Two weeks ago TNG and DS9 writer (and Battlestar Galactica co creator) Ronald D. Moore set up his own blog mostly focusing on issues related to the WGA strike. However, yesterday Moore delved into his time as a cub writer for TNG in a post titled “The Trek Journals — One in an Occasional Series.” Moore recalls a particularly amusing anecdote about how the writers would spy on meetings between executive producer Rick Berman and show runner Michael Piller:
Patrick Stewart is currently having his second go in life as a Shakespearean actor on the London stage. His current performances of Macbeth are getting him rave reviews. In a new interview with the London Times, TNG’s Picard talks about how he never expected the job commanding the starship Enterprise he took in 1987 to become such a big part of his life and his career: It came to a point where I had no idea where Picard began and I ended. We completely overlapped. His voice became my voice, and there were other elements of him that became me
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.
This weekend TNG stars Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis beamed into the Sacramento Creation Sci-Fi Convention to the delight of Northern California Trek fans. The pair spoke with a great deal of enthusiasm and frankness about their time with the franchise. more detail and pix below
Earlier this month the annual Dragon*Con was held in Atlanta, Georgia with many Trek events from costume contests, Klingon beauty pageants, and Nichelle Nichols screening her new film (Lady Magdelene’s). The cornerstone of the event was the presence of actors Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, and Gates McFadden, who were on hand to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation. During one of their appearances the subjects of the new Star Trek movie came up. According to a report on StarTrek.com, after feigning ignorance of the new feature, Frakes (director of Star Trek First Contact) praised the selection of Zachary Quinto as Spock and went on the praise the new Trek director as well, saying…
The new Star Trek film may be a return to TOS, but the creative team behind the film are also fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation. TrekMovie.com asked the producer and the writers of the film to each share a quick thought on the show. Damon Lindelof – producer We aspire to do for Trek what Next Generation did twenty years ago — reinvigorate a timeless franchise for a brand new audience. See below for what Orci and Kurtzman had to say about TNG.
On Sept 28, 1987 many people turned on their television sets and saw something like this …Trek was back in the form of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
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.
Star Trek The Next Generation’s Patrick Stewart may be ‘done with Hollywood’ but he is still open to doing some sci-fi. Stewart tells This Is North Scotland that not only is he a fan of the BBC’s Doctor Who, but he is "deeply dismayed" that he has not yet been asked to guest star on the show. Stewart has kept busy as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company since his time playing TNG’s Picard and X-Men’s Professor Xavier and is currently playing the title role in MacBeth on the London stage. Even if Stewart doesn’t end up on Doctor Who he will get a chance to act with Doctor Who. It was recently reported that David Tennant will be playing the title role in Hamlet along with Stewart in an upcoming production.
There is a great feature article at EW today called "Star Trek: TNG: An oral history." It covers the development of the series and the pilot and has quotes from Robert Justman, Rick Berman, DC Fontana, Herman Zimmerman, Andrew Probert, Mike Okuda, Denise Crosby, LeVar Burton, and John DeLancie. There is too much in the article to just pull out the good stuff, so just go read the whole thing.
Our friends at VoicesFromKrypton have an audio clip from a 1987 John DeLancie (Q) interview discussing the differences between the new Star Trek and the original. DeLancie said that when they were shooting the pilot there was no mention of the Original Series and that he felt that Patrick Stewart brought a ‘weight’ to TNG that the Original did not have. (Listen to the rest at VOK)
The Star Trek: The Next Generation – Complete Series Box Set comes out on October 2nd. Today STARTREK.COM put up a video preview of some of the special features. Your browser does not support inline frames or is currently configured not to display inline frames. Box Set Details and Images Below…
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)