What was wrong with the TMP uniforms?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by dswynne1, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I respectfully disagree about style and color preference with concept, because Star Trek is first and foremost supposed to be entertaining fiction. Otherwise, the majority of designs in Trek don't make much practical sense, like the 90s trend to make starships more streamlined (warp "aerodynamics" was just a backdoor concept as an excuse to make them sleeker) or the dustbuster phasers that would be bad for aiming. But it's part of the package and helps sell what we're looking at as the future.

    Keep in mind, I'm not saying that practicality doesn't matter in design or that it's impossible to reconcile that with aesthetics. It's just that I believe if the uniforms look boring, and you're going to be watching the central cast for the vast majority of the movie and they're wearing the uniforms, then they themselves lose a bit of energy. If TMP is considered the "slo-mo" picture, I would think the uniforms play a role in that -- not as much as the editing or pace, mind you, but adding to an atmosphere of dullness.

    The movie uniforms were a victim of the 70s aesthetic -- muted, beigey loungey type of feel. I was watching the first Anchorman movie and, while a comedy, Ron Burgundy's color choice isn't too far off from the browner uniform colors. And the worst way to date a futuristic movie is to use fashion trends of the decade in which it was made.
     
  2. bryce

    bryce Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I read once that the idea was to give the futuristic starships a comfortable, "shirtsleeve" environment.

    And anyone notice that JJ's medical uniforms look just like the TMP medical outfits. (And The Admirals uniforms, of course, look obviously inspired by Kirk's from TMP...)

    One idea I liked was that there were *off-duty* shipboard outfits too (look at the bath robe-looking outfits...they were meant for off-duty I originally read in an old "How To Make Your Own Star Trek Uniform" book...)

    I mean, as much as I like the ST:2 and beyond "band uniforms" the look uncomfortable to wear all day. They look like a *formal* uniform (and *double as such*) and we needed a ship-board uniform to go with it. Maybe a landing party outfit too.

    I like the "bio-belts" and just imagine that they were later miniaturized and are still part of the uniforms somewhere. I thought Star Trek '09 shows that it made sense to be able to monitor crew's lifesigns off-ship. (Only think missing is a camera. We have them *now*!)

    I would love to see some version of the TMP uniforms with maybe the TOS colors (if maybe a bit subdued) - and *maybe* black pants...just to see how they look...(but my Photoshop skill don't exist.)
     
  3. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    They're bland and boring and not nearly colorful enough, especially coming after the vibrant primary colors of TOS.

    True confession: One of the reasons I could never get into Stargate was the dull khaki uniforms. I prefer my space operas to be a bit more visually exciting--like TOS or Farscape.
     
  4. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'd say the belt-buckle-biorythm-doohickies were a doomed concept from the start. They take away too much drama potential in stories. No finding dead bodies, or crewmen unknowingly catching some mysterious disease with those belt medical boxes to spoil all the surprises! Unless Star Trek were specifically a medical show, those belt devices would get in the way of the story, and many dramatic scenes of character interaction would die aborning.

    The early episodes of Space:1999 had a similar idea, and while it worked well in one story, it would have gotten repetitive seeing "Technician Joe Schmoe: life functions terminated" every single week.
     
  5. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    The TOS uniforms looked like pajamas, too.
     
  6. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    Somewhat.

    More specifically, the TMP uniforms look like baby or toddler jammies - it's the one-color, in some cases one-piece "unconstructed" design in concert with having the footwear built into the uniform.

    I thought the TMP uniforms were less distracting in action in the movie than they were in the pre-release publicity stills. They moved pretty well - and despite the widespread preference for the TWOK uniforms, the TMP outfits looked far more plausible as working uniforms than did the "monster maroons." The TWOK uniforms looked like some kind of ceremonial costumes.
     
  7. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I'm just saying space fatigues looking like pajamas is not such a bad thing. I liked the uniforms in Forbidden Planet, especially the short-sleeved variant. I wouldn't mind TMP style shirts--particularly, Kirk's short-sleeved shirt--with TOS style pants and boots, not the parachute pants of TWOK. Those footie pants and jumpsuits were pretty bad. Never minded the perscan buckles, though.
     
  8. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The TMP uniforms sort of remind me of the Space 1999 uniforms.(which I didn't mind).
    Maybe a few tweaks and they would have been OK - like adding some darker colours, not being so tight, not having the shoes built in. I'm not sure.
     
  9. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    The FC style uniforms were the best in any of the original continuity movies--not ideal, but good. I like the revised TOS fatigues and skirts in the new movies, for nostalgia as much as anything.
     
  10. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    I suppose my favorites were the TWOK uniforms, but I was never in love with any of the movie outfits. I prefer the TOS series uniforms, and the original Theiss season 1 & 2 uniforms on TNG.
     
  11. starburst

    starburst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Apart from Kirks short sleeve variant Im kinda on a scale of 'meh' to not bothered when it comes to the TMP uniforms. I did like the return of the Cage like away team jackets and the wrist communicators though.

    The WOK onward uniforms looks smart but never seemed practical to me apart from the 'bomber' style jacket Morrow and Scotty wore in TSFS and later Kirk early in TFF. They looked just too stiff and more of a dress uniform, in my opinion Galactica used a similar concept which looked much more practical.

    I would agree that the FC and ST09 uniforms represent the best in terms of movie uniforms, for me at the moment ST09 may beat out FC as the top uniform design.
     
  12. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I really liked the First & Second Season uniforms used in TNG, myself! When the collar went up, it ended up looking more like a priest's outfit, with all of that black and the open notch in the front. Seasons 1 & 2 were reminiscent of sailor's uniforms in the U.S. Navy. But my favourites continue to be those used in THE MOTION PICTURE. I liked the sewn patch idea, even. It just seemed really well thought-out and I liked the semi-hourglass cut in the front of the garments, as well as the band below the collar. And it's very pleasing to see that some of that design still inspires costume design in the reboot. But as far as the most utilitarian uniform, I give all due credit to ENTERPRISE. I liked the NASA feel of the blue overalls, or jumpers, or whatever the balls you'd call them ...
     
  13. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    The TWOK uniforms really seemed like a throwback to the officer uniforms worn by the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. During the Star Treks II-VI era, it may have been rare for officers to regularly do any kind of hard physical labor in those uniforms (Scotty never wore his when he was actually working in engineering). The jackets were also ditched during most landing parties in lieu of a more casual vest.
     
  14. JT Perfecthair

    JT Perfecthair Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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  16. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I liked the TWOK and FC uniforms myself, but I can't help but wonder if it gets really warm under there. Both uniforms aren't just layers, but fairly thick, heavy cotton layers.
     
  17. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Perhaps they have a method of cooling the wearer automatically. We have long johns that keep us warm; I'm sure that all these centuries later, there are garments that can keep someone cool as well.
     
  18. JT Perfecthair

    JT Perfecthair Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    If "Spock's Brain" is canon, and so many don't want it to be, then everybody has a personal adjustable environmental field around them for temperature control since at least the TOS era.

    landing party beams down to Sigma Draconis, they all start to immediately react to the cold

    Kirk: Suit temperatures to seventy two.

    everybody reaches around behind them and all stop shivering.

    In theory clothing could be totally optional on some ships.
     
  19. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A decent possibility, but in the present, they're not suits that I'd want to cosplay in for a weekend :)
     
  20. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Yes, we're talking about two different things I suspect. By "concept" I meant conceptual uniforms, as if they really existed 300 years in the future. Not the film designer's concept.

    Of course there will always be giveaway cues to the aesthetics of the time in any production. But fashion preferences are not set in stone and change over time. The TWOK uniforms are also loaded with early '80s cues. Personally I think TMP didn't do too badly in trying to moderate the influences of the time. Compared to Space 1999 from a few years earlier, which had flared trouser legs, hip light-colored boots with chunky heels, extra-wide collars and so on.

    As for the "pajamas" thing, I look at it this way... Below is an image similar to one I posted five or six years ago. The two photos are exactly the same subject, US Navy admirals and their staffs. It shows how drastically and unpredictably things can change, in this case in less than 80 years and within the very same service. In 1865, when even laborers went out in public in a suit and tie, who would imagine high-ranking naval officers performing their duties in wrinkled, open-collared shirts and khaki trousers?

    [​IMG]


    So, would 300-years-hence space service uniforms remind us of present-day pajamas? Sure, they might. But that doesn't make them implausible.

    That seems to have been an influence, along with the movie The Prisoner of Zenda. There are many reasons the ST2-6 uniforms are my least favorite, but one I've fixed on recently is that the skirt of the coat, below the belt, looks too short on most actors, it doesn't cover the hips. Coats with a belt on the outside like that look better with longer skirts and a tailored waist seam. In that respect the maroons as seen in TNG flashbacks look better without the belt, though the lack of the high shirt collar is a negative.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2014