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).

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxlv4cOllDQ]

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!)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqtzMue6Izw]

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

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.

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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!

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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

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