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John32070

You're in charge of programming at NBC 1966. Do you start TOS out with The Man Trap?

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We all know the history. The early episodes were shown rather badly out of order. 

I've long had a problem with them not starting out with WNMHGB and showing it third when anyone who had latched on to the show from the start would have wondered what was going on with all the rather obvious changes from The Man Trap and Charlie X. 

I know why it was done. Someone obviously thought that the new space show would start with a bang with a SF murder mystery and a really creepy monster. They thought that would be more attention-grabbing than a man turning into a God.

But I've long disagreed with that. I've always found the show's second pilot to be far more entertaining than watching Nancy Crater changing her looks and finally turning into the salt sucker. The Man Trap really isn't a bad story. And the monster is actually one of Trek's best if not the creepiest. 

Charlie X however, I've never had much liking for and I'd probably put it in the bottom 10% of TOS stories for likeability. Not the best choice to throw out second.

So if you could magically go back and decide Trek's first month or so, how would you do it? 

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I'd never have asked Gene Roddenberry for a second pilot in the first place and just gone with "The Cage"... ;)

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2 hours ago, Mr.Picard said:

I'd never have asked Gene Roddenberry for a second pilot in the first place and just gone with "The Cage"... ;)

I loved “The Cage” and IMO, it was a fine kickoff for the series, but it’s not entirely flawless; some of the supporting characters aren’t terribly effective.  And Spock wasn’t as interesting as his more sullen version in later incarnations.   But given Pike’s more brooding nature, an introverted Spock wouldn’t have worked as well.  You can’t really have an introspective captain AND an introspective science officer.   You need a contrast.   Maybe Number One could’ve been the more extroverted one (?), I dunno.   But I enjoyed Pike exactly how he was, and Spock as he would later become...

That said, given how ST unfolded and the number of episodes that were in the can before the September 8, 1966 airdate?  I would’ve gone with “The Corbomite Maneuver.”  

thecorbomitemaneuverhd349.jpg

Granted, it’s a bottle show but it also best exemplifies the mission statement of the later series; after a series of misunderstandings, humanity and alien reach a mutual understanding.   Voila.   And most of the regular characters are in place, too; unlike “Where No Man...” which only had about four of the regulars in place; Uhura and Bones were still not there yet and they were vital to the TOS family.

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I dunno, I loved the trio of Pike, Spock and Number One. I'd watch such a series at ANY given time - so much logic and grumpy rationality, I'd love it! :happy: 

But yeah. "Corbomite Maneuver" is one of my favorite TOS episodes, so I'd have gone with that. "Man Trap" is just... erm... no. lol

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27 minutes ago, Mr.Picard said:

I dunno, I loved the trio of Pike, Spock and Number One. I'd watch such a series at ANY given time - so much logic and grumpy rationality, I'd love it! :happy: 

But yeah. "Corbomite Maneuver" is one of my favorite TOS episodes, so I'd have gone with that. "Man Trap" is just... erm... no. lol

“Man Trap” is little more than a ’50s B-monster movie in space.   It’s nothing special, really.

“Corbomite Maneuver” is Star Trek’s formula in a bottle.  Humans and alien meet; have misunderstanding, reach peaceful accord.  Hopeful outcome.   The end. 

“Man Trap” can be summed up by one line of Mr. Spock’s, “It’s killing the captain!  Shoot it doctor, quickly!” 
That’s NOT Star Trek.

If I had to pick an alternate besides “Corbomite...” based on the limited handful of TOS episodes in the can before the premiere?  I’d have to say “Where No Man...” but that’d be a bit disorienting as a pilot since pretty much everything changes by the next episode; including much of the cast, the uniforms, the look, etc. 

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On 7/25/2017 at 8:51 AM, Mr.Picard said:

I'd never have asked Gene Roddenberry for a second pilot in the first place and just gone with "The Cage"... ;)

You might have gotten your wish if Hunter's wife/agent hadn't been such a shrew that Roddenberry couldn't even contemplate working with her anymore. :)

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1 minute ago, prometheus59650 said:

You might have gotten your wish if Hunter's wife/agent hadn't been such a shrew that Roddenberry couldn't even contemplate working with her anymore. :)

I know... such a shame. Pike had so much potential.

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Just now, Mr.Picard said:

I know... such a shame. Pike had so much potential.

I like Kirk, but I liked Pike, too. Not afraid of a fight, but definitely more cerebral and contemplative. Almost a Picard prototype in a way for that, and it would have been a very different thing for a primetime hero in the 60s.

 

If I figure out the whole parallel universe thing, I'll find one where Hunter went the full five years of the series and bring you back the DVDs. ;)

 

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Just now, prometheus59650 said:

I like Kirk, but I liked Pike, too. Not afraid of a fight, but definitely more cerebral and contemplative. Almost a Picard prototype in a way for that, and it would have been a very different thing for a primetime hero in the 60s.

 

If I figure out the whole parallel universe thing, I'll find one where Hunter went the full five years of the series and bring you back the DVDs. ;)

 

YAY thank you! Please do! I for one keep being tempted to write this Trek AU where Pike continues and Kirk never exists. lol

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1 minute ago, Mr.Picard said:

YAY thank you! Please do! I for one keep being tempted to write this Trek AU where Pike continues and Kirk never exists. lol

You should, and let me know when you have. :)

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11 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

You should, and let me know when you have. :)

If I ever decide to write such a thing, I promise I'll post it here. ;)  (If I can manage to keep it non x-rated, that is. I'm pretty sure it would derail into Pike/Boyce in no time. lol)

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9 minutes ago, Mr.Picard said:

If I ever decide to write such a thing, I promise I'll post it here. ;)  (If I can manage to keep it non x-rated, that is. I'm pretty sure it would derail into Pike/Boyce in no time. lol)

Looking forward to it already! :thumbup:

34 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

You might have gotten your wish if Hunter's wife/agent hadn't been such a shrew that Roddenberry couldn't even contemplate working with her anymore. :)

I remember meeting the actress who played Yeoman Colt in “The Cage” (Lauren Goodwin) in Las Vegas last summer.

She told me that Mrs. Hunter was, and I quote, “a real b!tch.”  :laugh:

She blames her for “The Cage” not getting picked up. 

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56 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

She told me that Mrs. Hunter was, and I quote, “a real b!tch.”  :laugh:

It doesn't shock me, "No casting calls for Mr, Hunter before..." (whatever time) "Jeffery can only be photographed from the right side," The little bit I know is enough to understand why he got dropped.

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Well, I personally would have gone with the second pilot - "Where No Man Has Gone Before" instead of "The Man Trap." It would have been confusing to most people back then in 1966 to have one episode suddenly change the looks and go back again.

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The stories of Hunter's wife have always made me think the rumors that she pushed him down the stairs to cause the brain aneurism that did him in, more plausible than rumor 

5 hours ago, Rusty0918 said:

Well, I personally would have gone with the second pilot - "Where No Man Has Gone Before" instead of "The Man Trap." It would have been confusing to most people back then in 1966 to have one episode suddenly change the looks and go back again.

That's always been my point. Also of note is Uhura wearing gold for 2-3 stories before staying in red. Of course, most people at that time still had black and white, so some of that stuff maybe they didn't think anyone would notice.

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24 minutes ago, John32070 said:

 

That's always been my point. Also of note is Uhura wearing gold for 2-3 stories before staying in red. Of course, most people at that time still had black and white, so some of that stuff maybe they didn't think anyone would notice.

Actually (putting on my geek hat...) she only wore gold in two; “Corbomite...” and “Mudd’s Women.” 

And if I’d been around in September of 1966 (I popped out in December of that year) and “Mudd’s Women” had been the pilot?  I’m not sure I would’ve given the show another chance.  But I think “Corbomite...” or “Where No Man...” would’ve been far better choices than “Man Trap.” 

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Thanks. Couldn't remember for sure if it was 2 or 3 episodes. And I agree, Mudd's Women wouldn't have been a good first-out-of-the-gate episode. Should have just went in production order I still say.

I did rewatch The Man Trap the other day since I brought this thread up. Better than what most give it credit for, but still doesn't feel right for a first episode shown.

It's a shame that TOS didn't have an actual beginning episode like with what the other series did, then they would have had to start it with the first episode.

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My choice would be THE CAGE or WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE

Because these two pilots are among the best STAR TREK eve - and are my favorite episodes, Plus Jreffrey Hubter was a big movie star in 1964.

 

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2 hours ago, GustavoLeao said:

My choice would be THE CAGE or WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE

Because these two pilots are among the best STAR TREK eve - and are my favorite episodes, Plus Jreffrey Hubter was a big movie star in 1964.

 

While I enjoy "Cage" too (very much, in fact), it'd be a poor start for the series we've come to know as TOS.   It only has ONE of the regular characters and he's in a reduced role.  Not to mention all of the changes in format and design would confuse a viewer who tunes in the following week and wonders what the hell happened to Pike, Boyce, Number One and Yeoman Colt...

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16 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

While I enjoy "Cage" too (very much, in fact), it'd be a poor start for the series we've come to know as TOS.   It only has ONE of the regular characters and he's in a reduced role.  Not to mention all of the changes in format and design would confuse a viewer who tunes in the following week and wonders what the hell happened to Pike, Boyce, Number One and Yeoman Colt...

I've had to answer a LOT of questions from new young Tumblr Trekkies who messaged me all confused "I found this pilot episode for Star Trek but there's no Kirk, what happened" or, the other way around, have had folks thinking Pike IS Kirk and later being like "wait, I thought this other dude was Kirk, what's going on, which one is TOS now".

So... it creates enough confusion as it is now already, at least among the Trek newbies, lol.

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Leonard NImoy discusses THE CAGE

 

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49 minutes ago, Mr.Picard said:

I've had to answer a LOT of questions from new young Tumblr Trekkies who messaged me all confused "I found this pilot episode for Star Trek but there's no Kirk, what happened" or, the other way around, have had folks thinking Pike IS Kirk and later being like "wait, I thought this other dude was Kirk, what's going on, which one is TOS now".

So... it creates enough confusion as it is now already, at least among the Trek newbies, lol.

I think Roddenberry did the right thing by folding “The Cage” into a 2 parter flashback episode.  It explained the crew differences and technology changes in a single line of Spock's, “This was 13 years ago..."

Hell, it even accounts for why Spock was more emotional; he was younger

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20 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

I think Roddenberry did the right thing by folding “The Cage” into a 2 parter flashback episode.  It explained the crew differences and technology changes in a single line of Spock's, “This was 13 years ago..."

Hell, it even accounts for why Spock was more emotional; he was younger

Hell, if nothing else it was a GREAT use of a pilot that was probably never going to be seen again before as it was left to rot in a vault.

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I don't know... "WNMHGB" is IMO a really fine SF story and also kind of captivating. It's a good compromise between thrill and "ST spirit".

"The Man Trap" is IMO really not a bad episode and has some really great chemistry between the characters - too bad Uhura and Sulu hardly ever got so much good stuff to do later -, but yes, it's story is definitely not typical for Star Trek.

"The Corbomite Maneuver" is IMO not a good choice. Its solution may be typical ST, okay, but that is really all the good I can say about this episode. It's boring as hell, for most of the time, nothing even happens at all besides the crew staring on the screen. I can't imagine anybody would be thrilled to turn on the next week after this sucker of an episode (yes, it makes the top of my personal "most overrated episodes" list).

So on the bottom line, i think "WNMHGB" would be a good compromise. Even though everything looks different the next week... or just because of that: You could insert a "1 year later" disclaimer in the beginning of the first regular episode... rather than changing and suddenly changing back again the style, as they did.

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I would still stick with "Where No Man Has Gone Before" - it fits well with things. They should have aired that one first as opposed to "The Man Trap."

I never knew "The Man Trap" was the first TOS episode that aired until the late 1990's. Heck, I thought for a while that they actually aired "The Cage" back then. Of course, they didn't. We never got to see the pilot in full until that Trek special with Patrick Stewart back in 1988.

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