Wishing you all a very Happy Hanukkah and a Happy and Safe New Year!
So This Happened…
Recently I wanted to write a post leading up to today, Star Trek Day (September 8th) but the other week, my husband, I, and both of our young adult sons all got Covid within four days of each other. Thankfully, we are all well and recovered now. Please get your vaccines and boosters, it will make the ailment SO MUCH easier to deal with and I have no doubt it saved us from much worse.
So today (September 8th) I was all set to write a post to celebrate Star Trek Day when I heard the sad news that Queen Elizabeth has passed at 96. She had a long, amazing and truly dedicated life to the people of Great Britain, and will be greatly missed. My deepest condolences to Her family and the nation that loved her.
I will be posting articles on both of these events soon, and I thank you for your patience. In the meantime, you can check the post for Star Trek Day that I posted 2 years ago here, and you can see the collage I made for Queen Elizabeth’s 70th Anniversary Jubilee earlier this year here.
See you here soon, for now, sending hugs, Therese xo
Seeing Star Trek:The Motion Picture in a New Light
The other night I had a moment to watch a little TV, and thought I’d find a movie. Paramount+ had a list of movies leaving at the end of August, and among them was Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I hadn’t seen it in so long I figured it was a good time.
After years of easily dismissing it I was surprised and delighted to realize that I not only did I like this movie, but LOVED it! Quite a difference from my initial viewing 43(!) years ago.
In December of 1979, I was among the hundreds locally who came out to see it on its first night. Comparing what I saw that premiere night, and what I just watched the other night were of two different people in two realities. How the first Star Trek movie would be reacted to was somehow very personal to me. When I came out of the theater that night, I was happily saying to people in line “It’s great!”. But inside I was not too pleased, an opinion that regrettably stayed with me all these years, to the point of never wanting to see it again.
You see, through my then 18-year old’s eyes, this movie was going to be my redemption, my “I told you so!” to all the people who mocked me for my Trek devotion the whole past decade. But my concern about how non-Trekkies would take it was almost central to my enjoyment of the film. Seeing that attitude now, I admit with slight embarrassment that I was WAY too concerned with physical elements of the movie, than the actual plot. Kind of like not seeing the forest for the trees. My ‘trees’ here were things like:
- The Klingons are bumpy!!
- Oh, God, is everyone going to like it?
- That’s a bad wig, Spock!
- Oh, God, the actors look so old!
- Why are those uniforms so bland and awful? Where has all the color gone?
- Why is the dialogue so soft while the music and sound effects are SO LOUD?
- Why is the intro to the Enterprise taking s-o-o-o-o lo-o-o-o-o-ng?
- Why is Spock so wooden?
- Why did Ilia have to be bald?
- Are Ilia and Decker going to take over the Enterprise?
- What’s up with Scotty’s mustache?
My 61 year old brain can answer all that now …
- The Klingons are what Gene wanted them to be.
- Maybe not at the moment, but in time it will age better.
- Yes, he needed a better long hair wig, but that’s a minor point.
- Wow, they all look so YOUNG here!!
- Well, the uniforms were what they were. very 70’s. Fortunately they were all recycled into a better look in the sequels.
- This was mostly the fault of the poor audio equipment at the theater I watched it at. I remember many people calling out “Turn it up!!”
- The Enterprise intro is a big ‘Welcome back you beautiful ship’ presentation. Still a tad longer than it needed to be, but I get it. That’s what fast forward is for; the same for the long slide into V’Ger’s realm.
- He did seem unnaturally stiff before his space walk, but I understand now that Spock’s search for total logic was turning him inward.
- After years of seeing new aliens, Ilia’s lack of hair really was no big deal, (and dear Persis was so gorgeous).
- Of Course Not!!
- It’s the 70’s, man!
I was too ‘stressed’ with these ‘pressing’ concerns to appreciate the beauty of a story I had been waiting for10 years to culminate into reality! Seeing it now, although I still think it needed better editing to move it along more quickly, I appreciate it so much more. My impressions follow.
First of all, this was a beautifully remastered director’s cut of the piece. As your eyes delve into a field of stars, it begins with the graceful and sad, yet soaring overture of Ilia’s Theme by Jerry Goldsmith. Ilia’s theme grew a whole new meaning for me since I had last watched this movie, It really stresses a deep longing, the almost unbearable yearning to find something more that must be out there.
I felt compassion for Ilia this time too instead of seeing her as an ‘other’ or just sexy window dressing. Ilia is tragic because she is swept into the vortex of V’ger before she barely serves on the Enterprise. The small blinks of her real self that flicker from the shell of her V’ger persona are almost heartbreaking. “Deck-Er!” she voices in familiarity as she touches his face. So close yet so far.
Spock too is torn. Feeling a call from V-Ger, he is drawn back to the Enterprise. He cannot focus solely on his devotion to total logic. As he has failed the Ko-li-nahr to rid himself of emotion, so he is now determined to figure out the mystery of V-Ger, even at the risk of his own life to save his fellow crew members. This is a theme that carries through to the sad conclusion of The Wrath of Kahn. After his harrowing space walk into V’Ger, Spock rediscovers and embraces his humanity. The small chuckle he gives recovering in sickbay brings us back to the Spock we knew was still there.
At it’s core, Star Trek: The Motion Picture is very much true to the formula of the original series; set in outer space, but finding ourselves through personal conflict. It is not heavy on action, but it has suspense, which is always favorable, to me at least.
Technically, it was a marvel at the time, and a joy to see the Enterprise stream into warp drive with it’s strobe-rainbow effect. The new Enterprise was beautiful sleek upgrade to the original. Remember this was still a model-driven special effect department, and CGI was still in its infancy. The Klingon ship was ruggedly detailed and far more 3-D than ever before. Spock’s voyage into V’Ger and the steep stair set surrounding V’ger were remarkable, although I was concerned that these ‘ancient’ actors at the time would trip and fall!
Costume-wise were hits and misses. The variety of duty uniforms still didn’t make much sense to me. The beige/gold, pale blue/gray palate was probably considered quite futuristic at the time, al though they still had more of a 70’s Space 1999 vibe at the time. But their blandness made the actors blend in more with the cooler tones of the New Enterprise. Thankfully, Khan brought back more color and a less leisure suit look back to the series* and Star Trek: TNG brought back the classic gold/blue/red department shades. Also, the laughable, sporty, short sleeved uniforms here were so terribly preppy before preppy became a thing in the early 80’s. What, were these the Sunday leisure uniforms? They still make me laugh, and for heaven’s sake, grown men should never wear Penguin Suits and Onesies! (TMI! TMI!)
Thank heaven we had two glorious and elegant costume moments — Spock’s first entry on the bridge in a luxurious black cape and stove-pipe trousers, and Ilia’s white mini-robe with salmon pink stand up collar.
All I can say now , is that if you haven’t seen it in a long time, you might just enjoy it as much as i did. It is still a LOT better than Shatner’s ego-fest of Star Trek V!
And now All 6 Original STAR TREK Films Beam Down on 4K Blu-ray in September, Plus TMP Director’s Edition & Special Longer Version • TrekCore.com
*The reason for the red and black uniforms of STII was budgetary — the ST:TMP uniforms had to be recycled and the only colors they could be dyed were deep red and black!
Those Aren’t (exactly) Thistles…
So my friend Bill, an avid Trekker since the 70’s with me, took this beautiful picture of Burdock Thistle in his yard. Now, I’ve seen lots of Milk Thistles in my area, but not this variety. Anyway, Bill took a great shot and graciously let me use it here:
And me, being me, couldn’t resist turning into something silly! After all, it did have a somewhat alien appearance! So here’s my abomination — I think McCoy would say: “That’s not a thistle, Jim!” 😉
I’m such a doofus.
Goodnight Nichelle. Nichelle Nichols – December 28 1932- July 30, 2022
With sadness I report that the magnificent Nichelle Nichols has passed away, she was 89.
I probably cannot add to the hundreds of tributes pouring in around the world as I write this, but I can say, that Nichelle was a singular entertainer, dancer, and trail-blazing inspiration to millions of women of all colors around the world. She was Magic.
I saw Nichelle briefly in 1976 at the Star Trek Bicentennial 10 Convention in NYC. I was 15, and totally entranced by her. She gamely and graciously answered Star Trek question from the hungry fans, even if she had answered them dozens of times already. She loved the fans, and her time on Trek, and she knew that her experience as Lt. Uhura became the key to her amazing post-Trek life. At the end of her talk, she even sung a few bars of “Beyond Antares” in her silky, embracing voice. What a love. I can hear her voice now:
“The skies are green and glowing Where my heart is, where my heart is….”
Today my heart is with Nichelle. Rest in peace and love, dear incredible woman. Your star will shine forever.
To see a great documentary about Nichelle’s remarkable life, be sure to catch “Woman in Motion” now streaming on Paramount Plus. Beautiful and Touching!
And now, some of my favorite pictures of Nichelle <3
I Got Carried Away!
Hope you’re all keeping cool through this awfully hot summer. I’ve been busy with family matters, but I managed to have a little time to make a new collage.
This one is called “Carried Away” and I’ve been meaning to create it for a long time. It’s based on one of the oldest tropes in sci-fi/monster movie history – the damsel being carried away by the monster! In my research I wasn’t too surprised to see how often this trope was used in advertising — sometimes even when it doesn’t happen in the movie! But when you consider the audience of mostly young men, it’s not too surprising!
I had fun finding variations of the theme too – men carrying women, monsters carrying women, robots carrying women, women carrying women and sometimes women carrying men! I included many classics (King King, of course) as well as horror, sci-fi, some obscure movies, and even romantic comedies!
See how many you can find on the list below the picture! Enjoy and stay cool! – Therese
- King Kong
- Superman and Lois (2)
- Tarzan and Jane (one is very tiny)
- Mummies carrying Women (2)
- The Colossal Man
- Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon
- Fly Man
- Cary Grant (3)
- The Creature from the Black Lagoon (4)
- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
- A Headless Robot carrying a Woman
- This Island Earth Creature
- Women carrying Women (2)
- Wonder Woman (3)
- Snow White
- Sea Creature with Scuba girl
- Barbarella and the Angel
- 3 characters from The Philadelphia Story
- Martians carrying Women (2)
- Rhett Carrying Scarlet
- Wasp Woman
- The Mysterian
- Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin
- Indiana Jones and Marian
- Gorilla Robot with Woman
- Green Dude with Sunglasses carrying Woman
- Werewolf carrying Woman
- James Cagney and Betty Davis (the Bride Came COD)
- The Swamp Thing carrying Adrienne Barbeau
- Gene Kelly (2)
- Red Helmet Guy
- Errol Flynn in San Antonio
I’m Loving “Strange New Worlds”
I’ve been very busy with family matters so I haven’t been able to post much here lately. But I wanted to throw in a few good words about the latest Trek venture Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. (SNW)
Of course I LOVE IT! In our upside down real world, it is so nice to have this little respite of a new, yet familiar Star Trek world to still give us a little hope for the future. And how beautiful is The Enterprise!
If you don’t know, this exclusive Paramount + series, focuses on the early adventures of The USS Enterprise. With the crew of Captain Christopher Pike, Number One, and Lt. Spock, and it takes place a few years after the events of The Cage and 10 years before the command of Captain Kirk.
I am delighted to see how Strange New Worlds carefully crochets together elements of TOS classic with tweaked, more insightful backstories of characters new and familiar. Surprisingly, a few times so far the story would start in a very familiar place, for example:
- Two characters stranded on a planet during an Ion storm, but if they’re beamed up, we know they might end up in a mirror universe?
- The Enterprise Crew encounter Gorn ships!
- Spock appears to be on Vulcan about to fight Ka-li-fee?
But none of these initial premises go where we ‘mature’ Trekkies think they might:
- The two characters end up stranded on the planet throughout the storm.
- We never actually see the Gorn.
- Spock’s battle on Vulcan is merely a dream about his dual identity.
This is very clever and fun on the writer’s part. I really appreciate it!
I am also enjoying more back stories about TOS favorites that we knew little about in their first appearances 55+ years ago, as well as new characters.
For example, First Officer Number One‘s actual name is Una Chin-Riley, with a surprising backstory.
Uhura is a very promising Cadet, and the series is leaning wisely into her language and musical abilities.
Nurse Chapel is a no-nonsense medical pro with sharp humor, yet a subtle vulnerability.
Lieutenant Spock not only is involved with T’Pring*, but is perfectly capable of romantic canoodling without the benefit of Pon Farr. Indeed, in the most recent episode, (The Serene Squall), SNW gave Spock lovers the greatest ‘fan service’ I have ever seen! THANK YOU!!!
It’s a joy to have lesser-seen characters, Like Dr. M’Benga and Mr. Kyle resurface. We even find out that Jim Kirk’s brother, Sam, is serving on the Enterprise in the Sciences, although we haven’t seen much of him. We’ve even briefly seen the legendary Captain April! Ifind M’Benga’s story especially poignant.
However, the drama in SNW doesn’t mean that it takes itself too seriously (like TNG often did in its first season). One episode even hilariously mimicked the body transference we saw in the classic Turnabout Intruder, to a hilarious effect. Indeed, this series is full of humor: At one point Pike says ” I love my job!”
Speaking of Pike, It’s important to note that if you have followed Discovery, it’s known in this series that Pike knows his fate will involve becoming disabled sometime in the next decade, yet this doesn’t keep him from being the best Captain he can be. And who can argue with that killer quiff!** I look forward to Pike and Spock’s budding friendship, and watching Spock grow throughout this part of his life which leads him to be the First Officer we know in TOS.
Among new intriguing characters are:
Chief Engineer Hemmer, who is an Aenar, which is an albino subspecies of Andorian. He is legally blind, but this is not a deterrent to his abilities. He can be curt and a bit harsh in his mannerisms sometimes, but we’re only just discovering him.
Lt. Erica Ortegas is chief Helmsman. She is fiercely loyal to her duties, the crew, and Captain Pike. We are still learning about her.
And finally there is La’an Noonian-Singh, who’s last name will be very familiar most of us here. Yes, she is a descendant of THE Khan Noonian Singh, and she is friends with Number One, who rescued her when her home was being destroyed by The Gorn.
In a contrary nod to the original plot The Cage, I have to say it is a pleasure to see Captain Pike surrounded on the bridge by a mostly female crew. He’s come a long way from the Pike who said “I can’t get used to having a woman on the bridge.” (Thank God!!)
Also, this new series is ‘episodic’, like the Original Series, which means that like it’s predecessor, it ties up every adventure with a neat little bow. It does not have a season long story arc that has dragged down some of the other recent Trek series. This leaves the writers freedom to truly enjoy the adventures of exploring strange new worlds! I like this aspect so much, I don’t even watch previews of the next episode! Let it surprise me!
To me this latest iteration of the Star Trek Universe is as comfortable and as warm as a fuzzy tribble and tasty as plomeek soup! The next new episode airs today, Thursday, June 23 on Paramount Plus, May it Live Long and Prosper!
* The Original Series gave the impression that Spock had not seen T’Pring since they were seven. ** Man, everyone on this show has great hair!
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Hat-tily Ever After
Starting today, Great Britain and the United Kingdom began celebrating the remarkable and historic 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the House of Windsor. The Queen is a strong and caring monarch, and has done her job with honor for the most part in her seven decade reign. She is truly amazing and greatly loved.
In honor of Her Majesty’s personal milestone, I started creating this collage about 2 months ago. I was going to originally call this piece “She Never Lost a Hat”, but the above title was a good pun on the fairy tale aspect of her life.
I have a cute story about The Queen. Wa-a-a-a-ay back in the before-time of 1986, I was living in London on a 6 month student work permit. (I also went because I had a beau there at the time). Anyway, one night after work I was in Victoria Station when I noticed crowds gathering near one of the terminals.
“What’s going on?”
“The Queen will be coming through at any time to catch the train north!” (to Balmoral in Scotland)
Oh my gosh, I couldn’t miss this. So I scooted down the stretch where her special car would be passing. I intentionally went al-l-l-l the way to the very end of the line facing the route so I’d be sure to see her. Of course, this was years before cell phones became a reality, so I couldn’t get a picture. Yet I like to think my experience as delightfully my own, and my memory of the next moment is ingrained in my memory stronger than any photo!
Soon there came her special black limousine with its tall windows which allowed easy viewing (if lack of privacy) to its Royal cargo, the miniature Queen’s Standard flapping from its roof. And just as she was about to pass me at the end, I didn’t just wave; I jumped into the air, my arms thrown out wide in greeting. Thankfully she was facing my side of the route. She was dressed in bright yellow, and in the millisecond of my enthusiastic greeting, I saw her just a touch taken aback, nodded with a small smile and gave me her famous queenly wave!
And that wave was all mine, because I was the only one left in line to wave at, so I’ll always treasure that!
Congratulations Ma’am! Long Live the Queen! *
*Of course, Prince Charles is next in line. But I wish some way the family could just give the Monarchy to Princess Anne, the Princess Royal. She would make a great queen.
With all the excitement around the sequel to Top Gun, I couldn’t resist making this. 😉