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Tag Archive: Star Trek: The Next Generation


Choose Wisely

Planet Comicon 2014 got off to a great start Friday, with vendors filling the venue at Bartle Hall in Kansas City, Missouri, and many celebrities appearing on the first day.  Sylvester McCoy (Doctor Who, The Hobbit), Jewel Staite (Firefly), Zoie Palmer (Lost Girl), and Eddie McClintock (Warehouse 13) all were greeting fans with plenty of opportunities for everyone to get photos and autographs.

In my day one garb as the knight who guarded the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, I and Elizabeth C. Bunce had a great time catching up with friends and having some fun with the celebrities from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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Gates McFadden, who played Dr. Beverly Crusher on the Enterprise-D, was a great sport, jumping right in to try to get me to drink from the wrong grail.

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“Choosing poorly”, but also good sports, were Jonathan Frakes, who played Commander Will Riker…

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… and a surprise, unannounced guest at the Con, John de Lancie, who played Q on the series, also “chose poorly,” but got it right on the second try.  Happily for all, we were using a prop grail and not dabbling in any face-withering magical elements.

Gene Flaharty

The first professional make-up artist workshop at Planet Comicon was held Friday afternoon, sponsored by borg.com, and dozens of attendees learned several pointers about how Hollywood applies prosthetics, and how to make life masks, negative casts, and how to use–and not use–latex, make-up and other materials for optimal cosplay creations.  Speaker Gene Flaharty drew several questions from the crowd and everyone had a great time learning more about this exciting art form.

Come back for more from Planet Comicon all weekend.  Or better yet, come on out and experience it in person!

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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Trektacular Reinke Elite Comics exclusive

Planet Comicon 2014 begins tomorrow!

Elite Comics has several awesome exclusives for Planet Comicon, and we’ve got a first look at some of them here at borg.com.  These will be for sale to attendees of this weekend’s event, March 14-16 at the Kansas City Convention Center at Bartle Hall.  This year’s show will be bigger and better than last year’s giant convention, and Elite Comics will bring even more comics, toys and collectibles to its “Party on the Pillar” booth on the main vendor floor.

Nathen Reinke and Keven Reinke have designed the exclusive, limited edition, signed print for the Trektacular event (above), which will be available at the Elite Comics booth.  It’s a beauty.  You can also purchase individual prints of each  of the Star Trek actors that comprise the limited print who will be attending Planet Comicon, at the Reinke Arts Booth #538, in Artists Alley.  These would be great for collecting actors’ autographs on Celebrity Row.  The Reinkes are well-known nationally for their Topps sketch cards, including rare Star Wars and Lord of the Rings insert cards.

DMC_PlantetComiconEliteComics

Elite Comics is hosting Darryl “DMC” McDaniels from the hip hop band Run DMC.  You can get your Elite Comics variant of McDaniels’ Issue #0 of DMC at the Con.  Both the Star Trek print and DMC cover feature images of Planet Comicon’s Bartle Hall.

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NextGen cast

An awesome way to wrap up three days of convention activities, TREKtacular is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fanboys and fangirls to see some of the biggest Star Trek names all in one place in a Midwest venue.  To be held as Planet Comicon 2014 comes to a close, TREKtacular will feature a lively show with the entire original bridge crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation minus Picard, along with Star Trek original series star and now pop-culture icon William Shatner.  The event will be held in the Kansas City Convention Center at 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, March 16, 2014.

Featured celebrities for TREKtacular include Jonathan Frakes (Commander Will Riker), Brent Spiner (Lt. Cmdr. Data), LeVar Burton (Lt. Cdr. Geordi LaForge), Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher), Michael Dorn (Lt. Cmdr Worf), Marina Sirtis (Counselor Troi), and Wil Wheaton (Ensign Crusher), plus host William Shatner.  Planet Comicon attendees may purchase autographs and photographs with the celebrities on “Celebrity Row” during the convention in advance of TREKtacular.

Kirk Star Trek VI

Tickets for this event will go on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Central time, through Ticketmaster, and range from $49.50 to premier seating at $149.50 (a steal considering the number of guests being brought together and comparable event prices at the Sprint Center across town, and cheaper than good seats at a Chiefs or Royals game!).  There’s been a lot of buzz generated and demand is high so make sure you buy early tomorrow before the event sells out.  And for those who can’t make it to the convention, you don’t have to buy a ticket to Planet Comicon to attend this event.

More information is available at the Planet Comicon 2014 website.  Come and join borg.com for this incredible NextGen reunion, and a chance at seeing William Shatner in action!

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

STTNG Best of Both Worlds Banner

Last night at 7 p.m. across America theaters showed a one-night only event–the world premiere of the remastered release of Star Trek: The Next Generation two-part episode “The Best of Both Worlds,” including specifically the cliffhanger Part 1, which arguably is the most important Star Trek episode and one of the best episodes of any TV series to hit the airwaves.  Why the best?  It featured a constellation of concepts that came together at just the right time, airing at the end of Season 3, the season where the NextGen cast and writers became comfortable in their roles and produced several incredible episodes, including “Who Watches the Watchers,” “Yesterday’s Enterprise” (the other contender for best NextGen episode), “Captain’s Holiday,” “Hollow Pursuits,” “The Most Toys,” and “Sarek.”

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The stakes were never greater in a Star Trek episode than in “The Best of Both Worlds,” with the beloved Captain Jean-Luc Picard assimilated by The Borg, turned into the leader Locutus who had all of Picard’s memories and strategies to use against his shipmates.  It also featured something we all wanted to see–Jonathan Frakes’s Commander Will Riker as Captain of the Enterprise-D.  Its cliffhanger ending at the end of Season 3 created a devoted fan following who waited with bated breath all summer and came back for Season 4 and thereafter stuck with Star Trek as loyal fans to this day.  The Star Trek franchise might not be as successful today were it not for this great two-part episode.

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Hive cover art - IDW Publishing

If you haven’t read the four-issue limited series Star Trek: The Next GenerationHive,” tomorrow IDW Publishing releases a trade edition at comic book stores everywhere.  “Hive” reads every bit like the next television episode of Star Trek featuring The Borg–the fearsome race of half machines/half organic lifeforms that assimilate species across the galaxy.  With the best of their stories found in the Next Generation two-parter “The Best of Both Worlds” and the Jonathan Frakes-directed big screen blockbuster Star Trek: First Contact, long-time series writer Brannon Braga returns to tell his untold epic story of Locutus, Seven of Nine, and the return of Data, with scripts by Travis Fickett and Terry Matalas.  Below we are previewing the trade edition courtesy of IDW Publishing.

After the events in Star Trek: Nemesis, Will Riker now captains the Titan. Lieutenant Commander Data is dead, sacrificing himself to save Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-E.  “Hive” occurs after Star Trek: Nemesis and explains events that led to the absence of Seven of Nine in the Star Trek Voyager finale, “Endgame.”

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Bets of Both Worlds Fathom Events banner

Finally, the best of Star Trek: The Next Generation is not only coming to Blu-Ray, but an episode worthy of seeing it on the big screen is on its way to a movie theater near you.  Fathom Events announced this weekend its next great one-night genre film event will be April 25, 2013.  In light of the April 2013 release of Season Three of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-Ray, Fathom Events will be presenting a feature-length screening of the remastered two-part “The Best of Both Worlds” story arc featuring the first appearance of Patrick Stewart as Locutus. The April 25 screening at 7 p.m. local time will also include a “making of” feature as part of the screening.

“Best of Both Worlds, Part 1″ is universally acknowledged as one of the best cliffhanger episodes in TV history, and it’s in the top 10 of most Trek fans’ “Best of” lists.  It also features the two scenes with the best delivery of lines by both Jonathan Frakes as acting Captain Will Riker “Mr. Worf… Fire” and by Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf with his comment about Captain Picard’s abduction “He IS a borg.”

Best of Both Worlds poster

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Review by C.J. Bunce

In the brilliant photographic spectacular Earth from Above: 365 Daysfirst published in 2001, readers were introduced to a new book format, the five pound, strangely formatted 6.5 x 9.7 x 2.1 inch door stop/exercise weight/blunt weapon-capable book, which, at nearly 800 pages was packed full of highly quality images of the Earth.  And the key to the “365″ in the title was that it followed events around the Earth through photographs by author/photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, for a full year.  Harry Abrams publishing has since latched onto the concept with gusto and published an endless volume of books in the oblong and thick format, and, inexplicably, they usually don’t cover 365 days of anything.  Why?  Who can tell?  Examples are subject matter surveys that span multiple years of coverage, despite the 365 in the title, such as The Rolling Stones: 365 Days, World War II: 365 Days, The Wild West: 365 Days, Golf Courses of the World: 365 Days, even Wisdom: 365 Thoughts from Indian Masters, Grateful Dead: 365, and how about Punk 365 and Graffiti 365So you have to put aside any thoughts you may have of a “page a day for a year calendar book” and either like–or not–the format of the coffee table book that may just break your coffee table.

In 2010 Paula M. Block and D.C. Fontana brought us Star Trek: The Original Series 365, and this week Abrams released the follow-up edition, Star Trek: The Next Generation 365, this time by Block with Terry J. Erdmann.  Both Block and husband Erdmann have put out some quality Star Trek non-fiction before, including Star Trek Deep Space Nine Companion and The Secrets of Star Trek: Insurrection.  Will diehard Star Trek fans go for this new work?

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Brannon Braga is the writer who wrote more scripts than any other person in the Star Trek franchise.  He wrote some of the best time travel/parallel universe episodes, concepts he clearly had a nice grasp on using “time” as a science fiction storytelling tool throughout Next Generation, moving on to use time as an element in episodes of Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise.  These included “Cause and Effect,” “Timescape,” “Parallels,” and “All Good Things…” on Next Generation, the movies Star Trek Generations and  First Contact, “Year of Hell,” “Living Witness,” “Timeless,” and “Endgame” on Voyager, and “These are the Voyages” on Enterprise.  It’s strange in hindsight that Braga penned the last episode to each of these series, yet they all are quite similar.

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No doubt Oscar Pistorius’s unprecedented entry and run in the Olympics this weekend will go down as a highlight of these games.  The first person to bridge the Summer Olympics and the Paralympics, clad in neither bionic nor cyborg prosthetics but walking “blades” certified to give no advantage to him against other runners, South African runner Pistorius gave a competitive go of it in his 440 meter semi-final track event.  Truly he’s an inspiration to everyone, disabled or not.

So in honor of the closest person we’ve found to a real-life borg Olympian, we are presenting this list of the ten most interesting sci-fi or fantasy sports we’d like to see in a future Olympics.  In whittling down this list we have eliminated motor sports or the like, so no pod racing or light cycle races (but we’ll make an exception for broomsticks).  We also found far too many gladiator events in classic sci-fi, going back to the original Star Trek’s “Gamesters of Triskelion” and “Bread and Circuses” battles to Star Trek Voyager’s Seven of Nine vs. The Rock arena combat called Tsunkatse, to the combat in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, which continues on this year in genre shows like Bo’s battle to the death in Lost Girl.  So we’ll skip those for this round.  Most of our games reflect a possible evolution of today’s games and come from sci-fi TV or movies, but we just had to throw some fantasy events into the mix for good measure.  So here goes:

Updating who knows what Olympic sportsParrises squares (Star Trek: The Next Generation).  A future J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot movie sequel really could do some good by showing us an actual Parrises squares match.  The often celebrated Star Trek universe game has been played by everyone from Tasha Yar to the EMH’s daughter on Voyager (who sadly, dies from a Parisses squares injury).  But all we have seen are the uniforms.  This barely makes our cut because we simply haven’t seen the game in action yet, yet the possibilities from what we’ve heard from Star Trek characters is enough to make it to the list.

Updating taekwondo and judoBat’leth and Mok’bara (Star Trek: The Next Generation).  In the episode “Parallels,” Worf returns to the Enterprise from a bat’leth tournament. Part of the plot revolves around whether he scored first or ninth place in the games.  He even has a nice trophy to show for it:

Mok’bara was Worf’s version of taekwondo, an elegant art of movement for the Klingon set.  Both of these are future martial arts we’d like to see added to the Olympic slate.

Updating fencingLightsaber dueling (Star Wars).  Ben Kenobi showed Luke he could practice his saber work without anyone getting hurt.  You can even perfect your skills with a floating spherical sparring partner.  Fencing uses foils, sabers or epees. Maybe lightsabers can be set to “stun”?  I can’t think of a more elegant sport for a civilized age.

Updating fencing, judo and taekwondoAnbo-jyutsu (Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek Voyager).  We’ve only seen this played by Will Riker and his dad and B’Elanna Torres and Kes, but that was all we needed.  Cool uniforms and football-type padded gear, these guys really play hard.

Updating basketballPyramid/Triad (Battlestar Galactica), and Serenity basketball (Firefly).  Less elegant than martial art competitions, street sports like Pyramid/Triad and “Serenity basketball” (played in the episode “Bushwhacked”) allow everyone to get into the act with little upfront cost to play.  Even when the end of the world just happened, you can assemble a pick-up game of Pyramid, even on board a starship like the Galactica.

Serenity basketball seems to have less clear rules, but we’re sure it can factor in to a future Olympic event.

Updating hockeyRollerball (Rollerball).  The game itself really sold the movie.  Maybe we were cheering for James Caan because we still saw him as Brian Piccolo playing alongside Gail Sayers in Brian’s Song.  Nah… he’s just cool in everything.  What an intense action sport Rollerball would be in real life, and so much fun to watch in-person.  (And yes, we allowed this sport on our list even though they use motorcycles).

Updating triathlon, skiing and shootingJames Bond skiing (The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, The World is Not Enough, with nods to Arnie in True Lies).  Good luck making it down the black diamond while someone is trying to throw you off balance.  We’d substitute blanks for bullets so our athletes can come back for more.  We saw a bit of this in an old Chevy Chase Saturday Night Live skit with the Olympics and Claudine Longet.  Not a lot of Olympic sports add the element of surprise like this “sport” could.

Updating discusIdentity discs (Tron, Tron: Legacy, and Tron: Uprising). Think discus but a bit more precarious, and we don’t even need a disc battle-to-the-death like in all the Tron live action and animated shows.  Just something that puts the thrower off balance as he’s trying to make a great throw, with the addition of a boomerang feature in the discus and two athletes throwing the blindingly lighted discuses at each other–so there’s some dodging required.

Updating rugby and soccerJump Ball (Starship Troopers).  You can’t beat a sport where men and women play along side each other on equal footing.  And Johnny Rico and his pals looked like they were having so much fun, too.  Part indoor football, and full contact, with cool gear–all that makes this one a game everyone would want to play and watch.

Updating rugby, polo, and basketballQuidditch (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, etc).  Beyond the flying, Quidditch offers multiple goals and ways to win, and that puts this toward the top of our list of exciting otherworldly sporting events.  On the one hand it’s another form of “air hockey” (or “basketball on broomsticks with six hoops” as Harry calls it) where you have to get the ball in the goal, but with the addition of the trickier seeker’s job, viewers can choose which part of the game to watch—assuming someone can film all the details and project it on a nice jumbotron.  And like Jump Ball, boys and girls play together on the same team.  With neat equipment like the quaffle and bludgers and the zippy little golden snitch, who wouldn’t get excited about this kind of match?

So that’s it.  Cheers to Oscar Pistorius.  We hope he comes back for the next Olympics.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

By C.J. Bunce

You can spend your weekend at Comic-Con wandering the exhibit floor looking for mass market collectibles, talking with dealers of original art, talking with writers and artists of current and classic comic books, attend panels and see comic and other creators, TV and movie stars and get the low-down on coming projects, go offsite for parties and studio and publisher events–the biggest problem is doing all you want when there is nowhere close to enough time to do it in.  If you’re in for only a few days, you really have to pick up your pace and narrow down what you want to see.  Since I spent a whole day in panels and did not stay for the entire weekend, any encounters I had with creators and studio celebrities were pretty much based on happenstance this year.  Many creators are now friends, others I gawk at like everyone else from afar.  So who did I see?

First of all, in panels I saw the cast of Community, Firefly, and the new series Arrow, including guys I’d love to talk in person someday–Alan Tudyk and Adam Baldwin, David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel from Bones, and the guy you may know as Bud from Married with Children, David Faustino, who is doing voice work now for Nickelodeon, and he voiced the character Mako as part of the Legends of Korra panel.  As I mentioned earlier in the week, waiting in line allowed me to meet and get a photo with Joss Whedon.

The Soup host Joel McHale, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, former Angel star David Boreanaz and Korra’s David Faustino really stood out as funny guys in these panels–surprisingly quick-witted people who got the crowd cheering with everything they said.

I saw the main cast of the Syfy Channel series Haven during their signing session.  They really looked like they were having a good time–like they really get along with each other.  Also signing in the Sails Pavilion were Richard Anderson, who was the classic character Oscar Goldman from one of borg.com’s favorite borg shows: The Six Million Dollar Man, and Cindy Morgan from the original Tron and Caddyshack.  I hoped to run into Bruce Boxleitner, JK Woodward and Scott and David Tipton but my panel schedule caused me to miss meeting them.

On the exhibit floor I watched Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) and Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) talk with fans and sign autographs.

Arnold Schwartzenegger was coming into the hall and I staked out a photo op location but his handlers moved him out of the hall so I missed seeing him.

As a Star Trek fan, I was very happy to finally meet and have a nice conversation with Brent Spiner.  He was a great guy who was as nice in person as you’d hope him to be from years of watching his lovable character Data.  I also had a brief chat at day’s end with Levar Burton, also a friendly guy, signing photos of Geordi LaForge for fans.  I’d met Marina Sirtis before so I didn’t chat with her this round, but she was also signing Counselor Deanna Troi photos in the hall.

Earlier this year I reviewed Table Top, a new, fun Web series hosted by Wil Wheaton with the Geek and Sundry creators.  I met him near a Starbucks and shared my feedback with him on his show.  We talked about some of the games and he graciously introduced me to his wife and friends.

Wheaton is truly “one of us” and a really personable guy.  Of everyone at the Con, he is probably my first pick of someone you’d like to wander the Con halls and chat with.  Another show host, Blair Butler was attending the Con from the popular genre cable channel G4.

Of the comic book realm, I met Cat Skaggs, a well-known comic book artist who was signing cover prints to Smallville Season 11 #1 and she sketched a great Green Arrow bust for me.

I also met Neal Adams–a comic book legend who created the look of the Silver Age Green Arrow and I finally was able to add one of his sketches to my folio.  Neal was sketching non-stop for fans just like the newer, younger artists in Artist Alley–a real “working artist” even after all these years.

I ran into my friend Freddie Williams II also, and he also was busy sketching for fans throughout the Con and selling original art from his various DC Comics series.

David Petersen, known best for his Mouse Guard work, was working on commissions for attendees and selling shirts and art at his booth in Artist Alley.  I also lucked into getting a sketch from him and enjoyed talking with his wife, who manned the booth when he was doing signings elsewhere.

I ran into Frank Cho again this year and he said he is still expecting to get Guns & Dinos out soon.  He was selling a great pin-up calendar featuring Brandy and the Liberty Meadows gang.  More on that in future posts.  A nominee for the Eisner in two categories this year, Rachel Rising creator Terry Moore was busy talking with fans.

As with last year, Jim Lee could be found at several panels and signing throughout Comic-Con.

As with Freddie Williams, I met up with several folks from back in the Midwest.  I ran into artist Ande Parks and met his wife, while hanging with Sean and William from Elite Comics and Chris Jackson who runs Planet Comicon.  Parks was chatting with his frequent cover artist Francesco Francavilla, this year’s Eisner cover artist of the year winner, and someone we have talked about here at borg.com all year long for his great cover art.  I ran into Star Trek author Kevin Dilmore twice on the exhibit floor–my third year seeing Kevin at the Con.  It’s crazy how you can be in your hometown and never run into anyone, and then fly to San Diego and see so many people from back home.

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