More shows?

I'm sure there are more, but none come to mind. Jaz talk 21:26, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Some episodes are hard to define as "bottle shows", DS9's particularly. -- When it rains... it pours 23:37, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Very true, DS9 bottle shows are hard to ID. I suppose "Civil Defense" could be one. -- Tough Little Ship 19:07, 21 May 2006 (UTC) article

I just felt I should add this link here(X), which listed a couple ENT bottleshows, and why their used. [1](X) - AJ Halliwell 04:10, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

DS9 Bottles

Starship Down would be a good example of a DS9 bottle. Igotbit

No, actually, it does not. It takes place entirely off DS9. Now, that could be forgiven, as it mostly takes place within the Defiant, but there are a number of other problems. It has a major, and possibly expensive, guest star, James Cromwell. The guy has been in movies (Star Trek: First Contact for example. In addition, a new starship model had to be made for this episode (I'm pretty sure this is the first time we see the Karemma starship), and it has LOTS of special effects shots of the battle in that atmosphere. Seems to break just about all the rules. --OuroborosCobra talk 14:06, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, the episode was actually supposed to have a lot more special effects, which in turn would have made it an even more expensive show. The original story outline had the Defiant crashing in a water planet rather than a gas planet. --From Andoria with Love 17:03, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
According to the DS9 Companion, the producers considered (at a minimum) "Duet" and "The Wire" bottle shows, despite the fact that they both featured a regular guest (Garak) and in both cases another "major" guest star. They define the term as "a show deliberately written to require a minimum number of special effects, actors, and new sets", and both of these episodes seem to meet that definition fairly well. -- Sulfur 02:58, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Sounds to me then that we have a new, more official definition of the term. We should change the article description to say that. --OuroborosCobra talk 07:53, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
DoneCapt Christopher Donovan 03:53, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

TOS Bottle shows

I am removing the following as they all had a significant number of guest stars:

I am not sure about "The Changeling". It had a bunch of special effects, I think. Honestly, I have not seen it in years. --OuroborosCobra talk 01:38, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

I think that "Ultimate Computer" at least could be re-added to the list. They had ONE "big" guest part, one "lesser" part, and only a handful of extras (less then they usually had for sure). Also, 98% of the FX shots were reused "stock" shots.Capt Christopher Donovan 02:45, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Hadn't watched that one in a while either. I remember there being more guest stars. Re-adding. --OuroborosCobra talk 02:58, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

See also the terminology used in the DS9 companion (noted above). By that definition, Ultimate Computer would definitely fit. Heck, the DS9 people considered "Civil Defense" a bottle show. -- Sulfur 02:59, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Heck, I'd consider readding "Mark of Gideon" too. It only had two real speaking parts outside the main cast (the girl and her father) and ONE scene that had any sizable amount of extras (the 'faces' scene).Capt Christopher Donovan 03:23, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
There is also Krodak and Fitzgerald. That brings it up to 4 speaking parts, plus all of those extras. For TOS, that is actually quite a few guests. --OuroborosCobra talk 03:30, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I'll admit it's been awhile since I've seen the ep, but did Krodak actually speak? So that's one major speaking part (the girl) and three minor parts (the father, Krodak, and Fitzgerald) and ONE scene where we have a body of extras (faces). Contrast that with the number of scenes they had where ordinarily they WOULD have a lot of extras but didn't.
I make this case not to argue for it's own sake but because I feel it's a legit issue that needs settling. What constitutes "few" or "fewer than normal"? What about shows like "Mirror Mirror"? No new sets, only two extra speaking parts, minimal FX BUT it recostumed several characters. Where do the trade off's add up or not?Capt Christopher Donovan 03:43, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Since I'm the one who put the TOS examples up, allow me to argue my position, specifically regarding Gideon. I can see taking Babel off the list. I was kind of 50/50 on that one, but I have seen reviewers on other Trek sites label it as a bottle show. Depends on how loose one is with the definition I suppose. Now we do have at least one TOS episode that we know for sure is a bottle show, and that's "The Naked Time" (John D.F. Black even admitted in an interview that it was created as a bottle, and since he wrote it himself, who are we to argue?). So if we take that episode as a reasonable standard for judging what makes a TOS bottle, I think Gideon more than passes the test. First, all of Gideon's sets are existing or redressed Enterprise sets, there's nothing new there at all. Second, there are very, very few special effects (less than in Naked Time even, and about as little as we've ever seen in any episode of any Star Trek series). And both episodes had the same number of guest actors with dialogue: two significant roles (Riley/Tormolen, Odona/Hodin), a minor role that appears in only one scene (the crewman blocking Rand in the corridor, the Admiral), and a one-line role (the laughing crewman, Krodak).-- 07:23, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Thing is, I think the guests in "Naked Time" on the whole also were guests as the same characters later on, while those in Gideon were brought in just for that episode. That may not seem like much, but it makes a difference. It is kind of like Garek in the DS9 ones, yes he is a guest star, but for a recuring character. That is not the case in Gideon, but I think it is in Naked Time. All of that said, I hate this article, because it is almost all judgement calls, and whenever that is the case, we are going to get into conflict whenever anyone makes a change, as no one is going to agree. --OuroborosCobra talk 07:40, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Riley is the only new character in Naked Time who came back, and only for Conscience of the King (and even then it was supposed to be a different character until they cast Bruce Hyde for the part). So I'd hardly put him on a level with Garak, who appeared in over 30 episodes. More like Lt. Palmer (Uhura's fill-in for two episodes), or at most Harry Mudd. The actor who played Tormolen did make a second appearance in a totally different role, but so did the actor who played Krodak.
And incidentally, 4 guests with speaking parts is not unusual for TOS at all. Unless they blew the whole budget on special effects (e.g. The Immunity Syndrome), they almost always have at least that many. Sometimes as many as 9 or 10 in the case of episodes like "Tribbles," "Wolf in the Fold," and "Patterns of Force." It's when you don't see more than a couple of significant new characters, there are no space amoebas or other budget-busting effects, and the whole thing is taking place on the ship or other easily reconstructed sets that you know for sure you've got yourself a bottle, and Gideon just screams "bottle" to me (in fact it'll be on 2.0 on G4 tonight, so you can re-watch and judge for yourself). Actually, I would make a case for "The Enemy Within" being a bottle too - it's all on the ship or that one small patch of generic planet, there are no big effects or new models or sets, and only one character was used in the whole episode who never appeared again (Fisher, and even then his actor was a retread from The Cage).-- 16:07, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm beginning to agree with you...too many judgement calls and no clear guidance...Capt Christopher Donovan 10:48, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

What about "The Menagerie, Part I" and "The Menagerie, Part II"? All the big work for that episode had been done in "The Cage". The only guest star they had then really was Malachi Throne, Miss Piper, Hanson, and few uncredited cast. Sets too were limited; as they were all modular, all they really had to do was combine the briefing room set with the courtroom set from the previous week's "Court Martial". Can't really think of any effects, apart from the starbase shuttle, which they could have borrowed from footage shot for "The Galileo Seven". — Ds093 00:08, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Massive cleanup

Well, a massive cleanup of this article is in order. A lot of things that shouldn't be here have been added, and some things that belonged here have been removed. I will do my best to make sense of the fixes I am making. --OuroborosCobra talk 14:44, 30 November 2006 (UTC)


This is just about as NOT a bottle show as TOS gets. Not only does it involve a MAJOR star who would not have been cheap (William Windom), but it has a huge number of effects shots. Not a bottle show.

Mixed on this one. Lots of guest stars, but I'm not sure how major they are, and I don't remember that many effects. I will leave it for now.

    • Lots of extras. Only two significant guest stars: Robert Walker Jr. as Charlie, and Abraham Sofaer in his brief cameo as the Thasian. Other than the Thasian's appearance and people disappearing, there aren't that many effects shots. I'd call it a bottle, but I can see where others might disagree.--Zequist 03:32, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Per above discussion, the writer of the episode called it a bottle show, therefore it gets put back on the list.

Keeping per above discussion.

Grudgingly keeping per above conversation.

Taking off the list. Not only did this have a lot of guest stars (remember all those ambassadors?), but a lot of new makeup and costumes. In addition, there are some special effects shots.

Off the list. Lots of effects shots. You remember, the HUGE AMOEBA!

    • Agree. The Star Trek Compendium mentioned that this episode had no guest stars because the Amoeba ate up the entire budget.--Zequist 03:32, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Leaving this one for now, but I am leaning against it. Lots of guest stars, new costumes, and I seem to remember some new sets, but it has been a long time since I saw this episode.

There was ONE new set built, the large Rec Room. That scene was cut from the final episode, and the rec room was seen in only two subsequent episodes (it was meant to be a permanent set, though.) Costuming has little to do as to whether a show should be considered a bottle show.

    • I'd lean against this one. Besides having two very accomplished guest stars (France Nuyen and Jay Robinson), you also had the space battle with the Klingons, and the first physical appearance of the Klingon D7, meaning they had to build a brand new ship model for the episode, and then film all the blue-screen footage, matte shots, and other special effects involving the new model. That usually ain't cheap.--Zequist 03:32, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Removing. --OuroborosCobra talk 03:37, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Removing. Lots of effects shots.

Leaving for now, but this is another I have not seen in awhile.

I'm mixed on this one. Two main guest stars, and they both featured prominently, and possibly some set work for the planet scenes. I'm removing it.

Planet scenes? There were NO planet scenes in that episode (unless you count the stock footage of fires and pillage superimposed during the chase through the ship.) IMHO, it belongs as a bottle show.

Meh. Readding. --OuroborosCobra talk 03:37, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Just thought I'd note here that contrary to Cobra's concerns, "The Doomsday Machine" was indeed a bottle show according to the sources. Inside Star Trek: The Real Story states that it took only five days to film and was under-budget. For TOS at least, the effects costs (and having a few guest actors) were much less of a financial concern than having to create new sets or do location shooting for planet-based shows. – Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 06:21, October 9, 2010 (UTC)


"Masks" removed. The episode was one big new set and special effects shot. no guest stars true, but with every set needing major modification, and the temple, and all the props, and Data's makeup... this hardly qualifies. --6/6 Neural Transceiver 14:55, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

ENT Bottles

Unless I'm missing something, why would "Dead stop" be considered a bottle show? It may not feature any guest stars (aside from director Roxann Dawson as the computer voice), but it certainly has a lot of new sets and special effects for the automated repair station and the repairs to the Enterprise. -- Defstar 14:05, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

TNG Bottles

What about "The Loss"? The effects in it didn't seem any more "complicated" than those in Time Squared. Mind you, I could be forgetting something here. 01:34, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

And "Clues", for that matter. 00:44, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

The Drumhead shouldn't apply. Jean Simmons is an Oscar winner. I'd say that's a major guest star.
A bottle show is a show filmed entirely on pre-existing sets in order to use the least amount of money possible. I think guest stars matter to a lesser extent, though I have never heard of lack of prominent, well-known guest stars being one of the requirements of a bottle show. Then again, it is possible Simmons did the role for a smaller paycheck than normal. Of course, being an Oscar winner does not automatically equal big bucks. And for the record, Simmons never won an Oscar... she received two nominations (for 1948's Hamlet and 1970's The Happy Ending), but didn't win either of them. --From Andoria with Love 21:12, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Although one of the worst episodes of TNG "Shades of Gray" isn't a bottle show. It has scenes on the planet surface which is a new set and not a pre-existing Enterprise one. --Ltarex 10:10, 13 June 2008 (CET)
Though I don't really know the show did take place on only 3 sets...not sure if that qualifies though. – Morder 08:26, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
It's called a bottle show in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion.– Cleanse 11:18, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

VOY Bottles

Eh, should The Gift be in this? There were quite a few explosions going on in that one, force fields, fights. Not the mention the special effects with Kes, her powers, and the shuttle at the end. And an incredible amount of make up work with the introduction of Seven in her regular Human form. Not quite a Bottle episode according to the definition of it. I vote to have it removed. And now that I think about it, I don't think any of these Voyager episodes are actual Bottle Episodes, they all had mayor special effects in it. -- Marjolijn 23:37, 22 November 2007 (CET)

Production costs

Can production costs (taking into account inflation et cetera, of course) be compared, to work out which episodes are towards the bottle show end of the spectrum? AyalaofBorg 03:59, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

TAS episodes

How can there be animated bottle shows? Most of the time, Doohan and Majel played all the guest characters. All the sets were drawn. What makes an animated episode a bottle episode? — Ds093 00:24, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Some More Bottles

I'm new so I thought I would just put these episodes here. If no one says anything though I'll just go ahead and add them. Its hard to say which effects or guest stars make for a bottle show but these mostly take place on the ship, with few guest stars. S33r 03:18, 4 June 2008 (UTC)



Go ahead and add them. Eventually someone will review the episodes and make a more detailed determination. Just make sure you're not adding episodes that are clearly not Bottle Shows. :) I'll probably watch Conundrum and Transfigurations again soon enough. – Morder 03:22, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Done, though some of them are probably a little iffy. S33r 04:08, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Vox Sola

I removed this. Though it does take place entirely on the sets already made and didn't have many guest stars, from what I recall it had a lot of persumably not cheap effects. For instance, the alien is CGI, it's homeworld is basically all CGI, the effects of everyone captured seem a bit yeah. I may remember wrongly, I try to avoid Enterprise's early seasons if it at all possible so I haven't seen it in forever. --Golden Monkey 15:54, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Bottle shows vs. Bottle episodes

I think that bottle shows sounds kinda awkward, shouldn't it be bottle episodes?The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

"Bottle Show" is a term used throughout television, and as such we should not be inventing new terms for it. I am wondering though what is awkward about it. --31dot 21:46, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I think it's how the term "show" can also be used for what we list as a series. - Archduk3 04:20, February 28, 2010 (UTC)

Even more bottles


  • "Repression" - all sets, minimal effects and guest stars
  • "Latent Image" - all existing sets, no guest stars, minimal effects
  • "Mortal Coil" - mostly sets, no guest stars, minimal effects
  • "Lineage" - all sets/locations, minimal effects, no guest stars
  • "Counterpoint" - all sets and minimal effects, though a guest star
  • "Imperfection" - all sets, minimal effects, minimal guest actors


I have rewritten the article so that we can sort what episodes were actually referred to as bottle shows by production staff. Like all pages, we should really have citations. Could someone with TOS, DS9 and VOY reference works check which of the ones on the list (or not on the list) were called bottle shows? A few have the claim on their respective episode pages, but without a citation.– Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 10:25, March 3, 2010 (UTC)

Unconfirmed shows

Now that we've got a decent list of cited bottle shows, I thought it time to remove the "unconfirmed" shows. With respect to the contributors who have discussed and edited it over the years (above), the list is just fan speculation, and the equivalent of a big "PNA-cite" on the page.

Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 09:27, May 31, 2011 (UTC)

I would add "Macrocosm" to this (VOY). Distantlycharmed 20:10, December 8, 2011 (UTC)

This isn't intended to be an actively maintained list. Its just an archive of episodes removed because there was no citation for them being bottle shows. If you can find a citation for "Macrocosm" or any of the above, feel free to add it to the page.–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 08:23, December 9, 2011 (UTC)

Bottle episode?

Wouldnt the TNG episode "Genesis" be a bottle show too? I thought I read that somewhere. Does it have to be confirmed by production sources that it is a bottle show or is inference from the way and how it was filmed enough? Distantlycharmed 20:08, December 8, 2011 (UTC)

For TNG and DS9, I do believe that all of those are referred to as "bottle shows" in the companions or other similar reference materials. -- sulfur 21:49, December 8, 2011 (UTC)
All of them need citations, and currently all the ones on the page do. Its a bit subjective otherwise. "Genesis" for instance may take place onboard the Enterprise exclusively, but with the extensive make-up effects I doubt it was intended as a cost-saving episode.–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 08:19, December 9, 2011 (UTC)

Arbitrary definition

"Bottle shows" as defined here do not include extensive special effects. Considering that a fetish is being made of citations, I would point out that in the Justman/Solow book "Inside Star Trek: The Real Story," there is no mention of money being saved on special effects. Therefore, such effects-heavy episodes as "The Tholian Web" should be included, and such non-effects-heavy episodes as "Charlie X" and "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" should also be retained. In addition, Justman notes that "many Star Trek bottle shows were enormously compelling." Yet there are only two listed here; that does not sound like many. May I respectfully ask who determined that citations needed to be employed in this entry. Thank you for your consideration. 18:12, June 27, 2012 (UTC)Tom

Without a citation, it is merely speculation as to which ones in specific were bottle shows. -- sulfur (talk) 18:19, June 27, 2012 (UTC)
Citations are required for every article. See Memory Alpha: Cite your sources.
As for there being only two TOS episodes listed on the page, that's because those are the only two found so far with citations. Note that there is a PNA-incomplete on the page - no one said it was a complete list. If you can find other episodes being referred to as "bottle shows" by the production staff, they can be added.Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 23:37, June 27, 2012 (UTC)
I've thought for quite a while that Kate Mulgrew's assertion, on the VOY Season 2 DVD, that many episodes of Star Trek: Voyager prior to "The 37's" were bottle shows should count for something! Not so sure about TOS bottle shows, though. --Defiant (talk) 01:18, June 28, 2012 (UTC)
That's certainly valid background information, but her opinion as to what a bottle show is doesn't make it a bottle show. She's not involved with the budgeting or technical side of the show. 31dot (talk) 01:27, June 28, 2012 (UTC)
Well, I've added a quote from her. She states "three-or-four shows" before "The 37's" was produced, and the four episodes created beforehand are already cited, so no harm done. --Defiant (talk) 01:37, June 28, 2012 (UTC)
If something is a bottle show, TOS: "The Ultimate Computer" is. Only existing Enterprise sets used, only one major guest star, and all outer space footage is recycled from stock. The ultimate bottle show in the Original Series. And much more of a bottle show than "The Doomsday Machine". If that one counts as a bottle show, then both TOS: "The Immunity Syndrome" and TOS: "The Tholian Web" does, as they didn't have ANY GUEST STARS, and were all filmed on existing sets. They featured a lot of new effects work, but "The Doomsday Machine" also did! So, list all of them, or don't list that one. -- Ltarex, 15:36 (CET), 29 June 2012
As has already been explained here, it's about how the episodes are cited. So, if you can find a citation for the above-referenced episodes with a production staffer describing any of them as bottle shows, they can be added to the page. --Defiant (talk) 13:56, June 29, 2012 (UTC)
You are too much obsessed with citations and can't use simple common sense and logic. I recommend you to rather see things with your own eyes, and make obvious notices, instead of always relying on sources, which even can be wrong sometimes. As Captain Kirk said once, "Simple. Logic." Believe me, thinking can worth a lot more sometimes than relying on "Holy Texts". -- Ltarex, 17:45 (CET), June 29, 2012
Well, I consider that as somewhat of a personal attack, considering that I wasn't the one who made up this guideline. Was your comment addressed to the MA community in general? Citations are commonly used on this site and I don't really see why you'd have a problem with that, especially given the issues raised above; that uncited fan-made lists of personal observations are too subjective to be encyclopedic. --Defiant (talk) 16:37, June 29, 2012 (UTC)
That's not a personal attack. He's referring to the community at large.
Ltarex: The reason for citations is to avoid a few things:
a) speculation
b) made-up shit that people take as truth and re-post elsewhere
c) guesswork at connections (ie "Darrell Burris")
Thus, citations are vital. Important. Required. They ensure a certain amount of validity to what is presented. -- sulfur (talk) 16:50, June 29, 2012 (UTC)
I'm absolutely sure of that, and wholeheartedly support MA's sourcing policies, regarding the validation of information. I'm just pointing out, that in some cases simple logic and common sense can validate things, which are simply obvious. Like anyone who knows a bit about filmmaking and special effects, knows what a matte painting is, and how it looks like, looked like in various eras of film history. So, he/she can look at an image from Star Trek, and decide if it's obviously a matte painting or not, and it does not need a citation, from XY special effects artist who worked on Star Trek from YZ Science Fiction Magazine. -- Ltarex, 19:06 (CET) 29 June 2012

Cause and Effect TNG

Really, the only thing that makes Cause and Effect not a bottle show is the cameo by Kelsey Grammar. Other than that it's all on existing sets, the Bozeman Bridge being the only thing not on the Enterprise. Ro and Ogawa are both recurring characters. The vast majority of the dialogue is from the regulars and Forbes. Other than a one minute cameo, this episode is absolutely a bottle show. 04:03, May 1, 2013 (UTC)

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