Star Trek news

Exclusive: Star Trek Set Tour Planning ‘Next Generation’ Expansion, Opening Film Academy In Fall - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 21:26

During the William Shatner Weekend at the Star Trek: The Original Series Set Tour in Ticonderoga, NY, TrekMovie had a chance to speak with tour founder (and former Star Trek: Phase II creator and star) James Cawley, who talked about the weekend’s event as well as giving us some exclusive news on future plans.

James Cawley being interviewed by TrekMovie’s Denes House at William Shatner Weekend at Star Trek: The Original Series Set Tour

Tour looking to add TNG sets

Cawley revealed that they are currently in preliminary discussions with CBS to expand the set tour to include the USS Enterprise-D sets from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The current plan is to take over the building next door, which has double the square footage of the current tour and has two floors, to allow for more and larger locations for the TNG tour. The objective is to create the “full footprint” of USS Enterprise sets as used on TNG. Cawley tells TrekMovie the TNG sets will be built from scratch, describing the expansion as part of The Set Tour’s long term plan, and hopes to begin work on the project within a year.

Set Tour planning to expand to include sets from Star Trek: The Next Generation

In the shorter term, there are also plans to make some additions to the current The Original Series Set Tour, including adding the USS Enterprise’s Auxiliary Control Room as well as the Emergency Manual Monitor on the second floor of the Engineering set. Both are expected to be part of the tour by the fall.

Set Tour to add Auxiliary Control set

Film Academy launching this fall, in talks with LeVar Burton to lead first class

At STLV last summer, The Original Set Tour announced they were creating the Star Trek Film Academy, where you can enroll and experience the process of creating an episode of Star Trek. Speaking to TrekMovie, Cawley revealed the Academy should open in mid-October of this year. He also revealed that they have lined up a number of Star Trek veterans to guide students, including makeup designer Michael Westmore, visual effects designer Doug Drexler, and designers Mike and Denise Okuda. They are also currently finalizing plans to have Star Trek: The Next Generation star and director LeVar Burton be the first director for The Academy.

The Star Trek Film Academy will be held on the TOS sets and at a local college where there will be seminars. Pricing has yet to be finalized, but Cawley revealed that it will be tiered, with the choice to take part in just the seminars or both seminars and production on set. “We want to give fans the most bang for their buck. There are going to be different price points, to hopefully make it available for everyone”, said Cawley.

This fall you will be able to recreate the magic making Star Trek (Photo: Star Trek Set Tour)

Karl Urban to headline Trekonderoga Con

Each summer The Original Series Set Tour holds a Star Trek convention called Trekonderoga, and this summer’s will be held August 24-26. James Cawley revealed the headliner this year will be Karl Urban, who is a big TOS fan and of course plays Dr. McCoy in the Kelvin Star Trek films. Urban will be doing tours of the sets along with photo ops in sick bay. So, he cannot say “I’m a doctor, not a tour guide,” because this time he will be both.

Karl Urban at Star Trek Las Vegas 2017, will headline Trekonderoga 2018

Shatner on set is a dream come true

The Star Trek: The Original Series Set Tour has previously hosted all the living members of the main cast of the original Star Trek, but it wasn’t until earlier this month that schedules finally worked out to bring William Shatner on board.  “It’s a bucket list moment,” said Cawley of seeing Shatner on the bridge for the first time, adding “We have only seen that on television, so to see him there for real is an amazing moment. There are no words.”

Cawley came to Star Trek fame by creating the popular fan series Star Trek: New Voyages (later renamed Star Trek: Phase II). “When I did my fan film, it was all about being a kid again and putting on my uniform and running around the backyard,” said Cawley of the experience of taking on the role Captain Kirk. However, this weekend wasn’t about trading notes on playing the iconic role, telling TrekMovie: “I am not going to go to him and say ‘I played Captain Kirk.’ That’s not important. What’s important is to say to him, ‘You are my childhood hero, and thank you for all of this.’”

James Cawley looks on as William Shatner is interviewed by the media at the Star Trek: The Original Series Set Tour (Photo: Star Trek Set Tour)

To learn more about Star Trek: The Original Series Set Tour and upcoming events, visit

Categories: Star Trek News

August IDW Publishing Star Trek Comic

TrekToday Headlines - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 19:51
This August, fans can look forward to IDW Publishing’s Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita. In Terra Incognita #2, “When a...
Categories: Star Trek News

More Eaglemoss Discovery Starships

TrekToday Headlines - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 19:47
Images from the third and fourth issues of the Eaglemoss Discovery Starships Collection have been released. The third ship will be the...
Categories: Star Trek News

Result Of Shatner’s Promotion Of NASA Probe

TrekToday Headlines - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 19:41
Back in March, William Shatner asked fans if they wanted to “join NASA on a historic mission to the sun” courtesy of...
Categories: Star Trek News

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Is Front And Center For CBS At Licensing Expo - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 17:08

This week the annual Licensing Expo is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada, where licensees and licensors come together to make some deals for potential branded products and services. And for the second year running CBS Consumer Products has put Star Trek: Discovery center stage for their booth.

CBS booth at Licensing Expo 2018 (Photo: Lew Halboth)

In addition to the Star Trek banners and posters dominating the booth, there were also genuine Star Trek: Discovery costumes on display, along with a number of cases showing off props and Discovery merchandise.

Genuine Discovery props (Photo: Lew Halboth)

Anovos USS Discovery model (Photo: Lew Halboth)

Selection of Discovery licensed merchandise (Photo: Lew Halboth)

Selection of Discovery licensed merchandise (Photo: Lew Halboth)

CBS is making it clear they are ready to cut deals for Star Trek and especially their new show Star Trek: Discovery. It could be that new deals are being worked out, such as last year when the McFarlane Toys licensing deal was announced at the of the show. John Van Citters from CBS Consumer Products has been showing he is ready to talk Trek, by showing off his tie selection for the first two days of the show.

A lot of meetings on tap today. Confident I’ll Crush them.

— John Van Citters (@jvancitters) May 22, 2018

No school like the old school.

— John Van Citters (@jvancitters) May 23, 2018

Hopefully John and CBS cut some deals for some new cool Star Trek stuff.

CBS Consumer Products executive John Van Citters (Left side of desk) at Licensing Expo 2018 (Photo: Lew Halboth)

More photos

Thanks to Lew Halboth of Fansets for his assistance with this article.

Categories: Star Trek News

Previews – Star Trek: Discovery: Succession #2 And The Next Generation: Through The Mirror #4 - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 15:00

IDW has just released their August 2018 solicitations with synopses and covers for all their titles, which includes one Star Trek title, the second in the The Next Generation: Terra Incognita mini-series which launches in July. We also have previews of two Trek comics being released today: the second issue of Star Trek: Discovery: Succession and the fourth (and penultimate) issue of the Through the Mirror series.

First look for August:  Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita #2 (32 pages • $3.99)

Written by Scott Tipton & David Tipton, art by Carlos Nieto

When a routine diplomatic mission takes a catastrophic turn, Counselor Deanna Troi is the only thing that stands between the Federation and the prospect of galactic war!

A cover by Tony Shasteen

Variant Cover by Elizabeth Beals

There will also be a photo cover, and a variant covers by J. K. Woodward.

Out today preview: Star Trek: Discovery: Succession #2 (32 pages • $3.99)

Written by Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson, art by Carlos Nieto, cover by Angel Hernandez

In this, the second DISCOVERY miniseries from IDW Publishing, your favorite characters from the hit CBS All Access series dive into an adventure tied directly into the second half of the first season—out now!

Out today preview: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Through The Mirror #4 (32 pages • $3.99)

Written by Scott Tipton and David Tipton, art by Carlos Nieto and J.K. Woodward, cover by J.K. Woodward

Finally, Mirror Picard’s plot is revealed! It’s Enterprise crew versus Enterprise crew, with the fate of a galaxy hanging in the balance!


Previews of other upcoming titles:

May Star Trek Comics

June Star Trek Comics

July Star Trek Comics

Keep up with all the Star Trek comics news, previews and reviews in TrekMovie’s Comics Category.

Categories: Star Trek News

Star Trek: Discovery: Succession #2

TrekToday Headlines - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 22:15
IDW Publishing‘s Star Trek: Discovery: Succession #2 comes out tomorrow, but fans can have a sneak peek of the issue today. In...
Categories: Star Trek News

Star Trek Online Season 14.5 for Console Players

TrekToday Headlines - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 22:09
Good news for fans who use Xbox One and Playstation 4; Star Trek Online: Season 14.5 is now available on both. “Starting...
Categories: Star Trek News

Tig Notaro Says Her ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Recurring Role Is Funny, Hopes Fans Accept Her - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 21:00

For the first time since it was announced last month, comedian Tig Notaro is talking about being cast for the second season of Star Trek: Discovery. 

All that was previously known about Notaro’s role is that her character is named Denise Reno, and she is the Chief Engineer of the U.S.S. Hiawatha. Today we also learned via EW that it will be a recurring guest role. And speaking to the Dallas Observer to promote an upcoming comedy show, Notaro said the Discovery role “is really funny and feels really natural to me.”

The actress and comedian also explained she got the Trek gig through a longtime connection to executive producer Alex Kurtzman, from when they both worked as assistants on the Hercules and Xena TV series in the 90s, adding:

“I was offered the role and said [yes] right away without reading the script and when I read the script, I said, ‘A million times yes.’ Hopefully, the Star Trek universe will accept me. If not, too bad. I’ve never imagined myself in this kind of world. It’s funny because the way Alex and I know each other. Now we’re meeting up in a whole different world of crazy fandom.”

And speaking to IndieWire, Notaro said Kurtzman knew the character would fit her:

“In guest starring on Season 2 of Star Trek, I’m in the hands of Alex Kurtzman, who I’ve known for a couple of decades, and he knows my voice really well,” Notaro said. “My character, I’m telling you, the writing that was done for my character is just spectacular. I followed ‘Star Trek’ as a child and had the action figures. The whole thing is just ridiculously fun and exciting.”

Notaro has a number of acting credits, but those have primarily been in film and TV comedies, including her starring role for two seasons in the semi-autobiographical Amazon comedy One Mississippi. This isn’t the first time Discovery has turned to an actor known for comedy. The Office’s Rainn Wilson appeared twice as Harry Mudd in the show’s first season.

New comedy special online today

The comedian’s latest special – titled Tig Notaro: Happy to Be Here – debuts today on Netflix.

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

Categories: Star Trek News

‘Star Trek: Bridge Crew – The Next Generation’ DLC Expansion Available Now – Watch Launch Trailer - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 19:15

Today, Ubisoft released their first DLC expansion for Star Trek: Bridge Crew, bringing Star Trek: The Generation to the game.

With the new expansion, initially released for the PS4, players command of the USS Enterprise-D where you will face challenges from the Romulans and of course the Borg. The expansion introduces a new command role, Operations, and two new modes to Ongoing Voyages; Patrol and Resistance. .

Launch trailer

Replay of launch livestream event


Screenshots Next Generation expansion available now

Star Trek: Bridge Crew  – The Next Generation launched today, May 22nd, on PlayStation VR and PS4, priced at $14.99. If you don’t have the game now, you can pick up the PS4 version on Amazon for $26.96.and  The game is cross-platform, so if you have a PSVR, and your friend has a Vive, you can still play together. The HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality, and standard (non-VR) PC version of the DLC will be released on July 21.

NOTE: Late-last year Ubisoft removed the requirement for a VR headset, so now anyone can play Bridge Crew (and The Next Generation expansion pack too).

You can read our previous coverage of Bridge Crew by clicking on this link.

Categories: Star Trek News

Zachary Quinto Says ‘Star Trek 4’ Is Coming, Excited To Work Again With Director S.J. Clarkson - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 17:35

Spock actor Zachary Quinto was a guest last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote the Broadway revival of The Boys in the Band, but the host, known to be a bit of a nerd himself, wanted to start things off talking about Star Trek.

Colbert asked Quinto if there is going to be a Star Trek 4 and is Quentin Tarantino going to direct it. The actor clarified things regarding the two Star Trek projects in development.

I know more now than I knew a few weeks ago, which is there will be a fourth [Star Trek] movie, if we stay on the track we are on. I think there is going a movie before Quentin’s movie. So, there may be a movie after the next movie. So, we have a lot to look forward to.

The Star Trek actor’s optimism about the follow-up to 2016’s Beyond moving forward is noteworthy compared to a year ago when Quinto said the cast were all waiting for news, and warning at the time there were “no guarantees” for another Trek film. Co-star Simon Pegg has also recently said he sees S.J. Clarkson being attached to Star Trek 4 as an indication the film is headed towards production.

Paramount has not yet set a release date for Star Trek 4. However, in addition to Clarkson being attached, reports that David Ellison’s Skydance is again partnering with Paramount for Star Trek 4 indicates indicates the key issue of financing is also taking a big step forward.

Regarding the hiring of S.J. Clarkson to direct Star Trek 4, Quinto said:

They just announced a woman will be directing the next one, which is really exciting. It is the first time in the feature universe. And it is actually a woman I know and have worked with before, named S.J. Clarkson and she is incredible and I am very excited.

Quinto worked with Clarkson on two episodes of the NBC series Heroes.

Zachary Quinto as Spock in Star Trek Beyond

In Search Of update

Sticking with his nerdy bent, Colbert then asked about the upcoming reboot of In Search Of. Quinto said that his version will “maintain the integrity of the original series,” hosted by Leonard Nimoy, but it would also differ in some ways. The biggest change is that Quinto will not only host the show, but be involved in going into the field himself to do the different segments and interviews. Quinto, who is also producing the series, said he used the popular CNN series Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown as a model for traveling the world for strange stories to explore. The actor did note that on one occasion he wears a turtleneck as an homage to Nimoy’s original 70’s wardrobe.

Subjects covered for the new In Search Of will include aliens, monsters of the deep, the lost city of Atlantis, artificial intelligence, life after death and mind control. The series arrives on the History Channel in July.

Zachary Quinto in In Search Of

Watch Quinto on Colbert

Keep up with all news on both Star Trek 4 and the Tarantino Trek project at TrekMovie’s upcoming films category.

Categories: Star Trek News

The Women Of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Say The Female Future Is Here - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 22:08

This past Sunday (May 20th), Vulture Festival New York hosted a Star Trek: Discovery panel called “The Future is Definitely Female.” It featured co-showrunner Gretchen J. Berg, along with actresses Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham), Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou), Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly), and Mary Chieffo (L’Rell), who talked to an enthusiastic audience about the experience of working on such a female-centric sci-fi show.

We already covered Berg’s thoughts regarding canon and plans for season 2, but here are some of the highlights of the discussion around the roles of women both in front of and behind the camera, all of which included tremendous appreciation for the men who are also such an essential part of the picture. “Divided we fall,” said Martin-Green, as the group repeatedly spoke of how they all support each other in their risk-taking storytelling.

Respect and support define the women of Discovery

Sonequa Martin-Green spoke at length about the show’s strong female characters.

I love the dynamics of the women on the ship that are in positions of leadership. From the very beginning, something we were championing, and celebrating is that this female captain and female first officer are not at odds. They are in support of each other and they respect each other, there is that professional courtesy and also that deep, maternal love.

And then you have the relationship with Burnham and Tilly. Burnham is so uplifted by Tilly and Tilly doing everything she does out of love. And Mary [Wiseman] with her wondrous performance as Tilly, I think it’s amazing. You see these women, L’Rell, you see these women not denying their femininity, but realizing the power in it, and realizing that it’s  their feminine tendencies to nurture and really, it’s their superpower to multitask. It is that attention to detail. It’s the automatic ability to improvise as well, you see how far that goes in a position of leadership. You can see how beneficial it is, and how effective it is. We see that with all the women on our show.

Mary Cheiffo got into more detail about L’Rell.

I feel that L’Rell suffered from lack of representation. She says [in the season one finale] “But I am no one.” That is part of it. It takes Burnham’s huge generosity of spirit to give me that detonator. Because, in a certain way, I caused the greatest heartbreak and instead of having a catfight, we created peace. My most successful human relationships have been with women on the show. I think there is something to that. There’s a collaboration.

The Marys bond

Equality all the way down to the underwear

Mary Wiseman talked up the importance of female leadership behind the scenes after reminding the audience, to much laughter, that “there’s still, like, a lot of men.”

It’s how occupations break down, I don’t know why. There are still a lot of men on set. But the leader is a woman. And it is run by women, and a woman’s perspective is always at the forefront.

Because Gersha is our costume designer, women aren’t wearing short dresses on set. We are wearing the same thing as the men are. And that is a visual signal that I think is important and significant. She is painting our world and she is painting the equality of gender every day in costumes.

Sonequa couldn’t resist adding some inside info.

And we all wear the same undergarment, you guys. Men and women wear the same spanx.

Mary Wiseman brought up another aspect of Discovery‘s female roles.

One thing I really appreciate about the show is that, not all the women are 25. On average, best female Oscar winners are ten years younger than their male counterparts. Why is that? When we value women who are younger, what does that say about our idea of the prototypical woman? Cornwell and Georgiou, this is so important. And also, the strongest person I know is my mom. I want to see people like that in our world, and I think they did a really good job of representing that part of our world too.

Talking about undergarments is always fun

Party episode helped the cast bond as a family

Sonequa Martin-Green teared up a little after describing  the closeness within the team on the Star Trek: Discovery set, and spoke about how shooting repeated time loops of the party scene in the seventh episode (“Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad“) helped really bring the cast together:

It was really, really bonding for us as a company, as a cast and crew. We always aspired to be a family, from the very beginning I remember Aaron saying, “We want this to be run like a theater company, we want to be like a family.” I had come in with such strong views on that as well, and everybody came with that. Everybody made the decision together and it did have to happen that way … There is nothing but love, talent, passion, drive, appreciations and respect. Everybody comes together to do it and we are a family because everybody chose to be.

Sonequa Martin-Green and Mary Wiseman at the post-panel photo session at Vulture Festival

Chieffo embraces L’Rell’s sexuality

After the showing of a particularly powerful scene from “Despite Yourself,” Mary Chieffo talked about the intensity between L’Rell and Tyler, beginning by telling the crowd how grateful she was that Jonathan Frakes directed them. She dug deep into the relationship between the two characters and the challenge of the slow unraveling of the Voq/Tyler storyline.

Obviously, we knew the truth and we wanted to find that balance. We actually replicated a lot of physical moments that happened in episode 4 (“The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry“), particularly that scene at the end when I say, “Sacrifice everything.” But really finding that that was part of what I was trying to awaken is like these moments we had in the past. We very much approached it very much from a genuine place.

She also spoke about viewing the story through L’Rell’s eyes.

I’m just going to play her truth and I know it is going to be misconstrued, which is also very painful for me. I didn’t expect that, because in the moment everyone know all that stuff for me and then after episodes aired it was like “Aaaggh! Why didn’t you say anything?”

L’Rell’s relationship with her sensuality is so different from a typical human’s. And really leaning into that, leaning into what we interpret as very dominating sexual nature that we have been programmed to reject is actually–it’s her way of expressing herself. She is from a culture and society and species that has a different relationship with it. So that was something I leaned on a lot, not just in that scene, but in general with the character is that she has no way of knowing that this is inappropriate for a human. And that’s part of her tragedy and why she makes the choice in [episode] 12 (“Vaulting Ambition“), is that she does realize that she had more of her edification and seeing the pain that Tyler/Voq is in. She is too empathetic, actually. I think of her strengths as a character is her heart. It is one of her flaws as Klingon, I know. So, for me, it was letting it be about the heart. And the sensuality was just part of that because that is who she is as an alien.

Mary Chieffo talks L’Rell at Vulture Festival 2018

Subverting norms with Voq/Tyler’s trauma

Gretchen J. Berg had more to say about the Voq/Tyler story,

There is trauma in that relationship. It’s based on misunderstanding, remembering things a different way, and his feelings are very real.

And Mary Wiseman expressed her awe of how it was handled.

It’s an allegory for how confusing trauma can be. If you’re assaulted, it might be confusing. You might be in love with the person. You might have kind of felt like you enjoyed it, but it’s still violating. That’s a beautiful allegory for me, I think you guys illustrated that so well.

“And it happened to be the man,” added Sonequa Martin-Green. Wiseman agreed. “It happens to men.” Martin-Green spoke about the power of that choice.

All the time. And they can’t, they won’t, they can’t, they feel like they can’t speak. And Shazad and I were really moved by that gender reversal, in a sense, because we associate that with women. But being able to flip that, and be the mirror, this happens to men too.

Gretchen J. Berg, Sonequa Martin-Green, and Michelle Yeoh listen intently to Mary Wiseman

Emperor Georgiou even scares Michelle Yeoh

After showing a clip from the episode “Vaulting Ambition,” the panel’s moderator asked Yeoh about the challenges of playing both prime Georgiou and the mirror universe version, curious to know if she played her as two people, or different aspects of the same character. “I was just playing Michelle Yeoh there,” Yeoh joked, referring to the clip of her murdering most of her inner circle.

She then answered more directly.

We talked about this with Gretchen and Aaron–because they’re from this mirror universe, does that just mean they’re just evil? We thought that was too easy. There must be motivations–why do they do that, how, why, when, what motivates her, drives her. And I guess it’s also the environment. It is a dog-eat-dog world over there. You keep looking over your shoulder. You have to kill to be the top. And so it was a very different place.

Captain Phillipa Georgiou was such a kind and compassionate woman–sometimes that was even MORE hard to do. I think it was also the look. Gersha [Phillips] with the costume, and the makeup and the hair. You look at her and … “Whoah!” She scared me too.

There is also subtlety in her character because of Michael Burnham, and I think that was a bond that traveled the universe. It was just there, she couldn’t explain it … when it comes to love, it stays with you and there’s something you can’t really explain. It really moved the character along.

I think that we’re very vulnerable, but we always pretend that we’re strong. And everybody just thinks that you’re strong, which is not true. What I see in these amazing young actors, I’m so proud to be working with them. It’s such joy, just sitting and watching them every day.

The feeling was clearly mutual. Martin-Green told the crowd how she drove Yeoh crazy by constantly showing everyone on the set YouTube videos of Yeoh kicking ass. “We have a legend in our midst,” she’d tell them.

Sonequa Martin-Green and Michelle Yeoh

It’s not just the women

After all this talk of strong and powerful women, Gretchen J. Berg made a point of reminding everyone how important the men of the team to the entire dynamic.

I know today is a celebration of women in Star Trek and we are really proud of that, but we have partners in our lives on this show who are men and who think like we do. Aaron [Harberts], my writing partner for 20 years, Alex Kurtzman, and Bryan Fuller … and everybody across the board. There is nobody making a fuss or a stink about the fact that we have both men and women represented. Remember Stamets saved the multiverse and Culber was the smart person who figured out what was up with Tyler, and Tyler is wonderful and Saru …  We know this, our partners, the men on the show and across the board, we love them too and they make us all successful.

Photo session after the panel

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

Categories: Star Trek News

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Through The Mirror #4

TrekToday Headlines - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 21:11
IDW Publishing‘s Star Trek: The Next Generation: Through The Mirror #4 comes out on Wednesday, but fans can have a sneak peek...
Categories: Star Trek News

Discovery: The Future Is Definitely Female Panel

TrekToday Headlines - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 21:06
Yesterday, Gretchen J. Berg, Sonequa Martin-Green, Mary Chieffo, Mary Wiseman, and Michelle Yeoh took part is a Star Trek: Discovery – The...
Categories: Star Trek News

Interview: ‘The Toys That Made Us’ Producer On The Ups And Downs In The Story Of Star Trek Toys - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 17:00

On May 25th the second season of the Netflix documentary series The Toys That That Made Us debuts, with one episode dedicated to Star Trek toys. TrekMovie chatted with creator and executive producer Brian Volk-Weiss about the making of the episode and to find out what we can expect.

Brian Volks-Weiss on set with Bjo and John Trimble for the Star Trek episode of The Toys That Made Us

The long story of Star Trek toys

The world of toys is so big with so many different brands to potentially cover, so, why did you choose Star Trek to be one of the first 8 episodes for your series?

Here is the deal, and I am going to be honest, I was very blessed when Netflix agreed to do the show and as blessed when they let me pick the episodes. I didn’t know if I would be allowed to make more than 8. I am a huge Star Trek fan and a huge Star Trek toy fan, and I felt since it is my show and they are letting me make the decision, I decided “Fuck it, I’m going to do Star Trek.”

One caveat is, that it is a great story. So, for the people who are wondering why didn’t we do [Teenage Mutant Ninja] Turtles, or why we didn’t do My Little Pony, the answer is that those are bigger toys, but I didn’t know if I would ever be able to make more than eight and I wanted to do Star Trek.

With your Star Wars episode there was a sort of meta-story and sort of David and Goliath theme with Kenner, is there that kind of embedded theme or arc for Star Trek?

There is one, and there isn’t. When I say there is, [George] Lucas actually talked to [Gene] Roddenberry, and I didn’t know that. Lucas had a long conversation with Roddenberry and a lot of why everything went so well for Lucas with Star Wars is because of what Roddenberry told Lucas he had done wrong with Star Trek toys.

The second thing as to why there isn’t a single theme, and why Star Trek makes a great episode, every other toy we covered in the first eight episodes is essentially owned by one company. Even Star Wars with Kenner and Hasbro, but Hasbro bought Kenner, so it is really one company with most of the same people. On the other hand, with Star Trek, conservatively, they have had over 40 licensors. So, it is a great compare and contrast with Star Wars, for what happens when the politics and the power that Lucas took control are not present for a major franchise.

So, the episode will cover the full range of the franchise going back to 1966 to today, including Discovery and the new movies?

Yes. But, if you have seen the show, then you know what we have done which is about 85% of the focus is on the late 70s through mid-90s, and that is definitely true for Star Trek as well, but maybe only 75%. We really do a deep dive into MEGO. In the way the Star Wars episode is really Star Wars and Kenner and the Barbie episode is really about Barbie and Mattel, Star Trek is really an episode about MEGO, in many ways.

MEGO president Marty Abrams features prominently in the Star Trek episode of The Toys That Made Us

A focus on the toys

Besides MEGO, did you get a chance to talk to people from some of the big and more obscure former Trek licensees like Playmates or Remco, etc.?

We talked to Playmates quite a bit. We talked to some of the obscure brands, and we flew to Phoenix to interview Todd McFarlane. So, we definitely have a little bit of Discovery and a little bit of the new Kirk and Picard that he is doing.

But, my big regret is Eaglemoss. I am obsessed with Eaglemoss. I don’t know how they make money. They just put out the USS Bozeman, which is on screen for nine seconds. I cannot believe in my collection that I not only have a model of the Bozeman, but a beautiful model of the Bozeman. So, it is a regret we didn’t get to do a bigger deep dive into what Eaglemoss is doing. You could argue what they are doing isn’t a toy, but I would disagree with that.

In the Star Wars episode, you noted that George Lucas declined to be interviewed, was there any one you couldn’t get for Star Trek?

No, the only person that we haven’t been able to get that we wanted was Lucas. There were some people who weren’t available for health reasons.

Did you talk to Rick Berman?

No. One of the fine lines we had to walk with Star Wars and Star Trek in particular, was to recognize we are making a show about toys and not the movies. So, we tried hard not to get into the source material, because there have been a thousand documentaries made about Star Trek. It was important to me that we made one about Star Trek toys, which I believe is the first.

But, we did do this great montage, which I think is really beautiful, of flipping back and forth between the Enterprises. So, show the original Enterprise, then the toy original Enterprise, then the refit Enterprise and the toy refit Enterprise, and so on. It is one of my favorite things we have done.

New licensee Todd McFarlane in the Star Trek episode of The Toys That Made Us

Getting Trek toys right

Star Trek toys have more and more moved away from big box stores and mainstream to more of a collector market. Do you feel that is all the market will bear, or is that a result of decisions that have been made regarding the license?

Here is the thing, and first I cannot stress to you enough how much of a fan I am of Star Trek. I have the Galoob prototype Wesley Crusher figure that never went into production, sitting in my office beautifully framed.  I call my car the Enterprise, I love Star Trek. That all said, it is very important for toys to connect with children, they have to be aspirational. Either looking up to an Optimus Prime as a father figure or a Han Solo as somebody you want to be.

There is no better example of this and something I learned as making this show, is with the He Man episode, when they did all the research and they kept finding out that kids have no power and they literally took something from a focus group with kids and made that He Man’s catch phrase, “I have the power!”

This Wesley Crusher prototype is just part of Brian’s vast collection of Star Trek toys

The problem with Star Trek is that it is not really aspirational for little kids. Yes, I wanted to be Captain Kirk when I was 10. But, Jean-Luc Picard, Benjamin Sisko, Captain Janeway, Captain Archer? These are not Captain Kirk. Especially Picard who as a 42-year-old, I worship Captain Picard. I try to be like him in business. But, as a kid, you don’t want to be him. You don’t want to be Janeway or Sisko. You want to be Captain Kirk, but there hasn’t been one since The Original Series. The theory being, for a toy to be a widespread hit, the toy has to be aspirational.

J.J. Abrams got that right in the new movies, especially the first one. But then they fucked up the toys. And the reason the toys messed up is because of the politics involved between Paramount and CBS. Again, going back to how George Lucas had control that Roddenberry and his successors didn’t. So that is what is screwing it up. When the characters work, the toys get screwed up and when the characters evolve into 50-year-old Englishman with a French name, the toys get right.

Isn’t that one of the recurring issues with Trek over the years. When something didn’t work they had too many toys and when something did work, they didn’t have enough? Like too many toys with The Motion Picture and almost nothing for The Wrath of Khan?

Oh yeah! We covered that. It is hysterical. And, also sad.

Sculptor Steve Varner shows off some of his Star Trek work for Playmates in The Toys That Made Us

Exploring strange new toys

Is there a particular toy in the Trek episode that you feel has the most compelling story?

Easy. That stupid fan Enterprise, which you can see in our trailer for season two. I thought that is the stupidest thing I have ever seen, and I went out and bought one. I am obsessed with it. It is my favorite thing in the world. I have very limited space and it is filling up three quarters of a shelf and it doesn’t even work.

Also, I did not appreciate or even understand how insane Playmates got with their line. Like, one of things I only just got a few months ago, was the insane bridge set that they made. It is like 2 ½ feet wide with a gigantic viewscreen with early 90s technology. It is the craziest thing you have ever seen, and I love it. And it was just 80 bucks on eBay. That is a great thing about Playmates is they made so many, you can get just about anything at a pretty good price.

I assume you devote at least half an hour to the most important toy, the Star Trek Space Fun Helmet (AKA “Spock Helmet”)?

I know you are joking and we didn’t dedicate half an hour to it, but we did dedicate a significant percentage to that thing. Woo! That thing is fantastic. Spoiler alert, nobody knows why that thing exists. It is just label-slapping. There was a stupid company that made a stupid helmet and they paid 500 bucks to put Star Trek stickers on it. We got Doug Drexler doing an impression of the siren going off, one of the funniest things you have ever seen.

Is there anything else you would like to mention with regards to the show?

I would like to thank everybody. I have never worked on a show that was so well-received. Everybody has been so nice, and kind and I am so appreciative of everybody’s help and support. The Star Trek community was absolutely wonderful.

The Toys That Made Us will explores some of the more obscure Star Trek products

Star Trek episode premieres May 25th

The second half of the 8-part docuementary series The Toys That Made Us debuts on Netflix worldwide on May 25th with four episodes. In addition to Star Trek, there will be episodes for Transformers, Hello Kitty and LEGO. You can check out the trailer below.

The trailer for Season 2 of #TTTMU is here! Check it out and be sure to watch it on Netflix on May 25!

— Toys That Made Us (@toysthatmadeus) May 2, 2018

Categories: Star Trek News

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Showrunner Promises Season 2 Character Exploration And Tying Up Canon Loose Ends - Sun, 05/20/2018 - 22:51

This morning at Vulture Fest in New York City there was a Star Trek: Discovery panel titled “The Future is Definitely Female,” featuring co-showrunner Gretchen J. Berg along with actresses Sonequa Martin-Green, Michelle Yeoh, Mary Chieffo and Mary Wiseman. TrekMovie was there and we will have a full report on the panel tomorrow, but today start with some of Berg’s comments about the second season, canon and future of the show.

Gretchen J. Berg, Michelle Yeoh, Sonequa Martin-Green, Mary Wiseman and Mary Chieffo at Vulture Festival 2018

Season 2 clues in season 1 finale + more character devlopment

Executive producer and co-showrunner Gretchen J. Berg didn’t want to give any spoilers for Discovery’s second season, currently in production, but hinted about the direction of the show:

I don’t want to spoil, but I think there are clues. It takes too many months to figure out how to do this. Their beautiful performances are crafted, then they are in post, so I am not going to tell you everything right now. We leave clues. Watch the final episode at the end of the [first] season as to where we are going.

I can promise you that the characters that you fall in love with, you are going to get to know them better. We get much deeper into character exploration this year and we will meet some new folks. We love our group and you are going to learn more about them.

Discovery‘s loose ends will be tied up into canon

When discussing the setting of Star Trek: Discovery,  Gretchen J. Berg reiterated how important it is for the creators to fit the show into Trek’s established canon:

I love the box that we are in, because it can be so overwhelming when you look at the entire universe of Star Trek … but we were able to focus on somewhere on the timeline and we know that this happened before and this happened after. They say boundaries and restrictions can be good and for us it was good. It also gave us an opportunity to lay in some easter eggs and we feel very, very, very strongly about making sure that we fit into canon, making sure that there are not any loose ends that may be the story that is being told right now, but we are going to fit into that timeline. A lot of consideration has been put into it.

The co-showrunner also acknowledged that the designs on the show have to work with a modern audience:

As far as shooting a show starting in 2017, we have to also realize we have caught up with The Original Series, like everyone talks about iPads and PADDS and stuff like that. We just have to make sure that it makes sense. We have our art director and prop designer and everyone who is madly in love with our show and also all the shows, and so they are paying attention to that.

Gretchen J. Berg, Michelle Yeoh, Sonequa Martin-Green, Mary Wiseman and Mary Chieffo at the Star Trek: Discovery panel at Vulture Festival 2018

Promises even more diversity in Discovery

One of the most touted things about Star Trek: Discovery is the diversity of its cast of characters. Berg noted that diversity has always been part of the franchise, and promised more:

We also wanted to reflect the world we live in now because that was always been the vision of Starfleet and [Gene] Roddenberry, that everyone was represented. We know there are still people that have not been represented yet on our show and it will be our goal to make sure we get everybody in there that we can. We are aware of it and it is something we are dedicated to and it is exciting. It is our responsibility to make sure that wherever you are on this planet and whatever background you come from, you turn on the show you are going to see yourself.

Gretchen Berg shares a fun moment with Sonequa Martin-Green at Vulture Fest panel

More from Vulture Festival panel to come

Tomorrow we will have a full report on the panel with more pictures, so stay tuned.


Categories: Star Trek News

Watch Jennifer Morrison Joke About William Shatner Being Her ‘Star Trek’ Son + More Great Links - Sat, 05/19/2018 - 22:56

It is time once again to rustle together all the Star Trek in the zeitgeist, and check in with who is talking, writing and showing their love for Trek, starting with some celebrity fun.

Jennifer Morrison, who played James T. Kirk’s mother Winona Kirk in 2009’s Star Trek, was a guest on this week’s PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing where she watched herself in the film and talked about the excited she was to be part of the franchise and to work with J.J. Abrams. The actress also revealed that at conventions she and William Shatner have chatted about her being his mom and her “being proud of him,” and him saying she is a “good mom.”  The actress also noted “I’m also Chris Pine’s mom, which I’m totally fine with that as well. I’m good with both situations. I’ve got some good kids.”

Star Wars game goes Trek, a kid named Kelvin, a working tricorder, and more Great Links Game mod of the week: Stormtrekkers

If you are looking to Trekify your Star Wars: Battlefront II experience, you can down download the the Stormtrekkers mod, which transforms your stormtroopers with a new Star Trek: The Next Generation. It promises to allow you to “To boldly go to a galaxy far, far away! To seek out new worlds… And blow them up!”

Links of the week

Screenrant: 20 Behind-The-Scenes Photos That Completely Change How You Will See Star Trek.

ArsTechnica: A dozen years after near-death, Star Trek’s future may be stronger than ever.

Berkleyside: How Quirky is Berkeley? The Federation Trading Post Reunion.

Geek: Star Trek 4: A Missed Opportunity.

Wired: Is It Weird for Conservatives to Like ‘Star Trek’?

Inadvertent Star Trek story of the week

BBC: Mum changes son’s name from Kevin to Kelvin after tattoo spelling error.

A new JJ Abrams Star Trek movies fan for life

Fanmade item of the week: Tricorder with working display

Tested profiled Trek fan Brian Mix at this year’s Replica Prop Forum showcase, where he showed off his Star Trek TOS Tricorder prop, which he has modified with an internal computer to give it a working display.

Video of the week: What’s the scariest Trek?

That’s it for this week’s update. Keep up with all the fun Star Trek from around the web in our Great Links category.

Categories: Star Trek News

Watch: CBS All Access Sizzle Reel Teases Upcoming Series Including ‘The Twilight Zone’ - Sat, 05/19/2018 - 01:51

CBS All Access has just released the sizzle reel highlighting their original programming, which was shown at the CBS Upfront presentation on Wednesday. As we reported on Wednesday, the video emphasizes Discovery, however there is no new footage from season two, which is currently in production.

The video does include some new footage from the series Strange Angel, coming June 14th. There are also brief snippets from the upcoming shows One Dollar and Tell Me a Story, as well as a logo tease for the reboot of The Twilight Zone. Like the second season of Discovery, CBS has yet to set release dates for their other upcoming series.

NOTE: Video is age-restricted due to language

One month free of CBS All Access

If you haven’t yet subscribed to All Access, now is a good time as they have a new promotion for one free month. Click here to get a FREE month of CBS All Access! Just use code STREAMITALL by 5/21.

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

Categories: Star Trek News

Sonequa Martin-Green Talks ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season Two Character (and Spock) Possibilities - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 20:58

In a new interview with Deadline, Star Trek: Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green spoke enthusiastically about working on the second season, which began production last month, while doing her best to avoid any spoilers. The actress indicated there would be more time in season two to focus on the characters, now that the Klingon war story has wrapped up.

We’ve been talking a lot gearing up for Season 2, about that story we’re going to tell, and how we’re going to continue, and how we’re going to jump off, because the war chapter has come to a close. What happens now? What happens now that the war is over? Because a lot of what happened to Michael Burnham and all the characters wasn’t able to be delved into because there just wasn’t time, because we were dealing with this war. Wrestling with all of these things, it’s like you have to sort of put it aside because of the immediacy of the moment. I’m thrilled to see what happens when the chips fall and things are done now. Now what are we going to do? How are we going to look at ourselves in the mirror? How are we going to look at each other?

Sonequa Martin-Green at CBS Upfront event in New York on Wednesday

Of course one of the biggest questions about the second season is if it will see the appearance of Spock. It is known that he serves on board the USS Enterprise under Captain Pike, who will be featured in the second season (played by Anson Mount). And we know that Michael Burnham will visit what appear to be Spock’s quarters on the Enterprise. When Deadline asked if Burnham will face her adoptive brother, the actress gave the following tantalizing response:

You know, Aaron Harberts, he said after the finale, on After Trek, that Season 2 was going to be about that line between science and faith. He also said that there’s going to be a lot of family dynamic. It is the Enterprise in that shot. We all know who is on the Enterprise. You see Sarek and Burnham look at each other, and there you have it.

Make of that what you will.

Martin-Green also discussed why Spock never mentioned his adoptive sister Michael Before, reminding that Alex Kurtzman has promised “There will be an explanation.” She also delved into how the show ties into the canon of Star Trek, saying:

That’s what happens when you come into this time period where you’re couched between two iterations. There’s a lot of those things where you can only go so far, or you have to find loops or whatever, as it surfaces in the story. We are so canon-specific and canon-compliant, and the moments where we are not, there is a reason for it.

Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham on board the USS Enterprise, as seen from Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 production start promo

More Disco Bits: Captain Pike actor loves his memes, retro Disco, and more

Here are a few more links and tweets for the week to keep you up to speed on all things Discovery.

Mount’s memes of the week

#WearATVShow “Star Treckers” @StarTrekNetflix @startrekcbs

— Anson Mount (@ansonmount) May 15, 2018

Dagummit, if I can master a Griswold, I can sure as hell figure this thing out. But please tell me where in the heck I’m supposed to load the powder and ball? @HellOnWheelsAMC @startrekcbs @StarTrekRoom @StarTrekNetflix

— Anson Mount (@ansonmount) May 15, 2018

Isaacs still trolling as evil Captain Lorca

My favorite documented alien. #EraserheadLives #BestWithGarlic #StarTrekDiscovery

A post shared by Jason Isaacs (@therealjasonisaacs) on May 18, 2018 at 10:37am PDT

Fan art of the week: USS Discovery reimagined as ’60s design

Updating my retro 60's version of the USS Discovery. #startrek #StarTrekDiscovery #ussdiscovery #tos

— Knazzer (@knazzer) May 17, 2018

If they made Star Trek Discovery in the 1960's. #startrek #StarTrekDiscovery

— Knazzer (@knazzer) May 17, 2018

Articles of interest

IndieWire: ‘Star Trek Discovery’: How They Designed the Mirror Universe and the Klingon World: Interview with production designer Tamara Deverell.

Current Affairs: THE DISMAL FRONTIER: What is Star Trek without the socialism?

Ex Astris Scientia: Database of Star Trek: Discovery Federation Ship Classes.


Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

Categories: Star Trek News

CBS Shares Drop In Value

TrekToday Headlines - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 20:01
After legal battles between CBS and Viacom, CBS shares dropped four percent yesterday. CBS doesn’t feel that the merger would be in...
Categories: Star Trek News
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