Today was quite a fun day, and a stroll down memory lane for me.
As other entries in this site testify, my relationship with STAR TREK has been long and profound. As a kid, I visited the STAR TREK set for the filming of the last original series episode, “Turnabout Intruder,” then in my teens and twenties was mentored by such TREK writers as Theodore Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson and George Clayton Johnson. In my thirties and forties I sold my work to STAR TREK – THE NEXT GENERATION and DEEP SPACE NINE (including the landmark “Far Beyond the Stars.” And finally in the last few years I got to co-write, direct and executive produce STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES “World Enough and Time,” starring George Takei, which was nominated for the Hugo and Nebula.
And all along the way I was collecting scripts, props and costumes.
Over the last few months I’d been mulling over auctioning off some of my collection – after all, why not let others enjoy these items now?
When BATTLESTAR GALACTICA had its amazing auction some months back my friend Michael Nankin, a director on GALACTICA, introduced me to Alec Peters, CEO of PROPWORX, the auction house running the GALACTICA auction.
I was most impressed with Alec and learned he was going to be holding a STAR TREK auction in 2010. We talked and, along with my crackerjack right-hand Mark Haynes (VP of development in my MAGIC TIME production company) we dove into my shed and started mining for STAR TREK treasure. (Some of the items were also in my home, on the walls and other places of honor.)
Well, today Alec came by with a camera crew (they’re also doing a reality show about it) and we spent three hours going over the crown jewels of the collection, derived from the original STAR TREK, the STAR TREK movies, TNG, DS9 and “World Enough and Time.”
Undoubtedly the greatest piece (pictured here with me and Alec) is the viewscreen panel that shows the top and side view of the Enterprise – from the original STAR TREK bridge! It’s officially called a translight, and there may be only one of its kind in existence. It was used in every episode of the original series, from the first pilot, “The Cage,” to the last, “Turnabout Intruder.”
The way I got it is quite a story: when STAR TREK ended, they donated the entire bridge set to the UCLA Drama Department. They naturally had no idea what to do with it, so they eventually threw it out. But my friend (and famed director) Mike Jittlov was a student there at the time and salvaged the viewscreen. Some years later, he sold it to me. (In the auction game, this is what’s known as perfect provenance.)
Some of the other items caused Alec’s eyes to light up: the original (mimeographed, not xeroxed) script of “Turnabout Intruder” I picked up off the soundstage floor when I was visiting the set as a child; the STAR TREK PR photo of Shatner as Kirk with original NBC peacock logo, trumpeting the release of his “different” (and was it ever) record album “The Transformed Man;” Captain Kirk’s original uniform insignia; a rifle from STAR TREK V and phaser from STAR TREK VI; unique signed items from “Far Beyond the Stars;” and a full Tholian Web spacesuit from “World Enough and Time.”
And then of course there were the Vulcan ears worn by Sarek (Mark Lenard) in STAR TREK VI…
There will be more items to come, including the TNG unform from the series’ first season that I later loaned to an actress friend so she could wear in it in the Leonard Nimoy painkiller commercial that aired during the Superbowl (she showed up at the audition in the uniform and pointed ears, thanks to a makeup guy I hooked her up with, and snared the role).
I’ll be holding onto a few of my prized TREK possessions, most notably the original signed scripts given me by Nichelle Nichols – Uhura herself — when STAR TREK was in its initial run and later signed by legendary TREK writer and story editor D.C. Fontana., and also the two TREK scrapbooks I kept as a kid that include every TV Guide entry for all 79 episodes, articles and ads from when the show was first on, signed photos and letters from the cast and much more.
You can certainly say this: TREK has been very very good to me…