Archive for Star Trek

Star Trek Original Series Season 1 highlights Part II

Posted in movies, pop culture, Star Trek, TV shows, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 11, 2009 by Paxton

Star Trek castThis is the long awaited Part II of my look back at highlights of the Season 1 of Star Trek the Original Series.  I posted Part I back in September.  However, thanks to AWESOME-tober-fest, I couldn’t get this one posted until now.

To refresh everyone’s memory, after the awesome JJ Abrams reboot of Star Trek back in May, I wanted to watch the original TV show episodes again. I’d seen a few episodes in reruns, but never really sat down to watch the episodes back to back.  I wanted to see if they are as good as I remember.  And since the first two seasons were recently released on Blu-Ray, I thought it was no time like the present (Season 3 will be released on Blu-Ray December 15).

Last time I looked at three of the best episodes from the first half of Season 1 of the Original Series (Where No Man Has Gone Before, The Enemy Within and The Corbomite Maneuver).  Here are three more episodes from the middle of that season.

ST The Menagerie
The Menagerie (Part I and II) — The first and only 2 part episode in the original series’ 3 year run. This episode makes extensive use of the unaired pilot, The Cage, to tell its story. I imagine Roddenberry walked into the writer’s room and announced, “Dudes, I went on a bender of coke and whores this weekend and totally forgot to write this week’s episode.  Any ideas?”  So the writer’s cobbled together this episode using a minimum of new footage and letting the old pilot pad out the run time.  This episode is okay, but it reminds me of the ’80s sitcom device of the “flashback episode”.  The events of the pilot, within the context of this episode, are said to have happened 13 years prior when Christopher Pike was the Enterprise captain and Spock the science officer.  In the new footage, Spock hijacks Kirk’s Enterprise to bring Capt Pike (now blonde and a paraplegic due to an accident) back to Talos IV, the planet visited in the pilot. Spock gets court martialed while the Enterprise makes the journey and clips from almost the entire episode of The Cage are screened during the court proceedings.  In the older footage, Pike gets trapped on the planet Talos IV and the aliens residing there put him in a type of zoo for observation.  The aliens use holograms to make Pike feel more comfortable by making him believe he’s living a different life, even going so far as to give him a hot chick to mate with.  Pike, not being Kirk, is outraged that the aliens would try to make him comfortable with a cool, imaginary life and then also have the temerity to give him hot women in which to have copious amounts of sex so he sets out to destroy the entire observatory/zoo.  Many, many years later, in the new footage, after having become a quadriplegic, Pike is totally fine with living a fantasy life with lots of hot chicks so works with Spock to break every Federation rule and bring him there, even risking Spock’s career for his own comfort.  After seeing this episode I have no desire to watch the full pilot.  I’ve probably seen 90% of the footage anyway.  And the actor who played Pike in the pilot, Jeffery Hunter, didn’t return for The Menagerie, hence Pike being an invalid, blonde mute (it’s like they didn’t even try to make him look the same) in the new footage.

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Star Trek 43rd Birthday: Watching Season 1 on DVD Part I

Posted in movies, pop culture, reviews, Star Trek, TV shows with tags , , , , , on September 11, 2009 by Paxton

Star Trek the Original SeriesOkay, today we are continuing our Star Trek 43rd Anniversary celebration by revisiting the original TV series episodes.  On Wednesday I did a movie retrospective of the first six Star Trek movies, but today I’m reviewing Season 1 of the TV series.  Growing up in the ’80s, I was a big fan of the movie version of Star Trek.  Treks II and VI were my favorite movies with the original cast.  I had seen some of the episodes of the original TV show in syndication, but I didn’t remember them.  I said before, that the only episode I’ve watched in its entirety more than once was Squire of Gothos because it contained the character of Trelane, the precursor to Star Trek:  The Next Generations’ Q character.

Looking at the Season 1 set being offered from Netflix, I noticed something odd.  The original unaired pilot, The Cage, is not offered on the first season set.  I was disappointed because I really wanted to see this episode.  However, after digging around on the internet I found out that The Cage was offered on the very last disc of Season 3 as a bonus.  So I had to get the last disc of season 3 mailed to me from Netflix to see the unaired pilot.  I just thought that was weird.

So, anyway, this is what I’m watching, the Blu-Ray set of Star Trek The Original Series, Season 1.

Star Trek OS Season 1

Going into this I was very worried that the original show was going to be a little dated and boring.  That I wasn’t going to enjoy it as much as the movies.  That’s one of the reasons I decided to re-watch the shows, to see the whole phenomenon how it originally aired.

Overview of Season 1 as a Whole

So, how does the series hold up?  Very well, actually.  Like I said, I was prepared to be a bit bored by the cheap special effects and low caliber story telling, but the series really surprised me.  Yes, there are episodes that plod along and bore you, but for the most part it is fascinating to watch the crew at work.  Predictably, Shatner is UNBELIEVABLE as James Kirk.  All the reasons I love him in every Star Trek movie is presented in this first season.  He is supremely bad ass, as macho as the offspring of a T-Rex and a Great White Shark and totally in charge at all times.  He seeks out new life, then when the new life starts acting like bitches, he throws photon torpedoes at it until the problem goes away.  Kirk doesn’t care.  And Spock.  OMFG, Nimoy is a treasure.  He is the king of the subtle insults.  Whenever some crew member is freaking out about the near death adventures Kirk keeps getting them into, Spock always comes at them completely deadpan with something similar to “emotions are illogical” or “emotions make you weak”.  Then he gives them that penetrating Vulcan stare with the raised eyebrow that informs the crew member that they have just been OWNED.  The crew of the Enterprise have got to think Spock is a douche.  I love it.

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Star Trek 43rd Birthday: Re-Watching the movies

Posted in movies, pop culture, reviews, Star Trek with tags , , , on September 9, 2009 by Paxton

Star Trek movie crew

Star Trek turned 43 this week. The first episode of the original series aired on Sept 8, 1966. To celebrate, I re-watched all the original cast’s Star Trek movies. Starting with Star Trek The Motion Picture and going through Star Trek VI:  The Undiscovered Country, I quickly review the movie legacy of the cast from the original TV show.

Let’s see if these movies are still as good in the harsh light of today.  Beware, though, as the movie pirate will tell you, “Proceed with caution, mates.  Thar be spoilers ahead!”

Star Trek The Motion Picture
Star Trek: The Motion Picture — I didn’t watch this until I was in high school.  What I remember from that screening was one word:  BORING.  Watching this again, I have a new word:  COMA-INDUCING.  The problem lies in the fact that this movie was originally developed as a new Star Trek TV series called Phase II which would’ve included Kirk, Spock, Bones and others in small roles as well as a bunch of new officers (a bald chick and that guy from 7th Heaven).  After the success of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars, Paramount trashed the new series and had the show re-developed as a motion picture.  Surprisingly, Phase II was written by sci-fi legend Alan Dean Foster who also wrote the Star Trek reboot novelization.  Despite the high pedigree of writer, what the movie delivers is an incomprehensible mess.  The storyline is hard to follow, some of the effects are terrible and the acting is less than stellar.    If you are looking for your first Star Trek movie viewing, I beg you, with all that is holy, DO NOT start here.  Your journey will end before it can begin.  If you must, return to it later and wonder WTF just happened.  After watching this again, I’m surprised Part II got made at all.  1.5/5

Star Trek II
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan — It’s almost cliche to say that Star Trek II is the best Star Trek movie, but things become cliche for a reason.  Next to Part VI, also written/directed by Nicholas Meyer, this is the best Trek movie.  This movie’s story is a sequel to a 1967 episode of the original series called Space Seed.  Ricardo Montalban’s Khan first appeared in that episode and the movie picks up years later when Kirk and his crew once again face the titular genetically enhanced Khan.  The opening of the movie is iconic and depicts the infamous Kobayshi-Maru officer’s test.  From there the action takes off and never lets up during the tight 116 minute runtime.  The superior pacing and the tete-a-tete between Kirk and Khan make this a wonderful sci-fi action movie.  This is what everyone thinks of when you say Star Trek and that’s why it’s a classic.  I’ll tell you this, if you don’t shed a tear during Spock’s death scene when he tells Kirk that he will forever be his friend, then you have no soul, my friend.  I’m misting up right now just thinking about it. 4/5

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Star Trek!!

Posted in pop culture, Star Trek, TV shows with tags , , on September 8, 2009 by Paxton

Star Trek birthday

43 years ago today, on Sept 8, 1966, the first episode of Star Trek’s original series aired on NBC. The first broadcast episode was The Man Trap, however, chronologically the episode Where No Man Has Gone Before happens first (and the unaired pilot The Cage happens before that).

Being born in 1974 and having my formative years in the ’80s I missed watching the original series on television.  What I did enjoy, was watching the movies.  I missed the first Star Trek movie (probably because my dad didn’t enjoy it), but I watched Star Trek II as my first Star Trek experience and I loved it.  I would grow to love Kirk and Spock and the rest of the crew through the next 4 movies (or 5, depending on if you count ST: Generations as an original cast movie).  I would catch some of the syndicated reruns of the TV show, but only in pieces.  I also used to watch the cartoon on Nickelodeon, but as a child, it seemed boring to me.  I plan on revisiting that cartoon.  The only original series episode I can think of off the top of my head that I’ve seen more than once is episode #17:  The Squire of Gothos.  I only watched that because the main adversary in that episode, Trelane, was the precursor to one of my favorite Next Generation characters, Q.

After watching the phenomenal JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot, and in light of Star Trek’s birthday, I decided to re-watch the original cast’s movies as well as the first season of the television show on DVD.  I’ll have two more articles up this week with quick reviews of those movies and TV shows.  Are they still bad ass?  Are they completely played out?  Find out this week in my reviews.

And Happy Birthday, Star Trek!

Star Trek 43rd Birthday Articles coming this week:
1. Review of the first 6 Star Trek movies
2. Review of the first season of Star Trek: The Original Series Part I
3. Star Trek Season 1 highlights Part II

Star Trek cast

Dork-topia: Cities that are constantly overrun by nerdy fans

Posted in Americana, books, movies, pop culture, Star Trek, Star Wars, Superman, Wizard of Oz with tags , , , , , , , on August 19, 2009 by Paxton

Nerds

Nerds.  You gotta love ’em.  When they love something, they don’t half ass it.  They are ALL IN.  They live and learn the minutia of whatever aspect of pop culture they relate to.  Be it comics, costumes, card games, TV shows, movies…whatever.  And whenever they get the chance, they will make the pilgrimage to whatever place on Earth is the focal point for their obsessions.  A Geek Roatrip, if you will (and I will, thank you).  “So, Pax, where are the nerdiest places on Earth?”  Other than the San Diego Comic Con or DragonCon in Atlanta, here is a list of the nerdiest vacation destinations in the world.  And this is only a few of them.  There are more, trust me.

Forks, WashingtonTwilight nerds
Forks, WashingtonHome of Twilight — This one is the most recent addition to the list.  Forks, Washington is the real life city where the fictional Twilight novels are based.  Constantly inundated by Twilight nerds (called Twerds…no, I’m not kidding) this town has finally thrown it’s collective hands in the air and said, “FINE!  You dorks win.  We’ll sell you Team Edward shirts, let you eat at Bella Italia (OMFG…at the EXACT table Bella and Edward had their first date!!!  You must order the Mushroom Ravioli!!) and even tailor entire tours of the city around a fictional book about vampires that sparkle in the sun.  Hell, visit Forks High School and buy a t-shirt as if you actually attended there with Bella and Edward.  It’s all nerdy fun.  I’m sure my friend Marlene will be there.  Tell her “Hi”, and that I think she’s a dork.

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Glorious Glass: A look back at some of my favorite collector’s glasses

Posted in advertising, comic books, movies, nostalgia, pop culture, reviews, Star Trek, Star Wars, Superman, The Flash with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2009 by Paxton

Fast food joints used to give out the best swag back in the day.  At the top of this swag list was commemorative collector glasses.  These were glasses made from ACTUAL glass (not f’n plastic) with kick ass graphics all over it usually given away as a premium with a purchase of food or drinks.  Actually, collector glasses didn’t just come from fast food joints.  The convenience store 7-11 as well as soda giants Coke and Pepsi both created collector’s glasses that were distributed in stores, gas stations, supermarkets and/or fast food joints.  The heyday of collector glasses was in the ’70s and ’80s, but glasses were also released in the ’50s, ’60s and ’90s.  Burger King recently revived the collector glass (real glass!!) tradition in May 2009 with their four glass set for the new Star Trek movie (Thanks, Michelle for finding those for me).

So without further ado, here are a bunch of my favorite collector glasses from the ’70s and ’80s.  You can click any of the below images to see it bigger.

BK Star Wars glasses
Burger King Star Wars/Empire/Jedi Glasses (1977, 1980, 1983) — The most famous of all commemorative glasses, the Star Wars Burger King collector glasses are what everyone thinks of when you mention “collector glasses”.  A set of four were released for each movie.  Surprisingly, it is not very hard to complete a set of all 12 as they made a crap-ton of them. Here’s a pic of the Star Wars set. Here’s a pic of the Empire Strikes Back set. Here’s a pic of the Return of the Jedi set.

Indy Jones 2 glasses
Glasses for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom by 7-Up (1984) — This is probably one of the more obscure glass sets.  Made by 7-Up to commemorate the second Indiana Jones movie, the glasses were only released to certain local fast food chains so getting a full set is extremely hard. I don’t care about a set, but I would love the Mola Ram glass (far right hand side) with him holding the still beating flaming heart. That is BAD ASS. A year earlier, in 1983, there was a set of three glasses created by Coca-Cola for Raiders of the Lost Ark but the set was never released. Check those glasses out here.

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Spockcation 2009: My adventures in Jacksonville with 12″ Spock

Posted in Florida, humor, Jacksonville, movies, Star Trek with tags , , , , , , , on June 30, 2009 by Paxton

Spockcation 2009

Spock arrived last week and we got to spend the weekend together. I showed him the sights of Jacksonville and we bonded. It was nice.

Eclectorama is going to post a few of my pictures from this weekend as he’s the Spockcation host. But I’ll go ahead and show you guys a few of the pics with some commentary. If you want to see more of these pics head to my Spockcation 2009 Flickr set. Click the below images to make them BIGGER.

Spock reads ST novelSpock reads MadSpock reads Mad 2

While waiting around for me to get home from work Spock had lots of time to read. Surprisingly, his reading choices did not deviate from reading about himself. The dude is a narcissist.

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