May has arrived, and with it a new batch of Star Trek retro episodic posters from artist Juan Ortiz! As much as I love these, each new monthly installment also makes me sad, because it means we’re that much closer to the end of the series. Still, there’s much to love, since this batch finally addresses the greatest Star Trek episode of all time: the gloriously idiotic “Spock’s Brain.” I may cry a little.
As always, we’ve included the images along with Ortiz’s commentary from StarTrek.com. This month’s posters include “The Menagerie: Part 1,” “Assignment: Earth,” “Spock’s Brain,” and “Requiem for Methuselah.”
Up first is “The Menagerie, Part I.” What were you aiming for with this particular print?
Ortiz: I wanted something bold yet recognizable. Capt. Pike in his chair is well known to fans and it’s an image that evokes a sense of sadness and horror.
We very rarely see guest star names on the posters. Was adding Jeffrey Hunter your choice or a contractual situation with CBS and his estate?
Ortiz: I felt that Jeffrey Hunter deserved credit for the integrated scenes from “The Cage,” which he had starred in.
The “Assignment: Earth” print feels like a comic book cover. Episode 55 could even be the price, so to speak. Are we seeing that correctly?
Ortiz: It started out actually as an old 40’s serial poster. The serials had posters with the chapter or episode numbers on them. It ended up having more of a 70’s punk band feel, with the lack of background color and collage elements.
Other interesting choices in this one: the Desilu logo up top, the mentions of both Robert Lansing and Teri Garr, and the photos of Garr and Lansing. What went into those choices?
Ortiz: “Assignment: Earth” was a backdoor pilot for what would have been a new TV series, created by Gene Roddenberry, that was never made. Garr and Lansing would have both starred in it. My guess is it would have been an American version of Dr. Who. The Desilu logo on top was in keeping with the serial theme.
We completely get the “Spock’s Brain” imagery, but were surprised to see how much space the art took up — and the words, too. Take us through those decisions…
Ortiz: I wanted an explosion of Spock’s thoughts and knowledge. So it had to be big in order to convey that. The idea came from watching hours of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, as a kid.
The last print for May is “Requiem for Methuselah.” What were you aiming for with his one?
Ortiz: Flint is 6,000 years old, but appears around 60 to us. The actor playing him was anything but god-like, but did look around 60. I wanted to convey his confidence and strength in his stance and his stare. A cartoon or animated pose was a good way to express those features.
Interesting placement of the Enterprise. What inspired that?
Ortiz: In the episode, Flint shrinks the Enterprise down in order to keep her crew from leaving and telling the universe about him. I thought it would make a good visual if Flint were holding it. It shows off his power and makes him more god-like than if he were empty-handed.
And, as always, we’ll end with this: Which of the four would you want most in your own home?
Ortiz: I love Teri Garr, so it would be “Assignment: Earth!”