Michael Collins and the Enterprise

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Yorktown1701, Apr 28, 2021.

  1. Yorktown1701

    Yorktown1701 Ensign Red Shirt

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    Michael Collins, the Command Module pilot on Apollo 11, sadly passed away today (RIP). Collins later became the first Director of the National Air and Space Museum. On the Star Trek - the Original Series Facebook group, a 1973 letter from Collins to the then President of Paramount, Frank Yablens, was posted. In the letter, Collins asked about acquiring the "fourteen-foot" model of the Enterprise if Paramount had no further use for it, as Collins wanted to put it in an exhibit that reflected the role of Star Trek and SF in space exploration.

    It's fascinating (sorry) to learn how and why Paramount became interested in donating the Enterprise to the NASM.

    This did raise a question in my mind though. I thought Paramount trashed the Star Trek sets relatively soon after the show was cancelled. Would anyone, especially the Star Trek historians on the TrekBBS, know if Paramount exhibited the Enterprise model after the series ended, or why the model still existed in 1973 and wasn't trashed with the sets?
     
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  2. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    When the series was canceled, Gene Roddenberry asked Paramount for the 11-foot Enterprise model as a gift, and thank God they refused. Roddenberry wanted to cart it around the country to conventions, where it would be assembled and disassembled for him by groupies in every city. The wear and tear would have absolutely destroyed it.

    I'd say the studio was able to keep the model on hand, and not the sets, mainly because the disassembled model didn't take up much storage space, and it had obvious potential value.

    Then Craig Thompson, a teacher at Golden West College with former-job connections at Paramount, asked to borrow the model for a "Space Week" event, and they sent it out to him. This was in April of 1971 or '72, depending on your source. As assembled at the college, the main deflector dish was already missing. It's not clear if somebody stole it as a souvenir, or what. The blue pipe stand was found to be bent so severely that the model was aimed toward the ceiling at about a 45-degree angle, which meant the aft nacelle hoods had to be left off, but they were not lost. They just wouldn't fit because the nacelle ends were right down on the floor. All the other parts were there, including the original lighting control panel.

    When the 11-footer got to the Smithsonian in 1974, the deflector dish was still missing, and the forward nacelle domes were either missing or damaged.
     
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  3. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If they ever make a time machine--forget seeing dinos--I'm going to go back and get a good scan...
     
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