Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Inside Star Trek: The Real Story. some thoughts

  I've been re-reading the Rob Justman/Herb Solow book called Inside Star Trek: The Real Story. Here are a few things worth noting. I'll have a few more to post in another post. 

-Gene LOVED women. He really loved trying to bed them...sometimes in his office. It should be noted that there is more than a bit of sexism in his original series with a lot of the famale guest stars being portrayed as very pretty but bit of airheads. The sexism does bother me in the TOS episodes and this partly goes back to Gene's view of women. As the movies were ripped away from Gene, the women started to be written better with stronger roles.
 -Nichelle Nichols allegedly would show up to Gene's office either completely naked or only wearing a sweater. I am not making this up. Nichelle herself has admitted that she had a relationship with Gene before and during the show. Nichelle was a lovely woman and could you imagine some of the producers walking into the office and seeing this lovely woman naked waiting for Gene? 
  -Leonard Nimoy and Gene had a major falling out that was never healed even before his death. Nimoy wanted meatier scenes, and Gene felt threatened by it. Nimoy was considered a nice guy that looked out for his fellow actors...unlike Shatner. Nimoy would later go on and take control of the franchise via being a director/writer/producer. I know things got very heated when it came to development of Star Trek The Motion Picture and the Phase II stuff with Gene trying to get Nimoy back.  Nimoy wanted nothing to do with the franchise because he felt they screwed him over.
-Shatner had a huge hissy fit when a magazine did a special on Nimoy. He wasn't getting the attention and shouted and stormed out. Pure Shatner. Shatner also felt threatened by Nimoy's popularity and the producers had to deal with Shatner's ego.
-Lucille Ball , who owned the studio the show was filmed on, hated hearing stories about Gene's conquests in his office and attempted to put an end to it. It didn't happen. Ball hated men cheating on their wives and took this to heart, but nothing came of it and Gene still kept banging actresses/extras and models in his work office.
-The NBC Executive that worked with the show clashed by Gene and the other producers. By the way, he was one of the few African American Executives out there.


MC said...

The story I always think of is Nimoy having a speaking engagement which he arranged through his agent, but he needed to get off set before 5. Gene had started a agency of his own, and when Nimoy asked to go early that day, Roddenberry said he could leave early if he signed up with him.

"The difference between your agent and me is that your agent can't get you out of here at five o'clock on Friday and I can, and all it'll cost you is twenty percent."

Nimoy balked and Roddenberry then said "Well, you're just going to have to learn how to bow down and say master."

I don't think any other story I've read about Roddenberry made him look so villainous.

Semaj said...

Wow I had no idea he did that too. That's extremely low. I know that Gene fought tooth and nail for trying to get profits off of Nimoy's spoken word album which came out during the first or second season. Depsite the fact Nimoy really didn't own the rights to Star Trek.

It must have upset him that Nimoy pretty much took over Trek from him during ST3-6.

BTW, I didn't get into the other stories about Gene having sex with starlets and anyone walking pass his office could see him. And, he was cheating on his first wife and his mistress (Majel)at the same time with all these women.

MC said...

And the thing with my story is, Shatner confirms it happened that way too.

If both of them together are saying it happened, given their complicated history, I'm am fully inclined to believe that it happened exactly as they are presenting it.

I think I remember a post on here about how much better ST:TNG got when Roddenberry became less involved in it too.

Semaj said...

Roddenberry became his own worst enemy. When he left TOS during the end of S2 and most of S3, the show got progressively worst off (and Shatner's acting got more broad and stupid). One of the problems he had on that show was the NBC people interfering.

Cut to TNG, he no longer had to deal with networks anymore, but Roddenberry had changed this point of view. He wanted the show to reveal how great humanity was in the 24 century. So his characters came across as being smug “We're better than the 20th Century Earth”. Plus, it meant no conflict among the crew. He would go onto strike down anything that didn't fit his vision of TNG to the point that a lot of writers left the show the first two season.

Then, there is the whole controversy about Gene's Lawyer siting in writing meetings and striking down proposals himself for Gene. He made a lot of enemies during those two years. The writer's union had to get involved in stopping Gene's lawyer from making creative decisions.

However, Gene's health started to fail, and he started to lose control of the show. By third season, Rick Berman had more control and brought in Michael Pillar whom took the show in a more creative direction with more action and thought provoking stories without it coming across as being smug or arrogant. Picard was no longer a mouth-piece for the 24th cent but a person that had strong morals and well cultured.

By the end of the third season, things were going extremely well and the show finally got praise for its writing.

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