When Star Trek visited Mayberry
Ever wonder what 'The Andy Griffith Show' would look like in the post-apocalypse?
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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.
- 10/2 10:00PMIs There in Truth No Beauty?"Stardate 5630.7: Miranda Jones, a telepath who studied mental disciplines on Vulcan, arrives with Ambassador Kolos, a Medusan - an alien life form whose physical form is so hideous, humanoid life forms are driven insane if they look upon him. Also beaming aboard is Larry Marvick, one of the original designers of the Enterprise - and hopelessly in love with Miranda, although she has chosen to spend her life serving as a liaison between the Medusans and other humanoids. Miranda senses that someone is actively contemplating murder, and suspects Spock is envious of her once-in-a-lifetime mission - but even Miranda is unaware of the real would-be killer and their target."
- 10/9 10:00PMSpectre of the Gun"When coming to an exaphobic isolationist planet, Captain Kirk and his landing party are punished for trespassing. They are sentenced to death in a surreal recreation of the Gunfight at the OK Corral with the landing on the losing side."
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.