STLV – Saturday Review

Saturday had an intensive schedule which was difficult for us because we had not got very much sleep! See our last post for more details

The Women in Star Trek panel was one we were keen to attend as we greatly admire all the panelists that consisted of; Kate Mulgrew, Mary Czerwinksi (Glue Guns and Phasers), Bjo Trimble (from saving Star Trek fame), Dr Kayla Iacovino (TrekMovie.com), Jarrah Hodge (Women at Warp) and Amy Imhoff (Shoes and Starships). They each spoke about how Star Trek had inspired feminism and their own personal choices with the biggest laugh going to Kayla who is an actual ‘Vulcanologist’.

Bjo Trimble is already a woman we look up to but this panel inspired us even more. She talked about being the ‘little house wife who spoke out’. She mentioned that when she and her husband started the campaign to ‘bring back Star Trek’ (when it was threatened with cancellation) the majority of letter received were from women. It were also women that inspired early merchandising ideas too.

The Merchandising issue is something we feel quite passionately about and something we’d love to help rebalance. Whilst walking around conventions we see women in wonderfully inspired costumes, often created by themselves because there is not much of a market to purchase it. Even large specialist producers such as Anovos have limited options for women.

Kate Mulgrew spoke about how she accepted her own individualism from the day she was born, that she always saw life as an equal playing playing field and that she is lucky to be Kate.

We often groan that ‘women’ and Star Trek are treated as another category, like Starships but this panel went deeper. It allowed us to reflect on how Star Trek has inspired us, although the ‘as women’ part of the question is hard to answer as it requires a basis for comparison which we do not have.
The panelists highlighted the tremendous impact Star Trek has had on women by hearing their stories. Characters like Captain Janeway are continually attributed to growing the confidence of women around the world which is why it is so important to keep these role models at the forefront of our television sets. We must also congratulate the convention organisers for recognising the importance of this subject and giving it a top slot in the convention schedule. The busiest day, at a peak time in the main hall. Well done to all involved.

Walter Koenig entered the stage dancing whilst 5 Year Mission played ‘Back in the USSR’. He began, like many of his comrades (see what we did there!) by paying tribute to all those we have lost, including Anton Yelchin which he said had been very hard on him.

 

Because we couldn’t physically move from our seats we stayed for the StarTrek.com ‘s Treasures Talk. Now I know we take the pakled out of official Star Trek Merchandise at times but that’s because we still have nightmares about that cheeseboard and BBQ set and what’s the point of bobble heads!? But we are glad we stayed for this talk because there are actually lots of good things planned. Including for us Europeans (yes that still includes us Brits!).

In Germany there is a theme ride is beaming down described as ‘a roller coaster experience’ based around Star Trek. For the UK we have the Star Trek Art Exhibition touring including Blackpool, Birmingham and London.

Two of those locations already have Star Trek events planned that may host the Art (we’re just guessing, it seems logical) Star Trek The Exhibition is already in Blackpool and we have Destination Star Trek Europe in October. So I guess we have to wait and see for something to be announced in London?

William Shatner does a lot of conventions these days. But this pleases us no end. Long may it continue! It doesn’t matter how many he attends, he ALWAYS fills the room. You can hear fans talking in huddles at the Starbucks queue (which were omnipotent) discussing what their ‘must see’ panels are and you can bet William Shatner is up there.

Remarkably a question was asked by an audience member that Shatner had never heard before. It was from 11 year old Lincoln (as all the best questions are from 11 years olds) who asked “What would you have done differently if you saw a Gorn outside your plane window instead of a gremlin, in the Twilight zone?”. Shatner gave a rather in-depth response!

He also spoke about his disappointment to have not been asked to appear in any of the new movies and expressed his desire to appear in Discovery.

The panel ends on a real tear-jerker as an audience member tells Shatner how much we all love him and how he is never truly lonely. Holographic tissues on standby!

This is a big difference between UK and American conventions. You’re much more likely to hear the ‘from the heart’ personal stories being shared from the audience.

Another Captain panel for us and its the delightful Scott Bakula!

We got the sense that Scott was more aware of what was happening on Star Trek Discovery as he mentioned having seen some of the makeup and costume designs. He had talked to Brian Fuller recently. He hinted that Captain Archer might be alive in the new series timeline which we now know will be set 10 years before Kirk’s command of the Enterprise.

Later that evening (after a much needed nap!) we went to the much anticipated Saturday Night Gala Concert performed by the Nevada Pops Orchestra. They play a selection of famous tunes from all series and movies. All the ones you want to hear.
A lot of people raved about this and go every year. Whilst we’re glad we went and we thought the orchestra played well, we don’t think we’d go again. If you haven’t ever seen the music of Star Trek played live before than we’d definitely recommend this once. But we have been very fortunate and spoiled for seeing these performed with a much larger orchestra, at the Royal Albert Hall, conducted by Michael Giacchino. If you have seen one of the Star Trek Live concerts touring, you’re not going to beat that.

Check out all our posts on STLV50

Star Trek Las Vegas Pt 2

‘Klingon Karaoke’ on Thursday night we enjoyed listening to fans with incredible voices (and signing credentials to back them up) wow those of us mingling on the dance floor.

When Connor Trinneer, Dominic Keating and Chris Doohan took to the stage, the audience were in hysterics.

Then there’s the regulars who’s antics fill us casual attendees feed each August. Seeing the famous ‘Eric Allan Hall’ sing was a real treat. Eric is such a good Data cosplayer we can’t say for sure that he isn’t a Soong Android.

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Friday

The day started by buying more MAC for Star Trek (we know, we don’t need to even insert the Picard face palming meme because you’re already imagining it!)

Star Trek.com presented the ‘Missing footage panel’ with Roger Lay Jr (Producer), and the production team Michael and Denise Okuda, Phil Bishop, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth. This was a panel we were very much looking forward too. Like many of you we had heard the news that the Roddenberry Estate had in their possession a vast amount of footage from The Original Series.

Most of it was odds and ends from the beginning or end of a scene that were swept from the cutting room floor. But there are some gems amongst them. Our new favourite person Scott Mantz (who is always happy and chirpy – think Data scanning for lifeforms) was fortunate to see some of these cut scenes and was happy to spill the beans for us.

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The people who have worked liked dilithium miners to put together the Roddenberry Vaults, Roger Lay Jr, Soctt Mantz, Denise Okuda, Michael Okuda, Phil Bishop (Great T-Shirt btw #DISCO), Trevor Roth and Rod Roddenberry. Picture pinched from Trekcore

One of the clips was an extended and alternate scene from Guardian on the Edge of Forever; after the kiss between Kirk and Edith Keeler. Some additional dialogue is included where Keeler uses the word ‘forever’ connecting it to the title of the episode.

Another wow scene is from “Who Mourns for Adonais?”. An ending has been found where Spock and McCoy mention that Lieutenant Palamas is pregnant with Apollo’s baby!

Can you imagine watching these for the first time?! We think we know Star Trek like the back of our hand and now suddenly there’s something new after 50 years! We’ll get to see it at the end of this year!

For more details check out this Trekcore article which we had the pleasure of contributing.

Chase Masterson certainly had the best entrance to her panel. Cheerfleet (a troup of Starfleet Cheerleaders that we instantly regret not joining) marched onto the stage and did what cheerleaders do to welcome her onto the stage. They then presented her with her very own Cheerfleet uniform making her an honourary member!

Chase performed for the audience, belting out ‘Fever’. She spoke about her amazing work mentoring, standing up against bullying, working with the UN (seriously, if she was British she’d be knighted by now!).

Chase put in 110% effort into this convention. She sang every night at the Roddenberry lounge, her signers table was always full and she takes time to speak to everyone who visits her. When we caught up with her at the end of the convention she was exhausted (but still fabulous!) yet she still went on to sing to crowds later that evening.

Ohhh Myyy, its time for George Takei! The Leonard Nimoy Hall was PACKED! Takei (who is king of the internet) is a must see at conventions. He is inspirational not just for those of who are considered a minority in terms of their appearance or sexuality but for all us who aspire for a world of liberty and equality. Like the rest of the TOS cast he is a great role model for older people, something that all of us, if we are very lucky, will become.

He spoke about his upbringing, his parents, his internment and the fear of history repeating itself in light of the current political climate.

Now we don’t gamble but we had to place bets on how many audience questions it would be until someone asked ‘THAT’ question followed by ‘THAT other question’…. You know the ones. Gay Sulu and William Shatner.

They were second and third if you’re interested. His response to Gay Sulu was the same as is publically known. He felt it was a betrayal of Gene Roddenberry’s creation of the character Sulu and that it could be construed that Sulu was closeted. We have to agree with Simon Peggs logic on this and although we are surprised at George’s response we respect that even though he would have seen that most fans disagree with with, he has not backtracked on his opinion and hasn’t shied away from the speaking about it.

Then it was THAT other question, we can’t remember the exact question but it was something like “blah blah blah You and William Shatner?”

The audience groaned. George’s response was with good humour stating that it’s something Shatner made up a feud between them each time he needs to sell a new book!”.

The Voyager and TNG panels are a spectator sport. Watching the banter between the cast feels like you are a fly on the wall. We can imagine this is just what it was like on set.

We know they are all actors but my god (the one from Star Trek 5) they are all good at impressions! Michael Dorn did a very good Troi and the space jelly scene from Encounter at Farpoint that we hadn’t heard before.

As we go to more conventions we are aware we are unlikely to hear anything new from the actors however it is always a pleasure to watch, listen and most importantly laugh.

However we did learn something new and that was why ‘Data’ is pronounced ‘Day-tah’ and not ‘Dat-ta’ (unless you’re rude like Pulaski). Apparently there was an on-set rule that the first person to say a noun would make that pronunciation canon. Patrick Stewart first said ‘Day-tah’ in his best Queens English, thus setting the standard. Brent Spiner made an observation that this has affected the American-English language causing a cultural shift in how the word is pronounced.

We attended the Roddenberry Entertainment panel as Rod and Trevor Roth are Executive Producers on Star Trek Discovery and we want to listen very intently to anything they have to say. The panel opened with a video of Nichelle Nichols singing Happy Birthday to Star Trek. We haven’t heard her sing in years and although a recording, it was still a pleasure.

On the most part the panel was a repeat of the missing footage however then the audience asked questions and there was only one thing on our minds… DISCO!

Rod Roddenberry (do we even need to mention that he is Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s son?) spoke about how he was reluctant at first to take the position as Executive Producer as he felt Star Trek was very much his fathers but it was Bryan Fullers involvement that changed his mind.

“Bryan Fuller is amazing. He is like us and he gets Star Trek.” – Rod Roddenberry

Someone asked the question “Would their be a transgendered character or person with internal conflict in Star Trek Discovery?”

Trevor and Rod responded that they can’t give any specifics or details (because of the suits!) but Bryan Fuller was keen to explore the human condition.

Just as we thought they had diplomatically navigated the question Rod exclaims “You won’t be disappointed!” (we actually heard phaser rifles load and take aim!)

We schmooze around the signers room, big hello to Melanie Smith (Ziyal and honourary Trekkie Girl), our favourite person Larry Nemecek (fact: he always had the longest queue at his table).

We run to the Roddenberry lounge for a Champagne toast to Star Trek (This is soooo us!) An amazing cake comes out, we all toast and sing happy birthday to Star Trek and we run to our next appointment with the fantastic Jordan Hoffman at the Official Engage Podcast. They had locked him in a little room to keep him out of trouble but nonetheless it was great fun talking to him, even though our brains go blank as soon as a microphone gets near us!

You can listen to it here! Via the Official Engage Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe!

That evening we were lucky enough to attend the Captains party at the Voodoo Lounge at the top of the Rio which is an amazing event and incentive to purchase one of the packages. We got there just in time to hear Ethan ‘Johnny’ Phillips starting his side splitting comedy routine. These jokes were dark and wrong…. our sort of humour!

Then the band ‘Sons of Kirk’ played their set whilst we admired an epic fireworks display. Although they were celebrating 50 years of Caesars Palace, we like to think it was for Star Trek.

We met up with some old friends and new, Neil, who Sam had met on the flight out, The guys from 5 Year mission – the house band who worked their drumsticks off all week, the guys from Sons of Kirk; Mike, Gary and <name>  and of course Jim Moorhouse aka @EnterpriseExtra aka #TheFanWhoFiredThePhasers … and probably the shields too?!

Jim had given his own panel about his experience as an Extra on Enterprise…. Where he fired the phasers! He is a blast, a true gent and we love listening to his stories. Maybe he might fire the phasers on the Discovery one day?? Make It So!

Evenings like this are the best reasons to go to conventions, how often do you have the chance to meet people you hardly know, but feel connected and safe discussing your dream crew, when you hope the new series will be set, your vision for Star Trek’s future?

We must briefly mention Barfleet (briefly because that’s all we recall!). Barfleet is a group of fans who hire a suite at conventions and turn it into a BAR!!! That’s right! What a great idea. There are strict rules about no photography and they ID everyone coming in but it’s a fantastic idea that we should bring to the UK. What an incredible bunch of people who give their time and money so others can have fun after hours at conventions. You are true philanthropists carrying forward Star Trek’s philosophy…. By giving us alcohol!

We did not feel so good about this idea the next day though.

But that’s another blog post all together.

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.

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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

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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!

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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

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* 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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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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?!

STLV – we have landed! 

  
Both Sam and Carole have now beamed in to Star Trek Las Vegas’s 50th anniversary celebration. It is like Star Trek on viagra here! 

We spent Wedsnesday getting our bearings and keeping Sam awake! 

We won’t post detailed pictures of the venue because our pictures come out rubbish and you can get better ones from official sources but the halls are massive! 

The vendors hall is probably the size of a galaxy class starship. The centre peice is the MAC cosmetics stand which resembles a bridge shape along with its own transporter set, ten forward and a smokin hot Seven of Nine model! 

  
  
    
 
We went to check out the range which you can buy ahead of its release in September. When we heard they were running dangerously low on ‘Khaaaan’ lipgloss and ‘Where no man has gone before’ lipstick we had to make an emergency purchase. Although we do admit to feeling a bit like Harry Kim when he almost bought those rare gems from Quark in Voyagers pilot. 

Still, Kristen from MAC was very nice and had a detailed knowledge of the product… And she made us feel special and …. Goddamit they warned us about this at the academy. 

Still, no regrets. Lipgloss and lipstick are lush! We’ll say review more on that later. 

Quarks bar is very good, obviously it’s not the Quarks from the experience days at the Hilton but it is still very good. Just don’t drink the wine! 

The place to drink is the Masquerade bar where you can enjoy the cocktails from old Quarks including our favourite Tranya!

Thursday’s day is just beginning and already streams of Trekkies are filling the corridors and food outlets of the Rio. Stay tuned for more updates. 

Shore leave: Star Trek Las Vegas

We can hardly believe this is happening, Carole is already in the States and I fly this Wednesday as we prepare for the most epic of away missions/shoreleave of them all. Creation Entertainment’s Star Trek Las Vegas 50th Anniversary Convention!

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I went to my first STLV in 2008 and that was a turning point for me as a Star Trek fan. This TV program that I love, suddenly felt so much bigger. It wasn’t just a TV show anymore, it was a community. I returned with Carole and other friends in 2010 when I coincided my wedding so I could go to STLV for my hen (bachelorette) party.

I met so many amazing people during those events and even though it was for a brief period of time, through the power of social media I never feel too far from that community.

It also seems that half of the United Kingdom will be there too! So many of our friends who we only get to see at the few and far between cons here in Europe are also making the pilgrimage.

The schedule has been published over the weekend and we’re honestly blown away. Also muttering our favourite Counsellor Troi quotes about time and lack there off! There’s so much to see and do we doubt we’ll have time to eat! (don’t worry we’ll make time for drinks at the bar as usual!)

We are particularly keen to get to the Roddenberry Stage which boasts “Champagne, Cake and Chase Masterson” – does it get any better!?

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We assume Roddenberry means for fans like us and not ‘us’!?

The schedule was released over the weekend and there are numerous highlights we are looking forward too, besides the obvious guest star panels which everyone wants to see we are also looking forward to:

Panels:

The early fans that made Star Trek live for 50 years. (Weds 17.00, DeForest Kelley Theatre)

MAC demonstation (Thurs 13.45 Leonard Nimoy Theatre).

Startrek.com present the Star Trek: Encyclopaedia (Thurs 16.10, DeForest Kelley Theatre)

Cocktails and Charades (Thurs 17.00, Roddenberry Theatre)

Missing Footage Archive (Fri, 10.30,  Leonard Nimoy Theatre)

Panel with co-owners of Creation Entertainment (Fri, 14.15 Leonard Nimoy Theatre)

Rod’s Toast (Fri, 18.00 Roddenberry Theatre)

Memorial to those lost in 2016 (Sat, 9.15 Leonard Nimoy Theatre)

Larry Nemecek’s Fast Trivia Game (Sat, 10.15 DeForest Kelley Theatre)

Women In Star Trek Panel (Sat, 10.50 Leonard Nimoy Theatre)

The interplanetary Tanya Symposium and Cocktail Hour (18.15 Roddenberry Theatre)

The Costumes of Star Trek (Sun 14.10 Roddenberry Theatre)

Inside the Writers Room (Sun 14.55 Roddenberry Theatre)

Tribute to Gene Roddenberry (Sun 16.00 Leonard Nimoy Theatre)

Ok we meant to list a ‘few’ highlights but got carried away! Those are just the panels! The evening entertainment looks superb with both official and official events scheduled. Chase Masterson and ‘The Roddenberries’ are set to perform each night at Quarks. Also, depending on tickets theres also the Nevada Pops 50th anniversary tribute on Saturday night.

Sunday night Creation Entertainment are putting on a special ‘end of the convention party, free for all (whoop!) featuring the Star Trek Rat Pack – perfect for Vegas!

If you’re going, we’ll see you out there! If not, feel free to live through our updates!

Here is a handy pocket guide timetable kindly made by Trek Geeks, Shoes and Starship and Women at Warp.

 

USS Discovery Revealed

In case you missed it, Bryan Fuller (Star Trek’s new showrunner and our new cult leader) revealed the title of the New Star Trek Series; Star Trek Discovery (or STD as it will never be referred too).

The teaser showed us a brief reveal of the USS Discovery. The reaction has been as divisive as Brexit and much like our recent political drama there has already been some backtracking with execs stating that ‘its not a final design’.

We have been asked by many for our opinion so here is what we think. Overall, we like it! Its design resembles a Starfleet insignia from underneath, but it is also somewhat reminiscent of a TOS era Romulan Bird of Prey. A clue to its era perhaps?

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Ok, so it doesn’t have the sleek, sexiness of an Enterprise. But that is fine with us. Maybe it’s not supposed too. It’s a bit like that dog in your neighbourhood, you know the one, it’s a bit funny looking. It’s not going to win crufts but it’s the most goddamn loving, soppiest dog ever. That’s the sense we get from the USS Discovery.

We honestly can’t place it in the timeline though. A lot of people are calling it a prequel and citing the early design concepts from The Motion Picture as its inspiration. Whilst we know for sure it is the Prime timeline (YESSS!) we really can’t tell from looking.

We have read fan comments about the registry, whether it offers any clues. Some claim that the registry indicates lineage, others counter argue that it’s irrelevant as they are different class ships.

But that’s just semantics, we’re interested in the substance of the show. From the announcement  and Fuller’s description of the show, we are filled with optimism. The name is perfect and describes what Star Trek is all about. We LOVE that William Shatner, Scott Bakula, Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan and Michael Dorn were present for the reveal of the new series thus embedding it in Star Trek history.

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Credit: StarTrek.com

It seems almost opposite from the launch of Enterprise where they distanced themselves from the brand (and even dropping the name ‘Star Trek’ from the title, for shame!).

Well done to all involved for fully embracing the fan spirit in the launch of this new series.

We are also in full favour of shortening the the name to the USS Disco! Thanks to Mark Watney, disco music is now THE genre of space travel. May we recommend this Kylie song as a theme tune (she also has a Jaylah thing going on in this vid!)

Make sure you’re following all of the @StarTrekCBS handles for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for the latest news on Star Trek Discovery.

Star Trek Beyond – Our review, spoiler alert

Please note this contains plot details of the film. Watch it before you read this!

Thursday night we sat through the triple bill showing of Star Trek building up to the highly anticipated Star Trek Beyond. Realising we aren’t going to have a chance to make a vBlog all together until after Star Trek Las Vegas we thought we’d jot down our opinions here instead.

Quite simply, we loved it! This is Star Trek at its best. Optimistic, altruistic, with themes such as unity, loyalty and friendship at its core.

All characters got their own fair share of screen time, character development and valuable contribution to the mission. Whilst they had great chemistry right from the first movie, they are now a well oiled machine. To say they perform ‘admirably’ is an understatement. Even when separated they managed to find a way to help and put the needs of others first. This mentally ultimately saved them all (Only the bridge officers obviously, not all those redshirts and the officer with the funny head!).

Jaylah (or Lassie) was a delightfully gritty character that we can’t help but love. Played beautifully by Sofia Boutella we suspect she’ll be a popular cosplay character at conventions from now on.

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Krall was intriguing. Spent a lot of the first part of the movie trying to work out who he was and also understanding what he was saying! At first we suspected if he might be in someway Borg due to the hive nature of those ships, his mechanical looking suit and his ability to absorb others had a nanotechnology feel to it. Other hypothesises we had was some some sort of Xindi hybrid which was interesting given what emerged about his background.

Carole was very quick to spot him in the background video on the USS Franklin, beating the rest of us and Uhura into revealing his true identity. This was a good move and we LOVED all the Enterprise and TOS references here. Really pleased to hear MACO was disbanded, this proves that they are all nuts and have no business in Starfleet!

But this film wasn’t all about the baddie and fighting the baddie. It was more than that, it was about relationships, existential crises and the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few.

And then there’s the Enterprise. As much part of the crew as any other we once again mourn the loss of another ship to bear her name. But as usual we don’t have long to grieve before we are presented with a younger, sexier model! As Carole said after the film “I cried at the Destruction of an Enterprise the first 3 times and I haven’t got anymore in me!”

Speaking of crying. What a tear jerker!! The film paid tribute and respect to Leonard Nimoy   in a beautiful and appropriate way. First scene when Spock receives the news of Ambassador Spock’s passing,  we had a dignified tear rolling down our cheeks. The second coversation where Spock mentions it to McCoy, we have more tears and a trembling bottom lip. But THAT photo! We’re like Betazoids sat in a retirement home for  Vulcan’s with Bendii Syndrome. We’re sobbing like children with runny noses!

We were delighted with another Enterprise era tribute, the USS Franklin but spent a bit of time during the first watching a bit confused. Like a lot of other fans we knew the NX-01 was the first warp 5 ship and the Franklin was presented as the first warp 4. But the events Krall/Captain Edison referred to occurred after ENT. But as Janeway says, try not to think too hard about the timeline – it just gives you a headache!

There were lots of nods and Easter Eggs for us fans to look out for such as ‘green hands’ in reference to the TOS episode Apollo, the ripped shirts, Spock and McCoy’s banter. A few we heard about include; over 50 alien species were included to celebrate 50 years and in Kirks monologue he states that the Enterprise is 966 days into its five year mission, apparently this refers to September 1966 – Star Trek’s birthday! It is also suggested that the staircase Yorktown is a tribute to the early days of the Enterprise’s conception when it was named such. Also Commodore Paris HAS to be a relation of Owen and Tom?

We would recommend seeing it a couple…few…dozen times! With each rewatch you get more relaxed and immersed into the story line.

Fav bits: Too many too mention, but the Spock/McCoy scenes and humour get a big thumbs up.

Not so fav: Krall, we’d like a bit more reasoning as to why he went nuts.

Weird bit: Costume changes. The new movies LOVE a good costume change. No matter what the crisis; ship destroyed, marooned on a planet, meeting with a senior officer the crew always decide ‘better get changed first!’

It was great that Spock changed into the 22nd century uniforms which were a fitting evolution of the Enterprise jumpsuits….but was there something a bit Galaxy Quest about them?!Anton-Yelchin-and-Zachary-Quinto-in-Star-Trek-Beyond.jpg

 

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.

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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

24th Century Socialites. Often found in Quarks, Ten Forward and the VIP bars of Risa