Sunday, January 29, 2012

Blog #3: The Next Trek Series

I have some ideas for what the next Trek series should be about. Apparently Trek will be returning to the small screen in the next few years. It is time for Star Trek to return to the small screen. We're going on 7 years now with no new Trek TV. Here are a few of my ideas:

- I know they did a book series but I would love to see Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis return to TV in a USS Titan series. I met Frakes last summer at the Calgary con and I told him then that he should get the next Trek series and he replied "I couldn't agree more!". It would be great to see those characters return with maybe a few guest appearances from their TNG friends...

-  My second idea would be a series about a young Captain Picard as he commands the USS Stargazer. I've always been interested in this idea as there have been several references to his time on the Stargazer during the run of TNG. I know Picard served on the Stargazer for 22 years and that he took command of the ship after his Captain was killed during a battle. I would like to see the young Picard and his friendship with the doomed Jack Crusher, and the sexual tension between the young Picard and the young lovely Dr Beverly Crusher. I know the Stargazer had a run in with Cardassians during the Federation/Cardassian War and of course the final fateful battle with the then mysterious Feringi. maybe the first season could focus on Picard as the First Officer, and maybe in the season 1 finale he takes command. 'Star Trek: Stargazer' would make a great TV series and as the new Trek movie has proven recasting old characters and showing them in their prime can and does work when done right. They could even have Patrick Stewart guest star. And it should be produced by JJ Abrams and his 'Bad Robot' productions.

- Perhaps a Wesley Crusher series? Despite what many fans feel about Wesley I actually liked his character, I would like to see him return to prime time. In 'Star Trek: Nemesis" he was seen at the Riker wedding back in a starfleet uniform, perhaps by now he may be a first officer on a ship. I'm sure Wil Wheaton would jump at the chance to do a series. He wouldn't necessarily have to be the main star of the series, but i would like to see him back. Maybe a guest appearance of Dr Crusher...

Well this is a topic with endless ideas. I will definitely be returning to it in the not too distant future. Be sure to leave a comment with your idea on what the next Trek series should be.

Live Long And Prosper


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blog #2: TNG Season 8?

Blog #2: TNG Season 8?
A person should not dwell on the past but sometimes you cannot help but do so. TNG ended with season 7, and in my opinion it ended on a very sad note. There were only a handful of episodes from that season that I actually liked, and they are:
- "Parallels" Ep 11 (Worf finds himself randomly shifting between alternate realities) This was a fun episode and I like the idea of alternate realities. Neat to see a possible romance between Worf and Troi.
- "The Pegasus" Ep 12 (Commander Riker's former Captain boards the Enterprise to retrieve the USS Pegasus. Features Terry O'Quinn as Admiral Eric Pressman). This episode was the best of the season. O'Quinn was excellent in his role. Great to see Frakes shine as Riker. Final episode with the Romulans as the big bad, wish they had had Andreas Katsulas as 'Tomalok' on this episode, but it wasn't meant to be.
- "Homeward" Ep 13 (Worf's human foster brother violates the Prime Directive to save a doomed primitive race). I like Paul Sorvino and it was great to see him as Worfs brother. This was a good episode but far from great.
- "Journey's End" Ep 20 (Wesley considers his future, as the Enterprise is ordered to remove Native American colonists from a planet that is about to fall under Cardassian jurisdiction. Appearance of Eric Menyuk as The Traveler). I always like the character of Wesley and it was great to see Wil Wheaton back for his final appearance.
- "Bloodlines" Ep 22 (DaiMon Bok returns to exact revenge on Picard, by trying to kill the son Picard never knew he had. Guest star Lee Arenberg as DaiMon Bok, but not the same actor who originated the role, Frank Corsentino). This actually was a poor episode, I only included it because it was neat to see the Bok story return from the first season. But it sucked that Bok was played by another actor, even with all the make-up you could tell it was not the same person.  

5 episodes out of 26 or so done that season...not good. I'm thinking maybe with some of the creative staff going off to do DS9 and some left to prep 'Voyager' is what hurt TNG in that 7th season. The series finale too was very bad and not a fitting end to the series. 
Not many good episodes that final season. Which is why they needed another season. Apparently Paramount signed a deal with its stars for an 8th season. Patrick Stewart (Picard) and Brent Spiner (Data) reluctantly agreed to an 8th season but no more. Paramount was apparently even considering bringing in other actors to replace Picard and Data for a 9th season. Ronny Cox who had played "Captain Edward Jellico" who took command of the Enterprise for 2 episodes would replace Picard and Elizabeth Dennehy as "Commander Shelby" would replace Data. It would have been interesting and an 8th season should have happened because the 7th season sucked, ending the show on a sour note because of it. Unfortunately it was business that destroyed the proposed 8th season. Paramount was set to launch their UPN television network and they wanted Star Trek to be its primary show, this new network was set to launch in January 1995. Problem was Paramount was already producing Star Trek: TNG and Deep Space Nine for syndication and couldn't put one of them on their network because of all the syndication deals they had in place. So the decision was made to end TNG at the end of season 7 and create a new Star Trek series for the UPN network. TNG ended in May 1994 with a lousy final season and final episode and the worst Star Trek series ever created was launched in January 1995: Star Trek Voyager. I'm sure if the Paramount executives could have foreseen the end of UPN in 2006 and the poor ratings and reviews for "Voyager" they would have stayed with TNG for at least one more season...

Thanks for reading. See you next time.
Live Long And Prosper.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Blog #1: Best Star Trek Episodes

Blog #1: Best Star Trek Episodes
I've been watching re-runs of Star Trek: The Next Generation lately and currently I am watching the 3rd season. Season 3 is the best of that series for sure with many great episodes, and thus I decided to do a list of my top 6 Star Trek episodes of all time for the entire franchise. They are as follows:
#6: 'The Inner Light' (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 5)
Picard is scanned by a probe, collapses on the bridge and awakes on an alien world where he is a different man. He lives out his life as this man, is married and has children, has grand children and all is happy. For him his life on the Enterprise becomes a distant memory. He even teaches himself to play the flute. By the end of the episode he realizes that this is not his life, and that this world and his 'family' actually died a thousand years earlier. He awakes on the bridge where only 25 minutes has passed but the memories of his years spent on this planet stay with him.
I'll admit this episode actually made me cry. It was such a touching episode and so well acted by Patrick Stewart it remains one of my favourite episodes.
#5: 'Far Beyond The Stars' (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Season 6)
Like 'The Inner Light' this is an episode about the Captain living another life away from the series. Sisko finds himself living the life of 'Benny Russell' a 1950's science fiction writer. This episode also featured several other characters in the 50's played by the other regular actors on the show. It was especially cool to see several actors who normally wore heavy make-up for their regular characters playing humans in no make-up. This was a well written episode which tackled some tough subjects such as racism. again this episode made me tear up.
#4: 'The Defector' (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 3)
Throughout Trek there has always been a 'cold war' going on between the Federation and the Romulan Empire, and this episode was probably the best example of that conflict. The Romulans attempt to lure Picard into starting a war, but Picard as always is a step ahead of him and he prevents the destruction of the Enterprise and a war. This episode had one of the best endings, yet very sad and touching. There is no doubt writer Ron Moore was echoing the USA's cold war with Russia, which was still a reality at the time of this episode. This episode was a prime example of TNG thinking their way out of a conflict, rather than fighting their way out. Trek series later on would rely too heavily on special effects, where as TNG never did.  
#3: 'Yesterdays Enterprise' (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 3)
This was a great 'What if' episode as the Enterprise C travels to the present through a time vortex. But having travelled through time has changed the present, unknown to Picard and crew. Now the Enterprise-D is a warship fighting on the front lines in a bitter war against the Klingon Empire. the time line has changed, bringing back Denise Crosby as 'Tasha Yar', who died in season 1. The only one who seems to know that things have changed is Guinan, who cannot explain it herself, but she knows the Enterprise C must be sent back through the time vortex to set everything right.
This episode was really the best episode I think Patrick Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg did on this series. Both were great in this episode and gave Emmy worthy performances as Picard and Guinan. It was fascinating to see the crew fighting in a war and how each of them was a little bit different in this alternate time line. Picard gives his most heroic speech as Captain on this episode.
"Let's make sure that history never forgets the name... Enterprise" -- Captain Picard
#2: 'The Best Of Both Worlds, Part I' (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 3)
 The Borg invades, all seems lost for the Federation and Picard is transformed into being the voice for the Borg, 'Locutus'. The episode ends the season in the greatest Trek cliffhanger ever, and perhaps one of the best cliffhangers in television history. Will Picard be killed? Will Riker destroy the Enterprise to stop the Borg? This was the finest hour of TNG.
#1: 'The City on the Edge of Forever'  (Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 1)
 The best episode of all time for Trek in my opinion is this original series episode. A great time travel story with Kirk having to let perhaps the love of his life die to save the future he knows. Shatner gave his finest performance as Kirk in this episode. Written by Sci-Fi writing legend Harlan Ellison, this episode in my opinion is the best Trek episode ever made.
Chrisloc1701 with William Shatner
3 of these episodes alone came from the 3rd season of TNG, again proving to me that TNG's season 3 is one of the best done for the franchise. You may have also noticed no Voyager or Enterprise episodes mentioned, that is because they did not produce many good Trek episodes, especially Voyager. Voyager is simply a terrible series, but I will discuss that in a future blog. Enterprise is a show that had some great potential, but that series problems are rooted in the entire premise for that series. Again Enterprise will be discussed in a future blog.
Thanks for reading!
Live Long And Prosper!