Topic: Star Trek
Thanks to Rodger for the tip!
Thanks to Rodger for the tip!
One of the things that Star Trek is really bad at is embracing story opportunities within its own continuity. For instance within the canon of episodes or movies, we never hear about Kirk's nephew Peter who survived the Denevan neural parasites. I've always imagined he joined Starfleet following in the footsteps of his famous uncle. That story would have been a nice contrast to the very different path his own son, Dr. David Marcus, took. Similarly, Wesley Crusher's character has been misused.
Most of us who watched that first season of TNG back in 1987 despised the character. The super-smart kid that saved the ship from week-to-week was too much of a Will Robinson for our tastes when Starfleet is supposed to be populated with experts and starships are staffed by the cream-of-the-cream. Yet the teenager was smarter than the Chief Engineer. The writers did actor Wil Wheaton no favors there.
And we hated Wesley. In fact such was his dislike of Wesley, my friend Phil recorded a song.
Hate. Lots of it.
That is until he the TNG episode Final Mission in which young Wheaton is given some actual meat to chew in a script. It was the first time since his role in STAND BY ME that I enjoyed his performance. And that's because just as in the Stephen King inspired film, he had a decent script with which to work.
Wheaton returned again in a classic episode, The First Duty, in which he is involved in a cover-up of a classmate's death. And again, Wheaton provides another great turn redeeming a character that I had once written off as an annoying child. The character worked because he had flaws and strengths, or to put it another way, he was human. And that's what Crusher was lacking in the early seasons. It's a profound shame that an actor as gifted as Wheaton had to endure through so many bad scripts.
Trek resolved his character in the very annoying Journey's End by having him emerge as truly super-human, rejecting Starfleet (a dream the character pursued with burning passion all his days up until this episode, that is), and wandering the cosmos with his new special friend.
Hello, missed opportunity.
It would have been easy to insert the character in a future movie or series. Really, I like the idea of following the character from hated child to freshman officer, to experienced commander. But we didn't get to see that because the Trek PTB are short-sighted. They didn't realize until far too late that Trek is a generational, family story.
We did get to glimpse a brief shot of Crusher in the wedding scene at the beginning of Star Trek: Nemesis (don't get me started) and his attire suggests that he had returned to Starfleet... But we were not provided with dialogue or story to support that.
With the world of TNG closed to us with little hope of future excursions into the 24th Century, it seemed that the story of Wes Crusher was over.
In the year's since his final turn on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Wil Wheaton has added the word "writer" to his resume. He maintains one of the finest blogs on the interweb, has written several wonderful books, and, recognized as the uber-geek he is, he delivered the PAX keynote address this year. Dude's got it goin' on.
As much as I enjoy the guy's current work, I sure miss him as Wesley. Kind of the way we all miss our little Opie Cunningham.
Earlier this week, Wheaton reported that he suited up as Lt Commander Wesley Crusher serving as Assistant Chief Engineer aboard U.S.S. Titan for one of the video encounter's at Star Trek: The Tour. Sweet!
First, it's cool that Captain Riker's Titan is getting some play outside the Trek novels, but it's even more cool that Wesley's back in uniform and as Lt Commander, no less!
Sometimes, cool things happen.
Of Gods and Men is possibly the most ambitious of the independent Star Trek productions to date. It has been in the making for 2 years and has a number of Trek veterans both in front of and behind the camera. Designed as a 3 part mini-series, OGaM aspires to tell an epic tale in the Trek universe that both ties up some future history arcs while trying to play social commentary on our times.
For a project with so much talent involved, I was a bit disappointed at how poorly it is directed and edited. There's not much dynamic energy, the transitions from scene-to-scene suck the life out of it.
Still, it is enjoyable and a lot of fun to see all those folks together again.
I awoke this morning to find that all the staff at STARTREK.COM were beamed into unemployed space yesterday. From the website:
Goodbye from the STARTREK.COM Team
Sadly, we must report that CBS Interactive organization is being restructured, and the production team that brings you the STARTREK.COM site has been eliminated. Effective immediately.
We don't know the ultimate fate of this site, which has served millions of Star Trek fans for the last thirteen years.
If you have comments, please send them to editor @ startrek.com - we hope someone at CBS will read them.
Thank you for your loyal fandom over the years. It has been a pleasure to serve you.
I find this awfully surprising. With Star Trek: The Experience, the new Trek movie coming out and the Star Trek MMORPG bound to launch sometime, 2008 looks to be a banner year for the franchise. The website has always seemed well-managed - particularly for a site owned by a corporate entity as vast and unweildy as CBS. The site runners truly understood its audience delivering the goods on a regular basis with skill and panache.
There is speculation online that the decision was a bean-counting effort relating to the fact that Trek doesn't currently have a show on the air. If so, it's an awfully short-sighted decision.
I hope they don't let the site grow stale.
It always sucks to lose your job (just ask this guy), but particularly so at this time of year.
To the suddenly at loose-ends production team, you have my thanks for providing me with so much enjoyment. You're a talented group of people. I am confident that great things are ahead for each of you.
Earlier this week, StarTrek.com announced they were taking the show on the road. Similar to Vegas' Star Trek: The Experience, ST: The Tour will feature props, starship models, simulators and a lot of other cool things.
Highlights of STAR TREK THE TOUR include:
The 50,000 square foot exhibition is equal in size to nearly two football fields filled with 250 tons of priceless Star Trek sets, original props, costumes and creations. STAR TREK THE TOUR brings together some of Hollywood's finest craftsmen and artists who created and shaped the signature look and image of Star Trek over the years, including production designer Herman Zimmerman, costume designer Robert Blackman, make-up artist Michael Westmore and visual effects creator Dan Curry. All of these original Star Trek artists lent their talents to STAR TREK THE TOUR to provide visitors with an authentic, behind-the-scenes view. Star Trekcreator Gene Roddenberry's son, Eugene "Rod” Roddenberry, provides a rare insider's look at what it took to make his father's vision into reality as he narrates a tribute to the man who started it all. A complete audio tour is also available.
Seriously, this is gonna be hella-cool.
The first stop on the tour is Long Beach, California. The Tour will also be visiting the following cities:
|Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY |
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
Kansas City, KS
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Montgomery, ALMontreal, Quebec, Canada
New York, NY
Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA
|Omaha, NE |
Providence-New Bedford, RI
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Santa Fe, NM
St. Louis, MO
Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL
Vancouver, British Columbia
No other dates have been posted other than the Long Beach show.
Ticket prices range from $30-$35 for adults and $16-$17.50 for kids.
When I was touring the Star Wars exhibit that was at the FW Museum of Science and History last summer, I remarked to my buddies that I wished Trek would do something similar. CRAP! If I'd only wished for decent writing in the new Trek movie and a new Deep Space Nine TV series and an end to the writer's strike, too!
Can't wait for this one.
Tonight, the boys and I went to the big event - the theatrical presentation of STAR TREK original series episodes "The Menagerie," parts one and two. The shows have been digitally remastered into the HD format complete with enhanced special effects and cinema surround. Also featured were an introduction by Eugene "Rod" Rodenberry as well as behind the scenes footage.
As I had anticipated, it was a sold out house. Contrary to last night's Razor presentation, this was not a free event. I gladly paid $12 for my ticket!
Remember how they told us there was no market for Trek anymore? That Trek is fatigued and needs a rest? Well take a look at the evidence presented - a sold out theater on a week night.
It was a sight to see.
Eat my shorts, Rick Berman, and all you other miserable sons-of-bitches who've tried to kill Trek with your mediocrity!
Now, I won't review the episodes themselves, since we all know what THE MENAGERIE is about. What I will say is that on the big screen, the image seemed a little dark. Also, while the sound was adequate - I wasn't dazzled. Frankly, I think I get better sound out of my home entertainment center.
Seeing the show in such a format reveals some things that are easy to forget... for instance, how beautiful Majel Barret is in this role. I'm so used to her bottle blonde Christine Chapel, that I'd forgotten how stunning she is as the enigmatic Number One. Susan Oliver's Vina is likewise breathtaking though the digital enhancements make her seem a bit tarted up.
Something else, it seems to me that TOS is much better at sexy than any of the other Trek shows. The sexual tension in the original series is organic, whereas it always seemed awkward in the subsequent shows. Remember the TNG episode "Justice" where the locals are all scantily clad? That was beyond awkward. It was creepy!
But I digress.
It was an excellent experience. We had a blast.
SCOOP: I have it from a reliable source that once Paramount is finished with the digital enhancements to all the original series episodes, they plan on taking a crack at TNG. For instance, all season one episodes will be provided with actual scripts.
On the heels of viewing BSG: Razor at the movie theatre more than a week before it airs on the SciFi Channel, I will be seeing the HD, digitally remastered STAR TREK original series two part episode "The Menagerie" on the silver screen the very next night! Man, sometimes the stars line up juuuust right.
The Hugo Award winning episodes are vintage Trek and thus vintage Rodenberry as well. The cerebral elements of the story are very much a hallmark of Rodenberry science fiction.
I dearly love "The Menagerie." I remember first seeing it as a kid back in the seventies, haunted by the hideously disfigured, hopelessly crippled Christopher Pike - a man so vibrantly dynamic, yet struck down so utterly. It's a cautionary tale...
Never screw with Delta Rays. They will mess you up.
On Tuesday, November 13, and Thursday, November 15, the two-part” will beam onto the big screen in a special engagement with selected theatres. The screening — a first for episodic Star Trek on this scale — will be seen in more than 300 venues across the U.S. and Canada. This two-night-only event will also feature a special introduction by Eugene "Rod” Roddenberry, son of Star Trek , plus an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Remastered series.
"The Menagerie" will be presented in its digitally remastered, high-definition format and in Cinema Surround Sound. The screening is in part to promote thethe following week (Nov. 20) by CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment.
It's gonna be hella-cool.
Check it out at a theatre near you!
So, our management team got together recently to tackle a complex issue that - if handled appropriately - will save the organization buckets of money. We're using the Six Sigma approach. For those of you unfamiliar with Six Sigma, let me just say that it is a data driven method for eliminating defects in an effort to achieve perfection within a given process - or something very close to it.
Six Sigma is represented by the formula Y=f(X), where Y is the output or product, X is the input variable, and f is the function of that variable.
Achieving Six Sigma means that the process produces no more than 3.4 defects per one million opportunities. Like I said, close to perfection.
My wife refers to us Six Sigma types as the Secret Society of Smart People.
As we were working through our project, we started developing our SIPOC diagram. Now, SIPOC stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, and Customers. It is used during the measuring phase taking a snap shot of the current state so that all relevant elements of the process can be identified prior to any efforts being engaged to effect a change.
Of course this is all irrelevant because once we started talking about SIPOC, my mind went somewhere else completely.
Sounds like a Vulcan name, I found myself musing.
Lt Commander Sipoc, report to the Bridge!
Damn your pointed-eared logic, Sipoc!
Sipoc, I sure wish I could quit you...
Yeah, like that...
Problem though... Sipoc sounds too much like Sybok and that just pisses me off.
Do you remember Sybok?
In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, he was the Vulcan revolutionary who hijacked U.S.S. Enterprise to lead an expedition to the physical location of God.
And, oh yes, he's also the previously never mentioned (and not mentioned since) half-brother of Spock.
‘Hate that guy!
Damned Vulcan, all turned onto God and on a vision quest!
Double-damned hack writing!
Sybok... what a ridiculous waste! Stupid character, stupid movie, stupid me for seeing it twice in the theatre!
And owning it on VHS!
And twice on DVD (freakin' 2-disc special collector's edition!)!
I really, really hate myself sometimes.
I looked up, snapped out of my inner turmoil. A diagram had been drawn up on the board. Our project leader was awaiting my input.
My mind raced, a little panicked - and as I scramble to offer something meaningful, my co-worker leans next to me, whispering: "Sipoc... sounds like a Star Trek name."
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