Nothin' but pure science fiction!
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

These are the Voyages by Marc Cusman - Star Trek book

Post new topic   Reply to topic    ALL SCI-FI Forum Index -> Sci-Fi Reference Books
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Space Sector Admiral

Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 1027
Location: Columbia,SC

PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:34 pm    Post subject: These are the Voyages by Marc Cusman - Star Trek book Reply with quote

These are the Voyages Star Trek book

Astounding Wealth of New Information About Star Trek

Access to Gene Roddenberry's private letters, script notes, and other production details including set design, casting and editing.

Hundreds of previously unpublished insights and recollections from actors, writers, directors, producers, and crew of the series.

New interview material from creator Gene Roddenberry, privately recorded before his passing and made public here for the first time.

Unique insight into genius Gene Roddenberry's creative process and instincts as he guided and shaped this ground-breaking television series.

A first-ever interview with Gene Coon, Star Trek producer and writer whose extraordinary contributions helped to define the series....

Read excerpts at link below
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Space Sector Admiral

Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 1027
Location: Columbia,SC

PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:51 pm    Post subject: These Are The Voyages Season 2 released Reply with quote

These Are The Voyages Season 2 released
by Brian Drew , Trekmovie

The eagerly awaited second volume of author Marc Cushman's exhaustive examination of the production of The Original Series, These Are The Voyages, was released this past Wednesday, and we have a closer look.

The first volume, which covered the history of the series from its earliest stages to the end of season one, was lauded by critics, fans, and cast members for it's incredible attention to detail. Leonard Nimoy himself called the book's level of research "astounding,a n incredible job".

The second volume, which covers the entirety of season two and features a forward by Walter Koenig, promises to be even more expansive than the first. According to the promotional materials the second book will cover a variety of interesting topics:

Learn why Leonard Nimoy almost didn't return for Season Two.

Explore why Lucille Ball, whose Desilu Studios had gambled big on financing Star Trek, would lose her studio in trying to keep Star Trek on the air.

Discover the real reason Gene Coon suddenly quit as series producer in the middle of Season Two.

Learn which stories by renowned science fiction masters never made it to the screen and why.

Find out which episodes almost didn't make it in front of the camera.

Read the memos from Roddenberry and his staff, and NBC, concerning all 26 episodes from Season Two.

Witness the continuing deception by the network over the show's ratings, and how the fans took on a corporate giant to save their favorite series.

A great deal of the book's research comes from Gene Roddenberry's personal collection of production notes, memos, letters, budgets and scripts, many of which are stored at UCLA.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Space Sector Admiral

Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 1027
Location: Columbia,SC

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:36 pm    Post subject: These Are The Voyages Announces Kickstarter Campaign Reply with quote

These Are The Voyages Announces Kickstarter Campaign For Volume 3

Over the past year, author Marc Cushman has released the first two volumes of what some consider the definitive history of The Original Series, These Are The Voyages. The Saturn Award-winning books, each over 600 pages, chronicle the production of Star Trek's first two seasons and make great use of Gene Roddenberry's personal collection of production notes, memos, letters, budgets and scripts, many of which are stored at the UCLA Archives. The amount of research is exhaustive, from the various script drafts of episodes, to casting, critic and fan reaction from that time, and much more, including analysis of Star Trek's Nielsen ratings, which often tell a different story than the one we've been told for the past 48 years........

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Galactic Ambassador

Joined: 27 Sep 2014
Posts: 3043
Location: New York

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep checking for these books at my local Barnes & Noble Bookstore but no luck.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Space Sector Admiral

Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 1027
Location: Columbia,SC

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they are available from the web site. Unfortunately.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Space Sector Admiral

Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 1027
Location: Columbia,SC

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:12 pm    Post subject: What Went Wrong With 3rd season Of Star Trek Reply with quote

The Truth About What Went Wrong With The Third Season Of Star Trek


The original Star Trek was a revolutionary television show... that came to an ignominous end. The classic space opera saw a huge drop in quality in its final season, and then was cancelled. Legend has it the ratings were terrible, and the new producer, Fred Freiberger, ruined it. But the truth is a bit more complicated.

The third volume in Mark Cushman's essential These Are The Voyages series of books about the making of Star Trek is out, covering the third and final season. And it's a fascinating inside look at a TV show that's coming apart at the seams, due to a variety of factors.

As with the first two volumes of the series, Cushman gives a really complete overview of the state of Star Trek at the start of the season, as well as at a few places in the middle and end of the season. There's a lot of attention to Trek's place in the zeitgeist, and how the show was actually being talked about at the time. And then he goes through episode-by-episode, exploring how the story was developed from proposal to screen.

And this volume has the most impact if you've already read volumes one and two — readers of the first two books will know just how much attention and thought went into every single Star Trek script. And how much the stories were changed, sometimes for the worse but frequently for the better. A lot of the best writing on Star Trek was actually re-writing, with a cadre that included Gene Coon, Dorothy Fontana, creator Gene Roddenberry and a few others paying intense attention to every detail and keeping the characters consistent and believable.

With the third season, all of those people are gone — except Roddenberry, who's tossing in edicts from on high, but then not sticking around to make them work.

As with the first two volumes of These Are The Voyages, Cushman goes out of his way to demolish fan lore about the show. Chiefly, the idea that Trek always got terrible ratings, and it was a miracle the show ever stayed on the air. Though Trek was moved to the Friday night "death slot," it continued to be popular for much of the third season — "Spock's Brain," the season opener, won its time slot, and the show came in second for several episodes after that.

The real villain behind Trek's cancellation: Jerry Lewis

And in fact, reading this book, you learn a surprising culprit behind the doom of Star Trek: comedian Jerry Lewis. Actually, comedy in general hurt Trek — the show lost its planned Monday 8 PM time slot because the network wanted to keep the popular Laugh-In at that time.

But in November 1968, NBC was having second thoughts about burying Trek on Friday nights at 10 PM, when few young people could watch it. (And the show was also not shown on a number of NBC stations, which chose to show the Grand Ole Opry on Friday nights instead.)

And there was an alternative. NBC was showing The Jerry Lewis Show on Tuesday in the early evening, and Lewis' show was a ratings disaster. So NBC decided to swap the two shows around, giving Trek a prime early evening slot and burying Lewis on Friday nights. But Jerry Lewis and his agents at William Morris went into what Variety called "a frenzy" at the time, and they managed to invoke a contractual clause that would cost NBC a lot of money if the show was moved, by forcing NBC to buy them out.

NBC wasn't willing to spend that much money just to pay off Jerry Lewis, so it kept the show in its prime slot, and kept Star Trek in its terrible position.

But who's to blame for the declining quality?

There's a whole lot of blame to go around for the drop-off in Star Trek's scripts in its final season. The studio was slashing the show's budget, meaning more "bottle" episodes set on board the Enterprise (while the network, meanwhile, was angrily demanding more episodes set on planets.)

The producers tried to push the show in a more adult, thoughtful direction, but ran into network interference — the behind-the-scenes story of "And the Children Shall Lead" is particularly sad. The show was originally going to be brutally bleak, with much more emphasis on mass suicide and much more psychotic, terrifying kids. But the network balked, and then the producers cast famous attorney Melvin Belli as Gorgan the evil angel, instead of hiring an actual actor.

But the usual scapegoat for the drop-off in Star Trek's quality is Fred Freiberger, who took over as producer from Gene Roddenberry. Cushman's book is certainly full of quotes from people like Leonard Nimoy and James Doohan, who placed the blame firmly on Freiberger.

Freiberger himself is quoted, from a 1991 interview, as saying "I thought the worst experience of my life was when I was shot down over Nazi Germany. A Jewish boy from the Bronx parachuted in to the middle of 80 million Nazis. Then I joined Star Trek. I was only in a prison camp for two years, but my travail with Star Trek has lasted 25 years... and counting."

But after reading Cushman's book, to the extent that a single person winds up shouldering the vast majority of the blame for Trek's drop in quality, it's creator Gene Roddenberry, who abandoned the show in a fit of pique after the network reneged on that prized Monday early evening time slot.

Roddenberry had already ordered a number of scripts for the third season (several of which turned out to be unworkable) and then made a series of impossible decisions that his replacement, Freiberger, had to live with. Roddenberry also strung producer Robert Justman along, leading Justman to believe he was going to be Roddenberry's replacement, and then let him down. It was Roddenberry who hired story editor Arthur Singer, who seemed somewhat baffled by Star Trek, and meanwhile Roddenberry didn't make much effort to keep Dorothy Fontana around, when she could have been convinced to stay on. Roddenberry kept pushing unworkable story ideas (like his prized "world where blacks enslave whites" idea.)

Most of all, Roddenberry enjoyed his antagonistic relationship with NBC, encouraging the fans to "twist the peacock's tail," and created an environment where network executives loathed Star Trek because of its creator.

And for his part, Freiberger had some good ideas for Star Trek, that he lacked either the time or the ability to implement. He wanted to develop the supporting cast further, including Chekov and Scotty. He wanted more serious, relationship-based drama, and stronger female characters — one of Freiberger's main initiatives as producer was to hire three new female writers, in addition to Margaret Armen and Dorothy Fontana.

Roddenberry was going through a bitter divorce, and was frantically trying to get a movie-writing career off the ground (doing a new version of Tarzan). And while he was neglecting Star Trek, he was also hanging Freiberger out to dry, bad-mouthing his replacement in letters to people like John W. Campbell.

There's a bizarre moment in the middle of These Are The Voyages Volume Three. One of the show's producers, Eddie Milkis, decided to go to Roddenberry's office and "nail him." Miklis recounts:

I called him, told him I wanted to come speak with him, and then I went to his office to chew his ass out and to tell him that I thought he was letting everybody down.

I went in there and I said, 'Gene, we've got tremendous script problems, and I really think Fred Freiberger could use your help."

Now, as I continue talking, out of the back of Gene's office comes Nichelle Nichols, who's wearing one of Gene's long cardigan sweaters, and NOTHING ELSE! No shirt, no pants, nothing . . .

So now Nichelle says something like, "Oh, I'm sorry, Eddie, I didn't know you were here."

I'm immediately going red and I'm completely flustered until I notice that Gene's just kind of sitting at his desk, smiling and enjoying the embarrassed look on my face.


Seeing how the sausage is made

What's fascinating, and somewhat depressing, is just how many of the mediocre-to-terrible stories in Star Trek's third year started out as brilliant story ideas. Or at the very least, stories that everybody involved thought were going to be great.

"Spock's Brain" was envisioned as a serious look at the hot-button topic of organ transplantation, for example, albeit one laced with humor. In the end, the humor got cut and the serious stuff became unintentionally funny.

Reading this book, you can actually see the stories get worse, and everybody who was excited about them become more and more depressed, as they go through rewrites and network notes.

It's also fascinating to read about the development of The Enterprise Incident, in which writer Dorothy Fontana had a huge falling out with the new production team.

Freiberger had dropped Spock's father, Sarek, from the script, and changed the Romulan commander to a woman. And it was Freiberger and Arthur Singer who decided to add Spock romancing the Romulan, although Singer wrote it as a scene where Spock says "I adore you," before "raining kisses on every square inch above her shoulder."

Fontana fired back an incensed memo, saying "We have established Vulcans do not nuzzle, kiss, hug, or display any other form of human affection . . . The Commander had jolly well be suspicious if Spock starts slobbering all over her."

Nimoy also wrote directly to Gene Roddenberry complaining about Spock's "oversexed" behavior.

The Enterprise Incident script also lost several scenes that explained just why people were able to beam from the Enterprise to the Romulan ship and back, when their shields were supposed to be up!

And this is the other interesting thing that comes through in this book. Nimoy was zealous about the integrity of Spock, and he frequently butted heads with the new producers over how the character was portrayed.

But as James Doohan put it, William Shatner put himself out there to make the show better and shoot down some of the sillier ideas in general. "Leonard was more interested in [protecting] the character of Spock. I think Bill was more interested in the series."

In the end, the only person who really believed, in his heart, that Star Trek would get a fourth season was James Doohan. He couldn't accept that such a smart, well done show would be pulled off the air.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bud Brewster
Galactic Fleet Admiral (site admin)

Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 16060
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


What a great article! Very Happy

I was astounded by the part where Nichelle Nichols walked into Gene Roddenberry's office during a meeting with the author of the article, and she was wearing absolutely nothing but Gene's sweater! Shocked

Hey . . . who knew, eh? Confused

Anyway, I know we all miss the late Bulldogtrekker, who passed away a few years ago from cancer. Sad

He was a very enthusiastic fan of this great series, and one of All Sci-Fi's most devoted members!

Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    ALL SCI-FI Forum Index -> Sci-Fi Reference Books All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group