Subscribe for 33¢ / day

TICONDEROGA  A Blues Brother could be spotted on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise on Saturday.

Fritz King is one half of a Blues Brothers tribute band based in Connecticut. He and his musical partner, Bill Duffy, brought their replica car to the first Trekonderoga event and decided to tour Retro Film Studios, where episodes of the Web series “Star Trek: New Voyages” are filmed.

King said he was impressed with the set, which was built using the blueprints from the original Desilu Studios, where the original series was filmed.

“It’s incredible — a childhood dream to walk aboard the Enterprise,” he said.

King said he is a big “Star Trek” fan who came of age during the turbulent 1960s. He likes the whole idea behind the series.

“People of different races, different sexes being able to come together, a common mission,” he said.

King was one of about 400 Trekkers who were in Ticonderoga on Saturday for this weekend’s first Trekonderoga. Organizers had capped online ticket sales at 300. However, studio volunteer Marybeth Ritkouski said they decided take in more than a hundred walk-ins.

Ritkouski said the studio hopes this becomes an annual event.

Ritkouski was leading tours of the sets. As the sets grew, Retro Film Studios has moved several times in the more than 10 years it has been filming these new “Star Trek” episodes. It has been in its current location for more than a decade and now has most of the main sets the original series used — including the bridge, transporter, sick bay, engineering area, captain’s quarters and corridors.

“Everything you see here we either manufactured ourselves or we had to find,” she said as she led a tour of the set.

Volunteers scoured the Internet and various venues to find everything from the captain’s chair to fabric used in the beds in sick bay and the crew quarters, according to Ritkouski.

“The (captain’s) chair is an antique and irreplaceable,” Ritkouski said.

Fans were impressed with the job they did.

“It’s a real working movie set — closest we’re going to get to something like this,” said Michelle Mersinger of Champlain, who brought her son and his friends to the event.

One of the friends, Josiah Bouchard of Chazy, agreed.

“It looks a lot like the original,” he said.

People could also get a picture taken with Carl Sheldon, who is portraying the older version of engineer and transporter guru Scotty from the original series of movies.

Sheldon bares an uncanny resemblance to the late actor James Doohan, the original Scotty, and attracts a lot of attention from “Star Trek” fans.

“Every place I went — Boston, Florida — I was mobbed,” Sheldon said. “I couldn’t walk 10 feet. I took pictures with everybody.”

He is proud to represent Doohan’s memory. Ironically, Sheldon, a resident of Georgia, Vermont, has been an engineer for 45 years and worked on advanced energy systems.

Fans could also learn about production techniques, lighting and costuming and meet with actors from the original series.

Sally Kellerman appeared in the second pilot for “Star Trek,” which launched the show for a three-year run on NBC.

In the episode titled “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” Kellerman plays psychiatrist Dr. Elizabeth Dehner. She and an Enterprise crewman acquire godlike powers when the Enterprise travels to the edge of the galaxy and is damaged in an electromagnetic storm.

Kellerman on Saturday said she had fun shooting the episode, but the uniforms were very uncomfortable. She had been used to wearing designer clothes doing guest shots on popular shows of the 1960s and was now wearing ill-fitting shirts made of velour.

She said William Shatner was fun to work with as Captain Kirk and she was already friends with Mr. Spock’s Leonard Nimoy, who had directed her in a play.

She is amazed at the phenomenon “Star Trek” has become.

“Who knew it would have turned into this?” she said.

Sharing a similar sentiment was James Cawley, the head of Retro Film Studios who is the creator of the “Star Trek: New Voyages” series of episodes on the Web.

He is a longtime Elvis impersonator who started this hobby about 13 years ago. He has stepped away from portraying Kirk on screen and is now staying behind the camera as producer.

“Time to let someone else ride the horse,” he said.

Cindy Taylor of Argyle brought her niece, Rachel Gonyea of Kingston, along with her to the event. They are both big “Star Trek” fans. Gonyea cited the episode with the furry, rapidly producing Tribbles as her favorite.

Taylor said she likes “Star Trek” because it shows what the future could bring. Technology predicted back then is coming true.

“It’s just cool,” she said.

You can read Michael Goot’s blog “A Time to Learn” at or his updates on Twitter at



Reporter for The Post-Star, covering the city of Glens Falls, town and village of Lake George and northern Warren County communities.

Load comments