Planets in TOS and TOS Remastered - Part 3

by Jörg Hillebrand, Anthony Pascale and Bernd Schneider, with comments from Max Gabl and Mike Okuda

General NotesTalos IVPlanet 1EarthGuardian PlanetPlanet 2Planet 3Sigma DraconisExcalbiaAsteroidNew in TOS-ROther Celestial Objects


Our article identifies the five planet models that can be seen in TOS in the order of their appearance, as well as a couple of other celestial objects, and contrasts these planets with the new ones created for TOS-R.


Planet 3

Planet 3 does not have recognizable continents. Much of its surface is covered by blurry clouds. We can imagine that the model stands for water planets when colored blue. Aside from blue, we can most often see Planet 3 in orange though. As already mentioned, it is absolutely possible that Planet 3 is identical to the Guardian of Forever planet, only that the latter was not so much blurred (was it done intentionally for Planet 3?).

The following composite image demonstrates how the differently colored planets, filmed from different angles, are still based on the same miniature of Planet 3. The cloud patterns are clearly identical.

Planet 3a - dark blue

The planet appears for the first time in TOS: "Catspaw", here in a darker blue gray, as opposed to the clear blue of later episodes.

Pyris VII (TOS: "Catspaw") Complying with the desolate impression of the planet's surface, Pyris VII became a rocky gray planet is TOS-R.

Planet 3b - light blue

This is the brighter blue version that appears in a total of four episodes.

Argelius II (TOS: "Wolf in the Fold") The hedonistic Argelius is a Class-M world with clearly visible population centers in TOS-R.
Sigma Iotia II (TOS: "A Piece of the Action") This very Earth-like planet was given a standard Class-M look in TOS-R.
Troyius (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius") The remastered Troyius is another typical Class-M planet, although its atmosphere seems to be somewhat darker.
Scalos (TOS: "Wink of an Eye") Scalos is Class M. The planet is characterized by some unusual geological formations, which appear colorful from space. It is worth mentioning that the matte painting of the Scalosian city, which used to be bluish like the whole planet, was modified to gray for TOS-R.

Planet 3c - orange

Planet 3 can be seen with dirty orange to brown color variations in eight more TOS episodes.

Gamma Hydra IV (TOS: "The Deadly Years") Similar to Organia, Ariannus and Triskelion, Gamma Hydra IV is basically Class M, but with a brownish (and thick?) atmosphere.
Gamma II (TOS: "The Gamesters of Triskelion") This planet surveyed by the Enterprise was given a large number of craters and a ring system in TOS-R. 
Sargon's Planet aka Arret (TOS: "Return to Tomorrow") This is another planet made to look long-abandoned in TOS-R, similar to the Kalandan outpost planet or Alfa 117.
Zeon (TOS: "Patterns of Force") Zeon is the second Class-M planet with a ring in TOS-R, besides Tantalus V.
Minara II (TOS: "The Empath") Minara II became a red desert planet with very pronounced surface features.
Platonius (TOS: "Plato's Stepchildren") Platonius is a cozy Class-M world with large green mainland areas in TOS-R.
Cheron (TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield") Cheron was in urgent need for a makeover, to illustrate how it has been devastated by its inhabitants. And so it happened. In TOS-R it looks like the planet's crust has been ripped open in a large region.
Gideon (TOS: "The Mark of Gideon") The overcrowded Gideon became another "dirty" Class-M world in TOS-R. Maybe to insinuate that, due to the overpopulation the atmosphere has been polluted? Other than that, there are no signs of an extremely high population density though.


Sigma Draconis VI

It is possible that this ice age planet was created using the model of the Guardian of Forever planet or of Planet 3. Anyway, the way the globe looks in "Spock's Brain", it is unique in TOS. We can see that much of the northern hemisphere is covered with ice.

Sigma Draconis VI (TOS: "Spock's Brain") In TOS-R the planet retained its partial snow cover. But unlike the original the rest of Sigma Draconis VI is brown (unless TOS showed only the ocean side and TOS-R only the land side).



Excalbia is the last new planet created for TOS. We can see the small solidified spot on the magma surface of this highly active planet.

Excalbia (TOS: "The Savage Curtain") Instead of a contiguous surface of molten rock the lava on the TOS-R planet pours out from various big fissures in its crust.



The asteroid shots first appeared in "The Paradise Syndrome" and were later re-used for Yonada, only differently colored.

Asteroid (TOS: "The Paradise Syndrome") The new asteroid in TOS-R received a more detailed surface structure and is brownish instead of gray.
Yonada (TOS: "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky") Yonada was given a different look in TOS-R, more realistic because very dull and much darker in the absence of a star.


New Planets in TOS-R

As already shown, the Medusan homeworld was dropped altogether and replaced by a starship. The other way round, some planetary bodies previously not seen were created for TOS-R.

Sol system (TOS-R: "Tomorrow is Yesterday", "Assignment Earth") In TOS-R: "Tomorrow is Yesterday" we can see the Sun, Mercury, Moon and Pluto during the Enterprise's slingshot maneuver. In TOS-R: "Assignment Earth" the Moon is visible once more.
Beta VI (TOS-R: "The Squire of Gothos") This Class-M planet is the destination of the Enterprise in TOS-R: "The Squire of Gothos". The planet is a reuse of Sigma Iotia II as seen in the remastered "A Piece of the Action".
Ring planet near Starbase 11 (TOS-R: "Court Martial") The Starbase 11 planet has a ringed sibling visible from space only in TOS-R. The ring planet, however, appeared as early as on the original matte painting of the starbase in TOS: "The Menagerie, Part 1", and was only slightly revised on the new painting.

The opening credits of TOS season 1 show the same brown Planet 1a (Delta Vega). For seasons 2 and 3 it was replaced with a red planet 2e (Vulcan).

TOS-R opening credits In the TOS-R opening credits the camera angles are the same as in the respective TOS seasons. The planets are similar as the ones in TOS. The rocky volcanic season 1 planet with the big cyclone (inspired by the cloud rings of planet 1) as well as the cloudy season 2&3 planet were created especially for the TOS-R credits. They do not show up like this in any episode (although they may share many features with the episode planets).


Other Celestial Objects

Galactic Barrier

The barrier naturally looks the same when the Enterprise crosses it in TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and once again in TOS: "By Any Other Name". For the ship inside an anomaly of the Great Barrier in TOS: "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" a new, very colorful effect was created.

Galactic Barrier (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before") The TOS-R version of the barrier is still pink, albeit less intensive.
Galactic Barrier (TOS: "By Any Other Name") As already in TOS, the barrier's look is consistent in all TOS-R episodes.
Galactic Barrier anomaly (TOS: "Is There in Truth No Beauty?") We can see the ship enter the barrier in the TOS-R version, where it has the same look as in the two other episode showing this phenomenon. The anomaly somewhere inside the barrier (from which the ship is freed only with the help of the Medusan) was redone to be blue instead of colorful.


Rather than by models, stars were represented by light spots in TOS.

Deneva sun (TOS: "Operation: Annihilate") The TOS-R version resembles the sun as seen is TOS very much, and was only slightly refined. 
Minara (TOS: "The Empath") The new Minara still resembles the TOS version, but was given much more activity on its surface.
Beta Niobe (TOS: "All Our Yesterdays") The spectral class of the still "intact" star appears to be the same as in TOS. In TOS-R, when the star goes nova, its color changes to red (see inset).

Various celestial objects

These are the other celestial objects that changed from TOS to TOS-R.

Icarus IV (TOS: "Balance of Terror") In TOS-R the comet was given more detail, and a wider coma with chunks of ice that break away.
Murasaki 312 (TOS: "The Galileo Seven") While the color of the remastered Murasaki 312 is close to the original, it was given the shape of a huge galactic spindle. Interestingly, it was made to look like a real space object called microquasar, so the verbal description of Murasaki as "quasar-like" makes sense. The anomaly also looks much more impressive because it now encompasses the planet in several closer shots.
L-370 debris (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine") The planet debris, which looked rather like ice chunks from a comet in TOS, was modified to generic pieces of rock in TOS-R. We can also see such debris floating around the USS Constellation.


See Also

Planet Surfaces in TOS and TOS Remastered - survey of the TOS matte paintings and how they were remastered

Starships in TOS and TOS Remastered - "before & after" comparison of all ships that appeared in the series



Special thanks to Matt Wright who provided most of the preliminary TOS-R screen caps for Many other screen caps are from Trek Caps or from TrekCore. Thanks also to Kevin Kozoriz for pointing us to the microquasars, to G2K for reminding us of the Tycho IV crater and to Ambassador/Ensign_Q for a hint about the sky on Planet Q. The TOS planet model was originally posted by birdofthegalaxy @Flickr.


Back to Investigations index

View as gallery