M4 – One ugly Star Trek robot


In the 1969 episode “Requiem for Methuselah“, the crew of the Enterprise is struck with Rigellian fever, for which the only treatment is the mineral Ryetalyn. Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy beam down to the planet Holberg 917-G in search of the substance and are attacked by the floating robot, M4, which is ultimately destroyed by Spock when it attacks Kirk for, as usual, kissing the protagonist’s girlfriend Reyna. Wasn’t a great episode, and it wasn’t a great robot either.

Let’s have a look at M4. There are three design components re-used from Nomad MK-15c from the 1967 episode “The Changeling”. As you can see in the comparison photo, M4 was essentially the far more eloquent MK-15c, flipped upside down with the box body replaced by two salad bowls stuck together.

It’s been said that DesiLu Studios was notoriously cheap and tried to cannibalize props as often as possible. That seems to be played out in this M4/MK-15c re-use. But look at it closely. They hardly tried to re-imagine it at all. Just take the part as is and stack it on.

I may try to build a Tinkercad model of both M4 and MK-15c and see how they print on both my FDM and resign 3D printers.