Props Re-used

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

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  1. Maurice

    Maurice Snagglepussed Admiral

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    I believe the paintings are the work of the late Michael Minor. In interviews about his work on Star Trek he mentioned having done paintings that appeared as set decoration, in addition to working on the Melkotian puppet. I'll see if I can find the article in my morgue.
     
  2. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

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    Yes, the eighteen acrylic paintings used as set decorations were done by the late Emmy-nominated Mike Minor--who also did the Melkotian head, the Tholian web visual effects, the spacesuits for the "Tholian Web" and the rear-projection solar system diagram for "Sigma Draconis" in "Spock's Brain." He was heavily involved in the original Star Trek Phase II production (and remained somewhat involved even after it evolved into The Motion Picture). He remained involved in the franchise until his death in 1987. He co-designed the U.S.S. Reliant and the photon torpedo casings.
     
  3. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    FWIW, that second pic with McCoy, with the blue painting in the back, is based on the ruins of an Egyptian pyramid (Meidum, I think) but it's made 'otherworldly' by the addition of the big crescent moon behind it.
     
  4. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

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    And the third link down the list also has a Meidum-inspired pyramid. (It's hard to make out behind Marvick.) Judging by the light on one face of the pyramid *and* a bright sun in the sky, this would appear to be a planet on some double-star system.
     
  5. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

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    I mentioned that the Recorder/Task Monitor was revised for the second and third seasons of Star Trek. It's time to take a look at this revised prop.

    As we saw, the original "Mark I Recorder/Task Monitor" looked like this:

    [​IMG]

    But for the second and third seasons, two small changes were made to the prop:


    • [li]A small piece of sheet metal was added to the top of the prop[/li]
      [li]A funny looking, yellow bulb-like thing that looks like sort of like a honey drizzler was also added to the top of the prop[/li]


    You get a decent look at this spruced-up "Mark II Task Monitor" in "A Private Little War." Dr. McCoy actually brought one down with him to the surface of the planet Neural; he appears to be using it while doing some kind of biological research on the surface:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    You get a slightly different angle of the prop a few moments later in the episode:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here is my "Mark II Recorder/Task Monitor" with the small sheet metal piece added and the yellow "honey drizzler" thing in place:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Actually, this yellow "honey drizzler" thing seems to be in different positions on the prop from episode to episode. Here it is again from "The Doomsday Machine." If you have a good set of eyes, you'll notice that the "honey drizzler" is not on the sheet metal; it's off to the side--and it has a diagonal orientation:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    (Also, notice that the sheet metal piece is being used to carry around the magnetic "3O" and "7W" "jumper"blocks I talked about in my Engineering "Jumpers" post.)

    Here's my prop, with the same diagonal honey drizzler:

    [​IMG]

    Here it is again, with the same two jumpers as seen in "The Doomsday Machine:"

    [​IMG]

    And again, with a few extra non-canonical jumpers:

    [​IMG]

    There are a couple more variants of the honey drizzler's position on the prop. In "By Any Other Name," the yellow honey drizzler has the same location as in "The Doomsday Machine," but this time it is oriented perfectly vertically, instead of diagonally:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And another shot from the same episode:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    You might have noticed the small red, magnetic "Control Device" box that is sticking magnetically to the sheet metal. Do you recognize it? That's the detonator device that Captain Kirk and Ensign David Garrovick stick to the antimatter bomb when they beam down to Tycho IV to destroy the Dikironium "vampire" cloud creature in "Obsession." You can see it in David Garrovick's hand and, later, attached to the bomb:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    "By Any Other Name" was filmed shortly after "Obsession" so evidently, sticking this detonator Control Device onto the top of the Mark II Recorder/Task Monitor seemed like a good thing to do with this extra little prop. You can see Mr. Scott using the Mark II Recorder/Task Monitor again with the detonator/Control Device stuck to it in the third season episode "Elaan of Troyius:"

    [​IMG]

    Note that the honey drizzler thing has yet another position in this episode: up on the very top of the Recorder/Task Monitor prop.

    Here's my prop in its "By Any Other Name" configuration:

    [​IMG]

    And here it is again in its "Elaan of Troyius" configuration:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Folks might also recognize that this little red Control Device that sometimes appears on the top of these Mark II Recorder/Task Monitors was seen all by itself one other time besides as the detonator in "Obsession." It was also used by Dr. Janice Lester to remotely "freeze" Captain Kirk while his back was turned to her and to activate the Life-energy transfer device in "Turnabout Intruder:"

    [​IMG]

    It also shows up on the desk on the planet Gideon:

    [​IMG]

    Since it pretty much constitutes a prop in its own right, here are a couple of shots of my detonator/Control Device/remote control:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The obligatory slide show to circle through these images is at:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/10901121@N06/sets/72157602992034793/show/

    And some other appearances I recently discovered:

    The Mark II Recorder/Task Monitor also makes an appearance in "The Changeling." (An Engineering Guy carries it onto the bridge from the turbo-lift):

    [​IMG]

    It also is carried by four different people in "Who Mourns for Adonais:"

    Uhura has it and hands it to Gold Shirt Guy:

    [​IMG]

    Gold Shirt Guy carries it around:

    [​IMG]
    Sciences Guy carries it around:

    [​IMG]

    Sciences Lady carries it around (and you can just barely make out the blue and red jumpers stuck to the top):

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Gary7

    Gary7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Mike Minor really got around Star Trek. Nice range of work. I thought the Melkotian head was a brilliant incarnation of alien life. Very mysterious and imposing (although it would have been nice if it were animated).
     
  7. gaghyogi49

    gaghyogi49 Commander Red Shirt

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    An outstanding report, as always! I'm looking forward to a post about the other small device lying on the floor in the corridor shot from "By any other name" (No, not the PADD ;-)). That one appears in many episodes as well.

    It's good to know that many of the props also received script names, that way, articles at MA can be created for them as well.
     
  8. alchemist

    alchemist Captain Captain

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    Change sheets before shooting on Nov. 2, 1967 show changes to proper names (Okmyx, Dana, etc.).

    Sorry I'm late to the party, but I got stuck in a temporal slingshot.
     
  9. alchemist

    alchemist Captain Captain

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    Uhura is the first person to speak the name Oxmyx in the episode (indicating a global change). And De Kelley may be the culprit here. Listen carefully to the way he first pronounces the name when he's standing in the street towards the beginning of the episode.
     
  10. alchemist

    alchemist Captain Captain

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    I think there were two different versions of the red/green thing. Here's an image from a portion of a clip from a deleted scene from Who Mourns for Adonais:

    [​IMG]

    This deleted scene involves Uhura trying to modify the communications station and has some nice views of the equipment (the electronics, not her equipment ;)). Note that the dimensions of this unit appear to be different from the other one.
     
  11. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    GSchnitzer, you wouldn't by chance be a fan of John Carpenter's Dark Star, would you? There's a prop in that film that I've been trying to identify. It's the wall-mounted control panel in the ship's elevator. Most of the props and costume pieces were made from found items, and the elevator control panel is obviously one such item, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it's made from.

    This YouTube video includes the elevator scene from the film. The control panel is visible from 0:48 through 3:22. It can be seen in close-ups between 1:46 and 1:48, 2:22 through 2:27, and especially from 2:56 through 3:01.

    Although the device is mounted on a wall, it's clearly meant to be used horizontally on a tabletop or the floor. The device was originally red, as can be seen around time 2:47, and it was painted silver. The device has five rows of ten buttons. When a button is pushed, a tile pops up from just behind the button. The upper edge of the top surface has an empty space that probably featured a label before the device was repurposed as a prop. To the left of the label area are raised, molded letters which read "PUSH BUTTON." There are probably raised, molded letters to the right of the label area, but it's difficult to know for certain.

    Each of the 50 buttons has a numbered label. Because the prop appears to have been painted, it's likely that the labels were added on after painting. I don't know what the original labels might have looked like.

    The device probably a kid's game or something similar. A lot of people think it's "Guess Who," but it isn't, because it has too many buttons, and the pop-up tiles are too small.

    Any idea what it is? Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  12. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

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    I'm the biggest Dark Star fan there is. (Well, except maybe for you.) I believe I still have my Corporal Boiler costume hanging in my closet. I even got to hold Greg Jein's model of the Dark Star years ago.

    I know the pushbutton control panel you mean. ("Good for you! You've decided to clean the elevator!") I have no idea what it is. But now that you've raised the question, I'll see what I can discover for you.

    Talby Lives!
     
  13. Maurice

    Maurice Snagglepussed Admiral

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    It looks like a plastic game where you push the buttons to reveal something underneath each button. It looks VERY familiar, in fact, but I can't place it off hand.
     
  14. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks for looking into this, GSchnitzer. I look forward to learning what that thing is. It's been bugging me for years. A while back I tried to conduct an interview with Dan O'Bannon for my web site, back when I was considering expanding the site's scope beyond Trek. Had I been able to conduct the interview, I was going to ask what some of the Dark Star's found-item props were, including the elevator panel.

    Did you notice the ice cube trays in the control room? That set is one of the most creative uses of small space in any low-budget sci-fi film that I've ever seen.

    I'm jealous that you held the actual Dark Star model in your hands! How large is the model?

    DS9Sega, I agree that the control panel looks extremely familiar. My wild guess is that it's a memory game of some kind. Whatever the gizmo is, eventually I want a replica of the prop! :)
     
  15. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

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    The model was about two and half or three feet long. It was on an exhibit display table at, if I recall my very old convention-going days correctly, Equicon '74 at the LAX Marriott. I also got to hold one of the Valley Forge dome models from "Silent Running." Now *that* was a cool model. (Drone Number 2 was on dsiplay, too.)

    The control room is a great set in tight, cramped quarters. I've always liked the straight down view as Dolittle records his logs.
     
  16. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Are you involved in James Cawley's upcoming Buck Rogers video series? I noticed your avatar of the Go Hero action figure. I love the old-school Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serials. I don't know how the New Voyages gang continues to produce such expensive-looking productions and to sequester so much professional talent, but I'm glad that you do! :)
     
  17. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

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    I don't generally make "work in progress"-type posts. But I've been working on a simple but fairly lengthy project that lends itself well to "work in progress" update posts.

    So I've been wanting a full set of the ubiquitous data card things. You know: the colored chip-card things that look something like mini-floppy discs. I never seem to have the exact right amount of the exact colors I want to decorate a scene. (Often, for example, when folks are gathered in the Briefing Room, all the attendees have a half dozen or so cards in front of them--and all the attendees have identical stacks. So with seven seats around the table, that's at least seven matching cards of each color needed. So I've been making a few batches of these cards.

    Getting the colors right is the real trick. It would be easy to pick colors that are "close" but which don't adhere to Matt Jefferies original art design palatte. And color is everything if you want it to look like Trek.

    Also, I've learned that color matching is a bit of a moving target. The color timing on the original film, the fim stock used, the lighting used, the way the film stock has aged over forty years, and even the settings people might have on their own televisions or computer monitors will impact the rendering or the perception of the color. So I want the colors right, but I also know that in many ways, it's a fool's errand.

    All that being said, here is my first batch of data cards. For this first batch, I went back to the beginning--to the pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before." There are lots of different colored cards used--notably in the briefing room. I started with the reddish, the lime green, and the peachy yellow-orange. You can see a few of them stacked up right in front of where navigator Lee Kelso was sitting:

    [​IMG]

    So here are a few of my copies:

    [​IMG]

    And here are a few more from this batch of the first three colors I've made so far:

    [​IMG]

    And lastly, I don't have the lighting and camera angle just right, but here's a shot with my cards added into the screen grab:

    [​IMG]

    As I knock out more colors (dark blue, forest green, brown, lemony yellow, and orange orange), I'll post a few new pictures.
     
  18. number6

    number6 Vice Admiral

    Now all you need to do is recreate the "Giant Impulse Engine Spark Plug."

    Nice Work, BTW.
     
  19. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Didn't some of those tape decks have little labels on the edges?
     
  20. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

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    Yes, early on they had white labels--with some writing that started (logically enough for English) way over at the left edge. You can see these most notably in "The Corbomite Maneuver" as they all sit around in the briefing room and strategize wheter to destory the warning cube blocking their way.

    They are gone by "Charlie X."

    [​IMG]

    Even when people seem to "read" the contents of the tape from some outside label (e.g., "A Survey of Cygnian Respiritory Diseases"), it's still just a plain edge--the same color as the rest of the data card.
     
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