Spec phasers?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Dukhat, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    They were there today, when I looked at them (I typed one of those posts while I was taking a break in the reading room). Made reproductions of all of them for my own research purposes. I suppose I can quote from them here, but I'm not about to reproduce them wholesale, due to copyright restrictions.

    And I wouldn't be worried about people walking out the door with special collections materials there. The security is just too tight, especially if you're not a university student. Everything I've looked at matches the finding aid made 20 years ago.
     
  2. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nice to hear they've improved security.
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sorry about bumping a snoozing thread, but, thanks to Harvey's research at UCLA, there's a better picture about what happened. He mentioned some of this upthread, but I'm going to summarize here.

    The Phaser rifle was built at no cost by the Reuben Klamer Toy Development Center in Beverly Hills. Klamer is famous for having reinvented "Checkered Game of Life" as the "Game of Life". He is also credited with inventing about 200 other toys.

    So, it was Klamer's group that built the rifle. Note Roddenberry says "plan and execute", which implies they designed it.

    So, once the series was a "go", Roddenberry was discussing with Klamer the possibility of having them make props, seemingly in a deal that would have been similar to what eventually happened with AMT.

    A month later, Roddenberry's had it with Klamer and is deciding to pull the plug. There's no indication that Klamer delivered any unusable prototypes, just that they are having difficulties.

    Finally...

    In his Museum of Television Archive interview, Bob Justman talks about how Desilu wanted to built the props with their own people, but they couldn't deliver, hence Justman brought in Wah Chang.

    Also, in her memoir, Grace Lee Whitney describes the "props" in those early publicity photos as "flashlights".

    So, here's what I conclude from all this (YMMV):

    • A deal was made with Klamer to provide the phaser rifle for the second pilot, which was delivered
    • Once the series got the go-ahead, discussions began with Klamer about making more props for the show
    • Difficuties arose working with Klamer and Roddenberry pulled the plug because he couldn't risk production holdups that might result
    • The publicity photo flashlights were just that: flashlights. There was no reason to not have ray-guns on set, because they already had sidearms left-over from the first two pilots, and had they wanted guns for the shoot, they'd have used those.
     
  4. Captain Tracy

    Captain Tracy Commander Red Shirt

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    The most knowledgeable "TREK PROP" guy I know of is Richard Coyle. http://www.racprops.com/

    His site is a treasure trove of "Phaser history"

    oh,.. and

    PLYNCH - LOL!! YES!,.. the "disc gun" LOL!!! Do not even MENTION the infamous Star Trek 'Disc Gun' anywhere near my older Sister,.. 40 years later,... "Old battle scars!!" Bad scene LOL!
    [​IMG]

    MERRY CHRISTMAS PLYNCH!!!!!
     
  5. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    I would love to spend a couple of weeks in the UCLA archive with a scanner...
     
  6. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Special collections department policy is that you can request scans (and there's a fee per scan), but you can't do it yourself. And, unless you have the permission of the copyright holder, you can't make reproductions of scripts or story outlines. Alas.
     
  7. Captain Tracy

    Captain Tracy Commander Red Shirt

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    HARVEY, I really respect your character and adherence to the policies of GOOD FAITH on which the materials are made available,...

    HOWEVER,...

    there exists the distinct possibility that you might have had - unbeknownst to yourself, of course - a 'Transporter Accident', which by in turn created the evil, HERVAY, a highly elusive and well-known disseminator of UCLA 'Special Collections' material,...

    In point-of-fact, you could - being of enterprising character - secure for yourself a part-time position with said institute of higher learning, as Chief-of-Internet-Security; functioning in their direct employ, with just due compensation!

    This position would allow the good and honorable HARVEY complete and unrestricted access to all material germane in the matter - having been charged with the sole duty of examining all documents of a sensitive nature - in your never ending quest to identify and expose the aforementioned, evil disseminator known via the Internet as, HERVAY

    Just saying,... as anything is possible in the STAR TREK universe,... LOL!

    IMPORTANT LEGAL STUFF:

    The original story premise: 'YESTERDAY'S HARVEY WAS TOMORROW'S HERVEY' is not endorsed, sponsored or affiliated with CBS Studios Inc. or the Star Trek franchise.with STAR TREK being Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise are all registered trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. No copyright infringement is intended through the display of content in this post. All copyrighted material is included under “fair use” principles.

    Captain Tracy is not endorsed, sponsored or affiliated with CBS Studios Inc. or the Star Trek franchise, nor Dick Tracy, Captain Kidd, or the actor, Spenser Tracy for that matter.

    Furthermore, Captain Tracy is suspected to have in his possession - since DEC 1962 - an overdue copy of 'Curious Gorge goes to the Hospital';

    Being valuable special materials belonging to the library of:


    Ann J. Kellogg
    Elementary School
    306 Champion Street
    Battle Creek, MI 49037

    Current fines to date are estimated at $18,984.25

    [LEFT]HARVEY - Look how exciting your new library career can be! LOL!
    [/LEFT]
     
  8. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, here's my take on it. Those "flashlights" were indeed the spec phasers Justman talks about in his book (but not the phaser rifles; that's something different). When those publicity shots were taken, nobody told Whitney that they were guns. She assumed that they were flashlights because that's exactly what they looked like. YMMV.
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Another data point (emphasis mine):
    [LEFT]
    [/LEFT]
    Now, certainly, this isn't absolute proof, but it's another strike against the flashlights-as-phasers because here is a 1968 account of weapons were rejected. Note that the props built by Desilu are described as having flat surfaces.

    In the absence of evidence to the contrary, I think it's reasonable to conclude that Justman conflated elements of the phaser fiasco with the photo-shoot flashlights.

    P.S. Grace Lee says in her memoir that they were told to pretend the flashlights were "gizmotronic" devices.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  10. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But Justman didn't say that the spec phasers were built by Desilu. He said they were built by a toy company that wanted to license the designs to sell as toys in exchange for building the actual props for free.

    Sounds like two different things are being talked about here. That, or someone's memory was faulty.
     
  11. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Considering Justman was getting up there in years when "Inside Star Trek" was written, and there are other instances of events described being a bit off (just ask Harlan Ellison ;) ), it's likely he mixed up the sequence a tad.

    The account in "The Making of Star Trek" sounds to me like an explanation for those first black & white phasers. Very flat, no detail to speak of, so enter Wah Chang to either produce some new phasers or spruce up the ones the Desilu prop guys produced.
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^This. Given the evidence to the contrary, it seems this is the sequence:

    1. Cage lasers built (1964)
    2. Phaser rifle built by Klamer(1965)
    3. Desilu (rejected) phasers (1966)
    4. Wah Chang (final) phasers (1966)
    And, for the photo shoot, flashlights were used for whatever reason. Probably because no one brought raygun props to the shoot and they improvised with what was on hand. Flashlights +gels=prop.
     
  13. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Specifically, mid 60's six inch Eveready flashlights, Captain model, either borrowed from security or purchased at the local hardware shop for the princely sum of around five bucks.