High-tech meets vintage televisions in a fascinating project that aims to bring to life a life-size hologram recreation of “The Cage,” the first Star Trek episode completed on December 22, 1965. This new project is promoted as a way to preserve, examine and celebrate the debut of Gene Roddenberry’s acclaimed sci-fi series.
Of course, this venture would not have been possible without the involvement of Roddenberry Estate, so it would not be surprising to hear that it is a joint effort between Roddenberry Archive and Los Angeles-based cloud graphics company OTOY. Together, they’re planning a “multi-year effort to visually commemorate the work and artistic life of Gene Roddenberry,” according to a press release, this time “to recreate the original creation of the legendary TV series created by Gene Roddenberry in 1964.” The staff and crew will be reunited.”
To give you an idea of what the hologram remake of the TV episode might look like, OTOY has included 1:1 life-size virtual sets, costumes, characters and their gear (including fully working Enterprise interiors) and some information on how they were created. posted the video below. A key highlight was the help of 1964’s The Cage director Robert Butler, who shared behind-the-scenes material and gave personal confirmation that the virtual recreation matched the real set he was working on when he was a young, inexperienced director. Butler is currently 97 years old.
This project will not end with “The Cage”. The Roddenberry Archive, which has also created a full-size model of the USS Enterprise as seen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, will bring nearly a dozen more life-size Enterprise representations to life by the end of this decade, according to the press release. Thus, they aim to encompass the entire 40-year legacy of the original USS Enterprise, from 2245 to 2285, allowing future generations to dive into the evolution of the legendary starship with historical fidelity. In addition, the art and curatorial team is also working to comprehensively document the behind-the-scenes, prototypes and designs of each work kept in the archive. Scans of original costumes, props, fabrics and materials are used to complement fully digital models whenever possible.
In addition to names like Butler, actors like Sandy Gimpel (the Talosian alien seen in “The Cage”) and Chris Hunter’s son, who played Captain Pike on the project “The Cage,” are clearly a fan of the series and its approach Confidence in the technology provided by the OTOY team, which seems to fit the Trek mentality, is also evident from other first-hand players like Jeffrey Hunter.
As Jules Urbach, the company’s founder and CEO, said in a press release, “Gene Roddenberry has created an entirely new way of seeing the world, pushing us to explore the frontiers of space, technology and what it means to be human. Today, the new archive “The tools and forms of media are reshaping the way we share and experience history. The Roddenberry Archive’s mission is to use the tools at our disposal to create a living, breathing history of Roddenberry’s life-long materials, concepts and philosophical explorations.”