shot at Vasquez Rocks
Those few location shoots have been a source of intrigue among "Star Trek" aficionados. Some shoots, such as the one shown above for the "Arena" episode at Vasquez Rocks, have become legendary. The episode featured an infamous fight sequence between Kirk and the rubber-suited Gorn across the distinctively tilted rocks. Vasquez was the remote location of choice for "The Original Series," with four episodes shot there.
Landscape of Planet Neural in "A Private Little War,"
shot at Bell Location Ranch
"Trek" insiders have been working for years to determine the rest of the locations where "The Original Series," or "TOS," was shot, and that work is now pretty much complete. One of the most challenging episodes to figure out was "A Private Little War," which first aired Feb. 2, 1968, during the second season. I'm happy to be able to confirm that the location for this episode has been found: "A Private Little War" was shot on the lower plateau of the Bell Location Ranch, in the Santa Susana Mountains above Box Canyon, just outside of Chatsworth, Calif.
"A Private Little War"
The location shoot for "A Private Little War" has been widely misunderstood. Through a brief online search I found sites attributing the episode separately to Vasquez Rocks and Bronson Canyon, and I've seen a YouTube clip — no longer posted — by a fan who speculated it was shot at the Iverson Movie Ranch. Not one of those theories turns out to be correct. "Star Trek: TOS" did shoot one episode at Bronson Canyon — season two's "Bread and Circuses," which aired March 15, 1968. But the series never shot at Iverson.
For additional views of the Bell Ranch shoot for "A Private Little War," please click here to see a blog entry by movie location expert Jerry England.
"A Private Little War"
With the discovery that "A Private Little War" was shot on the Bell Location Ranch, the bulk of the location research for "TOS" is now done. But at least one loose end remains.
"This Side of Paradise" — widely believed to be
shot at Golden Oak Ranch
previous blog entry about a "Bonanza" shoot on Bell's lower plateau, the area is defended by residents who don't appreciate strangers traipsing around on their turf — and other hikers who have gone into the area have received something less than a warm welcome from the locals.