Contents of the ZINE12.DOC file
9106.14 DATELINE: STARFLEET #12
Reporting for Duty!
An important notice for this issue: at the end is the most
complete SUPPOSED plot summary for the season finale, "Redemption,"
I've seen yet. So if you don't want to take a chance on hearing
anything about the plot beforehand (you never know, after all), make
sure to skip this section.
Things not to skip this issue: news on the upcoming hardcover
"Probe", defending Riker from his critics, a review of a new fanzine,
some comments from TNG staffer and co-Technical Manual writer Rick
Sternbach, and an assortment of news and announcements about Trek as
the 25th anniversary rolls on!
News from Over the Hailing Frequencies....
The following info comes word for word off the MOTIF BBS,
concerning the next TOS hardcover, "Probe." Take it as you will.
"Well, "the Powers that Be" have struck again.
"Margaret Wander Bonanno wants it known that the version of
"Probe"coming to bookshelves everywhere is not her work. A scant
month before the work was scheduled to go to press, Paramount asked
for major revisions to be done on the novel. (Reportedly these
"changes" included: the dropping of several new characters introduced
during the novel, the removal of several scenes involving Gillian
Taylor, and the "re-centering" of others to makes Kirk the main
character.) Bonanno asked for time to make these revisions. Pocket
refused, because Paramount wanted the novel published "on schedule."
Thus, *Paramount* had the novel sent to another author. (Bonanno
knows the author, but refused to divulge the name.) The final
product is something she does not want to be associated with, and I'm
sure Brad Ferguson's quote: "Now I'm stuck with this two-headed
bastard child that has my name on it. I'm not happy about it, not
one bit" is also quite applicable here. She says the final copy she
saw is about 60% her work, and 40% the work of this unnamed author.
This seems a good place to put the Paramount address once again:
Paramount Licensing, 5555 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood CA, 90038-3197
(with yet another displeased author to add to the list)."
End of MOTIF "Probe" posting.
Appearing on the "Home" show the Monday after the 25th
Anniversary convention in Los Angeles was William Shatner.
Highlights: he was told that the crowd for the con was around 25,000;
the current release date for Star Trek VI is December 13th; and he
will be writing a third book in his "Tekwar" series next year.
While at Dixie Trek, Peter David reported he got to visit the
Star Trek VI sets. On the Bridge of the Excelsior is this plaque, he
"Wherever you go; There you are"
Apparently the quote is from the movie "Buckaroo Banzai" (I
never saw it), and reportedly Mike Okuda is a "Banzai" fan.
While we're talking about the movie: Starlog reported that the
Klingon returning from a past ST movie for ST VI will be the Klingon
ambassador from ST IV. Starlog also reported that Jack Palance and
Whoopi Goldberg, who are in the rumor mill as potential cast members,
definitely would not be in the film.
The trailer for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country will
begin running this month as a preview before showings of "The Naked
Gun 2 1/2." It's supposed to be a mix of clips from TOS and the
movies, with a voiceover saying that Star Trek is moving into
Last summer, Paramount was saying that if ST VI made any kind of
money, ST VII would be in the works. By the start of this year, they
said this would be finis for the Classic cast, regardless. Now
people who went to the 25th Anniversary con in Los Angeles are
telling stories from the con that Paramount may be hedging its bets
on whether ST VI is it or not. True or not, don't you love this
While we're still talking movies: Star Trek V came in at #10 in
its first week on Billboard's Top Video Sales Chart (week ending
The season five premiere of TNG is tentatively scheduled for the
week of September 15th-21th.
A new office building on the Paramount lot has been named the
Gene Roddenberry Building. The building was dedicated with members
of Classic and NextGen Trek in attendance. [From Quantum's
"Hollywood Hotline News", 6/7/91.]
Editorial: What a Ride It's Been....
by Bill Mason (Data1701D)
Would you believe? A year of this?
This, of course, being "Dateline: Starfleet." And if I had
known what I was getting into at the beginning, I'd...have done it
all over again!
With this issue, the first year of this newsletter is history.
And it's been a...fascinating...way to polish up my writing, typing,
and ego. (It's mine, mine, all mine! Hahahahahahahahahaha!)
I started this project a year ago, because what was a Trek club
without a newsletter? Well, the simple "newsletter" didn't last
long. The second issue was my first with an Editorial (otherwise
known as "Data shooting off his mouth again"). The third, had the
first non-news articles. By the fourth, I had two people writing
articles with me, and away we went.
Allow me, in good Oscar night tradition, to thank a few people
who came merrily along the road with me:
Jlpicard4, who was running the Club as JL Picard2 when I started
"Dateline." If he hadn't kept releasing those first files for all to
see, where would I be?
RobB4, now off the Quantum system, who kindly wrote a book
column for me for several issues, as well as other material. An
officer and a gentleman, even for a Klingon.... 🙂
CmdrChang2, who uses so many other screen names I'm losing
track, who has written material for me several times. Where were you
last month, big guy? (Just kidding.) Muchas gracias for all the
And all the others who've written for "Dateline," or gave me
material that they found elsewhere, threw suggestions at me from the
first issue, or scattered me among other BBSes for others to read.
(You all know who you are.) Special salute to Jamie Burke, who gave
me her time to talk about the Caption Action Star Trek campaign and
probably never got to read a word I wrote.
And of course, all of you out there (100+ last issue) who take
the time to download and read this thing. Without you, I'd be
talking to myself. Some of you I know; many of you, I don't. But I
thank you, one and all.
And as always, but especially on this momentous(?!) occasion,
your comments are welcome. What am I doing right/wrong? Can you
think of something I should be doing, or should get rid off? Feel
free to offer input; my E-Mail is always open to critiques.
Next month: The Official First Anniversary Issue, to kick off a
headlong charge into year two! (Destined to become a collector's
item.... Well, maybe not.)
In Defense of William T. Riker
by Bill Mason (Data1701D)
He's an arrogant s.o.b. Galactic womanizer. Mindless twit who
does nothing but sit on the Bridge and ask "What the hell?" at least
once per show. He's overweight. General waste of time. And he
can't act, either.
These are a few comments I've heard about Commander Riker. The
time has come for me climb up on my soapbox (yes, again) to defend my
favorite First Officer.
I agree that Riker comes off the wrong way in more than a few
episodes. Just last week (as I write this), in "The Host," when
Riker volunteers to serve as Odan's host, Picard objects to Will
taking such a risk. And Riker fires back at him, "Weigh it against
the prospect of war!" in a tone like "you stupid Captain, what choice
do we have here".
I think Riker has earned a little arrogance, especially after
the Borg Incident. Of course, how far can one man go on one
(admittedly heroic) moment, you may ask?
But his resume as a whole since arriving on the Enterprise is
pretty heady stuff:
Leads the Away Team during the first contact with the Ferengi
and makes contact with Portal 6-3 in "The Last Outpost"
Is in command of the first ship to successfully defend vs. the
Picard Maneuver in "The Battle"
Turns down omnipotence in "Hide and Q"
Commands the Away Team making the first contact with Angel One
in sixty-two years in "Angel One"
Saves Picard and helps end (for now) the "Conspiracy"
Is the first Starfleet officer to serve on a Klingon vessel in
"A Matter of Honor"
Is in command during the rescue of LaForge in "Samaritan Snare"
Commands the USS Hathaway and helps end the Ferengi threat in
Commands the USS Enterprise during the Borg Incident in "The
Best of Both Worlds"
Commands the Away Teams in "First Contact"
Volunteers to be "The Host" for Odan
Still, some people think that Riker still comes on too strong.
To me, the key to the arrogance issue is the captain. If Picard has
no problem with it, why should I? I thought that Picard's face when
Riker snapped at him in "The Host" was rather interesting. Kind of a
"well, aren't we pushy today" look. Maybe the beginning of the end
for Riker's attitude? (Nah....)
But the First Officer has a difficult position on a starship,
and it relates somewhat to the "what does this guy do?" issue. The
basic task of the First Officer is to create and maintain the finest
starship and crew possible. A task mostly invisible to us, the TV
viewer. And then, when he succeeds, his job is to give the ship over
to the captain and say, "Here you go, sir. Have fun." The only
thing worse, ego-wise, than being First Officer is being
Vice-President.... At least Riker gets to lead an Away Team. You
want to see a First Officer at his best, rewatch "The Mind's Eye."
And then there are the women.... Look, this is not Captain Kirk
here. 🙂 Offhand, there's: Deanna Troi, probably somebody on Edo
("Justice"), Beata ("Angel One"), Minuet ("11001001"), Brenna O'Dell
("Up the Long Ladder"), Yuta ("The Vengeance Factor"), and Bebe
Neuwirth's character whose name I forget ("First Contact"). This
still leaves him sixty or seventy women behind Captain Kirk, I would
guess, so give him a break already!
And if you've seen "A Matter of Honor," "The Best of Both
Worlds," "First Contact," or "The Host," then you know Jonathan
Frakes can act. And direct as well, as we saw in "The Offspring" and
"The Drumhead." And within reason, I don't think weight impacts
directly on acting ability....
So I hope Will Riker lives long and prospers. It's the least he
could do after I wrote all this, right? 🙂
Review: "UFPSS Friendship"
by Bill Mason (Data1701D)
"UFPSS Friendship" is a new fanzine (editor: James C. Jones II)
of the club of the same name, the United Federation of Planet's Space
Station Friendship. Created "to perpetuate support to writers and
artists by establishing a forum," it is intended to cater to a
variety of art and fiction, Trek and non-Trek, as well as true life
articles from science, medical, and other fields.
It is a daring "enterprise." (Sorry, bad pun.) The first issue
is an impressively prepared 130 page trade paperback. And true to
its calling, the texts within run a gamut from those set in the Trek
universe, but not involving the old or new characters, to several
factual articles, to works not involving Star Trek at all. Most of
the fiction in the first issue is set around characters of the USS
The first story is "Signs of Life," (S. Kaos) featuring Sandor
and Megan Wolfe, who work for a super-secret UFP group known as The
Agency. Their adventure is most entertaining, but the battlesuits
the two use throughout the story are a little too miraculous in what
they can do, and the idea of The Agency resembles the Special
Security Division from the Bantam Trek novel "Death's Angel." But
the mystery presented within the story is nicely mixed with some good
The second story, though only a page and a half, is the most
pleasing of all: "The Adventures of Irving Fineburg" (Jay P. Hailey),
a CPA gone bad....
"Advance Guard" (Patricia I. Williams) is a short story about a
woman being eaten alive by an alien creature. As you might expect,
she thinks about escaping, killing the creature, and the pain. One
wonders what insight the reader gets from that.
"The Decision of GUD" (James C. Jones II) is also a short story,
about a civilization which creates a computer with one purpose:
preserve, improve, and enhance the race over a million-year
timetable. Like quite a few Star Trek episodes (though the story is
not attributed to any specific universe), the computer GUD (it might
as read "GOD"--GUD stands for Great Ultimate Destiny) comes up with a
plan that the civilization is not happy with; but of course, they
have no say in the matter. It's an old plot, and nothing new comes
of it here.
"Fragments" (Patricia I. Williams) is about the beginnings of a
relationship between two officers of the USS Shadowstar. Half the
story is devoted to their sex scene (R-rated). Maybe I'm a cynic (or
I just don't get Patricia's writing) but again I fail to see the
point of the story.
"...shared pain" (James C. Jones II) is the longest story (about
70 pages). It revolves around two other Shadowstar crew members: the
Vulcans Tryuid "Chiita" Scar'an and his wife T'Irs. She is a normal
Vulcan; while also Vulcan, he may as well be a Human with pointed
ears (due to his background, not because of bad writing). The plot
starts with an undercover mission to bring a neutral world into the
Federation, and suddenly jumps tracks to tell us that Scar'an's
parents were killed by Klingons, just as (conveniently) the heroes
engage the Klingons in combat. The story also features battlesuits
used in "warp cycle" mode to engage a Klingon vessel, a need for
proofreading and grammar checks (confirmation of something I've
learned after 12 "Datelines"--editors should not proofread their own
work), and was a good undercover mission story until the Klingons got
thrown in. The interaction of T'Irs with Scar'an is interesting to
watch. His interaction with her, however, is dull--a mix of emotion
in a Vulcan (it's been done in Star Trek V, thank you) and swearing.
"...shared pain" starts well, but misses the mark.
An attachment to "...shared pain" are some very nicely done deck
plans for selected areas of the Shadowstar. While the art in the
issue (all in black and white) is mostly average, the blueprints are
a well-done touch.
The last of the fiction is "Blood Ties" (Phillip Trank--an
interesting short piece), and the poem "A Conversation Remembered"
(no author attributed--also an ok short piece).
Technical pieces included are: "Federation Geographic: Horizon"
(a profile on a UFP world, great for role-players looking for a
ready-made planet with lots of strange alien creatures!), "Space
Medicine" (an article from the Academic American Encyclopedia--good
info, but is this used with permission?), "The MAT" (while described
in the table of contents as being about hand-to-hand combat
techniques from around the galaxy, the entire piece is about Earth
fighting styles, again lifted from the Academic American
Encyclopedia), "Project S.E.E." (a complex piece on geosynchronous
satellites), "Warp Speed Comparison Chart" (James C. Jones II--a nice
summary of the Trek theories of Warp, Transwarp, and Ultrawarp
speeds) and "Poli Sci: An Overview" (M. Wolfe--apparently the first
of a series on UFP politics, but print it in a readable typeface next
In looking at the work as a whole, "UFPSS Friendship" succeeds
in its goal in presenting a variety of works from a range of authors'
material, both fiction and non-fiction. (The authors in this issue
range in ages from 15 to 31.) But after the first two fiction works,
editor James Jones' and author Patricia William's works take over
most of the 'zine, and neither (in this reviewer's opinion) writes
particularly impressive material. Obviously, we're not expecting
literary masterworks in a fanzine which is out there to give aspiring
writers a forum to write for; but the stories often need some
proofing and editing (I am informed that a full editorial staff is
being assembled for the next issue), and too many times I got to read
a sex scene that had no good reason to be there. (Be warned that the
scattering of curses and sexuality render the product as a whole an
R-rated, bordering on NC-17, production; it is intended for mature
The original technical pieces and deck plans were the most
interesting; let's have more of them, and less reprinted works!
"UFPSS Friendship" is a good idea with a perhaps shaky start.
Perhaps by the second issue (the goal is a quarterly schedule), we
can see if it hits its stride or not. Like many 'zines, it is
operating on a non-profit basis. Cover price of the issue is
$10.95/$12.95 Canada; membership in the UFPSS is $20.00/yr--which
includes 4 issues of the 'zine. For information, contact: UFPSS
Friendship, Attn: James C. Jones II, P.O. Box 2321, Van Nuys CA,
...Mariette Hartley (Zarabeth), June 21st
...Rick Sternbach (STTNG Tech Manual co-author), July 6th
...Patrick Stewart, July 13th
Since most of our business seems to get handled in other ways
(and attendance was always low anyway), the monthly meeting on the
first Wednesday of the month noted on the "Starfleet Schedule" has
been dropped. (I can hear you all saying, "There was a monthly
meeting??) Anyone with need to reach me can post a message on the
"Ask the Commander" board, send me an E-Mail note, or catch me in
person Mondays in the Ten Forward Lounge.
A reminder when you're looking for that Ten-Forward Lounge:
often by the time we open, many other rooms have already opened. So
we're usually way down the room list. If you "List all Public Rooms"
and we're not there, be sure and use the "Continue" button
underneath, to get the rest of the list. Once in a while, you'll
have to do this twice to find us, but usually once is enough. A
simple way to find us is to use the option "Go to a Public Room" and
enter in "ten forward lounge".
Finally: come on, I hate doing all the talking! Anyone with a
secret urge to write has a standing invitation to submit something
for future newsletters. Send it to Data1701D.
Paramount Video, as the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration
progresses, has announced that all five Trek movies will be
repackaged and rereleased on video. Three TNG episodes will also be
released. [Information from Quantum's "Hollywood Hotline News",
"This Week In Consumer Electronics" provided further details.
The five movies will be released in a boxed set for $74.75, or a
collector's boxed set (which includes cloisonne pins and a
certificate) for $100. One of the TNG episodes will be "Encounter at
Farpoint" listing at $19.95; the other two episodes will be $14.95.
Paramount reports that the Trek tapes have sold nearly 10 million
units since their debut.
July comics update: In "Star Trek" #22, the return of an old
favorite--Harry Mudd. Over in "Next Generation" #22, the Enterprise
goes on without their fallen comrades. Meanwhile, the not-so-fallen
shuttle crew may have finally found some help....
Also out from DC is issues #2 and #3 of the "Star Trek: The
Modula Imperative" limited 4-part series.
Also also out in July is "The Original Crew," a black and white
comics series from Friendly/Personality publishers. This series
features unauthorized biographies of the cast of Classic Trek. The
first issue is to feature William Shatner. Those looking for this
sort of item are advised to try a mail-order company or a comics
speciality shop, since this kind of thing probably won't show up in
your local 7-11 or Waldenbooks.
[Information is as reported in "The Westfield Newsletter."]
Finally in the comics world: in Marvel Comics' "Damage Control"
#2, now out, the great slugfest-about-to-happen stops suddenly when
the characters start talking at length about Star Trek. Believe it
Two new pieces in the Franklin Mint Star Trek chess set: a
Classic Trek Klingon pawn (disruptor at the ready), and Khan sitting
arms crossed in Kirk's command chair.
As reported in "This Week In Consumer Electronics," Konami is
releasing a Classic Trek Nintendo cartridge, as part of the
continuing 25th anniversary celebration.
Whoopi Goldberg will be in the July 3rd episode of "Tales from
the Crypt" on HBO, in an episode titled "Dead Wait" (as reported on
PC-Link's Hollywood Hotline News).
Meanwhile, Whoopi was named funniest actress in a poll by
"Entertainment Weekly" magazine. Coolest TV kid was Wesley
Crusher.... No, just kidding; it was Bart Simpson.
William Shatner's "Mr. Tamburine Man" and Leonard Nimoy's "Proud
Mary" were nominated, but the winner of the Worst Rock Song of All
Time in a vote at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York was Chuck Berry
singing "My Ding-a-Ling." [As reported in the Philadelphia
I haven't read it, but I hear that in the sf novel "Earth,"
there is a character who spends her time converting old 2-D Earth
television (the novel is set in 2040) to 3-D. At one point she
finishes converting the "900 episode Star Trek saga"!
Personal Logs, Stardate Today
Some comments from TNG staffer and TNG Technical Manual
co-author Rick Sternbach that came floating across the BBS lately:
I don't get the time to do this very often because of the
demands of the show production, but I thought I might reply to a few
of the questions raised about Trek technology. First off, the Saucer
Module can indeed separate from the Battle Section at warp, even high
Warp Factors, as we saw in Farpoint. As you'll all see in the STTNG
Tech Manual from Pocket Books (shameless plug), the Saucer Module SIF
and IDF generators are set to high output; this insures that the
hand-off warp field from the Battle Section is sustained, and this
can ease the transition back to sublight over a 2-5 minute period.
The Saucer Module cannot sustain high warp flight on its own. As to
the calculation of the "new and improved" warp scale, we are working
with the concept of peak transitional efficiency, which produces a
highly scalloped graph with a gradual slope at low Warp Factors, and
then rises dramatically after Warp 8. The amount of energy and
plasma injector firing frequencies far exceeds the WPS's ability to
keep up, when approaching Warp 10. The scale was recalibrated,
creating something of a "metric" warp. The exact mathematical
equations used are still being developed, but works well enough for
the book and, as importantly, our writers on the show. You'll see the
graph in the manual; all will become semi-clear. As to why the
Federation has no cloaking device, that would make things way too
easy (and boring). We've come to imagine that the subspace
compression platform of most Federation vehicles precludes the use of
a cloak, and the power requirements would be horrendous. Witness the
fact that (as in "Tin Man"), Romulan warbirds are not terribly
energy-efficient, and we were able to detect them even when cloaked.
They leave a dirty ion trail. Anyhow, it's nice to see people are
continuing to debate this kind of stuff! Keep watching, and I'll
attempt to pop in once in a while. In the meantime, my partner Mike
Okuda can be found on CIS and GEnie answering similar questions.
Patrick Stewart was on CNN, being interviewed about directing
his first episode of TNG. His favorite part of directing? "Not
having to shave every day."
And Almost in Conclusion...
I just saw this symbol last week for the first time: |)
That symbol is Geordi, of course. 🙂
The almost-conclusion continues: "Dateline" keeps popping up all
over! Hello to "The Knightly News," of the Starfleet International
branch USS Lancelot NCC-13982 (in Region III), which has quoted my
material now and then, I hear!
Next issue: July 15th. The First Anniversary Issue will
include, for the first time anywhere, the most comprehensive list of
Club members I can create!
The Season Finale--Maybe
********************************************************************** Who knows if the sources of this summary are any good, but if you *
* want to completely avoid hearing the slightest thing about the *
* season finale, stop reading right here. Since this is the end of *
* the issue anyway. 🙂 *
Galron, from the Klingon High Council, will be ascending to the
chief position left open by K'mpec's death. The Enterprise will be
sent as the Federation representative to witness the ascension.
Picard will, of course, bring Worf along as his
security/bodyguard/escort to the ceremony. While on planet, Worf
will meet with his brother, and his brother will bring him
information that it turns out Duras WAS NOT the traitor to the
Empire---Duras had actually killed K'Ehleyr to keep the information
on Duras' father a secret so that the TRUE traitors could not hide
their identities by blaming Duras' family.
What will happen is a slowly dawning realization within the
episode that Galron is THE traitor...that the splinter group that
wants to re-ally the Klingon Empire with the Romulans is controlled
by him, and has been acting to foment civil unrest and
dissatisfaction with the Federation alliance.
As Worf and Picard try to reach a means to bring this
information forward and stop the ascension, they will, of course, be
too late...and as Galron becomes the head of the Klingon Empire, a
task force (?) of Romulan ships decloaks around the Klingon
homeworld, and a message is sent to the Enterprise from the Romulan
Commander for the Enterprise to depart from Klingon-Romulan Alliance
space...and the Commander is none other than Denise Crosby....
*[Discovered on the MOTIF BBS on 6/7/91] *
Credits where Credits are Due
"Dateline: Starfleet"--edited by Bill Mason (Data1701D on the
Quantum computer networks, ID# WPHM91A on Prodigy)
The Away Team of Contributors--I think the MOTIF BBS should get
a round of applause. ::clap clap::
Copyright and Trademark Notice: In no case is use and/or
citation of any copyrighted material and/or trademarks without
identifying symbols intended as a claim of ownership to those
copyrights and/or trademarks. "Dateline: Starfleet" is a non-profit,
production reporting and commenting on the universe of Star Trek.
STAR TREK is a Registered Trademark of Paramount Pictures. All
other copyrighted material, trademarks, and/or service marks cited
herein are registered to their respective owners.
Readers are invited to reproduce this file wherever they think
there's an interest. Just tell 'em where you got it from!
If you read all this, then you're at the end of the issue,