, Paramount Pictures
donated the original filming model
of the USS Enterprise
used in making the '60s television series
, Star Trek
, to the National Air and Space Museum
had never been very fond of the series, and the huge success it would become (motion picture
television series, etc.
) was still just a twinkle in Gene Roddenberry
was delivered to the Smithsonian
in pretty poor shape. It needed a new paint job
, had some cracking that needed to be repaired in the saucer section
, the gold colored deflector dish
was missing, as were the red domes on the warp nacelle
s, and the lighting was mostly inoperative.
, and put on display in the museum
. The restoration cleaned things up, but was hardly accurate in its replacement of the missing pieces. The deflector disk
was too big and lacked detail. The warp nacelle
s were a solid red and had no lighting. No restoration was done to the electrical components at all, and so few of the lights worked. Still, the Enterprise looked pretty much like it did when it was being used for the TV
show. In 1984, some more work was done on the model, primarily to fix up the lighting.
, in preparation for Star Trek
's 25th anniversary
, the model was completely restored again.
Or should I say, desecrated
This time, the dish and warp engines
were done right, and the lighting was completely restored.
That was about all that was done right.
The restoration crew must have decided that the smooth, clean surface of the Enterprise
was too boring, because they first etch
ed grid lines into the surface, and then proceeded to heavily
weather the entire model. The model now looks more like one might imagine a studio
model to look today, but that's not the point.
This model is a piece of cultural history
. It is representative of its time. Now, it looks very little like the model used to shoot the original series. It is almost like repainting the Mona Lisa
with a nose-piercing
, because, hey, she looks so much cooler that way
Ok, so the Enterprise
isn't on the level of the Mona Lisa
. That's an exaggeration. Still, the point is the same. When I go to a museum of history
, I want to see things as they were, not the way someone thought they'd look better. Have some respect