“Building Star Trek” Smithsonian Documentary Continues Trek’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

The Smithsonian Channel special focuses on the refurbishment of the Original Series Enterprise model on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. and looks forward to how today’s scientist are bringing us into the 23rd century. The documentary airs Sunday September 4th at 8 pm EDT. Check out the trailer and clips from the special below.

“These guys saw it coming.”

Exclusively focusing on The Original Series, The Smithsonian Channel’s Building Star Trek joins the long list of celebrations commemorating the 50th anniversary of the franchise Gene Roddenberry created in 1966. Aptly titled, the episode’s focus will be on the Smithsonian’s restoration and conservation efforts of the original 11-foot, 250-pound Enterprise, as well as a look at the futuristic technology first predicted as a plot device to move the story along for the writers of TOS.

“If we can have one object at the Smithsonian of imagination, inspiration that is so important to real space flight, it’s got to be the starship Enterprise.”

Lauded for their efforts to once again hang the original model of the Enterprise in the Smithsonian, part of the documentary centers on the attempts to repair and ensure the preservation of the model. During the trailer, one specialist even states they are concerned that hull is just going to split in half. Fifty years a is a long time, and while the series itself was innovate, the Final Frontier was constructed on a small television budget. The materials used for the sets, props and models were not designed to stand the test of time, let alone 50 years.

However, that’s not all Building Star Trek will offer, as the documentary also emphasizes those futuristic technologies that are still in the works. Scientists talk about their ongoing efforts to realize a cloaking device, a Lockheed Martin Senior Fellow discusses actually creating a hand phaser, and we hear about the continuation of efforts from XPrize’s medical tricorder contest.

Interviews include such Star Trek luminaries as Nichelle Nichols, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, and David Gerrold, the latter two of which take the opportunity to remind the audience that Star Trek is both about the unknown and inclusion.

“It would be somewhat ignorant of us to believe we are the only form of life to exist,” Karl Urban stated in the trailer.

“There’s a place for you on the starship Enterprise, not just white men, we are all going,” David Gerrold added.

Join The Smithsonian Channel four days before the televised birth of Star Trek, on Sunday, September 4 at 8 p.m. EDT and enjoy a unique look at the franchise 50 years later. The Enterprise, which is now on display at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C. is already there and waiting for you.

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