Exclusive Interview with These Are The Voyages author Marc Cushman | TrekMovie.com
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Exclusive Interview with These Are The Voyages author Marc Cushman October 27, 2013

by Nancy Garrett , Filed under: Books,Interview,Merchandise , trackback

Next Generation writer Michael Piller said: “A writer is very much like the captain on a star ship facing the unknown. When you face the blank page and you have no idea where you’re going. It can be terrifying, but it can also be the adventure of a lifetime.” After completing These Are The Voyages, a three-volume set about The Original Series, author Marc Cushman surely must have experienced the ultimate of adventures. Season One is out now, with Two and Three on the way. TrekMovie.com sat down with author Marc Cushman to talk about his experiences writing the historical Trek series. Hit the jump for our incredibly in-depth extensive interview.

“There’s your book right there,” Gene Roddenberry told Cushman in 1982, pointing to 70 boxes full of Star Trek production notes, memos, letters, budgets and scripts. Cushman was interviewing the Star Trek creator for a television special about the show. Cushman said Roddenberry added, “But you couldn’t get that into a book, and I dare you to try.”

Cushman finally took Roddenberry up on that ‘dare’ and after years of pouring through those boxes and interviewing those closest to Star Trek Original Series, has published the first of a three-volume set of books. These Are The Voyages Season One currently is available through Amazon.com for $27.95 through Oct. 31 or through the publisher, Jacobs Brown Press. These Are The Voyages Season Two is due out Christmas time this year. Season Three is slated for spring 2014.

I hadn’t known about this book until a friend showed me the copy he purchased at the Star Trek Las Vegas convention. His face lit up like a kid’s at Christmastime. He couldn’t wait to start reading. That was enough to convince me I needed one too. On the last day of the convention, I rushed back to the vendor’s room to see if I still buy a copy. I was lucky: Not only was I able to get a copy of the book, but I had the chance to meet the author and arrange for a phone interview.

After the third volume is out and he takes a well-deserved vacation, Cushman says his next project may be a biography, but he hinted he may entertain suggestions to start a similar set of books about The Next Generation.

Marc Cushman began writing These Are The Voyages after a career as a television writer, screenwriter, producer and director. To Star Trek fans, besides this book, he’s known for writing the original script for the episode, “Sarek.” He co-authored a book about another television series: I Spy: A History and Episode Guide to the Groundbreaking Television Series, which he says proved to be an excellent template for writing These Are The Voyages.

The following are excerpts of my conversation with Mr. Cushman.

While I was doing some research for another Trekmovie.com article, I wanted to rewatch some Original Series episodes and I very quickly realized Book One of These Are The Voyages makes a great viewing companion guide…

Actually that was one of my intentions. We’ve all seen these episodes so many times, and we love them, but sometimes we start to watch an episode again and we think, ‘Okay, but I’m too familiar with it.’ I wanted to find a way to make these episodes seem new again — and with the book you can learn about what went into the writing, and what went into in the production. When you’re watching it, you have something new to think about. It’s fun to watch these shows — with something we didn’t have before. The books will allow us to watch these shows again with ‘fresh eyes.’

I know it’s all there in your preface, but can you please tell again how you got started in this project?

I was working for a local TV production company in 1982. I came to Los Angeles to be a screenwriter and write for TV. In fact, Star Trek is what inspired me to do that. When I was a teenager watching it on NBC, I thought — and still think — ‘this is one of the best written shows ever done on television.’ One of the owners of the production company came into the office and said, “Okay we’re going to be doing a special on Star Trek. Who knows about Star Trek?” Everybody looked at me because they knew I loved the show. He said: “Okay Cushman, you got the job. You’re going on Tuesday to interview Gene Roddenberry.” And I thought, ‘Oh dear! Beat me with a club! Do I get paid too?’ (Laughter) So I went down to Paramount and met with Gene and he was so gracious and so wonderful. During the interview, he told his assistant at the time, Susan Sackett to show me around and take me to the various storage areas on the lot where they had lots of materials because he said he’d give me a copy of every script for use and any artwork that I could find from the series that I could use for the television special. In the course of that, I was introduced to about 70 boxes, filled with thousands of pages — all the memos, and all the ‘back-and-forth’ between Roddenberry and his staff. There were scripts, production schedules, budgets — all the communications with the network, and the de Forest Research notes for fact-checking on the scripts — to make them more scientific and more believable. At first, I thought, ‘Well I could make a copy of this one and I can make a copy of that one’ and the staff did that for me, but I then I thought, ‘I wanted a copy of everything!’ So I said to Gene, ‘You know, I’ve read I read The Making of Star Trek and I’m reading it now as my research for this TV special…’

By the way, The Making of Star Trek is fabulous book that was written halfway through the production of the series but they never revised it and it didn’t focus on the individual episodes, just the overall course of the production.

I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have a book with all these in it?’ Gene said, “You couldn’t fit all that stuff in a book, and I dare you to try.”

Wow! What was going through your mind when he said that?

My first thought was: ‘My God, I would want read that book! But I don’t know how to do it.’ I don’t have the time and I don’t have a clue to how to even begin. Nobody’s ever written a book like that. The closest would be The Making of Star Trek, but that didn’t delve into the individual episodes, which I wanted to. You watch those episodes and, most of them are just outstanding. Then there’s some that aren’t. If you watch the first season, which is what this first book covers — there’s only a couple episodes in the first season that really ‘don’t work.’ Almost all of them ‘work’ exceptionally well, but then you watch “The Alternative Factor” episode and you think, ‘What happened? It’s the same talented people. Gene gave me the scripts, and I read the script and was thinking, ‘What am I missing? Gene Coon rewrote it. Don Ingalls was a very renowned TV writer and did the first draft. So what happened?’ And nobody could answer these questions. The answers were in the show files. And now all of that is in this book.

Was it typical for a television series to have all of this material stored away like this?

No it’s not typical. Most of these script notes are done at meetings, either at meetings or on the phone. Gene Roddenberry and Bob Justman and Gene Coon lived in memos — and that is very rare in television. There isn’t time to be dictating memos and having the secretary type them up and make copies and send to everybody. That’s not the time-efficient thing to do — but Roddenberry, Justman and Coon knew that Star Trek was special and they knew the show was their legacy. Now they would humbly say later that they didn’t know that — years later when people interviewed them, ‘Of course, we’d have no way of knowing.’ They had no way of knowing if it really would happen, but they believed it was possible to have a show that was that special and that unique. So they wanted to document the making of the series. That’s why both of them saved everything and then donated their materials to a UCLA Special Collections Library.

There’s a memo, that will be in Book Three, during that third season — very early in the season — Bob Justman sent Gene Roddenberry a memo and Roddenberry responded. Gene writes: “Bob, all of us writers can only hope that one day a biographer will be digging through all of our papers and memos and scripts and letters, to figure out why we did what we did and what we were thinking when we did it. And that memo you just sent to me has to go into that book.” You know what? It has! It’s in Book Number Three!

Are those boxes of documents on display for the public? Can anyone go to the UCLA libraries and take a look at these documents?

They are public, yes. First of all, Gene and Bob gave me documents that are not part of the UCLA collection. Secondly, I had to track down a lot of documents that are not part of that collection. Because what happened was: When he had been donated all this stuff to UCLA, it was 70 boxes. Now it’s 50 boxes. So you know what happened: People would go into the library and they would take some of these documents. So then you’d be seeing some documents begin to show up on eBay — several hundred dollars to buy a memo from Gene Roddenberry or Bob Justman. Fortunately, I’ve connected with a lot of fans and collectors who provided me with copies of some of these documents to add to what I’ve already had available to me at UCLA. The UCLA collection has been picked through. They’re very careful now. You go to the UCLA library and they watch you like a hawk and you can’t take anything in with you not even water. You can bring pencil and paper and take notes on the documents. They watch you as you turn every page and make sure it goes right back where it was supposed to go. It’s very closely guarded now because they realize that they were losing a lot of valuable material over the years. And even though those documents are still available, you would have to come to Los Angeles, and make an appointment to see them. It took me six months to go through those 50 boxes, working five days a week. Now if I didn’t live in here in LA, being a self-employed as a writer living here, how could I have possibly done that? The average person can’t. There are some fans who will take a week’s vacation and come to LA just look to the papers, but they can’t even get to the tip of the iceberg.

The book’s format is episode by episode, describing timelines, pre-production, reactions, sound bites, ratings… How did you decide on the format?

I had my practice with the I Spy book, which I think came together nicely. I knew Star Trek would be harder because there were more documents. With the I Spy book, there were several boxes of documents at UCLA and that’s about average for a TV show. Star Trek had 50 plus — at one time 70 boxes! So I had to take on something little easier at first to learn how to do it. Then I could approach ‘the mother of all books’ and it became three books. There was no way to contain all that into one book and the first book is 600 pages, and the type is kind of small! That could have easily been an 800 or 900-plus page book. It’s a massive, massive document — it could have been five books. But to answer your question better: My experience as a TV writer helped immensely. When you’re a television writer, or a screenwriter (I’ve done two movies), everything you’re writing is happening right now. It’s not someone remembering what happened. So my approach to doing these books is: You are watching Star Trek being written — you’re not looking back at it. You’re right there in the front office hearing Gene Coon and Gene Roddenberry and Dorothy Fontana and Bob Justman discussing the scripts. Thanks to these memos, you’re sitting there, hearing them have a conversation about the different drafts and scripts — the ones who made it and the ones they couldn’t find a way to make, then NBC coming in room at the same time, saying, “Do this and don’t do that.” And then there’s the production schedules — knowing what was shot, when, where, how… and having the AD notes. AD meaning: The assistant director who keeps notes on the set — about how late they went that night, what went wrong, who got sick… You’ve got all that information too. Then I’ve got the budgets. I know what was spent, how far over budget they go. Everyone was saying the Star Trek episodes were shot in six days, but most were shot in seven or eight days. It was planned for a six-day shoot, but not with science fiction — because everything is specially designed. It was just a very difficult show to make and it was hard to keep it on schedule, hard to keep it on budget. I put you, the reader, on the sidelines — you’re seeing all of that happen. You even know what was playing on the radio that day and what news story — what everybody on the set was talking about that day. This book is a time machine — it takes you back to the mid and late 1960s. This book puts you on the set, in the editing room, then in front of your TV set watching the first broadcast on NBC. You can feel the excitement, you can feel the pressure… you can see the blood, sweat and tears that went into making every single episode, from a writing point of view to a production point of view to a televised point of view. That’s how I laid it out. I take you through each episode with all those phases, and then move onto the next one. You start to get a sense of what it must’ve been like to be Gene Roddenberry or Gene Coon.

You write about the A.C. Nielsen Ratings. What was revealed about studying the ratings?

Here’s how it work back in the 1960s and even the 1970s: There were two ratings services. One was A.C. Nielsen. The other was Home Testing Institute that did TvQ — competitors. Nielsen would send the network the ratings — a page for each night so it was a seven-page report for all three networks, all the prime time shows. And stamped at the bottom of each page: “Property of AC Nielsen. Not to be copied. On loan to NBC. To show to clients and returned to A.C. Nielsen” by such and such a date. So these reports were not allowed to go public. Now Nielsen would allow on certain occasions, some ratings to be printed in Daily Variety, a top 10 list or top 20 list, but the deep reports with all the shows and all the exact numbers were not given to the public or even the press on a weekly basis, only on special occasions. People didn’t know really how well shows were doing. We trusted the networks to tell how the shows were doing and they would tell us, by whether they were to renew the show or not. We thought we knew what shows are popular — I was 14 or 15 when Star Trek was on NBC and everyone watched it. I didn’t know anyone at school who didn’t watch it. The teachers wouldn’t assign homework at night before. They’d say: “I know it’s Star Trek night.” And everybody would cheer. It got very quiet on the streets at night — everybody was in their house watching Star Trek. So when I read in TV Guide that it was ‘iffy’ whether it was going to be renewed and then to see the news: ‘NBC cancelled Star Trek because ratings were low.’ I was in shock and so was everybody else. I know we all watched this. It was what everyone talking about! It got more fan mail than all shows, except maybe The Monkees and sometimes it tied with The Monkees and The Monkees were at their peak! So how is that possible? But we had no way of disproving what we were being told.

So I decided I had to find the ratings. I called Nielsen when I was doing this book and I was told: No, they don’t keep them going back that far. There’s no reason to keep them going back that far because it would take rooms and rooms and rooms to store all this stuff. And why would they keep it? They’re in the business of providing new ratings for new shows. They can’t make money off the old ratings. So they said, “No, we don’t have that.” Then I tried calling NBC. They said, “Why would we have those? That’s a show we cancelled 40 years ago.” I called the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences — the Emmy people, and they said: We don’t have it.” And the Museum of Broadcasting: “We never had any ratings.”

I almost gave up but it just kept bugging me and things weren’t making sense as I’m writing these books and going through the memos. Occasionally there’d be a couple of documents in the files about the ratings and those few occasions where they would be shared, and Star Trek look pretty strong. There was a letter from Lucille Ball to Gene Roddenberry, congratulating him on the fact that his show was number one in its time slot and there was a letter from somebody at NBC, congratulating him from another week.

I became so obsessed with getting the ratings that I called Nielsen back and I said it in a way I hadn’t said it before. I said,” I’d like to license the ratings reports from the late 1960s” They then said, “Oh, okay we’ll switch you over to that department. What ratings are you interested in?” I said, “Thursday night, 1966, 67 and Friday night 67 through 69.” They said, “Okay, we’ll get back with you.” They called me back they very next day and said, “Yeah we’ve got them. How many do you want?” I said, “I want one for every week they said, “Okay here’s how much they’re going to cost…” I said: “Whaaa??? Okay well, maybe I’ll just take the one for the first run episodes and forget the reruns…” Although I did get a few of the reruns, just out of curiosity. So I licensed all these ratings, which set me back financially a bit, but it was like a lost treasure! I found out for Season One and the episode “Mantrap” had an audience share of 47 percent of the TVs in America running, were tuned into Star Trek. Quite often and usually most of the time it’s number in second place, and there is no shame in second place, and by the way, the show it’s beating almost every Thursday night is My Three Sons, which was considered a hit on CBS and went for another five seasons. The show that it’s losing to, was but not every week, ABC’s number one-rated series, Bewitched. It was the top show the network had out of all of their shows. Star Trek on more than a dozen occasions beat it; on other occasions tied with it, and on the rest occasions came in a close second.

I went further. I looked at the ratings of the shows before and shows after, on that night and found out that Star Trek was NBC’s top-rated Thursday night show — their biggest hit of the night! You don’t cancel your top-rated show! That was the show all the other shows are anchored to. But NBC tried to cancel it. And I’ll give you a peek into the future — in Book Two: They moved it to Friday nights, which is not a good night for a show like that, with the college audience, so obviously they’re trying to distance it from the audience, and it was still their top-rated show for that night. It was their top-rated Friday night show, and they tried to cancel it. But the network got buried in protest letters, so they renewed it, but then they moved to Friday nights at 10 p.m. to make sure it was dead. That’s called the death slot — that’s the worst time of the entire week.

Why do you think NBC had such a problem with Star Trek? Was it too controversial? Too costly?

No, the studio was shouldering the burden of the cost — that was Desilu and sadly, Desilu went out of business because of Star Trek, as you’ll find out in Book Two. Lucille Ball lost her studio because she sponsored Star Trek, and was determined to put in on the air. Her Board of Directors said, “You can’t afford this show.” But she said, “No, we’re going to do it.” She was an advocate for Star Trek — and she lost her studio. It’s very sad when you read those chapters in Book Two. She even ran away the day she was supposed to sign the contracts. She got a plane and flew cross-country. They even had to chase after her to get her to sign the contracts — that’s how devastated she was. That’s in Book Two — lots of drama.

NBC got nervous about a lot of this material. The network got nervous at the last minute about “The Alternative Factor” because it would have had the first interracial love story. John Drew Barrymore, from the famous dynasty of actors, was originally cast to play Lazarus, and Janet MacLachlan was cast to play the woman he seduces to get the dilithium crystals. NBC knew who he was, but they didn’t know who she was, because was still new in her career. The network approved the script, which had him kissing her, and making out… in order to steal the crystals. NBC found out a few days before the show was supposed to start shooting and said,”You’re not doing that!” So Gene Coon gutted the script and rewrote it. Then John Drew Barrymore came in, read the script and said, “This isn’t what I agreed to.” Then he drops out and they are scrambling to continue shooting around the character. They found Robert Brown at the last minute. You see, I love finding out these answers!

Gene Roddenberry couldn’t get along with the network and they didn’t get along with Gene. It all started with his show, The Lieutenant on NBC. That show lost its sponsorship of the Marines. They were kicked out of Camp Pendleton. They were filming for free with all the extras they wanted — uniforms and tanks — you name it. Gene wanted to put an episode on about racism in the military and Pentagon said, “Don’t.” And NBC said, “Okay, we’ll throw it away.” Then Gene went to the NAACP and launched a protest and the NAACP went after the network, so NBC was forced to air the episode. NBC cancelled the show — they were that upset. Now why would they buy another show from Gene Roddenberry? MGM (the production studio for The Lieutenant) didn’t want to do any more work with Roddenberry.

So he went to Desilu, who was desperate for product. Herb Solow was a former NBC guy and he was able to talk them into taking the show. NBC was number three. They used to be number one, but lost a lot of their audience to CBS and ABC. They were going up against the younger crowd, the baby boomers… NBC was essentially shows like Kraft Music Hall and Perry Como… So NBC said, “We have to change so they picked up I Spy and The Man From Uncle and they finally picked up Star Trek, and a few other colorful, fun shows that would attract teenagers and young adults. But the problem is — as you read the books and you see in the memos — Gene keeps putting on episodes they don’t want him to put on.

Gene wanted to be a modern-day Jonathan Swift. He wanted to tell controversial stories. He wanted to shock America. He wanted to make statement and change the world. Back then, the networks weren’t looking to change the world. Back then, a network wanted the least offensive material possible so that all their affiliates — whether they’re in the North or the South or the West to the East — would carry the show. They didn’t want the affiliates boycotting the show. They would lose money so they pick shows that everybody would watch across the country.

Gene wanted to do stories that were ‘rocking the boat.’ When NBC tried to bring him under control; he resisted. The network didn’t want to do political commentary in primetime, not in the entertainment shows. They felt that belonged in the news division, not in entertainment, but Gene wanted to do stories about Vietnam, stories about sex and sexism, racism, religion, overpopulation, drugs, women. Look at “Mudd’s Women.” That was drugs and hookers in space! That was one of the first episodes! Or look at “The Enemy Within.” Kirk tries to rape Janice Rand on NBC TV… in 1966! And as you’ll read in the memos in the book, NBC refused to repeat it. Then there’s “The Naked Time” where you see all the insides of people. They were naked in a sense… emotionally!

NBC said, “Why can’t you make this more like Lost In Space — a fun show for the family?” NBC said, “This isn’t what we signed on for. You promised us ‘Wagon Train in space.’ We’ve never seen Major Adams from Wagon Train trying to rape anybody! We’ve never seen a Wagon Train episode with hookers and drugs.” You know, there’s a saying in Hollywood: “A network can’t guarantee a hit, but it sure as hell can guarantee a failure.”

It sounds like there’s a lot juicy information found in These Are The Voyages. Anything else you’d care to share, that, say if it had leaked out in the 60s, it may have hit the tabloids?

Oh yeah! There’s a lot! Jumping ahead to Book Two and then in Book Three: You’ll find out why the two Genes (Gene Roddenberry and writer/producer Gene Coon) had a falling out. You can find out why Gene Coon left Star Trek. In Book Three, you’ll see the memos between (Fred) Freiberger and Roddenberry and (Robert) Justman and Stan Robinson from NBC. At that time, all the memos never mention Gene Coon — they always say, “Lee Cronin.” There’s a great memo from Stan Robinson, which reads: “ ‘Oh you’ve got Lee Cronin to write the script… we’d better get this one done quickly…before he gets busy with his other commitments.’ “ So even NBC is writing ‘Lee Cronin’ in their letters as a code word for Gene Coon, because Gene Coon couldn’t legally write these scripts when he was already under contract with Universal as the producer of It Takes A Thief. So they were all involved in the cover up. They were all in this conspiracy, hiding this information — even the network. That’s fun to see even the network going along with this conspiracy, this cover up.

I’ll tell you something else you’ll see in Books Two and Three. They did the first 16 episodes of Season Two and they’re waiting around to find out if they’ll get picked up to do more — even though they were winning their time slot quite often. They’re shooting episode Number 16 and they’re half into it before the network tells them, “Okay, we want some more episodes.” Now in TV, how the hell do you pull that off? You’ve got to have a script ready. You have to have it cast — you have to have sets built. You can’t just start shooting an episode on Monday without any preparation. So they’re having to write scripts and do things to prepare for an episode that they don’t even know if they would be shooting. The cast doesn’t even know if they’re going to be coming back the next week, but they can’t take any other work because they’re under contract.

So the drama gets stronger with each book. You know some people have said to me: “Why do a book on Season Three? That wasn’t as good as Season One or Two.” I tell them, “You’re going to enjoy the book on Season Three even more than One and Two. The story of Star Trek gets more interesting as it goes along. It gets more dramatic as it goes along. The ante gets raised more as it goes along, the stakes are greater, the exhaustion is greater and the conflicts become greater. This was a very exhausting three-year journey — five years actually, if you consider the pilots.

Of course Gene Roddenberry and some of the Original Series actors, producers and writers are gone now… Who were some of the people you interviewed as you completed this project?

Of course, Gene helped me before he was gone, and I even interviewed him a second time when I came in to talk to him about Next Generation. And I interviewed Bob Justman as many as six different times — he gave me lots of material. D.C. Fontana is still with us and working and teaching over at American Film Institute. I interviewed her four times. She gave me provided me with pictures and materials. John D.F. Black is a neighbor of mine — in fact I recently did an interview on Access: Hollywood with him. We talk every few days. He was producer before Gene Coon and executive script editor and his wife, Mary, who was his assistant at Star Trek. Harlan Ellison called me to tell me he liked the book. I didn’t expect that in a million years. He said, “Marc! I’m not going to say it’s awesome, because that’s a word I reserve for the Grand Canyon and Eleanor Roosevelt but it comes close!” Leonard Nimoy called me a couple weeks ago. It was great. He said, “Marc, the research is astounding!” When he said that, he sounded exactly like Mr. Spock. What better compliment to get from Mr. Spock than to have him say, “The research is astounding!” I thought, ‘My God! I can die and go to heaven!’ (Laughter)

Walter Koenig wrote the Foreword for Book Two, and I had interviewed him for Books Two and Three. I interviewed Vincent McEveety. There was a rumor that he was dead but it was his brother Bernard who died. They were both directors and they worked at the same time on a lot of the same shows. I tracked down his son and called him up and said, “Can I interview you about your dad and about his work on Star Trek?” He said, Okay, but I don’t remember that much about Star Trek… I was a kid… why don’t you just talk to my dad?” I said, “But I thought…” He said, “No, that was my uncle. Here’s my dad’s phone number….” So I called him, and he was fabulous! He gave me some great quotes! Read the section about “Miri.” Boy, does he open up about “Miri” and Kim Darby.

Grace Lee Whitney gave me terrific interviews. I tracked down director Marvin Chomsky …Robert Brown… Morgan Woodward….so many actors and writers. I tracked down people who had never been interviewed: John Erman, who directed “The Empath” in Season Three. And Joyce Muskat, who wrote, “The Empath.” Jean Lissette Aroeste who wrote, “Is There In Truth No Beauty” and “All Our Yesterdays” also Emily Banks and Bruce Mars from “Shore Leave.” I tracked down these people who’ve never talked about Star Trek. Not only do they talk to me about it, but they talk about it in such detail! They literally are like ‘tour guides’ walking you through the production and through the writing.

I interviewed Ralph Senensky, who directed seven episodes and was fired halfway through the episode, “The Tholian Web.” Did you know that he was fired halfway through “The Tholian Web” because he fell a half a day behind? At that point Paramount had taken over the studio. So the drama gets intense during Books Two and Three.

It’s amazing Season Three is as good as it is! I’ve since reassessed it. I remember when I was 15 when Season Three came on, and I was disappointed because it wasn’t as fast-paced as Season Two. I’ve come to find out maybe the best way to watch Star Trek is start with Season Three and watch it backwards. If you haven’t seen “The City on the Edge of Forever” and “The Trouble with Tribbles” and “Mirror, Mirror” and “The Doomsday Machine” — all these great episodes. If you hadn’t seen those and you are watching the third season, You’d probably think: “Wow! This is great show!” Then you start seeing the other ones, you probably think, “Wow! Now it’s really getting good!”

What are your thoughts about other series in the Star Trek franchise?

You know, I shouldn’t say this because I know this goes out to all the fans for all the shows, but I didn’t really care for the sequels too much. And I worked at Next Generation. I wrote the first draft of the “Sarek” script. Gene said, “We’re going to have to rewrite you, because you’ve written it too much like the first show. It’s paced too much like the first show. You’ve got the voices right, but the feel of it is more like the original.” But that’s because I love the Original. I went in to pitch for him numerous other times and gave him some springboards for other episodes. I also pitched for Voyager and Enterprise, but not for Deep Space Nine.

I just wasn’t able to get as involved with those shows as the Original, and that’s not to say that I don’t think they’re good. I saw quite a few episodes of Next Generation I thought were terrific. I’m not going to tell you I’ve watched every episode. I mean I’ve watched every episode of the Original several times over. I’ve seen probably about half of Next Generation — certainly I saw the Borg episodes. And I loved the Deep Space Nine episode, “Trials and Tribble-ations” — when they went back to “The Trouble with Tribbles” and incorporated that footage. I thought, ‘what a clever, clever premise and how beautifully realized that was!’

What about the new movie releases: Star Trek 2009 and Star Trek Into Darkness?

I love them. I know a lot of Original fans are having trouble with them. I don’t all because: ‘Look, I’ve got an 18-year-old son and because of these movies, he’s started watching the Original show.’ He said to me, “I know you’re writing the book about this. It’s not bad!” He said, “I’ve been watching these and when they’re over, I find myself thinking about it for 10 or 20 minutes… what that show was about.” I said, ‘Ah ha!’

That’s the magic of shows like Star Trek… and Twilight Zone. Roddenberry and Rod Serling certainly both put a message in every script. The theme — there had to be a theme. Gene Roddenberry was the only producer I’d ever pitched to, who asked me, “What’s the theme?” Gene would say, “Okay I love your ‘hook’ but what’s your theme? What are you trying to say, as a writer? What message are you trying to get across to the audience?”

Were you always a fan of science fiction?

Oh yeah! I always loved science fiction! It grabbed me more than anything when I was a kid. I think it does for almost all kids. I read Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein, but I was more of a watcher than a reader. I loved how TV is happening right now — in front of you.

What do you think will come next for the Star Trek franchise?

I’m glad I don’t make those decisions but my guess is: They’ll make at least a couple more of these movies with the current cast because both (Star Trek 2009 and Star Trek: Into Darkness) have done tremendously well. The second one was highly rated, got great reviews and it made certainly enough money to warrant continuing. They may try to take this cast onto TV in a few years, after they do a couple movies.

Here’s the thing — whether you like all the different Star Treks or not: I think most people will agree that the first show was the best — or at least the best by design. People will say: “It’s not as good because it was done in the 60s and how can you compete with something being done now from a technical point of view…” But I think it was the best by design because the characters are rich. There’s tremendous conflict between these characters. Hell, there’s even tremendous conflict inside these characters — with themselves. Spock has a waging war going on with himself constantly — but so does Kirk! Great characters!

Paramount got very smart in saying, “Let’s go back to those characters and hire young actors and make them a little younger, so then they can grow into the roles.” The newest movie is written for a young audience. It suspends belief and that’s my one problem with it that but I understand why they have to do that — to get my son to go see it and people that age. I get it! (Laughter) But I’ve got to say they’re doing wonderful things with these characters. They’ve done their homework. They’re portraying characters properly. They make lots of fun little references to past episodes like, “Oh that’s the ship we got on the Mudd incident,” a reference to “Mudd’s Women” episode, but of course, in that episode, it blew up! But this is a sort of an ‘alternate universe.’ It’s a great concept! I love those kinds of ideas — that are that deep and that intellectual!

The most recent movie is kind of like the Original Series because into two hours they pack the most incredible action sequences, incredible science fiction concepts, incredible villains, incredible drama, incredible conflict, but with lots of humor at the same time! Action, adventure, science fiction, humor — all pulled together in one place! That’s not easy to do, I can tell you — as a screenwriter. Yet the first Star Trek series did it. These movies are doing it. My hat is off to them. I think they’ll do a few more and if they’ll smart to get that the characters back on TV every week and wouldn’t that be wonderful?

If owned Paramount, I’d take the Star Trek Animated Series, which has the voices of all the Original cast, written by all the Original writers, produced by Roddenberry and Fontana — I would take those 22 episodes and I would redo them with CGI, which can almost make it look like William Shatner is actually standing there at the age of 34. You’ve got his voice already! Why do that? Because then they’d have the fourth season of the Original Star Trek right there! They have the technology now to do it! (Laughter) Hopefully, if you put that in your article, they’ll read it and think, “What a great idea!”


Comments

1. Seb - October 27, 2013

What a great idea!

2. scifib5st - October 27, 2013

Great idea for a Christmas present!!!

3. We Reach. - October 27, 2013

Submitted for your approval…..(oops sorry, wrong classic show),

‘Captains Log Stardate Now:

We have lifted the veil and uncovered the true inner workings of our
classic adventures. Boldy continuing to investigate science and the human soul: The true final frontier Recommend we send this book to the Iotians. Kirk out.’

Fantastic article Nancy for a fantastic book. Congrats to Marc Cushman on an excellent job. (Spock recommends clean up typos for future editions. Other than that, – fascinating). Looking forward to the rest of the books.

On Amazon.com, the gorgeous actress Leslie Parrish from the classic ‘Who Mourns for Adonais?’ left great praise entitled: I FEEL I AM THERE ALL OVER AGAIN!!! (4 stars)

http://www.amazon.com/These-are-Voyages-TOS-Season/dp/0989238113

IDIC
LLAP

4. crazydaystrom - October 27, 2013

I want this! Hope they have it at Barnes & Noble because got a $10 gif card for my birthday. And I prefer seeing something before I buy it.

5. John from Cincinnati - October 27, 2013

Yes I have been begging for years to re-animate the animated series like they did with the original series with new CGI effects.

YES! Do it Paramount or CBS, whoever owns the rights.

DO IT!

6. Oz - October 27, 2013

I purchased this book, read this book, and enjoyed it very much. It’s packed with behind the scenes details I’ve never seen or heard about before. I look forward to the next two. Highly recommended!

7. CmdrR - October 27, 2013

I’d like to read these, although the price is a bit steep. I know that’s what books cost now… I’m just saying I’ll have to budget this, which is something I don’t usually consider while stocking up on books.

8. James - October 27, 2013

What a great interview. I agree with everything this guy said in the interview. love the idea of re-doing TAS in CGI

9. John Gill - October 27, 2013

I have only gotten through the first 50 pages of this book a few weeks ago and it is UNBELIEVABLE the amount of fact-based information that has been crammed into every page, truly a labor of love, and truly a book that, just like my worn and tattered copy of “The Making Of Star Trek”, will not be left untouched for many years to come. It is like a reference manual, but is a very exciting one, full of revelations about the truth of Network TV Programming, money, and ratings.
Oh, and it is a good Star Trek read, too!

10. Corylea - October 27, 2013

The book came day before yesterday, and I’ve been reading it in great gulps for the past two days. It has an amazing amount of information in it, and the facts it reports are mostly footnoted, with a source given.

Is it perfect? Nothing human ever is. Even nothing Vulcan ever is. :-) But it’s clearly an intensively-researched labor of love, and I’m very glad to have it!

11. Exverlobter - October 27, 2013

This is a looong interview!

12. Lens Flares Suck - October 27, 2013

I just want Trek on tv. Original universe, new universe. All we get on tv these days is supernatural this and horror that.

There is an audience hungry for real science fiction and the studios don’t seem to care.

13. Michael Hall - October 27, 2013

Given its overwhelmingly positive take on Star Trek, its creator, and the televised version of “City on the Edge of Forever” I’d be quite surprised that Harlan Ellison had such kind things to say about “These are the Voyages” except that Mr. Cushman provided yet another forum for Ellison to savage Roddenberry over the production of that storied episode, even going so far as to call him a “hack”–which, whatever your opinion of the man and his talents as a writer, is blatantly unfair. No one reading this account of the show’s creation and the enormous effort involved in its production could seriously question Gene Roddenberry’s commitment to quality SF storytelling, something virtually unknown on television at the time and probably what he legacy should best be remembered for. No, as a writer he was no Harlan Ellison, or even Gene Coon–but he cared, dammit, about a genre that most in his industry never bothered to take seriously, and went to the mat repeatedly to fight for scripts that took on the kind of subject matter that TV viewers nowadays take for granted but were a real stretch for the medium circa 1966-69. Since producers like Matt Weiner and Vince Gilligan have had no problems acknowledging their debt to the man, it’s a real mystery to me why the posters in forums like this one find it so difficult to do likewise.

14. Bill Krewson - October 27, 2013

This book is absolutely amazing for the TOS devotee! Day by day details, one of a kind photos, insightful analysis, amazing quotations from the primary players, and dissertation-like documentation.

All this and more…can’t wait for the next two volumes.

15. Cervantes - October 27, 2013

Good article with some interesting comments in it.

I quite like that notion of starting with season 3 of TOS and working BACKWARDS towards the gold standard episodes! One day I may try to tweak that idea a little…and work out a certain re-arranged episode schedule for myself to re-watch in a different way in future! :)

And as far as re-doing the original animated show…that’s something that a few of us have hoped for since a long time now, of course.

However, although I’d be more than happy to see those episodes done in a much more up-to-date style of animation than the way it was originally done, I hadn’t actually thought about re-doing them in a far more realistic CGI way than that, in say perhaps the way that the ‘Final Fantasy’ movie’s animated CGI was done…or even something approaching the way that Jeff Bridges’ ‘younger’ self was done for the ‘Tron Legacy’ movie…

Something along the lines of that kind of cutting-edge animation would certainly be amazing if used for the characters and backgrounds though…just imagine how that would transform the original animated episodes!

Of course, I’d still be more than happy if the powers-that-be just re-did them in a more contemporary animation style than the originals. And some suitably TOS-sounding re-scoring would be very welcome too.

16. Michael Hall - October 27, 2013

Oh, and Mr. Cushman? Past 50 and believing that there was nothing more to be learned about what has always been my favorite show (as distinct from claiming that it’s the best, which I don’t), “These Are the Voyages” was a real gift. I thought it was just awesome, and can’t wait for the publication of the second volume.

17. Trek Lady - October 27, 2013

This is one I will definitely be picking up. I love my tattered old copy of The Making of Star Trek, so I imagine I’ll enjoy this as well. Might have to get the I Spy one too, as it is another of my fav old shows. Cushman has good taste!

18. Tony - October 27, 2013

I picked up the first book from Amazon; a little pricey but worth every penny as it is the definitive document on the series and I don’t mind paying extra for what is quite obviously a true labor of love. Tons of insights, rare photos and a very engaging writing style to pull it all together and keep you reading. Can hardly wait for books two and three; I’ll pre-order them as soon as Amazon puts them up.

19. Daniel Shock - October 27, 2013

Can’t wait to read these! YES! RE-animate the old animated series and then continue it with new voice actors if it does well!

20. Steve Gennarelli - October 27, 2013

What a cool idea for a book and it sounds like the execution of it worked out in a wonderful way.
Looking forward to reading this sometime soon. All 3 volumes.
Also, refreshing to hear someone who agrees with me that despite how wonderful TNG was and DS9 too, the Original Show is still the best.

21. Toonloon - October 27, 2013

How is this an exclusive interview? I read one at trek core just this week . Someone needs to look up the definition of exclusive.

22. Andy Patterson - October 27, 2013

Haven’t posted or visited on here in along time. Thought I was done actually. This article and this book made want to do both again. I shall have to look into getting this book. All sounds very interesting. I mean, an interview with Morgan Woodward! I don’t understand why he’s never been included before. The greatest villain the show ever had, in my opinion.

23. Quatlo - October 27, 2013

Evidently there are quite a few younger fans who haven’t read Joel Engel’s book or the Herb Solow / Bob Justman book. Both of these books reveal a lot of the real GR and expose him as not being a very likable person. Looks like GR is being rewritten or at least talked about as a good guy again to help sell an overpriced book which contains a lot of material that’s already been documented in print. Shameless self-promotion at it’s best, step right up.

24. Plum - October 27, 2013

Fantastic interview Trekmovie (Nancy Garrett!). Marc Cushman! Book sold! This was just a fascinating interview, I can only imagine the book!

My favourite part…
Harlan Ellison called me to tell me he liked the book. I didn’t expect that in a million years. He said, “Marc! I’m not going to say it’s awesome, because that’s a word I reserve for the Grand Canyon and Eleanor Roosevelt but it comes close!”

lol!

btw, the rating thing is a revelation! As a Trekkie this is the opposite of what we’d always been told. Trek was canceled for low ratings. Nice journalistic chops getting those rating numbers! Thx!

25. Jonboc - October 27, 2013

The book is a treasure trove of behind the scenes info. I’ve been enjoying te hell out it….reading about a episode, then watching it. Great fun and worth every penny.

26. Alex Prewitt - October 27, 2013

Interesting there is no mention of David Gerrold anywhere. Seems he would be an important person to interview.

27. Buzz Cagney - October 27, 2013

What a great article. Quite brilliant.
And what a great piece of detective work finding those original ratings!
I will definitely be buying these books!

28. dswynne - October 28, 2013

I will always be a fan of Lucille Ball precisely because of her support of Star Trek.

29. Khan 2.0 - October 28, 2013

why isnt this book avaiable in the UK? its not on ebay or amazon!

i wonder if the UK will publish it at some point (Titan?)

this (and the forthcoming volumes) are the most important Trek books theres been in years

30. Nomad - October 28, 2013

Yes, sad that we can’t get it in the UK yet. Also hopefully we’ll see a paperback and/or Kindle edition. Love to read them but around $80 for all three is a lot.

31. Aurore - October 28, 2013

Many thanks for a very informative interview.

“…Gene wanted to be a modern-day Jonathan Swift. He wanted to tell controversial stories. He wanted to shock America. He wanted to make statement and change the world. Back then, the networks weren’t looking to change the world. Back then, a network wanted the least offensive material possible so that all their affiliates — whether they’re in the North or the South or the West to the East — would carry the show. They didn’t want the affiliates boycotting the show. They would lose money so they pick shows that everybody would watch across the country.

Gene wanted to do stories that were ‘rocking the boat.’ When NBC tried to bring him under control; he resisted…”

When I became aware of the show, in the mid-eighties, I thought it was one of a kind. It seemed so bold, to me…for an “old ” series…

Still, at the time, I had no idea people involved in its making had to battle the way they did in order to ( try to ) impose some storylines. To some extent, I took a lot for granted.

“… He wanted to shock America…”

And, “he ” ( amongst others ) succeeded in making a huge impression on me, from where I watched the show, quite some time after its creation, far away from the United States…

32. Trekbilly - October 28, 2013

At last check, Barnes and Noble was not stocking this book. Just FYI! I ordered mine yesterday from Amazon…

33. paustin - October 28, 2013

21. these are different interviews. To me the one at Trek Core was more of an overview, somehow this one felt more in depth

34. Ensign RedShirt - October 28, 2013

Cannot recommend this enough. The best book about the making of TOS by far. He really makes you feel like you’re there. It’s an astonishing achievement and incredible gift to hardcore TOS junkies like me. Can’t wait for the next two volumes!

35. THX-1138 - October 28, 2013

No doubt this book will soon find a place on my own bookshelves. It seems like a quality read and anything that gives me some new eyes with which to watch TOS I am all for.

Is it me or are there an inordinate number of “new” posters on this comment section, all singing it’s praises?

36. Marja - October 28, 2013

‘this is one of the best written shows ever done on television.’

Heh – Cushman must have been watching the first two seasons, and selected eps from the third, otherwise he may have thought, “Hell, I can do better than this!” ; }

I really dislike cover art, but thanks, Nancy, for the info on the book’s Amazon price; I will definitely purchase the book. I cannot say enough how much I look forward to more wit & wisdom from Bob Justman [his memos to GR were highlights of "The Making of Star Trek"] and to seeing the episodes through a new perspective!

I imagine every writer among us is envious of Cushman’s ability to take on and research this project. Would that we could have leafed through the documents along with him : )

Hee-hee I love that pic of “Balok” with a cigarette :D

37. Damian - October 28, 2013

Interesting to see that all that BS about it being cancelled for low ratings is just that, BS. NBC basically killed it by moving it around until they found a timeslot that would kill it.

Love his idea to redo the animated series. They already did that with the effects for the original series and reworking TNG, why not the animated series. CBS could probably do that pretty cheaply nowadays.

38. Keachick - October 28, 2013

The book sounds absolutely fascinating. It does seem to support my own understanding of how often things played out in those days of the 1960s. It is interesting to note that GR got a boot for telling a (fictional) story dealing with racism in the military (ref. The Lieutenant).

I suspect that, in terms of sociological history, the late 1960′s/early 1970′s, are quite significant, as well as interesting.

So, if it was not due to bad ratings, why did they cancel the series? That has always puzzled me…

39. Marja - October 28, 2013

7 CmdrR, the Amazon price is a hella lot better than the list price. I’m in the same boat, having to budget, as I’m in a pretty seasonal line of work, but now I’m really anticipating the read!

23 Quatlo, Point taken, I’ll make an effort to find those books as well. Though recalling they were both on the production side of things and were go-betweens with Roddenberry and the network and the studio, they may have a negative view b/c they had to fight for Roddenberry, and he may not have shown them the friendship/loyalty they were due. From my observations of interviews and articles over the years, I believe Roddenberry had a pretty big ego. You’d kind of have to, to push Star Trek through, wouldn’t you?

29/30 Khan/Nomad, It’s a damned shame it’s n/a in UK or other Anglophone countries! A very big audience there. Should also be translated into German ASAP. They love Trek there too.

35, THX, I wouldn’t say that – there are about 3 that I’ve noticed. Others have been in t he boards at TM from time to time.

I really enjoyed the interview; Cushman’s love for Trek clearly came through. I do wish he’d mentioned D.C. Fontana in the interview in the same breath as Gene Coon, as one of the pivotal contributors to Trek. Not only did she write some really great scripts, but she was the script editor for many. As well as Gene Coon’s, her great knowledge of story construction will be valuable to me as a writer.

And, Ah! as a repeat reader of “The Making of Star Trek” by Whitfield and Roddenberry, I really hope Cushman has put in all the writer, role, and actor info. Sounds like he has. I used to have directors and actors for each episode memorized; alas age has taken a toll. I wish to hell I still had my original copy of “The Making Of” ….. maybe I can find one at Amazon or EBay that has the good cover, not the crappy silver cover from the ’80s …

I’ll echo “Plum” on the ratings thing. A revelation indeed. That the studios didn’t like dealing with Roddenberry is telling. Networks – as opposed to cable and Netflix – really seem to prefer showrunners who accede to their every demand, especially regarding the series’ “world view” and Trek sure busted that to pieces. Roddenberry really was pretty stubborn about that, and good on him for it.

Can’t say I’m as keen as others on re-animating the Animated Series; as it was only 30 minutes/episode, stories often had to be wrapped up too quickly for the plots to evolve very well.

However, I am crazy wild about the idea of a couple more movies [I hope Cushman has inside knowledge about this : ) ] to be followed by a move of this cast to TV. And even better if Vince Gilligan could be hired on as showrunner. What a dream come true THAT would be – Cushman’s lips to God’s ear!

40. Check the Circuit - October 28, 2013

REALLY enjoyed this book. It’s a 500 page textbook! So dense with information. You could teach a class on TV production from it. The development of the writing, managing budgets, star’s egos, delegation of work, the shooting process and other production insights. The pressure to shoot a weekly television must be staggering.

GR is presented realistically, including references to the many bridges he burned and the collateral damage left in his wake. Plus the drinking and womanizing. But there’s no denying his core idea and his commitment to bringing it to life was a television game-changer.

There are so many unsung heroes in the development of Star Trek. But the greatest revelation to me was the contributions AND PERSONALITY of Bob Justman. His memos alone worth the price of the book. The guy was so good at his job. And despite the pressure he was under, he never seemed to lose his sense of humor.

At the end of the day, a great read and ultimately a great value for the money. Looking forward to the next volume.

41. Stargazer54 - October 28, 2013

I never enjoyed watching Lucile Ball as a comedic actress. Just not my cup of tea. But I will forever be grateful to her and Desilu for bringing us ST.

I had heard that she championed and defended Star Trek throughout its run but had never heard of the story that the burden of ST cost her the studio. That’s harsh in the simplest of terms. We owe her a great debt.

42. Marja - October 28, 2013

41 Indeed! God bless Lucille Ball!

43. Keachick - October 28, 2013

I always knew that Lucille Ball came in to help GR financially and by providing the studio, in order to get his Star Trek show off the ground, when GR thought all was lost. I liked her as a comedian and she clearly had good taste and judgement when it came to other television genre as well. I had no idea that she lost the studio. I thought she had sold it for a small sum because it was very old – one of the first ones to be built in Hollywood, I believe. That also helped explain the bad plumbing, as told by William Shatner in his book “Star Trek”.

RIP Lucille Ball – You were one of the great ones!

44. Shatoupee - October 28, 2013

Awesome book. Look forward to Seasons Two and Three.

45. Toonloon - October 28, 2013

33. Sorry mate, but different doesn’t make it an exclusive.

29. I imported it into the uk. Cost a lot from amazon then the post office hammered me for import taxes. It’s still a great book but the typos are embarrassing. Mr cushman’s hard work deserved a more professional realisation than this. Sometimes I’m not even sure what the sentence means because of the errors. Fortunately the book is so damn good it is easy to forgive.

46. Keachick - October 28, 2013

If memory serves, what skewered Lucille Ball financially was personal, ie DIVORCE. She and her husband, Desi Arnaz, jointly owned the studio – hence Desilu Studios. Her husband wanted his share of the money put into the studio which meant the studio went up for sale. This is where the big corporate studio, Paramount, came in. It bought the studio and lot from Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. I think that one of the conditions of sale was that the new studio owners would allow the television series to continue production.

I also clearly remember reading that, at some point, GR took out a second mortgage on his home – in order to pay the cast and crew their salaries/wages due to them (the moneywell was dry, partly because of the personal/financial crisis that Lucille Ball was facing) and to allow for some production to continue…This is where the idea of merchandising, IDIC pins etc, came about, in order to generate desperately needed cash flow.

Now, people look back at this merchandizing etc that George Lucas copied and certainly cashed in on in a big way with Star Wars *stuff* as merely greedy commercialization etc. Not at the time, though – this was someone desperately trying to stop his dream television series from going under and not getting made…

47. Ensign RedShirt - October 28, 2013

46 –

Gene never put a dime into Trek’s production. That’s not how the business worked then or now.

The merchandising you refer to – Lincoln Enterprises marketing IDIC medallions, scripts, and film clips – went solely into Gene’s pocket, often to the consternation of the cast and others involved in the series. I refer you to Shatner and Nimoy’s books regarding the production of “Is There In Truth No Beauty?” and how desperately Gene tried to wedge the IDIC medallion into the episode , despite no creative reason to do so.

Desilu went under because both Trek and Mission ran up huge deficits for a studio that was already in a precarious financial position.

48. Toonloon - October 29, 2013

46. That’s very interesting. I’ve never heard that before. Do you have sources for that?

49. Gary - October 29, 2013

Fantastic book! Bought it as soon as it was available online. Only criticism is the cover is ugly, but that is a minor quibble to an otherwise excellent tome.

50. 47 - October 29, 2013

@12. Lens Flares Suck

We live in decadent times. Since the beginning of 2000s Trek has been steadily declining parallel to the decline of audience’s interest in such things as intelligent science fiction. The new movies, as well as the baffling positive reception, only serve as a proof of that. As you said, it’s the time of vampires and the supernatural. We seem to be living in the dark ages again. “Into Darkness” was a very appropriate title.

What the studio does is of course dictated by the interest of the mass audience, and the mass audience is interested in… well, trash. The more junk there is, the better! I guess even if Trek is nowadays brought to TV there is a danger that unless it is made for dummies it may not be popular enough. I’m not sure if it’s a smart idea at this moment to attempt to bring Trek back to TV. I think we’d have to wait at least five years or even a decade. Until then… there’s a whole universe of Star Trek to explore – in books, episodes, films, etc.

These Are The Voyages seems like an interesting book. :)

51. tp3000 - October 29, 2013

Already have the book – who is the guy in the picture above in front of the Guardian? I have seen him in lots of behind the scenes pics but never seen his name????

52. Danpaine - October 29, 2013

50. 47 – October 29, 2013

Well put. I very much agree. In an age where reality shows about obsessive lunatic soccer moms and 5-year old beauty queens make big ratings, there doesn’t seem to be much of a demand for thought-provoking, intelligent sci-fi out there. I personally think the current vampire craze on TV may be burning itself out (albeit slowly), but who knows. True Blood is done next season, and the new Dracula pilot garnered only mediocre reviews.

Regarding STID, I think it was appropriate for the viewers it was aiming for.

53. Marja - October 29, 2013

52 DanPaine & 50 47, I guess as an idiot fan of Trek for 40+ years I will never reach your stratospheric standards for Star Trek. I’m really tired of you Trek “elitists” putting down the people who enjoy all Trek, including the new movies.

I don’t watch vampire movies or “reality” television and resent the implication that – to you – I must be a member of the “trash TV” audience. Because obviously, in your view, I’m one of the “dummies” who appreciate “trash-y” JJTrek for what it is. And I don’t approve of JJTrek 100%, as anyone who’s bothered to read my posts will know.

Have fun in your bitter, bitter contemplations, posting to other elitist fans, and knock yourselves out watching the only Trek you can appreciate. Oh, yeah, and putting down those whose views differ from yours. Phooey!

54. Quatlo - October 29, 2013

39: Marja – GR’s life was more than Trek. The two books I mentioned tell much about his life story and the not so good guy behavior that was the real GR. Many heroes have feet of clay so it’s not a big deal. But beware the hero status afforded by many to themselves.

47: Ensign RedShirt – You speak the reality of Lincoln Enterprises. I have a small sampling of the material they sold during the dark era. Whatever was in the GR collection boxes shown to Cushman in 1982, it had already been fleeced for all the value GR thought possible through sales of copies to fans via the Lincoln biz.

55. Robert Bernardo - October 29, 2013

Marc Cushman wrote:

> If owned Paramount, I’d take the Star Trek Animated Series, which has the voices of all the Original cast, written by all the Original writers, produced by Roddenberry and Fontana — I would take those 22 episodes and I would redo them with CGI…

Yes! I feel the same way. Redo the animation. Not necessarily CGI but animation that does not reuse the same stock footage episode after episode.

56. Jack - October 29, 2013

Who would watch a reanimated TAS? The animation wasn’t the problem — the voice acting wasn’t terrific and the music was awful.

57. Jack - October 29, 2013

Coing back to past stories isn’t the answer for Trek — at it’s heart it’s a human drama. Look at the great stories on TV right now — Trek needs that caliber of writing. As in Gravity, the tech/sci-go should be the impetus for good stories.

58. Keachick - October 29, 2013

#47 – Stop being a snot. Every era has produced trash, as you call it. Why should this one be any different? And every era has produced very good work. Why should this era be any different?

I am sick of reading this trashy garbage written by people who seek to put down people because they happen to like something that a poster like 47 does not like, nor possibly even understand.

I can’t stand the reality TV shows and most of what goes as television entertainment, but I do like Abrams Star Trek, as well as previous Trek…To use a little bad langugage – UP YOURS!

#46 Toonloon – No, unfortunately I do not have sources for that. It was something I remember reading many years ago and hope(d) it was reasonably accurate.

Anyway, it is certainly one perspective given of what went down nearly 50 years ago involving an individual who has now been dead for about 20 years.

I am not looking for a bitchfest about how bad GR could be. It was a long time ago and I doubt that some of us here were even born then and if we were around, it is likely that we were children. One thing I do note is that, despite any protestations that may have been leveled at GR by Shatner and Nimoy, I see neither actor living under a bridge crying into his hobo shopping cart. Do you?

59. Red Dead Ryan - October 29, 2013

Danpaine, 47:

Please stop with the anti-nuTrek negativity. Just because some of us here happen to enjoy the new movies doesn’t mean we are “dumb”. This is just phoney-balogney elitist nonsense on your part.

60. Jack - October 29, 2013

48. Keachick doesn’t do sources.

61. Ensign RedShirt - October 29, 2013

Keachick -

I assume that was meant for post #50, who confusingly is going by the handle “47″.

I was not bitching about Gene at all. I loved the guy and have been tremendously inspired by his creation( I work in the entertainment industry because of Trek), but there is a part of the fan base that puts him on pedestal and thinks he’s a saint. What I said about Lincoln was true and can be verified by multiple sources. Your statement that Gene took out a second mortgage on his house to keep the show afloat is incorrect. That’s not how the entertainment industry works, either in 1966 or 2013. Desilu and later Paramount were the sole benefactors of TOS. Gene had profit participation(as did Shatner) and partial ownership of the copyright through his Norway Productions, but that’s it.

62. NuFan - October 29, 2013

It’s so typical that they secretly knew it was a hit, but cancelled it anyway because they didn’t like the producer.

63. Damian - October 30, 2013

58–There does seem to be an us vs. them mentality among a lot of Trekkies. Some people here like to not just trash Abrams trek, but the fans too, and the same goes for Berman era trek.

I have no problem debating the merits/faults of each era of Trek. There are both things I liked about each era/show/movie, etc. and things I didn’t like so much, though the likes always outweight the non-likes for me.

But it gets a little grating sometimes when fans question other fans intelligence or tastes because they happen to enjoy Abrams Trek or Berman Trek.

In principle, I might agree with 50 and 52 that I don’t like reality TV, and I’m less inclined to watch movies with shaky cameras, constant lens flares, and gritty looking film. That was one thing I didn’t like about Star Trek (2009). But the story and actors more than made up for that for me. One reason I actually liked STID more than Star Trek (2009) was it appeared “cleaner.” There was less shaky cam and lens flares (I jokingly said it was Abrams on a small dose or Ritalin). There was still plenty of trademark Abrams in the film, but he was more judicious with it this time around. I didn’t leave STID with a massive headache.

64. Danpaine - October 30, 2013

I don’t see how asking for some thought-provoking, intelligent sci-fi is construed as being “elitist,” in any way, and I certainly didn’t call anybody “dumb.” And I’m certainly not bitter about nu-Trek or anything else Trek for that matter, however just feel a little shortchanged with the last film.

Jump down people’s throats much, people? I guess it’s just your way or the highway?

65. cpelc - October 30, 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ey31YCsJ5E

If this was possible in 1998 I’m sure you could almost make it photo-real cgi TAS nowadays

66. Damian - October 30, 2013

64–It tends to degenerate into that. See some of the comments on the “Unification” board to see what I mean.

67. Marja - October 30, 2013

64 DanPaine “I don’t see how asking for some thought-provoking, intelligent sci-fi is construed as being “elitist,” in any way, and I certainly didn’t call anybody “dumb.” And I’m certainly not bitter about nu-Trek or anything else Trek for that matter, however just feel a little shortchanged with the last film. Jump down people’s throats much, people? I guess it’s just your way or the highway?

Well, Dan, let’s parse a little, shall we?

#50 47 said, “We live in decadent times. Since the beginning of 2000s Trek has been steadily declining parallel to the decline of audience’s interest in such things as intelligent science fiction. The new movies, as well as the baffling positive reception, only serve as a proof of that. As you said, it’s the time of vampires and the supernatural. We seem to be living in the dark ages again. “Into Darkness” was a very appropriate title.

This assumes that viewers who enjoyed Abrams’ Trek movies are “proof” of the decline of interest in intelligent science fiction. Perhaps 47 is making a generalization which does not include those who love most forms of Trek. I don’t know. It’s not clear here.

“What the studio does is of course dictated by the interest of the mass audience, and the mass audience is interested in… well, trash. The more junk there is, the better! I guess even if Trek is nowadays brought to TV there is a danger that unless it is made for dummies it may not be popular enough.”

OK, so 47 was the one who implied we are the mass audience, dummies, who are interested in “trash” – who wouldn’t watch TV Trek because it might be too intelligent for us.

No, you, DanPaine, did not directly accuse us of stupidity, except by “agreeing” “very much” with 47′s post.

At #52 DanPaine said, “Well put. I very much agree.

If you say you very much agree, I take that to mean you agree with 47′s entire post. If you do not, please identify those parts of his post with which you do not agree and save yourself the hassle of people jumping down your throat.

In an age where reality shows about obsessive lunatic soccer moms and 5-year old beauty queens make big ratings, there doesn’t seem to be much of a demand for thought-provoking, intelligent sci-fi out there.

Perhaps I’m oversensitive to think you’re including Abrams fans in this broad swath. But we, too, enjoy thought-provoking, intelligent sci-fi. It’s why we’re Star Trek fas in the first place. Perhaps we trampled our Trek cred in the mud by enjoying Abrams’ Trek – even though some of us take exception to certain of its elisions, appropriations, and certainly, in my case, the violence.

I personally think the current vampire craze on TV may be burning itself out (albeit slowly), but who knows. True Blood is done next season, and the new Dracula pilot garnered only mediocre reviews.

“Regarding STID, I think it was appropriate for the viewers it was aiming for.

You both appear to think that viewers who like Abrams’ Trek, though we don’t worship it as we are often accused of doing, are “the viewers it was aiming for.” And what viewers would those be? Some of us are a bit sensitive, you see, because we’ve been accused of “brainless popcorn-munching uncritical consumption” of the films.

Gently and nicely yours for intelligent Trek, and intelligent discussions, I am …
Marja, an intelligent appreciator of most Star Trek.

68. Keachick - October 30, 2013

Jack – I can’t produce a source that I cannot remember. Most of what I have read about the background to Star Trek has been scant and all I can rely on is my memory, which, most of the time, has served me well so far.

I DO CLEARLY remember reading about GR taking out a second mortgage on his home around the time that TOS was being made and also about the troubles he had getting the series made.

69. Chang's Gang - October 30, 2013

Fantastic interview and I can’t wait to pick up this book! Thank you to trekmovie.com for this info.

70. falcon - October 31, 2013

Original actors voices…CGI animation…yeah, ST:TAS could be a hit again!

71. 47 - October 31, 2013

@Marja & Keachick

Who are you, the comment police?

Hey, I said what I said and I stick to that. I think there’s a lot of truth in that. Take it or leave it. You are free to disagree, but you surely are not free to police other people’s comments. You both interpreted what was said in my comment as some kind of personal insult directed at you, which it was not. I merely said what I believe we all know, namely that since the beginning of this century Star Trek was concerned more and more with pandering to the mass audience and adolescents, which, let’s be honest, prefer simplistic stuff, like boobs and fist fights. I think that’s currently the direction Star Trek is going, and I don’t think it’s good. You may think think that’s not so, but I’d have to disagree and simply say that we have to agree to disagree. But please, stop policing people what and how they will say something and with whom or with what they’ll agree or not agree.

Cheers.

72. Russell Meyers - October 31, 2013

70 – 47, I agree, the comment police and bullies here go unmoderated. It’s a shame. You keep saying what you think, and they will keep bitching about it.

Everyone has a right to express their opinion here. Some express it over and over and over again. It is their right and time to spend. To those who don’t like 47′s comments or any anti-ID comments, just skip their comments as I skip yours.

73. James - October 31, 2013

An open riposte to those who criticise the following elements in the Abrams Trek movies:

1. It’s dumb spectacle – the Enterprise cant possibly go under water – because of …science!
-TOS – the Enterprise flies around in a single celled organism (protoplasm and stuff).
-TNG- a ship the size of a village is hidden under water in Insurrection, just like in the latest movie.
-VOY – Voyager whizzes around in fluidic space.

2. Spock is breaking the prime directive by putting out the volcano in STID!
Precedent – Starfleet will try to save primitive races threatened by mass extinction. See The Paradise Syndrome for evidence.

3. STID isn’t intelligent enough…
There’s political subtext in the movies – anti drone stikes, the state of America post 911 and more. You want a really dumb action film, go watch Nemesis or First Contact.

4. There’s too much violence – fist fights and such.
Did you watch TOS! Check out Kirk’s bloody fist fight with Finnegan, or in TNG, how about Picard going mental and shooting members of his own crew.

5. I don’t like the Spock / Uhura romance.
See Charlie X

For me, STID is the most politically relevant and interesting Trek film since VI. Gene Roddenberry’s legacy is alive and well because Abrams has brought the series back to its roots.

For me, the modern films are nothing like the TNG,DS9,VOY or ENT series. They are a wagon train to the stars and they remind me of the original show. They are fun, relevant and filled with characters who are interesting.

http://ryesofthegeek.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/star-trek-into-darkness-film-review/

Note: these opinions are soley my own and do not seem to reflect large segments of fandom that wish to turn back the clock for another season of Enterprise. Honestly, ENT was OK and I’ll watch any Star Trek that is produced, heck I stuck with VOY for seven years!

The fan boy in me wants a Captain Robau series.

74. Ahmed - October 31, 2013

@73. James

“For me, the modern films are nothing like the TNG,DS9,VOY or ENT series. They are a wagon train to the stars ”

Wagon train to the stars ??? Not really, we didn’t see any new worlds. Most of the time we were on Earth. Other than that, we visited only Vulcan & the Klingon homeworld.

75. Keachick - October 31, 2013

47 – Wow – Marja pointed out very clearly pointed out why your comments were offensive. Just who are these masses you talk about? Well, we are all (even you) members of the so-called masses and as two members of the masses we take exception to your spurious comments. What makes them worse is that there is nothing at all original about them…:(

Your comments are insulting. They reflect a certain portion of the masses who repeat dull, unoriginal putdowns offered up by others in the past and the accusations made do not necessarily hold up under scrutiny any better now than they did, when they first made. Some of the same people who call these movie iterations stupid, dumbed down for the masses couldn’t get their heads around the MWI/alternate universe concept. My 14 year old got it on his first viewing. On the same note, just because they erroneously think that only certain kinds of time travel was used in previous Star Trek, that another form cannot possibly be used as well. That shows both a lack of knowledge and even more seriously, a lack of good imagination skills.

You have clearly set yourself as the comment arbiter on what is wrong with today’s masses. Well, touche…deal with it.

76. Danpaine - October 31, 2013

67. Marja – October 30, 2013

Points noted and appreciated. The only one I’ll attempt to clarify is that I didn’t mean to compare fans of say, “Toddlers In Tiaras” to JJ Trek fans, or group them one-in-the-same. The idea is pretty absurd. I find reality shows like those truly appeal to the lowest common denominator out there. We Trek fans are hardly that.

However, I still back up pretty much all of what 47 said in his original post. I think most of it rings true. My opinion, of course. Also important to keep in mind that any new Trek isn’t really aimed at (old) guys my age (46) anymore.

Perhaps we just have different likes/dislikes/expectations out of all the Trek product out there, which is fine? And honestly, it’s only good for Trek as a franchise that so many people DID love STID.

77. Frederick - October 31, 2013

I too wish they would re-do TAS with new CGI for the the whole thing! I have been saying that for several years. I wish they would go further and use music from TOS in it, the TAS music was so repetitive.

Even a couple of episodes done that way and released on DVD could serve as a test, and if successful, they could do more. Probably never happen, but Isaid that about the remastering of TOS and look what we got!

78. Keachick - October 31, 2013

#76 – “I find reality shows like those truly appeal to the lowest common denominator out there. We Trek fans are hardly that.”

How do you know who might also belong to the “lowest common denominator”? We Trek fans are hardly – what exactly?

People can like a variety of things, or not.

I would think that the studio would have been insisting that Abrams and co. make these movies to appeal to as many people as possible, of all ages, if possible. That way, more cinema seats would get filled, allowing the movies to at least get their money, and a little something as well.

Besides, I was told that “middle age” does not start until you reach your mid-fifties. Younger than that, you are still considered young(ish)… I have just embarked on being middle-aged. I’ve still a ways to go before being “old”. However, if you, Danpaine, want to see yourself as old, what can I say?

79. Danpaine - October 31, 2013

78. Keachick – October 31, 2013

I think the demographic studios are aiming for on summer tentpole films like STID is 18-35, but if someone out there has a number more definitive than that I’m not going to argue.

To be clear(er), I meant to suggest that Trek fans, to me, have always seemed on the more intelligent side. Introspective, thoughtful and optimistic, at the very least. In my humble opinion, avid viewers of “Honey Boo-Boo”…maybe not so much.

…and how old I feel depends on any given day. :)

80. Damian - October 31, 2013

73–I think people need to remember movies and TV are completely different things. For a movie, you need mass appeal. I think Abrams and his team did a good job of appealing to both the masses and Trekkies (though obviously some would beg to differ).

In a week to week TV series, you can take time to explore characters and storylines much more in depth. Each TV series spinoff did a pretty decent job, I thought, of reflecting the times they were made in. It kind of makes me laugh when people sometimes complain TNG is to 80-90ish. Duh, that’s when it was made. At that time, they were interested in appealing to the people of that time. Who knew then that in 20 years you’d be able to buy an entire season on DVD. The original series was the best of them all, but it too reflected the sensibilities of the 60′s.

Deep Space Nine probably did the best job of the spin-offs of developing its characters and overall story.

But you can’t expect the same things from a 2 hour movie that you would a week to week TV series.

A Captain Robau series would be interesting, esp. if it took place in the prime universe. What was the Kelvin’s fate in the original timeline? Hell, even a book series would be interesting since it seems CBS does not have the least interest in a new Star Trek series.

I do agree with Ahmed though. I would love if the next film had nothing to do with Earth. I mean, TMP, TVH, FC, Nemesis, Star Trek (2009) and STID all dealt with direct threats to Earth, and how many films tried variations of the TWOK theme, including the last 3 films.

Let’s get away from Earth and leave the villain at home next time.

81. Marja - October 31, 2013

#71 47,

“Who are you, the comment police?”

No. I’m a fan of intelligent and polite debate. A couple of your ideas seemed to be ones I could agree with, but because you couched them amongst insulting terms, I pretty much discounted them.

“Hey, I said what I said and I stick to that. I think there’s a lot of truth in that. Take it or leave it. You are free to disagree, but you surely are not free to police other people’s comments. You both interpreted what was said in my comment as some kind of personal insult directed at you, which it was not.”

I realize that the insult was not personally directed at individuals. No, I took it as an insult directed at fans of the new Trek movies. Since I happen to be one of that vast number [not always so well-represented on this board, I'll grant you], I kinda took it personally, yeah. What you think is what you think and I don’t think I’ll change that, and nor would I wish to. “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” I’m just expressing my personal opinion that you could say it more persuasively if you are kinder or more neutral about it.

I will agree that there is far too much emphasis on action and violence in these Star Treks, particularly in STiD, and the relentless pace does not allow much time for reflection or consideration of ideas or any of the other things Trek can do so well.

I also say what I say and I stick to that, unless persuaded otherwise by cogent opinion. That’s the spirit of debate, friend. You’re free to disagree with me too, but try to avoid insulting other fans when you disagree with them, and your arguments and comments will get through to people who may not initially agree.

“I merely said what I believe we all know …”

“We all” who? You got some mice in your pocket? I mean, I could equally say that “we all know the people who criticize Abrams Trek are all bitter elitists who want to dwell solely in the world of 1960s Trek” – but would I say it? No, because it is not true of all who criticize New Trek. Many of your group have very well-reasoned opinions about why New Trek doesn’t work for them without putting people who enjoy all Trek in the same category with “dummies.”

“… namely that since the beginning of this century Star Trek was concerned more and more with pandering to the mass audience and adolescents, which, let’s be honest, prefer simplistic stuff, like boobs and fist fights.

Does that count “Enterprise”? The only boobs I remember were T’Pol’s; Hoshi wore a regular uniform. I thought T’Pol’s costuming was ridiculous, yes. But the stories were, for the most part, quite good – and didn’t overwhelm me with technobabble.

I think that’s currently the direction Star Trek is going, and I don’t think it’s good. You may think think that’s not so, but I’d have to disagree and simply say that we have to agree to disagree.

And that’s fine with me, absolutely. I agree to disagree with you. And by the way, I don’t like some of the things newer Trek is doing.

But please, stop policing people what and how they will say something and with whom or with what they’ll agree or not agree.

But please, stop insulting a large number of Trek fans in the midst of your opinions, because for some of us, it colors everything you’re saying. NO ONE HERE is the Eminence Grise of Star Trek — not even Bob Orci! He’s gotten debated a-plenty in here. I am in favor of examining the opinions of others, and in favor of debate. When people act as if they’re the only ones who know Good Trek, others of us find it a bit insulting, especially when we’re lumped in with “dummies.”

I think we ALL believe we know what good Trek is. And some of us disagree on what makes Good Trek. What you’re saying, however, gets lost in how you say it.

So if you feel “policed” by my expressing my opinions in return for yours, so be it. I’m sorry we couldn’t have a more intelligent debate, because I agree with you in large part considering the dumbing down of so much of television. There are shows out there for people who like good writing, acting and presentation ["House of Cards" "Mad Men" "Breaking Bad" to name a few, dealing with the formulation of character and how it impacts lives], but for every one of those, there are five cities sporting “Real” Housewives. It IS sad. On that we agree.

And I count the “over-action-ing,” “under-science-ing” “under-philosophizing” and “over-violence-ing” of Star Trek as another one of those sad things. So I think we can agree on that, too. There was some intelligent character examination in STID, but many people disagree with me. As I’ve said many times, what draws me back to Trek again and again is the family, the characters, their individual characters formulated by life events and philosophy, and their discussions. Their debates.

Let us debate together, friend, in the spirit of fandom, however much we might disagree.

82. Marja - October 31, 2013

76 DanPaine, We are the oldies but goodies, Dan. I’m a fan of Trek for over 40 years :) …

Thus my love for actors [especially Nimoy], acting and so many more interests. Trek gave me a love for costume design, thanks to William Ware Theiss, a love for work humor, thanks to Bob Justman and his many funny memos to Roddenberry, a love of extensive vocabulary, thanks to Mr Spock, the idea that I could join the military, thanks to Uhura, the idea that I can always express my opinions, although I might couch them more gently that did Dr McCoy, and mostly, a love for good acting and writing and IDEAS.

The difference between First Season Kirk and Third Season Kirk [except for a few stand-out episodes in S3] points that up quite nicely.

Oh yes, also, the love of good SciFi, which expanded this lonely kid’s horizons quite a bit.

And alas, in concert with your answer to Keachick, the movie demographics for the “Summer Tentpole” [snicker] or “Blockbuster” movies is actually younger than 18-35, I think it’s more like 14 – 25? I know Bernie or another cinema expert can tell us that.

Personally I would like Trek to be released in Fall, because, like “Gravity,” it might attract a wider audience of older adults, and be more like the Trek many of us remember and treasure. I don’t think it would necessarily make huge piles of money like the summer releases do, however, thus the amped-up relentless action and violence.

83. Marja - October 31, 2013

80 Damian, Oh my, yes! I’m with you and Ahmed on let’s leave Earth and leave the villain behind!

Not sure it can happen if Trek is aiming for another Summer Blockbuster release though.

Your points about each series reflecting the times in which they were made is EXCELLENT. I think Trek of the ’60s was optimistic for the most part, because we Americans, in spite of the war in Viet Nam, were still looking forward to Kennedy’s “New Frontier” and were so invested in the Space Program! I remember the family gathering around the TV to watch each space launch, and the brave astronauts, and the love of science growing. In some aspects, though, Trek belied the advances shown by Number One and LT Uhura with the rampant sexism – but again – product of the ’60s.

Some Trek TNG episodes are almost laughable in their parenting parables and so on, very ’80s, as you say.

I am enjoying DS9 – turns out I stopped watching it around the end of Season Two – I think that’s when Voyager came out, and the first couple of seasons of that were decent, but the technobabble was a definite turn-off. DS9 is pretty damned good in comparison! And, as was probably the case in the ’90s, the aspect is a bit darker, as was the American zeitgeist. Enterprise, I think, reflected the longing of many to return to the days of our adventures in the New Frontier.

For all that the two-hour movies can’t do a lot of philosophizing, I have to give Orci & Kurtzman plenty of credit for squeezing in “family” and character and some of the realities of relationships, be they “missing the boat” as in the poignant Kirk and Spock burgeoning friendship, the futility of revenge and how it makes us devolve as people, the politics of fear and their terrible impact on the innocent.

84. Keachick - October 31, 2013

I don’t know what “Honey Boo-Boo” is, but why would the studios try to aim for a portion of the population who are simply not interested in science-fiction, irrespective of what stories might be told within that genre?

“I think the demographic studios are aiming for on summer tentpole films like STID is 18-35″

And that’s bad? The constant inference/complaint is that people within this age group belong to the lowest common denominator – whatever that means. It is also inferred that these younger people only understand movies etc that are “dumbed down” and furthermore, it is also inferred that most suffer from some form of ADHD. Really?

Most of BR Star Trek actors were under 35 when they started making the first and/or second films. Chris Pine – 28, Zachary Quinto – 31, Zoe Saldana – 30, Anton Yelchin – 21, Alice Eve – 30, Benedict Cumberbatch – 35. Every one of these actors, until recently, have belonged within that 18-35 demographic, the same demographic that so many people are keen to rubbish. Chris Pine and Anton Yelchin still belong there – Pine now 33 and Yelchin 24.

This demographic, that gets so abused on this and other sites, represent *millions of people from all walks of life, from different cultures, social and educational backgrounds and who come in all shapes and sizes.

Actually, I know that some of the regular people posting here are younger than I am, yet they insist on behaving as if they are some narrow-minded, grumpy old fart of 80 something. My apologies to William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy!

*I am referring only to those younger people living in English speaking countries and in Western Europe, where US/English culture in terms of the movies and television that are seen and appreciated by (significant) section of the European population, eg Star Trek seems to have quite a fan following in Germany.

85. Keachick - October 31, 2013

For the record, for relative newcomers like Marja -

I came to this site in June 2010 and posted my first comment in either June or July 2010. I found out that the real Trek writer, Bob Orci, came here and so I directed my first comment to him, speaking out about the gratuitous violence that the first Star Trek had in it. I wrote that I especially did not like the violence leveled at Kirk in the bar, where he was repeatedly punched in the face, as part of a primitive territorial display on the part of a redshirt cadet. I still don’t like it and even turn away when that scene comes. I asked him to tone down the violence. Obviously, Bob Orci has ignored me…:( Instead, STID increased the overall violence, especially when it came to what was meted out to James Kirk. Very sad indeed. I do feel that Bob has let me down in this respect.

Just saying…

86. Ahmed - October 31, 2013

@85. Keachick

I guess that you never watched a movie by Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher or Paul Verhoeven. Violence in the new Star Trek movies is very tame in comparison to their movies.

87. PEB - October 31, 2013

Looks like this place has kinda morphed into the old Trekweb. Interesting

88. Keachick - October 31, 2013

No, I do not think I have watched any movies made by those directors you mentioned. We do have a DVD of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs (my son found it in a Warehouse bargain bin). I could only watch past the first five minutes. I just don’t get why anyone would want to act this or put it on film, let alone, watch it. This is what constitutes my definition of obscene, as opposed to simply seeing a naked male and/or female on film.

89. Keachick - October 31, 2013

Edit: I meant to write…”I COULD NOT watch past the…”

I seem to making all kinds of spelling and other snaffus today…UGH!

90. crazydaystrom - October 31, 2013

Marja -
“And I count the “over-action-ing,” “under-science-ing” “under-philosophizing” and “over-violence-ing” of Star Trek as another one of those sad things.”

This “oldie but goodie” so agrees.

“Personally I would like Trek to be released in Fall, because, like “Gravity,” it might attract a wider audience of older adults, and be more like the Trek many of us remember and treasure. I don’t think it would necessarily make huge piles of money like the summer releases do, however, thus the amped-up relentless action and violence.”

Again, agreed.
And great points in post #83 re: DS9 ( my fave Trek series after TOS), VOY and ENT- on the money.

91. kmart - October 31, 2013

Keachick,

Your comment about Par wanting the films to appeal to everyone is true; however, that is also the same thinking that in 79 garnered TMP a G rating, something Paramount was too stupid to realize would limit their appeal a lot more than PG (even the Disney folks understood this, as they included a gratuitous bit of violence in THE BLACK HOLE to INSURE they got a PG … they probably learned that trick from George Lucas, who protested SW getting a G and got the much-preferred PG, knowing that would not scare off his core teen audience who stayed away from kid stuff.)

Aiming low ain’t always the right answer. It’s just a convenient starting point. If the discussion for EACH PROJECT doesn’t go beyond that, then the product is going to be dumbed down pretty much every time, unless the filmmaker in question can walk away from the project (or in the case of a creator, simply not agree to make the film over in the moron fashion.)

92. kmart - October 31, 2013

I didn’t see anything upthread about the to-the-best-of-my-knowledge unresolved issue about the images in Cushman’s book being ‘lifted’ from another party’s website, the other party having restored them to a higher level of quality than previously available. I’m still not buying these books just due to this issue.

93. crazydaystrom - October 31, 2013

86. Ahmed -
“@85. Keachick

I guess that you never watched a movie by Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher or Paul Verhoeven. Violence in the new Star Trek movies is very tame in comparison to their movies.”

Yep, very tame indeed. Love Big Tarantino fan and love Fincher. Verhoeven’s Robocop and Starship Troopers are my favorites of his.

88. Keachick
I absolutely LOVE Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino is not to everybody’s taste but he does have a very large following, with audiences and critics. Different strokes, to be sure.

87. PEB – October 31, 2013
“Looks like this place has kinda morphed into the old Trekweb. Interesting”

Hmm. How exactly would you say PEB?

94. Keachick - October 31, 2013

“Aiming low ain’t always the right answer.”

What does “low” mean? A younger age group? People of lower intelligence? People of lower moral integrity? People with less education than others? People on lower incomes? People of shorter stature? People who drive cars lower to the ground? People who often feel low because they suffer from clinical depression? What about the Dutch, many of whom live beLOW sea level?

My 18 year old and 20 year old, who fit right into both age groups mentioned, may feel low but they do not possess low intelligence and can actually be quite discerning and discriminating…perhaps they are exceptions, and if they are, I’m not sure that they are that exceptional.

Actually, when it comes to wanting to see noise and violence etc, the older generation appear to be as much in favour of seeing it as any person of a younger age.

95. Dswynne - October 31, 2013

Okay, so, IMO, it would have been better if Kirk did not lose command, but rather have been facing an inquiry when Khan attacked the Kelvin Memorial Library.

And I wished that Number One had made an appearance.

As for the future, there should be a villain; just not the vengeance kind.

96. Spock's Second Favorite Organ - October 31, 2013

I just got the book and can’t wait to dig into it!

But back to the most exciting thing said here, re-animating TAS, the animated series! Of all the possibilities in Star Trek, for me, that would be the single coolest thing they could do!

97. Jack - October 31, 2013

Incidentally, Ender’s Game is good. Slightly sugar-coated (the kids are all too smiley) — it would have to be (people will be bringing their kids), but good. Luckily, no child nudity.

98. Marja - November 1, 2013

84 Keachick, I think what dismays many of us ‘old farts’ … tho’ I’m only in my upper 50s … is how distracted younger people are. How distracted and busy they are, checking their “smartphones” every minute, texting constantly [there is movement afoot to ban texting while driving -- I can't believe people even DO that]. The saddest thing is seeing younger folk out to dinner together, each checking their cellphones with not a jot of eye contact.

Also, if you watch TOS you may notice how slow the “cuts” are … one actor talking … group shot … one actor’s face … slow “beats” as it were. Modern TV [and you'll notice the speed of the flickers if you step out of the room and just watch the play of light] is cut-cut-cut-cut-cut. Super-fast cuts and even momentary flashes of a face, a scene, whatever.

This is in response to distractability [and, I personally believe, contributes heavily to the rise in ADHD and possibly autism]I think it also causes distractability in the young who’ve been exposed to it their whole lives.

This is the tide of thought/distractability/pander-to-me NOW that filmmakers are swimming against, thus, if you watch some STID outside the room and compare the “beats” and “cuts” with TOS, you’ll see what I mean.

PS Believe me, you not WANT to know what “Honey BooBoo” is. If you are overcome by curiosity I suppose it’s on the web somewhere, along with “Duck Dynasty”, the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and other programs which some Americans observe to feel better about their own lives in comparison.

99. Marja - November 1, 2013

92 kmart, It would probably be good to re-state “ripped-off” author and book so that we might buy and compare. Thus the original author would make some royalties along with Mr Cushman. We can then judge for ourselves :)

I’ve seen several instances of this happening in Trek non-fiction and Trek fiction. I think it’s probably not unusual to recycle the same IDEAS. It is troubling to think that sections might’ve been lifted wholesale.

100. Curious Cadet - November 1, 2013

@82. Marja,
” I don’t think it would necessarily make huge piles of money like the summer releases do, however, thus the amped-up relentless action and violence.”

Dear sweet Marja … Whut!?

I know you detest box office debates, but Gravity has earned $369 million at the box office in less than a month, on a $100 million budget. It has not yet, or just opened in many major foreign markets. It’s less than $100 million behind STID and cost as much less to make. Gravity’s domestic gross is only 20 million behind STIDs earlier in its run. It held the number one box office for three weekends in a row, and currently at number 2 earring over a million a day. By the time it ends its run, Gravity could well make much more than STID for half it’s budget.

Gravity just goes to show what an intelligent science fiction movie released in the Fall can actually accomplish, both creatively and financially.

101. Marja - November 1, 2013

93 Daystrom, Wow, I couldn’t handle all the violence in those directors’ movies. Sadly, in order to see Trek, I have to batten down my hatches to watch.

92 kmart, Ooops, you were speaking of pictures. Don’t you think pictures would be outside of that consideration? Aren’t they taken by an official “set photographer”?

95 DSWynne, that would have been SO GREAT. All the admirals could have been convened b/c it’s a big thing, taking a ship from a captain. Number One could’ve been one of the ship commanders at the table.

Disagree on the villain thing, though. Unless it’s done in a very sophisticated way. But we’ve already had two, in two movies.

102. Curious Cadet - November 1, 2013

@97. Jack –
“Incidentally, Ender’s Game is good.”

Has it opened in the UK already?

I just checked Rotten Tomatoes and it has a 77% user rating, with over 47,000 reviews already. Not sure how that could be possible. 47K people have already seen the movie and reviewed it online?

The critics have given it a 61% review and Boxofficemojo has only predicted a $25k opening weekend, which is less than half Gravity’s, and it cost more to make.

103. Curious Cadet - November 1, 2013

@101. Marja,
” Number One could’ve been one of the ship commanders at the table.”

Who’s to say she wasn’t. I saw a dark haired woman sitting at that table.

But I presume you meant in a featured principal way. But then they would have to give her a name. She couldn’t be “Captain Number One” … Or could she?

For all of GR’s progressive thinking in making Number One a woman, he couldn’t be bothered with a name? No idignity there, haha. Well at least she had a visible rank. Hmmm. Maybe that was part of her mystique. Just like Kirk HAD to know Uhura’s first name, and the audience right along with him … Did she even have one? Maybe Uhura was the Cher or Madonna of the 23rd century!

104. crazydaystrom - November 1, 2013

98. Marja
“Modern TV… is cut-cut-cut-cut-cut. Super-fast cuts and even momentary flashes of a face, a scene, whatever.

This is in response to distractability…I think it also causes distractability in the young who’ve been exposed to it their whole lives.”

So true Marja. I’m taken by how often I see it commented that this or that film was “boring”. Evidently they’re found to be boring because they don’t have all the rapid cuts and noise that’s so in trend today. And typically it’s that teenage to twenty-nine demographic you hear so much about who feel this way. I wonder how many of them read books.

100. Curious Cadet
“Gravity just goes to show what an intelligent science fiction movie released in the Fall can actually accomplish, both creatively and financially.”

Amen and amen.
As I’ve said more than a couple of times here and elsewhere, I hold hope for the day that a Star Trek film will achieve this.

105. crazydaystrom - November 1, 2013

101. Marja
“93 Daystrom, Wow, I couldn’t handle all the violence in those directors’ movies. Sadly, in order to see Trek, I have to batten down my hatches to watch.”

What bothers me about the amped up violence it the new Treks is not the violence in and of itself but the perpetrators of that violence. Quinto’s Spock is practically a maniac compared to his older incarnation. Hopefully he’ll mature into something closer to the reserved Vulcan who defined ‘Vulcan’ for us and helped raise Star Trek to the iconic and culturally resonant status it’s held for years now. That maturity should happen to the good Captain also. And can without films becoming “boring”.

106. Damian - November 1, 2013

I can’t really say the violence in Star Trek (2009) and STID is any worse then say some of the violence seen in Star Trek VI, First Contact or Nemesis. But I’m not really one to critique violence since I’m an avid horror movie fan also (Star Trek violence is downright G-rated compared to say “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”).

105–I think this is the reality with Spock. He’ll still be logical and reserved most of the time, but I think they designed him to have a bit of a temper.

I think the Abrams team is now developing their version of Star Trek around Kirk, Spock and Uhura, character wise. Ashame, because Urban is so good as McCoy, and hopefully he’ll have a larger role in the next film like Scotty did in this (and I have to repeat what a good job they did rounding out Scotty’s character in STID–I think Orci and co. were listening to the fans on that one). But I think McCoy has been relegated to second tier (just look at the credits if you want proof–Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana). If this were a TV series, they could easily have 4 main characters, but for movies, you just don’t have the time to focus on more than 3 without diluting the story, and I think it’s clear they intend on Kirk-Spock-Uhura being the new triad in this universe.

83–It is amusing watching some TNG episodes at times. I still love TNG, I just have to remind myself when watching TNG that they were aiming for the 80′s early 90′s audience. It’s still a great show and very entertaining, and that’s the most important thing. DS9 has seemed to stand the test of time a bit better–and I’d recommend it to any nubie Trekkie. If you liked Star Trek (2009) or STID, I think you’d like DS9.

Right now, Abrams trek is the hot thing. But who knows, in 20 years people may say Star Trek (2009) or STID are so 2010ish. I’ll still love them, for me Star Trek is timeless, but the general public may have a different view.

107. Danpaine - November 1, 2013

100. Curious Cadet
“Gravity just goes to show what an intelligent science fiction movie released in the Fall can actually accomplish, both creatively and financially.”
——————-

Thank you. My points exactly. I haven’t seen Gravity yet, but am very much looking forward to it.

I find it interesting how some find Trek to be violent. By comparison to a TON of films and tv out there, it is downright tame. I have no problem with violence in film, if it’s warranted with regard to the story. Violence just for the sake of violence, no thank you. Like the “Saw” or “Hostel” movies, torture, etc… No thanks.

When Harrison/Khan crushed Marcus’ skull, for example. Marcus had wronged him and his people, so he went a little berserk on him. Warranted. IMO.

108. crazydaystrom - November 1, 2013

106. Damian
“Right now, Abrams trek is the hot thing. But who knows, in 20 years people may say Star Trek (2009) or STID are so 2010ish. I’ll still love them, for me Star Trek is timeless, but the general public may have a different view.”

We fans will still love our Trek. No doubt about that. But the latest films will eventually seem dated, the storytelling style and the look of it. And probably the storytelling before the look, m’thinks. TOS looked great for years after it was cancelled by eventually it became quaint though still beloved by us. The same pretty much for the acting and writing.

Many of us hope Star Trek will evolve beyond what it is now and what it ever has been (without losing the awesome essence of the premise, of course). Perhaps we’ll see some of that in 2016.

109. Stephan - November 1, 2013

Soon we will have our new director:

http://trekweb.com/articles/2013/11/01/Roberto-Orci-Reveals-Director-of-Star-Trek-3-Will-be-Chosen-Soon.shtml

110. kmart - November 1, 2013

99,
Not saying the text is any kind of ripoff at all.The issue is the book’s images, which may or may not have been pilfered from a website – startrekhistory.com — that specifically works on restoring faded or damaged images.

There’s a claim that the images are free for anybody to, um, use as they wish, but on an ethical level, that seems questionable. There’s also some claim that the images were not taken from that site, but the site’s watermarks on the images would argue otherwise.

Based on discussions about this on Amazon’s page, I’d guess we’ll be soon inundated with counterclaims.

111. Ahmed - November 1, 2013

@Stephan – November 1, 2013

“Soon we will have our new director:

http://trekweb.com/articles/2013/11/01/Roberto-Orci-Reveals-Director-of-Star-Trek-3-Will-be-Chosen-Soon.shtml

Thanks for the link. I hope they will pick up Rupert Wyatt or Alex Proyas.

112. Stephan - November 1, 2013

You’re welcome.

I still hope for Brad Bird. ;-)

113. Trekbilly - November 1, 2013

#111 — Proyas would be an excellent pick! Not familiar with the other guy…

114. Ahmed - November 1, 2013

@ 113. Trekbilly – November 1, 2013

“#111 — Proyas would be an excellent pick! Not familiar with the other guy…”

Rupert Wyatt is the director of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”.

I just checked his IMDB page & Star Trek 3 is listed there with the word (announced)!

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1012501/

115. Trekbilly - November 1, 2013

Rupert Wyatt would be great!

116. Danpaine - November 1, 2013

I thought Rupert Wyatt did a nice job on “Rise.” He seems to big-time respect source material, too, which is a plus. Should be interesting.

117. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - November 1, 2013

Wonderful article!

118. dmduncan - November 1, 2013

Rupert Wyatt gets my approval. I’m ready for somebody who might not have JJs whimsicality.

Regarding the thread topic: I’m looking forward to reading this. I love TOS history, and this is exactly the kind of thing I wished somebody would put together.

119. Keachick - November 1, 2013

I hate to admit in these times that I am such a technong and I do not own a cellphone. My two sons and husband have their own, even my old mum has one but not me. There will come a time when I will really wish I had one. I really do need to get myself one that is simple to use. My 11 year old daughter knows her way around this computer and often sighs, “Oh, Mum…”

It is interesting about what you are saying about the fast pace and faster cut, cut between scenes in movies such as what STID had.

I realized very quickly that I had to be paying full attention if I was going to understand, indeed even enjoy, these latest Star Trek movie iterations. The notion that I could be texting at the same time never occurred to me and would have to be really one of the daftest things anyone would do. Alas, people do it anyway. Silly me – I always thought a person goes to the cinema to WATCH and LISTEN to the movie of their choice.

I think that people have got it a little wrong. There is a certain irony, in that texting etc has come, along with the pacing up of movies in general. It is the ability to have our technology run faster, happen more quickly. One of the things that I found when I was commenting on the IMDb Star Trek (2009) message board is how often many other commentators had not discerned basic elements told within the first movie. They had either not been, would not, could not, pay full attention.

Movies can generally be understood, depending on certain other elements NOT connected with patrons being distracted by using cellphones etc when they should be simply watching and listening to the movies they (should) have paid money to see.
Facepalm moment, to be sure.

The fact that so many seem unable to switch off their phones etc for even a couple of hours is symptomatic of pathological anxiety on the part of many. Such anxiety does not lead to any real clarity or understanding of much of anything. People are overloading their minds and are being encouraged, indeed expected, to do so. Of course, for many psychologists etc – the ka-ching ka-ching sound rings out, the only sound that does seem to be loud and clear.

120. Marja the Nightfly - November 1, 2013

Rupert Wyatt FTW!!!

Hooray! [Let's hope he turns out to be the one] ;)

More later, I’m off to work soon.

121. Sarek66 - November 1, 2013

I will be getting this book. Looks great. I also have been saying for years that a reanimated Animated series would be awesome. Try and make it look as realistic as possible. Also make it an hour long series. Plus use the audio from the video games from the 90s as a 5th season. 25th anniversary edition(7episodes) Judgement Rites(8 episodes) and the unreleased Secret of Vulcan Fury (estimated between 5-8 episodes). That would be 2 full seasons of the original Star Trek and would complete the first 5 year mission. Great marketing idea for the 50th anniversary in 2016.

122. Gary 8.5 - November 2, 2013

120.Deadline is reporting that Paramount is considering Attack of The Block director Joe Cornish for Star Trek 3

123. crazydaystrom - November 2, 2013

119. Keachick
I hate to admit in these times that I am such a technong and I do not own a cellphone. My two sons and husband have their own, even my old mum has one but not me.

Funny you should say that Keachick. I got my first cellphone only three years ago myself. And that was because my mom took ill and my dad as well shortly afterwards. I lived about 30 minutes away needed to be in immediate contact with them and my sibs who all live in other cities.

I got my very first computer only six years ago and that was basically because of work. I’d been intending to get a computer and a mobilephone and a flat screen tv for awhile but tend not to jump into things and certainly don’t do things to be trendy. I more tend to let circumstances dictate non- essential choices…flow with the karmic winds, as it were.

124. MJ -- THE GRAND RETURN !!! - November 2, 2013

STAR TREK 2016 NEWS ALERT — Joe Cornish to Direct, Filming Starts next Summer.

http://collider.com/star-trek-3-joe-cornish/#more-292539

125. Disinvited - November 2, 2013

#101. Marja – November 1, 2013

I’ve referenced her work before but this new interview is a good excuse to mention it again:

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/oct/31/hollywood-new-abnormal-lynda-obst-scared-risk

“We’ve got this formula: set-piece, set-piece, blow up a city, dystopian universe, robots that do the same things. It’s not easy to make those things fresh. We’re approaching a singularity. Foreign audiences will start to reject it, too, just as they’re starting to be bored with 3D.” – Lynda Obst

126. Aurore - November 2, 2013

“We’ve got this formula: set-piece, set-piece, blow up a city, dystopian universe, robots that do the same things. It’s not easy to make those things fresh. We’re approaching a singularity. Foreign audiences will start to reject it, too, just as they’re starting to be bored with 3D.” – Lynda Obst
__________

I am curious about that interview…

Indeed ; a few weeks ago, Miss Obst practically broke my heart, so to speak, with these words :

“We can’t afford to spend the same kind of money marketing movies internationally that we spend here, so we need pre-awareness: titles and characters that are already known,” Obst told New York. International audiences love action, wild and exciting special effects that can only be created by our technology. No nuance. Not so good for so-called writing. And China won’t look at anything that isn’t 3-D, which means everything is made that way – even with domestic audiences rejecting it.”

http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/is-hollywood-model-doomed-steven-spielberg-and-george-lucas-think-so-20130815

(Thanks for the link ! )

127. Stephan - November 2, 2013

@124:

Not sure, what to think about it. Was hoping for a bigger name or at least a more experienced director. Maybe someone who did something different before. Don’t know if it’s a good thing to hire someone who did one alien invasion flick and nothing else. I prefer directors who do movies from different genres not only scifi or comic movies. What do you think?

128. Gary 8.5 - November 2, 2013

Well, THe Avengers was Joss Whedons second film, That worked out pretty well.

129. Buzz Cagney - November 3, 2013

Of way more importance than the Director is that the writers come up with a better story that they have thus far. Don’t get me wrong, character and humour they are great at, story, well, not so much.
They absolutely have to get that aspect right next time.

130. Buzz Cagney - November 3, 2013

And to reopen an old debate, should they get a Big Name on board too next time? They had decent actors so far but no particular big names.

131. Curious Cadet - November 3, 2013

@130 Buzz,

I’m not sure how it was a debate. Cast an A-list Hollywood actor. How could it hurt? George Clooney, Robert Dwney Jr., or Tom Hanks as Matt Decker. How could that be anything other than a positive? Heck get Sandra Bullock.

But skip Harrison Ford. He did not help Enders game over a dissapointing opening day.

Since Paramount seems intent on getting the teenage audience, it seems like they would want to get a young actor too, a Robert Pattinson, maybe, as the young ensign who challenges Kirk. Perhaps in a typical Orci recycling old TOS stories, and ultimate type casting, Pattinson could be the salt vampire, replacing a young redshirt on an away mission, who then wreaks havoc on the ship while they play Blanace of Terror with the Klingons.

132. Buzz Cagney - November 3, 2013

i used the word debate because its been discussed on here many times.
Tom Hanks is the name at the top of my list for sure.
Lol at the Pattinson suggestion!

133. Gary 8.5 - November 3, 2013

I dont think a big name would make that much of a difference.
Any A Lister is going to be playing a Supporting role only .

134. Buzz Cagney - November 3, 2013

How about Bruce Willis. The Enterprise is taken by a gang of crack intergalaxy criminals masquerading as terrorists who pose as freedom fighters but are actually only intent on stealing dylithium crystals to make into wedding rings.
Well, Willis beams aboard because he’s giving daughter Uhura away on her wedding to Spock. Needless to say it all gets a bit messy and there are a lot of car chases and lots- LOTS- of scenes in lift shafts and jeffries tubes.
It does sound kind of familiar, I know, but at least there are no bad guys bent on revenge or big black threatening starships!
And i’d definitely pay to watch Willis with Kirk and Spock!

135. Curious Cadet - November 3, 2013

@133 Gary 8.5,

So you consider Cumberbatch a supporting role? For my money Kirk came off as the supporting character in STID. Whether he pulls off Jack Ryan will determine how important Kirk will be in the next film.

Also, a wide general audience appealing celebrity will draw more of the audience Paramount wants into theaters. People here seem to continue under the assumption that at some Point the Supreme Court and Paramount are going to return to making Star Trek for the fans. I seriously doubt they will. its “Star Trek for bigger box office” You can bet that After Earth only made as much money as it did because Will Smith was in it. And there’s no way Gravity would have made anything like the money it did without George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.

They put in the right A lister, it will most likely be better money spent than on additional mindless big budget EFX sequences thrown in because they could, especially internationally.

136. Marja - November 3, 2013

125 Disinvited and 126 Aurore, That is heartbreaking. I guess we’re making movies for China now. Wish they could make a long version for US, and a short, action-only version for China. Judicious cutting, don’ cha’ know.

131 Curious, Yeccchhh, Pattinson. Gawd no. Oh, wait, I think you’re being totally facetious … Salt Vampire …. yeah …. LOL!

134 Buzz, Change Bruce Willis to Will Smith and we might just have a deal ;-)

135 Curious, alas, the Chinese LOVE big-budget CGI action sequences, so I guess [mournful shrug] we’ll be seeing more of this violence and action and 3D drek in movie Trek. Here’s hoping the PTB bring this Trek cast to TV in 2016, and chuck the movies … interviews with Linda Obst in recent news re: marketing movies overseas are depressing. Trek should not be a big-budget movie, not in the vein it’s been in, and should be released in holiday season, not summer.

137. Red Dead Ryan - November 3, 2013

#134.

Call it “Die Hard and Prosper”, or “Live Long and Die Hard”, perhaps?

138. Buzz Cagney - November 4, 2013

pmsl Live Long And Die Hard! awesome. Love it.

139. Adam Bomb 1701 - November 4, 2013

I knew Ralph Senensky was fired from “The Tholian Web” for falling behind schedule; that was documented in the 1988 book by Allan Asherman titled “The Star Trek Interview Book”. Senensky’s replacement, Herb Wallerstein, finished the episode in the same time as Senensky would have. So, what was the point of firing Senensky? Who, by the way, refused any credit for the episode. He did say that he shot all the fish-eye lens scenes.

140. Anthony Thompson - November 8, 2013

Quatlo, have you read the book? If not, you should read it before spouting off anymore becuse your ignorance is showing.

141. kmart - November 8, 2013

Maybe he is choosing to not read it for the same reason I’m not; because of the issue of the apparent image pilfering.
(and we’re talking about a book that in any other circumstances I’d've been lined up early for to buy and inhale.) However from the people I know who have read it, there do seem to be bits that are not exactly supported by facts that the author pushes pretty hard, like about ratings, and that’s apart from the whole needed-a-good-proofreading angle.

142. Omni - November 8, 2013

My hat is off to Marc! Bless you!

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