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That ‘Star Trek’ episode where Jack the Ripper takes over the Enterprise so everyone gets super high
09.16.2016
09:08 am

Topics:
Drugs
Occult
Television

Tags:
Star Trek
Jack the Ripper


 
I didn’t want to write this post, but the burden of TV history weighs heavy on my shoulders. The 50th anniversary of Star Trek came and went, and in all the fanfare, I saw no mention of the original series’ single most bizarre episode. Forget the one where they’re back in the 1920s, or the one where they’re at the O.K. Corral with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, or the one where Kirk and Spock fight Genghis Khan alongside Abraham Lincoln; this right here is the goods.

Before last night, I hadn’t seen “Wolf in the Fold” for about 30 years. I watched it again to make sure my memory was accurate, and I can confirm that this is without a doubt the most insane episode of Star Trek that ever made it to the screen. It is actually even weirder than I remembered. A space séance is involved.

I don’t want to give away much more of the plot, but you’ll see what I mean if I set it up briefly. Kirk, Bones, and Scotty go whoring on the “hedonistic” planet Argelius II, which looks just like foggy London town. Next thing you know, Scotty’s standing over a dead belly dancer with a bloody knife in his hand. Kirk asks what kind of legal process they have in this jerkwater, when the Prefect, making a grand entrance, declares: 

The law of Argelius is love.

Then comes the Jack the Ripper business and the whole crew getting messy on tranks. And there is so much more I’m deliberately leaving out.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Never mind the Shatner, the ‘Star Trek’ cast member with the golden voice was Nichelle Nichols


 
May the gods eternally bless Rhino Records for so many reasons, but one of that label’s greatest contributions to weird society was the Golden Throats series of compilation albums. It endeavored—and largely succeeded—at bringing wide attention to one of my favorite vinyl collectibles sub-obsessions: celebrities not known for singing who nonetheless and against all reason recorded albums on which they sang, often very, very poorly. Adding to the kitsch appeal of the phenomenon, these albums were usually lounge or easy listening, and were often recorded in total earnest.

Notably, key Star Trek cast members William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were disproportionally represented on those Rhino comps, appearing on all four installments in the series, and scoring four tracks between them on the first one alone. Shatner’s stilted cover songs have become legendary on the basis of just one completely bonkers album, 1968’s The Transformed Man which manages to be a major head-trip both intentionally AND accidentally. Nimoy released about a half-dozen musical albums, a couple of which are Trek themed affairs on which he sometimes sings in-character as Spock, which have moments that approach the outsidery awesomeness of the Shatner LP. The rest are straightforward folk-pop albums, which are unironically not half bad at all.
 

 
Sadly, DeForest Kelley never made a musical LP, so it’s impossible to collect a complete discography of Trek’s archetypal Freudian trio. HOWEVER, there was more music to be found on the bridge: the recordings of Nichelle “Lt. Uhura” Nichols were totally neglected by Rhino when they assembled the Golden Throats comps (probably because she was actually really good). Between 1967 and 1991, she released three full lengths (sort of), two 7” singles, and an EP. Before she blazed a massively important trail for non-servile representation of African-American women on broadcast TV, Nichols sang with both Duke Ellington’s and Lionel Hampton’s bands, and she debuted as a solo recording artist with 1967’s Down to Earth. The title was an obvious nod to her stellar day job, and fittingly, the music was anything but cosmic. It’s a lightly jazzy lounge pop album, typical of its time, and loaded with standards and showtunes.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
There’s going to be a ‘Star Trek’ Vina Barbie Doll
06.09.2016
10:09 am

Topics:
Television

Tags:
Star Trek
Vina


 
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series, Mattel will be showcasing an exclusive “Vina” Barbie Doll at the San Diego Comic-Con. The sexy character, made famous by actress Susan Oliver, appeared in the Star Trek pilot episode, “The Cage,” in 1965. Apparently the episode was not broadcast on television until 1988.

The episode is a cult classic and has a different captain, namely Christopher Pike. The story starts with the Enterprise crew receiving a radio distress call from the fourth planet in the Talos star group, where Captain Pike meets a beautiful young woman named Vina. She is a ruse of enemy forces, the Talosians, who seek to lure the Enterprise to their planet. Vina is presented to Pike in various guises and settings, including the seductive green-skinned Orion which is the inspiration for this SDCC doll.

Now if you want one, there’s a catch. Purchasing instructions are, below:

The Barbie Vina doll is priced at $50 and will be featured on Mattel’s SDCC pre-sale site on Matty Collector starting June 16 for subscribers only (Early Access), and from June 16 through June 25 for everyone else (All Access). Orders must be picked up in person at San Diego Comic-Con.


 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Star Tract’: Demented Christian ‘Star Trek’ parody
04.14.2016
01:14 pm

Topics:
Television

Tags:
Star Trek


 
“Star Tract” is a low-budget parody of Star Trek (the original series) in which Kirk, Spock, and Scotty roam the universe in search of godless heathens to convert to the Gospel. It’s harmless and thoroughly non-crazy but also mightily amateurish.

The primary mode of “Star Tract” is, thankfully, comedic. The actor playing Kirk reads ... every ... LINE ... in ... the ... classic… patented ... Shatner parodic fashion in which seemingly every syllable is enunciated all on its lonesome. Spock works the word logically into every sentence, and Scotty’s main traits are that he is clumsy and Hispanic.
 

 
Two episodes are available online. The first one focuses on 1 Corinthians 1:27 and uses Scotty’s incessant klutziness as an occasion to reflect on the counterintuitive methods of the Godhead; in the second episode, “Captain Kirk and crew man #37 head to planet Moy Moy and learn about having the mind of Christ” and the key texts are 1 Corinthians 2:12 and 2:16. In case you were wondering, the denizens of Moy Moy talk like Keanu Reeves in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Watch this meticulously edited ‘Star Trek’ fan video for William Shatner’s awesome Pulp cover
07.22.2015
01:08 pm

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:
Star Trek
Pulp
William Shatner


 
In 2004, Ben Folds produced William Shatner’s album Has Been which included a surprisingly great cover version of Pulp‘s hit song “Common People.” Folds enlisted ‘80s icon Joe Jackson to sing on the choruses of that cover. The Has Been album was surprisingly well received by critics, and many agreed that “Common People” was the “hit” on that record.
 

 
Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker even praised the cover version, stating, “I was very flattered by that because I was a massive Star Trek fan as a kid and so you know, Captain Kirk is singing my song! So that was amazing.”

A fan has created a video for Shatner’s “Common People” using clips from Star Trek: The Original Series.

What makes this edit truly incredible is the attention to detail in matching shots with the lyrical content, even nailing specific lines of the song to lines spoken by Kirk in the show. Check twenty-seven seconds in where “I want to live,” or forty-seven seconds in where “I’ll see what I can do” sync perfectly.  The amount of work that went into this is apparent and astounding.

You can’t say Trekkies aren’t a dedicated lot.

This is totally worth four minutes your time:
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Common People’: Identity of slumming Greek socialite in Pulp song revealed at last?

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Bank of Canada urges ‘Star Trek’ fans to stop ‘Spocking’ their fivers
03.03.2015
07:31 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Current Events

Tags:
Star Trek
Leonard Nimoy
Spock


 
Bank of Canada is pleading with Star Trek fans to stop “Spocking” its five dollar bills. Since Leonard Nimoy’s death, Canadian folks have been “Spocking” the hell out of the five dollar bill that features a portrait of Canada’s seventh prime minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

Sir Wilfrid now sports, on certain bills at least, pointy ears, the signature Vulcan haircut and eyebrows and Spock’s mantra “Live long and prosper.”

According to Bank of Canada it’s not illegal to do this but:

“...However, there are important reasons why it should not be done. Writing on a bank note may interfere with the security features and reduces its lifespan. Markings on a note may also prevent it from being accepted in a transaction. Furthermore, the Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes are inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride.”

I say Spock the hell out of ‘em if it ain’t illegal. Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s face wasn’t that interesting, anyway. In fact, let’s just make this a permanent improvement to the Canadian five dollar bill.

 

 

 
Keep on “Spocking.”

via Toronto Sun

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The marvelous cover art of the early ‘Star Trek’ comic books


 
Poor Gold Key Comics. Despite their stewardship of tons of familiar titles, they always ranked a tier (or three) below the A-list. While Marvel and DC had all the high-octane superhero star power, Gold Key largely got by on licensing properties from other media. They did comic book tie-ins with Hanna-Barbera, Warner Brothers, and Disney cartoons, and brought TV shows like The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Twilight Zone, H.R. Pufnstuf (!!!), Dark Shadows and Star Trek to the comics racks. Amusingly, some of their tie-in comics outlived by years the original TV series’ upon which they were based, but the company’s fortunes waned throughout the 1970s, and after they lost the lucrative Trek license to Marvel in 1979—just months before that franchise’s cinema revival—their days were numbered. Gold Key was done for by the mid 1980s.

But though they were never the heaviest hitters, Gold Key weren’t wanting for talent. A young Frank Miller’s first pro gig was illustrating a story in The Twilight Zone, and ‘60s-‘80s sitcom deity Garry Marshall wrote scripts for some of their titles. And they had cover painter George Wilson. It’s is beyond frustrating how difficult biographical data on Wilson is to come by. Despite being as prolific as he was accomplished, he has no Wikipedia entry, and searches for his work are complicated by the existence of a pulp novel cover illustrator by the same extremely common name. But his obscurity—and I get that he was basically a jobber, but still—does nothing to diminish his gifts, and it’s just all kindsa wrong that as yet there’s been no big, lavish, coffee-table book collecting his work. He produced incredible numbers of vivid, exciting, superbly designed, impeccably rendered, ridiculously fun cover paintings for Gold Key’s sci-fi, adventure, and horror titles, including many for Star Trek. A lot of the covers that weren’t by Wilson were thrown-together photo illustrations. We suspect you’ll agree that these are far preferable.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Music for Spaceports: Wil Wheaton is making ambient cut-up music, and it’s actually pretty good


 
Not unlike Star Trek TOS’ George Takei, The Next Generation‘s Wil Wheaton has forged a thriving Trek afterlife as an internet presence. But while Takei has flourished as Planet Earth’s living avatar of goofy online ephemera, Wheaton has gone from playing the single most hated character in the entire Star Trek franchise to being a worthy ambassador for geek culture.

Wheaton has blogged a lot about gaming, sci-fi, and cosplay, and he’s also made a point of expressing his love for ambient music. And recently, he’s made the laudable transition from appreciator to creator.

I made a thing, which I believe is best experienced as ambient background noise, projected onto a bare brick wall. This is not something that you sit down and watch, the way you’d watch a movie or a TV show.

This work was created by combining audio and visual works obtained from the Internet Archive, at archive.org. The visuals are from Panorama Ephemera, which was found in the Prelinger Archives. The audio was remixed and processed in Audacity, and comes from several different sources, also originally found at the Internet Archive.

Everything used to make this video is in the public domain, or is licensed for remix and reuse.

And I’ll be damned if it ain’t half bad! Sure, there’s better out there, but there’s plenty worse, too. I look forward to hearing more, and if there’s ever a Wil Wheaton ambient LP, I’ll be among the first in line to pick it up.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Great moments in ‘Star Trek’: Captain Kirk and the stalagmite dildo weapon
10.14.2014
02:10 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Television

Tags:
Star Trek


 
In a classic scene from the Star Trek episode titled “What are Little Girls Made Of” (season one, episode seven, which aired on October 20th, 1966) we are treated to a skirmish involving Captain Kirk, a stalactite strongly resembling a huge dildo and a giant alien named “Ruk,” played by actor Ted Cassidy (who portrayed “Lurch” on the The Addams Family). Thirty-five minutes into the episode, Kirk is chased by Ruk into the caves of the alien planet he teleported to. To defend himself, Kirk pulls a huge piece of stalactite from the ceiling of the cave and after a quick edit, we get to see Captain Kirk holding what looks inexplicably like a gigantic marital aid. Kirk smacks Ruk around with it and you get to wonder how hard the production crew was laughing when this one slipped by the censors over at NBC.

In case you are short on time, someone has kindly put together a 25-second video summary of the episode that is posted below for your perusal. The full episode is currently streaming on Vimeo
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Watch every episode of your cult TV favorites playing at the same time

strktronek.jpg
 
Why? How? Who cares! This is just rather awesome!

YouTube user Omni Verse has put together ten minute packages of your favorite cult TV shows in an intense “videoggedon,” where all the episodes are played at the same time!

From Star Trek and The Twilight Zone, to Kolchak—The Night Stalker, Planet of the Apes and Doctor Who. This is like a ten minute sugar rush of cult TV heaven!
 

‘Star Trek’ all 80 episodes played at same time.
 

The Twilight Zone’ all 156 episodes at the same time.
 

‘Kolchak—The Night Stalker’ 20 eps all at once.
 

‘Doctor Who’ all 178 Tom Baker episodes.
 
More cult TV all at once, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Weird celebrity endorsements: The entire cast of ‘Star Trek’ uses MCI long distance calling
07.15.2013
09:51 am

Topics:
Advertising
Television

Tags:
Star Trek


 
I barely remember being conscious of long distance providers. It was before I had to worry about bills and I’ve never had a land line—at this point, I think even my grandparents have seen the light of texting. I do vaguely remember the rabid flurry of phone company commercials, desperately trying to one-up each other and corner the market. As a Trekkie-by-birth however (thanks mom!), I would have totally remembered the weirdness of this 1990 MCI commercial, had I ever witnessed it.

Don’t get me wrong, I cast no stones at product endorsement, not even by my beloved science fiction heroes. I mean, Shatner’s a great spokesmen for Priceline—he has the smarm and the charm to make it work. George Takei appeared in commercials for television, and George Takei can pretty much do whatever he damn well pleases because he is a gift to all mankind. But it is weird to see the entire crew of The Enterprise promoting something as mundane and anachronistic as a long distance service.

Speaking of mundane, I like how they portrayed the MCI offices as a dynamic, mission control kind of atmosphere, instead of the fields of cubicles we know to be the call center.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Star Trek: The Middle School Musical

lacisumkertrats.jpg
 
“To boldly go…”

Now, this I would go and see.

Star Trek: The Middle School Musical—a segment from The Mythical Show.

I hope Cameron MacKintosh is watching…
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Impressive lifelike sculpture of Mr. Spock
04.11.2013
03:45 pm

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Star Trek
Spock

image
 
There’s really not that much to say about this, but, uh, holy crap you can actually see the five o’clock shadow setting in! It’s all in the details…

“Spock” by Schell Sculpture Studio. Damn this is good!

image
 
Below, a medley of notable Spock quotes from all 80 original episodes of Star Trek:
 

 
Via Ian Brooks

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The IRS’ ‘Star Trek’ training video that doesn’t appear to train (or amuse) anyone…
03.25.2013
10:20 am

Topics:

Tags:
Star Trek
The IRS

image
 
Let it be known that I am the very first person, ever, to point out that the rhetoric of “government waste” is almost always a political tool, a red herring, distracting the public from focusing on rampant wealth inequality and America’s real bottomless money-pit, our absurdly gratuitous military spending. The resultant alarmism is used to incite a panic so that the wealthy can promote debilitating austerity measures as necessary belt-tightening.

Moreover, the $60,000 the IRS spent on this video (and, to be fair, another unreleased one that parodies Gilligan’s Island), adds up to such a pittance to taxpayers, it barely means anything. Plus, I’m pretty sure working for the IRS sucks, so I don’t mind shelling out a couple extra pennies to bring a little levity to the lives of the folks auditing my taxes—I want them to be in a good mood.

That being said… $60,000?!? I guess I just feel like the production values or writing should have been better. It can’t even decide if it’s the original Star Trek or The Next Generation! The IRS has apologized for the poorly thought-out project, but I have yet to hear an apology to the canon!

As a tax-payer, I’m kind of “meh” about this. As a science fiction fan, I am incensed!
 

 
Via Associated Press

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Fine literature on the set of Star Trek (‘What us worry?’)
03.06.2013
10:02 am

Topics:
Pop Culture
Television

Tags:
Star Trek
Mad

image
 
That’s a Mad magazine they’re holding up, if you can’t tell. It doesn’t surprise me that Leonard Nimoy reads Mad, but the “Shakespearean” actor William Shatner taking a break with a little “low culture” humor mag? I am unnerved!

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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