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  1. Robin Damore isn’t a devoted Star Trek fan. In fact, the artist from Portland, Oregon, is better known for her oil portraits and an annual Santa Claus painting. And it wasn’t even painting that connected her to Star Trek – it was a photo assignment a dozen years ago for a 2004 book called Those Who Dare: Real People, Real Courage and What We Learn from Them, by Katherine Martin. One of the subjects in that book is Nichelle Nichols, and Damore's photos accompany a chapter about the remarkable life of the woman who portrayed Lt. Uhura. Photographer (and then-budding portrait artist) Damore was so taken with Nichols that she decided to do a painting based on a photo from that session. “I was hired to go to L.A. to shoot Nichelle Nichols,” Damore recalls. “I didn’t really know who she was. I went to her house and waited while she got ready, and then she appeared. She comes down looking like a goddess. I shot a bunch of pictures of her outside. We had a ball. We really hit it off together.” Damore started as a photographer and advertising agency owner, honing her skills with the help of photographer friends who critiqued her early photography portrait work. “They would pick two that were acceptable out of a roll of 36,” Damore says. “And that’s how I learned to work out the problems of light, composition and creating foreground in a photograph.” “Later, I started drawing every day,” she continues, “drawing in meetings and drawing with the kids. And I got to the point where I wondered if I could paint as well." Damore took a one-week painting class in Seattle, and then a three-week intensive class with a Russian master painter in New York. Returning from New York, she was inspired to paint a portrait of Nichols using one of her favorite images from the shoot as her resource material. The portrait took shape in a temporary painting studio she designed into one of the model homes of a homebuilder’s tour in Portland. “I worked on this painting of Nichelle as tens of thousands of people toured the house through all of August,” Damore explains. “And over and over people would recognize her. ‘Oh, my gosh! That’s Nichelle Nichols! How did you meet her?’ Everyone’s got a story about growing up and watching the show, and several people told me they had named their daughters after her.” While the original painting was finished a decade ago, Damore finally arranged to show it to Nichols when she came to the Portland area for a comic convention in 2015. During a stop at the artist’s studio, Nichols saw for herself what the artist had completed years before. “She cried when she saw the painting and said, ‘Oh, it’s beautiful and I’ve got to have it,’” and so it hangs today in Nichols’ California home. That conversation inspired another photo session, and another work of art. “We were in my shooting studio, the backdrop and lights were already set up,” Damore explains. “And she immediately knew what to do. She just knows the camera. She knows what angles are good. She has such beautiful, expressive hands. I decided to add this gold and turquoise scarf. She draped this scarf over herself and created this incredible flair and personality, and she transformed herself into ‘royalty’ before my eyes. I shot a couple hundred photographs over the course of 20 minutes.” Later, Nichols and Damore decided which pose would work best as a new portrait. Thirteen years after the original portrait, Damore has just finished another life-size painting of an older and even wiser Nichols using an approach to realism based on the painting style of the old masters. The final brushstrokes were applied last month. The artist had so many requests for prints that she's decided to offer two limited-edition prints in two sizes: small (13”x19”) and large (17”x22”). Interested fans can email Damore directly ( “People ask me all the time how long it takes to do a painting,” Damore says. “I usually say, ‘It depends on how much I suffer,’ but this painting was like butter – no suffering – just delicious. This most recent painting of Nichelle is a thing of beauty. It took only 2.5 weeks to complete. A photo of the new painting has already been shared nearly 12,000 times on social media. That’s the biggest response I’ve ever had to anything I’ve ever done. I think this is my best work to date,” Dave Arland has been a Nichelle Nichols fan since 1972, when he first saw Star Trek in syndication in Indianapolis. View the full article
  2. Which series is the best for a new fan? That's the question asked readers for our latest weekly poll. Thousands of Trek fans voted, and here are the results: The Next Generation (51%) The Original Series (23%) Voyager (11%) Enterprise (8%) Deep Space Nine (7%) And how did YOUR choice of introductory Trek show fare? View the full article
  3. It's the logical choice. Remembering Leonard Nimoy, the documentary about Nimoy produced and directed by his daughter Julie and son-in-law David Knight, will premiere next month on WGBH Boston. “David and I are so thrilled to be able to air our documentary on public television," Julie Nimoy said in a statement. "Dad would be so happy knowing that his story will premiere in his beloved hometown of Boston, where he never forgot his roots." As previously reported here at, Remembering Leonard Nimoy is an intimate journey into the Star Trek legend's personal life. The stories shared in the documentary span from from his childhood growing up in Boston to his early career in Hollywood to his breakout role as Spock on Star Trek, and it also explores, in detail, the final years of his life, when he bravely battled Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Remembering Leonard Nimoy features interviews with Nimoy's family members, including his children, Julie and Adam, his wife Susan, stepson Aaron and his six grandchildren, in which they share poignant stories and special memories. Also included are never-seen-before home videos and photographs. Beyond the airing on WGBH, Creation Entertainment has confirmed that the documentary will screen during Star Trek Las Vegas, the official Star Trek convention. STLV will be held in August at the Rio Suites Hotel in Las Vegas. To learn more, go to View the full article
  4. James Cromwell and Star Trek seem to go hand-in-hand. The Oscar-winning actor is a five-time Star Trek guest star, as he portrayed Prime Minister Nayrok in The Next Generation hour "The Hunted," Jaglom Shrek in the TNG two-parter "Birthright," Minister Hanok in the Deep Space Nine installment "Starship Down" and Zefram Cochrane first in Star Trek: First Contact and again when he turned up, briefly and uncredited, in the Enterprise pilot, “Broken Bow.” He also appeared, in archive footage, in the Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly." But the connections don’t stop there. His ex-wife, Julie Cobb, guest starred as Yeoman Thompson in the TOS episode "By Any Other Name," while their daughter, Rosemary Morgan, played Piri in "The Chute" episode of Voyager. And we won’t even get into the many other fascinating overlaps, which include his working with William Shatner on Barbary Coast and with Genevieve Bujold, who, for a minute, played Captain Janeway before ceding the role to Kate Mulgrew, on Still Mine. Cromwell’s current project is The Promise, a film that depicts the Armenian genocide and its deeply personal toll. The story follows the intersecting lives of an American reporter (Christian Bale), an Armenian medical student (Oscar Isaac) and a worldly Armenian woman (Charlotte Le Bon), as they engage in a love triangle amidst the final, brutal days of the Ottoman Empire. Cromwell tackles a key supporting role as a real-life figure, Ambassador Henry Morgenthau. The film opens today, and sat down with Cromwell, a most-thoughtful and tall figure, earlier this week at a New York City hotel. Over the course of a wide-ranging conversation, he talked about his career, The Promise, other upcoming films and his Trek work. Your credits span more than 50 years. When you started out, what were your aspirations? Did you want to be a star, did you want to be a working actor, or maybe something in between? Stardom is something that I don't even conceive of. I'm a character actor. I would like to play leading roles. I think I could play leading roles, but I was never offered that opportunity until very recently. My father started in the theater in 1910. My stepmother was in the Group Theatre, and my mother was an actress in New York. I believed in the theater. I was trained to be a theater director. I got into acting because getting work as a director was very difficult. So, I considered acting a job. I did my job. I learned to do it the best I could, and I love it, but I never – and I still don't, to this day -- take it all very seriously, because I know that people are influenced by a star-making machine, which has nothing to do with the work that I do. Star Trek has come in and out of your life several times over the years, and it somehow became a bit of a family affair… It has. My ex-wife was on The Original Series and my daughter, Rosie, was on another Trek show. Voyager. Right. Rosie had the makings of a very nice actress, and her mother was a wonderful actress, so it's not surprising to me at all. I enjoyed my experiences, but I have to be honest and tell you they were a long time ago and they’ve kind of blurred together, though I do have some vivid memories of First Contact. So, you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t remember all the details. Your first appearance was as Nayrok in “The Hunted”… I'd played the head of some planet, I remember… Yes, you were the Prime Minister of Angosia III and you had a very prominent mustache. Right, I did (laughs), but it’s the episodes with the makeup that have stayed in my mind. Which brings us to “Birthright, Part I and II,” in which you played Jaglom Shrek. Michael Westmore and his team loved that makeup. Creating that look, it was so involved. The life mask was a very odd sensation because it wasn't quite as quick-drying as it is now. So, it took a lot more time, and I was breathing through a straw in my nose. And then the making of the mask, and then the... how meticulously it has to be glued when it's put on, so that the face itself can still move. Then, what hair I had, they curled it up and put a pin in there, and it was very tight. After about, oh, I don't know, five or six hours, man, it's like somebody is taking your head, and they have it like this (he gnarls his fingers), like squeezing it in a vise. It was very intense. But it was a great look. A couple of years later, you were back in front of Michael Westmore to play Minister Hanok in the DS9 episode “Starship Down”… That was another crazy makeup, with the long nose, and I worked with Armin Shimerman. Armin, bless his heart. I just remember how much I enjoyed working with him, because I think he's a lot of fun, and he loved that character. Next, you played Zefram Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact. Apparently, you auditioned for the role after Tom Hanks was unable to play the character due to another commitment. I was not aware of that. Is that true? Tom Hanks? All I know is I had a delightful time. They were very supportive of me. I really enjoyed Jonathan (Frakes). I allowed myself to have as much fun as I possibly could with that character. I loved his cowardice and his way of avoiding everything, and he was a delight to play. The film was very successful, and I am always amazed by the intensity of the loyalty of the people who enjoy Star Trek. It's amazing. How did they rope you in again for Enterprise, when you made your cameo as Cochrane in “Broken Bow,” the pilot? I'll be danged. I don't remember a freaking thing about it. My attention now, lately, has been on so many other things besides the work. The work, it comes and it's nice, and I don't have to make as much of effort as I did before Babe to get work, so I tend to sort of do them as well as I can and then walk away. The continuity of my life is really my politics. Photo Credit: Jose Haro Copyright: © 2016 Survival Pictures. All Rights Reserved Your politics and life as an actor really seem to intersect with your latest film, The Promise. Why did you want to be a part of this project? It's important to me, first of all, to do something that has an element of truth in it, that educates and informs, and hopefully inspires instead of just entertains. And I’m really pleased to play such an extraordinary part as the ambassador, because he's extraordinary. Heading into The Promise, how much did you know about the Armenian genocide and about Ambassador Morgenthau’s role in the events that transpired? I knew a lot about the genocide itself. I didn't know very much about Morgenthau, so I was delighted to learn, and I was incredibly impressed. I think he should probably have a movie of his own. There’s a scene in the movie where he’s asked by Talaat Pasha, "Why are you, a Jew, so interested in what's happening to Christians?" But of course, Jews are noted for that, because they went through so much, and he had helped people who had suffered in the pogroms, and did so later in Poland. So, I'm impressed with his courage, his compassion and his outrage at what he saw, and how he persisted in trying to get Wilson and the administration to support the Armenians. I think Wilson's hands were tied, the same way they were in getting into the first World War, by... interestingly enough, apropos of today, a Republican legislature that was isolationist and reactive, and totally and completely unhelpful. Photo Credit: Jose Haro Copyright: © 2016 Survival Pictures. All Rights Reserved How satisfying is it that, A, this movie actually got made, and B, that it will have a chance to be seen on a big screen? Well, the purpose of the industry is to make money. The way to make money is to repeat what you did before, which made money, to have as little imagination as possible put into the thematic content. They're just vehicles for CGI, explosions and mindless entertainment that confuses and disempowers people. So, Hollywood doesn't want to take a chance that any subject it might bring up with some importance and shine light on would offend some ticket-buyer somewhere, and that they might lose the $15. That's anathema, and they don't do it. So, I am very happy this movie was produced. Another reason why I’m happy this movie was made is that we don’t acknowledge our genocides. People say this was the first genocide of the 20th century, but when you think about what Leopold did in Belgium, that's completely unknown in this country. Somebody said, "Well, where did Belgium, where did Western Europe get all their money?" They got it from basically pillaging Africa. Not only that, the slave trade, the gold that came out of South America, and then slavery, and diamonds, and whatever else, rubber, and everything that came out of Congo and Africa, that's where Europe became the powerhouse that it was, because it looted every place else. And part of that looting, of course, is that you develop techniques of dividing people. The Belgians began it, but the Germans completed it, about setting the Hutus against the Tutsi. They arbitrarily chose the Tutsi because they were tall and the Hutus because they were short, and started what turned out to be the Rwandan genocide. We continue to repeat our history until we learn from it, and you only learn from it when it's presented to you, and you must confront it and make a choice. So, what's next for you? Marshall is done, and it'll come out in October. I play the judge in a court case that Thurgood Marshall was involved in. He was not allowed to question witnesses or make statements or anything, so he had to just go through the local lawyer, and it's when he was, of course, one of the lawyers at the NAACP, just a couple of years before he was appointed to the Supreme Court. I'm also doing the next Jurassic Park movie. We’re halfway through that. I'm playing the continuation of the Richard Attenborough part, because Mr. Attenborough, Sir Richard, is no longer with us. So, I'm playing his partner, who developed the process of cloning. And there are ramifications. That's all I can say. And I have this production of Lear, King Lear, that I want to do. I'm getting close to the age he’s supposed to be. I have two directors in Canada, one to shoot it, and the other one to direct the actors. And, by God, I hope we raise the money and do this bloody thing as a film. It’s on my bucket list. To learn more about The Promise, visit View the full article
  5. Star Trek Online: Season 12 – Reckoning is now available on Xbox One and PlayStation4, it was announced today by Perfect World Entertainment Inc. and Cryptic Studios. The newest update to the Star Trek-themed free-to-play MMORPG on consoles marks the introduction of a brand-new enemy, the dreaded Tzenkethi. Captains can now face off against this powerful, militant species on both Xbox One and PS4, as they participate in a new featured episode, two space queues and a full-space battlezone. Check out the trailer for Season 12 – Reckoning: Season 12 – Reckoning continues the mission from the last major expansion to release on consoles, Agents of Yesterday. Captains have discovered an abandoned space station from Star Trek: The Original Series next to a remote planet in the Alpha Quadrant. Upon further investigation, they learn the planet’s entire life force has been wiped out by a protomatter bomb. All signs point to the Tzenkethi, a powerful and highly intelligent warp-capable species, as the culprit. Captains must now team up with the Lukari and a Klingon escort led by General Rodek (voiced by actor veteran Trek actor Tony Todd) to stop the Tzenkethi forces from carrying out another cataclysmic attack. These events transpire in the new featured episode, “Of Signs and Portents.” Season 12 also offers console players new content to explore, including a challenging new reputation, two new space queues and new Research and Development school. A full list of features includes: New Featured Episode – In the brand-new episode, “Of Signs and Portents,” captains team up with the Lukari and a Klingon escort to fight off Tzenkethi forces. New Reputation – “The Lukari Restoration Initiative” allows players to earn marks toward weapons and gear infused with protomatter technology to defend themselves from the Tzenkethi. New Crafting School – Season 12 introduces a new Research School to the R&D System, allowing captains to create new kits and modules. Two New Space Queues “Gravity Kills” – Captains will lead an attack on a Tzenkethi protomatter facility and collect Hawking particles to drop enemy special defenses. “The Tzenkethi Front” – Players will defend the Eta Serpentis system from a Tzenkethi attack by turning their protomatter weapons against them. Full Space Battlezone – Captains will head into final frontier to lead an all-out war against the Tzenkethi, in an effort to stop the production and deployment of protomatter weapons. Go to to download and play Star Trek Online today… for free. View the full article
  6. EMERGENCY TRANSMISSION: Khan has escaped Ceti Alpha V and has taken control of the U.S.S. Reliant. This May, WizKids/NECA will release Star Trek: Attack Wing Wave 30, and has the exclusive First Look at the ships in the upcoming expansion packs, continuing with the U.S.S. Reliant (Repaint). The U.S.S. Reliant is a Miranda Class starship devoted to science and scouting missions. As such, it has a primary weapon value of 2, with 2 agility, 3 hull, and 3 shields. At Range 1, the U.S.S. Reliant becomes more potent by adding an additional +1 attack die. Players will no doubt remember the U.S.S. Reliant from the movie Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. In this Expansion Pack, Khan Singh is the Captain of the U.S.S. Reliant after taking over the ship following his escape from Ceti Alpha V. Khan Singh is as powerful as he is dangerous. With a Captain Skill of 8, there are few Captains more skilled than Khan. Khan gets his revenge through his special ability that allows him to convert Battle Stations results to Critical Hits instead of hits. You can add in a weapon that ignores shields like the Phased Polaron Beam (2nd Division Battle Cruiser or 4th Division Battleship Expansion Pack) to further cripple your enemies. Unwilling to go down without a fight, Khan’s final trick comes in the form of an Elite Talent, I Stab at Thee. If your ship was just destroyed, roll 3 attack dice and inflict the resulting damage on all ships within Range 1 of your ship. These ships do not roll defense dice against this damage. Crafty players have found ways to exploit this powerful card by combining it with Cheat Death (U.S.S. Enterprise Expansion) to blow up any ships within range again and again until nothing else is left. Khan himself would be proud! Are Auxiliary Power Tokens giving you trouble? Pavel Chekov is the answer to all your problems. Chekov’s ability allows you to remove 1 Auxiliary Power Token after performing a white maneuver. If you plan to stress your ship, Pavel Chekov is the man to have on board. Just watch out for Ceti Eels. Even if you already own the U.S.S. Reliant, you are going to want to purchase the new repaint for both its dynamic new paint job as well as the powerful upgrades it contains. Make sure to contact your Friendly Local Game Store to reserve your copy now. Visit WizKids/NECA at for additional information about Star Trek: Attack Wing. And keep an eye on for more First Looks and previews, coming soon. View the full article
  7. Want to head to the beach in Star Trek style? Now's the time, thanks to ThinkGeek, which has introduced a brand-new line of Star Trek: The Original Series Trekini Swimwear and upgraded its Star Trek: The Next Generation Trekini Swimwear line, unveiled last year. The Star Trek: The Original Series Trekini Swimwear line features stylish two-piece swimsuits that are available in an array of colors and sizes. The TOS Trekinis incorporate uniform-accurate details and a retro-inspired design. They're priced at $29.99 for top and $29.99 for bottom. View the collection at ThinkGeek celebrates TNG's 30th anniversary with its refreshed Star Trek: The Next Generation Trekini Swimwear line. They've been reimagined to be more comfortable than ever and, based on fan feedback, designed to offer an even better fit. They cost $59.99 each. View the collection at Both lines come in sizes Small to 4X and are in stock now. View the full article
  8. Kaitlin Hopkins is currently head of the Musical Theater BFA program at Texas State University, but to the general public she’s best known as an actress whose credits include Another World, Wings, The Practice, Spin City, Recue Me, several Law & Order episodes, The Nanny Diaries and Confessions of a Shopaholic, as well as Deep Space Nine and Voyager. She played Kilani, the powerful, seductive Vorta in “The Ship,” the 100th episode of DS9, and later portrayed Dala in Voyager installment, “Live Fast and Prosper,” which aired 17 years ago today. caught up with Hopkins for an extensive interview, and here’s what she had to say… How aware of Star Trek were you before your Deep Space Nine episode came along? My stepfather and I used to watch the original Star Trek together, and he was a huge fan. I remember when I booked Deep Space Nine; I thought he was going cry, he was so excited. He was an extremely successful film and television writer, so it always tickled me that Star Trek, and also the Star Wars films, made him a bit star struck. This is a guy who wrote Thunderball for Sean Connery and worked with Judi Dench and many other famous actors, but he was a massive fan of anything Star Trek. I actually think it was largely because I watched all the episodes of all the Star Trek shows that I had such a strong sense of how to play the role in the audition. I was on an international tour for a year with an opera, and the only English-speaking program on TV when we played Hamburg Germany for a month was Voyager, and when we played Helsinki, Finland, it was Murder, She Wrote. I booked both those shows when I returned. I’d watched a lot of episodes. How did you land your role as Kilana in “The Ship”? I auditioned for it. I had a wonderful agent at the time at the Gersh Agency who submitted me and was able to get me an appointment. Also, the casting director had seen my work in the theater in Los Angeles. I think that helped. What intrigued you most about the storyline, and how Kilana played such a major role in pushing the story forward? I just loved that the writers were willing to take a risk and trust that basically two people just standing still for the large majority of the episode, negotiating, was going to be compelling enough to sustain the audience. I have to say, and not because I was in it, but I thought the writing on DS9 was incredible, but most especially I thought the structure of the storytelling and writing on that episode was both unique and brilliant. How did you enjoy working with Avery Brooks? Wow, well, I was young actress who had been raised in the theater, and there was this great actor who I knew his work in the theater outside of his success in television. It was incredible to work opposite him in those scenes. He has such incredible focus and plays strong intentions with high stakes. Nothing is ever causal in his work. I knew that going in and really took the time to study a few of the more-recent episodes in terms of style and tone, so I could match whatever he gave me in the scenes. I knew to hold my own with him, I was going to have to work hard on this character and be very specific with every word I said. I have to say, it was also a little intimidating to be (one of) the first female Vorta. I knew the network executives and creative team on the show, were extremely invested in everything being perfect when introducing a new character, so there was a pressure there to do it well. Even though I was a small part of the Star Trek legacy, I felt a responsibility to make sure I really fit into the world, if that makes sense. The acting style on the shows was so specific and you see that reflected in the number of actors who came from classical Shakespearean backgrounds. Anyway, it was an honor to work with Avery. He is a consummate professional, a gentleman and a great, great actor. You delivered one of the episode’s best lines in one of the episode’s most memorable exchanges: "Duty? Starfleet, the Federation? You must be pleased with yourself. You have the ship to take back to them. I hope it was worth it.” How tricky was it to get that line, and the whole scene, just right? Ha-ha, well, what I remember was thinking, “Holy cow, I have some great dialogue as this character,” and frankly, when a character is that well defined in the text, it isn’t that hard. Your job becomes not to screw it up, and let the text do its job. Seriously, I still have that script. I kept it because if you’re a nerd like I am -- raised by a writer, and married to one too -- you look at the structure of the words on the page and it is so clear how to deliver the lines. The rhythm of how she spoke, versus how the Captain spoke, and how carefully she chose her words... She would think about everything before she spoke, never revealing anything, trying to read the Captain first before she made her next move. That was what I loved about playing that scene so much. There wasn’t a lot on the page, but they allowed for the scene to be played in behavior and reactions. It was like a beautifully structured tennis match. Often television, especially now, the scripts are written to do at a fast pace. Look at something like Scandal, as an example, which goes back to Aaron Sorkin and shows like The West Wing, and a fast-paced banter and characters who think on their feet. And yes, Star Trek certainly had a lot of action, too, but there was something really unique in all the Star Trek shows, that they had in common, and that was the negotiations, and taking the time to try to understand and read their opponent as the Enterprise and its crew determined their best move. It’s like a great chess game, and the tension of “The Ship” episode was incredible, watching and waiting for the next move on the board. Check, mate. I don’t feel like I can take a lot of credit for that; it was the writers. I guess the part I did well was being good at text and character analysis and being able to take what was on the page and play it. It was one of the best-written television scripts I even did. What other anecdotes can you share about the episode? The makeup transformation into a Vorta? I remember I had to get up at 2 a.m. to arrive for a 4 a.m. call time. It took about three and half hours for them to get me into hair and makeup. Actually, after I was cast they had me come to the studio lot, and they spent an afternoon trying different wigs, and costume options and took tons of photos so the executives could decide which hairstyle and costume they felt would best define the first time we saw Kilana. Actually, if you go on my website, there are two photos taken while we were shooting, but if you look in my album called “Behind the Scenes,” there is a photo from that “test” day on the studio lot, and you can see the wig is very different than what ended up on the air. They ultimately decided that one was too severe and they wanted a softer, sexier look for her. It felt more… right, too. It allowed me to play a more-calculated character who was using her softness and vulnerability as a weapon to manipulate her prey. The “test” wig was so strong, more of a warrior look, and I don’t think I could have played those qualities as effectively. I just don’t think the Captain would have fallen for it if she was that steely-looking, if that makes sense. I would have played those scenes differently, more outwardly combative, not using her looks in as manipulative a way. I love the adjustments they made the wig that finally made it into the episode. A few years go went by and you appeared in the Voyager episode “Live Fast and Prosper.” Was that the result of an offer or an audition? Either way, as far as you know, what impact did your previously being on DS9 have on you being cast for Voyager? It was an audition. And honestly, I’m not sure if having done DS9 was a factor in my being cast. I just remember I did a kickass Janeway impersonation from watching every episode. I was a big fan, as I said, and I think that more than likely was what booked it for me. This is probably not known, but there was an amazing scene in that episode where I also impersonated Seven of Nine. It was so fun playing her, and I loved that scene, but the episode was too long and ultimately, they cut it. Looking back, I wish it had been possible to get a copy of it. I think the fans would have loved it. I know I loved doing it, especially since they made my boobs huge in the costume. It was fun to pretend for a day I remotely had her figure! What did Kate Mulgrew say to you about your impersonation? She was very nice to me. I really liked her. She wasn’t on set when I shot the scene where I impersonated her, so I’m not sure how she felt about it. But I hope she would have enjoyed it. She struck me as someone with a good sense of humor. What else do you recall from shooting the episode? So glad you asked that. We shot in the middle of the desert and it was, I think, close to 113 degrees that day. The ship that we were standing on was metal. I can’t even imagine what the temperature was with the sun beating down onto that metal and these waves of heat would waft up and smack us in the face. I remember every time they yelled cut, they would bring water, trying to keep us hydrated and had shammy cloths soaked in ice water to put on our necks and wrists during breaks. So, the poor actors who were the Jem’Hadar standing behind me, their head pieces covered their heads almost completely in rubber, and we were in the middle of a scene and all of a sudden I hear a big “clunk” behind me, and the director yells “Cut!” One of them had fainted from the heat. I have to say it was one of the funniest things I have every watched, the playbacks, and all of sudden one of my Jem’ Hadar just falls out of frame. He was fine, just overheated, but that was one of those moment you were like “Oh, the things I do for love of acting!” I also remember they had special contacts made that made my eyes lavender. They were beautiful. The only other thing I remember that was really cool in terms of a “fan girl” moment I had was when I was on the studio lot and going through all the wardrobe and hair tests, I got to go into a huge costume storage area. It seemed like it was an entire sound stage in terms of size, and thousands of costumes were on electric racks, like at the dry cleaners, where you could press a button and racks of officer uniforms would fly by until they found what they wanted. It was really cool. If you could play any character from Trek other than the ones you played, who would you want to portray -- and why? That is such a hard question… I honestly don’t know, but I guess one that was a series regular, how about that? Actually, to be honest, I would have loved to have explored Kilana more. I wish it had been a character that could come back. I would have loved to have played her for a longer period of time, there was so much to work with, and I felt like I really understood what made her tick. Trek fans know you from your two episodes, but if people run into you on the street, what of your other performances are they most eager to talk about with you? Usually originating the role of Meredith in Bat Boy - The Musical, which was a huge cult hit off-Broadway. I was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and was very proud to be part of that production. Oh, and of course, soap opera fans of Another World. I played Dr. Kelsey Harrison for three years. That show was a blast. Let’s talk about the present. How long have you been the Head of Musical Theater at Texas State University? And what does it mean to you to both work so closely with your husband, Jim, and to help shape the next generation of actors? We have been here since fall of 2009. We came here right after I closed the Dirty Dancing national tour in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theatre. I was actually supposed to go back to New York and do the Broadway revival of Bye Bye Birdie, but this opportunity came along, and I am so glad I had the good sense to take it. I’m not sure I can express what an incredible thing it is to work with some of the best young talent in the country and have the opportunity to help them find their voices as artists. I also feel like the luckiest person in the world that I get to work with my husband every day. It has kind of been a theme since we met 15 years ago doing a musical called Bat Boy. We kept getting hired to do shows together and we loved working together, so we just kind of kept looking for those opportunities. Another example is a show we did called Bare: A Pop Opera. When Jim started writing plays and transitioning out of performing, I became his dramaturge and director, and when we started teaching, we taught master classes together in musical theater performance, auditioning, and acting. We still do. When I was asked to come to Texas State and design a new musical theater program, we just naturally did that together too. In addition to being the head of the MFA Dramatic Writing Program here, Jim also serves on the musical theater faculty. It’s pretty awesome to be able to have our work and personal life together. The only time it is hard is when we teach classes together on Fridays because there isn’t anyone home to walk our dogs. Thank goodness for our students; they are also excellent dog walkers. We have two corgis, Lilydale and Barkley. They are everything, they are spoiled and we are hopelessly devoted to them. IMDB lists Dutchman Revisited as an upcoming documentary, with you as one of its producers. This year is the 50th anniversary of Dutchman, so what can you tell us about the project? And about your involvement? I can’t believe you found that. My late father, Gene Persson, was the producer of both the film and original play, and my mother starred in the film, the great Shirley Knight, arguably one of the finest actresses of our time. And I’m not saying that because she is my mom. She is pretty incredible. It is a trip to be teaching at a university and realize both your parents are in textbooks, in theater history classes, film classes, African American Studies classes or all of the above. I’m extremely proud of their legacy and the impact this play had on the Civil Rights Movement. My stepmother, and my brother, Lukas, who is a film editor and screen writer, and myself, have been collecting interview footage of the creative team from Dutchman that are still with us, including my mother, of course. I’m happy to say my brother and I were able to get an incredible interview with the playwright, the incomparable Amir Baraka, before he died. Anyway, we are using those interviews as part of a documentary to include on the new DVD release. I guess I take after my father; producing is genetic. Are you still acting – or at least open to it? Yes, absolutely. I just tend to be more selective. I did a production of Present Laughter, a Noel Coward play, a few summers ago at the Two Rivers Theatre in New Jersey. It was directed by David Lee, who created and directed many episodes of Frasier. Amazing comedy director. Anyway, the cast was incredible and I couldn’t say no. I have always wanted to work with two of the actors who were also in it, Veanne Cox and Michael Cumpsty. I have watched Veanne in the film Erin Brockovich about 100 times; she is so brilliant. Fortunately, the play happened in the summer, so I didn’t have to miss teaching any classes. I have left a few other times for short gigs, like doing a reunion concert at 54 Below in New York of Bare, and also for a few play readings. Just kind of depends on what it is. I would love to do TV and film work again; it’s been a while. The last two films and shows I did were a year or so before I came to Texas State. I did The Nanny Diaries and Confessions of a Shopaholic, and also all three of the Law & Order shows. My favorite was SVU, but they were all great characters. Last question: Star Trek has been celebrating its 50th anniversary year. What does it mean to you to be a part of the franchise on this huge occasion? I’m actually so excited I’m not sure I can put it into words. I feel lucky, first of all, that I had one, let alone two experiences with Star Trek. I feel honored to be a small part of such a massive legacy. I remember at the time feeling so proud that I had been cast as a Vorta on the series, and I feel that way about being part of this anniversary. Proud. Proud to be part of the huge ensemble of actors who brought these characters and story to life on the screen. I mean, it’s Star Trek! I don’t know how it gets better than that. I remember the first time I saw one of the trading cards with my characters on them, it was amazing. Not to mention the experience on both sets was professional, and welcoming, and you know how hard those regulars worked. Every person made an effort to make me feel part of something, and they were so generous. I was fortunate enough for 30 years to consider myself a working actor. If you are lucky over the years, you get one or two opportunities to play roles you are really proud of. Kilana certainly falls into that category for me. View the full article
  9. IDW Publishing will heat up the summer with a wide array of Star Trek comic books due for release in July. There are new titles and special collections on the way, and is pleased to share details and exclusive art from the upcoming books: Star Trek: Boldly Go #10 Star Trek: Boldly Go #10, by Mike Johnson, with art by Tony Shasteen, centers on Scotty, who returns to the Yorktown base to check on construction of the new Enterprise… only to find that building the flagship comes with unexpected perils. Boldly Go #10 will run 32 pages and cost $3.99, and fans should be on the lookout for an A cover by George Caltsoudas and a B cover by Jason Badower. And then there’s also a Cryssy Cheung variant cover. Star Trek: New Visions, Vol. 5 Star Trek: New Visions, Vol. 5 is from photo-manipulator John Byrne, who serves as writer, artist and cover man. This volume collects the Star Trek: The Original Series universe stories “Swarm,” “The Hidden Face,” “Sam,” and the never-collected-before short story "More the Serpent Than the Dove." Vol. 5, which collects issues #12–14, will run 128 pages and cost $17.99. Star Trek/Green Lantern, Vol. 2: Stranger Worlds Star Trek/Green Lantern, Vol. 2: Stranger Worlds, written by Mike Johnson, with Angel Hernandez providing the art and cover, spans 152 pages and continues the epic crossover adventures, Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War. In it, Captain Kirk and Hal Jordan lead the combined might of Starfleet and the Lantern Corps on an all-new adventure against new foes. It’ll cost $24.99. Also available: Star Trek/Green Lantern TP Spectrum War; $19.99. Star Trek: The Classic UK Comics, Vol. 3 Star Trek: The Classic UK Comics, Vol. 3 features the efforts of writers John Stokes, Jim Baikie, John Canning, Ron Turner and Frank Bellamy. This third volume reprints all comics from 1972 to 1979 and concludes the series that presents the complete Star Trek UK comics. Bonus material includes various one-shots and annuals, as well as strips created for various merchandise and toys. guest blogger Rich Handley provides the second half of a detailed encyclopedia of all things Star Trek from these British comics. Vol. 3 will run 272 pages and cost $49.99. Star Trek: TNG: Mirror Broken #3 Star Trek: TNG: Mirror Broken #3 (of 6) is by Scott Tipton & David Tipton, with art by J.K. Woodward, an A cover by Woodward and a B cover by George Caltsoudas. In it, the heist is on, as Jean-Luc Picard and his cadre of mutineers set their plan into action, with the spoils the greatest prize of all: the Empire's only Galaxy-class starship, the U.S.S. Enterprise. Broken Mirror #3 will run 32 pages and $3.99. And be on the lookout for a variant cover by Tony Shasteen. Star Trek Waypoint #6 Star Trek Waypoint #6, which traverses both the TOS era and the never-before-seen Phase II era, is by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko, with Gabriel Hardman and Christopher Herndon providing the art. Gabriel Hardman crafts the A Cover and Tom Whalen is on the B Cover. The story follows Nurse Chapel as she questions whether or not to continue her medical training… until a shuttle incident prompts her to make decisions that will forever change her future. In the second story, Captain Kirk is forced to work with the Romulans after a biological weapon is unleashed, with unexpected - and surprising - results. Waypoint #6 will run 32 pages and cost $3.99. For additional details, contact your local comic book retailer or visit to find a store near you. Keep an eye on for additional details about the IDW's upcoming Star Trek adventures, as well as exclusive First Looks at covers and preview pages. View the full article
  10. Captain Kirk and Commander Kruge together again? Not quite, but it'll be the next best thing, as Star Trek III: The Search for Spock adversaries William Shatner and Christopher Lloyd are set to reunite for the romantic comedy Senior Moment, according to the trade paper Variety. As previously reported, via Variety, "Shatner plays a retired Top Gun Navy pilot who used to test aircraft for NASA. After speeding around town in his vintage convertible hot rod with his best friend (played by Lloyd) in tow, he gets caught in a major crackdown to get dangerous senior drivers off the road, resulting in his car being impounded and his license revoked." Lloyd is currently on view in the film Going in Style. Production on Senior Moment will commence in the next few weeks. View the full article
  11. Red Alert! The Borg are invading Gale Force Nine’s Star Trek: Ascendancy hobby board game later this year. The Borg Assimilation expansion adds an all-new threat to the game. The Borg are an independent menace, attacking players’ ships and assimilating civilized worlds. If the Borg are not dealt with, they could overwhelm the Galaxy. Can the great civilizations put aside their rivalries long enough to face the Borg as a united front? Or will they try to combat the Borg onslaught individually, seizing Borg technology for themselves? The game expansion contains everything you need to add this galactic threat to your game, including a Borg Command Console and Cube Combat Card, 6 Borg Cubes and 6 Borg Spires game pieces, and 18 Borg Assimilation Nodes, as well as 20 Borg Tech Cards, 30 Borg Command Cards, 7 new System Discs and 20 Borg-themed Exploration Cards. The Borg can imperil the game in two ways. Players will encounter the Borg while exploring the Galaxy; a ship may discover a Borg Cube when they explore a new system or they may discover an entire planet that has already been assimilated by the Borg and is the process of constructing a Borg Cube. Or players may start the game with the Borg invading the Alpha Quadrant by starting with the Transwarp Hub System in play. Each turn, a Borg Cube may emerge from the Transwarp Hub and attempt to assimilate players and neutral civilizations. Any System assimilated by the Borg will begin to build new Borg Cubes. The Borg are controlled by a unique Command Deck. During a game round, the Borg take a turn, just as if they were a player. When the Borg turn begins, they build new Assimilation Nodes on Borg-controlled worlds. When enough nodes have been built, the Borg World launches a new Cube. Each Cube then takes a series of actions. First a Cube will engage any players’ ships in adjacent Sectors in space combat. A Borg Cube is formidable in battle, so players with have to muster vast fleets of Starships if they hope to defeat the Borg. The Borg attack indiscriminately, so players from opposing factions may find themselves making a stand together against the Cube. Next, a Borg Command Card is drawn for the Cube and the Cube will execute the orders on that card, often moving towards developed star systems targeted for assimilation. Finally, if Cube ends its movement in a developed system, it will attack the world in an attempt to assimilate the population and its technology. If successful, the Borg will erect a Spire on the planet to harvest its resources and construct additional Cubes. Then the next Cube will execute its actions until every Cube in play has taken a turn. Unless players can deal with the onslaught of the Borg, they threaten to overrun the quadrant. While the Borg represent an existential threat to the entire Galaxy, a player’s goal remains the same: to become the dominant civilization - either through cultural ascendancy or military conquest. The onslaught of the Borg makes that goal much more difficult to achieve. It's all hands to battle stations when Star Trek: Ascendancy – Borg Assimilation invades game stores in late summer! Assimilate more Borg information in the coming weeks at View the full article
  12. Garak and Dr. Pulaski assume the spotlight in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine -- Enigma Tales, the latest Trek novel by Una McCormack, author of Typhon Pact: Brinkmanship, The Fall: The Crimson Shadow and the DS9 stories Hollow Men and The Missing. is pleased to share an exclusive First Look at the cover of Enigma Tales and details about the adventure. Here's the official description: Elim Garak has ascended to Castellan of the Cardassian Union... but despite his soaring popularity, the imminent publication of a report exposing his people's war crimes during the occupation on Bajor looks likely to set the military against him. Into this tense situation come Dr. Katherine Pulaski — visiting Cardassia Prime to accept an award on behalf of the team that solved the Andorian genetic crisis — and Dr. Peter Alden, formerly of Starfleet Intelligence. The two soon find themselves at odds with Garak and embroiled in the politics of the prestigious University of the Union, where a new head is about to be appointed. Among the front-runners is one of Cardassia’s most respected public figures: Professor Natima Lang. But the discovery of a hidden archive from the last years before the Dominion War could destroy Lang’s reputation. As Pulaski and Alden become drawn into a deadly game to exonerate Lang, their confrontation escalates with Castellan Garak—a conflicted leader treading a fine line between the bright hopes for Cardassia’s future and the dark secrets still buried in its past... Star Trek: Deep Space Nine -- Enigma Tales will run 368 pages. It will be available as a mass market paperback, eBook and audio download on June 27, priced at $7.99 (U.S.)/$10.99 (Canada). Go to to pre-order it . View the full article
  13., for our latest weekly poll, asked Which alien species would you want to portray in an episode? The reply options included Andorians, Bajorans, Borg, Cardassians, Changelings, Ferengi, Klingons, Q Continuum, Romulans and Vulcans. Thousands of fans voted, and here are the results: Vulcans (22%) Q Continuum (20%) Klingons (16%) Borg (10%) Andorians (8%) Romulans (7%) Bajorans (6%) Cardassians (5%) Changelings (3%) Ferengi (2%) And how did your alien species of choice fare? View the full article
  14. Zachary Quinto's Star Trek adventure began on April 15, 2007. It's a little known fact, but on this day a full decade ago, the actor -- then best known for portraying the villainous Sylar on Heroes -- met with the producers of what would soon emerge as Star Trek (2009) to discuss the possibility of him playing Spock. That meeting obviously went well. By that June, Star Trek (2009) producer-director J.J. Abrams cast him as Spock, with Leonard Nimoy's personal blessing. Quinto, of course, subsequently played the logical half-Vulcan/half-human in Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond, and he and Nimoy enjoyed a close friendship that endured until Nimoy's passing in 2015. View the full article
  15. Our heroes keep passing away at an increasingly alarming rate, but so too do our villains. Neither, it seems, triumphs in the end. Michael Ansara -- who would have turned 95 years old today; he died in 2013 at the age of 91 -- played both hero and villain, and some characters in between. But in reading the first two obituaries I caught in the mainstream media following his death four years ago, I was struck by the prominence that his part as Klingon Captain Kang in Star Trek's "Day of the Dove" received. It was the very first credit noted in both obits! You know, in that "Humphrey Bogart, star of Casablanca" way. About this, I had -- and still have -- mixed feelings. On one hand, as a fan, I'm delighted by Star Trek's continuing visibility and its influence on pop culture outlasting so many formerly-fashionable entertainment phenomena. And on the other hand, well, Kang really wasn't Ansara's most important role (though, sure, it's important to us here in Trekland). No, I'd argue, first, to consider the Westerns. Ansara was the star of two pioneering TV Westerns, portraying Cochise in Broken Arrow (1956-58, derived from an earlier Jimmy Stewart film) and Marshal Sam Buckhart in the 1959-60 series Law of the Plainsman (one of Ansara's favorite acting jobs ever). Both are all but forgotten today, having no real afterlife I'm aware of in TV Valhalla (i.e. reruns, VHS/DVD releases, replay on nostalgia networks, streaming availability). In both shows, the Syrian-born Ansara portrayed Native American protagonists in a medium whose only significant previous Indian hero had been The Lone Ranger's Tonto. "I was sort of an innovator," Ansara said in 1996. "I helped make them real, human people." Several Indian tribes across America responded by making Ansara a blood brother. With his then-wife Barbara Eden, he took a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (Irwin Allen's 1961 movie that spawned the later TV series). He showed up on Lost in Space and Allen's other SF TV shows, too. Ansara also guested as the Blue Djinn (and other characters) on Eden's hit sitcom I Dream of Jeannie (even directing an episode). There were countless TV gigs (among them The Fugitive, Perry Mason, Rawhide, Hawaii Five-O, Mission: Impossible and The Untouchables). He made movies both major (as Judas Iscariot in The Robe, 1953's Julius Caesar, Harum Scarum with Elvis Presley) and minor (Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, The Manitou, Day of the Animals). I really liked (i.e., loathed) him as a bad guy in Guns of the Magnificent Seven and The Comancheros (facing John Wayne). He was even Killer Kane in the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century TV series (though not its movie/pilot). To me, though, his two most pivotal performances came in black & white ("Soldier" on the original Outer Limits) and cartoon color (Batman: The Animated Series' "Heart of Ice"). Ansara was riveting as the brutal (and brutalized) Qarlo, an ultra-violent "Soldier" from tomorrow inadvertently come to our time to (perhaps) kill in the Harlan Ellison-scripted, 1964 Outer Limits classic (an admitted inspiration for The Terminator). Almost three decades later, Ansara only needed his voice to portray the cold but compelling Mr. Freeze in the acclaimed "Heart of Ice" (which won writer Paul Dini an Emmy). It offered a new take on an old Batman baddie, making Dr. Victor Fries (a.k.a. Mr. Freeze) not a villain, but a chilling figure of pathos, a lonely, maddened scientist driven to crime to implement a cure for his diseased, cryogenically frozen wife. If that icy scenario seems familiar now, it's because the 1992 "Heart of Ice" incarnation then became DC Comics' standard for Freeze's subsequent comic book appearances. The 1997 live-action flick Batman & Robin cannibalized the characterization and some story points -- but Arnold Schwarzenegger, the once and future Terminator, did a terrible job at following Ansara in this role. Ansara also voiced Freeze in Batman cartoon spinoff programs and the 1998 direct-to-DVD animated film Batman & Mr.Freeze: SubZero. So, considering all this, did "Day of the Dove" really deserve that obituarial honor as the most identifiable Ansara role over some of these other credits? Perhaps. Personally, I'd give it to Broken Arrow or "Soldier." You may feel differently. The New York Times, at least, in their obituary (which I read later) gave equal billing to Cochise and Kang, contrasting them as warriors from different times. As for Klingon Captain Kang, "What a magnificent character to play!" Ansara exclaimed when Starlog interviewed him (twice, Mark Phillips in issue #138, Tom Weaver, #225). "Immediately, just from reading the script, I knew how special the role was and how rare it was to find a character like this in either television or film. Kang had nobility and that's a quality that I have always been fascinated by. People seemed to like [that 1968 segment], and I loved doing it." Ansara reprised the role 26 years later -- along with fellow Klingons John Colicos (Kor) and William Campbell (Koloth), "a very, very close friend" -- on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in 1994. "They [the producers] were a little worried, they thought we were rickety old men," Ansara told Weaver, "and they wondered if we could climb the stairs and do the swordfights. We sort of laughed about it." Despite the "miserable-to-put-on" newish Klingon makeup, Ansara thought DS9's "Blood Oath" was "fun. As I understand, it turned out to be one of the best episodes." He was Kang again in Star Trek: Voyager's "Flashback" in 1996. Ansara also returned to DS9, briefly playing another character, one of Lwaxana Troi's husbands, in "The Muse." But, I certainly agree with that critical assessment of "Blood Oath." It's bloody good. In fact, that DS9 episode is what brought the Klingons Three (Ansara, Colicos, Campbell) to the May 1995 SeaTrek Cruise, which is where I met him. The major Trek celebs and "the little people" (minor guests like Starlog Special FX Editor David Hutchison and me) got to clamber aboard ship ahead of regular cruisegoers. "Hutch" and I soon headed to the early buffet, got plates heaping with goodies and grabbed a table portside. Not long afterward, my pals Bill and Tereza Campbell ambled by with their trays and joined us. Ten minutes later, Campbell flagged down Michael Ansara and third wife Beverly, who had been forlornly looking for a place to eat. Introductions were made by Campbell (the most extroverted guy I've ever met) and they sat down for lunch. Sorry to say but Klingon was not spoken. Ansara seemed a little reticent, reserved, yet regal; his head, entirely shaven bald, was striking, a unique look he had apparently returned to after initially going full Picard in the 1960s for a production of The King and I. Today, 22-plus years later, I only vaguely recall the topics of conversation (cruising, Hollywood, Trek fans, etc.). To me, Ansara appeared far more shy than the characters he had portrayed. Circumspect is really the right word to describe him. Maybe he was overwhelmed by the cruise or our mutual friend Campbell (anyone might seem shy compared to Campbell's exuberance), or perhaps merely careful while dining with strangers from Starlog. Maybe, though, it's just me. I already knew almost all the other cruise celebs. And I admit to being a tad in awe of Ansara. After all, he had worked with Abbott & Costello, Peter Lorre and John Wayne. But, I did take the opportunity then to arrange contact info for that second Starlog interview, conducted months later by film historian Tom Weaver, so Ansara could talk to us about more than just Star Trek. That's when Ansara declared, "I was never considered a leading man -- maybe a leading character actor," before listing his career regrets to Weaver. "You never think you do quite as much as you would like to do. I would have liked to have done more, gotten bigger, more important. But on the other hand, I had a long, long career, longer than so many people who would come, make a flash and disappear. So, I really have no complaints, and yet -- who is ever satisfied? You always would have liked to have done more." David McDonnell, "the maitre’d of the science fiction universe," has dished up coverage of pop culture for more than three decades. Beginning his professional career in 1975 with the weekly "Media Report" news column in The Comic Buyers’ Guide, he joined Jim Steranko’s Mediascene Prevue in 1980. After 31 months as Starlog’s Managing Editor (beginning in October 1982), he became that pioneering SF magazine’s longtime Editor (1985-2009). He also served as Editor of its sister publications Comics Scene, Fangoria and Fantasy Worlds. At the same time, he edited numerous licensed movie one-shots (Star Trek and James Bond films, Aliens, Willow, etc.) and three ongoing official magazine series devoted to Trek TV sagas (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager). He apparently still holds this galaxy’s record for editing more magazine pieces about Star Trek in total than any other individual, human or alien. View the full article