Props Re-used

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Neroon, Jan 30, 2009.

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  1. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Vulcans can think two independent though streams at the same time. Myabe he was working something else with it?
     
  2. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

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    The salt and pepper shakers on Star Trek (seen notably, of course, in the episode "The Man Trap" by George Clayton Johnson) were hourglass shaped shakers. Here are a couple of screen grabs:

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    This style of salt and pepper shakers even made an appearnce in the New Voyages episode "To Serve All My Days:"

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    Of course, these aren't too fancy looking or futuristic. (Maybe they are just a little, I suppose.) (Additionally, the prop folks for the original series episode "The Man Trap" can't seem to decide whether Sulu's cut up fruit pieces that Yeoman Rand brought him should be in a bowl or or a plate, since it changes from scene to scene--but that's a different story.)

    Gene Roddenberry had this to say in the book The Making of Star Trek:

    "In the very first show of our first season, ("The Man Trap" by George Clayton Johnson) we needed some salt shakers because we had a creature that craved salt, we had a story point which required the creature (disguised in human form) to give himself away when someone passed with a salt shaker on a tray. This posed a problem. What will a salt shaker look like three hundred years from now? Our property master, Irving Feinberg, went out and bought a selection of very exotic-looking salt shakers. It was not until after he brought them in and showed them to me that I realized they were so beautifully shaped and futuristic that the audience would never recognize them as salt shakers. I would either have to use 20th Century salt shakers or I would have to have a character say 'See, this is a salt shaker.' So I told Irving to go down to the studio commissary and bring me several of their salt shakers, and as he turned to go, I said 'However, those eight devices you have there will become Dr. McCoy's operating instruments.' For two years now, the majority of McCoy's instruments in Sick Bay have been a selection of exotic salt shakers, and we know they work, because we've seen them work. Not only has he saved many a life with them but it's helped keep our prop budget costs low."

    So, here are my Desilu Studios Commissary-style salt and pepper shakers:

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    Look for them in a Phase II episode the next time someone needs to salt his or her food!

    Pictures at:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/10901121@N06/sets/72157602270222580/show/

    (Yes, I cheated: these salt and pepper shakers are not "re-used" props. They were used only in "The Man Trap.")
     
  3. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    I was just rewatching yesterday a scene from "A Piece of the Action" (Kirk and Co's first meeting with Oxmyx) and was struck by how much mileage Anthony Caruso got out of a billiard cue and a pair of eyeglasses. The "business" really made something out of what could have played as a much flatter scene.
     
  4. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

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    Actually, a careful check of the episode shows that his name is spelled "Okmyx" (with a "k"). (It's only pronounced like it's an "x.")

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  5. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Didn't the poster spelling come from an earlier draft of the script?
     
  6. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If it's on screen, it's canon. (Usually.) :p
     
  7. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

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    My Final Draft script (dated October 30, 1967) has the spelling "Okmyx." It's possible there is a Revised Final Draft script with a different spelling. The Alchemist might know.
     
  8. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Sounds like one of those on-the-set changes, probably because nobody could pronounce "Okmyx" without sounding like they were about to hack up a hairball, whereas "Oxmyx" at least sounds like a name.
     
  9. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

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    One of those obscure background props you see from time to time on Star Trek is a small little portable tool kit--often used by Mr. Scott. (Who else would be fixing things on the Enterprise?) In fact, a Third Season publicity photo shows Jimmy Doohan holding this little red and green portable tool kit that holds screwdrivers and such:

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    We do get some glimpses of this tool kit in actual episodes. It's either just lying around or, more often, it's seen in conjunction with a larger lunch box-sized tool box that folks carry around. (It looks like this small toolkit has either a magnet or some Velcro in it to help it stick to the inside lid of this larger tool box.) Everyone used this thing. It first appears sitting on Lieutenant Dave Bailey's chair in "The Corbomite Maneuver:"

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    Lieutenant Uhura uses it "Who Mourns for Adonais:"

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    Lieutenant Washburn uses it on the Constellation in "The Doomsday Machine:"

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    It's resting on top of the scanner device in the transporter room (hiding behind two jumper blocks) in "The Changeling:"

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    Mr. Scott uses it on the Galileo in "The Galileo Seven" (which is probably where we get our best look at it):

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    And Mr. Scott's assistant holds one while they work to repair the PXK Pergium Reactor in "Devil in the Dark:"

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    But if you notice in the above shot, there are actually two of these little tool kits: one is in the hand of Scotty's assistant, and the other is tossed into the larger tool box. However, this second one is yellow and blue instead of being red and green. Other than that, it's the same. So there are actually two of these portable little tool kits making the rounds on the Enterprise. (And you'll notice yellow and blue "jumpers" stuck to the inside lid of the tool box, too. Those things sure get around!)

    We see this yellow and blue tool kit a few other times too. Captain Kirk uses this yellow and blue tool kit in "The Doomsday Machine:"

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    Ensign Chekov uses it in "Who Mourns for Adonais." Actually he has both the yellow and blue one and the red and green one:

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    Uhura has it at her station in two different scenes in "Who Mourns for Adonais:"

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    And some Engineering technician guy carries it in "Wolf In The Fold:"

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    So, what is this thing? Well, it's a small tool kit made by "Tool-Mate." It has six different small screwdriver thingies and a black handle that can be attached to the smaller tools for better leverage. And then all seven pieces fit into the little plastic box.

    The plastic tool boxes are actually clear plastic; they need to be painted properly to get the proper Star Trek prop look. Here are my two "Tool-Mate" tool kits. I have one painted in the red and green style and one painted in the yellow and blue style:

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    Obviously, these are the kinds of things we would show when detailed close-up repair work is involved. For example, we see the small blue screwdriver in "Return to Tomorrow" as Sargon and Thalassa work on their android bodies and we see Mister Spock use the same small blue screwdriver to do delicate work in the Universal Translator device in "Metamorphosis."

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    So, keep your eyes peeled for these Tool-Mate tool kits.

    Slide show at:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/10901121@N06/sets/72157603395860560/show/
     
  10. Gepard

    Gepard Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Goodness, my family had two of those Tool-Mate kits for years. Never knew they were a Star trek prop!
     
  11. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Your attention to detail is awesome. Kudos!
     
  12. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    Interesting. This here, from Sir Rhosis' pages, does indeed show a spelling of "Okmyx" in the earlier drafts. However, Memory Alpha's entry on the episode contains this note:
    From the same entry, though, they show a final draft with the same date as the one you cite, and the end credits give only the name "Bela", so I guess it's all kinda mysterious. I was mainly going by what I heard in dialog and hadn't remembered the poster lettering as being different.
     
  13. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

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    I think the group-think of a Wiki like Memory Alpha isn't always right.

    Indeed, the closing credits of "A Piece of the Action" refer to Anthony Caruso's character as "Bela." That's because the script refers to him throughout as "Bela." Here's a shot of a typical page from the October 30, 1967 Final Draft:

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    Like any Star Trek script, there is a Cast and Sets page at the beginning of the script. My copy of the script has an October 31, 1967 revision to this page:

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    So, you can see that even this last-minute script revision page has the spelling as "Okmyx" (with a "k"). Also, it's interesting that while Kalo, Krako, Tepo, and Zabo all have a parenthetical guide to pronouncing the characters' names, Okmyx/Oxmyx has no such pronounciation guide. So whoever made that Memory Alpha entry appears to be incorrect.
     
  14. Outpost4

    Outpost4 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I understand what you are saying here, Greg, and I'm sure you are right, but then why does everyone call the character "OX-mix"?

    Maybe it's all Shatner's fault as he doesn't follow the phonetic pronunciation guide. He consistently calls Vic Tayback's character "CRACK-o".
     
  15. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

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    I've seen people with the name spelled S-E-A-N, but they pronounce it as "Shawn." Why don't they pronounce it as "seen?"

    (Also, Spock calls Krako "Krack-o," too.)
     
  16. Gary7

    Gary7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Amazing what little details tend to slip by the average user. I don't have any recollection of seeing this toolkit, but the photo evidence is clear. I do remember seeing one of these kits in person. The father of a childhood friend of mine had one. I remember wondering what the black handle was for (obvious to an adult that it's for added grip).

    Other kits were made with a different variety of tools. The black handle grip remains included and the kit is broken out into two cases. There's a vintage kit resembling the Star Trek prop version up on "that auction site" right now (search for "vintage toolmate").
     
  17. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Hell, even Krako pronounced it "Krack-o".
     
  18. WendellM

    WendellM Commodore Commodore

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    Wow, those script pages plus the on-screen poster are pretty clear evidence. MA isn't alone in misspelling it "Oxmyx": Trimble's 1976 Star Trek Concordance has it that way, as does Asherman's 1981 Star Trek Compendium and the 1994 version of the Okuda/Mirek Star Trek Encyclopedia. Very persistent!

    Farrand's 1994 Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers, while using the "Oxmyx" spelling, does note the poster's "Okmyx" spelling. However, in his own words, he "chickened out" to keep "hordes of Trekkers" from descending on him :).
     
  19. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    So it would seem, though I'm not sure I'd be too quick to attribute it to group-think. That sort of error is a common enough problem in any kind of lexicography, not just in Trek reference. Ideally, everything would be checked, but sometimes inaccurate or erroneous information may simply be copied from another source, with the assumption that the source was accurate, and some errors have been found to have persisted literally unchanged through several editions and to have crossed to other references entirely.

    Shatner on several occasions demonstrated an inclination toward using pronunciations which differed from those used by the rest of the cast in the same episode, but he wasn't alone in this case. There are other examples in Trek and elsewhere of such deviations from the pronunciation given in the script, probably agreed-upon during shooting, but without a revision made to the script.

    As for "Sean": when pronounced according to the conventions of Irish and Scottish Gaelic, it sounds like what we might spell "Shawn"; to pronounce it "seen" would be incorrect, quite simply.
     
  20. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    Sadly I've seen this type of error feedback/reenforcement a lot in Trek. With so little access to information in the 1970's and 1980's, what documentation we were given was accepted on faith. Most fans in those years were so happy to just have Star Trek broadcast in reruns that there wasn't a lot of time for cross checking the manuals floating around for accuracy.

    I know that I didn't start questioning things like the Technical Manual until I got a VCR and could paws the tape (and see that neither the phaser in the manual nor the poorly cropped phaser images in TMoST matched the one on screen). Those poor sources were reenforced when (as I recall) a display at the Smithsonian featured an "original" phaser which was actually made from the plans in the Technical Manual.

    When I'm doing research on this stuff these days, generally it is better to put away any other attempts and look at this stuff with a clean point of view... otherwise you run the risk of projecting erroneous data into your work.

    On the other hand, cross checking your work against that of others is a very helpful tool. When you get something that is significantly different than what others have gotten, that is a good way of flagging that area to be double (or triple) checked. It slows the process down quite a bit, but the results are worth the added time.

    Besides, it's Trek. I'd be spending time on it no matter what. :D
     
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