Portland’s Trek In The Park Takes On Journey To Babel [Video]

Once again residents of Portlandia have a chance to spend their weekends in a park and watch live Star Trek. This year Atomic Arts is taking their "Journey to Babel." Watch a video report below. 


Portland’s Trek in the Park’s Journey to Babel

As they have been doing for the last few summers, the Atomic Arts theater group in Portland, OR are holding "Trek in the Park." This year they are taking on the episode "Journey to Babel."  The team were visited by CBS News, who ran the following report Sunday morning.


Trek in the Park continues every weekend in August at Cathedral Park in Portland. For more info and photos you can visit atomic-arts.org.

Thanks to Andy for the link


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Cool, wish we did something like this here in South Florida.

Love it! Very cool idea, guys.

Bravo! What a fantastic idea. I wish they came to Chicago to do this at Grant Park.


Saw this this morning. Aside from thinking how cool it was. How sincere. How,…fun. I thought now I have another reason to go to Portland. There’s a guy there with a traveling brick oven that makes fantastic looking pizzas. Got two reasons to go now.

And you’re welcome Anthony.


I guess that I’ll make the hour drive to go see this. Always wanted to go but always found out about it too late. It great idea in a great park in a great city.

I don’t really see what the point of this is. These episodes already exist on TV with much better acting and production values. Instead of wasting their time covering this, maybe CBS should get to work making a new Trek show.

You need a reason to get out in the (relatively short, and generally cool-ish) Portland summer for a picnic and to have some fun? Well, *that* is what the point is!

Besides, watching the original episodes never changes. This does, it’s more dynamic, the actors (while keeping the lines and scenes going) respond to the crowd in ways, etc. Plus, it’s just fun sitting with a large crowd of Trekkies – some casually a fan, some hardcore (more than a few people in the audience dress up) – to enjoy watching it.

And in any case, that would be like asking “since we have movie productions of A Christmas Carol, why do theaters bother putting on productions of it?” Because EVERYTHING is better live!

Portland’s a terrible town, don’t move here, we’re all miserable and having an awful time.


Wow, this is absolutely brilliant! I love how the sets have gotten more elaborate over time.

I need to get to Portland!

@8 If you don’t see the point of this you have no heart for Star Trek.

I remember reading how they did stage productions of CORBOMITE MANEUVER in the 70s (was it in New Orleans?) and I wished I had been able to go.

Now I’m living 4minutes outside of Portland, and still never manage to get over and see these. Just as well, I’d probably start critiquing them too hard.

I would love to see one of these; they look like fun!

I love displays of unabashed fandom… ;-)

They all seem too young to be TOS fans.

12-I think that that’s a bit harsh. I enjoy Star Trek in all of its official incarnations, but this just seems a bit silly, and is one of the reasons why we Trekkies are looked down on by so many. The difference between Star Trek and other plays/books like A Christmas Carol is that the versions of Star Trek that we have on TV are actually the originals. These scripts were written to be played by William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and the rest, and.if a proffesional actor like Chris Pine couldn’t improve on Shatner’s performance, then I don’t think that these amateurs can. The original episodes are already so perfect that, apart from perhaps a few updated visual effects, they are impossible to improve on.

At least they interviewed Greg Rucka, who is a well known writer and comic book writer! This is a good thing!

It’s call having fun… geesh! An excuse to share the show with friends, in person and in the fresh air and have a fun day out.

# 15, DeShonn

Not necessarily; I’m a fan of “Forbidden Planet” and “Metropolis” ; both of which came out (many) years before I was born. I know young Trekkies in their 20s who are very well-versed in all things Star Trek.

In the DVD/Blu-ray/streaming age? It’s possible to be a fan of anything from any era.

Come to Portland for the Trek and stay for the beer… ;)

Keepin it weird in PDX!! I love it here.

@15 my daughter is 17 and knows the entire Original Series – it’s her favorite. She actually out-trivia’ed her old man in TOS lore. I am so proud!

TOS’ “Journey to Babel” is one of my favorite Star Trek episodes. Got Spock’s childhood from this show. And that was portrayed in the 2009 movie. We also met Spock’s father, Sarek and his mother Amanda. It was a great episode.

Kudos to the whole “ST:ITP team and also kudos to the TV station for COVERING it without just laughing at it.

Great event! I went to the first show this year and recorded it in its entirety. Now all I have to do is post it.

@24 Robert
Please let us know when you post – would love to see it!!

I think it’s ridiculous that a so-called adult can’t put down his real name but hides behind the pseudonym of “Legate Damar”. Star Trek is OUR Shakespeare. we already have filmed plays staring Laurence Olivier from the 40s, Why do we need Kenneth Branagh re-doing them? Lighten up Damar or we’ll have to report you to the Obsidian Order.

I love what Atomic Arts has been doing and it’s a great reason to hang out.

#16: Pine DID improve on Shatner’s performance. One of them is an excellent actor who doesn’t overplay everything and ham up every scene he’s in–the other is Shatner.

#22: Actually, the childhood for Spock from the 2009 episode was from the episode “Yesteryear,” including some of the actual word-for-word dialog.

It does my heart good to see young people into TOS, much as it does when I see a teenager wearing a Beatles t-shirt.

#22, you are exactly right about Yesteryear. I showed our ST club here in Las Vegas that episode not long after the movie came out, so they could see for themselves.

seen no evidence Pine is anything but a very light ‘persona’ performer – which is fine for a phoned-in, Roger Moore-level impression of a character, or for what passes for star turns in most of today’s badly-written major releases, but if that’s all you want, why are you even watching TREK? Pine probably would haver been ideal for playing Gary Mitchell, considering his ‘gifts.’ Then again, considering how AbramsTrek is written and photographed, a surface performer is probably what they wanted … more Lukewarm Skywalker than James Kirk.

As for Shatner’s ACTING bona fides, I suggest you watch THE INTRUDER … a role that actually calls for all of Shat’s gifts. Or even the quiet moment on the RAY BRADBURY THEATER he did, in which for one scene he drops all the mannered Shatnerisms and just talks.

Wow, Rogue Brewery, Voodoo Donuts, and now…THIS?! I gotta get out to Portland more often…!

Took me a couple days to see this. But that was a fun video!

Trek in the Park is wonderful. I’ve been to the performances, mostly on hot, overly, sunshiny days and surrounded by hordes of Trek fans. People make an entire day of it, showing up at noon or one pm for the five o’clock performances to claim a good seat — if you show up after 2:30, you are stuck in the back row. Prior to the show, umbrellas, tables, pop-up tents and patio covers dot the landscape. We took our rolling cooler and folding chairs.

Atomic Arts did a remarkable job with this year’s Journey to Babel. They are respectful of both the material, the fans, and the mythos that comes with the nearly fifty-year-old TV series. I was particularly taken by the actor that played Gav. His delivery was spot on and in character for the performance we attended. My husband liked the live performance of the theme.

Trek in the Park runs through August 26th. If you are lucky enough to be in the Portland area, or live here, like we do, go see Journey to Babel at Cathedral Park. I’d go early and camp out up near the stage to the side where the St. Johns is. You’ll get more shade and still see everything!

Don’t forget to watch the credits and the previews. They’re terrific!

And get a t-shirt. They are really spiffy this year.

Just saw this today. They did a great job! During a performance a dog broke free from its owner and ran up on stage during Kirk’s fight scene with the Andorian. As Kirk called for help over the intercom he said that he was “in the corrider with Ensign Dog, near his quarters.” It got a big laugh and was a great example of live theater. Everything else was 100% accurate to the original script. My only concern was that there was little to no micing for the cast and it made some of the lines difficult to hear from back. If you go, try to watch the TV version to refresh your memory on the lines. I did this and found that it really helped fill in a gap or two in understanding dialogue. BTW they stated that next year will be their last year so see it while you can.

#30 – “16, seen no evidence Pine is anything but a very light ‘persona’ performer – which is fine for a phoned-in, Roger Moore-level impression of a character”

What else have you watched that Chris Pine has been in? Movies or television episodes? Just curious – given the statement you have just made.

A couple of movies that he was in, playing the main character, was Blind Dating and Carriers. I never considered those performances phoned-in.

See, this I get. I would totally enjoy this. Episodes of Star Trek (TOS especially and chunks of TNG & DS9) were definitely written more like stage plays than television, so this kind of presentation works. It’s the self-serious fan films that I just can’t seem to get into.

A couple of TV episodics, UNSTOPPABLE (until I stopped watching, way it was shot turned me off) and THIS MEANS WAR.

by phoned-in, I meant superficial, which is a word that I use ‘Roger Moore’ as a synonym for, based on everything he ever did outside of one scene in THE WILD GEESE.

There are persona performers who I find more effective … Heston, for one, up till 1975 or so. Even though everybody talks about what a fine character actor Timothy Dalton is, I see the same mannered approaches in all of his roles, so I slip him into that category as well, though at the absolute top of the list (for somebody who grew up with Connery as 007 and THEN read/inhaled the books, Dalton is amazingly Fleming-like as Bond, the Bond of the first novel and especially of the last couple or three.)

Pine to me seems like early Redford, where his strength may be going light … but then again I haven’t seen anything as skillful as Redford in BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, and obviously Pine hasn’t brought anything like Redford did with The Sundance Kid yet.

Love it.


Brilliant, would love to see this live.

Well, I’m coming into this later than one might wish; that being said:

I thought the news story treated the topic VERY well – enthusiastic? Not quite; but, very honest and open minded, at least. And a labor of love it is, indeed. Bravo to those folks out on the left coast! I wish we could do something like it out here in the Happy Valley (Western Massachusetts).