Did they base some episodes based on available sets?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Morpheus 02, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Commodore Commodore

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    I was wondering, prompted especially my Bread & Circuses airing on MeTV: were some of the episodes written based not on an original idea, but by the availability of certain sets & costumes.

    Bread & Circuses, for example, had SOME old style Roman stuff..but also mixed in some modern stuff (like slave shirts being essentially iron-on T-Shirts).

    Or the gangster planet...

    Or Spectre of the Gun...


    I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, and in fact creative, to share/save costs. We could get some better movies today if studios didn't tear down their stuff right away, but with a bit of lighting & paint, repurpose a set.

    So how was it done on Star Trek?
     
  2. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    The use of existing props and costumes was part of the "pitch" for Star Trek.
     
  3. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    As far as I know, all of the interior sets were designed specifically for the show's episodes. But one of Roddenberry's selling points that he used to pitch the series is it would make use of existing backlot facades and costumes and props already in the studio's warehouses, when possible. Hence the use of 20th century buildings in "Miri", "Return of the Archons", and others, which were filmed on some of the same outdoor sets that appeared in The Andy Griffith Show, Hogan's Heroes, and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Some of those outdoor sets dated back to 1939's Gone With the Wind and earlier.

    And Nerys Myk types faster than I do.
     
  4. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm still trying to figure out what that ranch set was from in This Side of Paradise.

    On a somewhat related point, I'm sure I spotted a Hogan's Heroes barracks set in The Waltons A Christmas Story movie.
     
  5. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I haven't looked at the Memory Alpha article on "This Side of Paradise"in a few weeks, but I think it says the Disney Ranch was used for part of the episode, and another lot other than the more familiar one.

    Those Hogan's Heroes barracks show up in the infamous Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS.
     
  6. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There's a whole website about the history of the fabled "Forty Acres" movie lot in Culver City.

    The exteriors for This Side of Paradise were mostly shot at the Disney ranch in Burbank. An unexpected shooting delay necessitated filming some scenes in nearby Bronson Canyon.

    Link

    (Scroll down to An Interview With Ralph Senensky -- click on This Side of Paradise > On Location)
     
  7. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    The Writers' Bible included a piece on "Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Planetary Development", to remind the writers to keep in mind that the Paramount lot had lots of props, costumes and backlots that could be used in a 23rd century SF show set on distant planets, and to assure Desilu and NBC that budgets could be constrained. But the only script I can think of that was written around a particular, existing costume was when Janos Prohaska crawled into the production office dressed as the microbe beast he had designed for "The Probe" episode of "The Outer Limits". It became the Horta in "The Devil in the Dark".

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Hodgkin's_Law_of_Parallel_Planetary_Development

    Sometimes the writers were thinking on their feet after the script was written: ie. a paperweight provided the prototype for the dehydrated porous cuboctahedron solids the crew were turned into by the Kelvans.
     
  8. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    The main Disney studio is in Burbank; the Disney Ranch is way out in Placerita Canyon--out towards Vasquez Rocks.


     
  9. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks for the correction. As a native Angeleno, I ought to know better. :alienblush:
     
  10. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    Not sure if this is what you're after, but here goes.

    There are several interviews with Norman Spinrad where he recalls Gene Roddenberry inviting Spinrad to pitch story ideas with the additional request that he pitch a story that could be filmed using the standing sets only.

    Spinrad pitched a story based on an unsold novella entitled "The Planet Eater." Roddenberry bought the story and it was produced under the title "The Doomsday Machine," the best TOS episode of all IMHO.

    And indeed, through the redressing of the engineering and auxiliary control room sets--the former updated and the latter new, and both filmed on for the first time--to represent a damaged starship other than the Enterprise, they indeed did produce the episode without a singe new set.

    Interestingly enough, the new sets were already familiar to the audience! "The Changeling," filmed two weeks after "The Doomsday Machine," actually aired before it.
     
  11. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Scotpens, thanks for posting the 40 Acres link. I had posted it here myself a while back, but when my main computer died last month, I had to go back to a machine that didn't have it. ;)

    There's a whole section in there on when Desilu acquired the lot and changes they made to it.