From the late 1970s through the mid-1980s, I watched Star Trek about 4 times a week. I’ve had occasion to watch it since, and it holds up. It’s a good show, and an interesting specimen of 1960s liberalism. Of course, when I see it now I also feel strong nostalgia for that period 30 years ago when I watched it regularly.
Over the last couple of days, I’ve spent a good deal of time indulging in that particular nostalgic feeling. Webzine io9 ran a story about a Flickr photostream called “Bird of the Galaxy“* maintained by a man called Tom Redlaw. Mr Redlaw has collected a great many photographs taken on the set of Star Trek. This photostream consists of scans of the photographs that depict moments that did not appear on the show. So we glimpse alternate takes, deleted scenes, images meant to be combined in double exposures, stagehands at work, structures on the soundstages, miniatures under construction, bloopers, practical jokes, et cetera. Mr Redlaw discourages embedding of his photos, so I won’t embed them But I will link to a few:
- Leonard Nimoy, made up as Mr Spock, holding a newspaper announcing that Dr Benjamin Spock had been sentenced to prison for antiwar activities.
- Mr Nimoy and William Shatner, in character as Mr Spock and Captain Kirk, reading Mad magazine.
- A large furry fellow from the planet Taurus II, who looks remarkably like a guy I went to high school with.
- A mesa under a brilliantly starry sky.
- A version of the transporter effect.
- Chart of a solar system.
- Lieutenant Uhura holding Marlena Moreau at phaserpoint.
Here’s another set of behind the scenes Star Trek photos, including some shots very similar to ones Mr Redlaw has posted. For example, this picture seems to have been taken a couple of seconds before the one linked first above:
*If the phrase “Bird of the Galaxy” rings a bell, you may be thinking of “The Man Trap,” the first episode ever broadcast, in which Mr Sulu thanks Yeoman Rand for a favor by saying “May the Great Bird of the Galaxy Bless Your Planet.”