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

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Old May 19 2013, 01:42 AM   #16
Robert Comsol
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Re: Updating FJ's technical manual?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
For a long time many fans accepted FJ's work as pretty much accepted gospel in terms of Trek technical background, at least in regards to TOS, TAS and the early films.
...and did not really know that he wasn't a fan, preferred "Lost in Space", and that his actual knowledge of the world of TOS and its details was only a fraction of what most passionate fans then and now knew or could have known just by watching the actual footage, listening to the dialogue, examining the studio set blueprints and arriving at their own conclusions based on the aforementioned.

Warped9 wrote: View Post
But when TNG bowed FJ's work began to be forgotten as the new creators sought to put their stamp on Trek's world building and effectively rewrite what had long been accepted.
I've been a Star Trek actifan (founding the fan club who initiated the first Trek Diners, publishing fanzines and organizing conventions) since 1980 and most assuredly I did not accept his work other than his prop reproductions (i.e. where these were correct), because it was essentially too incompatible with what we saw onscreen.

"Effectively rewrite what had long been accepted?" I don't know how you treat your kids, but I, for one, do not reward bad behaviour or in this case bad, incomplete and superficial research (if we can even talk about "research"), mind looking at it as canon.

Thus Gene Roddenberry and Bob Justman (the creators) and their staff were totally entitled to rewrite what FJ had produced. Whether everything that came after TOS is compatible with TOS continuity, is a different story, IMHO.

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Would you adhere to what he had established or only accept parts of it?
Neither

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Or would you simply ignore it altogether in favour of something totally new reflecting the "official" world-building as written from TNG onward?
Neither that. I'd completely rewrite it based entirely on the actual TOS information we have and consider post TOS information only to fill in the blanks and where it does not contradict original TOS canon, continuity or style.

Apparently, blssdwlf and myself are going exactly for this in or original series USS Enterprise interior and/or deck plan projects in the fan art section.

Bob
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Old May 19 2013, 02:47 AM   #17
aridas sofia
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Re: Updating FJ's technical manual?

It is so easy to blather on mindlessly about someone that made choices in a time and situation you have no knowledge of whatsoever. You drone on about Franz Joseph not having any knowledge of Trek and being a Lost in Space fan. And yet he was doing the plans and book for his daughter and friends who WERE extreme Trek fans, had access to countless film clips, and acted as unpaid research assistants. You drone on about Schnaubelt's lack of knowledge and yet he was HIRED by Roddenberry and met with him, corresponded with him, and also met Jefferies. This Roddenberry that you paint as dismissing Schnaubelt's work out of hand due to its massive infidelity to TOS was the very same Roddenberry that approved it all, called it unprecedented, and only found fault with it when he couldn't get a slice of the gobs of money it made.

I'm tired of reading your rant against a guy that is dead and thus isn't here to defend his work. Take up a f&@king technical pen and your massive Trek cred and let's see what you come up with, 'kay? Oh wait. Ain't possible because it isn't 1973 and unfortunately you have forty years of technical advance and hindsight to puff up your arguments. And a dead guy to argue with.
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Old May 19 2013, 03:30 AM   #18
Shawnster
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Re: Updating FJ's technical manual?

Id make sure the bridge wasn't rotated 30 some degrees.
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Old May 19 2013, 05:28 PM   #19
StalwartUK
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Re: Updating FJ's technical manual?

Shawnster wrote: View Post
Id make sure the bridge wasn't rotated 30 some degrees.
He did that to match up the bridge set with the exterior model right?
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Old May 19 2013, 05:36 PM   #20
Warped9
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Re: Updating FJ's technical manual?

StalwartUK wrote: View Post
Shawnster wrote: View Post
Id make sure the bridge wasn't rotated 30 some degrees.
He did that to match up the bridge set with the exterior model right?
Yeah, but this is a really old debate. All we need is CRA back to really get it going again. You can make a case for either orientation, but it really comes down to how much room you actually have and what you're willing to compromise.
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Old May 19 2013, 07:08 PM   #21
Robert Comsol
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Re: Updating FJ's technical manual?

aridas sofia wrote: View Post
It is so easy to blather on mindlessly about someone that made choices in a time and situation you have no knowledge of whatsoever. You drone on about Franz Joseph not having any knowledge of Trek and being a Lost in Space fan.
Aridas Sofia, I can't tell you how grateful I am that you addressed this issue, since I assume that's what the moral majority is thinking, too, and you've just provided me with a good reason to elaborate and reply.

First of all, let me state honestly that I think Franz Joseph Schnaubelt was a great guy. With his pipe and beard he reminds me a lot of a gentle giant (like Santa Claus or a fairy-tale teller which doesn't seem to be entirely inappropriate in this context). Thanks to the Trekplace archives (www.trekplace.com) we have authentic, undisputed original interviews with the man who, by his very own admission, was not a fan of Star Trek and preferred "Lost in Space".
Therefore, I'm simpling quoting facts, nothing more nothing less and if you have a problem with that, I'm sorry.

He himself never claimed to be a Star Trek expert or even a fan.

But apparently fandom has made him into some kind of Star Trek Saint. If his spirit is still following the debates about his work I'm confident, he'd be thinking "Guys, you take it way more seriously than I had ever intended it to be" and he'd be tempted to add a couple of quotes from Bill Shatner and Leonard Nimoy...

Regarding the amount of knowledge he did or did not have, we can just take a look at a book like his Technical Manual which I consider to be rather self-explanatory, given the many discrepancies between what we saw in the series and how it got reproduced in this book.

To cut a long story short: I've no issues whatsoever with Mr. Schnaubelt, but the way fandom has adopted his work as gospel at the expense of what's actually on the show: In one of the threads somebody mentioned that Kirk's cabin in "Mudd's Women" couldn't possibly be on Deck 12 and that the producers / creators "didn't know what they were doing".

Obviously this was a result of Franz Joseph's (unintended) conditioning that there'd only be a Deck 12 in the neck dorsal...

When conjectural "canon" gets a higher ranking than what's actually in the original series (or could be concluded applying simple logic), there must (still) be something terribly wrong with the current state of treknological TOS research.

aridas sofia wrote: View Post
And yet he was doing the plans and book for his daughter and friends who WERE extreme Trek fans, had access to countless film clips, and acted as unpaid research assistants.
Again, the reproductions that made it into the Technical Manual are self-explanatory to determine "how" extreme (accurate?) these fans actually were. And what was on these countless film clips? Apparently no scene with a type II phaser or an actor in a commodore uniform...

We don't know the full story behind he publications, but it's the final result that speaks for itself and reveals how accurate it is or not.

aridas sofia wrote: View Post
Take up a f&@king technical pen and your massive Trek cred and let's see what you come up with, 'kay? Oh wait. Ain't possible because it isn't 1973 and unfortunately you have forty years of technical advance and hindsight to puff up your arguments.
Hmm...looks like you are completely unaware of what I've been actually doing since last November: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=195496

Since I'm doing these drafts with paper copies (something that could have been done already in 1973) of the original studio sets (available from Lincoln Enterprises in the 1970's) your criticism is apparently missing its target.

And as a matter of fact, that's when I started the project I'm trying to finish, now.
My friend had an early and archaic VCR tape recorder and - expectedly - was always getting nervous when I wanted to rewatch a certain scene or technical detail for my notes. But notes could have been equally taken during the many TOS reruns in the 1970's.

Bob
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Old May 19 2013, 08:10 PM   #22
Warped9
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Re: Updating FJ's technical manual?

My two cents here.

It isn't bashing to fairly critique someone's work and note where things aren't as they should be. Also the fact GR signed off on this stuff has to be taken with a measure of cynicism. At least I take it that way because my impression of GR is that he mightn't have really cared how accurate FJ's work was as long as he thought he could make a buck of it. And at this point of time both the Booklet of General Plans and the Starfleet Technical Manual were products that went far beyond what anything even remotely of the kind had ever done before. As such many of us were damned glad to have them even as we soon starting to see some things were off.

It isn't an indictment to note FJ wasn't a fan because that's not really relevant. What is relevant is his execution and in all fairness the final product is all we really have to assess. Somewhere along the line there was a disconnect. I have to say that there are too many discrepancies between the onscreen filming miniature and the ship FJ actually drew. And I don't want to hear again he was drawing the Constitution because it comes down to it being pitched as blueprints to the Enterprise we saw onscreen. On that point it's a significant miss.

Granted I don't know all the facts but I do have to wonder if he had the opportunity to actually study the 11 footer. Did he have access to the original construction drawings? I don't think he studied film clips of the shuttlecraft all that well because that's a huge dropping-the-ball in my eyes.

My essential point is FJ got things essentially right and he displayed a lot of good and interesting conceptual thinking, but he flubbed details that shouldn't have happened if he'd carefully scrutinized those film clips. The notion his daughter and friends were fans and were also essentially unpaid research consultants might not have worked in FJ's favour. They could study all the film clips they want but if they haven't got a good eye for detail and how to communicate what they're seeing properly and accurately then there will be a definite limit to the value of their effort.

We'll never know what we might have gotten if somebody had approached Matt Jefferies with the idea of doing what FJ did (and, of course, getting paid to do it). But fact is that didn't happen and FJ's work basically launched a market likely few suspected was there. For that I'm thankful.


For many of us interested in this materiel we basically take the approach of accepting what we saw onscreen and then trying to flesh it out without deviating too much or too obviously so as to make it all work. FJ's approach seems to have been to give us the essence of what we saw but deviating in other aspects.

Also if so many of us we're so totally enamoured with FJ then we wouldn't have dared even consider the thought we could build and improve on what he did.

His work is what it is. I think now we can just go from there rather than fretting over how he got the end result he gave us.
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Old May 20 2013, 12:22 AM   #23
TIN_MAN
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Re: Updating FJ's technical manual?

A few thoughts...

As far as the "Kirk's cabin can't deck 12" thing goes, I don't think it’s a matter of the writer/producers not knowing what they were doing, but just that they were primarily interested in creating a popular action adventure story, and doing it on a tight schedule, and didn’t sweat the details. What they definitely were NOT trying to do was create and adhere to a realistic deck plan for their fictional starship!

But for those of us who are –like FJ-trying to come up with a logical, internally consistent set of plans that look like they could be believably designed by a starship engineer and not a drunken time lord transdimensional engineer, then compromises have to be made between contradictory data points.

The deck 12 reference, the deck 5 references, the size and shape of Kirk’s cabin, the curved hallway seen just outside, and the approximate scale of the ship, are all data points obtainable from viewing the episodes, but only the deck 5 references are consistent with the rest of the data, so something has to give, I say let it be the deck 12 “throwaway line”. The writer/producers didn’t sweat the details and neither should we, they never intended for anyone to take all this so literally and try to make sense of things they gave little or no thought to!

The way I see it, if the intent of technical fandom is to expand on the “STU” and make it more believable and realistic, and thus (for us tech-heads) more enjoyable; then we need to have a different focus other than slavish adherence to details, and cramming every contradictory thing in there just “because it was on the show” and let common sense and logic be damned in the process! Otherwise, what have we gained? It just seems counter productive to me.


On a minor note; concerning the commodore rank stripes, I seem to recall reading in one of the interviews that the version FJ chose was an intentional choice made so that the progression of higher ranks would be more consistent with the lower ranks that went before (or below)? As such, while certainly inconsistent with what we saw onscreen, it isn’t really a “mistake” since it was an “informed decision” that was made with full knowledge of what the original design was.

Last edited by TIN_MAN; May 20 2013 at 02:54 AM.
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Old May 20 2013, 02:39 AM   #24
aridas sofia
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Re: Updating FJ's technical manual?

The problem with the critique being leveled by some in this thread is that it is entirely ahistorical. If Franz Joseph Schnaubelt professed to approach the material he was given not as a documentarian, but as someone willing to snip and rethink, then THAT is what he should be judged on. Given that choice, I will call him on having a deflector with nothing behind it and a distorted hangar copied from TMoST, etc. But the BS being leveled by someone that has never to our knowledge published a thing, never dealt with producers or TV studios, never dealt with reverse schematicizing blurry film clips as the sole way of pleasing a bunch of kids including your own child... The preposterousness of this pomposity is so great as to demand someone say "enough already." I detest bullies. And I detest even more the practice of engaging in unsubstantiated bluster with the hope that just maybe, if you scare enough people with your unveiled vitriol, no one will call you on all the holes in your argument. I don't care how many times this guy says the author of the Technical Manual was a lowly Lost in Space fan. It is irrelevant to the judgement of his work if that work did not depend upon him being a Trek fan. I mean, my God... did William Shirer have to be a fan of the Third Reich to write his masterpiece? I guess Thomas Harris had to be a fan of canibalism to create Hanibal Lechter. It is a nonsense straw man argument that someone that has done nothing like the thing he is criticizing can level, stand back repeatedly with his hands neatly folded across his chest and say, "You see? I was right." We'll no... you weren't.

Anyone that has actually read those Trekplace interviews, or other material online, or, hell, actually ever TALKED to the guy, would know the problem with his phaser 2 drawing stemmed from shadows in his source photo. The commodore rank? As Tin Man points out, Schnaubelt was trying to rationalize the rank system much as he was trying to rationalize the ship layout. I frankly think Schnaubelt was mistaken in his conclusions about the ranks-- but because his changes were unnecessary given the fact the TOS producers were drawing upon WW2 naval experience and not because they didn't fit the US Navy practice of the 1970s.

In short, this bluster only serves to obscure the stated purpose of this thread- to find the legitimate flaws in the work and correct them. I hate to see people that actually have something worthwhile to say drowned out by the din of, what was it? Oh yeah... cognitive dissonance.
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Old May 20 2013, 02:52 AM   #25
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Updating FJ's technical manual?

TIN_MAN wrote: View Post
As far as the "Kirk's cabin can't deck 12" thing goes, I don't think it’s a matter of the writer/producers not knowing what they were doing, but just that they were primarily interested in creating a popular action adventure story, and doing it on a tight schedule, and didn’t sweat the details. What they definitely were NOT trying to do was create and adhere to a realistic deck plan for their fictional starship!

But for those of us who are –like FJ-trying to come up with a logical, internally consistent set of plans that look like they could be believably designed by a starship engineer and not a drunken transdimensional time lord engineer, then compromises have to be made between contradictory data points.

The deck 12 reference, the deck 5 references, the size and shape of Kirk’s cabin, the curved hallway seen just outside, and the approximate scale of the ship, are all data points obtainable from viewing the episodes, but only the deck 5 references are consistent with the rest of the data, so something has to give, I say let it be the deck 12 “throwaway line”. The writer/producers didn’t sweat the details and neither should we, they never intended for anyone to take all this so literally and try to make sense of things they gave little or no thought to!
Precisely.
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Old May 20 2013, 08:07 PM   #26
Warped9
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Re: Updating FJ's technical manual?

Likely one of the first things I's be inclined to do is update the ship schematics. The current drawings are simplistic representation of the various ship class, and while a lack of detail could be excused for the sake of reprinting such small drawings the shapes and proportions could definitely be improved.

I'd also toss out the Microgamma font for ships' registries since that's definitely not what we saw onscreen. All the existing drawings of interior facilities and equipment would also have to be revised. For the hangar area has anyone seen MGagen's 3D work on Hobbytalk? I highly recommend checking it out. He takes the pylon support structure into account and yet still renders a flight deck that looks very much like what we saw onscreen---really nice work.

There are a number of really good efforts at fleshing out the deck plans of the Enterprise around the web over the years. For myself I'd be inclined to ask permission to mine the best of each. I've also seen some fabulous croos-sections including aridas'.

The uniforms section would have to be expanded to include Cage era uniforms. And then we get into an area left blank by FJ, alien ships and equipment and uniforms.
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Old May 20 2013, 11:09 PM   #27
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Re: Updating FJ's technical manual?

Fleet Headquarters is an anachronism even in the TOS universe. Centripetal force rather than artificial gravity (which even 1990s ships apparently had), wires holding ships in place inside spheres with goofy doors, etc.
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Old May 20 2013, 11:11 PM   #28
Robert Comsol
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Re: Updating FJ's technical manual?

TIN_MAN wrote: View Post
The deck 12 reference, the deck 5 references, the size and shape of Kirk’s cabin, the curved hallway seen just outside, and the approximate scale of the ship, are all data points obtainable from viewing the episodes, but only the deck 5 references are consistent with the rest of the data, so something has to give, I say let it be the deck 12 “throwaway line”. The writer/producers didn’t sweat the details and neither should we, they never intended for anyone to take all this so literally and try to make sense of things they gave little or no thought to!
Why is "only" the Deck 5 reference consistent with the rest of the data?

It is consistent with The Making of Star Trek and "Journey to Babel", but there are noticable differences outside Kirk's cabin in the corridors ("The Enemy Within" vs. "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" vs. "Journey to Babel" vs. "The Mark of Gideon").

Maybe changing cabins is one of Kirk's hobbies, maybe he had to take provisional quarters in the beginning of the first season because Deck 5 was being upgraded along with other internal parts of the ship after "Where No Man Has Gone Before". We simply don't know.

Fact: The Making of Star Trek clearly refers to a saucer-engineering hull separation other than for emergencies (saucer and engineering hull can operate as separate entities), only the deck numbers for the saucer are spelled out, the engineering hull had 16 decks.

There's no reason not to assume that the numbering of engineering decks starts at the top of the neck dorsal (especially considering the turbo lift ride to "Deck 2" in "The Enterprise Incident"...).
This would put (Engineering) Deck 12 right below the shuttlebay flight deck level, and the curvature of the hull is compatible with the cabin back wall angle and the windows (according to the 1966 Desilu studio plans these were "windows"!). I don't believe we are looking at a coincidence, this rather looks like a deliberate intention of the early TOS.

Apparently, there was the romantic idea in the beginning of TOS ("Hornblower Effect") that the captain should of course have a cabin with windows but there weren't that many suitable locations for it and it turned out to be Deck 12 before somebody intervened and demanded that the captain's cabin be moved closer to the Bridge.

And there are plenty of other examples where we saw circular corridors in the engineering hull. Heck, I don't like them either but as a matter of fact they are there, and IMHO impossible to ignore. In my deck plan project I tried to rationalize these as good as I thought possible.

TIN_MAN wrote: View Post
On a minor note; concerning the commodore rank stripes, I seem to recall reading in one of the interviews that the version FJ chose was an intentional choice made so that the progression of higher ranks would be more consistent with the lower ranks that went before (or below)? As such, while certainly inconsistent with what we saw onscreen, it isn’t really a “mistake” since it was an “informed decision” that was made with full knowledge of what the original design was.
If Franz Joseph had heralded his work as accurate (Ballantine Books labelled the deck plans as "authentic"), which he didn't to my knowledge and is therefore excused, it would be a mistake.

But please... "Informed descision"? It's the same thing Mike Okuda did with the Romulan Crest from "The Enterprise Incident".
The moment such "expert" decides to let personal preference get in the way and ignore such facts, I reserve the right do doubt whether such a person is really suitable for the job of treknological research, which should be unbiased, first. That's my personal opinion and you may feel free to disagree with it (yet, I don't see why this makes me a detestible bully).

Bob
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Old May 20 2013, 11:22 PM   #29
Robert Comsol
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Re: Updating FJ's technical manual?

aridas sofia wrote: View Post
I don't care how many times this guy says the author of the Technical Manual was a lowly Lost in Space fan. It is irrelevant to the judgement of his work if that work did not depend upon him being a Trek fan.
Stop putting words in my mouth I didn't say. If you think "Lost in Space" is "lowly" that is apparently your opinion, I didn't use the word.

However, I feel if someone is more passionate about "Lost in Space" than Star Trek, then such a person is probably better suited to do something for "Lost in Space" than Star Trek.

Bob
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Old May 21 2013, 12:22 AM   #30
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Re: Updating FJ's technical manual?

Ah. So, in order to be qualified to work on Star Trek, a person can't enjoy something else more. Got it.
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