WI: The Enterprise completes its five year mission (Star Trek survives for 5 seasons)

Other ideas for 21st century Trek ITTL will include a Captain Riker series, and a possible series set in the 25th century where the Romulans and Federation are allies (Romulus still exists, it is not blown up in a supernova ITTL). That 25th century series will be sort of a spinoff of Unification I and II from TNG, where a very old Spock engages Vulcan and Romulus in reunification talks before he dies...
 
You are correct, and I know, I’ve read about TMP. I was using flop in a general sense that it wasn’t the smash-hit blockbuster answer to Star Wars the studio hoped it to be. It did do decently well and certainly made more money than it cost. So it wasn’t a cop in the literal sense of a film that breaks even or looses money, but I was trying to use it to succinctly say that the studio was very unimpressed.

They where considering the cash it cost, but $139million on a $44mill budget is fairly good going, and got a sequel greenlit.

An interesting What If might be if TMP had actually flopped - say a $60 mill return on that budget, would that have killed Star Trek?
 
s over long, but it wowed audiences at the time and only gained its rep as the ‘slow motion picture’ later on
Eh? I recall when in theaters, it was called 'The Motionless Picture' right from the start, as well as Klingons with bumpy heads was not liked
 
It's after DS9 where I change things...a LOT. We get a Captain Sulu series instead of Voyager. Takei always thought he should have gotten his own series on the Excelsior, and I thought he would have made a brilliant lead, so we get Captain Sulu, with Chekov, Rand, Tuvok, Kate Mulgrew playing a headstrong helmsman, Jeri Ryan playing chief of security on the Excelsior, and Robert Beltran playing the tactical officer. So some of the Excelsior cast will include a few of the Voyager actors. There is no ST: Enterprise ITTL, it becomes a spinoff of Balance of Terror, and is a season-long 22nd century Romulan War arc played out in several TV movies. So that is the Federation formation story. Instead of Discovery and Picard, fans want to see a Captain Pike series, and they get it.

No one wanted a Captain Pike series until Mount did his thing on Discovery. Sulu yes, Pike? Def not.

Plus the Sulu series will run into the Prequel problem of stakes cannot be too high as we know the universe/UFP/Starfleet survives due to TNG. That alone should kill any talk of another prequel series. Esp is the Star Wars prequels had come out my then.

With the various TNG, DS9, and Sulu (?) TV movies floating about there will be no need for the Reboot series which led to Discovery.

Maybe a Marquis salavge ship post Dominion War still fighting for the idenpendence of the DMZ worlds. Maybe set on a small Serenity class frieghter with a ragtag bunch of rebels as the crew....
 
No one wanted a Captain Pike series until Mount did his thing on Discovery. Sulu yes, Pike? Def not.

Plus the Sulu series will run into the Prequel problem of stakes cannot be too high as we know the universe/UFP/Starfleet survives due to TNG. That alone should kill any talk of another prequel series. Esp is the Star Wars prequels had come out my then.

With the various TNG, DS9, and Sulu (?) TV movies floating about there will be no need for the Reboot series which led to Discovery.

Maybe a Marquis salavge ship post Dominion War still fighting for the idenpendence of the DMZ worlds. Maybe set on a small Serenity class frieghter with a ragtag bunch of rebels as the crew....
Good ideas. You’d probably be right about little demand for Pike the way I drew the timeline. I think a Riker sequel on his own ship (Titan or otherwise) would be in demand. Good pull on the Maquis, that could be spawned off DS9. I think a 25th century series is also possible ITTL
 
They where considering the cash it cost, but $139million on a $44mill budget is fairly good going, and got a sequel greenlit.

An interesting What If might be if TMP had actually flopped - say a $60 mill return on that budget, would that have killed Star Trek?
Probably. Imo without TWoK the franchise would have suffered a death similar to Lost in Space or Battlestar Galactica. At the point of failure in both television and film, it’s hard to imagine another movie or tv show being greenlit. And like those two, it probably would have seen a clean reboot decades down the line, but that’s more speculation.
 
Probably. Imo without TWoK the franchise would have suffered a death similar to Lost in Space or Battlestar Galactica. At the point of failure in both television and film, it’s hard to imagine another movie or tv show being greenlit. And like those two, it probably would have seen a clean reboot decades down the line, but that’s more speculation.
Maybe not Lost in Space, but the BSG comparison makes sense. Since you mentioned BSG, earlier ITTL I have Gene Coon cutting his smoking habit, surviving another 9 years, and helping out Glen Larson by writing scripts for Battlestar Galactica
 
Why not simply have Sulu/Rand/Chekov etc as Star Trek: TNG?
Because I like the real life TNG (it's my favorite Trek series, not TOS). I'm getting rid of Season 1 of TNG ITTL and making 6 seasons of top notch TNG plus a lot of TV movies for Picard and company. Season 1 of TNG was abysmal, the other 6 seasons were good to tremendous TV
 
Why not simply have Sulu/Rand/Chekov etc as Star Trek: TNG?
I think our author has said Takei and co wanted little to do with Trek in the 70's ITTL. By the time of OTL TNG the movies have started which would probably earn George and Walter more than a TV show. Rand's actor had problems with Roddenbury and is not coming back while he is about.
 
I think our author has said Takei and co wanted little to do with Trek in the 70's ITTL. By the time of OTL TNG the movies have started which would probably earn George and Walter more than a TV show. Rand's actor had problems with Roddenbury and is not coming back while he is about.
Yup. Grace Lee Whitney was reportedly abused by a director on TOS which is why she left the series in Season 1. She does make cameos in the movies (TMP, TSFS, TVH) while Roddenberry is alive but she won't join the series in a significant capacity. There were big issues between her and Gene
 
Because I like the real life TNG (it's my favorite Trek series, not TOS). I'm getting rid of Season 1 of TNG ITTL and making 6 seasons of top notch TNG plus a lot of TV movies for Picard and company. Season 1 of TNG was abysmal, the other 6 seasons were good to tremendous TV

There are a couple of good shows and concepts- like the 20thC people waking up in the future, but overall compared to later? Yeah bad.

Music was excellent though.
 
@Mechadogzilla Just to correct you: TMP was not a mega flop - it made the last money of any Trek film until the 09 movie surpassed it.

It was over long, but it wowed audiences at the time and only gained its rep as the ‘slow motion picture’ later on.

The studio where very unhappy about the cost, which led to Roddenbury being kicked upstairs and ST2 getting completly retooled on a much smaller budget.

Flop it was not however.
Paramount up through the 1970s was traditionally a stingy studio that didn't like to spend a cent over budget, both in its movie division and its TV division. That's why I have them as the penny-pinchers ITTL, because IRL they were that way. TMP IRL was I believe the most expensive movie ever produced at the time, costing around $46 million. It made a profit but not to Paramount's liking because they spent $46 million making it. The TMP ITTL will actually cost less because it's better planned (TMP in real life had all kinds of cost overruns) and they only have to make models of the Mirandas (not in TMP), a couple of other Constitution class vessels (not in TMP), and the K'Tingas which they made for the RL TMP anyway. Roddenberry gets Doug Trumbull to make the special effects earlier on so he doesn't blow $6 million on special effects with Robert Abel. They keep William Ware Theiss for the costumes and keep Jefferies and Rugg to assist with the other special effects and props, so there are no cost overruns there because they know what they are doing
 
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For tomorrow:

We try to complete the fourth season, Paramount and NBC meet in New York regarding Star Trek's future, and Gene Roddenberry opens up the door for the fandom to provide scripts for the show...
 
Chapter 44: Star Trek Gets A Fifth and Final Season
First, the resolution to the Paramount imbroglio:

CRAMER, WERNER REACH DEAL FOR STAR TREK

VARIETY, March 4, 1970

Douglas Cramer and Mort Werner met in New York last week to hash out the future of Star Trek. Cramer wanted the cast of Star Trek blackballed from Hollywood after what he considered a "childish stunt" from William Shatner, who called a press conference to rail against Paramount's practices as a studio. Werner sympathized with Cramer to a point, but wants more Star Trek produced because the series has become a key part of the Peacock Network's primetime lineup. The stipulations of the deal are as follows:

*Cramer will produce one more year of Star Trek, and NBC will cancel the series after the 1970-1971 television season, because Cramer considers the Star Trek cast to be self-centered and problematic to work with.
*NBC will place Star Trek in a 9:00 PM time slot on Friday nights for its final season as punishment to the cast for Shatner's press conference, in a concession to Cramer.
*Cramer will give carte blanche to Star Trek for its final season in a concession to the Peacock Network, because NBC believes it is losing a great investment and would prefer for Trek to be made for at least five more seasons, as a show to anchor its lineup.
*The budget for Star Trek's final season will be doubled, with carte blanche given to any longer episodes, or "two-parters," that Gene Roddenberry wants to produce for the final season.
*Contract disputes will be resolved between Paramount and Shatner, who complained that the studio asked him, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley to give money back for the end of season 4 for not making budget.
*The cast will receive a doubling of its wages from Paramount, plus extra parachute payments from NBC as a parting gift for providing the network with great ratings.
*NBC will attempt to look for another studio to make Star Trek in the future, if Cramer remains at Paramount after the 1970-1971 television season, because Star Trek is a flagship franchise for the network.

An interesting offshoot of the meeting was Cramer's surprising willingness to work with the cast if they ever wanted to make television movies in the future. Cramer sees a possibility for Star Trek as a TV movie franchise, and is willing to produce TV movies periodically so he does not have to be exposed constantly to the cast's demands. Paramount is shifting its view of Star Trek as a franchise that can potentially make it big on the silver screen as well as the small screen, and would like to transfer production of the franchise in the future to its movies division. Gene Roddenberry is very interested in making movies, but it is unknown whether the cast is in favor of making movies after the 1970-1971 television season. The cast, especially Leonard Nimoy, is reportedly fatigued with the high-stress environment of Trek and may see this final season as an opportunity to work on other projects.


Shatner:

I got a great deal for the cast. We were all starting to get sick of working on Star Trek at the end of season four, so I got all of us paid for another two years after the series ended. We also ensured with the fifth season that the series would enter syndication, which meant that it would remain as popular in reruns. My gambit worked, and it was that move which eventually brought the cast back together for the movies, because I convinced the rest of the cast that I had their back. Unfortunately, I had to agree to relinquish any roles as director of episodes in the fifth season and in the movies. I felt like I was a great director but my co-stars did not agree.

Nimoy:

Bill did me a huge favor. I was virtually done with Spock at that point and had to go into treatment for alcohol addiction. My marriage was suffering, my relationship with my children was suffering. I couldn't break my character and be the Leonard that my family loved. To get this deal where I basically got to double-dip with the Star Trek parachute payments while working on Mission Impossible worked out very well financially for me, and the lack of stress working on Mission Impossible helped save my marriage. I stopped drinking, cut the smoking habit significantly, and took up meditation, which my wife and kids appreciated.

Kelley:

From my perspective Shatner did us all a major favor. I was also tired of Star Trek by that point and he got us paid. We also won the arbitration case with Cramer. As for Cramer, I felt like he made a mistake with us, but learned from that mistake. Cramer treated us like gold in the final season, and towards the end, he told us that he regretted how he handled us in the past. He became a world-class director for Dynasty and other shows after his tumultuous Trek experience. If he did it again, he would have treated us better in seasons 3 and 4 and we would have had a run lasting seven or eight seasons instead of five.

Doohan:

The money got me through 1973, but after that I was barely making ends meet with my cartoon voice work, which Gene got me through his connections, and the conventions, where I was extremely popular. I got no other live action screen roles until we made the first movie in 1979. I believe it was the incident with Shatner that prevented me from getting future work. The movies saved me financially because nobody could replace me as Mr. Scott.

Takei:

It worked out for me. I used some of the money in my political campaign to win a seat on the Los Angeles City Council. There, I advanced the rights of LGBT citizens in the city, who were extremely marginalized at that point. Shatner was an ass but he was our ass. Sometimes he treated us like crap but deep down, he looked out for us in his own way.

Koenig:

I also benefitted from the extra money but I wanted to work on Star Trek more for another decade. I actually got to submit a script for season five called The Infinite Vulcan, which was produced. So I got a writer's credit for the original series. I couldn't get any work other than a couple of appearances on Columbo due to Dee Kelley putting in a word for me, so I spent most of the 1970s attending conventions and writing scripts for various shows, of which I only got two produced.

Nichols:

Cramer should have treated us better, but he made it up for us in season five. I still don't like the man. I got a role in SHAFT but after that I didn't want to do blaxploitation films, and I couldn't find any other work in LA because of the incident with Bill. So I went back to my first love, musical theatre, on Broadway, and I joined the Grease cast, plus earned a starring role on Chicago before my NASA work. The Chicago role ranks up there with Uhura as my fondest acting experience.

Roddenberry:

I was extremely disappointed that the studio decided to cancel us, and I desperately wanted to bring the cast back for another Star Trek series in the mid-1970s, but none of them wanted to work on Star Trek at that point. They would only return if the series was made into a movie, or series of movies on the big screen. So immediately after the show's cancellation, I looked for scriptwriters to help us with potential movie plots. I found a great young writer for season 5, Alan Dean Foster, who was only 24 at the time. He was an absolute genius like David Gerrold, and he wrote most of the plot for our first movie. He also wrote the script for the final episode of the original series, where Earth is threatened by a godlike ship which happened to be of human origin.
 
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Doubled budget and doubled wages, plus parachute payments? Yet they cut the budget after Season 3 and they shuffled people and attempted to shuffle people off stage for going over budget?!?! 🤔
 
Doubled budget and doubled wages, plus parachute payments? Yet they cut the budget after Season 3 and they shuffled people and attempted to shuffle people off stage for going over budget?!?! 🤔
Cramer is getting it from all sides. He has to give them a good sendoff. The stars of the show were threatening litigation, NBC is going to lose future revenue in the 1970s from not airing new episodes, it's caused embarrassment to Paramount as a studio, Star Trek fans are picketing the studio in apoplectic rage. He has to concede otherwise it's his job lost from the higher ups at Gulf+Western. He learns his lesson. It makes him the legendary producer that he becomes down the line with Dynasty, where he spares absolutely no expense to make the show great
 
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As for Cramer, there is a possibility that he will add an Emmy or two to his CV for Star Trek, even though he's not a fan of the series and has killed it after season 5...stay tuned
 
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