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Scott Atwell Star Trek Discussion thread (Series and Films)
12329 replies to this topic
Posted March 15 2014 - 06:28 PM
Yes Lee, it's just the way things worked out for Takei. I thought you were going to mention how Sulu was used in the series like how Keonig often was used for humor, Sulu seemed to be the official time keeper. :)Boy, an episode like This Side of Paradise or The Day of the Dove must have really pushed Justman to the edge! :). I think they got creative and would turn the camera away from the transporter chamber and use the sound effect and just show them arriving. Well Scott, while I applaud your desire to wait for the Cushman books to all be released, I'm going to pre-order the second season book right now! And then I might watch Arena for the beam down effect and count how many were there. I think 6 as well.
Posted March 15 2014 - 06:35 PM
You're spot on regarding the transporter effect being used aurally only at times. In fact, I believe in This Side Of Paradise there is at least one example when we only hear the effect and do not see any materialization at all. I think it's when Spock is beaming Leila up for the last time, but I'm not exactly sure.
Posted March 15 2014 - 06:45 PM
Well, I can verify they used the sound effect only when they beam down to Cestus!
Posted March 15 2014 - 07:37 PM
Yes, lots of clever visual redirects to avoid showing both ends of the beaming process. Knowing the actual economics of it also clarifies some choices like the teaser for Journey to Babel. The shuttlecraft choice seems so elaborate: stock footage from The Galileo Seven, opening up the hangar deck set, shooting the full size Galileo, etc. But multiplying the transporter effect for all the extras on top of Sarek and Amanda would have been a lot of money for them at a time when they just didn't have it to spend. (The first third of the season had gone way over budget, containing several of the series' most expensive episodes, and the new management was simply not having it.)
Posted March 15 2014 - 08:52 PM
"The shuttlecraft choice seems so elaborate: stock footage from The Galileo Seven, opening up the hangar deck set, shooting the full size Galileo, [...] etc."
"Usage of Ben Finney's voice for the arrival of the shuttlecraft,"
Posted March 16 2014 - 08:40 AM
Lee, it sounds like you had a great read with the second season Cushman book! :). So many interesting facts.Your example of bringing Sarek's party aboard via shuttle to save on the cost of using the transporter effect is great. But it never occurred to me before that it was done to save money! It was done with such pomp and circumstance it just made sense!The irony is it forced the remastering team to have to recreate that sequence in CGI plus enhancing the shuttle bay live action sequence! We had read in the past about the shoe string budgets and cardboard sets, and it's coming out in precise detail now rather then vague statements. So its great to understand now what it was that was cut or reduced to meet costs. But to me, they did a fantastic job to create a realistic world. I am one to see and find all those things in the sets that might be made of wood or other low cost methods, but TOS always did a great job to hide them. There's a few times I can see wood, but it's far and in between on the DVD's. Even in the blu rays where we can see the join on the ears on Nimoy, the sets still hold up very well! So it amazed me that even in the 1970's, the series was lampooned for the cheap sets. I pre-ordered the book last night. Can't wait to read it!
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Posted March 16 2014 - 11:26 AM
I had heard Ms. Fontana refer to the change from beaming up the Vulcans in her original script as being the result of budgetary restrictions, but I never truly understood why it made such a difference until I learned the actual numbers. That's a good question about the perception of the sets. Do you think it results from 70s viewers being more accustomed to expensive science fiction movies, as opposed to television set decorating budgets? Because I definitely agree that Star Trek was far better than its competitors at making the sets seem believable. (The indoor sets more than the "outdoor" ones. Some of the planet sets do betray the fact that they are indoors. But the Enterprise sets always looked good to me.)
Posted March 16 2014 - 01:09 PM
Until now, I never thought about that perception of the sets. But I'm sure the film 2001 and the series Space:1999 with its aesthetic were the benchmarks that raised the bar! But I still think the original Enterprise set designs were still landmarks. Especially the bridge design.
Posted March 16 2014 - 04:18 PM
Holy Cow! I have Cannon on the TV while doing other stuff. This episode has two guest stars of our favorite Trek. William Smithers. The other was a real surprise. Her appearances on TV during the 70's I'm guessing were spotty. Miss Grace Lee Whitney. She had a very small part, like Arlene Martel in Columbo, it was one of the people Cannon speaks to in search of clues to his case.
Posted March 16 2014 - 08:28 PM
I don't recall that Cannon episode offhand. Was Smithers his usual oily character? Maybe I will check it out.
Posted March 16 2014 - 08:40 PM
Lee, I had a very good laugh from your description of the character type Smithers portrayed. Yes, he was. The episode is called The Deadly Trail. Guest stars include Kevin McCarthy.
Posted March 16 2014 - 08:55 PM
Well, that's it. You just sold me with Kevin McCarthy. I'm watching it tomorrow.I do recall Smithers guest starring in the later Cannon revival movie, but I don't remember him in a regular episode, so I must not have seen that one. And I would remember McCarthy and Grace Lee Whitney anyway. And regarding your earlier post, I think you are exactly right about 2001. It was a big hit and a lot of people saw it and the production detail and special effects must have shifted everyone's perspective. So by the end of the series, Star Trek wasn't competing with Lost in Space or Forbidden Planet anymore. Visually, it was a whole new universe. But I also think that the design of the Enterprise sets were great because they looked like places where people really worked. The impression they gave was of casual but efficient functionality in a futuristic but highly recognizable setting. The real accomplishment of those sets was that the viewer could feel as though he or she was figuring out what all the different buttons and consoles did, while the production kept everything vague enough that they could do whatever the stories required.
Posted March 16 2014 - 09:12 PM
Are you watching via YouTube? I found The Deadly Trail there! I agree the original sets for TOS were really groundbreaking still. The motion picture took them to a new zenith. I think the first film got it right after the series.
Posted March 16 2014 - 09:30 PM
No, I have Cannon on DVD. The last two seasons are recorded from TV broadcasts, as they are not commercially available yet but they seem to be the same broadcasts up on YouTube.How did you feel about the criticism that the sets in the first movie seemed more sterile than the series? I liked a lot of the design, although I would agree that the colors seemed less vivid than the originals, which made the sets blend together more.
Posted March 16 2014 - 09:42 PM
I remember when I first saw The Motion Picture, it was totally different to what I was accustomed to. I don't recall if I thought the sets looked sterile or not. I do recall that it was dark! Over time, I regard all the design efforts in the first film as first rate.
Posted March 19 2014 - 10:40 PM
So Scott is next unless you don't have a question.I have been listening to the first season again and because of our recent discussions of the supporting cast, it was interesting that in nearly every of the first nine episodes, the entire cast is used, and Chapel is added during this time.
Posted March 20 2014 - 04:17 AM
Yes, surprisingly in those first nine, it's Scotty of all people who is light. They almost let him go early on, which seems so strange given how much they came to rely on the character later.
Posted March 20 2014 - 09:50 PM
Lee, of the 9 episodes that even Scotty and Sulu is not in, Rand gets some of the limelight. It's interesting that we take them for granted now, but that those first very early appearances, while seemingly light, really had an impact. Sulu's almost freezing to death to wild sword wielding antics. And Scotty's turn at trying to fix the transporter in The Enemy Within and experiences with Mudd's Women. Scott had a meaty role after 5 or so episodes without him or Sulu on the Galileo. And then another lengthy absence until Sulu comes back for Shore Leave. I hadn't actually put this much thought into this! The support cast really made a huge impact with less exposure. Anyone with a new question?
Posted March 21 2014 - 04:16 AM
Just for the record, I for one have never taken the early episodes of TOS for granted. It's no accident that I have watched those episodes more than any of the others since I became a fan of the series. I'm not reducing you two steps in rank or anything, but you might consider re-familiarizing yourself with the manual on penal colony procedures. And just to show you that I still want you as part of my crew, why don't you take the next question.
Posted March 21 2014 - 06:39 AM
Scott, the first half of the first season certainly got the series off to an amazing start! And after reading Cushman's book, I think more so! After filming the first two episodes, Shatner is quoted with a surprising comment. I won't spoil it until you read the book. It surprised me.I'll ponder a question and post it later today or tomorrow unless Lee has something.
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