After he visited London (report) and Germany (report), where Star Trek already has a good deal of support, JJ Abrams came to Madrid Spain, which is one of those countries where Paramount has work to do to build an audience for this new Star Trek. See below for a first hand report from Abrams presentation and how it is playing in the Spanish media (including a new image of Spock).
Spain is not a Trek country
Spain, for some reason, has never been fully aware of Star Trek. The Original Series was shown on TV in the sixties or seventies and in the late eighties and we even had some seasons of TNG, but it went off the air in the third season (Sadly, as far as Spanish TV watchers know, TNG ended with Picard turning into Locutus). Star Trek V was a direct to VHS movie, but we had all the rest of the movies on cinemas and on time. Things have changed somehow in the recent years, we have even been able to watch Enterprise (on cable, but it came out much later than the rest of the world). And just finally, this year, a Tv channel called Veo TV has shown DS9 for us fully dubbed in Spanish. The good news is almost all seasons of Trek are available dubbed into Spanish on DVD and you do find Trekkies in almost every place, but in general people acts as if one should be “ashamed” of being a scifi fan.
The Spanish general public doesn’t really know what Trek is about, nor doesn’t really care. They have watched the movie “of the whales” or they remember “The dude with the ears”, but most people thinks that Star trek is some obscure TV series which makes people go to the street in their pajamas. Paramount has no blame on it, simply, Spain has never been a scifi country.
Abrams begins to change some minds
But this week there seemed to be lots of people interested in watching the 20 minutes preview at Cinecité in Madrid with JJ Abrams. JJ came to see our journalists (and not us the fans) to explain them what Star Trek is, to show them that it is funny, cool, modern, thrilling, original and powerful. I don’t really know how many of them where there because their newspaper told them to, but the reaction to JJ and the scenes in the room seemed to be genuine. The audience laughed (at the comic moments) and held their breath at the moments of peril, and the applause was significant.
The general Spanish audience isn’t yet really aware of the existence of this movie, but JJ Abrams appearance has got buzz started. For the first time ever in my memory, Spanish newspapers seem to be covering Star Trek and covering it accurately and in a positive light (in the pas they would often get names wrong or confuse it with Star Wars). Diario El País reported gives it a positive review of the plot, and explains what JJ explained on the presentation. Diario El Mundo notes how Abrams is making the film for ‘future Star Trek fans’ and compares this new Trek to recent Batman, Bond and Superman movies, quotes Abrams saying the film is "a great epic in which the emotions are the most impressive thing." Diario ADN says that Trekkies will love the film and noted that the effects were especially impressive saying the new movie is "Star Trek with Star Wars flavor." Cineando gets even more specific saying:
We can see that choosing JJ was a spot-on move, because with his personal style he has taken a dying franchise in a new course. If this new course matches the spirit of the saga created by Roddenberry is yet to be seen.
And as a special treat for the Spanish, Paramount released a new image of Zachary Quinto as Spock from the movie
Spanish fans are ready
As for us fans, we are very excited with this movie for several reasons. Evidently we are hungry of new good Star Trek, but also, we hope it will bring more people into the fandom. This year, representatives of most of the local fanclubs in the country have been busy building the first national Spanish club, which will open its doors very soon.
Here are some helpful Spanish Star Trek links:
- Nexus(Star Trek fanzine)
- ClubStarTrek (new National fanclub)
- MundoStarTrek (popular forum with news and info)
- ZonaTrek (popular news and info site)
- BaseNexus (news website)
- Star Trek Zero (new site centered on movie news)
JJ Abrams signs autographs in Spain
(courtesy of Yo No Me Aburro Blog)
Ignacio López Echeverría (Cheve) is president of the new Club Star Trek de España and writes the comic strip for the Nexus Digitrek fanzine (which can be downloaded for free and is written by the people of the fanclub from Madrid). He is involved as a writer in the animated fanfilm series Star Trek Cronos. Outside of Trek, he is about to publish his first book, a generic roleplaying system based on D20. Visit his site, La Fricoteca.