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The Fifth incarnation of Star Trek is set to premiere within a year yet no one seems to have settled on a concept, an era or an idea on which to base a 7 year series. Shatnervision has uncovered the five best concepts mooted thus far:
CONCEPT 1: Bitch of a Federation:
As has been widely reported incorrenctly, The Birth of the Federation idea is a falsehood. Bitch of a Federation is about former Maquis outlaws in Federation prison.
CONCEPT 2: Star Trek Voyager
As has been widely reported incorrenctly, The Birth of the Federation idea is a falsehood. The fifth Star Trek TV series is actually Voyager. The Original series came first, then the ANIMATED series, then Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and number five is Voyager.
CONCEPT 3: Star Trek Exclesior
Exclesior was designed as a rival to the Enterprise. It was designed to look un attractive compard to NCC 1701 and threatening to audiences who had grown to love the little starship that could. It was as evil as a Bird of Prey. Sulu was only suddenly made captain in ST VI (Never having served as a first or second officer) as a token gesture to George Takei, an actor who falls into the Gates McFadden trap of "If my character wins the lottery, so do I."
After an incredibly average Voyager episode, George Takei has rallied his friends (and his passport) and supporters to lobby Paramount to make him the focus of the next series. Ain't gonna happen.
CONCEPT 4: That Star Trek Show
Have a new spaceship set in the 23rd Century rather than the 24th (TNG, DS9 etc). Whether it be in the same era as the original series or the movies it would be the first sequel series in history to be hampered by continuity that has already been set by earlier series, but happen chronologically 70 years later.
CONCEPT 5: A Starship Named Desire
A strange one. Taking a leaf out of the movie Galaxy Quest and The Larry Sanders Show, Star Trek: Behind the Scenes will be about a ficticious Star Trek series called and will feature short clips of the show as the viewers see it though will concentrate on all the behind the scenes machinations of the lobbying actors, producers trying to created a universe out of wood and plastic and a group of burnt out writers trying to reuse 35 year old scripts in a way that no one will notice till the 2nd viewing.
SEVENTH HEAVEN- DO WELL OUT OF A
TREK MOVIE OR DIE TRYING-
STAR TREK movies have given many actors a break into the industry. But there are no guarantees.
THE MOTION PICTURE gave Stephen Collins a break.
Now he's on Seventh Heaven.
THE MOTION PICTURE gave Phersis Khambata a break. She made Megaforce. She passed away a few years ago
WRATH OF KHAN gave Kirsty Alley a break. She actually
was young and attractive once.
WRATH OF KHAN gave Merrick Buttrose a break. He also passed away a few years ago
SEARCH FOR SPOCK gave Christopher Lloyd a break
from playing Reverend Jim and gave him a film career
SEARCH FOR SPOCK gave Robin Curtis a break. She sucked but actually appeared in Voyage Home and in B5 and TNG. That's it.
THE VOYAGE HOME gave Catherine Hicks a break.
She's also on Seventh Heaven
THE VOYAGE HOME gave Robin Curtis another chance. She blew it again.
THE FINAL FRONTIER gave William Shatner a break
into directing. 'Nuff said.
THE FINAL FRONTIER gave Laurence Luckinbill a belated break into features. Last time I saw him was on Murder She Wrote- the latter days
THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY gave Kim Cattral a chance
to boost her career after stuck in crap like Mannequin and Porky's. Now
she's on Sex in the City
THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY gave Christian Slater a chance to appear with his childhood heroes. He spent a while in prison recently and made Broken Arrow.
GENERATIONS gave Malcolm Macdowell a boost after
invisibility for several years
GENERATIONS gave David Carson a chance to direct a big screen action epic. It sucked, ergo...
FIRST CONTACT Alice Krige had been around for
a while but after this she was seen more and more
FIRST CONTACT gave Neil McDonagh a break. Who?
INSURRECTION Donna Murphy moved from the stage
to the big screen
INSURRECTION F. Murray Abraham won an Oscar in the early 80's. Now he's eligible for a Hugo.
A 90's phenomenon has been the proliferation of US actors with Double
Barrel names. Sometimes to differentiate from previous actors with
the same name, it's sounds silly if you're not in the know. From Sarah
Michelle Gellar to Melissa Joan Hart. Star Trek has had a few actors with
tripartite names starting with De Forest Kelly, Grace Lee Whitney
and Le Var Burton, but the trend of late has been for shrinking names.
SIDDIG EL FADIR became Alexander Siddig
ROXANN BIGGS DAWSON is now just Roxann Dawson
JERI LYNN RYAN is now just plain (not literally) Jeri Ryan
All I can say is Robert Duncan Macneill had better watch out.
STAR TREK (The Original Series)
"Beam me up, Scotty!"
"He's dead, Jim."
"Hailing frequencies open."
"What if, to preserve the future, Edith Keeler must die?"
"It's almost exactly like Earth."
"Love? What is love?"
"She can nae take it, Captain!"
"She'll break apart."
"My God! I'm a Doctor, not a (insert menial occupation)
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION
"They have no honour."
"I do not understand."
"Initiate evasive maneouvre Riker Baker."
"We have a problem."
"You can't allow this Jean Luc."
"The Enterprise is the closest vessel."
"Make it so."
"Our shields are down to ___%"
"Increase efficiency by eight per cent."
STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE
"During the Cardassian Occupation...:"
"I'm picking up elevated nutrino levels. Something's coming through the wormhole."
"The ____ Rule of Aquisition clearly states..."
"The nearest Starship is nearly two days away."
STAR TREK: VOYAGER
"Attempting to compensate."
"This tastes terrible."
"I wonder if they could send us home?"
"It's an old Indian tradition."
"It would alter the balance of power in this quadrant."
"Initiate emergeny holographic program."
"This is a Starfleet ship."
"We're a long way from Starfleet."
"I should put you in the brig for what you did, but I can't stay mad at you."
"It's some sort of..."
"I can't get a lock. Somehow, this person who has never seen a computer before has overridden all of our systems."
JAR JAR BINKS-
What they should have said- "George, he's really irritating. Can you either have him talk in an alien language or lose the silly pidgeon English?"
What they actually said - "Great, George, Jar Jar's just great!"
What they could have at least said- "Great, George, Jar Jar's just, er, great!"
What Han Solo would have said-"Fish Finger, Chewie?"
Jar Jar's speech was annoying but the fact that he was so irredeemably clumsy that he isn't killed more by luck than anything else. Also Anakin, who had already proved his skills as a pilot seems totally unaware of what he should do in the Starfighter and gets by on some sort of luck.
What they should have said- "They'd be more heroic if they weren't so goofy in the final battle scenes
What they actually said- "Great, George!"
What Luke Skywalker would have said- "I still sense much good for nothingness in you, father."
What happens when the demands are ignored.
Most actors are egotistical enough to think they can leave a successful
series and write their own ticket. David Caruso? McLean Stevenson? Trek
has a history of actors walking (most regretted it).
Most of the time, it's the glamorous woman who wants to to better things (and perhaps have more of a spotlight on themselves).
Nichelle Nichols almost walked in season two until Martin Luther King stepped in.
Denise Crosby left TNG to go on to... guest spots on TNG.
Wil Weaton left to... do basically the same
Michelle Forbes declined the chance to go on to DS9 and made a few bad movies that were hardly less exploitative than Star Trek
Terry Farrell left DS9 to do Becker.
Jennifer Lien left/ was pushed to follow the path laid by her idol- Denise Crosby (leaves, career stalls, returns to the series in guest roles, bitter and twisted)
THEY WOULD MAKE IT BIG...LATER
For a show that's almost 15 years old. Star Trek: The Next Generation has not only spawned a movie series and two spin-off shows (or just two off shows depending on your opinion of DS9 and Voyager) but it also provided a springboard for today's stars of TV and Cinema. All that fame and wealth for one or two little guest shots on TNG. And I don't mean Wil Weaton or Denise Crosby.
TERI HATCHER- Future bond girl and short-sighted reporter on Lois and Clark. She was an easy Transporter officer in The Outrageous Okana
DANIEL DAVIS- Nyles the Butler from The Nanny appeared twice as the holodeck Moriarty who becomes sentient (elementary My Dear Data, Ship in a Bottle)
NIKKI COX- The daughter from Unhappily Ever ripped off Married with Children played Sarjenka in Pen Pals (season 2) wearing only slightly less makeup in Next Gen
JAMES CROMWELL- Played more guest characters on TNG and DS9 and First Contact. Apparently declined bacon at the commisary.
FAMKE JANSSEN- another Bond Girl appeared as Kamala in Season 5's Perfect Mate
DIETRICH BADER- Oswald from Drew Carey he appeared in a season two ep at tactical
ANNE ELISABETH RAMSAY- Lisa (Helen Hunt's sister) from Mad About You, appeared twice as a bridge crewman in season two.
- from Caroline in the City appeared as a security guard in season 7's Bloodlines
DANIEL BENZALI- Better known as the bald guy from Murder One appeared as the heart surgeon who mucked up Picard's operation in Samaritan Snare
ASHLEY JUDD- She's the 'it' girl of Early 2000 and Wesley's girlfriend from two season five episodes.
JULIE WARNER- Star of Doc Hollywood and TV's Family Law played Christie Henshaw, Geordie's love interest in season 3'
ANDREAS KATSULAS- Tomalok in Trek, G'Kar in Babylon 5.
MADCHEN AMICK- One short scene as Anya in The Dauphin just before Twin Peaks
BILLY CAMBPELL- Played the title role in The Outrageous Okana before Rocketeering into minor roles for the next ten years
PATRICIA TALLMAN- JMS favourite actress is actually a stuntwoman (Hence her appearance in Austin Powers) who worked on trek many times before appearing as a Romulan in season six. But the stunt woman explains a lot
ROSALIND ALLEN - (Dr Smith from seaQuest's later seasons) This one's not official but also in The Outrageous Okana there is a young woman named Yana who bears a striking resemblance credited as Rosalind Ingledew
WENDY HUGHES- Homicide. I Don't really count her as she was a big star in Australia for years before she appeared as Picard's love interest in Lessons. I suppose it depends on where you live and whether you've seen the original Return to Eden mini-series]
COLM MEANEY- Technically it's incest but he was on TNG since Encounter at Farpoint before transferring to DS9 in season six. If you're going to count people who are Trek regulars then we have to include.
ARMIN SHIMMERMAN (Quark on DS9) Now on Buffy as the Principal. He appeared as different Ferengi on TNG as did...
MAX GRODENCHIK (Rom on DS9) again appeared in TNG a few times as different Ferengi
ETHAN PHILLIPS- (Neelix from Voyager) Again with the Ferengi
ROBERT DUNCAN MACNEILL (Tom Paris on Voyager)- Of course appeared in season five's The First Duty as Locarno
MARC ALAIMO was the first Cardassian on TNG but not as Gul Dukat. he also played a few other aliens
TIM RUSS- Tuvok was in TNG. I'm sure of it
MICHELLE FORBES- This is a strange one. She did a cameo in season 4's Half a Life. Then she the semi regular Ro, then declining to move to DS9 (the character later played by Nana Visitor) did not much apart from Escape from LA and Kalifornia. But she was a guest and sort of made it big (even of it was on the same show)
So why is Lucasfilm releasing The Phantom Menace on VHS and Laserdisc in Japan?
Despite the fact the film didn't live up to the expectations of a lot of fans, they still want to own a copy on DVD rather VHS. Intelligent people are opting for DVD and so many more would buy a player if Star Wars was available on it. It could be the killer app.
Fears about piracy seems to be one reason. I know
of people who've got hold of 2 video cd version of Phantom Menace,
complete with Thai subtitles.
The other, more cynical explanation is that first a VHS release, then a DVD with just the movie, the a Collectors Edition DVD that includes extras such as
commentary then the Special Edition comes out with two new scenes, etc.
Except that fans who are desparate for a better than VHS version will seek out pirate versions, import Japanese LD versions, etc.
Axed, Ended and Over
Hercules, Deep Space Nine, Babylon Five, Crusade, Seven Days... They've all finished in the last few years. What's next and why?
The X-Files. Reason? David Duchovny's willy hasn't seen celluloid for nearly 7 years now
Star Trek Voyager. Most viewers haven't seen seen Star Trek for 7 years now
Star Gate SG1- MacGuyver is sold into syndication, people watch it again and Richard Dean Anderson is hounded out of the US like a dog. It might happen...
Xena: Lesbian Princess. The show's new title doesn't sit well with advertisers
Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. Sarah Michelle Gellar's head is already out of proportion with her body with out bad movies getting in the way.
JMS was so tired from writing nearly three srtaight seasons of B5 that he kept nodding off during meetings with TNT. That's bad enough but he snores. And drools. And the flatulence!
Harlan Ellison offered to play the part of
the character he wrote, the last Vorlon left in the galaxy, 'Mr Barnes.'
"Would you like tea, Mr Barnes?"
" Tea is for the hot."
Ron Thornton is now TNT's largest shareholder. Michael O'Hare and Andrea Thompson are two and three.
Season Five of Babylon 5
The answer is actually very simple. Euthanasia
STAR WARS: EPISODE ONE The Brutal Reality
Leaving your parents is okay. (the same lesson is also taught in Sweet Valley High)
Free a child from slavery but not his mother
Be clumsy and you'll make General
Qui Gonn is a fool
Anakin Skywalker is a bastard
Jake Lloyd is not a good revenue forecaster
The Movie wasn't overhyped until Pepsico advertising kicked in and pissed everyone off.
Expectations can be cruel
The Force is strong with this one, just how strong depends on the lab results
Babylon 5 was NOT the substitute we thought it
was. Despite that, this film may have disappointed some fans in the same
way the first season of B5 promised so much but delivered only a fraction.
But the promise was delivered.
Yoda was right. Don't argue with him
Darth Maul was too good to be ignored. By ignored I mean cut in half.
Anakin is a cute kid. But there will be a moment when he starts to turn. And Even though everyone knows he'll turn out to be Darth Vader, there'll be people hoping he won't. Sort of like Will and Grace in reverse.
EPISODE ONE: the Dreams, the Nightmares.
With all the hype and excitement surrounding Episode One, it's easy to believe it will be the best film of all time. While likely, it's not guaranteed. Look at Return of the Jedi. Many people I have spoken to who are eagerly awaiting the film have all had that dream where they're in a cinema watching The Phantom Menace for the first time and all being similarly disappointing. Some of these nightmares are....
* Everytime one of the much vaunted digital characters appear, they look like Super Mario on the NES or worse, like cell animation like the Superman flicks of the 40's.
* Armidala isn't wearing make up
* Jar Jar is embarrasing
* Qui Gon Jinn to Anakin "I am your father!"
*Anakin replies, "cool!"
* Ewen MacGregor flashes Little Obi Wan
*The sight of younger versions of several popular characters is not unlike "The Star Wars Kids"
* When the Phantom menace is unmasked he doesn't say "I would have succeeded had it not been for those pesky kids!"
* Somebody saying : There's a menace. A phantom menace, if you will.
The Real Seven Days
The TV series 7 Days offers as a premise a time traveller who goes back 7 days to prevent catastrophe under orders from a secret organisation. Why a secret organisation? What would you or I do if we were to get our hands on the technology?
* Travel back in time to get last week's Powerball numbers
* Try to prevent Pamela Anderson Lee from having her breast reduction
* Assassinate Rick Berman before he decided to create Voyager
* Teach a young Monica Lewinsky not to talk with her mouth full
* Convince Glen A Larson not to make Galactica 1980
* Buy those Yakface figures for $2 a pop
* Not pay to see Metalzone, Krull or Predator 2
EPISODE ONE: THE PHANTOM
The Mainstream media's response.
Firstly, sketch comedy shows will do poorly produced but sometimes funny send ups of the more memorable scenes.
Then talk shows will try to get cheap leaughs with someone like a musical director (or any bald regular will do) to dress up as Darth Maul.
Take the piss out of Jar Jar and Padme
Show every single promo on any show lacking ratings
Make fun of those waiting in lines for the premiere or buying large quantities of merchandise, then accept invitations to special screenings.
Some loser critic in a local paper will hate it becuase disagreeing with everyone else is the only way he/she will get noticed.
|Let's Party Like Its 1999. Oh
dear, it was 1999
It was the last year of the 90's, the century and the millennium and so much Classic SF that was set in the future has been made to look laughably quaint. Let's have a look at some of the predicted dates that are now history.
1984- Makes George Orwell a bit of dick, doesn't it.
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK- Set in 1997. The Murder Rate there is actually decreasing
SPACE:1999- They haven't even completed the space station let alone a moonbase. If the moon is going walkabout on September 13, it ain't taking Martin Landau with it. NASA is looking into the possibility of shooting Barbara Bain into the Sun but that's unrelated.
LAND OF THE GIANTS- The only people in flying saucers who thought they became litle people on a planet populated by giants in 1983 usually saw little white lines magically disappear of a tabletop just before.
DOCTOR WHO- We were supposed to have been invaded by the Yeti in 1968, the Cybermen in 69, the Autons in 70, the Axons in 71, Dinosaurs in 74, Zygons in 75, etc. Oh and our twin planet was supposed to return and drain us of our energy in the mid 80's. That part did come true but instead we called it Live Aid. We are supposed to have a moonbase in the year 2000 with T-mat booths replacing phone booths as a place for winos to sleep.
BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25th CENTURY- Buck left earth in 1987 on the last of NASA's deep space missions. In 1999, they still haven't started 20 years after the show's debut. In fact, for quite a while after 1986, NASA wasn't launching anything living into space so perhaps they did send off Gil Gerard after all.
U.F.O. -We apparently wore purple wigs and leottards on a moonbase, string vests in subs, drove around in Hot Wheels rejects and had to fend off pudgy green-skinned aliens who were after our vital organs in 1980. Either that or Cher had just released another solo album.
QUANTUM LEAP- People in the mid 1990's used to timetravel in tight body stockings. S'allright if they were travelling to athletics events.
STAR TREK- Apparently we had a Eugenics war in the 1990's. Far fetched. Apart from Rwanda, Turkey, Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, etc.
ALIEN NATION- Tenctonese Slaves arrived in 1995. They have become part of the scenery in Los Angeles- They are winning many awards for set design in Hollywood.
MARTIAN CHRONICLES- January 1999. The Zeus Project is supposed to land on Mars, but Spiderman thinks he's in Illinois.
LOST IN SPACE- The Space Family Robinson are supposedly ejected into space on board the Jupiter 2 in 1997.
ARE GO- While Gerry Anderson set his various puppet season a hundred years
or so after their original air dates, the first widescreen version of Thunderbirds
features an unlikely scenario- it features Cliff Richard Junior.
Star Trek IX wasn't the only Trek film with
Titular Instability ...