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The Two Doctors & Rose

Past and present have collided… Matt Smith and David Tennant were spotted together at a party in London this week.

For anyone clamou Read more …


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Make A Wish Sending Oregon Teen To Star Trek Vegas Convention

This summer the The Make A Wish Foundation is making a dream come true for one young Trekkie. Over the weekend Make A Wish (with the help of some local Star Trek groups) held a Star Trek-themed party for a Trek fan and granted his wish to go to the big…

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Retro Review: The Lorelei Signal

The Enterprise visits a planet where a race of seductive women suck the life force out of men to remain alive.

Plot Summary: The Enterprise is sent to a region of space where a starship has disappeared once every 27 years. A signal from the Taurean system makes all the men begin to hallucinate visions of beautiful women. Kirk and Spock lead a landing party to a planet where they find the beautiful women, but the women drug them, take their equipment, and force them to wear headbands which drain their life force. McCoy estimates that at the rate they are aging, they will die within days. Spock manages to find a communicator and beg the Enterprise for an all-female rescue party. Meanwhile, on the ship, Uhura takes over command from Scotty, who like the other men on the ship is lost in visions. She and Chapel lead a team of women to the surface, where they threaten to destroy the women’s civilization if the men are not freed. The Taurean women explain that their race came from a dying planet and discovered that the Taurean atmosphere drained life force from the men while making the women able to take in the men’s energy. Every 27 years they must revitalize their own energy, so they lure in a starship and drain the life force from the men. Spock suggests using the molecular patterns in the Enterprise’s transporter logs to restore the men to their original pre-aged condition, and Uhura tells the Taurean women that they can be moved to a planet where they will live out normal humanoid lives.

Analysis: I have such a love/hate relationship with “The Lorelei Signal.” On the one hand, Lieutenant Uhura ends up in command of the ship, with Christine Chapel the chief medical officer – perhaps this experience is why Chapel ultimately decided to become a doctor. On the other hand, this female empowerment is contingent on a device so inherently sexist and heterosexist that it embarrasses me to think about it. Apparently women only get to command Kirk’s Enterprise when every single man on board is thinking with the little head – Scotty doesn’t even protest when Uhura deems him unfit for duty, he’s too busy daydreaming – and then every single man wants exactly the same thing, a young, long-haired blonde in a low-cut pantsuit with no particular personality or talent. Meanwhile, the Taurean culture, which apparently became a matriarchy only when the men were wiped out, is willing to accept change, leave behind everything they’ve built, and give up immortality not because of an abhorrence for surviving on murder, but because none of the women can fall in love or have babies.

It’s a very odd mix of titillation and timidity even for Star Trek, which for all its dancing green-skinned girls has always been prudish and backward rather than progressive about sexuality. I realize that it’s a cartoon and therefore intended for an audience of children, but if they’re going to see women used as sex objects to lure men to their deaths, they could probably handle something resembling real human behavior. You’d think that, rather than slacking on duty by daydreaming, the men would have been knocking each other out of the way in their haste to get to the transporter room and beam down to the planet of the sirens, and you’d think that there might have been some harassment of the women on the ship. Maybe the Taurean effects weaken in space, because otherwise, how come the women on the ship don’t start developing the same ability to drain life energy from the crewmen? The four men who do beam down seem less overwhelmed with desire than lazy and gluttonous, happy to enjoy a big meal on a pretty planet surrounded by attractive attendants. One gets the impression that regular shore leave might have saved all those starships from temptation.

There’s too much in common with the original series episode “Wink of an Eye,” in which a female-dominated culture also needs men, though in that case it’s only to reproduce (and there is actual sex – it’s the episode in which Kirk is seen putting his boots back on afterward). The Scalosians, too, plan to work their way through all the men on the ship, and aren’t nearly as foolish as the Taureans, who can’t find Kirk and the others on foot when they hide in a big urn-like installation in their temple, then reveal to Uhura that they have a device that can track the men which they apparently didn’t think to use earlier. I don’t really blame the Taurean women for being bimbos, they’re a victim of bad writing, just as it’s not Theela’s fault that she sounds exactly like Chapel, that’s just low-cost casting.

And I’ll overlook the silliness of the Immortality Gland that lets women absorb life energy from men, but the episode really drops the ball on Scotty’s transporter manipulation which allows aged crewmembers to beam back into their youthful bodies. Is there any reason one couldn’t take a person who has aged in a normal manner and beam him or her back into a youthful transporter pattern for his or her body? Now there is immortality! Of course, the way women are written in this franchise, they’d just use it to stave off wrinkles rather than to build great civilizations or create art or anything like that. It’s very frustrating that women are rarely empowered without it expressly being at the expense of men – even the revisionist Orion Slave Girl history on Enterprise simply reverses the roles. And all they ever really want is love and offspring. Not that either one is a bad thing, but can’t they have all the fun the men get to have, too? Why can’t Uhura end up in command not because it has to be a woman, but because her communication skills make her the obvious person to lead missions?

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Convention Beat – Shore Leave In July

Shore Leave 33 will be held July 8-10, 2011 at the Marriott Hunt Valley Inn in Hunt Valley, Maryland with Star Trek actors and Trek novelists in attendance.

Hosted by STAT (The Star Trek Association of Towson, Inc.), the fan-run Shore Leave is one of the oldest and largest fan-run science fiction conventions in the country.

“Every year, Shore Leave features 3 full days of workshops, demonstrations, and discussions with authors, scientists, artists, and media personalities. Shore Leave also prides itself on the variety of charitable activities that take place there, including an annual blood drive.

Shore Leave also features guest Q&A and autograph sessions, live performances, a Saturday night dance party, gaming tournaments, a costume contest, an art show and auction, a “Meet the Pros” party with a large number of noted authors [including Star Trek authors], children’s activities, workshops, photo opportunities, memorabilia rooms, science presentations, fan panel discussions, and video presentations of new and classic genre entertainment, including the latest fan film productions.”

This year’s Star Trek actor guests will be: John DeLancie, Sally Kellerman and Gary Lockwood (the latter two from the original series’ Where No Man Has Gone Before). Other guests include Stargate SG-1′s Christopher Judge and Cliff Simon, Battlestar Galactica‘s Tricia Helfer and Emilie Ullerup, and Eddie McLintock (Warehouse 13 and Moonlight).

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TrekMovie LiveTweet Watch Party – Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 5PM (Pacific) Sunday

Two weeks ago TrekMovie hosted a spontaneous ‘live tweet’ watching party of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, debating the film with Free Enterprise director Robert Meyer Burnett. This weekend Burnett and I (and anyone else who wants to join) will be doing it again, this time for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan at […]

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TrekMovie LiveTweet Watch Party: Star Trek: The Motion Picture 7PM (Pacific) Sunday

This afternoon I got into a twitter debate with Free Enterprise director Robert Meyer Burnett over the virtues of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the first Trek feature from 1979. We have decided to live tweet-watching the film starting at 7PM pacific. You can follow along below.

 
TrekMovie live tweet of Star Trek The Motion […]

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Burton Big Bang Theory TV Alert

Fans of LeVar Burton need to tune in to CBS tonight at 8 PM.

Burton will be appearing on The Toast Derivation episode of The Big Bang Theory, where it appears that he will be playing himself on the episode.

According to the description of the show, Sheldon (Jim Parsons) decides that it’s time to get a new group of friends.

“It must be killing you wondering who [is coming],” said Shelton, discussing a forthcoming party to which he has invited potential new friends. “OK, fine, I’ll tell you. Stewart from the comic book store … and TV’s LeVar Burton.”

“LeVar Burton’s coming here?” asked Leonard (Johnny Galecki).

“Possibly, I tweeted him,” answered Sheldon.

Burton is the third Trek actor to have a cameo on The Big Bang Theory. Wil Wheaton has appeared on the show several times and George Takei appeared in an episode last fall.

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Shatner Charity Show Guest Announced

The musical guest for the 2011 Priceline.com Hollywood Charity Horse Show has been announced.

For the past two decades, William Shatner has donated his time and fame to Hollywood Charity Horse Show, which has raised money for various children’s charities. This year’s show will be held on April 30.

The Hollywood Charity Horse Show attracts world-class reining horses and riders, who entertain those in attendance with “breathtaking slides and spins as they compete for top honors in their respective classes.” When the riding part of the show is over, the musical part of the evening begins.

This year’s musical guest will be Sheryl Crow. Tickets for the Western dinner party and concert can be ordered here.

Seeing severely handicapped students performing intricate exercises on horseback back in the 1980s at an exhibition by AHEAD With Horses, a therapeutic riding group for handicapped children, affected Shatner to the point where he wanted to lend his time and fame to helping handicapped children. “You can’t watch these kids without knowing you have to help, somehow,” he said.

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Pegg Talks Nerd Do Well And Trek Start Date

Simon Pegg is making the rounds promoting his new autobiography and he explained why he began with his childhood memories.

Starting with his Los Angeles life would have been boring, according to Pegg. “I realized quite early on that the most interesting stuff happened before everything kicked off, because that’s the most relatable stuff to talk about,” he said.

“If I start talking about my adventures in L.A., it’s a bit ‘so what’? It’s like talking about a party that the reader didn’t go to. It’s kind of boring. I realized that the childhood stuff was a little bit more engaging, and a little bit more insightful.”

His autobiography is focused on the persona as opposed to just being a book of anecdotes about his work on movies. “These little moments have had a massive influence,” said Pegg. “And that’s interesting. People might want me to talk about Spaced and Shaun Of The Dead, but arguably, there are a few anecdotes I could tell that would be vaguely interesting, but they wouldn’t fill a book. Yet, everyone has moments in their childhood that stay with them, and influence their behavior. And that’s, for me, a more intriguing route to take.”

Pegg answered questions about things other than Nerd Do Well, and one of those questions was about when Star Trek XII would begin filming. “Star Trek is probably starting…I’m hearing rumors of summer next year for starting it,” he said. “but that’s all.”

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Takei: Shatner And Raw Nerve

George Takei explains just what the problem is with William Shatner.

According to Takei, Shatner is not averse to using a situation for his own benefit when he wants publicity, and that includes weddings.

Asked about the situation between Takei and Shatner, Takei explained that Shatner has always been an issue and not just for Takei. “Well, you know, that discomfort with Bill has been shared by the entire cast,” he said. “So that was the standard feeling that we all had. But then it really got exaggerated when Brad [Altman] and I got married. We sent invitations out to everybody, particularly because we asked Walter (Koenig) and Nichelle (Nichols) to be part of the wedding party. So we sent invitations out to everybody, every one of my colleagues from Star Trek. Bill got an invitation. And he never responded. You know, Leonard [Nimoy] responded, and he was coming, but at the last minute, he had something that he had to do in N.Y. so he couldn’t come. But Bill never responded.

“And Bill’s never, you know, done anything with us. That’s part of the kvetch from all of us. Like when Leonard got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, we were all there. When Gene Roddenberry, or when DeForest (Kelley) or Jimmy Doohan, you know, Bill’s the one that’s always absented himself. Or when we would have a party, Bill would never come. So it wasn’t surprising that Bill didn’t RSVP.

“But then a month and a half after the wedding, he goes public with this ranting and raving about our not having invited him. I mean, for one thing, you know, I never got any invitations to any of his many, many weddings, you know. So why should he, first of all, expect an invitation. But we did send an invitation, and he goes public complaining about it. And we were absolutely baffled by that.”

Takei believes the reason that Shatner made an issue out of the wedding invitation was due to his new talk show, William Shatner’s Raw Nerve. “And then later on I realized, you know, we were driving down Sunset Blvd. and here’s a billboard advertising William Shatner’s Raw Nerve, a new talk show, you know,” said Takei. “And I said to Brad, that’s why he’s been making all that noise about not getting an invitation to our wedding. So Bill exploits situations for his own benefit. So we know that about Bill. But he’s been playing it up. And then we went on YouTube, saying something about “George must have some psychosis,” you know, “He didn’t invite people…what is this with George?” So whenever he needs publicity, he revives (it).”

Will Takei appear on Raw Nerve? “He’s asked me to,” said Takei. “But you know, he is in charge of everything. He controls everything. Why should I subject myself to that? I’ve passed on it. And you know, he’s relentless. He has his producer call, he has a woman call…I don’t know who she is. And we’ve passed on it all the time.”