"Point of Extinction": The Lost TAS Episode

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Nightowl1701, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Although quite a lot of that was due to actor salaries rather than production budget.

    That was pretty typical. Saturday morning shows tended to keep rerunning the same episodes over and over for as long as they were on, partly because kids were more tolerant of repeat viewing than adults, and partly because the reruns were new to the younger kids who'd just started watching. So "new" seasons would tend to consist of maybe 6-8 new episodes stuck in between the same old reruns.

    But the second season's shorter length was actually to its advantage. The first season was badly rushed due to the network giving Filmation only 6 months to make 16 episodes, so the production values suffered. Season 2 had more time and money to devote to each of its 6 episodes, so it was done with more care, with better, less repetitive animation and better voice acting from Shatner and Kelley.
     
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  2. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Commodore Commodore

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    Weren't those flying creature templates re-used at least once in the second season?
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You mean the swoopers from "The Infinite Vulcan"/Maravel dragons from "The Eye of the Beholder"/robotic sentries from "The Jihad"? Those were all in season 1.

    Anyway, I wasn't saying there was no reused animation in season 2, just that there was relatively more new animation and more character movement overall.
     
  4. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, thanks.
     
  5. The Warlord

    The Warlord Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    How so?
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    In that they actually acted. In season 1, Shatner and Kelley -- and to a lesser extent, Nimoy -- gave very flat and unexpressive performances, very unlike their normal TOS personas. They weren't used to voice acting, and since the production was so rushed, they didn't have good direction to help them bring out their performances. Sometimes Kelley's performance even sounded like it was the first time he'd even seen the script and was just reciting the words in front of him.

    But in season 2, Shatner in particular had a far more animated delivery (no pun intended), so that he finally actually sounded like Captain Kirk. Kelley still didn't do a great job most of the time, but in "Albatross," which was a pretty dramatic story for McCoy, he rose to the occasion and finally found the intensity that McCoy should have.
     
  7. GeekFilter

    GeekFilter Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    A lot of the acting issues, into both season 1 and 2 stems from the fact that they were rarely in the same room together. I've talked to Dorothy, Bob Kline (storyboard artist who created 85% of the new elements for the show), Andy Mangles who was good friends with Lou Scheimer and a handful of the writers, but no one can agree on how often they recorded together (unfortunately Nichelle doesn't remember and the only TOS cast member I have regular contact with....wasn't in TAS!) but what I have netted out on was there was maybe two times they were all together, a few more when there were a few of the cast together, but more often than not they recorded separately and often not even in the Filmation studios. The flat delivery stemmed from acting off of no one or someone who was just reading lines on the other side of a recording both (probably Lou since he liked to be part of that process)

    I still think, even with the repetitive animation, Filmation--or at least TAS-- gets a bad rap. They don't feel repetitive like the Flintstones or even The Brady Kids and the backgrounds were rich and interesting.
     
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  8. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Commodore Commodore

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    So much of how you react depends on how the other person does; how fast, how intense, what tone of voice...
     
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  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Most animation voice acting is done without the actors being in the same room, but experienced voice actors can still give a good performance in that situation, because they're trained for it. In TAS, it's only Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelley who gave weak performances, because they weren't used to that style of acting. Doohan, Nichols, Takei, and Barrett were all more experienced at vocal performance and all did better jobs. (Doohan had worked in radio, Nichols was a singer, Takei had dubbed Japanese movies, and Barrett had been the Enterprise computer voice for three years.)

    The problem wasn't just that they weren't together, the problem was that some of them were literally mailing in their parts -- the scripts were sent to wherever they happened to be and they went to the nearest recording studio to do their lines. So they probably didn't really have anyone directing them in many cases, certainly not anyone directly involved with the production. So they didn't have any guidance for how to deliver their lines. Never underestimate the importance of a voice director.


    Oh, I agree absolutely. I was always more a Filmation fan than a Hanna-Barbera fan. The H-B stuff may have moved more and repeated less, but it was much sloppier and uglier. And Filmation had smarter writing and better music.
     
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  10. GeekFilter

    GeekFilter Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Oh I know! I host a TAS podcast :-)
     
  11. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I really liked the side view of the TAS Enterprise. The shuttlebay looks longer. I wonder if anyone has done a model of that--as it looked on screen.
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I can't speak to "most", but when I spent two days at Salami Studios in Burbank working with the voice actors for the Playstation "The Wacky Races" game, the Hanna Barbara director tended to put the actors who had dialog together in the booth at the same time. She had scheduled their studio INs and OUTs with overlap for just that reason. Thus I got to watch and listen to Billy West and Jim Cummings "ooga booga" it up together as the Slag Brothers and also play it "creepy" as The Grusome Twosome! I gathered that that's the preferred way of working when they can schedule it.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    These days, yes; less so in the 1970s.
     
  14. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    Very true for feature animation. See BTS on just about any Disney feature film, and you'll find each actor in the booth by themself, doing several takes for the director to choose from. But even back in the 1960s TV production was done by having the full cast in the booth together as often as they could bring them in, just to make sure the interaction would come off as strong as possible. Those shows that rarely got their casts together, you could tell by how weak their interaction was.

    I think it started in the 1980s that animation production had call sheets for their casts, and anyone that didn't show up to record was replaced, sometimes permanently. The idea being that even though it was animation, since their budgets were smaller, they needed to have direct interaction from the cast to make the recording of their voices sound right. If you got cast in an animated show, you either had to show up to record with everyone else, or you had to get permission to not be there beforehand, like getting permission to miss school.
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    On what do you base this statement? And are you referring to a specific studio or studios or is this a general statement about television animation?

    And what is this based on? When did they not have call-sheets? You need to book studio time. There are ALWAYS call sheets.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  16. captainkirk

    captainkirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I remember part of a 60s Scooby-Doo episode where for several seconds Scooby had three eyes. Fortunately TAS never had animation errors quite that bad. Although there was a moment in More Tribbles, More Troubles where Koloth was supposed to be on the viewscreen but was actually on the bridge.

    But didn't they have headphones on so they could hear each other?
     
  17. GeekFilter

    GeekFilter Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Bob jokingly called it a TARDIS shuttle bay and that Voyager must have employed the same technology to get the Delta Flyer to fit in that shuttle bay!