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233 votes
Accepted

Why does Watney’s notebook in The Martian have four holes?

I've reached out to the film's Prop Master and the film's Senior Graphics Artist who both kindly responded to my (more than slightly odd) email. I assume they won't mind my quoting verbatim. I don't ...
Valorum's user avatar
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87 votes
Accepted

Were McCoy's medical instruments Swedish salt shakers?

Yes, they were. The following excerpt from an article quotes Gene Roddenberry himself (via the authoritative book The Making of Star Trek) as saying: [Feinberg] went out and bought a selection of ...
Praxis's user avatar
  • 111k
87 votes
Accepted

How was Luke's prosthetic hand in Episode V filmed?

You can see the original prop here. Note that the metal collar has slipped down slightly. The actor would sit under the table and reach up through a hole, then place their hand flat onto the table. ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 695k
56 votes

How was Luke's prosthetic hand in Episode V filmed?

If you look closely at the slope of the back of Mark Hamill's hand, you can see that it seems to turn a bit more toward the vertical as it approaches the metal clamp on his wrist. In fact, Hamill is ...
Buzz's user avatar
  • 97.7k
47 votes
Accepted

What is the prop for Thor's hammer (Mjölnir) made of?

There's an interview of Russell Bobbitt, Hollywood prop master, about that in this Screenrant article. There are actually several props, depending on the nature of the scene it's in. Rubber, ...
Jenayah's user avatar
  • 57.8k
47 votes
Accepted

Was the Batman statue in "Shazam!" a real piece of merch, or just a movie prop?

This appears to be a Big-Figs Colossal DC Universe Batman 48.5″ Gotham Guardian Action Figure with Bat Signal Light
Valorum's user avatar
  • 695k
46 votes
Accepted

What was the gaudily coloured equipment on the Enterprise's corridor walls in ST:TOS?

They seem to be called "wall plant-ons". Christies had at least one for sale a few years back, which you can look at here. According to the auction blurb, they're bits of wood that have been ...
elemtilas's user avatar
  • 7,385
33 votes
Accepted

Where is the Whomobile now?

Privately owned by a man named Paul Buckland According to a 2005 BBC article, it was sold at auction in the 80s: So, what happened to the car? Well, it wasn't ever the property of the Beeb - the ...
Jason Baker's user avatar
33 votes
Accepted

Is the mosquito in amber inspired by a real object?

Your friend was perhaps thinking of The Amber Time Machine, a documentary that David presented, many years later, which did indeed talk about the creatures preserved in a block of amber he owned. In ...
Daniel Roseman's user avatar
22 votes

Why does Watney’s notebook in The Martian have four holes?

The Martian was filmed in Hungary and Microsoft lists A4 as the default paper size for that country in its applications adding weight to the suggestion that it was just cheap to go and buy some ...
WARPed1701D's user avatar
21 votes

What the heck is Captain Styles carrying around with him?

I think you are close with your idea of a riding crop. From his attitude and context of military command I am pretty sure it is meant to be a swagger stick. In this case of the riding crop variation. ...
beichst's user avatar
  • 25.6k
21 votes

What is the manufacturer/brand of the glass that Dr. Crusher breaks?

My good friend Alan Sims (Props Master for TNG) advises me via email that while he can't recall the specific glass used, given that it was used in a scene where it broke, it was almost certainly ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 695k
19 votes
Accepted

Is there any significance to the licence plates on the Ford Anglia?

Yes (for some of them) Seven is, of course, the most powerful magical number, and heavily associated with the Harry Potter books (of which, for example, there are seven). As such, 777 may be fairly ...
Adamant's user avatar
  • 117k
17 votes
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What style of chair are Morpheus and Neo using?

This style of chair is called a Chesterfield Wingback Armchair. Here is one on Ebay with a footstool.
Jack B Nimble's user avatar
17 votes
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Where did they get the children's artwork used for Captain Picard Day?

According to the Star Trek TNG Companion, the artwork was sourced from two local schools and Alan Sims' children. Contest winner Paul Menegay was named for a friend of Brannon Braga’s, although ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 695k
16 votes

Who designed the Emperor's chair from "Return of the Jedi"?

The design of the throne was definitely a group effort. The Return of the Jedi Sketchbook shows a selection of concept drawings for the throne room on the Death Star, including an interesting example ...
Buzz's user avatar
  • 97.7k
15 votes

Why is the Westeros map rotated?

I suspect it's because this is the sort of map meant for making military plans. Note the pieces (I think they are simply stones painted with symbols). These would be meant to be moved around the map ...
Irishpanda's user avatar
  • 6,264
15 votes

Was Sam Carter's fancy flip phone an existing model, or based on one?

Propworx sold the (screen-used) phone in an auction. Carter's Cell Phone: Cell phone used by actress Amanda Tapping as 'Samantha Carter' in Season 8 episode SG-1, 'Covenant'." Silver and red ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 251
15 votes

Are there any designs for Sulu's rising targeting scanner prop from Star Trek: The Original Series?

These aren't exactly what you're looking for but they might help. First up we've got a series of close-up photos of the replica targeting scanner built for the TNG episode "Relics", which ...
SpaceWolf1701's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

What was it that Emilia Clarke (Daenerys) was really eating in "A Golden Crown" (S01E06 )

It was made of a gummy bear-like material: Around 1:50 GoT wiki: According to actress Emilia Clarke (Daenerys), the prop she used for the stallion's heart was ...
calccrypto's user avatar
  • 6,550
14 votes

What happened to the prop ships and monoliths used in 2001: A Space Odyssey?

At least some of the props did survive, and they can be seen in a Stanley Kubrick exhibition that's been touring the world for 13 years. According to its web site, the exhibition is currently in ...
Ubik's user avatar
  • 10.7k
14 votes
Accepted

What the heck is Captain Styles carrying around with him?

According to an interview with James B. Sikking (Captain Styles) on Startrek.com, we learn that it was a swagger stick, which was a military accessory common in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Q. ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 695k
13 votes

What Happened to the Jurassic Park Helipad?

There are confirmations from various local guides that the helipad was damaged by Hurricane Iniki shortly after filming completed. Some of the stone supports can still be seen on the wall that abuts ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 695k
13 votes

Why do these communicators from Star Trek differ?

Those appears to be a natural result of Moiré patterns, which occur when you have overlapping repeating patterns. Please see this Google search Although I believe the prop may be based two sets of ...
ThePopMachine's user avatar
13 votes

What happened to the Millennium Falcon hanging dice prop?

Along with many of the items that were custom-made for the original Star Wars films, they were simply "lost to time" (e.g. more likely just disposed of at the end of filming). Note that the ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 695k
12 votes

Out of Universe, how many TARDIS props have been used?

As of 2020, there have been nineteen known full size TARDIS Police Box exterior props. Original 1963 prop. Lamp was replaced in season two. Various refurbishments were made over the years, including ...
OrangeDog's user avatar
  • 10.5k
12 votes
Accepted

Are the runes around the Goblet of Fire meaningful?

Picture's worth a thousand words. The runes are Elder Futhark and don't appear to make any particular sense except, undoubtedly, some esoteric wossname in the Wizarding World. The runes are an ...
elemtilas's user avatar
  • 7,385
11 votes
Accepted

What is the backstory of the display armor in the background of the yacht scene?

Dryden Vos is a collector of some sorts as there are other objects in the same room as the armor. The armor itself is a "Mandalorian rally master armor" from the Old-Republic-era. ...
Hydra Exiled's user avatar
  • 1,006

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