The Doomsday Machine
In July of 1966, a Toronto Star photographer by the name of Reg Innell happened to be in Los Angeles on one of his many vacations there. His usual favorite past time while there involved visiting bookstores that dealt in vintage books. However, this time, he received a phone call from his employer asking him to take some photographs on the sets of various television programs whose stars were fellow Canadians. They had plans for a story centered around a little enclave of Canadian actors who lived within several blocks of each other. One of the sets he visited was that of “The Man Trap,” an episode for a new series named Star Trek. And of course, that meant he took photographs of fellow Canadians, William Shatner and James Doohan and several others of the episode as it was being filmed. Three of those are above.
*side note: During the time Innell was in L.A. for this working vacation, he stayed with fellow Canadians Jim Beggs and his actress wife Anna Hagen. Star Trek fans may know him better as Hagen Beggs, who played Lt. Hansen in “Court Martial,” “The Menagerie, Part 1,” and “The Menagerie, Part 2.”
Reg Innell was one of the most famous newspaper photographers of his time. He was born in England and after World War II worked as a freelance photographer with a brief stint in the British Army. During the 60s he left England for Canada and continued selling his photographs to whichever paper paid him the most. Eventually, Innell joined the Toronto Star as a photojournalist.
Reg Innell’s career with the Star lasted for over thirty years. His usual subjects were kings and queens, world leaders, famous performers and writers and others of international note. Innell’s personal interests turned toward the world of opera and ballet along with classic cinema. A new science fiction television series, even one with Canadian actors in the cast, would not have interested him in the least. Ironically, all the photographs he took were never used by the Star. In fact, none of them saw the light of day until after his death in 2018. They were donated by his life partner, Margaret Serrao to the Toronto Star and were unearthed by an employee looking for material to post on the Star’s social media accounts.
But following are more of the photos he took while on this assignment. At least the ones I found in an article by the Toronto Star and other online sources- I believe there are actually a lot more that still haven’t been published. Many are like the ones above, likely taken during filming at a different angle from what we saw on screen.
Others are like these two, taken behind the scenes. Notice you can plainly see the cameraman and several other production people preparing for the scene where Francine Pyle/Nancy III strolls seductively into Crewman Darnell’s life.
But these next several photos taken by Reg Innell bear a closer look. At first glance, you would think he was taking photographs of the actual filming of Captain Kirk and the landing party’s first encounter with Dr. Crater. But if you watch the episode, you will see something different. The screen shows Kirk’s first encounter with Dr. Crater and Dr. Crater’s examination by McCoy just as the first photo depicts but Crater’s arm is not in a sling.
And of course, one other thing always interests me in photos like these. Check out those overhead lights used for filming. They help delineate where the top of the set walls end and the studio ceiling begins. I’m such a geek. lol
This scene occurs after Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Crewman Green and Crewman Sturgeon teleport down to confront Dr. Crater over the death of Darnell and the whereabouts of Crater’s wife. Notice again, Dr. Crater’s arm is in a sling. But in nearly the same scene of the episode we watched, it was not.
One more thing. Innell took his photo from the opposite side of where the camera was aimed and we see a vial of yellow liquid on the table to the left.
Kirk even picks it up to examine more closely.
Yet, in the actual episode, there’s no sign of the gold liquid on the table. Instead of picking up said vial in this filmed version of the scene, Kirk holds what is in his hands above (possibly a fossil). We actually see that object also on the table in the last two photos.
So what is going on? We have at least a partial answer.
According to the Okudas’ Star Trek Encyclopedia, Alfred Ryder had suffered a severe injury to his arm just before filming this episode. But professional that he was, he still played his part without a single complaint. So, that explains Innell’s photos showing Ryder’s arm in a sling. But when were these photos taken then? It could not have been during the actual filming because there is no mention anywhere of deleted scenes from this episode. Were they taken during a rehearsal or walk through? Maybe someone reading this knows and can fill us in.
No matter, though. Reg Innell has provided us with a window into the production of “The Man Trap” that hasn’t been seen before. Just think – there are hundreds more photos taken during those days that have yet to be published. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more from “The Man Trap” came to light?
*note from Redshirtgal: Most of the photos and much of the information at the beginning is a recap of an article published by the Toronto Star. However, I did do my own research on his biography and the observations on the photos are my own. Here is the original article – check out the video from the young lady who discovered the photographs.
Yeoman Tamura, aboard the USS Enterprise
“….3-2-1 Action Video!!”
Star Trek: Behind The Scenes Of The Original Series (1960s)
Kirk “Star Trek”
A day at the range.
Kirk “Star Trek”
A day at the range.
The Corbomite Maneuver, Star Trek TOS.
The memes are transcendent during this fauxpocalypse.