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, March 14, 2009

The Jefferies Tube on the Original Series Enterprise

In their book "Inside Star Trek: The Real Story" (Pocket Books, 1996), Desilu's Executive In Charge of Production for TOS Herb Solow and TOS Co-Producer Robert Justman provide some amusing insights on the development and use of the Jefferies Tube set fixture ...

HERB: Necessity made Matt Jefferies the absolute mother of Star Trek invention. As Engineering Officer Scott gained importance, there came the need for a compact set where Scotty could feverishly work to effect emergency repairs on the ship’s internal circuitry, when the preservation of the galaxy and the future of the Enterprise was in doubt. With short notice and little money, Matt designed a tall cylinder that later became known as the “Jefferies Tube”. The camera could shoot straight down at Engineer Scott as he clung to the inside of the cramped set with lights flickering all around him. An assortment of bells, whistles, gongs and beeps was laid in afterward by the sound editors.

BOB: Although this was not an actual filmed scene, the action would typically go as follows:

“Bridge to Engineering. How’s it going, Scotty?” Kirk looked and sounded anxious.

“Engineer-r Scott her-r-re. I’m inter-r-lacing the star-r-boar-r-d power-r-r module with the por-r-t photon tor-r-pedo tubes, Captain,” said Doohan from his perch high inside the Jefferies Tube.

“We don’t … ahhh … have much time left, Scotty … ahhh … How much longer will it take?” asked Kirk. Shatner always seemed to hesitate dramatically when events overtook the captain. Actually, I always thought the dramatic pauses were a device he used while he tried to remember his lines.

“Thr-r-ee or-r four-r-r mor-r-e minutes, Captain, and I’ll have war-r-p power-r-r restor-r-red,” answered the intrepid ship’s engineer as he probed the complicated circuitry with an instrument that resembled a futuristic combination of a soldering iron and a cuticle trimmer.

“We only have one minute left. Hurry, Scotty!”

“All r-right, Captain. I’ll patch the r-rest of the reactor-r r-right into the r-r-adiation r-r-regulator. But don’t blame me if it doesn’t wor-r-k.”

“Just do it, Scotty!”

“Aye, sir-r-r. Her-re goes …” And after racing the clock, Scotty would bring power back at the very last moment and thereby save the good ship Enterprise.

Whenever shooting scripts called for the Jefferies Tube, Matt added more dojiggers and thingamajigs to it. Since there was no space available on Stage 8 to keep the contraption set up all the time, Jefferies put his tube on wheels so it could be easily moved in whenever it became necessary for Scotty to restore “war-rp” power and save the galaxy. Again.

Below is Matt Jefferies design sketch for the "Engineering Power Shaft", as he originally named it ...

And a view of the entrance to the Jefferies Tube as seen in the early 1st season episode "Charlie X" ...

Scotty at work inside the tube in the 1st season episode "The Naked Time" ...

And a rare clapboard shot from the 3rd season episode "That Which Survives", with notations on the board indicating that special effects/optical effects will be needed for the footage involving the Chief Engineer ...

The finished version of the scene from "That Which Survives", with leaping blue bolts of energy created by the animation artists, that serve to intensify the dramatic undertones of the moment. Note that the 3rd season version of the Jefferies Tube does feature more sophisticated equipment along the cylinder walls, as discussed by Justman, as well as what appear to be handrails traversing the length of the accessway ...

Ofcourse, Scotty was not the only member of the crew to save the ship in the final moments of an episode by heroically reconfiguring the delicate circuitry in the Jefferies Tube, as this screenshot from "Court Martial" attests ...