Tag Archive: Star Trek


Arguably no player of fictional roles did more to further science and the future than Nichelle Nichols.  The actress who played Star Trek crew member Uhura for 54 years in the original series, six movies, and fan films passed away today at age 89.  I first met her in San Francisco in the 1990s and later at other events, and she always was gracious, embraced fans, and was always laughing, smiling, and enjoying her time recounting her personal story.  She probably has the most familiar story of any science fiction actor, as she became an icon of television, science fiction, and science fact.

Her greatest story was recounting how she had decided to leave the Star Trek series until she had a conversation with Martin Luther King, Jr., who informed her just how important it was that a black woman was being seen by an entire nation on television.  She was an equal crew member serving in a prime-time network series, and would go on to help expand the boundaries of race relations, participating in the first on-screen inter-racial kiss, with co-star William Shatner’s Captain Kirk.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The sign of good storytelling for any retelling or prequel is knowing the ending of the story upfront and still wanting to come back for more.  From bookending the season with appearances by interesting Wynonna Earp star Melanie Scrofano to creating one the franchises best alien characters with Bruce Horak’s chief engineer Hemmer, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds isn’t just good Star Trek, it’s the best first season of any Star Trek series since… well, the first season of the original series back in 1966.  Offering more than one episode that should be a contender for your own Top 10 list of the best of the entire franchise, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds demonstrates if you keep trying, you eventually may stick the landing.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Fans of Captain Pike’s “old is new again” Enterprise from the second season of Star Trek: Discovery got their wish Thursday as Anson Mount’s captain, new Number One actor Rebecca Romijn and new Science Officer Spock actor Ethan Peck stepped into roles long familiar to the Star Trek fan base.  The title is apt: Strange New Worlds, taking a line from William Shatner’s original introductory dialogue for Captain James T. Kirk from the very beginning of Gene Roddenberry’s vision, is handed off once again, in a series opener drawn from the pilot for the first episode of Star Trek filmed way back in 1964, and that darned old Prime Directive.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Which pair of characters exemplifies the best friendship in all of the Star Trek franchise?  Who do you think made the best BFFs?  How about Geordi and Data?  Or better yet, who represents friendship–its ups and downs–the best?  Like Tuvok and Neelix?  Kirk and Bones?  Or frenemies Bones and Spock?  Maybe for you its Worf and Riker, or Kes and the EMH.  Or Naomi Wildman and Seven of Nine, or Quark and Odo.  Of course there’s no right answer, but writers Robb Pearlmann and Jordan Hoffman explore the subject in a very fanboy conversation in the new gift book The Star Trek Book of Friendship The best part?  It’s filled with new artwork by the best Star Trek artist in the franchise’s 55 years, celebrated poster and comic book painter J.K. Woodward.  It’s available for pre-order now here at Amazon.

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The most infamous, notorious, and maybe most beloved of toymakers, Marty Abrams returned to the toy biz in 2018 (after a stint in prison for fraud and the bankruptcy of his famous toy company–get the whole story on Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us).  The company he made famous–MEGO–gave kids a memorable 1970s line of licensed 8-inch (1:9 scale) action figures, and it has been adding more figures–often in limited supplies–the past few years.  Abrams has pulled in a diverse cross-section of licensed properties to get his foot back in the door with kids and collectors.  Look around at Wal-Mart and Target and you’ll find an eclectic mix of pop culture nostalgia, some figures resembling sculpts and costumes from the original MEGO figures, others representing characters that may leave you scratching your head, wondering who has been eagerly waiting to see this show in an action figure line.  Finally it seems MEGO may be giving its licensors the look they deserve design-wise, as you’ll find with the Young Frankenstein and Universal Monsters line.  Check out some of the new and recent figures available below.

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Our borg Best of 2021 list continues today with the Best Books of 2021.  If you missed them, check out our reviews of the Kick-Ass Heroines of 2021 here, the Best Movies of 2021 here, and the Best in TV 2021 here.  And we wrap-up the year with our additions to the borg Hall of Fame tomorrow.  We reviewed more than 100 books that we recommended to our readers this year, and some even made it onto our favorites shelf.  We don’t publish reviews of books that we read and don’t recommend, so this shortlist reflects only this year’s cream of the crop.  So let’s get going!  

   

Best Sci-Fi, Best Tie-In Novel – Moments Asunder by Dayton Ward (Gallery Books).  An engaging read and fun-filled start to a new trilogy, full of great throwbacks to all the Star Trek series, with several surprise characters and incorporated events, and a great update to Wesley Crusher.  Runner-up: Star Trek: Picard–Rogue Elements (Gallery Books), by John Jackson Miller, provided a great story for a newer character, pulling into the mix the future of some familiar characters including the classic villain Kivas Fajo.    

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The thing about being a kid in the 1970s and 1980s was that your view of television history is skewed by the advent of reruns.  Ron Howard and Clint Howard are much older than me, and yet because of reruns of The Andy Griffith Show and Gentle Ben, and the original Star Trek, I feel like I grew up along with, or maybe only a little bit behind the characters these actors played at a young age.  So for anyone who grew up with the Howards on television or those that only think they did by way of reruns, you’re in for a fun insight into the life of these brothers behind the scenes in their new book The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family, available now here at Amazon.  Long before Ron would direct Solo: A Star Wars Story and Apollo 13 and Clint would populate all of Ron’s movies and act in most of the Star Trek series as characters from Balok to Muk, a young couple in New York tried to make it in the movie biz.

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Star Trek Designing the Future cover

Review by C.J. Bunce

For nearly 55 years sci-fi fans have been watching and re-watching Star Trek’s original series and rebuilding futuristic components from the show in their own homes.  In the 1960s it was easier, as many of the components that defined the early look of Star Trek were simply “found objects”–items existing in the real world that could be repurposed to create a vision of the future.  Midcentury Modernism was the artistic movement that coincided with the inception of the worldbuilding for Star Trek, and fans Dan Chavkin and Brian McGuire chronicled some of the Star Trek creators’ use of those designs in their new coffee table book, Star Trek: Designing the Future–How Midcentury Modernism Shaped Our View of the Future Take a look at a preview of this introduction to the artistic movement and the early Star Trek design aesthetic below, courtesy of publisher Insight Editions.

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STAR_TREK_VILLAINS_COVER

Review by C.J. Bunce

Sometimes you wish you could go back in time, to decades past where life was simpler and you could grab a magazine at the local bookstore or grocery store rack to get a fix from your favorite movies or TV series.  Back in the 1970s and 1980s sometimes that meant Starlog, Starburst, or Space Wars, Fantastic Films Magazine, or even mags aimed at the younger set, like Dynamite.  Then publishers targeted fandoms with The Lucasfilm Fan Club Magazine for Star Wars, and Star Trek Communicator all sprouting out of fanzines.  Titan Magazines has been publishing both Star Wars Insider and Star Trek Magazine–soon to become Star Trek Explorer–for decades, and it’s the articles from the Star Trek mags that fans can “read again for the first time” as Titan launches its best magazine-sourced overview yet from the big franchises, Star Trek Villains, now available for pre-order here.  What is your favorite Star Trek villain?  Check out a preview below courtesy of Titan.

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Voyage Home clip b

One of the greatest–and most widely popular–chapters of the 55 years of Star Trek is coming back to the theaters this summer.  The 35th anniversary of the film that expanded Star Trek beyond sci-fi fandom, 1986’s Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home hits theaters again across the country in a limited release as Paramount Pictures partners with Fathom Events.  It was all about having fun while fighting for Earth’s very survival with the beloved crew of the starship Enterprise, the film that wrapped up a trilogy of sorts after the death and rebirth of Spock.  It’s one of the best-received time travel movies of all time, and it sparked a generation of environmentalists who would actually take heed of the film’s cautionary story to go on to save endangered whales in real life.

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