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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old April 1 2013, 12:34 PM   #1
ZapBrannigan
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Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?



I just saw some photoshops of TOS characters in DS9 uniforms, like this one.

I think if William Ware Theiss had offered this up at the start of TOS, it would have been rejected as a costume "designed for b&w TV-- get it out of here!"

As part of its mission, TOS was supposed to get more people to buy color TV sets. I think there was even a business deal between NBC and RCA, but I'm vague on that. Anyway, If you saw TOS uniforms on a neighbor's color set (and people did have the neighbors over to see a new set in those days), you knew you were missing something at home, and that was the point.

Did they go too far with the color saturation? I never thought so in the 1970s. The day we got our first roof antenna (a huge one, with a motorized rotor) and first color TV, and STAR TREK was suddenly clear and in color, was like Christmas to me. And TOS looked utterly futuristic, like nothing else could.

I can still see TOS through those eyes, or I can shift to modern-guy and then TOS looks dated. I know the movies did not dent the old look for me. Maybe TNG did. Definitely by VOYAGER I was adopting the new aesthetic and finding that if I squinted just right, TOS looked out of date. I wasn't too happy about it.

The classic Bridge set, especially as seen in S2 and S3, will never look bad to me, ever. I was shocked one day in the early 2000s when I had a very good CGI picture of the Bridge as wallpaper on a work PC, and a young woman asked what it was. She was gorgeous and her personality was all about fashion, hair, make-up, decor-- she was a person very dialed-in to what looks good and what doesn't. I joked (not that she'd know) that it was the design for our new Data Center. She said, "It's hideous."

Has your eye for the TOS look changed over time?
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Old April 1 2013, 12:41 PM   #2
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Re: Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

I grew up with colour TV so that was never a factor - even as a child, I never considered Star Trek particularly futuristic.
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Old April 1 2013, 01:18 PM   #3
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

It looks like a dated 60's vision of the future. That's part of the charm of Star Trek, IMO. Randomly blinking coloured squares for control panels and pictures hung up around the bridge masquerading as display screens.

But Star Trek: Enterprise did something very clever in "In a Mirror, Darkly" - they had the mirror NX-01 crew amazed at the bridge of the USS Defiant (which after vanishing in "The Tholian Web" somehow ended up in the past of the mirror universe) and how futuristic it looked. They treated the look of TOS as if it was technology meeting art, it's seeming cheesyness the whim of it's designer rather than the result of any limitations of 23rd century tech.
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Old April 1 2013, 03:41 PM   #4
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Re: Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

of course not, but all futuristic sci-fi is really about the writers in the current time's vision of the future, which is fairly hard to predict.
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Old April 1 2013, 04:47 PM   #5
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Re: Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

It's like asking if 1950s Superman comics still look like superhero comics. TOS really captured the look and feel of a comic book better than any series either before or since. It's timeless in that respect.
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Old April 1 2013, 05:43 PM   #6
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Re: Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

Nope, especially not the computers. Those look like what they are, a 60s blinking lights vision of the future. Of course, the one thing that really dates TOS in my eyes is the miniskirt (and no, that doesn't look any better in the Abramsverse either).
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Old April 1 2013, 06:00 PM   #7
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Re: Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

Yes and no.

The Enterprise exterior still seems futuristic to me as do the bridge and transporter room. Some of the props have aged better than others, the communicator and phaser are still awesome, while the tricorder and PADD haven't aged so well.
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Old April 1 2013, 06:10 PM   #8
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Re: Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

Well of course not, in fact a lot of things in all the ST series will not only look out of date, but in fact WILL be out of date in 25-35 years. Some already are. TOS is of course a product of it's time. While something like the old Enteprise is iconic, defined a basic form for the future, it still looks distinctly "60s", marrying the cigar shape with the saucer with relatively smooth surfaces.

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Old April 1 2013, 06:18 PM   #9
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Re: Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

RAMA wrote: View Post
...with relatively smooth surfaces.
It's those smooth surfaces that serve to make it seem more futuristic than its offspring.
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Old April 1 2013, 07:54 PM   #10
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Re: Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

If you liked the photoshopped pics, THIS will blow your mind.

https://vimeo.com/12023417

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Old April 1 2013, 07:59 PM   #11
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Re: Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

spockboy wrote: View Post
If you liked the photoshopped pics, THIS will blow your mind.

https://vimeo.com/12023417

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That is pretty damn awesome. A shame it's just so short.
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Old April 1 2013, 08:03 PM   #12
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Re: Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

This is like asking if Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927) looked dated to audiences in 1966.

I was aware of Star Trek's production limitations when I was 15 in 1966, especially with its obviously fake "exterior" sets built on a soundstage. The Enterprise model looked strange, because it didn't look like previous film spaceships, but that was the intent.

Does it still look futuristic to me? I accept it for what it is-- a product of its (and my) time on this tiny speck of dust in the universe.
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Old April 1 2013, 08:04 PM   #13
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Re: Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

"Futuristic" is always relevant to the time something is declared as such.

But with TOS, we had subsequent Trek shows set a century later that rightfully made it look like something from a past era.
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Old April 1 2013, 08:34 PM   #14
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Re: Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?



I do find the 24th century uniforms, especially DS9 and Voy, to be pretty dark and drab. If the idea was to be less "colorful," they did a fine job.

As far as the bridge, change the displays only, leave the rest alone, basic layout is superior to all the other designs

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Old April 1 2013, 08:41 PM   #15
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Re: Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

I think DS9 (the starbase, not the series) ages best, because of its alien design. The hairstyles and costumes give it away though.
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