Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Back Before Kirk with A Child of Two Worlds

Tiff steps away from the Voyager novel series with one from an earlier time...

Written by the New York Times Bestselling Author Greg Cox, A Child of Two Worlds is set in the Star Trek: The Original Series timeline and I must warn you that this review does contain spoilers.

As a fan of The Original Series, I was really looking forward to reading this book, my first by Greg Cox and one of only a few novels to focus on this time period, reuniting Captain Pike, Dr Boyce, Number One and a young Spock after the events of The Menagerie and The Cage.

The story begins with a prologue of Spock’s seventh birthday; He is struggling to maintain a Vulcan veneer, despite the constant interference of his human tendencies. We are then plunged headlong straight into the action onboard the USS Enterprise.

It is the year 2255, Captain Pike and his crew are dealing with a critical outbreak of Rigelian Fever on board the ship. There is however an experimental ‘cure’ on a Cyprian colony nearby (a rare mineral that may help the fast ailing crew). True enough whilst en route to the colony, they receive a distress call from a Cyprian ship under attack by Klingons!

Events spiral out of control and crises overlap when it emerges that one of the crew of the ship rescued is a child abducted and raised by the Klingons who lay claim to her, demanding her return (by force if necessary!).

More complications arise as it turns out the girl, Elzy, didn’t actually want to be rescued, certainly not by her biological sister. Elzy becomes a symbol for her peoples’ ambitious politicians who have been menaced by the nearby Klingons for many years populist Mob politics create a situation that it seems is almost impossible for Pike to solve.

The theme of the book is clear from the start, literally a child of two worlds whose destiny seems enforced by vested interests, Elzy serves to remind Spock of his own personal dilemmas. It creates some great character moments for Spock as he witnesses Elzy’s burden, being reconciled with her family on one hand, while her Mother disapproves of her insistence that she is a Klingon. Indeed this can be further seen within the relationship between Spock and his half brother Sybok as he reflects on the path his brother took when he chose to reject Vulcan logic in favour of exploring his emotions instead. 

But this familial crisis can be seen throughout the novel. Captain Pike, bound by his Starfleet ethics but trying at the same time to do his best for his crew and all concerned in the dispute around Elzy. The author does a wonderful job with the characterisation especially with the more familiar crew members and it’s heart-warming to have a chance to revisit Dr Boyce and Number One and especially the younger, less mature Spock.

The novel provides a wonderful insight into this rather neglected time period. Readers may also find some similarities here to The Next Generation episode Suddenly Human.  There are some shortcomings most notably the style of the novel is rather less mature than other Star Trek novels I have read.

My first impression was that it was written in the style of a Young Adult novel and my fear is that the author has misinterpreted the unique style of The Original SeriesInstead he has created a more simplistic read, both in style and format racking up the tension to almost unbelievable levels before miraculously, a solution is presented.

Today, we have a tendency to view The Original Series as bright, nostalgic and a little silly at times and it’s true that people have misinterpreted this as a simplistic version of Star TrekIndeed this novel at times encapsulates that within its Young Adult style. The Original Series at the time of its’ original airing was groundbreaking and covered a great many difficult and at time controversial issues and it’s a shame that A Child of Two Worlds doesn’t represent this.

That being said, as a light read, I enjoyed it immensely. It was fun to read, but ultimately very forgettable.

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Saturday, 20 August 2016

Voyager Season Three: The Big Reveal

The conclusion of Basics proved that Voyager could capably complete a two-parter and make it work over two seasons.

The loss of Lan Suder was perhaps inevitable but even a few years later I still wonder how he would have affected the ship if he'd survived. I mean the guy is a one man killing machine taking down a whole engineering team of Kazon to save the ship. I do enjoy Voyager's two-parters and the third season packs in this one plus Future's End which is another top notch 90 minute effort.

Let's start properly with Basics though. The shipboard scenes are great with the cat and mouse game being played out by the Doctor and Suder against the Ogla led by Cullah and Seska. It successfully closes off two years of Kazon antics and these guys are never seen again in an original episode. Many hurrahs for sure across fandom but there were definitely worse enemies in this show than the "short Klingons". The crew's encounter with the natives on their new home feels like filler and you are clock-watching for when Voyager will show back up.

Future's End drops the crew onto 90's (at the time present-day) Earth and provides the Doctor with the mobile emitter but it does more than that, introducing Captain Braxton and confirming that Star Trek is in an alternate universe since Chronowerx is blatantly a social comment on Microsoft/Apple. Filled with action, gadgets and a baddie who still makes me uneasy, it's a worthy double-length story slap-bang in the middle of the year. Anyone else wonder about the Eugenics War???

The early stages of the year are somewhat less spectacular than Tom and Tuvok chasing a truck in a VW camper, Sacred Ground and False Profits are left overs from the previous season and aren't that bad to be honest. Sacred Ground brings out the Prime Directive and the whole non-interference topic once again and is pretty effective with Janeway taking a prime spot to save Kes' life. False Profits brings the two Ferengi from The Next Generation's The Price back as we discover them taking full - and not unexpected - advantage of a naive race. Back on first-run these two cheesed me off no end. Filler, average and nothing interesting but 20 years later they are both signs that Voyager was getting better. It's about characters, it's about exploring the rich background of the franchise and answering the "what if's". In fact False Profits is a decent Ferengi episode where Neelix is useful and contributes to some great scenes. There are far, far worse than these two eps - in this season as we will see - but first there's Flashback.

Cards on the table, it's not Trials and Tribble-ations. Nowhere near. George Takei (who wasn't in The Trouble with Tribbles) and the late Grace Lee Whitney are back to replicate their scenes from The Undiscovered Country plus some extra bits in a story that seems like it's taped together around the 1991 movie. Seeing Sulu and Rand in Star Trek again is a feast for fans but I just don't think either is totally comfortable here and the model work isn't up to scratch either. I know the Excelsior isn't the same model as in The Undiscovered Country and adds another nail into this substandard anniversary show. Going up against Deep Space Nine's seminal episode was a Kobayashi Maru if ever there was one but at least they tried.

Worst Case Scenario might not draw on history that far back but it does take a leaf out of the Voyager Origins casebook with one of the show's clever "What If" episodes along the same lines as Living Witness and the two-part Equinox, (there's another but I'm coming to that...) offering a view of the ship had the Maquis managed to take control. Only a holodeck program that goes wrong (again) but one possible option we never got to experience. Bringing back Seska (she's back again in season seven's Shattered) works very well and even more chilling is her after-death "revenge" on Tuvok by re-writing the scenario. A great story, it gets lost in an otherwise average year.

The only other episode this year to really draw on the past of the franchise is The Q and the Grey, returning everyone's favourite omnipotent being accompanied by the ever-watchable Suzie Plakson. Now I've loved Plakson as Selar, as K'Ehleyr and as Andorian Tarah in Enterprise. I even love her here as she's one of my favourite guest actresses but as a Q episode this is barrel-scraping, so much so that when we get to Q2 in season seven (yep, four Q-free years after this garbage) I think the producers were on the verge of ordering a new shiny reinforced barrel. A civil war and Q procreation are awful concepts not too far off the Warp Five speed limit controversy of The Next Generation's final year. Gladly it's not repeated, just heaped on top.

Macrocosm attempts to do for Janeway what Starship Mine did for Picard and while it doesn't quite manage to turn her into the female Starfleet John MacClaine it's a valiant effort with a rare (at this time) CGI alien being that's a little bit terrifying and makes this episode a little bit of a guilty pleasure. It's pure action, moderate nonsense but very enjoyable as the captain suits up to kick some bacterial arse.

Season three seems to have a few episodes I either erased from my mind or never paid that much attention to in the '90's. There are two of those culprits later in the season, the first one being Fair Trade. Even the three line synopsis on the DVD gave me no clue as to which episode this was. Ten minutes in and I was none the wiser and even by the closing credits I was still wondering if I'd ever watched it in the first place. Now it's not a shocker, it;s probably one of the stronger Neelix episodes and it has something that actually shows that time - and space - have passed in that the Talaxian is starting to become "redundant". Great touch that I felt worked well for the development of the series and this maligned character. 

Neelix also has a prominent role in Tuvok and the Great Metal Elevator or Rise as it's titled here. A whodunnit in the classic confined space combined with one of sci-fi's biggest tropes. While Voyager was always seeking the concept angle it's heavily recycled here providing average season filler with little character exposition for the sake of some nice CGI.

Another one from the vault that my memory forgot is Coda. I remember there being a massive build up for this one which saw the return of the Vidiians and acted as a springboard for Jeri Taylor's Mosaic novel (which I managed to get hold of last year). Examining Janeway's character it's the strongest episode to focus on the character from the start of the show, opening up both her strengths and weaknesses in a so-so episode. 

Things don't tend to really kick into gear until the closing seconds of the Lets All Pon Farr episode, Blood Fever where the Borg finally turn up. We have to wait another ten episodes for them to actually prove a viable threat but even the hint of their presence in the show - something we had been waiting for since Caretaker - meant the remote possibility that this series was going to take it up a notch or three. On this note I was actually right but let's come to that in a moment.

To get to that season finale there's a ton of good and bad. The Borg-teasing Unity brings familiar Alpha Quadrant races back into the fold who want to be in a collective rather than have their total individuality. A good Chakotay story (yes, seriously) that places him in a very precarious role and at least the experience is something that the writers chose to reuse in the conclusion of Scorpion at the beginning of the following season.

Talking of underused characters, Ensign Kim is almost conspicuous in the third season after The Chute. That episode is one of my favourite stories of the year however and even knowing the twist on a rewatch didn't ruin it. There's a lot to like here and entrusting the bulk of the screen time to Wang and McNeill works really well. It is a lost situation for them as they try and survive as best they can and there are some very distinct religious and social overtones that are less than subtle throughout. Watch for the "Christ" moment if you know what I mean! 

Harry's other big story before he's attacked by Species 8472 in Scorpion is Favorite Son. Is Harry an alien? No; not a chance in hell and guess what - he isn't. Now if they had kept that in it would have been a moment of genius totally inspired and against all expectations but the fact that we just know there will be a reset and Ensign Kim is 100% human from the start takes all the emotional power from the tale. Voyager had a tendancy to do grandiose, dangle the carrot and then whip the rug out from under your feet on a few occasions - just check out the ending of Year of Hell if you want to see probably it's biggest offender or perhaps the final 30 seconds of Endgame.

The Doctor also gets a fair share of screen time to indulge in flippant wastes of ship resources especially in the torrid Real Life although his turn as something not far off Jack the Ripper in the earlier Darkling is almost inspired if a little predictable even before the "big" reveal not that far into the episode. Potentially that early epoch saves the episode from ruin and heavily relies on Robert Picardo - a trait that would continue with zest in the later years when coupled with Seven of Nine.

For me within that end of season batch there are a couple of stand out episodes. One is Before and After and the second is Distant Origins. I'll address the Kes time travel one first in that it might be standard temporal breakfast for Star Trek but it's a late blast of greatness from Lien given that her exit from the show would come so abruptly in the fourth season. It drops a few hints at what is to come from the Krenim in Year of Hell plus provides a glimpse of how Voyager might have evolved had the journey taken the lifetime it was suggested back in the first season. I think this is one of those stories we needed to see to tempt us with the future and the "could be" options just in the way that Parallels did very late for The Next Generation. One note though that the Krenim were originally supposed to have been the third season cliffhanger but Scorpion took that slot relegating Annorax and co to the following year.

To be fair it had been a pretty poor year for old Kes since her only other major starring role had been in the (equally good) Warlord chewing out cast and scenery in what should be a standard body-swap episode. This is fairly by numbers from start to finish but Jennifer Lien's swaggering performance does raise its profile but not enough that it's going to scar any top 20's.

As I said though, the end of the year also presented what I consider to be one of the show's classics; Distant Origin. Proving that Voyager could nail high concept once again, the episode is much more orientated to the perspective of the dinosaur-descended Professor Gegen and the Voth than it is the main cast. It's a good move allowing an unusual look at the human condition and contemplating just how we might be considered from another viewpoint. In fact our existence debunks their very idea of evolution. A good Chakotay episode again! Wow, they really screwed with this guy in the later years didn't they?

Season three does close with one of the show's biggest ever episodes that I would easily include in the same breath as Living Witness, Blink of an Eye, Timeless and Equinox - Scorpion

Returning the Borg to the small screen after their makeover for First Contact can't have been that easy and it's a finale that gets a lot right but isn't perfect. I still question the decision to give the Borg their own nemesis if you will but you can't fault the power of the pre-titles teaser nor the scope of Voyager's first Borg encounter proper.

Species 8472, Star Trek's first major CG baddie are a huge threat to just about everything and fortunately weren't overused by the show (although they still did a humanise-the-enemy ep which was unnecessary) and left Voyager to take on the Borg as its main threat. Scorpion showed the true opportunities that the series could explore - the real dangers of the Delta Quadrant and a storyline that could truly be ongoing. Of course we had no idea what the concluding part would bring - or who.

What was the highlight of season three? Do you think Voyager was right to bring back the Borg?

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Thursday, 18 August 2016

Beyond - The Drama of the Box Office

What the hell happened? 

With a marketing campaign that sung its credentials from all angles, Star Trek Beyond looked like a total, sure fire hit. The reviews were great, Rotten Tomatoes even certified it Fresh. It was easily the best of the three reboot movies, there was no lens flare and the story was, for the most part, pretty solid. It wasn't the perfect Star Trek movie but it was showing that the movie arm of the franchise was moving in all the right directions.    

In a lot of ways it felt like Star Trek was coming home and getting somewhere near its roots again in this key 50th year but, after the release weekend and it's number one opening slot in the US (second to The BFG in the UK) it disappeared off the face of the Earth. There's been no movie novelisation this time, no sustained drive on marketing after that 22nd July premiere and only by the fact that a few reminder adverts keep popping up on @TheWarpCore Twitter feed did I know that it was still out. A visit to the cinema yesterday showed that it's now down to two daytime showings and the building had no posters or promo on it aside from the touchscreen booking terminal which had the one-sheet poster to select a screening. I have it on good authority that Star Trek in 2009 was still spinning around cinemas five months after release while this will be looking optimistic to be pushing five weeks (thanks to @zer0 on Twitter for that nugget).

The numbers have been less than was expected. The opening weekend was apparently on target hitting around $60 million. Not a behemoth of the box office but still respectable however the second week saw an over 50% drop in revenue and then the third week around another 50% drop in relation to the week before. Indeed, by the end of its second week we were looking at only $24.7 million in takings which is significantly less than the amount Into Darkness took at the same point ($37.2 million). Frankly it seems that once the hardcore fandom had been and seen the movie it was all over and done with. Star Trek is, it seems, no longer a sure fire box office winner and a 'banker' if you will.   

So where did it all go wrong? For starters I think the suggestion that people boycotted the movie because of the revelation that Sulu was gay is utter garbage and a waste of good journalism. Perhaps having JJ Abrams not as prominently linked to the project as director could have had an impact on the takings. After all his name on the previous two movies certainly had an effect but his reduction to a purely production role in favour of the some little film called Star Wars may have put off some cinema goers. If he'd "abandoned" the franchise then maybe his fanbase did too.

Then there's the publicity before hand. The first trailer was all guns, bangs, loud Beastie Boys music and action all he way which reinforced the credentials of replacement director Justin Lin and would appeal to the masses however writer Simon Pegg quickly jumped in to reassure fans that this was going to be more like the original Star Trek than either of the previous two movies. There was a fan event and three subsequent trailers which then gave mixed messages versus that original adrenaline filled two minutes of footage. Could this have warned off potential viewers? Possibly. 

Viewers may not have really understood what they were going to be getting - old school cerebral Star Trek or Fast and Furious action or maybe a messy mix of both. Nor do I believe that the boycotting campaign in light of CBS/Paramount's law suit against Axanar had much of an effect. That fan production really would have only influenced a hardcore central to ignore the movie and that wouldn't have made that much of a week on week dent in the takings. The amount of people viewing the trailers versus those viewing Axanar leans more to the movie than the fan film by some ridiculous margin.  

The marketing campaign too was far more subdued in virtually every sense. From day one there was very little information forthcoming and it seemed to take an age for anything to surface of any substantial quality. It was like pulling teeth for ages then there was a bit of a spurt and then it fizzled just as quickly as it started. This was due, it was revealed later, to the fact that the July release date was immovable and the production schedule was reduced substantially after the departure of Roberto Orci and his team and the restart from scratch that had to take place. Beyond may not have had the best of luck therefore from its conception but does the sudden demise of this movie show something else?

Some sites have suggested that Star Trek is no longer a "box office certainty" or that it's had its day or that it should have remained as was under Abrams but, personally, I don't think it ever was. The franchise has never had the same universal appeal as Star Wars for example because of its more (dare I say it) "cerebral" attitude which doesn't gel with the masses. 

Beyond did something different and visually tried hard to bridge the feel of The Original Series with the box office action draw that is demanded in the current time. Monetarily it's already being seen as a flop even though its now only just opened in South Korea and some more far flung points of the globe are still to follow but the same would have been true of the previous movies. I don't think in any way that this is the end of the franchise as some websites I won't even care to name are trying to sensationalise but it would be prudent to expect that the already announced fourth movie will have a budget less than Beyond's $135 million and also be required to edge more towards the higher action bracket that the 2009 and Into Darkness flicks chose to step into.

Finally though, maybe it's just apathy for the cinema (take credit for this one @Captain_Revo) since there have been a lot of action "blockbusters" around - Suicide Squad, the reboot Ghostbusters, Independence Day and the like. Perhaps fans are just getting bored with getting the same old material pumped their way? Is the time of the action movie as it exists now coming to an end and we'll have to think of another way to do it other than just look to The Avengers for inspiration? None of the summer's expected big films have performed as first thought and that might have impacted on Beyond since its marketing was initially pushed towards the same genre.

It's a huge let down that Beyond hasn't hit the stellar heights fans and (more than likely) the studio were predicting given the year and the adjustments that had been made since the last movie. what does concern at this point is that CBS have a new series just around the corner which will be costing an absolute bomb and will now be coming off the back of a box office "flop". While Star Trek is more suited to the small screen it must still be a worry to those involved. Are fans not inclined to shell out after the disappointment of Into Darkness for a third "substandard" movie which isn't in the 100% spirit of the original? I actually think that's most realistic. In fact I know that a few people have taken that stance and will catch it on DVD or when it premieres on a network. A shame because it did look great on the big screen (if a little dark in places).

The end of Star Trek? No way, however there may be some significant changes ahead and they will probably become evident very soon indeed.

What do you think has affected Beyond at the box office?

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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Commanding Presence: Barry Jenner 1941 - 2016

Star Trek's history with admirals has always been questionable.

Throughout The Next Generation in particular there was a steady stream of so-called "Badmirals" who seemed unhinged or just downright dirty players with hidden agendas.

While Necheyev helped to alleviate that perspective, it would be Admiral William Ross who would become one of the shows most popular flag officers.

This week however came the tragic news that actor Barry Jenner had died, announced on Twitter via fellow Deep Space Nine actor Armin Shimerman.

Admiral Ross appeared in 13 episodes of Deep Space Nine commencing with the season six opener A Time to Stand in which he sent Sisko on a mission to destroy a Jem'Hadar installation. Over the coming two seasons Ross was to become Ben Sisko's immediate superior from the retaking of the station right through to the invasion of Cardassia in What You Leave Behind.

Aside from Admiral Paris in Voyager it was an unusual move to include a semi-regular more senior officer to the "lead" captain of the show but the inclusion of Ross works given the scope of the story. While Sisko is on the front line Ross represents the bigger picture, the weight of the Dominion War and its impact on the Alpha Quadrant.

Jenner portrayed Ross as the seasoned professional with that touch more experience than Sisko, providing the station commander with some learned counsel when required as well as the military backup when the time required (Tears of the Prophets for example). 

However, while Ross was detached from those front line ops, perhaps one of the most important episodes in his personal character development was season seven's Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges in which it was revealed that Ross was entwined with the shadowy Section 31. While we had all assumed that Ross was totally clean cut it seems there was more than we had been informed.

Of all the senior Starfleet figures seen across the franchise, Ross had the biggest impact and easily the most repeat appearances of an admiral.

Jenner's career stretched back to the 1960's with Another World but the 80's and 90's brought his most recognisable series appearances prior to Admiral Ross in Dallas and Family Matters among numerous others. According to IMDB he had only completed his most recent movie appearance this year.


What was your favourite Admiral Ross moment?

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Saturday, 13 August 2016

Version 1.5: The NX Refit Special from Eaglemoss

While I'm still waiting for the arrival of my (second) replacement NX-01 special, Chris Groves takes us into the realm of the ship that never was...

One of the great tragedies of Star Trek’s TV history was the abrupt cancellation of Enterprise in 2005 after just four seasons.

Over the years many have campaigned for the return of Enterprise, even a petition to Netflix to create a ‘Season Five’.

Sadly this was not to be, but the NX-Refit lived on in the Enterprise books albeit as a museum piece for some time. Now we have this amazing model as part of the Eaglemoss Star Trek Collection and it is indeed a most impressive article. The thing that is immediately noticeable upon opening the box is it’s size and sheer weight!

Compared to previous specials this one seems to be constructed of much more actual metal and in the hand it feels wonderfully substantial and hefty. Then there is the incredible detailing, the whole model is covered in the essential aztec markings (all accurate to the original NX screen model).

The additional line work and panelling patterns are so accurately interspersed with the aztec feature; this gives the model a breathtaking ‘realism’ if you will. But then the model keeps on giving, when you look at the underside there is the new engineering section that defines the ‘Refit’ description.

Every specific feature has again been attended to, detail, shape and colour are all impeccable.

There is a slight colour variation on the engineering section, a feature that was originally included to show a status of ‘upgrade’ an artistic touch to create that realism again.

The model even has this variation faithfully re-produced a copper type metallic sheen that defines the engineering section as a ‘new addition’. The only tiny shortcoming is the deflector dish; it stands out as a little dull coloured in just plain orange and no specific details. This is completely ignorable overall, as collectors will be too much in awe of the other features.

Ship registry and decals are perfect, defined and sharp and the nacelles are sturdy, constructed of plastic but solid and straight.

The display stand is a bit problematic, I found that the ship is very front heavy and the plastic ‘claw design’ is not secure enough and NX-01 escapes and falls very easily.

Included with the model is of course the magazine, and again this issue is also a genuine special.

The history of the NX class is featured with stunning art and pictures from Doug Drexler and Matt Jeffries early proposals for the ship design.

The Star Trek Official Starships Collection has been a rollercoaster of hits and misses, but this time it is a definite hit, in fact this model is so good that it leaves you hopeful that Eaglemoss will produce more specials to this standard.

All good things indeed, and this model was very much worth waiting for!

Is this one of Eaglemoss' greatest Star Trek achievements? Did we miss out on a TV treat?

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Thursday, 11 August 2016

Fuller's NEW TCA Discovery Reveal!

Confirmed for Prime Universe...

Now it has been confirmed by Brian Fuller that Discovery will sit somewhere in the timeline between Enterprise and The Original Series - in fact ten years before Kirk which puts it around 2256(ish)

I had suggested when the series name and ship were unveiled that the registry - NCC-1031 - might just be a placeholder and a red herring however it now seems that it's period accurate according to Bryan Fuller himself. At the massive Las Vegas convention it seems Scott Bakula might have let something slip too in regards to it being great if Archer could cameo in the show. This confirmed time period might just make that possible.

So if that's the case then the USS Enterprise is already out there under the command of Captain Pike (or April if it's a bit earlier). Might we get to see it...? No hints so far on that.

As for more info from Fuller, he dropped some big hints at the Television Critics' Association panel. The lead for the series is likely to be a black woman who will be a lieutenant commander "with caveats" rather than a captain which is a huge step away from the standard format of every other series of Star Trek to date. It will also open on a scene not on an alien planet or Earth.

Fuller's attention to diversity means that we will get a gay character, "there will be robots" and we will have more aliens than ever before. One of which we have been teased already but more on that in a sec.

The main cast is set to include seven characters and one is apparently named Saru. Fuller revealed he has a fascination with Spock's mother, Amanda Grayson and hinted that she could appear in the first season but that's not absolute confirmation.  She may not be the only character from The Original Series to appear although Fuller indicated that the younger versions of popular characters probably won't turn up in the first season. I reckon that's a good move to at least let the show bed in and find its own identity.

Perhaps one big point is that with the series going to CBS' All Access subscription service, they will not be "...subject to certain broadcast standards and practices..." noted Fuller. This means that there could well be more graphic content than we've ever had in Star Trek before.

Discovery sounds fascinating already but it does however raise a few concerns. Some we've already encountered with Enterprise and some new ones...

What we learned from Enterprise is that a prequel series has to be in some respects a little predictable. Certain things can happen, certain things have to be in place but you are restricted by what we know will happen in the later series and the adventures of Kirk, Picard, Sisko and Janeway. it will be a Prime Universe show - we absolutely know that for a fact so Fuller and the Writers' Room are going to need to be super-careful with their continuity not just for the shows that run after Discovery but the one that will have come before it as well. Uless of course they do a JJ and just ignore everything.

Now though, there's another factor we need to take into consideration and one I've scarce seen a comment on since this news broke (maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places).

As part of the presentation Fuller did divulge that we will be seeing an incident that's been talked about in Starfleet history before  but "...has never been fully explored..." and will be told from the perspective of this lieutenant commander. It's definitely an event referenced in The Original Series and something both Fuller and fans want to see.

Now, think back to that teaser trailer and the music. Sounded a bit Klingon? A bit combative? Well what if that's just what we're going to see - the war with the Klingons, the aftermath of the Romulan War perhaps and, dare I say it, the Battle of Axanar? Some sites have referenced the Klingon Wars as the period in which it will be set but that appears to be purely conjecture at this time.

Not one to jump into the conspiracy turbolift of Doom but if this is a prequel series set in those as yet untold decades between the NX-01 and the NCC-1701 voyages under Kirk I would not be surprised to see those events. Explaining the evolution of the Federation in its fledgling years and thus stepping away from Enterprise would give so much juicy opportunity for action it would be insane to miss. The time period for the battle places it at 2251 according to internet sources so it's not too far outside that ten year window Fuller describes.

In that case I'm not sure what the reaction is going to be if Axanar does occur. Is this an event that a season would be leading up to and, just because of the proximity to the first season of the new show versus the launch of the lawsuit would I raise the possibility of it being the season one finale/cliffhanger? 

It would make CBS' legal action against Alec Peters make a lot of sense. Remember that the lawsuit came about two months after it was announced that the new series would air in January 2017 and at this point I suspect CBS knew where the show would be heading. 

If it turns out that CBS did launch the action to neuter Axanar ahead of their use of it within Discovery I wouldn't be shocked and I guess they wanted to keep their plans a secret hence the lack of transparency on this seemingly sudden decision to sue.

There were of course rumours that this was among the reasons for the suit back in the day but that ship registry confirmation did nail it home for me. After all, why haven't they gone after some of the other notable productions? Yes the new fan film rules do cut down opportunities but specifically they utterly blockaded Axanar's chances to be completed.

Great news too that on August 8th Fuller posted his first tease of the show and it was...a makeup test for a pair of rather familiar antennae in a shade of blue. Can't imagine which race they may belong to...(see right).

How do I feel about "another" prequel? Well, quite excited. It's not going to be the same vision and direction we had from Berman and Braga back in 2001 and that's a good thing. Fuller seems inspired and driven to produce a show for the fans. Seeing those blue antennae did emphasise that even more but that time period choice might well tie his hands....

Star Trek: Discovery will premiere in January 2017 with a two-hour pilot followed by weekly releases of the remaining season episodes.

Do you think Discovery will enter the Axanar realm? What other "pre-Kirk" events could we see?

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The SIXTH episode of our podcast is available right now HERE including news on that Las Vegas convention and more...

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The Podcast Episode Six

August arrives and our first Guest Host is the wonderful Cat Roberts better known as Lieutenant Palmer in Star Trek Continues!

On this sixth episode of the podcast Tiff and I chat with Cat about

  • New starships in the Eaglemoss Official Starships Collection
  • Star Trek's 50th Anniversary Mega Convention in Las Vegas (thanks to our special reporter!)
  • Star Trek Continues past, present and a little bit of future
  • And much more from Cat too!!!
You can find us on iTunes by searching "Some Kind of Star Trek" or get your latest chunk of podcast goodness by clicking over to Soundcloud right here!!!