Posters, Directors, Books, Robots, Psuedosience and Paramount Politics in a Presidents Day Roundup

Here are some some bite sized Trek nuggets to hold you over until the next item on TOSR or STXI.

To promote TOSR is running a giveaway for a new poster for Star Trek Remastered. Got to this page to enter to win this 2′ x 3′ poster made for syndicated stations. ran a poll on who should direct Star Trek XI and Joss Whedon came out on top with almost half the votes. Abrams came in 2nd to last with only 14%, click here for full results.

Simon & Schuster have announced the winners of the 10th (and final) Strange New Worlds fan fiction contests. Strange New Worlds 10 will be released this Summer.

Hugo and Nebula award winning author Robert J. Sawyer (also a friend of this site) has an interesting new essay on AI at Sawyer takes a look at robots and androids through through popular culture including their depiction on Star Trek, check it out.

Star Trek is being cited as one of the reasons for a rise in the belief of pseudoscience and specifically UFOs. See the USA Today for more.

Even though some have speculated that J.J. Abrams main benefactor at Paramount Brad Grey may be in trouble, Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone tells the Hollywood Reporter he is happy with where things are going with Paramount.

Happy Presidents Day from
In honor of Presidents Day, check out this Memory Alpha article on the 17 (out of 43) US Presidents who have been referred to by Star Trek over the years.

Mount  Rushmore as depicd in Star  Trek V

Although a number of presidents have been referred to, only one was ever depicted on the show. In the TOS Episode "The Savage Curtain" Abraham Lincoln (or a recreation of him) gave Kirk a helping hand. Lee Bergere who portrayed Lincoln recently passed away

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I hope Josh is checking the article on UFO’s.
Oooh.. am I first?
Thanks for the tidbits, Anthony.

The Joss Whedon vote is because there’s a huge web-savvy fanbase out there that worships his every move. They were noisy enough that they convinced Universal that Firely could be a hit movie. Instead, Serenity was a massive embarrassment that no bugger went to see. Yet it won every web-based film of the year vote. Funny thing, that! Nu-Doctor Who fans and Browncoats are the bane of intelligent SF discussion on the web!

The JJ Abrams rumours such as the above are the result of an unpleasant section of Trek fandom that has issues with the new new film but haven’t yet organised themselves the way did. Right now, they’re indulging in a cowardly whispering campaign!

I think Joss Whedon is terrible.

He’s created some TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE, television shows. Serenity, had terrible focus — maybe it seemed poorly directed, because it had such a modest budget, so maybe he’s not the worst DIRECTOR in the world.

His Alien Resurrection script was awful.

Why Joss Whedon?

His episode of The Office last week was pretty good.

I don’t think Joss Whedon is a terrible choice, his detractors too often resort to hyperbole concerning his talent (or lack thereof).

However, I would like to see an established FILM director sitting in the chair (and that means that I would prefer Abrams focus on his producing duties instead of directing). Past Trek movies (with the exception of TMP) too often feel like expensive TV movies. Nick Meyer’s movies had no budget so they were limited by soundstages mostly. Ironically, the film so many Trek fans have soured on recently, The Voyage Home, was very cinematic in flavor due to its wide use of locations. But for this new movie, I would like someone who can help elevate the material to an epic scale. No mas tv show directors, please!

I don’t think Joss Whedon would be a good fit, despite his absolute genius.

I also vote no to Whedon. He’d put too much ironic comedic flair into Trek.

Am I the only one that was a little freaked out by that image of Mt. Rushmore with the fifth head?!

#3 – I’ve read the first draft script of Alien Resurrection, and it was awesome–and I’m not intimately familiar with anything else he’s done. Blame the failure of that film on a bad choice for director (who had to have the script translated into French), bad casting (Winona Ryder; the original choice was Joan Jett, which was inspired) and the studio, which hired both of them.

In the original first draft, the last third of the film was completely different, with another huge action set piece, and a wholly different ending (the alien had wings and could fly). It also was a cliffhanger to set up Alien 5.

Oh, well.


Yeah, that New Mt Rushmore was nothign but a silly sop to the Thought Police. Glad saner heads prevailed on that one.

The USA Today article was yet another example of that rag’s reporting prowess. I wonder what thir circulation owuld be if people actually had to purchase it, rather than have it shoved under their door at every businessman’s hotel in the US?

About directing:

I hope Nicholas Meyer would direct.
But I would also like to see Joss Whedon or Jonathan Frakes taking the job.

I’m not understanding the whole Yosemite/Rushmore thing for TrekV.
Kirk “fell” off ElCap in Yosemite, yes? But Sulu and Chekov are exploring Rushmore (with a 5th head). Mount Rushmore is in the Black Hills of South Dakota…..
Good thing it was all cut… makes no sense.

Were Sulu and Chekov supposed to have also been in Yosemite?

Sulu and Chekov weren’t supposed to be holidaying with Kirk, Spock and McCoy in TFF, as far as I could tell!

Whedon is an interesting TV director, but his big screen debut was very disappointing and uncinematic. I agree about the Alien Resurrection screenplay. being badly directed. Whedon said he cried when he saw the film, because it wrecked his script. Jeunet and Whedon are both good at what they do, but were ultimately a bad combination on a botched project. I’m a massive Buffy and Angel fan and I liked (not worshipped) Firefly!

A solid film director is what we need for this film. Abrams and his team are good at making cinematic TV and M:I:III is well-regarded!

But I want spectacle. This film needs the ‘WOW!’ factor. I mean . . . they’re travelling through space and going to other planets for Christ’s sake. That’s should feel amazing in our drab, utilitarian world where lots of people don’t even believe the lunar landings ever really happened .

STXI needs to inspire the same way TOS did!

I’d be happy to see Josh Weldon direct XI, but I agree it would be better to have a director with better film credits. One from left field, how about Ron Howard.

I’d hate to spoil the enthuaism, but the biggest name director ever to direct a Star Trek movie – who had edited Citizen Kane, directed The Sound of Music and The Day the Earth Stood Still. (and I happen to really admire his gritty boxing noir, The Set-Up).. was Robert Wise. The result was a film that was visually dynamic to an extent no Star Trek film has been before or since, with a beautiful score crafted by Jerry Goldsmith, brilliant effects by Apogee, and some of the most turgid, third-season-esque acting from the TOS cast and a script big on ideas and lacking in character.

Besides Mr. Wise, who exactly has directed films in the Trek franchise? Well, the first officers (Leonard Nimoy, III-IV, Jonathan Frakes, IIX-IX), a television director (David Carson, VII) and a film director quite frankly not of Wisean stature, Nicholas Meyer (II and VI). The less said about Baird (X), the better.

So, Wise and Meyer. Wise’s film adopts a serious science fiction approach, depicting Star Trek in a deadpan these-people-are-boring-professionals-on-a-large-advanced-spaceship attitude that was never seen before or since. Meyer chucked out the elegant visual flair of Wise, went for an anachronistic swashbuckler edge with a dollop of irony, and had our heroes once again act like larger-than-life, theatric archetypes.

Which was precisely what the film franchise needed. To a greater extent than many space operas, Star Trek is about its characters. Not the visual flair, not the special effects, not pseudo-scientific accuracy. Therefore, what the next film needs is a director who is a good character director. (Well, that, or Fritz Lang, but he’s been dead since the 1950s. A man can dream, though…)

So, ahem. Does Whedon fit that bill? I’d have my reservations. My main experience of him was a few episodes of his own space show and the subsequent film. I found it mildly entertaining and I think it’s obvious he has skill in that area, laced with the kind of irony and humor that so many of the subsequent Star Trek series were lacking. This said, I despise his vampire schlock, but I was never the target audience, now was I?

There’s one objection to him I’m surprised no one has mentioned, however. The film Serenity has a quasi-Federation type organization as the villains, whose main antagonist, the Operative, advocates a utopian vision of humanity not dissimilar to the Star Trek one. While Roddenberry’s Utopians would hardly condone such unethical practices as he carries out, it’s obvious that Whedon is sceptical of the implied perfectability of humanity adovcated by Star Trek.

Of course, neither did Nicholas Meyer buy this utopianism, and quite frankly when Roddenberry got free rein to enunciate his utopianism he could be incredibly boring.

16, Kegan, that’s a pretty sound assesment of the directing pool thus far in Trek film history.

For a low budget science fiction film, I thought Serenity was quite good. One could do worse than Whedon as a director.

How about adding Joe Johnston to the wishlist for a director? The Rocketeer was one of the best fantasy adventure films of the past 20 years, he can do drama well (October Sky) and obviously knows his way around effects-heavy productions. Now if we can just steal him away from Jurassic Park IV…

The main problem with Star Trek the Motion Picture was the script…
Whoever directed it would have had problems with that…
Even so, over the years, it is the easiest one for me to watch multiple times…

I don’t care who directs it. It is a mistake to try to recast Kirk and Spock and since Shatner and Nimoy are too old, I don’t want to see them, either. I see no point in setting the movie in that time period. We know what that looks like and I, personally, don’t want to see it any other way.

The way they make movies nowadays, they will screw it up big-time. Quick cut this… Quick cut that…explosion….quick cut. It will not look or feel like Star Trek the way I want to see it. How do I know all this? I don’t. But I bet I’m right.

and if I’m wrong, I will be the 5th to say it…

and yes, I know, nobody is going to make me go see it… :)

I love that ST:TOS:Remastered “promotional” poster artwork.

The updated CGI Enterprise would have looked great with this “blueish/white” colour lighting…

#8.. yeah. And, I’m being a little geeky her, but the 5th head would be impossible to sculpt since there is no rock on the right side of Washington’s head at Mt. Rushmore! I’ve been there! I’v seen it! lol

Whedon is an excellent writer and a competent television director, but I don’t think there’s any reason to assume he’s the guy to direct a Star Trek movie. He might be a good showrunner for a Star Trek TV show, but that’s as far as I’d go. But regardless of his detractors’ comments, I think he is a very talented writer.

If you look real hard at that painting you can see a tiny Cary Grant and Eve Marie Saint crawling around.

Hmm. I just realised I forgot all about William Shatner and V. I guess I blocked that out of my mind…

Couldn’t they have carved our first African-American president next to Lincoln, instead of next to the two up there that could have OWNED her?

#24 OUCH!

But funny.

Is it just me or does the added face on Mount Rushmore look like Alan Shore from Boston Legal, wearing a wig?

Any news from Shatner’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel last night? Just curious if the next Trek movie came up in conversation.

What Joss Whedon did to “Alien” shows that he’s an ironist who would be out of depth in the Greatest Generation-conceived themes of Trek. His little schtick is cute and pleasant, but he’s not someone whose work you can sink your teeth into. What Trek needs is not more lightweight character antics, but material like “The Doomsday Machine” that’s built on strong plots and that real sense of awe and loss you get from the best of the franchise.

Speaking of Shatner, I just saw the latest promo for Boston Legal. If there is really the ability for the Younger Shat to meet his older self today, I wonder if he’d be appalled at where his career went! I am sure he’d still be happy about the way Trek went, but the later goofiness of his work maybe not so given how serious he was in his earlier years? Maybe? Come to think of it, he was goofy then too.

Like the man said, “work is work”. Shatner has done remarkably well in a profession where 90% of its members are unemployed at any given time. He may not always come off as the picture of dignity, but I really admire his work ethic. The man likes to work and make a living, and where I come from, that is a very admirable quality.

When I’m a fat, bald 75-year old has been hamoraptor, I want to be doing as well as William Shatner.

I’m just recovering from reading that header title. Whew!

#24 – Couldn’t they have carved our first African-American president next to Lincoln, instead of next to the two up there that could have OWNED her?

Why? Lincoln was a racist.

Well, I have to say after watching Amok Time and Doomsday, that even in these relatively dark and heavy episodes, humor shined through. The humor was not at anyone’s expense, or the story’s expense, it was a natural outcropping of well developed characters.

If there is one thing I feel Joss Whedon has excelled at, it’s character development, and understanding how to insert humor into a serious story without lessening the impact of the story. (Best example of this in sci-fi is The Empire Strikes Back)

I think Abrams is perfectly capable and a good choice, but I would be very interested to see what Joss Whedon would do with Star Trek…, as a scripter or a director, for that matter.


33 – Mark. Racist may apply or not. Lincoln was a pragmatist. He believed Blacks had the right to self-determination, but not the means. His view towards a gradual emancipation gave way to a flat out emancipation for political reasons.
It’s more fun to think of the schoolboy version, but that’s the fact of it.

You gotta love the “Fat Shat”!

He used to be such a serious, dramatic actor and now he’s become such a “ham-bone” and quite adept at comedy. After watching the Shatner Roast a few months back, I admired that he could really laugh at himself, especially after being the brunt of such brutal jokes!

Shatner is really enjoying the final years of his life and he’s living life to the max! I hope I’m having as much fun when I’m in my seventies..

Mike :o

Most historians agree that in the beginning of his political career Lincoln was both a racist and white supremicist. But it should be noted that this was also the prevailing attitude of 99% of the white US population at the time- both North and South.

However, by the end of the civil war, Lincoln’s views towards blacks, equality and slavery had changed so dramatically and radically- it cost him his life…

37 & 33 – Might be an interesting Trek thread. It is very tricky to interpret Lincoln until you accept that it was the 1860’s. Trek (even when showing us Lincoln) used 1960’s middle American values as its lens. Even a mere 40 years later, the prevailing sexual unease of Trek looks quaint. Consider also the idea (supported by Roddenberry and the writers) that it made perfect sense for the Federation to espouse non-interferance, but then beamed down each week to set right civilizations gone wrong. Worse (or better) they told the aliens how wrong they were, and smile when the aliens readily agreed. Sticking to the mores of the 1960s was a dramatic choice. The 23rd Century is idealized, but very much America 1966-69. (Watch Shatner’s reaction in the conclusion of Bread and Circuses. Of course he’s used to it as an actor, but it’s still interesting to see a Jewish man express glee at the thought of a universal Christ.)
As I say, these are thoughts, not anything engraved in a tombstone like an R. Your views are welcome.

#35 and #37 – It’s a fascinating subject, but I suspect Anthony would appreciate it if we would stick with Trek, so I’ll make one more comment and drop it.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Lincoln (as with many subjects), history has been re-written for political purposes. If Lincoln was not our worst President, he was certainly the second worst, but the Lincoln cultists would have you think he was best President we ever had.

Lincoln was a tyrant. He completely ignored the US Constitution, he did everything in his power to abolish free speech, he suspended habeas corpus, shut down hundreds of opposition newspapers, imprisoned the editors, imprisoned thousands of political dissenters, burned cities and towns to the ground, etc. (And you think George Bush thought up all that stuff.)

In the fourth debate with Stephen Douglas Lincoln said:

“I have never been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people.” In his Ottawa, Illinois debate with Douglas he said of the slaves: “Free them, and make them politically and socially our equal? My own feelings will not admit of this . . . . We cannot, then, make them equals.”

When Dishonest Abe spoke of equality for blacks he did not mean for it to exist here in the U.S. They could be equal, all right, but only in Africa, Haiti, Central America, anywhere but here. He approvingly quoted his hero Henry Clay as saying “there is a moral fitness in the idea of returning to Africa her children” since “they will carry back to their native soil the rich fruits of religion, civilization, law, and liberty.” Lincoln wanted to ship the blacks out of the United States.

Virtually everything the average person “knows” about Lincoln is a myth, or worse, a lie. “But the official media are not interested in the truth. After all, the warmongering, mercantilist Abe, who wrecked the original republic, is founder of the present regime, and must be worshipped on his mountain and in his temple, and in every official heart.” (Lew Rockwell)

Besides being off-topic, we just don’t have the room here to deal with this. If you want the truth about the tyrant Lincoln, I would suggest you start with Tom DiLorenzo’s books, “The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War” and “Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe.”

And now, back to our story….

LOL, I’ll leave the political stuff to the politico’s, but come on!!!
As far as Joss Whedon is concerned, I’ll admit I’m biased, I enjoyed Buffy and Angel to some degree. I didn’t catch up to Firefly and Serenity till much later… I didn’t think Serenity was frankly up to Motion Picture ranking, but it was enjoyable to me. Frankly, if Abrams isn’t up for it, and Joss was available to be “locked” in for a 3 film deal, I’d say cool deal. I definitely want some continuity “within” this project. I’m reasonable enough to believe what happened with Alien:Resurrection was a clusterf. Let’s keep the focus on what would be best for XI, etc. :-)


“…and it is amazing that there wasn’t a single mention of Star Trek XI or JJ Abrams. this was shot while the script was being written and yet it was totally ignored and they woudl talk like’maybe some day Trek will come back…HELLO……by the way…anyone notice how Patrick Stewart said he would never put on a space suit again ”

Try to contain your enthusiasm about the latter.

Truth be known, many of you are ho-hum about the History Channel specials because they acknowledged the existence of post-1987 Trek. What, you wanted the HISTORY Channel to do a total hype piece about JJ Abrams? I mean, he hasn’t even decided if he wants to direct it yet.

Wow, Mark. How do you really feel about Lincoln? I yield here in this forum, for it is definitely true that you can only bring Lincoln into Trek just so far unless you’re a big rock thing with heavy foreclaws.

Revisionist Historians – Who needs ’em? :)

Wish I could have seen the Star Trek specials this past weekend, but I don’t have those channels.

I concur with those who have mentioned here and there that there has never really been a definitive, comprehensive history of the original series produced for TV or video. Would be great to see something like that. Especially if it concentrated on the actual years of production moreso than the post-cancellation years…

#40..Lincoln the Tyrant?

Do you really believe the things you wrote in your post, or am I just a few days late in realizing your jest?

Off all the posts I’ve read here at, I found yours to be the most incendiary and unbelievable! Do you honestly believe Lincoln was one of the worst presidents in US history?

Just because you list a few controversial book titles, by a group of discredited authors who’s sole aim was to defame and discredit Lincoln in any way possible, am I now suppossed to believe anything you said? Not likely…

Hmmm….but maybe you are right, and of course the vast majority of Americans, US historians and political scholarls are dead wrong. Hogwash!

I guess all the historians that have repeatedly rated Lincoln as one of our greatest, if not the greatest president in our nation’s history are idiots! They are totally ignorant of the real truth, that only you, and others like you seem to posess.

How lucky you are to belong to that “elite” group of wise and englightened individuals, those people that has uncovered the real truth about Lincoln. A truth that has been hidden, supressed and distorted since the end of the Civil War.

Gosh, it really sucks that so many dumb Americans, like myself, have been utterly brainwashed into believing that Lincoln was a great president, and a wise and compassionate leader. How could this happen?

Thank you so much for opening my eyes with your post….I will be forever grateful and in your debt!

But seriously continue to believe what you want, it’s a free country.

It’s obvious to me that you are a radical liberal that has used this site to cleverly bash not only Lincoln, but our current president as well. Your post doesn’t belong in a Star Trek forum and kindly keep your political “bilge” to yourself!

Mike :o

Now I really do feel like I’m reading Powerline.

#46 Do you really believe the things you wrote in your post…Do you honestly believe Lincoln was one of the worst presidents in US history?

Yes and yes.

Just because you list a few controversial book titles, by a group of discredited authors

Pretty funny. And dishonest. What “group of discredited authors” are you referring to? I listed two books, which you have not read, by ONE author, who has not been discredited by anyone. You are as dishonest as Abe.

Hmmm….but maybe you are right, and of course the vast majority of Americans, US historians and political scholarls are dead wrong.

One of the best things one can learn in life is that the majority usually IS wrong. That’s why the Founding Fathers gave us a Republic instead of a Democracy. But I doubt you even know the difference.

Gosh, it really sucks that so many dumb Americans, like myself, have been utterly brainwashed into believing that Lincoln was a great president, and a wise and compassionate leader.

You’re right – that does suck. If you’d like to be unbrainwashed, try reading those books.

Your undeserved sarcasm aside, you strike me as the type that might be convinced by the truth.

How could this happen?

Government schools. Goebbels said if you repeat a lie often enough, it will become fact in the public mind.

It’s obvious to me that you are a radical liberal that has used this site to cleverly bash not only Lincoln, but our current president as well.

No, actually I’m a conservative. And one that recognizes when it comes to politics, you judge by the record, not the rhetoric. One who believes in the rule of law, limited government, separation of powers, keeping your oath of office, etc. Our current President, like Lincoln, is a dictator wannabee. He has trampled the Constitution, the same as Lincoln, usurped powers he did not have, and considers himself above the law. So your knowledge of me is just as limited as your knowledge of Lincoln (and Bush.)

Your post doesn’t belong in a Star Trek forum and kindly keep your political “bilge” to yourself!

Thanks for your opinion. I didn’t bring the subject up, I simply commented on someone else’s comments about Lincoln. Funny that you didn’t mention that their “bilge” should be kept to themselves. Apparently you believe in censorship, and that we are only allowed to have opinions that conform to yours. THAT is the kind of “bilge” that doesn’t belong in this forum, no matter what the subject.

It amazes me that Bush bashers, like youself, are so obsessed with their hatred of the man, that even in a Star Trek blog they can’t contain their criticism of the war and his presidency! Geeez!

No, I don’t believe in cencorship, but I think your post was highly imflammatory and totally inappropriate. It went way beyond the few comments left by others regarding Lincoln being a racist.

I’m sure you knew someone would get offended by your highly controversial remarks, and you got the reaction you were probably expecting. Sorry but is not “your personal forum” to debate and espouse your fringe political views and radical opinions regarding US history and current political events.

Yes, you are definately entitled to your opinions no matter how pathetic I may find them. But I’m also entitled to my opinions, and I stand by my earlier post and call your hateful and offensive remarks- BILGE!

Anyway, gotta love that “promo” poster… ;o)