Sad to report that today, another star has fallen from the Trek Galaxy. The amazing Joanne Linville peacefully passed away on Sunday, June 20 in California. She was 93.
Although she had many acting roles, she was cherished as the first female Romulan Commander ever seen in the Trek universe, in the classic The Enterprise Incident. From the first time I ever saw that episode, The Romulan Commander became one of my most favorite characters in TOS. Her coolness and manner even rivaled Spock; the object and ultimate betrayer of her affections.
The Enterprise Incident itself was not a perfect episode, but definitely one of the better highlights of the weaker final season. Joanne’s character was a strong, cool, and (naturally) commanding character, and she flew with it. I loved her from the moment she scoffs at Kirk when he says he is honored to meet her. She sealed her character’s personality in that quick moment; the Romulan Commander takes no crap from anyone, regardless of rank!
Linville’s chemistry with Nimoy was on point too. You can see her passion growing in her eyes every time she stares at him, and in the sultry, if firm, tone in her voice. Even though we knew Spock was only ‘flirting’ with the Commander under orders, you couldn’t deny the ‘feelings’ of the characters throughout the episode. Especially in the end where Spock expresses his hope to her that they exchanged something more permanent than fleeting military secrets.
Did you know that in the original script, Spock was supposed to ‘rain kisses’ all over the Commander’s shoulder? Although I’m sure that visual would be enjoyable, DC Fontana and Nimoy both found it quite illogical for Spock’s character to slobber all over her, so it was thankfully changed. She was cool, He was cool, and he initiates intimacy with some stroking hand-play that somehow comes off even sexier than any nibbling might have been. (Not NOW, TAL!!)
Another tidbit about Linville’s character was that although we never hear The Commander’s name in the original episode, The Romulan Commander name was revealed in Trek Fiction as Liviana Charvanek She was also known as Di’on Charvon, Thea, and Nevesa! How rare and beautiful indeed! It suits her!
Linville studied her craft well, and like Nimoy, taught acting. She started an acting conservatory with with her teacher Stella Adler, and she co-wrote the book Seven Steps to an Acting Craft. with John Deck. She performed in over 80 TV and movie appearances, and although never a regular in a series, she was unforgettable. She is survived by her former husband Mark Rydell, Children Amy and Christopher Rydell, who are both also actors. Amy even reprised her mother’s iconic role in the Star Trek Continues series Finale “To Boldly Go, Part II) (an astonishing resemblance!) She will be greatly missed but never forgotten. My deepest sympathy and comfort to her family. <3
You might have noticed ads or images from the new Facebook App called FaceApp. This App was created a few years ago, but recently got a new boost with images featuring famous TV and movie characters. I bet a lot of you saw these of our TOS pals. The big fun is switching sexes of famous characters or making them old!
Well I couldn’t resist, and I put the app on my phone then played with a WHOLE mess of images from TOS! I gotta say, sometimes it’s astonishing how great some of our friends look here as the opposite sex – especially Bill Shatner, who said of one of his doctored images “I’d do me!” Enjoy!
Let’s start with gender-switching:
I gotta say, Bill has a great face for drag!
How about some guest stars?
Okay, enough gender-swaps! Another feature is playing with facial hair and aging, and some of the results were quite surprising!
Somehow I couldn’t get enough of the beard application…
And now some nerdy college professor types…
Then when we get into Aging, whoa!
FaceApp made a pretty good estimate of the real aged Spock too!
Well, I think I freaked you our enough today…One thing is for sure. We are all beautiful in our own way, male, female, young, old, nerdy, cool, and so on. We are more than what makes up our shell. May you find your way as pleasant! Happy Fourth of July, please stay safe and healthy!
Star Trek Continuesis starting up again with a new episode! This one will be a throwback to “A Piece of the Action” and at this posting, the ‘KirkStarter’ is at $72,540; almost 2/3rds to the goal and that’s only after 3 days!
Let’s help make this next episode a reality! Here’s the link to contribute (any amount is appreciated!)
(clicking the ‘k’ in the upper left part of the video will bring you to the donation page)
Also, isn’t this adorable? Something tells me they’re going back after McCoy’s communicator!
Look Familiar? The Cast of Star Trek Continues: Back Row, Christopher Doohan as Scotty, as Wyatt Lanhart as Chekov, Kim Stinger as Uhura, Grant Imahara as Sulu. Front Row, Chuck Huber as Dr. McCoy, Vic Mignogna as Kirk, as Todd Haberkorn as Spock.
The Star Trek Continues publicity still mimics this original right down to Kirk’s posture and smirk! All that’s missing is Nurse Chapel!
(NOTE: Before I go on, I must mention that there have been other original Star Trek Web-Series, the most popular among them is Star Trek New Voyages Phase IIwhich also looks quite wonderful, but I haven’t seen it yet so I’ll just review this for now).
At the urging of a particular Scrapper here, (Hi Laughing Man) I finally got around to watching fan-created series Star Trek Continues. At first I was skeptical, but it turns out to be a fun and totally loving effort by actor/ creator/producer Vic Mignogna that answers the question “How would it be if we got those last two seasons we hoped for?” So far, Star Trek Continues delivers.
Watching this, I really felt transported back to 1969, as the entire look of the show is a meticulous, delicious, and unapologetic recreation of the beloved original series. Everything from the sets, lighting, costumes, simple effects and music speak volumes of the love its creators have for the original series, who leave no phaser or pointed ear unturned. (McCoy even wears a pinkie ring!) It’s as if the original sets were never dismantled and the show never canceled (Let’s hope it never enters the awful, bland, 70’s polyester phase!) I am especially impressed with the pastel lighting that was an earmark of TOS. There are no irritating light flares here, just the soft, inviting glow that gave the original its coziness.
So far there have been three vignettes and two full episodes of Star Trek Continues. The first vignette form is an extended ending to Turnabout Intruder , which nicely flirts with the viewers as it set them up for the continuing voyages of the of the Enterprise. The other two vignettes are You’ve got the Conn, and Happy Birthday Scotty, which both give the secondary characters a little more (and much deserved) air time. Here’s the three vignettes:
But on to the meat and potatoes of full episodes. Pilgrim of Eternity brings back Apollo from Who Mourns for Adonais? Two years after the Pollux IV adventure, Apollo is rescued by The Enterprise and has shockingly ‘aged’ a good 40 years! Fortunately Michael Forest, the original Apollo, is back and what a pleasure to see him as a sadder and wiser god. He renews his character as both sympathetic and scary, and it’s a welcome return. I admit, (spoiler!) I was a little disappointed to hear of Carolyn Palamas’ fate, but I suppose Leslie Parrish wasn’t available! Be sure to watch for an epilogue after the credits.
The second episode, Lolani is a tale of slavery and murder in the eyes of a captured Orion. The whole essence of this episodes fits nicely into the Trek mode of morality tales disguised as science fiction, and its attitude toward the rights of women approaches a level of compassion that was only touched on in the original series. Very well written and thoughtful. (I got a little verklempt!)
Indeed, women are coming forward in this version more than they ever had in the original series. There is a new character here to equal out the estrogen; Dr. Elise McKenna (Michele Specht), who is apparently the first counselor aboard the Enterprise. This new-found feminism doesn’t mean that Kirk has lost his swagger or magnetism; there is obvious sexual tension between Kirk and Dr. McKenna, but he’s appreciative of her work and intelligence. I truly hope that we will also see Nurse Chapel and Yeoman Rand in future episodes, maybe a few of the other female crew that were sprinkled among the original series, like Dr. Ann Mulhall and Lt. Charlene Masters.
Along with Michael Forest reprising Apollo, Continues has achieved some clever stunt casting of several other familiar actors in the sci-fi universe. Erin Gray (of Buck Rogers) as an Admiral and an appropriately green-skinned Lou Ferrigno of The Incredible Hulk fame as Orion slave trader!
The main cast could melt a Klingon heart. Dashing Vic Mignogna embodies Captain Kirk with his own impressions as well as dead-on Shatner-isms. (Without too much ham), Todd Haberkorn inhabits Spock with cool detachment but a curious soul, with an inkling of humanity just under the surface. Dr. McCoy is played by two actors; Chuck Huber in the three shorts and Larry Nemecek in the first two webisodes. (Huber will return with the third episode that will be out soon). Huber’s character should be called Dr. Dishy! (*sigh*) and Nemecek has mastered McCoy’s upside-down smile. Both have captured McCoy’s grump without dismissing his southern charm. It’s a special joy to see how Christopher Doohan, son of James, beautifully fills his Dad’s boots with all the pride of the original. Wyatt Lenhart gives Mr. Chekov his boyish Russian charm. Kim Stinger imbues Uhura with compassion as well as a great kick-ass attitude. Finally as I was watching the first episode, I kept thinking “Why is Mr. Sulu so familiar? Turns out Sulu is played by Grant Imahara of Mythbusters fame! Is this Geek heaven or what?! Maybe Sulu should blow something up… All in all, a nice cast. Still in the bud of their characterizations, but I’m sure they’ll gel quite nicely. They already carry the hearts of the characters in their portrayals. I wish them well.
The J.J. Abrams Trek franchise could learn a bit from this fan series, especially in terms of plot. Star Trek Continues understands that it’s not about the action or special effects, but about the dilemmas of the human condition. And it’s nice to see familiar characters in their off times (as in the short You Have the Conn).
All in all, I am completely enjoying this fan reboot. This old Trekkie feels right at home here; I want to walk on this set, I want to sit in the captain’s chair,I want to hug Spock! Heck, if they want an eager extra, I’d be on the first plane! (I already have the uniform, and I can also be T’Pau if they need her). 😉 Be sure to check this out. The next new episode, Fairest of them All, will premiere on this Sunday June 15, and will feature a return to the mirror universe (YES!) I look forward to new adventures. Congratulations and good luck to Mignogna and Company for making my TOS dreams come true!
You can find all you need to know about Star Trek Continueshere: