Seriously, these are among the coolest aliens ever put on screen. And considering they were created for a low-budget TV pilot over 40 years ago, this says a lot. The real brilliance was in casting small, delicate-featured older women to play these parts!
In many cases, I think working with small budgets can really be an advantage, because it prompts thoughtful innovation rather than simply throwing money into massive overkill of "gee-whiz" effects.
Another good example of an innovative, inexpensive effect is the communicators' moir� -- a moving image created by rotating a simple graphic underneath another transparent graphic layer. On the original props, this was accomplished by putting a spring-wound stopwatch inside the communicator so that the second hand rotated the lower pattern. (A large version of this same effect was used at Spock's station on the bridge.)
In that photo, I see three type I phasers, one type II phaser, a tricorder, and the medical kit. Can you imagine what that lot would be worth today? The last known sale of a presumably authentic communicator was $37,500, and that was a background "dummy" model, without any stopwatch mechanism.
(Note: The prop geek in me just drools over these and obsesses over the details. I do not own any TOS originals.) [ July 19, 2008: Message edited by: marc weber ]
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