Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Star of Bethlehem, Aug 5, 2016.
What might have been different?
Character-wise, and the style of storytelling, smarty pants.
OK: Since the cost of visual effects would not have been an issue, there would have been no transporter.
Using "Gunsmoke" as an example, the captain might have been voiced by someone who might not really "look" the part for a later television adaptation. (William Conrad voiced Marshall Dillon for the radio series but James Arness filled the boots for the TV show). Kirk might have been played by an actor in his 60s but having a youthful, commanding voice. Uhura might have been performed by a white actress, especially if it were the 50s.
Unless newspapers printed illustrated ads for a Trek radio series, different listeners would have imagined a starship of wildly varying designs even if it were described. (Remember how Captain Christopher in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" simply described the Enterprise as "two cylinders above, one below"? No mention of a "saucer" at all. From that line, listeners might have imagined nothing more than three rocket tubes.)
The Klingons might have been described as looking far more alien than their TV counterparts, concepts beyond the scope of a TV series to depict, requiring the creation of a new species to replace them. Similarly, Spock might have been far more "alien". McCoy might call him "four eyed" and it wouldn't have been hyperbole!
"Transporters" might have been the province of technologically superior aliens, while the starship crew used shuttles to land upon strange, new worlds. After all, it would not have cost more to describe a shuttle in an audio medium.
Funny enough, I don't think the sound effects would have been that different. What we heard in the actual series was quite "theatrical" and would have worked well for radio.
I'm sure other forum members can think of more examples, but these are what came to my mind.
As I recall, in the Hoaxverse (and I spent some time there, a few years back, trying to figure out the origins of the "Requiem for a Martian" hoax, which is how I encountered the much more obscure "movie serial" and "dime novel series" hoaxes), it WAS a radio series.
Perhaps it would still have developed as it might have been considered dead air time moving people into position via shuttles when they could just instantly get the players to the next scene. That the transporters have a distinct sound effect is a bonus.
The first I ever heard of the hoaxverse was one mention yesterday on the board, and now here it is again. What is this? Is there an explanatory link? Google was no help.
I think the "flying saucer" part was implied in that description...hence the cylinders being "above" and "below" (the saucer).
My first thought was that they probably would have described the Enterprise as having a simpler design, like a typical saucer or rocket, as the TV design would have been complicated to describe.
If Star Trek was as big a hit in 1936 or '46 as it was in '66, there would have almost certainly been illustrated ads, if not a daily newspaper comic strip, just so the kids would know what the ship and crew looked like. An illustrated annual of comics, short stories and mini games wouldn't be out of the question either.
Captain Kirk would have been narrating throughout the episode, describing everything film-noir detective style into his log. He'd be recording after the fact in most cases, using past tense to survive their recent close scrape - each episode an extended flashback.
There'd be a secondary narrator, a Starfleet Admiral, who'd receive and comment on each adventure before transmitting it to all 'aspiring cadet recruits' who might like to attend Starfleet Academy... and, of course, buy the product of whoever the show's sponsor happened to be.
With no Uhura (for sadly obvious reasons), Yeoman Janice Rand would pull double-duty as the communications officer and 'sassy secretary' to our square-jawed hero. Sulu would have been transferred off-ship right around the end of 1941, with Chekov taking his place as the sole helmsman/navigator until around '47 or so, then maybe Kevin Thomas Riley would show up. All other characters would be as we know them.
Put it this way: The first dozen or so issues of the old Gold Key comic - that's what the radio drama would have been like.
James Doohan and Majel Barrett would've been the only stars of the STAR TREK series. Jimmy's interpretation of Mister Spock would've proved interesting ...
Orson Welles might have been a guest star -- unless he were the regular host and/or narrator.
"The Chase and Sanborn Star Trek Hour!"
A lot of descriptive dialog
KIRK: Let me take my phaser out...
SPOCK: The lights....so bright! I must sheild my eyes!
The late, great Bob Justman said that the 3rd season budget was so low that it felt like they were producing radio shows.
If the radio show was popular enough, we might have gotten a twelve-part movie serial based on the radio show.
Buster Crabbe as Kirk, perhaps?
Leonard Nimoy was in at least one 1950s serial, so maybe ...
Edited to add: Zombies of the Stratosphere (Republic, 1952).
STAR TREK CHAPTER TWO
After leaving Lt. Bailey with Balok of First Federation,
the USS Enterprise travels onward to it's next destination.
Their journey is interrupted by a distress call from a cargoship
who's engines are about to explode!
"Yes! Punching the Gorn's ears seems to have disoriented him. I've got to get away... get some distance! Yes! That rise over there."
"Yes... this rock should do nicely."
(Grunt of exertion.)
"He's recovering. Now -- heave!"
(Sound of object whooshing through the air and striking a leathery surface. Growl of pain from the Gorn.)
"Yes! A hit! But -- no, it's barely staggered him! What incredible strength! Now he's -- no -- he's heading for that large boulder! There's no way he could -- but he is! He's... lifting it above his head! It must weigh over a ton! Could he possibly throw it hard enough --"
(A loud grunt of exertion from the Gorn, and a heavier whooshing sound.)
"He did! Have to dodge, dodge for all I'm worth!"
(Heavy thud of the boulder striking rock, rolling downhill.)
"Whew! That was close! I could feel the breeze as it blew past! Better not take any chances -- up the mountain, quickly! My speed is my only advantage!"
(The sound of swift footsteps on stone, and Kirk panting. Fade out these sounds and asteroid ambience; fade in bridge background audio.)
"Have you tried overload, Mr. Scott?"
"Aye, Mr. Spock. It does no good..."
Spot on! I could "hear" that in my head, though not in Shatner's voice. More in the Bud Collyer vein.
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