The Wall Street Journal reports La-La Land Records has released a $225, 15-CD set, Star Trek: The Original Series Soundtrack Collection. Containing every piece of music from the show’s three seasons, it delivers 17 hours of listening pleasure.
Catch the details in “Music That Lives Long and Prospers” during its 7-day free period.
Why have the musical scores stood the test of time? Gene Roddenberry told an interviewer in 1982:
“I thought, my God, I had better keep as many things as possible very understandable to my audience… I was afraid that if, on top of bizarre alien seascapes, I had beep-beep-beep music, then I would be in trouble.”
[Thanks to Sam Long for the story.]
The latest installment of PBS’ Pioneers of Television about three moguls of 1960s science fiction television, Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry and Irwin Allen, drew this quirky criticism from syndicated columnist Kevin McDonough:
…Serling’s timeless “Twilight Zone,” [was] an anthology series drawing on some of the finest sci-fi writers of its time. While “Pioneers” mentions their contribution to “Zone,” it implies that most “Star Trek” episodes were written by Roddenberry, when in fact that series also reflected stories and ideas by notable writers, including Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison.
Just one problem: if you’re going to stand up for the unsung science fiction writers who helped make Star Trek a success, it would be best to name ones who actually wrote for the series — which Ray Bradbury never did.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]
Cal Worthington’s humorous TV ads made the flamboyant car dealer a local LA legend.
The late Gene Roddenberry also made his Star Trek TV series and movies in LA, hub of the entertainment industry.
And I don’t think you’d lose money if you bet Cal Worthington’s commercials occasionally aired during syndicated reruns of Star Trek on LA stations. Otherwise, I never knew that these two icons of the airwaves had anything but television in common until David Klaus sent me an item just before Veterans Day.
As young men, both Cal and Gene had the same, very important job in America’s military: they both piloted B-17 bombers in World War II.
Roddenberry flew 89 missions in the Pacific, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal.
Cal Worthington flew 29 missions over Germany during World War II, received five Air Medals and was presented the Distinguished Flying Cross by General Jimmy Doolittle himself.
You might say Gene and Cal also had another similarity: they were associated in the public mind with exotic and unusual creatures. While Roddenberry’s had different names — “horta,” “Denebian slime devil” etc. — Cal’s all had the same name: “Spot.”
Cal created “my dog Spot” to parody the commercials of another TV pitchman who always introduced “my dog, Storm,” his pet German shepherd. Cal’s original “dog Spot” was an enraged gorilla. The joke has since been repeated many times in other commercials, the creatures named Spot varying from a tiger to a killer whale – and an infamous goose that accompanied Cal to The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and ruined Carson’s suit.
[Thanks to David Klaus for the story.]
A full catalog of personal effects, costumes, keepsakes and even furniture from the estate of Gene and Majel Barrett Roddenberry will go to auction on June 27 at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino Las Vegas, with all proceeds turned over to charity.
Items include an ST:TNG script hand-annotated by Gene Roddenberry, costumes worn by Majel Barrett Roddenberry in character as Lwaxana Troi, a copy of Bradbury’s I Sing The Body Electric inscribed to Gene by Ray Bradbury, and a Peabody award for an episode of ST:TNG, “The Big Good-bye.”
Of exceptional fanhistorical interest is Roddenberry’s Hugo Award, which he earned for his script “The Menagerie” at NyCon3 in 1967. The auctioneers predict the award might go for $600-800. The winning bidder gets the certificate Roddenberry received, too.
Incidentally, this is one of the Lucite Hugo rockets produced for NyCon III and a couple of the fins on Roddenberry’s copy look chipped — or so it seemed to me when I compared the photo on catalog page 105 with the canonical 1967 Hugo photo at HugoAwards.org.
[Via Bill Burns, thanks to Andrew Porter for the link.]
The goggles Amelia Earhart wore during her historic 1932 solo transatlantic flight commanded $141,600 at Profiles in History’s October 8-9 auction. The goggles were the most avidly-sought flight-related item up for sale. Among others, astronaut Gus Grissom’s worn Mercury flight suit brought $47,200 and the baseball cap Neil Armstrong wore after splashdown and recovery from the Apollo 11 mission went for $14,160.
Many collectibles of interest to fans also were on the block. The early Apple Macintosh 128 computer given to Gene Roddenberry by Apple Computer sold for $8,260. Walker Edmiston’s archive of Time for Beany show puppets and memorabilia went for $70,800. A John Steed derby hat from The Avengers yielded $57,500. A Harrison Ford signature hero “Indiana Jones” bullwhip from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade fetched $56,050.
All amounts include the hammer price plus the 18% buyer’s premium.
The full press release appears after the jump.
First Apple Macintosh Plus, given to Gene Roddenberry
Profiles in History, which auctioned Forry Ackerman’s stuff earlier this year, will soon be taking bids on another item with fan appeal — a computer (serial number F4200NUM0001), given by Apple Computer, Inc. to Gene Roddenberry. It comes with a letter of authentication from Roddenberry’s son.
Some of you remember, I’m sure, that when the Macintosh Plus came on the market in 1986 it boasted an awesome 1 megabyte of RAM (upgradeable to 4Mb), supported the double-sided floppy disk format, and was the first Mac with a SCSI port for fast data transfer to and from an external hard drive.
The reason you remember is that you are still paying off the credit card you smoked to buy your own Mac Plus.
The full text of the press release follows the jump.
Update 09/18/2009: The publicist for Profiles in History forwarded a corrected press release after it was pointed out that the computer couldn’t have been the first Mac Plus. The replacement text now appears after the jump. He explains: “Firstly, this Macintosh was, indeed, presented to Gene Roddenberry by Apple. There is no doubt about this. The conflict between the photo and the serial number is as follows. This computer, given by Apple to Mr. Roddenberry, is an early production Macintosh 128 (#776), which was then upgraded by Apple for Gene to a Macintosh Plus-thus the model number / serial number / panel that “belongs to” a Macintosh Plus. The 0001 led us to mistakenly believe that it was the first one off the line.”
Majel Barrett-Roddenberry died December 18 of leukemia, according to the family.
She was part of Star Trek from the beginning, as Number One in “The Cage” and Nurse Chapel in the original series, then later as the Betazoid Ambassador Lwaxana Troi on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.
Majel Barrett married Gene Roddenberry in 1969. After he died in 1991, she brought two more of his series ideas to television under her guidance as Executive Producer, Earth: Final Conflict, and Andromeda
She also provided the regular voice of starship onboard computers for four Star Trek tv series and most of the Star Trek movies, and according to Variety, the upcoming film by J.J. Abrams.
Her son, Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, Jr., said online:
My mother truly acknowledged and appreciated the fact that Star Trek fans played a vital role in keeping the Roddenberry dream alive for the past 42 years. It was her love for the fans, and their love in return, that kept her going for so long after my father passed away.
The Explorers Flight mission carrying the ashes of Star Trek actor James Doohan, along with those of astronaut Gordon Cooper and 206 others who paid to have their remains shot into space, failed to reach orbit after launch on August 2.
According to the mission summary, after the main engine shut down and when the first and second stages should have separated, a small amount of unanticipated pressure released in the engine chamber caused the two stages to bump together. (The Washington Post, brushing away the jargon, blames a fuel leak.) As a result, all was lost.
Fans had waited several years for the fulfillment of Doohan’s wish to have his ashes orbited. His ashes would have joined those of Gene Roddenberry, Timothy Leary and Eugene Shoemaker, already successfully launched into space.
[Via Chaos Manor.]
Apparently it is true that “if you build it they will come.” At the entrance to Vulcan, Alberta is a 31-foot-long, 9-foot-tall replica starship, inspired by classic Star Trek’s Enterprise. It’s the largest physical component of a community-wide tourism theme that also drives Spock Days/Galaxy Fest, happening June 13-15, 2008.
The goal of having people identify the town of Vulcan with the popular TV and movie franchise has been pursued since 1991. Trek celebrities have been lured to Vulcan many times over the years. This coming weekend Vulcan will host Eugene Roddenberry, Jr. , who will unveil a plaque in honor of his father, creator of the Star Trek series.
The festival will also feature the Flying Trekkies, a Star Trek-dressed seven-person skydiving that will land on Vulcan’s main street; a parade; a Star Trek-inspired fashion show; Klingon Karaoke; Galaxyfest Banquet; and related exhibits.
Anyone who gets as far as Vulcan certainly should take the Star Trek Tour. The sights include “The Doctors of Star Trek Mural” on the wall of Wright’s Pharmacy, designed and painted by Kim Fortin. See if you can match each Doctor with the correct Star Trek series.
Spock Days/Galaxy Fest gives people a more compelling reason to visit this small town than when its fame depended on being “the point in the British Empire from which the largest number of bushels of grain is shipped direct from farm to rolling stock.“ Which wasn’t much to work with, especially since none of it was quadrotriticale.
Update 6/11/2008: Added photo from Steven Wright’s Brandcanada blog.
A full page ad clamoring “Save Star Trek” was published in the February 15 edition of the Los Angeles Times,. It called on fans to get the show a new TV home through a petition campaign and rallies at network and Paramount offices. The ad was a response to the cancellation of Enterprise, the latest incarnation of the Star Trek franchise, one that has been received ambivalently even by most fans. The very fact warrants curiosity about a high-profile and expensive effort to “save” the show.
The ads and rallies are apparently publicized through a website called enterpriseproject.org. A sidebar story on the site reminds people of the Trimbles’ efforts to save the original Trek series in the late 1960s through a huge letter-writing campaign. While quite appropriate inspiration for any group trying to save a tv show, it is also an indirect reminder that the Trimbles’ efforts were instigated by Gene Roddenberry himself (according to one of the major biographies about the series creator.)