Or "Welcome" & "Greetings!" for our non-Klingon speaking friends!
Today is one of those days I couldn't have imagined when I was a kid. With today's launch of PARAMOUNT+ there's one home for the entire STAR TREK UNIVERSE!
I know a streaming network doesn't have "channels" the way my generation thinks of what that word used to mean. There's no dial on our TVs to turn anymore (like I would to tune in WBFF Channel 45 in Baltimore) to watch one of Star Trek's original 78 episodes.
But, to put it in those antiquated terms, I just got "The Star Trek Channel" on my TV, and I couldn't be happier!
Watching Star Trek on that old fuzzy UHF channel broadcast from Charm City (GO ORIOLES!), was always fun, and I don't ever remember wishing for a bigger or clearer picture.
I was just happy I could watch Star Trek everyday afterschool. I've seen every episode, but who cares. Maybe today I'll get "Space Seed" or "Tomorrow is Yesterday"...
I could not have imagined the advances we have today. Watching Star Trek now isn't just the 78 slot roulette wheel it was when I was a kid.
We have 810 episodes to choose from among 10 different series and films...with even more on the way!
One of the new shows I can't wait for is Star Trek: Prodigy that warps in later this year on PARAMOUNT+. As a parent myself I've long been an advocate for making modern Star Trek appealing to kids, and from what I've seen so far Prodigy is that show and then some.
Now, I know to some it may seem odd to say that the franchise needs something for the kids. After all I found Star Trek at 4 years old and I'm still here. But, that ignores the fact that today's children have so many more options for entertaining themselves than at any other point in history.
If you think back even just a few years ago when Cable TV was 200 channels and (other than Star Trek, and maybe The Kids In The Hall) there still wasn't anything on!
Today's kids can watch anything in the world someone can point a lens at. Star Trek needs something that can speak to kids now, or they’ll run to something else, and our fandom risks stagnation & death.
And I for one can't wait to see this whole NEW approach to Star Trek.
Prodigy's concept of having a young crew of non-Terrestrial humanoids find a derelict starship is inspired. The Star Trek Universe is large enough that it can support characters with no connection to Starfleet's security blanket.
But make no mistake - Starfleet's presence will be felt in the guise of Captain Kathryn Janeway. This promises to be a whole lot of fun, and that's as it should be.
Star Trek has always been at its best when it's sense of fun is firing on all thrusters.
p.s. I'm really digging the Tellarite kid from the Star Trek: Prodigy promo image that dropped. I think he's gonna end up one of my favorite characters!
Him, or maybe the *Medusan in the travel suit.
John is a writer based in Las Vegas, and a product developer for ANOVOS
What's Happening with
STAR TREK Strange New Worlds
There's been a lot going on lately in almost every corner of our lives. The headlines are almost overwhelming. Winter storms, the continuing pandemic, freak tornados, presidential decrees, spring training, congressional actions...it's all a bit too much. So you could certainly be forgiven for missing perhaps my favorite piece of news - Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has embarked on its first season of production.
Cast & Crew assembled this week at the new CBS Stages Canada near Toronto. Literally "The Stages that Star Trek Built" this is a brand new studio that houses no less than six soundstages, production offices, support facilities, and auxiliary services for large-scale television and film production.
The opening and continued expansion of CBS Stages Canada is proof positive of the enormous success of this modern era of Star Trek productions.
The standing sets for the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (and other locations as needed) are here, which allows Star Trek: Discovery to remain in production at the same time down the road in Shepperton Studios Toronto. Star Trek: Picard also got underway in LA this week, and this marks the first time since 1999 that two or more Star Trek television shows have been in near simultaneous production (DS9 season 7 & VOY season 5). This is turning out to be a great year for Star Trek’s 55th Anniversary!
So with Strange New Worlds on the horizon, it's worth discussing its place in the timeline. The last time we saw the Enterprise the year was 2258, and she was leaving Earth to undertake Captain Christopher Pike's second five year mission. This was after the U.S.S. Discovery left that era for the far distant future of 3189. After that we were treated to three more Short Treks involving one or more of the Enterprise's crew (though we're never told specifically when those stories take place).
2258 is a fantastic time for a series like this to be set in. It's close enough to TOS, but mostly unexplored in the timeline. We know that at this point in "the history of the future," Captain Pike's eventual successor is serving somewhere in Starfleet. He's most likely a Lieutenant aboard the U.S.S. Farragut and probably itching for promotion to Lt. Commander. And that's about it. Giving Strange New Worlds a whole new final frontier of stories to explore.
It's been said more than once by SNW's creators & producers, that this new show is something of a throwback to an earlier era of TV story telling style. The show is designed to feel more episodic (think "Planet of the Week''), than its sibling shows. And, more of an emphasis placed on the sort of morality/adventure mixture that Star Trek: The Original Series excelled at.
The Original Series itself is an important player in the development of SNW.
If done correctly, Strange New Worlds will be an important companion series to the original in fascinating ways. It will give us new adventures that will (hopefully) entertain and thrill new Trekkies and old, while at the same time preparing the way for the inevitable arrival of the Star Trek franchise's first & greatest captain. A captain I honestly hope we never really see in the new show.
Strange New Worlds is by all rights Captain Pike's show (as much as it is Lieutenant Spock's, and Number One's), and so I hope the producers can resist the urge to introduce us to his replacement.
I'd be happy with a cameo at the end of the last episode... maybe.
A handshake during the Enterprise's change of command ceremony. That would be enough for me. And should be enough for anybody. After all, science fiction has told us for decades that two iterations of the same person shouldn't meet. If that's the case then our Captain Pike just shouldn't hang out with our Captain Kirk.
I've heard a lot of fans talk about how much they love Anson Mount's performance as Captain Christopher Pike. I do too.
But, I would be remiss as a lifelong Trekkie if I didn't point out that on paper Captains Pike & Kirk are nearly the same character. Toss out the name change and back story (it's less than half an hour from Iowa to Mojave by standard shuttlecraft), and you have essentially the same character. Oh, when we meet Jeffery Hunter's Chris Pike in "The Menagerie'' when he's sullen and contemplating leaving Starfleet due to the ship's recent events. But that does not define who he was, and by the end of that adventure he's discovered his purpose again. He possesses a renewed sense of self and desire to explore.
That's the Chris Pike we meet in Discovery season 2. An energized, "ready for anything" Captain Pike. He's a charismatic leader with wit, and an effortless (seeming) command style. Remind you of anyone? Captain Kirk is (in almost any way that matters) Captain Pike and vice versa. If you can write one, you can write the other. Their motives, ways, and means are so similar as to be identical.
Thus if you like one, chances are you'll like the other. Of course everyone's perception is different, and I'll leave it up to you to see or not - their similarities.
Either way, I'm delighted. Any chance to go aboard the Enterprise makes me happy. I grew up to be a fan of the entire franchise, but The Original Series is my childhood home. It's the one place in all of Star Trek where I am most comfortable. I'm happiest "living" somewhere between 2233 and 2293 (look it up), and Strange New Worlds is going to take all of us there. Transport us all the way back to NCC-1701.
Look at that! No letters after the number and no alternate universe...
Just THE U.S.S. ENTERPRISE.
Its Home. I can't wait! ...Are we there yet?
John is a writer based in Las Vegas, and a product developer for ANOVOS.
Spengler Legacy Proton Packs are Shipping Out!
For the fortunate few out there who ordered our Ghostbusters Spengler Legacy Proton Packs, here’s what to expect when it arrives!
First of all, these ‘little’ guys are heavy! We weighed the pack in at about 38 pounds (roughly the same weight as the original “Hero” packs in Ghostbusters). We had to take the necessary precautions to ensure this prop arrived to you in one piece so it would look nice and presentable the second it left its box and placed onto its stand. In order to secure both the pack and wand, we hand cut each layer of foam to match the “topography” of each prop.
When you receive yours, be sure to lift the foam out layer by layer, caring for the neutrona wand first.
-Once the second layer is lifted, the wand will have to be fed through the remaining layers of foam to release it securely. Once free, lay your wand down gently next to the pack.
-At this point, we recommend taking out the stand, unfolding it and having it ready to receive the pack. We also recommend having someone assist you in removing the pack and neutrona wand from the box.
-While lifting the pack out of its box have your assistant lift the wand. Once out, place your proton pack onto the stand, slide the wand carefully on to it’s holster, and activate the power switch!
Did you miss out?
There's still time left to grab one of the few remaining inventory Remaining for the Legengary interactive Ultimate Ghostbusters Collectible!
The Look and Feel of Discovery
The uniforms from Star Trek Discovery are some of the most complicated uniforms ever created for any Star Trek series. As cool as they look - their intricate nature created challenges for almost every department on set, behind the scenes, for the people wearing them, and when it came time to create our replica.
One example - the superhero-like, smooth, form-fitted costumes presented problems every day for the sound department as there was simply no place to hide the microphone battery packs that every primary actor is fitted with. This often meant that when an actor simply turns around, all action on the set has to come to a stop to reposition a prominent battery pack.
Then imagine being an actor wearing those costumes. Between shots & setups, the costumes are constantly being patted down, smoothed out, stretched, and steamed...with the actors still in them. The look production demanded for all Starfleet personnel is nothing less than a perfectly "squared away" professional military appearance at all times. This meant that as soon as the cameras were paused for even a few minutes, the on-set dresser went to work ensuring the costume department's hard work always looked its best.
One of the hardest components of those uniforms to maintain is the metallic elements. They are constantly cracking and flaking off their highly reflective, metallic surface coating. Take for example the concentric ovals of department-colored stripes that go around the arms of the uniform tunic. The stripes on the original costumes are made of multiple layers of lofted screen printing which has a metallic foil bonded to the surface using a proprietary technique. They LOOK fantastic! But, the thicker the stripes got the more brittle they became.
We spent a long time and more prototypes than I want to remember trying to improve upon the original design, and we HAD to improve upon it. Working with the original costumes, and in consultation with Discovery's costume designer - Gersha Phillips (and her amazing team), it became clear very very quickly that while we could replicate her processes, we couldn't ship a product that used it.
The problem is that our costumes were going home to be used, displayed, and worn by normal folks. People without a whole costume department to maintain their expensive ensembles. The original costume's metallic elements require constant care and maintenance to keep them looking presentable. How could we give someone a costume that after one cycle of wearing and laundering would look shabby? When we perfectly duplicated the originals, they disappointingly performed exactly like the originals. Every time. So we tried new formulations, new techniques, whole new materials. All this research and development took a toll, mostly in time. But in the end, we had a stable, repeatable process, that was finally as durable as the rest of the uniform. That was vital. If you were spending your hard-earned cash on a costume with this caliber of fit and finish, then every element of it had to be something that you could wear time and again without worrying that you would lose some deltas from the compression panels, or your shoulder stripes coming apart.
Another thing about those shoulder stripes. We devised a print medium that had the metallic department color embedded in the ink. This eliminated the bonded foils which led to so many problems for both the original costumes and our earliest prototypes. It does slightly diminish the super reflective, almost 3d look the foils lend to the original costumes, but the trade-off is that you wouldn't have to spend hours with a bottle of touch-up paint between each use. There again, our replica is far superior to the original on-set costumes.
With every product we make, continuity with the original piece is vital and something we work diligently to produce. The challenge with Star Trek: Discovery's uniforms was to take something never designed to live off the soundstage, and improve upon it to make durable, wearable clothing to live in the real world.
Making the ANOVOS Star Trek Discovery Starfleet Duty Uniform a genuine one of a kind!
John is a writer based in Las Vegas, and a product developer for ANOVOS
How Discovery compares to TOS
I was talking to a Star Trek uniform fan the other day, and he commented that the asymmetrical collar on the Discovery uniforms really drove him nuts. I thought that was really funny and I told him so, because to my eye the collars of the Discovery uniforms were one of the most "Original Series" aspects of that entire uniform. A uniform incidentally that is filled with little homages to the Starfleet Uniforms worn up and down the timeline of Star Trek.
As those uniforms were introduced in 2256 (a couple of years before "The Cage'' and about a decade before Jim Kirk takes the Enterprise on his Five Year Mission), I really want to compare them with their Original Series counterparts. At a glance, they might appear radically different, but they have more in common than you might have realised.
First, let's acknowledge right up front that they are in fact blue, very blue. A specific color called "Federation Blue," that was intended to recall the blue flight suits of Captain Archer's crew aboard the NX-01. While the color of the uniforms was different, the ensemble itself returned to TOS' familiar tunic and pants combo. The proportions are even similar with a form fitted short tunic over the unifom's pants, and the similarity between the two outfit’s silhouette becomes especially apparent when looking at Star Trek: Discovery’s uniform pattern, made with TOS’ color scheme.
But, the real similarities are found in the uniform's details. The collar for instance is a direct homage to the folded over collars worn by female Starfleet officers in "The Cage" and “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” Discovery costume designer, Gersha Phillips took direct inspiration from Star Trek's original pilots episodes for that aspect of the uniform's design.
More than that, the shape of the collar is taken from all over the Original Series itself. TOS' famed costume designer William Ware Theiss used asymmetry to great effect in a lot of his uniform and costume designs seen throughout the Star Trek series he designed for.
Even the uniform's diagonal zip closure recalls similar closures on a number of TOS era uniforms and costumes including Captain Kirk's distinctive Command Green wraparound tunics.
The first thing I want to know when a new Star Trek series is on the way is - what are the uniforms going to look like? Will there be something I like about them, something I don't? Will I see something of the Starfleet uniforms I have loved in them? With Gersha's Discovery uniforms the answer is a resounding "yes." It's funny. Some look at these uniforms, and only see what's different about them. I look at the same outfit and see echoes of The Original Series uniforms I grew up loving.
The Original Series was only the first influence in the development of Discovery’s Starfleet Uniforms, and we’ll explore that in future blog entries.
Until then...live long and prosper.
John is a writer based in Las Vegas, and a product developer for ANOVOS
Update on Starships: New Sourcing!
The impact of Covid-19 is nothing new, nor are the reasons on how it had affected ANOVOS very acutely with our overseas productions.
What you may not have known is that our Star Trek Studio-Scale starships, while constructed here in the USA, were actually partially printed and sourced in China. Thus, when the pandemic struck we were faced with a brief pause in our production of the studio scale ships.
We wanted to bring you inside on what was going on during this period of uncertainty in this multi-part series. Before we go any further, let me spoil the ending, we started back in full production Studio Scale Starships about a month ago and it's going great starting with the completions of the Studio Scale Discovery : Enterprise then Discovery to quickly follow.
While this is now in the past and we are fully in construction again, a brief reflection on that calamitous period shows a silver lining: The pause gave us the opportunity to really review our 3D sculpts and how we were making these ships to bring out the best ships possible.
In reviewing the most urgent issue, our sourcing for 3D printing of the ships had stopped all together, simply, because there was nobody present in the shop to even hit “go”. The wait had become a week, to weeks, to months and we were really beginning to fret. Right around this time, another option had started becoming available as the company we had previously purchased our 3D printing machines, PEOPOLY, had just unveiled their biggest printer to date… the XXL ! We contacted them immediately and asked to be the first machine out despite it being another three months before delivery.
While waiting for this printer we started reviewing our files, inch for inch, detail for detail. While the original model was outstanding, there were a few areas in which we noted were getting lost in the print and finishing process. Coupling this with what we knew about the resolution of print from the new printer coming in we took on the month long task of sharpening the file.
Bringing it all under one roof...literally.
During this time, we also started training a second team out in Texas, to construct the ships with the goal of transferring manufacturing under one roof. While we waited, they trained on one of the most complicated 'aztecing' beasts of all time, the Star Trek Refit 1701 ! With the help of renowned 'aztecing' guru Gary Chomiak, the young team was able to construct their first studio scale ship complete with lighting.
But, as with all ANOVOS quality, the magic is in the quality and it has to hold up after scaling up. After accomplishing this small feat, they were then tasked with training for scaling up by constructing three ships at a time. What a challenge and more on this later.
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How we Weather the
So, you come home excitedly to find that your Ghostbusters Legacy Spengler Proton Pack has finally arrived! You hurriedly open your box, peel back the layered foam and there it is! You see some dust and go to wipe it off…but it doesn’t come off. That’s when you realize, that's ANOVOS’ amazing weathering.
How did they do that?
Meet Lucie from ANOVOS.
Lucie is our lead weathering artist here in Texas. A classically trained artist in multiple mediums she’s taken her considerable skills and adapted them to the art of making things look (purposefully) dirty.
We presented Lucie with reference photos & video taken of the original pack, and tasked her with finding a repeatable method of recreating the scratches, dings, and scuffs seen on the original screen-used artifact piece. After lots of deliberation and learning new techniques, she finally settled on a process that nailed the look.
An Opaque Wash
One of the surprising issues we found with weathering semi-gloss black surfaces was the fact that our conventional weathering techniques of using rust, umber, and general dark washes just don’t show up.
In addition to this issue, trying to portray metal scraping or rubbing effects with no other color just looks contrived and inauthentic. After researching a number of techniques, Lucie finally settled on starting with an opaque wash (basically a soupy mix the color of ivory smoke). Once the wash is sponged on and carefully wiped off, it leaves a faint, dusted affect, but enough to show new contrasting color.
When it came to getting the scratches just right, Lucie explored a handful of techniques from actually scratching the surface of the paint (revealing the undercoat) to using a two-hair brush (no kidding).
The technique that was settled upon was a combination of old school prop technique with metal files dipped in silver paint and utilizing some of her fine art technique with long haired brushes.
The combination of these artforms is amazing and we feel captures the true “weathering” found on the original prop artifact.
As the sole artist of the weathering on every Proton Pack, you can be assured that Lucie is responsible for the amazing character and unique aesthetic nature of your collectible. A replica that some of you have already received.
From early morning, to end of day - she is relentless in the application of her aesthetic ethic.
We are proud to have her on our team, and she’s certainly earned our respect (if not at least a bit of rest!)
Now is the perfect time to buy
As we finish the last pieces, our remaining inventory is going fast. We announced previously that the price on remaining inventory would be going up, and we now have a date for that price increase.
Starting Monday February 8th 2021, the price of the Ghostbuster's Spengler Legacy Proton Pack will be increasing from $3500 to its final price of $4295.
If you're still interested in this iconic, one-of-a-kind, ultimate collectible, we suggest you grab yours now before its too late!
Here's a SNEAK PEEK behind the scenes!
The Importance of Using Accurate Original Patterns
When we got our first glimpse of Captain Georgiou & Commander Burnham’s new uniforms in the run-up to Star Trek: Discovery’s "launch" we said, "OK. That’s a completely different uniform!" From its diagonal zipper & asymmetrical collar, to its metallic printed deltas & embroidered contrast points - Gersha Phillips and her costume team showed us a strange new world filled with her clearly distinctive creations. It was fresh. It was amazing, but it also meant that we had our work cut out for us.
Having built a reputation of being able to replicate our highly accurate costumes from archive reference and access to original uniforms, we were confident that we could make them. But, we also knew immediately that this uniform would be nearly insurmountable for one reason alone - the pattern's cut shapes were atypical. With odd inorganic curves that would need an endless array of testing to get the drape and overall “look” just right.
It can't be emphasized enough that without access to original uniforms we couldn't have come close to the original costumes.
It's lucky then that we were positioned in the right place & time.
Having been friends and partners with CBS Consumer Products from the very start of ANOVOS', we were invited to visit the studio in Toronto where we met Gersha and her team, saw Daniel Hyun Lim's original costume concept sketches, documented several original uniforms, and most importantly were granted access to not only one set of patterns, but four during our trip. This level of access was unprecedented, and we left armed with a range of reference material from Captain Lorca to Ensign Tilly. We felt confident we’d be able to capture the breath of sizing for everyone while maintaining a level of accuracy befitting the fantastic work of the Star Trek: Discovery Costume Department.
Thus armed with terabytes of reference & patterns, our next step was Digital Grading of the patterns. This process captures every size and translates it into what we know are the most requested common sizes in our community of Star Trek fans & customers.
Technical note: What is grading and why is it important?
As most of our customers are aware, the sizing of a typical female lead is pretty small. It is unusual to see a woman depicted on screen that resembles the plus size models that we are seeing on more fashion runways these days. What CBS did in casting Mary Wiseman in Star Trek: Discovery is to introduce us to a modern sized actress. With Ens. Sylvia Tilly’s screen used pattern, for the first time, we were able to reference not just the usual size small and extra small costumes, but a larger sized pattern which gave us a full range of sizes. That made the grading of the patterns more “true” to the Starfleet uniforms’ tailored fit. We didn’t have to rely on the ANOVOS standard grading points to do an overall increase in size for each piece, as we generally do for our costumes. We had accurate reference points to adjust in order to ensure the design remained consistent. This was an extraordinary opportunity to get the fit right not only for our smaller customers, but for the curvier fan base as well.
After overcoming the issues of sizing & refining the pattern to be just as faithful to the original costumes as the right combination of metallic prints and contrasts - we believe this outfit is in the top three of the most stage accurate outfits we’ve ever created. From a combination of getting to work with the original production team, to bringing this to Texas to be watched over directly - it was a magical combination that rarely presents itself.
The creation of an "ultimate wearable replica."
We feel that this piece of wearable art will be a must have uniform in any Star Trek collection. Ordinarily we'd have excitedly unveiled this amazing ensemble at a convention like San Diego Comic Con or The Official Star Trek Convention, but owing to the ongoing pandemic, pictures will have to suffice for now. It's often said that "A picture is worth a thousand words." If that's true then I'll stop, and let our uniform speak for itself.
ANOVOS’ STAR TREK Original Series Season One Starfleet Insignia on a Command Division Gold Velour Tunic.
On Tuesday a friend sent me a link to an interesting story...
It was from SCREEN RANT titled, "Star Trek: Kirk's Iconic Uniform Color Was A Mistake." Well I'm never one to pass up an opportunity to see someone else’s take on the never ending debate about the color of Captain Kirk's Tunics - So I ran to check it out!
Original story and photo alteration by Zac Kellian for SCREEN RANT. * Click Image for Link
Written by Zac Kellian, the blog entry's first statement is absolutely correct. The evidence is overwhelming that The Original Series' famed Costume Designer William Ware Theiss absolutely intended Starfleet's Command Division to wear some shade of green. He quite correctly points out that Captain Kirk occasionally wore darker green colored wraparound tunics, but strangely he seems oblivious to the presence of Kirk's green Dress Uniform tunics, or the Command Division's green coveralls which would have further backed up his "theissis." BUT, his story completely falls apart after that one statement with his next line.
Command Division Green from TOS. A crewman in coveralls, Kirk in his Season 1 & 2 Wraps, and Dress Uniform.
He says, “Believe it or not, all of the original series Command uniforms were originally lime green.”
It's not really his fault. Mr. Kellian means well enough, but falls victim to something that has plagued everyone who only dips a single toe into the deep ocean of what’s become a debate without end, “The Great Kirk Tunic Color War.”
Misinformation. The interwebs are full of it.
A cursory Google search just can't impart a lifetime of research, but Mr. Kellian's blog is written with all of the certainty of someone who has read just one line of a PhD dissertation, and then puts all his journalistic weight behind his shocking discovery.
He is, of course, incorrect.
Captain Kirk in his “Avocado Gold/Green,” Command Division Uniform in season 3’s “The Paradise Syndrome.”
No Zac, they weren't “Lime Green,” or “Apple Green,” or any other shade of Green. Captain Kirk's Regular Uniform Tunics were Gold.
It's an easy and understandable mistake to make.
Many have. Many still do.
About twenty years ago in the earliest chat rooms and message boards set up to discuss Star Trek's uniforms, someone would inevitably come along and say, "Guys! Did you know Captain Kirk's yellow shirt was really green?!?"
Rage Mode Activated
New people in the hobby would gasp & say, "No way, that’s amazing" while more experienced people would simply say "Here we go again." Sigh. I guess it's my turn.
What people were referring to was Captain Kirk's 3rd Season nylon, Command Gold Uniform Tunics. They’re tunics that we’re all incredibly familiar with at ANOVOS. They’ve been one of our most accurate and popular replicas since entering the marketplace over a decade ago.
How do we know they’re accurate? We use the original materials, and most importantly - the original color dye formula, from the original dye house, which was developed & used for Star Trek in 1968 & ‘69.
We know they’re right because we’ve been granted access to examine and compare original Star Trek uniforms that survive in the archives maintained by ViacomCBS, and in private collections.
That's me with a couple of Third Season Command Tunics, corrected to demonstrate the fabric’s “avocado” color.
The third season Command Tunic has always been a very peculiar color. It was described by Bill Theiss as an "Avocado Gold/Green'' which is to say that it’s a shade of yellow with a touch of green to it. It's certainly NOT "lime green" or anything even approaching that shade.
It's a weird color to be sure.
To the naked eye, in natural light, it appears to be almost more green than gold, but when photographed...it turns gold.
Now there are a number of reasons for this color shift.
A bisected avocado for reference
From the particular Eastman/KODAK 5251 color negative film used for TOS, to how it was processed, to the various colored gels used to light the interior of the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE. But, I've found (and demonstrated to countless people at conventions over the years) that something about photographing these tunics - even just looking at them through a camera's shutter - turns them gold.
Every damn time. Weird.
Season 3 Uniform tunic as originally televised, and color corrected for the remastered “Requiem for Methuselah.”
The 3rd Season Command Tunic is the origin of this particular color phenomena, but Zac compounds his mistake - like so many others before him, by assuming that same information must apply to all of Captain Kirk's gold uniform tunics (and of course Sulu & Chekov's) worn throughout the series. It's probable then that he's simply unaware that the velour (actually brushed tricot) fabric used for the first two season's uniforms was a different shade of gold altogether, and unquestionably yellow (no matter how green he photoshopped Captain Kirk's tunic for his blog).
The original image of Captain James T. Kirk from Season 1 -- The gold velour tunic in “The Alternative Factor.”
In the first (and best) two seasons - the tunics worn by Captain Kirk and others belonging to the Command Division were a warmer citrus based yellow that under certain lighting conditions picks up the faintest greenish twinge. But they remain an almost perfect yellow on a Pantone Color chart. A yellow we copied from original references in the archives & allowing for color drift over the course of five decades.
ANOVOS’ 50th Anniversary Season 1 Velour Tunic laying on a Season 3 Premier Line Tunic, in sunlight.
The truth then is far more involved than just saying all of Kirk’s shirts were “originally lime green.” The fact is that none of them were. Even the wool wraparound tunics which WERE green were different shades entirely. You can see that yourself by simply watching the remastered Original Series. The Season 1 wrap was almost olive, while season 2 was colored more like Kermit the Frog.
ANOVOS’ Season 1 & Season 2 Captain Kirk Wraparound Tunics
In any case, the shirts he was trying to talk about were conclusively yellow/gold (with maybe a hint of green). A better headline for Zac’s blog would have been “Captain Kirk’s Iconic Uniform Color Was Complicated.” But I guess that's just not as buzz worthy. 😒
Captain James Kirk wearing his Second Season gold velour Command Tunic on Pyris VII, in “Catspaw.”
Honestly on my first readthrough of Zac’s blog, I just wanted to ignore it. I hoped I could. I really didn’t want to write about it at all. I just wanted it to go away. BUT, I’ve been in the trenches too long. I’ve been a soldier in “The Great Kirk Tunic Color Wars” (from both sides of it) for decades.
Mr. Kellin’s blog entry - as harmless as it might seem - is a new front in that fight. Already it’s being fired off to different corners of social media and paraded around as “proof” for the green side in this never-ending hellscape of debate.
For example, recently it was reposted by the Roddenberry Entertainment facebook page, and just from there it’s been shared 208 times. 208 people spreading nothing but misinformation to who knows how many people, and that’s just from one post!
Imagine the damage it’ll do by the weekend.
BTW - It's blue and black.
That was nothing compared to the bloody, open warfare of “The Great Kirk Tunic Color Wars.” I have seen mild mannered costumers turn into wild berserkers on virtual battlefields.
I’ve seen heads explode like watermelons and people compare the color of the rind to one of Kirk’s wraps. Dark stuff. You wanna be a hero? Spread this response instead. Anywhere you see that insidious Screen Rant story, retort with this.
Maybe, just maybe we can spread some truth out there.
Doctor McCoy, Captain Kirk, and Commander Spock of the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE in Season One’s “This Side of Paradise.”
Stay Safe, and Live Long & Prosper,
*Screen Rant Article Reference https://screenrant.com/star-trek-kirk-uniform-tos-original-series-green-yellow/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John is a writer based in Las Vegas, and a product developer for ANOVOS
(P.S. Now that’s a green tunic 😃)
"We Aren't All Starfleet"
— From Picayune Purloining to Profane Proselytizing
It's easy to slag against something nowadays —particularly if it is new and shiny. And, really, the Internet is predictable in that regard. After all, whole cottage industries and click-bait farms have cropped up like hotspots, acting as microcosms of conspiracy theory and rumor-mill havens that proliferate the Internet like bad gorches defacing Klingon high-school yearbooks.
With that having grabbed your attention, I personally declare—to anyone who shouldn't truly care—after 3 years of wading through meandering and flash-bang dysfunction, that I’ve decided to hit the eject button on Discovery.
Space Karen would like to speak to your Manager now.
If there is a positive to my self-inflicted torture, it is that Discovery has made me yearn for the days of intelligent science fiction story telling with compelling and memorable characters. Shows that knew what they were and what they wanted to say. Stories that made me re-examine my own beliefs and feelings at times.
Babylon 5. Farscape. Classic Trek. Battlestar Galactica. Blake's 7.
To name a few reference points. Sure, each of those have their ups and downs, and were certainly products of their time—but they were memorable. They meant something to me and stuck with me. They made you look at things a different way, as good stories should.
They were a “Starfleet,” too. (Federation Troopers in action from Blake’s 7.)
This “We are Starfleet”—the ram-rodded verbal tick that pretends to be either a rallying cry or a justification for some visceral and polarizing action...
Like "God Save the Queen", "Make America Great Again", or "Live Long and Prosper"—proselytizing just isn’t for me.
And I’m fine with that. Its just my opinion. I don’t believe it to be well-written. It has nothing of depth to say, and is best forgotten with the likes of The Starlost or Galactica 1980 (except "The Return of Starbuck'' episode). At least Lost in Space and other Irwin Allen Productions had their charms, even if Harlan Ellison would say they were "kiddie fare." Yes, Uncle Harlan, I know it's cheese and camp—it says so on the label. Truth in advertising.
But this glitzy Medusa with more producers than one can shake a stick at makes Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda and Earth: Final Conflict look like Shakespeare at the Apollo. Never thought I’d say that in reference to a Star Trek series.
Even when Voyager gave us hams like “Threshold,” or when DS9 gave us episodes like “Move Along Home,” or TNG gave us Brent Spiner hamming it up in “Masks” as a veritable one-man show...
Everything has their ups and downs.
Kevin Sorbo stars as Captain Dylan “Space Hercules” Hunt in Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda.
Also, I understand the belief that "there aren’t any new ideas.”
Apparently, this is both justification and code for "we shall be inherently lazy and try to seize the cultural zeitgeist by ripping things from the front page of Buzzfeed."
In this season of DSC, a dysfunctional societal gestalt masquerading as Discovery's second conceptual “reboot” is compared to — rather superficially — a reskin of Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, with the same incongruent production approach that befuddled and scuttled seaQuest DSV in the 1990s.
Remember that one, kids? It was the darling of NBC and Amblin Entertainment. Had Roy Schider, teen heart-throb Jonathan Brandis, and a talking animatronic dolphin? Did ya know that the dolphin even had a rank, "Ensign"?
Now, a few other questions for you: What the hell was seaQuest? Was that an exploration show, monster-of-the-week show, or a wartime show? Like most genre groupies, I have since forgotten. There's a reason for that, surely.
Beneath the surface lies... Charlton Heston and Taco Bell
Thus, like the lumbering seaQuest of yore, this junior year offering manifested into Discovery's answer to seaQuest 2032.
Retooled, its crew displaced into a future after protecting all life as the audience knew it, they were "fish out of water" with a ship that had a unique technological advantage in a world where the UEO has fallen... I mean, the United Federation of Planets. And they need to save the world from a megalomaniac who operated an economic and political syndicate, believing that the previous "United" organization was a halcyon thing of yesteryear.
We’re a new show... again. We’ve even changed the name, see? seaQuest 2032.
Anyway, I've seen it all before... and I would rather re-watch seaQuest 2032. Looks like its even streaming on Peacock for free. Go watch it and tell me I'm wrong.
Even if CBS All Access were free... There is little rewatch value in Discovery. It adds little to the mythological tapestry of the Trek universe and frankly, has minimal redeeming characteristics in terms of characters or morality play storytelling. I am hard pressed to find an “Inner Light,” “The Visitor,” or “City on the Edge of Forever” thus far.
Then again, it is clear to me that perhaps Discovery was never meant to appeal to critical thinkers or students of literature, but instead, solely to play to nostalgic audiences who are socially reactive. Discovery rides the rapids of emotionality, playing with the dangerous currents and sub-eddies of a reactive audience—all the while attempting to energize the Trek brand, and catalyze Trek into a greater multi-channel franchise a la Star Wars.
I mean, Star Wars was able to do it with a baby Yoda: Release the Grogu.
Now let me be clear, this isn't a bad thing. It can be argued that Discovery is a gateway drug, allowing people to try the “old stuff”; the same argument was made with the Kelvin-universe Trek over a decade ago, resulting in a blitzkrieg streaming of the Star Trek library via Netflix.
Another good thing from the wake of Discovery: it has allowed for the creation of shows that would have never materialized in any other environment. The unconventional Lower Decks has far more likable and memorable characters than Discovery. It even has some great storytelling moments in the guise of comedy, thus making LDS a genuine surprise.
Mike McMahan actually groks Spock... and Star Trek! Who woulda thunk it?
Listen. If you like this begotten beast of a thousand heads, that’s perfectly fine. I'm pleased that many people seem to find value in it. And normally I try to avoid writing things like this, because this is simple puerile, picayune vanity.
And if 2020 (now 2020: Take Two) has demonstrated a damn thing it is this: everyone has their thing, and people are allowed to “like what they like.” I'm not here to shame people for enjoying the show. I just felt there was an alternative opinion that deserved its own voice as well.
I guess what I'm saying is I would just like better stories.
Characters that I give a damn about. Narratives that have consistent logic to them (and not the "consistently inconsistent'' paradoxical way, either). I'm not a fan of this nonsense masquerading as science awash in memberberry wine.
Oooh, the Voyager-J.
Ooh, a fat cat with a bad disposition...
No thanks. I'll pass.
Didn’t Gary Seven have a cat, too?
Instead, I’d like to see something from a writer that isn’t hamstrung by attention and work ethic deficiencies, the temperamental politics de jure, or memes de jure.
That's all. Tell me a story that I can't get anywhere else that can make me think like nothing else. Is that too much to ask?
What if we eschewed the Disney prefix whilst purloining the only symbiology and color scheme that Disney hasn’t trademarked yet? Brilliant!
Joe Beaudoin Jr
Joe is a freelance fandom documentarian and business consultant for ANOVOS.