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, November 28, 2010

TOS Special Effects: Green Skin in "The Cage"

Given the extraordinary 23rd century setting for the events of Star Trek; the production of the first pilot episode for the series, entitled "The Cage", created some unusual and unanticipated filming difficulties in the Hollywood of late 1964. A very memorable anecdote, which centers around the creation of the iconic green skinned Orion slave girl Vina, is related in "The Making of Star Trek" (Ballantine Books, 1968) by Whitfield & Roddenberry. It is presented below:

For the first six months, Roddenberry was called "Crazy Gene."
People used to call each other on the phone and say, "Have you heard what Crazy Gene wants to do now?"


The "green woman" (a character Gene wanted to use in the pilot) alone created a number of recurring problems.

Knowing that the green-skinned alien woman was coming up in the pilot, he decided to shoot some test footage to get the right shade of green on film. He brought in an actress, had Fred Phillips, the newly hired makeup artist, apply green makeup to her face, and then shot some test footage. Now, Fred Phillips is an exceptionally fine makeup artist, and recognized as a top pro in the business. He did a thorough job with the makeup and was quite satisfied with the results.

Imagine everyone's surprise, upon viewing the developed film the next day, to find the actress's face just as normally pink-skinned as ever! There was no trace of green.

Gene's orders to Fred Phillips: "Paint her greener!" The following day the test film again showed her as pink-skinned as ever. Even Fred was dumbfounded. Recalling the incident, he says, "We did this three days in a row. We had her so green you couldn't believe it, and she kept coming back pink! Finally we figured out what was happening. The technician over at the film lab would receive the film every day and run it through the development solution. As the image formed on the film, he kept saying to himself, 'My God, this woman is green!' And so he kept correcting the film developing process in order to turn her back to normal skin color again!"

The accomplished actress Susan Oliver later played the part of the alien woman in the pilot and was almost totally covered with green body makeup. During filming she became very tired, and a doctor was called in to give her a vitamin B shot. The doctor arrived, but no one bothered to tell him what his patient looked like. He went over to Susan's dressing room, knocked, the door swung wide, and suddenly he was confronted with an all-green woman! He was so flustered that it took him almost five minutes just to find a spot to administer the shot.