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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 12 2013, 06:05 PM   #106
Tralfaz
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

I am a huge fan of both series. As a kid though, LIS rated higher for me than ST. The episodes where Smith was a true villain were the absolute best. Smith started adding the comedic part of his character in order to be employed longer. He realized that a true villain could not last on the show. And for seasons 2 and 3, you can thank Batman for it becoming so campy. Who can forget the Great Vegetable Rebellion?

ST on the other hand, at least for me, maintained the same level of seriousness throughout its run. Yes, some humor was added as mentioned in other posts, but it still remained a serious Sci-Fi series.

Because the two shows were so different, other than being Sci-Fi, it isn't really fair to compare one to another.
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Old September 12 2013, 06:26 PM   #107
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

CrazyMatt wrote: View Post
Actually, given that shows such as Lost In Space tended to warp (no pun intended) the network's expectation of what good science fiction was, I'd say you have the question backwards. It should instead be "Is Lost In Space the enemy of Star Trek?" And the answer is YES!
Nah, shows like Lost in Space were the best thing for Star Trek. Think about it; if high quality, adult, intelligent, message-carrying sci-fi shows were the norm back then, Star Trek wouldn't have even been necessary. Star Trek needed Lost in Space to compare favorably with and to prove the point that "it doesn't have to be like this."
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Old September 12 2013, 06:33 PM   #108
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
The scenes with giants and little people in the same frame were often done entirely in-camera, by positioning the giant actor in the foreground and the little actor much further back to appear smaller in a 2-D picture. The shots were all story-boarded and designed in advance with mathematical precision regarding distances, angles, eye-lines, and what lens to use.
Actually, Zap, they didn't use that method all that often; the giants were just too large in comparison and the soundstage only went back so far. The little people had to be small enough to fit in a giant hand. They mostly used split screens, mattes and rear projection. The actors often said they never met their giant co-stars.

When Irwin DID use forced perspective, it was on shows like Voyage and Lost in Space when a giant creature (or giant Dr. Smith) wasn't as large. The Voyage episode "Leviathan" is a perfect example of nearly flawlessly executed forced perspective. The camera even pans across the set to reveal the giant, which could never have been done with mattes and split screens, at least not with the time and money they had.
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Old September 12 2013, 06:45 PM   #109
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

The best Irwin Allen use of forced perspective was THE TIME TUNNEL itself. In reality, the set only had about ten rings, but a forced-perspective attachment at the rear gave the impression that the thing went on forever.



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Old September 12 2013, 07:29 PM   #110
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

plynch wrote: View Post
Was the target audience different at the start? If not, it does invite a comparison -- which many have addressed -- of how the two shows diverged from both being aimed at adults originally.
Yes, the audiences were always different. As I've said, part of what motivated Roddenberry to develop ST in the first place was that there had never been a non-anthology SF television series that was written with adult rather than family audiences in mind. LiS was originally more serious than it became, true, but it was still intended for family viewing, meaning for parents and children alike. Remember, it was originally conceived as a sci-fi version of The Swiss Family Robinson, a young-adult adventure novel.


ssosmcin wrote: View Post
Yup. Also a Space:1999 episode titled "The Immunity Syndrome"
My local station when I was a preteen showed TOS and S:1999 back to back once a week, and one week they showed both series' "The Immunity Syndrome" episodes on the same night!


and a dozen or so shows using "The Enemy Within."
IMDb lists 39 TV episodes with that title, and 14 for just "Enemy Within." There are also several movies of that name and even a 2002 UK game show. Plus "Enemy Within" is the unofficial fan title for the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie.


ssosmcin wrote: View Post
The Voyage episode "Leviathan" is a perfect example of nearly flawlessly executed forced perspective. The camera even pans across the set to reveal the giant, which could never have been done with mattes and split screens, at least not with the time and money they had.
Yeah, that's a neat trick. It's achieved by pivoting the camera around the exact focal point of the light within it, so that there's no change apparent in the perspective of the objects at different distances. They used that on Hercules/Xena quite frequently and quite effectively.

But I beg to differ -- you can achieve the appearance of a pan with a matte or split-screen shot if you first composite a static shot, then rephotograph it while zooming in on a portion of the shot and panning across it. I believe this was done with a number of the matte shots in Forbidden Planet, and was often used in ST:TNG as well, for instance in panning shots that included the bridge viewscreen. The giveaway is that the resolution of the image is lower, the film grain enlarged.
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Old September 12 2013, 07:36 PM   #111
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

Christopher wrote: View Post
plynch wrote: View Post
Was the target audience different at the start? If not, it does invite a comparison -- which many have addressed -- of how the two shows diverged from both being aimed at adults originally.
Yes, the audiences were always different. As I've said, part of what motivated Roddenberry to develop ST in the first place was that there had never been a non-anthology SF television series that was written with adult rather than family audiences in mind. LiS was originally more serious than it became, true, but it was still intended for family viewing, meaning for parents and children alike. Remember, it was originally conceived as a sci-fi version of The Swiss Family Robinson, a young-adult adventure novel.
Yes, Space Family Robinson.
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Old September 13 2013, 03:48 AM   #112
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

Lost in Space was good in it's day but NEVER as good as STAR TREK.
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Old September 13 2013, 06:22 AM   #113
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
Nah, shows like Lost in Space were the best thing for Star Trek. Think about it; if high quality, adult, intelligent, message-carrying sci-fi shows were the norm back then, Star Trek wouldn't have even been necessary. Star Trek needed Lost in Space to compare favorably with and to prove the point that "it doesn't have to be like this."
Ahhhhh... I can almost hear the discussion in the production meetings for Perry Mason... "Thank goodness for Gilligan's Island or no one would watch our show!"

Seriously though... you could swap Gilligan--character and actor--for Dr. Smith and it wouldn't amount to a ant hill's difference in the two shows. I don't think I can make the same claim if we swapped Shatner/Kirk's character with the elder Robinson.

Wait... but now that I think of it, the character of Will Robinson does remind me (annoy me, actually) the same as the character of Wesley Crusher.

I have to stop this line of thought as it's giving me a headache or maybe brain damage.
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Old September 13 2013, 02:25 PM   #114
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

CrazyMatt wrote: View Post
Seriously though... you could swap Gilligan--character and actor--for Dr. Smith and it wouldn't amount to a ant hill's difference in the two shows.
That's completely untrue. They were both screwups, but in very different ways. Gilligan was naive and clumsy but well-intentioned; he wanted to be helpful but just wasn't any good at it. And while he was easily frightened, he was able to overcome it when his friends needed him. Dr. Smith, by contrast, was self-absorbed, greedy, habitually dishonest, manipulative, and lazy, and his cowardice was so overwhelming that he'd willingly abandon the others to save his skin. The Gilligan's Island character who most resembles Dr. Smith is Mr. Howell.
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Old September 13 2013, 03:49 PM   #115
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

Christopher that is a terrible insult to Mr. Howell.
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Old September 13 2013, 05:51 PM   #116
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

Well, Howell was defined more by greed and less by cowardice, and wasn't quite the pathological liar Smith was, but he took pride in his deviousness. Howell played essentially the same role in GI that Smith played in LiS or Dan Fielding did in Night Court: the comic villain, the member of the ensemble who repeatedly created conflict through his dishonesty and selfishness, while not being quite bad enough to be kicked out of the group or otherwise given a permanent comeuppance.
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Old September 13 2013, 05:53 PM   #117
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

Christopher wrote: View Post
ssosmcin wrote: View Post
The camera even pans across the set to reveal the giant, which could never have been done with mattes and split screens, at least not with the time and money they had.
But I beg to differ -- you can achieve the appearance of a pan with a matte or split-screen shot if you first composite a static shot, then rephotograph it while zooming in on a portion of the shot and panning across it. I believe this was done with a number of the matte shots in Forbidden Planet, and was often used in ST:TNG as well, for instance in panning shots that included the bridge viewscreen. The giveaway is that the resolution of the image is lower, the film grain enlarged.
Sure, in a major feature film, but could it have been done convincingly in a 5 or 6 day shoot on a small TV budget in 1965? That's why I included that disclaimer. We're talking about an era when many directors of fantasy shows didn't take the time to even lock down the camera during a cut for a "teleportation" scene, leading to an image shift and ruining the illusion. The split screen on some episodes of Voyage, for example, were painfully obvious; shadows crossing over the seam, or a dark line would run down the middle of the image. Nobody walked in fronto f viewscreens or panned away from them unless the images were rear-projected. The forced perspective was the quickest and most convincing trick I've seen from that time to convey the differences in size. Sure, if you really look, one can see where the background doesn't match, but it's so well done, it's excusable.

HGN2001 wrote: View Post
The best Irwin Allen use of forced perspective was THE TIME TUNNEL itself. In reality, the set only had about ten rings, but a forced-perspective attachment at the rear gave the impression that the thing went on forever.

Harry
It was great until an actor walked all the way down and the director didn't cut before showing us said actor bending over in order to keep walking. Robert Colbert had to do it in the series pilot. Whoops!

Keith1701 wrote: View Post
Lost in Space was good in it's day but NEVER as good as STAR TREK.
I've spoken to some LiS fans recently who would violently disagree with you. Oy, some were really outta control.
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Old September 13 2013, 05:56 PM   #118
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

Christopher wrote: View Post
ssosmcin wrote: View Post
The camera even pans across the set to reveal the giant, which could never have been done with mattes and split screens, at least not with the time and money they had.
But I beg to differ -- you can achieve the appearance of a pan with a matte or split-screen shot if you first composite a static shot, then rephotograph it while zooming in on a portion of the shot and panning across it. I believe this was done with a number of the matte shots in Forbidden Planet, and was often used in ST:TNG as well, for instance in panning shots that included the bridge viewscreen. The giveaway is that the resolution of the image is lower, the film grain enlarged.
Sure, in a major feature film, but could it have been done convincingly in a 5 or 6 day shoot on a small TV budget in 1965? That's why I included that disclaimer. We're talking about an era when many directors of fantasy shows didn't take the time to even lock down the camera during a cut for a "teleportation" scene, leading to an image shift and ruining the illusion. The split screen on some episodes of Voyage, for example, were painfully obvious; shadows crossing over the seam (The Haunted Submarine), or a dark line would run down the middle of the image (Day of Evil). Nobody walked in front of viewscreens or panned away from them unless the images were rear-projected. The forced perspective was the quickest and most convincing trick I've seen from that time to convey the differences in size. Sure, if you really look, one can see where the background doesn't match, but it's so well done, it's excusable.

HGN2001 wrote: View Post
The best Irwin Allen use of forced perspective was THE TIME TUNNEL itself. In reality, the set only had about ten rings, but a forced-perspective attachment at the rear gave the impression that the thing went on forever.

Harry
It was great until an actor walked all the way down and the director didn't cut before showing us said actor bending over in order to keep walking. Robert Colbert had to do it in the series pilot. Whoops!

Keith1701 wrote: View Post
Lost in Space was good in it's day but NEVER as good as STAR TREK.
I've spoken to some LiS fans recently who would violently disagree with you. Oy, some were really outta control.
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Old September 13 2013, 06:25 PM   #119
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

I'm a hardcore Angela Cartwright---ahem, I mean LOST IN SPACE fan. But there's no way I could justifiably say LOST IN SPACE was in any sense a match for TOS. It's a guilty pleasure, certainly.
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Old September 13 2013, 07:19 PM   #120
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Re: STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
But I beg to differ -- you can achieve the appearance of a pan with a matte or split-screen shot if you first composite a static shot, then rephotograph it while zooming in on a portion of the shot and panning across it. I believe this was done with a number of the matte shots in Forbidden Planet, and was often used in ST:TNG as well, for instance in panning shots that included the bridge viewscreen. The giveaway is that the resolution of the image is lower, the film grain enlarged.
Sure, in a major feature film, but could it have been done convincingly in a 5 or 6 day shoot on a small TV budget in 1965?
Why not? It doesn't require any additional techniques or equipment -- just one more pass through the optical printer. It'd take a bit more time and money, but not prohibitively so.
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