STAR TREK the enemy of LOST IN SPACE?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. Bad Atom

    Bad Atom Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Location:
    Ohio
    Yeah, I've never seen any of it before, I was only aware of the pop-culture cliches. And I enjoy 60's TV in general so I can appreciate it for what it is. I could understand how people would be disappointed if they directly compared it to Star Trek. But they shouldn't. :)
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Right -- it's like comparing The Sarah Jane Adventures to Torchwood. Or Monsters, Incorporated to Aliens. The target audience is different.
     
  3. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Location:
    Outer Graceland
    Was the target audience different at the start? If not, it does invite a comparison -- which many have addressed -- of how the two shows diverged from both being aimed at adults originally.

    IF they both were, that is. I am in the dark on all things LiS, other than the fact I didn't like it as a kid, on channel 50 in the '70s in Detroit; but I DID like Trek. And Batman reruns on channel 20.
     
  4. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Trying to focus....
    Actually, given that shows such as Lost In Space tended to warp (no pun intended) the network's expectation of what good science fiction was, I'd say you have the question backwards. It should instead be "Is Lost In Space the enemy of Star Trek?" And the answer is YES!
     
  5. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Location:
    ssosmcin
    Yup. :) Also a Space:1999 episode titled "The Immunity Syndrome" and a dozen or so shows using "The Enemy Within." Let's not forget "Mirror, Mirror."
     
  6. Tralfaz

    Tralfaz Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Location:
    London, ON, Canada
    I am a huge fan of both series. As a kid though, LIS rated higher for me than ST. The episodes where Smith was a true villain were the absolute best. Smith started adding the comedic part of his character in order to be employed longer. He realized that a true villain could not last on the show. And for seasons 2 and 3, you can thank Batman for it becoming so campy. Who can forget the Great Vegetable Rebellion?

    ST on the other hand, at least for me, maintained the same level of seriousness throughout its run. Yes, some humor was added as mentioned in other posts, but it still remained a serious Sci-Fi series.

    Because the two shows were so different, other than being Sci-Fi, it isn't really fair to compare one to another.
     
  7. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Location:
    ssosmcin
    Nah, shows like Lost in Space were the best thing for Star Trek. Think about it; if high quality, adult, intelligent, message-carrying sci-fi shows were the norm back then, Star Trek wouldn't have even been necessary. Star Trek needed Lost in Space to compare favorably with and to prove the point that "it doesn't have to be like this."
     
  8. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Location:
    ssosmcin
    Actually, Zap, they didn't use that method all that often; the giants were just too large in comparison and the soundstage only went back so far. The little people had to be small enough to fit in a giant hand. They mostly used split screens, mattes and rear projection. The actors often said they never met their giant co-stars.

    When Irwin DID use forced perspective, it was on shows like Voyage and Lost in Space when a giant creature (or giant Dr. Smith) wasn't as large. The Voyage episode "Leviathan" is a perfect example of nearly flawlessly executed forced perspective. The camera even pans across the set to reveal the giant, which could never have been done with mattes and split screens, at least not with the time and money they had.
     
  9. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2001
    Location:
    Sunny Central Florida
    The best Irwin Allen use of forced perspective was THE TIME TUNNEL itself. In reality, the set only had about ten rings, but a forced-perspective attachment at the rear gave the impression that the thing went on forever.

    [​IMG]

    Harry
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Yes, the audiences were always different. As I've said, part of what motivated Roddenberry to develop ST in the first place was that there had never been a non-anthology SF television series that was written with adult rather than family audiences in mind. LiS was originally more serious than it became, true, but it was still intended for family viewing, meaning for parents and children alike. Remember, it was originally conceived as a sci-fi version of The Swiss Family Robinson, a young-adult adventure novel.


    My local station when I was a preteen showed TOS and S:1999 back to back once a week, and one week they showed both series' "The Immunity Syndrome" episodes on the same night!


    IMDb lists 39 TV episodes with that title, and 14 for just "Enemy Within." There are also several movies of that name and even a 2002 UK game show. Plus "Enemy Within" is the unofficial fan title for the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie.


    Yeah, that's a neat trick. It's achieved by pivoting the camera around the exact focal point of the light within it, so that there's no change apparent in the perspective of the objects at different distances. They used that on Hercules/Xena quite frequently and quite effectively.

    But I beg to differ -- you can achieve the appearance of a pan with a matte or split-screen shot if you first composite a static shot, then rephotograph it while zooming in on a portion of the shot and panning across it. I believe this was done with a number of the matte shots in Forbidden Planet, and was often used in ST:TNG as well, for instance in panning shots that included the bridge viewscreen. The giveaway is that the resolution of the image is lower, the film grain enlarged.
     
  11. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Location:
    east coast United States
    Yes, Space Family Robinson. :techman:
     
  12. Keith1701

    Keith1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Warner Robins Georgia
    Lost in Space was good in it's day but NEVER as good as STAR TREK.
     
  13. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Trying to focus....
    Ahhhhh... I can almost hear the discussion in the production meetings for Perry Mason... "Thank goodness for Gilligan's Island or no one would watch our show!"

    Seriously though... you could swap Gilligan--character and actor--for Dr. Smith and it wouldn't amount to a ant hill's difference in the two shows. I don't think I can make the same claim if we swapped Shatner/Kirk's character with the elder Robinson.

    Wait... but now that I think of it, the character of Will Robinson does remind me (annoy me, actually) the same as the character of Wesley Crusher.

    I have to stop this line of thought as it's giving me a headache or maybe brain damage.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    That's completely untrue. They were both screwups, but in very different ways. Gilligan was naive and clumsy but well-intentioned; he wanted to be helpful but just wasn't any good at it. And while he was easily frightened, he was able to overcome it when his friends needed him. Dr. Smith, by contrast, was self-absorbed, greedy, habitually dishonest, manipulative, and lazy, and his cowardice was so overwhelming that he'd willingly abandon the others to save his skin. The Gilligan's Island character who most resembles Dr. Smith is Mr. Howell.
     
  15. Duncan MacLeod

    Duncan MacLeod Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2002
    Location:
    New England
    Christopher that is a terrible insult to Mr. Howell. ;)
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Well, Howell was defined more by greed and less by cowardice, and wasn't quite the pathological liar Smith was, but he took pride in his deviousness. Howell played essentially the same role in GI that Smith played in LiS or Dan Fielding did in Night Court: the comic villain, the member of the ensemble who repeatedly created conflict through his dishonesty and selfishness, while not being quite bad enough to be kicked out of the group or otherwise given a permanent comeuppance.
     
  17. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Location:
    ssosmcin
    Sure, in a major feature film, but could it have been done convincingly in a 5 or 6 day shoot on a small TV budget in 1965? That's why I included that disclaimer. We're talking about an era when many directors of fantasy shows didn't take the time to even lock down the camera during a cut for a "teleportation" scene, leading to an image shift and ruining the illusion. The split screen on some episodes of Voyage, for example, were painfully obvious; shadows crossing over the seam, or a dark line would run down the middle of the image. Nobody walked in fronto f viewscreens or panned away from them unless the images were rear-projected. The forced perspective was the quickest and most convincing trick I've seen from that time to convey the differences in size. Sure, if you really look, one can see where the background doesn't match, but it's so well done, it's excusable.

    It was great until an actor walked all the way down and the director didn't cut before showing us said actor bending over in order to keep walking. Robert Colbert had to do it in the series pilot. Whoops!

    I've spoken to some LiS fans recently who would violently disagree with you. Oy, some were really outta control.
     
  18. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Location:
    ssosmcin
    Sure, in a major feature film, but could it have been done convincingly in a 5 or 6 day shoot on a small TV budget in 1965? That's why I included that disclaimer. We're talking about an era when many directors of fantasy shows didn't take the time to even lock down the camera during a cut for a "teleportation" scene, leading to an image shift and ruining the illusion. The split screen on some episodes of Voyage, for example, were painfully obvious; shadows crossing over the seam (The Haunted Submarine), or a dark line would run down the middle of the image (Day of Evil). Nobody walked in front of viewscreens or panned away from them unless the images were rear-projected. The forced perspective was the quickest and most convincing trick I've seen from that time to convey the differences in size. Sure, if you really look, one can see where the background doesn't match, but it's so well done, it's excusable.

    It was great until an actor walked all the way down and the director didn't cut before showing us said actor bending over in order to keep walking. Robert Colbert had to do it in the series pilot. Whoops!

    I've spoken to some LiS fans recently who would violently disagree with you. Oy, some were really outta control.
     
  19. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    Foxhot
    I'm a hardcore Angela Cartwright---ahem, I mean LOST IN SPACE fan. But there's no way I could justifiably say LOST IN SPACE was in any sense a match for TOS. It's a guilty pleasure, certainly.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Why not? It doesn't require any additional techniques or equipment -- just one more pass through the optical printer. It'd take a bit more time and money, but not prohibitively so.