Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Harvey, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Now here's a question, does The Managerie count as a clip show? From an audience's perspective, I'd say the answer is no. Plenty of television episodes have used framing devices (including clip shows). But the footage inside the framing device, while already existing (and partly used to save money), was at least not from preexisting episodes that the audience has already seen.
     
  2. erastus25

    erastus25 Commodore Commodore

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    I was going to post the same thing but decided against it as I figured it would just illicit eye rolls.

    But now that the question is out there, I'm going with "yes." Probably the greatest clip show of all time, but still made of of clips from a previously recorded episode.
     
  3. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    TV Tropes thinks so. From the Examples section of the Clip Show article:

    However, I disagree about the famous opening shot of the Enterprise in the pilot that transitions to the bridge interior being lampshaded. This intro into the flashback imagery has a perfectly plausible in-universe explanation, as being from telepathic logs of the Talosians and synthesized from multiple subjects, that is as accurate as the imagery in the minds of the subjects that were scanned. (I've considered this before.) They even remark that the imagery is beyond the ability of Federation technology to reproduce. What makes it not lampshading is that the explanation for how it was done is readily at hand within the story, and perfectly in line with it. The telepathic powers of illusion just haven't been revealed at that point yet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
  4. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    re "The Menagerie" As the original pilot had not been aired it was just a reuse of footage, and an entire story at that, not snippets from other episodes. In fact, internally the production referred to the 2-parter as "The Envelope", which is a pretty apt summation.
     
  5. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    It appears TVTrops is agnostic on whether it is a clip show, only stating that it is often named as one.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "The Menagerie" is similar to a clip show from a production standpoint, but really kind of the inverse of one from a story standpoint, in that it consists primarily of the original episode and secondarily of "The Envelope" created to expand it and contextualize it within the series. That's the reason it uses the same (final) title as the pilot -- from a production standpoint, it was the pilot with some additions. (Indeed, the actual physical film master of the pilot was cut up and combined with the new footage to create the master of the 2-parter, which is why we didn't have a complete color copy of the pilot for so long.) It's similar to how a film like, say, John Carpenter's student film Dark Star had multiple new sequences filmed and edited in to expand it to feature length for theatrical release. Or like how Gojira had a bunch of new stuff with Raymond Burr shot and edited in, and a lot of the original content cut out, to turn into Godzilla, King of the Monsters!.
     
  7. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, this one is a special case with really two answers.

    1. When it first aired, no. Nobody except the people who made it had ever seen The Cage before.

    2. Since 1986 on the other hand, yes.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I've said, the term "clip show" is more a term of production than one of story or audience familiarity. Indeed, the ideal target audience for a clip show consists of new viewers who never saw the episodes that the clips are taken from, or who have forgotten them because they were so long ago. There have been times when I've been glad for clip shows on series I started watching in mid-run, because they helped fill me in on stuff I've missed.

    And of course, not every clip show consists of clips from the series itself. Xena did this a couple of times. In their first clip show (and one of their zaniest), "Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards," they threw in clips from old Italian Hercules movies and Spartacus. And "Lifeblood" was very much like "The Menagerie" in that it was based on a failed pilot set in the Hercules/Xena universe, Amazon High, that was repurposed as a flashback told within a Xena frame story.
     
  9. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I've edited my post to mention that that quote is from the "Examples" section of the Clip Show article. It shouldn't be in the list of examples if they don't think it actually qualifies as one. I agree that the language in the quote suggests that there might be some contention on the issue; it would be nice if they'd actually cited one or more sources to support their weasel words of where it is "often named" as a clip show, to support the idea that it is in the list of examples if for no other reason then because they are reflecting the opinions of authorities.
     
  10. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So, since The Time Tunnel relied on stock footage to tell their historical episodes and nearly every episode had a generous helping of stock, would that be considered a "clip series?"
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, I think "clip show" means a device by which a bunch of previous episodes are mined for clips as the focus of the story. If you take "stock footage" to mean "clip show" then almost any episode that features a stock flyby or Scotty's hands on the transporter or Sulu looking back over his shoulder from the viewer is a clip show.
     
  12. johnnybear

    johnnybear Captain Captain

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    Err... no, because the clips they are using are from historical films and not the actual series itself! Even if they mine the odd scene from another show or the titles it's definitely not the same thing!
    JB
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As with so many things, the boundaries are blurred. A clip show is one specific category of the use of stock footage, and sometimes it can shade over into other categories. But that doesn't mean every story built around pre-existing footage is a clip show.
     
  14. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Okay, I'm just trying to wrap my mind around the clip show thing because I obviously had in in my head that "clip show" meant more about how the clips were used in a story as opposed to the source of said clips. Using Irwin Allen again as the source, this is what I'm getting based on the comments here...

    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea -

    The episode No Escape From Death used a huge amount of footage from earlier episodes to fill out an episode while creating a "new" story and saving production time and money by not having to film a full 6 days.

    The episode Turn Back the Clock used a huge amount of footage from Allen's own film The Lost World to fill out an episode, remaking the story itself and even dressing series and film star David Hedison in the same costume and casting actress Vitina Marcus to match the film footage. This saved the production time and money. This practice was used weekly in The Time Tunnel, some episodes having much more footage than others.

    So, correct me if I'm wrong, but we're saying, Turn Back the Clock used clips from a movie so it's not a clip show. However, because it used scenes from the series itself, No Escape from Death is a clip show. Even though both episodes used nearly nearly the same amount of footage.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Like I said, the categories blur. Sometimes we try too hard to define clear dividing lines, but such things are imaginary and unimportant. The point is that reusing pre-existing footage, from whatever source, is a useful way to save money in a production. The people making these stories don't waste any time worrying about whether they should be called "clip shows" or not -- they just make the stories. Labels are just things that people apply after the fact to try to classify those stories. Which means that those labels won't always work perfectly or be universally agreed upon.

    So don't worry so much about what to call the episodes. That's not as important as understanding the reasons behind their creation. The goal is to save money, and producers will do that any way they can, without caring what label to put on it.
     
  16. johnnybear

    johnnybear Captain Captain

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    My definition of a clip show would be where the main cast only appear in a few scenes and the bulk of the episode is taken up by major portions of older episodes! The main story is written to include these many scenes and save the studio lots of money!
    JB
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, that's a pretty narrow definition. It's the conventional '70s/'80s type of clip show, but many modern clip shows try to vary it up more. For instance, the 2007 Flash Gordon series did a clip show that managed to keep the running time of the clips fairly brief -- and they actually worked quite well in-story because the plot involved a major supporting character learning about Mongo for the first time and needing to be brought up to speed on past events. The clips themselves were not "major portions" of older episodes, but generally rather concise and brisk, often being montages of short glimpses. A lot of clip shows in the past couple of decades have favored a sort of "compilation montage" approach rather than long unbroken scenes. The most infamous SF clip show, TNG's "Shades of Gray," was of that type.

    And there's certainly no law that says a clip show has to devote the majority of its running time to clips. After all, showing the clips is just the means to an end; the goal is to save money. So if they can save money in other ways, e.g. by having the frame be a bottle show on a standing set, or minimizing guest stars, then that reduces the amount of time they have to devote to clips. I think most modern clip shows try to keep the running time of the clips down to less than half of the episode.
     
  18. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm a big Star Clip fan. But please, the preferred term is Clipper, not Clippie.
     
  19. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It MIGHT be considered a 'clip show' now, as the restored original Pilot; which never aired on the Network during the original 'Star Trek' run; HAS been added to the TOS syndication package; but back in 1966 - no way.

    In fact the two part episode was done primarily because Desilu and NBC wanted to get practical use out of the pilot footage they'd spent a lot of money on; AND the fact that if gave the production some 'breathing room' as they were pushing episode delivery deadlines a lot due to visual effects pipeline production issues.
     
  20. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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