Vic

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  1. What do Jonathan Frakes, Avery Brooks, Roxann Dawson, Rene Auberjonois, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton, Andrew Robinson, Robert Duncan McNeill, Tim Russ and Robert Picardo all have in common? Not only did they star/guest star on The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and/or Enterprise, but they directed episodes of Trek as well. To do so, each of them – beginning with Frakes – had to matriculate through Trek’s so-called “Directors’ School” and earn their shot. And the headmaster, so to speak, was Rick Berman, executive producer of TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. Berman established the unofficial program in order to prep his Trek actors to step behind the camera. The result was some top-notch Trek hours, not to mention the development of several actors-turned-directors who are now among Hollywood’s most firmly established go-to directors, notably Frakes, Dawson, Burton and McNeill, while Russ has directed numerous shorts and indie features. Starting today, StarTrek.com will shine a spotlight on the “Directors’ School,” chatting first with Berman and, in coming weeks, several of the school’s graduates. How, when, and why did the so-called directors’ school come about? Jonathan Frakes, who I was very close to, personally and professionally, was very interested in directing. This was around season two. My theory on that was it was a slippery slope. There were a lot of potential pitfalls. What do you do if their episode is mediocre? On the other hand, actors were extremely good candidates for episodic directing simply because they lived their lives on the sets. They saw everything that went on, technically. Being actors, they knew everything that was going on dramatically, they spoke actor-ese and they’d see the technical elements of production and camera work going on. They seemed, in a sense, better candidates for potential directors than technical people. If a cameraman or an assistant director wanted to direct – and there are exceptions to this rule -- they know the technical elements, but they don't speak the actor-ese. They don't understand how, necessarily, to deal with actors and to deal with character work. It's much easier for an actor who's directing to talk to the director of photography or sound man or production designer, and get information of a technical nature than it is for an assistant director to have somebody to discuss, “How do I talk to an actor about his performance?” So, actors always seemed to me to be decent candidates for directing. However, what I said to Jonathan was, "You need to spend some time shadowing other directors. You need to spend time going through the whole process, going through the script, going through pre-production and all the prep a director does, spending time with directors on the stage, spending time with the director as he's prepping each day's work and spending time with the director in editing." This was not always easy, because these actors were busy. They didn't have time to necessarily do that because they were working. So, they had to find time. And my feeling was if they really had a passion to do this, they’d make it their business to find time. At some point, whether it was Jonathan or me or somebody else, it became known as "going to school" prior to getting a directing assignment. Jonathan spent numerous episodes, when he was light in an episode, going to school. Even when he was busy and had a full load of pages on a specific episode, he’d find time, whether it was lunch hours, before work, after work, scenes he wasn't doing, to do all the things I mentioned before. Who were some of the directors you had them shadow, and why those directors? Or was it just whoever was working? It was whoever was working, but obviously it’d be better for them to shadow directors who were strong and directors who’d be nurturing. There would be some directors who wouldn't give a damn about some actor shadowing them around and then there’d be others who’d love to help them and to talk them through it. Corey Allen and numerous other directors in the early days I knew well enough to know that they’d be good to these actors who were shadowing them, and especially, specifically, Jonathan because he was the first. I encouraged Jonathan to then spend as much time with that director as possible. After multiple episodes of school, of working with directors on script work and prep and shooting and cutting, I, in talking to the directors that were being shadowed and in talking to people on the stage, talking to the director of photography, I got a feeling that Jonathan understood and was prepared, and we gave him his first shot. And he hit it out of the ballpark. He did a terrific job. That led to, obviously, additional assignments. You turn on television nowadays and you see so often that actors are directing. But it's difficult when you're acting and you have to be in scenes and you have to be prepping for scenes and be in makeup and in wardrobe and all that, and also be directing. But we’d try to find a way to make that work. It felt like a number of your actors-turned-directors got great scripts to work with. How did you decide which script an actor received? Was that purely a function of where they fell in line in the director rotation, or was it random? There really wasn’t a director rotation. The scripts the actors got, that was just luck of the draw. Did the process you described evolve over the years from series to series, or was the template that you established with Jonathan pretty much what carried through to the very end? It pretty much is what carried through to the very end. You have to remember, these actors spent hundreds of days a year on the set watching cameramen, watching lighting, watching how shots were set up, watching how setups were done and how many shots it would take to get a scene done, and at what point it would be too much and they would fall behind in terms of time. They would learn and they would see it and they were constantly observing because that's what they lived on the set. But they had to learn a lot more, and the process of what they had to learn was pretty basic. I don't think that that process changed from year to year or from show to show. You had 12 actors who became directors. In general, how pleased were you with their efforts? I was happy to give everyone the opportunity. Let me tell you that Jonathan was the first and, I think, probably the most successful in terms of Star Trek. He went on to direct two of our movies and then to direct other movies and to do a lot of directing in other television series. After Jonathan, the highlights that come to mind -- and it's years later -- would be LeVar Burton and Robbie Duncan McNeill and Roxann Dawson, who did remarkable jobs directing and who have all gone on to careers as directors on numerous television series. And because we had different series, these actors we're talking about, the four that I've just mentioned, as well as a number of the others, would get assignments on future Star Trek shows that we did. Jonathan, of course, is directing Discovery now. How much pride do you take in having given them their breaks as directors? You've got to feel good -- and they've got to be appreciative of you. Oh, I think they’re all appreciative, which makes me feel terrific. In the case of Jonathan, who's still a very close friend, I feel very proud that I put him through his paces and that he ended up setting an example, because every future actor/director knew they had to do what Jonathan had done and they all knew what Jonathan went through. In the case of Roxann, Robbie, LeVar and some of the others, it's great to be able to give somebody an opportunity to do something that bolsters their career and gives them a whole new vocation. Acting is a tentative life, and to have a second career is helpful and creative and financially beneficial. So, it makes me feel terrific, and it does that in the same way that there are some actors that we gave a first job to that have become successful. People like Dwayne Johnson, whose first acting job I think was on Voyager, and he's a world-renowned movie star now. You could say the same about Tom Hardy, who never had a role bigger than a couple of lines prior to getting his role in Nemesis. Now, he’s a world-class movie star. So, that's a good feeling, too. There's luck involved in all that, but when you give somebody a first shot and then they manage to take advantage of it and let their talent soar and allow them to build a career, it feels good. Keep an eye on StarTrek.com for our next "Directors' School" feature, an interview with Jonathan Frakes. View the full article
  2. Which quadrant would be most interesting to explore? That's the question StarTrek.com posed for our latest weekly polls. And the options from which fans could choose were, of course, Alpha Quadrant, Beta Quadrant, Gamma Quadrant and Delta Quadrant. Thousands of fans voted, and here are the results: Delta Quadrant (34%) Gamma Quadrant (26%) Alpha Quadrant (24%) Beta Quadrant (16%) Where among the results did YOUR quadrant of choice land? Be sure to vote in this week's poll... View the full article
  3. It's Father's Day, when dads across the galaxy enjoy a special day of lie-ins, breakfasts in bed and general pampering. Star Trek has featured a number of memorable fathers… who raise their children in many different ways. Over the five decades of Star Trek, we've seen biological fathers, creators who are de facto dads, estranged fathers and foster fathers. To celebrate the big day here's a look at eight Star Trek father figures. Ben Sisko Arguably the most inspirational father figure in all of Star Trek. After the loss of his wife Jennifer at the Battle of Wolf 359, Benjamin raised his young son Jake alone, steering him through the devastating loss of his mother on a journey that would take father and son to Utopia Planitia shipyards, where Sisko would work on the U.S.S Defiant and on to Deep Space Nine, and Benjamin's first command. The seven years together on the station brought them closer together. As Jake grew into adolescence and young adulthood, so the elder Sisko also grew, from commander to captain to emissary of the Bajoran people, a destiny that would eventually see father and son torn apart as Benjamin sacrificed himself to save Bajor, leaving his son to carry on in the world with the lessons his father imparted. George Kirk As far as legacies to live up to go, the Kelvin timeline version of James Kirk had a rock to climb, born as he was in the moments before the death of his father. George Kirk made a decision that not only saved the 800 souls of the U.S.S. Kelvin, but served as inspiration for his son James, who would battle through difficult times to join Starfleet and ultimately exceed his father’s achievements countless times. In 12 minutes, George made decisions far beyond his rank and years, defending the crew of the Kelvin while under fire from the Narada, disabling its weapons and setting the Kelvin on a collision course that severely crippled the massive Romulan vessel. Dared by Captain Pike to join Starfleet, James Tiberius (named James for his maternal grandfather and Tiberius for his paternal grandfather) engaged his tenacity and daring spirit to save billions of lives. Sarek Known throughout the galaxy by factions of every stripe as a skilled and impartial ambassador, you could be forgiven for believing that the Vulcan Sarek was better suited to the trials of diplomacy than the tribulations of fatherhood, and yet – despite the inevitable ups and downs of life - he was father to three children who would go on to have lives of deep significance. His firstborn Sybok was the son of Sarek’s first wife, a Vulcan princess who died shortly after Sybok’s birth. His second son was Spock, a Human/Vulcan hybrid who would become one of the most decorated Starfleet officers ever and a proponent for Vulcan/Romulan reunification. His third child was not of his flesh, but was certainly of his spirit. Michael Burnham, the human who shared Sarek’s stubborn streak and used it to her advantage during the U.S.S. Discovery’s mission in the Mirror Universe. Data While other fathers may have physically created their progeny, there are few who could claim to have been so personally affected by their offspring’s journey as Lt. Commander Data. Keen to push the boundaries of his programming, and keenly aware of the biological process of reproduction, Data took it upon himself to create his own next generation in the form of Lal. Initially created as part of his own exploration of human emotions and to recreate the work of his own creator, Noonien Soong, Data soon came to realize that there were far more elements to raising a daughter. Regrettably, a sequence of events put stress on Lal and her neural net failed. Determined for her loss to not be in vain, Data assimilated her memories into his own neural net. Miles O'Brien Star Trek's everyman, Miles O'Brien reveled in the challenges of fatherhood. He served as transporter chief of the U.S.S. Enterprise before transferring to DS9, where he was chief of operations, a role that was the perfect fit for Starfleet's Mister Fix-it. Despite his passion for the job and the long hours it brought with it, O'Brien found love with botanist Keiko Ishikawa, marrying on the Enterprise and later taking his young family -- which now included daughter Molly -- to DS9, where they'd take root. A devoted father, Miles managed to find that all-elusive balance between work and home life to give Molly and their son Kirayoshi the stable home they needed - even when unbelievable events happened... such as Molly falling into a time portal and returning 10 years older - and weathering his occasional spats with the fiery Keiko. Sergey Rozhenko Few could have ever guessed that the first Klingon in Starfleet and a man dedicated to loyalty, honor and the delicate balance between cultures could have been raised on a small farming world to two most unlikely parents, Sergey and Helena Rozhenko. However, once we met them it made all the sense in the world. A former chief petty officer, Sergey was a warp core specialist aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid when he embarked on an away mission that resulted in the discovery of a young Klingon, Worf. Sergey and Helena fought to adopt the young boy, moving to Gault with their son Nikolai, who Worf would see as a brother. Firm, fair and wise to a fault, Sergey gave Worf the stable, loving background that formed the bedrock of his ever-evolving understanding of humans. Without this barrel-chested Starfleet officer in his corner, Worf may never had the courage to brave the storm and join Starfleet. James T. Kirk The Prime timeline version of James T. Kirk had a distinctly different destiny to that of his Kelvin counterpart. Being further down his timeline than his younger mirror image, fatherhood raised its head. His arrival with Spock and McCoy at the research station Regula-1 brought mystery, death and the beginning of a clash with an old enemy that would both take a brother in Spock and give him a son he never knew he had in the form of David Marcus. Ready for action, but not the great adventure of fatherhood, Kirk struggled with his new role. That future was wrenched from him just weeks later when David was murdered by the order of Klingon Commander Kruge on the Genesis planet. Ironic, that Genesis should give and take the life of his son and take and give the life of his “brother,” Spock. Admiral Owen Paris An admiral in Starfleet, Owen Paris was highly regarded throughout the Federation for his strength of conviction and strict adherence to the Prime Directive, the keystone of the UFP. His son Thomas was also well known… for his insubordination and for his difficult path through Starfleet Academy and eventual role in the Maquis, which ultimately led to a penal colony in New Zealand. With Janeway taking a chance on Tom and Voyager stranded in the far-distant Delta Quadrant, Admiral Paris oversaw the Pathfinder project, designed to make contact with Voyager and guide them home. Despite his disappointment with Tom, the increased contact with Voyager via the Midas Array helped melt the ice that had frozen between father and son, completing a personal journey just as Voyager ended its own galaxy-spanning trip. So, happy Father’s Day to Trek’s dads… and to all the dads out there. Mark Newbold has been an avid Trek fan since the 1970's, when TOS was shown on UK TV, but it was the original cast movie series and TNG era that sealed the deal. Mark is a writer for Star Trek The Official Magazine, is editor-in-Chief of Star Trek: The Neutral Zone and was a stage host at Destination Star Trek Germany in 2018. At heart he's a Niner. Follow him on Twitter. View the full article
  4. June 16th is Captain Picard Day. How June 16th got picked is still a little vague to me – but those with slide rules bigger than mine determined that Stardate 47457.1 is June 16th. In the episode “The Pegasus” we watched as the Enterprise's children presented works of art dedicated to the noble captain of the NCC-1701-D. Since I can't sing (out of the shower) or paint or sculpt (again, out of the shower) I will not be showing off any of my creations today (you’re welcome). I will, however, offer up what I was put on this blue dot to do, list my favorite Captain Picard moments. I fully recognize that this could be among the most contentious One Trek Mind columns in recent times. Know that my initial brainstorm consisted of upwards of 47 picks, and that, frankly, this list might look different on any other day. Nevertheless a line must be drawn. Ready to engage? Make it so. 11 – Fighting the Nausicaan It's a wonderful 24th century life. During a Near Death Experience (or is it after Death?) Q shows Picard what his life would have been like if he didn't get in a tumble with a Nausicaan during his youth. He would not have needed an artificial heart (and therefore wouldn't be struggling to hang on in Dr. Crusher's sick bay after an away team mishap), but he wouldn't have become the noble Leader of Men we've come to admire. In “Tapestry,” Picard decides that it is better to die now, knowing that he lived a life of greatness, rather than to be another poor slob caught up in the drudgery of a mediocre life. (Hey! What about us poor slobs! This episode is offensive to us!) Picard accepted his fate, went back and fought the Nausicaan. Luckily (or by Q's hand?) he survives his injuries from the present time away mission and life continues as before. 10 – Making a Happy Face in Explosive Gas Cloud Some people are angry drunks. In my experience this usually means they are an unhappy or, at least, irritable person to be around. Others, however, get really silly, and this probably means they are happy and fun. Captain Picard, the finest and bravest and clearest-thinking Captain in Starfleet is, deep down, a good egg. We know this because when his mind was intoxicated by the effects of Temporal Narcosis in the episode “Timescape,” he felt compelled to draw a smiley face in a hovering cloud of gas near a warp core breach. Before he collapsed in pain, he didn't just giggle, he pointed to his accomplishment with pride. That is a guy you want with you on your Aberdeen pub crawl! 9 – Fighting for Android Rights Captain Jean-Luc Picard, the Atticus Finch for artificial intelligence. Intelligence? Check. Self-awareness? Check. Consciousness? Who's to say? And with that line of reasoning, Picard proves that you can't prove that Data isn't sentient. (Read that line again, because I swear it makes sense.) Apart from leading us all on an intellectually stimulating thought experiment, the second-season episode “The Measure of a Man” was crucial in establishing just how integral Data was to the camaraderie of the Enterprise crew. By this point, everybody relied on him and loved him. Except Dr. Pulaski. Maybe that was why she had to go. 8 – Speaking in Metaphors It takes a certain kind of man to listen patiently while a lizard-head alien babbles incoherent phrases until it starts to make sense. In “Darmok,” Picard's patience and penchant for abstract thought enables him to break the communication barrier between the Federation and the Tamarians. Soon he is able to translate phrases like “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra” not in a literal sense, but to interpret what they symbolize metaphorically. After this episode, more adventuresome Trek fans could refer to amorous encounters as “Picard and Vash at Risa.” 7 – Meeting Sisko The Deep Space Nine pilot “Emissary” does a terrific job of introducing us to many new characters and a peculiar new setting. There's a little extra bonus for Picard-lovers, though. It gives us a peek at how he reacts when confronted by people outside of his usual circle about the devastating Battle of Wolf 359. See, we know and love Picard, so we know that when he was Locutus he wasn't culpable for the onslaught of terror the Borg brought to the Federation. But try telling that to a man who lost his wife and the mother of his child. Benjamin Sisko is that man and we've just seen the trauma he survived. It's a daring move to present your new hero in conflict with a beloved character, but Picard's reaction is what sells it. He doesn't apologize, but he doesn't confront him, either. He simply… continues with his briefing. You can tell that Sisko wants to goad him, to get him to try and defend himself. He's bursting to flip a desk over. But Picard plays it cool. . . and just a tad sympathetic. Since WE are aware that the guilt is killing Picard, it is an even more powerful scene. A perfect example of some of the deep, character-driven stuff to come on Deep Space Nine. 6 – Drawing the Line This is certainly one of Picard's more badass moments, but is it something he should be proud of? Smashing up a display case in his ready room when confronted with the fact that, yeah, maybe he's letting a personal vendetta against the Borg cloud his usually stellar judgment. This infamous moment from Star Trek: First Contact is easily the most quotable, however. “The line must be drawn HERE! This far, no further!” Out of context, it sounds like he's being truly heroic, so for that alone, it deserves a spot high on the list. 5 - Solving a Problem in 3 Timelines. Q brought us into the world of The Next Generation and Q brought us out. He nearly ended it, too, with the most puzzling of his tests. Captain Picard had to outthink the godlike trickster in three different timelines, and then he has to lead three different crews to a singular point in spacetime that is so exacting it takes a two-part episode to converge upon it. It is a most fitting final adventure for our brilliant leader, and also allows us a peek into his somewhat cantankerous, very bearded future. 4– Drinks with Scotty Ah, “Relics.” Excuse me while I grab a Kleenex, this one always makes me weepy. When the freed-from-stasis Captain Montgomery Scott is given passage aboard the Enterprise-D as a guest of honor, the crew has plenty of respect for him, but not much in the way of time. Put bluntly, he's a bit of a pain, and when Scotty goes “home” to a holographic reproduction of the TOS Enterprise (“no bloody A, B, C or D!”) to drown his sorrows in Aldebaran whiskey, an off-duty Picard comes to join him. Not out of obligation or guilt, but out of genuine veneration and the hope for friendship. It is a tender moment, and that it bridges the gap between TNG and TOS so nicely just makes me. . me. . . um, excuse me. . . there's something in my eye. 3– Duet for Ressikan Flute and Mataline II Piano The Ressikan flute. Of all the tactile totems in Star Trek history, it isn't the phaser or PADD or mobile emitter or Tricorder or agonizer that has the most emotional weight. It is an old-fashioned tube of metal without flashing lights or whirring motors. While “The Inner Light” (considered by many to be the best TNG episode of them all) introduced us to it, the callback in “Lessons” a season later was, for me, even more striking. Picard has given up any normal sense of a family life for the Enterprise – and, by extension for us and our amusement. I don't know about you, but all I want is for the guy to be happy. When he meets a new Lt. Commander in charge of stellar cartography and they begin a courtship, it is adorable. That their relationship is based on a shared fondness for music is doubly meaningful, since we know just how heartbreaking Picard's “lost life” from “The Inner Light” is to him. We know that Picard's love is doomed (it has to be), but for a few scenes, watching him and his new love play music together is enough to turn you into one of those Twilight girls. 2 - There Are Four Lights We've seen the tender side, and now here's the tough. And they can't teach that at Starfleet Academy; it needs to be within you. In “Chain of Command,” Picard is brutalized physically and mentally by Gul Madred hoping to squeeze some Federation intel. But first Madred must break Picard, and he decides to do this in a very symbolic way. He points to a track of four lights and asks how many are there. When Picard says four, Madred says there are five, and until Picard agrees with him he will be tortured. This bit is taken directly from George Orwell's 1984, but nowhere in that novel do we get to see Patrick Stewart's face contorted with rage, a living symbol of resistance against oppression, bellowing with all the dignity he can muster, “There! Are! Four! Lights!” 1- Believing, Above All, In The Truth “The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth. Whether it's scientific truth, or historical truth, or personal truth. It is the guiding principle upon which Starfleet is based. If you can't find it within yourself to stand up and tell the truth about what happened you don't deserve to wear that uniform.” Picard makes a lot of great speeches, but this one is my favorite. Part of it is because I love the way the words fire out with Patrick Stewart's theatrical British inflections, and, yes, part of it is because he's handing Wesley Crusher a smackdown. But the real reason why “The First Duty” resonates so much for me is because it crystallizes Picard's respect to a certain code. It's not about the warp engines or the photon torpedoes or the transporter – it is about people. From the beginning, Gene Roddenberry gave us a vision of the future where, by and large, all of human society was working together for a common good. For this to happen, there needs to be a base level acceptance predicated on a protection, front and center, on truth. It's heavy stuff, and something that may need to be jazzed up with lasers and rubber masks, but it is an important philosophy – and so rarely is it bluntly stated as succinctly as in this scene. Now that I've said my piece (and a long piece this week, no?), you have the floor. I'm sure there are at least 10 I'm missing. What are your favorites? Jordan Hoffman is the former host of Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast. He is also a writer, critic and lapsed filmmaker living in New York City. His work can be seen on Film.com, ScreenCrush and Badass Digest. On his BLOG, Jordan has reviewed all 727 Trek episodes and films, most of the comics and some of the novels. View the full article
  5. For many of us, Star Trek is our home, someplace we enjoy spending our time. Star Trek: Discovery is like a brand-new house, and a very modern one at that. Moving into a new house can be exciting with new spaces and a whole new architecture and ascetic to explore. But any new dwelling needs a touch of the familiar, just enough to remind us that we’re home. Discovery strikes a perfect balance between the classic and new with its props. Take the Phaser Rifle from Discovery and you’ll see precisely what I’m talking about. It’s a fully modern piece of design, but takes its inspiration from Captain Kirk’s original rifle. The shape of the prop, its dimensions and especially its Tri-Barrel body are straight from 1965 (2265?), but translates that into something our modern sensibilities can believe today. It’s no easy task riding the line between the past and future, and that’s the job of Discovery prop master Mario Moreira. Mario and his team are tasked with creating the objects depicted in the future seen in Discovery while remaining ever cognizant of the fact that their show sits within a slice of time between “The Cage” and “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” and so can pull from both eras to create something new. The Phaser Rifle echoes this very well by using the three-point emitter from Captain Pike’s Laser Pistol and marrying it to Captain Kirk’s Phaser Rifle so that we get something fresh and cool. Even color can add a lot to the feel of pieces like this, and when we recently talked to Mario about the Discovery Rifle, additional touches were deliberately mirrored into the final prop: “The orange foil was a last-minute addition to ours. When we received the mock-up I realized it was too distant from the TOS version, so we took apart the cowling, and painted it to match the foil. In the end it was a subtle addition that helped tie in the design.” Something just that subtle can make or break a good prop, and that’s always on our mind when creating our replicas. Replicating props, we start with the 3D files that the originals were created from. We also work closely with people like Mario who created them to begin with, to ensure that we capture every nuance of the original piece. Then we do what we can to bring what started out life as a prop for a show into the real world. That task falls to people like John Eblan at KorbenFX, who take all the information anyone could want about a particular piece to recreate one from the ground up. In this case, all that work ensured that our replica Phaser Rifle can function just as the screen-used prop did on the show: with a retractable butt-stock that locks, light-up setting selector, light-up emitters (which change color based on how the emitter nozzle is turned), functional tactical lights, and then amazingly improve upon that by adding enhanced features such as incorporating a functional OLED screen for the targeting scope that features an interactive playback element as a Heads-Up Display (H.U.D.). Finally, having ensured that each replica looks and feels “right,” it is packaged with a Certificate of Authenticity, a display stand inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge (yet another touch of the familiar), as well as the Phaser Rifle itself. And the reason to go to such lengths to get what amounts to a make-believe artifact feel so real? So, we can bring a piece of the future into our homes… now. This piece is available at ANOVOS.com, and pre-orders are open from now until June 31, 2018, with orders estimated to start this winter. Please visit our website for pricing and further information, including how to make use of our payment plan. View the full article
  6. Star Trek Online is pleased to announce that the Archon Intel Assault Cruiser is coming to Xbox One and Playstation 4 for the very first time. Based on the success of the Sovereign-class Assault Cruiser, the Archon-class Assault Cruiser makes its debut as a sturdy starship capable of both taking a punch and delivering one of its own. It has been heavily retrofitted with state-of-the-art technology. It also comes equipped with an incremental-phase cloaking device, allowing Captains to slow the process of going to cloak, dealing and taking reduced damage. To celebrate this ship’s launch, all ships in the C-store are 20% off this weekend, until June 18th at 10am PST. Star Trek Online is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online game where players can pioneer their own destiny as Captain of a Federation starship, become a Klingon Warrior and champion the Empire through the far reaches of the galaxy, or rebuild the Romulan legacy as the commander of a Romulan Republic Warbird. In Star Trek Online, players have the opportunity to visit iconic locations from the popular Star Trek universe, reach out to unexplored star systems, and make contact with new alien species. Star Trek Online is currently available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. To download and play Star Trek Online today for free, visit www.playstartrekonline.com. View the full article
  7. Your favorite cadet just graduated Starfleet Academy… or your favorite real-world student, who happens to be a Star Trek fan -- just graduated from middle school, high school or college. What’s the perfect gift for her or him? Well, StarTrek.com is here to help, as we’ve assembled a sampling of great ideas, with the products in stock now at the Star Trek Shop, ThinkGeek and Amazon.com. Check them out – and congrats to you and your graduate… Starfleet Division Sterling Silver Trillion Necklace These are 7mm trillion-cut topaz, garnet, or citrine gemstones – a/k/a division colors -- coupled with sterling silver. Gorgeous, practical and just a touch geeky all at the same time. Priced at $129.99 per necklace; go to thinkgeek.com to purchase. Original Series Retro Tech Away Mission Bag If your recent grad is switching from school books to work items, here’s a fun, stylish way to do it. This faux-leather bag features an angled zip pocket and removable shoulder strap, as well as color inserts that mimic the TOS uniform colors. Measures 12-inches long x 7 1/2-inches tall x 4-inches wide, and priced at $44.99. Go to amazon.com to buy it. The Original Series Communicator Bluetooth Handset One of the most-popular Trek-themed products out there is this TOS communicator Bluetooth handset, which looks, feels and operates much like a beloved Trek communicator. Sleek and functional, it comes with a magnetic stand, metal base and multi-color LED charge status illumination. It costs $149.95; go to shop.startrek.com to beam it up. TNG Warp Core USB Car Charger If your graduate is driving a 21st century car, they’ll surely love this TNG Warp Core USB Car Charger. Heck, we want one (for real). The product, which sits quietly in your cupholder and charges two devices while emitting its signature blue pulsing light, is priced at $39.99. Just go to thinkgeek.com to make it so Star Trek Mugs It’s time to kick back and enjoy the coffee, right? How better to do so than with a Star Trek mug? The Star Trek Shop has dozens of drinkware products in stock, including a Discovery Black Alert Mug, a Voyager Coffee Suspension Mug, various Starfleet Academy mugs and a Live Long and Prosper Mug. They’re priced at $9.95 and up. Go to shop.startrek. TNG Bathrobe Studies are over and it’s time to relax. There’s little more relaxing than a soft TNG bathrobe in division colors. Each plush 100% polyester robe features a vinyl communicator badge on the chest. It costs $59.99 and is available at thinkgeek. Starfleet Recruitment Poster T-Shirt Can’t quite quit school even though everyone else has gone home. Then this Starfleet Recruitment Poster T-Shirt from the Starfleet Academy collection is for you. The slim-fit cotton shirt comes in Navy blue and sells for $24.95. Go to shop.startrek.com to order. Spock Gnome OK, so, sure, this Spock Gnome doesn’t exactly shout, “Graduation,” but what Trek-loving recent graduate wouldn’t want something so fun and… logical. Measuring 13.2 x 12.5 x 23.8 cm and made of durable cast poly resin to withstand the elements, the Spock Gnome can be purchased for $26.95 at shop.startrek. Cufflinks Inc Men's Star Trek Enterprise If your recent graduate is entering a real-world job but wants to show off his Trek love ever so subtly, then these Enterprise cufflinks are perfect. Made from rhodium plated silver, they measure 3/4" by 1/4" and cost $64.95. Go to amazon.com to purchase a pair. The Original Series Captain Kirk Geeki It’s party time, Trek-style, for your favorite grad. Help them get the party started with this line of TOS Geeki Tikis, among them the Gorn, Kirk, Dr. McCoy, a Klingon and the Mugato. They’re priced at $19.95 apiece and can be bought at shop.startrek.com. View the full article
  8. Can it be 2019 yet? Here's why we ask: we simply can't wait for the release of Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual: An Introduction to the Final Frontier's Most Feared Martial Art. Yes, it's real... or will be. And, yes, it'll be torture to wait that long to see what Dayton Ward has up his sleeve for his latest Trek book. In the meantime, however, StarTrek.com is thrilled to share some "in process" sketches from the Kirk Fu Manual. Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual: An Introduction to the Final Frontier's Most Feared Martial Art will kick and pound its way into bookstores on March 5, 2019 via Insight Editions. Keep an eye on StarTrek.com for additional details. View the full article
  9. Malcolm McDowell, one of the hardest-working men in showbiz, turns 75 years old today, as the star of A Clockwork Orange, If..., O Lucky Man!, Time After Time, Blue Thunder, Halloween, Heroes, Entourage, Franklin & Bash and Mozart in the Jungle, was born on June 13, 1943, in Horsforth, Yorkshire, England. The venerable actor made one memorable visit to the Star Trek universe, playing Dr. Tolian Soran in Star Trek Generations. His role got him forever labeled as "The Man Who Killed Kirk," which the cheeky actor quite likes. To celebrate his big birthday, StarTrek.com offers up 6 Things to Know About Malcolm McDowell.... Trek Before Trek Long before Generations, McDowell and Patrick Stewart met in 1965, during their time at the Royal Shakespeare Company. McDowell is fond of telling the story of how his first speaking part arose when he was across the street in a pub and they needed someone who knew the part of a king. He regaled those that came to get him by rattling off lines, but when he actually stepped on stage he got his first line horrendously wrong, so wrong that he saw the director and members of the crew turn around and start laughing. Stewart still teases McDowell about the incident to this day. So, Soran StarTrek.com talked to McDowell in 2011 about his life, career and Trek experience. Asked what interested him most about Soran, the actor replied, "Well, he’s a megalomaniac and a fun character to play. Also, visually, I loved the black clothes with the white hair, spiked up. I think that’s the first time I spiked my hair up like that. I had a wonderful hairdresser on that film and I can’t remember her name, but she changed the whole look for me. But she was great and I loved her. And Mike (Westmore), the makeup man, was brilliant. I did say, though, 'If I’m going to play this part, I don’t want a scar. I don’t want to look like a mutant. I’m not getting up at four in the morning to get in makeup.' They said, 'That’s OK, then. We didn’t want that.'" Shatner and the Stones McDowell likes to share a tale about his time working with William Shatner on Generations, one that involves no less than the Rolling Stones. StarTrek.com was there in 2014, when he told the following anecdote during a Q&A (moderated by Michael Dorn) that followed a Generations screening. According to McDowell, Generations was shooting near Las Vegas and, one night, Shatner invited him to see the Rolling Stones... with tickets producer Rick Berman had gotten them. “I thought, ‘Oh, finally, the producer is putting his hands in his pockets!’” McDowell recalled. McDowell anticipated an amazing event, only to realizes that the seats were terrible. He noted to Shatner, "Bill, this is not good for your reputation!” McDowell also described how, as they left, a group of Trek fans spotted them and raced to get on the elevator. Shatner, per McDowell, shoved his own party into the elevator and pushed and kicked at anyone else attempting to get in the elevator. This, McDowell joked, was his first taste of Trek fandom, and he then rose from his chair and reenacted Shatner’s moves, performing a Shatner-esque double-kick in the air. If We're Talking Highlights... Over the years, McDowell has amassed more than 200 credits. He's been in classics and duds, Hollywood films and indies and B-movies. Speaking to StarTrek.com in 2014, he replied as follows to several questions: His single best film? "If." His most underrated or under-appreciated film? "O Lucky Man!" he sais. "It was underrated at the time. And if you want me to give you a more recent one, I’ll say Evilenko." And, regardless of the quality of the film, his best filmmaking experience was? "Hmm…," he began. "Well, honestly, I always have a good experience making a movie. I always love it. But the very best… I’d have to say If and O Lucky Man! and Britannia Hospital with my dear friend Lindsay Anderson." Killing Kirk To this day, McDowell is referred to as "The Man Who Killed Kirk." He's fine with that, but less so with the sequence that earned him the nickname. "Pose this one for me (to the powers that be)," McDowell said to us in 2011. "If you have – which they had – this icon of American television, why the hell didn’t they give him a spectacular death? Why did they give him such a really paltry death? Me shooting the bridge out or some BS whatever it was? They should have sent him off in a glorious fashion, and they didn’t. They missed an opportunity." So, was McDowell referring to what ended up on screen in Generations, or the original version, in which Soran shot Kirk in the back? "Yeah, they re-shot," he said. "What did they reshoot? It was just as bad as the first one. And they spent several million dollars (on the reshoots). If you’re asking me, I thought it was poor, very poor, even the reshoot. They should have seen Shatner off in a big way." More McDowell McDowell likes to work and, no doubt, directors like to hire him. As prolific as ever, IMDB lists him in 18 shows and movies that are either completed or in pre-production for 2018-2019. The titles include Chicago Med, Star Wars: Rebels, Dreams I Never Had, The Unspoken and Vampires of Hollywood. View the full article
  10. Cynthia Gouw is a host, spokesperson, model, three-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, wife, mother and former actress. Star Trek fans, however, most assuredly know her best for playing Caithlin Dar, the Romulan diplomat who, along with St. John Talbot and General Korrd, came under Sybok’s spell in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. StarTrek.com is ramping up our coverage of Star Trek Las Vegas – be on the lookout for guest interviews and event previews, as well as on-site coverage and recaps – and we start today by interviewing Gouw, who’ll be among STLV’s guests. Here’s what she had to say: What are you up to these days? Flying by the seat of my pants makes me... strangely happy. Looking down the jaws of live TV or in front of an audience terrifies me, so I know I have to do it (laughing). So, I host and emcee live events for nonprofits and do product launches for high-tech and global beauty organizations. Who knew I’d be doing this now when I was easily the shyest kid in 2nd grade? Plus, when people's attention starts to flag during the presentation, I just give the Romulan death stare, and that fixes everything. My latest project is developing a podcast with my hipster friends. It’s called A-Frame Radio. It’ll be about politics, current events, arts and culture. You'll feel like you’re hanging out with your most-informed and funny friends. I get to moderate the discussion and put my best bossy pants on. My friends are even bossier than I am, so it'll be a fun and bumpy ride. What would you pick as your proudest achievements so far in your life/career? Being a mom and step-mom have been perhaps the hardest yet most gratifying roles I've had. Professionally, I’m proud of the awards for my journalism. I think, however, my proudest achievement is the diversity of my portfolio of experiences. I mean, I don't know if there are many actresses out there who are also established journalists and have a law background. I think that makes me unique. Do you miss acting? Would you give it a go if someone approached you with a juicy role? As long as my hairpiece was a little more subdued (deadpan, then laughs). Absolutely. I love playing strong women characters and I’ve been lucky to be offered quite a few. I'll be moving from Philadelphia back to my hometown of San Francisco this year, and it's a tad bit closer to L.A., so who knows? Go back to Star Trek V. What did you know about Trek at the time? I was a huge fan when I was a little girl. I’d race home to watch the show because we didn't have DVR's back then. I had a girl crush on Spock, just like I really love Snape. Tall, dark, handsome, wounded inside and just plain nerdy. I got to sit next to Leonard for 6 weeks in the makeup chair as we got our eyebrows plucked and respective Romulan and Vulcan makeups done. It was the oddest sensation. I was quite tongue-tied and starstruck. I asked Leonard if he was part Asian because it was something I always thought he was, and he said everyone asked him that. How did the project come your way? Bill Shepard, the casting director, told me I was one of 2,000 people they reviewed. They had 8 callbacks for the role, which is perhaps the most terrifying, annoying and nail-biting experience you ever want to put yourself through. Your emotions swing from protecting yourself by feigning you don't care and then swinging back to caring a great deal and then back again. When the 8th callback happened, they called in Tamlyn Tomita to audition. I also heard, going into that last audition, that I was in second place to Charlotte Lewis. Previously, I’d been in second place to Charlotte when she booked the movie The Golden Child with Eddie Murphy, so I felt I had to pull out all the stops. That news actually alleviated the stress because, at that point, I felt like I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The room was filled with people, including Harve Bennett, Ralph Winter, David Loughery. Bill was super-intense when he greeted me, which I found strangely reassuring. He read with me... and had the biggest grin on his face afterwards. In my insecurity, I thought he was just patronizing me, so I cried all the way home thinking what a waste this whole process had been. Two days later, I was sitting in my agent's office, and found out I’d booked a national Coca Cola commercial and, 5 minutes later, I found out I’d booked Star Trek. Wow, what a day. What intrigued you most about Dar? Bill implied strongly that she’s bi-racial. As a director, he let me come up with my own interpretation. So, because Caithlin feels like such an Irish/Terran first name and Dar is quite Romulan sounding, she could easily be of mixed race. She’s caught between two worlds in many ways; as a half-Terran/half Romulan and also being a diplomat, albeit a very naive and idealistic one, and as a representative of a warrior nation. In the character write-up, Caithlin is described as idealistic, someone who believed galactic peace is possible. That’s something I really related to. How did you enjoy working with David Warner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, etc? David kicked my butt regularly when we played Scrabble with Charles Cooper (Koord). Those damn English (laughs). George and I are kindred spirits. I saw him often when I lived in L.A., when we both emceed Asian American community events. Leonard... well, he's legendary, so it was the big time whenever I was in his presence. Shatner picked you for the part and directed you. How did all of that go? Bill was a lovely director, and -- because he’s an actor -- he understood how to direct people so that they could make their own choices. He was encouraging, passionate and kind. I only read and discovered later how much pressure he was under from the studio and the shrinking budget — but you would never have guessed it by the way he treated his actors. A true gentleman. Take us through achieving Dar's unique look in terms of the hair, makeup and costume, and did anyone explain to you why she didn't look particularly Romulan? At the time, we felt we were given wide latitude with the look given that we thought Caithlin was bi-racial. The hairdresser and I started fooling around with my hairdo and it got bigger and taller as we went. We were feeling a bit naughty, so in the process, we cultivated Caithlin's very "interesting" look. It turned out to be a Rorschach test of sorts. When guys would look at it in disdain, we knew they were feeling a bit insecure about themselves... but when Bill saw it, he just looked at my hair and paused for a second and then gave it a big thumbs up. Go Bill (laughter). The earmuffs were crafted and created because I would’ve been in makeup for hours to get my hair and Romulan ears done. I thought the earmuffs were beautiful. Now I realize it was an ingenious way to save money too. After the shoot was over, I went to wardrobe to return my costumes and the headmistress gave me a funny look but she accepted them back. I now realize I could’ve kept those costumes. Years later, Paramount auctioned off all my costumes without my knowledge and this guy in Seattle bought the whole set, including those awesome earmuffs. He put it in his game room basement. I've offered him thousands of dollars, but so far he hasn't gotten back to me. But hope springs eternal. What else stands out about the experience? The whole experience was mind-blowing, especially since I've been a fan of Star Trek ever since I was little. An interesting note was there apparently was some trouble with my audio during filming, so I had to go into the sound studio and re-dub all my lines. Bill wanted to me lower my voice significantly. The dubbing didn't match as well to the film as I would have liked, so I think that detracted from my character a bit. You’re the daughter of immigrants. What did it mean to you to play a character whose ethnicity didn't matter? It was an opportunity of a lifetime. I’ll never forget how Bill was really one of the earlier people to cast on a color-blind basis. Back then, it was a quite rare and so it’s notable that’s what he did. It was amusing because by the 5th callback, they had 7 Caucasian blondes, 7 African Americans, 7 Asian Americans and 7 Latinas. In the end, they decided to go with an Asian American. I'll always be grateful and proud of Bill for that choice. So, were Dar and Talbot a couple by the movie’s end? David and I decided our relationship should evolve; it had nothing to do with the script writers. So, we thought it’d be a nice arc to the movie. Starting out with our mutual disdain, to partners in crime, to later, love interests. Plus, he was one sexy Terran. The film is generally considered a disappointment. If you recall, was there a feeling it was or wasn't coming together? What did you think of the film? Actually, due to major budget constraints, the special effects weren't as grand as previous films. But, I honestly felt the message was one of the most-profound in Trek's history. I really don't think this is an overstatement. One of my favorite lines is, (I need my pain) "They’re the things that we carry with us. It's the things that make us who we are." Honestly, I've taken that line as a motto of sorts throughout my life. The way I interpret it; challenges and hardship make us rise to the occasion and create the people we were meant to be. It's quite prescient considering Bill came up with this in the late 80's. But he’s a thinker and intensely curious person. Of course, now, we call this whole line of thought having "grit" and the ability to bounce back. You’ll be at Star Trek Las Vegas in August. How eager are you to meet the fans, pose for pics, sign autographs? It’ll be my first Trek convention ever. I can't wait to meet everyone. Please come by my booth and say hello. I am thrilled to see you and I am grateful that Caithlin Dar has so many friends. Just remember, if you appeal to the more humanistic and Terran side of Caithlin Dar, she can be friendly and sweet. But if you piss her off, however, her full-on Romulan kicks in. So, in that instance, be prepared to die. Your choice (laughs). Go to creationent.com for details about Star Trek Las Vegas 2018, and to purchase tickets. View the full article
  11. Star Trek 101 serves two functions: succinctly introduce Star Trek newcomers to the basic foundations and elements of the franchise and refresh the memories of longtime Trek fans. We're pulling our entries from the book Star Trek 101: A Practical Guide to Who, What, Where, And Why, written by Terry J. Erdmann & Paula M. Block and published in 2008 by Pocket Books. An invaluable resource, it encompasses The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise, as well as the first 10 Trek feature films. Today, we share Star Trek 101's file examining why Archer hates the Vulcans. The Vulcans have been hanging out on Earth ever since pioneer Zefram Cochrane made his first trip into space in a warp-powered vessel. Yet, they still haven't shared their advanced technology with us because they say that humans aren' ready. Jonathan Archer believes those delaying tactics prevented his father -- who worked on warp engines for more than 30 years -- from seeing his own engines fly. This, understandably, ticked Archer off. His subsequent friendship with T'Pol, and a "meeting of the minds" with Surak, the father of Vulcan philosophy, helped rid Archer of the chip on his shoulder. Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann are coauthors of numerous books about the entertainment industry, including Star Trek 101; Star Trek Costumes: Fifty Years of Fashion from the Final Frontier; Star Trek: The Original Series 365; and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion. They currently are writing the latest in their series of Ferengi novellas, which (so far) includes Lust’s Latinum Lost (and Found); and Rules of Accusation. Their most recent non-Star Trek book is Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History. View the full article
  12. Astrophysics, Engineering, Exoarchaeology, Exobiology, Xenolinguistics or Zoology. Which of those would you study at Starfleet Academy? That’s the question we asked for this week’s StarTrek.com poll. More than 10,000 fans participated, and here are the results: Engineering (35%) Astrophysics (25%) Exoarchaeology (16%) Xenolinguistics (10%) Exobiology (9%) Zoology (5%) Where among the results did YOUR choice land? Be sure to vote in this week's poll... View the full article
  13. The classic sitcom Alice ran on CBS from 1976 to 1985, making it one of the few television shows to air for an amazing 9 years. Like Star Trek, the program is credited with being willing to tackle the social issues of its time. On the surface, other than the socially minded natures of both television programs, there does not appear to be much in common between a sitcom about a widowed single mom trying to make it on her own in Phoenix and the adventures of 23rd-century explorers traveling the galaxy. However, if we peek behind the scenes, there are some very fun Trek connections between Mel’s Diner and the U.S.S. Enterprise. Marc Daniels directed 14 episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, including the first to air, “The Man Trap,” and favorites such as “The Menagerie, Parts 1 and 2,” “Space Seed,” and “Mirror, Mirror.” Daniels would also make a cameo, his picture being used as “Jackson Roykirk,” in the episode “The Changeling” which he directed. Not only was his work on Trek honored with 4 Hugo nominations and a win for “The Menagerie, Part 1,” which he shared with Gene Roddenberry, but the involvement of Daniels at the start of the series resulted in the director having a tremendous influence on character design and development. Interestingly, Daniels was also a writer, and he penned the episode “One of Our Planets is Missing” during the first season of Star Trek: The Animated Series. Daniels is tied with Joseph Pevney for the distinction of being the person who directed the most TOS episodes at 14 -- and technically, Daniels wins if we count “The Menagerie” as two episodes. However, there is no contest when it comes to who directed the most episodes of Alice. Are you ready? Out of the 202 episodes of the show, Daniels directed 86 of them, nearly 3 times his closest competitor, and he would also direct 10 additional episodes of the Alice spinoff, Flo. In the Daniels-directed episode “Alice Sees the Light” (1983), Alice thinks she sees a UFO. This provides many moments for science-fiction in-jokes. For example, fellow waitress Vera adds a required “the final frontier” to another character’s comment that what Alice saw may have originated in space. When an arrogant news reporter condescends to Alice that perhaps it is time for Captain Kirk to beam her up, Vera corrects him that it was “Scotty” who beamed people up to put the reporter in his place. Scotty to the rescue again! It had to be fun for Daniels to direct moments that directly called back to his Star Trek days. It is also important to note that Daniels worked for Desilu before Trek, on the classic sitcom I Love Lucy, directing 39 episode of that show, including its premiere episode. There, he pioneered the use of the “three camera” approach to sitcoms that defined many shows that followed. There were also many past and future Star Trek actors who had roles on Alice. Chief among them is Vic Tayback, who played Mel Sharples, owner of Mel’s Diner and boss/friend to Alice, a role that earned him two Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy nomination. Tayback had also appeared in the dramatic movie that inspired the TV show, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. And, of course, Star Trek fans know Tayback for his memorable turn as the gangster Krako in “A Piece of the Action.” While Tayback was a guest star on Star Trek and a regular on Alice, two of Star Trek’s regulars were visitors to Mel’s Diner. Armin Shimerman’s Quark was known to hold an auction or two during his days on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and his guest role in the 1985 Alice episode “Kiss the Grill Goodbye” foreshadows this aspect of his Ferengi character with Shimerman playing a bidder at an auction. From 1982 until 1984, Robert Picardo, the EMH Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager, played the recurring guest character of Officer Maxwell in 8 episodes of Alice, most memorably in the show where Vera gets married, an episode directed by... Marc Daniels. Future Voyager guest star Joel Grey appeared as himself in two Alice installments, both directed by... Marc Daniels. And the list of actors who overlapped Star Trek and Alice continues with Kenneth Mars, James Cromwell, Clyde Kusatsu, Richard Libertini, Ted Gehring, Dick Miller and others. It is a surprise when watching retro television shows to notice connections between the show we are watching and Star Trek. Seeing the names of behind-the-scenes Trek artists in the credits of other shows (who doesn’t love seeing art director Herman Zimmerman’s name in the credits of Cheers?) or recognizing favorite actors from Trek on other programs makes for a fun time. While Mel’s Diner and Starfleet are separated by 10 years of real television production time and 300 years of fictional time, there are connections. Just don’t mention those connections to Tom Paris… He knew a different kind of Alice! View the full article
  14. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the launch of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and the team for Star Trek Online couldn’t wait to mark the occasion with our fourth full expansion: Victory is Life. The only way we could see to top our previous expansions was to not only introduce a brand-new player faction in the Jem’Hadar, but also throw in a level cap increase from 60 to 65. Starting today, Captains in Star Trek Online will have the opportunity to create a fresh captain in their own Jem’Hadar faction. All Jem’Hadar captains will be as formidable right out of space dock as their namesakes, as they will be leveled up to 60 with a fully equipped ship, a fully geared crew, and a variety of completed Reputations, Specialization trees, and R&D progress. As a just-minted captain you will have all the tools you need at your disposal to dive in and play Star Trek Online right at end game, for free. On top of the ability to create a new Jem’Hadar captain that starts at end game, we’re delivering the first level cap increase in nearly four years. We have a variety of exciting content available for everyone. We’ll have six new episodes available for all players of all factions that will take you through an incredible story full of twists and reveals, a new queue, “Swarm,” that shows the devastating impact of the Hur’q, the all-new Gamma Quadrant Sector Space Battlezone that takes the concept of a battlezone and increases the scope to include literally everyone playing in the Quadrant, and the Gamma Task Force Reputation that will give you everything you need to take the fight to the Hur’q. Players that create their Jem’Hadar captains during the first six weeks of launch will also be able to participate in the new Jem’Hadar recruitment system. This system provides challenges for captains to complete that will provide bonus personal and account wide rewards. This collection of fantastic content will put you in the boots of a Jem’Hadar and give you a true Deep Space Nine experience. The story that drives Victory is Life dives deep into the history of the Hur’q and the Dominion, and is rich with classic DS9 moments. To tell such an incredible tale we needed an incredible cast, and we were able to feature nearly the entire main cast of Deep Space Nine. We have Rene Auberjonois returning as Odo, Nana Visitor as Kira Nerys, Alexander Siddig as Dr. Julian Bashir, Andrew Robinson as Elim Garak, Armin Shimerman as Quark, Aron Eisenberg as Nog, Jeffrey Combs as Weyoun and Brunt, J.G. Hertzler as Martok, Chase Masterson as Leeta, Max Grodenchik as Rom, Salome Jens as the Female Changeling, and Bumper Robinson as Dukan’Rex. This is the largest cast we’ve ever assembled for an expansion and with a story you have to play to believe. Victory is Life is an expansion that the team has been wanting to build since the launch of Star Trek Online, and we’re so proud to be able to deliver it during the 25th anniversary celebration. See you in game. Star Trek Online is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online game where players can pioneer their own destiny as Captain of a Federation starship, become a Klingon Warrior and champion the Empire through the far reaches of the galaxy, or rebuild the Romulan legacy as the commander of a Romulan Republic Warbird. In Star Trek Online, players have the opportunity to visit iconic locations from the popular Star Trek universe, reach out to unexplored star systems, and make contact with new alien species. Star Trek Online is currently available on PC, PlayStation4 and Xbox One. To download and play Star Trek Online today for free, visit www.playstartrekonline.com. View the full article
  15. Karl Urban and I have something in common: Karl Urban and I were both born on this day. However, considering that Urban has contributed much more to the franchise than I have, let us focus on his accomplishments. Faced with inheriting DeForest Kelley's beloved role as Dr. Leonard H. "Bones" McCoy in 2009, Urban expertly tackled the daunting task by crafting a persona that harkened back to Kelley's creation and infused the ship's surgeon with the New Zealander's own charm and acting talents. With three films set in the Kelvin Timeline under his belt, Urban has gifted fans with scene-stealing humor and an array of memorable, character-defining moments. 1. "I told you people, I don't need a doctor. Damn it, I am a doctor." (Star Trek 2009) What better way to introduce Karl Urban's Bones to the galaxy than with a clever riff on the classic "I'm a doctor, not a..." catch phrase? The cantankerous encounter with a Starfleet officer aboard a shuttlecraft introduced McCoy's aviophobia, reminiscent of Prime McCoy's distaste for transporters and his irritable (and bearded!) disposition as he arrived on the U.S.S. Enterprise in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Urban made an excellent first impression on audiences... 2. "I may throw up on you." (Star Trek 2009) ... which continued throughout his initial conversation with Chris Pine's James T. Kirk. Despite his argumentative state, McCoy quickly established a cordial repertoire with Kirk. Urban superbly blended a colorful description of stellar perils with a generally welcoming attitude toward the younger cadet. The conversation's easy flow foreshadowed the lifelong friendship that ultimately emerged during their tenure at Starfleet Academy. 3. "You just stunned our ride!" (Star Trek Into Darkness) As usual, Kirk's fondness for improvisation spelled certain doom for McCoy's well-prepared exit strategy on Nibiru. The doctor's annoyance swiftly subsided as the furious natives pursuing the captain sprinted closer. Leonard's loyalty overrode his analytical mind, sending the doctor on a frantic footrace that ended with an unwelcome plunge over a cliff's edge into Nibiran waters. This brief scene demonstrated McCoy's willingness to follow Kirk's lead, regardless of the unpleasant consequences that often arose. 4. "I once performed an emergency C-section on a pregnant Gorn." (Star Trek Into Darkness) Granting Urban and Alice Eve's Dr. Carol Marcus their own scene on a planetoid in Klingon space provided an interesting dynamic, one not possible with the typical Kirk/McCoy pairing. Bones' transparent flirtations contrasted superbly with Marcus's calm professionalism, leaving the chief surgeon's commentary about his medical exploits to fall on uninterested ears. Nevertheless, as the situation transitioned into a dire plight to prevent a torpedo from exploding, the doctors demonstrated their selfless natures as they proved willing to sacrifice themselves in order to save one another. 5. "Oh, don't be so melodramatic. You were barely dead." (Star Trek Into Darkness) McCoy's flippant remark downplayed the relief he felt upon seeing his captain return to consciousness following a deadly encounter with the Enterprise's warp core. Of course, McCoy's cool exterior evaporated when Kirk attributed his resurrection to Spock's victorious brawl with Khan. Normally tolerant of Jim's remarks, Bones clearly drew the line when it came to giving Spock sole credit for Kirk's recovery. While brief, the trio's interaction in the hospital perfectly summarized their complex friendship's essence. 6. "You know me... Mr. Sensitive." (Star Trek Beyond) Dr. McCoy's aptitude for assessing Kirk's state of mind allowed him to offer a comforting ear when the captain expressed melancholy over the anniversary honoring both his birth and his father's death. Bones perceived Kirk's self-doubt as a malady that required treatment from a physician and a friend. The doctor's use of alcohol to spark the conversation paralleled his Prime counterpart's Romulan Ale delivery to a pensive Kirk in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. 7. "Feeling philosophical, hunh?" (Star Trek Beyond) Star Trek Beyond scribes Simon Pegg and Doug Jung brilliantly chose to pair Dr. McCoy with Spock following the Enterprise's destruction at Altamid. This decision, along with masterful performances from Urban and Zachary Quinto, rewarded fans with a heartfelt scene that memorialized Ambassador Spock's passing. The rare moment of raw emotion between the two began to uncover their mutual respect, setting the stage for their relationship's continued development throughout the film's remaining acts. 8. "You gave your girlfriend a tracking device?" (Star Trek Beyond) Leave it to Bones to break a situation down to its bare components. During the search for Uhura, Sulu and the Enterprise's surviving crew, Spock surmised that their colleagues could be found by configuring the U.S.S. Franklin's sensors to identify the Vulcan mineral vokaya. In addition to fashionably adorning a necklace that Spock had bestowed upon Uhura, vokaya emitted innocuous, yet detectable, radiation. By describing the jewelry as a tracking device, McCoy secured a minor victory in his ongoing verbal sparring match with Spock. 9. "I'll keep an eye on him." (Star Trek Beyond) Spock's emphatic plea to join Kirk, McCoy and Sofia Boutella's Jaylah on the away mission to rescue Uhura did not fall on deaf ears. Recognizing Spock's love for Nyota, Bones convinced Kirk to permit the injured Vulcan to accompany the team by assuring the captain that monitoring the science officer's condition presented no problems. This marked yet another evolutionary step in the increasing level of trust between Spock and McCoy. 10. "You really want to head back out there, hunh?" (Star Trek Beyond) Urban's simple comment, made as Kirk and Spock looked out upon the U.S.S. Enterprise-A's newly constructed frame, resonated on two wavelengths. On one hand, the words represented McCoy's disdain for space exploration and a disbelief that his comrades wished to resume their journey. On the other, the rhetorical question signified Bones' resignation to the notion that he would continue to stand by his friends and tend to their medical needs on their trek through the stars. Jay Stobie is a freelance science fiction writer who contributes articles to the official Star Trek website and Star Trek Magazine. He can be found on Twitter at @CaptStobie and on Instagram at @JayStobie. View the full article