TOS Computer props - REVISED and in HD

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TOS Computer props - REVISED and in HD

feek61
Joined: 29 Apr 2007, 15:38

02 Aug 2008, 01:18 #1

The "PC" Props of Star Trek TOS


For
most people back in the 1960's and early 70's the thought of having a portable
desk-top computer that you could use to do multiple tasks was unthinkable.  During the show we see the crew use these
computers to do amazing things.  That is
what made these computer props from Star Trek so intriguing and just plain
cool. During the run of the original series there were several varieties of
computer props that were used. There were many different models; the first
appearing on-screen beginning in the very first episode filmed and fittingly
the same computer also appeared in the very last episode. Here we will document
each of these props, characteristics of each and their evolution during the run
of the series. There were many different varieties of the computer props. For
the purposes of this series of articles we will label them "type 1,"
"type 2" etc. with variations of each type as "alpha,"
"beta," etc. as determined by when they first appeared on screen (in
filming order; not the order the episodes were aired on TV).
Image



 Image
The Corbomite Maneuver




The
first appearance of the type 1 computer was in the briefing room scene during
"The Corbomite Maneuver." This is probably the prop that got the most
screen time because it was incorporated into the briefing room table. It is
visible in every scene filmed in the briefing room; mostly because Spock
generally operated it.  The type 1 would
get screen-time along with Spock during these scenes. There appears to have
been only one type 1 computer made for the series and it was a hero model (with
functioning switches and lights). The type 1 was a blue-grey console with two
large black back-lit panels facing the operator. It has 5 toggle switches down
the right side (4 red with one white toggle switch in the center).  Each of these 5 toggle switches operated a
bank of lights located either on the top or bottom portion of the back-lit
panels.  In addition to the toggles there
were 4 colored rocker switches adjacent to them near the bottom right side of
the console.  The rocker switches from
left to right were colored white, blue, yellow & red.  


Type 1
Control Functions:
Image


When the toggle switch was
flipped to the left it would light up one of 5 lights illuminating a section of
the computer display panel. Here is the break-down on the toggle functions in
order from top to bottom: 
1 – Controlled the light on the top right side. 
2 – Controlled the light on the top center. 
3 – Controlled the light on the top left side. 
4 – Controlled the light on the bottom right. 
5 – Controlled the light on the bottom left. 
C - (rocker switch) Controls the desk mounted intercom 
The rest of the bottom rocker switches appear to have no function as seen in
the series.



 Image
Mudd's Women



 Image
The Alternative Factor




The type 1 saw virtually no
modifications or changes during the entire run of the series. The first time we
see a portion of it lighted was a scene from "Mudd's Women" when the
bottom right section was lit. The first appearance of it fully lighted was the
briefing room scene from "The Man Trap." In the episode "Court
Martial" do we see it in two different locations; in the briefing room and
also in Kirks quarters on the starbase. This is the one and only time during
the entire series that we see this unit outside of the briefing room. The type
1 was most prominently seen with some great close-ups during the second season
episode "Wolf in the Fold." In the briefing room scenes from that
episode we get a close-up view of it completely lit up and in different
configurations. Even though the type 1 computer appears slim at the base it
actually extends pretty far below the table top. This was to accommodate the
lights that illuminated the lower panel display. The top main portion apparently
could be removed (without the bulky lower section that appears below the
briefing room table) still allowing the upper bank of lights to function.


 Image
Space Seed - You can see how big the bottom portion under the table is in this photo




In some instances the computer
had no power source connected to it at all. 
We can determine this because of the position of the toggles which would
have illuminated some section of the display had the unit been powered.  


Image
Operation - Annihilate!




This prop early in the series
defined the power of the computer in a small compact unit and paved the way for
its many counterparts that were to follow as the series progressed.  


Image
Wolf in the Fold 




Image
Samuel T. Coggly was NOT a fan of the
type 1. From "Court Martial"  - You can see the bottom portion of the unit is not there



The type 1 computer prop appeared in these episodes:
 
03 The Corbomite Maneuver
 
04 Mudd's Women
 
05 The Enemy Within
 
06 The Man Trap
 
07 The Naked Time
 
08 Charlie X
 
09 Balance of Terror
 
15 Court Martial
 
20 The Alternative Factor
 
21 Tomorrow is Yesterday
 
24 Space Seed
 
29 Operation: Annihilate
 
32 Fridays Child
 
36 Wolf in the Fold
 
37 The Changeling
 
40 The Deadly Years
 
42 Trouble with Tribbles
 
47 Obsession

48 The Immunity Syndrome
 
50 By Any Other Name
 
51 Return to Tomorrow
 
53 The Ultimate Computer
 
55 Assignment Earth
 
57 Elaan of Troyius
 
62 Is there in Truth no Beauty
 
64 The Tholian Web
 
68 Wink of an Eye
 
73 Lights of Zetar
 
77 The Savage Curtain
 
79 Turnabout Intruder (back portion only)



Next we will visit the type 2
computer prop.


 
Last edited by feek61 on 27 May 2014, 16:41, edited 16 times in total.
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feek61
Joined: 29 Apr 2007, 15:38

02 Aug 2008, 01:26 #2

Image
The Type 2 computer prop also
known as the bio-computer, made its first appearance in the episode "Miri." 
That episode required a need to show that there were portable computing units
and other instrumentation that could be transported down to the surface of a
planet.  The Type 2 prop was one of the
instruments created to fulfill that purpose in the episode.   It went
on to appear in many episodes in all three seasons.  Although the
unit was modified and repainted; there appears to have been only one unit made
which was a hero model (with working lights and switches).


Image

A good view of the Type 2 in its original "Alpha" configuration from the episode "Miri"




The Type 2
computer prop began as a dark purplish-grey unit (the "Alpha" model) with
an angled front and a flat top.  It sat on top of an unobtrusive black
base that appears to be permanently attached to the bottom of the unit. 
On the front angled surface there was a black panel which had 10 buttons and 10
corresponding red lights on it.  The buttons themselves were individually
labeled 0 to 9 from left to right.  Each button when depressed activated
the corresponding red light above it.  There was also a black panel on the
top of the type 2.  On the left of the top panel there was button and a
grouping of 4 lights.  The button was the same style button that we see on
the captain's chair and at each of the various intercom stations.  It is a
large white button with a black bezel.  When pushed this button activated
the four lights that would blink in a random pattern.  At times it would
appear that the lights moved in a specific pattern but they did not.  They
were just flashing lights that seemed to create random patterns as the differing
rates of the flashing would match-up.  The lights were red, yellow, green,
and white.  The top configuration of the Type 2 changed in the first
season.  In the earliest episodes on the top right side there appears to
be a simple black hemisphere but this was changed into a light by the
end of the first season.  Specifically between the episodes "Tomorrow
is Yesterday" when it was painted a darker color with the black hemisphere
on the top right; to the episode "Devil in the Dark" when it had been
modified with the light on the right side of the top and it was painted a
lighter "camera friendly" light blue/grey.  This is the "Beta" version of the
Type 3.  It remained in this
configuration with no modifications for the remainder of the series.  



The other button on the top near
the center was a small red momentary button. 
On the early version of this prop with the black hemisphere we never saw
this button have any function.  After the
modification this button activated a larger single flashing light on the right
side of the top.  Seen most notably in the episode "Operation -
Annihilate!" when Kirk realizes that the creatures could be destroyed by
light.  The only other feature on the top
was a data cartridge tape slot on the right side. 


Image
”Tomorrow is Yesterday” was the last appearance of the original "Alpha" version
before the Type 2 was modified


Image



Image
The moment with Kirk realizes that perhaps light will destroy the creatures
from “Operation - Annihilate!”  Here we
see the modified version of the Type 2



 


Perhaps the most memorable moment
we remember of the Type 2 is from the scene in “Tomorrow is Yesterday” when in the
Captains Quarters it became too affectionate towards Kirk.  During the second season it was seen in
various places around the ship but typically it was seen in McCoy's lab. 
It was also featured prominently in the episode "The Omega Glory"
along with several other props (reminiscent of the “Miri” episode) on the
planet surface as McCoy tried to isolate why the landing party had immunity on
the surface.  


 


Image


Here is a great view from “The Omega
Glory” of the Type 2 "Beta" version clearly showing the modified light on the top right side
.


 


Image
Notice McCoy using the tape slot in this scene from “The Omega Glory”

 


The Type 2 also had a seldom used feature which was a curious rectangular opening
on the right side end of this prop.  Apparently its purpose was for samples
or Petri dishes to be slid into this area for analysis.  The slot was also used as data tape storage
but this function is only seen in the one episode "Paradise Syndrome."  
We saw this unit in a few more third season episodes and it made its last
appearance in the final episode "Turnabout Intruder." 


In April 1977, in the Star Trek
Poster Book (if you are old enough to remember those publications), there
appeared an article entitled "The Medical Technology of Star Trek"
written by Geoffrey Mandel.  In the
article he refers to this computer as the "Cat Brain" computer. 
The "Cat Brain" moniker used to describe the Type 2 computer can be
originally attributed to Mr. James Blish. 
Mr. Blish wrote the adaptations of the Star Trek episodes into a series
of books but he was also a trained biologist. 
In present-day the term “Cat Brain” when referring to computers
indicates a neural network capable of exceeding the processing power of a
feline cortex.  In the novelization of
the “Miri” story; Mr. Blish writes that at McCoy's requests that they get a
computer down to the planet to help him with isolating and identifying the
disease, Kirk instructs Lieutenant Farrell:

"Ship us down the biggest portable bio-computer--the cat-brain job."


Since Mr. Blish in many cases
used early versions of the scripts for the basis of his adaptations; it is not
know whether he added the term “cat-brain” on his own or if it was an element
that was not used in the aired version of the episode.  In any case it was never a part of the final
filmed version of “Miri.”
Image
From the Star Trek Poster Book

Image
Devil in the Dark giving us a good view of the side opening.  This is the first episode showing the
modified type 2 computer




Image
”The Paradise Syndrome” showing the side slot being used for data tape
storage




Image
The type 2 was seen when Spock was interrogating Nomad in “The Changeling”


Image
”The Trouble with Tribbles” shows the type 2 where it was often seen; in
McCoy’s lab




Image
There is nothing like having your own personal type 2.  A Fan made type 2 (built by the author of
this series and now is owned by ST/ Phase 2)



 


The type 2 computer appeared in
the following episodes:


12 
Miri
21 Tomorrow is Yesterday 
26  Devil in the Dark (in the mining office)
29  Operation - Annihilate!
37  The Changeling
40  The Deadly Years
42  The Trouble with Tribbles
44  The Immunity Syndrome
47  Obsession
50  By Any Other Name
51  Return to Tomorrow
54  The Omega Glory
58  The Paradise Syndrome
57 Elaan of Troyius
64 The Tholian Web
68 Wink of an Eye
79 Turnabout Intruder


Next up the Type 3.
Last edited by feek61 on 05 Jun 2015, 19:44, edited 38 times in total.
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feek61
Joined: 29 Apr 2007, 15:38

02 Aug 2008, 01:39 #3

Image
Moving on to the
type 3 units; now things get a little interesting!  The type 3 computers
were flat-topped triangular shaped grey units that had identical controls on
each angled side.  It was a versatile
unit designed so that the appearance of it could be altered to make it look
like different units.  There appears to be only two of these units. 
One unit appears to be a hero model with working lights and the other appears
to be static without any lighting. The control configuration on each side
consists of a single raised panel with 6 staggered black buttons; all
surrounded with a silver bezel base.  Each of these buttons when depressed
activated a light behind a long frosted segmented red and green band above the
buttons.  The red and green band was
separated by narrow yellow lines.  On the right hand side there were two
toggles and on the left side there is a large yellow light.  On one side of the unit the two toggles were
yellow; on the other side they were black. 
This was the only difference in the two sides of each type 3 prop.  The top toggle switch activated the large
yellow light on the left side of that side of the unit.   The bottom toggle operated a bank of lights
on top of the unit.  This unit is
interesting because the top was able to be modified into different
configurations; something we have not yet seen in our analysis of these
computer props.


Image
The first time we see a type 3 on screen during “Conscience of the King”

The first appearance of this prop
was in the episode "Conscience of the King" during the rec room scene
while Uhura (while playing the Vulcan harp no less) was singing to Riley down
in the engine room.  We will identify
this configuration as “Alpha.”  In this “Alpha” configuration the prop had
a long frosted rectangular section on top of the unit with six flashing lights inside on
each side (for a total of 12 lights divided by spacers).  The edges of the
frosted section were outlined in black.  In addition on the top above the frosted rectangular section there was
a long multi-colored segmented panel (3 rows of 21 sections) that was connected
to a clear round acrylic rod on each side.  The acrylic rod was connected
to the top of the computer by a narrower acrylic rod on each side.  Two of
these type 3 computers props appeared together for the first time in the same
“Alpha” configuration in the episode "The Alternative Factor," again
in the rec room.


Image
Image

In “The Alternative Factor” we see two “Alpha” versions on screen for the
first time

The next appearance of the type 3
prop was in the episode "A Taste of Armageddon" as an Eminiar VII
computer on the desk of the general council.   Here we saw both units;
the presumed static and the hero props together in what we will call
configuration "Beta."  In this configuration all of the top
parts had been removed and were changed to a triangular shaped frosted lens that
covered the twelve lights on top.  The
new top piece also extended over the holes where the acrylic rods were
connected on the “Alpha” configuration.  Throughout this episode in the
council chambers we saw them side-by-side but only with one lighted at any one
time.  At one point in the episode they apparently
switched them around; so it appears that the other unit was lighted.  We can hypothesize that only one of these
units was actually a lighted hero model since we never see both of these units
lit up at the same time.  It is not
unusual that the toggles were such that the unit should be on; but it is not.  If they both had lighting it seems unlikely
that they would not have them both illuminated.  The next appearance of the type 3 also in
configuration "Beta" is in "Errand of Mercy" when it was
depicted as a Klingon computer.  This appears
to have been the static version since the toggle position should have turned on
the lighting.
Image


Image
Image
”A Taste of Armageddon” – Notice that only one of these type 3 units are
lighted at any one time
 


Image
Image
The “Beta” version from “Errand of Mercy.” 
Notice in the bottom photo that the toggles are in the “on” position but no
lights are on.  This is most likely the static version of the type 3



The second season debut of the
type 3 (hero model) back in its original “Alpha” configuration was during the
episode "Who Mourns for Adonais" when it is seen on the bridge next
to the helm station.  It was the type 3 computer
operated by Lt. Leslie that helped Sulu determine where Apollo’s power source
was located.  In "Amok Time" we saw it in the same “Alpha” configuration
but unlit in Spock’s quarters.  In one scene the red and green frosted area
appeared to be colored black.  This was only black gaffers tape installed
prior to filming to dampen glare from the over-head studio lights.  This was done frequently on the show; most
notably on the bridge.  You could often
see a black panel covering the bridge displays.  Next we saw the hero
“Alpha” configuration is in the back-ground in the episode "The Trouble
with Tribbles."  The next variation; configuration "Gamma,” was
seen in the episode "The Immunity Syndrome" in Kirks quarters. 
Configuration "Gamma" is the same as "Alpha" except the
segmented panel and acrylic rods have been removed.  Silver plugs were
inserted into the holes where the rods were attached to the top of the unit. 
The prop seemed to be getting a little beat-up by this time as you can see the
paint is chipped on the edges. 


Image
Pin-pointing Apollo’s power source with a type 3 from “Who Mourns for
Adonais?”



Image


Image
The type 3 in Spock’s quarters from the episode “Amok Time.”  In the bottom photo notice the black tape
over the panel.
Image

Image
The first appearance of the “Gamma” version from “The Immunity Syndrome”
episode



Finally for the first time we see
two different configurations in the same episode in "By Any Other Name."
  In that episode we see configuration
"Alpha" in the rec room scenes both when Spock and Rojan are playing
chess and also during the fight scene.  It
also appears in configuration "Beta" in Kirks quarters.  Both units appear unlit but the toggles are
in the off position so we can’t tell if either or both are the hero or static
version.  Next we saw the lighted
hero version in its “Alpha” configuration still in Kirks quarters in the
episode "The Ultimate Computer" and again in following episode in
"The Omega Glory" as part of McCoy's medical equipment.  This was the last appearance of the type 3 in
the second season.


Image


Image
In the episode “By Any Other Name” we see two different configurations in
the same episode.



Image
In “The Omega Glory” the “Alpha” hero version is seen on the planet.

The type 3 made it first
appearance in the third season episode "And the Children Shall Lead"
where we see configuration "Alpha" in the background: unlighted. 
The next appearance was of the hero version in the same configuration "Alpha"
in the episode "Day of the Dove" where the Klingons bring up the
diagram of the ship.  The last time we see this prop is in "Wink of
an Eye" in Kirks quarters also in configuration "Alpha." 
From what we have seen on screen we can deduce that there were only 2 type 3
computers; a hero and a static version and the tops were changed to the "Beta"
or “Gamma” configuration when needed.  There is no way of knowing for
certain but due to the budget constraints it seems unlikely that there were
more than two of these type 3 props used in the show.  The fact that its appearance could be quickly
and easily changed to give the illusion of different instruments is very
logical given the time and money constraints well documented during the filming
of the series.  Even though these
versatile units didn’t get a significant amount of screen time; the flexibility
of changing their appearance added to the production value of the show by
keeping this basic design visually interesting.
Image
Type 3 seen in the background from the episode "The Empath"
Image
The type 3 helped the Klingons with the layout of the ship in “Day of the
Dove”

The type 3 computer appears in
these episodes:



13 - Conscience of the King
20 - Alternative Factor
23 – A Taste of Armageddon
27 – Errand of Mercy
33 – Who Mourns for Adonais?
34 – Amok Time
42 – Trouble with Tribbles
48 – Immunity Syndrome
50 – By Any Other Name
53 – The Ultimate Computer
54 – The Omega Glory
60 – And the Children Shall Lead


63 – The Empath


66 – Day of the Dove


68 – Wink of an Eye

NOTE:  Special thanks to our friend Greg Schnitzer for finding the elusive type 3 in "The Empath"
Last edited by feek61 on 18 May 2014, 20:58, edited 27 times in total.
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feek61
Joined: 29 Apr 2007, 15:38

02 Aug 2008, 01:43 #4

In part four of our continuing examination
of the computer props from the classic TOS series we will look at the type 4
computer.  There were four of these props
with two basic variants of the type 4; the “A” and “B” models.  All four units were “hero” models in that they
had functioning controls and lights.  The
type 4 computer prop was a grey rectangular box which had an angled front.  Common characteristics of both variations
were a row of controls on the left hand side and various lights across the front.  The lights themselves were actually clear
resin hemispheres that were lit from behind. 
For simplicity in this article we will call these simply “the lights.”  There were also two curious round tubes that
protruded slightly out of the front about half-way down the face.  Speculation is that these holes were used to
mount the units to various walls as needed. 
These mounting tubes appeared to be hollow all the way through the back
of the unit as you can see through them at times.  Also visible on the face were six screws that
mounted the face to the body.  The shells were likely made of wood but it
appears from the texture visible in certain views of the front that the face
was made from fiberboard or what is commonly referred to as masonite.  Although there were only four type 4 units
used during the show; there were modifications to them throughout filming of
the series.  This article will focus on
the type 4A and its variants with the type 4B to follow in the next
installment.


ALPHA


Image


Control
functions of the “Alpha” type 4A



 


 


 There were a total of three
type 4A computer props.  Generally all
three had the same physical characteristics. 
They varied in the colors of the lights, toggle switch colors and the
function of the switches which controlled the lights.  The type 4A computer had a column of 4 toggle
switches on the left-hand face of the unit. 
The toggle switch colors were different on each unit but were all a
combination of white, red or black in color. 
There was a bank of 21 multi-colored lights consisting of 3 rows of 7
which spread across the face to the right hand side.  Below there was a row of 5 additional lights.  In our analysis we will use the different
light and toggle switch colors which were unique to each in identifying
specific type 4A units.  These were by
far the most versatile of the computer props; constantly appearing in various
locations throughout the series.  We will
look at these individually because there is a lot of information to cover.  First we will discuss the type 4A “Alpha”
unit. 


The type 4A “Alpha” first
appeared with its other two sister type 4A units in the episode “The Galileo
Seven.”  In addition to identifying it by
the light colors; it can also easily be recognized by the toggle switch colors
which were from the top down; white, red, red, white.  All of the type 4A computers were first seen
as part of the shuttlecraft interior instrumentation.   Since we know that the AMT Corporation
supplied both the shuttlecraft exterior and interior set; we can speculate that
the type 4 units were supplied to the show as a part of the interior set.  That would have given them three type 4 props
for the Shuttlecraft interior and a single spare to be used as a back-up
unit.  The spare unit most likely became
the Type 4B unit which we will discuss in a following article.  In “The Galileo Seven” all three type 4A
units were mounted on the wall of the craft.   “Alpha” was the unit installed towards the
front in the shuttlecraft behind the co-pilot. 
 The “Alpha” version is the first
unit we saw as the camera passes Phyllis Douglas as Yeoman Mears.  She was seen throwing the toggles on it when
she said “Phase one separation normal” during the opening teaser. 


Image“Alpha” in the episode “The Galileo Seven”


 


It was also seen here in the same location in part one of the
episode “The Menagerie” as well.  In
addition to appearing in the shuttlecraft; it also appeared in that same
episode in the Starbase
Operations Center
down on the planet.  It can be seen at
the bottom of one of the bank of larger console computers.  The next time we saw “Alpha” was as part of the
Eminiar VII's war computers.  It was once
again a part of one of the larger console computers seen in the war room.


 


ImageA quick view of “Alpha” in the
shuttlecraft



from
the episode “The Menagerie” (part 1)



 


 


Image 


Commodore
Mendez next to “Alpha” from “The Menagerie” (part 1)



 


 


ImageHere we see “Alpha” installed in the
bottom of a computer console at



Starbase
Operations in part one of “The Menagerie.”



 


 


ImageHere is a good shot of all three of the
type 4A computers all installed at the bottom of the console units.  We also see a type 4B sitting on top of one
of the consoles
This is the only scene in the series that
shows all four type 4 units together




“Alpha” made its second season debut in the episode "The Changeling"
as part of the auxiliary control room.  It is mounted to a wall status panel
where a crewman is working while he is suppose to be watching Nomad.  He should have kept a better eye on the
robot!  Obviously the sets had openings
where they could insert anyone of these computers into the wall because later
we see “Beta” in this same location. 
This was precisely what happened in the shuttlecraft interior later in
the second season.   Next time we saw “Alpha” it had been installed
in the emergency manual monitor above the engineering set in the episode
"Mirror Mirror."  Interestingly
in that episode only it was installed upside down; presumably to subtly but
intentionally give the illusion of things being turned up-side-down in the
alternate universe.  As the season went
on it appeared at this same location in the episode "The Immunity
Syndrome" but it has been turned back to the correct orientation.  This was the last time we see “Alpha” in
season two.


 


Image


“Alpha”
in the auxiliary control room from the episode “The Changeling”



 


 


Image


“Alpha”
installed upside-down in the episode “Mirror, Mirror.”  This was a great subtle way to let us know
that we are in an alternate universe.



 


 


 


 


Image“Alpha” was returned to the correct
orientation in “The Immunity Syndrome”



 


It is not until the later third season episode "The Lights of
Zetar" that we saw “Alpha” again. 
We got a good look at it again in the emergency manual monitor as Lt.
Romaine leans up against it.  This was the last time we saw “Alpha” in the
series.


Image
 “SCOTTY!”  A nice close-up of “Alpha” from “Lights of
Zetar”







BETA


 


Image
 


“Beta”
control functions



“Beta” was the second type 4A
computer that we saw in the episode “The Galileo Seven.”  It was located near where Scotty sat during
the teaser at the beginning of that episode. 
It was also in the same position in the first part of the episode “The
Menagerie.”  This unit is identified by
the different colored lights and the toggle switch colors.  The toggle switch colors of “Beta” from the
top down were; black, red, white, black.  
Like its sisters, “Beta” also appeared in the Starbase Operations
Center in the first part
of "The Menagerie."  It was installed in the bottom section of
large console computer unit and can be seen when Spock uses the Vulcan neck
pinch on the first technician.  It was seen in this same console in “The
Alternative Factor” after Lazarus knocked out the technician. Again like the
other type 4A units; it was also a part of the Eminiar VII war computer complex
where it was mounted at the bottom of one of the larger console computers.  “Beta” was in one of the units facing the
entrance of the war room.


Image“Beta” from “The Galileo Seven” episode


ImageKirk turning off “Beta” from “The
Menagerie” (part 1)



ImageAlso from “The Meagerie” part 1, “Beta”
installed



at
the bottom of a large console unit.



 


Image


“Beta”
in the background from “The Alternative Factor” episode



The first appearance of “Beta” in
the second season was in the episode "Metamorphosis" in the
shuttlecraft.  This time however it was
moved to the front position previously occupied by “Alpha.”  It seems clear that no thought was given to
which unit went where; the set decorator would simply put the most readily
available unit in any position.  The
“Beta” unit maintained the front position in the shuttlecraft during its
appearance in the episode "The Doomsday Machine" although in both
episodes we only saw glimpses of it.  Later in the second season in the
episode “I Mudd” we saw “Beta” mounted to the wall in the auxiliary control;
again in a position that “Alpha” had previously occupied.  In that episode we saw that there had been
some lettering added to the face of the unit. 
The “Beta” unit remained in the auxiliary control room for the rest of
the series.  We saw it in that position
in the episodes “By Any Other Name,” “And the Children Shall Lead” and its last
appearance in the show in the episode “The Way to Eden.”    



ImageA quick background view of “Beta” from
the episode “Metamorphosis”



ImageAnother background view of “Beta” from “The
Doomsday Machine”



Image “Beta”
in the Auxiliary Control Room from the “I Mudd” episode



Image“Beta” in its final resting place in the
Auxilary Control Room



from
the episode “And the Children Shall Lead”



Image“Beta seen in the same location from “The
Way to Eden” next to Phyllis Douglas who also played Yeoman Mears in “The
Galileo Seven”




Image“Beta” animated sequence from "Way
to Eden
"



GAMMA


 


Image


“Gamma”
control functions



The third type 4A will be
identified as “Gamma.”  Again as with the other two type 4A units; “Gamma”
made its first appearance in the episode "The Galileo Seven."  It was not mounted on the same interior wall
that the other two type 4A computers were; it was mounted on the opposite side
next to the entry door.  We only saw a
quick view of it at the doorway as the camera was looking out through the hatch
as Spock and the remaining crewmen attend the funeral.  “Gamma” however had
a glorious close-up at the climax of the episode when Spock jettisoned the fuel
and ignited it.  This close-up view of
“Gamma” by far is the best we see during the series of the type 4A.  In
the close-up we can make out the lettering on the face portion of the
prop.  This lettering was added specifically
for this close-up because it is not on “Gamma” when it was seen earlier in the
episode.  The next time we saw “Gamma”
was in the episode "The Alternative Factor" when it was part of a larger
computer console in the engineering area where they had the dilitium
crystals.  It could be seen at the bottom
of the console in the scene when Lazarus overtakes the technician.  As
with the other two type 4As we also saw “Gamma” in the war room of Eminiar VII
from "A Taste of Armageddon.


Image


This
is the first appearance in the series of “Gamma” from the episode “The Galileo
Seven.”  This is the only time we see it without
the lettering on its face.



 


Image
Gamma” close-up from “The Galileo Seven”


 


Image“Gamma” installed near the bottom of a
type 7 from “The Alternative Factor”



 


Image


Here
is “Gamma” showing the missing resin light on the top right.



 


Image
“Gamma” atop the test chamber from“Operation
- Annihilate!” 



Notice
the misshapen replacement light on the upper right corner.



 


Sometime before the episode “A
Taste of Armageddon” the top right resin light had fallen off “Gamma” and was
not replaced for that episode.  Before we
saw it again it appears that a few other of the colored resin lights had
fallen off.  All of them were replaced by
the time it appeared again in the episode “Operation: Annihilate!”  Three
lights were changed; the green one at the upper right corner in the bank of 21
lights was replaced with a bigger different shaped red/orange part.   The new part was a very different
size and shape from the original one. 
Even though it obviously did not match the other lights; it remained
unchanged on Gamma throughout the rest of the series.   The two other lights replaced were the
first two left-hand lights in the bottom row of five lights.  The far
left light was been changed from blue to red and the one next to it on the
right (the famous "Fuel Jettison" light from "The Galileo
Seven") was changed from red to pink.  “Gamma” was next seen in
the last episode of the first season "Operation - Annihilate!" 
In this episode it was now mounted atop the test chamber that they were trying
to destroy the brain cell creature in.  In this episode only; there was
some sort of circuitry board on top of “Gamma.” 
Sometime prior to this episode the label "Fuel Jettison" that
was seen in the “The Galileo Seven” close-up was removed from the number 3
toggle and that area was left blank; with no replacement lettering.  All
other labels remained for the rest of the series and “Gamma” remained mounted
atop the test chamber for the rest of the series as well.  The test stand itself continued to have
different parts added to it as the series progressed; “Gamma” itself remained
unchanged during the second season. 
There is a wonderful view of “Gamma” in the episode “Obsession” which
gave a view of the balance of the lettering that was off screen and couldn’t be
seen in the episode “The Galileo Seven.”  “Gamma” can be seen almost in
every scene in McCoy's lab and for the most part remained there, however it did
make one appearance down on the surface of the planet Omega IV during the
episode "The Omega Glory."  Other than that one episode it was
confined to the Enterprise
medical lab.


ImageThe first second season appearance of
“Gamma” from“The Immunity Syndrome”



 


ImageA nice close-up of “Gamma” from the
episode “Obsession”



 


ImageUsing McCoy’s lab equipment including
“Gamma” in an effort to try an overload the Kelvins power source from the
episode “By Any Other Name”.



 


Image“Gamma” from the episode “Return to
Tomorrow”



 


ImageNice view of the misshaped replacement
part on the upper



 right side of “Gamma” from the episode “The
Omega Glory”



 


Image


The author’s type 4 original configuration
“Gamma” with its cousin the type 2



 


 


Image


Sequence
from
"Return to
Tomorrow"
 


 


Image


The first appearance of “Gamma”
in the third season was in the episode "Elaan of Troyius" again in
McCoy's lab.  The unit had been modified
in the third season by an data cartridge slot that was added to the face of
“Gamma”.  We saw it in the background in the episode "Wink of an
Eye" when Kirk was trying to get a message to Spock but it was not
featured in the scene.  In the episode
“The Lights of Zetar” it was also seen in the background during the scene after
Scotty was zapped while trying to put Lt. Romaine into the pressure
chamber.  “Gamma” makes its final screen appearance in the final episode
of the series "Turnabout Intruder" again in the lab.  The final
appearance of “Gamma” is a solitary shot of it standing alone in the lab.  The type 4 computer props were workhorses
during the filming of the show.  They had
prominent roles in several of the stories and were background players in many
more.  They worked well in the show
because they were more than just static set dressings.  The type 4 computers added familiar shapes
with colorful blinking lights to many scenes that otherwise would have been
boring.


ImageA good view of the added data cartridge slot
and the bigger upper



right
replacement light from the episode “Elaan of Troyius”



 


Image“Gamma” seen in the background in the
episode



“Wink
of an Eye”along with its cousin a type 4B



ImageAnother background appearance of “Gamma”
from “The Lights of Zetar”



ImageThe final appearance of Gamma from the
final episode “Turnabout Intruder”



The type 4A's computers appear in
these episodes:


14 The Galileo Seven (Alpha,
Beta, Gamma)
16 The Menagerie part 1 (Alpha, Beta)
20 The Alternative Factor (Beta, Gamma)
23 A Taste of Armageddon (Alpha, Beta, Gamma)
29 Operation - Annihilate! (Gamma)
31 Metamorphosis (Beta)
35 The Doomsday Machine (Beta)
37 The Changeling (Alpha)
39 Mirror, Mirror (Alpha)
41 I Mudd (Beta)
44 The Immunity Syndrome (Alpha, Gamma)
47 Obsession (Gamma)
50 By Any Other Name (Alpha, Gamma)
51 Return to Tomorrow (Gamma)
54 The Omega Glory (Gamma)
57 Elaan of Troyius (Gamma)
60 And the Children Shall Lead (Beta)
68 Wink of an Eye (Gamma)
73 Lights of Zetar (Alpha, Gamma)
75 Way to Eden (Beta)
79 Turnabout Intruder (Gamma)



Next up the mysterious Type 4B


 


 


 
Last edited by feek61 on 19 Oct 2013, 21:51, edited 33 times in total.
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feek61
Joined: 29 Apr 2007, 15:38

02 Aug 2008, 01:46 #5

Image


“Alpha” in its late 1st season configuration


 


 


In
part five of our series on the computer props of the original series we will
cover the type 4B.  The type 4B is probably the prop that most people who
know the show think of when considering the computer props from the original
series.  The reason for that perception is that it was prominently
featured in many episodes.  The treatment of the type 4B in many scripts was
actually that of another character; it had its own dialog, multiple close-ups
and it was an important element to many of the story plots.  The type 4B
as its name implies is a derivative of the type 4A with some of the same basic
design characteristics.  The type 4B was a hero model with working lights
and switches like its type 4A counterparts.  The overall shape of the unit
was the same as the type 4A with the exception that the type 4B had a base
added to the bottom with additional control switches and a data cartridge
slot.  As mentioned in the previous article; the type 4B most certainly
was a modified type 4A unit.  Speculation is that when the shuttlecraft
interior set was delivered to Desilu; there was either an extra type 4A
included as a spare unit or the extra unit was intended to be mounted on the
wall but was replaced by the phaser locker seen in the episode “The Galileo
Seven.”  In any case the budget for the original series was so tight that
having a spare prop unused was not an option.  Most likely the spare unit
was modified to change its appearance so that it could be used for filming yet
fulfill a different roll than the existing type 4A units.  The location of
the lights and controls were an exact match to the type 4A in the unmodified
areas of the prop.  If the type 4B was an entirely new prop; why would
they make it so similar to the type 4A?  The answer is of course; they
would not have.  Other than the added base; the changes to the prop are
minor.  Below are the changes which differentiated the type 4B from the
type 4A:



1.  The 4 left hand side toggles switches on the face of the unit were
replaced with round knobs



 


2
  The top right side bank of lights was reduced to 6 lights in width
(instead of 7 as on the 4A) for a total of 18 lights (instead of 21 on the
4A).  A long rectangular red/orange light was added to the left of the
upper bank of lights.  The cut-out for this light exactly matches the
location of the 3 lights that would have been at that location on the type
4A.  Obviously the three end lights were cut out to make the rectangular
light.


 


3. A
base was added that extends past the edges on the sides and front.  On the
front top of the base there are 7 push button style switches with silver
bases.  Two red on the left side, a slot for a data cartridge and then the
remaining five push button style switches in black on the left side.


 


4. 
A large rectangular part was added to the back presumably to attach the base to
the body of the type 4B (“Alpha” model only).


 


The
control functions of the type 4B were different from the type 4A model. 
In the earlier type 4A computers the left toggle switches controlled the
lights.  On the type 4B the knobs that replaced the toggle switches had no
real function.  Each of the five black push buttons on the right side of
the base controlled one of five lights in the row below the bank of
lights.  One of the two red push buttons on the right of the base operated
the added rectangular light next to the top bank of lights.  The other
activated the lighting sequence for the bank of 18 lights.


 


 


ALPHA”


 


There
were two variations of the type 4B computers.  Even though we saw two
versions of this prop there most likely was only one unit which was modified
after the first season.  We only see “Alpha” in the first season.  It
was never seen (except in some stock footage) again after the first season
episode “Space Seed.”  On the “Alpha” version of the prop the control
knobs on the left side of the face were black with tiny white arrows on them. 
 The first appearance of the “Alpha” version was in the episode “Court
Martial” in Commodore Stones office.  In that scene we saw the first
version of the “Alpha” unit which was painted in a light grey/cream
color.  The same “Alpha” prop was re-used during the court room scenes in
this same episode but the base, sides and top were repainted a battleship
grey.  This was done to make it appear to be a different unit than the one
in Stones office.  It is obvious by the colored lights which are an exact
match that these were indeed the same type 4B unit.


 


Image
“Alpha” In Commodore Stones office in the episode “Court Martial”


 


 


Image“Alpha” was repainted for its court room appearance in an effort to make
it appear as a different prop from the Commodores  from the “Court
Martial” episode



 


 


The
next time we saw the 4B “Alpha” was in the trial during "The
Menagerie" and we got a great view of it.  It had some lettering
added to the face and to the top of the base.  We can also clearly see the
part in the back that connected the top piece to the base section.  In the
episode "A Taste of Armageddon" we see “Alpha” sitting on top of one
of the war computers.  During one scene in the episode we saw all four
type 4 units together which would be the only time in the entire series that we
would see them in concert.  The Alpha
unit appears unchanged in this episode from its previous appearance in “The
Menagerie.”  You can see the lettering is still on the unit.  There
was also a good view of “Alpha” from the side in this episode which was a
fairly rare view.  At the end of "A Taste of Armageddon" during
the climactic scene when Kirk blows-up the war room computers; we see
"Alpha" engulfed in flames.  This was the last time
"Alpha" was filmed which most certainly could be attributed to damage
caused by the special effects explosions and subsequent fire.  We see
“Alpha" again in the next episode “Space Seed” however, even though this
episode was next in the production order; it was actually filmed before the
"A Taste of Armageddon" episode. 
We can speculate that after the “Armageddon” episode; “Alpha” was
damaged and had to be stripped and refurbished. 
From what we know of the production; little notice was given to the
arrangement of the colored lights when they were installed originally or when
the type 4B was rebuilt; they were just randomly installed.  The
"Space Seed" appearance would be the last time “Alpha” is seen during
the series other than a close-up in the second season episode “The Deadly
Years.”  The "Deadly Years" scene was obviously stock footage because
other than the close-up; it’s clearly the “Beta” unit on set.  So what
happened to “Alpha” and why didn’t we see it again?  We can reasonably
hypostasize that it was damaged during the explosion and fire from "A
Taste of Armageddon" and was rebuilt into the "Beta" model.
 This seems the obvious conclusion since the unit is noticeably exposed to
flames in the “Armageddon” episode and the fact that we never saw the “Alpha”
version of the prop again after the scene from the aforementioned episode. 


 


Image
A nice view of “Alpha” from the episode “The Menagerie.”  Notice the
added lettering.




 


 


Image“Alpha” from the episode “A Taste of Armageddon”  You can see the
lettering that was added from the earlier episode was still in place here.



 


 


Image


This scene from “A Taste of Armageddon” is the only
time in the series that we see all four type4 computer props together.



 


 


Image


A nice rare side view of “Alpha” from the same episode


 


 


Image“Alpha” engulfed in flames at the climax of “A Taste of Armageddon.”
 This was the last time “Alpha” was filmed in the series and most certainly the reason
why it was rebuilt into the "Beta" model.



 


 


ImageThe last appearance in the series of “Alpha” from the episode “Space
Seed”



 


 


ImageThe type 4B “Beta


 


 


BETA


 


The
type 4B “Beta” was the last of the type 4 computer props that we saw during the
series.  When we think of the original series computers most of us think
of this unit because it was featured in several episodes and had some great
close-ups.   The “Beta” unit was only seen in the second and third season. 
The difference between the “Alpha” and “Beta” versions was more apparent than
they were between the different type 4A models.  The differences between
the two type 4B units were as follows:


 


1.     The colored lights on the face had been changed.


2.     The black knobs were replaced with multi-colored, tiered knobs which
added more interest visually to the prop.


3.     The wide connecting piece in the back of the unit that presumably
connected the base to the top segment was removed.


4.      The lettering was removed and the prop was repainted.   


 


The
first appearance of the “Beta” model of the type 4B was in the second season
episode “Wolf in the Fold.”  In this episode we got some really great
close-up views of the “Beta” model.  The changes were readily apparent
from the “Alpha” model in the briefing room scenes; particularly noticeable
were the colored knobs on the face.  The new knobs colors from top to
bottom were: dark blue-grey, brown, light blue grey, and red.  Other than
the different knobs you probably would not notice a huge difference between the
“Beta” and “Alpha” models. 


 


Image“Beta” from the episode “Wolf in the Fold”


 


 


ImageA fantastic close-up from the episode “Wolf in the Fold” showing the
differences from the “Alpha” to the “Beta” models.



 


 


The
next time we saw “Beta” was in the episode "Mirror, Mirror."  In
this episode the “Beta” prop appeared both in Kirk’s quarters in one scene and
in Spock’s quarters in another.  In both scenes the “Beta” computer was
central to the story line as separately both Kirk and Spock queried it
regarding the individual problems that they faced.  In both scenes we got
great views of “Beta” and of minor interest; this was the only episode in the
original series that any Enterprise
computer had a male voice.  Although the story leads us to believe that
these were different computers; in comparing the two it is obvious that they
were the same prop. 


 


“Beta”
made its next appearance in "The Deadly Years" during the competency
hearing for Kirk.  Interestingly in this episode the close-ups clearly
showed “Alpha” but this was obviously just stock footage from season one. 
In all of the long shots we can clearly see “Beta” was actually the computer on
the briefing room set during filming.  We saw “Beta” again in the science
lab in the episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" and also in the
background of Spock's quarters in "Journey to Babel."  In both episodes “Beta” is
nothing more that background set dressing. 


 


Image“Beta” in Kirk's quarters in the “Mirror, Mirror” episode.


 


 


Image“Beta” again from “Mirror Mirror” in Spock’s quarters.


 


 


ImageA long shot from the episode “The Deadly Years” showing “Beta”


 


 


ImageThe close-up of the type 4B computer from the episode “The Deadly Years”
is of the “Alpha” model but this was just stock footage that was used for this
scene.



 


 


Image“Beta” can be seen as background set-dressing in the episode “The Trouble
with Tribbles”



 


 


The
last appearance of “Beta” in the second season was in the episode “The Omega
Glory” when it appeared on the planet as part of McCoy’s medical
equipment.  There was a scene in the episode when Spock tries to contact
the ship using the “Beta” unit.   In the scene Captain Tracy ends up
disintegrating “Beta” before Spock can make contact with the Enterprise.


 


Image


“Beta” on the planet Omega IV from the episode “The
Omega Glory”



 


 


Image


Image


Spock does not get to contact the Enterprise in this sequence from the episode
“The Omega Glory”



 


 


“Beta”
made its third season debut in the episode "The Enterprise Incident"
but only as background set dressing.  We saw “Beta” again in a minor role
but its part was an important story element in the episode “Wink of an Eye.”
 Kirk used “Beta” to record his message telling Spock & McCoy that he
had been accelerated beyond their ability to see him.  We did not see
“Beta” again until the episode “The Lights of Zetar” where it had a wonderful
close-up in the briefing room scene when they realized that Lt. Romaine's brain
waves were identical to the aliens.  The final appearance of “Beta” was in
the episode "The Way to Eden" as Spock
tried to find the planet Eden
in his cabin.  Here in Spock's quarters we could see that there was
lettering added to the face of “Beta” but we can’t make out what it is. 
Although the type 4B computers had less screen-time than many of its
counterparts; it is the one that most people remember from show.  It was
unforgettable because it was an important story element in many of the episodes
and its colorful appearance made it easy to recognize.  Many of the plot
lines portrayed “Beta” almost as a character and the interaction that the
actors had with it made this prop the most recognized of all of the original
series computers props. 


 


Image“Beta” in the background from the episode “The Enterprise Incident”


 


 


Image


Image


“Beta” had an important role in the episode “Wink of
an Eye”



 



ImageAnother great “Beta” close-up from the episode “The Lights of Zetar”


 


 


Image“Beta”
made its last appearance in the episode “The Way to Eden.”  Notice that lettering was added
but sadly we will never know what the lettering was.



 


 


The type 4B appears in the following
episodes:



15
Court Martial (Alpha)
16 The Menagerie (Alpha)



23 A
Taste of Armageddon (Alpha)
24 Space Seed (Alpha)
36 Wolf in the Fold (Beta)
39 Mirror, Mirror (Beta)
44 Journey to Babel (Beta)
54 The Omega Glory (Beta)
59 The Enterprise Incident (Beta)
68 Wink of an Eye (Beta)
73 Lights of Zetar (Beta)
75 Way to Eden (Beta)


 


Up
next the type 5 . . .what is a type 5?


 
Last edited by feek61 on 20 Oct 2013, 03:34, edited 10 times in total.
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feek61
Joined: 29 Apr 2007, 15:38

21 Aug 2008, 21:28 #6

Image
Type 5 "Alpha"



 


Image
Type 5 "Beta"


 


 


 


The sixth installment in our succession of articles
detailing the original series computers will discuss the type 5 prop.  The type 5 units are different from the
previous types that we have looked at in that they were designed to be only wall
mounted units.  The housing was not such
that it could be used on a table top like all previous versions of these props
that we have been studying.  There were
two Type 5 computers and like the Type 4A models they made their first
appearance in the episode "The Galileo Seven" as part of the interior
wall mounted instruments of the shuttlecraft.  Both were "hero" models
with working lights and switches.  These computer props were smaller than
the type 4A.  The type 5 computers stood
out more than any other of the original series computers because of the unusual
arrangement of the lights.   The type 5
computers were flat faced grey rectangular units with 21 seemingly randomly staggered
lights and four switches mounted under the lights in a side to side
configuration (as opposed to the up & down configuration on the Type 4A
units).  There were two of the familiar mounting tubes on the face at each
end of the switch bank and also 4 screws that connected the face to the
body.  Each unit measured approximately 12" long and 8"
high.  They were identifiable by the colored lights which were unique to
each unit.  As we know this was the norm
for the computer props.  The switch
colors also were distinctive on each unit.  As mentioned earlier the type
5 computers only appeared as wall mounted units and in some episodes it appears
that only the front face of the panel was used; without the body portion. 
These type 5 units were first seen as the camera panned through the
shuttlecraft interior during the beginning teaser of the episode “The Galileo
Seven.”  They were located adjacent to
the character Gaetano's station.  The units were in a stacked
configuration in the shuttlecraft.  We will identify the top unit as
"Alpha" and the bottom unit as "Beta." 


 


Image


The first appearance of the type 5 units from the
episode “The Galileo Seven.”  “Alpha” is
the top unit and “Beta” the bottom.



 


Image


Here from the same episode we see the type 5 units
powered down.  This gives a great view of
the unusual arrangement of the lights.




 


Because of the smaller size of the type 5 units; in
many episodes they could be seen together as part of some instrumentation for a
particular episode.  As we know from our
previous study of the other units; the lighted resin jewels were typically
different colors on each unit and the same is true of the type 5 units.  The easiest way to distinguish them however is
by the switch colors.  On “Alpha” the
switch colors from left to right were: white, red, black and white.  On the “Beta” unit the switch colors were;
black, red, white and black.    As with the previous Type 4 models the Type 5
units also appeared several times in part one of the episode "The
Menagerie."  They appeared both as
part of the shuttlecraft interior instrumentation and also they could be seen mounted
in the base of the larger console computers in the Starbase Operations
room.  In the episode "The
Alternative Factor" we saw both “Alpha” and “Beta” mounted to the wall
panel in the engineering section that housed the dilithium crystals. 
These type 5 units were very versatile and non-descript such that they could be
added as set-dressing and kind of blend into the background whenever a few
switches and lights were needed.  They
could be turned in any direction which added to the flexibility of the type 5
making them appear as different instrument packages.  This is evident
between the “Alternative Factor” and "The Return of the Archons"
episodes where the type 5 units were used in completely different roles.  In “The Return of the Archons” both
"Alpha" and "Beta" were part of a major story element as components
of the absorption chamber control console. 
Between those two episodes we saw the type 5 units used in very
different roles but still primarily as only part of the background set.  An interesting note on the “Archons” console
is that the perimeter of the console itself was covered with perforated
cardboard.


 


Image


“Alpha” installed upside down in part one of “The
Menagerie”



 


 


Image“Beta”
also from part one of “The Menagerie”



 


 


Image


On the right hand side we saw a quick view of both
units in the shuttlecraft also from part one of the episode “The Menagerie”



 


 


ImageBoth
units are seen together from the episode “The Alternative Factor”
 



 


 


Image


Despite the obvious problem stemming from the sabotage
of the engineering section; we got a good view of both units in the episode “The
Alternative Factor”



 


 


Image


Both type 5 units mounted on the console from the
absorption chamber from the episode “The Return of the Archons.”  “Alpha” is on the left and “Beta” on the
right hand side of the console.



 


 


Image


Here we can see “Beta” and also the corrugated
cardboard that was covering the perimeter of the console.



 


 


Both units seemed to make another appearance together
as part of war computers in the episode “Taste of Armageddon.”  If you look closely however you will see that
both are the “Beta” unit.  The console
unit that “Beta” was mounted to was moved from the front row as seen the first
time the war room is shown to the back corner at the end of the episode.  The reason being is that only one of the large
console units had a flip down face (also seen in part one of “The Menagerie).  Near the end of the episode when Spock is
determining how the war computers were tied together; he must flip down the
face of one.  Obviously when the set was
dressed they neglected to consider where the console that flipped down was and
that was corrected later; moving “Beta” from the front row the back.  


 


Image“Beta”
at the bottom of a large console computer in the war room from the episode “A
Taste of Armageddon”



 


 


Image“Beta”
also appeared in a second location from the same episode when the consoles
units were rearranged on the set.



 


 


The first appearance of a Type 5 in season two was in
the episode "The Changeling" in the Auxiliary Control Room.  We
saw "Beta" mounted behind the metal screen wall on a section which
was a reuse of the old engineering set from the first season engineering room.  The original engineering console was changed
when they added the ships ladder in the middle of the engineering set.  The old left-over set piece was reused in the
auxiliary control room set behind the screening.   Funny that “Beta”
was not there just a few episodes earlier in "The Doomsday
Machine."  This was just another example of how they continually
tweaked the sets by adding set dressings and other greeblies as the series went
on.  We saw "Beta" again on the far side of the emergency manual
monitor room in the episode “Mirror, Mirror.” 
It was located opposite of the access ladder to the set.  Scotty
went over and opened an access panel right below the unit in that episode.  We saw "Beta" again in the same position
in "I Mudd" when Norman
was taking over the ship in the beginning teaser portion of the episode.


 


Image
Beta”
in the Auxiliary Control room from “The Changeling”



 


 


ImageNorman used the “Beta” unit to help take over the Enterprise in the episode
“I Mudd”



 


 


A few episodes later we again saw "Beta" in
two separate locations in the same episode.  In "The Immunity
Syndrome" it was in its familiar position in the emergency manual monitor
but also it was aboard the shuttlecraft as part of one of the large console
computers that was added to analyze the amoeba type organism.  In the third season we saw the somewhat
elusive "Alpha" in the position previously held by "Beta"
in the auxiliary control room in the episode "And the Children Shall
Lead."  The first and only change to one of the units appeared in the
episode "The Lights of Zetar" where the "Alpha" unit was
painted black in its first appearance at "Beta's" previous position
in the emergency manual monitor.  “Alpha”
remained at this position for the remainder of the series in the position that
we saw “Beta” at in many episodes.  We saw "Beta" a few episodes
later in "The Way to Eden" in the auxiliary control room where
"Alpha" was seen just a few episodes previously.  It is interesting how they randomly moved the
units around whenever they needed them and just stuck any unit in the slot. 
The random nature of the specific unit locations is a little confusing especially
since after the first season these units mostly appeared in only 2
locations.  Two units, two locations; why not just leave them in
place?  It's also funny how "Beta" seemed to be used much more
then it's counterpart.  The type 5 units
may be the most recognizable of all the computer props due to the random
pattern of the light arrangement which really made them stand out.  It certainly catches your eye and makes most
of us wonder what they were thinking when they drilled out the face.  The pattern of the lights had no rhyme or
reason to it but still created an interesting look on camera. 


 


Image“Beta”
in the Emergency Manual Monitor in the episode “The Immunity Syndrome”



 



Image“Beta”
also appeared in the shuttlecraft in “The Immunity Syndrome”



 


 


Image


“Alpha” in the back of the Auxiliary Control Room from
the episode “And the Children Shall Lead”



 


 


Image


“Alpha” was painted black in this scene from “The
Lights of Zetar”



 


Image


“Beta” in the background of the Auxiliary Control Room



from the episode “Way to Eden”


 


 


Next up the Type 6


 


 
Last edited by feek61 on 20 Oct 2013, 02:58, edited 14 times in total.
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feek61
Joined: 29 Apr 2007, 15:38

28 Jun 2012, 01:23 #7

The Type 6 Computer


 


Image


 


Image


 


The conclusion in
our series of articles on the computer props of the original series will cover
the type 6 prop. Since the type 6 units got less screen time than any of its
counterparts; this series concludes somewhat with a whimper instead of a bang.
Even though the type 6 units did not get the exposure during the series that
the other computer props did; the type 6 units are still an interesting subject
and also will complete the study of most of the regularly seen smaller computer
/ control panel type set pieces from the original Star Trek series. The type 6
units themselves were very unique in both appearance and location of the
control panel. The front of the unit consisted of two angled planes with the
control panel portion of it on the top angled section and the bottom part
consisting of a nearly featureless long angled section. The only features on
the large bottom angled portion of the prop were two of the now familiar
mounting tubes near the bottom and some screws around the perimeter which
attached the face of the unit to the frame. The sides of the type 6 were flat
and featureless.


Image


The first appearance of the type 6
computer



 from the episode “The Galileo Seven”


 


There were two
type 6 units which we will identify as the “Alpha” and “Beta” models. Both of
the units were hero models with working lights and switches. Like the previous
type 5 models; the type 6 was designed to only be wall mounted. The reason for
the unusual shape of the type 6 units and the atypical top control panel location
may be due to their original mounting position at the upper tapered wall within
the shuttlecraft. Even though the type 6 appeared smaller than the type 4
units; the outside dimensions were actually the exact size as the type 4 units.
The type 6 computers would fit into the same cut-outs used in the series as the
type 4 units did. These would primarily be in the shuttlecraft interior, bottom
of the large console units seen in several episodes or in the cut-outs in the
walls in the Auxiliary Control Room or in the Emergency Manual Monitor station
situated above the engineering set. The type 6 units appeared to be smaller
than the other units because the control panel portion was the smallest of all
of the props we have looked at. 


Image


The side-by-side configuration of the type
6 in the shuttlecraft interior as seen in the episode “The Galileo
Seven."  Notice the tapered wall which was most likely the
reason for the angled design of the type 6 and type 4 computers.



 


 


The control panel
portion of the prop consisted of 9 of the familiar round lights which we saw on
both the type 4 and type 5 computers. The type 6 however had three noticeably
larger distinctive rounded rectangular lights that were staggered in the center
of the control panel. The larger lights stood out more than any of the others
that we have seen during this series of articles. Just like the other props we
have studied; the type 6 light colors were unique to each unit. There were also
4 toggle switches below the lights but unlike our previous study of the other
units; the type 6 computer toggle switches were the same colors for both units.
The switch colors on both units from left to right were; black, red, red,
black. The switches on these units were also smaller than the ones we have seen
on the preceding computers. On either side of the toggle switch bank there were
the familiar mounting tubes making a total of four of the mounting tubes on the
type 6 computers which was needed due to the truncated depth of the type 6
unit.


Image


The first good view of both type 6 units
was in part one of “The Menagerie”



 


Image


Image


These two views show the differences in
lighting between the two type 6 units



 


 


The type 6
computers like the type 4A and type 5 units; made their debut in the episode
“The Galileo Seven” as part of the interior instrumentation in the
shuttlecraft. The unit was mounted on the interior wall where the wall tapered
inward. This “sloping in” wall section is probably the reason the type 6 was
designed with the control panel located on the top and the explanation for the
unusual angled shape of the type 6 unit. 
The shape of the type 6 and also the angled front of the type 4, which
was also mounted on the tapered wall, would allow better access to the controls
of each. The location of the type 6 in “The Galileo Seven” episode precluded
much screen time in that episode because the wall it was located was removed
for much of the filming which was done from that side of the set. Both units were
located behind the entry hatch and forward of the hand phaser locker.  The type 6 units were on the opposite side of
the shuttlecraft interior than the other units previously reviewed. In the few
scenes we saw them in; we see that they were mounted in a side-by-side
configuration with the “Beta” unit nearer the front of the shuttlecraft. They
were situated behind the character Boma which would put them adjacent to
McCoy’s station. Even though this is the first appearance of the type 6 we
can’t make out much detail in the “Galileo” episode. 


Image


Spock contacting the Enterprise with both type 6 units in the
background from part one of the episode “The Menagerie.”  This typically was where we saw them as only
background set dressing.



 


The first good
view of the type 6 units where we could distinguish the difference between them
was in part one of the episode “The Menagerie.” We saw both type 6 units next
to each at the bottom of the larger console units in the Starbase Operations
set and got a particularly good view of them as Spock crept into the room
behind the consoles that the type 6 units were mounted into. The obvious
distinguishing feature between the two units is the different colors of the
large rectangular lights in the center of the control panel. We will identify
the left unit as “Alpha” and the right as “Beta.” On the “Alpha” unit the staggered
rectangular light colors were from left to right; red, green and yellow. In the
first season episodes the color of the rectangular lights on “Beta” from left
to right were; blue, yellow and red.  The
“Beta” lights would be change for the following seasons. Since the switch
colors were the same on both units; differentiating them can be difficult if
the lights were turned off. The appearance in that episode was indicative of
the scenes throughout the series in which we saw the type 6 units; usually only
as colorful background set dressing.


Image


Even though they appeared to be small, the
type 6 units were actually the same size as the type 4 units and were
interchangeable in the cut-outs that were used throughout the series



 


Image


“Alpha” was not in this position at the
beginning of the episode “A Taste of Armageddon” but was placed there for
the climatic ending because of the console it was mounted in which was the
only one with the flip-down face.



 


Image


“Beta” was only seen in the background in
the “A Taste of Armageddon” episode



 


We saw both units again mounted in the
bottom of the console computers in the episode “The Alternative Factor.” There
was little more than a quick view of each one in the engineering section when
Lazarus was stealing the dilithium crystals and the subsequent fire. Both units
also appeared in the episode “A Taste of Armageddon” mounted in the bottom of
the war computer consoles. At first they are barely visible but at the climatic
ending when Kirk blows up the war room the “Alpha” unit can be seen in the
forefront to the left on the three forward facing war computers. It had been
moved there because the console it was mounted in was the only unit that had a
flip-down face and this was needed for a scene when Spock is analyzing the
interior circuitry to determine how the units are interconnected. The “Beta”
unit can be seen mounted on a separate console unit which is the console that
had the phasers and communicators stored in the compartment above “Beta.” 


Image


Image


We only see a glimpse of both type 6 units


 in
the episode “The Alternative Factor”



 


Image


If you didn’t know it was there you would probably
never notice “Beta” in the background from the episode
“Metamorphosis”



 


Image


McCoy used the type 6 “Beta” control panel
from 



“Metamorphosis” but most likely few
noticed.



 


The first second
season appearance of the type 6 unit was in the episode “Metamorphosis” again
in the shuttlecraft. We could barely make out “Beta” behind Commissioner
Hedford in the episode teaser. This appearance was somewhat interesting because
the type 6 was located on the opposite side from its original location in the
shuttlecraft interior.  It was now in the
original location of the type 4 “Beta” as seen in the episode “The Galileo
Seven.”  Again these units even though
they appeared to be smaller; were the same size as the type 4 units.  Was the change in location of the type 6 done
intentionally to give the illusion that this was a different shuttlecraft?  An interesting question but probably the
change was unintentional; as we have seen that the production crew would stick
the closest prop into the nearest hole. 
This was most likely just happenstance but it is an interesting prospect
none-the-less.   We only saw part of “Beta” which was almost
completely hidden.  In one scene McCoy
seemed to be using the control panel but the type 6 unit was mostly obscured
and its role barely discernable. 


Image


 


Image


The second and third season version of the
“Beta” unit



 


Image


“Beta” where it would remain for the rest
of the series in the Emergency Manual Monitor set from the episode “Mirror,
Mirror”



 


Image


The “Mirror, Mirror” episode is the only
time we see the



 functions of the toggle switches on
either of the type 6 units



 


In the episode “Mirror, Mirror” we finally
saw the type 6 featured; albeit only for a few seconds. Scotty used the “Beta”
unit in the Emergency Manuel Monitor to bypass power to the transporter. This
was the only time in the series that we saw the toggle switches operate and
could determine their control functions. We never did see the toggle function
on the “Alpha” unit so we have no way of knowing if the control functions were
same as on the “Beta” unit. In the “Mirror, Mirror” episode if you look closely
you could see that the type 6 unit had been modified from its first season
configuration. 


Image


Note:  The round lights randomly
flashed on the actual set piece but not for the purposes of this animation.



 


Image


“Beta” made a brief appearance in what
became its final resting place on the 



Emergency Manual Monitor set as seen in
this cap from “I Mudd”



 


Apparently
sometime between the first and second season several of the resin lights had
fallen off of “Beta” and were replaced. As we know; little regard was given to
the placement of the colored lights and in this case as was the normal practice;
the replacements were just reattached in random fashion. There were three
lights that were changed; two of the larger rectangular lights and one of the
small round lights on the left of the unit. Since the rectangular lights were a
specific size and did not match other lights; it appears that the same lights
were simply reattached but the positions were reversed. The blue light which
was previously on the left side was moved to the center and exchanged places
with the yellow light. The original green round light apparently was lost and
was replaced with a clear light. The “Beta” unit would remain in this configuration
for the remainder of the series. 


 


Image


Type 6 Computer Side-by-Side Comparison


 


 


We saw “Beta”
again but unlit in the Emergency Manual Monitor from the episode “I Mudd” as Norman was taking over
the ship. We only saw it as Norman
passes by it on his way out of the room. The “Alpha” unit made its last
appearance on-screen in the “The Immunity Syndrome.”  The unit however, could barely be seen in the
episode at its location behind the metal screen wall in the shuttlecraft
interior.  “Alpha” appears to be mounted
in one of the larger console computers as we saw previously in several
episodes.  The final and perhaps the best
scene showing the type 6 unit was from the episode “Lights of Zetar.” In that
episode we got a quick but great view of the “Beta” model as Lt. Romaine leans
up against the side wall of the Emergency Manual Monitor set. 


Image


"Alpha"
hidden behind the screen wall in the episode "The Immunity Syndrome."  Of note is the set dressing covering the hole
where the type 4 should be behind the co-pilot chair.



 


Why was the
“Alpha” unit never seen again in the series after “The Immunity Syndrome”
episode?  Its absence was most likely due
to the fact that it was not a viable shape to get consistent use as equipment
and therefore had limited screen time. There were no more shuttlecraft interior
scenes shot and the larger computer consoles that is was most often seen in were
not used again after “The Immunity Syndrome.” 
The “Beta” unit was used exclusively in the Emergency Manual Monitor set
after its brief appearance in “Metamorphosis.” The fact that “Beta” was never
used any place else and the fact that “Alpha” was never seen again leads us to
believe that these irregularly shape type 6 units just didn’t fit into the set
dressing required for most episodes


Image


Image


The
best view of the type 6 unit in the entire series from the episode “The Lights
of Zetar”



 


From this series
of articles we have seen that 8 of the 12 computer props that we have looked at
were a reuse of the shuttlecraft interior instrumentation. As we indicated in
previous articles; the exterior and interior set of the shuttlecraft was
provided by the AMT Corporation in exchange for model kit rights at no cost to
the production. We can speculate that they supplied the interior
instrumentation as well. The type 4, type 5 and type 6 units had nothing in
common with the three previous types that were made by the studio; further
solidifying the assumption that the three later types came from AMT.  The common characteristics of the type 4,
type 5 and type 6 units and the fact that they were not seen before the
“Galileo” episode reinforces the proposition that these were indeed part of the
AMT deal. If that is the case; Desilu struck gold with the AMT agreement
receiving not only the shuttlecraft exterior and interior sets but also
instrumentation that would appear in numerous episodes and in many locations
other than the shuttlecraft throughout the entire series. In any case the
computer props that were part of the original series have fueled the
imagination of countless individuals over the decades since the episodes
originally aired.  They can be considered
a precursor to the computer revolution that continues to this day. Perhaps with
the current development of voice recognition software and the increased
processing power of today’s computers; the wonder and awe we felt when we saw
Kirk, Spock and the crew interacting with the TOS computers may be a reality
for us in the very near future.


 
Last edited by feek61 on 17 Jul 2016, 21:07, edited 25 times in total.
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feek61
Joined: 29 Apr 2007, 15:38

09 Jul 2012, 01:13 #8

This is for all of you builders out there!!!  Here is literally years of research provided to you from tosgraphics.com; Enjoy!!!


I posted these over at the TPZ so I thought I would go ahead and post them here as well. These are the dimensions for the type 4B Beta. Please let me know if you have an questions.




Image



Image
Last edited by feek61 on 28 Jan 2013, 00:34, edited 6 times in total.
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feek61
Joined: 29 Apr 2007, 15:38

09 Jul 2012, 01:17 #9

Coming up we will be covering the console computers (or as I call them the type 7's). Keep an eye out for the article in the near future!!


Image




Check out the feature on the "Type 7" computers here:
http://tosgraphics.yuku.com/topic/409/master/1/?page=1
Last edited by feek61 on 31 Dec 2012, 22:06, edited 3 times in total.
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policediecast
Joined: 11 Nov 2011, 10:39

03 Sep 2013, 13:00 #10

feek61 wrote:
Coming up we will be covering the console computers (or as I call them the type 7's). Keep an eye out for the article in the near future!!
Image
Check out the feature on the "Type 7" computers here:
Has anyone built the type 1 computer? I was wanting to build it and came up with some measurements and was hoping to compare with some one before starting 
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