Tuesday, December 13, 2011

George Takei: Eternal Frustrations

From Starlog, published August 1989, comes this article (paired with the previous article on Jimmy Doohan) featuring George "Oh, my!" Takei. He, moreso than some of the others it seemed, resented the small part he had compared to the three main stars. As far as I recall (not having watched it as much as the other films), he was featured as much as all the rest of the secondary cast, part of about every action scene. I understand his frustration, but really, he was included in it more than most TV episodes had him. At least he got to be a captain in the next one, which was some consolation, I'm sure.

"Next time, this chair is MINE!"

Bonus: Below, Kirk cuddles up to a belly dancer on Argelius, but strikes out as Scotty gets lucky. The girl would have done better with Kirk; more kissing and less knifing!

"I'm the star of the show, ask any of my co-workers. Want to go for a ride later?"

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Daredevil of The Skies: James Doohan

From issue #146 of Starlog, published September 1989, comes this article on everyone's favorite Engineer, Montgomery Scott. Or to be more accurate, the much-loved actor that brought him to life, James Doohan. It's interesting to learn that, but for being hired a day or two earlier for Trek, he might have become the engineer of the Seaview. Fate was kind to him (and us) by beaming him up before he could take that voyage to the bottom of the sea into obscurity.

It's also revealing to see how he and the other secondary cast members were chafing at the meagerness of their parts in ST 5, which was thanks to the ego of the director, who just happened to be the star. It's my outlook that giving an egotist like Shatner the directorial reins of a film he was also starring in was like giving the fox the keys to the henhouse. (No offense, Bill, but your talent for self-promotion was often at the expense of your co-stars, and nobody likes that.)
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One amusing bit from the article is when Jimmy says he would never guest-star on "The Next Generation," but we all know he did later. He didn't want to have to appear older through aging makeup, but when they found a way to get him in that century without aging him, he was ready for it! I'm glad he did it, it was a great homage to him.
Bonus: Below, a vintage photo of Bill Shatner from a TV/Movie magazine around 1967.

"I don't know why the extras like Jimmy and George hate me, they get to bask in my stardom!"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

1980 Harold Michaelson Interview

From Issue 30 of Starlog magazine (see the cover and another article here), published January 1980, comes this interview with the production designer of ST:TMP, Harold Michaelson. Michaelson took the existing Mike Minor designs for the new warp core from the planned "Phase Two" series and expanded it vertically to encompass multiple stories, as well as horizontally. The now-familiar design has been the design basis for every new show and movie ship's engineering deck... with the notable exception of the one movie that really could have used it... the recent '09 reboot. The money-saving use of a beer factory as engineering was nearly universally lambasted by fans, and hopes are that the producers of the sequel will listen to fan feedback and give us a real engineering room set, one befitting a big budget.

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"Whatever thou doest, Spock, dost not look up, lest thee seest up the robe of Surak."

The caption for the top photo is in error, as the ship on the design board is actually the air tram and not the Vulcan shuttle.

Bonus: Below, a fun video promoting the Star Trek "Battlestations" slot machine game. Since I don't anticipate ever going to Vegas, and I don't frequent casinos, this is about as close as I'll ever get to this game... but it does look like it would be fun to play. If I ever get rich, I might order one for my game room. The copy promoting the machine is under the video. Go to Youtube to view the video in larger format: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpGN0ixpErU

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Casual and obsessive Trekkies alike will love the new STAR TREK slot game from WMS. Whether you just watched the TV series occasionally or can identify STAR TREK episode numbers and recite the command structure of the Romulan military, STAR TREK™ BATTLESTATIONS! will bring the popular TV show to life at a casino near you.

"ST:3 The Search For Spock" Effects Article

From issue #28 of Enterprise Incidents (after the format change and national distribution as a sci-fi movie magazine) from April 1985 comes this behind-the-scenes article on the making of the effects for Star Trek 3. I do remember that the anticipation in my mind was much higher for #3 than it was for #2... there seemed to be very little advance publicity for TWOK, except for the furor over the leaked death of Spock. But after the movie was released and so well-received, the fan excitement over the third one seemed to be increased and there was much more in the media about it as it was being made.

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This Kruge miniature was used for the scene where he plunges into the abyss on New Genesis... the cut between the actor and the animated figure was disguised by a flash of lightning.

Ah, the good ol' days of model work.

Below is a detail from the 2-page spread put back together. I didn't want to shrink down the spread by showing both pages connected, so I scanned in the one photo that went across both so you could see it in its entirety. The detail visible on the scale model of the Excelsior is interesting to see, since we didn't get to see it much on screen in the movie.

It was still an ugly ship, though.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

1979 Robert Wise Interview

1979 was one of the most exciting years to ever happen for many Trekkers, and especially me. From that heady time comes this interview with director Robert Wise from Issue 30 of Starlog magazine, which came out in December of 1979, bearing the cover date of January 1980. For many, this issue came after they had seen the movie, but since I had to wait until January to sneak off to see it (thanks to my uptight and perpetually-irritated stepfather) this material only stoked my fervor.

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However, the excitement was tinged with worry, as early word leaked out that the movie was less than stellar. We kept on believing, though, and didn't let the rumors dampen our anticipation. This article by Tribbles author David Gerrold from the same issue did worry me, though... fortunately it did earn enough to warrant a sequel, which amped up the action factor.

Bonus: From 1967, a photo of Shatner on a smoke break, from one of the movie-TV gossip magazines.

"I could knock the Marlboro Man right out of his saddle."

Coming soon: the Harold Michaelson interview from this same issue.

Friday, August 5, 2011

They Won't Let Spock Stay Dead

From the Beckley Herald, Friday, June 1, 1984 comes this oddly pictureless article about "The Search For Spock."
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Below, from the same page of the newspaper, the movies playing at the time.

Bonus: below, from the Macon, GA Central High School newspaper, published in 1974, an article by a friend of mine that I met there that year, Clay Weaver. Both being Trekkers and having other similar interests (like "Planet of the Apes" and "Kung Fu" movies) we hit it off immediately, because back then, us Trekkers had to stick together. The button in the photo belongs to him, as does the shirt it's on.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

1978 Article: The Technology Of Trek

This time, I'm bringing you more material from Issue #3 of the awesome Science Fantasy Film Classics magazine, published July 1978. You can view the cover here, and earlier content I've posted from this issue here, as well as here. And there will be more to come in future posts, you can be sure. This time the article focuses on the wonderfully thought-out technology that set the show apart from all other TV sci-fi, and was years ahead of its time. It was the technological trappings that made the setting so believable. The article looks at the technology on the show and where things were at the time, and postulates which items could be created and how long in the future it might be. With the exception of the transporter, which was more of a time-and-budget-saving device than a real possibility, many of the ideas are much closer to reality now, and some have been realized. The furthest away from being possible any time soon is warp drive, being only a theory.
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Bonus: a full-page photo of Bill Shatner from one of the TV-movie magazine articles published in September of 1967, during the show's original run.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Trek 25th Anniversary Roddenberry Interview

The December 1991 issue of Cinefantastique featured a number of articles centered around the 25th anniversary of the original series, and sports a great painted cover of the Great Bird of the Galaxy being buzzed by various Enterprises.

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We're looking at a couple of the articles from this issue this time, starting off with an interview with Roddenberry musing about the future of Trek.

Next, an article about one of the recent Trek cruises as various Trek celebrities are interviewed.