|Scotty and crew in Rad Suits. Note the helmets held by actors.|
|Fletcher's original sketch courtesy of Brett Leggett|
Though most suits were white, there were a few that were not. On his original design sketch, designer Fletcher make this notation: "Make 4 in orange for emergency fire suits". I have not been able to find these in TMP, but they show up in later movies so I have no doubt that they were made for TMP.
|Orange "Fire Suits" from Star Trek IV|
An interesting side note: in TMP, an old movie-making trick effect called "forced perspective" was used with the help of Rad Suits. Two special Rad Suits were made in very small sizes and worn by small actors (kids?) in the background of the Engineering Warp Core shots. The small suits made the set appear larger and deeper than it actually was (see photo, below).
|Small, "forced perspective" suit is seen in background to help give the illusion of depth.|
When Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan came along, the Rad suits were reused and seen extensively throughout the movie. Minor updates made by Fletcher included the addition of a rank/department strap on the arm, a Starfleet patch on the shoulder, some metal clips to the suit's front and a disk designed to accept an emergency breathing tube. Scotty and his crew were wearing Rad Suits throughout the attack by Khan, and when Scotty memorably carries his dying nephew onto the bridge, both are clad in burnt, heavily distressed versions. It became an iconic moment in the film.
|Scotty with his injured nephew.|
In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, some of the orange Rad suits appeared briefly in the Starfleet Command scenes and were worn by emergency crews.
The Rad Suits returned for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Again, they were shown extensively in various Engineering scenes, but this time they also filled a special role. Modified Rad Suits were worn by two Enterprise crewmen who acted as assassins. Their suits were modified with a smaller gray collar which fitted under an all-new, very cool space helmet. Instead of the usual boots, they wore magnetic boots. Later, these same suits were found on board the Enterprise with pink Klingon blood. My specimen matches specifically to one of the assassins, complete with gray collar and blood stains.
For some reason, later incarnations of Star Trek had no equivalent to the Rad Suit. Perhaps they felt that they got in the way of TV storytelling, or maybe by the 24th century (NextGen's era) radiation in Engineering was supposed to be more under control. But whatever the reason, when the Rad Suit concept was discarded, Star Trek lost a unique background element that added to the complex feel of the Star Trek Universe.