Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Trailer Three and the Light Revelations


Big round of applause for Paramount/Skydance/Bad Robot for a third and final trailer which tells us nothing more about Beyond. Honestly plotwise it's a blank but that's not to say we haven't got a lot more to chew on in this two minute titillation.

I was only thinking this morning that it must be due and his afternoon we received. Now I could just run through the clips as standard and see what we've got but there really is very little point because about 85% of it is exactly what we've seen already. It's also a little bit "London Bus" with nothing for ages and then two trailers within a matter of weeks of each other.

"We were overwhelmed by something...something we'd never seen before. I know this isn't the last of my crew but this is my last report as the captain of the Starship Enterprise."

The big reveal is Kirk's comment in his final log entry but this isn't unexpected seeing as the destruction of the enterprise has been a key part of every trailer. So too is there a bit more action showing Krall's men taking control of the starship but really it's a reorder of what we've already seen. So instead, here's a drop through of all the new stuff and its potential relevance.

Did you also spot the nice big swirly graphic that Kirk is looking at, presumably on Yorktown? There's one heck of a big nebulous thingy in the centre top which might be the nebula they are sent to investigate which leads them to Krall? The soundtrack does have a track that points to this!

Reflections on the events during the '09 movie versus the Narada, also shots of Kirk's dad on the Kelvin and finally Kirk looking up at the Enterprise being constructed in Iowa also from the same movie.

We also get to see a larger ship as part of the Swarm - there's a three pronged ship not dissimilar to a Xindi Insectoid fighter that screams across the screen at one point. Most likely the command ship or the craft from which Krall is able to board the Enterprise?

Intro shots of Starbase Yorktown - not used as much as trailer two and played down against the rest of the trailer which is very action orientated.

Krall's soldier shooting a trio of Starfleet officers - that is one serious gun he's carrying if it can take out three people in one shot. Krall's forces might not be like anything we've ever seen before so this could be a pretty brutal movie.

Clearer shot of the prison camp space - just as the crew are rounded up. Still no clearer on what that site is or why the crew are being incarcerated there. Are they being forced to dig for something? An artifact?

Rear shot of Kirk and Jaylah on the motorcycle - from the cycle sequence we've had in all three trailers now. Really have no idea where this fits or its purpose but it does look like Jaylah will be key in the fight against Krall.

There's a shot of something launching - could be saucer sep or an escape pod. I'd love to say this is the former and we are getting a shot from the saucer clip as the secondary hull drops away. Thanks to TheIrishTrekkie I've got this rather cool little comparison (left) to the unused Andy Probert sequence designed for The Motion Picture. Nice homage to an unused idea if this is the case. I wonder if the saucer sep is how the crew manage to escape Krall's forces as we also see the secondary hull riddle with holes and on fire beginning a downward spiral.

We get to see the Franklin speeding into a fiery situation towards the end of the trailer. Could this be the big climactic explosion they're escaping from? Also check out the still at the bottom of this article because it looks like the Warp Four starship is heading into some sort of distortion effect as part of its journey.

Longer sequence of Kirk watching the saucer crash from his escape pod. This makes it clear that the saucer makes a planet fall as it drops away from Kirk's view. Check out the fact that there's no bits of the secondary hull attached to it which holds up to the suggestion that the saucer sep is crew initiated rather than being ripped off in the attack. Also check out the ridiculous amount of damage that the saucer is carrying on it's downward spin.

Kirk and Chekov being led through a forest by an unnamed alien wearing a Starfleet evac suit. This is the same alien we saw in that bridge shot a few weeks ago. The biggest shot of the trailer though comes right after that where we have Kirk and Chekov looking down to the crashed saucer section. What is it that they need to get back to find? Also given that the evac suit the alien is wearing has differences to that of Kirk and Chekov's, could this be a lone survivor from the Franklin? Also in line with this they must be on the saucer for a while or it takes a time to get there since their escape from its wreckage takes place in the dark.

That's a decent amount of new shots but nothing really big and jaw dropping to reveal anything about the movie more than we already know. I still can't believe how little we have to go on less than a month to premiere!

The Rhianna track (available now) gives it an almost romantic feel and means that each trailer has its own distinct approach to the film and markedly different considering the journey we've come on since Sabotage blared out over the first one! Funny how she came out as a fan just before this was released huh?! I'm saying nothing.

Rather than give us lots of new material there's been a distinct edge to each tease we've seen whether it's action, more character related or now more ethereal. They're certainly trying to cover every audience base. This one does seem to have a leaning back to the action and thrills of the first trailer but that Rhianna single doesn't make it anywhere near as intense or as Fast and Furious. It's actually nowhere near as obviously an action movie as trailer one but I'm not convinced we're in for deep and meaningful character development when you couple what we see here with Chris Pine's recent comments around not being able to make a Star Trek movie that isn't an action flick. 

Reflecting back on the third Into Darkness trailer in comparison we were handed a lot of new info including much better images of the Vengeance and a brand new trailer overall which gave me a lot to discuss. Beyond is playing a much longer game with a strong poker face. Nothing is being given away and I do mean nothing even at this time.  Looking back on that trailer I felt as optimistic as I do now. I'm keeping fingers crossed that this will still be maintained after 22nd July.

"Let's make some noise..."

What did you spot in the new trailer? Still confident we're in for a better experience than Into Darkness?

Check out my musings on the first and second trailer plus watch the final trailer HERE

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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Where Are We Up To With 2017?

With lots of information coming out of the new show, Ian Kimmins sums up all that we know in one handy post...


As Star Trek Beyond approaches and the excitement reaches fever pitch for our first new Star Trek adventure in a few years, Bryan Fuller has been quietly putting together his staff for the upcoming 2017 Star Trek TV show. 

With only seven months to go until the CBS All Access premiere in January 2017, fans really haven't got a lot of clues as to what to expect. Let's first take a brief look at his team and speculate from what we have heard so far as to what may happen:

Bryan Fuller


Executive Producer, Show Runner, Writer
Is he the best person to run the new series? I think so - without any doubt. When you look at his Star Trek credentials alone he has some great episodes including Drone and the seminal Living Witness (with Joe Menosky!) and of course Bride of Chaotica!. Another reason why I think he is an excellent choice is that he is successful outside of Star Trek with such shows as Pushing DaisiesHeroes and Hannibal.

Gretchen Berg/Aaron Harberts


Gretchen Berg/Aaron Harberts got their start on Beverly Hills 90210. Not a lot is known about both of these writers except that they worked worked with Bryan Fuller previously on Pushing Daisies. They have also worked on popular series such as Revenge and Roswell

Jesse Alexander


Jesse Alexander has worked on Alias, Hannibal, Lost and Heroes. Note again the links to Bryan Fuller and also Orci/Kurtzman. For those of you who watched Alias he wrote The Box which starred Quentin Tarantino and was one of their highest rating episodes. 

Joe Menosky


Clive and Tiff talked about the addition of Joe on their podcast because this is a huge addition to the super-team. Joe Menosky is well known to long time Star Trek fans as he got his start on The Next Generation writing such stories as Darmok. He wrote a few episodes of Deep Space Nine which were perhaps less successful including Dramatis Personae and Time's Orphan but most of his post The Next Generation work came on Voyager where he co-wrote Living Witness with none other than Bryan Fuller. He also had a hand in Scorpion and Year of Hell which are regarded as two of Voyager's most popular stories. Menosky is usually known for his high concept scripts so we can see why he was chosen for the new series. Also it bodes better for Menosky if the show is starship-based rather than on a static station. NB - forgive the mid-90's headshot!

Kirsten Beyer


After the announcement of Fuller, Meyer (and possibly Menosky). I don't think anyone generated as much excitement as Kirsten Beyer. As far as TV is concerned she is untried but if you have read any of her Voyager novels you will know how great she is at tying loose ends together and making them work well. Her work is so good Pocket Books have given her a solo run on the Voyager novels. The early word is that she will continue to write these in her downtime from the show. To find out more about Ms Beyer please check out fellow SKoSTer Tiff's interview here


Nicholas Meyer



Well what can you say about Nicholas Meyer that hasn't been said before. As one of two people credited with saving the franchise (the other being Harve Bennett) he is well placed to take Star Trek back to its rightful place. He rewrote The Wrath of Khan in 12 days without a screen credit to get in on time! Although he didn't want to limit himself to one genre he was persuaded to come back to help with the writing on Star Trek IV and direct Star Trek VI. A very big shock to the system to hear he was coming in as a writer

Aron Coleite


Aron Coliete is completely new to the Star Trek franchise but he has worked on Heroes but is probably more known from his work on the Ultimate X-Men comic book. He was also involved in the TV show The River starring Star Trek alum Bruce Greenwood (aka Admiral Pike in the Kelvin Timeline). If you get a chance to see this series; do. It's amazing!!

Kemp Powers


Kemp Powers like Kirsten Beyer hasn't worked in TV before. However this is the one that excites me the most. He known as a journalist, author and playwright. If you get to see his play One Night in Miami about Muhammad Ali you are in for a treat. He is likely to bring a real world perspective to the series that might otherwise be missing among the talented team of fantasy and sci-fi writers.

Apart from these faces, a few more announcements were made in relation to staff for the new series they include (just to refresh your memory)...

Heather Kadin

Executive Producer
Not a lot is known about this lady apart from her being Alex Kurtzman's partner in his company K/O Paper Products.

Alex Kurtzman

Executive Producer
Probably Easily the most divisive appointment due to his involvement in the reboot movies. He is also rumoured to be directing the pilot according to Mark Worthington (Production Designer) although this hasn't been confirmed by CBS or Bryan Fuller at this time.

Rod Roddenberry/Trevor Roth 

Executive Producers.
No one is quite sure what there actual role will be. Both are from Roddenberry Entertainment but is it just a marketing ploy to have a Roddenberry involved? We will just have to wait and see!

Vincenzo Natali

Producing Director
The most recent announcement. He has previously worked on Cube which was the cult Nicole De Boer film from the 1990's. He has also worked on Earth Final Conflict with the Roddenberrys and most recently with Bryan Fuller on three seasons of Hannibal


Mark Worthington

Production Designer 
Some of you may have seen his designs online for reported Klingon ships. Unfortunately these designs have been removed. For anyone unfamiliar with his extensive work he designed the opening scene for Lost (yeah - that really inexpensive bit with the crashed airliner that helped make it the most expensive pilot of all time). He has worked on shows as diverse as American Horror Story and Ugly Betty


And the show?


Well it's 13 episodes long will run anything up to 60 minutes to streaming online rather than being on broadcast TV. There has been the note made that the running times could vary episode to episode because of this swanky format on CBS All Access. 

One of the first things we found out was that it will be filmed in Toronto starting in September 2016 and running to around March 2017. Rumour also has it that the sets have been designed and that they will begin construction VERY soon. Apparently the bridge set is stunning.

The designers have been taking inspiration for new starships from sports cars which sounds very similar to what was done for the reboot USS Enterprise. 

The story for the first season arc is written and the first six episodes are broken down. Wow. Now that's progress for you. Interesting that the first season will be 13 episodes but that doesn't confirm anything for subsequent years. I guess this is a case of seeing how the first year runs and then expand from there. If the show maintains that number of episodes for an average run of seven years we will have a total of 91 episodes making it the second shortest series ahead of The Original Series (79) and behind Enterprise (98).

Bryan Fuller has noted that it is not set between The Original Series and The Next Generation which isn't a huge surprise but then that means we haven't got any timeframe confirmed plus we have it on the authority of Fuller that it's not an anthology series. Taking that and the fact that the teaser trailer talked about "New Crews" we can guess that Star Trek is going to have more than one ship and crew at its heart which I also surmise will help with the 13 episode arc.  

Finally, they are currently talking to actors and hope to release some concrete information around San Diego Comic Con - so there's still hope to see Nathan Fillon in the captains chair huh?! I've not seen that many names banded around actually but let's keep our minds open. I'd rather not commit to anyone and be very pleasantly surprised. Remember all, at one point there was a rumour that Bryan Cranston was going to be the villain in Beyond and look where that went. On the point of cast it's been suggested that in the future of the show we might get to see characters from other iterations of the franchise so that final Garak or Seven of Nine appearance could still be on the cards.

What do we hope to see?


Star Trek is coming home. While we like to see the movies - Star Trek belongs in the TV format. The biggest question people are asking is in which timeline will it be in and here's my answer. I don't care!! There I've said it. Star Trek is about the stories it tells - it's morality plays. At the end of the day a good story is a good story regardless of where it's set. I think one issue that might - and I say might - exist is the fallout from the recently announced fan film guidelines and that fans may boycott the show (and Beyond). I don't think that the number of people who will do that will have a massive effect on the audience but it's something to bear in mind.

There has been a move to rename the JJ/Abramsverse the Kelvin Timeline. Maybe more than Bad Robot will be playing in this universe? But then Bryan Fuller has said we eventually will run into established characters so maybe it's the Prime Universe.

The inclusion of such a diverse range of writers means that while we will undoubtedly get to see new concepts, good character conflict and a firm base in the Star Trek universe we will have a good deal of grounding in the real world too and that's going to be important if Fuller and co are keen to provide a relevant social commentary as occurred with The Original Series.  All I know is the eleven year wait for a new series is nearly up and it will be time for this new generation to boldly go where no one has gone before.

Personnel images from Google Images
Star Trek 2017 images from CBS teaser trailer
Information on the new show includes collated data from Collider

What do you want to see from the new show? Worried it might not go in the "right direction"?


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Friday, 24 June 2016

There'll Be Fan Films But Not As We Know Them


After weeks of speculation, Paramount and CBS have unveiled their guidelines for the future of fan films.

The list of points have been posted most prominently on the star trek.com site and have sparked a great deal of response due to their apparently severe restrictions which will change the face of fan films as they exist. It's also key to note that these are termed as "guidelines" and not rules - however woe betide anyone who would dare to side step their words. 

If we go back to the very end of 2015 we can see that it was the still ongoing legal battle between Paramount/CBS and the Axanar production which has led to the introduction of these guidelines. I for one totally understand that Paramount and CBS have every right to be invested in the use of their intellectual property but the lawsuit against Axanar certainly stirred the pot and devisely split the Star Trek fandom - were you standing with Axanar or against? That was the question most fans were asking each other as we entered the 50th anniversary year.

While I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty of the court case, it is worth saying that even though JJ Abrams announced at the Beyond special event that the suit was going away it is still rolling on with Axanar now counter-suing for losses as well. Oh the fun. However, part of the disagreement did focus on the introduction of fan film guidelines that would stop such instances of productions skirting far more close to the line than the IP holders were happy with as seems to be the case with formerly independent production Axanar.

I'm not a lawyer (yes, honestly I'm not) but the case is still super interesting and certainly the mudslinging, name calling, fan-banning and parody accounts has kept Twitter (and some relevant forums) very entertaining even if it has made the Star Trek fandom look utterly ridiculous at times.  

With the new guidelines announced there was a lot of hate thrown in the direction of Axanar. Whether it's justified or not, the last few months have not been kind to anyone associated with it. Former players have talked out against the project and even persons asked to become involved perhaps through inappropriate means have voiced their concerns about the project. Is the studio being rented to to other productions? What was Peters being paid? What happened to all that donor money - was it spent jetting around the globe to events? Let's not speculate on all the "news" that vomitted out of the original case but the rather scrappy trailer produced recently as well as the latest one minute polished teaser seem to have left fans speechless and shocked at what was promised and what has been produced. As someone who donated I really don't know where I stand going forward or if I will ever see any of the perks promised. Heck, with these new guidelines can Axanar actually be completed? I would say not because there will need to be changes made that will possibly make the project in-viable and what's going to have happened to all that cash?

So to the guidelines.

Well they will certainly mean the end of Axanar as it currently exists and may well have a big effect on series such as Continues, New Voyages and friends of Some Kind of Star Trek, Anthology and Dreadnought Dominion.  Let's break them down and air my thoughts...

1. The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than two segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.

Being only 15 minutes in length for a single story or 30 for a segmented story plus they can only be one offs. This kills the series such as Continues immediately which has hour long episodes and uses standing sets for repeat productions. Say farewell to your long running fan series which will immediately overrun this rule in one go. Just think about Renegades which has only just started filming its second film.


2. The title of the fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek.” However, the title must contain a subtitle with the phrase: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in plain typeface. The fan production cannot use the term “official” in either its title or subtitle or in any marketing, promotions or social media for the fan production.

The removal of Star Trek from the title isn't a big thing for Axanar for example but think of the impact for shows such as Continues or New Voyages for example - it's a part of what they are. The inclusion of "A Star Trek fan production on the title card is pretty fine and I don't see there being many issues over that. No shock that you can't use the word "official".


3. The content in the fan production must be original, not reproductions, recreations or clips from any Star Trek production. If non-Star Trek third party content is used, all necessary permissions for any third party content should be obtained in writing.

Basically it's got to be 100% original material and if you don't own the copyright to it you're going to need to ask if it's not a Star Trek property. You can't reproduce anything, copy anything or use anything (clips) from the show or movies. Wondering if this also encompasses using any characters from the show such as Apollo in Continues' Pilgrim of Eternity?


4. If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.


So fan productions can't be making their own uniforms or any items that you can buy in a shop. Surely a sign that Paramount and CBS are looking to reap some sort of financial benefit from the shows because a percentage of those item sales will obviously go back to the IP holders at some point. Could push fan films into designing their own props, clothes and accessories but then does that mean it's not Star Trek anymore...?


5. The fan production must be a real “fan” production, i.e., creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated for their services, and cannot be currently or previously employed on any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees.



So no paying cast to star in your movie anymore. This also puts paid to getting Star Trek actors to guest on your show as has happened in a few of the New Voyages episodes for example (Sulu, Chekov...). This probably comes off the back of Axanar paying its cast to appear - and remember that three of the gents in their Prelude were former guest cast for Star Trek (JG Hertzler, Gary Graham, Tony Todd) so there's another nail in the coffin (yes, Todd has since left the production). Axanar made a lot of its own uniforms, patches and a lot more. Also productions like Renegades may now have to grind to a halt in light of using a plethora of Star Trek actors and making their own props for the film. 


6. The fan production must be non-commercial:

CBS and Paramount Pictures do not object to limited fundraising for the creation of a fan production, whether 1 or 2 segments and consistent with these guidelines, so long as the total amount does not exceed $50,000, including all platform fees, and when the $50,000 goal is reached, all fundraising must cease.

The fan production must only be exhibited or distributed on a no-charge basis and/or shared via streaming services without generating revenue.

The fan production cannot be distributed in a physical format such as DVD or Blu-ray.

The fan production cannot be used to derive advertising revenue including, but not limited to, through for example, the use of pre or post-roll advertising, click-through advertising banners, that is associated with the fan production.

No unlicensed Star Trek-related or fan production-related merchandise or services can be offered for sale or given away as premiums, perks or rewards or in connection with the fan production fundraising.

The fan production cannot derive revenue by selling or licensing fan-created production sets, props or costumes.

Well that's a big one. Axanar is clearly the precedent for this one as it raised somewhere in the region of $1.2million which has been spent in a variety of ways (none of which I wish to speculate on here I would add again!). The ceiling of $50,000 is interesting because I think this means it remains on a "shoestring" budget rather than moving into some serious TV/movie level budgets that Axanar was certainly prodding at with its seven figure fundraising balance. The perk DVD/Blu-ray has now been eliminated by the guidelines effectively reducing the output to the production's website and maybe to YouTube BUT you can't make any money off it whatsoever. Not a shock really with this guideline because it's protecting the IP and making sure only the licence holders are making money off the item that they own.

This extensive point also ensures that the sites can't even have advertising to bring in revenue or offer any items for sale or as tempters to donate money. For a lot of fan productions the ability to give away items is what has made the difference. Again look at the perks from Axanar including those DVDs, uniform items, ship models and the combadges and rifle props that Renegades offered as a further example.

I think we can all understand this is purely the owners making sure there's no cash being pocketed on the side.


7. The fan production must be family friendly and suitable for public presentation. Videos must not include profanity, nudity, obscenity, pornography, depictions of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or any harmful or illegal activity, or any material that is offensive, fraudulent, defamatory, libelous, disparaging, sexually explicit, threatening, hateful, or any other inappropriate content. The content of the fan production cannot violate any individual’s right of privacy.

No brainer. It's making sure that the Star Trek brand is kept in good repute and I think all fan productions will be able to adhere to that without any effort at all. One thing they all want is to portray the franchise effectively on the screen and for the enjoyment of the fandom.


8. The fan production must display the following disclaimer in the on-screen credits of the fan productions and on any marketing material including the fan production website or page hosting the fan production: 
Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made film intended for recreational use. No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”
Pretty much the same as the "A Star Trek Fan Production" line that has to be added at the beginning of the movie. Just another subtle reminder to all and sundry who is in charge of the show at the end of the day. I can't pick at this one. Straight forward. 


9. Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law.

Fair play. You would be a bit silly trying to copyright something that's already copyrighted and owned by someone else.


10. Fan productions cannot create or imply any association or endorsement by CBS or Paramount Pictures

These last few points don't do anything that's not logical really do they? If it's fan made and glaring says so as per points 2 and 8 then there's no reason why you should be implying the last point here. I guess that Axanar's independence and then comments around the IP holders being absolutely fine with it all must be reasons for this to have been included as the final line.

Commented exec producer for Dreadnought Dominion, Gary Davis when I dropped him a line shortly after the guidelines were announced: "...this is a "gut punch" to stay the least." he said, "These guidelines will bring to an end the Fan Film era as we know it. Under these guidelines any future plans for Dreadnought Dominion would be severely hobbled. The guidelines seem to be aimed at giving consent, yet making it virtually impossible to produce any semblance of a show worth watching.


"We all understand that CBS/Paramount have the right to protect their intellectual property. We further understand that the producers of Axanar overstepped the accepted bounds of crowdfunding, compared themselves with the current Star Trek productions calling themselves a "professional" film rather than a Fan Film, THEN deriving personal income FROM the crowdfunding."

It's good to see that productions - on the whole - recognise the privilege they have been allowed to play in the Star Trek universe but there is recognition that the game has changed and it's a big move by the IP holders.

Continued Gary, "However, just because there was one bad apple, shouldn't mean that CBS/Paramount cripples everyone from producing Fan Films when everyone in the past was adhering to the unspoken "rule" of Fan Films by "not making any money". Its a shame, a travesty, and will really put a bad taste in the mouths of the fans who come to enjoy the genre of Star Trek."

There we have it. A very different day for the fan film community. I like the point that these are guidelines and not RULES but you would be a bit idiotic to ignore them and incur the wrath of Paramount and CBS. Perhaps this won't be the final version and we will see the more prominent productions stepping forward and speaking to the owners about how these rules can be amended. If not then I think we can guarantee an end to the recurring webseries and the more exotic fan films such as Renegades.


It also seems that it will take some time for these rules to fully sink in and it could lead to our favourite web-series existing in a very different format. 

Wrote Vic Mignogna on the Star Trek Continues Facebook page: "Hi everyone, thank you all for your tremendous outpouring of concern and support. First and foremost, we have the utmost respect for CBS and their right to protect their property as they see fit. As soon as we know for sure how the latest developments will impact Star Trek Continues we will most certainly share it with all of you. Star Trek Continues was created purely out of love and tribute, not a desire for profit or self-promotion. Thank you again for all your support. Vic"

Did Axanar become too big? Did those involved believe they were bigger than Star Trek itself? Was it wrong declaring independence? Has it angered people who donated? I think all of those questions aren't as straight forward as they may seem depending on where you sit and that's what's really damaged the fan community - there seems to be no definitive right or wrong when it comes to the people who would be watching the end result.

This will not be the last time we'll hear about these rules as their introduction sends shockwaves across the moviemakers out there. How this announcement will affect productions currently being made or edited is also something that will have to be considered since they were in process before the guidelines were announced. What happens, for example, to the episodes of Continues that are in post-production? I hope that the issues Axanar has thrown up in the last six months do not mean an effective end to fan films but right now I'm very, very uncertain as to what the future holds.

How do you feel about the new guidelines from CBS and Paramount? Is it the end of the fan film?

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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Reboot Reunion: IDW's Issues 53 and 54


In IDW's popular series we get to revisit a character we last seen in Star Trek '09 - Gaila who was played by Rachael Nichols.


The story starts 2248, 14 years before the main part of this story. An important event in Gaila and her brother Kai's life takes place when their father kidnaps his two children to prevent their mother marrying off Gaila as part of a deal for the Orion syndicate to seal a deal. The backstory to this event is well established and leaves us looking forward to seeing how the story plays out.  Just be aware there may be SPOILERS ahead!

In the present - 2262 - the USS Enterprise and the USS Tereshkova meet up for some shore leave. Gaila, now a science officer on the Tereshkova meets up with her brother who is now assigned to the Enterprise. Obviously she meets up with former Academy room-mate Uhura (as seen in the first reboot), who gives her a tour of the flagship of the fleet. I found this piece a little odd as it just looks like the two ships parallel parked and the crews went from ship to ship. No space station or outpost. It did take me out of the story a little bit. 

We get to meet Captain Campbell of the Tereshkova and she is well handled throughout the story. She admits she had issues with how Kirk got to sit in the chair but he has earned her respect. She is a good addition to the comic-verse and hopefully someone we see again. 

As this issue ends Gaila and Kai's problems are only starting as they are kidnapped from their ships and taken away by their mother who has waited all this time to fulfill her agreement with the Pacari.

Issue 54 starts off with Kirk's captains log recapping what happened in the previous issue but we spend most of the time with Gaila and her brother while they try to escape from the situation they find themselves in. 

As the Enterprise is out of commission it is up to Gaila and Kai to organise their own escape. 

As Gaila prepares for her wedding her brother is sent to become a bare-knuckle fighter for the Orion public's amusement. However the Orions don't plan for Kai's Starfleet training mixed with his Orion fighting skills and he escapes just as Gaila manages to release her shackles. They escape together but look like they may be caught - but the enterprise shows up in the nick of time!

As the story wraps up we get two references to the previous movies - Scotty says he promised the Enterprise would never be under water again(Into Darkness) and an amusing, if predictable few scenes between Kirk and Gaila over what happened in Uhura's dorm room in Star Trek '09.

While this was a good read it and was nice to see Gaila back after her appearance in Star Trek '09, it feels that this issue was a little bit of a filler as we await the next story which is the much hyped Legacy of Spock

There is a nice bit of continuity in this issue with a nod to the USS Tereshkova which appeared in the book The Lives of Dax It was studying a rogue comet and some of the crew died. It seems to have faired a little better here!

Once again Tony Shasteen's artwork is to be commended. Having the Orions feature in the story really makes the colours pop off the page. The Enterprise and her crew are all very well drawn. It's also fun checking out the background aliens and in this issue we get to see an Andorian crew member. 

All in all this story is worth a read but it doesn't reach the heights of some of the stories. It is a little flat and I get the feeling that the writers were already thinking of the Spock story line coming up. Another little inconsistency is that I felt the writing staff's mind was elsewhere as issue two's stardate was 2262.141 and issue 1 was 2262.335!!! 

Hopefully the team returns to form with Manifest Destiny and Legacy of Spock.

IDW's Star Trek comics are currently available from your local comic book store or the usual online digital suppliers.

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Some Kind of Star Trek: The Podcast Episode Three


Back with more news and interviews in our third podcast episode.

We're a bit ahead but couldn't turn down the chance to chat with our friend Jim Bray from Star Trek Anthology plus we cover off a couple of news stories too -

The tragic death of Anton Yelchin

Star Trek Timelines latest event

Getting into the new The Fifty Year Mission book from Ed Gross and Mark A Altman

Star Trek Anthology - here's our original post from exactly one year ago!

You can check out the podcast right now via iTunes by searching Some Kind of Star Trek or download it here from Soundcloud

PLEASE take the time to share and review and let us know what YOU want to hear!

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Monday, 20 June 2016

Anton Yelchin


Mourning the loss of anyone involved with the Star Trek franchise is a sad occasion whether they be a single episode guest star or one of the multitude of talented back stage team.

However the shocking and exceedingly unexpected news yesterday that reboot movie actor Anton Yelchin was killed in a freak traffic accident at his home has seemingly affected every fan of Star Trek.

IMDB credits Anton with 65 credits as an actor, three of which are in post-production and two completed works that includes the upcoming Star Trek Beyond. While he is perhaps most famously known for his role as the Russian ensign Pavel Chekov, Yelchin's credentials are extensive stretching back to 2000 with appearances on ER, Curb Your Enthusiasm and NYPD Blue but his movie career really did step into gear following his first appearance as the USS Enterprise navigator in the 2009 film.

The circumstances of his untimely death seem to be that he was pinned between his car and the gate/mailbox at his house. Friends found him there after he failed to arrive for rehearsal. His car is said to have been found with the engine still running and in neutral. Speculation has suggested his car may have been a Jeep Grand Cherokee that was recalled in April this year for confusing gear selection with drivers apparently unsure what they had shifted to. This is purely conjecture at this time.

Yelchin's death has been widely marked with comments from director JJ Abrams, actor Tom Hiddleston, Star Wars veteran Mark Hamill, Star Trek actor Michael Dorn and many more paying tribute via social media in the last 24 hours. Perhaps one more saddening point is that the 19th June was also Zoe Saldana's - his Star Trek co-star's - birthday. 

With the imminent release of Beyond, in which he has featured prominently in early promo material, his career was surely about to explode to another level and it's a great loss that we will never see this young actor aspire to the next level.

In his short but highly memorable tenure with the Star Trek franchise, the actor took Chekov from the bridge of the Enterprise replete with "v/w" accenting and an uncanny ability to "Do zat!" when it came to transporters to acting as Chief Engineer and looked to be a key player within the next installment. No doubt his death will make the third movie just that bit more poignant for all involved and in the audience. I for one hope that it stands as a memorial to a tragically short life ended at just 27.

RIP Anton Yelchin
1989 - 2016