‘The Roddenberry Vault’ is a jaw-dropper! My vidchat with Roger, Denise & Mike Pt I

Quick! If you don’t have a copy yet of The Roddenberry Vault, the perfect cherry on top of this year’s 50th anniversary dessert… you can still likely order one for Christmas gift-giving! It actually sold out in 36 hours at Amazon last week, but has since been mercifully re-stocked—largely due to the huge fan word-of-mouth and, as you’ve seen by now, almost unanimous raves by critics… many of them from mainstream, non-Trekland circles. I’ll let them give you the impressive tech specs on the three-disc set.

Let me just say: I’ve known that it’d be jaw-dropping for ages… but as you see here in Part I of my chat in our informal Trekland style with my old friends Roger C. Lay Jr, Mike and Denise Okuda, I do ask the question: how ARE the snippets? And what to do with them? For I confess that’s what I turned to first when I got my copy: the miscellaneous bits. I’ll tell you why, below the fold:

See, in the early years of fandom before VHS or any home media to come, those little 3-frame strips of film Gene and Majel sold to fans via their Lincoln Enterprises (now Roddenberry.com) were gold—the only definitive reference for gap-fillers, costume makers and prop builders. I just always assumed there was very little left after the actual footage had been so chopped up, and was triply intrigued to hear what did survive once all the film leftovers actually did get opened and looked at. Thank goodness there was much left, even for seconds at a time… and Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth got the ball rolling to do something with all of it, a play that CBS and Paramount finally brought home.

There are also 12 episodes here, chosen to help with context for clips for those not as steeped in Trek lore lo these many decades—a smart move for newer fans. And each is again presented with your option of either original or remastered VFX; three have new audio commentaries, too, with Dorothy Fontana and David Gerrold among the voices you hear. Those  isolated music tracks, are great, too. It even has the most fun box you’ll ever see in home media.

Oh, and the new interviews! Across the three-part main doc and three separate pieces, special shout-outs to so many largely unheralded creators like Wah Chang and Jerry Finnerman … new speakers like legendary ILM/ Star Wars FX legend Richard Edlund, who reveals he actually got his start in a shop that did ’60s Trek effects! On a somber note, it’s also the last time we see on camera Don “Lt. Boma” Marshall and Emmy-winning TNG/DS9 VFX supervisor Gary Hutzel, both of whom passed after these were recorded.

Of course, when it comes right down to it, all those names are great—but it’s the footage we vets and newbies alike want to see. So check out the video: I just set the stage with this intro; in Part 2 and 3 coming soon, we’ll get to the nitty-gritty of the amazing pieces that were discovered among the “larger snippets” —and even some of the tiny ones!

If you enjoyed this latest backstage peek at Star Trek at STV Trekland, check out what the deep-divers are discovering each month in my Portal 47 experience—where no savvy fan has gone before!

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