This Week in Trek – TNG@20, season premieres, parallel universes, and bowling Klingons [UPDATED]

This week marked the 20th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation…so it gets a special section. We also bring you new Star Trek: Year Four artwork, a fan-made audio series, a number of TV season premieres, evidence of parallel universes, Klingons who bowl with honor and much more…

Furries vs. Klingons… songs will be sung about this day.


  • To celebrate TNG’s 20th anniversaryEntertainment Weekly posted "An Oral History" of TNG, told by those who were involved in the show’s production.
  • has posted an editorial describing the phenomenon that is TNG, its impact on the television market, pop culture and Trek as a franchise. You can read it here.
  • Star Trek 2008 co-writers Robert Orci & Alex Kurtzman joined producer Damon Lindelof in expressing their thought’s on TNG here at
  • After analyzing scenes from Star Trek: The Motion PictureStar Trek Generations and Star Trek: Insurrection, wraps up its Star Trek week with an analysis of a scene from Star Trek Nemesis for this week’s Scene Anatomy 101.
  • SyFy Portal’s Michael Hinman reminisced about first watching TNG and discussed the impact the series had on his life.
  • From Picard’s delivery of "Engage!" to replicators to The Borg, The Star has a list of the "20 things we love about Star Trek: The Next Generation".
  • TNG’s star, Patrick Stewart (Picard), wants to appear on the BBC’s Doctor Who and is "deeply dismayed" that he has yet to be invited to do so. In the meantime, critics have been praising Stewart’s performance in London’s Gielgud Theatre production of Macbeth, which will be coming to New York next year.
  • John de Lancie (Q) is narrating the Cleveland Orchestra’s Peer Gynt concert at Severance Hall this week. In addition, he will also be seen in an episode of the series Shark with Star Trek: Voyager‘s Jeri Ryan. For more, see de Lancie’s interview with The Plain Dealer.
  • Jonathan Frakes (Riker), will be a guest at the Rockland Public Library in Maine when it hosts an event called "Four Decades of Star Trek" on October 18th.
  • Speaking of Frakes, the satirical news site BBspot reported that the former TNG star and several henchmen raided the Las Vegas Hilton to retrieve stolen Trek memorabilia (obviously fun at O.J. Simpson’s latest run-in with the law).
  • On September 20th, Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) recorded his voiceover for the episode of Family Guy in which the cast of TNG are kidnapped by Stewie, and on the 21st, Wheaton wrote about the experience on his blog. Ok, so that is technically Last Week in Trek, but I missed it, so sue me.
  • Pocket Books has published its latest TNG novel, Q & A, written by Keith R. A. Decandido. In addition, The Next Chamber has posted an interview with Decandido.


Star Trek (2008 movie):

  • Word on the street is that Poseidon and Texas Chainsaw Massacre actor Mike Vogel is up to play the role of James T. Kirk in the film (first reported elsewhere as "the front runner," but reported Vogel is just "in the running").
  • learned that Stargate: Atlantis actor Paul McGillion has auditioned for the role of Scotty. In the meantime, McGillion’s fans are lobbying for him to get the role, and even James Doohan’s son, Chris Doohan, has given his vote of approval.
  • also learned that actor Karl Urban (Lord of the Rings, The Bourne Supremacy) is being considered for a role in Star Trek (but not as a Romulan, as first reported). In addition, we acquired some new details regarding the film’s plot; check them out here, if you haven’t already.
  • It turns out that Adrien Brody (King Kong, The Pianist) really was considered to play Spock… at least, he had discussed it with director/producer J.J. Abrams.
  • George Takei says he "wouldn’t be too surprised" if he was asked to appear in the new film and supports Heroes co-star Zachary Quinto‘s casting as Spock.
  • The tourism office of Vulcan, Alberta has officially launched its campaign to bring the premiere of Star Trek to the tiny Canadian town. See their media release for more information.
  • Oh, by the way, William Shatner still isn’t in the movie.


Trek Stuff:

  • MOGD has a new interview with Daron Stinnet, executive producer of Star Trek Online, the new Trek MMORPG.
  • The IDW Publishing Forums have posted wallpaper teasers featuring nifty artwork by the two artists working on IDW’s fourth issue of Star Trek: Year Four.

A glimpse of the type of art you can expect in Year Four, Issue 4

Fan Productions:

  • The pilot for an audio drama called Star Trek: Excelsior made its premiere online this week. For more information and to listen to the pilot, see Excelsior‘s official site.
  • Star Trek New Voyages has announced the title for their 6th episode (written by Dave Galanter & Greg Brodeur based on a concept by Howard Weinstein) is "Rest and Retaliation" 


Trek in the World:

  • The College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois is sponsoring a free event with the former publisher of Star Trek CommunicatorDan Madsen, to be held October 4th from 12 to 2pm. For more information, click here or contact sociology professor John Tenuto at
  • The Bowling Green Western Symphony Orchestra performed Star Trek music composed by Jerry Goldsmith as well as music from other space-themed films in the "Music from Outer Space" concert, which was held September 27th at the First Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
  • Another science fiction themed concert scheduled to feature Star Trek music is "Sci-Fi: The Final Frontier" by the Huntington Symphony Orchestra. The event will be held at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center in Huntington, West Virginia on October 20th.
  • A Star Trek fan dressed like a Klingon was among the 600 participants in this year’s AIDS Walk for Life event, which took place Sunday in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • The Castro Theatre in San Francisco will be paying tribute to composer Jerry Goldsmith by running a series of movies he composed, including two showings of Star Trek: The Motion Picture on September 30th. See The Castro Theatre’s official site for more details.
  • Mile High Sci Fi, a Denver-based comedy group who screens movies while providing MST3K-style commentary from the back of the theater, will be poking fun at Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan on the 28th and 29th. For more information, see their official site.
  • Zachary Quinto has signed up to become the first actor from the new Star Trek movie to appear a Creation convention — namely, next year’s Grand Slam XVI, to be held April 11-13, 2008. Roxann Dawson (Torres, VOY) has also signed up as a guest at the event; for more information, see the Grand Slam page at Creation’s website.
  • Today is a good day… to bowl? The second annual Furries vs. Klingons bowling tournament will be held today in Atlanta, Georgia. My money’s on the Klingons.
    UDPATED…see the video (below)


Trek Science:

  • Think the mirror universe is purely fiction? Well, you’d be right, but a study conducted at Oxford University shows that parallel universes may actually exist. I wonder how I look with a goatee…
  • A non-lethal laser weapon called a Photonic Disruptor (sounds very Star Trek-ish, don’t you think?) is available for military and law enforcement use at Wicked Lasers.

The Photonic Disruptor


Trek on the Web:


Trek Celebrity News:

  • Veteran Star Trek guest performer Gregory Itzin is currently starring as Louis de Rougemont in the play Shipwrecked! An Entertainment – The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself) at the South Coast Reportory in Costa Mesa, California. Performances run through October 14th; see South Coast’s site for more details.
  • The Seattle Times has an interview with Star Trek: Voyager writer and Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller, in which the Star Trek fan explains how watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine helped him to understand scriptwriting.
  • Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine, VOY) can currently be seen in the new season of Shark, which premiered this past Sunday on CBS.
  • George Takei (Sulu, TOS) will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 8th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival in October.
  • Speaking of Takei, the former Star Trek actor had a pivotal role in the season premiere of Heroes, which aired on NBC on Monday. Appearing at the end of the show was Dominic Keating (Reed, ENT), making his first appearance as an Irish crook named Will; Zachary Quinto (Spock in the upcoming Star Trek) and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura, TOS) will appear later in the season (see the official site for more details).
  • Dominic Keating also appears in the movie Species: The Awakening, premiering tonight at 9pm ET on the Sci-Fi Channel. See the official site for more details.
  • William Shatner (Kirk, TOS) returns as Denny Crane for the fourth season of Boston Legal, which premiered Tuesday on ABC. Joining the series this season is Shatner’s Star Trek III: The Search for Spock co-star John Larroquette (Maltz).
  • A star to steer him by: speaking of Shatner, an online poll has voted the Emmy-winning actor as being "the person most deserving of a star named in their honor."
  • Nichelle Nichols (Uhura, TOS) was spotted at the Opera nightclub in Hollywood, California on September 26th. According to TMZ, Nichols "stole the show."
  • Nana Visitor (Kira, DS9) will be making an appearance in the final season of Battlestar Galactica, developed by DS9 writer and producer Ronald D. Moore. Look for her as a cancer patient in the sixth episode of the season, entitled "Faith," airing sometime in 2008.
  • Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun, Brunt, Shran, etc.) discussed his upcoming film Return to House on Haunted Hill in an interview with
  • Writers Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens have informed us that the first part of Race to Mars, which aired last Sunday on Discovery Channel Canada, was the network’s highest-rated program ever. Part II of Race to Mars will air tomorrow at 8pm ET; see the official site and’s exclusive interview with the Reeves-Stevens for more details on the program.


YouTube Clip of the week – TNG special
A nice video tribute to The Next Generation and Gene Roddenberry


Special thanks to everyone who submitted tips for This Week in Trek!

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I still can’t believe it’s been 20 years since TNG premiered. And how long before Heroes has a cast member from each incarnation of Trek?

Oh, and is anyone else a little uncomfortable with the Mike Vogel news? I am not feeling it at all. BUT, if the casting director sees talent and chemistry, then hopefully they made the right choice, or rather will make the right choice.

I’m wondering how long before we hear about Bones, surely Zach and alter-Bones and alter-Kirk would have to screentest together to see if they have that spark.

“Please help me,” huh? If it was such a favorite episode, you would think he would get it right. It was “let me help,” which is exactly the opposite – someone offering assistance instead of needing it.

Neat that Hugh Laurie is a Trek fan. But the line he references is actually, “let me help.”
There’s gotta be better casting than Mike Vogel as Kirk. May I suggest Jesse Lee Soffer (Will Munson) on the CBS’ soap, “As the World Turns”? I should have mentioned this sooner.

3. “Let me help.”
Mark, you beat me by a nano-second. I won’t forget this. No ice cream for me in the rec room tonight.

This is so awesome every week! Awesome job!!!

Aaron R.

PS I want the cool gun!

I’ve never read this section at the end of the week. It’s very good and interesting and I’ve seen a few things I’ve missed. Very good work Mr. Trotter. This message will self distruct in 5 seconds…

Q is the #2 reason we love Star Trek TNG ^^…too true.
And Shat does deserve to have a bunch of kids named after him…hopefully most of those kids won’t be biologically related to him…

I reckon this Vogel kid will do an ok job myself. But what do I know!

i love star trek!

theyre i said it!

‘please help me’ to get one of those photon disruptors for xmas

RE: Please help me/Let me help

I didn’t think “please help me” sounded right. :-/

#8 Thomas Jensen — Thanks! And don’t worry, chief. I’m always on duty! (*crumples up and tosses destructing message back at Jensen*) :D

PS: Mission: Impossible and Inspector Gadget are very similar, don’t you think? :P

lauries chum stephen fry is also a big trek fan.

Awesome week. Wonder whether the Klingons actually showed up. (Gotta read the disclaimer — it’s hilarious.) Wouldn’t want to have people saying they were scared off by the Furries.

Maybe they should have House watching a clip of TOS. Edith Keeler tells Kirk “Let me help”. Kirk replies, “A hundred years or so from now, a famous novelist will write a classic using that theme. He’ll recommend those three words, even over ‘I love you’.” Kirk tells her that the novelist will come from a planet circling the far left star in Orion’s belt. — from Memory Alpha.

I remember watching TNG when it premiered and I wasn’t sure if I liked how the D looked but it grew on me.

Although I still prefer Kirk’s Enterprise, I think the Enterprise D was a good design because it showed how starship design has evolved since Kirk’s time.

TNG didnt come into its own till season 3. just like Enterprise in season 3&4. just think if Ent had had a few more viewers itd be the final season next year. maybe the last ep would have been Archer sending off the NCC 1701 (as described in mirror darkly II)…no JJ movie tho…unless thatd be happening in 2011..if they werent planning Ent: The Movie after the end of the series instead…wonder if they wud have finally bagged themselves some Shat for season 5, 6 or 7? i read there were 2 treatments…

19# I wonder if Archer’s name will pop up in some line in JJ’s movie.

CNN’s Adrian Finighan spoke with theoretical physicist Ronald Mallett about the possiblity of building a real time machine.

If this works, maybe we can bring Kirk back.

452 dtST


I agree, TNG definitely made it’s improvement in almost every aspect of the show in Season 3.

Enterprise just never arrived, period. Although I admit, In A Mirror Darkly is without a doubt one of the best two-parters, Enterprise the series was IMHO a fatal mistake and one of the final nails in the coffin for modern Trek next to Nemesis.

It would be my sincerest hope that JJ’s movie carries absolutely no reference to ENT, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t.

it did in nemesis..i wouldnt mind a brief nod to Enterprise in the movie. maybe a flashback showing Topal taking another shower. shower…

There was a time I would tend to glower
Til the day I saw Topal in the shower
My head did a spin
I was left with a grin
And since then it’s hard to feel sour!

topal in the shower or getting a rubdown in the decon chamber was one of the high lights of watching ent…. hey maybe she could appear in the movie as shed just be middle aged. kirk would have to hit it of course. btw balock is in Starship Troopers 3 with Casper van Dien as Rico again (who wudve made a good young kirk 10 years ago)

21. pizza hotdog – September 30, 2007
CNN’s Adrian Finighan spoke with theoretical physicist Ronald Mallett about the possiblity of building a real time machine.

Hotdog, that’s marvelous. He hasn’t invented a time machine. He’s invented a time anchor. I say it’s marvelous, because it gives us a break from the Times Arrow and Marty McFly school of chronophysics. Now, if you just turn your machine on now, you can watch the world blow up in 2013 and come back and enjoy ‘the good old days of the Bush presidency.’

Woo-hoo. Sounds like a winner for NBC next season.

also diggin the budge on this news show. they couldn’t buy him something high-tech, like… um… a blackboard?

ok i want the disruptor and the time machine – then its fun time . enjoy the ride…enjoy the ride…

Effects will always need to be upgraded, but Gene R. is constant.

::shaking head:: Topal is an antacid. T’Pol was a character in a crappy TV show.

Illiterate? Write for free help.

Topal is an actor. See “Flash Gordon”.

Sorry, Mark is right. Topol is the actor.