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Gene Roddenberry's "Wagon Train to the stars"

"Captain's log, Star-date 1513.1. Our position, orbiting Planet M-113."- Star Trek "The Man Trap" September 8th 1966

The first time anyone ever saw Captain James T. Kirk on their TV sets, he arrived looking like a space sheriff; gold symbol on his chest, pistol riding in its holster on his hip, surveying the desert of Planet M-113.

Original Series creator Gene Roddenberry sold Star Trek to the TV executives of the day with the line "Wagon Train to the stars." Since this would essentially be a western in space their lead would need to look every bit the hero. 


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Having been initially rejected as being too cerebral, Star Trek leaned heavily into its action/adventure side for it's first few episodes. That meant a Captain Kirk that was ready for anything.

Costumer William Ware Theiss (under show runner Gene Coon, who had been a writer on "Wagon Train" in the 1950's), designed a utility belt in golden tan faux suede that would lay diagonally across the hips under a Starfleet uniform tunic. 

This echoed the silhouette of a cowboy's leather gun belt and gave the audience watching at home a visual cue that they were accustomed to seeing in their favorite westerns. It was, and remains, a brilliant bit of design. A futuristic garment. A belt for carrying a defensive energy weapon & a device that could call an orbiting spaceship, that also visually recalled the frontier spirit of the old west. Genius.

Our replica of Starfleet's utility belt is made from materials that have been color-matched to the original belts used in TOS' first season. Even going so far as to duplicate the belt's distinctive black, white & gold "arrowhead" trim. 

Like those original belts they wrap and close with hook & loop fasteners, and have two hook & loop patches for attaching a standard Phaser II and Communicator.

I love my belt, and when I'm not wearing it, it lives on a shelf in my office with a phaser & communicator attached to it, just waiting for our next adventure.

🖖 LLAP, 

John Cooley 
John Cooley is a writer based in Las Vegas, and a product developer for ANOVOS.  

Take on the frontier with these STAR TREK™: THE ORIGINAL SERIES classics!

John Cooley June 15, 2020 0 tags (show)