Does TOS Still Look Futuristic to You?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

    Jan 7, 2013
    New York State

    I just saw some photoshops of TOS characters in DS9 uniforms, like this one.

    I think if William Ware Theiss had offered this up at the start of TOS, it would have been rejected as a costume "designed for b&w TV-- get it out of here!"

    As part of its mission, TOS was supposed to get more people to buy color TV sets. I think there was even a business deal between NBC and RCA, but I'm vague on that. Anyway, If you saw TOS uniforms on a neighbor's color set (and people did have the neighbors over to see a new set in those days), you knew you were missing something at home, and that was the point.

    Did they go too far with the color saturation? I never thought so in the 1970s. The day we got our first roof antenna (a huge one, with a motorized rotor) and first color TV, and STAR TREK was suddenly clear and in color, was like Christmas to me. And TOS looked utterly futuristic, like nothing else could.

    I can still see TOS through those eyes, or I can shift to modern-guy and then TOS looks dated. I know the movies did not dent the old look for me. Maybe TNG did. Definitely by VOYAGER I was adopting the new aesthetic and finding that if I squinted just right, TOS looked out of date. I wasn't too happy about it.

    The classic Bridge set, especially as seen in S2 and S3, will never look bad to me, ever. I was shocked one day in the early 2000s when I had a very good CGI picture of the Bridge as wallpaper on a work PC, and a young woman asked what it was. She was gorgeous and her personality was all about fashion, hair, make-up, decor-- she was a person very dialed-in to what looks good and what doesn't. I joked (not that she'd know) that it was the design for our new Data Center. She said, "It's hideous."

    Has your eye for the TOS look changed over time?
  2. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 9, 2008
    I grew up with colour TV so that was never a factor - even as a child, I never considered Star Trek particularly futuristic.
  3. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    It looks like a dated 60's vision of the future. That's part of the charm of Star Trek, IMO. Randomly blinking coloured squares for control panels and pictures hung up around the bridge masquerading as display screens.

    But Star Trek: Enterprise did something very clever in "In a Mirror, Darkly" - they had the mirror NX-01 crew amazed at the bridge of the USS Defiant (which after vanishing in "The Tholian Web" somehow ended up in the past of the mirror universe) and how futuristic it looked. They treated the look of TOS as if it was technology meeting art, it's seeming cheesyness the whim of it's designer rather than the result of any limitations of 23rd century tech.
  4. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2007
    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination
    of course not, but all futuristic sci-fi is really about the writers in the current time's vision of the future, which is fairly hard to predict.
  5. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    It's like asking if 1950s Superman comics still look like superhero comics. TOS really captured the look and feel of a comic book better than any series either before or since. It's timeless in that respect.
  6. maneth

    maneth Captain Captain

    Feb 9, 2010
    Nope, especially not the computers. Those look like what they are, a 60s blinking lights vision of the future. Of course, the one thing that really dates TOS in my eyes is the miniskirt (and no, that doesn't look any better in the Abramsverse either).
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Yes and no.

    The Enterprise exterior still seems futuristic to me as do the bridge and transporter room. Some of the props have aged better than others, the communicator and phaser are still awesome, while the tricorder and PADD haven't aged so well.
  8. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

    Dec 13, 1999
    NJ, USA
    Well of course not, in fact a lot of things in all the ST series will not only look out of date, but in fact WILL be out of date in 25-35 years. Some already are. TOS is of course a product of it's time. While something like the old Enteprise is iconic, defined a basic form for the future, it still looks distinctly "60s", marrying the cigar shape with the saucer with relatively smooth surfaces.

  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    It's those smooth surfaces that serve to make it seem more futuristic than its offspring.
  10. spockboy

    spockboy Captain Captain

    May 25, 2005
  11. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 2, 2009
    That is pretty damn awesome. A shame it's just so short.
  12. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2012
    Melakon's grave
    This is like asking if Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927) looked dated to audiences in 1966.

    I was aware of Star Trek's production limitations when I was 15 in 1966, especially with its obviously fake "exterior" sets built on a soundstage. The Enterprise model looked strange, because it didn't look like previous film spaceships, but that was the intent.

    Does it still look futuristic to me? I accept it for what it is-- a product of its (and my) time on this tiny speck of dust in the universe.
  13. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2001
    Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
    "Futuristic" is always relevant to the time something is declared as such.

    But with TOS, we had subsequent Trek shows set a century later that rightfully made it look like something from a past era.
  14. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2009

    I do find the 24th century uniforms, especially DS9 and Voy, to be pretty dark and drab. If the idea was to be less "colorful," they did a fine job.

    As far as the bridge, change the displays only, leave the rest alone, basic layout is superior to all the other designs

  15. Sam_I_Am

    Sam_I_Am Captain Captain

    Apr 10, 2004
    New Taipei, Taiwan
    I think DS9 (the starbase, not the series) ages best, because of its alien design. The hairstyles and costumes give it away though.
  16. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

    Sep 19, 2010
    E. coast U.S.A.
    Agree, all good points.:vulcan:
  17. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 23, 2013
    I know Spockboy busted his hump just rotoscoping the original cast, to say nothing of all the work put into the CGI bridge set. Bravo, Spockboy! I've been a fan of your work since seeing your "gag reel" of "A Piece of the Action." I'd love to get that one in better resolution.
  18. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

    Dec 13, 1999
    NJ, USA

    Not really..

    But I have watched a handful of TOS-R lately, and I don't really mind it being out of date. Strictly speaking I don't watch it as a prediction of the exact future.
  19. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 29, 2012
    It looks timeless to me, and the DS9 and Enterprise eps look amazing. I'd have no prob watching a TOS era show that looked exactly like it. The original bridge is classic. The Nu one is pretty much like anything that came after TNG. Just this mess of 'what am i looking at'?
  20. golddragon71

    golddragon71 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Mar 12, 2013
    That was fantastic! It Maintained the level of reality in the original scene while updating the background of the set.
    If I have one problem with the new effects in the remastered Star Trek TOS, It's that somehow, the CGI makes the ship look less real to me than it did in the old series. (If anything, It looks MORE like a toy model than it did originally)