Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I'm enjoying the book These Are the Voyages - TOS - Season One
(I blogged about the book here.)

The author, Marc Cushman, makes the all-too-common mistake of using a 'cost of living' calculator to compare production costs from then (mid '60s) to now, but, he uses some examples to give the reader some perspective; what $200,000 (Trek's per episode cost, roughly) amounted to in its time. When Star Trek began "regular series production" in the spring of 1966 the sticker price on a Ford Mustang was $2,400 and the median price for a house was $14,000.

Some extra trivia on that theme: Of the 29 episodes of Season One, just 4 came in on or under budget. Trek was vying with I Spy for the title of 'Most Expensive Series on Television'. (Both shows, due to their 'architecture', required more money than the norm in order to realize them. In dramatic-series television production, certainly the SF type, there is almost never enough time and money; you do the best you can with what you have.)

I must thank the show's producers for ensuring that the scripts often backed-up the finances.

Also, and this was publicized in the pre-release info: The book busts the myth of Trek having low ratings in its original run. As a matter of fact, both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety estimated at the time that the series, in its first year, was attracting about 20 million viewers every week. It was directly up against some stiff competition: My Three Sons and Bewitched, for example.

One of these days I should get Star Trek on Blu-ray and go through the show again. I don't have it on DVD or on any format.

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