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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 September 6 2013, 08:41 PM   #61
Galileo7
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
People who bitch that hard about Lost in Space are taking it all too seriously. LiS was a good counterpoint to Star Trek's serious take on the genre. And in the 70's every SF TV series was compared unfavorably to Star Trek. Until Star Wars changed the game, Trek had to be every SF TV producer's millstone.
Agree.


Warped9 wrote: View Post
No matter my opinion and even after all these years I still think the Jupiter II is very cool. It seems such a pity they designed a cool ship and then after the pilot (worked into the first few episodes) we never saw it fly again until the third season, which by then the show was in colour and so ridiculous it was practically unwatchable.
Fortunately, the Jupiter II did fly in the early episodes of the second season beginning with the first episode "Blast Off Into Space". However, it was grounded after four space bound episodes for the remaining second season twenty-six episodes.
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Old September 6 2013, 09:01 PM   #62
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

Duncan MacLeod wrote: View Post
I seem to recall that he and June Lockhart were removed from at least one episode for laughing too hard at the silly script.
Two, actually. Fugitives in Space and Space Beauty. They were still paid for them, so at that stage of the game, it was no punishment.
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Old September 6 2013, 09:14 PM   #63
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

When I was six or seven I really liked Lost In Space. I even had a couple of pullover shirts that I thought of as my "Will Robinson shirts". I also had two sisters who could play Judy and Penny.
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Old September 7 2013, 04:09 AM   #64
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

LIS was at first more serious - like the Avengers in the UK, when they got color they got campy - the actor who played Dr. Smith said he knew the only way to keep working on that show was to become comedic is he start doing his over the top delivery and viola 'nuff said.

I think the two counterpointed each other nicely - considering that Voyage to the Bottom of the sea and Land of the Giants were more serious it showed that Irwin Allen could be a more serious show. I still think NBC thought they were getting something Voyage, an action adventure show in space
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Old September 7 2013, 06:42 AM   #65
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

I looked up Jonathon Harris wikepedia page after looking through this thread.
Its stated there that Mark Goddard wasn't as upset by Harris' fame until Guy Williams started stealing his lines because all the focus was on the Robot, Will and Smith.

It makes me feel more sympathy for Shatner though if he was indeed line counting as it looks like sometimes you had to fight for your role in the television business.

Goddard mentions episodes turning ridiculous like when Smith and the Robot cooked a souffle. I can't remember that episode specifically but in my minds eyes I can picture the robot in a big chef's hat. LOL.

When the series was on that sort of thing didn't bother me. It doesn't really bother me now but when I remember Lost In Space I tend to think fondly of its cool science-fiction, heroic adventure stories and allegorial elements.
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Old September 7 2013, 12:15 PM   #66
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

YJAGG wrote: View Post
LIS was at first more serious - like the Avengers in the UK, when they got color they got campy - the actor who played Dr. Smith said he knew the only way to keep working on that show was to become comedic is he start doing his over the top delivery and viola 'nuff said.

I think the two counterpointed each other nicely - considering that Voyage to the Bottom of the sea and Land of the Giants were more serious it showed that Irwin Allen could be a more serious show. I still think NBC thought they were getting something Voyage, an action adventure show in space
What was it about the switch to color and diminished seriousness/increased silliness? You can sense it in both terribly serious shows (The Fugitive) and terribly non-serious shows (even Gilligan's Island, somehow).

I don't think it's purely the psychological effect of color; the writing seems to change a little. (And I did find the finale of The Fugitive just as edgy as the black-and-white episodes, while most of the other color episodes seemed flaccid.)
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Old September 7 2013, 12:28 PM   #67
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

BoredShipCapt'n wrote: View Post
I don't think it's purely the psychological effect of color; the writing seems to change a little.
It's not the transition to color. The shows you mention were already in progress. The switch to color dovetailed with other changes—most likely brought on by network execs, rather than the artists creating the shows. Someone somewhere began to overanalyze already successful shows, deciding that they needed something extra. Third season LIS campiness was a deliberate counterpoint to BATMAN, for example.
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Old September 7 2013, 12:43 PM   #68
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

True. 1966 just happened to be the year that the networks went to an all-color format in prime time, and apparently comedies were doing very well around that time.

We're lucky Star Trek wasn't shoe-horned into a comedy mindset, maybe with Roger C. Carmel or Stanley Adams aboard as the resident trouble maker. But if that had happened, I'll bet Shatner would have jumped in with both feet and been very funny himself.
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Old September 7 2013, 02:22 PM   #69
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

BoredShipCapt'n wrote: View Post
What was it about the switch to color and diminished seriousness/increased silliness? You can sense it in both terribly serious shows (The Fugitive) and terribly non-serious shows (even Gilligan's Island, somehow).
Metryq wrote: View Post
It's not the transition to color. The shows you mention were already in progress. The switch to color dovetailed with other changes—most likely brought on by network execs, rather than the artists creating the shows. Someone somewhere began to overanalyze already successful shows, deciding that they needed something extra. Third season LIS campiness was a deliberate counterpoint to BATMAN, for example.
It was in the second season that LiS went to color and became campy. The third season actually got a bit more serious for a while, and served the ensemble better for a while, though the second-season excesses soon reasserted themselves.

But you're right, there's no causal correlation between color and camp. Shows just happened to be moving to full color at that time, and that was when Batman took the world by storm -- although the sheer pop-art colorfulness of Batman was itself part of the reason for its impact, so there is a correlation of sorts there. But they were parallel trends, maybe correlated in reflecting larger cultural/artistic patterns, rather than color directly causing campiness.

Case in point: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. went to color in its second season, but didn't descend into outright camp until its third. And Doctor Who arguably got a bit more serious when it went to color (or colour, I should say), since the Third Doctor was a less comical sort than his predecessor.

Did Gilligan's Island get sillier in color? It did get progressively more imaginative and fanciful over time, but I don't think you can draw a sharp dividing line between the B&W first season and the color second season. Maybe adding color inspired them to tell stories that were more visually interesting, like more elaborate dream-sequence episodes and more SF/fantasy elements, but there was some of that present in the first season.

I think a lot of TV shows back then got sillier or shallower over time due to network pressure to cater to the lowest common denominator, and if those shows happened to overlap the transition from B&W to color, then it might appear that the color episodes were sillier/shallower; but you might've seen the same dumbing down if they'd been in color or B&W all along. Bewitched, for instance, started out as a fairly smart, subversive allegory about gender and class roles and discrimination, and its creator initially wanted to limit the use of magic and focus more on character interactions and underlying themes; but after the first season, when he'd left the show, the more serious underpinnings were lost and it just became about the magical gimmick of the week. It's true that the first season was also in B&W and later seasons in color, but that's incidental to the reasons for the change.
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Old September 7 2013, 05:25 PM   #70
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

BoredShipCapt'n wrote: View Post
What was it about the switch to color and diminished seriousness/increased silliness? You can sense it in both terribly serious shows (The Fugitive) and terribly non-serious shows (even Gilligan's Island, somehow).

I don't think it's purely the psychological effect of color; the writing seems to change a little. (And I did find the finale of The Fugitive just as edgy as the black-and-white episodes, while most of the other color episodes seemed flaccid.)
It's possible the network felt a color show should just naturally be a lot more "bright and fun" than a black-and-white one, and felt viewers would expect something a bit more lively and not so heavy and serious, and passed that on to the show producers.

Christopher wrote: View Post
I think a lot of TV shows back then got sillier or shallower over time due to network pressure to cater to the lowest common denominator, and if those shows happened to overlap the transition from B&W to color, then it might appear that the color episodes were sillier/shallower; but you might've seen the same dumbing down if they'd been in color or B&W all along.
That too.
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Old September 8 2013, 04:20 AM   #71
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

We know that Lost in Space and Star Trek both took some inspiration from Forbidden Planet. LIS took the idea of a flying saucer that lands on planets, and making it a ship for humans instead of aliens. LIS also made their own version of Robbie the Robot, going so far as to hire Robbie's designer, Bob Kinoshita. Star Trek then borrowed practically everything else that Forbidden Planet had to offer.

But did either TV show ever copy the other?

As a child I was struck by the similarity between "The Keeper" and "The Menagerie," both of which were memorable two-part episodes about eerie aliens using mind control to trap humans in a zoo.

"The Menagerie" aired eleven months after "The Keeper," but today we know "The Cage" was in the works before LIS came along and could not have copied "The Keeper." Also, the only way LIS could have copied ST in this case is if somebody at Fox had inside knowledge of what Desilu was doing, and ran with a vaguely similar concept. That's possible.

LIS "Invaders from the Fifth Dimension" features aliens with big, distinctively shaped heads who capture humans to use as a resource, and it was filmed on a blacked-out set. ST "The Empath" aired over three years later, and frankly there might be something to this one:





"The Empath" actually used freezing tubes from the Jupiter 2, slightly re-dressed. LIS had been canceled and some of its bits and pieces were on the market by then:



More possible influences:

ST "What are Little Girls Made Of?" aired in October 1966. LIS "Space Destructors" aired in October 1967. Both featured android-making machinery that starts with a slab of white bread dough and turns it into a duplicate of a main character. Hmm.

ST "Mirror, Mirror" aired October 6, 1967. LIS "The Anti-Matter Man" aired December 27, 1967. The dates are a little close for ST to be an influence on LIS, but it seems possible.
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Old September 8 2013, 04:35 AM   #72
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

Lost in Space was directly competing against Batman as I remember, they both started at 7:30 Eastern, 6:30 Central. I think both were on Wednesday nights.
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Old September 8 2013, 04:55 AM   #73
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
But did either TV show ever copy the other?
Doubtful. Laypeople tend to assume that similarities between stories are unlikely to occur unless there's a direct influence, but the truth is exactly the opposite. Different writers independently come up with similar ideas all the time. It's a routine, even unavoidable occurrence. That's one of the reasons it's so hard for a freelancer to sell a story or script -- because there's a very good chance that any idea you have is going to be similar to one they've already bought, making yours redundant. Which means that writers have a very strong incentive not to copy each other.

So contrary to what laypeople tend to think, if you see two contemporary stories that resemble each other, it's very likely that their respective creators were totally unaware of the similarity. If they had known about it, they would've changed things to avoid it.

Besides, part of the reason Roddenberry created ST was to get away from the approach to TV science fiction exemplified by LiS. That show was the very thing he was trying to avoid, to provide a contrast to. It's the last show he or his staff would've deliberately emulated.
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Old September 8 2013, 07:00 AM   #74
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

Christopher wrote: View Post
So contrary to what laypeople tend to think, if you see two contemporary stories that resemble each other, it's very likely that their respective creators were totally unaware of the similarity. If they had known about it, they would've changed things to avoid it.
A lot of what you said makes sense, but I still think shows can influence each other when fresh ideas are getting scarce. Some of the intersection points bewteen ST and LIS seem more than coincidental, and neither show was above borrowing from FORBIDDEN PLANET.

And there's a major exception to your overall rule: when a show is a big hit, a knockoff will come along on a rival network. MR. TERRIFIC (CBS) was a swing at BATMAN (ABC). I DREAM OF JEANNIE (NBC) was a knockoff of BEWITCHED (ABC). MOONLIGHTING (ABC) was an energetic re-imagining of REMINGTON STEELE (NBC). DYNASTY (ABC) was green-lighted after the huge success of DALLAS (CBS). Hollywood doesn't have as much shame as you give them credit for.
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Old September 8 2013, 07:37 AM   #75
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

"Laypeople". --


Don't ya just love being talked down to on a regular basis?
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