Entertainment behind the scenes
Just what the Universe needs – another “Star Trek” book!
In the merchandising Universe that is “Star Trek”, where cash flush Trekkies can buy everything from a USS Enterprise shaped bottle opener to a Photon Torpedo replica coffin, another book about Star Trek might not show up on anybody’s scanners, but “Star Trek The Original Series 365″ , by Paula M. Block with Terry J. Erdmann (available now from Abrams Books, NY., $29.99), is packed with interesting data and fun facts.
Block and Erdman are no strangers to the history of Star Trek’s future having previously written a number of books dealing with Trek’s Universe. With ” Star Trek The Original Series 365″, they take the reader back to the big bang of all things Trek, the Original Series. The book begins with a concise introduction by Dorothy “D.C.” Fontana, well known to Trek fans as a former writer and story editor on the Original Series.
Boasting 365 rare behind the scenes pictures, numerous trivia anecdotes, and general plot descriptions of every episode, Block and Erdman’s book is likely to keep even the most discerning Vulcan raising an eyebrow or two.
Did the Trekkie in your household know that one of the sets of female twins hired to work on the episode “I, Mudd’ brought their pet bobcat to the casting session?
With Hollywood glitz usually reserved for the launch of a Star Ship — namely the Enterprise — Paramount Home Entertainment on Tuesday released director J.J. Abrams’ recent re-boot of “Star Trek” on DVD and Blu-ray. It’s little wonder that Paramount pulled out all the stops to “premiere” the DVD. The movie was a big hit this past summer ($384 million at box offices), and Abrams is a star director having created “Alias” and “Lost” for TV and directed “Mission: Impossible III.”
So, Monday night at Los Angeles’ historic Griffith Observatory, high above the galaxy that is Hollywood, Paramount threw a star-studded bash the likes this planet had never seen for a “Star Trek” DVD. Abrams and many of the film’s stars beamed onto the red carpet just steps away from the Observatory’s Leonard Nimoy (that’s Spock to you older Trekkies) Event Horizon Theater. They were all smiles when discussing their big hit this past summer, but remained tight-lipped about details of the upcoming sequel.
It’s a controversial call but sci-fi website Totalscifionline.com has come up with its list of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time — crowning the 1982 movie “Blade Runner” as the winner. Starring Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer, and directed by Ridley Scott, the movie depicts a dystopian Los Angeles where manufactured beings called replicants are hunted down by Ford, a semi-retired blade runner.
“It¹s odd to think that “Blade Runner” was not a critical or commercial success on its initial release in 1982. Some critics dismissed it as a case of style over substance,” said Matt McAllister, editor of Totalscifionline.com. ”Yet while the depiction of a neon-lit future LA is still breathtaking, Ridley Scott¹s film is backed up a real sense of sadness, fear and longing .. However many times you¹ve seen Blade Runner before, it retains its awe-inspiring power. ”
But NASA astronaut Michael Barratt is hurtling through space with no opportunity to “beam down” to a theater to see the movie. So NASA and the studio behind the film, Paramount Pictures, said on Friday that they have kindly obliged Barratt by beaming up a digital copy, so that he can view it aboard the International Space Station.
The movie “Star Trek” has wowed critics and audiences and made $79.2 million in the U.S. and Canada since opening on Thursday. But not everyone is thrilled. Some hardcore fans accuse director J.J. Abrams of flubbing the movie by straying from the established “canon,” in other words introducing elements and events that diverge from the way things happened in Star Trek television shows and movies until now.
On NBC variety show “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend, “Star Trek” stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy took the “Trekker” fans on directly in a comedy piece, with a pair of “SNL” actors playing the part of outraged fans sitting in the audience.
Actor William Shatner of “Star Trek” fame threw out some verbal gems this week at a videotaped autograph session, as he recorded personalized messages to fans seeking autographs.
The story is linked here, but we couldn’t fit in all The Shat’s words of comic wisdom. So, not wanting it all to go to waste, we put it here.
Fans paid $149 or more to submit written questions or messages they wanted Shatner to read on video as he signed an autograph for them. He is doing it for a company in which he has partnered, Live Autographs.
One fan asked Shatner if there’s anything he wouldn’t do for money. “Sell my body,” Shatner said. “On the other hand …”
Then there were the misdirections, as fans wanted The Shat to say one thing and he said another. One family wanted the actor to record a phone message that said: “This is William Shatner asking you to boldly leave your message at the tone.”
“Thanks for asking me to answer your phone but I can’t do that,” Shatner said in his message. “Answer your own phone.”
Some of the messages Shatner was asked to read were too weird, and he wouldn’t follow the script. But some were just too serious. One customer wanted The Shat to record a birthday greeting for a fan that said, “For 40 years you’ve lived your life with morality and character. For the next 40 years I suggest you live your life in the same manner.”
That last sentence was too much for The Shat, who substituted “For the next 40 years I suggest you have some fun.”
When asked to impart some words of wisdom to a young girl, Shatner told her to grab her brother and “bite him on the toe until he screams, and then when your parents say stop, don’t.”
All in all, Shatner signed more than 200 items with videotape rolling.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)