The Filmmaking Technique That Drove Star Trek Producers Crazy

As a franchise, Star Trek doesn’t use Dutch angles very often. The first reason for this is, as mentioned before, that producers want episodes to have a kind of uniform look, something that was particularly important once the show hit syndication. Additionally, Dutch angles are sometimes overused by bad directors, so the use of them can draw the wrong kind of attention to any given episode.

That’s a lesson that Star Trek director David Livingston learned about Dutch angles the hard way while working on the Voyager episode “Emanations.” The episode had an interesting gimmick where Harry Kim apparently died, waking up in an alien world where the residents treat him as a visitor from their afterlife. For the director, this presented the challenge of figuring out the best way to make the alien world look very different from what we normally see in the show.

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