The Star Trek Movie Franchise Is Headed Backwards (VIAB)

Believe me when I say that this article and title is right on the money. While both Trek movies from 2009 combined made over a billion dollars, I believe Paramount is not thinking long-term enough. Fine, the new director Robert Orci has written a boatload of tv shows and some great movies as well as serving as either producer or executive producer. Star Trek 3 will be his first outing at least that is what I found on IMDB. I’m not so keen about this idea because this is not the normal course of action to hire directors especially on big movies like Trek.

On the Fly II with Eric Stoltz, makeup artist/sfx Chris Walas from the first movie became the director of the sequel. Sadly, anyone following David Cronenberg’s work has a hard act to follow regardless. Walas taking over the reigns for the Fly 2, while it had some good moments, failed to rival or even come close to the first. Let’s move to Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation which was headed by Phil Tippet. Star Wars fans and other great visual f/x movies will know that Phil’s great talent is making great visual f/x. Trying to follow the very skilful job that Paul Verhooven did in the first Starship Troopers was next to impossible much like the same problem Walas had. The budget was smaller to fit a smaller story and except for nudity to keep me awake there was very little to watch. I love Phil and will always have a place in my heart as he played the Rancor monster in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Another example is Frank Marshall. He has been a phenomenal producer and executive producer. One could almost watch any Spielberg movie and see Frank’s name. He had also turned to directing and has had some modest success. His first movie was Arachnophobia but I believe his better movie was Alive which was based on the plane crash in the Andes Mountain. However, Congo adapted from Michael Crichton’s book of the same name is sadly forgettable. All these examples are to help illustrate that hiring Robert Orci maybe a mistake given the track records of those I mentioned. However, let us look forward to a future where Paramount can be happy with the future of Star Trek.

Taking a cue from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Paramount needs to re-establish the Star Trek Universe (STU). Let’s start with mentioning the original series (TOS) that started the franchise. We then get three Star Trek movies one of the best Trek movie of all times. Star Trek gets back to tv with The Next Generation (TNG). Trek 4 makes a big splash with Nimoy taking the director’s chair and making this a more accessible film for non Trek fans. Trek 5 is nearly killed by Shatner’s hand but 6 makes up the last movie for the original cast and ends their run on a high note. TNG then takes over with their turn on the big screen: Generations and First Contact (their best movie by Frakes). Luckily another Trek series on tv comes into play Deep Space Nine (DS9). TNG fires back on the screen with Insurrection also directed by Frakes but lacks any real bite like First Contact. Star Trek launches Voyager (VOY) on the small screen. TNG makes one last movie Nemesis (worst ever). The last Trek series is called Enterprise (ENT). And then the two movies by JJ Abrams. Got that? Moving on.

Why did I go through all that? To showcase my Trek nerd cred… sh’yeah. More importantly, where do we go with STU? Abrams movie gave us a rebooted Trek universe that can allow us to do anything or do it all over again. Let’s do some creative planning and make this next movie a launch for bigger things. I believe the time is right for another Trek series on tv. Last year, there were rumors of two series in the vein of CSI. UHM, OK? But I would rather see 5 year missions or show how TNG, DS9, or VOY might fare in this alternate Trek history Maybe we get a Picard with hair? A female Data? Or nasty Ferengis as was once visioned by Roddenberry? Think of the possibilities for use fans and for the fans of the future. In between, lace these series with movies on the big screen and empire for Paramount can rise though not as mightly as MCU but still better than the Spiderman franchise over at Sony. Now is the time to plan big.

Paramount Pictures is taking a huge risk naming screenwriter Roberto Orci to direct the next film in the Star Trek movie franchise, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the the following video.

According to an exclusive report in Variety last week, Orci, whose screenwriting credits include work on Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, will team with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay to write the threequel. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are expected to reprise their roles as Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.

Good news, right? If only it were that simple. Instead, history shows the franchise is suffering decelerating returns. According to, Star Trek earned a combined $578.6 million including box office, DVD, and Blu-ray revenue. Star Trek Into Darkness earned $540.4 million on the same basis. Orci is taking on a turnaround story.

via The Star Trek Movie Franchise Is Headed Backwards (VIAB). – Jonathan Frakes Criticizes Enterprise Finale and Praises First Contact, Talks About His Favorite TNG Episode and Why Nemesis Didnt Worked

One of the interesting about this interview is the frankess in Frakes with Nemesis. When Nemesis was coming out, there was some underlying tones by the TNG cast about have Stuart Baird helm this project. I felt watching this video below, you get the sense that things were not great on set which translated to the worse Trek movie, in my opinion, ever. When you’re done, click here to read some post-Nemesis comments.

By GustavoLeao / 16:07, 2 November 2011 / Star Trek: Nemesis

High-Def Digest posted the full transcript of Next Generation actor/director Jonathan Frakes Q&A session at this weekend Canada Comic-Con and here are excerpts of the extensive report.

Q: How does it feel to be the guy who wrapped up the whole episodic Star Trek series as a whole?

JF: They said it would be a Valentine to the fans, but all of it ended up doing I think was hurting Scott Bakula‘s feelings. He was such a gentleman about it and I said to Scott this is weird for me to be on your show and your show is being taken off before it should be taken off and he was such a gentleman about it and said “no, glad you’re here” so it was awkward on all accounts, except with working with Marina again which is always lovely. But I wasn’t crazy about it. And it was so thinly connected, I thought too. Thanks for bringing up such an unpleasant memory.

Q: What was it like to direct ‘First Contact?’ It seems to be like the best star trek movie ever.

JF: It seems to be like what? Better than ‘The Wrath of Khan?’ Better than the movie with the whales?


JF: I like the whale movie and I love oh, um, what’s his name’s last movie (laughs). J.J.! J.J. Abrams. I think that movie was spectacular and I think Karl Urban as Bones was un-be-lievable.


JF: Well, First Contact was great for a lot of reasons. Obviously it was my first movie and I was thrilled to do it but I was lucky enough to get James Cromwell, the brilliant Alice Krige who sold that whole thing with the spine going into — she was a genius, and my godmother Alfre Woodard agreed to do the movie who is spectacular in the film. That scene she had with Patrick around the glass case was just one of my favorites. And Marina was hysterical in the drinking scene.


JF: I have very, very, very fond memories of ‘First Contact.’ Ahh, the good old days.

Q: Are you going to go on ‘The Big Bang Theory?’

JF: LeVar Burton and I are waiting for the phone call. We are a little insulted that it hasn’t come yet.

Q: What was your favorite episode from an actor’s perspective?

JF: My favorite episode of the Next Generation was ‘The Best of Both Worlds‘ between season three and four or four and five or whenever that was I thought that was great television. I have a soft spot obviously for ‘The Offspring’ which is the first one I directed where I was lucky enough not only for Rene’s script who is now writing ‘Terra Nova’ and was on ‘Castle’ with me and went on to Deep Space and all that stuff, but he wrote a script for ‘The Offspring’ which is the episode Data builds himself a daughter and it was a Spiner episode which is always a good break and Brent is so compelling to watch. So I have a soft spot for that one. But I think ‘The Best of Both Worlds’ was really, really good television. And what was your favorite episode?

Q: The one when you were in the (inaudible)…

JF: Oh, ‘Frame of Mind?’


JF: That was a little off the edge. I feel like we have a little class room vibe here. Have you all been taking notes?

Q: What are your thoughts on the ‘Nemesis’ movie and why it wasn’t as well-received as the other movies?

JF: Very good question. The ‘Nemesis’ movie was, my thoughts on why it didn’t do well, awkward, be very careful Jonathan you are using your outside voice…

via – Jonathan Frakes Criticizes Enterprise Finale and Praises First Contact, Talks About His Favorite TNG Episode and Why Nemesis Didnt Worked.

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Star Trek: The Next Generation


With Star Trek: The Next Generation coming to Blu-ray next year, we’re going to be rediscovering the Enterprise-D all over again. And with all that new picture quality, we’ll be able to notice all sorts of details we missed the first time.

TNG didn’t just bring Star Trek back to life on television — it also reinvented television space opera, making some fascinating choices along the way. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Star Trek: The Next Generation.

10. Rock Star Cameos. Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac shaved off his famous beard for a guest spot in the TNG episode “Manhunt” — but then he was cast as an Antedean, a fish-like alien, and thus his face was completely covered up in any case. Meanwhile, Picard’s former love interest, Jenice Manheim, in “We’ll Always Have Paris,” was played by Michelle Philips, former member of The Mamas & The Papas. Source: IMDB. (Philips also played William Shatner‘s love interest in an episode of T.J. Hooker.)

9) Star Trek Without Starships? Early on in the planning of TNG, the creators went through a few different concepts, including setting the show 150 years after the Original Series instead of just 78 years later, and setting it on the Enterprise-G. And they also considered getting rid of the Enterprise altogether — because Transporter technology would have advanced so far, the crew could just teleport from planet to planet, instead of flying in a ship. Source: Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual.

via 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Keep Looking Up: Miami’s “Star Gazer” Dead at 72 | NBC Miami

Jack Horkheimer, best known as host of PBS’ “Star Gazer,” died of respitory failure Friday after a long battle with an illness, officials at the Miami Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium said.

Horkheimer was 72 and spent the past 35 years as the director of the planetarium. During that time, he became famous for his role on “Star Gazer,” a 5-minute show that chronicled what people would see in the night sky and other astronomy related events.

He had been the host of the show since 1976. Horkheimer’s trademark phrase was, “Keep looking up.”

via Keep Looking Up: Miami’s “Star Gazer” Dead at 72 | NBC Miami.

This morning as I as taking my daughter to see my mom, I got a call from my wife about the passing of Jack Horkheimer. I am deeply saddened by this news. I had the pleasure to meet him several times when I used to work for the Border’s Book Shop in Coconut Grove.

Back in 1996, I wanted to do another Star Trek event for my store but on a much grander scale. Up to that point, the events where small and in store only. I would play bloopers videos, games and Trek trivia. There were certain themes I loved doing like Klingon-Fest (dressed up as a Klingon) and a eulogy for the death of Captain Kirk done by Tony over at Cinema Viewfinder (I still remember it; good times.). Since Star Trek’s 35th anniversary was coming and the new movie Star Trek: First Contact, I knew I had to something big and badder than before.

As luck would have it, I was contacted by a CRC (Community Relation Coordinator) employee at the Coral Springs Borders. She was a huge Trek fan and got wind of my desire to something Trek too. It turned out that she had connection with the Miami Science Museum and Jack. Even more of a coinkidinky the Museum was also celebrating its 35th anniversary and that’s when we thought about combining these two events into one large event.

Time passed and suddenly my CRC partner had quit Borders. I was up the creek without my paddle but that’s when I decided to still continue with the Trek event. I decided to have a fundraiser for the Museum and bring in other partners such as Planet Hollywood and the Cobb Theater which were both in the same mall area. Having written a proposal, I planned out multiple events. Three days before the release of First Contact, I was going to have an all Borg Trek episode at the Museum. On the day of the movie, Planet Hollywood was going to have a Trek costume party, the theater of course was playing the movie and Borders was going to have programming inside the store such as the usual trek videos but we had a Trek vendor by the name of Joe Motes and the Star Trek fan club to help run the Star Trek skit (which Mr. Gene created and was and still is brilliant.).

Everything was going great except the turnout was not that impressive. Aside from the admission the Museum collected, the fundraiser from Borders was really sad. I was only able to generate $35 and really hated knowing that all my efforts went in vain. Nonetheless, Jack was gracious to me throughout the process and accepted the money anyway. Aside from this Trek business, I remembered Jack showing me some meteor rocks from Mars he had on display. This is the same time when scientist had found meteors from Mars which had microbes inside. This connection to seeing the rocks privately was extremely cool and a once in a lifetime opportunity. While I have not thought of Jack for sometime, I am constantly reminded of my time with him every time I drive by the Museum.

I am sorry to see him go but at least I can take comfort that as long as I keep looking up, I will see Jack looking down on me. So long, Stargazer and until next time. : (

Real-Life Synthehol Under Development |

by Staff , Filed under: Science/Technology, TNG , trackback

In the 24th century depicted by Star Trek: The Next Generation (and DS9 & VOY), alcohol has been superseded by ’synthehol’, which removes the effects of intoxication and addiction. However, it seems this is another bit of Treknology that will become a reality long before we Trek to the stars. Details below

Synthetic Alchohol

Researchers at Imperial College of London are trying to find the holy grail of drinking. An alternative to alcohol that has the postive effects, but none of the negative. A new article in the UK Telegraph explains:

The synthetic alcohol, being developed from chemicals related to Valium, works like alcohol on nerves in the brain that provide a feeling of wellbeing and relaxation.

But unlike alcohol its does not affect other parts of the brain that control mood swings and lead to addiction. It is also much easier to flush out of the body.

Finally because it is much more focused in its effects, it can also be switched off with an antidote, leaving the drinker immediately sober.

via Real-Life Synthehol Under Development |