Vic

Artificial Intelligence
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Everything posted by Vic

  1. Vulcans, Andorians, Tellarites and Klingons, oh my! What a sight it was, all these disparate aliens teaming up – joined by Michael Burnham, nearly derailed by Ash Tyler – to take on the Terran Empire in “The Wolf Inside,” this past weekend’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery. The hour was loaded with “Firsts” for Discovery and throwbacks/tributes to Trek’s Mirror past. StarTrek.com breaks it down: A Different Kind of Rebel Alliance The misdeeds of Humans in the Mirror Universe have made reluctant allies of such longtime Trek favorites as the Klingons, Tellarites, Andorians and Vulcans. It’s the answer to Burnham’s question, “How have you come to compromise and embrace each other?” Think about that for a moment. A powerful, trenchant, timely notion. But the fight is just getting started, for, as Mirror Voq noted, “The Humans seek Klingon extinction,” and as, Burnham replied, “The Terrans will not stop until all of his enemies are destroyed.” Like Son, Like Father We’d seen Vulcans before on Discovery, and even spent time down on their planet earlier this season. But, for the first time ever on any Trek series, we met Mirror Sarek, whose appearance – complete with severe goatee – echoed that of Leonard Nimoy’s darker Spock in the TOS episode, “Mirror, Mirror.” The Mirror Voq introduced Mirror Sarek as a figure who “sees all” and whose “wisdom pierces minds.” He then mind-melded with Burnham and, though the payoff will likely come later, it’s clear that Sarek loves and respects her and is proud of her accomplishments. Do we actually like Mirror Spock? Looking a Little Blue Sure, we saw plenty of Andorians on Star Trek: Enterprise, and a few here and there in TOS, TAS, The Motion Picture, The Voyage Home and TNG, but, on Discovery, we got a tease in “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,” courtesy of a disguised Harry Mudd, and a taste in “Despite Yourself.” Finally, in “The Wolfe Inside,” we met Shukar, played by Riley Gilchrist, who served under Voq and handed over to Burnham the much-need data crystal. As of the episode’s final moments, Shukar’s fate remains unresolved. Vote for Voq Voq, the mysterious pale Klingon, is dead, but long live Mirror Voq, who serves as leader of the rebels. He seems honorable and of the mind that anyone – even Burnham – who is an enemy of the Terran Empire is an ally in the rebels’ fight. On a related note, did YOU guess that Ash Tyler was Voq? It seems that L’Rell really did a number on Tyler, physically and emotionally, and that Voq was “reduced” to a mere human. Interesting word choice, reduced, right? Tell Us about Tellarites Viewers glimpsed their first Discovery Tellarite in “The Wolf Inside,” but they’re really an old favorite. Fred Phillips created the very first one virtually overnight for the TOS episode “Journey to Babel,” and we’ve seen them since in “Whom Gods Destroy,” as well as TAS, The Voyage Home, The Undiscovered Country, Enterprise and, via archive footage, in one episode each of TNG and Voyager. There’s still plenty more to learn – we hope -- about the Tellarite who’s part of Voq’s inner circle on Discovery. So, stay tuned. Star Trek: Discovery airs Sunday nights on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series airs on Mondays on Netflix in the rest of the world. View the full article
  2. Think you’ve seen every episode of Star Trek: The Original Series and know everything about them? Think again. Star Trek: Lost Scenes, due out in August from Titan Books, is written by Trek experts – and frequent StarTrek.com guest bloggers – David Tilotta and Curt McAloney, and packed with hundreds of carefully curated, never-before-seen color photos. All images have been professionally restored to their original, vibrant colors and are used to chronicle the making of the series, reassemble deleted scenes that were left on the cutting-room floor, and showcase bloopers from the first pilot through the last episode. More specifically, Lost Scenes: Takes an unprecedented look at more than 50 deleted scenes, many of which have never been seen before, assembled from hundreds of photos and original script excerpts. Goes behind the scenes of TOS with previously unpublished photos of the optical effects, filming miniatures, makeup, exterior shooting locations, bloopers and more. Is packed with more than 700 full-color photos, each restored to pristine condition. Star Trek: Lost Scenes will be released as a 272-page hardback book. It will cost $39.95 in the U.S. and £24.99 in the U.K. Keep an eye on StarTrek.com for details about pre-ordering the book. View the full article
  3. It’s impossible to believe and she certainly doesn’t look it, but Nichelle Nichols, Uhura of Star Trek: The Original Series, turns 85 years old today. She’s celebrating with a party in Los Angeles tonight, and welcoming a few lucky fans to join her. StarTrek.com chatted last week with the legendary actress, who sounded energized, engaged and ready for 2018. Here’s what she had to say: Happy almost birthday. We’re so glad to be talking to you. I'm happy to have a birthday! Aren't we all? What does it mean to you to turn 85 years old? How amazing is that? To turn what? What does it mean to you to turn 85 years old? To turn what? You’re funny. That's hysterical. You got us. But all joking aside, you've been on this Earth a very long time and you're still going. Tell us about your birthday celebration. You’re opening it up for a few fans… Well, every year my friends get together and throw me one heck of a birthday party. But this year, we had the great idea of getting the fans involved, too. The fans have given me so much over the years, and it feels wonderful to give back when I can. They’ll get to join us at a restaurant, get a photo or two with me, be with me for dinner. That's what it's setting up to be. How are you feeling these days? I'm ready for the next trip, wherever it takes me, baby. I was at the premiere of Discovery (in September). I recently made some guest appearances in movies, like Unbelievable, and we’re in pre-production of Noah's Room. That's a feature film about a black family that takes in a white youth, and the mother changes his life and destiny forever. It's an amazing story. I think its time has really come in Hollywood. And you’re still designing your own line of jewelry, right? Oh, yeah. When I was a kid, anything I wanted, I'd try to draw it or create it on paper and I'd take it to my dad. My mother would say, "You're spoiling her," becuase he'd then take it and have it designed. If one other role in your career could have had the same impact as Uhura, what role would that be and why? The role that I will play as a matriarch in a black family in Noah's Room. That’s something that I'm prepared to do, that I'm ready for. I'm ready for it. I think I could have always done it, but the timing is really good now. Then, speaking of Uhura, your Uhura, what do you think she's up to out there now in the galaxy? Changing the whole damn galaxy, of course. And inspiring a lot more to follow in that dream. Hopefully inspiring a whole bunch of people. If we could arrange for you to have one more scene as Uhura, what would you want her to do and to say? How about we wait and see if that next role is coming? We can't leak any spoilers, now, can we? So, you would play Uhura again if you had the chance? I'm Uhura. Who else am I gonna play? We all know the story of Dr. Martin Luther King convincing you to stay on Star Trek, but what we've always wondered is... did you ever have a conversation with him after you heeded his request and remained on the Enterprise? And if so, what was that conversation? Well, sadly, I didn't get much more time with Dr. King. None of us did before he was taken away from us. But we just need to continue forward remembering those great lessons he taught us. I think he would have had more for me, to tell me, more what I call orders to complete. I just remember him as being a great man and a great friend. You mentioned earlier in the conversation that you were at the Discovery premiere. How did you enjoy seeing Star Trek up on a screen again? And how did you enjoy meeting Sonequa Martin-Green? We know she was super excited to meet you… Sonequa was so beautiful and so full of life. I think she's going to do amazing things in shaping the next series for a whole new generation. It was our first meeting with each other, you know. I hope to work with her soon on a project. I hope. And seeing Star Trek on a screen again? I really expected to see it, so it wasn't a huge surprise, but it was a huge satisfaction, you could say. You helped advance people of color. It's now late 2017. You saw Dr. King's ascension and assassination. You've seen African American women become scientists and astronauts, and you inspired many of them. You've lived to see an African American Trek fan in the White House, and you met him there. Now, we have Sonequa, the African American female star of a new Trek show. How far have African Americans come and how far is there still to go? I’m thinking long and hard about this question. I don't think there's any black boy or girl growing up today who can't find a role model to look at and think, "Wow. Anything really is possible." No, it won't be easy. And yes, there are still roadblocks that they'll all have to face, but they can be overcome. They can do anything. And they know it's possible. So, step up and do it, kids. Step up and do it. Also, prepare yourself. Prepare yourself as an actor or whatever it is that you want to be, a lawyer, a doctor, whatever it is. Prepare yourself while you're young. And get in there and study it, what it means, and get in there and do it. What's still out there for you to accomplish? What have you not done yet that you're still itching to do? Make my swan song feature film Noah's Room. I've really got one more story to tell. We're still in pre-production and still trying to get final funding on it. We've got several names that would like to be attached, two or three other well-known actors and actresses. Even with all of the wonderful black-themed films that have come over the last year or two, we’re still hitting the usual roadblocks, but we're getting very close. We're pushing and we're going to make it. Nichelle, are you a person who thinks about your legacy at all? Oh, yeah. Can you talk about that? Absolutely. If you want to do something badly enough, strongly enough, there's nothing that can stop you. So, don't let anything stop you from going there. You really will be able to do it if you stay on top of it. I definitely am proof of it. Thanks so much for talking to us, Nichelle. Again, happy birthday and happy holidays to you… Thank you very much. And my blessings to you and to all the fans. Last-minute tickets for tonight’s Nichelle Nichols 85th Birthday Celebration are available now. Go to www.nichellenichols.com to get in on the fun. View the full article
  4. This weekend's brand-new episode of Star Trek: Discovery is "The Wolf Inside," and new photos from it have just been released. In it, as the crew continues their guise, Burnham undergoes a merciless mission in hopes of helping the U.S.S. Discovery return home. Tilly works on restoring Stamets’ neurofunction. The episode is the show’s 11th episode. Check out the photos below: First Officer Saru (Doug Jones), Cadet Tilly (Mary Wiseman) & Lt. Stamets (Anthony Rapp) Science Specialist Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) First Officer Saru & Cadet Tilly Science Specialist Michael Burnham Star Trek: Discovery airs Sunday nights on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series airs on Mondays on Netflix in the rest of the world. View the full article
  5. Episode #11 of Star Trek: Discovery will run this weekend. In advance of previewing the new episode, let's comb through the epic events of last week's installment, "Despite Yourself"... Previously on Discovery... Saru was on the mark at the very end of "Into the Forest I Go" when he stated, "Captain, I'm afraid I don't know where we are." As "Despite Yourself" opens, the U.S.S. Discovery crew tries to figure out is going on and struggles to comprehend their readouts and determine if any of the seemingly dead Klingon ships presented any threat to them. What's going on raises Saru's threat ganglia. The Vulcans -- yes, the Vulcans -- power up their weapons, prompting Captain Lorca to shout, "Red Alert! Shields up!" The Vulcans eve fired on the Discovery, but an assist comes from the U.S.S. Cooper, which at last word was undergoing a retrofit at Utopia Planitia. Burnham reports that the quantum signature of the Cooper, as well as that of the Vulcan cruiser, are "inconsistent with ours," which makes no sense to Saru, who notes that "All matter native to our universe resonates with the same quantum signature." Nothing can change that. Or can it? "That's true, unless..." Lorca starts to say, the frightful notion creeping into his tone, "... This is not our universe." Cut to Lorca, Burnham and Saru piecing together the clues. Lorca and Stamets believed the spore drive could jump between parallel universes. It was just a theory, one Lorca and Stamets were working on since the first successful long-range jump to Corvan. "Stamets was keen to chase it with me..." Lorca explains, "after the war." Lorca acknowledges that he pushed Stamets too hard, and Burnham points out that Stamets accidentally brought them to where they are now. "Now, what we need to do is understand where we are and how to survive," Lorca says. "And then we'll find a way home." Meanwhile, over in sickbay, Tilly tries to reach Stamets, who's still in a state of neurological dysregulation unlike anything Dr. Culber has ever seen. At one point, though, he pushes Culber with inexplicable strength and shouts "To the palace!" Tilly apologizes to Culber for Stamets' condition, for not telling him sooner about the side effects Stamets had been experiencing, but Culber says, "You didn't do this," as she'd only been following Stamets' orders. And in walks Lorca, prompting Culber to comment, "Speak of the devil." Lorca informs Culber he's assigning a different doctor to Stamets over the matter of professional objectivity. Culber seethes, arguing, "Suddenly, you care about protocol?" Tyler flies a worker bee over to the Klingon debris and is in the process of scanning it when flashbacks rock him to his core. He experiences images of torture, ripped flesh, sees cutting through bone. Finally overcoming the horrific visions, he sets back about extracting the data core and notices dead bodies in a ship... Vulcan and Andorian bodies. Tyler successfully extracts the data core. Lorca seems satisfied, but turns to Burnham to say, "He's safe now," referring to Tyler, and clearly hinting that he's on to their burgeoning relationship. He leans in and stresses that he needs to be sure he could rely on his crew, especially now. "So, can I rely on you, Burnham?" Lorca wonders. Burnham insists he can. Over in the brig, Tyler confronts the source of his nightmares, L'Rell. They apparently did “so many things" together, she insinuated sexily. "You have such appetites." He recalls procedures, surgeries and more, and wants answers. "Sweet Tyler," she implores. "Open this cell and I'll tell you everything you want to know." He does so, leaving himself vulnerable to being played and controlled. "Whom do we seek?" she asks. He replies, "Kahless." Finally, upon being asked by the Klingon, "What's your name?" he snaps out of the reverie, demands again to know what she's done to his body and mind, and storms out of the brig. L'Rell, in Klingon, utters, "You will come back to me." Tyler confesses to Burnham that he's experiencing flashbacks, but doesn't want to tell the captain because PTSD regulations require quarantine. He asks Burnham to trust him, and she agrees to do so, as long as he promises to tell her if he can't handle things. Cue another flashback, which causes him to crush an empty glass in his hand. The data core is open, and Burnham and Tilly attempt decipher its meaning. "Is it possible that in this universe," Burnham ponders, "the Vulcans, Andorians and Klingons have some sort of alliance?" Tilly replies, "Allied against... Against us?" Lorca, Saru, Tyler and Tilly join Burnham in engineering to discuss her finding. They are indeed in an alternate universe, one governed by a fascistic, human-only organization known as the Terran Empire. Terran, as in Earth. Most everything they know from their universe, it exists here, too. "You mean," Tyler asks, "we could literally meet another version of ourselves?" Yes, Burnham replies, and "The Terrans appear to be the antithesis of us in every way" and are ruled by "a faceless emperor." As for the rebels, they're made up of all non- human species "fighting for their freedom." Back on the bridge, the crew soon realizes that they must assumes the roles of the other Discovery crew. Tilly becomes Captain Tilly... or Captain Killy, so lethal is she. The U.S.S. Discovery is quickly rechristened the I.S.S. Discovery. Everyone now sports Terran uniforms. Well, not quite everyone. "I am presumed dead," Burnham informs Lorca. "You're a fugitive wanted for my murder." Further, Burnham reveals, she was captain of the Shenzhou and even in the mirror universe, Lorca commanded the Buran. His crew, like before, is dead. On opposite sides of a power struggle, Lorca killed Burnham. And he'd attempted a coup against the Emperor. Soaking in the details, Lorca beckons Burnham to the window. "Look out there," he says. "Come on. Amazing, isn't it? A different universe and yet somehow the same people have a way of finding each other... Might be the strongest argument that I've ever seen for the existence of destiny." Burnham replies, "I'm not sure I believe in destiny." Lorca, unusually soft-spoken, tries to convince her otherwise, ending his argument with, "You were destined for something more." Burnham dismisses Lorca's destiny argument again, insisting that "Destiny didn't get me out of prison, captain. You did." Lorca stops the discussion. "Well, let's agree to disagree... for now. So... who is this emperor?" He then suggests that it's not a bad thing that he and she are ghosts and notes that he's got a potential way home he didn't know how to exploit until that moment. "I think you might end up saving us all..." "It's a suicide mission," Saru observes, upon hearing the plan. It involves Lorca and Burnham boarding the I.S.S. Shenzhou together, as their Terran selves, with Lorca as Burnham's bounty. Back in sickbay, Culber references a Manchurian test during a conversation with Tyler, but Tyler insists he's not imagining anything. Stamets shouts "Stay out of the palace!" Culber goes over to Stamets and they share a moment. "Paul, I'm not going anywhere," Dr. Culber says to his partner. "I'm staying right by your side. It'll be OK." Stamets' eye revert to normal for a brief second. "Be careful," he warns Culber. "The enemy is here." The time has come. Burnham encourages Tilly, who's still freaked out by having to pretend to be tough and in command. Lorca enters the room, and he's impressed. "Well, let's not keep these assholes waiting," Tilly says, sounding strong for an instant before questioning herself. "Too much?" she wonders. Lorca replies, "No. Not here. Here... just right." On the viewscreen, it's Captain Danby Connor... back from the dead it would seem. Lorca is ready for his closeup. He smashes his face against a wall, bloodying himself. "Showtime," he says!" The crew sells Connor on their ploy. Burnham wants her ship, but meets with a bit of hesitation from Connor. Tilly intones, "Is that how you treat your long-lost captain? If you greeted me that way, Connor, I'd cut out your tongue and use it to lick my boots." Connor prepares for their arrival. Culber confers again with Tyler, telling him about all the brutal things the Klingons actually did: "bone crushing," possibly putting another, new personality atop his own. In short, the Klingons transformed Tyler both physically and mentally. But into what? Culber wants to perform more tests, but Tyler loses his cool. Then, without warning, he snaps Culber's neck. Cut to Stamets, helpless as he utters, "The enemy is here." Later, Tyler joins Lorca and Burnham in the transporter room. He has no memory of what just occurred. As they prepare to beam over to the I.S.S. Shenzhou, Lorca makes it clear than cover cannot be blown. "Do whatever you must," he says passionately." Burnham and Tyler both concur, calling Lorca captain. Lorca points out it's the last time they can call him captain, "hopefully just for a while." In the I.S.S. Shenzhou's transporter room, Captain Connor greets Lorca, Burnham and Tyler. He tries assume control of Lorca, but Burnham refuses to let that happen. She wants to take Lorca to the bring... personally, as "there are any number of souls aboard, looking to serve up his severed head for their own glory." Over in the I.S.S. Shenzhou's brig, Captain Connor gleefully introduces what awaits Lorca. "Only the finest agonizer booth reserved for the treacherous Lorca..." Tyler stays behind with Lorca while Burnham and Captain Connor enter a turbolift. Connor, knowing he needs to make his crew fear him, grabs his dagger and a massive, momentarily gravity-defying fight ensues. The doors open, with the I.S.S. Shenzhou crew, after a moment, applauding Burnham. Detmer -- Mirror Detmer, who no longer sports her eye modification -- says, "The chair is yours, captain." Burnham orders that Captain Connor's body be disposed of. "Long live Captain Burnham!" the I.S.S. Shenzhou crew shouts. "Long live the Empire!" With that, the I.S.S. Shenzhou and the "I.S.S." Discovery go their separate ways. A beat-up, dead tired Burnham enters her quarters, only to be surprised by Tyler, who'd let himself in. Tyler expresses his devotion to her. Whatever happens in this mirror universe, to him or to her, and however they change, he's there to protect her. "Nothing will ever stand in the way of that," he says. "Nothing. Do you understand what I'm saying?" They embrace. "Yea," she says. "I'm saying it back." They kiss and then fall into bed. But not everyone is finding solace. Lorca -- in an agonizer booth, tortured unendingly -- cries out in agony. However, to borrow the tagline from another beloved sci-fi franchise, in space no one can hear you scream. Next on Discovery... In "The Wolf Inside," as the crew continues their guise, Burnham undergoes a merciless mission in hopes of helping the U.S.S. Discovery return home. Tilly works on restoring Stamets’ neurofunction. Worth Noting The teaser for "The Wolf Inside" reveals that the action remains in the mirror universe, giving us glimpses of an Andorian, Stamets clutching Culber's body, and a bearded Mirror Sarek melding minds with Burnham. And exactly who is Tyler fighting? "Maybe..." Burnham suggests ominously, "none of us really know what darkness is waiting inside." The episode is director by T.J. Scott. His 60-plus credits as a director alone span from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess and Spartacus: War of the Damned to Black Sails, Orphan Black, Bates Motel and Gotham. After Trek When Star Trek: Discovery ends, After Trek begins. Stream it Sundays at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT. Joining host Matt Mira will be: Star Trek: Discovery airs Sunday nights on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series airs on Mondays on Netflix in the rest of the world. View the full article
  6. Several thousand fans participated in this week's StarTrek.com poll, replying to the following question: Which Captain is the most confident? According to you, that captain is... Captain James T. Kirk (42%) Captain Jean-Luc Picard (29%) Captain Kathryn Janeway (11%) Captain Benjamin Sisko (8%) Captain Gabriel Lorca (7%) Captain Jonathan Archer (2%) And where did your confident captain land amongst the results? Be sure to vote in this week's poll... View the full article
  7. Star Trek Online, the free to play online roleplaying game that continues the story of the Star Trek universe, has announced a brand-new feature. Soon, Captains will be able to salvage items they obtain in the field and use that salvage to redesign the upgrades for their ground and space gear. Play for free today at StarTrekOnline.com, and journey through the stars with such Star Trek actors as Leonard Nimoy, J.G. Hertzler and Jeri Ryan. Have you ever crafted a Beam Array and spent resources upgrading it, only to end up getting a mod that doesn’t quite fit the build you’re going for? We have been working away on a new feature that will allow you to re-roll certain mods, granting you the ability to finally craft and modify certain pieces of Equipment to your own satisfaction. In order to Re-Engineer a piece of equipment, we’re introducing a new resource into the game: Salvage. Salvage is rewarded to Captains from salvaging equipment obtained from loot drops they receive. A new contextual action can be taken after highlighting a particular piece of loot, much the same way you would discard or inspect an item. Salvaging the piece of equipment will destroy it and reward an amount of Salvage based on the equipment’s Mark and Quality. The cost of Re-Engineering a piece of equipment will be dependent on how many available mods you wish to re-roll, with the cost per mod decreasing as you opt in to additional mod randomization. We’re still fine-tuning the numbers, and will be looking for feedback from Tribble to finalize the exact amounts. With the new Re-Engineering system, we have taken the opportunity to create several new Epic mods. Weapons, Shields, Engines, Deflectors, Secondary Deflectors and Ground Armor have all received an assortment of new Epic Mods. We’ve chosen to maintain the existing Epic mod as the default mod that is selected when a piece of equipment is upgraded to Epic, which you can then choose to re-roll if you desire. Robert “CrypticRidi” Hrouda Systems Design Star Trek Online View the full article
  8. The Star Trek Las Vegas line-up continues to grow. Jason Isaacs, Gates McFadden, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton and Michael Westmore (who will be turning a celebrity into a Cardassian) are now on board for Star Trek Las Vegas 2018, to be held August 1-5, 2018, at the Rio Suites Hotel. With the additions of Jason Isaacs, the TNG favorites and Michael Westmore, Creation Entertainment is fast closing in on 60 guests spanning the entire franchise. Among those already announced: William Shatner, Jeri Ryan, Wilson Cruz, Mary Chieffo, James Frain, Kenneth Mitchell, Michael Dorn 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. Keep an eye on StarTrek.com 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
  9. Day Six of Star Trek: The Cruise II brought the festivities to a close, but not before fans experienced nearly 15 hours of wall to wall programming, from panels and parties to a Klingon Pub Krawl and karaoke, and from Gates’ Tap Class to Gorn’s Gong Show. Here’s a recap on just some of the day’s highlights... Deep Space Nine Reunion Poolside was the place to be for this chat, led by Ian Spelling, with Nana Visitor, Rene Auberjonois, Armin Shimerman, Michael Dorn, Vaughn Armstrong, Jeffrey Combs, Casey Biggs and Max Grodenchik. Much of the conversation centered on the show’s 25th anniversary, which will be celebrated in the upcoming documentary, "What We Left Behind." “Wow, 25 years,” Dorn said. “All these years later you have a different outlook. What's interesting is that I found I can look at it differently now." “Documentaries are complex,” Auberjonois notes. “It’s an animal that takes over. It will be more interesting than what we could have known. Plus, Armin and I had a hot affair. That’ll be in there.” “Only two weeks!” Shimerman swore. The supporting/recurring actors marveled at how the writers and producers made time to develop their respective characters. “I loved it,” Armstrong stated. They just started giving me things and having this instrument allowed me to play those characters. It was amazing." Grodenchik said he “wondered if I would be back each season." And he was, which was a gift that kept on giving. Shimerman interjected, “We boldly stayed in one place. And because of that we could do all the recurring characters. Max was as equally an important character as Quark." Combs couldn’t pick one guest star with whom he was most excited to have shared scenes. “I have four...” he noted and cited Andre Martin, Henry Gibson, Iggy Pop and Louis Fletcher. Visitor thought long and hard when asked what Major Kira might be up to if someone were to make a two-hour reunion telemovie. “I imagine she became more powerful and more alone,” the actress said. “There's a sadness there." Discussing DS9’s legacy, Biggs noted, “To each individual, I would compel you to be conscious of what you leave behind." Utopia Planetia Shipyards Sea Trials TDoes it float? Can it transport 6 beers across the pool? Those were among the criteria during this poolside contest that pitted fan-made boats — made of garbage! — against fan-made boats. Among the boats: an Imperial battle cruiser (cloaked; so it was hidden within silver wrapping til needed), Starship Crikey, Klingon garbage scowl, a medical shuttle crusher and the ISS Bucket. Among the refuse used: beer bottles, garbage bags, plates, poster tubes and rolled Post-its. Search for Spock The full title of this panel really tells the whole story: The Ship-wide Search for Spock Cryptic Clue Hunt with Robb Pearlman. Eight Spocks were hidden around the ship, with dozens of intrepid fans spreading out, clues in hand, to see if they could find them all before time ran out. Logically, a good time was had by all. Klingon Pub Krawl The Klingon Karnivoria, quite appropriately, served as the starting point for the loud, raucous, ridiculously fun Pub Krawl led by Robert O’Reilly in full Gowron regalia. The sold-out event was jam-packed with fans klamoring to follow in Chancellor Gowron’s footsteps. Qapla’! Oh My!!! Fans glimpsed two empty chairs positioned by the Borg Cube screen. Who’d been joining Takei for his talk? It turned out to be Brad Takei, and the two interacted like, well, an old married couple. Takei recalled his first conversation with Gene Roddenberry. The Trek creator called him Tuh-Kai rather than Tuk-Kay. The word Takai, he told Roddenberry, meant “expensive.” Takei revealed that Roddenberry said, “I never want to call actors expensive...,’ and he never called me Tuh-Kai again. Code of Honor Denise Crosby and Michael Dorn teamed up to screen “Code of Honor,” widely considered the worst-ever episode of TNG. Dorn came out first. After noting he was not in the episode and hadn’t seen it in 30 years, he said, “There is, in every series, in a long running series, an episode that stands out. Usually it’s the best episode. I’ll say this is the most-interesting Star Trek ever... for a myriad of reasons. What’s also interesting is we have the actor who figured prominently in it...” And with that, Denise Crosby took the stage. For the next hour, Crosby and Dorn stopped and started the episode, offering memories and commentary as they attempted to, as Dorn put it, “deconstruct what went into this masterpiece.” Joked Crosby, “I have white wine for this. I have to be fortified.” As laughable and even racist as the episode may be, Crosby and Dorn notes, the idea was reasonable, everyone’s heart was in the right place, what wasn’t said was more worthwhile than what was said, and the episode simply didn’t work. Gorn's Gong Show Jeff Combs, Connor Trinneer and Vaughn Armstrong joined an apparently caffeinated Gorn to judge this contest, in which fans performed a variety of acts. The whole idea was the garner 10’s from the judge and avoid getting gonged by the Gorn. Among those participating: a bagpipe player, a couple of keyboardists, an ex-soldier who played songs from The Wizard of Oz on his... harmonica, a 15-year-old who yo-yo-ed to the TOS theme music, a singing-dancing-rapper — and more. A Bone-Chillingly Good Q&A Karl Urban, fighting off the effects of some bad food he ate just before the cruise, chatted with Ian Spelling during an entertaining, informative Q&A, the final poolside one of the cruise. Looking back at 10 years of his crew’s Trek films, he cited two things that stand out: the fans and the great people he gets to work with, with chemistry being very important. "J.J. does a good job of putting people together,” he noted. When asked about taking on the iconic McCoy role made famous by DeForest Kelley, Urban said, “It feels like putting on a big, warm jumper... When doing the first movie, the challenge was making the character identifiable. For me, it was identifying what the very essence of that character was. I’ve since also been able to some of my own stamp on the character as well.” Riker's Chair Mounting Competition This was pretty damn epic, folks. A large and enthusiastic crowd greeted Jonathan Frakes and cheered on their favorite contestants — including a nimble dancer and a woman with a full Riker beard — as they performed their best “full Riker,” with Frakes sharing his own moves and judging the contestants. Style points were a must! As the Commander himself put it, “Nowhere else in the world is anything like this happening!” And since the winner was declared with time to spare, Frakes happily answered questions from the audience for the remaining time. Wine Tasting Packing the Grand Pacific dining room, a crowd of wine enthusiasts listened — and tasted! — as Biggs explained different varietals and offered a technique for enhancing the experience of wine: BLIC, an acronym for Balance, Length, Intensity, Complexity. For the record, Biggs himself is a winemaker and notable as the Paso Wine Guy online. The Future of Human Space Exploration Using current examples such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin projects, former NASA astronaut Rick Searfoss offered some vision into the near future, as we are beginning the transition to long-duration space flight. Most practical ideas, he noted, “will come from public and private partnerships.” The Women's View Talk about a provocative hour. Denise Crosby led a conversation with Nana Visitor, Kitty Swink, Lolita Fatjo and Marnie Mosiman, and it was an open, meaningful conversation with members of the audience, including a few guys, about the position and role of women in our society and how we can all strive to live the dream of Star Trek... free of gender and racial prejudices and inequality. BFF Robert Picardo seemed to take extra-special delight in sharing the stage with his old pal and very talented musician, Jordan Bennett. Together, they presented a lighthearted musical comedy revue that celebrated their 40 years of friendship and kept the audience tapping their feet and laughing. Last Call Star Trek’s current Dr. McCoy settled into a chair on the stage of the Stardust Theater and, for a full hour, answered fan questions. He was funny, detailed and charming as he talked about Trek, Dredd, working with Al Pacino in Hangman, The Lord of the Rings and much more. Drink of the Day Many a fan made one last toast with their drink of the day in hand, and that colorful drink was the brilliantly named, James T. Kirk. The ship’s bartenders brought it to life using Bacardi Superior Rum, gin, vodka, blue curaco and lemon-lime soda. The Voyage Home As the day wrapped, fans showed off their final costumes. Here are a few: Read the Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four and Day Five recaps and keep watching StarTrek.com for the daily updates on Star Trek: The Cruise II. View the full article
  10. And so it begins... Star Trek: The Cruise II on Friday welcomed 2300 fans on board the Norwegian Jade, refitted as a Federation starship. Members of Starfleet were on hand as guests arrived and began to explore their starship for the next six days. Launch Party As the ship left the port in Miami, fans gathered pool side for the Launch Party with a procession of the cruise’s celebrity guests, who greeted the crowd and said a few words. Denise Crosby implored everyone to “let their freak flag fly!” Robert O’Reilly energized the crowd by leading them in several Qapla!' chants. It was the perfect warm-up for his upcoming Klingon Pub Crawl. Ethan Phillips gave the crowd a taste of his late-night stand-up performances set for later in the week. Nana Visitor told the crowd that she was going to have an Eat, Pray, Love week. She will be leading a meditation session, cooking demonstration and an evening performance with Rene Auberjonois about love. Robert Picardo recounted the 'planes, trains and automobiles' story of his escape from the New York weather to join everyone on the ship. Michael Dorn acknowledged that he's embarking on his first-ever cruise. Connor Trinneer encouraged fans to join him for the Blackjack Tournament on Saturday. While Jeffrey Combs pitched the Poker Tournament that he is headlining. Vaughn Armstrong reminded fans of all of the Star Trek characters that he has played. John de Lancie offered two fans the opportunity to perform in his audio play this week. Gates McFadden is ready to dance! She'll be leading a tap class twice during the cruise. Max Grodenchik promoted Saturday night's performance of The Rat Pack. Casey Biggs led the crowd in a wave for Deep Space Nine's 25th Anniversary. Brent Spiner jokingly suggested that fans can speak with him on the cruise - but not look at him. And George Takei greeted the throng with his trademark “Oh myyyyyyy!” and adding “Here we are, going where many of you have... gone before. And we’re going in the spirit of the Great Bird... Gene Roddenberry. “ Shore Leave Bar The Shore Leave Bar, decked out with Trek Tiki Towers and the Drink of the Day, was a central gathering point for guests. Friday's drink was a Guinan Guilty Pleasure featuring Vodka, Gin, White Run, Scotch, Bourban, Tequila, Triple Sec, Brandy, Pineapple Juice and Orange Juice. And it was available in the Star Trek Geeki Tikis! Burton, Visitor & Auberjonois Michael Dorn did the honors of welcoming LeVar Burton to the stage of the Stardust Theatre, introducing his old friend and colleague as someone who’s thrived in his post-Trek career. Burton greeted the audience, saying, “I thought we would do a little Reading Rainbow live,” which elicited cheers. And he then led everyone in signing the Reading Rainbow theme song. Burton then dramatically read two selections starting with the children’s book The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm, which he co-wrote. The second story was a piece he wrote about his appreciation of sci-fi books and the works of Octavia Butler. Following LeVar's performance, Nana Vistor and Rene Auberjonois took the stage with stories about love. Nana and Rene opened with a flashback of when Kira first met Odo before sharing favorite poems, a job description for "mom" and much more. Mirror Mirror Party & Information Society The Captain's Club was the place to be on Friday night, as fans got in the spirit — and in costume — for the “Mirror Mirror” party. DJ Needles kept everyone on their feet and dancing deep into the night and early morning. There was no mistaking the Pure Energy in 13 Forward as Information Society rocked the house. Artist J.K. Woodward The artist J.K Woodward, during his “Mirror Broken” talk, shared with fans how his mission for IDW Publishing’s comic book saga was to add the Mirror Universe construct to the TNG continuity by creating visually unique, even daring versions of such characters as Picard. “The idea was based mostly on a fascist/authoritarian deal,” Woodward explained. “I used the Soviet constructivism of the 1940s to achieve the authoritarian feel.” Trivia Contest A full house joined Max Grodenchik and Ian Spelling for "Eat, Drink & Be Merry" trivia. 25 specially-created questions challenged fans while offering a few very funny multiple choice options. Make-Up Demonstrations John Paladin is once again on-board offering make-up demonations as well as the chance for cosplayers to have their make-up completed by a professional. Turbo Lifts Moving around the ship is easy and fun with the fully decorated turbo lifts. Each lift features LCARS displays with important information and guidance for the Federation's visitors. Cosplayers on Display Species from across the universe were on display throughout the day and night. Here's a sample: Keep watching StarTrek.com for daily updates on Star Trek: The Cruise II. View the full article
  11. Amazon has just introduced a brand-new Star Trek Shop featuring products inspired by Star Trek: Discovery and the entire franchise. Products include exclusive tees, cases and pop sockets. The shop will open with Discovery and Star Trek: The Original Series-themed items, with products from other Trek adventures to be added in the coming months. And, all products will be available with Amazon Prime. Check out some of the products below: Keep an eye on StarTrek.com for details about new and upcoming products. View the full article
  12. Martin Rayner played one of the most-colorful characters in all of Star Trek, even if his scenes were in black and white. The actor portrayed the megalomaniacal, mustache-twirling, Janeway-obsessed Doctor Chaotica in three episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, namely "Night," "Bride of Chaotica" and "Shattered." Chaotica was just one role in a long, busy career that's seen Rayner concentrate mostly on stage work, but has also encompassed such films and shows as Victor Victoria, Dallas, Problem Child, Frasier and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The actor's current project is also an old project. Rayner will play a dying Dr. Sigmund Freud in the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble's upcoming production of the Mark St. Germain comedy-drama, Freud’s Last Session. The Show will open on January 13 and the Odyssey Theatre in West L.A. and run through March 4. Back in 2010, when Rayner was battling prostate cancer while performing the show off-Broadway in Manhattan, he collapsed during a performance. True to the rallying cry, "The show must go on," Rayner ended up in the hospital that night, but returned to the stage the very next day. Rayner's latest turn in Freud's Last Session provided StarTrek.com the opportunity to chat with Rayner, who talked about the show, his health and his memories of bringing Doctor Chaotica to life... You're about to star in Freud's Last Session, again. Is this your first time back in the role since the Off-Broadway production? Yes, it is. I don't usually revisit roles, but with the time going by, and then with life experiences, I thought I maybe could do it better. What continues to appeal to you about the show and the role? For an actor, it's like going to the gym. It's got so many levels to work on that you never get bored. We did 850 performances in New York and didn't ever get stale. That’s because it's material with endless layers to explore. By that I mean the layers between two great minds and their egos and all of that, and then simply the pitfalls and the advantages of the material itself, because everything in the play was either spoken or written by the two guys. It's all things they said or thought. It's complicated stuff that you can fall into all kinds of traps with, like declaiming or putting spins on it or making it too speechified. The secret is to find the passion and thought underlying the dialogue because it's a lot of talking. You casually mentioned you've had some life experiences between then and now, but they were life-altering events. How have they changed your performance? Well, quite a lot has happened, actually. At the time I did it in New York, I was fighting cancer and had been given five years to live. The New York Times did an article about this, saying, “The actor playing Freud in his last three weeks of life with cancer, is battling cancer.” They suggested I wasn't going to make it. It really affected my career for a while. People would say, "Well, is he still around? Is he alive?" So, that was a major thing, because I've been living with that cancer now since 2006. That’s more than 10 years. I've beaten the doctors’ prediction by five years. That's been an interesting little constant trend, as you might say. Then in March of 2017, my aorta dissected and I wasn't supposed to survive that. The hospital called my family and said, "He's probably not going to make it. You should come now." I think what saved me was that I was up in my little cottage north of San Francisco and it happened very suddenly while I was working and digging a muddy trench in the rainy season. The circumstances just happened to save me. I was helicoptered up the Stanford Hospital, where a legendary surgeon happened to be on duty, who basically saved me. So, my life changed on a dime. What' I've been doing since March is I got on my feet really quickly and sort of surprised everyone, and I'm even running now. Also last year, my brother died of the cancer I have. He also had prostate cancer, but we went after it in different ways and, sadly, he didn't make it. As you can imagine, dealing with these things has been hard, but everyone is dealing with something. So, coming back now to revisit Freud, I’d been away from acting for a while and things are different. They have to be. I think we always grow. Actors grow more between jobs rather than during jobs. You have life happening. You come back to your work and think, “Oh, I used to fall into that trap. That's a silly thing to do.” So, there's that part of it and then, having come back to a role after eight years, you have quite a different take. Plus, of course, it’s a different director and a different partner in crime. Let's talk about Voyager and Doctor Chaotica. First, what did you know Star Trek in general and Voyager specifically? I didn't know Voyager. I knew the original Star Trek because in England as a kid, I watched it and loved it. I never thought I’d be in it. I never thought I'd be in America. My grounding was TOS, but I wasn’t watching a lot of television, period, later on. I went in for a cold audition. No one knew me and I remember this particular moment in that audition where the stage manager gave me a chair and said, "You can do what you like with this chair." There were all these studio people sitting there, so I said, "Oh, OK, I think I'll destroy it with a look." These people looked up and said, "Who the hell is this?" I did this way over-the-top, very-evil version of the audition and left. As I was walking out, they came running. "Can you come back in?" They said, "Can you now do it very, very small and very truthfully?" I did that, and I basically could tell I had it and that I was a natural for it. It was so fun to do, because on the first day there was this microphone, this old-fashioned microphone with a cord, and I was in this art deco outfit. I took the cord and snapped it, like a real snap of the wire, and the sound man said, "No, no, no. You can't do that with the sound... Now we're going to have to put it in everywhere." The director said, "No, let him do it." So, I did it, and then Kate Mulgrew picked up on the idea. When she got the microphone, she did the same thing. Everyone started cracking this whip. I don't know, there was something about that moment where I felt like I had permission to be me. It just became such fun. Chaotica was such an over-the-top character, yet in a way, you also had to be true and real. What I love about it now, looking back, is it's kind of timeless because it's on the Holodeck. My son always says, talking about my credits, "Well, the cool one is Star Trek." I say, "But I've done all the other things." "Yeah, but Star Trek's cool." Did you know it’d be a recurring role? It was one episode at the time. The writers liked it and went on to the second one and then the third one. Toward the end, they started talking about a spinoff, like that Saturday morning pictures idea of a character like Chaotica. It was just an idea, and then it sort of went away. When you were playing the role, did you have Ming in your head, or no? Not at all, because the truth is, I was ignorant about Ming the Merciless. It was purely my instant reaction to the material. I thought, “Oh, I know who this guy is.” He was a big bad, very theatrical, yet he's got reality and fight in him. He's yearning. He’s in love with Arachnia. And he’s just gone astray. I’ve always had a soft spot for him, this poor guy. These roles only come along now and again. And it’s been very good to me, actually, because I've done some Trek conventions and signed trading cards and various things. I got quite lucky, really. How did you get on with the Voyager cast? Very well. Kate and I got along great. We’d sit during breaks and smoke, and she’d tell me about her family. I know that “Bride of Chaotica” was one of her favorite episodes. She was so good in it. All the actors loved the episodes because the holodeck scenes were fun for them. It was a nice break from the usual. What do you recall of the costume and the fact that your scenes were shot in color but aired in black and white? They were shot in color so they could be made into sepia. I have a color photograph of me on the throne in my full outfit. It's really beautiful. But it looks fantastic in the sepia effect. The make-up, I didn't even know what that was going to be until I sat in the chair and they took, I guess, a couple of hours to do it. What I liked about it was that it was still nicely me. I wasn’t completely covered over by makeup. So, that was my ego that I felt, but I thought, “People still know it's me.” They had all this new technology with air brushing, and it was pretty fascinating to watch them do it. Just as you didn't know Chaotica would recur, can we assume you didn’t know “Shattered” would be your last time in the role? Exactly. I didn't know. It seemed like, “I've had my great episode, so what more can I expect?” So, “Shattered” was a bit of a nice, little bonus. The only thing was, I know they were talking about having an action figure and, again, the writers kept mentioning the idea of a spinoff. But I knew better than to expect anything to come from that. We’ve been at conventions and seen quite a few Chaoticas, often accompanied by Arachnia. Have you had the pleasure? Yes. I’ve seen a lot of young men dressing up as Chaotica, and they did quite well. They’d come up and I'd be full of admiration with the way they’d put it all together. I'm sure there were Arachnias. I just didn't see a whole lot of them. I do remember one convention, I was walking down the corridor and Kate Mulgrew was coming the other way with her entourage. I didn't want to intrude, so I just said, "Hi Kate," and I walked on. I heard her say, "Who's that?" She'd never seen me out of makeup. Somebody said, "That's Chaotica." She said, "Stop,” turned around and came back. And we went off and had lunch. The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025. For reservations and information about Freud’s Last Session, call (310) 477-2055 or go to OdysseyTheatre.com. View the full article
  13. The Norwegian Jade pulled into Costa Maya, Mexico, setting the stage for Day 5 of Star Trek: The Cruise II. Most fans spent the day off the ship, visiting Mayan ruins, having fun at the nearby water park, and/or indulging in other excursions and activities. Later on and into the evening, all the action was back on board. And StarTrek.com has the scoop: Max Is Back! Max Grodenchik, introduced reverently by Armin Shimerman as his "comic relief and my pain in the ass" during DS9, came to the stage apologizing for a music mixup that left him without access to many of his music files. He nonetheless gamely entertained the assembled crowd with songs he described as "leftovers" from his Star Trek Rat Pack act. Singing lyrics inspired by his time on DS9, accompanied by familiar, contemporary song melodies, the ditties included "Ferengi, Ferenga", "Alehouse Quark", "Auto-graphitis", with storylines culled from Trek lore and his fellow actors. Having introduced Grodenchik, Shimerman stayed in the audience and was frequently goaded into joining his friend on stage. He finally relented, duet-ing with Grodenchik on "The Paramount Song.” Liar’s Club Anyone who thought Ethan Phillips’ raunchy standup act wasn’t blue enough probably felt right at home at this event, which featured Phil Plaitt, Robb Pearlman and Jeffrey Combs. The trio arrived with drinks in hand, and proceeded to lie their way through providing the definitions of such words as blenophobia, crapulence, erectarrine, hemi-pygic. Blackjack Tournament Connor Trinneer led the night’s poker tournament, interacting with the fans playing at his table and the crowd standing all around him. Even from a distance, you could hear the cheers and boos of people reacting to the cards the dealer dealt. In Search of Lost Time One of the highlights of the cruise is watching familiar Trek actors display another facet of their talent. Case in point: Brent Spiner, who wowed a full house with his Cabaret act that incorporated song and stories. Among the choice anecdotes: several years after TNG ended, he was in New Orleans to shoot a movie. He needed a suit and with the wardrobe department, the options were narrowed down to three. One was too big, another too small and third third fit like a glove. Since wardrobe tends to make the rounds in the film and TV, business, Spiner looked at the jacket’s label to see who’d worn it before him. It read: Brent Spiner... The Next Generation. Holo-Disco Party Fans boogied at this 70s-themed party, with Band 47, looking chic oversized shades, Afros and period outfits, cranking out the disco classics. Check out some of the great outfits sported by fans.... Trek Dining & Bars Much to the delight — general and gastronomical — of fans, the Jade’s restaurants have been rechristened with Trek-style names and, in many cases, Trek-themed food items, with Neelix himself suggesting daily specials. Among Neelix's Dish of the Day in the Grand Pacific dining room are: Chicken a la Sisko, Pasta Boudin, Kohlanese Stew, Unhura's Lemon Chicken, Alfarian Hair Pasta and Dr. McCoy's Pork & Tennessee Smoked Baked Beans. At Sandrine’s II, diners may enjoy a full menu of Trek-style French cuisine including Plomeek Spicy Soup, Sisko's Creole Shrimp, Seven of Nine's Fettran Risotto, Chicken Warp Core-don Bleu, a Bolian Souffle and Sisko's Betazoid Uttaberry Crepe. The Klingon Karnivoria is inspired by the Brazilian churrascarias of Earth and the feasting halls of Qo’noS. And the food included heart of targ, Gaga, and Kraft leg accompanied by a falcon of bloodwine. The social center of the Jade, 13 Forward (appropriately on the 13th floor on the forward part of the ship), serves as the social center of the ship. In addition to a fully stocked bar, it’s home to a stage encircled by rows of comfortable seats, perfect for fans checking out Q&A’s, one-man shows, late night music and celebrity bingo. The Shore Leave Bar in the ship’s atrium has been a fan favorite, situated in the heart of the Jade, serving great drinks, screening cool Trek content and offering Geeki Tiki mugs. The Pit Stop bar overlooking the pool is inspired by Route 66. Don't miss the "Easter Eggs" featuring some of the best license plates from across the galaxy. Drink of the Day Fans with a sweet tooth were quick to beam up Tuesday’s drink, Orion’s Belt. It’s a combo of Midori, Malibu Rum, pineapple juice and cream. Read the Day One, Day Two, Day Three and Day Four recaps and keep watching StarTrek.com for the daily updates on Star Trek: The Cruise II. View the full article
  14. Star Trek: Boldly Go, Vol. 2 is IDW Publishing’s latest all-new comic-book adventure featuring the current version of the Enterprise crew. Written by Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrott, with art by Tony Shasteen and Megan Levens, as well as a George Caltsoudas cover, the story follows the Federation and the Romulans as they convene in the wake of the Borg attack. However, the precarious peace is threatened by the murder of a key diplomat... and a Starfleet cadet is the prime suspect. At the heart of the tale is Star Trek Beyond’s breakout character, Jaylah. Featuring characters from IDW’s Starfleet Academy series, Star Trek: Boldly Go, Vol. 2 gathers together issues #7–12. It runs 144 pages and is priced at $19.99. Check out StarTrek.com's exclusive preview below: For additional details, contact your local comic book retailer or visit www.comicshoplocator.com to find a store near you. and keep an eye on StarTrek.com for additional details about IDW's upcoming Star Trek adventures, as well as exclusive First Looks at covers and preview pages. View the full article
  15. Day Four of Star Trek: The Cruise II offered the perfect combination of fun in the sun and onboard activities. The Norwegian Jade pulled into port in Belize, to Norwegian’s gorgeous, new private island — dubbed Risa for the occasion — where fans walked just a short distance and settled into chaise lounges on the beach or at the pool, play games or try the zipline, grab lunch, rent a kayak and more. Risa Scavenger Hunt For many fans on this day, the adventure on Risa began with a treasure hunt. Fans received sheets with riddles/clues, along with pencils, and had to track down the riddle answers and fill out their sheets. More than 100 people participated and only 2 people got all the answers right. Sand Castle Competition Groups of creative fans trekked to this event, crafting impressive castles in the shape of a Starfleet delta, Klingon warbirds, the Enterprise, a Borg cube and the Enterprise bridge. Check out the sand creations: High Lord Cuckoo Face, 3 Little Klingons & O' Reilly Too The title of Robert O’Reilly’s panel alone lured fans — a full house — to 13 Forward on Monday evening. And the explanation came early... O’Reilly and his wife had triplet boys years ago. He didn’t let them watch him as Gowron on Trek for a while, “lest they be scared by me or think they’re going to look like me.” When the boys did, they didn’t like the name Gowron. And this they dubbed him “High Lord Cuckoo Face.” “It kind of fits, you know?” he said rhetorically. “I couldn’t argue with them!” O’Reilly then regaled the audience with tales of fatherhood, the joys and horrors of raising baby boys that turn into teens and then young adults; they’re 21 now. He read a poem, “The Jabberwocky,” and talked about his life and career, and his appreciation of Star Trek. All in all, he kept fans rapt for an hour. It was funny, bittersweet and a deeply personal O’Reilly-audience experience. Star Trek Squares One of major hits of the entire cruise, George Takei served as the center square of this funny, often profane Trek-ified version of The Hollywood Squares. Also participating... two fans, Jonathan Frakes, Rene Auberjonois, Denise Crosby, Phil Plait, Ian Spelling, Robb Pearlman, Kurt Larson of Information Society, and the Gorn. JT Watters, our cruise director, masterfully oversaw the chaos. Risa's Festival of the Moon Party The weather was perfect for a late-night outdoor party, and Jonathan Frakes got it started. He implored the crowd to behave themselves and not to drink and drew, which drew big laughs, and exited the stage, leaving Band 47 to crank out nearly two hours of classic dance songs that had everyone dancing. The Science of Soil James Cassidy isn’t just a member of Information Society, but he’s also a professor. During a panel that even Spock would find fascinating, he made the argument that all life is derived from the energy of the sun, which is “processed” by photosynthesis in plants. All of them derive their nutrients from soil; soil is formed by rocks that have dissolved in water over millennia. “Inside a single pinch of soil there are over 1 billion living organisms... and tens of thousands of different species in that pinch of soil are processing the elements needed for life,” Cassidy said. “Every atom in your body started out in a rock whose nutrients and minerals were broken down by plants. Protecting the soil is Job #1 for earthlings.” Live Art Renowned artist JK Woodward’s piece of the day was a painting of a Romulan Warbird in deep space. Woodward discussed his process: he works with gouache, a very flexible medium that can mimic oil paints, watercolor, or acrylic, which makes it perfect for the effects he likes to achieve. A trick for creating star fields: a toothbrush. Dipped in water and white paint, he sprinkles droplets across the black sky. A painstaking and exacting artist, he revealed that a single page of a comic takes him 20 hours to complete. Drink of the Day Chaotica’s Death Ray packed a punch. The drink of the day combined Coconut rum, Bacardi Superior, Bacardi 151, banana liquer, pineapple juice and cranberry juice into a villainously tasty concoction. The Star Trek Game Room Fans who want to meet other fans, just want to try something different or need to relax... can be found in the perfect place, a living room-style game room with a fun assortment of games to play. And so, throughout the cruise, we’ve glimpsed fans assembling a Trek puzzle or playing Star Trek Risk, Star Trek Catan, Star Trek Panic and Star Trek Fleet Captains. Star Trek Library Still can’t get enough Trek? Then, check out the library, filled with more than 100 paperback Trek novels. There are titles by Diane Duane, Peter David, Alan Dean Foster, Greg Cox, David Mack, Barbara Paul and dozens of other authors. Read the Day One, Day Two and Day Three recaps and keep watching StarTrek.com for the daily updates on Star Trek: The Cruise II. View the full article
  16. Jason Isaacs, who's already been announced as a guest at Destination Star Trek Germany this April, will now also make the trek to the U.K. for Destination Star Trek Birmingham. Set to be held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, England, from October 19-21, 2018, the event will also feature appearances by a couple of Isaacs' Star Trek: Discovery co-stars - Mary Chieffo (L'Rell) and Kenneth Mitchell (Kol) - along with Trek celebrities from across the franchise and the Deep Space Nine 25th Anniversary Celebration. Fans attending DST Birmingham will enjoy photo ops, autographs and panels, as well as be able to assume command of the bridge on the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 and NCC-1701-D, and check out props and costumes in the Destination Star Trek Museum. Visit Destination Star Trek for tickets and keep an eye on StarTrek.com for additional news about guests and programming. View the full article
  17. “Despite Yourself” had it all: love, death, honor, the Mirror Universe, a Defiant mention -- and more. And bringing episode #10 of Star Trek: Discovery to the screen was none other than Jonathan Frakes. The longtime TNG star and now veteran director previewed “Despite Yourself” for StarTrek.com readers the other day, and now he’s back with us to discuss the episode in the past tense. NOTE: Massive spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the episode yet… What worked best for you about the episode? The story was strong. Questions were answered. Characters found their legs under them. I think the show in general has gotten itself on track. I remember so clearly how this happened with us (the TNG cast). It took us two or three seasons, and this company seems to have found itself two-thirds of the way through the first season. That's really what it takes. As we know, with all things Star Trek, it's about the relationships, it's about the family. The Stamets-Culber relationship was incredibly strong. Tilly and Burnham have a fabulous relationship. Lorca's relationship in general with his whole crew… The strings are tied up nicely. It felt like it was half of a two-parter. Tyler has a signature chair move, which involves him kicking the seat out for someone, usually Burnham, whom he wants to have sit next to him. You had a signature chair move of your own. Did that come up as you shot that scene with Shazad and Sonequa, or no? Yes, of course. I said, "Show me your moves. Show me your chair moves. I had my own.” I hadn't seen that bit from the earlier episode where Shazad did that. You just breeze past it. So, it'll probably become part of the canon, like everything else. It's proper fun. He's a wonderful actor, Shazad. The work that he did with Mary Chieffo in the brig, I think, is possibly the most-powerful scene in the episode. And what about the ending? What about Mr. Isaacs going full throttle in the tube. How many takes did it take to get all the screaming done? Jason’s a pro. Two or three takes is all you need. If he hasn't got his stuff in two or three takes, you've missed something. He comes to work ready. He's like Patrick (Stewart). He's fully prepared and it has to make sense. What was your sense of how much fun the cast had playing variations on their characters? Especially Mary Wiseman turning into Captain Killy and Isaacs doing that Scotty-ish accent for a moment? Oh, that was brilliant. That, for my money, is the loveliest Easter egg so far from Discovery. He also, if you notice, doctored up the speech so that if you listened in closely he said, “To boldly go” somewhere in there. That was just prior to him doing the impersonation. We had a ball. We had a ball. Mary, the two Marys from Juilliard, they can do anything, and they have quite a committed friendship off camera. But to have Mary Wiseman as Captain Killy was quite different for her. I think she enjoyed that. Again, I can’t emphasize this enough, how much this company feels like our (TNG) company in terms of their friendships. You can tell when an acting crew stays at their cast chairs during a lighting set-up, or when another actor’s scene is done, instead of immediately retreating to their trailer. It says volumes. They want to be in each other's company. They don't want to miss anything. They want to support each other. They trust each other and they genuinely like each other. It makes everybody's day better. Take us through prepping/shooting the U.S.S Discovery / I.S.S. Discovery montage / transformation sequence… We had storyboarded that entire sequence and Sean Cochran, who wrote the script, and whoever helped him, we got very specific with the pieces we wanted to get. We were, at the end of the day, piggy-backing those. We set one shot up with one camera. We went to another part of the bridge or the corridor, wherever we were, and were ready for that set-up. Because there was no dialogue, and it was over voice-over, you could really do anything with it, and we had a concept of moving from left to right through the entire thing so that, where ever the editor wanted to put the pieces, you’d feel as if you're watching a timeline. So, it was, again, about preparation. What can you tell us about shooting Culber’s death, and working with Wilson Cruz and Anthony Rapp on it? It was an opportunity to explore an important relationship with two wonderful actors. We did, as I am wont to do, a lot of singing, mostly musical comedies. It counteracted the seriousness of the material, which I find often helps. I'm not much of a believer in, "We need to all feel the pain all day." The concept of Stamets being in the room and yet unable to see it, but clearly feeling it, that was heavy. We really wanted the moment to mean something, and I think it does. But could the whole thing be a quantum anomaly? Let’s say that maybe we haven’t seen the last of Culber. Guide us through staging the close-quarters fight between Connor and Burnham. It was interesting because Sam Vartholomeos was on the show briefly at the start, and now he was back for a quick but pivotal moment… Colin Hoult, the director of photography, said, "Wouldn't it be cool if… we were able to use the turbo lift essentially as a tool in the fight?" Then, in kicking that idea around with the production designer, and with Colin and with the stunt coordinator, we came across the concept that there’d be something inside that panel that essentially dropped the turbo lift. Burnham was smart enough to know how it worked. So, we did some wire work inside of it, where they were thrown to the roof. It was, again, all storyboarded. It was budgeted. I said, "This is a big deal." They said, "You know what? This is an enormously important story because, from this, she delivers the dead man to the bridge.” And that was a great ending for that part of the story. So, during prep, which we were lucky enough to have 10 days of, the stunt coordinator and the doubles for Sonequa and Sam rehearsed and rehearsed inside the space, which had already been built, except the wires and the pinpoints. They videotaped it and brought it to me to approve or disapprove. The production designer was involved in choosing what part of the turbo lift would break away, where the panel would be. So, that scene was one of those great examples of how it takes a team to do a TV show. I thought it was quite successful, that whole scene. We’re assuming you had to smile at the inclusion of the Defiant? Of course. It was not lost on me. And let’s discuss the Burnham-Tyler scene at the very end… Love scenes can add a new level to a show. I've directed a number of them and I've been in a number of them as an actor, and I’ve found over the years that, at least in general, the best way to make an actor comfortable is to direct a love scene as if it is a dance or a sporting motion. You talk about the moves as opposed to talk about the sensuality, or “I want to see this much skin,” and all the things that we know are expected for a love scene to convey. The actors can take care of that. They don't need to be reminded of that. So, my job, in my mind, is to design shots and stage them in a very… what is the word I'm looking for? In a choreographed way, so everybody can then wrap their heads around them. That way the actors can say to me, “So, you need me to go further back onto the bed,” or, “It's better if I hold the side of her head or her face with this hand because the camera will be there,” or, “Tell me when I'm in the light and I'll kiss...” So, getting into the specifics of what you need as a filmmaker and employing the actors to help you make the shots, it takes away some of the nervousness that people get about taking their clothes off, about being in bed with strangers, and it makes the entire event a lot more collaborative. As Burnham undressed in that room, she was surprised that he was there. Gersha Phillips designed the costume so we actually could use it. A lot of costumes, especially in science fiction, are not functional. They need to look perfect. Burnham taking off her armor and her boots, it was so human and so active and so relatable that I think it helped the scene. You told us you hope to be back next season. In the meantime, any parting thoughts on your first Discovery experience? I just can't emphasize enough how emotional it was to be part of the next chapter of this incredible phenomenon that we're all blessed to be part of, and how honored I was to be quizzed by all the members of the company. I was very glad that I was the one from our show who was fortunate enough to be on the set for these guys who were already so versed in Star Trek and so deep into it that they wanted and still continued to want to carry on the mantle. I mean, it all sounds so corny as I'm saying it, but it's absolutely true. Star Trek: Discovery airs Sunday nights on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series airs on Mondays on Netflix in the rest of the world. View the full article
  18. Day Three of Star Trek: The Cruise II is in the books. The Norwegian Jade pulled into port in Roatan this morning, and many, even most of the 2300 fans on board spent the day on the beach and/or enjoying a variety of excursions. Starting around dinner time, though, the Star Trek once again kicked into high gear. Original Trek Jonathan Frakes at long last made it on board the Jade following weather-related delays back on the east coast, and he and Gates McFadden had a surprise for the standing-room-only crowd in 13 Forward: guests Robert Picardo, Kitty Swink, Armin Shimerman, John de Lancie and Marnie Mosiman, doing a live reading of “The Trouble with Tribbles.” Gates McFadden voiced Captain Kirk. Jonathan Frakes played Spock and narrated. Armin Shimerman was Scotty. Kitty Swink (wife of Armin Shimerman) portrayed Baris. Robert Picardo did the talking for Uhura. Marnie Mosiman (wife of John de Lancie) was Chekov. John de Lancie voiced Dr. McCoy. The actors also voiced various additional characters. “I’m doing a little Kirk with Spock,” Frakes cracked. “Do you hear that?” They elicited chuckles with their assorted accents, particularly Mosiman, who captured Koenig impressively. More laughs came from humorous asides and flubs. “I turned the page the wrong way,” Picardo admitted. “Give me a second.” Later, Shimerman admonished himself for his accent. “I did an Irish Scotty.” The biggest laugh of the night came when Shimerman teased Picardo for going “overboard” with his character’s laughing. Picardo looked out the window toward the water and joked, “It’s a perfect place to go overboard.” When the laughter died down, Shimerman said, “You owe me one, Bob!” GOW-ROM Laughs were aplenty when Robert O'Reilly and Max Grodenchik brought their Gowron and Rom characters to 13 Forward for an original story about a temporal anomaly that landed them on a cruise ship on Earth. An Evening with George Takei Fans filled the Stardust Theater to near capacity to hear Star Trek legend Takei speak for a full hour. He talked for 45 minutes directly to the audience and then spent 15 minutes answering fan questions. he opened by sharing his love of cruises, explaining that they bring people together for a shared experience and provide unique, memorable moments. He noted that while at dinner with his husband, Brad, one fan sent over a bottle of Dom Perignon. At another dinner, a fan paid for the meal. And quite amusingly, Takei recalled how he needs to go to the bathroom at one point, but couldn’t excuse himself to do so. Then, when he could, the wait for the elevator took forever. A fan waiting to use the elevator told Takei his room was just around the corner and invited him to use the bathroom in his stateroomto go to the bathroom badly but it took so long for the elevator it’s with someone for the elevator to come then he took up a fans offer to use their bathroom. Turning more serious, he spoke about his experiences as a youth, when he, his family and so many other Asian-Americans were placed in internment camps, relieved of their money and stripped of their rights. That story, of course, was examined/explored by his Broadway play, Allegiance. Q’s Costume Party Hundreds of fans went all for this soiree, hosted by John de Lancie and featuring a performance by Information Society. Here's a sampling of the amazing costumes: Drink of the Day The drink of the day was a tasty, refreshing Borg Invasion. It consisted of vodka, lemon juice, sweet and sour, and beer. Say it with us... resistance was futile. Also available throughout the cruise is the new Captain's Holiday craft beer and nine classic Star Trek drinks: Raktajino, Andorean Ale, Picard's High Tea, Tranya, Risa Moons Shine, Gowron's Choice Bloodwine, Saurian Brandy, Romulan Ale and Aldebaran Whiskey. Late Night Comedy It’s commonly known that Bob Saget, who played the nice guy dad on Full House, is one of the bluest standup comics in the business. Well, the Star Trek equivalent of that is Ethan Phillips, and he spent an hour tonight keeping fans in stitches with his ribald act. We’d share some jokes with you, but, we’ll, no. Sorry. Star Trek Museum The atrium of the Norwegian Jade serves as the temporary home of the Star Trek Museum. Ensconced in cases are props and replicas spanning much of the Star Trek franchise including items from Star Trek: Discovery. Here are some of the fan favorites: VISOR Starfleet Academy Flight Trainer Filming Miniature Starfleet Phaser Starfleet Phaser Pulse Rifle Torchbearer D'k tahg Harry Mudd's Cuff Medkit (c. 2266) Cardassian Phaser Pistol (c. 2370s) Read the Day One and Day Two recaps and keep watching StarTrek.com for the daily updates on Star Trek: The Cruise II. View the full article
  19. Star Trek: Discovery returns this weekend with episode #10, “Despite Yourself.” Before we preview the episode with our latest primer, let’s catch up on the show so far... Previously on Discovery... Michael Burnham, on a fitful journey from pariah to potential hero, must regain the trust of others and reestablish her self-confidence. She also contends with both the inner conflict of being a human raised by a Vulcan father, Sarek, and the results of her mutiny aboard the U.S.S. Shenzhou. Her actions, though logical and well-intended, left her mentor, Captain Georgiou, and many fellow crewmen dead. Over the course of the first nine episodes, Burnham has gained a friend in Tilly, a possible lover in Tyler, and a supporter — for reasons not entirely altruistic — in the rule-bucking Captain Lorca of the U.S.S. Discovery. The captain is determined to defeat the suddenly united houses of the Klingon Empire ... at any cost. The Burnham-Tyler relationship faces challenges. Burnham doesn’t feel she belongs on the Discovery, while Tyler’s brutal torture at the hands of the Klingons, particularly L’Rell, haunts him and affects his ability to function at crucial moments. Burnham’s relationship with Saru remains a work in progress. She’s stood in his way of assuming the captain’s chair before, and he’s admittedly jealous of her. Further, she’s played him like a card, even as recently as in the events of “Into the Forest I Go.” Yet, there’s an understanding between them, even a level of respect that could bode well for the future. Still, every time Burnham is in his presence, his threat ganglia pop. That seems unlikely to change any time in the near future. And then nearest Stamets. He’s a complicated guy, sharp, smart and impatient with others, even his partner, Dr. Culber, though to a lesser degree. Stamets is also an ambitious astromycologist who — eager to test scientific boundaries (enter the Tardigrade) and pushed to the limits by Lorca, each with very different motivations — is literally now part and parcel of the spore drive powering Discovery on her time jumps. The 133 jumps, though key to helping Burnham kill Kol and Lorca destroy the Klingon Sarcophagus ship, have altered Stamets... and perhaps time and space, too. In fact, in the final moments of “Into the Forest I Go,” it was a spore drive jump that left Stamets catatonic and the Discovery and her crew lost in space. “Captain,” Saru said ominously, “I’m afraid... I don’t know where we are.” Next on Discovery... In the new episode titled, “Despite Yourself," while in unfamiliar territory, the crew must get creative to survive against opposing forces and return home. Worth Noting: “Despite Yourself,” the first episode of 2018, kicks off the second chapter of Discovery’s first season. Longtime Trek favorite and veteran Trek director Jonathan Frakes steps behind the camera for his first episode of Discovery. Be on the lookout for an exclusive follow-up interview on StarTrek.com after the episode airs. After Trek When Star Trek: Discovery ends, After Trek begins. Stream it Sundays at 9:30pm ET/6:30 PT. Joining host Matt Mira will be: Star Trek: Discovery airs Sunday nights on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series airs on Mondays on Netflix in the rest of the world. View the full article
  20. Day two of Star Trek: The Cruise II found sunny skies as the Norwegian Jade made it way to its first port, Roatan, Honduras. The United Federation of Planets flag flew overhead as fans readied themselves for a full day of fun with more than 30 activities to choose from. Mindful Meditation The morning got off to a thoughtful, relaxing start with poolside session called “Nana’s Mindful Meditation Class.” “It’s something that’s made a huge difference in my life,” said Visitor, who told the crowd of fans who joined her poolside that mindful meditation helped her overcome 22 years of post-traumatic stress. It gave her a “grounding” for herself. “And it’s been tracked, what meditation can do for us. It’s wonderful for our brains. There’s scientific proof of it now, that it works. It’s about paying attention to this moment... Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” Shakespeare with Armin Shimerman To be in 13 Forward or not to be in 13 Forward? Hundreds of fans chose to be in 13 Forward for “The Conscience of the King: Shakespeare with Armin Shimerman.” Connor Trinneer introduced Shimerman, noting that Shimerman is a master teacher of Shakespeare and has performed half of the Bard’s canon . “Without further ado, the teacher...” and out stepped Shimerman. Shimerman explained that he taught Shakespeare even before DS9. He also asked the audience, “Why are you here? Why are you here other than to see Quark talk about Shakespeare? I hope it’s because you’re interested in hearing about Shakespeare or perhaps seeing it or reading it”. He then spent the better part of the next hour detailing the rules of Elizabethan rhetoric, of making arguments, or recognizing opposites in the dialogue. His ultimate goal: “To give you an appreciation of Shakespeare in a way you’ve not had before. “ Scopes Monkey Trial The sun was shining outside, but the lure of an event in the Stardust Theater was too strong to ignore. And that event was a dramatic reading of the Scopes Monkey Trial, led by John de Lancie, which filled the room with fans. The story, complemented by superb performances, elicited gasps and laughs and, at its conclusion, a rousing ovation. De Lancie's wife, Marnie Mosiman, served as narrator. John de Lancie as Darrow Casey Biggs as Stewart Ethan Phillips as Mencken Robert Picardo as Bryan Rene Auberjonois as Malone Also on hand: three fans, all with some acting experience, handpicked by de Lancie to participate in the audio-visual presentation. Here is one playing the Butler with Casey Biggs. A Star Trek fan as Scopes A Star Trek fan as the Minister The Dancing Doctor Gates McFadden, who both danced and choreographed on TNG and also choreographed the film Labyrinth, guided eager fans through a fun-filled, basic tap dancing class. “Tap is about changing weight — heel to toe, heel to toe. Learning how to make different sounds with your feet. What happens in tap is all about rhythm.” And the motion of the ship definitely helped those dancing fans find their own rhythm. To Be A Voyager Picardo and Phillips are pretty funny guys. Put them together on stage, and we’re talking lots of laughs. Phillips told the audience he’d just wrapped a run of the Broadway drama, Junk. Backstage near the dressing rooms, all around are posters from throughout the theater’s history. And right near Phillips’ dressing room “was the poster from a show I did decades ago... How crazy is that?” Picardo kept a black bag his foot during the panel, and people couldn’t help but wonder what was it it. “Fans graciously offer gifts to us all the time,” Picardo said. “And this is a Doctor doll that someone made. Next time, though,” he noted as he held it up for the audience to see, “I hope it’s anatomically correct.” T-Shirt Party Everyone donned their Star Trek: The Cruise II t-shirts for an afternoon poolside party. The back of the t-shirts includes a list of everyone sailing this week: 20 Trek characters "... and over 2,000 red shirts." with In the Kitchen Nana Visitor, aided by Rodney, the Norwegian Jade’s Star amusing Executive Chef, shared her love of cooking and entertaining with fans. “When people come to your house, you want it to be special, but not break the bank and completely exhaust you,” she noted. “While drinks are happening, I like to bring out lots of little ‘bites,’ wonderful things.” Three recipes for wonderful things were featured in the presentation: Crab with Avocado Relish; Endive Spears with Roasted Beets and Blue Cheese; and Gale Gand’s Watermelon Kiwi Shots. Exploring with The Next Generation Fans were primed for the day’s highlight, a poolside Q&A with Brent Spiner, Gates McFadden, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Denise Crosby and John de Lancie, moderated by Ian Spelling. The cast, for nearly an hour, reminisced about their TNG experiences, talked about their respective current projects and welcomed the Discovery cast to their world. Dorn, prepping for an upcoming onboard panel, recently rewatched "Code of Honor.” It “was shockingly painful,” he said. “They visit a planet of black people. How could have done that in this day and age? We're (Denise Crosby) actually going to do a critique while it plays. It's never been done. I'll try to moderate it." Crosby feels that Discovery is in good hands with its leading lady, Sonequa Martin-Green. “I worked with Sonequa on The Walking Dead, which also has a very tight cast,” Crosby said. “She’s wonderful and such a warm, calming presence. It’s perfect casting.” De Lancie commented on the lasting friendships between the TNG actors. “In the old days in theater a group of actors would grow old together,” he said. “And so it is with them.” Brent Spiner, asked to name the Trek figure who doesn’t receive credit for his or her role in TNG’s success, immediately suggested Michael Westmore. “He was masterful and did it show after show, year after year, and not just for us, but the other shows, too, and TNG and Deep Space Nine were going at the same time. That consistency was remarkable.” Burton’s latest project is a new version of an old favorite. He’s given Reading Rainbow back to WNED and launched LeVar Burton Kids. “It’s the same thing, but rebranded,” he explained. “Just look for the app. We’re promoting children's literacy through new applications and technology.” And complementing LeVar Burton Kids is his podcast, Levar Burton Reads. What episode was McFadden proudest to be associated with? ”That's a bit tricky, but directing ‘Genesis’ was the highlight for me,” McFadden replied. “And what Westmore did with that makeup... Dwight's spider was creepy, and Marina's take on an amphibian, amazing.” She added, “Also, ‘The Host.’ I loved the question it proposed: what is love?” Writer’s Workshop Robb Pearlman, author of "Fun with Kirk and Spock" and many other delightful novelty titles, shared a bit about his process when creating the book. Each vignette was based on an episode of TOS. He had 250 plot snippets, of which 33 were developed and included in the book. Several that appear were cut and revised from his original version, for length and impact. Working with the fans in the audience, together they created a new piece about: “See the Horta. Horta is in pain. And the Horta is a rock. See Spock. See Spock mind meld. No kill I thinks the Horta. But Spock cannot hear. But thanks to mind meld the Horta does not die.” Celebrity Bingo Have you really played Bingo until you’ve done so with the charming and affable Vaughn Armstrong proceeding over the game? Everyone had a blast, and a cool touch was the obligatory “Bingo Boogie” dance the winners had to perform... accompanied by the dulcet strains of KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Shake Your Booty.” Mission Briefing Retired Air Force colonel, former astronaut, and still-active test pilot Searfoss opined that, “Human space flight is extremely difficult. Everyone involved in the programs knows the risks and dangers, but [the results] are definitely worth it.” He regaled fans with stories of his flights aboard the Columbia and Atlantis orbiters, as well as discussed lifelong friendships forged with other astronauts from the U.S., as well as other countries. “By the time Star Trek premiered in 1966, we were well along with the Apollo program, and there was a spirit in America that anything was possible.” Moving forward, he thinks that government and private industry partnerships are the best option; NASA can and should take the lead in exploration, while private companies such as SpaceX can do the “heavy lifting” with rocket systems development. Allegiance George Takei fans received a special treat on Saturday afternoon, namely a full screening of a filmed version of George Takei’s play, Allegiance. Takei himself thanked fans who gave up time in the sun to watch the screening and who greeted him with a standing ovation. “It’s an American story more Americans should know about,” Takei noted. “And we want the story to reach people’s hearts... long after those who lived through it are gone. And, at 80, I’m one of the young ones who’s still alive. This show is entertaining, educational, earnest and profoundly important. Please sit back and enjoy it.” Science Academy Briefing Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, examined the following topic during his session: “Is the Earth Special?” The answer is: It’s complicated. To a scientist, the oceans are the key. Liquid water on the surface of the planet indicates the possibility of life. “Water is a matrix for things to happen inside of it,” Plait explained “When you think about life, you think about water. Life formed on Earth very soon after it cooled. We had liquid water on the surface. If there’s any [other planet] that’s close to having water... life could form.” As to that man question: “Is the Earth special? It’s the only habitable planet for us we know of without space suits and submarines... but we’re in one galaxy out of billions,” Plait said, adding, Our planet is gorgeous. It’s the only one we’ve got... but it’s changing.” Poker Tournament Jeffrey Combs played more than a few wily characters over his time on the various Trek series, so there was no one better to host the night’s poker tourney, which he did with obvious glee. Renewal of Vows Visitor has a busy, busy day, trekking from her meditation class to her cooking class to overseeing dozens of couples re-tying the knot. One couple was together for 40 years, earning them a free bottle of champagne. Visitor led the ceremony, invited everyone to “Kiss and rejoice.” She then noted, “Congrats, you are even more married than you were before.” Interstella Improv XXXXXX Drink of the Day Saturday's specialty drink was "For the Love of Troi" featuring chocolate vodka, coconut vodka, caramel sauce and coconut milk topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. Starfleet Officers Ball Everyone looked sharp and dressed to the nines for this late-night party. It was all part of Captain Sulu’s Soirée. Star Trek Rat Pack Trek fans love the Star Trek Rat Pack gigs, and this was no exception. Tonight’s edition of the group featured Armin Shimerman, Jeffrey combs, Casey Biggs, Max Grodenchik, Ethan Phillips, and Vaughn Armstrong, who regaled the crowd in the Stardust Theater with real musicianship paired with comedy songs (both originals and classics with adapted lyrics). Read Day One's recap and keep watching StarTrek.com for the daily updates on Star Trek: The Cruise II. View the full article
  21. Which Trek drink would you like to try? Fans across the galaxy pondered that question, which we asked for our latest StarTrek.com poll. Here's the breakdown: Romulan Ale (42%) Raktajino (15%) Tea, Earl Grey, Hot (12%) Saurian Brandy (11%) Aldeberan Whiskey (7%) Bloodwine (7%) Altair Water (3%) Kanar (2%) Slusho (1%) Snail Juice (0%) Don't forget to vote in this week's new poll. View the full article
  22. On the eve of Star Trek: Discovery's return to CBS All Access, StarTrek.com has the worldwide First Look at the all-new ship designs joining the U.S.S. Shenzhou NCC-1227 and U.S.S. Discovery NCC-1031 in the Official Star Trek Discovery Starships Collection from Eaglemoss. Based on the original VFX models created for the show, here are renderings of all 12 ships that make up the first wave of models in the collection – seven Federation ships and five Klingon vessels. The renderings serve as the basis for the creation of the die-cast models themselves, painstakingly reproduced under the supervision of Star Trek expert Ben Robinson and officially authorized by CBS Studios. The first thing fans might notice about the ships in this special collection is the large size, on average 8”-10” from bow to stern. Incredibly detailed, each is cast in a specially formulated metallic resin and hand painted for accuracy. Each ship also comes with a display base, plus an exclusive collector's magazine featuring behind-the-scenes info, original design sketches and a breakdown of technology on board. To learn more about the collection, visit HeroCollector.com/StarTrekDiscovery. Fans who subscribe to the collection enjoy special savings and a host of exclusives. Scheduled for release at the end of January, the first ship in the collection – the U.S.S. Shenzhou NCC-1227 – is available to subscribers for only $9.95 with free shipping. Additional models – including the iconic U.S.S. Discovery NCC-1031 – will then ship monthly for the special subscriber’s price of only $44.95 each (20% off the standard retail price), also with free shipping. Subscribers are also entitled to free gifts worth over $100 and may cancel their subscriptions at any time. Full details may be found at Star Trek Discovery Starships. Fans who’d like to purchase their favorite ships individually may do so either online at the Eaglemoss Star Trek Shop or at their local comic book shop for the regular price of $54.95 each. View the full article
  23. StarTrek.com is saddened to report the untimely passing of Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Jon Paul Steuer, who died on New Year’s Day at the age of 33. Steur originated the role of Alexander Rozhenko, Worf’s son with K’Ehleyr, in the episode “Reunion.” Following his career as a child actor — which also encompassed roles in Grace Under Fire, The Wonder Years and Little Giants — Steuer played in bands, DJ-ed and, in 2015, opened a vegan restaurant. Please join StarTrek.com in offering condolences to Steuer’s family, friends, colleagues and fans. View the full article
  24. Sometimes, the stars align. Jonathan Frakes earned his stripes as a director on Star Trek: The Next Generation and then went on to direct First Contact and Insurrection, as well as episodes of Deep Space Nine and Voyager. For the better part of the two decades since, he’s made his living primarily as a director, calling the shots on everything from V, Leverage, Castle and Falling Skies to NCIS: Los Angeles, The Librarians and Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce. And on January 7, he’ll return to the Trek fold with the 10th Discovery episode, “Despite Yourself,” which will kick off the second chapter of Discovery’s freshman season. StarTrek.com caught up with Frakes for a conversation in which he previewed “Despite Yourself.” And be on the lookout, after “Despite Yourself” airs, for another StarTrek.com interview with Frakes in which he’ll provide a past-tense breakdown of the episode and its pivotal moments. How did it work out that you’re directing an episode of Discovery? I've been lobbying to get on the show since the very, very beginning, back when Bryan Fuller had been attached. Fuller was attached to the Star Trek family, from Voyager, I think. Fast forward to Olatunde (Osunsanmi), who had shadowed me quite a bit on Falling Skies, becoming a producing director for Discovery. Olatunde is awesome, and he learned to direct episodic TV on Falling Skies and was a wonderful mentee of sorts. He went on to become the producer/director of that show, which Noah Wyle did. I did a few episodes of Falling Skies with Noah and The Librarians with him, too. Olatunde was on Discovery and said, “Well, do you want to do the show?" I said, "I would love to do the show, I've been trying to do it for a year." So, the next thing you know, I got a slot and I got an incredible script. What can viewers expect to see in “Despite Yourself”? You know I can’t tell you much, right? Lorca's depth of character continues and there’s this wonderful business with L’Rell, Mary Chieffo's character. It's beautifully shot, it's a great story, and there's lots of loose ends tied up. Lots of questions are answered, and it's a… cliffhanger. I think I can tell you that. How did you prep? Did you watch episodes that had already aired? Did you go up to Toronto to watch them shoot? I watched everything that had been cut together. I read all the scripts, coming in. It's a big show, so it's a 10-day prep and a 10-day shoot. The sets are built up at Pinewood Toronto, so I spent a lot of time getting a feel for these new bridges and corridors. It's obviously a very familiar feel, but at the same time, it's a much grander, grandiose, more spectacular production design. Stylistically, the camera movement and the action, the level of stunts, the beautiful costumes, all the aspects of the show are no expenses spared and the money is on the screen. The Discovery cast and crew had been together for several months by the time you arrived. How tight were they all as a unit, and how open were they to direction from you? They reminded me of us, of Next Gen. They had unified for a number of reasons. One was the madness that’s part of the beginning of any show. The other is that most of them were from elsewhere and were now gathered on the bridge of Discovery -- or the Shenzhou at first -- in Toronto. Jason (Isaacs) was cooking dinner every Sunday for the entire cast, and they’d gather and debrief. They'd come in and watch each other work. It was so similar to the Next Gen family that it made me proud. And, from morning to night when I was there, they picked my brain about my Trek experiences. This was all of them. Some of these guys had watched everything. Some of them were in the middle of watching the different shows and movies, and the key episodes. They’d watched a lot of Next Gen. They were working their way through Voyager and Deep Space and Enterprise, and there was a lot of discussion about what it was like on the set, specific things about the costumes and about ship shapes and about how the props work and makeup and hair. They asked about protocol and beaming and all the things that we did on our shows. They were fascinated by it all. Sort of like the people at a convention, they wanted to hear anecdotes about what happened with so-and-so, what happened off-camera, what happened when we did this. So, it was a joyous place to be, and by the time I got there, the show had found its legs and the train was running very, very smoothly. How did the shoot itself go? Wonderfully. I had a cinematographer named Colin Hoult, who I would take anywhere and I'd do anything with. And because it's a big show with alternating DP's, I got to prep with him, and have dinner with him, and live with the episode with him. So, we had quite a cunning, extensive and wonderfully ambitious plan going in. And with Olatunde and the producers, if you suggest, “It’d be great if we used this toy,” or, “It’d be great if we did this stunt…” If they like the idea, they find the money to do it because this was the season to really prove themselves. And they’ve done so successfully, with is why they got a second season pickup. What was it like for you, personally, to be back on a Trek set? I loved it. There was a symmetry to it. I am very proud of having been part of all of these Trek shows. I felt that way back during our show, and then to direct our show and a couple of our movies, and then Voyager and Deep Space, it was great. And even the sort of ill-fated appearance on Enterprise, to have had my hand in all of them, I'm proud to be that guy. So, it felt right doing Discovery. How satisfied are you with how “Despite Yourself” is coming together? I think it's the best episode of the year. Of course, I'm a little biased. I think it's going to be very exciting for the fans. Sonequa is amazing. I think she is a magical new face for the franchise. I'm a big fan. How hopeful are you that you'll be back to do more in Season 2? Confident. Hopefully confident. Confidently hopeful. What else are you working on in the meantime? I'm trying to sell a pilot, and I just finished a fascinating show called The Arrangement, which is loosely based on Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes's relationship with Scientology. I did one of those because Robbie Duncan McNeill is the producing director of that show. And, lastly, you’re about to set sail on Star Trek: The Cruise II. In fact, this story will run while you’re on the boat… My wife and daughter are coming with me, which should be fun. I’m pretty excited about a reading I’ll be doing of the Scopes Monkey Trial with John de Lancie, Ethan Phillips and Robert Picardo. I know there’s a Riker Chair Mounting Contest, which I’ll be interested to see, especially since I suggested it. Not sure how much chair mounting I’ll do myself, though. Star Trek: Discovery airs Sunday nights on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series airs on Mondays on Netflix in the rest of the world. View the full article
  25. Star Trek Online, the free to play online roleplaying game set in the future of the Star Trek universe, is having a New Year’s sale for Captains on PC. Save on all kinds of services, and start your adventure in the Final Frontier with such beloved Star Trek actors as Jeri Ryan, LeVar Burton and Tony Todd. From now until Monday, January 8th at 10AM PT, we are having a 20% off sale on the services listed below. Now is the time to purchase these in the C-Store: • Character Slots (4) • Account Shared Bank Slots (10) • Bank Slots (12) • Bridge Officer Slots (2) • Captain Rename Token • Captain Retrain Token • Character Slots (2) • Duty Officer Roster Slots (100) (limit 4) • Duty Officer Roster Slots (25) • Inventory Slots (12) • Outfit Slots (2) • Ship Loadout Slots (10) • Ship Slots (2) • Dry Dock Slots (5) • Energy Credit Cap Increase Go to www.arcgames.com to get in on the fun -- and the deals. View the full article