Production Order VS. Broadcast Order

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by QuasarVM, Nov 6, 2009.

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  1. QuasarVM

    QuasarVM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 30, 2008
    I have to say I prefer viewing the TOS episodes in production order over original broadcast order if only because (for example) in the third season, Scotty's hair mysteriously changes styles between some of the episodes.


    Who's with me?!
  2. Hambone

    Hambone Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Mar 25, 2006
    Land of cheese, sausage and beer
    I'm with you, because "production order" gives the most accurate representation of the "evolution" of the characters, costumes, sets, storyline, etc.
  3. number6

    number6 Vice Admiral

    Production Order..all the way..

    You can see the development of the characters, and how the series evolved..
    N-121973 likes this.
  4. QuasarVM

    QuasarVM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 30, 2008
    In case anyone forgot, here's the production order according to one site I found...

    1. The Cage (first pilot, partly aired in "The Menagerie")
    2. Where No Man Has Gone Before (second pilot, 9/22/1966)

    Season 1

    1. The Corbomite Maneuver (11/10/1966)
    2. Mudd's Women (10/13/1966)
    3. The Enemy Within (10/6/1966)
    4. The Man Trap (9/8/1966)
    5. The Naked Time (9/29/1966)
    6. Charlie X (9/15/1966)
    7. Balance of Terror (12/15/1966)
    8. What Are Little Girls Made Of? (10/20/1966)
    9. Dagger of the Mind (11/3/1966)
    10. Miri (10/27/1966)
    11. The Conscience of the King (12/8/1966)
    12. The Galileo Seven (1/5/1967)
    13. Court Martial (2/2/1967)
    14. The Menagerie part 1 / The Menagerie part 2 (11/17/1966, 11/24/1966)
    15. Shore Leave (12/29/1966)
    16. The Squire of Gothos (1/12/1967)
    17. Arena (1/19/1967)
    18. The Alternative Factor (3/23/1967)
    19. Tomorrow is Yesterday (1/26/1967)
    20. The Return of the Archons (2/9/1967)
    21. A Taste of Armageddon (2/23/1967)
    22. Space Seed (2/16/1967)
    23. This Side of Paradise (3/2/1967)
    24. The Devil in the Dark (3/9/1967)
    25. Errand of Mercy (3/16/1967)
    26. The City on the Edge of Forever (4/6/1967)
    27. Operation: Annihilate! (4/13/1967)

    Season 2

    1. Catspaw (10/27/1967)
    2. Metamorphosis (11/10/1967)
    3. Friday's Child (12/1/1967)
    4. Who Mourns for Adonais? (9/22/1967)
    5. Amok Time (9/15/1967)
    6. The Doomsday Machine (10/20/1967)
    7. Wolf in the Fold (12/22/1967)
    8. The Changeling (9/29/1967)
    9. The Apple (10/13/1967)
    10. Mirror, Mirror (10/6/1967)
    11. The Deadly Years (12/8/1967)
    12. I, Mudd (11/3/1967)
    13. The Trouble with Tribbles (12/29/1967)
    14. Bread and Circuses (3/15/1968)
    15. Journey to Babel (11/17/1967)
    16. A Private Little War (2/2/1968)
    17. The Gamesters of Triskellion (1/5/1968)
    18. Obsession (12/15/1967)
    19. The Immunity Syndrome (1/19/1968)
    20. A Piece of the Action (1/12/1968)
    21. By Any Other Name (2/23/1968)
    22. Return to Tomorrow (2/9/1968)
    23. Patterns of Force (2/16/1968)
    24. The Ultimate Computer (3/8/1968)
    25. The Omega Glory (3/1/1968)
    26. (3/29/1968)

    Season 3

    1. Spectre of the Gun (10/25/1968)
    2. Elaan of Troyius (12/20/1968)
    3. The Paradise Syndrome (10/4/1968)
    4. The Enterprise Incident (9/27/1968)
    5. And the Children Shall Lead (10/11/1968)
    6. Spock's Brain (9/20/1968)
    7. Is There in Truth No Beauty? (10/18/1968)
    8. The Empath (12/6/1968)
    9. The Tholian Web (11/15/1968)
    10. For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky (11/8/1968)
    11. Day of the Dove (11/1/1968)
    12. Plato's Stepchildren (11/22/1968)
    13. Wink of an Eye (11/29/1968)
    14. That Which Survives (1/24/1969)
    15. Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (1/10/1969)
    16. Whom Gods Destroy (1/3/1969)
    17. The Mark of Gideon (1/17/1969)
    18. The Lights of Zetar (1/31/1969)
    19. The Cloud Minders (2/28/1969)
    20. The Way to Eden (2/21/1969)
    21. Requiem for Methuselah (2/14/1969)
    22. The Savage Curtain (3/7/1969)
    23. All Our Yesterdays (3/14/1969)
    24. Turnabout Intruder (6/3/1969)
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Production order, unquestionably. Since there was no continuity among episodes, there's no specific reason for the broadcast order that was used, aside from post-production delays and the network's choice of the "strongest" episodes to lead in the seasons. In the later series, when broadcast order differs from production order, there's generally a valid reason for it in terms of story sequence (for instance, the two parts of "Unification" were shot in reverse order due to Nimoy's availability, but naturally broadcast order is the only logical one), although not always (like when four first-season VGR episodes were held back to season 2 and aired out of sequence). But in the case of TOS, the same logic doesn't apply. The choice of airing order was not quite random, but certainly not purposeful in terms of internal continuity. Production order makes more sense in terms of the gradual evolution of the sets, the costumes, the storytelling, and subtle aspects of the characterizations and relationships.

    For instance, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" obviously belongs well before the rest of the episodes, due to the different crew composition, sets, uniforms, and equipment. And "The Corbomite Maneuver" has Kirk and McCoy talking about Rand as though her posting as Kirk's yeoman were still a novelty, so it's more logical as the first Rand episode than the fifth.
  6. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 19, 2009
    Between the candle and the star
    Broadcast order!

    The Man Trap will always be episode number one to me. And it's way more fun to watch Where No Man Has Gone Before and go "Hey, why are the uniforms different? Where's Bones? Why's Mr Sulu wearing a blue jumper?" and treat it as a surreal aberration, a moment where everything briefly went all weird before getting back to normal!
  7. Piper

    Piper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 19, 2008
    Production order is definitely the way to go. And it's not just for Trek - Land of the Giants (I know, not worthy of being mentioned in the same breath, but still) aired its episodes in a very different order to how they were made, leading to some real jumps between developments in the early part of season one, and watching now in anything other than production order is a very odd experience.

    But then, if we extended it to TNG, Tasha Yar would be seen to die in Skin of Evil, then miraculously reappear the following week in Symbiosis!
    johnnybear likes this.
  8. Santa Kang

    Santa Kang An honorable elf Premium Member

    Nov 4, 2001
    North Pole, Q'oNos
    I once saw an episode of Wild Wild West where Jim West's hairstyle changed from one scene to the next! Some how jumping through a window gave him a new hairstyle!
  9. QuasarVM

    QuasarVM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 30, 2008

    :guffaw:Wow...where was the continuity person on that one...?
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    But that show was made in an era where continuity was intentional and expected, and where scripts were written to occur in a certain order but sometimes had to be produced out of order to fit scheduling or logistical requirements. In shows from that era, therefore, the broadcast order is generally the better fit to the continuity.

    But in the '60s, there was little or no intentional continuity in the storylines of primetime dramas. (Contrary to today, continuity was seen as a lowbrow thing, the province of soap operas and sitcoms, while the classiest, most literate TV shows were pure anthologies. So minimizing continuity was seen as a desirable thing even in shows with continuing casts.) So the only kind of evolution or progression that you get in a show like that resides in the production sequence, as concepts, characters, sets, costumes, etc. were refined over time. So if you want a consistent progression for a show from that era, production order is the way to go.
    Oz Trekkie likes this.
  11. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    For TNG and the rest of the spinoffs, airdate order. They had a lot more control over which episode aired when, so the order they aired is the order they were intended to be seen.

    TOS, however, works much better in production order. Besides, when it hit syndication, that was generally the order they ran in, if there was any order at all (for one thing, the shows, and therefore, the prints sent to the stations, are numbered, making the program director's job a lot easier by just going by the numbers on the video cassette). So, when I started watching 'em every afternoon on Channel 4, they started with "The Corbomite Maneuver" and worked their way on down the line to "Turnabout Intruder". "The Man Trap" being the first episode was just a notation in the various books I'd read, not a part of my experience.
  12. QuasarVM

    QuasarVM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 30, 2008
    When TOS first went into syndication, they didn't bother with any order at all here. You'd see a first season episode one day and a third season one the next.

    Eventually, they did start running them in production order...
  13. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Those were the days where I'd only catch the show while channel surfing on a Saturday afternoon, after cartoons and ABC's Wide World of Sports, and usually more than halfway through whatever episode I'd stumbled across. I think they only had the show on hand to serve as a schedule filler, like when a college football game either ran long or ended early.

    Made for some very disjointed early Star Trek memories...
  14. ToddPence

    ToddPence Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 18, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    Some TV shows work better in production order, and some work better in original airdate order. For instance, TOS is obviously better in production order, for numerous reasons outlined above.
    But if one were to watch a show like M*A*S*H in production order, all sorts of chronological problems would appear. Not the least of which was that "Goodbye Farewell and Amen", the series finale, was NOT the last episode filmed. In fact, there were a half a dozen episodes filmed after it! Also, I think there was at least one B.J. Hunnicutt episode filmed before the episode in which B.J. joined the series and met Hawkeye.
  15. tap364

    tap364 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Nov 3, 2009
    Production order...
    I think it's more interesting seeing the show develop. For instance, in "The enemy Within", you had Sulu stranded on the surface waiting for the transporter to be fixed. The concept of a shuttlecraft hadn't been developed, and yet there was a huge shuttlebay at the aft end of the ship!
    When I bought the "Collectors Edition" on VHS many years ago, they placed all the episodes in order of stardate, with 2 on a tape. I can't remember specific examples, but I do know they jumped all over the place, including seasons. Very disjointed.

  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    The concept of the shuttlecraft existed well before "The Enemy Within"; they just hadn't built the thing yet. Probably the main reason "The Galileo Seven" was written was so they'd have a shuttle-centric episode to give them an excuse to budget for building a shuttlecraft set and miniature.
  17. Sycho Nosk

    Sycho Nosk Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Oct 1, 2009
    Juggalo nation... we`re everyware biatch
    Production order's is rite orders ;)
  18. Dayton Ward

    Dayton Ward Word Pusher Rear Admiral

    May 22, 2000
    What boggles my mind is that Paramount/CBS Home Video has stubbornly stuck to releasing TOS in airdate order. The only exception throughout the various generations of home video was the set of single DVDs with 2 episodes per disc. I know when the season sets were finally announced, fans wrote in and asked for the episodes to be presented in production order, and now we've had three releases of those where they're still in airdate order. ARRRRRRRGHHHHH!!!!

    Well, they're in production order on my Zune. :p
  19. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Because some dim bulb at Paramount Home Video thinks it's more important to try and recreate the experience of watching the show as it aired, they put 'em in airdate order.

    Well, sorry, guys, but unless you're gonna degrade the resolution and stick in all the commercial breaks from the original airdate, that ain't gonna happen. Besides, my first real experience in watching the original show was seeing them in production order, as I said upthread.

    All they've done is make my search for whatever episode I'm in the mood for a bit more challenging; it sure as hell hasn't enhanced the experience, that's fer danged sure....
  20. QuasarVM

    QuasarVM Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 30, 2008

    I wish they WOULD put in the commercial breaks and the commercials from the 60s back into them!

    Now that would be cool!
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