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Scott Atwell Star Trek Discussion thread (Series and Films)
12136 replies to this topic
Posted October 26 2013 - 04:50 PM
Did The Apple just start on the planet?
Posted October 26 2013 - 06:41 PM
The Apple does start with a shot of the ship in orbit with the fanfare, but good guess! There's no rule that you can't watch episodes to seek answers! :)Lee, I guess I'm not so surprised during the writing process of Archons or any other episode would have a change as radical as having Landru as a computer midway through development. Makes sense it could be a one line synopsis; computer controls entire society. With regards to credits for story ideas, I hadn't had a chance to really see the first season as a whole yet to even make that conclusion that Roddenberry was partial to not have credit or partial credits for episodes he heavily rewrote from a 'name' science fiction writer. That makes a lot of sense, the book does show a lot occurrences where Roddenberry really wanted that name recognition for his series to add another bit to distinguish it apart from other shows.
Posted October 28 2013 - 06:59 AM
I just saw an in depth interview with Marc Cushman has been published on Trekmovie today. I started to read it but I have to get to work! So only partly read it, I was surprised by what he said of the materials he accessed at UCLA and that a portion of it had been stolen! More surprises are coming out as he's getting some attention now with this book.I also had a busy weekend and only read the first couple of pages for the Space Seed chapter, that is proving to be very interesting and again Cushman is showing that Gene Roddenberry was the guy who took the idea and improved it by suggesting the backstory and Khan's character details to make it a stronger story. I can see he also felt Marla was under served and wanted to see her character much improved. This should be an interesting chapter to finish.
Posted October 28 2013 - 07:31 PM
Yeah, archive theft was a huge problem for a long time. Repositories finally got more careful about protecting the stuff in the last ten years or so. Not surprised that the Trek stuff was raided. Cushman did mention to me that one of the things that slowed down the research was how much was missing from UCLA.Funny that Space Seed required so much extra work by Roddenberry and Coon, and for all that, it was still ready to shoot sooner than A Taste of Armageddon!I'm a little stuck on the question. Can you tell me how many of the remaining six are episodes that do not start on a shot of the Enterprise?
Posted October 28 2013 - 09:31 PM
That's a real shame about the archives, don't people have more respect!I'll try to read the Space Seed entry tonight before commenting.Regarding the remaining answers, there is only one second season episode without the Enterprise at the start. The first season episodes, if you want a hint, are .....early ones. The third season episodes are later ones.
Posted October 29 2013 - 06:48 AM
I am finding this question quite instructive. So many more answers than I would have guessed at first!Obsession is the one that doesn't start on a shot of the Enterprise. And does Charlie X have the fanfare? I honestly don't remember either way, but it was edited much earlier than all the others except The Man Trap, so maybe they hadn't yet made the rule.
Posted October 29 2013 - 06:56 AM
Regarding Space Seed, there certainly were a lot of contributions to the script! It's interesting that they felt Wilbur had gone as far as he could with it and decided it was better they polish the story themselves and cut their loses earlier. And then Coon did several re-writes to be followed by Gene Roddenberry doing several himself and the nearly final final revision Roddenberry himself finally changes the name to Khan. I don't know how long it takes to actually rewrite a script, but it sounds like both Roddenberry and Coon were typing at light speed with the thought processes in equally speedy fashion to fine tune the stories. I can see how everyone involved wanted some credits to the script, and it made me wonder how often writers and producers go to arbitration to have their names added to a script they heavily worked on. Also given the earlier problems the effects houses had filming the miniatures, they appear to have fine tuned the process and did a fine job with the shots of the Botany Bay.It's also cool that everyone wanted Montalban for the role of Khan and how everyone involved were so pleased with the episode. And yet, I keep remembering a friend's somewhat joking comments that while he loved Space Seed and Khan, he can't help but feel that Montalban sort of over acts in some parts. I refer to the scene when Khan tells Marla: "Go, or stay. But do it because it is what you WISH to do.......Well? This grows tiresome, now you must ASK to stay" I thought those were great bits that shows just how Khan ticks and the kind of man he is because of his abilities. They didn't really talk much about that in the memos. Of course, I'm probably particularly curious about that part.I was also kind of surprised that a deleted scene was filmed between Marla and Angela Martine discussing how a crewmember wanted to ask Marla out and her disdain for a man who can't ask himself. That adds further to her character. I wonder if the footage survives. As well as an early script draft where the final lines from Kirk includes concerns that someday Khan may come back looking for them. I gather that didn't necessarily mean Kirk and crew, but to just come back to continue his conquests. That couldn't be right!
Posted October 29 2013 - 07:02 AM
Lee, correct regarding Obsession! It starts with a shot of the rock. And Charlie X is another. In the case of Charlie X, we do see the Enterprise come alongside the Antaries, while its not actually there in the original version. The music is another theme, more somber sounding.I'm glad you are finding the question instructive. The number of episodes without the fanfare at the start surprised me too!
Posted October 29 2013 - 03:45 PM
The Naked Time starts with that eerie music as the ship orbits Psi 2000, and then builds as the scene changes to the surface, right? I'm going with that one as the last of the first season examples.Coon was apparently famous for his quick writing and rewriting. Roddenberry was also known for being fast, but the popular conception seems to have been that when he wrote or rewrote a lot in a short time, the first stuff was great and the later stuff suffered.I think different shows (and producers) have different thresholds for seeking onscreen credit. A lot of times Roddenberry seems to have been satisfied with paying himself rewrite money; sometimes the credit seemed to matter. I do know that the WGA is usually averse to awarding shared credit for dialogue change, no matter how extensive. So, for example, in a case like Space Seed, Coon made major structural changes in his versions of the script, whereas Roddenberry's rewrites were less extensive, resulting in Coon sharing credit with Wilbur. But Wilbur would likely have retained shared teleplay credit even if every line of dialogue had been rewritten.I would also love to see the scene between McGivers and Angela, but I can see why they cut it. The subtext in the sickbay scene between Kirk and McGivers tells us exactly the same thing: "He's a real man who takes what he wants and 23rd century men are nice, dull guys like you who make speeches about overcoming our instinct for violence and tell women they can be whatever they want to be.""You're entitled to your opinion but you still have to do your job."Same result as the cut scene but less expositional.
Posted October 29 2013 - 07:46 PM
"You'd have made a fair psychologist"Agreed the scene with Angela and Marla is redundant, but might have been fun plus we'd see more continuity with crew persons. The Naked Time does have that eerie music during the Psi 2000 shots, but before that, there is a version of the fanfare that opens the teaser with the Enterprise in orbit.
Posted October 31 2013 - 06:57 AM
I read the Chapter on A Taste of Armegeddon. The three surprises I found from the chapter were pretty tame.It was sort of interesting that the original story idea involved a damaged Enterprise from a meteor shower requiring repairs and the help from the Eminians. I'm glad they realized the Enterprise has shields. But the realization that Mea 3 was Anan's daughter I actually liked conceptually. Kirk falling for her, I wasn't so sure would have been a good idea. But gave him motivation to intervene with the war and try to stop it since Mea's life was threatened by the comouter.It would have been cool had they had the budget to make the city as envisioned. The chapter made it more obvious the limitations of the production by highlighting that the city was just a series of corridors.But the realization that the way the scene where Anan calls the Enterprise and sounds like Kirk from a voice duplication machine was a real surprise. I also thought Anan had the ability to copy voices, but it was just a matter of not visually showing the voice duplication machine very clearly. I guess I expected the chapter to highlight or provide more discussions amongst the writers of the anti-war message in the story. But they focused on how to make the story work best structurally and how they were going to get it filmed within budget and time! it's interesting that they were more concerned how the heck they could make the filming! They all knew they had a great story.
Posted October 31 2013 - 07:02 AM
A minor hint for the final answer from the first season, if you want it.I listened to it from the Soundtraxk CDs. It is a concoction from Fred Steiner. And it's a track that I felt was confusing because it does sort of sounds like the fanfare.
Posted October 31 2013 - 07:19 AM
And another minor hint, if you want it.I've been trying to find the track from the third season on the Soundtrack CDs. I believe it's also a Steiner piece.
Posted October 31 2013 - 07:45 AM
"But the realization that Mea 3 was Anan's daughter I actually liked conceptually."
This is quite illuminating! It would make what Eminiar 7 and Vendikar have been doing for 500 years all the more powerful.
Edited by Ockeghem, October 31 2013 - 07:49 AM.
Posted October 31 2013 - 09:01 AM
If they really made Mea 3 Anan's daughter, I agree Scott it would have added another dimension to the proceedings! Not making her a love interest for Kirk was wise though. It would have possibly made it even more of a torment for Anan, with Kirk's intervention causing the possibility of real war! .Oh yeah, the other surprise as Lee has already mentioned earlier was that the rewrites that took so long to make the story filmable required they bump this episode and filmed Space Seed first. So as Cushman notes, the episode numbers are still in the order they originally planned, but in reality, they switched Space Seed ahead of Armegeddon to film, yet the DVD, Blu-Ray and books list the wrong order of production with Armegeddon listed before Space Seed.
Posted October 31 2013 - 09:21 AM
Nelson,To me, A Taste Of Armageddon always felt (and still feels) like a much earlier episode than does Space Seed. Is this your perception as well?
Posted October 31 2013 - 10:29 AM
For the World is Hollow opens with that melody from Elaan of Troyius, right? How about Mudd's Women for the first season one?The nice thing about not having Mea fall for Kirk (although Shatner and Ms. Babcock do play it in a way that seems to show some vague interest by the end) is that it makes Kirk's arguments seem more persuasive. She helps him because she thinks he is right, not because she thinks he is dreamy. Someone must have liked both ideas, though, as the daughter reveal and the romance both appear in The Mark of Gideon.You're right about the correspondence revealing a lack of dissent about the underlying message in Armageddon. In fact, the correspondence never seems to touch on the morals much. Do you suppose that reflects a lack of interest? Or just near unanimity among the creative staff? A Taste of Armageddon is, I think, the most radical political statement of the first season (maybe the series), but could it be that the producers just all agreed and didn't give it much thought beyond that? Or was everyone just in a panic trying to figure out the plot?Funny about the filming order...it wasn't a secret, as Allan Asherman revealed the filming dates almost thirty-five years ago. But neither Asherman nor anyone else made much of a big deal about it or tried to explain why the filming was reversed. (It happens again with The Gamesters of Triskelion and Obsession.) Scott, I know you are referring to a feeling (and were talking to Nelson anyway), but I am intrigued by your sense of Armageddon as feeling "earlier." After Nelson answers your question, so as not to bias the answer, could you elaborate at all on your impression?
Posted October 31 2013 - 11:32 AM
Scott,Iinteresting question! I always think of the first 6 or so episodes as early because they were still working out the kinks. By Balance of Terror the series feels very well established with the characters. So episodes like Space Seed, Armegeddon, Arena, even Miri, all feel like they are in that matured state. Though there are hints there abouts like the United Earth Space Probe Agency terms used that still show its early days. I guess the book really shows how much Coon pulled it all together in the later stages of the season, which Armegeddon and Space Seed appear. Hmmm, perhaps there's a connection there? A-ya? Ha, ha! I like the term you used Lee, Mea thinking Kirk is dreamy. . I agree there is a hint of mutual interest between Kirk and Mea in how the actors played it. The father/daughter thing has been used a lot in science fiction and Shakespeare I guess. Though you know The Tempest way better then me, I only have Forbidden Planet to hang onto as a reference. There was Droxian too and I would consider Rayna another. Based on what I am reading in the Cushman book, the lack of any mention of the anti-war statement in the memos just seems to reflect what you said, they were in a panic to figure out how to make it! It just seems a given that the producers really liked the theme of the story early on and were trying to figure out how to do it. That reminds me, it would have been fun to read what they were thinking when they created Robert Fox. Was there a conscience effort to mold him after Ferris! I wonder if Gene Lyons was around to interview. Looks like he died very young at 53 in 1974. At least David Opatoshu was quoted and liked the statement made in the episode!
Posted October 31 2013 - 11:36 AM
Lee,Sure thing. I often have these impressions when it comes to various episodes of TOS. They're neither right or wrong, of course, but they are there nevertheless.
Posted October 31 2013 - 11:41 AM
Here's a goofy way I sometimes look at early Star Trek episodes. I rarely listen to early Beatles Albums because they sound so early and simpler. So The Man Trap could be like Beatles for Sale or Meet The Beatles. And then when the series gets into the meat and Coon is taking over, we start to get stuff like Revolver and Rubber Soul. Then by Anok Time, its like Sgt. Pepper.
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