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Topic: Just how dated is TOS, anyway? Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Rob Ocelot
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 07 December 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 965
Posted: 09 March 2018 at 8:55pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I can't fault TMP too much though it did give us:

*Ridge-headed Klingons. (note, I'm not saying bumpy... those came later)

*Deltans, aka the prototype Betans/Betazoids.

*Sexy baldness. 

*Tranporter accidents, in gory detail.

*Rand as transporter chief.

*Deforest Kelly's beard.

*Jerry Goldsmith's theme music.

*The return of the landing party jackets

*More split-diopter camera shots per minute of screen time than any other film before or since.

*A sense of scale to both the Enterprise and the things around it.   The film really communicates just how massive Vger is in a very un-STAR TREK like fashion.   There's also a great sense of ship speed, you don't normally get a feel for how fast even impulse power is.


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Greg Kirkman
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Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15168
Posted: 09 March 2018 at 9:20pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

For all of its faults, TMP definitely has its good qualities. I particularly like how they took pains to give a sense of scale to the Enterprise, and to tie in the interior sets with the exterior model(s).

Some absolutely gorgeous images, too like the ship flying past Jupiter, and moving slowing toward the V'Ger cloud.

Aesthetically, there's a strong 2001 vibe going on, partly due to Doug Trumbull's influence. Also partly because the movie has a certain pretentious quality (Even in the title!).

Heck, the teaser poster even proclaimed it to be "A 23rd Century Odyssey Now".

The main faults lie in the script and some of the design choices. The talent and the money were there. There were too many cooks in the kitchen, not enough time, and they blew it. And the other movies went back to the classic TREK formula--cheap and fun.
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Brian Hague
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Joined: 14 November 2006
Posts: 7703
Posted: 10 March 2018 at 12:53am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

From a television production standpoint, Trek may have often been fun, but it was never cheap. Even the little flying ravioli monsters cost a fair penny back in the day, and the opticals...? Hoo boy...

And you can't discount (ha!) the amount spent on band-aids when those little control panel buttons got hot enough to melt the plastic as well as the actors' fingertips. 

But yes, by adopting a more TV-friendly appearance and approach via producer Harve Bennett, much cheaper by movie business standards, the film series sailed into entertainment legend...

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Greg Kirkman
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Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15168
Posted: 10 March 2018 at 1:23am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

From a television production standpoint, Trek may have often been fun, but it was never cheap. Even the little flying ravioli monsters cost a fair penny back in the day, and the opticals...? Hoo boy...
+++++++++

Yes, poor word choice on my part. I was thinking more of the show’s limited budget and resources, rather than literal cheapness. The opticals and whatnot were certainly very expensive and complex for their day, and virtually every episode of TOS’ first season went over budget.

I truly believe that creativity thrives on restrictions, and the TMP/TWOK dynamic is an incredible testament to that. I suppose it also served as a sort of good luck charm, since the first two films very much echo the “Cage”/“Where No Man Has Gone Before” dynamic: A cold and cerebral first pilot with monochromatic sets and very little action, followed up by a more audience-friendly second pilot with more emphasis on characters, color, and exciting action. 

History repeated itself!
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Brian Hague
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Joined: 14 November 2006
Posts: 7703
Posted: 10 March 2018 at 12:43pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Greg, a page or so back I was all set to riff on the parallels between TMP, TWOK, "The Cage," and "Where No Man Has Gone Before," and look, here you are making exactly the same points, in a far more economical manner! I was also going to make some sort of comparison between the highly intellectual aliens' use of a pretty young woman in a very, very short skirt as their representative in both original "pilots" and the personal connection between the captain and his foes in the second ones, both of whom are someone Kirk has known for some time and are on the verge of achieving powers previously reserved to God. 

You often save me a great deal of typing, sir. :-)


Edited by Brian Hague on 10 March 2018 at 1:47pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15168
Posted: 10 March 2018 at 12:48pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Well, when you type, you type a lot. And I’m always entertained. Only fair to repay that by saving you some typing!
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Brian Hague
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 14 November 2006
Posts: 7703
Posted: 10 March 2018 at 1:14pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I sometimes wonder where my post count would be if I broke some of my posts down into more manageable pieces... Thanks very much, Greg. Your contributions here are the first ones I go to, even on the TNG thread. :-)

You point out that the first pilot is more muted and cinematic than the rest of TOS overall, and it has me thinking that Discovery hardly had to go so far out of its way to update the look of the franchise during Pike's era. Even if they wanted to avoid the colored gels and bright costumes of TOS in general, following the Cage model would not have taken them too far off course from where they wanted to be. Clearly, they went their own way ("No one came to Hollywood to be a stenographer") but it would have been especially gratifying to see what a modern look at that ship would have looked like. 

"For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, 'it's on UPN...'" Something like that...


Edited by Brian Hague on 10 March 2018 at 1:45pm
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