Saturday, December 18, 2010

Animated Arex Bio


"Sure, I'm a little depressed. Wouldn't you be, serving on a ship with such ugly aliens as these humans?"

Back in 1973 or so Roddenberry's company Lincoln Enterprises sold bios of the animated series characters. Since I knew the main characters, the only two I bought were those of the two new aliens, Arex and M'ress. I'll post M'Ress next time; first, we look at the biographical information on the odd-looking (to us) tripodal Arex, who was voiced (as almost all non-regular characters were) by James "Scotty" Doohan.

Although designed to be more alien-looking than any character could ever have been done on the live-action show (an advantage of the animated format) Arex was never used as more than window-dressing; all we ever saw of him was seated at navigation and pushing buttons. I can't remember ever having seen him even stand, much less walk and do anything. He was so underused that he made Uhura look like a top-billed co-star by comparision.

Bonus: Below is the front and back of the assembly directions that came in the "Space Ship Set" by AMT, which came out in the mid 70's. Each ship was small, only about 5 inches at the longest; this set was fragile on its base and it didn't last long over our many moves. I think all I have left, other than this sheet, is the fuselage of the Klingon ship.





5 comments:

Rob Bignell said...

Thanks for the great post, Frederick! I've never seen the bios for the animated series characters; it was neat how so much of his background was thought out ... too bad none of it was used. Apparently the animators didn't read the bio because he's only shown playing a lute in the series (maybe somebody left the "f" off in their notes from the director's meeting).

Loved that model kit as a kid - like AMT's exploration kit, it made for fun (albeit short-lived) toy at a time when there virtually were no Star Trek toys (To think, my phaser was a model kit while my 3-year-old has phasers w/lights and sound from Pike's, Kirk's and Picard's era).

david_b said...

Yep, back in the day.. All we had was the exploration set... I know an actual cheap toyset came out soon after, but it used the same mole as the AMT kit. All the items were a bit small.., but just having that communicator and phaser..? We used it for years.

Frederick said...

I too had the model kit of the Exploration set; which was a strange choice, to make it a model set when they knew kids would be playing with them, not just displaying them. They should have just skipped the models and made it like they did later, with the playset. I still have the phaser and communicator. I also got the watergun phaser which had the Gold Key Star Trek logo on the side.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to modern day CGI - and to Jimmy Doohan's son, Chris, who'll be providing the voice - Arex will be returning to Star Trek next year, in a 'Phase II/New Voyages' episode - http://trekmovie.com/2010/04/21/exlusive-phase-ii-update-previews-including-first-look-at-arex/

Kaz

Frederick said...

Kaz,
Thanks for the link! I had read that post but forgotten about it. I look forward to seeing the finished episode with Arex fully realized in it!