When Star Trek visited Mayberry
Ever wonder what 'The Andy Griffith Show' would look like in the post-apocalypse?
Star Trek was anything but cheap. The first pilot for NBC, "The Cage," racked up quite a bill. It cost $630,000, the most expensive total for a pilot at that point. That production value is part of what makes the sci-fi series hold up so well — timeless, really.
- 2/29 10:00PMThe Enterprise Incident"Captain Kirk becomes increasingly erratic and orders the Enterprise into Romulan space where the ship is captured by a beautiful Romulan commander."
- 3/7 10:00PMThe Paradise Syndrome"Stardate 4842.6: Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to a planet to inform any inhabitants that they must evacuate the planet due to an approaching asteroid's imminent collision. A society similar to Native American Indians has arisen on the planet, but near their villages, the landing party finds a strange obelisk whose design and construction is far beyond the capabilities of the planet's natives. Kirk finds that the monolith can be opened by the combination of sounds found in the order "Kirk to Enterprise," but when he enters the obelisk, he is attacked by waves of energy that erase his mind. With no time to spare, Spock and McCoy have to return to the Enterprise without Kirk, and begin trying to use the ship's tractor beam to divert the asteroid. Meanwhile, Kirk becomes the tribal chief, takes a wife and even expects to become a father, but the Enterprise may not be able to save her former captain's future."
- 3/14 10:00PMAnd the Children Shall Lead"The Enterprise travels to a planet where a scientific team has killed themselves except for the children, who began to act oddly."
Still, that is not to say the producers weren't thrifty. Props were reused, like the Nomad robot from "The Changeling," which returned in later episodes, recycled as both another robot (M4) and a Romulan cloaking device. A Desilu Productions work, Star Trek also made frequent use of the company's Forty Acres backlot. The idyllic downtown on the lot was most famous as being the fictional town of Mayberry. Thanks to this, we are left with some shots of Kirk and Spock wandering in the footsteps of Andy and Don. It's the stuff of fan fiction.
The Forty Acres lot was used in four Star Trek episodes — "Miri," "The City on the Edge of Forever," "The Return of the Archons" and "A Piece of the Action" — but Mayberry can best be seen in first two. Up top, you can see William Shatner and Joan Collins going for a stroll outside of Floyd's barber shop in "The City on the Edge of Forever."
"Miri," on the other hand, gives us a glimpse of what Mayberry might look like in the post-apocalypse. This shot of the dilapidated Bartlett Stables in "Miri" shows what was once the stomping ground of Opie. Check out a shot by shot comparison.
Another notable structure is Walker's Drugstore.
The Enterprise crew explores all over this eerie Mayberry.
"Miri" is scheduled to air on MeTV on November 14. Andy Griffith fans will want to set the DVRs on record. The town is in better shape in "The City on the Edge of Forever," as you can see as Kirk and Spock explore.
Of course, Forty Acres being a Hollywood facility, the location was used in many other shows and movies. You can even spot it in other MeTV Super Sci-Fi Saturday Night series. Check out the Batmobile whipping through Mayberry.