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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old April 6 2012, 03:11 AM   #1
mickemoose
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TOS Theater - Real Acting or Holographic?

The theater onboard the TOS Enterprise (as seen in "Conscience of the King") presents some interesting questions. Basically a re-dress of the engineering set (easily recognized by the large, mesh screen in front of the cathedral pipes), the theater appears to be nearly two decks in height. Some fans will reflect this dimension in their own deck plans, including the cutaway poster done by Matt Cushman (see right side of decks 8 & 9 in photo).




I'm sure one reason for the inclusion of a theater was to show the viewing audience that other areas exist on the ship besides the traditional facilities always shown such as the bridge, transporter room, sickbay, briefing room and engineering.

Realistically, though, on a starship where space is limited, is it practical that such a large amount of area be devoted to a live-acting theater? It would seem that any form of entertainment on a starship would be holographic (as seen in TNG) where the crewman can be surrounded by, and actually be a part of the entertainment he is watching. This is alluded to in "The Making of Star Trek" where Stephen Whitfield describes an "exotic entertainment center" onboard the Enterprise.

Actually, given the nature of the Enterprise as a science/exploration vessel with a planned obsolescence of 5 years (most of that time spent away from starbases), just how many live-acting theatrical plays would be performed in that time period to justify building a theater on the ship? It's not like the ship would be picking up actors at every planet it visited, unless crew members formed their own "talent club."

If live theatrical plays were performed, it would make more sense to use a large area of the ship with enough room for stage props and audience seating. Maybe in "Conscience of the King," Kirk ordered that engineering would be used as a theater for a couple of hours?
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Old April 6 2012, 03:51 AM   #2
blssdwlf
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Re: TOS Theater - Real Acting or Holographic?

I'd argue that the theater we saw in "Conscience of the King" was actually a multi-function room that also was the gymnasium and other large gatherings. You can see the gymnasium wall equipment in the back wall behind the audience. Plus, they do have a recreation room that spanned 3 decks from "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield". Who knows, the theater-gym could be the same multi-floor rec deck
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Old April 6 2012, 09:26 AM   #3
Gagarin
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Re: TOS Theater - Real Acting or Holographic?

After you've dropped some supplies off or used those mission packages up, tada! Your primary hull cargo bays become a theater/gymnasium again! "Multipurpose Room" which is turned into whatever mission and situation realities call for. On a generic patrol/support mission, they'd probably always be full. On a 5 year mission, they might be empty most of the time unless specifically called for(alert! alert! diverting starship enterprise to drop off grain from space station k-7...etc), or as things get depleted, they consolidate several less-full cargo areas so they can have their tall multipurpose rooms.

Addition: The ship/captain can call the rooms whatever they like. They could put in a swimming pool, a basketball court, a weight room, a bowling alley, a botanical garden... don't get too attached, because that space might be needed again. Or maybe they'd have a few extra rooms for science labs, or extra triage rooms, or extra VIP/passenger rooms and accommodations (Babel anyone?), or somewhere to put refugees or survivors from a crippled ship. TNG often used the shuttle/cargo bays for this. Same difference.
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Old April 7 2012, 05:51 AM   #4
Albertese
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Re: TOS Theater - Real Acting or Holographic?

I could see the purpose for having a more or less dedicated theater area. It would only rarly be used for plays/entertainment. It's primary purpose would be more of a lecture hall for whole-department briefings and so on. I picture large staff meetings whenever the ship is assigned to explore a new world. They would present what is already known about the destination to be studied in a format that anyone possibly involved could be present for. We do see similar meetings for a few important officers at a time in the briefing room, but i think a larger facility for bigger groups seems perfectly reasonable in a ship with the Enterprise's mission profile. This is how I'm handling it in my own (WIP) deck plans.

A multi-purpose room could also make sense though.

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Old April 7 2012, 09:37 PM   #5
Captain Rob
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Re: TOS Theater - Real Acting or Holographic?

The shuttlebay would make for a nice big theatre when not in use. Just put all of the shuttles below in the hangar. Kind of like nuBSG did fir big get togethers.
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Old April 7 2012, 10:55 PM   #6
PvtKtara
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Re: TOS Theater - Real Acting or Holographic?

Roll out some astroturf in the hangar bay and you're ready for some football...
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Old April 8 2012, 01:28 AM   #7
mickemoose
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Re: TOS Theater - Real Acting or Holographic?

PvtKtara wrote: View Post
Roll out some astroturf in the hangar bay and you're ready for some football...
Plus, the observation galleries on both sides of the hangar bay could serve as "luxury box seating" for the game!
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Old April 8 2012, 07:27 AM   #8
Maurice
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Re: TOS Theater - Real Acting or Holographic?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
... Plus, they do have a recreation room that spanned 3 decks from "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"...
Huh? I don't recall any rec room from that episode...just a briefing room redress.
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Old April 8 2012, 09:38 AM   #9
Albertese
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Re: TOS Theater - Real Acting or Holographic?

^^^
Yeah.

Seems like I read once a pretty good argument for why it might be said to be such a big rec area, but I forget how that goes.

Anyone care to refresh our collective memories?

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Old April 8 2012, 09:42 PM   #10
blssdwlf
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Re: TOS Theater - Real Acting or Holographic?

Sure. From "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield":

It sounds like Rec Room 3 spans deck 3 to 5.
SPOCK: Captain, I have located them on ship's sensors. Bele is chasing Lokai on deck three. Bele is passing recreation room three, approaching the crewmen's lounge. Lokai is running past the crewmen's lounge. Lokai has just arrived on deck five. Passing recreation room three.

Arguably, one could also interpret it as two different Rec Room 3s. But since we see in TMP the 3 story rec room where Kirk briefs the crew and the gym/theater in TOS "The Conscience of the King" and "Charlie X" are almost 3 decks high it wouldn't be unusual for a 3 story rec room, IMHO.
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Old April 9 2012, 02:37 PM   #11
Timo
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Re: TOS Theater - Real Acting or Holographic?

What's more, not only the "Let That Be" rec deck but also the TMP rec deck would most logically be placed on decks 3 through 5, just beneath and aft of the bridge (and thus en route for the two idiots who were capable of stopping turbolifts by mental effort and nevertheless had to struggle their way from the bridge to the transporter room).

Just look at the TMP set, with two parallel turboshafts that basically exactly match the two turbolift stations on the bridge. Then note that it would be impossible to fit a three-deck-high structure like that anywhere else but the very core of the saucer... And then see how Probert already places "entertainment" functions at that core, including the big "Officers' Lounge" windows just aft of the bridge.

on a starship where space is limited, is it practical that such a large amount of area be devoted..?
It seems Starfleet says yes. Indeed, what else could be space-intensive aboard starship if not entertainment? You can miniaturize machines and functions, but you can't miniaturize people and you can't miniaturize the space they will need, physically and psychologically.

a multi-function room
No doubt. But probably a large number of multi-function rooms! That is, at times Rec Room 5 would be a theater, at times a gymnasium, at times a meditation chamber. But at the same time, Rec Room 2 would be a basketball court, a chamber music venue, and a movie theater, respectively - leaving Rec Rooms 1, 3, 4 and 6 to serve in other roles, sometimes including non-recreational ones such as stowage of extra garden gnomes or refugees.

We also had a discussion on the nature of those four lighted squares atop the saucer rim - or more exactly, three lighted ones plus a single dark one. Those are nice candidates for recreation spaces, too, as windows have precious little use other than recreational stargazing. One of the rooms could indeed be configured for stargazing, hence dark, while the other three would be doing sports or threatrics duty or somesuch. (On those rare occasions when there was something of utility value directly above the saucer, thus basically only during starbase layovers, the spaces and windows might serve other functions, of course. But that'd be so rare and preplanned that extensively kitting them out to recreation spaces could be done right after clearing spacedock and reversed moments before.)

The only solid argument against there being large spaces dedicated for frivolities would seem to be the "Trials and Tribble-ations" remark that ships back in the 2260s appeared jam-packed with people. True, the corridors are packed, and it seems the enlisteds and other little people might be sleeping in bunk beds in barracks-style accommodation - but I guess this would be a combination of being psychologically okay (as long as there are rec spaces elsewhere) and logistically okay (for those times when the rec spaces have to be appropriated for other uses, with minimum fuss and no need to relocate any personnel per se).

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Old April 9 2012, 09:13 PM   #12
Mytran
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Re: TOS Theater - Real Acting or Holographic?

As an addendum, we actually saw "recreation room 6" in Charlie X, it was the one that Janice invited young Charlie up to on Deck 3 (where he later did his card tricks)
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Old April 10 2012, 03:49 AM   #13
Maurice
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Re: TOS Theater - Real Acting or Holographic?

I think the intent was they were on different decks, as I doubt anyone on the show decided there'd be a 3-deck rec room and use it as a vague throwaway in a script.

Sometimes people overthink this.
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Old April 10 2012, 07:29 AM   #14
Timo
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Re: TOS Theater - Real Acting or Holographic?

...Yet much of the later aired Star Trek consists of such overthinking of random, poorly thought original remarks. Or at least is consistent with such. We did get a very prominent recreational facility on Deck Three in the TMP refit, with impressive space windows (where originally the superstructure had only featured a yellow rectangle that might or might not have been a retractable cover for such a stargazing frivolity...). And we got a three-deck recreational facility. So there's no particular need to struggle against the idea of such facilities, and there's plenty of perverse delight to be gained from that odd TOS "editing error" or "script oversight".

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Old April 10 2012, 12:16 PM   #15
Mytran
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Re: TOS Theater - Real Acting or Holographic?

I'm sure that the writers intent was to show a single recreation room, and only on one deck. But as Timo says, there is often a gap between what was written and how it is displayed on our TV screen.

Blssdwlf's quote left out the actions, so I'll add them back in (while coincidentally allows me to throw my own theory out there as to what went on in LTBYLB)

Here is Spock's line:

Captain, I have located them on ship's sensors. Bele is chasing Lokai on deck three.
(CUT TO THEM RUNNING)
Bele is passing recreation room three, approaching the crewmen's lounge. Lokai is running past the crewmen's lounge
(CUT TO RUNNING)
Lokai has just arrived on deck five.
(CUT TO MORE RUNNING)
Passing recreation room three.
There's enough cuts there (no doubt due to dramatic neccessity) to allow for the passage of more time than we see on screen. It's also therfore possible that when Spock says "Passing recreation room three" that he's not referring to Lokai but to Bele - that's right, Bele is still on Deck 3, running in circles! Certainly the corridors look very similar
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