July 27, 1984 in UK cinemas: Star Trek III – The Search For Spock

“A Dying Planet. A Fight For Life. The Search For Spock.

“USS Enterprise, captain’s personal log. With most of our battle damage repaired we are almost home. Yet I feel uneasy, and I wonder why… Perhaps it’s the emptiness of this vessel. Most of our trainee crew have been reassigned; Lieutenant Saavik and my son, David, are exploring the Genesis planet, which he helped create; and Enterprise feels like a house with all the children gone. No… more empty even than that. The death of Spock is like an open wound. It seems I have left the noblest part of myself back there on that newborn planet.”

STIII-Kruge

Admiral James T. Kirk, finding out he made a mistake by leaving Spock on the Genesis planet, must disobey orders and hijack the hobbled Enterprise to retrieve his best friend. However, a rogue Klingon seeking the secrets of the “Genesis torpedo” puts Kirk’s mission – as well as the Enterprise, its crew, and Spock himself – in jeopardy. [memory-alpha.wikia.com]

STIII-TSFSStar Trek III: The Search for Spock is an American science fiction film directed by Leonard Nimoy and based on the television series of the same name created by Gene Roddenberry. It is the third film in the Star Trek film series, and is the second part of a three-film story arc that begins with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) and concludes with Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). After the death of Spock (Nimoy), the crew of the USS Enterprise returns to Earth. When James T. Kirk (William Shatner) learns that Spock’s spirit, or katra, is held in the mind of Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Kirk and company steal the Enterprise to return Spock’s body to his home planet. The crew must also contend with hostile Klingons led by Kruge (Christopher Lloyd) who are bent on stealing the secrets of a powerful terraforming device.

STIII-Destruct

Paramount Pictures commissioned the film after the positive critical and commercial reaction to The Wrath of Khan. Nimoy directed the film, becoming the first Star Trek cast member to do so. Producer Harve Bennett wrote the script starting from the end and working back, and intended the destruction of the Enterprise to be a shocking development. Bennett and Nimoy collaborated with effects house Industrial Light & Magic to develop storyboards and new ship designs; ILM also handled the film’s many special effects sequences. Aside from a single day of location shooting, all of the film’s scenes were shot on Paramount and ILM soundstages. Composer James Horner returned to expand his themes from the previous film.

The Search for Spock opened on June 1, 1984. In its first week of release, the film grossed STIII-Vulcanover $16 million from almost 2,000 theatres across North America. It went on to gross $76 million at the domestic box office, with a total of $87 million worldwide. Critical reaction to The Search for Spock was positive, but notably less so than the previous film. Reviewers generally praised the cast and characters, while criticism tended to focus on the plot; the special effects were conflictingly received. Roger Ebert called the film a compromise between the tones of the first and second Star Trek films. Nimoy went on to direct The Search for Spock’s sequel, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Read more at memory-alpha.wikia.com.

Watch the trailer on the Paramount Movies YouTube Channel.

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July 26, 1969 on UK TV: Star Trek – “The City On The Edge Of Forever”

After taking an accidental overdose of cordrazine, Doctor Leonard McCoy goes back in time and changes history.

TOS-S021E28-City_On_The_Edge_Of_Forever-titleIn orbit around an unexplored planet, the USS Enterprise is on red alert as it passes through violent time distortions surrounding the planet. As the ship plots its orbit, Montgomery Scott warns that the control circuits are threatening to overload. No sooner does Captain Kirk acknowledge the report, the helm console on the bridge explodes and Lieutenant Sulu is injured. Scott takes the helm as Doctor McCoy is called to the bridge for emergency first aid. Scott questions if the ship should break orbit, but Spock advises against it – the ship is literally passing through ripples in time and it is of great scientific importance that they remain and investigate. Kirk agrees and orders Uhura to broadcast to Starfleet Command his past week’s log entries, detailing the unusual readings on the instruments that has diverted the Enterprise to this planet. McCoy arrives and diagnoses Sulu with a heart flutter. He prepares a hypo of cordrazine, warned by Kirk that it is “tricky stuff.” Fortunately, the two drops administered by McCoy successfully revives Sulu.

Scott reports that the Enterprise is nearly clear of the time ripples, which Spock confirms, with one heavy displacement directly ahead. The Enterprise shudders violently as it collides with it, causing Dr. McCoy to slip on the helm console and inject the loaded hypospray into his abdomen, emptying its contents into his bloodstream. Kirk and Spock rush to his aid, but McCoy darts up in a panic. Raving and screaming about “killers” and “assassins”, McCoy breaks free from the concerned bridge crew and flees the bridge via the turbolift. Kirk orders a security alert.

The title of this episode refers to both the dead city on the time planet and New YorkTOS-S021E28-City_On_The_Edge_Of_Forever2 itself, where the timeline will either be restored or disrupted. In Harlan Ellison’s original script, Kirk, upon first seeing the city sparkling like a jewel on a high mountaintop, reverently says it looks like “a city on the edge of forever”. In Ellison’s first treatment for this episode, the city they traveled back in time to was Chicago.

With regards to “The City on the Edge of Forever”, guest star Joan Collins has stated, “To this day, people still want to talk about that episode – some remember me for that more than anything else I’ve done. I am amazed at the enduring popularity of Star Trek and particularly of that episode.” Collins adds, “At the time none of us would have predicted the longevity of the show. I couldn’t be more pleased – or more honored – to be part of TOS-S01E28-City_On_The_Edge_Of_Forever1Star Trek history.” Ms. Collins’ memory of her Trek experience seems hazy, however. In her 1985 autobiography, Past Imperfect (p. 248) she makes a few errors regarding the episode: for example, in addition to the common mistake of referring to Mr. Spock as Dr. Spock, she identifies her character as Edith Cleaver instead of Edith Keeler, and she also claims that Spock, not Kirk, allowed her character to be killed – a plot point that was not in the version of the script that was actually shot. Most significantly, she claims Edith tried to “prove to the world that Hitler was a nice guy.”

Read more at memory-alpha.wikia.com.

Watch the trailer on the TrekCore YouTube Channel.

July 19, 1969 on UK TV: Star Trek – “The Naked Time”

TOS-S01E04-The_Naked_Time-TitleThe USS Enterprise orbits the planet Psi 2000, a world that was much like Earth in its distant past, tasked to observe the planet’s impending disintegration. Lieutenant Commander Spock and Lieutenant Junior Grade Joe Tormolen beam down in environmental suits to a frozen surface laboratory and investigate the horrific deaths of the lab’s scientists. Carelessly, Tormolen removes a glove of his suit to better scratch his nose, unknowingly exposing himself to a red, blood-like liquid substance leaping to his exposed hand from a frozen wall. Spock contacts the Enterprise and informs Captain Kirk that all of the station’s personnel are dead. Kirk asks what caused it and Spock replies, “Unknown, captain. It’s like nothing we’ve dealt with before.”

The Enterprise crew is intoxicated by an inhibition-stripping contagion that causes mayhem throughout the ship.

The episode’s writer, John D.F. Black, came up with Sulu’s “berserk” scenes withoutTOS-S01E04-The_Naked_Time specifying the weapon to be used. Unable to decide between a samurai sword or a fencing foil, he left the choice to George Takei, who picked the latter with the thought that by the 23rd century Humanity would have developed to a point where, in terms of culture, people have moved beyond simply adhering to ways of their ethnic background.

This episode is considered a bottle show, as it contains no villain and only regular characters, and takes place almost entirely aboard the Enterprise. According to Black, at the time both Riley and Tormolen were under consideration to become regulars.

Find out more at memory-alpha.wikia.com.

Watch the trailer on the TrekCore YouTube Channel.

July 16, 1982 in UK cinemas: Star Trek II – The Wrath Of Khan

“At the end of the universe lies the beginning of vengeance.”

Admiral James T. Kirk faces his greatest challenge yet. Suffering through doubts about STII-Khanhis place in the galaxy, he is thrust into action once more against his most bitter foe – Khan Noonien Singh, who has escaped his exile on Ceti Alpha V and now seeks revenge on Kirk. With a powerful new device in the wrong hands and a no-win scenario in play, the cost of victory for the starship Enterprise may prove too high. [memory-alpha.wikia.com]

Stat_Trek_II-1982Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is an American science fiction film directed by Nicholas Meyer and based on the television series of the same name created by Gene Roddenberry. It is the second film in the Star Trek film series and is a stand-alone sequel to Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). The plot features Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew of the starship USS Enterprise facing off against the genetically engineered tyrant Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán), a character who first appeared in the 1967 Star Trek episode “Space Seed“. When Khan escapes from a 15-year exile to exact revenge on Kirk, the crew of the Enterprise must stop him from acquiring a powerful terraforming device named Genesis. The film is the beginning of a story arc that continues with the 1984 film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and concludes with the 1986 film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

After the lacklustre critical and commercial response to the first film, series creator Gene Roddenberry was forced out of the sequel’s production. Executive producer Harve STII-Spock-DeathBennett wrote the film’s original outline, which Jack B. Sowards developed into a full script. Director Nicholas Meyer completed its final script in 12 days, without accepting a writing credit. Meyer’s approach evoked the swashbuckling atmosphere of the original series, and this theme was reinforced by James Horner‘s musical score. Leonard Nimoy had not intended to have a role in the sequel, but was enticed back on the promise that his character would be given a dramatic death scene. Negative test audience reaction to Spock’s death led to significant revisions of the ending over Meyer’s objections. The production team used various cost-cutting techniques to keep within budget, including utilizing miniature models from past projects and reusing sets, effects footage, and costumes from the first film. Among the film’s technical achievements is being the first feature film to contain a sequence created entirely with computer-generated graphics.

The Wrath of Khan was released in North America on June 4, 1982 by Paramount Pictures. It was a box office success, earning $97 million worldwide and setting a world record for its first-day box office gross. Critical reaction to the film was positive; reviewers highlighted Khan’s character, the film’s pacing, and the character interactions as strong elements. Negative reactions, however, focused on weak special effects and some of the acting. The Wrath of Khan is considered by some to be the best film in the Star Trek series, and is often credited with renewing substantial interest in the franchise. [Wikipedia]

The decision that the film was going to be about old age and friendship prompted Meyer to include a scene in which McCoy visits Kirk in his apartment and tells him that he should get his command back. With every alteration, the themes were woven tighter and tighter into the script. Ultimately, the film presented an aged Kirk in mid-life crisis. Uncertain of his place, of himself, Kirk must make the greatest sacrifice to find out where he truly belongs.

STII-KhaaaanUsing the original series episode “Space Seed” as a building block, Meyer built Khan into the ultimate adversary for Kirk. As he worked on his character, he imagined how enraged a man would be after being exiled on a desert world and losing his wife. Inevitably, Khan became obsessed with Kirk, who he saw as his nemesis. “Kirk was the fiend who had imprisoned him; who had stopped him up in the bottle. I think when Khan makes his appearance in the story, Kirk is flabbergasted. He did not lie awake thinking about Khan; Khan lay awake thinking about Kirk.”

Read more at memory-alpha.wikia.com.

Watch the trailer on the Paramount Movies YouTube Channel.

July 12, 1969 on UK TV: Star Trek – “Where No Man Has Gone Before”

“Captain’s log, stardate 1312.4. The impossible has happened. From directly ahead, we’re picking up a recorded distress signal, the call letters of a vessel which has been missing for over two centuries. Did another Earth ship probe out of the galaxy as we intend to do? What happened to it out there? Is this some warning they’ve left behind?”

TOS-S01E03-Where_No_Man-TitlesAn encounter at the limits of our galaxy begins to change Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell and threatens the future of the Enterprise and the Human race itself.

This was the second Star Trek pilot. However, it aired as the third regular series episode, after “The Man Trap” and “Charlie X“. In their book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, Robert H. Justman and Herbert F. Solow explain that because this segment was “too expository” in nature – a common fault with pilots – it would not have made a good premiere episode for the series. [Perhaps the BBC knew this, as “Where No Man…” was the first episode aired in the UK. – Prof Nostalgia]

This episode features a different version of the first season opening credits, which does not have William Shatner‘s opening narration, and uses a different orchestration of the TOS-S01E03-Where_No_Manmain and end title themes. These orchestrations were used until mid-season during the original run and the initial syndication showings. However, in the 1980s, Paramount withdrew the prints from syndication and redistributed remastered and pre-cut episodes with standardized opening and closing credit music for the first season (using the Fred Steiner arrangement created for the back half of the season). These remastered prints were also used, in their uncut form, for the video and laserdisc releases. Only this episode was permitted to keep the original Alexander Courage arrangement. The 1999 DVD volumes, and later season sets, however, restored the opening credits to their original form, while leaving the end credits in their altered state (again, except for this episode which remains as originally aired).

After NBC saw this episode, they were pleased with the results and decided that Star Trek would be a weekly television series. Gene Roddenberry said that, like [the first pilot] “The Cage“, “Where No Man Has Gone Before” still had a lot of science fiction elements in it, but that it was the bare knuckle fist fight between Kirk and the god-like Gary Mitchell that sold NBC on Star Trek.

Read more at memory-alpha.wikia.com.

Watch the trailer on the TrekCore YouTube Channel.

April 20: Happy 80th Birthday @GeorgeTakei

Celebrity-04-20-1937American actor, director, author, and activist of Japanese descent, George Takei is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek. He also portrayed the character in six Star Trek feature films and one episode of Star Trek: Voyager.

Takei’s involvement in social media has brought him fresh attention. As of February 2017, his Facebook page has over 10 million likes since he joined in 2011, and he frequently shares photos with original humorous commentary.

Takei is a proponent of LGBT rights and is active in state and local politics. He has won several awards and accolades in his work on human rights and Japan–United States relations, including his work with the Japanese American National Museum. [Wikipedia]

Visit http://georgetakei.com/.

April 13: Star Trek – The Enterprise vs the parasites

1967: The first season ended with S01E29 “Operation: Annihilate!” [http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Operation_–_Annihilate!_(episode)]  Stardate 3287.2: The Deneva colony is attacked by neural parasites that cause mass insanity while the crew of Enterprise search for a way to stop them.

The episode featured Kirk’s nephew, Peter.  However, a scene featuring dialogue between Kirk and his nephew that concerned Peter’s returning to Deneva to live with Sam Kirk’s partner was cut.  Peter was played by Craig Hundley, who also played Tommy Stames in “And the Children Shall Lead“.  Now a musician and going under the name Craig Huxley, he produced the music for the Genesis Project simulation that appeared in Star Treks II & III.

April 10: Star Trek – bringing home the whales

Star_Trek_IV-19861987:Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home‘ [Memory-Alpha] [Paramount Movies YouTube Channel] is released in UK cinemas.  Admiral James T. Kirk is prepared to take the consequences for rescuing Spock and stealing and then losing the starship Enterprise, but a new danger has put Earth itself in jeopardy. Kirk and his crew must travel back in time in an old Klingon Bird-of-Prey to right an ancient wrong, in the hopes of saving Earth – and the Federation – from certain doom.

Cinema-UK-04-10-1987

April 6: Star Trek – Joan Collins in The City On the Edge Of Forever

1967: City On the Edge Of Forever [http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/The_City_on_the_Edge_of_Forever_(episode)]. Stardate 3134.0: After taking an accidental overdose of cordrazine, Doctor Leonard McCoy goes back in time and changes history.  Joan Collins guest starred in what is one of the most well known of Star Trek stories.  She plays Edith Keeler [http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Edith_Keeler], a social worker who, in 1930 is knocked down by a car and killed.

McCoy makes her acquaintance and saves her from the accident, unwittingly changing the course of history.  Kirk and Spock follow McCoy through the Guardian Of Forever [http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Guardian_of_Forever] to stop him from saving Keeler and thus putting the timeline back on track.  However, Kirk falls in love with Edith and becomes torn over the fact that he has to let her die to save the future.  WATCH!!