The Captains." Shatner is amazing--his self-revelation and showmanship really get the other captains (or some of them anyway) to reveal themselves. Some especially great moments with Kate Mulgrew and Patrick Stewart, and some unforgettable moments with Avery Brooks.
Billions and billions of planets? That's what a new NASA report says--at least 100 billion planets in our galaxy. (If you're old enough to get the joke, Johnny Carson used to imitate his frequent guest, Carl Sagan, in saying "billions and billions of stars." Although Sagan didn't really say that--at least not until Carson made it his trademark--Johnny was making affectionate fun of how Carl emphasized the "b" sound in "billions.")
This study also suggests that one in six stars hosts an Earth-sized planet. So there should be like billions and billions of them.
The White House hosts a number of petitions which citizens can post and sign--once there's a certain number of signatures, the White House must officially respond. So apparently a petition for the United States to finance and build a Death Star got those signatures, because the White House did respond.
The answer from the Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget was no, partly because "Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?" But he does point out all that the U.S. and U.S.-based corporations are doing in space and space travel. The response is full of Star Wars references (including its title, "This is not the petition response you were looking for") but it concludes: "We are living in the future! Enjoy it!" Star Trek fans can identify with that, too.
I'm not going to repeat all the news (or what passes for news) on the forthcoming Star Trek JJA2 movie--there's plenty at Trek Movie (although the post claiming that Benedict Cumberbatch "contrasts" his role with Malcolm McDowell's Sorin in Generations is just wrong--he is saying how his portrayal is similar to McDowell's in that he is a villain who doesn't leer like one.)
But I will pass on a bit of news concerning this year's Doctor Who 50th anniversary. There's to be a Five Doctors radio/audio drama, starring the five surviving Doctors of the "classic" era (Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann.) The story also mentions the 50th anniversary documentary that's written by Who writer/actor and current Sherlock co-producer Mark Gatiss. (It misspells his name, though--should be a source of fun around the BBC for awhile.) By the by, just saw Gatiss in an old Midsomers Murders playing a freaked-out parson, and he was quite convincing.
But still no word on what the TV series itself will do to mark the anniversary. I just re-watched the 1983 Five Doctors special, produced for the 20th anniversary. It's full of in-jokes and has a decent story, but you can see the problems of trying to crowd everybody (and their companions) in. It also skimps on the interaction between the Doctors that's the real reason to do such a show. As for the 50th, word at Doctor Who News is that Christopher Eccleston won't appear as the Doctor again, but that David Tennant is being coy about it. Meanwhile, the Christmas special, Snowmen, based on a story by Douglas Adams, got good reviews in the UK. I haven't even seen the 2011 Christmas special yet. So much for news on Doctor Who.