Category Archives: The Trek Life

For the Love of “For the Love of Spock”

*WARNING – SPOILER ALERT! *

Noble. Dignity. Artist. Integrity. Human. Logical. Humble. Hope. Cool. Loving. Love.

(THE mensch of menschs?!)

 image

As Sam reiterated during our anniversary Periscope shenanigans, after his passing in February 2015, what started out as a 50th Anniversary “Spock special”, evolved somewhat in to a well deserved “This Is Your Life, Leonard Nimoy”, and what a captivating story it is! Charting the highs and lows of the life of such an incredibly complex and talented man, genuinely loved and admired by all who knew him. When I sat down to watch ‘For the Love of Spock’ (a day late, as you would have come to expect from me!), I never intended to write a “review”, nor to write this much, but throughout the film I just found I had so much to say. It literally had me balling within the first three minutes, and sent shivers down my spine!

As a relative newbie to the world of Trek, I was fascinated to hear all about Nimoy’s life outside of Spock. What is probably common knowledge to the hardcore Trekkies/Trekkers out there, was all new and fascinating to me. I was gripped from the very beginning. He struggled with alcoholism; he wrote poetry; he sang; he was an amazingly talented photographer. He directed Three Men and a Baby?! What. The. Spock?! HOW did I not know this?!

He’d also had quite a few acting jobs before being cast in Star Trek. In fact, he’d even worked with Gene Roddenberry on TV series ‘The Lieutenant’. It was during this time that something about Nimoy caught Gene’s eye, namely his cheekbones: “He’d make a great alien…with those cheekbones, some sort of a pointed ear might go well?” – and so Spock was born. As I have suspected for quite some time now, Spock WAS created for Leonard Nimoy, or at the very least with him in mind. Whilst he thought he was going for a job interview, Gene was set on selling Star Trek TO Nimoy, he simply had to have him on board?!

Something that did make me chuckle – when talking about the lack of quality prosthetics at the very beginning: Gene said that if the ears didn’t work, they would simply write in to the script that Spock had an “ear job” or something. CAN YOU IMAGINE?!

The immortal words “live long and prosper” are also credited to Nimoy – I love the story of where the Vulcan salute came from, as well as the iconic arched eyebrow: “If you are minimal, then that becomes a big deal”. It was amusing to see how said eyebrows were rather more unkempt in the pilot, in comparison to the over-tweezed ones we are more used to seeing.

 image

 Again, I was completely ignorant to the fact that there was a whole other pilot/crew?! And that Spock was a very different Vulcan under Captain Pike. There is always so much made of the rivalry between lead stars, and Nimoy and Shatner did not escape this. As George Takei explained, “Shatner was the titular character, but people were absolutely magnetically attracted to Spock”. However, as Gene so wisely said: “If Spock is popular, then Kirk is popular, and the show is popular, and that’s what we all want” – and they never looked back, Shatner simply encompassed the popularity of Spock. It was lovely to hear the genuine affection between Nimoy and Shatner. The latter with his “energy and a sense of humour and a twinkle in the eye” changed the way Nimoy played Spock – a whole different dynamic evolved.

“Kirk is the physical embodiment of the show and Spock is the spiritual embodiment of the show” (James Duff).

Or as George Takei so eloquently put it, they we Yin and Yang.

 image

And can I just say – Jason Alexander’s Kirk impression? WOW!!

The scene were Nimoy is reading Star Trek’s very first review in ‘Variety’ magazine is hilarious. As his childhood friend, Barry Newman, had said they were on “a treadmill to oblivion” – the show was not initially received well. Roddenberry’s vision was way ahead of its time. However, I love the thought that “gradually the show and its audience found each other”, and how times change eh? From the network executives initially not wanting to upset the “Bible belt” with this satanic-type character, to asking why they weren’t you doing more with “that Martian” on the show, as its, and Spock’s, popularity grew.

“He was a multi-faceted individual, he was never just Spock to me” (Simon Pegg).

Two words: Bilbo Baggins. Oh dear. But LOVE the scene where the TOS crew are watching the video!

LOL: Even Nimoy didn’t like “The Motionless Picture”, calling it frustrating, depressing and dispiriting. Although I did like the fact that its story “began in London”. I also never realised that he had such a big part behind the scenes, directing the 3rd and 4th movies.

I can’t believe The Animated Series is actually a thing? It looks like some kind of spoof? How could they possibly have thought it was okay not to cast George and Nichelle?! The fact that Leonard refused to do it unless they were included because they were “the two people that most personified what Star Trek was all about: the diversity, coming together and working in concert as a team”, demonstrates wonderfully the kind of man he really was and what the character of Spock stood for.

As JJ says, it was “wonderfully comforting and relatable to know that Spock was an outsider”, his journey was all about how you find your way, as the alien in a foreign culture. These are perfect examples of how Star Trek encompasses “meaningful issues about to live” and why Spock and the values laid out in Star Trek “continue to resonate” 50 years later. It is also why it’s hard for me to grasp how negatively Star Trek / Spock affected the Nimoy family, and specifically the relationship between Adam and his father.

The best thing about ‘For the Love of Spock’ is the abundance of family photos, videos and interviews – it’s like we have exclusive access to the Nimoy family archive. You can 100% tell that it was directed by his son, and I think it would have been a very different project had this not been the case. I love that what started out as a collaboration between father and son to celebrate the former’s most successful part, transformed in to a wonderful tribute to his life – the good and the bad, warts and all as they say. Adam admits it became a journey of self-discovery about his own relationship with his father and you can really feel this throughout the film. And aww when Adam comes on set with the wig and ears…

image

N.B. I didn’t realise that that was actually Nimoy’s real hair! I always assumed it was a wig?! As did his father. I love that kids would come in to his barber’s shop and ask for a “Spock haircut”.

It seems that Nimoy was a man after my own heart, a perfectionist, with a strong work ethic and a somewhat addictive personality. A very intelligent and savvy man, who knew that at any moment the crest of a wave upon which he and his fellow castmates were riding could have come crashing down, and so he never turned work down. His philosophy: making hay whilst the sun was shining.

Adam describes the sacks of mail that would arrive addressed to his father and how answering it all became a “family activity”. These elated early days however soon gave way to a tiresome frustration of life in the limelight and of father never really being around. So committed to his job, that when he was, he might as well not have been. If a picture says a thousand words, then this one says it all:

 image

I firmly believe that certain personality types are suited to certain professions and I think that most actors, have this “all or nothing” mentality. Nimoy became so fully committed to Spock that even his castmates didn’t “know” Nimoy that well, for he was only occasionally “Leonard like”, they felt they knew Spock better. It is a familiar story of actors so dedicated to a part they are playing they become internalised. When most of your waking life is in character, it’s very difficult to switch it on and off.

Just hearing Jim Parsons (Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory) talking about keeping a “panicked grip” on a character, because you don’t want to lose “it”, makes me think about the late Heath Ledger – who some believe, became so absorbed in playing the twisted character of The Joker, that this was a contributory factor to his tragic death at the age of 28. I had no idea that Nimoy himself had battled his own demons, namely his struggle with alcoholism.

I think his stepson Aaron Bay-Schuck sums it up perfectly: “Leonard was a very even-keeled guy, he didn’t always show a lot of emotion” – Spock was undeniably a part of him.

This film was incredibly moving. Hearing such a candid and personal account of how Spock, and Adam’s struggle to bond with his uber famous father (and vice versa), would ultimately drive a wedge between them. I can’t believe they were estranged up until as recently as 2006!? I am so happy that they reconciled, and that Leonard was there for his son, throughout such a difficult and heart breaking time. The letter from Leonard to Adam… oh the tears.

One question though: what exactly is a full-fledged deadhead?!

On a lighter note, as many of you will know, in my guise as TheOriginalTiT, I have (rather unsuccessfully of late) been making my way through TNG, and something that stood out to me in this film are the parallels that can be drawn between the characters off Spock and Data.

image

“Vulcans never bluff”.

Take this conversation between Spock and Kirk for example:

  • S: I prefer the concrete, the graspable, the provable.
  • K: You’d make a splendid computer Mr Spock.
  • S: That is very kind of you Captain.
  • K: *grins

As Nicholas Meyer comments about Spock being a cold, unemotional guy, but that Leonard insisted “he never played him that way, he played him as a guy trying to keep his emotions in check”. As Simon Pegg laments: Spock had “so many emotions”, but as Nimoy himself recalls “he also has emotional control, expresses very little of what he’s feeling. It’s fun for the audience to watch to see if a glimmer of something pops through”. Okay, do Data is an Android and technically not capable of feeling emotion, but it reminds me of something that Brent Spiner said at Destination Star Trek 3, that people would always say that thought they saw Brent play emotions in him, but that actually he “could feel the audience through the TV projecting their emotions on to him”. I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder?

A bit like the “homoerotic relationship” between Kirk and Spock that some fans have created?! Fan fic can go to strange places… I wasn’t quite prepared for that! And no, I haven’t Googled it!!

I can even see a likeness between Nimoy and Patrick Stewart, both with a flair and passion stage acting. I would have loved to have seen Nimoy in the Man in the Glass Booth! ‘For the Love of Spock’ has made me so excited to watch TOS. It seems there was a much more obvious comedic element to the show that the new films have, but that TNG (my main experience of ST so far) lacks somehow. Not in a bad way, it’s just different.

Question: What’s the difference between a Jewish man and “a Jew”?

I absolutely love the term “The Triumvirate”, I hadn’t heard it before in a Star Trek context. Warping forward 50 years – I really feel that in “Beyond”, the latest of the new movie franchise, Pine, Quinto and Urban, finally nailed the recreation of the Shatner-Nimoy-Kelly dynamic. It was truly lovely to see so many of the new cast members involved in this project, to whom Nimoy was of course a castmate also, and no doubt had a tremendous influence over them during the filming of “Star Trek” and “Into Darkness”.

 image

Over the course of the 50th Anniversary celebrations I have really enjoyed watching all of the ‘closeted’ celebrity Star Trek fans coming out and proud as “Trekkies”. I absolutely loved all the “50 in :50” videos released by Star Trek – from Pete Wentz, to Slash – and you’ll all remember how excited I was about Rihanna getting her Trek on, to the point where she recorded an epic tune for the soundtrack of “Beyond”. I love how Star Trek is increasingly becoming more of an everyday topic of conversation, no longer reserved just for the geeks and nerds amongst us, it’s like totally cool now! Helped in no small way I’m sure by cult TV and firm fan-favourite ‘The Big Bang Theory’ – I can’t wait to watch this show and “get” all of the Star Trek references!

Note to self: must watch majority of Star Trek first.

The breadth, depth and diversity of Star Trek fans never ceases to amaze me. In this documentary for example, you have actual astrophysicists discussing their love of the show, what it means to them and how it has affected the path that their lives took. It is a profound thought that Neil DeGrasse Tyson has, that maybe Star Trek, and Spock, may in some way be responsible for the “slow but real appreciation of what science is and why it matters”. Freakin’ NASA even wished ST a happy anniversary!

As I said in my review of “Beyond”, any new Trek is good Trek, and I love the new films. It was great and somewhat of a vindication to hear how Nimoy viewed the reincarnation: “Along came JJ Abrams who found a way to crack it open to an entirely new and different audience… You didn’t have to know all about Star Trek, you could come and enjoy this movie as a person who had never seen anything of Star Trek before.” Now THAT’s a real seal of approval?!

Having not really seen that much of TOS (and I know that Sam will disagree with me on this one), I personally, have never seen Spock as a “sex-symbol”, although I have to admit that Quinto’s portrayal of the character is somewhat sexier – I understand the appeal there. However, one particular highlight of ‘For the Love of Spock’ was hearing Zoe Saldana talking about the character of Spock and seeing in him what SHE personally likes about men. I couldn’t help wondering whether she is talking about Nimoy-Spock or Quinto-Spock? Is there even a difference? It made me chuckle when an, albeit fairly young, Angelina Jolie confessed to wanting to make Spock “scream”?!

The best line of the entire documentary has to go to JJ Abrams though: “When you have wounded Spock, you just want to kill yourself!” He broke his nose!

Also, picturing the scene with Nimoy, Pegg and Pine – Spock snores!

It was great to see some of the friends that the TrekkieGirls have made over the years be a part of the film, including Bobak – MSL flight engineer NASA jet propulsion laboratory – the TGs new BFF (hope he doesn’t mind me calling him that – Sam and Carole met him in Vegas), and the delightful Scott Mantz!! And did I spy the wonderful @SpockVegas in there too…

Back in 1972, conventions were an entirely new concept: “this gathering of fans to celebrate Trek for a weekend”, and as Simon Pegg says, Trekkies really were “Pioneers of the cosplay culture”. It was amusing that the organisers had hoped for 500 attendees, and they got 3000! Star Trek is undeniably responsible for the formation of the modern day ‘con’, and Nimoy’s love of conventions, and for the fans (as praised by Karl Urban), is common knowledge. This was demonstrated by his appearing via Skype at DST3 in October 2014 – his last public appearance – where he embraced new technological platforms, just to keep that momentum going, when he was no longer able to travel to personally attend. I loved seeing Adam at his first convention and his total awe of it all. The scene spliced between him and Spock is beautiful.

On my relatively short journey as TheOriginalTiT, I have been fortunate enough to be part of some amazing experiences that I know many a hardcore Trekkie would give their right arm for. The gravitas of which is not lost on me. I am so humbled to have been blessed with the opportunity to ask him a question at DST3:

…and to have been present at the naming of Leonard Nimoy way at Paramount studios, LA in May.

 leonard-nimoy-way

There was only one bit of the whole film that I didn’t quite agree with, and I suppose it’s a matter of opinion. I guess it’s like everyone has their favourite Bond or Doctor who, and I appreciate where Walter Koenig was coming from when he said: “There’s only one person who can play Mr Spock”. I don’t think there is anyone that could have been better cast to reprise the role than Zachary Quinto and I think this comment does him a little of a disservice. He has done / is doing, a simply amazing job following in some pretty big footsteps?! The scene with the two Spocks in the first film is literally one of my absolute favourites!

Quinto speaks about his “personal relationship” with Nimoy, I felt this in person in LA, listening to Quinto speak on behalf of the Nimoy family, about Leonard’s legacy, and about the legend that is Spock. He is part of the Nimoy family now and that can be both seen and felt in this film. At points it’s hard to tell who is interviewing whom? When Adam is talking about his late wife Martha, and his father’s unwavering support during this terrible time, they are almost like brothers.

The Spock tribute at the Burning Man Festival, 2015 must have been an amazing thing to witness and be a part of. It was such a lovely way to end the emotional rollercoaster that was ‘For the Love of Spock’.

 image

A self made Renaissance man. A ubiquitous curiosity.

You did make the world stand up and listen.

SO what IS your word Adam?!

 

If you haven’t seen ‘For the Love of Spock’ yet (and if I haven’t totally ruined it for you!) check it out over at We Are Colony now.

image

 

Star Trek Discovery – Timeline revealed, Who we hope to see…

At the Television Critics Press Association Press tour (we don’t know what that is either!) Bryan Fuller spilled some goodies about the new Star Trek series Discovery.

If you haven’t read all about it, check out this article from Variety who were reporting live from the event. Then come back whilst I speculate with my thoughts!
Here’s a cheat sheet of the news thanks to Screen Junkies.discofacts

Just as a caveat to the above, I can’t find any direct source that states the series will be set in the Klingon Wars. It’s probably a good guess as a lot of events have been ruled out such as the Romulan war (Battle of Axanar) and The Kobayashi Maru.  Bryan Fuller did mention Amanda Grayson too but it didn’t read as definite that her character is included.

Whilst in Vegas, Carole and I spent a lot of time speculating with others when we thought Discovery would be based. I believed it would be based in the 29th Century, that it was a timeship and each season it would cover a different point in Star Trek history, filling in all those loose ends or raising new questions…. by the way, if you like that idea CBS… call me! I have more ideas!

Now we have a timeline we can start speculating!

Continue reading Star Trek Discovery – Timeline revealed, Who we hope to see…

Choose your own crew with Sky Cinema UK

To Celebrate the Sky Cinema dedicated Star Trek Movies channel, Sky Cinema are giving us the chance to pick our own crew!

It’s not easy! We spend many hours discussing this amongst ourselves and with many of you. In fact, we were talking to Jordan Hoffman from the Official Engage Podcast just a couple of weeks ago about the complexities of picking your own crew. Its not just about the  individuals, its the relationships and how crew members complement each other. Whilst the likes of Spock, Data, Seven of Nine, Odo and T’Pol are brilliant characters. Would they all work well together? probably …. but the ship might not be as exciting without people like Dax, Tom Paris and Geordi for them to bounce off.

As you can see from the video above, Picard is a legend amongst the new cast! And rightly so. Also, they need to watch more Star Trek!

Hope you’re enjoying watching back to back Star Trek movies on Sky Cinema as much as we are! Which movie have you watched the most? And Let us know who you pick for your crew…..

Star Trek Las Vegas – Review pt. 1

The five day long convention has passed us at Warp Speed! We’re sorry we didn’t do daily blog posts but we barely had a chance to eat or sleep! Hopefully you caught our extensive twitter feed covering all aspects.

1arrived

Wednesday

The convention formally opens at 2.30, we’re not sure why so late there must be a logical reason? On a selfish level this is fine as Sam has only just landed!
We spend the afternoon getting our bearings, walking in and out of panels, drooling over the vendors room (especially the MAC Station – more on that soon!) and bear hugging old friends and twitter acquaintances.

Something we discovered early on was that we were suffering ‘missing out syndrome’. This might sound insulting if you weren’t able to attend the convention and wished too but even at the event itself, there is always something else going on. When you’re sat in the main hall, you are missing out on what’s on in the secondary hall, when you’re in the Masquerade bar, you’re missing out on seeing friends at the Quarks. It’s not a bad problem to have and there isn’t too much you can do about it.

Popular question of the week no.1

Q. Have you ever been to to STLV before?
A: Sam attended in 2008 back when it was at the Hilton. We both visited in 2010 (again Hilton) but for a short visit as part of Sam’s Hen/Bachelorette Party.

Thursday

2dress
Spent ages making this costume and it turned out completely see through! Clever lighting made this shot possible!

After trying to sleep of the jet lag and a slight wardrobe malfunction on Sam’s part we decided to check out the venders rooms. We cannot give enough credit to MAC Cosmetics who sponsored the convention. They went above and beyond! We have talked before about their limited edition Star Trek range which will be available from September, it was introduced at San Diego Comic Con a few weeks ago and also made available for early purchase at the event.

We have to tell you about the set. It was a large bridge shaped set split into four ‘Stations’ including Engineering, The Transporter and 10 Forward. MAC provided 100 makeup artists and were offering free makeovers all five days!

We spoke to Ben from MAC Hawaii and he gave us some insights to how this came to be. Apparently MAC and CBS been in discussions for a while about collaborating as both feel there are many similarities in the ethos of Star Trek and MAC. Values of equality are at the heart of each. Therefor it was a a natural fit.
In regards to the set, the events manager at MAC Cosmetics used to work for Disney and is a perfectionist. A lot of time was spent digging through the CBS archives to ensure the accuracy of the set in terms of colourings and designs. Fun Fact; the tables from the 10 Forward section are the actual tables from the show!! (yes, then we had to touch them like Picard, Data and the Pheonix!)

But much credit must go to the actors they hired for the parts of Seven of Nine, Uhura, Troi and Vina (the figureheads of the Star Trek Mac range). The casting was spot on. Each would do a skit. Uhura would sing ‘Charlie is our darling’ with every bit as much skill and beauty as Nichelle Nicholls. Troi recreated the scene from In Theory discussing love with Data. Vina performed a dance and Seven of Nine nailed the drunk scene from ‘Timeless’. We had to listen carefully to check if it was dubbed. It’s not, she has truly captured Jeri Ryan’s portrayal of this scene.

Carole treated herself to a makeover and then we proceeded to buy almost everything. We were going to have a considered think about what buy but upon hearing that our favourites were already running dangerously low, we stocked up.
Although we have no regrets buying it we did come away feeling a bit like Harry Kim in the pilot of Voyager when he encountered Quark trying to sell precious gems!

The transporter set was another great feature and free content for us Convention goers. With so many ‘pay for’ photo shoots its nice for attendees to have photographic souvenirs  that say ‘we were there’ but allow us to save our money for meeting the guests. It also allows brand interaction for those who aren’t interested in the makeup. MAC record a transporter effect and the video is beamed to your email account immediately.

The effort achieved by the likes of MAC and the Star Trek Beyond Fan event have set a new bar for interactive Star Trek content, providing greater warmth, affinity and personal contact with Star Trek.
The popularity of Comic Cons around the world is sky high, with ‘geek’ becoming more mainstream. Star Trek fans were the first in organising conventions, but we feel conventions need to keep pushing the comfort zone of their traditional format of should we wish for new fans to join in, becoming more event/show driven. In the words of Captain Pike “We dare you to do better.”

Back to Thursday!

Popular Question No.2

Q: What was your highlight of the week?
A: There were many, but a top one was certainly the Whoopi Goldberg panel.

Appearing at her first ever Star Trek Convention, Whoopi brought energy, enthusiasm, humour and heart to the main stage.
The story of how Whoopi came to be on TNG is well known, that she was inspired by Nichelle Nicholls’ Uhura. She revealed that she liked to think that Guinan was related to Uhura in some way.
Speaking of relations, she gave the audience some secrets into Guinans background including that Gene had told her that Guinan may have been Picard’s great-great-great-great-great grandmother.

She also elaborated on Q and Guinans background, that they were neighbouring races which had similar powers but different philosophies on how to use them.

Because of all these connections Whoopi and Scott called on us to get #BringBackGuinan (for Star Trek Discovery) trending on twitter and spam Bryan Fuller  until he acknowledge it!

scotwhoopi
Scott Mantz, Nichelle Nicholls, Whoopi Goldberg

Now we must pay tribute and respect to the moderator of this panel, Scott Mantz. We had the privilege of meeting Scott at LA (Did we mention we went to the Beyond event in LA?). We had a good chat about the trailer and preview and we knew he was our sort of trekkie from the moment we met him. Scott is a producer/presenter on Access Hollywood and general Star Trek Guru. He brought SO much energy to the stage it was infectious. He was upbeat, with experience of working with the biggest names in hollywood as well as an eidetic memory of Star Trek.
If Scott was moderating a panel, we took that as a mark that it was going to be entertaining  and the one to pick.

The main panels concluded with a wonderful Tribute to Nichelle Nicholls who spoke well and with pride about her contribution to the advancement of women and especially black women.
The audience joined in sharing their tributes and thanks to Nichelle which left no dry eye in the hall. The most touching tribute was by Whoopi Goldberg who joined the stage and thanked Nichelle for being her inspiration. The love!

Whilst the main hall panels had finished, we ran over to the secondary stage to checkout the news from the Okuda’s regarding the release of Star Trek The Encyclopaedia.
‘The Beast’ as its known weighs a whooping 11 pounds and took years for the Okuda’s to rewrite plus add an additional 300 pages!
They created a key to separate the prime and Kelvin timeline whilst stressing that they wanted to give importance to both timelines.

Interesting fact; the term ‘Kelvin Timeline’ which has seemingly appeared from no-where, was coined by the Michael and Denise Okuda. They were originally considering the name ‘Spock Timeline’ but it wasn’t specific enough. The USS Kelvin incident was the starting point for the timeline, and thus got the name.
We salute Michael and Denise for their contribution and dedication to the encyclopaedia and particularly their stance on the Kelvin Timeline. We do feel that it needs more equality in its contribution to Star Trek particularly for it’s celebration of Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary.

Look out soon for our report on the rest of the show….

 

A TiT’s Musings About Star Trek Beyond

image

* WARNING – SPOILER ALERT! *

I have been a very excited little TiT these past few weeks. The release of Star Trek Beyond marks the first “new Trek” that I have experienced since becoming a Trekkie in Training and fully-fledged TrekkieGirl. It was great to see my excitement and enthusiasm mirrored in two such hardcore Trekkies like Sam and Carole.

Having sadly been unable to attend the EPIC world premiere in San Diego because of the quite serious potential to loose both jobs and husbands following our whirlwind trip to LA, we had to settle for the next best thing – the very first screening of Star Trek Beyond at our local cinema, the Vue at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth. There was no discussion to be had, we would attend the triple bill screening including both Star Trek and Into Darkness, before the hotly anticipated Beyond.

As somebody said to me just recently, any new Trek is good Trek. I personally like both of the first films, and so I knew that I was going to love this one. I just wasn’t really prepared for how much it would totally and utterly blow me away – I LOVED it!!

Let’s just get this bit out the way first – gay Sulu. WHAT was the big deal? I think they could have actually left in the deleted “kiss” and it would still have been completely un-shocking. In the context – of a military or service person greeting their loved one after a period away – what could be more natural? Regardless of gender or sexuality. As John Cho said when speaking to news.com.au:

“I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out of it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicise one’s personal orientations.”

Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand where George Takei is coming from, but I hope that now he’s seen Beyond, he can take the whole thing as it was intended. I’m sure that Sam and Carole will fill me in on his response when asked THAT question during his panel at STLV!

image

Following on quite nicely from that, I really liked the way they handled the tribute to Leonard Nimoy – so thoughtfully done. It was beautiful to watch Spock grieving for his future self, just as I’m sure Zachary Quinto grieved for his predecessor in real life (it’s no secret that he was close to Leonard and sees the Nimoy’s as “his family”). You could see real emotion in all the cast member faces, not just Quinto, but he did admittedly do an amazing job. Nimoy would have been proud. It was also lovely to see the photographic ode to the TOS cast – TrekkieGirl Sam was literally in floods of tears at this point!

image

In a way, I’m envious of Sam and Carole. As lifelong fans, they can take so much more away from the movies than I can? All the subtle references to Enterprise that I just didn’t get, or the “Easter Eggs” that go straight over my head. I hope that this wave of new Star Trek continues so that one day I might enjoy it in the same way they do.

The character development in Beyond was really top-notch! A fact I think you can attribute to the film being co-written by the awesome (and out and proud Trekkie) Simon Pegg. Right from the very beginning where Kirk is explaining what it’s like having been in space for 966 days (loved the bit where he spilt his coffee – I just HAVE to get me one of those mugs!!). The ‘birthday drink’ between Kirk and Bones was a real nod to TOS and the relationship that the two characters had when played by Shatner and Kelly – namely, the “glasses / Romulan Ale” scene in Wrath of Khan – yes, that was one Easter Egg I did pick up on!!!

As TrekkieGirls we had expressed our excited anticipation at the unfamiliar on-screen pairings: Kirk-Chekov, Spock-Bones, Uhuru-Sulu, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. The increase in screen time given to Bones was well deserved – I’m so glad Karl Urban agreed to sign up for Beyond (I believe it was in doubt at one point?). That guy is frickin’ hilarious?! He had, without doubt, the best lines!? The sparring between Bones and an injured Spock, stranded on Altamid, again, was a real throwback to the Kelly / Nimoy era and fantastically done! I think these scenes were some of my favourite of the whole movie!

image

Something that did irk me a just little bit – every time the (a) ship was going terrifyingly fast, the camera would cut to Uhura screaming whilst all the men sat there stoically as if it were just another day at the office? I love Uhura because of her ballsyness, her feistiness, and don’t get me wrong, she demonstrates plenty of that in the film, but I just think these scenes were a little bit insulting? There was something “helpless female” about it? A bit too “Troi” for my liking? It just really stood out to me. Surely there is another way of demonstrating the impending peril of the ship? Maybe it’s just me…

Conversely, fickle like I am, I loved seeing the vulnerability in Spock – faced with his own mortality with the passing of Ambassador Spock, torn between head and heart, and seeing how both he and Kirk feared letting the other down.

Side note: (I guess this happens when you watch all three films in a row) how well-matched is young Spock in the first movie, to Zachary Quinto?! In the “emotional” scenes in Beyond, he is the spitting image of him! Fantastic casting!

image

Speaking of which, I absolutely LOVED Jaylah!!! And the friendship that she formed with Scotty. It was great that he seemed more impressed by her engineering capabilities than by the fact that she is a smokin’ hot badass?! He’s SUCH a geek?! I really hope Sophia Boutella returns in the next movie as a fully-graduated-from-Star-Fleet member of the Enterprise crew.

image

Okay, I’ve been putting this off because as you know I get quite emotional about it: Chekov. Anton really came in to his own in this movie. Being the youngest member of the cast (I think he was just 17 when he began filming the first movie?), he really has grown up, in to a man, before our very eyes over the course of the movies. I loved the direction they took with the character in Beyond – he’s almost turning in to a young Kirk? (Funny that the two of them should be stranded together?) I may have been imagining it, but I’m sure he was the guy being kicked out of the green girls’ room, during Kirk’s “daily life aboard a Starship” scene? And the way he looked Jaylah up and down – he was certainly becoming a little bit of a ladies man. I am so sad, as I feel like there was so much more to come from the character, so much more Anton had to give, that will sadly never be realised. I personally am happy that they won’t be recasting the role. I just couldn’t bear to see anybody else playing this Chekov now. So long as there is some plausible explanation for his absence.

image

Of course, I’m not forgetting one very important character – the quite simply terrifying, Krall.

image

Being a Psychology graduate, I was absolutely fascinated by this character, both fearing and pitying him at the same time. Despite possibly always having been a megalomaniac, I think he was clearly suffering from some of PTSD, having been a soldier before the formation of Starfleet. You’d think by the 23rd Century we would have worked out a way of solving that problem? Okay, so they didn’t foresee his ship getting marooned on a planet so far away, and the subsequent effects of this isolation were perhaps inevitable. However, expecting him to just adapt to this new “peaceful” way of life, all of a sudden, when all he had known was war and battle, was somewhat ignorant and negligent I feel?

I loved the parallel that could be drawn between Kirk and Krall (or rather his human self, Balthazar Edison) – you could see that Kirk felt a certain empathy for what he had been forced to endure, bearing in mind the apathy he had started to feel in his own role as a Captain. When the almost-back-to-human Krall, saw his face in the shard of glass, I thought he was going to have some sort of epiphany, realise the error of his ways and try to help Kirk stop the release of the bioweapon. But sadly not. You see that’s the difference between Kirk and Krall – Kirk is inherently good, Krall, whatever the reasons, is stark raving bonkers.

image

So, there you have the TiT’s review of Star Trek Beyond. I hope my musings amuse you?! Needless to say, I am super excited that there’s going to be a forth film, and even more excited that it’s going to feature the gorgeous Chris Hemsworth!

image

One more thing before I go…

Again, watching the three JJ films together, I was left wondering – what is the obsession with gravity in these films? From the gravity-defying stalactite-type buildings on Vulcan in the first film, to the mind-bending design of Starbase Yorktown – I mean, what’s with that place?! I couldn’t work out which way was up and which way was down? Also, on more than one occasion throughout the three films, there were scenes where you assume the ship is “above planet” and then the camera pans out and does this weird twisted angle thing to show that actually the ship is at the Southern pole of the planet, and is effectively upside down? Let me see if I can find a demo of this…

I guess when you are completely oblivious to these “Easter Eggs”, you notice other things? However, it all left me wondering, if, when you’re in space, do you ever really know which way is up and which way is down? Is there even an up/down in space? Just thinking about it makes my head hurt… Maybe Tim Peake can help me out on that?!

New Star Trek Series to air on Netflix UK

We love it when StarTrek.com tweet something at 2pm. It  probably means they want maximum viewing across all timezones! And today was no exception. Another trickle of information about the new Star Trek Series.

newstartrek

From this press release we can deduce that Neelix Netflix will be the home of the New Series here in the UK (and 187 other countries not including US and Canada who are special) YESSS!!

You’ll also have noticed that all series including the animated series have returned to Netflix and as a consequence, our boxsets have returned back to the loft.

Each episode will be shown on Netflix within 24 hours of airing in the United States.

For more info, including the special arrangements for America and Canada check out the news from Star Trek

If you haven’t read it already, check out our speculationspeculationspeculation regarding the series

Bryan Fuller answers questions about New Star Trek Series

What an interview! If you found todays news regarding the fan film guidelines from CBS as exciting as an episode of Come Dine With Me on Vulcan then you’re in luck, because something exciting had happened…..

Recorded at the Saturn Awards, Collider got this beautiful interview with showrunner Bryan Fuller where he reveals how far along they are in the process. And it’s rather far!

We love his enthusiasm for the Bridge design, the open possibilities of casting and the benefits of streaming…
The interviewer asks some great questions, all except THAT question!

It sounds like we are just weeks away from some solid news with patrons of SDCC being the lucky first recipients.

(You’ll have to click on the link t0 watch it, it won’t embed!)

Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast

Proving that Star Trek is more relevant and cooler than ever, it’s getting its own Podcast! Hosted by the amazing Jordan Hoffman (UK’ers will remember him as the entertaining panel MC at Destination Star Trek 3) he is known as a film critic, writer of One Trek Mind and general Star Trek commentator favourite.

engage

An introductory episode is already online available on iTunes and Play.it where Jordan provides a synopsis of what to expect. From listening to it, there is an emphasis on encouraging new fans into our collective. Which is fantastic because as a group, as podcasters and bloggers we can be accused of being too insular.

We congratulate each other on in-jokes and obscure references and without intending this could be off-putting to people wanting to join the series as such a late time.

This is where we must confess, we don’t really listen to podcasts. We have wonderful friends who create them but we scarcely find the time. It has taken us a week to listen to this introduction episode alone!

jordan

Before we listened we had some questions. Firstly, the podcast/blogger market for Star Trek is extensive! What makes this unique? Well Engage sounds forward facing, looking at the new series and has access to information and interviews. Jordan mentions that we can expect interviews with the new crew and other people that will appeal to Star Trek fans such as Weird Al Yankovich and Adam Nimoy!

Our second thought was; as this is an ‘official’ podcast, would it be overly sanitised? Luckily Jordan doesn’t shy away from pointing out Star Trek’s weaknesses (he must be friendly with those execs!).

Whilst the rest of us will be discussing the new series in retrospect as they are aired, we think this podcast will enable to delve deeper with a unique access and insight.

We are thrilled that Star Trek is looking at new ways to ‘engage’ with fans, both new and current ones. We hope they embrace more contemporary platforms in addition.

Engage : The OFFICIAL podcast begins its voyage tomorrow with three new episodes!

Here’s a sneak preview with Weird Al

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FEngageTheOfficialStarTrekPodcast%2Fvideos%2F1054561987965440%2F&show_text=1&width=560

New series teaser

Did you see it? The ‘teaser’ for the 2017  Star Trek series?

Show runner (translation: our latest victim to twitter stalking) posted this ‘teaser’ for the ‘teaser’. Hinting that it may contain Easter Eggs.

So we have gone looking for them!

First thoughts;

Fast zoom past Earth and the moon to signify ‘we’re going to be exploring the further reaches of our galaxy?’

The Nebula is reminiscent of the one at the end of Voyager’s opening credits? Also note news story from this week that Star Trek Voyager novelist Kirsten Beyer has joined the writing staff.

Then this happened:

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 20.10.30

and the Trekkie Girls jumped up and said in our best Sulu accent:

 

It HAS to be Praxis right?

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 20.19.04

As for this, initial thoughts are Romulus which we know in the Prime Universe has been destroyed by a supernova. It looks greenish.

Then there is a brief pink circle burst before the logo is revealed.

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 20.22.59.png

It has an edgy, metallic somewhat V’Ger vibe about it. We suspect the split in insignia is significant. Maybe alluding to some split in the Federation? This isn’t a new concept. DS9, Voyager and even Enterprise relied on the ‘two types of crew’ to create conflict and drive storytelling.

Now we have have likely made massive leaps in our guessing game jumping timelines and themes but maybe that something we can expect from a new series?

As we previously speculated, rumours suggest that each season could be its own entity?

Make sure you’re also stalking @BryanFuller and @StarTrekRoom on twitter to find out the goss.