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Sunday, 31 March 2013

First details of After Darkness comic sequel story

At this weekend's WonderCon event IDW announced the first details of a comic book sequel to Star Trek Into Darkness. We already knew issue twenty-one of the Star Trek ongoing series would be picking up after Into Darkness, and now we know that will be the first of a three part story called After Darkness (a title which sounds kind of sordid to me...). Comic Book Resources interviewed the series writer, Mike Johnson, about After Darkness. The story is of course is as wrapped up in secrecy as Into Darkness, but he could give us some ideas of it's place in the nuTrek story, with After Darkness acting as the the third part of a trilogy of sorts after Countdown to Darkness and the new film:
The comic story picks up a few days after the movie ends, then jumps ahead about a week. The storyline address the fallout from both the film and the prequel miniseries "Countdown to Darkness." The hope is that the prequel, the movie and the ongoing series tell one big epic story that continues into the months to come.
Not able to give any story details at this point Johnson did promise we'll see:
...people (both familiar and unfamiliar) travel to a place (both familiar and unfamiliar) very far away where their loyalties are tested and their lives are at risk.
And that some of the themes covered will be:
Family. Duty. Wonder. Love. Lust. Xeno-geophysics.
You can read the full interview, here. See my previous coverage to read the solicitations and see the covers for part one, and part two. Part one (Star Trek ongoing #21) is currently available for pre-order from Things From Another World, or Forbidden Planet.

Friday, 29 March 2013

New Vulcan: Reborn

Overhead view of New Vulcan from the browser game.
IGN have set up a promo browser game/competition to promote the forthcoming release of Star Trek: The Video Game. New Vulcan: Reborn sees you help direct the construction of the New Vulcan colony, the primary location of the new game. Here's how these describe this web-game:
Star Trek: New Vulcan Reborn is a puzzle game that sees you assume the role of a key member of the Vulcan Principal Research Council. You have been charged with helping to co-ordinate the colonisation of a new planet for the surviving members of the Vulcan race. Your keen intellect is required for the myriad tasks involved in such a huge undertaking. It will be up to you to brief military personnel, direct automated mining teams and advise civilian settlers to help establish the foundations of New Vulcan.
There will be twenty-four missions, one released each day, with three already up. The game play is very simple; you have to select a target for whatever task you've been assigned, and are rewarded with a little animation of people doing that thing once you've made your selection.

You also get points for choosing the right place on the map of New Vulcan, and for doing it quickly, with a leader board leading to you potentially winning prizes, including copies of Star Trek: The Video Game, Playstation 3s Xbox 360s, a 3D TV, and copies of the first nuTrek film on DVD or bluray. You'll need to be in United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada (excluding Quebec), USA (excluding the States of New York and Florida), Germany, or Norway, to win stuff though.

To give you an idea of what you'll be tasked with, here are the mission briefings for the first three tasks. Note, it might not be best to follow my locations for all of these, I didn't get high scores in every mission!:

The Vulcan High Council ship arrives.
New Beginnings

Welcome to New Vulcan.

It is a boon to have someone of your calibre on board as we begin to colonize a new home-world for the Vulcan people.

Initial steps have been taken to prepare the planet for habitation and your arrival signals that this undertaking can now being in earnest.

Today, members of the Vulcan High Council will arrive to offer guidance during the colonisation efforts. Deploy a military detachment to the spaceport's eastern landing pad to ensure their safe transfer.

Clue: Score a touchdown at landing pad three.
The survey team deploys.
Waterworks

A consultation session with representatives from the Vulcan High Council and our chief engineering officer has just concluded.

The council welcomed your foresight in proposing the construction of a combined high-volume water treatment facility and recycling plant to meet the needs of the developing city.

The rocky outcropping overlooking the water to the south of the city is the logical site for this construction. Plot the location and we will send a survey team to commence planning.

Clue: There's a perfect spot overlooking the water.
The drilling platform in action.
Mine How You Go

Sub-surface scans of the planet's crust have revealed energy spikes in the south-west quadrant.

We should prepare an exploratory mining platform to further analyse the source of the readings.

Choose a location due east of the of the outlying power station that we have already established in the region. The drilling platform should be constructed nearby, but so close that it risks disturbing the power station's energy matrix.

Clue: It's a stone's throw to the right of the power station.
Future missions promise to feature a meteoroid threat to the planet, the discovery of pergium reserves and ancient ruins, and wild razor-boars threatening the city. So sign-up and have a go, and help to build New Vulcan so the Gorn have got something to destroy when you get to playing Star Trek: The Video Game!

The game also has two and a half minutes of new music, have a listen:



Brilliant Shatner vs Gorn trailer for Star Trek video game

This has to be best Star Trek promo video ever, William Shatner reenacts his classic battle with the Gorn, complete with all the original Kirk moves, while playing the new Star Trek video game:



Via Yahoo Movies. All hail whichever genius came up with this.

UPDATE: Switched to version posted on the Namco Bandai Youtube channel, available in up to 720p.

Into Darkness novelization and soundtrack update

Simon and Schuster have updated their listing for Alan Dean Foster's novelization of Star Trek Into Darkness. Unlike the original release of his novelization for the first film, which used promo-portraits of the cast within the text of the title to create a new cover design, this time they've gone for a straight re-use of the first poster (why not? It's a great poster):


The blurb for the book is also pretty much a straight re-use of one of the general film descriptions:
The official movie tie-in novelization of the highly anticipated sequel to 2009’s blockbuster feature film Star Trek!

Pioneering director J.J. Abrams has delivered 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.

Star Trek Into Darkness, starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, and Peter Weller, arrives on May 17th, 2013.

The novelization is out in trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook on the 21st of May. No news yet on who's reading the audiobook, but last time it was Zachary Quinto. It will also be released, translated into German, by Cross Cult, in both paperback and ebook, and from Laser Books translated into Czech.

In other Into Darkness news Varese Sarabande Records have added a listing on their site for the soundtrack, by Michael Giacchino. We can look forward to hearing that from the 14th of May, but at the moment there are no other details.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Voyages of the HMS Enterprise in new ongoing comic

Out this week is issue nineteen of the Star Trek ongoing comic series, and this one is the Scotty origin story. StarTrek.com have posted a seven page preview, which takes us even further back into the history of the Scott clan, aboard the HMS Enterprise, before skipping ahead to Scotty's childhood. See preview below.

In some other comics news, Amazon has added a listing for a new book, titled simple Star Trek, by Mike Johnson; the author of all the nuTrek comics. There are no details about the book yet, other than a listing price of $96.86, and that it's due out in August. At that sort of price my guess is that it might be an omnibus of all the Star Trek ongoing comics to date. Volume Five of the regular omnibus series is out in July, which would time this right to get all the stories released between the 2009 film and Into Darkness in one book, and on shelves in time for the DVD/bluray release of Into Darkness. That is of course pure speculation though.

Meanwhile there's good news for French readers: A new Quebec based publisher, Éditions Héros, as sprung up. Their only online presence seems to be on Facebook for now, where they have announced they have recently acquired a catalogue of several hundred comics, which they will be releasing digitally, translated into French, from September. Among those comics is the first Countdown series - Which is in fact one of the few Star Trek comics already available in French, with the omnibus edition released by Delcourt in 2009. Hopefully more will follow from this new publisher though, as Delcourt's dribble of new Star Trek releases stopped in 2011. If you're interesting in Star Trek comics in French, check out my 8of5 Archives article on them.

Now then, shall we enjoy a flashback into the life of the Scott clan (continues after the jump):

 
 

First details of Cross Cult's Star Trek novels guide

German publisher Cross Cult have released their latest catalogue, which includes a description of the mysterious new Star Trek novels guide book I first mentioned last week. It's got a new title, Maximum Warp: Der Guide durch die Star Trek-Romanwelten – Von Nemesis zum Typhon-Pakt ("The Guide through the world of Star Trek novels - From Nemesis to the Typhon Pact"). Here's the German description:
Seit 2008 sind die STAR TREK Romane zurück in Deutschland. Nicht nur das: Früher eher Anhängsel der Serien und Kinofilme, haben die Romane heute in vielerlei Hinsicht sogar die Führung im Kosmos von Kirk, Picard und Co. übernommen. Im Rahmen von ehrgeizigen Serienfortsetzungen oder sogar komplett eigenständigen Reihen wie NEW FRONTIER, TITAN und VANGUARD entwickeln die Romane Figuren und Handlungen grundlegend weiter und brechen mit alten Tabus.

Gleichzeitig wurde das Universum mit den Jahren immer größer, komplexer und verwobener. Nirgendwo ist die Vielfalt eindrucksvoller zu sehen als bei den Geschichten, die im 24. Jahrhundert angesiedelt sind und THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE NINE und VOYAGER weitererzählen. Mit TYPHON PACT bündeln sich diese ehemals einzelnen Erzählstränge in bislang nicht gekannter Weise. Neue Romanfiguren vermischen sich mit alten Leinwandhelden, Schauplätze und Ereignisse verdichten sich, während die von Dominion-Krieg und Borg-Invasion gebeutelte Föderation auf einen neuen, gefährlichen Gegner stößt.

Das ist für den Einsteiger kaum noch überschaubar. Wo beginnt man zu lesen und in welcher Reihenfolge? Wer sind diese Charaktere?

Der Guide liefert die Antworten. Er lichtet den Roman-Dschungel für den Einsteiger und gibt dem Kenner ausführliche Hintergrundinformationen zum Entstehungsprozess der einzelnen Reihen sowie intensive Interviews mit den entsprechenden Autoren und Machern.
Jens Deffner (of UnrealitySF), who pointed out this new description to me, was also kind enough to provide a translation:
Since 2008 the Star Trek novels are back in Germany. But that isn't the end of it: While being more of appendices to the series and movies, these days the novels have taken the lead in the cosmos of Kirk, Picard and Co. In the framework of ambitious continuations of the TV series and even completely original series like New Frontier, Titan and Vanguard the novels develop characters and story arcs and break with old taboos.

At the same time during the years the universe became bigger, more complex and intertwined. Nowhere else you can see the variety more formidable than with the stories set in the 24th Century continuing The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. With Typhon Pact those formerly separate, different story arcs converge in previously unknown fashion. New lit-only characters mingle with on-screen heroes, locations and events concentrate while a Federation, hurt by the Dominion War and the Borg invasion, encounters a new dangerous enemy.

All this is hard to follow for newbies. Where to begin with the reading and what is the best reading order? Who are those characters?

This Guide gives you the answers. It clears the novel jungle for the newbies and gives the experts extensive background information about the creation of the series as well as intensive interviews with the authors and creators.
So there we go, pretty much exactly what Jens and I both speculated it might be when the title first appeared. No mention of any illustrations yet though, which could make it rather interesting even for non-German readers, if we get a look at new book only characters for the first time.

The catalogue also has an updated version of the covers for the German editions of the first Voyager relaunch novels. The titles are going in a block at the bottom, which why the images so far released have been a bit wider than usual:


Many of the recent New Frontier character illustration also appear in the catalogue, include an updated version of the M'Ress image (see previous draft), who's got a bit cuter:

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Set phasers to point

A working phaser is on the way from Novo Geek (Anovos's off-shot that makes geeky curiosities, such as the TOS uniform ties and a pretty sweet Battlestar Galactica USB Viper), sort of working at least, it fires a laser, for pointing at things! It's a keychain as well. Here is the miniature phaser, ready to make your presentations stunning:


Here's how Novo Geek describe it:
Are you tired of giving the same old presentation? Scared to lull your Gorn-like audience to sleep? Perhaps your cat needs another hobby? It's time to make way for the absolute coolest laser pointer this part of the Alpha Quadrant! Your dreams have come true and all your wishes have been granted with this amazing Star Trek the Original Series Phaser Laser Pointer Key Chain! Set your presentations to stunning as you whip out your Phaser pointer to unleash fury on charts, graphs, and other items of importance. You will marvel at the detailing and functionality as you depress the trigger and watch the acrylic tip illuminate red with your pointer. Your audience will surely take notice, bringing them to full alert as you deliver a command performance masterfully... just like Captain James T. Kirk would, were he in your place.

Expected in April, this laser phaser is just one of three miniaturised light-up phasers coming over the next few months; sitting along side the Underground Toys torch keychain and Running Press' light-up model that comes with a tiny book. DST's full size phaser toy has just recently been re-released too, so it's a pretty good time for phaser lovers!

In other phaser news, continue after the jump to check out the amazing original phaser riffle prop, which is coming up for auction soon, as well as the lovely USS Kelvin homage to the classic TOS phaser:

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

No excuses for being out of uniform

If you want, it is now just about possible to live your life wearing clothes entirely in TOS uniform colours. Of course for the most committed trekkies, you can just wear a Starfleet uniform, with options ranging from Rubies' budget fancy dress costumes, to Anovos' high end costume replicas. But if you're not quite ready to enlist there are options from head to to toe, and for all ages, genders, and activities, to infuse your life with Starfleet gold, blue, and if you're feeling brave, red.

There don't seem to be any TOS uniform hats just yet, so the highest point we can start is the neck, with Anovos' series of TOS ties, made from the same fabric they make their TOS replica uniforms from. They come complete with a tiny Starfleet insignia:


From the neck down there are lots of Starfleet style options to cover your torso. Of course there's the classic T-shirt:


If you prefer a collar, We Love Fine have just announced new TOS uniform polo shirts:


For the ladies there's also the option of a tunic tank in either colour:


Feeling a bit more casual? How about a TOS uniform style bath robe?


Or perhaps you're ready for bed? Well Jumpin Jammerz have got you sorted there, with their TOS onesie pajamas:


If you really feel like dressing down you could just hang out in your Starfleet issue underpants from ThinkGeek:


Or maybe just hang out in your socks:


If even socks are too much for you, then how about laying out on your Starfleet towel?:


It's not just for grown up, you can prepare from your career in Starfleet from birth, with uniforms for babies:


And uniforms for toddlers:


A Starfleet officer has to be fit, and ready for any activity, so you'll be relieved to know there's uniform for when you're on Starbase cycling-patrol duty, with cycle jerseys for men and women:


You really will be ready for exotic landing party missions with these dry suits from Roddenbery.com:


For the slightly less extreme options, you can keep uniform at hand with an iphone case:


Or wear your affiliation on your sleeve with the new watches coming soon from Underground toys:


And that's just about all your options, for now. At least all those that give options in all three colours. I think hats are the biggest gap, or maybe female undies to match the boxers? What do you feel a desperate need to be TOSified?

April's retro prints

QMx have revealed the designs for set 9 of Juan Ortiz's TOS retro print series. There are some really nice strong graphical designs in this assortment. Check them out, with comments from Ortiz on their designs:

The Paradise Syndrome
My goal was to carry the angle shape of the obelisk throughout the design.
I was luck enough to find a font that resembled an ancient lettering.
Elaan of Troyius
My original design had the likeness of the actress who played Elaan (France Nuyen), but because of legal issues, I had to change her features.
The Doomsday Machine
When I use a skull in a posters, it's usually to convey death or danger. In the case of this episode, the Doomsday Machine has killed billions, but it's easy to forget or overlook, because we don't really see it. I think it's a major part of the story and worth depicting. I believe that six out of the 80 Star Trek posters I've created have a skull in them.
Patterns of Force
My original design had the Enterprise zooming down on a planet with a large swastika on it, similar to WPA posters during World War II. My design was interesting, but I felt it lacked substance.
These are nominally the April set in the series, although QMx don't expect them to go out until May. The shot glass and T-shirt versions will likely pop-up early in April if they follow the usual schedule.

Bluray updates

Enterprise, Season One is out on bluray today, but we don't want to dwell on that when we've got Season Two to look forward to! TrekCore have posted this trailer for the second season:



TrekCore also recently posted an interview with Brannon Braga, discussing various aspects of his Star Trek career, and beyond. Most interestingly he offered this intriguing notion of a way to get an Enterprise Season Five!:
The best thing the fans could do, for those reading this, the best possible thing the fans could do is, if they want to see another season of Enterprise, is watch it on Netflix.

My neighbor produces Arrested Development, and they're making a new season of Arrested Development. I recall him telling me that it's because for that show, they know they're gonna get... they have data! They know a certain number of people are going to watch that show. I've heard rumors in town that the CBS show Jericho might get another season, because the numbers on Netflix are big!

Watch Enterprise!

I don't work at Netflix, but all I can tell you is, based on what I've seen, if a show is real popular, they take notice. It's a business model... I would love to see another season of Enterprise. Whether or not you could get the whole cast, I don't know. But this cast is young, vibrant... I see them here, a lot of the cast is here at this convention, and I miss these guys.

It wasn't too long ago... it would be fun to do something. Even if it was just a two-hour special.
An interesting idea. Although I would be very surprised if we ever see a onscreen Star Trek that's not either from the nuTrek reality, or some other later reboot. But then again, Enterprise is part of the nuTrek reality...

Getting back to blu, TrekCore have also posted oodles of stills from the forthcoming TNG Season Three release. Below are some of my favourites, once again demonstrating how insanely amazing the TNG remastering is. Check out TrekCore's comparison gallery to be even more blown away by the difference.

 
 

Monday, 25 March 2013

My new improved schedule pages

My schedule pages are the most visited part of my site, but until now they have limited: In order to explore them you had to scroll a lot, and to try and keep the endless scrolling to a minimum I limited what I put on them to books, video, and games. Well now I have solved both of those problems with my handy new sortable schedule pages!

Implemented on the 2013 and 2014 pages, you can now select the category of product you are interested in looking at, or choose to look at an entire month at a time. Freed from having to limit the length of the page it means the schedule pages now also include, toys, games, and various other collectables, and foreign language releases too.

I hope you enjoy clicking through all the buttons, and looking through all the new Star Trek stuff on the way. Each listing includes links to all my articles about the item in question, so it's a great way to explore my previous coverage too.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Masterpiece Collection: Worf

Forbidden Planet have posted high quality images of the latest addition to Titan Merchandise's Masterpiece Collection of three quarter length busts; the bat'leth wielding Lieutenant Commander Worf:

 
 

Forbidden Planet expect Worf to be released in September. Although the Masterpiece Collection has seen repeated delays in release, with the first two, Kirk and Picard, originally due mid-last year, finally coming out earlier this year. The series so far:


Captain Kirk (released in January): Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Things From Another World, Entertainment Earth, Forbidden Planet.
Captain Picard (released in January): Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, Things From Another World, Entertainment Earth, Forbidden Planet.
Khan Noonien Singh (expected April): Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr, Things From Another World, Entertainment Earth, Forbidden Planet.
Commander Spock (expected June): Amazon.com, Amazon.co.ukAmazon.frEntertainment Earth, Forbidden Planet.
Doctor Leonard McCoy (expected June): Amazon.com, Amazon.co.ukAmazon.frEntertainment Earth, Forbidden Planet.
Lieutenant Commander Data (expected June): Amazon.com, Amazon.co.ukAmazon.frEntertainment Earth, Forbidden Planet.

Also on the way, announced at the same time as the Worf bust at last year's Comic Con, are Uhura and Scotty.

Curious new image from Into Darkness

Trek Mate report the Star Trek Into Darkness mobile app has been updated with an interesting new image. Here are Carol Marcus, Scotty, McCoy and Kirk gathered around a large device marked MC-9321 and PHOT1093.


It looks sort of like a projectile to me, maybe with the propulsion coming from the round bits on the left side of the image? One might interpret the PHOT1093 marking to indicate it being a photon torpedo. Of course with Marcus involved, the obvious conclusion to jump to is that it's a new version of the Genesis Device. I rather hope it's something more original than that though. Any guesses?

UPDATE: Empire Online has also posted a couple of new images from Into Darkness, both appear to be from the Qo'noS section of the film, including a really nice look at new Klingon disruptor prop:

 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Into Darkness cast photo, plus London goes Into Darkness for Earth Hour

The next issue of Empire magazine is all about Star Trek Into Darkness, and the other creations of J.J. Abrams. To mark the occasion the magazine has an awesome fold-out cover (previewed online), featuring the Enterprise crew, and giving us the first look at some of the new promo portraits that I'm sure we'll become very familiar soon:


In other Into Darkness news, Paramount have made a cunning tie-into to the WWF's Earth Hour; after London went Into Darkness for an hour to mark the climate change awareness event, Paramount sent up a fleet of quadropcopters with lights on, to fly in formation as a giant version of a Starfleet delta. Check out one of the images Paramount posted on twitter:


UPDATE: Paramount have posted a behind the scenes video showing how they did it. Pretty cool: