Tuesday, March 7, 2017

STAR TREK DISCOVERY'S CAPTAIN HAS A NAME THAT RHYMES WITH ORCA

Ah, the names of legend: Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, Archer and... Lorca?

Hmmmm. Maybe it's an alien name? Perhaps he's the Andorian-ish character we've been waiting for. We'll see. Here's his Twitter feed today:

I have to admit that upon hearing his name I had no idea who he was. After checking him out on IMDB I realize that I just barely know who he is having played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. Most of his other roles I'm simply not familiar with. But then, I barely knew who Patrick Stewart was back in the day so I don't read anything into this.

The actor in the guise of Lucius Malfoy, the father of loathsome Draco.

Apparently he's a second-tier British actor who gets lots of work, again, not unlike Sir Patrick was before Trek. I look forward to seeing what he brings to the Star Trek universe!

LLAP

Don

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A QUICK GLIMPSE OF STAR TREK DISCOVERY'S NEW KLINGONS TELLS US THESE DEFINITELY AREN'T YOUR FATHER'S KLINGONS (OR ANYONE ESLE'S!)

Direct from the set of Star Trek Discovery comes a leaked photo showing us a bunch of aliens that don't look much like Klingons. And yet, that's how they are labeled. Take a look.


These are very, VERY different than any Klingon we've seen before. They are much more reptilian in appearance with more severe features than what we've come to know over the last 37 years. At a glance, they bear some resemblance to the Klingons as shown in 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture. That look was modified a bit for Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, and that modified look has been in place through the run of Star Trek Enterprise. The JJ Abrams films show an alternate  version, but those movies are stand-alone things and are not part of the universe in which Star Trek Discovery is set.

The Motion Picture Klingons were supposed to be somewhat reptilian, according to creator Gene Roddenberry. Hairy, too!

Confused? Me too. Because if these are truly the new show's Klingons, we have not a prequel, but a reboot.

This actually dovetails nicely into the images we've seen in the recent teaser trailer which show things that are far more advanced looking than anything seen in The Original Series (TOS), despite being set 10 years prior to that series.

This totally makes sense, in this writer's opinion, as the technology shown in TOS would be laughably primitive looking to a modern audience. At some point you have to throw out the stuff that is just too damn old.

What's next? We'll have to see.

LLAP

Don

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY TEASER TRAILER SHOWS A GLIMPSE OF A SHOW THAT JUST MIGHT GO WHERE NO SHOW HAS GONE BEFORE

AT long last, Discovery is shooting it's first episode. To coincide with that event, CBS has released a short teaser trailer that gives very little away but certainly whets my appetite for more.

In case you're living under a rock, here's the trailer:


So. Not much, right? No new shots of the Discovery itself. No props. A quick close-up of a uniform. Let's break this down and see if there's more to it:

First off, we see some extreme set-building (click on each pic for a larger version):




Under way but incomplete. The third shot makes me think "green screen use?"

Next up, "action!" is called and we get a view of something very alien.


We can't say for sure, but the detail on the arms is very reminiscent of the spine piece used on former Klingon costumes. Is this heap a new Klingon armor of some type? This also reminds me of Voyager's Hirogen. A relative?

And speaking of aliens, we get a fast shot of this:


Doesn't look like much. Until you brighten it, that is:


MUCH better. This is definitely the back of an alien head. It looks like some kind of carapace. Does this go with armor we just saw? Seems likely.

Up next: uniforms! Or A uniform, to be exact. They seem to a feature a high collar that opens in the front.



We then see the chest:


Aha! There's the ubiquitous Starfleet Delta, once again done in metal like later Trek incarnations. But what's with all the gold braid? Is this a dress uniform of some kind?

Let's take a closer look at that badge:



The shield is broken down into two pieces with the left piece raised and overlapping the right. I assume they're simply trying to create a distinct look with that approach. OK, I'll buy it. But what's with that small peg down in the lower left corner? What the heck is THAT? Rank pip, ala TNG? It's so small that it won't show up on camera in anything but an extreme close-up. Hmmmm.

Another interesting take-away is the fact that, while the shirt is blue, which in The Original Series (TOS) meant "science division", the small glyph in the badge was that used by "ships services/engineering" and as any fan of TOS knows, they wore red, not blue. Is this a mix-up? Have they changed division colors yet again? let me explain.


In the original Star Trek pilot, The Cage, science wore blue and the patch featured the same sphere-ish glyph used in TOS. But between the first pilot and TOS' run, a second pilot was produced called Where No Man Has Gone Before. The science shirts were still blue, but the glyphs were different. The spiral glyph shown was later worn by Scotty's red shirts throughout TOS. So is Discovery using an obscure piece of Trek detail on purpose and doing a change-up? Or was this simply a mistake? Who knows, but I'm leaning toward "mistake".

Moving on, next we see a ship. Or, rather, a 3D wireframe of a ship.


Based on the teaser CBS released last year before Comicon, we know this is not the Discovery. We've been told that there is at least one other Starfleet ship in the show, the Shenzhou. Is this that ship? We can't know but there's a good chance. It reminds me of the USS Reliant from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Is this an earlier version of that class of ship? Seems likely.

Some plans are then shown:


Any Trek fan worth their salt knows this is for a starship bridge. Probably Discovery herself. We then get some weirdness that can't be identified and end up here:


If that's not the command chair, I'll eat my dilithium. Interestingly, though, while the captain's chair is emblematic for every Star Trek vesrion up to now, that's not really the case with Discovery. Without exception, the main character in every Trek has been the Captain. But we've been told the Discovery's main character is NOT the captain but rather the first officer, or Number One. But the chair is nonetheless still a powerful iconic image for any Trek. We then get the slightly modified show logo:


The badge in the background has been modified a bit to reflect the actual uniform badge, I assume.
So, there you have it. Image by image, that's what we know. Which ain't much. But it's still fun for an old Trek fan like me to ponder and dream. I hope the show is good. If it's great, that would be amazing, but I'd settle for good. I a world where Star Trek has come to mean big action movies with inane, silly plots, anything that touches on the magic of the original will be an improvement.
 
Let's hope!

LLAP

Don

Monday, January 30, 2017

FINALLY! BIG HINTS GIVEN FOR DISCOVERY CREW IN SHOOTING ANNOUNCEMENT

Star Trek: Discovery finally started shooting on January 24. On that day, CBS tweeted a congratulatory message that featured a heretofore unseen image. It features outlined figures in the midst of transporting. I think we can safely assume they represent the crew of the ship Discovery. We can see some Starfleet-ish boots, for instance, but most importantly, there's the Starfleet Delta patch that in the past would have represented only the Starship Enterprise. After all, in the original series (TOS) each starship had their own unique chest insignia and the delta represented only the Enterprise, not Starfleet as it would in later Trek incarnations after The Motion Picture. Here we can see that detail will be ignored. I think it's a good call because the delta shield has become ubiquitous with Star Trek. New viewers would just be confused if they didn't do it this way.

In the Original Series, every starship had its own insignia. It got very clunky very quickly.
So what characters are represented by these outlines? Some are pretty easy to guess while others are strictly a shot in the dark. Take a look at my attempt:


1. We know that the main character is the first officer or "Number One", played by Sonequa Martin-Green. I've designated her as the third figure due to her prominence in the foreground.

2. We've seen a make-up test photo, below, that appeared to be an Andorian with two slender antennae so I have assigned the sixth character as an unknown Andorian. I want to throw a caveat in, though.

Andorian? Or something else?
The test shots we saw did not feature a style identical to Andorian antennae that we've seen in the past. So rather than Andorian, this could be the alien character to be played by Doug Jones, Lt. Saru. All we know is that his race has not been seen before in Star Trek. Perhaps his race is similar to Andorians like Vulcans are to Humans.

or

3. Lt. Saru might be the fifth figure which is VERY alien-looking. That's my vote and I'm super anxious to see how this character will manifest itself. We've never had a regular character that was exclusively CGI and this looks to be a likely candidate.

Now THIS guy looks interesting! Note the cloven hoofy things.
4. Anthony Rapp will play Lt. Stametsan, an astromycologist (ie: scientist). I've assigned him to the first slot. Seems to be a little phaser-happy.

5. Michelle Yeoh plays Captain Georgiou of the starship Shenzhou. We have no idea how she fits into the story but I have added her arbitrarily as the second slot.

6. Emily Coutts has just been cast as a Conn Officer. She's designated as the last figure.

7. Finally, we have no idea who the captain of the Discovery is. So I designated the fourth slot to him (it's a male outline) though for all we know the captain is a woman. No idea but I think it's a reasonable guess.

So for the first time we now have a sense of the crew, however vague. Several other characters have been cast, most notably Spock's father Sarek to be played by James Frain as well as several actors as Klingons who will apparently be playing a significant role in the story.

Since shooting has begun, I hope some behind-the-scenes stuff starts to appear. I'm anxious to see the uniforms as well as the new props and sets that have been created.

While I'm still not sanguine about the whole "CBS All Access" thing, there's nothing to be done about it. The first episode will be airing on regular CBS network channels so at least we can get a taste before buying. Heck, I'm hoping I like it so much that I won't care about the cost!

LLAP

Don