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".
On his 2000 album "Blindsight," filk musician Blake Hodgetts has a song titled "Star Trek Next Gen Episode Guide" which is just that. Now someone called ‘the mentalist’ has put it to video…enjoy
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.
A newly uploaded YouTube clip shows two Entertainment Tonight segments from July 1987 where they visit the set of TNG during the shooting of the pilot.
Fans of The Next Generation (and Deep Space Nine) will have much to look forward to in terms of Diamond Select collectibles for the rest of 2008. In honor of TNG’s 20th Anniversary there is a new Art Asylum first season Jean Luc Picard figure with Chair coming out in September (joining the already available Kirk and Pike w/ command chair figures). Plus Diamond has just announced a Nemesis Beverly Crusher, as well as TNG Season 7 Miles O’Brien, a limited Nurse Alyssa Ogawa, and (Diamond Previews Exclusive) Ro Laren [see below]. It is good to see DST has been listening to fan requests for more secondary characters. Those will be are joining other TNG figures becoming available over the next month…
There is a great new interview with Majel Barrett Roddenberry in the latest issue of Star Trek Magazine, just arriving in the US. The interview is mostly about her time with TNG (for the anniversary), but the magazine also asked what she thought of the new J.J. Abrams film and if she would be open to doing a part. Barrett seemed enthusiastic, saying "They’re going back to the beginning. And I would love to do the computer voice." But she also noted that she is happy in retirement, saying "I’m ready to step back. I have no feelings of, ‘Oh, I must have another part.’ Nothing like that ever goes through my head."
Exactly 20 years ago today Paramount sent out print, TV and radio spots promoting their new Star Trek The Next Generation series, premiering in September 1987. Take a look at this promo video included on the 1987 VHS release of Star Trek IV (the 1986 hit movie that helped convince Paramount to bring Trek back to TV).
The current issue of TV Guide has an interesting Trek item in their regular ‘Hotlist: Best of the Web’ sidebar. It announces that Star Trek The Next Generation is now available to view online for free at VEOH.com That is big news as TNG is the only Trek series not available online (plus TOS, DS9, VOY and ENT episodes all cost $1.99 at XBox Live, Amazon UnBox and Apple iTunes). But once you visit the channel TV Guide lists it quickly becomes clear that this is not a new offering from CBS (who have an official VEOH channel), but rather pirated episodes being uploaded by a Norwegian teenage girl named Monica (aka ‘Meopic90’ pictured right). In addition to the channel owner clue, each episode is branded with the name and url of an unauthorized torrent site…oops.
As part of our 20th Anniversary celebration of Star Trek The Next Generation, here are clips from LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow visiting the TNG set during the first season.
Brannon Braga was one of the few Trek writer/producers to appear at this year’s Creation Las Vegas Star Trek Convention. Braga started off almost reticent, telling the crowd "it has been many years and so I am a little nervous." The veteran of Next Generation, Voyager and Enterprise made it clear that although Trek was an ‘amazing experience’ which occupied most of his adult life, he was not involved with Trek anymore and saw the con as a ‘nostalgic experience.’ After that, the Trek veteran’s appearance took on the nature of an exit interview with Braga inviting the crowd to get it off their chests: I wanted to stop by to say hi to you guys and to ask any last lingering questions you had. This may be the last one I do so this is your chance to get out you final gripes and questions.
Star Trek Generation stars Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner hit the Vegas stage like rock stars. The pair began by clowning around and that continued for the most of their fifty minute appearance. The stage was set up for a concert later which inspired the pair to go into song, starting off with a rendition of ‘Volare.’ The comedy team also did some impressions including Patrick Stewart, with Spiner’s being especially spot-on, starting off “I am the toast of England right now….” Frakes then noted was the 20th anniversary of NextGen by reflecting on what it was like for him at his first Trek convention in Syracuse New York 20 years ago filled with ‘very very angry reticent Star Trek fans.’ The actor who played Riker on Trek’s return to television in 1987 recalled the crowd’s reaction to Trek’s first spinoff: “who the hell are these impostors…the bald guy from England, the cute one with the beard, and the Jewish android.” They also joked that it seems like there is an anniversary every year now (with TNG’s 20th following last years TOS 40th). Frakes then took a dig by saying “next year is the 20th anniversary of the best career choice ever made: Denise Crosby’s ‘I’d like to quit that show now, before it gets really popular.’”
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.
I had a moment to have a chat with some of the CBS team behind the TOS Remastered project at Comic Con about what’s next (after TOS). David Grant tells TrekMovie.com that they have "had discussions" to bring Star Trek The Next Generation onto high definition. They have also created an HD test for one episode. One concern is the visual effects which were were done in video and therefore more difficult to translate to HD. The team are seeing if the effects can be ‘upresed’ or if they need to be entirely redone (as they did with TOS). Ryan Adams says "that is part of the tests that we are trying to massage and figure out." No decisions made yet on if, when or how, but TrekMovie.com will keep an eye on this exciting potential project.
Kirk v Picard script writing contest video bloggers George Takei and Wil Wheaton reflect on the presidential qualities Trek’s most famous captains. [Hollywood Media Elite Alert: the actors also opine on the current President]
The Kirk v Picard script contest is almost over…all submissions are in for all 4 rounds and the last scene will be decided this week. Wil Wheaton now has an ‘Encore performance’ to his previous (and popular) Kirk & Picard impersonations using lines from the contest submissions. He also does some tongue in cheek Wesley for added fun. Keep track of the goings on at the Official Blog (run by yours truly)
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.
In a new video for the Kirk v Picard Script Writing Contest George Takei and Wil Wheaton talk about their favorite episodes. Takei’s pick is "The Naked Time" and Wheaton’s favorite is (as an actor) "The First Duty," but said "Inner Light" was his favorite as a fan. In a second video Wheaton answers some fan questions showing off his true nerdiness, and also acts out some classic Wesley dialog from the KvP script writing contest. Video courtesy of Fanlib, Clips form CBS
Things are progressing over at the Kirk v Picard Script Writing Contest. They are about half way through and just picked the round two scene. finalists. In a new video Wil Wheaton actually acts out some of the moments from the round one finalists, including part of a scene written by TrekMovie.com contributor James Heaney (wowbagger). Wheaton hams it up, but also pokes some good fun at Wesley. Is Wil trying out to be the new Kirk? Keep track of the goings on at the Official Blog (run by yours truly)
At last weekend’s FedCon 16 in Germany Jonathan Frakes let loose on Paramount and the last Trek movie, but then had some nice things to say about JJ Abrams and the next movie. Regarding the box office failure Star Trek Nemesis, the director of two previous films joked "there was a perfectly good director available." He then used a couple empty seats reserved for Paramount to poke some fun at the studio. Holding up the chair signs he yelled out "this is a perfect example, see who is not here…Paramount…need I say more? That speaks volumes." To cheers from the audience he continued, "Paramount doesn’t show up. Paramount doesn’t know what to do with the franchise."
Last weekend Patrick Stewart dropped by ITV’s Parkinson to talk about life back in the UK. TNG’s Picard stated that his return was permanent and that by the time he was offered the opportunity to return to the English stage had had grown "bitterly homesick." Although he did not mention Star Trek specifically, he did seem to be derisive of his time working in Hollywood. When I went to do all this exciting and thrilling work in Hollywood, and remunerative work too, and sunshine and palm trees and all of that, it was fun but there was a substance that was lacking in it. Because what I’m doing now is all that I wanted to do and I increasingly began to feel panicked.
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.
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…
Star Trek’s original associate producer also tells us how he convinced Gene Roddenberry to add Worf to TNG.
During 2007 we will peridically post retrospective interviews, features and found clips to celebrate TNG’s 20th birthday. Here is a BBC interview with Patrick Stewart from a few years ago (edited to just the Trek bits). He talks about how he got the job, the choice of Picard’s accent, fandom and the film Trekkies.
The last time we saw Captain Picard he was sitting in space dock fixing up the Enterprise and saying goodbye to old friends after the events of Nemesis. Now that the TNG film era is over, it is up to Trek Novels to continue the story. Riker and Troi have already set off in the popular ‘Titan’ book series, and so Picard must move on without his loyal first officer and trusted counselor. The first of these post Nemesis novels (Death in Winter) was released in hardcover in late 2005, and it focused on Picard/Crusher romance that has been brewing for far too long. That book gets re-issued in paperback later this year along with a slew of new TNG books to help celebrate the TNG 20th anniversary. In the second part of our interview with Simon & Schuster editor Margaret Clark, we find out what is next for The Next Generation.
This week issue 3 of Star Trek The Next Generation The Space Between hits the stores with a story set sometime during season 7. After reading issues 3 & 4 the narrative threads that IDW promised are now becoming apparent. One thematic is that each issue focuses on characters, often one character, with a "A" narrative, and there is a "B" narrative with other characters. The photo covers clue you in to this, with issue 3’s featuring Worf and Troi whose romance is set against the story of the Enterprise crew being challenged by a very cool ship that is a hybrid of a Romulan Warbird, a Borg vessel, and a Federation starship. The issue deals with how the crew must defeat this mystery ship while Worf has to figure out how to balance his romance with Troi with his obligations to Starfleet.
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.
Patrick Stewart seems to be continuing to distance himself from Star Trek and Jean Luc Picard. In an interview with The Stage, the veteran actor talks about the life changing event in 1986 when he choose to do Star Trek: The Next Generation instead of taking a role in "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf" on the London stage. I was a different actor after that — doing that kind of play, and finally being able to make truth of an emotional commitment to a role like that in such a small, exposing theatre, with the support of three magnificent actors [Billie Whitelaw, Saskia Reeves and Matthew Marsh], made all the difference to me. The calamity that then happened to me was that I was offered Star Trek: The Next Generation. […]It did change many, many things, and I’m immensely grateful for that. I have worked hard not in any sense to feel they were wasted years —though time is a factor in all of this, and I now have a lot of catching up to do. I feel that acutely — not that there have been lost opportunities, but that there are things I might have done and I’ve got to do a lot of them quickly now.
2007 is the 20th Anniversary of Star Trek The Next Generation, and IDW is planning to celebrate by setting their first Star Trek comic in Jean Luc Picard’s time. IDW is the latest inheritor of the Star Trek comics license (after being owned by both DC and Marvel over the years). The six issue series titled "The Space Between" spans the TNG era, with the first issue taking place in season 1 and the second during season 5. IDW have assigned an experienced team with writer David Tischman and Casey Maloney doing the artwork. Considering that IDW has experience with comics based on media items (such as Transformers and 24) it is no surprise that fans should be hopeful for the future of Trek comics. TrekMovie.com got a chance to speak to IDW editor Dan Taylor and see the first two issues and we like what we are seeing (and hearing).
In the latest issue of Star Trek Magazine, Brent Spiner (Data) talks about the last Trek movie, Star Trek Nemesis. Not only did Spiner star in Nemesis, but he co-wrote the story (along with screenwriter John Logan). Spiner on why the film failed We worked on the story with the intention of making it for the fans. With every Star Trek movie prior to that we tried to find a way to bridge the gap between the fans and the general public. Even reading the latest quotes from J.J. Abrams about the next movie, it makes sense for the movie to be as inclusive as possible. With Nemesis we said, ‘Forget that! Lets make a movie for the fans, because that’s the people who actually go to see the films.’ And what happened? They didn’t go! Usually the films opened big, even if they had a lot of competition, but Nemesis didn’t even do that. This was a message from the fans that they were done with us.