Assimilate This

Construction, destruction and science - BIG science

Welcome to Star Trekking, my attempt to share points of interest and random intersections in the final frontier.

The ongoing thesis of this newsletter is that, whether you’re actively looking for it or not, Star Trek is everywhere.

Sometimes it’s buried deep inside an article by Margaret Atwood, a look back at Laurie Anderson’s seminal album, Big Science.

As the 20th century has morphed into the 21st, as the consequences of the destruction of the natural world have become devastatingly clear, as analogue has been superseded by digital, as the possibilities for surveillance have increased a hundredfold, and as the ruthless hive mind of the Borg has been approximated through online media, Anderson’s anxious and unsettling probings have taken on an aura of the prophetic. Do you want to be a human being any more? Are you one now? What even is that? Or should you just allow yourself to be held in the long electronic petrochemical arms of your false mother?

Surprisingly, Laurie Anderson seems to have been assimilated by Star Trek herself. In 1989 she wrote an opera about Moby Dick.

And in the piece - as excerpted for WNYC’s Studio 360 - she compared Moby Dick to Star Trek - it’s all about losing and gaining control.

Fascinating.


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More Trek/Moby Dick convergence.

At the end of the novel, the obsessed Ahab is killed by his obsession just as the obsessed Khan is effectively killed by his obsession Kirk. Then, the book’s narrator Ishmael survives because after the Pequod is destroyed, he uses the coffin as a life buoy, just as Spock is left with a coffin after the Enterprise is almost destroyed. 


Feels like I should also post this.


Meanwhile, in non-whale related content…

That time I tried to make my own special effects shot by painting stars onto a piece of felt. Circa 1980.


And in that same spirit, here is the evidence that someone once made his won Trek film using, essentially, stone knives and bearskins.


The future of Star Trek?


And speaking of the future.


Someone needs to use these for a stop motion film.


And speaking of stop motion, here’s an hour long Enterprise episode a German fan made. Only took him eight years.


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Found on FB.


RIP to one of the architects of the Trek aesthetic.


Repairing battle damage, no doubt.


It’s science.



DIRECTIVES

  1. Design origin of the Discovery.

  2. Review of the published score of Jerry Goldsmith’s ST-TMP music includes a previously unrecorded cue.

  3. Whoopsie.

  4. Needs moar Lorca.

  5. The history of Trek uniform fashion.


Have you come across some random Trek this week? Let me know!

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Until next time,

LOVE long…and prosper.

Neil


Star Trekking is written and edited by Neil Shurley, except where noted.
Star Trekking logo art by James H. Dargie.
Amazon Affiliate links included to help offset some of the costs of assimilation.

Where No 'Toon Has Gone Before

Star Trekking for April 13, 2021

Welcome to Star Trekking, my attempt to share points of interest and random intersections in the final frontier.


I had some time to myself the other day so of course I brought out this LP.

Track 3 has long been a favorite of mine, an odd spinoff of Alexander Courage’s famous fanfare into a whole song of its own. Take a listen.

I’m ready to start a petition for this to become the theme song for Strange New Worlds.


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And speaking of records, back in the olden golden days of yore, Peter Pan Records created original Trek stories. I spotted one of them newly uploaded to YouTube last week.

A fellow named Curt Danhauser uploaded the video (as well as many others) and maintains a listing of the Peter Pan stories.

Going through his YouTube channel I found that he’s also been producing (and voicing and writing and editing) new animated Trek adventure sin the style of the 70s animated show. Here’s his most recent.

Having still not seen all the original animated series, I’m not sure I’m ready to jump into these new ones. But they sure do look authentic!

Less authentic were the old Peter Pan records. Here’s one I remember owning.

We sure were desperate for new Trek back then.



Before they were Grups.


Love love love this kind of art.


More art!


Watch face art!


My kind of cosplay.


This is canon.

Also…


Hoo boy.


YES.


Strongly agree.


It’s funny because it’s true.


In summary…


DIRECTIVES

  1. Treklad takes a look at the other Captain Janeway.

  2. (I was on Treklad’s podcast a while back).

  3. What Julie Nimoy thinks about Ethan Peck’s Spock.

  4. Akiva Goldsman on SNW and Picard. Here’s an excerpt but I encourage you to read the whole interview.

    So you’ve started filming Strange New Worlds, how does it compare and contrast to the other Trek shows so far?
    It's unlike the other shows in that it's really episodic. If you think back to The Original Series, it was a tonally more liberal — I don't mean in terms of politics, but it could sort of be more fluid. Like sometimes Robert Bloch would write a horror episode. Or Harlan Ellison would have "City on the Edge of Forever," which is hard sci-fi. Then there would be comedic episodes, like "Shore Leave" or "The Trouble with Tribbles." So [co-showrunner] Henry Alonso Myers and myself are trying to serve that. We've all become very enamored, myself included, with serialized storytelling. And I'm talking to you from behind the stage where we're shooting Picard, which is deeply serialized. But Strange New Worlds is very much adventure-of-the-week but with serialized character arcs.

  5. Why TOS lost Janice Rand.


LOVE long and prosper,

Neil

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Star Trekking is written and edited by Neil Shurley, except where noted.
Star Trekking logo art by James H. Dargie.
Amazon Affiliate links included to help offset some of the costs of assimilation.

Roses are Read, Leonard is Blue

Star Trekking for April 11, 2021

Welcome to Star Trekking, my attempt to share points of interest and random intersections in the final frontier.

It’s National Poetry Month here in the US of A.

And I think we all know who my favorite poet is.

Well this week I found a reply I’d missed to one of my earlier newsletters.

Fortunately, we can hear Leonard read his poetry even without access to that cassette. For instance, here he is with the Captain and Tennille(!) accompanying him (by playing an Elton John song).

And of course we also have Spock Thoughts, as originally presented to us on a classic LP. It’s not his original work, but still, don’t you want to hear Spock recite a poem in character? Of course you do.

And here Leonard reads a poem that seems to summarize his own personal philosophy.

But somehow, in all these years, I missed the fact that DeForest Kelley also wrote poems.

Not surprisingly, I learned it from a tweet.

And I thought “two books of poetry? From De?”

Well I did some research and found one for sure. They weren’t really comparable to Leonard’s numerous volumes of poetry but I was delighted to find some of De’s poems as well as a video of him reading one.

You can read The Dream Goes on here - this is the first page.


What kind of poetry themed newsletter would this be without a reference to this classic?


There is a sort of visual poetry going on here.


Now THIS is poetry.


I don’t know his platform but he gets my vote.


I always enjoy listening to the Inglorious Treksperts, but this episode was particularly great.


Follow up for those interested in a DIY starship.



This is my kind of content.


A+ would decorate with this in my own home (when my wife isn’t looking).


Generations.


Important chart.


A summation of what we know.

It’s a great time to love Star Trek.


DIRECTIVES

  1. Star Trek moments that secretly made us cry.

  2. A poem: Study for Belief with Lines from “Star Trek: The Original Series”

  3. A deep dive into Data’s poetry.

  4. Robert Picardo reads a Bradbury poem.

  5. Why Troi didn’t wear a uniform.


That’s all for this week. Until next time,

LOVE long and prosper,

Neil


Star Trekking is written and edited by Neil Shurley, except where noted.
Star Trekking logo art by James H. Dargie.
Amazon Affiliate links included to help offset some of the costs of assimilation.

Crusher crushes it

Bonus Star Trekking for April 8, 2021

Welcome to Star Trekking, my weekly attempt to share points of interest and random intersections in the final frontier.

Friend of the newsletter (and all around excellent human) Neil S. Bulk sent me a link to an LA Times article titled “L.A.’s young and healthy head to Bakersfield for COVID-19 vaccine.”

Which, okay, that’s nice. I don’t live in California but I’m happy that more folks are getting the vaccine.

Reading through the article, I finally got to the part that obviously inspired Neil to send it to me.

The site’s popularity exploded last weekend, when actor Wil Wheaton, known for his role in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” told his 1.1 million Instagram followers that he had visited. After he got a Pfizer-BioNTech jab, he wrote in a photo caption, he “cried a little bit” with relief.

“It’s so quick and easy, and you aren’t jumping the line or taking a jab away from someone,” Wheaton, 48, said. Once he arrived at the site, he said, the process took 40 minutes.

Love it when a Trek star inspires people to do good things.


And speaking of inspiring Trek stars, keep an eye out for this new documentary.


Here’s some inspirational music for you - a compilation @locofsgfan shared with me. More than a chronological overview, it’s more of a journey, a mixtape through the final frontier.



An annotated breakdown of one of the all time great Jerry Goldsmith cues, The Enterprise. Not quite Pop Up Video, but fascinating nonetheless. (Yes, not even close to the correct Enterprise on the video still image.)


So….someone is hoping to build a full size replica?


I am going to assume that if you read this newsletter you’ve already seen the First Contact Day announcements.


Lovely First Contact thread.

It goes on from there - do read the whole thread.


Here’s a crossover I’d watch..


Would listen.


I feel this way all the time.


Trek cookies are the best cookies.


Time to go back to school.


Stress will do that to a man.


Ummmm…


A blast from the past.

Which of course led me to this.

And on a personal non-Trek note, I was emotionally blindsided by the music at the very beginning, the music accompanying Minneapolis channel five news. It’s the same news theme we used at a Texas TV station where I worked in the eighties!

In other news, I am feeling old. Tired. Worn out.


But here’s something that will make us all feel young as when the world was new.


DIRECTIVES

  1. In case you missed it, TrekMovie’s roundup of First Contact Day news.

  2. Clickbait-y article about the end of TNG.

  3. A Kirk/Seven of Nine crossover is only 99 cents this month.

  4. Levar is on board with this idea.

  5. Ah, the original Star Trek computer game. Yes, it required a keyboard (how quaint).


Thanks for reading!

Have thoughts you’d like to share?

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Thinking about subscribing?

Want to forward this to another Trek fan in your life?

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LOVE long and prosper,

Neil


Star Trekking is written and edited by Neil Shurley, except where noted.
Star Trekking logo art by James H. Dargie.
Amazon Affiliate links included to help offset some of the costs of assimilation.

Three strikes

Star Trekking for April 4, 2021

Welcome to Star Trekking, my weekly attempt to share points of interest and random intersections in the final frontier.

Are you a subscriber to Star Trekking? It’s (currently) free, so if not, it’s super easy to change that right now.


Play ball!

It’s baseball season here in US America. And we all know about DS9’s love of baseball.

But.

Eric Pesola shares some other fun Trek/baseball nuggets in a recent article.

For instance, relief pitcher Joe Nelson used what he called a Vulcan-Grip Changeup.

Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times that he started using this pitch when he was in college at the University of San Francisco. Basically, he made Spock’s famous “Live Long and Prosper” gesture with his right hand, shove the ball in, and throw it that way. 

The pitch must have worked for Nelson because he lasted four seasons in Major League Baseball. He brought his Vulcan-Grip Changeup to the Kansas City Royals, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Miami Marlins, and the Boston Red Sox

The article also discusses the Spock-like aspects of Sabermetrics, Trek promo nights at Minor League parks, and Scotty’s first pitch (note the unusually clear view of James Doohan’s right hand).

.

Do check out the full article.


And speaking of baseball and Deep Space Nine, I reviewed a new DS9 book for Trek Movie.

I love owning and thumbing through Trek reference books, and this is another that will be easy to go back to again and again. 

You can pick up the Deep Space Nine Illustrated Handbook at your local Promenade or at this link.


So what’s been happening on Twitter?


YES.


Truly the Great American Pastime.


Need your own signed baseball?


You might need a Niners shirt to go with it.


That time Scotty and Captain Kirk’s nephew Peter (or is it a young Tommy Starnes?) went back in time, undercover, to investigate Samantha Stephens.


A neighborhood worth visiting?


Trek art!


Trek models!


Would watch.


Meanwhile, here’s an actual crossover that actually existed: Worf meets Webster. But is it canon?


And because today is Easter.


DIRECTIVES

  1. Another Eric Pesola article: Why did the bridge change in every movie?

  2. TNG rubber duckies.

  3. April 5 is First Contact Day, and here are some ways to celebrate.

  4. April’s 99 cent Trek ebooks.

  5. A listicle to keep you busy for awhile: all the Trek references and easter eggs in The Simpsons. This one’s still my favorite.


Thank you for reading.

Have thoughts you’d like to share?

Leave a comment

Thinking about subscribing?

Want to forward this to another Trek fan in your life?

Share Star Trekking

Love long and prosper,

Neil


Star Trekking is written and edited by Neil Shurley, except where noted.
Star Trekking logo art by James H. Dargie.
Amazon Affiliate links included to help offset some of the costs of assimilation.

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