Living in the 'Star Trek' Universe -- For Real Tony Alleyne loved the Star Trek universe so much, he wanted to live in it. So he remodeled his condominium to look like the inside of the Starship Enterprise. He has started a science-fiction interior-design business to recoup the cost, and now he's an Internet hero. Technology maven Xeni Jardin profiles Alleyne and his most unusual home.
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Living in the 'Star Trek' Universe -- For Real

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Living in the 'Star Trek' Universe -- For Real

Living in the 'Star Trek' Universe -- For Real

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And speaking of television, here's a story of one man from England who loved a TV show so much, he turned his entire home into an exact replica of the set. And that show -- what else? Star Trek.

(Soundbite of Star Trek theme music)

BRAND: Here with more is DAY TO DAY's tech contributor, Xeni Jardin.

XENI JARDIN reporting:

Ring the doorbell outside Tony Alleyne's suburban British flat and what do you hear?

Mr. PATRICK STEWART: (As Jean Luc Picard) Welcome to the 24th century.

JARDIN: The voice of Patrick Stewart, better known to Trekkies everywhere as Captain Jean Luc Picard, inviting you inside a Star Trek fantasy world.

53-year-old Tony Alleyne lives science fiction. He's been a fan since he was a boy, and when he grew up, Tony transformed his home into a spaceship. From outside it looks just like a regular old apartment. Inside it's a full scale recreation of the Starship Enterprise. The place is strange, and so is the tale of how it came to be.

Mr. TONY ALLEYNE (Star Trek Fan): My wife left me in 1994, and I kind of lost my way for a couple of years. I was kind of, a little bit down, a little bit depressed and taking tranquilizers and antidepressants and what have you as a result of that traumatic experience.

JARDIN: To pull him out of that funk, a friend loaned him a copy of Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, a book that documents all the details of how the fictional Starship Enterprise D was constructed.

Mr. ALLEYNE: So I just fell in love with the manual and decided, like you do, to have a go at building the transporter control console.

(Soundbite of Star Trek transporter sound effect)

JARDIN: The project that was to transport Tony out of his breakup misery took off at warp speed. Tony began with a portal that beams crew members off to other planets.

Mr. ALLEYNE: Scottie, beam me up.

JARDIN: The before and after snapshots on Tony's website show a drab, beige room with boring blue curtains, magically morphed into a launch pad with glowing panels, sexy space age curves and blinking buttons ready to be pushed.

(Soundbite of Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Mr. STEWART: (as Captain Picard): Only an advanced technological society could have built that object out there.

JARDIN: Word got out. Websites, newspapers and TV shows all over the world went nuts over it, and Tony decided to launch a sci-fi remodeling business, 24th century interior design. Soon he was working on his own home day and night, weekday and weekend. Before long, the bathroom the hallways, even the kitchen became the Enterprise.

Mr. ALLEYNE: To the left is the kitchen, which has now had a seven foot by two foot LCARS has been put in, and there's also a new LCARS unit just put into the bathroom there, which is the schematics for Star Trek: Voyager, because it's just been re-fitted to Star Trek: Voyager spec.

JARDIN: LCARS is Trekkie speak for library computer access retrieval system, those big glowing panels you see crew members punching buttons on in the show. It's the computer intelligence network that keeps things running, but to keep Tony's spaceship running, it took money, and eight years after he began, he was all out because he had financed this with credit cards.

Mr. ALLEYNE: Which I know was the wrong thing to do, but because of the initial reaction from media types, I had a false sense of security, thinking, well, this is going to take off, and before I knew it, I had quite large financial problems.

JARDIN: When Tony hit about $300,000 in debt, he declared bankruptcy. He tried to sell his Trekkified flat on Ebay for a price he knew was high, $2 million.

Mr. LEONARD NIMOY (Actor): (as Spock) Live long and prosper.

JARDIN: Nobody bought it, but he's still hoping to cash in on his growing fame. He recently finished another remodel, which updates the apartment to more closely resemble the Star Trek: Voyager period. He blocked out all the windows with thick, black Plexiglas to enhance the illusion you're hurtling through space. Trekkies revere his mastery of detail, but some of his women friends aren't so crazy about it.

Mr. ALLEYNE: The females tend to think that because there's not a view, they feel very claustrophobic, but if you suffer with claustrophobia, you don't go in space. For people who like the idea of being on a spaceship, then the apartment would be exactly what they're looking for.

(Soundbite of Star Trek theme music)

JARDIN: If this sounds like exactly what you're looking for, get ready to boot up your computer. Tony says he plans to auction the apartment on Ebay again in May at a more modest price, and for a fee he'll transport himself to your house, wherever you are, and transform it into your own private spaceship.

For DAY TO DAY, I'm Xeni Jardin.

(Soundbite of Star Trek theme music)

BRAND: And going boldly, DAY TO DAY continues from NPR News.

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