Does the red "EXIT" sign and the department store-looking "NO SMOKING" sign in....

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by The Rock, Dec 6, 2018 at 11:27 AM.

  1. The Rock

    The Rock Captain Captain

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    ....Star Trek II take you out of the movie whatsoever?

    For me, it only does in the parts where they are shown, but I quickly forget about them. However, they still date the movie IMO. Why did Nicholas Meyer approve of such 20th-century looking signs? I get that he's a big non-smoking guy (which I totally support btw) but I always found it kinda funny how he used such an archaic type of sign for something that takes place far in our future.

    Great movie though still!
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 11:37 AM
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Because Meyer doesn't like futurism. He's cynical about the idea that the future will be any better than the present, and his stylistic choice in both Trek movies he directed was to evoke the past and present more than the future -- Hornblower-cosplay uniforms, military-style barracks, manual torpedo loading, a manual kitchen rather than food synthesizers, space battles staged like archaic age-of-sail ship battles, everything looking backward instead of forward. Roddenberry believed smoking would cease to exist by the 23rd century; Meyer was more cynical and believed our bad habits of today would persist unchanged in the future, so that "No Smoking" signs would still be needed.

    I don't see a problem with a lighted exit sign, though. Marking the exits is a safety feature. Why stop doing it?
     
  3. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    They went the cheap route on various things in this movie, such as the tricorder and communicator props as well as the signage you mentioned. While reigning in the budget was understandable after the debacle of TMP, it has the effect of making much of this film look like a TV movie of the week that just happens to be in wide aspect ratio.

    Kor
     
  4. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Meyer is probably correct.

    I'm not sure I agree with that. They saved a ton of money by reusing stock footage and models from TMP. Yeah, the Reliant and the new uniforms/props were obviously an added cost, but I don't see "cheap" in what they did. I agree with Christopher that Meyer wanted a certain look that wasn't predicated on how much money they had in the budget.
     
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  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    IIRC, it was originally developed as a TV movie, which is why they gave it to TV producer Harve Bennett. The budget was raised somewhat when it was decided to make it a feature, but still pretty low.

    (And for future reference, it's "reining in," like with a horse.)
     
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  6. Damian

    Damian Captain Captain

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    I have to admit I wasn't fond of the "No Smoking" sign either. Meyer seemed to have a fetish about smoking, even having Kirk take a drag in TUC.

    I think Christopher sort of hit it on the head, that Meyer didn't have quite as positive a view of the future as Rodenberry. Me personally, I prefer a balance between the two. There's nothing wrong with portraying humans in a more positive future, but we are still human and make mistakes. Perhaps that's one reason I liked Deep Space Nine so much. In that show, more than any other, the Federation is portrayed as a mostly positive force, but not perfect. It's capable of doing a lot of good, but it makes mistakes because it's run by imperfect beings.

    As for TWOK I liked some of what Meyer did, some not so much. I liked the uniforms. They do have a naval feel to them, but I think that's consistent since Starfleet is most similar in its structure to the US Navy. So why not have uniforms that reflect that tradition. Some of the battles were well done. I also give Meyer some credit for not going all in for his vision. He made some changes to the sets and lighting, but they were still consistent with TMP. I realize a lot of that was budget decided, but he still could have made more drastic changes and decided on more cosmetic changes.

    I also give him credit for getting the characterizations right, esp. of Kirk, Spock and McCoy. I thought those were spot on, even McCoy's taunting of Spock seemed right on target.

    But the No Smoking Signs, manual loading torpedo bays (I heard that drove the production designer nuts and I have to agree, if it takes that long to load a torpedo they're in trouble), and yes a kitchen in TUC (I could see that maybe for special events, like the dinner for the Klingons, but not in the normal course of shipboard life). It's fine to add a little present day sensibility so people can relate, but he probably went a little too far.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Because they were overelaborate and too cumbersome to be everyday fatigues. They should've used the fancy jackets with all the metal frippery as dress uniforms and had the everyday uniforms be just the turtleneck undershirts, like in the pilots.


    I think he made as many changes as he could afford. Bennett & Meyer wanted to ignore TMP altogether and start fresh. If they'd had the money, they would've probably redone everything from scratch.
     
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  8. Damian

    Damian Captain Captain

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    Well, not everyone got to wear the full uniform. The crew's uniforms were a lot less complicated (if I remember correctly they were modified TMP uniforms). And eventually in later movies they made some changes, like having different landing party uniforms in TFF and a vest instead of a full jacket. It's interesting that TWOK uniform variant survived the longest, all the way to the mid 24th century at least judging from 'Tapestry' and 'Yesterday's Enterprise' (granted without the turtleneck). The jacket didn't seem to hard to put on. Just a snap to close it basically.

    I guess I interpreted some of Meyer's statements a little differently. I remember him saying something about if he had created Star Trek from the get go it would have looked a lot different. But he didn't and this was the universe he had to work it. I knew the budget limited how much he could do. But I also took that to mean that he felt he had a certain basis, or template he had to work with and respect, including set design. He would make some changes to reflect his vision but the basic parameters would remain the same. At least that was my take. Even in TUC I saw that.

    I also based that on the fact that he kept the production designer in both cases from the previous film, Jennings and Zimmerman. He probably could have picked a totally different designer but decided to retain them. That sort of told me that we wasn't interested in a more radical change.
     
  9. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    What's the tradition? The vast US fleets of WW2 fought wearing faded open neck khaki or blue chambray shirts and denim dungaree or khaki cotton work trousers. Ships operating at sea have never had much use for fancy uniforms with a lot of eye-candy.
     
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  10. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I like it. Little touches like that, implausible as they may be, ground the show a little.
     
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  11. CaptainMurdock

    CaptainMurdock Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    They never bothered me. I quite like those little details.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    A double-breasted jacket like that seems a bit heavy for everyday duty wear, especially with another layer or two underneath it. And it's just too dressy-looking to be plausible as fatigues. It was designed to look impressive onscreen rather than to be practical, functional clothing. TNG got its modification backward -- they should've kept the turtleneck and ditched the jacket, not the other way around.


    What's your point? TMP was in the same universe as TOS (theoretically), but its designers still reinvented everything from scratch while being true to the basic design elements laid down in TOS, like the saucer-and-nacelles ship design, the arrowhead insignia, the circular bridge, etc. If they'd had the budget, TWOK's makers could've done the same. The only reason they kept specific hardware and stock footage from TMP (as opposed to the more general design precedents established in TOS) was because it was cheaper to reuse stuff. It wasn't out of any desire to directly reference TMP, a movie they implicitly pretended had never happened.


    TUC mostly used redresses of the TNG Enterprise sets to save money. After all, the TNG sets were a modification of the sets built for TMP in the first place and reused for TWOK and TSFS, so they were the only sets available.

    Besides, by the time of TUC, the look of the Trek movies had been firmly laid down by five previous films and by TNG. By then, it wasn't unique to TMP anymore.


    That could also have been a budgetary/practical decision -- if your tight budget and schedule require you to keep the sets, it makes sense to keep the people who are most familiar with the sets and most qualified to modify and supplement them.
     
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  13. Damian

    Damian Captain Captain

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    They just had a naval feel to them (I agree more on the dress uniform side, but definitely more so than the original series and TMP uniforms). I'm sure them looking impressive on screen was a big reason for their reason.

    Yeah, I get that. TMP used the in story plot device that it was a complete redesign. Personally I was happy they retained the basic TMP designs no matter the reason because it was one of my favorite starship designs. And when it comes to complaints about TMP the ship design usually isn't one of the complaints people have anyway. So at least for me keeping the design was a plus no matter the reason.

    I imagine their familiarity played a significant part in the decision to keep Jennings and Zimmerman. And to Jennings' and Zimmerman's credit they adapted their sets pretty well to what Meyer wanted. I mean, I know some will say that was their job but still.
     
  14. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    I think the OP was referencing the look of the signs. Which I never noticed.

    GR was more right about smoking, at least in the US. How is it going globally? Oh wait, weed is smoking and we just legalized that in Michigan today. So if you include that as smoking, maybe in general it will have increased again by the 23rd C.
     
  15. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Good for him, because he made a space naval drama and revenge story that worked after they'd tried to do Star Trek: A Space Odyssey and bored the piss out of everybody.

    Meanwhile, I saw the signs (I opened up me eyes and saw the signs) and didn't care.
     
  16. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The OP suggests Meyer was anti-smoking and that's why the signs are there, but my recollection of various cast interviews was that (in 1982 at least) he used to smoke cigars on set while directing. Ironically given the no smoking signs. :guffaw: So, I think the signs really were put there for aesthetic reasons. Unless Meyer was keen on kicking the habit (but he hadn't done as late as 1991 for TUC ;))

    As for them being obviously 20th century signage and why, Meyer himself suggested, particularly in reference to the 80s hair of Khan's followers, that every movie is going to be a product of its time no matter what efforts are made to try to be futuristic. Other elements of design in the movie do look like a 1980s view of the future, just like TOS looked like a 1960s view of the future.
     
  17. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    The abundance of CRT monitors, for instance.

    Kor
     
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  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    If anything, having No Smoking signs specifically posted in sensitive areas implies that smoking is still practiced and allowed in other public places, like it was in 1982. So that's kind of the opposite of the anti-smoking statement Roddenberry made by having tobacco totally nonexistent in the future. Meyer didn't believe humans would ever improve or give up our bad habits.
     
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  19. Corpus Christi

    Corpus Christi Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It was funny because of all the smoke from the battle simulation.
     
  20. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Y'all assuming the No Smoking was about cigarettes, but it was actually due to the ban on Belladonnans being in the simulator. The smoke they excrete when stressed can be quite toxic to other lifeforms and notoriously hard to filter effectively.
     
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