Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

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

  1. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    The most fururistic was TMP or what was the next phase because of the people thay had working on it. Next is TOS and third is the fan films. The rest is horrible except for the last few years of ENT. Then the SFX got much better but everything else sucked so.. The fan films do good amazing jobs and things.
     
  2. EnsignRedshirt

    EnsignRedshirt Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Which is funny, because I have my android phone looking like a TNG LCARS screen. :lol:
     
  3. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Yes, when you look at the Android and iOS cellphone interfaces, TNG looks seriously dated. The only exception might be some of the more elaborate computer displays that were specially created for certain episodes. But the standard LCARS look is rather overly simplistic. TOS does have a certain degree of minimalism for the controls, which helps it sidestep the aging a bit in that regard.

    There was something about the camera work in TMP that helped make everything feel real and workable. It does feel more futuristic than what was delivered in TNG.
     
  4. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    I think the simplicity of LCARS is an asset rather than a detraction. Simple colors on a black background. It always looked timeless to me. And it's intuitive enough that pretty much anyone can operate it (or so it appears on screen), and almost any function can be completed with less than 10 "clicks."
     
  5. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Captain Captain

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    Going way back to the original post, RCA was the parent company of NBC, so they issued edicts to the network, to relay to the producers of shows, to make their shows as eye-poppingly color as they could.

    So yes, when you were at a neighbor's house with a color TV and STAR TREK, or any NBC color show came on, you were supposed to be wowed by the colors.

    And I think the STAR TREK design crew did a fabulous job in that department. Not only with the primary-color-type uniforms, but with those splashes of colored light that painted the corridors and backdrops of the series.

    Yes, it's totally unrealistic, but I sure do love looking at it!

    Harry
     
  6. MrArcas

    MrArcas Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I'd have to join the "yes and no" camp. A lot of Trek's tech does look dated, but the Enterprise itself still breaks the mold. It doesn't look like what came before of after. It's really an inspired design.
     
  7. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

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    Agree.:vulcan:
     
  8. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    I feel exactly the opposite. I highly doubt people in the 24th century would care about animations or cool effects or any of the things about iOS or Android that impress you or me. They live their lives surrounded by computers and probably want the interfaces to be as simple and inconspicuous as possible. That's the quality that TNG and TOS share: simple interfaces, the data you need most available at a glance, and pretty much any function completed in a few flicks of the wrist.
     
  9. SpHeRe31459

    SpHeRe31459 Captain Captain

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    Indeed. That fits with the general edict that was put forth to the production departments about finding functionality in everything that was created for the shows. You see guys like Doug Drexler talk about how Star Trek was supposed to look like you could walk in and use it.

    That of course also seems to fit how people in the future might actually feel about using computers. They'd be so ubiquitous they don't even have to think about using them.
     
  10. Masao

    Masao Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    For me, the universe of TOS is and was the future. When I think of the future, I imagine it to look like TOS. I know that some people can't get past the superficial aspects of hairstyles, studio-bound locations, grainy special effects and what not. I think they should try to get past this stuff, because if they can they'll find other rewards. But if they can't, then perhaps TOS is not for them. But I think that because many of us first saw TOS when we were unable to see anything but the wonder, the romance, the adventure, and the endless possibilities, it buried itself deep, deep inside us and will never leave. I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey around the same age (at a real Cinerama screen, no less), and it had a similar effect on me. So, that clean early/mid-1960s International Style aesthetic is my idea of what the future looks like. (That's also one of the reasons I like Mad Men.)

    I also saw Lost in Space about this same time, but, for some reason, that never looked futuristic to me. Maybe because, even at that young age, I thought LiS was just stupid.

    The "Future" is a moving target. What you think is futuristic today might well look ridiculous in a very short time. Who knows what it will look like. Will it look like TOS? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe Steampunk will be the defining style of the late 21st century, and we'll all be wearing corsets and goggles. But it's fun to think about it. Hope to see you all in the future!

    (Note: Part of this post previously appeared on another website)
     
  11. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Well said. And I also like Mad Men.
     
  12. SpHeRe31459

    SpHeRe31459 Captain Captain

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    I second that Warped9.

    There really needs to be a "Like" or "Thanks for the post" feature added to the BBS. I don't want to keep quoting posts and saying "me too" or "+1".
     
  13. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Ron Cobb is quoted somewhere, maybe BOOK OF ALIEN, maybe STARLOG, saying essentially that designwise, you can extrapolate till you're blue in the face and do all the smart projections of what is to come ... and still come out way off target or visually unconvincing (sorry, looking at you, TMP interiors.) Proof of that is how ALIEN can convince, then AND now, even with those goddamn toggle switches everywhere.

    I think the LiS kneejerk reject has to do with it looking retrograde, like it was doing FORBIDDEN PLANET without realizing that had already been done, and done better. Somehow the same consoles that showed up on all the Allen shows only seemed to really look futuristic to me in THE TIME TUNNEL, but maybe that was because it was the only Allen show my 6 year-old mind could get behind (though I watched VOYAGE regularly, I think it was like GREEN ACRES, it was watched just because it was on and I was supposed to participate in the family experience.)

    The 2001/Mad Men connection is an interesting one that I happen to share, but although my wife is almost a decade younger than me, she also shares a fascination with both, though she has never gotten to see 2001 in anything other than 35mm.

    I have always thought seeing 2001 in L.A. at age 7-1/2 -- after reading about it in mags sporting gorgeous layouts -- during its opening weeks kind of ruined me for ordinary movies ... outside of PATTON, I don't think I was monumentally impressed with another movie till the mid 70s, and by that time I was being impressed by films on the basis of just their content rather than style and content (though I still think 2001 is cock o' the walk for just about all things.)
     
  14. xvicente

    xvicente Captain Captain

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    Great. Now I see the Enterprise is steam-powered.
     
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Well, in Next Gen and The Undiscovered Country, it did have a pot-belly stove for a warp core.:p
     
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I hasten to point out that this connection is conjecture, not fact, no matter how similar they appear. I showed the picture to Andy Probert and he said he'd never seen that before, so it wasn't around the TMP art department. Since Richard Taylor designed the nacelles, someone would have to show it to him and see if he says "yes". And since Matt Jefferies designed the Phase II nacelles on which the TMP ones were roughly derived, the origin of the design promises to be muddy.
     
  17. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    I'm guessing it appeared futuristic in TTT because we were told the series was set in the then-present day (whether it was first run for you or not).

    The rest of Allen's series were set a decade or more in the future (Voyage in the late 70's, the LiS start date was 1997, and LOTG set in 1983) so, the consoles did not seem advanced enough for a deep space vehicle assumed to be the zenith of human tech (Jupiter 2), or an innovative sub-orbital passenger ship (Spindrift).
     
  18. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I now agree with that assessment. It comes down to what Matt Jeffries was thinking of when he designed Phase II. The nacelle's locomotive look could conceivably be a coincidence. Or MJ might have remembered the M-1 locomotive as the height of looking futuristic and powerful when it was new and he was about 26 years old.
     
  19. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Does the TOS look futuristic to me? I grew up in the late 1970s and 1980s, so it never did look futuristic. In fact, it looked downright fake, in comparison to other sci fi I was interested in at the time such as Star Wars, Aliens, and especially Star Treks 1-3. Watching the TOS series in re-runs, then seeing the then new Star trek movies with the same cast members some 15 years later, the FX gap had a huge drop off between movie and TV show.

    But you know what? I still loved watching the TOS re-runs anyway, because the show was so well written, and so well acted. And now, the FX and sets are part of the charm of TOS, and in fact, despite the visual upgrades the remastered versions offer, I STILL prefer the original, unenhanced version of the TOS.

    I would say that the overall design of the Enterprise exterior, and the other ships like Klingons and Romulans still look futuristic to me. In fact, their silhouettes are what I picture as what space ships SHOULD look like.

    But I have to be honest and say that on the Enterprise,the TOS series version's nacelles have what clearly look like 1960s rocket styling, and the deflector dish looks a little out of place, when comparing it with other Star Fleet ships that came later.

    Now, if you ask me if the refit Enterprise from TMP forward still looks futuristic, I say resoundingly "YES!" It is amazing to me how only 10 years difference and having an actual budget transforms basically the same ship and makes it realistic looking, and futuristic.While I love the classic TOS Enterprise, I still feel the "true look" of the NCC1701, and one that holds up the most, is the TMP version. In fact, it is clear that the reboot Enterprise was most heavily influenced by that version, and at least the saucer section, to me, looks nearly the same.

    This! :techman:

    I have to agree. The added detail and lighting to the TOS designs in TMP forward really are what make the refit Enterprise NCC-1701 really go from looking like a model in the TOS, to a real ship in the movies, that in my mind, should be how actual future ships should look like.

    As for that video, that DID blow my mind. It transforms the TOS bridge in a way that is consistent with the TMP-TUC movies, yet maintains the integrity of the color scheme of TOS. I can't imagine what it would cost to go through every TOS episode and update it to look like that, though, but if it ever were done, I would definitely be buying me some blu rays! Great work!
     
  20. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    TOS debuted when I was 15. One of the most fascinating things about it for me was the Enterprise miniature shots, because I didn't know how they were done. They weren't on wires, like Buck Rogers, Republic serials, Lost in Space, or Forbidden Planet. They weren't animated cartoons. So I started reading about special effects cinematography, miniatures, optical printing, and bluescreen/chromakey. Of course now I can get similar effects with my computer software. But well done bluescreen, as Star Trek often was, still fascinates me more than CGI.