So for Christmas, Seanie and I had promised to take my Mom to the Star Trek Exhibition at the Tech Museum, but what with this and that and everything else that happened we never got around to it, and all of a sudden we looked at the calender and realized that this was the last weekend for the show. Oops. So we got ourselves organized and on Friday night and took Mom to see Star Trek in all its science fiction nerd glory.
...OK, it really wasn't worth $25 a person. Luckily, Mom got $10 off her ticket because she's a teacher, and I got a couple bucks shaved off for being a student. But we still paid over $60 for this thing. We walk in (it's pretty empty, maybe a dozen people were wondering through at the same time we were) and...well, I can't speak for Mom or Seanie but I was pretty underwhelmed. In the first room, costumes from the Enterprise series are lined up against one wall; on the other wall costumes from the original 1960's Star Trek series hang off of mannequins. There's a couple of reproductions of the props used in the original series. There's a wall with little models of all the different space ships. But it's the sort of room you can breeze through in five minutes, ten if you stop to read the plaques on the wall. The next room is a reproduction of the Captain Kirk's bridge, so both Seanie and Mom had to take a turn sitting in the Captain's chair.
You weren't allowed to take photos, but I busted out my cell phone and took an extremely dark picture of my mom on the bridge:
Yeah. Can't see much. There were employees walking around with big professional cameras, and if you paid them an obscene amount of money - Seanie said $26 for 2 photos - they'd take pictures of you geeking out Star Trek-style. Anyway, next room had a reconstruction of one of the halls from Next Generation, and branching off of it were Picard's quarters and room with a transporter. Again, if you were willing to spend the money you could get your photo taken on the transporter.
...or, if you were sneaky and waited around in the room 'til the staff were in the next room, you could do this:
Seanie took the photo and it turned out super blurry, but hey! I'm being beamed off somewhere! Yay!
Interspersed with all this TV show and movie propaganda were bits of "science" like how close scientists actually are to creating transporters, or moving space ships at warp speed, and the like. But I was disappointed because so little of the exhibit is actually interactive. I mean, you have the transporter, but it's just a set. They did have a TV projector that, when a museum employee pressed a button would "beam" you out of the picture...but there weren't any games, or prop tricorders you could play with or anything like that. Other than a couple of photo-op things, like the bridge and the teleporter, there really wasn't much to do except gawp at some costumes in climate-control cases.
At the very end of the exhibition they had a simulator. Seanie and I had to pay an extra $12 ($6 each) to experience it...but the simulator was hands down the best thing we did. You were buckled into a little black box, with a screen in front. (Think the Star Tours simulator at Disneyland, but scaled down for just two people.) The screen would start some silly little video about blowing up the Borg and flying through space or something, and the box would lift in the air and start shaking you around. Two or three times it would flip you upside down and for a moment you'd be able to pretend you were weightless and floating in space. Really cool.
So...yeah. Overpriced Star Trek. I didn't realize there were so many freakin' movies. I thought there were like two with Kirk and one with Picard. Turns out there's like 11 of 'em. Crazy.