The Main Story.
The Black And White Models
By Richard A. Coyle
The Star Trek classic phaser came in a variety of colors and flavors.
We will take a look at the first of these models, the black and white phaser in this first article. In future issues we will examine the other variations of phasers and other props from the classic Trek show as well as props from other science fiction TV shows and movies.
The classic '60's Star Trek was a work in progress and went through many changes as the writers and producers figured things out. Some ideas came in the form of new scripts and later just embedded into the main story line.
For me, these changes were some of the endearing things about the early show. I ended up watching the classic episodes again and again to observe how it grew and changed right before my very eyes.One of these "growth" shows I have always loved is the episode "The Corbomite Maneuver", not only for being a great first contact with aliens story, but also for the big change that happened in all episodes following.
In this episode, our heroes first identified themselves as "The United Earth Star Ship Enterprise" and Balok identified himself as the Captain of the Fesarius of the "First Federation".
The First Federation?? Great idea, we should join this Federation, we should have thought of it first, let 's just take it over...So...
In all the episodes thereafter, our heroes would identify themselves as the United Federation Starship Enterprise.
Most of the weapons and equipment went through similar growing pains. For now we will start with the first phasers and later back track in future articles and cover the first and second weapons, the hand laser (from the first pilot "The Menagerie) and the phaser rifle (from the second pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before").
the TV screen, all the eye sees is a nondescript gun-like thing. There is the white handle, the black upper body and the silver barrel with the clear tip. It did not look very good on the show and didn't even seem to belong for there was so much color everywhere else, bright color, gold shirts, blue shirts, red guard rails, etc.
Even in close-up, there is little detailing visible. Even the brass plate on top of the phaser one was painted black. The detailing of all the props varied a great deal, from prop to prop and season to season. With the pistol phasers, the only constant was the top cap just in front of the phaser one. Nearly as constant have been the muzzle and the knob-like thing on the side of the main body.
Even with these details I have observed three or more distinct models for both the muzzle and the knob. Almost all of the rest of the detailing changed greatly from phaser to phaser.