Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by WarpFactorZ, Nov 29, 2017.
Brigs don't generally have nice tables.
Brigs don’t deserve nice things.
I stand corrected!
As some others have said, I don't really see how this implies the viewscreen is a window at all, in context:
Here, as @Christopher said, is the shot from "Where No Man Has Gone Before" that shows the screen inactive, before Kirk orders it turned on:
(There may be similar shots in other episodes, too, I can't remember.)
And here just for reference's sake is what was said on the matter in the series Writers/Directors' Guide:
(Emphasis in original)
^ Because "in context" means using the language of 1960s television as the episode was actually put together and went out on the air, which takes precedence over continuity in terms of previous episodes and prescribed intent outlined in the Writers/Directors Guide. Kirk's line is "My crew," which implies in that language that he is regarding them through a window, which in that language is the thing that he seems to be gazing into and therefore through at the moment he is saying that line: the viewscreen. I've always seen it this way, and been aware of the contradiction in terms of continuity.
But if it implies that, which is itself a dubious proposition, this window he is gazing through is clearly not the viewscreen. To imply that "in the language of 1960s television," they would have had him looking at the ship straight on and crouching down so his eyeline was level with the bridge, surely. (Even in context of positing that the bridge is offset—which I don't think all many 1960s viewers really would have—it would have to be offset signficantly further than usually so posited.)
Yeah it was, according to that television language, because there's a freaking scene of him looking right at the crew through the viewscreen:
I think the problem here may be that you are filtering your interpretation of that shot based on what you know about continuity, instead of how a casual viewer watching the show for the first time is going to naturally interpret things based on what they're being presented with.
One way of avoiding this problem would have been for the director to have told Shatner to look down in defeat when shooting the footage to be used in the viewscreen composite, instead of to act like he was looking at the ship, or for the editor to have selected such footage instead. That way, it would not have seemed like Kirk was looking through anything.
You were quicker on the reply than I was on adding context to my post
I don't see how a casual viewer would take it as you suggest. He appears to be looking at the ship from a different direction than they on the ship are looking at him from.
It doesn't really change things. The casual viewer can't be assumed to care precisely where the bridge is and how it's oriented on the model. The view from the inside is what matters more here.
The view from the inside quite clearly not matching the view from the outside is exactly what in context suggests to the casual viewer that the viewscreen is not a window! In plain, uninitiated 1960s television language. If they meant to imply otherwise, they'd have shot it differently...precisely because if that were the intended implication, the way they did shoot it would be confusing, and actually work directly against it.
It does seem to me that if people were supposed to assume that the viewscreen was a window then they would have filmed the scene with Kirk looking at the bridge from the bow of the ship rather than the side.
If anything, the way the scene is shot suggests that TPTB wanted to convey the fact that the viewscreen is not a window. That, or that the bridge is oriented at a non-intuitive angle.
My quatloos are on the idea that, by that point, no one involved with production was super concerned about consistent depictions of how the ship was laid out or of what its capabilities were.
...Which is sorta weird, because the third season was the only one that cared about continuity at all.
That is, all the references suggesting that Star Trek consisted of more than one episode come from S3. Past events are mentioned, specific past characters name-dropped, but only in S3. Oh, Harry Mudd returned in the flesh in S2, but that's more a no-brainer than a case of effort being made.
Obviously, one can choose to argue that any bit of onscreen evidence is in fact proof of the exact opposite, be it S3, S2 or S1. Perhaps Kirk is a woman, except in "Turnabout Intruder"?
@Timo, the following are admittedly small nitpicks to your overall point, but Kirk's brother Sam was mentioned first in "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" before coming up again in "Operation -- Annihilate!"; the titular ploy of "The Corbomite Maneuver" is re-used in "The Deadly Years"; the Organian Peace Treaty from "Errand Of Mercy" is referred to in "The Trouble With Tribbles" and "A Private Little War" (TOS); and previous visits to the galactic barrier and Eminiar VII from "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and "A Taste Of Armageddon" are mentioned in "By Any Other Name"!
Not even within the same sequence of shots in the same episode? Of course, it wouldn't exactly be the first time, considering the cheated shot of Chekov from "By Any Other Name" pointed out earlier. Yet the idea that they cared enough to undertake any effort to convey the impression that it was a window, in contrast to what had been previously portrayed and clearly specified by the guide, but not enough to do anything but entirely bungle this and defeat their own aim, is a bit of a stretch.
As I see it, "Requiem" portrays the bridge viewer as a flatscreen TV, as it has always been, and the ship's exterior cameras are picking him up, which is supposed to be eerie because no one inside is "alive" to see him there. Kirk is just looking in amazement at the ship itself.
What doesn't fit is the idea that the ship's equipment, even its internal lighting, would keep running while the crew is in suspended animation. Flint means to keep them frozen like that for a thousand years. The ship would waste a lot of energy and put an untenable amount of wear on all those instruments during a thousand years of complete neglect.
Also, if the bridge instruments are working, then time is passing normally inside the ship. The people would get dusty and their clothing, finally even their skin, would fall apart in a thousand years of just standing there with air circulating around them.
That was certainly inexcusably wonky. Miniaturization was also unnecessarily out there.
I thought it was sweet as a kid. I was never confused by the mismatched camera angles. Kirk is looking into his ship.
Now I understand all the confusion. In 1976, though, it was really pretty simple.
I posted a snarky one line reply to @plynch earlier, which I quickly deleted, but do want to apologize for nevertheless. Here's one in its place that I hope comes off as less dismissive.
It's clear that other people took this impression from the scene as well, including whoever did the transcript for Chakoteya (she might have done it herself, or it might have been submitted by a contributor), the editors of Memory Alpha, and fellow posters on this board. I personally never did, not even long before I'd read the series bible or the Star Fleet Technical Manual, and before there had been any kerfuffles in fandom about viewscreens versus windows and such. (Or does this conversation illustrate that those actually go back as far as the show itself? I guess things are cyclical.)
The impression I always got was more like those of @FormerLurker and @TIN_MAN; I thought Kirk was looking into (one of) the camera(s) through which the ship's surroundings were routinely shown. I guess the reason I had the impression that the viewscreen was a screen is that it literally was, and was repeatedly demonstrated to be, often displaying various views of things as if shot from different angles, with different magnification settings and such, and sometimes not even showing what was outside at all, but rather something else, such as a map or other graphic, or even the inside of another ship! Or occasionally, even nothing! There was as much of that sort of thing shown in the third season as in any other. So whether or not Kirk could actually see his crew through a window, or more likely the dome skylight, I certainly never thought of him as literally looking through the viewsceen. I just figured his image was being displayed on the screen the same way anything approaching the Enterprise (from any direction) might be—that this was what the exterior shot we were shown looked like from the Enterprise's perspective, so to speak.
Yet still, others obviously received a distinctly different impression from this scene as shot and edited than I did, and I should never have implied it wasn't an equally valid one. Who am I to say who's actually confused? It would be very interesting to see what the actual shooting script (or other contemporaneous documentation besides the writers/directors' guide) said. Perhaps it would make a specific intent clearer one way or another. But of course, I'm often the first to point out that intent doesn't necessarily define the limits of what it is possible to interpret from, into, or through a work. So that's yet another reason why it was unfair of me to mock anyone else's view, and I'm sorry that I did that.
Hi. No worries, didn't see it. I was a kid. You see him looking, then you see from inside, his face. Sure seemed like a window on that miniature version. If Flynt can shrink everyone and the ship, he can turn a viewer into a wondow, right? I never noticed the discrepancies in angles until this thread! Fun. As a kid I sure wanted a model like that. Still one of my favoritr episodes, It's ambitious and not Planet of the Hats. Vintage weird S3 return to scifi episode.
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