Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I've not gone through it with a fine-tooth comb, but, at first blush, ditto!
     
  2. Saito S

    Saito S Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agreed all around (including the miniskirt comment). I can appreciate some of TOS' better written episodes purely for their stories, but just about every element of the visuals and overall production design of the show is so dated as to be distracting.
    Eh, other way 'round, I'd say. Interestingly, though the less smooth, more detailed surfaces of the Ent-D, Defiant, etc. make those ships look better/more advanced from the outside, the more smooth, less blocky surfaces of control panels and such are what make them look more advanced from the inside.
    ZOML! That is awesome work! :techman:
     
  3. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    No. The interirors of the 1701 are timeless; have you noticed how the DS9 and Enterprise episodes featuring TOS sets look slick with modern cameras & lighting? Few surface details were changed, but designs created between 1964-66 look fantastic in the same episodes next to the standing interiors of the modern series ships.

    After each episode aired, few complained about the TOS interiors being "outdated" or "old," but I do recall many compliments of the surprised nature.
     
  4. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Pretty damned amazing!
     
  5. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    TOS didn't look futuristic even watching as a child a few years later in the 70s. It does have a very deliberate stylization that's great to watch, all the beehives, miniskirts, funky boots, sideburns and all that plus the minimal approach to the ships, tech, and controls. Trek always took you somewhere fantastic but a vision from its day and I don't think completely unintentionally (like Buck Rogers years later).

    I think it came out just before that crazy leap into the 70's. Think how much different shows looked ten years later, it was a huge change. When the Hayes code broke in the late 60s movies and TV became very different. Movies from 1966 and 1970 seem 20 years apart not four. If it had come out post-Space Odyssey I think it would've been a different beast. Combine that with the novelty of color TV at the time and you get a very vivid crazy 60s future.

    But I wouldn't have it any other way. It's part of what makes TOS great.
     
  6. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I *think* that the DS9 ep is filmed on 60's era film. I'm sure they did their best with the lighting too. But Enterprise also looks great. Especially the battle graphics.

    edit: The Gorn on the other hand....errr....
     
  7. Joby

    Joby Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As a young child in the 80s TOS always looked fake and old to me, but the stories were so good that I didn't care all that much. Even as a kid I was smart enough to figure out that a bigger budget and more advances in special effects technology is why the TOS movies from the 1980s looked so different from the 1960s TV show.

    Though I suspect whatever really looked fake to audiences in the 1960s would continue to look bad. I remember when the Borg cube was destroyed in TNG's Best of Both Worlds Part II, it looked really fake to me in 1990. But to someone born around that time or after, they may look at that scene and think it looks dated, when it always looked bad. It never "looked real". Again, it was the story that carried everything.
     
  8. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They do to Trek fans, yeah. That doesn't mean that they actually don't look dated.
     
  9. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Trek fans would be the biggest critics about that; they have a franchise that was able to enjoy advancement in art direction / technology over the decades, so they would know what still works and what does not.

    How about you--what did you think of the Defiant interiors as seen in the ENT two-parter?
     
  10. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    RCA is the parent company of NBC.

    Wiki article

    IMHO, the original Enterprise bridge is still one of the most practical, functional and believable sets ever created for a sci-fi film or TV production. And, while the TOS Engineering set may not look "real," at least it doesn't look like a beer factory.

    Sure, the look of Trek TOS is dated in the way that everything becomes dated. But it also has a timeless quality, in no small part because of the deliberate minimalism of its set design. This piece has been referenced here before, but it's worth another read.
     
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I think they look very similar.
     
  12. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    Compared to what I see on the screen now, no, TOS does not compare. That doesn't really matter though. I still watch it over and over, to some degree I am sure, with the boy's eyes that watched it in the 60s. That ship and that crew have taken me to 'my happy place' more times than I can imagine - flaws and all.
     
  13. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Much as I love the bridge as a visual experience, it has some problems.

    - To get from the captain's chair to the elevator, Kirk had to take two steps down, turn 180 degrees, and then take two steps right back up again, and squeeze between the chair and the red railing. (The gap varies between episodes as the captain's chair was moved forward or back to accomodate a scene.) Or he could go the long way to the port-side bridge steps and double back for the whole distance to the elevator.

    - The red railing makes some sense if you are down in the well, but for people up in the outer ring, the railing is at just the right height to bust both your kneecaps as you fall over it and face-plant in the well during a battle.

    - Spock's hooded viewer would be a nightmare to have to bend over and use for any length of time. Back ache! Needless to say, it was a concession to the budgetary problem of creating data displays with the actual info (as was done in "The Cage" with now-dated effect-- Lyndon Johnson, anyone?).

    - The buttons on each outer-ring station, e.g., Uhura's panels, are arranged in an arc that is exactly the opposite of what an ergonomic keyboard does to reduce stress on the wrists.

    - It famously lacked an emergency exit, but Franz Joseph showed how easy it would be to have a wall panel that opens so I don't consider that a big design issue.

    Still, for all that, it's awesome and I love it.
     
  14. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Everything dates, that doesn't mean it's bad. Our vision of the future changes every year as technology updates and makes things we projected outmoded. Is the TOS Enterprise bridge dated? Yes, in the details. Looking at a flashing light and getting tons of info from it is very much of the 60's. In the design itself, the broad strokes, it still holds up because it mostly makes sense.

    Like fins on a Cadillac, it was cool but is now a reflection of the way we used to think. It doesn't look bad to me, and still looks better than the Apple Store / Gil Gerard style currently being used (and I'm not a nuTrek basher really). The design concept is solid enough to have survived the decades with only tech updates.
     
  15. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    We reach on that. Love is irrational. You have good points. Uhura's buttons were arranged for arm-reaching, not for close-handed typing, so I think they make fine sense.

    As a Jung devotee, let me point out the bridge is circular and with a fourness to it, the squared-circle mandala archetype of wholeness. At the center of it sits the undivided (in-dividuated) man, the union of head (animus/Spock) and heart (anima/McCoy). So I'm diggin' me that bridge forever.
     
  16. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Same here. And at the end of the day, what more could you possibly need?
     
  17. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    TOS looks so '60s to me, I wonder if it even looked that futuristic then? So much of the style, furniture, was "modern." Didn't it look pretty contemporary? I was a baby, so my memory's a little fuzzy on that.

    But I like it to the JJTrek bridge/corridors looks like an apple store. That sure isn't how things are gonna look 200-300 years form now, I assume. It's "now" cranked up a couple notches.
     
  18. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No, because they respond to it with a built-in bias. Star Trek fans are inclined to like Star Trek (duh) and quite often rate it more highly in just about every respect than TV viewers and movie audiences in general do.

    I liked seeing the TOS sets again, the same as I do in fan films. Did it look as real or plausible as the sets of, say, the NX-01? No, in no way whatsoever.

    It's worth noting that the Enterprise crew chose to light those sets very differently than the DS9 folks had to in order to match the source footage from "The Trouble With Tribbles."
     
  19. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    I love the picture of Mr. Scott in the modern Trek uniform.

    As for the aesthetics of TOS. I don't think it is or should be too much of a distraction. Back then (as now) the best you can hope to do is give a sense of the shape of things to come and not a literal, exacting snapshot.

    Of course there are many who appear all too eager to be disdainful of anything that is over a few years old or in anyway shows signs of age. Those that do cheat themselves. Their shallowness wouldn't allow for them to appreciate the more cerebral qualities of TOS (or anything else) anyway, therefore, good riddance to bad rubbish.

    TOS was very bright and vibrant, and, as previously said, in part for reasons above and beyond the immediate need of production. Like many, I love the "window into the era from which it comes" aspect. It actually serves the dramatic purpose of providing a contextual framework by which to fully understand the spirit and voice of the series.

    And in that light it signals and allows a contemporary audience to understand the sociology (fears and hopes) of the day, and as such illustrates the biases of the times. So those oversaturated colors actually do a lot more than meets the eye. In my opinion.
     
  20. TOSalltheway

    TOSalltheway Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I find, in many ways, that TOS has aged better than TNG. TNG seems to scream 1980s to me.