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Old February 11 2010, 11:59 PM   #1
jefferiestubes8
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'North Star' first time viewing

I just saw this last week and also saw it again with the 1st AD audio commentary.
Nice to hear they did a bleach bypass on the film before telecine.

usually would have reduced saturation and exposure latitude, along with increased contrast and graininess.

Generally it is applied at the internegative stage, as insurance companies usually are reluctant to have the original negative bleach bypassed in the event that the look is agreed to be too extreme
It wasn't said specifically if they made a print or if they did the process on the original camera negative (OCN) but since these days its the OCN that goes to the HD telecine as you have the most dynamic range to play with color correction & exposure later with they probably did the process to the OCN.

I think this will be a nice episode to see on Blu-ray in HD for the sunlight scenes as well as the stylized color look that will have some more color subtleties on Blu-ray.

North Star (2008 thread) mentions the Western genre cliche's. I thought they did it nicely without having the classic standoff to see who draws guns first.

For an ENT episode with so much time spent off the ship it was very enjoyable as well as it being a period piece.
And I was thinking that the ENT writers were a little influenced by the "Deadwood" HBO series that wasn't released until March 2004 while this aired in November 2003 and was written months earlier though the film Open Range directed by Kevin Costner did get released in August 2003 and may have given them just a little inspiration being the only Hollywood film in the Western genre released that year.
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Old February 12 2010, 01:15 AM   #2
JiNX-01
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Re: 'North Star' first time viewing

I liked "North Star."

Having said that, I think it was stupid to plop this episode down the middle of the Xindi mission.

I was under the impression that time was of the essence for the NX-01. I thought Archer was going to do whatever was necessary to save humanity.

It would have been different if there had been at least some suggestion (or at least suspicion) of a Xindi connection to the human colony at North Star, but absent that, IMO, this episode should have been aired some other time.
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Old February 12 2010, 01:20 AM   #3
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Re: 'North Star' first time viewing

The only thing I didn't get about "North Star" is why Cooper Smith (the original leader of the colony) was supposed to be such a bad guy. True, he wrote the laws that beat down the 'skags', but did everyone forget that the Skags were the ones who enslaved them in the first place? They didn't stop to think that Smith might have had a *reason* for setting things up that way. So Smith ordered the Skag ship burned? Justified. Took the Skags' weapons? Justified. The Skags enslaved them once, they could do it again if given the chance.
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Old February 12 2010, 06:18 AM   #4
Reanok
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Re: 'North Star' first time viewing

I like North Star in the dvd commentary it mentions they used special lighting and cameras to film it like a classic western movie.I like the audio commentary about how they filmed this show.
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Old February 12 2010, 08:00 AM   #5
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Re: 'North Star' first time viewing

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
The only thing I didn't get about "North Star" is why Cooper Smith (the original leader of the colony) was supposed to be such a bad guy. True, he wrote the laws that beat down the 'skags', but did everyone forget that the Skags were the ones who enslaved them in the first place? They didn't stop to think that Smith might have had a *reason* for setting things up that way. So Smith ordered the Skag ship burned? Justified. Took the Skags' weapons? Justified. The Skags enslaved them once, they could do it again if given the chance.
Cooper Smith wasn't made out to be the bad guy - the half-skag teacher said he helped unite the humans and rise up against their oppressors and she freely admits what the skags did was wrong.

It's clearly covered in the episode. The episode is about holding to prejudiced racism and the inability of some to forgive those who came after. Pretty basic stuff really.
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Old February 12 2010, 10:33 PM   #6
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Re: 'North Star' first time viewing

And I was thinking that the ENT writers were a little influenced by the [COLOR=#bbccff]"Deadwood"[/COLOR] HBO series that wasn't released until March 2004 while this aired in November 2003 and was written months earlier though the film [COLOR=#bbccff]Open Range[/COLOR] directed by Kevin Costner did get released in August 2003 and may have given them just a little inspiration being the only Hollywood film in the Western genre released that year.
More likely the writers were influenced by the genre defining shows and movies of the '60s and early '70s. The ones that put Clint Eastwood and Chuck Connors on the map. There were countless nods to the classics like The Rifleman (Archer's shooting through the porch is a perfect example, totally a Rifleman move, only done with a phase pistol and not a pump-action shotgun), and the like. Even the first scene is reminiscent of the Clint Eastwood movie, Unforgiven.

I love listening to the AD's commentary as much as I love watching the episode. Usually the inside story is all gossipy and silly; I could listen to Mr. Demeritt all day. The stuff he talks about, the lighting and angles and racking the camera, even pointing out the stuff going on in the background of a scene - it's all fascinating.

I can't get too wound up about it taking time out of the Xindi mission. It cost them, what a day or two? And finding humans out so far was a big deal, worth investigating.
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Old February 13 2010, 06:06 AM   #7
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Re: 'North Star' first time viewing

jefferiestubes8 wrote: View Post
I just saw this last week and also saw it again with the 1st AD audio commentary.
Nice to hear they did a bleach bypass on the film before telecine.
Thanks for the info about the bleach bypass process. I thought it was a wonderful idea to show the North Star scenes that way. "North Star" is one of my favorites, and I think it's one of the most lovingly done episodes, considering the location, the special look of the film, the cinematography, the costumes. A demonstration of first class filmmaking. Plus, I love the Universal backlot.

I enjoyed Mike DeMeritt's commentary immensely. It gave me a greater appreciation for the DP, with info such as his lighting of the night schoolroom scene between Archer and Bethany with only that lamp on the desk. And for the director, who went to the trouble of doing great depth-of-field shots.

Here is a great behind-the-scenes shot of the porch stunt:



I wasn't bothered by "North Star" showing up during the Xindi arc, either. It was a break from the rising tension of the war storyline, and a reminder that the rest of the galaxy and its issues still exist, war or no. I just wish we had had a follow-up storyline that explored the repatriation or further settlement of the displaced humans of North Star, and the Skagarans too, for that matter. I found that whole setup very compelling. In a world where the show had been guaranteed 7 seasons, I can see a Season 4 episode or storyline dealing with this.
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Old February 13 2010, 06:16 AM   #8
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Re: 'North Star' first time viewing

SRFX wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
The only thing I didn't get about "North Star" is why Cooper Smith (the original leader of the colony) was supposed to be such a bad guy. True, he wrote the laws that beat down the 'skags', but did everyone forget that the Skags were the ones who enslaved them in the first place? They didn't stop to think that Smith might have had a *reason* for setting things up that way. So Smith ordered the Skag ship burned? Justified. Took the Skags' weapons? Justified. The Skags enslaved them once, they could do it again if given the chance.
Cooper Smith wasn't made out to be the bad guy - the half-skag teacher said he helped unite the humans and rise up against their oppressors and she freely admits what the skags did was wrong.
Exactly! Smith had reasons for what he did. He ordered the Skag ship burned, their weapons confiscated, and all that, for one specific purpose: preventing the Skags from ever enslaving humans again. I don't get why this is supposed to be such a bad thing.

So what would you suggest Smith have done instead? I'm guessing here that the crew of the Skag ship that brought the humans to that colony were the only Skags *on* that colony. All of those Skags, each and every one of them, were guilty of crimes against humans. After Smith's rebellion was successful, he was then presumably faced with hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of angry Skags who were no doubt plotting to retake control. What else was Smith supposed to do? Let the Skags enslave the humans again?
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