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  • 14 Feb 2017
    Happy Birthday to Simon Pegg!



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  • 13 Feb 2017
    Sorry for the mess. Facebook mixed up two posts, and doubled another one, which may have to do with an illegal ampersand in my RSS feed. The posts can't be edited, so in order to clean up I will have to hide the doubled post and the wrong link, which will result in a few comments getting invisible.



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  • 13 Feb 2017
    I have added information about the corrections in the Netflix HD versions of the following TNG episodes: "The Vengeance Factor", "Brothers", "Imaginary Friend", "Relics". These changes are highlighted in the articles.


    Thanks to Colin Lindsly for correcting errors on the ship status display. The image from the Netflix release comes from TrekCore.

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  • 12 Feb 2017
    TNG-R: "Relics" HD Caps at TrekCore: You can now find the TNG-R: "Relics" HD screen caps at TrekCore.


    You can now find the TNG-R: "Relics" HD screen caps at TrekCore.

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  • 12 Feb 2017
    Alleged Klingons on Discovery Set: Regarding the alleged Klingons on the leaked photo from the Star Trek Discovery set, I will further comment on it once I have an official confirmation.


    (Still to be confirmed) If these completely unfamiliar aliens are really meant to be 23rd century Klingons, then Discovery changes their look a lot more than between TOS and TMP, and violates canon a lot more than the Abrams reboot. If this is true I will cease my support for the series. http://www.treknews.net/2017/02/11/first-look-star-trek-discovery-klingons/

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Editorial
08 Sep 2016

50 Years of Political Messages in Star Trek

50 years ago today, on September 8, 1966, the very first episode of Star Trek, "The Man Trap", aired on NBC. Although this TV production was ambitious and accordingly expensive for its time, no one would have anticipated the long success story of the franchise. Star Trek is the yardstick for intelligent science fiction on television still today. Leading scientists and engineers tell us Star Trek has been an inspiration in their career. And looking beyond the merely scientific or technical aspects of the show, to this day Gene Roddenberry's creation is unrivaled within the genre as a vision of a bright and desirable future. We could say that Star Trek's positive prospect is so powerful that no television producer would dare to enter a competition with the clear market leader in the field of utopian science fiction.

These days, columnists like to muse about what Star Trek would be if Gene Roddenberry were still alive, which they interpret in a way to either praise or criticize recent developments. Would Roddenberry like the Abrams movies? A gay Sulu? Bryan Fuller's still unaired "inclusive" series Star Trek Discovery? I don't like to engage in such speculation, so I rather look back at the political messages I see in Star Trek, and ahead at what I expect from it in the future.

Read the full essay.

Bernd Schneider

Archive

Recent EAS Updates
  • 19 Feb 2017
    I have reviewed two more Voyager season 3 episodes, "Blood Fever" and "Unity".
  • 13 Feb 2017
    I have added information about the corrections in the Netflix HD versions of the following TNG episodes: "The Vengeance Factor", "Brothers", "Imaginary Friend", "Relics". These changes are highlighted in the articles.
  • 11 Feb 2017
    Regarding the alleged Klingons on the leaked photo from the Star Trek Discovery set, I will further comment on it once I have an official confirmation.
  • 11 Feb 2017
    You can now find the TNG-R: "Relics" HD screen caps at TrekCore.
  • 08 Feb 2017
    As a further step to improve the usability of this site, I edited the intra-page navigation bars that can be found on many pages. This could have been done with a few easy CSS edits if Frontpage hadn't left a huge amount of garbage in the code (such as line break tags with links on them) that took me hundreds of search-and-replace passes until they were clean.
  • 06 Feb 2017
    Read my review of Hive, the third volume of the Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection (please scroll down).
  • 05 Feb 2017
    Travis Anderson continues the story of Tom Riker in Course Correction. Tom Riker is drawn into a Maquis web as Chakotay recruits Riker on Kalita's recommendation. The task? To infiltrate and eliminate a Cardassian base located within the Demilitarized Zone. In doing so, the Maquis provide Riker with a crisis of conscience.
  • 03 Feb 2017
    Here is the review of the second volume of the Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection: Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever - The Original Teleplay (please scroll down). Now with pictures.
  • 02 Feb 2017
    See wonderful new renders of the Kestrel class by Jan Seebald in the Starfleet Museum.
  • 01 Feb 2017
    I am going to review some graphic novels, and in particular issues of the Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection. The review of the first volume, Countdown, is up.
Latest Comments on EAS Articles
  • 15 Feb 2017

    This lower pod is definively not from a jet fighter. The base of the
    "wings" is not shaped aerodymacially. This is the part from an Ecelsior
    where the warp pylons are connected to the hull. Two of these parts are
    flatened and glued together. Then they were cut at the front. I
    recreated the exact look with a 3D model of this part.

  • 14 Feb 2017

    No argument there. In general some of the things we see in TOS are already outdated (multiple gadgets for what can nowadays be done with one smartphone).
    That said, I much prefer a show set in pre-TOS era than a show set in an alternative universe. Inconsistencies can be tolerated, but trying to rewrite history is inexcusable.

  • 14 Feb 2017

    It's the same thing, in both cases; if they want license to redesign, there are eras or alternate universes that allow that. But choosing a universe and point in time with an established aesthetic, and even a continuity that explains that aesthetic in the case of Klingons, and then ignoring just comes off as incredibly sleazy.

    'We can get more fans if we tie it to the most famous one. Let's do that. And people are clamoring for a return to that prime universe, that'll get even more viewers- let's do that. Oh, but that popular thing we're using to get all those viewers has designs and continuity we don't like, so... let's ditch that.'

    Hopefully, as we all keep qualifying with, that won't be the case. It's just what that's feeling like.

  • 14 Feb 2017

    Then the answer is simple: Don't set something in a TOS-adjascent time period. If sticking to that style, the continuity, and the period they've chosen is a bother, then choose another time period. And if they're going back to the TOS well, they need to have the integrity to actually recreate TOS. It's that simple. For that reason, I don't consider 'TOS would look silly' as a valid excuse; they're the ones that chose TOS. Ignoring the aesthetic is like making a period piece set in the 20s, but thinking that 20s hairstyles look terrible. Then either set your show in a different period, or man/woman up and cut the dang hair right. :-) Leeching off of TOS without respecting TOS is contemptible and inexcusable for a series that had its pick of universes and time periods.

  • 14 Feb 2017

    I can happily accept the new series looking a bit Enterprisey, mostly cos TOS is 50+ years old. You can't really re-create that aesthetic in a way that's acceptable for a modern TV Network and audience. The interior shots in Star Trek Continues recreate TOS' look so perfectly that it actually looks like it was made in the 60s. That's acceptable (and arguably desirable) for a fan made continuation of TOS, but it won't fly a for-profit new show that's supposed to attract a new audience as well as hook in the old Star Trek fans.

    But those "Klingons" are just completely out of whack. On one hand, I'd like to think that anyone working on Discovery with a serious interest in Star Trek couldn't possibly eat enough drugs to think that's an acceptable way for Klingons to look. But, at the same time, I can easily envision a new production team deciding that Klingons, in either ridged or non-ridged form, aren't alien enough looking and need to be made more alien for a modern audience to accept them. It's a stupid decision, because honestly you stop thinking about the very human appearance of Star Trek aliens very quickly (it also has a canon explanation), so it adds nothing in my opinion and will just piss off existing Star Trek fans and kill some goodwill for the series, but I can still imagine the type of conversation that results in Klingons looking like that actually happening and no one having the guts or the authority to stop it.

    I really hope those aliens are something else.

  • 14 Feb 2017

    The uniforms don't seem to be that different, just a bit more posh and lacking the turtleneck. They even brought back the different division symbols (albeit that's the engineering symbol on a science colour, which is a bit weird).

    Going full-on TOS aesthetics for a whole series is dangerous; things have not aged well, and new viewers would see it as camp. I'd imagine that they will mix and match TOS and Enterprise elements wherever it makes the most sense in a modern setting.

  • 13 Feb 2017

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/...

    You're right. I didn't watch it on Netflix but it is listed at TrekCore: http://trekcore.com/blog/2015/.... I'll include that information.

  • 13 Feb 2017

    Between the uniforms, ship designs (must we have ANOTHER Akira-variant? And I'm not seeing much of the TOS-styling; a lot more Enterprise-esque in what we've seen so far), and now these alleged Klingons, it is seeming stranger and stranger that Discovery has chosen the Prime universe and this established time period when it seems that they have no respect for the setting that they've chosen. One might be forced to cynically say that they did it only to cash in on the nostalgia value of TOS, and 'see how that universe came to be the universe you know,' but if they're going to completely disregard the continuity and look of the setting anyway, then the feeling of leading-up won't even be present; the two will feel as disconnected as most prequels that choose to ignore the aesthetic of the original usually do.

    This is all speculation, and I hope these little glimpses we've got are actually misleading; but so far, it feels like it's following the 2001-onward mold of 'parasitically cash in on prior Trek for the purposes of a boost in audience, but don't actually show any respect to TOS or attempt to visually conform to it; merely use it for our own purposes, and discard it when we're done with it.' And for all the hype around Star Trek finally returning, it would be really disappointing to see a third property in the universe follow the same path. (But again, hopefully all these worries will turn out to be for nothing).

    (Can the next show be set AFTER the original series, already? :-) Or during, with an adherence to established aesthetics, as numerous fantastic fan-productions, and even a well-regarded episode of Enterprise, did with no problems?)

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