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Daystrom Institute Technical Library

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"Logic, logic, logic. Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end." - Spock to Valeris
The Undiscovered Country

10 Sep 2016

Section Update
Reviews An expanded review with a more detailed plot description, more analysis, and more quotes has been added for the TNG episode Best of Both Worlds, Part 1.
Poll We asked "What did you think of Krall as a villain in Star Trek : Beyond?" and you voted for "He was okay." with a winning score of 32 out of 84 votes (38.1%).

8 Sep 2016

Section Update
50 Years and Counting... I haven't been there for all of that time. At time of writing I'm 46. Even I didn't emerge from the womb wanting to watch Star Trek reruns, of course, so to me, Trek is about 38 years old. I have fond memories of watching it with the family as a kid. You could do that with Star Trek, because it's one of those shows that has the kind of fun stuff kids like - weird places, weird aliens, phaser guns, fistfights - whilst having, at least sometimes, the more smart stuff that grownups like - intelligent plots, good characters, and even an actual message hovering there under the surface.

As a consequence, Star Trek is something I've loved all my life. It felt like as I grew up, the show grew up with me. In reality, of course, it was more a case of my growing into seeing what had been there all along.

I remember the first stories circulating about Star Trek : The Next Generation. A sequel to Star Trek? Without Captain Kirk and Spock?! Preposterous! It couldn't possibly work! Next Gen hit UK TV screens when I was in university. I would watch it in the TV room of the student union building. You had to get there early, because five minutes before it started that room would pack out! Every chair with somebody sitting in it, every inch of floor with somebody sitting on it. And then it would empty again, the instant the episode finished.

I always figured Next Gen season 1 and 2 got an unfairly bad reputation. Yes, the show was kind of goofy back then. Yes, it sometimes veered into outright "what the hell is going on" territory. But you know, the original series could get pretty damn goofy too.

But what Next Gen did have was the same appeal that TOS had. I liked these characters, and I had fun watching them working together trying to solve problems.

Sometime around the mid 1990s, I decided what the hell, I'd make my own Star Trek site. It was just a bit of fun at first. A little online guide to ships, weapons, etc. Back then it was called the "Starship Reference Page". I knew damn little about websites back then, but happily my brother Ian did. So he did the tech side, and I did the writing side. My new hobby fascinated me, and the site began to grow... and grow... and grow. Twenty plus years later, it's still growing.

Deep Space Nine came along around the time I went back to university to get a teaching degree. It's always been the least popular of the Trek shows, but I loved it. The characters were still great, and if it slipped into goofy territory now and again, it also went to places Trek had never been before. Characters who didn't fit Gene's "future people are perfect" template. Situations where sometimes the problem of the week couldn't be solved satisfactorily, or at all. And of course, it's the show where Trek went to war. I loved it, and I still love it.

When Voyager came around when I was out of university and into work. It seemed like it would be the perfect Star Trek show - a lone ship out in the middle of nowhere, every single episode bringing us new things we'd never seen before. All that, combined with the conflicted characters that Deep Space Nine had given us! What could be better? In the event, Voyager never really lived up to that promise. The promised "darker" premise and conflicted cast just kind of faded away after the pilot episode, and the procession of new exciting strangeness tended to turn into bland and slightly dull strangeness. Still, there were things to love in Voyager. We saw characters grow and change; Tom went from a smart but slightly lost guy struggling in the shade of his father to a grown up family man with a wife and kid. Seven of Nine came back from the ultimate abusive background. The EMH went from being software to being a person.

When Enterprise rolled around, I was in my thirties. I gotta be honest, I never liked the premise of the show. Every previous Trek had looked forward, into unknown territory. Enterprise felt like the creators had decided to take a giant step backwards. And when I saw the NX class, I knew the show would suck. That ship didn't belong in that timeframe... and the people making the show knew that, and didn't care. Because they wanted a ship that would look cool. At that moment I knew that they weren't actually interested in making a prequel; they were making a Trek show just like the original series and Next Gen and Voyager, which just happened to be set in a prequel time. It didn't fit.

The show itself confirmed my worst fears. I won't rehash it all here, but suffice to say - Ferengi? Borg? Time travel? No. Just... no. Even then, I did find things to love in Enterprise. Especially when Manny Coto came, and brought with him a hurricane of fresh air. He actually seemed to want to do a prequel, a REAL prequel! If season 1 of Enterprise had been like season 4, I suspect that show would have been on the air a lot longer and would be regarded a lot better than it is. (By me, at least. If you love Enterprise, more power to you.)

Enterprise was cancelled early, the first show since the original not to reach the magic seven seasons. Lots of people wondered if we would ever see Star Trek again. I didn't. Trek has become immortal, I argued. It's become one of those things like Sherlock Holmes or Alice in Wonderland - no matter how hard it might die, sooner or later somebody somewhere is going to realise that they still own the rights, and wouldn't it be interesting to dust that old show off and do something new with it...?

So in 2009 we got the reboot universe. (Yes, it's an alternate timeline and the Prime timeline is still out there. But let's not pretend that it isn't a reboot, because no matter what the excuse, it so obviously is.) By this time I was living in a home of my own. My brother Ian and I went to see Star Trek on the first day it came out, on the first showing of that day at ten in the morning. When it finished we walked out, bought two more tickets, and went into the next showing. And then we did that again. And again. And again.

Yes, we watched that movie five times in a row. Never done it before, never done it again.

And the next day, we drove 70 miles to an IMAX screen and watched it again. Just the once, this time!

There are things to love and things to regret about the reboot movie series. They've turned Star Trek into big action movies. I don't wail and scream about this to the extent that some do. Star Trek has always included action. Lest we remember, the first episode ever broadcast featured a monster that murdered people. The third ended with a phaser rifle and a fistfight. But the key word is "included". The original series had action, but it was not primarily about action. And it certainly wasn't an excuse to have action. The new movies do at least wander in that direction. But dammit, the characters are fun! There's energy, there's things to laugh at, there's sad moments, there's excitement. It's a couple of hours pleasantly spent.

Now here we are, 50 years in, and the next iteration of the show is heading our way. I have my issues with what we know of it so far, as regular readers will know. Having written this today, it occurs to me that my reaction to the USS Discovery itself is so strong because of the echoes of the NX class, so many years ago. The Discovery is wrong, and by implication, the show is going to be wrong too.

But who can say? Maybe they'll do it right. I certainly hope so. If the past is any guide, I hope I will find things to like in Discovery. Fingers crossed.

That's been my Star Trek journey. Who knows, with a dose of luck maybe one day I will be able to write about how the next fifty years panned out...

1 Sep 2016

Section Update
Caption Comp Congratulations to Admiral Dunsel winner of last months caption competition.

31 Aug 2016

Section Update
Reviews An expanded review with a more detailed plot description, more analysis, and more quotes has been added for the TNG episode Transfigurations.
19 Million and counting! Congratulations to Ivica Badinec, who was our 19 millionth visitor. Onward to 20 million!

29 Aug 2016

Section Update
Reviews Expanded reviews with a more detailed plot description, more analysis, and more quotes have been added for the TNG episodes Sarek and Ménage à Troi.

Fleets Pages We've reorganised the fleets pages today. Whereas before there was a long list of fleet pages on the menu, now there is a single page for a given species. Information on the ships are then broken down into sub-pages accessed by header buttons, much as is done for ships, episodes, etc in other sections of the site. This allows next and previous buttons so you can work your way through the pages without having to constantly go to the menu, too.

Hope you like the changes!

23 Aug 2016

Section Update
Ships Menu Placed the correct affiliation on the ships on the Miscellaneous section of the Ships menu. The ships will still appear in the Miscellaneous section of the menu by you can now link directly to their species page by clicking the affiliation link on the ships page.
Films Page We've added a new Films page to the Reviews section summarising the details of the films. It can also be accessed from a link on the Reviews menu.
Actor Bio pages Fixed an issue on the Actor Bio pages that caused all images to come out orange and all roles as pink not matter what the universe was.

17 Aug 2016

Section Update
Site Format We're introducing a change to the formatting of the site today. Previously we've tended to split off items from alternate timelines into special "Temporal" sections. However, with the advent of the Kelvin timeline the number of such items has ballooned massively over the last few years. So as of now we're rolling things like alternate timeline ships and people into the main menus of the site, and differentiating them with a new colour. This means the "Ships" menu now contains both the Constitution class from the original series and the Constitution class from the Kelvin timeline, the People menu has both versions of James T. Kirk, and so on. This has the benefit of simplifying the menus somewhat as a side benefit.

The old colour scheme remains in force. So if you see a menu button in orange, it will lead you to a page written from the point of view of the Prime timeline. If you click on a blue button, it will lead you to a page written from the point of view of the real world. And now, if you click on a pink button it will take you to a page written from the point of view of a non-Prime timeline. The same colour scheme applies to buttons within pages, image outlines, etc.

We expect to be tweaking this a little as we deal with any issues we might come across. Let us know if you find any issues!

15 Aug 2016

Section Update
Reviews Expanded reviews with a more detailed plot description, more analysis, and more quotes have been added for the TNG episodes Tin Man, Hollow Pursuits and The Most Toys.

12 Aug 2016

Section Update
Poll We asked "So now Star Trek : Beyond is out, what do you think of it?" and you voted for "Really good movie, well worth seeing." with a winning score of 18 out of 46 votes (39.1%).

11 Aug 2016

Section Update
Star Trek : Discovery The article discussing the upcoming Star Trek : Discovery has been updated after Bryan Fuller's recent discussion of the show.
Reviews Expanded reviews with a more detailed plot description, more analysis, and more quotes have been added for the TNG episodes Allegiance and Captain's Holiday.

Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 2,286,639 Last updated : 10 Sep 2016