A Future To Believe In

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Now that Star Trek is officially 50 years old (having celebrated its actual birthday a few days ago), it’s a good time for a die hard Trekker to reflect on his or her love of that particular universe – and why it continues to mean something to them years after their first exposure to it.

I’ve been in the middle of that process for a few months now, ever since the announcement of Star Trek: Discovery.  The recent release of Star Trek Beyond intensified it for me, and I decided to start talking to other Trekkers to see if I could find a common theme around what makes so many of us love Star Trek and keep loving it.

What I learned was Star Trek does two things really well, and both of those things resonate strongly with long-term fans:

  1. Star Trek shows us a future that’s worth fighting for, that’s worth dreaming about, and that’s worth wanting to help shape, and;
  2. Star Trek is a really intimate and personal experience for every single person who loves it, and that, possibly, is it’s greatest magic.

That second point is a frustrating one if you’re a show runner.  Star Trek does have a formula of sorts, but it’s a really hard one to get right.  Without exception, fans want challenging storylines that are provocative and insightful – which is scary for a show that needs to make money because, as Gene Roddenberry learned the hard way, you’re bound to piss someone off and risk alienating a segment of your audience.  Fans want a meaningful relationship with the characters which means you must get two things right straight off the bat – the writers room and the casting process.  Fans want it a little dark without losing the hopeful future Star Trek promises us… and despite craving intelligent science fiction we want that science fiction all wrapped up with pretty action set pieces that are full of amazing (and expensive) visual effects.

I’ve spoken to a lot of people about Star Trek these last few months, and for every single person there was always a deeply personal story attached to their love… “Star Trek was my ‘safe space’ when I broke up with my husband…” “Star Trek got me through bullying when I was a kid…” “Star Trek is what got me into the military…” “Star Trek was the thing that helped me set my moral compass…”

Those often amazing conversations showed me that while all of the above about challenging storylines and great VFX is true, the actual core ingredients are the characters and their dynamic.

Star Trek has a ‘secret sauce’, and that ‘sauce’ is its characters who are our conduit into that universe and it’s vision for tomorrow.

What I loved most, while talking to fellow fans, was that the characters who resonated with them weren’t always the obvious ones.  Yes, I heard a lot of Kirk love, Spock love, McCoy love, Picard love, Data love, Siski, Kira, Janeway, Seven, Archer, T’Pol and Trip love, but I also heard a lot of Sulu, Uhura, Chekov, Scotty, Geordi, Beverly, Deanna, Wesley, Quark, Jake, Odo, Dax, Chakotay, the Doctor, B’Elanna, Kes, Neelix, Harry, Hoshi, Malcolm, Phlox and Mayweather love.

In the original series, some of those characters never got the chance to say more than “Aye sir,” and “Hailing frequencies open, Captain,” yet they still effected people – and more often than not, deeply.  Why?  Because they were representative.  Sometimes in obvious ways – Uhura was a woman in a position of power and a black woman at that, Sulu was an Asian who wasn’t a normal 1960s stereotype, and Chekov was a Russian at a time when the US and Russia didn’t have a lot of love for each other… but they weren’t just representative in that way.  Uhura was an expert and a woman in command who could come out and honestly say “Captain, I’m frightened.”  Chekov was a whiz kid whose emotions were always written clearly on his face.  Sulu had a cheeky and sometimes sardonic sense of humour that now and again seemed to say “you’re a complete dick, Captain.”  Watch some of the original episodes and listen to Sulu’s responses to Kirk or Scotty when they give a command that seems to defy common sense.  Both Uhura and Chekov do that at times also.  These characters were representative of real emotion, sometimes overtly expressed, sometimes subtlety conveyed, and we fell in love with them because of that.

Those human moments in a show that was so different to anything else on television, delivered by personalities we could relate to, gave us an ‘in’ to Gene Roddenberry’s universe.

For me, it was McCoy, Uhura and Spock.  They were my pathway into the original Star Trek.  Beverly, Deanna, Wesley and Geordi my conduits into Next Gen.  Jadzia and Bashir my way into DS9.  Janeway, Kes, Chakotay and the Doctor my door into Voyager, and T’Pol, Phlox and Malcolm my way into Enterprise.  Each of those characters had qualities I possessed or aspired to possess and they resonated with me and still do today.

I grew up in the sort of neighbourhood where every week someone was stabbed, bashed, and in someway victimised, and as a child I needed something that showed me a future full of intelligent, compassionate people who fought to get rid of those horrific things from people’s lives.

When I was bullied at school, Star Trek was my retreat.  I could lose myself in that world and dream of a future that was brighter than the one I saw for myself.

As I hit my teenage years and then adult years, Star Trek started to shape my morals as a person and many of the idealistic concepts in Star Trek still guide me today – particularly IDIC and the idea that we are stronger together.

I became an actor in my late teens because I wanted to go to Los Angeles and get cast in Star Trek.  I did make it to Los Angeles, but never got the chance to be in Star Trek because I made it there a year or two after Enterprise went off the air.

I became a professional Counsellor because of Deanna Troi.  Even though I’m a guy, Deanna and her profession spoke to me and though we barely ever got to see her do any real work as a psychologist, I still invoke her preternatural calm and warmth when working with clients.

I’ve always known that Star Trek was one of the most important influences in my life, but I’d never really spent a great deal of time wondering why.

This year seemed to demand it, and I’m glad I spent a little time exploring and reflecting on what Star Trek means to me and why it’s still the world I retreat into when I need to recharge.

There are so many quotes and examples I could provide to illustrate all the ways in which Star Trek has affected me, too many actually, so instead I’ll just choose a few…

Kirk’s statement in The Final Frontier, that he needs his pain.  That speech still effects me to this day.  Our pain, our failures, and how we deal with them all, defines us.  There are so many experiences in my life that I wish had never happened to me, but I cannot deny their impact and how they have strengthened and shaped me.

Kira’s dedication to her spiritual life mirrored my own journey to understand some of the indefinable but poignant experiences we all encounter in life.

It was something similar with Chakotay.  His spiritual life and journey, though often mired in stereotype, was beautiful and I loved that it was included, but the fact he was a physically strong and imposing, but deeply spiritual and sensitive man was what hit me like a sledgehammer.  It hit me deeply, in the same way the startlingly beautiful and noble Uhura did and in the same way the generous, calm and gracious Deanna did.  As a 6’2″ guy who’s been described as physically intimidating, but who is softly spoken and by nature a pretty caring bloke, it was fantastic to see a man on TV who was also all of those things, and who chose to use his presence not to constantly threaten and intimidate but to nurture and support.  It was what I needed to see and it came at a time in my life where I was in danger of going off the rails.

You might be thinking… “hold on, what about Riker?”

Will was always a little too ‘big’ a personality for me to connect with.

Star Trek is unique in its ability to craft characters that are universal but speak to each individual viewer.  If there’s one thing the creative teams behind each show and movie did really well, it was creating characters we can relate to.  I don’t know if they consciously tried to do that, but that’s what they did.

Each series and each film had its ups and downs story wise, but the characters were always exceptional.  Yes, Kes didn’t have a lot of room to grow and Neelix had the odd issue and could be pretty damn annoying, but by and large the characters are the thing that makes Star Trek shine.  At least in my opinion.

As we look forward to Star Trek: Discovery, with each of us no doubt carrying a small wish list around in our minds, I personally hope that the creative team behind the new series get the fact that no matter what, the characters are our way into this new version of the universe, and that Star Trek really is an important and intimate experience for each of us and that needs to be respected.

Yes, we want great stories and we want allegory and we want brilliant special effects, but if Star Trek is to succeed it needs incredible characters and it needs a way to inspire hope in us and allow us to link with the show in a way that is meaningful.  It needs to be something that mirrors all of us, in some way, and tries hard to be relevant to this generation of young people as they look around for heroes to aspire to be like.

Star Trek is important.  It’s important to me, it’s no doubt important to you if you’re reading this, and it’s important to the world.

What do we have on television now?  Zombie hunters who are now borderline sociopaths, families warring over a stupid iron throne and committing atrocious acts in their quest for power, families backstabbing each other over musical empires or political ambitions… there’s not a lot of hope, and there aren’t many shows demonstrating a different, better way to be.

Star Trek did that, and it can do it again.

I hope Bryan and Alex and everyone else involved with Star Trek: Discovery truly appreciate just how important Star Trek is at both that personal, intimate level, and that much bigger, aspirational level.

Bryan has said the world needs Star Trek now more than it ever has, so I think he does get it.  I hope he is able to realise his vision with the amazing creative team he’s assembled.

So thank you, Star Trek.  Thank you for shaping me, and for shaping so many amazing people I’ve met, and thank you for not being frightened of shining a light in the darkness – even when shining that light hasn’t been popular.

I’ve had enough of the depressing, sarcastic, angst-filled shows on television these days.  So many are so devoid of hope it’s depressing.  I need and I want something that challenges me intellectually, and I need and I want something that reminds me of just how amazing we are as a species.

The bright future Star Trek describes is the future I want, and it’s a future worth believing in.

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Star Trek: Horizon – Review

Star Trek Horizon Title

The first thing I have to say about Star Trek Horizon is… Bryan Fuller, give Tommy Kraft a job.  Now.

Big thanks to Paul for suggesting I review this film, because Star Trek Horizon is really good!  In many many ways, it’s outstanding.

I’d started to watch it a few days ago, and would have probably put off viewing the last hour until the upcoming Easter long weekend, but Paul’s message made me think I should do it a bit earlier – and I’m very glad I did.  What I had seen in the first 30 or so minutes had blown me away, but I had decided it could wait.  Silly decision.  This passion project deserves as much buzz as we can all give it and it deserves to have the fan community drown it in a lot of love.

Horizon is a beautiful, impressive production, and that’s before you take into account the fact it was done on a shoe-string budget with a tiny crew led by one dynamic man: Tommy Kraft.

Star Trek Horizon raised $22,600 to produce the 1 hour 40 minute feature.  I’m sure Tommy probably put some of his own money into it too, but the fact is this amazing film was done at a bare fraction of the cost of most other high quality fan productions!

Tommy Kraft and the Crew of Discovery

Star Trek Horizon is set in the 22nd Century during the same time period as Captain Archer’s USS Enterprise NX-01, but is set after the conclusion of that shows fourth season.

The film takes place during the Romulan War, as a fledgling Coalition of Planets tries to bring multiple disparate races together in an attempt to push back the expansion plans of the mysterious Romulan Star Empire.

Starfleet receives intelligence from a Romulan defector about a weapon of mass destruction that’s about to come on line and sends the USS Discovery NX-04, the Enterprise, and two Vulcan ships to stop it.

In the middle of all of that, the Discovery is sucked through time and onto the doorstep of one of the major players in the Temporal Cold War.

Visually, this film is superb.  It’s professional, stylish and bold.

The story is strong, the special effects are feature quality, the pacing is good (at times brilliant), and the direction is beautiful.  Tommy Kraft has a great eye for visual story-telling.

When I applied a critical eye to the film, I counted only three scenes where I questioned what Tommy was up to – but instead of thinking them poor choices, wondered instead if those choices were made out of necessity because of green screen constraints.

Most of the live action is shot against green screen, and as an actor who has done green screen work on a science fiction television series, I can say it’s a pain in the ass.  As an actor your imagination is already a finely tuned machine, so green screen isn’t horrible because it forces you to imagine an entire 3D environment, it’s horrible because it’s disorienting.  At least, I’ve found it that way.

Horizon Green Screen Work

When the camera isn’t running or a rehearsal isn’t happening, you are totally snapped out of the moment by studio walls or whatever is around you.  When you’re on a physical set or are shooting scenes on location, it’s easier to reorient yourself emotionally (as well as physically), so you can pull all of the pieces of your performance back together after a break.  So, to say I’m impressed with the acting in Horizon is an understatement.  Some of the performances waver at times and are a little flat, but overall they’re strong – and I hate to harp on about green screen, but the fact these actors were all performing in an environment that was nothing like what we see on the screen, is a testament to them.

Of the actors, there were three stand out performances: Paul Lang as Harrison Hawke – the main character in the film, Jeannine Thompson as Amelia Yarris (Harrison’s love interest), and Marc Bowers as First Officer Jackson Gates.

As I said, all of the actors were very good, at times bordering on excellent, but Paul, Jeannine and Marc mesmerized me every time they came on screen.

There is so much that is good about Star Trek Horizon I actually don’t know where to begin.  The film isn’t perfect, but it’s better than quite a few of the episodes from the various professional Star Trek series’, and it’s actually better than a couple of the feature films.

One of the things I loved most about the film were the casting choices.

Tommy Kraft is a young man, and it would have been easy to get a bunch of young friends together to make up the crew of the USS Discovery NX-04 or to choose only young professional actors.  Instead, there are a number of ages represented, which adds massive layers of realism to the show.  I believed these characters.  I believed they were the best of the best and had fought their way up through multiple missions to be the command crew of a starship.

In a fanfilm set in a universe as well known and as loved as Star Trek‘s, if you don’t have familiar characters or actors to ground your production, it can be harder for an audience to invest in what’s happening on the screen.  Tommy brought together a group of actors who have enough chemistry together that it made me want to watch them and want to accept them into my favourite universe.  There was no gimmick casting, and no recasting of familiar roles.  The whole film is a bold step in a brand new direction and I loved that.

Another thing I loved was the fact Tommy is also an incredibly self-aware director.  He knew he was making a film that would rely heavily on green screen, and he made brilliant choices as a result.  The film is seamless, and that takes a lot of talent.

To mask the superimposition, Tommy chose to apply what looks like a slight gauze effect or filter to the principal photography.  It’s a smart choice, because it softens everything and tricks the eye without being overly distracting.  I genuinely had a difficult time picking the green screen shots – even though I knew most of them were done in his parents’ basement and not on a built set.

Some people might find the slight blur the filter creates annoying, but it adds a particular ‘gloss’ to the production that you do see in some American series.  At times I did find myself craving sharper images, but thankfully we do get them with all of the space battles and star ship shots and during some scenes filmed on actual location.

Despite the praise I’m throwing all over this fanfilm, and the simple fact I really enjoyed it, Horizon has a handful of minor issues.

If I want to get specific about things that didn’t quite work for me, I need to go into spoiler territory.

Spoiler Alert

1. We get too much Harrison.  Tommy and his team assembled a strong cast of actors to play well realised characters, but it felt like we didn’t get to spend enough time with any of them.  I wanted to know more about Jackson, Francis, Tom, Marie, Amelia and T’Mar.  We learn a little bit about T’Mar and Amelia, and both those women’s stories drive Horizon forward, but we don’t spend any where near enough time with them.  Unfortunately, character development was one of the very few weaknesses in the film.  Considering the story, there probably wasn’t any other choice.  This was a film, not a two-hour pilot, though I so deeply wish it was a two-hour pilot.  I’d watch that series.

Another quibble about Harrison is he talked a lot.  I mean A LOT.  Some of his dialogue, like how tired he and everyone else was, was unnecessary.  There’s a cardinal rule in writing: Show, don’t tell.  The actor showed his characters weariness effectively.  He didn’t need to mention how fed up and exhausted he and everyone else was as often as he did.  We saw it in him and all of the others, and the story effectively alluded to that fact at multiple points.

2. T’Mar.  I loved the character, and Callie Bussell is great as the Romulan defector… but she’s a Romulan defector.  Though she comes to the Coalition of Planets (precursor to the United Federation of Planets) having already been altered by surgery, and there is no reference to the joint heritage of Vulcans and Romulans that is made on screen, I find it really hard to believe the Chief Medical Officer of the Discovery wouldn’t have examined T’Mar after they liberated her (the first time we see Discovery they’re returning from the mission to get T’Mar), or that Starfleet wouldn’t have grilled the beJesus out of her to learn as much as they could about their implacable foe, before letting a Romulan become a part of the crew of Discovery.

That bugged me.

We’re not meant to learn what Romulans look like until the original series episode “Balance of Terror”, and though Horizon doesn’t directly break that continuity rule, logic (no pun intended) suggests it’s happened.

There’s no indication the Coalition and Starfleet know Vulcans and Romulans are essentially the space species after meeting T’Mar, but it stretches belief just a little if we just assume the crew of the Discovery or Starfleet didn’t find anything suspicious when examining her.  And she would have been examined.  At this point in Trek history the Romulans were the greatest threat to peace in the known galaxy.

3. The ending.  Hawke confronts the big bad guy behind the plot to destroy Earth, and then just shoots him.  Which is funny, and reminded me of that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indy does something similar, but I don’t think the scene in Horizon was meant to be humorous.  The movie doesn’t end there, so it’s not the ultimate climax… but it felt like it should have been more of one.  The bad dude just went down way too easily and it kind of lessened the impact of some of what he’d been up to and the role he played in the Temporal Cold War.

The film does ends satisfactorily, and more importantly it ends leaving me wanting more, so I can forgive that.

So three not so great things vs way too many amazing things to mention.  That’s not bad.

Now, I’m going to geek out a bit!

I might be one of the very few Trek fans who loved the Temporal Cold War story line in Star Trek: Enterprise.  I was really disappointed when it kind of just died out.  I’m also aware I’m in the minority when it comes to fans who love Enterprise more than most of the other Trek shows.

To see the Temporal Cold War story line taken up again – and to have it conclude in a way that made sense to me, because I always thought future Romulans were behind it all, was thrilling and satisfying.

I loved that Tommy dovetailed the destruction of Romulus in 2009s Star Trek into this film, and made it fit with the arc of the Temporal Cold War.  That is excellent story telling.

Also, seeing the Enterprise and Discovery in battle with two Vulcan cruisers against a bunch of Romulans was way too sweet a thing!

I was also very happy to see the Iconians make an appearance – and in a way that made sense.  I have to give Tommy additional credit for writing an excellent script and crafting a sensible story that was very Star Trek.

There’s so much to like about Horizon… the music, the editing, the characters, the costumes… I could go on.

This movie is an amazing achievement and Tommy, as the director and writer and executive producer, has proven without question how incredibly talented he is.

If I could get a hold of the guys behind Star Trek: Renegades, I’d beg them to take Tommy on board – along with his team of special effects and editing wizards.  Horizon’s seamless superimposition work shames similar work done by Renegades – and they had more money, and his eye for action is so amazing.  I’d love to see Tommy direct an episode of Renegades.

In fact, many of the special effect visuals and the angles and camera pacing that Tommy chooses shames most of the actual Trek films.  There are some shots – like the Discovery spinning out of warp near Saturn at the beginning of the film – that are mind blowing.

If you’re a Star Trek fan, you have to watch this movie.  It really is something special.

Star Trek Horizon stars Paul Lang as Harrison Hawke, Marc Bowers as Jackson Gates, Jeannine Thompson as Amelia Yarris, Tom McClure as Tom Samuels, Ryan Webber as Francis Brookes, Callie Bussell as T’Mar, and Ashley Croft as Marie Sutherland.

To watch Star Trek Horizon and visit their official website, click here.

To learn the names of all the amazing people behind this film and its production, click here.

To learn more about Tommy Kraft and the work he does as a professional storyteller, visit his website here.

Star Trek Horizon gets four and a half Starfleet Delta’s out of five!

4.5 Deltas

I’m serious, if Bryan Fuller doesn’t give this guy a job, he’s nuts.

Tommy, you’ll probably never read this, but if you do – please make more Star Trek.

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Space… The Final Frontier… Again!

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This is not a hoax or a cruel prank!

A few hours ago CBS officially announced that our beloved Star Trek will return to network television in January of 2017.  That’s 13 months away, for those who are counting!

The return of Star Trek to network television comes with an interesting twist, but more on that below.

For the official announcement and as much information as there is on the new series right now, all you need to do is visit the official site here.

New Trek Series Announced

As soon as I saw the news I dove into every website I could think of to see if there was any way this was a hoax, or some kind of joke.  Knowing it was November, I still made myself check that there wasn’t a November equivalent of April Fools!

As I waded through multiple similar reports online, one of the articles (in Blastr) commented on how surreal the announcement was.

I couldn’t have put it better.

It is surreal.  Ten years and almost six months ago, original and official Star Trek came to an end on television with the controversial swan song episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, “These Are The Voyages”.

Ever since Enterprise went off the air, there have been a number of attempts to get Star Trek back on television (some interesting, some completely dreadful), and all of them have failed.

Seven or eight years ago we could all accept the “it’s too soon” argument that everyone kept throwing around, but then 2010 came along, and 2011, and so on and those arguments didn’t hold water anymore.

A few weeks ago, the Renegades team gave us something new to talk about on this point, when, in a cryptic post, they told us that CBS couldn’t put any Star Trek series on television for reasons they weren’t able to disclose.  That, more than anything, probably had me believing a new series was a very long way off.

Every year one theory or another has popped up regarding the absence of a new Star Trek on television, with many people blaming Enterprise – the fact it was a prequel, the fact it deviated from everything that had come before it, and so on.

I don’t think Enterprise deserves the flack it gets, and I don’t believe it deserves to be blamed for the end of Star Trek on television.  Yes, the creative staff behind that fifth Star Trek series pandered to the lowest common denominator at the beginning, but it became a great series.  I admit I had an angry, allergic reaction to the pilot episode of Enterprise, because it screwed around with the Vulcan race, and it threw left-of-centre (way left-of-centre) sensuality at us and filmed it in a way that made it feel exploitative.  Those two things irrationally angered me.  I remember watching the pilot and wondering what the heck had happened to Vulcans, and then not long afterwards getting hit with the decon-gel smearing scene and thinking “they’re pandering.  Sex sells and they’ve totally missed the point of Star Trek and they’re just trying to get pubescent boys revved up and wanting a decon-chamber T’Pol doll”.

But, Enterprise grew stronger with every episode.  The series had a wonderful cast and each actor played an engaging and interesting character, with T’Pol and Trip in particular becoming fan favourites.  The series also managed to unpack a range of things that further deepened Star Trek and it’s mythology.

Star Trek Enterprise Crew

I don’t know if we’ll ever get a formal explanation from CBS about why it took so long to get a Trek series back on television, and why it couldn’t have been scheduled for the 2016 50th Anniversary, so we’ll probably just have to keep playing the guessing game.

One of the biggest surprises of this announcement though has been how they got this past us fans?!  We’re psychotic in our devotion to hunting down details about our favourite show.  We pounce on rumours and we ponder strange and ambiguous statements, yet this one flew under all of our collective radars.

Well played, CBS.  Bloody impressive secret keeping.

The announcement that came direct from CBS states a few interesting things:

  1.  Alex Kurtzman will executive produce the new series.  If that name sounds familiar, he’s part of the reboot team who brought us 2009’s Star Trek and 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness.
  2. The pilot episode of this new Star Trek series will air on CBS television and only the pilot, but the series itself will run on CBS All Access, their cross-platform streaming service.
  3. It’s unclear if the new series will take place in the alternate timeline, or the prime timeline of the original series, Next Gen, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise.  What the release does say is: “The new television series is not related to the upcoming feature film Star Trek Beyond which is scheduled to be distributed by Paramount Pictures in summer 2016.”

That third point doesn’t exclude the new series from taking place in the alternate timeline, and also gives those of us who want a series in the prime timeline hope.  In other words, they’re screwing with our minds.

No one knows yet if Alex Kurtzman went to CBS with a pitch, or if CBS approached Kurtzman – but I guess all of that will come out over the next few months.

For those of you who don’t know, Alex has an impressive list of television credits to his name.  He started his career as a writer and producer on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, and continued with shows like Alias, Fringe, Sleepy Hollow and Limitless.

If you’d like more information on Alex, visit his Wikipedia page here and his IMDb page here.  You’ll find a full list of his film and television work (including shows he has co-created) on both sites.

Somewhere on the net today I came across a bit of information that said Alex had been looking for writers for the last couple of months for the new television series, so I’m wondering if that was explained to the Star Trek: Renegades team when they shopped their pilot to CBS a few weeks ago?

One thing is certain, this isn’t a surprise to CBS.  For the announcement to come now, with a production turn around of only one year, stories are being developed and concept designs are being drawn up for space ships and all of the other bits of technology that will be used.  They’re not starting the process now, that process would have already started.

I would be surprised if they haven’t developed the characters and weren’t thinking about the actors who will appear in the series.

This means we will get more news soon.

Below are the various reports I found this morning as I searched the net trying to let this news sink in.  There’s not much that’s new in any of these reports, but one or two sites do add a little tiny bit of extra information.

I’ll start with two non-Trek sites, then the rest are all Star Trek devoted news sites.

io9

Plus this fun opinion piece from io9 right here.

blastr

1701News

TrekCore

TrekMovie

TrekNews

That should be more than enough for you guys to read!

This is great news, and there is no better present for Trek fans as we come up to the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek.

Because this is my blog, I am going to indulge myself a little.

If I could command the ebb and flow of the universe I would make Alex Kurtman focus on the prime timeline.  I want to know what happened after Nemesis, but in particular what happened in the prime timeline after Spock died, and the Romulan System went bang.

There are a wealth of stories there, many of them that would give the writers the opportunity to explore contemporary issues like the current refugee crisis affecting the world.

I don’t want to be stuck in the alternate timeline’s version of Kirk, or an alternate timeline version of Next Gen.  I love the new movies, though I dislike some of the choices they’ve made, but leave that timeline to the feature films.  Please, further explore the universe we all came to love and honour that 50 years of history in Star Trek series six.

Now that I’ve got that out of my system…

THANK YOU, CBS!  Thank you.  Here’s to Star Trek hopefully resuming its place as a leader in science fiction television.

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