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

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gorn Costume from TOS episode "Arena"

One of the most iconic aliens ever to appear on The Original Series was the Gorn, a reptilian creature possessing superhuman strength who engaged Captain Kirk in a fight "to the death" on the planet Cestus III in the highly memorable and exciting first season episode "Arena". The creator of the Gorn costume was the celebrated artist and sculptor Wah Ming Chang, who also designed the TOS communicator and TOS tricorder during his long association with the series. Below are some vintage behind-the-scenes photos of the Gorn costume as it appeared under construction and during the filming of the episode.

The first photos were taken at Wah Changs home - he had started to offer his services on a freelance basis to the television and motion picture industry in 1966 and it was from his backyard work shed that many historic Star Trek creations were born.

The following picture shows the painted Gorn head, feet and hands resting on a bench. At this time, the silver eyes have yet to be completed...

Note the numerous air holes built into the skin of the costume. These were essential to provide some ventilation and help the actor avoid overheating while wearing the cumbersome attire. During the filming of "Arena", these holes would be covered by a colorful alien tunic.

In the photo below, a model wears the Gorn mask, hands and lower half of the reptilian body suit - which has yet to be painted ...

More ventilation holes are visible in this behind the scenes photo taken on location during filming ...

The man behind the Gorn costume was veteran actor and stuntman Bobby Clark. In recent years, Mr. Clark has appeared at several Star Trek conventions and discussed his experiences filming "Arena". He recalled how wearing the costume severely limited his range of body motion, and how he could not even sit down when fully made-up as the Gorn Captain. The best he could do was "lean against a ladder" that had been positioned for him by some of the TOS production crew at the Vasquez Rocks, California filming location where most of the episode was shot. Below is a recent convention appearance photo of Mr. Clark. Special thanks to Natalie and the folks at http://www.wegrokspock.net for their kind permission to display the image.

Below is Bobby Clark as he appeared in the 2nd season TOS episode "Mirror, Mirror"; where he portrayed a crewman in the parallel universe that was loyal to Ensign Chekov in a plot to assassinate the Captain. As the plot was unsuccessful, it was the crewman himself who would fall victim to phaser fire ...

And now, some screenshots of the Gorn from the episode "Arena", which first broadcast on January 19, 1967 ...

In March of 2006, the Gorn head from the original costume was sold at auction by Profiles In History; and realized a final bid of $27,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. The photo below shows the modern-day appearance of the head; as it was displayed at the time of sale ...

In December of 2008, a Gorn tunic was offered at auction by Profiles In History. The pre-sale estimate was $10,000 - $12,000 on the item, shown below ...

This original Gorn tunic was part of a historic american film and television costume exhibit on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan in January, 2009. The tunic was on loan from the Museum of Science Fiction in Seattle and displayed with a replica Gorn mask ...

The Gorn species returned to Star Trek episodic television in 2005 with an appearance on Enterprise in the show "In A Mirror Darkly, Pt. II" ...