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Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.

4 September 2011

Star Trek's Balok

Star Trek's Balok 
Balok was one of Star Trek's most iconic aliens.

Designed by noted sculptor and special effects master Wah Ming Chang, the sinister effigy appeared in the first season episode The Corbomite Maneuver.

Star Trek's Balok 
Wah Chang was responsible for many of Star Trek's most memorable creatures - the Salt Vampire, the Gorn, Tribbles - as well as some of the series' iconic props: the Communicator, the Tricorder, the Vulcan Lute. The design of the Romulan Bird of Prey warship was also his creation.

Trek aside, Chang worked on a host of motion pictures during his career:

At Walt Disney, he created sculptures that were used as references by the studio's animators: articulated deer models for Bambi, and a maquette of the Pinocchio puppet. The spectacular headdress worn by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 feature film Cleopatra was designed by Chang as well, as was one of advertising's most famous mascots: the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Star Trek's Balok 
The vocalizations of Balok were done by Ted Cassidy, the actor most known for his role as Lurch in the Addams Family television series. Cassidy had been hired to play in the Star Trek episode What are Little Girls Made Of and producers asked him to record Balok's threatening lines with his deep voice.

Star Trek's Balok 
Throughout the years, the image of Balok has remained legendary in the hearts and imaginations of Star Trek fans and a symbol of one of the most influential television shows of all time. Balok enthusiasts can buy t-shirts, wall graphics... even a Halloween mask...!

The ultimate souvenir, the original Balok head was recently unearthed and put up for auction. It sold for 70,000$...!

Star Trek's Balok 
The most memorable image of Balok for me was the one that appeared during Star Trek's final credits (above). I just loved that image of the bluish, cat-eyed alien in the eerily-lit control center...

images: (1-3-4) anonymousworks.blogspot.com
(2) google image search
(5) montage by author

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Blogger Pluche said...

Iconic indeed! Great article Jason, and the auction thing? Awesome find!


6:29 pm  
Anonymous Suzanna said...


6:47 am  
Anonymous Rich said...

Have you guys seen the remastered Star Trek original series? There's so much geeky awesomeness there.

12:36 pm  
Blogger Jason Stockl said...

I actually don't care for the remastered version, it's too perfect. Star Trek is supposed to be cheesy...!

4:58 pm  

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