For fans who got hooked on Star Trek’s original run on NBC from 1966 – 1969, the sting of cancellation left them with many dark years before Gene Roddenberry’s creation rose from its ashes as 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture. And this was before the internet, so keeping track of any glimmers of a future for Trek required you to keep up with fan magazines, gossip at conventions, or kidnap and interrogate Roddenberry inside a windowless van with a shirtless Captain Kirk emblazoned on the side. But if you did one of those things, you might have heard tell of Star Trek: Phase II. Before The Motion Picture was a thing, Phase II was set to pick up the Enterprise’s story with a second five-year mission. It fell by the wayside along with plans for a proposed “Paramount Television Service,” but Phase II’s passing left many relics behind, including this concept art by Mike Minor.
Minor was a conceptual and production illustrator on Phase II and the Motion Picture that stole its thunder. He eventually returned for The Wrath of Khan as an art director. In fact, even before Phase II was simmering, some of his art appeared in The Original Series — he was a fan of the show and created “wardrobes, creatures, watercolors of landscapes, and artifacts” on his own time. He managed to land a meeting with Roddenberry, who liked the cut of his jib enough to buy some of the stuff to help decorate parts of the iconic vessel. Not bad for one Enterprising fan. (I’m so sorry.)
Thanks to the folks at My70s, we can check out some of Minor’s colorful visions of the Phase II Enterprise, including the bridge, rec room, captain’s quarters, engineering, and transporter room. If you ask us, they’re pretty damn groovy.