See The 23ft Long Model Of Star Trek’s Voyager Just Given To A Fan
A 23-foot long model of Star Trek's Voyager, originally from Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas, is now in the hands of a lucky fan.
Props from television shows and movies are almost always amazing, even the most mundane item can elicit “Ooohhh” and “Ahhhh” when the backstory behind it is explained. In the era before CGI became cost-effective, props often included models of entire planets, vehicles, and in this case, a very large model of a spaceship. This 23-foot model from Star Trek: Voyager would be the centerpiece of any fan’s collection.
A sci-fi nonprofit, STAR TREK Enterprise Bridge Restoration, works to restore the original bridge sets used in the Star Trek franchise. As explained in their tweet, two recent Star Trek ships sent to the foundation included an 11-foot Enterprise and a massive 23-foot Voyager. That Voyager ship is significantly larger than what would be used for filming, so where did a two-story long model come from?
The answer came further down in the comments to the initial tweet, Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas was the original home of the massive Voyager. Open from 1998 to 2008 at the Las Vegas Hilton, the attraction included two major shows, Klingon Encounter and Borg Invasion 4-D. In addition visitors could browse hundreds of items from the throughout the history of the franchise, including large displays detailing every major alien race that appeared on screen.
The Klingon Encounter featured an effect of practical special effect wizardry that fans still talk about today: a transporter effect that transformed a cheesy amusement park queue into the transporter room of the Enterprise-E. From there, guests were treated to an in-depth storyline featuring the cast of The Next Generation, ending with a motion-simulated shuttle ride. Star Trek: Voyager was never a featured part of the two main attractions, but the show, which aired from 1995 to 2001, was the latest franchise entry to hit the airwaves at the time of Star Trek: The Experience.
Similar to the fan reception to the Borg Invasion 4-D, Star Trek: Voyager was originally viewed as a disappointment, and a step backwards from the incredible heights of The Next Generation. Starring Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway, the first female captain in franchise history, the show also was the first to send a ship off into previously unexplored space and away from the United Federation of Planets. Stranded away from any help, Voyager has no contact with the Federation until season 6, creating a level of stakes and character introspection that was different, not better or worse, from the previous shows.
Today, Star Trek: Voyager is held in higher esteem by fans, especially after the horrendous first two seasons of Enterprise and the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies, as Voyager held true to the spirit of the original series. The spirit of Voyager carries on through Jeri Ryan’s fan-favorite character, Seven of Nine, a former Borg turned Star Fleet Officer. Seven of Nine returned, along with the cast of The Next Generation, in the Paramount+ exclusive series Picard.
Thanks to groups like STAR TREK Enterprise Bridge Restorations for keeping a huge part of pop culture alive, even if a 22-foot Voyager was too large for them to handle. You can see their work in person later in 2023 at Sci-Fi World in California, which will include complete The Original Series and The Next Generation bridge recreations.