TOS Mosaic Artistry: "Operation Annihilate!"


The Employee Cafeteria entryway in the “sunken garden” also holds the famous red glass mosaic wall and steps used for beaming in Kirk and Spock.

Today, the first floors of the research buildings wear unsightly chain link fences – presumably to keep secrets inside…


So what about my favorite shot of this episode? You know it well, I’m sure…

So cool! But where exactly was this shot taken from?

Vintage photos, current photos, and episode photos lead me to a conclusion that the rooftop shot was done facing north – atop one of the two-story research and development buildings.

Note that when the Landing Party first arrives on the planet, there are a few telltale signs about what’s to come.

(And if you look just to the right of Scotty in the episode, you can see cars zipping along Marine Avenue in the background!)

Note the large tree up against one of the research and development buildings, and the rooftop fencing.

I believe that same tree is still in place – although much bigger and taller after more than 50 years of growth.

This 1961 photo (six years before the episode would be filmed) offers a few other clues. Notice the placement of the sculptures in the fountain (different than what exists in the space today) noted by the red arrow.

The blue arrow points out the back of the Employee Cafeteria building (and its sunken patio.)

And look at the tiny sliver of the two-story Research building and that white fencing visible in my “favorite shot.”


From the rooftop in my favorite scene, the arrows point to the white rooftop fencing, the edge of an air conditioner riser, the blue tail of the fountain, and the tree referenced above. The shot points north, and based on the shadows this was captured late in the afternoon on Wednesday, February 15.

A modern Google image shows with arrows what I believe to be the camera location for this shot, with the camera positioned near the star.

Another look at my favorite shot also shows the third story pillar of Engineering building (all other buildings around the courtyard are only two stories tall) and the awning entrance to the building.

So – in conclusion – I’d recommend a visit on a weekend, when the campus is quiet. Be discreet. And Live Long and Prosper!


Very Nice Dave! Here’s a screen cap of sat view on the camera location. It appears to have evidence of where the rooftop sculptures used to exist.


I think the rooftop contraptions are, in reality, on-site receiving antennae supplemented with some anechoic chamber foam triangles to give it an “otherworldly” look. A number of the buildings STILL sport antennae, although I didn’t see any of the curlicue variety.


Thanks so much Dave.
That is Fantastic.


Nice write up, Dave. Your devotion to TOS is remarkable.


I had some time on Sunday alone in Los Angeles – so I TREKKED OUT! :wink:


This has been awesome!!


Thank you for this detailed and engaging profile of the setting for the episode. I did recognize where we were (in the story) from first glance at the building. I’m more of a Trekkie than I know. The quality of the responses I’ve read here is also excellent–clear and insightful. Thank you, all!