Kevin Galbreath

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One thing that is obvious when you do a deep dive in all things Star Trek, is that the producers love to bring back actors that “get it.”  That is why actors like Diana Muldaur, Jeffrey Combs, and Joseph Ruskin appeared as more than three characters over the various incarnations of the franchise.  One thing that stands out about many “regular” cast members is the fact that they appeared in Trek prior to the role they are best known for.

This time we take a look at three regular cast members of Voyager that had made previous appearances on Trek before landing the role they would spend the rest of their lives signing autographs for.

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Dungeons & Dragons has been around for a very long time.  The popularity of the game seems to continue to grow as more people try the Fifth edition and love it.  The future of D&D seems to be in good hands since Wizards of the Coast has a good number of items that could end up on your favorite gamer’s Christmas list.

There is an adult coloring book, game adventures/supplements, several choose your own adventure style books, and books to help children learn while interacting with a D&D style story.

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This October will see something that should have been released years ago.  A William Shatner Christmas Album.

Titled Shatner Claus and arriving on October 26th, it is filled with well known and beloved songs for the season.  Featuring a cast of incredible supporting players like Henry Rollins, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Brad Paisley, Iggy Pop, Todd Rundgren, and many more, it looks to be an eclectic mix of old music in varied styles.

This is not Shatner’s first foray into music, in fact, his first album came out while Star Trek was still on the air, in 1968.  Here is a look back at his oeuvre in the musical arts.

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The term “high fantasy” was first coined by Lloyd Alexander in a 1971 essay he wrote based on a presentation done for a conference of Children’s Librarians.

It is defined as a fantasy set in an alternate, fictional world rather than the real world.  Often the hero of “high fantasy” is a childlike figure that matures rapidly due to circumstances related in the story.  They are often helped by a mystical mentor who is often formidable and provides not only help but advice.  The antagonist is often some unknown force or “Dark Lord” of great power and fueled by malevolence for the rest of the world.

This genre has returned to prominence in recent years with books like the Game of Thrones series.  Here are a few of the classics in the genre that you can read as we continue to wait for George R.R. Martin to actually finish the next book.

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When Star Trek: The Next Generation first went into production the plan was to make sure that it stood apart from the original series.  Not only would the characters be different, but the adventures of Kirk and company would barely be mentioned.  Despite 76 years passing between the days of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy and those of Data, Worf, and Picard, they still played it safe by having an irascible Admiral who resembled a well-known country doctor named McCoy on the pilot episode “Encounter at Farpoint” to show the connection to fans.

Over the years, the other members of the original cast would interact with this new crew.  Spock, Scotty, Checkov, and Kirk would all be on some part of the Next Generation adventures on TV and film.  Even Sulu would appear on Star Trek: Voyager in a very clever episode that tied into the last film for the original cast.  In fact, the only member of the original series main cast that didn’t appear on modern Trek was actress Nichelle Nichols.

But a good number of guest stars from the original series crossed over to be part of the Berman era of Star Trek.  Here are the highlights from those that made the jump.

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Quick, name an actor who has played Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, and Zorro.  Okay, the title gives the truth away but Frank Langella has played all those parts and so many more.

He is best known for his portrayal of the 37th President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in the film (and play) Frost/Nixon.  That role found him nominated for both an Oscar and a Tony.  He would go on to win four Tony awards for his roles in Frost/Nixon, The Father, Seascape, and Fortune’s Fool.

However, despite his success as a mainstream actor, Langella has gone on to perform in several nerd-centric roles.

Here are just a few of the noteworthy parts he played that brought him to the notice of nerds everywhere.

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This fall will see the beginning of Jodie Whittaker‘s tenure as the 13th Doctor.  Regardless of arguments about if 13 is the appropriate number for her Doctor (after the meta-crisis and War Doctor, etc.), there has been quite a bit of uncertainty and outright hatred from some fan circles for a female Doctor.

However, Doctor Who has long implied this was not only possible but probable.  When David Tennant regenerated into Matt Smith, Matt touches his hair and says, “I’m a girl!!!” before finding his adam’s apple.

In the episode “The Doctor’s Wife” the Doctor says,

“The mark of the Corsair. Fantastic bloke. He had that snake as a tattoo in every regeneration. Didn’t feel like himself unless he had the tattoo. Or herself, a couple of times. Ooo, she was a bad girl.”

In Peter Capaldi’s episode “Hell Bent” he shoots the General who regenerates as a woman.

So the groundwork has been laid for gender switching, but there is a more significant indicator that all will be well with a female Doctor.  The Time Ladies that preceded Jodie.

Here are a few of the beloved female “Time Lords” from the Classic and New Who runs of the show.

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One of the best things for an actor in the science fiction genre is that they can work the same show multiple times as different characters.  With the magic that people like Michael Westmore can do with makeup, they can appear over and over and, yet, not be seen as themselves.  The character takes center stage and the actor can truly stretch themselves.

In the history of Star Trek, a lot of people have played multiple roles in the same series or across the spectrum of shows, but only a few have gone on to be considered a part of the main or recurring cast.  On Deep Space Nine it happened more often than any other Trek series.  Here are the nine actors who first guest starred on some version of Trek and soon found themselves cast in roles that would change their lives.

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The amazing effects of recent films like Downsizing and Ant Man &The Wasp, show how far Hollywood has come in making a convincing reality that is grounded in science fiction.  Where the MCU Ant Man films have brought the idea of shrinking into modern pop culture and Downsizing gave us a new vantage point to view our culture and how mankind has mistreated the planet we call home, they were not the first films to deal with making people little.

Some of their predecessors were full on fantasy films, while others were the predictable mad scientist tale of power and control.  There were even a few that were written and intended to be funny (and many that were unintentionally funny).

Here is a brief look at the history of shrinking in the cinema up through the 1950s.

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With the exciting news that Patrick Stewart is returning to the role that made him a household name, Jean-Luc Picard, there is a chance that Hollywood can make up for the mistakes of its past by recognizing the impact he and his character had.  His training in the Royal Shakespeare Company and the recognition he received for his stage work should have been a precursor for his recognition in film and on television.

However, that is not how things worked out.

The Emmy awards have recognized the Star Trek franchise for its technical work (mostly visual effects).  The franchise has even won 34 awards out of 155 nominations but only one of those wins was a “major” award.  That win was for Star Trek: The Animated Series (TAS) when it won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Entertainment Children’s Series in 1975.

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