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Old October 26 2012, 08:18 AM   #13
Albertese
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Re: TOS Botany Lab = "Outdoor" Recreation Area?

TIN_MAN wrote: View Post
The two quotes from the TMoST cited above are not mutually exclusive.

Of the four facilities listed, the first one; "large recreation area" -is the one referred to by this quote...

"Although this recreation area has never been shown in any past episodes, this set has now been built and will be seen in the third season."

This is the set we've been calling the herbarium, so it was built, and it was seen in the third season, so TMoST is correct.

The fourth one; "exotic entertainment center" -is the one referred to by this quote...

"Therefore we intend to build a simulated "outdoor" recreation area which gives a realistic feeling of sky, breezes, plants, fountains, and so fourth."

This set was obviously never built, and we therefore never saw it, but then the TMoST doesn't claim otherwise, only that they intend to build it, so again TMoST is correct.
I'm not so sure.

Seems to me that the line "Gene describes it this way" indicates that the "set that has now been built and will be seen in the third season" is the outdoor simulation center, the same as the "rather exotic entertainment center," the forth area mentioned as a deck 8 facility.

But see for yourself. For those of you who do not own a copy of The Making of Star Trek, or, more likely, simply don't have it handy, I will, as a public service, reproduce a short segment of it here...

The Making of Star Trek says on page 187-8:

The primary hull's eighth deck level contains four major facilities: a large recreation area, the main food preparation area (similar to the galley aboard our ships today), ship's laundry, and a rather exotic entertainment center. Although this recreation area has never been shown in any past STAR TREK episodes. This set has now been built and will be seen in the third season. Gene describes it this way:

MEN AND WOMEN ON A STARSHIP, SO LONG OUT OF CONTACT WITH EARTH AND SO LONG AWAY FROM OTHER PLANETS, TOO, WILL REQUIRE A FEELING OF FRESH AIR AND SKY AND WIND AND SCENTS. BECAUSE WE ARE, IN MANY RESPECTS, STILL ANIMALS, OUR MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL EQUILIBRIUM WILL REQUIRE THE FAMILIARITY OF THIS. MAN HAS BEEN TOO LONG A PART OF EARTH TO BE TOO LONG SEPARATED. THEREFORE WE INTEND TO BUILD A SIMULATED "OUTDOOR" RECREATION AREA WHICH GIVES A REALISTIC FEELING OF SKY, BREEZES, PLANTS, FOUNTAINS AND SO FORTH.

ONE OF THE REASONS FOR MAKING A STARSHIP SO LARGE WOULD BE TO HAVE SOMETHING LIKE THIS -- IN FACT TO CREATE A WHOLE "COMMUNITY" SO NECESSARY TO A SOCIAL ANIMAL. AN AUTOMATED STARSHIP LIKE OURS COULD PROBABLY BE OPERATED BY TEN PEOPLE IF NECESSARY, BUT IT WOULD BE A TERRIBLY LIMITED, UNHEALTHY, MISERABLE LIFE.
Then they go on to talk about the food prep area. But it seems clear to me that they're talking about something that was never quite realized in actual fact. The Herbarium (so labeled in Matt Jefferies drawings of it) is probably the "next best thing" to what Gene was looking for. (Who, let's not forget, took a major back seat during the third season.)

As for whether the Herbarium was a standing set, I still say it was. I worked in the theater business building sets, so I’m very well aware of how sets are used and stored; and being an original TOS fan since the Sixties, I’ve certainly been around long enough to know how the Trek production handled their set requirements. So unless I see an original memo or an interview that says otherwise, I’ll remain unconvinced that it was anything other than a permanent addition to the other standing sets, as was the case with the auxiliary control room and emergency manual monitor.
...

How can I argue with airtight logic like that?

I have on my computer three different versions of the plans of the studio which demonstrate that the stage was reset almost every episode. Something that wasn't needed wasn't staying up, as there was very limited real estate. If you want to conclude that an enormous set that was only seen in two scenes in the entire run of the series was taking up room throughout the entire third season... you're welcome to it. But that's clearly crap.

You guys have fun, I'm out.

--Alex

PS, Before I leave, a case in point.

This may be helpful, a quote from Star Trek Sketchbook: The Original Series by Herbert F. Solow and Yvonne Fern Sollow. It's the lead-in text to introduce a whole series of pictures of the cardboard miniature sets MJ built and happened to still have laying around when they interviewed him for the book.

Star Trek Sketchbook: the Orginal Series says on page 94:

As if Matt Jeffereis didn't have enough problems physically designing the Star Trek series, a new and very immediate problem faced him in early May 1966. Each and every week thereafter, a Star Trek director would show up on his doorstep with a deceptively simple request: "I'm ready to go down to the stage to see the sets, so I can plan how to shoot my episode. Can you walk me through?" It was a question to which there was no readily available answer.

There was no way Matt could walk the directors through the sets because each episode had it's own set requirements and there just wasn't enough stage space available to keep all the permanent sets standing. There was no way Matt could tell the directors to screen the pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before," because so much had changed when the sets were moved from the Desilu Culver studios, where the pilot had been shot, to the Desilu Gower studios, where the series was being filmed. There was no way Matt could tell the directors to watch NBC at 8:30 on Thursday nights to get a look at the sets and get a feeling for the series -- because Star Trek had not yet premiered. But the always-resourceful Matt Jefferies had planned ahead. "Follow me," he'd say "to another room here in the art department, and I'll show you!"

Matt had spent his weekends at home building, on his own time, with his own money and with his own materials, a four-foot by four-foot, three-dimensional scale model of Desilu Stage 9 to depict what all of Star Trek's permanent sets would look like if they were ever put up at the same time. It hung from an art department wall and gave the directors the only practical, three-dimensional look at their permanent sets until that morning seven to fourteen days hence, when they would show up on the real stage to direct Star Trek.
This story focuses on the first few episodes, but never was there enough stage to keep everything up all the time. Stuff was broken and stored and moved around all the time to accommodate the day's needs.

--AM
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Last edited by Albertese; October 26 2012 at 08:56 AM.
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