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John Byrne
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Posted: 21 February 2019 at 9:22pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

My one problem with the puppet was... they played it like a puppet. Which became even more obvious the first time the episode was rerun.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 21 February 2019 at 11:30pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Yeah, that shimmering optical effect on the viewscreen was obviously laid in to disguise the fact that it was a puppet...and then the episode went out of its way to point out that it really was a puppet, in-universe.

I have the sneaking feeling that it was explicitly shown onscreen to be a lifeless dummy so as to soothe the traumatized souls of the kids (Like me!) who were terrified by the puppet (and Ted Cassidy’s booming voice) in action.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 22 February 2019 at 6:10am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Yes, to the both of you.
And I appreciate their attempts to placate me even if not intentional. But the damage is done :-)
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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 February 2019 at 9:00am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Unfortunately, the shimmer effect did not disguise the jerky, puppet-like movements. Even at 16, tho, I was inclined to put it down to unconvincing special effects--until the reveal.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 22 February 2019 at 9:35am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Yep. It’s a great design, but they couldn’t make it work with the limitations of the era. The shimmer effect was a clear attempt to disguise it, but it’s still very obvious. 


I do occasionally wonder what TOS could have been like with today’s effects, which are beyond anything the show’s production team could have ever hoped for. STD is one of the most expensive TV shows ever produced. THE ORVILLE is less expensive, but still has some truly amazing effects shots, from time to time. Just imagine what the brilliant writers of TOS could have done with that all those colors to paint with. Of course, creativity thrives on restrictions, so perhaps it’s best that they had the limitations that they did. And people forget that TOS was an expensive and cutting-edge show to produce, for its time.

Still, if they’d had the technology, maybe Harlan Ellison would have had less to complain about, since they could have actually realized the ruined city and the Guardians of Forever from his original script!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 February 2019 at 9:44am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

The versions of the City and the Guardian had nothing to do with a limited special effects budget. They sprang from the assistant production designer, in Matt Jefferies absence, reading “runes” as “ruins”. So with today’s tech to play with, we’d just have seen a better rendered version of that same set.

As for Harlan not complaining.....

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John Kirk
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Posted: 22 February 2019 at 9:49am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I try to accept special effects for their intention, not their technological limitations. It's the storytelling I appreciate and am willing to forgive and suspend my disbelief. I think it's just better to try to enjoy something rather than complain about it and I have to confess, when I was a kid, Balok scared the hell out of me. I always dreaded the appearance of the Desilu frame with his enlarged head whenever a TOS episode ended!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 February 2019 at 9:58am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

A while back I was introducing TOS to a (then) 20-something friend, and she was appropriately creeped out by Balok.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 22 February 2019 at 11:38am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I do occasionally wonder what TOS could have been like with today’s effects, which are beyond anything the show’s production team could have ever hoped for.
--------------------------------------
That's the approach they at least tried to take with TOS Remastered.  They actually brought in a lot of the original FX people and consulted with them about what they were trying to do originally, and then tried to make that happen with modern digital effects.  The results are interesting, but not always effective.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 February 2019 at 11:45am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

The “remastered” versions became ABOUT the special effects, which was not the case with TOS.

Consider the electric crackles added to the “agonizers” in MIRROR, MIRROR. MUCH scarier when we didn’t know what they were doing.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 22 February 2019 at 4:19pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Yep.

And, regarding "The Corbomite Maneuver", they made the Enterprise much larger in the frame when the Fesarius pulls up to her, undercutting the "Holy crap, this thing is HUGE!" shock value of the original FX shot.

Replacing FX shots with CG equivalents is one thing, but they went too far in certain places by rethinking framing and adding details (like the agonizer crackles) which were never originally intended.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 February 2019 at 4:36pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

And, regarding "The Corbomite Maneuver", they made the Enterprise much larger in the frame when the Fesarius pulls up to her, undercutting the "Holy crap, this thing is HUGE!" shock value of the original FX shot.

•••

Yeah, one of my favorite—maybe even THE favorite—shots in the whole series, putzed up by boys with toys.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 22 February 2019 at 6:22pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

That shot is also one of my absolute favorites. The size of the Enterprise in the frame and the speed with which the Fesarius pulls up has SO much more impact in the original shot.

I can understand instances where they produced some new angles of the Enterprise in flight or in orbit, so as to provide a little more variety to the flybys and such. I can understand adding in new spaceship models to shots which originally couldn't afford to show them (or which reused stock footage, as in the case of the Botany Bay becoming the Woden). But the rethinking of the visual storytelling of key shots baffles me.

"Boys with toys" seems about right.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 30 March 2019 at 8:54am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY

Fun story, the Vrotii has become my favorite original alien in this series. Love their look and personality.

Question for JB, what is your reference for the phaser room controller?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 30 March 2019 at 9:14am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Question for JB, what is your reference for the phaser room controller?

••

It was seen in the first season episode "Balance of Terror".

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Doug Centers
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Posted: 30 March 2019 at 9:26am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

"It was seen in the first season episode "Balance of Terror""

...

Thanks!
One of my favorite episodes (if not the favorite). You got me with the uniform/hair change, well done.
I'm wondering ,has that color uniform been seen before?


Edited by Doug Centers on 30 March 2019 at 9:27am
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