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John Byrne
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Posted: September 13 2018 at 9:06am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I'd say scrap all of the TNG films, if I didn't like FIRST CONTACT so much. But, hey, none of their stuff is canon after Picard enters the nexus, right? It's all his fantasy...

Glad this is catching on! ;-)

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Steve De Young
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Posted: September 14 2018 at 11:00am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

An interesting thought experiment:  Though Season 3 was lousy, if it hadn't existed, if the show had been cancelled after Season 2 as originally planned, would we still have Star Trek today?  

Meaning, if there had been 24 fewer episodes, would that have affected its syndication desirability?  If the show hadn't been kept alive in syndication, would Phase II ever have started?  Would there have ever been movies?  Would Trek have become a franchise?

Do we owe bad Trek a certain debt of gratitude?
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Brian Hague
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Posted: September 14 2018 at 1:43pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

We do indeed. Even 79 episodes is slim for syndication, but the package was nonetheless attractive enough that it sold. At 55, there would have been no hope, and the phenomenon of Star Trek reruns would never have occurred. Many, many fans came on board through syndication, and the high ratings those reruns brought in kept the product in the public consciousness. Star Trek today without a doubt owes its very profitable existence to the third season.

Of course, there's nothing that says the third season HAD to be lousy. Star Trek would likely have done as well if not better had the remaining 24 episodes been good. 

That brings up the notion then that a good third season might have, in some other timeline, brought about a fourth, one which Nimoy has said he would not have come back for. What would that have done to the franchise?

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Tim Cousar
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Posted: September 15 2018 at 6:41pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

The Honeymooners ran only 39 episodes.
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Jack Bohn
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Posted: September 21 2018 at 8:58am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

What would a good third season have looked like? I don't have the latest history books of the show, but I'd heard that in addition to what became "The Cloud Minders", David Gerrold had proposed "Bem" and the sequel to "The Trouble with Tribbles" for the third season. D.C. Fontana had a story about McCoy's daughter; is there any indication that "The Enterprise Incident" might have turned out better without interference? Jerome Bixby and John Meredith Lucas had stories that season, too.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: September 21 2018 at 2:24pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

That DC Fontana story that was to have featured McCoy's daughter was tragically reworked into "The Way to Eden," the prequel to Shatner's Star Trek V. I actually enjoy aspects of that episode despite it's hated status among fans. It's the closest thing to a musical this side of Mad Magazine that Star Trek has ever had, for instance. :-)

Still, I would be willing to trade it for a more faithful take on Fontana's original script. Had that gone forward, however, it might have become equally disliked since McCoy is said to have only visited his daughter three times over the course of her life and later says she's no good, like her mother; that she's a witch who will tear out Kirk's heart and carry it around in a jar. "Joanna" could have become to McCoy's character what "Obsession" is to Kirk's, only with longer lasting repercussions. 

A lot would depend upon where the divergence point for this theoretical good third season would have occurred. Would it be Roddenberry staying aboard, even after Star Trek receiving a "death slot" on the network schedule? Would it have been Gene Coon remaining with the program? Would it have been some other alternative to Fred Frieberger, the man who watched a handful of episodes and declared that he "got it." The show was "tits in space." 

There was a pro-'zine put out by James Van Hise decades ago chronicling a number of scripts that never got produced. It might be fun to come up with a theoretical Third Season based upon the premise that the show remained in good hands one way or another, and solid work continued to be done by people who were invested and cared. 


Edited by Brian Hague on September 21 2018 at 2:27pm
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: September 22 2018 at 12:27pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Brian, there is so much published Star Trek material, not even counting unused scripts, that I'll bet we could find plenty to start a third season at the least. And remember, not all of those shows were impalatable; we shouldn't lump 'em all into one crappy burlap sack.
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Brandon Carter
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Posted: September 25 2018 at 8:42am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I'd say scrap all of the TNG films, if I didn't like FIRST CONTACT so much. But, hey, none of their stuff is canon after Picard enters the nexus, right? It's all his fantasy...

Glad this is catching on! ;-)

******

JB, did you share your Nexus theory with William Shatner during any of your interactions with him recently?



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John Byrne
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Posted: September 25 2018 at 9:05am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

No. No reason to.
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