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Earlier this season Hollywood Treasure, Syfy Channel’s “reality” series about auction house Profiles in History, featured the Dreier family collection of screenused props, costumes and nostalgic toys.   Back in June we reported that the auction house had announced the first part of the Dreier collection would hit the auction block July 28.  Chad Dreier and son Doug had amassed a broad collection of costumes and props after Chad’s company Ryland Homes was successfully turned into a multi-billion dollar enterprise. The collection itself covers a lot of bases of primarily movies from 2000 onward, with some key pieces from the 1970s and 1980s.  Saturday the first part of the collection resulted in a few good buys but mainly showed that the economy is doing fine for those with a lot of money.

So how did the lots that borg.com projected as key pieces fare?

First off was an exquisite original Chewbacca head/mask from the original Star Wars.  It had an auction estimate of $60,000 to $80,000 and I expected this would sell for at least triple that. Profiles called this “the finest screen-correct Chewbacca costume head from the Star Wars trilogy known to exist.”  So was I right?  The sale price including fees was $172,200.  Almost three times the estimate.  But this was an exception as most items in the auction sold in-line with auction estimates.

The Dreiers appeared to purchase everything they could get their hands on related to Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory from 1971. Their collection includes Wilder’s key outfit and hat and a bunch of lesser known but recognizable props and production ephemera. Wilder’s hat was expected to fetch between $20,000 and $30,000 and the costume $60,000 to $80,000.    The hat sold for $33,825  and the costume for $73,800.  An Oompa Loompa costume carried an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000.  Selling for $30,750, it showed how popular these characters still are today.

A Bob Keeshan costume from the 1960s had an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.  It sold for $36,900.

An easily identifiable jacket of the type worn by Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller carried an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.  It sold for $36,900.

The Dreiers were also fans of Christopher Reeve’s Superman from 1978.  One of the hero Reeves suits expected to sell between $60,000 to $80,000.  It sold for $79,850.  We featured the rarer costume worn by his father Jor-El, played by the great Marlon Brando, in our Comic-Con coverage here.

It had the same estimate as the Reeve suit, and sold similarly at $73,800.  Both fell in line with expectations.

The auction catalog cover featured an original set of cylon armor from Battlestar Galactica.  The suit carried an auction estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.  It sold for $46,125.

This outfit from the original series had an auction estimate of $12,000 to $15,000.  It sold for $17,220.

We also reported on this slick Wolverine costume in our Comic-Con coverage.  It had an estimate of $25,000 to $50,000 and sold for $49,200.

One sleeper item I noted was the original comic art for the Battlestar Galactica oversized comic book. With an estimate at only $2,000 to $3,000, I expected it to exceed $10,000.   Although it sold over its estimate, it didn’t make my prediction, selling at $4,305.

One other key piece sold at Profiles Saturday of note–a complete Star Trek: The Next Generation mannequin and costume of The Borg.  It was not ever for sale at auction before Profiles auctioned it in a recent auction of ex-Paley costumes, but was created by Michael Westmore’s actual production team for a museum collection once owned by The Paley Center.  It had an auction estimate of $8,000 to $12,000 and sold for just under $16,000.  I know of only three of these that are almost entirely complete and have heard a fourth example exists, but know of only one other complete from-head-to-toe version like this one.  These are the classic costumes of The Borg, not the later costumes that have deterioration problems and don’t look half as cool as these versions from “Best of Both Worlds” and “Descent”.  So it is awesome that one of these has surpassed prices for Star Trek captain uniforms, including, as in this auction, a Captain Picard costume worn by Patrick Stewart himself, which sold for $13,530.

Congratulations to the new owners of these great pieces of entertainment memorabilia!

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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By C.J. Bunce

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Green Arrow, and in advance of watching the preview to the new CW Network series Arrow and seeing the actors on their panel, I gawked at the new Green Arrow suit at the DC Comics booth at the San Diego Comic-Con.  The nicely polished display cases made it difficult to get great photos because of reflections.  I tried with two cameras but ultimately perfect shots would have only been available after the crowd dispersed after hours.  But, for the benefit of any cosplayers, here is what I was able to get:

The Green Arrow suit was designed by Academy Award winning costume designer Colleen Atwood.  The costume features a great choice for the shade of green and a combination of both fine suedes and more rugged, practical fabrics.

Close-up detail on hood of new Arrow costume.

Detail of bow carvings and boot from Arrow suit.

Detail of arm darts on new Arrow suit.

Deathstroke villain mask from new Arrow series.

Also at the DC Comics booth were Watchmen costumes, presumably advertising DC Comics’ current summer series Before Watchmen.  They showcased two costumes, the Comedian, and Nite Owl’s polar suit.  Both of these were worn by the actors in the Watchmen movie:

Warner Brothers featured some new costumes from the coming Superman reboot movie, Man of Steel.  Here is the hero suit from the movie:

Far across the convention center, I spoke with Joe Maddalena about his TV series Hollywood Treasure, which I enjoy watching for all the various props and costumes and owners that unearth them.  He had several costumes and props on display, including Marlon Brando’s costume as Jor-El from the original Superman film and one of Johnny Depp’s suits from Edward Scissorhands:

Profiles in History also had some screen-worn Star Wars costumes on display, including this Snowtrooper helmet from The Empire Strikes Back and a Stormtrooper helmet and rifle from the original Star Wars.

The Snowtrooper helmet in particular illustrates how time is not always kind to materials used for productions, never intended to survive much beyond the studio shoot.

Profiles in History also showcased a nice Wolverine costume from the X-Men films, worn on-screen by Hugh Jackman:

The guys from The Prop Store in London had a great booth again this year, attended by staff from both their London and L.A. offices.  The focus piece at their booth was this classic spacesuit from the original Ridley Scott movie Alien:

Finally, across the aisle from the Alex Ross art display was the giant display of Iron Man suits from Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and The Avengers. 

All of this led up to the later reveal of the new Iron Man suit to be featured in Iron Man 3.

Definitely impressive displays this year of screen-used costumes–something there for everyone.

It’s time again for our annual photos of the best cosplay costumes from the San Diego Comic-Con.  Lots of good costumes this year and we had no contender for worst costume of the show like we had last year.

How do you judge the best when anything goes?  You’ve got traditional Star Trek and Star Wars uniforms you will find at any pop culture convention.   You also have a huge following of video game and animated series characters.  I saw several people light up at many Korra costumes waiting in line for panels Friday.  Many others were from shows I never heard of.  What makes Comic-Con great is that there is something for everyone, no matter what your age and interests.  So another “best of” list from an attendee may be full of video game and animated series costumes.  The costumes below are just the ones that made me stop in my tracks.

First up is this brilliant idea–the crusader from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade who guarded the Holy Grail.  The classic line from the entire series is echoed in his placard “Choose Wisely.”  This is an example of a great idea using a relatively obscure yet instantly identifiable character I’d never seen portrayed at a Con before.

If you’ve read borg.com for very long you will recognize these two aliens from one of my favorite movies by one of my favorite directors: John Carpenter’s They Live.  If you’ve seen this movie you’ll know this man and woman nailed it, both with perfect masks but also with messages reflecting the symbolism throughout the movie.  Of course, I was not wearing my sunglasses so I walked right past these guys.  This photo was taken by my friends William and Sean from Elite Comics.  Star of the movie Roddy Piper was at last year’s show in a They Live shirt and I bet he would have loved these guys.

I would wager this furry fellow is from one of those anime or animated shows.  I have special affection for cosplayers who torture themselves for their art.  This guy had to be hot to the point of passing out.  Having worn only a prosthetic head last year I can say for certainty this guy was not comfortable, yet he was quick to perform beautifully for a kid in the hall.

The best subgroup of cosplay is the mash-up.  Nail a good mash-up and you’ll please two sets of fans at the Con.  This “leasure suit Boba Fett” takes the mash-up in a new direction and caused instant laughs.  I loved the red 1970s Adidas Dragon shoes.  You just couldn’t walk past this Mandalorian giving you a toast as you approached him.  Yeah, baby!

I’m a sucker for Muppets and Sesame Street characters.  I still have yet to run into Super Grover but keep looking.  Meanwhile this great Big Bird could not move three feet without being asked to get in a photo.  He couldn’t look any better.

Like the crusader above this human-sized walking Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters was a creative idea–exactly what you hope to see at a Con.  This outfit was nicely made and you couldn’t tell how this guy was able to breathe in this inflated suit.  Give him a hug, it’s OK.  Just don’t squeeze too hard.

I’m not sure if these two were at the Con together or just stopping for a snapshot but they sure matched.  I love Predator and this costume was as good as you can get at a convention.

I was stopped in a line for about 40 minutes across from this group.  They were so quiet, yet they harbored this vile little superheroine.  Hit Girl, from Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass comic book series.  This little girl actually looked better than the girl who played the role in the movie.  Nothing is more terrifying than creepy little girls, yet this group seemed pretty calm about it.

One thing you might not know about San Diego is that the entire town gets involved in Comic-Con.  Every other restaurant will have servers wearing some kind of homage to a comic book character.  Most have unique convention week menus with things like Captain America burgers, or as my friend Sean discovered, the Mighty Thor burger, complete with beef and barbecued pulled pork, or even gooey Iron Fries.  But this Spider-man at Starbucks was the only employee I saw over the weekend in full supersuit.  And he made a pretty good peppermint mocha.  Way to go, Starbucks!

As I said earlier this week, at the 2012 Comic-Con so many great Star Wars cosplayers walked the exhibit floor halls that they really seemed to dominate the convention.  Most could hardly be distinguished from the screenused originals.  But this costume outdid them all, a full hairy Chewbacca like no costume I’d seen before, complete with a built-in sound system that allowed the person inside to play certain Chewbacca sounds from the movies.  Check out the changing color of the hair, like a real animal would look.  The bandolier looks great.  The face looks better than the original mask being sold in the next Profiles in History auction.  And the wearer has the height right.  Stunning suit.  So this one makes the top of my list for SDCC 2012.

Nice job, cosplayers, for entertaining those of us who wimped out this year and attended in normal clothes!

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

If there was a theme to this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego it would be zombies.  Like no year before you could not turn left or right without someone dragging one of their feet with a dazed look.  The San Diego Padres Petco Stadium was blocked off and turned into a gauntlet/run/haunted house where fans of The Walking Dead could either be made up to look like zombies or be a survivor and attempt to run through 40 minutes of obstacles, and hiding zombies, to get out the exit gate without being “infected”.

As for costumes, it was cartoons and anime that seemed to monopolize cosplayers over superheroes and sci-fi.  You name the series, someone was wearing their gear.  But the best costumes overall remain the diehard Star Wars fans, whose Boba Fetts and Imperial armor could hardly be distinguished from the real thing.

As for panels, all the advance buzz and most talked about panel was the panel for Firefly, but The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, and Expendables 2 were not far behind–Arnold Schwartzenegger drew a huge mob of fans as he entered the convention hall.

As for marketing, Quentin Tarentino’s new movie Django was in well represented, along with the NBC TV series Grimm, and the remake of Total Recall.

If you’re a fan, like I am, of Green Arrow, come back this week for a review of the pilot for the new CW Network series Arrow, as well as a look at the Green Arrow suit from the series.  Creator of the Silver Age look for Green Arrow, Neal Adams, was talking with convention guests and sketching Batman and other characters for fans.

Star Trek fans had a lot to see as well, with attendance at the con by Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner and Levar Burton, and Wil Wheaton could be found circulating the halls.

Fans of series like Grimm and Haven could see the series stars on panels and then meet the actors afterward for signings.

More to come…

Review by Elizabeth C. Bunce

This weekend, we finally got a chance to see Disney-Pixar’s Brave, which we’ve been anxiously awaiting since last summer.  It was worth the wait.  This tale of a young Scottish princess who feels stifled by her mother’s dignified plans for her future may be the finest achievement in film animation to date.  Remember the excitement and celebration around 1992’s Beauty and the BeastBrave is even better, certainly deserving of Best Picture nominations come awards season.

The movie opens with breathaking panoramic establishing shots of a cliffside highland landscape overlooking the sea.  From craggy heath to towering forest to mysterious standing stones, the world of Brave is spectacular and fully realized–a setting you’re delighted to spend the next 100 minutes soaking up.  The characters are absolutely lifelike, featuring incredibly naturalistic movement and impressively detailed textures, from the coarse wool of a well-worn kilt to the flick of a warhorse’s whiskers.  I know next to nothing about digital animation, and it doesn’t matter.  Brave looks completely real.

But you don’t go see a movie because of its technical achievements (well, most of us don’t).  You go for story, characters, action, and heart, and Brave excels here, as well.  The headstrong young heroine who “wants so much more than they’ve got planned” is nothing new–even for Disney–but Princess Merida (Kelly MacDonald, State of Play, Gosford Park, Boardwalk Empire) is a fun and spunky addition to the modern Disney Princess lineup.  Neither beauty nor tomboy, she defies pigeonholing–which is, in fact, the crux of her story.  She’s extremely likable, but her adventure is the product of her own poor judgment.  If anything, the well-built worldbuilding and visual mastery left the major plot turning point feeling a little bit rushed, but it’s forgivable.  What we really care about is how Merida will get out of the trouble she’s caused, and what follows is a truly unique story about shapeshifters, ancient curses, a one-trick witch, and the best (and possibly only) mother-daughter fantasy caught on film.

Brave is also commendable for what’s not in it–no wisecracking warthog sidekicks or bathroom humor assumed necessary to keep the kiddies entertained because they can’t possibly be expected to actually follow the story (there are a couple obligatory kilt jokes, and some slapstick silliness provided by Merida’s younger brothers, but it’s mostly relevant to the plot, not just stuck in to make toddlers squeal)… and no romance.  Merida’s unwanted potential marriage is the catalyst for the plot, but she rides off on adventure all on her own, and barely even speaks to the dubious suitors.  We all love a good romance, but Brave shines without one, and it’s a refreshing change to the Disney fairytale formula.

The strong cast features a host of notable Scots and English actors, including MacDonald, Billy Connolly (Mrs. Brown, Muppet Treasure Island) as Merida’s larger-than-life father King Fergus, and Emma Thompson (Dead Again, Much Ado About Nothing) as the quintessential medieval queen determined to shape her daughter in her own mold.

The film was directed by Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell, and written by that trio and Irene Mecchi.  Brave is in theaters everywhere.

Earlier this season Hollywood Treasure, Syfy Channel’s “reality” series about auction house Profiles in History, featured the Dreier family collection of screenused props, costumes and nostalgic toys.  Now the auction house has announced the first part of the Dreier collection will be auctioned off, scheduled for July 28, 2012.

Chad Dreier and son Doug amassed a broad collection of costumes and props after Chad’s company Ryland Homes was successfully turned into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.  The collection itself covers a lot of bases of primarily movies from 2000 onward, with some key pieces from the 1970s and 1980s.  There is not a lot of focus to the collection–the Dreiers seemed to acquire several mid-range pieces from movies as opposed to going for the key hero piece from any particular film.  For whatever reason they stopped midstream, and the result is that many buyers will be able to fill in their collections from a wide range of productions.

The key pieces?

First off there is an exquisite original Chewbacca head/mask from the original Star Wars.  I could be wrong but it looks just like one that circulated the Planet Hollywood theme restaurant chain before they went bankrupt and sold off their collection via Profiles and other outlets.  It has an auction estimate of $60,000 to $80,000 and I expect this will sell for at least triple that.  Profiles calls this “the finest screen-correct Chewbacca costume head from the Star Wars trilogy known to exist.”  I’d guess George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch has one or two just as nice, but the statement is probably not far from the truth.  For everyone’s favorite lovable Star Wars hero, some folks with big pockets will duke it out for this crown jewel.  Some background original series weapons and prequel lightsabers are up for auction, too.

The Dreiers appeared to purchase everything they could get their hands on related to Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory from 1971.  Their collection includes Wilder’s key outfit and hat and a bunch of lesser known but recognizable props and production ephemera.  Annoyingly his hat and costume are being auctioned separately; the hat is expected to fetch between $20,000 and $30,000 and the costume $60,000 to $80,000.  An Oompa Loompa costume has an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000.

A Bob Keeshan costume from the 1960s has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.  If you’re like me you grew up with Keeshan in his nearly 40 year run as Captain Kangaroo.  No Mr. Green Jeans?

An easily identifiable jacket of the type worn by Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller carries an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.

The Dreiers were also fans of Christopher Reeve’s Superman from 1978.  More interesting than one of the hero Reeves suits expected to sell between $60,000 to $80,000 is the rarer costume worn by his father Jor-El, played by the great Marlon Brando.

Although the estimate for the silver blingy Brando costume is the same as for Reeve’s supersuit, if legend status is any indication, expect the Brando to go the way of contemporary Marilyn Monroe’s costumes last summer.  Despite some four-figure estimates, expect some Christopher Reeve Clark Kent suits and kryptonite to reach five figures–screen-matched kryptonite doesn’t come up for auction every day.

The cover piece is an original set of cylon armor from Battlestar Galactica.  Whether or not you liked the original series, you cannot deny how neat the original cylons looked in 1979.  The suit carries an auction estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.  Equally cool, and a nice jewel for some sci-fi TV fan, will be the Colonial Warrior costume from that series.

In particular, the helmet is a great looking piece, and if you watch the TV series Psych, you’ll have seen a colonial helmet as a story element in the entertainment memorabilia episode starring Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s real-life hubby Freddie Prinz, Jr. as a mega-sci-fi collector.

Iconic for sure.  The lot carries an estimate of $12,000 to $15,000.  (Profiles is also auctioning off a Geordi LaForge visor from Star Trek: The Next Generation!).

Many of the items are familiar, having sold in other recent Profiles auctions.  Look for a quarter scale Batmobile from Batman Returns as well as a deteriorating Batsuit worn by Michael Keaton. The auction includes several X-Men outfits and props, including Wolverine and his claws, Magneto, Cyclops, Storm, and Rogue.  For recent films they carry pretty hefty five-figure estimates (except Rogue), but I’d expect the Wolverine to sell for a high amount as the standout of the franchise.  Other costumes and props have been seen recently at auction but may be interesting to some bidders (and are certainly just fun to browse through in the catalog), including pieces from Star Trek, such as familar borgs Seven of Nine, Data in First Contact-style uniform, and a Next Generation member of The Borg as well as a Klingon warrior, also pieces from the Indiana Jones movies, Austin Powers, The Hunt for Red October, G.I. Joe, Gladiator and Dances with Wolves.

One sleeper item of note is the original comic art for the Battlestar Galactica oversized comic book.  With an estimate at only $2,000 to $3,000, expect this full color beauty to easily exceed $10,000.  This comic book is likely to tug at the nostalgia of many a kid from the 1970s.  Every other kid I knew had this comic book–it was published and reprinted several times–and who wouldn’t want to own the original cover art now?

For those with smaller budgets, some great toy lots from Star Wars, Pez, and G.I. Joe are being auctioned, too.

Happy bidding!

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

By C.J. Bunce

Don Hillenbrand is what you would call a diehard science fiction fan and entertainment memorabilia collector.  In particular he is a rabid Star Trek fanboy, a true Trekkie, and he’s one of my oldest Trek collector pals. He recently launched his new website WrathofDhan.com, an online museum of sorts where he shares some of his sense of humor and allows fans to get a closer look at his amazing collection of screenused costumes and props from the show and movies that featured the original Star Trek crew—Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty and the rest.

Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) about to board the USS Enterprise shuttlecraft Galileo.

As part of his passion for Star Trek, Don has spent some time over the years trying to track down the original shuttle Galileo—the actual ship that was used by Kirk & Co. in the original 1960s TV Star Trek series.  For years rumors persisted about the ship being in Don’s vicinity.  Trekkies posted photos of Google satellite images showing the vessel existed, somewhere in Ohio.  But no one seemed to know where it was stored.  It had undergone extensive restoration over the years.  One owner obtained it from the studio and (rumor has it) let their kids play in it in their yard for some time, somewhere in California.  The current owner acquired it and supposedly poured tens of thousands of dollars into a restoration effort, only to run short on money or otherwise decide to hold off, resulting in further weathering from storing it outside.  This is, after all, a 45-year-old piece of set dressing that was never intended to survive production of the series.  Recently the current owner put it up for sale and it is being auctioned off.  This week, after much persistence, Don (pictured above) was able to get in to see the Galileo in person.  I asked him here today to share his reactions with everyone involving this unique opportunity.

Front view of the shuttlecraft Galileo taken this week.

CB:  Don, what was your reaction to finally being able to see in person and walk through the actual shuttle Galileo, the only item that could be called an actual full-sized ship from the original Star Trek TV series?

DH:  Seeing the Galileo was a truly amazing thing.  On one hand, this is THE prop that we’ve all seen for decades and the emotions of joy that wash over you – well you can imagine.  Kirk and Spock actually hopped in and out of this piece!  But even as that feeling overtakes you the reality sets in – this thing is in TERRIBLE condition.  If you think it looks bad in the photos, that’s nothing compared to seeing it in person.  So you’re simultaneously hit with profound amazement and profound sadness.  It’s an odd experience.

Detail of Galileo exterior panel damage.

CB:  So how much is left of the original ship?

DH:  Of the main structure, I’d say AT THE MOST, there’s 25% of the original material in place, and of that, very little is salvageable, in my opinion.  The vast majority of the structure and surfaces have been replaced.  But then THAT was left to go to hell.  The owner kept saying how upset she was about all the bad online comments concerning the condition and how it wasn’t that bad.  At one point she abruptly turned to me and asked “It’s not as bad as you thought it was going to be, is it?”  To which I replied “Yes, I’m afraid it is.  Maybe worse.”  I didn’t want to be cruel, but this was a piece of crap.  It never ceases to amaze me how people can delude themselves when they have something on the line.

Aft view of Galileo.

CB:  I see from photos some of the weathered iconic logo on the side of the ship and the Enterprise ship identifer NCC 1701 across the back.  None of the paint or logos are original, correct?

DH:  Not a bit, unfortunately.  This has gone through at least two rounds of “restoration,” neither of which did much actual restoring in the long run.  Apparently every time progress was made, it was left out in the weather.  The lettering that you can see is from one of those rounds.  From what I can tell there’s not a molecule of original paint on the piece.  Or if there is, it’s so deteriorated that it can’t be identified.  This was originally made from a combination of materials.  From what I could tell, the skin is/was masonite with fiberglass used to blend the curved surfaces into each other.  The top “quarter round” pieces were metal, again blended with the glass.  Now it is mostly plywood and Bondo.  Lots and lots of Bondo.

Remnants of Bondo work from previous restoration efforts that took place nearly 20 years ago.

CB:  Can you tell what parts were original and what was replaced in the last restoration?

DH:  One of my goals (beyond acting like a Trekkie fanboy) was to specifically try to ascertain what was original and what was replaced.  I tried asking the owner but got rather vague information.  At one point she would say that an entire side was original.  But when I pointed out the obvious use of the plywood that the “restorers” had used, she’d say, “well, except for that.”  Of course “that” was a third of the side.  But through a lot of study and comparison, I was finally able to break it down.  Here’s what I know:

  • Steel frame is original and in good condition
  • Engines are mostly original and in good condition
  • Rear landing strut is original and in good condition
  • Interior wood frame has all been replaced
  • Sheathing on port side is about half original/half replaced
  • Sheathing on starboard side is all replacement
  • Aft – impulse engine nook has been totally replaced; lower section is original
  • Roof – totally replaced due to cave-in
  • Front – mostly original and in bad shape
  • Door – original
  • Detail pieces –grills – original
  • Bottom – no idea

Interior front view of Galileo.

The best thing about it are the engines – they are almost entirely intact.  They have no domes, unfortunately, but the rest is original except for one rear cowling that the owner had fabricated by one of the guys that worked on the original.  And I was amazed at how big that rear landing strut was in-person.  Big and beefy.  Unfortunately for me, the engines were stored in a garage and I was not able to get far enough away to take a good shot.  But they were impressive.

Galileo nacelle detail angle.

CB:  Someone will be forking over tens of thousands of dollars if they want to take on another (maybe the last) effort to finally restore this ship.  What is your take on that?

DH:  Let’s bottom line this: Is it worth restoring?  Is there enough left that it could be considered a “restoration” at all?  This is about opinion, since there’s no magic formula to determine which way to go.  I say “yes, there is.”  If it didn’t have the engines, I’d say forget it.  After all, whatever outer sheathing that is still original is in such poor condition that it will have to be replaced.  But I think there’s enough to justify restoring it and still being able to call it the “True Galileo.”  Just barely, but it’s there.

Water damage inside aft section of Galileo.

That said, it will take a Herculean task to fix this puppy up.  A year ago when I first heard about it resurfacing – practically in my own backyard – I fantasized about buying it and restoring it myself.  I’m a very handy guy and I can learn how to do just about anything.  But when I saw the poor girl in person, I knew it was good that I had put that dream aside.  You’d need a significant facility to house it in and work on it – this is no “garage kit” after all.  And you’d have to make it your extended hobby and be willing to spend hundreds of hours AND thousands of dollars (tens of thousands? I don’t know, frankly).  I’m not up to it.  And anyone thinking of bidding needs to know this going into it – it’s a BIG job!

Kirk exits Galileo, followed by Spock, in the season two episode “Metamorphosis.”

CB:  So what were your thoughts on being able to touch that actual ship from your favorite series as a kid (and still today)?

DH:  Regardless of her condition, I got to spend a great afternoon looking into every nook and cranny of the old girl.  A good friend and fellow Trek fan was with me (hey Mike!), and for a little while we were 7-year-olds stranded on a desolate planet (that bore a striking resemblance to a warehouse) with Spock and McCoy and the rest of the crew.  Kid in the candy store moment, for sure, and one I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.So I want to help make sure she ends up in a good home – with someone who will restore her to her former glory and put her proudly on display for the world to see.  I hope it comes to pass.  She deserves it.

Screencap of Hillenbrand’s online screenused costume and prop museum.

CB:  About your own collection of original Star Trek costumes and props, what made you put it all together to share on the Internet?

DH:  Well, I think you said it best when you referred to my site as “an online museum of sorts”.  That’s exactly what I want it to be – a virtual museum where fellow fans can see these amazing pieces of Star Trek history that we all love so much.

As a collector, I collect for myself, period.  I don’t buy things to impress others, just myself.  That said, a collector likes nothing better than to show off their collection to fellow fans and see theirs in return.  And since I can’t afford to build a facility and open my own museum (every collector’s dream, I think) I decided to go online.  Since web design and photography are what I do on a daily basis, it was a natural progression.  My friends had to endure countless iterations (sorry, Chris!) but I finally got something that I could be proud of and that reflected my collecting sensibilities.  I tried to have fun and tell a story.

CB:  Any future plans for WrathofDhan.com or new pieces you are looking to acquire for your collection?

DH:  I already have so many amazing pieces – stuff that is frankly beyond anything I could have dreamed of a few years ago.  But like any collector, I’m always on the hunt for new stuff, new information, and new insight into the Trek experience that has meant so much to me throughout my life.  As a matter of fact, I have a number of pieces that I need to add to the site even now.  In that way, I hope my site will never be finished.  And I’d like to thank all the great friends I’ve made over the years that have helped me make my collection what it is.  They’ve helped me in so many ways, beyond just the collection.  I wish all of you could have joined me on the Galileo for the trip of a lifetime.  As usual, Captain Kirk said it best:

“Course heading, Captain?”

“Second star on the right… and straight on ‘til morning.”

CB:  Thanks for talking with us today, Don!

DH:  My pleasure.

In real life Don runs New World Design (www.neworldesign.net) and NEOWORX Studio (www.neoworxstudio.com) where he creates design and illustration work for clients around the world. His work was recently featured in the Star Trek “Ships of the Line” calendar, a collection of new outer space imagery in the expanded Star Trek universe.

Hillenbrand designed this beautiful image for the Star Trek Ships of the Line calendar.

For anyone interested in bidding on the Galileo, you’ll have to act fast as the auction ends this week.

By C.J. Bunce

Inspired by the new blue space suits in the new movie Prometheus, yesterday we began showing the evolution of the space suit as seen by Hollywood from the 1950s through the 1970s, including a few photos of real astronaut suits that influenced movie designers.  Today we continue trekking forward to the costumes of today.

In 1979 the original cast of Star Trek returned in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Mr. Spock, clad in an orange space suit, tries to meld with the menace called V’ger.

Kirk arrives in a white suit to rescue Spock after he is knocked unconscious.

Forget about the Astronaut Farmer, I really liked the 1979 TV series Salvage 1 with Andy Griffith, an early glimpse at an astronaut a la Virgin’s Richard Branson, where private folks build a rocket from scratch and send it up, up, and away.

I don’t recall Roger Moore wearing the classic aluminum looking suit in the James Bond movie Moonraker, but he wore one in PR photos.

The yellow suits worn throughout most of Moonraker’s space scenes.

Here is an astronaut scene you might not recall–In 1980’s Superman II, Zod and friends use American astronauts on the moon as playthings before bringing their wrath to Earth.

In 1982 we get another look at the Kirk and Spock suits from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, now worn by Walter Koenig and Paul Winfield alongside Ricardo Montalban in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

More of a protective suit, a few of these radiological suits were equipped with glass helmets, making us think they might work outside the USS Enterprise. Here Scotty and his engineering crew wore these in both Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Either way I think these make for some awesome designed space suits, and Scotty never looked cooler.

In 1979 we met the first of Ridley Scott’s Alien universe, and witnessed HR Giger’s visionary suits for the crew of the Nostromo.

Sigourney Weaver’s character Ripley had her own version of a space suit.

In the 1981 film Outland, Sean Connery takes an excursion to Jupiter’s moon Io. And again we have multi-colored space suits!

Sometimes creating space suits means replicating reality, and it was hardly ever done better than in 1983’s Mercury program biopic, The Right Stuff.

The Right Stuff also featured Sam Shepard as Chuck Yeager, and here he augured a test plane into the ground. Crash and burn.

In 1984 Roy Scheider discovered this time he needed a bigger ship in the 2001: A Space Odyssey sequel, 2010.

One of my all-time favorite sci-fi movies is The Last Starfighter. Grig and Alex wore some of the best looking space suits in this film (OK, yes, I’ve included a few pilot outfits in this list).

In 1986 we got to see kids in space in Spacecamp, starring Lea Thompson.

Marketed as “from the makers of Star Wars,” the 1990 film Solar Crisis didn’t even come close.

In the original (but unreleased) cut of Star Trek Generations, the film was to open with a suborbital drop by Captain James T. Kirk. The heat shield tiles were a good idea.

Ron Howard created one of the best films ever of any genre with the superb account of Apollo 13, starring Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon.

In 1996 with Star Trek: First Contact, Captain Picard and Worf wore this type of suit to defeat a threat from The Borg. These suits were later re-used by the crew in Star Trek Voyager.

In 1997’s Event Horizon, Sam Neill wore a darker and grittier look.

Matt LeBlanc piloted the Jupiter 2 in the remake of Lost in Space (1998) complete with helmeted suit.

More recycled Hollywood. In 1998 B’Elanna Torres wore Captain Kirk’s space suit from the deleted opening scene from Star Trek Generations, in the Star Trek Voyager episode “Extreme Risk.”

In the blockbuster 1998 movie Armageddon, Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck wore these realistic space suits to save the world from a giant rock.

…but first the crew had to wear these suits to drill through the jagged asteroid’s surface.

In 2000 Val Kilmer starred in Red Planet, blending horror and sci-fi, wearing this nicely designed space garb.

Red Planet also featured The Matrix’s Carrie Ann Moss, sporting her own cool but differently styled suit.

In 2000 the all-star cast of Space Cowboys mirrored reality, looking like John Glenn in his second voyage to the stars.

Also in 2000, Mission to Mars featured this type of astro-wear.

In 2002 George Clooney donned a space suit in Solaris, where a psychiatrist investigates a space crew.

But it is really hard to beat these copper colored space suits as worn in 2002 by Scott Bakula’s Captain Archer on the TV series Enterprise–for me the color reflects the old heavy underwater gear of centuries past.

The key impetus that created the Fantastic Four in the 2005 film was a volley of cosmic rays, turning Michael Chiklis’s Ben Grimm into The Thing.

In 2006 in the episode “Waters of Mars” David Tennant’s Doctor Who lead an incredible mission to save Earthlings in space, a mission with a terrible destiny. 

In 2008 the rhino-alien Judoon took Doctor Who by storm, looking tough in these big suits…

 

And in the same year, the short aliens with big blue suits, the Sontarans, also from Doctor Who.

 

Maybe the strangest space suit so far, this bulky outfit was worn by Cillian Murphy in Danny Boyle’s film Sunshine.

Maybe the future is really in gear like Iron Man’s suit. After all he’s taken it into space.

Whether you’re a traditional Trekkie or not, you had to like the great look of JJ Abrams’ 2009 remake of Star Trek. And still we have mutli-colored outfits to tell everyone apart!

In 2009’s Moon, Sam Rockwell has some issues to deal with. One of those over-hyped films that I couldn’t get through. Still, it had a good overall look.

In 2009 the TV series Stargate Universe featured these very futuristic, detailed space suits.

Very simple space suits from the 2009 TV series Defying Gravity.

In 2011’s Doctor Who episode “The Impossible Astronaut” Matt Smith was killed by whoever was in this astronaut suit.

Also in the 2011 Doctor Who season, the episode “Rebel Flesh” featured this future-human protective gear, which might as well be a space suit. Over the decades Doctor Who has featured aliens in space suits, too, and too many to list!

Which brings us to June 2012, and next week’s premiere of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, with these slick blue suits appearing on posters everywhere.

Now we know this was not a comprehensive list, but feel free to drop us a note and let us know if we missed any “key” space suits.

Most reality TV and competition shows aren’t worth watching when compared to all the great TV writing available these days.  Two weeks ago in our Spring TV Wrap-up, we discussed the best of this past season, and you’ll notice there are no reality shows listed there.  Why?  The reality TV formula got old fast as the past decade moved along, as did competition shows generally.  Sure, American Idol and Top Chef still get big viewership numbers, and we drift back for an episode of Iron Chef once in a while, but at some point even their fans will dwindle.  Let’s face it, there’s something for everyone and we won’t knock it (it’s why having several hundred channels to choose from seems to be a very “American” thing) and fans of reality shows probably aren’t also watching our sci-fi, fantasy, and other genre programming.

That said, one of the more fun reality-esque shows because if its unique subject matter is starting its second season this week: the Syfy Channel’s Hollywood Treasure, which airs on Tuesday nights.  I was impressed that they changed up the show a bit for the season two premiere, and offered a lot of content anyone can enjoy.  Three key things make the series work.  First, although Hollywood Treasure has the obligatory formula for reality shows, including the repeated scenes that straddle each commercial break and make you race for the fast forward on the remote, the plain coolness of the subject matter of the show outweighs any reality show annoyance factor.  Second, the show focuses on the guys who run Profiles in History, consistently the entertainment memorabilia auction house that pulls in the highest sales of any auction house in the world, and items they sold at auction in the past year.  These guys run into all sorts of neat props and costumes from Hollywood and occasionally an actor or show creator.  Third, the guys who run the auctions and are featured in the show, Joe Maddalena, Jon Mankuta, Brian Chanes, and Fong Sam, are actually fans of genre films and comic books as much as they are businessmen.  I’d dealt with these guys in the past and they are always great to work with.  Some of the scenes are formulaic and more than a bit contrived, but their passion and excitement for memorabilia always shines through.

The highlight of episode one of this new season, and what will certainly keep watchers coming back for more if they can keep bringing in similar guests, is a segment where actor Sean Astin discussed movie props he owns (and used to own) from Rudy, Goonies and The Lord of the Rings.  Astin always has such an aura of authenticity that you can ignore all the theatrics and just enjoy seeing this guy simply talk about making movies.  The personal items he retained from playing Samwise Gamgee are certainly treasures any LOTR fan would love to get his hands on.

Astin kept his screenused backpack and pans, his Elvin pin, his bread pouch, and leather wineskin from The Lord of the Rings films.

Other sequences in this episode were an attempt to auction one of the four original sets of ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz for $2 million, which Profiles was only able to sell after the fact by direct sale, still attaining the $2 million the owner wanted as a minimum reserve price.  In this sequence Profiles also revealed that they actively solicit buyers after sales for items that don’t meet the minimum reserve price–buyers that kick themselves later for not bidding, thinking the sell price will be out of their range.  In reviewing the slippers they got to visit what seemed like a private collector’s own Fort Knox lockdown facility.  Another segment featured Joe Maddalena buying a Jim Carrey hat and cane from Batman Forever, then trying to flip them at auction for profit.  And Maddalena also visited the Dreier collection of costumes and props, which is being auctioned off over a few years.

Profiles in History is the same auction house we discussed here last year that made all sorts of records selling off the Debbie Reynolds movie costume and prop collection, including the famed Marilyn Monroe Seven Year Itch subway vent scene dress and an Audrey Hepburn My Fair Lady dress, among millions of dollars in other sales, and the Captain America auction last month.  And these are the guys we caught up with last year at Comic-Con showing the Back to the Future III DeLorean.  Their auction website is www.profilesinhistory.com.  We hope they can keep up the momentum started in their first episode of season two all season long.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

Review by C.J. Bunce

Half of Star Wars fans will tell you it’s the best of the entire series.  Although A New Hope quickly built up an amazing and beloved new galaxy, it wasn’t until The Empire Strikes Back that we met a fully realized universe of diverse planets and complex, well-developed characters, personal stories of heroes we now knew well, risking their lives for each other.  Like The Godfather and The Godfather II, you can try to compare them and see the ways in which one out-performed the other.  For me, young Vito Corleone watching as a rug is stolen for him by Bruno Kirby’s Clemenza, the kiss of death with John Cazale’s poor, stupid Fredo, the tragic downfall of Michael Corleone–all of these stick out as the powerful pieces of the series and all happened in the sequel.  With The Empire Strikes Back, we met Yoda, we learned of Luke’s relationship to Darth Vader, we saw Han Solo really put the Millennium Falcon to its limits in that asteroid field, we saw AT-ATs devastate the Rebel Base, we saw romance develop between Han and Leia, and we saw the brief glimpses of the motley band of bounty hunters, and especially Boba Fett.  And it probably had the single best film soundtrack of any film, certainly any John Williams soundtrack, ever made.

A candid image of Harrison Ford on the Millennium Falcon set.

So it is no wonder that The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, published in 2010 for the film’s 30th anniversary, is an exceptional account of the behind the scenes herculean efforts required to make such a cinematic masterpiece.  The book uses contemporary interviews interspersed with archival notes from George Lucas’s own files, including pieces dating back to A New Hope, suggesting the source of the name Darth Vader (dark invader) and other interesting bits of trivia, and hundreds of photos both color and black and white, to tell the story behind the story.

Yes, he only had a cameo, but that really was one-day leading man Treat Williams as a Rebel soldier on the Hoth set with Carrie Fisher.

Focusing on the film’s director, the late Irvin Kershner, and piecing together bits from George Lucas’s own original visionary thoughts through author Leigh Brackett’s scripting and the key actors’ personal accounts, author J.W. Rinzler lets the past speak for itself (Rinzler also wrote the previously successful “Making of” books The Complete Making of Indiana Jones: The Definitive Story Behind All Four Films and The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film.)  Little extraneous commentary is included, and instead quotes from the creative minds speak of poor filming conditions, too much to do in too little time, and the elephant in the room–could they really meet Star Wars fans’ expectations and continue the story of Luke Skywalker in another successful, ground-breaking blockbuster?

A king’s ransom, or at least the holy grail of any science fiction movie costume collector. So who lays out Boba Fett’s clothes for him anyway?

The Making of The Empire Strikes Back includes Mark Hamill’s own account of his near-fatal car crash and Lucas’s plan for the film had he died, the complete beginning to end planning of Boba Fett’s costume including incredible images back to the original incarnation as a “supertrooper,” planning and preparation of advance toy marketing, the late Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art, and the crazy filming of the Hoth scenes in a blowing snowscape.  Hurdles for the production included the single challenge the entire success or failure of the movie depended on: the design, construction and performance of Yoda, a muppet to replace the role originally planned for the aging Alec Guinness’s Obi-Wan Kenobi.

A view of the boom in the shot as Harrison Ford watches Luke and Leia kiss. Having read the script, he looks like he is thinking “how could George show these two kissing?”

Also included are detailed descriptions of deleted scenes, including more extensive footage of tauntauns and the Hoth wampa and the rebels in the snow cave.

The book had been previewed in Entertainment Weekly, which had hinted at some of the never before published photographs from the book, but the magazine article only skimmed the surface of what can be found here.  For some readers it will be a perfect coffee table book, and for others it will be a reference and how-to manual for project managing an epic film.

The Making of The Empire Strikes Back is available at Amazon.com and all other bookstores.

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