Just two things if you have a moment fellow fans of the Trek.
Firstly it's a big congratulations to my favourite incarnation of the franchise, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the first airing "Emissary". Arguably the best pilot from any Trek series it started a bit wobbly through the first two seasons before the Defiant arrived and then Worf turned up a year later to mess up the dynamic and shuffle in a truly stunning final few years.
Severely darker in tone from day one and placed on the edge of the final frontier, DS9 proved that Star Trek could thrive somewhere other than a starship. It was perhaps the introduction of its recurring cast in the form of Rom, Nog, Leeta, Dukat, Garak, Martok and Weyoun among others, that helped pull this into a very different league than either Voyager or the seminal Next Generation. Love it or loathe it, DS9 changed the formula and the landscape of Trek forever with ongoing storylines, a mammoth war story and some truly brilliant moments right across its seven seasons.
So happy birthday, DS9. When I complete my TNG marathon I'll be tucking into the full run of the space station drama. "Emissary" truly set the scene by moving our characters together for the first time, finding the first ever stable wormhole and providing us with a Starfleet commander who was very different to the diplomatic and logical approach of Picard. Sisko was emotional and a father in a frontier environment where even members of his staff were part of an alien culture providing multiple levels of conflict and understanding that would develop into something unique in the Trek universe. Of course it's not without saying that the rest of the cast were stellar; Kira, Odo, O'Brien, Dax (x2), Bashir, Jake and Quark all had standout moments and watching "Emissary" back as I shall do shortly will no doubt rejuvenate my love of this classic series. As part of my Life of Trek series I'll cover my first viewing of the pilot in more detail as well as my personal highlights from the show but for now I'll be raising a glass to toast this most unlikely of Trek offspring.
And secondly, what's happening with Star Trek Into Darkness?
Well quite a lot actually. We've been treated to a series of great new images from the film which, unsurprisingly tell us absolutely nothing.
What we can confirm is that Alice Eve IS Carol Marcus and that John Harrison is some kind of rogue Starfleet officer as per this information from Empireonline.com...
"With Earth under terrorist attack from Benedict Cumberbatch's ex-Starfleet employee, John Harrison, Kirk is forced into a rash decision that breaks a critical Starfleet Command, puts his crew in danger and costs him his captain's chair. Now out of uniform and dressed down in space civvies of black leather jackets and boots, our three heroes have separated from the Enterprise and headed off on a mission to try and rectify his mistake..."
...which in turn means he ISN'T Khan/Gary Lockwood/Garth of Izar/Balok/The Gorn/Harry Mudd....
So it does indeed look like ALL the scenes of the crew in uniform are from the early part of the movie and that for the majority of their screen time we're going to be trying to tell the difference between each of the cast, black leather and shadows. Should be entertaining. We've also got more images of Spock on the fire world in his space suit, Scotty looking a bit worried (below), Harrison jumping through a glass window (from the trailer), JH in the brig (bottom), Uhura in her civvies toting a phaser, another of Kirk in a similar position as well as one from early in the movie in conversation with Ms Marcus (above)
Also Empire magazine has produced these very natty Kirk and Harrison designs. Pretty cool huh? One thing I glimpsed in the images from Empire is a great quote from Chris "Kirk" Pine:
"Harrison is Kirk's shadow of death, his Achilles' heel..."
Therefore it might as well be Kirk vs Khan/Kirk vs Chang/insert your own favoured nemesis as applicable. The more they reveal about what's going on, the more you wonder why they didn't just make it Khan in the first place...
For those of you who like a bit of viral, why not check out this site which has been launched in the buildup to the film. There is also a Twitter account which you can access with the same name but on last viewing there was nothing much of note although that probably won't be true for long - get registered now!
And just in case you missed it, here's the story that's gone global. One seriously ill Star Trek fan managed to catch the attention of JJ Abrams and got to see the new film as a dying wish before the end of 2012. An awesome story and great to know that good things do still happen in this world!
That's it for now - I'll be back shortly with the second part of The Life of Trek as well as the fabled "Unification" blog. Right, now I'm off for a well earned flip through of my Star Trek 365 book to see if I can work out what plotlines they've nicked for Into Darkness...