Sunday, December 21, 2008

Star Trek: PHASE II "Blood and Fire"



The best Star Trek fan film group, Phase II, formerly New Voyages, realeased their most exciting episode yet on December 20th. The two part "Blood and Fire" premiered yesterday on their website for download. There will be a dragonfly stream going up soon, which always has a reliable speed and good resolution. To say these productions are fantastic would be selling them short. The films, always with scripts from Trek Veterans, are always made with the finest attention to detail and with extreme care. James Cawley, who has essentially become TOS Patient Zero, has crafted the show with the production group he created over five years ago, with a mission to recreate the look and feel of TOS as dutifully and accurately as possible. The sets are all perfect, and rather than go for a re imagining like J.J. (whom he has come to the defense of for the new Star Trek film, which is odd given his history of looking down on tweaking the franchise formula) they have managed to seamlessly blend modern day effects and ideas onto the Trek universe that neither feel forced, nor kitschy. In fact these are some of the most easily watchable of any fan films on the internet, from any franchise. At times you really do get the impression that they have picked up right where season 3 left off. Do not let the "fan film" label scare you away, Phase II, is and will continue to be some of the best Star Trek available today. And in these times, when The Movie looms off in the distance and the promise of another series just the glint in some producer's eye (Bryan Fuller) we must savor that which is available, be it officially Paramount licensed, or not. Star Trek: Phase II Phase II Episodes

Saturday, December 20, 2008



Majel Barrett Roddenberry passed away this morning, December 18, 2008, at 12:27 AM in her Bel Air home. She died peacefully, in her sleep, and was surrounded by family and loved ones.

"My mother truly acknowledged and appreciated the fact that Star Trek fans played a vital role in keeping the Roddenberry dream alive for the past 42 years. It was her love for the fans, and their love in return, that kept her going for so long after my father passed away." - Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry, Jr.

How to talk to a Trekkie.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Enterprise Accident Report.






Chance that you will die as a redshirt? High. On average. But did you know that more other colored-shirts died in the first season than red shirts? Matt Bailey over at Analytics Accoding tells us the chances of dying or being injured in the original Star Trek. His conclusion? Don't be wearing red while standing on the bridge. EVAR!



Analytics According to Captain Kirk

The Best (And Worst) Star Trek Movies of All Time According to Cracked.com

A good comedic analysis about the Star Trek films. I may not agree with their placements of things, but I loved reading it.
The Best (And Worst) Star Trek Movies of All Time

Sorry to be away for a while folks, I've been having a hard time finding work and the like, so time was hard to get a hold of. Anyways, going forward! Here's a good clip I found today on youtube.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008



So, this was my Dia de los Muertos! Quite fun! More pics coming soon.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wax Shmax


I met Patrick Stewart the other day.
He was shiny. A little shy. A little shorter than I expected. Couldn't exist in a room above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. My ideal man, basically.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I hope you saved room....




Ah, finally! A truly homemade cake. (At least, I hope it is...if it isn't my apologies to you, "professional" cake maker, but you must work on your piping.) And hey! It's more JLP! Now that's what I've been looking for. I think the next post I will either attempt to find or attempt to bake a Tribble cake...

I think I am drawn to these masterful fan creations because they are NOT nearly as disturbing as some of the fan-art and fan-fiction out there. Not to get all judgey on you guys, but really...I'm not watching Star Trek hoping to catch a glimpse of Data's dirty bits, mkay? I just want to eat a cake that looks like Picard, that's not at all worrisome. MKAY?!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Great Star Trek Re-Watch

Coming Soon: TOS S01E01 "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and TOS S01E02 "The Corbomite Maneuver". And just for clarifications sake, we are going in order of episode produced, not episode aired.


Watch TOS Episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" for FREE at CBS.com.

Watch TOS Episode "The Corbomite Maneuver" for FREE at CBS.com

And did we mention that these are free? And remastered? At cbs.com? Well there you have it folks. Now get to watchin'!

Eat more cake

In addition to this blog I also like to eat and drink as may a few others of you out there. I also enjoy preparing said food & drink. So I'm going to share with you Star Trek related edibles and drinkables that I find adorable or commendable. Enjoy!


So I posted already about the Charm City Cakes Star Trek cake. It was awesome (despite glaring factual errors like Scotty in the Nav. chair) and probably really expensive and who knows how much of it is *truly* edible (besides just being weird sugar putty). Plus, not everyone can make that cake (be it time, money, skill). But I found this quite adorable, well-crafted TNG cake.

This one here was created by someone somewhere. I found it accidentally while going through digg articles about cakes and couldn't find the original source! But I love it. I think it's classy and well done but not ridiculous and impossible to recreate. It looks like it's a Groom's Cake for possibly a totally awesome Star Trek wedding. Plus, I would totally eat a slice of JLP chest. For real.

Does that sound as creepy as I fear?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Star Trek and Star Wars are Ideologically Different



In response to Holly's post, I have a few things to add. First off let me say that I too love Star Wars. It is a fantastic film franchise that has stumbled quite a bit in the last decade, but nevertheless deserves praise for it's full cross cultural appeal into the mainstream, something that Star Trek has hinted at for a time, but never became as huge of a hit as Star Wars. There are reasons for this however, that go to the heart of the discussion of the differences and faults of both series.
I am what could be described as a third generation Trekkie (screw trekker, learn to own a word folks!) someone who grew up (I am 22) with both Star Trek and The Next Generation, already in syndication. So it is of no surprise that my favorite Star Trek is also the one I matured with, Deep Space Nine. I am a Niner, I admit, but I love whole heatedly every single series, even if Voyager meandered, and Enterprise didn't start telling the stories we wanted until the last season. The things that I love about Star Trek, the things that exist throughout all of the series, is the need to speak to an ideal. There is a need to explore ideas of the time, whether those be racism, sexism, militarism, occupation, or living in fear of an other who can't be seen. These are things that I think really differentiate Star Trek and Star Wars. Star Wars is a space opera with a much grander scope and much broader ideas. These are discussions about good vs. evil rather than about more subtle ideas like the nature of identity. This in no way means that the grand message is flawed, on the contrary, it is a very well plotted series with lot's of great, archetypal characters, which is exactly what George Lucas was looking to do when he made his series, craft a new mythology. Star Trek is not a Space Opera. Star Trek is Science Fiction, and/or Speculative Fiction. Star Trek is a vehicle to tell stories about today. This is how it shines, and this is how it is structured. The technobabble was used to make you believe that this ship full of military-trained explorers, actually existed. To give it a believability and a context for the viewers of the time. There was never a lot of money for huge, grand space battles, so they had to focus on the quality of their scripts, and you can see this in the breadth of talent that wrote for the show. D.C. Fontana, Harlan Ellison, (even if he does hate Trek to death now) Theodore Sturgeon. This was a calculated attempt to tell good science fiction stories from week to week, and still afford to make it believable.
So the question is, should the creative team behind the new Star Trek feature film (of which the first set photos were revealed today, and personally, I'm blown away.) try to inject certain elements of Star Wars into Star Trek? Well, maybe. It depends on what you're "injecting" it with. Now, to make the space battles more epic? Sure. Fire away, but, and this is very important, you must respect canon. I know, I know! CANONAZI! Hush! I am not one screaming that the warp nacelles have to "spin orange" but, in regards to how the ships have been seen in every series and move up to this point, which is capital ships that take a long time to turn, much like naval warfare, this cannot be changed. It would fundamentally change the nature of the show. There have been federation fighters in the past, yes, but they have only ever been seen in large scale warfare. And this comes to my second point. Star Trek is not, and has never been about warfare. Yes, there are space battles, and yes they are (usually) slow paced. But the space battles were always the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. The point of Star Trek is exploration. "These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five year mission... to boldly go where no man has gone before." Need I say more? Now. The characters. This is probably where most Trekkies, Trekkers, and Niners start to go for the nerve pinch. I personally subscribe to the "flawed is better" category of character building. And this has to do with the fact that even certain characters in the Original Series had major flaws! Kirk was arrogant, and condescending at times. Dave Bailey, who famously freaks out in "The Corobomite Maneuver", obviously is incapable of handling the stresses of command, despite his division selection. So I would say that there is a precedence for having flawed characters on the show, and I personally like the concepts of in fighting amongst the crew, if only because it makes the concept of a ship full of explorers that much more plausible.
So keep the Wars out of the Trek? Not entirely. There are elements that it seems J.J. Abrams especially, seems to understand about this universe. Keep the canon. Keep the characters. Keep the exploration. Can you spice it up with bigger booms and more lost like drama? Definitely. Just layoff the laser swords will ya?

Star Trek can never equal Star Wars

I'm sure anyone who reads this blog probably reads both digg.com and io9.com so maybe you already saw the 5 Ways To Make Star Trek More Like Star Wars pitch. And as a general SciFi fan I was, at first, intrigued. I love Star Wars, in fact, those films and the subsequent Ewok Adventure film are some of my earliest and fondest memories. And sure, the epic battles between good & evil, the classic lines, loveable little alien creatures, the whole bit is what makes this series what it is today. Star Trek, for me, has a completely different appeal. I am an idealist. I am a socialist. I see the "dulling" evolution of society and humans as Eden. Before I go any further let me just say that I know this article is all in good fun, but it does bring up some good points.

One of my roommates is banned from watching Star Trek with me. He constantly nit-picks the scientific impossibility of a lot of their stories and adventures. He is apparently incapable of suspending disbelief and enjoying the show. HOWEVER, he is a HUGE Star Wars fan. We've watched IV, V, and VI at least twice in the past two months and there is not one peep about, what the io9 article points out, how "George Lucas ignored scientific fact that said that there was no sound in the vacuum of space". It's really infuriating to have to constantly defend Star Trek against this naysayer and then see him completely satisfied with the Star Wars gaffes.

This is what I think that article was getting at. That people want the most dramatic story possible, whether or not it means obeying the laws of physics. And that's just fine.

But I want to get back to the point made about having flawed heroes. You might say that we see Starfleet officers becoming increasingly educated, open minded, rational as a sign of them becoming more dull. But to say that would mean also to say that they have no internal struggles which is very far from the truth. In fact, I feel like I relate more to Major Kira or Captain Picard based on their humanity and internal struggles more so than I can relate with Han Solo's gambling problems. Our Star Trek heroes deal with a great amount of personal loss and many times their victories are bitter-sweet. And that's precisely what you expect in a world constantly having to accommodate for/to new and (extremely) different cultures and phenomena. You're not always going to win. You're not always going to be happy with the outcome. But it's the cost/benefit analysis, weighing out the options in an intellectual and moral way that is so inspiring and often heartbreaking. Star Wars, also, had these same conflicts. As does Battlestar Galactica. As do most worthwhile dramas. The action is fun and all, but the real kicker is the emotional loss. You can rebuild a city, establish new treaties, be diplomatic. But you'll never get your dead lover back, you'll constantly deal with guilt. And this is what it means to progress in the Star Trek universe. Why do you think the Vulcans are so awesome? They have their emotions and ethics on lock-down. (Not that from a psychiatrist's point of view that that's the healthiest of lifestyles, but it sure makes decision making a sinch.)

I'll leave the other points in the article for others to discuss. I think it's obvious that the new movie will cater to demands of gamers, as most movies have (Harry Potter, anyone?). Nor do I really think a metal bikini will make or break the sexual appeal of the movie (Uhura was already hot, are you kidding me?). J.J. Abrams is a very smart man who clearly understands how to make his projects appealing on practically ever possible level. Whether or not he decides to incorporate some of these "Star Wars" features he will, undoubtedly, craft an extraordinary film with an equally extraordinary story. And, who knows?, he might just show us the dirty under belly of the Star Trek universe.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Good ol' Picard

In doing some preparation for the Great Re-Watch, I decided to track down different interviews with the stars themselves (actually, the video Byron posted made me think that perhaps that would be a good starting point). So I started with Patrick Stewart since he was my first Star Trek love. I found this BBC interview that's actually from a whole BBC page dedicated to Star Trek and it seems quite recent. It's quite the source. Here's a snippet from Patrick Stewart:

"
It was a long time before any of us realised that we were very slowly becoming well known as actors. That was a very, very slow process, largely brought about by the fact that we were too busy working to lift up our heads and pay attention to what was happening. We knew that the series was doing well, but it really wasn’t until the first season ended that I went to my first Star Trek convention. It was in Denver and [I] had expected that I would be standing in front of a few hundred people and found that there were two and a half thousand people and that they already knew more about me than I could ever possibly have believed."

I'm doing my best to be one of those two and a half thousand know-it-all fans. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Hippies in outer space!

It's a very musical day here at Trek. Let's keep it up with hippies in space! Be careful, it's quite infectious (as most hippie things are). It definitely has elements of the mamas & the papas and hank williams. It's very odd...






Best Groom's Cake EVER

I love the show Ace of Cakes on the FoodNetwork. Especially when they recreated The Original Series bridge for some guy's wedding.





However, they messed up the proper arrangement of characters. But, hey, they tried.

And now I'm convinced that maybe a Star Trek themed wedding really isn't so bad...

TOS Cast on Tom Snyder Show, 1976



I found this interesting 5 part youtube interview series about an hour ago. It's a really good interview with the cast before they lost perspective. It's about an hour long, but it's pretty in depth. Have fun!

The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins!




Sometimes I wish that actors weren't real people. Because than I could explain this away by "Space Dust that makes Spock go bonkers."

Star Trek Rap.







Picard is in the HIZOUSE!

Cap'n

Hello fellow trekkies! Holly "Red Shirt" here making my debut. Since Byron and I are still organizing our viewing schedule (being on opposite coasts is a *small* obstacle to overcome) I figured I would follow suit and get these posts started with some general Star Trek material.

Of course, we got to start with the captains. Over at io9 there was this hilarious piece about 7 types of bosses according to Star Trek. Personally, I love Picard and Sisko. I think a lot of it has to do with their training as Shakespearean actors that makes them so powerful, so believable, and so, dare I say, loveable? And when they fly off the handle, you know it's serious and that you probably DID fuck up (or maybe it's simply Sarek losing control over his emotions). They just make me feel warm inside knowing that they are in control. You would have fun while working, too. Taking trips to 1940's San Francisco with Picard or playing a baseball game against the Vulcans with Sisko, c'mon! Kirk's cool and all, probably fun to drink with, but he's also kind of a dick and would totally feel you up given the opportunity.



And the accompanying video. Brilliance. Pure, Brilliance.

Oldie but a goodie.

I found these sites in Design And New Media class my senior year of high school, and I thought they were the most amazing things ever to be created. I would now like to share them with you all. Some of you have probably already seen them, they were pretty popular memes when they came out, and the original sites are still up, so I'm guessing they still makes their way around the nets pretty often.



this one is my personal favorite
http://picard.ytmnd.com/

and for you TOS fans out there
http://whatsnewkhan.ytmnd.com/

Friday, October 10, 2008

For the world is hollow, and I have touched the sky!

Hello fellow Trekkies, I welcome you to the hub, the collective, if you will, where Everything Star Trek is sacred and profane. Here, give me your Tribble, your Khan, your tired Klingons, yearning to be free. No deck count too canon, no cultural examination of the Masterpiece Society too vague! Here, Trek is like a fine klingon blood wine, to be swirled and sipped, the flavors touching the various sectors of the tongue. Along with my partner, Holly "Red Shirt" Thompson, and Myself, Byron "Tiberius" Diffenderffer, we are going where no blog has gone before! To re-watch, in chronological order, every episode and movie in the Star Trek Universe! What this means is we will be watching the first season of Deep Space Nine concurrently with the 7th Season of The Next Generation, and so forth. I hope you will join us in our hyper-critical and humourous examination of the greatest science fiction television show of all time. We have yet to decide our schedule, but I would like it to me Mon-Wed-Fri, or maybe every other day, but it may have to be bi-weekly or weekly, based on our busy schedules. Keep a lock on those Logs crew! We're going to hit this one out of the Denorios Belt!