70s Trek: Star Trek in the 1970s

Sep 05 2019 37 mins 259

70s Trek is a fan show that explores Star Trek in the 1970s. We discuss the cast, crew, writers, the major influences and the wider culture surrounding it. Though cancelled by NBC in 1969, Star Trek was never far from the public's consciousness. It was never allowed to be! We explore how it stayed alive after cancellation and how it was resurrected to become a major motion picture in 1979.

Battlestar Galactica - Episode 138
Jul 26 2019 60 mins  
It started as an ambitious theatrical film. After performing well in theaters, Battlestar Galactica became a weekly TV series on the ABC network. But when people think of the original Battlestar Galactica, they think of it being a rip off of Star Wars, or being outdated and very stuck in the style of the 1970s. But it’s actually a ground-breaking show. It brought cinematic special effects to TV and told a story that was very unique for the time. In addition to being a unique TV experience, Battlestar Galactica also stoked the fires for more science fiction. When it was cancelled after the 1st season, there was a fan campaign to get it back on the air, which shows how loyal sci-fi fans had become. So BG kept fans excited for more sci fi, which kept the audience yearning for more when Star Trek hit the big screen. If it suffers, it’s only because it was ahead of its time. The TV production and story telling techniques of 1978 weren’t ready for a large scale show like Battlestar Galactica. Look at Ronald D. Moore’s 2003 version. While he updated it, the core of the show remained the same and the 1978 version is very much alive and well in that 2003 version. Of course, Ron Moore is a Star Trek alum from the 1990s. Another Trek alum on Battlestar Galactica was John Kolicos. In 1967, he played the first ever Klingon, Kor. And if you’re talking ties, you have to mention Jonathon Harris. Even though he wasn’t in Trek, he did play Dr. Smith on Lost in Space. In BG he lent his voice to the Cylon character Lucifer.

Star Trek...Today - Episode 130
May 17 2019 28 mins  
Since 2009 there has been three new Star Trek movies, one new series with another four reportedly in development. Yet enthusiasm for the franchise among die hard fans is low. What’s going on? We’ll explore what is going on in Star Trek today in this episode. What's Going on? When it comes to connected TV and film universes, Star Trek was the first franchise to do it. Not Marvel. But that might not happen anymore. And it all has to do with who owns Star Trek. But trying to figure out which corporate entity owns the property can get a bit confusing. And it’s been that way from the beginning. A lot of people think Gene Roddenberry and his production company Norway were the original owners. They weren’t. The original owner was Desilu Studios and in 1968 Paramount Pictures, itself owned by Gulf + Western, purchased Desilu and Star Trek along with it. In 1994, Viacom purchased Paramount for $9.75 Billion! Star Trek was still controlled and operated by Paramount, the franchise essentially had a new owner. This next fact seems unrelated, but it isn’t. In 2000, Viacom merged with CBS Corporation. Interestingly, Viacom was created by CBS back in 1952 as the network’s syndication division. Then it was called CBS Films but was later renamed Viacom. It was spun off into its own company in 1971. Back to the year 2000, and Viacom was then owned by National Amusements. The majority owner of that company was Sumner Redstone. In 2005, Redstone decided to break Viacom apart into two companies, essentially undoing the 1999 merger. The entity known as Viacom became CBS Corporation. It owned all TV and radio divisions, along with Simon and Schuster publishing. CBS would also own all of the television properties, including Star Trek. The head of the new CBS Corporation was Les Moonves. The second company created was a new version of Viacom. It held Paramount studios, MTV and BET networks. Viacom with Paramount, retains the Star Trek feature film library, and according to some, the rights to make new feature films. But the exact terms of the rights, and who can do what are not clearly known. And this is where things get a bit murky. But you needed this background to follow and understand what’s happening today.

Star Trek and The 1970s - Episode 118
Feb 01 2019 77 mins  
The tagline of 70s Trek has been, “The decade that built a franchise.” This week, we take a deep dive into the 1970s. The show has been about how Gene Roddenberry, Paramount Pictures and others worked in the 70s to bring Star Trek back. But it’s also our contention that the decade itself was a major player in Trek’s return, too. So this week, we’re talking the 70s. And that could include anything from the Vietnam War to...The James Gang! The Decade So when we think about the 1970s, it’s a mashing of images and sounds. The 70s was this great blending of clothing styles, musical styles and colors. The 70s started, obviously, where the 60s ended. So there is a carry over of what was happening in 1969. Things like The Vietnam War, protests about the war, the hippie culture, and student unrest were extended well into the 1970s. But in the 70s, it seems like a harsh dose of reality kicked in and the psychedelic 60s came to an end. There is perhaps no event that symbolizes this idea more than the Kent State shootings in May 1970. Four students were shot and killed by the Ohio National Guard after four days of riots and protests on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio. That event was such a big deal that the band Crosby, Stills Nash and Young wrote a song about it called, ”Ohio.” It was getting national airplay just two weeks after the shootings. This tragic event has been called, "The Day the 60s Died." And unfortunately, it typifies a lot of the sad events that happened during the decade. While the decade had its share of rough times, there was plenty of fun, too. Listen to this episode of 70s Trek as we explore the 1970s.

Star Trek's Bob Justman - Episode 111
Nov 30 2018 45 mins  
He is an unsung hero from The Original Series. Associate producer Bob Justman was a key figure in keeping the production side of Star Trek functioning on time ...and on budget. He came to Star Trek in 1965 and started at the beginning, working on the first pilot, The Cage. Justman stayed until 1968, working on 14 of the 24 shows in the third season. Like Gene Coon, Bob Justman had a real impact on the show while he was there. He was a major player in getting Star Trek off the ground and functioning as a production. On this episode of 70s Trek, co-hosts Bob Turner and Kelly Casto tell you about Associate Producer Bob Justman. Show Notes Robert "Bob" Harris Justman was born July 13, 1926 in Brooklyn ⁃ As a boy he really liked Science Fiction ⁃ His father Joseph Justman was in the produce business. He and his partners did very well. ⁃ In 1944, Bob signed up for the draft. He didn’t get drafted so he went to the draft board and asked why he wasn’t drafted. They said he wasn’t needed. He told them he wanted to go so they sent him the PE building in LA for a physical. He failed due to his eye sight. He protested so they sent him to Ft MacArthur to get a real physical and made it. ⁃ While Bob was in the Navy during WW II his father, Joseph, founded the Motion Picture Center studio ⁃ He rented it to Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and in 1950 they bought. The studio became part of Desilu Studios. ⁃ When Bob returned from the navy he worked at the produce firm. He didn’t get paid very well so when his dad asked him to come to LA to work in the motion picture business he decided to leave the produce firm and go to LA. ⁃ He hung around the studio for a time until his money ran out. He then went to one of the producers and asked for a job. This landed him his first job working on the film “Three Husbands” as a production assistant Justman had quite a career in film and TV as a Production Assistant and Assistant director prior to TOS ⁃ Production assistant on such films as ⁃ 1951's ⁃ The Scarf (featuring Celia Lovsky), ⁃ New Mexico (featuring Jeff Corey and John Hoyt) ⁃ M (featuring Norman Lloyd and William Schallert) ⁃ He Ran All the Way (also with Norman Lloyd), ⁃ 1952's ⁃ Japanese War Bride (with George D. Wallace), ⁃ Red Planet Mars ⁃ Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (with Leonard Mudie) ⁃ 1953's ⁃ The Moon Is Blue - made in 2 version an english version and a german version ⁃ The Moonlighter. ⁃ Assistant Director and producer ⁃ To be an assistant director you had to be in the Director’s Guild. At the time, to get in the Guild you had to be either the son of a member or be nominated by a studio which was only allowed one nomination a year. He didn’t have either but he requested to be accepted anyway. After waiting an agonizing 30 minutes for an answer the president of the Assistant Directors Counsel, Bob Aldrich, went to him, shook his hand and said, “Welcome brother” ⁃ everyone starts as a 2nd assistant director. It only took Justman about a year to become 1st assistant director which was unheard of ⁃ After Superman Justman was approached to be 1st assistant director on a series of 3 films called “The Americans” which never saw the light of day ⁃ As an assistant director, Justman worked with director Bob Aldrich on several projects. ⁃ They first worked together on the 1952-53 NBC series The Doctor, - This was his first AD job ⁃ after which they collaborated on such films as Kiss Me Deadly (1955) and ⁃ Attack (1956, featuring William Smithers). ⁃ Justman's other films where he was assistant director included; ⁃ The Big Combo (1955, featuring John Hoyt and Whit Bissell), ⁃ Blood Alley (1955, starring Paul Fix), ⁃ While the City Sleeps (1956, with Celia Lovsky) ⁃ Director - Fritz Lang ⁃ Noticed Justman looking at his set plans and Lang spent time to explain the plans to him even though Justman was the 2nd AD ⁃ This was technics that Justman used in the future ⁃ Lang had issues with John Drew Barrymore ⁃ Barrymore looked to his wife for direction instead of Lang which did not make him very happy ⁃ Green Mansions (1959, starring Nehemiah Persoff), and ⁃ 1962's Mutiny on the Bounty (featuring Antoinette Bower, Torin Thatcher and stunts by Paul Baxley). ⁃ Justman was also an assistant director on television shows such as ⁃ The Adventures of Superman (1953-58, 78 ep) ⁃ associate producer for all 78 episodes and ⁃ assistant director on the classic series during its 1954-55 season. ⁃ Justman says that George Reeves was a trooper given what he was put thru ⁃ One time the wire broke and he dropped down to the cement ⁃ Justman learned early to schedule certain shots very carefully. As an example he tells a story about how Reeves would drink his lunch so when he would do the spring-board jump out the window he sort of missed and hit his knees on the window sill ⁃ The Thin Man (1958-59, 31 ep) ⁃ Northwest Passage (1958-59, 13 ep) ⁃ Philip Marlowe (1959-60, 26 ep) ⁃ Alcoa Presents One Step Beyond (1959-1961) ⁃ Produced at the same time as the more well-known The Twilight Zone (1959) ⁃ Some stars included Cloris Leachman, Warren Beatty, Jack Lord, Christopher Lee, Elizabeth Montgomery, Donald Pleasence, and William Shatner, ⁃ Dr. Kildare (1961-66, 6 ep) ⁃ Was asked by the President of MGM TV if Justman new any composers. Justman had heard some of Jerry Goldsmith’s scores and recommended him. As we talked about in Episode XXX This was one of Goldsmith’s breakout opportunities. ⁃ Justman and Goldsmith have never met ⁃ The Outer Limits (1963-65, 20 ep) ⁃ He served as the assistant director for all 20 episodes and a Production Manager in 1964 ⁃ Appeared in the 1964 episode "A Feasibility Study" (directed by Byron Haskin, written by Joseph Stefano, and starring David Opatoshu) ⁃ Worked with Shatner on “Cold Hands, Warm Heart” (1964) ⁃ Sally Kellerman, James Dohan ⁃ Lassie (1965-66, 4 ep) ⁃ My Friend Flicka (1956-57) ⁃ While the City SleepsFritz Lang ⁃ In Oct 1964 Justman met GR at Desilu to talk to him about Associate Producer role for the first TOS pilot “The Cage”. Justman recommended Byron Haskin saying that he (Justman) did not have enough post production experience ⁃ first to call Gene Roddenberry "The Great Bird of the Galaxy," drawn from a throwaway line from the original series episode "The Man Trap" That takes us to October 1964. Gene Roddenberry was in pre-production for Star Trek’s first pilot, The Cage and he needed an associate producer. An Associate Producer’s job is to do the dirty work on a show. This person makes sure both the production and post-production phases are running smoothly for every episode. They are also responsible for making sure each episode doesn’t run over budget. So with a show as complicated as Star Trek was going to be, Gene needed an experienced hand. He asked James Goldstone who had worked with Gene on The Lieutenant if he had any suggestions. He recommended Bob Justman. Justman met with Gene for about 30 minutes and Gene offered him the job. While Justman really wanted it, he turned down Roddenberry’s offer. He felt Star Trek’s post-production needs would be great, and he was afraid he didn’t have the experience to get the job done. But they also needed an experienced assistant director. Justman was, at the time, working on The Outer Limits. But Desilu’s Executive in Charge of Production, Herb Solow, called and asked if Justman could work for Star Trek temporarily, just 6 weeks. And that was it. The deal was done and Justman came to Star Trek. Now the original position that Justman had interviewed for, associate producer, went to Byron Haskin. He was an experienced producer, but was hard to get along with. And as work started on The Cage, he and Roddenberry butted heads a lot. Rodenberry would want a certain effect on a shot, and Haskin would tell him it couldn’t be done. Period. He gave Gene no alternative ideas. Often times, Justman was in the middle of these disputes trying to nudge Haskin to come up with something Work on The Cage finished, and NBC rejected it. But invited Roddenberry to try again. When Star Trek was offered to do the second pilot, Gene asked Justman back. This time, though, he gave him the job of associate producer. Gene had had enough of Haskin. Because of the budget on the 2nd pilot, when post-production finished on it, so did Justman’s job. This was the summer of 1965. But Desilu had attracted a number of pilot projects that needed produced. So Solow decided to make Justman the associate producer on all of them. This way he could stay at Desilu and be close by if Star Trek was picked up. Some of the work he did included Desilu’s other big show, Mission Impossible. Star Trek was picked up by NBC in March 1966. And Justman’s first task was to move the starship sets from the soundstage where the 2nd pilot was shot, to a new soundstage that would be its home for the series. This was actually a monumental task. Each section had to be removed, crated and put back into place on the new soundstage in exactly the same configuration. The move resulted in some of the sets being redesigned, and reworked for the series. One of those sets was the bridge that got a big make over. As the show started production, it was Justman’s job to make sure all the little details were taken care of. Some of this work included analyzing scripts and establishing production budgets for them, Making sure production on one episode, production and post production on a 2nd were all moving forward simultaneously and on schedule. Any issues for any shows in any of these stages, were Justman’s to work out. Along with his day-to-day duties, Justman also acted in one episode of the series, though he is not creditied for it, He is the voice of a security guard in the episode Conscience of the King. He also found time to come up with a story idea. He came up with the basic story for the episode Tomorrow is Yesterday. In fact, he laid that story out in a memo to Gene on April 12, 1966. When he didn’t hear anything for 8 months, he sent a reminder to Gene about the idea. At that point, the show was hungry for scripts, so Roddenberry approved of the idea and assigned Dorothy Fontana to write the screenplay. But in his second memo, you cans ee a little of Justman’s wit. He wrote at the end, “Please let me hear from you at your earliest convenience, as otherwise I feel I shall be forced to sell this story idea to “Time Tunnel.” ” That’s just one example of Justman’s wit, and it is pretty legendary. He would often let his sarcastic sense of humor and dry wit fly in memos. An example of his humor can actually be seen in the closing credits of the show. For Herb Solow’s credit, Justman intentionally chose a picture of the Balok dummy from the Corbmite Maneuver and positioned Solow’s credit just under the glaring eyes of Balok. Justman later wrote in the Book Inside Star Trek, “I thought it a fitting tribute, as did Herb, who thanked me profusely, thereby depriving me of some heavy-duty gloating. I still have the original credit and display it in my office at home, suitably framed in the cheapest, junkiest frame I could find.” And there’s another incident that speaks to Justman’s humor. The show was shooting a script that was still being written by Roddenberry. The last shot was about to be completed, and if they didn’t get the new pages for the next scene, they would be forced to shut down production. That costs money! So Justman went to Gene’s office. Roddenberry kept writing away, and didn’t acknowledge Justman. Justman waited a few minutes and finally asked, him, “How much longer Gene?” Roddenberry ignored him and kept writing. Justman waited some more. At one point Gene looked up, thinking about something, ignored Justman, and went back to work. Justman later wrote, “He shouldn’t have done that. I climbed up onto his desk and stood there, looking down at him. ‘That’ll teach him to ignore me, I thought.” After a few minutes more, Gene finally ripped the pages free of the typewriter, finished scribbling on them, and without looking at Justman, reached up and handed them to him. Without saying anything, Justman jumped down and went to the set. This became a standard routine through the 1st and 2nd seasons of the show. Whenever Gene was still writing, Justman would jump up on his desk and wait for the pages. But there’s a little addendum to this story. There came a time when Justman tried to get in Gene’s office and the door was locked. He realized that there was an electronic latch on the door that, when Justman entered the outer office, Gene’s secretary would activate. Not to be out done, Justman waited until the secretary left on an errand. Found the switch and unlocked Gene’s door. Then without saying a word, he entered Roddenberry’s office, walked past Gene who was busy writing, and exited through another door at the other end of the office. Justman wrote, “We never discussed it, not even in later years. It was our own private joke and it helped cement an already close friendship.” The 2nd year of Star Trek was by far its best. It’s when all the right people were active in the right positions. Speaking of positions, Justman told Roddenberry at this time that he wanted to move up to a full producer’s position for Star Trek’s third season, and Gene agreed it was probably time. With the letter writing campaign at the end of the 2nd year, Star Trek’s third season was guaranteed. But it wasn’t going to go the way anyone thought it would. NBC first told Roddenberry that Star Trek would be on at 7:30 on Monday. Then it changed the position to Friday at 8:30. But, it finally settled on Fridays at 10pm, a time when Star Trek’s core audience would not be home watching TV. It was this move by NBC that prompted Roddenberry to move out of his producer role and become the Executive Producer of the show. That position is further up the chain of command, and has nothing to do with the day-to-day operations. Roddenberry had, in effect, quit Star Trek. As pre-production for the third season began, the show had no story editor. So Justman jumped in and started reading and analyzing stories and scripts. Then he would forward his thoughts to Gene. Roddenberry never responded and seldom read Justman’s reports. To make matters worse, there was no one to rewrite scripts. Justman urged Roddenberry to hire someone. Gene finally got back to him and said, “Good news Bob, Star Trek’s going to have a new producer this year.” Justman thought gene was about to say, “It’s you.” Instead, Roddenberry said, “Fred Freiberger’s coming in as our new producer…” Hustman was stunned. “Gene, I thought I would be producer.” “You will,” said Roddenberry. “You’ll be a co-producer.” The new studio, Paramount, and NBC wanted an experienced hand at the help of such a complicated show. Justman was viewed as a nuts and bolts guy, and Roddenberry didn’t fight for him. Justman’s attitude toward Star Trek never recovered. In fact the morale of the entire cast and crew began to sink. Star Trek was not a fun place to work anymore. Gene was now gone. Frieberger had to labor to understand the show. And the bulk of the daily chores fell on Justman. He later wrote, “I was alone, struggling against insuperable odds.” Without Roddenberry, the writing process was no longer about good stories. It was now just budget-driven. Justman wrote, “There were no highs and no lows---just a boring in-between…The Star Trek I knew, and was proud to be a part of, was no more.” He expressed his concerns to paramount’s head of TV, Doug Cramer. Cramer asked Justman to stay and promised him his pick of future pilots to work on if he did. Justman said he’s love to do a pilot for Cramer, but he wanted out of his contract. Paramount came back and offered more money, but that wasn’t what Justman wanted. Justman was burned out. That’s when Herb Solow called. He was now the head of MGM Television and he offered Justman a full producers job on the pilot for “Then Came Bronson.” He quit Paramount the next day and, according his own words, became persona non grata at Paramount for the next 18 years. After Star Trek, Justman went on to work on shows like Search and Man from Atlantis. In 1987, he rejoined Gene Roddenberry and others from The Original Series on Star Trek The Next Generation. He served as Supervising Producer for 17 episodes in the first season. In 1996, he and Herb Solow published their book, Inside Star Trek: The Real Story. If you haven’t read this one, it is a very captivating look at what was going on behind the scenes at Star Trek. Bob Justman died of Parkinson’s Disease in 2008.

John Dykstra - Episode 110
Nov 23 2018 31 mins  
When it comes to special effects professionals from the 1970s, two names came to mind: Douglas Trumbull and John Dykstra. When Doug Trumbull was brought in to do the effects on Star Trek The Motion Picture, he was given carte blanche to get them produced on time. To do this, he recruited a team of some of the best visual effects people in the world. That included his friend, John Dykstra. He served as the supervisor of visual effects on projects like the original Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars. In 1979 he jumped in to help create over 500 visual effects for The Motion Picture. But the workload ahead of them was considerable: They needed to create more special effects than those in Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind...combined! Of course for Dykstra to work on The Motion Picture, he had to have a pretty significant background. Silent Running Back in 1971, Trumbull was recruiting recent college grads to work with him on the film Silent Running. This was to save money due to the film’s low budget. Dykstra’s job was to film the movie's models. In 1975, George Lucas tried to get Doug Trumbull to work on his new film, Star Wars. ButTrumbull was already working on Close Encounters of the Third Kind. So he recommended Dykstra. While working on that film, Dykstra developed a new computer controlled camera system for the visual effects, the first of its kind, ever! However, Lucas saw Dykstra's development work as tinkering, and not focusing on the shots he needed produced for his movie. When Lucas finished principle photography, he dismissed Dykstra. Battlestar Galactica From there, Dykstra was hired to do the visual effects for the three-hour premiere for Battlestar Galactica. While the effects are impressive and ground-breaking, 20th Century Fox filed suit against Universal, claiming that Battlestar was plagiarized from Star Wars. They argued that the TV show had similar design style and visual effects. The suit was eventually settled out of court.

Post Production on The Motion Picture - Episode 108
Nov 09 2018 31 mins  
Principal photography wrapped on Star Trek The Motion Picture on January 26, 1979. Most of the cast and crew headed off to other work. But director Robert Wise and those working on the film’s post production stayed on the job. They had less than 11 months to get the film ready. The Final Shot The last scene shot for the film was the one that saw Decker and the Ilia-probe merge. The lighting for this shot was so bright that actors Stephen Collins and Persis Khambatta both complained about vision problems the following day. Of course, their vision did eventually clear. When that shot was complete, everyone went home and director Robert Wise went on a short vacation. When he returned, it was time to start editing. They had a lot to do in a short period of time because of delays. Visuals Were Behind the Eight Ball Production on the film had run over schedule. On top of that, the visual effects were essentially non-existent. Abel and Associates, the company contracted to create the film's visual effects, had accomplished very little by the end of January 1979. That firm was fired and Douglas Trumbull was brought in. He had 500 special effects shots to create and only six months to do them. We cover Trumbull and the visual effects in Episode 102 of 70s Trek. Music Another area that needed completed was the musical score. Composer Jerry Goldsmith had been hired to create the soundtrack. It proved so complicated, though, that Goldsmith was still recording music on December 1, just five days before the premiere. Editing Of course, the film needed to be edited. Todd Ramsay had been piecing together shots since production started in August 1978. But as the production on the visual effects and the musical score dragged on, it pushed the editing of the film back further. By the fall of '79, it became obvious that there would not be enough time for a preview of the movie. So as the final elements were added the film had to be copied for the over 3,000 theaters that were to show it around the country. Shipping Rows upon rows of film canisters sat on the floor of a MGM sound stage waiting for the final reel to come out of the developer so they could all be shipped. The Motion Picture did arrive in theaters on time, but director Bob Wise didn't think of this version as a final cut. He felt that things had been rushed so much that the film that went out was really just a rough cut.

Star Trek's Douglas Trumbull - Episode 102
Sep 21 2018 41 mins  
In 1979, visual effects supervisor Doug Trumbull walked into an impossible situation on The Motion Picture and completely turned it around. Douglas Trumbull It’s fair to say that when you think about visual effects from the 1970s, two names come to mind: John Dykstra and Doug Trumbull. During the 1960s and 70s, Trumbull developed an impressive resume. When he finally came to Star Trek in 1979, he had worked on four of the biggest sci-fi movies in the previous 11 years. And it was that experience that helped him do the impossible on The Motion Picture. Trumbull came to Star Trek late, and as a result had very little time to execute on a huge amount of work. The company that had previously been hired to produce the effects, Abel & Associates, had produced practically nothing that could be used. Trumbull joined the production after Abel had been fired. He only had 6 months left until the premiere date and had 525 special effects shots to produce. This was a near impossible task. Added to this situation was the impending class action law suit that theater owners threatened to bring if The Motion Picture did not arrive by December 7, 1979, its opening date. So Trumbull needed to produce the needed shots or there would be, literally, hell to pay. The pressure was immense. In this episode of 70s Trek, we’ll tell you about Doug Trumbull, who could easily be called, “The Man Who Saved Star Trek The Motion Picture.”

The Refitted Enterprise - Episode 98
Aug 24 2018 26 mins  
When Paramount decided to make Star Trek The Motion Picture, executives wanted to make sure that everything got updated from the 60s show. That included the Enterprise. This week we tell you about how the starship was redesigned. The Origins The legendary Matt Jeffries designed the original Enterprise. And when Star Trek Phase II was in pre-production, Jeffries was asked to update his design. Jeffries began his work using a drawing he made back in 1964. This was an alternate version of the ship that he created as a back up. He wanted to make sure he had something ready just in case Gene Roddenberry didn’t like the Enterprise design that Jeffries pitched for the show. He also thought that if Star Trek lasted for several seasons, the Enterprise might need updating. So he saved these designs. Jeffries thought that if anything would change on the ship, it would be the warp engines. In those early drawings you can see the flatter engines and the swept back support pylons that would eventually show up on the Enterprise in The Motion Picture. The Devil is in the Details But when Paramount execs made the decision to make The Motion Picture, the Phase II design needed updating again. They were highly influenced by the movie Star Wars. In that film, the spaceship models all had a high level of details. Executives at Paramount believed that this was one of the factors that helped make that film a success. So, it only seemed natural that the Enterprise needed lots of detail too! This started the creation of an entirely new model for The Motion Picture, one that would take nine months to create, have leading-edge technology installed in it, cost $1 million and face several accidents on the way to the studio.

Star Trek The Motion Picture Uniforms - Episode 96
Aug 10 2018 32 mins  
One of the hallmarks of The Original Series was its use of color. In the mid to late 60s, color TVs were finally available and Star Trek went out of its way to make use of that new technology with colorful uniforms, sets and lighting. But as pre-production was under way on The Motion Picture, director Robert Wise decided to take the film in a very different direction. He introduced a very monochromatic look. He used shades of gray and silver everywhere and played down bright colors. He decided to do the same with the new Starfleet uniforms, as well. His view was that the multi-colored uniforms were OK for the small TV screen, but replicating that look on the big screen, might be unrealistic to moviegoers. He wanted the new uniforms to be simple and lack color. What we ended up seeing on the screen showed up only once. But they have become symbolic of this time in Star Trek’s history. Some people love them and some people hate them. But no matter how you felt about them they’ve become part of Star Trek’s history and lore. When you see them, you know they’re from The Motion Picture. Robert Fletcher Bill Theiss worked on the uniforms and costumes on The Original Series and was asked to come back to work on Phase II. But when The Motion Picture became a reality, and Bob Wise was hired to direct, Theiss was let go. Wise wanted to go in a different direction with costumes. So he brought in designer Robert Fletcher. The costume designer was pretty established by 1978. He had created costumes for ballet, opera, Broadway plays and TV shows. His job was to come up with a totally new look for the crew. Mini-skirts were no longer in fashion in 1978, and producers were afraid that if they included them, it might appear sexist. As we mentioned earlier, the brightly colored uniforms were also out. Wise was afraid they would detract from the story when they were seen on the big screen. So Fletcher wanted to make sure his new uniforms didn’t detract from the action and the relationships, but also needed to make sure they looked like an evolution from the TV show. That was his challenge when he began designing them in 1978.

Star Trek The Motion Picture Script - Episode 94
Jul 20 2018 32 mins  
The word “script” is defined as “the written text of a play, movie, or broadcast.” Yet is so much more that that, too. The script is also a road map that leads the actors, the production team and even the viewers through a story to a fulfilling end. Good scripts leave you feeling satisfied. Bad scripts make you confused. And in 1978, everyone was confused about the script for the Star Trek film project. What's Going On? In August 1977, Paramount CEO Michael Eisner decided to move the Star Trek property away from being a TV show, Phase II, and to instead make a blockbuster film, The Motion Picture. But it didn’t go easily. Gene Roddenberry and the production team didn’t have the main element in place needed to make a film: A good story. In fact, the idea for the Phase II TV pilot was still being shaped and developed when Eisner decided to make the Star Trek movie. so while there was a concept, it was not a fully developed one. But Eisner wanted to shift gears to blockbuster film anyway. The challenge was the process that the production team was working with to develop this movie. Typically a film starts with the story idea first, then you bring in the director, the actors and the production team you think can realize that vision. Star Trek didn’t follow that process. It already had a team in place led by Roddenberry, and actors for the established characters. What they didn't have was the story. So Star Trek was working backwards which led to the production not proceeding smoothly. To make matters worse, there had been so many Star Trek ideas flying around since 1975 that the production team, and Roddenberry in particular, wasn’t sure where to go with the story anymore. they were simply burnt out and needed fresh ideas. In this episode of 70s Trek, co-hosts Bob Turner and Kelly Casto discuss the many script evolutions and how a satisfying resolution for the last act was finally reached.

Star Trek Redshirt Moments - Episode 93
Jul 13 2018 23 mins  
Their job is to die! These characters serve the role of giving the writer someone to kill so the main characters don’t have to. Of course we're talking about the "Redshirts." The term “Redshirt” in our culture has taken on the meaning of an unimportant person who can be sacrificed. Of course, it originated on Star Trek as fans watched red-shirted security officers die over and over again. In fact, the idea of "redshirts" has become so popular that author John Scalzi wrote the book, Redshirts. It was published in 2012. It’s a spoof on Star Trek and tells the story of a low-ranking, red-shirted officer posted on a starship. He realizes his colleagues in security are all dying off on away missions. He’s afraid he might be next. Sound familiar? The book was a New York Times bestseller. This week co-hosts Bob Turner and Kelly Casto take a tongue-in-cheek look at redshirts on the show. For their purposes, they define “redshirts” as any insignificant character that gets killed as part of the story. The color of the uniform shirt doesn’t matter. The Bloodiest Redshirt Episode The Star Trek episode with the most Redshirt deaths is the Season 2 show, Obsession. Five security officers lose their lives in this episode. The most notable is Mr. Leslie, played by actor Eddie Paskey. While we think Leslie is gone forever, he actually returns to be seen in the background of 19 other Star Trek episodes! Such was the practice of TV producers in the 1960s. Total Redshirt Deaths The unofficial, non-scientific survey of redshirt deaths conducted by 70s Trek stands at 44. Of course,

Star Trek Director Robert Wise - Episode 92
Jul 06 2018 36 mins  
He’s the person who brought Star Trek to the big screen. Director Robert Wise had a long and notable career before coming to Star Trek. When producers were looking for a director, his name jumped off the page! The hiring of Wise was a sign that the project was legitimate and the power of Paramount was behind it. It's also a sign that Gene Roddenberry and the studio execs knew they needed an experienced filmmaker to get this movie going and get it finished by its premiere date. Robert Wise was a guy who could do that. At this point in 1978, he had worked in the business for 44 years and as a director for 36. That’s a lot of experience. Hiring Robert Wise In August 1977, Paramount CEO Michael Eisner decided to cancel Star Trek Phase II and create a big budget film for Star Trek. As we talked about back in Episode 89 of 70s Trek, director Robert Collins had been hired to direct the Phase II TV pilot, In Thy Image in the fall of 1977. But Paramount felt that the big budget film project needed a credible film director. Gene Roddenberry suggested Robert Wise. The two had met years earlier at a science fiction seminar at the University of Arizona. They found they had a lot in common and talked about possibly working together someday. The new Star Trek film gave them that opportunity. Eisner called Bob Wise and pitched the idea of him directing the movie. Wise told him he wasn’t a Trekkie, but he was willing to come down and talk about it. At the meeting, Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenburg told him about the project and set him up in a screening room where he could watch episodes of Star Trek to get a feel for the show. Wise told William Shatner for his book Movie Memories, “I liked them, thought they were all pretty good, and a couple of them were really exceptional. So I went back and talked with Michael and Jeffrey one more time, and at that point things really started falling into place. I’d made the Andromeda Strain, I’d made The Day the Earth Stood Still, what better way was there to continue forward than with the crew of the Enterprise?” Wise was hired in early March 1978. When he signed his contract, he insisted that he be given the authority of not just the film’s director, but also the executive producer. That gave him the authority to make decisions that got things done. If there was a logjam or difference of opinion about something, he could come in and tell others how to move forward. The Search for Spock But of course, it was the role that his wife Millicent and her father played that really helped the project move in the right direction. They convinced Wise that Leonard Nimoy as Spock was essential to any Star Trek project. The film would never work without him. So when Wise told Eisner and Katzenburg that he wanted to do the film, he also told them that the project can’t move forward without Nimoy. They agreed, and Eisner sent Katzenburg to New York to convince Nimoy to join the project. Wise was able to convince Eisner that giving in to Nimoy’s demands about royalties and residual payments for using his likeness, was a better alternative than trying to do Star Trek without him. Paramount gave in to Nimoy's demands and within days he was attached to the project. Spock was back.

Star Trek in Syndication - Episode 79
Mar 02 2018 37 mins  
This is a re-broadcast or episode 9. When Star Trek was cancelled in 1969, there was no reason to think that this little science fiction show would ever come back. But the show's failures actually helped drive its new success in the 1970s. Co-hosts Bob Turner and Kelly Casto look at the syndication juggernaut that was Star Trek in the 1970s. Failure Led to Success Star Trek had not been profitable during its NBC run. In fact, when it was cancelled, its production costs had pushed it to be over $4 million in the red. That's over $30 million in today's dollars! The show was considered a dead property and Paramount desperately wanted to find a way to recoup some of those costs. So the studio decided to move the show into syndication. This was an interesting decision at the time because conventional wisdom stated that a show needed to have at least 100 episodes to be successful. But Paramount's need to make some kind of profit from Star Trek was great so they decided to move forward with just the 79 episodes. The studio did not expect that the show would ever make a profit in syndication. Execs just hoped they would be able to make some money to reduce the show's deficit. Syndication Syndication gave Star Trek a new lease on life. Kaiser Broadcasting, the first TV station group to purchase the show, used it as counter programming, scheduling it against the evening news shows by their competition. Soon other stations around the country picked up on this idea. As a result, Star Trek was able to connect with a new audience of older children, teens and college students. This group was not interested in watching the news, but was eager to see the adventures of the crew of the Enterprise! With the show being broadcast everyday, it became part of their daily lives and something they looked forward to seeing. Star Trek's Ratings Almost imediately, the show began to perform well. A March 1969 advertisement by Paramount touted Star Trek as, "A Space Breakthrough on the audience response barrier," saying it was being seen in over 65 countries. A similar ad sent in August stated some numbers from when Star Trek aired on NBC. The the show was had a 30 share or higher, or another way to put it is that it brought in 30% of the audience watching TV. The show averaged a 39.5 share for all the 61 markets where the show was being broadcast. In February 1970, Paramount ran another ad in Broadcast Magazine quoting the following performance numbers for Star Trek in syndication: WPIX in New York - up 96% WGN in Chicago - up 40% KCOP in Los Angeles - up 77% Minneapolis/St. Paul - up 44% Prividence, RI - up 30% over lead in Las Vegas - up 31% Greensboro/Winston Salem - adult viewers up 50% This ad wrapped with the following call-to-action: "For out-of-this world Star Trek numbers in your corner of the universe, call the Paramount television office nearest you." As the decade wore on, the show's popularity grew. An article in 1976 stated that a Star Trek episode shown during the day on Chicago's WGN was getting 374,000 viewers for reruns of reruns! A Dead Show to "The 79 Jewels" As Star Trek gained steam in syndication, the opinion of the show by Paramount changed. By the mid-1975, when Paramount was starting to look at bringing it back, execs at the studio were concerned that a new version of Trek might damage the interest in the original It was performing so well, that studio execs quietly referred to it as "The 79 Jewels" because of the millions it brought into the studio. It should be no surprise that the show performed well in the 1970s. It was a decade of bad news: Vietnam, Watergate, gas lines, the energy crisis. But in the background was Star Trek, reminding us all that there would be a brighter future ahead. Seeing its positive view at a time when there was so much negativity in the real world is a major reason why Star Trek exploded in the 1970s. The success that Trek had in reruns and the money that Paramount made from it, ensured that the property would return. The only question was when.

William Shatner - Episode 77
Feb 16 2018 44 mins  
This week co-hosts Bob Turner and Kelly Casto talk about the actor who played the Captain of the Enterprise, William Shatner, on this episode of 70s Trek. His portrayal of the unflappable, heroic captain has become iconic. While playing Kirk wasn't difficult for Shatner, working after the show went off the air was. Early Life. William Shatner grew up in Montreal, Canada and knew early on he wanted to be an actor. After college, he worked extensively on Broadway and in early television. During his early career, Bill Shatner was considered to be on the same career trajectory as Robert Redford. Star Trek When Star Trek's first captain, Jeffrey Hunter, decided not to return for the second pilot, Gene Roddenberry asked William Shatner to step in as the new skipper of the Enterprise. When the show was picked up and went into production, Shatner remembers that it didn't feel like work. Instead, he considered the feeling that the cast and crew shared as being family. After Trek Shatner went through a lot around the time that the show was cancelled. Not only was he losing a steady job relationships from the show, but he was also going through a divorce. The long hours away from home took their toll on his marriage. But his alimony was based on his Star Trek salary, so he needed to work and earn a paycheck. He took the steadiest job he could get: He signed on with a traveling play for the summer of 1969. Trying to save money, he bought a used pickup truck with a collapsable camper and drove from town to town where the play opened next. This living arrangement found him laying in his camper with a small black and white TV on his chest when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon on July 20, 1969. It leaves you with an ironic image: The former Captain Kirk had been reduced to watching the first real steps of man's exploration of space in the back of a used camper. The 1970s Shatner spent the years between 1969 and 1978 taking any acting job he could find. As a result he accumulated an impressive amount of work. In those years he worked on the following projects: 7 films 18 TV movies 2 mini series Guest-starred on 45 different TV series eoisodes Starred in one Prime-Time series, Barbary Coast And Voiced a children's TV show. Star Trek: The Animated Series. He also worked on some of the most popular TV shows of the day: Hawaii 5-0 Barnaby jones Six Million Dollar Man Medical Center Mission Impossible Marcus Welby, MD Mannix Ironside Kung Fu The Rookies Police Woman Police Story. The Motion Picture After several false starts, Paramount finally picked a script with which to move forward and produce a Star Trek film. Star Trek The Motion Picture went into production in 1978 and premiered in December 1979. It capped what had been a busy and frustrating decade for William Shatner. But The Motion Picture paved the way for more movies and more success on the 1980s and the decades to follow. William Shatner proved he was a survivor in the 1970s. He overcame the obstacle of being type-cast and re-invented himself as a journey-man actor. Ultimately, Shatner had the last laugh, re-inventing himself and finding success time and again throughout his career.

Star Trek Games from the 1970s - Episode 76
Feb 09 2018 40 mins  
This week, 70s Trek co-hosts Bob Turner and Kelly Casto are talking about Star Trek Games from the 1970s. The show’s popularity made it a natural for games to be developed around it. The other aspect that made it perfect for a board game was its uniqueness. Star Trek was different and memorable and in the 1970s, as the show grew in popularity, merchandisers wanted to capitalize on the brand anyway possible. That included creating board games. Board Games The first board game showed up in 1967 when the show was still on NBC. The Star Trek Game was re-issued again in 1974 and 1975 under the same name. In 1977, a version of 3-Dimensional Chess was released. The author of the Star Fleet Technical Manual, Franz Joesph, actually helped to create the rules of play. With the release of Star Trek The Motion Picture right around the corner, Milton Bradley released the Star Trek Game in 1979. Of all the board games based on Trek in the decade, this was probably the best. Role Playing Games Of course, board games were not the only types of games played in the 1970s. It was the decade when role playing grew in popularity and the Star Trek universe was perfect for the format. The first was the Star Trek Battle Manual released in 1972. It's creator, Lou Zocchi did seek a license when creating the game, and Paramount stepped in stopped its production. The next version in 1973 had no mention of Star Trek in it. But, Zocchi eventually did obtain the rights to use the Star Trek name and re-leased the game in 1977. He also got permission from Franz Joseph Designs to use material that published in the Star Fleet Technical Manual. The next role playing game was released in 1978. Star Trek: Adventure Gaming in the Final Frontier was set in the TOS and TAS universe and was made to play on top of a table. It included a book that described how to play the game, and also borrowed from Joseph's Star Fleet Technical Manual. While this game did not include game figures, you could purchase a packet of six pewter figures that stood about 1-inch tall. The figures were sculpted, crudely, to be characters from the series. In addition to the pewter figures, players could also purchase plastic models based on Joseph's designs from the Technical Manual. GameScience created four Star Fleet starships classes with stands so they could be used in the game. The last role playing created in the 70s was Star Fleet Battles by Task Force Games. It also borrowed from the Technical Manual. It was this game that lasted into the 80s and 90s having four major editions released over the years. Computer Game All of these games were pretty typical for the era. They were made to play on top of a table with your friends. But there was one game developed in this era that was totally unique and totally different for the time. In 1971, Mike Mayfield wrote the software for the first Star Trek computer game. It was played on mainframe computers. At that time there was no graphical user interface such as Windows. In fact, there were not cathode ray tube monitors, either! The object of the game was simple: Find and destroy Klingons. Players printed a grid generated by the software that showed you where your ship was located and also where the Klingons were. Then, you moved your virtual ship by typing in commands, then another printout would show the results. When you got close enough to the Klingon ship, you typed in a command to fire your phasers. the next printout told you whether or not you were successful. It took time to play this game, but it quickly grew in popularity amongst computer programmers in the 1970s. So just before the dawn of the personal computer revolution, Star Trek already had a presence with computer programmers and users. This is also a precursor for what happened 20 years later. As the early internet was coming into being, one of the greatest presences on the web at that time was Star Trek. The show has always been a part of cutting edge technology.

What's Happened So Far - Episode 75
Jan 27 2018 36 mins  
On this episode of 70s Trek, co-hosts Bob Turner and Kelly Casto are celebrating the show's 75th episode. It’s the perfect time to look back and see what we’ve covered so far and take a look at what’s around the corner. Star Trek's Specialness Throughout 70s Trek, we've discovered a very common theme. There are many little stories and events that surround the show and its fandom that make it special. These are things that have not happened to other other TV shows. Just Trek! Apart from its on-screen presentations, Star Trek has a special past, a certain pedigree that sets it apart from other creations. It's what makes the franchise unique. It's been the goal of 70s Trek to touch on some of these stories and events from the 1970s that helped shape Star Trek's rise and dramatic popular explosion. Past Moments Bob talk about the moments in the early 70s that brought attention to the show. When the Neilsen Ratings company moved to demographics to report TV ratings rather than just the mass numbers right after Star Trek was cancelled. Seeing how well the show performed with key demos made NBC realized it had made an incredible mistake! When the show went into syndication, it quickly became profitable and prompted Filmation's Lou Scheimer to approach Roddenberry and NBC about doing an animated version. In the meantime, fandom is growing rapidly as illustrated by the first Star Trek convention. Organizers expected 500, but 3,000 showed up! All of this, and more, prompted Paramount to invite Roddenberry back to their lot to begin work on a new Star Trek feature. That began nearly a 27-month process of listening to multiple pitches, trying to fine the right story. Books Of course fueling fandom's fire were the many books in the early 1970s. Prized by Trek fans were the episode adaptations written by James Blish. There was also the first Star Trek reference book, The Star Fleet Technical Manual by Franz Joseph. Bjo Trimble followed that book up with the Star Trek Concordance, a fan-produced episode guide that included much more. Another fan-written reference book was the Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual created by a group of friends that were associated with the Federation Trading Post, an early Star Trek store. Part of that group was Doug Drexler. An Academy Award winner, Drexler would go on to work on every version of Trek from 1990 forward. Interviews 70s Trek has also tried to present interviews with those that played significant roles with Star Trek in the 1970s Richard Arnold worked directly for Gene Roddenberry. We mentioned Doug Drexler above, and Bob Kelly also talked with Bjo and John Trimble. Looking Forward Coming up are episodes about Phase II, some other influences on Star Trek's next version and the production of The Motion Picture. We hope you will join us.

The Bantam Star Trek Novels - Episode 73
Jan 12 2018 41 mins  
Bantam began publishing Star Trek books in 1967 with the first James Blish episode adaptation, today known as Star Trek 1. Of course, the Blish books were a huge success in the 1970s. After Star Trek the Animated Series left the air, Bantam began publishing the Star Trek Log series written by Alan Dean Foster. These were episode adaptations of the Saturday morning show. But writing and publishing original stories on a regular basis hadn’t begun yet. Prior to 1976, there had only been one original Star Trek novel. That was Spock Must Die! by James Blish released in 1970. Bantam Takes a Chance It’s hard to imagine today, but there was a time when book publishers were not sure that Star Trek fiction would sell. It had been six years since the release of Spock Must Die! but the editors at Bantam saw the growing Trek phenomenon in the 1970s and editor Fred Pohl decided to take a chance at original Star Trek fiction. Strange New Worlds Their first attempt could be compared to just sticking a toe in the water to see how fiction would be received by fans. Bantam decided to publish several short stories or novellas in an anthology. What made Strange New Worlds so unique is that the stories were written by fans. It is possibly the first time that fan fiction was ever professionally published. The editors wanted to make this collection even more special, though. So they invited Gene Roddenberry to contribute a foreword and also asked each cast member to write an introduction to one of the stories. It is the only time the actors were involved with the novels in this way. Bantam's Star Trek Novels Strange New Worlds was a success and it emboldened Pohl to authorize professionally written fiction. The result was 12 original novels and one more anthology released between 1976 and 1981. Those books are: Spock Messiah! by Theodore R. Cogswell and Charles A. Spano Jr. - September 1976 The Price of the Phoenix by Sondra Marshank and Myrna Culbreath - July 1977 Planet of Judgement by Joe Haldeman - August 1977 Star Trek: New Voyages 2 (anthology) edited by Sondra Marshank and Myrna Culbreath - January 1978 Vulcan! by Kathleen Sky - September 1978 The Starless World by Gordon Eklund - November 1978 Trek to Madworld by Stephen Goldin - January 1979 World Without End by Joe Haldeman - February 1979 The Fate of the Phoenix by Sondra Marshank and Myrna Culbreath - May 1979 Devil World by Gordon Eklund - November 1979 Perry's Planet by Jack C. Haldeman II - February 1980 The Galactic Whirlpool by David Gerrold - October 1980 Death's Angel by Kathleen Sky - April 1981 Pocket Books Takes Over In 1979, Paramount decided to not to renew with Bantam and awarded Pocket Books with its publishing license. In fact, the novelization for Star Trek The Motion Picture was released in 1979 by Pocket Books, even though Bantam would continue to publish novels under its contract through 1981. Bantam’s last Star Trek book, Death's Angel, was published in April 1981. Pocket Books released its first novel in its new Star Trek line, The Entropy Effect, just two months later. Looking Back... The Bantam novels were significant to the Star Trek franchise because they were the first real attempt at publishing professional fiction. The 12 novels proved that their was an audience hungry for Trek stories and that they would buy! They are also responsible for lighting the fuse that lead to the explosion in content in the 1980s, '90s, 2000s and beyond! The gamble that Bantam made in 1976 paid off!

The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise - Episode 72
Jan 05 2018 22 mins  
1976 was the year America celebrated its Bicentennial. It was also the year that a small movie called Rocky captured our hearts, and a computer company, Apple, was born in a California garage. This was also the year that Star Trek reached it apex in terms of popularity. Its audience had grown considerably since entering syndication and now it was a firm part of American culture. This fact was further illustrated when President Ford renamed the first NASA space shuttle Enterprise after the iconic starship from Trek. But Star Trek got a further nod that it was reaching new heights when the late night comedy show, Saturday Night Live, did a sketch that parodied the show. It featured John Belushi as Captain Kirk, Chevy Chase as Spock and Dan Aykroyd as Dr. McCoy and details The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise." Guest host Elliot Gould plays a NBC executive boards the Enterprise and tells the crew that the show has been cancelled. It's all done for laughs, with a little message thrown in, as well. SNL writers pointed out the illogic of NBC cancelling the show because of ratings. Of course, the show was broadcast on NBC, so it was a moment of youthful rebellion by the cast and crew. They were "giving it to the man!" Belushi ends the bit as Kirk reading an entry into the Captain's log. "Except for one television network, we have found intelligence everywhere in the galaxy. Live long and prosper." Then the comedian added with a little wry smile, "Promise," which was a nod to Shatner's early 70s commercials for Promise margarine. The sketch is classic SNL and is probably some of the best work by Belushi, Chase and Aykroyd. It is remembered by critics, entertainers and authors as one of the best skits ever performed on the show. Co-hosts Bob Turner and Kelly Casto give us the history of the show and this skit.

The Planet of The Titans - Episode 71
Dec 29 2017 25 mins  
After a year of hearing Star Trek movie pitches and ideas from creator Gene Roddenberry and science fiction writers, Paramount executives decided to take matters into their own hands. In July 1976, they named Jerry Isenberg as the Executive Producer of the Star Trek movie project. Isenberg quickly hired two writers to work on a treatment, Chris Bryant and Alan Scott. In September 1976, they get to work and turn in a treatment at the end of the month called The Planet of the Titans. Finally, Paramount had an idea it wanted to produce and execs ordered the writers to begin working on a script. In the meantime, Isenberg began looking for a director. He talked with some of the big names of the day: Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Robert Wise. Each turned him down because of commitments to other projects. But finally Phillip Kaufman agreed to direct. During this activity, artist Ralph McQuarrie was hired to develop concept art for the project. He had just finished a job working for George Lucas on a science fiction project that had not been released yet called Star Wars. McQuarrie's art shows us a Star Trek that was very different from what we saw on our TV screens. While we never had the chance to see this movie, the impact of McQuarrie's illustrations live on today. His redesign of the U.S.S. Enterprise is the basis for the U.S.S. Discovery, the ship featured in the newest series of the franchise, Star Trek Discovery. Planet of the Titans came the closest to actually being produced. After Bryant and Scott turned in their finished script in March 1977, Paramount rejected it in April and went on to cancel the project permanently in May. But just a few days later, a little movie called Star Wars opened, and suddenly it seemed like Hollywood was transformed over night. But Paramount did not understand the impact of this film, nor did it understand the sentiment of sci-fi fans in the 70s. Execs at the studio thought it was a fluke and that Star Wars had satiated the appetite for this type of entertainment. They believed they had missed their window for a science fiction film and decided to move Star Trek back to TV. Just two weeks after Star War's opening, Paramount announced its plans to launch a new television network and a new Star Trek show that would anchor its schedule. We will tell that story in another episode.

Leonard Nimoy - Episode 70
Dec 15 2017 34 mins  
Gene Roddenberry already had an actor in mind when he created the character Spock for his upcoming show, Star Trek. It was Leonard Nimoy. The actor had guest starred in the first series Roddenberry created, The Lieutenant. He seemed to fit the physical type that Gene had in mind for the character. Nimoy was hired and became the only actor who was there from the first pilot, The Cage, to the second pilot, Where No Man Has Gone Before, to the last episode of the series, Turnabout Intruder. Nimoy was a method actor, getting inside the skin of this alien character. It took its toll on him. After staying in character for 12-14 hours per day, it took him all of Saturday and half of Sunday to shed the character and become himself again. Of course, Monday morning was then just around the corner. The stress of the difficult shooting schedule, and perhaps even the way he approached the Spock character, took its toll on Nimoy. He became an alcoholic. He eventually sought help and went into rehab after the show was cancelled. Nimoy was something of a Renaissance man. Along with being an actor, he was a writer, poet, photographer, composer and director. He sought answers to life, and explored what it meant to be Jew in today's world. He was also a very decent person. He fought for things that he thought needed corrected. One instance involved Nichelle Nichols and the inequity in her pay. Leonard Nimoy went to the show's producers and fought to have her pay increased. Star Trek would not have been the same show had Leonard Nimoy not been part of it. He brought an intelligence to the character that elevated the show as a whole.

Star Trek's DeForest Kelley - Episode 61
Oct 12 2017 31 mins  
While many believe he played the first Star Trek doctor, DeForest Kelley actually played the third. He followed John Hoyt's Dr. Phillip Boyse from the first Star Trek pilot, The Cage and Paul Fix's Dr. Mark Piper from Where No Man Has Gone Before, the second pilot. But it was DeForest Kelley’s portray of Dr. Leonard McCoy that has become iconic in popular culture. "Bones" was cantankerous, irritable, irascible, and even at times belligerent! But what would Captain Kirk or Mr. Spock be without Dr. McCoy? The character regularly questioned Kirk’s or Spock’s stance on a topic and made them think about the moral and ethical implications of their decisions. His was the most human voice on the show. The character is perhaps best remembered for the way he constantly needled Mr. Spock, making the point that logic was not always the correct answer for humans and that compassion deserved to be considered in any decision. McCoy is also remembered for his "doctorisms." These took the form of a long-running gag that appeared throughout the series. When frustrated, McCoy would often say, "I'm a doctor, not a..." and then add some profession for which he felt he was being asked to comment. For example, he might say, "I'm a doctor, not an escalator!" Bones was also famous for variations of the line, "He's dead, Jim." But through all the different portrayals of McCoy, it was Kelley's acting ability that made him memorable. In fact, Kelley brought a unique quality to the character, something that would have been missing had another actor played the part. De Kelley was the first of the original cast to pass. He died in 1999 from stomach cancer. After his death, Newsweek magazine published an obituary about Kelley. It started this way: "We’re not even going to try to resist. He’s dead Jim.”

The Top Kirk Moments from Star Trek - Episode 49
Jul 20 2017 27 mins  
This week on 70s Trek, co-hosts Bob Turner and Kelly Casto talk about our favorite moments centered around Captain James T. Kirk. As the captain of the Enterprise and the main character on the show, he had a lot of great scenes and choosing our favorites wasn't easy. What made it difficult was the fine acting that William Shatner brings to the role. While many detractors make fun of him for his occasional choppy form of speaking, the bulk of his work on Star Trek is excellent and under rated! Kelly's Favorite Kirk Moments: The Trouble with Tribbles - Kirk's disgust for Barris City on the Edge of Forever - Kirk stops McCoy from saving Edith Keeler Balance of Terror - Kirk plays a chess match with the Romulan commander The Corbomite Maneuver - Kirk bluffs The Conscience of the King - Kirk seduces the crazy chick Bob's Top 5 Kirk Scenes: The Naked Time - Kirk pulls it together to get the job done Return to Tomorrow - Kirk explains what the mission of the Enterprise is all about The Doomsday Machine - Kirk is unflappable as the Constellation is about to be destroyed The Ultimate Computer - Kirk and McCoy have a heart-to-heart Arena - Kirk makes a cannon to be the Gorn Kelly's Honorable Mention: Amok Time - Kirk steps up to save Spock Bob's Honorable Mentions: The Enterprise Incident - Kirk as a Romulan The Changeling and The Return of the Archons - Kirk outsmarts computers Who Mourns for Adonais -"Would it have hurt us, I wonder, just to have gathered a few laurel leaves." 70s Trek is a fan production and does not receive any profit. Intro and Outro Music was purchased from Free Play Music. Copyright 2017 - 70s Trek

Star Trek Actor Nichelle Nichols - Episode 48
Jul 15 2017 33 mins  
Nichelle Nichols was born Grace Dell Nichols in 1932 in small town near Chicago, Robbins, Illinois. Young Grace was drawn to singing, dancing and acting early on, getting her first professional gig at the age of 14. She soon made a name for herself, meeting the big stars of the day. This included Duke Ellington. The musician was so impressed with her that he invited her to tour with him. After starting a family, she created her own touring show and did so well, that she was able to move her family to Los Angeles. There she landed a part in the movie Starring Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge and Sammy Davis, Jr. She soon caught the attention of casting director Joe D'Agosta (who would later do the same job on Star Trek) who hired her for a part on The Lieutenant. This was the first show Gene Roddenberry created. On the episode "To Set it Right," she played the wife of an African-American officer who was dealing with racism. A big topic for 1964. It was during this time that she and Roddenberry developed a romantic relationship. While it was short-lived, Roddenberry remained impressed with Nichols and with her help, created the role of Lt. Uhura. After Star Trek, Nichols worked for NASA in the mid-70s recruiting women and minorities to join the space program. She was able to bring in some very notable names including Sally Ride, Guion Bluford, Judy Resnick, Ron McNair and Charles Bolden. After flying six missions, Bolden would later become the head of NASA. Nichol's last official performance as Uhura was in 1991 in the film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. But she reprised the role in 2007 in the fan-made web-based film, Star Trek: Of Gods and Men. In 2016, she received The Life Career Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. 70s Trek is a fan production and does not receive any profit. Intro and Outro Music was purchased from Free Play Music. Copyright 2017 - 70s Trek

Star Trek Costume Designer William Ware Theiss - Episode 46
Jun 30 2017 23 mins  
He worked on Spartacus, Harold and Maude, Pete’s Dragon, Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, The Man With One Red Shoe and Star Trek. Costume designer William Ware Theiss is responsible for creating some of the most memorable costumes in Hollywood, including those on Star Trek. Co-hosts Bob Turner and Kelly Casto take a look at the man and his designs. Early in his career, he worked as Cary Grant’s assistant and helped him become, “The Best Dressed Man in Hollywood.” Bill had a reputation for being eccentric, perhaps even rude. But he was a perfectionist, relentlessly driving those working under him. His motto was, first and foremost: "Stop when all work is done - and not before." His designed the iconic Starfleet uniforms as well as the wardrobe needs for guest stars. And it's perhaps those costume pieces that Bill Theiss is best remembered. Female guest stars, in particular, were almost guaranteed to receive some type of revealing clothing. But, according to Theiss, his costumes were not appealing because they showed a lot of skin. His designs were attractive because they appeared as if it would fall off at any moment! Gene Roddenberry brought Bill back in July 1977 to work on the proposed show Star Trek Phase II. That program never went into production, but Gene called upon Bill again to work on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Bill designed the new Starfleet uniforms and all the wardrobe during the first season. His work earned him an Emmy award and two Emmy nominations. Bill Theiss died in 1992 due to complications caused by AIDS. 70s Trek is a fan production and does not receive any profit. Intro and Outro Music was purchased from Free Play Music. Copyright 2017 - 70s Trek

"The God Thing" 1975 Star Trek Movie Treatment - Episode 45
Jun 22 2017 27 mins  
In 1975, as Star Trek was making money in syndication, Paramount decided it was time to develop a new Trek project. Gene Roddenberry was offered a development deal and the project was to a motion picture with a $5 million budget. Production was to start on July 15, 1976. Gene came up with The God Thing. His script had the crew of the Enterprise meeting and discovering the nature of God. It's revealed that God is actually a computer/ship/entity that visits worlds repeatedly, creating prophets to match the level of development of that planet's society. These prophets then guide that world's population through their evolution. But the real twist is that the computer/ship/entity thing is not the God we know, but actually the Devil. When Roddenberry finished his script and turned it into Paramount, the head of the studio, Barry Diller, rejected it. So the The God Thing was thought to be permanently shelved. But Gene decided to take the idea and make it into a book that he would author. But as the 70s moved on and Paramount moved from Trek project to Trek project, The God Thing book was left behind until it was discovered in 1991 by Gene's assistant Susan Sackett. She brought it to the attention of Pocket Books and a publishing deal was reached. Several writers worked on the manuscript, and a dust jacket was even made for the book. But after Gene's death, the project was forgotten again. Today, The God Thing remains a lost version of Trek. It's a look into the creator's mind, and an interesting "What-if" story from the decade of the 70s. 70s Trek is a fan production and does not receive any profit. Intro and Outro Music was purchased from Free Play Music. Copyright 2017 - 70s Trek

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