May 2007

In Search Of: Spock’s Planet & Scotty’s Ashes

Two real life space and Star Trek related stories have cropped up this week. One about locating ‘Vulcan’ and the other about the disposition of James Doohan’s Ashes. The red-orange dwarf star 40 Eridani is about 16 light years from Earth and is widely regarded as the actual location of the planet Vulcan. Although not strictly canonical, it is a notion that was endorsed by Gene Roddenberry. Now NASA are planning to use their new SIM PlaentQuest mission to try and detect and Earth-like planet around 40 Eridani. Because the star is dimmer than the sun, scientists surmise that a life sustaining planet would have to sit closer to the star than Earth (0.6 AU) More info at NASA

Keri Russell A Klingon?

Keri Russell got her big acting break in the 90s as the title character on JJ Abrams first show Felicity. Abrams also cast Russell in a supporting role for Mission Impossible III. This week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly has an extensive feature on Russell as part of the promotion of her new film Waitress. The article includes some quotes from Abrams regarding working with Russell and concludes with speculation on their next collaboration…

New TWOK Figures For Comic-Con

For the past few summers, the presence of Star Trek items at science fiction and popular culture conventions have been favorites, especially as exclusives.  This July’s San Diego Comic Convention continues the tradition with action figures from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This is pretty exciting for the action figure collectors because there has not been feature era action figures for about 10 years. However getting the figures is somewhat of a chore

Review: “Tomorrow Is Yesterday”

“Tomorrow is Yesterday” is one of those Original Series episodes that is just plain fun, with a few melodramatic moments, an interesting science fiction concept, lurching starship sets (or at least lurching cameras), and a few obligatory fistfights. One could very easily watch it, feel satisfied that this was vintage Trek, and go on to the next episode on a TOS DVD without taking a critical look some forty years after it first aired in 1967. Anniversaries work their way into reviews like this; the episode aired about twenty years after pilot Kenneth Arnold spotted what people immediately began calling flying saucers and UFOs, and only two days before the tragic Apollo 1 fire, which is somewhat ironic given the mention of the “first manned moon shot” heard over the Enterprise bridge speaker

Koenig Has Advice For New Chekov [UPDATED]

Last week George Takei was recommending a new Sulu and this week Walter Koeing has advice for a new Chekov (although  we still don’t know if either will be in the new movie). The new site Trekdom has an interview with the original Chekov where he talks about the origins of his Star Trek character and the subject of Trek XI came up. Koenig offered this advice for the new Chekov "stay out of shadows and insist on dialogue that does more than simply advance the plot." In the past Koenig has expressed his view that the ‘secondary’ characters in Trek (especially in the films) often had interchangeable dialog. Regardless Koenig is optimistic about Trek’s longevity, saying "For what it’s worth, if I knew of a way of collecting I’d wager substantial rubles that, in one form or another, it will definitely out live me." Check out the full interview at Trekdom.

Shatner and Nimoy: Still Interested In Trek XI – Still No Contact

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy appeared at Creations Star Trek Convention in Minneapolis on Sunday. TrekMovie has received a number of reports from attendees regarding how Shatner and Nimoy started out by saying they had no real news regarding Star Trek XI, with Shatner even joking he was "out of the loop." Both actors did express an openness to appearing in the film (especially Shatner). Nimoy was more subdued; noting (as he has done previously) that he would only be involved "if they had a meaningful role" for him  However, they said that they had not yet been contacted by the Trek XI team regarding appearing in the film. Shatner did talk up his upcoming novel Starfleet Academy: Collision Course, noting how it also tells the story of Kirk and Spock’s early years.

Lost To End In 2010

ABC’s Lost (created by Trek XI producers JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof) is currently wrapping up its third season. The producers of the highly serialized show have spoken in the past about how they wanted to set a specific end date, and now ABC have finally agreed. Variety is reporting that ABC have cut a ‘paradigm-shifting’ deal with show runners Damon Liindelof and Carlton Cuse to bring the show to an end in 2010. Originally Cuse and Lindelof wanted to do two more seasons, but the final deal (said to be ‘hefty’) will be to do three shortened 16 episode seasons instead. Although Abrams is no longer part of the day to day, he is still an executive producer and is quoted in the Variety article as supporting the decision.

This Week In Trek

TrekMovie looks at all the Trek news here and elsewhere for the last week Trek XI: We reported that the Trek XI production team are gearing up to move onto the Paramount lot to begin pre production. Plans are for construction to start in the summer and shooting in the fall on six stages at Paramount an one at Universal. We also reported that the IGN rumors of Damon, Brody and Sinise being cast in the film cannot be confirmed and have been denied by some sources. George Takei opined that John Lim of Star Trek New Voyages would make a good Sulu for STXI TOSR producer David Rossi discusses Trek XI in the latest issue of Star Trek Magazine, details here DS9, VOY, & ENT science advisor Andre Bormanis told Sebs Raw Takes he is not interested in working on Star Trek XI

Wrath of Khan and TNG Make EW’s Best Sci Fi List

The editors of Entertainment Weekly magazine have picked what they consider to be the best 25 sci-fi TV shows and movies of the last 25 years. Two Star Trek items make the top 10: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (#5) and Star Trek: The Next Generation (#8). Topping the list was the 1999 film The Matrix and former TNG/DS9 writer/producer Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica got 2nd place. Star Trek XI producers JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof also made the list via their show Lost coming in at eleventh place. Excerpts and the complete list below.

AICN Interviews TOS-R Producers

Dave Rossi, Denise Okuda and Mike Okuda were interviewed by Aint It Cool News’ Merrick. They talk about the upcoming episodes "Tomorrow is Yesterday," “Errand of Mercy,” “Patterns of Force,” and "Shore Leave." It includes shot of the "Tomorrow is Yesterday" Ent doing the time warp around the sun. Go read the whole thing at AICN

Trek XI Update: No Confirmed Cast – Some Shooting At Universal

Things are still pretty quiet on the Star Trek XI front. As JJ Abrams said in his recent message to the fans they were in ‘pre-pre-pre-production.’ However, has learned that they are getting ready to move into the pre-production phase soon. The script is complete, however the budget is not (so there may still be some changes based on the final budget). The production office should be opening up on the lot by mid month, and hiring for various behind the scenes people has already started. Although some ‘nuts and bolts’ Paramount people who have worked on Trek in the past (like in construction) are being tapped, for creative work it appears that the Abrams team is sticking with people that they have worked with in the past. Production designer Scott Chambliss is still filling out his art department, but some artists are already at work (primarily at their homes). They should be moving into offices on the lot this month as well. Set construction is set to start in early July.

Takei Recommends New Voyages Actor For New Sulu

George Takei recently reprised his role as Hikaro Sulu in the Star Trek New Voyages episode "World Enough And Time." It is not yet known if Sulu will appear in Star Trek XI, but when asked by IGN who could be the new Sulu Takei immediately thought of his experience on the fan film  the guy who plays Sulu is a hot shot Washington, D.C. attorney… I saw the man who plays me, as Sulu, as a young man, and he’s a wonderful actor, a powerful actor. There’s one scene where he breaks down in anguish and it’s very moving. John Lim is his name, and despite his success as an attorney, after having done this he wants to be an actor. He’s talking about leaving his law career and coming to Los Angeles as an aspiring young actor. So I would recommend John Lim.

Review: “A Piece Of The Action” Remastered

GETTING INTO THE ACTIONWhether you’re a die-hard fan of the original series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine or Voyager (and, god help you, if you are), it’s hard to argue that there’s only one series which did comedy well and that was Classic Trek. Unlike Next Generation (which tried to be funny, painfully in episodes like "Manhunt" and the somewhat wittier "Captains Holiday" in which Picard vacations on a pleasure planet with the story eventually degenerating into mindless technobabble) and Voyager, Classic Trek and Deep Space Nine were the only series for which humor was an essential ingredient.