Blade Runner- A Web of Props (Original Pics updated)

nick daring

Master Member
Edit 3- Many of the orignal pics that went down during the Wackychimp server switch are now back up. I should get the rest up soon.

Edit number 2- I've decided to change the title of this thread to reflect it's broadening scope. I've found that the props of Bladerunner are so strangely interconnected that to focus on one you have to study them all. Enjoy the discussion.

This thread will plot my progress of my building an ESPER. Hopefully it will inspire others to try their hand at the project as well or at the very least inspire others to tackle a project that has never been done before. Uncharted territory as it were.

There have been many strange and interesting facts learned while researching this this prop.

Here is what I've discovered so far:
1. There are at least three different ESPERS used in the sequence.

First we have the ESPER we know and love-

The 'Frontview ESPER'-

This is the ESPER that does all the cool stuff.
This is a composited photo made up of about 10 different screen grabs in order to get the best image possible to work from. It's also Important to note that we NEVER see Harrison Ford's face during the use of this particular machine(and all that implies...).


The Sideview ESPER-





This last one might not be the Sideview ESPER but due to lack of detail I can only assume. Maybe a better copy will surface.

This is the ESPER that we see Harrison Ford interacting with.

The 'Sideview ESPER' lacks the attachments and clocks on the right side. The left side may or may not have any attachments. It also has a mystery box and the Bladerunner Phone(I'll talk about this later) sitting on top of it.


The 'Fake ESPER'-
(which could very well be the 'Sideview ESPER')


Here you can see the 'Fake Esper' and the 'Sideview ESPER' share a small detail in the upper left corner not present in the 'Frontview ESPER'. Both also have the monitor located much higher than the 'Frontview ESPER'. The 'Fake ESPER' could very well be the same as the 'Sideview Esper' in my opinion.

I also believe that the 'Frontview ESPER' was very likely built from the 'Fake ESPER'. The rivets around the edge of the "Main Box Section" correlate perfectly and the "VCR Section" of the Esper is a near duplicate of the other's. The only difference lie in the overall color and the small detail in the upper lefthand corner of the "VCR Section".

Here's a comparison of the two-

The 'Frontview ESPER's' perpective has been flattened to help the comparison.

It's also interesting to note that the monitor in this version is in a vertical orientation rather than the 'Frontview ESPER's' Horizontal. The screen's size are very close and may have simply been turned when rebuilt into it's final form.

The grill and button to the right of the monitor also match up from one to the other when turned sideways and repositioned.


The Supercloseup/Microscope ESPER-


This is a wierd one. Once deckard begins to zoom in on Roy the scene jumps to a close up of the 'Frontview ESPER' then cuts to this screen. What is really strange is that this ESPER shares the same "camera thing" found on upper left hand corner of the 'Frontview ESPER' BUT the three buttons to the right and the screen's general style are completely different and not similar to either of the previous ESPERs.

HOWEVER, this screen does make another appearance as the closeup screen of the Electron-microscope in the Animoid Row sequence.


Here we have the ESPER and the Microscope screens before and after the "zoom-in" shot occurs.

Neat huh.?


2. The 'Frontview ESPER' is built on top of a Voight Kampf Machine.

The screens at the bottom line up perfectly to the VK machines screens and structural features. This is great and let's us know how tall the entire unit really is since we cannot see the bottom. This also gives me the excuse to do Voigt Kampf research while doing ESPER research. Fun, fun.


3. The red light at the top of the 'Sideview ESPER' is actually the top of a Video-Phone.


There are many of these Phones located throughout Deckard's Apartment at different parts of the movie.


What really tipped me off about this connection was that the same Video-Phone was sitting on the desk of Holden's VK scene. Here you can see two different phones. One is one the desk in front of Leon the other is sitting on top of the monitor between the two men.



One thought concerning the 'Fake ESPER' being turned into the 'Front View ESPER'. The one big difference between the two's basic structure is the reorientation of the monitor from vertical to sideways. If you pay attention while watching the film, many of the monitors in Bladerunner are turned sideway like this. I think it was done to help give a slightly exotic feel to the technology without having to invest in new and wierd monitors. I believe this may have been a problem when it came to doing the practical images in the final 'Frontview ESPER'. Also the 'Fake Esper' is shiny, simple and silver and doesn't match most of the piece-meal technology in Bladerunner. I think once the 'Sideview ESPER' footage was shot a more exotic and interesting looking ESPER needed to be built for the closeups to match the coolness of the Voigt Kampf.

They simply took the 'Fake Esper/Sideview ESPER' set it on top of the VK body and slaped some random techy stuff to the sides.

That's my theory for now. Hopefully I can hunt down better reference to solidify some of these ideas.

Here's is my initial rough sketch of the 'Frontview ESPER' I plan to build over the summer months.


I've learned a few things since this drawing so a version 2 should be coming up soon.



Master Member
There is good reference for this in the BR PC game. Not sure how accurate to the movie it is. I think a replica would have to be a little idealised due to the lack of decent movie reference.

nick daring

Master Member
The game version is a good bit different as well.


I also found this CGI 3-d model made by a fan-


Again, close but still off.


nick daring

Master Member
Alright, time for a cool update.

As noted earlier, I found that the "Close up ESPER" and the Fish Ladies "Close Up Microscope Screen" were the same monitor used in two different effect scenes.

In addition to those two scene the view screen found in the Police Spinner and Deckard's Land Car make use of this same "Closeup Screen". The screen is also very different than the screen seen in the medium shot. The Spinner's view screen is in a VERTICAL orientation inside the actual Spinner. This screen was like the ESPER Closeup and the Microscope filmed far from where the real Spinner likely was.

Here are the three different screens.

Notice the item Labeled Part A is shared in two of the versions of the closeup screen.

What is also interesting is this same part is also located on the Hero "Frontview ESPER"!


Notice that the part Labeled Part B can be found directly in front of the Spinner Screen.

Last night with the help of Spinner44 I discovered this part to be a commonly available Camera flash.

The Sunpak 522

There is another very, very similar Flash, the Sunpak 544, but the lettering found it front is slightly different. The white lettering with lines on either side of the lettering of the 522 model are fairly visible in the "frontview ESPER photo above. The 544 model has gold lettering with no lines.


Another shared ESPER part found elsewhere are the ESPER Clocks.

Here you can see a rack of clocks and screens hanging from the ceiling of the Spinner Gaff and Deckard zoom around in.

They appear to be simple alarm clocks screwed to the side of the Esper and Rack. You can see the adjustment pegs in the shots from behind.

I also suspect the item beneath the flash on the "Frontview ESPER" to be a similar alarm clock turn around. The detail on the box is simply the adjustment peg found on the back of the clock.

That's it so far but I do have some very exciting prospects coming up to gain even more insight on this surprisingly interesting prop.

Until then, stay tuned for more startling revelations concerning the web of Blade Runner parts.

Last edited:


Sr Member
This really is superb detective work Nick - akin to the man himself!

Thanks for these insights and a VERY interesting thread!



Sr Member
The clocks look like travel alarm clocks that were sold in the early 80s. My dad has at least one, but I don't think it matches up perfectly.


Sr Member
Congrats, Nick, on the results of your most thorough research. This has been an interesting read and I will be looking forward to your future updates.

I've been studying these pictures with a keen interest on the upper "VCR section" of the ESPER. It looks as if this is the faceplate of some sort of invoice printer or even a paper shredder. Not sure if something like this was available in the early '80s though.


nick daring

Master Member
Spinner44 has located the correct clock for the ESPER Clock.

It's an older style BRAUN brand alarm clock.


Here are close ups of the Clock.

Here you can see the the entire top of the clock lifts up and becomes the OFF button for the clock. THis button is in the raised position when used on the ESPER.



Here you can see how the rear image matches up perfectly with the left side box labeled Part B in an earlier post.


It even has the same red dot.

BRAUN continues to make very similar clocks to this day but none match up as well as I'd like.
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The main problem is that the correct clock isn't collectable enough to be found on Ebay (Believe me I've been looking) and from the looks of the BRAUN website the clocks they make are mainly marketed in Europe making thrift store hunts pretty much worthless.

Due to this fact, I'd like to make a general call out to arms. If anyone has the correct clock I will gladly replace or buy it off you.



PS- New Voight Kampf discoverys to be announced soon. Stay tuned.

nick daring

Master Member
Also, I have found some great new reference for the side and back of the 'sideview ESPER'.



With these shots and the measurements from the Flash handle and the BRAUN clock I can begin scaling and building a mock-up of the main body.



Well-Known Member
FYI, the middle graphic of these pics you've posted:


appears to be the inside of the Spinner when it is taking off, which reads "Purge" eventually.... No? I could be wrong.

In any case if it IS part of that shot, something which might be of help: That "Purge" shot was not filmed for BR. It was originally meant for the movie Alien and I think discarded. Scott liked it and decided to use it for BR.

As far as the providence of this information, I got it from the book "Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner." You can either believe it or not, as you wish.

nick daring

Master Member
Yeah there's a good qoute about the reuse of the graphics by Terry Rawlings. The graphics are the same but were simply pumped into a new set up. He even states that they run the graphic through a mock-up of the spinner instead of in the real one.

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