10 Times Star Trek Reused Props To Cut Corners

There's no such thing as a bottomless money pit, so these are the cost-saving tricks from Star Trek.

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Reusing props within a franchise just makes sense. The cost of putting together a show, let alone a futuristic science fiction one at that, can easily spiral when every episode calls for new scenery, new locations, and new props. Finding ways to jazz up existing material is something that became second nature over the course of Star Trek's existence.

There are those little statues and trinkets that follow the crews of the Enterprise from world to world, losing a little bit of cultural significance each time, becoming more like a bulk supply from their local Ikea by the end of it. Fun fact: several Ikea lamps did in fact appear throughout the franchise.

Then there are those props that stand out a little bit more, like entire sections from ships and vessels that the producers hoped the audience simply wouldn't notice. Unfortunately, some of these designs were so good, to begin with that they stood out like sore thumbs in their new look. There is a lot of that in the franchise though, which makes being a fan with a keen eye even more fun as the shows went on.

10. Bird Sculptures Keep On Appearing

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The 'bird' sculptures are among the most re-used props in Star Trek: The Next Generation, making their debut appearance in Encounter At Farpoint, which the audience's first clue that they were going to be a mainstay. They are sitting above a plinth in Q's courtroom and would return seven years later in All Good Things.

The next time that they were seen, it was in Karras' office in the episode Too Short A Season. This first-season episode featured Admiral Mark Jamison, one of Star Trek's many dodgy Starfleet admirals along the way. He takes medicine that allows him to de-age, which is a slightly re-worked version of the plot of The Counter-Clock Incident, from the Animated Series. This was a case where it wasn't only props getting reused.

The sculptures are then seen again in the fifth season. In the episode Unification II, they are table ornaments in the bar on Qualor II. They are that incredibly robust and handy type of accoutrement to any household decoration really, as the set designers must have felt that they belonged in any setting, be it Starfleet, insurrectionists or courtroom!

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Writer. Reader. Podcast Host. I'm Seán, I live in Ireland and I'm the poster child for dangerous obsessions with Star Trek. Check out my weekly podcast on all things....well all things film! Check me out on Twitter @seanferrick or at the website https://seanferrick.wordpress.com/