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Old July 19 2012, 03:52 AM   #16
Christopher
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Re: TMP Epsilon 9 radio chatter

SchwEnt wrote: View Post
I guess it's fairly obscure. But I wonder what the story is of using FJ TM technical terminology and illus. and vessel nomenclature in TMP (and then later movies)?

I don't recall any behind-the-scenes stories or interviews about how the TM came to be used like this in the films.

Was someone in the production really a fan and wanted to showcase FJ work? Was is simply a matter of digging up some material to use license-free? Was someone trying to stick to canon or establish it?
It was filler, meant to be background noise in a scene that was about something else. Nobody who made the film in 1979 knew that there would be a time when home video was commonplace and obsessive Trekkies spent their lives overanalyzing every last detail. So they just grabbed whatever was at hand that sounded appropriate and tossed it into the background walla. It was the audio equivalent of lorem ipsum.

It's no different from a movie set in Ancient Rome raiding the studio vault for props and costumes from earlier Roman epics. Or Lost in Space and Batman '66 recycling leftover props from Fantastic Voyage. They're not trying to incorporate those earlier movies into their "canon" or express their fandom for them, they're just latching onto whatever suitable pre-existing material they can put into their movie or show so they don't have to spend more time and money creating new stuff.
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Old July 19 2012, 04:58 AM   #17
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Re: TMP Epsilon 9 radio chatter

The tech manual was a best seller for a surprisingly long time and it wasn't til later, around the mid-80's/pre-production of TNG that Gene Roddenberry declared his starship design rules fiat to gank the FJ work. So as of 1979, it was still official Star Trek. So why wouldn't it have been consulted? Especially since they were going for a more grounded and believable feel to the Starfleet stuff, to nicely contrast the more fantastical elements of the V'Ger business. Hence, the authenticity of radio chatter and the pre-flight warp systems check list (straight off of TO:03:11:20 from the TM). The references to the FJ TM in the first couple Trek films should not surprise anyone.

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Old July 19 2012, 05:01 AM   #18
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Re: TMP Epsilon 9 radio chatter

I recognized the names first run in the theater, as I just assumed other fans about my age or older did. My Tech Manual is first edition, from 1975.

The names and registries were audible loud and clear.
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Old July 19 2012, 05:04 AM   #19
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Re: TMP Epsilon 9 radio chatter

The black, hard-bound ones! We, the few, the proud, the original geeks!
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Old July 19 2012, 06:25 AM   #20
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Re: TMP Epsilon 9 radio chatter

Albertese wrote: View Post
The tech manual was a best seller for a surprisingly long time and it wasn't til later, around the mid-80's/pre-production of TNG that Gene Roddenberry declared his starship design rules fiat to gank the FJ work. So as of 1979, it was still official Star Trek. So why wouldn't it have been consulted? Especially since they were going for a more grounded and believable feel to the Starfleet stuff, to nicely contrast the more fantastical elements of the V'Ger business. Hence, the authenticity of radio chatter and the pre-flight warp systems check list (straight off of TO:03:11:20 from the TM). The references to the FJ TM in the first couple Trek films should not surprise anyone.

--Alex
I do believe that the "introduction to navigation" manual was also used for the navigation data shown on screen in TWOK as well.

Fandom wasn't a dirty word to the studio in those early days. Roddenberry turned sour against the fans a little when they "liked" trek without him more than TMP. So, when he came back to trek "power" with TNG, he was ruled by a hurt ego and the whispers of the forked tongue of his lawyer to lock down control as much as possible. Thus the birthing of "canon" and the disavowment of the fandom tech works, novels, and animated series. It was his trek, or no trek.
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Old July 19 2012, 08:42 AM   #21
Captain Rob
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Re: TMP Epsilon 9 radio chatter

Wingsley wrote: View Post
The black, hard-bound ones! We, the few, the proud, the original geeks!
I still have mine!
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Old July 19 2012, 09:40 AM   #22
Harvey
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Re: TMP Epsilon 9 radio chatter

Christopher wrote: View Post
Nobody who made the film in 1979 knew that there would be a time when home video was commonplace and obsessive Trekkies spent their lives overanalyzing every last detail.
I agree that the dialogue probably wasn't given much thought, especially due to the film's rushed post-production schedule.

I think it's less likely that the makers of the film were under the shroud of ignorance offered the makers of the television series when it came to realizing that fans would spend their lives belaboring every last detail. Fans had already been in the practice of recording episode audio from television broadcasts for use in (over)analysis. The same practice had to be expected of the feature film -- if not when it was in theatres, then when it aired on television, the rights of which had been pre-sold to ABC before the film's box office debut.
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Old July 19 2012, 01:29 PM   #23
Christopher
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Re: TMP Epsilon 9 radio chatter

Albertese wrote: View Post
The tech manual was a best seller for a surprisingly long time and it wasn't til later, around the mid-80's/pre-production of TNG that Gene Roddenberry declared his starship design rules fiat to gank the FJ work. So as of 1979, it was still official Star Trek. So why wouldn't it have been consulted? Especially since they were going for a more grounded and believable feel to the Starfleet stuff, to nicely contrast the more fantastical elements of the V'Ger business. Hence, the authenticity of radio chatter and the pre-flight warp systems check list (straight off of TO:03:11:20 from the TM). The references to the FJ TM in the first couple Trek films should not surprise anyone.
While Data Holmes's characterization of the matter is a little lacking in objectivity, I agree that back then there was no polarization between "official" work and "fan" work. Heck, there wasn't really very much Star Trek material out there, period, and it hadn't gotten to the point where portions of the official and licensed material were contradicted by other portions (except for things like the Gold Key comics getting the details of the show hugely wrong). So naturally they were going to draw on whatever supplemental material existed at the time.

It's kind of like the reason Lucasfilm counts all Star Wars tie-ins: because there really isn't that much screen canon to work with, relatively speaking, so if you want to flesh out the broader universe, it helps to draw on the tie-in material that may have already done so. The FJ manual was an available resource for background material about the Trek universe, and it was one of the only available resources in existence at the time, so they found it useful to draw on it. There was no thought given to the idea of "canon" at the time; that didn't become a bugaboo in Trekdom until the TNG era. (Although there were some lively debates before then about whether the animated series counted as "real" Trek or not. Some people dismissed it, and lots of people had never seen it.)



Harvey wrote: View Post
I think it's less likely that the makers of the film were under the shroud of ignorance offered the makers of the television series when it came to realizing that fans would spend their lives belaboring every last detail. Fans had already been in the practice of recording episode audio from television broadcasts for use in (over)analysis. The same practice had to be expected of the feature film -- if not when it was in theatres, then when it aired on television, the rights of which had been pre-sold to ABC before the film's box office debut.
Even so, those fans would be a tiny percentage of the movie's audience, and the filmmakers wouldn't change the way they did things just to cater to that small fringe. Even decades later, you still have movies and TV shows recycling old props and putting gibberish or in-jokes in onscreen text and the like.
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Old July 19 2012, 02:12 PM   #24
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Re: TMP Epsilon 9 radio chatter

SchwEnt wrote: View Post
Was someone in the production really a fan...?
Most of the people working on ST:TMP tended to be avid fans-turned-pros of TOS, making their Star Trek dream come true.

Wingsley wrote: View Post
The black, hard-bound ones! We, the few, the proud, the original geeks!
Well, I bought a second copy, sold off the inside book, replaced it with my "Medical Reference Manual" - and slipped the silver cover slick into the outside vinyl pocket!
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Old July 19 2012, 03:08 PM   #25
Ian Keldon
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Re: TMP Epsilon 9 radio chatter

Albertese wrote: View Post
The tech manual was a best seller for a surprisingly long time and it wasn't til later, around the mid-80's/pre-production of TNG that Gene Roddenberry declared his starship design rules fiat to gank the FJ work...
As an aside, there is an excellent interview with FJ's daughter over at Trekplace where she goes into great detail about how and why that GR attitude came about. Long story short, blame the studio for most of it:

http://www.trekplace.com/fj-kdint01.html
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Old July 19 2012, 05:43 PM   #26
SchwEnt
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Re: TMP Epsilon 9 radio chatter

Christopher wrote: View Post
SchwEnt wrote: View Post
I guess it's fairly obscure. But I wonder what the story is of using FJ TM technical terminology and illus. and vessel nomenclature in TMP (and then later movies)?

I don't recall any behind-the-scenes stories or interviews about how the TM came to be used like this in the films.

Was someone in the production really a fan and wanted to showcase FJ work? Was is simply a matter of digging up some material to use license-free? Was someone trying to stick to canon or establish it?
It was filler, meant to be background noise in a scene that was about something else. Nobody who made the film in 1979 knew that there would be a time when home video was commonplace and obsessive Trekkies spent their lives overanalyzing every last detail. So they just grabbed whatever was at hand that sounded appropriate and tossed it into the background walla. It was the audio equivalent of lorem ipsum.
I agree. Random background filler. No big deal, so why not make up some Starfleet lorem ipsum? Instead someone used FJ work word-for-word. Why even take the trouble to look it up? Who had the TM copy handy?
Did they have it on set to consult for other things? Was it a reference for other aspects of the production? Who was using it for this but not that?

When someone just grabbed whatever was handy, who was that "someone"? A fan on the production? Was this approved or encouraged by others? Povill? GR? Wise? Folks at Abel?

Just really curious how the TM came into the production as it did.
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Old July 19 2012, 05:52 PM   #27
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Re: TMP Epsilon 9 radio chatter

Wingsley wrote: View Post
The black, hard-bound ones! We, the few, the proud, the original geeks!
I always liked how (when you take the cover card out of the plastic pocket on front) you see the title in gold letters and it resembles the Table of Comets book used in Balance of Terror, as if those two books have the same publisher.

(I seem to recall there being another episode when a black hardcover book was used, I think in the briefing room, but I can't remember which episode. Thanks to anyone who can help with this.)

I think Albertese wins the thread, though:
Albertese wrote: View Post
Hence, the authenticity of radio chatter and the pre-flight warp systems check list (straight off of TO:03:11:20 from the TM).
Good catch.
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Old July 19 2012, 06:26 PM   #28
Christopher
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Re: TMP Epsilon 9 radio chatter

SchwEnt wrote: View Post
I agree. Random background filler. No big deal, so why not make up some Starfleet lorem ipsum? Instead someone used FJ work word-for-word. Why even take the trouble to look it up? Who had the TM copy handy?
Did they have it on set to consult for other things? Was it a reference for other aspects of the production? Who was using it for this but not that?
As stated in Ian Keldon's link above, some members of the production crew were fans, and they used it because they wanted to acknowledge FJ's work, which they were fond of. But no more should be read into it than some fan/creators trying to pay tribute to the work of another creator. Nothing to do with "establishing canon," because canon wasn't something anybody thought about back then.


Just really curious how the TM came into the production as it did.
I don't think that's anything surprising. Like I said, at the time, there simply wasn't very much Star Trek material in existence, not compared to the mountains of it we have today. When it came to professionally published Star Trek-related "nonfiction"/technical material, you had portions of The Making of Star Trek, the FJ manual and blueprints, and the Medical Reference Manual, and that was it (unless you count some bits of information offered in Roddenberry's Inside Star Trek record album, and the first Signet Best of Trek collection from 1978). Pretty much anyone who was a serious Trek fan would've been aware of at least the FJ material. And there were certainly some big Trek fans on TMP's production team.
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Old July 19 2012, 08:05 PM   #29
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Re: TMP Epsilon 9 radio chatter

"Starfleet lorem ipsum". I love that!
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Old July 25 2012, 05:52 PM   #30
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Re: TMP Epsilon 9 radio chatter

Ian Keldon wrote: View Post
Albertese wrote: View Post
The tech manual was a best seller for a surprisingly long time and it wasn't til later, around the mid-80's/pre-production of TNG that Gene Roddenberry declared his starship design rules fiat to gank the FJ work...
As an aside, there is an excellent interview with FJ's daughter over at Trekplace where she goes into great detail about how and why that GR attitude came about. Long story short, blame the studio for most of it:

http://www.trekplace.com/fj-kdint01.html
Wow - first time I ever read this and it's over 10 years old! A very interesting perspective of FJ's and the early days of the Tech Manual/Blueprints production. It's truly a shame that things turned out the way they did and FJ's work was never fully accepted into the "canon". Oh, well. It's probably the best bit of Trek apocrypha out there! The Dead Sea Scrolls and Gnostic Gospels for Trekkers.
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