Friday (12/23/11) 11:37pm - ... wherein Peter posts some notes about Star Trek.
I figured I'd post some notes I've taken on my ST:TOS viewing so far, as preparation for the upcoming Twilight Zoned/Start Trekkin'Science Fiction Double Feature at the Hideout Theatre.
It's amazing how frequently the Enterprise runs into stuff that's "completely beyond their science."
I suppose this makes it so they can't just end the story with "... and then the Enterprise blasted the bad guys into oblivion. The end."
They don't work too hard at developing their love stories -- i.e., there's no strong evidence as to why these two people would fall in love.
They mostly just let longing looks and the string-heavy score do the heavy lifting.
CAN WE HAVE MORE FISTFIGHTS?
That said, it's surprisingly easy in the Trek-verse to get knocked unconscious by a single punch.
This could be the outcome any time we need a fight for plot purposes, but shape-of-show doesn't need a lengthy fight at that point.
The captain can elicit exposition by just ordering an officer, "Report on <x>."
The captain often commissions lots of reports like this.
Remember that you can ask for *any* information this way.
The captain can also do the equivalent of very complicated Siri requests.
Lame, made-up example: "Spock, is it possible that the ion storm reversed the tachyon accelerator without our knowing it, and made it so that the transporter beam not only beamed us down to the planet's surface, but also sent us back in time?" "It is improbable, Captain, but not impossible."
Remember that, if you get such a crazy detailed request, *you can totally know the answer*. It's perfectly common on the show for the captain to ask for something crazy-recondite, and for the crewmen to have answers at the ready.
People frequently answer either/or questions with "Both... and neither."
"Doctor, you've taken enough readings. Is this entity a living thing, or a machine?"
Always fun to allude to 60s current events with heavy-handed sci-fi symbolism.
Many episodes end on a joke -- frequently just a harmless bit of wordplay.
When the captain issues his last stratagem, somebody should respond "Captain, that's TOO RISKY!"
And, of course, the captain should proceed ahead: "It's a chance we'll have to take. Ensign, RAMMING SPEED!"
Side note: can we do at least one episode that involves the line "RAMMING SPEED!"?
The captain often sets up actions: "Do <x> on my signal."
This can be a good way to give a heads-up to the tech booth.
If there's one lesson I take away from Harcourt Fenton Mudd, it's that our secondary characters cannot possibly be too over-the-top.
Huh -- as in Firefly, the captain occasionally responds, "I'm not asking." (or some paraphrase thereof) when an officer questions an order.
Useful dialog for later in an episode: "That's just what we'll use against them!"
Other useful dialog:
"Channels open, sir!"
"It's a priority-one distress call."
Definitely try to have an attitude towards all your fellow crewmen.
Kirk even has an attitude towards Chekov.
(He tends to find Chekov a bit inept and frustrating.)
Any time there's a ceremony of any sort: add colorful costume pieces to the people involved.
It looks like on the show, the captain sometimes records the captain's log onscreen, from his chair on the bridge.
Re. "completely beyond their science" - that's kinda the POINT of their mission (ergo the show), for them to find things totally unexpected.
Re. "knocked unconscious by a single punch" - the judo chops to the neck are even more hilarious with their ratio of violent force to stunning power. It's possible to deliver a judo chop EXACTLY as depicted on the show with no danger to your castmate.