Star Trek

Nerd alert!!

For Trekkies, something to cling on to
Christie’s next week will sell a spaceship-load of Star Trek stuff in the first ó and probably last ó official auction of artifacts from the TV series turned pop-culture phenomenon.
CBS Paramount, which owns the Trek franchise, has decided to sell more than 1,000 of the tens of thousands of costumes, props, weapons and set dressings accumulated during the production of five live-action series and 10 theatrical films since 1966, when William Shatner’s Captain Kirk first uttered his now-familiar “Space, the final frontier” on national television.
Trekkies, who are famous for their mania for collecting, are said to be over the moon at the chance to bid six-figure sums on Kirk’s Starfleet uniform or that holy of holies, the Starship Enterprise-A model.
“Smaller collections have come on the market before, but this is the largest, the only one from studio archives and from all the films and series, and it’s the 40th anniversary, so there’s definitely a fervor about this,” says Cathy Elkies, Christie’s director of specialty auctions.
The entire hoard, grandly titled 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection, will open for public viewing Saturday at Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza in New York with the auction Oct. 5-7. Buyers also will be able to bid live online at Throngs of people are expected; some might be in costume.
Christie’s is betting the sale will be huge, and the $3-million-plus estimated take probably is conservative.
Why? Because contrary to reputation, Trekkies are not just geeks with too much time on their hands. After all, Paul Allen collects Star Trek. In 2002, he bought Kirk’s captain’s chair from the original series for $250,000 for his Science Fiction Museum in Seattle.
“There is not a stereotypical Star Trek fan; they represent a wide spectrum of the population ó attorneys, doctors, engineers, teachers and astronauts,” says Denise Okuda, who with husband Michael worked on the series and films as scenic artists and wrote The Star Trek Encyclopedia.
The Okudas were hired as auction consultants and for the past six months have combed through five vast studio warehouses to pick out “the most valuable, iconic and coveted” items for the sale.
The Okudas expect that the items most prized by Trekkies will be the spaceship models, costumes (Elkies says some surviving cast members are interested in buying theirs) and behind-the-scenes items such as costumer’s continuity notes.