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WATCH: Highlights of the new 'Star Trek' exhibit at the Detroit Science Center

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Local News / Entertainment

Saturday, 21 February, 2009 10:59 PM

'Star Trek' exhibit now open at the Detroit Science Center through Labor Day

PHOTO BY GARRETT GODWIN / ©AMERICAJR.com

A costume worn by Jonathan Archer in a "Star Trek" film.

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

 

WATCH: Highlights of the new 'Star Trek' exhibit at the Detroit Science Center

Quicktime Required

DETROIT -- Families and friends embark on the final frontier and explore the voyage of the Star Trek exhibit at the Detroit Science Center. The exhibit is every Trekkie's dream, as it includes memorabilia of the entire franchise such as the uniforms of each Captain from all five series, replicas of the bridge of the original Enterprise and the transporter chamber from The Next Generation, an segement titled "The History of Star Trek", and much more. It debuted on Valentine's Day last Saturday, where couples began competing to be beam up for a wedding (more about this can be found online www.detroitsciencecenter.org/startrek.html), and will remain open until September 7.

"The exhibit is basically a recreation of many of the sets and original filming locations used for the original series, Next Generation, Voyager, all the movies," said Todd Slisher, Vice President of Science Programs at the Detroit Science Center. "Set within that are artifacts from the shooting. Costumes, phasers, things like the captain's chair. Other things like that, that were used in the filming."

Star Trek began its mission on NBC in the fall of 1966 and though it had an cult following, the mission came to an abrupt end after completing three out of its five-year mission. But when the series was picked up in syndication, an franchise, an phenomeon, an icon, and an instiution was born. Star Trek returned as a Saturday morning cartoon during the mid-70s, and returned to the big screen in 1979 with all the original cast. Over the next three decades, Star Trek put out nine more movies, three successful spinoffs (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager) and a prequel series (Enterprise).

"Everybody's gotta have a seat in the captain's chair in the original bridge of the Enterprise," the vice president of science programs said. "You can pretend you're James T. Kirk there saying 'Engage. Boldly go where no man has gone before'."

The franchise will get an reboot and an resurrection with the new film from J.J. Abrams coming out this May, featuring a young Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Heroes' Zachary Quinto). Like the exhibit, the new movie will appeal to not only the hidden Trekkie within us, but also introduce new possible fans to explore this universe known as Star Trek.

"The exhibit was actually created by an exhibit group called Premier Exhibitions," Slisher said. "This is the second venue -- the first midwest venue that it's come to. This set took about three weeks to set up."

Called by creator and executive producer Gene Roddenberry as "Wagon Train to the stars", Star Trek has been known as being one of the first few shows to have an multi-racial cast, using the world of science fiction to discuss topical issues such as racism, discrimination, war, politics, sex, technology, and religion -- but always having the overarching message of friendship, peaceful co-existence, and hope for a better world.

"Today, it's fairly common to see multi-racial groups on TV, " the vice president of science programs said. "Back in the '60s when Star Trek got started, it was very uncommon. In fact, it was very groundbreaking as a television show. Really, it led the way for a lot of other casts. That's one of the things that people like about Star Trek so much. It really presented a hopeful view of the future."

 

PHOTO BY GARRETT GODWIN / ©AMERICAJR.com

This flying object sits in the lobby of the Detroit Science Center.

 

PHOTO BY GARRETT GODWIN / ©AMERICAJR.com

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

A object from one of the "Star Trek" films.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

AmericaJR.com's Garrett Godwin interviews Todd Slisher, Vice President of Science Programs at the Detroit Science Center.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Slisher answers a question during an interview.

 

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