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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 July 13 2014, 10:06 PM   #1
TheAdmiralty
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TOS Episodes That Could Have Been Feature Length

I've heard some people claim that the quality of the best TOS episodes exceeded that of the TOS films. What are some TOS episodes that you think were good enough/have the scope to sustain a full feature run time.

City on the Edge of Forever is an obvious choice. More things happen in those 50 minutes than happen in some entire feature films as it is. It could have been even more gut wrenching if the relationship with Kirk and Edith could have been expanded.

Space Seed is another one that I think would have worked as a movie. The "set up" of the movie would have been most of the episode, with the conflict for control of the ship making up the entire second and third acts instead of just the last 15 minutes.

I could also see both the major Romulan episodes as features (Balance of Terror and the Enterprise Incident), especially since Balance of Terror was actually based on a film. Maybe Mirror, Mirror too.
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Old July 13 2014, 10:14 PM   #2
Captrek
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Re: TOS Episodes That Could Have Been Feature Length

The Menagerie can sustain a full feature run time.

One Of Our Planets Is Missing, if you pad it with some effects sequences.
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Old July 13 2014, 10:31 PM   #3
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Re: TOS Episodes That Could Have Been Feature Length

I wouldn't be too quick to "expand" any of the TOS episodes. Sometimes brevity is desirable. The show was not designed to be the final word on hot-button topics; if an episode got people talking after the credits rolled, it was successful.

Asimov expanded some of his short stories to full-length novels—THE UGLY LITTLE BOY and NIGHTFALL come to mind. Neither was improved by the padding. I believe they suffered.

Expanded episodes is not art, it's marketing. (The idea that "this works, do more of it." That's how disappointing sequels are made, like THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK.)
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Old July 13 2014, 11:32 PM   #4
TheAdmiralty
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Re: TOS Episodes That Could Have Been Feature Length

I was just hypothetically talking about which stories could have hypothetically been feature length films. There's really no way to add a substantial amount of footage to existing TO episodes.
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Old July 14 2014, 03:46 AM   #5
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Re: TOS Episodes That Could Have Been Feature Length

Conversely, some episodes would be way better as 30 minute episodes. Specter of the Gun is one that is intriguing intially, but just doesn't have enough to sustain it.

To answer the original question, I'd say episodes with intermingled plots would be the best candidates for expansion. Tholian Web could have benefited from some additional time, and possibly Is There in Truth No Beauty. Journey to Babel, as well, with it's intersecting plots.

Similarly, For the World is Hollow would have been better with some extra time to make the McCoy romance seem more reasonable.
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Old July 14 2014, 04:56 AM   #6
TOSalltheway
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Re: TOS Episodes That Could Have Been Feature Length

Balance of Terror easily as it was taken from an existing film, The Enemy Below.
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Old July 14 2014, 05:45 AM   #7
Captrek
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Re: TOS Episodes That Could Have Been Feature Length

Captrek wrote: View Post
One Of Our Planets Is Missing, if you pad it with some effects sequences.
TheAdmiralty wrote: View Post
I was just hypothetically talking about which stories could have hypothetically been feature length films. There's really no way to add a substantial amount of footage to existing TO episodes.
I was making a little joke. OOOPIM has basically the same plot as TMP.
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Old July 14 2014, 05:53 AM   #8
Melakon
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Re: TOS Episodes That Could Have Been Feature Length

"Feature length" is a tricky term. In the 1940s and 1950s, some feature length B movies were only about 60 minutes or so.
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Old July 14 2014, 06:19 AM   #9
JJohnson
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Re: TOS Episodes That Could Have Been Feature Length

Doomsday Machine and the Enterprise Incident strike me as two that could've been expanded into feature film length plots. Maybe if Phase II or STC takes them and gives them a 90-120 minute expansion we could get such a thing.
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Old July 14 2014, 10:11 PM   #10
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Re: TOS Episodes That Could Have Been Feature Length

"Errand of Mercy" would be a nice basis for a film.
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Old July 14 2014, 10:18 PM   #11
Maurice
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Re: TOS Episodes That Could Have Been Feature Length

Melakon wrote: View Post
"Feature length" is a tricky term. In the 1940s and 1950s, some feature length B movies were only about 60 minutes or so.
Yep. It's a very plastic term depending on where and who is applying it. A feature by MPAA standards must be a minimum of 40 minutes. However, when programming, most film festivals treat anything under 65 minutes as a short or a featurette.
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Old July 15 2014, 12:34 AM   #12
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Re: TOS Episodes That Could Have Been Feature Length

BALANCE OF TERROR and ARENA are the two that come immediately to mind, though I'd guess DOOMSDAY MACHINE too. (oddly three of my top ten, though I'd never think to include my #1, THE EMPATH -- that's just the right size as-is.)

I expanded BoT to feature-length in a post here around 2001 or so, suggesting that if you had to do a reboot, that'd be a great way to start, using the same general points (mistrust of Spock and Vulcans, unknown nature of romulans, bases getting blasted, study of two commanders), but including more off-ship dynamics (rescuing folks trapped inside one of the asteroid bases, tactical maneuvering, with Enterprise hiding INSIDE of a cloud or forming one by dumping water outside the ship, an idea I had left over from a TNG pitch, and making the mission the very first under Kirk's command, so there is some slight justification for not trusting knowing/trusting Vulcans.

I think I also had some idea that there was a second level to the rom attack, that they were attempting to gain access to diilthium sources, without which they couldn't sustain FTL speeds -- a spin on the troubling line of Scotty's about 'simple impulse.'

ARENA seems feature-sized already, given you have a giant battle planetside that can easily be expanded. I think you'd need a second plane of action going on while Kirk battled the Gorn, something on the ship that tied in thematically with Kirk vs Gorn, or played into the 'we might be in the wrong' line of McCoy's, which I really really liked. Just to put a spin on things, it might be good to genuflect in the direction of the Blish version, where the metrons intended to destroy the victor's ship, not the loser's, and to have the Gorn and Feds team up ... y'know, "if you're so great, what do YOU need with our starships?"
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Old July 17 2014, 05:27 AM   #13
TheAdmiralty
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Re: TOS Episodes That Could Have Been Feature Length

Captrek wrote: View Post
Captrek wrote: View Post
One Of Our Planets Is Missing, if you pad it with some effects sequences.
TheAdmiralty wrote: View Post
I was just hypothetically talking about which stories could have hypothetically been feature length films. There's really no way to add a substantial amount of footage to existing TO episodes.
I was making a little joke. OOOPIM has basically the same plot as TMP.
I was replying to Metryq
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Old July 18 2014, 01:21 PM   #14
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Re: TOS Episodes That Could Have Been Feature Length

TheAdmiralty wrote: View Post
Captrek wrote: View Post
Captrek wrote: View Post
One Of Our Planets Is Missing, if you pad it with some effects sequences.
TheAdmiralty wrote: View Post
I was just hypothetically talking about which stories could have hypothetically been feature length films. There's really no way to add a substantial amount of footage to existing TO episodes.
I was making a little joke. OOOPIM has basically the same plot as TMP.
I was replying to Metryq
Thanks for acknowledging OOOPIM as TMP plotwise. Others always just compare NOMAD with TMP, but I think, it's actually an amalgam of both stories.
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Old July 18 2014, 04:13 PM   #15
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Re: TOS Episodes That Could Have Been Feature Length

If they introduced the aliens who were dealing with Gary Seven, Assignment Earth could probably have been a movie (or TV movie).
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