Captain's Blog pt. 47: Credit Where Credit Is Due

Before we continue, let's take a moment to recognize those stalwart pioneers who first blazed the Trek Trail.

I believe I may have mentioned this guy before.
Fighter pilot, commercial aviator, writer, husband, father, motion picture and television producer, imbiber, cad, visionary, and ultimately: mortal. And an important one. As said elsewhere, when the cast and crew for Planet Earth are scrolled along the universal screen, Roddenberry's name will be in there somewhere.

I've yet to see Pretty Maids All in a Row, his immediate post-Star Trek project: 

but one of these days. (That write-up makes it sound like a must-see.) Ditto for Spectre and his other TV work, actually. I imagine it's all available on YouTube or wherever. The delights and wonders of our modern age.

Roddenberry's production company.
The other Gene and no less a trailblazer for the Trek we all know and love:

A combat vet (USMC) of two wars, Gene died shortly after TOS went off the air, which means were he to come back to life in 2013 and survey all that has happened to the franchise (including it becoming a franchise) in his absence, he'd probably have a heart attack and go right back to terminal dreamland. Incidentally, I've always meant to find and read these books; I wish someone would publish a shiny new edition containing both:


Also a combat vet (Navy,) Justman was a journeyman A.D. and P.A. on a variety of television before landing the Star Trek gig. He had a long association with Leslie Stevens and lives on in eternal syndication as the name of one of the Enterprise-D's shuttlecraft.

Justman co-authored Inside Star Trek with fellow producer Herb Solow:

Solow worked his way up from the mailroom at the William Morris Agency and enjoyed a long career in television and production. Still kicking in 2013 and living in Wales, he is married to the author Dr. Harrison Solow.

We'll have plenty of opportunities to showcase the work of these next six gentlemen:

In Season 3, when the TOS budget was slashed, these guys carried on heroically and don't always get the acknowledgement they deserve. Anyone interested in the realities of producing a show from the ground-up is encouraged to check out that Solow/Justman book, as well as Aliens and Artifacts by Michael Westmore. Or just read Shatner/ Kreskis Star Trek Memories, which has a wealth of info on these scores.

As mentioned elsewhere, I'm a big fan of old time radio shows, and I'm always tickled when I hear Alexander Courage's work in other contexts, like Johnny Dollar or what not:

LaLa Land Records recently released the complete TOS soundtrack, and although I passed on acquiring this limited edition set, I'm a great admirer of the work. As with Indiana Jones or Star Wars and John Williams, I can't imagine the show being anywhere near as successful as it (ultimately) was without the soundtrack.

The various writers who supplied all the stories for TOS will get their time in the spotlight in the fiftyish blogs coming after this one, but I wanted to single out the work of the four men who directed the most amount of episodes:

I gave Marc Daniels some spotlight in my TAS overviews, so here's some additional tidbits on the others:

- Ralph (at age 90) maintains a blog, which you can read here. It hasn't been updated in a few years, but what is there is great. And abundant.

- John Meredyth Lucas passed away in 2002, and attempts to send his ashes into orbit unfortunately met with failure. He's the only writer who got to direct his own script; unfortunately that episode was:

- Joe Pevney passed away in 2008 after a long and productive career. Among his non-Trek achievements was this likely-non-classic:

But who knows? I haven't seen it. Maybe it's a gem awaiting rediscovery.

Season 3 of TOS is justifiably maligned for a number of reasons, and there are those that put the blame squarely on its showrunner:

But I'm not one of them. He inherited a thankless position with little or no help from the show's previous showrunners (i.e. the Genes.) His budget was slashed, he had a difficult relationship with Nimoy, and the show labored under the constant threat of cancellation. Nevertheless, what we received in Season 3 is a stay of execution, as this site more than adequately details. And without it, we wouldn't have, among other things, "The Enterprise Incident," "Spectre of the Gun," "The Paradise Syndrome," "Spock's Brain," "The Savage Curtain," or "The Way to Eden."

Regardless of your opinion of these episodes (or any I'm not mentioning) the Trek legacy would be undeniably for-the-worse without them.

Until next time, enjoy these TOS mash-ups, which you've likely seen, but a) if not, you need to, and b) they're always fun to watch again. (And again.)


  1. I'd never seen that A-Team video before. Pretty funny.

    The Monty Python one has been making me chuckle for years, though. The existence of "I, Mudd" is justified just for that video alone.

    1. Had you seen the White Rabbit one?

    2. No, I hadn't. And having watched it, I still feel a little weirded out, nearly an hour later.

    3. The edit where Spock's Mom turns into frame for the "And the ones that Mother gives you..." bit always slays me.