EXCLUSIVE: Following the recent conclusion of Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+, OTOY and Roddenberry Entertainment have unveiled the next evolution of the Roddenberry Archive, a multi-decade collaboration with the Gene Roddenberry Estate to capture Star Trek franchise architect Roddenberry’s lifetime of works for future generations, with holographic immersion and in the most historically accurate sense possible.
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The largest-ever collection of iconic Star Trek digital archive works will be made available for free for the first time through a new web portal bridging the legacies of all three major eras of Roddenberry’s Star Trek, with help from stars William Shatner (Star Trek) and John de Lancie (Star Trek: The Next Generation), as well as showrunner, writer and EP Terry Matalas (Star Trek: Picard).
The web portal will allow fans to virtually explore the many dozens of evolutionary iterations of the famous Starship Enterprise bridge, across every epoch of Star Trek‘s history, with each bridge made accessible in the timeline as a 1:1 scale, “in-universe,” 360 recreation. De Lancie, who has portrayed extra-dimensional being Q since 1987’s Star Trek: The Next Generation, narrates a supplementary documentary, offering a deep dive into the evolution and legacy of the bridge — from its inception in Pato Guzman’s 1964 sketches, through its portrayal across decades of films and TV series, to its latest incarnation on the Enterprise-G, as revealed in the final episode of Star Trek: Picard.
This combined documentary and exploratory online experience brings the legacy and history of the starship Enterprise to life through meticulous recreations of the filming sets used for production as well as the aforementioned “in-universe” life size, functional immersive virtual interiors. The recreations were produced for the Gene Roddenberry Estate, and overseen by veteran Star Trek artists including Denise and Michael Okuda, who authored The Star Trek Encyclopedia, as well as Daren Dochterman, Doug Drexler and Dave Blass.
The Archive will also, for a limited time, allow fans to try an experimental technology preview through the web portal, enabling them to walk onto the bridges of the Enterprise (boasting working turbolifts and consoles) and explore them in every detail, all from an instantaneous livestream.
Accompanying the interactive bridge experiences and documentary film is a series of 2023 featurettes exploring Star Trek‘s behind-the-scenes production process with commentary from Star Trek luminaries who share Roddenberry’s vision for the franchise.
The first featurette teases Shatner’s hours-long testimonial for the Roddenberry Archive, captured holographically within a perfect recreation of the 1979 USS Enterprise bridge. The icon therein shares his memories, aspirations and intentions in bringing Captain Kirk to life in 1965 and portraying his death in 1994, as well as his personal views on the future he envisions for this beloved character, including visualizations from his 1995 novel Ashes of Eden.
The second includes interviews with leading cast and crew, including Star Trek: The Next Generation director James Conway, director-producer David Livingston, program consultant David Gerrold, consulting senior illustrator Andrew Probert and production designer Herman Zimmerman, as well as Star Trek: Picard‘s showrunner Matalas and production designer, Blass.
The release of the immersive Enterprise recreations and documentary testimony is accompanied by a new short in the 765874 Archive concept video series, which has been available online since last year, exploring concepts from Shatner’s Ashes of Eden and Star Trek: Picard‘s resurrection of the Enterprise-D, with actors Mahé Thaissa and Lawrence Selleck returning to explore themes from the history of Star Trek. A life-size physical prosthetic Arex was created for the production, bringing the beloved character from Star Trek: The Animated Series to life not just in CG, but also in live-action.
Work has also been completed to bring Majel Roddenberry’s voice to life as the Enterprise computer, based on phonetic recordings she made in 2008, with the goal of adding her signature vocalization to the archive. Numerous environments and set recreations are continuously being studies and worked on by the Roddenberry Archive for future updates covering production work from the The Cage pilot onwards, as well as a full and complete 1:1 scale recreation of the entire interior of the original USS Enterprise, featured in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
“The Roddenberry Archive portal gives the public a first glimpse into the many years of incredible work done by the archive’s world class production team both in preserving Gene Roddenberry’s legacy in tandem with visually documenting 60 years of Star Trek history in quiescent detail,” said Jules Urbach, who serves as CEO of OTOY and the Roddenberry Archive. “Through new technology, we can bring audiences back in time as if they were there on set during the making of Star Trek, providing a window into new dimensions of the Star Trek universe.”
Continued Urbach, “The team’s efforts to capture Star Trek history in full lifelike detail with the highest degree of historical accuracy is an important milestone in preserving Gene Roddenberry’s vision for future generations to explore and see, through the lens of those that worked with him.”
“Over multiple decades, we have been exploring the frontiers of new technology to how we might document my father’s vision, work and ideas in ways that can be experienced by generations yet to come,” added Roddenberry Entertainment President, Rod Roddenbery. “The Roddenberry Archive is not just a way to honor my father’s legacy, but my mother’s, Majel, as well. She voiced the Enterprise computer for decades. In 2008, before she left us, she meticulously recorded her voice phonetically, with the intent to preserve it for some future technology to bring it back to life. We waited 15 years, and today I am so proud to have her voice, just as I remember it, welcoming visitors to the Roddenberry Archive portal.”
Videos spotlighting the latest evolution of The Roddenberry Archive, and a preview of the new Shatner interview can be found below.
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