Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Apr 1, 2013.
^^^Did Richard Taylor say this was his inspiration?
I always thought Andrew Probert designed the refit. Anyway, the nacelles look nearly identical to the locomotive, and I hardly think it's a coincidence. I don't know if it was ever acknowledged in print.
I always heard that the front end of the nacelles were inspired by a 30's or 40's Ford pick-up truck...
It's funny, because on the Ottens website Taylor is quoted as saying the front of the nacelles was based on a 1940 Ford grille. That locomotive looks a lot closer to the final result to me.
Maybe he didn't want to admit how closely he had copied something old, so he gave the fans a red herring to talk about. Eh, I don't know.
If I recall correctly, Matt Jefferies had already done some preliminary work for a new Enterprise back in the mid-1970's before he embarked on another project (as Paramount couldn't decide whether to greenlight a new Star Trek television series or not).
It started something like this and this. If there's enough evidence of an evolution in designing the new nacelles, it could be a coincidence. Of course, Matt Jefferies might have seen this locomotive and subconsciously remembered the design when he started on the new nacelles (it's called cryptomnesia).
Indeed, the locomotive looks a lot like the new nacelles, great find!
Each to their own.
I never thought about that until you mentioned it and... you're right. Damned... and now I'll never stop seeing it that way.
After PLANET OF THE TITANS was cancelled and they went with PHASE 2 for a couple of months, Jeffries did some moonlighting for TREK while on LITTLE HOUSE, his regular gig. He drew the new Ent with the flat nacelles, which I guess was one of his alternates originally, so the general lines are his.
Then, when Abel took on the effects, Richard Taylor was the art director. He tweaked the Jeffries as mentioned, and had Andy Probert doing the majority of the ship, like variations in windows and rec rooms and torpedo launchers. ST THE MAG has a TMP issue in which there's a Taylor interview where he discusses this.
THE GOD THING had correspondence with Taylor at one point (that's where he got all the storyboards and concept art that I still so dearly covet and dream about getting to see!), too.
I think Taylor retconned some of his thinking ... there's no indication from Magicam or anybody else that the Ent was supposed to be pearlescent or sport the checkerboarding, not until Trumbull came on.
In fact Magicam mentions in STARLOG 27 that the ship was supposed to be almost entirely smooth, and that made it tough on them, but that they ultimately were disappointed with all the surface detail added for TMP, for aesthetic reasons. (then again the same Magicam guys also claim in the AMERICAN CINEMATOGRAPHER issue on TMP that they were provided with NO storyboards, which sounds like utter bullshit to me, since there was Minor and later on Zuberano and lots of other guys drawing all sorts of stuff ... why wouldn't it have gotten to Magicam? Sorry for diversion.)
But Taylor does make this shiny hull idea claim in the ST THE MAG interview, I'm pretty sure of that.
I should check his website (and Trumbull's) to see if there are any additons about TMP. The TMP stuff on Trumbull's has some good images in HQ, not all of which are common.
Thanks. Based on "this" and "this," I now think Matt Jeffries designed the refit and TMP's subsequent artists just tweaked it.
I always assumed they took the look from the original Klingon battle cruiser's nacelles.
Not saying he mightn't have seen that locomotive at some point, but here's what Taylor said about the nacelles:
P.S. The locomotive in question is a C & O Chesapeake & Ohio M-1 Steam Turbine Locomotive.
There was also the forward turbolift.
Thank you for all that useful info. I was absolutely wondering about the train's identity.
It's odd that this Taylor guy gets such a modest credit for TMP at imdb.com, given that he played such a crucial role. I was expecting him to be the art director or production designer, but he's lost in a very long alphabetical list of people under Visual Effects. He designed the Refit and at imdb he's practically a name in the phone book!
Most of what Taylor intended (as Abel's art director for VFX) was dropped or abandoned. His concept of vger -- inside or out -- was nothing like what we got, and the space walk was completely different. I think Taylor and Abel wanted Epsilon 9 set on a planet, too (since the live-action for that wasn't even shot till early 79, that concept may have lasted all the way through the primary Abel involvement.)
Except for the interior wormhole, which was completed at Abel but overseen by Trumbull's animation guy Bob Swarthe, most folks think there is nada in terms of on-screen stuff from Abel. But in addition to the refit tweaks -- which did NOT include the self-lit stuff that Trumbull put in along with the awesome paint job -- Abel/Taylor's Andy Probert designed the drydock (though Magicam claimed they only got one general sketch, Probert made available a lot of drydock artwork in STARLOG and ENTERPRISE INCIDENTS) and travel pods and work bees.
The Abel/Taylor bridge probe was supposed to be something much different than we got too. Con Pederson, one of the main supes on 2001 (the unsung quiet one), was working on a kind of light sculpture. About 10 years ago, I talked with a guy who, like Probert, managed to survive working at both Abel's and Trumbull's, and he mentioned he liked hanging out with Pederson because the guy was all about the work, whereas a lot of Abel folks at the main facility were more about the drugs (I kind of make a hobby of trying to interview as many TMP folk as I can, and since I write about tech stuff in filmmaking, it actually happens pretty often. Haven't gotten too much in the way of revelations, but you never can tell when somebody is going to peel back a new layer.)
There is a guy named Joe who worked on the show and wrote a letter to STARLOG saying the NEW WEST article about Abel (look that up, it is something else!) was in large part malarkey, and it supported a lot of Abel views that the problems were all over, not just on their end. Brick Price has also gone on record about Abel producing a lot of footage, whereas the official story is that they produced nothing but an unsuccessful film test, which was when Wise started getting rid of them.
We really need that Preston Neal Jones 1600 page making of TMP, now more than ever!
I read somewhere that he was seriously hurt in an accident of some sort a few years ago. I am not sure if he will ever publish that book, much to my dismay.
TOS looks like steam-punk to me, if that could be applied to the 1960s. Don't read that as a negative point because that's what gives it its character.
With tablets et al, TNG and the later series are about to join it if not already.
The Abrams films look very contemporary so, in 2030, we'll be asking about whether or not those movies still look futuristic.
Eventually this is a problem that hits all science-fiction.
TNG looked amazingly futuristic to me in 1990. Those reconfigurable touchscreen control panels were mind blowing. But fast-forward to 2013, and I'm writing this on my touchscreen Android phone. And compared to using the real deal and seeing touchscreens everywhere now, the unanimated and unrepsonsive nature of TNG's ones becomes very apparent. So I'd say TOS' almost cartoonish (by today's standards) bridge has aged better, and will continue to do so.
While I'll admit that a lot of the technology from all the series is beginning to look dated, the fashion/architecture/design of TOS seems more futuristic to me than the more "contemporary" look of the later series. This is probably because I lived through the 80s and 90s and did not live through the 60s.
The thing is though, we simply DON'T KNOW what the future looks like, so we're in no position to judge. Most things that go out of style eventually come back or at least inspire new styles. A lot of modern Apple products seem to take design inspiration from 1960s Braun electronics. Janice Rand's beehive looks more futuristic than Ishara Yar's mullet, because 60s hairstyles came full circle and inspired mid 2000s hairstyles. The mullet has yet to do that (here's hoping it doesn't).
More like "transistor punk," I'd say.
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