History Main / CoconutSuperPowers

20th Jun '17 11:51:49 AM Chabal2
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* ''Series/Kaamelott}}'':
** Given an InUniverse justification: Kaamelott's enchanter Merlin is an IneptMage extraordinaire, so every time he uses his powers, it's as underwhelming as the special effects can make it. The show isn't entirely run on Coconut Effects- Excalibur always glows when held by someone with an exceptional destiny-, but is so sparingly used as to be forgiveable.
** Giant monsters are often just offscreen. One episode has a dragon flying around at treetop level, its only onscreen presence manifesting by taking a dump on two of the knights.
25th Apr '17 7:59:25 PM AthenaBlue
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[[folder:Film]]
* The low-budget superhero spoof film ''Film/TheSpecials'' went ''all the way to the end'' without showing ''any'' powers in use by ''anyone'', reserving those expensive effects for the final moments of the movie (which were more like a curtain call than anything having to do with the plot). This was partially [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by turning the question of just what the new girl's powers actually ''were'' into something of a RunningGag.
* In ''Film/TheScorpionKing 2'', Mathayus fights an invisible giant scorpion in the climax.
* ''Film/GodzillaFinalWars'' has the Xilians (aliens from Planet X) disguised as humans for the express purpose of looking less threatening to Earth's native population. When they inevitably turn on the humans, they keep their human disguises, with one character simply remarking that he likes the outfit. That said, the movie had [[JustHereForGodzilla Godzilla fighting almost every monster that's ever appeared in a Showa-era Godzilla film one after another]], so no one really cared.
* ''Film/TheTerminator'': In the early 80s, [[Creator/JamesCameron an aspiring Canadian director]] wanted to make a movie about a RobotWar in a [[AfterTheEnd post-apocalyptic future]] after seeing a burning metal skeleton in a nightmare. He couldn't get the necessary budget, so he decided to move the action into the present (saving lots of money on the sets) and clothe the robot in human skin (saving lots of money on animatronics). The rest is Future History.

to:

[[folder:Film]]
[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* The Parodied in a ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'' DVD Extra, with a horribly low-budget superhero spoof film ''Film/TheSpecials'' went ''all [[ShowWithinAShow in-universe animated show]] in which most superpower use is just off-screen. Made even funnier in the way to commentary on the end'' without showing ''any'' powers in use DVD, which is made by ''anyone'', reserving those expensive effects Frozone and Mr. Incredible themselves. Frozone is less than impressed. That cartoon was a parody of ''WesternAnimation/ClutchCargo'', a series from the late 1950s which also used SynchroVox.
** In a funny inversion, fantastic superpowers and gigantic explosions are generally a ''lot'' easier
for computers to render than more mundane, everyday movements like [[NoFlowInCGI shirt grabs or brushing one's hair]]. The latter actions occur only a few times over the final moments course of the movie (which were more like a curtain call than anything having - Creator/{{Pixar}}'s animators pointed to do with the plot). This was partially [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by turning shot where Bob pokes a finger through a hole in his old suit as the question of just what the new girl's powers actually ''were'' into something of a RunningGag.
* In ''Film/TheScorpionKing 2'', Mathayus fights an invisible giant scorpion
single hardest shot to pull off in the climax.
* ''Film/GodzillaFinalWars'' has the Xilians (aliens from Planet X) disguised as humans for the express purpose of looking less threatening to Earth's native population. When they inevitably
entire film by far. This is at least partly because everyone knows exactly what brushing your hair looks like, and when done wrong it looks jarring. By contrast, how many times have you seen a woman turn on the humans, they keep their human disguises, with one character simply remarking that he likes the outfit. That said, the movie had [[JustHereForGodzilla Godzilla fighting almost every monster that's ever appeared in a Showa-era Godzilla film one after another]], so no one really cared.
* ''Film/TheTerminator'': In the early 80s, [[Creator/JamesCameron an aspiring Canadian director]] wanted to make a movie about a RobotWar in a [[AfterTheEnd post-apocalyptic future]] after seeing a burning metal skeleton in a nightmare. He couldn't get the necessary budget, so he decided to move the action
into the present (saving lots of money on the sets) and clothe the robot a rubber raft or giant parachute in human skin (saving lots of money on animatronics). The rest is Future History.RealLife?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]



* ''Film/TheDarkestHour'' takes this to new heights, depicting a massive [[AlienInvasion invasion of the Earth]] by invisible aliens.



* The ''Film/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica'' pilot movie does this for a lot of the characters, but ''especially'' Comicbook/GreenLantern. In the comics, his [[RingOfPower Power Ring]] is capable of conjuring up anything he can imagine, while in the film, he conveniently sticks to creating easy-to-render items like chainsaws and umbrellas. Yes. Umbrellas.



* ''Film/GodzillaFinalWars'' has the Xilians (aliens from Planet X) disguised as humans for the express purpose of looking less threatening to Earth's native population. When they inevitably turn on the humans, they keep their human disguises, with one character simply remarking that he likes the outfit. That said, the movie had [[JustHereForGodzilla Godzilla fighting almost every monster that's ever appeared in a Showa-era Godzilla film one after another]], so no one really cared.
* The ''Film/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica'' pilot movie does this for a lot of the characters, but ''especially'' Comicbook/GreenLantern. In the comics, his [[RingOfPower Power Ring]] is capable of conjuring up anything he can imagine, while in the film, he conveniently sticks to creating easy-to-render items like chainsaws and umbrellas. Yes. Umbrellas.
* In ''Film/TheScorpionKing 2'', Mathayus fights an invisible giant scorpion in the climax.
* The low-budget superhero spoof film ''Film/TheSpecials'' went ''all the way to the end'' without showing ''any'' powers in use by ''anyone'', reserving those expensive effects for the final moments of the movie (which were more like a curtain call than anything having to do with the plot). This was partially [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by turning the question of just what the new girl's powers actually ''were'' into something of a RunningGag.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Jedi have harnessed the Force that binds the universe together, but their powers are still limited by what was cheap and easy in the 1970s and 1980s, such as making actors repeat things, speaking in voice-over to each other, and "sensing" things. More budget-heavy feats like moving objects and jumping were still pretty affordable. All of this makes the Emperor's Force lightning that much more of a shock when he breaks it out in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''.
* ''Film/TheTerminator'': In the early 80s, [[Creator/JamesCameron an aspiring Canadian director]] wanted to make a movie about a RobotWar in a [[AfterTheEnd post-apocalyptic future]] after seeing a burning metal skeleton in a nightmare. He couldn't get the necessary budget, so he decided to move the action into the present (saving lots of money on the sets) and clothe the robot in human skin (saving lots of money on animatronics). The rest is Future History.



* ''Film/TheDarkestHour'' takes this to new heights, depicting a massive [[AlienInvasion invasion of the Earth]] by invisible aliens.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Jedi have harnessed the Force that binds the universe together, but their powers are still limited by what was cheap and easy in the 1970s and 1980s, such as making actors repeat things, speaking in voice-over to each other, and "sensing" things. More budget-heavy feats like moving objects and jumping were still pretty affordable. All of this makes the Emperor's force lightning that much more of a shock in the first trilogy's finale.



[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' inspired the creation of this page from its relentless use of the trope. One of the suggested names for this page was a takeoff on the ''Heroes'' tagline: "Ordinary People, Budget-Straining Abilities".
** Nathan Petrelli only did supersonic flight twice in all of season 1, and once in season 2. This is odd, since West (who also flies) has taken off more than once in season 2. It may be possible that they assigned one of the most expensive ones to Nathan because he is somewhat embarrassed by them. West really floats instead of flies, which is a much cheaper special effect than Nathan's supersonic flight.
** Niki/Jessica has super strength, but viewers more often just see the results of her strength, and not her using it.
** By far, the most commonly used power on the show is telepathy. It just requires Matt Parkman to [[PstandardPsychicPstance squint, give somebody the crazy eyes, or tilt his head and stare off into space.]] As said by the actor who plays him, "I have the power... of ''LEANING''".
** Micah gets to use his {{Technopath}} abilities every few episodes. He puts his hand on a prop and squints.
** The plots always seem to demand readily available precogs, most of whom just have to paint (with white out eyes), and some of whom just get odd dreams which is as easy as shooting another scene and screwing with the filter.
** This is the main reason why we hardly ever see Hiro perform ''short'' teleports -- longer ones let them change the whole scene, which is easier to do believably.
** Sylar and Peter both had lots and lots of powers, but you'd usually just see telekinesis from Sylar and a smattering of cheaper powers (such as teleports, mind reading, floating) from Peter. The expensive ones, like radiation and freezing, were usually saved for big-budget finales and premieres. Showdowns between Peter and Sylar consist of [[FightUnscene flashing lights seen through the cracks around a closed door]].
** It's ''extremely'' telling that the characters use their powers far more often and more creatively in the [[AllThereInTheManual online comics]]. We also see many more new characters in the comics with more (for want of a better word) "trippy" abilities that'd be hard to visualize with the show's budget (a plant-man, a woman who can literally rearrange your face, a guy who clones himself through "budding", and so on).
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' was guilty of this where Clark was concerned. While his powers were mostly physical, so not ''too'' budget straining, there was a reason that he very rarely flew and didn't actually master the power until the finale.
** This also had an effect on which characters they could use or what they could do with them. {{ComicBook/Darkseid}} was famously reimagined as a non-corporeal entity that possessed others since the show didn't have the budget to satisfyingly depict him as a SerkisFolk or a practical rubber monster.
** This is why the sequel comic, ''Smallville Season 11'', proved so popular. It not only featured Clark ''finally'' cutting loose and using his powers in ways the show couldn't afford, but also had him interact with characters who could not have been done properly on television, like [[Comicbook/GreenLantern John Stewart and the Green Lantern Corps]], or the [[Comicbook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths Monitors]].
* While ''Franchise/StarTrek'' tries to avoid this kind of thing as often as it can, a few exceptions stand out:
** Over the course of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration,'' the ship's ability to separate the drive section from the saucer section was seldom seen after the first few episodes, even though there were numerous times it might have come in handy for various reasons. In addition to money and pacing issues, it was also not such a hot idea to change the iconic shape of the series's CoolShip.
*** Most of the times they showed the saucer separation, [[StockFootage the effect looked exactly the same]] as it did in the first instance.
** Gene Roddenberry pre-empted this trope by deliberately adding a scene in the Enterprise's engine room in the premiere. He did this to justify the large expense in building the set. Otherwise, the engine room set might never have been built.
** Odo from ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' and other [[VoluntaryShapeshifting shapeshifting creatures]] constantly hang around in humanoid form and rarely seem to change their shape in moments when it would be helpful. Most of Odo's transformations [[InformedAbility take place off-screen]], obviously because the special effects cost a small fortune at the time. Odo even spends most of a season without the ability to shapechange, and was given a backstory that made him understandably reluctant to use the ability in front of others. Creator/PeterDavid acknowledges the problem in the introduction of his ''[=DS9=]'' novel ''The Siege'' and notes that he's unrestrained by special effects budgets. As promised, the novel itself features Odo in a crazy mad number of shapeshifting instances.
** The eponymous character from the DS9 episode "Melora" is an alien from a low gravity world and can float and self-propel in a low gravity environment. She was originally intended to be the primary science officer for DS9, but this was canceled due to the difficulty and expense it would take for her to be in every episode. She was turned into a one-shot crewman and we instead got [[BadassBookworm Lieutenant Jadzia Dax]].
** Occasionally, this can work out for the best: The iconic ''Star Trek'' transporter itself was invented to save on doing expensive landing sequences every episode. Ironically enough, and truer to the spirit of this trope, it was still the most expensive visual effect to do on the show. So in the final season, the camera ''panned away'' from the transporter effect while the noise was still being played so that the audience would still be clued in on what was going on. Although digital effects and bigger budgets made costs more trivial, this was still done in the SpinOff series all the way to ''Voyager'' from time to time. ''Enterprise'''s final season returned to the "off-screen transport" effect (even though these episodes often used visual effects much more complicated and expensive) as a subtle hint to the viewership that this was indeed the final season, mirroring the final season of the original series.
** In [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries the original Trek]] episode "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield," the two natives of Cheron arrived via ''invisible ship'' (no, they didn't say "cloaked" or anything that'd make it sound less silly) so it wouldn't have to be shown.
** Every version of ''Trek'' has done space battles where the camera stays on the bridge, and we hear the weapons being fired and a report about damage done to the enemy ship, without seeing it on the viewscreen or an exterior shot (and only a StarTrekShake or two to signify the damage done to the ''Enterprise'').
** The first series had Coconut ''politics''. The reason that Klingons were a more frequent problem for the crew of the Enterprise than the Romulans is because the pointy ear tips made the Romulan costumes significantly more expensive than the Klingon ones. Ironically, the later alteration of Klingons into RubberForeheadAliens made them into the more expensive choice--but due to their more frequent use making them a more iconic Trek alien, they still saw more screen time than Romulans.
** ''The Enterprise Incident'' had an off-hand mention of the Romulans being reported to use Klingon ships to get more mileage out of the rather expensive D7-class model.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' is usually contending with low budgets and was, for much of its history, done for desperately small amounts of money. So this tends to come up a lot:
** The TARDIS only ever materialized in place in the early days because they didn't have the budget to show their space ship traveling in space (except for a few times) or actually flying. The new series has fixed this somewhat and we've gotten many more scenes of the TARDIS flying, including one where it speeds along next to a car on a highway. The writers do note that that sort of thing "puts a strain on the engines," thus explaining the rarity.
** The TARDIS's Chameleon Circuit is a great example. The BBC didn't have the technology in 1963 to make the spaceship invisible, and didn't have the budget to actually show it transforming into things that weren't 1963 Police Boxes. As you know, this resulted in one of the most iconic science fiction spaceships in the whole of the genre.
** The Doctor's few special powers are things that can be conveyed easily with solid acting and some basic camera tricks (even live camera tricks, if necessary) - SuperIntelligence, a kind of HyperAwareness-like sense that allows him to know if he can change the outcome of an event or not, and some limited telepathy, hypnosis and EmotionControl PsychicPowers that he only uses once in a blue moon, which are usually conveyed by him grabbing someone else's head and looking into their eyes intensely. His most expensive ability is his regeneration ability, which has been achieved in various ways over the show's history such as a malfunctioning visual mixing desk, mixing together shots of actors' faces or CGI. He's also a HumanAlien, with his inhumanness generally conveyed by picking [[UncannyValley slightly otherworldly-looking]] actors who play him with lots of eccentric little CharacterTics.
** The First Doctor encountered two separate species of invisible aliens at various points when some element of peril was needed and yet too much money had been blown on a serial by that point - notably the Visians on Mira in "The Daleks' Master Plan" (a very expensive 12-part SpaceOpera serial) and the Refusians in "The Ark" (the first part of which involved live toucans and elephants and some simply gorgeous {{Matte Shot}}s). Neither is shown physically interacting with anything, save for the Visian being shown in InvisibilityFlicker when the Daleks exterminate it. A related invisibility sequence concerns the fate befalling the Doctor in "The Celestial Toymaker", in which the Toymaker is explained to be able to phase the Doctor [[RealityIsOutToLunch in and out of tangibility]] for his amusement - William Hartnell's health was suffering by that time, and the conceit allowed Hartnell to have more time off if he needed it. Then there's "The Edge of Destruction", a BottleEpisode in which the NegativeSpaceWedgie is represented by the TARDIS doors opening and closing, leading to the crew to speculate there might be an invisible monster in the TARDIS.
** In "Power of the Daleks", there is a short scene of the Daleks agreeing that (despite the massive army of hundreds and hundreds of Daleks that they have built) they will travel around only in groups of three. This obviously saved the BBC a lot of money on building Dalek props.
** "Galaxy 4" ends with the planet that the story takes place on disintegrating. "Can we see the disintegration of the planet on the scanner, Doctor?" asks the companion, Steven. The Doctor answers, "No." No explanation as to why is even given.
** A common criticism of "The Enemy of the World" is that the climactic defeat of the villain is a very rushed sequence of him getting sucked out of the TARDIS into the Vortex. The sequence was intended to go on longer, but the villain is played by Creator/PatrickTroughton ActingForTwo and the early split-screen effects needed to put both of them on screen at once turned out to be harder and more expensive than the BBC had thought. (Of course, technology has now improved to the point that Clara can talk to a whole army of time-looped versions of herself in a NoBudget online minisode.)
** In the original-series story "The Mutants," an alien transforms through several stages from a humanoid, through a lobster-like creature, to a glowing, floating alien. For most of the transformation, the camera shows a close-up of his hand, only requiring work from makeup and costumes for the hand rather than full-body work that would only be seen for a few seconds.
** The TARDIS is at the very least the size of a city but is likely infinite, and shifts around from time to time depending on its own whims. We spent very little time there in the old series, only visiting some corridors ('played' by an abandoned hospital) and a handful of rooms. Even in the new series, we rarely see much further than the main control room - we've seen some corridors, a swimming pool, a wardrobe, a library and part of its processors, but not much else. Most of what we know about its insides comes from the dialogue and from the ExpandedUniverse, which has no budget constraints and thus can be TheWonderland - the novelisation of "Shada", for example, contained a scene where Chris spends a night in the TARDIS guest suite and discovers that his 'bath' is an Olympic-sized swimming pool with clawed feet on the end.
** Season 26 of the original series usually began episodes with The Doctor and Ace coming out of the TARDIS. One episode did show them inside working at the console, but the rest of the console room was in darkness. The reason is they'd scrapped the set and didn't want to pay for a new one.

to:

[[folder:Live Action [[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' inspired the creation of this page from its relentless use of the trope. One of the suggested names for this page was a takeoff on the ''Heroes'' tagline: "Ordinary People, Budget-Straining Abilities".
** Nathan Petrelli only did supersonic flight twice in all of season 1, and once in season 2. This is odd, since West (who also flies) has taken off more than once in season 2. It may be possible that they assigned one of the most expensive ones to Nathan because he is somewhat embarrassed by them. West really floats instead of flies, which is a much cheaper special effect than Nathan's supersonic flight.
** Niki/Jessica has super strength, but viewers more often just see the results of her strength, and not her using it.
** By far, the most commonly used power on the show is telepathy. It just requires Matt Parkman to [[PstandardPsychicPstance squint, give somebody the crazy eyes, or tilt his head and stare off into space.]] As said by the actor who plays him, "I have the power... of ''LEANING''".
** Micah gets to use his {{Technopath}} abilities every few episodes. He puts his hand on a prop and squints.
**
''Series/TheFortyFourHundred''. The plots always seem to demand readily available precogs, most vast majority of whom just have to paint (with white out eyes), and some of whom just get odd dreams which is as easy as shooting another scene and screwing with the filter.
** This is the main reason why we hardly ever see Hiro perform ''short'' teleports -- longer ones let them change the whole scene, which is easier to do believably.
** Sylar and Peter both had lots and lots of powers, but you'd usually just see telekinesis from Sylar and a smattering of cheaper powers (such as teleports, mind reading, floating) from Peter. The expensive ones, like radiation and freezing, were usually saved for big-budget finales and premieres. Showdowns between Peter and Sylar consist of [[FightUnscene flashing lights seen through the cracks around a closed door]].
** It's ''extremely'' telling that the
characters use their had really, really cheap powers. This got really bad with Isabel. She had all possible abilities... and only really used one, telekinesis. Minor powers far more often used include changing her eye color and more creatively in the [[AllThereInTheManual online comics]]. We also see making a pool warmer. Yet they kept saying she had many more new characters in the comics with more (for want of a better word) "trippy" abilities that'd be hard to visualize with the show's budget (a plant-man, a woman who can literally rearrange your face, a guy who clones himself through "budding", amazing powers. Somewhat compensated for by how original and so on).
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' was guilty
cool many of this where Clark was concerned. While his these cheap powers were mostly physical, so not ''too'' budget straining, there was a reason that he very rarely flew and didn't actually master the power until the finale.
** This also had an effect on which characters they could use or what they could do with them. {{ComicBook/Darkseid}} was famously reimagined
were, such as a non-corporeal entity that possessed others since the show didn't have the budget to satisfyingly depict him as a SerkisFolk or a practical rubber monster.
** This is why the sequel comic, ''Smallville Season 11'', proved so popular. It not only featured Clark ''finally'' cutting loose and using his powers in ways the show couldn't afford, but also had him interact with characters
b-movie director who could not have been done properly on television, like [[Comicbook/GreenLantern John Stewart and the Green Lantern Corps]], or the [[Comicbook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths Monitors]].
* While ''Franchise/StarTrek'' tries to avoid this kind of thing as often as it can, a few exceptions stand out:
** Over the course of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration,'' the ship's ability to separate the drive section from the saucer section was seldom seen after the first few episodes, even though there were numerous times it might have come in handy for various reasons. In addition to money and pacing issues, it was also not such a hot idea to change the iconic shape of the series's CoolShip.
*** Most of the times they showed the saucer separation, [[StockFootage the effect looked exactly the same]] as it did in the first instance.
** Gene Roddenberry pre-empted this trope by deliberately adding a scene in the Enterprise's engine room in the premiere. He did this to justify the large expense in building the set. Otherwise, the engine room set might never have been built.
** Odo from ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' and other [[VoluntaryShapeshifting shapeshifting creatures]] constantly hang around in humanoid form and rarely seem to change their shape in moments when it would be helpful. Most of Odo's transformations [[InformedAbility take place off-screen]], obviously because the special effects cost a small fortune at the time. Odo even spends most of a season without the ability to shapechange, and was given a backstory that made him understandably reluctant to use the ability in front of others. Creator/PeterDavid acknowledges the problem in the introduction of his ''[=DS9=]'' novel ''The Siege'' and notes that he's unrestrained by special effects budgets. As promised, the novel itself features Odo in a crazy mad number of shapeshifting instances.
** The eponymous character from the DS9 episode "Melora" is an alien from a low gravity world and can float and self-propel in a low gravity environment. She was originally intended to be the primary science officer for DS9, but this was canceled due to the difficulty and expense it would take for her to be in every episode. She was turned into a one-shot crewman and we instead got [[BadassBookworm Lieutenant Jadzia Dax]].
** Occasionally, this can work out for the best: The iconic ''Star Trek'' transporter itself was invented to save on doing expensive landing sequences every episode. Ironically enough, and truer to the spirit of this trope, it was still the most expensive visual effect to do on the show. So in the final season, the camera ''panned away'' from the transporter effect while the noise was still being played so that the audience would still be clued in on what was going on. Although digital effects and bigger budgets made costs more trivial, this was still done in the SpinOff series all the way to ''Voyager'' from time to time. ''Enterprise'''s final season returned to the "off-screen transport" effect (even though these episodes often used visual effects much more complicated and expensive) as a subtle hint to the viewership that this was indeed the final season, mirroring the final season of the original series.
** In [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries the original Trek]] episode "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield," the two natives of Cheron arrived via ''invisible ship'' (no, they didn't say "cloaked" or anything that'd make it sound less silly) so it wouldn't have to be shown.
** Every version of ''Trek'' has done space battles where the camera stays on the bridge, and we hear the weapons being fired and a report about damage done to the enemy ship, without seeing it on the viewscreen or an exterior shot (and only a StarTrekShake or two to signify the damage done to the ''Enterprise'').
** The first series had Coconut ''politics''. The reason that Klingons were a more frequent problem for the crew of the Enterprise than the Romulans is because the pointy ear tips made the Romulan costumes significantly more expensive than the Klingon ones. Ironically, the later alteration of Klingons into RubberForeheadAliens made them into the more expensive choice--but due to their more frequent use making them a more iconic Trek alien, they still saw more screen time than Romulans.
** ''The Enterprise Incident'' had an off-hand mention of the Romulans being reported to use Klingon ships to get more mileage out of the rather expensive D7-class model.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' is usually contending with low budgets and was, for much of its history, done for desperately small amounts of money. So this tends to come up a lot:
** The TARDIS only ever materialized in place in the early days because they didn't have the budget to show their space ship traveling in space (except for a few times) or actually flying. The new series has fixed this somewhat and we've gotten many more scenes of the TARDIS flying, including one where it speeds along next to a car on a highway. The writers do note that that sort of thing "puts a strain on the engines," thus explaining the rarity.
** The TARDIS's Chameleon Circuit is a great example. The BBC didn't have the technology in 1963 to make the spaceship invisible, and didn't have the budget to actually show it transforming into things that weren't 1963 Police Boxes. As you know, this resulted in one of the most iconic science fiction spaceships in the whole of the genre.
** The Doctor's few special powers are things that can be conveyed easily with solid acting and some basic camera tricks (even live camera tricks, if necessary) - SuperIntelligence, a kind of HyperAwareness-like sense that allows him to know if he can change the outcome of an event or not, and some limited telepathy, hypnosis and EmotionControl PsychicPowers that he only uses once in a blue moon, which are usually conveyed by him grabbing someone else's head and looking into their eyes intensely. His most expensive ability is his regeneration ability, which has been achieved in various ways over the show's history such as a malfunctioning visual mixing desk, mixing together shots of actors' faces or CGI. He's also a HumanAlien, with his inhumanness generally conveyed by picking [[UncannyValley slightly otherworldly-looking]] actors who play him with lots of eccentric little CharacterTics.
** The First Doctor encountered two separate species of invisible aliens at various points when some element of peril was needed and yet too much money had been blown on a serial by that point - notably the Visians on Mira in "The Daleks' Master Plan" (a very expensive 12-part SpaceOpera serial) and the Refusians in "The Ark" (the first part of which involved live toucans and elephants and some simply gorgeous {{Matte Shot}}s). Neither is shown physically interacting with anything, save for the Visian being shown in InvisibilityFlicker when the Daleks exterminate it. A related invisibility sequence concerns the fate befalling the Doctor in "The Celestial Toymaker", in which the Toymaker is explained to be able to phase the Doctor [[RealityIsOutToLunch in and out of tangibility]] for his amusement - William Hartnell's health was suffering by that time, and the conceit allowed Hartnell to have more time off if he needed it. Then there's "The Edge of Destruction", a BottleEpisode in which the NegativeSpaceWedgie is represented by the TARDIS doors opening and closing, leading to the crew to speculate there might be an invisible monster in the TARDIS.
** In "Power of the Daleks", there is a short scene of the Daleks agreeing that (despite the massive army of hundreds and hundreds of Daleks that they have built) they will travel around only in groups of three. This obviously saved the BBC a lot of money on building Dalek props.
** "Galaxy 4" ends with the planet that the story takes place on disintegrating. "Can we
see the disintegration events of the planet on past exactly, so he figured out the scanner, Doctor?" asks the companion, Steven. The Doctor answers, "No." No explanation as to why is even given.
** A common criticism of "The Enemy of the World" is that the climactic defeat of the villain is a very rushed sequence of him getting sucked out of the TARDIS into the Vortex. The sequence was intended to go on longer, but the villain is played by Creator/PatrickTroughton ActingForTwo and the early split-screen effects needed to put both of them on screen at once turned out to be harder and more expensive than the BBC had thought. (Of course, technology has now improved to the point that Clara can talk to a whole army of time-looped versions of herself in a NoBudget online minisode.)
** In the original-series story "The Mutants," an alien transforms through several stages from a humanoid, through a lobster-like creature, to a glowing, floating alien. For most of the transformation, the camera shows a close-up of his hand, only requiring work from makeup and costumes for the hand rather than full-body work that would only be seen for a few seconds.
** The TARDIS is at the very least the size of a city but is likely infinite, and shifts around from time to time depending on its own whims. We spent very little time there in the old series, only visiting some corridors ('played' by an abandoned hospital)
Kennedy assassination and a handful of rooms. Even in the new series, we rarely see much further than the main control room - we've seen some corridors, a swimming pool, a wardrobe, a library and part of its processors, powerful conspiracy... but not much else. Most of what we know about its insides comes from the dialogue and from the ExpandedUniverse, which has no budget constraints and thus can be TheWonderland - the novelisation of "Shada", for example, contained a scene where Chris spends a night in the TARDIS guest suite and discovers that his 'bath' is an Olympic-sized swimming pool with clawed feet on the end.
** Season 26 of the original series usually began episodes with The Doctor and Ace coming out of the TARDIS. One episode did show
channeled them inside working at the console, but the rest of the console room was in darkness. The reason is they'd scrapped the set and didn't want to pay for a new one.solely into horrible, cheesy, low-budget films.



* Extremely apparent in the LiveActionAdaptation of ''Series/TheTick''. Because of budget constraints, the show was not allowed to actually show any of the superhero characters ''ever doing anything superheroic.'' They would just stand around and talk about it later or do everything offscreen. This made it seem less like a superhero sitcom and more like a bizarre ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' spinoff where everyone was constantly in gaudy costumes.
* ''Series/NoHeroics'' is about heroes sitting around and chatting instead of using their powers to fight crime.
* ''Series/LoisAndClark'' became notorious for one aspect of this around the time of its second series. The show's about Superman, right? And how does he get around? He flies... except that flying is FX-heavy to depict on screen and can involve actors literally hanging around in uncomfortable harnesses for hours. So the L&C production team tried to save money by depicting Superman flying away from a location by having the actor swirl his cape around to fill the camera view and adding a stock sound effect. Later, they stopped bothering with the cape swirl and just had him leave the shot, followed by the sound. It worked much better.
* The first three seasons of ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' had numerous stunts involving Prue's telekinesis, but budget cuts lead to her replacement Paige having the ability to remotely teleport objects instead, which turns out to be more efficient given that it's easier to add some CGI effects than to set up and insure stunts that involve flying through the air. Chris, introduced in the sixth season, also had telekinesis, but rarely used it. Billie, in season eight, ALSO had telekinesis, but rarely threw demons into walls the way Prue did.
** This is also supposedly the reason why Piper kept her initial molecular control powers while Prue gained astral projection and Phoebe gained levitation -- her special effects were costlier than anyone else's.
** This is also why Phoebe lost her levitation power, as the harness and insurance for the stunts ended up being too costly.
** Demons in general became more and more human-looking as the series went on, to save on costuming and make-up.

to:

* Extremely apparent in the LiveActionAdaptation of ''Series/TheTick''. Because of Due to budget constraints, the show limitations, Marcus's telescoping fighting staff in ''Series/BabylonFive'' was not allowed opened and closed mostly off-screen, although they did take care to actually show any of the superhero characters ''ever doing anything superheroic.'' They would just stand around and talk about it later or do everything offscreen. This made open up when it seem less like a superhero sitcom and more like a bizarre ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' spinoff where everyone was constantly in gaudy costumes.
* ''Series/NoHeroics'' is about heroes sitting around and chatting instead of using their powers to fight crime.
* ''Series/LoisAndClark'' became notorious for one aspect of this around the time of its second series. The show's about Superman, right? And how does he get around? He flies... except that flying is FX-heavy to depict on screen and can involve actors literally hanging around in uncomfortable harnesses for hours. So the L&C production team tried to save money by depicting Superman flying away from a location by having the actor swirl his cape around to fill the camera view and adding a stock sound effect. Later, they stopped bothering with the cape swirl and just had him leave the shot, followed by the sound. It worked much better.
* The first three seasons of ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' had numerous stunts involving Prue's telekinesis, but budget cuts lead to her replacement Paige having the ability to remotely teleport objects instead, which turns out to be more efficient given that it's easier to add some CGI effects than to set up and insure stunts that involve flying through the air. Chris, introduced in the sixth season, also had telekinesis, but rarely
used it. Billie, in season eight, ALSO had telekinesis, but rarely threw demons into walls the way Prue did.
** This is also supposedly the reason why Piper kept her initial molecular control powers while Prue gained astral projection and Phoebe gained levitation -- her special effects were costlier than anyone else's.
** This is also why Phoebe lost her levitation power, as the harness and insurance
for the stunts ended up first time.
* There ''were'' plot-critical reasons for the main Cylons in the retooled ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003''
being too costly.
** Demons
human-looking, but there was still an element of "save frakloads of money on having to make CGI robots for every episode". Indeed, this trope took place in general became more and more the very planning stages; the Cylons were redesigned as human-looking because the creators counted that they could only afford one Cylon suit good enough to convince modern audiences, while CGI was still too expensive to rely on constantly. However, as the series went on, to save on costuming miniseries was past and make-up.it was time to start filming the main series, the CGI prices had fallen significantly, and they managed to squeeze in more Centurions than they had initially thought possible.



* Due to budget limitations, Marcus's telescoping fighting staff in ''Series/BabylonFive'' was opened and closed mostly off-screen, although they did take care to actually show it open up when it was used for the first time.
* Not quite a superpower, but watch ''Series/StargateSG1'' enough, and you'll notice almost every time the Gate is opened on Earth, it's either ''just'' off screen, behind the iris, or one of the stock shots they probably filmed a decade ago.
** The "kawoosh" was made by hanging an airplane turbine over a pool and filming the resulting effect underwater. Not the cheapest effect to reproduce repeatedly. By later episodes, they could've [=CGIed=] it, but had no reason to, as the thing ends so quickly that no one notices it's the same effect. The crew did, however, make sure they set up multiple cameras and got many shots of the "kawoosh" to maximize their use of a hard-to-reproduce effect.
** Also, for some reason, you would almost never see the gate ''close.'' Again, it was usually stock footage of one of the times we saw it in the premiere, but you don't even see that every day. The overwhelming majority of the time, the gate closing consists of the sound being heard an instant after the camera cuts away from the open gate.
** There are also only two "full" stargates built for the show; every other one seen is made of laminated cardboard and thus shown face on at all times.
** The transforming helmets Ra and his soldiers used in the movie also received a significant downgrade in the show--while in the movie they were fully articulated masks that could fold up and disappear into the rest of the headdress, in the show they were big, mostly-hollow helmets that "transformed" by a little slot opening up to let you see the character's eyes. On the few occasions the full transformation happened, it was entirely offscreen.

to:

* Due to The first three seasons of ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' had numerous stunts involving Prue's telekinesis, but budget limitations, Marcus's telescoping fighting staff in ''Series/BabylonFive'' was opened cuts lead to her replacement Paige having the ability to remotely teleport objects instead, which turns out to be more efficient given that it's easier to add some CGI effects than to set up and closed mostly off-screen, although insure stunts that involve flying through the air. Chris, introduced in the sixth season, also had telekinesis, but rarely used it. Billie, in season eight, ALSO had telekinesis, but rarely threw demons into walls the way Prue did.
** This is also supposedly the reason why Piper kept her initial molecular control powers while Prue gained astral projection and Phoebe gained levitation -- her special effects were costlier than anyone else's.
** This is also why Phoebe lost her levitation power, as the harness and insurance for the stunts ended up being too costly.
** Demons in general became more and more human-looking as the series went on, to save on costuming and make-up.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' is usually contending with low budgets and was, for much of its history, done for desperately small amounts of money. So this tends to come up a lot:
** The TARDIS only ever materialized in place in the early days because
they did take care didn't have the budget to show their space ship traveling in space (except for a few times) or actually flying. The new series has fixed this somewhat and we've gotten many more scenes of the TARDIS flying, including one where it speeds along next to a car on a highway. The writers do note that that sort of thing "puts a strain on the engines", thus explaining the rarity.
** The TARDIS' chameleon circuit is a great example. The BBC didn't have the technology in 1963 to make the spaceship invisible, and didn't have the budget
to actually show it open up when it was used for the first time.
* Not quite a superpower, but watch ''Series/StargateSG1'' enough, and you'll notice almost every time the Gate is opened on Earth, it's either ''just'' off screen, behind the iris, or one of the stock shots they probably filmed a decade ago.
** The "kawoosh" was made by hanging an airplane turbine over a pool and filming the resulting effect underwater. Not the cheapest effect to reproduce repeatedly. By later episodes, they could've [=CGIed=] it, but had no reason to, as the thing ends so quickly that no one notices it's the same effect. The crew did, however, make sure they set up multiple cameras and got many shots of the "kawoosh" to maximize their use of a hard-to-reproduce effect.
** Also, for some reason, you would almost never see the gate ''close.'' Again, it was usually stock footage of one of the times we saw it in the premiere, but you don't even see that every day. The overwhelming majority of the time, the gate closing consists of the sound being heard an instant after the camera cuts away from the open gate.
** There are also only two "full" stargates built for the show; every other one seen is made of laminated cardboard and thus shown face on at all times.
** The
transforming helmets Ra and his soldiers used into things that weren't 1963 police boxes. As you know, this resulted in one of the most iconic science fiction spaceships in the movie whole of the genre.
** The Doctor's few special powers are things that can be conveyed easily with solid acting and some basic camera tricks (even live camera tricks, if necessary) -- SuperIntelligence, a kind of HyperAwareness-like sense that allows him to know if he can change the outcome of an event or not, and some limited telepathy, hypnosis and EmotionControl PsychicPowers that he only uses once in a blue moon, which are usually conveyed by him grabbing someone else's head and looking into their eyes intensely. His most expensive ability is his regeneration ability, which has been achieved in various ways over the show's history such as a malfunctioning visual mixing desk, mixing together shots of actors' faces or CGI. He's
also received a significant downgrade HumanAlien, with his inhumanness generally conveyed by picking [[UncannyValley slightly otherworldly-looking]] actors who play him with lots of eccentric little CharacterTics.
** The First Doctor encountered two separate species of invisible aliens at various points when some element of peril was needed and yet too much money had been blown on a serial by that point -- notably the Visians on Mira in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E4TheDaleksMasterPlan "The Daleks' Master Plan"]] (a very expensive 12-part SpaceOpera serial) and the Refusians in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E6TheArk "The Ark"]] (the first part of which involved live toucans and elephants and some simply gorgeous {{Matte Shot}}s). Neither is shown physically interacting with anything, save for the Visian being shown in InvisibilityFlicker when the Daleks exterminate it. A related invisibility sequence concerns the fate befalling the Doctor in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E7TheCelestialToymaker "The Celestial Toymaker"]], in which the Toymaker is explained to be able to phase the Doctor [[RealityIsOutToLunch in and out of tangibility]] for his amusement -- William Hartnell's health was suffering by that time, and the conceit allowed Hartnell to have more time off if he needed it. Then there's [[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E3TheEdgeOfDestruction "The Edge of Destruction"]], a BottleEpisode in which the NegativeSpaceWedgie is represented by the TARDIS doors opening and closing, leading to the crew to speculate there might be an invisible monster
in the show--while TARDIS.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS4E3ThePowerOfTheDaleks "The Power of the Daleks"]], there is a short scene of the Daleks agreeing that (despite the massive army of hundreds and hundreds of Daleks that they have built) they will travel around only in groups of three. This obviously saved the BBC a lot of money on building Dalek props.
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E1Galaxy4 "Galaxy 4"]] ends with the planet that the story takes place on disintegrating. "Can we see the disintegration of the planet on the scanner, Doctor?" asks the companion, Steven. The Doctor answers, "No." No explanation as to why is even given.
** A common criticism of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E4TheEnemyOfTheWorld "The Enemy of the World"]] is that the climactic defeat of the villain is a very rushed sequence of him getting sucked out of the TARDIS into the Vortex. The sequence was intended to go on longer, but the villain is played by Creator/PatrickTroughton ActingForTwo and the early split-screen effects needed to put both of them on screen at once turned out to be harder and more expensive than the BBC had thought. (Of course, technology has now improved to the point that Clara can talk to a whole army of time-looped versions of herself in a NoBudget online [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33ShortClaraAndTheTardis minisode]].)
** In the original-series story [[Recap/DoctorWhoS9E4TheMutants "The Mutants"]], an alien transforms through several stages from a humanoid, through a lobster-like creature, to a glowing, floating alien. For most of the transformation, the camera shows a close-up of his hand, only requiring work from makeup and costumes for the hand rather than full-body work that would only be seen for a few seconds.
** The TARDIS is at the very least the size of a city but is likely infinite, and shifts around from time to time depending on its own whims. We spent very little time there
in the movie they were fully articulated masks old series, only visiting some corridors ("played" by an abandoned hospital) and a handful of rooms. Even in the new series, we rarely see much further than the main control room -- we've seen some corridors, a swimming pool, a wardrobe, a library and part of its processors, but not much else. Most of what we know about its insides comes from the dialogue and from the ExpandedUniverse, which has no budget constraints and thus can be TheWonderland -- the novelisation of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS17E6Shada "Shada"]], for example, contained a scene where Chris spends a night in the TARDIS guest suite and discovers that could fold up his "bath" is an Olympic-sized swimming pool with clawed feet on the end.
** Season 26 of the original series usually began episodes with the Doctor
and disappear into Ace coming out of the TARDIS. One episode did show them inside working at the console, but the rest of the headdress, console room was in darkness. The reason is they'd scrapped the show they were big, mostly-hollow helmets that "transformed" by a little slot opening up set and didn't want to let you see the character's eyes. On the few occasions the full transformation happened, it was entirely offscreen.pay for a new one.



* ''Series/H2OJustAddWater'' doesn't ever show Emma actually freezing something. She points her hands at whatever she's freezing and squints really hard. Then we get a CGI shot of ice molecules appearing (the same one is used each time) and it cuts to the object already frozen. Rikki's power is also very easy to simulate since it involves boiling water done via smoke effects. Cleo's power on the other hand does require plenty of CGI effects which is probably why you rarely see her using her water manipulation to lift objects unless they're inside the water. Also they do have a CGI effect for the girls turning into mermaids - their body turns to water and then you see them with the tails but more often you'll either just see them jumping into the water and they'll already be in mermaid form when it cuts to an underwater shot or they'll fall to the floor out of shot (with the transformation sound effect) and it'll cut to them on the floor with the tail.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' inspired the creation of this page from its relentless use of the trope. One of the suggested names for this page was a takeoff on the ''Heroes'' tagline: "Ordinary People, Budget-Straining Abilities".
** Nathan Petrelli only did supersonic flight twice in all of season 1, and once in season 2. This is odd, since West (who also flies) has taken off more than once in season 2. It may be possible that they assigned one of the most expensive ones to Nathan because he is somewhat embarrassed by them. West really floats instead of flies, which is a much cheaper special effect than Nathan's supersonic flight.
** Niki/Jessica has super strength, but viewers more often just see the results of her strength, and not her using it.
** By far, the most commonly used power on the show is telepathy. It just requires Matt Parkman to [[PstandardPsychicPstance squint, give somebody the crazy eyes, or tilt his head and stare off into space.]] As said by the actor who plays him, "I have the power... of ''LEANING''".
** Micah gets to use his {{Technopath}} abilities every few episodes. He puts his hand on a prop and squints.
** The plots always seem to demand readily available precogs, most of whom just have to paint (with white out eyes), and some of whom just get odd dreams which is as easy as shooting another scene and screwing with the filter.
** This is the main reason why we hardly ever see Hiro perform ''short'' teleports -- longer ones let them change the whole scene, which is easier to do believably.
** Sylar and Peter both had lots and lots of powers, but you'd usually just see telekinesis from Sylar and a smattering of cheaper powers (such as teleports, mind reading, floating) from Peter. The expensive ones, like radiation and freezing, were usually saved for big-budget finales and premieres. Showdowns between Peter and Sylar consist of [[FightUnscene flashing lights seen through the cracks around a closed door]].
** It's ''extremely'' telling that the characters use their powers far more often and more creatively in the [[AllThereInTheManual online comics]]. We also see many more new characters in the comics with more (for want of a better word) "trippy" abilities that'd be hard to visualize with the show's budget (a plant-man, a woman who can literally rearrange your face, a guy who clones himself through "budding", and so on).
* ''Series/{{Jekyll}}'': Hyde's superspeed ability requires very little in the way of effects except perhaps for the odd cut to reveal that, while a character's back was turned, Hyde has warped in front of him. The one scene where he demonstrates it by daring an AssholeVictim to attack him with a knife consists of the camera spinning around him real fast and ending with him behind the victim.
* Present in several ''Franchise/KamenRider'' series. There is almost always at least one attack or form that's too CG intensive to be used more than once or twice throughout the entire show (and the movies, where the budget is less tight). Examples include [[Series/KamenRiderOOO Gatakiriba Combo]], [[Series/KamenRiderGhost Beethoven Damashii]] and [[Series/KamenRiderGaim Suika Arms]]. Meanwhile, forms that require little to no additional SFX budget, like sword and unarmed combat-based ones, get most of the screentime.
** There are also cases of a series' specific gimmick, that while showcased very flashily in the earlier episodes, gets gradually phased out and ends up barely seen if at all in the later half of the show. [[TimeStandsStill Clock-Up]] in ''Series/KamenRiderKabuto'', while being a showcase of actually pretty good special effects for toku in the first quarter of the show, is almost completely forgotten in its last 10 episodes or so.
* ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'' has already served up a number of examples, most notably in the effects for Firestorm and the mysterious way the winged characters' wings appear and disappear depending on the angle of the shot.
* ''Series/LoisAndClark'' became notorious for one aspect of this around the time of its second series. The show's about Superman, right? And how does he get around? He flies... except that flying is FX-heavy to depict on screen and can involve actors literally hanging around in uncomfortable harnesses for hours. So the L&C production team tried to save money by depicting Superman flying away from a location by having the actor swirl his cape around to fill the camera view and adding a stock sound effect. Later, they stopped bothering with the cape swirl and just had him leave the shot, followed by the sound. It worked much better.



* ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'' somehow manages to have the worst of both worlds. Despite centering around a trio of Wizards in training, who you'd think would be using magic as often as possible to practice, they generally only use a couple of effects per episode, and those effects due to budget constraints look very very cheap.
** In episode 8, the cast get a dragon which has been made to look like a dog so that he is allowed to be seen in the mortal world. He does occasionally fly and breathe fire, but always appears as a dog and is never shown as a dragon, even when only among wizards.
* Much of Disney shows have similarly "special" effects, even the non-fantasy genre ones. ''[[Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody The Suite Life on Deck]]'' had a the owner of the ship drugged and sent in a balloon. And then later someone got away in a plastic bubble. The plastic bubble was a giant beach ball rolled off stage with nobody in it, and the flying balloon appeared to be done with a blue-screen chair and with characters looking up a lot and voiceover.
* ''Series/TheFortyFourHundred''. The vast majority of characters had really, really cheap powers. This got really bad with Isabel. She had all possible abilities... and only really used one, telekinesis. Minor powers used include changing her eye color and making a pool warmer. Yet they kept saying she had many amazing powers. Somewhat compensated for by how original and cool many of these cheap powers were, such as a b-movie director who could see the events of the past exactly, so he figured out the Kennedy assassination and a powerful conspiracy... but channeled them solely into horrible, cheesy, low-budget films.

to:

* ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'' somehow manages to have The series finale of ''Series/{{MANTIS}}'' pitted the worst of both worlds. Despite centering around a trio of Wizards in training, who you'd think would be using magic as often as possible to practice, they generally only use a couple of effects per episode, and those effects due to budget constraints look very very cheap.
** In episode 8, the cast get a dragon which has been made to look like a dog so that he is allowed to be seen in the mortal world. He does occasionally fly and breathe fire, but always appears as a dog and is never shown as a dragon, even when only among wizards.
* Much of Disney shows have similarly "special" effects, even the non-fantasy genre ones. ''[[Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody The Suite Life on Deck]]'' had a the owner of the ship drugged and sent in a balloon. And then later someone got away in a plastic bubble. The plastic bubble was a
PoweredArmor-clad hero against an invisible giant beach ball rolled off stage with nobody in it, and the flying balloon appeared to be done with a blue-screen chair and with characters looking up a lot and voiceover.
* ''Series/TheFortyFourHundred''. The vast majority of characters had really, really cheap powers. This got really bad with Isabel. She had all possible abilities... and only really used one, telekinesis. Minor powers used include changing her eye color and making a pool warmer. Yet they kept saying she had many amazing powers. Somewhat compensated for by how original and cool many of these cheap powers were, such as a b-movie director who could see the events of the past exactly, so he figured out the Kennedy assassination and a powerful conspiracy... but channeled them solely into horrible, cheesy, low-budget films.
killer dinosaur.



* The 1980s miniseries/series ''Series/{{V 1983}}'' has reptilian aliens who wear clever disguises to pass as human. And, since reptile-face makeup is expensive and hard on the actors, the aliens wear their clever disguises even aboard their spaceships when no humans are around to see. Also, in ''V: The Series'', the Visitors lost the reverb effect added to their voices in both mini-series.
* ''Series/{{Jekyll}}'': Hyde's superspeed ability requires very little in the way of effects except perhaps for the odd cut to reveal that, while a character's back was turned, Hyde has warped in front of him. The one scene where he demonstrates it by daring an AssholeVictim to attack him with a knife consists of the camera spinning around him real fast and ending with him behind the victim.
* Later seasons of ''Series/QuantumLeap'''s budget cuts caused the famous mirror reveal to be a one-camera, Sam-to-mirror-to-Sam panned shot.
* There ''were'' plot-critical reasons for the main Cylons in the retooled ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'' being human-looking, but there was still an element of "save frakloads of money on having to make CGI robots for every episode". Indeed, this trope took place in the very planning stages; the Cylons were redesigned as human-looking because the creators counted that they could only afford one Cylon suit good enough to convince modern audiences, while CGI was still too expensive to rely on constantly. However, as the miniseries was past and it was time to start filming the main series, the CGI prices had fallen significantly, and they managed to squeeze in more Centurions than they had initially thought possible.



* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' gets around a lot of budget problems by giving practically every creature the ability to transform into or possess a human. Angels apparently have enormous inhuman forms, but humans are incapable of perceiving them without their eyes burning out, and to interact with things on Earth they have to take human hosts. Demons are occasionally briefly seen as black smoke, but mostly possess humans and give them weird eye colors. Then there are the more obtrusive examples, like werewolves who look like humans with long nails, fangs, and weird eyes, some kind of spider monster that somehow looked like a human with a messed up face, and most notably the time they fought ''dragons'' with the convenient ability to look human almost all the time (although their draconic forms did appear briefly).
* ''Series/H2OJustAddWater'' doesn't ever show Emma actually freezing something. She points her hands at whatever she's freezing and squints really hard. Then we get a CGI shot of ice molecules appearing (the same one is used each time) and it cuts to the object already frozen. Rikki's power is also very easy to simulate since it involves boiling water done via smoke effects. Cleo's power on the other hand does require plenty of CGI effects which is probably why you rarely see her using her water manipulation to lift objects unless they're inside the water. Also they do have a CGI effect for the girls turning into mermaids - their body turns to water and then you see them with the tails but more often you'll either just see them jumping into the water and they'll already be in mermaid form when it cuts to an underwater shot or they'll fall to the floor out of shot (with the transformation sound effect) and it'll cut to them on the floor with the tail.
* The series finale of ''Series/{{MANTIS}}'' pitted the PoweredArmor-clad hero against an invisible giant killer dinosaur.
* In ''Series/PowerRangers,'' one question even the show's youngest fans frequently asked during Megazord battles is why the rangers didn't disassemble the Megazord and fight individually more often (this was especially prevalent when they were fighting multiple monsters at once or an individual Zord had a useful ability the Megazord itself didn't, such as the ability to fly.) The obvious reason is that it's easier to film with a guy in a foam rubber suit instead of having to design and work with multiple props for each individual Zord (some seasons only showed individual zords through a few repeated scenes of StockFootage.) It's telling that, on the odd occasion where the Zord had individual humanoid forms (such as the Shogunzords, Super Zeo Zords, or the [=RescueZords=],) we saw the rangers fighting individually a ''lot'' more.

to:

* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' gets ''Series/NoHeroics'' is about heroes sitting around a lot and chatting instead of budget problems by giving practically every creature the ability to transform into or possess a human. Angels apparently have enormous inhuman forms, but humans are incapable of perceiving them without using their eyes burning out, and powers to interact with things on Earth they have to take human hosts. Demons are occasionally briefly seen as black smoke, but mostly possess humans and give them weird eye colors. Then there are fight crime.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'' only has
the more obtrusive examples, like werewolves who look like humans with long nails, fangs, and weird eyes, some kind Wicked Witch of spider monster that somehow looked like a human with a messed up face, and most notably the West fly on her broom once, the rest of the time they fought ''dragons'' with the convenient ability to look human almost all the time (although their draconic forms did appear briefly).
* ''Series/H2OJustAddWater'' doesn't ever show Emma actually freezing something. She points her hands at whatever she's freezing and squints really hard. Then we get a CGI shot of ice molecules
appearing (the same one out of thin air. Presumably because this is used each time) and it cuts easier to the object already frozen. Rikki's power is also very easy to simulate since it involves boiling water done via set up with a CGI smoke effects. Cleo's power on the other hand does require plenty of CGI effects which is probably why you rarely see her using her water manipulation to lift objects unless they're inside the water. Also they do have a CGI effect for rather than using green screen and insure Zelena flying through the girls turning into mermaids - air. Other than that, other characters use their body turns to water powers freely and then you see them with the tails but more often you'll either just see them jumping into the water and they'll already be in mermaid form when it cuts to an underwater shot or they'll fall to the floor out of shot (with the transformation sound effect) and it'll cut to them on the floor with the tail.
* The series finale of ''Series/{{MANTIS}}'' pitted the PoweredArmor-clad hero against an invisible giant killer dinosaur.
easily.
* In ''Series/PowerRangers,'' ''Series/PowerRangers'', one question even the show's youngest fans frequently asked during Megazord battles is why the rangers didn't disassemble the Megazord and fight individually more often (this was especially prevalent when they were fighting multiple monsters at once or an individual Zord had a useful ability the Megazord itself didn't, such as the ability to fly.) The obvious reason is that it's easier to film with a guy in a foam rubber suit instead of having to design and work with multiple props for each individual Zord (some seasons only showed individual zords through a few repeated scenes of StockFootage.) It's telling that, on the odd occasion where the Zord had individual humanoid forms (such as the Shogunzords, Super Zeo Zords, or the [=RescueZords=],) we saw the rangers fighting individually a ''lot'' more.



* Present in several ''Franchise/KamenRider'' series. There is almost always at least one attack or form that's too CG intensive to be used more than once or twice throughout the entire show (and the movies, where the budget is less tight). Examples include [[Series/KamenRiderOOO Gatakiriba Combo]], [[Series/KamenRiderGhost Beethoven Damashii]] and [[Series/KamenRiderGaim Suika Arms]]. Meanwhile, forms that require little to no additional SFX budget, like sword and unarmed combat-based ones, get most of the screentime.
** There are also cases of a series' specific gimmick, that while showcased very flashily in the earlier episodes, gets gradually phased out and ends up barely seen if at all in the later half of the show. [[TimeStandsStill Clock-Up]] in ''Series/KamenRiderKabuto'', while being a showcase of actually pretty good special effects for toku in the first quarter of the show, is almost completely forgotten in its last 10 episodes or so.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'' only has the Wicked Witch of the West fly on her broom once, the rest of the time appearing out of thin air. Presumably because this is easier to set up with a CGI smoke effect rather than using green screen and insure Zelena flying through the air. Other than that, other characters use their powers freely and easily.

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* Present in several ''Franchise/KamenRider'' series. There is almost always at least one attack or form that's too CG intensive Later seasons of ''Series/QuantumLeap'''s budget cuts caused the famous mirror reveal to be used more than once or twice throughout the entire show (and the movies, a one-camera, Sam-to-mirror-to-Sam panned shot.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' was guilty of this
where Clark was concerned. While his powers were mostly physical, so not ''too'' budget straining, there was a reason that he very rarely flew and didn't actually master the power until the finale.
** This also had an effect on which characters they could use or what they could do with them. {{ComicBook/Darkseid}} was famously reimagined as a non-corporeal entity that possessed others since the show didn't have
the budget to satisfyingly depict him as a SerkisFolk or a practical rubber monster.
** This
is less tight). Examples include [[Series/KamenRiderOOO Gatakiriba Combo]], [[Series/KamenRiderGhost Beethoven Damashii]] why the sequel comic, ''Smallville Season 11'', proved so popular. It not only featured Clark ''finally'' cutting loose and [[Series/KamenRiderGaim Suika Arms]]. Meanwhile, forms that require little to no additional SFX budget, using his powers in ways the show couldn't afford, but also had him interact with characters who could not have been done properly on television, like sword [[Comicbook/GreenLantern John Stewart and unarmed combat-based ones, get most the Green Lantern Corps]], or the [[Comicbook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths Monitors]].
* Not quite a superpower, but watch ''Series/StargateSG1'' enough, and you'll notice almost every time the Gate is opened on Earth, it's either ''just'' off screen, behind the iris, or one
of the screentime.
stock shots they probably filmed a decade ago.
** The "kawoosh" was made by hanging an airplane turbine over a pool and filming the resulting effect underwater. Not the cheapest effect to reproduce repeatedly. By later episodes, they could've [=CGIed=] it, but had no reason to, as the thing ends so quickly that no one notices it's the same effect. The crew did, however, make sure they set up multiple cameras and got many shots of the "kawoosh" to maximize their use of a hard-to-reproduce effect.
** Also, for some reason, you would almost never see the gate ''close''. Again, it was usually stock footage of one of the times we saw it in the premiere, but you don't even see that every day. The overwhelming majority of the time, the gate closing consists of the sound being heard an instant after the camera cuts away from the open gate.
** There are also cases only two "full" Stargates built for the show; every other one seen is made of a series' specific gimmick, that while showcased very flashily laminated cardboard and thus shown face on at all times.
** The transforming helmets Ra and his soldiers used
in the earlier movie also received a significant downgrade in the show -- while in the movie they were fully articulated masks that could fold up and disappear into the rest of the headdress, in the show they were big, mostly-hollow helmets that "transformed" by a little slot opening up to let you see the character's eyes. On the few occasions the full transformation happened, it was entirely offscreen.
* While ''Franchise/StarTrek'' tries to avoid this kind of thing as often as it can, a few exceptions stand out:
** Over the course of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration,'' the ship's ability to separate the drive section from the saucer section was seldom seen after the first few
episodes, gets gradually phased out even though there were numerous times it might have come in handy for various reasons. In addition to money and ends up barely seen if at all pacing issues, it was also not such a hot idea to change the iconic shape of the series's CoolShip.
*** Most of the times they showed the saucer separation, [[StockFootage the effect looked exactly the same]] as it did
in the later half of first instance.
** Gene Roddenberry pre-empted this trope by deliberately adding a scene in
the show. [[TimeStandsStill Clock-Up]] Enterprise's engine room in ''Series/KamenRiderKabuto'', while being a showcase the premiere. He did this to justify the large expense in building the set. Otherwise, the engine room set might never have been built.
** Odo from ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' and other [[VoluntaryShapeshifting shapeshifting creatures]] constantly hang around in humanoid form and rarely seem to change their shape in moments when it would be helpful. Most
of actually pretty good Odo's transformations [[InformedAbility take place off-screen]], obviously because the special effects for toku cost a small fortune at the time. Odo even spends most of a season without the ability to shapechange, and was given a backstory that made him understandably reluctant to use the ability in front of others. Creator/PeterDavid acknowledges the problem in the first quarter introduction of his ''[=DS9=]'' novel ''The Siege'' and notes that he's unrestrained by special effects budgets. As promised, the show, novel itself features Odo in a crazy mad number of shapeshifting instances.
** The eponymous character from the DS9 episode "Melora"
is almost completely forgotten an alien from a low gravity world and can float and self-propel in its last 10 a low gravity environment. She was originally intended to be the primary science officer for DS9, but this was canceled due to the difficulty and expense it would take for her to be in every episode. She was turned into a one-shot crewman and we instead got [[BadassBookworm Lieutenant Jadzia Dax]].
** Occasionally, this can work out for the best: The iconic ''Star Trek'' transporter itself was invented to save on doing expensive landing sequences every episode. Ironically enough, and truer to the spirit of this trope, it was still the most expensive visual effect to do on the show. So in the final season, the camera ''panned away'' from the transporter effect while the noise was still being played so that the audience would still be clued in on what was going on. Although digital effects and bigger budgets made costs more trivial, this was still done in the SpinOff series all the way to ''Voyager'' from time to time. ''Enterprise'''s final season returned to the "off-screen transport" effect (even though these
episodes or so.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'' only has
often used visual effects much more complicated and expensive) as a subtle hint to the Wicked Witch viewership that this was indeed the final season, mirroring the final season of the West fly on her broom once, original series.
** In [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries
the rest original Trek]] episode "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield," the two natives of Cheron arrived via ''invisible ship'' (no, they didn't say "cloaked" or anything that'd make it sound less silly) so it wouldn't have to be shown.
** Every version of ''Trek'' has done space battles where the camera stays on the bridge, and we hear the weapons being fired and a report about damage done to the enemy ship, without seeing it on the viewscreen or an exterior shot (and only a StarTrekShake or two to signify the damage done to the ''Enterprise'').
** The first series had Coconut ''politics''. The reason that Klingons were a more frequent problem for the crew
of the time appearing out of thin air. Presumably Enterprise than the Romulans is because this is easier the pointy ear tips made the Romulan costumes significantly more expensive than the Klingon ones. Ironically, the later alteration of Klingons into RubberForeheadAliens made them into the more expensive choice--but due to set up their more frequent use making them a more iconic Trek alien, they still saw more screen time than Romulans.
** ''The Enterprise Incident'' had an off-hand mention of the Romulans being reported to use Klingon ships to get more mileage out of the rather expensive D7-class model.
* Many Disney shows have similarly "special" effects, even the non-fantasy genre ones. ''[[Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody The Suite Life on Deck]]'' had a the owner of the ship drugged and sent in a balloon. And then later someone got away in a plastic bubble. The plastic bubble was a giant beach ball rolled off stage with nobody in it, and the flying balloon appeared to be done
with a CGI smoke effect rather than using green screen blue-screen chair and insure Zelena flying through the air. Other than that, other with characters use looking up a lot and voiceover.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' gets around a lot of budget problems by giving practically every creature the ability to transform into or possess a human. Angels apparently have enormous inhuman forms, but humans are incapable of perceiving them without
their powers freely eyes burning out, and easily.to interact with things on Earth they have to take human hosts. Demons are occasionally briefly seen as black smoke, but mostly possess humans and give them weird eye colors. Then there are the more obtrusive examples, like werewolves who look like humans with long nails, fangs, and weird eyes, some kind of spider monster that somehow looked like a human with a messed up face, and most notably the time they fought ''dragons'' with the convenient ability to look human almost all the time (although their draconic forms did appear briefly).
* Extremely apparent in the LiveActionAdaptation of ''Series/TheTick''. Because of budget constraints, the show was not allowed to actually show any of the superhero characters ''ever doing anything superheroic.'' They would just stand around and talk about it later or do everything offscreen. This made it seem less like a superhero sitcom and more like a bizarre ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' spinoff where everyone was constantly in gaudy costumes.
* The 1980s miniseries/series ''Series/{{V 1983}}'' has reptilian aliens who wear clever disguises to pass as human. And, since reptile-face makeup is expensive and hard on the actors, the aliens wear their clever disguises even aboard their spaceships when no humans are around to see. Also, in ''V: The Series'', the Visitors lost the reverb effect added to their voices in both mini-series.
* ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'' somehow manages to have the worst of both worlds. Despite centering around a trio of Wizards in training, who you'd think would be using magic as often as possible to practice, they generally only use a couple of effects per episode, and those effects due to budget constraints look very very cheap.
** In episode 8, the cast get a dragon which has been made to look like a dog so that he is allowed to be seen in the mortal world. He does occasionally fly and breathe fire, but always appears as a dog and is never shown as a dragon, even when only among wizards.



* ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'' has already served up a number of examples, most notably in the effects for Firestorm and the mysterious way the winged characters' wings appear and disappear depending on the angle of the shot.



* Parodied in a ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'' DVD Extra, with a horribly low-budget [[ShowWithinAShow in-universe animated show]] in which most superpower use is just off-screen. Made even funnier in the commentary on the DVD, which is made by Frozone and Mr. Incredible themselves. Frozone is less than impressed. That cartoon was a parody of ''WesternAnimation/ClutchCargo'', a series from the late 1950s which also used SynchroVox.
** In a funny inversion, fantastic superpowers and gigantic explosions are generally a ''lot'' easier for computers to render than more mundane, everyday movements like [[NoFlowInCGI shirt grabs or brushing one's hair]]. The latter actions occur only a few times over the course of the movie - Creator/{{Pixar}}'s animators pointed to the shot where Bob pokes a finger through a hole in his old suit as the single hardest shot to pull off in the entire film by far. This is at least partly because everyone knows exactly what brushing your hair looks like, and when done wrong it looks jarring. By contrast, how many times have you seen a woman turn into a rubber raft or giant parachute in RealLife?



* ''WesternAnimation/GreenLanternTheAnimatedSeries'' tends to re-use the same constructs over and over, such as Kilowog's trusty hammer, or the sword used by both Hal Jordan and Salakk. This is because making new constructs requires that the animators model them, while re-using existing ones is about as easy as using an existing prop in a live-action production.



* ''WesternAnimation/GreenLanternTheAnimatedSeries'' tends to re-use the same constructs over and over, such as Kilowog's trusty hammer, or the sword used by both Hal Jordan and Salakk. This is because making new constructs requires that the animators model them, while re-using existing ones is about as easy as using an existing prop in a live-action production.


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17th Dec '16 5:45:06 PM SteveMB
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** In earlier episodes, when vampires shifted to vamp face, the actual shift usually occurred off-screen. As the show's budget increased, vamping out onscreen became more common. Furthermore, in many cases you can tell the shift is something of a "jump cut" between pre-makeup and post-makeup; once Season 2 comes around, the "game face" effect is a more gradual, CGI-based shift.

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** In earlier episodes, when vampires shifted to [[GameFace vamp face, face]], the actual shift usually occurred off-screen. As the show's budget increased, vamping out onscreen became more common. Furthermore, in many cases you can tell the shift is something of a "jump cut" between pre-makeup and post-makeup; once Season 2 comes around, the "game face" effect is a more gradual, CGI-based shift.
9th Oct '16 11:35:03 PM Kooshmeister
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* In ''Captain Sindbad'' (not to be confused with the Creator/RayHarryhausen Sinbad movies), Sinbad must fight an invisible beast in an arena.

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* In ''Captain Sindbad'' ''Film/CaptainSindbad'' (not to be confused with the Creator/RayHarryhausen Sinbad movies), Sinbad must fight an invisible beast in an arena.
2nd Oct '16 5:21:55 AM Bissek
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* Mocked in the "Mr Neutron is Missing" episode of ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'', where the episode ends before the story is resolved because the studio runs out of money. Shortly before the credits run, the narrator tries to explain what was going to happen, and how expensive the various scenes were going to be.

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* Mocked in the "Mr Neutron is Missing" episode of ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'', where the episode ends before the story is resolved because the studio runs out of money. Shortly before the credits run, the narrator tries to explain what was going to happen, and how expensive the various scenes were going to be. For a more conventional usage, the only thing Mr Neutron does with superpowers that allegedly could be used to destroy the world is turn a frumpy middle-aged housewife into a slightly better dressed middle-aged housewife.
21st Aug '16 8:03:12 PM lorgskyegon
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** The eponymous character from the DS9 episode "Melora" is an alien from a low gravity world and can float and self-propel in a low gravity environment. She was originally intended to be the primary science officer for DS9, but this was canceled due to the difficulty and expense it would take for her to be in every episode. She was turned into a one-shot crewman and we instead got [[BadassBookworm Lieutenant Jadzia Dax]].
17th Aug '16 3:16:25 PM CaptainCrawdad
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* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Jedi have harnessed the Force that binds the universe together, but their powers are still largely rooted in special effects that were affordable in the 1970s and 1980s, such as making actors repeat things, speaking in voice-over to each other, and "sensing" things. More budget-heavy things like moving objects and jumping were still pretty cheap. All of this makes the Emperor's force lightning that much more of a shock in the first trilogy's finale.

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* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Jedi have harnessed the Force that binds the universe together, but their powers are still largely rooted in special effects that were affordable limited by what was cheap and easy in the 1970s and 1980s, such as making actors repeat things, speaking in voice-over to each other, and "sensing" things. More budget-heavy things feats like moving objects and jumping were still pretty cheap.affordable. All of this makes the Emperor's force lightning that much more of a shock in the first trilogy's finale.
17th Aug '16 3:14:02 PM CaptainCrawdad
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** As digital effects have come a long way since 2006, ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'' averts this completely. The movie starts off with a group of mutants, including Colossus and Iceman (who ''finally'' uses his ice slides), fighting a Sentinel attack in the CrapsackWorld future with powers fully on display; they do so again in the climax of the film, as the future group makes a final stand against the Sentinels. Storm's activity is unfortunately limited once again--however, it is not due to this trope, but to Storm being DemotedToExtra because of actress Halle Berry's [[HideYourPregnancy pregnancy]]. There are also some pretty badass displays from Blink and Sunspot, further showing just how much more the filmmakers can do these days.



* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Jedi have harnessed the Force that binds the universe together, but their powers are still largely rooted in special effects that were affordable in the 1970s and 1980s, such as making actors repeat things, speaking in voice-over to each other, and "sensing" things. More budget-heavy things like moving objects and jumping were still pretty cheap. All of this makes the Emperor's force lightning that much more of a shock in the first trilogy's finale.



* See also ''Series/NoHeroics''.

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* See also ''Series/NoHeroics''.''Series/NoHeroics'' is about heroes sitting around and chatting instead of using their powers to fight crime.



** Worth nothing that while the first season featured more on-screen flying than the rest, the effects for most of Superman's many other powers saw an upturn in quality as the show went on.



* Due to budget limitations, Marcus's telescoping fighting staff in ''Series/BabylonFive'' was opened and closed mostly off-screen.
** Although they did take care to actually show it open up when it was used for the first time.

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* Due to budget limitations, Marcus's telescoping fighting staff in ''Series/BabylonFive'' was opened and closed mostly off-screen.
** Although
off-screen, although they did take care to actually show it open up when it was used for the first time.
3rd Jul '16 4:57:45 PM nombretomado
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* In ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'', the characters seem to use their ElementalPowers in far more elaborate and interesting ways in the written media than they do in the DirectToDVD movies. For example, Gali performing a [[FantasticNuke Nova Blast]] and crushing the entire realm of Kharzani with a GiantWallOfWateryDoom in a written web serial, but only doing a bit of FloatingWater and HealingHands in TheMovie.

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* In ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'', ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'', the characters seem to use their ElementalPowers in far more elaborate and interesting ways in the written media than they do in the DirectToDVD movies. For example, Gali performing a [[FantasticNuke Nova Blast]] and crushing the entire realm of Kharzani with a GiantWallOfWateryDoom in a written web serial, but only doing a bit of FloatingWater and HealingHands in TheMovie.
22nd Jun '16 1:42:11 PM cdrood
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** Season 26 of the original series usually began episodes with The Doctor and Ace coming out of the TARDIS. One episode did show them inside working at the console, but the rest of the console room was in darkness. The reason is they'd scrapped the set and didn't want to pay for a new one.
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