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Everything posted by Vic

  1. Every week on After Trek, three episodes from across the Star Trek franchise were listed as “Cadet Training/Episodes to Watch.” Below is a list of all of those recommendations, along with a brief explanation of what connected them to that week’s Star Trek: Discovery episode. “The Vulcan Hello” and “Battle At The Binary Stars” The Next Generation “Rightful Heir” This was chosen because it gave some history on Kahless, the Klingon leader spoken of by T’Kuvma. Enterprise “The Forge” Surak’s katra was transferred to Archer, which connected to how Sarek saved Michael Burnham’s life. Deep Space Nine “Captive Pursuit” Tosk, like Saru, lived his life as prey. “Context is for Kings” The Next Generation “The Pegasus” Like the spore drive, the cloaking device aboard the U.S.S Pegasus allowed the ship to travel in a non-traditional, more stealthy way. (Also, Captain Picard Day is always fun.) Enterprise “Marauders” The first mention of Suus Mahna, the ancient Vulcan martial arts used by Burnham in the mess hall (and derided by Landry). T’Pol taught it to the mining colonists to help them fight the Klingons who were taking all of their deuterium. The Next Generation “Lower Decks” Discovery broke new ground by focusing much of its action on non-senior members of the crew, like Tilly, Burnham, and Stamets – and this episode of TNG did the same, with a storyline about four cadets vying for promotion. “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry” Star Trek “The Devil in the Dark” Burnham’s suspicion that “Ripper” (the tardigrade) is not simply a monster parallels Kirk and Spock’s experience with the Horta. The most classic Trek theme of all. Deep Space Nine “The Sword of Kahless” A little more about Kahless here, with some insight into the fanaticism that divides Klingon factions from each other. The Next Generation “New Ground” The first mention of Corvan II, which is under attack by Klingons in this Discovery episode. “New Ground” also featured an attempt to travel even faster than warp drive, just as the Discovery is doing. “Choose Your Pain” Star Trek “This Side of Paradise” It’s all about the spores. Voyager “Equinox” Just as being hooked into the spore drive harms the tardigrade, the nucleogenic lifeforms on the U.S.S. Equinox’s Captain Ransom were lethally harmed when they were used to power the ship, with similar ethical questions asked and answered. Star Trek “I, Mudd” Harry Mudd’s second episode of The Original Series revealed his penchant for underhanded behavior and frequent quips. It also gave us a look at what happened to his relationship with Stella. “Lethe” Star Trek “Journey to Babel” For new Star Trek fans, a look at Sarek, Amanda, and Sarek’s complicated relationship with both Spock and Starfleet. Enterprise “Awakening” A glimpse into radical Vulcans. The Next Generation “Sarek” Sarek and Picard engaged in a very personal mind meld, and Picard was able to strengthen Sarek’s emotional resolve, much as Burnham is able to help a wounded Sarek. We also saw how Sarek’s career as a diplomat ended. “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad” The Next Generation “Cause and Effect” Time loop! Time loop! Time loop! Voyager “Timeless” The value of getting to try again, after failing the first time, although in this case it was to save lives, not harm them. The Next Generation “The Nth Degree” Stamets is clearly being affected by being plugged into the spore drive, just as Barclay was affected when he plugged himself into the Enterprise. New insights and new dangers for both. “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” Star Trek “Errand of Mercy” The Pahvans on Discovery, like the Organians in “Errand of Mercy,” are much more advanced than they seem, and don’t fear the Klingons the way Starfleet would like them to. Voyager “Prime Factors” The Voyager crew also faced the challenge of asking for help from a reluctant alien species, and came up against the Prime Directive in the process. Star Trek “The Paradise Syndrome” Kirk, like Saru, found a peace he had never known on a faraway planet, and planned to make his home there. In Kirk’s case, however, he was suffering from memory loss, while Saru was on a high from living without fear for the first time in his life. “Into the Forest I Go” The Next Generation “Parallels” It hadn’t yet been revealed that Discovery was in the mirror universe, so there were limits on which episodes could be connected to this one. “Parallels” began when Worf finds himself in the wrong parallel universe, and discovered that there are many more, a nice tie-in to Stamets’ exploration of the mycelial network. The Next Generation “Where No One Has Gone Before” The first TNG episode with The Traveler, in which the Enterprise found itself stranded in a completely unfamiliar part of space. There were also a lot of fan theories at the time about Stamets being The Traveler. Star Trek “The Enterprise Incident” "Forest" co-writer Bo Yeon Kim said that this was one of the episodes that was “pretty influential” when they were breaking the story in the writers’ room. “Despite Yourself” Enterprise “In a Mirror, Darkly” This episode explained what the U.S.S. Defiant was doing in the Mirror Universe, ten years before Kirk and the Enterprise NCC-1701 found it in interphasic space. Deep Space Nine “Crossover” This was the first of the DS9 Mirror Universe episodes, and the first time a Trek crew ended up there without a transporter accident. Voyager “Living Witness” While this was not a mirror universe episode—in fact it’s an incorrect recalling of Voyager’s history—it’s fun to see what the crew of Voyager was like in an “alternate” and crueler reality. “The Wolf Inside” Star Trek “Mirror, Mirror” Finally! This was the very first episode to show the mirror universe, and Burnham’s efforts to protect the rebels on Harlak while impersonating her mirror self are similar to Kirk’s attempt to save the Halkans. Enterprise “United” Captain Archer tried to unite Andorians, Tellarites, Humans and Vulcans, much as Voq (the Firewolf) is doing on Discovery. Deep Space Nine “Trials and Tribble-ations” Voq is revealed in this episode of Discovery, just as Darvin, in both the past and the present, is revealed to be Klingon. “Vaulting Ambition” Star Trek “The Tholian Web” Emperor Georgiou tells Burnham how the crew of the Defiant went mad in interphasic space, and this is the episode that tells that story, explaining why the Discovery crew should try to find a different way home. The Next Generation “Second Chances” Two Stametses, two options for the way their lives would go, just like Riker when he’s split by the transporter beam. Both Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz speculated that Mirror Stamets was let astray by not having a Culber in his life. Voyager “Tuvix” L’Rell removes Voq from Tyler, raising some similar moral questions as when Janeway sent Tuvix into the transporter to be split back into Tuvok and Neelix. When two beings are fused, which one has the right to survive? “What’s Past is Prologue” Voyager “Deadlock” A little more on parallel universes, as Voyager encountered itself and the two ships teamed up to ensure one of them survived. Deep Space Nine “Resurrection” Burnham’s emotional turmoil over dealing with the mirror universe version of the dead Captain Georgiou, and the weakness she has for her, is reminiscent of Kira facing the mirror Vedek Bareil. Star Trek “Space Seed” Writer Ted Sullivan was inspired by Khan awakening his people in “Space Seed” when he wrote and produced the scene in which Lorca’s people emerge from their agony booths. “The War Without, the War Within” Voyager “Scorpion” The Federation worked with Emperor Georgiou, Voyager worked with the Borg. Tough times, desperate measures. Enterprise “Broken Bow” The very first episode of Enterprise covered the first visit by Starfleet to Q’onoS, mentioned by Admiral Cornwell. The Next Generation “A Matter of Honor” Proof that the Federation would eventually try to learn more about Klingon culture, when Riker was sent aboard a Klingon ship as part of an exchange program. “Will You Take My Hand?” Star Trek “The Cage” At the end of the season finale, the U.S.S Discovery comes face-to-face with the U.S.S. Enterprise, putting it right in the era of Pike’s Enterprise, from “The Cage,” with Spock on board. The Next Generation “Rightful Heir” This recommendation is repeated, this time because of the story involving Kahless trying to unite the Klingon factions. Star Trek “Journey to Babel” Another repeat, this time to connect the dots on Amanda’s role as a human mother in a Vulcan world. Star Trek: Discovery's first season is available for streaming/viewing on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. It's available on Netflix in the rest of the world. --- Laurie Ulster is a transplanted Canadian who fell in love with Manhattan about 10 minutes after her arrival at NYU. She's been a TV producer, website director, cookie baker's assistant, and editor of her local paper. These days, she’s the Supervising Producer on After Trek (dream gig!), regular TrekMovie contributor, and a freelance writer, with a focus on pop culture, parenting, feminism, and Star Trek. Lots of Star Trek. (twitter: @floobish) View the full article
  2. Star Trek Online, the online roleplaying game that continues the story of the Star Trek Universe, is proud to announce our fourth major expansion, Victory is Life. Paying homage to fan-favorite series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, this brand-new expansion will bring Captains to the Gamma Quadrant and beyond, in a new story kicked off by the invasion of the mysterious Hur’q. You’ll be able to play as a new faction, the Jem’Hadar; experience six new episodes in the Star Trek Online story; and interact with 10 of the original DS9 cast members. We’re so excited to announce four of those actors for you here today, with more coming in next few weeks. At the end of the episode, “Scylla and Charybdis,” which first introduced players to the Hur’q threat, players were reunited with DS9 Chief of Security, Odo, played by René Auberjonois. René is the first DS9 actor who’ll be joining us for Victory is Life. When last we saw Odo, he’d returned to the Great Link, but the threat of the Hur’q brings him to our space. What is so dire that it could inspire his return? You’ll find out later this summer. It wouldn’t be the same to have Odo without his greatest nemesis and foil, which is why it’s wonderful that Armin Shimerman is returning to the role of everyone’s favorite Ferengi bartender, Quark. Quark stayed on Deep Space Nine at the end of the show, but it’s been decades since then in the Star Trek Online timeline. We’ll find out just what fresh schemes he’s been up to, and how they might affect the galaxy. After taking command of the station at the end of DS9, Commander Kira Nerys went on a spiritual journey that ended with her as the Kai of the Bajoran people. But with Odo returning to this quadrant, Nana Visitor will bring Kira to life once again, bringing one of Trek’s most-beloved characters to life in Star Trek Online. And finally, the return of a familiar face. J.G. Hertzler has spent the last year guiding players in Star Trek Online as the long-thought-dead Klingon general, Martok. Now he’ll lead the forces of the combined Federation, Klingon and Romulan alliance into battle against the Klingons’ oldest and greatest enemy, the fearsome Hur’q. Adventure once again with the legendary Klingon general when Victory is Life releases in June 2018 on PC, and later this year on Xbox One and Playstation 4. In addition to these new additions, Victory is Life will raise the Star Trek Online level cap to 65, introduce a new queue, new progression systems, and will add a Sector Battlezone, a new gameplay feature that takes players into a war between the stars to save the Gamma Quadrant. We’ll have more information on all these features soon, and we can’t wait for you to experience them. Victory is Life. 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 View the full article
  3. And the ageless wonder -- William Shatner – turns 87 today. Star Trek’s legendary Captain James T. Kirk is indeed closing in on the big 9-0, but he looks years younger and maintains a workload that would wear out most people half his age. A cursory glance at his schedule and current projects reveals the following: He’s got – deeeeep breath – An uber-active Twitter account A new movie out (Aliens Ate My Homework) Numerous upcoming convention appearances Set to appear at the Star Trek Original Series Set Tour in Fort Ticonderoga, NY, on May 4 and 5 Oh, and this summer NASA will launch a probe to study the sun… and it’ll carry a microchip with his name on it. And there’s surely more we’ve somehow neglected. Of course, to get caught up in Shatner’s current enterprises is to ignore his might storied history and impact as an actor. But back to that 87th birthday. Please join in wishing Shatner a happy birthday. View the full article
  4. A new Discovery adventure and a fresh John Byrne Trek tale are in the works for June via IDW Publishing, and has a First Look at the covers. Star Trek: Discovery: Succession #3 is written by Mike Johnson and Kirsten Beyer, with art and the A cover by Angel Hernandez. It unfolds in the Mirror Universe and delves deeper into the Discovery characters than ever before. Succession #3 will run 32 pages and cost $3.99. Fans should also be on the lookout for a photo B cover and variant covers by Yoshi Yoshitani, and Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire. Writer and photo-manipulator John Byrne’s latest effort is Star Trek New Visions: An Unexpected Yesterday. In it, Kirk and his crew venture into the past, only to discover it is nothing like what their history books teach... no trace of the devastation of World War III and the Eugenics Wars. What can have caused such a divergence? The answer is to be found in An Unexpected Yesterday. The book will run 48 pages and cost $7.99. For additional details, contact your local comic book retailer or visit to find a store near you. Keep an eye on for additional details about the IDW's upcoming Star Trek adventures, as well as exclusive First Looks at covers and preview pages. View the full article
  5. The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Nagus” debuted 25 years ago today – March 21, 1993 – and gave fans their first taste of playwright-author-producer-actor Wallace Shawn as Grand Nagus Zek. Shawn made the wily Ferengi leader his own over his seven total appearances, one each season of DS9. And it added to his impressive list of previous and future memorable characters that includes Wallace Shawn (from My Dinner with Andre), Father Abruzzi (in Heaven Help Us), Vizzini (from The Princess Bride), Mr. Hall (in Clueless), Rex (from the Toy Story franchise) and Cyrus Rose (in Gossip Girl). at long last caught up with the amiable Shawn, who recounted his Trek experiences, detailed the surprising paths his career has taken, and filled us in on his current projects. How surprised were you to be asked to do DS9? I was totally shocked because I've never owned a TV, so I was not really an expert on the show. On the other hand, having spent a lot of time in hotels, I’d sit flipping through channels and I always landed on Star Trek and thought "Oh, this is the one that looks so attractive visually." That would be The Next Generation. I always thought, “Wow, the cinematography is so great and it's so interesting-looking, with these interesting-looking people and creatures.” So, when I was asked to do DS9, I was thrilled. I loved the idea. Your first episode aired March 21, 1993, or 25 years ago today. How surreal is it that it's been 25 years? Time has ceased to make any sense to me at all. It does seem, in a way, that it was a long time ago because it feels sort of like an episode from my youth. The character was such a Ferengi, cunning and funny, but also wise. How much pure fun did you have playing him? To be in that world and to be in that makeup really liberated me in a way that I never experienced before -- or since. I felt completely free, so it was a joyful experience. But it was physically very, very arduous, and I couldn't have done it on a regular basis. Once a year, which is what I did, was basically perfect for me. But to be trapped inside that head for at least 12 hours, not counting three hours to put the makeup on and an hour to take it off, was a little bit disturbing and uncomfortable and exhausting. And if you had to scratch your forehead, you couldn't. Was that your decision to only do it once a year because of the makeup? Did they want you more often? Or was it their idea to have you on once a year? I think that that was just the choice of the writers and producers, and it worked out very nicely. That was just how often they wanted me. How did you enjoy working with your fellow Ferengi, Armin Shimerman, Max Grodenchik, Tiny Ron, Cecily Adams and Aron Eisenberg? I loved all of those guys. I don't know if I ever saw Tiny Ron outside of the makeup. Cecily was enchanting and lovely. Armin, I've seen subsequently and I did fairly soon I think see him out of makeup. I guess, ultimately, I saw Max out of makeup, too. But mostly I knew these people as Ferengi, really. Max and Armin, most of our relationship was Ferengi to Ferengi, really, with only these strange glimpses of each other out of makeup. So, reality seemed in some ways less real than the made-up versions. You appeared in seven episodes. Was there an episode, a scene, you were most satisfied with? The first episode was the one where the character was invented. The fake death was an amazing plot twist. The writers invented the character and, basically, I had all of three seconds to figure out how to interpret him based on the script. And the makeup, going through that the first time, that was an unforgettable moment. I also remember that, maybe even on the first day, an executive from upstairs -- I don't know what sort of executive he even was -- came down and took me aside and said, "Now, you do understand, this is a serious program? Star Trek is not a comedy." I’m not quoting him exactly because I don't remember his exact words, but in effect he was saying I was being too funny or I was clowning. I was not; it wasn't appropriate for the show. Well, I wasn't an expert on the show because, as I said, I don't have a TV and I never did have one. I really never had seen a complete episode of the show. So, I was a little nonplussed. I told the director, “Wow, a guy from upstairs told me this and I don't know what to do now.” He said, “No, I love what you're doing. So, keep on doing it.” That was fortunate, because I really wouldn't have known what to do. Considering that your seven episodes were spread over seven seasons, the Grand Nagus really had a full arc, even initiating reforms… Oh, absolutely. I knew that the writers were taking particular enjoyment out of my character and then when they presented me with a companion, a wonderful female Ferengi, that was amazing. I knew they were taking my character seriously and giving me great, wonderful stuff to do in every episode. There were no throwaway episodes for me, where I was just there, which sometimes can happen on television. Each episode that I was in I had something fascinating to do. Your career spans 50 years. When you started out, what did you aspire to? I began in my 20s as a writer, and at least in my own personal belief, I still am, even though only a small cult of people appreciates my writing and most people have never heard of it and, if they have, they aren't particularly attracted to it. But I’ve been a writer for 50 years and continue to write. There was never a time when I thought I would be an actor. It happened before I thought of it. A friend put me in a play and I kept at it because I’d not found a way to support myself, because my plays were odd and it was clear they couldn't support me even in immodest living, much less a bourgeois living. So, when I was offered a part in the play, despite the fact that I was not an actor, I said sure. The play was quite successful and I was, you might say, discovered by Juliet Taylor, and she introduced me to Woody (Allen), and I became a movie actor. When people recognize you on the street, do they want to talk about your plays, your political writings, or is it usually Clueless, Star Trek, Toy Story and The Princess Bride? Well, a lot of people do speak to me on the street, usually in a friendly way. Sometimes I don't know quite why the person is talking to me at first because I do have the different parts of my life. So, I don't sometimes even know whether someone is complimenting me for an angry political polemic that I've written or for my strange plays or for being a comical blackjack dealer in Vegas Vacation. So, you’re saying they don’t come up to you and specifically comment, "Hey, aren't you the guy from…" or "I loved you in…"? Or, “I loved this play or that article?” Often, they don't. Really? Sometimes, and sometimes people think that you are someone who has only done one thing, the thing that they like. So, people have often said to me on the street, "Your film is great," and I don't know what they mean. But the Star Trek fans are a particular group. They're very distinctive as people. There seem to be no evil Star Trek fans. They're a distinctly goodhearted group of people and, in many cases, they are people who have experienced some type of isolation or disadvantage. I’m going to guess that Donald Trump is not a Trekkie. It's an interesting group of people. And, of course, I don't really look like the Grand Nagus physically. I was wearing an incredible amount of makeup, so the people who recognize me from Star Trek really looked closely at that show. Star Trek fans see things again and again, and it’s even easier to do that now because DS9 is on Netflix and there's a whole new crowd of fans. What are your current projects? Will you be part of Ira Steve Behr’s DS9 documentary, What We Left Behind? Absolutely. Ira recorded me for that, and it should be very interesting and fun when it comes out. My small, very small book called Night Thoughts is available probably still at your local bookshop, if you have a local bookshop, or on Amazon. It’s kind of a long political essay, political in my own style, you might say. Book Club is coming out, and so is Toy Story 4. I've done a number of TV things. I'm on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, She's Gotta Have It, Mozart in the Jungle and Mr. Robot. I don't know, I seem to be doing an awful lot of these shows. I can't explain it. It's great. And I've got nice parts. View the full article
  6. Today is Star Trek: Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green’s birthday. She’s my hero and did an amazing job bringing the complex and compelling character of Michael Burnham to life. Martin-Green, late of The Walking Dead, is an uber-talented actress. A tough yet fragile, loyal yet independent human orphan raised by a Vulcan and human (Spock’s father and mother, no less), Michael is one of the most-intriguing new characters introduced to the franchise. So, what better way to say “Happy Birthday” than to list my season-one Top Ten Mighty Michael Moments. Number 10 Michael may’ve ended up court-martialed, but that’s not the most memorable Michael Moment in “Battle of the Binary Stars.” Her introduction to Captain Philippa Georgiou on board the U.S.S. Shenzhou by Sarek in a flashback gives us glimpse of pre-Klingon War Michael. The affection she and Sarek have for one another and the fascination with Georgiou that later blossoms into full-on hero worship is fun to watch. It is a credit to Martin-Green’s acting chops that clearly Michael communicates fear, disappointment, excitement, and a desire to please Sarek with just her eyes. We don’t actually get much of this Michael after this point, but I hope there’ll be more of that to come, at least in flashbacks. Number 9 Michael’s final goodbye to Tyler in “Will You Take My Hand?” was bittersweet, but nicely done and a humorous homage to the multitude of similar scenes we’ve seen from male regulars on Trek series. I mean, they always choose the service over the girl, so of course, Michael should do the same. For those of us with a romantic nature, sure, we’d love to see Michael with a great guy someday, but at the same time, I love the fact that’s she’s now free to play the field, unencumbered by Vulcan restrictions or a steady boyfriend. Number 8 I couldn’t help grinning when Michael rockets towards the Klingon sarcophagus ship in her spacesuit in “The Vulcan Hello.” What a rush. We saw something like that in Star Trek (2009) when Kirk, Sulu and Red Shirt Olsen space jumped to disable the Romulan drill. You’ve got to know that for young Black girls with geeky sci-fi tastes, it was everything to get to Michael doing that. It reminded me of Mirror Universe Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series being all badass with her knife in her boot. Number 7 Any time Michael kicked someone’s butt, it was awesome, but it was hella satisfying to see her take the Klingon Kol down in “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.” He was just so annoying and not a good Klingon leader anyway. And can we just all give a standing O for Michael’s hand-to-hand combat skills? In “Context Is for Kings,” she has no problem taking on lunchroom bullies and in “Despite Yourself,” she took take down Mirror Connor permanently. Yeah, she’s tough as nails. Number 6 Michael learns to dance, gets her first kiss, and saves the good ship and crew in the process, so “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad” is one big Mighty Michael Moment. It was a break for those of us who were tired of seeing Michael in a constant angst-driven funk. Set at a rare down-time party for the crew, Michael is recruited by Stamets, the only person able to see that Discovery is caught in a time loop created by the nefarious Harry Mudd. The pseudo-father/daughter dance lesson between Michael and Stamets where gives her the “birds and bees talk” is touching. Her subsequent dance with Tyler and her first kiss give me girly goosebumps even now. Number 5 Michael and Sarek’s relationship is one of the best things about Discovery, but there are two cool moments between them that stand out for me. The first was in “Lethe”, when Michael discovers through a mind-meld that Sarek chose Spock over her for the Vulcan Science Academy, something he’s kept secret. She’s blamed herself all these years for failing him by not getting in. He refuses to talk about it when she confronts him, but Michael says, “We’ll have this conversation one day… Father.” It’s the first time she calls him that and it was a fitting way to show her, for the first time, calling the shots in their relationship. It was a rite of passage -- a child maturing to adulthood -- and it opened another door for the viewers to the inner “Life of Mike.” Number 4 The other Michael/Sarek moment is the resolution of that conflict. In the season finale, “Will You Take My Hand?,” Sarek tells Michael that she has been recommissioned, then goes on to say how proud he is of his daughter, which is the first time he refers to her that way. This is a touching counterpoint to her “father’ scene. I hope we see many more scenes between these two, as they have such realistic daddy/daughter chemistry. Number 3 Three words: Michael eats Kelpien. OK, more words. In “Vaulting Ambition,” Emperor Georgiou has a lovely family dinner with her adopted daughter Michael. Michael chows down on the meal until Georgiou offers her some yummy threat ganglia from her plate. It’s apparently, a delicacy. This moment simply rocks. Not the fact that a poor Kelpien was being consumed, but Michael’s obvious struggle to overcome her gag reflex was priceless. I felt for her. I had the same reaction when my parents made me eat liver. Number 2 “Killing Georgiou” was another Mighty Michael Moment. OK, Michael didn’t actually kill her, but the thing is, when she brought Emperor Georgiou over to the Prime Universe in a fit of emotion at the end of “What's Past Is Prologue,” clearly the hero-worship thing was out of control. But in the season finale, “Will You Take My Hand?,” Michael course-corrected by accepting that Emperor Georgiou was “her Philippa,” in essence, letting her Philippa die. When Michael lets Emperor Georgiou go and tells her to be good, the emperor asks, “Or you’ll come after me?” This is a perfect end (?) to their short-lived relationship. Number 1 No surprise, the best Mighty Michael Moment of the season was Michael’s speech to Starfleet. It was everything, especially when you realize that her voiceover for the entire episode is part of that speech. The words, “We Are Starfleet” repeated throughout acted almost as an assurance that all would be well not only for the Discovery, but for the series Star Trek: Discovery. Her voice: calm, confident, strong, youthful, was a great way to end a long, dark run that was, for all intents and purposes, a season-long origin story. Seeing her flanked by the crew with their medals was invigorating and made me anxious to start a new mission with this new crew. I can’t wait for next season and many more Mighty Michael Moments. Originally from the Midwest, DaVette See lives in Inglewood, CA. She’s a sci-fi fan, a movie geek, an OG Trekkie, and a Browncoat. She has a BA in English and Theater, and a Law degree. An actress, director, and writer, she owns Running Lady Studios and is the producer/star of the web-based talk show, Afro Bites! She is wife to Rob, daughter to Martha, and mom to seven (yes seven) cats. When not covered in fur, she’s a West Coast correspondent and occasional movie reviewer for Black Girl Nerds. Follow DaVette on Twitter and IG @mariavah. View the full article
  7. Q: What is the major linkage between the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Bread and Circuses” and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games book trilogy? A: Both of them drew inspiration from this section of Juvenal’s Satire 10: “…iam pridem, ex quo suffragia nulli uendimus, effudit curas; nam qui dabat olim imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat, panem et circenses. ‘perituros audio multos.’” Huh? OK, for all of you (including us) who are unable to read transliterated Latin, running the above through the universal translator yields this approximate conversion to Earth English: “Now that no one buys our votes, the public has long since cast off its cares; the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things, Bread and Circuses/Games! 'I hear that many are to perish.'” More simply, this portion of Juvenal’s work refers ominously to an elite “government” appeasing an uncaring population by appealing to its basic needs for food and morbid entertainment. Sound familiar? It should, because it’s a major plot element of both The Hunger Games trilogy and “Bread and Circuses,” both of which essentially concern affluent citizenry selecting not-so-affluent people to fight mortally in an arena for their amusement. (Note that the name of the TOS episode, “Bread and Circuses,” comes from one popular translation of panem et circenses while the name of the nation in The Hunger Games trilogy, Panem, comes from the Latin word for bread that’s in it.) “Bread and Circuses,” TOS’s 54th broadcast episode, was written by Gene Roddenberry and Gene L. Coon from a story by John Kneubuhl. In addition to its “what-if” plot focusing on a modern Roman culture replete with slaves, the episode also presents satirical commentary on organized religion and the television industry of the 1960’s. Since today is the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of this episode, we thought we’d celebrate it by doing something a little different. For this article, we thought we’d go behind the scenes and… volunteer to give tribute… to the arena and some of the places where the episode was shot. Above: The March 9-15, 1968 TV Guide showing the listing for the premiere of “Bread and Circuses.” Exterior Shooting at Paramount Studios In the teaser for “Bread and Circuses,” the Enterprise learns about the fate of one of the S.S. Beagle’s crew by intercepting and watching a crude television broadcast (if we can use the colloquial term) from planet IV of system 892. When that video starts, it shows the Roman police recovering dissident, well-treated slaves. Above: (Top left and right) The footage of the Roman police capturing the slaves was originally shot in color and then printed to black and white for insertion into the bridge’s main viewing screen. Note the car in the foreground in these shots—referred to as the Jupiter 8 in the episode—which, in real-life, was built by Gene Winfield and called the Reactor. (Bottom left) This entire sequence was filmed in front of an area known as the Dressing Room (highlighted in the white box in this modern photo) that’s located on Avenue M of the Paramount Studios lot. Incidentally, the building behind the Dressing Room, with trees around it, is the Schulberg building that doubled as the Ekosian chancellery in “Patterns of Force.” Location Shooting at Bronson Canyon The rocky terrain of planet 892-IV that Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beamed onto at the beginning of Act I was located in the Bronson Canyon area of Los Angeles. Above: Exterior filming at Bronson Canyon occurred on August 12 and 13, 1967. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the high temperatures for those days were 97oF and 100oF, respectively. Sound Stage Shooting at Paramount Studios The gladiatorial games in “Bread and Circuses,” televised to the inhabitants of 892-IV, were fought in a studio fabricated on Paramount’s stage 32. Above: The set was decorated with assorted paraphernalia including studio television cameras (not shown here), Greek/Roman architectural elements, and Paramount/Desilu lights. Above: (Left) The background for the arena games, shown in this bridge main viewing screen shot that used black and white footage for the optical, was a backdrop painting. (Right) The backdrop was a Paramount property that was also used in some of their other productions, including Bonanza. And with that, we come to the end of this article and bid… valete. As one of Mr. Spock’s ancestors used to say: May the odds be ever in your favor! Biographical Information David Tilotta is a professor at North Carolina State University and can be contacted at Curt McAloney—an accomplished graphic artist—resides in Minnesota and can be reached at Together, Curt and David work on Their upcoming book, Star Trek: Lost Scenes (due out in August 2018 from Titan Books), will be filled with hundreds of carefully curated, never-before-seen color photos that they use to chronicle the making of the original series, reassemble deleted scenes left on the cutting-room floor, and showcase bloopers from the first pilot through the last episode. View the full article
  8. Space fact and fiction collide when real-life European Space Agency scientists Dr. Victoria Grinberg, Elliot Sefton-Nash and Dr. Paul McNamara join such Star Trek actors as William Shatner, Jason Isaacs, Mary Chieffo and Terry Farrell at Destination Star Trek Germany, April 27-29, 2018, at The Messe Westfallenhallen in Dortmund. The free talks will include: Black holes are perhaps the most mind-boggling objects ever conceived by physicists and there’s hardly any sci-fi series today that will not feature them in some capacity. But can we actually see them? Tiny on cosmic scales and dark, they cannot be simply observed through an optical telescope. Creating black holes through the ignition of red matter may be possible in the year 2387, but not yet… However, black holes interact with their environment: a stellar-mass black hole in a binary system with a normal star will accrete matter from such a companion, giving rise to the brightest and most variable X-ray sources observed in our sky. Supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies, including our own Milky Way, can similarly accrete gas and emit high-energy radiation, but also influence the paths of stars and gas in their vicinity. In this talk, I will give a very short overview of what black holes are, how we observe them today and what amazing new scientific results may happen in the next years. Presented by Dr. Victoria Grinberg, ESA Research Fellow. Mars has been a source of inspiration and fascination for centuries, with early astronomers believing that patterns on the surface were advanced irrigation systems created by intelligent life-forms – the trigger for many sci-fi novels. With the dawn of the space age, and better telescopes, civilized Martian colonies were ruled out, but the question remains: did primitive lifeforms ever exist on Mars? Numerous probes have been sent to the Red Planet, and we now know it was certainly once much warmer and even had water flowing on its surface, conditions that may’ve once been suitable for life. Evidence for life that might’ve emerged during Mars’ ancient and more habitable epochs could be preserved in buried rocks, protected from the hazardous present-day surface environment. The ExoMars Rover will, for the first time, sample and analyze these rocks to allow scientists to carefully assess whether there was ever, or still is, life on Mars. In the future, we may also develop the capabilities to bring Mars samples back to Earth for study.... and one day, maybe humans will even walk the surface for real, and not just in the movies. Presented by Elliott Sefton-Nash, ESA Planetary Scientist. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of spacetime. First predicted by Albert Einstein in 1918, gravitational waves are created by the most violent events in the Universe: exploding stars, merging supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies, and even from the Big Bang itself. In September 2015, almost 100 years after Einstein’s seminal paper, gravitational waves were first detected on Earth by the LIGO observatories. In the two years since, several more detections have been made, firmly cementing gravitational wave astrophysics as a new way to observe the cosmos. But this is only the beginning: future observatories are now being designed and built, including the ESA's space-based observatory, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) – a constellation of three satellites orbiting the Sun, designed to measure the minute changes in spacetime caused by the passage of a gravitational wave. These new observatories will revolutionize our understanding of the dark side of the Universe. But this is today, the future is Stardate 45397.3, when the Enterprise is almost destroyed by gravitational waves… Could this really happen? Presented by Dr. Paul McNamara, ESA Scientist. Along with talks, autographs, photos and concerts, fans attending Destination Star Trek Germany will be able to take command of the bridge on the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 plus see props and costumes in the Destination Star Trek Museum. Tickets are available at Keep an eye on for additional news about Destination Star Trek Germany guests and programming. View the full article
  9. The gorgeous, daring, creative, unique pieces created for the Star Trek 50th anniversary exhibition, Star Trek: 50 Artists. 50 Years., will be open for bidding March 27 and then go up under the hammer on April 15 via Heritage Auctions’ Entertainment & Movie Memorabilia Auction. On offer will be sculptures, paintings, photographs, illustrations and mixed media works rendered by such respected figures as Leonard Nimoy, Kim Hyunju, Johnson Tsang, Nick Walker, Anna-Maria Jung and Amir Roumie Abou. The pieces, which vary wildly in size, weight, texture and medium, were curated by CBS Consumer Products for the exhibit’s 2016-17 global tour, which launched at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2016. More than 100,000 fans visited the exhibition during 11 stops through North America, Europe and the Middle East, and the exhibit’s images graced many officially licensed Star Trek products, spanning from posters, mugs and books to shirts, wine bottle and more. Among the fine art paintings and photography in the auction are: Nimoy’s photograph titled Hand in Vulcan Gesture. Nimoy’s piece is an eerie depiction of the Vulcan salute in multi-color. The artwork is particularly poignant as it was contributed only months before his passing. The Final Frontier, an oil on canvas, by Australian Nicky Barkla, that captures the steadfast courage of the crew from the television hit Star Trek: The Next Generation. Make it So, a large-scale oil on panel by U.K. artist Paul Oz, employs thick, energetic marks for an up-close portrait of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, portrayed by actor Patrick Stewart on television and in feature films for 15 years. Illustrations paying tribute to the franchise’s fan-favorite characters include works by artists: Patrick Connan, a French art director and movie poster artist, contributing an encapsulating image of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, titled Revenge Is A Dish That Is Best Served Cold, produced on aluminum. Amy Beth Christensen, a Senior Concept Designer at Lucasfilm Animation, whose Don't Believe in No-Win Scenarios, presents a portrait gallery of villains and heroes. Stanley Chow, an artist/illustrator who is a regular contributor to The New Yorker, rendering a vibrant yet fleeting depiction titled Teleportation of Mr. Spock. Among the Star Trek-themed sculptures are: A model of the U.S.S. Bellwether by Lynn Norton, an artist who, since 1991, has sculpted nearly all of Hallmark’s Star Trek starship holiday ornaments. Home Is Where the Journey Is, a mixed media work of the U.S.S. Enterprise by Calvin Ma, a San Francisco-based modern & contemporary artist. Assimilation, a lighted mixed media sculpture, by Neal Smith, a toy designer for Mattel’s Team Hot Wheels. Smith’s piece represents the starship used by the series’ Borg Collective. A closer inspection reveals it’s almost entirely constructed of “assimilated” Hot Wheels toy cars. “This is the first time a body of work like this has ever been offered at auction at one time,” said Giles Moon, an Entertainment Consignment Director at Heritage Auctions. “The artworks are marvelous and truly capture how Star Trek’s television programs and films have influenced generations of artists around the world.” Go to to sign up for and participate in the auction. View the full article
  10. Remember how it felt when you were a kid and went to your friend’s house and got to play with their toys? That’s how it feels whenever I get to write a Star Trek book. I’m given access to a playset filled with the best, most fully-articulated and sometimes most-articulate action figures (they’re not dolls, they’re action figures), and the license (both literal and figurative) to tell their stories. And the best part is the dolls—I mean action figures—actually gain in value now that they’re out of their original packaging. I love telling Trek stories. And I’m not the only one. Writers—both professional and amateur—have told me just how much fun it is adding shades and new dimensions to iconic characters, introducing new species, and, well, exploring strange new worlds of their own imagination, all inspired by Gene Roddenberry’s original creation. The saying “I hate writing. I love having written,” usually attributed to Dorothy Parker or sometimes George R. R. Martin, doesn’t seem to apply to Trek. Whenever I get a chance to speak with my fellow writers, at conventions or elsewhere, we all agree that the sheer joy of using your keyboard to put yourself, along with the crew, on the bridge of the Enterprise or Voyager or Discovery is like nothing else. Admittedly, none of us relish the feeling we get when, at 3am the day before a manuscript is due, and we’re staring at the cursor blinking on our computer screen tempting us to make that sentence a little better, that story beat a little punchier, that Red Shirt’s death a little more meaningful. It’s a feeling not unlike, I’m sure, the agony felt by the anguished Horta in "The Devil in the Dark" and, I’m also sure, our friends and loved ones are somewhat relieved when, after we hit the ‘send’ button, we go back to saying “the phone is ringing” rather than “incoming transmission, Captain.” But we still wouldn’t trade it for anything in the quadrant. Storytelling is a huge part of Trek’s DNA. Before making the jump into television, Gene Roddenberry was a speechwriter for the Los Angeles Police Department. Speechwriting, like any other form of writing is, at its heart, storytelling. He told the stories of the tragedies and triumphs of the department, its officers, and, in a way, the city of Los Angeles. Scotty may’ve known his way around a ship’s warp core, but Roddenberry, an experienced storyteller, engineered Trek’s very core to be a transport for meaningful, layered and timeless stories. On one strand, each and every Trek episode and film tells a story—some individual, some part of a greater narrative, and some, let’s be honest, better than others. It has, over a half-century-plus, employed hundreds of screen and television writers, but it’s also allowed as many, if not more, hair and makeup artists, costume, set, and prop designers, cinematographers, and directors to contribute to those stories as well. With the help of science, the stories based on Roddenberry’s creation was, and continues to be, quite literally, beamed (or streamed) directly into our homes, imprinted on magic disks, or projected onto viewscreens for mass audiences. The books, comics, role playing games, video games, all tell their own stories, and are created not only by writers and artists, but by teams of editors, designers, and other creatives, each of whom contribute to the greater story. All of these stories continue to challenge our ideas of who we are, who we should be, and who we want to be. And finally (and before I beat this DNA metaphor so badly I’m forced to serve as the patient in a holodeck game of Operation while Drs. McCoy, Crusher, Bashir, all drunk on Andorian Ale, try to relieve me of my “writers cramp” bone while a chorus of EMDs dryly cheer them on), we come to the second strand of Trek DNA. This one requires a bit of a deep dive, but if you’ll allow it, I propose that the idea of storytelling itself is inextricably associated with one of Starfleet’s central tenants: The Prime Directive. Starfleet General Order 1 (it’s #1 so you just know it’s the important one), dictates that Starfleet should not interfere with other cultures. In essence, it insists on each civilization’s right to tell their own stories. Humans, Vulcans, Tellarites, Klingons, Romulans, Ferengi, Betazoids, heck, even Mirror Universe Terrans have their own stories to tell. As do the untold members of each of those civilizations. Loki and Bele each had their own stories to tell. Was one of them the right one? Or the more right one? Janeway’s story was no less an important one to tell than Seven of Nine’s. I’d wager that neither Nero nor Shinzon considered themselves to be anything but the heroes in their own stories. And Burnham’s story on Vulcan may, as of this writing, at least, be more mysterious than Spock’s or even Sybok’s, but I bet it’s no less rich. To paraphrase storyteller Candice Bushnell’s storytelling Carrie Bradshaw, I “can’t help but wonder,” if we shouldn’t add one more gift to the long list of presents we’ve received from Trek: A note to us, from Roddenberry, that reads “We all have stories to tell.” Whether they’re about ourselves, each other, or cultures imagined or just not-yet discovered, storytelling is part of human nature. And though we may not be able to board the Enterprise and travel to the Final Frontier, we can all be storytellers. Robb Pearlman is the author four Star Trek books, the most recent being Search for Spock: A Star Trek Book of Exploration: A Highly Illogical Parody. If you're searching for him, it's best to look at a Con or View the full article
  11. When Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered in 1987, it made a bold statement: physical challenges need not limit one’s potential. Lieutenant Geordi La Forge, a blind man, was assigned to pilot the Federation’s flagship. He was able to do this thanks to a nifty piece of technology, a visual instrument and sensory organ replacement — or VISOR — that allowed him to see by detecting electromagnetic (EM) signals. At the time — and for most of the 30 years that followed — I didn’t think of the VISOR in terms of technology. Instead, I saw it as a symbol of that future in which the obstacles that now stand before us have been overcome. The idea that future tech would solve blindness was a given to me, and it wasn’t an issue on my mind. Detached I’ve been fortunate to have good vision throughout my life. Until recently, that is. In 2014, at the age of 42, I was diagnosed with a rapid-onset cataract. Within six months, my eye had been cut open, the lens shattered and replaced with an implant. In a sense, I had become a Borg. But the intraocular lens (IOL) I received restored my vision to a level that I had not experienced since my early twenties. Traditionally, IOLs required you to make a permanent decision between a fixed focus (near or far) or you could go with a bifocal. But the newer multifocal version that I received allowed me to look anywhere — near or far — and see clearly with instant focus. It’s amazing technology, and naturally I thought of La Forge and his new eyes in First Contact (only mine didn’t have the cool circuit-board pattern). I thought I was out of the woods. I was wrong. Two years later, I suffered a retinal detachment, the same thing that happened to Lieutenant Reed in “Harbinger” after a fight with Major Hayes. Once again, my eye was being cut open. After successful treatment, another area became detached. And again. And again. Seven locations in all. Because I lack the compound retinas of a Suliban, it was imperative that I have mine repaired. After four surgeries in four months, I was left with an eye filled with silicon oil — an extreme measure to stop the recurring damage. That’s where I am today, still undergoing treatment 18 months later, looking out on a blurry and distorted world. While I remain fortunate compared with many who suffer from low vision or blindness, the experience made me see the VISOR in a new light. What I once saw as a message of social equality I now saw as a tech solution to a serious, life-altering health issue. Beyond Retinax The influence Star Trek has had on scientists, doctors, and engineers is incredible — and it has provided me with hope. As a writer and editor, my livelihood depends on my eyes. The outcome of my treatment remains uncertain, and I sometimes wonder what the future holds. So, where are we on the road to the VISOR? This has become an important question for me. Not literally, mind you; I don’t really want to wear a hair barrette on my face and see the world as EM pulses. But the idea that technology can restore vision — as shown on TNG — must be driving real-world research and development. While there is not enough space here for a comprehensive exploration of the solutions, let’s take a look at the state of the technology. EyeMusic Going back nearly a decade, the Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem unveiled in 2009 an approach using a sensory substitution device that restores sight through other senses. In those who are blind, the brain repurposes the visual cortex to process sound. Yissum’s technology, now known as EyeMusic, uses a tiny wearable camera to capture the surrounding environment and convert it into a soundscape. The user then learns to identify objects based on how each is represented as sound. Although this may not seem like a true solution to restoring vision, it is similar to how La Forge sees. We’re never truly shown onscreen what the world looks like to him. We only get a few glimpses that show a representation that we can still understand. But the VISOR provides information from the full spectrum of EM signals. La Forge sees sound; so, in a way, hearing is seeing and seeing is hearing. Thus, EyeMusic may deliver something much closer to Trek even if it isn’t what we expect when talking about visual restoration. Implants The mission of Paris-based Pixium Vision is “to create a world of bionic vision for those who have lost their sight.” The company’s IRIS II system helps individuals make their way around unfamiliar environments. It does this by delivering light and shape perception through an implant with 150 electrodes that is surgically attached to the surface of the retina. A camera integrated into a special pair of glasses converts the surrounding environment into electrical signals that stimulate the nerve cells of the retina, restoring basic vision. The first implantation was performed in September 2016 at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. Pixium’s technology is advancing rapidly, and in January 2018 the next-generation PRIMA system was implanted in a human for the first time at the Rothschild Foundation Hospital in Paris. This miniaturized, wireless sub-retinal implant packs 378 electrodes on a 2x2-millimeter photovoltaic chip that is just 30 microns thick. The procedure takes less time and is less invasive compared with the IRIS II system and can provide higher resolution. Like IRIS II, PRIMA utilizes special glasses and a small pocket computer. This initial implantation is part of a study that will trial the system in up to five patients for 36 months. Getting Graphic Not all solutions under development require modification of the retina. Much of the power in modern computers is found in the graphics processing unit (GPU), which is used for tasks traditionally performed only by the CPU. OxSight, Ltd., a venture of the University of Oxford, is putting GPUs at the heart of smart glasses that help the partially sighted or blind. The company, named one of five finalists for GPU maker NVIDIA’s 2017 Global Impact Award, formed in 2016 after a successful trial of the technology with 300 blind participants in the UK. The OxSight Helios smart glasses are powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra GPU. In trials, about 30 percent of participants reported a significant, immediate improvement. eSight For those with low vision, one of the most talked-about solutions is the eSight 3 from Toronto-based eSight Corp. These electronic glasses, previously highlighted here on, enable the legally blind to see. They are the most accessible option to the general public and are available for purchase in 42 countries. The eSight system differs from IRIS and PRIMA in that no surgery is required. Rather than delivering information directly to the retina via implants, eSight displays a full-color, hi-resolution video feed of the surrounding environment on two near-to-eye OLED screens. The user can fine tune the input to best meet their personal vision needs by adjusting the color, contrast, focus, and brightness of the video. They can even magnify what they are seeing up to 24x—a bit like the capability of La Forge’s implants as seen in First Contact. Vision of Tomorrow Of course, technology such as this may not be the final solution. Gene therapy remains a promising approach and may ultimately be the way to eradicate blindness. But the four hardware solutions presented here can been seen as inspired by and leading to the VISOR. As someone dealing with vision loss and uncertain what tomorrow holds, these advances give me hope. But even greater hope comes from knowing that we can already do these things in 2018. With our current rate of advancement, I have no doubt that the technology we possess in the 24th century will far surpass the prosthetic worn by Geordi La Forge. It was visionary for its time but, as is most often the case, it is difficult to anticipate the tech of tomorrow. And that is thanks, in large part, to Star Trek itself and the vision it inspires. C Bryan Jones is founder and publisher of the podcast network, host of The Ready Room, co-host of The Orb: A Star Trek Deep Space Nine Podcast, and host of Notes from The Edge, which explores connections between Star Trek: Discovery and the greater franchise. Here on Earth, he lives in Tokyo where he’s editor-in-chief of The ACCJ Journal, the magazine of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan. He can also be found on Twitter @cbryanjones. View the full article
  12. More than 10,000 fans participated in the latest poll, for which we asked the following question: Which ship would you like to serve on? Here are the results: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D (45%) U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656 (22%) U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 (13%) U.S.S. Defiant NCC-1764 (9%) U.S.S. Enterprise NX-01 (6%) U.S.S. Discovery NCC-1031 (4%) And how did your ship of choice fare? Be sure to vote in this week's poll... View the full article
  13. It's still only March, but Creation Entertainment is moving at warp speed in its effort to lock in at least 100 guests for Star Trek Las Vegas this August. Today, they revealed that they're up to 75 guests with the additions of Casey Biggs, Ronald D. Moore, Garrett Wang, Jeffrey Combs and... at #75, Famke Janssen. The actress is a major star these days thanks to her work in everything from the X-Men franchise and Nip/Tuck to Taken and The Blacklist, but the Dutch model-turned-actress counts among her earliest performances her turn as Kamala in "The Perfect Mate" episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. At STLV, which will take place from August 1-5, 2018, at the Rio Suites Hotel, Janssen will appear on stage, as well as be available for autographs and photo ops. Janssen, Combs, Biggs, Wang and Moore join such previously announced guests as William Shatner, Jeri Ryan, Jason Isaacs, Wilson Cruz, Mary Chieffo, Colm Meaney, Chase Masterson, Michael Westmore, James Frain, Ira Steven Behr, Kenneth Mitchell, Gates McFadden, Clint Howard and Brent Spiner. Confirmed events so far include the Nevada Pops Orchestra returning to perform a Saturday night concert, while Gary Graham and his group, The Sons of Kirk, will once again serve as the house band. And Biggs and Combs will particpate in a concert as part of the beloved STLV staple, the Star Trek Rat Pack. Keep an eye on for news of additional guests and events, and go to Star Trek Las Vegas for more information and to purchase tickets. View the full article
  14. How better to toast St. Patrick's Day than to show some love to Miles O’Brien, our favorite Irish Star Trek character. A most unusual character for Star Trek, he was more or less an everyman. A minor character with no name when introduced on The Next Generation, he rose in prominence, rank and screen time, and then became a regular, major character on Deep Space Nine. The man who played him -- Colm Meaney -- followed a very similar path. Born in Ireland, he worked his way up in Hollywood from small parts, including his role on TNG, to supporting and leading man roles. During the run of DS9, he squeezed in numerous film and television appearances and to this day he remains one of the busiest character actors around. Here are some tidbits about both O'Brien and Meaney: An Irishman Meaney was born in Dublin, Ireland on May 30, 1953 while O'Brien was born in Killarney, Ireland in September 2328. A Pet Person As a child, O'Brien feared spiders. As an adult, he owned a pet tarantula named Christina that he'd found on Titus IV. A Musician As a teen, O'Brien enrolled in Starfleet against the wishes of his father, who wanted him to study at the Aldeberan Music Academy and become a concert cellist. He later played cello with a string quartet aboard the Enterprise. A Starter & Finisher Meaney, as O'Brien, played the only Trek character to appear in two series premieres ("Encounter at Farpoint" and "Emissary") and also two series finales ("All Good Things..." and "What You Leave Behind"). An Ironman Meaney ultimately played O'Brien across 14 seasons of Trek, 7 each of TNG and DS9. An Unnamed O'Brien wasn't given the first name Miles until the episode "Family," during season four of TNG. A Descendant of Royalty Among O'Brien's ancestors were Sean Aloysius O'Brien, a coal miner and union activist on Earth in the 19th century, and Brian Boru, an 11th century Irish king who was the founder of the O'Brien dynasty. An Evolving Character Meaney, in a interview, commented on O'Brien's evolution, stating, "Initially it was just the pilot, and then there’d be some episodes I was in and some I wasn’t. They just kept calling me back. I can’t even remember, honestly, if it was supposed to be a one-off or recurring. I was just happy for the work. The character got a name, eventually, and then we saw a little more of him, and then they asked me to do DS9... I was (then) very satisfied with his evolution (on DS9). I got to do a lot of cool things and, between the scenes with Sid (Alexander Siddig) and Rosalind (Chao), you really got to know him. Add to that the normal day-to-day stuff of being part of the crew on the station, and he was a busy guy." Meaney Today Meaney's recent and upcoming projects include the just-announced political thriller Against All Enemies, which will star Kristen Stewart, Jack O'Connell, Anthony Mackie, Margaret Qualley and Meaney. He also played Big Daddy last month in the Young Vic production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, with Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell. Happy St. Patrick's Day from! View the full article
  15., for our latest dip into the Star Trek Vault, is pleased to share a look at a Star Trek: The Next Generation cast and crew pin from the 1990-1991 season, presented by the TNG art department to those involved with the show. This particular pin was gifted to everyone following the completion of TNG’s 79th episode, which equaled the run of The Original Series. The pin in these photos is still in its original sleeve, unopened for more than 27 years. Also visible is a card from the TNG art department describing the occasion for the pin’s creation. Each card had a top half that was personalized to the pins’ recipients. View the full article
  16. We all have a connection to our favorite ship in Star Trek. Whether it’s the original 1701 – No bloody “A, B, C, or D,” or the scrappy “little” Defiant, or even a gorgeous and deadly Klingon Bird of Prey, there’s a ship that speaks to you, the one that you would love to Captain and use to explore the galaxy. Star Trek Online, the free-to-play online roleplaying game, has been letting you choose from over 600 ships for over eight years, but we’re now taking it a step further. Starting this minute, you’ll be able to use Star Trek Online to customize your favorite Star Trek ships and have them turned into beautiful, hand-painted, 3D printed collectibles for your home, your office, or wherever you display your love for Star Trek. Here’s how it works: On PC, ready the starship you want printed, and head to the ship tailor. You’ll find a brand-new button that reads, “3D Print This Ship.” Clicking on this will bring you to the option to learn more about this process, or to print this ship. Once you’ve chosen to print the ship, it’ll upload directly to our partner, Mixed Dimensions, who will offer you three different options to print. You can print it in a solid color, to recreate the trophies of your personal Ready Room. You can print a primed version of the model for you to paint yourself. Or you can have Mixed Dimensions’ talented staff hand paint a replica of your favorite ship, with your name, registry number, and customizations. You can get more information from our official blog post. 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 View the full article
  17. The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films announced the nominees for their 44th annual Saturn Awards on Thursday, and Star Trek: Discovery earned five nominations. The Trek nominees were: Star Trek: Discovery Best New Media Television Series Sonequa Martin-Green Best Actress on a Television Series Jason Isaacs Best Actor on a Television Series Doug Jones Best Supporting Actor on a Television Series Michelle Yeoh Best Guest-Starring Performance on a Television Series Congratulations to all the nominees. The winners will be announced in June at a ceremony in Burbank, California. Star Trek: Discovery's first season is available for streaming/viewing on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. It's available on Netflix in the rest of the world. View the full article
  18. “Dlvl’ Hol Dajatlh’a.” That’s Klingon for “Do you speak English?” And it’s just one of the many Klingon phrases fans will be able to learn starting today with the launch of Duolingo’s new and official Klingon language course. Whether you’re a single-language Star Trek fan, a major polyglot or just eager to channel your inner Kor, Worf, Martok, Gowron or L'Rell, you can learn to speak like a Klingon with this notoriously terse “conlang” -- a constructed language for Star Trek. By way of example, the literal translation of “hello” in Klingon (“nuqneh?”) is “What do you want?” Terse, indeed. Star Trek fans know that there’s a massive and active community around learning Klingon in real life, including meetups, books and the Klingon Language Institute. And with Duolingo, the most-popular language-learning platform worldwide, fans and newcomers can learn Klingon for free. Examples of phrases fans can pick up in Duolingo's Klingon course: The Klingon does not understand English. -- Dlvl’ Hol yajbe’ tlhIngan. What do you want? Speak! -- nuqneH? yIjatlh! Success and honor! -- Qapla’ batlh je! A Klingon will die. -- Hegh tlhIngan The ship is big. -- tln Duj. Mara is brave. -- yoH mara. You are as incompetent as a topah. -- bItlhIb; toppa' Darur. That Klingon is drinking bloodwine. -- 'Iw Hlq tlhutlhtaH tlhInganvetlh. Qapla'! tugh tlhIngan Hol ghojchoHlaH Hoch! Or… "Success! Soon, anybody can start learning Klingon!" Just go to to get started. View the full article
  19. John Putch holds a most-unusual distinction within the Star Trek universe. He played Mordock, a Benzite, in first- season The Next Generation episode “Coming of Age” – which aired 30 years ago today, March 14 -- and then another Benzite, Mendon, in the season two’s “A Matter of Honor,” thus becoming the first TNG actor to play two different characters of the same species. He also turned up several years later as an unnamed journalist on the Enterprise bridge in Generations. Putch’s Trek work is truly a footnote in a fascinating career. He’s the son of actress Jean Stapleton, beloved as Edith Bunker on All in the Family, and William Putch, a respected theater director. After amassing dozens of acting credits, Putch realized his dream of directing. He started off with low-budget B-movies, but since the early 2000s, Putch has helmed numerous episodes of such series as Grounded for Life, Scrubs, Cougar Town and Black-ish. recently chatted with Putch about all of the above… What are you working on at the moment? My current show, that I’m directing, is American Housewife. This is my second season with the show. I’m doing six episodes, including the season finale. I also did Alex, Inc. this season, which Zach Braff is the star of. We did Scrubs together years ago. You leveraged acting into the chance to direct, right? Yes. I grew up as a young actor on stage. My parents were in the biz. My father was a director of theater. My mom was an actress. I always thought I was going to be an actor and I was throughout my 20s, 30s and early 40s. But all along I'd been a filmmaker and was always making movies, and so I used to use all my acting revenue to make Super 8 or 16-mm films. I always wanted to make films or, actually, direct television. I started focusing on that and got into it in the mid-90s professionally. It took me 10 years to break into television. I was doing non-union TV and B-movies for years in the 90s. It wasn't until 2000 I got a break and directed Grounded for Life. It was Donal Logue, Megyn Price, and Kevin Corrigan. So, I started my directing career with that and just built from there. Once you get in and don't screw it up, I've learned, they ask you back. Did you ever direct your dad or your mom? I did. My dad was in a lot of my Super 8 movies, so no one will ever see those, but he was always game and hilarious for me when I needed him. Mom was also in some of the Super 8s, but I directed her in a film in 2001. It was called Pursuit of Happiness, spelled the correct way, with Frank Whaley and Annabeth Gish. Mom played Frank's boss, and she had a cute, funny role. She was very proud of that day when she came to the set because that movie cost $1.5 million, and it was definitely a direct-to-video, an independent, but we had all the bells and whistles. She was very impressed by that and proud because she actually had a dressing room and all that stuff she didn't expect. Do you miss acting? I'm glad I'm not an actor anymore because I'm way better behind the camera. When I look back at some of the stuff I did, it's horrible. It's over the top and out of control. I credit that to my upbringing as a theater actor, where you have to play to the back of the house. You have to sell the same emotion to the 26th row that you do the first row. But in movies and TV, you only have to convince the person right across from you. No one ever told me that. I had to learn that on my own, through trial and error, by watching my performances back. I don't know how I ever got hired. But there’s an interesting Star Trek connection to all of this. I met Junie Lowry, the casting directing of TNG, when I was an actor in the Gambler movies, which her brother, Dick, directed. I’d also done a movie with my mom called Angel Dusted, where I was the troubled PCP-smoking kid. Dick directed it and Junie was Dick's assistant. I made a great friendship with her and then, over the years, as she became a casting director, she’d have me in all the time on almost everything she got. She’s responsible for me getting TNG. You played Mordock and then Mendon… Once I did Mordock, then Mendon made sense for everybody. Of course, I didn't realize that then. I just thought they liked me. What do you remember of “Coming of Age”? How was that as an experience? I worked with Wil (Wheaton) and this girl, Tasia (Valenza), who played a female Vulcan, who was also vying for a spot. The thing I most remember was working with Wil. We had a great time. What a sweet guy. Mike Vejar, the director, and I did a pilot for Disney called Double Agent, with Michael McKean. It was just a regular old secret agent spoof. He was cool. I also remember my makeup. I had four to five hours of makeup every day, and my call for a 7:00am or 7:30am on set would be like 3:30am. I got a lot of overtime because I was called in so early. Gerald Quist and Michael Westmore did the makeup, correct? Yes. They created a cast and the appliances first. You'd get a part as alien of the week, and you'd go in at least two weeks ahead of time, and they’d cast your head and sculpt something, and then you come back in and try the crap on. They’d get it down to whatever it was by the time you shot. Every day I was in there at 3:30. You'd be asleep in the chair and they'd just put it on you and then you couldn't eat all day. At least I couldn't because it’d break the stuff around my mouth. The edges of your lips would ... They were constantly fixing that. It was tough because no one knew what I looked like. They’d greet me and I was John underneath, but hardly anybody saw me prior and after because I was always the first to arrive and the last to leave. What else about “Coming of Age”? It was really cool being on that stage and that set because I was a big original Trek fan from childhood. You then got a call to come back, to play a different Benzite… I was pleased because you always want to be asked back. I thought, "Oh, they liked me so much they want me to play the same species." Now that I'm a filmmaker and I know exactly what's what, it was a no-brainer. “Get the same guy. He'll fit in the outfit and he'll fit in the blue-headed stuff.” They didn't have to make a new cast. Saved them a lot of money. But they did give me a ton more to say, which was challenging. I had to mutter a lot of technical mumbo jumbo on the bridge. I liked that one because I got to annoy people. I was the blue-headed guy who walked around and was spot-checking everybody in their job and then tattling on them. It was fun being told off by Patrick Stewart. "Come into my chambers," and I was yelled at by Captain Picard. We liked the inside joke where Wesley thinks you are the other character… That was great. Very meta. Who directed that one? [Rob] Bowman, of course. I love that guy. Boy, he did all right with his career. I also liked Michael Dorn. It's funny, Dorn worked years later at the B-movie house I did a lot of my first features at. It was called Royal Oaks, and we made stock footage, direct-to-video movies. Michael came through after TNG was over and did a few of those action movies. I saw him a couple times. I didn't direct him. You also were memorialized as an action figure… I know. How amazing is that? I have one signed by Michael Westmore. He gave me one and signed it to me. I still have it. Once in a while, I'll get a request for a signature from someone on eBay. It's pretty neat to be an action figure and a trading card and a game piece. I also am happy to be in the Trek encyclopedia as the only guy or the first guy that played different characters from the same species. You were in Generations as well. Did Junie just ring you up again? Yes. That was cool because when Generations came, it was a huge deal, obviously, because it was the first TNG movie. This is what I was told…. They went through all the show’s guest cast and wanted to put as many people as they could from the series in these smaller roles, of which there were many. So, you saw a lot of people in Generations, not just me, but other people playing different parts who’d been guest stars along the way. That was a concentrated effort on Junie's part or David Carson's part or Rick Berman's part. I don't know. But I’d imagine it was Junie's idea. That was an amazing experience, and I’ve got some great Shatner stories I’ll tell you over a beer sometime. That camera device you had on your head reminds me of Google Glass. Totally agree with that. It was kind of ahead of its time. I thought that was always very cool. How scary is it that it's 30 years ago today that your first episode aired? That was 88? Good God. I was so young. I had a full head of hair and a 30" waist. View the full article
  20. is saddened to report the passing of Dr. Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s greatest scientific minds and, yes, a Star Trek guest star who appeared as himself in the “Descent, Part 1” episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. According to his family, he died peacefully this morning at his home in Cambridge at the age of 76. A ground-breaking physicist and champion of the rights and potential of those with disabilities everywhere, Dr. Hawking was stricken in his early 20s by a progressive motor neurone disease that is related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He nonetheless completed his research and degree work in theoretical physics and cosmology, then shot to fame with his groundbreaking 1988 bestseller of lay-readable cosmology and quantum science, A Brief History of Time, and several follow-ups. A longtime Trek fan, Dr. Hawking planted the idea for his scene after visiting Paramount to shoot a promotional film for his book, which went before the camera on the Enterprise-D’s engineering and warp core set. While on a tour of the other TNG sets, he asked to be taken from his wheelchair — a rare request — in order to sit in the captain’s chair and, as relayed through host Leonard Nimoy, wondered if there was any way he could appear on the show. The search was on for a “profound” scene for him when executive producer Michael Piller suggested the innocent premise of a poker game. And so it came to pass that Data (Brent Spiner) played poker with Dr. Hawking, Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton. Beyond his on-screen appearance, TNG fans could hear references to a shuttlecraft called the Hawking on more than one occasion. And, in the alternate future that played out in the series finale “All Good Things...,” it was revealed that Data holds the Lucasian Chair of mathematics at Cambridge University. Dr. Hawking held from 1979 to 2009. Sir Isaac Newton, Hawking and Data's holographic poker oponent, held the position from 1669 to 1702. Dr. Hawking later visited the set of Deep Space Nine, during production on “The House of Quark.” The Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge for 30 years, Dr. Hawking was born in 1942 at Oxford to escape the "blitz" in wartime London, then moved back and grew up there, enjoying horseback riding and coxing a rowing team until his ALS began rapid onset in college. Early diagnoses predicted only 2 or 3 years to live. He later became completely paralyzed, requiring the trademark voice synthesizer that allowed him to speak. The technology evolved over the years, but he retained the original, familiar voice. At his 65th birthday in 2007, Dr. Hawking announced plans to fly weightless on a Virgin Atlantic high-altitude plane three months later, and he did so, a first for a quadriplegic. The weightless event allowed his paralyzed body to move for the first time in 40 years. He remained at Cambridge as director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology and counted the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 among many medals and awards he collected from around the world. Dr. Hawking also appeared on The Simpsons, Futurama and on The Big Bang Theory, and was the subject of a telemovie, Hawking, in which he was portrayed by future Star Trek Into Darkness star Benedict Cumberbatch, and the award-winning feature film, The Theory of Everything. His children, Lucy, Robert and Tim released a statement today that read, "We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years… He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love.' We will miss him forever." Remembering Hawking, TNG Executive Producer, Rick Berman, shared a memorable behind-the-scenes photo on Twitter: Please join in offering our condolences to Dr. Hawking’s family, friends, colleagues and many fans all over the galaxy. View the full article
  21. IDW Publishing’s Star Trek: Discovery comic-book adventures will continue on Wednesday with the release of Star Trek: Discovery #3, written by Mike Johnson and Kirsten Beyer, with art and the A cover by Tony Shasteen. In it, secrets of the new characters are revealed as Star Trek embarks on a bold new journey. Star Trek: Discovery #3 will run 32 pages and cost $3.99. Fans should also be on the lookout for a variant cover by George Caltsoudas. Additionally, each issue features a “Ships of the Line” cover by Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, which provides a great first look at the new ships in Discovery. For additional details, contact your local comic book retailer or visit to find a store near you. Keep an eye on for additional details about the IDW's upcoming Star Trek adventures, as well as exclusive First Looks at covers and preview pages. View the full article
  22. WonderCon’s Room North 200A will be the place to be on Saturday, March 24 from 3:00pm to 4:00pm, as Star Trek: Discovery will take center stage for The Making of Star Trek: Discovery, a panel in which executive producers and visionaries from the series will beam down to Anaheim to share details about bringing the franchise back to fans and examine how they went about building the Trek universe in the modern age. Discovery’s L’Rell, Mary Chieffo, will moderate the panel, which will feature: Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts (Executive Producers & Showrunners); Tamara Deverell (Production Designer); Gersha Phillips (Costume Designer); Mario Moreira (Props Master); Glenn Hetrick & James MacKinnon (Prosthetics & Special FX Makeup); Jeff Russo (Composer); and Jason Zimmerman (VFX Supervisor). Here’s the official panel description: Over 50 years ago, the world was first introduced to what would quickly become a cultural phenomenon. It was a television series that inspired developments in science and technology, broke social barriers and transported viewers around the globe to new adventures and uncharted frontiers. Now, Star Trek: Discovery follows in the footsteps of those that came before as it seeks to tackle social issues, inspire the next generation of dreamers and doers and reflect on Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a hope for tomorrow. WonderCon will take place March 23-25 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Keep an eye on for coverage of the panel. Star Trek: Discovery's first season is available for streaming/viewing on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. It's available on Netflix in the rest of the world. View the full article
  23. Which series had the best final series? That's the question asked for this past week's poll. Fans could pick from The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise and The Animated Series. More than 12,000 fans voted and here are the results: Deep Space Nine (38%) The Next Generation (26%) Voyager (25%) Enterprise (7%) The Original Series (3%) The Animated Series (0%, 45 votes) And how did your preferred series do? Be sure to vote in this week's poll... View the full article
  24. is saddened to report the passing of Robert Scheerer, an Emmy Award-winning director who counted among his many credits multiple episodes of Star Trek, including 11 hours of The Next Generation, one installment of Deep Space Nine, and a pair of Voyager segments. According to Deadline, Scheerer -- who also danced and acted in his prolific career -- died of natural causes on March 3 at the age of 89. Scheerer's TNG episodes included "The Measure of a Man," "Legacy," "True-Q" and "Chain of Command, Part 1." He visited DS9 to direct "Shadowplay," and Voyager to call the shots on "State of Flux" and "Rise." Actually, "Rise" capped Scheerer's work as a director whose film and TV output included The Danny Kaye Show, the live Barbra Streisand special A Happening in Central Park, Gilligan's Island, The World's Greatest Athlete, How to Beat the High Cost of Living, Fame, The Love Boat, Dynasty and Matlock. "I love to work with a script and an actor," Scheerer told Star Trek: The Next Generation -- The Official Magazine in a 1992 interview. "On The Next Generation, the actors work hard, try things and are pleasant. The crew is hard-working and fun; we have a lot of laughs and they can really get down to work when they need to. That's what makes it a pleasure to do. Sure, it's nice to get paid, but it's not just a job." According to Deadline, Scheerer is survived by his wife, Denise Scheerer, two children with his first wife, Nina, Amanda Scheerer and Evan Scheerer; as well as stepdaughter Angel Pennington; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Please join in offering our condolences to Scheerer's family, friends and colleagues. View the full article
  25. When one considers the plethora of intriguing two-parters and feature-length episodes in Star Trek history, titles such as "The Best of Both Worlds" and "Redemption" from Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Past Tense" and "The Way of the Warrior" from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and "Year of Hell" and "Dark Frontier" from Star Trek: Voyager tend to spring to mind first. Often overlooked, the DS9 duology consisting of "Improbable Cause" and "The Die is Cast," with its phenomenal character exposition and intricate plot, merits a prominent position in Trek's pantheon of multi-episode arcs. Nestled late in season three, the entries combined to serve as a pivotal turning point and set the tone for the show’s remaining four years. Following a bombing attempt on Elim Garak's life, Odo entrenched himself in an investigation to identity the suspected spy's attacker. Odo unearthed a Flaxian employed by the Romulans who held every intention to murder Elim, but the intrepid shapeshifter astutely deduced that the assassin's mission never came to fruition. In typical Garak fashion, the culprit who placed the explosives turned out to be (spoiler alert)... Garak! The twisting trail, combined with the verbal sparring between the security officer and "victim," provided a revealing look into Garak's psyche, as the normally confident Cardassian spun the ornate web to enlist Odo's assistance. The unveiling of Elim's self-doubt set the stage for more disclosures about his actual persona. Garak and Odo set out to warn Enabran Tain about a potential plot against him, only to find Elim's former mentor comfortably commanding a cloaked Obsidian Order-Tal Shiar fleet from aboard a Romulan D'deridex-class warbird. Tain's presence further broke down Elim's lighthearted veneer, culminating in Garak's expression of genuine delight upon discovering the two intelligence agencies intended to launch a first strike on the Dominion. No longer hiding behind his guise as a tradesman, Elim finally acknowledged Starfleet's suspicions about his past when he accepted Enabran's offer to join the mission in front of Odo. Despite years of denial and clever wordplay, the walls surrounding Garak's true nature crumbled at Tain's feet. The development reinforced Odo's belief that Garak felt emotionally attached to Enabran and exposed the tailor's hope of returning to prominence in the Obsidian Order. The task force, including 15 of the Keldon-class cruisers Thomas Riker uncovered during his excursion to Cardassian space in "Defiant," decloaked at DS9 and proceeded through the wormhole. After setting course for the Founders' homeworld in the Omarion Nebula, Tain and Garak reminisced over old glories. A discussion involving Elim's interrogation techniques prompted Enabran to order his protégé to press Odo for additional intelligence about the Founders. Garak's first attempt to prod Odo left Tain unsatisfied, leading to the use of an experimental device that prevented shapeshifters from changing forms. Unable to return to his liquid state, Odo suffered through a withering trauma and confessed that he desired to return home to his own people. While the shapeshifter felt distress, his critical words about Elim's character and motivations left unseen wounds on the spy. Considering how quickly Garak rushed to turn off the quantum stasis field and end Odo's agony, perhaps the situation cracked the Cardassian more than it did the Changeling. Rather than driving a wedge between the Garak and Odo, the brutal experience initiated a surprising friendship between them. The aspiration to reside among one's people bonded them and eventually instigated their tradition of talking over breakfast on the station. Back on the bridge, the fleet's opening salvo devastated the Founders' homeworld. Sensors detected no change in Changeling lifesigns on the planet, leading to the harrowing realization that an automated transponder broadcast false readings to the starships. A swarm of 150 Jem'Hadar fighters swooped out of hiding and pounced on the task force. Colonel Lovok, the Tal Shiar commander, divulged to Odo that the entire escapade had been manipulated by the Dominion to cripple the Cardassian and Romulan intelligence agencies after the Founders learned of Tain's plan. Lovok's casual remark that the Federation and Klingon Empire’s potential threat would soon be neutralized foreshadowed the Dominion engineering hostilities between Starfleet and the Klingons in 2372. In fact, the defeat of their forces at the Battle of the Omarion Nebula weakened the Cardassian Union to the point that the Klingons felt comfortable invading their territory, the very action that incited the Federation to intercede on Cardassia's behalf. Additionally, the Obsidian Order’s elimination made Cardassia vulnerable enough to accept Gul Dukat's leadership and Dominion membership in "By Inferno's Light." Romulan losses in the battle likely played a significant part in the Star Empire's decision to sign a nonaggression pact with the Dominion and avoid entangling itself in the Dominion War in 2373. The complex political interactions and struggles between the governments of the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma Quadrants from 2371 to 2375 linked back to the events at Omarion Nebula, as that encounter lit the fuse that led to years of conflict in the region. Similarly, the Founders' infiltration of the Tal Shiar caused Federation and Klingon citizens to fear similar imposters in their own ranks. The aforementioned Klingon-Cardassian War stemmed from Chancellor Gowron's concern that Cardassia's leadership consisted of Changeling imposters. Starfleet endured its own Founder-related crisis in "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost," when Admiral Leyton nearly started a successful military coup following a Dominion bombing at the Antwerp Conference. Later seasons of DS9 consisted of intertwined story arcs, and many of those plots traced their roots to the Dominion ambush in the Omarion Nebula. While Captain Sisko and the U.S.S. Defiant rescued Elim and Odo, Enabran refused to abandon ship. The unexpected loyalty shared by Garak and Tain established a connection further explored in "In Purgatory's Shadow," when Elim finally explained that Enabran fathered him. The emotionally draining conversations with Odo and Tain laid bare Garak's weaknesses, providing the audience with a greater understanding of the Cardassian. The events depicted in "Improbable Cause" and "The Die is Cast" etched themselves into the fabric of DS9 by intensifying the heat of Starfleet's lingering cold war with the Dominion and directly impacting the future Klingon-Cardassian, Klingon-Federation, and Federation-Dominion clashes. The destruction of the Obsidian Order and Tal Shiar shifted the Alpha Quadrant’s balance of power and stoked concerns over Changeling infiltrators, ushering in an era of uncertainty and apprehension. On a more personal level, Garak's coy winks about his espionage exploits transitioned into an open acknowledgment of his deeds. While not mentioned as often as other Trek two-parters, this duology irrevocably altered the trajectories of DS9's characters and overarching plot. Jay Stobie is a science fiction writer who admits he has a perfectly normal obsession with Star Trek. He has also contributed to Star Trek Magazine and can be found on Twitter at @CaptStobie. View the full article