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Tag Archive: Star Trek


star trek city edge forever ellison idw cover juan ortiz

Hands down J.K. Woodward is the best artist to ever take on Star Trek in the comic book medium.  His Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who Assimilation² was a stunning visual journey, and that series, reviewed here at borg.com, showcased Woodward’s superb painted panels and contained an imaginative story by David and Scott Tipton.  Tipton, Tipton, and Woodward are back this week with the long-titled Star Trek:  Harlan Ellison’s The City on the Edge of Forever, The Original Teleplay, a five-issue limited series beginning tomorrow.  For borg.com readers we have a nine-page preview of the issue below after the break, courtesy of IDW Publishing.

The Star Trek: The Original Series episode “City on the Edge of Forever” is regarded by many (including a TV Guide poll of the “100 Best TV Episodes of All Time”) as the greatest Star Trek episode of all time, but what made it to television was a far cry from the original teleplay by noted science fiction writer Harlan Ellison.  Ellison’s original teleplay won both the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation as well as the Writer’s Guild of America’s Award for Most Outstanding Teleplay.

JK Woodward Enterprise from City on the Edge of Forever

The new IDW Publishing comic book mini-series, produced under the guidance of Ellison, now brings the classic story to fans like they haven’t seen it before.  Issue #1 is a blast.  Woodward’s visuals are eye-popping as usual, and the story presents its own parallel universe for those familiar with the classic TV episode.  Yeoman Rand never looked better!

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SW 18 1  Legenderry04-Cov-Benitez

It’s Wednesday again, and that means the new comic books are out for the week at your local comic book store.  We’ve got several previews for a whopping seven issues of new books that should have something for everyone.  There’s Dark Horse Comics’ great ongoing Star Wars series, which will be wrapping up this year.  Then there’s Bill Willingham’s excellent steampunk series Legenderry for Dynamite Comics, reuniting the best of classic pulp heroes with new twists, like the Six Thousand Dollar Man.  We also have previews of two issues from Archie Comics–one from Archie Comics Digest and the other from the SEGA video game universe: Sonic the Hedgehog.

SON_261-0  ARDD_251-0

Also, a new Angry Birds series begins, IDW is releasing a brief history of Godzilla comics, and a preview of the next issue of the ongoing Star Trek series is here, all from IDW Publishing.

Star Trek 34 cover  GODZILLA_IDW-ERA_FrontCov-copy

After the break, check out previews for one or all of them, courtesy of their respective comic book publishers.

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These_are_the_voyages_TOS_season_two_first_edition_cover

Review by C.J. Bunce

Marc Cushman’s second volume of These Are the Voyages, his unprecedented treatise on Star Trek, the original series, is an improvement on his first volume, reviewed last year here at borg.com, which was a thorough history of the landmark series’ first season.  But where Volume 1 was a good read–an assemblage of facts from multiple sources not easily obtainable otherwise and an accounting of television history from 1966–Volume 2 qualifies a great read.  With more in-depth stories, anecdotes and interviews, from original sources as well as recent reminiscences from actors and production staff, Volume 2 provides a superb history of the production of Season Two and the world of American TV studios in 1967-68.

Highlights of Season Two recounted by Cushman include key changes to the show, such as the introduction of Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov, which often led to the reduction in the roles of Sulu and Uhura.  James Doohan’s Scotty was made third in command in Season Two, based on the writers’ efforts to keep Spock and Kirk together and expand the show to strange new worlds away from the Enterprise.  The book includes modern accounts from the actors as they reflect back on their interpersonal relationships during production–everyone from George Takei to William Shatner seems surprised in retrospect by each other’s reported dismay during the series.

Shatner on set

Volume 2 reveals Star Trek in its prime form—after a year of world-building in Season One, the first half of Season Two includes some of the best Star Trek episodes the series had to offer.  Much of this was thanks to writer Gene L. Coon, whose selection of material lightened up the tone of the show, broadening appeal to viewers.  Coon created the Klingons and the Prime Directive and the humorous relationship of Spock and McCoy.  His influence can be seen in Season One’s “Space Seed” as well as Season Two’s classics “City on the Edge of Forever,” “Mirror, Mirror,” and “The Trouble With Tribbles.”  Sadly his mid-season departure led to more campy elements seeping into the series toward the end of the season.

Many components spice up what could otherwise have been a bland, encyclopedic offering.  The seemingly endless writing process during production that is recounted by Cushman is simply… fascinating.  Robert Justman’s hilarious (but always spot-on) script notes alone make the book worth reading.  The often eloquent and usually contentious back and forth battle on paper between Dorothy (D.C.) Fontana and Gene Coon and Robert Justman and Gene Roddenberry would make modern email battles seem lightweight.

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How I Married Your Mother finale

It always pays to be wary of grandiose statements and definitive pronouncements.  When I first watched Forrest Gump in the theater, one-third of the way through the movie it occurred to me I might be watching the greatest production of all time, and walking out of the theater I carried that thought with me.  But time changes things.  Now I see it as a fun film, but it’s not at the top of any of my “best of” lists.  Professor Schofield advised that you can’t really objectively analyze something, an art movement, a political figure, a fad–anything worth analyzing–unless several years had transpired and you could have the value of time and distance, contemplation and reflection, to look back with.

So it is with a bit of reservation that I am asserting that the series finale to How I Met Your Mother that aired Monday night should top any list of great finales.  The writers, producers, and actors simply got it just right.  Exactly right.  Airing the first episode of season one just before the finale aired really showcased how this ending was exactly what viewers deserved after nine seasons of sticking with the show.  Consider all the series finales that were promoted over the years, and despite the biggest of viewing audiences, you might find that most last hoorahs miss the mark, try too hard, or just do something that didn’t reflect the best of the series.

Trek TNG All Good Things

The granddaddy of all finales was the 1983 M*A*S*H extended episode “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen.”  Although some elements were right, like a bounty of typical and appropriate sad goodbyes, Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce, (one of the best characters of all time) after more than a decade of using laughter to beat the odds and help his unit survive the Korean War, cracks at the very end.  NBC’s comedy spy series Chuck made a similar mistake, wiping the memory of Chuck’s hard-earned love interest Sarah after we cheered him on all those years, requiring the story to basically start over from scratch in some far off place after the series wrapped.  Another less than satisfying but at least appropriate-to-the-series finale was the end of the monumental 20th year of the original Law & Order.  We basically got to see a fairly typical episode of the series, which certainly fit the seriousness of the show’s drama.  But we also got a goodbye scene and were left on a positive note with “Lieut’s” good news about her hard-fought illness.

Before that, you might have seen the last episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show on Nick at Nite or other classic rerun network if you weren’t old enough to catch it in its initial run.  The TV network that was the subject of the series fires everyone including Mary at the end, except Ted Knight’s character Ted Baxter.  The annoying guy that we loved for being annoying gets to stay.  A funny series with a funny end, as well as the requisite bittersweet goodbye scene.  A similarly funny sitcom, Psych, wrapped its eighth and final season last month, tying up all its remaining loose ends.  Psych took a different path, taking its angst-inducing character, Detective-then-Chief Lassiter, and with a redemption of sorts, switched up his role in the last two seasons to become a guy viewers could cheer on.

Newhart finale

Another comedy, Newhart, gave us a completely bizarre ending for an otherwise enjoyable comedy series.  Yet it was saved literally in the last two minutes by a brilliantly concocted stunt–bring back Bob’s wife from his original series, The Bob Newhart Show, the lovely Suzanne Pleshette, revealing the whole series was just a dream.  It’s a gimmick that didn’t work for a series like the original Dallas (recall Bobby Ewing died then came back to life with a “poof”), but for a comedy wrap-up, it couldn’t have been better timed.

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ST Archives 1

IDW Publishing is bring back a series of volumes reprinting the original classic Star Trek series originally published by Gold Key Comics, including the memorable photo covers of the Star Trek crew that you might remember from nearly 50 years ago.  The first volume hits the shelves of comic book stores tomorrow and features the first six issues that were originally sold between 1967 and 1969.

If you lost your original issues to time, this new volume will bring back some good ol’ Trek nostalgia for you.  It includes Issue #1 from July 1967, “The Planet of No Return,” and Issue #2 from March 1968, “The Devil’s Isle of Space,” both written by Dick Wood with art by Nevio Zaccara.  You’ll also get Issue #3 from December 1968, “Invasion of the City Builders,” Issue #4 from June 1969, “The Peril of Planet Quick Change,” Issue #5 from September 1969, “The Ghost Planet,” and Issue #6 from December 1969 “When Planets Collide,” all written by Wood with art by Alberto Giolitti.

ST Archives 2 ST Archives 3

Plenty of modern Star Trek comics have done all kinds of things with storytelling and artwork.  But there is something fun about the simplicity of these old stories that will appeal to fans of 1960s comics and the creators’ vision for the future from long ago.

After the break, we’re previewing the first several pages of Star Trek–Gold Key Archives, Volume 1, courtesy of IDW Publishing:

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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

door chime

Today pop culture online store Entertainment Earth is having a sale on the totally retro cool Star Trek Electronic Motion-Sensitive Door Chime, which looks like wall unit on the NCC-1701.  It’s 30% off, so just $21.  It comes with the classic door opening sound from the original Star Trek and the red alert.

A motion-sensitive door chime for any Trek fan, this prop unit can be mounted on either side of a door to alert you when someone crosses the threshold.  Whether it’s a bloodthirsty Klingon bent on revenge or just your boss looking for your TPS report, you’ll know the moment they appear.

Enterprise door chime

It measures 6 1/2-inches long x 5 1/4-inches tall x 1-inch wide and requires three “AA” batteries, which are included.

Click here to order, and hurry, because the sale is today only!

Trek switch plate cover

And while you’re at it, pick up one of these great switch plate covers here (I got some for Christmas and they look great).

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

TATV S1 cover

Jacobs Brown Press has announced that its detailed account of Star Trek, the original series, These Are The Voyages TOS Season Oneby Marc Cushman, is now available in the UK and throughout Europe via Amazon.  Fans in the UK can purchase the book at www.amazon.co.uk; in France at www.amazon.fr; and in Germany at www.amazon.de.

We reviewed These Are The Voyages TOS Season One here at borg.com back in July and recommend it to fans of the series because of its detailed account and voluminous reference material.  These Are The Voyages TOS Season One pulls information from all these sources plus resources like Starlog, Daily Variety, and TV Guide articles as well as delve into an archive of production work papers from the UCLA Performing Arts Special Collections never before tapped for such an exhaustive work on the series. These Are The Voyages TOS Season One is a treatise on Trek, a comprehensive history of a crowning achievement in science fiction, but also a history of television itself in the 1960s.

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star-trek-the-original-topps-trading-card-series-cover

Review by C.J. Bunce

Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, authors of Star Trek 101, the Secrets of Star Trek: Insurrection, and the Star Trek 365 series, have compiled a new book in the Topps retro series of bubble gum-inspired books that includes the The 60th Anniversary of Bazooka Joe we previously reviewed here at borg.com.  It’s Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, and it’s a must-have for fans of 1970s trading cards and the original Star Trek series.

Back before videotape you’d watch a TV show or movie and never have much hope seeing it again unless you were lucky enough to find it rebroadcast later.  Keys images from your favorite films or TV series could be found on lunch boxes, T-shirts, school folders, and comic book covers if you were lucky.  Bread companies would sometimes stick trading cards in loaves, and you’d be lucky to collect three cards from any collection.  These included cards from Star Wars and Star Trek.  Topps had great success with its series of Star Wars cards, but you may not be aware that the company released a series of Star Trek cards prior to that series, in 1976.  It’s this series of classic cards that are the subject of a new book just released by Abrams.

St card back

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