The TOS aesthetic…

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Warped9, Mar 7, 2022.

  1. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Location:
    XCV330
    I've worked that out for myself. I'm not going to call it head cannon because so many versions of pre-refit Enterprise have now been seen (a couple of TOS changes, TAS, DISCO, TOS-R) and it might not work for anyone else but...

    consider America's first true spaceship. No not a mercury capsule.
    [​IMG]
    Depending on the flight, the X-15 could be coated in ablative material and presented a smooth white featureless design, interestingly with red markings on the side :D .

    So for me, for whatever reason, for a few years most Connies ran covered. Shielding, stealth, just personal fleet preferences. No idea. It covered all the detail below. Starfleet went through a period where It was not keen on glowing nacelles, as well, which lasted even longer.

    on the subject of the aesthetic, of all the show eras TOS is the one the stands out and is my favorite. It is the most alien. They weren't trying to make this future completely relatable. Why do people hang swatches of the same material as their blanket on their walls in lieu of photos or their walls? We don't know. We don't always have a frame of reference for this culture. They eat things that some times seem familiar, sometimes definitely not. The colors are garish and bright but it works because again, that's how it is.

    I'll take a moment to stand up for the blinkenlight interfaces as well (not the tiny viewscopes though). I used to just imagine that they had writing one couldn't see, etc, but I recently got a combination synthesizer/drum machine that does use a jolly rancher type display, and it's only intimidating for about 5 minutes. It's far less thought consuming once you understand what you are operating then having to check back and forth on a monitor and touch typing. So I would say this is one where TOS was actually WAY out ahead of the pack. I think non-written color and velocity touch interfaces will actually become more common over time. and they'll be added to the things Trek got right, along with cell phones, stun guns, etc.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2022
    publiusr, StarCruiser, Kor and 7 others like this.
  2. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 3, 2002
    I’m going to do the opposite - do the TMP ship using the colors and markings from TOS. It’s reasonable to believe that the TMP ship was rushed out of dock “unpainted”.
     
    Phoenix219, StarCruiser and XCV330 like this.
  3. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Location:
    XCV330
    ..and like the space shuttle fuel tank they discovered a huge mass savings from no longer having the paint.
     
    ZapBrannigan and Richard S. Ta like this.
  4. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2021
    I love this thread and I think that this:

    Is beautifully put.

    I'll have the think regards to the OP.

    I don't think the show would have a different aesthetic. I think had money been no object we might have seen more extensive location shooting and even overseas shooting.

    Maybe more varied shots of the ship, as well as more money to do other ships.
     
    StarCruiser, Ray Hardgrit and XCV330 like this.
  5. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Using the colors and markings from TOS on the TMP ship wouldn't look consistent unless you also removed all the panel lines / hull grid and the rcs thrusters. :)
     
  6. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 3, 2002
    I don’t know if I necessarily agree, but yes. I am doing that anyway.

    And converting the kit to the early, pre-Trumbull, simpler lines version of the TMP model:

    http://beyondthemarquee.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Enterprise_Old_New.jpg

    http://beyondthemarquee.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Enterprise-Front-amp-Rear-View_Positive.jpg

    http://beyondthemarquee.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Enterprise-Bottom-View_Positive1.jpg

    http://beyondthemarquee.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Magicam_-Enterprise_1-small.jpg

    http://beyondthemarquee.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Enterprise-Scale-Reference_1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2022
    publiusr, StarCruiser and blssdwlf like this.
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    At some point I will make a 3D model of the TMP refit using the TOS aesthetic. And I don’t mean just building the Phase II version. But thats a separate discussion for the Arts forum. I have already made a model of how I think the TOS E could have been refit/upgraded hewing more closely to the ship’s original lines.

    Yesterday I watched a video discussing ships seen in the second season opener of PIC. Some of it was sorta interesting, but overall it looked like a collection of stuff that could be found in various Arts forums across the internet.
     
    Richard S. Ta likes this.
  8. Ray Hardgrit

    Ray Hardgrit Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2021
    Personally I always assumed that the in-universe explanation for why the refit Enterprise has a pearlescent Aztec panelled look the original hull didn't have, is because someone at Starfleet thought it looked cool. I mean they clearly had more than function in mind when they designed her; the ship's a work of art. Plus there are sections of the hull coloured blue and grey, and they have the Aztec panel look to them as well, so it doesn't appear like it's missing any kind of paint.

    I do like the smooth look of the original physical model from the 60s though, and I think it's a bit of a shame that the TOS Remastered CGI ship has more of a grey bare-metal appearance. If they had to change it, I would've prefered a more subtle Aztec effect that only shows up when it catches the light, like in the Enterprise episode A Mirror, Darkly. It was still slick enough to make the Constitution class look like it came from a more futuristic era compared to the detailed metallic hull of the old NX class.
     
    publiusr likes this.
  9. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    The flaw in TOS-R is the lighting. The ship was not lit the way the original physical model was lit so it looked much more grey and dark and drab. It was a stab at adding a touch more realism of the ship looking darker in interstellar space, but it marred the look we were more familiar with.
     
    publiusr, Neopeius, Henoch and 4 others like this.
  10. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    I think the flaw is more than the lighting but also the texture choices and rendering options (or limitations) back in 2009 (?)
     
    Warped9 likes this.
  11. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    This is just not correct. The first artists that Lucas hired were very interested in the "surface detail look," -- the earliest drawings and models show this clearly -- and he obviously didn't discourage them.

    Spaceship model designs go through trends and fads like everything else. In the early '70s, the finely-detailed, surface-and-external-features style was in vogue and brought with it a more futuristic feel. This was likely influenced by the real-world space program, via 2001, and people realizing, consciously or not, that spacecraft did not have to be sleek and aerodynamic like airplanes. A smooth finned rocket shape would have been considered corny and old-fashioned compared to Discovery, Valley Forge, the Space 1999 Eagles etc. Even Doctor Who, when it tackled space opera in "Frontier in Space" (1973) used greebly models with "external equipment."

    Agreed. It tried to split the difference between the TV model and a more contemporary detailed look and, IMO, was successful. A big-screen version that was 100% faithful to the OS models was just never going to happen.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2022
    nightwind1, publiusr, Kor and 3 others like this.
  12. BK613

    BK613 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    I also distinctly remember GL saying that 2001 and Star Trek looked too clean and pristine and that he wanted his world to look lived in, hence things like Luke's battered speeder with its missing nacelle cowling.
     
    blssdwlf likes this.
  13. Captain Kris Kringle Pike

    Captain Kris Kringle Pike Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Location:
    fireproof78
    I heard it described as a "used" universe. Which was helpful because much of the props were repurposed war surplus with modifications. Much to WW2 and camera collecting aficionados frustration.

    Star Trek took a different approach.
     
  14. Serveaux

    Serveaux Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    In a dream
    If money had been no object, Trek would have looked very different.
     
    publiusr likes this.
  15. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Location:
    My mansion on Qo'noS
    The look of TOS was sleek and minimalist, much like the modernist design trend that was so in vogue at the time. The TMP Enterprise actually went backwards to Art Deco influence with the more elongated overall look and various details such as the nacelles and their car grill things. Art Director Richard Taylor said this was meant to make the ship more "elegant" than the series version.

    If the series had a much bigger budget, I think it still would have had the sleek modernist aesthetic, similar to Forbidden Planet a decade before. Much of what was seen in that movie would have been right at home in the TOS universe.

    When it comes to Star Wars, I would say that Colin Cantwell's early concept art for the ships had a more sleek look than the final designs. But there were definitely greeblies, especially on the large ships. And everything was very angular. The curved, chrome-y "Flash Gordon" look didn't really show up until The Phantom Menace.

    Kor
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2022
    publiusr and BK613 like this.
  16. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 3, 2002
    https://s.blogcdn.com/slideshows/im...slug/l/damaged-apollo-13-service-module-1.jpg

    THIS looks like a used universe, and it nearly got its astronauts killed. The prevailing NASA mode of putting real men in real space in the 1960s, as today, involved “clean rooms” and pristine hardware. Even conventional aircraft are meticulously cared for, because flying at high speed in three dimensions using electronic assistance is much less forgiving than a rusty dump truck using a 120 year old technology to drive down a dirt road. The Star Wars/Alien way of doing things looked cool. It was also ridiculous from a real-world standpoint.

    Roddenberry and Jefferies went back and forth for half a year trying to decide the look of the ship and a million other things before Harvey Lynn of the RAND Corporation provided copious suggestions in September 1964, which seemed to give them direction. By November, they were ready to build a shooting model. Money is always a factor, but eight months is a long time to invest in coming up with something that would be seen as largely original and believable.

    This is not the way Star Wars or Alien were made. And honestly, I don’t think the look of the ships in those films determined why we remember them. The SFX of Star Wars were what wowed, and with Alien it was, you know, BOO! Roddenberry always wanted scale references. Do you have any idea how big a star destroyer is? It’s just a maze of detail. Same with Nostromo. I still have no clue how big those ships are.

    Whenever you wonder why Enterprise looked the way it did, stand in an airport terminal and watch an airliner landing. That’s why.

     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2022
  17. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    And those ships largely hail from Naboo specifically.
     
  18. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    I seem to remember that Matt Jefferies had designed the Enterprise so that all the important machinery was on the inside of the ship resulting in a smooth surface. I like the idea of being able to repair your ship without having to step outside.

    Funny enough, the smooth surfaced Naboo ships still needed to be repaired from the outside when damaged...
     
  19. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    Location:
    55 years ago
    Cribbed from Forbidden Planet. Indeed, Lost in Space was a strangely '50s-esque show for being filmed in the mid-'60s.
     
  20. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    The human built flying saucer turned the UFO convention on its head. Most accepted the idea flying saucers were strictly the province of extraterrestrials, spurred by the sightings of unidentified flying discs in the 1940s. The Day The Earth Stood Still in 1951 and the invasion sci-fi of the 1950s cemented that idea. Using a saucer for the Jupiter II in Lost In Space was clever and the hardware design of the time along with no obvious means of propulsion made it look very advanced. Then Star Trek incorporated a saucer into the Enterprise design which again put the saucer as alien idea on its head.

    The saucer was no longer something purely alien. It now represented something highly advanced and very futuristic.
     
    Orac, Kor, Richard S. Ta and 5 others like this.