In-Universe Explanation for TOS Retro Tech

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by BMariner, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes. It's the only medical prop we really see.
     
  2. BMariner

    BMariner Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Yeah... and the TOS bridge isn't all blinky lights? Blinky, completely unlabeled lights and displays full of blinky unlabled rectangles beneath a panel of static screens-- all designed to pop on a color TV. Say what you will about JJPrise, TOS was all about "it's just science fiction -- put some blinky lights on it."
     
  3. BMariner

    BMariner Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I could definitely buy this. Would have been (or would still be in the future) fun if Trek, in, say Trials and Tribulations, gave the viewing audience a half-second glimpse of this projection. I really like this idea.

    Of course how would you explain the viewfinder Spock has to look into? Couldn't that be projected more practically? And Sulu's targetting scanner? Offer an a plausible explanation for those and I'm in!
     
  4. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Actually when you see close up stills of the TOS bridge there are quite a few labels there.

    And Matt Jefferies is on record of how he designed the bridge. He didn't just start sketching out any old ideas. He's on record describing how he tried different concepts and considering the placement and angles of control panels and display screens. Of course it isn't all perfectly thought out, but he was limited in time and budget. But his essential concepts were sound and still manage to come across even if some of the details are off.

    This is a big element of why TOS' sense of design often came across as well as it did--because Matt Jefferies did his best to think it through.

    It was Desilu execs who didn't "get it." They figured all that was needed was a cigar shaped spaceship and some blinking lights like most any other sci-fi show. They didn't get the idea of trying to break the mold to depict a far future science and tech with a good dose of logic to it.

    The design of the TOS Enterprise and its sets is a testament to the thinking Matt Jefferies brought to it and the creative talents of all those who brought it to life onscreen. The evidence they did it right is found simply in the fact that MJ's work still holds a fascination for many today, decades after the fact, and that very little has come along since to eclipse it.

    While one could argue for the inclusion of more controls, larger and more interactive displays as well as better seats the rest is essentially sound. I particularly like the lighting of the TOS bridge and some of the colouring in terms of evoking an acceptable environment to work in. No doubt in real life it would be a lot quieter than what we hear onscreen, although the sound f/x did help convey the idea of a vast and sophisticated vessel in operation.

    In contrast the JJprise bridge is terribly overlit and the generally monotonous colour scheme doesn't make for an appealing environment in which to work. Part of what I find objectionable in the design ethic of the JJprise is its sense of arbitrariness. In TMP they took the original concepts and extropolated to flesh them out in greater and updated detail for the big screen. You can immediately grasp the sense of evolutionary progression. Also the TMP refit design maintains the overall visual balance the TOS design had.

    The Ryan Church design throws all that away. With a notion of divorcing itself from what came before it deliberately corrupts the familiar design rather than evolve and/or refine it. In the process it loses all visual balance and proportions. The JJprise looks deformed and unbalanced as if seeing the original design distorted in a funhouse mirror. This, of course, was the deliberate intent to distance it from the original design.
     
  5. BMariner

    BMariner Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Are we looking at the same bridge? I've poured thru stills and have only counted about 10 buttons with labels on them (rectangular buttons, white backlit with black text-- those came from actual aircraft). And a few other labeled controls. What doesn't wash with me are the semi-circle arrays of colored resin lights/buttons with absolutely no labels. I'm a Trek tech novice, so I could be completely wrong, but so far I'm seeing a lot of randomly, mostly unlabeled blinking things.

    No argument there.

    I never cared for the bridges of TMP - TFF. My favorite is TOS, despite the absurdity (in hindsight) of the controls themselves. And of course I dig them now in a very retro-nostalgic way; Raygun design holds up wonderfully wherever it's implemented. The absurdity of the controls is acceptable to me in TOS. TMP and subsequent movies takes that absurdity and puts it on steroids. Loose arrays of multicolored resin lights gave way to dense blocks of uni-colored Lite Brites. Zero practicality.
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I, too, generally, prefer the TOS design. I particularly like the continuity of the consoles all around the bridge, unbroken except for the main viewscreen and the turbolift. In TMP they had the stations as separated units.
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    TMP is not an evolution of TOS, it's a flat-out replacement with something considered more realistic by late 70's standards. It follows the basic layout of the TOS bridge but no more.
     
  8. vulcan redshirt

    vulcan redshirt Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Touch typists do not need to see the keys they are pressing, same as most good musicians do not need to see where their hands are relative to the instrument to play - it's done by feel and experience. (That's why i was never any good at the piano, I had to see which keys my fingers were on, which is no use when trying to read the music). Sulu and Chekov's consoles were probably meant to be operated by touch only, so that they could concentrate on what was going on around them.

    I could also postulate that Spock's viewer was able to give him a pseudo 3D display (binocular viewer), something that could not be projected across the whole bridge. Production costs aside, Voyager or the EE should really have had holographic bridge displays, given the holotech available
     
  9. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    What's in Spock's scanner? Here's your answer:
    [YT]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I0SJ9HuB5k[/YT]
     
  10. vulcan redshirt

    vulcan redshirt Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Brilliant!!
     
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Here are parts two and three. The guy had insane skills to have put it all together so well.
    [YT]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6n1zmyMbdg[/YT]
    [YT]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F30KZFVcQSo[/YT]
     
  12. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    I LOVE the original bridge. Does having all the perimeter officers have to turn to talk to the captain make good sense, though? Maybe it does. Later bridges that oriented more people towards the front or center were really for camera angles, I know.

    2. That is a good point about Cochrane's nacelles. I am reminded of the nacelles from the AMT kit for some reason.

    3. A riddle for those of you who have been in the thread about the book These Are the Voyages:
    If the original Enterprise had an advisor on Federation law on the bridge, where would she sit?

    At the Legal Console.
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    :guffaw:
     
  14. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And I thought that I was the only one that hated the new TARDIS control console! Nice to see somebody else that does.:techman:
     
  15. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Shaka, when you say "the new TARDIS console", do you mean the newest design that debuted in "The Snowmen" Christmas special, the previous arrangement debuted in "The Eleventh Hour" or the "coral" motif presented in "Rose"?

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  16. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^I mean most of the consoles on the new series. I like the classic consoles from the original series.
     
  17. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    I can relate since I was "introduced" to DW in 1982 via the Tom Baker serials. At least this latest console ("The Snowmen" version) harkens a bit more towards the "classic" era. And though I didn't see any of his stories until years after I watched Tom Baker, I'd say I like William Hartnell's console the best, as well as the control room due to the variety of elements.

    If anyone is bothered this is veering off topic, well, this discussion also focuses upon "retro tech". Really, anything short of full telepathic interfacing with the TARDIS with no visible instrumentality is probably "retro" tech in the eyes of the TimeLords. ;)

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  18. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    :lol: Absolutely amazing, thanks for sharing! :techman:

    Bob
     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As I recall, when Enterprise recreated the bridge for "A Mirror Darkly" they actually labeled many of the buttons which were unlabeled in TOS and found that it was a waste of effort because it didn't show up on camera.

    Regardless of if you like the aesthetics of the TMP bridge, its instrumentation is the most thought out of any Star Trek's (I'm not counting the film projected into the monitors). Have you seen the Enterprise Flight Manual? It shows how much thought was put into the TMP bridge control panels, given that much of it was the work of Lee Cole, who actually worked in aerospace instrument design prior to working on Phase II/TMP, plus Rich Sternbach and others.
     
  20. BMariner

    BMariner Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Wow, thanks for linking to that manual! Great insight there. So what I've referred to as "Lite Brites" were actually deemed "accordion buttons." It's nice to see that they've attributed a purpose to them (however impractical, IMO). I imagine the design was chosen first for on-screen optics and their purpose was created later. Aside from the knob/switch aesthetic, I think one of the main differences between today's (21st Century) tech and TOS tech is that everything is a unitasker.