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Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by DougF, Nov 14, 2011.
I won't get to this one until tomorrow.
This is a "guilty pleasure" episode for me.
So stupid it's fun. Sort of a TNG "Spock's Brain".
The snotty "Assistant Manager" (none other than "Bernard" on "Lost"!), the so-cliche-you-throw-up-in-your-mouth-a-little bellhop, and the equally cliche "Mickey D". (The nickname of the world's largest Fast Food chain? Really, TNG? Really?) Worf's attempt to use the "turbolifts" in the hotel. Finally Noble Willingham as a cliche Texan!
Woot! This one's a hoot!
I remember this one fondly, but I really couldn't tell you why. We'll see.
Just started and the first thing I noticed is that The Royale appears to be located on Angel One. Never caught that before.
You have to admit, this was a fun episode.
"I believe they are asking if we want the room cleaned."
"Baby needs a new pair of shoes."
My big question, though: How is The Royale any worse than Dixon Hill? :-D
You'll find a lot of this in all the Star Trek series. TOS was the worst about it, of course - lowest budget, even adjusted for the years it was in production. However, you'll catch lots of footage re-use in TNG as well. (Not only "space" shots but corridor shots, shots of the warp core, etc.)
You'll probably find the least of this (maybe even none) in "Enterprise" because that was the first Star Trek series where all the space shots were CGI, and CGI had become fast and cheap enough to render new shots for each episode.
Yeah, that was fun. It looked like it was probably fun for Frakes, Dorn and Spiner, too.
I wonder if this is part of the reason why so many planets in Star Trek seemed to have no bodies of water. If you look at the Earth from space (assuming there's not tons of cloud cover), you can make out the major land masses and all of the bodies of water. But when we see a planet from orbit in Star Trek, it's usually just a featureless round orb.
Yes, tons of B-roll footage was reused over and over again. Of course, 20 years ago, B-roll was extremely expensive to re-shoot, and most series couldn't run beyond 7 years or so because the B-roll available got dated. Re-shooting new B-roll was possible, but if the series was only going to run an extra season, it would've been a huge expense.
These days, CGI is trivially cheap and easy, and shooting new B-roll is equally cheap. Instead of needing a whole crew and equipment, the director or production assistant or someone can go do it. Heck, the equipment's trivially cheap - instead of filming on big film cameras with film cartridges and everything costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, you can pick up a DSLR and do the same thing. (In fact, many TV episodes have done just that - shot with DSLRs).
So now, getting new B-roll is much cheaper and with the ease of digital, sharing has become common along with reuse of stock footage.
ISTR that The Royale didn't really do very well in the ratings when it aired the first time around - perhaps because it wasn't "fancy" enough - just filming inside some cheap hotel low-rent sitcom style... I don't think it was the worst episode, just it wasn't something that most TNG fans really enjoyed.
Of course, that's the exciting part of the rewatching. To see how we've changed our opinions over the years.
Was it really low rated originally?
I found it very funny when I saw it in first run. I really liked it then, and I still do.
It is stupid, but that's the point. It's funny stupid, not unlike "The Trouble With Tribbles" from TOS.
Also, do you have some inside info that it was shot "on location" in an actual "cheap hotel"? Memory Alpha doesn't indicate that (and that site is usually pretty adept at calling to light interesting trivia like that.
I'm 99.998% sure those were all soundstage sets (albeit, quite possibly borrowed from other productions), unless of course, you have a source that it was on location.
If it was a soundstage shoot, and that, combined with a lot of extras, means this episode wasn't a cheap "bottle show", but a middle-to-high budget episode. (Space shots were re-used all the time regardless of the particular episode's budget.)
EDIT: Actually, a location shoot is usually more expensive even than building sound stage sets from scratch. They have to haul all the remote equipment to the location, and union rules state that they have to provide catering (whereas when they're shooting on a soundstage, they only have to give the actors and crew meal breaks, the studio commissary is right there handy). So, I seriously doubt it was a location...
I think the cheapest part of this episode was the "hotel's" exterior. Man, was that bad. Especially at the end where the light from the revolving door lit up all the blacked out parts of the stage.
I think the best part of the episode was how into the game Data got at the craps table. That, and Picard's reaction as he was listening to the dialogue over the comm - he looked physically pained.
Doh! After all these years I never caught that one. I feel ashamed.
The episode was still as much fun as I remember. I bet the writers had a blast, too--getting to develop purposely bad characters and dialog, and even point it out within the episode itself.
I can't decide if I'd consider it a bottle episode or not. They didn't build that entire hotel set just for this episode. More than likely, the set was built for something else--another show or even a movie. Considering that, and the fact that there were only a few extras with lines, it would seem to fit the definition of a bottle episode.
My favorite part, though, is that it's another episode where Data got to act in character. Yeah, it's not entirely proper for him to put on the "cocky gambler" act, but it's fun to watch Spiner do it.
Not a "bottle episode". Bottle episode implies only standing series sets, and at most one or maybe two guest stars with speaking parts. This episode violates both of these criteria.
They have several non-series sets (but I agree with you, I bet they were built for something else and "borrowed" for ST:TNG). Also, there are numerous guests with speaking parts: The "Assistant Manager", the Bellboy, Mickey D, Texas, Vanessa, and then several one-or-two line characters (such as the blackjack and craps dealers). There were also around 20, or maybe more, non-speaking extras. (But I don't consider that as one of the reason's it isn't a bottle show. IMHO, a "bottle show" might have numerous non-speaking extras, if only representing Enterprise crew.)