Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Across The Universe, Aliens and Trekkers!

Nina tagged me with this worthwhile cosmic cause which I couldn't resist. Its about an interplanetary call to aliens beings spanning 2.5 quadrillion miles away across the universe. I've been neglectful, this epic event took place on February 4th 2008 using Nasa technology which transmitted John Lennon's Beatles track "Across The Universe from our little planet. It still gives me great pleasure to tell you about this my trek readers.

We all have a soft spot for our alien friends but heres the scoop NASA's 45th anniversary of its Deep Space Network is in itself a truly momentous occasion.

The 40th aniversary of the song and the 50th anniversary of NASA. Trekkies fear not, John Lennon's song "Across The Universe" will have to transmit 431 light years away to reach the shining star Polaris. The songs journey involves 2.5 quadrillion miles across the galactic expanse spanning 431 lightspeed years. So you see a strong beam of light from the Polaris star will take 431 years to reach earth.

So if there are any bad guys out there in the Polaris Quadrant, hey listen up. Earths ready, we've got Captain Picard of the starship USS Enterprise within calling range, Captain Kirk, Spock and his Vulcan Logic, Five of starfleet's best engineers Scotty, Geordi, Bellana, Trip and Miles O'Brien. Lock and load phasers, quantum photon torpedoes ready.. The Federation fleet is armed and ready to send in the droids, omnipotent entities and its hungry tribble detectives.

Intergalactic travel for humans is probably hundreds of years away, but theres always the chance that earth will be discovered. Aliens! Despite our failings "Nothings going to change my world" at least we have made the effort in these enlightened days, to reach out in friendship to our interstellar alien neighbours. I hope our green friends enjoy the music.

Live Long and Prosper, Aliens and Trekkers!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Star Trek Phase II

James Cawley aka Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise 1701 has positively boldly gone where no trekkie has gone before. Yes, our Internet Captain Kirk is a huge Trekker fan with specialist knowledge of Star Trek. Cawley's Internet production, Star Trek New Voyage's (phase II) resumes using the same Star Trek Original Series continuity. It picks up the thread where the USS Enterprise 1701 left off in 1969, with treasured Original Series actors and new talent adding cosmic greatness to satisfy our trek cravings. The internet universe has been alive with eager trekkers tuning in for more episodes ever since January 2004. Blood and Fire is a two part episode currently in post production with the completion date for Part I set for April 2008. There are several more episodes being written for the popular Star Trek Phase II show.

st new voyages

In 2264, Captain James T. Kirk began his first historic five-year mission as Captain of the Enterprise. Our TOS heroes Scotty, McCoy, Spock, Uhura, Nurse Chapel, Sulu and Chekov have entertained us with space battles and inspired us with fundamentally good human beliefs. Star Trek captains have always used reason over violence to negotiate with trigger happy villians, murderers and lunatics to prevent wars and loss of carbon life forms. Picard is a true master at negotiation. It does'nt always work though.

What impresses me the most about Starfleets officers is their tough resilient nature and interstellar survival skills. It takes rare gut instincts, theory, logic, training and experience to make a groovy starfleet captain. Their resolute minds of courage and firm belief in confronting and rooting out evil skins often leads to finding logical and scientific solutions. But its essential that starship captains can look beyond the empirical and see the bigger picture. As Captain, Kirk is responsible for all the lives and actions of his crew under his command.

When staring death in the face, it is vital that the captain's decisive mind make the best deduction and do it in a matter of seconds, leaving no stone unturned. Whole starsystems and thousands of lives have been saved by quick thinking and if that means "Mr sulu, set phasers to maximum intensity, Fire! Fire! Fire!" Then yes, we've seen the USS Enterprise neutralise many hostile enemy ships. Yesss! Make it so! Bye, Bye, Suckers!

Star Trek is great! People have discovered Star Trek's profound philosophy of peace with its postive interpretation of the future and they like it! After all who wants to live in a war torn universe with no hope for the future? Star Trek's sci fi characters have been our guides as we imagined warping with them to freaky new worlds on tv. They have been our protectors. They have invited us into their hearts and made us part of the trek family.

In fact, Kirk's crew became even more popular with star trek conventions, science fiction fanzines fan fictions, numerous books, memorabilia and multi million dollar movies following.

In April 2003 Star Trek New voyages was created by James Cawley and Jack Marshall. The first episode of the series was released in January 2004. In February 16th 2008, James Cawley announced that Star Trek "New Voyages" would be changing to the name Star Trek "Phase II to account for the period of time between the Original Series and Star Trek, The Motion Picture.

In Harms Way

We have been promised, my trek readers, by James Cawley himself that despite the shows name change, the show will remain focused on Star Treks original philosophy, wonderful starship designs, costume and set designs etc, and its fascinating characters. James Cawley describes himself as a purist, not a trekkie or trekker which is interesting in itself and as a self professed purist, he has produced Star Trek Phase II (New Voyages) with really classy sets, props, costumes and neat touches.

It looks like the Enterprise designs are detailed reproductions based on original blueprints. They're that good. James did'nt wan't to see the USS Enterprise 1701 or the show changed and its obvious Cawley's passion with his talented crew shining beside him speak volumes. Personally as a trekkie fan for over twenty years..." Captain the crew of the Enterprise are far exceeding the expectations of the many trekkers here on earth. These guys should feel really proud and I thankyou all. It looks like all James Cawley's hard work is now paying off with a lucky chance meeting at the Paramount Studios lot with J.J.Abrams. It actually led to the Phase II captain Kirk being offered a role in the Star Trek XI movie.

Live Long and Prosper, Trekkers!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Gene Roddenberry

In 1964, Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek concept was born aboard the starship USS Yorktown exploring the Final Frontier commanded by Robert April, the logical female commander "Number One," navigator Jose Tyler, Captains Yeoman J. M. Colt, an elderly Dr Philip Boyce who drank during duty calls with a half human, green blooded alien, Mr Spock from the red planet Vulcania. Star Trek was in its infancy with its creator Gene Roddenberry shopping his idea to several studios. MGM's mindset that Science Fiction as a genre would'nt have mass appeal to a 1960's audience proved to be an expensive mistake which paved the way for Desilu Studios who were impressed with Gene's "Wagon Train to the Stars" concept. Desilu gave him a three year deal to seek out new liforms on new civilisations. I wonder did he charm the corsetry off Lucille Ball? Sorry Readers, I'm being totally illogical now, forgive me. XD

Star Trek stood on its own merits and Gene soon began pitching to the Networks grabbing NBC's interest. Finally Star Trek's pilot episode "The cage," was under way. It must have felt like a huge milestone for them which included significant changes to the USS Yorktown which started with renaming it the USS Enterprise NCC 1701. Jeffrey hunter was cast as Captain Christopher Pike renaming Captain Robert April and Susan Oliver played the green Orion dancing woman "Vina" who dazzled us with her wonderful performances. The rest of the characters adhered to the original format and over nine days the pilot was shot at a cost of $630,000 making it the most expensive in Hollywood history. The only problem was this version of "The cage" was never aired because NBC said it was too "cerebral" What it needed was action and adventure and less geek.

It was recommended that Roddenberry get rid of the guy with the "ears" because his satanic appearance might upset viewers and the frosty No 1 had to go. To the delight of Trek fans today, I want to thank everyone including the NBC executives who didn't give up on the Star Trek dream. Even though it was unheard of NBC re-commissioned a second pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before," because they liked it at a cost of $330,000 with the rechristened crew of the starship Enterprise NCC-1701..

On Sept 8th 1966 the second pilot "Where No Man has Gone Before," aired with a spiffier Enterprise bridge crew and a new Captain. William Shatner was brought in as James T. Kirk to replace Jeffrey Hunter who chose not return as Captain Pike when NBC's decision to reject the first pilot of "The Cage" broke. Thank God the studio got rid of those dreadful silver s-scanners. They were horrendous and the Enterprise first pilot bridge was terribly drab with its grey color scheme but the idea behind it was to give consoles etc a metallic appearance similar to ocean liners and submarine battle bridges of the time. The viewscreen lost its curves and the bridge crew got new uniforms. Nyota Uhura played by Nichelle Nichols looks lovely in her mini skirt and was always ready with her hailing frequencies open.

You're wondering about the ears aren't you? Spock played by Leonard Nimoy was the only character from the first pilot to survive the editors cut to appear in the second! The pointy eared alien vulcan was saved which made total sence to female fans of the Star Trek TOS who found Mr Spock, "dreamy." How can you fault a character whose geek speak includes "Live Long and Prosper?"

Captain Christopher Pike gave up the big chair to the new captain of the USS Enterprise, Captain James T. Kirk.. Dr "Bones" McCoy aka DeForrest Kelley replaced Dr Piper aka Paul Fix who stood in for a while replacing the elderly Dr Philip Boyce aka John Hoyt in the first pilot. McCoy was famous for his westerns during the 60's and appeared with Leonard Nimoy as a drunken doctor in the episode of the "Virginian" and let him die. XD. Despite pressures of the 1960's George Takei was cast as a Japanese-Filipino Helm Officer playing Mr Sulu and a Russian Tactical Officer was played by Walter Koenig. This was quite a crew in the making and all NBC needed now was the Chief Engineer to fix the the USS Enterprise.

Thats when Jimmy Doohan stepped into the fold and read for the part in his many accents. Jimmy was so good he had executives rolling around on the floor in stitches and got the job straight away. "The writers of Star Trek found out that I read technical journals. And that's how they put the "science about ships" into Scotty's character. Scotty is ninety-nine percent James Doohan and one-percent accent." We see lovely Majel recast again in the character guise of Nurse Chapel as a bleached blond working in Sickbay and bringing Mr Spock soup as he re-couperates later on in the series. After Gene Roddenberry divorced his first wife of 27 years he marries again with Majel Barrett in a traditional Japanese Shinto ceremony on August 6, 1969 and later concieves a son Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry Jr.

Star Trek The Original Series aired for three seasons with relative success as s 79 tv episodic series and then in 1969 died a miserable death. The Tv networks, NBC figured they'd had a lucky escape but they were wrong. Worse again the Nielson electronic black box system had'nt a clue how many were watching the show because their search field parameters were way off base and so Nielson were wrong too. Star Trek simply refused to die because our heroes Captain James T. Kirk, Mr Spock, Dr McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Nurse Chapel, Sulu Chekov and the rest of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise 1701 blazed passionately in the hearts and minds of trek fans everywhere. Star Trek TOS was infectious and soon went into syndication, kept alive by loyal Trekkies, letter writing campaigns, Star Trek conventions and Gene Roddenberry's hopeful vision of the future.

Within a few short years Kirk's starship USS Enterprise had become legendary. Phrases from the show, include Dr McCoys famous emotional outbursts,"I'm a doctor not a bricklayer," "Do something, Spock!" "He's dead Jim."
and Mr Spock's
"Live Long and Prosper," "I am a Scientist doctor, emotions are alien to me."
followed by the good doctors retort "In a pigs eye!"

The budget restrictions ensured that the series was set almost entirely on the starship USS Enterprise 1701, which toured the galaxy fighting Klingons and blowing up Romulan ships with a smiling Captain Kirk extending his hand in peace to new alien home worlds. When the USS Enterprise got into trouble and committed temporal incursions, it was Kirk the lad giving the orders to break the Prime Directive. On a safer note Scotty The Chief Engineer, occasionally operated the transporter pad beaming people and crew up and down from planet surfaces. But it was McCoy who kicked up the biggest fuss when it was his turn to "beam down." He did'nt much care for having his atoms scattered over empty black space to a planet surface but the d-mn machine had to scramble them too and filter them through the Heisenberg Compensators. Scotty's beam cost nothing to film which was a masterstroke because landing a spaceship on a planet was time consuming and expensive.

Its interesting to note Captain Picard never took the personal risks that Kirk faced virtually every day. But Jean Luc did have the Crusher boy's nerdling experiments to contend with which kind of evened up the USS Enterprise-D likelihood of blowing up in space. By 1987 Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek had grown up and while Picard's high tech USS Enterprise NCC 1701-D is a far superior ship in every way, some viewers resisted the idea of families travelling in space with the Crusher boy saving Picard's Enterprise and her adult Crew despite this Star Trek TNG ended with a huge bang and the highest tv ratings in Star Trek history..

Live Long and Prosper Trekkies!

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