Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by wayneklein, Nov 16, 2018.
We called them artificial dog barf.
Harlan Ellison's introduction to his City... screen play is very thorough, it's around 100 pages long, and he convincingly defends himself from accusations that his script was too expensive. He was willing to re-write if necessary, in fact, when it was decided to have McCoy go crazy instead of the new character Ellison had created, Ellison wrote a new version that included a scene where McCoy was bitten by an alien/animal (about the size of a dog or cat, if memory serves), which would have been better than McCoy being such a butterfingers that he injects himself.
Hold on now...there is one very important truth in the show that I did not understand...fully...as a child but do now:
Eymorg are the givers of pain and delight.
No truer words have been spoken.
It’s interesting, ‘Turnabout Intruder’ is one of my favourites. I think Shatner is fantastic in it. A tour de force, with some scenes that were way ahead of their time.
In no order - 10 episodes I watch over and over.
1 Turnabout Intruder
2 The City On The Edge Of Forever
3 The Doomsday Machine
4 The Paradise Syndrome
5 Balance Of Terror
6 The Ultimate Computer
7 Wolf In The Fold
8 The Enemy Within
9 Mirror Mirror
10 Where No Man Has Gone Before
Today shows like Westworld, Game of Thrones, and even Star Trek: Discovery have seemingly unlimited budgets and CGI technology and could do a 90-minute episode if they feel like it.
When you think about the budgetary and technical constraints (and network censorship) under which the original Star Trek operated, it’s a minor miracle that its hit to miss ratio was so high and that the best episodes were as good as they were.
I liked Kirk reciting the "Ee Pleneesta" in the Yangs/Koms episode. That was ACTING!
Gene was pretty well known for exaggerating the truth to entertain folks and build the mythology of his involvement in the series (as if he needed to). I always thought it sad that folks like Gene L. Coon, John D.F. Black and even John Meredith Lucas never got the credit for adding to the "Star Trek" mythology (Coon created the Klingons) writer Paul Schneider (who helped create the Romulans and wrote "The Squire of Gothos" which Roddenberry used as a basis for the Q advanced race).
I don't doubt that Harlan's version would have been super expensive (it had a subplot where some members of the crew returned to the Enterprise which was much like the Mirror universe Enterprise). I agree that D.C. Fontana did a great job of making it conform to "Star Trek", work on a TV budget and streamlining the narrative. I get why Harlan would be angry however I do think that, if he had figured out a way to work with Roddenberry going forward, the series would have benefited from his ongoing contribution to the series.
My friend David Gerrold has said for years that Gene Coon was the real heart of Star Trek, because as the original producer who guided the show for the first couple of years, he added humor, romance, and several other elements that helped make it popular. Roddenberry didn't like the humor and had a much "grander," more rigid interpretation of what the show would be. It's interesting to note that the show's overall quality became less once Coon left to work on other shows elsewhere. (This is all detailed in Robert Justman's book.)
Yes, Roddenberry often noted that despite their problems, Star Trek was one of the most costly shows on NBC, and it's a testament that Desilu Productions continued to fund them and supported them throughout their run. I believe their weekly budget in 1966 was somewhere north of $270,000 (which would be about $2.1 million today). CBS revealed not too long ago that the budget for Star Trek: Discovery is $10 million per episode; Westworld hovers around $10 million-$11 million per show, and Game of Thrones is pushing $15 million per show for their last season.
according to Ellison, that subplot was added at Roddenberry's request. and that subplot was not in his original script.
I'm still a big fan of the original series. Interestingly, I have four episodes from season one, seven from season 2 and four from season 3 in my top 15 (presented chronologically):
The Naked Time
Balance of Terror
The Galileo Seven
The City on the Edge of Forever
The Doomsday Machine
Journey to Babel
The Trouble with Tribbles
The Immunity Syndrome
The Enterprise Incident
For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
The Tholian Web
All our Yesterdays
Difficult to deny "City on the Edge of Forever" as the objective "best episode". But favorite episode? I'll go off the board for "Requiem for Methuselah", a powerful piece of existentialist philosophy that I often quote ("I hold the nettles of the present. I am Flint now, with MY needs.") It spawned "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and the recent Amazon series "Homecoming", at least in my twisted way of thinking.
And my favorite scene (from "A Taste of Armageddon"):
I like the one where Kirk stole the Enterprise from the space dock and Commodore Decker tried to go after him in the Constellation.
The alien creatures in "Operation: Annihilate" were in fact fake vomit.
I like them all even the weak episodes. My top 5 in no particular order:
"A Piece Of The Action"
"Spectre Of The Gun"
"The City On The Edge Of Forever" (This could be the story for an entire motion picture!)
"Wolf In The Fold"
I can’t believe they take the most senior and important people down to unknown and possibly hostile planets. And they bring the dude with the red shirt knowing what happens to him. Odd
I’m a sucka for a love story. Don’t tell my buds
Quentin Tarantino has said that was one of his favorites and would make a great movie.
Interesting. That must be in the introduction and, if so, I had forgotten it. Kind of interesting that they also dumped it later given that it was Roddenberry's idea.
Don't say it too loud. J.J. Abrams will take it and run with it for the alt. Trek!
Jerome Bixby had an obsession with the "immortal man". He wrote a novel and screen play about it which was eventually shot as a film. Bixby was an interesting writer. He penned some terrific science fiction and fantasy scripts (he also provided the basis for the film "Fantastic Voyage", "It's a Good Life" for "Twilight Zone") over his career and contributed the script for "Mirror, Mirror" as well as two other scripts.
That was pretty impressive.
I think there was another episode where they did that as well but you are right, it was rare and a cool shot. I seem to remember that Gene L. Coon wrote the script (under Lee Erwin) as something of a joke or at least to be a humorous episode. Once he was no longer there Fred Frieberger felt that humor the way it occurred during the second season had no place in Star Trek. As I recall, D.C. Fontana made a comment about when new story editor showed up after supervising a couple of episodes. He walked over to the standing transporter set and asked one of the crew to "explain what this is for again". Clearly he didn't do his research watching the show before coming on board. There was a tone on a couple of episodes from season three where it felt that there was a formality between Kirk-Spock-McCoy-Scotty that didn't exist the previous two seasons.
I don't blame Frieberger for the fall in the quality of the show per se, I blame the fact that Roddenberry split when it came to day-to-day supervision on the show. Frieberger did some good work on "The Wild Wild West" (among others and just like Gene Coon) but not having Roddenberry there or D.C. Fontana to help guide him a bit more (and the budget cuts) kind of did the show in. Frieberger was a decent enough writer (and I have no doubt that he did some rewriting of episodes) but just wasn't someone that should have worked on "Trek". I do find it ironic that Frieberger (aka Mr. Killer of Shows as he was once dubbed) tried to bring humor to "Space:1999" a show that was devoid of it for the first season so it was the opposite of "Trek" in that regard. He ruined that show, too. He just wasn't suited to science fiction IMHO even with his other credentials.
They reminded me of those precooked meals in a pouch that you would put in a pan of boiling water before splitting it open. You would pour them over toast. They popular in the late 60's early 70's. Maybe the "Trek" folks inspired them because the meals looked about as appetizing .
Yeah. Spockboy’s stuff is fantastic. I’ve been follwing his YouTube channel for about 10 years now.
His so-called “gag reels” are very creative and I’ve linked to many of them in the past.
The one for “Shore Leave” is probably my favorite:
The gag reel for “A Piece of the Action” is another good one:
Separate names with a comma.