Saturday, August 07, 2010

City on the Edge of Forever

The USS Enterprise NCC 1701 detects time disturbances centred around a deserted planet. Mr Sulu is injured on the bridge and Dr McCoy saves his life with just a few drops of cordrazine. However, McCoy accidentally suffers an overdose when the Enterprise experiences another time displacement and injects a full vial of the powerful drug cordrazine into his bloodstream causing him to go beserk. Bones beams down to the planet below amidst the remains of a ruined city some 10,000 centuries old. In the grip of complete madness, he evades the enterprise crew yet again and leaps through a strange arch pulsating with power. The Guardian of Forever identifies itself to Kirk and Spock summarizing their predicament.

"Your vessel, your beginning. All that you knew is gone." Dr McCoy has gone back through time and changed their history! Their world no longer exhists! Uhura reports dead communicator contact with the ship. Fortunately, Mr Spock's tricorder was recording the Guardian's past timeline events, right at the point, McCoy dived through the portal giving them a chance to rectify the damage done. I love how Spock manufactures a computer from his tricorder that shows how history will unfold if the focal point in time, Edith Keeler, lives.

City on the Edge of Forever" had inclusions from Gene Coon and Steve Carbastos, major changes from Dorothy Fontana and a final rewrite from Gene Roddenberry, won the 1968 Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation in a shortlist that was entirely composed of star trek episodes. Harlan Ellison's story won a Writers Guild of America (WGA) award for Outstanding Dramatic Episode Teleplay in 1967-68.

Image owner/Creator: Paramount Pictures and/or CBS Studios.

My friend is obviously Chinese. I see you've noticed the ears, they're actually easy to er explain" Kirk looks to Spock with a lost look on his face.

"Perhaps the unfortunate accident I had as a child." prompts Mr Spock.

"The unfortunate accident he had as a child, he caught his head in a mechanical rice picker."

This is a great moment when Kirk and Spock face a 1930's policeman who isn't convinced with the captain's rice picker bluff. Now I wonder why?

Live long and prosper, trekkers.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Star Trek

During the reign of U.S. President Gerald Ford, Star Trek fans sent in a flood of letters to protest against NASA's original plans to name their space shuttle "Constitution". Isn't that fascinating? Trekkers weren't simply going to roll over and let NASA get away with this little stunt. It was their ship too! Remember the "Doomsday Device"? Captain Kirk is in the hot seat but at least he had a ship to tackle the planet killer! But what exactly was NASA doing?

Playing with Trek's Final Frontier sent trekkies flying off the deep end, who reacted with phasers set to kill. The year was 1976 and NASA officials were stumped by all the fan mail pouring in but the message was clear. The needs of the many outweighs the needs of NASA. Officials cleverly employed vulcan logic to counteract the trekkie storm now flooding in engulfing their people. NASA released news about a space shuttle soon to be named after a world war II carrier called Enterprise in honor of the Starship USS Enterprise NCC 1701 from the Original Series which brought a ceasefire. Star Trek fans were delighted. It was their wishes expressed during the write in campaign which "won the war" and designated the shuttle "Enterprise" of course!.

Gene Roddenberry is the creator of Star Trek. During Sept 1966, Roddenberry showed the pilot "where no man" at the Sci-fi convention in Cleveland. The audience loved the pilot and gave a standing ovation. Star Trek made its debut on Thursday, Sept., 8th 1966 at 8.30pm. Gene made a lot of people happy with Star Trek's special brand of humanism despite its concept portraying a future where explorers and scientists from peaceful Earth of the Future roaming the galaxy in a starship, meeting beautiful women, fighting ugly monsters and asserting Western values had already been broadcast on television before.

Gene campaigned and shared his vision of Star Trek's philosophy with the fans, writers, actors and families granting him the opportunity to "mind meld" with sci-fi communities. Star Trek's future is a place where man has ceased squabbling, where the Earth has been transformed into a garden, where androids are ten times stronger and smarter than us and strive to be human. It's an optimistic future, an Utopian one, and its not to much of a stretch to imagine that people like watching Star Trek, because at some level we'd like to live in a place like that.

"Star Trek speaks to some basic human needs that there is a tomorrow. It's not all going to be over with a big flash and a bomb. The human race is improving, we have things to be proud of as humans. No astronauts, ancient astronauts did not build the pyramids, human beings did, because we are clever and work hard and Star Trek is about those things" -Gene Roddenberry.

"It's the Human condition to improve and to improve" - Gene Roddenberry.
Thanks to Genes and Majel's hard work, the committee, the Science Fiction writers, The Fans, Film Crew, Production Staff, The Actors, Paramount/Viacom/CBS and everyone who works on the lot. Star Trek wouldn't be what it is today.

The Enterprise was a true feat of technological engineering. Gene consulted experts and the ship was designed and blueprinted down to the last detail. The spaceship layout was exact. NASA examined Gene's plans to gleam ideas on spaceship design. They even took a look at the orange bed sheets in Dr Mc Coy's Sickbay.

The ship was completely real for Gene. So too was the Star Trek universe, the phasers, the communicators, the transporters, the shuttlecraft, the chain of command, The Prime Directive which Kirk effectively ignored when necessary. Star Trek is beamed into peoples homes and has become part of every trekkers, normal daily life.

Long Live Star Trek, Trekkies and Trekkers.

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