Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/Smithsonian Channel
Star Trek celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, and in celebration of the occasion, The Smithsonian Channel (which is part of the Discovery Communications networks), aired a special centered on the series and its impact on the world with its scientific revolutions called Building Star Trek. Now thanks to a partnership between The Smithsonian Channel and PBS Distribution, audiences can own it for themselves on DVD. There is plenty for audiences to appreciate about this special beginning with its central topic. That will be discussed shortly. The information that is shared throughout the 92-minute program is just as important to note as its central topic. That will be discussed later. The program’s transitions round out its most important elements. Each element is important in its own way to the program’s presentation. All things considered, they make Building Star Trek a special that the series’ fans will appreciate just as much as scientists and students.
Smithsonian Channel’s new Star Trek special Building Star Trek is a program that the series’ fans will appreciate just as much as scientists and students. That is due in part to the program’s central topic. For all intents and purposes, the program’s central topic focuses on the series’ cultural and scientific impacts. It does this as it follows the efforts to both restore the original U.S.S. Enterprise model for the Smithsonian Museum (go figure) and the effort to bring to life a full Star Trek exhibit for the EMP Museum in Seattle, WA. The exhibit in question chronicles Star Trek in each of its incarnations. Though for the sake of this special the focus is on the location and restoration of pieces from the original series for the exhibit. The items featured in that hunt and work include Captain Kirk’s chair from the bridge of the show’s set, an original phaser and tricorder from the original series, and even Checkov’s control panel from the bridge set. So while the program really just focuses on Star Trek: TOS at its center, audiences will still enjoy watching the efforts of all involved to locate and restore what are such important artifacts from one of television’s most landmark series. To that end, the program’s central story plays its own important part in this special’s overall presentation, though it is not the only key element to note. The information that is shared throughout the course of the program is just as important to note in examining this program as its central topic.
The topic at Building Star Trek’s center is key in its own right to the program’s presentation. It focuses mainly on the efforts by two groups to locate and restore items from the series’ original set as part of a national celebration of the series’ 50th anniversary. It’s little different, to that end, from the likes of OUTATIME: Saving The DeLorean Time Machine. Regardless, it is interesting in its own right. However, the information that is shared about that hunt and about the series adds even more interest to the program. One of the most interesting pieces of information that is shared throughout the program is the relatively unceremonious way in which the show’s main set was disposed of. Audiences learn that the set was basically dumped on a backlot and then cannibalized by students at a university (that is the actual wording used by one interviewee) for their own projects. One can’t help but wonder if those who made the decision to do away with the set in such fashion have any regret for what they did, now fifty years later. Just as interesting to learn in watching the program is that not only are scientists working to duplicate tractor beams, cloaking devices and even warp drive, but they are also working to create efficient medical devices to mimic the tricorder. If such a device could be created and patented, it would potentially revolutionize the medical community as we know it. There is also a discussion on the importance of recently discovered gravity waves and their importance in the efforts to make warp travel possible. These are just some of the intriguing discussions that are raised over the course of the program’s 92-minute run time. There is much more that audiences will find interesting. Some of the material is old hat, obviously (communicators being the influence for today’s smart phones, automatic doors influencing today’s motion activated doors everywhere, etc.) but there is still other material—such as that about tricorder tech development—that audiences will find just as interesting if not more so. Keeping that in mind, the information that fills out the program’s body proves to be just as important to the program’s presentation as its central topic, if not more so. It still isn’t the last element to note. The program’s transitions are just as important as its central topic and information to its presentation.
Building Star Trek’s central topic and key information are both pivotal to the program’s presentation. Its central story celebrates the series’ 50th anniversary while also setting the stage for the information that is used to illustrate the series’ ongoing importance. While both elements are important to the program in their own right, they are not its only important elements. The program’s transitions are just as important to note as its previously discussed elements. The transitions are important to note because they are what keep the program moving, and doing so smoothly for that matter. The program focuses on the restoration efforts both on the East Coast and West Coast. So obviously it goes back and forth as it follows the efforts of all involved. As much as it has to go back and forth, the program keeps its transitions wholly smooth each time. It doesn’t just jump from one point to another. That is thanks in part to the program’s writing and also to its editing. Thanks to the work of the program’s editors and writers, the program makes its transitions at all of the right moments. This in turn serves to maintain audience engagement and entertainment. As audiences remain engaged and entertained, they will then catch all of the information noted here and more, and will gain their own appreciation for the program’s central topic. All things considered, it should be clear why Building Star Trek is a program that scientists will enjoy just as much as the series’ fans.
Smithsonian Channel’s new documentary Building Star Trek is a program that Star Trek fans will appreciate just as much as scientists and students. Its central topic will reach all three audiences (and possibly others) as it makes clear its attempt to be far-reaching. The information that is shared over the course of the program’s 92-minute run time works in partner with the central topic to add even more interest to the program. The transitions are wholly smooth from one to the next. That is thanks to the work of the program’s writers and editors. It is thanks to their work that audiences will remain engaged and entertained throughout the program, enjoying its depth of information and its central topic along the way. All things considered, Building Star Trek proves in the end to be, again, a program that Star Trek fans will appreciate just as much as scientists and students. It is available now and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store. More information on this and other programs from Smithsonian Channel is available online now at:
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