Fri, 20 December 2013
Suzanne opens this episode with some brief gushing over
Chris Hemsworth in Ron Howard’s Rush, a film she and Bob
both recommend this year along with Dallas Buyers Club.
After mentioning the ongoing Hollywood-Santa Barbara
connection—with a nod to the Santa Barbara International Film
Festival soon coming to their neighborhood—Bob admits that he
may not have been the “perfect fit” as writer-producer
on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Bob confesses his frustration with the “downward spiral of politics”
among the show’s executives and producers, and reveals
his ironic point of view about writing for one of
television’s cultural holy grails.
With a focus on the show’s characters and storylines,
Bob’s year as a writer-producer was colored by
his irreverent take on all things technical...to the point that
he wrote Samaritan Snare, an episode featuring an alien culture
that was the antithesis of The Star Fleet.
Giving a couple of dialogue quotes from the episode,
Bob points to an old grammar school joke he employed
in the script, and admits to simply “having some fun” among
all the behind-the-scenes drama on the Paramount Studios lot.
Suzanne then points out the remarkable connection between
I Love Lucy and the original Star Trek, following that up with
the announcement of Bob’s recent award from the Writers Guild
for having been named for “outstanding television writing”
on the show...and a moment later teases Bob with “where’s the money?”
Tue, 3 December 2013
Suzanne starts the episode with a “local’s view” of Oprah Winfrey’s recent
“yard sale” at The Santa Barbara Polo Club just down the road from the
podcast recording studio.
After Bob dodges her questions about “what’s happening with your face?”,
he describes returning to the studio where he was once a “gopher”,
as a writer-producer of Paramount Television’s huge syndicated hit
Star Trek: The Next Generation.
With never-before revealed details of his Rolls-Royce ride and
3-martini lunch with Gene Roddenberry, Bob recalls
the rapid turnover of writers, producers, and executives on ST:TNG,
which became a hugely successful syndicated series hit in spite of
the downward spiral of internal staff and studio politics.
Bob pulls no punches in describing his meetings with members
of the show’s cast, to the point where Suzanne says “What a mess!”
Caught in the middle of what he describes as “Shakespearean complexity”
on the show, Bob reveals the secret of surviving on the staff of
any hit television series.
He then describes his process for writing credible
science fiction in pursuit of the Star Trek vision, and provides
the behind-the-scenes motivation for his script
The Icarus Factor...in which he actually tried to kill off
the captain of The Enterprise!