New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by neoworx, Jul 13, 2013.

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  1. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    TWOK also benefitted from majority of sets already constructed and even reuse of pre-existing footage.
     
  2. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^But that doesn't really relate to what Trevanian was saying about inserts and cutaways.
     
  3. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    There were a lot of instances of money not wisely spent in the development and production of TMP in addition to necessities (such as new sets needed). TMP also got saddled with a helluva lot of costs for an aborted TV series that had nothing whatsoever to do with the production of the film. If I recall correctly the actual cost of TMP was something around 48-50 million give or take a bit. In that respect that wasn't unreasonable for the kind of film it was meant to be. The inflated figure of about 150 million is with all the aborted Phase II development and production costs factored in.

    Sure you don't need the top tier talent to do inserts, but it still takes time and money. And it's one thing to do it on a feature film and something else to be doing a lot of it week after week on a television series.

    But we get back to a point I was raising. Mission: Impossible was bleeding money in production overruns and yet being a popular show cancellation wasn't being seriously considered. They were overspending a lot more than Star Trek, but people like to say that part of Star Trek's problem was overspending. Desilu and Paramount weren't happy with what both shows were costing them and yet they were willing to bear it with Mission: Impossible but not Star Trek.
     
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  4. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Hm. I hadn't thought of this before, but network aside, it's not a surprise that a studio run by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz would not having a problem with a Mexican man romancing a white redhead.
    ;)

    EDIT: And I see somebody beat me to that thought.
     
  5. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    One of the interesting elements of Mission: Impossible was the believability of the gadgets used. There were also speciel effects, but they were obviously much more lowkey than Star Trek's.

    Bruce Geller's idea in terms of the gadgets develeped by Barney Collier (Greg Morris) was the device had to actually exist (somewhere) or be plausible in terms of the technology available at the time. Watching the series now some of the gadgets used strike me as maybe too unlikely for the era, but a lot of it should be easy enough today. Yesterday I watched an episode where they used a small hovercraft to maneuver a fair distance along a ventilation shaft. It looked like a small saucer with five or six propellers underneath to provide lift. It was about dinner plate size and really a rather cool looking little thing and conceptually they just might have been able to build one back then. Today we have small radio control helicopters and hovercraft sold as toys that are conceptually similar. But if you have ever played with one of those little RC helicopters you instantly know how susceptible they are to air currents and changes in air density and temperature. They're a pain to keep in level flight and it takes a lot of practice to fly one indoors with any proficciency so I can only imagine the challenge of trying to fly a small gadget of this kind along an air shaft. Also the battery power lasts only a few minutes before it has to be recharged. I seriously doubt they had that kind of lightweight battery power back in the '60s for something that would have needed more power than the toys of today. On the episode they were also flying the little craft essentially blind with only a guiding beacon tied-in to a map for Barney to guide the craft---and he never once bumped into the walls of the air shaft. :lol:

    But that was often a fascinating element of the show, that it's gadgets were often conceptually sound even if pushed to the limit of what could be possible. And often Bruce Geller wanted the gadgets to be able to function much as described and not just look like they could because of special effects. I can imagine their post production staff scouring piles of issues of popular mechanics for ideas. :lol:
     
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  6. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I always loved their dead silent power tools.
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Definitely! :lol:

    The disguises were also a riot. A mask/disguise might work well enough for stage or screen, but I question whether you could pull it off in close quarters.
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I can see where Desilu wouldn't have had an issue with it, but I was more interested in why NBC seemed to have an issue with one but not the other? Normally I would think the he's "not black but latino", would work. But they definitely darkened Montalban's skin for the role.
     
  9. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But Khan/Montalban still wasn't black even with that. In other words, to use the phrase of the time, he wasn't a Negro. That was the issue. He wasn't Bill Cosby or Ivan Dixon. The trouble was more about race than skin tone.
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Fair enough. I wasn't alive, just curious. :techman:
     
  11. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ha yeah, even as a kid I had a hard time believing that trick could really be pulled off. What with people's very different bone structures and all the incredibly subtle details that make up the human face.

    Even artists who spend weeks sculpting wax figures from exact measurements have a hard time making it look completely real.
     
  12. SpHeRe31459

    SpHeRe31459 Captain Captain

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    Tested on Mythbusters, you can't. The closer you get, the more obvious it becomes. There's no way they could pass close to a guard like they always did with them.

    See the "Faking Out the Fans" video on the page for an excerpt:
    http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/videos/mission-impossible-mask.htm
     
  13. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Just on translucency alone, latex makeups would never pass muster in person. I imagine with gelatins and now silicone appliances you could get close enough (though there might be an analog equivalent to CG's uncanny valley with this too), but back then, no way.

    Plus when you start realizing these people are running through water and getting punched and all sorts of other stuff (Harlan Ellison's VOYAGE ep where the network guy insisted the female spy be revealed as hideously ugly beneath a beauty mask, even though she has been aboard for months and presumably sleeping with crewmembers, leaps to mind.)

    One con on M:I I recall that needed to be better than it was revolved around simulating a nuclear aftermath. The guy was underground, looking outside via periscope, and they basically built a little cyclorama with torched model buildings and what I recall as cigarette smoke, but it must have been more elaborate than that! Anyway, it did not convince or impress.
     
  14. MGagen

    MGagen Captain Captain

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    Mythbusters did an episode about this. If I recall correctly, they made the two hosts up with Hollywood-style prosthetics to look like each other and had unsuspecting test subjects who were familiar with the show interact with them (at a distance) to see if they noticed anything amiss.

    The results were mixed.

    Hey, they don't call it the Impossible Mission Force for nothin'...

    M.
     
  15. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Remember the 'masks' in the first couple Tom Cruise MI flicks? Geezus, did they GROW them or something? The effect of pulling them off was done very quickly, and that was smart, because if they'd dwelt on it at all, I think the whole theater would have been rolling eyes, but as is, it gets by, even though it seems about as futuristic fantastic to me as warp drive.
     
  16. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Masks work on Scooby Doo.
     
  17. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    There was one M:I where they had to substitute one of their own agents for a woman to get at her boyfriend. I can't recall if it was Leslie Anne Warren or Linda Day, but they were "masked" to look like Elizabeth Ashley (who was smaller than either of them). The agent had to live with the boyfriend, make out with the boyfriend (and it was the 60s, so they never mentioned it going any further), and act well enough to duplicate the woman's nervous condition in group therapy. This undercover went on for weeks, supposedly, with no one noticing. :lol:

    In another ep they were trying to convince the bad guy that a fountain-of-youth formula was real. They had Linda Day supposedly wear an old-age mask over her face, then a second mask of her natural face over the old age mask. She would make the outer the pretty face dissolve at a key moment to make the bad guy thing she'd suddenly aged, then she'd take the potion and make the age mask dissolve. I kept thinking, in real life all those masks would add an inch of thickness to her face!
     
  18. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It may be ridiculous as hell, but the mask thing on M:I is definitely a fun trick to watch them pull off, I can't deny that.
     
  19. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, very true.
     
  20. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Anyone have any idea when Volume 2 of These Are The Voyages will be available?
     
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