An Interview with


Part II

----------By MIKE CLARK & BILL COTTER----------

Editor's Note: The following is the second
part of our exclusive interview with the con-
troversial producer. In the first part, Mr.
Freiberger discussed his involvement with the
Star Trek television series, among other pro-
jects he as worked on during his career. Part
II focuses on Freiberger's involvement with
Space: 1999.

STARLOG: Tell us about your work on
Space: 1999. How did it come about?
FRED FREIBERGER: We had meetings
with Abe Mandell and Gerry Anderson, and I
went over to England for three weeks to dis-
cuss the feasibility of continuing the series.
We had to generate enough enthusiasm and
confidence in Mandell and Lew Grade's or-
ganization to make it a viable series the
second year. Gerry and I sold them on contin-
uing the series based on this new character,
One of the reasons I was able to come up
with Maya was part of my science-fiction
background. I worked three years with Han-
na-Barbera on their Saturday morning shows.
Working in kid's television sparks your
imagination; you can do some wild things.
SL: Some viewers have expressed the thought
that Maya was a "token alien."
FF: Nobody was thinking "token" anything.
Star Trek did a lot of morality plays--that
wasn't my concern here. I was there to get a
show back on the air again that would get rai-
ings and would be entertaining in the Amer-
ican sense.
SL: Was Catherine Schell your original
choice for the Maya part?
FF: No. We went after Teresa Graves to be
Maya. We wanted her but we heard that she
was deep into religion and had gone into
Gerry Anderson and Freddie Freiberger
F.F.: "Gerry (Anderson) and I sold them on continuing the series based on
this new character, Maya."
retreat somewhere. . .had left acting. The
original Maya was to have been a black girl.
We did test a lot of black girls in England. We
would have loved Teresa Graves, but we
couldn't get her. Abe Mandell recommended
Catherine Schell; we looked at the Pink Pan-
film she was in and were quite impressed.
The character of Maya was a tough con-
cept to sell to the British writers, but for some
reason, easier to sell to the Americans. I knew
that science-fiction fans would accept this
character if we did it right.
SL: Were you considering major cast changes
for Year II?
FF: When I went over to England, Barry
Morse played a scientist in the series. I said,
"Gerry, if you're going to have anybody as a
professor, he should be a young kid with a
beard. Do something different. Another
problem with the show is that you can't have
people standing around and talking and be-
ing philosophical with these long speeches. . .
nobody will hold still for it. Let's do some
switches on the characters."
There was a big question of the budget. We
made several trans-Atlantic calls to Martin
Landau and Barbara Bain. . .would they
take a salary cut? They wouldn't take a cut.
People assume when you're making an offer
that you're lying and that they're in the
driver's seat. This show was on the edge for
weeks. . .it looked like we were finished. I
stayed an extra week, and then it looked like
1999 had a life when I came up with Maya.
SL: What happened to Barry Morse?
FF: Barry Morse's agent came in demanding
a big raise. Gerry made him a counter-offer.
Morse's agent made a bad tactical error
which was sheer insanity for an agent. He
said, "No. If it's not going to be that amount
we're finished. We're out." So immediately
Gerry said, "Okay, you're out." What an
agent should say is, "He's out. . .except. . .
I'll have to check with him."
We had big discussions about how to ex-
plain the disappearance of Professor Berg-
man, that he had a disease or something, and
they asked us to take it out. Barry Morse is an
excellent actor, but I felt his part was all

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