Weird Thing in "The Naked Time"

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by M, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Well, I'd said it was impractical for EVA purposes as it wasn't designed to provide warmth for its users but to ensure they wouldn't get too hot inside (with all the studio lighting equipment). ;)

    I still prefer these TOS suits over the TAS life support belts. They looked absolutely futuristic and believable to me (however, in real life the helmet would probably rotate to follow the users eyes and ensure that no matter where you turn your head you always will have an unobstructed view - apparently something they couldn't visualize because of budget and technical restrictions).

    Bob
     
  2. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    For what it's worth, I pulled the shooting script for "The Naked Time." The script direction when Mister Spock and Crewman Joe Tormolen beam down reads simply "They wear cold weather gear."

    So, the suits were scripted to protect the landing party from the cold, not really from contamination. (That's what the goofy decontamination process in the transporter room was for.)
     
  3. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If the technology for a personal "force field" existed, I'd rather use that. The "Tholian Web" spacesuits looked interesting, with the red/blue "circulatory system" running over the surface. But those eraser-head helmets were just too goofy to accept. They block the user's vision on the sides, while leaving the "view" out the back wide open. (Why?) They were also a bit tall; I wonder if anyone had trouble getting through doors?

    Ah, so the original idea was simply an unexpected infection, rather than a Michael Crichton-like failure of a complex system.
     
  4. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Going back for a minute to foolish crewmembers, I should probably add a mention for Crewman Darnell from The Man Trap. While he didn't actually snack on a borgia plant as Nancy suggested, neither Kirk nor McCoy thought it too far fetched that he might have done. You'd think there would be some sort of Starfleet training about not sticking everything you find on an alien planet in your mouth, but apparently not!

    Of course, he did go lolloping after Nancy like a dog on heat, but I think that sort of behaviour is encouraged for 23rd century officers ;)
     
  5. Corylea

    Corylea Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, it's clear that the security teams need WAY more training than they got in the 60's. Er, I mean the 23rd Century. :lol:

    Of course, since the TOS team was making up an entire world -- while working at a breakneck pace and doing everything as cheaply as possible -- what's surprising isn't that they got some things wrong, but how many things they got RIGHT. ;)
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You do realize that Star Trek was one of the more expensive series on TV during its run?
     
  7. Corylea

    Corylea Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yep, but science fiction is WAY more expensive to make than other genres are, and if you read the history of the series, it's all about making do and reusing old stuff and finding cheaper ways of doing what they needed to do. They made medical instruments out of salt shakers and costumes out of place mats, for heaven's sake. It was expensive for TV but cheap for SF. ;)
     
  8. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You all show some GD respect for Joe Tormolen! If it weren't for him the Feds wouldn't have discovered slingshot time travel and the Earth would have been destroyed by whales!! As for Compton...I'm sure there were all kinds of applications of Scalosion water....assuming it wasn't destroyed with all the other amazing tech Enterprise discovered and was never seen again.

    Science by accident! God bless those red (or gold) shirts.
     
  9. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Your comments made me think of those silica gel packs you find packed in the box with new electronic equipment. They're always emblazoned with the phrase 'do not eat'. I don't know about you, but I'd never be tempted to do that regardless of the warning. "Hey, cool, my new tv came with a snack!" :lol:
     
  10. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I haven't checked, but maybe the helmets were reversible? :shrug:

    As far as foolish crew members go, my money's still on Compton. We actually witnessed him licking his fingers after sticking his hands in the water! :wtf:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Compton's lucky the Scalosian water only hyper-accelerated him. It might have contained fluoride.

     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  12. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, the actors were always turning their whole bodies sideways to look at anything. Just like the Bridge, with it's awkward knee-level railing and Spock's bend-over-to-see-in hooded viewer, the spacesuits were nifty-looking but ergonomically terrible.

    We know from Ralph Senensky's blog that Bill Theiss delivered the spacesuits a full half-day later than they were needed. Theiss must have lost a lot of time that week casting about desperately for an affordable yet "way beyond today" helmet design that he could build four of.
     
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    How about the advantages of such a helmet design? During extra-vehicular activity the TOS suit allows the user to lift his head and see what's above him with ease.
    Maybe the open space at the back is rather a "view-in" for fellow astronauts. In case of a communication problem a guy behind could just say "move your head so I can see that everything is okay".

    Unlike TMP the general idea seemed to be to have a space suit that looked so futuristic that it could almost pass as believable. Given the time and budget restraints I think the outcome was impressive. :)

    Bob
     
  14. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Fascinating, how my question about Tormolen's behaviour towards dead bodies lead to a discussion about the spacesuits of TOS. :lol:

    Personally, I always understood those suits from "The Naked Time" as hermetically sealed, fully-functional spacesuit. TOS being what it is, I just assumed as a viewer I had to take what I saw with a grain of salt. The whole TOS-as-a-theatrical-representation-of-"real"-events idea and all that. But sure, the purpose of those suits could very well be the mere protection from the cold environment, in which case they wouldn't seem as stupid. Whatever is true, I always liked their design.

    Going back to my original question for a second, do you guys think the actor playing Tormolen was actually directed to rest his glove on the dead man's head? Or was it simply an oversight of those working on the set? But how could it be?
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think Ensign Joe being able to slip off a glove and put it under his hood with ease pretty much blows the illusion of it being a fully-functional spacesuit. At least for me it did. :techman:
     
  16. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know whose original idea it was, but I'm sure it was done deliberately. I've always thought Tormolen's cavalier and dispassionate behavior during the landing party scenes contrasted nicely with his hand-wringing angst after being infected by the pathogen.
     
  17. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    When people use that one on me, my response is always, "If your story (or show) requires your characters to act like idiots, you already don't have much of a story."
     
  18. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    If Star Trek hadn't built their own suits, they probably would have had to rent these old costumes used in Destination Moon. They were already 15 years old by ST's time and had been seen in several shows and movies since.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

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    On first viewing, I assumed the suits were supposed to be full-fledged environmental isolation suits...and extraordinarily badly realized ones, at that.

    But I've since come to believe that they are, in fact, merely cold weather gear. There is evidence in the episode to support this, and even, apparently, notation of such in the script, itself.

    I think the producers erred in trying to make the suits so "futuristic." In a scene where the concept of contamination plays such a large role, it's easy to make the wrong assumption about the suits.

    I think I would have designed something a lot more visually evocative of cold weather gear. Or, maybe I'd just have one the characters say, "Hey, Joe, better put that glove back on! That's a good way to get frostbite and lose a finger, buddy!" :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  20. Corylea

    Corylea Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, but four things:

    1. The focus of story is really about what happens after the Psi 2000 virus makes it to the ship; how it gets to the ship is just hand-waving. ;) And with only 50 minutes to play with, they have to get it to the ship quickly, without spending a whole lot of time on how.

    2. The creative team was writing this stuff blindingly fast, often tearing the pages out of the typewriter and giving them to the actors ten minutes before they were supposed to say those lines. Working at that pace, it's a wonder their stuff held together at all. (And I'm always amazed that the actors managed to learn their lines under such conditions, especially Shatner, who usually had the longest speeches, and Nimoy, who usually had big paragraphs of exposition that were full of details that just had to be memorized.)

    3. Writers, actors, directors, and producers typically get little or no scientific training, so the people who made this stuff usually know a lot less about how their characters would and should behave than the typical Star Trek FAN does. My husband and I both have scientific training, and we both often bang our heads against the wall and say, "But Spock wouldn't SAY that, because scientists don't behave that way!" Then we remind ourselves that most writers don't know this stuff. ;)

    4. The 60's were a very different time. We've had a lot of shows that delve into the minutia of how things get done in the intervening years (e.g., the CSI shows), but at the time, hand-waving on the details was a lot more common.