Did you notice the same footage of Scotty is reused in these back-to-back Star Trek episodes?

Budget cuts led Star Trek to reuse stock Scotty footage in one of the most expensive third season episodes.

If you watch Scotty carefully during the introduction of the Star Trek episode "Wink of an Eye," you might notice that his lips don’t sync with the words he’s saying.

That’s because the footage of Scotty used during this intro scene is repurposed from the introduction of the very next episode that aired, called "The Empath."

Listen carefully, and you can even hear two Scottys talking at once during "Wink of an Eye," one dubbed over the other, which repeats the dialog from the next episode "The Empath," at a level where you almost can’t make out the words.

If this feels like sloppy production to you, Gene Rodenberry agrees that Star Trek could’ve done better, but the show’s third season was hit with a lot of adversity before production even began.

In an interview with the Newspaper Enterprise Association in 1968, Rodenberry explained that NBC took its time announcing whether Star Trek would be renewed for a third season. When word finally reached Rodenberry that the show would go on, he said it was almost too late to ensure that it would.

"We already lost some of our crew," Rodenberry said. "And we came close to losing some of the actors. And I’m not sure if we have time to get enough scripts ready."

It’s likely these setbacks are responsible for the snap decision to reuse stock footage of Scott in the show’s introduction scenes that commonly show Kirk on a ground mission communicating what he finds back to Scotty on the ship.

"Costs keep going up, talent pools keep shrinking as people leave the business for movies," Rodenberry complained. "The result is that it is now almost impossible to do a decent show in the time and with the budget that we are allowed."

For "Wink of an Eye," which was one of the most expensive episodes of the third season due to special effects used, something had to give in the budget and clearly Scotty was volunteered for the job.

To cut corners, Rodenberry’s crew frequently in the third season relied on limiting the number of settings and using stock footage, so even the most expensive episodes also suffered from what Rodenberry said was a lack of creative vision from executives in charge of the show’s budget.

The original series only lasted three seasons, but for one actor, the third season was viewed as clutch in getting his name out there.

Walter Koenig had joined the series to play Chekhov starting in the second season, and he told the Newspaper Enterprise Association that he might’ve been the happiest of all the actors when the word came at the last minute that the series had been renewed.

He saw the show’s third season as his last chance to capture attention as an actor involved in the popular series.

"I think next season will do me more good than any of the others," Koenig said. "They’ve already gotten what good it will do them out of it, but I’m just catching on."

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StrayCat 6 months ago
I read somewhere that certain execs at NBC were unhappy that Star Trek was renewed for that third season. As a sort of retaliation they significantly slashed the budget forcing all the economizing of sets, stories, and filming. The budget for the season three episodes was significantly smaller than the first two seasons.
bnichols23 7 months ago
"Rodenberry" -- Seriously? :)
F5Twitster 7 months ago
“Walter Koenig had joined the series to play Chekhov starting in the second season, and he told the Newspaper Enterprise Association that he might’ve been the happiest of all the actors when the word came at the last minute that the series had been renewed.”

It’s spelled CHEKOV.

RoryCloud F5Twitster 7 months ago
F5Twitster, Keystone Kop of the Keyboard
(Now watch, he'll tell me it's "Cop")
PRINCETON 7 months ago
I never noticed that Scotty voice-over in that Wink Of An Eye episode... I do recall episodes Spock's Brain and The Way To Eden using the same scene of the entire crew being knocked unconscious... I probably wouldn't have noticed it that much; if it weren't for Nurse Christine Chaple's dramatic stand-out fall in sickbay... Okay is anyone else cracking up right now on the line... BRAIN AND BRAIN WHAT IS BRAIN?!!!... And I also got that to of the space hippies singing Head Now To Eden... Yeah, brotha... stuck in my brain; now...
F5Twitster PRINCETON 7 months ago
Christine CHAPEL.
bnichols23 F5Twitster 7 months ago
Poeple do maek tpyos....
kevopilis 7 months ago
I'm not sure if I've noticed stock footage or not, it's just one of those things that happen, what we can be thankful for, is the series to begin with. I have noticed however, in the credits on a few episodes are pictures of aliens that I've never seen in an episode, it happens quick and I suppose there is some trivia
site where I could peruse the matter, What is amazing is the sexuality of the show at the time, and for
the 19 women Kirk kissed, only in "Wink of an Eye" is it ever really implied he went all the way with an
alien babe, when he's putting his boots back on-
PRINCETON kevopilis 7 months ago
Speaking of the sexuality... the last episode Turnabout Intruder was pushing it a tad with Janice Lester switching bodies with Kirk... Janice love / hate for Kirk combine with her so so love for Dr. Coleman who cared for her... Her plan was doomed to fail from the start... After all; Janice was a hetero female and her feminine wilds for attractive men would've came out while in Kirk's body...
F5Twitster PRINCETON 7 months ago
“After all; Janice was a hetero female and her feminine wilds for attractive men would've came out while in Kirk's body...”

That’s feminine WILES, and would’ve COME out.
Claude F5Twitster 7 months ago
Duz enny of it reely matter?
Steve126 Claude 7 months ago
knot reely
bnichols23 Claude 7 months ago
Some does, others not. On most keyboards "d" is close enough to "e" to consider Occam's Razor -- just an errant keystroke that spill chuckers wouldn't catch, & grammar police, well..... :)
Vod666Kanockers 7 months ago
That's not the only time they did this. In one show that I can't quite remember the title of, they reused footage of Mr. Scott hanging on to the fenced wall in engineering that came from the episode "The Doomsday Machine". That scene was actually supposed to be the engineering section of the USS Constellation. I know that scene was used twice.
STTOS 7 months ago
Unfortunately where I live, Star Trek is preempted by the local news and the Soledad O'Brien (WHO???) show.
Andybandit 7 months ago
I can't believe Star Trek was only 3 season, I thought it was on a lot longer.
Brucewayne 7 months ago
Wink of an Eye actually has the distinction of being the single least-expensive episode of the entire series. But the reuse footage probably helped it accomplish that feat.
Pacificsun Brucewayne 7 months ago
Could it be because they never went anywhere except on the sets of the Enterprise? The only investment made was in guests stars (Kathy Browne was pretty stellar) and costuming (using their famous foil fabric spacesuits). What would they have ever done without the imaginations of craft-talent!
Michael Pacificsun 7 months ago
What about the episode where Kirk beams down to a planet, but lands on an empty Enterprise? "The Mark of Gideon".

It's really a set, on a tremendously overpopulated planet. They are hoping he'll spread some disease.

Since it used the Enterprise, not much cost there.
Pacificsun Michael 7 months ago
It really could've been their cheapest actually. And if it hadn't been for the acting itself, would've been pretty depressing.

Do you remember how the issue of their day was about "over-population." Society was especially worried about the population of India. At the time, we didn't know that much about China, which solved the problem for themselves.
F5Twitster Pacificsun 7 months ago
KATHIE Browne (Mrs Darren McGavin).
Pacificsun F5Twitster 7 months ago
You're right, and I forgot about her husband too.
Thx for the correction!
bnichols23 Pacificsun 7 months ago
Never went anywhere??
MrsPhilHarris 7 months ago
I don’t watch it except for the first few minutes after Svengoolie ends and fat fat lady sings, but why was it cancelled? Did it not have a big fan base at the time?
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BruceLovesTV Markvaladez 7 months ago
Great news!! MeTV+ now airs back-to-back The Wild Wild West episodes on Saturdays (7pm & 8pm EST) and Sundays (11pm and 12mdt EST)!!! Awesome show, and it lasted four seasons, one longer than the original Star Trek series. Go James and Artemus!!!
bnichols23 MrsPhilHarris 7 months ago
It did, but the network was absolutely determined to kill it that time around, so much so that they assigned it the infamous "death slot" during the last season.
MrsPhilHarris bnichols23 7 months ago
That’s interesting considering it is such a phenomenon.
bnichols23 MrsPhilHarris 7 months ago
Is now, yeah, but wasn't then. The Neilsens weren't as good then at assessing what shows were actually watched & by whom, but the networks went by them since it was all they had. Plus way then the Big 3 had simplistic ideas of Shows That Worked, & sci-fi just wasn't one of the ones they liked. Considering that shows like Star Trek, Time Tunnel, & Outer Limits got lumped in with junk like "Loused Up In Space" instead of drama, they may have had a point. :\ Once Trek became Big Bucks NBC'd lost the window. -laugh-
country46 7 months ago
I'll be sure to look these shows up and check it out myself never noticed before
KJExpress country46 7 months ago
Same here.
Zip 7 months ago
Never noticed this. The only stock footage I had seen was The Enterprise orbiting a planet or flying through space.
Robertp 7 months ago
I was young and loved sci-fi. My dad was old school and wouldn’t allow me to watch. Said it was silly. Maybe he was right but loved my ST!!
Snickers Robertp 7 months ago
I was nine years old when Star Trek first aired. Loved the show then and still watch the reruns 55 years later. Big classic sci-fi fan, loved the old 60's movies and was a big fan of the Irwin Allen sci-fi shows.
Michael Robertp 7 months ago
I can't remember what happened. We were either watching Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, or Star Trek, and my father decided to watch the other.

I suspect we switched to Voyage since my father was a marine biologist, and I think I really watched Star Trek when it was in syndication at 4 or 5PM weekdays after school.
AnnieM Robertp 7 months ago
My Dad & I watched a lot of TV together when I was a kid: 'Kung Fu', 'Get Smart!', Bond movies, & 'Planet of the Apes' movies were big favorites. The only show he ever objected to me watching was 'Gilligan's Island', because he thought it was ridiculous. I had to explain to him that THAT was why I liked it so much. 😂
Michael 7 months ago
But wasn't money an ongoing issue?

They used the pilot even though the cast was different, because it saved money.

Season 2 had nazis and gangsters, no real future in them, but it did reuse existing costumes. Same with the one where they visit the thirties. The gladiator one too, and the OK Coral one. Any set outside needed only costumes, no sets. Gary Seven.

Even the transporter was invented to get people down to a planet fast.

If they saved on one episode, they had more money for the next. It was routine, I recall reading.
Pacificsun Michael 7 months ago
IMO they spent the bulk of their budget on guest talent. Those were some pretty notable actors, that you continued to see in other classic TV shows. It was probably the one thing that couldn't be easily negotiated downwards. I don't think costuming was a cinch either. Those were some pretty exotic designs, and some so memorable they could not be used again. Plus makeup and special effects! Taking a shortcut with a supporting actor's role, was probably the simplest way to save money. Because in using the stock footage they saved on all the craft-talent labor, didn't have to light or decorate a set. It was like eliminating an entire scene from an episode.

But it will be fun to look for more examples of this going forward.
Snickers Pacificsun 7 months ago
Could you see them trying to do Next Generation with a 60's budget?
Michael Snickers 7 months ago
They'd just stage it all on the holodeck.
bnichols23 Pacificsun 7 months ago
"with a supporting actor's role" -- I hate to have to think of it like that, but objectively it's absolutely correct. Scotty, although a significant character, wasn't one of the Favored Three.
LoveMETV22 7 months ago
A good article with some of the obstacles ST faced .There are plenty of articles written on Star Trek TOS. It's truly amazing the success the franchise enjoys today based on its beginnings. By all means it should have ended at the beginning.
Catman 7 months ago
That is a cool story I didn't know about those two episodes. I'm going to rewatch them soon, for sure.
Snickers Catman 7 months ago
I have all three seasons on DVD and will watch these episodes again.
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