Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!


 
Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Harlan Ellison Reviews ST:TMP

When Star Trek: The Motion Picture premiered, a lot of people were disappointed, myself among them. I had such high hopes! And we were let down. Although the movie accomplished a lot in terms of restarting the "franchise," and laid the groundwork for the look of everything to come after it, the all-important story and character interaction left a lot to be desired. Writer Harlan Ellison, known best to Trekkers as the author of "City On The Edge Of Forever," reviews the lackluster film in issue #33 of Starlog, published in April of 1980.

Harlan manages to set aside much of his anger at Roddenberry and company over his perceived ill-treatment when writing the TV script, and in much of his review I agree with him, something I rarely do. For example, I felt that the changes made in the filmed script for the series were for the best, and better "Trek" than his original script. Most of his criticisms of the movie, however, are spot-on, and sadly warranted. However, it does end on a note of hope for the sequels, and in that he (and the fans) were rewarded.

Agree? Disagree? Comment!

(Click on images to enlarge; once open, you may have to click again to view full-size.)
"He called me 'lachrymose'? I'll kill 'em! Wait... what does that mean?"


Bonus: below, a page from the same issue, on the comic book adaptation of the movie script.

Bonus #2: Below, an ad from the back cover, for an LED-enhanced jacket movie tie-in.

Bonus #3: Below, the inside front cover, an ad for the light-up movie Enterprise model.
Bonus #4: Below, a one-page write-up by the movie's science adviser on the theory behind the movie's "wormhole" sequence." This sequence, while marred by the crew's "jiggling" in their seats when the camera was not being shaken, was still about the only action scene in the movie that raised a little excitement and suspense. Under that is a single-panel comic taken from the letters page on the same topic.


As an aside, I am not so completely down on ST:TMP that I can't appreciate the good things about it. Seeing the new upgraded Enterprise in loving close-ups was worth the price of admission; the epic score, etc. I still take out the Director's Edition that Wise re-edited occasionally and watch it, as it is the best version. The tightening up of the film and the fixed sound and visual effects add to the experience and allow me to enjoy it more than ever before. But I could still wish for better pacing and story!

Monday, September 22, 2014

1980 DeForest Kelly Interview

 One got the feeling from just watching the original series that "Dr. McCoy" was the most relatable human on the show; the person that represented the "everyman" from our time period, and the actor DeForest Kelly was the one we could be most comfortable around. DeForest Kelley was that kind of person in real-life, as all the interviews bear out. Here's a good one from Starlog issue #38, published in September of 1980.

Click on images to enlarge; once open, you may have to click again to view full size.




Bonus: a candid closeup of De from a movie magazine that came out during the series run.

Bonus #2: a great shot of Bill giving archery lessons to De during the series.
"Okay, De, let's try to hit Leonard in the behind and bring him down a couple of notches."

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

More Janice Rand Images

Back when the series was about to begin regular production, it was planned that Janice Rand would be one of the more prominent characters and certainly the main female to bring the sex appeal. However, Nichelle Nichols was always on the bridge in almost every shot that looked back toward Kirk's chair, and she more than amply supplied the sweet, sweet eye candy. And, it was realized that Rand cramped the Captain's style when it came to romancing the alien ladies. So, before long during the first season she was used less and less and finally -sadly- released. However, not before she got the attention of a lot of male viewers, and it is they who will appreciate these unusual promotions images, some taken before production of the series and some during.

(As usual click on the images to enlarge. You might have to click again once it opens to view full-size.)



"Mr. Spock, remind me to keep the temperature down on the bridge in the future."

Bonus: a page from one of the movie magazines back during the series third season, from February of 1969..

Bonus: the packaging of the Pocket Flix film viewer that supplied fans with their own (one-minute) clip for watching whenever they wanted! I bought one about 1978 and it was the first time I could actually "watch" a real part of an episode apart from TV. This was before videotape players were available to most, and certainly to me. It was taken from the episode "By Any Other Name," and was edited together from the scene where the two security guards were reduced to polyhedrons, and the scene of the barrier-crossing, which was very exciting to own! Such was my mania that I even dubbed those scenes from one of my cassette tapes of the episode to match the editing of the film, then would synch them up as I watched to supply sound!
Bonus link: Star Trek In Cinerama! See how scenes from various episodes of TOS look in widescreen, done without cropping the image. It's "fascinating" to coin a phrase! Except where characters are in the scene twice, then it gets a bit weird.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Prelude To Axanar" Trailer

The first trailer for "Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar" is up and live. This documentary-style movie takes place a little over two decades before the original series. You'll recognize several actors from "Enterprise," "DS9," and "The Next Generation." Why, oh, WHY can't we get special made-for-TV/straight-to-DVD movies like this? WAKE UP PARAMOUNT!!! There is a larger universe out there to be mined and portrayed.

I like the way that the ship design, photography and battles show the influence of the Abram's film, as although I may not agree with the direction of that reboot, I think that the way things looked was incredible. Emulating that here makes for exciting space scenes, and fills in the gaps in the TOS universe canon quite nicely. Also the links to Star Trek: Enterprise (like the older Soval character as portrayed by Gary Graham) help bridge the time from that show up to the original series. The effects are up to cinematic standards, and the actors, like the great Tony Todd, raise it above the level of the amateur fan-film. Here is the link to view it on Youtube, where you can see it full-size in all its HD glory!

UPDATE: You can now watch the 21-minute prelude to the proposed feature-length film by going to this site. Make it so!



Below, some screen captures from the video. Click on each one to enlarge.

Monday, June 16, 2014

New Star Trek Continues Episode!

 The third episode of "Star Trek Continues" led by Vic Mignogna has been released, and what an episode it is! A direct sequel to "Mirror, Mirror," taking up literally moments later, it is one that I really, really wish had been done on the series. But, I suppose they never could have done one set in the Mirror universe only, featuring just that crew; I'm sure it would have been considered "too confusing" to people back then just tuning in. The actress portraying Marlena, Asia DeMarcos, has such an amazing resemblance to original actress Barbara Luna that one almost forgets it is a different person. Enjoy!


Star Trek Continues E03 "Fairest of Them All" from Star Trek Continues on Vimeo.











Bonus: A new clip posted by Daren Dochterman of his CGI ST:TMP Enterprise! Because one can never get enough of close-up passes of that beautiful lady. I for one thought that the Spacedock scene in ST:TMP was the best part of the movie, so this is more loveliness to enjoy!
http://blog.darendoc.com/?p=1207

Monday, June 9, 2014

25th Anniversary of "The Final Frontier"

Well, it's been 25 years since "Star Trek 5: The Final Frontier" opened on June 9th, 1989, and the pain is still there; Sybok could do little to relieve it. (Who, by the way, could have made a KILLING as a psychotherapist on Earth, and done much better than chasing a non-existent Sean Connery.)

There are only a few entries on this film on my blog, evidence of the pitiful reception it had then and the general lack of love. Sure, it had its good points, but so does the drunk Uncle that is an embarrassment to the family. Read the entries on this blog, all compiled here!