When Huston Huddleston found the bridge of the NCC-1701-D from “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” it had weathered five years outside and was just a week from becoming part of a trash pile somewhere.
But Huddleston had a vision that he could restore this bridge, and turn it into an educational tool much like Star Trek has been to inspire scientists, astronauts, engineers, doctors and more.
The son of the late Oscar-nominated composer Floyd Huddleston, Huston was not exactly the most well-known fan in Star Trek fandom, but that was before he found the bridge to the Enterprise.
“Someone from Paramount was a friend of mine, and he was leaving the company,” Huddleston told 1701News. “I told him, ‘Now I’ll never get to turn my living room into the Enterprise.’ And he said, ‘Be careful what you wish for.'”
The Enterprise-D bridge Huddleston rescued was actually never used in TNG or its subsequent movies. It was, instead, a display bridge used to promote the series in Europe. That original bridge was destroyed during the filming of 1994’s “Star Trek Generations,” so the set sitting in front of him in a warehouse was the closest fans would ever get to the original Enterprise-D bridge.
“It was in pretty dismal shape,” Huddleston said. “I made a deal with the warehouse to pay the shipping, which was $7,000.”
What had Huddleston gotten himself into? That’s when a chance meeting with former “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” executive producer Ronald D. Moore — who got his start working on TNG — came into play.
“I was desperate and didn’t know what I was going to do,” Huddleston said. Moore kept his word to help, and brought in the likes of Brannon Braga, Brent Spiner, William Shatner and pretty much most of the people behind TNG.
“It’s one year later, and we are completely nonprofit,” Huddleston said. “We are on our way to becoming this interactive education museum.”
That museum will be complete with interactive display terminals and more, and after receiving thousands of dollars of support from fans through a Kickstarter campaign, Huddleston is now turning to the education and corporate community to help make the rest of his plans to create a museum a reality.
“The next big goal has to be not through fans,” he said. “We cannot keep bleeding fans dry. That’s disgusting.”
Yet, the Enterprise-D bridge restoration project can use all the help it can get. It was on display at the most recent Creation Entertainment official Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, and could be making additional trips in the near future, according to hints Huddleston has been providing from his Facebook page.
To find out more on how to help, fans can visit the official restoration site at NewStarship.com.
Want to watch the full interview with Huddleston and see the new Enterprise-D bridge in action? click here.
About the Author
Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for 1701News, Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus, and a co-founder of 1701News. He lives in Tampa, Fla.