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

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The 3 Foot U.S.S. Enterprise Filming Miniature from Star Trek: The Original Series


An iconic, long lost piece of Star Trek history - the 33 inch or "3 foot" filming miniature of the Starship Enterprise originally constructed by model maker Richard Datin for the production of the first Trek pilot episode "The Cage" (that conducted principal photography in November and December of 1964) - was returned to the stewardship of Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry Jr. in mid-April by Heritage Auctions Executive V.P. Joe Maddalena at the Beverly Hills offices of the auction house.   This historic filming model, which was used to create the legendary starship fly-by sequences as seen in the opening credits of TOS and is often seen in a famous publicity shot being held in the arms of William Shatner as Captain Kirk, disappeared in the late 1970's after being loaned in mid-1978 by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry to Paramount for use as a reference model during the preproduction work on Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  During the 43+ years over which its whereabouts was uncertain, this model was the subject of much lore, including the rumor that it had been destroyed after being thrown into the family swimming pool by a young Roddenberry Jr.  In late October, 2023, the miniature was briefly offered for sale in an ebay auction that had a starting bid of $1,000 and was created by a seller located in Van Nuys, California; before the auction was ended prematurely.  The sellers, it has become publicly known, were self described "storage unit entrepreneurs" and friends Dustin Riach and Jason Rivas, who had discovered the miniature amongst the contents of a storage unit that they had bought "sight unseen" at a storage locker lien sale in Van Nuys earlier that month.  Likely influenced by a tremendous level of fan response/reaction to the ebay listing, Riach and Rivas reached out to Heritage Auctions for the authentication of this historic, first ever U.S.S. Enterprise starship filming model to be created.

Presented below are some detailed modern day images of the 3 foot miniature as published in the April Heritage Auctions / Roddenberry Entertainment, Inc. press and social media releases regarding the models reappearance (Courtesy Heritage Auctions and Roddenberry Entertainment, Inc.) ...

Below are some close-up images released to social media by various members of the authentication team that examined the miniature while it was on-site at Heritage Auctions Beverly Hills offices ...

The following are some screen captures from the October, 2023 ebay auction listing of the model, including the photographs that accompanied the item description, which were the first publicly seen images of this historic artifact in 43+ years ...

Presented below are some historic images of this filming miniature taken during the filming of The Original Series and the time before its disappearance.   

Circa December 1964, during the filming of the first pilot episode "The Cage", model maker Richard Datin presents his newly constructed handiwork to Gene Roddenberry for inspection on location at Desilu 40 Acres ...

Actor Jeffrey Hunter, in costume as Capt. Christopher Pike, joins in with Gene Roddenberry for the initial examination of this filming miniature ...

Some very memorable, widely circulated publicity photos featuring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy posing with the 3 footer ...

The model, as seen in its true dimensions during an appearance in the third season episode "Requiem for Methuselah" (original airdate: February 14, 1969) ...

Circa 1976, a well known image of Gene Roddenberry at his desk at Paramount with the miniature prominently on display in the foreground ...

A letter sent by Roddenberry in November of 1979 explaining the circumstances of the models disappearance, which would remain a mystery until its discovery this past year ...