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Something I didn't pick up on when watching the original airings, but noticed while watching re-runs a very long time ago:

At the climax of "Who Mourns for Adonais", Kirk orders the ship to fire on Apollo's temple... a musical cue plays over the sequence, there is the sound of phasers, and toward the end of the sequence, we see flashes of lightning accompanied by the sound of thunder.

At the climax of "The Apple", Kirk orders the ship to fire on Vaal... a musical cue plays over the sequence, there is the sound of phasers, and toward the end of the sequence, we see flashes of lightning accompanied by the sound of thunder.

The full soundtrack music+phasers+thunder seems to play out identically between the two sequences - same music cue, same thunder (I think at the same relative timing). It's like the same almost-complete soundtrack was spliced from one episode to the other (excepting for the dialog, which of course differs between the two episodes).

From a production perspective, what was going on here? No way this was a coincidence. I know that many episodes used "tracked" music rather than an original score for budgetary reasons. But the thunder sounds? Was a partial soundtrack (music+effects) lifted from one episode to the other, and if so, is there something about the production process that creates such an opportunity (or at least did back then)? Especially since there had to be a narrative reason in both episodes for the thunder.

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    Remember that all special effects for TV shows used to be an expensive thing to produce, so if a sequence could be reused to save money then it would be, identically. The less you could involve the actual effects team, the more money saved - getting the characters to say one more line of dialog to explain away similarities is trivial in comparison cost wise... There are plenty of videos on Youtube showing how entire scenes were reused over and over and over again during all the various Star Trek shows.
    – Moo
    Commented Jul 11, 2022 at 2:21
  • @Moo the funny thing is that the two sequences do have unique visual effects. OK, the phaser effect may be copied, the Enterprise shot, sure, but in "Who Mourns..." lightning bolts emanate from Apollo's hand, where in "The Apple", they are just in the sky, and the original (not remastered) effect in "The Apple" shows Vaal's forcefield in a way that is clearly specific to the shot/episode, as is the effect as Apollo's temple succumbs. It's the weirdly duplicate audio that surprises me cuz it would seem to require a carefully assembled/synchronized (therefore more expensive?) visual.
    – Anthony X
    Commented Jul 11, 2022 at 23:12
  • That doesnt surprise me at all, they decided to spend the budget they had in one particular place and worked around that. Reusing the audio saved them money, which they spent elsewhere - namely, the visual effects. Remember, an effect that you can apply to a snapchat video today in moments would have taken days to do and cost thousands of dollars in the 1960s - corners had to be cut all over the place, which is also why most TOS era alien ships were just amorphous blobs on the screen rather than detailed models...
    – Moo
    Commented Jul 11, 2022 at 23:55
  • This was done to save money, quite obviously. Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 13:00

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