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Keith DeCandido

Fiction and Excerpts [3]

Fiction and Excerpts [3]

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness
Written by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Release date: May 16, 2013
Stardate: 2259.55

Captain’s log. On Nibiru, a planet with white-skinned natives and red plants, Kirk is running very fast, having pissed off the locals. Kirk is attacked by a giant animal and stuns it—except that was the mount McCoy had secured to get them out of there, and now it’s stunned. They keep running, having angered the natives deliberately to get them to chase him so that they won’t be harmed by the volcano that’s about to erupt.

[“That was an epic beating.” “No, it wasn’t!” “You had napkins hanging out of your nose.”]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek
Written by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Release date: May 8, 2009
Stardate: 2258.42

Captain’s log. The U.S.S. Kelvin is sent to investigate a peculiar spatial phenomenon, and as they approach, a gigantic ship, the Narada, comes through it and immediately fires on the Kelvin and pounds the crap out of it. At the request of the Narada‘s captain, a Romulan named Nero, Captain Robau takes a shuttle to the Narada to discuss surrender terms. Robau leaves Lieutenant George Kirk in command with orders to evacuate the ship if he doesn’t report in fifteen minutes.

Nero asks if Robau recognizes a particular ship or the face of Ambassador Spock. Robau recognizes neither, but it’s not until Robau gives the date that Nero loses his temper and kills him.

[Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: Star Trek Generations

Star Trek Generations
Written by Rick Berman and Ronald D. Moore & Brannon Braga
Directed by David Carson
Release date: November 18, 1994
Stardate: 48632.4

Captain’s log. A bottle floats through space and breaks on the U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701-B. Joining Captain John Harriman on her maiden voyage is a gaggle of press, as well as Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov. The trio look around and talk to the helm officer, Ensign Demora Sulu, Hikaru Sulu’s daughter.

After Kirk gives the order to leave Spacedock—which he only does reluctantly, and only after Harriman insists—they set course for a trip around the solar system. However, they pick up a distress call. Two ships are stuck in an energy ribbon and are about to be destroyed. Harriman tries to fob it off on another ship in range—but there is no other ship in range, so Harriman reluctantly sets course. Throughout all this, Kirk is practically jumping out of his skin.

[“Very good, sir!” “Brought a tear to my eye.” “Oh, be quiet….”]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Written by Leonard Nimoy and Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal and Nicholas Meyer & Denny Martin Flynn
Directed by Nicholas Meyer
Release date: December 6, 1991
Stardate: 9521.6

Captain’s log. We open with the explosion of Praxis, a Klingon moon, and the location of their primary energy production facility. The subspace shockwave from the explosion travels all the way to Federation space, where the U.S.S. Excelsior, under the command of Captain Sulu, is returning from a three-year survey of the Beta Quadrant, charting gaseous anomalies. The Excelsior is hit by the wave, which Science Officer Valtane traces to Praxis—but while he can confirm the location of Praxis, he can’t confirm the existence of Praxis. Most of the moon is gone. Sulu has Communications Officer Rand send a message asking if they require assistance. A distress call from the moon is overlaid by Brigadier Kerla, who responds to Sulu’s offer of help with a definitive “no,” calling it an “incident” that they have under control. Sulu is, to say the least, skeptical and has Rand report this to Starfleet Command.

[I’d give real money if he’d just shut up.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Written by William Shatner & Harve Bennett & David Loughery
Directed by William Shatner
Release date: June 9, 1989
Stardate: 8454.1 

Captain’s log. We open on Nimbus III, the so-called “planet of galactic peace,” located in the Neutral Zone. (Which NZ, it doesn’t say.) A man named J’onn is working hard in the desert when he’s approached by a man on a horse. J’onn grabs his crude, handmade weapon to defend himself. (Weapons are, strictly speaking, forbidden on Nimbus.) The rider approaches and stares intently at him, which manages to take his pain away telepathically. J’onn is eternally grateful, and the rider asks in return that J’onn join his quest. J’onn agrees, and then rider throws back his cloak to reveal tapered ears—he’s a Vulcan. He tells J’onn that they’ll need a starship. And then he laughs.

[Please, Captain, not in front of the Klingons.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Adam West’s Five Best Bat-Moments

A pop-culture giant has shuffled off this four-color coil. Adam West, who played the title role in the 1966 Batman, and later reprised the role in voice and physical form more than once, has died of leukemia at the age of 88.

Having just spent a year and a half revisiting West’s most famous role for this very site, I now present the five best Bat-moments West had in his run on television wearing the cape and cowl:

[To the Batcave!]

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Written by Leonard Nimoy & Harve Bennett and Steve Meerson & Peter Krikes and Nicholas Meyer
Directed by Leonard Nimoy
Release date: November 26, 1986
Stardate: 8390.0 

Captain’s log. A giant log flies through space making funky noises. The U.S.S. Saratoga investigates; it appears to be a probe, and it’s also heading directly toward Earth.

On Earth, the Klingon ambassador demands that Kirk be extradited to the Klingon Empire for several crimes, including the theft of Kruge’s ship, the death of Kruge and his crew, and his involvement in Genesis, which the ambassador describes as a doomsday weapon Kirk developed via his son (no mention of Carol Marcus) to be used against the Klingons.

Sarek shows up and counterargues, and then the Federation President announces that Kirk has been charged with nine counts of violations of Starfleet regulations. The Klingon ambassador is outraged, and declares, “There shall be no peace as long as Kirk lives!” before stomping out in a huff.

[Admiral, there be whales here!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Of Bloodless Beheadings and Lifeless Voice Work: The Animated Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman has a much lengthier career in animation than live-action. Despite this, the 2009 animated Wonder Woman is her only solo title.

Bizarrely, Wonder Woman’s first appearance in animation was in, of all things, a 1972 episode of The Brady Kids, an animated spinoff of The Brady Bunch. But she truly came into her own as an animated star in the various Super Friends cartoon series of the 1970s and 1980s, which featured Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman, among others. Shannon Farnon, Connie Caulfied, and B.J. Ward all voiced Wonder Woman at various points.

Wonder Woman was also a main character in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series that spun off of Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series in the 1990s. Susan Eisenberg provided the character’s voice throughout.

Wonder Woman has appeared in several of DC’s direct-to-DVD movies and assorted other TV shows as a supporting character, mostly as a member of the Justice League, voiced by a variety of folks: Laura Bailey, Rosario Dawson, Grey DeLisle, Eisenberg, Rachel Kimsey, Lucy Lawless, Vanessa Marshall, Michelle Monaghan, Maggie Q, Cobie Smulders, Kari Wahlgren—and Keri Russell, who voiced her in her 2009 solo release.

[I didn’t need you to save me. I needed you to stop Ares.]

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Written by Harve Bennett
Directed by Leonard Nimoy
Release date: June 1, 1984
Stardate: 8210.3 

Captain’s log. We open by watching Spock’s death and funeral again from The Wrath of Khan, as well as Spock giving the “space, the final frontier” monologue before the credits, which run over the Genesis Planet and Spock’s torpedo on its surface.

The Enterprise is en route to Earth, its battle damage repaired, most of its cadet crew reassigned. The ship has a skeleton crew—including Chekov, who has to reluctantly take the science station at one point. Kirk is more than a little beside himself over Spock’s death.

Elsewhere, a Klingon woman named Valkris has purchased the Genesis data on the black market and delivers it to a Klingon captain named Kruge. He then kills her by destroying the vessel she hired for the rendezvous, as she has seen the data.

[Up your shaft……..]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Secret Identity as Role Model: A Look Back at Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman

The Wonder Woman TV show—which ran on ABC from 1975-1977 and on CBS from 1977-1979—is remembered quite fondly by many, even those who didn’t actually like it much. The cheesy theme music, the spinning around to change identities, the different suits for different needs (a swimming suit, a motorcycle-riding suit, a skateboarding suit), the snotty IRAC computer, Lyle Waggoner’s perfectly unmoving hair—it’s all grist for the fond nostalgia mill.

Most of all, though—and this is the main reason why the show is remembered with a certain fondness even by those who disdain it—there was the absolutely picture-perfect casting of Lynda Carter in the title role, who ended almost every episode with a bright smile.

[You’re a wonder, Wonder Woman……]

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan
Written by Harve Bennett and Jack B. Sowards and Nicholas Meyer (uncredited)
Directed by Nicholas Meyer
Release date: June 4, 1982
Stardate: 8130.3

Captain’s log. Lieutenant Saavik gives a captain’s log, saying the Enterprise is on a training mission to the Gamma Hydra sector near the Neutral Zone between Federation and Klingon space. They receive a distress call from the Kobayashi Maru, which is dead in space after hitting a gravitic mine. They’re in the Neutral Zone, and if the Enterprise moves to rescue them, they’ll be in violation of treaty.

Saavik orders Commander Sulu to go in anyhow. As soon as they are in the Zone, three Klingon attack cruisers show up and surround them. They’re jamming all communications, and the signal from the Maru has gone dead. Sulu tries to evade them, but the Klingons fire on them. Sulu, Commander Uhura, Dr. McCoy, and Captain Spock are all killed, and the ship is damaged beyond repair. Saavik orders all hands to abandon ship.

[Galloping around the cosmos is a game for the young, Doctor…]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Written by Alan Dean Foster and Harold Livingston
Directed by Robert Wise
Release date: December 7, 1979
Stardate: 7410.2

Captain’s log. Three Klingon ships approach a weird blue swirly thing. The Klingon captain orders torpedoes to be fired into the swirly thing, but they are ineffective, and the captain then orders evasive maneuvers. The swirly thing responds by vaporizing each Klingon ship, one by one.

Federation Station Epsilon 9 monitors the destruction of the Klingon ships, and also plots the swirly thing’s course: it’s en route directly to Earth.

[Wrong, Mr. Chekov! There are casualties: my wits! As in, frightened out of, Captain, sir!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: Animated Series Overview

Star Trek Animated Series
Original air dates: September 1973 – October 1974
Executive Producers: Lou Scheimer & Norm Prescott

Captain’s log. With Star Trek continuing to be popular in reruns, and with James Blish‘s adaptations of the live-action episodes proving very popular in prose (with Blish also commissioned to write an original novel Spock Must Die! which would be the first of several published by Bantam throughout the 1970s), Filmation picked up the rights to do new Trek in animation.

Unlike most of Filmation’s other efforts, the show was deliberately produced as being more adult—still watchable by kids, of course, like the stuff airing around it on Saturday morning, but also something to be enjoyed by the same adults who watched the live-action series several years previous. To that end, both D.C. Fontana and creator Gene Roddenberry were heavily involved in the development of the show. Most of the show’s writers were either veterans of the live-action series (Samuel A. Peeples, Margaret Armen, David Gerrold, Stephen Kandel, Paul Schneider, David P. Harmon, and Fontana herself) or new writers who still had strong knowledge of the franchise (Marc Daniels, Walter Koenig, Howard Weinstein, and “John Culver,” a.k.a. Fred Bronson), plus maintaining the live-action series’ tradition of bringing in science fiction writers (Larry Niven). The show also did many sequels and continuations of live-action episodes.

[That is an outstandingly stupid idea!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Holy Rewatch Batman! Aftermath and Overview

The Bat-signal: The first season of Batman was the hottest thing since sliced bread, and prompted both a feature film and half of Hollywood wanting to get in on the fun. However, as the second season plodded onward, the novelty had worn off and the audience had moved on to other things. Folks like Vincent Price and Otto Preminger and the like all came in to jump on the bandwagon, but by the time they arrived, the wagon had left town.

By the third season, the producers at once took steps to try to shore up what audience remained, yet also made it clear that they had stopped giving a horse’s patoot. The former was addressed by adding Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl to the main cast; the latter, sadly, sabotaged Craig’s presence, as the budget was razed, presenting a show that was very obviously being done on the cheap and by producers who had stopped caring.

[To the batpoles!]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Counter-Clock Incident”

“The Counter-Clock Incident”
Written by John Culver
Directed by Bill Reed
Animated Season 2, Episode 6
Production episode 22023
Original air date: October 12, 1974
Stardate: 6770.3

Captain’s log. The Enterprise is ferrying her first captain, Commodore Robert April, and his wife, Dr. Sarah Poole April, a pioneer in space medicine, to Babel for their retirement ceremony. As they pass by the Beta Niobe supernova, Spock detects a ship travelling at warp 36. It’s on a collision course with the supernova, but they don’t respond to hails. After Sulu puts a tractor beam on them, they make contact with the ship’s sole occupant, but only long enough to say she must continue on course or she’s doomed. (She’s also speaking backwards.)

[No matter where I’ve traveled in the galaxy, Jim, this bridge is more like home than anywhere else.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch