Dayton Ward, writer of books we love like Star Trek: That Which Divides and Star Trek: From History’s Shadow, pointed out on his website that it was 49 years ago today that the original filming model of the U.S.S. Enterprise was delivered and used for the pilot episode of Star Trek and other subsequent episodes of the original series.
On December 29, 1964, the 11-foot “miniature” of the now-famous starship, which was created from a 3-foot prototype by model-maker Richard C. Datin, was delivered by the Howard Anderson Company to Paramount Studios, which then donated the model in 1974 to the National Collection at the Smithsonian‘s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, where it’s still on display.
This ThinkGeek exclusive, which is an officially licensed Star Trek: The Original Series product, is a 4-glass set etched with the Starfleet Command Division Insignia, as well as the starship’s name and registry – U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701. The four glasses, which sell for $29.99 for the set, are each 7 oz. old-fashioned style glassware (2 3/4″ diameter, 3 1/2″ tall) and are microwave, dishwasher, and, of course, replicator safe.
No one ever involved with the Star Trek franchise has benefited from its enduring popularity and cultural legacy as much as William Shatner. And why shouldn’t he? This is Captain James Tiberius Kirk we’re talking about here, one of the most popular and recognizable heroic figures ever created. Shatner saw his own fortunes as a struggling young actor with great talent and promise rise considerably in the 1960’s when he signed on to play Kirk after the original pilot episode of Trek with Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike was poorly received. The show may have only lasted three seasons in the first place, the third of which was made possible by one of the most effective fan letter-writing campaigns in the history of civilization, but its countless television and feature film spin-offs helped the franchise become the cornerstone of a geek nation that stretches to every corner of the planet and one day possibly to worlds yet unexplored. Shatner is one of the show’s greatest champions, its most iconic character and star, and to this day continues on as a tireless promoter for Star Trek‘s undying themes and the power of its fans and alumni to inspire greatness in themselves and others. Plus, those residual checks must be pretty nice.
Most recently Shatner wrote and directed The Captains Close Up, a 5-part series for the cable channel Epix that expanded on the intentions of his 2011 documentary feature The Captains. Each of the five episodes were devoted to interviewing and profiling the actors who played Starfleet captains in the original Trek and its four television spin-offs and multitude of big screen sci-fi adventures. The entire series has been released on DVD courtesy of Entertainment One, and with a combined running time of two-and-a-half hours on one disc makes binge watching essential and well worth the time of any Trek devotee.
Spock may not think the merging of Shatner and Metal to be a logical one — but at this point in 2011, William Shatner is becoming more metal than ever. And even at his age of 80, there seems to be no stopping the once Captain of the USS Enterprise, for this year he will be releasing a metal album, as we reported on several weeks ago. To acknowledge his efforts not only towards his current album project, entitled Seeking Major Tom, but also for his entire epic career, William Shatner will next month be awarded the Honorary Headbanger Award at the annual Revolver Awards.
The Revolver Golden Gods is an awards ceremony to recognize all metal, held every year. The Honorary Headbanger Award is handed out to someone who is not necessarily seen as being in the metal community, but embodies the spirit of metal. With his upcoming album featuring collaborative efforts with numerous metal artists, and his long career in Star Trek and acting in other roles over the years, Shatner is an artist of determination who continually breaks down the doors of what people think he should do (or if people just think it to be… odd).
It is with great pleasure that I notify all of you Neflix users that several Star Trek movies have been added today to Netflix Instant!
Right now, the following movies are up at Netflix Instant, so if you’re already a subscriber, head on over and watch! If you’re not a subscriber, now would be the time to join. I joined recently just so that I could watch all the Instant movies — totally worth the $9 a month.
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan
Star Trek III: The Search For Spock
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Star Trek VIII: First Contact
Also, Star Trek VII: Generations is available to watch for FREE in the United States over at Hulu (no sign-up required for this viewing). You can watch it in full right here below.
If you’re not familiar with these Star Trek movies [*gasp*], let me quickly break it down for you…