Tag Archive: Star Trek convention

Review by C.J. Bunce

TV historian and Star Trek expert Marc Cushman has returned with his next volume in the history of the creators of Star Trek, the 1960s television series, the hardcover book These Are the Voyages: Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek in the 1970s, Volume 1 (1970-75).  At a massive 763 pages, Cushman uses his trademark style of sifting through every available source to collect details about Hollywood, executives, writers, actors, and everyone in between to provide a history of television via the extensive use of contemporary, primary source materials.  The book includes dozens of black and white photographs, screen shots, marketing images, and behind the scenes photographs.

Fans of Star Trek: The Animated Series and the tie-in novels that began with author James Blish should take note: Much of the book is about Star Trek: The Animated Series, the marketing of Star Trek by Roddenberry’s company Lincoln Enterprises, and several studio tie-ins during the 1970s, including the Gold Key comics, and Blish’s famous run of novels–all which kept Trek fans engaged for a decade without a live-action presence.  The rest is devoted to Roddenberry’s personal projects before and after The Animated Series.

Many themes are brought to light as Cushman tracks Roddenberry’s career and efforts to revive Star Trek after the 1960s series cancellation.  Roddenberry’s in-your-face nature with studio executives didn’t help him any, yet his persistence kept him in the business.  William Shatner was able to rely on his past success as an actor to easily move ahead with his career and lay the groundwork to become the icon he is known as today.  Leonard Nimoy benefited the most directly from Star Trek–he became a sex symbol, and moved from a music career to becoming co-star of the original Mission: Impossible.  He also didn’t miss a beat continuing his acting with major stage productions.  The rest of the cast was type-cast, having more difficulty finding work, especially Walter Koenig, who was even denied a voice-acting role on The Animated Series.  But The Animated Series would prove several things: Every member of the cast was ready to jump at the chance of returning to Star Trek despite their other projects.  Nimoy was at first hesitant, but when seeing the rest of the cast join up he seemed to not want to be left behind.  This included the writers for the original series–everyone asked to provide a script for The Animated Series wanted to return to the unique science fiction material–and did.

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Today marks the last day of the annual Creation Entertainment Star Trek convention in Las Vegas celebrating the 45th year of Star Trek.  If you were unable to attend this year’s show you still have a chance to watch The Three Captains Panel featuring Patrick Stewart from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Kate Mulgrew, from Star Trek Voyager, and William Shatner from Star Trek the Original Series.  The panel will stream live at this link from 1:20 to 3:15 p.m. local time.  It’s not free, online streaming isn’t the price of going in person but is still $14.99.  So if you want to watch it grab a few friends and share the price!

And if you can’t make the live show you can watch re-broadcasts at this link.  Re-broadcasts are also not free.  Each show from this year’s convention carries a different price.  Here is a rundown of this year’s other panels:

  • Voyager’s Ensign Harry Kim – Garrett Wang
  • Return to the Sixties – Lee Meriwether (Losira), Yvonne Craig (Marta), & Clint Howard (Balok, Muk)
  • Return to Enterprise – Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed) & Connor Trinneer (Trip Tucker)
  • Deep Space Nine Aliens – Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun, Shran), Nicole de Boer (Dax), Vaughn Armstrong (Forrest, Korris, Korath, Klaax, etc.), Casey Biggs (Damar), Max Grodenchik (Rom)
  • Mr. Chekov – Walter Koenig
  • Voyager’s Tuvok- Tim Russ
  • Deep Space Nine’s Odo & Kira – Rene Auberjonois & Nana Visitor
  • Star Trek The Next Generation Panel – Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar), Suzie Plakson (K’Ehleyr, Dr. Selar), & John Delancie (Q)
  • Klingon Empire – JG Hertzler (Martok, Kolos), Robert O’Reilly (Gowron), Barbara March (Lursa) & Gwynyth Walsh (B’Etor)
  • Deep Space Nine’s Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax – Terry Farrell
  • Captain Janeway – Kate Mulgrew
  • Mr. Spock – Leonard Nimoy
  • Voyager’s Neelix – Ethan Phillips
C.J. Bunce
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