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

Chapter 41: Reaction to Shatner Going Public
  • One more bonus update:

    SHATNER ACCUSES PARAMOUNT OF MISTREATMENT, STIFFING CAST; BLACK EYE FOR PARAMOUNT

    Los Angeles Times, February 7, 1970

    William Shatner's press conference, which turned into a screed against Paramount, was more explosive than previously thought. Shatner accused Paramount executive Douglas S. Cramer of withholding wages from himself, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley for the reason of Star Trek exceeding its budget. The Captain Kirk star refused to take questions about the wage issue, as he and the other stars are leaving that issue open to litigation and Screen Actors Guild arbitration. Additionally, Shatner praised NBC for making a brave move two years ago by placing them in a Monday primetime time slot. He applauded NBC's executive of programming Mort Werner, who he trusts to "do right by them" because Star Trek became a big hit for NBC. Shatner also accused Cramer of poor treatment against Robert Justman, a co-producer for the first two seasons, and showrunner for the last two seasons. Shatner said that Justman was constantly tortured by Cramer and fired earlier in the fourth season's production, before the cast stormed Cramer's office to save him. Paramount's reaction to Shatner's press conference is unknown at this time, but Cramer is planning a meeting with NBC's Werner to discuss the future of the series.

    In the press conference, it is reported that fissions among the cast, specifically between Shatner, James Doohan (Mr. Scott) and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) have been healed, although the costars joked that it took them taking physical shots at Shatner to cause him to rethink his position about how he treats the cast. It is unknown how Leonard Nimoy is feeling after he collapsed in his home last month; Shatner refused to take questions regarding Nimoy's situation, feeling that it was not his place to discuss the problems of other cast members, especially his closest co-star.


    CRAMER DECLARES STAR TREK CAST IN "OPEN REBELLION"

    Los Angeles Times, February 8, 1970

    The William Shatner press conference was aimed largely at one man: Douglas S. Cramer, chief executive of production at Paramount. Cramer did not take well to it one bit. Cramer says that the Star Trek cast is "in open rebellion" and is planning to deconstruct all the Star Trek sets permanently, despite it being a big money spinner for the studio. Cramer wants to travel to New York to meet Mort Werner, NBC chief of programming, to declare that Star Trek is finished as a series and the actors on the show to be blacklisted, to never work in Hollywood again. Werner, who considers Star Trek a prize property on Monday nights, is reportedly upset with Cramer's handling of the series and believes that Star Trek is a series that could anchor NBC's lineup for at least five more seasons. Whatever compromise is reached between Paramount and NBC is unknown at this time until the two executives meet at Rockefeller Center in the Big Apple. Cramer is also facing pressure from Gulf and Western, the industrial conglomerate that owns Paramount. The G+W executive, Charlie Bluhdorn, vacationing in the Dominican Republic, is displeased with Cramer because he is allowing his emotions to blind him to the prospects of more money for Paramount, in the name of Star Trek as a top property for the studio. Star Trek is a science fiction drama, but at times it seems to be a soap opera behind the scenes, and unfortunately, it casts a pall on what is great entertainment on the small screen.


    Shatner:

    Cramer was going to make sure none of us ever got a job in Hollywood again. But Mort Werner stepped in at NBC and persuaded Cramer to give Star Trek one more season. By that point, NBC was completely sold on us and they were furious that Paramount was handling us in such a disgraceful way. NBC thought we were going to be the series that carried them through the 1970s as well as the last couple of years of the 1960s. They thought we could be like Bonanza and we could lead the network for an extended period of time. However, it was not to be and the deal between NBC and Paramount got us one more season. We got a nice budget though, and the cast was paid handsomely, both from NBC and Paramount's pockets. I got the rest of the cast two years of salary to live off of after the series was cancelled.

    Roddenberry:

    Cramer hated us from the start and his mission was to kill us, but we were too good for him for three years. Eventually, he got his way, but I wanted to protect my actors. Jimmy Doohan was going to be fired and blacklisted, but I made sure he got consistent work as a voice actor throughout the 70s, before we got back together to make the movies under better leadership at Paramount. Cramer's fiasco with Star Trek is a reason why he had to become an independent producer. I'll be damned if he wasn't successful though, that guy knew how to make other series and he made almost $100 million with Aaron Spelling as his running mate. The Gulf and Western execs who only saw dollar signs lost money when Star Trek was cancelled, and NBC lost a lot of money, because we went from an afterthought to one of their flagship franchises in only 3 years. I think Cramer learned his lesson from how he mishandled us and became a much better producer for other shows, which was unfortunate for us. If Cramer did it again, he wouldn't have been so rough on us, in my opinion. Our success on NBC eventually made me go back to them when I wanted to start The Next Generation. (So ITTL,TNG is broadcast on NBC, and not in syndication. Only DS9 goes straight to syndication).
     
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    Chapter 42: More Reaction To Shatner Going Public
  • One news article for today:

    HOLLYWOOD REACTION TO SHATNER PRESS CONFERENCE: BRAVE BUT CRAZY

    Los Angeles Times, February 9, 1970

    William Shatner's press conference, an airing of grievances with Paramount, has made waves in Hollywood. Many Hollywood insiders compared Shatner's power play to the machinations Cary Grant pulled in the 1950s, when he went independent of the studio system to negotiate his own contracts. Grant is reportedly in approval of Shatner's action, because he believes actors should have independent bargaining power and not be confined to the whims of television and movie studios. Other actors were afraid for Shatner's future. Clint Eastwood commented that "Bill, a friend of mine, is either out of his mind or crazy as a fox. Either he'll give actors more power to fight for contracts and salary with studios or they'll blackball him right out of Hollywood. It is absolutely mind-boggling what he did." Burt Reynolds, who starred on Gunsmoke before becoming a big star in the movies, said he "prays for Shatner, because he could become a huge star or commit career suicide with the move he pulled." Teri Garr, a younger actress still making her way in television, saw Shatner's press conference as self-serving. "I worked with Bill for one episode on Star Trek," Garr said, and "Bill is out for Bill. He did that for the benefit of himself, and himself only, and dragged the rest of his co-stars into his personal escapade." Dick Sargent, who plays Darrin Stephens on Bewitched, called Shatner "brave but crazy." Sargent continued, "If more actors did that, we'd be better paid, but there would be fewer actors because the studios would put a gag and chain in our mouths."
     
    Chapter 43: Fourth Season Almost Done
  • Episode updates:

    EPISODE 19: BANDI, written by David Gerrold, directed by Herb Wallerstein. Air date: February 9, 1970. In this episode, Kirk is tasked to take command of another ship which has lost its discipline, but the reason for that ship's mutiny is revealed; a creature named Bandi, who bends minds to his will. Bandi continues playing mind tricks on the Enterprise crew until they attempt a mutiny on Kirk, but Spock and the rest of the crew are able to subdue the creature (Spock does so with a mind meld and logical persuasion). This is a classic Spock episode where he figures out the problem and has to persuade the other members of the crew that Bandi is manipulating them. Once the crew is back together on Kirk's side, they expel Bandi from the ship. Nielsen rating: 2nd to Gunsmoke. Critical reception for this show was positive, but not as positive as The Protracted Man from Gerrold, which receives Hugo and Emmy consideration.

    EPISODE 20: THE GODHEAD, written and directed by John Meredyth Lucas. Air date: February 16, 1970. In this episode, an alien species finds a messenger to place all their knowledge into, and this individual encounters the Enterprise crew. Each member of the main cast wants to learn from the Godhead, because they want to become better at their jobs. However, the Godhead had other ideas, and wanted to take over the Enterprise in an effort to conquer several neighboring star systems for his alien species. This was supposed to be the 26th episode of season 3 IRL, but it was never produced because the series was cancelled. Critical reception for this episode was mixed, with the New York Times considering this as a rehashed version of THE CHANGELING, an episode in season 2. Nielsen rating: 1st in time slot.

    EPISODE 21: LORD, HOW OTHERS SEEM TO CARE, written by Morris Chapnick, directed by Jud Taylor. Air date: February 23, 1970. In this episode, the Enterprise picks up a retired admiral (Byron Morrow, who also played Admiral Komack) from a starbase who is depressed because he is aging and feels he has no more usefulness after a brilliant Starfleet career. The retired admiral wants to take over the Enterprise for one last mission, and attempts to activate his commission again to do so, but Kirk refuses him command. We see a 3 minute soliloquy from Morrow; his character threatens suicide if he does not get to perform the one final mission. During the episode, the Enterprise is trapped in something similar to the Tholian Web, and Kirk enlists the admiral's skills to help the Enterprise escape. At the end of the episode, the admiral is grateful for the Enterprise crew, saying that some of them are destined to be captains and admirals someday. Critical reception for this episode was extremely positive, with the Los Angeles Times applauding Morrow's guest performance as one of the best of the series. Nielsen rating: 1st in timeslot.

    EPISODE 22: THE WEB OF DEATH, written and directed by William Shatner. Air date: March 2, 1970. In this episode, the Enterprise encounters the USS Momentous, trapped in the clutches of a giant insect. The insect secretes its web materials on the Enterprise, causing the Enterprise to be captured as well. The web materials drip through the ship's bridge and engineering section, and produce bizarre behaviors among the crew. Eventually, the Enterprise distracts the giant spider by causing it to attack the Momentous, freeing themselves from its grip. Reaction to this episode was mixed, with the New York Times saying that "Star Trek produced its Spock's Brain of season four with this installment." Nielsen rating: 2nd to Gunsmoke.
     
    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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    Chapter 45: The Awesome End to Season Four
  • Episode updates. We will complete the 4th season today with what ITTL will be regarded as four of the best episodes of the series, which will give Star Trek an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Dramatic Series.

    EPISODE 23: THE MASSACRE. Written by DC Fontana, directed by Jud Taylor. Air date: March 9, 1970. The Enterprise is asked to unravel the mystery of an Orion massacre on Orion Prime. It is initially believed that the Klingons conducted the massacre, but Spock and Sulu find no evidence of Klingon involvement when they beam to the planet's surface. The Enterprise makes contact with another Federation vessel, the Ticonderoga, whose captain is gung ho about defeating the Klingon-supplied Orion faction. We find out that the Federation is fueling one faction of Orions while the Klingons and Romulans are fueling the other Orion faction. Within the show, there is a firefight involving the Enterprise away team and the Orions which turns out to be a misunderstanding. The Enterprise crew finds out that the Ticonderoga's captain is responsible for the massacre and Kirk confronts him. A dramatic scene ensues where Kirk accuses the Ticonderoga's captain of war crimes and places him under arrest. At the end of the episode, Kirk is forced to confront Starfleet Command about their dirty dealings in the Orion civil war. Nielsen rating: 1st in time slot. The episode was critically acclaimed, with the New York Times comparing the Orions to the Vietnamese, and the major galactic powers to the major world powers (US, USSR, China). They continue, "The Massacre really reflected a light on what was going on behind the scenes in this endless war in Vietnam, including making reference to the My Lai massacre involving Lieutenant William Calley."

    EPISODE 24: SHORE LEAVE II. Written by Theodore Sturgeon, directed by John Meredyth Lucas. Air date, March 16, 1970. This is a sequel to the first season episode SHORE LEAVE. IRL, Gene Roddenberry did not want to baby Theodore Sturgeon because he had a habit of writing scripts slowly, but Justman gave him the time to develop this to its conclusion before he was fired, and it was placed into production. The episode is similar to the prequel, but Kirk finally gets a chance to pound (a fake) Finnegan into the dirt, which is something he's been waiting to do since his Academy days. Nielsen rating: 2nd to Gunsmoke. Audiences who liked the first SHORE LEAVE also approved of this version.

    EPISODE 25: TOMORROW WAS YESTERDAY, PART I. Written by David Gerrold, directed by Herb Wallerstein. Air date: March 23, 1970. Gerrold explores the concept of the Enterprise meeting a relic ship launched from Earth 210 years ago. The generation ship crew is locked in suspended animation, similar to Khan's augments in Space Seed (which is where Gerrold gets the idea from). Once the Enterprise awakens the generation ship crew, serious conflicts erupt between the various members of the crew. It is discovered that the generation ship was launched from Earth to escape World War III, a nuclear conflict that killed at least 600 million and left large parts of Earth in ruins. As a result, the racial and ethnic animus between the two parts of the crew never abates, and they begin to fight about petty things that are completely resolved in the 23rd century. Kirk and the crew initially decide to let the crew fight amongst themselves, but Bones persuades Kirk that they have to begin repatriating these people, otherwise "they will never evolve and become enlightened."
    Nielsen rating: 1st in time slot. The Boston Globe hails Gerrold as "one of the great young television writers of this generation. He has produced several stories that will stand the test of time. His ability to weave foreshadowing and conflict in the science fiction genre is unmatched."

    EPISODE 26: TOMORROW WAS YESTERDAY, PART II. (SEASON FINALE). Air date, March 30, 1970. Gerrold solves the conflict between the two factions on the generation ship in a unique way. In the story, Kirk pairs up every three members of the relic ship crew with a member of his bridge crew. Therefore, we see conflicts between all 7 of the crew plus Chapel and their 21st century counterparts. This two-parter cost quite a bit to produce because they had to get a lot of extras to play the 21st century crew, but they were able to pull it off. In one confrontation, Uhura is racially abused by a member of the relic ship crew and lays down the law, 23rd century style. Sulu also faces abuse because of his Asian descent, as the 21st century WWIII involved an unnamed Asian country as one of the major nuclear powers. Chekov wins over his relic ship crew with his sense of humor, while Spock wins his relic ship crew over with logic. Scotty displays the engineering section of the Enterprise to the crew and volunteers to teach them the technical schematics. Bones introduces them to 23rd century medicine. At the end of the episode, Kirk tells the relic crew, which has successfully been integrated into the 23rd century, that "the 23rd century is a pretty nice place to live. You'll get used to it and become valuable members of our society."
     
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    Chapter 46: Butterflies from Season Four
  • Two updates for today. I'm going to move forward into June 1970, when the Emmys take place IRL. Production for Star Trek's fifth and final season starts in April 1970.

    AT OSCARS, CARY GRANT RECEIVES HONORARY AWARD, RETIRES FROM ACTING

    New York Times, April 8, 1970

    Cary Grant announced his permanent retirement from acting after accepting his honorary Academy Award from Frank Sinatra last night. The 66-year old legend said that he was humbled to receive the lifetime achievement award from the Academy and decided to leave Hollywood on top of his fame. Grant said, "There is a new generation of actors behind me that are extremely talented and will carry on the legacy that I and other stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood built. I believe I even saw some of them in person last year, when I worked on a television show for the first time. Hollywood is in excellent, young talented hands." He continued, "I want to devote the rest of my life to raising my daughter, Jennifer. She is my pride and joy. I initially retired in 1966, but only came out of retirement one last time because Jennifer, who was three at the time, wanted me to meet a certain alien character on a television show." Later on in the speech, Grant talked about collaboration, and how actors had to join together to make Hollywood a better place for all.


    RODDENBERRY CALLS ON THE FANBASE FOR STORY IDEAS

    VARIETY, April 13, 1970

    Gene Roddenberry, back in control of the Star Trek franchise, decided to spread the net out far and wide for story ideas for the fifth and final season of Star Trek. He asked the large Star Trek fanbase to contribute possible story ideas, as long as they had a literary agent. "This does not mean that David Gerrold, Theodore Sturgeon, DC Fontana and the other writers will have a reduced role next season," Roddenberry said. "Most of my scripts are going to be written by myself, David, and the other professional writers. We are just looking for a few good story ideas from the fanbase. They produce some great fan fiction, and we believe that a couple of submissions could be produced into episodes." Roddenberry continued, "We did that in the third season, and got an excellent episode called The Empath, from a young writer named Joyce Muskat. We hope to add two or three young talented writers to our crew to make the fifth and final season as good as ever." Roddenberry will begin accepting scripts immediately. It will be interesting to see what the Star Trek fanbase produces in terms of storylines.


    CRAMER ATTEMPTS TO MAKE PEACE WITH STAR TREK CAST AFTER EMMY NODS

    VARIETY, May 4, 1970

    Douglas S. Cramer, who has been receiving it from all sides regarding his treatment of the hit series Star Trek, is slowly changing his tune about the series. Cramer, who is not a science fiction fan, was given orders to end the series in 1968 by his superiors at Gulf+Western, the conglomerate that owns Paramount. However, Star Trek shot to the top of the ratings, and Cramer was forced to live uncomfortably with a series he did not like, but was widely popular. Cramer said, "I did not know that Star Trek would receive this much critical acclaim. The show is favored to win four Emmys this year. If it wins, I will be known as the man who killed a multiple Emmy-winning show, and I will look like a dope." Cramer is attempting a rapprochement with the cast, and is considering producing Star Trek TV movies after the show is slated to end its run as a series in 1971. Cramer said, "I've been very tough on that cast. I gave them the impossible to do, and they somehow did it. Robert Justman proved to be a genius, and might become a rival producer to me in the coming years. I want to be on his good side again, because he'll be tough to compete against if he ever runs a studio."


    Roddenberry:

    When I decided to introduce the wider fanbase to the idea of submitting scripts for Star Trek, I thought I would get high-minded science fiction, like I did when Joyce Muskat wrote The Empath. Instead, I think half of the fan submissions I received involved some homoerotic angle between Kirk and Spock, and I obviously could not produce them. They were actually well-written stories, those homoerotic ones. However, Bill and Leonard would never agree to shooting them. I showed one to Bill and Leonard, and they had a huge laugh. Some of the stories were extremely graphic in a sexual nature, with pictures of genitalia and everything. Later on, I discovered that George Takei was a big fan of the Kirk and Spock love stories, and he took some of the fan fiction home for his edification.

    Cramer:

    I didn't know what I had in Star Trek. I thought it was a dopey, schlocky science fiction series that made no sense. The fact that it became so popular to a national audience was the biggest surprise I have ever encountered in show business. As it proved, I turned out to be the dope that killed a multiple Emmy-winning show in its prime. So I tried to make it back up to the cast, but they were not interested in making any more Star Trek. Gene and I did get them back together to make one TV movie, written by Alan Dean Foster, in 1972, when I became an independent producer who still had ties to Paramount, which was a success. This later hinted at the franchise's success on the silver screen.

    Shatner:

    I read a couple of the stories which showed Kirk and Spock in a serious sexual relationship, and I laughed. George Takei really liked them, and we didn't know why at the time. So he decided to start a Kirk and Spock fan fiction collection.

    Nimoy:

    Those stories with Kirk and Spock in a homosexual relationship were off the wall!

    Kelley:

    The fans even put me in some homosexual relationships. Those fans were creative as all get out. I obviously got a kick out of it.

    Takei:

    When I saw some of the fan fiction that came in, I was like, Ohhhhhh myyyyyy! So I brought some of them home to read and keep. I still have a few old dusty Kirk/Spock fan fiction stories from the 1970s on my bookshelf.

    Nichols:

    They had me in relationships with everyone. Those fan fiction stories were raunchy! One of them actually came to pass in real life for a short time. There was a Scotty and Uhura story, and for a brief time after the series ended, I dated James Doohan. Both of us were going through divorces, and we decided to start a relationship. It lasted for about a year, but we didn't get married or anything like that.

    Jennifer Grant (Cary Grant's daughter):

    I still have the little Spock ears that the original series production crew made for me when I was a toddler. They are among my most treasured possessions. Some of my fondest memories with Dad were when he played space alien with me and we put the ears on each other. It made me a Star Trek fan for life, and I later appeared in a few guest roles on the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.
     
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    Chapter 47: Shatner Interview, Nimoy Leaving Trek
  • Last updates for the day.

    SHATNER LOVES CAPTAIN KIRK, BUT DOESN'T WANT TO PLAY HIM FOREVER

    Montreal Gazette, May 20, 1970

    The Montreal Gazette spoke to William Shatner by phone from Los Angeles, where he is currently producing Star Trek. We have published an excerpt of the interview.

    Gazette: It is a pleasure talking to you. Another Montrealer has become world-famous, and we are proud to call you one of our own.
    Shatner: It is a pleasure talking to the Gazette.
    Gazette: Before we talk about Star Trek, are you a little disappointed the Canadiens did not lift the Stanley Cup this year?
    Shatner: I am. Those Bruins are tough though. Leonard Nimoy was really happy. He's a big Bruins fan, being from Boston, and loves Bobby Orr. We had a disappointing season, but we'll definitely be back to win the Cup in 1971, like we usually do.
    Gazette: How do you get along with Nimoy as Mr. Spock?
    Shatner: We get along really well. We often debate about the number of lines we get on each show, but we have an equitable agreement.
    Gazette: What is shooting Star Trek like?
    Shatner: The days are really, really long. I get up at 5 in the morning, drive to Hollywood around 6:30 AM to beat the traffic, and don't get out of work until 6:30 PM, sometimes later. I bring my Doberman Pinscher with me while shooting to give me a little extra company.
    Gazette: You own a Doberman?
    Shatner: Yes, he's my best friend. You know that dogs are a man's best friend.
    Gazette: How long are you going to play Captain Kirk?
    Shatner: This is the final season of the show. I love this character because it has brought me worldwide fame. However, I don't want to be Captain Kirk forever. I'd like to be a big movie star, like Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood, who I count as acquaintances. They think I can join them as a movie hero, a leading man in Hollywood.
    Gazette: Do you think they are going to make any Star Trek movies?
    Shatner: I guess, maybe they'll make one or two for television, but I can't see our show as a big movie feature. Imagine what it would cost Paramount to make a feature film for the fans. They would demand too much, and we've already had our issues with Paramount, which have just been resolved.
    Gazette: We heard they gave everyone a big raise.
    Shatner: Yes they did. That's why I held that press conference. I was doing poorly in contract negotiations and they weren't going to pay me adequately for being the lead on a top-rated TV drama. So I went public with the negotiation.
    Gazette: Do you fear that you will not be hired for future jobs?
    Shatner: I feel like I can write my own ticket. I'm now the world famous Captain Kirk of Star Trek fame, and I expect movie studios to be banging down my door for roles after Star Trek ends.
    Gazette: Thank you for your time, Mr. Shatner.
    Shatner: Thank you. It's always a good thing to talk with the folks from home again.


    NIMOY TO SPLIT TIME BETWEEN TREK, MISSION FOR 1970-1971

    Los Angeles Times, May 25, 1970

    It is official. Leonard Nimoy is leaving Star Trek midway through the fifth season.

    Nimoy has signed on to the cast of Mission: Impossible and will join the show midway through its production. He will conclude his Star Trek work in November, and join the highly rated CBS series. Star Trek fans will be very disappointed not to see Mr. Spock on their television screens for part of the fifth and final season, but Nimoy has grown tired of the role, and it has affected his family life, according to Sandra Nimoy, his wife. "Leonard needed a break from Star Trek, and we are fortunate that he is going to work in a less stressful environment with the Mission: Impossible cast," said Mrs. Nimoy. "This decision was very hard for Leonard. He loves Star Trek and has made the show famous, but the strain on his home life is too much. He has entered a rehabilitation program in order to save our marriage," Mrs. Nimoy continued. It is unknown how many episodes of Star Trek Mr. Nimoy will appear in before he says goodbye to the cast he has known for four, going on five seasons.


    LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, Los Angeles Times, May 28, 1970

    Leonard Nimoy is leaving Star Trek? He's the only reason I watch that show. Mr. Spock is the sexiest man in show business with those ears and eyebrows, and I will miss him dearly. I hope they make movies someday and Spock can come back. I love Mr. Spock with all my heart, and wish Mr. Nimoy well on Mission: Impossible, a show which I will definitely switch to with him now a member of that cast.
     
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    Chapter 48: Emmy Success!
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    STAR TREK DOMINATES THE EMMYS, WINNING FOUR AWARDS, INCLUDING A WIN FOR NIMOY

    New York Times, June 8, 1970

    At the 22nd Primetime Emmy Awards, Star Trek, the hit science fiction drama, won four awards. Star Trek won for Outstanding Dramatic Series, edging ABC's new hit Marcus Welby, M.D., NBC's Ironside, the Forsyte Saga, CBS's Gunsmoke, and NBC's The Name of the Game. As part of his acceptance speech, Gene Roddenberry said, "We have accomplished the ultimate goal of a television show, winning the highest honor one can receive. We owe this award to our wonderful fans. Without them, it would not have been possible."

    Leonard Nimoy, after falling short for the last three years, finally won an Emmy for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, besting Josh Brolin on Marcus Welby, M.D. and Greg Morris on Mission: Impossible. In an emotional acceptance speech, Nimoy broke his famously stoic Spock character and said, "I've been through hell and back in my personal life, but this award means the world to me. It has validated all the work I have placed into my Spock character, and I bet the Star Trek fanbase is over the moon right now."

    Star Trek also won for Outstanding Dramatic Program, for the fourth season two-part finale, "Tomorrow Was Yesterday," written by the young David Gerrold. Gerrold said, "This is the pinnacle of my career. I never dreamed of winning a Hugo, let alone an Emmy." The special effects crew of Star Trek won the show's fourth award of the night, in art direction and scenic design. The special effects award was accepted by Walter Matt Jefferies, Jim Rugg and John M. Dwyer. Jefferies said, "The miracles we were able to pull off on the budget we were on were something else. We earned this Emmy the hard way, and we will cherish it."


    Nimoy:

    I felt like it was a fitting capstone to my career as Spock. I was looking for a way to leave the show, and I earned the highest television honor one can receive. I felt like all the work I put into Spock was worth it in that very moment. I was going through major life problems at the time, and the Emmy refocused me to solve those problems. I felt like life was worth it again and beat the drinking addiction, saved my marriage, and got closer to my children, who were at that point teenagers. It was a turning point for my life, in a positive way.

    Roddenberry:

    I thought, can you believe it. Douglas Cramer cancelled the Emmy winning series I created. I didn't call him out on stage, although I should have. I was actually grateful to win the Emmy. I never dreamed it was possible.

    Gerrold:

    I was heralded as a young science fiction genius, on par with the famous Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. I could never DREAM to be on their level as writers. I thanked them for the Emmy because I looked up to their writing and tried to emulate their style in some aspects.

    Jefferies, Rugg and Dwyer:

    On the budget we were given, we should have won 5 Emmys for art direction and scenic design, but we were grateful for that one. Our careers were made by that award.
     
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    Chapter 49: McCartney on Star Trek, and a Nixon update
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    PAUL McCARTNEY TO APPEAR ON STAR TREK

    TV Guide, June 11, 1970

    Gene Roddenberry has scored another coup for the Emmy winning series Star Trek. He has convinced Beatle Paul McCartney to make a guest star appearance on an episode of the series. McCartney and Roddenberry struck up a friendship while Roddenberry was on a vacation in Mexico. McCartney was seen on the Paramount lot, conversing with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, the recently crowned Emmy winning supporting actor who plays the world famous Mr. Spock. The Beatle frontman always wanted to play a role on Star Trek, as he is a famous fan of the show. "I would appear on Star Trek for free if it was possible," McCartney commented to TV Guide. "It is the best American TV show going because it gives us hope for the future. My music, when I was leading the Beatles, provided this same hope for the world." McCartney continued, "I'm not going to do what Cary Grant did and demand more money after the fact. This is a series I love with all my heart and I know they will do right by me. If you just saw the Emmy's, you know they've done a lot right." McCartney is rumored to play the leader of a 23rd century band that is on the verge of breaking up. It will supposedly be the job of the Enterprise crew to keep the band together. McCartney is also trying to get Ringo Starr, his former Beatle drummer, to appear on the show, but "Ringo isn't that big a fan of the show," according to him. "It will be a tough job to get Ringo to join me."


    NIXON PLANS TRIP TO CHINA; KISSINGER DISCUSSES VIETNAM SITUATION WITH CHINESE

    Washington Post, June 12, 1970

    President Richard Nixon, through back channels with the Communist Chinese leadership, is planning a trip to the reclusive nation, sometime in 1971. H.R. Haldeman, Nixon's chief of staff, told the Post that "negotiations with the Red Chinese and Mao Zedong have taken a turn for the better, and we are developing the basic outline for a full diplomatic delegation to the Communist Chinese next year." Henry Kissinger, Nixon's national security adviser, discussed the situation in Vietnam with the Chinese. Kissinger reports that Communist China will stop supplying the Viet Cong with weapons on the condition the American government agrees to free elections in the divided country. Back in 1954, the Geneva Conference attempted to settle the Vietnam situation after the Vietnamese threw their colonial overlords, the French, out of their nation at the battle of Dien Bien Phu. Elections were promised to unite the country in 1956, but they never took place due to South Vietnamese and American reluctance out of a fear that the late North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh would win and Vietnam would go Communist. Nixon is considering this move because he is trying to figure out a way out of the war that has lasted over a decade and has cost the United States tens of thousands of lives. However, it is unlikely that a South Vietnamese candidate would win an election at this point, considering the political situation in Southeast Asia.
     
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    Chapter 50: Lennon Meets McCarthy in LA; Nixon reverses Vietnamization
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    Two more article updates:

    JOHN AND PAUL PLANNING BEATLES REUNION IN LOS ANGELES?

    Teen Magazine, June 14, 1970

    John Lennon was seen drinking coffee with his former Beatles partner, Paul McCartney, in Los Angeles this past week. Are the Beatles reuniting? We don't know right now. However, we know that the Beatles' breakup will cause a lot of legal issues with Apple Records and Neil Aspinall, their former road manager. There have been major issues between McCartney and Lennon over Lennon loving Yoko Ono over his love of the band. Once Lennon left the band for Yoko, the band was destined for breakup. However, we are curious as to why they are meeting again. Is it possible that they have resolved their issues and will return together? This means they would have to meet with George Harrison and Ringo Starr, who also want to start solo careers. McCartney and Ringo have a very poor relationship right now, and Paul and George clashed over Paul's desire to leave Apple Records. It seems impossible, but we hope the Fab Four make up and get out on the road again!




    IN REVERSE OF VIETNAMIZATION, NIXON PLANS MORE TROOP DEPLOYMENTS TO VIETNAM

    Washington Post, June 22, 1970

    Displeased with Secretary of State Melvin Laird's Vietnamization program, President Nixon sided with his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, and will authorize more troop deployments to Vietnam. The number of GIs to be drafted into the service is unknown at this time, but Kissinger told the Post that it is in the range of 100,000 to 150,000. Nixon bluntly told Laird that Vietnamization "wasn't working" and that he would not be the first American president to lose a war. It is possible that Nixon wants to expand the Cambodia campaign into Laos, in an effort to choke off the Ho Chi Minh trail, the supply line for the Viet Cong operating in South Vietnam. Nixon believes that the South Vietnamese are not prepared to take the war effort on without American assistance, and Kissinger told the Post that "the future troop deployment is largely to train the South Vietnamese to better prosecute the war." Nixon's move was met with approval by General Creighton Abrams, in charge of the Vietnam War. Abrams said, "I have had my hands tied behind my back by Vietnamization. We can now prosecute the war more effectively, either by training the ARVN with more American troops to assist them, or to attack the North Vietnamese ourselves." This decision by Nixon will cause a lot of controversy; there have been significant anti-war protests on college campuses and in major cities for several years. However, Nixon has also seen some pro-war protests, primarily from blue-collar workers who voted for him in 1968 and in the South, an area he is trying to win in both the 1970 midterms and the 1972 presidential election.


    Roddenberry:

    We got Paul to appear on our show, but I had no idea John wanted to show up as well! I think Yoko Ono got in John's ear one night and convinced him.

    Kissinger:

    Vietnamization was not working as a tactic to force the North Vietnamese to the peace table. We either needed to bomb the North Vietnamese cities, expand the war in Cambodia and extend the theatre of operations to Laos to cut off the Ho Chi Minh Trail, or face defeat. The South Vietnamese army was incapable of withstanding their Communist enemies from the North, as we saw in combat for several years. Daniel Ellsberg at the RAND corporation told the Administration that there was no scenario where we could win, but I refused to accept a no win scenario, because the United States should never lose a war. So I told the President that we could not continue with Vietnamization, and he agreed, cutting off Laird. I told him that we should resume bombing in North Vietnam, but he refused, because he believed that bombing would damage our fragile talks with the Chinese. So we decided to send more troops in the guise that they were training the South Vietnamese, and they did, until Nixon went to China and engineered the brief armistice that led to planned elections in April 1971.
     
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    Chapter 51: Reaction to Nixon, Cramer marvels at Star Trek production
  • Today's updates will be news articles plus a speech by Leonard Nimoy at a massive anti-war protest in Los Angeles. I'll write the news articles first, then get to Nimoy.

    MASSIVE ANTI-WAR PROTESTS BREAK OUT IN AMERICAN CITIES

    Sunday New York Times, July 12, 1970

    Hundreds of thousands of anti-war protesters swamped the streets of American cities in a planned response to President Nixon's announcement that he is drafting up to 150,000 more American men to the Vietnam War effort. In New York, 200,000 people marched down Fifth Avenue, shutting the main Manhattan artery for the day. New York Police Department officers deployed pepper spray and tear gas on the protesters, but they marched on, down from 96th Street to St. Patrick's Cathedral, where they prayed for peace. Several New York protesters burned their draft cards and called President Nixon "a fascist pig." In Los Angeles, police estimated the crowd at 175,000 along Santa Monica and Sunset Boulevards. The crowd was led by Leonard Nimoy, the famous Mr. Spock of Star Trek, a noted opponent of the war. Nimoy spoke at the gathering that concluded their march at the famous Capitol Records Building. Nimoy reiterated his support for Eugene McCarthy, the failed 1968 Democratic candidate for President, as a man who can bring peace to Vietnam and the world. In Washington D.C., a crowd of 50,000 marched from the Capitol Building to the Ellipse, where they picketed the White House, demanding Nixon's resignation. Signs at the Washington protest depicted Nixon as a "madman who will bring on World War Three" and a "bloodthirsty warmonger." One protester in Washington even attempted to set himself on fire, but his self-immolation was handled by District of Columbia Police. The man was brought to the hospital with second degree burns, and is expected to recover.


    DEMOCRATS, LEADING RACE FOR CONGRESS, DEMAND REMOVAL OF NIXON WAR POWERS

    Washington Post, July 14, 1970

    Buoyed by President Nixon's unpopular decision to deploy more GIs to Vietnam, Democrats have opened up a 15-point lead in congressional preference polls for the 1970 midterms. A Gallup poll found that Democrats hold a 54-39 lead on their Republican rivals in the race for Congress this November, while a Louis Harris poll showed the Democrats with a similar 56-41 lead. The Democrats currently hold wide majorities in both houses of Congress, as they have done since the 1954 elections, and look set to expand their majorities. Mike Mansfield, Democratic majority leader in the Senate, looks forward to a possible 8 seat Democratic gain in the upper chamber. "President Nixon has badly mishandled the fallout from the Kent State massacre and is making a suicidal decision to add more troops to the failing Vietnam War effort," Mansfield said. "We are on course to expand our majorities and remove the President's war powers due to his disastrous policy maneuvering." Democratic Speaker of the House John McCormack of Massachusetts is retiring, setting off a leadership battle in the House Democratic ranks. The two leading contenders for Speaker of the House, assuming Democrats retain control of the lower chamber, are Carl Albert, a moderate from Oklahoma who supports the Vietnam War effort, and Morris Udall, a liberal Democrat from Arizona who staunchly opposes the war. Udall has promised a bill stripping Nixon of war powers, removing American troops from Vietnam, and calling for a permanent peace between the United States and North Vietnam.


    CRAMER ATTENDS STAR TREK SHOOT, MARVELS AT PRODUCTION

    VARIETY, July 17, 1970

    Douglas S. Cramer, famed opponent of Star Trek's success, made a rare appearance on the Star Trek set to observe the production of an episode. He was amazed at the amount of work the production staff, especially the special effects crew, placed into the sets, lighting, costumes and props. "Walter Matt Jefferies, Jim Rugg and John Dwyer deserved their Emmy," Cramer said. "I am astonished by the effort they place into their endeavors, especially the attempt to make the sets as realistic as possible. Star Trek almost runs like a weekly hourly movie with its production values." Cramer is beginning to regret cancelling the series, and talked to the cast about future Star Trek TV movies. "The cast is open to making television movies that are shot like movies on the silver screen," Cramer continued. "I don't want to lose this property forever, and would like to shepherd it to the Paramount Pictures division for big screen production. This series will become one of the biggest money-spinners of all time if it is produced into a big screen movie, or series of movies."


    DeFOREST KELLEY IS RELIEVED THAT STAR TREK'S RUN IS ENDING

    TV Guide, July 24, 1970

    DeForest Kelley, the famed Doctor McCoy on Star Trek, is glad that he has rocketed to worldwide fame, but is also pleased that the stresses of working on Star Trek will end soon. He cited the negative experiences his co-stars William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy face in their personal lives as rationale for his thinking. "I saw Bill's marriage decline, and Leonard's troubles, and I was very fortunate not to experience the same stresses," Kelley said. "If the series continued, I'd be worried that my marriage would also suffer, because Star Trek is the hardest show in history to make. The amount of attention to detail we as actors have to place in our roles is unparalleled among any television show." He cited the fact that actors from other television series and even feature films attend Star Trek shoots and tell him that the level of focus and skill required is extreme. "Clint Eastwood once attended a shooting on our set and said, 'I could never be a guest star on Star Trek. The amount of detail placed into every role is off the charts,'" Kelley recalled. "The actors from The Mod Squad also appeared at one of our shoots and said, 'We have it so easy compared to you guys. All we have to do is act as ourselves. You have to play characters that are completely different from your personalities and never break character. We especially don't know how Nimoy does it.'"
     
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    Chapter 52: The Nimoy Speech
  • THE NIMOY SPEECH

    "Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor to have marched with you this summer afternoon. I am especially glad to note that my fellow actors, George Takei, Walter Koenig, and Nichelle Nichols have joined me this afternoon. I would like the crowd to acknowledge them as well." (Crowd cheers).

    "President Nixon's leadership, especially when the Vietnam War is concerned, has been disastrous. He campaigned on a platform of 'peace with honor,' but his behavior, as I am concerned, is illogical, if I am allowed to break back into my character for a second. Nixon initially decided to embark on a policy of Vietnamization, where American troops would slowly disengage from the war and train the South Vietnamese army to standard to defend their country. This, I believed, was sound policy, because we were leaving South Vietnam to the South Vietnamese. In the end, it is up to them to determine whether they can remain an independent nation, as it was for South Korea back in the 1950s. The South Koreans successfully became a bulwark against the expanding Communist bloc with American assistance at their border, so why can't South Vietnam do the same? If Saigon cannot achieve the same success as Seoul in forming a stable government, they will fall to the Hanoi regime, regardless of what military assistance the United States provides."

    "President Nixon is demonstrating impatience with the Vietnamization policy he outlined. The South Vietnamese have the capability to learn, just like any other people, in the ability to defend their nation. Our deployment of another 100,000 to 150,000 troops to the Southeast Asian theatre is simply more meat thrown into the infamous war grinder. There is no victory scenario in Vietnam without a lasting peace where the South Vietnamese can prove to form a clean government with strong leadership and a competent army. No number of American troops can fix inherent flaws in the South Vietnamese political structure, which has failed to win over the hearts and minds of many of the people within its borders."

    "I wonder what President Nixon is trying to accomplish with the extra troop deployment. Will he add more troops to Cambodia, a completely illegal war? Will he attempt to invade Laos to a chorus of international condemnation? Or will he simply throw them into Quang Tri and Quang Nam provinces, where so many of our brave young men in uniform have met their deaths? The North Vietnamese, as much as many despise them, have shown an undying commitment to defend their country, which has remained unbroken despite incessant bombing and attempts to cut off their supply chain to their enemy in the South. I see no scenario where that will change, aside from a peace treaty which guarantees the sovereignty of both nations."

    "Lastly, I would like to compliment a man I hold great respect for, Senator Eugene McCarthy. Mr. McCarthy was one of the first senators in Washington to speak out against the war in Southeast Asia, and his vision has proven prescient. Had we elected Senator McCarthy to the Presidency in 1968, we would not be in the situation we are currently facing. Senator McCarthy would have negotiated that 'peace with honor' that Nixon campaigned on, but is refusing to promise the American people. If Eugene McCarthy decides to run for the presidency again two years from now, I will wholeheartedly support his efforts to win back the White House from a man in Nixon who I consider a danger to the world. Thank you."


    Nimoy:

    I thought I was going to end up on Nixon's enemies list for sure, but I had to speak out. His leadership style was that of a madman who was blind to reality. My endorsement of McCarthy did not help the good senator's cause though. He would have made a great President, but unfortunately, it never came to pass for him.

    Daniel Ellsberg:

    Leonard Nimoy was a brilliant man. If he wasn't an actor, he was intelligent enough to work at the RAND corporation with me. Leonard's speech redoubled my efforts to reveal the Pentagon Papers, either in the Senate or through the press. Eventually, I went to the New York Times and they published the papers almost a year later, in June 1971.
     
    Chapter 53: The Fifth Season Begins
  • Only one news article, then we start the fifth and final season.

    STAR TREK TO PRODUCE 24 EPISODES IN FIFTH SEASON

    VARIETY, August 17, 1970

    Star Trek, the reigning Emmy winning Best Dramatic series, will only air 24 episodes in its fifth and final season, despite the massively increased budget from Paramount. Douglas Cramer, the Paramount executive in charge of the property, is emphasizing quality over quantity and wants Gene Roddenberry and Fred Freiberger to create their best episodes, in the hopes that the series can repeat as Emmy winners. Creative lead DC Fontana has left the series over differences with Freiberger, but was reportedly still able to influence about half of the fifth season episodes, which are already in the can. Roddenberry has reassumed his position as executive producer of the series after two years of largely sitting on the sidelines, with Freiberger sitting in Robert Justman's old position as co-producer. Roddenberry has encouraged more young writers to contribute to the series, and has received two scripts from new writers that he has placed into production. Star Trek is currently finishing the first half of its 24 episode run, and it is uncertain how many episodes Leonard Nimoy will participate in during the second half of the final season, as he is contracted to Mission: Impossible starting in November. To account for Nimoy's possible absence, Roddenberry has created two new characters: Lieutenant Commander William Decker, promised to young California National Guard sergeant and part time actor Tom Selleck, and Lieutenant Xon, a Vulcan, played by Lawrence Montaigne, who previously appeared in two episodes of the series.


    Episode updates. Star Trek's fifth season premiered on September 11, 1970.

    EPISODE 1: RETURN TO NIRVANA: Written by D.C. Fontana, directed by Jud Taylor. This is a reimagining of the third season disaster THE WAY TO EDEN. In the RL episode, space hippies attempt to take over the Enterprise in an effort to find the mystical Eden. In this version, Paul McCartney and John Lennon make guest star appearances as the leaders of a 23rd century band that is on the verge of breaking up. The Enterprise crew, as fans of their music, task themselves to resolve their differences and bring the band back together. In a very talky episode without a significant amount of action, McCartney and Lennon air their grievances out against each other, and Kirk attempts to solve the problem with little success, as it appears their differences are intractable. Lennon and McCartney see Uhura singing in the rec room, and their love for making music slowly returns. It turns out that Spock and Uhura reconcile them by helping them with new song ideas. At the end of the show, McCartney, Lennon, and Nichols as Uhura sing two full songs for the Enterprise crew, with Nimoy as Spock on his Vulcan lyre, to rapturous applause. Nielsen rating: An easy 1st in timeslot, due to NBC relentlessly promoting the two lead Beatles. This episode prompts more rumors of a Beatles reunion, which eventually occurs in 1971, but the reunion is short-lived, and the band finally breaks up for good in 1972. McCartney recalls, "John actually did the show for free, and made so much money in publicity from it. We actually hammered out a lot of our differences while making this show, and got Ringo and George back on board for 1971 and a final world tour."

    EPISODE 2: BEM: Written by David Gerrold, directed by Herb Wallerstein. Air date: September 18, 1970. After winning the Emmy with his two parter, TOMORROW WAS YESTERDAY, this is not one of Gerrold's better efforts. IRL, this is a TAS episode, but it is brought to live action. Bem is a diplomat from a species known as the Pandronians, who acts as a trickster and is able to disarm an Enterprise landing party, led by Kirk, Spock and McCoy. The episode is similar to the TAS version, but they cannot shoot the Pandronian actually separating into two bodies the way Gerrold envisioned, so they had to use special effects similar to THE ENEMY WITHIN where there were two Captain Kirks. Nielsen rating: 1st in timeslot.

    EPISODE 3: KATHI: Written by Jean Lorrah, directed by John Meredyth Lucas. Air date: September 25, 1970. This was an unproduced 3rd season episode IRL. Lorrah becomes one of the first fanzine writers to get her work produced into an episode of Star Trek. This episode was similar to Mudd's Women with the concept of a female android acting as a copy of a real person. The female android takes over the Enterprise and Kirk has to discern the difference between the real person, named Kathi, and the android. There was a mixed reaction to this episode ITTL, with Joan Crosby calling it "slow-moving, but witty," in her syndicated newspaper column. Nielsen rating: 2nd in timeslot, barely losing to the CBS Friday Night movie.

    EPISODE 4: THE ENTROPY EFFECT, PART I: Written by Vonda McIntyre, directed by Jud Taylor. Air date: October 2, 1970. The Enterprise responds to a distress signal caused by a naked singularity, but finds out that it originates from a criminal, Dr. Georges Mordreaux. Mordreaux has committed illegal and unethical butchery on alien species. However, Spock is intrigued by Mordreaux's research involving the increase of entropy, which could have galaxy-wide implications. Spock attempts to reverse the effects of the increasing entropy, which could destroy the galaxy in a few decades if it is not dealt with. Sulu meets a captain of another ship, Captain Hunter, who he admires, and Hunter offers him the role of first officer on his ship. We see Sulu with a love interest for the first time, which divides his loyalties, as a B-plot in the episode. Late in the episode, an older version of Mordreaux appears, and shoots Kirk and Mordreaux's prosecutor, Braithwaite, with a web-like substance which causes neural paralysis. McCoy attempts to save Braithwaite and Kirk, but it appears he cannot. Spock also attempts to save Kirk using a mind-meld, but at the end of the episode, Kirk dies. The last line of the episode is a famous one from McCoy: "He's dead, Spock. Jim's dead." Nielsen rating: 1st in timeslot. This episode is critically acclaimed, and garners the young McIntyre Hugo consideration.

    EPISODE 5: THE ENTROPY EFFECT, PART II: Air date: October 9, 1970. The cliffhanger brings Kirk back to life, as it is discovered that Mordreaux used time travel to kill him. Spock constructs a time travel device to save Kirk, without success. Spock through his time travels attempts to repair the increase in galactic entropy caused by Mordreaux and encounters a younger version of Braithwaite. They go back and save Kirk's life, a difference from the novel IRL. Eventually, a third version of Mordreaux convinces the younger version to stop his research with Kirk and Spock acting as arbiters of his fate, as it is destroying the universe. The third, oldest version of Mordreaux dies, but the youngest Mordreaux stops his research and destroys his entropy device. Spock returns back to the present Enterprise and finds that all is well, and the naked singularity is destroying itself. Nielsen rating: 1st in timeslot.
     
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    Bonus update
  • Bonus update:

    NICHOLS TO APPEAR IN GORDON PARKS MOVIE

    TV Guide, October 9, 1970

    Nichelle Nichols has signed on to appear in the movie SHAFT, and has been asked by Isaac Hayes to record music for his album, which is premiering with the movie. Nichols will play a minor role in the film, and will have to relinquish her role as Lieutenant Commander Uhura in Star Trek for several episodes to fulfill the obligation. "Nichelle is an extremely talented actress with a beautiful singing voice," said John D.F. Black, one of the writers working on the film. "I encouraged her to sing on Star Trek when I helped produce that show in its first season." Nichols is eager to move on from playing Uhura, the iconic role she has carved out for herself on the small screen. "I think I can become a leading lady in my own right like Diahann Carroll, my friend who is playing Julia Baker on NBC," Nichols said. "Although Star Trek has given me some opportunities to lead on screen, I would like my own show or movie to show off both my acting and singing abilities." Nichols was previously involved in a spat with Star Trek star William Shatner over her visibility in the series. Although Nichols and Shatner have reportedly mended fences, Nichols feels as if it is time for her to spread her wings and leave the Star Trek cast, at least for a brief time.

    Recollections from the last two posts:

    McCartney:

    I couldn't believe it, but Star Trek brought the Beatles back together, although it was only for a brief time. John only wanted to do one tour, because he was married to Yoko Ono, so I asked him if we could all come together for 1971. He agreed. The hard part was getting Ringo and George to agree. Ringo wanted to start on a singles career, and I told him that we'll do this one last tour. After that tour, I will never bother you again. So Ringo agreed. George was the hardest sell. He was going through his Indian mysticism phase, and desperately wanted to branch out on his own. So I told him that we'll let you lead on half of the songs on the world tour, and he finally agreed. Our band was reunited.

    Nichols:

    I felt like I was on the brink of stardom, and Star Trek by that point was in a deteriorating situation, because we all knew it was the last season. So John Black, who loved my work in the first season, got me to play Dina Greene in Shaft. I thought I would become one of the first big African-American female stars on the big screen, but the feud with Shatner prevented me from getting roles. So after working with Richard Roundtree and Isaac Hayes, I went back to Broadway. I was offered several roles in blaxploitation films, but I didn't want to play a whore, or a madam, or a ditzy girlfriend of one of the male leads.

    Roddenberry:

    I lost Leonard which was expected, but I didn't expect to lose Nichelle. I tried to find a female replacement for Nichelle for the last few episodes, but my casting director Joe D'Agosta couldn't find the perfect replacement. Barbara Baldavin (Joe D'Agosta's wife) was OK, but she wasn't Nichelle. So I decided to create Commander Decker, as a possible future captain of the Enterprise in a future Star Trek series, and recruited Tom Selleck, who was interested. Lawrence Montaigne was eager to rejoin the series and he got to replace Spock. The problem was, neither character was especially popular with audiences. Selleck especially hated playing Decker, and asked to be killed off in the first movie when we made the feature films. So I agreed to his request.
     
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    Chapter 54: Vietnam, Laos, and More Episode Updates
  • Articles for today:

    US, SOUTH VIETNAM TROOPS INVADE LAOS, CAPTURE TCHEPONE

    Associated Press, October 14, 1970

    The United States Army and South Vietnamese ARVN, with a combined 75,000 troops, have captured Tchepone, a key town along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Fierce fighting began in late September and lasted at least two weeks, before the North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao forces retreated northward. American bombing runs helped clear the way for the joint US Army-ARVN force to successfully complete the operation. "This is a critical victory in the war," said US General Creighton Abrams, leading American forces in Southeast Asia. "From our base in Khe Sanh, we have almost interdicted the Ho Chi Minh trail near the South Vietnamese border, and are beginning to cut off the Viet Cong supply routes, leaving them marooned in the South and vulnerable. We have stopped the flow of North Vietnamese supplies in Cambodia with our operations there and will proceed to accomplish the same in Laos." Abrams would not elaborate further on American war plans in Laos, calling them classified, but it is believed that the American and South Vietnamese forces will attempt similar movements south of Tchepone to isolate North Vietnamese forces transporting supplies in Laos. President Nixon, upon hearing of Tchepone's capture, said in a primetime Oval Office address that "we are achieving that peace with honor by stopping supplies from reaching the Viet Cong in the South. I have instructed my national security advisor, Henry Kissinger, to open further negotiations with the North Vietnamese and force a settlement, so no more American men are killed in combat in Southeast Asia." International condemnation was swift, with Soviet Union premier Leonid Brezhnev calling President Nixon a "fascist, imperialist warmonger who seeks to disrupt and destroy the fragile world order." It has been rumored that the CIA was also involved in the Laotian operation, but Richard Helms, the CIA director, said, "We can neither confirm nor deny that the CIA has conducted operations in Laos."


    BEATLES MEET AGAIN IN LONDON, PLANNING REUNION, WORLD TOUR

    Time Magazine, October 15, 1970

    The Beatles, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, were seen together at Abbey Road Studios in London. McCartney, who previously broke up the band over legal issues, has somehow brought the Fab Four back together. "We are planning one last world tour in 1971," McCartney said. "John has agreed to bring Yoko Ono with us, and she might sing on the tour with John in sets before we take the stage again." Starr said, "I'm not Paul's biggest fan anymore, but with one last world tour, we can recapture that magic and I can embark on my singles career, which I believe will be fruitful." George Harrison, the famous guitarist, could not be reached for comment. John Lennon has an interesting story regarding the reunion: "It happened over a Star Trek episode," Lennon said. "Paul took a guest role on Star Trek and asked me if I wanted to join him. I knew my wife Yoko would love seeing me on Star Trek, because she's a huge fan, so I worked on the appearance for free. Paul said over coffee in Los Angeles, 'Let's do this one last tour. We can go back to Shea Stadium and hold another concert there, like we did in 65.'" So it appears the Beatles are back together. We wonder what wonderful new music they have in store for us.


    EPISODE UPDATES:

    EPISODE 6: AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD: Written by Edward Lakso, directed by Marvin Chomsky. Air date: October 16, 1970. This is the same awful 3rd season episode we saw IRL, and it is similarly awful ITTL. Demonic children kill their parents and take over the Enterprise bridge. Joan Crosby in her column said, "There is absolutely no way Captain Kirk would let children on his bridge." Nielsen rating: 2nd to the CBS Friday Night Movie.

    EPISODE 7: ONE OF OUR PLANETS IS MISSING: Written and directed by Marc Daniels. Air date: October 23, 1970. This is a TAS episode IRL, but is adapted for live action. The Enterprise encounters a giant planet-eating cloud, and discovers that the cloud is actually a gigantic organism. The episode has similarities to THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE and THE IMMUNITY SYNDROME, both 2nd season episodes. Spock mind-melds with the cloud, and communicates that the cloud is murdering living, sentient beings by eating planets that have life on them. Public reaction to this episode was mixed ITTL, because it repeated plot elements from other episodes earlier in the series. Nielsen rating: 1st in timeslot.

    EPISODE 8: THE INFINITE VULCAN: Written by Walter Koenig, directed by John Meredyth Lucas. Air date: October 30, 1970. This is also a TAS episode IRL, but Walter Koenig is able to submit a script he has been working on during the offseason between seasons four and five, and gets it produced because Gene Roddenberry does him a favor. The story is actually quite good IRL. The Enterprise encounters a Eugenics War scientist who also survived on the Botany Bay, Stavos Kenicilus, who wants to clone Spock and improve upon human genetics. Spock is successfully cloned, but the difference ITTL is that Spock-2 is violent, not trained in the ways of logic like his real counterpart. Instead of saving Spock's life with a mind meld, Spock-2 tries to kill the original Spock, and the Enterprise crew has to engage in a fight to kill the Spock clone, who threatens the ship. Public reaction to this episode was generally positive, but the idea of two Spocks was copied from THE ENEMY WITHIN (two Kirks) and MIRROR, MIRROR. Nielsen rating: 1st in timeslot.
     
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    Chapter 54: GOP Midterm drubbing, Vietnam, and more Star Trek
  • Today's update:

    DEMOCRATS THUMP GOP IN 1970 MIDTERM ELECTIONS

    Washington Post, November 4, 1970

    Democrats expanded on their majorities in Congress yesterday in both houses, creating a near super-majority in the House of Representatives and reaching the 58 senator mark in the Senate. Democrats won 25 seats in the House, expanding their majority to 268 seats. They defeated Republican incumbents in traditionally GOP-leaning suburban areas, where the Vietnam War is largely unpopular. A more liberal majority appears to be in control in the House, boosting Morris Udall's chances of winning the speakership over Carl Albert, with John McCormack, the previous speaker, retiring. Democrats won Senate seats in California, Hawaii, New York, Ohio and Illinois, while holding onto their vulnerable incumbent, Joseph Tydings, in Maryland. John Tunney defeated incumbent Republican senator George Murphy in California, and Adlai Stevenson III defeated Ralph Tyler Smith in a special election in Illinois. Hiram Fong in Hawaii lost his seat to Democrat Cecil Heftel, and Democrat Howard Metzenbaum has apparently defeated Robert Taft Jr. in a very close race in Ohio, which is headed for a potential recount. Perhaps the most interesting race was in New York, where conservative firebrand James L. Buckley was favored to win election over placeholder Republican senator Charles Goodell and Democrat Richard Ottinger. However, New York's Democratic lean and excellent turnout in New York City put Ottinger over the top. Democrats held the Texas seat thought vulnerable, with Lloyd Bentsen defeating George H.W. Bush in the conservative, but still Democratic state. In Florida, the Democrats also held the seat vacated by retiring Spessard Holland, with Lawton Chiles defeating Republican William Cramer. Republicans won seats in Connecticut, where Lowell Weicker ran on an anti-war platform, and in Tennessee, where Albert Gore. Sr was defeated by Bill Brock. President Nixon was upset with the results, reportedly telling his chief of staff H.R. Haldeman that "the pointy heads and eggheads who watch Star Trek and the hippies who love the Beatles outvoted our base who watches Gunsmoke and Bonanza."


    KISSINGER, THO TO MEET IN PARIS

    Washington Post, November 5, 1970

    President Nixon's national security adviser Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese representative Le Duc Tho will meet in Paris later this month in efforts to hammer out a settlement over the expanding Vietnam War. Kissinger is expected to tell Tho that bombing of North Vietnamese cities, including the capital Hanoi, will resume unless the North Vietnamese agree to peace. The North Vietnamese position was weakened recently by the American and South Vietnamese capture of Tchepone in neighboring Laos, which largely cut the Ho Chi Minh trail aiding the Viet Cong in the South. This, combined with fewer Chinese arms to the North, has placed them in a vulnerable position for the first time in years, and they are seeking a settlement that guarantees elections for both states in early 1971 with a unification election to be held four years later, in 1975. Kissinger prefers the separate election option for both nations in 1971 but with no unification elections down the line, fearing a North Vietnamese electoral victory would cause all of Vietnam to go Communist. Talks have also resumed with China over a possible state visit by President Nixon, but the Chinese are reticent to invite Nixon unless they believe a lasting peace has taken hold in Vietnam.


    THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN OF STAR TREK TALK TO TV GUIDE

    TV Guide, November 6, 1970

    TV Guide is happy to secure this interview with the Star Trek ensemble cast. They discussed their Emmy wins, relationships within the cast, and the improved relationship with Paramount studio head Doug Cramer. Cramer also agreed to be interviewed with the cast.

    TV Guide: It is a pleasure to talk to the entire cast of Star Trek. You have certainly made waves in the past four years.
    Shatner: It is a pleasure to talk to TV Guide. We're the most popular show of the 1960s according to your poll.
    TV Guide: We were stunned when Star Trek won that poll, and it foretold future Emmy success for the series.
    Shatner: It sure did, and Leonard cashed in on that success.
    Nimoy: It was the greatest honor of my career to win an Emmy playing Spock. The work I had to place into that role was phenomenal, but I'm about to leave for Mission: Impossible and hopefully an easier role.
    TV Guide: No pointy ears on Mission, we think.
    Nimoy: (Laughs) No pointy ears, but they might put me in other disguises because it's a spy show.
    TV Guide: We heard there was some trouble among the cast.
    Doohan: I settled that with a couple of smacks on Bill (Shatner, Doohan and Nichols laugh). Nichelle also got in a lick on Bill.
    Nichols: I won't say how I hit Bill though.
    Takei: We thought it was a stunt between Kirk and Scott in their characters. We had no idea it was real until Jimmy was legitimately hitting Bill and Nichelle jumped in with a kick.
    Koenig: We perform a lot of fight scenes on Star Trek, sometimes between cast members, so of course we thought Jimmy and Bill were playing around. But they fought for real for a bit, and Gene [Roddenberry] had to save Jimmy's job.
    Kelley: That was some of the highest drama I've seen on a set in all my years of acting. I'm glad it's past us and we're all friends again. Bill learned a lesson from that.
    Shatner: Agreed, Dee. I learned to respect my colleagues more after that incident.
    TV Guide: With that all behind you, how are you getting along with the studio? I know Shatner went public about Paramount not treating the cast well.
    Shatner: Well I had to go public at the time. Contract negotiations were going poorly, we just lost our longtime producer Bob Justman, who was a friend to all of us, and we were not being treated like stars on a top television program, in the way James Arness gets treated with carte blanche over at Gunsmoke. So I stood up for everyone. Doug Cramer hated it at the time, but he loves Star Trek now. He wishes he could take it back.
    TV Guide: We actually have Doug Cramer with us for this interview.
    Cramer: I had you guys do the impossible for two years, and you won an Emmy for Best Dramatic Series. Your show is going to go down as an all-time classic, and if you ever make movies, they will be of the epic variety, like the Ten Commandments with Cecil B. DeMille directing. If you ever want to make a TV movie, I will gladly produce it for you and back the cast up with a representative salary.
    Shatner: Why thank you, Doug.
    Cramer: You're very welcome. Star Trek has become a great property for Paramount. I have never been surprised more by the popularity of a television show in all my years in the business.
    Nimoy: Mr. Cramer, that is because no television series in history places the attention to detail in all of its aspects of production like Star Trek. We ensure that everything is as perfect as possible, from the sets, to the costumes, to the scripts, to the characters.
    Takei: Even for the smaller parts, we assume our characters, who are completely different from who we are in real life, and play them so realistically that the television audience thinks we are actually the characters.
    Nichols: I know, I get called Uhura all the time on the street.
    Koenig: Same thing here, everyone thinks I'm Pavel Chekov, when I'm actually Walter Koenig (everyone laughs). People don't know that I don't speak with a Russian accent in real life, except for my family.
    Doohan: I think Bill and Leonard have it hardest. They have to put everything into Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.
    Shatner and Nimoy: No {expletive], Jimmy. (Everyone laughs).
    Kelley: I'm not actually a doctor, but everyone thinks I'm a doctor (everyone laughs). I've received fan mail from medical students that said they were inspired by me to be doctors.
    Doohan: Same here, Dee. I get fan mail from aspiring engineers because they love Mr. Scott.
    Nichols: I don't get fan mail from anyone who is aspiring to be a switchboard operator (Everyone laughs).
    Koenig: I get fan mail from people who think I'm Davy Jones from the Monkees with a Russian accent.
    TV Guide: Are you going to make movies someday?
    Shatner: We don't know. Doug has invited us back for one television movie, but I'm not sure I want to play Captain Kirk on the big screen. I might be too old by the point Star Trek makes it to movie theaters. I heard that Gene Roddenberry might replace me with Tom Selleck if it ever gets that far.
    Nimoy: I don't mind putting on the ears again for a couple of months to make movies. Who knows, maybe I'll direct a couple of them someday.
    Kelley: We'd be glad to make movies, but in several years it might be time for a new cast to carry on what we started if Star Trek continues as a movie franchise.
    TV Guide: That'll be a wrap.
    Cast: Thank you for interviewing us for TV Guide.
     
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    Chapter 55: Halfway through Season Five
  • EPISODE UPDATES:

    EPISODE 9: THE PARADISE SYNDROME; Written by Margaret Armen, directed by Jud Taylor. Air date: November 6, 1970. This is the same relatively weak episode ITTL with Kirk falling in love with the Native American woman. However, the Native American woman is not depicted as weak. The pregnancy angle between Kirk and the Native American woman is removed ITTL's episode. The episode is panned in some angles as biased against Native Americans. Nielsen rating: 1st in time slot, barely beating the CBS Friday Night Movie.

    EPISODE 10: WHAT TUMULT OF THE MIND: Written by Amy Engelberg and Terry Kahn, revised by D.C. Fontana, and directed by Herb Wallerstein. Air date: November 13, 1970. This was an undeveloped 2nd season episode IRL, but is put into production after Fontana changes the script to make it producible for live action. It is Fontana's last screenwriting credit for TOS. In the episode, the Enterprise encounters a species of soothsayers who have dark images in their minds and are afraid of the Enterprise crew. Kirk falls for one of the females of the soothsayer species, who claims he is about to die. Kirk does not know whether he is going to die or not, and starts to take weird, preventative measures against his death. In a difference from OTL's script, the Klingons get involved and attempt to prey on Kirk's apparent weaknesses. Nielsen rating: 2nd to the CBS Friday Night Movie.

    EPISODE 11: SHOL: Written by Darlene Hartman, directed by John Meredyth Lucas. Air date: November 20, 1970. This was an undeveloped 2nd season episode IRL, but is put into production. Roddenberry convinces Lucas to make the episode. It is very similar to the second season episode THE APPLE, and was not critically acclaimed ITTL. Nielsen rating: 2nd to the CBS Friday Night Movie.

    EPISODE 12: INTERNAL AFFAIRS: Written by Gene Roddenberry (and contributed by hammo1j, so this could go to Writer's Guild arbitration LOL), directed by Marvin Chomsky. Air date, November 27, 1970. This episode was rushed into production after Roddenberry approved of the script. In this episode, Romulan moles posing as Vulcan Federation department of justice agents infiltrate the Enterprise under the ruse of inspecting the Enterprise crew and attempt to capture the ship. They place Kirk in the brig after the captain attempts to woo one of them, a Vulcan named T'Long. Uhura unravels the plot against the ship, but not before the hijackers take the Enterprise to the Romulan neutral zone. There, a Romulan ship is there to receive the Enterprise and take her as a prize back to Romulus. The Enterprise crew reveals the Romulan plot, takes back control of the ship, and defeats the Bird of Prey in a brief confrontation. This episode was critically acclaimed, and the audience loved the continued Romulan subterfuge plot against the Federation, comparing it to Mission: Impossible. Nielsen rating: 1st in timeslot. (Hat tip to hammo1j). This was the first Star Trek episode not to feature Spock in the cast.
     
    Chapter 56: December 1970
  • I think I can sneak in a fast update for today. Hopefully it's up to the usual standard. I almost certainly won't be around to write one tomorrow.

    VIETNAM ARMISTICE ACHIEVED IN PARIS

    New York Times, December 3, 1970

    President Richard M. Nixon's national security adviser, Mr. Henry Kissinger, and North Vietnamese diplomat Mr. Le Duc Tho have reached an armistice agreement to stall fighting in the Vietnam War, which has raged on for over a decade. The North Vietnamese, with their Chinese allies, agreed to withdraw back to the 17th parallel demilitarized zone originally set during the 1950s. Mr. Kissinger agreed to elections in both parts of the divided nation in April 1971, with unification elections to occur in 1975. The United States has agreed to lower its number of troops to 400,000 until the elections occur, with a further drawdown expected after April. American troops will also withdraw from Laos, where they captured Tchepone, a town bordering Khe Sanh, a key American military base in South Vietnam. Mr. Kissinger described the talks as tense but turning cordial. "The North Vietnamese want to see an end to this conflict just like we do. We offered them a very palatable deal, which they accepted. The alternative would have been more aerial bombardment of Hanoi and Haiphong." Mr. Kissinger also described the Chinese intervention in the peace talks as positive. "The Chinese agreed to reduce their arms deal with the North Vietnamese government as a key detail in the armistice." President Nixon is planning direct talks with the Chinese, with a possible state visit to occur as early as 1971.


    NIMOY ENJOYING HIS NEW ROLE ON MISSION IMPOSSIBLE

    Los Angeles Times, December 5, 1970

    Leonard Nimoy is happy in his new role as "The Great Paris" on Mission: Impossible. Nimoy plays an ex-magician who is deployed to spy on opponents in various costumes. Although the makeup demands for the role still have him rising from bed at 5 AM, the reduced role on Mission allows Nimoy to maintain a better work-life balance. "Playing Spock was wonderful for Leonard's prestige as an actor, with his Emmy award win and his worldwide fame, but he needed to relax and rebuild his marriage," said Sandra Nimoy, his wife. "Leonard's role is a lot less stressful. He sometimes gets home at five in the evening, and is able to enjoy time with Julie and Adam," Mrs. Nimoy said. Mr. Nimoy also agreed with his wife. "Playing Spock was the pinnacle of my career, but I need to relax a little bit," Nimoy said. "My family life was degrading rapidly, but now I am repairing it very quickly. My role on Mission: Impossible is not as expansive and allows me more time to raise my children." When asked if he would ever return to play Mr. Spock, Nimoy said, "I guess it is possible. They would have to bring me back in a movie or two and only work a couple of months at a time, because the stresses of playing Spock became monumental." Nimoy is planning on writing a book about his experiences as Spock and delineating the difference between Nimoy the man and the famous Vulcan he played for four and a half years on television.


    EPISODE UPDATES:

    EPISODE 13: TO ATTAIN THE ALL, Written by Norman Spinrad, directed by John Meredyth Lucas. Air date: December 4, 1970. This was a script for Phase II, but due to the demand for new stories from Roddenberry, he receives a bunch of new yarns, one of which is from THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE writer Spinrad. In this story, the Enterprise mysteriously vanishes from the known galaxy and meets a bald, blue-skinned alien known as the Prince. The Prince explains that they can learn about his new species and "attain the all," or the vast amount of knowledge The Ones, his species, gathered over many millennia. Decker (Tom Selleck) and Xon (Lawrence Montaigne) are invited to The Ones' planet, and Kirk wants the Enterprise freed after their visit, but is denied. Decker and Xon are forced to navigate through a maze to a computer that supposedly has all the knowledge in the universe. Decker and Xon switch roles; Decker acts like a Vulcan and Xon a human. On the ship, the Prince flips the personas of McCoy and Chapel into each other. Kirk threatens to destroy the Enterprise if he cannot contact Decker and Xon; he is permitted to establish a link with Xon. The Prince links the entire crew up with the Xon communication line except for Decker. The two new Enterprise officers see a glowing orb on the planet, which the Prince explains is the computer to "attain the all." The Prince wants to merge the Enterprise with the glowing orb, so the Ones can take the Enterprise in physical form to merge with other species. Eventually, the Enterprise crew is able to fight off the Prince and the Ones and return to Federation space. Nielsen rating: 1st in timeslot. The New York Times called this story "an intriguing premise, but a little convoluted."

    EPISODE 14: THE STARFLEET INCIDENT, Written by D.C. Fontana, directed by Jud Taylor. Air date: December 11, 1970. The Kent State massacre occurred earlier in the year, and of course Star Trek plays it out in the future. At the start of the episode, four Andorian anti-war protesters on Earth are shot and killed by Starfleet officers. The Andorian government, furious with the treatment of their citizens on Earth, threatens to leave the Federation. The Enterprise, disobeying orders, conveys the Andorian president to Earth to confront Starfleet over its actions. Kirk and McCoy, along with the Andorian president, face off with Vice President Wagner (played by Robert Ryan) and Admiral Komack (played by Byron Morrow). McCoy is given the plum lines in this episode, and his famous speech earns him an Emmy nod:

    "Mr. Vice President, we have returned back to Earth to protest with our Andorian friends the awful treatment their citizens have received. By God, are we, the United Federation of Planets, turning into an imperial monster like the Klingons, who wage chemical warfare, and the Romulans, who wage biological warfare? Are we losing our morals one day at a time? We are slowly becoming our enemies; enemies that crush dissent within their borders, and demand loyalty of their citizens that is not returned. I entered Starfleet because we had ideals and principles that made us different from our barbaric Klingon and Romulan foes. Instead, I am now serving an organization that is turning into a mirror image of those horrible, tyrannical empires. I will resign my Starfleet commission, along with Captain Kirk and everyone else on the Enterprise, if this behavior continues, and Starfleet will have no flagship to lead the fleet. Other starship captains certainly agree with my line of thinking, Mr. Vice President. Soon enough, the Federation will fragment into several pieces. We almost saw Vulcan leave the Federation because of our imperialism, and now the Andorians are considering an exit. I believe, Mr. Vice President, that you and President Norman must exit, or it will be the end of the Federation."

    The episode is critically acclaimed, especially for DeForest Kelley's tour de force. McCoy saves the Federation, and we hear that President Norman and Vice President Wagner have tendered their resignations at the end of the episode. Nielsen rating: 1st in time slot.

    EPISODE 15: DEVIL'S DUE, Written by William Douglas Lansford, directed by Marvin Chomsky. Air date: December 18, 1970. IRL this became an episode of TNG, but instead, it is broadcast in the Original Series with the TOS characters. The story largely follows what occurred in TNG, but with Kirk's crew instead of Picard's. The special effects are obviously toned down from what we see in TNG. Nielsen rating: 2nd to the CBS Friday Night Movie.

    Then Star Trek takes a 2 week break for Christmas (December 25, 1970) and New Years Day (January 1, 1971). The last 9 episode of the Original Series will be broadcast in 1971.

    MAILBAG:

    Where is Mr. Spock? I know you said he returned to Vulcan to take shore leave, but I want to see Mr. Nimoy on Star Trek again! He's my favorite character, and the grooviest man in the galaxy. I know that the audience for Star Trek tunes in for Mr. Spock and I don't really dig his replacement, although he seems like a nice guy. That young man you got to play Commander Decker is a hunk though. Where did you find him! I think he could take over for Shatner someday! (Debra L, New York)
     
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    Chapter 56: January 1971
  • Some Episode updates, and a little change in the Apollo 14 mission. I had a little writer's block and some COVID shot side effects earlier, but am feeling well enough for a short update.

    EPISODE 16: THE TIME TRAP: Written by Joyce Perry, directed by Jud Taylor. Air date: January 8, 1971. This is a TAS episode IRL but becomes live action ITTL because of the improved budget. The Enterprise gets caught in an area of space called the Delta Triangle, and is attacked by a Klingon D7 commanded by Kor. John Colicos reprises his role as Kor. The Enterprise and Klingons are judged as violent rivals by a species called the Elysians, who set up the Delta Triangle to ensnare both vessels. Kirk and Kor must find a way out of the Delta Triangle to survive. Reaction to the episode is mixed because it copies elements of earlier TOS episodes. Nielsen rating: 2nd to the CBS Friday Night Movie. This is Spock's last appearance on TOS before the movies.

    EPISODE 17: LORD BOBBY'S OBSESSION: Written by Shimon Wincelberg (Shimon Bar David pen name), directed by Herb Wallerstein. Air date: January 15, 1971. This was a Phase II script IRL which was never produced, but is advanced to TOS because Roddenberry needs scripts. This episode is similar to the TNG first season episode THE NEUTRAL ZONE, except the character of Lord Bobby is supposedly a member of English high society who got lost on a spaceship. The Enterprise crew reveals that Lord Bobby is an alien, and the Romulans want to know why the Enterprise is in the Neutral Zone. More at this link here: https://forgottentrek.com/lord-bobbys-obsession/. Reaction to this episode is also mixed. Nielsen rating: 1st in timeslot.

    EPISODE 18: THE PRISONER: Written by James Menzies, directed by John Meredyth Lucas. Air date: January 22, 1971. This is also a Phase II script IRL which ITTL is written several years earlier. Aliens masquerade as famous human scientists and attempt to take over the Enterprise. The leader of the aliens masquerades himself as Albert Einstein. More on this episode here: https://forgottentrek.com/the-prisoner/. Reaction to this episode is generally positive, but plot points are taken from THE SAVAGE CURTAIN. Nielsen rating: 1st in timeslot.


    APOLLO 14 MISSION LAUNCHES FOR MOON

    New York Times, January 31, 1971

    Astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa and Edgar Mitchell successfully lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center yesterday at 4:03 PM, on the Apollo 14 mission. They are expected to land on the Moon in the Fra Mauro highlands, where the aborted Apollo 13 mission was supposed to land. Shepard is expected to be the first man to exit the lunar orbiter, and he brought some special items, including an American flag, one of his golf clubs, a six-iron, two golf balls, and figurines of the entire cast of the television series Star Trek. The mission is expected to reach the Moon on February 4, a five day mission, and return to Earth after a day of exploration on the Moon. NASA director Thomas O. Paine said, "We anticipate no problems with Apollo 14 like we did with the last mission. The near-disaster that was Apollo 13 was studied intently by members of mission control in Florida and our world class astrophysicists and rocket scientists." Mr. Paine is extremely excited for Mr. Shepard, who at 47, is the oldest astronaut to enter space. "Alan Shepard was the first American in space, and we are beyond happy that he will get his opportunity to walk on the moon. He deserves it, and he will assuredly indulge himself in the experience."


    NIXON PLANS TRIP FOR CHINA IN FEBRUARY

    Washington Post, January 31, 1971

    After the fragile armistice in Vietnam slowed down conflict between the North and South, President Nixon has revealed that he, along with Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird and Secretary of State William Rogers, will visit the Forbidden Kingdom next month for a state visit with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. Nixon chief of staff H.R. Haldeman hailed the development, telling the Post that "We have achieved peace with honor in Vietnam, as President Nixon said he would, and will build on that peace by making this historic visit to Communist China to improve relations." President Nixon was criticized by some of the extremely conservative members of his party for the visit, such as California governor Ronald Reagan, but Nixon sees a motive in opening talks with the Red Chinese. Haldeman said, "We seek to open a split in the Communist world between the Soviet Union and Communist China to weaken the Russians by giving them something to think about. We believe that the Communist system in Peking is different than the system in Moscow and they can evolve away from the Soviet orbit."
     
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    Chapter 57: February 1971
  • News articles:

    NICHOLS RETURNS FROM SHAFT FOR ONE LAST EPISODE OF STAR TREK

    VARIETY, February 4, 1970

    Nichelle Nichols has agreed to return to Los Angeles for an unplanned 25th episode of the final season of Star Trek, after shooting a role in the Gordon Parks movie Shaft and recording music with Isaac Hayes for his album, to be released with the film. Nichols told Variety, "I believe that Shaft will allow me to become a bigger movie star in the future, and was glad to accept the role. Ike Hayes is a fantastic musician, and it was a dream to record a few songs with him. I believe that Hayes can win a Grammy and possible even an Academy Award, because he is that talented as a singer." Nichols is glad to reprise her role as Lieutenant Commander Uhura one last time. "Gene Roddenberry has always been a close friend of mine, and I decided to do him a favor and return as Commander Uhura. He helped make my career in show business, first on an episode of The Lieutenant and now on nearly five years of Star Trek. I hope to work with Gene again in the future if he plans any future television series after Star Trek's run ends."

    NIXON ARRIVES IN COMMUNIST CHINA

    New York Times, February 19, 1971

    President Richard M. Nixon, along with his secretary of state Mr. William Rogers, and his secretary of defense Mr. Melvin Laird, arrived in Peking for the first day of a week-long historic visit to Communist China. Mr. Nixon met Chinese premier Zhou Enlai upon landing in China, and the two leaders shared pleasantries. "The visit is expected to be cordial," said President Nixon's chief of staff H.R. Haldeman, who granted an interview for the Times. "The President and Mr. Enlai are expected to discuss the opening of China to the West and the Vietnam armistice, and how elections should be administered in North and South Vietnam," Mr. Haldeman noted. Mr. Nixon is planning a strategy of turning the Communist Chinese into a counterweight to Moscow in the Communist world, and wants access to Chinese markets. In exchange, the Communist Chinese want reunification of Taiwan with the Communist mainland, an issue that President Nixon will likely disapprove of. "Taiwan will be protected no matter what, and is non-negotiable," Haldeman told the Times. "We can offer the Chinese improved technology, especially in their agricultural sector, to align them closer to us, which will hopefully ensure that they make no aggressive move on Taiwan in the future."

    VIETNAM ELECTIONS PLANNED FOR END OF APRIL

    Washington Post, February 21, 1971

    During the visit to China, President Nixon and Chinese premier Zhoi Enlai agreed that elections in North and South Vietnam will take place on April 30, 1971. One election will be held in Hanoi, under Chinese observance, while the other election will be held in Saigon, under American influence. The Communist Chinese wanted a further withdrawal of American troops during the election period, but President Nixon disagreed, arguing that the North Vietnamese were untrustworthy and could take advantage of the withdrawal by invading the South and breaking the armistice. American troop levels will remain at 400,000, with an extra 125,000 men on standby if events do not occur as planned and war breaks out again. Nixon national security adviser Henry Kissinger told the Post, "We cannot withdraw more forces from South Vietnam at this point in time. The North Vietnamese will see that action as a sign of weakness, cancel the elections, and violate the armistice." Kissinger sees the potential election of Le Duan, the general secretary of North Vietnam and the replacement for the late Ho Chi Minh, as a threat to South Vietnam and fears that the armistice will no longer exist if he retains a leadership role in Hanoi. "I discussed how problematic Mr. Duan was with Le Duc Tho," Kissinger said. "I told Mr. Tho that he should stand as a candidate for election, but he declined. I trust Mr. Tho a lot more as a potential bargaining partner than Duan, who is a revolutionary," concluded Kissinger.
     
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