Scott Atwell Star Trek Discussion thread (Series and Films)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Ockeghem, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    I am an occasional visitor to Trekcore and StarTrek.com; usually, I just click over to one or the other when I think of it, every few weeks and I look back over the news stories. I agree that StarTrek.com is usually just a corporate shill, but it is consequently good for merchandise info. A lot of those memos and documents were coming from the Mission Log podcast site, via Roddenberry.com as they are not officially licensed by CBS or Paramount. Their website doesn't have much of anything else, but those documents are good. A great excerpt from a late interview with (I assume) Susan Sackett was posted recently here: http://missionlogpodcast.com/discovereddocuments/s014/ (It addresses his dissatisfaction with Bread and Circuses, although his memory doesn't seem to quite explain the circumstances of the production.)

    You are so right about the TNG Enterprise model. When I went to Christie's to look at the auction merchandise, the model was there and it was amazing. It really looked as though one could look inside the windows and see the crew at work. Even close up, the detailing was most convincing. It was clear that a lot of care and time went into it, and I'm glad it's paying off now. To answer your question, I am probably not a big enough fan to need to own them all on DVD or blu-ray, but I assume that the new versions will eventually become the Netflix standard, and I would like to check them out then. (I can't view it right now, but I will look at the video you posted later!)

    How many more Scott-doing-engineering-stuff answers do you have? He is, of course, still with us in Tomorrow is Yesterday.
     
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  2. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Nelson,I used to use Trekcore, but no longer. I visit StarTrek.com every now and then, but I was put off by it recently. I rely mostly on the newsletters I get from various convention sites these days. I still use the same sites when I need images for the trivia thread, and I also receive personal letters from the Shat and Nimoy for first-hand news.
     
  3. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks for the insights on the Trek sites you visit. Yes, I didn't want to say the Paramount official site is the corporate shill, but it was what I was thinking. :)Thanks for the clarity that it's Roddenberry.com that has the Mission Logs, no wonder I couldn't find it there! I kept thinking it was on StarTrek.com. I'll check out your link.I'm jealous Lee you got to go to Christies! Of course it must have been very conveniently located for you at the time. While the Enterprise D model must have been impressive, I really felt that the Motion Picture Refit Enterprise model was the Grand Lady there! It surprised me she sold for less then the D. But I'm really glad the Refit went to, and I'm not positive, to the Sci Fi museum. Both ships did I believe. It belongs in a museum! There is a website that's bookmarked that I go to to review the model images that were taken at Christies. I've written before how unfortunate the pearlescent paint job on the Refit was painted over in subsequent films by ILM. But the photos have revealed some of the paint job survived. Wow Scott, you are that well connected to the Shat and Leonard Nimoy? That's great! :). That's interesting that there doesn't seem to be a defacto go-to Star Trek website. I'll add that Memory Alpha is a constant source for me for checking trivia questions when I compose them.
     
  4. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Regarding the trivia question, yes, Tomorrow is Yesterday is a valid answer too.To be honest, I haven't had a chance to make up the list of answers to the Scotty question. I think for sure Lee, you've won the question by listing the most answers! It feels like there's a few more to go. But I'm happy to end it and go to the next question from you Lee.No doubt though that the number of answers may have over come the times Scott was in command. In the films for sure, Scott was always hands on being the Miracle Worker.
     
  5. FanCollector

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    The movie refit still had that marvelous Matt Jeffries shape and so it was really something to see up close, but the fine detail on the TNG one was pretty breathtaking, especially considering it was designed for television.No, no, I didn't want to cut short your question. I just wondered if there were many missing because the sense I have from the answers thus far (and I hadn't considered it before) is that by the end of the series, he was doing less and less engineering stuff. By the latter half of the third season, it's really just That Which Survives. He had relatively big parts in a lot of shows, but the engineering stuff was being downplayed in favor of being in command or serving as an additional adviser to Kirk.I don't know what, if anything, that signifies, but I noticed it.
     
  6. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Lee, your observation of Scotty's role is similar to mine in that while I didn't pin point exact occurrences later on when he became less seen doing engineering tasks, I did notice it too. Which made me wonder about the times he really does get the tools out and starts work.I'm sure the D was impressive to see in person. The photos from the auction certainly show that! http://www.mutara.net/Christies/Models.htmlMy favorite section in the link above are the Refit Enterprise A and D gallery. :)
     
  7. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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  8. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Wow, thanks Scott. That's an interesting concept for a release of models. Models with a magazine as a subscription. I had not heard of this.
     
  9. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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  10. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Back to the Cushman Season 1 book, and apologies to those who have not read it yet-Lee, I read the section on The City on the Edge of Forever. It's really too had there was all that bad blood between Ellison and the writing staff and Roddenberry. It seems like Ellison should know how TV works and how stories have to be adapted to meet the needs of the Star Trek format and characters. But oh well. Interesting too was Rod Roddenberry's feelings on the incident. And DC Fontana and her desire to keep her part from being known to Ellison.The interesting bits was the DeForest Kelley suggestion! His idea, while cut, I felt telegraphed through by his performance. And then the need to try to complete the episode within some kind of budget saving way by trying to do it in 7 days. Poor Joseph Pevney having to push so hard to complete the episode in such haste. I think he did a great job as did the cast. And while I know this should be in the music thread, I was revisiting the score for Charlie X and Mudd's Women and Balance of Terror today. I listened to it a few times. What's interesting is that in listening to it, in particular, Charlie X, Fred Steiner was able to evoke so much by his unusual use of musical instruments, that sound effects were not necessary. There are tracks that were used that in watching the episode, I thought I was hearing sound effects. But it was really the score! Such as the end when Charlie is pleading to stay, that high pitch sound. Or the music we hear when Charlie is using his powers, like the laughing girl losing her face, or the chess pieces being melted. Similarly in Mudd's Women. Lots of great sounds that evoke mystery and that dreamy state.Dunning was great at melody. Stiener was great with creating sounds with music as well as memory melodies with arrangements that just fit the slight other worldliness the series needed. Alexander was great at creating exciting music for the action and music that evokes a mood. Such as Monster Illusion. :)
     
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  11. FanCollector

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    Very appropriate subject matter, as we just passed the 47th anniversary of The City on the Edge of Forever. One thing you said really made me think, and prompted a (very) little research. At the time he accepted the writing assignment for Star Trek, he had several television writing credits according to TV.com and the IMDB. (These references are far from exhaustive, so if anyone knows of additional credits from that era, please say so!) However, in terms of your observation about knowing how TV writing worked, his credits are not as relevant as they might seem.

    He did two Outer Limits and an Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Those were both anthology shows, so the idea of matching regular characters' behavior and voices (one of the big complaints from the Star Trek staff about his original script) would not have applied. He did a Ripcord episode as his first TV job. He did a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea which he chose to have credited to his pseudonym, Cordwainer Bird, indicating that he was unhappy with changes made to that script. He did four episodes of Burke's Law; Burke's Law was a guest star-driven show in which the recurring characters did participate a lot, but certainly never faced crises or changed. The trick to writing Burke's Law was setting and matching the show's tone, and his episodes did that quite well. He also wrote a Man From UNCLE earlier that year and a second Man From UNCLE right around the same time as City. Like Burke's Law, UNCLE did not go deeply into the inner lives of its regular characters. And then, The City on the Edge of Forever, in which he has the lead character face the ultimate decision of his life. I suggest, based on his earlier TV credits, that Ellison had never written anything that would have invited the kind of rewriting required for City. Maybe other producers were less invasive with free-lance scripts and maybe they weren't, but Ellison's personal experience would not really be an effective gauge to answer that question. Similarly, the other major objection to the script, which was cost, would not have been much of an issue in his earlier work either. Except for the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, his work was on a relatively standard backlot kind of canvas. And, coincidentally or not, the one script which would have required lots of newly built stuff was the one script from which he removed his name. Without realizing it, Ellison may have been overgeneralizing his earlier TV experiences and developed a false expectation (although reasonable enough from his point of view at the time) of having his script left alone just because it was, in and of itself, a "good" script.

    I was also fascinated by DeForest Kelley's suggestion that McCoy start to fall in love with Edith also. I completely agree that his performance in their scene together reflects that subtext. I think that's why it is usually so interesting to talk with actors about their work. It doesn't matter if Pevney or Ellison or the producers or even the audience thought McCoy was falling for Edith. Kelley thought it, and that had an effect on his performance. Whether or not we all agree how much comes out directly, part of the mixture that makes that scene happen is the thought behind his performance.

    About the music, I definitely think Steiner and Courage were both very gifted at using instruments to create effect-like music. It's something that sets apart the sound of the first season, I think.
     
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  12. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks for the usual thoughtful replay.As I composed my post last night, the thought had occurred that Ellison might have only done Anthologies then. He did a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea as the book says and promptly used his other name in the credit to show his displeasure. So I thought that would give him some experience. So I would agree that Ellison definitely had limited experiencing working on a show with continuing main characters. I didn't know he wrote some shows for Burke's Law. He probably liked hanging with the ladies that Amos had around. :) So while he may not have had much experiences writing outside of Anthologies, he sure was unwilling to bend to meet the producers needs.About Kelley's acting choice there, I really felt that the scene at the end added more depth to his reaction too. "He knows Doctor."I didn't mean to exclude Fried, Kaplan, Matlovsky and especially Mullendore. Now that some time has past and we've had these soundtrack sets a while, it's really cool to settle down and really analyze and listen!
     
  13. FanCollector

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    In fairness to both sides, Ellison had one key element in the script that seems to defy compromise. It is absolutely critical to his telling that Kirk is willing to stop Edith from dying. His later drafts eliminate the drug dealing crew member, which was another major sticking point, but to Ellison, Kirk can't let her die and to Roddenberry and the Star Trek staff, Kirk must let her die. They could all have been much nicer and more polite, but in the end, there was an inevitable conflict there. I wasn't slighting the other composers either, but I think only Matlovsky a little bit uses music in lieu of sound effects. The others are great, but it just wasn't something they tried much, whether by choice or directive.
     
  14. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Agreed the music from Steiner in the very early days was distinctive of the first season.I guess the compromise there for Kirk to save Edith was shown when he caught her in the stairwell. I'm going to have to review the original Ellison story at some point.
     
  15. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Nelson,Are we still working on an answer for your question? If not, whose turn is it now?
     
  16. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hi Scott. Long time since we've had any action here!Well, I think Lee did a very thorough job on the last question, so I believe it's his turn. Lee?
     
  17. FanCollector

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    I knew something had been missing from my life this week!Which Enterprise crew members receive more than one officially logged commendation or other positive citation for their records from Captain Kirk in the course of the series?
     
  18. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Interesting question Lee. So are you asking if an officer is seen or heard getting a citation more then one time by Kirk? If we go back to the beginning, we hear Kirk logging citations for Gary Mitchell and Dr. Elizabeth Dehner for giving their lives in the performance of their duties. But that was only once we hear Kirk do that for them.
     
  19. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    For starters, I hope I may include crew members cited in Space Seed. Those would be Lt. Uhura, technicians Thule and Harrison, Lt. Spinelli, and Mr. Spock. Mr. Scott is also commended at least once -- despite his temptation to intervene -- in TOS.

    Edit: Okay, I neglected to see Lee's 'more than one' proviso. Sorry about that. But I'm going to let the rest of my post stand since it includes a partial list (perhaps another one for Lee to compile?) of commendations for various crew members.
     
  20. FanCollector

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    You may include those individuals from Space Seed for whom you can find at least one more citation. As Nelson points out in his example, some crew members, like Mitchell and Dehner are not commended more than once.Edit: I just saw your edit, so you already know the above.
     

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