Everyone knows that this week’s comic con in San Diego is going to be a big moment for Star Trek. The two biggest news events will be on Thursday the 26th.[all time PST] Thu 12:30 – 1:30 TOS-R on HD-DVD: All about new Remastered Trek on HD DVD. Thu 1:30 – 3:30 Paramount Presentation: Covers multiple Paramount films including Star Trek and 1-18-08. JJ Abrams to attend with other producers…Trek expected to be last TrekMovie.com will report from both as soon as possible…so keep checking back. Later on Thursday I will also be a panelist on a Geek Monthly.com Star Trek Panel. Plus there are other Trek related panels & events (details on all Trek events below)
Dorothy Fontana (aka D.C. Fontana) was with Star Trek since the beginning as both a writer and Story Editor for Star Trek: The Original Series. She had the same job for The Animated Series and went on to write episodes for both TNG and DS9 (and even for the recent Trek game and New Voyages fan series). Fontana is interviewed in the new ‘Focus on Trek’ from IDW Comics. The interview covers a number of subjects, but her comments on the often debated issues of canon were noteworthy. Regarding TAS and canon Fontana says that Gene Roddenberry never took TAS seriously. She also does not seem happy with the makers of Star Trek V who gave Spock a half brother (details below)
Star Trek writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have already declined to write a sequel to their monster hit Transformers (in theaters now), but in a new interview they seem a bit more open to it for Star Trek. When asked if the film is a ‘one off’ they had this to say… Orci: I think maybe on this one more than even on Transformers, we were imagining possibly a bigger universe. Kurtzman: I think that’s part of the responsibility of taking on this franchise. It’s going to continue. That’s part of the whole theme of Star Trek. There is always going to be a future. The pair also talked about the vetting process for the script and what it was like to meet Shatner and Nimoy, saying "it was totally insane." Read the whole interview at GeekMonthly.com.
This week had an American theme with "The Omega Glory" and our 4th of July Tribute, but we cannot forget that Star Trek knows no borders. Almost a third of the readers of this site live outside the USA (about half of those are from non English speaking countries). In fact lately we have been getting more tips and help from friends in the UK, Iceland, Japan, Germany and elsewhere. I see links coming in and news sites from all over the world reporting on TrekMovie.com stories: from Croatia to Brazil to Isreal. So for our Friday Night at the movies I have put together some random Trek clips from around the world in a small way to say ‘Hola’ ‘Guten Tag’ ‘Bonjour’ ‘Konichiwa’ (etc) to all those non-American Trekkies out there.
Last week’s rumors of a new Star Trek (2008) teaser trailer were of course wrong – we are still many months away from the real thing. However, that has not stopped many fans from making their own. Here is a collection…the first of which is from TrekMovie.com community member Buckaroohawk.
Yet even more on Star Trek from Mr. Orci’s press tour for Transformers. In the second part of the IESB interview with Orci there is one Trek question related to the future of the franchise and if it will ‘re-establish’ the universe. Orci replied: Absolutely, it’s gotta bring in a whole new generation, it’s gotta bring in people who don’t know Trek so it absolutely trying to re-establish what this universe should be…
[MINOR SPOLIERS]Transformers is sure to be one of the big blockbusters of this summer. The mainstream action movie is full of pop culture references including one nod to Star Trek. The reference comes from the character of Bumblebee (pictured right). Bumblebee is probably the most realized Transformer in the film and certainly gets the most screen time. He befriends the movie’s hero Sam Witwicky (played by Shia LaBeouf). One of the running gags is that the radio in Sam’s Camaro (aka Bumblebee) tunes into all sorts of things all on its own.
Based on Trek demographics there are lots of Trekkie dads out there and we solute you. Here is a great StarTrek.com documentary on one of Trek’s famous fathers.
Star Trek fans have been creating their own stories since as far back as the 60s. Some of these fan writers have even got their work published. The first of these compilations was "The New Voyages" in 1976. For the last decade Pocket Books has issued a series of fan fiction compilations starting with "Strange New Worlds" in 1998, but that all comes to an end next month with the final planned book "Strange New Worlds 10." However, CBS have just announced a new deal with FanLib.com for web-based fan fiction contest called ‘Kirk v Picard.’ The contest will have fans collaborate to write a script for an ‘episode’ of the ultimate captain showdown with the help of a virtual showrunner in the form of VOY/DS9 science adviser and ENT writer and story editor Andre Bormanis. The contest site goes live Wednesday June 13th [UPDATE: Site is now Live] and TrekMovie.com talked to Bormanis about the project.
Star Trek may be off the air and still a year away from being back in theaters, but it still manages to show up at award shows on Sunday. At Canada’s Spacey Awards Star Trek The Original Series won an award for Favorite Classic TV show, beating out Batman, Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica (Original) and The Twilight Zone. George Takei accepted the award on behalf of the show in a taped segment where the award was ‘beamed’ to his home. Veteran Star Trek make-up designer Michael Westmore also picked up a Special Achievement Spacey for his lifetime of work. Star Trek XI director JJ Abrams’ movie Mission Impossible III had five nominations and his show Lost had three, but neither picked up any awards.
There was a Battlestar Galactica special screening in Hollywood on Wednesday and TrekMovie.com was there. BSG co-creator and executive producer Ron Moore had a quick moment to chat about the next season of BSG and Star Trek. On the subject of the new Trek film Moore tells TrekMovie.com that he is a fan of JJ Abrams. "He is tremendously talented and I think he is going to do a really good job," said the veteran Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine writer/producer. I also had a chance to ask the man who killed James T. Kirk (Moore co-wrote Generations) about the the the plans to bring Kirk back in the new film.
In the world of Star Trek we know that eventually the Earth is united both with a single government and a single space agency. This agency called ‘The United Earth Space Probe Agency‘ and ‘Starfleet‘ even predates the formation of the United Federation of Planets. To date in the real world there have been many forays into international cooperation between agencies, but they are still fully independent. Now comes news that some of that may change. This week thirteen space agencies (including those of the USA, Russia, Europe, China and Japan) have agreed to co-ordinate future exploration – including the Moon and Mars. They have agreed to a (sadly non binding) document called "The Global Exploration Strategy: The Framework for Co-ordination." It is said to help with the exchange for information and most importantly "identify gaps, duplication and potential areas for collaboration."
Deep Space Nine executive producer and showrunner Ira Steven Behr has been spending the last few years running the time travel related show The 4400 on USA. TrekMovie.com attended a press round table discussing the premiere of season 4 and the subject of Star Trek came up. Behr was asked if he had a view about J.J. Abrams taking over Trek and the return to Kirk and Spock. At first said that he didn’t have any strong feelings, but then went on to talk about the franchise, saying…
Just showed up on YouTube: In 1976 the Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder dedicated an entire show to Star Trek – includes interviews with James Doohan, DeForest Kelley, Walter Koenig, Harlan Ellison and (con organizer) Al Shuster. (in 5 parts) other parts below
At the Saturn Awards this week Bryan Singer picked up awards for Best Director and Best Fantasy Film for Superman Returns. After the show I had a chance to talk Trek with him about his love for Star Trek. Singer said that he is looking forward to Trek XI and thinks JJ Abrams is ‘brilliant’. He said that even though he had ‘bandied about’ some ideas for Trek himself, he never had the time to commit to it. Famous for spending over $200 million on Superman Returns, Singer did note concerns over Paramount giving Abrams enough money ‘to do it right’ and felt that he would ‘go north of $100 Million’ if it were his. The director also revealed how he ended up getting a cameo in Star Trek Nemesis and what it was like to meet some of Trek’s biggest stars, including a surprise guest at Patrick Stewart’s house.
The editors of Entertainment Weekly magazine have picked what they consider to be the best 25 sci-fi TV shows and movies of the last 25 years. Two Star Trek items make the top 10: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (#5) and Star Trek: The Next Generation (#8). Topping the list was the 1999 film The Matrix and former TNG/DS9 writer/producer Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica got 2nd place. Star Trek XI producers JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof also made the list via their show Lost coming in at eleventh place. Excerpts and the complete list below.
In the latest Star Trek Magazine, regular columnists Dave Rossi and Larry Nemecek have Star Trek XI on their mind. Rossi, who has worked on Trek for 15 years including being a producer on Trek Remastered, laments on how even though he works on the Paramount lot he will be ‘on the outside looking in’ for Trek XI. But he looks on the bright side noting that he can again just be a fan. He also dismisses ‘franchise fatigue,’ noting Star Trek fans want to like Star Trek. If the stories are good, if the characters are compelling, if there’s balanced doses of action, humor, and drama, people will watch. Not surprising then that Paramount chose to go with Star Trek: The Original Series and moreover with Mr. Abrams.
The ashes of James Doohan were launched into space from New Mexico this morning. Family and hundreds of fans attended the event, more details at Rueters The Headline News report also discussed Trek fan films. [UPDATE: StarTrek.com have put up an on-the-scene report]
A new feature of TrekMovie.com, we take a look back on the news of the week reported here and elsewhere. Trek XI: The big news of the week was our report that JJ Abrams confirmed that Kirk will indeed ‘appear’ in Star Trek XI. This along with his ‘message to the fans‘ last weekend shows a bit of a growing openness on Abrams part. The only other movie news was a brief mention of Star Trek XI in Variety, where it was listed as one of the big movies that Paramount has high hopes for in the next year.
In the latest issue of Star Trek Magazine, Trek’s longtime producer Rick Berman has a sort of ‘exit interview.’ The interview was conducted last December, shortly before he packed up to vacate his offices on the Paramount lot after 22 years with the studio. When asked if he is considering writing about about his experiences not only did he say he would, but he has already started… I have started writing a book because I realized that in 1986, when Gene Roddenberry asked me to get involved in work with him on this thing, the number of stories that I have accumulated is amazing.
If you don’t know Herman Zimmerman’s name, you certainly know his work. Mr. Zimmerman has been the production designer on almost every Star Trek project for the last two decades, helping define the look of almost every Trek era. Star Trek XI will be the first film to without Mr. Zimmerman since the 80s, but the veteran designer tells TrekMovie.com he is just fine with that. I have enjoyed being the keeper of the flame as far as the look of the franchise since 1987. I knew Gene Roddenberry personally and was always a fan of the show,never dreaming I would work on it when I was a young art director at NBC in the 60s. I have had a hell of a good time. It is more fun than work, but I am officially retired.
Last week Rosario Dawson revealed her inner Trekkie on the Conan O’Brian Show. Hey JJ, there has got to be a role for her somewhere.
Just some little Trek items to tie you over…. The new companion for Dr. Who has admitted that she is more of a Trekkie. The Sun reports Freema Agyeman is a big fan of Patrick Stewart and the Next Generation and has even attended Trek conventions. more at Sun Online… Will Wheaton (TNG’s Wesley Crusher) is getting ready to head back to Trek. Wheaton announced that he will write a story for the next volume in ‘Star Trek: The Manga’ from Tokyo Pop. The actor says he was reluctant when first approached, but then a voice in his head said "Dude, this would be so cool! Come on, man, let’s do this!". more at his blog…
In the "Corbomite Maneuver" Lt. Baily says to Kirk "I vote we blast ’em," to which Kirk quickly replied "Thank you, Mr. Bailey, I’ll consider that when this becomes a democracy." But that attitude doesn’t stop fans from voting their opinions, including three currently running Trek XI polls on other sites. IMDB is asking for thumbs up or down on Matt Damon as Capt Kirk. Current result is a split decision of 48% for it, 52% against [UPDATE: IMDB have followed up with a new poll asking ‘if not Damon, then who?’…so far ‘an unknown’ leads with 34% with Ewan McGregor is 2nd with 11%] TrekToday also have a Trek XI casting poll going, asking what is people’s favorite casting rumor. The Sinise as Bones rumor leads with 40%. StarTrek.com have a tongue in cheek list of potential names for Star Trek XI, with "Star Trek XI: The First Generation" in the lead.
In a March 5th Newsweek article about the Star Trek XI announcement there were some general reactions from George Takei, Rod Roddenberry and Trekkies documentary director Roger Nygard. Something that caught our attention was the statement that Nygard was ‘interviewing Trekkers for the latest installment of his "Trekkies" documentaries.’ TrekMovie.com contacted Nygard to find out what was up and apparently Newsweek ‘got their tenses wrong.’ Nygard says that he is not currently at work on a Trekkies 3, but that he and producer Denise Crosby are planning on doing one. "We are on a 7 year schedule," said Nygard, referring to how the previous two came out in 1997 and 2004 respectively. The Trekkies team would like to catch up with some of the Trek fans featured in the previous entries, like digital artist Gabriel Kroener who Nygard called "a Trekkies success story."
If you have been following our little extras throughout the weeks when news is slow, you’ll notice we have found video clips of various Trek parody/references in Family Guy. The show’s creator Seth MacFarlane is an admitted Trekie and even had two cameos as an extra officer on Enterprise. Once again community member Kelvington has nicely put all the video clips into one giant Trek funny reel. I love it!
As the 20th anniversary of The Next Generation approaches (on September 28) you’ll start to see more and more tidbits, information, and a general celebration of TNG around the web and here at TrekMovie.com. To get an early start one of our intrepid community members Greg Mefford has put up an Entertainment Tonight clip of TNG’s announcement back in early 1987. It includes an interview with David Gerold as he writes a season one TNG episode.
Star Trek communications could help hospital save lives…Star Trek-like technology from BT could be just what the doctor ordered for staff and patients at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Nottinghamshire.Previously, according to the trust’s own research, it used to take staff members, on average, six-and-a-half minutes to get in touch with a colleague using a telephone or pager.Now, following a successful trial with 75 users in its accident and emergency (A&E), radiology and medical admissions departments at Kings Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield, the trust is using the wireless local area network-based BT Managed Vocera solution, to enable doctors and nurses to communicate with one another in a matter of seconds.more at ITPro UK
Here are some some bite sized Trek nuggets to hold you over until the next item on TOSR or STXI. To promote TOSR StarTrek.com is running a giveaway for a new poster for Star Trek Remastered. Got to this page to enter to win this 2′ x 3′ poster made for syndicated stations. SciFi.com ran a poll on who should direct Star Trek XI and Joss Whedon came out on top with almost half the votes. Abrams came in 2nd to last with only 14%, click here for full results.
The History Channel is taking a break from its regular schedule of shows on ancient Rome and World War II to take a look at the history of Star Trek. They are running two documentaries, the first of which ‘Star Trek Tech’ will air tonight (Sunday) at 9pm. ‘Tech’ is a regular show that devotes each episode the the technology of a particular time period or event or in this case a fictional universe. The second and bigger documentary is ‘Star Trek: Beyond the Final Frontier’, a two hour retrospective on Trek hosted by Leonard Nimoy (airing Monday at 9 pm). ‘Beyond the Final Frontier’ focuses much of its attention on the Christies auction and includes interviews with actors from each of the Trek series, but notably not William Shatner. There are already some reviews in on the longer doc and so far they are mixed at best.