Viewing posts tagged Ship's Log Supplemental

Ship's Log, Supplemental: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Emissary (Music from the Original Television Soundtrack)

Other composers may be more renowned in the fandom today, but when Paramount needs to launch a Star Trek show, they turn to Dennis McCarthy. He's the working composer who holds the franchise together in song on a day to day basis. And his score for “Emissary” (mistakingly affixed with the definite article on the sleeve notes) may well be his magnum opus. It's definitely a major turning point.

You can make much the same argument for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine itself, at least as it exists now in January 1993. It's the culmination of everything Rick Berman, Michael Piller and the rest of the Star Trek creative team had learned over the past three years, and it's the fullest realisation of everything they'd ever wanted to do with Star Trek. More importantly it's a vision that finally and at long last embraces the franchise's utopianism instead of bristling up against it, in spite of how many overtures to conflict for conflicts sake the team makes in interviews. In absolute defiance of the “three season rule”, in “Emissary” Star Trek: Deep Space Nine opens ...

Ship's Log, Supplemental: Gene Roddenberry

On October 24, 1991 Gene Roddenberry passed away.

It may seem strange to grant him an entire chapter in this book. Roddenberry has, after all been an undeniable presence since the very beginning of Star Trek, and no small amount of digital ink has been spilled on my part, or on the part of others, trying to piece together precisely who he was and what his contributions to Star Trek really were. I'm not going to do this every time a major creative figure exits our story permanently, but given the stature Roddenberry had, and to some extent still has, and the synchronicity of his death happening almost exactly parallel with Star Trek's 25th Anniversary, there's no way this was going to be seen as anything other than a massive event even among a 24-month year marked by massive events. There's only one other primary creative figure in all Star Trek who casts a remotely comparable shadow over the series' heart and soul to the one Gene Roddenberry does: He'll get his due ...

Ship's Log, Supplemental Bonus: “Oh, don't even go to the first season!”


Was what LeVar Burton once said in an interview with the now-defunct Star Trek Magazine when the DVD box sets for Star Trek: The Next Generation started being released. Even cast members, when prompted in fan environments, will tow mainline fandom's party line and cringe on cue at the prospect of the series' supposedly irredeemable first season. And while I grant there are issues to be found in this year's crop of episodes, there are issues to be found in *all* of Star Trek: The Next Generation's seven seasons and I'm still resolute in my belief the first year is unfairly singled out for blame. No, it's not what we've come to expect from Star Trek: The Next Generation and yes, it's a bit awkward in places, but Jonathan Frakes is correct to point out this was a year where the show took risks it wouldn't take later on. And, love her or hate her, this is your only opportunity to see Tasha Yar as a crewmember.
So these are my picks for the ...

Ship's Log, Supplemental: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter At Farpoint (Original TV Soundtrack)

I didn't own a lot of music when I was younger. CDs were expensive, vinyl records moreso, both were hard to find where I live at the time and we didn't really have much to play them on anyway. Any music I did have was strictly on audio cassette, and one of the most life-changing moments for me came when my aunt bought me a Sony Walkman so I could actually listen to my own music wherever I wanted.

Naturally, an album of music from Star Trek: The Next Generation got one of my scarce tape deck slots. There were a lot of soundtracks released for the series, but the one I had was the very first-Dennis McCarthy's score for “Encounter at Farpoint”. Trekkers may disagree, but McCarthy is for me the iconic and quintessential Star Trek composer, with what's probably my absolute favourite piece of music and score in the entire franchise to his name. We're not talking about either right now, but we are looking at his first Star Trek work and one that holds a great deal of meaning for me personally.

I'm ...

Ship's Log, Supplemental: Star Trek: The Next Generation Series Bible

The beloved crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D were not always the people we know and love and have become so intimately familiar with over the years.

Though Star Trek: The Next Generation did not undergo as radical a transformation as some shows do between preproduction and filming, there are still a handful of drastic differences between the show as conceived and the show as aired, in particular in terms of the characters. There are a number of surprises in store for the Next Generation fan who decides to look back into the show's early brainstorming sessions and first-draft series bibles, and before we boldly go off into the show that was, I think it's important for us to take a moment and reflect upon the show that almost was. A show that is many respects the same as the one we all know, but in many others significantly different, and, perhaps in some respects, more intriguing.

This essay then is not a straightforward transcription of the original Star Trek ...

Ship's Log, Supplemental: Star Trekkin'


We're jumping ahead a few months by looking at The Firm's chart-topping tongue-in-cheek send-up “Star Trekkin'”, which was released in June of 1987. But we've already played with temporal mechanics recently in regards to With Love from the Lovely Angels, and anyway, I can't honestly comprehend looking at this song anywhere else but here: That it went out into a world where Star Trek: The Next Generation exists is frankly inconceivable to me, but I suppose it's yet another example of how intractable and immovable the Original Series is in pop culture.

I don't really need to analyse this song too much as “Star Trekkin'” is pretty self-explanatory. It's a cumulative song that runs through caricatures of the Original Series cast who rattle off parodic and increasingly scrambled variations of their iconic catchphrases. And there are some real doozys-My favourites are Uhura's acknowledgment of the sheer inherent ridiculousness of the Klingons (“There's Klingons on the starboard bow/Scrape them off, Jim!”) Kirk's wallop of “We come in peace! Shoot to kill!”, Scotty's “Ye cannae change the script, Jim, och, see ye ...

Ship's Log, Supplemental: A Fragment Out of Time

Slash fiction is a thread that's been with us for quite some time already, and it's been with Star Trek arguably since as early as “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. Although certain hardcore fans might not like to admit it, it is unquestionably one of the franchise's most defining and signature motifs: Although slash has existed for pretty much as long as people have been telling stories, the current manifestation of it, the interaction it has with late-20th and early-21st century fan culture, and thus the way it is commonly conceptualized today, can be directly traced back to Star Trek.

There are any number of possible opportunities to discuss slash over the course of the franchise's history, but the one that seems to most appropriate is here, with the first documented piece of Star Trek-inspired slash fiction, Diane Marchant's “A Fragment Out of Time” (Page 1, Page 2), dating to 1974. Marchant submitted it to one of the first (and at the time only) Star Trek zines targeted expressly towards adults, a publication somewhat wonderfully titled Grup. Given the zine's comparatively small audience and interviews she's given after the fact, Marchant never ...

Ship's Log, Supplemental: A Trekkie's Tale

Gee, golly, gosh, gloriosky! It's Lieutenant Mary Sue!
Oh boy, here we go. Yes, my friends, the time has finally come.

“A Trekkie's Tale” needs no introduction. A notoriously vicious bit of satire attacking a particular trend within Star Trek fanfiction, the story is infamous for introducing the world to the hated Mary Sue. It took no more than five brief paragraphs to completely tear Star Trek fandom asunder and, as a result, “A Trekkie's Tale” has transcended fan circles to become ubiquitous in the larger pop consciousness such that it's had a truly transformative, profound, and arguably profoundly negative, effect on the way we look at genre fiction even to this day. A case could be (and has been) made that the introduction of the Mary Sue archetype is one of the largest and most sweeping acts of reactionary silencing tactics in the history of genre fandom.

And yet “A Trekkie's Tale” itself is misread and misunderstood by pretty much everyone.

First, some background for those perhaps less familiar with what this is than others. “A Trekkie's Tale” is a piece of satirical fanfiction published in 1973 and featuring a character named Lieutenant ...

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