Tag: star trek
Not a good week. Now we mourn the loss of another Star Trek icon, Nichelle Nichols, who passed away at the age of 89. Nichols played Uhura in the original series. Well respected by and respectful of the fans, she once planned to quit the series, but was convinced to stay on by none other than Martin Luther King, Jr., who told her, “You cannot….for the first time on television, we will be seen as we should be seen every day, as intelligent, quality, beautiful, people who can sing dance, and can go to space, who are professors, lawyers.” After Star Trek, she actually consulted with NASA to help recruit minorities and females, and was the inspiration of many engineers and astronauts.
Alas, she retired from the convention circuit before I could meet her owing to her deteriorating health, but she visited with the fans as long as she could. She was a true pioneer who will be missed.
This week we lost two great British actors, David Warner and Bernard Cribbins.
David Warner played a number of memorable roles, from pure villains like the brutal Pomponius Falco in Masada (for which he won an Emmy) and the Evil Genius in Time Bandits, to sympathetic enemies like Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Always a memorable actor in every role, he did guest spots on many shows including Babylon 5 and Star Trek: The Next Generation and many animation voice roles. He was also a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and played many classic roles on stage.
When I first had access to cable and the movie channels, there were a few movies I would watch over and over – two of them were Time Bandits and Time After Time, where he played Dr. John Stevenson, who in fact was Jack the Ripper, who escapes from 1893 London in H.G. Wells time machine to 1979 San Francisco. They were followed by Tron, where he played the dual role of Ed Dillinger/Sark – END OF LINE.
Bernard Cribbins is perhaps best known for his role as Wilfred Mott, Donna Noble’s grandfather, during David Tennant’s run in Doctor Who. He originally appeared in the Christmas episode, “Voyage of the Damned”, and was later retconned as Donna’s grandfather when he became a recurring character. His emotional pleas in Tennant’s final episode could really be felt. Cribbins also appeared in the 1966 theatrical movie Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., a film adaptation of the William Hartnell episode The Dalek Invasion of Earth” which starred Peter Cushing as wholly human Dr. Who. He even interviewed for the part of the Doctor in 1974…but lost to Tom Baker.
An actor since he was 14, he is also well known in Britain as the most frequent storyteller in the children’s series Jackanory, as well as appearing or narrating many other children’s programs, and received a special award from the British Academy Children’s Awards in 2009 and in 2011 received an Officer of Order of the British Empire (OBE) honor for services to drama. In 2014 he received the J.M. Barrie award for contribution to the children’s arts.
Award-winning Science Fiction author Vonda N. McIntyre, perhaps best known for her work in Star Trek including giving the characters of Sulu and Uhura first names as well as being just the third woman to win a Hugo Award, passed away yesterday at the age of 70 from pancreatic cancer.
McIntyre wrote the first original Star Trek novel (and second overall, after the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture), “The Entropy Effect”, in which she gave first names to a couple of the original characters, Hikaru Sulu and Nyota Uhura. The former became canon after fellow author Peter David visited the set of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and convinced the director, Nicholas Meyer, to use the name. The latter didn’t become canon until 2009’s Star Trek movie reboot.
She also won the Hugo, Nebula and Locus Awards for Best Novel in 1979 for Dreamsnake.
You can read her official obituary here.
The mission will continue for the CBS All Access flagship show as CBS has renewed Star Trek: Discovery for a third season. In addition, The Originals producer Michelle Paradise will join Alex Kurzman as co-showrunner after having joined the show as co-executive producer this season.
With Discovery and the upcoming Jean-Luc Picard series starring Patrick Stewart, CBS All Access appears all-in for Star Trek, so it will be interesting to see what they do next. It appears that they are poised to bring back Star Trek in multiple channels, much the way Disney has been working on Star Wars, with live action and animated shows all in development.
Star Trek: Short Treks is a series of four stand-alone short episodes of Star Trek: Discovery that start next week on October 4th on CBS All Access as a lead-in to the return of the show early next year, and each will focus on a particular character. The first of these is “Runaway”, starring Mary Wiseman as Tilly.
Star Trek: Discovery has its Spock. Ethan Peck, the grandson of late actor Gregory Peck, will be the third actor to play the character, behind Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto. “We searched for months for an actor who would, like them, bring his own interpretation to the role,” said executive producer Alex Kurtzman. “An actor who would, like them, effortlessly embody Spock’s greatest qualities, beyond obvious logic: empathy, intuition, compassion, confusion, and yearning. Ethan Peck walked into the room inhabiting all of these qualities, aware of his daunting responsibility to Leonard, Zack, and the fans, and ready to confront the challenge in the service of protecting and expanding on Spock’s legacy. In that spirit, we’re thrilled to welcome him to the family.”
Spock’s appearance was announced at San Diego Comic-Con last month. We know that the U.S.S. Discovery answers a distress call from a pre-Kirk NCC-1701 U.S.S. Enterprise commanded by Captain Christopher Pike, who will be played by Inhumans‘ Anson Mount.
Peck is best known for the movies In Time and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, as well as the series 10 Things I Hate About You.
Wow…Patrick Stewart just announced at Star Trek: Las Vegas that he will star in a new Star Trek series featuring Captain Jean-Luc Picard himself! The show will follow Picard in the “next chapter” of his life – presumably after he was captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Alex Kurtzman, who is currently heading production of Star Trek: Discovery, will also manage this show.
Not much detail was given, so more news as soon as we know.
TidBits: Anime-style Star Wars series; YouTube’s Origin sets familiar cast; Tremors dead; Clarkson likely first in Star Trek director’s chair; Sackhoff returns to space in Another Life
I’m still getting caught up after some personal travel and a variety of various things related to the end of the school year, musicals, plays, etc. – so, so busy! So here is a quick recap of notables this past week!
Star Wars will get animated again, but this time it will have an anime-inspired style. Disney has ordered up and production started on Star Wars Resistance, which is set in the period preceding Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The show will follow young Kazuda Xiono, a pilot recruited to spy on the growing First Order. Familiar and new characters will be featured, including BB-8, Poe Dameron (voiced by Oscar Isaac) and Captain Phasma (voiced by Gwendoline Christie). It will premiere this Fall on the Disney Channel in the U.S., followed by regular airings on Disney XD worldwide.
YouTube has cast two familiar Harry Potter alums in its upcoming SF thriller series Origin. Tom Felton and Natalia Tena will join newcomer Sen Mitsuji to star in the series which follows a group of strangers who are stranded on a spacecraft bound for a distant planet and must work together to survive.
SYFY has elected not to pick up the Tremors series, which would have brought back Kevin Bacon. Bacon posted on Instagram, “#Tremors Sad to report that my dream of revisiting the world of Perfection will not become a reality. Although we made a fantastic pilot (IMHO) the network has decided not to move forward. Thanks to our killer cast and everyone behind the scenes who worked so hard. And always keep one eye out for GRABOIDS!”
Paramount apparently plans to move forward with two separate Star Trek films simultaneously. We already knew about the Tarantino-helmed R-rated production, but now it appears that Tarantino’s project is in some way independent of the current Kelvin-timeline movies, but it is very hazy what that means yet. It could be a different ship and crew, or it could be yet another timeline. Instead, a new Kelvin-timeline movie to follow up Star Trek Beyond is now getting started, with female British director S.J. Clarkson in negotiations to take point – which would make her the first female to head a film in the frachise’s history. This film would also bring back Chris Hemsworth as George Kirk, James Kirk’s father, who appeared in a cameo in 2009’s Star Trek.
Last but not least, Battlestar Galactica and Longmire star Katee Sackhoff will launch back into space aboard the Netflix series Another Life, about astronaut Niko Breckinridge (Sackhoff) on a mission to search for extraterrestrial intelligence and explore an alien artifact.
At WonderCon this weekend CBS released a deleted scene from the finale of Star Trek Discovery that shows the return of a group suspected to be behind the “black badge” Starfleet members, and show where the show is heading in its upcoming second season.
Note: The scene may present spoilers if you’d rather wait, or if you haven’t finished watching the first season…so stop reading now.
It’s time to come out of our holiday-induced coma and get caught up on the news, so here is some rapidfire TidBits…
Sadly, we have learned that actress Heather Menzies-Urich, wife of late actor Robert Urich and best known as Louisa in The Sound Of Music, passed away on December 24th at the age of 68. Obscure SF TV fans may also known her for playing Jessica in the TV series version of Logan’s Run.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi added another $99 million over the holiday weekend, although analysts expected more from the weekend. Fans seem to be greatly debating the merits of the movie…from our point of view it was a good movie but with a slew of technical problems. Expect a spoiler-laden review later this week.
In the meantime, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle appeared to get a big turnout from holiday audiences looking for something lighthearted, getting $72m since the Wednesday open and including $2m from the Amazon Prime Members preview earlier in the month. It’s definitely a good movie for audiences looking for a laugh. The Greatest Showman, which appears to be fighting critical reviews as well as the competition, only made $19m for the same six days, but we think is a great musical film with several Oscar-worthy songs.
Lastly, Quentin Taranino’s R-rated Star Trek has named a writer – The Revenant‘s Mark L. Smith.