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Star Trek TOS Bloopers - where are they now?

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Most of us who are Star Trek fans know there are a set of blooper reels from Star Trek TOS. They were shown often at conventions in the 1970s & 80s, and really terrible copies of them wound up on VHS bootlegs later, followed by DVD copies of these same terrible quality bootlegs.

So the question is this: what happened to those blooper reels and why have they never been released? Short clips from them have shown up on some documentaries, but the DVDs and then the Blu-rays and then finally the Roddenberry Vault releases contained not even a scrap of the blooper footage. Why is this?

Additionally, as far as preservations go: what is the best copy of the bloopers out there that one can currently get their hands on? I have numerous copies in varying poor quality, but nothing that is remotely satisfying. We were able to pinpoint here a select few copies of the Star Wars Holiday Special that were of exceptional quality…can we do the same for the ST:TOS bloopers?

–SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [ONGOING]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]

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 (Edited)

According to Starlog magazine, the old rumor was one cast member didn’t appreciate those being shown to the public. Which might be why they never aired on any of those blooper tv specials of the 80’s and 90’s.

The USA cult cable show Night Flight dared to air a couple minutes of bloopers attached to a TWOK trailer in the wee hours of the weekend in the late 80’s. I managed to get that on tape back in the day.

One of those bargain basement video labels had the balls to release a good portion of the bloopers in the early 90’s tucked within the body of a 30 minute documentary about Sci Fi television.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-40-YEARS-of-Science-Fiction-TELEVISION-1993-VHS-STAR-TREK-BLOOPERS-MORE-/112233200125
I preserved my copy, but haven’t checked the disc in a while. I think the original VHS was one of those SLP speed releases.

Prior to home video, Super 8 and sometimes 16mm copies were sold at conventions, and these sometimes pop up on Ebay today.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Star-Trek-Original-Series-Blooper-Reels-1-3-Super8-Film-Color-Sound-/152285300601
Even one of those is going to look a little rough as blooper reels were copied and copied again among fans who had the ability to do so.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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 (Edited)

SilverWook said:

According to Starlog magazine, the old rumor was one cast member didn’t appreciate those being shown to the public. Which might be why they never aired on any of those blooper tv specials of the 80’s and 90’s.

Yes, I’ve always suspected that might possibly have been a factor. There are also one or two things in the blooper reel that are not very politically sound by today’s standards. The Battlestar Galactica TOS bloopers are even more so. I imaging that gives some people pause when it comes to releasing the stuff.

The USA cult cable show Night Flight dared to air a couple minutes of bloopers attached to a TWOK trailer in the wee hours of the weekend in the late 80’s. I managed to get that on tape back in the day.

Have you digitized that? How was the quality?

There are a few clips used in one of the anniversary documentaries that are not terrible quality. But they are just excerpts as well.

One of those bargain basement video labels had the balls to release a good portion of the bloopers in the early 90’s tucked within the body of a 30 minute documentary about Sci Fi television.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-40-YEARS-of-Science-Fiction-TELEVISION-1993-VHS-STAR-TREK-BLOOPERS-MORE-/112233200125
I preserved my copy, but haven’t checked the disc in a while. I think the original VHS was one of those SLP speed releases.

SLP is always a bad sign for the tape itself, but how was the quality of the original transfer? Murky, muddy, and dark like most of the others? Or actually reasonable?

Prior to home video, Super 8 and sometimes 16mm copies were sold at conventions, and these sometimes pop up on Ebay today.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Star-Trek-Original-Series-Blooper-Reels-1-3-Super8-Film-Color-Sound-/152285300601
Even one of those is going to look a little rough as blooper reels were copied and copied again among fans who had the ability to do so.

That’s the big problem…nth generation transfers or copies make up most of what we see out there. But somebody has the original reels. And somebody else has copies made from those reels that are not as bad as the rest of what’s out there. I’d really love to find out what’s the best source out there, whether it’s an 8mm reel, a VHS release, a DVD, or a torrent somewhere.

–SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [ONGOING]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]

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Hi, I don’t know if this may be of interest but some time ago I did a exhaustive research to understand exactly how many different TOS blooper reels existed, and I assembled one long video with all the existing variations sourced from the best materials I could find (all VHS, including the original “Forty Years of Science Fiction Television Featuring: Star Trek” and “Star Trek 25th Anniversary Special”). The final video lenght was 44 minutes and it included the followings:

  1. Reel 0: excerpt from the “Star Trek 25th Anniversary Special”, better quality. Includes scenes from reels 1-2-3-4.

  2. Reel 1: first part of the first season, probably made for 1966 Christmas holiday’s party.

  3. Reel 2: full first season, includes scenes from reel 1 and the happy birthday video for Roddenberry’s wife Eileen at the end.

  4. Reel 3: second season.

  5. Reel 4: third season, includes scenes from reels 1 and 3.

  6. Reel 5: compilation of reel 1-2-3 with better quality, released on VHS within the documentary “Forty Years of Science Fiction Television Featuring: Star Trek”.

I put it on YouTube (here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sd1Fc0u6hoE), but CBS blocked it, despite the low quality, the fact that they have never been released and that there are hundreds of other TOS bloopers reel videos on YouTube (I’m honored CBS chose to block mine).

I did a similar job for all the original NBC promos (also never released offcially) and this time it wasn’t blocked. You can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbOKvBq2iSk
In the description there is the list of the contents.

Maab

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 (Edited)

Try Vimeo next time. They are lower profile.

Starlog magazine did an article or two on the blooper reels back in the 80’s, with lots of photos. Those issues should be up on archive.org these days.

Still looking for my DVD copies.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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 (Edited)

I have a disc called Bloopers Bonanza 1960’s that has a TOS Blooper section that starts out with a Gorn on a microphone. Would this be of some use to you? It is a 16min 55sec piece.

https://www.amazon.com/Classic-Television-Blooper-featuring-Laugh/dp/B000ZC1X2M

“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”
― Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays

“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”

― Socrates

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I actually ordered a couple of the blooper VHS tapes from eBay…the “40 Years” one and the clamshell case one called “Star Trek Bloopers”. I don’t expect much, but at least they were cheap. But do let me know if you find your digitized copies, SilverWook.

–SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [ONGOING]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]

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Jetrell Fo said:

I have a disc called Bloopers Bonanza 1960’s that has a TOS Blooper section that starts out with a Gorn on a microphone. Would this be of some use to you? It is a 16min 55sec piece.

https://www.amazon.com/Classic-Television-Blooper-featuring-Laugh/dp/B000ZC1X2M

Holy crap…I had forgotten that I actually have this!

Quality is pretty low (fuzzy, muffled, and very poor color), but better than a lot of the YouTube uploads I think. But I’d really love to see a copy that was clearer and closer to the source.

–SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [ONGOING]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]

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I’m glad at least I could remind you then, LOL.

“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”
― Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays

“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”

― Socrates

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I think that’s the same as the bloopers on that 1993 VHS I captured. One never forgets Gorn karaoke night. 😉

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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 (Edited)

I do have different versions in different quality. Wouldn’t it help if everybody would put some screenshots from his/her version so that we know which one is the best, or something similar? BTW do you know that there are people who have the bloopers on FILM? Last year I was contacted by a man who claimed that his friend has the bloopers on 35mm film, given to him by Roddenberry himself. There was a video of him projecting the reels on youtube but I can’t find it anymore, probably taken down by CBS.

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I think a reel of bloopers from the Roddenberry estate was in one of those big Hollywood memorabilia auctions a couple years ago.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

I think that’s the same as the bloopers on that 1993 VHS I captured. One never forgets Gorn karaoke night. 😉

Yeah, that Gorn really knows how to captivate an audience, LOL.

“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”
― Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays

“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”

― Socrates

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 (Edited)

FanFiltration just posted a link to this in the Off topic Trek thread. It’s a weird hodgepodge of sources. Some cropped, some that looks like it was shot off a screen without a tripod.
https://youtu.be/V5g5GoRSfMc
One bit I’ve wondered about for years, what episode is the set seen at 11:42 from? I’ve never been able to identify it. Is it even from Trek at all?

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

FanFiltration just posted a link to this in the Off topic Trek thread. It’s a weird hodgepodge of sources. Some cropped, some that looks like it was shot off a screen without a tripod.
https://youtu.be/V5g5GoRSfMc

This is a great collection of material, despite the varying quality. It’s interesting to read the description here, which claims that one of Gene Roddenberry’s own original blooper reels was stolen during a convention, and that was the source of the endless bootlegs…followed by a TNG blooper reel being stolen from another convention years later. If this is true, it’s an interesting perspective on how the blooper reels made the rounds.

One bit I’ve wondered about for years, what episode is the set seen at 11:42 from? I’ve never been able to identify it. Is it even from Trek at all?

If I remember correctly, I believe that was a behind-the-scenes shot, with the girls who were in some of the scenes being shot doing their morning stretches before shooting. The guy who walks in to inspect the set (I forget who it is) then turns around and stumbles right into one of the ladies bending over right in front of him. The look on his face is priceless! As to what episode they were shooting at the time…no idea. But I’m sure someone knows.

–SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [ONGOING]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]

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The TNG bloopers have appeared on the DVD and Blu Rays though? Had a really bad copy of that back in the day, but damned if I can recall where I got it from.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

FanFiltration just posted a link to this in the Off topic Trek thread. It’s a weird hodgepodge of sources. Some cropped, some that looks like it was shot off a screen without a tripod.
https://youtu.be/V5g5GoRSfMc
One bit I’ve wondered about for years, what episode is the set seen at 11:42 from? I’ve never been able to identify it. Is it even from Trek at all?

I’ve seen just a couple of random bits, but it looks like it’s a merge of the 3 circulating blooper reels, the Billy Blackburn 8mm footage (from the official Blu-rays) and the silent trims, which were previously shared on youtube. So nothing new, but it’s great to see it all together in one video.

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SilverWook said:

The TNG bloopers have appeared on the DVD and Blu Rays though? Had a really bad copy of that back in the day, but damned if I can recall where I got it from.

The first season TNG blooper was released on the Blu-ray, but censored. There are various versions of this blooper available on “non-official” sources, one of them is a merge of TOS and TNG bloopers, and one is an uncensored version of the official release, but in slightly worse quality. All other blooper reels for seasons 2 - 7 were created specially for the Blu-ray sets from the new 35mm scans

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SKot said:

SilverWook said:

FanFiltration just posted a link to this in the Off topic Trek thread. It’s a weird hodgepodge of sources. Some cropped, some that looks like it was shot off a screen without a tripod.
https://youtu.be/V5g5GoRSfMc

This is a great collection of material, despite the varying quality. It’s interesting to read the description here, which claims that one of Gene Roddenberry’s own original blooper reels was stolen during a convention, and that was the source of the endless bootlegs…followed by a TNG blooper reel being stolen from another convention years later. If this is true, it’s an interesting perspective on how the blooper reels made the rounds.

One bit I’ve wondered about for years, what episode is the set seen at 11:42 from? I’ve never been able to identify it. Is it even from Trek at all?

If I remember correctly, I believe that was a behind-the-scenes shot, with the girls who were in some of the scenes being shot doing their morning stretches before shooting. The guy who walks in to inspect the set (I forget who it is) then turns around and stumbles right into one of the ladies bending over right in front of him. The look on his face is priceless! As to what episode they were shooting at the time…no idea. But I’m sure someone knows.

–SKot

That “guy” is Joe Pevney 😃 A director of MANY TOS episodes

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pittrek said:

SilverWook said:

FanFiltration just posted a link to this in the Off topic Trek thread. It’s a weird hodgepodge of sources. Some cropped, some that looks like it was shot off a screen without a tripod.
https://youtu.be/V5g5GoRSfMc
One bit I’ve wondered about for years, what episode is the set seen at 11:42 from? I’ve never been able to identify it. Is it even from Trek at all?

I’ve seen just a couple of random bits, but it looks like it’s a merge of the 3 circulating blooper reels, the Billy Blackburn 8mm footage (from the official Blu-rays) and the silent trims, which were previously shared on youtube. So nothing new, but it’s great to see it all together in one video.

Yes, it’s just a compilation of the available YouTube stuff using some tricks to compensate for the 240p,480p and silent sources. I cut up and re-ordered the Blackburn video and tried to find matching music. I know for sure there are clips missing. The Roddenberry reels had outtakes from The Enterprise Indecent for sure, and I seem to remember scenes from Plato’s Stepchildren.

Back in the early 80’s I had the VHS that was sold at the conventions. At that time I thought I had the complete 3 reels, but I’ve been recently informed that there was an out-take on one of Roddenberry’s reels of Frank Gorshin turning into The Riddler on the transporter pad! I still have not been able to confirm the existence or non-existence of this clip.

Have any of you heard the Star Trek Blooper LP? I just ordered one off line and I am looking forward to hearing what it is. I used to love finding such titles in obscure record stores and conventions, but those days are long passed.

“First feel fear, then get angry. Then go with your life into the fight.” - Bill Mollison

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So this is the tape I have in storage. Having it sent to me and I will report back what is on it and the quality. I plan to dub it to my PC when it arrives.

“First feel fear, then get angry. Then go with your life into the fight.” - Bill Mollison

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 (Edited)

FanFiltration said:
Have any of you heard the Star Trek Blooper LP? I just ordered one off line and I am looking forward to hearing what it is. I used to love finding such titles in obscure record stores and conventions, but those days are long passed.

I understand it’s just audio of blooper stuff. Reportedly, some of it is very tedious and some of it is actually funny.

FanFiltration said:

So this is the tape I have in storage. Having it sent to me and I will report back what is on it and the quality. I plan to dub it to my PC when it arrives.

Definitely looks like a boot. I’m curious as to the quality, though.

–SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [ONGOING]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]

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 (Edited)

SilverWook said:

According to Starlog magazine, the old rumor was one cast member didn’t appreciate those being shown to the public. Which might be why they never aired on any of those blooper tv specials of the 80’s and 90’s.

And that cast member was Mr. Nimoy! That’s what the Great Bird told us back in 1983. He was NOT showing the reels at conventions at that time. VHS was becoming a thing at that time and the dealers room was filling up with bootleg VHS tapes. Roddenberry did not want to show the reels in one room for free and then have people give their money to a 3rd party for a personal copy in another room.

“First feel fear, then get angry. Then go with your life into the fight.” - Bill Mollison