Prop Write-Up: Kirk's Celestial Globe (STNV)

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by GSchnitzer, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, Terra
    There’s a set decoration we saw a handful of times in Star Trek: The Original Series adorning Captain Kirk’s quarters. It’s actually located in an odd little corner of Kirk’s cabin, so we don’t get to see it too often. It’s a “celestial globe”—a clear globe with the stars and constellations on its surface and with the Earth at its center that displays how the stars and constellations appear for Earth’s inhabitants.

    Chronologically, the first time we see this little corner of Kirk’s cabin where the celestial globe resides (or will reside, because Kirk’s cabin doesn’t originally contain it in the earliest episodes) is in the First Season episode “The Enemy Within” (episode 5, written by Richard Matheson and directed by Leo Penn). In “…Enemy…,” you can see that little spot up by the head of Kirk’s bunk on the “bedroom” side of his cabin right near where the head of the bed meets that “half wall” with the room divider grating has been decorated (by Set Decorator Carl F. Biddiscomb) with that decorative orange ball we see in so many episodes. Here’s a shot of that corner of the cabin:

    [​IMG]

    The next time we see this little corner of the “Kirk’s Quarters” set (in “The Deadly Years”—episode 41, written by David P. Harmon and directed by Joseph Pevney), there’s a different set decoration in the spot. Second Season Set Decorator Joseph J. Stone stayed with a sphere idea but enhanced the antique motif that’s present in Kirk’s cabin. There is a globe of sorts in that corner, but it’s now an intricately-carved wooden piece. Specifically, it’s what is called an “Armillary Sphere.”

    [​IMG]

    It depicts a variety of astronomical features. It has an equinoctial ring, an ecliptic ring, a Tropic of Cancer ring, a Tropic of Capricorn ring, an Arctic Circle ring, and Antarctic Circle ring, an equinoctial colure ring, and a solstitial colure ring—and it looks something like this antique:

    [​IMG]

    But the next time we see this little corner of the Kirk’s Quarters set (in the Second Season episode “Journey to Babel”—episode 45, written by D.C. Fontana and directed by Joseph Pevney), it holds a larger transparent sphere. The new Trek Set Decorator John M. Dwyer (who joined the series starting with “The Trouble with Tribbles”—episode 43-- and who would remain with the series through the rest of its run), decorated that corner with a more “futuristic-looking” piece. (It’s not too futuristic-looking now, I suppose; it was a 1967 item--used pretty much off-the-shelf.) It’s a bit hard to see behind Captain Kirk, but it’s there:

    [​IMG]

    We see that little nook and we get a better look at this large, clear sphere again in the Second Season episode “The Immunity Syndrome” (episode 49, written by Robert Sabaroff and directed by Joseph Pevney):

    [​IMG]

    It next appears in the Third Season episode “Wink of an Eye” (episode 69, written by Lee Cronin and directed by Jud Taylor). (Interestingly, for the later Third Season episodes, the countertops and bookcase surfaces of Kirk’s cabin were painted a contrasting dark gray, for a slightly bolder look.)

    [​IMG]

    And its final appearance is in the Third Season episode “The Mark of Gideon” (episode 73, written by George F. Slavin and Stanley Adams, and directed by Jud Taylor):

    [​IMG]

    Here’s an ever-so-slightly tighter shot that shows it a bit better:

    [​IMG]

    So what is this thing? Well, as indicated above, what we have is a transparent celestial globe. The globe shows a small Earth globe at the center of a clear, larger sphere, and the clear sphere has all the stars and constellations on it—depicting how the stars and constellations seem to appear from Earth. This particular model would seem to be an “American Educational 300” from American Educational Products, LLC (“AMEP”)--in the 12-inch diameter size:

    [​IMG]

    Note that this model has equatorial and meridian metal supporting bands, which permit the sky to be viewed from any latitude and longitude, and at any time of year, and it has a clear base. You can even see the small yellow “sun” globe—notably in the picture from “Wink of an Eye.”

    American Educational still produces these and they are still available directly from AMEP:

    http://www.amep.com/searchresultsdetail.asp?cid=298#

    Or you can get them from a number of retailers—including online retailers, of course. For example, Amazon.com has them. (How do they keep their prices so damn low?)

    http://www.amazon.com/American-Educational-300-Transparent-Celestial/dp/B005QDXIVO

    Here are some shots of my recently-acquired American Educational 300 12-inch Celestial Globe--with a fairly tight view of the small Earth globe at the center of the transparent celestial globe—and the separately-adjustable sun globe:

    [​IMG]

    The meridian and equatorial metal supporting bands have demarcations to show declination and right ascension:

    [​IMG]

    The constellation of Orion:

    [​IMG]

    The constellation of the Big Dipper:

    [​IMG]

    The production actually has a couple of these American Educational celestial globes. Here's one on our Star Trek New Voyages "Kirk's Quarters" set:

    [​IMG]

    As always, questions, comments, feedback, and, of course, “Shares,” “Likes,” or “+1s” are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can sort of accept that they built an exact replica of a starship on Gideon, but when they duplicate it right down to the Captain's personal items, that's just plain creepy.
     
    QuantumMechanic and Sgt_G like this.
  3. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
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    Location:
    On the USS Sovereign
    Interesting as always,Greg. I must try to look for it in Kirk's quarters in this year:s set tours. Then I may have to buy it from Amazon.
     
  4. YJAGG

    YJAGG Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    awesome job- thanks for sharing this, I love trek props that people won't peg as s Trekie thing, kind of like having a little joke at the world
     
  5. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Location:
    Dahar Master final exams
    To be period-accurate, the little globe of the Earth should have the USSR on it. :techman:

    Kor
     
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  6. Astra

    Astra Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Location:
    Dresden, Germany
    That was very interesting and educating, thank you very much! I shall look for it in the background the next time I watch those episodes.

    I apologize for hijacking your thread but when seeing the pictures of the first item, a similarity hit me. I had given my action figure Kirk a prop from Stargate with which you can control the weather. So it appears that I came very close to that other prop here without even knowing it!

    [​IMG]
     
    Shyaporn, cultcross and Kor like this.
  7. Fred1701

    Fred1701 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    My favorite Globe is the one that appears to be bronze and a Woman and child are holding hands.

    I don't know how to attach a photo but it's readily available on line.
    It's on the ledge next to his desk (not the bed) and is perpendicular to the black and Silver "Jewelry box.....

    Anyone have any information on this one?
     
  8. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Location:
    Metro-Birmingham, Alabama
    Yeah, I'm having issues with Photobucket too. Oh well, not paying for it.
     
  9. Fred1701

    Fred1701 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
  10. Fred1701

    Fred1701 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    I've been scouring the internet and eBay for months!!
    It seems (to me) that this is a replica of a famous work of art...

    I explored that angle (and many others but I've come up empty!!!

    Extremely frustrating!!!

    Please post if you have better luck than me!