Week of August 27, 2001
Star Trek: The Motion Picture DVD available for pre-order.
Pre-orders are now being taken at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
for the feature-loaded double-disc DVD Director's Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture,
featuring commentary from director Robert Wise, special effects
wizards Doug Trumbull and John Dykstra, composer Jerry Goldsmith and actor
Stephen "Decker" Collins. The second disc includes three retrospective
documentaries on the movie, its restoration, and its place in Star Trek lore, all of the original theatrical
trailers and TV promos (plus a new trailer just for this re-edited edition),
outtakes, deleted scenes, and even some material on Enterprise.
Also, UK fans, who normally lag many months or even a year behind US Star
Trek DVD releases, will be elated to find out that this title will be
available on their turf in early December. Help support theLogBook.com by
pre-ordering your copy through our links.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture - The Director's Edition DVD
Is that holosuite still running?
It must be, because Vic Fontaine's still singing! Okay, so maybe it's
not Vic, but James Darren, the multi-talented entertainer who
brought Vic to life in the sixth
and seventh seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - and he's
got a new album of classic tunes out now. Because Of You picks
up where 1999's almost universally-acclaimed This One's From The Heart left
off, this time including swingin' covers of such numbers as Dream A
Little Dream Of Me, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square,
More Today Than Yesterday, and Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
(among others). Because Of You is now available.
James Darren - Because Of You
Though it's not official yet, word has it that Star Trek: The Next Generation's first season will be available as a
DVD box set in February 2002, with the second season right behind it in April
(though our guess would be later in the summer, with the critically
acclaimed third season to follow
around Christmas '02). We'll keep an eye on this development - and, of
course, you'll be able to support theLogBook.com by pre-ordering your
Daleks conquer and destroy!
The other first Doctor is back! Peter Cushing stars as Doctor Who in the two big-screen feature films
produced in 1964 and '65 - now available for pre-order on DVD! Both
movies, Doctor Who and the Daleks (based loosely upon the
original seven-part TV story
that introduced the metal monsters) and Daleks: Invasion Earth,
2150 A.D. (based even more loosely on the second Dalek serial), have
been digitally remastered, presented in glorious (and extremely colorful)
widescreen, along with a special documentary, Dalekmania!,
chronicling the Dalek craze that peaked with these two films. The Peter
Cushing Doctor Who movies are available separately or as a two-disc gift
pack, and will be released in November the week of the show's 38th
Doctor Who - Peter Cushing Theatrical Films on DVD
Doctor Who and the Daleks|
Daleks: Invasion Earth, 2150 A.D.|
Doctor Who and the Daleks 2-DVD Movie Gift Set|
To the surprise of a great many fans who expected another Crusade-style debacle, TNT has renewed
Witchblade for a second season, which will air next summer. Be on the
lookout for the Witchblade LogBook real soon.
Luke's back - and boy, is he pissed.
Director Kevin Smith - an admitted longtime Star Wars fan with a habit of
working references to George Lucas' universe into his films such as
Clerks and Chasing
Amy - scored a real coup by getting Mark Hamill to
turn in a lightsaber-swinging cameo in his new film, Jay and Silent
Bob Strike Back. There's just one problem, though - Hamill didn't
think his cameo would even be credited, let alone be used to promote the
movie. (This could be because Jay and Silent Bob hasn't
exactly been greeted favorably in pre-release movie reviews and the studio
is looking for any way to get moviegoers to buy tickets to see it.)
No word on whether or not the Lucasfilm camp has any comment on the matter.
Source: Lew Irwin's StudioBriefing
Rise And Fall rises yet again.
Scott Cohen's classic book on the peaks and valleys of a one-mighty
corporate empire, ZAP!: The Rise And Fall Of Atari, has been
reprinted for the first time in 16 years (though not updated). This
reprint is rather timely, what with Infogrames having acquired the Atari
name as part of their buy-out of Hasbro Interactive early this year. (And
there are still persistent signs that Infogrames may ditch their own
relatively unknown moniker and begin marketing all of their products under
the Atari name to raise their visibility.) Cohen's book covers the
founding of Atari through the spectacular crash of the video game industry
that took place between 1982 and 1984.
ZAP!: The Rise And Fall Of Atari
Burton to reminisce on Roots.
LeVar Burton is one of many stars of the groundbreaking
miniseries Roots who is participating in a 25th anniversary TV
documentary on the origins of the miniseries (and the acclaimed Alex
Haley on which it was based) and the effect it had on television and
our culture. Surprisingly, the documentary was turned down by ABC,
which originally aired Roots. The documentary will instead air
in January 2002 on NBC.
Firesign Theatre reunites on CD and DVD.
The four original members of The
Firesign Theatre are reuniting once more for a new CD of
original comedy material, The Bride Of Firesign, which they'll be
chasing down almost immediately with the taping of a retrospective
special for PBS which will likely air in or around December (translated:
wherever the next pledge drive hits), to be followed by DVD and VHS
release in spring 2002. The TV special will feature new footage and
old, new interpretations of classic Firesign material, and even cameos
by celebrity fans of the funny foursome. The Bride Of Firesign is
now available for pre-order through theLogBook.com.
The Firesign Theatre - The Bride Of Firesign
The WB has given a new series based on L. Frank Baum's Oz books
the green light - but before you think Dorothy's back, look again, because
we're not in Kansas anymore. The new show, said to be darker than the
original Wizard Of Oz film, picks up the action over half a
century after the Wicked Witch is dead, and involves new characters. No
word on when the show will premiere - or, considering the fate that befell
former Star Trek writer Ronald Moore's
Dragonriders Of Pern series, if it will premiere.
Source: Sci-Fi Wire
Doctor Who DVD rumor sadly disproven.
It happens to the best of us, sometimes - it turns out that the rumor of
Warner Bros. Home Video releasing nothing-but-the-show DVDs of future Doctor Who home video releases in the U.S. are
not true. Instead, we can expect VHS-only releases to resume in
February 2002 with Attack of the Cybermen, though alternating months
will see releases of DVD titles already released in Britain, probably
starting with Remembrance Of The Daleks. However, the 1996 TV movie, which was recently
released on DVD in England, is not on the schedule of U.S. DVD
Source: Outpost Gallifrey
Ark In Space lined up as next Who DVD with new effects.
BBC Video has confirmed that the second Doctor
Who DVD title slated for release in spring 2001 will be Tom Baker's
second adventure, the all-time classic The Ark In Space, concerning
the time travelers' fight to preserve the last remaining outpost of
humanity from an all-consuming race of insects. In a first for the
Doctor Who DVDs, Ark will feature the option of watching this
four-parter in one of two ways: in its original form, or in a new
version with newly rendered modern-day CGI effects. There will also
be the obligatory audio commentary and a host of other features.
Ark will likely be released in March in the U.K., with a U.S./Canada
release likely later in the year.
Source: Outpost Gallifrey
Actual footage of a tour that didn't happen.
As we reported last week, the entire North
American ELO tour has been cancelled, leaving fans crying foul
(particularly those who had already paid Ticketmaster Online's
exorbitant "convenience charges" and other fees) and leaving
the band stunned (the cancellation wasn't their idea). But despite
the cancellation of the U.S. tour, an ELO Zoom Tour DVD is still coming out
later this year. How? It's a compilation of two west coast shows in
May which formed the basis of a PBS special (which, adding to the
band's streak of good luck this year, hasn't aired in many markets).
We'll have pre-order information as soon as possible.
Source: Showdown Mailing List
Paul still isn't dead.
And the artists lined up to cover ex-Beatle
Paul McCartney's solo songs on a new
tribute CD are glad about that. Proceeds from Listen To What The Man Said:
Popular Artists Pay Tribute To The Music Of Paul McCartney will benefit
breast cancer research in honor of the late Linda McCartney. Among those lined
up to cover Paul's post-Beatles repertoire include They Might Be Giants, Matthew
Sweet, World Party, Semisonic, Tim and Neil Finn,
The Judybats, and SR-71. Listen To What The Man Said is due in early
October, but you can pre-order it from theLogBook.com now.
Listen To What The Man Said
Fancy a quick game of Quidditch?
Or maybe a stroll around the Hogwarts "campus"? Based on the upcoming
movie Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, Electronic Arts'
video games give you the opportunity to hang out at Harry's favorite haunts,
battle some evil, and work some magic. Like the movie, the games don't hit
shelves until early November, but you can pre-order them here.
Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone
What would any month be without another pair of classic Star Trek DVDs? Well, it'd
force me to look for another Killer DVD of the Week. This month, the
series slides firmly into its third season, which die-hard Trek fans
either love or hate, depending on who you ask. Elaan Of Troyius marks the
return of the Klingons, and one of only two appearances by the
original D-7 class battlecruiser in the entire original series (and the
other time that model appeared, it represented the Romulans - go
figure), while the much-parodied Paradise Syndrome is a fan
favorite. This month's second volume includes The Enterprise Incident, a
rather slick spy thriller featuring the Romulans (in Klingon ships,
natch), and ...And The
Children Shall Lead, which is still creepy, despite the fact
that the creepy-possessed-child plotline has been done to death by
nearly every series, SF or otherwise, since, including the Home
Alone films. (But we kid Macaulay Culkin.)
Star Trek: The Original Series DVDs
Elaan Of Troyiuus|
The Paradise Syndrome
The Enterprise Incident|
...And The Children Shall Lead
The Tripods are back! The BBC's classic SF series based upon John Christopher's
White Mountains trilogy of novels has been remastered for DVD, and it's
being released in full-season box sets. The first season tells the story of the
coming of the Tripods, huge alien-controlled mechanical vehicles which stalk
the surface of the Earth, "capping" humans at the age of puberty to
keep them docile and subservient. The special effects were above average for
mid-80s BBC fare. Sadly, this DVD set is being released only in the U.K.,
and as such the Region 2 discs won't play on North American machines (aside from
all-region DVD players).
The Tripods - Season One Box Set
Seeking out new life forms, new civilizations, and
In some previous editions of the Logbook,
I have shown little if any restraint in my frustration with the music of the Star Trek television series. It was something
of a obsession of mine back in the early '90s to poke fun at the music, which
had grown increasingly stale and boring after the third season of The Next Generation. Despite promises from the
producers of more adrenaline in the music with the launches of DS9 and Voyager, the music remained, ultimately, as
lifeless as ever.
This issue still baffles me - and it's been 10 years since I first spoke
out about it! My only hope is that Rick
Berman and company will loosen the rules a lot further for the next
incarnation of Trek, Enterprise. Of course, I
don't expect that to happen. Berman's answers to questions about the music
have always been somewhat cryptic and open to wide interpretation. We'd all
be better served if he'd simply come right out and say up front that the music
will be pretty dull, which is always what it ends up being.
Why is the music of Star Trek so bad? Most of the blame can be placed on
the producers, who seem to believe that melodic and energetic scores distract
or somehow cheapen the episode. There have been other excuses like, rhythmic
or percussive scores don't translate well in the complicated sound mixing
process or they're too "hokey" - a reason frequently cited by Mr.
Berman himself. So what we get, at no real fault of the composers themselves,
is a sustained, ambient score that acts more like a social wallflower in the
episodes than an active player.
The music of Star Trek has been as much a character in the show as the
ship and its crew. The movies of Trek were clear examples of this. Berman,
who took over the franchise after Gene
Roddenberry passed away 10 years ago, wanted to make Star Trek a more
"serious" show, taking away its hokey metaphors and cardboard rocks
and replacing them with serious themes and complex character issues. The
music, he felt, had to reflect this more sophisticated approach.
One of the Next Generation's original composers, Ron Jones, didn't take
too well to the new rules, and was unceremoniously booted off at the end of
the fourth season. In my opinion, Jones'
departure signaled the death of Star Trek as an adventure show. Jones knew
how to balance the show's elements of adventure and contemplation through music.
Berman and fellow producer and scribe Michael
Piller, wanted Star Trek to be less about physical exploration of space and
more about intellectual exploration, and there was no room for snare drums and
tympanis in that objective.
This new mandate alienated many fans, but since many of us pledged loyalty
to the bitter end, we were willing to live with the changes. I was one of
these people. But a lot of the enthusiasm I had for the show began to die.
Maybe I got spoiled after seeing The
Best of Both Worlds, a dynamic installment of the Next Generation that
had the best music of any show before or since. Whatever the reason, it became
harder to watch Star Trek.
I'm curious about the new series. It was nice to read that Berman wants
to make this one more of an action-adventure series. But then, every series
after The Next Generation has had its little hook or gimmick meant to engender
interest and set it apart from previous series. None have has measured up to
The Next Generation, in my opinion. At least up until its fourth season, TNG
was the best thing on television, and much of that could be attributed to the
music. Hopefully, I will be able to say the same thing about Enterprise, but
I'm not holding my breath.