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Scott Atwell Star Trek Discussion thread (Series and Films)


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#8941 of 12330 OFFLINE   FanCollector

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Posted September 13 2013 - 08:40 AM

Leo Penn was a very good director. He did a lot of television, and I thought he did a good job on The Enemy Within. The shooting data in Cushman's book is useful because it shows why some good directors like Penn and Harvey Hart were not invited back in spite of doing good work.

 

I think Johnson's original ending (in which Crater survived) for The Man Trap would have added a lot more emotional weight. It would have made the creature less opportunistic and also would have made Crater seem tragic rather than gullible. At the same time, Roddenberry's added line of "A year...or was it two?" is pretty great. I liked the actors and the noir atmosphere in The Four of Us are Dying. Not a top favorite Twilight Zone, but I enjoyed it.

 

Interesting blog, Nelson. Funny that we were just discussing Spock's Brain. There are definitely a few factual errors in the Cushman book, but they aren't pervasive. I also noticed the Riley in The Man Trap claim. I watched for it when I screened The Man Trap this weekend and I didn't see him either. I did notice the two opening bridge shots from The Naked Time, especially since I never knew why they were there before reading Cushman's book.



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Posted September 13 2013 - 08:43 AM

Scott, is it Journey to Babel?



#8943 of 12330 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted September 13 2013 - 09:19 AM

"There's the shoot of the evil Kirk as he turns around in the transporter pad and he's lit from below to make him appear more evil. I wonder if that was more Leo Penn's doing."Nelson,I love that shot!  But I've wondered for quite some time how the transporter technician could not have figured out that something was a bit wrong.  And this happens more than once in The Enemy Within.  Another instance is when 'evil' Kirk is in Sickbay asking for the brandy, and Fisher tells him that his hand is all better.  One would think that seeing Kirk leaning against the wall with his hands held upward would make one suspicious.  Both Fisher and McCoy(!) seem oblivious to Kirk's unusual behavior.

 

"I also noticed the Riley in The Man Trap claim."

 

Lee,

 

Could you please elaborate a bit on this?

 

As for the trivia question, it's not Journey to Babel.  But with so few numbers this time, I had a feeling that more than one episode might / could apply.  It is possible that all of those numbers are heard in Journey to Babel.


Edited by Ockeghem, September 13 2013 - 09:19 AM.


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Posted September 13 2013 - 09:43 AM

I think the shot to which Nelson is referring occurs after the transporter is left unattended. No operator is there to notice Kirk's behavior...or the unusual lighting! And doesn't McCoy report Kirk's unusual behavior to Spock, who then thinks it was a practical joke?Cushman reports (and there is demonstrable proof of the claim) that there were a couple of shots for The Man Trap taken from the shooting of The Naked Time. The shots that open The Man Trap, covering the log entry do come from there; notice Uhura and Leslie at the helm console. These shots were added later when the editors and producers felt that the beginning of the episode was confusing and needed some narration and establishing shots. Cushman also said that another shot was included from The Naked Time, this one featuring Bruce Hyde at the console, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Nelson's link to the fact checking blog explains it with photographic evidence.I'll keep at the number puzzle.

#8945 of 12330 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted September 13 2013 - 10:10 AM

I think the shot to which Nelson is referring occurs after the transporter is left unattended. No operator is there to notice Kirk's behavior...or the unusual lighting! And doesn't McCoy report Kirk's unusual behavior to Spock, who then thinks it was a practical joke?Cushman reports (and there is demonstrable proof of the claim) that there were a couple of shots for The Man Trap taken from the shooting of The Naked Time. The shots that open The Man Trap, covering the log entry do come from there; notice Uhura and Leslie at the helm console. These shots were added later when the editors and producers felt that the beginning of the episode was confusing and needed some narration and establishing shots. Cushman also said that another shot was included from The Naked Time, this one featuring Bruce Hyde at the console, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Nelson's link to the fact checking blog explains it with photographic evidence.I'll keep at the number puzzle.

 

Lee,

 

McCoy reports Kirk's unusual behavior to Spock, but does so after the Saurian brandy request.  In other words, Kirk's odd behavior (leaning against the wall with hands upward before he has said anything to Bones) is seen in Sickbay by McCoy (and Fisher), yet none of them suspect anything (or at least they don't let on if they do).  I just found it a bit unusual that nothing was said before Kirk had a chance to make his request.

 

That's interesting information on The Man Trap and Riley.  Thanks.


Edited by Ockeghem, September 13 2013 - 10:12 AM.


#8946 of 12330 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted September 13 2013 - 11:41 AM

The Cushman book has had several delightful surprises! :)I'll be interested to see if there's any mention of why Grace Lee Whitney departed. I mean I know why, but if the records show any more info. Also it will be interesting to see what he finds for Arena and the copyright issue, and the Roddy McDowell potential casting. Plus a lot more surprises I'm sure! Don't tell me Lee! On the scene in the sickbay when Kirk demands the brandy. As Whitney attests in the book, William Shatner really is physical! He's rough with everyone as the evil Kirk! I'm always surprised by the ferocity in which he attacks McCoy and grabs his head. And the later story that Whitney recalls, makes me wonder if Kelley and Whitney were hurt or personally offended, but I'm sure they all knew it was part of the acting job.I'll remember to watch for Riley not on the bridge in The Man Trap. :)

#8947 of 12330 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted September 14 2013 - 08:18 AM

I was thinking last night about The Buffalo. In my recent Star Trek viewings, they were really just listening to the audio and not seeing the visual because it helps make the commute to work go better while listening to episodes. Star Trek is such a visual show, but it easily lends itself to a radio show like experience. But there are a ton of visual nuances you miss not watching. The way Nancy uses her hands or other body language while as Green or McCoy and others are great little bits! I'll be watching The Man Trap today with emphasis on that and what I learned in the Cushman entry. I can see now the themes he brings up. But I don't exactly agree with his concerns of Beauregard. Maybe they could have done it better, sure. But it added flavor to the ship's other unearthly aspects.

#8948 of 12330 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted September 14 2013 - 08:22 AM

Oh yeah, Cushman writes how Roddenberry hated the score for The Man Trap! After getting the soundtrack set, I can see what he means, that it's not very dynamic and very Sci-fi-ish and all that. But after all these years of seeing the episode, it's become part of the series.

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Posted September 14 2013 - 06:32 PM

I was very interested in that memo from Roddenberry about the music from The Man Trap also. More confrontational than most of his correspondence usually was. I see the virtues of some of the music to The Man Trap, but it definitely was in contrast to Roddenberry's directive about the kind of music he wanted. He must have been a little surpriseed, too, since he liked the music for The Cage so much that he sent Courage a nice note afterwards and hired him to do the second pilot and the premiere as well. I suppose he got over it, though, as he allowed Courage to be rehired almost immediately for The Naked Time.

#8950 of 12330 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted September 14 2013 - 06:37 PM

Guys,Does the Cushman book elaborate at all as to the extent of Roddenberry's musical training?  I'm curious why he believed the score not to be appropriate or adequate for that episode, and if he gave explicit musical reasons for why he held that opinion.  I had never heard this before.  (And as I mentioned to you both, I will be picking up the book once all three seasons of TOS are covered.)



#8951 of 12330 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted September 14 2013 - 06:56 PM

Funny, I just took my iPod and randomly selected an album and it has The Man Trap score! So it's playing now.I also watched The Man Trap earlier today, I had your post in mind Lee where you picked up how Nancy is more able to create a better facsimile of someone if she knows more about them. I could see that. I'm always picking up more on how her body language is similarly done with each person she copies. Her mannerisms I mean.I also finally realized Rand's line to Sulu in the botany lab. I always thought she says she brought his chay, as some kind of food. But it's tray! It made me wonder, her role sure had her serving people food and drinks a lot! Scott, as I recall, Roddenberry was specific about the music. No sci-fi sounds or that type of music. I would assume an example is the score to The Day The Earth Stood Still. It had to be more traditional sounding and exciting music. He felt the music in The Man Trap was dull and repetitive and had some of those typical sounds from sci-fi films. Lee, I'm glad he got over it too and did The Naked Time!

Edited by Nelson Au, September 14 2013 - 06:58 PM.


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Posted September 14 2013 - 06:59 PM

Feel free to ask anything until you do get them. I'm always happy to discuss the new info.I am not familiar with any special musical training Roddenberry had. He just directed all the composers to make the music sound like it belonged in any dramatic adventure story, rather than in science fiction per se. His memo does not go into any technical detail. He calls the music from The Man Trap "ethereal," "science-fiction-ish," "very, very grating," and said it "whined on and on." Not a fan, apparently...

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Posted September 15 2013 - 06:12 AM

I have to tell you guys about a dream I had last night. The subconscious really is a strange thing. I dreamed that a friend and I went to see a stage musical version of ST:TNG. My subconscious even provided lyrics and music. It was pretty bad. The memory is fading, but I recall Picard singing "Borg, allow me some dignity...". I think the melody may have been something from "Don Giovanni". You can probably tell from my profile pic that I am fond of musicals, nonetheless, yesterday I would have told you that never in the darkest recesses of my mind had I considered a Star Trek musical. Apparently, I would have been wrong!



#8954 of 12330 OFFLINE   bryan4999

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Posted September 15 2013 - 06:59 AM

I have to tell you guys about a dream I had last night. The subconscious really is a strange thing. I dreamed that a friend and I went to see a stage musical version of ST:TNG. My subconscious even provided lyrics and music. It was pretty bad. The memory is fading, but I recall Picard singing "Borg, allow me some dignity...". I think the melody may have been something from "Don Giovanni". You can probably tell from my profile pic that I am fond of musicals, nonetheless, yesterday I would have told you that never in the darkest recesses of my mind had I considered a Star Trek musical. Apparently, I would have been wrong!

 

Not that crazy; just look at what has been on Broadway the last few years. They are actually running out of movies to adapt, I think. "Legally Blonde" was really a stretch.



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Posted September 15 2013 - 09:25 AM

This could be a million dollar idea! (Would you believe half a million?)I do recall some talk of a Star Trek opera back in the '80s or '90s.

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Posted September 15 2013 - 09:38 AM

Seems other people dream also...http://io9.com/51468...-khan-the-operahttp://www.theguardi...opera-lifts-offhttp://startrekopera.com/

#8957 of 12330 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted September 15 2013 - 10:12 AM

You know, after thinking about this a bit, it occurred to me that Sir Patrick Stewart is perfectly suited for such a production! He's a trained stage actor and is capable of such a production! Perhaps it could lead into a nice new career for the TNG cast. Of course, that could appear to be biting the hand that fed them. But if it was a nice production and not parody, why not! They did stage musicals for The Thunderbirds and Forbidden Planet. On another note, I came across an article in the Star Trek Into Darkness blu ray thread that I thought was both kind of insane and disturbing.Here's the link: http://www.thewrap.c...ambitions-91766But essentially, it says that JJ Abrams was trying to set up a multi media kind of deal with Star Trek where he not only wanted to make the films, but his company would also want to develop a new TV show and do the comics and other media. The article goes on to say its a natural because Disney does exactly that and does it well for über profits.But the huge gating thing is that the Star Trek brand is now split. CBS retains the rights for the TV series as of 2006 and the characters of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest. I knew they had the TV rights, but not that they own the characters. And Paramount owns the film rights. This caused an unexpectedly frustrating situation for Abrams as he didn't have full access to the characters. What I didn't know is that CBS licenses our heroes to Paramount for the films. Plus this puts the brakes on any TV projects and other projects that Abrams wants to do with the characters. Unless he wants to play nice with CBS.What the article also says is that this has caused a split in the brand and is confusing the audience and potential dollars CBS can earn from merchandising. CBS current is raking in millions from sales of Star Trek TOS materials. And that puts a limit on what Paramount can do to market the films. They have to work with CBS to make agreements in merchandising. That might have had to do with the maddenly split bonus materials on the Into Darkness blu ray release, I don't know. If Abrams wants to do a project now with Star Trek, it's a headache. The article thinks that's why he's jumping to Star Wars. Disney is quite happy to do the kinds of deals and projects like the ones I mention above. It's all under one roof.The sad part for me, and perhaps it's because I come from the time when Star Trek wasn't the huge juggernaut it is now and during the dark days of the 1970's there was no real hope of it coming back and no one cared about it. It was great during the 80's and the resurgence the brand had. That was nice as the name Star Trek became respectable in the mainstream and no longer in the cult fan world. So it seems like its being exploited now. I never imaged a soulless conglomerate would want to have Star Trek for exploitation like it is now for mere profits and just making up stuff for the sole purpose of making junk that they hope the fans will buy up. I guess I'm imaging things like the big theme parks and how Star Wars is handled. I've never seen the parks and how it's done, I'm just imagining it. I always felt Star Trek was a cut above that. It has more to it them mindless action, such as the new films like to have. It's fine and dandy and probably the way of the future. It's the new generation and perhaps people like me have to accept that. I'm sure Gene Roddenberry would be happy to see how popular Star Trek is, but I'm guessing even his vision for it might have been over ruled and he'd be kicked out of the corporate plan. I at least hope that Rod Roddenberry is getting some cut from all this. Sorry, had to get that out there.Edit: to quote Kirk, am I standing in the way of progress? Am I being old fashioned?

Edited by Nelson Au, September 15 2013 - 10:17 AM.


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Posted September 15 2013 - 10:49 AM

I read that article when it came out. I had a similar feeling to you, although it was directed a little differently. Having seen (and admittedly bought...) some pretty silly Star Trek merchandise going back many years, I wasn't surprised at a corporate entity exploiting Star Trek for profit. That was how it was created and I have no illusions about why they kept it going. I was a little taken aback that Abrams admitted his dissatisfaction; I was surprised he would say so clearly that creating an artistic work (for profit though it may be) was only fully satisfying when it could be part of a "brand" over which he had control. Star Trek or not, that is a big thing to admit. (Would David Selznick have said, "I'm not making Gone With the Wind unless I can release all the commemorative plates I want!"?)I was also selfishly glad that CBS retained the character rights because we got some good stuff from the series that would have been stifled otherwise. For example, the soundtrack box set had a deadline of last December 31st because CBS had granted Paramount some kind of licensing moratorium deal on original Star Trek stuff for a long window around the new movie. If they had missed that deadline, it would have been another year. And if Paramount had the rights exclusively, it may not have come out at all.To be fair and honest, Gene Roddenberry was always looking for "back end" (theme lyrics, Leonard Nimoy's albums, IDIC medals, etc.), so he would certainly have understood; but at the same time, he never ever said that merchandising restrictions would keep him from working on Star Trek or making it mean something. And I don't know what the deal is for Roddenberry's kids. His original stake in the show was 26 2/3% of the profits, but it's possible he sold that out to Paramount at some point during his lifetime, as that's not an uncommon practice. Rod Roddenberry sells lots of stuff that has to be licensed, but it may be a deal like anyone else might make.

#8959 of 12330 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted September 15 2013 - 11:36 AM

Lee,

 

You are absolutely right. I know of those back end deals you speak of when Roddenberry want to make some profit fro Lincoln Enterprises with the IDIC and other things. I guess what struck me was how huge its gotten. Star Trek and everything Desilu and other production houses were out to make a profit. They weren't doing it for fun or artistic reasons alone. The level of merchandising just surprised me and in today's media markets and other venues, there's tons of avenues to go.

 

Abrams need to control a whole brand, while probably no different then what Disney is doing, for some reason I didn't see as surprising. Perhaps I didn't realize that, such as your example which made it more understandable, of Selznick wanting control of commemorative plates! I didn't get that one director could have that much control and admit to wanting to do that. It seems that a guy called Lucas did very well for himself doing that and is someone Abrams admires. :)

 

Help me understand what you said about CBS. CBS had granted Paramount a licensing moratorium deal? But who had the right to halt the Soundtrack project before the 31st of December, Paramount? Or are you saying that the Soundtrack project was done under license with Paramount and they had to beat the 31st date so that Paramount could license the movies alone? However it went down, I am glad too we got some good things!


Edited by Nelson Au, September 15 2013 - 11:39 AM.


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Posted September 15 2013 - 02:25 PM

I was joking about Selznick. I feel like Roddenberry was in that tradition of producers who certainly wanted to make as much profit as possible, but only by making good stuff. This idea of "transmedia global branding" is new and very different. You're right about Lucas, but who else thinks about it like that. Spielberg pretty clearly doesn't.Sorry I wasn't clear about the soundtrack thing. CBS made the character licensing deal with Paramount for the new movie and one aspect of that was no new Shatner etc. stuff for a certain period before the movie came out. Since CBS had to OK the soundtrack box, it was restricted to the terms of that deal and had to be out before the new year.




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