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Star Trek Beyond Trailer #2 and Poster

May 21st, 2016

The full trailer for Star Trek Beyond, set for release on July 22, 2016, is here! We’re glad to finally see more of the film the cast and crew are refreshingly enthusiastic about. New aliens, deep space, away missions, intriguing villains, character development… looks like we’re back to the good stuff. Take a look:

Fans were also given this promotional poster at a recent event in L.A. (during which Paramount named a street on their lot after Leonard Nimoy.) It’s a clever nod to the classic poster for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), also signifying Beyond as a new “human adventure” that is just beginning. Consider us onboard!

beyond

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New TV Show Trailer and Website

May 18th, 2016

CBS has released a new teaser trailer (possibly the truest “tease” ever, simply revealing the new logo) for its upcoming TV show, as well as a website to bookmark for future updates. It’ll be great to kick off the next 50 years of Star Trek with this series!

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Canada Post Stamp Collection

May 5th, 2016

Star Trek: TOS is well known for its “Canadian connections”, including cast members William Shatner, Jimmy Doohan, and John Colicos who hail from the Great White North. These three – along with Americans Leonard Nimoy and Deforest Kelley – are featured on Canadian postage stamps this month. Canada Post is offering a broad range of appealing sets and collectables – check out the full collection!

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William Shatner was presented with his stamp during his spotlight panel at the Calgary Expo on April 29. He said, “Calgary is always full of surprises for me” – indeed, he was the Calgary Stampede parade marshall in 2014. In the panel he also discussed environmental concerns (with stories from the Canadian fishing industry!), and of course his friendship with Leonard Nimoy and new memoir Leonard.

It’s great to see the original crew receive such a major public tribute in Canada, and Karen is pleased to be able to affix Spock to all her snail-mail correspondence!

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Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage Concert Tour

January 31st, 2016

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage The first of many events set to celebrate Star Trek’s 50th anniversary this year is the Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage live orchestra concert tour, which kicked off on January 17 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Thanks to a friend who works at the venue, I was able to catch the January 21 show at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida. Though it wasn’t quite sold out, there was an absolutely huge turnout for the concert, with fans of all ages and generations in attendance. The stage was decked out to resemble the bridge of the USS Enterprise-D from The Next Generation with a large screen above where iconic scenes were projected during the performance. The show was split into two parts of an hour each with a twenty minute intermission in between. Before the show and during intermission, The Original Series bridge ambiance noise could be heard. The first piece the orchestra played was Jerry Goldsmith’s theme to Star Trek: The Motion Picture, with the only visual accompaniment being the stage lights.

Unfortunately, there was not a program available for the show listing all of the music, but we heard a number of iconic themes from across all of the series and films, including Amok Time‘s “The Ritual/Ancient Battle/2nd Kroykah”, the theme from The Voyage Home, the orchestral arrangement of The Next Generation‘s “The Inner Light”, the theme from First Contact, Michael Giacchino’s “Enterprising Young Men” from Star Trek, and Dennis McCarthy’s “To Live Forever” from Generations, among many others. The show is narrated beautifully by Michael Dorn, though I couldn’t help but think that it if Leonard Nimoy were still with us, he would probably have filled that role. The first half of the show seemed to have the dialogue from the clips mixed a little too loudly at times, which distracted from the focus on the music, however the second half of the show was perfectly mixed and certainly emotional. Much of the focus was placed on music from The Original Series and its films as well as The Next Generation, with a touch of the other three shows and the two most recent films. Each segment of the show had a specific theme to it, and each crew received a turn in the spotlight with a montage of highlighted moments and captain’s speeches. Even the villains got a special moment. The penultimate segment focused heavily on Spock and seemed to be an unspoken tribute to Leonard Nimoy, ending with him giving the Vulcan salute in Amok Time. The finale itself showed behind the scenes photos set to the original theme. By the end, there wasn’t a dry eye in my group.

The Orlando show on the following night at the Dr. Phillips Center for The Performing Arts actually sold out. The concert will be traveling to 100 venues across North America running through the end of April. If you’re a Star Trek fan and a soundtrack nerd as I am, you will definitely want to check out this show! For tour dates and ticket info, head over to the concert tour’s website.

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Loving the Aliens

January 16th, 2016

bowie It’s been a difficult week for fans of science fiction and fantasy. A little less than one year after Leonard Nimoy’s passing, we find ourselves mourning the loss of two more extraordinary talents who have left a legacy with the generations of creative folks they have worked with and inspired.

David Bowie (January 8, 1947-January 10, 2016) has been one of music’s leading lights for five decades, as well as an singular film actor. Of course, many of his most popular and best-loved songs are based in outer space, from Space Oddity to Life on Mars?, Starman, Hallo Spaceboy and more. Through costumes, stage presentations, and music videos, he expanded the visual dimension of his music in ways influential within the SF&F genre. The science fiction classic The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) offered Bowie his breakout film role as the forlorn alien Thomas Jerome Newton, while 1980s kids will best remember him as the Golbin King Jareth in Labyrinth (1986).

In terms of direct Star Trek connections, David Bowie worked with Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher in The Next Generation) during Labyrinth, on which she served as choreographer. Some of the people nearest and dearest to Bowie have appeared as Star Trek aliens: his widow Iman is Martia in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and equally storied rock legend Iggy Pop – who worked and toured extensively with Bowie in the ‘70s – is Yelgrun in an episode of Deep Space Nine.

William Shatner covered Space Oddity on his 2011 album Seeking Major Tom. Shatner spoke to the Vancouver Sun this week about Bowie: “ He was genius, just as a performer, let alone as a writer. He was genius. I’m so sorry I never met him. I looked at him and he was this handsome talented man — he had everything. Golly.”

rickman Just days after Bowie died of cancer at age 69, British stage and film actor Alan Rickman (February 21, 1946-January 14, 2016) succumbed to the same disease at the same age. Best known to contemporary audiences as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series, Rickman has brought an incredible range of characters to life with his poise, intelligence, and passion. Sometimes playing villains in films like Die Hard and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Rickman is also known for period pieces like Sense and Sensibility, Mesmer, and Michael Collins. His SF&F films include Dogma, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Alice in Wonderland.

Most endearing to fans of Star Trek and Mr. Spock is Rickman’s character in Galaxy Quest (1999), Alexander Dane. Within the film, Dane is a classically-trained actor who resents his typecasting as the prosthetic forehead-wearing alien Dr. Lazarus of Tev’Meck. Joylessly reciting his catchphrase to convention-going fans years after his show’s cancellation, Dane learns to embrace his iconic television role and act with conviction as the adventure unfolds. Rickman gives Dane a rich inner life and believable character arc which in turn makes Dr. Lazarus much more than a simple Spock parody.

Behind the scenes, Rickman was known to be fun-loving and generous, striking up long-lasting friendships with his fellow actors and directors. Says Dogma director (and geek culture staple) Kevin Smith: “ Thank you for lending a hack like me your artistry and your credibility, Alan. You were never Snape to me as much as you were the adult Harry Potter himself: a bonafide wizard who could conjure absolute magic using merely words.”

Your Spock Lives webmasters Amie and Karen have been dedicated fans of both of the incredible people above for many years – indeed, since we met one another online in the late 1990s. From then to now, there has always been the possibility of another song to hear, another film to see. While David Bowie and Alan Rickman’s passing represents the end of one era, we must recall the final words of Leonard Nimoy in times like these: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.”

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