The Gene Roddenberry estate is developing “The Roddenberry Archive,” which is a multi-decade collaboration to collect and preserve Gene Roddenberry’s legacy at the highest levels of fidelity and historical accuracy. A number of Star Trek veterans are involved in the project, including artists Denise and Mike Okuda, Doug Drexler, and Daren Dochterman who are all working with the cloud graphics company OTOY.
Their first project is to create a 1:1 virtual experience of The Motion Picture USS Enterprise. And they have just announced another ongoing project to recreate elements of the first Star Trek pilot “The Cage,” bringing in even more Star Trek veterans. The Roddenberry Archive has released new details and a video showing how this intriguing new project is being put together.
A virtual “Cage”
The Roddenberry Archive team has enlisted the help of two of the surviving cast and crew of “The Cage” director Bob Butler and Sandy Gimpel (who played a Talosian). Also helping are Sean Kenny who played Pike in “The Menagerie”, and Chris Hunter – son of original Captain Pike actor Jeffery Hunter.
The official announcement explains the process:
The Roddenberry Archive team has allowed the cast and crew of “The Cage” to step back in time 58-years and revisit 1:1 life-size virtual sets, costumes, characters, and props (including fully working Enterprise interiors). The Cage, which predates Star Trek: The Original Series by two-years was written and produced by Gene Roddenberry, and directed by Robert Butler.
Mr. Butler has provided the archive with hours of behind the scenes materials, and in March 2022, reviewed the 1:1 scale USS Enterprise’s bridge in a virtual production environment to confirm that it faithfully matches the physical set he filmed nearly 60-years ago.
The project members show off their work in the following announcement video:
The Roddenberry Archive is recreating Enterprise’s legacy
Reconstruction work on the Roddenberry Archive project will eventually cover the entire 40-year legacy of the original USS Enterprise from 2245 to 2285. The project aims to “recreate life-sized representations of almost a dozen canonical Enterprises by the end of this decade.” The goal is to allow “future generations to immerse themselves in the evolution of the legendary starship.”
This video from last summer shows off some of the early work on recreating the Enterprise.
You can learn more about The Roddenberry Archive and the Enterprise recreation at OTOY’s site here.
There are no specifics on how or when people will be able to see these projects. However, OTOY says the plan for eventual distribution for The Roddenberry Archive will include using innovative techniques such as VR/AR and holographic display panels.