The successful crowdfunding campaign last year by STAR TREK CONTINUES raised enough money to produce additional episodes and also to create fandom’s first full-scale recreation of Scotty’s Engine Room aboard the Starship Enterprise. A herculean effort over the spring and summer of 2015 brought the amazing set to life, inside the Stage Nine studio that also contains the shooting soundstage for STAR TREK CONTINUES. Look for the debut of Scotty’s Engine Room in Episode Six this coming May.
We talked with Chris Doohan, who recreates his father’s role as Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, about the experience of seeing the Engineering Room come together in southern Georgia.
STC NEWS: Adding an Engineering Room really gives somewhere else for Scotty to hang out, aside from the Bridge and occasionally in Auxiliary Control. When you
first heard about the plans to add Engineering what did you think?
Doohan: “I was happy beyond words. We had already completed five episodes, and the only time we saw Scotty in his engine room was in the small alcove at the entrance to Engineering. It was time to give Scotty a sandbox to play in!”
STC NEWS: The Engineering Room set was a "stretch" goal from the last crowdfunding campaign. Did you think it would ever happen? And what was your reaction when you saw that funding had come through to build out Engineering?
Doohan: “I was cautiously optimistic, but you never really know how these crowd
funding campaigns will go. Then, after hearing that our amazing fans and Kickstarter backers pushed us over that stretch goal, I was ecstatic! I learned of it when Vic Mignogna sent me an email saying ‘guess who’s getting his Engine Room?’ I think I screamed!”
STC NEWS: Did you see the Engineering Room set as it was being built - or were you literally surprised just as it was finished?
Doohan: “Like almost everyone else, I only had glimpses through Facebook, the
construction videos and the occasional ‘OMG check this out’ picture sent from Vic. He was so excited to share the pictures with me, because he knew just how excited I would be. I could just picture the big smile on his face when he sent them. I also enjoyed the time-lapse ‘construction progress’ videos. It was the next best thing to being there.”
STC NEWS: And what did it feel like to see it all lit up and working? Didn't you
see the actual Engineering Set all those years ago, when your Dad was on the
series? How does the STC version stack up?
Doohan: “When I was a child, I was able to visit the Hollywood STAR TREK sets several times, but unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to see the actual Engineering set. I think that’s why this meant so much to me. It was sort of like fitting in the last puzzle piece. When STC Art Director Will Smith gave me the introductory tour, not all the lights were on, but I was treated to that a few hours later. All I could say was wow!!! “
STC NEWS: Lots of volunteers and artisans like Will Smith had a hand in turning the Engineering Room into reality. What do you think of the craftsmanship of the finished product?
Doohan: “The scale and accuracy is truly awe inspiring. As they were building
it, I would go online and look at photos of season three engineering, then look at what they made. It was spot on!! I was most impressed with the warp core. The forced perspective was perfectly done. I was right in front of it and it looked like it went back a hundred yards! Will Smith is the true miracle worker, along with his team of Vic, Scott Grainger, Jay Pennigton, Mark and Jared Jantzer and Charles Teet. They pulled off the impossible! There were a lot people that said it couldn’t be done in the time frame allotted -- but they did it!”
STC NEWS: Do you think of your Dad when you see that set?
Doohan: “It’s hard not to. When I walk on those sets, I get the overwhelming feeling that he’s watching over me…and he’s smiling!”
STC NEWS: Are we going to see more of Scotty in Engineering, now that the set
Doohan: “Aye, Laddie!!! But no spoilers here!”
STC NEWS: Does it actually feel like you’re on the Enterprise when you’re
looking at that amazing set?
Doohan: “It does, and that feeling doesn’t go away. From the day that I first stepped on the Bridge, to the last scene we shot in Engineering. But, it’s not just the sets, it’s the crew. Everyone that works and donates their time at STAR TREK CONTINUES run a tight, but fun ship. I hope we are able to continue our mission for years to come.”