In the Star Trek original series episode "Balance of Terror", there is a briefing room scene. In the scene, Spock holds up a sample of recovered debris. Spock's in-universe description calls it:

From the outpost's protective shield. Cast rodinium. This is the hardest substance known to our science.

From a production perspective, the scene starts with Nimoy holding a prop which has to be sturdy enough to handle and pretty much wave about, yet brittle enough to shatter with an apparently effortless squeeze (although it might not have been entirely effortless).

What was the prop made of?

enter image description here

  • 5
    Frankly, I bet it's sugar glass painted with silver spray paint. Sugar glass is what they made fake windows for throwing people through or bottles to smash over heads. It's also what they used to make meth in Breaking Bad. It's like rock candy, super saturated sugar in water. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_glass Super brittle, it will shatter like that. Tasty too.
    – cde
    Sep 5, 2016 at 21:16
  • That or frozen styrofoam or any number of brittle material. Spock doesn't exactly toss it around like a bowling ball.
    – cde
    Sep 5, 2016 at 21:19


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