Even if you don’t know who Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (pictured above) are, you’ve certainly encountered their work. Having broken into the industry on syndicated ’90s shows like Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, the duo went on to become one of the hottest writing partnerships in Hollywood. Their names can be found in the credits of huge summer tentpoles such as the Transformers movies, Mission: Impossible III, Cowboys & Aliens, and the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man 2. They also helped co-write the first two Star Trek reboot movies, but that long partnership will come to an end with Star Trek 3: Variety reports that Kurtzman will be beaming out of the franchise, whereas Orci is apparently campaigning to direct the third Trek film.
Over the years, the Star Trek franchise has enlisted the skills of many actors who were already well-known beforehand. Ricardo Montalban and Benedict Cumberbatch were both proven talents before they stepped into the role of Khan Noonien Singh. Christopher Lloyd and Kelsey Grammer both had a beloved sitcom role under their belt before they appeared as a Klingon commander and a Starfleet captain, respectively. Even people like Bryan Singer, Christian Slater, and Seth MacFarlane have appeared in small roles just so they could be a part of the Trek universe. But not every actor out there is a fan, and some would rather have nothing to do with Star Trek. Case in point: Star Trek: Generations’ Malcolm McDowell.
When you’re born with a name like James Kirk, and rise to the rank of Captain in an advanced, powerful military force, you have a fair amount of responsibility. Odds are that the most familiar Captain Kirk to many of you out there is William Shatner’s iconic starship commander from Gene Roddenberry’s beloved sci-fi series Star Trek. But he’s not the only one. The United States Navy has their very own Captain James Kirk (it’s James A. not James T.), who is about to take over command of the USS Zumwalt, the most advanced destroyer in the fleet. On the eve of his new assignment, he, and his crew, received a congratulatory letter from the man who brought his fictional predecessor to life.
Shatner’s letter is brief, but to the point, and hell, when your middle name is Tiberius, you don’t have time to waste on words. Kirk is a man of action, after all, not a diplomat. The note, which is signed and framed, now hangs at the Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, where the ship is being built, though it is expected to find a permanent home on board the Zumwalt.
We spend a lot of time with our favorite fictional characters, especially those on TV, and especially those who are on shows that are around for a good long run. After a while, we get to know them like family. Much like with our real-life friends, we can predict how they’ll react in certain situations, what they’ll do when confronted by specific external stimuli, and just generally how they’ll behave. Still, as well as we think we know them, there’s always a desire to get to know them that much better—among the more obsessive fans, you can witness all sorts of arguments about who is more familiar with what character. In this spirit, a new bit of Internet fun seeks to provide us with a glimpse behind the inner working of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jean-Luc Picard.
Played, of course, by the venerable Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart, the captain of the Enterprise is known as a serious, brooding individual, but still compassionate and steadfastly devoted to his crew, the truth, and doing the right thing. At least that’s his public persona. A new Twitter account shows fans the Star Fleet officer’s Google history, and it provides an interesting glimpse behind the curtain.
Craft beer is all the rage these days. Everywhere you look another brewery is popping up, many so small that the term microbrewery is even a bit of an overstatement. In such a saturated, competitive marketplace, you have to do something to make your product stand out. Maybe your IPA is the hoppiest, perhaps you infused that ESB with marijuana, or you could brew the latest batch of your zombie-themed stout with actual brains. Yeah, that’s a thing that has now happened. And in case that’s not nerdy enough, there’s also a Star Trek beer hitting the market later this year.
Philadelphia-based hops merchants Dock Street Brewing Co. are apparently huge fans of AMC’s hit zombie series The Walking Dead, so it only seems natural they’d create a blend to honor their favorite Sunday evening viewing option. Their Dock Street Walker, a title that could easily be mistaken for a reference to a prostitute, is an American pale stout, brewed with the usual ingredients like hops, wheat, barley, and even cranberries for a touch of fruitiness and some antioxidants, and, oh yeah, brains. Don’t worry, imbibing one of these won’t automatically make you a cannibal, these are roasted goat brains we’re talking about here.
While this weekend’s box office will no doubt be dominated by Neil Burger’s YA dystopian thriller Divergent, the second-biggest opening will be James Bobin’s sequel Muppets Most Wanted, hands down. (Or, technically, hands up inside a Muppet.) And while that film’s plot revolves around mistaken identities and criminal elements, we thought it would be a good time to reflect on just how sci-fi-friendly the Muppets have been over the years. How is there not an asteroid named after Jim Henson yet?
It would be extremely difficult to go back into all of the Muppet iterations to find every single science fiction reference made, so we won’t be talking about the serialized “Trash Gordon” segments of Sesame Street, the Henson puppets in Farscape, or the multitude of alien characters that have populated Henson’s works over the years. These entries are more specific in their nature and were, admittedly, a lot of fun to relive while putting this story together. The Muppets, much like the best sci-fi, are absolutely timeless.