Vic

Artificial Intelligence
  • Content count

    22,138
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    40

Everything posted by Vic

  1. Star Trek: The Cruise III doesn’t even set sail for another couple of weeks, but Entertainment Cruise Productions has just announced Star Trek: The Cruise IV, which will deliver an extended voyage headlined by Kate Mulgrew, who’ll help fans celebrate the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: Voyager. The ultimate immersive experience, the fourth annual cruise – set to be held aboard Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas -- will run from March 1 to March 8, 2020, leaving out of Miami and heading to Punta Cana (Dominican Republic), San Juan (Puerto Rico), St. Thomas and Grand Bahama Island. “I am thrilled to be the first to invite fans to join me aboard Star Trek: The Cruise IV, an immersive and personal Star Trek experience unlike anything this side of the Gamma Quadrant,” said Mulgrew, who starred as Captain Kathryn Janeway on Voyager. “We will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: Voyager with my Voyager castmates reuniting for special programming and, of course, many, many other Star Trek icons and favorites. On Star Trek: The Cruise IV, fans will be more than a passenger … they’ll become part of the crew.” Mulgrew will be joined by dozens of actors from across the Star Trek franchise, with announcements coming in the near future. The Explorer of The Seas – and its many bars, restaurants, clubs and lounges -- will be transformed into the ultimate Star Trek universe at sea for the week-long Caribbean trek… with more stars, shows and engagement than ever before, including one-of-a-kind nightly shows presented by Trek actors, star-studded panel discussions, Trek movies and episodes at the pool deck theater, costume parties and cosplay competitions, and more. Cabin prices start at $1,400/person, which covers all main events, meals, taxes, port charges and gratuities. Visit www.StarTrekTheCruise.com, call 844-335-6525 or follow hashtag #StarTrekTheCruise for more information in the coming months. View the full article
  2. This is the story of cosplayers falling in love... and starting a company: Gold Bubble Clothing. Jinyo and I met at a convention back in 2005, and have been together ever since. As cosplayers, we show our love for a fandom through the wearable arts. Unsurprisingly, we discovered that we shared a love of fashion, with Jinyo crafting original dresses for me to wear (TRON dress, anyone?), and me co-running the geek fashion blog “Set to Stunning” for several years with my outstanding friend, Lindsay Orndorff, covering geek fashion in general, as well as showcasing our geek-themed OOTDs (outfit of the day) and fashion/home décor DIYs. Ten years ago, little clothing existed for female geeks other than t-shirts, and even then they were men’s shirts, not even a woman’s cut or style. If I wanted something geeky, let alone fashionable, I had to mod an existing t-shirt I liked, create my own garment, or commission someone to create a garment for me. Methods I became well-versed in over the years. But I’m grateful to have experienced living through the time when there were zero fashionable options for female geeks in the mainstream retail world, to the point fashionable geeks find themselves at today - where we have not only several online geek/pop-culture women’s clothing companies, but even longstanding sections featuring geeky women’s wear in brick-and-mortar stores like Hot Topic, Box Lunch and Target. I’d like to think the struggle for female geeks now isn’t that there’s absolutely nothing for them, but instead that they’re perhaps a bit overwhelmed by all the amazing options they have, especially in ready-to-wear fashions. Because of our cosplay background, it’s always been natural for Jinyo and I to just make something if it didn’t already exist, or that we wanted to put our own spin on. We’d see companies like Black Milk Clothing and Her Universe, firsts on the scene of female geek fashion (basically creating the category as we now know it; let’s be real here), come out with garments and designs we were excited to see produced, but maybe weren’t quite what we personally wanted as fans. A common conversation between Jinyo and myself would be “I like that, but, oh, wouldn’t it be great if there was a dress that had ____ on it?” With his background in graphic design, Jinyo often just designed something himself and sewed it up for me to wear. And whenever I wore these one-of-kind dresses to events and parties, I’d always be asked by friends and strangers alike where I bought it or how they could get one. Which is more or less how Jinyo came to start his own women’s clothing company in 2015, producing his own pop-culture inspired designs. While there’s no doubt to us that fellow companies in the pop-culture clothing field are some level of geek, we fancy ourselves a bit more on this world’s ground floor than most. Jinyo and I spend every waking hour (and a fair amount of sleeping hours, too) immersed in everything geek. It’s just who we are. We’ve each been going to conventions and cosplaying for over two decades, and I’ve even had the pleasure of helping run conventions, including assisting with the costume contest at Star Trek Las Vegas the last couple of years. We can often be found at revival screenings of older Star Trek movies, in costume, of course. We both love collecting TV and movie props and other various artifacts, and I’m particularly obsessed with finding screen-accurate mid-century glassware used in TOS. Our cat, Uhura, spends much of her time in Jinyo’s replica of Kirk’s chair. We love chatting ad nauseam to one another about whatever random pop culture or geeky thing happens to come into our heads. That passion (er, obsession?) is at the heart of our company and all the products we come out with. From day one, we dreamed of licensing with a major franchise like Star Trek. But, as a tiny two-person company trying to survive in the fashion world, we weren’t sure it’d ever be possible. In the end, it started out exactly the way the company had started: I designed an original dress I wanted to wear to the San Diego Comic-Con premiere of Star Trek Beyond, Jinyo created it, and the dress was a hit. Everyone loved what I was wearing and CBS was interested in it becoming a licensed piece of Star Trek apparel. We are forever indebted to our friends at ANOVOS, who helped us nudge our foot in the licensing door by collaborating with us on a “mini” collection under their own Star Trek license. During that relationship we spent a little over a year gaining invaluable experience and an understanding of what it’s like to work with such a high-profile property, before we were in a position to approach Star Trek for our very own license. Now, at our company, Gold Bubble Clothing, we specialize in dye-sublimated spandex dresses and leggings using higher-end, performance-quality fabric that we believe looks great on every shape and size. Our first collection release expands upon the “mini” collection we originally released under ANOVOS: A-line dresses, asymmetrical dresses and tunic tops, and leggings. But there’s so much we’re excited to do with Star Trek that goes well beyond that, and that we can’t wait to get to – tops of all kinds, jackets, cardigans, gymwear, loungewear, swimsuits…etc. For Jinyo and me, it’s truly living the dream to have our lives revolve around Star Trek and geek fashion. It’s impossible to describe how ridiculously cool, gratifying and immensely humbling it is when we see ladies post pictures of themselves wearing something we designed, that lets them express their love of their favorite fandom in a way that makes them feel pretty, fashionable and chic. We hope this collection release will be but the first of many to come, and we’re eager to make whatever lasting mark we can on the world of geek fashion for female Trekkies everywhere. Check out www.goldbubbleclothing.com now to shop our Star Trek collection. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to keep up with our latest releases, behind-the-scenes fun, giveaways and more. Victoria Schmidt is the Creative Director for Gold Bubble Clothing and owner of too many Tribbles (according to Jinyo) View the full article
  3. Which series will you be watching with the family during the holidays? That's the question we at StarTrek.com posed for this week's poll, and fans could select from The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, The Animated Series and Discovery. Thousands of fans voted, and here are the results: The Next Generation (33%) Deep Space Nine (18%) Voyager (17%) The Original Series (13%) Discovery (10%) Enterprise (7%) The Animated Series (1%) Be sure to vote in this week's poll... View the full article
  4. With the holiday shopping season in full swing, we’re always wondering what to buy that special someone on our list. For those of us who are Star Trek fans, there’s no shortage of cool merchandise to scratch our fandom itch. Everything from games and toys or books and clothing to more unusual fare like themed booze, kitchenware and Bluetooth gadgets are ripe for the picking. Rather than repeat myself with a retrospective of favorite gifts or a wacky Wish List for this latest column, I decided to conduct a little thought experiment on my Facebook page. I asked folks, “What one thing from anywhere within the Star Trek universe would you want as a gift?” Meaning, if they could receive a particular piece of technology or an alien artifact, or perhaps the opportunity to travel to a specific destination or meet an individual, and so on, what would they pick? Sure, this ends up with my having a slightly different type of column this time around, but it’s the season for such gushy, mushy things, right? As for my little survey, there were a number of responses. Some of them were predictable, while others provided nice surprises. That’s what always makes these sorts of exercises fun. Want to see what they (and I, in a couple of cases) came up with? Read on: Medical Technology (suggested by Michelle Ballin-Schmidt) – Star Trek’s depiction of advances in health care and the resulting life prolongation for humans in particular is pretty impressive. Wouldn’t it be nice to rid the world of cancer and other life-threatening ailments? Diabetes? Alzheimer’s? Name it, and get rid of it. That’s a pretty nice thought. Universal Translator (suggested by Greg Cox) – Another righteous choice. We already have devices which can translate in something close to real time, though they’re certainly not intuitive and they still stumble when it comes to things like idioms, slang, or jargon and other idiosyncrasies of spoken language. With the almost magic-like tech we’ve seen and taken for granted over more than fifty years of Star Trek, we could push through that language barrier like one of those cheesy 1970s bead curtains. As a plus, these things are usually small enough that they’d make great stocking stuffers. Transporter (suggested by Scotty Parker) – OK, this is an easy one. I mean, who wouldn’t want to purge the daily work commute from existence for all time? We could all sleep in! No more traffic jams or accidents on the highway. Of course, we’d never get to use weather or traffic as excuses for not coming to work, and would there be long lines at the transporter stations while people waited to beam home? Maybe we need to think this through a bit. Memory Alpha – This is one of mine. I mean, come on! The entirety of Federation knowledge at my fingertips? No pesky cues for checking out stuff or having to return it by certain dates? No late fees? I just need to make sure it’s got a nice reading nook installed, along with bathroom and a kitchen, and I’m set. Of course, I wouldn’t need a kitchen if I also had a... Replicator (suggested by Raymond Seavey) – Another obvious pick, and we’re not talking about the “food slots” we saw on Kirk’s Enterprise. Oh no, we need to version from The Next Generation era, where you just tell the thing what you want and... Whoomp! There it is! And we’re not limited to just food, either. With one of these things, you never need to shop for clothes or tools or household stuff ever again. What more could anyone ask? Holodeck (suggested by David Young) – All right, I guess we can ask for more, and I can’t say I blame David for this one. Sure, we have virtual reality headsets and simulators that work to a point, but compared to this? Not even close. In the Star Trek realm, the holodeck seems like an ideal environment for wiling away free time while on journeys aboard starships that can take weeks, months, and even years to complete. That is, when they’re not malfunctioning or being taken over by non-corporeal life forms. Here on Earth, I think we can probably agree that the nanosecond this sort of technology is perfected, all meaningful human life and productivity will cease. We’ll be the Talosians in a week, but without the benefit of advanced telepathy and telekinesis. Game over, man. A Vacation on Risa (suggested by Matt Giaquinto) – I don’t think we really need to a deep dive as to why this might be on anyone’s list. Vegas, the Caribbean, Hawaii or Fiji? Kid’s stuff. Risa is where it’s at, people, and what happens there... etc. Of course, I know I’d be that guy who packs books to read, at least until I get roped into an adventure featuring ancient artifacts and time-traveling goons. Hey, speaking of time travel.... The Guardian of Forever (suggested by Tony Healey) – What would you do if you had access to a time portal? Would you travel back and prevent a disaster or war from occurring? What about giving yourself stock tips or sports scores, you Biff Tannen wannabe, you? Some people might use it for more personal reasons like having more time with a long lost relative or friend. Tony himself seems to have an evil enough idea: Traveling forward in time so that he can come back and spoil future movies and television shows for people. I suspect that’s the sort of thing which really brought about the Temporal Prime Directive. The Future (suggested by Matt Hamilton, with an assist by Matt Giaquinto) – As Matt H describes it, he’d like to see us jump to the point in time where Star Trek depicts us as having eradicated poverty, hunger, disease and war here on Earth. Add to that Matt G’s wish for energy independence and an economy unshackled from the hoarding of wealth and resources, which would allow us to do things like further science and medicine and explore the stars. It’s Star Trek’s optimistic future that tends to set it apart from a lot of science fiction TV and film, and its ideals are certainly worth pursuing. That’d make for a heck of a present, wouldn’t it? A Walk Through A Favorite Ship (suggested by Michael Okuda) – A couple of people actually posted this idea, and the specific requests for a gander at different Enterprises or the Excelsior and even Deep Space 9’s Promenade. As for Mike, he knows where my heart is, and I’m guessing he had in mind the original Enterprise when he offered up his pick. While we can’t walk the corridors of the ship itself, I can suggest the next best thing: the Star Trek Original Series Set Tour in Ticonderoga, New York. It will blow your mind and then give you just enough time to cobble it back together before blowing it again. Okay, that’s 10. While I admit to being taken with the broader choices like “The Future,” I’d also be lying if I said that trip to Risa didn’t sound cool. And throw in the transporter, since we’re here. All right, and the replicator, too. Have an idea or a suggestion we missed? Add it to the comments below. --- Check out the "Ten for Ward" Backlist Dayton Ward is the New York Times bestselling author or co-author of numerous novels and short stories, including a whole bunch of stuff set in the Star Trek universe, and often working with friend and co-writer Kevin Dilmore. As he’s still a big ol' geek at heart, Dayton is known to wax nostalgic about all manner of Star Trek topics over on his own blog, The Fog of Ward. View the full article
  5. CBS All Access has just released a new Star Trek: Discovery promo titled, "What to Expect in Season 2." The 90-second spot features behind-the-scenes glimpses, snippets of scenes, and comments from actors Sonequa Martin-Green and Anson Mount, as well as executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin and Olatunde Osunsanmi. Season two of Star Trek: Discovery will premiere on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 at 8:30 PM, ET/5:30 PM, PT exclusively on CBS All Access in the United States and will also be distributed concurrently by CBS Studios International on Netflix in 188 countries and in Canada on Bell Media’s Space channel and OTT service CraveTV. The series is produced by CBS Television Studios, Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment. View the full article
  6. The Federation, with support of the Alliance, is opening a brand new humanitarian organization, and you can help. The Tardigrade Adoption Agency is throwing open its doors, and we want to match you with the Tardigrade best suited for you. Take the test below, and you can receive regular emails from the Agency – once a week through the holidays – with updates on how your Tardigrade is doing. And who knows, there may even be a special surprise for players of Star Trek Online at the end of it. View the full article
  7. CBS All Access, in advance of Star Trek: Discovery's second-season premiere on January 17, 2019, has just unveiled an official trailer and key art, and they've also revealed that season two will be extended to 14 episodes, from the previously announced 13. Discovery's sophomore season finds the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery -- after answering a distress signal from the U.S.S. Enterprise -- joining forces with Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) on a new mission to investigate seven mysterious red signals and the appearance of an unknown being called the Red Angel. While the crew must work together to unravel their meaning and origin, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) is forced to face her past with the return of her estranged brother, Spock (Ethan Peck). Season two of Star Trek: Discovery will premiere on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 at 8:30 PM, ET/5:30 PM, PT exclusively on CBS All Access in the United States and will also be distributed concurrently by CBS Studios International on Netflix in 188 countries and in Canada on Bell Media’s Space channel and OTT service CraveTV. The series is produced by CBS Television Studios, Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment. View the full article
  8. Star Trek: Waypoint Special #1 is an oversized anthology that spans 50 years of Star Trek and features the talents of writers Dave Baker & Nicole Goux, Brandon Easton, Jackson Lanzig & Collin Kelly, and Matthew Dow Smith, as well as artists Nicole Goux, Josh Hood, Sonny Liew, Matthew Dow Smith, with a piece by Hood gracing the annual's cover. Waypoint Special #1 delivers weird and wonderful stories — set during Star Trek: The Original Series , Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and more— that expand on rarely explored corners of the Trek universe or provide closure for long-forgotten plot threads. This volume features such favorites characters as Q, Data and Ezri Dax, handled by the top creators of today and the future. Running 48 pages from IDW Publishing, Waypoint Special #1 costs $7.99 and is available December 12. For additional details, contact your local comic book retailer or visit www.comicshoplocator.com to find a store near you. And keep an eye on StarTrek.com 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
  9. Star Trek: Insurrection opened on December 11, 1998. A year earler, James Cameron’s Titanic became a celebrated and successful motion picture event. Part of its power was certainly due to its music under the composition and direction of James Horner, the composer of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, who sadly perished in a plane crash in 2015. An especially poignant use of music in the film was Horner’s arrangement of Sarah Flower Adams’ hymn “Nearer, My God, To Thee,” performed by I Salonisti. The ship’s band chooses to stay behind and plays the song to calm the passengers. Specific details about Insurrection’s new cultures, most especially the Ba’ku, were being still being imagined and re-imagined when Titanic premiered. Even before Titanic was in theaters, the Insurrection creative team had already discussed the idea that music would play an important role in helping to define the Ba’ku, and more importantly, serve as an emotional connection between the audience and the agricultural and peaceful artisan community. Some of the ideas included that of director Jonathan Frakes, who had previously suggested that Jean-Luc Picard’s Ressikan flute, introduced in "The Inner Light” and making appearances in the episode “Lessons” and – eventually - the film Star Trek Nemesis, be utilized to help make the musical connection. Roughly three weeks after Titanic’s premiere, Insurrection’s screenwriter, and one of Star Trek’s most-talented and important producers, writers and creators, the late Michael Piller, sent a memo (dated January 20, 1998). He wrote about the emotional scene in Titanic when the violin player stays behind, followed by his fellow players, as the ship sinks. The scene inspired Piller to think about the role of music in the upcoming Trek production. Piller suggests in the memo that some kind of Ba’ku instrument like chimes perhaps be introduced during the scene when Picard first beams to planet’s surface to “rescue” the not-quite Starfleet hostages. The instrument and musician could then become an emotional touchstone that the film returns to occasionally. Piller cautions that whatever instrument is created, it must be portable so that it could be believable carried into the mountains during the evacuation. Piller believed that by having Ba’ku musicians featured, it would provide an emotional connection to the extras who evacuate along with the primary characters. Ultimately, the idea of using a Ba’ku version of the Titanic musicians was never fully realized. The film instead focuses on a variety of other kinds of Ba’ku artistic endeavors, from blacksmithing to break-making. The evacuation scene does use big chimes/gongs to sound the alarm, as Piller suggests in his January 20th memo, but that is mostly the extent of the musical elements of the Ba’ku that are given primary focus. (As an aside, that doesn’t limit the power of the Ba’ku evacuation scene as filmed and edited because Jerry Goldsmith’s music, Herman Zimmerman’s village designs, Jonathan Frakes’ direction, the special effects, stunts and acting all combined to create a visually dynamic, original and exciting sequence). However, there is a Titanic band of sorts featured in Insurrection – during the diplomatic reception with the Evora onboard the U.S.S. Enterprise E at the start of the film, the audience is treated to classical music performed by a small Starfleet orchestra that gets quite a few close-ups. Additionally, Earth music makes another appearance when Picard, Worf, and Data sing Gilbert and Sullivan. Picard even does a little dance to “Make Over Mambo” from composer Alan Silvestri. The inclusion of this music in Insurrection - from “Piano Sonata No. 8 “Pathetique”, 1st movement” by Beethoven to “A British Tar” - demonstrates how using real-world music in Star Trek’s futuristic settings connects the audience emotionally to the characters. Maria Jose and John Tenuto are both sociology professors at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois, specializing in popular culture and subculture studies. The Tenutos have conducted extensive research on Star Trek’s history, and have presented at venues such as Creation Conventions and the St. Louis Science Center. They’ve written for the official Star Trek Magazine and their extensive collection of Trek items has been featured in SFX Magazine. Their theory about the “20-Year Nostalgia Cycle” and research on Trek fans has been featured on WGN News, BBC Radio, and in the documentary The Force Among Us. Contact the Tenutos at jtenuto@clcillinois.edu or mjtenuto@clcillinois.edu. View the full article
  10. A classic Star Trek quote can help a great deal when you need to ease the Monday blues. The franchise's series and films have provided -- and continue to provide -- an abundant supply of wisdom, logic and, of course, one-liners to brighten any mood. What phrase in Star Trek's verbal pantheon strikes you as being the most memorable? Here are just a few of my personal favorites: "A lie is a very poor way to say hello." Edith Keeler's reply to James Kirk after she caught the captain and Mister Spock in her mission's basement encapsulated the woman's straightforward and good-natured personality. The response reverberated as both a greeting and a chastisement. Unfortunately, these traits contributed to the tragic death that Edith was destined to suffer in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The City on the Edge of Forever." "I don't believe in a no-win scenario." Admiral Kirk's defiant statement about Starfleet Academy's Kobayashi Maru test reflected his never-say-die attitude and conveyed his readiness to turn the tables on Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. "I have been... and always shall be... your friend." Captain Spock's gut-wrenching (yet oddly life-affirming) goodbye to Kirk occurred soon after the Vulcan knowingly absorbed deadly radiation in order to save the U.S.S. Enterprise in The Wrath of Khan. A resurrected Spock repeated the phrase (replacing "always" with "ever") back to Kirk in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, signaling his katra's successful fusion with his physical body. "Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end." Spock offered this advice to Lt. Valeris in the hope that she would take the words to heart and serve as his worthy successor aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise-A in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. However, Valeris had already severed that trust by continuing to participate in the plot to murder Chancellor Gorkon and derail peace talks between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. "Make it so." Captain Picard's legendary order set plans into motion, sent subordinates into action and directed the U.S.S. Enterprise-D's course throughout Star Trek: The Next Generation's run. Riker and several others also issued the instruction at certain moments, but no one said it quite like Picard. "Today is a good day to die." Predominantly associated with Worf, this battle cry and several analogous proclamations indicated a Klingon warrior's readiness to defeat their opponent at all costs. Kurn, Kor, Kang, Gowron and Jadzia Dax ranked as other prominent figures who utilized similar versions of the call for combat. "The line must be drawn here... this far, no further!" In a rare outburst, Captain Picard spat this steadfast vow which expressed the pain and frustration inflicted upon him by the Borg. Nevertheless, the brief lapse seemed to shake off his rage and convinced him to initiate the U.S.S. Enterprise-E's auto-destruct sequence in Star Trek: First Contact. Quark relayed a humorous version of the line as he reacted to Ferenginar's reforms in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's "The Dogs of War." "We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile." The signature Borg hail and its variants were heard from Star Trek: Enterprise's "Regeneration" to Star Trek: Voyager's "Scorpion, Part I" and beyond. Planets and vessels that received this message knew that quite the rough day awaited their people, although Starfleet proved on multiple occasions that it could triumph over the Collective. "Your father was captain of a starship for 12 minutes. He saved 800 lives, including your mother's... and yours. I dare you to do better." Captain Pike's challenge to an unruly James T. Kirk motivated the young man to become something more than a barroom brawler and enlist in the Kelvin Timeline's Starfleet Academy during Star Trek (2009). "We are Starfleet." Saru employed these simple words to pledge his support for Michael Burnham's rousing plea to Admiral Cornwell. Burnham emphasized the need to place the Federation's principles over its survival rather than ending the Federation-Klingon War with genocide in Star Trek: Discovery's first season finale. 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 Instagram @JayStobie. View the full article
  11. Christmas came early for my family, having just had the experience of a lifetime at the Star Trek Official Set Tour “Christmas with the Captains” event in picturesque Ticonderoga, New York. We were joined by not one, but two Trek captains, actors William Shatner, our legendary Captain Kirk, and Anson Mount, Discovery’s Captain Pike. As a lifelong Star Trek fan, the chance to share James Cawley’s loving recreations of The Original Series sets with my wife Robin and 6-year-old son Julian was a dream come true. Added to that, to walk through these hallowed corridors, peer into the famous Jefferies Tube and explore the entire sound stage with none other than Captain Kirk himself was beyond my wildest dreams. Mr. “Call me Bill” Shatner was the perfect host, regaling us with fond memories of his life, career and fellow Star Trek actors, all inspired by the 23rd Century surroundings meticulously and magically recreated by James and the Ticonderoga team. First up, before the actors’ arrival, was our guided tour with other guests, led by our guide, Adam, who was knowledgeable and patient with everyone’s questions, including Julian’s. Of course, as in most museums, visitors can’t touch the art, but that didn’t stop Julian from asking. We were thrilled to stand in the Transporter room, stroll to McCoy’s Sickbay and Lab, and even discuss matters of galactic importance in the Briefing Room. Fun fact, there was a modified Cuban flag in there in honor of Desi Arnaz. As everyone knows, Lucille Ball and Desi’s production company Desilu was responsible for teaming up with Gene Roddenberry and bringing Star Trek to us back in the 60s. Then came Julian’s big chance to touch something, as we strolled into the corridor and were directed to the one button visitors are allowed to press. It activates the iconic Red Alert sound and lights throughout the entire soundstage, Adam informed us. I lifted Julian up and he pressed the big red button. Whoop, Whoop sounded the klaxon. “The Klingons are attacking!!!” Julian exclaimed as he jumped up and down. Everyone laughed at his enthusiasm and shared their best shaking in the corridor poses. Of course, they saved the best for last: the Bridge. With screens matching the exact light blinks to the original, it’s like coming home for any fan. Much to our delight, everyone can sit in the Captain’s Chair; just please remember to take any objects out of your back pocket. That’s a vintage Madison desk chair just like the original, and we don’t want to ruin it for the next generations of visiting fans. (insert bridge pictures] Our first taste of what this weekend had in store was over and did not disappoint in the least. We were “on the Enterprise” and to paraphrase Star Trek IV, “We’d come home.” Friday evening as I waited for Bill’s guided tour of the sets, I had the pleasure to meet Dale and Alice Shingler. They came all the way up from Long Island, as Dale is a devout Star Trek and Shatner fan, specifically, and we shared great memories, not just of Star Trek, but from throughout Bill’s life and career. Dale ranks William Shatner in the pantheon of greatness with the movie star John Wayne, and you wouldn’t find many to disagree with that among the crowd of admirers there to see this iconic actor. Few performers have such a loving and devoted following — not to mention such a fun, engaging, and entertaining career spanning over six decades — and this encounter to come was a true “bucket list” item for Dale. Now, it was our turn to board the Enterprise. Fittingly, we “beamed aboard” and met Bill in the famous transporter room. Joined by visual F/X artist, concept designer and creative consultant to the Set Tour, Daren Dochterman, and James Cawley, Bill was in great spirits, sharing stories, inviting questions and showing his true appreciation to all the visitors for the lengths that they took to be there with him that evening. “I can’t tell you how many times I tripped down these stairs,” Shatner noted, explaining the process of shooting the transporter effect, which required the production crew to lock off the camera and the actors would scamper off the transporter pads, to get the seamless shot without camera jitter. I’m happy to report that Dale got his shot with Shatner, checked that bucket list box and stood proudly with Bill on the Transporter pad. Anecdotes and fond memories of Jimmy Doohan, De Kelley and Leonard Nimoy flowed as we moved from room to room aboard the beautiful Starship Enterprise. In a surprise move, James even asked Daren to do his spot-on impression of Shatner for Shatner, as well as his uncanny Gene Roddenberry impression. Everyone, including Shatner, agreed that Daren nailed it. After the tour of the sets, we all moved across the street to Madden’s Pub and, at Bill’s request, he set up shop behind the bar, and hosted a beer and pizza party, chatting with everyone, and even personally pouring some of his new James T. Kirk Bourbon. This intimate setting was a blast to share with him, and I was so impressed with his candor and kind nature. The next day was everyone’s chance to meet Bill on the Bridge, and Julian was understandably anxious. As we waited in line, Julian conducted his own press interviews and recited the famous “Space... The final frontier” monologue. I’ve never been more proud. We walked onto the bridge, where Shatner sat, in command, directing his team just as he did the crew of the Enterprise, with a smile and a nod. He spoke to our group for a long time, inviting questions that focused on computers and technology, and he acknowledged his own ignorance of how it works. Gesturing to Julian as he would to Chekov to change course, he said, “What is your name?” “Julian,” my boy responded. “Well, Julian, can you please explain computers to me!?” Julian then went on to summarize a Lego robotics project he completed. “Julian... I still don’t understand... computers!!” Shatner replied in the most Shatnerian delivery ever. As we exited the bridge, from behind us we hear Bill shout out loud enough for the whole set to hear, “Julian, I expect great things from you!!” Captain Kirk, your orders are received and understood. Later that day, we just had to do the Set Tour once again, and much to our delight, Anson Mount was arriving just then. Now, we were sharing the Enterprise with Captain Pike, as he toured the sets for the first time, marveling at everything as a true fan himself. Engineering is particularly impressive, and I could tell Mr. Mount thought so, too. Seeing Julian enjoy the tour was gratifying for Robin and me. Explaining to him that The Original Series takes place in the 23rd Century and that we are in the 21st century really sparked his imagination. “So this is what spaceships will look like in 200 years!?” he asked with a sense of wonderment. He knows that Star Trek is fiction, but I think he was sharing that very instinctive feeling all Trek fans have: that the future, the relationship with technology can be as comfortable, beautiful and fun as they show in so many of the episodes. I asked Julian what he thought of the whole experience: the sets, getting to meet Bill, and spending the weekend here with us. His answer was simple, “It. Was. Amaziiiiing!” Russell Meyers is an IT professional and former motion picture booker for Paramount Pictures. He is an avid Star Trek fan and collector, currently residing in New York City with his wife and son. View the full article
  12. Which ship would you want to spend the holidays on? That's the question StarTrek.com posed to fans for our latest weekly poll. Thousands of you took the time to reply, selecting from the following options: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701, U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D, U.S.S. Defiant NCC-1764, U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656, U.S.S. Enterprise NX-01 and U.S.S. Discovery NCC-1031. Here are the results... U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D (58%) U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656 (17%) U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 (12%) U.S.S. Enterprise NX-01 (5%) U.S.S. Defiant NCC-1764 (4%) U.S.S. Discovery NCC-1031 (3%) And how did your ship of choice fare? Be sure to vote in this week's poll... View the full article
  13. James Doohan's tenure as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott shall forever remain unrivaled, as no one could ever replace the beloved Canadian actor's charm. Facing the difficult challenge of reimagining the character, Simon Pegg expertly focused on blazing a unique path and injecting his own humor into the Kelvin Timeline's miracle worker. Over the course of three films, Pegg's respect for Doohan's role and dedication to his craft have gifted us with a fresh take on the iconic engineer. Let's see if you possess any traits that might match up with the personality Pegg bestowed upon Kelvin Scotty. 1. Have you experienced bad luck around water? Scotty just can't catch a break when it comes to aquatic adventures. Once Ambassador Spock provided the engineer with the equation for transwarp beaming developed by his prime reality counterpart in Star Trek (2009), the Scotsman and James T. Kirk employed the data to transport themselves onto the U.S.S. Enterprise. Kirk arrived safely in the engineering section, but Scotty took a detour through water-filled pipes that almost deposited him into an unfortunately sharp-looking turbine. Saved by Kirk, Scott had to endure damp clothes during his first moments on the prized starship. Scotty went on to express his displeasure with now-Captain Kirk's decision to hide the Enterprise underwater during the crew's mission to Nibiru in Star Trek Into Darkness. Rather than ask how Kirk and Doctor McCoy felt following a perilous cliff jump, the engineer's first words to his captain voiced his concern pertaining to salt water corrosion. A giant fish that swam passed the vessel's bridge did little to assuage Scott's grumpy mood. Interestingly enough, Doohan's Scotty suffered his own sodden ordeal in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, when he briefly became trapped in a Klingon Bird-of-Prey's flooded hold after the ship plummeted into San Francisco Bay. 2. Do you have the soul of a poet? Many accomplished poets hailed from Scotland, so Scott's knack for verbal wizardry should come as no surprise. Even after Ambassador Spock assured the engineer that transwarp beaming could be accomplished, Scotty remained skeptical. "The notion of transwarp beaming is like... trying to hit a bullet with a smaller bullet, whilst wearing a blindfold, riding a horse," the Scotsman emphatically explained. Only Montgomery Scott could describe a seemingly impossible task in such exquisite detail. A similar situation arose when Kirk and Khan intended to cross a debris field and shoot through a tiny airlock as a means to infiltrate the U.S.S. Vengeance. Already behind enemy lines, Scotty examined the opening's dimensions and assessed the chances for a survivable entry. "It's gonna be like... jumping out of a moving car, off a bridge, into your shot glass," the engineer concluded. Kirk and Khan managed to navigate through the hole, but their rough landing on the Vengeance's deck demonstrated the truth behind Scott's apprehension. 3. Are you protective of your work space? From the moment Scotty first expressed his interest in the Enterprise on Delta Vega, the engineer's admiration for the starship never wavered. "I like this ship! You know, it's exciting," was Mr. Scott's reaction during his initial visit to the futuristic bridge. Scotty developed a protectiveness over the vessel, as demonstrated by his concern for its exposure to salt water on Nibiru and his willingness to quit rather than risk its destruction by approving Admiral Marcus's mysterious torpedoes in Star Trek Into Darkness. After stowing away on the Vengeance, the engineer became dismayed when he learned about the Enterprise's low power levels due to the damage it sustained in his absence. All good things must come to an end, and Krall's fleet brought the relationship between Scotty and the Enterprise to a tragic conclusion. However, despite significant damage and insurmountable odds, Scott did all he could to keep the starship alive during the Battle of Altamid. While ultimately unsuccessful, Scotty's effort demonstrated his tireless devotion to protecting the vessel that he had learned to call home. 4. Do you have a compassionate spirit? The Enterprise received Scott's unconditional devotion, but the engineer held more than enough compassion for others in his heart. As Scotty spoke to Kirk and Ambassador Spock about his attempt to beam Admiral Archer's beagle from one planet to another, he mentioned the remorse he felt over the fact that the canine had yet to reappear. During the battle between the Enterprise and the Vengeance, Scotty even offered his apologies to a private security officer before sending him flying through an airlock. The friendship Scott fostered with Jaylah on Altamid epitomized the Starfleet officer's kind spirit. With no family or friends, Jaylah survived alone by relying upon her intelligence and fighting skills. Scotty recognized the solitude that the young woman experienced, convincing her that he and the other Enterprise crew members would never abandon her. The engineer even presented Jaylah with the option to join Starfleet and become an official member of their spacefaring family. 5. Have you always stuck by your best friend? First introduced to audiences on Delta Vega, Scott's pal Keenser has stuck with the engineer through thick and thin. Upon Nero's defeat, the Scotsman brought Keenser to join the Enterprise crew. When Scotty resigned his position as chief engineer due to a disagreement with Kirk over Admiral Marcus's torpedoes, Keenser followed his trusted friend and also left the ship. Back aboard for the showdown at Altamid, Scott and Keenser became separated during Krall's attack. During the crew's reunion on the U.S.S. Franklin, the pair almost hugged out of pure joy when they saw each other. While the future remains to be seen, I imagine Keenser will be by Scotty's side in engineering on the U.S.S. Enterprise-A. 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 Instagram @JayStobie. View the full article
  14. Star Trek Online, now through January 3, is running a promotion on all platforms that will provide an additional bonus when opening a Research and Development Pack. When you purchase a Research and Development Pack from the C-Store and open it, you will receive either 10 Lobi Crystals or a Special Requisition Choice Pack - Tier 6 Promotional Ship Choice Pack in addition to the Research and Development Pack. We are excited to announce a new addition to this Promotional Ship Pack: The Vaadwaur Miracle Worker Juggernaut [T6]. While the smaller Vaadwaur ships were easy to understand and acquire, the Vaadwaur Juggernaut has been more difficult, between the much lower frequency that they were salvaged and a frequent complaint from engineers that some systems simply consumed more power to run once than any reasonable ship would generate in a year. However, continuous work on reverse engineering the Juggernaut and advancements in technology, notably from the Alliance’s Miracle Worker ships, have finally unlocked the secrets of this ship. In addition to this new starship, opening this Special Requisition Choice Pack - Tier 6 Promotional Ship Choice Pack will give the recipient a choice of any Tier 6 ship found in any previous Research & Development or Duty Officer Promotional Pack. The player fortunate enough to win this ship pack will be presented with a choice of claiming a package containing the new Vaadwaur Juggernaut, or any one of the following ships: The Special Requisition Pack - 23rd Century Tier 6 Ship opens into one of the ships below, depending on faction: The Special Requisition Pack – 26th Century Dreadnought Cruiser opens into one of the ships below, depending on faction: Star Trek Online is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online game that allows players to explore the Star Trek universe from within. Players can forge their own destiny as Captain of a Federation starship, champion the Empire through the far reaches of the galaxy as a Klingon Warrior, rebuild the Romulan legacy as the commander of a Romulan Republic Warbird or carry out daring missions on behalf of the Dominion as a Jem’Hadar soldier. Captains can also explore iconic locations from the Star Trek universe, make contact with new alien species and battle alongside other players in customizable starships. 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. Smart, sensitive, at once fearful and brave, not to mention ambitious, Saru emerged as one of Star Trek: Discovery’s breakout characters during the show’s first season. And, of course, Doug Jones, an old hat at makeup-heavy roles, imbued Saru with tremendous heart and breathed life into everyone’s favorite Kelpien, making every moment of terror, doubt, pride and warmth feel thoroughly genuine. Fans wanted more, particularly of the character’s backstory. Who is Saru? What are his people like? Why does he seem to be the sole Kelpien in the galaxy, excepting the Mirror Universe, where they’re… a delicacy? Well, the Discovery producers and writers are clearly paying attention to the fans, as the third Star Trek: Short Treks installment – “The Brightest Star,” premieres tonight on CBS All Access (in the U.S.) and on Space (in Canada) digs deep into Saru’s background and youth on his home planet of Kaminar. StarTrek.com caught up with Jones by telephone last week for a conversation in which he looked back at Season One of Discovery, previewed “The Brightest Star,” teased Season Two and talked about his upcoming film, Nosferatu. Heading into Season One, what kind of expectations did you have, and how different or similar was the reality? Just looking at Season One, the writers room gave us an option: "How much do you want to know ahead?" I'm one of those types that I want to get the new script for the next episode and be surprised. I love a story to unfold as it unfolds, without knowing too much ahead. Now, I do need to know certain things, like what is a backstory to me that will be revealed later that I need to play now? That's the only thing I really needed to know. But as far as plot twists, and where we're all headed, when I came into the series as third in command, as the Chief Science Officer on the Starship Shenzhou, I really didn't know much about what happened beyond that. I knew that the Shenzhou would last for those first two episodes and that we would make the transition to the starship Discovery. But as far as me being promoted to First Officer, and what journey was ahead with Discovery, I really didn't know too much about that. So, I've been surprised every episode as I read it, kind of like watching the show as a fan would. Speaking of the fans, how pleased were you with how the fans embraced Saru? This has been an absolute dream for me, just a delight. You never know. In a 32-year career, every role that I take on, you hope that this is the one that's going to hit. And over those 32 years, I've had several hit, but I've also had several that kind of fell off and were never remembered again. So, you just never know. I will say that the Star Trek conventions, specifically the ones in Las Vegas and Birmingham, the two that I've been to now, that's when you can have face time with these fans who are devoted to not just our series, but the entire franchise, and have been for their lifetime. The comment that I hear the most, that I just love hearing, is "Welcome to the family." That is something that I didn't expect. I didn't even know about. I did not know what a family feeling the Star Trek fandom had. So, to be embraced, and to have my character embraced, and to have so many people tell me "Saru is my favorite character on the show,” it’s wonderful. I also hear, "I really like Saru because I'm dealing with fear issues of my own. I have anxiety. I actually am in therapy now for my fears and my anxieties, and Saru really does help inspire and help motivate me to make it through the next day." Hearing comments like that really warms my heart and makes me feel like I'm doing more than just an acting gig. It's actually something helpful for all of us. And I deal with fear issues of my own. I always have. Even when I get a new script for the next episode, I'm always terrified that I'm going to fail while playing it. So, I can learn from watching Saru and from being him that you can push your threat ganglia back in. You can forge ahead. And whatever we're afraid of, if we can step back from it and look at it, we might realize that there was nothing to be afraid of in the first place. And we learn that through Season Two even more so with Saru. What character beats in Season One were you personally most satisfied with? Saru is a fear-based being, and he was without a captain when we realized that Captain Lorca had gone off the rails and wasn't who he purported to be. Someone had to step into the captain's chair, and lo and behold, I'm first officer. It's my job to step into the captain’s chair. So, I think taking on that leadership and exerting the authority that I've earned and was given, that was the most-satisfying moment for me. Part of that, along with sitting in the chair, was getting to give the stirring speech to the crew, to say, "Listen, our captain is not our captain. He was a deceiver that wasn't who he said he was, but we are going to give a new birth to the starship Discovery as of today. It's our maiden voyage." That was a beautiful moment for me to play, and I loved seeing Saru find his sense of confidence, which was something that he'd never had before. And that brings us to "The Brightest Star." Give us a preview of your Short Treks installment… Throughout Season One, you see and hear Saru give many hints of his backstory, and where he comes from, that his home planet and his people are a prey species, and that we were herded and maybe farmed. There was kind of a cattle reference, almost, it seemed. Your curiosities of where I come from will be satisfied now with “The Brightest Star.” We get to go back and look at that, and find out what our relationship is with that predator species, and you'll see that it's not quite like cattle. It's almost a religious, ritualistic thing that happens when it's time for certain members of the Kelpien society to be culled, and taken away for their death. It really is slaughter, but it's played and it's sold to us Kelpiens as our fulfilling of the great balance, whatever that means. It's our place, our duty, almost, and we can take pride that we're doing something very good for the balance of nature on our planet of Kaminar. It brings up the question: Is it really, or are we being sold a lie? Is that a great way to make dinner for the predator species, and they're selling it to us like, "Just go along with us and don't fight us because it's best for all of us?" Or is there a better way? Saru is the one Kelpien who looks out to the sky, looks at his surroundings and thinks, "There's got to be more out there. Is that all there is, what I’m experiencing here? Do we just survive the day until our death? Is that all we're here for?" I think that fulfills all our curiosities as people. We all look at where we grow up and our family situation and think, "What's out there for me? What's the purpose of life? Is there more than what I'm experiencing right now?" How important was it for you to have that background, to learn that detail about Saru? Very important, because it shows how far he's come. He's come from a primitive village where it looks like we live in huts, and my main job is to gather kelp from the sea. Going from that simple lifestyle to being a first officer on a starship with all the science and technology that I know, the smarts that I have now, and being able to take any gadget and figure out how to work it, that's quite a jump to make. It was important to see, though, to go back and see that backstory of how he’s gone from primitive to first officer. It’s his curiosity and ingenuity that get him there. He takes the technology of our predator species, the Ba'ul. They control us with lots of technology, so we don't question it because we Kelpiens don't understand technology. So, when Ba'ul technology says it's time to be taken to your death, we just go along with that shuttle that lands and takes us away. I have a young brother-in-law who, when he was nine years old, was taking apart radios and putting them together again. Self-taught. Now, he's one of the most-brilliant computer geniuses I've ever known. He never went to school for any of it. That's very much Saru. Saru took apart things he found and put them back together, and he found out a way to repurpose them into something new, to make contact with the outside world. That really was important to me to know, that, “OK, he had some innate smarts,” smarts that he innately or developed on his own. Doug, did you give the writers any input? Did they ask you for your thoughts? Or did you get the script and play what was written on the page? Oh, gosh. I would never want to ruin the writing by adding my opinion to it (Laughs). No, our writers are just the most-brilliant bunch of people I've ever known. We have PhDs in the writers' room, people who love science, who do science, and between that and people who just love story and storytelling, and are so gifted at doing it. I love hearing their thoughts and going along with what they say, but I've never questioned their intentions for Saru. I think they're spot-on. Every decision they make for Saru is gorgeous and brilliant, and lovely for me to play. How did you enjoy working with Hannah Spear as your sister, Siranna, and Robert Verlaque as your father, Aradar? Hannah and Robert, they're both consummate professionals. And, by the way, I also had a moment with them. We had a little meeting ahead of filming this short where I gave them some Kelpien classes. Since I'm the first one to ever play a Kelpien, I needed to show them, "OK, we need to all put our little hoof boots on and walk around this conference room, so we can get our balance and our posture." I’d day, "Here's how I swing my arms when I walk," and "Here's how I gesture with my hands," and "Here's how a tilt of the head plays for me, personally. Now, of course, personalize this for your character, but the Kelpien DNA starts about here." They were both very, very absorbing of all that information, but played their characters with their own personal twists. It was just so beautiful to watch. Our family dynamic did really come out. It was great in the short film to go back in time and play Saru as a teenager with curiosities, with him questioning his dad, and having his dad do what my dad did when I was a kid, which was to say, "Because I said so," or "Stop asking stupid questions," or "Why are you trying to upset the way it's always been?" That was kind of a fun dynamic. It was also fun and nostalgic for me to have a sibling that I love. I'm the youngest of four boys in my real family, so to play a brother again with this beautiful sister was really heartwarming, and you could see how tight our relationship is. Hannah and I connected very much. This was her first time in prosthetic makeup, so there's some hand-holding that goes along with that. I remember my first time in prosthetic makeup, and thinking, "Oh, my gosh. Is this where I die? Do I die in this rubber suit?" She played it with courage and she got through it, and she realized it wasn't going to kill her. We all came out of it alive. Season Two will start next month. What elements, thematically, do you feel will set it apart from Season One? We're not at war anymore. That's the big difference this year, that we’d come to terms with the Klingons by the end of Season One. Season Two, I think, we're back to exploring again, which will bring some nostalgia to those Trek purists who love the old Trek, and the boldly going, and the exploration, and the "What's out there?" And you’ll see more of a peaceful dynamic among the crew. We had some turmoil on board last year, especially for me personally, with the dynamic between Michael Burnham and Saru. Our brother/sister relationship was really competitive last year, and once we lost our mother figure, Captain Georgiou, I didn't let her off the hook for that for quite some time. So now, in Season Two, you'll see us bond, and have each other's back way more than before. And it's really quite heartwarming to watch. I hope that will really resonate with the fans. You’ve been tweeting quite a bit about Nosferatu. Tell us a bit about stepping into Max Schreck's iconic footsteps and makeup. It looks fascinating... Thank you. That was a dream role for me. In fact, of all the rubber bits I've played and worn over the years, the one thing left on my bucket list was to play a classic vampire, and, hopefully, Nosferatu, hopefully Count Orlok. So, to get to do this, it’s a dream come true for me. You'll be seeing that sometime in 2019, and what's super-exciting about it is that I actually got to play Count Orlok in the world that Max Schreck played it in because every shot, every frame of our film, has a green screen element to it. That green screen element is filled in with footage and backdrop from the original film. So, I did actually get to play in the original movie, in a sense, which was really a super-dream come true. "The Brightest Star" continues the rollout of Star Trek: Short Treks, four standalone stories building toward the early 2019 return of Star Trek: Discovery. Each short will run approximately 10-15 minutes and will be an opportunity for fans to dive deeper into key themes and characters – including Saru, Tilly (Mary Wiseman), Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson, who directs his segment as well) and Aldis Hodge's new "Calypso" character, Craft -- that fit into Discovery and the expanding Star Trek universe. “The Brightest Star” premieres tonight in the U.S. on CBS All Access and in Canada on Space. View the full article
  16. “Elementary, Dear Data,” the third episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s second season, premiered on December 5th, 1988, and as well as being a classic TNG adventure, the show also gave us another early glimpse at Data’s journey of discovery as he discovered more and more about the intricacies of humanity. It’s a fan-favorite for good reason. Adding a touch of 19th century flair to the 24th century adventures of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D, we entered the smog-laden, dangerous world of Victorian London in the late 1800’s. Visiting the holodeck, Data and Geordi embarked upon a classic Holmes mystery as they waited for a rendezvous with the U.S.S. Victory. However, Data, with his encyclopedic memory, made short work of solving the mystery. Geordi left the holodeck in frustration, a move that confused Data. The engineer explained in Ten Forward that the fun is in solving the unknown, a conversation that Dr. Pulaski overheard. She challenged Data, claiming that he would be incapable of solving a mystery that he didn’t already know the outcome of. Data accepted, and on the holodeck Geordi created an original holographic Sherlock Holmes mystery with an adversary capable of besting the android. The first curveball was thrown as Dr. Pulaski was kidnapped and Data soon learned that Professor Moriarty – Sherlock Holmes’ mortal enemy – was responsible. The second curveball arrived when they learned that this Moriarty was well aware that he was a holographic character in a computer simulation, accessing the ship’s computer and showing them an image of the Enterprise he had drawn. Geordi and Data left the holodeck, and the engineer realized his error. Moriarty wasn’t created to just beat Holmes, but to be equal to the intelligence and abilities of Data. When the professor took control of the ship’s stabilizer controls, Picard joined Geordi on the holodeck. Moriarty showed that he had evolved well beyond his programming, capable of surviving in the world beyond the walls of the holodeck. Picard made it clear that wouldn’t be possible but pledged that if a way were ever discovered to convert holodeck material into a permanent state able to exist outside the holodeck, they would bring him back. The program was ended as the U.S.S. Victory arrived. The writing of the episode was inspired by Data’s experiences in “The Big Goodbye” and the season one episode “Lonely Among Us,” which revealed that Data had a fascination with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary creation Sherlock Holmes. “Elementary, Dear Data” was the first detailed investigation of his interest, and more episodes were planned. However, a misunderstanding regarding the stories of Sherlock Holmes being in the public domain put paid to that for another five seasons… until the sixth-season episode “Ship in a Bottle” saw Moriarty return. One of the most visually appealing episodes to that point in the show’s run, “Elementary, Dear Data” earned two Emmy Award nominations, one each for Outstanding Costume Design for a Series and Outstanding Art Direction for a Series. The sets for the episode were built from the ground up, giving the show a lavish, unique look. The final scenes, in which Picard and Moriarty went head to head with the fate of the Enterprise hanging in the balance, saw significant changes and unresolved plot threads, according to Maurice Hurley, the late TNG producer. “In that ending, Picard knew how to defeat Moriarty,” Hurley told The Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion. “He tricked him. He knew all along that Moriarty could leave the holodeck whenever he wanted to, and he knew because when Data came out and showed him a drawing of the Enterprise, if that piece of paper could leave the holodeck, that means that the fail-safe had broken down. In turn, this means that the matter-energy converter which creates the holodeck, now allowed the matter to leave the holodeck, which was, up to that point, impossible. When he knew that paper had left the holodeck, he knew that Moriarty could as well, so he lied to him." Interestingly, given his pitch-perfect British accent, Daniel Davis, the actor behind Professor Moriarty, is from Arkansas in the United States and nowhere near 221B Baker Street in London. He would return as Moriarty five seasons later, as would the increasingly regular and very welcome visits to the holodeck, which became a staple of TNG and, later, Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager . Director Rob Bowman was pleased with the episode, believing that there was enough in the scope of the plot to get two episodes out of it. “The original draft of that script was so eloquently written; absolutely beautiful, but it was probably a two-hour episode at least and was written way, way down, but that was a wonderful script,” he said. “We pulled the episode off." They certainly did. So, here’s to “Elementary, Dear Data." Thirty years old -- and it’s looking as sleuthful as ever. 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
  17. StarTrek.com is saddened to report the passing of John D.F. Black, a writer, story editor, executive story consultant and associate producer on Star Trek: The Original Series during its first season. Black died peacefully of natural causes in California on November 29 at age 85, his wife, Mary Black, confirmed to Black's publisher Jacobs/Brown Press, which revealed the news yesterday. Black earned one solo teleplay while with TOS, and it was an important one: "The Naked Time," which helped establish the character of Spock and earned Black a Hugo Award nomination. He beamed back to Trek for Star Trek: The Next Generation, writing the episode "Justice" (using a pseudonym, Ralph Wills) and receiving a "Story By" credit on "The Naked Now," a follow-up to "The Naked Time." More recently, he provided commentary seen and heard on the Blu-rays, 50 Years of Star Trek and Star Trek: Inside the Roddenberry Vault. His non-Trek writing credits included The Unearthly, Lawman, Mr. Novak, Laredo, Wonder Woman (the Cathy Lee Crosby pilot, which he also co-produced), The Fugitive, Mary Tyler Moore, Shaft, The Carey Treatment, Man from Atlantis, Charlie's Angels, The Clone Master and Murder, She Wrote. He even directed an episode of Charlie's Angels. Black is survived by his wife -- who served as his executive secretary at TOS -- and two sons. Memorial services are pending. Please join StarTrek.com in offering our condolences to Black's family, friends, colleagues and fans. View the full article
  18. The universe is expanding and so is everything in it. (I can personally attest to this truth by where I clasp my belt compared to five years ago.) Our beloved Star Trek franchise expands, too, and when it does its orbits realign accordingly. This is evident when you go back and watch one of the pilots and say to yourself, “Yes, these are the characters I love… but they aren't quite how I remember them.” A pilot is a showbiz term for a “first episode” that doubles as a proof of concept to a network. Star Trek blazed so many trails in television, and one of them is that it was among the first to have two pilot episodes. The original, “The Cage,” wasn't quite what NBC wanted, but the suits recognized the potential for greatness. Gene Roddenberry went back to the drawing board for “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” There are a lot of obvious changes between “The Cage” and the three TOS seasons we've come to know and love. (Spock freaking out about “The Women!!” being the most famous.) Less discussed are the changes between “WNMHGB” and the rest of the series. Most noticeable are the visual elements. To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, “Whaaaaaat's the deal with those collars?” Plus, Spock is wearing Command Gold, not Science Blue. (Scotty isn't in Engineering Red, either.) Spock's eyebrows are way, way slanted and he's got a lot more makeup on than he'll have for the rest of his career. Compared to “The Cage,” he's calmed down, but not to the point where he won't shout. As the Enterprise approaches the Galactic Barrier, the cool reserve we expect from Spock goes out the airlock as he expressively shouts “All stations!” and “Negative!” from his position on the bridge. His steely, some-might-say heartless thinking is on display when he tells Kirk he must “kill Mitchell while you still can,” but it isn't in the dispassionate “He knows, doctor, he knows,” style that Spock will give bad news in later episodes like “The City on the Edge of Forever.” Quite frankly, he's a little unpleasant. Which isn't to say logic isn't yet his bag. During the opening scene, a game of three-dimensional chess, we get one of the all-time classic lines. “Irritating? Ah, yes. One of your Earth emotions.” It's just a shame that Spock's top foil, Dr. McCoy, wasn't on this first trip. Dr. Mark Piper makes his sole appearance here, and no disrespect to the good doctor, but we're all better off that he got swapped out. (Yeoman Smith exchanged for Yeoman Rand was a good trade, too.) Don't go looking for Lt. Uhura anywhere, as she isn't in this episode at all. Despite the absences of some of our favorite characters, these are still surface changes. The essence of Star Trek as we know it was there, especially in its captain. (Even if he did have a weird phaser rifle, which we wouldn't see much of again.) The difference between The Next Generation's pilot, “Encounter at Farpoint, Part I,” and the remainder of the series is more obvious. For starters, Captain Picard is a little bit of a jerk. I love all my captains equally, but I've been pretty upfront over the years that Picard is not only the greatest leader on Star Trek, but the greatest leader in all of fiction. (And, obviously, in non-fiction, too; have you ever met real people? So many faults!) But in “Encounter at Farpoint,” he's really not the guy you want to hang out with sipping Earl Grey tea discussing archaeology late into the night. Once the Enterprise picks up Commander Riker on Deneb IV, Captain Picard doesn't have a nice schmooze with the guy who is going to end up his best pal for the rest of his life. Instead, he gives him the pointless and stressful task of a manual docking maneuver between the saucer and stardrive sections. (It also makes for some pretty slow television.) Picard then wigs out about the idea of children on the Enterprise. He'll eventually mellow on that last point, but this “array swinging” way he greets Riker is extremely out of character. The writers wisely knew Picard needed some catchphrases. You don't cast someone like Patrick Stewart without leaning into his diction. He says “Make it so” once and “Engage” twice. Testing the waters a bit. But he also says “Now hear this!” twice. It's got some naval precedent, but it's a ridiculous thing to say, even more than calling your second in command “Number One.” It never made it past the pilot. The later shows didn't have such drastic changes. Well, except that Voyager's Tom Paris was first introduced as a dangerous, treasonous convict. But pretty soon the producers realized they cast Robert Duncan McNeill. So, repositioned him as the nicest boy. Like everything else on Discovery, deception is the game. During the publicity run-up it looked like Michelle Yeoh's Captain Georgiou would be a significant character in every episode. Then, at the end of the two-part pilot, she gets killed. Boo! But later in the season, she's back! (Kinda. It's complicated.) Now, Yeoh seems very entrenched in the Star Trek family, with the expectation that she isn't going anywhere. With so many series, I'm surely leaving some changes out. What are other variations you've noticed from pilot to the rest of the show? View the full article
  19. Just in time for the holidays, Bye Bye, Robot has announced the launch of seven new Star Trek art prints by returning artists J.J. Lendl and Mark Brayer. Lendl, whose prints combine vintage influenced style with the contemporary nature of Trek, created five of the pieces, while Brayer, whose distinctive style is immediately noticeable through his strong use of color, graphic shapes, and illustrative linework, realized the other two images. Lendl has delivered one 18”x24” print for each of the original five Star Trek series, check them out below: "TOS" "TNG" "DS9" "VOY" "ENT" The viewer will find the use of unique colors distinctly corresponding to the color pallet of each series, realistic distressed textures, and detailed linework all combine together to provide a retro feel to the new prints. The designs also feature the most cast portraits of all of Bye Bye, Robot’s prints to date. Contained in each print the viewer will find portraits of the main crew prominently positioned within the design, as well as many memorable fan-favorite returning characters. Brayer’s first contribution is titled “HMS Bounty” and depicts the Klingon Bird-of-Prey that is flown by the TOS crew in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. The visual balance between the Klingon ship and the details of the Vulcan planetscape draws the viewer’s eye all the way through this design, acting as a fresh window into the beloved film. Brayer’s second design, “Live Long and Prosper,” is the artist’s tribute to Leonard Nimoy and his iconic character, Mr. Spock. A vast star field melds into Mr. Spock’s striking expression, creating a vibrant portrait that portrays the character’s essence. These two new 16”x24” prints fit right into Brayer’s continuing book-cover style collection. All seven art prints are printed on acid-free archival heavyweight cardstock and are available individually at $25 each. The five Lendl posters may also be purchased together, as a group, for the discounted price of $110. They can be purchased in the U.S. from byebyerobot.com. View the full article
  20. Which crew would give each other the best holiday gifts? That's the question StarTrek.com posed for this week's poll, and fans could choice from the following answers: Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Discovery. Thousands of fans voted, and here are the results: The Next Generation (38%) Deep Space Nine (22%) Voyager (19%) The Original Series (12%) Enterprise (6%) Discovery (2%) And how did you series crew of choice fare? Be sure to vote in this week's poll... View the full article
  21. Sarah Silverman was on Star Trek? Yup. She's a major star now -- and it's her birthday today -- but even some Trek fans don't realize that she counted among her earliest acting jobs the role of Rain Robinson in the Star Trek: Voyager two-parter, "Future's End." To celebrate Silverman turning 47, StarTrek.com is pleased to share Five Things to Know About Sarah Silverman... Beginnings Silverman was born in Bedford, New Hampshire, and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. She's the youngest of five siblings born to Beth Ann (Halpin) and David Silverman. She was just 17 years old when she first performed standup comedy. Voyager In "Future's End, Part I and II," Silverman guest starred as Rain Robinson, a human scientist/astronomer tasked with searching for extraterrestrials as part of Earth's SETI program. It was Robinson who picked up Voyager's warp signal, triggering a series of events involving Henry Starling (Ed Begley Jr.), the timeship Aeon, Earth's possible destruction and a kiss between Robinson and Tom Paris. More Rain? Voyager's writers and producers, particularly Brannon Braga, were so impressed with Silverman and her chemistry with Robert Duncan McNeill that they nearly brought the actress on board full-time. That revelation became news in 2011, when Bryan Fuller tweeted: "LIL' KNOWN: Star Trek Voyager producers considered making @SarahKSilverman a regular after her S3 turn as plucky present day astronomer." Of course, Braga and company eventually recruited a different actress for a full-time role: Jeri Ryan joined the cast in season four, playing the game-changing and star-making role of Seven of Nine. After Rain Silverman, in the years since her Voyager appearances, has worked nonstop, performing standup, writing a book, acting in films and on TV, recording albums and becoming a political/social activist. Among her credits: Saturday Night Live, Mr. Show with Bob and David, The Larry Sanders Show, There's Something About Mary, Seinfeld, School of Rock, The Sarah Silverman Program, Wreck-It Ralph, Take This Waltz, I Smile Back, Masters of Sex, Bob's Burgers and Battle of the Sexes. Along the way, she's won two Emmy Awards. Current Projects Since 2017, Silverman has hosted the Hulu talk show, I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman. The show concluded its second season earlier this month. She is also back on the big screen as your read this, once again providing the voice of Vanellope von Schweetz, in the animated hit, Ralph Breaks the Internet. Please join us in wishing Silverman a happy birthday. View the full article
  22. It’s the Holiday Season once again, and that means it’s time for your favorite holiday tradition – being transported by, me, the mighty and humble Q, to a strange and wonderful land full of winter games and surprises. Well, all right, that might not be your favorite holiday tradition now, but it will be when I’m done. You’re going to love it. You’re not going to have a choice. Bask in the glow of the world I’ve built just for you and thousands of your alliance friends. Did you know that Klingons do ice fishing? You will – and you can participate. It involves punching the ice as hard as you can; it’s absolutely delightful. Also, I’ve created an entire race of sentient gingerbread men, and a devilish Snow-Conian to hunt them to extinction. You… might want to put a stop to that, actually. Starfleet regulations and all. And, of course, you can’t forget about battling waves of snowman, or the fact that I took an Earth legend and combined him with a Klingon nightmare to create the Kramp’ihri! He doesn’t deliver presents... he puts Klingon warriors and Romulan Officers into his sack and drags them away to be with his merry imps. Of course, I can’t expect you to come to my Winter Wonderland and leave empty-handed. So, if you can pass my many and sundry wonderful events, I’ll grant you some brand-new items, like these beautiful sweaters I’ve designed just for you. And if you complete a footrace on ice against an opponent of my choosing enough times, why, I’ll even let slip a little bit of ancient Fek’ihri technology. Those demons from Klingon history make a ship that looks like it should be playing a guitar solo, let me tell you. So, come and speak to me at Earth Space Dock or Qo'nos, and I’ll make sure you have a incredible time in my Wonderland. Because, again, you won’t have a choice. Star Trek Online is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online game that allows players to explore the Star Trek universe from within. Players can forge their own destiny as Captain of a Federation starship, champion the Empire through the far reaches of the galaxy as a Klingon Warrior, rebuild the Romulan legacy as the commander of a Romulan Republic Warbird or carry out daring missions on behalf of the Dominion as a Jem’Hadar soldier. Captains can also explore iconic locations from the Star Trek universe, make contact with new alien species and battle alongside other players in customizable starships. 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
  23. Season two of Star Trek: Discovery will launch on Thursday, January 17, 2019, and CBS All Access has just released a new promotional trailer. The action-packed 30-second spot features explosions, familiar characters and newcomers, including Captain Pike and Spock... a smiling Spock. Check it out: Star Trek: Discovery's second season will premiere on Thursday, January 17, 2019, in the U.S. and Canada, and in the rest of the world on Friday, January 18, 2019. View the full article
  24. My path to Star Trek fandom is different from the story you usually hear. I didn’t watch it with my parents as a kid and grow up with it as part of my life. And since I’m a Millennial, I certainly didn’t watch it when it aired. In fact, it was Star Trek: The Next Generation that was playing on TV screens when I was a kid, and I had no idea that it was a sequel; I just thought "The Next Generation” was a sci-fi-y subtitle. I have vague memories of sporadically watching an episode here and there when my parents felt like channel flipping, but it wasn’t exactly a household habit. And when Galaxy Quest came out when I was in middle school, I had no idea it was a Star Trek parody. To me, it was just making fun of space shows in general. Actually, I’m pretty sure I didn’t know who Captain Kirk was until high school or so. So, basically, I spent my formative childhood and teen years utterly clueless about Star Trek: The Original Series. And yet despite being a jaded 21st century viewer (in my late 20s when I finally sat down to see what all the fuss about) watching a show with 50-year-old special effects and 50-year-old attitudes, I quickly found myself utterly sucked in. Admittedly, I was a little skeptical going in. Having grown up spoiled by spectacular special effects and snappy scripts honed by the Hollywood crowd-pleasing machine, I often have trouble getting into older films and TV shows, which can sometimes feel dated and backward. But there’s a reason why TOS and the original-cast films are such enduring classics. Sure, there are many aspects of the show that certainly were products of their time – those mini-skirts went from revolutionary and exciting in the 1960s to retrograde and impractical in the wake of Second Wave Feminism, and now they’re somewhere in between depending on who you ask (I personally think they’re quite fun, but maybe because from my perspective, enough time has passed that the social implications feel less urgent, and I associate them with modern-day cosplayers). And, of course, there are the special effects, which feel rather old-timey in the age of CGI. But great sci-fi writing and fantastic character performances are timeless, and Star Trek is full of those. And then there’s Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a better future — something that still feels revolutionary today, especially given the turbulent times we live in and the glum, gritty dystopias that so much current speculative fiction revels in. Here was a creator who dared to hope for, dream of, and depict a utopia. And not the cynical kind built on some dark underbelly. The kind worth striving for, with a foundation of acceptance and peace. Of course, it’s easy to look back from 2018 at something dreamed up in the 1960s and criticize the franchise’s limitations. But I can appreciate the ideas and goals behind the vision, even if the execution isn’t perfect. What was really interesting about discovering Star Trek as an adult was recognizing just how much I’d taken for granted in sci-fi — and real-world tech — actually originated with the show. It was like discovering a proto sci-fi world. Big flat-screen TVs, cell phones, tablet computers, voice-activated digital assistants — these things are ubiquitous now in both sci-fi fiction and in American households. It was fascinating to see where it all started and realizing just how great an impact Star Trek had on its genre and the world of its viewers. Then there are the story elements that became tropes and clichés which began with Star Trek. Having seen countless derivatives and parodies, it was somewhat surreal to realize that the brash captain, the logical alien, the gruff doctor, etc. were actually quite original back when TOS was airing. I discovered the wonderful world of Star Trek with a considerably different perspective from the audience it was originally intended for — and from those who grew up with fond memories of it always being part of their lives — and so I inevitably have a different view of the show and the films. And yet, I find that it holds up. From the vision it depicts to the sci-fi concepts it explores, Star Trek: The Original Series and the TOS features have a rare charm and originality. I may be a latecomer to the fandom, but now I’m happily drinking the Kool-Aid. Scotty, beam me up. Mary Fan is a sci-fi/fantasy writer hailing from Jersey City, NJ. She is the author of the Jane Colt sci-fi series, which comprises ARTIFICIAL ABSOLUTES (2013), SYNTHETIC ILLUSIONS (2014), and VIRTUAL SHADOWS (2015), and STARSWEPT (2017), and FLYNN NIGHTSIDER AND THE EDGE OF EVIL (2018), a YA dark fantasy and the first novel of the Flynn Nightsider series. Due out in 2019 is STRONGER THAN A BRONZE DRAGON, a YA steampunk fantasy. Check out her official page at www.maryfan.com/. View the full article
  25. Aye, laddie, Scotty would drink to this: Silver Screen Bottling Co. has just announced that Montgomery Scott Scotch will join James T. Kirk Bourbon, James T. Kirk Bourbon Reserve and Ten-Forward Vodka as part of the line of Star Trek branded spirits they've launched this year. The blended scotch whisky -- and, yes, the Scots spell it without the "e" -- is available for pre-sale starting today, priced at $49.99, at www.MontgomeryScottScotch.com. Shipping will begin in March 2019. Montgomery Scott Scotch is a limited batch produced in Glasgow by one of the most-awarded distilleries in Scotland. It's exceptionally smooth, with just a slight smoky note. The entire Star Trek line of spirits is available for purchase at www.silverscreenbottling.com. Additional products will be added in the future. View the full article