Review of "Building Star Trek" From The TV MegaSite

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Smithsonian: Building Star Trek DVD cover


Smithsonian: Building Star Trek

 Review by Suzanne Lanoue 11/1/16

I'm a lifelong Trekkie. I grew up in the 60's with three older brothers. All of them, and my mom, were scifi and comic book fans, and we all watched the original Star Trek. I'm too young to remember that, but I did watch it again later in the 70's when I was in junior high, in re-runs. I watched the shows over and over, and recorded them onto audio tape so I could listen to them more. I practically have them memorized as well as the 79 episode titles. Later, of course, I watched all of the movies and TV shows (and still do!)

This year, as you probably know, is the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. There have been numerous tie-ins, specials, toys, stamps and even a new movie, as well as a few TV specials and DVD's.  This show aired on the Smithsonian Channel September 4. I didn't get to see it then, so I'm glad to have it on DVD!

It's an interesting show for any Trekkie, or even any casual Star Trek watcher, or science lover. Unfortunately, I guess they felt that they had to make the show geared more towards kids because it's kind of corny or cheesy at times.  It's good that they used clips from the show, but they used it a lot for comic effect and to break up the more interesting parts. I guess they thought it was too boring otherwise.

The show follows three different groups of people working to preserve some of Star Trek's history: The people at the Smithsonian, who are updating and fixing up the original Enteprise model; a museum curator in Seattle who's putting together a Star Trek exhibit for the museum; and various scientists who are creating technology similar to what is found on the show.

It's worth watching if you can ignore the silly parts. Although I knew some of it, some of it was a surprise to me.  I wish I could go to the Star Trek exhibit in Seattle because it looks great.  There are no features or extras on this DVD.




Available on DVD November 1

Featuring Star Trek Legend Nichelle Nichols and Star Trek Movie Series Stars Simon Pegg and Karl Urban

Arlington, Va. – October 6, 2016 – PBS Distribution announced today it is releasing the Smithsonian Channel™ original special BUILDING STAR TREK” on DVD. When Star Trek debuted on September 8, 1966, the world was introduced to a number of alien concepts, such as hand-held communication devices, desktop computers, space shuttles, touch screens, and more. Star Trek’s visionary creator Gene Roddenberry conceived of a world so unique that the series would go on to have a profound legacy in television history.

BUILDING STAR TREK” follows the conservation team from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, led by Dr. Margaret Weitekamp, as they attempt to restore and conserve the original 11-foot, 250-pound model of the U.S.S. Enterprise from the original series. The program also tracks the progress of Brooks Peck, the charismatic curator of Seattle’s EMP Museum, as he attempts to rebuild a model of the original U.S.S. Enterprise’s bridge by using authentic set pieces and props.

BUILDING STAR TREK” will be available on DVD November 1, 2016. The run time of the program is approximately 92 minutes, and the SRP is $19.99.

The program also profiles a new generation of engineers and scientists who are making Star Trek’s visionary technology real, pushing the boundaries of physics with inventions first conceived on the iconic series: warp drives, medical tricorders, cloaking devices and tractor beams. Proving that one TV show has truly gone where no man has gone before, the program showcases clips from the original series that highlight each scientific innovation as well as recent technologies inspired by the series, such as flip phones and touch screens.

BUILDING STAR TREK” is produced by yap Films for Smithsonian Channel and Discovery Canada. Executive producers for yap Films are Elliott Halpern and Elizabeth Trojian. The writer and director is Mick Grogan. Executive producers for Smithsonian Channel are David Royle, Charles Poe and Tim Evans.  

About Smithsonian Channel

Smithsonian Channel™, owned by Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, is where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing entertainment across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel combines the storytelling prowess of SHOWTIME® with the unmatched resources and rich traditions of the Smithsonian, to create award-winning programming that shines new light on popular genres such as air and space, history, science, nature, and pop culture. Among the network’s offerings are series including Aerial AmericaMillion Dollar American PrincessesThe Weapon Hunter, Mighty Ships, Mighty Planes, and Air Disasters, as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include Civil War 3609/11: The Heartland TapesMLK: The Assassination Tapes; and The Day Kennedy Died. Smithsonian Networks also operates Smithsonian Earth™, through SN Digital LLC, a new subscription video streaming service delivering spectacular original nature and wildlife content. To learn more, go to, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Public Media Distribution, LLC

Public Media Distribution, LLC, is a leading media distributor both domestically and internationally. We offer high-quality, distinctive programs to our customers, including documentaries (The Sixties), dramas (Fortitude), and popular children’s programming under the SkipRope brand (Kate & Mim-Mim) in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-ray, digital download, and digital streaming. 


Street Date: November 1, 2016

Genre: Documentary

Run Time: Approximately 92 minutes

SRP: DVD $19.99

Format: DVD

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Page updated 11/12/16

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