If the name David Gerrold rings a bell, it should, he was responsible for The Trouble with Tribbles, and various Animated Trek stores too. He recently was intereviewd in Australia’s Courier Mail newspaper. He has written a new book about the original series called ‘Boarding the Enterprise‘. In the interview Gerrold speaks in favor of a "reboot" much like Batman and Superman have recently been given. Wipe the blackboard clean and you go back to Kirk, Spock and McCoy and the Enterprise, with new actors to find different interpretations of the characters. And I think there’s a possibility, just as we’ve see different interpretations of Superman and Batman, maybe that’s how Star Trek is gonna survive.
For months now William Shatner has made no secret that he wants to be in Star Trek XI, and even Leonard Nimoy has said he would come out of retirement for something substantial. We also know that both actors have consulting/promotional contracts for the film and have spoken with producer JJ Abrams. Now in a new interview with IGN, The Shat says that Abrams is writing them into the script: They seem to be going in the direction of putting in [Leonard]Nimoy and myself. But in order to do that, it’s a difficult story to write. So they’re in the midst of wrestling with all of that. He also says that if Abrams wants the original Kirk and Spock, it better be more than just a cameo:
Remastered episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series are pacing upwards after a slow start back in September of last year. The latest data shows the ‘The Corbomite Maneuver’ registered a a 1.6 household rating, marking a season high for the series. The show is currently averaging a 1.3 household rating, just slightly below what Star Trek: Enterprise averaged in its first and only season in off-network broadcast syndication last year (1.4, with a peak of 1.7). However the show is following a similar pattern as Enterprise did and the recent 1.6 rating is the first time Star Trek has registered a stronger rating than Enterprise (see chart below for a detailed view). For the week of December 11 Star Trek was the second highest rated program in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Syndication category behind the 1.9 of Alias (ahead of Smallville – 1.4, Stargate SG-1 -1.3, Stargate Atlantis – 1.2, Farscape – 0.7 and The Outer Limits – 0.6). Click More to see ratings chart
As if he didn’t have enough on his plate, JJ Abrams will be the Executive Producer on a new medical drama just given the green light by HBO. The Hollywood Reporter describes it as is "a hospital drama that explores the battle against cancer from the patients’ point of view." It is based on a book "The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness". This is the first show that would be part of Abrams deal to develop new TV shows for Warner Brothers and would make it the 4th show he would be currently producing. It is also reported that Abrams may direct the pilot episode of the untitled medical show. The Trek XI writer/producer is already slated to direct episodes of The Office and Lost this year, but has still not committed to directing Star Trek XI. More info at The Hollywood Reporter.
it has been 3 weeks, but TOS-R is back…with Klingons!! (wmv)
The digital distribution of Star Trek continues, now the first season of the Original Series is available on Apple’s iTunes…including many remastered episodes. Episodes are available for $1.99 each, or the whole season (29 episodes) is available for $56.99…a whole savings of 72 cents! The episodes are uncut and in 640×480 resolution (not as good as DVD) and presented in standard 4:3. Just like with XBox Live, there are Remastered episodes mixed in, so far it seems just the season one episodes that have been broadcast. It is assumed that like with XBox Live, additional episodes of Star Trek Remastered will be added over time. click to go to iTunes Trek page
For Star Trek XI news, 2006 was both exciting and frustrating. In April and May we first learned about the project and got some public statements from producer JJ Abrams and his cohorts, then the cone of silence descended and it became almost impossible to learn anything about the film. This is actually quite normal for a film this far out. Paramount know that Trek is an important franchise and that there is really no upside to talking a lot about a film at this very early stage. For 2007, some of that will change…and it promises to be a big year for Trek XI. This article is to summarize where we are now (Much of the following has been reported before, but some is new)
A few months back this site (when we were called ‘The Trek XI Report’) and TrekWeb reported on some comments from Marina Sirtis (article here). The actress had some rather negative views of the executives at Paramount and J.J. Abrams plans for the franchise. The quotes were taken from publically available transcripts of an online chat she held with fans. Gustavo Leao of TrekWeb is now reporting that she has posted a new message to her fans voicing concerns about this: I have always thought that the chats I have with my fans are private to us and I never imagined that anyone would then take any information I divulged and post it on another site. What I tell you guys is for us only. My feelings on certain topics such as Shatner were never intended to be made public. To be honest I feel utterly betrayed.
In the new issue of Star Trek Magazine, Trek Remastered Producer Dave Rossi wants to get some stuff off his chest. In article written by Rossi about how the project to enhance the Original Series came to be, the Producer makes it clear that they are listening…but not always agreeing with the reactions to Trek Remastered. Rossi fires back at the critics: We’ve already been bad-mouthed and cursed and burned in effigy by a handful of people, including some friends and colleagues, who know better than most what we’re up against from a production standpoint, yet have firmly placed their fanboy hats on to criticize the work. Sitting in their armchairs they have the luxury to do that. Tell us how you really feel Dave…
part 3 of our series reviewing past Trek movies In the wake of 1982’s enormously successful The Wrath of Khan, and particularly before the universally despised Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Leonard Nimoy’s directorial debut, Star Trek III, was the whipping boy of the burgeoning Star Trek movie franchise. On the face of it the movie was a success—feverishly anticipated, given extra buzz by Nimoy’s presence behind the camera, the mystery of the fate of Spock after his death in Trek II, and the “final mission of the starship Enterprise” tagline that teased the movie’s shocking destruction of the beloved space vessel at the movie’s climax. Reviews were good, if not as glowing as the ones for Nicholas Meyer’s Wrath of Khan (one of the few Trek movies to garner non-condescending raves from the mainstream press), and box office business was brisk.
In honor of the new year TrekMovie presents some of the most memorable moments of Trek drinking. So sit back and toast to the new year with our list. Click more for the list
The second week of Star Trek auctions on eBay from It’s a Wrap Hollywood ended like the first, with only 69 of the 100 lots selling. There is a growing grumbling amongst Trek collectors over the minimum prices, with many feeling that It’s A Wrap lack understanding of the Trek collector market. The fact that 1/3 of the items are not selling due to overly high minimum prices seems to bear this out. However It’s A Wrap may be getting the message, many of the items that failed to sell due in week 1 have now appeared for week 3, but now without any reserve prices. The week of Christmas is always the worst sales week of the year on eBay, none the less, It’s a Wrap Hollywood used the week to put a lot of small, less desirable background props on this week’s auctions. 22 items, mostly bags and fabric went for under $100.
It was a banner year for the Shat…see him talk about 2006 and his resolutions for 2007. Shatner Boldly Goes Online For A New Year’s Message
This weekend ‘Mirror Mirror’ is the last repeat for Star Trek Remastered winter hiatus. XBox 360 owners can download ‘Mirror Mirror’ in HD as XBox Live have recently added all the 2nd season of the Original Series (including the HD versions of the TOS-R episodes that have been produced so far). StarTrek.com have now put up a total of 7 TOS-R wallpapers, however they haven’t put up one for ‘Mirror Mirror’. UPDATE: since they didn’t make one…we thought we would make two. (Hopefully in the future we will offer higher res versions from the HD master) TrekMovie.com coverage: PREVIEW | VIDEO/SCREENSHOTS | REVIEW
This is the second of our series of looking back to past Trek films and seeing what they can teach us about how to make Trek work again on the big screen. In the wake of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (TMP), which did solid business but was very expensive, Trek’s future remained uncertain. At one point there was even a rumor (reported in the New York Times) that Trek would return to the small screen with a new series involving all the leads. In the end Paramount decided to keep going with feature films, but make some big personnel changes. They bought out Roddenberry’s remaining interest in the Trek property, and handed the reins over to veteran TV producer Harve Bennett (best known for producing The Mod Squad, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Bionic Woman). Bennett tells the story about how Gulf+Western CEO Charles Bluhdorn gave him marching orders “to make a movie that isn’t boring for less than 45 f—ing million dollars.” Coming from the low budget world of TV, Bennett assured Bluhdorn he could make 3 movies for that amount, and he just about did. Bennett then set off to learn everything about Trek and got to work on what would be the first of a trilogy of successful Trek films.
The meeting of Autobots and Decepticons in the feature film version of Transformers July 4, 2007 will be preceded by a 4 issue prequel comic published by IDW. Transformers comic writer Simon Furman and Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall will pen the issues with art by Don Figueroa telling stories set before the big screen adventure. The first issue will be available this February with a 4 issues adaptation of the feature film being released in June. IDW also happen to be the new licensee for Star Trek comics, with a TNG series coming this January. IDW tell TrekMovie.com that their license covers ‘all of Star Trek’ and they plan on releasing a Klingon series as well as a TOS series. Can we also expect Trek XI prequels and adaptations? For now IDW remain mum on this issue, but prequel comics are all the rage and have been made for the recent Star Wars films as well as Superman Returns . Considering that Transformers is a Paramount feature film written by the same screenwriters as Star Trek XI (Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci) it seems likely we may get a prequel to the upcoming Trek prequel.
In 2003 the British ITV program ‘After They Were Famous’ did an episode on Star Trek, focusing on the Original Series. It includes interviews with all the cast alive at the time (including Doohan) as well as Bob Justman and Herb Solow. It has a lot of behind the scenes footage as well. It is now up on YouTube (in four parts…click more for parts 2-4)
The results of the Bethesda Software’s Star Trek: Legacy game are like the recent solstice. Depending on your perspective, it is either darkness or light. The game is one of the first official Trek video games in two years, and certainly the most anticipated. It is also the first Star Trek venue of any kind to feature performances by all five Trek captains (in the form of voice acting by Shatner, Stewart, Brooks, Mulgrew and Bakula). The question is what will Legacy’s legacy be with Star Trek fans and gamers? Is it darkness or light? Perhaps a bit of both.
Like Seinfeld’s Frank Constanza, Star Trek was never big on Christmas. But there still were a few passing mentions, the most notable being Picard’s Christmas fantasy in Generations. We here at TrekMovie.com hope the fantasies of all the Trekkie boys and girls come true this holiday.
As we reported recently Star Trek had 3 entries on TV Land’s list of Top 100 TV catchphrases. Here are William Shatner, Marina Sirtis, George Takei, LeVar Burton, and Wil Wheaton (along with a collection of quasi-celebrities) discussing "Resistance is Futile", "Live Long and Prosper" and "Space the Final Frontier…"
The first week of new Star Trek auctions on eBay from It’s a Wrap Hollywood ended yesterday, bringing in about $72,000. Surprisingly only 67 of the 100 lots sold, the others not hitting their reserve (or minimum) prices. These unsold items had received bids totalling over $24,000, but apparently CBS Paramount and It’s A Wrap wanted more. The item topping the sold list was a Captain Janeway Command Uniform which went for $4,150. However, this is less than half of what the same type of costume went for in the Christie’s auction. Other Voyager uniforms sold well, averaging $960 apiece. The big surprise was the price people were willing to pay for dress uniforms from Star Trek Insurrection and Star Trek Nemesis; two of which went for $3,505 each (three times what would be expected for items worn by background players). Other First Contact uniforms also went for more than expected indicating that movie costumes were suddenly more in demand. Oh and remember those skants? Well a gold one sold for $739 and the red sold for a whopping $993!
IGN Filmforce have been counting down the top 25 film franchises and Star Trek ended up as #5. Eric Moro, IGN Editor in Chief sums Trek up thusly: Ever since The Original Series debuted on NBC back in 1966, there’s been a steady stream of Trek within the pop culture zeitgeist. Sure, I can spew off franchise facts like six TV series, 10 feature films (with an 11th currently in development from J.J. Abrams), tons of videogames, action figures, novels, comic books and two Las Vegas themed attractions. But perhaps more impressive is the impact the property has made on fandom itself—I’m talking the fan fiction, the fan films (most found on the Internet) and the yearly conventions. Even more impressive still is the impact these fans have made on the mainstream. One of many examples: After a massive letter writing campaign, NASA names the first space shuttle the Enterprise. Now that’s a powerhouse franchise!
This weekend is another repeat for Star Trek Remastered: ‘Devil in The Dark’. In honor of the event StarTrek.com has put up a wallpaper (in 3 sizes) of the excellent matte painting by CBS Digital’s Max Gabl. Click image below to go to their download page.
Brent Spiner (TNG: Data) is already on record as being against the prequel concept for Star Trek XI and now he is also questioning the ability for Trek to again break out to the mainstream. In an interview with FilmFocusUK, Spiner jabs at JJ Abrams and Paramount saying that they spent too much money on Mission Impossible III. He then questions whether they will do the same on Trek XI And that’s the big fear with this Star Trek movie because this new regime at Paramount; I don’t know that they understand the franchise. Maybe [Abrams] will be able to do it, maybe he’ll be able to bridge the gap between the fans and the general public, but everyone’s tried to do that – that’s always been the intention – and they’ve never been able to do it. They’ve realised that if you spend any more than fifty million dollars on one of these movies you’re going to lose money. There are only so many fans that are going to go. If they come along and make an one-hundred and fifty million dollar movie they’re going to have problems. But I think he could be the guy to do it. He’s a perfectly capable guy and his shows are fun and he seems to know what he’s doing.
If anyone knows the original Star Trek it is Bob Justman. He was a supervising producer on the Star Trek: The Original Series and was even brought back by Gene Roddenberry to help launch Star Trek The Next Generation. Justman literally wrote the book on Trek (‘Inside Star Trek: The Real Story‘). In a new interview in Star Trek magazine, Justman discussed how he questions those who object to Star Trek XI being a prequel of TOS I don’t know much about the new film, so I don’t see why I should write it off in advance, I remember how some people tried to write – off Star Trek: The Next Generation before they saw the show. So all I’ll say at this point is that if J.J. Abrams can make a good movie that sheds more light on what has already happened and adds more creativity to the mix, that sounds great to me.
More proof that Trek, and specifically the Orignal Series, is still part of the cultural zeitgest.
In the latest issue of the official Star Trek Magazine, Trek’s long-time producer Rick Berman talks about the end of his era. SciFi Pulse has excepts from the article where Berman defends his tenure and discusses why the last Trek TV show (Enterprise) failed. Berman says that the rumors of his hating The Original Series (TOS) are not true, but that doesn’t mean he has seen all of it: There was a feeling that Enterprise was going to be a show that was a precursor to The Original Series, and although I’ve read a lot of depictions of both Brannon and myself ‘hating’ the original series, that could not be farther from the truth. We were not obsessed by the original series. I can openly admit that I did not see all 79 episodes of the original series, or 80 if you include the various versions of the pilot, but it was something we respected and did our best to lead up to. But I think that was something that was unsettling for the fans. Not to jump on the ‘bash Bermaga bandwagon’, but it is not unreasonable to expect the creators and producers of a TOS prequel to have at least seen all of TOS.
Today Paramount has released the first full trailer for next summer’s Transformers. The film is written by Trek XI scribes Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. Transformers is a big test for them and Paramount to see if they can take a geeky franchise with a rabid fan base and make it palatable to mainstream movie goers. If Trek XI ends up being Paramount’s big summer movie for 2008, then perhaps a year from now we will be seeing the trailer for Trek XI itself. click to go to Yahoo Movies site to see the trailer Orci and Kurtzman have also picked the winners of their ‘Write a Line For Optimus Prime’ contest, details at the official site
Studio sources have told TrekMovie.com that JJ Abrams has selected long-time collaborator Scott Chambliss to head up the design team for Star Trek XI. The award-winning designer has worked with Abrams on the TV shows Felicity and Alias as well as Abrams directorial debut film Mission – Impossible III. Although Chambliss has been repsonsible for defining the look on over a dozen TV and film projects, this will be his first time in science fiction (unless you count the few genre touches to Alias). For his work on Alias he received 4 Art Directors Guild ‘Excellence In Production Design’ nominations and 3 Emmy nominations (winning one of each). It is no surprise that Chambliss was chosen, and it highlights how Abrams is putting his mark onto Trek. This hire makes Star Trek XI the first Trek film without Herman Zimmerman as the Production Designer since Star Trek V in 1989. So far every single person associated with Star Trek XI is both new to the franchise and has worked with Abrams before (most on M:I:III).
As we have reported, CBS is future-proofing The Original Series by creating all the new effects for Trek Remastered in 16:9 widescreen and HD. Although CBS affiliates are broadcasting only in SD (where all effects shots are cropped to a 4:3 aspect ratio), many episodes are now showing up in HD on the XBox Live download service. Due to a fluke of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing at CBS, these XBox Live episodes include the widescreen effects shots mixed in with regular 4:3 live action shots. I have been told this is not how the TOS-R team want it to be shown, but it does give us a glimpse of what Trek can look like in widescreen. So for your enjoyment here are some clips of TOS-R WS. Opening Title (mov | avi)