to “ContinuingMission.com“. The first episode “Ghost Ship” is available for download here.

Comments

1. Mark Lynch - February 27, 2008

From the mouth of the creator himself….
Perhaps people can stop getting worked up over what JJ is doing now?

Probably not. :)

And hopefully first, so that stops all the usual twits…..

2. Captain Slow - February 27, 2008

exactly – people who think that things can’t be changed need to get a grip, star trek needs to reflect todays future to be relevant, not that of the 60s. Even Gene supported updating the original look as it was just cheap and bodged together, the fact that he stays the TOS set would need to be more sophisticated says it all …

3. Joe G. - February 27, 2008

Love it…..even the creator of what all you TOS yahoo’s realized that things needed to be spiced up for the big screen…all i hope for is a great story in which the characters from TOS don’t change…i could care less what the sets look like as long as they look believable…GO JJ…

4. cyberghost - February 27, 2008

The great days of a $3 movie, and its uncanny how much thought went and are going into st tmp and st 11. Well except for the $3 movie that is.

5. CanuckLou - February 27, 2008

Interesting comments by the Great Bird himself. Funny how history repeats.

The adventure continues….

6. Michael Hall - February 27, 2008

“From the mouth of the creator himself….
Perhaps people can stop getting worked up over what JJ is doing now?

Probably not. :)”

Definitely not. :-( For in the opinion of some who post on these boards, Gene Roddenberry didn’t really create Star Trek at all. At best, he came up with the format that became Star Trek. Gene Coon, Bob Justman and Dorothy Fontana were solely responsible for the series we know, and as for the format itself, it was mostly just a ripoff of FORBIDDEN PLANET to start with.

This is really what they claim–I kid you not.

7. Ryan T. Riddle - February 27, 2008

GR also talked about a prequel idea or Spock-centric movie, about how he came to the Enterprise, at one of his college lectures in the late 1960s. The transcript was published in the ‘Enterprise Incidents’ fan magazine.

8. Diabolik - February 27, 2008

“…even if we had the old bridge we would have to redo it to make it more sophisticated and better. ”

Blasphemy!

But one wonders what he would have done had they made a prequel with younger stars portraying the characters, in a flashback within a framework using the originals. Would he have made the Enterprise better, even if it had been intended to be the original, on the big screen?

Sounds like it.

9. Sean - February 27, 2008

$3 movie tickets, where have you gone? Wanna know why no one risks going to movies that aren’t super hyped? Through the roof ticket prices. Tickets are upwards of $15 near places I’ve lived recently. Ridiculous.

10. RobertaLincoln - February 27, 2008

Interesting.

When adjusting for the rate of inflation, the $3.00 price of a movie in 1976 comes to $12.00 in 2008. Given that the price of a movie currently averages $11.00, that means that a movie is cheaper today.

11. British Naval Dude - February 27, 2008

arrrr….

warning- nothing substantial ahead:

in a yet ta be released “secret journal” of scribbling we find the following ST notes Skipper Gene had in mind for future adventures:

“… shave all bad guys’ heads…” – OK… that be canon now… bald equals bad (in hindsight Picard be evil)
“… someday make Gorn blink…” – check and check
“… make Sulu attracted to men…” – Wow! how prophetic.
“… put a dame in charge but not just to get lost in space…” – check and well.. er… uh, oh…
“… go back before Kirk’s days, maybe 21st Century, and explore possibility of a first starship called ‘Argo’ where they have very few weapons and everything is made in China…” – huh, well… uh…. does Yoshi kinda count?

and finally
“… replace Shatner if ST is still going strong in the real 21st Century…”
huh, well how odd…

arrrr arrrrrr

Hold yer fire- Shatner be doin’ fine.

12. Diabolik - February 27, 2008

The statement, “even if we had the old bridge we would have to redo it to make it more sophisticated and better” should put to rest any griping about the “old bridge” being made better now.

But it won’t.

13. Adam Cohen - February 27, 2008

$3 for a movie ticket? Man, those were the days!

14. table10 - February 27, 2008

It would be funny to get a Roberto Orci quote in on this one, something along the lines of “I told you so!”.

15. Driver - February 27, 2008

Maybe we’ll get a grand opening music theme before the film starts. Again like TMP did.

16. jonboc - February 27, 2008

..from the horses mouth eh…….well, all I can say is, TMP is the perfect example that more “sophisticated” doesn’t always equate to being better.

17. FlyingTigress - February 27, 2008

#13

And reduced-price tickets on all Tuesday nights, too — at least around the Southern/ Central Coast California area theaters — if memory serves.

18. I Love My Moogie - February 27, 2008

One MAJOR difference between the first movie & XI, TMP starred The Shat!

‘Nuff said.

19. trekofficial - February 27, 2008

PWND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All those people who wanna keep the TOS enterprise “as is” read this, and SHUT UP.

20. Closettrekker - February 27, 2008

#16—That’s a matter of opinion. I still enjoy watching TMP to this day. It is a great film, IMO. I rank it right behind TWOK as my favorite Star Trek movie, and as a sci-fi story, I think it is actually better. The only thing wrong with it, again— in my opinion, is it’s pace. It’s certainly not the changes to the ship and uniforms (which are admittedly too dated now) that were the cause of that.

21. Closettrekker - February 27, 2008

#18—(sigh.)

22. Batts - February 27, 2008

The Great Bird of The Galaxy has spoken! He was not against changing a few things around, he wanted it to be BETTER!! I SEE now certain parallels to what JJ is doing and what Roddenberry wished, but could not on a low budget. I always wondered what Majel Roddenberry’s input on this new film is?? It does not get any closer than that??

23. Closettrekker - February 27, 2008

#11—Great, as usual. Where’s Mongo and Harry Ballz?

24. Batts - February 27, 2008

How they came up with the name Kirk would be interesting to know?? The change in uniforms? etc.

25. Roddenberry is a Sham! - February 27, 2008

#7

It’s true. To be ‘logical’ about it, Roddenberry clearly did not develop the Vulcan race nor the character of Mr. Spock. Roddenberry had nothing to do with creating the concept of “pon farr”. On those facts alone, obviously Roddenberry did not wholly create “Star Trek”.

TOS and onward, it was the numerous input of scads of people…many uncredited that allowed “Star Trek” to evolve into what it is today. Every script, every “Hey, why don’t you do this?” by a fan, a director, a script editor, a camerman. A janitor perhaps. All that input culminated in what is and continues to be “Star Trek”.

Some people have the audacity to claim sole ownership of contributing material, some do not. Some people will stand up and say “Well, then Bob suggested we do such and such and Carl suggested we do that and it really improved my original idea by quite a lot.” Others are content to simply sit back and let people believe they are capable of far more than they really are.

Once I read Nimoy’s account of the creation of the IDIC, I knew there was more than what most fans seem to see with their rose-colored spectacles on. Unless, of course, he was lying, too.

But in the end, it turns out that Roddenberry was most likely a mere mortal like the rest of us who had a basic concept that was improved upon and became a success. Doesn’t seem so far-fetched, now, does it?

26. Spiked Canon - February 27, 2008

ahhhh Victory at last

27. Batts - February 27, 2008

Just adding GREAT detail to the ship and a visual to what Starfleet Command looked like. Is what I gathered Roddenberry wanted to emphasize?! In my opinion.

28. Garovorkin - February 27, 2008

sounds like if Roddenberry were around he would have given his seal of approval to the Abrams film.

29. Batts - February 27, 2008

#25 That is food for thought! Very interesting comment. We tend to overlook that there are many other views and inputs on what made TREK what is today!

30. orion pirate - February 27, 2008

Wow. Like it says, the parallels between the old interviews and modern ones for XI are very deja vu-ish.

OOOOh! I see the site that has the downloads is going to have a De Kelley interview soon. *w00t*

31. Ali - February 27, 2008

That McQuarrie Enterprise is butt ugly

32. Closettrekker - February 27, 2008

#25—Who is calling him the “sole” creator? It was clearly his vision of mankind’s future that was the template for what all future Trek writers were to help him build. Having a larger than life ego, which you don’t mind being massaged, doesn’t make you a sham. Most great Alpha-males suffer from the same affliction. It doesn’t make what they DID contribute less substantial. If not for GR, there is no vision of Star Trek. You cannot say that about anyone else. You can say it would be different, even less successful as a television series, but that’s it. He alone holds that distinction, whether you like him or not.

33. I AM MONGO - February 27, 2008

Mongo left theater after TMP as a pup. Mongo not know what to think at time. Like what saw but story hard to track. Maybe because Mongo pup. Over time, TMP become more clear. Now Mongo know I like.

British Naval Dude make Mongo laugh!

34. trekofficial - February 27, 2008

Mcquarrie was one of the key individuals responsible for the look of Star Wars and Trek and you clearly have no idea about design. Go watch the Teletubbies..

35. Devon - February 27, 2008

“Of course doing a motion picture and particularly doing it on a wide screen where you see everything in so much detail…even if we had the old bridge we would have to redo it to make it more sophisticated and better.”

Bravo to the people at Star Trek TCS for digging this up. No further justification needed on any updates to the look of the Enterprise or what not. Even without it being the fact that Gene suggested it himself, it is a true statement.

36. Anthony Pascale - February 27, 2008

people this article is not an excuse to attack or even ‘pre-attack’ other posters

37. maspill - February 27, 2008

36 what he was actually doin was jj went back in time and asked gene to say this so people would stop moanin and thus change the future of star trek XI

38. SPB - February 27, 2008

Posting again…

…to see if I got spanked (sorry, Anthony!).

I do find this story very interesting and I haven’t been this excited for a new TREK movie since 1979.

39. Joel - February 27, 2008

This is great…now people are attacking Roddenberry saying he didn’t create Star Trek…..if you think that, and start nitpicking and say, “Gene didn’t create this, or that….” you might as well not be a Star Trek fan. Star Trek was created by Gene Roddenberry, nuff said, get used to it. Anyone who starts rambling about, “oh, well Gene didn’t create ponn farr” should just take a hike, Star Trek doesn’t need you.

40. Anthony Pascale - February 27, 2008

Joel

it is not yours to decide who is or is not a fan

Nor is it yours to decide to decide who hould visit and comment here vs. those who should ‘take a hike’

41. Michael Hall - February 27, 2008

“But in the end, it turns out that Roddenberry was most likely a mere mortal like the rest of us who had a basic concept that was improved upon and became a success. Doesn’t seem so far-fetched, now, does it?”

No, not at all. No one would give Gene Roddenberry credit for ‘sole authorship’ of Trek. Without the input of Coon, Justman, Jeffries, the actors et al the show wouldn’t have been the one we remember. Television shows and films are the end-product of the labors of many individuals. Nothing exactly new in that observation, though.

#32 got it exactly right: while others contributed greatly to the show’s success over the years and decades, without Roddenberry there is no Star Trek, period. And he’s the only individual who can make that claim, like it or not. Everything else is just speculation and conjecture and hindsight.

And yes, McQuarrie’s Enterprise is butt-ugly.

42. myrth - February 27, 2008

I have to say, I really like the Ralph McQuarrie Enterprise sketch. I would love to see what that concept would have looked like in a finished model.

43. Fleet Captain Kor'Tar - February 27, 2008

Yes, I agree , we should all be thankful that TMPs Enterprise turned out looking the way she did and not like the abomination above. Just think instead of holding true to the Saucer, angled neck , secondary hull, nacell arrangement JJ and his team might decide to go with McQuarrie’s design .

*Runs for cover as the internet collapses in on it self from the onslaught of protest comments*

44. Abraham Theos - February 27, 2008

I get that movie budgets are better than TV budgets- and I appreciate that TMP moved forward in time and advanced Treknology the same way TNG, DS9, Voyager and the movies did.

But that was a step forward in time, for me the point of not wanting to see a change the TOS bridge sets is that the technology of that time has been stated, is familiar, and is as easily reconizable as belonging to that specific “future” time period as a Model T, or Mr. T belong to their time own respective time periods.

Many of us rabid fanboys have invested hours and hours into creating websites for roleplaying, making mods for first person shooters, creating fan fiction, or creating other art all based on the work from the 1960’s. So it might be selfish of me to say it — but for me the bridge, the console, the chairs, the viewscreen- all that IS a character. For me it defines TOS almost more so than the characters.

To place Kirk and crew in a new environment makes sense the way that Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet made sense. My teachers used to talk about the “universality” of Shakespeare- and yes the characters work, the emotion is the same- but the setting is just not quite right. It was @#$@# unsettling to see Mercutio in drag- at a rave, stoned, drunk and tripping – and for me it’ll be unsettling if I see Kirk and crew in a set they don’t belong in.

45. Spockanella - February 27, 2008

What’s so fascinating to me is how much debate and yes, controversy, Star Trek can still engender, more than 40 years after its conception. People are passionate about it and it shows in their comments!

I have a few concerns here and there about what the new vision of Star Trek might be, but in the main I am looking forward to it with an open mind and great anticipation. Of course, as a fan of TOS I would not like to see a total revamp, but I also am not so wedded to what is canon and what is not that I can’t see the forest for the trees…so to speak.

Let’s celebrate our differences and respect others’ rights to their opinions. It’s a lot more fun that way.

46. NCC-73515 - February 27, 2008

Why was my message deleted??? It only contained a link to the official forum!

47. Sean4000 - February 27, 2008

#42: I think The design was used in a star base background scene in Star Trek 3 or 4.

48. British Naval Dude - February 27, 2008

arrrr Mongo and ClosetTrekker- thank ye, me mateys…

one last thought fer tha day…

Is that odd looking Enterprise made outta balsa wood? Hardly seems like it would hold up at sea, let alone yon space.
Wonder if Nimoy or Shatner had toyed with re-doing tha vessel for ST 4 & 5? Nimoy coulda unvieled that balsa beauty at the end of 4 and well, that mayha been tha end of it all… we’d be talkin’ ’bout politics or jam and jellies today instead of STXI…

no offenese Mr. McQuarries who really did do other fine work… but if they had used it, I’d had to put a bag o’er your ship to enjoy me Trek

oh- can we pre-attack posters that we think may have WMDs? bein’ tha Brit Navy, that’s kinda tha modus operandi… arrrrr

arrrr… and more arrrrr

49. NCC-73515 - February 27, 2008

Another try… if you delete this again, please tell me why!

I wrote
“I read in “The Art of Star Trek”, that the Great Bird told the audience that he wants to make a prequel movie at the World Science Fiction Convention 1968 in Oakland. It should have been a story about Kirk and crew meeting at the academy… so it was his idea!? Since many people are agains prequels and Academy-stories, maybe this will change their minds about “violations” of GR’s wishes…”
on 02-05-2008 here at the official forum:
http://www.startrekmovie.com/forums/showthread.php?t=445

50. Go Spock! - February 27, 2008

cool – interesting parallels.

51. Desslok - February 27, 2008

“Even Gene supported updating the original look as it was just cheap and bodged together, ”

Watching the episodes of TOS in high definition it’s obvious that it was a big budget show. The sets are solid and well built. As Roddenberry said at the time it was like producing a 50 minute science fiction movie in a week. I believe it was the highest budget weekly show at the time.

Adjusted for inflation the nearly $190,000 budget in 1966 would be over a million today.

52. Thomas Jensen - February 27, 2008

Gene Roddenberry had a couple of meetings with Mort Werner in 1969 about doing a Star Trek movie for television. Mr. Werner was one of the NBC executives who oversaw the development of the pilot in 1963. It’s interesting that they thought of the idea for a movie before the 1960’s were over.

Even at this early date, the show was seen as very different from the usual television fare and many people wanted it to continue.

53. MattJC - February 27, 2008

I think it’s funny how some people dismiss Gene’s opinions on Treks 2-6, and now there is an interview that may show support for Abrams’ movie, his word is now treated like gold.

54. CmdrR - February 27, 2008

Fascinating to hear from Gene.

SOOOO glad the refit E did NOT look like that flying cheese wedge. The lower decks are practically nothing but hangar. You’d need two engine rooms, because the nacelles don’t even seem to connect.

as for…
’ We are going to give you a piece of entertainment that is worth your $3 whether you are a Star Trek fan or not.”

$3…. *sigh*

I really think that the pricetag is killing theatres. Factor in dinner and you’re looking at something like half a day’s wages just to take the missus to a flick.

55. Sisko Is The Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him - February 27, 2008

Matt

i think you are missing the point of some. There are many who come to this site and other and claim to be ‘speaking in the word of Rodenberry’ with their claims that canon must be preserved and that he would hate this film because it ‘goes backward’ claiming that GR would never do that. How often have you seen the ‘go forward not backward’ mantra? It is those people who have treated GR’s word as ‘gold’ to defend what is an extremist purist position.

The others commenting here, myself included, do not really consider his word to be the word of god…but find it ironic to see him embrace the change his most cultish followers have fought so hard against.

Sorry to get religious, but it is like finding a lost Gospel or passage of the Koran with words from Jesus or Muhamed being pro-gay

We have yet to seem some of the more purist elements comment here and I imagine we will not. Let us just see if they continue to evoke the word of GR in their future rantings about the sanctity of the color of the bridge railing.

56. Pierre - February 27, 2008

Regarding the McQuarrie Enterprise, this version was actually designed by renowned movie art director Ken Adams, who had designed so many James Bond films. Ralph McQuarrie had just finished his work on the first Star Wars film though it had not yet been released. His job on Star Trek:Planet Of the Titans was as a production illustrator, fleshing out Ken Adams concepts and exploring his own ideas.

Whether Mr. Adams was inspired by what he had seen of the Star Wars production while it was shooting in England is unknown, though the wedge shape of the Enterprise certainly resembles a Star Destroyer. Also, almost every rendering of this design (and there are quite a few to be found) differs in certain details. Sometimes the engines are raked back and at other times the engines are raked forward. Regardless, the surviving paintings and drawings are very fascinating.

And that’s one to grow on….

57. classictrek - February 27, 2008

would love to have seen roddenberrys vision of a prequel. the picture of that ship is aweful.
greg
UK

58. maspill - February 27, 2008

yeah the ship is terrible propper 60s sci fi

59. CmdrR - February 27, 2008

I love Gene. I love his vision, but let’s face it… he also chose those Elvis mutton chops. He was only human.

60. Tox Uthat - February 27, 2008

CANON by Gene.

Go, JJ!

61. Michael Hall - February 27, 2008

“#42: I think The design was used in a star base background scene in Star Trek 3 or 4.”

Actually, the proof-of-concept models for McQuarrie’s (or Ken Adams’–56 may be correct about that) design show up as part of the devastated Starfleet armada in the aftermath of the battle of Wolf 359 in Part 2 of TNG’s “The Best of Both Worlds.”

62. trekofficial - February 27, 2008

this was NOT a final production sketch..just one of hundreds that woulda been created during the design phase..untie ur panties and take a breath nerds

63. colonyearth - February 27, 2008

The only SF show creator/runner who can almost all of the credit for characters, history, future, story, etc., would be JMS of Babylon 5. He created it, wrote it and still runs all things B5. For B5 fans he is the Great Maker.

However, that doesn’t discredit or discount the Great Bird for all he did for Trek. It was his vision and passion even though many voices helped to mold that vision. And yes, Nimoy was the most influental element of Spock and Vulcan culture, which is why I’m so glad he’s back for this film. His voice and input on Vulcans has been sorely missing from all recent Trek.

CE

64. Anthony Thompson - February 27, 2008

40.

It’s interesting, Anthony, that you always seem to chime in to support the Roddenberry bashers.

65. trekkie1415 - February 27, 2008

You know what. I was in love with the idea of this movie from the start. This whole ‘Gene Roddenberry’s’ stamp o’ aprroval thing just makes it more tasty… If you could call it that…

And it does ease some worries I had about this being a prequel.

As for McQuarrie’s Enterprise… It just looks like a K-7 battle crusier and the Constitution Class had a baby! Honestly, look at it upside down!

66. steve623 - February 27, 2008

“sounds like if Roddenberry were around he would have given his seal of approval to the Abrams film.”

Well that’s definitely the way Anthony constructed the article.

67. brady - February 27, 2008

what i never understand about Mcquarrie is that hes so revelled as a great artist, yet I cant think of one thing he’s done thats actually ended up looking like he drew it.

68. T2 - February 27, 2008

awesome discovery…big plus for J.J.

69. Sisko Is The Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him - February 27, 2008

oh so the canon fetishests are now going to start attacking the messenger since they can’t refute GRs words? Did Anthony go back in time and make Gene say it? Are these things taken out of context? have you even listed to the interview…which was very interesting btw.

what is this now? Fox News? cant argue the facts so attack the person reporting the facts?

70. Garovorkin - February 27, 2008

Roddenberry was a great producer there is no disputing that, he managed to keep a low rated science fiction show on the air for three years in the 60’s and in that broadcasting environment that is a hell of a accomplishment for any producer. While he was a great producer he was not a great writer, if anyone needs confirmation of that fact ,lets look at the Omega Glory which he wrote and its bad for a lot of of reasons. When the show went into syndication thats when people began to notice it, Trek used the science fiction motiff to as way of talking about contemporary issues in our society, one would think that that is ground breaking but really it wasn’t because both the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits were doing that before trek. True many of the technologies that trek had like the communicator, The computer terminals and other things inspired engineers to invent them and inspired people to become scientists engineers and even astronauts, Trek did do a lot of positive things, there is no denying that. When he first produced the show i don’t think he a had a clue that it was going to reach the heights that it did. When he say the sudden interest that people began to take in the show, he saw an opportunity to put himself in the spotlight. They began the conventions and the lecture tours and thats when the whole Roddenberry the visionary machine was born.

71. oztrek - February 27, 2008

Anthony or anybody…

every now and then, interesting bits of informations such as: “Star Trek The Motion Picture (which still holds the Trek record for most tickets sold)” make their way into these forums. Where do you get this info from?

I for one would like to know how the ST films stack up against each other as well as generally. It will be an interesting benchmark to use when we all start crowing about how great or otherwise ST X1 is ( and I am firmly convinced it will be brilliant).

72. Green-blooded-bastard - February 27, 2008

It seems to me Gene Roddenberry really had a grip on what was going on and what he had…just a TV show, nothing more. It may have grown to mean more than just a TV show in the minds of some fans, but to Mr. Roddenberry it was nothing more than just that. I can hear it in the way he speaks about his ideas regarding the show and the way he seemed to be constantly evolving the show in his head, desiring more than what he was budgeted to produce. It was only with the passage of time and the nostalgia of aging that Star Trek became something more than what it was intended to be. The proof is in that TNG had all his blessings (so far as I know) and it is in no way a show like TOS was. He understood at least at that point that the show and the concept was and is a constantly evolving organic thing.

In the larger picture, Star Trek only means something grand to those that follow it as do we here, but to those that aren’t followers of the journey’s of the Enterprise, it was and ever will be just a science fiction show with little or no bearing on real life other than what the individual gets from the messages conveyed by the writers. I know I’m going to upset a few people here, but this is how I see it, and i might be wrong, but I truly believe if Gene Roddenberry were alive today, he would be happy with anything JJ Abrams (or anyone else willing to take the mantle of director of a Star Trek movie) was willing to do for his show, regardless if whether or not it conflicted with canon.

And while I’m on the subject of canon, I would like to point out that canon is an abstract notion in your head, not a reality based fact simply because you saw it on film somewhere. Canon is subject to change with the interpretation of the writer and director. Case in point, we all know that The Hulk came to life when he ran out onto a bomb-test site to save a young Rick Jones from a gamma bomb detonation and failed to hit the trench soon enough. However in the movie, this is not the scenario that played out. in TV canon, he does it to himself in a lab on purpose. Which is official? If we go by the standard (if there even is one) that canon has come to be defined as, we have to go with TV and film, which in the case of the Hulk has been contradicted several times in each media. As a matter of fact, the Rick Jones scenario has never been filmed at all, so technically it doesn’t count by canon standard, despite it being the “official” way Hulk was born.

Battlestar Galactica. Spider-man. The Bionic Woman. The list of remakes and changed origin stories goes on and on, but which is official if all were filmed and became canon as such, if filming something is the method in which something becomes canon.

Might be time to loosen the ropes on that canon stuff and just sit back and enjoy a directors interpretation of something we loved growing up and will continue to love, despite changes being made, and the possibility that the originator, Gene Roddenberry, would probably not only give his blessings for helping continue the mythology he helped create, but go see it himself and have a good time, knowing in the end, it’s still just a movie.

GBB
peace

73. Desslok - February 27, 2008

This doesn’t have ticket sales but considering how much lower ticket prices were in 1979 I can believe that ST:TMP was #1 in ticket sales.

http://boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=startrek.htm

74. Oregon Trek Geek - February 27, 2008

I’ve never been a big fan of the proposed Planet of the Titans Enterprise. It’s quite a bizarre, ungainly looking ship…

That said, the ship for the new movie looks pretty cool, from what we can see in the teaser. I sure hope cast pics and ship pics come out soon.

75. Garovorkin - February 27, 2008

ON further reflection I think maybe im wrong about a couple of things with regard to Roddenberry. I made the point that Trek wasn’t the first show to use the motiff of science fiction to contemporary themes in society .While that part is true enough. Trek did something neither the outer limits or the Twilight zone really did and that was to present a future in which there is the possibility that man can better himself. I think that alone would in
the class of visionary. Also here is another question that I should have asked myself before i typed the first paragraph, what was his intention? to see a better world perhaps. Unfortunately when your as cynical pessimistic about things as i am you just have a hard time believing that the world can be a better place. I think that the way things are in this world our future looks very doubtful indeed. I would be happy to be wrong on this score.

76. Jabob Slatter - February 27, 2008

Thanks, Anthony!

That’s some really fascinating information. This does present a problem to the purist theory, but I doubt they’ll let it be much of an impediment. Bless them all.

I always thought it was a shame to have such a beautiful new Enterprise in TMP and then not really put it to use. I certainly didn’t want to see it dwarfed and rendered impotent by V’ger. At least they made up for it in TWOK.

But those first shots of Enterprise in dry dock, those were gorgeous, and have never been bested. Director Wise was smart enough to know that Enterprise was a major character in ST and lingered lovingly on it. That was nice.

And it was great to see the cast together again. Slow story or not, I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. It’s actually one of my favorites in the Trek series.

77. Michael Hall - February 27, 2008

“While he was a great producer he was not a great writer, if anyone needs confirmation of that fact ,lets look at the Omega Glory which he wrote and its bad for a lot of of reasons.”

True, “The Omega Glory” sucked–even GR admitted that it hadn’t turned out the way he’d envisioned it on paper. And if you want to bolster your premise of him as a mediocre talent, why not throw in “Turnabout Intruder” or the work he ended up taking the rap for on THE MOTION PICTURE for good measure?

Of course, none of that explains how he managed to win the Hugo for penning “The Menagerie,” or why the Writer’s Guild of America would bestow upon him its highest honor for his script for “Have Gun, Will Travel.” Nor does it help us understand why his novelization of THE MOTION PICTURE is consistently more interesting and thoughtful than the finished film itself. It doesn’t even tell us why a network like NBC would risk a considerable sum of money on a outlandish (for the time) concept like Star Trek in the first place, if its first-time producer hadn’t already established himself as a screenwriter of proven ability and reputation.

It may just be possible that you can’t judge Gene Roddenberry’s talents as a writer either by the best or worst of what he was able to produce during his 70 years on this planet. In fact, judging someone’s least efforts as representative would be equally unfair to D.C. Fontana or Gene Coon, but for some reason only Roddenberry seems to attract this sort of criticism, and from those who owe him the most.

78. Garovorkin - February 27, 2008

#77 i stand corrected and I think I have basically openned my self up for a whole world of trouble with that first paragraph. Believe me i wish I had not stared this one. Sometimes i act before i think and you know what i deserve everything that Im about to get on this believe me.

79. mada101 - February 27, 2008

Though I don’t consider myself a TOS purist, I do consider myself ‘old guard’ (I don’t want change to the existing canon). Never have I been interested in what Gene (or any other Trek creative persons, like Fontana or Moore or Berman) has had to say, and nor have I ever cared about invoking “This is what Gene said, so it’s true!”. Therefore, simply because Gene wouldn’t have minded random visual changes because the budget was bigger, I don’t buy into it.

A visual update for TOS worked well for TMP because it was set later in the fictional timeline. In real life, designs and technology change as time passes, but there is always a logical progression from A to B to C. Abrams’ film isn’t doing that. It’s retconing for the sake of it, working backwards from TMP rather than trying to do something that fits between ENT and TOS. But I digress…

Trek wasn’t a solid, fictional universe back when TOS was in production. They were just trying to churn out a half-decent sci-fi show with some good morales in so they could collect their paycheck at the end of the week. Now that we have over 700 hours of a remarkably-continuous canon, it’s a real shame to see bits of it overwritten by a new team. I think that’s what a lot of ‘purists’ are complaining about, not that a prequel idea is a bad one.

What I would find interesting is to hear what Gene and the gang wanted to do as an origin story and compare it to the O&K thing we’re getting…

80. CmdrR - February 27, 2008

I just looked at the numbers. I can’t believe you can wiggle them around enough to definitively say that TMP sold more tickets than any other Trek film. The number of screens is not comparable, the number of seats per screen would have changed dramatically, the viewing patterns themselves would have shifted over the nearly three decades involved. Moreover, a studio exec would have to review the projected versus actual earnings. I think what matters is what the fans care about. We can all agree that the last two Treks were big disappointments. Other than that, there’s not a lot of consensus, nor need there be.

81. Don Trek - February 27, 2008

Sometimes creators create something very different than what they have in mind.

When Dan Curtis created Barnabus Collins for Dark Shadows, he wanted an actor who looked like Dracula and was unhappy with Jonathan Frid. Barnabus became as popular as he did because he did not look like what a vampire was supposed to look like. Yet when Curtis recast the 1990 version, he got a Dracula looking actor (Ben Cross).

I liked the new show but I think it would have been better had they cast someone more like Frid. He was Barnabus Collins.

When TMP came out, I went to see it with a bunch of friends. We were all disappointed that it did not look more like the original series. The ship looked too flashy. The Klingons were did not look like Klingons. The uniforms were not right. I guess they thought that the old uniforms were dated and needed to look more like future space uniforms looked in 1979 (Star Wars). Now the TMP uniforms look dated and the originals still look cool (IMHO).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for letting Abrams take his best shot.

Good or bad this one, eventually someone will come around and make an exact clone of the original series. Whether it will be in my lifetime or not is the question.

82. CmdrR - February 27, 2008

When TMP came out, I went to see it with a bunch of friends. We were all disappointed that it did not look more like the original series. The ship looked too flashy. The Klingons were did not look like Klingons. The uniforms were not right. I guess they thought that the old uniforms were dated and needed to look more like future space uniforms looked in 1979 (Star Wars)

And, there was precious little humor. If De hadn’t had a couple of good lines, TMP would be grim. I agree on the other points.

83. Andy Patterson - February 27, 2008

44

. It was @#$@# unsettling to see Mercutio in drag- at a rave, stoned, drunk and tripping – and for me it’ll be unsettling if I see Kirk and crew in a set they don’t belong in.

That’s some deep stuff brother. Haven’t heard an argument put together about Trek like that before. Interesting.

and 43 You’re right. I am thankful they din’t go with that design.

84. Anthony Pascale - February 27, 2008

guys I tried to make it clear earlier that this isnt an excuse to attack and ‘label’ people.

Sisko
warning for trolling…I dont like to see these labels and we dont need to drag religion and politics into things

RE: Anthony Thompson
I have always warned those who claim to be the arbiters of who is and is not a fan. I dont care what side of a debate you are on really

lastly on tickets…see this graph
http://trekmovie.com/wp-content/uploads/trekfranchisegraph.JPG

take domestic box office and divide by avg ticket price for that year and that is what you get.

85. Captain Otter - February 27, 2008

#34- Yup, Mcquarrie=genius most of the time. But I agree w/ #31. That drawing is beastly- like the unwanted love child of a Star Destroyer and the Enterprise. Yuck.

86. cyberghost - February 27, 2008

#9

I was referring to the cost of a movie ticket in 1979, not today. But there is a movie theatre here in south Florida that does have .99 cent movie night. I guess they make most of their revenue on concessions, like most all movie theatre’s.
About the same time, we had a big presentation from NASA in our high school auditorium talking about a new type of space vehicle called a space shuttle, named “the enterprise” and he predicted within 10-15 years anyone whom wanted to take a ride, could. Boy was he wrong, so I guess what I am saying is, those were the days. 99 cents for a gallon of gas, movie tickets etc.

And everyone survived without a cell phone, and speaking of cell’s if anyone is talking on their cell during ST 11, they will end up with a bag of $8.00 popcorn on their head.

Smile, its infectious……

87. CrazyPeopleWhoLikesThisTrekMovie - February 27, 2008

Wow he wanted to do a prequel, but never did..The reason, the actors where too old and he saw that only the original actors could play the part. So what did he do, something that most people in Hollywood don’t do. Come up with a new idea!!

Oh wow 6 big name stars,oh he did not get them, but hey..people still went to go see that movie!!! With or Without them!!!

I just love how people, twist everything so that it seems that he would be ok with this movie. But at the end of it all, he never made a trek Prequel !

88. James Heaney - Wowbagger - February 27, 2008

#80:

See Tony’s post #84 for the hard numbers. I can verify that, if you pull out your handy-dandy inflation adjustment calculator (google if you care), and run the numbers from Box Office Mojo, TMP does indeed turn out to be the highest-grossing of the films, followed by TVH, TWOK, TSFS, FC, and so on down the line. This was always utterly inexplicable to me, because, personally, I don’t care that much for TMP, relative to the other films (although I’ll take any Trek over any Wars any day).

It is also worth noting that no film after TFF ever reached even TSFS levels. The phenomenon commonly known as “franchise fatigue” seems to have set in sometime around 1987. This is disturbing.

89. corbetto - February 27, 2008

All Hail the Great Bird of the Galaxy!

90. Jorg Sacul - February 27, 2008

#81 I guess they thought that the old uniforms were dated and needed to look more like future space uniforms looked in 1979 (Star Wars).

Sorry, gotta put on my geek hat here. Star Wars was 1977, and “a long time ago, in a galaxy far away”. Can’t portray the future if it is in the past.
[/geek hat]

But, my main point is, the TMP jammies looked more like the Space:1999 costumes than anything out of Star Wars. TMP was antiseptic (as was Space:1999) compared to the dirty Star Wars universe.

As far as McQuarrie influencing the look of Star Trek? Uh… where? His paintings sold the Fox execs on the Star Wars concept, but really, he didn’t do much for Trek. Not to say he isn’t one of the most amazing conceptual/visual artists to have cranked out illustration after illustration for the aerospace industry, and was a good part of the backbone of the “Star Wars look”. I’m still wanting to see a movie as cool as that pre-production painting of Luke and Vader fighting on the Blockade Runner.

Now, as for the topic, Roddenberry’s Star Trek…

Gene fought tooth and nail to keep Spock a major character for the 2nd pilot. Imagine TOS Star Trek without him? We wouldn’t be having this discussion today. Spock was the most human, universally appealing outsider/everyman on the show. He is the ultimate Alpha Nerd, and the women fans loved him. He is what made Trek NOT “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” in space.

*rolls eyes* Roddenberry wasn’t the heart and soul of TOS Star Trek?? Nimoy, please!

91. Doug - February 27, 2008

#70: wow! To say that Gene Roddenberry was not a good writer is pretty amazing. and what may not be so noticeable is that GR handcrated nearly all of the original first season episodes (although some might call that micro-managing).

I think the pilot “The Cage and subsequent revisitation in “The Menagerie” are but two examples of one of the finest TREK pieces ever fimed.

I think we’re all aware of Roddnberry’s strengths and weaknesses. Every writer has their low points… and their high points. The fact that he was very protective of his creation, to me, is not one of those shortcomings,

92. Garovorkin - February 27, 2008

#91 yeah Doug not one of my finest moments and im probably going to be taking a lot of flak for this one, Trust me, its deserved

93. Scott - February 27, 2008

Maybe it’s just me, but does anyone else think that the Enterprise D owes some of its design aesthetic to the McQuarrie design? The low-slung nacelles, the manta ray secondary hull, the rounded-down saucer section, the fussy surface detail…? I’ve long thought the D looks like a more organic, rounded-off version of the painting above.

Scott B. out.

94. capt mike - February 27, 2008

well. if the man himself says that some changes are needed then everyone should just chill. jj is doing the things gene would want to make it the best trek yet and if the man himself was here then he would approve on what jj is doing. so lets all just enjoy the expectations of the new movie and when it comes out we will all be here to talk about what a great movie it was.

95. ShawnP - February 27, 2008

#93 Scott – You know, until you pointed it out, I wouldn’t have thought that. I’m surprised I didn’t see it initially, but I agree with you in your speculation.

96. Doug - February 27, 2008

#79: “Trek wasn’t a solid, fictional universe back when TOS was in production. They were just trying to churn out a half-decent sci-fi show with some good morales…”

There it is!!! You summed it up exactly about what Roddenberry was trying to do.

Roddenberry is on record (many times) that he wanted to tell stories that were about big ideas, morality plays and do it in ways that the heavy- handed censors of the 60s would not entirely recognize nor allow.

As GR as said, he could say things if it was a green skinned alien doing the talking and get away with it. It’s kind of amazing that the bigwigs back then were so dimwitted… if that is, in fact, the case.

Let’s face it, network execs general opinion of science fiction shows (and their fans) back then was akin to Irwin Allen’s drek (and believe me, even then I liked that stuff too). Shows like TOS, “The Outer Limits” and “The Twilight Zone” were exceptions and not the norm.

97. Rick James - February 27, 2008

Oh wow. Great story about a really insightful interview with Gene himself.

I hear so much wailing and gnashing of teeth, it reminds me when J.K. Rowling identified Harry Potter’s official girlfriend in the seventh book.

Irregardless of what happens, I’m still going to see the new Star Trek movie when it comes out. If it stinks I’ll say so. If it is good I’ll say so. Until then there really isn’t much more to say about the upcoming movie.

98. Mark - February 27, 2008

Actually….if you take inflation into account, $3 in 1976 is $11.13 in today’s dollars. (http://www.bls.gov/cpi/#data – use the inflation calculator)

btw, Admiral Kirk was wrong – they WILL use money in the 23rd Century. But it depends on where you start. The movie price in 1950 (approximately $.50) would be only $4.38 today – “adjusted” for inflation. So prices have pretty much doubled. But the sad fact is that not 1 in 100 people can tell you what inflation is, what causes it, and why we have to “adjust” for inflation.

99. cd - February 27, 2008

#79 – “A visual update for TOS worked well for TMP because it was set later in the fictional timeline. In real life, designs and technology change as time passes, but there is always a logical progression from A to B to C. Abrams’ film isn’t doing that. It’s retconing for the sake of it, working backwards from TMP rather than trying to do something that fits between ENT and TOS.”
Exactly.

100. S. John Ross - February 27, 2008

#96: “Roddenberry is on record (many times) that he wanted to tell stories that were about big ideas, morality plays and do it in ways that the heavy- handed censors of the 60s would not entirely recognize nor allow.”

I’ve always admired this aspect of Trek … both the subtle messages that the censors no doubt missed, and the in-your-face stuff that they got on the show by outright trickery (the kiss with Uhura).

… an irony is that when I was working on tie-in stuff nine years ago, we had to resort to the same level of subtlety and trickery to sneak some social statements into our Trek work past the (very conservative, at least at the time) Paramount approvals department, and I’ve talked with some other tie-in folks (novelists, computer-game designers, etc) who faced similar hurdles and forged similar solutions. Some things never change … even the things Roddenberry wanted us to change MOST :)

101. cd - February 27, 2008

Strange, I have never heard of the quotes from this 1976 interview…until now. Hmmm, I wonder…
July 1976: Gene Roddenberry is preparing for an interview later that day. Out of thin air, a mysterious unknown figure appears to him.
GR: “Who are you? What do you want?”
MUF: “I have information vital to the future of Star Trek. My name is J.J…”

102. loboblanco - February 27, 2008

I just saw one of the early episodes the other night, forgot the title, but it was the first encounter with the Romulans. The one where Mark Leanard plays the Romulan commander. Anyway, it reminded me how stupid all of the “cannon” talk is since the cannon was constantly changing even in the first season of TOS. Case in point, in those early episodes, there was no United Federation of Planets and the Enterprise was referred to as a United Earth vessel but then magically in the middle of the season the Federation existed. Now everyone agrees that the Federation pre-dated the Enterprise and the first 5 year mission. So, there never has been an accurate cannon and if JJ and crew make a few changes that they feel will make the story better, they are simply doing the exact same thing Roddenberry did in the middle of the first season.

103. S. John Ross - February 27, 2008

#102: Yeah, that’s entirely true. “Canon” is of course a useful concept for Paramount, and it’s a useful concept for licensing and tie-in purposes, but outside of those contexts the history of Star Trek is really a lot more open a subject, and I for one would never surrender my view of Star Trek to Paramount’s canon-cops, because what they get out of Star Trek ($$$) is something very different from what I get out of it, so our perspectives differ, necessarily.

I compare it to real history. Real history happened a certain way, but we can never know all the facts. Historical films can try to be accurate but they’ll always disagree, or change things or simplify things for the good of the medium or represent one historian’s opinions over another, etc … We can hold them to a certain standard but beyond a certain point, consistency is unachievable because all the facts can never be known and new things can come to light. If we view filmed Trek events _as_ history it binds us a certain way, but if we view filmed Trek events as movies _about_ a history, then they – and we – get more freedom and the whole thing feels more real (yes, folks, I said it: canon inconsistencies make the fiction feel MORE real, not less … go get the torches and the pitchforks, now I’m totally a heretic) ;)

104. S. John Ross - February 27, 2008

I should point out, though, that one thing is NOT a matter of opinion: the word “canon” as a grand total of two instances of the letter “n;” one in the middle and one at the end. I hope that someday (someday, please, someday) Trek fandom can at least finally agree on that fact :)

105. Doug - February 27, 2008

#103: Oh, I don’t think canon is useful to Paramount at all.

I am sure they would probably love for us to not notice things so much; they could then do anything they want without fearing a backlash from the fans… and surely we all have noticed how much we agree on things TREK. It’s like that old adage that “those who think they know it all really bug those of us who do.”

:-D

106. S. John Ross - February 27, 2008

#105: I can see your point that Paramount shouldn’t have any love for canon and I can’t manage to disagree with you in the least ;) … but in my (admittedly limited) professional experience, the approvals department does a stunningly good imitation of people who think it’s critically important to their franchise. So I guess by “useful” maybe I mean “necessary whether they like it or not,” or something …

Or maybe the approvals people are just hired from hardcore-fan stock :)

For what it’s worth, I agree that your version of things is more sensible than mine, but I can’t escape my memories without lots of sleep-dep … Give me a few more years and I’ll get nice and senile …

107. [The] TOS Purist aka The Purolator - February 27, 2008

“…even if we had the old bridge we would have to redo it to make it more sophisticated and better. ”

I don’t see why JJ couldn’t just do that. I’d love to see a “detailed” version of the TOS bridge, not just ANOTHER rehash of a “new design.” After all the “new designs” we’ve had, it gets old REALLY fast. Let’s have some imagination here, people; what would the TOS bridge look like if it was “detailed,” as it were??

But I guess it’s easier to just wimp out and just make a new one. Lame.

108. Kruge - February 27, 2008

107

hahahahahaha

oh wait…you were serious.

you are attacking Abrams new bridge design as being too different and using the bridge from TMP as an example of one that isnt? have you seen the new bridge? how do you know it is more different from TOS than TMP

you sir are grasping at straws

109. cd - February 27, 2008

#107 – Agreed. The little bit of the bridge we have seen looks more like Jason of Star Command than Star Trek. Hopefully, it was just a REALLY bad view and not indicative of the bridge overall. But I am doubtful.
A more detailed version of what we have seen as the TOS bridge could look very acceptable to modern audiences, and at the same time not alienate TOS fans. They don’t have to do one or the other: they could do both.
Same thing with the new Enterprise design: making it look like the TMP Enterprise but with giant jet turbine engines just does not work for me. I am hoping the turbines are just caps that are used when it goes into orbit, then come off to reveal the real engines. But the design is still obviously reimagined. Unfortunately.

110. OR Coast Trekkie - February 27, 2008

There we go folks… there we go.

#72 – Great post.

111. SPOCKBOY - February 27, 2008

Thank GOD they didn’t go with Ralph McQuarrie’s HORRIBLE Enteprise design!

I found a recent picture of him anyway.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v617/spockboy/RalphMcQuarrie.jpg

112. Anthony Thompson - February 27, 2008

Calling Harry, Stanky and The Vulcanista, etc.

No subspace communications have been received from any of you on this thread. Be calm. A red alert has been sounded and a landing party is being formed to search for all of you. Bridge out.

113. OR Coast Trekkie - February 27, 2008

Whoops, hit “say it” on accident too early.

#72 is right. This was just a show to Gene. It wasn’t some holy philosophy that he had. Heck, he penned the words “beyond the rim of the starlight…” so he could receive more royalty money for when the theme was played (there’s my geekiness shining through). So Gene was not really about the abolishment of money…

114. SPOCKBOY - February 27, 2008

CHECK OUT THIS GUY’S WORK….

http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/4286/eviltwinsmallao6.jpg

115. JB - February 27, 2008

I’m having difficulty downloading the Roddenberry interview mp3s to my laptop. How can I save them so I can listen to them later?

116. SPOCKBOY - February 27, 2008

http://www.worth1000.com/cache/gallery/contestcache.asp?contest_id=18452&display=photoshop

117. Iowagirl - February 28, 2008

Roddenberry and all the wonderful TOS writers gave us their vision and the actors vitalized the characters in the best possible way. Together, they made TOS the iconic show it is. If Roddenberry & Co. would’ve had realized their prequel project, they naturally would have adjusted the design, etc. as they did do it for the films as well, and I’m confident that they would’ve remained faithful to the original spirit, as ST was their own creation.

Instead, they went for TMP which IMO is a truly epic and terrific film and which marked the beginning of a legendary ST film era. They couldn’t have possibly made a better decision.

118. Battletrek - February 28, 2008

88. Harve Bennett was right then that TNG started to kill off Trek, at least as theatrical films.

119. Battletrek - February 28, 2008

Just have to add it must’ve been great to be alive in the 70’s when Trek was at its peak in popularity and the actors and creators were treated like Gods. This period in Trek history is reminiscent but can’t quite compare to what must have been those incredibly heady days in Treks life.

120. Commodore Redshirt - February 28, 2008

re:72. Green-blooded-bastard –
“Might be time to loosen the ropes on that canon stuff and just sit back and enjoy a directors interpretation of something we loved growing up and will continue to love, despite changes being made…”

How ironic that a show about how wonderful the CHANGES in our future are going to be, how we humans will evolve into better beings… How ironic we fans resist change… we fear it, want it, need it, hate it, and cannot wait for it.
…How very HUMAN….

121. Chris M - February 28, 2008

Wow that was an awesome aricle. How amazing is it that 40 years after Gene Roddneberry announced his original plan for a Star Trek movie that the plot he described is taking shape as we speak. It’s going to make it that much more special watching the new movie knowing that Gene Roddenberry would have wanted this story to be told!

This is the first time I’ve been really excited about the new movie since it was pushed back four months. Bring on May 2009 :)

122. Craig - February 28, 2008

The whole point of Star Trek is that we improve, do things bigger and better – keep moving forward.

Thats why in ST: TMP the Enterprise had all kinds of neat stuff on it! Doors that opened into space all over, docking hatches, phaser banks all over the place, etc. All the stuff you could imagine you would need on a ship that explores the galaxy. Too bad all the films after that got such low budgets that all that stuff went out the window.

Can’t wait to see the New – Old Enterprise. Hope it has even more doors and hatches and cup holders… what they don’t have cup holders in the 23 century? Kirk needs a cup holder I say! Where’s he gonna put his Big Glup? And his ipod? And sun glasses?

123. Craig - February 28, 2008

74.
the proposed Planet of the Titans Enterprise sure looks like it was recycled into the Next Generation Enterprise… only much improved.

124. Craig - February 28, 2008

Oh I have to share this one… Kirks love chair. Pretty funny. Exploring space with style!

http://images.wikia.com/memoryalpha/en/images/8/83/Bridge2.jpg

125. Harry Ballz - February 28, 2008

#112 “Calling Harry, Stanky and The Vulcanista”

I’m the only one who can report for duty as Stanky and The Vulcanista decided to hole up in Cancun for a couple of days after that last away mission!

As to Roddenberry, not to stir up a hornet’s nest but, I’m not a fan of the man. He had a germ of an idea, most of which he “purloined” from Forbidden Planet, leaving it to others to “flesh out” the subtleties and nuances to the Trek universe! ‘Course, he still took the credit for ALL of it, now didn’t he?

(ducks and hides, refusing to respond to nasty retorts)

126. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

#125 Sorry Harry i stepped into that minefield first and ended up running in retreat. Roddenberry did have vision, this statement from a jaded cynic like myself. and yeah he probably did take more then his share of credit for Trek but Walt Disney another visionary also took credit for all as well I think you”ll find in history that visionaries have a habit of taking more then their fair share of credit for things, its the way it is, but it doesn’t diminish the fact that they were visionaries that the things that they said and did in their life times made the world a better place. Roddenberry was not a saint, few if any visionaries truly are, he could be a difficult man to deal , a micro manager who would rewrite scripts over the protests of the writers on a personal whim, What happened with City on the Edge of Forever for example, that one still doesn’t sit well with me. Yes part of the Roddenberry is a visionary thing is also his own PR machine but again, all visionaries use PR and yes they by and large self promoters. But try imagining what the world would have been like without him, the things we might not have, it would indeed be a poorer place.

#111 yeah I remember when his designed first came, no one liked it back then either , Ugly as hell, looked like the dubious mating of the Enterprise with an SST Jet.

127. Closettrekker - February 28, 2008

#117–“Instead, they went for TMP which IMO is a truly epic and terrific film and which marked the beginning of a legendary ST film era. They couldn’t have possibly made a better decision.”

I agree. At the time, that was indeed a prudent decision. And yes, despite what some think of it, TMP was a fantastic endeavor—and the result was a film which still holds up today as one of the better ST films, IMO. To me, V’Ger is perhaps the greatest ST antagonist. Although I love TWOK, TMP was the closest the movies ever got to the spirit of TOS. I do not feel that set design changes (whether they are canonically explained or not) have anything to do with that “spirit”.

128. Jorg Sacul - February 28, 2008

>>I am hoping the turbines are just caps that are used when it goes into orbit, then come off to reveal the real engines. But the design is still obviously reimagined. Unfortunately.
>>

take a good look at the Enterprise (pre-remastering, but a good shot) and you’ll notice the turbine rotational effect in the domes of the warp engines. We never saw the caps off, but pretty much, that’s what was inside the 11-foot model, over the blinking Christmas lights. Those turbines are more “canon” than people give credit for. How the rotational action of those fan blades worked to intake hydrogen atoms in deep space for the matter aquisition sink (later called Bussard Collectors, and reversable by Geordi), I don’t know. But, those were there.

Now I suppose somebody will make aftermarket add-ons for my AMT kit…

#112… Forbidden Planet was ripped off of Shakespeare… so don’t act as if Gene was the first person to ever get an idea from another’s story. It’s not a sin that he borrowed from another, that’s a normal part of human story telling. I suppose if you wanted to trace the lineage back far enough, you could yell at him for ripping off the camp fire stories of paleolithic man.

#114 THAT photoshop of Quinto is awesome!

129. star trackie - February 28, 2008

Some people seem to think that these words of Gene’s makes the case for “re-vamping” a new movie. I’m not exactly sure why, when the fact of the matter is…while TMP was very pretty…and had great updated FX….it was still missing the soul of what made TOS work. So there he was, the creator himself, making, what would be at the time, the most expensive movie ever made…the entire studio at his disposal and it was ultimately a big expensive looking dud. Why? Because…despite its new sets and slick FX, it misses the Star Trek formula by a mile.

Sure, a lot of people went to see it, but the majority of those people that went to see it, didn’t like it. It was a decent science fiction movie, but it failed to evoke the feeling of the original series….which is what people fell in love with to begin with.

So all this talk of “upgrading should happen” because the great bird said so holds little water. I present TMP as exhibit A. Changing things because you have a huge budget doesn’t mean you are going to capture the spirit of Star Trek.

130. Closettrekker - February 28, 2008

#128–“I suppose if you wanted to trace the lineage back far enough, you could yell at him for ripping off the camp fire stories of paleolithic man.”

Excellent point.

#129–
“It was a decent science fiction movie, but it failed to evoke the feeling of the original series….which is what people fell in love with to begin with.

So all this talk of “upgrading should happen” because the great bird said so holds little water. I present TMP as exhibit A. Changing things because you have a huge budget doesn’t mean you are going to capture the spirit of Star Trek.”

I completely disagree. I think that TMP captured the spirit of TOS better than any other Star Trek film. Was it slow-paced at times? Yes. But the concept of V’Ger, the tie-ins with what our favorite characters were going through at the time, and the feeling that they were “explorers” first and foremost, better captured the “spirit” of TOS than anything else we saw from Trek on the big screen. The truth is, as great as TWOK is, it had to be “mainstreamed” in comparison to TMP for the general public to enjoy it as much as they did. You seem to be under the impression that TOS had a massive following to begin with. I guess that depends on how you define the term. TMP was made for the fans. TWOK was made for the masses.
One of the overlooked themes in TMP was that of the “Big 3″ finding their places in the Universe, and the different ways they arrived at those conclusions (“Bones”, of course, needed a little coaxing). Circumstances in the storyline (afterall, it was a reunion of sorts) may have prevented that comfortable banter between them for the most part, but there was adequate focus on them in the midst of the best sc-fi storyline of any ST film, and perhaps the greatest antagonist (V’Ger) ever introduced in a ST film (no disrespect to Khan, who was a revisited foe).
Changes to the set design have nothing to do with the spirit of Star Trek. Star Trek is about the characters and their approach to the “Final Frontier”, not the color of the bridge or the tone and detail of the Enterprise hull.

To me, GR’s words about upgrades are not so significant, but neither is what, when, or how they decide to upgrade. Star Trek, IMO, is not quite so superficial. It is the quality of the story, and the capturing of the essence of the characters which matters most.

Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more?

131. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

#130 Closettreker as movies go Star trek the motion picture had its good points and it bad points. first of the movies biggest problem was that they spent to much time on the rebuilding of the ship, Kirks unfamiliarity with the latest Starship designs is somehow unlikely to me. The pacing of the film itself was glacial at times to say the least. Was it Star Trek film? Did capture what Trek was about?, yes. From a visual standpoint The motion picture was breathtaking even by todays standard it still looks better then all of the subsequent Trek films and in terms of its overall concept exploring The menace and the Mystery of VGer well within the realm of trek. The exploration part is something that I think all the subsquent trek films forgot about.

132. acb - February 28, 2008

#129

Nice points. I think it is also important to take into account that at the time of Roddenberry’s comments as well there were technically only 2 seasons of Trek under his consideration (he has at times mentioned his displeasure at much of the material made in season 3). After the TOS films and TNG, things have become a little more concrete in certain aspects as to Trek’s working formula (not to mention many working formulas for what does not work in Trek)

Is that so say that can not go an revamp things? No, of course not. Roddenberry and the others involved in TMP were correct in seeing how the original design of both the ship and scenery would look simplistic in the 35mm resolution of film stock. Not too mention with the results of Star Wars a few years earlier, an attention to detail needed to be sustained.

Even with close scrutiny however they missed the mark on what needed to be there, the relationship and interaction of the crew. Kirk seemed more ill tempered and arrogant in TMP than he should have, Spock more misguided in his own personal desires over others, and McCoy mistrusting of both. There interactions played more how long time friends who experienced a serious rift in emotion would act when meeting again. They don’t talk about the bad thing that happened, but everyone remembers it….it’s just everyone is to polite to bring it up. Now if that was a subplot, that would have been fine, but it wasn’t. Thus we are left with characters who were once watched kept together through unbreakeable bonds of friendship now worried about whether said friend would evently betray them.

133. Cobra Commander - February 28, 2008

I re-watched TMP 2 days ago. I looked in particular for the character elements of the film and tried imagine what it must have been like to see things like Starfleet HQ for the first time in 1979. I re-watched it mostly because of all the talk about STV being the weakest film, but with great character moments. If you strip away all the “flying through the V’Ger cloud” elements of the movie, you’re left with a more classic ST experience.
McCoy in TMP hasn’t changed one bit: He hates the transporter, he complains about changes to sickbay, he counsels Kirk, he banters with Spock, and finally ends with “It’s been a long time since I delivered a baby . . .”
Kirk plays the classic hero, but with all the human elements that make him flawed. When he ignores Decker’s pleas for caution and then sits back in the center chair, he strokes the arms of the chair as if to say, “Ahhh, home at last.” He argues with Bones. He reaches out to Spock. It’s the Kirk we all love, but more serious; a little stained by the heavy experience of being Admiral. (Great acting by Shatner, IMO)
Spock is most interesting because he comes to the E so cold and distant.
He reminded me of the Vulcans as portrayed in ENTERPRISE. He was obviously very close to acheiving Kohlinar. After Spock’s personal revelation regarding V’Ger/logic vs emotion, he realizes he belongs with his human comrades and in WOK, we see, IMO, the ultimate Spock; he has achieved the balance between his Vulcan heritage and his human half. He seems at peace with his struggle. (Only to die in WOK and have to discover himself all over again. “Tell my Mother ‘I feel fine.'”) I think Spock best expresses his life experience when he tells Valeris, “Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end.”
Classic Trek CAN be found in TMP, it’s just obscured by all the FX. Unfortunately, most people recall all the FX and forgot all the character moments (myself included sometimes): “Well lucky for you we just happen to be going your way.” -McCoy to Spock
I’ve developed a love of TMP that didn’t exist before. (I’ve also tried to look more objectively at STV. )
If JJ can meld the FX, the story, and the characters, we will have the best TOS adventure yet and I, for one, can’t wait ’til May ’09!!!

134. Ian - February 28, 2008

you can see the evolution/early stages (or at least I can) of the Enterprize D in that early concept drawing…

135. Closettrekker - February 28, 2008

#132—“Kirk seemed more ill tempered and arrogant in TMP than he should have, Spock more misguided in his own personal desires over others, and McCoy mistrusting of both. There interactions played more how long time friends who experienced a serious rift in emotion would act when meeting again. They don’t talk about the bad thing that happened, but everyone remembers it….it’s just everyone is to polite to bring it up. Now if that was a subplot, that would have been fine, but it wasn’t. Thus we are left with characters who were once watched kept together through unbreakeable bonds of friendship now worried about whether said friend would evently betray them.”

I think it WAS a subplot, and it is certainly more real. Think about the circumstances. They have basically gone their seperate ways prior to the V’Ger incident. They are then hastily reunited, not fully having resolved the questions in their minds as to where exactly they belong.
Of course Kirk seems ill-tempered and arrogant. He has been misplaced in the Admiralty, and away from where he belongs. That particular issue is not even fully resolved until the end of TVY. He feels threatened by the presence of Decker, and as Bones points out to him, he feels the need to compete with the young Captain. If you have never met a ship-of-the-line’s commanding officer with a giant ego, then you have never met one at all. When an Alpha-male’s ego is under attack (whether that attack is real or perceived), the natural side effect is an ill-tempered demeanor.
Spock has just failed to attain the Kolihnar. He was attempting to master such a discipline due to what is, IMO, a misguided attempt to once and for all shed what he perceives as his “human” weaknesses. He feels personally connected with V’Ger’s struggle. Eventually, the V’Ger experience compells him to realize that he is stronger as a man who embraces the whole of his being, and that includes his humanity. Spock is a different individual from that point on, and that is a powerful transformation which takes place right in front of our eyes in TMP.
Bones is reluctantly dragged into this. You referred to McCoy’s “lack of trust”. Since when has he ever held his tongue, whether questioning Spock’s judgement and intentions or Kirk’s? It does not take McCoy long to capitulate to his friend’s professed need for him to be there, begin his usual sarcastic tirades, and as I pointed out before, he quickly assumed his role of “the guy who keeps Jim Kirk in line”.

I’m not sure how the “magnetic draw” of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy to their respective places in the Trek Universe, from having ventured off into totally different directions prior to the story, could escape you as an obvious subplot within the story. Worse, how could that not seem to you to be an ultimately rewarding telling of the story of the reuniting of Star Trek’s “Big 3″? Especially knowing what happens in the next 3 films, as I look back at TMP, it was wonderful—-and still is.

136. Closettrekker - February 28, 2008

#133–I wish I had read your post before I made my last one. I could not have said it any better, really.

137. The Vulcanista - February 28, 2008

Lt. Cmdr. Vulcanista reporting for duty.

Damn. Now I’m gonna have to rewatch TMP!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

138. sean's clone - February 28, 2008

133 – Cobra

Thanks for the insight – refreshing to see some thoughtful posts for a change.

I would add, that ST TMP was a product of its time as well. Remember, in 1979, the anitcipation of some amazing effects was unavoidable. And while the FX may have been a bit much, I think the Rodenberry, Wise and company were going for a more ceberal, 2001 – ish aproach. All the shots were long, broad, deliberate. As a 15 year old kid at the time, I was impressed watching these amazing effects on humongus screen. My 2 younger brothers squirmed, however, with fresh images of Star Wars in their minds, they were bored by the time of Spock’s V’ger mind meld.

There was a mis-caclulation by the film makers as to what the audiences were demanding and the film was made as if it were 1969, not 79 and so it took its lumps.

But the universe was set to rights again with the release of TWOK – they got it right on the money.

139. Closettrekker - February 28, 2008

#138—“But the universe was set to rights again with the release of TWOK – they got it right on the money.”

That’s what I was trying to say in post #130 about Trek having to be more “mainstreamed” in TWOK to please general audiences. The masses are more satisfied in a movie theater by space battles, evil villains, and motives of revenge. Not that TWOK doesn’t deserve its status. It is a film, well constructed with multi-layered themes. But if you are looking, as an adult, for a ST movie close to the spirit of TOS—then TMP is where to go.
V’Ger, the antagonist, is neither good nor evil. Its purpose, mirrors our own in many ways. I have often heard TMP described the way “The Cage” was, as being too cerebral. Perhaps that is the case for the masses. But, make no mistake, it is pure Star Trek—more than any other ST film.

For STXI to find broad appeal the way TWOK did, it will have to be “mainstreamed” as well. That is fine. I love TWOK. I hope JJ’s film has that kind of appeal.

140. Cobra Commander - February 28, 2008

#136 and # 138-
As a (soon-to-be-former) lurker, I am humbled. Thank you!

#137 Vulcanista-
Enjoy watching TMP again. I’m not ashamed to say I did zip past some of the “flying through V’Ger” sequences! I watched the Director’s Cut version which as some wonderful (and unobtrusive) enhancements. The film definitely moves quicker and flows a little more smoothly.

141. acb - February 28, 2008

#135

“Of course Kirk seems ill-tempered and arrogant. He has been misplaced in the Admiralty, and away from where he belongs.”

Yes he was, but it is much too soon for him to have slipped down that emotional ladder at this point in TMP. I can understand the longing once ST II occurs. But TMP is only a little over 2 years since the end of the 5 yr mission. Not to mention he chose to accept the promotion in the first place, he was not forced into it. (If they were forced into promotion, Riker would have been a captain much sooner in TNG)

Much of the arrogance and ill-temper he portrays in TMP is quite different than that shown in WOK, and in my mind works more artistically. In TMP, its almost as if he is more worried about proving to others he can still save the universe while feeling everyone is watching to see if he will fail. The result is a Kirk who will step on whomever he needs to inorder to fulfill his own desire to meet someone else’s expectations of what someone else “may” be thinking.

In TMP Kirk’s actions are more at the expense of others, with no reflection on the ramifications. The same can be said for Spock, and that is were I have slight issue with such characterizations in TMP. There were moments in TOS where the characters would find issue with one another and disagree, even take opposing sides. The difference in TMP however, is that the characters are leaning a little to far within their own form of “tunnel vision” in terms of only thinking about what they want for themselves.

I was not attempting to present the notion for there to be no rift. And I understood the metaphor being used in the film of reconstruction (i.e. rebuilding the Enterprise both physically on the outside in aesthetics and the inside with the crew reuniting).

What I was making more of a reference to is that the interactions (both in body language and conversation tone) seen in TMP carry more of tone that a “specific” incident shared by the three had occurred to drive them appart. Perhaps Spock not acquiring command of the Enterprise after Kirk’s promotion. Perhaps a specific action itself, a choice made by one breaking apart the three in comparison to Spock’s actions in ST VI where he commits Kirk, McCoy and crew to events without prior knowledge.

It just seems odd that only a few years after leaving the ship those three men would stray so far into their own worlds, lose contact and be willing to forgo each other for their own desires. If something had occurred between each of the men, either at the end of the originally mission or during the 2 1/2 year period of Enterprise being refurbished perhaps. But to lean on the idea that they simply grew into those postions so quickly seems, to me at least, inadequete an explanation.

142. acb - February 28, 2008

correction:

“Much of the arrogance and ill-temper he portrays in TMP is quite different than that shown in WOK, and in my mind works more artistically —in the latter.”

sorry, forgot that last part to the sentence at the beginning of paragraph 3.

143. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

The first film evoked a senses of wonder that is somehow absent from almost all subsequent films. though in the case of Wrath of Khan and the whole genesis concept did recapture it a bit.

#138 I agree they did go for the cerebral, but might have overdone it just a tad for the audience’s taste. The sad part about the motion picture is that with a few more tweeks and less time spent on ship rebuilding this film would have gone down as one of the greats in scifi moviedoms. It was weighed down with to many elements and its pace way to slow. but again it had a visual splendor and still it the best looking of the trek films. V’ger still still impresses.

144. Cobra Commander - February 28, 2008

I’ve lost track of people in 2 1/2 years- people who at one time I would have considered “best” friends. After the five-year mission, are the paths the Big 3 follow so illogical? McCoy retires to presumably go back to being “an ol’ country doctor” again. Kirk recieves accolades for being the youngest and most successful Starfleet captain EVER and is swept up in the moment enough to actually accept promotion. Spock goes to Vulcan to purge his remaining “inconvenient” human emotions in an attempt to reach the next step in his Vulcan evolution. The beauty of the end of TMP and especially the movies that follow is that each of the Big 3 realize that those “logical” paths they followed after the 5-year mission were the wrong paths!
I think the death of Spock in WOK strengthens the bonds between the Big 3 and changes them into the characters we all remember from the following movies. Kirk had never faced a death; he cheated death. Bones tells Spock he didn’t he could “stand to lose you again.” Spock- “Your name is Jim.” The friends we see singing around the campfire in STV are the people who have corrected the mistakes of “following the wrong path” after the 5 year mission.
IMHO

145. NAIRAM UNABOIC - February 28, 2008

- Maybe the trek babes will save our trek once again…

146. Closettrekker - February 28, 2008

#141–All of your criticism about the way Kirk behaves is stemmed from what I consider to be a realistic portrayal of the way he is. Look at his behavior in TOS, “The Ultimate Computer”. The difference is, that this time he is in fear of a human threat—a younger one, at that. He also knows he has put himself out there a bit by assuming command of someone else’s ship, and is desperate to justify it. Once he feels as though he has (his conversation with Decker regarding the “unknown” and how to define “unwarrranted”), you can see very easily that he loosens up a bit. This is brilliant acting and directing on the parts of Wise and Shatner.
As for the detachment between the Big 3 at the outset, I think you underestimate the effect of 2 and a half years apart, all three of them headed in very different directions. It is not an “incident” between them that is necessary to cause that. It is time, and the distance of varied goals and pursuits.
Finally, of course Kirk CHOSE to accept promotion. But who hasn’t taken one turn, only to realize later (perhaps due to a specific event or even threat) that he/she should have not? This is where I feel that Kirk is. Perhaps it did not even take that long, but Decker and McCoy are correct, and he was already looking for an excuse to get his command back.
I see the continuation and evolution of this in TWOK, except that he is somewhat resigned to the notion that he is finished as Captain of a starship. This time, it is his friends that know him best who have decided that he is what Spock called, “a waste of material”. McCoy’s thoughts on the matter are less veiled, as usual. Now they actually have to convince him that in the command chair is where he belongs, and not in the Admiralty. Now, it is never made clear exactly how much time has passed since TMP, but it is obvious that it is alot (he hasn’t seen Khan in 15 years), and that is probably why their relationships with one another seem as fluid as always.
To each his own, as always, but IMO, TMP will always be the purest ST film ever made. Again, I’m not sure that makes it the best (I rank TWOK a bit higher), but as for pure Star Trek “spirit”, I love it…and I always will.

This is not all that I am….I am so much more.

147. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

#144 makes perfect sense, I think Spock was the first to realize that he was on the wrong path. when he tried to mind meld with V’ger, nearly died, woke up in sickbay laughed. because suddenly he understood what V’ger was about. V’ger had a massed all of this knowledge of the universe, logical in a way that Spock envies, V”ger was everything Spock wanted to be, but V’gers way was knowledge without joy wonder or purpose, Spock could do something that Vger didn’t have a name for, Feel awe and wonder. Spock probably figured that going through the Kolinar would make him like Vger without feeling and a real purpose which he had earlier in his life. V’ger question of “is this all that I am ?” struck a chord in Spock made him realize that his choice of Kolinar was not the right path now.

148. Michael Hall - February 28, 2008

“As to Roddenberry, not to stir up a hornet’s nest

(He says, as he prepares to stir up the hornet’s nest–)

but, I’m not a fan of the man. He had a germ of an idea, most of which he “purloined” from Forbidden Planet, leaving it to others to “flesh out” the subtleties and nuances to the Trek universe! ‘Course, he still took the credit for ALL of it, now didn’t he?”

Well, no, no, and pretty much, no. But thanks for playing.

149. lighten up - February 28, 2008

Purist… Another word for fundamentalist… Another word for crazy.

150. Diabolik - February 28, 2008

#141…. the split that had occurred between Kirk, Spock and McCoy stemmed from Kirk accepting the promotion and leaving the Enterprise.

I believe the hurt that Spock felt prompted his leaving Starfleet and going to Vulcan to purge the pesky emotions that had been stirred by Kirk’s leaving.

McCoy disagreed that Kirk should accept the promotion, and resigned as well when Kirk did anyway.

Kirk made a mistake in accepting the admiralty, but had been misled by Nogura, who promised him a lot, but wanted him on Earth as a public figure to make Starfleet look good; a living legend on hand.

At least, that’s what I came away with from both the movie and the novel.

151. Harry Ballz - February 28, 2008

Anybody who has ever SEEN Forbidden Planet can tell you that ten years later all Roddenberry did was change the name and shape of the ship as well as the character’s names. Otherwise, it’s the SAME premise!

152. Closettrekker - February 28, 2008

#144—Right again on TMP. But I could have done without you conjuring up that image of Spock singing, “Row your boat” (LOL!). But that’s another subject!

153. star trackie - February 28, 2008

148-

You haven’t watched Forbidden Planet in awhile have you? lol.

154. Cobra Commander - February 28, 2008

#152
Were we have a good time? LOL!

Admittedly, I cringe at my 3 childhood heroes singing around the campfire.

They could have at least sung “Moon over Rigel 7.”

Nerd alert . . !

155. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

#151 agreed Harry there are a number of similarities and parallels with the forbidden Planet but also Roddenberry drew inspiration from some of the works of Heinlin example one of his Juvenel Novel Space Cadet and probably others. If you look long and hard at trek or any scif concept for that matter you can see or interpret the source materials. Lets go one better Babylon 5 the Psycore concept and the the Mindwipe concept was inspired by the book The Demolished man, also I suspect that JMS drew inspiration from the Lensmen by ee doc Smith. Roddenberry drew from probably drew inspiration from a multitude of other writer

156. Harry Ballz - February 28, 2008

Garovorkin

I agree with your comments…..hey, I don’t mind if someone steals an idea, but at least be honest about THAT part of it!

157. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

#152 Cobra Commander that campfire scene is should be labeled Star Treks most Embarrassing moment, it should never have been allowed to happen i that travesty needs to be forgotten , though that is unlikely to happen.

158. Marian Ciobanu - February 28, 2008

- Always this..past..what about the..future..dammit..it’s a sci-fi movie about the future…I don’t want to watch something like.. ‘ the granma Enterprise dusted adventures’ ..Star Wars EP IV looks more futuristc than the actual trek movie…

159. Closettrekker - February 28, 2008

Where GR got the inspiration for how to present his vision is irrelevant to me. Every good idea is half stolen.
The important thing is the vision at its most basic beginning——a vision of a better future for humanity, born out of the horrors that Gene and the rest of his generation witnessed mankind perpetrate in the Second World War. The fact that others contributed much of the “window dressing” is not lost on me, but the basic social commentary is Gene’s. He also set forth the path of commenting on the more pressing social ills of the day, one which some of his predecessors did well to follow, and some not so well, or not at all.
Like most ego-driven men, he’ll take more credit than is deserved, but so what? To me, his legacy is that he is the one MOST responsible for Star Trek. I wouldn’t care if he ripped off his own mother to do it. It is art, and it is there.
I love the work of Coon, Fontana, etc., but Star Trek would still have happened without them. It may have lacked some of the quality of writing, or even the longevity, but it would still be there. If GR is absent from the equation, you cannot say that. For that reason, his true legacy is intact. If the rest is mere legend, so be it. Like all legends, it is embelished and told with a wink.

Based on Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry….

160. Cobra Commander - February 28, 2008

#157
Yes; STV is full of embarrassing moments! That’s why “I cringe at my 3 childhood heroes singing around the campfire.” But the closeness of the Big 3 is portrayed (clumsily sometimes) throughout the movie. I’m not one to defend STV; it’s at the bottom of my list o’ favorites too!
I’m looking forward to seeing how the new movie explores the Big 3 prior to their becoming the Big 3! They can be viewed as individuals rather than part of a trinity, not yet molded by the future events that await them. PLUS . . . we’ll (hopefully) have a movie that approaches the size, scope and feel of TMP. Exciting time to be a Trekker!!!

161. Harry Ballz - February 28, 2008

Closettrekker

you make some excellent points….the fun part is that we can agree to disagree….IDIC and all that, eh?

162. Captain Canucklehead - February 28, 2008

From what I remember the Klingons were supposed to be a representative or metaphor for Soviet Russia and the Romulans a metaphor for Communist China.

163. Closettrekker - February 28, 2008

#160–“I’m looking forward to seeing how the new movie explores the Big 3 prior to their becoming the Big 3! They can be viewed as individuals rather than part of a trinity, not yet molded by the future events that await them. PLUS . . . we’ll (hopefully) have a movie that approaches the size, scope and feel of TMP. Exciting time to be a Trekker!!!”

Grandeur, with that budget, is almost a foregone conclusion. As for the “big 3″, that is what I most look forward to. I know it will probably take until the end of the film to really get from that dynamic the magic which we are accustomed to, but I’m confident that Orci’s script will get us there. Now, how the new actors pull it off is the ultimate wildcard in all of this. That is the one thing we cannot be assured of before seeing the film that stands out to me. I’m hoping for the best.

164. Closettrekker - February 28, 2008

#161—Absolutely, Harry Ballz. You may choose to go natural, and I may trim it up a bit. To each his own…

165. Michael Hall - February 28, 2008

“You haven’t watched Forbidden Planet in awhile have you? lol.”

Actually, I have. Your point?

Sorry, but those who insist that there’s anything at all particularly unusual or untoward about the ‘relationship’ between FORBIDDEN PLANET and Star Trek are only displaying their own ignorance about TV, film, SF literature, literature in general, and the debt each generation of artists owes its predecessors.

I mean, do you really consider Moby Dick to have been ‘stolen’ from the Book of Job? Sheesh!

166. Andy Patterson - February 28, 2008

156

Someone needs to tell Brad Bird that.

167. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

#160 #161 and #163 I too look forward to the new film and the surprise thats its going to bring us, will it meet the expectations of the extreme purest and the Canon faction of Trekdom, I don’t expect that it will. My expectations are that it will be a great scif flick and I think most of us will be pleased and I suspect that the film will spark a whole new round of debate and discussion and honestly that is good, all thing considered. Look at it this way, trek is been around for 40 years and we are all still taking about it, that alone speaks volumes. They will still be talking and debating this long after all of us are gone from this world. Yeah we have differing opinions on all things trek but thats half the fun of things

168. Jorg Sacul - February 28, 2008

>>I cringe at my 3 childhood heroes singing around the campfire.

actually, I found it to be one of the most genuine moments of honest characterization for these men. They’ve finally realized that they are each other’s family, and so much of what they’ve become is due to their relationships with the others. They’ve been through hell and back, together, again and again, and here they could kick back and just be themselves as they finally saw themselves. And, like a bunch of old brothers, they realize that it’s ok to drop their shields and sing around a campfire like kids.

169. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

#165 Micheal actually the inspiration for Moby dick was the Sinking of the of the whaling boat Essex by a whale in 1820.

Roddenberry drew from a lot of sources for Trek The Idea that Forbidden Planet could have served as template for trek is not unreasonable.

170. Cobra Commander - February 28, 2008

Well said #168.
I may not be one to defend STV, but I won’t condemn it either.
My love of Trek goes beyond the few questionable moments that have occurred on film. Bad edits, bad ideas, bad FX will not diminish my life-long affair with Star Trek. I am confident that the new movie will only deepen my affection for the series . . .

171. Closettrekker - February 28, 2008

#168, #170–The campire scene is one of the many bad moments in STV. To anyone who enjoys the film, good for you. Personally, I skip it during any Trek movie fest. It’s much easier to pretend it didn’t happen, just like Superman III and IV. Even “The Great Trek Turd”, though, cannot diminish my love for Star Trek and the wonderful original characters either.

172. Harry Ballz - February 28, 2008

#165 “are only displaying their own ignorance about…”

Oh, PUHLEASE……that, in itself, is an ignorant statement! Don’t underestimate what some of us know about film….you would lose that argument!

173. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

#171 Closetteker If there had been no singing of row row the boat the camp fire scence would probably would be slightly tolerable and thats as much as I will give that scene, but your right thats not the only problem with Star trek 5, hell the whole movie is one big problem as we have debated on other occasions.

174. star trackie - February 28, 2008

#165

Are you certain you’ve watched this film? One only has to watch Forbidden Planet to see the similarities to StarTrek, from the exploring “United Planets” Federation to the interaction of the Ship’s captain, first officer and doctor. Not to mention a bucketload of visual and tech influences. In fact, Roddenberry himself admitted the films direct influence on Star Trek in his biography ” Star Trek Creator”. So yeah, pardon my ignorance, but Trek defiiately borrowed a page or two from ForbiddenPlanet.

175. James Heaney - Wowbagger - February 28, 2008

Another vote for the campfire scene.

It’s one of the high points of that movie. (A movie which, while my least favorite Trek, is better than any of the Star Wars films.)

176. Michael Hall - February 28, 2008

“Are you certain you’ve watched this film?”

Uh, yeah, I’m think I’m certain I’ve watched it. I’m also fairly certain I never said that Trek wasn’t influenced by FORBIDDEN PLANET–of course it was (and it was a fine source to draw on, too). Just as FP borrowed elements of everything from “The Tempest” to ’50s movies about American gunboat crews, B-monster movies and Walt Disney. (Try getting ahold of CINEFANTASTIQUE’s classic issue devoted to the making of the film, which also features one of the first previews of STAR TREK–THE MOTION PICTURE.) There’s a difference between acknowledging influence and claiming theft, however. In fact it’s a huge distinction, yet one apparently too subtle for some people to grasp. Since you yourself stipulate that Roddenberry “admitted” the film’s influence on Trek, you might want to take the issue up with Mr. Ballz, who has his story–Roddenberry stole the concept for Star Trek from FORBIDDEN PLANET and never had the decency to cop to it–and is sticking with it.

“Don’t underestimate what some of us know about film….you would lose that argument!”

Anytime, bucko.

177. Closettrekker - February 28, 2008

#172—Turn the fire down, Harry. Your boys might get singed!

#175—NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!
It’s kind of like the aftermath of seeing JAWS. I was afraid to go back in the theater!!!

178. Jorg Sacul - February 28, 2008

re: borrowing from Forbidden Planet…

SO WHAT IF GENE RIPPED IT OFF WHOLESALE? HE TOLD THE STORY BETTER! (yes, even with the help of others, as it grew.)

Star Trek is a globally known phenomenon, with hundreds of TV episodes to it’s name, 10 theatrical releases, and hundreds of ancillary books, comic books, college level physics courses…

How many scientists, engineers, inventors, astronauts and other highly contributing members of society did FP inspire? I mean, other than the Leslie Nielson fan club? How many fan letters were sent to the studio to demand a sequel to FP? How many space shuttles were named C-57D?

Unless you’ve got vested interest in lost royalties, why keep up the diatribe about Gene having ripped off Forbidden Planet. Forbidden Planet ripped off Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. Shakespeare ripped off the Romans and Greeks… It never ends.

Long story short… Gene was a writer looking to make a profitable series in 1960s TV. He’d have copied the Satyricon word for word if he’d thought the networks would have paid him for it. He gave us Star Trek. That’s why we’re here, wasting electrons. Not because of Forbidden Planet. Not because of This Island Earth. Not because of Santa Claus vs. The Martians. Because he told us the “human adventure with hope” story better, and we grokked what he told us.

sorry for the rant, people, but this whole thread has really eaten up my goofing off at work on the computer time…it’s been fun. :-)

179. Closettrekker - February 28, 2008

#178—Well said. And I have to say I would “counsel” any employee of mine who was doing what I’m doing now in my office! (LOL) Although if it was trekmovie.com, I might do it over a drink.

180. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

#178 your rant is right on the money here no need to be sorry.

181. NCC-73515 - February 28, 2008

I will keep an eye on you…

182. acb - February 28, 2008

#146

“The difference is, that this time he is in fear of a human threat—a younger one, at that. He also knows he has put himself out there a bit by assuming command of someone else’s ship, and is desperate to justify it.”

I am not sure that the younger threat is as much at play in the notion of Kirk feeling at a loss for purpose. What would make more sense from a character standpoint is that Kirk would simply still believe from his perspective that the Enterprise is still his ship. He has not come to the realization that someone else is now her captain. His reactions to Decker are similiar to those of a commander being questioned by anyone below him in rank in front of his crew. However, Kirk does not take into account that though he is higher in command….he is not the captain of the Enterprise anymore. He almost doesn’t realize what he has done until McCoy confronts him on the issue in one of the extended scenes in his quarters after the wormhole incident.

As I said though, my main issue with how Kirk acts really falls more under the areas where he openly puts the crew at risk without even considering his actions at that stage in his career after making similiar mistakes in rash actions in TOS.

Don’t get me wrong though, I actually enjoy TMP quite a bit. It’s in the top 4 of all Trek films for me, and better than any of the TNG films (and yes that includes the formula ridden, gimic pandering First Contact)

I think WOK does rank higher, as you stated, because everything in the story supports one another while at the same time confronts a very human element: mortality. Kirk realizing the loss of his youth, reflections of the past (i.e. Khan and Carol Marcus, Koybashi Maru), creation of new life and beginnings (i.e. the trainees aboard the Ent, the Genesis planet, reconnection with his son), and the acceptance of being forced to lose things as one’s life progresses (i.e. the Death of Spock).

TMP in contrast seems seperated on different elements. Though one can find a correlation with V’Ger and the shift in Kirk and Spock in the film it can not be presented completely as a purposeful choice since the ending was created half way through production on TMP.

But as we have stated, all this does fall under an individual opinion.

183. I Love My Moogie - February 28, 2008

TMP is a good movie despite Roddenberry. Gene Roddenberry may have conceived TOS, but it was Gene Coon who gave birth to the ST we know & love. Coon could have made TMP perfection!

We have to be truly grateful Paramount barred Roddenberry from the studio lot & handed TWOK to Harve Bennett & Nick Meyers, who like Coon, saved ST from Roddenberry. Bennett did an interview a year or so ago saying Gene was a nasty drunk whose ideas for TWOK were off the wall bad and that he was the one who leaked the news about Spock’s death.

When David Gerrold created TNG, Paramount caved in to Gene & had his name put on as sole creator resulting in Gerrold quitting the show.

184. Michael Hall - February 28, 2008

“SO WHAT IF GENE RIPPED IT OFF WHOLESALE? HE TOLD THE STORY BETTER! “

For my money, FORBIDDEN PLANET is a teriffic film for its time. Sure, it dates more with each passing year, but then of course so does TOS. I hope they never remake it, since its appeal lies in just how far ahead of its time the movie truly was.

Leslie Nielsen once commented in an interview that he was quite honored to be known as “Captain Kirk’s ancestor.” J.J. Adams was actually closer in temperment to Pike, though, than Kirk. Even though he got the girl in the end.

185. Michael Hall - February 28, 2008

“Gene Roddenberry may have conceived TOS, but it was Gene Coon who gave birth to the ST we know & love.”

What crap.

186. Harry Ballz - February 28, 2008

Right on, Moogie! You made your point without being argumentative or confrotational, like some other people who seem vindictive in their approach…………bravo!

As Rodney King once opined, “can’t we all just get along?”

187. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

#183 I seem to recall that part of the reason for Roddenberry’s banishent also had to do with Star Trek the Motion picture’s cost and Under performance. at the box office. His story proposal for the second film was another issue, He wanted to send the enterprise crew back in time to stop the Kennedy assassination but in the end the crew would fail to save him. Executives were not impressed with his story and then decided to take him out of the picture by making him executive consultant.

188. Michael Hall - February 28, 2008

“can’t we all just get along?”

No, since making sport of defaming the reputation of those who aren’t around to defend themselves–and by those who know nothing about what took place 40 years ago besides tell-all books and self-promoting interviews– isn’t something that’s very admirable. In fact, I find it rather creepy. Sorry.

189. Harry Ballz - February 28, 2008

“Sorry”

I accept your apology…..

190. I Love My Moogie - February 28, 2008

#188:

Read the interview Harve Bennett did for a couple of years ago for a Isreali ST website, he was there when Paramount stripped ST from Roddenberry & banned him from the lot. It ‘s Bennett who calls Roddenberry a nasty drunk & that all Roddenberry’s ideas were useless.
Bennett was there which makes this first hand information.

191. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

#188 true enough Michel we don’t know for sure what happened 40 years ago, but you have to admit borrowing of ideas in an unorthodox manner was and is a reality in tv and in the movies.

192. Michael Hall - February 28, 2008

Mr. Moogie,

Again, sorry, but Harve Bennett has a few axes to grind of his own. The fact is that relations between Bennett and the original cast members got so bad when Bennett proposed his pet project of an “origin” story about Kirk and Spock’s first meeting at the Academy, which would have shunted the original cast aside, that several of them were lobbying Paramount to throw Bennett off of the films and have Roddenberry restored as Executive Producer. Bennett apparently never got over his bitterness about that, or about Roddenberry’s being entirely vindicated in his appeals to Bennett to ditch the awful plotline for THE FINAL FRONTIER. When Paramount decided to shelve his Academy story in favor of THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY, Bennett picked up his marbles and never looked back.

Harve Bennett did do some great (and some not-so-great) work on his time with the Trek franchise, but his take on the time spent there is far from disinterested or objective.

193. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

Whats really interesting is that in spite of the acrimony or apparent acrimony between Paramount and Roddenberry they approached him to develop what would become Star trek the next generation. So maybe things were not as bad we have all been lead to believe. its just a wee bit curious thats all.

194. Michael Hall - February 28, 2008

Garovorkin,

The truth was, they wanted Roddenberry’s name on the project for its publicity value only. It would have been a public relations disaster to launch a major series revival without the participation of its creator, and Paramount knew it.

In the end, it took Michael Piller’s participation to make the show work, as Roddenberry’s best days as a writer were long behind him.

195. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

#195 now that i did’nt know, I had hard all the stories about him having an issue with the bottle, but i was under the impression that he was in command, now the Pilot episode, Ive heard different things about that one, D C. Fontana and him wrote it together. Based on what your saying it sounds like he really did not have much to do with even that. By the way sorry about the Moby dick reference I was not trying be smart gut on that one. it just popped into my head.

196. I Love My Moogie - February 28, 2008

#192:

The Shat & Nimoy were going to be in the academy movie in bookend scenes.

Bennett was very against Shat’s outline for TFF, which by the way was the same concept as Roddenberry’s “A God Thing” that he tried years to produce, another example of Roddenberry not being very consistant. Bennett made it clear what would have been STXII would again be with the original cast. Paramount planted Rick Berman on TNG in the first season because they had no faith in Gene & his continuous rewrites & had Berman keep him in tow, they never would have handed Roddenberry a movie production. Plus by 1989 his health was seriously failing.

#193:

It was David Gerrold who created TNG, Paramount originally did not want Roddenberry on board but the outcry against a new ST without the original cast became so great that Paramount decided Roddenberry being ‘attached’ to the project would calm the fans down. Roddenberry’s actual role was much the same as the Bennett films, writing memos that no one paid attention to. When Roddenberry became impossible to work with & started taking more credit than deserved Gerrold left the show, with DC Fontana shortly after.

197. Kor - February 28, 2008

I remember during seeing pre-production photos of the sets for “Star Trek: Phase II” abandoned series back in 1977…..The sets were GREAT LOOKING for the new series. Even the redesigned Enterprise model built by Andy Probert was spectacular. As Roddenberry said in the interview by that time in ST history the original sets had been trashed and the big E had been packed off to the Smithsonian. I really wish that the new series had been made, at least a few episodes. I think it would have been fun to see and would’ve kept the franchise alive, just as the eventual movies did. Of course when “Phase II” got the axe and became “TMP” all the sets were updated or rebuilt and Probert’s model got the heave-ho as well. But I still love everything about TMP except the pacing and characterizations.

QUESTIONS: Speaking of TOS original bridge set, I seem to remember seeing photos of it after the series ended. Wasn’t it taken off the Paramount lot after production stopped and given to (or somehow inherited by) fans of the show who kept it for awhile but it got ruined by the elements due to crappy storage? Anyway that’s a story I remember but I don’t know how accurate it is….

And whatever became of the full-size shuttlecraft Galileo mock-up? I remember seeing pics of it all beat-up and neglected sitting in some car lot someplace but was it ever rescued and restored and does it exist today?

And the grand-daddy of all missing items: Where the hell is the “lost” 3-foot Enterprise miniature??? This might be the Holy Grail of Star Trek items IMHO……. Come on, somebody out there own up to it…..one of you has the missing model in your den or you know the person who does…..
Am I right????

198. I Love My Moogie - February 28, 2008

#197: “Probert’s model got the heave-ho as well”

Actually, the Phase II Enterprise was stored under an A/C unit & was water damaged so the ship was redesigned even further, especially the saucer, nacelles & outer skin for TMP.

199. Michael Hall - February 28, 2008

“The Shat & Nimoy were going to be in the academy movie in bookend scenes.

“Bennett was very against Shat’s outline for TFF,”

Then as producer he should have insisted on a new concept.

“which by the way was the same concept as Roddenberry’s “A God Thing”

No, it wasn’t the same concept at all. Other than some similarities in theme, the two stories are entirely different.

“Bennett made it clear what would have been STXII would again be with the original cast.”

Yes, that was what he claimed when the cast went ballistic over the academy concept. Could even have been true for all I know, but in any case, the original cast wasn’t buying it.

“Paramount planted Rick Berman on TNG in the first season because they had no faith in Gene & his continuous rewrites & had Berman keep him in tow, they never would have handed Roddenberry a movie production. Plus by 1989 his health was seriously failing.”

There’s probably some truth to this, but in any case it was Michael Piller, and not Roddenberry, Gerrold, Justman, or Berman, who deserves credit for making the show come together in its third season. Without him, post-TOS Trek would have been nothing more than a footnote.

“It was David Gerrold who created TNG,”

Bull. Read what Bob Justman has to say on that subject.

Gene Roddenberry created the characters on the show. Gerrold tried to define the show’s guiding philosophy and promoted Andy Probert’s rendering of the Enterprise-D, but according to Justman what he contributed was ultimately of “very little use.” (There was nothing personal in that assesment either, as Justman very much liked Gerrold’s proposed script for “Blood and Fire” and very much regretted that it was never used.) And Justman himself was the one to suggest the role of a “Klingon marine” on the bridge, along with introducing Roddenberry to Patrick Stewart. So if anyone could be called a major creative force on TNG, it was Justman, not David Gerrold.

200. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

# 199 Micheal what do you think of City on the Edge of Forever? Elllison’s original script vs the produced episode.

201. Jabob Slatter - February 28, 2008

You Fundamentalists crack me up. It’s either black or white with you.

The fact of the matter is, Gene Roddenberry did some great writing developed some great concepts. He also produced crap and had some lousy ideas.

William Shatner is not great in everything he does. He has done some very good work, he has done some very bad work.

DS9 had some awesome episodes, it also had some awful episodes.

Etc., etc. Just because you don’t like somebody or something, doesn’t mean it’s bad. I didn’t like Voyager or Enterprise, but I can see why some people WOULD like them.

Opinions are not facts. Please stop acting like they are. You only make yourselves look silly.

Artists produce inspired work, and derivative dreck. Nobody is always at the top of their game. It is up to each of us to decide whether we judge an artist from his best work, or his worst work.

Do we judge William Shatner by his performance in TWOK, or in Big Bad Mama? Do we judge Anthony Hopkins in Remains of the Day, or Bad Company? Do we judge Paul McCartney for Long and Winding Road, or Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime?

It’s all subjective.

202. Harry Ballz - February 28, 2008

Jabob, I could give you my opinion, but that would be subjective, now wouldn’t it?

203. Garovorkin - February 28, 2008

#201 Jabob cant alwasy help it when it comes to shows like Ds9 or Babylon 5 i am passionate about them, The thing is most of us are driven by passion rather then being amenable reason. However you are quite correct it is all subjective.

204. I Love My Moogie - February 28, 2008

#201:

TNG season 3 is also the one where Paramount finally put Roddenberry out to pasture so is it small wonder why the show got better?!!

205. I Love My Moogie - February 28, 2008

Oops, I meant #199

206. Roddenberry is a Sham! - February 28, 2008

Back to TMP:

I didn’t like it. Period. It is a mash up of Ultimate Computer and Changeling (along with a few other ‘classic’ scenarios – sort of like Nemesis was a mash up of previous Trek work). The main characters have cute “classic moment” introductions that make you think “That’s good ol’ ____, for ya!” But beyond that, its a very stale, excrutiatingly slow movie. I find it highly unbelievable that the Kirk would have been that out of touch (Why would he be sent to inspect the ship if he had no clue what to look for?), and if he was, he wouldn’t have gone ahead and had the screw up with the engines…that was just a nice excuse for some special effects. The whole movie is filled with those sorts of incidents. A very ‘nice’ and realistic ending to the movie would have been to show a kid playing with his colorforms and telling the rest of the story!

I think 2-4 did so well because they really showed how the crew could work together and had relatively interesting and unique plots. I definitely don’t expect most science fiction to be purely unique and original – how many different stories/shows/movies deal with the same basic themes as ST did? Zillions! Easily. However, its the way it is presented that makes all the difference.

5 would have been “okay” as an episode, but having to sit through it as a movie simply did not work. 6 was nice for what it was…

Personally, I think ST is at its best when there is an interesting crew on a ship out there exploring space.

(And personally, I think Shatner should be judged by “The Intruder” or his other works before ST. His pausing did become so ingrained until Trek…and his range didn’t become quite as narrow, either. I think he’s returned to a bit of his younger days on Boston Legal with a pinch of Kirk.)

207. The Vulcanista - February 28, 2008

#206 “I think he’s returned to a bit of his younger days on Boston Legal with a pinch of Kirk.)”

Well, Denny Crane does list “Starship Captain” as part of his resume. :-)

Shatner’s work on BL is nothing short of brilliant, even when the writing for his character is so-so. My favorite part of the show is at the end, with Alan and Denny sitting on the penthouse patio of Crane, Poole & Schmidt, smokin’ stogies and talkin’ trash. Priceless!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

208. Harry Ballz - February 28, 2008

“talkin’ trash”

Didn’t you teach a course on this once?

And this is said with all the love and respect I can muster!

209. Jabob Slatter - February 28, 2008

Garovorkin

I understand the passion, and sometime somebody will say the right thing and I’ll throw my philosophy to the wind and duke it out. Right now I’m feeling centered.

210. The Vulcanista - February 28, 2008

#208

Yes, at the Vulcan Science Academy: Trash Talkin’ with Humans 101. Advanced level courses included Whiskey Drinkin’ and Stogie Smokin’ with Humans 304 and Pissin’ Off Humans Real Good 501 (graduate level only.)

}:-)

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

211. Harry Ballz - February 28, 2008

#210

Y’gotta love it!!!

Vulcanista, notice my last post? Muster?

When it comes to the Vulcanista……….it’s Colonel Muster, in the Master Bedroom with the Lead Pipe!

212. Commodore Redshirt - February 29, 2008

re: 151. Harry Ballz –
” Anybody who has ever SEEN Forbidden Planet can tell you that ten years later all Roddenberry did was change the name and shape of the ship as well as the character’s names. Otherwise, it’s the SAME premise!”

I’ve said the same thing for years, and even feel that for me personally, it may be more “canon” than ENT…

213. Kirk's Toupee - February 29, 2008

Biggest mistake was ST.Enterprise, maybe this abortion of a series, with it’s complete lack of respect for canon, design etc., has made people very wary of XI’s “look” and “feel” adn “lack of respect” for canon?

PS That series alone fired enough photon torpedoes into the Franchise that this new Motion Picture is a near-miracle.

214. Closettrekker - February 29, 2008

#213—I disagree. I found it to be a refreshing approach, as compared to the bland TNG-era spinoffs. The biggest problem with ENT is that many of us were unable to see it. I rather enjoy it now on dvd, and I do not find “canon” violations in the series. The most you can say is that it sometimes countered what many fans had “assumed” about pre-TOS history, and that is not the same thing.

215. Jorg Sacul - February 29, 2008

#213 Hey, they had Porthos. Any time a beagle is on a show, it has merit!

Kor–Where the hell is the “lost” 3-foot Enterprise miniature??? This might be the Holy Grail of Star Trek items IMHO…….

NO KIDDING! I’ve always wondered about it myself. I have seen a picture of Rod “the toddler” Roddenberry straddling it . But it even survived that!

Somewhere… in some dark warehouse, next to the Ark of the Covenant….

216. 3rd of 5 - February 29, 2008

Wow!

Lot’s of debate. I haven’t read every post, but I do think 1 thing comes through loud and clear from Mr. Roddenberry’s comments: He wasn’t opposed to taking Trek in a different direction.

Since he’s no longer with us, there’s no way to know for sure how he would feel about this current movie. But I would consider this: Just from the history and what we know about Gene, I feel he would have given it his stamp of approval. Because ultimately, I think he would have wanted this to succeed in order that Trek would survive and keep entertaining us and millions of others far into the future.

Anyway, that’s my take.

217. Closettrekker - February 29, 2008

#215—My wife and I have a (rather fat) beagle as well!

218. Michael Hall - February 29, 2008

“199 Micheal what do you think of City on the Edge of Forever? Elllison’s original script vs the produced episode.”

This is one where my opinions have changed somewhat as I’ve gotten older. My current take is that Ellison’s teleplay is superior by far in dramatic terms compared to the aired version, but at the same time it’s not really Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek and probably needed to be changed for that and budgetary reasons. Certain touches like Edith Keeler’s speech to the destitute and the character of Trooper were outstanding as originally written and should have been left the hell alone. As for the ending, while Ellison’s version is very moving on paper, I’m not so sure that the aired episode’s conclusion didn’t work better on film.

(Many years ago I was at an SF convention in Anaheim, CA, and had asked Ellison to autograph my copy of Roger Ellwood’s “Six Science Fiction Plays,” which featured the original “City” teleplay. As he was writing his name I cracked wise that I really preferred the aired version–I was just kidding!–whereapon Harlan threw my pen in the trash. Funny thing was that I insisted he retrieve my pen, and he actually did! True story.)

#201: word, word, word. Some folks just can’t handle ambiguity or nuance, it seems. Roddenberry wasn’t so much “put out to pasture” in TNG’s third year as he was dying, Mr. Moogie. But he very much approved of Michael Piller’s work on the show and had personally asked him to stay on, knowing it would be in good hands.

219. Closettrekker - February 29, 2008

#217—Great story. I can see Ellison doing that, and you’re right about his ending (good as it was as a literary work). It wasn’t Trek. I’m not sure he ever grasped that when it came down to adapting it for TOS.
I’ll take TOS, ” COTEOF” as is…one of the best works ever produced for television.

220. I Love My Moogie - February 29, 2008

One post says everyone hated Harve Bennett so much Paramount wanted to offer TUC Executive Producer position to Roddenberry in 1991, yet another post says he was dying in 1989 & this was the reason his TNG duties were relieved. Which is it?

221. Closettrekker - February 29, 2008

#219–As I have always understood it, it was mainly Shatner (and to a lesser degree, the rest of the original cast followed suit) who wanted Bennett out of the way because his thought was that they were too old and one of his proposals was to recast them and reboot the franchise in the late 80’s. I don’t think Paramount ever took that (Shatner’s complaints to them about Bennett) seriously, particularly his “suggestion” that they put GR back in charge at that point. However, they DID need his name to bring legitimacy to TNG for the masses of Trek fans who only knew Shatner/Nimoy/Kelley/Doohan, etc..
GR WAS starting to suffer healthwise by 1989-90, and remaining on board for TNG production was really unrealistic. I don’t recall anything about GR’s relationship with those who continued making the show, or whether he actually recommended someone for the job, but that seems plausible.
That’s how I remember that series of events, anyway. I haven’t thought about that in awhile, actually.

222. Bryant Burnette - February 29, 2008

#70 said:

“While he was a great producer he was not a great writer, if anyone needs confirmation of that fact ,lets look at the Omega Glory which he wrote and its bad for a lot of of reasons.”

Anybody who writes sentences as poorly as this one is written has no business deciding who is and who isn’t a great writer.

The next time you decide to trash somebody’s writing abilities, you really ought to try and correctly use commas, colons, and apostrophes. That way, you have at least a modicum of credibility.

“The Omega Glory” IS a weak episode, though.

223. I Love My Moogie - February 29, 2008

#220

Thanks for the information.

224. Michael Hall - February 29, 2008

#220,

Yes, that’s pretty much the way it happened. The additional material came straight from Michael Piller himself in a number of interviews he gave before his own death in 2005.

I attended Piller’s funeral service along with many other fans. It was a very moving experience.

225. JTK2099 - February 29, 2008

I agree 221. Roddenberry was not the Star Trek genius that modern mythology has made him out to be. I am not trying to be disrespectful but it’s true. This is a man who:

1. Constantly suggested that the crew travel to the JFK assasination in a movie that would end with Spock being the shooter on the grassy knoll in order to put history right. Yeah Gene . . . great idea.

2. Did not consider The Undiscovered Country canon because it was too militaristic.

3. Went on to create a watered down version of Trek that wallowed in the fashionable political correctness of the times, TNG.

4. Thought that after waiting several years for new Trek, we wanted a bland, monotone rip-off of 2001 with very little of the character moments that made us like the show in the first place.

I give him all the credit in the world for creating Star Trek, but he was not infallible.

226. Michael Hall - February 29, 2008

LOL. Can’t say I think much of any of your points, #224, except maybe 4. (By damn, who did Roddenberry think he was, considering TUC to be “too militaristic”? Only the creator of the whole shebang. Oh, well.) But you really lost me on 3. “Political correctness,” indeed. Sheesh.

And FTR, no one’s claiming infallibility for anybody.

227. Garovorkin - February 29, 2008

#217 Michael you’re a very brave man to dare doing that to Ellison, Im surprised He did not rip up your copy of six plays as well. His temper is legendary. Honestly I have a bit of a bias here, I revere Ellison’s works and I have a copy of his screenplay for City and I would have preferred it over what was broadcast. I know its creator perrogative but I wish Roddenberry had changed his mind on this one.

228. Michael Hall - February 29, 2008

“#217 Michael you’re a very brave man to dare doing that to Ellison, Im surprised He did not rip up your copy of six plays as well. His temper is legendary.”

LOL again. Yeah, I’ve wondered since where my ballsiness came from that day; it’s not my usual style. Ellison had two gorgeous “assistants” with him who didn’t seem too pleased with my attitude, either.

I’m a great admirer of the original “City,” along with his works in general, including the non-SF collection “Love Ain’t Nothing But Sex Misspelled.” But I still have a hard time buying the character of Richard Beckwith as an Enterprise crew member.

229. Garovorkin - February 29, 2008

#221 Bryant your right I can’t judge Him one bad episode and if you’d even bothered reading my other comments, which you obviously didn’t i apologized and retracted that statement. As to my writing style not being up your lofty standards, I really don’t care what you think. I don’t go around criticizing how are other people write and neither should you !

230. Harry Ballz - March 1, 2008

Mister Garovorkin, you go right on quoting regulations!

231. I Love My Moogie - March 1, 2008

City on the Edge of Forever is the greatest ST episode of all time despite Roddenberry ‘s inference. It was too good a story for even him to ruin.

232. Garovorkin - March 1, 2008

#231 Ive read the Ellison Screenplay and I often try to imagine what it would have been like on film . If they had only done it that way it would have been one of scifi greatest television moments. This is one of issues that i have with Roddenberry, unfortunately being the creator of the show he does have say on what goes on and what doesn’t. He rewrote the scriopte behind Ellison’s back and to me that is disrespect of a great writer. If Gene didn’t like the script , He should have had the decency to say,” no thank you, this is not what I want,” that would have at least been the proper thing to do. What really rankles is that did this to Harlan After Harlan helped with a letter writing campaign to keep the show on the air.

#228 The Richard Beckwith character did seem a bit out of place on the Enterprise but still I found him intriguing along with the ww I vet who was expunged from the television version. Imagine the possibilities here.

233. Michael Hall - March 1, 2008

“City on the Edge of Forever is the greatest ST episode of all time despite Roddenberry ’s inference. It was too good a story for even him to ruin.”

Oh, give it a rest, fer Chrissake. Honestly. I’ve read your arguments, along with those of “Mr. Ballz” (strange, how you all hide behind your psuedonyms, to a man) and the other haters, and have answered them all in detail. You got nothin.

“The Richard Beckwith character did seem a bit out of place on the Enterprise but still I found him intriguing along with the ww I vet who was expunged from the television version. Imagine the possibilities here.”

No doubt, Trooper was a great character, and the aired version’s bum who disintegrates himself with McCoy’s phaser was a poor substitute indeed. I’m not sure how you could keep Trooper without losing Beckwith, though, since their fates were so intertwined. Maybe a deranged McCoy could have also prompted such a self-sacrifice on Kirk’s behalf, but that would have been pretty heavy-duty karma for an ongoing character on television in the Sixties to carry.

“Why did he do that for you?” “Because I gave him two dollars. . . Mr. Spock, you know history; where is Verdun?”

God, it broke your heart, just reading that.

234. Garovorkin - March 1, 2008

#233 Okay this is an area where we are not going to find agreement . Your right ,to expect a show of that Era to have any kind of character development is little to much to ask, how silly of me. I guess Roddenberry just didn’t believe in the concept of character growth and development, which is something that all good drama has. C’mon MIcheal even you have to Agree Kirk, Spock and McCoy didn’t change or very much throughout the series. every week same character no change. Didn’t you find that the least bit boring and predictable? Ellison was trying introduce a depth and believable humanity that the characters didn’t even have. which might have been to benefit of the show. As to us suing Psuedonyms that purely our choice, and being a critic of something does not by definition make one a Hater as you put it.

Michel don’t treat the rest of us like dummies, were not. We

235. acb - March 2, 2008

#225

I think the ST VI point is not necessarily true since he only saw the film completely 2 days before he died, even commenting on how he actually enjoyed it.

236. Navigator NCC 2120 USS Entente - March 2, 2008

Here is a link to an 8 minute, 1982 interview with Gene Roddenberry:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1030912243585389797&q=%22%22Gene+Roddenberry%22%22&lr=lang_en&total=215&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=6

I found it by doing a gogle video search.

At the 02:25 (2 minutes and 25 seconds) point in the interview Gene Roddenberry gives credit to the actors, specifically Leonard Nimoy for developing the Spock character. Gene states he only created the outline for the Spock character and that Leonard fleshed out the character.

At the 05:44 point in the interview Gene states that they (Paramount) are going to do a new one (Star Trek movie) probably shot as a high budget TV movie and that he has NO OBJECTION to some else doing it (Star Trek) and he would give technical advise if they will listen to him.

I recall issues of the Starlog magazine during that time having interviews with the cast and crew of TWOK, saying that they were introducing younger characters in the new Star Trek film (Lt. Saavik and Dr. David Marcus) to eventually replace TOS characters. I thought that was strange and it would be a mistake.

Based on this 1982 interview I believe Gene would have approved of JJ Abram’s Star Trek 11 film.

Enjoy the interview,

Navigator NCC 2120 USS Entente
/\

237. Navigator NCC 2120 USS Entente - March 2, 2008

For all of you TWOK fans out there I found this link via google video search of William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Deforest Kelley, and Bibi Besch interviewed on the Merv Griffin Show circa 1982 promoting TWOK:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5159430639708927440&q=%22%22Deforest+Kelley%22%22&lr=lang_en&total=122&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=4

It appears to be in 4 parts. The above link is Part 1.

For the record TMP is my favorite Star Trek film, I never cared for the sequels. However, I am looking forward to seeing JJ Abrams’ Star Trek 11 film.

Enjoy,

Navigator NCC 2120 USS Entente
/\

238. Garovorkin - March 2, 2008

#237 Navigator Star trek the motion picture is the best looking of the Trek films even by todays standards the film still looks incredible, V’ger scared the socks off of me, in fact Borg pale in comparison to V’ger. It also was the first and only film to live up to the reach out and explore mysteries. concept which was an original principle to trek, there was battles between ships. In Robert Wise they had the right director, If you look at his Movie Hindenburg it influenced some of the look of the movie , in terms of its grandeur. Unfortunatley the movie was too slow paced. The Story was not the best in terms of a trek film and years later even Leonard Nimoy conceded that they did not get the script that they wanted. It was decent film science fiction film all things considered.

239. Garovorkin - March 2, 2008

# correction typo I ment to say there were no battles between ships, exceept maybe the one sided affair between Vger and the KLingons, that epic 2 second battle.

240. Aliera - April 26, 2008

No way in hell would Gene Roddenberry approve of this abomination of a movie. I’m a hard-core trekkie and refuse to take part in this ‘Going where we’ve already been’ rewriting of Trek history. I’ve read more and more hard-core trekkies are considering protesting the movie. This is going to an interesting development once the media picks up on it!

241. Liquid Ocelot - June 26, 2008

I like how this article completely ignores the fact that Gene was considering these ideas for the second series Star Trek: Phase II which Paramount was going to use to start their fourth network. when that fell through of course, the pilot he’d been working on was slowly turned into The Motion Picture.

Read Shatner’s Movie Memories.

242. EdDR - August 8, 2008

What ever happened to the concept illustrations Ralph McQuarrie did for Star Trek, the Motion Picture? Aside from the Big E, there was a painting of the E going into a Federation Space Station carved into an asteroid and another of the E going into battle with the Klingons

243. Abandon Ship « Weather Station 1 - September 9, 2008

[…] Here’s a link to some more Trek history… […]

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