Welcome! As part of its ongoing mission to document the Art and Production History of Star Trek, this site will present technical articles on Star Trek prop and costume authentication - focusing on The Original Series - with detailed photos and episode screenshots to complement the information presented; as well as feature pictorials to showcase Star Trek memorabilia in private & public collections, present rare Behind The Scenes TOS imagery & discuss other topics.
Gerald Gurian is a 40+ year collector of screen used Star Trek memorabilia and a passionate fan of TOS
- Star Trek TOS At Auction Part I - Gurian Collection Highlights - Greg Jein TOS Hero Type II Phaser
-Authenticating a TOS Communicator -6 Myths About Star Trek Prop Design -Star Trek 3rd Season Command Tunic
- Design Features of TOS Tricorders -Star Trek Props At National Air & Space - TOS Leatherette Tricorder
- TOS Federation Sciences Dress -Desilu Studio TOS Prop Fabrication - Unreleased Allen/Gurian Prop Photos
- The Beautiful Women of TOS Part I -TOS U.S.S. Enterprise 11' Filming Model - Captain Kirk's Chair from TOS
- Spock Ears -TOS Control Panels & Displays - Mr. Spock's Science Station
- TOS Soundstage at Desilu -TOS Shatner Romulan Pants - The Beautiful Women of TOS Pt. II
- TOS Galileo Shuttlecraft -Greg Jein TOS Cage Laser Pistol - TOS 3rd Season Midgrade Type II Phaser
- Dr. McCoy's Sickbay on TOS -TOS Balok Puppet Head - Captain Kirk "Mirror, Mirror" Tunic
- Greg Jein TOS Hero Tricorder -1992 Smithsonian TOS Cast Video - TOS 1st Season Command Tunic
- TOS "Where No Man" Silver Contact Lenses -TOS Special Effects: The Transporter - The Art of Matt Jefferies
- TOS "Space Seed" Gold Mesh Jumpsuit -Gorn Costume from "Arena" - Rare TOS Behind-the-Scenes Videos
- TOS Stunt Type II Phaser -1993 Bill Theiss Estate Auction - TOS Shatner Command Dress Tunic
- TOS Elasian Royal Guard Tunic -TOS Finnegan Silver "Shore Leave" Tunic - TOS Science Officer Tunic "The Cage"
- TOS Shatner Early 1st Season Command Tunic -William Shatner TOS Tunics At Auction - TOS Shatner Late 1st Season Command Tunic

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dr. McCoy's Sickbay on the Original Series Enterprise

Doctor McCoy’s Sickbay occupied a large amount of floor space on Stage 9 at Desilu Studios – the soundstage reserved for the permanent TOS sets – and featured mockups of a futuristic examination room (which doubled as a surgical theater in the 2nd season episode “Journey To Babel”), a patient recovery room, a somewhat private office/work area for the Chief Medical Officer, as well as an elaborate Decompression Chamber seen in episodes such as “Space Seed” from Season 1 and “The Lights of Zetar” from Season 3. Considerable thought was given by the Star Trek production team to the matter of how medical technology might evolve and function in the era of Kirk and crew. As Gene Roddenberry recounts in “The Making Of Star Trek” (Ballantine Books, 1968) …

We knew we needed a Sick Bay and Medical Department on the ship. So we sat down and thought to ourselves, “What will a sick bay look like in the future?” One of the first things that occurred to us was the really primitive nature of many aspects of medical science today … taking a person’s temperature by sticking a thermometer in his mouth, or wherever, wrapping his arm in order to check blood pressure, inserting a needle in a vein in order to draw blood to be examined, etc. So we asked ourselves, “What are the more efficient things man needs in a sick bay of the future?”
Logically, almost necessarily, we soon must have beds in which patients are being continuously scanned by sensor devices. These devices will maintain a constant physiological record of every function and activity going on within the body. The concept, as a logical extension of today’s medical science, was verified by sources in the scientific community, and was made an integral part of our medical department aboard the Enterprise. The concept took the form of built-in bed positions with a diagnostic panel above each. Without attaching anything to the body of the patient, a medical “probe” continually scans the patient, takes readings, records them through the diagnostic panel, and registers them there visually when desired by doctor or nurse.
Star Trek had not been on the air very long before we were contacted by no less than three separate research organizations, all of whom demanded to know how we had obtained the information on the same devices they had under development!

As also indicated in “The Making of Star Trek”, some good fortune played a role in the “creation” of some of Dr. McCoy’s most well known equipment …

At least one element in the sick bay, far from being well-thought-out in advance, was a pure accident.
In the very first show of our first season
(recounts Roddenberry) (“The Man Trap” by George C. Johnson) we needed some salt shakers because we had a creature that craved salt, we had a story point which required the creature (disguised in human form) to give himself away when someone passed with a salt shaker on a tray. This posed a problem. What will a salt shaker look like three hundred years from now? Our property manager, Irving Feinberg, went out and bought a selection of very exotic looking salt shakers. It was not until he brought them in and showed them to me that I realized they were so beautifully shaped and futuristic that the audience would never recognize them as salt shakers. I would either have to use 20th century salt shakers or else I would have to have a character say, “See, this is a salt shaker.” So I told Irving to go down to the studio commissary and bring me several of their salt shakers, and as he turned to go, I said, “However, those eight devices you have there will become Dr. McCoy’s operating instruments.”
For two years now the majority of McCoy’s instruments in Sick Bay have been a selection of exotic salt shakers, and we know they work, because we’ve seen them work. Not only has he saved many a life with them but it’s helped keep hand prop budget costs low.

Below are some TOS episode screenshots that reveal the appearance of the Sickbay area onboard the Enterprise.

Some views of the examination room, featuring a special Diagnostic Bed ...

The Sickbay recovery room ...

While recuperating in Sickbay, each patient had access to a personal Monitor with a library of information on data disks and could also view information in the Starships library computer database ...

Views of the decompression chamber with a series of screenshots that illustrate the elaborate pressure locked sliding chamber doors in operation ...

Some views of the Doctors office ...

The examination room transformed into a surgical label in "Journey To Babel". Note the table in the foreground bearing Dr. McCoy surgical "instruments" ...

A graphic display screen on a Medical Tricorder ...

The M-113 Salt Creature whose fortiutous appearance in "The Man Trap" supplied Dr. McCoy with a host of surgical hand props ...