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My memories of watching the Star Trek episode "Assignment: Earth" when it was in reruns in the 1970s include the incredibly cute Teri Garr and also a laughable use of NASA stock footage for the nuclear missile test. My memory is that the stock footage used showed several different types of rocket, from the Saturn shown on the pad, to an Atlas in flight, and maybe something else.

I just rewatched this episode for the purpose of making screencaps of the different vehicles, and found that there were no different vehicles in the remastered version (OK, they used 3 different Saturns, but this is pretty minor compared to what I remember).

Is it documented anywhere that this change was made in the remastering process? My google searches on this topic turned up some references to discussions of this, but not the discussion themselves, and I could not find a list of remastering changes for this episode.

  • Assignment: Earth not Assignment: Eternity. – James McLeod Oct 4 '16 at 5:06
  • Nothing specific for you, although having worked in TV, it could have been a copyright issue. What you don't see in the credits is that the original artistes / sources have to be paid (again) with a re-issue... this is why Michael Jackson invested in the Beatles catalogue - every time the radio play a Beatles track = ker ching. The original stock footage agreement may have been for that release only, and since withdrawn. I know of a case where Ray Charles was cut from concert footage on a (subsequent) video release due to a copyright argument despite appearing on a TV broadcast of the gig. – Applefanboy Oct 4 '16 at 10:43
  • @jamesmcleod thanks, fixed. – Organic Marble Oct 4 '16 at 12:26
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    @applefanboy I don't think NASA charges for the use of their footage. – Organic Marble Oct 4 '16 at 12:27
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    And did they remaster Teri Garr, ’cos she’s even cuter than I remember! – Paul D. Waite Oct 4 '16 at 18:09
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Comparing the original (non-remastered) and the remastered version - the rocket is consistently a Saturn V that is used. In fact, at least one of the vehicles shown is Apollo 4:

Not sure of cost, but NASA did have to grant permission to use the original footage

On December 3, Roddenberry received word from NASA that footage of rocket launchings and general Cape Kennedy stock footage would be provided to Star Trek...This footage is more historic than most watching could know, as it documents the preparation and launching of the first Saturn V multi-stage rocket. The unmanned capsule at the top is in fact, Apollo 4. The storage buildings at the rocket base were actually studio buildings on the paramount lot with NASA footage of Apollo rockets matted in above them. There was also new footage shot at the Cape specifically for this episode.

  • per "These Are the Voyages, Season Two"
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    Thanks. Another false memory! Incidentally, Memory Alpha says The rocket stock footage in this episode is actually of three Saturn Vs: footage of the rocket on the ground is a combination of the SA-500F Test Vehicle (the only Saturn V to feature "USA" markings on the third stage) and Apollo 6 (the only Saturn V launched with a white service module). Footage of the rocket launching is of Apollo 4. but I know that's a fan page. – Organic Marble Oct 4 '16 at 16:12

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