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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old February 23 2013, 11:27 PM   #76
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
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I can see where you're coming from and can even appreciate it, but I think the uniforms of that era was something of a homage to the navies of ancient Earth--in particular, the Old British Navy maybe--in which officers and enlisted did wear different uniforms.
Well, number one, it seems odd to want to pay homage to a system where social class defined the educational and occupational opportunities one could aspire to, which was reflected in the uniform differences. And two, why in the world would Starfleet one day decide to change in that direction? "You know what, our uniforms don't emphasize enough that there's a big status difference between officers and enlisted personnel. Let's fancy up the officers' dress and put the enlisted in their place."
I don't think it's really class distinction as an old naval tradition, and in that sense, Starfleet doesn't reflect civilian life within the Federation.
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Old February 23 2013, 11:50 PM   #77
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
I don't think it's really class distinction as an old naval tradition, and in that sense, Starfleet doesn't reflect civilian life within the Federation.
But as I said, that kind of "tradition" has largely died out in navies of today, why revive it? Especially since Starfleet's own established tradition up to that point seemed to be for officers and enlisted to dress almost exactly alike.
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Old February 24 2013, 12:09 AM   #78
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
I don't think it's really class distinction as an old naval tradition, and in that sense, Starfleet doesn't reflect civilian life within the Federation.
But as I said, that kind of "tradition" has largely died out in navies of today, why revive it? Especially since Starfleet's own established tradition up to that point seemed to be for officers and enlisted to dress almost exactly alike.
Things change, and Starfleet has always been kind of arbitrary about what naval traditions they observe and others they ignore, IMO.
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Old February 24 2013, 01:30 AM   #79
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Things change, and Starfleet has always been kind of arbitrary about what naval traditions they observe and others they ignore, IMO.
But that doesn't address the question of why. I don't see any plausible reason for a change that seems so at odds with the organization's previous standards and values.
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Old February 24 2013, 02:03 AM   #80
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

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If there was one thing that wasn't wrong with the film it was the direction.
...and the music, and the cast, and the special effects, and the ENTERPRISE!
Still in my top 3 Trekfilms. Can't decide where though...
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Old February 24 2013, 05:39 AM   #81
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

OK, it's important to step back from thinking of the Trek universe as existing separate from those who guided it and just accept that there was a sort of push and pull through all Trek's incarnations based on the powers-that-be.

Gene's vision of Trek de-emphasized rank. That's why TOS uniforms don't even feature braids for ensigns, which maybe went a little too far. When you get to TNG, one ranking pip indicates ensign.

Nevertheless, even in TOS there was some sense of pecking order and pomp and circumstance, hence the satin dress uniforms with the triangular campaign pins, but I've read that Gene didn't even like that.

Consider that the battle in Khan (aside from the tall ships homage) hearkens back to Balance of Terror, which in turn is sort of a remake of Run Silent Run Deep. And therefore it is VERY militaristic. So you can't say Trek had no militaristic overtones. It's just that this was played up or down at different points in TOS depending on who wrote the script or exerted the most influence.

When you get to TMP, Gene was allowed to establish the main tone of the Trek universe, and he struck a tone that didn't really return again until TNG. While Picard was very stiff at first, and one for discipline, the Enterprise as a whole was supposed to transcend the military and be a city in space with married families and kids. The Enterprise-D bridge has a very lounge-like vibe to it. With the woodgrain panel in the back and the earthen tones, you'd almost expect to see a fireplace in the corner and kids playing with blocks in front of the CONN.

I think thoughts are pretty well divided on whether Starfleet life should be by-the-book or the more politically correct "let's sit this down and talk this through, shall we?" that Gene preferred.

The reason the Nick Meyer era is preferred is that, left to his utopian ideals, Gene's world is rather dull. So yes, the red-coats (I really see them like revolutionary war red-coats, although some people think they look like mounties) are ornate, but this was basically a reaction against the short-sleeve T-shirt aesthetic that was struck in TMP, and maybe in retrospect, an overreaction.

On a practical level, it also bears noting that in the movie era, the actors were starting to lose their physiques. Doohan was the first, who seemed to put on a lot of weight between TMP and Khan, followed by Nichelle Nichols and Shatner. The woolen red uniforms helped to disguise this better. There was no way anything resembling the TMP uniforms could have been carried all the way through to Trek VI without the entire Trek cast being ordered into the gym.

Of course, none of this actually reconciles one coherent universe where everything makes sense, but that's what you get when creative forces shift from one power-center to another over the span of decades, and now you have JJ Trek with its own quirks to argue about.
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Old February 24 2013, 06:16 AM   #82
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

mos6507 wrote: View Post
OK, it's important to step back from thinking of the Trek universe as existing separate from those who guided it and just accept that there was a sort of push and pull through all Trek's incarnations based on the powers-that-be.

Gene's vision of Trek de-emphasized rank. That's why TOS uniforms don't even feature braids for ensigns, which maybe went a little too far. When you get to TNG, one ranking pip indicates ensign.

Nevertheless, even in TOS there was some sense of pecking order and pomp and circumstance, hence the satin dress uniforms with the triangular campaign pins, but I've read that Gene didn't even like that.

Consider that the battle in Khan (aside from the tall ships homage) hearkens back to Balance of Terror, which in turn is sort of a remake of Run Silent Run Deep. And therefore it is VERY militaristic. So you can't say Trek had no militaristic overtones. It's just that this was played up or down at different points in TOS depending on who wrote the script or exerted the most influence.

When you get to TMP, Gene was allowed to establish the main tone of the Trek universe, and he struck a tone that didn't really return again until TNG. While Picard was very stiff at first, and one for discipline, the Enterprise as a whole was supposed to transcend the military and be a city in space with married families and kids. The Enterprise-D bridge has a very lounge-like vibe to it. With the woodgrain panel in the back and the earthen tones, you'd almost expect to see a fireplace in the corner and kids playing with blocks in front of the CONN.

I think thoughts are pretty well divided on whether Starfleet life should be by-the-book or the more politically correct "let's sit this down and talk this through, shall we?" that Gene preferred.

The reason the Nick Meyer era is preferred is that, left to his utopian ideals, Gene's world is rather dull. So yes, the red-coats (I really see them like revolutionary war red-coats, although some people think they look like mounties) are ornate, but this was basically a reaction against the short-sleeve T-shirt aesthetic that was struck in TMP, and maybe in retrospect, an overreaction.

On a practical level, it also bears noting that in the movie era, the actors were starting to lose their physiques. Doohan was the first, who seemed to put on a lot of weight between TMP and Khan, followed by Nichelle Nichols and Shatner. The woolen red uniforms helped to disguise this better. There was no way anything resembling the TMP uniforms could have been carried all the way through to Trek VI without the entire Trek cast being ordered into the gym.

Of course, none of this actually reconciles one coherent universe where everything makes sense, but that's what you get when creative forces shift from one power-center to another over the span of decades, and now you have JJ Trek with its own quirks to argue about.
I don't think it was done on purpose. I think Bennett and Meyer wanted different uniforms because of Wrath of Khan. They wanted to make the Federation have a split--scientists and military--because it serves the movie's themes (just listen to David talk about "the military").
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Old February 24 2013, 09:21 AM   #83
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Things change, and Starfleet has always been kind of arbitrary about what naval traditions they observe and others they ignore, IMO.
But that doesn't address the question of why.
Actually, it does, because things go in and out of fashion for whatever reason, and Starfleet is likely no different. If this was a period in which Starfleet became more militaristic in nature, then the choice of uniforms would reflect that nature. Conversely, the next uniform design (the original TNG uniforms), may have reflected a change in Starfleet's priority as an exploration agency.

The cycle could actually have repeated itself with the First Contact uniforms representing another change in Starfleet's priorities in the post-Wolf 359/Dominion War era.
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Old February 24 2013, 11:05 AM   #84
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

I think us Star Trek fans can sometimes twist ourselves in knots trying to relate what we see on Star Trek to the way actual modern real-life navies operate. Indeed, the truth is that modern navies really only observe certain traditions from the era of great sea navies past, and even then usually only on formal occasions. So it'd only make sense to assume that the protocol of Star Trek's 23rd/24th century equivalent navies would be even further distanced.
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Old February 24 2013, 06:06 PM   #85
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

Well doesn't TMP take place in 2272 and TWOK take place in 2285? so that could explain the dramatic change in uniforms between films.
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Old February 24 2013, 07:54 PM   #86
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

mos6507 wrote: View Post

On a practical level, it also bears noting that in the movie era, the actors were starting to lose their physiques. Doohan was the first, who seemed to put on a lot of weight between TMP and Khan, followed by Nichelle Nichols and Shatner. The woolen red uniforms helped to disguise this better. There was no way anything resembling the TMP uniforms could have been carried all the way through to Trek VI without the entire Trek cast being ordered into the gym.
Indeed Shatner says he ran and worked out frantically for TMP. Time well spent...
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Old February 24 2013, 08:16 PM   #87
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

mos6507 wrote: View Post
OK, it's important to step back from thinking of the Trek universe as existing separate from those who guided it and just accept that there was a sort of push and pull through all Trek's incarnations based on the powers-that-be.
That's absolutely right of course, and the points are well-stated. All I'm trying to explain is why, from the viewpoint of the work's internal consistency, I find the TWOK uniforms conceptually weaker than those of TOS or TMP.

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Actually, it does, because things go in and out of fashion for whatever reason, and Starfleet is likely no different. If this was a period in which Starfleet became more militaristic in nature, then the choice of uniforms would reflect that nature. Conversely, the next uniform design (the original TNG uniforms), may have reflected a change in Starfleet's priority as an exploration agency.
That doesn't address the specific point, though. Before TWOK, enlisted personnel had a uniform that placed them, visually, in the same ballpark as officers. This is consistent with positive and progressive developments in the 20th century that recognized the value of all service members' contributions and attainments and sought to minimize former class/status based differences. Then suddenly in TWOK, enlisted members were put in uniforms drastically different from officers and which overtly emphasized the fact that they were of lower status. That implies an immense change, even reversal, of the organization's structure, culture and core values. A switch in emphasis from exploration to defense does not seem nearly enough to account for it.
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Old February 24 2013, 08:35 PM   #88
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Actually, it does, because things go in and out of fashion for whatever reason, and Starfleet is likely no different. If this was a period in which Starfleet became more militaristic in nature, then the choice of uniforms would reflect that nature. Conversely, the next uniform design (the original TNG uniforms), may have reflected a change in Starfleet's priority as an exploration agency.
That doesn't address the specific point, though. Before TWOK, enlisted personnel had a uniform that placed them, visually, in the same ballpark as officers. This is consistent with positive and progressive developments in the 20th century that recognized the value of all service members' contributions and attainments and sought to minimize former class/status based differences. Then suddenly in TWOK, enlisted members were put in uniforms drastically different from officers and which overtly emphasized the fact that they were of lower status. That implies an immense change, even reversal, of the organization's structure, culture and core values. A switch in emphasis from exploration to defense does not seem nearly enough to account for it.
It really is as simple that it was just a change that Starfleet underwent during that time. I don't think Starfleet is a monolithic entity, but one that undergoes constant change for various reasons (pick one--social, political, or just for the heck of it). Some of these changes will sit well with some, but not with others.
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Old February 24 2013, 09:22 PM   #89
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
It really is as simple that it was just a change that Starfleet underwent during that time. I don't think Starfleet is a monolithic entity, but one that undergoes constant change for various reasons (pick one--social, political, or just for the heck of it). Some of these changes will sit well with some, but not with others.
That's on the level of "a wizard did it." Organizations comparable to Starfleet do not historically make comparable changes "just for the heck of it." Was there a social, political or cultural revolution in the Federation between TMP and TWOK? Maybe, but it doesn't seem manifest in any other aspect of the world we see.
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Old February 24 2013, 09:25 PM   #90
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Re: Would TMP have been better had they used the TOS uniforms?

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
It really is as simple that it was just a change that Starfleet underwent during that time. I don't think Starfleet is a monolithic entity, but one that undergoes constant change for various reasons (pick one--social, political, or just for the heck of it). Some of these changes will sit well with some, but not with others.
That's on the level of "a wizard did it." Organizations comparable to Starfleet do not historically make comparable changes "just for the heck of it." Was there a social, political or cultural revolution in the Federation between TMP and TWOK? Maybe, but it doesn't seem manifest in any other aspect of the world we see.
Well TMP takes place in 2273 IIRC and TWOK takes place in 2285/86. Uniform trends and stuff can change with in that big gap of time.
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