Franz Joseph's Star Trek

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Lt. Tyler, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Lt. Tyler

    Lt. Tyler Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I've been once again looking through Franz Joseph's Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual. This book I bought in 1986 when I was 12 years old. I've been obsessed with this book ever since.
    Recently, I've been thinking about how Joseph's version of TOS would be if everything in this technical manual came alive on the small screen as either an animated series or live action series.
    It does seem however similar FJ version of the TOS universe differs from the actual TOS (Roddenberry Star Trek).
    Any thoughts at all?
     
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  2. cgervasi

    cgervasi Commander Red Shirt

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    I got that book around '86 when I was 11. I read it enough I think I can remember without going to the basement to find it.
    [​IMG]
    I didn't like the way the preface said some pages were removed because of the Prime Directive. As a result it in some places said detailed drawings are found on page x, and it turns out page x is not included.
    I remember the space station, with parks and wind generations. I remember the cruise ships. The ray gun handheld area weapon we see used as tool for repairs on the show.
    The communicator operates on 49MHz, a scaled down version because of the prime directive. But I wanted to know what frequency or signaling scheme it actually used? I would have to wait 20 years to become an electronics engineer and be able to speculate.

    I always wondered what the deflector shield on the back of the Type II phase was about.

    What things are in the manual that would have liked to have seen shown in more detail in the show?
     
  3. Lt. Tyler

    Lt. Tyler Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah. The deflector shields on the Phaser was very interesting to me. It seems like it was there to protect it from being damaged if another weapon fired on it?
     
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  4. cgervasi

    cgervasi Commander Red Shirt

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    That's a good thought. It might keep it from discharging or discharging most of its power pack's energy quickly in the form of an explosion or fire in the event of being hit by another weapon or some other accident.

    I came to think it was to protect against backfires if the weapon were discharged at close range. Consider how Spock was injured when Captain Tracey fires a phaser on a high setting at a computer next to Spock. I imagined the shied tried to protect the user's hand from a similar injury from firing at close range.
     
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  5. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    FJ's technical drawings were always off a bit, versus the screen-accurate ideal, because he created them by studying photos of the sets and props. He used The Making of Star Trek extensively, usually to good effect. Along with the Technical Manual, I also love his complete set of blueprints for the Enterprise. But again, they have some issues.

    Two cases where TMOST steered him wrong: the book's profile photo of the phaser pistol has a dark shadow across the bottom that FJ mistook for the shape of the prop. It made FJ's phaser pistol bigger than the actual one. And Matt Jefferies' technical drawings of the Enterprise had a curved bottom to the Engineering hull that did not match the 11-foot filming model, which was straight along the bottom. FJ's drawings followed the shape of MJ's curved lower hull, which the show's model makers had not done as intended.

    Another issue: FJ's floorplan of the bridge exaggerates its size. A more accurate bridge plan would be produced by Michael McMaster and sold in the classified ads at the back of Starlog magazine.
     
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  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    The Technical Manual was FJ's imagined idealised version of the Trek universe, free of the constraints of TV budgets.
    Deliberately so, at least for the movies onward. Far removed from how tie-ins are handled nowadays, FJ owned all his original creations in the tech manual. Thus the movies and sequel shows couldn't use his stuff without paying for it (even though some pages snuck in as screengraphics). Recently his daughter Karen wasn't too pleased that Discovery used a UFP emblem similar to the one on the cover of the tech manual without financial compensation. The UFP seal changed by the end of the season, losing the FJ-style humanoid faces.
     
  7. alensatemybuick1

    alensatemybuick1 Captain Captain

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    The Technical Manual was accurate enough for us kids back in the 70s...before we got older that is, and started to worry so much about what is accurate / real / cannon that we sucked the joy right out of the room.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  8. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    FJ's work was all I knew fanon wise. I never did look into the FASA stuff from the 80s.

    It looks like the deck plans and diagrams from FJ's work reflect the post-TAS changes. The second entrance to the Bridge. The center piece on the Helm/Nav console is a map and not a giant knob that gets turned.

    Until the more recent "Star Charts" came out, I took FJ's map as canon. That was the Trek universe map of my childhood. As I got older though, having the Klingons and Romulans on opposite sides of the Federation started to bug me. Having them border each other makes much more sense, especially with the subsequent stories produced after 1970s. Now, does anyone have any other insights on FJ's map? I'd love to have a discussion about that. Why, for example, did FJ put the 2 big bad guys on opposite sides of the Federation like that?

    Speaking of FJ's map, https://i2.wp.com/i.pinimg.com/736x...ef2a86a9debe91f1c6--galaxy-map-star-treck.jpg This is my laptop wallpaper. I found it online. It appears to be a stylized version of the FJ Star Fleet Battles map.
     
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  9. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    This may sound overblown, but the impact of the TM on the young me reminds me of the quote Joe Strummer was supposed to have said to fellow pup-rocker Graham Parker after seeing the Sex Pistols for the first time: "Whole new thing, man. Whole new thing."

    There were probably examples of what FJ was doing before that, but I had never seen anythign like it. Fiction, about fiction, written like non-fiction. And not just non-fiction, but technical writing. The way that book fired up my young imagination is hard to overstate. How accurate it was, and how it fit into later Trek, I really don't care.
     
  10. XCV330

    XCV330 Commodore Commodore

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    When I was a kid my folks were in this religion that had meetings 3 times a week and like three multi-day conventions doing nothing but sitting around listening to people drone on and on and flipping pages reading books and trying to ignore people farting or snoring around you or the crying toddles being dragged off to be punished for not paying attention.

    I snuck the technical manual in at those conventions. I think it saved my so-called sanity. I loved that book.
     
  11. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    The Blueprints package came out first, in 1975, and I used to pore over the deck plans, imagining myself aboard the Enterprise. You could go from room to room, from the bridge to obscure areas deep in the ship. It was kid-imagination heaven.

    In late 1977 came the Moonbase Alpha Technical Notebook, sold by mail order out of Starlog magazine. Like FJ's material, the MATN was done by an artist unaffiliated with Space: 1999, who mostly studied photos to figure out his technical drawings of the floor plans and props. It was pretty well done. I ate it up.

    And then Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica came out with official blueprints, and there were unofficial plans available for Lost in Space. And of course Michael McMaster came out with his plans for the bridge, Klingon Battle Cruiser, and Romulan bird of prey. But FJ had invented the concept and started the whole thing.

    You can bet I took the technical drawing class my high school offered. And I started making set sketches, homemade plans and elevations, for any TV show I got really interested in, but I was mostly drawing Star Trek props and the house from Bewitched. This was pre-VCR; I would take photos of the TV to assist me in capturing things. Good times. A lot of guys here are too young to relate to any of this.
     
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  12. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    A side benefit for me is the Star Fleet Battles game used the Tech Manual extensively, including that map of the Federation. I played that game for years until I played with everyone left.

    I much prefer the background in the Tech Manual to what ended up being "canon". And the reason it was canon was a certain person sold the rights cheap and knew he wouldn't get any more money from it's success, therefore it was de-canonized retroactively for only financial purposes, not because of any story possibilities or to enhance the story in any way.
     
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  13. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I thought that the foreword pages were brilliantly conceived. They provide an in-universe explanation both for any discrepancies and for any omissions.

    I think you're also reading it wrong. I might be mistaken, but I've no doubt that the reasons the listed pages are missing were because Joseph was not able to complete them in time for their inclusion in the publication with the resources at his disposal and/or because they were considered inessential for the completion of the project. The cover story in the foreword pages is clearly meant to be ass-covering; there was no need to add to the tables of contents just to disappoint the readers. I could be wrong, but I doubt that he listed anything in the tables of contents that he never had any intention at all of eventually completing for inclusion.

    So, if I'm right in my assumptions, then why were the missing items not struck from the tables of contents? I like how there's a feeling that the manual isn't the last word on any of the material in it. Joseph's work is especially significant not for its complete fidelity to the source material but rather for it having demonstrated that there was a profound interest in fandom for professional-grade diagrams and blueprints of the props, sets, and models presented from an in-universe perspective. Joseph foresaw, I think, that others would want to be following in his footsteps. The "missing pages," the blank lines in the tables of contents, the miscellaneous section at the end with the graph paper all both implicitly and explicitly invite people to continue the work of diagramming the Star Trek universe. This is Joseph's great legacy to fandom.
     
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  14. PCz911

    PCz911 Commander Red Shirt

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    Like many have already said so elequaintly , I am of that age where this and the ship blueprints were just about all we had. I love them both and devoured them as a youth. And, it's my own head canon of what Star Trek is. I keep the book out and like to flip through it, relieving those younger innocent days.
     
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  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    As a kid I loved the BOGP and SFTM but having seen the soundstage plans in The Making of Star Trek I was a bit annoyed that FJ deviated from them in some ways, and I noticed some of the sets were missing: notably auxiliary control. Hard to blame him for those omissions given the paucity of references available.

    All the text at the front bored me as it felt like padding. Why would a tech manual include the Articles of the Federation? That's like putting the US Constitution in an auto manual. I wanted more drawings!
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
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  16. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    But I think that text, along with the Organian Peace Treaty and the Romulan Peace Treaty give insight into how TOS was interpreted in the 70s and, possibly, how the the creators intended.

    Possibly
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I actually doubt Roddenberry and Co. gave things like those treaties much if any thought at all.
     
  18. SpyOne

    SpyOne Captain Captain

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    For me that was one of the late 70s Terran Trade Authority books.

    I never saw any of Franz Joseph's books. I guess I lived too far from a major city, or maybe I was just too young: by the time I had my own money to spend on stuff like tgat, all I could find was FASA books and Starfleet Battles. So I knew the Technical Manual's children, but never met the parent.

    For those who don't know, the TTA books ... well, the one I got was the first one: Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 ad. It was a coffee table book kinda like a book about aircraft of World War Two, but what it was posing as history was stuff that hadn't happened yet.
    In reality, the publisher owned rights to a bunch of paintings of spaceships they'd bought (mostly for book covers), and a guy wrote a little bit of text about what role that ship played in history (first commercial interplanetary vessel, first commercial vessel with a warp generator, most common enemy fighter of the war, least common enemy fighter of the war. That kind of stuff.).
    Despite the fact that it was kind of obvious what it was, as many of the ships didn't seem to belong in the same universe, it was my first taste of something set in a fictional universe being played as a non-fiction work from within that universe.
     
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  19. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    TTA was just as cool. I checked those books out of the public library all the time.

    I want saying otherwise. But that text was influenced by something. Just what was in the episodes? Books at the time? Conversation with fans? Conversation with someone connected to the show?
     
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  20. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I remember those! I'd get them from the library all the time, too. As I recall, the illustrations and the text didn't really line up; you'd see a cool illustration and caption and look to read more in the main text, and there was nothing about it there. And vice-versa. I never knew much about the books, I don't even remember the TTA name, but the illustrations being SF book cover paintings makes a lot of sense. I remember one ship that showed up in a illustrations more often than others was something like a swan, with a blocky body, a long neck angled forward, and a pointed "head" with cockpit that tilted down à la Concorde.