Break out the Warnog and buckle up your battle armor… this week’s Library Computer takes us on a journey deep into the heart of the Klingon Empire with Keith R.A. DeCandido’s "A Burning House". Also on tap for this week: the future of Star Trek eBooks, and new details on David Mack’s forthcoming “Destiny” crossover trilogy.
Trek Manga — Big Eyes, Small Mouths In September of 2006, TokyoPop did something that had not been done previously when they released an anthology of five stories from Star Trek The Original Series told in the Japanese ‘manga’ style. For this TrekInk we take a look at the first two volumes of Trek Manga plus we have an exclusive look at the next three from Tokyo Pop.
It’s the beginning of March, and winter is nearly done, so it’s time to head out and grab a novel, and prepare to settle in for one final winter reading-fest. This week, the Library Computer is taking a look at “Forged In Fire,” the new Excelsior adventure by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels. We’ll also be catching up with Bones Rodriguez, and keeping an eye out on upcoming releases.
Cloaks, Trickery, and Romulans In this TrekInk column we review IDW’s final issue in the "Alien Spotlight" series. Comic legend John Byrne doesn’t disappoint with this Romulan point of view from the classic TOS episode "Balance of Terror." We also take a look forward and preview Byrne’s upcoming projects with IDW (for both Trek and other comics).
Review: Star Trek TNG: Intelligence Gathering #2 Although it is set in the time of The Next Generation, the second issue of the Scott and David Tipton written "Intelligence Gathering" series is another opportunity for the pair to show off their knowledge of The Original Series. This time they bring in Rigelians (who first appeared in “Journey to Babel”) and the Kaylar (who made their only appearance in the original Star Trek pilot, “The Cage”). But the center of this story of intrigue is Worf.
TrekMovie.com now continues our look back at Trek films past…
To quote one of my favorite bad Kirk lines: “Out of the nowhere; into the here!” It’s a pleasure to take a crack at another Trek Remastered review, and a very special one at that…Other than “The Doomsday Machine,” no classic Trek episode has been more anticipated in Remastered form than the late second season’s “The Ultimate Computer.” The spectacle of starship-on-starship action, achieved almost entirely through duped stock footage in the original episode, has had fans of the Remastered project slavering since the project was originally announced.
The first teaser for J.J. Abrams ‘Star Trek’ film has been released
Starting Friday many Trekkies will be heading to the theaters to see the new Star Trek trailer playing with Cloverfield. However, you just might want to stay and check out the overly-hyped but thoroughly entertaining JJ Abrams-produced monster movie. Review below contains some spoilers
At 17:01 PM part 1 of the long-awaited independent film Star Trek of Gods and Men was released. See below for a quick review [includes spoilers]
Last September CBS commemorated the 40th Anniversary of Star Trek by going back to the original 35mm films and digitally remastering them for the HD era. The project not only cleaned up the images, but also added brand new CGI to replace the original shots that wouldn’t hold up well to the microscope of 1080p HD. This ‘Star Trek Remastered’ has been seen in syndication, but only in standard definition. Now finally with the release of Star Trek The Original Series on DVD/HD DVD Combo disk you can finally see the remastered show in full HDTV resolution, as it was intended to be seen. Plus the set comes complete with many new special features, many of which take advantage of the interactive features of HD DVD.
For many years, the enigmatic Q has been a recurring companion (or should that read nuisance?) to Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise. For the better part of two decades we have witnessed his exploits on the Federation’s flagship, as well as in other parts of the universe. But now, the ultimate riddler prepares to deliver the ultimate answer in Keith R. A. DeCandido’s new Star Trek: The Next Generation novel, "Q&A". Right off the top, "Q&A" sets itself apart from the recent batch of Next Generation novels, opening with quite possibly the most unique prologues of any Star Trek work I have ever picked up. To be honest, it felt more like the work of Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide series) than anything else.
Living on the fringes, 17-year-old Jim Kirk has fled from his father’s Iowa farm to that traditional haven for rebels, San Francisco, where he is a dropout hacker who has seen and experienced too much at a young age: As a wide-eyed space enthusiast three years before on Tarsus IV, he was caught in a nightmare of murder and betrayal, caused by the sudden dictator who called himself Kodos (familiar of course to TOS fans from the episode, “The Conscience of the King.”) We meet Jim as he is trying to clear his Academy cadet girlfriend of false charges, and to show up Starfleet at the same time, for reasons that become clearer as the story goes on.
It seems strange now to think that Star Trek: The Next Generation first debuted some 20 years ago, but there it is – there’s no denying it. I was in college at Wisconsin when the first episode, "Encounter at Farpoint," appeared on the air. I’d been watching reruns of The Original Series for as long as I could remember, so at the time it was a thrill just to have Trek back on the air. The sets, the ships, the technology – it all seemed so sleek and futuristic back in 1987. So it’s somewhat shocking, all these years later, to realize just how dated The Next Generation seems today. Unfortunately, of all the Trek TV series – including The Original Series – this is the one that’s suffered most the passage of time.
The fourth year of the original five-year mission continues with IDW’s Star Trek: Year Four #2. The Enterprise detours to Aarak 3 to replenish their supply of dilithium crystals. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are entertained by King Marat when terrorists attack and nearly succeed in killing the king and his guests. Kirk learns that rapid change since the Federation began buying dilithium has split Aarakaian society. Spock believes that overthrow of the government is inevitable. While Kirk decides whether or not to intervene, Scotty gets some assistance installing new dilithium crystals from a very attractive Aarakaian with more on her mind than starship engines. While the Aarakaians play out an elaborate deception, the crew of the Enterprise answers with a little deception of their own.
TrekMovie.com returns to our look back at past Trek films and what can be learned from them. Paramount monitored Leonard Nimoy’s every move as director of Star Trek III, but when it came time for IV, studio president Jeff Katzenberg told him, “the training wheels are off. Give us your vision of Star Trek.” Years later, when I interviewed him in 2004, Nimoy said that Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was his “Star Trek statement.” So now that Nimoy is conspicuously associated with the next Star Trek movie, as well as being Trek’s most active elder statesman, what did he mean? What makes this movie his Star Trek statement?
Retread is a verb in the English language. It’s second definition, according to dictionary.com is "to repeat or do over, especially without the boldness or inventiveness of the original." A perfect example of what it means to retread is found in J. M. Dillard’s new Star Trek: The Next Generation adventure, "Resistance." Dillard’s novel, a part of the relaunch of the Next Generation franchise, pits Captain Picard up against the Borg once again… and I could swear that I was watching a fan-remix episode pieced together from elements of "The Best of Both Worlds" and "Star Trek: First Contact".
The year was 1974. Richard M. Nixon was President. Stamps were ten cents. $11,197, now the cost of college tuition, was most people’s salary. Star Trek fans were enjoying the show on television re-runs and at toys stores. During the 1970s, Mego was the leader in action figures and toys with movie or television themes, from Planet of the Apes to Marvel Comics. Mego’s Star Trek toys are among the most collectible items from the 23rd Century. Toys included the amazing USS Enterprise playset with working transporter or the Mission to Gamma VI environment. Mego continued to make Trek toys through the 70s including figures for Star Trek The Motion Picture. Mego closed its doors in 1983, but now these classic Trek toys are back and as good as new (because they are new).
IDW’s mini-series, Star Trek: Klingons — Blood Will Tell, concludes with issue #5. Having made his decision to support Chancellor Gorkon’s proposal to seek Federation help, Kahnrah finds himself hunted in the mean streets of the First City. Armed with his mek’leth, he eludes four assassins and encounters his granddaughter. For a moment he believes K’ahlynn will help, but discovers that she is opposed to begging for help from humans. In the end, blood does tell, and Kahnrah must kill K’ahlynn. In the council chamber, Kahnrah casts his vote for change and for survival.
Christopher L. Bennett returns us to the Lost Era with an examination of the life of Captain Jean-Luc Picard between the destruction of the USS Stargazer to his assuming command of the USS Enterprise. Bennett crafts a multifaceted tale that opens with an outstanding look at the Battle of Maxia and its repercussions. When the aftermath gives Picard pause, he takes some time away from Starfleet to pursue his love of archaeology, taking up studies for a doctorate under Dr. Miliani Langford at the University of Alpha Centauri.
In the interest of full disclosure I must say that I have never been a fan of the so-called Star Trek fan films. Sure I can give them credit for good effort and they seem like they are a lot of fun to do, but in the end they usually are no more impressive than community theater…and often worse. The efforts of the Star Trek New Voyages team have so far been the shining star of this lot with very impressive production design, sets, costumes and even some stunt casting, but to date they have still fallen short of being something that I could consider a professional production due to too many weak links spoiling otherwise good work. This is why I am happy to say I was pleasantly surprised after watching latest episode "World Enough and Time" starring George Takei. Although it is not without its flaws, this fourth episode from New Voyages is certainly the best Trek fan production ever made and likely the first that could quality as a truly professional production worthy of the name Star Trek.
With the eleventh feature film of the Star Trek franchise on track to possibly deliver a tale of the first adventure of Kirk and Spock aboard the starship Enterprise, one might wonder about Spock’s first mission aboard the storied vessel. Veteran Trek script writer D. C. Fontana attempted to do just that back in 1989 with "Vulcan’s Glory" – recently re-released by Pocket Books. At least a decade before the arrival of James T. Kirk on the scene, Captain Christopher Pike commands the starship Enterprise. Having recently returned to Earth for repairs and upgrades, crew transfers are also effected. Enter one Lieutenant Spock, a young Vulcan scientist who seems to have problems relaxing (according to his former commanding officer), and Lieutenant ( J.G.) Montgomery Scott, an engineering whiz and moonshiner of note. Both are new assignees to the Enterprise, and both are in for quite a ride.
August 2007 features the re-release of "Death in Winter" a paperback release of a 2005 hardcover TNG novel. This release sets up a series of post-Nemesis TNG novels starting in September (just in time for TNG’s 20th anniversary). "Death in Winter" by Michael Jan FriedmanI’ve been reading books for nearly thirty years and reading Star Trek books for about twenty-two years. In all those years, there have only been a few novels that I couldn’t finish. The only reason I finished Michael Jan Friedman’s "Death in Winter" was to write a review.
PARADISE LOST: LOVING THE ALIEN After watching last weekend’s ‘remastered’ version of “This Side of Paradise,” it’s not hard to imagine how Philip Kaufman got the idea to cast Leonard Nimoy in his 1979 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, one of the most underrated genre films of the 70’s (re-issued in a the new Invasion of the Body Snatchers DVD (Collector’s Edition) next month and definitely worth buying, BTW). Re-imagined as a paranoid sci-fi film noir, Kaufman’s film is sheer genius (which doesn’t taken anything away from the original which is also a superlative film) which managed to showcase Leonard Nimoy in a role that we seemingly had not seen him in before in which he goes from an emotional psychoanalyst to a cold, logical pod person in a heinous corduroy suit transformed by alien spores. It was while watching “This Side of Paradise” again that I realized what a debt of gratitude this wonderful episode owes to Jack Finney’s classic “Body Snatchers” tale, but not in a goofy, body switching piece of sci-fi theatrics like The Next Generation’s “Power Play” in which Data, Troi and O’Brien go all Kryptonian on the crew of the Enterprise D, but rather using the body snatching motif to illuminate character nuance.
Blood Will Tell #4 is the latest in IDW’s series of famous Trek stories told from the Klingon point of view. In this case: "Day of the Dove." K’ahlynn accompanies her grandfather, Kahnrah, to the Museum of Military Triumph and Conquest. They meet Morglar, an old comrade of Kahnrah’s, and former security officer aboard the Voh’Tahk, commanded by Kang. Morglar recollects the events of Day of the Dove.
“What does God need with a starship?”–James Kirk, “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” I know, it’s off the map to mention “Star Trek V” in a review of a TOS-R episode, but in watching “The Squire of Gothos,” I couldn’t help but replay the moment from the 1989 movie through my head where James Kirk faces down a God-like being with some healthy skepticism. Captain Kirk does not suffer deities kindly, especially those who abuse their power. Be it an Ancient Greek god or a super-computer, there is a recurring theme that comes up throughout The Original Series and it is best summed up by Mr. Spock in this very episode: “I object to intellect without discipline. I object to power without constructive purpose.” Fellow Trek fans, this is the sort of stuff that elevates Star Trek above your average science-fiction fare. “The Squire of Gothos” is vintage Trek.
Star Trek: Year Four is the latest comic series from IDW. It is set in a notional ‘4th season’ of the "Star Trek The Original Series" (during "Star Trek The Animated Series"). The Enterprise encounters an immense planetary mass, capable of supporting 800 billion inhabitants, with only twenty life signs. Beaming down to investigate, Kirk finds Dr. Othello Beck, renowned medical researcher and Phlox prize winner [ENT ref alert!], working in a vast scientific laboratory left by a dead civilization. With Beck are the B’nai, creatures he created to assist in the lab. Kirk and McCoy discover that Beck’s ethics are questionable. He’s hiding a terrible secret which ends tragically.
Trouble brewingThe Enterprise takes aboard a passenger: Charlie Evans. He’s spent his life in isolation, never met a girl, and doesn’t know how to dress. So of course he’s one happy fanboy when he finds himself aboard the Starship Enterprise. He develops what’s politely called a “crush” on Janice Rand, snubbing all the other hotties on the ship. It must be her unpredictability that he finds so arresting; she’s offended when he slaps her butt yet when he somehow impossibly jams a playing card down her cleavage she’s charmed and impressed.
It was the best of comics, it was the worst of comics… The conclusion to IDW’s Star Trek The Next Generation "The Space Between" saga is both disappointing and enjoyable. IDW’s TNG comics have always been a mixture of good and problematic. Neither Issue 5 "Space Seeds" or issue 6 deviates from these expectations. IDW comics have a good sense of the characters. Each issues has presented characters that are familiar to their television versions. However, the situations they deal with and the narratives of the issues are problematic.