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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 30 August 2018 at 4:30pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

This new book arrived at my door, today.



It’s sorta-kinda a print version of the RODDENBERRY VAULT Blu-Ray set which came out two years ago, at least in the sense that some of the material from that set is repeated in the book. That being said, this is a gorgeous book, and it’s full of interesting details about the filmic construction of TOS: Stills and information regarding the optical VFX, script excerpts, frames from camera tests, frames from a bunch of deleted scenes, trims, and bloopers, etc. A real treasure-trove of largely-unseen material and technical information.

Highly recommended!
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Peter Hicks
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Posted: 31 August 2018 at 8:42am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Greg - I just saw an announcement that there will be a fourth volume of "These are the Voyages" that will discuss Start Trek in the 70s: The Animated Series, Phase II, and TMP. It's scheduled to come out in December.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 31 August 2018 at 9:12am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Thanks for the info, Peter! I’d read that one was in development, but I thought it had fallen by the wayside, since the original announcement was for a 2016 release. 

That being said, the first three books have a lot of factual errors and exaggerations to support Marc Cushman’s agenda, but there’s still a ton of wonderful stuff in them, such as cast/crew interviews, script excerpts, and production memos.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 31 August 2018 at 9:53pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I have two of those "There Are..." volumes and find them not especially well-written, with Cushman falling back on the same observations time and time again, and not nearly as much information included as there could be given what he has available to him. 

I have not picked up on a specific agenda, however. Is there a review or an article you can point me to, Greg?

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 01 September 2018 at 8:31am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Lots and lots of info here which refutes many of Cushman’s claims and suppositions:

Basically, Cushman skewed the data to create a narrative which gives the impression that NBC was out to get TREK from the start, and cancelled it even though it was “secretly” a ratings hit. 


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 01 September 2018 at 8:34am
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 01 September 2018 at 10:45am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Thanks, Greg. Clearly I'm going to be spending a lot of time reviewing that site. I wonder if Cushman is adamant about pursuing that specific narrative because Roddenberry himself over the years had put forth similar accounts of there being pre-existing bad blood between him and the execs and Star Trek being a hit had it been judged demographically rather than simply by the numbers.

Cushman's book is rather numbing in its magazine article style approach to hitting exactly the same beats in describing each and every episode. For instance, I'm long past caring whether or not filming wrapped in time for the cast and crew to run home and catch the show on TV that night. If there's some account wherein someone actually mentions that being a factor in the events taking place, fine. Otherwise, I really wish he would drop it. 

The books have become a bit of a slog, useful if one is looking for specific info on a particular episode, but difficult to simply read for the pleasure of it.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 01 September 2018 at 8:42pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

That blog was specifically started as a response to Cushman’s books. The guy who runs it is one of the top dogs of TOS research over at the TREK BBS, and actually knows what he’s talking about. On the blog, there’s extensive analysis of the show’s Nielsen ratings and whatnot, and hole after hole is poked in Cushman’s assertions and “facts”. 

I’ve listened to some of the interviews Cushman did to promote the books. I have the sneaking feeling that he both wanted to promote Roddenberry’s old narrative of Big, Bad NBC, and also wanted to use the notion that “TOS was really a ratings hit—but Evil NBC still killed it! Now read the REAL story!” as a promotional hook for his books.

Personally, I would have preferred books which just presented the raw data—interview quotes, script excerpts, production memos—rather than the biased narrative and Pollyanna attitude toward both the show and Roddenberry which Cushman jammed in.

The guy has a somewhat shady past, too. Just look up “Cash Markman”.
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