Friday, March 29, 2013

Kirk and The Gorn: The Rematch

This video advertising the new Star Trek game is hilarious!

Bonus: Below, Clint Eastwood and his children visit the set during the filming of the memory wall scene not used in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture." I hope it made his day; seeing this did mine.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Vintage Nichelle Discovery

Caution: Vintage Nichelle Ahead! If you are as big a fan of Nichelle Nichols as I am, a couple of these photos might blow your mind. I found them online, but I would dearly love to locate the actual printed article containing this shoot and any others taken at the same time.

(Click on images to view full size. Once open, you may have to click on it again to view larger.)

Update: Here are two more from the same photo shoot that I just found... stunning!


When Spock mind-melded with Kollos in "Is There In Truth No Beauty?" the alien quoted Byron as he came to Uhura (no doubt the poem was known to him through Spock's memories). That quote was part of this verse, and truly, it was appropriate.

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies,

And all that's best of dark and bright

Meets in her aspect and her eyes;

Thus mellow'd to that tender light 

Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impair'd the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress

Or softly lightens o'er her face,

Where thoughts serenely sweet express

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek and o'er that brow

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,—

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Leonard!

Happy 82nd birthday to Leonard Nimoy, who was the person that brought to life one of science fiction's most interesting characters, not only television's. He made being very intelligent look cool, portraying a man who could outthink you as well as put you down with a simple touch. As Issac Asimov wrote in his TV Guide review, smarts were suddenly sexy, and thanks to Spock, many were discovering they had a sapiosexual side. Thanks, Leonard, for many years of living in the shadow of Spock to bring a little more happiness into our lives.

Here is a link to view all of the Nimoy-centric posts on this blog; it would be a logical thing to review all of them on his birthday. Failure to do so may result in the Vulcan Death Grip, or as it is known on Vulcan, the Tal-shaya.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy Birthday Bill!

Happy 82nd Birthday to William Shatner, a man that makes the Energizer Bunny tired just watching him! Shatner brought a lightness to a role that could have been deadly serious, giving us a shooting, kissing, karate-chopping, bluffing and inspiring Captain that always led, never sent his officers into action.

(Click on image to enlarge.)
"Yeah, I'm kind of a big deal."
In honor of Bill, go back and view all of the Shatner-centric posts on this blog. The Power of Shat compels you!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Shuttlecraft from TV Sci-Fi Monthly

The British publication TV Sci-Fi Monthly, published in the mid-70's, was a rare item to find, and a great one. Here is an image and blueprint of the shuttlecraft from the inside cover of issue #3, which came out in 1976. The cover for this issue has already been posted, you may view it here, as well as more material from the same issue.  Since this is such a short entry, I have added some extra bonus items below it.

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

Bonus: publicity photo of Celia Lovsky as T'Pau and Shatner from "Amok Time." Notice her hand on his shoulder!

Bonus #2: Covers from the first of the adaptations of the animated series scripts by Alan Dean Foster, which to me were awesome, having the scripts actually expanded upon (unlike the truncated versions by Blish), with only THREE half-hour episodes per book! I bought this one at the Chi-Chester's Drug Store on Vineville Ave in Macon, GA one Saturday in 1974 when I was staying with my grandmother, and read it the same day. Good times! The store is still there, by the way.

Extra special bonus! Below, we see some very revealing images of Uhura's panties during a scene from "Balance Of Terror." The flap on the back of the dress has come open, and she is showing more cheek than usual, even for her! What was Kirk saying, now? Who cares?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Phaser Rifle Prop Found!

I was always taken by the cool phaser rifle that Kirk used in "Where No Man Has Gone Before." It was such a sleek and functional-looking weapon, far beyond the usual sci-fi rayguns we had seen before (I'm looking at you, "Lost In Space'), and was superior even to the blaster rifles used in "Forbidden Planet." Why it was never used again (when the lasers from "The Cage" turned up several times in later episodes), I will never know, but I always wished it had. Now, it has turned up again in real life, after being thought long lost since the series. Apparently the man who built it took it back after the one-time use, and kept it in perfect condition in a special case. Now, it is being auctioned off. Some lucky (and well-to-do) Trek collector will have one of the ultimate original props, and I do envy them! Here is the auction page.

"Go ahead... make my stardate!"
(Click on images to enlarge. Once open, you may have to click again to view full-size.)
First, some images from the episode:

The auction page had this information on the prop:

A Phaser Rifle from the William Shatner-starring second pilot for Star Trek (Desilu Productions, Norway Corporation, 1966-1969). This one-of-a-kind weapon was created by toy inventor Reuben Klamer at the behest of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. When the original pilot presented to NBC was asked to be retooled for a more action-packed adventure, Roddenberry asked for a really big gun. Klamer designed and created the weapon at no charge to the production in exchange for potential licensing rights to the weapon. When production was wrapped, the piece was returned to Klamer and replaced with the now familiar pistol design used throughout the remaining three seasons of the original series. While this weapon was never seen again in the series, it was used in a number of studio-commissioned publicity photos and even represented on an early lunch box for the series. The weapon is constructed out of wood and finished with a blue/green metallic paint. There is additional detailing, including the hand-tooled aluminum barrel and spring-loaded trigger, a sliding switch to adjust the force setting, three plastic non-functional domed indicator lights and inset plastic panels as well as a telescoping antenna mounted to the top. Moveable pieces on the weapon include three acrylic “Turret Tubes” cylinders with what appears to be copper painted metal conduit with ends painted to match the three force settings. The entire turret unit turns on a center axis. The black shoulder butt also rotates to be used as a handle or shoulder stock. The weapon comes in the original custom-made case made to deliver the rifle to the studio.//Also included in the lot are copies of Inter-Department Communications from Roddenberry to Bob Justman, Bernie Weitzman and Ed Perlstein regarding the weapon as well as an original, signed letter from Roddenberry to Klamer, dated March 16, 1966. The letter informs Klamer that the series was picked up and they would continue discussions regarding Klamer’s possible involvement in creating more props for the show. Seven black and white Polaroid photographs accompany the lot showing the finished weapon from various angles with a letter to Klamer from employee AB Kander, discussing Roddenberry’s visit to the shop to inspect the rifle and approving the final product. Finally, the design plan for the rifle, signed by Roddenberry for approval on June 28, 1965. There is an additional pen sketch on the plan with some minor revisions to the weapon.

And, here are the photos of actual prop from the auction page. Sweet!


I'd settle for just owning a nice replica, like you can get here: I bet they would have loved to have had these pictures when making theirs!

Someone on Youtube has built a working phaser rifle, (or modifed the above replica) with a visible laser! Now that, I'd LOVE to have... This same guy has built working models of all the other types of phasers, also. I would be outright dangerous with some of these in my possesion!

One design detail, though, has me puzzled... why would a weapon such as this need a telescoping antenna, that would be vulnerable to easy breakage in action? How many channels does that thing get?

UPDATE! I have heard from someone heavily involved in the auction, Stephen Kirk (!), who wrote in the comments: "I was fortunate enough to catalog this piece for the auction house as well as produce the video we used to promote the sale, which included an interview with the guy who designed and built the Phaser rifle."
Watch the great video below, or watch it on Youtube!

Update 4-9-13: The Phaser Rifle sold for $231,000!
Here's a video:

Monday, March 4, 2013

"Spock Must Die!" Novel

As I was mulling over what to post next on this blog, I began to realize that I had focused very little, comparatively, on the classic Trek novel covers, of which there are many. I decided to rectify that situation, by immediately starting to scan them in and post them, starting with one I had somehow missed up to this point, the first original novel that so many of us remember fondly: "Spock Must Die!"

(Click on the images to enlarge; once it opens, you may have to click on it again to view full size.)

As a youth just entering my teens back in the early 70's, when I began to find the Star Trek novelizations by James Blish (and what an exciting time that was) I was always on the lookout for the newest one. I came into it a bit late, as by that time (1973) there were quite a few out already, (up to #8) so my discoveries weren't so much waiting on the next one to be printed, but the next one I was lucky enough to find on a bookstand somewhere. (Oddly enough, however, I did pretty much find and buy them in the order they were printed for some reason, over the next few years.) I was up to #3 in the series when I found "Spock Must Die" in the book spinner of the local drugstore where I lived at the time, and boy, what a day!

I mean, the mini-adaptations packed into the novelizations by Blish were exciting enough (they were my first introductions to the episodes, as in most cases I read them well before seeing them a few years later on the TV re-runs), but here... here was a NOVEL, a whole book on the show! Boggle!!! I remember thinking that it was an adaptation of an episode or two, before it sank in later that it was wholly original and not from a filmed show. I was still new to it all and in the exciting "wide-eyed discovery" phase of fandom at this point. When I say that finding Trek material such as this was the most exciting thing that could happen in my life at that point, I am not exaggerating. At all. Nothing could compare to the thrill of finding a new book, or magazine with an article about the show, and I could ride on a high for days after doing so. Who needed drugs, or wild physical thrills, when such happiness could be experienced over something so simple?

Even now, taking out these same books that I held in my eager fingers so many years ago, I am transported back to that time, and I vividly remember how each one made me feel. The flood of nostalgic feelings they trigger, and the memories they invoke, are almost as exciting to re-live now, as the books themselves were to me back then. They made my life more special, and the difficulties I went through were more bearable. I remember listening as I read to the Carpenter's song "Yesterday Once More" which was current at the time, and it is still one of my favorite oldies. I bought my first copy of "The Monster Times" about the same time.

I hope that as I go through the process of scanning in the covers of the various classic Trek novels that came out from the 70's through the 90's (which is where I stopped collecting them after just so long), that the posts will stimulate your own memories... and that you will share them with me in the comments.

Future posts on the various books will mostly feature the covers and not much in the way of reviews; most of them I haven't read in years, since reading them once when I bought them for the most part; and I would have to read them all again and invest too much time to do a proper review. But I hope you enjoy seeing the covers!

I've already scanned the rest of the Blish novelizations, which you can find using the "Blish novels" search tag. But I found that I had not finished, having omitted #12, and the above book. So, with this post, I finish all the Blish books. By this the time all the episodes were adapted, and I was wondering where I would get my Trek book fix afterwards. However, I should not have feared, for I had then begun to discover the big three "making of" books that were out (to be covered soon), and after that there started to be more original novels.

Below, the back cover with the blurbs about the episodes covered... it makes it seem as if each episode they visited a new universe where one condition ruled, rather than different planets in the same universe. I wonder who wrote these?  

Bonus: the last of the Random House greeting cards from 1976, which I purchased from "Starship Enterprises" in Ft. Lauderdale, FL when I lived down there. See the rest under the "greeting cards" label.