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Book Review: Star Trek: New Visions Volume 5 by John Byrne

Byrne understands the essence of what Star Trek is and why the Original Series was so successful.
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As stated in my previous reviews of this book series, "John Byrne and IDW Publishing are presenting the lost missions of the Original Series Enterprise crew in the form of photonovels. That format uses photographs instead of drawings like the Star Trek Fotonovels of the late '70s. Byrne manipulates images of characters and backgrounds from the [TV show] combined with new material such as dialogue [in word balloons], narration, and photos of actors playing new characters and bodies of old ones." Volume 5 collects issues #12-14 and the story "More of the Serpent Than the Dove," which was previously only

Book Review: Star Trek: The Classic UK Comics, Volume Three (1972-1979)

A fun space adventure comic that looks like Star Trek but doesn't exactly stay true to its roots.
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I have no doubt that when he created Star Trek: The Original Series Gene Roddenberry was hoping for a smash success. But there is no way he could have known it would have spawned the enormous multimedia empire that continues to this day, some 51 years later. While The Original Series didn’t even manage to finish its “five-year mission,” it did spawn an animated series, five other live-action TV series, six films starring the original cast, four films from The Next Generation, and three films in the rebooted series plus books, comics, magazines, games, and a cultural phenomena. The Original

Book Review: The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard, edited by David A. Goodman

It's as if Jean-Luc Picard wrote it himself.
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Following the success of The Autobiography of James T. Kirk, David A. Goodman explores the background of another well-known and well-respected captain in the Star Trek franchise with The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard. The funny thing about it is, from page one until the end, there is a sinking suspicion that Picard is, in fact, a real person, and he wrote the book himself. Or it could have been Patrick Stewart who went under the radar and penned the book while Goodman provided the editing. Alas, neither are true, but Goodman does capture the voice of Picard pretty well, thus
It’s rare these days to get your expectations exceeded. Even rarer is to come upon a treasure that elicits both joy and sorrow. This happened to Zachary Auburn and will happen to everyone who ventures into the world of Joshua Chapman and his Field Guide to the Aliens of Star Trek: The Next Generation. In the field guide, which hit shelves on September 12, we learn how Zachary Auburn discovered the works of young Chapman and his incredible efforts to share said works with the world. As a fan of Star Trek, I was mildly interested when hearing of A

Fathom Events Presents Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

You haven't lived until you've seen Kirk scream "Khaaaaaan!" on the big screen.
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Star Trek: The Original Series ran on television from 1966 to 1969. It was cancelled after its third season due to dismal ratings. Surprisingly after a few years in syndication, the show became a cult hit and then a cultural phenomenon. So much so that by 1979 Paramount Pictures was willing to spend $46 million on a movie based on the series. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a hit taking in $139 million, but because the high cost of making and promoting it, plus the expectations it would be a Star Wars-like blockbuster Paramount considered it a failure. It

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Returns to the Big Screen for 35th Anniversary Celebration Sept. 10 and 13 Only

Two-day-only cinema event to include digitally remastered Director’s Cut and a brand-new William Shatner interview.
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Press release: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the epic science-fiction adventure that continues to captivate audiences, marks its 35th anniversary with a two-day-only return to cinemas nationwide. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan will be presented in a digitally remastered Director’s Cut and, as an added bonus for Star Trek and movie fans, William Shatner will appear in a newly produced in-depth interview that will play before each screening. Fathom Events and Paramount Pictures will present Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan on Sunday, September 10, and Wednesday, September 13, at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

For the Love of Spock DVD Review: Perfect for Both Those Who Love and Those Who Don't Know Spock

A great example of how a documentary should be constructed.
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We all know that there are people that don’t like or simply don’t get Star Trek. Nonetheless, it’s hard to argue with the success of the franchise. A great deal of credit for the success can be bestowed upon Leonard Nimoy. His life and career are chronicled here by his son Adam who started the project of telling the story of Spock with his father before the elder Nimoy passed away. When Leonard Nimoy died, the project became much more than originally intended. Available now, the DVD release still manages to leave you wanting more at 111 minutes plus some

Book Review: Star Trek: The Classic UK Comics, Vol. 2: Where Some Fans May Never Have Gone Before

The crew's encounters with beings different from ourselves is still as fun and fascinating today as it ever was.
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There are so many branches to the Star Trek universe: novelizations, movies, re-boot film series, animated series, magazines, television series, toys, games, etc. that even the most dedicated fan, Trekkie or Trekker, might have trouble keeping up. The original series (TOS) first aired on American television in September of 1966. It included its now immortal cast of characters - Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), his Vulcan first officer Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), ship's doctor Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley), communications officer Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), helmsman Lt. Sulu (George Takei) and Ensign Chekov (Walter Koenig). That key crew accompanied its

Book Review: Star Trek: New Visions Volume 4 by John Byrne

Byrne has a strong sense of who the characters are and puts them in compelling stories.
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In Star Trek: New Visions, John Byrne tells of the lost missions of the Starship Enterprise under the command of Captain James T. Kirk. Through the use of images from the Original Series combined with new material such as dialogue, narration, and photos of actors playing new characters and bodies of old ones, Byrne creates adventures for the crew that have an air of authenticity because we see the familiar faces of William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, et. al. Volume 4 collects issues #9-11 which includes a treat for fans of the Animated Series. Occurring about two years after the first
When I was growing up two of the things that I was really into were comic books and Star Trek. I had stacks and stacks of comic books. With such a large investment made into reading material and being the entrepreneur that I was, I would actually charge my little cousin to read them. She still brings that up every once in a while. When I wasn't reading comic books I was watching Star Trek. Any time there were reruns of the original series or the animated series, I was there. Usually wearing my Star Trek jacket. Gold Key Comics,

50 Years of Star Trek DVD Review: This Mission Failed

Don't bother beaming me up.
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The entertainment phenomenon that is Star Trek celebrated its 50th anniversary in September, and with the first television series giving life to five more series and thirteen motion pictures, the incredible fan base was set for something spectacular to commemorate such an auspicious occasion. One could argue that there would be no way to please everyone if a documentary of the history of Star Trek was to be created. If you were to fill a room with Star Trek aficionados and open the discussion on which was the best series, the best captain, or the best motion picture, you would

Book Review: Star Trek: The Classic UK Comics, Volume 1 (1969-1970)

I'd highly recommend looking inside Volume 1 before buying it.
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In the episode “The Alternative Factor,” from the first season of the Original Series, the Enterprise crew have their first encounter alternative universes when they meet Lazarus and Lazarus. In the second season's “Mirror, Mirror,” viewers were presented alternative versions of Kirk, Spock, and other crew members. This tried-and-true science fiction trope needs to be kept in mind when reading Star Trek: The Classic UK Comics Volume 1 (1969-1970) because these strips are a close variation of the Original Series, like the Gold Key comics. In his introduction to the book, Rich Handley provides the history of the weekly UK

Star Trek: The Original Series - The Roddenberry Vault Arrives Dec. 13

Twelve classic episodes, three exclusive special feature documentaries presenting unseen footage and new interviews with notable Star Trek figures.
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Press release: Fans can dive into the making of pop culture history when STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - THE RODDENBERRY VAULT is released on Blu-ray December 13. In honor of the show’s 50th Anniversary, and just in time for holiday gift giving, the three-disc collector’s edition Blu-ray set from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution gives fans unprecedented access to never-before-seen footage from the production of Star Trek: The Original Series. During the shooting of Star Trek, bits and pieces of episodic footage were left on the cutting room floor and later preserved in film canisters by

Star Trek 50th Anniversary TV and Movie Collection Will Be Arriving on Blu-ray September 6

The set boasts 30 Blu-ray discs with every movie and TV show featuring the original crew, including the newly remastered Animated Series on Blu-ray for the first time ever!
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Press release: Embark on a mission to the final frontier with the biggest, most comprehensive Star Trek collection ever offered when the Star Trek 50th Anniversary TV and Movie Collection is transported to Earth on September 6, 2016. Just in time to commemorate the September 8, 1966 airing of the very first Star Trek episode, this epic limited-edition gift set includes 30 Blu-ray Discs featuring all new disc art and every feature film and television show made with the original crew, plus a brand new, multi-part documentary with nearly two hours of new footage chronicling the franchise’s amazing 50-year journey.

World Premiere of 'Star Trek Beyond' to Debut in IMAX at San Diego Comic-Con

The first-ever outdoor IMAX premiere event will include appearances by the film’s cast and crew, and a live concert performance by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.
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Press release: Paramount Pictures, Skydance, Bad Robot and director Justin Lin today announced that the world premiere of Star Trek Beyond will play in the immersive IMAX format at Comic-Con International: San Diego, in partnership with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and IMAX Corporation, on Wednesday, July 20, at the Embarcadero Marina Park South. The red carpet event at San Diego Comic-Con, which marks the first-ever open-air IMAX world premiere, will feature special appearances by Lin and the Star Trek Beyond filmmakers and cast, as well as a live concert performance of Academy Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino’s film score by

Book Review: Star Trek: New Visions Volume 3 by John Byrne

Like the best episodes of the Original Series, the conflicts are believable, the stakes are high, yet there also are moments of humor.
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Growing up in the ‘70s and early ‘80s, before VCRs became commonplace in households, we were limited to the whims of TV station programmers when it came to watching our favorite shows, unlike viewers today who have instant access and can even own copies of them. To revisit Star Trek at one’s leisure in those bygone days, the options were limited. James Blish adapted episodes into short-story collections, and industrious fans recorded shows off the TV onto cassette tapes, listening to them like a radio broadcast. Twelve episodes, selected from all three seasons, were given the photonovel treatment so fans

Book Review: Star Trek: New Visions Volume 2 by John Byrne

These new voyages fit right alongside the old ones.
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In Star Trek: New Visions, John Byrne tells of the lost missions of the starship Enterprise under the command of Captain James T. Kirk. Through the use of images from the Original Series combined with new material such as characters and dialogue, Byrne creates adventures that have an air of authenticity because we see the familiar faces of the actors. Volume 2 collects issues #3-5 and contains an all-new story with something for those who read Gold Key's Star Trek comics. "Cry Vengeance" tells the origins of the Doomsday Machine from the episode of the same name. "Robot" is a

Remembering Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

His work will live long and the audience will prosper from it.
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Leonard Nimoy died on February 27 due to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which he claimed was due to having been a smoker even though he had kicked the habit nearly 30 years. Though he had a long career as an actor playing a variety of parts, he became forever identified the world over as Star Trek's Mr. Spock, the half-human/half-Vulcan First Officer of the Enterprise. He not only played Spock on the initial TV series for three seasons, but would return to it many times over the years from The Animated Series and the theatrical movies, and

Book Review: Star Trek: Gold Key Archives, Volume 2

This is not your daddy's Star Trek.
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On its way to becoming a multimedia franchise, Star Trek first entered the world of comics by way of Gold Key, who sporadically published 61 issues between July 1967 and March 1979 before the license was obtained by Marvel. Earlier this year, IDW reprinted Gold Key's first six issues in a hardcover collection and now the second volume of Star Trek: Gold Key Archives, which collects issues #7-12, is available. Fully re-mastered with new colors, the first two stories are written by Dick Wood (Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom), the rest are by Len Wein (co-creator of DC Comics'

Book Review: Star Trek: New Visions Volume 1 & Issue #3 by John Byrne

Byrne's work is like watching a long-lost episode play before our eyes.
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John Byrne and IDW Publishing are presenting the lost missions of the Original Series Enterprise crew in the form of photonovels. That format uses photographs instead of drawings like the Star Trek Fotonovels of the late '70s, which allowed fans to revisit episodes before they could watch them on demand through home video and the Internet. Byrne maniuplates images of characters and backgrounds from the series to set the scene. He then uses word balloons to tell his stories. Volume 1 contains three previously released books. Star Trek: Annual 2013 presents "Strange New Worlds," a sequel to "Where No Man

Book Review: Star Trek FAQ 2.0: Everything Left to Know about The Next Generation, the Movies, and Beyond by Mark Clark

An excellent look at the amazing second act of the franchise.
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Sometimes I wonder if I am a “Trekkie,” or “Trekker.” What does it take exactly? A working knowledge of every episode of the original Star Trek series, and The Next Generation, plus the films? A visceral hatred for Star Trek Into Darkness? Put a check-mark in all of the above boxes for me. Maybe it is the books, of which there are literally hundreds. If you have them all, I think it would be safe to call you a Trekker. There are two books that I think even the most casual of fans should own though. The first was published

Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray Review: The Wrath of Fans

A step down from the first entry, but not without its charms - until the final act.
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Remember how in the original Star Trek film series the even-numbered movies were the best? Apparently the current revisionist Abramsverse has flipped the script on that old adage, as this second entry is a step down from the superior first film. Some bitter fans have recently taken to calling this the worst Trek film of all time, which is complete rubbish when comparing it to clear winner Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, or even the last Next Generation film if you want to bring them into play. No, this isn’t an entirely bad film, it just falls into the

Cinema Sentries Meet the Pretentious Movie Snobs

Listen as they go Into Darkness, into the past, and into dead air.
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The world of entertainment is filled with great franchise crossovers. The comics had Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man, the movies had Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstien, and now film criticism has brought together Cinema Sentries and the Pretentious Movie Snobs, available as a podcast for your listening pleasure. Sentry Gordon S. Miller was a guest on the PMS podcast and chatted with Snobs Kent Conrad and David Smith about the lastest Star Trek movie. Grab your favorite beverage and join them as they go Into Darkness, into the past, and into dead air. The podcast is available on the PMS

Star Trek Into Darkness Movie Review: Leads Into Dopiness and Damnableness

One of the worst movies I've seen in quite a while.
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Spoilers are revealed throughout about Into Darkness because they need to be addressed in order to illustrate how truly terrible the story is. To get a sense of the reviewer's opinion without learning specifics, he paraphrases the classic two-word review of Spinal Tap's Shark Sandwich, and simply writes "Shit Trek." When it was announced back in January that J.J. Abrams was going to direct Episode VII of the Star Wars saga, many Star Trek fans were disappointed to be losing the successful producer/director. After suffering through the abysmal Star Trek Into Darkness, they should hope he never returns. Forget bad

Star Trek Into Darkness Never Should Have Seen the Light of Day

Ultimately, it is poor storytelling that leads the audience into darkness.
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After J.J. Abrams established a new timeline with Star Trek (2009) that would allow new stories to be told with the original characters, this sequel was time for Abrams to boldly go where no one had gone before. Or, go where we have gone before, and just make the trip a less pleasurable experience. Nice choice, Abrams. Into Darkness opens with an action sequence that sets the audience up perfectly for what is to follow: an overproduced segment taken straight from Indiana Jones, which features some of the worst makeup and costuming seen in science fiction in decades, and lets

Star Trek (2009) Movie Review: A Weak Story with Plenty of Action

Will feed the hungry fans, but the meal is a bit overcooked.
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In 1994, Paramount transitioned the Star Trek movie franchise from the the Original Series cast to the Next Generation cast in Generations, which conveniently served its purpose. Not a great film, but it worked. Captain Picard and his crew followed up with the huge home run First Contact in 1996, but then killed the franchise with the two yawners that were Insurrection (1998) and Nemesis (2002). Trek fans then had little to embrace other than the under appreciated television series Enterprise which lasted until 2005. The franchise was to be reborn in 2008, but the writer’s strike kept anxious fans

Star Trek: Nemesis Movie Review: The Wrath of Bad Moviemaking

The Next Generation crew go out with a whimper.
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At this point in the Trek film franchise, the makers of Star Trek had obviously given up on trying to appeal to an audience outside of the sci-fi convention attendees (referred to hereafter as "Conners"). It's too bad because Star Trek's strengths were in its storytelling. It used to reflect society and give us morality plays that all could identify with, but they no longer could, no longer tried, or no longer cared to go outside of what they think the Conners want to see when they finally, so we are left with this mess. Nemesis starts at a Romulan

Star Trek: Insurrection Movie Review: New Aliens, Age-old Problems

A mixed bag, with plenty to like and dislike.
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Star Trek: Insurrection was the third mission of the Next Generation crew on the silver screen. The movie found them on their own, both onscreen and off, as they rebelled against Federation plans and appeared without the aid of familiar friends (Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov in Generations) or foes (the Borg in First Contact) to help draw an audience like the previous two. On an idyllic planet in an area of space known as the Briar Patch, the android Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner) goes bezerk and exposes a surveillance program of the Ba'ku, a group of 600 humanoids who

Star Trek: First Contact Movie Review: Meeting New Friends and Killing Old Enemies

Plenty of action to satisfy everyone.
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Being the second film for the Next Generation crew and the eighth film in the entire Star Trek franchise, things were looking good for this release simply because it was an even-numbered film. And frankly after what was seen by many Trekkies around the world as the sacrilegious abomination of the previous film that killed off the iconic Captain Kirk (William Shatner), there was nowhere to go but up. At the start of the film, Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) is having nightmares about his assimilation into the Borg collective that occurred six years prior (shown in the television episode "The

Star Trek: Generations Movie Review: Passing of the Torch

I believe Generations to be the best of the four Next Generation films.
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“Kirk or Picard?” was one of the first questions Dr. Sheldon Cooper asked Dr. Leonard Hofsteder when they first met on the hit show The Big Bang Theory. Leonard’s answer was pretty great too, as he chose Kirk over Picard, but qualified it with Star Trek: The Next Generation as a series over the original. With the first Next Generation film, smartly titled Star Trek: Generations (1994), Trek fans got their wish to see the two Enterprise captains together for the one and only time. While I would probably consider Generations to be the best of the four TNG films,

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