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Thinking Outside the "Plot"!

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:24 pm    Post subject: Thinking Outside the "Plot"! Reply with quote

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The recent discussion about When Worlds Collide and whether or not space travelers to Zyra should be packing parkas or Bermuda shorts was a good example of how much fun it is figure out plot details not spelled out in the movie, by using clues seen in the film (and even from the source novels, like we did with both When Worlds Collide and The 27th Day).

Movies are required to restrict the amount of detail they can go into about the plot and the characters, simply because the story needs to be over in about two hours, and the audience doesn't get stop the movie and mull over the plot until they understand all its complexities.

Readers can go back and reread portions as often as needed. Then they can put the novel down for a while and drink a cold one while they reflect on the story and burp occasionally.

When it comes to movie plots, I love to "fill in the gaps" with some enjoyable contemplation — and in fact I even consider the "backstory" and the "unmade sequel" just very LARGE gaps that are positioned before the story starts and after the story ends! Very Happy

If that sounds wacky, try this intellectual exercise.

Look at a story is a description of an important historical event. There were, of course, things which occurred before the historical event being described — things that may have served as important "causes" for the "effect" (the event which became part of history).

And of course, the important historical event then become a separate "cause" in itself, which was followed by a new set of "effects".

I realize that some folks don't share my passion this kind of thing, but what gets my blood pumping is to "think outside the plot" (to paraphrase the "box" analogy).

Here's just a few quick examples of what I mean.

The Day the Earth Stood Still - Did Klaatu live long enough to come back to Earth later and take Helen out on a hot date while she still had that obvious crush on him? Wink

The Time Machine - Did George stop off in the 23rd century, collect the fortune he made after buying stock in Apple in 1985, build a big time machine that would hold 100 people, and then bring back a load of Eloi he could enroll in some future college so they could return to their own time with degrees in all the fields necessary to build an advanced society for the Eloi? Cool

Forbidden Planet - What did the crew of the C-57-D plan to do if they found the Bellerophon crew alive (but without a working starship) and they were eager to return to Earth? Assuming they had about 20 crewmen like the C-57-D, where were they going to put all the folks they supposedly came to rescue!

I guess maybe the C-57-D crew could leave the tractor and the big cannons on Altair 4 to free up some room in the ship, then make a strict schedule for sharing the bunks (of which there might not even have been one bunk for each man aboard in the first place), and stand in pairs REALLY close together when they used the DC stations!






But here's the $64,000 question! What if that caused the two people to reassemble as one horribly deformed body after the process was complete! Shocked

Like I said, gaps don't have to be in the middle of a story, they can be on both ends of it, too!

If you have any similar thoughts on the movies we enjoy, post 'em here. As I've demonstrated above, they can silly or serious or a delicious combination of the two. Cool

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the most enjoyable sci-fi movies for me have been the ones that leave the backstory to be pieced together by the viewers. The movie simply picks up in the midst of some alternate taken-for-granted context and proceeds with the story without explaining where everything came from. It feels like the filmmaker is assuming some degree of intelligence on the part of the viewer.

In fact, when this is not done I sometimes think to myself (or out loud to my wife, which annoys her), "Oh great, another movie with the first third wasted on origins."

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Absolutely true! Very Happy

Now all you have to do, Wayne, is name one of those movies and we're off and running!

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


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scotpens
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking Outside the "Plot"! Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
I guess maybe the C-57-D crew could leave the tractor and the big cannons on Altair 4 to free up some room in the ship, then make a strict schedule for sharing the bunks (of which there might not even have been one bunk for each man aboard in the first place), and stand in pairs REALLY close together when they used the DC stations!



But here's the $64,000 question! What if that caused the two people to reassemble as one horribly deformed body after the process was complete! Shocked

That assumes the DC stations worked like Star Trek's transporter -- that they somehow temporarily de-materialized the crew during the transition from FTL to sublight speed (and vice versa).

I never got that impression. I thought the men were just rigidly held in protective forcefields so they wouldn't be smeared into Jell-O during deceleration. Didn't you see how some of them were rubbing their sore, stiff necks as they stepped off the pads?
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking Outside the "Plot"! Reply with quote

scotpens wrote:
I never got that impression. I thought the men were just rigidly held in protective forcefields so they wouldn't be smeared into Jell-O during deceleration. Didn't you see how some of them were rubbing their sore, stiff necks as they stepped off the pads?

Since Roddenberry based the transporters on the idea he got from those FP scenes, I think the most logical interpretation is that the men where turned into energy so that the incredible deceleration from 16 times the speed of light (the speed necessary to travel from Earth to Altair 4 in about a year) down below light speed didn't turn them into mush!

Consider what your suggesting, scotspen. Just holding them rigid would be useless. It would be about as effective as being encased in concrete and dropped from a building!

Every cell in their bodies would be slammed forward and liquefied within the "rigid force field". The force field would have to secure every atom in their bodies, preventing them from moving while being tugged on by the awesome inertia of deceleration.

We use airbags in cars to lessen the deceleration during accidents. The bags have to collapse forward to slow our bodies down less quickly than the car itself. But if we stopped as fast as the rest of the car, our internal organs would slam forward and be damaged inside out chests!

That, of course, is what happens without airbags. We aren't just harmed by the impact of the dashboard. We're harmed by way our bodies are violently compacted inside our own torsos! That's why a heavy impact on a person's head causes trauma on both sides of the brain — the side that slams forward against the skull in the direction of impact, and the opposite side when the brain recoils against the other side.

The only way the men could survive deceleration from 16 times the speed to light to less than light speed would be to convert their matter into energy, which is NOT affected by inertial the way matter is.

That's what the DC stations obviously did during the deceleration. They can't be harmed if they aren't even matter during that time. And that's why we see them like THIS during the process. Beams of pure light.



The only difference between the DC stations and the Star Trek transporters is that in FP, the energy the men were turned into wasn't transported anywhere.

This was a prototype of the transporter technology before mankind learned how to use the process for transportation.

And the reason they were groaning and rubbing their necks was because they'd just been turned into energy and then reassembled by a prototype "transporter" that was not yet fully perfected.

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


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scotpens
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Subjectively, the crew would feel as if they were being held rigidly in place. Actually they would be surrounded by a field that nullifies the effects of inertia.

Since the DC stations were never explained in the movie, what was the intent? Did the novelization go into any technical detail about how they worked?

Personally, I find an inertia-canceling forcefield more believable than matter-to-energy-to-matter. At our current level of technology, it's all sci-fi gobbledygook anyway. YMMV, as they say.
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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you have it just about right, Bud.

The DC stations were probably some kind of "stasis" projectors that placed the organisms in them outside of conventional time and space.

Rather like shifting them into a different phase dimensionally so the hyperspace deceleration did not affect them.

No doubt the "hyperspace" drive the ships used to surpass the speed of light worked by shielding the higgs boson or nullifing the Higgs Field removing the effects of mass on those within the field.

The DC stations energy field replaced the Higgs field allowing them to shift back into normal space from null space.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

With all due respect, gentlemen, I think you're working too hard to avoid the obvious. We know that Forbidden Planet inspired Star Trek, and Roddenberry took the DC stations idea of turning people into energy one step further by sending the energy to another location before converting it back to matter.

I spent an hour trying to find a copy of the shooting script that included details about the DC stations, but I all I could find was the 1954 script, which describes the crewmen enclosed "capsules".

This screenshot below from the script is difficult to read. I enhanced it as much as I could.



Clearly the producers of the film were persuaded by someone to rethink that idea and make the DC stations more effective at what they were supposed to do. But notice that the last line says they emerge from the capsules "groggy and a little sick".

Guys, I think the stage direction to act groggy after the DC stations scene was a holdover from the version which had the crew suffering through deceleration inside capsules . . . that should have actually killed them!

However, my copy of the Cinefastique double issue with the great article on this movie does say that matte artist Mathew Yuricich airbrushed the FX scene which "transformed the crew into glowing blue columns of light energy."

Yeah, I know, that doesn't prove a thing. But a well-researched article by Kai Jansson called Forbidden Planet: The Star Trek to Altair IV has this statement.

A variation of the classic transporter beam was employed in the ship's D.C. (deceleration) stations to protect the spacecraft's occupants from the worst effects of decelerating out of hyperspace and back into real-space.

And, as I stated above, the best possible way to prevent inertia from killing a spaceship crew during high acceleration and deceleration is turn them into energy, because energy doesn't give a rat's rear end about inertia. It's just that simple, guys. Very Happy

I don't know where I got the jpeg below of a page from the 1955 version of the script (and I can't find it on the FP thread, even after checking all 54 pages) but I'm betting that this later version would have some sort of statement about the "energy beam" version that was actually done in the film, and it would help us resolve this controversy.



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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Well, dang it!

I finally found the first four pages of the 1955 screenplay on the TCM site (of all places), and it does have the correct version of the DC stations scene the way it appears in the movie (sort of).

Unfortunately it only describes exactly what we see on the screen, not an explanation of what the "columns of green radiance" actually are.

Crap . . . Sad

Here's the section at the bottom of page 2 and the top of page 3.






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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Enjoy these other Thinking Outside the "Plot"! post here on All Sci-Fi. Cool

The Land Unknown (1957) - Yes, the hidden dinosaur-filled valley did exist, and I proved it! Wink

Battle Beneath the Earth (1967) - Yes, the Chinese ARE building a trans-Pacific tunnel to the U.S., and there's already a network of mysterious tunnels under our country! Shocked

The Thing from Another World (1951) - We only saw one alien and one saucer . . . but there were more of both!

When Worlds Collide (1951) - Was Zyra a cold world or a warm world? Well, first it was warm, then it was cold, and then it got warm again. It fact, it was plum Spring-like!
Very Happy
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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


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Krel.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scotpens wrote:
Since the DC stations were never explained in the movie, what was the intent? Did the novelization go into any technical detail about how they worked?

In the novel, they would raise their bunks into an upright leaning position and strap themselves in, very tightly. Entering and leaving hyper space was very stressful and unpleasant.

In one of the Cinefantastique articles they mentioned that originally the crew was to step into tubes, like the freezing tubes in "Lost In Space", with the back half of the tube to be frosted. After "This Island Earth" came out, they dropped the tube idea.

David.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2024 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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The evolution of Forbidden Planet from it's original premise (a rocket ship landing on Mercury) to it's brilliant final version (a starship landing on Altair 4) is filled with examples of intelligent people Thinking Outside the Plot.

During the long process of developing the brilliant plot of this movie, the producers realized that a starship decelerating from 16 times the speed of light all the way down to a sub-light velocity required much more than just strong seat belts — and even force fields — to protect its crew from the titanic effects of inertia!

Gentlemen, we're taking basic science here! Shocked

The producers' solution was to turn the crew into energy and completely eliminate the effects of inertia on the matter these people were normally composed of!

Furthermore, please consider this.

The conversion of matter into energy (the DC stations) and the conversion of energy into matter (the Krell machine's ability to make solid objects on demand), is the heart and sole of this amazing story!

Some fans of this movie don't understand this important aspect of Forbidden Planet.

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
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