Vintage Roddenberry Audio InterviewBy T'Bonz
February 27, 2008 - 6:18 PM
An audio interview with Gene Roddenberry discussing the creation of Star Trek and the genesis of various familiar elements of the show was recently offered to Star Trek fans.
As reported by Star Trek: The Continuing Missions, their parent company website, Totally Creative Media, will be offering a series of downloadable audio interviews between Tim Renshaw, who plays Captain Edwards on Continuing Mission and Gene Roddenberry, Deforest Kelley and James Doohan.
The first audio interview offered is one with Roddenberry. It was taken during the pre-production and production phase of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1976. During the interview, Roddenberry discusses how certain things were developed for Star Trek and why certain decisions were made.
Roddenberry was attracted to science fiction at an early age. "I'd been a science fiction buff for much of my young life and I watched science fiction on screen and on early television," he said. "[I]...decided that hey I'd like to take a shot at it because I think I know some ways to make it more believable."
One of the benefits of doing science fiction as opposed to other genres was the ability to sneak controversial things past the censors, according to Roddenberry. "If I did science fiction, I might have a chance to get past television censorship and sneak in a few ideas on politics and religion."
Roddenberry discussed how the ship came to be. Matt Jeffries, the art director, had been bringing sketches of ships to him. Roddenberry didn't know exactly what he wanted, only that "he would know it when he saw it." Eventually, Jeffries brought in a sketch that had some things that Roddenberry liked. Jeffries took it back to work on it some more. "He must have come back ten times," said Roddenberry. But eventually, the details were worked out and "We knew in our guts that it was right."
The transporter was designed because Roddenberry realized that "I can't land this big thing on the planet every week. It's just going to blow my entire budget in the first season, landing it. It's eleven stories tall. I began trying to think of a way to get our people to the planet and the beaming down part suggested itself." One added benefit of the transporter was that ""It means that we can be right in the heart of our story in page two. It was a product of necessity." Roddenberry also explained the presence of shuttlecraft. "[We] needed a backup system in case you couldn't beam down for some reason."
Roddenberry explained why he felt that Star Trek appealed to people. "Of all the science fiction that's on, Star Trek is the one that takes an optimistic view of the future, saying that hey, we will make it. We are not going to end up in a zombie-like society."
The next interview to be released will be one with Deforest Kelley. It will be available for download in March.