Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, Nichelle!

Lovely Nichelle Nichols is 83 today. We hope she has a wonderful day of love and appreciation, and that her New Year has much health and happiness. We love you, Nichelle!

Celebrate by reading some or all of the entries I have made of the past few years, right here.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Happy ST:TMP Day!

On this date in 1979, Star Trek: The Motion Picture premiered across the country. How well I remember the excitement that I, and many other fans, felt! It was to us back then, what the new Star Wars movie is to fans this December. Today's post is devoted to the memories we have of this red-letter date in Trek history. Read a few, a lot, or all of the ST:TMP related posts I have made on this blog by clicking here.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Happy Birthday, Walter!

Today, September 14th, is Walter "Chekov" Koenig's 79th birthday. Hope he has a great one!

In honor of everyone's favorite Russian accident-prone screamer, read over all the previous posts about Walter from this blog!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

1984 Mike Minor Interview

Mike Minor made some significant artistic and production design contributions to the original series third season, the aborted Phase 2 series, ST: The Motion Picture and ST II: The Wrath of Khan.  In this extensive interview from issue #14 of Enterprise Incidents, published February of 1984, we find out the extent of his involvement. (See his Star Trek wiki page here.) As you may recall, I posted another article on Mike earlier from Starlog, but this one goes much more in-depth. He worked on many other genre productions, not the least of which was Star Wars. It's tragic that he passed away so young in 1987 and we never got to see what he might have done since then.

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

Bonus: from the same issue of EI, comes this fan drawing of the Mutara Nebula battle.

Bonus #2: Publicity photo of Kirk once again baffling Spock with his propensity for somehow inexplicably winning against the Vulcan.
"How does he DO that?"

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

James Horner, We Will Miss You!

Tragic news this morning, as we learned that composer James Horner has passed away in a plane crash at age 61. Read an official announcement about it here. Horner composed the iconic "ST II: Wrath of Khan" score, and so many other memorable soundtracks, and his genius will be missed. My friend and past collaborator Jon Lawhon, who is an even greater soundtrack buff than I am by far (and more eloquent) has written a tribute to Mr. Horner, which I am featuring below as a guest post.

An immense talent of a man has been silenced.

I can recall emotionally stirring moments from Apollo 13, Braveheart, Field Of Dreams, Star Trek 2 and 3, Glory and Titanic, all of which were certainly due to the performances of the actors and the directors' skills; but a significant factor in the creation of that emotion was the music accompanying the scenes.

The man responsible for those wonderful scores has been tragically taken in a plane crash. James Horner has been in my top tier of favorite film composers for many years. In addition to the aforementioned films, he scored Avatar, A Beautiful Mind, An American Tail, Jumanji, Batteries Not Included, and many others.

The news made for a mournful afternoon for me. Much of his music has become a part of my DNA, and I feel a loss inside. But thanks to the practically everlasting recording mediums available to us, his heart will go on. I have posted one of his most amazing and beautiful pieces.

I will miss you, James.


 To quote the title of a track from his "Deep Impact" score; "Goodbye And Godspeed."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Robert Fletcher Interview

When "The Wrath of Khan" director Nick Meyer wanted a more nautical look and feel on the ship, he started with a dramatic (and to many, a welcome) redesign of the uniforms. Often, if a director on a sequel doesn't like some aspect of the design on the previous movie, he hires another person to come in and do what he wants. Fortunately, instead of going to someone else Meyer asked ST:TMP Costume Designer Robert Fletcher to return. Here is an interview with Fletcher from the pages of Enterprise Incidents (the news stand edition as opposed to the earlier fanzine version), issue #18, published June, 1984

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

Bonus photos: Leonard Nimoy in a very early 1967 promotional appearance in costume and makeup at a parade. He never appeared in public in character again. Here is a link to an article about it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"The Cage" Artwork

Not much to post this time, but I wanted to spotlight a couple of images I found around the web. First, an amazing painting of 'The Cage" found at! They do a fantastic job of combining all of the most iconic images from the pilot. One of the things I like about "The Cage" is that is gives the universe we know from the series a sense of history; that there was a crew before the one we are familiar with. Although largely an issue of practicality (to use the expensive footage and to stave off deadlines where no other scripts were ready), the way it was used in "The Menagerie" made the most of having the footage, and incorporating it into the history of the characters was done in such a way as to make it feel entirely planned (more naturally than George Lucas' retroactive decision to make Luke and Leia siblings and Darth their father). Gene's idea for doing this, in the way he did, was pure (if pragmatic) genius, and as a result we have the series only two-parter (which really felt like "an event") with a special story and feel. 

(Click on images to enlarge. Once open, you may have to click again to view full-size.)
Bonus: I have found this photo only one other place, in an article that I posted awhile back. But here is the photo itself without the cheap magazine paper degrading the image. This is a special photo made behind the scenes of "Plato's Stepchildren." Wow!

Bonus link: Speaking of Lucas, here is a well-done video mashup bringing the Enterprise and crew into conflict with the Star Wars universe!


Monday, May 4, 2015

Goodbye, Grace....

And, so close on the heels of losing Leonard, we now say goodbye to another Trek crewmember, Grace Lee Whitney. She passed on May 1st, one month after her 85th birthday. (Read an official announcement article here.) You can find out more about her work and life here; you may be surprised how many other roles she had outside of Trek.)

Initially planned to be a larger part of the show (as evidenced in the publicity photos where she was featured prominently with Shatner and Nimoy), the producers quickly realized that her character put a damper on the romantic dalliances of the Captain and put her in less and less shows. Grace's short and turbulent time as part of the show came to an end when she was unceremoniously let go during the first season (they could have at least written her out in a dramatic way, instead of not addressing it at all). The slide into depression, alchoholism and other kinds of addictions dragged her into a downward spiral that she struggled with for many years. She credited Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelly with helping her get work and help, and she openly professed that turning to Christ gave her strength to change her life. This didn't make her an angel; she was a flawed individual with issues still to be worked out, as all of us who know the Lord are. But it is only through the unmerited favor of God through Christ (which is known as grace) that any of us can find deliverance and peace.

As a believer also, I know that she is now beyond any struggles and is with Him forever. We won't forget you, Grace, and your life touched many people who are also struggling with similar troubles. Your short time on Trek made a big impact on the viewers, and you had many devoted fans who will miss you. Godspeed!

See all my other posts about Grace here.

 Below, a couple of photos of Nimoy and Whitney having some fun on set. The top is a rare photo with Nimoy and Whitney having some fun behind the scenes. And in the next one, Rand seems to be teasing Spock about his ears! She is showing the same fascination with them that many women did. And note in the bottom photo (from the filming of "The Undiscovered Country") how close Leonard's pose is to the one above it!

"Did anyone ever tell you how sexy your ears are, Mr. Spock?"

We miss them both.

Bonus link: Fellow blogger ProvidenceMine has posted her personal tribute to Grace. Read it here.

Monday, April 27, 2015

1984 Article on The Making of the Galileo Seven

From the pages of Enterprise Incidents magazine (news-stand version) issue #14, published February of 1984, comes this article on the creation of the original Galileo shuttlecraft. It was made by the model kit company AMT in exchange for the rights to make and market the model kit of the ship!

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

Below is an article from issue #18 of EI, that shows the shuttle as it was in the summer of 1984, sitting outside exposed to the elements for years. Over the decades there have been a number of article in various publications that showed where the shuttle was at the time and how bad it looked  from the neglect.

The story of the Little Shuttlecraft That Could has a happy ending, though! The Galileo was in the news last year when a new and definitive restoration of it was completed, and it found a home on display in the Space Center Houston in Texas. Read all about the various homes the ship had over the years, the several re-discoveries and earlier restorations, at the official site.  There is a nice article on it here also. Since then it has even been used in the "Fairest Of Them All" episode of  the fan film series "Star Trek Continues," which you can view below.

Below is a photo of the Galileo, fully restored to her former glory and possibly even beyond!

Bonus: Below, the cover art of the AMT Galileo model. A friend had bought the model and was going to throw away the box, but I begged it, the cover of which I cut out and put in my scrapbook album.
Link: read an earlier post on the Galileo with some blueprints, right here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Birthday to George Takei!

George Takei, known to TOS fans everywhere as Hikaru Sulu, celebrated his 78th birthday on April 20th. Mr. Sulu's professionalism, likeability, and many hobbies, such as botany, fencing, guns and more made him an interesting character. And George's outgoing personality and rapid-fire laugh made him a convention favorite of many fans! Below is an autographed photo I got from him by proxy while he was at a convention in Ft. Lauderdale, FL in the mid-70's. One guess as to why I missed the con!

Click on the link below to view all my previous posts featuring George in case you missed some!

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

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Happy Birthday to Grace Lee Whitney!

Happy Birthday to Grace Lee Whitney! As Janice Rand, she got a raw deal, unceremoniously booted to make room for other women in Kirk's life, but she will always be there in the earlier episodes for us to enjoy. Below, some nice photos showing the progression of her look; first, from before the series started, one of  a large number of promotional photos, this time in a costume left over from "The Cage" and featuring her with her long blonde hair let down.  View some of the earlier posts featuring Grace here, as there are more good photos.
(Click on images to enlarge; once open, you may have to click on it again to view full size.)

And below, Grace as Rand as we saw her in the series, basket weave intact. Saucy!

Below, a headshot from "The Motion Picture."

Bonus #2: Below, from Starlog, a hilarious cartoon that looks at one of the most out-of-character moments for Spock in the entire series. At the end of the great episode "The Enemy Within," Spock, while signing off on a report for Janice Rand, says the line below with an uncharacteristically creepy leer. I know the episode was an early effort, when not all the characters were nailed down yet, but the line is something that would have been unsavory coming from anyone, much less Spock. Even coming from Kirk himself it would have been weird, if not completely unexpected. But Spock? It's like he was mentioning the unpleasantness in such a slimy way in order to see if he could get in on some of that action himself. Not cool.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Commemorating Leonard Nimoy's Birthday

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

This is the saddest Birthday commemoration I've ever had to post on this blog, coming only weeks after the passing of Leonard Nimoy. He would have been 84. Celebrating his birth so soon after his passing makes it that much more poignant. Below are some images from a publicity photo session made just before the series started filming, when the costumes were not quite what we would come to know. The shots are interesting in that they pose Nimoy with some stock chemical equipment, as if it was short-hand for saying "he's a scientist, because here he is doing science stuff with test tubes and such." Anyone out there know what that spiral tube is he is holding and what it does?

This particular set of images is special to me since the first ever photo I cut out and saved from the show was a close-up from this session.

I would like to close out this post with a simple poem written by Leonard. It could be to a loved one, it could be a prayer to God. I would like to turn it around back toward Leonard, and use it to thank him for sharing his life with us.

Thank you
For a world
Of kindness 

Thank you
For your
Endless patience

Thank you
For your
Sensitive understanding

Thank you
Your Love

As Spock once told McCoy, "Remember." We will, Leonard. We will. And like McCoy, we will carry a part of you within us, always.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy Birthday, William Shatner!

Happy (belated, it was on March 22nd) 84th 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 quick-shooting, hard-kissing, karate-chopping, outrageously-bluffing and awe-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!