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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Looking at these two shots of the viewscreen, it seems that the railings are very close together in the close ups, while they are spread further apart in the wide shots. Could it be that the close ups are a miniature mock up with the railings placed too close together, or could it be some sort of photographic occurance of the "real" bridge set involving distance and/or size of lens used? Any ideas?
 

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There were actually two bridge sets, the original made of wood and the like, and a fiberglass covered version used later. The later one had more 'wild' sections allowing more flexibility in filming and was easier to take care I would suspect.

I hadn't noticed the spacing of the front rails before, but there are probably more than a few minor changes.
 

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I've thought about this in the past, but I don't know what's true. It seems to different to be a lens/perspective issue. It could be a different bridge, but you could probably figure this out by seeing where these two shots first showed up. I forget whether the bridge was rebuilt before or after the second pilot. I'd have to look at the episodes.

One idea is this: the railings were moved in make the shot look better in closeup. It's a stock shot, so it would be worth whatever extra effort it would require.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Richard Compton said:
I forget whether the bridge was rebuilt before or after the second pilot. I'd have to look at the episodes.
OK, this is starting to make more sense. In the Solow/Justman book "Inside Star Trek", they talk about how the bridge was moved from the Desilu Culver City studio to the one in Hollywood. They took the opportunity to make the set completely wild by cutting it apart and rebuilding with lighter weight materials. Like you Richard, I also forget when this took place. Also, this view was used in the first production episode "The Corbomite Manuever", but it was aired as the 10th episode. But since these are effects shots, they could have been processed at any point between.

Also, the positioning of the rails could be different because the wild sections weren't always placed together exactly the same way (as discussed in the bridge blueprint thread). So the placement could have been done accidently, or on purpose to provide perspective.

I suppose this could have been just another instance where time and money constraints always played a part in production, so no big deal today if something doesn't quite look right. Like they say in the "Art of Star Trek", nobody expected that 40 years later fans would be dissecting and examining the episodes with such "enthusiasim".
 

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I don't actually think it stems from being a different bridge, for the reason that in the closeup the railings seem too close together than what we know to be correct. I thought about the idea of two bridge sections place closer together without the middle "bridging" section....but aren't the rails split so that the ends of both railings are actually part of bridge section in front of the viewscreen? Again, this could be answered if I went and looked for a picture, but I'm too lazy. :)

The Project Exeter bridge actually had the railings completely removable which makes perfect sense but I hadn't thought of before.
 

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You know, in film we 'cheat' things like this CONSTANTLY, things that wouldn't hold up under this kind of 'enthusiastic, disection'.

The 'how' they got them there is kind of pointless.
They could have been removed and placed there or anything else.
All that is really important is that whoever shot the plate put them there like that.
 

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There was only one bridge set.

There were a couple of stock viewscreen shots that were used and reused throughout the series' run. The stock CU shot above of the viewscreen was set up with just the screen and the set of railings. They're just far enough apart to show the blinky lights under the picture frame. Yes, they are closer together than when they are on the set piece. Few have ever noticed.
 

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Trek Ace said:
There was only one bridge set.

There were a couple of stock viewscreen shots that were used and reused throughout the series' run. The stock CU shot above of the viewscreen was set up with just the screen and the set of railings. They're just far enough apart to show the blinky lights under the picture frame. Yes, they are closer together than when they are on the set piece. Few have ever noticed.
I think this speaks volumes about how the level of attention to detail sometimes varied during the production of the show. Mostly pretty good, but once in a while, major whoopsie.
 

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You've got to remember that this was all just a TV show. There are many shots on the bridge where sections of the red railing is missing, or Spock is looking into a 4' tall standalone viewer, sans console. These were necessary to accomplish the movement of cranes and dollies in and around the set to achieve dramatic angles.

The bridge set itself could be split into five sections, though only one or two sections were ever removed at a time. If you want to see an even more interesting arrangement of the bridge, pay close attention to the second season episode By Any Other Name.
 

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What's with the ceiling in those shots? Doesn't the circular overhang go over the viewscreen walls? It looks like the walls are in front of it in those pictures doesn't it? I think in retrospect the overhang is there but those bad shadows are the problem where the walls meet the overhang ceiling. BTW, why does the overhang and ceiling dome have that small panel slice at the center of the viewscreen? Here is a good overall shot of the viewscreen area from the helm:

http://trek5.com/caps/tos/03_corbomite/pages/03_corb_099.htm
 
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