Weird Thing in "The Naked Time"

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

  1. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    Correct, these were 'futuristic' suits against the cold--not isolation suits. Even 1960s audience's could clearly see they were wide open at the bottom.

    Before they beamed down they must have scanned the structure and seen the temp was way off. They didn't scan it and assume there was a pathogen loose.
     
  2. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I already addressed that when I compared these suits to the spacesuits seen in "Tholian Web." If the script said cold weather gear, then the costuming department shouldn't have produced "salt shakers" that would not be recognized as such by a 1960s audience.

    Granted, the suits were not sealed shut and taped against biological contamination, but they do look like some kind of isolation gear, like radiation suits. Considering the contamination seen right in the teaser, it is natural for a viewer to think the exotic attire was meant as iso-suits. If the costumers had gone with heavy coats (like those seen in THE WRATH OF KHAN), then the audience wouldn't have surmised that Tormolen was a pinhead.

    There is also Spock's line, "Be certain we expose ourselves to nothing."
     
  3. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    I didn't read every post, but at any rate at the point where he reaches his hand up under the hood to his mouth to warm it with his breath--I knew it wasn't an 'isolation suit' even when I was a kid.

    You are right they could have done a better job at making clear that they were suits against the cold and not biohazard suits, but the script is clear so the intent made sense but the execution was off.
     
  4. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    All Thiess would have had to do was put some fake fur trim on them, and we likely would have realized they were cold weather suits. But when the costumes are apparently shower curtain originals (much like the Elasian guards' placemat "armor" costumes), most of the money was probably spent on spray foam "ice" for the planet set.

    That, and a significantly large cast of extras with speaking parts.
     
  5. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    That's another thing I hadn't really thought of too much.....

    If the heat is turned off in the outpost---would that cause the thick 'ice' to form over everything?

    I know they were trying to give the imprssion of cold, but could that actually happen or was it just another goof up--like the obvious manaquin used as a woman.

    And yes it looked like a mannequin to me on my old small TV set.
     
  6. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    It was, and Robert Justman afterwards used to hide it in his office in various stages of undress to scare visitors.
     
  7. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    Maybe it was the rush of episodic Tv in those days, but everything about the teaser was a misfire---the cold suits that are very ambiguous, the manaquin, Tomorlen's removing the glove and putting on the dead guys head, the odd way the virus gets on his hand.

    Add to that everything Tomorlen does is weird---he knows he removed his glove and as soon as Spock said what he did about contamination--he should have said,"Oops, I removed my glove." Episode over.

    Then after acting cavalier about the dead guy he seems so distraught about leaving "people to die on freezing planets."

    Then Spock says his profile shows a lot of self-doubt and McCoy later says, "that man isn't the kind to give up."

    Even as a kid I thought, "but according to what Spock just said---he's EXACTLY the kind of guy to give up!"

    They clearly state that the virus brings out peoples inner true feelings and Tomorlen gets suicidal as soon as the virus kicks in and McCoy says it's not in his nature after Spock says it is.

    I wonder if they just didn't want to acknowledge what was pretty clear---he had a predisposition for deep depression and suicide.

    Maybe they didn't want to show that was still common in the future?
     
  8. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Then you were better than I was. Incidentally, he did not put his hand up to his face to warm it. Tormolen took the glove off in the first place to rub an itchy nose. (How many people take off a winter glove to rub an itchy nose? To me, that further suggested the sort of isolation zones, as practiced in surgery.) Later he sticks his hand up to smell it after the organism leaps onto his hand. We can even hear the sniffing, and he checks both sides of his hand—not merely breathing on the side that touched the frozen console.

    But we're agreed that the original intent of the script and the execution are out of synch.

    Would the outpost interior be covered with frost? Maybe. It's not stated anywhere that Psi 2000's atmosphere is not breathable. If the station was hermetically sealed, then there might still be frost, as the moisture in the air condensed, but the frost would not have been so heavy... unless steam from some source (such as the shower, where Tormolen found someone fully clothed) added to the humidity in the air.
     
  9. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    Well both suits were wide open in the head/hood area. And it didn't look like they had popped open or come undone----they were simply open.

    Heck a simple 1940s surgical mask would have been MORE safe from germs than the open bottomed hood!

    By the same token and old fashioned 'muffler' scarf over the mouth would have been better against breathing in the cold air! LOL.

    It was just awful in both a practical and story-telling sense. A total fail. Just give them an 'off the rack' parka deal.

    And another case where they thought they had to do something 'futuristic' when they didn't.

    How much better were the simple sickbay sheets/blankets in WNMHGB than the stupid 'futuristic' whatever that sickbay had after that?

    And why do away with the nice landing party jackets from Cage and have the phaser/communicator 'futuristically' stuck by Velcro to the belt?
     
  10. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Are there any surviving memos or script pages suggesting that the teaser was a rush last-minute rewrite? Perhaps that accounts for some of the inconsistencies. Then again, it's a very early episode (7th produced & 4th released), and they might have had two other shows in development in the rush to get product out the door to meet airdates.
     
  11. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    I think that had the actors worn simple jackets in the "freezing cold" room, the audience would notice that there is no visible exhaled breath coming from the actors. (I doubt the producers would have worked to drop the temperature of the soundstage below freezing in order to make it look more realistic.) I think masking the actors' breaths by use of over-the-head hoods was a necessary evil. Otherwise it would have looked even more like a mid-summer day in Southern California.
     
  12. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    Good point.

    An even better reason to have something like a mask over their mouth with only their eyes exposed.


    But then again an open bottomed hood wouldn't have prevented their breath from being visibly exhaled---they'd still be inhaling really cold air and visibly exhaling.
     
  13. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Or build a set and film inside an actual icehouse, like Orson Welles did for the snow sequences in The Magnificent Ambersons.
     
  14. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    That probably would have blown the budget for the entire season.
     
  15. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've seen plenty of "cold" scenes in movies with no visible breath, and it never looks out of place. The same goes for day-for-night shooting and other tricks—audiences have come to understand the cinematic shorthands, like blue lighting for moonlight or cold in the same way they understand something as unnatural as cuts and dissolves.

    Also... it is not necessary to take an entire movie set down below freezing to get visible breath. The crew working on 2010: THE YEAR WE MAKE CONTACT discovered that humidity is the key (CINEFEX no. 20, p 40). In other words, it is possible to have a bitingly cold real-world situation when breath is not visible because the air is too dry.
     
  16. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    Many films and TV shows have also used the trick of putting a small wire cage with a piece of dry ice in each actor's mouth to simulate a frigid environment. I remember reading production notes for "Conan the Destroyer" where they discussed doing this for the sequence in the ice castle on the lake.
     
  17. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    That would make dialogue recording on set rather difficult, and all the scenes would have to be looped in post. Probably had to do that on most of Arnold's films anyway.
     
  18. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    AFAIK, the only time that method was tried was during the filming of Frank Capra's Dirigible in 1931 (as described in his autobiography, The Name Above the Title). It wasn't a resounding success.
     
  19. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You could see their breath in the remake of "The Thing" when they went outside.
    For me it was very distracting - I kept wishing they would go in and get out of the cold. In that case I would have preferred them not to be realistic for once in a movie.
    They didn't seem to care about the breath thing when they were on Sarpiedon.

    Isn't dry-ice dangerous? If you put that on your skin (or touching your mouth) wouldn't it burn?
     
  20. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I found the Conan story on-line. Maybe it was a scene with no dialog, or used ADR.

    Do you have any other documentation on this? I find it very hard to believe, as dry ice can cause burns quickly. Even if isolated by a "cage," dry ice is carbon dioxide. You'd asphyxiate every actor on the set. (I know from experience, catching a breath of dry ice fog while bending down to pick up something on a set. It's not breathable, like mineral oil smoke.)