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Old June 12 2013, 01:01 PM   #67
Robert Comsol
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Location: USS Berlin
Re: Engineering's curved hallways

Admiral Buzzkill wrote: View Post
Because Jefferies and Justman and the rest were in the business of making a TV series on a fixed budget, not designing and building a spaceship.
Then who designed the Enterprise?

This is just a fine example of folks retro-projecting their mindset of the 21st Century (“It’s just a job”) to people they never even met (at least I can claim that I talked to Matt Jefferies in February 1988). According to my experience people in the 1960’s mostly took their job and profession seriously, I vividly recall one domestic case where a film projectionist of a theatre committed suicide – just because he fell asleep during the screening.

Matt Jefferies was given the opportunity of designing an interior layout that made sense and followed an internal logic, he obviously seized that opportunity to make a talented and foresighted contribution (same as later Andrew Probert, whom I met in 1988. He definitely cared a lot about a credible presentation to ensure what audiences saw on screen is credible, believable and gives you a realistic feel of being there. Frankly, I was positively amazed and impressed how much Andrew cared about internal consistency. Of course he was aware that “It’s just a show” but obviously there’s nothing wrong with it, if you bring yourself in with effort and passion to make it as realistic as possible to enhance the illusion it essentially is – which is what Gene Roddenberry tried to accomplish).

@ BillJ

You are absolutely right, I did have this kind of conversation with the owner of a huge SciFi merchandise store at a convention when we stood on the balcony and looked at the convention goers. However, it apparently is a hobby you, too, are participating in talking about.
My weakness is that I do have a soft spot for everything concerning the TOS Enterprise (still my favorite spaceship after all these years) but in my defense I’ll say this

Rather than endlessly lamenting about the inaccuracies of the Franz Joseph plans I’m trying to be a role model / an inspiration by not just complaining but instead drafting and presenting a different and screen-accurate version. If there’s something you don’t like, you either shut up or you move your a** and come up with something different to present an alternative.

While doing this I’m trying to encourage fans and people in a broader sense to think for themselves, get back to the source and examine the original materials rather than slavishly submit themselves to a conjectural bulk of work that has become some kind of pseudo-canon and petrified dogma (even with unhealthy consequences if we look at individuals like Mr. Nerdball), although it obviously is not compatible with what’s actually onscreen because it apparently is mostly derived from a book (!) about the production, but not the actual TV series.

@ Maurice

I believe I partially reflected your comments in my reply to Mr. Buzzkill. Where I’m at a loss is why you need “extraordinary evidence” that Matt Jefferies was a talented, gifted, competent, foresighted and extraordinary genius who was a blessing for the TOS production and whose contributions require still proper acknowledgement (IMHO)?

I illustrated the evidence on his behalf. If you don’t see it, I have to assume that you feel he was either an automaton controlled by the collective unconsciousness (according to Jung and Campbell) or inspired by some or the cosmic consciousness (according to Clarke) and the work was not of his own.

Alternately it’s just some colossal coincidence or pure luck (though I personally don’t believe in either of these). So what is it going to be?

Of course there is an undeniable repetition of corridor layout given the inevitable budget restrictions and limitations of the available set, but considering sets like the briefing room that was redressed as the recreation room, the hearing room, environmental engineering, the chapel and others I’m still amazed at the multitude variations Matt Jefferies and the art directors came up, especially given the financial restrictions.

If you want to give fans and audiences a usable deck plan guide (my mission goal) you have to be screen-accurate, otherwise it’s a work of fantasy that’s only of value to the author and/or those who sympathize with him.

@ Mario de Monti


You asked a fundamental question and I can only provide a personal theory to answer it (feel free to agree, disagree or ignore it)

The works of Franz Joseph, despite being vastly incompatible with what’s onscreen, have achieved some pseudo-canon status to the extent (already a problem in the 1970’s and compelling Mr. Joseph himself to discourage such attempts!) that they are regarded as some form of treknological “bibles” which serves fans as a base of reference and means to have endless small talks discussing the content and trivial details.

Despite being obviously onscreen-incompatible no fans since (as far I'm aware of and except for blssdwlf) have ever attempted to come up with an onscreen compatible alternative and one that is not influenced by FJ but exclusively by the actual footage.

I presume the reason for this to be, that back in those days without the worldwide web, every treknological fan with talent and interest was sitting on the fence, expecting some other fan to come up with an onscreen-compatible alternative – which didn’t happen, because everyone was afraid that somebody else would do something first and steal the thunder (why invest the time and effort if there’s a probability somebody else might beat you in this “race”?).

Therefore the works of Franz Joseph remained basically undisputed and given the lack of an available alternative, the later Star Trek productions made references to Franz Joseph works – which had the undesirable effect that fans now interpreted the work to have been “canonized”.

Mr. Nerdball provided an extreme but graphic example in my deck plan thread, accusing me of being a “TOS revisionist”. Not for one second did it occur to this individual, that actually and in the first place it had been Mr. Joseph who is the actual, first and true revisionist here, as he (involuntarily, IMO, because he didn’t have all the materials he would have needed) had altered and changed what’s actually visible onscreen and/or according to the Season One studio blueprints into something else.

Because he apparently did not have the Season One studio set blueprint (with the Engineering Control Room allowing for turbo lift passage) he erroneously assumed that the Season Two studio set blueprint illustrated in The Making of Star Trek (showing the centered warp drive engine room for the engineering hull) was supposed to present the saucer (impulse) engine room, mentioned in TMoST.

He correctly (but erroneously) concluded that this is a design mistake (“The producers didn’t know what they were doing”) and shifted the engine room towards the stern of the saucer, to allow for that turbo lift he incorrectly assumed the producers and/or Matt Jefferies hadn’t thought of.
Now, if only Gene Roddenberry would have at least sent Mr. Joseph a copy of the Season One studio set blueprint (which he later sold through Lincoln Enterprises), the outcome would have been probably quite a different and better one.

But if the producers didn’t know what they were doing, then designing the Enterprise’s interiors is up for grabs for everybody and a playground for a multitude of different interpretations.

And here I vehemently disagree as I’m trying to prove that on the contrary the producers (and especially Matt Jefferies) knew exactly what they were doing or at least had a pretty good essential idea what the basic internal layout of the ship was supposed to look like.

Apparently, this is not compatible with the belief systems of many individuals around here and expectedly I’m not making many new friends.

This started as a private project my friend Andy and myself embarked upon to provide ourselves and finally after all these decades with screen-accurate deck plans, but I felt I could and should share this in public with other “Accuracy Aficionados” that still might have an interest in that.

What’s really encouraging is the amount of new accuracy-driven TOS threads here at the BBS and, of course, comments like the ones you provided.

"The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth" Jean-Luc Picard
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
Albert Einstein
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