Monday, December 20, 2010

1st Pilot

Here are some images of Polar Lights 1/1000 scale U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 from Star Trek TOS 1st pilot episode "The Cage".

From Wikipedia"

Star Trek art Director Matt Jefferies designed the original Enterprise, which in series creator Gene Roddenberry's first series outline drafts was named Yorktown. The ship's "NCC-1701" registry number stemmed from "NC" being one of the international aircraft registration codes assigned to aircraft registered in the United States; the second "C" was added for differentiation. The "1701" was chosen in order to avoid any possible ambiguity (according to Jefferies himself, the numbers 3, 6, 8 and 9 are "too easily confused"). Other sources cite it as a reference to the house across the street from where Roddenberry grew up.

The first miniature built for the pilot episode "The Cage" (1965) was unlit and approximately 3 feet (91.4 cm) long. It was modified during the course of the series to match the changes eventually made to the larger miniature, and appears on-set in "Requiem for Methuselah" (1969). The second miniature built for the first pilot measures 11 feet 2 inches (3.4 m) long and was built by a small crew of model makers, Volmer Jensen, Mel Keys, and Vernon Sion, and supervised by Richard Datin, working out of Jensen's model shop in Burbank, California. It was initially filmed by both Howard A. Anderson and Linwood G. Dunn at Dunn's Film Effects of Hollywood facility, who also re-filmed later more-elaborate models of the ship, generating a variety of stock footage that could be used in later episodes.

Initially, the model was static and had no electronics. For the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (1966), various details were altered, and the starboard window ports and running lights were internally illuminated. When the series was picked up and went into production, the model was altered yet again. These alterations included the addition of translucent domes and blinking lights at the forward ends of the engine nacelles, smaller domes at the stern end of the engine nacelles, a shorter bridge dome, and a smaller deflector/sensor dish. Save for re-used footage from the two pilot episodes, this was the appearance of the ship throughout the series. The 11-foot model stands in the Gift Shop downstairs at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Greg Jein created a model of the original Enterprise for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations" (1996). Jein's model was built to be exactly half the size of the larger of the two original models, and later appeared in the 1998 Star Trek wall calendar. In addition, a CGI model of the ship makes a brief cameo appearance at the end of the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, "These Are the Voyages..." (2005), and another CGI version was created for remastered episodes of the original Star Trek, based on the model in the Smithsonian.

"The Cage" is the original pilot episode of Star Trek: The Original Series science fiction series and resulting franchise. It was completed in early 1965 (with a copyright date of 1964), but not broadcast on television in its complete form until 1988. The episode was written by Gene Roddenberry and directed by Robert Butler. It was rejected by NBC in February 1965, but they ordered an unprecedented second pilot: "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Much of The Cage's original footage was later incorporated into the first season two-part episode: "The Menagerie".

"The Cage" had most of the essential features of Star Trek, but there were many differences between this episode and the series proper. The Captain of the starship USS Enterprise was not James T. Kirk, but Christopher Pike. Spock was present, but not as First Officer. That role was taken by a character known only as Number One, played by Majel Barrett. Spock's character differs somewhat from that seen in the rest of Star Trek: he displays a youthful eagerness that contrasted with the more reserved, logical Spock that is better known. He also gets the first line in all of Star Trek: "Check the circuit!"

NBC reportedly called the pilot "too cerebral", "too intellectual", and "too slow" with "not enough action". Rather than rejecting the series outright, however, the network commissioned — in an unusual and, at the time, unprecedented move — a second pilot: "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Rather than abandon the expensive footage, most of it was recycled in the later Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Menagerie" (leaving the pilot itself to revert to its earlier name of "The Cage"), a two part episode (episodes 016-1 and 016-2), which revisited the events of the pilot, and made it part of the continuity of the rest of the series. The episode "The Cage" is sometimes listed as episode 80 when shown. On the VHS home video releases, it was credited as episode 1.

The process of editing the pilot into "The Menagerie" disassembled the original camera negative of "The Cage", and thus, for many years it was considered partly lost. Roddenberry's black-and-white 16mm print made for reference purposes was the only existing print of the show, and was frequently shown at conventions. Early video releases of "The Cage" utilized Roddenberry's 16mm print, intercut with the color scenes from "The Cage" that were used in "The Menagerie". It was only in 1987 that a film archivist found an unmarked 35mm reel in a Hollywood film laboratory with the negative trims of the unused scenes. Upon realizing what he had found, he arranged for the return of the footage to Roddenberry's company. In some fan circles, this is disputed and alleged (incorrectly) that the black-and-white 16mm footage was simply colorized.

"The Cage" was aired for the first time in its entirety and in full color in late November 1988 as part of The Star Trek Saga: From One Generation to the Next, a two-hour retrospective special hosted by Patrick Stewart. It contained interviews with Gene Roddenberry, Maurice Hurley, Rick Berman, Mel Harris and cast members from the old and new series, clips from both series and the Star Trek films I through IV with a small preview of Star Trek V. It was later rebroadcast on UPN in 1996 with a behind the scenes look at Star Trek: First Contact.

According to "The Menagerie", the events of "The Cage" take place thirteen years before the first season of Star Trek. No stardate was given.


Pat Tillett said...

Boy that one takes me back! I can hear the voice of the narrator in my head. "These are the voyages..."

Warren Zoell said...

That was Captain James T Kirk who was narrating.

Anonymous said...

Of all the Star Trek material I would say that I like TOS the best...... although it is all very good. I am very proud to say that William Shatner and I share the same birthday. Kirk is one of my favorite characters in all of TV, cinema, and everything.

Very nice model Warren. Classic stuff.....ahead warp 1.


Warren Zoell said...

Thanks Dave - TOS is my favorite as well.