Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by WildManWizard, Jul 30, 2020.
To me any way.
Early S1 feels very dif from late. S2 very polished, almost routine at times. Their stride. S3 weirder, more serious.
I wouldn't say it felt like a different show at all but a group of actors, writers and directors more comfortable with the material and each other!
I think you substitute episodes into each season. There are differences of course. The uniforms, Chekov appearing etc. But overall the differences aren't all that significant.
I often mix up Season1 and 2 episodes.
I suppose you can tell Season 3 by the lack of extras and background noises because of the lack of money. However this is of no great significance to me.
Agree. For the most part I still don't know what season most episodes are from. I mean, I can tell "early" from "later" obviously, but "middle" eps I couldn't say if they were late 1, 2, or early 3 without checking.
I've seen so much of the show, and read so much about it that I know which season is which. But it still basically feels like the same show across all three seasons.
To me, each season feels very different. And I agree, that early S1 looks different to later S1; you only have to look at the lighting of the bridge, for example.
Weren’t you supposed to be going to jail?
I guess this is proof he got the phone smuggled.
If it worked for Lalo...
And that's it?
Nah, Lost in Space's three seasons felt like different shows. Space:1999's two years felt like different shows. SeaQuest, War of the Worlds, Buck Rogers and the like similarly felt different each season. Every series evolves over time, but those other programs actually changed formats and sometimes cast. Star Trek retained their basic format and cast throughout. However, if you'd like to give examples and explain why you feel this way to help the conversation along, feel free.
For me it's primarily the music that makes the distinctions between seasons. For example, there are no humorous cues in season 3, whereas seasons 1 and 2 each have their own (much more so in season 2: the antic "Tribbles" bar fight music, much of "I, Mudd," the drinking scenes in "By Any Other Name," etc.)
One thing that marks first season weirdness is the shorter haircuts. This is because they have to start with what the actor walked in with (unless the character's hair is total b.s., like Uhura and Yeoman Rand). With time, the character's longer-term, more flattering style emerges, because the actor's hair has grown and the show had more to work with. You can see the early short hair thing in Friends and The Partridge Family, as well as Star Trek. Probably a great many shows that ran for years and had time to find their style groove.
An exception to this rule would be Charlie's Angels. Farrah Fawcett's hair hit the ground running.
I think the short hair looked good.
So if we're not talking about Nichols and Whitney, who are we talking about here?
Kirk, Spock, and McCoy all started with shorter hair than they ended up with, it seemed to me. Chekov's early hair weirdness is in a class by itself, because they put him in a chopped off lady wig at first.
Well, Shatner’s hair was “enhanced” with a specially made piece for the series. Hair length was also dictated by the style of the era. By the time we go to the end of the third season, Shatner’s hair was pretty unruly (after the fight in The Cloud Minders for example).
Everyone had their hair played with. Kelley, Doohan, Nimoy...maybe Takei got away with his own style, but everyone else had work done. Doohan changed throughout the run.
Season 1, especially the earliest episodes, look very early ‘60s with their very tidy looking hair, particularly Kirk. But around mid season onward things start to look a bit more casual. Season 3 reflects a bit of the look of the late ‘60s to early ‘70s.
Season 3 looks distinctly different from Season 2. Not bad just different. The actors look a touch older and some even seem to have gained a bit of weight all around, which some people do as they age. The overall tone of S3 is much more like S1 than S2 which rather ties it all together and thus more like what Roddenberry sought to establish all through. S2 had episodes—the broad comedies and a back door pilot—that deviated from the general tone established in S1 and returned to in S3.
The changing appearance of the characters lends itself to a believable passage of time from early in the 5-year mission to near the end even over only three seasons. If you accept TAS as actually part of TOS then we essentially have pretty much all of the 5-year voyage. If you think TAS is its own separate thing then the three seasons of TOS could be seen as nearly the whole 5-year voyage with the aired episodes as the mission’s highlights, particularly if you want to accept a believable passage of time between major events seen in the episodes. Add a bit of more wiggle room and the 5-year mission might actually have been about five and a half years in duration.
Shatner definitely has longer hair at the back in season three, especially the latter part. The front piece is obviously added, but the back is his own. Just look at how it is beginning to curl at the back in Mark of Gideon, especially when talking/kissing to Odana on the bridge. (My hair did the same during the pandemic until I managed to get to a barber )
Shatner’s actual hair seemed to be evident in “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” There was a good deal of combing over going on and in HD it’s pretty obvious. I find this interesting because it kind of pulls the air out of Doohan’s “random tufts of hair” he claimed he had. If he does have a hairpiece in the pilot, it’s just a little one.
The 3rd season visual change can be chalked up to Al Francis taking over partway through the season after Jerry Finnerman left. Maybe there was a different film stock as well, I’m not up on that stuff. It does seem crisper and brighter. Shatner struggled with his weight and unless he was really strict, the pounds would just add up. I’m the same way. I lean out quickly but gain weight just as fast. With his workload, there’s no wonder he had trouble. The new uniforms helped everyone look slimmer, and Shatner seemingly had compression garb beneath his uniform to help a little, but his face is noticeably slimmer a few weeks after “Spectre of the Gun.” And he did have his shirt off in the final episode, so while the producers may have been hard on him, most guys would have been happy with his physique. I know I would have at that age.
As for lighthearted music, I think “Spock’s Brain” is one of the few to have the humorous tag music, a nice little baroque piece that is really a lot of fun. Since the third year had very little overt humor, the music reflected that – to which I am grateful. I revisit the TOS music box set often, but rarely do I listen to “The Trouble With Tribbles” and really never “I, Mudd.” Trek leaned a little too hard on “funny music” in the Coon era – and the fan films were ridiculous with it.
However, all of this in mind, this wasn’t a show which was “a different series” every year. It was an evolving series. The format and cast remained the same and the lack of all out comedies (like “A Piece of the Action”) was a breath of fresh air to me.
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