New questions

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Komack, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Komack

    Komack Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    As some of you may know, I've started a wonderful journey of sharing Star Trek episodes with my kids (12 and 10 years old). I watched all the original episodes as a kid, but my children continue to come up with questions that I never thought of as a child - so I've been posting questions on this forum and sharing answers with my kids. Here are tonight's questions:

    (1) Has the question about a bathroom on the bridge ever been answered?

    (2) After seeing several close ups of Spock and Uhura pushing and manipulating buttons at their respective stations, my son wants to know how they know what buttons to push without any letters, labeling, etc. Did the actors actually have a system/routine that they followed, or did they just random push buttons in the scenes?
     
  2. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Never officially, but the Franz Joseph blueprints of the bridge had it ringed with a corridor between the outer shell and the bridge, accessable via the secondary door seen in The Animated Series. This corridor did include toilet facilities.

    The Next Generaton went one further by actually including a door labelled 'head' at the back of the bridge, just next to the doors to the conference room.

    I do remember hearing that actor George Takei worked out his own method for operating his console as Sulu. Perhaps the other actors did the same? Spock's station was by far the most 'hero' of them all (ie, it had the most props to play with, like that sensor thing he was always looking into) so I imagine Nimoy at least figured out in his own mind what everything did and tried to keep it consistent.
     
  3. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    From a sound editor's standpoint it would make sense to have some sort of system so that pushing a certain button would correspond to a certain sound effect. Audio cues are subtle, but incredibly important when it comes to telling the audience what's going on and I wouldn't be surprised if at the very least there was some sort agreement between the actors and sound effects techs as to when to push at least a few key buttons so that there could be some degree of continuity. Otherwise, the sound editor would be reinventing the wheel for every episode. Just a guess on my part...I'd be very interested in hearing from those who have first hand knowledge.
     
  4. SpHeRe31459

    SpHeRe31459 Captain Captain

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    The close-ups of the button presses were probably deliberate (probably the way one of their tech consultants said to do things and/or the director's personal ideas about the buttons) and likely were done by stand-ins shot at another time. I don't know this for sure, but it's often the case with shots like that.

    A fun semi-related tidbit about the bridge buttons that comes from Doug Drexler when he was on ENT doing "In a Mirror Darkly". On the Defiant recreation bridge set they actually put small labels on the buttons because they thought that if TOS was real, it would be silly that they weren't actually labeled. They found that even though they were filming in HD you still couldn't see the little labels they made, even in the close ups.
     
  5. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Fans have also suggested the stations were "configurable" (in universe). The crewperson would press a certain sequence of command buttons that would then change the functions of the remaining controls.

    As for "labels", someone suggested the more "prism" like buttons might display text that's viewable from a relatively narrow angle, say from the standard sitting position. Since we as the audience rarely saw the stations from those angles, we just don't see the text.

    Hey, if nothing else, these questions indicate your kids are interested and want to suspend their disbelief.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The Making of Star Trek does suggest that the actors had a pretty clear sense of what controls performed what function. There's an anecdote about an actor refusing a director's instruction to push a certain button because it was the wrong one for the particular function (and might've blown up the ship), but the actor was probably joking around.

    For the abortive Phase II TV revival that evolved into Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the technical staff actually put together an Enterprise Flight Manual containing detailed diagrams of the key stations in the various sets and explanations of what sets of controls were meant to perform what functions.
     
  7. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  8. Halmirdax

    Halmirdax Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Wow, inquisitive children you have. Really interesting answers.
     
  9. Komack

    Komack Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Thanks for all the information, folks. Tonight we are meeting a certain bombastic Squire, so more questions about may follow....
     
  10. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Captain Captain

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    Inquisitive kids are a very good thing. Bodes well for their future. That, and them being willing to give a nearly 50 year old TV show a shot!
     
  11. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Truly good questions the kids have been asking and I'm looking forward to many of their questions arising from "Wink of an Eye" and others. ;)

    1) There is no suggestion in TOS that the Bridge does have a bathroom / toilet as the wall panels left and right of the main viewscreen do not feature handles or anything that could suggest such a thing.

    Either Bridge officers "do their business" prior to their work shift (with the help of 23rd Century medicine?) or can ask one of the other Bridge crew members (from secondary monitor stations) to take over for a few minutes, IMHO.

    2) The way I recall it there was no button pushing scheme on the Bridge, except for Kirk's intercom button on the command chair.
    However, for TMP / ST I they went for a scheme where the actors had to familiarize themselves with the console layout and push the right buttons to provide more realism.

    Bob
     
  12. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

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    That would be a great scene!

    Chekov: Permission to leave the bridge, Captain?
    Kirk: What for?
    Chekov: I have to take a dump, Sir.

    :lol:
     
  13. Talos

    Talos Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    :lol:

    I can't decide if that's better or worse then the TNG alternative, with the head right there. Right in front of the rest of the bridge crew. No wonder Picard has his own in his ready room.

    I always liked the idea of there being one in that gangway around the TOS bridge though. It's a clever idea.
     
  14. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I remember reading an article (in either Parade magazine or the Saturday Evening Post) just before ST:TMP came out, which said that for the first time the controls on the bridge would be coordinated to certain effects: "So when Sulu switches to 'magnification ten,' he'll have to push the same button every time!"

    So said the article (which I obviously read entirely too many times back in the day). :shrug:
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Well, it's not like the "magnification" effect would be live on the set, since the main viewscreen images were matted in separately. But yeah, I think some of the controls were practical and would trigger certain light displays on the consoles to activate, for instance.
     
  16. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hopefully, one of them won't be, "Deela is brushing her hair and Kirk is putting his boots on. Why did he have his boots off?" But, knowing kids, it probably will be. :lol:
     
  17. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There was a scene in Diane Carey's novel Dreadnaught where this actually happens. The main character asks Spock for permission to step below deck (or was it above deck?) for a moment.
     
  18. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Me too. I also like how it actually gives the additional door on the bridge in TAS some purpose: it doesn't simply lead to a secondary turbolift, but instead leads to the gangway around the bridge that happens to contain various additional things (including the toilet). It's a logical addition, albeit one we never saw confirmed on-screen.

    Alas, in TOS that door is missing, so we are left to theorize how they might access the gangway in the live-action Star Trek...

    One other idea is that there are doors on the bridge which lead to the outer gangway, but which don't look overtly like doors, instead resembling wall panels. On some commercial airliners the areas in which the cabin crew sleep during long haul flights are in a door which is designed to look like a wall panel, which slides aside to allow access. It's less practical than TAS's secondary door, but is probably more asthetically pleasing in terms of the bridges contours.
     
  19. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I believe the exact wording is "permission to step up-deck."

    :)
     
  20. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A bit of hyperbole in those articles. There were a few "practical" buttons on the Phase II/TMP set, but not so many. In fact, some of them were hidden buttons that the actor would push without the camera seeing. You can see a pair of them on the weapons and defense station, painted black (to the right of the "accordion" buttons and along the edge of the torpedo arming controls).
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/twok/ch7/twok0452.jpg