Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Plomeek Broth, Feb 20, 2014.
Trust me, as someone who watched it (well at least the third season) first run; and the rest as soon as it hit syndication a few months after the end of the network run; even for its time, some of the fight sequences were bad in terms of stunt doubles and continuity (IE the principal actor having a ripped shirt in close ups, yet when they get back to the longer shot with the stunt doubles, the rip/Tear is CLEARLY not there. )
Also, while I agree Star Trek is a product of its time on TV (IE the 1960ies); I DISAGREE that the pacing/structure was so different/unique from the other shows of the period (especially other genre shows like 'Time Tunnel', 'Lost In Space', 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea', 'The Invaders', etc.
All the above had similar pacing, recurring crewmen/characters (even 'The Invaders' starting with its second season .)
IMO - GR's claim that 'Star Trek' was 'so new/different' or 'ahead of it's time' was just pandering to the already on board fanbase. Make no mistake it was a good show, and a good science fiction show, and still to date my absolute favorite series in what is now 'The Star Trek Franchise' -- but overall it was no better or worse than the other great genre shows of the period like the original (1960ies) 'Outer Limits' or 'The Twilight Zone'.
Believe me even back in the day, you had discussions of 'yeh, I like some of the moves inn the fight sequence between 'not-Kirk' and 'not-Khan'.
One thing I will say is that the first season was really filmed with a more feature film quality (again for the 1960ies) with regard to the sets in that (IMO) they were MUCH better lit to make them look more real then the plywood and cardboard they were.
Also, the Blu-Rays really do bring out UNWANTED detail that the director of photography NEVER expected would be visible to audiences. They were indeed on a budget (every show is, even today); and you have to remember when they were shooting the show, they KNEW where the end result would end up - on a 13" - 17" diagonal consumer TV using an aerial antenna and WAY lower resolution then even TVs made 20 years later. (if you still own an old style VHS VCR - put in an off cable or off the air recorded episode of TOS <--- That is probably the closest approximation of 1960ies era over the air TV resolution as even professionally transferred VHS tapes will look better.)
Many younger TOS fans laugh at the idea that in 'The Doomsday Machine' the producers made its registry 1017 (and not say '1710'), because they were concerned audiences might confuse it as being the actual Enterprise; but if you watched TV in the 1960ies over the air, you'd know that was in fact a valid concern at the time.
As to the 'why' someone may not like it; in the end, I think it comes down to personal tastes. I was born in 1963; but I still as a kid/teenager/young adult, found there were 'older' films (science fiction and otherwise) whose execution and effects looked VERY dated compared to what was 'modern' at the time (like Star Trek or Space 1999); but it still didn't detract from my enjoyment of them and really liking them at the time or to this day.
I had the same problem when i watched tos.
I feel like the storylines were purile compared to the more politically-based ds9.
And it didn't help that I hated the captain.
You *hated* Kirk? that's a new one for me.
Yeah. I sometimes feel complex emotions for fictional characters.
It didn't make sense to me that he was always taking Spock and McCoy away with him on ground expeditions. Its irresponsible.
If you can appreciate older fims and TV shows period, you can probably appreciate it. If not, likely not.
If you're hung up on Kirk going out on landing parties, then 60s TV isn't for you. The leads always put themselves in danger. It's true of Captain Crane on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, too.
Apparently, since my kids love it.
And statistically you're both right. On average TOS is cut a second faster per season than TNG and DS9. I haven't enough TV series comparison data to check if TOS is particularily fast for its time or TNG and DS9 slow, but both series rarely resort to the rapid cutting from actor to actor TOS used.
About the datedness ... ANY artistic product is dated by the time specific influences, just wait a few decades and then look back at the current production. It's just that most people are so completely caught up in the predominant current aesthetic that they find diverging styles odd and dated or campy. Basically there's no reason to prefer one mode of expression to another, slower or faster speed, expressive or minimal acting, lots of camera movement and variation or very little of it, all of them have their legitimation. Contrary to popular perception film language hasn't changed that much since the mid20s.
Generally TOS benefits from some clever stories and ideas, some may be blunt but that's quite fine in the Jonathan Swift tradition. There's mostly an excellent pacing and the series has an excellent dynamic lead actor in William Shatner who manages to make a rather conventional character believable and multi-dimensional. The direction ranges from average to inspired, the effects partly could have been better which is mostly due to the too low budget.
Nevertheless I don't see any need to find excuses for the series on most artistic grounds. It's however unfortunate that there were somy trashy episodes which merge a sexist attitude towards women, silly TV action fistfight plotting and similar vices.
See I find the politically-based DS9 plots a bit boring myself. Current political machinations are idiotic enough but the politics of imaginary future civilisations are even more tedious to me.
I suppose the DS9/TNG episodes I like don't involve those complex stories of the internal politics of the Klingon/Cardassian/Bajor worlds.
If you say that the TOS plots are all puerile perhaps you are not 'getting' them.
I've always considered myself blessed to be able to place myself in the mindset of an era before watching a piece of older media. Whether it's a silent movie, a piece of 1960s TV or even newsreels, I find it very easier to put aside the differences in culture and age and watch them with a free mind.
I do understand why there is this kind of "barrier" there for some younger viewers though. Not everybody can make that "leap of faith", and look at things in the context of their era, even when they are activiely *trying* to do so. This is getting especially harder with how far drama has moved in the last ten years alone. The dissonance is getting larger all the time.
I think ultimately it's a personal taste thing. Some people just can't get their head around old stuff, while others find modern drama baffling, and a third group can watch both. No shame in any of it.
I completely understand. I hate with a passion both New Galactica's Kara Thrace, and ENTERPRISE'S Trip Tucker probably more than I should given that neither person actually exists. Their fans claim they are the most "relatable" characters of their respective shows, but neither is anybody I'd ever want to relate to.
Or socialize with in any way, shape or form.
That being said, I think younger viewers could enjoy TOS. They just need to remember that it was made in a different time, with different sensibilities, and that looking at it through the prism of today's standards simply will not work.
I am 31 and love TOS the most out of the Trek series. I grew up with the spin offs, but as I aged, I came to appreciate the original as the best. I started watching Trek when I was 12, and loved the action, adventure, starships, weird aliens, production design, fist fights, etc , of the original series.
I can't really imagine anyone under the age of 20 nowadays appreciating TOS.
TOS has got that creepy eerie vibe like The Twilight Zone. The ship on its own way out in deep space charting a haunted universe of deeply strange things
Shatner and Nimoy were the stars of the show. They weren't going to pay them to sit around while other actors went into the action.
It's TV. Even Patrick Stewart wanted to get more involved in the action as TNG went on.
Even Stewart wanted some of that Kirk action. Oh yeah!
I'm 25, I started with Star Trek The Motion Picture. Which is probably the biggest black sheep in the franchise. At the ripe age of four years old, I remember sitting in front of the huge TV watching the extended cut of TMP. A very different look and feel to much of the rest of Star Trek...
...TOS ended up being my favorite. Everything about TOS radiates energy. Even when it's bad it's still bad in an entertaining way. I'll take "Spock's Brain" over "Threshold", or "Profit and Lace" any day.
Well, I am 26 and I was born in 1987, and while I grew up with TNG, and viewed it as my favorite for many years, at first thinking TOS was stupid and corny, I have now since come to realize that TOS is my favorite trek series. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that TOS is 1-A and TNG is 1-B.
The Blu Rays certainly did help in getting me into the series. Once I took that first step, I was hooked for life. At first I watched only with the cgi effects, but now I will only tolerate the original effects.
Interesting. May I ask why?
My kids (five and seven years old) like the show.
At first I thought they were humoring me, but on occasion they do request to watch it without being prompted.
I am also 30. I've always been a Star Trek fan. I grew up mostly on TNG. And I admit, while I was a fan of the characters and the era, I never really liked the sereies (TOS). But over the last few years I've slowly grown to like it. I didn't force myself to like it or anything, I just grew to appreciate it.
I think it depends on the younger person. Like with anything, some will like it, other won't. But you can see more youth not having an interest in things such as TOS, just a sign of changing times.
I am 18, started watching Trek two years ago, and TOS is one of my favourite shows. So it can be appreciated by young people as well.
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