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1966Re: PROBE Control consoles

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  • actingman_jc <actingman@mindspring.com>
    Mar 1, 2003
      It had never occured to me that they would have spent the money on
      those consoles...but it makes sense, especially since I had never
      seen them in anything prior to Search. Those consoles would be the
      one standing set if the pilot went to series, and I am guessing by
      late 1971 they weren't interested in using the 1950's surplus stuff
      that had been used in many of the 60's shows (the IA shows for
      instance.) I had always guessed that the four standing tape decks,
      where the tape went up and down on rollers across the face of each
      deck were real, and weren't used much in various shows because they
      didn't have lots of flashing lights. The tall narrow reel to reels
      and the horizontal flashing banks were of course visually impressive
      pieces that were used in other shows back into the 60s...like the IA

      After having been on the hospital set of Third Watch, I now
      automatically think everyting on tv is made of plywood. Looking at
      the Probe Screen, I can see how it could just be a big piece of cut
      and shaped and painted plywood, with holes cut out for the flashing
      lights, and the rolling numbers...which were then replaced by
      flashing lights for the last eight.

      I have mentioned in the past how Fred Harpmann, who designed the
      Probe set, went on to design the "Newscenter" set, with free standing
      rear projection screens that NBC used in the 70's. Those rear
      projection screens looked very similar, I thought, to the Probe
      Screen, especially the color of the screen in the final eight. If I
      can figure out how to do a grab off a super 8 "kinescope" I made of
      the Newscenter set from 1975, I will post them to see if I had any
      idea what I was thinking back then.

      --- In probe_control@yahoogroups.com, okuda23392@a... wrote:
      > It's my impression (and this is only a guess) that the six or so
      > consoles and the main video screen were custom built for Search.
      (These are
      > the desk consoles at which the various PROBE Control technicians
      and Cameron
      > sat.) I would guess that the secondary gizmos (the tape drives and
      > light devices) on the perimeter of the set were purchased or rented
      from a
      > prop rental company. This might explain why those secondary
      devices appeared
      > in many other productions, far more than did the main consoles.
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