A bottle is a container for liquids, usually of plastic or glass. Its shape and size are determined by its manufacturing process, but its primary purpose is to be a storable vessel for water, soda or other beverages. It has a narrow opening and is typically made of polycarbonate, a synthetic resin that can be produced through chemical reactions and extrusion processes.
The term “bottle” is a common one in the television industry, particularly when budgets are tight and producers need to save money or time by using only one set. This can be the case with series such as Cheers, where an entire episode is filmed in a single bar and no outside filming is required.
Characters need to be preoccupied with the limitations of the setting and there needs to be conflict through dialogue and actions that drives the episode along. A bottle episode can be used as a platform to explore characters’ relationships and what makes them tick, but it has to be done right.
Bottle episodes are often used to showcase character development, but they can also be a fun break from the usual formulaic plot structure of most shows. In fact, many of your favorite shows may use this type of episode to break the mold, even without your knowledge.
The concept of bottle episodes began with MTM productions, where they filmed half hour long episodes on a theatre set that had no outside filming. This saved money and allowed them to tell more stories with less resources.
Today, the bottle episode is a staple of TV. It helps save money, time and allows producers to tell more stories with less resources. They’re especially useful when there is a particular location that would be too expensive to film on set or where the actors can’t travel easily.
In terms of a TV show, a bottle episode can take place on a ship, space station, prison or other large setting where there are few other options available for filming. It can be the season finale of a show, where there is only one location for the final scenes, or it can be an episode that takes place on a spaceship in dry dock when the crew is having repairs or is traveling to a new planet. In either case, the episode must be compelling and have a resolution in sight.