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  • 12 Feb 2016
    Two new items will be of interest to Star Trek fans who like Trek-themed jewelry. The items include a Star Trek Friendship...

    Two new items will be of interest to Star Trek fans who like Trek-themed jewelry.

    The items include a Star Trek Friendship Necklace, and a Sterling Silver Trek LLAP Bead.

    The Star Trek Friendship Necklace comes from Quantum Mechanix, and is inspired by Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. The Trek delta shield is split down the middle into two necklaces and has the phrase “I have been and always shall be your friend.”

    Made of a zinc alloy, the Star Trek Friendship Necklace sells for $14.99 and can be pre-ordered here. Delivery is expected in May.

    The Sterling Silver Trek LLAP Bead fits all major brands of bracelets (Pandora, Chamilia, Biagi, Troll, etc) and the five-sided bead features the letters “L” (two), “A” and “P” in addition to the Vulcan salute.

    The Sterling Silver Trek LLAP Bead sells for $49.99 and can be ordered here.

  • 12 Feb 2016
    In writing Leonard – My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man, William Shatner had to face up to things about the friendship...

    In writing Leonard – My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man, William Shatner had to face up to things about the friendship that were uncomfortable for the actor.

    One of these things was losing touch with Leonard Nimoy a few years ago. “It was very difficult [to write about it],” said Shatner. “I played with the idea of not sharing at all. But the story isn’t complete until I talk about the tragedy of our losing touch.”

    While researching to write the book, Shatner realized that he didn’t know as much about Nimoy’s work other than during the Star Trek years. “I sort of feel badly that I hadn’t looked into his pre-Star Trek accomplishments and post-Star Trek accomplishments,” said Shatner. “You know, we have our busy lives. You see somebody and you have dinner and you talk, but you haven’t really fully examined some aspect of that other person’s work. There are subjects you don’t necessarily go to in a conversation. It’s the details that I never got a hold of, that I wish I had while Leonard was alive.”

    If Nimoy could read Shatner’s book, Shatner believes that the actor would “be embarrassed” by the praise from Shatner. “I think he’d be embarrassed by the attention I brought to some of his excellences,” said Nimoy. “Everything that I have done in connection with Leonard and Leonard’s family, it has always been done out of love. If I have made mistakes, if I have said or done something, it was inadvertent and I couldn’t have meant any harm because I have always loved Leonard and his family.”

    Leonard – My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man goes on sale next week.

  • 12 Feb 2016
    The new showrunner for CBS’ Star Trek televised series will be Bryan Fuller. Fuller, Alex Kurtzman, and Heather Kadin will executive produce...

    The new showrunner for CBS’ Star Trek televised series will be Bryan Fuller.

    Fuller, Alex Kurtzman, and Heather Kadin will executive produce the new Star Trek.

    “My very first experience of Star Trek is my oldest brother turning off all the lights in the house and flying his model of a D7 Class Klingon Battle Cruiser through the darkened halls,” said Fuller. “Before seeing a frame of the television series, the Star Trek universe lit my imagination on fire. It is without exaggeration a dream come true to be crafting a brand new iteration of Star Trek with fellow franchise alum Alex Kurtzman and boldly going where no Star Trek series has gone before.”

    “Bringing Star Trek back to television means returning it to its roots, and for years those roots flourished under Bryan’s devoted care,” said Kurtzman. “His encyclopedic knowledge of Trek canon is surpassed only by his love for Gene Roddenberry‘s optimistic future, a vision that continues to guide us as we explore strange new worlds.”

    Star Trek will begin airing next January on CBS’ All Access digital subscription service.

  • 12 Feb 2016
    Disturbing visions cause Tuvok to risk a mind-meld with Janeway, making them both relive Tuvok’s time serving under Captain Sulu on the...

    Disturbing visions cause Tuvok to risk a mind-meld with Janeway, making them both relive Tuvok’s time serving under Captain Sulu on the Excelsior.

    Plot Summary: As Voyager approaches a particle-rich nebula, Tuvok has an incapacitating vision of a child falling to her death. The Doctor decides to monitor him for future incidents and receives disturbing data when Tuvok has another vision, this time in Engineering, moments after Tuvok warns Torres about being too close to Klingon space. To help Tuvok regain control of his memories, Janeway enters into a mind meld with him. When Tuvok tries to retrieve his recollections of the falling girl, he and Janeway find themselves on the bridge of the Excelsior, serving under Captain Sulu just before the explosion of the Klingon moon Praxis and the assassination of Chancellor Gorkon. During the incident, a crewmember named Valtane was killed on the bridge right next to Tuvok. Each time Tuvok recalls Valtane’s death, he sees the girl falling from the cliff and disrupts the mind meld. When Janeway looks for information about the incident in Sulu’s logs, she discovers that he failed to report his violation of Starfleet regulations when he and his crew set out to rescue Leonard McCoy and James T. Kirk from the Klingons. When Tuvok attempts to meld with Janeway again, he loses control of his neural pathways, making Janeway visible to others in his memories. She steals Commander Rand’s uniform to blend in, advising Tuvok to concentrate on Valtane, since his death seems to be the key to Tuvok’s repressed memories. Meanwhile, the Doctor discovers that he can’t break the mind link and realizes that what he had thought was a memory engram is in fact a virus disguised to behave like a memory. He uses radiation to push the virus out, but it moves from Tuvok’s consciousness into Janeway’s, just as it moved from the dying Valtane into Tuvok. Janeway sees herself as the one who let the child fall to her death until the Doctor purges the virus, ending a long chain of hosts. Janeway tells Tuvok that she enjoyed her glimpse into Sulu’s era.

    Analysis: If there’s a flaw in “Flashback” – which was produced in honor of Star Trek’s 30th anniversary along with Deep Space Nine‘s “Trials and Tribbleations” – it’s that the VoyagerStar Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, which isn’t on par with the trilogy of films about Spock’s death and resurrection, makes me painfully nostalgic for Star Trek as it once was. Janeway’s speech to Kim about what life must have been like in Kirk’s era, ending with her concluding that Kirk’s whole crew would be booted out of Starfleet in Voyager’s day, says as much about Janeway’s shortcomings as it does about the “different breed of Starfleet officer” that she labels Sulu, McCoy, and Rand. Plus Tuvok could learn quite a bit from the more famous Vulcan of Sulu’s era, the one whom Kirk and Sulu rescued from Genesis at great cost to themselves; it’s never explicitly stated in canon, but I always assumed it took so long for Sulu to be promoted to captain because of his involvement in stealing the Enterprise, which also got Kirk demoted. “Imagine the era they lived in. The Alpha Quadrant still largely unexplored. Humanity on verge of war with Klingons. Romulans hiding behind every nebula…their ships were half as fast,” says Janeway. “Space must have seemed a whole lot bigger back then. It’s not surprising they had to bend the rules a little.” She fails to mention that it was the era in which those rules were honed and expanded – we see a far more comprehensive, detail-oriented Starfleet bureaucracy in Picard’s era than in Kirk’s – and I have some trouble believing that if Janeway got to ride shotgun with the original Enterprise crew, as she claims she’d love to do, she wouldn’t react much like Tuvok and start citing regulations.

    It’s always a pleasure to see Sulu, particularly now when George Takei has become a pop culture icon to the millennials who were babies when “Flashback” first aired. We only get to see him as the captain of his own ship for a few minutes in earlier canon, so what a delight to have an incident seamlessly edited into the events of the last original cast movie, with such moments as Sulu’s teacup crashing to the floor (here given added meaning because it’s Tuvok who provides the tea) and an extended sequence of the crew at work as the energy wave from the explosion of Praxis wreaks havoc on the Excelsior. Plus he gets to snark at Klingon Commander Kang! Apart from the fun of seeing the old uniforms and panels, it’s lovely too to see Janice Rand finally given a substantial role on a ship and in the franchise. I’m still aggravated that she’s the one Tuvok and Janeway corner to Vulcan-neck-pinch and divest of her uniform. Apart from the ludicrousness of Kate Mulgrew fitting perfectly into Grace Lee Whitney’s clothes and the fact that, since this is essentially a dream sequence, Tuvok should be able to get a uniform out of storage with the same ease as he can sneak Janeway around the ship undetected, it means that we don’t get to see Rand contribute further ideas about Excelsior’s crew or the attempted rescue of Kirk and McCoy, a topic on which Rand certainly would have strong opinions. How far she has come from the yeoman in “Miri” who was always trying to get Kirk to look at her legs. I’m sorry to say that it seems perfectly in character for Tuvok to snark at Sulu for violating regulations in order to save Starfleet’s finest – not very logical, even if he resents his parents for pressuring him to join Starfleet in the first place, so quite the inverse of Spock’s experience in which his parents tried to stop him from going to the Academy. Tuvok is still awfully quick to cite regulations at the expense of logic as well as compassion.

    Yet I find myself really liking Tuvok’s explanation of why he did not complete Kolinahr training, choosing instead to raise a family and alter his youthful ambitions. People are often scoffed at if they admit that wanting to have children made their priorities shift – women are still plagued by questions of if and when they want children and how to balance that with career choices, yet often men are judged even more harshly when they decide that spending time with family should take precedence over whatever had previously been labeled their life’s work. We can see why Tuvok insists that it must be the captain with whom he performs a mind meld despite the risks to her. He speaks casually about pon farr and his relationship with T’Pel, even though we know from other Star Trek shows that these are deeply personal matters to Vulcans, not meant to be known to offworlders except those considered family. And it suggests that there’s no lingering resentment from Janeway’s separation of Tuvix, though I’m curious whether Neelix retains any memories from the mind he shared with Tuvok, which would make them akin to family in an even more intimate way. We get to experience both the friendship between Janeway and Tuvok (“You’ve never brought me tea”) and its limits (the fact that he never discussed his first foray into Starfleet with her). It’s interesting that someone who had trouble adjusting decided to become an Academy instructor, yet also that he seemed so insensitive while training Maquis recruits suffering from even greater culture shock than Tuvok must have experienced…and unlike him, they couldn’t quit to do something else. I like this Tuvok, and I like the Janeway who’s excited by the frontier-pushing boundaries of space exploration even if I don’t like her scornful dismissal of the previous generation’s need to push the limitations of Starfleet as well. Janeway has done enough rule-bending that she has no business judging a Kirk protege during his glorious confrontation with Kang and rule-bending rescue mission. I wish she’d love exploring the Delta Quadrant for its own sake, the way Kirk would have done.

  • 11 Feb 2016
    CBS Consumer Products has announced a full schedule of Star Trek merchandise to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Star Trek...

    CBS Consumer Products has announced a full schedule of Star Trek merchandise to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Star Trek franchise.

    The items that will be arriving this year include toys, games, apparel and books.

    “This is going to be a landmark year for Star Trek and we are thrilled to have so many new licensing partners on board for fans around the world who love this iconic franchise,” said Liz Kalodner, executive vice president and general manager of CBS Consumer Products.

    Items will include (by company name, and then by product, if provided):

    • Spin Master – remote controlled vehicles
    • Wooden Expressions – tridimensional chess sets
    • Cult Cross – German Trek novels
    • National Geographic – Star Trek Guide to Our Universe hardback
    • Accutime Watch Corporation – Trek-themed watches
    • Brainstorm – running apparel
    • Somerbond – sleepwear
    • Threadless – t-shirts and socks
    • Build-A-Bear Workshop
    • Mezco
    • Roads Innovation
    • Titan
    • Wish Factory
    • Gale Force Nine – Star Trek hobby game
    • USAopoly – Trek-themed board games
  • 11 Feb 2016
    The fourth Destination Star Trek Europe event has been announced, and this event will take place in Birmingham, England. The three-day celebration...

    The fourth Destination Star Trek Europe event has been announced, and this event will take place in Birmingham, England.

    The three-day celebration of Star Trek‘s 50th Anniversary will be held Oct 7-9 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England.

    Activities will include “the opportunity to meet Trek cast and crew, explore interactive exhibits, learn about Star Trek‘s impact on science, space and technology, and enjoy parties fit for a golden anniversary.

    “Among the confirmed guests, who’ll be available for autographs, photo ops and talks: William Shatner, Christopher Lloyd, Walter Koenig, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Alexander Siddig, Terry Farrell and Nicole de Boer. More guests will be added in the coming months.”

    Tickets for Destination Star Trek Europe can be ordered here.

  • 10 Feb 2016
    David Weisberg has created a fantastic Star Trek playset for his eight-year-old son. Weisberg did so using actual blueprints for the bridge...

    David Weisberg has created a fantastic Star Trek playset for his eight-year-old son.

    Weisberg did so using actual blueprints for the bridge set. “This project started when I found my old Star Trek TOS Playmates figures,” he said. “I gave them to my eight-year-old son who had become a fan of the old show. He began building simple cardboard play pieces. Inspired by the clean wooden design of some of his other toys I set out to design and create a modular play set that he could use to assemble various rooms aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. I wanted a set that could break down and store easily.

    “After doing research I found some existing blue prints of the bridge. I scaled everything to match the size of the figures.”


    And how did his son like the playset? “He has already asked how soon he will get the rest of the ship,” said Weisberg.

    The step-by-step instructions, and plenty of photos, can be found here.

  • 10 Feb 2016
    Convention season is nearly upon us, and 2016 is shaping up to be one of the biggest years ever for Trek events. From Creation’s blow-out 50th anniversary bash in Vegas to CBS’s own Mission New York. In this installment of the Shuttle Pod, Kayla, Brian, and Jared talk Star Trek conventions and what you can […]
  • 09 Feb 2016
    Bryan Fuller, veteran Star Trek writer (DS9 and VOY), has been tapped as co-creator and showrunner for CBS’s upcoming Star Trek television* series, set to debut in January 2017. Apparently we might like our gagh with some Favre beans and a nice chianti. CBS has tapped Bryan Fuller to be the showrunner for the new […]
  • 07 Feb 2016
    As we all wait on baited breath for 50th anniversary merchandising (not to mention Star Trek Beyond merchandising) to kick it up a notch, CBS has just announced 32 new licensees to the Star Trek brand. Hit the jump for info on what toys, tees, and gizmos we can expect in the near future. As […]
  • 05 Feb 2016
    Long time friend of the site Paul “Spockboy” Sibbald has a great new goofy Trek video out. This time he’s made a mashup that celebrates two classic TV shows that turn 50 this year, Batman and of course Star Trek. Click through for the full video.
  • 04 Feb 2016
    The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg spoke at length to our intrepid starship captain about Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary, his friendship with Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek Beyond, and much more. The interview, part of THR’s ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast, touches upon many parts of Shatner’s career, but mostly focuses on his Star Trek experience.  Shatner is very […]
  • 12 Feb 2016
    On Tuesday, Bryan Fuller was named showrunner and co-creator for the new Star Trek series. Set to premier in January 2017, the series will be available through CBS All Access, a digital subscription service. Fuller is of course no newbie to the Trek franchise, he started his television career on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” […]
  • 09 Feb 2016
    Bryan Fuller, who has previously worked on “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, along with “Hannibal” and “Heroes”, has been named showrunner and co-creator of the new Star Trek series, which is set to premiere on CBS All Access in 2017. “My very first experience of ‘Star Trek’ is my oldest brother […]
  • 25 Jan 2016
    With Star Trek’s 50th anniversary in full swing, CBS Consumer Products and ReedPOP announced the launch of a new Star Trek fan experience that will take place in New York City later this year entitled Star Trek: Mission New York. The event will event will take place September 2-4 at the Javits Center in Manhattan. […]
  • 25 Jan 2016
    In an exclusive video released to by Leonard Nimoy’s daughter Julie and her husband David Knight, the legendary actor talks about his 1975 book I Am Not Spock and the reaction to its title. “People thought I was trying to distance myself from the Spock character — that was not true.” Nimoy says as […]
  • 17 Jan 2016
    Star Trek Timelines is now available on the Apple App Store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android devices. Developed by Disruptor Beam, Star Trek Timelines brings together characters from multiple eras of Star Trek, including Kirk, Spock, Picard, Janeway, Data, Worf and more. “We’re celebrating Star Trek’s 50th anniversary this year by welcoming […]
Forgotten Trek Latest Posts
  • 20 Jan 2016
    DeForest Kelly's birthday is today, January 20th. This true Southern gentleman (born in Taccoa, GA) never let the lights of Hollywood get in his eyes and change him from the kind and humble man he was.
    Here is a link to all the posts on this blog that are tagged with his name. A great way to celebrate his memory!

    Bonus: a behind-the-scenes photo of Kelley getting his old-age makeup applied for "The Deadly Years." He had a great time acting in this episode as he took his "crusty old country doctor" persona to the ultimate level!

  • 28 Dec 2015
    Lovely Nichelle Nichols is 83 today. We hope she has a wonderful day of love and appreciation, and that her New Year has much health and happiness. We love you, Nichelle!
    Celebrate by reading some or all of the entries I have made of the past few years, right here.
  • 07 Dec 2015
    On this date in 1979, Star Trek: The Motion Picture premiered across the country. How well I remember the excitement that I, and many other fans, felt! It was to us back then, what the new Star Wars movie is to fans this December. Today's post is devoted to the memories we have of this red-letter date in Trek history. Read a few, a lot, or all of the ST:TMP related posts I have made on this blog by clicking here.

birdofthegalaxy's Photos @ Flickr
TrekCore Videos @ YouTube
TrekCore Latest Updates
  • 13 Feb 2016
    Gambit Realm, the indie game developers we interviewed back in mid-2013 about their "Star Trek: NCC-1701" virtual Constitution-class starship walkthrough, and now they've finally released a beta download of their Enterprise experience. Check out the interview linked here, then try their virtual experience for yourself!
  • 13 Feb 2016
    This new game by Gambit Realm is available for beta download. Enjoy this interactive 3D experience aboard the original starship Enterprise.
  • 13 Feb 2016
    Well, it looks like those of you worried about losing your Star Trek streaming access can take a sigh of relief, as Amazon has seemingly renewed their agreement with CBS to keep the live-action series available through their Instant Video service after a countdown clock appeared last month, showing that the Trek catalog was leaving.
  • 11 Feb 2016
    Well, you know we had to get around to this at some point: one of the lowest points in the "Next Generation" run, Season Two's clip show finale, "Shades of Gray." After being jabbed by a poisonous plant, Riker's life is at stake while his memories of his first years aboard the Enterprise flood his mind -- and it's up to Pulaski save him!
  • 10 Feb 2016
    While the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum team are working to bring the classic "Star Trek" Enterprise model back to its 1960's appearance, there's some invisible work going on inside the ship -- to keep the wood-and-glue structure in one piece after fifty years of gravitational wear.


1929 Allan Miller is born.
1933 Frank da Vinci is born.
1936 Andrew Prine is born.
1938 Garland Thompson is born.
1942 Andrew Robinson is born.
1950 Frank Collison is born.
1951 John Vornholt is born.
1952 Paula M. Block is born.
1953 Nancy Youngblut is born.
1959 Matthias Hues is born.
1962 Kirk Thatcher is born.
1964 Zach Galligan is born.
1967 Eighth and final day of filming on TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever". Production went one and half days over schedule. First day of filming on TOS: "Operation -- Annihilate!".
1969 TOS: "Requiem for Methuselah" airs.
1970 Simon Pegg is born. The Eleventh UK Story Arc continues in TV21 & Joe 90 #21 with the fourth of six installments.
1983 First strip of the sixteenth comic story arc is published.
1986 Cody and Kurt Wetherill are born.
1991 Seventh day of filming on TNG: "Qpid". The call sheet features the note "Happy Valentine's Day".
1992 Angelique Pettyjohn dies. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country premieres in the UK. First day of filming on TNG: "The Perfect Mate". Second unit and inserts filming for TNG: "Ethics", TNG: "Cause and Effect", and TNG: "Cost of Living".
1994 Third day of filming on TNG: "Bloodlines". TNG: "Thine Own Self" airs.
1995 Final draft script for DS9: "The Die is Cast" is submitted.
1997 Seventh day of filming on VOY: "Displaced".
1998 DS9: "One Little Ship" airs.
2000 First day of filming on VOY: "Life Line".
2001 VOY: "The Void" airs.
2002 Forty-eighth day of filming on Star Trek Nemesis.
2003 Seventh and final day of filming on ENT: "The Breach".
2005 Seventh and final day of filming on ENT: "Demons".
2008 Perry Lopez dies.
2012 Twenty-fourth day of filming on Star Trek Into Darkness.
Unknown year T.J. Storm is born. Mikki Val is born.

View tomorrow's page

Memory Alpha New Articles
  • 04 Feb 2016
    A particularly well done and insightful article by John Wenz published yesterday on regarding the restoration of the TOS U.S.S. Enterprise filming miniature at the Smithsonian ...

    In 1974, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum acquired the 11-foot model of the USS Enterprise, the one used in all 79 episodes of the original series. Since then, it's undergone three restorations, the last in 1991. But now, on the 50th anniversary of the official start of the show, the museum has begun a final one.

    The Enterprise will become part of the Smithsonian's "Boeing Milestones of Flight" exhibit, and will be placed in a climate controlled case that will preserve it. The restoration aims to bring the model as close as possible to how it appeared in the series, including designer Matt Jefferies' visible pencil lines. Some things will be replaced, like old electronics that could pose a fire hazard. But otherwise, this is about touching up and refinishing one of the most iconic sci-fi ships of all time.

    "The lesson I learn about it over and over as the curator is how beloved [the Enterprise] is," says Margaret Weitekamp, a curator at the museum and lead on the restoration project.

    "People come to see it, and in many ways, I think the best explanation of the piece is that this is a 1960s television star," says Weitekamp. "People come in, and this is the TV celebrity that created the images that they remember from their childhood. People tend to react the way they react when they encounter a live celebrity. Either they have this wonderful transcendent moment where they met the real person, or alternately they meet the real person and think 'My goodness they got old. They don't look at all like I remember from TV.'"

    Popular Mechanics was able to go behind the ropes at the open house and get an up close and personal look at the Enterprise, with conservator Ariel O'Connor to guide us through the work that's already been done, as well as the work that's ahead.

    "This is the original original," O'Connor says. "This is the no bloody A, B, C, or D. This is from the pilot." O'Connor knows her Star Trek well. She grew up on The Next Generation before finally delving into the original series at the dawn of this project one year ago. Now she seems to know it even better than the back of her hand.

    There were two models of the ship built around 1964 as Gene Roddenberry began work on the first abortive pilot, "The Cage." There was a three-foot mock-up to finalize the design, then there was this 11-foot version, the one that appears in every episode of Star Trek from 1966 to 1969.

    The three-foot version is lost to the sands of time, missing for decades. "It was on Gene Roddenberry's desk for a while, and the story was that he lent it to someone and he didn't know who or where it went," she says.

    There are others, of course. The movie props, and the models from The Next Generation and the show named after the ship, Enterprise. Those are all in the hands of private collectors. One advisory panel member Adam Schneider, for instance, has the Enterprise-E seen in First Contact, Insurrection, and Nemesis. And Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has the NCC-1701-D used in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

    This model is the only original that's on public display.

    The original was, prior to its restoration, in the basement gift shop of Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. After its last three restorations, the powers that be decided to try to bring the ship as close to its appearance in 1974 as possible for its new spot in the Boeing exhibit. As such, they put a call out to fans: Send your original photos, especially if you were at a certain science fiction celebration at Golden West College in 1972.

    The college had booked Arthur C. Clarke to come speak, but his fees were high, and thus the school asked faculty member Greg Thompson to try to make more of an event out of it. Thompson was a former Paramount employee who was able to secure the Enterprise model in what became its last public display prior to the 1974 donation to National Air and Space Museum. There were other exhibits, too. NASA rolled out moon rocks, space capsules, and other artifacts for the 50,000 plus visitors to see.

    But the ship's appearance meant that of those 50,000 people or more, someone must have taken a photo. Nicholas Partridge, public affairs specialist at the museum, sent out a blog post hoping to capture the attention of fans. Sure enough, photos from Golden West College turned up.

    There are dings and damage on the original model that still have to be worked out. For instance, there's this crack on the hull of the bridge section of the ship.

    On screen, the Enterprise is a sleek, majestic ship, able to hit warp factors humanity may never be able to match. But in real life, it's mostly painted wood with a little bit of steel in the warp nascelles, the torpedo-shaped engines on the back of the ship.

    But those materials have also helped the ship survive for 50 years. Wood cracks and stretches with humidity changes, but it doesn't fall apart, especially not the large pieces of wood used in the Enterprise design.
    "It's extraordinarily stable for being a 50-year-old thing that was built to be ephemeral," Weitekamp says.

    There were two pilot episodes of Star Trek. There's "The Cage," a 1964 episode featuring an almost-all-different crew from the one we know today. Spock's still there, but the crew is led by Captain Christopher Pike, played by Jeffrey Hunter. It's different from everything we know of the show, and that includes the Enterprise.

    In the original pilot, there was a sleek grey design, giving a nearly unibody appearance to the ship. It wasn't until later that the model was given a "lived in" look. The later look came from a back-and-forth between Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and designer Matt Jefferies . Jefferies had designed the ship to naval principles, but they hadn't arrived quite yet on the final look.

    "Roddenberry wanted a ship that was believable. He wanted to see panels, he wanted to see weathering," O'Connor says. "I call this space algae," she says, pointing to areas of brown and green paint on the saucer section of the ship.

    "(Roddenberry) wanted to see it on the ship, and Matt Jefferies as the designer said 'We don't know what a starship looks like, let's play with the lights reflecting off a smooth hull.'"

    After "The Cage," Roddenberry won out. But there was still a question as to whether any of that original grey survived. Ultimately, the restoration team found it, hiding toward the back of the saucer section.

    Paramount wasn't quite happy after the original pilot, but still saw promise in the show. They ordered up a second pilot, this time with an all-new crew. But the ship also got a refitting. Windows and detail lines and the afore-mentioned "space algae" were added.

    When it comes to detailing, there's plexiglass, brass screens, and some other materials thrown in. Underneath the plexiglass windows, there were lights that would make it appear as if the ship was on. But the ship was wired for incandescent bulbs, a type that the team wants to avoid using if possible. Even if the ship has survived 50 years, it's essential to avoid creating any sort of fire hazard.

    The warp nacelles don't have their original electronic innards anyway. Once, a motor inside deflected light, giving the appearance of movement inside. Now, LED lights will be added, and a microcontroller will help get the look just right to replicate the motor, all without moving parts. In fact, none of the wiring inside right now is original anyway. It's from the 1991 restoration.

    A lot of effort's being made to make sure the Enterprise doesn't burst into flames now, but even during the time of filming, the ship got quite hot. "Some of the original photos of it being filmed, all the stagehands are shirtless because it's a thousand degrees in that studio," O'Connor says. "They had incandescent stage lights, they had the overhead lights. They would have to turn it off for periods of time to let it cool down."

    The deflector dish currently in the craft isn't the original. It too is from an earlier restoration. But a new one is incoming, built by Industrial Light and Magic employees and 3D-printed to the exact specifications of the original.

    Much of the help on these minor alterations comes from an advisory board, a series of experts on all things Trek. Gary Kerr was a technical consultant on the remastered episodes a decade back and provided an AutoCAD model to the museum team. Then there's Rick Sternbach, who created the version of the ship seen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the so-called "refit" model. There's also Michael and Denise Okuda, who worked on the movies and later series, as well as writing a series of Trek history books.

    There's a lot of expertise on hand to ensure that the restoration gets as close to the 1960s look of the ship as possible.

    Come hell or high water, the restoration will need to be done when the exhibit opens in July. Right now, the restoration team is stabilizing the structure, adding primer where needed, and getting the model ready for the spring, when it will be fully detailed to bring out the luster of the original. Then, the new electronics will be installed, with an aim toward making it as close to the original as possible, such that no one will know it's state-of-the-art electronics instead of an incandescent bulb behind the glass dome.

    "It's built out of wood and plastic and metal, and it was never designed to last this long," O'Connor says. "Every ten years or so they'd start to see cracking. What we're doing during this project is getting a climate-controlled case that's temperature- and humidity-stabilized so you won't see cracking in it any longer."

    That means that, with any luck, this could be the last restoration the Enterprise ever needs. It could likely survive into the 75th or 100th anniversary of the show inside that case. But a lot of that longevity comes from how sturdy the initial design was, with construction materials built to last, albeit with some necessary tune-ups here and there.

    "It was pretty well built for a TV show they didn't know was going to last," O'Connor says.
    Come July, the team's hard work will be on display. And by then, the ship will look good as new as if it's ready to set off to parts unknown, patrol the neutral zone, and instill the optimism for the future and love of exploration that Gene Roddenberry instilled in fans when the first official episode aired in 1966.

    Perhaps it will even live to see its own fictional launch date in 2245. And perhaps at that time, Earthly troubles will give way to the exploration of the stars, with or without logical pointy-eared aliens leading the way.

    Below is some additional photography of the restoration effort, released by the Smithsonian, as seen at

    To do the best job possible at restoration, specialists carefully disassembled the U.S.S. Enterprise into its various parts - saucer section, secondary hull, port and starboard nacelles (engine casings) and pylons (pillar-like support structures), deflector dish array, hangar bay doors and the bridge ...

    This shows the interior of the vessel's secondary hull, looking aft towards the hangar bay ...
    Using what looks like a communicator - but is actually an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer - museum conservator Ariel O'Connor looks at the metal alloy used for the Enterprise's port engine casing ...
    Layers of paint cover much of the Enterprise from years of filming. These layers will be treated with a base color that will exactly match the original gray, which is preserved in a couple of small sections of the ship ...

    Museum specialist David Wilson searches for the exact color match of the "Star Trek" starship Enterprise studio model. The museum discovered the model's original grey paint was under the bolt cover of the model's saucer ...

  • 29 Jan 2016
    Presented below are some detailed photos of a set of screen-worn gloves and Danskin footed athletic tights used by Frank Gorshin in his portrayal of the half-black, half-white alien Bele from the planet Cheron in the memorable 3rd season Original Series episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" (first airdate: January 10, 1969).

    These items recently sold after being offered on ebay and were part of a long held private collection in France. Many thanks to veteran TOS collector Paul for his very gracious permission to display all of these outstanding photographs. Many other items in his very impressive Original Series collection may be seen at the website:

Inside Star Trek Latest Posts
  • 14 Mar 2015
    A prop energy pistol featured in Star Trek: Insurrection for use by characters portraying the Son’a. The item is sturdy molded foam rubber painted black, metallic silver, and gold. The pistol shows signs of wear from production use. Several areas on the item depict rubbing and paint flaking off. The item is rigid but has some give and measures approx. 8 X 7 X 1.5 inches.

    Like the Son'a shotgun the pistol was designed by Ed Natividad. He was both a storyboard and conceptual artist for Star Wars Episode I and II. As a conceptual artist he helped shape the look of Episode I's architectural elements, costumes and weaponry.

    Ed started working at George Lucas' special effects company Industrial Light & Magic in 1994. His work in the film industry has been on various productions such as Star Wars: Episodes I & II, Armageddon, Batman & Robin, Forrest Gump, Matrix II & III and Terminator 3, Transformers and many of the major blockbuster films.

  • 26 Dec 2014
    A screen used vest worn by members of the Maquis. The Maquis were a rebellious organization of Federation-born colonists and discontented Starfleet officers who organized against the Cardassian occupation of their homes in the Demilitarized Zone after their colonies were ceded to the Cardassian Union by Federation Cardassian Treaties in the late 2360s and early 2370s. Starfleet Command considered members of the Maquis to be traitors, while Cardassia considered the Maquis to be terrorists.

    The vest was worn by actor John Franklyn Robbins in his role as Macias throughout the episode "Preemptive strike" of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1994. Macias was a citizen of Juhraya, a Federation colony that came under Cardassian rule after a treaty was signed with the Federation. He was the leader of a Maquis cell that opposed the treaty. Macias become a friend with Ro Laren who joins the Maquis in "Preemptive Strike".

    The vest was also used on the set of Voyager by stunt actor Steve Blalock. In the episode "Worst Case Scenario" he plays a Maquis rebel, too. The production team added a velcro patch to the vest for a Starfleet combadge.

  • 17 Nov 2014
    Deleted scene with the new Klingons from Star Trek (2009) © Paramount Pictures
    The Klingon baldric was a sash that traditionally went over the left or right shoulder of noble Klingons. It contained the symbol of a Klingon House or it was used to hold knives and disruptors. In 2009 the look of the famous alien warriors was redesigned by costume designer Michael Kaplan for J.J. Abrams' reboot of Star Trek.

    The Klingons wear helmets and grey thick coats with a large black baldric. Kaplan described them as his favorite costumes for the film, explaining he modeled the helmets on a horseshoe crab, while the coats were intended to resemble the texture of an elephant or rhinoceros. The baldric is made of leather. The outer layer is calf skin. Two snaps and velcro are mounted inside to fasten the baldric.

    Unfortunately the scenes with the new Klingons set on Rura Penthe were cut in Star Trek. Director J.J. Abrams tried to avoid a disruption of narrative flow. But the Klingons returned in the sequel Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). Michael Kaplan revised the costumes again. Although the Klingons got new outfits with a different kind of baldric you can see a Klingon with a black baldric which was designed for its predecessor.

    Klingons in Star Trek Into Darkness © Paramount Pictures

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