Great Links: Deep Thoughts on Vulcans, Time Travel, Silicon Life, Animated Trek References, and more

This week the links has Trek showing up on lists in TV Guide, Neal Stephenson pondering Vulcans, Trek and Terminator’s approach to time-travel being scrutinized, and a look at Trek refs in Family Guy past and Futurama future. Plus a Trek bike, more sombreros, and a classic look back at Seinfeld’s Wrath of Khan episode.


List of the week: Trek in new TV Guide
The July 14-20 issue of TV Guide has a Sci-Fi focus with previews of new shows and secrets about the X-Files (which is on the cover). It also sports some best lists with Trek getting its proper due. TV Guide editors asked it staff "Which sci-fi character would you want to grab a drink with?" RoseAnn Taddeo responded "Star Trek’s Captain Kirk" because "He can take me on tour of any planet." Damian Holbrook’s "Countdown" column lists the 10 best looking science fiction actors of all time. Connor Trinneer (ENT: Charles Tucker) was #3 on the list for guys and Jeri Ryan (VOY: Seven of Nine) was #4 for the ladies.

Click to see full page scan

Stephenson on Vulcan actors
Scifi cyberpunk author Neal Stephenson spoke recently at Greshem College in London and one of his subjects was the ‘bifurcated careers’ of actors who are big stars in sci-fi, but less so in the mainstream. He considers Leonard Nimoy the ‘archetypal bifurcated actor’ and discusses who could possibly portray a Vulcan as well as Nimoy.   

Click to see video of Stephenson’s talk on Vulcans

Star Trek: the time travel yin to Terminator’s yang?
In an article titled Time Travel: "Star Trek Are The Yin And Yang of Time Travel" i09 compares and contrasts the Star Trek and Terminator franchises, and specifically their approach to time travel, noting.

Star Trek and Terminator often feature the same time-travel story: someone journeys back in time from the future. The only difference is, in Trek, our heroes are usually arriving from a shining paradise, while the Terminator franchise always shows people fleeing the shattered ruins of Earth.

Shatner and Arnold…Time-traveling super stars of the 80s

IGN’s retro review of the second season Family Guy episode   “Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater” contains the following pearl of wisdom:

Not surprisingly, Stewie adjusts remarkably well to the family’s newfound wealth. He orders the many servants around and even forces two of them to a duel to the death with each other. This invokes the infamous theme from Star Trek’s “Amok Time” episode. Sadly, it also reminds us of how Star Trek doesn’t have as much cultural impact these days. You won’t find references like these in more recent episodes.

Excuse me? Have they not been watching the same show? Family Guy exec producer Seth MacFarlane is a huge Trekkie and appeared in two episodes of Enterprise. The last two seasons (and the recent DVD movie) have had multiple Trek references. In the upcoming season there will be a show all about Trek with Stewie kidnapping the cast of Star Trek The Next Generation (who are all guest starring with voice work). So Gigity gigity IGN. Below is one of the recent Star Trek references that apparently aren’t to be found in Family Guy.

Rupert gets a funeral

Futurama still loves Trek
Speaking of Trek references on popular animated shows, they are nothing new in Futurama. In fact the recently released DVD movie "Beast With A Billion Backs" includes a few. There is also a new preview for the next DVD movie, "Benders Game" (coming out at Christmas time). This new movie features George Takei and from the trailer below you can catch a glimpse of  the Takei ‘head in a jar’ battling it out with what appears to be and Shatner’s heads in a jar…both of which have their own Star Trek ships.

Picture of the week: Trek Bike
A picture of a cool Star Trek Trike has been bouncing around the blogs this week (like BoingBoing and Topless Robot). The photo is actually from the 1982 Comic Con and was taken by Alan Light

Think the Hells Angels will let you in with this?

UPDATE: Commenter Melonpool points us to, the online home of the maker of the Trek Trike, Loch David Crane.

Quote of the Week

It is pure Doctor Who and so mad. You are watching it thinking, ‘Star Trek can’t do this! Even Star Wars can’t do this.’ All those things have spaceships and monsters, but this has a temp from Chiswick played by Catherine Tate, and Billie Piper with a great big gun.

– Doctor Who Exec. Producer Russel T Davies
on the season finale for Doctor Who [Mirror]

Classic Video of the week: Wrath of Costanza
Can you believe that Seinfeld has been off the air for 10 years? I was watching the episode "The Foundation" last weekend and totally forgot how The Wrath of Khan is integral to the plot, check it out.


  • In the i09 article Where is my silicon life? a biology researcher discuses the possibility of silicon life including Star Trek’s Horta
  • In the ongoing battle of Star Trek v Star Wars, was inspired by our Ace of Cakes article to ask what is the Dorkiest Cake?
  • Will the Sombreros never cease? Recently I suggested the TrekBBS artists give the new Star Trek team the sombrero effect…I was not disappointed.  

Of course JJ has the biggest, but nice Pimpbrero for Zach


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I will have nightmares about that sombrero dance… forever.

first! That Trek bike is awesome!

Family Guy is LITTERED with Star Trek references. Shatner appeared as Peter’s friend. Until he was killed by Meg. Point aside, IGN is wrong!

Wow, I had no idea the TNG cast will be on Family Guy! Cool, I may have to watch that episode!


CAAAAAAAKES! Scotty’s at the helm! R2D2 is RED! THIS IS A DISASTER! how can I chose which one is geekier if I’m too big of a geek to accept either as adhering to canon (cannon)??!?

Oh man, Anthony, next time you give us a picture like the Flamenco boys above, be sure and post a spew alert… Priceless!!

I’m not a “Family Guy” watcher, but even I know that the show is littered with Trek references. (Hell, George Takei apparently likes to pop up out of nowhere on a seemingly regular basis! Granted, he’s usually coming out of someone’s ass… yeah, FG is crude.) There’s the bear’s TWOK funeral, as referenced above. And how about the “Best of Both Worlds”-style cliffhanger ending to “Stewie Kills Lois”? They even used the same typeface for the “To be continued…” cards, and Ron Jones even did the BOBW-style music, fer cryin’ out loud! IGN seriously needs to buy, rent, or borrow a clue.

That Trike’s been around for awhile, hasn’t it? I remember it being in several of the Star Trek Official Fan Club magazines in 84 or 85… unless this a different one.

Even “American Dad,” the other (and in my opinion, funnier) MacFarlane show has at least one Star Trek reference per episode!! I think IGN is on the same drugs Braga and Berman were on…

Oh…my…lord!!!! That sombrero pic is EPIC!!!! LMAO! Thank you for that, it made my day.

The nacelles on that trike are ALL WRONG!!!

No intercoolers? The thing’s going to overheat!

Here’s the guy’s website. That trike’s been around for quite awhile — destroyed by fire and rebuilt in stainless steel!

8: Martin is right. The Ron Jones BOBW cues and TNG credits on Family Guy were just this past season. Blinded by Blue Harvest, I reckon, and a loss of cred.

Excellent, this is becoming a favorite column to read

Awesome post, Anthony. A nice piece to break the monotony of the day.

Love the sombreros, vaquero’s. Okay, I need to party with those guys! :)

Jason Alexander is a Huge Star Trek fan; I forgot about that episode. Thanks for posting it.

Nice to see Doctor Who get a mention for a change!

Billie Piper has TWO big…….uh, guns. She can point them at me any time. :-p

Thanks for the inclusion of the sombrero pic, Anthony!

So does the Seinfeld thing mean that the constant yelling upwards to an overhead camera that Jon Stewart does on the Daily Show is actually NOT a Star Trek reference but instead a SEINFELD reference?

wow… love the Star Trike. The sombrero dance is giving me Monty Python flashbacks… And yeah, Family Guy and American Dad both have Star Trek references in almost every ep, so geeks like us get double the laughs for our cable bill!

Is that trike steerable, or drivable?

Leonard Nimoy is the best Vulcan ever. Tim Russ was good but Celia Lovsky blows them all away.

I would say Mark Leonard was an excellent Vulcan, and I really liked Tim Russ’s Tuvok too.

Mark Lenard was wonderful as Sarek.

I remember when he blew up at Kirk in TSFS. The scene in his quarters in San Francisco where Sarek blames Kirk for the loss of Spock’s Katra was simply the perfect way for a Vulcan to show grief and anger. He defined the fact that Vulcans indeed have emotions, and that his “logic was uncertain where his son was concerned.”

Celia Lovsky reminds me of my ex-wife.

Ex wife: “Kroyka!”

Me: “It’s the frigging Superbowl..Can I catch a break today?”

T’Pring reminds me of my ex-wife. What a fabulous Vulcan – no feelings, selfish and bitchy. Boy was wanting better than having

Ok that trailer for Bender’s Game makes no sense. Is it supposed to be some weird D&D game gone bonkers?

As for “American Dad” of course there’s Trek references! Patrick Stewart is head of the CIA! *lol*



IGN guy does not know what he was talking about family guy keeps having more star trek refences in them then ever before ,
and its not like there small ones like in say south park , the ones in family guy are big ones , with Quagmire on the tos enterprise and a jokes about the tng crew , and sulu popping up lol , me thinks the ign guy is not watching enough family guy , so i am glad you pointed it out.

And the furturama movie looks great, the first two where good but this loooks even better
(lol anybody else see the space 1999 suttle made out of lego at the space demolition derby lol)

oh and the doctor who qoute
all those things have spaceships and monsters( i am guessing he means aliens) but yea thats why makes trek and wars good sci fi , lol nah i am just annoyed cause dr who has got so lame , the last season was just bad in my opinion , oh well Altantis is back which is cool , i am interested to see how battlestar galactica ends . really these are all whos of counting the days to the star trek movie lol . 301 days…………and counting.

Oops I meant Mark Lenard. Sorry for that error.

Sienfield was such a fantastic show and the way they honard star trek was great and funny as hell. I have not seen a lot of sienfield episodes but that one had me rolling.KHAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

OK…this may seem like an oxymoron…but I find the “sombrero” references weird at best…but the Trek references litttering Family Guy? God, I love those! OK, so a few of us Trek fans are a twisted bunch…but we’re family, dammit! lol

But, as I alwuys say…this site just plain rocks! The info…the entertainment…the insight…ALL to behold! Keep up the great work, Anthony et al!


I’m always grateful to this site to rummage up classic clips. Hoping it can truly shine when PP opens its promotional door for the new film.

I had completely forgotten about that Seinfeld Episode with the Wrath of Khan references. I’ve got a friend who is obsessed with Seinfeld and loathes Star Trek. Will have to make sure to bring this episode up next time i see her! hehe

And yes despite the fact she loathes Star Trek I have remained friends with her!!

I’m a heterosexual male and even I think Connor Trineer is hot.

IGN is the worst website in the world, I can’t find a single article there without a huge error in it.

Is it weird that I felt a tinge of sadness for Rupert the Teddy Bear after seeing that clip?

#14….i like that you mention it was destroyed by fire. Then when i followed the link you posted to the home page of star…..there the guy…HOLDING FIRE! funny stuff. cool trike.

I could never buy Tim Russ as Vulcan. He always came off as more just gratuitously bithcy than emotionless. I never felt like he was taking his performace seriously. For me, he was the weakest link of the Voyager cast.

There was some offbeat sitcom in the ‘90s and in one episode the kid in the show was running a tag sale on the sidewalk and selling various Trek paraphernalia, among many other things. Michael Dorn walked up — without makeup, just as a guy on the street — examined a phaser or whatever, and in his best Worf voice asked, “How do I know that these are authentic?” Am I remembering that correctly? What was that show?

i always had problems with Terminator’s time traveling logic. Of course its fiction…and all movies and properties take their own creative leaps and bounds when it comes to time travel…..but on the whole…The Terminator movies created giant paradoxes that simply could be explained away…so theyre just ignored. still T2 is a cool movie.

Connor Trineer is definitely hot and he totally deserves to be on that list. I love Trip!

Lets hope Quinto can play a Vulcan as well or else it will become a lost art.

I disagree that bifurcating careers is caused by “the ability to portray intelligence”. Type casting happens in other genres – Archie Bunker comes to mind and he wasn’t supposed to be that brilliant.

Stephenson should watch Mark Lenard as Sarek.

His lecture is propped up by numerous pop references, and he can’t even muster the energy to say “Science Fiction,” though he manages “bifurcated” quite well.

Hugo Weaving was great as the computerized Agent Smith, but seemed to phone in his take on Elrond. He and Liv Tyler seemed like they were reading cue cards whenever they spoke to one another.

Stephenson doesn’t mention that Spock, Ripley, Smith and Elrond represent huge paychecks to these actors. It’s not “bifurcated,” it’s “Benjamins.”

#41 – Also, the lack of a proper Vulcan hairdo. But I can’t blame that actor for that!

#45 – I can think of no better training for playing Spock than playing Sylar for two years. Granted, Spock’s not a serial killer, but the Sylar character has the same challenge of being cold on the surface while still portraying an inner emotional struggle, and playing dead-calm while keeping it interesting.

Great Links–mmmm, sausage.