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

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Star Trek: The Original Series Blue Science Officer Tunic from "The Cage"

Presented below are many high resolution photos of a rare screen worn science officer tunic from the first Star Trek pilot "The Cage"; which was filmed in late 1964 and featured Jeffery Hunter in the role of Captain Christopher Pike. This tunic sold earlier this month as Lot 1077 in the Profiles In History Icons of Hollywood auction at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, California.


The tunic was originally constructed of heavy blue velour fabric, which has turned a light lavender in color over time due to repeated studio dry cleaning. It has also been retrofitted with a black TOS 1st season collar for use in early episodes of the series. The original Cage collars were color matched to the base tunic color - either blue or gold. Below is a closeup view of the exterior of the collar ...


and an interior view of the collar construction. There are several sewn-in white fabric costume label strips; however, there is no handwriting or any markings on these labels...


This costume exhibits several key design characteristics that all irrevocably associate it with "The Cage" production effort. To begin, each arm features an approx. 1.5" slit designed into the rear cuff; a detail that is unique to Cage tunics. Additionally, this tunic features a permanent bold imprint on each cuff that was formed from the prior attachment of a single band of straight gold braid on the fabric. In some areas within the imprint, traces of the original blue color of the fabric is still evident; having been protected by the braid. When "The Corbomite Maneuver" was produced as the first filmed episode for Star Trek's first season, all Starfleet tunics featured the familiar scalloped braid with curved borders; so the fact that this tunic once possessed straight braid is a second unique Cage related design characteristic. Below is an image of the left side rear cuff appearance, showing the slit and braid imprint ...


and the right rear cuff appearance ...


Below is a view of the left rear cuff with the velour fabric folded into the correct on-screen appearance ...


In the following screen capture from "The Cage", Leonard Nimoy can be seen wearing a blue tunic that exhibits both the slitted cuff and straight braid designs ...


The following image presents both the straight braid from "The Cage" as well as the scalloped braid from "The Corbomite Maneuver" ...


Just as the braid imprints were captured in the velour of this tunic; an imprint formed by the prior attachment of a Starfleet insignia patch on the left chest is also evident. It is not as pronounced as the braid imprints; yet still quite distinct, and the velour also features some embedded black threads where the lower right corner of the patch was attached to the fabric. Below, a 3rd Season TOS Sciences patch has been photographed beside the imprint ...


In earlier photostudies on this site, both 1st/2nd season and 3rd season patches have been photographed together for size comparison purposes; and with the taking of the above image, it is now possible to view all patch dimensions from the pilot episode onwards ...


One can see that the Cage patch size is clearly the smallest of all; measuring approx. 2.25" tall versus the approx. 2.75" high 1st/2nd season patch and the approx. 3.25" tall 3rd season patch. The width of all patches remained constant at approx. 2". The former presence of the tiny 2" x 2.25" Cage style insignia on this tunic is another uniquely identifying characteristic of costumes designed for the first Star Trek pilot. Additionally, it is noted that this costume does not possess the long UNIQUE brand hidden zipper running down the front left side of the torso - a design feature that was incorporated into all of the Starfleet male tunics that were created after the pilots for use in the three regular seasons of TOS production.

Below is a view of the external right shoulder construction of this tunic ...


and the external left shoulder construction ...


The following two images show some of the internal construction details of the bottom and side fabric seams ...



Below is a closeup view of the appearance of the velour fabric itself; with both the inner and outer surfaces visible by virtue of the cuff slit ...


In "The Cage", it is noteworthy that only three actors were seen wearing a blue sciences tunic that featured the single band of gold braid affixed to each cuff; as was present on this costume. Those actors were Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock; John Hoyt as the ship's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Phillip Boyce; and Edward Madden as the unnamed Enterprise Geologist who appeared in multiple scenes on the Bridge, in the Briefing and Transporter Rooms, and on the planet Talos IV's surface. Below is an image of Nimoy and Madden on the Bridge in the opening scenes of "The Cage" conversing with Jeffrey Hunter and wearing this style of tunic ...


Below is John Hoyt on the Bridge, the 3rd actor in the pilot to be seen in this style of tunic ...


The following screen capture shows all three actors together in a Briefing Room scene that followed Captain Pike's abduction by the Talosians ...


With no other actors appearing in the production wearing this style of Starfleet uniform; it seems reasonable to conclude that this tunic was screen worn by either Nimoy or Hoyt or Madden. However, there is some further data which suggests that this tunic was in fact worn by Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock. Interestingly, this same costume was sold as Lot 9 in the 2002 Profiles In History Bob Justman Star Trek auction. After the 2011 sale, it was shipped with auction tags from both the Justman and the Icons of Hollywood events ...


In the 2002 auction catalog description, this tunic is described as a science officer Cage tunic "with zipper closures along left shoulder" ...


The tunic does not currently have a small zipper running along its left shoulder, just an open seam, and the 2011 catalog description did not mention a zipper. However, in examining the internal shoulder construction of this tunic; there does appear to be a difference in the design of the right versus left sides. Below is an image of the internal right shoulder seam, as viewed through the top collar ...


Below is the left side shoulder design ...


and a view with portions of both the right and left side shoulder construction details visible side by side...


It does appear that the left side features significantly wider support strips of fabric emanating from the seam line which would be required to interface with a zipper tape (the main cloth body of a zipper to which the teeth are attached). Also, the black collar was attached to the tunic with its seam line properly aligned with the left shoulder seam line, which would enable a pre-existing zipper to continue to be used. When a different Cage tunic used by Nimoy was sold as Lot 591 in Profiles Hollywood Auction 27 on April 5, 2007; it also had been retrofitted with a black 1st season collar in exactly the same manner to support the use of its still attached left shoulder zipper.

The earlier presence of a left shoulder zipper on this tunic should be considered extremely significant as only the Nimoy blue braided tunics from all the male Sciences tunics seen in the pilot featured this design element; the tunics worn by Hoyt and Madden did not have shoulder zippers. In the following screenshot, with Nimoy and Hoyt sitting side by side in the Briefing Room, the difference in the left shoulder construction is very evident ...


In the following view of Madden on the planet's surface, it is evident that his tunic has a continuous blue fabric collar running along the left side to the rear of the neck without a break for a zipper ...


It does not seem likely that in 2002 Profiles would specifically mention the presence of zipper closures on the left shoulder of this tunic unless they were present on the costume at that time. And the differing left shoulder construction visible today does support that earlier Justman catalog description of a previously attached zipper. Thus, this is very indicative that the tunic was used by Nimoy.

The tunic is presently displayed on a tall headless mannequin along with a set of Original Series starfleet uniform pants. A third season insignia patch is resting on the left chest of the tunic. Some photos follow ...




The overall height of the mannequin is based on an approx. 6'2" male; which compares favorably to the height of Nimoy, who stands just under 6'1". The tunic does appear to fit an individual of that size quite well. A side-by-side comparison with a photo of Nimoy in costume reveals a striking similarity in the overall dimensional appearance of the tunics ...


Based on the perception of significant height differences between the three actors, as discerned from the following Cage screenshot views (which, admittedly, is not an impeccable means of comparison); it does seem that a tunic which would fit Nimoy well would be too long for Hoyt and too short for Madden...


It is quite evident in the Briefing Room portion of the above photo that Madden's tunic possesses a very thin hem line at the bottom - with just a small strip of fabric folded over and sewn into place; almost equal in width to the band of braid on the cuffs. While, in contrast, Nimoy's tunic exhibits a considerably wider band of folded fabric in the bottom hem - a feature also evident on the Lot 1077 tunic.

With some very compelling evidence favoring the conclusion that this costume was once worn by Leonard Nimoy as Spock; this Cage tunic is without question a rare and special costume from the first pilot of TOS.