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Tag Archive: Star Trek: The Next Generation


The Librarians band of misfits

The TNT Network announced it has ordered 10 episodes of The Librarians, a new television series spinning off from The Librarian movies.  Christian Kane (Leverage, Angel) and Rebecca Romijn (X-Men, King & Maxwell) are returning to TNT and will lead the cast of the new series along with Lindy Booth (Kick-ass 2, Nero Wolfe, Warehouse 13, Dawn of the Dead, Supernatural) and John Kim (Neighbors, The Pacific).  Stars of the previous stories in The Librarian universe, Noah Wyle (Falling Skies, ER), and comedy icons Bob Newhart (The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart, Bob), and Jane Curtin (Saturday Night Live, Kate & Allie, 3rd Rock from the Sun) will reprise their roles in the new series.  Wyle will also continue in his role on TNT’s Falling Skies.

Fans of the Syfy Channel’s now defunct Warehouse 13 may find some familiarity in the world of The Librarians, as the show centers on an ancient organization hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library dedicated to protecting an unknowing world from a hidden world of magic.  The team solves mysteries, fights supernatural threats, and recovers powerful artifacts from around the world.  Among the artifacts housed in the Library are the Ark of the Covenant, the Spear of Destiny, the Judas Chalice and Excalibur.  As with Myka and Pete from Warehouse 13, only a person with special skills can protect these artifacts, and prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

The new Librarians TNT

Along with comedy icons Newhart and Curtin, fan favorite comedic actors John Larroquette (Star Trek III, Stripes, Night Court, Deception) and Matt Frewer (Max Headroom, Orphan Black, Star Trek: TNG) will be regulars on the show.  Larroquette will play Jenkins, overseer of the Librarians, with Frewer an immortal, ancient cult leader named Dulaque.

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All You Need is Kill

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Live. Die. Repeat.

One of these lines is in the 2004 Japanese military science fiction novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. The other line gives away some of the surprise of what the novel–soon to become a major motion picture–is about.  The movie, renamed the far less interesting title Edge of Tomorrow, stars Tom Cruise as a foot soldier (Kaiji Kiriya in the novel, Lt. Col. Bill Cage in the movie)and Emily Blunt as powerhouse super soldier Rita Vrataski in a future battle with an alien incursion that takes place on Earth not too far from now.  Based on the brief previews we’ve seen, the film appears to be different enough from the novel so that reading the novel will not entirely give away the movie, and it’s full of enough classic sci-fi riffs that you may want to read it first as a separate experience.

Sakuraska’s novel will likely conjure elements from some of the best of classic science fiction.  It’s a great look at day-to-day military encounters, with real world elements from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, Richard Marcinko’s Rogue Warrior, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, and Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers.  It has its own thought-provoking “warning-sign” messages found in classics like Logan’s Run and THX-1138, that adversity in the face of certain doom as in Pacific Rim, and the “what the heck is going on” feel from any number of Philip K. Dick short stories (“Paycheck” and “We Can Remember it for You Wholesale” come to mind).  It also borrows a lot from the endless onslaught of future military video games—it helps to know the author’s background is in information technology and he’s an avid gamer.

All You Need is Kill Edge of Tomorrow tie-in novel

As the movie’s tagline reveals, the now iconic Groundhog Day time-loop plays a part in the story.  Searching for what role the time-loop plays is the real quest Sakurazaka takes us through.  Each new year seems to bring a new take on that sci-fi device, and the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Cause and Effect” best illustrates the physics “causality loop” if you’re not familiar with it and we discussed several other examples here at borg.com back in 2011.  If you’re stuck repeating the events of a single period of time, can you ever hope to break free from it?  What do you do in the meantime?  The time-loop element is pervasive even in the future world of the novel—Keiji loosely recounts once watching Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore’s time-loop comedy 50 First Dates, which finds Barrymore’s character with amnesia every morning so she must start each day all over again.

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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

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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