Friday, 20 September 2019

The Core: News and Opinion September 2019

It seems like an age since I've dropped a piece on Some Kind of Star Trek just to have a good old chat.

Y'see there's been a lot going on in the news, a lot of things to review, read and test out which has meant that in recent months the site has been a tad overloaded with product and not with discussions on the Star Trek universe.

However, in a week that's seen the franchise win it's first ever Emmy for Outstanding Makeup and three Saturn awards - Best Streaming Science Fiction, Action and Fantasy Series plus Best Actress in Streaming Presentation for Sonequa Martin-Green and Best Supporting Actor in Streaming Presentation for Doug Jones it seemed like a good time to just drop thoughts onto the page.

The internet is constantly alive with rumour. Twenty-five years ago you would have had to scour a magazine for news which would be 80 - 90% accurate but with YouTube channels pumping out all sorts of spoilers and rumours it's good to know that Star Trek is flourishing better than ever with these awards and is certainly nowhere cancellation or in dire trouble as we might be led to believe.

Picard itself has now finished principal photography and is months from arriving on our screens. In fact, today is the 32nd anniversary of the first airing of Encounter at Farpoint and where the franchise is now is at least a quadrant away from the synth-tracked, spandex days of that pilot episode. We will of course be getting to see Riker, Troi, Data, Seven and Hugh Borg all back on screen but there's no Michael Dorn for season one even though his signature was on a clapper board marking the end of the shooting schedule.

Whether he'll drop by in season two we don't know although I'm 100% convinced now that the Worf series will not be happening because of the choice to head in directions new with Picard. What has come to light via a cast jacket is that the new ship for the series might well be called the La Sirena and that Riker and Troi's daughter could even be appearing - but hey, conjecture, conjecture, conjecture.

What has been taking up some time while I'm waiting for Picard is Attack Wing. Rumours of its imminent demise seem to have been far too early with a trickle of card packs over the last year and now the arrival of two long-awaited faction packs highlighting the Borg and The Animated Series

My love for the game has continued unabated for some time now and any chance to grab some of the earlier wave releases has to be taken - so far my best picks have to be the USS Equinox and the Hideki Fighter Squadron. Both have been played to some sort of success as part of larger Federation and Dominion fleets although I seem to end up on the losing side more often than not. Even a test run using the Borg pack utilising the included first part of a two part scenario ended in a rather crushing defeat for my Scout Cube and USS Voyager against a significantly more weighty Assimilated Target Prime and Borg Sphere - please bear in mind that my opponent was seven years old...but does that make it any better or worse a defeat...?

Playing Attack Wing does mean that on occasion you do need some extra players and for the last year I've encountered a few of them through the local Star Trek group. Born from the will of James Smith, the Stoke on Trent Star Trek Club has gone from strength to strength if you will allow the age old cliche.  Funnily enough the article I wrote over five years ago in regards to the death of Star Trek groups in the UK is still one of the most popular pieces on SKoST. In there I bemoaned that there seemed to be a lack of groups especially in the Stoke area but now that's quite the opposite and with more Star Trek on the horizon this could well just be the beginning.

Running memorabilia nights, the odd Attack Wing battle, quiz evenings and mini-screenings, the club has near trebled in membership in just over 24 months with a lot more to come. I've even managed to drag my dad down a few times and it looks like he'll be a regular soon enough if only to serve as Chief Engineer to any ailing AMT model kits or Eaglemoss Scimitar's that need some care and attention - and a dab of superglue. That said, the group now has its very own club starship in the shape of the USS Reginald Mitchell named after the Supermarine Spitfire designer who was born locally.

Now meeting monthly, the club is thinking a lot more about what to do in the coming months and for 2020 - any groups out there that have some good meeting ideas let me know because it's definitely growing!

We will be attending Destination Star Trek next month in force and a report on that event plus some chats with creators, bloggers and more are planned. Fingers crossed this year that time is kind to us!

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