Remembering Gene Roddenberry On 90th Anniversary Of His Birth + Happy BDay Jonathan Frakes | TrekMovie.com
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Remembering Gene Roddenberry On 90th Anniversary Of His Birth + Happy BDay Jonathan Frakes August 19, 2011

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Celebrity,History,TNG,TOS , trackback

Today, August 19th, is the 90th anniversary of the birth of Star Trek creator, and "Great Bird of the Galaxy," Gene Roddenberry. It also happens to be the birthday of Star Trek: TNG’s Jonathan Frakes. So today TrekMovie remembers The Bird, and wishes The Beard a happy birthday.

 

Remembering Gene Roddenberry

In 1964 after his police TV series The Lieutenant went off the air, Gene Roddenberry started thinking about the future – the 23rd century to be exact. After pitching his "wagon train to the stars" concept around town he finally found a home with Desilu and NBC in 1965 and after producing two pilots he finally launched Star Trek in September 1966 – 45 years ago next month. What started as a TV show grew into a phenomenon, with Roddenberry seen as more than just a producer but as a visionary. Re-dubbed "The Great Bird of the Galaxy," Roddenberry went on to bring Trek to the big screen in 1979 with Star Trek: The Motion Picture and back to the small screen in 1987 with Star Trek: The Next Generation. His hopeful vision of the future has inspired millions and still lives on today, 90 years after his birth.

Here is Gene talking about just one aspect of this vision:

Roddenberry passed away in 1991. This was an emotional moment for Star Trek fans. This video from 1991 exempifies what Roddenberry means to the fans as members of the USS Hudson Bay sign a condolence and talk about what Gene meant to them.

Happy Birthday, Jonathan Frakes

Today isn’t just Roddenberry’s birthday, but it is also the birthday of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jonathan Frakes. The Beard turns 59 today. Frakes’ visceral Riker was TNG’s counter-balance to the more intellectual Captain Picard. For seven seasons Frakes brought humor and passion to the role. And how many actors are famous just for the way they walk (as seen in video below).

Following in the footsteps of Leonard Nimoy who directed two Trek feature films, Frakes also pioneered the era of actors directing episodes of Star Trek. He also then went on to direct two of the Next Generation films. Frakes is still working today as a director, mostly doing TV. In the last year Frakes has directed episodes of V, Persons Unknown, The Good Guys, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Glades, Burn Notice and especially Leverage. He even cast himself in an episode of Bar Karma, as seen below.

Trek Celebs tweets

Some Star Trek celebrities are also tweeting about today’s milestones:

 

Comments

1. Enterprisingguy - August 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Jonathan!

2. dmduncan - August 19, 2011

To Gene Roddenberry in whatever dimension of reality he currently inhabits: Thanks dude!!!

3. Shatoupee - August 19, 2011

GR–a great man and the reason we’re all here at trekmovie.com!

4. CGren123 - August 19, 2011

Without his vision of a better future:
A. A lot of actors wouldn’t be as well known as they are today
B. I probably would be a lot more normal then I actually am.

To that, I say this: Thank you, Mr Roddenberry. I hope wherever you are now, you are happy.

Also, happy birthday, Mr Frakes!

5. Ens Mike of the Terran Empire - August 19, 2011

As McCoy said in Trek 2. He is really not Dead. As long as we Remember him. The great Bird will always be remembered.
Happy Birthday John. May you have many more.

6. ModelMaker - August 19, 2011

happy birthday Mr. Frakes!

7. CGren123 - August 19, 2011

Also, happy birthday to Diana Muldaur!

8. Chris Dawson - August 19, 2011

Gene Roddenberry! Happy Birthday and thank you for so much! Our world just would not be as cool if you hadn’t been there.

Jonathan Frakes, Happy Birthday. It was a pleasure to work with you on Trek – Insurrection and Nemesis as well as Clockstoppers. You are one the the most awesomely cool personalities working in the industry.

9. Nick Cook - August 19, 2011

Thanks for forty odd years of fun, thought-provoking entertainment Gene.

And happy Birthday Mr Frakes. Hope it’s a great one. :)

10. Obsidian - August 19, 2011

Wow I didn’t know that Frakes is only 5 years younger than Gene! ;) Just kidding, Mr. Frakes, I love you. :)

11. Lt. Bailey - August 19, 2011

Happy Birthday to you all!

12. Dee - lvs moon' surface - August 19, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Roddenberry!

Happy Birthday, Jonathan Frakes!

13. Sebastian S. - August 19, 2011

7.

I second that; I like Dr Pulaski. She was a better doctor than Crusher any day of the week. I liked her more irascible nature; the show NEEDED that. Not to mention her two memorable TOS roles…

Happy Birthday, Diane Muldaur. You were missed after TNG season two. ;-)

14. captain_neill - August 19, 2011

Happy Birthday to Jonathan Frakes and Diana Muldaur and big happy birthday to the great bird of the galaxy.

Roddenberry is a legend.

15. Keachick (rose pinenut) - August 19, 2011

Thank you, Gene Roddenberry, for the gift of Star Trek.

Happy Birthday to Jonathan Frakes and Diana Muldaur.

I never had any problem with Dr Pulaski or Dr Crusher – both good characters.

16. Christopher Roberts - August 19, 2011

Gene Roddenberry.

They will never be another like him… and the tragedy in that statement is that there should be.

17. Phil - August 19, 2011

I’d have a cup of coffee with the guy at the bar…

18. CaptainDonovin - August 19, 2011

Happy bday Number One.

Which episode was it where the crew (esp. Data) talked/joked about Riker’s walk w/ Data offering to show him his walk?

19. trekker 5 - August 19, 2011

Thank you Gene,you have changed lives!! Happy B-Day #1!! :)

20. Nathan - August 19, 2011

I owe Mr. Roddenberry a great many years of enjoyment, and so I would be remiss if I did not pause to say thank you.
Requiescat in pace. Dominus misereatur animi eius et in vitam aeternam ducat.

Jonathon Frakes…many more happy years to you, sir. Deus benedicat te!

21. captain spock - August 19, 2011

Its Diana Muldaur (DR.Pilaski ) Birthday today also, she turned 74 today

Happy Birthday Jonathan… hum 59 years young , Have a great Birthday

Mr Roddenberry is gone but will never be forgotten the great Bird of the galaxy will always be a part of us always. he gave us fans so much of enjoyment all these years.we are keeping you dream alive…just think in about two 1/2 weeks trek will be celebrating its 45 Birthday.

22. Katie G. - August 19, 2011

How could they miss Diana Muldaur!!! Seriously!! She played 2 guest characters back in TOS and Dr. Pulaski for a whole season (#2) in TNG. Wow… embarrassing, guys. Oh well.

ktg

23. Keachick (rose pinenut) - August 19, 2011

A little reminder note to Anthony Pascale – Next Friday, 26 August, our beautiful new Captain Kirk has a birthday. This event cannot/must not be forgotten.

Maybe?, perhaps?, possibly?, the man himself, Chris Pine, could post a comment here on this site so that we can send him adoring best wishes for his 31st birthday…

Oh well, a rose pinenut can dream

24. Sebastian S. - August 19, 2011

22.

Because some of us liked her better than Dr Crusher, that’s all. ;-)

25. D in Aurora - August 19, 2011

To the Great Bird, though I’m sure that we would have argued voraciously over certain issues…I gotta say, you made a heck of a TV show, one that I love in spite of some of it’s “messages”. (And even those, I don’t mind because I like being made to think, even if the argument doesn’t change my mind.)

Happy B-Day Frakes…and make sure you don’t let Deanna drive the “Titan”…

26. DonDonP1 - August 19, 2011

Happy Birthday to Gene, Jon and Dianne.

27. jesustrek - August 19, 2011

HB to Mr Roddenberry and Mr Frakes, Felicidades.

28. Donald G - August 19, 2011

“The Lieutenant” was not a police drama, but rather a military drama about the peacetime Marine Corps.

But aside from that, Happy Birthday, to the Spirit of the Great Bird and to Jonathan Frakes.

29. Let Them Eat Plomeek Soup - August 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mr. Roddenberry–the Anointed One, the Great Bird of the Galaxy.

Thank you so much for giving us a vision of the future in which humans actually do not annihilate themselves. Thank you for giving me the source of my greatest friends, even if they are years older than me. Thanks for giving us (especially me) hope for the years to come.

And thank you for Vulcans. Definitely for Vulcans.

Happy Trekking, everyone.

30. Bearded Riker - August 19, 2011

We need more people in Hollywood these days that have vision like Roddenberry. The Star Trek he created may be old but the messages it sent are still entirely relevant to today.

And The Beard. Well, I hope he remains stolid, as Q was so keen to comment.

31. Jim Nightshade - August 20, 2011

Happy bday gr–Your vision of a better humanity and future resonated with so many of us that a phenom was born–no small accomplishment–then u made lightning strike twice with tng,and this time your creation was popular and insightful–and now trek tos has been reborn rising phoenix like out of the ashes with a young n talented cast, great contributers like roberto orci,alex et al with the creative reins passed down to jj abrams the next spielberg–for new n older generations to enjoy–thanks to all those involved! star trek lives indeed! And always will thanx to genes creative vision–
And happy bdays also to diana and jonathon-thanx to them for many years of superior acting and entertainment-ka plahhhh!

32. Kroll - August 20, 2011

It was my Birthday yesterday too. Happy Birthday to us.

33. AJ - August 20, 2011

Happy Birthdays, Gene and Jonathan!

Thanks, Gene, for creating Star Trek, and Mr. Frakes for being the best guy to not let his Captain beam down with an Away Team.

34. CmdrR - August 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to my namesake and to the man who started us all dreaming.

35. P Technobabble - August 20, 2011

Ah, where would we all be were it not for Gene Roddenberry? How many other franchises have commanded such passion, loyalty and enthusiasm as Star Trek?

Happy Birthday Jonathan Frakes. Maybe it’s time you wrote a “Titan” novel?
Happy Birthday Diana Muldaur.

36. Ens Mike of the Terran Empire - August 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to everyone who has a Birthday.

37. gjsdaf8d9sa - August 20, 2011

http://www.foodista.com

38. gjsdaf8d9sa - August 20, 2011

http://www.fullstores.com

39. Herb Finn - August 20, 2011

Frakes did a really good appearance on CRIMINAL MINDS playing against “type” last season – a real creepy episode!

40. Bruce Banner - August 20, 2011

@13 Dr. Crusher was a much better fit with the rest of the cast. She seemed much more realistic. I couldn’t see Dr. Pulaski commanding a Star Ship as Dr. Crusher did in “All Good Things”.

41. Edmo - August 20, 2011

I knew I had seen that Riker walk somewhere before… here is a link to a vid that shows the comparison! (just for a laugh!! LOL)

http://youtu.be/mXsg3FJHDO0

42. Sebastian S. - August 20, 2011

40.
Dr Pulaski wasn’t really given a fair shake though, was she? One season and they brought back Crusher. Too bad.

I just though that Pulaski acted more like a doctor than Crusher (who was too bland and uninteresting, IMO). Again, this is just my two cents…

43. This Is Me - August 20, 2011

You say it’s your birthday; well it’s my birthday too, yeah. I was born on 8/19 in 1966, the same day they recorded the music for the first airing episode of STAR TREK.

44. Katie G. - August 20, 2011

When Riker’s father came to visit, Pulaski was sort of acting like a mother to Deanna. Totally different fit. I enjoyed both doctors very much. They just did things differently.

ktg

45. Andy Patterson - August 20, 2011

@43

“8/19 in 1966, the same day they recorded the music for the first airing episode of STAR TREK.”

I didn’t know that. Now that’s a great date! Good to know. And Happy Birthday.

46. VZX - August 20, 2011

Happy Birthday! Roddenberry’s creations inspired me to major in physics. Frakes inspired my son to play trombone.

Go Star Trek!

47. Keachick (rose pinenut) - August 20, 2011

My understanding is that Dr Pulaski was a temporary replacement for Dr Crusher who was on a sabbatical. In real life, Diana Muldaur was standing in for Gates McFadden while she was on maternity leave.

48. CmdrR - August 20, 2011

41. Edmo “I knew I had seen that Riker walk somewhere before…”

Hmmm. And Riker is from just up the coast from the Pacific Northwest.
It’s true. He’s Beardfoot!

49. Vultan - August 20, 2011

#47

McFadden was pregnant in the fourth season, not the second. Her being replaced by Diana Muldaur came (supposedly) from some bad blood between her and the producers.

As it turned out, Muldaur wasn’t happy on the show either, so McFadden was asked to return.

50. Enterprisingguy - August 20, 2011

While Beverly was more pleasing to the eye, I’d take Pulaski any day in terms of being a more interesting character and more believable doctor. She wasn’t impressed with the captain and had no use for protocol when it interfered with a patient. Picard was pissed when she went right to work on a case when she reported to the ship rather presenting herself to him. She was a good foil for him and it taught him to be a little more grounded and not to take himself so seriously. I think she helped mold him into the captain we saw further into the series.

51. Jack - August 20, 2011

50. I liked Beverly first season, she came back oddly muted. Pulaski was like DeForest Kelly with breasts. The show was at its lousiest when she was there, so it’s hard to tell how she would have fared, had she stayed.

I think the Roddenberry self-promotion has muddied the waters a bit. He was a TV producer, so he wasn’t above money (and had myriad schemes for making it). Still, he had a good (not entirely original… but his spin was fresh) idea and we’re still benefiting from it today.

52. Buzz Cagney - August 20, 2011

Roddenberry is somewhat overrated.
Ok, he came up with Trek but thats it. Hardly prolific was he. And left to his own devices he would likely have killed that off.
I credit him for creating the characters of TOS but little else.

53. Vultan - August 20, 2011

#52

I agree somewhat, Buzz. I mean, some Trekkies do go a little overboard with their praise of the man, making him into a near religious figure and whatnot.

But he didn’t exactly stumble into Hollywood with Star Trek scribbled on a few pieces of paper. He did have experience writing scripts for shows like Highway Patrol and Have Gun, Will Travel, and had a three-season run with the first show he created, The Lieutenant.

So no, he wasn’t the most prolific tv producer—had a couple of successful series—but then again, so did Rod Serling (Twilight Zone, Night Gallery). I guess the numbers don’t matter that much to me. Guys like Roddenberry, Gene Coon and Serling were “big idea” driven with their storytelling, and that’s a precious thing in popular entertainment—especially now!

54. Anthony Thompson - August 21, 2011

52. Buzz Cagney

Yes, he created the characters of TOS. And the characters of TNG. And the universes they inhabit, the technologies they use and the ships they travel on. Not much. That’s it. BTW, what gift have YOU given to the world?

55. dmduncan - August 21, 2011

Like most everybody else, Gene Roddenberry made his share of mistakes. But this is an occasion to recall at least some of what he did right and for which we all still remember him.

56. AJ - August 21, 2011

55

dmduncan:

We all make our share of mistakes during the brief time we have.

If all of us could have a brief, shining moment like ‘Star Trek,’ as Roddenberry had, whether the result of a brain-fart or a sheer revelation, the world would be a better place.

Let’s all go try. No?

57. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - August 21, 2011

Two wonderful people. Happy Birthday Gene and Happy Birthday Frakes

58. Michael Hall - August 21, 2011

“We all make our share of mistakes during the brief time we have.”

Indeed. Such as, say, automatically going for the jugular–even when the occasion simply calls for honoring the memory of a man who, whatever his faults, created an entertainment franchise that has given so much pleasure and genuine inspiration to so many. But such is the degraded level of our current discourse.

59. Daniel - August 21, 2011

Hi Gene,

Thanks for re-writing several of the first 13 episodes of TOS. They are shining examples of the best of Trek.

60. Michael Hall - August 21, 2011

@ 59 Daniel–

“Thanks for re-writing several of the first 13 episodes of TOS. They are shining examples of the best of Trek.”

Not to mention writing two of those episodes all by his ownself. Those two shows being, in the opinion of some (including myself), among the best of the best. :-)

61. MrRegular - August 21, 2011

52. Buzz Cagney:

That’s kind of like calling the Grand Canyon a “drainage ditch”.

GR’s contributions to the world were immense and legendary–”prolific” if you count the untold millions of lives that have touched by Star Trek, in all of its incarnations. I’m very grateful to be one of those guided by the vision of a better tomorrow. His legacy lives on.

62. Paul Fitz - August 21, 2011

Huge thank you to Gene Roddenberry, To whom I owe many thanks for letting an insular teen know that things can be better, and letting him carry it on to his adulthood.
Rest in peace Great Bird of the Galaxy.

63. David Stoeckel - August 21, 2011

Happy 90th Gene Roddeberry-One of the Most Brilliant Minds of Human History. and Happy 59th Birthday Jonathan Frakes, whose idea to Make Star Trek:TITAN the Next Star Trek Series I Support 100%.

64. Jack - August 21, 2011

It was the 1960s — Science Fiction wasn’t exactly rare, at least in print, and nearly all of it was for grown-ups. A lot of it was smart and full of ideas. He said that he said no to the suits who wanted to dumb it down, and told stories about that for years. And there was a lot of good television that told relatively smart stories for grown-ups. Morality plays abounded. So Star Trek didn’t emerge, magically, from the mind of Gene Roddenberry, like the virgin birth.

Still, he wanted it to be more like his day-to-day experience in the navy, and he wanted it to take place in a plausible future. Both proved to be pretty important. Utopian ideals weren’t new (again – ’60s) and this was the middle of the space age for Pete’s sake. He did hire great people (Matt Jeffries for one), seek good scientific advice (or at least someone in the production did) and, yeah, made a good TV show that did its fair share of recycling. And, it couldn’t have been Star Trek without all those people involved.

He’s not one of the most brilliant minds in human history (nor does he have to be), but he did make a show driven by a few good ideas (and followed those ideas, which makes him different from, say, me… but later made it sound, in the press, like he’d cured cancer and fought the network while riding a white horse).

I think the show’s best choice was to have an international crew (an idea, arguably, mostly abandoned by later Treks, especially TNG) with (very sexy) women in not entirely unimportant positions. Again, this didn’t spring from thin air.

It was still a product of its time and pretty darned sexist. The important thing about the Star Trek universe is that it sparked our imaginations, introduced a lot of us to some of those scifi ideas and to the optimistic idea of a (perfect) future where we hadn’t all killed each other (which was our assumed future in the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s) over imperialism and bigotry. It came to inspire us, and that’s, well, yeah, brilliant. Others, writers and fans, assumed the mantle. And heck, I’ll give Gene (and his team) credit for that, whether he intended it or not.

But episodes of the show itself preached against blind hero worship, and for looking at myths critically (despite the Christian Son-worship episode) — so this Great Leader vision of Gene, I’d argue, goes a little against what Trek should be about.

The first two seasons of TNG (and those ’70s pilots) kind of shows a little about how Gene’s ideas (the future I invented is perfect, we don’t get mad, we’ve solved every problem, we don’t use contractions, we stand around talking about how advanced we are… gee whiz, humans are great!) alone weren’t quite enough. But still, they ended up inspiring others…

Regardless, Happy Birthday to the guy who apparently had guts and created a show I’ve enjoyed for years.

65. dmduncan - August 21, 2011

56: “If all of us could have a brief, shining moment like ‘Star Trek,’ as Roddenberry had, whether the result of a brain-fart or a sheer revelation, the world would be a better place.”

Yes. Through Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry certainly had an enormously powerful POSITIVE effect on my life, and I will always be very very grateful to him for that.

I’m sure plenty of others feel the same way I do.

66. Shatoupee - August 21, 2011

Vintage how losers who never personally knew Roddenberry or know what they’re taking about come here to attempt (unsuccessfully) to take him down a notch or two. Get a life!

67. Kev-1 - August 21, 2011

Roddenberry was a USAAF pilot (US Army Air Force). I don’t believe he ever served in the Navy.

68. Rocket Scientist - August 21, 2011

67. Kev-1 I believe you’re right about his military service. And it’s also my opinion that this is what separates him and his generation of writers from the current crop. Aside from raw talent, they were participants in the some of the most world-shaking events of our time. Let’s also not forget Roddenberry’s subsequent experience as an airline pilot and a police officer. These kinds of things informed his work with a depth that cannot be faked.

69. Michael Hall - August 21, 2011

@ 64 Jack–

“He’s not one of the most brilliant minds in human history (nor does he have to be)”

Agreed, for sure–

“. . .but he did make a show driven by a few good ideas (and followed those ideas, which makes him different from, say, me… but later made it sound, in the press, like he’d cured cancer and fought the network while riding a white horse).”

–but this, to my knowledge, is sheer historic revisionism. The simple truth is that given the opportunity expound on his own legacy (whether during his college lectures and the interviews done for various Trek books during the ’70s or the more in-depth questions he answered for Yvonne Fern shortly before his death in 1990), Roddenberry never hesitated to put Star Trek into perspective, or to take personal responsibility for many of its flaws that were apparent even then. I was a witness at least three times to how those college audiences pretty much treated the guy like some kind of rock star, but while it was obvious he welcomed our adulation and money (who wouldn’t?), he never failed to say that much of the magic we found in a failed little ’60s space opera really lay within ourselves and our hopes for a better world, and to encourage us to never stop believing in our potential to do better as a species. Much has been written about his failings as a husband, producer, and artist. But whatever else you can say about the man, he took his fifteen minutes of fame and used it to inspire a generation’s hopes and dreams. For me, that will always be his legacy.

70. Anthony Thompson - August 21, 2011

52. Buzz Cagney

Still no word from you on your contributions to humanity? I’m surprised. Don’t be so humble, Buzz! ; )

71. Jim Nightshade - August 21, 2011

GR was a man of many ideas,and like all of was human–i have never seen anyone treating him like a god–and he always admitted his own humaness-the stories he tod-his battles with networks n execs etc were all true-gene always emphasised that the networks were underating our home tv audiences intelligense n again he was right-he also was sure that average viewers were smarter, and more compassionate,loving n caring,against intolerance, and against letting nations n fear and hate divide us all–he always admitted his foibles but had great trust in our innate goodness–no small feat–hes no god n he knew it–those who say roddenberry is worshipped too much–i think are wrong-

72. MC1 Doug - August 21, 2011

Gene Roddenberry’s 1964 series “The Lieutenant was NOT a police drama.

“The Lieutenant” was a series taking place at Camp Pendleton near San Diego, Calif., The lead character played by Gary Lockwod (pre-Star Trek’s “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and “2001 A Space Odyssey”), named William Tiberius Rice. Rice was a Second Lieutenent (hence the name of the series) in the United States Marine Corps.

This was Roddenberry’s first TV series. Even though the series garnered respectable reviews and ratings, it only ran for one year and 29 episodes were filmed, however, one of the episodes never aired as NBC viewed it as too controversial (Nichelle Nichols, no stranger to controversy herself, was in that episode.

Including Lockwood, Trek alums Leonard Nimoy, Majel Barrett, Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols all made guest appearances on the series.

I hope the series makes it to DVD so that I can finally see it and see how much of Mr. Roddenberry’s ideals carried over to his brainchild “Star Trek.”

73. MC1 Doug - August 21, 2011

Some other corrections are in order:

Vultan, “The Lieutenant” did not run for the three seasons. Only one.

Jack, Mr. Roddenberry did not serve in the U.S. Navy. He did, in fact, serve in the United States States Army Air Corps (predating the USAF) during World War II.

74. Vultan - August 21, 2011

#73

My mistake. Thanks for the info.
Supposedly, “The Lieutenant” will be released on DVD sometime this year.
Keep your fingers crossed.

75. MC1 Doug - August 21, 2011

Oh.. and an addition… Ricardo Montalban also made a guest appearance on “The Lieutenant.”

76. Buzz Cagney - August 21, 2011

#70 I do my bit, fear not. ;-). I would add I wasn’t dodging qustions- I was off living a life, not sitting looking at this Forum wondering if my post was creating a stir.

Gene didn’t change humanity. He made a TV show that some people have taken as a bible. And lets face it, that is ridiculous

77. Jack - August 21, 2011

I stand corrected and humbled — his birthday’s not the time to bring all this up — I’m a fan of Star Trek (I didn’t know him , never heard him speak in person, and have read a lot of interviews he gave, but have only seen a handful of video bits) and wasn’t intending to belittle him, his work, or Star trek. His personal life has nothing to do with anything, nor, really, do interviews or sound bites… i think the work he produced is what should matter ultimately. We know nearly nothing about Shakespeare, outside of his work (which borrowed from everything under the Sun, and that’s not criticism) – the work stands alone.. My impression, going by star trek alone, is that he’d welcome a bit of critical thinking and the striving to keep all this in perspective.

He inspired. That’s enough. Does it make Trek art? Maybe. Regardless, I’m thankful he made the show and thankful for the inspiration. Acknowledging that he was a product of his time/culture, had a lot of influences and borrowed from others isn’t meant as criticism. He was an optimist (it seems from his work) but this idea that he had this near-mystical vision to change lhumanity kind of downplays what he accomplished.

78. Jack - August 21, 2011

69. Beautifully written, by the way.

79. Harry Ballz - August 22, 2011

Gene Roddenberry was a hack who STOLE the idea for Star Trek from Forbidden Planet.

……….once it was on the air others tweaked it into the show we love.

Roddenberry was simply interested in MONEY, like half the royalties for the theme music to TOS. Or the Vulcan IDIC pin, created solely to sell to willing buyers.

The emperor has no clothes, people!

80. Bucky - August 22, 2011

Aug 19th birthdays rule, it was mine too

81. Anthony Thompson - August 22, 2011

79. Harry!

You don’t like Shatner. You also don’t like his nemesis, Takei. And not it turns out that you don’t like Roddenberry either! Who the heck DO you like??? Other than buxom women, of course. : )

82. Anthony Thompson - August 22, 2011

*now* it turns out…

83. Harry Ballz - August 22, 2011

Anthony

I like the actors from the last Trek film. They were GOOD!

And, yes, you are correct, I DO like buxom women!

84. Basement Blogger - August 22, 2011

@ 79

I can’t agree that Gene Rodeenberry stole Star Trek from Forbidden Planet or was some bad person whose only motive was greed..

Roddenberry set up a show that wanted to be entertainment and be provocative. He also wanted to make a statement about racism that was rampant in the sixties by having a multi-racial and multi-species crew. It was a vision that man could overcome his weaknesses and explore the universe as his “wagon train to the stars.” That’s not the message from Forbidden Planet.

85. Basement Blogger - August 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Gene Roddenberry

It’s simply wonderful that your vision was espoused in many of the Star Trek television shows. One of my favorite lines from Star Trek: Deep Space 9’s “Little Green Men” was this.

” I only hope that one day mankind will travel to the stars and take its place in the vast Alliance of Planets.” Nurse Garland.

It’s a beautiful vision, Gene. Thanks.

86. Vultan - August 22, 2011

Yeah, other than the transporter-like devices used in Forbidden Planet (which were really more like suspended animation chambers) and the military command structure of the crew, I just don’t see it having that much in common with Star Trek. The only person of color in that movie was… who? Robby the Robot? ;)

Trek may have some superficial resemblances with FP, but it went a lot further in the social commentary department—a lot further! Roddenberry’s creation has much more in common with the earlier Twilight Zone and Outer Limits. Both shows dealt with social problems and the like, and were usually thinly veiled in the form of the alien-of-the-week or some other malicious force. Sound familiar?

87. rm10019 - August 22, 2011

To the haters I say ‘sigh’ why are you even here. and a big LLAP as only Mr. Quinto could say when turning down the Vulcan Science Academy ;)

This is a nice chance to say Happy Birthday to a man who brought us Star Trek.

88. denny cranium - August 22, 2011

Go read Inside Star Trek by Mr. Solow.
Mr Roddenberry was the idea man behind Trek. There were a lot of other creative people behind the scenes that enhanced and built on his ideas.
I think Mr Roddenberry just started believing his own press as time went on.
It still says “created by Gene Roddenberry”
Thanks for that Gene.
Its been the best sandbox to play in my whole life.
While his contribution may be overblown a bit discounting his ideas ad what he brought to Trek is a huge disservice to him.
Also Happy Birthday Mr Frakes

89. Kev -1 - August 22, 2011

72. According to TV shows on DVD, “The Lieutenant” is going to be released as an MOD release, soon, if it’s not already out.

90. Kev -1 - August 22, 2011

…planned for 2011 release.

91. Michael Hall - August 22, 2011

@ 78 Jack–

Thanks for the compliment. I know your posting was a sincere attempt to put things into perspective–unlike, say, the very snide (but predictable, given the source) drivel that follows. My only intent was to answer the criticisms (e.g. that he was a glory-hound who never gave proper credit to anyone else and touted himself like he thought he was the second coming of Jonas Salk) that routinely get passed around forums like this one with my own impressions of the man, as experienced on a personal level, and not gleaned third-hand from tell-all books or articles whose authors may very well have had their own axes to grind. That said, like everyone else here I’m no expert on the life of Gene Roddenberry. I saw the man maybe five or six times as a member of an audience and actually met him only once, at an event at his alma mater Franklin High School in 1974. Other than that, all I have to go on are the same books and interviews available to everyone else (though a number of them, like Star Trek Lives! from the Seventies, are long out of print), along with Roddenberry’s output, including the work he did both pre-and-post Star Trek.

I would caution the devotees of any one book, particularly the Solow/Justman collaboration Inside Star Trek (which I own and have read at least twice, btw), to take what they read with a grain of salt and not necessarily treat it as revealed history. “The Cage” was filmed when JFK was just a few months into his grave, and TOS itself becomes more of a cultural artifact from a distant era with each passing year. (*Sigh* So do I.) The memories of the remaining principals have dimmed with age, as opposed to their entirely understandable desire to put their own contributions in the best possible light. So Herb Solow, a retired NBC executive not directly involved with the production of Star Trek at all, gets to publish a book decades after the fact that claims he was practically the show’s co-creator. Well, who’s to know?

I sure don’t. But what I do know for a fact is the Gene Roddenberry was the recipient of a Writer’s Guild Award and a Hugo–not for Star Trek, where he could presumably take the credit for other peoples’ work, but for scripts that he personally wrote himself. So to insist upon calling him a “hack” is just crass ignorace (willful in this case, too, because the person in question knows better), as it is to say he hogged all the credit for Star Trek when his expressions of gratitude to the actors, writers, and fellow producers of the show for developing the idea can be found in everything from The Making of Star Trek to the many other books and interviews published and recorded on the subject.

No, he was no saint. Compared to some great minds that are sadly far less known in our culture, he wasn’t even all that much of a visionary. But I don’t need to blindly worship a man whose creation has given so much pleasure and inspiration to so many to just say “Happy Birthday, and thanks,” and leave it at that. But it’s a sad fact that some mommies just never taught their kids to play nice, let alone how to show their gratitude or appreciation for anything.

92. Harry Ballz - August 22, 2011

91.

Michael, you sure told me! Nicely put. Congrats, sir!

93. MrRegular - August 22, 2011

And here’s a belated birthday salute to Jonathan Frakes!!
Would like to see Titan realized in a film or DVD release sometime..a new direction for Trek keeps things fresh, as was demonstrated in the latest film.

94. dmduncan - August 22, 2011

@91: Well…Herb Solow takes credit for his PART in Star Trek history, which is the sales of the show, but most of Inside Star Trek (and the Star Trek Sketchbook) really gives an inside look at how much everybody else contributed to Star Trek, and Solow doesn’t take credit for any of that, so in that respect his books seem to me to be a fair appraisal of the contributions of others, along with a more human portrait of Gene Roddenberry. Inside Star Trek also has the benefit of being coauthored and corroborated by Bob Justman, who was involved far more than Herb Solow was (indeed, more than Gene Roddenberry was during the last season), so it’s more than just one man’s aged and dubious recollections.

86. “Yeah, other than the transporter-like devices used in Forbidden Planet (which were really more like suspended animation chambers) and the military command structure of the crew, I just don’t see it having that much in common with Star Trek.”

As Harry noted and I confirmed later after watching, the Captain of the Bellerephon makes note of the time before they land early on in the film as “17:01″; probably borrowed unconsciously when they came up with NCC 1701, and I’m not even sure it was Roddenberry who came up with that number. But as for other similarities, there are obvious ones besides the ones you mentioned, most particularly with The Cage:

The Krell and the Talosians were both big headed aliens.

The Krell and the Talosians had both destroyed their civilizations using the power of the mind: the Krell to turn thoughts into reality and the Talosians to turn thoughts into virtual reality.

The remnants of both civilizations existed only underground.

Also, the Enterprise primary hull is a “flying saucer,” just like the Bellerephon.

I think Star Trek vastly improved the premise, but there is still a resemblance between FP and ST/The Cage.

95. Harry Ballz - August 22, 2011

Also, everyone should keep in mind, we are all well-accustomed to a blur of science fiction stories. That is because we have the luxury of LOOKING BACK AT EVERYTHING THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE over the last 70 years.

Now, for a moment, wash away all that knowledge and start fresh. In the 1950′s along comes Forbidden Planet. Both groundbreaking and astonishing for it’s effects and scope. Dazzlingly original. Years later the TV show Star Trek comes on the air, it’s premise bearing more than a passing resemblance to Forbidden Planet.

Therefore it is Forbidden Planet that deserves full credit for originality of thought and imagination. The hardest part of any pursuit is being first and breaking new ground. It is child’s play to simply rehash and expand on someone else’s original idea.

96. Vultan - August 22, 2011

#95

You do realize “Forbidden Planet” was based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” right?

Now, I’m not saying the movie wasn’t a groundbreaking work of art—it definitely was—but it wasn’t [completely] original either.

Many go to the creative well. Some put water in. Some take it out. Sometimes both.

97. dmduncan - August 22, 2011

@95: True, and why Star Trek deserves credit on its own for NOT putting a 1950′s white militaristic male version of the future on our TV screens. Also, William Ware Theiss’ and Matt Jefferies’ work stands on its own as boldly original, and still looks amazing today.

Then you had a Russian character during the Cold War, which was quite an investment of faith in the future on Roddenberry’s part, and he turned out to be right.

And to have a voluptuous black woman as a member of the bridge crew was an amazing thing to do. She wasn’t just black, she was intelligent, beautiful, and sexy, and that was an unusual way to portray black women on “white” TV shows, i.e., as equal to white women in competence and beauty, during a time when racism was still a widely acceptable status quo feature of society, sort of like smoking in an elevator.

So there’s plenty Roddenberry did on his own to earn my respect.

98. Vultan - August 22, 2011

When it comes to “Forbidden Planet,” I think credit shouldn’t go to just the talented film makers but also MGM, because up until that time studios had mostly pushed sci-fi movies to the backlot B-movie productions. FP was really the first big budget sci-fi movie, and in many ways blazed a path for Star Trek, 2001: ASO, Star Wars, and all the rest of the summer special effects extravaganzas we take for granted today.

So, whoever the beancounter was that signed off on FP, thanks!

99. Jack - August 22, 2011

Without Roddenberry. there wouldn’t have been TOS, period. And, the first movie and TNG would have been pretty unlikely without his involvement. So, yeah, the guy, Great Bird of the Galaxy or not, was no slouch.

100. John in Canada, eh? - August 22, 2011

Always thought it interesting that Frakes and Nimoy both:
* Portrayed the First Officer on the USS Enterprise
* Directed two ST films
* Directed a ST film about time travel that was the most successful film of their series.

101. Basement Blogger - August 22, 2011

@ 91-100

Well written and thought provoking gentlemen. And if you’re not a guy but some alien, I apologize.

102. Harry Ballz - August 22, 2011

Yes, nothing like a lively debate/discussion!

103. Basement Blogger - August 22, 2011

First, happy birthday Jonathan Frakes. It just occurred to me that there was a wonderful coincidence not just of shared birthdays but of an episode of TNG that Frakes directed. Written by great Trek writers Joe Menosky (The Nth Degree) and Ronald Moore, the episode was “The Chase.”

Yeah, I know some of you like yelling at me for loving this episode. Some have said It was “talky.” Jay Chattaway’s wallpaper music was annoying. But I like some talk in my Star Trek. “The Chase” was one of the most Roddenberryesque TNG shows. I love the metaphors within a metaphor. You see Picard gets a gift from his archeology mentor, Galen. The gift is a Kurlan naiskos, sort of a matryoshka doll. Inside the bigger figure are little figures. The meaning that many voices make up the one. And in the episode, we find out that the races of the Alpha quadrant were seeded from one race. Making Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, and Humans brothers.

And like other great Star Trek, it had something important to say. The races of man are all brothers. The many voices are all part of humanity. Gene Roddenberry was just a man. He had weaknesses. But his idea that man could set aside their differences, and in peace explore the stars is inspiring.

104. Jim Nightshade - August 22, 2011

Forbidden Planet was incredible for when it was made–besides others already mentioned, FP also had groundbreaking soundtrack first time a form of electric tonalities was used for a movie–the crew were protrayed as very human–squabbling over a good looking girl–the cook had a drinking problem etc–the three top officers including a doc headed up all investigations–skimply clad beautiful woman-robbie the robot-no data but he was increible for the time–didbthey ever show the krell–a short larger headed was implied but i didnt think they looked like the butt brains of the cage–the doc used the brain boost device–reminds me of spocks brain kinda–thevefx were great even borrowing a disney animator for the monster-johnny quest had an episode with an invisible monster very similiar—the overall story was very similiar to the tos format-coulda fit in with any episode-in fact genius scientist wishing to be left alone with superior tech n a daughter that capt falls for–was that requiem for methu?
lets see except for war of the worlds , 20,000 leagues i cant think of many other scifi movies done anywhere near as spectacular as F P was–and it had leslie nielsen as captain before airplane made him a comedy legend–also the scifi seemed more realistic in FP-again like trek–i think gr paid himage to fp and basically borrowed some elements for the first trek pilot–but gr n associates quickly made trek their own as it evolved-

105. SPOCKBOY - August 22, 2011

Is it me or would Jonathan Frakes make a fantastic Commodore Decker in the new Trek film, along with a new Doomsday Machine.
Are you listening Bob Orci?

:)

106. Christopher Roberts - August 23, 2011

Not many of the TNG/DS9/VOY casts are actually as old as the TOS ones were when they made Star Trek VI.

But even if that were a problem, how about animation?

I think there is a desire out for a wrap-up movie for the 24th Century. For a lost sequel that ought to have come after Nemesis.

I’ve also found a way for it to involve a couple of ENT characters and come as a consequence of what Spock did in the last film.

What I’d recommend is an important mission for the Enterprise-E, a Titan crew held hostage by the Romulans and a shocking secret dating back to the Federation’s founding, which threatens peace talks. Picard rounding up any available Starfleet officers. Meaning some TNG characters are elsewhere but put in cameos, while various DS9/VOY ones fill vacancies. O’Brien, EMH, Tuvok on the bridge of the E. LaForge captaining his own ship. Worf coming to the rescue in a Klingon ship.

107. Mel - August 23, 2011

Completely off topic!

Zachary Quinto said something recently about the sequel:

http://www.itn.co.uk/home/26968/Zachary+Quinto+speculates+about+Star+Trek

“Zachary Quinto speculates about Star Trek

Actor Zachary Quinto believes the cast and crew of Star Trek are now ready to begin work on the sequel.

Quinto played Spock in the hugely successful 2009 reboot of the famous film franchise, which also starred Chris Pine as Kirk and Zoe Saldana as Uhura.

Zachary says he was happy to have breathing space before making a sequel: “It makes people miss it a little bit, you know what I mean? We had a lot of goodwill around that first movie. So I feel like people are going to be ready for a second one by the time it comes out. It’s not like ‘Already? Really? Again?’”

No details have yet been revealed about the direction the follow-up movie will take but the actor believes there is a “goldmine of drama” still to be explored.

“I imagine we’re going to pick up right where we left off, but it could be a completely different timeline. They’ve basically now created a device that allows them to go anywhere with it. I mean, we could be in a parallel universe, we could be in a parallel time. That’s the joy of science-fiction. Vulcan could be back,” Quinto said.

The much anticipated Star Trek sequel is expected to be released in late 2012 at the earliest.”

…..

I also don’t think, that anyone will say, that the sequel comes out TOO SOON after the last movie. I wonder why he even mentioned this. A four years pause is quite long, much longer than the pause between movies of other franchises. He should be more concerned of people, who have already forgotten the last movie, when the next movie comes out. ;-)

And I really hope he doesn’t have any influence in regards to the story line. Please no more time or universe hopping. Just because you can do this in a scifi movie, doesn’t mean that you should! Just stay in the same universe/time as the last movie and don’t bring Vulcan back. It was destroyed. There are other interesting alien planets. Show more of them instead.

108. Christopher Roberts - August 23, 2011

Vulcan was an interesting planet, by virtue of the fact…

it only ever appeared in

4 episodes of Enterprise
1 episode of the Original Series
1 episode of the Animated Series
and a handful of scenes in the movies and Next Generation.

109. Christopher Roberts - August 23, 2011

…or should that be, STILL an interesting planet?

110. Christopher Roberts - August 23, 2011

Not counting the occasions, the Enterprise was simply in orbit to pick up Ambassadors, and ferry them to some peace conference. As happened in TOS “Journey to Babel” or TNG “Sarek”.

111. Hugh Hoyland - August 23, 2011

Thanks Gene Roddenberry for making Star Trek happen so many years ago! :] Its had a big impact on so many folks and society at large. And its just plain fun :]

Happy Birthday Mr. Franks!

112. Mel - August 23, 2011

@ Christopher Roberts

I just like to see the Federation deal with the loss of Vulcan instead of making everything undone again. Too much time travel is a bad thing.

113. Christopher Roberts - August 23, 2011

112. I do generally agree with that. Mainly because there are races out there, who would want to seize the opportunity to bring down the Federation and extend a hand to Vulcan refugees in the same ploy. The Romulans are clearly right at the top of that list.

114. Christopher Roberts - August 23, 2011

It’s difficult to wrap my head around Star Trek lately.

Having a foot in what was (the Prime universe) and what might’ve happened, could happen because of those couple of disasters Nero caused.

Too many possiblities to explore in a two-hour film. While the restrictions of canon placed on it in the past, often forced inventiveness and you just had to allow other things to slide… (like set design changing for no reason between films, two actors having played the same character) or it’ll just drive you nuts.

I suppose the answer is to stay on the course they’ve set. See how it turns out. But not forget what happened last time. Find a way to explain some of the common WTF moments – more fall-out from the Kelvin’s destruction affecting the Federation, which also adds reasoning to Kirk’s rapid promotion to Captain. Then what happens to Vulcan survivors next…

115. John from Cincinnati - August 23, 2011

A new Trek series?

http://whatculture.com/tv/david-foster-readying-to-pitch-new-star-trek-t-v-series-to-cbs.php

and it takes place in the correct timeline! Woop woop!

116. Enterprisingguy - August 23, 2011

@115:

It seems Trekweb is becoming the place to go for news these days. That story was posted there yesterday. They have been consistently several days ahead of this site lately on any and all Trek news. There are some interesting facts in the comments section regarding David Foster.

Anthony…..any chance of a new article sometime soon for us to chew on? Throw us a bone even if it’s just a Trek episode to discuss.

117. Andy Patterson - August 23, 2011

@72

Very interesting,…as Arte Johnson used to say.

William Tiberius Rice. Also interesting. Wonder why this bit of trivia doesn’t come up much. You ever notice how the press pretty much quotes the same things that one guy originally says?

118. Craiger - August 23, 2011

#116, I am thinking the same thing. Trekweb has more updates than TrekMovie. I am thinking about going back to them

119. Mel - August 23, 2011

http://trekweb.com/articles/2011/08/22/Interview-Producer-Reveals-Proposed-New-Star-Trek-TV-Series-Concept-Details-New-Series-Idea-Has-Not-Yet-Been-Pitched-Officially-to-CBS.shtml

Trevino: Star Trek has now been re-imagined via JJ Abrams well received vision of Gene Roddenberry’s original series. Can you elaborate on whether your series will follow that same path?

Foster: Though Kevin and I did thoroughly enjoy Star Trek (2009), the vision that we have created is true to the “pre-2009 screen canon” (TV and movies). We were also careful with the Star Trek: Enterprise canon as well. Through the years, I have had the chance to get to know many of the original series cast, crew, and even some of the studio execs. I have developed an extremely deep passion for the original vision of Gene Roddenberry. And while Star Trek has moved on with other series that were not exactly in line with Gene’s original vision, the roots are there to tap into.

Trevino: What is the time frame of your series?

Foster: The series is set in the post-Voyager era, and is designed to return Star Trek to its original series roots in big and mighty ways, without disregarding the other series and movies. As Star Trek (2009) was an alternate timeline, it will not conflict with any canon there either (Note: David does accept it as an “alternate canon”, if you will). The co-creators are avid believers in Gene Roddenberry’s ‘positive view of the future’ and intend to bring Star Trek back to its origins while moving forward with the timeline, integrating the best aspects of each of the previous series.

———-

It doesn’t make any economical sense to go back to the old universe and make a post Voyager era series. CBS will never consider this. The next Star Trek series will surely play in the new movies universe.

120. dmduncan - August 23, 2011

Well if you go to the website of 1947 Entertainment it’s obvious that they’ve done no meaningful work with which to present themselves. They’re looking for investors, but they don’t have anything to entice investors WITH, unless I missed something there. So why is this a story? I mean I also have a 3 movie Star Trek saga outlined and some sketches. But I’m not a story, nor should I be. They’re not even actually pitching it to anybody at CBS according to the link. They are HOPING to pitch it, really. And I wish them good fortune, but why is that anything more than crossed fingers? They have a date and an appointment to pitch it? Maybe that’s a story. But they don’t even have that yet. So it’s way premature to be celebrating anything.

And that they have it set after Voyager is disappointing, so I can’t even say that their excitement is rubbing off on me.

121. dmduncan - August 23, 2011

“The series is set in the post-Voyager era, and is designed to return Star Trek to its original series roots in big and mighty ways, without disregarding the other series and movies.”

They lost me with this sentence. I think all new Treks should follow the alternate universe idea and just do same characters with new adventures, new stories, and to hell with trying to make everything fit everything else.

I am totally uninterested in continually marching into the future of the Star Trek universe. With all the takes and retakes on Spiderman, Batman, and Superman over the years, WHY does Star Trek have to take itself so seriously that it restricts itself to the universe of things that have been done before to try to fit with them as some historical progression through time???

It is what I like least about the franchise, and the proposed new series is going to play right along with that. No thanks.

I don’t give a damn about what kind of superhero Batman’s great great grandson is. And I don’t care about life in the 25th century of Star Trek. the 23rd century is enough to say all you need to say to the people of today. When you get into this virtual history of canon you are missing the point of the art which is to help get you OUT of a reality that is too insular, which is what canon creates and which is why Star Trek is best when it helps to reconnect you to your world; I think canon gets in the WAY of that.

Here’s MY vision of Star Trek: You do an epic story using the original TOS characters in a recognizably TOS universe that covers 3 seasons. Beginning, middle, and END. Three seasons. That’s it.

No obeisance to canon, no trying to explain it in the context of everything that came before. No trying to make each year of the series match a year in the five year mission. No trying to show every mission they went on in that time. You just DO IT that way, and you leave out all the superfluous soapy Wesley’s-first-zit type trivia we are bound to get with a seven year series, and you let fans assume that it’s an alternate universe if they want to explain the differences that way, and if they don’t — so what?

You tell one tight, epic, MEANINGFUL story that ranges across the galaxy and you use the best set of characters the franchise ever produced to do it.

Why the hell fuss with a seven year series when more than half of it is more likely to be crapped out on a schedule and written to fit around the commercials, than not?

Why is it preferable to have lots of crap instead of less crap but more frequent peaks of greatness?

I just don’t get why so many people only aspire to have crap. After seeing what BSG accomplished I personally will never sit for anything less on TV again. Even if it has the name Star Trek on it. I would rather the next incarnation of Star Trek on TV see BSG’s bet and raise it double than to fall back into the same old episodic formula.

122. Vultan - August 23, 2011

#121

23rd Century, 25th Century—who cares! They’re just numbers.

As long as these guys are able to tell compelling sci-fi stories, let ‘em make a Trek show. Doesn’t matter what universe or timeline. Just give us something NEW!!! New ship, new crew, new stories. IDIC all the way!

And please, no more remaking of TOS. Those characters are great, but there’s nothing wrong with trying to make OTHER great characters. Yes, it’s risky, but pretty much everything worthy in life involves… (class, anyone…? anyone…?) risk.

Don’t limit Trek to tracing paper, to the safety net of Hollywood “creativity.”
It’s so much better than that.

123. dmduncan - August 23, 2011

@122: Well if they’re just numbers then why keep trying to create a universe of continuity moving forward from the 23rd century? I don’t get a kick out of that. Apparently not many other viewers did either or Star Trek would still be on TV. The TNG movies tanked. There were no DS9 movies, no Voyager movies, and no Enterprise movies. Yet the same old characters from the 60′s were brought back and appealed to general audiences more than Picard’s crew ever did in the theater.

I don’t want a virtual universe of things and events mapped out for me. If you ARE going to tell compelling stories, there hasn’t been a set of characters to do it better with than the originals. So if they are going to remake Star Trek at all? Hell yes, TOS is the only thing to remake. I don’t want to see Batman’s legacy, I want to see Batman, and I’d rather not see any Star Trek anymore than to see them keep trying to hatch new versions of the same old idea when the lightning struck most powerfully the first time.

So I’d much rather see TOS remade than to see the franchise slowly milked to death a second time. Or not at all. I can live with not seeing Star Trek return to TV as well. In fact I prefer it that way if it’s just going to be new ship new characters, same premise. That premise hasn’t been original since the 1960′s, and just giving it new faces and new ships camouflages the unoriginality of the premise.

124. dmduncan - August 23, 2011

But at least when you have the original iconic characters in the premise that they made a cultural phenomenon, you can’t say the originals are unoriginal. You can say it’s unoriginal to redo it, but at least you are not pretending to be original by populating the same premise with different people and ships and aliens.

That’s milking the franchise to death and as a fan of Star Trek in general, I won’t watch it. BSG was amazing to me. It was groundbreaking. the world would be a poorer place if the only BSG we had was the original cheesy show because the remake was so much more epic and thought provoking.

So no more “old” Star Trek in new uniforms and spaceships for me. I want a remake as bold and provocative in its own way as BSG was in its, or nothing. I’m not going to waste my time watching it just because they stuck the name Star Trek on a TV show. And I just don’t see how it’s going to be good doing the same old thing while pretending to be new with new faces in a new time, etc.

I mean think about it, fans. If you are going to redo Mission Impossible, why would you create a new set of characters elsewhere in the IMF instead of bringing the original ones to the big screen? If you are going to reshoot The Munsters, why on earth would you make it about the Munster’s cousins?

Where else but in Star Trek do people insist on what ends up being progressively weaker versions of the original premise?

125. dmduncan - August 23, 2011

So yeah, let’s do Mr Ed’s Son because we already did Mr Ed, and that’s so unoriginal now.

What’s the difference???? Do we really need TWO shows about DIFFERENT talking horses?

It’s the same with Star Trek as far as I’m concerned. Why would it be otherwise?

126. DeShonn Steinblatt - August 23, 2011

116.

Because it is not news. David Foster is a nobody with no screen credits and, more importantly, CBS is not accepting pitches.

127. Jack - August 23, 2011

124. “So no more “old” Star Trek in new uniforms and spaceships for me. I want a remake as bold and provocative in its own way as BSG was in its, or nothing.”

I’m in. What do I have to sign?

Although, with these new faces and new ships… and an open future (and, yeah, past)* you could be pretty bold and provocative. Enough with what we’ve already seen. Respect the characters, whatever that means, sure, to a point… but…

Hopefully, collapsing Vulcan wasn’t just a stunt and really does mean no f%%%ing holds barred. Otherwise, what a waste of storytelling potential.

If they stick to the same musty 45-year-old stories, we might as well just indulge the resore-the-timeline people with a direct-to-DVD Star Trek 13: It’s Exactly the Same Again, Happy Now?

* I was reminded yet again of how much hey-you-can’t… hey,wait!-that’s-not-supposed-to… baggage Trek has tonight after reading a review for Greg Bear’s TOS-era Corona. The Amazon.com reader was angry that it showed Federation technology far more advanced than TNG [brain implants and the like] and that the ship violated TNG’s warp 10 rule.

PS. The TNG warp 10 rule is lame.

128. Red Dead Ryan - August 23, 2011

In my opinion, a new “Star Trek” series doesn’t necessarily have to feature the TOS characters. In fact, I think from now on the TOS characters will remain on the big screen. They’ll just recast every so often, ala James Bond, Batman, Spiderman, etc.

My favorite Trek series is “Deep Space Nine”. I consider it the best because it had it all. It had conflict, humor, action, space battles, adventures, and a good mix of familiar and not-so-familiar characters. It featured the best of TOS and TNG, while adding something new to the franchise.

I say the new series should take place in the J.J universe, either in the 23rd or 24th centuries. No further ahead though. Have it involve a starbase around a non-M class planet (inhabited by non-humanoid aliens) with multiple starships based there. Somewhere deep in the Beta Quadrant, where there is still space to explore without having to rely on Romulans, KIingons, Borg etc., though they could make appearances from time to time. The main characters should be made up of non-humanoids as well as humanoids, both familiar and unfamiliar.

With multiple starships involved, the opportunities could open up, especially in an area of space far, far away from the Federation. A starbase and a half dozen Federation ships. That’s it. Plenty of opportunities for conflicts, as well as co-operation between Starfleet officers and alien species.

And instead of the usual twenty-five episode seasons made up of 42-44 minute episodes, the new show could have seasons of ten-to-thirteen episodes running one-and-a-half hours each without commercials on Sy Fy, HBO, AMC, Space (in Canada) etc. Each episode could be a mini-movie.

The show’s influences could come from TOS, DS9 as well as from non-Trek shows and movies such as “Battlestar Galactica”, “Serenity”, the original “Star Wars” films, etc.

129. Jack - August 23, 2011

127. Sorry, I’d thought we were talking about the movie. That series story was pretty speculative, no?

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132. dmduncan - August 23, 2011

127: “If they stick to the same musty 45-year-old stories, we might as well just indulge the resore-the-timeline people with a direct-to-DVD Star Trek 13: It’s Exactly the Same Again, Happy Now?”

Yeah, I don’t want the same thing anymore. I love the Star Trek that’s been done, but that doesn’t mean I want it to be done the same way all over again. I watch hardly any current TV. So I have to have a good reason to tune into a current show, and Star Trek — The Third Generation is not IT. But I do see a lot of potential in the Star Trek universe and in the TOS characters, and I wish somebody would tap into it.

Hell, I would love to see a new vision of Star Trek every few years from somebody different instead of it being the rigidly controlled and slowly productive franchise that it is.

133. Vultan - August 23, 2011

#123

Hey, you’re free to enjoy this current mining operation called “brand recognition,” but some of us would like to see something at the very least pretends to be original. The TNG era had its time, and, despite your assertion that it “tanked,” it was [for the most part] successful. And yes, eventually it did become stagnant. But each incarnation had the audacity to be slightly DIFFERENT—uuummm, I wrote a bad word….

Picard definitely wasn’t the “son” of Kirk. They’re two completely different characters. Same with Sisko… and on… and on… and on. This wasn’t masking unoriginality. It’s called TRYING. But hey, if this new universe Abrams and Co. have marketed—excuse me—”created” is your idea of what Star Trek is, you’re welcome to it.

Just don’t be surprised if Paramount reboots Kirk and Spock again in a few years when things aren’t as… profitable. For an example: see your ‘Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman.’

134. Michael Hall - August 23, 2011

@93 dmduncan–

When I noted that Herb Solow had virtually claimed co-creator credit with Gene Roddenberry I was exaggerating for effect . . . but only somewhat. Not content to state that he cleaned up Roddenberry’s series sales pitch (that being his job, after all), he goes on to take the credit for several key elements of the show as it developed, not to mention portraying the Great Bird in meetings as a fumbling, tounge-tied idiot savant. (Maybe he was, for all I know. But that’s definitely not the guy I saw onstage, save for the last time just months before his death, when age and illness had at last brought him really low.)

And while I have great respect for Bob Justman, who always struck me as a decent, hardworking guy (and much less self-aggranizing than just about anyone else in the Trek cast or crew save DeForest Kelley), I still stand by what I said regarding the perils of overly trusting memories about events that took place so many years ago. To take just one example: the book’s claim that the network’s rejection of “Number One” came about not because (as claimed by Roddenberry) the character tested poorly with 1964-era audiences not prepared to accept a woman as second in command of a futuristic spaceship, but because the NBC brass, in addition to not caring for Majel Barrett’s performance, simply didn’t want to be put in the position of casting a producer’s mistress for such an important role in an experimental (and likely to be expensive) TV series. Well, maybe so. Solow’s claim (and it appears to be his, not Justman’s, since he seems to be presenting NBC’s position regarding equal opportunity on Starship bridges) seems plausible, with the added benefit of (a) countering what would appear to be a well-established myth, (b) being somewhat salacious (“Lead actress is expensive failed pilot sleeps with her producer!”), and (c) manages to paint Roddenberry as a yarn-spinner and something of a hypocrite. But really, isn’t it just possible that both explanations for the dropping of the “Number One” character contain some truth: that the network used low audience test scores in support of nixing a concept and execution they never much cared for in the first place? Preview House still sits on Sunset Boulevard, churning out its questionnaires and audience surveys, and I wouldn’t be surprised if those from the original Star Trek test screenings weren’t sitting in a file or archive somewhere. Unearthing those results would be a real service to those of us who care about such things, but Inside Star Trek was too busy peddling gossip to bother.

Like most SF fans, I happen to be very fond of FORBIDDEN PLANET. Never would I argue that it wasn’t an influence on Roddenberry when he created Star Trek–hell, Roddenberry’s own, authorized biography says as much. Where I differ with the estimable Mr. “Ballz” and dmduncan is my belief that FP’s influence was entirely generic in nature. Which is to say, there is nothing particularly original–hell, nothing original at all–about the concept of a spaceship exploring the universe, staffed by a crew organized in a command structure reminiscient of the U.S. Navy. (I’ll even add to dmduncan’s parallels the relationship between the captain and ship’s doctor, along with the “laser cannon” attack on the planet’s surface. There are probably many more. By the way, the 17:01 connection is intriguing, and I’ll be sure to watch for it on my next viewing, but Matt Jeffries stated on several occasions that “1701″ was chosen because it would read clearly onscreen, and for no other reason.) But such tropes were common in magazine science fiction decades before anyone ever heard of Robby the Robot or Mr. Spock. Roddenberry was an avid reader of those stories, and while the plot of FORBIDDEN PLANET could very well have been the basis of one of Trek’s best episodes, at the time of its release it was regarded even by its creators as little more than a glorified “B” movie that turned out to be mildly profitable for MGM. An unscrupulous producer (as Mr. “Ballz” depicts Roddenberry) would have very little incentive to rip off such a modest success, unlike Glen Larson’s blatant attempt to cash in on the mega-popularity of STAR WARS with Battlestar Galactica a quarter-century later.

Concepts are a dime-a-dozen; it’s the execution and a real craftsman’s desire to do themselves proud, rather than just cash in on a momentary fad, that sets the truly memorable efforts apart and allows us to appreciate them even decades later, long after tastes and styles in things like acting and production design have changed. Cyril Hume and Irwin Block did that for FORBIDDEN PLANET, and will justly be remembered for it. But so did Gene Roddenberry.

135. Harry Ballz - August 23, 2011

134.

Michael Hall: “Dinner is served!”

Harry Ballz: “Oh? What am I having?”

Michael Hall: “Crow!”

Harry Ballz: “Delightful!”

(munch, munch, munch)

136. Basement Blogger - August 24, 2011

Hey, we’ve just been spammed by the Chinese. @ 130, 131.

137. Keachick (rose pinenut) - August 24, 2011

#136 I was wondering what these sorts of posts are about. They are appearing on other threads as well. UGH! Spammers – be gone.

Please, Anthony – if you can, make them be gone!

138. roy - August 24, 2011

The best thing that Star Trek ever did for Gene Roddenberry was provide a certain amount of financial security for his family in those initial three years. All the acolades that came in the decades to follow are important but secondary. If NBC hadn’t not have taken up his idea of a tv show, those seven working actors careers would have taken a different path entirely along with all the people working behind the scenes.

139. Enterprisingguy - August 24, 2011

126. DeShonn Steinblatt – August 23, 2011

“116. Because it is not news. David Foster is a nobody with no screen credits and, more importantly, CBS is not accepting pitches.”

I understand that David Foster is a nobody who’s trying to break into the business. But the part of the story that’s interesting is that he lays out a comprehensive detailed story pitch that the fans would love to discuss. Not like we’ve got a lot to talk about here these days.

Why is this any less of a story than when Anthony posted about the story that Frakes said he had (which wasn’t really his) that he DIDN’T pitch to CBS? It’s certainly at least as newsworthy as the frequent JJ “I’m here to tell you that I have nothing to tell you yet, but I might in another month…or not.” updates.

140. Harry Ballz - August 24, 2011

138.

Oh, an alternate reality, eh? Now THAT would be an interesting movie.

141. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - August 24, 2011

5 days with out a new post…. im feening for some new information or news!!!

142. Harry Ballz - August 24, 2011

I think Anthony may be on one of his unannounced vacations.

143. SoonerDave - August 24, 2011

@142 Was just thinking the same thing. No news in five days, but we’re still expecting that “big JJ Abrams announcement anytime…”

The thud you just heard was this site coming to a dead stop.

144. Red Dead Ryan - August 24, 2011

Not to mention that we don’t get any more Sci-Fi articles! I miss those. If Rosario is reading, please put one up! We’re starving!

And the big J.J Abrams announcement……well, I’m not expecting anything other than:

“I still haven’t decided to direct…..we are working on the script…..it’s still in the early stages……we’ll have an announcement next month. We don’t want to rush things because doing a sequel, especially a “Star Trek” sequel, requires a high level of commitment and focus. We want fans to go see our movie and come out saying, “Wow, that movie just blew my mind!”. We look at “The Empire Strikes Back” and “The Dark Knight” as being those types of sequels that were better than the originals.

…..We want to make sure everything meets our standards before we set a release date. We are disappointed that we aren’t going to make the June 29 2012 date, but I hope the fans can be patient. It’s an unfortunate part of our business. We have guys, Bob (Orci) and Alex (Kurtzman) who take this very seriously and have devoted all of their energy to making sure the new Trek film improves in every way on the first.

We have a wonderful cast, and can’t wait to see this family return on screen. We hope to begin filming next spring, but unfortunately, one can never be certain. I wish I had a crystal ball, but I don’t. But rest assured, we have some great ideas being hammered out. It’s just a matter of fitting it all together.

Bob Orci:

“……The fans are awesome. We are very fortunate to be working with something (“Star Trek”) that many people hold dear. I understand how they feel, because I’m a fan myself. It’s just that, we can’t do this without J.J Abrams. We also need time to do other things, such as planking and catching up on “Star Wars”.

On the percieved distractions and hijinx:

….It gets kind of crazy working with Damon as well. He’s quite the prankster. He likes to put mustard in my coffee! I’ve been working on a plan to get him back though. Alex may look all innocent and quiet, but believe me, he gives Damon a run for his money! He once put glue on my chair, and I ended up ripping my pants when I tried to get up! We all end up on the floor laughing our asses off!

On writing “Cowboys & Aliens”:

…..”Cowboys & Aliens” was an awesome project. Alex and I were extremely lucky to work alongside Jon Favreau, who like my good friend J.J (Abrams) is one terrific guy. He’s got quite a sense of humor as well.

….Dude, was I ever wetting my pants whenever Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford walked on set. I love James Bond and Han Solo, and just seeing those two iconic actors (and in the case of Harrison Ford, legendary) do what they do best is something I’ll forever be grateful for. It was a real blast working on C&A. It’s a great script based on a classic graphic novel. People will love the movie. We combined two great genres, which in many ways aren’t that different, into one movie. We didn’t have that difficult of a job in writing the script since the graphic novel laid it all out for us. We just transferred it to the big screen. People will have as much fun watching it as I did working on it!”

145. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - August 24, 2011

I emailed Rosario last night and asked her if she was going to be doing sifi articles or movies in production articles and i did not get a responce back…. If you see this Rosario please get us some updates!!

146. Red Dead Ryan - August 24, 2011

#145.

Rosario is actually a guy. Probably why you didn’t get a response! :-)

147. Ens Mike of the Terran Empire - August 24, 2011

Looks Like Anthiny is on Vacation again. Reminds me of December.

148. Trekologist - August 24, 2011

Okay…. Looks like the site-boss is on a Caribbean Cruise this week. Hope he stays away from Irene!!! Off topic question time…. Who here is looking forward to the DC comics reboot? Thoughts anyone?

149. Craiger - August 24, 2011

Is running a blog that hard? :)

150. Vultan - August 24, 2011

#144

Well, despite what Orci said, “Cowboys and Aliens” was anything but awesome for me. It was an interesting concept. Should’ve been a fun, light-hearted sci-fi western, like “Back to the Future Part III.” But… it wasn’t.

What did you think of it, RDR?

151. John from Cincinnati - August 24, 2011

Lest we all forget this site has become the wading pool for all the JJ lemmings.

152. dmduncan - August 24, 2011

134: “he goes on to take the credit for several key elements of the show as it developed, not to mention portraying the Great Bird in meetings as a fumbling, tounge-tied idiot savant.”

I recall that impression when Gene pitched the idea to him, Herb Solow, which I found quite believable under the circumstances. He must have been nervous about it, but he clearly doesn’t depict Gene that way throughout the book either. When Gene starts to do that slow speaking thing in meetings, I don’t take it as a symptom of idiocy but as a trick Gene learned how to play, because if you believe Solow then Roddenberry comes across as a VERY tricky fellow and not idiotic at all. Roddenberry knew how to play things to get what he wanted.

But it is clear that Herb Solow and Gene Roddenberry had very different values and that Solow did not approve of Roddenberry’s ways, but I didn’t get the sense of an unbalanced portrait of Gene from Solow as an unlikeable fellow.

Also, from what I can tell, first mention of a problem with Majel Barrett’s role comes from Solow in a meeting with Jerry Stanley and Grant Tinker where he tries to sell them on unknown actress Majel Barrett BEFORE the pilot was shot:

Jerry Stanley: “Herb, this is madness. She’s his girlfriend. I remember her hanging around Gene’s office at MGM when he was doing The Lieutenant for us.”

If so, then there was trouble before any test audience had a peek at Majel Barrett, not JUST because she was his girlfriend, but because she was unknown and being put in the role of costar. Had she been his girlfriend AND a known competent actress it? Who knows if there would have been a complaint then?

AFTER the pilot there’s a conversation with NBC programming VP Mort Werner. Solow puts his words in quotation marks, but I take that as a paraphrase since there is no way I believe he recalls Mort’s words verbatim decades later:

“In varying degrees we’re not happy with some of the cast. We support the concept of a woman in a strong, leading role, but we have serious doubts as to Majel Barrett’s abilities to ‘carry’ the show as its costar.”

And I agree, by the way. Majel Barrett was not “leading lady” material in my estimation, and there was nothing extraordinary about her performances either as Number One or Nurse Chapel. She didn’t have either a face or a personality that POPPED! on screen.

Now, you can doubt ANYthing that is out of your own hearing and vision if you want to, and make things turn out in your own opinion however you prefer by selectively doubting. But I’m not going to do that. I don’t take everything as gospel since I know very well the tricks memory can play on me. But since Herb and Bob Justman were part of the actual history of Star Trek, I put tentative faith in their words about what happened more than any speculation I might conjure up about how it must have been beyond their exaggerations, which I do not doubt exist.

So a rigorous book on Star Trek history would be great. Are there no fans out there willing to step up to the challenge?

153. dmduncan - August 24, 2011

Also: When Herb Solow first (I think) mentions his concerns about Majel Barrett, it is not over the matter of Roddenberry’s relationship with her but over the question of her familiarity:

“It’ll be a hard sell, Gene. I don’t know her work. In some lesser role, okay, no problem, but NBC will want a better-known actress for the female lead. It could hurt us if she’s not up to the part.”

So the concern seems to be not that she was his girlfriend but that his relationship with her was being used to give her a position which someone else could have fit better.

Majel Barrett’s career appears to have begun in 1957, and her IMDB profile doesn’t appear to show anything noteworthy prior to her appearance in Star Trek, so when Solow said he wasn’t familiar with her, I believe it. I also don’t see what there was in her career of bit parts prior to Star Trek — which had been going on for 9 years! — to suggest her, from the standpoint of history or star quality, for a costar’s role in a new series. So again what Herb Solow says makes sense.

154. dmduncan - August 24, 2011

She’d been working for 9 years and nobody but Gene Roddenberry picked her out of a lineup to be a star? And then besides Star Trek — it fills most of her filmography in one incarnation or another — she doesn’t have much of a career either. But she does continue to appear in other Gene Roddenberry projects. So the biggest segment of her career came in connection with Gene Roddenberry. Independent of Gene Roddenberry she was never a star, she was never a much sought after 1960s or 1970s version of Olivia Wilde. So again when Solow says the execs had those concerns, I believe it; and her history seems to reflect how she was generally received by almost everyone who made TV shows and movies — other than her husband.

155. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - August 24, 2011

Sure is slow around here. I know.

IT’S FESTIVAL!!!!!!! FESTIVAL!!!!!! FESTIVAL!!!!!!!!!!
FESTIVAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

156. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - August 24, 2011

IT IS THE WILL OF LANDRU.

157. Red Dead Ryan - August 24, 2011

#150.

I agree with you about “Cowboys & Aliens” not being any good. In fact, it has got to be one of the worst movies of the year. Pure crap.

By the way, Vultan, my post at #144 was written as an ironic joke. I just used the fact that J.J Abrams has continually delayed his announcements as the basis for my “fake news” reporting. I added Bob Orci just for some gentle ribbing. He did a great job last ime with “Star Trek”, but C&A didn’t pan out. I also mentioned how he likes to plank. ;-)

Also, I’m sure you can guess by my posting name that I’m a huge fan of “Red Dead Redemption”. I didn’t think Rockstar Games could top “Grand Theft Auto VI”, but they did it marvously with the RDR game.
“Red Dead Redemption” is an open world Western with great graphics, characters and story. It truly is epic. The expansion game, “Undead Nightmare” is a lot of fun too.

158. Red Dead Ryan - August 24, 2011

Damn, I should have made it clear in my post at 144 that I wasn’t quoting anybody, it was just me being sarcastic!

159. Vultan - August 24, 2011

#157

Oh, I knew you were being sarcastic. I was just wondering what you thought of C&A.

I’ve yet to play Red Dead Redemption. I thought your screen name was in reference to the infamous red shirt fatalities of Star Trek! Those poor fellows…. But hey, it did make for some great comedy in Galaxy Quest!

160. Vultan - August 24, 2011

Back to C&A—it seems to me the main problem with it (and most other modern westerns) is that it was sooo darn serious. The script wasn’t all that bad, but the tone Favreau chose just seemed way off the mark.

I watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes (man, that’s a clunky title) last week. It’s far from a perfect movie, but at least it was fun to watch. Not too serious. Not too light. The tone was just right, like with the “damn, dirty” original movie. ;)

161. Red Dead Ryan - August 24, 2011

#159.

I haven’t seen “Galaxy Quest” in over ten years. When I saw it, I thought it was okay, not great. Can’t remember too much about it to be honest. So I’ll have to pick it up on Blu Ray one of these days.

As for “Cowboys & Aliens”, I thought it was too big of a concept for a two hour film. Sci-fi is big concept on its own, and Westerns are big concepts on their own. Combining the two meant less in the way of character development as well as story. Daniel Craig looked like he wanted to return to Bond instead, and Harrison Ford was reduced to supporting actor. Plus the Native Americans were stereotyped once again. And why did the aliens have to go to all that trouble after coming all of this way just to steal gold? That was just dumb.

162. Basement Blogger - August 24, 2011

@ 157 RDR

Okay, I get to be the ass kisser here. I liked “Cowboys and Aliens.” I liked the action, and the excellent production values. The performances were good especially the smaller parts played by Clancy Brown (Preacher Meacham) and Sam Rockwell. (Doc) Nice themes of redemption and cooperation. And while I see why people criticized the movie, I enjoyed it. As far as the lack of fun, well the movie is about aliens mining our gold and dissecting humans. Ugh. You really can’t make human dissection fun.

I have not played Red Dead Redemption. Too many great games. I have played Grand Theft Auto IV and its add ons. GTA IV is classic. Great action and its funny too. I recommend you play the action RPG Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. They’re not perfect but are masterpieces. Both have great science fiction stories too. ME has the voices of Marina Sirtis Dwight Schultz and Armin Shimerman. ME 2 has Schultz, Shimerman and Michael Dorn. And ME 2 also features Martin Sheen, Tricia Helfer and Yvonne Strahovski. (Sarah in “Chuck.” )

163. Basement Blogger - August 24, 2011

@ 157 RDR

More on sci-fi video games. Hey, Dan Trachtenberg has made an excellent short movie based on the game Portal. (LINK) I’ll admit I loved Half Life 2 more than Portal but I give Portal thumbs up for originality. Anyway, the short film is very cinematic. Come on, Academy nominate a science fiction movie for best short.

Huffington Post story with Trachtenberg’s cool looking short.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/24/dan-trachtenberg-portal-film_n_935242.html

164. Vultan - August 24, 2011

#162

But they really didn’t have to go with human dissection at all. I mean, other than the phrase “Take me to your leader,” can you think of a more cliched alien invader theme?

A movie called “Cowboys and Aliens” should be fun, but the whole slice and dice human angle just dragged everything down. And it didn’t make sense as to WHY they would experiment on humans. What was their goal (other than setting up the plot device of Craig’s mysterious, patent-pending wrist-blaster-shackle-computer-targeting system magic semi-MacGuffin machine)?

As for the gold stealing, I didn’t think it was that bad a motive for coming to Earth. Right now, we (that is, the human race) are just beginning to look into exploring the Moon for mining purposes, and I don’t think it was that outlandish to give aliens similar motives.

But the filmmakers failed to give us a reason—or at least a hint of a reason—for their motives. What were they doing with the gold? Was it some sort of power source? Did they like a lot of ‘bling’ on their fingers? Or were they planning on time-traveling to the year 2011, take advantage of the higher gold prices, and retire to a gated community in Boca Raton, Florida?

Serious questions, indeed. ;)

165. Jack - August 24, 2011

164. they were trying to find better ways to exterminate humans? I know. It’s in a line, I think. But, yeah.

The gold part seemed a little silly to me, at least in execution, i guess the idea “even aliens are heading west to seek their fortunes” is, ‘er, cute… But the gaps went beyond the handy, standard ‘these are aliens, so we can’t possibly understand them or their motivations etc., so, we don’t have to explain shit’ loophole. And even the magic gold magnet seemed equally silly — they can suck gold through the earth but they need chains for grabbing folk (loved the chains, by the way — much better than the typical magic tele porter or people magnet [i guess i hate magnets]), can’t they do the gold-sucking from orbit? Whatever, iguesx we all know that aliens suck resources that don’t belong to them and do horrible things to the native population (I mean, we do it ourselves, here, so why wouldn’t aliens be like us… The-thinking goes)

166. Jack - August 24, 2011

Ps. Clancy Brown, SamRockwell and, of course, Adam Beach in the next Trek!

167. Vultan - August 24, 2011

#165

Okay. I must have missed that extermination line when I dozed off. But you’d think aliens that are capable of interstellar flight would also be able to split the atom. That seems a pretty efficient way of exterminating humans (yeah, I know that sounds terrible), and without the hassle of experimentation.

As for the gold—yeah, maybe if there had been a few lines of dialogue from Olivia Wilde’s character about what they were using the gold for it wouldn’t have come off as so silly.

Anyway, if Mystery Science Theater 3000 ever comes back, they’re gonna have plenty of material with this one. ;)

168. Basement Blogger - August 25, 2011

@ 164 Vultan

As much I liked the movie, yeah they didn’t bother explaining things until Olivia Wilde tells Craig that the magic Macguffin wrist device responds to his thoughts. And how he get the device, careless alien leaves wrist device next to Craig before he’s to be the next human frog is ludicrous. Another problem is that we know nothing of Olivia Wilde’s race except when she looks naked, everybody stops fighiting. :-)

Damon Lindelof was one of the writers on “Cowboys and Aliens.” In explaining why they wouldn’t explain the questions in Lost , he was worried about “midi-chlorians” from Star Wars I. Better to cut exposition than look lame. The problem with this approach is that you leave plot holes and confusion. See Star Trek’s “an alternate reality” line and that’s it. The other problem is Lindelof is one of the writers for the new Star Trek movie. I worry that Lidnelof will cut thoughtful dialogue to make a movie more digestible for the masses.

169. Anthony Thompson - August 25, 2011

142. Harry

There are at least 3 possibilities:

1. Anthony P. lost everything in Vegas and is now living on the streets, asking for spare change.

2. He won the jackpot and then thought to himself: “F*** this site; I’m going to Disney World!”.

3. He is on a self-imposed strike until JJ makes his ” big announcement”.

170. Andy Patterson - August 25, 2011

156. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire – August 24, 2011
IT IS THE WILL OF LANDRU.

Peace be with you. Joy and contentment. Are you of the body?

And yes, you guys talking Cowboys And Aliens…..yes, the whole gold thing was dumb. I was expecting a lot more out of that movie too.

171. Vultan - August 25, 2011

#168

Well, that’s a good point about the “midi-chlorian” factor. It’s a fine line to walk with sci-fi. You can go too far either way—the 1950s route, where a scientist in a lab coat explains for half an hour how the aliens are going to melt our brains, or you can go the more modern route and explain absolutely nothing. The aliens are here. They want gold. Pass the popcorn.

As for Star Wars, which is more deeply rooted in fantasy, I think the main reason fans were so upset about the midi-chlorian explanation of the Force was that it smacked of Trek style technobabble when none was needed. And it pretty much robbed all the spiritual, mystical qualities the series had. A punch in the gut to fans if ever there was one.

172. Basement Blogger - August 25, 2011

@ 171

Vultan says, ” I think the main reason fans were so upset about the midi-chlorian explanation of the Force was that it smacked of Trek style technobabble when none was needed. And it pretty much robbed all the spiritual, mystical qualities the series had.”

I agree. But Star Wars I was not sunk by the midi-chlorians. Its problems were Jar Jar Binks and his ilk. I could use less of Anakin as a a little kid. Could not believe at his age, he could pilot a star fighter.

By the way, the first Iron Man (1998) had about twenty five minutes of exposition before Tony Stark escapes. Some of it was scientific, and some of it was character. That exposition did not hurt the movie..

173. Anthony Thompson - August 25, 2011

Bob, “Cowboys and Aliens” was a very entertaining film! When I’d first heard the title, I’d expected it to be campy. But it of course it was anything but that! Harrison Ford gave one of his best performances ever and Daniel Craig was outstanding. Well done!

174. Jim Nightshade - August 25, 2011

hah last weeks ancient aliens on history was all about aliens mining gold n using n improving us as slaves–

175. Vultan - August 25, 2011

#172

Agreed. Jon Favreau got “Iron Man” right. Despite my disappointment with C&A, he’s still one of my favorite directors.

176. Basement Blogger - August 25, 2011

Back to Jonathan Frakes and alien life. In 1997, he narrated “UFOs: The Best Evidence Ever Caught On Tape.” He also narrated the controversial alien autopsy documentary. (1995)

So DMDUNCAN and interested Trekkers, the History Channel will air a documentary today, inspiired by Leslie Kean’s best selling book where she gets governement officials to go on the record and admit there are UFOs. The documentary is called Secret Access: UFOs On the Record. LINK. IF it’s like Kean’s book, it will be the best sightings.

Note that former Arizona governor Fife Symington initially mocked the Phoenix Lights. Now he says it was an alien craft. I like what Kean says about the disclosure of alien life.

“Even if we knew that we were not alone in the universe, somehow that knowledge alone could affect how we perceive ourselves and maybe affect the future of our civilization.” Leslie Kean.

Sounds like Frakes’ line in Star Trek: First Contact where first contact changes everything. Maybe the disclosure of alien life will change everything. And maybe man would be less interested in killing each other. Perhpas humans would work for the greater good.

Story includes CNN interview where Symington admits lights were real, trailer for documentary.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/23/ufo-evidence-revealed-his_n_934229.html#s129374&title=The_Remaining_Incidents

177. Jim Nightshade - August 25, 2011

dmduncan #154–what u say may be true but me personally i dont blame gr for trying to make his gal a star–i liked her as number two–and nurse chapel as well-i think majel barrett really shined in tng playing trois mom-a wonderfully comic character–she also took over as the 1st lady of trek when gr died-she was much loved by many of us fans-she was always appreciative of the fans–she was also the best damn computer voice ever-so i am glad gr helped her career–

178. Basement Blogger - August 25, 2011

@ 167

Vultan,

If you’re looking for recent releases for Mystery Science Theater 3000, there are better choices than Cowboys and Aliens. First, might I suggest the craptastic Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

And even better is Conan the Barbarian. There’s human sacrifice, a bunch of beheadings, a battlefield Cesarian, (yeah, that’s right) and a Rastafarian pirate.

And by the way, go watch “Eegah” mocked by the MSTK guys. You can catch it on Netflix. There a couple of Star Trek references. (TOS) I can’t name the Trek episodes. Anyway, I promiise you that you will laugh.

179. trekmaster - August 25, 2011

hey, where’s the news?

180. Jeff O'Connor - August 25, 2011

This site takes breaks sometimes as many of us have seen. I wouldn’t start worrying too much unless another week or so passes without any updates.

In the meantime (and I do hate to plug, truly) but if you’re hankering for a brief Trek fix until they get things running again check out trektoday.com for now. It usually has an OK variety of articles too.

trekweb’s got something about another potential television series (slim chance as usual but worth mentioning) if you wanna go see that one too. I’d imagine Anthony might want to cover that when he gets back.

181. Hugh Hoyland - August 25, 2011

Looks like JJ talked a little bit about a new Star Trek TV series. If anyone could make it happen its him. :]

But an animated series looks more likely to me (Crossing fingers).

182. Jeff O'Connor - August 25, 2011

Yeah, JJ’s an obvious candidate for that sort of thing. Maybe he’ll end up collaborating with that guy who’s trying to get a show pitched and together they can make something flashy enough that even CBS will cave and give it an honest chance.

183. Harry Ballz - August 25, 2011

169.

Anthony

Or

4. Anthony is holed up in some cheap motel with HIS version of an Orion Slave Girl.

184. T'Cal - August 25, 2011

As a birthday present, let’s give Mr. Frakes the Trek TV franchise! It would be in very good hands. Let JJA handle the nuTOS films and Frakes, and maybe Burton, TNG’s era in an animated or live action series.

I truly enjoyed Ms. Muldaer’s character, Dr. Pulaski. I liked that she and Picard respected each other but she was confident and spoke her mind especially when she disagreed with him. She was a better yang to his yin than Beverly was. BUT…I loved the relationship between Crusher and Picard and how it evolved. I can’t imagine not having episodes like Attached and All Good Things in which their relationship grew.

185. Red Dead Ryan - August 25, 2011

#162.

I’ll have to check out those “Mass Effect” games sometime, BB. Thanks for the recommendations!

As for Anthony Pascale, I hear he’s still in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, he’s stuck in a motel room with RuPaul. What a drag!

186. dmduncan - August 25, 2011

162: “Okay, I get to be the ass kisser here. I liked ‘Cowboys and Aliens.’”

I liked it too. It was a genre blending movie based on a comic book. That’s what I expected to see. That’s what I saw. I wasn’t disappointed.

187. dmduncan - August 25, 2011

177: “what u say may be true but me personally i dont blame gr for trying to make his gal a star”

I don’t either.

188. Vultan - August 25, 2011

#178

Yep. The guys at Mystery Science Theater would have plenty to choose from in recent years. Several worthy of “Plan 9,” so-bad-it’s-good sort of fame.

189. Craiger - August 25, 2011

I thought Anthony was going to let his staff post articles whenever he takes off? Then when he gets back, the articles he posts will be old news by then.

190. Keachick (rose pinenut) - August 25, 2011

I think Anthony Pascale may be afraid that he will come in for some more ass-kicking if he reports anymore no-news news items from the Bad Robot team. Anthony possibly feels as if he is a bit like the “meat in the sandwich” when it comes to his ability to report on the *progress* of the sequel Star Trek movie.

However, tomorrow (August 26 – it is already Friday 26/8/11 here in NZ) is the birthday of the actor who plays the new James Kirk and I am hoping that Anthony Pascale is putting together a thread to celebrate Christopher Whitelaw Pine’s 31st birthday.

(Of course, by now, if Bad Robot/Paramount had kept to the plan, Chris and co. should be finishing up with the filming of the Star Trek sequel by now and he’d be celebrating his birthday with having made another movie playing the iconic James T Kirk. But alas… Really there is nothing more to be said than hasn’t already been said.)

Anyway, given that it is already 26 August here, I wish Chris Pine the happiest of birthdays and a successful and fulfilling new year. All my best wishes and love to you. Take care, Chris!

191. Bobowing - August 25, 2011

trekweb posted 5 stories today

192. Chadwick - August 25, 2011

@ 189. Bobowing

Yea good call, trekweb is the alternate site I frequent.

193. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - August 25, 2011

This reminds me of last December when nothing new was posted for a while and we all just made our own stuff up and that post go to 2500 plus. Hmm. I wonder.

194. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - August 25, 2011

Hey Harry. AJ. Blogger and MJ. Want to see how far we can get this one.

195. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - August 25, 2011

Top TOS Trek Catch Phrases.
1. Im a Dr not a Bricklayer. MCcoy
2. Im a Dr. Not an Escolater.MCcoy
3. Im given it all shes got Capt. Scotty.
4. Im doing the best I can. Scotty.
5. Were losing Power Sir. Sulu.
6. Fasinating. Spock.
7. Im a Dr. Not an Historien. Dr. Bashier in Trials and Tribbleations.
8. Hes Dead Jim. MCcoy.
9. My Barrins. My poor Barrins. Scotty.
10. She can not take much more of this. Scotty

196. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - August 25, 2011

Top Star Trek Battle Eps.
1. Yesterdays Enterprise. Tng
2. The Doomsday Machine. Tos
3. Balence of Terror. Tos
4. The Defiant. DS9
5. End Game Voyager.
6. Regeneration. Ent.
7. The Ultimate Computer. TOS.
8. The best of Both Worlds Part 1 and 2. TNG
9. The Expanse. Ent
10. Sacrifice of Angels. DS9.

197. Craiger - August 25, 2011

DS9 – The Dominion War

198. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - August 25, 2011

#197. It’s there. Sacrifice of Angels. Great Action.

199. Keachick (rose pinenut) - August 25, 2011

#9. My Barrins. My poor Barrins. Scotty.” LOL

Scotty never barrins. He had bairns which is old Scottish for child. Those engines seemed to be his “children” and the nacelles…well, they were “ample” on the Enterprise in the new Trek…:) as in “I can’t wait to get my hands on her ample nacelles, if you’ll pardon the engineering parlance”.

200. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - August 25, 2011

We all Loved Scotty in Tos.
I loved Scotty in Trek 09 almost as much.

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