Saturday, June 18, 2011

Captain's Log: Cosmos, Trek, Torchwood, Doctor Who & Harry Potter 

A powerful beam of energy blasts out from the center of a massive black hole as it rips apart and devours a star (as artistically envisioned above), to the amazement of earth astronomers.

And while budget cutbacks threaten the search for exoplanets that might host life, the Pentagon is pumping bucks into research on interstellar travel. "The Defense Department first proposed Star Wars," begins the AP story. "Now it wants Star Trek."

As a NASA satellite is set to make first contact (via a robot arm) with an asteroid, new research suggests asteroids may be incubators of life.  Meanwhile, out at the edge of the solar system, V'ger--sorry, a Voyager spacecraft--is making contact with a previously unknown phenomenon, and is described as "riding magnetic bubbles."  

In Star Trek news, the filmmakers in charge of the new Kirk crew wallow towards a less than promising-sounding script for the next movie (and fans notice how complicated and unfocused the process is when the filmmakers are making lots of other films rather than concentrating on Trek), while several of the principals in the last old (or "real") Kirk movie, Star Trek Generations, reveal that the stars as well as the director pleaded to change the manner of Kirk's death up to and including the day of shooting, all to no avail.  It was reshot later after a test audience hated it, and some fans still hate the result.

Oh, and a belated happy Captain Picard Day!

Over in the UK, things are not going well for the financially strapped BBC in the financially strapped country, and coincidentally or not, Doctor Who will not be back for a full season in 2012.  The current series six has been split in two, with the shows from the first half to be made available on DVD this summer.

 Meanwhile, the new Torchwood, the Doctor Who spinoff series that's become sort of American, will premiere on the U.S. Starz network on July 8, with Star Trek's Q, John De Lancie and Nana Visitor in the guest cast during the series. John Barrowman as Captain Jack and Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper are the last surviving original Brit cast members.

In advance of the last Harry Potter movie this summer, there's some buzz over the imminent announcement of what Pottermore is all about.  It's very probably not a new Harry book but some sort of Internet site.  Don't be too surprised if Google is involved. 

Another article notes the emergence of Hogwarts summer camps for kids.  The best part of this article for me is about the second grader who raised his reading to sixth grade level by reading the Harry books  .

And there's this pretty interesting piece on the origin of American Superheroes in the 1930s immigrant experience. As well as over on my Captain Future's Dreaming Up Daily site, my piece on the psychological function of the shadow, as demonstrated in the Star Trek episode, "The Enemy Within."


Scott Jensen said...

I just opened a website that presents a show proposal for a Star Trek TV sequel. Here's a link to it:

I did it more for fun than anything else. Just thought you might enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

A less than promising script for the sequel to Star Trek (2009)? We barely know anything about it yet! Seems a little early to judge.

Captain Future said...

Anon--I wrote "a less than promising-sounding script," meaning that according to reports of it so far, it doesn't sound all that promising to me. But you're right, it's early and we don't really know. Which is why I didn't say "a less than promising script."

starship_blogger said...

I Din't want to believe what I just read about Doctor Who, however after some confirming a: I have little choice. Anyway I really enjoyed your post, even if it has set me off into a pit of depression.

Captain Future said...

starship blogger: sorry to have unmade your day, but I note that the Guardian piece quotes Moffat as disputing the official BBC version that Doctor Who's short season is because he's busy writing Sherlock. That never passed the smell test as far as I was concerned. Not when Russell T Davies was supervising and writing for Doctor Who, Torchwood and Sarah Jane simultaneously. No, I think it's about money.

starship_blogger said...

Captain future- I too think the reasons that were given were a bit odd however i seriously doubt its about money, the BBC makes an excess of over £3.4 billion a year just from TV licencing, hell its probably the only company here in England that's still making money. I just Don't see why they would have the need or desire to slash the Doctor Who budget especially while the ratings are good.