On Star Trek Series 5 Rumors

There is a rumor that the next Star Trek series will be about the 29th century timefleet. This rumor hasn’t gotten much airplay at all, but it’s out there, and some sources suggest that the “Birth of the Federation” rumor exists as disinformation to cover the timefleet scenario.

My one complaint with the timefleet scenario is that it’s Doctor Who, just under a different name. Travelling through time and space, righting wrongs, etc.

Of course, I had the crazy idea once that perhaps Paramount should enter into a co-production agreement with the BBC for Doctor Who, and then spin a new Doctor Who series out of Star Trek. Start it with the Doctor visiting Deep Space Nine, then taking on a Starfleet officer as the companion character, then kicking out of the Trek universe after the pilot.

Fortunately, nothing this insane will ever happen. :)

On Justice League: The Final Frontier

Imagine this:

  • Batman vs. Worf.
  • Batman vs. Zak Kebron.
  • Batman vs. Si Cwan.

Okay, Batman wins all three fights. Handily.

Imagine this one:

Batman vs. Calhoun.

Okay, Batman wins that one, too.

Okay, so if there were to be a JLA/Star Trek crossover, we probably shouldn’t have it be hero vs. hero; no one can outthink Batman. No one. Not even Q.

Of course, I’d much rather see Trek and the Legion of Super-Heroes. The timefleet of the 29th century attracts the attention of the Time Trapper, and then the Linear Men get involved, and suddenly we have a war across time that drags our 23rd and 24th century heroes into the fray. And of course, the evil genius behind all this would be….

Nah, won’t spoil that. :)

On "Evil of the Daleks"

Thanks to a poster on rec.arts.drwho I’ve received a reconstruction of the Patrick Troughton Doctor Who serial, “Evil of the Daleks.”

Disappointed in “Evil of the Daleks”? Far from it.

I enjoyed it immensely. The sound quality was crystal clear, the still pictures were rock-solid, the one extant episode looked very good, and all in all I wish I could trade all of “Time-Flight” for just one more episode of “Evil,” preferably the final episode just to see the fight in the Dalek throne room in all its glory, but I’d settle for any other episode, too, maybe episode four where there’s so little dialogue but so much action with Jamie and Kemel skulking through the mansion.

Troughton’s performance was just incredible. After the NAs it’s easy to think of McCoy as being the cold, manipulative Doctor, but Troughton’s Doctor in “Evil” was just as manipulative, maneuvering Jamie into running the maze, maneuvering the Daleks into infecting themselves with the Human Factor. And the Daleks! Scheming, alien, and just plain evil. And when the Dalek Supreme tells the Doctor that he’s done their work by isolating the Dalek Factor, that’s a pretty chilling moment. I got the sense that the Doctor has probably never been so close to losing, to being beaten by a foe. Here was the Doctor out-thought, and that’s a take-your-breath-away moment if ever there was one.

And yes, the Beatles are heard in episode one.

I’ve heard that “Evil” is going to be released as part of the missing episode audios early next year; I’ll probably pick that up, because I’m curious how episode four comes across in the audio since almost nothing is said during the episode. It’s almost all Jamie and Kemel sneaking through the mansion, avoiding the Daleks, and while I got a sense of what was going on from the telesnaps, the audio track doesn’t lend itself to making a coherent story on its own, at least in that part.

Looking at episode two, you realize what’s really been lost when all the episodes were junked. The production looks at though it was high-class, pushing the budget to its limit, wringing every last penny that they could and putting it up on the screen. Looking at the Second Doctor Handbook, “Evil of the Daleks” was made for about one-fourth of the per episode budget of an episode of Star Trek at the same time. When I realized that, I was quite honestly astounded.

Another random thought. I’ve heard it said that “Evil” represents the “final end” of the Daleks. The Doctor says that himself at the very end of the story. And recently on r.a.dw there was a lengthy discussion about how “Remembrance” violated “Evil’s” ending by destroying Skaro thousands of years before “Evil.” But I started thinking about it, and I don’t believe there really is that much of a problem. In “Remembrance” Davros detonates the Hand of Omega and destroys Skaro’s sun at some point in the future. That wouldn’t necessarily destroy Skaro itself, however. If Skaro’s sun flamed out and collapsed into a black hole or somesuch (which is what I think the Hand of Omega was designed to do), Skaro wouldn’t be affected to any great degree. There would still be a gravity source at the center of the solar system, and Skaro’s orbit would not have been affected, because while the star itself had been snuffed out, the mass would remain as a white dwarf, neutron star, or a black hole. Skaro just wouldn’t be receiving sunlight, so the planet would be plunged into permanent night. Do Daleks need sunlight? I don’t imagine so. I think they’d get along just fine without a bright light source in the sky. If anything, snuffing out Skaro’s sun would probably make the Daleks madder than hornets.

So, needless to say, I really like this theory. Works a lot better for me than the way John Peel handled the “Remembrance”/”Evil” problem in War of the Daleks. (There he had the Daleks trick the Doctor into tricking Davros into destroying a planet the Doctor thought was Skaro but really wasn’t. Or something like that.)

“Evil.” Just good stuff. :)

On "Evil of the Daleks"

Thanks to an industrious Doctor Who fan, I have copies of a reconstruction of “Evil of the Daleks,” the fifth season Doctor Who epic that had the Daleks invade Victorian England, leading to a final confrontation between the Doctor and the Emperor Dalek on Skaro.

Disappointed in “Evil of the Daleks”? Far from it. I enjoyed it immensely. The sound quality was crystal clear, the still pictures were rock-solid, the one extant episode looked very good, and all in all I wish I could trade all of “Time-Flight” for just one more episode of “Evil,” preferably the final episode just to see the fight in the Dalek throne room in all its glory, but I’d settle for any other episode, too, maybe episode four where there’s so little dialogue but so much action with Jamie and Kemel skulking through the mansion.

Troughton’s performance was just incredible. After the NAs it’s easy to think of McCoy as being the cold, manipulative Doctor, but Troughton’s Doctor in “Evil” was just as manipulative, maneuvering Jamie into running the maze, maneuvering the Daleks into infecting themselves with the Human Factor. And the Daleks! Scheming, alien, and just plain evil. And when the Dalek Supreme tells the Doctor that he’s done their work by isolating the Dalek Factor, that’s a pretty chilling moment. I got the sense that the Doctor has probably never been so close to losing, to being beaten by a foe. Here was the Doctor out-thought, and that’s a take-your-breath-away moment if ever there was one.

Amazing! This is Doctor Who at its finest! :)

On Ewoks

Some people do like Ewoks. My college roommate came to school with Ewok sheets for his bed and Ewok towels. Where he found them I have no idea. Why he wanted to use them was beyond me.

I don’t much like the Ewoks. They’re cute. They don’t die. They get the drop on highly trained Imperial Stormtroopers. (Though based on the other Star Wars films, I suppose the “highly trained” part is arguable.)

For me, the Ewoks ruin a perfectly good film. The drama between Luke, Vader, and the Emperor is top-notch, the space battle is spectacular, but the skulking around with the Ewoks introduces a note of levity into the proceedings that’s inappropriate. I think I notice that more today because it’s so easy to watch all three classic Star Wars films in quick succession; when Return of the Jedi came out, though, people were going more off their memories of A New Hope and Empire than a recent impression from the fifty millionth VHS viewing.

So, as an expression of my feelings on the Ewoks, “The Dalek Invasion of Endor” fit the bill. Now, should the Daleks also attack Naboo and the Gungans? Or might the Silurians be a better choice…? ;)

On Spock, and the First Vulcan in Starfleet

I’ve been thinking this one through. And I’m going to stand on the issue of Spock being the first Vulcan in Starfleet where I always have before: the concept is plainly lacking on its face. However, there wouldn’t be the mass delusion about Spock being the first Vulcan unless it had some backing somewhere.

In the interests of discovering the truth, I booted up Microsoft Word and went spelunking in the James Dixon chronology. Say what you will about James Dixon but he documents damn near everything. Comics he doesn’t do, the latest role-playing games he doesn’t do, the newest video and computer games he doesn’t do. But everything else, that he does.

From the 13th edition of his chronology:

Xtmprszntwlfd S’chn T’gai Spock is born in ShiKahr, Sas-a-Shar, Vulcan. He is (officially) the first product of genetic manipulation between two different hominid beings, Sarek of Vulcan and Amanda Grayson of Earth. He will become the first Vulcan to voluntarily serve aboard an integrated-species Star Fleet ship. Note that he will henceforth be known as Spock, for by at least the 2290’s clan name subdivisions will no longer be Vulcan custom [EOM, KA, TOS #23, TOS #5, GN 28].

What do we have here? Other than Spock’s full name, that is.

Dixon makes a fairly significant distinction here. He says “first Vulcan to voluntarily serve aboard an integrated-species Star Fleet ship.” That doesn’t mean first Vulcan in the fleet. But is it canon?

Let’s look at Dixon’s documentation.

  • EOM. This is the USS Enterprise Officers Manual. Name sounds familiar, think it’s a book. Have to check Steve Roby’s website. Not canon.
  • KA. This is The Kobayashi Alternative, a computer game. Think I found this on an abandonware site for download recently. Hmm, hmm, let me check. Hmm, so I did. But not canon.
  • TOS #23. This is Ishmael, by Barbara Hambly. Not canon.
  • TOS #5. This is The Prometheus Design, by two really whacked out authors. Smoking crack, I’ll bet. Not canon, and thank goodness for that!
  • GN 28. This is Vulcan’s Forge, by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz. Not canon.

So, for this one paragraph, Dixon gives us five sources for the information contained therein. All of them non-canon. What does our next search bring up?

Spock follows through with his decision to enroll in the Star Fleet Academy. According to some sources, Spock will be the first Vulcan to ever enter Star Fleet [EOM, TOS #75, TOS #79].

  • EOM. We’ve covered that, the Officers Manual.
  • TOS #75. First Frontier, by Diane Carey and James Kirkwood. Not canon.
  • TOS #79. Invasion! First Strike, again by Diane Carey. Nope, that’s not canon, either.

So, three more documented sources, and none of them canon.

Interesting, though, that Diane Carey uses the Spock-as-first-Vulcan-in-Starfleet concept in two of her books. I thought I’d seen it in one of her Classic Trek novels, but couldn’t say one way or the other. Hmm, almost interesting, that.

What was I saying?

I’m going out on a limb, but I’m guessing no canonical evidence exists for the theory about Spock and Vulcans. My guess is that it’s a part of fan lore that’s become so widely spread that it’s accepted as being true without any thought given to it. Such as the notion that Andor and Tellar are founding members of the Federation, along with Earth, Vulcan, and Alpha Centauri. Strictly speaking, we don’t know that any of these worlds were founding members of the Federation, but it’s been asserted for thirty-plus years and so widely believed that to challenge the notion would be tantamount to claiming the moon is made of swiss cheese.

And does anyone other than me think the female Bajoran on the covers for the Rebels trilogy looks exactly like Kelli Williams from The Practice? Nothing to do with Spock, but the third Rebels book happened to be sitting on my desk….

On "The Stones of Venice"

I received “Stones of Venice” from WhoNA Wednesday and listened to it yesterday. Overall, I was impressed. It’s not a brilliant story, but it’s a well-done story, with an emphasis on character over plot as what plot there is borders on the insanely obvious.

Some things don’t gibe very well; it’s difficult to imagine this as taking place in the 23rd century as the dialogue indicates, when there’s a decidedly Renaissance cast to whole affair. No, when characters say they can’t imagine other worlds, when the population is cut off from the rest of the world because all the ships have departed (what, no air travel? no transmats?), it’s best to ignore the Doctor’s statement that we’re in Charley’s future.

A fun story. Paul McGann certainly brings a lot of presence to the story, and Charley is working wonders as the companion.

On the Latest Trek Rumor

Rumor has it that Scott Bakula, star of Quantum Leap, is in the running to head up the next Star Trek series.

As of right now, I’m not putting much faith in the Scott Bakula rumor. Why, only last week we had a rumor that Anthony Michael Hall (of those classic eighties films with Molly Ringwald) was going to be heading up Series V. Joy, just what we’d want, another geek in a prominent Star Trek role, right up there with Wesley Crusher.

I like Bakula a lot, but he wouldn’t be my first pick. Honestly, if there’s a way, I’d love to see Christian Slater at the head of Series V. First, he’s a major Trek fan. Second, he’d be a major draw for the series. Third, he’s doing practically nothing these days. I don’t know if Berman and Braga would ever think in that direction, and I’m sure Slater’s asking price could be a little pricey, but I can see a definite coolness factor involved.

I’m more convinced than ever that Series V won’t be the Birth of the Federation series. Why? Two things. First, John Eaves is designing the ship, and he’s said that the ship won’t have warp nacelles. Not a biggie, right? Wrong. We know from First Contact that warp nacelles are pretty much standard equipment, from 2063 onward. Basic design principles. But a series set in the future wouldn’t necessarily have ships with warp nacelles. Second, Berman said the ship will be “kick-ass.” Would you describe a ship a whole lot less powerful than Kirk’s Enterprise as “kick-ass”? No, neither would I. Tenuous? Absolutely; I’m grasping at straws here. Oh, how I want to know something….

On a Life Update

First, for those completely in the dark. I am an Assistant Manager for Electronics Boutique in the outer Philadelphia suburbs in southeastern Pennsylvania. It’s a decent enough job–it certainly pays well enough–and as things to do go I could certainly do far worse, which truth to tell, I have.

As I’ve said, it’s a cool enough place to work. I work with a group of loonies nearly equal to myself; if anything, I seem to play the straight-man most of the time. Not a bad position to be in, mind you, especially as it provides a ready outlet for my repeated droll and sarcastic musings.

Well, to make a long story short, a few weeks ago I was asked to apply for a position with the company in Northern Virginia. So I did, and had a really nice phone interview with one of the company’s vice presidents. (It was something of a crisis situation; normally corporate wouldn’t take such an interest, or at least I’d hope not.)

Unfortunately, I didn’t get the job. I’m told that it’s no slight against me; I’d interviewed pretty well. But when your competition for the position is something from the highest volume store in the company, despite my wealth of managerial experience, that’s sort of the way things shake out.

Okay, so I’m not moving to the DC suburbs.

There is a silver lining, however. My boss is considering moving on in the company, to take a tech support job at the home office. He’s had two interviews thus far, and he has a third one coming up on Thursday. (They’ve narrowed the field from ten to three, and now it’s down to two.) Dave really wants the job at the home office; it would put him on a regular schedule and he wouldn’t have to deal with the zanies on a daily basis.

If Dave gets the job at the home office, I stand an excellent chance of being promoted into his job. My district manager has told me this, which is always a positive thing. :)

And there are two other possibilities in the area which I’m applying for, though I don’t know that I really like children all that much….

Anyway, that should bring everyone up to speed. Didn’t get the promotion I wanted, but even this dark cloud has a silver lining. :)