Sunday, November 1, 2015

Credit Where Credit is Due: Producing Star Trek's Second Season

Still of Gene Coon's on-screen credit for "Errand of Mercy" (1967)
This piece is in response to a conversation I've been having with several readers about (what else?) claims made by Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn in These Are The Voyages — TOS: Season Two (2014). Specifically, it is about claims regarding who should have received on-screen credit for producing several episodes during the middle of Star Trek's second season, when Gene Coon stepped down as the show's producer and was replaced by John Meredyth Lucas. As broadcast, 'Journey to Babel' has always credited John Meredyth Lucas, while 'Bread and Circuses' and 'A Private Little War' have always credited Gene Coon. According to These Are The Voyages, however, Gene Coon should have been the credited producer for all three episodes:
“Journey to Babel” was a rush job. It was the 15th episode produced for the second season, but the producers and NBC were so pleased with it that “Babel” was 10th to air. To meet the air date of the coming attraction trailer, one week before the episode itself, a different optical house had to be called in, which is why the effect in the trailer for the Orion ship speeding past the Enterprise is different than what appears in the actual episode. 
John Meredyth Lucas received his first Star Trek producing credit with this episode. It was a mistake; Gene Coon was the actual producer. However, by the time the production had ended and credits were added, Coon had left Star Trek . The name of Lucas, Coon’s replacement, was inserted by the post-production crew because of this staffing change. The error has never been corrected. 
--Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn, These Are The Voyages — TOS: Season Two (2014), p.363-364
There are several issues with this passage. To begin with, there's no evidence in the Gene Roddenberry and Bob Justman papers at UCLA that 'Journey to Babel' was "rushed" to air because NBC and the producers were so pleased with it. In point of fact, all the existing correspondence about the episode pertains to D.C. Fontana's story and script; there's nothing indicating how either party felt about the completed episode. What we do know is that from the end of principal photography (September 28, 1967) to the show's first broadcast (in Canada, on November 15, 1967), the production had 48 days to deliver an episode of television. Although this marked the fastest turnaround of an episode during Star Trek's second season (the runner up, 'Obsession,' took 58 days from wrap to air), it's worth noting that 'Journey to Babel' contained only a few new visual effects and was tracked with previously recorded music, both factors that would have sped up post-production.

Stills from 'Journey to Babel' (1967) [Left: trailer; Right: final episode]
There is also no evidence that a second vendor was brought in to complete a temporary visual effect of the Orion ship darting past the Enterprise in time to include it in the trailer for 'Journey to Babel.' In fact, based upon a comparison of the trailer to the final episode (above), the shots appear largely identical — the difference being that the effect in the trailer had yet to be composited onto the Enterprise viewscreen. Even if the Orion ship was noticeably different, however, Bob Justman was the one who prepared the coming attractions trailers for Star Trek, and he was constantly looking for ways to tighten the budget, not grow it. Indeed, a February 26, 1968 memo from Justman to Roddenberry shows that one of the primary reasons Star Trek delivered trailers to NBC (the network did not require them) was as a cost-savings measure. A one minute trailer cost about $750 to produce; one minute of story material was inevitably more expensive. A scenario in which Justman negated these cost-savings for an unremarkable visual effect that wouldn't even be featured in the final episode itself is, frankly, absurd.

Moving on to the matter of the credits, after examining the production files at UCLA, there's no question who should have been credited as the producer of 'Journey to Babel.' According to the cast sheet for the episode (dated September 19, 1967), John Meredyth Lucas was the show's producer:
Cast sheet for 'Journey to Babel' (September 19, 1967)
The episode's shooting schedule (undated, but probably September 19 or 20, 1967) also lists Lucas as the show's producer:
Shooting schedule for 'Journey to Babel' (approximately September 19-20, 1967)
The show's credits memo (dated October 13, 1967), which was approved by Ed Perlstein, an attorney with Desilu's business affairs department, lists the following credits for producer and executive producer:
Credits memo for 'Journey to Babel' (October 13, 1967)
The opening and closing titles for every Star Trek episode were based on credit memos like this one. Cushman and Osborn suggest that crediting John Meredyth Lucas as the episode's producer was a mistake made by "the post-production crew" when the titles were added to the episode, but in fact, crediting Lucas was a decision made when this memo was written in early October of 1967. A memo from Ed Perlstein to Bob Justman written on September 21, 1966 makes it clear who created Star Trek's credits — not an anonymous member of the post-production crew, as Cushman and Osborn seem to suggest, but associate producer Bob Justman (other memos make it clear that the credits were prepared in consultation with Gene Roddenberry, Desilu Business Affairs, and NBC Standards and Practices):
As I indicated to you today, our obligation to John D. F. Black for Associate Producer credit should only be with respect to those programs on which he rendered services, subject, however, to granting credit to Steve Carabatsos on those shows on which he performed services as Script Supervisor. 
In my conversation with you today, we agreed that John was not to receive credit with respect to the program MIRI [sic] as he did not perform any services whatsoever on this show. 
In making up your credits, please take this memo into consideration.
The final nail in the coffin in Cushman and Osborn's claim about the credits is John Meredyth Lucas' Star Trek deal memo, dated August 30, 1967 (the day after 'The Trouble with Tribbles' finished filming, which also marked the beginning of the show's Labor Day hiatus). The one page memo lays out which episodes Lucas would receive credit for in black and white. It says, in part:
We have engaged JOHN MEREDYTH LUCAS to act as Producer of Episodes #15, 17, 19, 21, 22 of "STAR TREK". 
His services will commence on September 5, 1967. He is to receive the sum of $3,000 per episode for Episodes #15, 17, and 19.
For his services in producing Episodes #20, 21, and 22, he is to receive $1,500.00 per week. 
Upon completion of principal photography of Episode #19, Paramount has an option to extend LUCAS' employment for the balance of the season at $1,500.00 per week. In the event that Paramount does not wish to extend said employment, it must notify LUCAS of its said election, in any event, at the time of completion of principal photograph [sic] of Episode #19. 
In the event that LUCAS writes an original teleplay during the term of this employment, he shall be entitled to "top of the show". In the event that he directs an episode of "STAR TREK", he shall be entitled to "top of the show". 
As producer, he is entitled to single card credit on each episode of the series on which he renders his services. In the event that he writes or directs, he is entitled to the appropriate credit.
Episode 15 — Lucas' first episode as the new producer of Star Trek — was 'Journey to Babel.' It should be noted that this deal memo has at least one typo in it, since the first paragraph does not mention Lucas producing episode #20, but the third paragraph does. It also manages to introduce a new mystery, since it does not name Lucas as the producer of episode #18, even though Lucas would ultimately be credited as the producer of that episode.

On August 31, 1967 — one day after the ink dried on Lucas' deal memo — Daily Variety ran a news item announcing the staffing change. This same story was reprinted in Weekly Variety on September 6, 1967:

Weekly Variety (September 6, 1967, p.43)
In These Are The Voyages — TOS: Season Two, Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn offer their own version of Gene L. Coon's departure from Star Trek and his subsequent work in Hollywood:
Days after his release, and weeks before he would actually leave the Star Trek offices, Coon made arrangements to go to work for Universal, where he had helped develop McHale’s Navy and other series in the early 1960s. As Daily Variety reported, his first job, once he cleared Star Trek, was to write a feature film script for his new employers -- the western Journey to Shiloh, based on a novel by Will Henry (aka Henry Allen), and starring James Caan. After that he would be put back to work as a writer/producer in television, with Glen Larson as his associate producer, on It Takes a Thief, slated for a midseason premiere on ABC in early 1968. 
--Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn, These Are The Voyages — TOS: Season Two (2014), p.327-328 
Unfortunately, this account does not line up with the facts. Gene L. Coon did adapt Journey to Shiloh for Universal, but it was not his first job after being released from Star Trek. According to Daily Variety, filming began on the William Hale-directed Western on March 28, 1967. By July of 1967, production on the film had been completed, and the cast and crew moved on to other projects. It's not clear when Coon penned the screenplay for the film, but it was certainly before he left Star Trek.

Coon eventually did join It Takes a Thief as a writer and producer, but Cushman and Osborn neglect to mention that he did not do so until midway through the program's first season. Variety reported that Coon had joined It Takes a Thief in its January 16, 1968 issue (the same day the second episode of the series was broadcast). Reflecting this late start, Coon did not receive a producing credit on the show until its eighth aired episode. Additionally, during the first season, his associate producer was Mort Zarcoff, not Glen A. Larson. Larson wouldn't assume the role of associate producer until the program's second season; during the first season of It Takes a Thief, he was just a freelancer who wrote a single episode.

Elaborating further on Coon's departure and the reactions of the staff, Cushman and Osborn offer the following:
Perpetuating the “official story” 30 years after the fact, Robert Justman went on record in his book with Herb Solow (Star Trek: The Inside Story), saying, “I wrote my last memo to Gene Coon on September 5, 1967, one day after the Labor Day holiday. He left the show that week, exhausted; he had come close to a complete nervous breakdown.” 
Ande Richardson-Kindryd disputes Justman’s claim that Coon was having anything close to a breakdown. And while it is true that Justman began addressing his memos to Roddenberry and Lucas after September 5, with “cc” to Coon, it is also true that Coon was still the series producer, and held that position for another month. There was a different reason for Justman’s memos not going to Coon. 
To Justman’s thinking, Coon was abandoning Star Trek. Further, he was turning over his job -- as top producer -- to someone who barely knew the show and, as Justman would write in numerous memos, was not proving to be a good Star Trek writer. Worse, Coon had not even considered offering the job to Justman, which would have advanced the talented and hardworking associate producer to being the series’ primary producer. 
--Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn, These Are The Voyages — TOS: Season Two (2014), p.327-328  
It's not clear to me how Justman was perpetuating the "official story" when, thirty years later, he wrote that Coon left the Star Trek offices exhausted on the week of September 5, 1967. The account given to Variety at the time — that Coon wanted to take time away from TV to work on a feature film script and would work on the series for an additional five weeks — would seem more appropriately the "official story."

Cushman and Osborn's explanation for Justman directing memos to Lucas with Coon on carbon copy makes even less sense. For one thing, Cushman and Osborn omit the fact that D.C. Fontana and Gene Roddenberry (the rest of the show's small staff) also started directing their memos to John Meredyth Lucas around the same time, with Gene Coon on carbon copy (or not on copy at all). For another, in Inside Star Trek: The Real Story (1996; Cushman and Osborn misidentify the title of the book in this passage), Bob Justman is very direct about being hurt by the fact that Gene Roddenberry chose Fred Freiberger over him to produce Star Trek's third season (in addition to confessing hurt that Roddenberry didn't involve him in the production of Star Trek—The Motion Picture at all). Why be so honest about his hurt feelings in these cases, but leave out being hurt over John Meredyth Lucas being hired? More likely, I think, is that Justman wasn't expecting a promotion like that in the midst of the show's second season.

Returning to the matter of screen credit, Cushman and Osborn go on to offer the following description of the closing credits for 'A Private Little War,' the next episode produced after 'Journey to Babel':
In the end titles of the episode, Janos Prohaska is credited with playing the “gumato.” This was actually the mugato. In the script it was called a “gumato,” which is why it is listed that way in the credits. But DeForest Kelley had trouble pronouncing the name, so it was changed during filming.
Also in those end titles, as Gene Coon’s credit appears, we see the Enterprise orbiting a different planet than before. The continents and oceans we had previously seen are missing and the planet is now smaller, darker, and presented in various shades of blue. The reason for the switch: the company that prepared the titles for Star Trek had made a mistake. Gene L. Coon was supposed to receive the producer’s credit here, as well as on “Journey to Babel,” but the title card read John Meredyth Lucas instead. When “Journey to Babel” was aired on November 11, 1967, someone noticed that Lucas was listed as the producer. Roddenberry was notified of the mistake and discovered the same error with “A Private Little War.” Before shipping the latter episode to NBC, the end title card from “Catspaw” crediting Gene Coon, was spliced in, replacing John Meredyth Lucas’s name.
--Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn, These Are The Voyages — TOS: Season Two (2014), p.383
Once again, there are issues with this account, although Cushman and Osborn are right about the "mugatu" being an on-set name change. In Gene Roddenberry's September 25, 1967 re-write of the episode, the creature is called the "gumato" throughout, a spelling which was later reflected in Bob Justman's November 11, 1967 credit memo:
Credit memo for 'A Private Little War' (November 11, 1967)
Also reflected in Justman's credit memo? Gene Coon's producing credit:
Credit memo for 'A Private Little War' (November 11, 1967)
Additionally, it should be noted that 'Journey to Babel' premiered on NBC on November 17, 1967 (not the eleventh, as Cushman and Osborn incorrectly claim in this passage), which means that the credit memo listing Coon as the producer of 'A Private Little War' actually preceded the broadcast of 'Journey to Babel.' For this reason, it is highly unlikely that 'A Private Little War' ever carried a producing credit for John Meredyth Lucas instead of Gene L. Coon.

The one piece of paperwork at UCLA that might have led Cushman and Osborn to conclude that 'A Private Little War' carried the wrong producing credit is the cast sheet for the episode, dated September 29, 1967. That document credits John Meredyth Lucas as the show's producer rather than Gene Coon:
Cast sheet for 'A Private Little War' (September 29, 1967)
It should be emphasized, however, that on-screen credits were not based on cast sheets. As such, it's unlikely this error would have been reflected when the episode was aired (especially since the credits memo contains the correct producing credit).

Even if Cushman and Osborn's scenario was correct, and an incorrect credit on 'Journey to Babel' tipped off Roddenberry that a change had to be made to 'A Private Little War,' there's no reason for the final effect to have been rushed. 'A Private Little War' aired months after 'Journey to Babel' did, on February 2, 1968, which would have left the production plenty of time to fix one bad title card.

Indeed, if you compare the final title cards from 'Catspaw' to those from 'A Private Little War,' it's clear that they are completely different shots (note also that the planet in 'A Private Little War' does in fact have continents and oceans, and is roughly similar to the planet seen in other shots, contrary to Cushman and Osborn's description):

Stills from 'Catspaw' (1967)
Stills from 'A Private Little War' (1968)
Interestingly enough, although there's no documentation in the UCLA files supporting Cushman and Osborn's claim that 'A Private Little War' and 'Journey to Babel' carried the wrong producer credits at any point, there is a January 24, 1968 letter from Emmet Lavery (at the time, Vice President of Paramount's business affairs department) to Gene Roddenberry, which suggests that the producer credit on "The Immunity Syndrome" was possibly incorrect when first broadcast:
I have been advised by John Meredyth Lucas' agent that the episode of STAR TREK entitled "Immunity Syndrome" which ran Friday, January 19, 1968, carried a credit for Gene Coon as producer when in fact John Meredyth Lucas was the producer. 
Will you please verify whether this occurred and will you please investigate what the situation is on credits on up-coming episodes. 
To maintain good relations, it might be advisable, if the above situation has been accurately stated to me, to publish a trade story correcting the credit.
Unfortunately, there's no further correspondence about the matter in the UCLA archives, and I have been unable to find a retraction in one of the trade papers (although I haven't done the exhaustive research necessary to rule out the possibility of one having been published). However, since the credit memo for the episode (dated November 6, 1967) correctly lists Lucas as the show's producer, I doubt that Coon ever received screen credit for 'The Immunity Syndrome.' On home video, the episode has always credited John Meredyth Lucas as its producer. If there was an error, it was quickly and permanently corrected.

Once again, These Are The Voyages has presented a version of history based on incorrect assumptions and statements which appear to have been invented out of whole cloth. If Cushman and Osborn have other sources to support their narrative, it would certainly help their case to present them. As it stands, there's no evidence in the production files at UCLA, contemporary trade papers, or the final episodes themselves that any of the screen credits for 'Bread and Circuses,' 'Journey to Babel,' or 'A Private Little War' were ever incorrect.

Certain images courtesy of Trek Core.


The Gene Roddenberry Star Trek Television Series Collection (1964-1969)

The Robert H. Justman Collection of Star Trek Television Series Scripts (1966-1968)

Inside Star Trek : The Real Story (Herbert F. Solow and Robert H. Justman, 1996)

These Are The Voyages — TOS: Season Two (Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn, March 2014)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Unseen Trek: "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (FINAL REVISED DRAFT)

Still from "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (1965)
Written by Samuel A. Peeples
FINAL REVISED DRAFT, dated July 9, 1965
(with further revised pages inserted, dated July 14 & 15, 1965)
Report and Analysis by David Eversole
Originally posted at Orion Press

This one matches the aired pilot pretty closely with one major and a few small exceptions.

The major one — a page and a half opening teaser (which I understand is on the alternate version of the episode which was prepared for the execs).

The Teaser (for the record, Peeples (or the studio typist) misspells a couple words, but I've typed them as was):



CAMERA PULLING BACK to establish the saucer-shape, the vast cloud of suns and planets.

                                                        KIRK'S VOICE
                                       This is our galaxy -- a gigantic cloud of 
                                       suns and planets, in which our Earth is
                                       but a pinpoint, one speck of dust. The
                                       galaxy is so vast that even traveling at
                                       millions of miles per hour it would still
                                       take millions of years to cross through it.

Then CAMERA PANNING along the photo plate away from Earth's galaxy to reveal the gulf of empty, black space dotted only by a few milky spots of phospherescence which mark other galaxies millions of light years away.

                                                        KIRK'S VOICE
                                       And yet, as incredible as it seems, it is
                                       itself only one of untold billions of other
                                       galaxies, each separated by voids of
                                       emptiness so vast that time, matter
                                       and energy may not even mean the
                                       same out there.


Our starship APPROACHING CAMERA through fairly dense star background, at first only a pinpoint in the distance, then flashing into view and PAST CAMERA.

                                                        KIRK'S VOICE
                                       The U. S. S. Enterprise. Until now its
                                       task of space law regulation, contact
                                       with Earth's colonies, and investigation
                                       of alien life, had always kept the vessel
                                       within galaxy limits.


moving AWAY FROM CAMERA, but now using only a single PLATE of star motion -- our combination of this and the preceding scene giving the impression of the U. S. S. Enterprise moving out of the galaxy and through thinning stars toward that black void of emptiness beyond.

                                                        KIRK'S VOICE
                                       But on star date 1312.4, its massive
                                       space-warp engines brought it to the
                                       edge of that black void. 
                                       My name is James Kirk...
                                       commanding the Enterprise. Our
                                       mission -- a probe out into where
                                       no man had gone before.

As the U. S. S. Enterprise moves away and out of sight, TITLE ZOOMS INTO FULL FRAME:





Mitchell is shown walking along a corridor, nodding to passing crewmen, passes Yeoman Smith, gives her a "special male approving look." Then he dashes for the elevator with Kirk and Spock.

No mention of who the first officer is.

Kirk's gravestone is described as a simple white cross like those that adorn the graves in national cemeteries. His initial is "R" as in the aired episode.

After Spock tells Kirk that he too felt for Mitchell, he continues with: "I hated every minute of being logical about it."

SAMUEL A. PEEPLES (1917-1997): Best known as the writer of Star Trek's second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before," but some people forget that he also contributed an episode ("Beyond The Farthest Star") for the animated Star Trek series, and wrote an unused script for the second Star Trek movie (Worlds That Never Were) which discarded the character of Khan and, instead, involved two travelers from an alternate dimension facing off against Kirk and company. Peeples has an impressive array of credits on other television series as writer, series creator and producer. They include: Wanted: Dead or AliveBonanzaBurke's LawThe Legend of Jesse James (which he created), A Man Called Shenandoah, and The New Animated Adventures of Flash Gordon.

Editor's Note: A different version of Kirk's narration excerpted above can be found in the workprint release of the second pilot, available on the season three Blu-Ray release, and in these segments on YouTube.

Image courtesy of Trek Core.

This article was originally published by Orion Press and is reprinted by permission of publisher Randall Landers. All rights revert to the original authors.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Unseen Trek: "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (FIRST DRAFT)

Still from workprint version of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (1965)
Written by Samuel A. Peeples
FIRST DRAFT, dated May 27, 1965
Report and Analysis by David Eversole
Originally posted at Orion Press

Peeples' first draft, amazingly, was changed relatively little — it is about 85% what was finally filmed. Some names are different — here we have Lieutenant Clark Mitchell, Lieutenant Leroy Kelso and Ship's Doctor Johnson (Johnson is only referenced by his last name once, the senior staff are simply tagged as Ship's Doctor, Ship's Engineer, Ship's Physicist, etc.).

Some differences between this script and what aired:
  • The action opens with the Kirk log detailed in my review of the shooting script, then cuts directly to the bridge; no introductory chess game between Kirk and Spock, no first meeting with Mitchell in the elevator.
  • There is no mention of stardates. One of Kirk's logs opens with, "Captain's Log, Report 197."
  • It is stated in the narrative that Spock is senior to Mitchell. Spock is described as red-hued, much as in Roddenberry's first series outline. Perhaps Peeples never saw "The Cage."
  • The Valiant was lost 132 years ago. The Valiant's recorder is brought into an engineering airlock by the tractor beam, not beamed directly onboard via the transporter.
  • Mitchell is even more flirtatious than in the aired version--he even refers to Yeoman Smith as "kitten." Spock is the one who knew and worked with Mitchell for years. Although friends, Mitchell and Kirk are not as close as in the aired version, and there is no talk of any shared history.
  • When the Enterprise passes through the barrier at the edge of the galaxy, everyone is enveloped in a greenish glow and bolts of green "electricity" shoot from their hands and feet.
  • A mass funeral is held in the Ship's Chapel (described as containing symbols such as the Christian Cross and the Jewish Star of David, as well as several unknown alien religious icons) and the bodies of the dead are consigned to space.
  • Much of the action then transpires as aired, though in this draft Kirk does not divert to Delta Vega with the intent of stranding Mitchell. Kelso and three others are strangled onboard the Enterprise, then Clark Mitchell, using his mental powers, diverts the ship to an unnamed planet which he beams down to with Elizabeth Dehner.
  • Kirk regains control of the ship, and, armed with a laser rifle, beams down after them. He makes his way across the mountainous terrain toward Mitchell and Dehner, suddenly finds that the blue sand he is crossing is quicksand. He sinks fast, but pulls a small gun, armed with a steel barb, from his belt, fires it toward a rock wall. A thin nylon-like rope shoots out and the barb embeds itself in the wall. Kirk drags himself free of the quicksand.
  • Using his power, Mitchell blocks Kirk's path with a wall of blue flames. Kirk, using his barb/rope weapon, swings over the flames, lands safely on the other side. Mitchell then attempts to stop him with a gale-force wind, but Kirk continues on doggedly, eventually confronts the two. Things play out as in the aired version, but in the final fight, there is no grave or tombstone. Weakened by Dehner's dying blast of energy, Mitchell is at the edge of a cliff, below him is a thousand-foot drop. He and Kirk fight, and Mitchell, weakened, is forced over the edge. Kirk extends a hand to him, Mitchell grabs hold, but he is too weak, lets go and plummets to his death.
  • Onboard the Enterprise, Spock agrees with Kirk that Mitchell and Dehner should be listed as casualties since they did not ask for what befell them. Kirk and Spock smile at each other, and for the first time there seems to be the beginning of a friendship between the two.
SAMUEL A. PEEPLES (1917-1997): Best known as the writer of Star Trek's second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before," but some people forget that he also contributed an episode ("Beyond The Farthest Star") for the animated Star Trek series, and wrote an unused script for the second Star Trek movie (Worlds That Never Were) which discarded the character of Khan and, instead, involved two travelers from an alternate dimension facing off against Kirk and company. Peeples has an impressive array of credits on other television series as writer, series creator and producer. They include: Wanted: Dead or AliveBonanzaBurke's LawThe Legend of Jesse James (which he created), A Man Called Shenandoah, and The New Animated Adventures of Flash Gordon.

Editor's Note: Although this draft does have Kirk say, "Ship's log, Report 197" in it (on page 67) it also used the stardate system. For example, at the beginning of the script (on page 2), Kirk says, "On stardate 1312.6." Read more about the origins of stardates in this previous post.

Image courtesy of Trek Core.

This article was originally published by Orion Press and is reprinted by permission of publisher Randall Landers. All rights revert to the original authors.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Unseen Trek: "The Cage" (REVISED DRAFT)

Still from "The Menagerie" aka "The Cage" (1964)
Written by Gene Roddenberry
REVISED DRAFT, dated November 20, 1964
Report and Analysis by David Eversole
Originally posted at Orion Press

This 74-page script is very narrative heavy — everything is described and explained. Again, very understandable, it was setting the scene, describing the Star Trek universe for the first time.

It is noted that Spock's limp and the bandages on the various crewmembers are a result of the recent battle on Rigel VII, thus laying to rest all the speculation that Leonard Nimoy was limping because of a real life accident. In this draft, the captain was briefly renamed James Winter, before reverting to Christopher Pike in the episode as filmed.

The Orion Slave Woman scene as scripted:

                                       ... he must wonder what it would be
                                       like to forget all that.


The transition catching him still seated. He's startled by the SOUND of strange music and wild merriment. He is now on a pillowed floor at a long low table piled high with exotic foods. His attire is rich silk robes, almost like those of an Oriental potentate. And he becomes aware he is being anxiously attended, even fawned upon, by two who have something of the "slave" in their garb and manner. Their skin has a color like Mr. Spock.

                                                        SPACE OFFICER'S VOICE
                                       You used to be Captain of the Enterprise,
                                       didn't you?

CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal the speaker is a uniformed space officer (not from the Enterprise) seated at the table. The other man is an Earth trader dressed similar to Winter but less luxuriously. Each of these men is being served by a slave woman. Around all this, a scene of barbaric splendor with an almost Oriental flavor. The MUSIC comes from a quartet seated near a fountain pool, playing unusual instruments. Here and there in the courtyard are richly exotic plants with unusual shapes.

                                                        EARTH TRADER
                                       Matter of fact he was. Used to stop
                                       here now and then...
                                                  (smiles at Winter)
                                       ...and then send Earth 
                                       a blistering report...
                                                  (pretended report)
                                       "The Orion traders are taking shocking
                                       advantage of the natives..."

Good-natured laughter interrupting this.

                                                        SPACE OFFICER
                                                  (to Winter)
                                       Do any of you have a green one? They're
                                       dangerous, I hear. Razor claws, and
                                       they attract a man like a sensation of
                                       irresistible hunger...

Winter is perceptibly startled by the familiar term: "Irresistible hunger". And why had Space Officer emphasized the words, and why is he giving Winter that searching look? The Earth Trader is also giving Winter a knowing look. He indicates Winter to the Space Officer.

                                                        EARTH TRADER
                                       Now and then comes a man who
                                       tames one.
                                                  (to Space Officer)
                                       He'd stumbled into this dark corridor,
                                       and then he saw flickering light ahead.
                                                  (to Winter)
                                       Almost like secret dreams a bored
                                       ship captain might have, wasn't it?
                                       There she was, holding a torch,
                                       glistening green...

Aware now the Talosians are definitely baiting him thru the images of these two men, Winter angrily rises. But his female servant is in his path. And in b.g., the male servant has moved to sound a NOTE on a hanging cymbal.

                                       Get out of my way, blast you!

The MUSIC changes now -- louder, a slow throbbing rhythm. Winter's attention is attracted by an exclamation of astonishment from the seated space officer. He turns to see:


Wild! Green skin, glistening as if oiled. Her fingertips are long gleaming razor-edged scimitars, her hair not unattractive but suggesting a wild animal mane. She is moving out to the open rectangle in front of the table, eyes wild. We feel she's larger than before, immensely strong. The female slaves have hurried off, frightened. But one is slower and Vina suddenly pivots with a CAT SOUND, bars a frightened female slave's escape. Winter's male servant has grabbed a whip, leaps out to intercede and Vina turns, snarling at him. The man slave swings back to lash at her.


Vina turns at the voice, eyes WINTER for a long moment.


returning the look, fascinated.


Now, her gaze riveted on WINTER, she moves to the center of the rectangle, lets the slow-powerful beat of the MUSIC reach her, the slow surging beat forcing movement out of her as a reed flute takes possession of a cobra. She SHRIEKS (dubbed wild animal cry) and the rhythm moves faster, her movements following the barbaric MUSIC.


unable to tear his eyes from her.


Now dancing wildly, animal beautiful.


as the Earth Trader looks up toward Winter, again meaningfully:

                                                        EARTH TRADER
                                       Wouldn't you say that's worth a
                                       man's soul?

Space Officer turns to eye Winter similarly.

                                                        SPACE OFFICER
                                       It makes you believe she could be
                                       anything. Suppose, you had all of
                                       space to choose from, and this was
                                       only one small sample of...

Winter tears himself from these words, turns and brushes past his retainers, hurrying into the exit door behind.

The rest is exactly as was shot.

Image courtesy of Trek Core.

This article was originally published by Orion Press and is reprinted by permission of publisher Randall Landers. All rights revert to the original authors.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Orion Press Announcement and Plans for the Remainder of 2015

Behind the scenes photograph from the filming of "Amok Time" (1967)
You may have noticed that my output has slowed considerably this year. I've been busier both at work and at home, and carving out the time to research and write material for this blog has been a challenge. I've also been tackling subjects which have required much more research and analysis than almost anything I've written before. I'm proud of the two pieces I've written so far this year (if you haven't had the chance to read them, I think they're among my best work), but this has undeniably slowed my pace. 

In the next seven months, however, I'm hoping to grow the output of this blog considerably. Allow me a moment to explain...

I've been a member of the online Star Trek fan community for almost fifteen years. In all that time, I haven't visited a website more frequently for information about the making of Star Trek than Randall Landers' superlative Orion Press. For the past year and a half, I've had the pleasure of helping Orion Press complete its Unseen Elements of the Original Series webpage, which provides summaries and analyses of the stories and teleplays that went unused (in whole or in part) on Star Trek. It's been a great joy to be able to contribute to that project, which remains an ongoing interest.

Recently, I learned that after decades of publishing Orion Press – which has existed in print or online since 1979 – Randy will be stepping back to focus on Project: Potemkin and other fan films currently in the planning stages. Not wanting Orion Press' numerous pieces of non-fiction to disappear from the web altogether, Randy asked if I would be interested in migrating these articles over to my blog.

Today I am happy to announce that I will begin doing just that. Starting next week, I will begin re-posting articles from Orion Press on this blog alongside my own research, at a rate of one article per week.

These articles were originally published by Orion Press and are reprinted by permission of publisher Randall Landers. All rights revert to the original authors. In a few cases, some minor edits have been made by the original authors of these articles. In a few cases, I have inserted my own commentary (under the heading "editor's note") when my own research has been able to shed additional light on the story or teleplay being discussed.

Some of these articles are more than thirty years old. Although efforts were made to contact the original authors, some have long been lost in the mists of fandom. If any author of material being posted on this blog would like to have it taken down, please let me know, and I will happily remove it.

Film slate from "Shore Leave" (1966)
In addition to the migration of this material from Orion Press, I also have an ambitious slate of new material planned for the rest of this year:
  • A fact check of the various claims made by Richard Arnold about the making of the original Star Trek during his March 10, 2014 appearance on Mission Log: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast.
  • A tribute to the late Grace Lee Whitney, debunking various myths that have circulated over the years, and providing some additional context from the archives about her short-lived stint as a regular during Star Trek's first season.
  • A sixth (and, at long last, possibly final) part to my ongoing series about the development and writing of what became the second season episode "A Private Little War."
  • A look at the multiple stories how William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley developed tinnitus after an on-set explosion, and my determination which version is the most believable.
  • A fact check of Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn's claim that Gene Coon, not Norman Spinrad, made the decision to kill Matt Decker in "The Doomsday Machine" late in the rewrite process of that classic episode.
  • An analysis of the claims in Inside Star Trek: The Real Story and These Are The Voyages that NBC made multiple on-air announcements that Star Trek would be returning for another season.
  • An examination of the infamous, original ending to "Who Mourns for Adonais?" and Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn's claim that NBC had the scene scrapped shortly before it was scheduled to be filmed.
As always, however, I'm just as happy to postpone all my plans if it means being able to comb the archives in search of an answer to a reader question. So, if you have a question you want answered, please post it in the comments, or drop me a line using the contact form to the left. One of the great pleasures of writing Star Trek Fact Check has been my interactions with other fans who are as interested in rigorous, archival research about the making of the Star Trek as I am.

Images Courtesy of Trek Core.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

And On The Seventh Day: Conflicting Production Accounts of Star Trek's Second Season

Still from "I, Mudd" (1967)
In early 2012, a friend sent me a spreadsheet which listed the shooting dates for every episode of Star Trek (1966-69). It had been meticulously compiled based on hundreds of production slates which have appeared in film trims sold by Lincoln Enterprises over the years (such as this one, for example).

A few months after receiving this document, I prepared my own spreadsheet of production dates based on various documents (daily production budget reports supplemented by daily production reports and call sheets, when available) from the Gene Roddenberry Star Trek collection at the University of California, Los Angeles. These helped fill in a few gaps, and I have relied heavily on both spreadsheets since whenever I've written about the production history of Star Trek.

Flash forward to earlier this year, when I read Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn's These Are The Voyages — TOS: Season Two (2014) for the first time. As with the authors' previous volume, a number of claims made in the book left me (pardon the phrase) raising an eyebrow. I couldn't possibly address all of those claims at once without ending up with a book of my own, so I hope you'll allow me to narrow my focus (for the moment) towards the book's "production diaries" (essentially, accounts of what scenes were shot when).

Until recently, I presumed there was little reason to doubt the shooting dates offered in These Are The Voyages, but since conducting the research for that earlier post and now this one, I have become much more skeptical of Cushman and Osborn's production diaries. I first began to suspect that the authors' production diaries did not match my own chronology  after reading a passage from the chapter devoted to "I, Mudd." Regarding that episode, Cushman and Osborn write:
The consensus was that “I, Mudd,” with all the trick photography that was needed, would take longer to film than the usual Star Trek, so an extra day was allocated. A seven-day shooting schedule was a luxury for Marc Daniels, but he would need every minute. 
--Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn, These Are The Voyages — TOS: Season Two (eBook Edition, March 2014)
This brief passage stood out to me for a couple of reasons. First, as broadcast, "I, Mudd" doesn't have many trick photography shots in it. In point of fact, beyond six stock shots of the Enterprise, there are only three special photographic effects in the whole episode. One of the three is a standard transporter materialization — an expensive, but ultimately routine effect by this point in the series. The other two are split screen shots, which showcase a multitude of androids with the help of a locked off camera and an optical printer (and of course, twins). Incidentally, although Cushman and Osborn twice claim that these split screens were accomplished without an optical printer, my sources at Star Trek History have confirmed otherwise. I have included stills of all three shots below. Second, my own information (the spreadsheets I previously described) indicates that "I, Mudd" filmed over the course of six days, not seven, going before the cameras on August 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 21, 1967.

Still from "I, Mudd" (Scene 31, 1967)
Still from "I, Mudd" (Scene 39, 1967)
Still from "I, Mudd" (Scene 85, 1967)
Regarding the episode's use of trick photography, I consulted with the production paperwork for "I, Mudd" available in the Robert Justman Star Trek collection at UCLA, for more information. Although the final episode does not contain a great deal of special photographic effects work, I recognized the possibility that other effects may have been planned, only to be discarded during filming or editing. Therefore, I needed to find out how much trick photography was actually planned for "I, Mudd." To answer that question, I turned to the episode's special photographic effects memo, which was prepared just prior to production on August 10, 1967:
Scene 1: OPTICAL HOUSE - Standard Enterprise Flyby
Scene 10: OPTICAL HOUSE - Standard Enterprise Flyby
Scene 13: OPTICAL HOUSE - MATTE stars into shot shooting past Sulu. We may not need this shot, but if we do, one was made for "METAMORPHOSIS."
Scene 14: OPTICAL HOUSE - Standard Enterprise Turn or Peel Off.
Scene 24: OPTICAL HOUSE - Standard Enterprise Flyby
Scene 27: OPTICAL HOUSE - MATTE approach to planet onto Main Viewing Screen. Use the grey planet in Library.
Scene 30: OPTICAL HOUSE - Standard Enterprise orbit of planet.
Scene 31: STAGE - Tied down camera. Standard "STAR TREK" MATERIALIZATION. Actors should not overlap each other when in the materialization position.
Scene 39: STAGE - Tied down camera. This will be a SPLIT-SCREEN to create many Alice Androids. This will probably be a 3-way split in an attempt to show as many Alices as possible. The outside edges of the frame could have a girl on the frame line to indicate there are more. Please call Eddie Milkis & Frank Vanderveer when ready to make the shot for Scs. 39-50-85.
Scene 50: STAGE - Tied down camera. Shot made same as Scene 39 above.
Scene 85: STAGE - Tied down camera. Shot made same as Scene 39 and 50 above.
Scene 86: OPTICAL HOUSE: Standard Enterprise Flyby.
Based on this document, twelve special photographic effects shots were planned for "I, Mudd," only eight of which appeared in the final episode (scene 86, a stock shot of the Enterprise leaving orbit, became two stock shots). The special photographic effects shots planned for scenes 13, 24 and 27 were abandoned, but these were all intended stock shots. Ultimately, only one new special photographic effects shot planned for "I, Mudd" was abandoned: scene 50, a tied down camera shot (in which the camera was locked into place to allow for multiple shots to be taken that would later be combined into one shot by using an optical printer) that would have been similar to the effect used in scenes 39 and 85 (both pictured above). In light of that fact, it's safe to say that "I, Mudd" wasn't filled with time-consuming trick photography that would have slowed down the schedule. There's certainly no evidence in the files at UCLA that there was any "consensus" that the episode would need seven days to complete because of its special photographic effects needs.

What then, led Cushman and Osborn to conclude that the episode was planned as a seven day shoot, if there weren't plans for a plethora of time-consuming shots? Judging by the evidence in the archival record at UCLA, it was almost certainly the episode's shooting schedule that led the author's astray. To give you an idea what a shooting schedule from Star Trek looks like, I have reproduced the entire shooting schedule for "I, Mudd" below.

At first glance, the above schedule seems to confirm that "I, Mudd" was intended to shoot in seven days, rather than the usual six. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes clear that Cushman and Osborn have overlooked a crucial piece of information: more than half of the schedule's first day  — 5 and 2/8 pages, to be exact — wasn't spent on "I, Mudd" at all. Instead, it was dedicated to picking up several scenes with Barbara Luna for "Mirror, Mirror" that had been postponed two weeks before when the actress developed a sudden illness.

Here is how Cushman and Osborn briefly describe the first day of filming on "I, Mudd" in the second volume of These Are The Voyages:
Filming began Monday, August 14, 1967, on Stage 9, for the Enterprise sets. William Shatner had the day off. Nimoy and Kelley were present for their brief encounter with Norman in the corridor. James Doohan was needed for his physical confrontation with Norman in engineering. Also shot was Norman in “Emergency Manual Control,” the upper deck of engineering. 
--Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn, These Are The Voyages — TOS: Season Two (eBook Edition, March 2014).
This account, along with the rest of the author's production diary for "I, Mudd," was almost certainly drawn from the episode's shooting schedule. Based upon conflicting information found in a number of film trims generously provided by Star Trek History, as well contradictory filming dates indicated in a February 10, 1968 post-production report sourced from the Gene Roddenberry collection, it's highly unlikely that Cushman and Osborn had access to the episode's daily production reports or call sheets. This makes sense, as (unfortunately) neither of these documents survive in the public files at UCLA.

Unfortunately, using a shooting schedule — a document prepared before production begins — to find out what actually happened during production is rather unreliable, to say the least. To draw an appropriate analogy, this would be like relying on a contractor's estimate as a precise account of the day-to-day construction of a building from the ground up.

William Shatner  filming a scene from "I, Mudd" on August 14, 1967 (courtesy of Star Trek History)

Indeed, Cushman and Osborn's chronology runs into trouble the moment you compare it to slates found in film trims from "I, Mudd." For example, the authors claim that William Shatner was given the day off on August 14, 1967; two film clips of slates dated 8-14-67 prove that Shatner was on set and working that day (see above). The authors also claim that the brief scene from the teaser between Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, and Richard Tatro (as Norman) in the Enterprise corridor was filmed on August 14, 1967; another film trim shows that the scene was actually taken on August 18, 1967. In fact, none of the film clips provided by my friends at Star Trek History match the filming dates printed in Cushman and Osborn's book. Even the date on this clip, which actually appears in These Are The Voyages, does not line up with the authors' text!

For a complete account of these discrepancies, I have created the table below. "Film Clip" indicates the date found on production slates provided by Star Trek History, "Schedule" indicates the date planned in the shooting schedule, and "TATV" indicates the date described in the text of These Are The Voyages.

Based on the dates from these eleven film clips, it seems that the production actually followed the shooting schedule for "I, Mudd" fairly closely, with one notable exception — the eight scenes from the episode that had originally been penciled in for August 11, 1967. Those scenes ended up being delayed when filming on "The Deadly Years" went over schedule by approximately half a day. Rather than move on to "I, Mudd" after "The Deadly Years," as originally planned, the production opted to film the scenes with William Shatner and Barbara Luna needed to complete "Mirror, Mirror" instead. In fairness to Cushman and Osborn, These Are The Voyages does correctly note the August 11, 1967 overages on "The Deadly Years," as well as the scenes from "Mirror, Mirror" that were subsequently shot later in the day:
Day 7, Friday, August 11. The production [of "The Deadly Years"] was extended into the first half of a seventh day. For the last scene in sickbay, Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley, and Doohan had to go through the grueling makeup process one more time. At the lunch break, Nimoy, Kelley, and Doohan were dismissed. Pevney checked out, too. Shatner had his old age makeup stripped away for his love scenes with the now healthy Barbara Luna, finishing “Mirror, Mirror” under the direction of Marc Daniels. 
--Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn, These Are The Voyages — TOS: Season Two (eBook Edition, March 2014). 
Beginning with its account of the very next day of filming, however, the chronology in These Are The Voyages starts to really run off the rails. Cushman and Osborn assume that the 2 and 7/8 pages for "I, Mudd" originally scheduled for August 11 were pushed until August 14, and that these pages occupied the episode's entire first day of principal photography. Neither the evidence nor common sense, however, support this view. For example, a film clip provided by Star Trek History shows scene 3 being shot on August 18 (in the completed episode, note that scenes 2 and 3 have been combined into one long take with no coverage, lasting from about 0:07 to 1:14).

Page 3A, "I, Mudd" Cast Sheet (August 1967; personal information omitted)

Additionally, a revised page from the episode's cast sheet (pictured above) shows the stunt engineers needed to film scenes 16, 18, and 19 scheduled for August 21, not August 14. Judging by the straightforward blocking of the eight scenes in question  — scenes 2-3, 4-5, and 17 were each accomplished in a single shot with no coverage; scenes 16 and 18-19 portray an action sequence with only five different set-ups  —  they appear to have been rushed. Tacked on to an already busy schedule (prior to these eight scenes being added, August 18 and 21 already had 16 and 5/8 pages planned between them), it's understandable that Marc Daniels chose to shoot the extra material as simply as possible. There was simply no time for multiple camera set-ups and complex staging.

However, even if this archival evidence did not exist, common sense would still call Cushman and Osborn's timeline into question. It is highly unlikely, for example, that associate producer Bob Justman would have allowed the cast and crew to spend an entire day filming less than three pages of material — material originally scheduled as only part of an 8 and 1/8 page day. The series could not afford such a lapse — it was struggling to finish episodes on time for air dates as it was. To illustrate this point in anther fashion, even "Amok Time," which at seven days was the most generously scheduled episode of season two, never planned to shoot less than 4 1/2 pages in a day — and that relatively low figure was to allow for the completion of the episode's complex fight choreography occupying its memorable climax. In general, most days on Star Trek had between 7-10 pages planned to go before the cameras.

Common sense calls other portions of Cushman and Osborn’s production timeline into question as well. Their most head-scratching account pertains to the work done in the INT. LOUNGE set, which they claim was done in half a day on Friday, August 18, 1967:
Day 5, Friday. Work continued on Stage 10, now in the “Interior Lounge” for numerous sequences including one complex scene which was left out of the completed episode… While the cast ate lunch, the company moved to Stage 9 where many Enterprise sets had been collapsed to make room for a new set, “Int. Control Room,” which involved Spock, Norman, and one of the Alice models. 
--Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn, These Are The Voyages – TOS: Season Two (eBook Edition, March 2014)
Quite frankly, when you compare this timeline to the shooting schedule, the numbers simply do not add up. In total, 16 3/8 pages were planned for the INT. LOUNGE set, several more pages than Star Trek ever filmed in a single day, let alone half of one. To give those numbers some perspective, consider the fact that "The Doomsday Machine," which was the only episode of the series planned for and shot in five days, scheduled its busiest days with 13 1/8 pages. It comes as no surprise, then, to find out that the INT. LOUNGE scenes were actually scheduled to be shot across two days (Wednesday and Thursday, August 16-17, 1967). Based upon production slates, filming apparently followed the pre-production plan for these scenes fairly closely.

Further complicating matters are the two scenes in the INT. CONTROL CENTER set, which Cushman and Osborn misidentify as "Int. Control Room." The authors' claim these two scenes occupied the rest of the episode's fifth day of shooting after lunch. However, scenes 44 and 44A  (marked with a letter because it was added to the shooting script after the scene numbers had already been locked) cover only 1 1/2 pages of material, a figure that surely would have driven Bob Justman and the studio up the wall if it actually took Marc Daniels half a shooting day to complete. Alongside all the other evidence, the fact that Daniels was asked back to direct four subsequent episodes of Star Trek strongly suggests this didn't happen.

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy have lunch while shooting Star Trek (circa 1967)
Another problem with Cushman and Osborn's "production diaries" is the way the authors are able to deftly identify which scenes were shot before and after lunch. This happens twice in their account of the filming of "I, Mudd," as well as more than twenty other times in These Are The Voyages – TOS: Season Two. This may seem like a minor point, but when you examine the daily production reports kept while Star Trek was being filmed, it becomes clear that even when these documents have survived (many are completely missing in the UCLA collection, while others are sadly incomplete) there's often no way to determine which scenes book-ended lunch. Occasionally, this information can be deduced based upon when actors were called to the set and what scenes were shot that day, but in many cases even that information won't give you a concrete answer. By constantly inserting details such as these into their books, Cushman and Osborn have created a better flowing narrative, but stands as a poor example of archival history.

I've included a portion of the production report for the second day of filming on "The Devil in the Dark" below to illustrate what can and cannot be ascertained from this paperwork. Unfortunately, the daily production reports for "I, Mudd" and a whole bevy of season two episodes do not currently exist in the Roddenberry or Justman collections at UCLA, but surviving paperwork indicates these reports were consistent during the show's three season run.

Excerpt from the daily production report for "The Devil in the Dark" (January 17, 1967)
These Are The Voyages' insistence that "I, Mudd" finished in seven days rather than six leads to a cascade of further complications when it comes to accounting for the production of "The Trouble with Tribbles," the very next episode produced. Confronted with a production slate indicating a scene from "The Trouble with Tribbles" shot on August 22, 1967 (when Cushman and Osborn claim "I, Mudd" was still filming), the authors suggest the following:
Bob Justman’s production reports state that the medical lab scene was shot on August 23, 1967. The clapboard, held by Bill McGovern as the camera began rolling says August 22. But “I, Mudd” was still filming under the guidance of Marc Daniels on August 22. A possible explanation: as production crews rush through filming, the white tape placed on a clapboard with the date written across it is sometimes accidentally left on from the day before … and it could be several camera “takes” before anyone notices. On a hectic TV production schedule, anything can happen...and quite often does. 
--Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn, These Are The Voyages – TOS: Season Two (eBook Edition, March 2014) 
There are multiple problems with this explanation, however.

(1) At least one other film clip bearing the same date has surfaced, and it's from the filming of "The Trouble with Tribbles," not "I, Mudd." The scene in question (53, set up "K") takes place during Act III of "Tribbles."

(2) The aforementioned production slate pictured in the book shows Scene 33, set-up "A," take 2. This was literally the last scene planned to shoot during the first day of "The Trouble with Tribbles." Assuming the production stuck to the planned schedule (and every production slate made available to me by my friends at Star Trek History, as well as every post-production document in the Roddenberry files at UCLA, supports this assumption), the only way Cushman and Osborn could be correct is if the slate had the wrong date on it for the whole first day of filming on "The Trouble with Tribbles."

(3) As I've argued extensively already, post-production documents (see below) and production stills support the conclusion that "I, Mudd" wrapped production on August 21, 1967. It simply wasn't being filmed on August 22, 1967; by then, the production had moved on to "The Trouble with Tribbles."

In light of all these issues, it seems highly unlikely that Cushman and Osborn even had access to the daily production reports for "The Trouble with Tribbles," like they claim, especially since that documentation is no longer available in the UCLA collections. If they do, I'd sure love to see it.

Excerpt from season 2 post-production report (February 10, 1968)
Although Cushman and Osborn are savvy enough to recognize that they have to provide some sort of explanation for the August 22, 1967 slate for their chronology to work, they offer no explanation for the other slate which illustrates their chapter on "The Trouble with Tribbles." Unfortunately, the information on this slate also contradicts their narrative. Writing about the final day of filming before the labor day break, they put forth the following narrative:
Day 6. Wednesday, August 30. It is an old Hollywood tradition to shoot the fight scenes last, just in case one of the performers gets a black eye. On this day, still on the bar set, the brawl between “Earthers” and Klingons was filmed. 
--Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn, These Are The Voyages – TOS: Season Two (eBook Edition, March 2014)  
The only problem with this account? Scene 41 takes place right in the middle of the bar fight which was scheduled to occupy the episode's final day of filming – and the date on the clapperboard is clearly August 29, 1967, not August 30. To date, no film clips from Star Trek with a slate dated August 30, 1967 have surfaced. The post-production report shown above clearly shows that filming was completed in six days, and wrapped on August 29. Given the preponderance of evidence, it's more than likely that the cast and crew of Star Trek weren't filming at all on August 30, 1967, but were instead enjoying some much needed time off during their labor day break.

Still from "The Trouble with Tribbles" (1967)
Ultimately, the so-called "production diaries" in These Are The Voyages (volumes one and two, at least – I haven't read a word of volume three) are simply too problematic for me to consider them reliable accounts of the making of Star Trek. They present pre-production information as representative of what actually occurred when the cameras were rolling, despite numerous examples of the production having to adapt to delays and other changing circumstances. They frequently ignore the information found on slates in film clips (in many cases, this even includes the film clips used to illustrate the book). In some cases, even when the daily production reports are available, Cushman and Osborn misunderstand or misrepresent what this documentation actually indicates. Such bad assumptions and, worse, outright invention have no place in what is supposed to be the definitive history book about the making of Star Trek.


Stills from "I, Mudd" and "The Trouble with Tribbles," as well as the behind-the-scenes image of Shatner and Nimoy at lunch, are courtesy of Trek Core.

The restored film clip from "I, Mudd" is courtesy of Star Trek History.

Special Thanks: The "I, Mudd" shooting schedule was carefully transcribed by the ever-helpful Sandra Bulk, who turned around the document in only a few days, while it took me several weeks to research and write the majority of this piece. David T. and Curt M. of Star Trek History generously provided a great deal of information about numerous film clips in their collection, and even granted me permission to use one of these rare stills here. Kevin K. generously donated his time and industry experience helping me understand and decode various production documents. Finally, I'd like to thank the small group of helpful readers who have donated countless hours proofreading and critiquing this and many other pieces that have appeared on Star Trek Fact Check. They are: Maurice M.David E.David T.Curt M.William S.William J.Neil B.Kevin M.Kevin K., and George N. Star Trek Fact Check started as a one-man operation, but it wouldn't have grown to where it is today without your help. Any errors that remain are entirely my own.

Author's Note: Unlike the print edition, the eBook edition of These Are The Voyages — TOS: Season Two is without pagination. I did not have the print edition available for reference while preparing this post, which is why the passages quoted are not identified by page number.