Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Andorian's new clothes

I told you a while ago about John Paul Lona's Rasiinian ambassador's costume from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" in the It's a Wrap! auctions of Paramount Star Trek costumes. I was sort of kicking myself because it went for a very small amount, but it made me determined to find something more suitable for longterm display, and which still meant a lot to me.

Last week, the impressive Orion costume worn by WWE professional wrestler, Big Show (aka Paul Wright), in the "Enterprise" episode, "Borderland", came up on eBay and I figured it would be a good one to try for, but would I also be competing with Orion fans, wrestling fans and just large-framed ST fans who wanted a costume they could fit into?

I also started to wonder if the metal buckles, and the huge, decorated boots, included with the outfit would be way too expensive to ship to Australia. From the description, it sounded like two people could live inside Big Show's footwear! Big Show seemed to be a man mountain of green in "Enterprise", and the metres of imitation reptile skin used in the costume reminded me too much of the female Andorian outfits (I have two rare costume-swatch trading cards of leatherette Talas outfits). But this costume got me wondering as to what complete Andorian costumes might yet turn up as auction lots. A ST:TMP Andorian outfit of purple suede, perhaps? A TMP flabbjellah? A TOS Andorian tabard?

Jeffrey Combs' Shran uniforms would command prices into the thousands, of course, and the Enterprise-patched Arctic jacket he wore in "The Aenar" had sold well, as did a slinky Talas number from either "Proving Ground" or "Babel One". I didn't have to look far, though: there, on eBay, was the outfit worn by Granville Van Dusen's unnamed Andorian General from "Proving Ground"! Bingo!

Andorian General
Andorian General from "Proving Ground"

Mmmmm, I thought. Not many people would bid for this item. It was only seen as a rather brief head-and-shoulders viewscreen shot. I placed a very reasonable top amount on it and watched my bid move me into position as top bidder, where it stayed for the rest of the week.

Two days ago, I had a brainstorm. What was the outfit worn by Ambassador Thoris (Joel Swetow) at the intergalactic peace talks in the episode, "Terra Prime"? I suddenly realized that this "new" outfit had actually been recycled from "Proving Ground" - now with its additional robe and leather belt - and was the one I was trying to win! But would anyone else realise that Thoris's outfit was being auctioned? Probably not! Oh joy!

Ambassador Thoris
Ambassador Thoris from "Terra Prime"

This morning I told myself I could not bear to lose it. Or rather, my alter ego, Therin of Andor, had decided that he "simply must have it". On his behalf, I upped my bidding maximum. (Yesssss, my precioussssss! We wants it, and we must have it!) I didn't want anyone else wearing that costume! (Nassssty little hobbitses!)

Now, I'm not telling how high I was prepared to go - that way embarrassment lies - but I sat here this morning, eating breakfast and pretending to surf the 'Net, fully expecting to be outbid. The time crept by sooooo slooooowly and, with what I thought was only five minutes to go, an incoming email chirped.

Ah, this was it: the notice that I'd been outbid - and how many more thousands of dollars was I willing to part with? But no! It was an email to say that the costume was mine: a winning automated bid of only $US 743.33! Ten bids in all. (The Orion costume was a bargain for anyone not needing international shipping: $US 455.00.)

Doin' the Andorian happy dance!

Soon winging its way Down Under, via Andor:

Andorian costumewhiteAndorian costumewhiteAndorian costume

Andorian holster

The auction description said: "A costume featured in the 'Star Trek: Enterprise' episode 'Proving Ground' where Commander Shran (Jeffrey Combs) suddenly appears to assist 'Enterprise' in locating the Xindi super weapon. The costume is that of the Andorian General (Granville Van Dusen) who orders Shran to keep the prototype of the Xindi super weapon for Andoria should he come into possession of it. The costume is a full-length sleeveless blue-black jumpsuit that is a black spandex type material/blue-black vinyl with a circular pattern, a silver vinyl jacket in a vaguely reptile skin design and fake fur-lined sleeve and plastic bead piping, a full-length, sleeveless vinyl cape of the same design as the jacket, a leather pouch and harness. A sewn in tag reads ‘Enterprise, Granville Van Dusen 065’. Item Number 3366."

PS. Now I have Andorian boots from the auctions as well!


Jörg said...

Congratulations Ian, a truely cool costume which found the perfect owner! :-)

It will be intersting to see if it also features a nametag for Ted Sutton as he was originally going to play the role, but was recats with Granville Van Dusen later, when scenes needed to be reshot.
I guess it'll be some time before it finds its way to Australia, I'm looking forward for the bif blog entry then! :-)


Therin of Andor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kevin of nine said...

I can't pretend to have your excitement for the blue-skins but do understand your excitement about getting this piece. Many of us who used to collect toys have tended to give up as the "hunt" is gone - in part due to Evil Bay. But as you show, the hunt is still alive and maybe more widespread than ever - in part due to Evil Bay.

Therin of Andor said...

G'day Jörg,

Yes, I knew about Ted Sutton. I wonder if his original scenes showcased the whole outfit instead of just being a "talking head" on a viewscreen, as in the final sequence in "Proving Ground"?

I can't wait to replay my "Proving Ground" and "Terra Prime" DVDs to see the outfit in action again.

G'day Kevin of Nine,

Yes indeed, The Thrill of the Hunt has just been tweaked a little by technology. Make it work for you, I always say.

Anonymous said...

That costume is awesome. What is the shiny fabric? I want to buy some of that - I want to make the costumes for my own s/f world.


Therin of Andor said...

G'day Fascinoma,

Some costume musings here!

Z1 said...

So does it fit?

Therin of Andor said...

The costume arrived today, Z1, and yes it fits!

And yes, Jörg, the label inside the full length costume has three names: Ted Sutton, Granville Van Dusen and Joel Swetow. The top says Granville Van Dusen and Jowel (sic) Swetow, and the cape just Joel Swetow!