Last year, a legend among the acting world and nerd community, Leonard Nimoy, passed on. He was known to most as the actor of near-mythic Star Trek character, Spock. It was a shock to many of his fans, even though he had lived to be a ripe age of 83, and had been quietly suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). As the world grieved, tributes were made, virtual memorials were erected, and many spoke out about what Nimoy, and his most favorite character, meant to them. Most touchingly, his son Adam Nimoy, began work on a film (or rather, shifted the focus of his film a bit, as production had begun before the tragic loss). Now, at SDCC 2016,we get our first real trailer of For The Love Of Spock. (more…)
In less than one Earth year, we will have Star Trekback on our televisions. Granted those televisions will have to be tuned into the CBS steaming site All Access, but still, for the first time in over a decade, we will be able to watch a weekly Star Trek adventure. Of course, Star Trek did start out as a multi-platform multimedia entity. For three years in the 1960s it was a TV show created and overseen by Gene Roddenberry, and while his failing health prevented him from having a lot to do with the show from about the third season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, his influence persisted through to the end ofEnterprise in 2005. Now we’ve learned that when the new Trek begins next year, a Roddenberry will, in fact, be taking part. (more…)
We’re all still coming to grips with the loss of Leonard Nimoy and people are celebrating his life and contributions in a number of ways. The day he passed away a number of fans and Star Trek Onlineplayers gathered on Vulcan to pay their respects. Cryptic Studios, the creative group behind Star Trek Online announced an in-game memorial and it went live today. (more…)
This day in 1966 Star Trek first beamed its way on to American airwaves and however unlikely it seemed, began leaving its mark on pop culture. The voyages of the Enterprise crew – Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov (and occasionally Nurse Chapel or Yeoman Rand) – were only transmitted for three years but thanks to years of syndication Star Trek eventually involved into a phenomenon of six movies, later birthing six more movies and five other television series. The most fervent fans – Trekkies, or Trekkers as some preferred to be called – spearheaded the convention-going culture we today enjoy across many fandoms. Basically, much of what comprises our “geek” culture owes a large debt to Star Trek. It’s been a tent pole among nerdy interests for over four decades!
But even with all that rich history, it’s the original crew that has become the most iconic. Those actors – William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Walter Koenig – were forever typecast and depending on when you asked them it was either for better or worse. It was their Enterprise crew J.J. Abrams sought to re-imagine in his 2009 reboot of the series, a film almost universally loved by fans old and new. And today, fans internet-wide are still putting their own stamp on Gene Roddenberry‘s original “Wagon Train to the stars,” with fan fiction, fan art, cosplay, and even fan produced movies and web series.
Star Trek is more alive now than it ever was, and it seems the days of being ashamed by your intense love for phasers, red shirts, and Romulans – not to mention their ale – are far behind us. If you’ve never given Star Trek‘s original series a shot because you thought it looked campy – it is – then you’re missing out on what is genuinely a fantastic show with wonderful writing, heartfelt performances, and excellent explorations of the relationships between its characters. You’re allowed to laugh when the set looks a little shaky, or an alien monster’s zipper is clearly apparent, or when Shatner performs a little too enthusiastically. That’s part of the charm. And sure, there will be truly awful, almost unwatchable episodes, too. But for every “Spock’s Brain” there’s plenty of “Balance of Terror,” “Amok Time,” or “The City on the Edge of Forever.”
Today every episode of Star Trek can be streamed online, for free, from a variety of sources. The most free, meaning you don’t have to already have a subscription to Netflix or Amazon Prime, is on CBS’ own TV.com. You could even renact history by tonight at 8:30 pm ET watching “The Map Trap,” the first aired episode of Star Trek. I like it because it heavily features Dr. McCoy, my favorite character, but I’m not kidding you when I say the villain is salt-sucking vampire creature. Seriously.
To sign off, I’ll leave with the immortal words of Phillip J. Fry from Futurama‘s “Where No Fan Has Gone Before,”
‘Cause it-it taught me so much. Like how you should accept people. Whether they be black, white, Klingon, or even female. But most importantly, when I didn’t have any friends, it-it made me feel like maybe I did.
Like many shows of the time period, many of the episodes written for the original series of Star Trek were conceived as vehicles for special guests stars. So it was with Norman Spinrad‘s screenplay, He Walked Among Us, intended to showcase Milton Berle. That’s right, “Mr Television” Milton Berle was being actively solicited to be a guest star on Star Trek the original series.
Not surprising considering that Berle was perhaps the all-time biggest TV personality and certainly the first real TV star, Gene Roddenberry wanted to feature him on Trek.
“This original version was rewritten into an unfunny comedy by the line producer Gene Coon apparently unaware that Uncle Miltie was also a serious dramatic actor and a good one. It was so bad that I complained to Roddenberry… and he agreed with me. I killed my second Star Trek, which, down through the years has cost me tens of thousands of dollars in lost residuals.”
Spinrad always thought the original script was destroyed, and was surprised when he recently met a fan with a hard copy. In return for Spinrad’s signature, the fan made a PDF of the whole thing, and now it’s been published for the Kindle.
It might not make up for the lost residuals, but one would expect hardcore Trek fans will be snapping up enough to give Spinrad a few gallons of gas.
A quick read shows the story to be about a self-made god who needs to be taken down a peg or two by Kirk and co. Milton Berle as a self inflated ego maniac? Sounds like he could have had fun with that.
Every day the internet produces an astounding amount of goodies and gems. Most hilarious, some amusing, but all worth at least a few seconds of your time. We here at Nerd Bastards try to bring you the best bits of news and nerdery the webz has to offer, with a bit of snark thrown in. But sometimes not everything makes the cut.
Monday through Friday we’ll be bringing you our inbox leftovers, our forgotten bookmarks, the nerdy bits that simply slipped through the cracks. You can submit items to Nerdy Bits by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holy Tribble shits! Can you believe it? Okay, you can, Star Trek has been a sci-fi classic my entire lifetime and I’m guessing all, if not most of your’s, too. How are you planning to celebrate? The obvious choice would be watching, ‘The Man Trap’ which was the first episode ever aired. Really great classic Trek involving a past lover of Dr. McCoy’s and a salt-sucking vampire-monster. It, along with all of classic Trek, are available for streaming on Netflix as well as CBS.com.
If classic Trek is a little too campy for you, check outStar Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, or Star Trek: Enterprise. Though, they tend to be a little campy too, and they can’t even excuse it with a measly 1960s budget. For the Trekkie tykes there’s Star Trek: The Animated Series and for your friends who really cannot stand Star Trek there’s the new J.J. Abrams movie. All are available on Netflix and some on CBS. So, you really don’t have much of an excuse to not Trek out today.
In conjunction with the big 4-5 anniversary the Science Channel has announced a new documentary, Trek Nation, airing on November 30th.
The film shadows Gene Roddenberry’s son, Rod, as he explores his family legacy and the crusade his father’s passion and curiosity for exploration. Through interviews with his most devoted fans, including George Lucas and J.J. Abrams, TREK NATION follows a son searching for the wisdom of his father. TREK NATION demonstrates that Roddenberry’s work has not only inspired legions of fans across the globe, but also generated a movement which has influenced entertainment, politics, space travel, social morality and much more. TREK NATION profiles how the Star Trek franchise helped foster a timeless understanding of the human condition and captured man’s constant search for a better world.
I’m almost as big a fan of documentaries as I am Star Trek, so this news is all full of win. Below, watch a special, never before seen clip from the upcoming doc.
I guess this makes me extra nerdy that I already knew this, but over at Blastr, they’re educating the rest of the masses about the lyrics to the theme song for Star Trek (TOS). The classic theme was composed by Alexander Courage (who many years later would fulfill musical duties for the ill-fated Superman IV), and since they used the song in each episode, he’d get a decent chunk of change. As Blastr points out, this is even ignoring Trek’s eventual cult-classic status. The show did run for three seasons.
Ah, but Courage had a handshake agreement with Trek creator Gene Roddenberry in which Gene had the option to pen lyrics to the song; in that event, the two would split the royalties. So after the show’s first year, that’s exactly what happened. But not because The Great Bird of the Galaxy had found the perfect words that embodied the memorable memory. As alleged in the book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, Trek producers Herb Solow and Robert Justman, Roddenberry did it to make some extra money.
It seems a bit sketchy, but Star Trek wasn’t then even close to the phenomenon it is today (or more accurately, 10 or 15 years ago when it was a cash cow for Paramount), and it’s not unlikely that at least some of that money helped keep the series afloat in one way or another even if indirectly. It really depends whom you ask.
Regardless, Courage didn’t score any other Trek episodes as a result of this.
So you’re probably wondering, “so what are the lyrics? Do they suck?” Read (and most likely weep):
DVD signed by J.J. Abrams - one of Roddenberry's auction items.
The brilliance of the Roddenberry legacy continues — this time, to help those in Haiti.
Rod Roddenberry, son of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry and “Star Trek” computer voice actress Majel Barrett, is auctioning off some of his late parents’ belongings to aid HaitianHero.com, an organization that usually offers programs to Haitian youth. Right now, though, HaitianHero is focusing on the rebuilding efforts the country will need in the aftermath of the recent earthquake. The president of the organization is Jimmy Jean-Louis, who plays “The Hatian” on NBC’s “Heroes” and who hails from Haiti himself.
Rod Roddenberry has sold the family home, and though he is keeping a number of sentimantal and valuable items from his famous parents, he says he unfortunately doesn’t have room to keep them all.
Auction items are a mix of “Star Trek” and ordinary items. Among the items are his father’s driver’s licenses, his mother’s golf bag, a “Star Trek: The Next Generation”script and some Star Trek movie stuff signed by J.J. Abrams. To see Roddenberry’s full list of items, look at his Facebook album here. What’s more, Roddenberry will match whatever the auction raises and send that along to Haiti too, thereby doubling the funds.
Roddenberry describes the reasoning for putting the items up for auction in that same Facebook album:
Here’s the deal, there are a lot of people suffering in Haiti right now and we can all do something about it. I have a number of items that belonged to my father and mother that I consider valuable in one way or another. I’m sure there are many of you other there that would share my sentiments. I am prepared to part with b/c I know they’ll go to a good home and I think we’ll all feel great if we can give to those who need it. Therefore, this will be an auction where all proceeds go to the Haiti relief. To be clear, I nor anyone else at Roddenberry will be profiting from this Auction. In addition, at the end of the auction, I will match the total amount from all items.
This is a really cool thing for anyone to do, and obviously it would be pretty neat to have a piece of “Star Trek” or Roddenberry history. Take a look at the Roddenberry treasure chest and see what you can do. Or, if you’d rather, check out HaitianHero.com, the American Red Cross, Yele.org or any number of verified charitable associations. Every dollar counts.