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Old February 3 2014, 04:50 PM   #44
Warped9's Avatar
Location: Brockville, Ontario, Canada
Re: In-Universe Explanation for TOS Retro Tech

BMariner wrote: View Post
MGagen wrote: View Post
The JJPrise, on the other hand, is a total fall back to the old "it's just science fiction -- put some blinky lights on it" school of design.
Yeah... and the TOS bridge isn't all blinky lights? Blinky, completely unlabeled lights and displays full of blinky unlabled rectangles beneath a panel of static screens-- all designed to pop on a color TV. Say what you will about JJPrise, TOS was all about "it's just science fiction -- put some blinky lights on it."
Actually when you see close up stills of the TOS bridge there are quite a few labels there.

And Matt Jefferies is on record of how he designed the bridge. He didn't just start sketching out any old ideas. He's on record describing how he tried different concepts and considering the placement and angles of control panels and display screens. Of course it isn't all perfectly thought out, but he was limited in time and budget. But his essential concepts were sound and still manage to come across even if some of the details are off.

This is a big element of why TOS' sense of design often came across as well as it did--because Matt Jefferies did his best to think it through.

It was Desilu execs who didn't "get it." They figured all that was needed was a cigar shaped spaceship and some blinking lights like most any other sci-fi show. They didn't get the idea of trying to break the mold to depict a far future science and tech with a good dose of logic to it.

The design of the TOS Enterprise and its sets is a testament to the thinking Matt Jefferies brought to it and the creative talents of all those who brought it to life onscreen. The evidence they did it right is found simply in the fact that MJ's work still holds a fascination for many today, decades after the fact, and that very little has come along since to eclipse it.

While one could argue for the inclusion of more controls, larger and more interactive displays as well as better seats the rest is essentially sound. I particularly like the lighting of the TOS bridge and some of the colouring in terms of evoking an acceptable environment to work in. No doubt in real life it would be a lot quieter than what we hear onscreen, although the sound f/x did help convey the idea of a vast and sophisticated vessel in operation.

In contrast the JJprise bridge is terribly overlit and the generally monotonous colour scheme doesn't make for an appealing environment in which to work. Part of what I find objectionable in the design ethic of the JJprise is its sense of arbitrariness. In TMP they took the original concepts and extropolated to flesh them out in greater and updated detail for the big screen. You can immediately grasp the sense of evolutionary progression. Also the TMP refit design maintains the overall visual balance the TOS design had.

The Ryan Church design throws all that away. With a notion of divorcing itself from what came before it deliberately corrupts the familiar design rather than evolve and/or refine it. In the process it loses all visual balance and proportions. The JJprise looks deformed and unbalanced as if seeing the original design distorted in a funhouse mirror. This, of course, was the deliberate intent to distance it from the original design.
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