9309.15 DATELINE: STARFLEET #39
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From the Big Chair
Greetings to the DFW_TREK FidoNet echo! |)
News from Over the Hailing Frequencies....
The TNG episode "The Inner Light" was awarded the "Best Dramatic
Presentation" Hugo at Worldcon earlier this month! |) TNG beat out
the films "Aladdin," "Aliens3," "Batman Returns," and "Dracula."
WAITING FOR THE SPINOFF
Still not much news about the latest proposed Star Trek spinoff
series. The early word is that the new series will be
starship-based, but will not retain any current Next Generation
characters. The show was pitched to stations in late August/early
September, and currently has the working title of "Star Trek: The New
Frontier". (As posted on AOL by KLATUU4009.)
TNG MOVIE UPDATE
Any tentative plans to include Kirk and Spock in the upcoming
TNG film have reportedly been scrapped, due to high salary demands on
the part of Shatner and Nimoy. (From Compuserve.)
I say stay tuned, it's early yet. 😉
WALTER KOENIG UPDATE
Walter continues his recovery from his recent heart attack. Due
to his illness, he was forced to give up the role of Knight One in
the upcoming "Babylon 5" TV series. However he will be cast in
another as yet unnamed B5 role, and he still intends to submit
scripts for the series. (From WKI president Carolyn Atkinson.)
ON THE AIR
The Talk Trek radio show began broadcasting nationwide via the
Cable Radio Network on September 2nd.
TNG AND DS9 SCHEDULES
With thanks to Bruin II for these.
TNG (dates are week of dates)
09/12: "Descent" (rerun; Lore and the Borg)
09/19: "Descent II" (SEASON SEVEN PREMIERE)
09/26: "Liaison" (a new alien species causes problems for the
10/03: "Interface" (Ben Vereen guest-stars as Geordi's father; a
story about virtual reality)
10/10: "Gambit" (Picard and Riker inadvertently wind up
undercover on a mercenary ship; Robin Curtis [Saavik] appears as a
10/17: "Gambit, Part II" (guest-stars L.A. Laker James Worthy as
the Klingon Koral)
10/24: "Phantasms" (directed by Patrick Stewart; Data discovers
he can have nightmares, too)
10/31: "Dark Page" (Lwaxana Troi episode; Majel Barrett has been
hinting that Lwaxana may not survive this episode)
11/07: "Attached" (a Picard/Beverly story; Patrick Stewart
describes it as TNG's take on "The Fugitive")
Meanwhile, there are already reports that the TNG series finale
will be a two-hour non-cliffhanger episode.
For DS9 (again, week of dates):
(Note that DS9's summer reruns are coming out of sequence from
their original airing.)
09/12: "In the Hands of the Prophets" (rerun; Vedek Winn vs.
09/19: "The Nagus" (rerun; the Ferengi Nagus visits DS9)
09/26: "Home Coming" (SEASON TWO PREMIERE; forms a 3-part story
with "The Circle" and "The Siege"; the discovery that a presumed dead
Bajoran MIA is very much alive splits Bajor)
10/03: "The Circle" (these first 3 episodes guest-star Frank
Langella, Louise Fletcher as Vedek Winn, and Philip Anglim as Vedek
10/10: "The Siege" (no relation to the Peter David DS9 novel of
the same name)
10/17: "Evasive Procedures" (a Dax episode)
10/24: "Malora" (an Odo episode)
10/31: "Rules of Acquisition" (with the long-awaited debut of a
In the first quarter of fiscal 1994 for Paramount, they earned
$120.4 million, up slightly from last year's $114.3 million. The
Television division's operating income was down, but the two Trek
series continue to be strong for Paramount. (From the PR Newswire.)
Filming has begun on "Heaven and Hell," a sequel miniseries to
the miniseries "North and South." Returning to reprise their
original roles from "N & S" are Jonathan Frakes and his wife Genie
Francis. (From Hollywood Hotline on AOL.)
Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner appeared in their TNG roles as
part of MTV's annual Music Video awards on September 2nd. There is
no truth to the rumor that Data wants to be a VJ. 😉
Wil Wheaton is now working for New Tek Inc., a company involved
with those infamous Video Toasters. |) Wil appears on their demo
tapes. (As posted to AOL by Eric J614.)
Editorial: One More Time
by Bill Mason
The swan song is nearly upon us for TNG (on television, anyway),
which is something of a sad note as the new season looms. I sure
don't want TNG to go away.
The old cliche about "going out while on top" comes to mind. I
really hate that cliche.
Yet that thought is semi-comforting as the season premiere
approaches. TNG has come a long way from its beginnings, when the
thought of a new Star Trek with a new cast provoked disbelief,
derision, or even laughs.
It's been a heck of a ride so far. And I feel good vibes from
the early word about season 7. So let's do it...engines full ahead,
because the summer of reruns has been killing me! Bring on the new
Man, I can feel the adrenaline rush already. 😉
(And lest I forget, bring on DS9 as well. I have a good feeling
about them as well. I will even venture that Dax gets something to
do before the year is out!)
"My Trek Is Better than Your Trek"
by Dayton Ward (aka NetRunr)
It is an issue that has been debated since my first day on AOL.
It has fanned flames, tested friendships, induced hysteria and
generally caused discontent among a vast populous of otherwise
My Trek is Better than Your Trek.
What does this statement mean? For anyone who reads it or has
said it, the phrase has a multitude of possible explanations, many of
which have been expressed on the message boards, in the conference
rooms, and even in professional publications. (Remember the TV Guide
Poll asking which captain was better suited to defend the Earth?)
Let's try to examine some of the world-shattering debates used to
defend either Trek:
ISSUE 1: My Trek is Better than Your Trek.
Response: No, MY Trek is Better than YOURS. No....
This is where I confess that although I enjoy most of Trek's
various incarnations, the original is still my favorite. Not for one
of those ridiculous reasons like: "It was here first. Without it,
there wouldn't be anything else.", but because I grew up with it.
It's all there was when I was a kid. When the movies began showing
up, I was ecstatic. When TNG first started, I was skeptical, but
soon discovered that it was fun to watch in its own right. I was
REALLY skeptical about DS9, but it's starting to grow on me. The
point: despite the differences in the shows, there's something out
there for everyone, regardless of your particular taste. Enjoy what
you will, and allow others to do the same.
ISSUE 2: Wesley is the most annoying character ever created for
Response: I don't know...that one lady that kept yelling for
Spock's brain really got on MY nerves. Otherwise, I'll give ya' that
ISSUE 3: The special effects on TNG are far superior to those on
the original series.
Response: Well, duh.
This is not even a rational argument. OF COURSE they're
superior. No one in 1966 even had a dream about computerized digital
effects or any of the nifty high-tech gadgetry that either makes or
breaks so much of today's science fiction movies and TV.
I'm even willing to go so far as to say that some of Classic
Trek's effects are still better than some of the drivel Hollywood has
fed us in recent years, including recent Trek offerings (okay, the El
Capitan falling scene was believable after that sixth margarita).
ISSUE 4: Bashir must die.
Response: Okay. Who's gonna tell his mommy?
This one has raged across the AOL boards since the first episode
of DS9. I'm not as much taken with the thought itself as I am with
the multitude of methods that folks have devised to bring about the
good doctor's demise. I'll say this: there's no lack of imagination
in this department.... ==8-D
ISSUE 5: The acting on TNG is superior to the original series.
Response: Both shows have their "moments."
One could recite countless examples of Shatner's scenery eating
("We've got to take that one in ten thousand chance!"), or Marina
Sirtis' mastery of the phrase, "He's hiding something." Comparing
the original Trek's acting to that of other shows that aired during
those years, I have come to the decidedly "Net-ian" conclusion that
it was a requirement to overact back then. Of course, there were
those aspiring individuals who tended to take it to an extreme on
ISSUE 6: At least on TNG, the captain doesn't beam himself into
danger every week....
Response: No one on TNG beams anywhere ANY week.
Just kidding. It is agreed that the concept of ALL senior
officers beaming into the unknown week after week was ridiculous. In
today's military, that simply is not the case. TNG's approach is
much more plausible. The simple fact is that when the original show
aired, the lead character had to be in charge, and therefore had to
confront the danger himself (note the use of the word "himself,"
since the networks couldn't even fathom a lady in a lead role back
then). If the focus of the show had been on a group aboard the ship
that was assigned the planetary exploration details, the
"hero-in-trouble" plot device would have worked much better. But we
must remember that the show was played solely for entertainment back
then, without worrying about how legions of fans would react if a
character did something off the wall or out of synch. It points back
to the fact that the shows are entirely different, products of their
times and should not be compared. They each have merits and flaws.
ISSUE 7: Riker is fat.
Response: At least he shamelessly flaunts it. Shatner tried to
hide his with a girdle. There, enough on that one.
ISSUE 8: There's not enough action/war/death on TNG.
Response: Is it necessary?
To a point, yes. Trek was first and foremost an
action/adventure show. Gene may not have wanted it that way, but
that's what he gave the network. That's what kids saw in it until
they were old enough to realize all the many things that a Trek
episode conveyed. Many of the original episodes are layered in
messages that served to open our eyes to contemporary issues of the
time (war, racism, etc etc).
Some of the messages that came across are as valid today as they
were then. The original series was an allegory of a violent,
tumultuous period in our history. TNG/DS9 attempts to show us a
world that has taken steps to grow up, as we move past the Cold War
and into a new era of relations. Issues such as drug abuse, racism
(still? will we never learn?), AIDS, gay rights and countless others
are addressed in a manner that is uniquely Trek.
There has been talk of wanting to see more war and death on
Trek. Even though I am as big a fan of action as the next guy, I
don't need to see bodies dismembered and flying about to know about
death. That's not Trek, not even in the "old days." However,
dealing with the effects of war, either as victims or as bystanders,
would be worth exploring. There must be many stories out there that
could work with these themes.
ISSUE 9: Picard is a wimp. Kirk would annihilate him.
Taken at first glance, the statement is valid. If the Kirk of
the original series were pitted against Picard, I would have to place
my money on old Jimmie-boy. But, what else about the two characters
can be compared, if they should be compared at all? Kirk has been
described in the various mediums as a man of action, of impulse. He
even stated it himself that he had a tendency to "rush in where
angels fear to tread." Picard is more thoughtful, more restrained in
his actions. This could be the product of experience that the young
Kirk of the original series did not have. We have seen in TNG that
in his youth, Picard learned "the hard way" that being rash and
impulsive is not always a good thing. This accounts for changes in
his character that we are now familiar with. The Kirk of the movies
has mellowed, become more seasoned. Again, it comes down to the fact
that both characters are products of the times in which they were
But Kirk would still annihilate him.... ==8-D
ISSUE 10: Incredibly stupid dialogue.
Response: I could spend all day on this one. But here are a few
tidbits that spring to mind:
From "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield":
Lokai (paraphrasing) - I come from a planet called Cheron.
Kirk (thinking hard) - That's in the southernmost part of the
From "Shades of Gray":
Any non-flashback sequence. You could hit one with a dart while
If you've stayed along for this much, then you hopefully realize
that this was meant to entertain and hopefully provide some food for
thought. It was never conceived with the intention to fan flames on
either side of this Trek fence. The discussions and comparisons will
continue for as long as there are different facets of Trek.
Here's to spirited debate.
October 15: Mark Lenard
Among Playmates' Star Trek action figures and accessories: the
tricorder is now out, Guinan has been delayed so Q will go into the
shipping pipeline instead, the TOS set ships this month, DS9 figures
are scheduled for October, more TNG figures (including the TNG Spock,
Scotty, and McCoy) should start shipping before Christmas. (Thanks
to GrendelDvl for the info!)
Checking in on comic book land:
"William Shatner's TekWorld" #14 (Marvel): The battle moves to
London in Jake vs. the TekLords.
"Star Trek" #54 (DC): In an alternate timeline Kirk and his
Lieutenant Worf(!) time-travel back into Klingon history to make sure
that an assassination succeeds. (By Howard Weinstein.)
"Next Generation" #53 & 54 (DC): A Dixon Hill holodeck mystery
holds the key to saving Worf and Troi. (By Michael Jan Friedman.)
"Next Generation Annual" #4 (DC): Picard, controlled by an
insane Trill symbiont, tries to destroy the Enterprise.
"Next Generation Special" #1 (DC): A volume of 3 TNG stories:
"Good Listener" (features Guinan and Beverly), "A True Son of
Kahless" (an Alexander story), and "Spot's Day" (by Diane Duane; Spot
gets loose in one of Worf's holodeck programs).
"Deep Space Nine" #2 (Malibu): concludes the 2-part "Stowaway"
story, as DS9 is threatened by a Cardassian fungus run amok.
(From "The Westfield Newsletter.")
Spectrum Holobyte will be producing a TNG game, to be released
in February 1994, for the new Panasonic REAL 3DO Interactive
Multiplayer game system (scheduled for an October release). (From
the PR Newswire.)
Out on video is the "Celebrity Guide to Entertaining"; how to
entertain within a reasonable budget. |) Whoopi Goldberg is among
the celebrities offers hints and tips. (From Hollywood Hotline on
Credits where Credits are Due
"Dateline: Starfleet" -- edited by Bill Mason. Comments and
submissions are invited via any of these avenues: America Online
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The Away Team of Contributors -- NetRunr
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If you read all this, have you stocked up on video tapes to
start recording Star Trek again?
Dateline #40 will be out October 15th.