Saturday, March 29, 2014


It seems like everyone is doing a Star Trek fan-based production these days. I think it began with Star Trek: New Voyages (now Phase II) a few years back but now there's more than ten different productions out there, all led by Star Trek fans who want to create their own adventures. Some are a bit on the crude side, while others are incredibly well done. The acting quality is all over the place but, hey – they are amateur fan productions so that's understandable. Think Community Theater doing Star Trek.

The one thing they all have in common, though, is that the makers are passionate about Star Trek. Their love of the various shows can be seen in every frame of their creations. The time, effort, manpower and money are evident.

Now along comes a new project titled Star Trek: Axanar produced by Alec Peters, a person of my acquaintance. Peters' main claims to fame in the world of Star Trek is as a collector of props and costumes and through his now-defunct company Propworx, an auction company that did boutique-style auctions for various properties. And it's the "defunct" part that I want to hit upon.

In its short time of existence (2008-2012), Propworx executed several auctions while amassing lots of debt. Propworx filed for bankruptcy in August of 2012 (, leaving creditors holding the bag for its debts to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. On one forum, Mr. Peters laughed at the thought of being concerned about owing money to MGM, a company that was undergoing its own bankruptcy.

That laugh should tell you everything you need to know about Alec Peters. He's willing to use – and squander – other people's money and then feel no remorse over it whatsoever.

And now he wants more money. Specifically, he wants YOUR money. For what? Is he curing cancer? Feeding the poor? Clothing the homeless? Alas, no. He wants your money to fund his own personal vanity project, the aforementioned Axanar project. According to Peters, "We can't sell DVDs, but we can give them away if you make a donation." And who is the star of this production? Alec Peters himself, naturally.

It should be noted here that Mr. Peters at one time had a Star Trek prop and costume collection worth at least $100,000. He may well still have it and more. But he has not sold his collection to either pay back his creditors or finance this new project. His creditors were given the opportunity to pay for his past lifestyle, and now you, Star trek fans, are being given the opportunity to pay for his current one.

So here's my basic question: is Mr. Peters, the person who laughed at the notion of debt, your idea of a good custodian of donated funds? Is his character of the sort that you want to be turning money over to him? He drove a for-profit company into bankruptcy. What skill set did he learn from that experience that qualifies him to handle YOUR money on HIS vanity project?

Instead of throwing your hard-earned money at something like this, perhaps it can better be used elsewhere. In this time of need by so many, Mr. Peters is not worthy of MY money. Here's some who are:

Habitat For Humanity

American Red Cross




Saturday, March 22, 2014


A friend of mine pointed me to this amazing video that I think speaks for itself. It doesn't address the key problem with the film, ie: Khan is suddenly a pasty white guy. But it has fun with a ton of other stuff:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Back in the day when I was a kid growing up on Star Trek TOS reruns, the art of film-making was, of course, alien to me. The fact that everything I saw each week had to actually be created by someone never crossed my mind. But when I became a collector of screen-used Trek stuff, I came to understand some of the more basic tenants that ruled the production of original Star Trek episodes. And perhaps the most fundamental rule was "waste not, want not".

The production budgets on TOS, though among the highest of the day, were notoriously tight when it came to producing an expensive show like Star Trek. So whenever something could be reused – costumes, for instance – they didn't hesitate to do so. But as I was recently reviewing a number of episodes for some research I was doing, I found a whole new definition of "frugality".

One of the cornerstones of Star Trek costuming was the jumpsuit. Costumer William Ware Theiss used them significantly throughout the run of the show. They were utilitarian, nondescript, and easy to make and modify as needed. So it came as no surprise to me as I watched some scenes from Season 1's "Devil in the Dark" that I saw a lot of jumpsuits. And I mean a LOT of jumpsuits. The miners on Janus VI used jumpsuits as their basic work clothes, with most wearing orange while the managers wore differentiating colors. I had seen the episode dozens of times over the years making them so familiar that they barely registered with me.  I moved on with my research.

"Devil in the Dark"'s Jumpsuit Party
Then, just a couple of episodes later, I suddenly recognized some of those same jumpsuits from "Devil" with different belts, this time in "Operation: Annihilate!" (truly one of the worst titles in all of Star Trek). Again, I was not surprised, but it had never really registered with me before. But then I started catching on.

By the time I got to Season 2's "Metamorphosis", I instantly recognized Zefram Cochrane's clothing – a modified version of the orange jumpsuits from "Devil in the Dark". Oh, it had a different collar cut and added details, but the stitching of the torso was a perfect match as was the fabric itself – it was another reuse. A couple of episodes later, I hit "The Deadly Years" where the aging leader of the colony was dressed in a now-familiar way.

Same color, same cut, same everything. They were definitely getting their money's worth! Soon after came the famous "Trouble With Tribbles" where the station commander, played by character actor Whit Bissell (what a name!), is decked out in orange. You can actually still see where the collar communicator had been attached in "Devil in the Dark".

Next up came "Journey To Babel" where I thought I spied a version of the yellow jumpsuit, though the actor is always in the background so it's hard to tell for sure. But it's certainly the right color.

The next sighting was a certainty, though. "By Any Other Name" featured two aliens wearing the now-familiar orange and the vivid purple, again both first seen in "Devil".

Along came Season 3 with "And The Children Shall Lead", where the dead colonists are sporting the various colors and the one surviving adult is once again in the purple.

How fitting, then, that when I got the last episode ever filmed, "Turnabout Intruder", I found one last usage.

The orange versions became the most widely seen which makes sense since "Devil In The Dark" shows more of them than anything else. And it's worth noting that there were other reused jumpsuits – most notably the olive green versions first seen in "This Side of Paradise". Seeing how well made these are, combined with the number of pieces leads me to wonder if these weren't bought off the shelf and modified as needed for production. They might have been available through some type of working man's clothing supplier, though it's worth noting that most working guys in the mid 60's would not have been caught dead in a purple jumpsuit! So maybe Theiss made them. Or maybe the orange were bought and others made to match. We'll never know, unfortunately.

By the way, I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were uses that I missed – these are simply the ones that stood out to me. There might be even more! Reuse like this is a common thing in TV and film. But since most productions use everyday, off-the-shelf clothing for wardrobe, it seldom sticks out. But reuse would be a theme with all Star trek productions, and not just with costumes but props, models – even film in some cases! All were reused as the needs demanded in order to keep costs down.

So let this be a lesson to you. In the twenty-third century, all the best-dressed scientists will be wearing brightly colored, one-piece gabardine jumpsuits! Oo-la-la!



Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I've been collecting Star Trek ships for almost as long as there's been a Star Trek. When I was a kid, I got one of the very first Star Trek items ever made – the USS Enterprise Model kit from AMT. I was incredibly excited. After all, this was back in the day when there weren't a zillion versions of the Enterprise to be had – it was the one and ONLY version out there. I was in heaven!

Since that time I've had starships from Micro Machines, Dinky, Mego, even more model kits, Franklin Mint, Playmates, Hot Wheels and more. Some were great, others, not so much. So when I was recently contacted by a company I had never heard about regarding their new product line of Star Trek starship models, I was a bit skeptical because, in my opinion, for every great Star Trek item out there, there's ten lousy ones. Anyway, this company – Eaglemoss Collections – proceeded to made me an offer. They'd give me a free subscription to their model line if I promoted the product for them.

These are my own photos. Check out the amazing details!
Now that's a sweet deal, right? Your basic quid pro quo. It was a very generous offer, but unfortunately, I couldn't accept for one simple reason: my opinion is not for sale. It's not for sale for access or props or toys or anything.

But their product looked interesting, so I made a counter-offer. Instead of giving me a free subscription, I asked them to send just one example of their product so that I could give an honest review, beholden to no one. They accepted, and within a few days there was a package at my door. I have to admit, I was a bit anxious to see what the deal was, so I tore the box open and pulled out the contents. It was a small box that was sealed in transparent plastic on top. And through that plastic, I could see what looked to be the most detailed version I've ever seen of the NextGen Enterprise-D. I stared at the little starship for several moments, marveling at the amazing paint job that included a two-toned "aztec pattern" painted on the entire surface of the hull. Windows, lifeboats, insignia – all were there in a tiny, impossible scale. Amazed, I carefully removed the little gem from its box.

Even the underside is rife with detail.
I held it gingerly as I was afraid of hurting it – it just appeared to be too precious to not handle carefully. I turned it over and was delighted to find the same level of detail on the underside. I proceeded to hold it at different angles (you know the ones!) and imagined it flying through space. It wasn't hard!

The model is a combination of die cast metal and plastic and came with a nice, simple display stand that, again, was very different than anything I had seen before. Instead of the usual post that sticks into the bottom of the ship (a connection that inevitably gets loose and won't hold the ship up!) it came instead with a small cradle which holds the model firmly in place. It also came with a very cool booklet – a 20-page color brochure that includes tons of great images, a history of the original filming models and a ton of background stuff, all in one place.

One thing to keep in mind: these are not large. The Ent-D is 5.5" long and 4" wide. It's similar to the size of last year's Hot Wheels boxed Star Trek ships, but that's where the similarities end. The detail on the Eaglemoss piece far exceeds anything on any previous version. You could use these babies as background pieces in an actual film and they'd hold up! And they can easily sit on a desk or bookshelf.

Also, these are only available through Eaglemoss' subscription program. The first ship – the Enterprise D – is only $4.95 with each subsequent ship costing $19.95 each. Every ship comes with its own booklet and stand.

There's also some freebies that come with the subscription including the Future Enterprise D from "All Good Things" and a Borg Cube. If you're a Star Trek ship nut like me, you're going to want to check this out at:

The Official Star Trek Starships Collection

I've got a feeling you'll be as impressed as I am!