Tagged: Star Trek

Molly Jackson is Not Going to Write About It

Not Going to

I am not going to write about it. I know everyone thinks I will since I am a huge Trekkie, but I won’t do it. Despite my love for the franchise, I’m not gonna write about the new Star Trek series. Not happening at all.

I won’t acknowledge how confused and nervous I am about the potential premise of the show. All they said in the press release is that it isn’t affiliated with the new film. So, what timeline is in, the old fan favorite or the new Abrams one? What year will we be in, Kirk’s era, Picard’s, or a completely different one? And are we even talking about the Enterprise? All of these questions are valid. Still, I won’t acknowledge I am excited under all that nervousness.

And I won’t even admit how nervous I am about the guy at the helm. The same guy who brought us the multiple cringe-worthy, fan-hated Into Darkness. However, Alex Kurtzman has working on some shows I’ve enjoyed. He got his start working Xena and Hercules! Still, he proved in the movies that he just doesn’t get Star Trek. My nervous brain is wondering if he can bring back the true spirit and ideology of Star Trek or if it will just be another plotless, bad story lacking character development, action show on TV.

I’m not going to write about how the new pricing structure is kind of insulting. CBS All Access doesn’t really appeal to me. They want me to spend $72 dollars a year so I can watch two shows. That’s assuming I keep watching Supergirl (which I can get a season pass for on Amazon for $29.99). CBS needs to up their game and they need to do it fast. They rarely appeal to me and their overall image needs to change. Can’t they work a deal out with Warner so they can add some CW shows on there? And for all the arguments that Star Trek: TNG helped launch cable, I don’t really care. It’s mean to do this to fans who might not be able to afford it.

Mostly, I’m not going to let anyone know how pissed I am they announced this in the 49th anniversary year of ST but it doesn’t come out until the 51st anniversary year. Which means they will spend an entire year torturing fans with bits and pieces of details. They knew this damn 50th anniversary was coming; couldn’t they have planned it better?! I hate waiting for details!

I won’t talk about how wonderful it is that they are finally bringing Star Trek back to the medium in which it works best. While the movies are great, the stories really shined in the TV format. TV gave them the ability to single out and look at everyday social issues, from week to week. That is why Star Trek is known for tackling boundaries long before society. So, I can’t admit that I am so excited despite my reservations.

So yeah, I’m just not going to talk about any of this. I’m so glad I’m keeping quiet, I have a lot of uncertain feelings.

Martha Thomases Eats Worms


More than three weeks ago, I twisted my knee somehow in a manner that causes it to continue to hurt. A lot. I happened to have a doctor’s appointment that day, and she told me to rest it, take anti-inflammatory medicine, and drink a lot of water.

Which I have. Well, “resting” is a relative term. It’s hard to rest one’s entire leg and still get around the city and do what needs to get done. I put a brace on it. Still hurts.

When I’m in pain like this, I can’t exercise. And when I can’t exercise, I lose my main opportunity think deep thoughts about comics or anything else. I just want to sit on the couch and eat worms.

Anyway, here’s some randomness. Remember, no one suffers like I do.

The New York Comic-Con has come and gone. I went for a few hours on Thursday, and even though it was the middle of a work-day, the place was so crowded that it was impossible to move anywhere. The line for the ladies room in the press area (which requires a special badge) was a half-hour long. I shudder to think what it was like on Saturday.

It was lovely to see my friends – as I left the brand-new subway station, on line to register, at booths, in artists’ alley – and I had a great conversation with the guy hyping The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore (which is awesome and you should be watching it). I didn’t get to any panels that day or any day because my knee throbbed just thinking about getting through the crowds that made the hallways impassable.

So I didn’t get to see this. I wish I had. This is the nerd experience I most crave. The rest of the throngs can go see stars log-roll each other at over-hyped TV and movie panels. Let me listen to Paul “The Frother” Krugman talk about Star Trek.

Last year I discovered the Crazy Eight Cartoon Festival and I had a great time. You can read my brilliant insights here. It’s happening again tomorrow. If you are in the New York area, I can’t recommend it highly enough. If I get back in time from my other nerd-quest this weekend, perhaps I’ll see you there.

Very few people have raved about about My Friend Dammer more than I have. I’ve given it away to dozens of people to show them the complex insights and emotions possible in the graphic story format. So you can imagine my excitement to get a galley copy of Derf Backderf’s new book, Trashed, in my Harvey Awards gift-bag.

Trashed is the story of a crew of garbage collectors in a small Ohio town, with lots of data about the environmental impact and long-term costs of our throwaway culture. Derf was a garbage collector a few decades ago and, though he says the story isn’t autobiographical, his experiences lend a gritty (and smelly and sticky) authenticity to his tale.

Although it’s not as emotionally engaging as Dammer, this book is still an amazing accomplishment. Backdoor presents not only an environmental education, but insights into the American class system that are all too rare in any medium. That he does it with humor and grace and affection makes it that much more impressive.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my knee hurts and I need to yell at some kids to get off my lawn.

Note: I don’t have a lawn.

Molly Jackson: Star Trek’s Broken Promise

Broken Promises

Yesterday was the 49th anniversary of Star Trek’s television premiere. In case you are a first time reader, you should know that I #Star Trek. Serious love of the Trek here. But as we reach this momentous occasion, I do have one serious complaint about the franchise. And it isn’t J.J. Abrams.

49 years ago, Star Trek promised a future filled with exciting technology. Over the years we have seen a lot of it come into existence. Want a communicator? Buy a cell phone. Want a hypospray? They actually existed before the show! Basic tractor beams have been invented, as well as a basic phaser. Federation Starships have inspired engine designs and the Prius was inspired by a shuttlecraft. But through all of this, the technology I want still hasn’t made an appearance. The future is here, 49 years later. Where is my damn replicator?!

That’s right, I want a replicator. In fact, I go on this rant every time I have to stop something interesting to cook a meal because I am so hungry. (My roommate is really tired of hearing about it.) Actually, this post was even paused to cook dinner. After a lifetime of watching Star Trek, I am just disappointed that I still have to cook rather than enter a disk or speak my current craving and poof! There’s my meal, all hot and steamy.

Yes, I realize that TV isn’t reality but Star Trek has broken that barrier through its impact on the science and technological development of the world. My one hope is at least some people are trying. There is a company in Israel that has something you could refer to as the world’s first replicator. It sounds more like a Keurig for food than what I’m looking for but baby steps. Maybe in my lifetime, I could order my dinner instead of having to cook it, not to mention the added benefit of feeding the planet.

Many of today’s engineers and scientists were inspired by watching Star Trek growing up. While I didn’t take on a career in the sciences, you can tell it obviously made an impression on my world. Maybe we will see a breakthrough for the 50th anniversary. If not, then we need to get Star Trek back on TV to inspire a new generation of thinkers. You know, for the benefit of science, the future… and my stomach.


James Horner: 1953-2015

The two-time Oscar winner, 61, worked on three James Cameron films, two ‘Star Trek’ movies and classics like ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ ‘Field of Dreams’ and ‘Apollo 13.’James Horner, the consummate film composer known for his heart-tugging scores for Field of Dreams, Braveheart and Titanic, for which he won two Academy Awards, died Monday in a plane crash near Santa Barbara. He was 61.

Source: James Horner Dead: ‘Titanic’ Composer Killed in Plane Crash – Hollywood Reporter – The Hollywood Reporter

At ComicMix, we’ve always been fond of his work on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but we absolutely loved his pure Americana score for one of the greatest comic book movie adaptations, The Rocketeer.

Our condolences to his family, friends, and fans.

Mindy Newell: These Are The Voyages…


“Don’t screw this up.”

Admiral Maxwell Forrest, Starfleet Command, to Captain Jonathan Archer • “Broken Bow” • Episode 1, Season 1, Enterprise

As I mentioned in last week’s column (Oh Boy), Scott Bakula also starred as Captain Jonathan Archer on Enterprise, which ran on the UPN network from September 2001 to May 2005, a total of four years. That’s one more year than TOS’s run, but three years shorter than its successful progenitors, Next Gen, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.

UPN claimed that poor ratings caused Enterprise’s downfall; according to Wikipedia, it never rose above the Top 100 rank in the Neilson ratings system, debuting at #115, and continuing to sink until its final season, where it landed at #148. It’s generally perceived as a failure, and has been blamed for the lack of any Star Trek on either television or movie screens until J.J. Abrams’s 2009 film reboot of the franchise.

Set in the year 2015, about 100 years before the time of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 and ending ten years later with the birth of the United Federation of Planets, I think the show had a lot of promise and so I’ve never understood exactly why Enterprise never took off. I’ve been rewatching it courtesy of Amazon Prime, and, yes, Bakula did exhibit some stiffness as Captain Archer in the first year, but certainly no less than Patrick Stewart did in the first season of Next Generation or Avery Brooks in Deep Space Nine.

As for the rest of the cast – Jolene Blalock as the Vulcan observer and science officer Sub-Commander T’Pol, Connor Trineer as Chief Engineer Charles “Trip” Tucker III, Lieutenant Commander Hoshi Sato at Communications, Dominic Keating as tactical and security officer Lieutenant Malcolm Reed, Anthony Montgomery as helmsman Ensign Travis Mayweather, and John Billingsley as the Denobulan Doctor Phlox – im-not-so-ho, from the first they all seemed to have a more complete handle on their characters than, again, any of the regular cast members Next Gen. And certainly better than most of Voyager’s crew (with the exception of Kate Mulgrew, Robert Duncan McNeill and Tim Russ) or Deep Space Nine’s regulars (with the exception of Colm Meany, who had the advantage of reprising the Miles O’Brien character, who originated on Next Gen.)

So what happened?

Well, first off, and again im-not-so-ho, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga made some big mistakes. The first in not using Alexander Courage’s opening riff and the introductory words:

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

C’mon, are you fucking kidding me? This is a show about the beginning of humanity’s journey into deep space, about the beginning and founding of the United Federation of Planets, and you don’t use these words? Words hallowed in every fan’s heart and soul, and, I bet, quite a number of people who wouldn’t actually claim to be Trekkers but who have been inspired by that phrase. I understand not using them in Voyager and Deep Space Nine, those shows’s premises were not, ostensibly, about discovering “what’s out there.” But Enterprise? Its premise is in the very name of the show!

Rather than incorporating Courage’s music into the new show’s theme, Berman and Braga chose some to ignore it completely, instead choosing to use Diane Warren’s “Faith of the Heart” which was the original theme to the movie “Patch Adams.” Now perhaps if the orchestration had been different, without the Rod Stewart-ish (and I like Rod Stewart – and, btw, Stewart did sing the song on the soundtrack to “Patch Adams”) vocalization from Russell Watson, and if it hadn’t sounded like something played on a soft-rock radio station, and if they had incorporated Courage’s opening riff into it, it might have worked… but I doubt it. The show needed something not only inspiring, something that tempted you to look up at the stars, to dream of the day we would push beyond our solar system into that final frontier. But with that song? Change the channel… please! (I’ll give you a foot massage if you do it.)

And what was with not naming the show Star Trek: Enterprise? Yeah, yeah, I know, they did add “Star Trek” to the title in the third season, but will someone please tell me why they avoided it in the first place? What did you say, Mr. Berman?

 “Well, you know, if you think about it, since The Next Generation, we’ve had so many Star Trek entities that were called “Star Trek”-colon-something […] Our feeling was, in trying to make this show dramatically different, which we are trying to do, that it might be fun not to have a divided main title like that. And I think that if there’s any one word that says Star Trek without actually saying Star Trek, it’s the word ‘Enterprise’.”
Yeah, well, if you ask me, no matter what he or Mr. Braga might say, I think it’s all bullshit. I think they both just wanted to separate themselves from the ghost – or the floating ashes in orbit around Earth – of Gene Roddenberry. Y’ know… an ego thing.

Btw, I’m neither criticizing nor defending Mr. Roddenberry. His is the mind from which ultimately Star Trek was born. It was his baby, and he did what he needed to do to get the show on the air. But from what I’ve read and from what I’ve been told by some in the know, he was not exactly the “Great Bird of the Galaxy” – except maybe in his own mind. According to Marc Cushman (author of the massive trilogy “These Are The Voyages: TOS – Season One, Two and Three), the real hero of Star Trek was Gene L. Coon, the “forgotten Gene,” who invented the Prime Directive, the Klingons, the development of the personal dynamics between the Kirk, Spock, and McCoy (especially Spock and McCoy), and so much more of the ST mythos we know and love.

So, anyway, why did Enterprise fail?

I think a lot of people, including fans, I’m sorry to say, never really gave it a chance.

Not very Star Trek of them, was it?


Tweeks: Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum

Last summer at San Diego Comic Con, we got to sit on the bridge of the Enterprise and learn a little bit about the concept for the Hollywood Science Fiction Museum. Just in the beginning stages, it sounded pretty cool, but when we caught up with the Huston Huddleston the museum’s founder at WonderCon to talk about the progress we were blown away.

Set to open later this year at an existing Los Angeles museum, the Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum has plans to open its own location eventually. This location will feature a space ship restaurant, as well as a museum that will house a hall of cars, a hall of space ships, a hall of robots, and a ginormous store where you can buy everything from Harry Potter wands to Sonic Screwdrivers. It will also have sections for all the movies and shows in the genre. And there will also be an education component (you know, real space stuff & STEM) so it would totally be field trip worthy. Plus, being in L.A., you’d have to imagine all the studios would want to have exhibits for their movies coming out and that sort of thing. Are you sold? Are you planning your vacation already?

In this week’s episode, we feature conversations we had with Huston Huddleston, museum board member and sci-fi art designer Tim Earls (Babylon 5, Serenity, Star Trek), and Farscape actress and museum supporter Gigi Edgley. More information on the museum can be found at www.hollywoodscifi.org or if you are going to ComicCon in July, they will have booth full of cool exhibit photo ops & more info there as well.

Nichelle Nichols hospitalized after mild stroke

Last night while at her home in Los Angeles, actress Nichelle Nichols suffered from a mild stroke and was taken to a hospital. She is currently undergoing testing to determine how severe the stroke was. Her publicist provided a statement to EW: “Nichelle Nichols is resting comfortably and undergoing tests. We do not have a prognosis yet but everyone’s prayers and well wishes are appreciated.”

Nichols, 82, is best known to fans as Lt. Nyota Uhura on Star Trek in a diverse career spanning over fifty years including appearances on stage and screen, from singing with the Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton bands to voice-overs on Futurama and The Simpsons, with possibly her biggest impact coming from her volunteer work with NASA to help recruit minority and female candidates for the agency.

We hope she gets better quickly, and look forward to seeing her at conventions soon. This lady is a hard one to knock down.

Molly Jackson: Fantasy Living

I’ve been sick with various colds for the past couple of weeks. I managed to pass the miserable, sniffling time by rewatching the Starz series Spartacus.

In case you haven’t watched it yet, Spartacus is a great story and bingeing it was just a blast. I basically “lived” in that world rather than pay attention to my sniffles and coughing. After watching it for hours on end, I noticed that I picked up phrases and British accents from the show. (Side note: Why is almost every accent end up as British on TV? Do producers realize Americans know there is more than one European accent?)

To be honest, this isn’t the first time this has happened. When I binge on certain series that I love, whether it be TV, movie or literature, I “adopt” phrases and inflections/accents from the show into my daily life. It’s weird but it’s true. I really get into the shows I watch and the books I read.

Every time this happens, it’s because I am invested in the story. Good stories can suck you in and let you live among them. And if I let them, they transport me right to where the action is. If the story is so good, I tend to carry it with me. Granted, it sounds weird but I doubt I am the only person who subconsciously does this.

This has gotten me into some confusing moments, like recently saying to a friend I wanted to “break words” rather than let’s talk. Or after watching Breaking Bad, I had a strong urge to add bitch to everything I said for a day. That was a bad situation I managed to mostly avoid.

I may be crazy or a little delusional, but wanting to live in a different world or time sounds fun to me. Not to mention, my imagination + binging on TV is the closest I will probably get to having a holodeck. Still, good stories are ones I always want to carry with me, in some form or another.


Mindy Newell: IDIC*

“Oh, my. The simplest would be to say, ‘Languh yoren osta lebn.’ It’s a typical Yiddish expression. Parents say it to their kids. It means, ‘You should live many years’.” • On the Jewish roots of “live long and prosper”

“There was a very small crowd – miniscule compared to the crowd that he gathered later – at a private home in Los Angeles. And we were standing on the back patio, waiting for him. And he came through the house, saw me and immediately put his hand up in the Vulcan gesture. He said, ‘They told me you were here.’ We had a wonderful, brief conversation and I said, ‘It would be logical if you would become president.’“ • On meeting Senator Barak Obama during his first Presidential campaign

“I have been, and shall always be, your friend.” Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan

On the wall to the right of the corner in my bedroom where my computer is set up is a plaque given to me for my birthday by daughter Alixandra when she was in high school. It reads, in emboldened and etched script:


It’s a picture of Commander Spock of the U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701.

It’s a totally fangirl-geek-nerd piece of cheap convention claptrap, for which she probably overpaid and with no monetary value whatsoever in the collectibles market…

And I love it.

I love it because it’s from my daughter.

I love it because it tells me every day that my daughter gets me, that she got me then and always will.

And I love it because it’s a marker that some things do cross-generational barriers, that, to paraphrase John Ostrander’s eloquent words from his column here yesterday, it helps me to remember the past, to appreciate the present, and anticipate the future.

Languh yoren osta lebn, Mr. Spock.

And may your katra be with God, Mr. Nimoy.

*Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations