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.


  1. Announced on HE's 81st birthday, no less. Looking forward to the rest of this year.

  2. I've been lucky enough to see Harlan speak about his work twice while I've been in L.A. The man is truly a force of nature, and a tremendous talent.