Saturday, October 22, 2016
Yes, it's now named Stan Lee's L.A. Comic Con, it's next weekend and I'm thrilled to say that Star Trek Continues will again have a panel Sunday after a screening of Episode 6, "Come Not Between the Dragons," which moi am honored to moderate.
You can see the episode on the big screen, only 7 weeks from its world premiere at Salt Lake Comic-Con, at 11:30 am in Room 304ABC on Oct. 30 at the LA Convention Center. Even on Sunday morning, allow plenty of time for downtown parking!
I will hardly need to creatively consult for this part of STC, as I'll be joined by our talented and risk-taking guest star Gigi Edgely as Ensign Eliza Taylor from that episode plus director Julian Higgins, who made his incredible first mark on STC with this one.
Gig has a signing table all weekend, but this panel is the only appearance that weekend for Juliand and I, so come by and say hi during and afterward. I'm happy to talk about any Star Trek, STC or Trekland projects for a bit!
Thursday, October 6, 2016
My baby is one year old! Portal 47, the monthly insider deep-dive to more in-depth Trek, was launched a year ago this month—and we're having a party to celebrate!
Well, a virtual open house, actually, and you're invited: On Oct. 12, a special edition of one of our guest telebriefings. And in the spirit of #StarTrek50, it's a doozy: None other than Robert Butler, director of Trek's 1964 first pilot, "The Cage."
I thought Robert, whom I've met at a couple of recent panels here in L.A., would make a wonderful guest for this opportunity to show off one of the key features in the Portal package. At 88, he can't travel much, so the phone-conference format is a perfect way to open up his appearance to the whole world. And there's not a lot of his colleagues still with us.
As the Portales do once a month, you can even send in questions in advance for our guest. Just reserve your virtual seat at this link, and see how, when and where to join in—and forward your pre-questions, if you like. We'll have some visuals, too, for those online...where we never have bandwidth issues.
It's just one of the features our deep-divers get every month—a part of what we call a mini-con all year long, no matter where your center seat is. (Seriously. Any continent, or wilderness... with a wi-fi signal, that is.)
But next week, all are welcome to see what that's like, and get a dose of first-hand Trek tales in the process... where no savvy fan has gone before. Hope you can make it!
(And by the way: If you tried to make our launch call a year ago and could not get in...don;t look for that to happen again. We're good!)
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Well, this is unprecedented.
Nearly 100 names and faces who brought Gene Roddenberry's hopeful, future universe to life over five decades are diving into Campaign 2016 with "Trek Against Trump." From the original series right through to the Kelvin timeline films and even Discovery—before and behind the camera alike, and alongside too.
And, I'm proud to say, me too.
It's not unusual in Hollywood —or in sports, or music, for that matter—to see celebs turn activist and political advocate. Kate Mulgrew, for one, stumped hard for her then-husband Tim Hagan when he was the Democratic nominee for governor of Ohio in 2002. Still, it's unusual for Star Trek, and most assuredly when done en masse. I'm sure that makes some fans queasy—or, since it's 2016, even outright hostile.
But here's the deal: It is 2016, and this group of Trek-related veterans have banded together for a political moment, wading into partisan waters with a joint message for their fans to at least consider—from actors, writers, producers, designers, and crew veterans of all incarnations. "Trek Against Trump" is the result: a simple yet pointed statement against perhaps the most controversial Presidential candidate ever arising from the mainstream two-party system, Donald J. Trump.
And it's a stand, the backers say, that leaves them uniquely affected because of their unofficial role as Ambassadors Emeritus for the Gene Roddenberry legacy of ideals, optimism, respect and future hope that they worked in: the core of Star Trek.
This all just came together in the past few days, and I've been proud to help contact and notify some of the names you see, and to consult on the social media logistics. You LN readers and followers know it's no secret where my politics lie, but they rarely if ever rear up on Trekland—as it should be. But, once again, the news reminds us daily how this is not even a typically partisan year.
And hey— this is an unusual step, and lots of the folks who signed on may have hesitated as to the normal effect that might have on career and even fanbase— not just for the stand, but in taking one at all, and so publicly.
But that again points to how so many see this election as not normal, like the signs for The Donald that are everywhere—from a stunningly historic lack of newspaper endorsements to a heavily split and divided party "behind" him. And yet we have a younger generation who see a protest vote as a viable option, who do not remember the bigger-picture consequences from the similar events of 2000—if nothing else, as depicted in the film Recount (check it out). As no less than Bernie Sanders himself has said, this is no time for a protest vote.
How will fans react to this "partisan stand" that backers say is not a stunt, but a natural reaction to counter their helpless feeling that "something should be done!"? There's a lot of high-power names here—and no doubt some fans will be incensed that their apolitical heroes got involved. Can it be barely two weeks since John Billingsley and Bonita Friedericy (Phlox and Rooney, if you need the prompt) felt compelled to launch their funny @MartiniShots anti-Trump mini-videos? Soon to be followed by Rick Berman's now famous tweet...
By that time, Armin Shimerman and John de Lancie were joining forces with John B, got more on board as signers and as help... and voila, here we are today.
So, yes, I'm glad to help.
If it's your cup o'tea, please join and share the simple Trek Against Trump Facebook (@TrekNotTrump on Twitter) everywhere. If not... well, this will all be over in just six weeks or so. Just dial up Netflix or slip in a new Blu-ray... and enjoy a non-political episode of Trek. If you can find one.
Oh, here's a list for that rewatch you might to check out: "The Drumhead" on TNG..."Past Tense" or "Home Front/Paradise Lost" on DS9... "Distant Origin" on Voyager, "Terra Prime/ Demons" on Enterprise... or, of course, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
Because, once again, that's Trek. And that's the whole point.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Well, THIS is different...
And so exciting: I'm going on a five-library tour of Michigan to celebrate Trek's ongoing golden anniversary next week. I mean, you didn't think the Big 5-0 ended on Sept. 8, did you? The anniversary year has only begun!
And this is doubly intriguing as it won't be a hard-core fan audience, but lots of armchair fans or just newbie-curious (I';m guessing) at local regional libraries all around suburban Detroit. Just as when the Alexandria, La., library had me visit last spring, I can't wait to see what kind of curious mainstream patrons come out to hear the amazing, wacky, and above all inspiring attraction of Gene Roddenberry's vision —and how and why it has lived long and prospered, generation after generation.
I'm counting on seeing plenty of the Michigan Trekfan faithful, of course, who can make it.
I've only been to Michigan once—at a weekend internet convention two years ago—so this is literally new ground for me. I'll have a 60-90 minute talk, with a special "Between the Cracks of Trek" slideshow of course, and then table time in each venue. My thanks to Rob Butler at the Caroline Kennedy Library in Dearborn Heights for sparking the idea, then talking to more sister sites to add to the tour while I'm in-state.
So here's the schedule, as you can see at ln.com's NEWS page. Times are for the actual talk start, but since all but Saturday bump up against closing time at each site, I'll be there at least an hour early with a table to avoid the "closing rush."
Hope to see a lot of our Wolveriner Treklanders next week!
Hope to see a lot of our Wolveriner Treklanders next week!
Here's the schedule:
Monday, Sept. 19, 6:30 pm
Tuesday, Sept. 20, 7:00 pm
Dearborn Heights, MI
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 6:30 pm
Thursday, Sept. 22, 6:30 pm
Lincoln Park, MI
Saturday, Sept. 24, 10:30 am
White Lake, MI
Thursday, September 8, 2016
YES! Finally, new Trekland video—and a brand-new intro! But the 50th celebration has only just begun ... for a whole year, yes?
So here's some faces and voices I've been holding back for the Happy 50th party—just the kind of behind-the-scenes insight that I love recording and revealing... from the TNG Companion where I met many of them, to our deep-diving Portal 47 today. Some you know; most you will not. (A few have been P47 guests; many others will be, too.)
For all or part of 18+ years, various teams of skilled show-biz folk brought us 737 hours of TV and films from Gene Roddenberry's universe...and could not help but form their own bonds of workaday friendship as well as professional pride.
With social media to help, the group held its third reunion in six years on May 22 in LA's Griffin Park—and it seemed natural to record for posterity some shoutouts for the 50th. I only regret that this was the smallest turnout of the three, and I did not get more folks on camera—to represent even more of the older series, or more of the various departments that go into getting an episode made.
Of course they have all gone on to other shows, other projects or even other careers now... but you can tell how most would agree that their working Star Trek years were something special, if not the highlights of their resume.
And that they are all fans, too.
Hard on the heels of Thursday's #Happy50 #StarTrek50 celebrating...
It's hard to believe, but it was just one year ago that I sprung the official launch of PORTAL 47 on an unsuspecting Trekland.... where no savvy fan had gone before.
And despite a couple of opening-night glitches as I scrambled to self-produce a combination talkshow/podcast/intro session, the Portal since then has echoed that famous phrase: From tiny acorns, mighty Orion oaks grow.
And now a brand-new modern webpage (above)! Portal47.net, you know.
I'd heard it for years: "All that Trek stuff you have, the people you know, the things you remember? You should do something with that!" —I was finally able to take that advice, thanks to my coaches and friends, and build a Star Trek experience that was unique to fandom, and uniquely my voice and resources.
|Our online Telebriefing in session w TOS guest Andrea Weaver|
Since then we've added slide shows (left) and even webcam video to our sessions... our private P47 Facebook community has turned into a bunch of snappers and sharers ... and our Live-Dives have sprung up wherever I'm a live guest at a con with 47ers present. The word is spreading, and members are popping in every week now!
Of course, my thanks also to Mike and all our original Telebriefing guests: David Trotti, Richard Sarstedt, Ron B. Moore, Alan Sims, Robin Morselli, Phil Weyland, Marvin Rush, Brad Look, Andrea Weaver, Eric Stillwell, David Stipes and Steve Welke. And many to come!
As well as more features to come— including those TrekTours for LA daytrippers I've been promising... plus an ALL-NEW premium level of the Portal that I'm very excited about!
Most of all, I'm planning a First Anniversary Telebriefing Special for Wed., Oct. 5, with another veteran Treklander on the call!
I'll be getting out the deets on that to everyone on my lists and media—and beyond—but if you have an itchy phaser finger, feel free to sign up now. The "Founding Deep-Diver" T-shirt special for first-year charter Portales is available until the night of the call Oct. 5.... so check out the sign-up links at portal47.netwww.portal47.net ... or email me at email@example.com with questions.
Hey, it’s Sept. 8!
|My early fandom benchmarks & treasures|
The Official Big 5-0 is here, at last.
Everyone and their alien dog is doing the Star Trek thing: mainstream news, bloggers, entire nations of state-owned media.
So, just as I promised when I started this blog, I'll take the personal route on this landmark day.
And say, after a year of joining fans worldwide to celebrate and reflect on Gene Roddenberry’s gift to us all, that I’ve got to come clean and admit it:
I take Star Trek for granted. And always have.
I mean, don’t get me wrong: I likely would not have wound up with a lot of my life choices—from a wife, to the expression of career training in numerous fields—had it not been for the little space saga that could.
By that I mean the original series, of course—no bloody A, B, C, D, V, E, J, or new D—and the by fact that I was but a kid when I got trekkified: one hour at a time, one day at a time, every day after school. Just like so, so many others.
I fell for those characters, I fell for that universe. I fell for the fact it was our universe—as both a history buff and a NASA kid, it made complete sense.
Because here’s a second admission: I can be deadly with the practical and the pragmatic. I had a “Well, yeah” put-down comeback that was years ahead of the “Well, duh” fad...and I used it full force, on wide-beam setting on Star Trek.
Of course our technology would progress from the wheel to the horsepower to the airplane to the starship… from fire to oil to antimatter. And for a species that grew from the level of caves to city-states to nations to United Nations, well of course we’d eventually become a union of intelligently populated planets—once we found them. And once they found us— because they, like us, had to figure out the self-survival recipe or they'd never have made it to the stars in the first place. (Well, most of them, anyway. Cue the grumpy Vulcans.)
I read the early books like Star Trek Lives!, grappling with why Trek was so mold-breakingly popular. I saw the interviews… I read the fan letters, the magazine essays. Optimistic future, humanity survives, we don’t kill each other or the planet or the new kids we find out there to play with …yadda yadda yadda... yeah, yeah yeah.
It was a concept that got so many young people excited and engaged...and still does.
Me, not so much. Remember, I was "well, yeah" when "well, yeah" wasn't cool. I mean, I knew how to gush—I just didn't see the need. Duh.
But the years since this teenager fell for that vision of future history have hardly been rosy. World progress has not been inevitable; tolerance and diversity and justice have not arisen automatically, along an ever-rising path to global peace and prosperity.
The go-go ‘70s grew into the cushy ‘80s and the dot-com ‘90s...and then, just about the time Star Trek's optimism seemed old hat in many ways... along came a global melt-down, a rebound of intolerance and pushback, and a generation that never saw a hot world war — but was sure plenty scared of a hot world.
And then Leonard died.
As I said at the time, his passing hit me not just hard, but unexpectedly: with guilt. Guilt that, while favoring McCoy and Scotty, and mourning De and Jimmy, I had taken Leonard and Spock far, far too much for granted.
And as the Five-O party started, and all the old truisms and quotes were trotted out again to explain Trek's appeal and Trek's longevity... I realized I was guilty once again. Of taking the core of the whole damn franchise for granted.
Even more than in 1966 or even 1986, Star Trek is an incredible gift of inspiration and hope, an ageless lesson in diversity and respect, a needed lesson in rationality and curiosity...and a damn flexible storytelling vehicle with great characters, cast, commentary and yes, canon—which you might say the biggest sign of respect of all: from creator to audience.
Yes, the years go by, world progress is not on autopilot, and it's actually gotten easier to gush about Star Trek. I bet we'll be saying the same thing after the next 50.
Have a great #happy50th day today!
Remember to share your pics of your party or meetup tonight at Larry Nemecek's Facebook or on Twitter with the hastag #mytrek50 ....
And if in L.A. (or on Facebook Live) drop by our "we are all fans" Trek50 meetup tonight at Lucy's in Hollywood anytime from 6-10 p.m., co-hosted by Roddenberry's Mission Log podcast, for a toast on Star Trek's debut half-past hours across the US time zones, shared on Facebook Live.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
After all the big conventions and events, after all the special merch, after all the other hoopla... it finally all comes down to Thursday....THIS Thursday, Sept. 8...at 8:30 pm Eastern*... at the hour when "The Man Trap" first flickered across NBC's airwaves.
So where will YOU celebrate Star Trek's actual 50th anniversary of its aired debut?**
Lots of folks are having get-togethers in their homes ... or nearby watering holes, or pop-culture storefronts: many will be screening "The Man Trap" at its debut hour—all over the world, actually. Feel free to take snaps of your own celebration and share with us on the Trekland Facebook page that night!
But IF you're in SoCal with no prior plans and want to share the night with Trekfans... please do so! Here's an invite to join us that night to toast Star Trek's 50th at Lucy's El Adobe, right across the street from Paramount Pictures and a onetime watering hole of Gene Roddenberry and friends. You can check out his autographed photo to the joint (right)!
Together with co-host John Champion of Roddenberry's Mission Log podcast, my Portal 47 will be lifting a toast at 6:30 pm* to the debut of Star Trek on the equivalent of its premiere in Eastern time—and then twice again on the half-past hour for Central/Mountain and Pacific times.
You're on your own for drinks, and some of us are getting dinner around 7:00.
But we'll have a giant 50th Anniversary card to sign ... and some other fun and a surprise or two as well. Most of all, we're coming together to mark this landmark that has meant so much to so many.
And for those around the globe not with us in person, you can join us in spirit: I plan to film each toast, and any fun surrounding subspace chatter, all live on Facebook Live online at my Trekland Facebook—again, at 6:30, 7:30 and 9:30 PDT.*
For a Thursday night, and after all the big extravaganza of the past few weeks, I just wanted to do something relaxed, in an LA venue of even a tenuous Star Trek connection... with a vibe where folks with no plans otherwise could come for fan fellowship and fun. There may even be recent tales of Vegas, New York and elsewhere...or memories from further afield in fandom, back further on the timeline.
Hey, we only get one shot at the true golden anniversary moment for Star Trek—just make you sure to mark it somehow, somewhere, with fans you love and enjoy. Maybe that means we'll see you at Starbase Lucy's!
If you do plan to come by... PLEASE just help us keep tabs on turnout and click the "Going" button on the Facebook Event page—thanks!
*As my talented buddy and fellow STC'er James Kerwin pointed out, Daylight Savings Time was not created until 1967—so, techincally, celebrants this year ought to mark "The Man Trap"'s 1966 debut at *9:30* PM EDT—an hour later—to compensate.
**And yes, we all know by now, thanks to the wackiness of younger-brother sales and marketing, Star Trek actually flashed on-air before an audience the TWO DAYS before NBC's Sept. 8 premiere— on the CTV, in Canada!