Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage Concert TourJanuary 31st, 2016
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.
Loving the AliensJanuary 16th, 2016
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.”
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.”
Star Trek Beyond Teaser TrailerDecember 14th, 2015
In a world keyed up for Star Wars, one teaser trailer has emerged to bring us… Sabotage? See what you think of the action-packed trailer for Star Trek Beyond, set for release on July 22, 2016.
New Series in 2017November 5th, 2015
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a new Star Trek television series is in development, set to premiere January 2017 on CBS with subsequent episodes airing on digital/view-on-demand service CBS All Access. Alex Kurtzman – producer and co-writer of 2009’s Star Trek and 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness – will produce the show under his Secret Hideout banner, but few other production details are known at this time. The show will feature new characters and carry on the franchise’s theme of exploration, and many fans speculate that it’ll tie into the film reboot universe rather than the continuity that ended onscreen chronologically with Star Trek: Voyager and Nemesis.
We’re excited to hear news of this new series, since the TV landscape has been Trek-less since Star Trek: Enterprise came to an end in 2005. We’re also curious as to how it will be distributed internationally so fans outside the US can catch the latest episodes. Spock Lives will keep you up to date as details come in.
San Diego Comic-Con: The Couch ReportJuly 13th, 2015
We weren’t at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, but we’ve done our best to gather relevant content to share. We hope to report to you from the convention itself next year rather than from our couches! ;)
Her Universe debuted a couple of new Star Trek items, the Captain Picard-igan and an “everyday cosplay” dress based on Deanna Troi’s purple catsuit. We hope to see the Star Trek collection continue to grow because it is a bit small. Star Trek also featured in the second annual Her Universe Fashion Show; check out photos of all of the designs in the show or watch a video of the highlights.
StarTrek.com posted about the Hallmark exclusives coming out this holiday season. They also previewed their upcoming super cute Star Trek “Itty Bittys” set (below) featuring Captain Kirk, Spock, Doctor McCoy, and Lieutenant Uhura. No release date was given for the set, but they are stated to be for the 50th anniversary. If current Itty Bitty sets are anything to go by, they will retail for $29.95; no word on whether or not they will be available individually. Limited quantities were available at SDCC and more will be available at NYCC. Hallmark also makes “Biggy” versions of some of their Itty Bittys — wouldn’t you love to see a Biggy Spock? I would! Be sure to check out StarTrek.com’s full guide to Star Trek at Comic-Con.
Think Geek unveiled their new Bluetooth The Original Series communicator, which you can use with your Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone. It is currently up for pre-order and is expected to ship January 2016, though it’s a bit pricey at $149.99. Entertainment Earth had a Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home bobblehead figure featuring Spock with George and Gracie. It appears to be available for pre-order on their site here. A Spock die cut mousepad was also available and can be ordered from Action Figure Xpress.
The Star Trek ongoing comic book series, set in the alternate universe established with JJ Abrams’ 2009 film, will explore its version of the classic episode Mirror, Mirror with issue #50, due for release in October. They’re launching a new Starfleet Academy book as well, also due in October. Read more about this announcement at IDW.
If you have about an hour to spare, you can watch William Shatner’s panel at which he read excerpts from the upcoming The Autobiography of James T. Kirk on YouTube. (Sadly, there is no audiobook version with him planned.) Adam Nimoy was also on hand, appearing on NASA’s “Turning Science-Fiction into Science-Fact” panel; video hasn’t surfaced of that one, but if we come across it, we’ll share.
Michael Giacchino stopped by for Saturday’s Star Trek: Live in Concert with the San Diego Symphony featuring Star Trek Into Darkness. Not an official SDCC event, but conveniently located near the convention center.
A screen-used Spock costume and a screen-used Uhura costume from The Original Series were also on display at the convention which would have been really cool to see! Below is a photo posted by Adam Nimoy of the Spock costume. How cool is that?!
In non-SDCC-related news…
On June 29, Symphony Space in NYC paid tribute to Leonard Nimoy which included special programming, friends, and family.
On July 1, the Kickstarter campaign for Adam Nimoy’s For the Love of Spock came to a close! 9,439 backers pledged a total of $662,640 to help fund the project, making it the most successful crowdfunded documentary in Kickstarter history. We are very proud of the Star Trek fandom; it was lovely to see everyone come together in support of Adam’s film. Leonard would be proud — this was a dream of his. We look forward to watching the project come together.