After "Star Trek: The Next Generation" ended 20 years ago, producer Ron Moore got a phone call from Mike Okuda, who worked in the art department on the iconic show. Some props were being thrown out, Okuda said. Did Moore want them?
Moore came to the lot and, from a dumpster, retrieved the gold model Enterprise ships that used to be in the observation lounge of the starship. "And they've been sitting in storage ever since," he said in a phone interview with Space.com.
The incident is symbolic of what Moore sees as a problem in Hollywood: There is no dedicated motion-picture museum in Tinseltown, despite immense fan interest and the fact that studios all over the city have props squirreled away on their lots. [Video: 'Star Trek's' Bridge Restored]
Some things are even used over and over again. For example, Moore said he heard a tale of original "Star Trek" uniforms from the 1960s being reused on the 1970s and 1980s sitcom "Mork & Mindy." This all fed into his motivation to join the board of directors of the New Starship Foundation, which is planning to build the first stage of a Hollywood museum in 2015.
Displaying the bridge
The Hollywood Science Fiction Museum aims to showcase exhibits from sci-fi history, including several space franchises.
Moore, an executive producer on "Battlestar: Galactica," said he's hoping to get a Cylon Raider and other big pieces from the show into the museum. Other planned exhibits include props from "Babylon 5," "Star Wars," "Doctor Who," "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Alien," among other space franchises.
The most iconic "Star Trek: TNG" piece would likely be a version of the bridge used in "Star Trek: The Experience," a Las Vegas theme park that closed in 2008. (The one used on the show was blown up as part of the plot for the movie "Star Trek: Generations," according to New Starship CEO Huston Huddleston.)
The bridge sat outside for about five years and is in need of restoration. Huddleston successfully raised $68,611 in a Kickstarter campaign last year (more than triple its $20,000 goal) to fix it up, but he said the focus now is on finding a place to put it.
"The Hollywood Sci Fi Museum is the extension of the bridge restoration, because we'd gone as far as we could go without more money or a place to put the bridge once it was completed," he told Space.com in an email. The team has launched another Kickstarter campaign to raise $82,300 for the museum's construction. So far, they have raised about $53,600, with three days to go.
The full budget for the museum is not being released publicly, Moore said, and negotiations are ongoing to find a site for the museum. A prototype version will open in 2015, if all goes according to plan, and the larger museum is scheduled to be completed in 2018.
Science fiction, past and present
Moore still keeps in touch with his colleagues from "Star Trek" and "Battlestar Galactica." He met up with several "Star Trek" franchise stars at a convention in Germany a few months ago, and on May 30, he attended a "Star Trek" event at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
Even the new Blu-rays for "Star Trek" are providing opportunities for informal meet-ups, as crew members reunite to film the special features.
Meanwhile, Moore's keeping busy with "Outlander" — a new time-travel show about a World War II-era nurse suddenly taken back to the 1740s — and "Helix," a show about a potential disease outbreak in the Arctic that is entering its second season.
Moore also plans to be at Comic-Con International in San Diego July 24-27 to promote the new shows, and probably the Hollywood museum idea as well.
"That's plenty to keep me out of trouble," he joked.
Learn more about the Kickstarter campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/newstarship/hollywood-sci-fi-science-fiction-museum