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Star Trek-The Experience sign

Star Trek: The Experience

Star Trek: The Experience was a US$70 million permanent Star Trek-themed attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel, owned by Cedar Fair Enterprise. Containing shops styled after the Deep Space 9 Promenade, a restaurant styled after Quark's, and the Klingon Encounter and Borg Invasion 4D rides. The store was the largest Star Trek-themed store in the world. Incorporated into the attraction was the "The History of the Future Museum" exhibit, a large collection of props and artifacts.

Terry Farrell commented after a visit The Experience "I got jostled around and shot at. I didn't have to pretend to react for once. Instead of jumping around and shaking, the ride did it all for me. That was pretty cool". ("Farrell's Fate", Star Trek Monthly issue 43)

History Edit

Star Trek The Experience proposed USS Enterprise

Proposed 1:1 scale USS Enterprise concept art

In 1992, Gary Goddard began developing The Starship Enterprise as an attraction in Las Vegas. It was intended to be a full-scale replica of the refit-USS Enterprise, both its exterior and interiors. The idea was rejected despite five months of planning as the cost would've been too high if the attraction had flopped. [X]wbm

Actually, the grandiose and ambitious scheme came close to fruition; newly appointed Paramount Pictures studio head Sherry Lansing, for example, was strongly in favor of the project as proposed by Goddard as were her other conglomerate executive colleagues. However, it was their superior, Vice-President of Paramount Communications – the conglomerate holding company at that time before the acquisition by Viacom – , Stanley R. Jaffe who vetoed the plan as proposed, the only executive to do so. "Albert Einstein said it best: 'Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds'," Goddard sighed. He explained,

"All of our work, the effort to get Paramount, the Mayor, and redevelopment committee aligned, everything had come to this moment. We were ready to go. Money in place, land provided by the city, license for the property negotiated with Paramount licensing –all set. If Mr. Jaffe says "yes" and we are a "go" project. And the city wanted to have a press conference within a week announcing the project. So with everyone in the room, I take Mr. Jaffe through the project. With the art, the plans, the overall concept. After my spirited "pitch" everyone was beaming – everyone except Mr. Jaffe. Mr. Jaffe thanked us for the effort, and he congratulated us on creating a bold concept and presentation, and then went into a speech that went something like this:

"You know, this is a major project. You’re going to put a full-scale ENTERPRISE up in the heart of Las Vegas. And on one hand that sounds exciting. But on another hand, it might not be a great idea for us – for Paramount.” Everyone in the room was stunned, most of all, me, because I could see where this was going. “In the movie business, when we produce a big movie and it’s a flop – we take some bad press for a few weeks or a few months, but then it goes away. The next movie comes out and everyone forgets. But THIS – this is different. If this doesn’t work – if this is not a success – it's there, forever..." I remember thinking to myself "oh my god, this guy does NOT get it..." And he said "I don't want to be the guy that approved this and then it's a flop and sitting out there in Vegas forever."

"And with that, Mr. Jaffe in a single moment, destroyed about five months of work by a host of people, and killed one of the greatest ideas of all time. Stanley waltzed out of the room and I think everyone was stunned. No one could believe it. But our dream pretty much ended there. Sherry Lansing was stunned and apologized to the room and followed her boss out. The Paramount licensing team was embarrassed to say the least, and of course, they were also realizing they had just lost out on millions of dollars in future licensing revenues too. The Mayor and the redevelopment committee were just depressed I think. But they thanked me for all the efforts I put into it, and for making the meetings with Paramount possible, and then they headed back to Las Vegas." [1]

Incidentally, Jaffe had actually saved Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country the year previously, after it was canceled for pretty much the same "too expensive" reasons. (see: Film background information for particulars)

Opening Edit

Star Trek The Experience sign

Star Trek Experience

In its scaled down scope, The Experience eventually opened with 2,500 on hand (including a host of "official" Star Trek alumni) for a gala premier on 3 January 1998. It was originally a property owned by Paramount Parks, built by the Landmark Entertainment Group resort/theme park developer and coordinated by the Paramount/Viacom (the new owner as of 1995) licensing division. It was sold to Cedar Fair, owner of Knott's Berry Farm, with the other Paramount Parks division amid the parent Viacom split of CBS and Paramount Pictures in 2006.

On the Star Trek: Voyager Season 1 DVD, the sixteen-minute special feature, "Star Trek: The Experience", explained the attraction, including interviews with some staff members and performers.

Closing Edit

On 2 May 2008, TrekMovie.com reported the future of Star Trek: The Experience was in doubt due to declining attendance. On 2 July 2008, Cedar Fair and CBS Consumer Products officially announced that Star Trek: The Experience would be closing on 1 September 2008, as no agreements were reached between the various parties needed to keep the attraction operational. Cedar Fair was required to completely vacate the space at the Hilton by 31 December 2008, when their contract with CBS expired. At the time, CBS stated that they were exploring several possibilities to keep The Experience running, possibly at another location. [2]

The closing ceremony was held on 1 September 2008. The public was invited to attend the ceremony, which was presented in the tradition of a naval decommissioning ceremony. Giving the keynote at the closing was Suzie Plakson, who introduced all the members of the Star Trek: The Experience staff. April Hebert, who played T'pril, was introduced last as the longest serving cast member of Star Trek: The Experience and given the United Federation of Planets banner. Chase Masterson was also in attendance for the closing ceremony, and Garrett Wang made a brief appearance at Quark's shortly before closing. Chad Boutte, Operations Manager of Star Trek: The Experience, gave the final speech with the final words "live long and prosper".

The props and equipment displayed at the attraction were shipped back to Hollywood where Paramount Pictures will retain them in storage. [3]

Star Trek actor Robert Picardo, who performed in the Borg Invasion 4D, was critical of the decision to close the attraction right before the release of the new Star Trek film which he expected to revitalize the franchise. [X]wbm

According to a 6 Feb 2009 article from the Las Vegas Sun, Star Trek: The Experience was to reopen in the Neonopolis Mall in downtown Las Vegas on 8 May 2009. This ultimately did not happen, for reasons as yet unknown. It was stated that the date was chosen to coincide with the release of Star Trek. Reports stated that only the first phase would open this year, with the complete Experience to re-open in early 2010. On 10 April 2010, some of the unwanted props and equipment from the exhibit were sold at auction. [4] The "STAR TREK: THE EXPERIENCE Warehouse Sale" was handled by newly-formed auction house Propworx of Alec Peters in their first Star Trek auction. [5] As of August 2011, the exhibit has not yet reopened.

It has also been suggested that the new Experience, should it reopen, will show more of the Original Series than its predecessor. [6]

The Experience Edit

STTE-Entrance

Main atrium and entrance

Star Trek: The Experience played host to parties, receptions, weddings, scheduled events, and conventions. Those who wished to hold their wedding there could have it in Starfleet uniform on the bridge of the USS Enterprise-D, with Star Trek aliens such as Ferengi and Klingons as witnesses. The bridge facility was available for photo opportunities and costumes could be rented for the same.

The Klingon Encounter and Borg 4D adventure rides uniquely combined ride simulators, accurately detailed sets, special effects and trained, dedicated costumed live actors to make guests truly feel they were actually in the Trek universe. The site offered tie-in parties, photo opportunities and sidebar events when Creation Entertainment's annual Star Trek convention was held at the Hilton in August.

Promenade shops Edit

This article or section is incomplete This page is marked as lacking essential detail, and needs attention. Information regarding expansion requirements may be found on the article's talk page. Feel free to edit this page to assist with this expansion.

Moogie's Trading Post Edit

Moogie's Trading Post was located outside Quark's just before the entrance to the Promenade.

Admiral Collection Edit


Molecular Imaging Chamber Edit


Zek's Grand Emporium Edit

STTE-Promenade shop viewer

A Cardassian viewer inside a shop


Latinum Jewelers Edit

STTE-Latinum Jewelers

Shop signs on the Promenade, including Latinum Jewelers


Garak's Clothiers Edit

STTE-Garak's Clothiers

Shop signs on the Promenade, including Garak's Clothiers


Quark's Bar and Restaurant Edit

STTE-Quark's bar and restaurant

Outside Quark's Bar and Restaurant

Quark's Bar & Restaurant was a fine dining establishment.

Klingon Encounter Edit

The Klingon Encounter ride, was featured from the very opening of The Experience right up until its closure, making it the longest running show in the entire Star Trek franchise according to IMDb. [7] Still, due to budget cuts near the end of the attraction, the number of stage live performers accompanying the visitors, pursuant an earlier "Light Night Show"-schedule, was reduced to two bridge officers only. [8]

PlotEdit

Initially, a group of about twenty visitors entered a rather confining room. (The exact number of participants varied, as friends and family were unlikely to split.) Once inside the room, one of the ride directors began speaking about the Experience and seemed to be intentionally making it sound unexciting, like you were "visiting a typical museum" and limited to a shuttle ride – motion simulator. During this initial lecture of Star Trek history, a small device displayed scenes from several Star Trek films.

The group entered the next room, where they were instructed via monitor about the shuttle ride when there was "trouble" with the monitors... then the lights went out. Dozens of small round flashes flickered through the darkness to simulate the "transporter effect", accompanied by the transporter sound effect and a rush of cold air. When the lights returned, the walls and floor had changed... you appeared to be on the transporter pad aboard the USS Enterprise-D. The layout was similar to the usual transporter room as seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the group was facing a Starfleet uniformed transporter technician at their station.

While on the transporter pad, a Starfleet officer asked the group leaders (two ride-tour directors) to accompany them. An officer then explained that the visitors were beamed aboard the starship Enterprise and were in "what 'you' would call the future, the year 2371." He then requested the group to follow him. The group was led down a typical starship corridor to the bridge.

On the bridge, the group stood in the rear between the science stations and the tactical station. A crewmember explained that Captain Jean-Luc Picard disappeared the moment the group beamed aboard the Enterprise.

Although the three chairs that (from port to starboard) Counselor Deanna Troi, Picard, and Commander William T. Riker usually occupied were empty, that was only visible if one ventured to look over the semicircular counter that housed the tactical station.

There were various crewmembers busy on the bridge during this time, and they contacted Commander Riker, who promptly appeared on the main viewscreen. Riker explained that a group of rogue Klingons, led by Korath, transported your group to the future because "one of you is an ancestor of Captain Picard". Korath's plan was to kill the group, and prevent Picard's existence. Riker stated that your group was to escape via shuttlecraft and go through a temporal rift, which should return all the guests back to their original time, and restore the existence of Captain Picard.

While the group was in the turbolift, the Klingons attacked the Enterprise. There was a malfunction and the turbolift entered a (simulated) free fall. There were several jolts on the turbolift during the attack. Finally, the group arrived at the shuttle bay deck along a large section of corridor.

The group then lined up to board the shuttlecraft. Each line corresponded to a row of seats in the shuttle, so people in the same line would sit in the same row.

The shuttle ride, "led" by Geordi La Forge, began by exiting the Enterprise and entering a battle between the Enterprise and a few Klingon vessels. The shuttle went into warp and dropped out in the rings of a planet, where they were instructed to find and destroy a cloaking generator on the planet's surface. There were several dogfights during this time. The shuttle then returned through the temporal rift to present-day Las Vegas, buzzing the Sands Hotel at one point. However a Klingon ship followed, and locked a tractor beam on the group's shuttle. "It's over, Humans!" Korath exclaims "But take heart, today is a good day to die!" Suddenly a familiar voice states "If you say so, Korath..." The Klingon ship and then exploded in front of you as the Enterprise flew triumphantly through the ship's destruction, complete with Goldsmith-esque fanfare. The shuttle landed at the Las Vegas Hilton, in a unique manner, and the ride ended, right next to the "motion simulators" the visitors were supposedly waiting to enter before they were "beamed off" at the start of the story. Before the crew of the Enterprise left, Captain Picard opened a communique to the shuttle and thanked the group for "restoring his existence." He stated "While only one of you is my ancestor, each of you holds that same opportunity for the future. Guard it well."

STTE-Klingon Encounter exit

The DS9 docking port exit

The shuttle door opened, and typically there was a custodian behind it. He explained that the shuttle fell through the floor and that you were in a restricted area, and you must leave immediately. The custodian led the group to an elevator and then out to the Deep Space 9 Promenade and Quark's Bar and Restaurant. While waiting for the elevator, the group members could watch a monitor with a "breaking" local Las Vegas "news broadcast" featuring the "UFO" sightings that were the Klingons and the Enterprise.

Film background informationEdit

  • This script, replacing an initial story offered by attraction developer Landmark and rejected by Star Trek then-Executive Producer Rick Berman, was written by actual Star Trek series writers Rene Echevarria (TNG and DS9) and Kenneth Biller (VOY). It was intentionally meant to play on participants' role as Las Vegas tourists, rather than as residents of the Star Trek future.

Film credits

Edit
in alphabetical order
C. Clayton Blackwell and Charles O'Neill, have IMDb cast credits as "Security Officer" and "Starfleet"; this is formally incorrect however, as they were part of the stage live performance crew, and not part of the film. Likewise, the majority of the "Other crew" and "Companies" worked on the live part of the attraction and not the film.

Attraction background informationEdit

  • Several faithfully-recreated locales comprise this ride, including the Enterprise transporter room, bridge, and a shuttlebay. Longtime Star Trek Production Designer Herman Zimmerman was contracted to oversee design and construction as accurately as feasible, although some features – such as standard lighted exit signs, not Starfleet-style signage – had to be compromised for real-world building and safety codes.
  • The bridge – complete with animated controls and working viewscreen – could be rented for private functions, such as weddings.
  • In 2004, two of the four bridge sets and others were compressed or rearranged to make room for the new sister attraction, Borg Invasion 4D.
  • The title Klingon Encounter was coined only after the second ride was added. Previously, it had simply been known as just the "Star Trek: The Experience ride."

Stage credits

Edit
note: Not for the film, but specifically for the interactive live attraction part. The characters were played by a rotating cast of stage crew live performers, as no performer was permanently assigned to any particular part.
  • Stage cast
    • Characters
      • Transporter Officer (lieutenant)
      • Ensign Thomas
      • Lt. Edwards, Ops Officer
      • Conn Officer (ensign)
      • Grand Corridor Officer (guided guests from the turbolift to the shuttlebay)
      • Shuttle Bay Officer (put guests on the shuttle flight simulator)
      • Janitor/Custodian
    • Played on an alternating basis by among others [9],
      • Anita Bean
      • Charles Clayton Blackwell [10]
      • Stephanie Firestone
      • Bonnie Gordon
      • James "Jim" Hilton [11]
      • Kimmie Kidd
      • Miriam Krasny
      • Charles O'Neill [12]
      • Andrew Redmond
  • Stage production crew
    • David C. Cobb – Attraction Developer
    • Linda Danet – Production Coordinator
    • Charles D. Kelly – Site Art Director
    • Anthony Esparza – Senior Vice President: Design & Entertainment
    • Gary Goddard – Writer, Producer
    • Joseph Neibich – Production Staff
    • Penny Smartt-Juday – Project Coordinator
    • Herman F. Zimmerman – Design Consultant
  • Stage production companies

References Edit

2371; USS Enterprise-D; Klingon Bird-of-Prey; Las Vegas; time travel; turbolift

External link Edit

Borg Invasion 4D Edit

Borg Invasion 4D promotional poster Borg Invasion 4D promotional opening poster
Borg Invasion 4D announcement (l), and opening promotional posters
Bremen venue attraction blurb
"On a futuristic space station, space travelers will experience the phenomenal Star Trek Borg Encounter. Suddenly, guests encounter the mysterious Borg. Right in the middle of an exciting struggle in the latest 4D vision the situation seems to escalate, with a fast escape into an ejection capsule. Then Captain Janeway approaches with spaceship Voyager and beams the crew out of the danger zone. A must-see for all Star Trek fans!"

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

The Borg Invasion 4D-ride, christened under its original working title Star Trek: Borg Encounter for the Bremen, Germany venue, opened on 18 March 2004. It was developed by Paramount Parks, working closely with Rick Berman Productions, Viacom Consumer Products and a number of Star Trek consultants and creators to ensure the authenticity of the experience. Threshold Digital Research Labs produced the visual effects and 3D film portion. While an official franchise production, events depicted in the film are, as usual for these kind of productions (therefore also including the above featured Klingon ride), not considered canon. The entire ride, encompassing the film, lasted for about 25 minutes.

As with its sister Klingon ride, due to budget cuts near the end of the attraction, the number of stage live performers accompanying the visitors, pursuant an earlier "Light Night Show"-schedule, was reduced to three, of which only one was Borg, where there were previously half a dozen. [13]

Effects for the ride included droplets of water, wind bursts, minor motion, and jabbing of the occupants – in the back and under the legs – through their chairs, thus the "4D" in the title. (Though mild, the unexpected sensations could be startling.)

Plot Edit

Arriving at Copernicus Station

Arriving at Copernicus Station

note: only film screencaps are incorporated in this section; the live stage scenes are posted in the gallery above.

This ride took groups of up to 48 people at a time. They entered a briefing room aboard the Starfleet science research facility Copernicus Station. The briefing room had a large viewscreen in the front beyond a podium, upon which several Starfleet personnel stood. There was also a Starfleet officer on the opposite side of the room. On the screen, The Doctor from USS Voyager appeared and greeted the group. He explained that the group had been selected to undergo medical testing because some of the members were immune to Borg nanotechnology (which he "detected" when the group entered the room). In the middle of his presentation to the guests, The Doctor was interrupted by one of the station administrators. She said that they had detected a ship approaching the station at high warp. Since it didn't respond to communications, the station went to yellow alert (as the lights dimmed). The administrator said that they would postpone the medical testing until this possible threat was dealt with.

Borg cube attacking Copernicus Station

Copernicus Station under attack by a Borg cube

When the tactical officer of the station had a visual, the administrator said, "Let's see it." Lo and behold, in all its grim glory, it was a full size Borg cube that slowly and ominously approached the station. The officers in the room and The Doctor all shared the same grim expression, knowing that difficult times were ahead. The station went to red alert (with the lights flashing red) and the administrator gave orders to open fire on the cube; the ground shook beneath and the sound of phasers and quantum torpedoes firing thunderously were heard. The cube appeared to sustain heavy damage, but was still able to tractor a section of the station away. The administrator requested a young security officer, Lt. Elkins, to get to the docking bay and help evacuate the visitors. He complied but informed her that they suffered heavy damage. The Borg located the testing facility and as The Doctor informed them to brace for impact, the cube fired a projectile, and all the lights went dark, but not before hearing a large amount of static. Then, all as one, the dreaded automata spoke. "We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile."

Borg overrunning Copernicus Station

Borg drones overrunning the station

The viewscreen came back online, and The Doctor checked in with Lt. Elkins. When The Doctor asked if Elkins was all right, he reported "For now. There's an extraordinary amount of damage down here. Sir, the Borg have entered the facility. The station's being overrun." The Doctor then told the group to get to the shuttle Olympia while there was still time; at this point he delivered the relevant safety instructions for the ride. As he was about to end the transmission, you saw a group of Borg drones enter behind him. The Doctor proceeded to fire a phaser, and you saw one of the medical technicians injected with Borg nanoprobes as his skin turned ghastly white, and his veins turned black. Frantically The Doctor told Elkins, from the viewscreen, that they needed to evacuate and then disappeared from view as a group of drones approached his position. A security officer entered the room, and led the group to the next room: a corridor that looks severely damaged.

As the group was in the corridor, a drone appeared to move towards the group, but turned instead to examine an LCARS computer panel. Starfleet Commander Markus told the group that he posed no threat at the moment, then the door the officer was standing in front of opened and a drone pulled him into a turbolift as he screamed and yelled at the group to save themselves. At the opposite end of the room was Commander Ross on an elevated station. He proceeded to try and open the next door, but instead shot the panel with his phaser as the drone that was examining the computer console moved towards the group. That drone was eliminated, but as the door to the shuttle opened, an unseen drone pulled the officer up from the ceiling as he screamed.

Borg Chamber in Borg Invasion 4D

The Borg Queen in her chamber

The group then entered a room that purported to be the holding area of an escape vessel. Everyone picked up "safety glasses" (3D goggles) and sat down. The shuttle took off from the station, but was pulled inside the Borg cube. The front of the shuttle was blown open (utilizing 3D effects) and bird-like cybernetic lifeforms approached, scanning the ship and passengers. Elkins instructed Flemming to remain with the passengers as he attempted to fend them off inside the cube. As he fired at the creatures, two drones transported to his position and transported him away. Small Borg probes entered the shuttle and sprayed the group with nanoprobes. They wriggled under the skin (by way of motion prods under the seats) as the Borg Queen appeared. She began lecturing about the perfection of the Borg Collective and demanded the surrender of the group's inhibitions and instructed them to join the hive mind.

The Doctor admonishing the captured Olympia shuttle occupants to hold out

The Doctor admonishing the captured group to hold out

As the nanoprobes took hold, you were subjected to a hallucination of the Collective from the point of view of drones, moving through the cube. You entered an assimilation chamber and saw Lt. Elkins undergoing assimilation. At that moment, The Doctor projected himself into the hallucination, telling the group to fight it. "You are resistant to assimilation! Fight it! We're coming for you, help is on the..." He then cut out. The group, now out of the hallucination, listened to the Queen as she began lecturing, purporting that no one had ever resisted assimilation. Then, another communication entered the ship and a familiar female voice said, "Maybe it's time we even the sides." The Queen looked abashed. "Janeway!" she screamed.

USS Voyager to the rescue

USS Voyager to the rescue...

Admiral Kathryn Janeway appeared on two side viewscreens as you saw Voyager burst through the far side of the cube and begin to approach the audience's shuttle. Janeway began to addresses the Queen: "Stand aside, I've come to take these people home." "In a moment, this cube and everything in it will be incinerated." the Queen said. Janeway skeptically fired back, "You'd sacrifice an entire cube to destroy us?" "You're a fool Janeway, there will always be more drones!" the Queen yelled. "Voyager and these unique individuals will be a more significant loss!" "We're not losing anyone." Janeway confidently said. She then asked, "Doctor?"

The Doctor then materialized on a platform near the front of the shuttle, informing the pilot that shield frequencies had been altered allowing the shuttle to raise its defenses. "This is useless!" The Queen yelled. "You're all trapped!" "Don't be too sure" Janeway said, as Voyager fired phasers on the Queen's position. She appeared to beam out before she could be destroyed. Janeway then ordered, "Fire quantum torpedoes!" Voyager obliged, as The Doctor held off the remaining nanoprobes with a hand phaser in time for the force field on the shuttle's bow to be activated. Janeway then beamed The Doctor to Voyager and left the cube in shambles as she locked her tractor beam on the group's shuttle, and the group was then treated to the magnificent explosion of the Borg cube as it was defeated by the Federation. "Savor your victory!" the Queen yelled. "We will meet again!"

Copernicus station as featured in Borg Invasion 4D

Returning to Copernicus Station

On the way back to Copernicus Station, The Doctor appeared and addressed the audience. "We did it! What a remarkable encounter! Oh, the papers I'll be able to publish! Of course I'll need several weeks with all of you back at Copernicus for observation!" As The Doctor laughed, Admiral Janeway chimed in. "Doctor? I think they've been through enough, thank you." The Doctor dropped his shoulders in sadness and obliged, "Yes, admiral" as he dematerialized.

As the shuttle docked back at Copernicus Station, Janeway spoke to the audience one final time: "Congratulations. You resisted the Borg with the one thing the Queen can never assimilate: the Human spirit. So long as we have that, resistance is never futile." The theme to the Voyager television show then played, and everyone was directed to exit to the right. [14]

Film background information Edit

  • As with the Experience story that was eventually called Klingon Encounter, this script was penned by a Star Trek veteran, Voyager writer Lisa Klink.
  • Since the production of the television franchise was still up and running at the time in the form of Star Trek: Enterprise, many of its production staffers served on the making of the film for the ride; these also included senior staffers such as Producer Dave Rossi, and, again, Visual Effects Producer Dan Curry as well as Production Designer Herman Zimmerman among others. Most of the regular production staff were however not officially credited. Director Ty Granoroli however, was new to the Star Trek franchise. (VOY Season 7 DVD-special feature, "The Making of Borg Invasion 4D")
  • This is the first Star Trek production to have ever been shot digitally.
Alice Krige filming her scenes as the Borg Queen in her disassembled state Borg Queen lecturing her captives
Krige filming her bluescreen scenes as the Borg Queen in her disassembled state (l), as ultimately featured in the film
  • Many of the Borg featured in the film (as opposed to the attraction live crew performing as such), were played by performers who had already done so for Star Trek: First Contact (or for the respective Star Trek: Voyager television episodes); "It was a most joyful reunion," Alice Krige, who reprised her role as the Borg Queen, declared tongue-in-cheek. When presented with the first 3D footage of her close-up scenes, Krige admitted to being flabbergasted by her own in-your-face performance. (VOY Season 7 DVD-special feature, "The Making of Borg Invasion 4D")
  • Many Borg set pieces used in the film were still surviving pieces from First Contact, after having been recycled themselves for use in Voyager. For the set construction, Production Designer Zimmerman reprised the same role (though remaining uncredited) he had on the live-action television and movies productions for this outing. (VOY Season 7 DVD-special feature, "The Making of Borg Invasion 4D")
Kate Mulgrew shooting her Admiral Janeway scenes for Borg Invasion 4D

Filming the Admiral Janeway scenes in October 2002

  • First unit photography with the principal cast was done in the Autumn of 2002, over a year after Voyager had wrapped, and with Kate Mulgrew, reprising her Janeway character as admiral, she had just previously played in Star Trek Nemesis. Hers were the first scenes shot in October for the film. (VOY Season 7 DVD-special feature, "The Making of Borg Invasion 4D")
  • As former Foundation Imaging – the visual effects company that had provided these for three Star Trek television productions – Visual Effects Supervisor Adam Lebowitz, now serving in a similar function at Threshold Digital Research Labs, had access to the digital database of previously used CGI live-action production starship studio models, and several of these were – mostly as scenic backdrops in the opening and closing scenes – featured in the film, the most noticeable ones being obviously those of the Borg cube and USS Voyager. Since Voyager was slated to make a dramatic, very large screen entry in the film, the digital model had to be re-rendered at Threshold at a far larger resolution than had been necessary for the small television screens, a task Lebowitz and Lee Stringer (also formerly of Foundation) themselves performed, as they already had intimate working experience with the model for Star Trek: Voyager. [15]
Olympia shuttle CGI model Copernicus Station
The CGI models Drexler unbeknownst built for Borg Invasion 4D, the Olympia shuttle (l) and Copernicus Station (r)
  • The CGI models for the Olympia shuttle and Copernicus Station on the other hand, were newly constructed by Doug Drexler, though for the longest of times he was not aware of it; when he posted a by him constructed CGI shuttle on his blog in 2009, he, after first incorrectly believing it was merely a rejected build for the title sequence of Enterprise, only could remember that he, "(...)was building the model in the art department when I got the word that Foundation had already begun their version, so it was never completed." This indicated that it was nevertheless built for the first season of the new series, as Foundation Imaging only worked on that season before the company went out of business. His blog participants almost immediately recognized the shuttle as having been featured in the the Borg ride four years later, much to Drexler's glee, "That’s the great thing about blogging with you guys! It makes me remember! Yes! I do believe it was used as the Olympia. I think I turned this over to Threshold, along with a starbase model. Was there a starbase in the story?" [X]wbm And indeed there was, also immediately identified by blog participants as having been featured in the ride, when Drexler posted that model a short time later. [X]wbm As it turned out, Drexler was at the time requested to turn over his models to Threshold for use in the ride. Unaware of that latter fact, but thinking nothing further of it, Drexler dutifully complied by handing over his, what he believed, Enterprise rejects. At Threshold the models were completed under the supervision of Drexler's former Foundation superior Lebowitz, and featured as the Olympia and as Copernicus Station, respectively. By posting the two models, it had even helped the designer of both, John Eaves, to have his memory jogged, "I just found the art work for this one!!! I forgot What we were doing this for but so loved the modeling you did on it and that crazy tikki faced space station!!!" [X]wbm
  • The Borg Queen chamber was in part constructed by Digital Modeler Fabio Passaro, employed at the time at Threshold. Passaro recalled, "I was commissioned to create a part of the Borg Chamber used in the ride. The scene consisted of nearly 3 million polygons or so and was built to strict outside dimensions although I was asked to detail the inside of the chamber to my own tastes but in fitting with the Borg theme." [16]

Film credits

Edit
in alphabetical order
C. Clayton Blackwell, Charles O'Neill and Vernon Ray Wilmer Jr., have IMDb cast credits as "Science officer", "Starfleet officer" and "Borg drone 7" respectively; this is formally incorrect however, as they were part of the stage live performance crew, and not part of the film. Likewise several production staffers and companies are only associated with the attraction and not the film.

Attraction background informationEdit

  • This is the first all-digital motion picture to incorporate live-action and animation within a 3D cinema environment.
  • This is the first multiple-angle 3D cinema production with 3D effects from the front, overhead and both right and left sides of the participant.
  • This is the first world-wide attraction to use 2K digital cinema projection, which is twice as clear as other digital projection systems.
  • The parallel German Star Trek: Borg Encounter attraction actually opened a month earlier than its American counterpart, on 12 February 2004 [17], as part of a larger indoor science-fiction themed attraction in the "Space Center Bremen". [18] However, the attraction had already had to close its doors in September that year, in part due to being unable to make projected attendance figures, as the new large mall it inhabited, Space Park Bremen, failed to attract other tenants. [19] The costly overall attraction, of which Borg Encounter was only a part alongside several others stemming from other science fiction franchises (Stargate SG-3000), as well as from real world spaceflight, ran for only six months, and its high-tech stages stood subsequently idle until ultimately dismantled in January 2008. [20]

Stage credits

Edit
note: Not for the film, but specifically for the interactive live attraction part. The characters were played by a rotating cast of stage crew live performers, as no performer was permanently assigned to any particular part.
  • Stage cast
    • Starfleet Officers
      • Characters [21]
        • Ensign
        • Lt. Stevens
        • Commander Markus (pulled into turbolift shaft by Borg)
        • Commander Ross (pulled through roof by Borg)
        • Lt. Flemming
      • Played on an alternating basis by among others,
        • Charles Clayton Blackwell
        • April Hebert [22]
        • Stephanie Firestone
        • James "Jim" Hilton [23]
        • Kimmie Kidd [24]
        • Charles O'Neill [25]
        • Vernon Ray Wilmer Jr. [26]
    • Borg drones
      • Christopher Bell as "Borg Drone 2 of 16"
      • Charles Kelley as "Borg Drone 5 of 16"
      • Nicholas Kennedy as "Borg Drone 8 of 16"
      • Damon A Shaw as "Borg Drone 13 of 16"
      • Vernon Wilmer as "Borg drone 7 of 16"
  • Stage production crew
    • David C. Cobb – Attraction Developer
  • Stage production companies
    • Electrosonic: Show control, projection and audio-visual systems; both Las Vegas and Bremen venues. [27]
    • Landmark Entertainment Group: Production Company
    • Matilda Entertainment: Production Company
    • Paramount Parks: Production Company
    • Rick Berman Productions: – Creative Consultancy and Production Company
    • Space Park Bremen: Production Company
    • Technifex Inc.: Special effects design and production, custom motion platform; both Las Vegas and Bremen venues. [28]

See also Edit

References Edit

2379; assimilation; Borg drone; quantum torpedo; Voyager, USS

External links Edit

Star Trek The Experience Secrets Unveiled Edit

Star Trek The Experience Secrets Unveiled was a paid, fully guided, behind-the-scenes look at the various productions that went into making The Experience. It was offered daily at limited times, so as not to interfere with other attractions, participants would wear wireless headsets and see how the many special effects were executed, the tour would occasionally pause while "backstage" to allow a production to continue. The tour would also walk around promenade to see how the production on characters costumes, make up, and character histories were developed – for example, actors playing Klingons were required to learn Klingonese, and actors playing Ferengi had to memorize the Rules of Acquisition. Upon completion, a customized certificate was presented to attendees, who also signed a guestbook.

The History of the Future Museum Edit

The History of the Future Museum was the permanent exhibition part of the Experience and consisted of galleries with production items on display in glass cabinets. While many items were indeed production used (a notable one being the Picard family album), there were also many commissioned and/or commercial replicas on display, such as Nomad or the Daedalus-class model, to beef out the exhibit, especially where the Original Series – though the exhibit was able to display production-used recreations from the Deep Space Nine homage episode "Trials and Tribble-ations", produced nearly two years prior to its opening – was concerned, of which not many original production items were still in the possession of the franchise. The exhibit expanded when items from Voyager, Enterprise, Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek Nemesis were added, which were either still, or not yet in production, when the attraction opened. Regular Star Trek production staffer Penny L. Juday served as the primary curator of the exhibit. (Star Trek Generations (Special Edition) DVD-special feature, "Picard's Family Album")

Some of the larger display pieces, such as the mannequins dressed in Star Trek attire were part of a "roaming display", displayed at various points in time at various locations throughout the Experience.

Upon closure of the Experience, the exhibit continued to exist in spirit, if not physically, as the Star Trek The Exhibition traveling exhibit tour, which started its run three months prior to the closure of the Experience, many display items subsequently moving over to that venue.

Live actors Edit

note: A significant number of the above and below mentioned actors are confirmed in the "Star Trek: Decommissioning" photo album posted on Flickr, taken on the occasion of the official closure of The Experience on 1 September 2008; these actors are identified by name in the photo captions.

The attraction was comprised of a rotating cast of actors. No actor was assigned to any particular part permanently, thereby being "Swing Actors" for either ride attraction, as live performer Charles Blackwell has dubbed themselves. [29] A partial exception were the Borg performers, as their Borg costumes and appliances were made to fit. But as not to be subjected all the time to the grueling makeup routine, sixteen Borg (plus an additional six with non-functional costumes and appliances for the restaurant exclusively), who were not employed all at once, were conceived for the ride, giving the actors the opportunity to play other roles as well. Listed below are those actors not yet mentioned above, and reiterated are those who had other performances aside from the Klingon and Borg rides.

  • Lysander Abadia - Starfleet (Borg Invasion, Klingon Encounter) [30]
  • Christopher Aguilar - Starfleet (Borg Invasion, Klingon Encounter) [31]
  • Dustin Ardine - Lead Deck Officer [32]
  • Gretchen Baker - Starfleet (Borg Invasion, Klingon Encounter), Ferengi character "Risca" (Quark's Bar and Restaurant) [33]
  • Elizabeth Belcastro - Starfleet (Borg Invasion, Klingon Encounter) [34]
  • Lisa Blake - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion) [35]
  • Gina Burgos - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion) [36]
  • Chad Boutte - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion)
  • Wendee Lee Curtis - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion)
  • Tom Deishley - Klingon character "General Motog" (Quark's Bar and Restaurant)
  • Eric Deloretta - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion)
  • Eric Ford [37]
  • Jerad Formby - Ferengi character "Quan" (Quark's Bar and Restaurant)
  • Russell Giles - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion) [38]
  • Nancy Hardy - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion)
  • Michael Hartnett - Borg Drone character 3 of 6 (Quark's Bar and Restaurant)
  • April Hebert - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion), Vulcan character "Professor T'pril" (Quark's Bar and Restaurant), Andorian character "Commander Tahryn" (Quark's Bar & Restaurant)
  • Brad Hoover - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion)
  • Brigid Kelly - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion) [39]
  • Markus Kublin - Klingon character "Commander Kurmas" (Quark's Bar and Restaurant)
  • Melvin Ladera - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion)
  • Monteford Light - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion)
  • Kerry Loomis - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter [40], Borg Invasion), Romulan character "Loriq" (Quark's Bar & Restaurant) [41]
  • David Lovan III - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion)
  • Patricia "Patty" Madden-Waites - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion) [42]
  • Joann Naban-Bronson - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion)
  • Richard Oden - Ferengi character "Rog'l" (Quark's Bar & Restaurant)
  • Nicole Padberg - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion) [43]
  • Darren Pitura - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion)
  • Chad Randall - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion) [44]
  • George Rieth - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion), Vulcan character "Sovek" (Quark's Bar & Restaurant) [45]
  • Diana Saunders - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion) [46]
  • D.P. Shapiro - Starfleet [47]
  • Lynn Sterling - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter), Klingon character "Major Kahlen" (Quark's Bar & Restaurant)
  • Kerstan Szczepanski - Andorian character "K'Stran" (Quark's Bar and Restaurant)
  • Mark Weitz - Klingon character "Commander Churoq" (Quark's Bar and Restaurant)
  • Vernon Wilmer - Borg Drone character 7 of 16 (Borg Invasion, Quark's Bar and Restaurant), Starfleet (Borg Invasion), Lt. "Pep" Streebeck (PR Events), Unofficial Historian for Star Trek: The Experience
  • Cameron Wright - Starfleet (Klingon Encounter, Borg Invasion), Bajoran character "Eron-Cam" (Quark's Bar and Restaurant) [48]

Shortly before The Experience closed its doors, several of the actors took it upon themselves to record their behind-the-scenes experiences for posterity, as most of them had been working for years at the attraction. This they had to do surreptitiously, as management had expressly prohibited such activity. Long after the attraction had closed its doors, four "Actor's Perspectives" shorts were posted in the internet channel YouTube, three pertaining to the Klingon ride, and one to the Borg ride. [49]

Live alien cast character backgrounds Edit

Andorians Edit

K'Stran Thral

K'Stran Thral

K'Stran Thral 
K'Stran Thran is a lieutenant in the Andorian Imperial Guard, serving as intel attaché. He served in Starfleet on the USS Potemkin and fought honorably in the Dominion War. His weakness for Orion women prompted his resignation from Starfleet and subsequent demotion to his low-level assignment on the Time Station.


Tahryn

Tahryn

Lieutenant Commander Tahryn 
Tahryn is serving the Andorian Imperial Guard as a member of the Diplomatic Corps. Her current assignment is to interact with the non-Starfleet aliens present on the station and report her impressions of the Humans and non-humans she encounters back to Andorian Imperial Command.


Borg Edit

Three of Six

Three of Six

Three of Six (aka Ensign Edward Adams) 
Three of Six was assimilated by the Borg at the Battle of Wolf 359 in 2367, whereupon he was renamed Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero Four. He was given special attention during rehabilitation due to his family's connections. Three of Six was assigned to the 21st century Time Station for reintegration into Human culture, but his assignment has sparked some controversy.


Seven of Sixteen

Seven of Sixteen

Seven of Sixteen (aka Lt. "Pep" Streebeck) 
Seven of Sixteen was assimilated by the Borg at Wolf 359 in an alternate universe, whereupon he was designated Primary Adjunct of Omnimatrix Zero Five. Captured by Starfleet and cut off from the collective, he resorts to his default programming and observes species 5618 aboard the timestation, where he in turn is observed by Starfleet, and eventually re-programmed to be used in their battle simulations. Our own universe's Streebeck has learned of this drone version of himself and has visited the station seeking him, creating paradoxes which cause Seven to be forgotten - or overlooked.


Ferengi Edit

Quan

Coin ("Quan")

Coin ("Quan") 
Coin is a Ferengi Commerce Authority (FCA) Liquidator, authorized to close retail and restaurant facilities with a single command. His credibility is questionable due to bad business decisions. He is held in low regard by employees and fellow Ferengi. Coin is eighty-three years old and still paying off his student loans.
Rogl

Rogl

Rog'l 
Rog'l claims to be the Ferengi "Commercial Forecaster" for the Grand Nagus and was one of the first to learn of the construction of the 21st century Time Station. He is one of the primary stockholders of Experience retail shop merchandise and pretends to like Humans, particularly children, to drive sales.


Risca

Risca

Risca 
Risca is a female Ferengi enjoying the new liberties granted to women on Ferenginar, such as traveling off-world and wearing clothes. She is visiting the station as part of the "New Ferenginar Student Exchange Program" and is studying 21st century fashion to apply it to the emerging field of Ferengi female fashion design.


Klingons Edit

Motog

Motog

Motog 
Motog is a Dahar master, an honorary Starfleet vice admiral, and a general in the Klingon Defense Force. He maintains ambassadorial/advisory status on the Time Station. Motog is a veteran of many conflicts, including the Dominion War. He emphasizes diplomacy and tolerance over confrontation.


Kahlen

Kahlen

Major Kahlen 
Kahlen is the head of the Diplomatic Security Force on the Time Station. She supervises all Klingons except for Motog. She is a member of the Science Division of the Klingon Defense Force, and is intelligent, but humorless.


Churoq

Churoq

Commander Churoq 
Churoq formerly patrolled the Beta Quadrant for the Borg; he later transferred to the Time Station, where he is currently serving in a diplomatic capacity. Churoq is short-tempered, and dislikes being "stranded" with Humans and Ferengi.


Commander Kurmas 
An expert in covert tactics and counter-espionage, Kurmas, son of Dartagh was part of the original Klingon Defense Force security attachment to the Time Station in keeping with Federation/ Klingon Empire alliance protocols. To aid diplomacy, he and fellow Klingon Opera enthusiast Voq-Ha introduced many Humans to the art form. Through his mentoring by senior officers Kahlen and Motog, Kurmas was promoted to Captain, given command of a Bird of Prey, and left the Time Station to seek glory for the empire.


Romulans Edit

Loriq

Loriq

Loriq 
Loriq is a Romulan commander who was invited to the station by the Federation after careful negotiations. She intends to make use of the Federation's openness to develop a better understanding of the alliances of the Alpha Quadrant and work towards political advancement.


Vulcans Edit

T'Pril

T'Pril

T'pril 
A professor at the Vulcan Science Academy, T'pril accepted the position after serving for fifteen years in Starfleet as a science officer. She is a specialist in behavioral science, and is currently acting as a field researcher on the Time Station. Her treatise, "A Study of Xenophobia in 21st Century Humans" was recently published by the Journal of Comparative Galactic Behavioral Studies.


Sovek

Sovek

Sovek 
Ambassador Sovek is a Vulcan assigned to investigate various errors discovered in the historical records relating to the 20th and 21st century. He believes that many of these errors come from the inaccurate and imprecise use of contemporary language.


Attraction managerial staff Edit

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

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