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First Contact’s James Crowell Turns 74: Today In Science & Science Fiction

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CromwellActor James Cromwell already had a long and respectable Hollywood career when Star Trek: First Contact released in 1996, but that film assured him a place in the Geek Pantheon by casting him as Zefram Cochrane, the first human to invent warp drive. In First Contact, the Next Gen crew crosses paths with Cochrane after some shenanigans involving time travel and the Borg, and the film’s conclusion has Cochrane completing his first warp flight and in the process attracting the attention of the Vulcans, thus leading to the first contact of the title.

Cromwell is actually the second actor to play Cochrane within Trek’s long history. Glenn Corbett played the role in the 1967 Original Series episode “Metamorphosis.” Cromwell has him beat by one appearance, though, having also played Cochrane briefly in the Star Trek: Enterprise pilot “Broken Bow.” And with all due respect to Corbett, Cromwell will always be Zefram to me. (Or, alternately, the devious Dudley Smith from L.A. Confidential.)

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Dress Your Dogs Like Members Of Starfleet

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Cosplay is big among human nerds. Dressing like your favorite sci-fi villain, comic book hero, or video game character for conventions or premieres is standard operating procedure at this point. Cosplay for pets is nothing new. I worked at a natural pet food store for years, and there was a couple in our neighborhood with two Chihuahuas they routinely dressed up as Jedi Knights, and I’ve been known to dress my dogs up for Halloween and Seahawks games. But that wasn’t enough for Seattle-area company A Crowded Coop, oh no, they took things to a whole new level with their line of Star Trek inspired toys, clothes, and accessories.

Brandy Tanner and Mike Capp stopped by New Day, a local morning show, to flaunt some of their new wares. They really went all out for this. There’s big dog beg shaped like Kirk’s captain chair from the Enterprise, as well as a chew toy that resembles the Federation flag ship. There’s also a redshirt chew toy, so even your dog, as their ripping the guts out of the hapless crewmember, will know that those poor, poor bastards are doomed.

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The Wisdom Of Leonard McCoy: Why We Still Love Trek’s Country Doctor

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BonesFeatOne of the most brilliant aspects of the original Star Trek series is the core trio of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, and the ways they represent different facets of the human character. Spock is the mind, the cold-blooded regard of pure logic and pragmatism. Bones is the fiery, passionate human heart — he feels everything as intensely as Spock oppresses his emotions. Kirk is the balance between the two, united in the will to act and the resolve of command. Naturally, the three of them drive each other insane on a daily basis, even if their underlying fondness for each other is rarely hard to see.

Had he not passed away back in 1999, actor DeForest Kelley would have turned 94 today. It’s a sad reality, because if you’d asked me which of Trek’s three core characters would be most likely to live forever, my money would have been on Bones. He’s all too aware of the dangers inherent in space exploration, he’s full of home-spun wisdom, and frankly, he’s too damn stubborn to die. While a different version of McCoy may be keeping the crew of the Enterprise patched up on the big screen these days, nobody can ever replace the cranky but compassionate performance given by Kelley across three seasons of television and six feature films. In honor of the man himself, we’re taking a look back at some of McCoy’s funniest, crankiest, and most insightful quotes over the years, many of them directed at a certain cold-blooded hobgoblin of a science officer…

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Star Trek’s DeForest Kelley Would Have Turned 94: Today In Science & Science Fiction

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DeForestHe played a true icon of science fiction television: a simple, down-home doctor who traveled to the stars, possessed an uncanny skill at needling his Vulcan compatriot, and absolutely hated the transporter. Sadly, Star Trek’s DeForest Kelley is no longer with us, having passed away in 1999 at the age of 79, but his legacy lives on. It’s a shame he didn’t live to see the 21st century, and the various ways Trek is still influencing and shaping our future. Hell, it would have been interesting to see what he thought of Karl Urban’s take on Leonard “Bones” McCoy, the role Kelley is still best known for.

Kelley had a long career stretching all the way back to the ‘40s. Prior to boarding the U.S.S. Enterprise, he worked extensively in the Westerns that were all the rage in the mid 20th century, including appearances on The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, and Rawhide, among many others. Once he took the Trek role, he continued to work in other films and TV shows, but Dr. McCoy very much became the defining factor of his later career. In addition to appearing in all the classic-cast Trek movies, he also put in a memorable appearance as an elderly now-Admiral McCoy in the pilot for Star Trek: The Next Generation. He would have turned 94 today. Here’s to you, Doc.

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Star Trek’s Latest Retro Posters Have Giant Monsters And Doppelgangers

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Gal7Artist Juan Ortiz is back with another four of his excellent Star Trek retro prints. If you’ve somehow managed to miss the eight zillion other posts we’ve done about the preceding prints, here’s the skinny: Over a year ago, Ortiz set out to create an original, retro-style art print for every single one of Star Trek: The Original Series’ episodes. Even though the show only ran three seasons — a brief lifespan when measured against the later spinoffs — that’s still a damn lot of work. Now he’s back with the latest installment highlighting four more TOS episodes: “The Galileo Seven,” “The Enemy Within,” “Wolf in the Fold,” and “The Apple.” We’ll have info about how to order the prints at the bottom.

Since these aren’t exactly the most famous of the show’s episodes, we’ll take a look at each one individually. First up is “The Galileo Seven,” the poster for which can be seen up top. Originally aired on January 5, 1967, “G7” is the sixteenth episode of the show’s first season. In it, a shuttlecraft crew including Spock, McCoy, Scotty, and four other specialists crash land a shuttle on a planet they were attempting to investigate. With the Enterprise itself needed to deliver medical supplies to a colony elsewhere ASAP, the shuttle crew is left to try and survive attacks by giant, spear-wielding natives and find a way to get the hell off that planet before they all die. Here’s what Ortiz had to say about the “Galileo Seven” print, via StarTrek.com.

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Two Star Trek Fans Filmed Themselves Break Into The Next Generation Set In 1988

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We’ve all seen news stories about criminals, vandals, or a group of kids who not only did something illegal, but were stupid enough to film themselves doing it. That’s never a good idea, because as we know in this day and age, nothing stays secret for long. The real geniuses out there post the videos online, you know, because they’re super smart. Those are the ones who are always the most shocked to get caught. Most of the time you’re glad these dumbasses filmed themselves, if only because it makes us feel good to laugh at morons. This new footage that has come to light, however, will make you glad these outlaws recorded themselves, not because of some smug sense of superiority, but because it’s totally awesome. What these Star Trek fans did in 1988 was break into the set of The Next Generation and film themselves din the process.

On the night of March 10, 1988, at least two rabid Trek fans found their way onto the TNG set on the Paramount Studios lot after hours. Talk about kids in a candy store. Haven’t we all fantasized about wandering around the sets for one of our favorite shows or movies, twisting knobs, sitting in chairs, knocking over a sickbay bed?