Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Warped9, Aug 25, 2013.
Nuance and inflection don't translate well online even with the aid of emoticons.
These were more or less my words in another thread just a few days ago
I have to admit as a kid I found the original E to be a bit clunky and outdated, but that was probably mostly because the low-grade effects never really did it justice.
But eventually I came to appreciate the design a lot more-- especially when considering just how different it was from what came before. Because I'm pretty sure this is the first time we saw a spaceship on screen that wasn't either a flying saucer or a rocket ship.
It's amazing that it took until the mid-60s before someone realized there were lots of other possibilities out there for spaceship design.
And of course the Enterprise sets are incredible as well. Especially compared to the rather generic scifi designs still being used on Lost in Space at the time. The TOS sets might look a bit outdated and 1960s now, but at least they had a real and distinctive style to them.
There was something to the LIS sets sometimes, particularly the Jupiter II interior, that could have fit in right alongside some of the TOS sets and other production elements. Sets and post production could be an area of strength for LIS. The flying sequences of the Jupiter II were quite nice and it would have a joy to have seen the TOS shuttlecraft handled like that.
The Jupiter II had a pretty nice layout, but the sets themselves always looked a bit flat and generic to me. With just the usual random lights, switches, and tape reels on the wall that you usually saw in scifi.
The stock Jupiter II interior sets are easily equal to, in not superior to most of the Enterprise sets, the bridge being the notable exception. There's lots of interesting detail and design there.
One of the things that bugs me about some of the TOS sets are the computer terminals. Some of them (like the briefing room console) are fantastic---sleek and minimalist in design that suggests advanced tech. Others, though (basically a box with some old-fashioned looking lights and switches like in "Courtmartial") look really dated, and they did so even back in the '70s when I first started watching TOS.
The thing about the Jupiter II interior design is that it looked/looks somewhat near future. It could seem believable (from a '60's perspective) of something we might see within a century. A flim like 2001: A Space Odyssey also has that kind of feel to it.
Good design can often transcend its era. The interior of Klaatu's ship in The Day Earth Stood Still remains a great design for an alien technology and partly because it's presented in black-and-white. Klaatu operates everything by hand gestures and without obvious familiar controls or instrumentation.
The limitations of budget and resources resulted in inconsistent efforts on TOS. In broadstrokes it was usually brilliant, but once in awhile the limitations would give us something clunky.
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