BID ON CAPTAIN KIRK’S UNIFORM, A MODEL OF THE K-7 SPACE STATION AND MORE
By Robert Wilonsky
On Feb. 22, Heritage Auctions will hold an event sure to be the final frontier for Star Trek collectors.
The Star Trek Hollywood & Entertainment Signature® Auction spans the history of the series and film franchise – from Jim Kirk to Jean-Luc Picard to Kathryn Janeway, from aboard the original U.S.S. Enterprise to the Tribble-infested Deep Space Station K-7. This auction travels from the United Federation of Planets all the way to the Mirror Universe and the planet Gothos ruled by the petulant alien called Trelane, whose circa-1880s dueling pistols are among the Starfleet phasers, Klingon disruptors, Romulan daggers and other strange new weapons wielded in a universe where no one had gone before until Gene Roddenberry took us there in 1966.
This 75-lot auction is truly a trek through time, beginning at the beginning with sketches of Klingon ships and the Enterprise’s sick bay drawn by The Original Series’ designer Matt Jefferies. And it includes numerous items from the later series and films and even the unmade Phase II project that later became Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
It also includes something straight from the left hand of Trek’s most magnetic villain: a glove worn by Ricardo Montalbán, Khan Noonien Singh himself, in the unforgettable Star Trek II scene during which the 20th century superman reveals his identity to Pavel Chekov and Captain Terrell aboard the SS Botany Bay.
“The items come from numerous collectors and represent the best of the best in terms of condition and significance,” says Heritage Auctions Executive Vice President Joe Maddalena. “They represent decades of collecting and make up a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The tunics alone would be impossible to find in one place, and this is an extraordinarily special auction of which we’re immensely proud.”
Indeed, here, in one auction, are numerous duty uniforms worn aboard the original U.S.S. Enterprise, from Captain Kirk and Mr. Chekov’s command-yellow tops to Dr. Leonard McCoy’s short-sleeved, baby-blue surgical outfit to Yeoman Janice Rand’s red velour tunic and black boots – all the colors of the Starfleet spectrum. The event likewise features outfits worn by some very special guests aboard the flagship of the Federation, including those of Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Finney (Kirk’s best friend-turned-betrayer in “Court Martial”), Yeoman Martha Landon (Chekov’s love interest in “The Apple”), Cadet Sean Finnegan (Kirk’s Starfleet Academy tormentor in “Shore Leave”) and Lt. Marlena Moreau (the self-proclaimed “captain’s woman” in the fan-favorite episode “Mirror, Mirror”).
The Mirrorverse, introduced in The Original Series’ second season, would become a recurring setting throughout myriad iterations of Trek, from Deep Space Nine to Enterprise to Discovery (and, of late, the Next Generation comics). But the Terran Empire’s original appearance remains its most definitive, thanks in no small part to Spock’s goatee – “It gave him character,” McCoy quipped – and the altered uniforms adorned with gold sashes, epaulettes, medallions and the Empire’s dagger insignia. As the blog Women at Warp noted in “The Evil Aesthetic of the Mirror Universe,” the makeover was meant to show “a Starfleet more in line with the imperialist and colonialist ambitions of the past than the peaceful explorers of Roddenberry’s utopian future.”
This auction features three uniforms from one of Trek’s best episodes, among them Kirk’s shiny gold vest made of lurex and adorned with the Empire’s requisite sash and medallions. So adored is this piece it was displayed in 1998 at the California State Fair alongside the bearded Spock’s slate-blue sateen wool tunic, which more closely resembles the uniforms worn by Starfleet officers during formal occasions. See for yourself: Spock’s “Mirror, Mirror” uniform is offered in this auction, alongside a red full-dress tunic worn during Season 3’s “The Savage Curtain” … when Abraham Lincoln beams aboard the Enterprise.
Here, too, is Lt. Sulu’s red, sashed tunic from “Mirror, Mirror,” alongside some other memorable outfits and uniforms from throughout Trek’s 55-year reign, including Kirk’s Roman slave tunic from Season 2’s “Bread and Circuses” and Captain Robert Merik’s floral-patterned terry cloth vest from the same episode.
The auction also features the honey-colored tunic worn by Majel Barrett’s Number One in the pilot “The Cage” (slightly altered at the neck so it could be used in later episodes); Dr. Carol Marcus’ uniform worn in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; an original Klingon costume from “The Day of the Dove”; and two Romulan outfits, among them Subcommander Tal’s from “The Enterprise Incident” and another worn in Star Trek: Nemesis.
Among the most recognizable props in this event is a model of the K-7 space station re-created for Deep Space Nine’s Season 5 episode “Trials and Tribble-ations,” one of the most beloved offerings in all of Trek-dom. This was a time-traveler intended as a 30th anniversary gift to The Original Series, as Captain Benjamin Sisko and crew wound up back amid “The Trouble with Tribbles” – this time, to prevent the assassination of Captain Kirk by the very Klingon spy he had thwarted decades earlier.
Greg Jein, a modelmaker Oscar-nominated for his work on Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind and 1941, had a long history with Trek, dating back to 1979’s The Motion Picture. He received his lone Emmy nomination for “Trials and Tribble-ations,” as he created for the episode several familiar favorites, including the space station – a fiberglass, resin and plastic model measuring 60 inches by 48 inches and detail-perfect down to the shuttle bay and very last window.
His affection for original Trek shows in the extraordinary piece: As Jein once said, “My childhood dream was building the Enterprise and the K-7 space station and the Klingon ship” for that very episode.
Among the signed posters, prints, cast photos, sketches and assorted wall panels is a coveted keepsake from perhaps the most adored Trek film of them all: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which sent the Enterprise crew to 1980s San Francisco to track down two humpback whales. Here is unit production manager Mel Efros’ on-set production bible from the film, consisting of cast call sheets, shooting schedules and the photocopied storyboard panels meant to guide production from start to finish.
One key Trek prop featured here is one of the identifying necklaces worn by Harry Mudd’s androids in one of the few original Trek episodes played for laughs, “I, Mudd.” Here as well are two of the prosthetic Vulcan ears worn by Leonard Nimoy in The Original Series, alongside a life mask of Patrick Stewart made during production of The Next Generation.
In the word of his Captain Picard: Engage.
ROBERT WILONSKY is a staff writer at Intelligent Collector.