Tag Archives: Star Trek

Still the Best Space Dad

When I came across this article by Nitesh Srivastava on StarTrek.com, I was about to post a longer piece about what Benjamin Sisko… but then I realized I already did that for Father’s Day last year.

Arguably a good Father’s Day watch

Srivastava is focusing on how Sisko is, perhaps, the most relatable of the Starfleet captains, because, although Sisko shares incredible heroism with his peers, he does things we recognize we might do.

Also, I’m pretty sure I could not beat the Borg Collective, even if I just had coffee from a nebula.

Anyway, Sisko is a great character to revisit on Father’s Day (the obvious episode being “The Visitor” or “Explorers” if you want fewer tears)… and also not bad for Juneteenth.

Boldy Going: First Contact Day, 2022

Okay, I’ll come back and expand on all of this, but for the Trek fans among you, there are several things to celebrate

First is that season 3 of Picard is going to get the band back together as they close out a certain British Frenchman’s story:

Next, they have a glorious 4K restoration of Star Trek: The Motion Picture on Paramount+. If you’re not already itching to see it, wait ’til I explain a simple test to see if you want to watch it (hint: many of you won’t and you should feel free not to).

Finally, they’ve been rocking a series of 30-second character teasers followed by an official trailer for the May 5th debut of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and some clever (video editing) engineer has put them all together:

Again, I’ll come back and comment on all this later. For now: live long and prosper.

Video

An Instrument Which, By Definition, Is a Blast to Play

Okay, I was going to post something else today, but then thanks to Andrew M. Edwards of Blue Police Box Music, you’re getting a short, but so, so sweet video.

There was an online discussion of the upcoming ultra-HD release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and conversation, quite naturally, turned to the iconic score by composer Jerry Goldsmith. Now, Goldsmith loved “esoteric instruments” as this article points out — and for the noise of V’Ger, he came up with a bizarre 18-foot long stringed instrument that has a bass dynamic range that just feels otherworldly.

I couldn’t remember the name of the instrument, but Mr. Edwards, as both a lover and producer of film scores, knew it: The Blaster Beam.

Not only that. This singular instrument has been used recently for another score.

Behold!

Video

“It’s Trek Jim, but not as we know it.”

I’m well overdue to add to my Star Trek rankings even though there’s no end in sight for new series and new seasons coming out of the franchise making updated rankings something of a Sisyphean task.

Not only that, I fully plan to continue adding “viewing guides” like I did for Enterprise, for people who want to boldly explore a Star Trek series or introduce someone to it: all without being bogged down in a Briar Patch of less-than-stellar episodes.

In fact, Deep Space Nine may be the next viewing guide, as it remains my favorite Star Trek series, and more people ought to be introduced to it. Here’s a fun video list of some of the reasons why.

Now, having mentioned my love for the series, I don’t think it’s necessarily the first Star Trek to introduce to people. That’s because I find some of best parts of DS9 are where it comments –often in subtle fashion– on Star Trek’s enduring hopeful themes as well as the shades of grey necessary to uphold Federation ideals. One of the best examples of this came in the season 4 opener where they got to have a scene which had great character interplay, was very pertinent to the plot of the episode, but also gave us this:

Star Trek is 55 Years Young Today!

It took a little doing, but the corporate marketing machine has finally gone to warp in trying to create Event Days for Star Trek, with “First Contact Day” earlier this year and “Star Trek Day” honoring the first broadcast of the original series lo these 55 years ago.

Case in point, this slick, satisfying montage:

I’ll come back and update this post with some highlights, but in the meantime, here’s the schedule, conveniently staged for after work for most daytime-working peeps.

The Best Space Dad?

So it’s a day after the fact, but, hey, I don’t usually post on Sundays anyway — even Father’s Day.

But Father’s Day means it’s time for plenty of geeky dad memes, say of Jango Fett and his many clone offspring.

However, with quite a bit of regularity, someone writes an article about how Benjamin Sisko of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, is one of the best ‘space dads’ around.

I have to agree: even before I was a dad, the relationship between Benjamin and his son, Jake, made quite the impression on me as I watched the series. “The Visitor” remains one of the most powerful episodes of Trek around — and not recommended for anyone trying to keep their eyes dry.

I learned later through interviews and documentaries that this relationship was one that both Avery Brooks and Cirroc Lofton, Benjamin and Jake Sisko respectively, most valued. Not only that, the relationship continued after the cameras stopped rolling.

So, for your reading pleasure, feel free to check out Angelica Jade Bastién’s piece in Vulture, Clint Worthington’s piece on StarTrek.com, Princess Weekes piece on The Mary Sue, and most recently, Eric Pesola’s piece on Heavy.

Here’s to all the fathers out there, starfaring or not.

First Contact Day, T-Minus 42 Years

Still from Star Trek: First Contact, released 25 years ago

Since I did a post this past September about the “Star Trek Day” panels last September, I figured I’d post it here — and for those of you who can, perhaps you’d like to see some of them live.

I’m not sure if CBS/Paramount plan to make this a regular thing or if this was done, in part, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the film Star Trek: First Contact. The action begins at 12 noon Pacific.


Although one of the big news items was that Q will be in season two of Picard, I have to confess, I felt it’d be surprising if he wasn’t in the series eventually. Don’t get me wrong, I was pleased to hear it — and since Guinan should be in the season as well, perhaps we finally learn more about their mutual animus for one another.

Perhaps because it was First Contact Day, I found the panel about First Contact to be quite illuminating, including a great story of how Alice Krige auditioned for the part of the now iconic Borg Queen and how Jonathan “Two Takes” Frakes got that nickname.

I also found the panel that explored Nichelle Nichols’ impact on screen and behind-the-scenes to be illuminating. I knew about Dr. King’s role in encouraging Nichols to stay in the role of Uhura, but I didn’t know about her work with NASA — and of course there’s some additional personal connections these actors mention.

Finally, while not the only other panel (you can check out the full list they’ve posted on YouTube), I enjoyed the one about Star Trek and comedy.

2020, but still Boldy Going

As will surprise no one who’s read my exhaustive ranking of all the Star Trek series, I’ve been watching all the new stuff. And it’s not just because those are going into the sort soon enough. A lot of it has been darn enjoyable in a 4th season Enterprise kind of way. They’re making connections and widening the Star Trek universe into quite the multiverse.

(via CBS)

Ryan Britt over on SyFy Wire details some of the things that we say last year.

A Viewing Guide for Star Trek: Enterprise

Back in September, I did a ranking of every episode of every Star Trek series.

But what if you haven’s seen all of the Star Trek series? And what if you’re all ready to binge-watch another series this year?

If you haven’t seen Enterprise, the Trek franchise’s first prequel series, you’re probably not alone. While I have found several people who consider it their favorite, anecdotally, it appears to be the least watched series outside of the original animated one.

And I understand. The first two seasons are tough going a lot of the time. The theme song never gets better (except for briefly in season 4). However, as with all Trek, Enterprise –by and large– ages pretty darn well and scratches some itches you didn’t know you have about Andorians, Vulcans, and the founding of the United Federation of Planets.

The following list cuts 44 of the 98 episodes out of the mix, giving you enough grounding with the characters in the first two seasons to better enjoy the increased continuity and worldbuilding of the final two seasons.

If you find you really are enjoying the series, you can always catch up on those missing episodes in the inevitable rewatch for completeness (I’m cutting some episodes I really like, but –if I’m being honest– aren’t necessary for a first watch).

Also, after hearing the opening theme song, feel free to turn down the volume or skip the intro entirely except for “In a Mirror, Darkly” in the fourth season (I love the visuals, I’ve tried and the song doesn’t work for me).

Season One

Skip most of it except:

  • “Broken Bow” (Eps 1 & 2)
  • “The Andorian Incident” (Ep 7)
  • “Silent Enemy” (Ep 12)
  • “Dear Doctor” (Ep 13)
  • “Vox Sola” (Ep 22)
  • “Shockwave, Pt. 1” (Ep 26)

Season Two

Skip most of it except:

  • “Shockwave, Pt. 2” (Ep 1)
  • “Carbon Creek” (Ep 2)
  • “Minefield” (Ep 3)
  • “Vanishing Point” (Ep 10)
  • “The Breach” (Ep 21)
  • “Cogenitor” (Ep 22)
  • “The Expanse” (Ep 26)

Season Three

Watch most of it, except:

  • “Extinction” (Ep 3)
  • “Exile” (Ep 6)
  • “Similitude” (Ep 10)
  • “Doctor’s Orders” (Ep 16)

Season Four

Watch most of it, except:

  • “Daedalus” (Ep 10)
  • “These Are the Voyages…” (Ep 22)

As per the showrunner, the true series finale is “Terra Prime,” episode 21.

There you go! A Star Trek binge-fest that can easily fit into the rest of the year.

(Note: I did this one as a favor to someone who had meant to watch the series, but couldn’t get into it and have since been told by several people that they were in the same boat (or NX-class starship?). If people think I should do viewing guides for other series, let me know!)

Star Trek Day – Panel Videos

Given my post on Monday, there really wasn’t much doubt that I’d go ahead and link to a bunch of the videos CBS did for Star Trek Day on Tuesday.

They have a bunch more videos on the CBS All Access YouTube channel, some of them snippets of these below, but this should keep you stoked for Trek.

TOS

TNG/Picard

Deep Space Nine

Voyager

Enterprise

Discovery

Lower Decks

Strange New Worlds