by Ray Deonandan
First published in The Varsity on Oct 20, 1988, page 8
Star Trek Fest
Northrop Frye Hall
In 1966 Star Trek was first aired, changing forever the substance of network television, and leaving behind it a legacy of intense fandom so widespread that 16 hour Star Trek conventions have become commonplace.
But for the casual admirer of the series or those fans without the optic stamina required to endure endless hours of film, something more encapsulated was required.
Enter Bob Lukas, one of the original Trekkies and an entrepreneur with the ability to recognize marketing potential. His creation, the Star Trek Fest, is a two hour film experience that was shown last weekend to appreciative viewers at Northrop Frye Hall.
Sponsored by VUSAC and AISEC, the Fest included reels of vintage Star Trek bloopers, an episode of the short-lived animated Star Trek, original NBC previews, outtakes from the pilot episode, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and a retrospective of the finest moments of the original series.
Some of the most memorable bloopers include Captain Kirk blurting out a word forbidden by network censors, and Mr. Spock’s ears falling off at an inopportune moment. The Enterprise’s technically shrouded energy source was finally exposed in a scene showing an engineer shovelling coal into the energizer. Dr. McCoy succumbed to human temptation as he grappled meaningfully with Nurse Chapel’s breasts. And the reason for the landing party’s persistently impeccable hygienic appearance was conclusively illustrated when they suddenly began shaving with their phasers.
The episode from the animated series, NBC’s feeble response to public outcry over the original series’ cancellation, was obviously made tongue-in-cheek. In it, a love drug takes hold of the Enterprise crew, sending Mr. Spock plummeting into deep lust with Nurse Chapel, doing and saying very un-Spocklike things. In it, as well, we finally get a glimpse into the evidence behind the persistent literary allegations of the subtle homosexual relationship between Kirk and Spock.
One of the treats for Star Trek academicians were the unaired outtakes from the second pilot episode, Where No Man Has Gone Before. This version boasts a different opening spiel, different music, different lettering, and about three minutes of impressive onboard footage not seen in the final version.
Lukas also presented a brief Trivia Quiz, easy fare for the fan. Here are some excerpts:
1. What is Captain Kirk’s middle name? (Tiberius)
2. What is Spock’s blood type? (Green, T-negative, and copper based)
3. Who invented Warp Drive? (Zephram Cochrane)
4. Which was the first episode to feature Romulans? (Balance of Terror)
5. Which was the first episode to show the Vulcan mindmeld? (Dagger of the Mind)
6. How many dead/dying Tribbles were estimated to be in the wheat destined for Sherman’s Planet? (1,771,561)
Intentionally omitted from the Fest was mention of the new series, The Next Generation. Lukas, in an interview with an American paper, likened any comparison of the old series to the new with a comparison between the 1960s New York Yankees and the Yankees of today.
Lukas leaves us with a trying question, though. As a result of prolonged viewing of original reels, he has come to the conclusion that Majel Barrett, who is famous for her portrayal of Number One (in The Cage), Nurse Chapel (in the other Star Trek episodes) and Mrs. Gene Roddenberry (in real life) resorted to wearing a padded bra in the original episodes.
It is but another mystery of the entertainment world, the answer to which must await the return of Bob Lukas’ Star Trek Fest.