Journey to Babel Deforest Kelley Smoking

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by The Warlord, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    Mythologize? Me? Captain Debunk? Mr. "Source, please"? To quote Bugs Bunny, "He don't know me vewy well, do he?"

    Frankly, @Christopher while I'm certain you're a perfectly nice guy in person, engaging with you online is rather like chasing Dino around the Flintstones' living room: always the same scenery in rapid succession and just as quickly tiresome. You nitpick things even when they are loaded with qualifiers, (e.g. LINK of a grand example), then you double-down when contradicted. You make semantic distinctions convenient to your position then balk when anyone else does anything remotely the same. Your arguments consistently imply knowledge and authority on virtually everything, even more so than people with actual practical experience with subjects that you have only Googled. Mea culpa and I are old companions, but your posting history suggests you've never met.
     
  2. Spot261

    Spot261 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    @Maurice you just gained my admiration.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Hmm. I say live and let live. If we can put up with the likes of Shaw and, to a certain extent, even ol' Dixon, for their specific areas of great expertise, why not with Christopher's style, too? "Post, not poster" is admittedly a fallacy, but we're all freaks here anyway. And the mods are quite professional - I've been banished for my great failings for only about thrice or perhaps fivece, I think.

    The point about there being more to these old scripts than meets the eye stands in both directions. It must be acknowledged as part of a complicated process involving a great deal of professional pretense from all parties involved - and Christopher's worry about expertise causing myopia isn't an invalid one. It's all about wording, is all.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Or, people could stop posting like they’re, y’know, insufferable know-it-all’s who are experts in literally everything in existence just because Google has ample links to Wiki pages.

    And note I said “posting” like insufferable know-it-all’s and not “acting” like insufferable know-it-all’s. Wouldn’t want the ad-hominem police to get in a tizzy, right?

    Just a thought...
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...Be aware that the above could be misconstrued by some, that is, misaimed: Christopher has me on the little-known Ignore setting, so he doesn't get to read my bits in between. Sorry about that.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  6. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    He’ll see it now. Non-attribution of quotes bypasses the ignore feature, I believe.
     
  7. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    Okay folks. Let's stop this derailment before it gets any worse.

    Thanks
     
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    Going back to the OT, the underlying issue is that fans like to hypothesize on "why" things happen and as this gets repeated all the qualifiers get filed off and what was a "perhaps this happened" becomes a "this happened". So "De had a cig out of shot" becomes the narrative even though it's based on nothing but speculation and a game of telephone.

    Where possible I prefer that people to go back to the sources and try to tease out the original intent of the people making it. For instance, knowing it was supposed to be CRYOgenic pretty handily explains why we see vapor there and is more believable than a pro like Kelly making such a mistake and that no one else noticed it. Same with the costumes and makeup. Once you see how Fontana described the Tellarites and Andorians you immediately see why the costumes were designed as they were and why the Andorian wigs completely hide the actors ears. They may have changed that later, but it's why they looked the way they looked at the time.

    As to original intent re TOS-R and its ilk, I am not arguing against "death of the author" as a concept (that interpretation isn't shackled to the author's intentions), but that it really relates to the audience. Fellow filmmakers making alterations to the work of others ought to at least be respectful of trying to understand what the original team were trying to accomplish in order to inform the choices they make and hold to the spirit of what was being attempted, not to mention making sure the new work feels like it belongs there and is of-a-piece. But this is another topic for another thread, really.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think they did. As the screencaps show, the Orion ship was barely any more than a blurry disc even in the new images. It was always approximately the same size on the viewscreen that the original blip was. And the design of the ship was obviously meant to evoke the same impression as the spinning blob of yellow light in the original. So I really have no idea what you're complaining about.

    And once again, what the original team was trying to accomplish was to save money. They didn't have any artistic attachment to the idea of making it a stupid little blob of light; that was just what they had to settle for. Improving the visuals is absolutely being true to the creators' original intent, because they would've gladly done the same if they could have.
     
  10. Spot261

    Spot261 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Interesting irony, the cultural reference used in the episode title.
     
  11. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I gotta go with @Maurice on this.

    It's one thing to say "perhaps Fontana described the ship as a blip from the get-go as a way of incorporating a plan to save money." But it's another thing entirely to make the leap from supporting even a plausible theory about what happened to making a definitive statement that it happened that way and could have happened no other way, without the evidence to prove that's the case.

    Certain recently published reference books about Star Trek are chock-full of unconfirmed conclusions that are in most cases probably false but that were presented as fact and apparently seemed plausible to the author. There's no need to go down a similar path.
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    Many "unconfirmed conclusions" in certain books (ahem) are based on a the authors' unfamiliarity with the type of documentation and their relative likely accuracy (e.g. daily production report > shooting schedule, etc.) and the all-too-human tendency of some writers to imagine what someone was thinking and write an account as if they were in the subject's head (EDIT: Gene Roddenberry: The Man And The Myth Behind Star Trek by Joel Engel literally starts off like this), which is hooey unless based on an interview or memoir (and even then, that's error-prone). Add an agenda to prove a pet theory and reality goes out the window.

    While researching the project @Harvey and I have been working on we've encountered a number of documents which demolish our assumptions. We find that exciting. Some find that threatening.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  13. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

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    The blip ship is tens of thousands of kilometers away moving at high warp speeds. I think a fuzzy light blip is the best they can optically produce based on the state of TOS viewer technology. I prefer the fuzzy light ships over the TOS-R CGI cartoon ships.
     
  14. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    Agreed. The first time my daughter saw the CGI she kind of stifled a laugh. Tooner-ville! :crazy:
     
  15. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The original lack of ships in the series was usually explained as the other vessel was at extreme range whilst the cartoon CGI ships made a pigs ear of the episode eight times out of ten! This is never more evident than in Elaan of Troyius where the new Klingon ship is flat compared to the old fantastic version! :klingon:
    JB
     
  16. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I think you mean Gene Roddenberry: The Man And The Myth Behind Star Trek by Joel Engel. As I remember it, the dull, lifeless, and turgid prose of David Alexander’s Star Trek Creator lacks the imagination of Engel’s writing (for better and for worse).
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    Mea culpa. I meant the Engel one. :)
     
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  18. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It seems obvious to me that Fontana knew from the outset that expensive opticals like a visible ship would not be possible in this particular episode. "Journey to Babel" was a story about lots of alien ambassadors traveling aboard the Enterprise, including several Vulcans (those ear molds add up) and two new alien races, the Tellarites and the Andorians. Fontana had enough sense to know that most of the episode's budget would go towards makeup and costumes for the aliens. That's why the episode is shot on standing sets with a minimum of special effects.

    Hell, it's probably half the reason that Mark Lenard was cast as Sarek -- Yes, he was a good actor, but the show also already had Vulcan/Romulan ear molds for him from "Balance of Terror." If they cast somebody completely new as Sarek, they'd have to spend a few days designing and preparing his Vulcan ears for the episode, and that's extra time and budget. Saving money in one area means that you get to spend it in another.

    IIRC, I think that David Gerrold even makes this point when mentioning "Journey to Babel" in passing in The World of Star Trek, and comparing it with other episodes that spent their money in different areas (For instance, "The Corbomite Maneuver" and "The Tholian Web" both have extensive special effects sequences but were shot on standing sets). I don't have the time to look up the exact passage & confirm it right now, though.
    I don't know how much that would have helped. Man of Steel's biggest problems are with the story.
     
  19. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, but there are several instances where the TOS-R effects crew clearly disregarded the original intent in TOS, as they altered compositions, designs, and even color schemes in their new effects shots.

    Like this shot from "The Corbomite Maneuver," where they alter the composition of the shot, and completely lose the original effect of Balok's ship totally dwarfing the Enterprise.

    Or the opening shots of "Wink of the Eye," where they new effects team decided that the people who originally made the show didn't really mean to make the background of the episode's first scene blue, and gave us a dull grey background instead, getting rid of the cool statue on the left, to boot. (Which, again, totally wrecks the composition, throwing it off balance and eliminating the middle ground between the foreground and the background that the statue provided.)

    Or when they decided to alter the asteroid from "For The World is Hollow, and I Have Touched the Sky" from the cool, colorful, interesting-looking thing in the original to a dull, generic-looking grey rock.

    Or when they got rid of straightforward establishing shots of the Enterprise orbiting a planet in favor of a version that zoomed in so close to the ship that you weren't really sure what you were looking at. (The TOS-R people were really fond of this shot for some reason, and I'll never know why. It looked like crap.)

    Or in "Amok Time," where they decided "Fuck it, let's remove actual live footage of our three lead actors to insert in a CGI landscape that will reference the matte paintings of Vulcan in Star Trek III."

    Don't get me wrong, TOS-R also did a lot of new shots that I liked, but they clearly weren't true to the original creator's intent several times over the course of the project. I refuse to believe that the creators of TOS were too dumb to know if they meant a background to be blue or not.
     
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  20. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    And they shaved the edges off of both characters in that shot in "For the World is Hollow..." :eek:

    Kor
     
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