memorabilia

Hector The Robot Original Prop:

Bad droids never die - they just end up in second-hand specialty shops. Hector was last seen in the Andrew Martin specialty shop in London. Whereabouts unknown.

Bad droids never die – they just end up in second-hand specialty shops. Hector was last seen in the Andrew Martin specialty shop in London. Whereabouts unknown.

If the current owner of Hector is reading this, I’d love to have additional pictures of him in his current state on the site. So please do email me if you would like to get in contact.

Hector's brain inside brain case prop. (photo courtesy yourprops.com)

Hector’s brain inside brain case prop. (photo courtesy yourprops.com)

The Official Press Kit:

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front

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first fold

first fold

second fold

second fold

third fold

third fold

fourth fold

fourth fold

sixth fold

fifth fold

sixth fold

sixth fold

It is interesting to note that these portraits of Kirk and Farrah appear to have been the inspiration behind their likenesses on the Spanish release poster (see poster gallery page).

detail

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With many thanks to site contributer Bob Powers for supplying these images of the press kit which is part of his own personal collection of Saturn 3 memorabilia.

Turkish release poster 1980. (courtesy Bob Powers)

Turkish release poster 1980. (courtesy Bob Powers)

German release poster 1980. (courtesy Bob Powers)

German release poster 1980. (courtesy Bob Powers)

Vintage Japanese Program:

front

front

japanese program 1

japanese program 2

japanese program 3

back

back

If there are any Japanese fans out there who would be happy to translate the program’s text into English for me, please feel free to drop me an email!

Iron-on Patch:

Another item from Bob Power’s personal collection: an iron-on patch given away at the first screenings of Saturn 3 in St. Louis, Missouri (and elsewhere) in 1980. Also included is the newspaper ad which promoted the iron-on giveaway.

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front

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Saturn 3 print ad promoting the free giveaway.

Saturn 3 print ad promoting the free giveaway.

‘The Star Wars Panels’

Prop collector Craig Spivey.

Prop collector Craig Spivey.

Eagle-eyed fans of sci-fi movies and TV series from the late 70’s through to the late 80’s may notice something familiar about the metal grates built into the flooring of the Saturn 3 Titan set. Produced in an injection molding company in Slough, England – these bright orange plastic lifting pallets (the kind of pallets used with fork-lift trucks) became a favored piece of set dressing amongst set builders in the UK. They have appeared in such iconic films as the original Star Wars, Alien, Outland, The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi and Aliens – as well as TV episodes of Dr. Who, The Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and Red Dwarf. In 1978, 200 of these were purchased by Saturn 3 construction manager Ken Pattenden, painted grey and then incorporated into the main set.

They were favored by set dressers because they were relatively lightweight and sturdy enough to take heavy cameras and crew (there are plenty of examples where they have been used to make elevated walkways with little support). They were also fairly quiet to walk on (metalic footfalls were added via foley to the soundtrack in post when the cast members were walking around the set).

As they had been first used in the original Star Wars (most notably as part of the Death Star detention center and also the Millennium Falcon interior) – they came to be known fondly in the business as ‘The Star Wars Panels’.

The Star Wars Panel.

The Star Wars Panel.

Movie fan and avid prop collector, Craig Spivey, was given one of these ‘Star Wars Panels’ a couple of years ago and began researching them – spotting them in movie after movie – including of course Saturn 3.

A gorgeous series of screen shots demonstrating the use of the panels in Saturn 3 can be found on Craig’s site here:

Saturn 3 | Titan food research station

In 2012, Craig met Alan Tomkins, the Art Director on Star Wars and Peter Lamont, the Production Designer on Aliens – at a memorabilia show and they both instantly recognised the panels. As Craig explains:

“We had a short discussion during which Peter told me that they would get duff batches and unwanted stock for cheap. I also asked them about how well the paint stuck to them as mine is very flaky. Alan confirmed that no matter how well they primed them, the paint would flake off with all the traffic. You can really see this in Empire and Aliens, where the orange plastic shows through and gives the panels a rusted look.”

Craig’s particular panel was purchased from a prop hire company in London and was part of a batch of 10 remaining pallets. Craig again, “It makes sense that a production would hire something so generic as this in when it needed it. They’d be bulky for a studio to store on site and hard to break down and scrap like wooden sets.” Craig’s working theory is that the same batch could have feasibly ended up with a hire company and they travelled around Elstree, Pinewood, Shepperton and the BBC TV Centre being repainted and repurposed as they were needed. “More than anything, it’s just fun to think that might have been the case.”

For more information on this fascinating piece of movie history, a link to Craig’s informative and well-researched site can be found here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/89573038@N04/sets

9 responses to “memorabilia

  1. thanks chris, great pictures. does anyone where u can get blue prints of hector? say to build a prop of your own?

    • Hey Larry,

      I haven’t heard anything about blue prints being commercially available. It’s a popular request though!

      🙂

      greg

  2. Hello, greg!

    First of all, I’d like to compliment you on this wonderful archive of Saturn 3! I stumbled across it by accident, and have spent the last two days scouring through every page. This is an amazing collection of information and photos you’ve assembled, and in my opinion is how a blog page should be – thorough and fun!

    Like some others who’ve commented here, I thought I was one of only a handful of people who remembered this film with fondness, if at all. It was so different than most SF (mainstream or otherwise), and a huge part of that was its visual style. I have not seen Saturn 3 since the 1980’s on a cable subscription movie channel (The Movie Channel, if I recall correctly), yet even after all these years, images, sounds and even bits of the score still remain in my mind.

    While perusing this page, I noticed that the Tukish poster features a spaceship not seen in the film, but I instantly recognised it as having come from one of the Terran Trade Authority Handbooks (or its sister series, Galactic Encounters). Those were series of books from the late 1970’s into the early 1980’s that presented a ‘future history’ of humanity’s expansion into – and struggles in – space, and collected tons of spaceship art from the likes of Peter Elson, Chris Foss, Angus McKie and scores of others.

    In fact, back when I first saw Saturn 3, the first shot of the passenger ship at the end reminded me of a Chris Foss-style painting; it still does to this day.

    Anyway, I don’t recall exactly which artist designed the ship lifted for the Turkish poster. If I can dig out my old TTA books, I’ll post an update. I do recall that the same ship was also used in the 1980’s for a full-page advert in an electronics magazine (found out about that a few years ago online).

    Thank you so much for your hard work on this blog, and best wishes in your other activities!

    Craig R

    • Cheers Craig! Yeah – I do remember those TTA books. I didn’t realize the ship on the Turkish poster was actually one of the paintings featured in one of them. I’ll look forward to your update on the artist. Thanks so much for your info!

      greg

      • Although I now know where my old TTA books are, they’re as yet inaccessible (packed away a little too well for easy access), so I just decided to do a little online image searching. I found that the spaceship in question was originally painted by Bob Layzell, and appears as the ‘Avery-Frost Orion’ in ‘Spacecraft 2000-2100 AD’. The Turkish poster seems to have lifted the artwork – including some of the asteroids/meteors – directly from the painting, although on that poster, the image is rotated 90 degrees and the background changed from orange to black.

        The magazine advert I mentioned was for one Electronic Associates, Inc. for their simulation computers in 1982, but uses a mostly line-art version of the Layzell spaceship with just a hint of its colouring added in a few places. (I don’t know which magazine the ad appeared in, as I only found the single page and my anti-virus software is preventing me from following the link–hooray, I think…)

        Ah, well, at least I was able to give you an update fairly quickly! I hope to make a few comments on some of the other pages here as time allows. (I also enjoy your mossfilm blog!)

        Craig R

  3. Cheers Craig! I appreciate your info. And I look forward to further comments. I’m also pleased you enjoy my mossfilm sister blog. 🙂

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