Articles by Anthony Pascale


Abrams Penned 3rd Season Premiere of Lost Airs Tonight

Star Trek XI producer JJ Abrams greatest claim to fame is probably the creation of the hit show ‘Lost’ which premiered in 2004. He along with fellow Trek XI producer Damon Lindelof are credited as making genre TV cool again. Since then no one has been able to duplicate it, and each network did try and fail last season  (including CBS’s attempt with Brannon Braga’s ‘Threshold’). Many feel that Lost dropped a bit in quality in its second season (during which Abrams was busy making MI:3). Tonight Lindelof and Abams are back as co-writers, which is their first Lost script since the Pilot two years ago. The script titled ‘Tale of Two Cities’ was written around the same time Abrams was writing the story for Trek XI (and right before starting the script) so we will see if he has ‘still got it’.  Early reviews indicate that  season 3 is off to a bang, here is what the USA Today had to say about it…


Trek XI Writers Hold ‘Write A Line’ Contest For Transformers Movie

Next summer Paramount Pictures is bringing the Transformers franchise to the big screen in a live action movie. The film is directed by Michael Bay and written by Trek XI scriptwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. Weeks ago we covered their streaming video Q&A session where they mentioned an upcoming fan contest. This week marks the start of the contest where they are letting fans submit lines for their script. 10 entries for a line of dialog will be recorded by star Peter Cullen (the voice of Optimus Prime) with the winning entry ending up in the final film. Paramont along with Orci and Kurtzman are to be applauded for their fan outreach on Transformers. With Orci and Kurtzman also having exec-producer credit for Star Trek XI we can only hope that this kind of feedback and involvement will be in store for Trek fans as well. The Transforms film is just finishing up principal filming and will be released on July 4th. The official website promises to provide many goodies like pictures, video, blogs, etc but so far it all says ‘coming soon’ Go to the Offical Transformers Site to Enter in the Contest


Trek Game Drought Ends Tuesday

It has been more than two and a half years since the release of the last Star Trek video game (the lackluster ‘Star Trek Shattered Universe’ for the PS2). But Trek gamers can now rejoice, the long wait is over. Bethesda Softworks has announced the North American release dates for their first swath of Trek Games: Ocotber 3  October 24 November 7 Encounters Tactical Assault Legacy   PS2 PSP & DS PC & XBox 360 


LA Times Columnist Compares Trek to the Bible, Suggests Abandoning the ‘Canon’ for Trek XI

LA Times Magazine Columnist Dan Neil devoted his regular ‘800 words’ column today to Star Trek.  Of the franchise he caims that Trek is the "the most successful entertainment franchise in history." Although certainly in the top ten, it is unclear that this claim can be backed up. But he doesn’t stop there… "Star Trek"—the horn-rimmed invention of an eccentric Hollywood scriptwriter—is one of the two or three richest, most thoroughly elaborated fictional narratives in human history. What comes close? The Vedas, perhaps. The Bible? In terms of the number of characters, story lines, the comings and goings of civilizations, the Bible is not even in the same ballpark, or quadrant of the galaxy, as they say on the bridge of the Enterprise. Neil then goes on to describe and denounce the rumored plans for Trek XI being a prequel, using the religious metephor to the hilt….


Today is Naked Time Remastered Day

The Enterprise crew catch a virus that removes their inhibitions. Video preview / Local Station & Showtimes / More at Memory Alpha TrekMovie will have screenshots up tonight, and a review by tomorrow. What to keep an eye out for beyond the usual establishing shots of the ship: early shot of Psi 2000 mountains and clouds multiple viewscreen shots of planet Psi 2000 coming in and out of view as it shrinks Fixing the missing phaser beam ‘goof’ of Scotty cutting through the wall into engineering new ‘timewarp’ effect …and of course Spock totally losing it NOTE: The episode guide has been updated…next week’s episode will be ‘City on the Edge of Forever’ and not ‘The Managerie Part I’ so what did you think of Naked Time Remastered?   


Trekkies III: The Search For Fan Films?

Spotted this tidbit about Denise Crosby in the most recent Vegas con report on StarTrek.com After producing and hosting the first two "Trekkies" documentaries, Crosby said she is toying with ideas for a third one. "We’ll see — I’vegot it in mind to do. I’d like to do three; I just think three seems more complete — I’m looking at the boxed set down the line, y’know?" She said the theme of the next project would likely involve what she called "fan filmdom." It would be an interesting move for Paramount to put out another ‘Trekkies’ movie around the same time they are trying to expand the audience for Star Trek with Star Trek XI. If it does happen one would hope that Crosby and the other producers strived to be a bit more balanced then the previuos two films. Many Trek fans have felt that Trekkies I and II reinforced many of the negative stereotypes of Star Trek fans, some of which are now being dispelled by Trek Sociologist John Tenuto. The choice of the so called ‘fan films’ is also interesting, it could be seen as one step closer to legitimacy for these independent Trek films.  


Roddenberry thinks Abrams ‘Gets It’, Dorn Does Not

StarTrek.com has posted a very belated con report from the Creation Vegas convention from 5 weeks ago (see our story here). This one covers many different people but has some more detailed comments on Trek XI from Michael Dorn, Rod Roddenberry and Paula Block…here they are… Rod Roddenberry Thinks Abrams ‘gets it” I am very open to J.J. Abrams doing this next movie. I like thefact that it’s someone new. I also like the fact that he’s an actualfan of the show … I’d be concerned that it might be, y’know, another version of ‘Star Wars’ but now called ‘Star Trek’ … [But] I think he’s one of us. He gets it, he has the passion, and I think he’s gonna do a great job. I just want to make sure he’s strong enough to stand upto the executives that say, ‘We need bigger breasts.’ That comes afterwards — let’s get the story first.


Spiner and Sirtis Talk About Treks That Might Have Been

SciFi Pulse has a couple of magazine excerpts up from TNG stars Brent Spiner and Marina Sirtis. Spiner talked to Dreamwatch magazine about the idea for Star Trek XI that he and Star Trek Nemesis story co-writer John Logan had:: the next film would have been was a Justice League of Star Trek. Something would bring all the great Star Trek villains together, from Khan to Shinzon, and Picard is the only person who could stop them and he actually has to go through time and pluck out the people he needs to help him. He goes back to the moment before Data blows up and takes him back to get Kirk and Spock, and go even further back and get Scott Bakula’s character Archer. The only problem Spiner saw with that idea was the cost…TrekMovie suggests he looks a little harder



Trek Stars Perform Mock Trek XI Casting Call

StarTrek.com has just posted a con report from the recent PlanetXPo in Seattle which describes a Trek XI themed ‘radio play’ performed by a number of Trek Luminaries. The play was titled ‘My Kingdom for a Kirk’ and mimicked a theoretical casting call for a new captain Kirk. Star Trek Enterprise’s John Billingsley played the part of Trek XI producer JJ Abrams, assisted by his secretary "Miss Rand" played by Grace Lee Witney. Auditioning for the role of Kirk was none other than George Takei, Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig…all playing themselves. Takei self deferentially told ‘Abrams’ that he should actually do a movie about ‘The Adventures of Captain Sulu on the Excelsior’, then acquiesed to doing his best attempt at a Kirk (in full Shatner mockery).  Nichols tried to convince Abrams that he should have a woman play Kirk and Koenig tried to convince him he wanted a Russian Captain Kirkov. The original series stars were followed up by Tim Russ and Gary Graham vying for the part of the new Spock. Alan Ruck, J.G. Hertzler and Garrett Wang also show up with the play ending with ‘Abrams’ deciding he is willing to pay Matt Damon anything he wants.


Siddig, Sulu, Singer, and Spaceballs In A Slow News Day Smackdown

TrekToday interviewed Star Trek DS9 star Alexander Siddig and it appears that he has put Trek behind him. Siddig talked about his successful post Trek career and only said "next question" when asked if he would be interested in getting a call from Trek XI’s JJ Abrams. He also said that he doesn’t think his Syriana co-star Matt Damon would want to even be in Trek XI, telling TrekToday "Damon would be a great Trek captain, but I’d be a little surprised if he has agreed to do it, frankly."  Check out the full interview for more. We still dont know if a new Sulu will be in StarTrek XI, but it seems the old Sulu is getting one more shot. Star Trek’s George Takei will reprise his role as Sulu for the popular online fan film "NewVoyages" which is shooting a new episode this week. With his usual humility Takei tells AP "My coming back is crucial to the existence of the Enterprise…It’s classic drama, and it’s rip-snorting good." More coverage on the TrekFan Film phenom at Forbes.


HDNet Not Interested in Trek Remastered, Is Interested in Trek Movies

A week ago HDNet began showing Star Trek: Enterprise in HD. This makes it the sole source for any Star Trek TV in HD, as the new Trek Remastered is not being broadcast in HD (story).  Since they currently have a monopoly on Trek in HD, TrekMovie.com contacted HDNet to see what is next and owner Mark Cuban himself answered our questions about the future of Trek on HDNet. Cuban tells TrekMovie.com that HDNet has spoken to CBS Paramount about the new Star Trek Remastered in HD but they are not interested in the show presently. Cuban did say he was open to HD version of other Trek series (like TNG) in HD if they become available, telling TrekMovie.com "It depends on the response to this series. If we find a lot of people are subscribing to HDNet to see Enterprise, we will of course look for more." But for the 10 Trek feature films in HD, Cuban is ready to go, telling TrekMovie "we are in discussions about them." Cuban and HDNet did not give any further details on when we might see the feature films in HD and our sources within Paramount and CBS are still trying to figure out where in the vast former Viacom empire deals with HDNet are struck.


Media Already Playing The Trek XI Recasting Game…TrekMovie.com joins in

Star Trek XI is still months away from getting a finished script and budget, but the recasting buzz is already building. Many Trekkies are still debating if recasting is the right way to go, but the mainstream media is way past that. Even though it is too early for Abrams to start approaching actors, Matt Damon just saying he hasn’t been approached yet resulted in hundreds of articles around the web and in print.  It may not have been Abrams intention, but the buzz about ‘who will be the new Kirk/Spock/etc’ is guaranteed to generate tons of free publicity for Star Trek XI. It is still unclear how many original characters will be in the new movie, but each one will create its own mini buzz. And the media aren’t waiting to see who Abrams picks, they are already choosing their favorites (usually going for the whole crew). Here are some recent examples of some journalists’ recasting advice for JJ Abrams



Spiner Aproves Of Abrams and Trek Remastered

Recently we reported that Brent Spiner (TNG’s Data) was resigned to Star Trek Nemesis being the end of the line for the Next Generation crew. But it appears he is not bitter (unlike a certain former Counselor) and is upbeat on Star Trek XI’s Producer JJ Abrams. Spiner tells Starburst Magazine: I think he’s a fine choice, why not? Lost is a really interesting show. Alias was fun. I haven’t seen Mission Impossible III. But who would be better? Spiner also scoffs at ‘purist fan’ reaction to CBS adding CGI effects, telling Starburst "I don’t think that remastering the Star Trek series to look better is really tampering with it.”  In other Trek Remastered news, the Jules Verne Adventure Expo will be showing the remastered versions of ‘The Naked Time’ and ‘City on the Edge of Forever’ on October 15th in Los Angeles. That will be the first public showing for the remastered ‘City’, which is considered by many to be the best episode of the series and TrekMovie.com will be there.


Remastered Devil in The Dark Airs Today…See the Preview

Week 2 of Trek Remastered gives us Devil in the Dark. Don’t expect much in terms of new space effects with Kirk and a few red shirts hunting Horta. That being said this week will mark a Trek Remastered first with some redone (and possibly animated) versions of the old matte paintings. Check our listings for your station and showime (if your local time is not there then send us a tip to add it).  Promos are already airing, here is one from Chicago (thanks to a loyal reader) TrekMovie.com will have screenshots and a review up this weekend, and if you see any promos for Trek Remastered let us know. but you don’t need to wait for that to tell us what you think of Devil in the Dark Remastered.


Dochterman Fires Proximity Phasers

Since the first airing of Trek Remastered many have raised the question of CBS possibly being ‘too faithful’ to the original effect shots. ST:TMP Director’s Edition Visual Effects Supervisor Daren Dochterman, who reviewed Balance of Terror Remastered for TrekMovie.com, takes a different view on ‘faithfulness’. Dochterman blogs today: I don’t think it’s a bad idea to be slavishly copying the original 60s visual effects.  I just think it should be done more accurately. To demonstrate this he has created what he considers a more accurate but still faithful version of the proximity phaser shot. click to launch QT video of Dochterman’s Proximity Phaser Shot (see below for CBS’s version and the original version)


Is the MI Franchise Still Alive?…Now with Pitt!? [Update: Para says not happening]

After Tom Cruise was booted off the lot by Sumner Redstone last month it seemed the Mission Impossible franchise was no longer on Paramount’s front burner. MI:III director JJ Abrams was signed this summer to a long term deal with Paramount, but his first film was to be Star Trek XI. Then there were a few rumblings from the Paramount and Cruise/Warner camps that maybe a Cruise MI4 was possible. Now the new hot rumor burning up Hollywood is that Paramount want the series to continue, but now with Brad Pitt. The original report in  This Is London states that Pitt would play a new character and Cruise’s Ethan Hunt will be ‘retired’. The report throws around some gigantic numbers related to the project, that  would make Pitt the highest paid star in history. Paramont has recently signed a deal with Pitt’s production company Plan B, and he is certainly a bankable name. If the report is true (something others have not been able to confirm) and Paramount want to keep the MI:III cash register ringing, the obvious question for us is: what about Abrams?



Abrams O Rama

Star Trek XI is certainly not the only iron in the fire for producer JJ Abrams, here are some of the latest news items for our new dear leader… ABC is launching its 4th Abrams produced show ‘Six Degress’ this Thursday. Vareity says of the show’s Pilot: "cleverly written giving the characters a heady, just-specific-enough mix of mystery, intrigue and charm — the key in each of producer J.J. Abrams’ hits." ‘Six Degrees’ will be one of three Abrams series on ABC this fall, joining ‘Lost’ and ‘What About Brian’.  Abrams has recently cut a multimillion dollar deal with Warner Bros. to develop even more TV shows…spreading yourself a bit thin there JJ…don’t forget about Kirk and Spock! Trek XI’s only semi-certain castmember Greg Grunberg told the NY Daily News that lifepartner Abrams is a big fan of his new show on NBC, ‘Heroes’. They quote Grunberg as saying "I talk to him (Abrams) every single day…and he said to me, ‘I’m telling you, "Heroes" is going to be a huge hit.’" As they point out, it is a good thing Abrams new show isn’t going up against his pal Grunbergs show.


Avast There Be Space Pirates

Ahoy mateys, today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. If there is one thing that that Star Trek’s Orions, Ferengi, and Nausicaans has taught is…pirates are eternal. (note this may be in dispute according to the Church of the Flying Spagetti Monster) Even in the utopian Federation there are bound to be a still a few malcontents, and Mal Reynolds and Han Solo show us that everyone loves a bad boy. I for one would like to see a certain Harcourt Fenton Mudd appear in Star Trek XI. Ye hears that Abrams ye scaleywag! 


Reviews Of Trek Remastered Mixed

Today TrekMovie.com ran our first review of Trek Remastered from Daren Dochterman and it was decidedly mixed, summing the first episode up as a missed opportunity. More reviews are coming in and it appears Daren is not alone.  On one hand, the transfers of the original episodes look absolutely gorgeous. The vibrant color, the fine detail, the light texture of the print grain… it’s just exceptional. The new HD transfers offer really a great looking image. On the other hand, the new CG effects aren’t nearly what I’d hoped they’d be.    – Bill Hunt, Digital Bits A few of the FX seemed appropriately organic, while others screamed out tacky CGI that didn’t integrate with either the feel of the show, or other newly rendered effects…. all in all, a mixed bag thus far.    – Merrick of Aint It Cool News


Trek Remastered A Hit In Chicago, A Miss In NYC

Because Trek Remastered is syndicated the airtimes are based on the local broadcaster, with the show often being aired in the wee hours of the morning. Some stations are taking a different tack and Chicago’s WWME is a perfect example. Up until recently Star Trek Enterprise showed at 11 am on WCIU in Chicago, the nation’s third largest media market. When Star Trek Remastered was announced Weigel Broadcasting, who had the conract for Enteprise, took it as an opportunity. They decided to move the show to 6pm Saturdays and put it on WWME (also known as ‘MeTV‘) with a rerun on the following Sunday night at 11 pm.  "It is a much better time and a pefect fit for MeTV," says Sean Long Program Director for Weigel. MeTV almost exclusively shows reruns of classic TV shows and starting next week Trek will be preceeded by the classic scifi show Lost in Space. "We are really excited about the the show and especially the new effects," said Long. They were so excited about new Trek they issued a press release and have been heavily promoting the show (see previous story). "We expect better ratings for the show in its new slot," said Long. WWME are already happy with the results telling TrekMovie.com that their overnight ratings showing a 550% improvement for the timeslot (previously airing back to back episodes of Batman). "Enterprise never really found its audience, but the classic show is for everybody," said Long. WWME plan on continuing to promote the show and said they would even be interested in showing Trek in its uncut form if CBS made that available.


Ron Moore: Star Trek Changed My Life

In today’s New York Times, Battlestar Galactica co-creator and longtime Trek writer/producer Ron Moore offers his thoughts on Star Trek’s 40th Anniversary. In his editorial Moore details now Trek ‘literally changed’ his life. Moore elaborates on how the actions of Kirk and his crew served as a reference for him as a young man. “Star Trek” painted a noble, heroic vision of the future, and that vision became my lodestar.


Today is Remastered Balance Of Terror Day (and Miri too)

Don’t forget boys and girls…today is the day (for many of you) to see the first episode of the remastered Star Trek The Original Series: ‘Balance of Terror’. Our stations & showtimes list has been updated again. Showtimes vary from this morning to Monday morning, and if you dont find your showtime…check local listings and then let us know! Some stations will also air ‘Miri’ at a special time this weekend, but if your local does not it will repeate it repeats later in the year. You can check the full list of episdoes air dates here. TrekMovie.com will have reviews of both ‘Balance of Terror’ and ‘Miri’ hopefully by Monday. StarTrek.com has put up a brief promo vid for Balance of Terror (click to launch player) What did you think of Trek Remastered?if you have seen Balance or Miri, feel free to share your thoughts with fellow TrekMovie readers (just make a comment to this article)


Damon: Not Been Approached For New Kirk…But Is That Significant?

IESB is reporting that Matt Damon ‘was quick to say he hadn’t heard anything about it’ in reference to him playing Kirk in JJ Abrams Star Trek XI. Damon’s publicist also told IESB "We’ve never heard anything on our end. I even called Endeavor, Matt’s agency, to see if they had heard anything – they hadn’t. There has been nothing from Paramount and I haven’t heard anything from JJ’s camp." The Damon as Kirk rumor was started months ago by Mark Malkin of the Insider and grew to monumental proportions when (briefly) IMDB listed Damon as being confirmed for the film (story). When TrekMovie.com asked Malkin about this he was quick to point out that he never claimed that Abrams and Damon were talking; only that Abrams was interested. And these latest comments from Damons publicist are essentially the same ones she gave the Wall Street Journal a month ago. TrekMovie.com did talk to a source inside Paramount about this who noted that that no one has been appraoched becuase (as we have reported here in the past) there is no script, no budget and no greenlight yet. So essentially  no one can be approached for Star Trek XI formally.


Shatner Continues To Backpedal On Abrams Remarks

Today the folks at williamshatner.com sent out an email special announcement: "SPECIAL NEWS EDITION: William Shatner on the Star Trek Movie." William Shatner has released a statement on the new Star Trek MovieBill has posted a short comment on the Star Trek movie on his website that we feel is important enough to send out an additional bulletin this week…. What was the big deal? It turns out it is just the  rather oddly worded ‘gas’ comment from his forums which was reported here yesterday. For some reason Shatner and/or his people feel this is so important that every knows his vews on ‘the gas coming from Abrams.’ It does seem a bit strange after weeks of Shatner talking up JJ Abrams every time he was interviewed or appeared at a convention that he feels this comment must get out to everyone.


Nimoy Up for Spock Again, Down on Trek Remastered, Barrett OK With Both

The Akron Beacon Journal spoke to Leonard Nimoy yesterday mostly about is photography, but he dropped a couple of Trek bombshells on the way. On whether or not (if asked) he would reprise his role as Spock in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek XI he said he would be willing "if I thought they had a project of merit". One would also imagine that (as Nimoy and  Shatner have recenlty joked about) Abrams would also have to ‘meet his price’. But the Beacon reports he wasn’t so optimistic on Trek Remastered: …he also worried about a newly enhanced version of the original series…Nimoy, who has not seen the new version, said at first that he thought the changes were simply sprucing up the colors and clarity of the show, and that was fine. Told the new version also had computer-updated images of the starships and other new details, he said, “Shame on them.”


Some Mixed Messages From William Shatner On His Site

In recent weeks William Shatner has been quite chatty about Star Trek XI and producer JJ Abrams. 10 days ago in Toronto he said he thought Abrams would revive the franchise and spoke about how Abrams wanted to talk to both he and Leonard Nimoy. Then last weekend in Chicago he told a convention audience he had indeed spoken to Abrams last Friday and was planning on meeting him this week. He repeated hints that he may be involved in Star Trek XI to another audience in Sacramento on Sunday. Just this Tuesday he posted the following on the front page of his offical website On Star Trek’s 40th: Forty years of age, as far as I’m concerned, is still a child.   STAR TREK is in its infancy-wait until We Really Get Going.- My Best, Bill ‘we really get going’…is Shatner including himself in that future? But early this morning in his chat forums there is the following reply to queries about Abrams: