An Interview with Diane Marchant
|Interviews by Fans|
|Title:||An Interview with Diane Marchant|
|Interviewer:||Gail Adams and Wendy Purcell "with moral support by Lisa Poulier"|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Some Topics Discussed
- getting to know Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett Roddenberry
- her involvement in the Star Trek Welcommittee
- how she first got interested in Trek, how the show spoke to her
- the Australian Star Trek Marathon at Worldcon
- her thoughts on Star Trek: TNG
- her thoughts on the movies
- her thoughts on the Scotty/Uhura relationship suggested in the latest ST movie
- how fandom has changed over the years
- about Austrek
I remember seeing something in the TV Times, it was a letter that Gene had answered to somebody - I wondered if this was fair-dinkum or just publicity. But there was an address there, so I gave it a try. I told him, more or less, what had happened to me and how he, with his series, said something to me. I just said I wanted to write and thank him and I gave him a few of the ideas that I thought of my philosophy which agreed with a few of the episodes that I'd seen. He wrote back with a gushing big letter saying "Yes." He's citing people all over the world, where it's reaching, that are actually seeing what he means (in the episodes). "It's amazing, the people running the studios haven't got the foggiest idea what I'm doing". He said he loved going there and sitting back listening to them talking, and thinking "Okay, I've pulled the wool over their eyes this time, how am I going to do it the next?". (Laugh) He started off by putting his ideas about anti-conscription and so on. Each main character is an extension of his personality; he would like to be a Captain Kirk, like to be cool and logical like Spock - so he used these people.
I think [fandom] has matured. Not always for the better. The spontaneity has gone out of it a lot. There was a lot more buzz, but then again we had a lot more growing pains. When you had the buzz you had the growth pains. Whereas now it's good and it ... well, a thing that brings people together. But, it's amazing how fandom has created or brought out a lot of things in people that wouldn't have normally come out. Think of all the people now who have become professional writers and artists. Look at things that were hurried along in medical science because of Star Trek. You've got things like the diabetic's injections through an airgun like McCoy's hypo, the medical diagnostic bed, the diagnostic table, the stomach wound spray used in the field during WWII to coat wounds with a plastic skin for transport to the hospital. There's just so much.
[Soctty/Uhura?] Yes! Why not? Although, in the episodes, I think Chapel and Scotty seem to be gravitating together. Well, Chapel didn't but Scotty did if you look at a couple of those episodes. But, why not Scotty and Uhura? Maybe Sulu would be another possibility for her. But no matter how Chekov progresses, he is always going to remind me of a little fellow running around in nappies (laugh).
Star Trek: TNG isn't our Star Trek, but it is better than a lot of things on television. Also the fact that it's science fiction, and it's giving Gene an outlet for his creative abilities when he's more or less forgotten as far as the Star Trek movies go except for his name. He is as much tied down about copyright as fandom is.
The 1975 World Con was in Melbourne and there was nothing on the whole thing about Star Trek. The projectionist did the projection work for someone called Bob Johnson at the Ritz in North Melbourne. This chap was interested in Star Trek and he'd been to South Africa and managed to buy some very old, very torn up prints of the Star Trek episodes "City on the Edge of Forever" and "Naked Time". (We arranged for him to get them, and Nikki White had the Bloopers, very bad copies of them.) So I went around to see one of the people on the committee and I told him that we had some copies of Star Trek and was there a spare time when we could show them? Well, the Sunday morning programme was pretty empty up till about 9:30, so we arranged for the use of the convention rooms to show the episodes and the bloopers at 8:30AM. Anyway, that morning we came out of the lift and there were bodies everywhere. You've never seen anything like it in your born days. Anyway, they weren't going to let us out of the lift so we held up the things and yelled "WE'VE GOT THE FILMS!". Magic carpet opened up, through we went ... We found we couldn't fit the whole lot of the people in so we arranged a double session - half of the people now, half of them later. We showed the films and told the first group they had to leave as we had to let the others in - well, they wouldn't budge. Poor Robin Johnson got hauled across the coals as they had arranged a special speaker in the other room and no one turned up. (Laugh). So that's how Star Trek in Australia came to be at conventions. Ahh, well. How'd the marathons start? Bob Johnson said that he only gets four to ten people at his movies, so why doesn't he put Star Trek on. They showed "Destination Moon" and they put on .. ahh .."Naked Time", wasn't it? By word of mouth, by telephone, remember, we all got onto it.
[regarding the Star Trek Welcommittee: There was a person called - I told you my memory's abit hazy - ahh, Denny Arnold who had an idea that perhaps we could form some sort of an organisation that could help out Gene, so it was put to him. Gene Roddenberry, and the cast of Star Trek etc were being deluged with mail from all around the world, in the United States, it was usually just one representative for each state, whilst I ended up representing Australia and the rest of the world; then later it became Australia and the Pacific, then Australia and New Zealand, and now Australia. How that came about was when the chain reaction grew, there were many fans in places like Germany, Japan, England, and New Zealand - I got to recommend a fan representative for that area.