We’ve gotten some great responses to the previous William Shatner videos we posted, so here’s another one. It’s just shy of 18 years since this interview aired, but boy has television changed! You just don’t see interviewers who are as tough, prepared, and professional as Tom Snyder. He doesn’t let Shatner get away with much. But he never seems rude or hectoring. The results? A damn entertaining interview.
Archive for gene roddenberry
Why has it taken this long? In order to understand that you have to understand a little about how TNG was produced.
We were a bit puzzled about how to feature a bit of Old Time Radio that would in some way honor the 45th Anniversary of Star Trek. Then we had a brainstorm: How about an episode of the “Have Gun Will Travel” radio show, based on a script by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry? And it’s an episode with a horror element. Pretty cool, huh?
“Have Gun Will Travel” was a great TV series. But many actually prefer the radio version. We’re not sure about that. But we think it’s a great series and John Dehner is wonderful in the lead role originated by Richard Boone on TV.
Here’s another post in honor of Star Trek’s 45th Anniversary. We always felt that dry dock scene in Star Trek ’09 was inspired by seventies Star Trek cover artist Lou Feck. And we think the composite above makes that abundantly clear. That visual connection was one of the first things that got us excited about this film before release.
StarTrek.com has a fascinating article on Lincoln Enterprises. Gene Roddenberry’s first company which sold “Star Trek” merchandise directly to fans. We urge you to go and read the full article. But our favorite bit is this section on items from the catalog:
The Star Trek Interstellar – “This is it- the direct line to Star Trek!” For the low sum of $3.50 in annual dues, a fan could become a member of the official Star Trek fan club. Included in the kit were a “personalized” letter from Gene, a Federation citizenship certificate, Star Trek stationary and stickers, a membership card, and 6 issues of the official newsletter, “Inside Star Trek.” Quite a bargain!
Flight Deck Certificate – This 8 x 11” certificate came ‘signed’ by Captain Kirk and Gene Roddenberry and granted the bearer honorary membership to the USS Enterprise. Available in a standard blue version for $.50, or a deluxe version printed on parchment paper with insignia sticker and two-color ribbon for only $1.00.
Star Trek Format - This “collector’s item” is truly one of the greatest bargains in the entire catalog. For only $1.00, a fan could own the original format description that sold Star Trek to the studio. Included in this format are Roddenberry’s original descriptions of the series along with many of the original story ideas. A fascinating read even today.
Star Trek Scripts – In perhaps a television first, Gene and Majel decided to sell scripts directly through Lincoln Enterprises. These scripts were manufactured exactly as they were used in the show, all final shooting drafts with mimeographed pages and color covers. The cost per script was $5.50, or “super-fans” could order entire seasons of scripts at a discounted rate.
Film Clip Frames – Undoubtedly, the coolest piece of merchandise available in the catalog were the 35mm film clip frames. In another brilliant merchandising move, Gene took the original first print dailies from the show, cut them into individual frames, and sold them through the Lincoln catalog. The film clips were sold in sets, with each group consisting of 8 shots of the designated character or object. No two frames were alike, and some frames actually contained behind-the-scenes images and deleted sequences not seen in the televised version of the show. At only $1 per set, this was easily one of the most popular items in the catalog. A fan felt like they truly owned a piece of the show when they purchased these film clips. Although many of the items carried in the catalog would be carried for years after the show went off the air, these film frames were only available for a relatively short time due to their unique, limited nature.
Fun stuff. But not that cheap in late sixties early seventies coin. Still for fans half the fun of this catalog was reading the entries … and dreaming … ah, to be a “Star Trek” fan in those early days!
Variety announced today that Ridley Scott is teaming with the Science Channel to produce a series entitled “Prophets of Science Fiction”. The series will profile the creators of seminal science fiction books, television shows and films.
The first season will feature eight episodes. So far only three of the subjects have been announced: Isaac Asimov, Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas. The Science Channel is part of Discovery Communications.
“The Questor Tapes”, a 1974 feature-lenght TV pilot from “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry, is about to get a new lease on life. Imagine Entertainment, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s production company, announced their plans to develop the project into a series. Veteran TV and film writer Tim Minear (“Buffy,” “X-Files,”) is currently in talks to develop the project. And Gene Roddenberry’s son “Rod” will oversee the project.
But what is “The Questor Tapes”? Well, it’s the story of android who goes in search of the meaning of his existence. Fans of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” often see this pilot as a dry run for that show’s android character “Data”. And that’s fairly accurate.
However, Questor’s contemporary setting and unique back-story provide many fascinating story possibilities. Stories “Star Trek” couldn’t tell. And it could also add another chapter to Gene Roddenberry’s television legacy.