Thursday, January 03, 2008

Captain's Log: Catching Up to 2008

The new New Voyages version of the Chekov story, "To Serve All My Days" which was supposed to be available online in December is being held back, to focus on a big event in March: a world premiere at the Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills on March 29, which is designed to support the campaign to get Walter Koenig his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. When he does, the entire main cast of the original series will be present and accounted for.

New Voyages head James Cawley promises a night of surprises, along with the premiere of "To Serve All My Days: A Night in 1969," (representing what would have been Trek's fourth season) and other vintage TV fare. The episode will be available on the Internet some time later. There's more details at New Voyages.

In the meantime, the first part of Star Trek: Of Gods and Men is available on the net, as is the Walter Koenig film, InAlienable. The buzz at the Seattle convention was about Koenig's performance in OGAM, but in this first part, it's Nichelle Nichols who shines. It looks like a promising story. Koenig gives a fine performance in InAlienable, and just as he said, Richard Hatch is compelling as that film's central character.

Filming on the Paramount Trek movie continues, with the big news being that there may be a Tribble or two in it. Very young and unknown ones, I'm sure. This tidbit--or tribblebit-- prompted a nice piece about Tribble inventor David Gerrold, originally in the New York Times but still available for free in the San Francisco Chronicle.

This item goes back a ways but I ran across it only in November and never managed to find time or room to comment on it, but in the spirit of January cleaning up, here it is: it's a posting in Ain't It Cool news about the Star Trek movie that never was--the one Rick Berman had Erik Jendreson writing. It also was a reboot, and went back to the "beginning," the pre-TOS Trek universe, although unlike the current Paramount production, it didn't focus on the original crew or any known characters. (In fact, Star Trek: The Beginning was purportedly the working title.)

This post (by "Merrick") described a movie very much in the Berman spirit of DS9: a "sprawling" war movie. He likens it to Starship Troopers. I'll let you read the description for yourself, but to me it sounds like my worst Star Trek nightmare: a lot of war movie sentimentality masked as gritty realism, a right winger's video game fantasy of Star Trek.

But what also struck me in reading this description is the author's contention that although he doubts Berman would have done it well, this script "understood the heartbeat of Star Trek." To me it sounds like everything I feared Star Trek could become. Which really makes me think twice about all the assurances that the Paramount movie is true to the spirit of Star Trek. That spirit seems to be very much in the eye of the beholder, and can consequently mean just about anything.

There was another proposal that Patrick Stewart still talks about--he mentioned it at the Jules Verne awards presentation to William Shatner--that would have brought all the Trek captains together. I suspect this was a John Logan idea. That idea had more promise, it seems to me, but the failure of Nemesis (though who was most at fault for that failure is still an open question) made anybody associated with it toxic.

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