Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fans pay 7.1 million dollars for piece of the Starship Enterprise

New York - Star Trek fans were willing to pay top dollar for a piece of the Starship Enterprise - putting down a total of 7.1 million dollars at auction for memorabilia from the show, auction house Christie's said on Sunday.

The top prize of the three-day sale, which ended Saturday, was a two-metre-long model of the famous starship. A private US collector snatched it with a telephone bid for 576,000 dollars. Christie's had placed its value at 15,000 to 25,000 dollars.

The model appeared in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and in the film Star Trek: Generations.

Another model of the craft from the film Star Trek: The Motion Picture brought 284,800 dollars. A total of nine models brought more than 100,000 dollars.

The auction house offered an entire collection of memorabilia from the popular TV series Star Trek and its spinoff films, including costumes and weapons. CBS network, which broadcast the original series, offered the items to commemorate 40 years since the programme was launched.

The sale brought in far more than the auction house expected, which placed initial predictions of sales at between 2 to 3 million dollars.

Memorabilia included Mr Spocks pointed ears, Captain Kirk's chair and the command bridge of the Enterprise.

As William Shatner alias Captain Kirk debuted for the first time in his mustard yellow spacesuit in 1966, author Gene Roddenberry - who created the idealistic series about extraterrestial cooperation as a beacon to a US torn apart by the war in Vietnam and race riots - hardly imagined the phenomenon he had put into motion.

Star Trek and Enterprise became not only a lucrative franchise, it also gave a boost to stars such as Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean- Luc Picard of Next Generation,) Whoopi Goldberg and Teri Hatcher (star of the current TV series Desperate Housewives.) The series and films have developed huge influence on popular culture.

© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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