A dedicated band of die-hard Star Trek fans has crafted an exact replica of the bridge of the Starship Enterprise (from the original TV series, in case you were wondering) for a work-in-progress web series inspired by the sci-fi classic. The impressive circular set is resplendent with its blinking read-outs; its dazzling array of switches, panels and buttons; and even a pair of sliding doors leading to the turbolift.
The crew of the Starship Ajax got the set from a similar, now-completed web series, Starship Exeter. Part of the set had been damaged from sitting in a barn for too long, so the Ajax crew had to build about a fourth of it themselves.
“We spent about a year and a half restoring it,” said director Jim Bray, who found out about the project online from his home in Vermont. “I’ve been a scene artist for many years. When I found out about this project, I hopped on the next plane to Oklahoma.”
While the events of Starship Ajax take place during the original series, the ship is not captained by James T. Kirk.
“It’s a different crew and a smaller ship,” Bray said. “It has one saucer and one engine.”
The team plans to shoot at least six episodes of about 45 minutes in length that most likely will be posted to YouTube.
Bray said that everyone working on the web series is doing so for the fun of it, calling them a “crew of volunteers.”
Executive producer John Hughes said the team has been operating on a shoestring budget.
“We paid out-of-pocket to get this thing going,” Hughes said, noting the biggest challenge has been the amount of time they have had to spend working away from home. “It takes a toll on family guys. It can wear and tear on a relationship. But it helps to have supportive partners. I think they figure, ‘At least they’re not out at a bar. They’re just geeking out on the set of a starship!’”
Both Bray and Hughes said that anybody wanting to help get this project off the ground is welcome.
“We need carpenters, electricians, people who can work computers, and anybody just willing to lend a hand,” Hughes said.
The ultimate goal is to build the entire ship beyond the bridge: corridors, sick bay, captain’s quarters and all.
“Then we can just go nuts,” Bray said with a laugh. “We’re just a bunch of nerds who want to make a really cool film.” —Alyssa Grimley