(Studio Model of Starship Enterprise – The studio model of the Starship Enterprise from the original Star Trek series underwent an extensive restoration, which was completed in May 2016, and is now on view in the “Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall” at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Smithsonian Channel will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek with a two-hour special that will take a look at the lasting influence the original Star Trek series has had on the world. BUILDING STAR TREK will premiere Sunday, September 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel. – Photo by Eric Long /Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum / Courtesy of Smithsonian Channel Copyright: 2016)
As you get older, some memories seem to fade while others remain a permanent part of your mental landscape. Even though it’s been a half-century, I still remember when Star Trek premiered on September 8, 1966. I was only six-years-old and science fiction was very, very scarce on television back then. The credit for becoming a Trekkie goes to my father. He’d always raised me to be curious about how things work and what might be “out there” in the stars. When Star Trek began airing, we’d sit together and enjoy something that was unlike anything on TV at the time; something truly different and groundbreaking.
Now, here we are almost exactly fifty years later and Star Trek is even bigger than ever. A new film is in theaters and a new series debuts in 2017, Trek is still entertaining and inspiring fans. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Trek, The Smithsonian Channel is airing the two-hour special: Building Star Trek. The special looks at the real-world influences the original series continues to have on the world we live in.
Premiering Sunday, September 4, the special will also follow the Smithsonian’s conservation team that restored the original Enterprise model. Measuring 11 feet in length and weighing about 250 pounds, the aging model was painstakingly restored to her original glory. Bill George, a VFX Supervisor at ILM and a man who’s worked on six Star Trek films including the very first, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, has documented the restoration process in a six-minute video you can watch right here. This ought to hold you over until the full two-hour special airs on September 4.
Along with the rebuild of the Enterprise, the special showcases scientists and engineers who have been inspired by Star Trek. Their efforts are bringing us new technologies based on ideas first conceived for the show. In addition, the special also features an interview with Nichelle Nichols. Her groundbreaking role as Lt. Uhura inspired women of every color to consider careers in STEM fields. An interview with Simon Pegg (Star Trek Beyond) is also a part of the event. Writers Dorothy Fontana (all Star Trek series) and David Gerrold (The Trouble With Tribbles, Star Trek: The Next Generation) are also highlights of the special.
If you’ve read this far, then this must be something you’re really interested in. Good, because the Smithsonian Channel is holding the Building Star Trek Sweepstakes and you’ll definitely want to enter. The winner gets a trip for two to Star Trek: Mission New York taking place September 2-4, 2016 in Manhattan. The winner and guest get a four-night trip to New York, VIP passes to Star Trek: Mission New York, and VIP passes to the Starfleet Academy Experience at the Intrepid Museum. The three-day event is a Star Trek fan’s dream come true. There will be interactive exhibits, exclusive merchandise, panels, celebrity guests, screenings, and a lot more. Click on the link above or the picture below to enter now.
From the official press release:
SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL(TM) COMMEMORATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF LANDMARK SCI-FI TELEVISION SERIES WITH
BUILDING STAR TREK
SET TO PREMIERE SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 AT 8 P.M. ET/PT
Two-Hour Special to Take In-Depth Look At Far Reaching Influence That Original Star Trek Series Has Had on Science And Technology
NEW YORK, JULY 6, 2016 – Smithsonian Channel will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek with a two-hour special that will take a look at the lasting influence the original Star Trek series has had on the world. BUILDING STAR TREK will premiere Sunday, September 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.
When the series debuted on September 8, 1966, the world was introduced to a number of alien concepts, such as hand-held communication devices, desktop computers, space shuttles, touch screens, and more. Star Trek’s visionary creator was remarkably able to conceive of a world so different from his own that the series would go on to have a profound legacy in television history.
BUILDING STAR TREK will follow the conservation team from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum as they attempt to restore and conserve the original 11-foot, 250-pound model of the U.S.S. Enterprise from the original series. The special also will track the effort to rebuild a model of the original U.S.S. Enterprise bridge by using authentic set pieces and props, which recently went on display at Seattle’s EMP Museum.
The two-hour special also profiles a new generation of engineers and scientists who are making Star Trek’s visionary technology real, pushing the boundaries of physics with inventions first conceived on the iconic series: warp drives, medical tricorders, cloaking devices and tractor beams. Proving that one TV show has truly gone where no man has gone before, BUILDING STAR TREK will showcase clips from the original series that highlight each scientific innovation and the new technologies that have inspired generations.
Smithsonian Channel is also launching the BUILDING STAR TREK Sweepstakes www.buildingstartreksweeps.com, which is offering Trekkies the chance to win a trip to Star Trek: Mission New York. This three-day event is the ultimate destination for Star Trek fans, filled with interactive exhibits, exclusive merchandise, celebrity guests, panels, screenings and much more. Star Trek: Mission New York will take place September 2-4, 2016 at the Javits Center in Manhattan.
One sweepstakes winner will win a four-night trip to New York, VIP passes to Star Trek: Mission New York and VIP passes to the Starfleet Academy Experience at the Intrepid Museum. See official rules.
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Building Star Trek airs Sunday, September 4, 2016 on The Smithsonian Channel at 8/7c