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There’s going to be a ‘Star Trek’ Vina Barbie Doll
10:09 am


Star Trek

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
01:14 pm


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
01:08 pm


Star Trek
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:

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

Current Events

Star Trek
Leonard Nimoy

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 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
02:10 pm


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

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
09:51 am


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

“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
03:45 pm


Star Trek

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!

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…
10:20 am


Star Trek

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?’)
10:02 am

Pop Culture

Star Trek

Shatner and Nimoy
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
‘Star Trek’ cast at space shuttle viewing, in glorious 1976 fashions
09:28 am


Star Trek

After a flood of letters from Star Trek fans, NASA named its first Space Shuttle Orbiter “Enterprise”. On September 17, 1976, Enterprise made its’ media debut at the Rockwell’s plant in Palmdale, California, as the Air Force band fired up the Star Trek theme music. The show’s cast was naturally invited, although somehow William Shatner missed it.

Surely he owned a fabulous leisure suit? He’s Bill Shatner!

From left: James Fletcher; NASA administrator, DeForest Kelley; George Takei; James Doohan; Nichelle Nichols; Leonard Nimoy; Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, George Low; NASA deputy administrator, and Walter Koenig;

Below, Leonard Nimoy recounts the events that led to the Space Shuttle’s name.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Trekkie!

Actress Nichelle Nichols tells the lovely story of how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. convinced her to remain on Star Trek after she had decided to leave the series for Broadway:

I was going to leave “Star Trek,” and [creator] Gene Roddenberry says, “You can’t do that. Don’t you understand what I’m trying to achieve? Take the weekend and think about it.” He took the resignation and stuck it in his desk drawer….

As fate would have it, I was to be a celebrity guest at, I believe, it was an NAACP fundraiser in Beverly Hills. I had just been taken to the dais, when the organizer came over and said, “Ms. Nichols, there’s someone here who said he is your biggest fan and he really wants to meet you.”

I stand up and turn and I’m looking for a young “Star Trek” fan. Instead, is this face the world knows. I remember thinking, “Whoever that fan is, is going to have to wait because Dr. Martin Luther King, my leader, is walking toward me, with a beautiful smile on his face.” Then this man says “Yes, Ms. Nichols, I am that fan. I am your best fan, your greatest fan, and my family are your greatest fans…. We admire you greatly ….And the manner in which you’ve created this role has dignity….”

I said “Dr. King, thank you so much. I really am going to miss my co-stars.” He said, dead serious, “What are you talking about?” I said, “I’m leaving Star Trek,” He said, “You cannot. You cannot!”

I was taken aback. He said, “Don’t you understand what this man has achieved? For the first time on television we will be seen as we should be seen every day – as intelligent, quality, beautiful people who can sing, dance, but who can also go into space, who can be lawyers, who can be teachers, who can be professors, and yet you don’t see it on television – until now….”

I could say nothing, I just stood there realizing every word that he was saying was the truth. He said, “Gene Roddenberry has opened a door for the world to see us. If you leave, that door can be closed because, you see, your role is not a Black role, and it’s not a female role, he can fill it with anything, including an alien.”

At that moment, the world tilted for me. I knew then that I was something else and that the world was not the same. That’s all I could think of, everything that Dr. King had said:  The world sees us for the first time as we should be seen.

Come Monday morning, I went to Gene. He’s sitting behind that same dang desk. I told him what happened, and I said, “If you still want me to stay, I’ll stay. I have to.” He looked at me, and said, “God bless Dr. Martin Luther King, somebody knows where I am coming from.” I said, “That’s what he said.” And my life’s never been the same since, and I’ve never looked back. I never regretted it, because I understood the universe, that universal mind, had somehow put me there, and we have choices. Are we going to walk down this road or the other? It was the right road for me.

TV’s first interracial kiss—between Nichols and William Shatner—also occurred on Star Trek. America celebrates Martin Luther King Day on January 21.

Below, an excerpt from a much longer interview with Nichelle Nichols—who also toured with Duke Ellington as a vocalist—in the archive of The TV Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television, on YouTube

Via Media Post

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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