Thursday 29 November 2012

TNG season 2 bluray round up, part 1

The release of TNG season two on bluray is just days away, and there are previews, interviews and launch events abound. Here's part one of round up of the season two bluray news, starting with all the official trailers and release information:

First up here's a trailer:

And to accompany, an overview of this season's release, from the CBS press release:
Adding to the exclusivity and collectability of the Blu-ray release is an HD, "Extended Cut" of "The Measure of a Man," which includes deleted scenes and different angles from the broadcast version. The original version of the episode is included, as well as a "Hybrid Extended Cut," combining the high-definition on-air version of "The Measure of a Man" with video of the extra material taken from an early VHS rough-cut of the episode that was in the writer's (Melinda Snodgrass) archives.

The spectacular collection boasts a must-see reunion of the cast, who were brought together earlier this year in Calgary in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the series. Produced exclusively for the series' Blu-ray, this never-before-seen reunion roundtable chat features all of the best known cast regulars, joining together for the first time in years to tape a discussion about the legacy of the series, including Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard), Jonathan Frakes (Commander William T. Riker, LeVar Burton (Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge), Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troi), Brent Spiner (Lt. Commander Data), Michael Dorn (Lieutenant Worf), Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher) and Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher).

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - THE SECOND SEASON also includes over 120 minutes of brand-new special features, including a two-part, in-depth documentary on the making of Season 2 entitled "Making It So: Continuing Star Trek: The Next Generation" - Strange New Worlds (Part 1), and New Life and New Civilizations (Part 2), and a gag reel that was created from newly recovered 35mm film elements and transferred for the very first time to high-definition.

The 5-disc collection features all 22 episodes of the second season of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, including the beginning of Whoopi Goldberg's notable recurring role, and the introductions of Diana Muldaur as the new ship's doctor and the deadly alien villains The Borg.
You can see a disc by disc breakdown of all the extra feature, here on Trekcore.

As with the season one release, Fathom Events are doing a screening of select episodes to mark the release of season two. This time they have picked the first Borg episode, Q Who? and the new extended cut of The Measure of The Man. Here is their poster and trailer for the event:

Unfortunately for the rest of the world this event is limited to the US again. If you're lucky enough to be American you can find your nearest cinema on Fathom's website. Best be quick though, the screening is tonight!

CBS in the UK are apparently trying to find fans with Borg questions to do some sort of launch event too. Details at Trekcore if you can help with that.

In Germany meanwhile Amazon are continuing their steelbook release of the series. Here is the Season two steelbook:

Each steelbook release is coming with a Star Trek pin badge; season two gets the Federation emblem. Here is the full set which, if you collect all the steelbooks, you will amass.

Check back later for part two, where I'll be looking at some of the preview images, and picking out some highlights from the bewildering array of interviews that are around in relation to this season two release.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

First plot details for Star Trek Into Darkness

Paramount has released the first synopsis for the next Star Trek film, Star Trek Into Darkness. It goes like this:
In Summer 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes Star Trek Into Darkness.

When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.

With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.
Sounds interesting! "Detonated the fleet" sounds ominous! I wonder if this terror from inside (the Federation? Starfleet?) has anything to do with the conspiracy hinted at in the Return of the Archons comic in the ongoing series. I also wonder what happened to Kirk's family; we don't know was has become of his mother, and his brother and his family are alive and well as of Operation: Annihilate!, also in the ongoing series.

Sunday 25 November 2012

First details of The Stuff of Dreams

James Swallow has blogged the first details of his forthcoming TNG ebook novella, The Stuff of Dreams. Here is his summary of the story:
When Captain Picard is summoned back to the mysterious space-time phenomenon known as the nexus, he and his crew become embroiled in a desperate plot to rewrite history, no matter what the cost.
Apparently he originally came up with the story as an idea for one of the Star Trek RPGs:
The story picks up a dangling narrative thread left over from the movie Star Trek Generations; originally I wrote it as the basis for a role-playing game scenario for the now-defunct ST:TNG RPG produced by Last Unicorn Games, and I’ve had it kicking around for several years. I realized that with some revision and expansion, it made a good basis for a novella...
The story focuses on Picard, and also features another character who is an old friend of Picard's. Expanding on his blog on the TrekBBS, Swallow noted that it was originally to be set before the Cold Equations trilogy, but once the release date was pushed back to after the release of the trilogy (March 2013) he made some revisions to have to take place after instead.

Swallow's post was presented in the format of the "Next Big Thing" meme, in which authors discuss, their next big things... Una McCormack has posted similar coverage of her recent Typhon Pact novel, Brinkmanship.

Dayton Ward has also posted about his forthcoming TOS novel, From History's Shadow. He revealed a connection with his previous short story on a similar subject, The Aliens Are Coming!:
Several years ago, I wrote a short story called “The Aliens Are Coming!” which touches on similar themes. I’ve always wanted to take a longer look at some of the ideas I put forth in that story. Consider this novel to be something of a prequel as well as an expansion of the storyline from that original short tale.
In addition to the Star Trek: Eugenics Wars novels Ward also cited the TV series Taken and Dark Skies as inspirations.

Saturday 24 November 2012

The John Byrne Collection

Exciting news for fans of John Byrne's Star Trek comics (which, should be everyone as they are some of the best Trek comics ever): IDW will be releasing the John Byrne Collection, a new oversized hardcover omnibus of all his Trek series (The Romulans Saga, Assignment: Earth, Crew, and Frontier Doctor), due in April. Here is the description from Amazon:
Comics legend John Byrne has taken on 4 Star Trek titles, and they are all collected here, in one oversized hardcover collection. "Assignment Earth" recounts the adventures of interstellar agent Gary Seven, "Crew" recounts a tale from the very beginnings of the United Federation of Planets, "Leonard McCoy: Frontier Doctor" is a collection of tales from the member of the Frontier Medics Program, and mystery, intrigue, and war abound in "Romulans."
Byrne has already confirmed, on his own forum, that he will be producing a new cover for the 320 page omnibus. But in the mean time Amazon have a stand in, using his first Romulan comic cover:

Byrne also noted on his forum he will be using this opportunity to correct a few errors that snuck into his work:
This will be a "last chance" to clean up all the little glitches that have persisted thru various iterations, like the Engineer whose name changes mysteriously in SCHISM, and may failure to identify the Organian who pops up at the end of the same series. Also correcting a line of dialog from TOS which was "fixed" by an over-zealous proofreader in THE HOLLOW CROWN. We're also going to see if it's possible to fix the poor resolution on the first issue of A:E, which was my fault since I somehow scanned the pages at the wrong setting.
Sounds good. But I really want to know is, when will Byrne be giving us some new Trek?!

Thursday 22 November 2012

The latest Bye Bye Robot Treks

Bye Bye Robot has released their latest Star Trek art print, this time celebrating TNG's 25th anniversary, with a neat gathering of the main cast by department colours, by artist Tracie Ching:

Also out recently was their retro travel poster for Risa, by Steve Thomas:

They've released a set of Horga'hn stickers to match it:

Finally Her Universe's latest T-shirt sports some Bye Bye Robot artwork too, using Charity Wood's Gorn portrait:

First Star Trek Visual Dictionary details

One of the most exciting of the numerous Star Trek non-fiction books coming out soon is the first ever Star Trek book in Dorling Kindersley's lavishly illustrated Visual Dictionary series. Now details are now starting to emerge about the Star Trek: The Visual Dictionary, including a first look at the draft cover, posted on the Things From Another World listing of the book:

Amazon has also a posted a blurb, which defines what the book will cover:
Boldly go where no Trekkie has gone before. "Star Trek the Visual Dictionary" is the final frontier.

Charting each and every one of the the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its mission: to explore everything Star Trek, strange new worlds (and old ones), to seek out every character, ship and series, to boldly go where no book has gone before. Covering all of the six television series, with full coverage of favourite characters such as Spock, Bones, Scotty and Uhura, and full-colour pictures of ships that would make James T. Kirk proud, this is the ultimate guide to "Star Trek" for any Trekkie.

Don't be a Vulcan - live long and prosper with "Star Trek the Visual Dictionary".
I'm really rather surprised. Given the market for the Visual Dictionaries tends to be quite mainstream, and that this book is coming out almost at the same time as Star Trek Into Darkness, I was expecting this to focus solely on the new world of Star Trek in the new timeline films. Maybe that will come later? Still, will be nice to see the DK treatment of Star Trek, whichever bit of franchise they are playing with.

Klingon Bird of Prey, in a box.

Just a few week from release, Diamond Select Toys have revealed the packaging for their latest model starship, the Klingon Bird of Prey. She'll look like this:

And here is the final model, out of the box too:

For those of you wondering where the landing gear seen on earlier prototypes of the model has got to, the latest DST Q and A has the answer:
The Trek 3 – HMS in other words, version will have the landing gear, the other version will not. I do not think that has changed since we started developing the item but they have been in work so long I can see where some confusion might come up.
They also made a similar comment on the planned USS Excelsior varient of the forthcoming USS Enterprise-B ship:
YES we are working on the Excelsior (as we have said) and YES it will have all new sculpted parts but YES it will include some of the parts from the B. Frankly, that is the only remotely possible way for us to afford doing both the B and Excelsior. I hope everyone will be happy with both ships when it’s all said and done.
DST also recently posted a shipping date list, which gives us an update on when to expect all the latest Star Trek stuff coming from DST. These are the dates they expect to send them out to retailers, so they should appear some time after:
Also listed are a load of reissues of their TOS Trek tech, in just about every variation and combination imaginable!:
Notably absent from these lists are the dates for the reissues of all the DST starships, and the new Star Trek Select action figures, which were expected early next year. I guess we'll be waiting until after February for those now.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

More on The Fall, and other Trek-lit bits

A few days ago we learnt the first details about The Fall, which will be set over just a few weeks in the 24th century. That series is to include David R. George III's DS9 anniversary book, Revelations and Dust, and now news is starting to trickle out about who else is involved in the series. In recent podcast interviews, David Mack and Dayton Ward have confirmed their involvement.

David Mack from the Chronic Rift podcast:
There is something big in the works... A five book Star Trek 24th century miniseries event. Five books, five different authors, scheduled for the end of 2013.
Dayton Ward on Trek FM:
I'm working on a book that will be part of a four or five book arc for Pocket. That will be out in later 2013, early 2014. I haven't even figured out what that story's going to be yet, other than knowing which crew I'm going to be writing.
Both interviews should be of interest to Trek readers. The Trek FM interview was in fact the first episode of a new series on Trek FM dedicated to Star Trek books, Literary Treks; co-hosted by one of my frequent twitter correspondents Mathew Rushing. Dayton Ward talked on several subjects, in particular his recent coda to the Vanguard series, In Tempest's Wake. Also mentioned was that fact he is already in preliminary discussions about books after his contribution to The Fall. Whether those might include some of Ward's desired projects is unknown, but he did mention wishing to write an Enterprise-D era novel, a Voyager TV era novel, and proposals for an entire trilogy of Captain Proton books!

David Mack's interview meanwhile centered on his new TNG trilogy, Cold Equations. Discussing it's development, and how the whole trilogy ended up becoming a sequel to Jeffrey Lang's novel, Immortal Coil. Here is Mack's summary of the trilogy:
Once I settled on this notion of the storyline that I selected, there are some big ideas within the trilogy: What constitutes a soul? What constitutes life or death? Is it different for artificial intelligence; there definition of life? What are the differences in the needs and drives of article sentients versus biological sentients? Then there are also some political ideas, and ideas about betrayal, about the political future of the Federation and its neighbours. There's also just the small personal dramas of the crew (those are really the driving engine behind all of it): There's a struggle between Picard and his wife to try and figure out exactly how they want their lives to evolve now that they have a child. Worf is dealing with some major upheavals in his personal life and potentially in his career. Geordie is still coping with the empty hole in life where Data used to be, and the fact that this creates a sense of duty in him when he finds out that the last part of Data, in B-4, has been put in peril.
What I found most interesting though, was a comment he made about editorial changes leading to changes in the trilogy:
My first few proposals were rejected for various reasons. A certain number of assumptions in-house changed about what they were doing with the Star Trek books overall; and that necessitated some changes on my end.
It leads me to speculate, that as the litverse inches ever close to the Hobus supernova there must be discussions going on about how to approach integrating the novel continuity with what was established in the 2009 movie - And maybe what was established in Countdown; a comic series that has a bit more continuity clout than most maybe?

On a less positive note regarding the novels' editing, Cold Equations has revealed an apparent editorial decision to ignore another recent novel, David McIntee's Indistinguishable From Magic. As Mack mentioned in the podcast, and elaborated on on the TrekBBS, he was instructed to ignore some of the character developments established in that novel; in particular the details of Geordi's love life:
I know that DRG3 did his best to reconcile the continuity details from [Indistinguishable From Magic] with [Plagues of Night/Raise the Dawn], but I was instructed by my editors simply to move on and proceed as if with a clean slate. So before you start accusing me of making "errors," be advised that I worked in good faith based on the instructions I was given.
Something I think is regrettable; IFM did draw in characters from all over in somewhat awkward ways regarding continuity, but it wasn't something that was impossible to reconcile - And I for one would be more interested to see something come of Geordi and Leah Brahms long struggling relationship (as established in IFM), than return to newbie Tamala Harstad. It was also a novel that had probably the most character development for Geordi just about ever, not to mention a pretty major outcome for Scotty!

Unfortunately McIntee's blogging and TrekBBS posts seems to indicate this spells the end of his time as a Trek novelist. Something which is even more regrettable, as IFM was rather fun, and a decidedly, and refreshingly, different take on Star Trek.

Interestingly Keith R.A. DeCandido also commented on McIntee's blog, indicating he also feels abandoned by Pocket; explaining his recent absence from Trek writing. A waste of a good author if you ask me; with Articles of the Federation and A Singular Destiny alone DeCandido established so much of the modern continuity (and that's only scratching the surface of his huge contribution to Trek lit). Get him back on board Pocket!

Non-fiction updates

Some updates on forthcoming on-fiction Trek titles:

The CD/book On Board the USS Enterprise now has a cover. It is, somewhat lacking in originiality... Hopefully what's inside will fair better!:

The TNG quotes book also has a new cover, which also is a little on the dull side, but looks better than the first version released at least:

Curiously Amazon now have two listings for this quotes book: There's the 96-page version that has been around a while. But there is also now also a 126-page version listed as "Star Trek Classic Quotes: A Little Seedling Book". Both are due out at the same time, and I am inclined to believe they are actually both the same thing. Here is the blurb for the little seedling version:
This mini edition filled with notable quotables and color photos from all seven seasons of The Next Generation are the perfect way to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first episode

This 25th Anniversary Tie-In Edition celebrates the popular syndicated television show that aired from 1987 to 1994, as a new, larger crew explored strange new worlds, sought out new life and new civilizations, and boldly went where no one had gone before. Continuing the successful Classic Quotes series, this book pairs full-color photographs and quotes derived from all seven seasons. There’s a lot of great material to pull from. In fact, Star Trek: The Next Generation won 18 Emmy Awards. The series formed the basis of the seventh through tenth Star Trek films.
Finally there's something completely new, Star Trek: Phaser, from Running Press. Due out in April it is described thusly:
For more than forty years, Star Trek has made a phenomenal cultural impact. Now with the new movie well on its way, trekkies everywhere will want to get their hands on this kit. The kit includes a light-up phaser (to get all the bad guys!) and a 32-page book on the history of phasers, and lots of fun quotes and images from the classic show.
This appears to be part of Running Press's miniature kit series, which couples a small book with a ornament or game, in this instance a small model phaser. Some of the previous and forthcoming titles in the series include a TARDIS, a Bat-signal projector, miniature stonehenge, and magnetic kama sutra!

Tuesday 20 November 2012

First look at the new timeline, mirrored

This week sees the first half of a new two-part story in the Star Trek ongoing comic series, which will see the new timeline gang meet their mirror universe counterparts. has posted a preview of this issue, which reveals, after the last few nameless stories in the series, that this one is titled "Mirrored". The cover and art also reveal a new artist for the series, with a, Fajar, drawing this issue, instead of the originally solicited series regular, Stephen Molnar. Erfan Fajar appears to be from a studio of comic artists in Jakarta, Stellar Labs; according to DeevElliot's DeviantART page other artists involved in this issue are Ifansyah and Sakti Yuwono.

Funnily enough for this alternate alternate timeline story which opens with a discussion on alternate timelines, the first panels seem to use the classic movie era Enterprise rather than the new movie version. Something I'm willing to forgive, as quite frankly it looks awesome combined with the new-style warp effect!

Monday 19 November 2012

Star Trek gets crafty

It looks like 2013 is shaping up to be a big year if you're a creative trekkie, with a host of craft and activity Star Trek books on the way:

Coming in June is The Star Trek Craft Book. The book is written by Angie Pedersen, who keeps herself busy with a variety of websites; you can find out more about her, here. She's also previously written several books on making scrapbooks. Here is the cover and blurb from the Simon and Schuster digital catalogue:

A collection of twenty-five fun and unique Star Trek–inspired crafts—from accessories to decor to toys—ideal for enterprising crafters of every skill level.

Featuring full-color photographs and easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, this clever craft book puts a fresh spin on Captain Picard’s order to “make it so.” Now crafters of any skill level and Starfleet rank can create homemade Star Trek–inspired crafts.

These featured projects are fun, quirky, even practical—and include crocheting, embroidery, sewing, decoupage, stenciling, felting, and more. Detailed photographs of each completed craft are accompanied by an introduction, clear instructions, a list of supplies, and helpful crafting tips. Information and images from the original Star Trek episodes that inspired the crafts are intermingled throughout, making it an entertaining and instructive read.

Also out in June is the Star Trek Cross-Stitch book. This one is by John Lohman, a regular contributor to the delightfully quirky video game/craft blog, Sprite Stitch. Here are the cover and blurb, again from Simon and Schuster, for this one:

A collection of thirty cross-stich projects—created by Star Trek crafters—perfect for both die-hard Trekkies and enterprising crafters alike.

Ever wondered what Spock would look like on a baby’s onesie? Well, now you can view this fun and entertaining collection of thirty cross-stitch projects made with love from Star Trek fans. If you’re looking for ideas for putting your favorite Star Trek character on a tote bags or pillow—or perhaps making a lovely “Qo’noS Sweet Qo’noS” framed sign in the entryway to let everyone know that a Klingon-speaker lives here, then look no further. Star Trek Cross-Stitch not only showcases some of the fans’ biggest creations, it also includes pattern images and photos of every finished project in use by the creator themselves. Ten of the projects include alternate patterns as well, just in case you’d prefer to see another quotable phrase on your stitched bookmark, or a different cast of characters on your dish towel.

One we've known about for a little while, veteran Star Trek illustrator Joe Corroney's sticker book, Stuck on Star Trek, has now got itself a new cover. This is on the way from Universe Publishing in February:

Finally, if you cant wait until next year to get Trek-crafting, you're in luck, last month saw the release of Build the USS Enterprise, a paper-model kit with book, which seems to be exclusive to Barnes and Nobel. Looks like this:

If you're even more determined to make more Trek things, have a look at by Star Trek craft books list.

Latest novel blurbs

The Simon and Schuster digital catalogue has been updated with some new blurbs for the most recently announced 2013 novels. They are very brief, and sound a lot like the general outlines for the stories so far described by the authors, so don't tell us a lot. Except that is for the blurb for David R. George III's DS9 anniversary novel, Revelations and Dust, which seems to suggest the series it is a part of, The Fall, spans the 24th century continuity, and does so in a new way for a Trek crossover series:
The Federation is rocked to its core as the Typhon Pact is suspected of being behind a barbarous act that shatters the fragile peace of the Alpha Quadrant. An original Star Trek novel, this is part of a five-book story arc that takes place over a sixty-day period, but it’s not necessary to read each novel in order to follow the storyline, which involves all aspects of The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine universes.

Here's the blurb for Christopher L. Bennett's new Enterprise novel, Rise of the Federation: A Choice of Futures:
The Romulans have retreated behind the Neutral Zone, but can the fragile alliances that were forged in the heat of war hold? Captain Jonathan Archer and the crew of the Enterprise are looking forward to easy service and returning to exploration—but history has other plans as they face a greater challenge.

And finally Dayton Ward's 20th century TOS adventure, From History's Shadow:
Set in the Original Series universe, this standalone story utilizes 1950s UFO paranoia, the Cold War, and the escalating “space race” of the 1960s as a backdrop for a Star Trek tale in a vein similar to that of the New York Times bestselling Eugenics Wars duology.

Saturday 17 November 2012

Latest Star Trek sculptures

A couple of new sculptures on the way: Hollywood Collectibles have revealed the next in their range of Star Trek statues; a 1:6 scale Captain Picard, in his command chair. A partner to the previous Kirk release.


There will be 600 copies made, and he's due out in the second quarter of 2013. You can see more views of the pre-painted sculpt of this on A Piece of the Action.

Meanwhile Diamond Select Toys have announced a the first Star Trek sculpture from them in some time; with the reveal of their "Femme Fatales" Seven of Nine PVC Statue. Her she is, striking a pose:

Seven is also due out in the summer.

Friday 16 November 2012

The Doctor steps into The Best of Both Worlds

Out this week was the penultimate issue in the TNG/Doctor Who crossover comic series, Assimilation2. If you've not picked up your copy yet, here's a seven page preview (continues after the jump) to tempt you, as The Doctor and co find themselves in the midst of The Best of Both Worlds:

Hive update

The second issue of Hive came out last week, and ahead of that posted a two-part interview with the writer, Brannon Braga. Here's what he had to say about the series so far, and where it's going:
The reviews that I’ve read online have generally been very positive, but if there’s one criticism it’s that there’s some resemblance to the Voyager episode “Scorpion” that I did. The answer is, yes, there is a resemblance in that we’re making a deal with the Borg to defeat an enemy from another dimension. But the story veers into radically new territory in Issue #2. Everything is not what it seems with the Borg, and there’s a much larger game being played. Issue #2 is quite action-packed. There’s some really cool stuff and, as the series goes on – and I’m literally working on Issue #4 right now – it really, ultimately dips into some moral quandary for Picard having to do with committing an act of genocide and whether or not genocide is justifiable in any circumstance. It’s just classic Star Trek stuff.
The latest IDW solicitations confirm the omnibus of the series is set for February release. Until then, here is a six page preview (continues after the jump) of the latest issue:


Uhura stars in February comics has posted details of IDW's February Star Trek comics, and both new titles that month feature Uhura on the cover:

Countdown to Darkness #2
The second chapter in the story building to the release of Star Trek Into Darkness finds new characters and fresh conflicts threatening Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew. Roberto Orci – co-writer/co-producer of Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness -- oversees this title, which has been penned by Mike Johnson, with David Messina on art and cover duty.

UPDATE: Want to see how David Messina made this cover? Have a look, here.

Star Trek (ongoing) #18
...penned by Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrott, with art by Claudia Balboni and a cover by Tim Bradstreet. Also overseen by Orci, this tale shines a light on Uhura, dipping into her past and depicting her first encounter with Spock.

It will be interesting to see, with Bad Robot overseeing all the new-TOS tie-ins, how well this meshes with the early Uhura/Spock relationship we've seen in the Starfleet Academy novels so far. If the cover gives us some indication of the setting, getting to see 23rd century Africa could be fun too!

In other ongoing news, the fourth omnibus book for the series, due out in March, now has a cover; not to surprisingly it reuses the artwork from issue thirteen, the first of four issues in the book:

The second story in that same book came out a couple of weeks ago. If you've not got your copy yet here's a six page preview (continues after the jump), from a charming tale featuring Keenser, and the crew of the Kelvin dropping in for a flashback!:

Find Star Trek comics, toys, statues, and collectibles at!