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Robert Goodwin

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Robert W. Goodwin (born ca. 1947), misidentified in the 1997 reference book Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series as "Robert H. Goodwin", has been a producer on the aborted television project, Star Trek: Phase II.

Thirty-year old Paramount Television Producer Goodwin came aboard the Phase II project in June 1977, somewhat against his will, as he was already slated to head as supervisor, i.e. full blown producer, a series of thirty television movies for Paramount Pictures's projected fourth network, to be called "Paramount Television Service", and for which, coincidentally, Phase II was to serve as its flagship. Due to his reputation as line producer for bringing in productions on time and under budget, he was appointed by the studio to Roddenberry, who had a reputation for production delays dating back to Star Trek: The Original Series, and to serve as a check on his, by the studio perceived eccentricities. (Star Trek Movie Memories, 1995, pp. 59-60) Nevertheless, his first meeting with Executive Producer Gene Roddenberry, won him over to embark upon the project, succumbing to the legendary spell Roddenberry had over people. Goodwin recalled, "Why do I want to meet him? I'm busy.", but ushered on by the studio he continued, "It was such a kick because I guess Gene had forgotten to tell his assistant, Susan [Sackett], that he had this appointment. Then I show up, thirty years old, dressed in Levis, very casual, and I guess she thought I was an agent or whatever and she wouldn't let me see him. So I said, fine, because I really wasn't interested in working on the series, and I left. I remember I was all the way down this long street at Paramount, over on the west side of the lot, and I was just about to turn the corner, and there was Gene, stepping out the back door, way down at the end, yelling at me–"You! You! C'mere!"(...)It was so funny. He was such a great guy about it. And in any case, he insisted that I produce the series. So I had to give up the movies. I had no choice." (Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series, p. 25) An embarrassed Sackett was magnanimous enough to relate this incident herself, already in her 1980 book The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, though she referred to herself as "Gene's secretary". (p. 35)

While Goodwin, not a Star Trek fan, had no knowledge of Star Trek-lore whatsoever, he immersed himself by watching the Original Series episodes to get a feel of the show, which ultimately enabled him to contribute to the internal guide written for the show, the so-called Writer's Bible, named after the one already composed for its Original Series predecessor, as well as contributing to the re-writes of scripts later on in the production. Yet, his primary responsibilities were his operational overseeing duties, coordinating the actual production of the pilot of the series, very much resembling the function his illustrious predecessor Robert Justman had on the Original Series. Actually, Justman was approached for the position by Roddenberry himself, but overruled by the studio, he was ultimately passed over in favor of Goodwin. (Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series, pp. 25-26; Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p. 432)

Between July and November 1977, Goodwin wrote numerous weekly progress reports, keeping the executive producers of Phase II and his studio executive superiors appraised on the production situation of Phase II. Some of these were reproduced partially or in full in Sackett's "Star Trek Report"s for Starlog magazine, her derivative reference book, The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and in the reference book, Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series.

While Goodwin's importance grew over the closing months of 1977, being called in to give his input on scripts and story outlines, for which colleague Harold Livingston was primarily brought in as co-producer, things took a turn for the worst on 21 October 1977 as far as Goodwin was concerned, though that was not yet apparent at that time. On that date and being part of a small inner circle, Goodwin was privy to the decision of turning the television project into a full-fledged motion picture project, ultimately known as Star Trek: The Motion Picture. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 8,  p. 27) In March 1978, Robert Wise was hired as director for the motion picture, but he insisted to be its executive producer as well, refusing to share full producer credit with "that kid in jeans". That meant that Goodwin had to take a step back and be content with a co-producer credit. That was too much for Goodwin, having already given up a full producer credit before, and he opted to leave the Star Trek franchise, never to return. (Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series, p. 76)

Career outside Star TrekEdit

Hailing from Australia, Goodwin was born to an American father and an Australian mother. Capitalizing on his dual citizenship, he moved to the United States at the age of two, living for two years in Boston and then moved to Southern California where he was raised. He graduated from UCLA before starting work in the mail room at CBS Studios. From there he worked his way up to producing, writing and directing. As writer he had already contributed to such television series as The Manhunter and Kaz before being accosted to contribute to Phase II.

After Phase II, Goodwin continued to make a name for himself as writer and producer for numerous television productions, including several TV movies – which he was slated to do in the first place – such as Big Bob Johnson and His Fantastic Speed Circus (1978), Mistress of Paradise (1981), Women of San Quentin and The Winter of Our Discontent (both 1983), Secrets of a Married Man (1984), California Girls, Copacabana (both 1985), Acceptable Risks and Hardesty House (both 1986), Downpayment on Murder (1987), A Father's Homecoming (1988), Those She Left Behind (1989), Living a Lie (1991), Condition: Critical (1992) and Born Too Soon (1993). Additionally, in that period of time, he worked as such on television series such as Jessie, Disneyland (on which he was co-nominated for an Emmy Award for the episode "The Girl Who Spelled Freedom"), Fresno, Aaron's Way, Hooperman, Life Goes On, Mancuso, FBI and Eddie Dodd

Goodwin's claim to renown however, came when he became a writer and co-executive producer of the 1990s cult series The X-Files. In the series, his wife, actress Sheila Larken, appeared in the recurring role of Scully's mother, one of the two main characters. His work on the series earned him no less than four consecutive Emmy Award co-nominations, from 1995-1998, in the category "Outstanding Drama Series", without ever winning one. He won however, the French Gérardmer Film Festival "Grand Prize" in 1996 for that series episode "Suspended", the only motion picture award, Goodwin has ever won.

After the X-files, Goodwin continued to work in the same capacities on the television movies Rocky Times (2000), Flashpoint (2002), Alien Trespass (2009) as well as the TV series Birdland, The Fugitive, Pasadena, Tru Calling and The Cody Rivers Show. Since 1993, Alien Trespass being his last recorded motion picture credit, the Goodwins have lived in northwest Washington state.

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