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The Trouble With Tribbles

Star Trek ClassicStardate 4523.3: The Enterprise is summoned to space station K-7 for security duty when the station’s security forces are considered inadequate to guard a shipment of valuable grain by the standards of Federation agriculture administrator Baris. A shipload of Klingons stops off at the station as well, which has all parties concerned even more about the grain consignment. Kirk orders stepped-up security, but that only results in some of the crew – including Scotty and Chekov – instigating a massive bar brawl with the Klingons. All the while, the seemingly harmless huckster Cyrano Jones is trying to peddle furry tribbles off to anyone with a few credits, and Uhura buys one and takes it back to the Enterprise, not knowing that tribbles do only two things: eat and breed.

Order this episode on DVDDownload this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by David Gerrold
directed by Joseph Pevney
music by Jerry Fielding

Guest Cast: James Doohan (Mr. Scott), George Takei (Lt. Sulu), Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura), William Schallert (Nilz Baris), William Campbell (Koloth), Stanley Adams (Cyrano Jones), Whit Bissell (Lurry), Michael Pataki (Korax), Ed Reimers (Admiral Fitzpatrick), Charlie Brill (Arne Darvin), Paul Baxley (Ensign Freeman), David Ross (Guard), Guy Raymond (Trader)

Notes: another side of this episode’s events can be seen in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine celebrating the original series’ 30th anniversary, Trials And Tribble-ations. Tribbles are also spotted in the bar in Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, but according to the animated series, Kirk and his crew encountered them once more in More Tribbles, More Trouble.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Cloudminders

Star Trek ClassicStardate 5818.4: Beaming down to pick up a consignment of zenite from the planet Ardana, the home of Stratos, a city that floats above the surface of the planet, Kirk and Spock, who are there to pick up a consignment of zenite, are ambushed by mineworkers known as Troglytes. The attack is cut short by the arrival of Plasus, a high advisor from Stratos, who says that a disruptive group of protesting Troglytes probably stole the zenite shipment, which was missing. On Stratos, which Plasus says is safe, there is also evidence of Troglyte terrorism. Kirk and Spock discover that the Stratos dwellers live an easy life thanks to their planet’s unique mineral resources at the expense of the Troglytes, who get no reward for extracting those resources. When McCoy finds that the raw zenite being mined by the Troglytes is having an adverse affect on their health, Kirk takes it upon himself to upset the balance in favor of equality.

Order this episode on DVDDownload this episode via Amazon's Unboxteleplay by Margaret Armen
story by David Gerrold and Oliver Crawford
directed by Jud Taylor
music by Fred Steiner

Guest Cast: James Doohan (Mr. Scott), George Takei (Lt. Sulu), Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura), Walter Koenig (Chekov), Jeff Corey (Plasus), Diana Ewing (Droxine), Charlene Polite (Vanna), Kirk Raymone (Cloud Guard #1), Jimmy Fields (Cloud Guard #2), Ed Long (Midro), Fred Williamson (Anka), Garth Pillsbury (Prisoner), Harv Selsby (Guard)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

More Tribbles, More Trouble

Star Trek ClassicStardate 5392.4: Escorting two automated freighters to Sherman’s Planet with their precious cargo of quadrotriticale, the Enterprise is diverted when a distress signal is received from another Federation ship under Klingon attack. The sole occupant of the besieged vessel is rescued, but the Klingons destroy his ship and then turn their attention to the Enterprise. Koloth, commanding the Klingon vessel, claims that the pilot of the smaller Federation ship is wanted for the crime of introducing the ravenous (and rapidly-reproducing) tribbles to the Klingon ecosystem. When the pilot turns out to be shady trader Cyrano Jones, peddler of tribbles, Kirk wonders if Koloth doesn’t have a point. Jones left Space Station K-7 after using a tribble-munching life-form known as a glommer to clean up the station’s tribble overpopulation problem. Koloth reveals that the glommer was genetically engineered by the Klingons…and therefore Cyrano Jones could be doing real damage to the Klingon Empire.

Order the DVDswritten by David Gerrold
directed by Hal Sutherland
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael

Guest Voice Cast: James Doohan (Koloth), David Gerrold (Korax), Stanley Adams (Cyrano Jones)

LogBook entry by Earl Green


Star Trek ClassicStardate 5683.1: A number of races’ ships have gathered around an asteroid inhabited by the Vedala, believed to be the oldest spacefaring species in existence. The Vedala have summoned numerous creatures for their intellect and physical strength, claiming that the galaxy’s future is imperiled unless those gathered can help the Vedala find a lost relic whose disappearance could spark a holy war among their own immensely powerful people – a war which would also quickly engulf the other races. But en route to the object of the motley group’s quest, Kirk believes that one of them is hoping to use the relic to hasten the war rather than prevent it.

Order the DVDswritten by Stephen Kandel
directed by Hal Sutherland
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael

Guest Voice Cast: James Doohan (Tchar), James Doohan (Sord), David Gerrold (EM-3-green), Nichelle Nichols (Lara)


Land Of The LostOn a rafting trip, the Marshall family is deposited into another world after a huge earthquake sends them over an uncharted waterfall. The presence of three moons in the night sky is their first clue that they’re no longer on Earth, and yet the jungle world is populated by dinosaurs straight out of Earth’s prehistoric age.

On the run from a tyrannosaurus rex, Will and Penny Marshall stop to help a chimp-like Paku named Cha-Ka. In his own flight from the T-rex, Cha-Ka has broken his leg. Will and Penny’s father, Rich Marshall, reluctantly allows them to offer shelter to their new friend. Cha-Ka is fascinated by the humans’ ability to create fire seemingly from nothing, and sneaks out of the Marshalls’ “home” cave with a lighter. The Marshalls follow him, only to find themselves at the mercy of the dreaded T-rex once more. But will Cha-Ka lead them to safety or sacrifice his new friends to make his own escape?

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by David Gerrold
directed by Dennis Steinmetz
music by Jimmie Haskell / theme music by Linda Laurie

Cast: Spencer Milligan (Rick Marshall), Wesley Eure (Will Marshall), Kathy Coleman (Penny Marshall), Sharon Baird (Paku), Joe Giamalva (Paku), Philip Paley (Cha-Ka)

Notes: A fondly-remembered cornerstone of NBC’s Saturday morning children’s lineup for three years, Land Of The Lost is populated – at least behind the scenes – by veterans of the original Star Trek. David Gerrold wrote the pilot and numerous other Land Of The Lostinstallments, as well as script-editing the series (and, in interviews for the DVD release of the series, Gerrold says he was responsible for nailing down the series concepts into a coherent writers’ bible, although Allan Foshko and executive producers Sid and Marty Krofft are credited with creating the series). Art director Herman Zimmerman would be later be involved with Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and virtually all of the Star Trek feature films that were released during those two series’ run. Original series prop and monster-maker Wah Chang created the detailed animated dinosaur models, which were truly impressive for a television show in the early ’70s, and Michael Westmore – credited as “Mike” – handled the series’ creature makeup. Other Trek veterans crop up during the series’ run – see if you can spot them all!

LogBook entry by Earl Green


Star Trek ClassicStardate 7403.6: Commander Ari Ben Bem, a native of an advanced planet which the Federation hopes will soon join its ranks, accompanies the Enterprise crew for several months, though he has spent virtually all of that time in seclusion. However, when the opportunity to beam down to the newly-charted planet Delta Theta III presents itself, Bem all but takes charge of the landing party (much to Kirk’s annoyance). Delta Theta III turns out to be inhabited, and Bem quickly puts the Enterprise officers in harm’s way. When Kirk and Spock try to escape and take Bem back with them, they discover that they’re not the only intelligent beings who are interfering the the planet’s life forms.

Order the DVDswritten by David Gerrold
directed by Hal Sutherland
music by Yvette Blais & Jeff Michael

Guest Voice Cast: Majel Barrett (Lt. M’ress), James Doohan (Commander Ari Ben Bem), Majel Barrett (Alien)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Sleestak God

Land Of The LostA routine trip to fill their canteens with water turns frightening thanks to Will’s insistence on taking a “shortcut,” which seems to be Will’s shorthand for “getting lost and bumping into Cha-Ka.” But that route leads the two to an ancient temple of some sort – and, on a nearby rock, in plain English, is written a warning: BEWARE THE SLEESTAK. Cha-Ka panics and flees, and large, hissing humanoid lizards corner Will and Holly and capture them. Cha-Ka races to tell Rick Marshall what’s happened to his children, and brings Will back to the Sleestak temple. Will discovers that the Sleestaks fear fire, and he’s able to free his kids… but it would seem the Marshall family has made a new enemy.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by David Gerrold
directed by Dennis Steinmetz
music by Jimmie Haskell

Land Of The LostCast: Spencer Milligan (Rick Marshall), Wesley Eure (Will Marshall), Kathy Coleman (Penny Marshall), David Greenwood (Sleestak), William Laimbeer (Sleestak), John Lambert (Sleestak), Philip Paley (Cha-Ka)

LogBook entry by Earl Green


Land Of The LostWill and Holly find themselves cornered by unusually active dinosaurs. Surrounded on all sides, they’re left with no choice but to climb up a rocky mountainside to escape. They’re surprised to find a pylon atop the mountain, and when Will disturbs the controls, glowing lights appear in the sky, and one of them disgorges a parachutist. Will and Holly rush to help, since any new arrivals are unlikely to be prepared for the abundance of dinosaurs. The parachutist is wayward astronaut Beauregard Jackson, and Will worries that he is responsible for the man’s predicament. Worse yet, the time portal that brought Jackson here is still open, allowing hurricane-force winds to build up.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by David Gerrold and Larry Niven
directed by Bob Lally
music by Jimmie Haskell

Cast: Spencer Milligan (Rick Marshall), Wesley Eure (Will Marshall), Kathy Coleman (Penny Marshall), Ron Masak (Beauregard Jackson)

Land Of The LostNotes: Actor Ron Masak has appeared in The Twilight Zone, Mission: Impossible, Wonder Woman, and Starman, with movie roles in Ice Station Zebra, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and as the hapless sheriff in the MST3K-worthy sci-fi B-movie Laserblast. Jackson notices that the pylons are bigger inside than outside; as Doctor Who had only premiered in the United States a couple of years earlier in a handful of markets, it is very unlikely that the popular British series with its bigger-inside-than-out time machine was an influence. As the Marshalls take shelter just before Jackson’s escape, the actors’ shadows can clearly be seen on the “sky” behind them on set.

LogBook entry by Earl Green


Land Of The LostWhen Will dives underwater at a watering hole not far from the Marshalls’ makeshift residence, he finds an exit to a dry chamber, full of hibernating Sleestaks. Enik is also there, trapped in this time just like the Marshalls are, but he has a disturbing theory that the Marshalls shouldn’t be here. For anyone to leave through a time portal, someone else must arrive through a time portal, and Enik feels that the Marshalls’ arrival triggered a time paradox, one that only the Marshalls can resolve. But if Enik’s escape depends on getting the Marshalls out of this dimension by any means necessary, can they trust him?

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Larry Niven and David Gerrold
directed by Dennis Steinmetz
music by Jimmie Haskell

Cast: Spencer Milligan (Rick Marshall), Wesley Eure (Will Marshall), Kathy Coleman (Penny Marshall), Walker Edmiston (Enik), Scott Fullerton (Sleestak), Jack Tingley (Sleestak), Mike Westra (Sleestak)

Land Of The LostNotes: This episode basically loops around to the beginning of the series, implying either a time loop, or at the very least that the Marshalls will experience the same events again before their adventures continue (in the second season, of course).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Logan’s Run (Pilot)

Logan's RunIn the year 2319, two centuries after nuclear war rendered the Earth’s surface uninhabitable for a time, humanity lives in the City of Domes, with every need – and every desire – supplied by the City’s computers. But at the age of 30, every resident of the City is required to take part in Carousel, a ritual sacrifice that keeps the City’s population growth at zero. Everyone is taught that Carousel brings renewal, life in a new body, but not all believe it; an underground railroad of “runners” steadily helps those who want to live past 30 escape. And the City dispatches Sandmen to deal with those runners – fatally. But not even all Sandmen believe the lie of Carousel; during a pursuit, Sandman Logan corners a runner and a woman named Jessica, both of whom confirm what he has already suspected: there is life past 30, and freedom beyond the City of Domes. Logan’s fellow Sandman, Francis, arrives and shoots the runner, but Logan knocks Francis unconscious before he can kill Jessica. Now as much of a fugitive as any runner, Logan follows Jessica outside the City to look for Sanctuary.

Before Francis can pursue Logan and Jessica outside the City, he is summoned to White Quadrant 1, a high security area of the City that few ever see. There, he meets a group of men who are clearly past the age of 30; they introduce themselves as the Elders who keep the City running, and make the rules about how society works, including Carousel. They make a bargain with him: if Francis brings the refugees back for “reprogramming,” he will be guaranteed a seat on the Elders’ council – and life beyond 30. He agrees and sets out on his mission.

Logan and Jessica take shelter in an abandoned military planning post, where they also find a solar-powered hovercraft. The vehicle helps them find a fallout shelter Logan spots on a map, but before they can explore the shelter, they’re pursued by raiders on horseback. They manage to enter the shelter and lock the door, finding a society of pacifists that has lived there for years. When one of the shelter-dwellers’ children hears Jessica’s tales of the outside, she investigates for herself and is captured by the raiders. Jessica, feeling guilty for inspiring the little girl’s misadventure, goes outside to find her and is herself captured. Despite the pacifists’ insistence that blood must not be spilled, Logan mounts a rescue operation anyway, destroying many of the raiders’ weapons himself before the shelter-dwellers emerge from underground to help him. After freeing all of the raiders’ captives, Logan and Jessica move on; shortly after they leave, Francis finds the raiders’ camp and gets the pacifists to tell him where his prey was headed.

Logan and Jessica arrive at a the foot of a mountain with a magnificent city built into its side, but strange energy emitters bring their hovercraft to a halt. Immaculately clad people welcome them to the city and offer to serve them, fulfilling any desire – but the first time Jessica mentions leaving the city to continue the search for Sanctuary, she and Logan discover that they are not guests, but prisoners. Their captors turn out to be robots whose “masters” are the skeletal remains of people who died in the nuclear war. Logan and Jessica befriend Rem, the only other “guest” in the city, who toils away at keeping the robots working. He offers to help them leave the city if Logan and Jessica will take him with them, but during their escape, Francis and two other Sandmen catch up with them. Rem is shot in the leg and goes down, but before Francis can capture Logan, the city’s robots emerge and claim the Sandmen as their new guests.

Rem manages to repair his own injuries – it turns out he is an android, a much more advanced machine than the city’s robots – and professes a genuine curiosity about the human concepts of love, self-sacrifice and freedom that his new friends have taught him. The three fugitives board the hovercraft and continue the search for Sanctuary.

Season 1 Regular Cast: Gregory Harrison (Logan), Heather Menzies (Jessica), Donald Moffat (Rem), Randy Powell (Francis)

Download this episodewritten by William F. Nolan & Saul David and Leonard Katzman
directed by Robert Day
scenes from the movie Logan’s Run directed by Michael Anderson
music by Laurence Rosenthal
music from the movie Logan’s Run by Jerry Goldsmith

Guest Cast: Lina Raymond (Siri), Keene Curtis (Draco), Wright King (Jonathon), E.J. Andre (Martin), Morgan Woodward (Morgan), Ron Hajek (Riles), J. Gary Dontzig (Akers), Anthony De Longis (Ketcham), Cal Haynes (Rider #3), Mary Hamill (Marianne), Ted Markland (Karlin), Sandy McPeak (Rider #4), Kimberly la Page (Leanna), Patrick Gorman (David), Gilbert Girion (Man), Marvin Dean Stewart (Paine), Michael Biehn (Sandman), Mary Ball (Woman), Gary Charles Davis (Barry)

Logan's RunNotes: Considered by Starlog magazine to be the most promising SF TV series of 1977, Logan’s Run borrows some visual elements from the movie – namely costumes and props, to say nothing several minutes of the movie’s “Carousel” scenes (complete with excerpts of Jerry Goldsmith‘s music, a rarity for the series). The segment of the story dealing with the fallout shelter and the raiders was a late addition to the script; the pilot was originally scheduled to be an hour long, but new scenes were written to fill it out for a 90-minute time slot. The plotline of the City Elders was a relatively late addition as well; planning documents for the series seemed to indicate that this storyline wouldn’t occur until later in the series. (Then again, those same documents hinted at Logan and Jessica returning to the City to free other runners, a story which the series didn’t stay on the air long enough to tell.) The series concepts were actually gestated during very early pre-production for a sequel to the Logan’s Run movie, but MGM turned the movie project into a TV series a few months before the release of Star Wars; several big names in SF were recruited, including story editor D.C. Fontana, and writers such as Harlan Ellison, John Meredyth Lucas and David Gerrold.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Man Out of Time

Logan's RunLogan, Jessica and Rem investigate unusual energy readings near a junkyard, and they watch in amazement as a large cylinder appears in front of them, containing a live rabbit, which Logan removes. The cylinder then vanishes again, and returns a while later with a man inside, claiming that he too seeks Sanctuary and knows the way. But when the travelers’ new friend brings them to Sanctuary, it’s not what any of them expect. There are no wayward runners from the City of Domes, there are no computers, and there is no modern knowledge. Devastated, the man from the cylinder reveals who he is at last: he is from the past, on the eve of the nuclear war which almost killed all life on Earth, and he’s seeking hints from the future that will allow him to prevent that future – and he needs Logan’s help. But if Logan does assist him, history as Logan knows it – and even Logan himself – might never happen.

Download this episodewritten by Noah Ward (pseudonym for David Gerrold)
directed by Nicholas Colasanto
music by Laurence Rosenthal

Guest Cast: Paul Shenar (David Eakins), Mel Ferrer (Analog), Woodrow Chambliss (Lab Tech One), Gene Tyburn (Comp Logan's RunTech Four), Hank Brandt (Gold), Betty Bridges (Fontaine), Wallace Chadwell (White), Kenneth Martinez (Martinez), Jeff Reese (Handley), Jeff Cotler (Binary), Sherril Lynn Katzman (Katie)

Notes: This episode seems to peg the date of the holocaust that wiped out most human life as Christmas Day, 2112. Mark your calendars and get your shopping done early. Director Nicholas Colasanto later found greater prime-time fame as Coach, the original owner of Cheers.

LogBook entry by Earl Green


Babylon 5A family of a devout people known as the Children of Time arrive on the station seeking medical treatment for their son, whose respiratory blockage will prove to be fatal if not treated soon. When Dr. Franklin proposes surgery, however, he stumbles across their belief that puncturing the body allows the spirit to escape, and they refuse his help. As he manages to stall them by asking them to consider a more risky alternative treatment, Franklin petitions Sinclair for permission to overrule the parents’ authority so he can save the child’s life. Sinclair has to walk on eggshells around both parties, but cannot avoid making a ruling on the matter that could undermine Babylon 5’s neutral status. And all this time, a child’s life is slipping away…and Dr. Franklin decides to take control of the situation himself.

Order now!Download this episodewritten by David Gerrold
directed by Richard Compton
music by Christopher Franke

Guest Cast: Jonathan Charles Kaplan (Shon), Tricia O’ Neil (M’ola), Stephen Lee (Tharg), Silvana Gillardo (Dr. Maya Hernandez), Ardwight Chamberlain (Kosh)

Trials and Tribble-ations

Star Trek: Deep Space NineStardate not given: The Defiant is transporting an Orb which the Cardassians are returning to Bajor – the Orb of Time. Also present is a human merchant who was trapped on Cardassia by the Klingon invasion. The merchant is actually Arne Darvin, a disgraced Klingon spy whose downfall came 105 years ago at the hands of James T. Kirk. Darvin uses the Orb to transport the Defiant back to that time period. The DS9 officers must infiltrate the Enterprise and space station K7 to stop Darvin from assassinating Kirk, and at the same time must prevent the timeline from being altered.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazonteleplay by Ronald D. Moore & Rene Echavarria
story by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler & Robert Hewitt Wolfe
based on The Trouble With Tribbles by David Gerrold
directed by Jonathan West
footage from The Trouble With Tribbles directed by Joseph Pevney
music by Dennis McCarthy

Guest Cast: Jack Blessing (Dulmer), James W. Jansen (Lucsly), Charlie Brill (Arne Darvin), Leslie Ackerman (Waitress), Charles S. Chun (Engineer), Deirdre L. Imershein (Lieutenant Watley)

Actors appearing in footage from The Trouble With Tribbles: William Shatner (Captain James T. Kirk), Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock), DeForest Kelley (Dr. Leonard McCoy), James Doohan (Mr. Scott), Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura), William Schallert (Nilz Baris), Stanley Adams (Cyrano Jones), Whit Bissell (Lurry), Michael Pataki (Korax), Charlie Brill (Arne Darvin)

Notes: William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy also appeared as Kirk and Spock in a scene taken from the original Star Trek episode Mirror, Mirror

LogBook entry by Tracy Hemenover

Come What May

Star Trek: Phase II

This is an episode of a fan-made series whose storyline may be invalidated by later official studio productions.

Stardate 6010.1: No sooner has the Enterprise emerged from spacedock following a refit than a distress call is received from a cantankerous Starbase commander, who later sends another message: the emergency is over, thanks to the intervention of someone named Onabi. A suspicious Captain Kirk orders the Enterprise to proceed there anyway, where he and the Enterprise crew meet Onabi for themselves, and discover that she has a closer connection to the unknown alien threat than the Starbase personnel suspect.

Watch Itwritten by Jack Marshall
directed by Jack Marshall

Cast: James Cawley (Captain Kirk), Jeffery Quinn (Mr. Spock), John Kelley (Dr. McCoy), Jack Marshall (Scott), Jay Storey (Kyle), Julienne Irons (Uhura), Meghan King Johnson (Rand), Ron Boyd (DeSalle), Jasen Tucker (Chekov), Jay Storey (Kyle), Larry Nemecek (Cal Strickland), John Winston (Captain Jefferies), Eddie Paskey (Admiral Leslie), Andrea Ajemian (Onabi), Mark Strock (Ohn), Shawn David (Security Officer), Pearl Marshall (Security Officer), Jeff Mailhote (Security Officer), Ed Kaczmarek (Mr. Leslie), Ed Abbate (Crewman), Timothy Sheffield (Crewman), Michel Anderson (Crewman), Anthony Laviano (Crewman), Jerry Yuen (Crewman)

Review: At the time this first effort by James Cawley and the determined Star Trek: New Voyages crew hit the internet, it was a revelation for most folks who weren’t on the inside curve when it came to fan films. Arguably, the media interest in their efforts not only put New Voyages and other Trek fan films on the map, but drew more attention to fan-made continuations of existing “universes” in general. In the minds of some diehard Trek fans, it was also a ballsy, defiant gesture to Paramount: if you don’t make the Star Trek we want to watch (a vocal faction of fandom was disappointed in the then-current series Star Trek: Enterprise), we’ll make it ourselves. Read More

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: The Next GenerationThis is a syndicated series; airdates seen in this guide are the first day of the “week of” broadcast window, and episodes may have aired on different days in your area.

    Season One: 1987-88

  1. Encounter At Farpoint
  2. The Naked Now
  3. Code Of Honor
  4. The Last Outpost
  5. Where No One Has Gone Before
  6. Lonely Among Us
  7. Justice
  8. The Battle
  9. Hide And Q
  10. Haven
  11. The Big Goodbye
  12. Datalore
  13. Angel One
  14. 11001001
  15. Too Short A Season
  16. When The Bough Breaks
  17. Home Soil
  18. Coming Of Age
  19. Heart Of Glory
  20. The Arsenal Of Freedom
  21. Symbiosis
  22. Skin Of Evil
  23. We’ll Always Have Paris
  24. Conspiracy
  25. The Neutral Zone
  26. Season Two: 1988-89

  27. The Child
  28. Where Silence Has Lease
  29. Elementary, Dear Data
  30. The Outrageous Okona
  31. Loud As A Whisper
  32. The Schizoid Man
  33. Unnatural Selection
  34. A Matter Of Honor
  35. The Measure Of A Man
  36. The Dauphin
  37. Contagion
  38. The Royale
  39. Time Squared
  40. The Icarus Factor
  41. Pen Pals
  42. Q Who
  43. Samaritan Snare
  44. Up The Long Ladder
  45. Manhunt
  46. The Emissary
  47. Peak Performance
  48. Shades Of Gray
  49. Season Three: 1989-90

  50. Evolution
  51. The Ensigns Of Command
  52. The Survivors
  53. Who Watches The Watchers?
  54. The Bonding
  55. Booby Trap
  56. The Enemy
  57. The Price
  58. The Vengeance Factor
  59. The Defector
  60. The Hunted
  61. The High Ground
  62. Deja Q
  63. A Matter Of Perspective
  64. Yesterday’s Enterprise
  65. The Offspring
  66. Sins Of The Father
  67. Allegiance
  68. Captain’s Holiday
  69. Tin Man
  70. Hollow Pursuits
  71. The Most Toys
  72. Sarek
  73. Menage à Troi
  74. Transfigurations
  75. The Best Of Both Worlds
  76. Season Four: 1990-91

  77. The Best Of Both Worlds Part II
  78. Family
  79. Brothers
  80. Suddenly Human
  81. Remember Me
  82. Legacy
  83. Reunion
  84. Future Imperfect
  85. Final Mission
  86. The Loss
  87. Data’s Day
  88. The Wounded
  89. Devil’s Due
  90. Clues
  91. First Contact
  92. Galaxy’s Child
  93. Night Terrors
  94. Identity Crisis
  95. The Nth Degree
  96. Qpid
  97. The Drumhead
  98. Half A Life
  99. The Host
  100. The Mind’s Eye
  101. In Theory
  102. Redemption
  103. Season Five: 1991-92

  104. Redemption II
  105. Darmok
  106. Ensign Ro
  107. Silicon Avatar
  108. Disaster
  109. The Game
  110. Unification I
  111. Unification II
  112. A Matter Of Time
  113. New Ground
  114. Hero Worship
  115. Violations
  116. The Masterpiece Society
  117. Conundrum
  118. Power Play
  119. Ethics
  120. The Outcast
  121. Cause And Effect
  122. The First Duty
  123. Cost Of Living
  124. The Perfect Mate
  125. Imaginary Friend
  126. I, Borg
  127. The Next Phase
  128. The Inner Light
  129. Time’s Arrow
  130. Season Six: 1992-93

  131. Time’s Arrow Part II
  132. Realm Of Fear
  133. Man Of The People
  134. Relics
  135. Schisms
  136. True Q
  137. Rascals
  138. A Fistful Of Datas
  139. The Quality Of Life
  140. Chain Of Command Part I
  141. Chain Of Command Part II
  142. Ship In A Bottle
  143. Aquiel
  144. Face Of The Enemy
  145. Tapestry
  146. Birthright Part I
  147. Birthright Part II
  148. Starship Mine
  149. Lessons
  150. The Chase
  151. Frame Of Mind
  152. Suspicions
  153. Rightful Heir
  154. Second Chances
  155. Timescape
  156. Descent
  157. Season Seven: 1993-94

  158. Descent Part II
  159. Liaisons
  160. Interface
  161. Gambit Part I
  162. Gambit Part II
  163. Phantasms
  164. Dark Page
  165. Attached
  166. Force Of Nature
  167. Inheritance
  168. Parallels
  169. The Pegasus
  170. Homeward
  171. Sub Rosa
  172. Lower Decks
  173. Thine Own Self
  174. Masks
  175. Eye Of The Beholder
  176. Genesis
  177. Journey’s End
  178. First Born
  179. Bloodlines
  180. Emergence
  181. Preemptive Strike
  182. All Good Things…
  183. The Movies: 1994-2002

  184. Star Trek: Generations
  185. Star Trek: First Contact
  186. Star Trek: Insurrection
  187. Star Trek: Nemesis

With the smash success of 1986’s Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Paramount was suddenly very interested in the future expansion of Gene Roddenberry’s universe, even if it had Gene Roddenberryonly a limited interest in Roddenberry himself having a hand in that expansion. The creator of Star Trek was viewed as something of a liability; the first and most expensive Star Trek movie, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, was regarded in hindsight as an extraordinarily expensive example of excess with Roddenberry at the helm. In actuality, however, the expense legendarily associated with The Motion Picture is actually an example of creative accounting, Hollywood style: that movie began life as an attempted TV revival in the 1970s, which followed on from two failed attempts to get an early ’70s Star Trek movie into production. By charging all of the previous unfulfilled projects against The Motion Picture‘s budget, that movie – despite a huge box office take upon its premiere – magically became a money-loser in Paramount’s books, handily accomplishing two things: it gave the spendthrift studio the ammo it needed to relieve Roddenberry of any real decision-making power in the franchise’s future, and by failing to show a profit, kept pesky residual payouts to its key players down to a dull roar. From Star Trek II onward, Gene Roddenberry was reduced to a creative consultant whose advice could be taken on Star Trek: The Motion Pictureboard completely or ignored at the whim of the producer behind the increasingly successful movie franchise, Harve Bennett.

Late in 1986, however, Paramount decided to challenge Roddenberry’s creative instincts once more. Bennett was already touting a possible “flashback to how young Kirk and Spock first met” story, with newer, younger stars and featuring glorified cameos from William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, for the inevitable Star Trek V. Already penciled in as that movie’s director thanks to a clause in his contract to star in Trek IV, Shatner objected and made clear that he, Nimoy and the rest of the cast would continue to star in the Star Trek films, despite approaching retirement age. Paramount contacted Roddenberry and challenged him: they wanted new Star Trek on TV, and were fully prepared to use Bennett’s “early days at Starfleet Harve BennettAcademy” idea on the small screen… unless, of course, the creator of the original series could come up with something better.

Roddenberry jumped at the chance. By creating a new TV series, he would be resuming a position where he had actual decision-making power with regard to the Star Trek franchise (although, technically, any future feature films and their producers were still under no obligation to heed Roddenberry’s advice as Star Trek’s permanent creative consultant). Roddenberry had hatched ideas for advancing Star Trek in the 1970s as part of the aborted Star Trek Phase II series, which would’ve been the cornerstone of the never-launched Paramount Network, and they could applied here, but in a vastly different form. The new Star Trek would not deal with Kirk and Spock at any point in their careers; it would advance the Star Trek story by “75 years” (according to an early draft of the series Star Trek: The Motion Picturebible) and might, at most, feature a descendant of an original Enterprise crew member, though eventually even that idea fell by the wayside.

On Paramount’s end of the deal, the new Star Trek was running into a distribution problem. Though the just-launched Fox network, hungry for any programming, let alone a hit, was interested but wanted creative oversight of any series it bought from Paramount. The response from Roddenberry was predictable: he wanted nothing to do with network censorship originating from the Standards & Practices divisions like the one with whom he’d fought so many bruising battles during the original series’ tenure on NBC. As it turned out, Paramount decided to do the unexpected and explore a third option. For years, the original Trek’s 79 episodes had been bringing in a startlingly steady stream of income, despite its age; it was in syndicated reruns that the original series finally broke even and then showed a steady profit. But shown daily in many markets, those 79 episodes only amounted to a 16-week run, which was being repeated over and over again. Paramount opted to create the Star Trek: TNG Logonew Star Trek as a syndicated show that would never run on a specific network, instead offering the first right of refusal to the stations already carrying the ’60s show. Though there were skeptics aplenty in the broadcast industry, in fandom and in the press, most of those stations who already had Star Trek signed on for the new show.

The new series would focus on a future Enterprise, commanded by Captain Julien Picard. (The captain’s French lineage was there from the start, inspired by oceanic explorer extraordinaire Jacques Cousteau.) Commander Bill Ryker would be the first officer and, in a development originally conceived as part of the background of the never-made ’70s revival series’ Commander Decker, Ryker would lead all landing parties, or “away missions,” with Picard NCC-1701-Doverseeing things from the safety of the Enterprise. The chief medical officer would be Doctor Beverly Crusher, who would have her bright daughter Leslie in tow, while the security of the Enterprise would be overseen by Lt. “Macha” Hernandez, a tough-as-nails security officer inspired by Roddenberry’s recent viewing of the 1986 hit movie Aliens and its gun-toting Lt. Vasquez.

Behind the scenes, the faces were much more familiar. Roddenberry lured original series veterans Robert Justman and Eddie Milkis back to produce the new show, with writers D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold aboard to come up with stories and concepts. As with the original series, Roddenberry hoped to make the new show a haven for serious SF writers who wanted their material handled well, in the same way that the original Star Trek had attracted talents like Theodore Star Trek: The Next GenerationSturgeon, George Clayton Johnson and Harlan Ellison. If anything was proving elusive, it was the shape of the future itself: how far would technology have advanced in the 24th century, when in 1986 the standard medium of data storage was a floppy disk strikingly similar in shape and size to the “computer tapes” in use aboard the Enterprise as filmed in 1966? Numerous avenues were considered and abandoned, such as having a transporter pad on the bridge itself (nixed in favor of having a relatively long elevator ride and walk to the transporter, during which conversations could take place between characters), and having the new Enterprise almost completely computer controlled, with the crew only seen to operate manual controls during the most extraordinary situations. Also to be considered was the technology of the original Star Trek: how woud it have evolved in almost a century? The idea of miniaturizing the cell-phone-like communicators of the ’60s series down into something Star Trek: The Next Generationthat would fit within a touch-operated uniform insignia was already on the table. What of phasers and tricorders?

And for that matter, what would the show be called? “The new Star Trek” was becoming a well-worn item in entertainment news columns and the pages of Starlog Magazine (already one of the show’s biggest champions thanks to Starlog’s already-warm relationship to Paramount’s publicity department and Roddenberry in particular). There was even a brief window where the show was simply called Star Trek – it was assumed that the audience would be able to figure out quickly enough which iteration of the show it was seeing. Finally, despite the “75 years” being stretched out to a figure closer to 80 years – obviously more than a single generation – the show was titled Star Trek: The Next Generation. The characters evolved – Julien Picard became Jean-Luc Picard, Bill Ryker became Will Riker, and in the spirit of the thawing Cold War and increased cooperation with the Soviet Union, Macha Hernandez became Natasha Yar. Leslie Crusher underwent a pre-casting sex change and inherited Gene Roddenberry’s real first name, becoming Wesley Crusher. An empathic counselor, Deanna Troi, was added, and a science officer originally envisioned as a female Vulcan possibly related to Spock was nixed in favor of an android, Lt. Data, who seeks a greater understanding of human emotions and foibles – a character that Roddenberry had essentially created in his 1974 TV movie The Questor Tapes, which was intended to be a series pilot in its own right.

Star Trek: The Next GenerationRiker and Troi inherited the slightly-cooled-down relationship originally devised for Decker and Lt. Ilia in the series bible for the aborted ’70s Star Trek revival, while Data inherited some of the character DNA developed for the never-made show’s Vulcan science officer, Xon. A blind crewmember, Geordi La Forge, would pilot the Enterprise, while another allusion to the calming of relations with the Soviet Union was added in the person of another security officer, Lt. Worf – the first Klingon to wear a Starfleet uniform, originally suggested by Bob Justman as a “Klingon marine” who would be a recurring character rather than a regular. The lineage of the Enterprise was both nailed down and left tantalizingly open by designating Picard’s ship as NCC-1701-D: what had happened to the “B” and “C” models of the Enterprise? And since NCC-1701-A had only Star Trek: The Next Generationcome about as a result of the original Enterprise’s destruction, what had become of Kirk’s brand new ship in the interim?

Casting and crewing up were now in full swing. A young graphic designer named Michael Okuda, operating from his home base in Hawaii, had been lobbying to work on the Star Trek movies since Star Trek III, and had gotten to do some background control panel design for the new Enterprise in Trek IV. His striking design work, coupled with his intense desire to find some logic in the ship’s display design (he had railed against Trek III‘s use of Star Trek: The Next Generationrectangular monitors peeking through circular openings in the set, especially when the graphics on those monitors made no sense in a circular format), got him a call to work on the new show full-time. Andrew Probert and Rick Sternback, both veterans of the last Enterprise redesign in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, were on hand to design the Enterprise’s newest descendant. A young executive from Paramount’s longform entertainment division, Rick Berman, was recruited by Roddenberry to help run the show. Younger than Justman (who was already expressing a desire to return to the retirement he had left to help launch TNG) and Milkis (who would be returning to retirement as soon as TNG’s Rick Bermanpilot was completed), Berman would be Roddenberry’s right-hand man, with a keen eye for detail and quality control, taking over Milkis’ role after the filming of the pilot. Overeeing the creative side of the show was producer Herbert J. Wright, a veteran producer of such shows as Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, The Six Million Dollar Man, Hunter and Stingray.

The first two seasons of the show were not easy for the series; and it was probably sheer stubborn determination in Paramount’s senior management, and a fierce desire to see the Star Trek property become a profitable success, that kept TNG from getting cancelled when most other shows, network or syndicated, would have folded under the same pressures and difficulties. Roddenberry and Wright were reportedly less than delicate in handling the writers they worked with. D.C. Fontana, the story editor of the original Star Trek and a respected editor and writer in a storied TV career since then, left the series early on; David Gerrold bailed out as well, the result of Star Trek: The Next Generationdisagreements with Roddenberry over an AIDS-themed script, Blood & Fire. Gerrold and several other writers were also at odds with Roddenberry over unauthorized rewrites and script editing being carried out by Leonard Maizlish, Roddenberry’s attorney. Though there were some impressive episodes in the first two seasons, the evolving continuity of the Star Trek universe led to some inconsistencies. Denise Crosby was dissatisfied with what she saw as a lack of development for her character, Tasha Yar, and asked to be released from her contract; the character was killed off.

Star Trek: The Next GenerationThe first season ended with two mild cliffhangers, though the lack of the words “to be continued” may have led the audience to believe otherwise. The dark, violent episode Conspiracy introduced an alien threat that had gained a foothold within Starfleet Command, trying to erode the fabric of the United Federation of Planets from inside. The story ended with an obvious hint of a rematch that, in seven years of TNG and many years of its descendants, never happened. The season closer, The Neutral Zone, introduced the idea of entire colonies and outposts vanishing without a trace, the first calling card of a powerful new enemy for the Federation. The Romulans also showed their hand, appearing in a massive new Andrew Probert-designed starship. It was Herbert Wright’s intention that the unseen enemy attacking Federation and Romulan colonies would be a relentless insect race with an all-controlling hive mind, Star Trek: The Next Generationto be revealed early in the second season. Toward the end of the season, the show’s producers decided to drop Gates McFadden from the cast as Dr. Crusher, reportedly unhappy with both the actress and the development of the character. Diana Muldaur replaced McFadden for the second season as Dr. Katherine Pulaski, a curmudgeonly doctor cast from the mold of the original series’ Dr. McCoy.

But that unveiling, and any momentum the series had built up, was stalled by a writers’ strike that delayed the start of filming on the secon season until the fall. The summer of 1988 saw TNG and other scripted series languish, with the new fall TV season not kicking off until November; in the absence of traditional prime-time programming, the first “reality” TV shows gained a foothold of their Star Trek: The Next Generationown: Fox’s Cops and America’s Most Wanted became hits during the gap in scripted shows. With the end of the writers’ strike, the opener for the second season of TNG was The Child, a hastily-revised script left over from Roddenberry’s 1970s attempt to relaunch Star Trek on TV.

TNG’s second season was more confident than its first, but wasn’t without problems of its own: certain members of the cast and production team apparently didn’t get along well with Diana Muldaur, and the high turnover among writers and script editors continued as candidates for both jobs found it hard to work with Wright. A promising writer named Melinda Snodgrass, a protege of A Game Of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, brought some stability to the script editor position, but eventually left the frustration of making TNG for a literary career. Later in the second season, Wright finally got to introduce his “hive mind” enemy hinted at in The Neutral Zone, though a budget crunch turned them into the cybernetically-implanted Borg rather than a race of insects.

Michael PillerTired of the grind after the first two seasons, Wright left TNG after headhunting his own replacement, writer Michael Piller. Having served as a journalist, a network Standards & Practices censor and a writer on such series as Simon & Simon, Piller brought a new focus on TNG’s characters to the third season, making it clear to prospective writers of the show that their scripts not only had to be about something, but about someone in show’s regular cast of characters. It was a frequent folly of ’70s and ’80s TV to bring in a guest star as a one-shot character who was more memorable than the rest of the show’s cast; Piller wanted to ensure that the same fate didn’t befall the Enterprise crew. Piller also drew from TNG’s unique-in-Hollywood open script submission policy: any unagented writer, even those who had never written a television script before, could submit a full-length script to Star Ttrek: The Next Generation after signing legal paperwork that protected Paramount from legal action in the event that a similar script went into production. This led to the discovery of writer Ronald D. Moore, who was soon Ronald D. Moorehired as a full-time staff writer for TNG and heavily publicized as the show’s Cinderella story, encouraging thousands of other would-be Star Trek scriptwriters (the author of this essay included) to send in their own stories; having gone from obscurity to a full-time career as a TV writer, Moore later gained nearly universal acclaim as the architect of the Sci-Fi Channel’s renowned 21st century revival of Battlestar Galactica. The third season even brought back Denise Crosby as a one-off Tasha Yar from an alternate timeline, and concluded with the return of Herb Wright’s Borg in a cliffhanger that achieved the impossible: it generated enough word-of-mouth and speculation that TNG was on the edge of breaking into mainstream viewing, despite being a syndicated show that aired on a different day and time in nearly every major city in the country.

The fourth season was unusually stable for TNG, whose early behind-the-scenes history had been so tumultuous. Veteran TV writer Jeri Taylor joined the fold with an early fourth-season script, and a Writers’ Guild trainee named Brannon Braga became a full-time staff Star Trek: The Next Generationwriter after a promising collaboration with Ronald D. Moore early in the season. Season five saw the brief return of Herbert Wright as a co-producer, but the contrast between his style and the stability that Michael Piller had brought to the show’s writing staff was striking. After rallying for the show’s scripts to include more “weird shit” and science fiction concepts, Wright was gone again halfway through the season, finding that the kinder, gentler writing staff at TNG was too kind and gentle for his tastes. An example Wright often cited later was that Worf was truly alien in the first two seasons, whereas the fifth season Worf was “dealing with the problems of a single father.” Season five also saw the appearance of Leonard Nimoy as the 100+ year old Spock in a heavily-promoted guest shot during the all-important November ratings sweep. The story, and Nimoy’s appearance, tied directly into the upcoming movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, which revolved around the beginnings of peace with the Klingons as seen in the TNG timeline, and featured a cameo appearance by Michael Dorn as an ancestor of Worf. Another sign of TNG’s position of prime importance in the Star Trek franchise, Trek VI was conciously designed to be the Star Trek: The Next Generationswan song for the original Star Trek cast. This unprecedented mingling of old Trek and new came as a sad footnote to the death of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry in October 1991.

It was also around this time that Paramount summoned Rick Berman and Michael Piller to top-secret meetings to ask them to create another series based in the Star Trek universe. The timing of the meeting was no coincidence: with cost-of-living increases for cast and crew, TNG was only going to become more expensive to produce, and Star Trek VI was the end of the road for the original Star Trek cast members. The future of TNG was set in stone: two more seasons would be produced, after which Star Trek: The Next Generationthe cast and characters of Star Trek: The Next Generation would launch themselves again on the big screen; prior to that, another Star Trek spinoff would premiere on TV, carrying the franchise forward on television.

By the time TNG left the air in the spring of 1994, its new descendant, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, was a runaway success and didn’t have to endure the same chronic teething troubles of early seasons of TNG. TNG itself was frequently praised for being one of the best-written shows on American television, and was even nominated for an Emmy for Best Dramatic Series in 1994 (thought it didn’t win); production began immediately on the first TNG movie, Star Trek: Generations, even as filming was wrapping up on the show’s two-hour series finale, and as soon as the stage lights dimmed for the last time on the sets for the 24th century Enterprise, those sets were demolished to make way for another Star Trek spinoff, Voyager. TNG had a shaky Star Trek: The Next Generationbeginning, with Paramount rolling the dice on reviving a franchise that was widely seen as a TV failure and an unlikely movie success story. When NCC-1701-D made its final flight, however, Star Trek was Paramount’s biggest success story, and a cornerstone of the studio’s next major venture, the United Paramount Network.

But that’s a story to tell later in the 24th century.

World Enough And Time

Star Trek: Phase II

This is an episode of a fan-made series whose storyline may be invalidated by later official studio productions.

Stardate 6283.4: A distress call takes the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone, where they see a helpless cargo ship destroyed by Romulan Birds of Prey using a new weapon not seen before by the Federation. After it destroys that ship, however, the weapon backfires, enveloping everything nearby in an energy field, including the Enterprise. Sulu and exo-tech expert Lt. Chandris take a shuttlecraft to the wreckage of the lead Romulan ship to learn more about the weapon, but waves of instability wreak havoc with the ship’s structure, tearing it apart and leaving only seconds before the warp core breaches. Sulu and Chandris run back to find their shuttle has been lost, and when Sulu calls the Enterprise for an emergency transport, he’s literally a different man when he returns: he has aged over 30 years, and Chandris doesn’t rematerialize at all. Sulu explains that a rift led them to safety on a habitable world in another dimension, and they spent that time settling down and starting a family. Sulu introduces his crewmates to his daughter, Alana, whose transporter pattern Scotty can barely lock onto. The only way to keep her molecules from scattering is to create a field that stabilizes her pattern. Every time Kirk orders the Enterprise to try to break away from the distortion generated by the Romulans’ weapon, Alana starts to fade out of existence. With mere hours before the distortion destabilizes the space within it enough to destroy the Enterprise, Sulu must try to recover his memory of how to navigate a ship through the distortion – with the full knowledge that escape may condemn his daughter to death.

Watch Itwritten by Michael Reaves & Marc Scott Zicree
directed by Marc Scott Zicree
music by Alan Derian

Cast: James Cawley (Captain Kirk), Jeffery Scott (Mr. Spock), John Kelley (Dr. McCoy), George Takei (Sulu), Grace Lee Whitney (Commander Janice Rand), Christina Moses (Alana), John Lim (Lt. Cmdr. Sulu), Andy Bray (Lt. Chekov), Julienne Irons (Lt. Uhura), Charles Root (Scotty), Ron Boyd (DeSalle), Lia Johnson (Dr. Chandris), Mimi Chong (Demora Sulu), Natasha Soudek (Lt. Soudek), Mallory Reaves (Ensign Mallory), Kaley Pusateri (Sulu Granddaughter), Kurt Carley (Stunt Guard #1), Brian Holloway (Stunt Guard #2), Cali Ross (Ensign Juvenia), Cynthia Wilber (Lt. Wyndham), Kitty Kavey (Lt. Turkel), Katrina Kernodle (Yeoman), Katia Mangani (Dead Romulan #1), R.M. Martin (Dead Romulan #2), Don Balderamos (Dead Romulan #3), Steve Perry (voice of Pilot), Majel Barrett Roddenberry (Computer Voice)

Notes: The costumes for Sulu and his daughter were designed by Star Wars prequel art director Iain McCaig, along with his own daughter, Mishi McCaig. Fencing coach Tom Morga is also a stuntman who has featured in past Star Trek adventures, including Star Trek VI, Deep Space Nine and Enterprise. Michael Okuda is credited with “graphics” for this episode.

Review: The second New Voyages episode in a row to feature a crew member’s miraculous aging and the return of the original actor, World Enough And Time thrills me and bugs me in equal measure. It’s actually a much more effective story, in many places, than To Serve All My Days (the installment which brough back Walter Koenig as Chekov) – there’s some real emotional resonance here, rather than an odd conversation between the character’s old and young incarnations. It certainly doesn’t hurt that George Takei is simply magnificent as Sulu, giving the character more depth than his appearances in the original series and all of the original movies ever allowed. Helping matters considerably is that he’s not the only one – Christina Moses, as Sulu’s daughter from another dimension, is outstanding. Between these two, everyone else has to bring their “A” game to the table, especially James Cawley. If nothing else, these “special guest” episodes have helped to raise the acting bar on New Voyages. Read More

Blood And Fire – Part I

Star Trek: Phase II

This is an episode of a fan-made series whose storyline may be invalidated by later official studio productions.

Stardate not given: After a pitched battle with a Klingon cruiser, the Enterprise is left battered, but a distress call from the U.S.S. Copernicus prevents Kirk from putting in for repairs. The Enterprise limps to the Copernicus’ aid at a low warp speed as a result of the damage, but what the crew finds is almost beyond explanation: the Copernicus is adrift, only a few hours away from sliding into a stream of matter connecting a binary star system. The Copernicus will be destroyed, but it appears that something has already killed the crew. As Kirk selects a boarding party to find out what happened on the Copernicus, he carefully omits his nephew, the recently-arrived Ensign Peter Kirk, from the mission. This draws a note of caution from Spock, and an anguished protest from Peter: if the crew feels that he’s receiving preferential treatment keeping him out of harm’s way, Peter will have to request reassignment. Peter wants to be treated as just another member of the crew – and that includes requesting that Captain Kirk officiate his upcoming wedding to another crewman, medic Alex Freeman. Kirk accedes to both requests, assigning both Peter and Freeman to the Copernicus mission. Soon after arriving, they both wish they’d stayed on the Enterprise: the Copernicus is infested with Regulan bloodworms, a life form so fast-speading and deadly that Starfleet has only one protocol for dealing with them – the immediate destruction of any ship found to be infested. With both his nephew and Spock aboard the Copernicus, Kirk has no plans to follow that order, but it may be too late to save his boarding party anyway, as they’re surrounded by swarming bloodworms.

Watch Itwritten by Carlos Pedraza & David Gerrold
directed by David Gerrold
music by Fred Steiner

Cast: James Cawley (Captain Kirk), Ben Toplin (Mr. Spock), John Kelley (Dr. McCoy), Bobby Quinn Rice (Ensign Peter Kirk), Evan Fowler (Alex Freeman), Charles Root (Scotty), Jay Storey (Kyle), Kim Stinger (Uhura), Ron Boyd (DeSalle), Andy Bray (Chekov), Megan King Johnson (Rand), Nick Cook (Hodel), Paul R. Sieber (Ahrens), Patrick Bell (Xon), Debbie Huth (Fontana), Jeff Mailhotte (Sentell), Joel Belucci (Bren), Phil Koeghen (Admiral Koeghen), Scott Danni, Rich Lundy, George Wilhelm, Gwen Wilkins, Rick Bruns, Danielle Porter, Robert Mauro, Dan Wright, Melissa Wright, Elizabeth Peterson, Mabel Vilagro, Greg Schnitzer, Betsy Durkee, Jeff Collingsworth, Brian Holloway, Pat Heward, Amanda Root, Ralph M. Miller, Joe Nazzarro, John Hermann, Jessica Mailhotte, Glenn Smith, Ed Abbatte, Giovana Contini, Ron Gates, Ryan Storey, Jerry Storey, Paula Bailey, Erik Goodrich, Tom Brown, Howard Huth, Riva Gijanto, Carol Mazur, Howard Miller (Extras), Majel Barrett Roddenberry (Computer Voice)

Notes: Blood And Fire was originally written by David Gerrold (writer of the classic Trek favorite The Trouble With Tribbles) as an episode for the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, allegorically dealing with AIDS, the search for a cure, and its effect on the gay community. In many an interview and convention appearance, Gerrold has said that Gene Roddenberry verbally agreed to pursue these issues in the then-new show, but would never approve Blood And Fire for production, which eventually lead to Gerrold’s departure from the writing staff. It has also been adapted into a non-Star Trek novel. Fan writer Carlos Pedraza, previously a writer on the fan series Star Trek: Hidden Frontier (which prominently featured gay characters in a way that Paramount’s officially produced episodes and series never addressed), adapted Gerrold’s original script for the Kirk era. This is the first episode to carry the “Star Trek: Phase II” banner, though the opening titles still display “New Voyages” before “beaming” in “Phase II.” (Phase II was a semi-official subtitle applied to the aborted late ’70s TV revival of classic Trek, as chronicled in the excellent book of the same name by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens.) Early publicity indicated that Blood And Fire would feature an original score by Neil Norman, the producer behind many Star Trek soundtracks released on CD in the 1990s by his father’s GNP Crescendo label, as well as a composer in his own right, but the finished episode instead features original series music by composer Fred Steiner.

Review: For years we’ve been hearing about Blood And Fire and how great it would’ve been in the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and after a while it’s natural to wonder how much of the hype is warranted. But after seeing the episode itself, and finding that about 2/3 of the way in I was on the edge of my seat, I think it’s safe to say that this is New Voyages/Phase II firing on all cylinders with no casting gimmicks to use as a crutch. It’s just a good story, told and acted well, with one hell of a cliffhanger. Read More

Blood And Fire – Part II

Star Trek: Phase II

This is an episode of a fan-made series whose storyline may be invalidated by later official studio productions.

Stardate not given: A boarding party from the Enterprise is trapped aboard the derelict Copernicus, which is infested with Regulan bloodworms – an infestation which demands the immediate destruction of the Copernicus and the sacrifice of anyone left aboard her, per Starfleet regulations. But the boarding party includes Spock, Rand, DeSalle and Captain Kirk’s nephew Peter, so he’s in no hurry to execute the mandatory order to destroy Copernicus. Scotty tries a last-ditch maneuver, beaming the boarding party to another deck of the Copernicus – one where, amazingly, Spock’s team finds survivors, including Dr. Jenna Yar and the secretive Commander Blodgett. Dr. Yar claims to be working on a cure for the plague spread by the bloodworms, but McCoy dismisses her proposed treatment as impossibly dangerous for any patients subjected to the process. With time running out, McCoy comes up with his own alternative to Yar’s treatment, and insists on beaming himself to the Copernicus to administer it; if it doesn’t work, he’ll be sentencing himself to death along with the boarding party. In the midst of this already-bleak scenario a Klingon ship arrives, commanded by Kirk’s nemesis Commander Kargh, who is ready to destroy the Copernicus and all aboard if Kirk won’t.

Watch Itwritten by Carlos Pedraza & David Gerrold
directed by David Gerrold
music by Fred Steiner

Cast: James Cawley (Captain Kirk), Ben Toplin (Mr. Spock), John Kelley (Dr. McCoy), Bobby Quinn Rice (Ensign Peter Kirk), Evan Fowler (Alex Freeman), Denise Crosby (Dr. Jenna Yar), Bill Blair (Commander Blodgett), John Carrigan (Commander Kargh), Charles Root (Scott), Jay Storey (Kyle), Kim Stinger (Uhura), Ron Boyd (DeSalle), Andy Bray (Chekov), Meghan King Johnson (Rand), Nick Cook (Hodel), Paul R. Sieber (Agrens), Patrick Bell (Xon), Debbie Huth (Fontana), Jeff Mailhotte (Sentell), Joel Bellucci (Bren), Anne Carrigan (Le’ak), James Avalon (Klaar)

Notes: Dr. Jenna Yar (full name: Jenna Natasha Yar) is the grandmother of Lt. Tasha Yar from Star Trek: The Next Generation; by this stage she has already had a daughter, presumably Tasha’s mother, who is safe on Earth and isn’t seen in this story. Section 31 is retroactively worked into the classic Trek timeline here; it was actually first mentioned in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the 1990s, and later in Star Trek: Enterprise.

Review: The long-awaited second half of this Trek cliffhanger arrived more than a year after the first part hit the web, and even so, I’m writing this review based on a mostly-complete pre-release edit whose final two acts are still in the “temp edit” stage. Read More

To Boldly Go – Part I

Star Trek ContinuesThis is an episode of a fan-made series whose storyline may be invalidated by later official studio productions.

Stardate 6988.4: The Enterprise is en route back to Earth. Her mission is complete, and the venerable decades-old starship is due for a major refit. But a communication from Starfleet changes the Enterprise‘s orders one last time: a distress call from a far-flung Federation colony has been received, and naturally the Enterprise is the only ship even remotely close enough to render aid. Arriving at the colony, Kirk and Spock have to defeat an automated defense system before they even set eyes on any living people. A human woman named Lana and her Vulcan husband, Sentek, claim to be the sole survivors of a disaster, but their story doesn’t quite add up. They are revealed to be uplifted Espers – humanoids with powerful psionic potential elevated by exposure to an energy barrier that surrounds the galaxy. They need a ship to rejoin their fellow Espers in a plan to conquer the entire Federation…and they have decided the Enterprise meets their needs nicely.

Watch Itteleplay by Robert J. Sawyer
story by Vic Mignogna & James Kerwin and Robert J. Sawyer
directed by James Kerwin
additional music by Vic Mignogna and Andy Farber

Cast: Vic Mignogna (Captain Kirk), Todd Haberkorn (Mr. Spock), Chuck Huber (Dr. McCoy), Chris Doohan (Mr. Scott), Nicola Bryant (Lana), Cas Anvar (Sentek), Amy Rydell (Romulan Commander), Mark Meer (Tal), April Hebert (Rear Admiral Thesp), Marina Sirtis (Computer Voice), Grant Imahara (Sulu), Kim Stinger (Uhura), Wyatt Lenhart Star Trek Continues(Chekov), Michele Specht (McKennah), Steven Dengler (Drake), Martin Bradford (Dr. M’Benga), Kipleigh Brown (Smith), Reuben Langdon (Dickerson), Cat Roberts (Palmer), Liz Wagner (Nurse Burke), Adam Dykstra (Relief Helmsman), Emie Morissette (Relief Navigator), Michael Parker (Romulan Lieutenant), Jessie Rusu (Transporter Chief), E. Patrick Hanavan III (Esper), Ed Obarowski (Esper), John Cerabino (Enterprise Crew), Sean Davis (Enterprise Crew), Amanda Denkler (Enterprise Crew), Savannah DePew (Enterprise Crew), Ashley Despot (Enterprise Crew), Natalie George (Enterprise Crew), Scott Grainger (Enterprise Crew), Ginger Holley (Enterprise Crew), Peter Lickteig (Enterprise Crew), B.J. Savage (Enterprise Crew), Thomas E. Surprenant (Enterprise Crew), Cassandra Tuten (Enterprise Crew), Kyle Warner (Enterprise Crew)

Star Trek ContinuesNotes: The Espers were first encountered in the second Star Trek pilot, Where No Man Has Gone Before, when the Enterprise‘s original first officer, Gary Mitchell, and ship’s psychologist Elizabeth Dehner were uplifted during a brief encounter with the galactic barrier (which, for the record, is a fictional construct existing only in Star Trek mythology). The Romulan Commander was first encountered in The Enterprise Incident in the original series’ third season, and is here played by the daughter of the original actress, Joanna Linville. Nicola Bryant has decades of genre cred, stemming mostly from a single character, Perugilliam “Peri” Brown, companion of Doctor Who‘s sixth incarnation, a role she originated in 1984 and continues to play in Big Finish’s Doctor Who audio plays. Canadian actor Cas Anvar has appeared in everything from Are You Afraid Of The Dark? to a 2002 adaptation of Ursula K. LeGuin’s Lathe Of Star Trek ContinuesHeaven, to appearances in Lost, Argo, voice roles in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the regular role of Alex Kamal in The Expanse. Nebula Award-winning novelist Robert J. Sawyer is a lifelong Star Trek fan whose past TV credits include the series based on his novel, Flashforward. He also wrote for, and co-edited, the essay anthology Boarding The Enterprise with David Gerrold, a book which also counts head writer Earl Green as one of its fact checkers and copy editors.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More