‘Star Trek: The Roddenberry Vault’ Features Unseen Footage From Original Series

Unseen footage from the Star Trek original series resurfaced for Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, and Rod Roddenberry reveals everything that’s led to The Roddenberry Vault.

This year marks Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, with the show touching millions of lives and inspiring countless of boys and girls to pursue what they want in life. Not just merely a sci-fi series, Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek has transcended space and time by creating a number of spin-offs and franchises.

At the San Diego Comic-Con Star Trek panel last week, to celebrate Star Trek’s 50th year, showrunners reveal Star Trek: The Original Series – The Roddenberry Vault. The Roddenberry Vault is a collector’s edition Blu-ray set contains never-before-seen footage, behind-the-scenes video, and interviews with actors and showrunners.

Gene Roddenberry’s son, Rod, talked to the Hollywood Reporter and revealed that The Roddenberry Vault has been a top-secret project known only to a handful of people for years. He recalled that when he was a kid, he would visit the office of his mother, Majel Barrett Roddenberry, who ran a company that sold Star Trek souvenirs back in the day.

“There was a back storage room that was dark and dingy. There were thousands of canisters that contained Star Trek footage taken off the cutting room floor during the three years of the original series. I thought it was fun to put my finger in the middle of the reels and twist and make a ‘volcano.'”

These canisters of Star Trek footage have been through a lot over the years (the collection even survived a flood or two). In 2006, Roddenberry went back to the reels of Star Trek footage and began pitching the idea of releasing them to CBS. Of course, CBS knew that Star Trek fans would be hyped to lay their eyes on the material! Just a year later, Star Trek experts Mike and Denise Okuda, who both were assigned previously to work on Star Trek: The Next Generation and multiple editions of the Star Trek Encyclopedia, were brought in by CBS to start working on the material. The sheer amount of the Star Trek material recovered by Roddenberry was so overwhelming that it took the Okudas three years to finish viewing and logging all the footage.

Only the Okudas and the top management knew about the Star Trek project. In fact, it was even given a codename: Sargon, which is an alien entity in the episode “Return to Tomorrow” from the original series’ second season.

During the Star Trek panel at the Comic-Con 2016, Roddenberry, the Okudas, executive VP of worldwide production for CBS Phil Bishop, and producer Roger Lay Jr. finally revealed that the Star Trek footage, arranged and compiled neatly into Star Trek: The Original Series – The Roddenberry Vault, will be released this coming Fall.

The official press release for the Star Trek: The Original Series – The Roddenberry Vault reads as follows.

“During the production of Star Trek: The Original Series, bits and pieces of episodic footage were left on the cutting room floor, then stored away in film cans for decades by the Gene Roddenberry Estate. Now, in celebration of the show’s Fiftieth Anniversary, The Roddenberry Vault has finally been opened. Along with twelve of their favorite episodes, fans can see and own behind the scenes footage from the making of the series as well as alternate takes, deleted scenes, omitted dialogue, outtakes, and original visual FX elements.”

Also included in the Star Trek: The Original Series – The Roddenberry Vault are new insights from the cast and the makers and a few special feature documentaries.

  • Inside The Roddenberry Vault – A multi-part glimpse at classic episodes from new angles and perspectives.
  • Star Trek: Revisiting A Classic – A look at life on the set during production.
  • Strange New Worlds: Visualizing The Fantastic – An inside look at the groundbreaking work of the series’ designers and visual effects artists.

The Roddenberry Vault also features 12 classic Star Trek episodes in high-definition Blu-ray, chosen for their relevance to the vault’s lost/unseen material.

Roddenberry adds that when he was younger, when Gene was still alive, he did not watch Star Trek.

“I wasn’t into it. I never paid attention. My father wasn’t the great bird of the galaxy to me, he was my dad, an authority figure. I was more interested in girls and cars and heavy metal music and being cool.

[When my father passed away], that’s when I started to listen to these amazing people who either had a disability or they came from an abusive situation or they were never given the support by their family members that they needed and they’d tell me that Star Trek gave them a future and now they’re a doctor or a scriptwriter or they’re raising their children in a better way and they attributed that to my father. It just blew me away. I couldn’t believe that this TV show inspired people. So I learned about Star Trek from the fans first and then I went back and watched it. I thought, ‘I get it! Now I see what you guys are talking about.’ Sadly, it was after my father passed away.”

Now, Roddenberry is more hands-on on Star Trek than ever, and he is surely making his father proud wherever he may now be.

[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]

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