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Friday, 27 February 2015

Salute Nimoy

As I am sure you must now be aware, earlier today, the sad news came of the death of Leonard Nimoy. Perhaps not unexpected, given reports of ill health earlier this week, and a respectable age of eight-three, it was no less shocking and upsetting to hear.

The character of Spock is the thread that runs through the entire Star Trek franchise, from the pilot episode all the way through to the most recent movie, and of course he will live on in Zachary Quinto, and I'm sure others in years to come. Personally, Spock is one of the most influential characters in the franchise, a role model, who's sense of logic I have always found inspiring. In playing Spock, Leonard Nimoy has been a huge influence on my own life.

Being so plugged in to the online Star Trek community I have found it deeply moving to see the overwhelming outpouring of sadness, and celebration of the life, of one of the most important people in all Star Trek history. Throughout the day I've been coming back to social media to see everything ranging from quotes and iconic images, to incredibly thoughtful and sad musings and artwork. All manner of Star Trek fans, celebrities, Nimoy's family, friends, and colleagues, and the mainstream media have all poured out their grief; it's been incredible.

One image one of my friends shared on Facebook really moved me, simply of her friends all gathered round to salute Leonard Nimoy in the traditional Vulcan fashion. And then the group mind of Twitter had the same thought, and this happened:


That image is made from hundreds of people around the world, marking the passing of Leonard Nimoy. Check the #SaluteNimoy hashtag on Twitter, more and more people keep flooding in.

Of course there is a lot more to Mr Nimoy than Spock, I refer you to the New York Times' excellent eulogy to find out more about his life.

Trekkies of the world are a fickle bunch, but I'm sure we all stand united in grief today. Mr Nimoy did indeed live long and prosper, and will live on forever, as one of the greatest characters in all film and television.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Behemoth, part two preview

Out this week is issue forty-two of the nuTrek ongoing comic series, the second half of a two-part story, Behemoth. Just two weeks after the publication of the first part of the story, this issues brings the series back into sync with monthly releases, which slipped a bit in the previous six-part story, The Q Gambit.

Continue below for a five page preview from the issue.


Saturday, 21 February 2015

Starships Collection previews: Enterpirse-C, Negh'Var, Intrepid, D4, and more

Several models in the The Official Starships Collection have been previewed recently, plus there are hints of more to come. Continue below to check out all the latest from the series:

The latest issues to be officially solicited are the USS Enterprise-C, and Negh'Var class, issues forty-six and forty-seven, which will be arriving in the UK in June, with the rest of the world to follow. The new listings for these on online retailers include new photos of the models:


Books bits: Armageddon, Wit, and more

There have been several new covers for forthcoming Star Trek books released recently, plus some other bits of books news, which you'll find below.

First up an exciting new cover for Dayton Ward's TNG novel, Armageddon's Arrow. The cover art is by Doug Drexler, with a spacey background from Ali Ries.Via StarTrek.com:


Armageddon's Arrow, due out in June, will see the USS Enterprise-E embarking on it's new mission of exploration. Here's the blurb:
It is a new age of exploration, and the U.S.S. Enterprise is dispatched to “the Odyssean Pass,” a region charted only by unmanned probes and believed to contain numerous inhabited worlds. Approaching a star system with two such planets, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his crew find a massive alien vessel, drifting in interstellar space for decades. Sensors detect life aboard the derelict—aliens held in suspended animation.

Thought to be an immense sleeper ship, the vessel actually is a weapon capable of destroying entire worlds . . . the final gambit in a war that has raged for generations across the nearby system. Now caught in the middle of this conflict, Captain Picard attempts to mediate, as both sides want this doomsday weapon . . . which was sent from the future with the sole purpose of ending the interplanetary war before it even began!

More books news after the jump:

Friday, 20 February 2015

Latest Star Trek DVD and bluray releases

There are several new Star Trek home video releases out now or coming soon. Continue below for details on them all.

The mot genuinely "new" release is compilation of TOS episodes on DVD, Captain Kirk's Boldest Missions, which is due out next month. StarTrek.com have confirmed the eight episodes which will be included on this two-disc release, which will be: The Corbomite Maneuver, The Conscience of the King, Balance of Terror, Space Seed, The City on the Edge of Forever, Mirror, Mirror, The Doomsday Machine, and Return to Tomorrow.

There will also be several extra features: An introduction by William Shatner and Joan Collins (presumable just for City on the Edge of Forever), and featuretters: What Makes a Good Captain, The Importance of the Captain's Log, and Captain Kirk's Legacy. All of these were included on the Fan Collective: Captain's Log from way back in 2001!

Meanwhile in the UK, May will see the release of Star Trek: Enterprise - The Full Journey, the complete series boxset on bluray. This release uses the same style of packaging as the other European full series sets, but of course Enterprise wasn't available in bluray when those sets were first released a few years ago, so it's catching up now. While this is a UK release, the discs should be region free, so if you want the full series in one box it's an option wherever you are in the world, if you can get hold of it.


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

IDW Star Trek comics for May

IDW have released their solicitations for May, which include two new Star Trek stories, which oddly will find bother timeline's versions of Kirk and company on missions in the Delta Quadrant! Continue below for all the details.

New Visions #6: Resistance
By John Byrne
One word: Borg!
Yup, that is surely the shortest blurb ever! You can see the first couple of pages of this issue in one of my previous reports. Here's the updated cover (compare to the version Byrne previously teased):


New Star Trek action figures from QMx, Funko, and Bif Bang Pow

At the Toy Fair over the weekend several companies were showing off new Star Trek action figures, continue below to check out the latest TNG, TOS, and The Big Bang Theory crossover releases.

The most impressive of the newly revealed characters comes from QMx, who have turned always sharp eye for detail to Captain Picard, to make a new one-sixth scale (about thirty centimeters tall) articulated action figure. This release is comparable to the Malcolm Reynolds (from Firefly) figure already available to pre-order form QMx, which itself features no less than thirty-eight points of articulation. Like Reynolds, Picard has an unnervingly realistic head, and highly detailed fabric uniform, plus a phaser rifle. Images via Toy Ark.



Continue after the jump for more new characters from Funko and Bif Bang Pow.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

New from DST: NX-01, Romulan Bird of Prey, and TNG phaser!

At the Toy Fair over the weekend Diamond Select Toys revealed several new releases in their Star Trek range.

Two ships will be coming to their electronic starship model collection. There will be an entirely new TOS Romulan Bird of Prey. This was on display, but photography was not permitted (you can see a nacelle in one of the photos below though). DST like there variants, so I wouldn't be too surprised if we saw cloaked and/or battle damaged versions at some point too.

They will also be a re-issue the Enterprise NX-01, which was the first ship in the collection back when Art Asylum released it in 2002! The most recent release of the model was in 2006, in a mirror universe variant, and there has also been a battle damaged version before. The new version has had a much needed upgrade to the paint job, with a more subtle finish on the aztecing, and some of the previously missing details now filled in. Images here via Toy Ark:



DST also had some new prop releases on display, including their first ever TNG phaser. Continue after the jump to check those out:


Monday, 16 February 2015

Star Trek Continues, continues

Have you discovered Star Trek Continues yet? The fan made series expertly reproduces the qualities of The Original Series, with remarkably fidelity not just to sets and costume, but lighting and style. It also follows the best of Trek in its thoughtful and smart stories, which I would rate as not just the very best fan productions, but comfortably among the best episodes of all Star Trek.

There have been three episodes (and a few shorts) so far. The first, Pilgrim of Eternity, is a sequel to Who Mourns for Adonais?, with Michael Forest reprising his role as Apollo. The second episode, Lolani, is an entirely original story, focused on the titular Orion slave girl, used to explore issues of slavery and sex trafficking. And the most recent is Fairest of them All, a sequel to Mirror Mirror, picking up right from the end of the original episode and depicting Spock's rise to power.

The Star Trek Continues team are already at work on their next episode, and have been running a Kickstarter campaign to fund further and expanded production. There's just a few hours left on that, but as you'll see if you watch the episodes, its certainly worth your support, this series is amazing Star Trek. The campaign has already exceeded its initial $100,000 goal, to fund two further episodes, and proceeded to exceed stretch goals to fund the building of engineering and planet sets. Further additional funds will secure even more episodes! You can add your support, on Kickstarter.

And continue after the jump to check out all those brilliant episodes:

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Ship bits: Attack Wing ships, DST sounds, bobbling, and cutaway!

Lots of model ship updates for you here, including gaming miniatures, bobble-ships, model kits, and more! First up, Wizkids have announced two more waves of releases in their Attack Wing miniature game. Wave seventeen will be coming in August, and includes the USS Thunderchild, IKS T'Ong , and IRW Vrax.


Wave eighteen follows in September, and features the USS Phoenix, Species 8472 Bioship Beta, and Quark's Treasure.


Continue after the jump for more model starship news:

Star Trek construction toys on the way from Mega Bloks

Mega Bloks, Mattel's Lego-compatable construction toy range, is to launch a new range of Star Trek toys next year. That will mark a return of Star Trek to Mega Bloks, more than a decade since they last produced a single set, the USS Enterprise-D (pictured). There's no news yet about what subject will be featured in the new sets, but they were specified, in the press release, as a limited edition release, and will form part of Mega Bloks Collectors range, for more mature builders, which currently includes sets based on Halo, Assassins Creed, Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft.

The news came with the announcement of several new lines from Mega Bloks, curiously mostly featuring brands that have until recently been held by other construction toy companies. As well as expanding their existing Power Rangers license, next year will also see the launch of  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (previously held by Lego), and sets based on the new Terminator film, Genisys (Best Lock have previously produced sets based on that franchise).

Star Trek's own brick-built history indeed began with that single Mega Bloks set, but more recently had a much larger range from Hasbro's Kreo-O. Those sets were mostly based on Into Darkness, although there were a handful of releases inspired by the wider Star Trek universe. It has not been specified whether the new range will focus on the new movie due out next year, or also incorporate other parts of the franchise - One would certainly imagine anyone with a Star Trek license will be seeking to capitalise on the fiftieth anniversary next year!

I believe Hasbro has dropped Star Trek on the whole, so I would also anticipate news of other toy licenses to come some time this year, ready to produce action figures, props, and model ships based on the new movie.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Star Trek ReAction figures

Funko have revealed the first Star Trek action figures in their retro-style ReAction range. Modeled on the classic Kenner three-and-three-quater inch action figures, the ReAction figures feature five points of articulation and an accessories, presented on retro styled packaging.

The Star Trek range will include Spock, Uhura, McCoy, and Sulu (check them all out after the jump), and is just the latest classic sci-fi brand to join the range, following Alien, Firefly, Back to the Future, and many others. Entertainment Earth already have these up for pre-order, anticipating a March arrival.

This Month: February 2015 Star Trek releases

Ships, uniforms, coins, and new prose and comic adventures from across the timelines are filling this months' releases. Continue below for the full line-up.

Books

This month's novel is the second Star Trek story from John Jackson Miller, and his first novel for the franchise. Takedown picks up Admiral Riker after The Fall, and his and the Titan's brief adventure in Miller's Titan ebook, Absent Enemies. But the main players this time are on the Enterprise-E and the Aventine (the latter gloriously depicted on Mark Rademaker's brilliant cover). Here's the blurb:
When renegade Federation starships begin wreaking destruction across the Alpha Quadrant, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise are shocked to discover that the mastermind behind this sudden threat is none other than Picard’s protégé and friend: Admiral William T. Riker. The newly minted admiral is on board the U.S.S. Aventine as part of a special assignment, even as the mystery deepens behind his involvement in the growing crisis. But the Aventine is helmed by Captain Ezri Dax—someone who is no stranger to breaking Starfleet regulations—and her starship is by far the faster vessel…and Riker cannot yield even to his former mentor. It’s a battle of tactical geniuses and a race against time as Picard struggles to find answers before the quadrant’s great powers violently retaliate against the Federation…

Takedown hit the shelves a couple of weeks ago. You can read a bit about the novel in StarTrek.com's recent interview with Miller. And while that's the only prose story this month, there are plenty of comics to keep us going.

ThinkGeek are desigining their own uniforms now

Those ever creative people at ThinkGeek seem to have decided there just aren't enough uniforms to choose from in the Star Trek universe, so for their latest Starfleet uniform inspired creation they've gone and invented a whole new one! Introducing the TNG era Starfleet Tactical, hoodie. Here's how ThinkGeek describe it:
Some away team missions require specialized gear. Pattern enhancers, special imaging tools, photon grenades, tactical hoodies... you name it. This hoodie is not part of the uniform Crusher, Worf, and Picard wear on Celtris III, but rather a fantasy on a theme. What would a Tactical Hoodie from ST:TNG look like? Even though it's in the future, we're pretty sure it'd have some pockets.
I guess they had to come up with some excuse to put the snazzy patches on this, as certainly the tactical uniforms actually worn by Picard and the gang on Celtris III (in Chain of Command) were a little on the dull side; basically just cat suits with funny hoods. Which is fine for the undercover mission, but a little unexciting for day to day Star Trek hoodie applications.


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Lit-verse Reading Order Flowchart, now even more Almighty!

Good news everyone! Thrawn and I have been busy working on a new update for the ever-so-useful, good-lord-it's-so-complicated-where-do-I-begin? Almighty Star Trek Litverse Reading Order Flow Chart! Which is now on version four, and my how it has grown over the last three years since Thrawn organically dreamt it up.


If you're not familiar, the flow chart seeks to make as clear as possible the sometimes rather complex web of interconnectivity in the continuity of the modern Star Trek prose adventures, showing how each of the series cross-over and build upon each other, and providing a reference for readers in deciding which books to take on next.

As ever you can find the full size version on its own dedicated page here on The Trek Collective, which you can easily find at any time via the "Reading Order" tab at the top of the page.

We've added in all the latest releases and known upcoming books, with the biggest expansions coming after The Fall. The most notable change is that the DS9 column now extends the full height of the chart, thanks to the recent resurgence in DS9 books; there's quite a pleasing cluster of adventures on the new station now building up.

My thanks as ever to the brilliant Thrawn for creating the original chart, allowing me to host it here, and working with me to expand and refine it. I think this is an invaluable resource for the Star Trek reader, so I hope you all find it as useful too!

Behemoth, part one preview

Out this week is issue forty-one of the nuTrek ongoing comic series, part one of a two-part story, Behemoth. Continue below for a five page preview from the issue, and a look behind the scenes, with some concept art for the new aliens featured.



Sunday, 8 February 2015

New Visions updates: Gary Seven, Pike, Gold Key and more!

The next issue of John Byrne's New Visions photo-comic is due out next month, be he's already got stories and plans for issues that will take the bimonthly(ish) series well into next year. As ever Byrne has been posting regular updates on his work in progress on his own forums, giving clues of stories to come and insights into his process creating these unique comics.

A while ago Byrne teased at the possibility of a Gary Seven issue in the series, and has now confirmed that will be going ahead, and naturally it will be issue seven! Here's a page from that issue (work in progress) featuring Kirk, Seven, and a mysterious alien ship:


Apparently the issue will also include rooftop chase, and it seems a visit inside that alien ship, as Byrne also posted this preview of a virtual set of the interior:


Byrne's Gary Seven Assignment: Earth series is perhaps my favourite of his Star Trek work, so I'm delighted for another Seven adventure. But I'm also a huge fan of the Pike era (which Byrne has also previously touch on in his Crew series), so I'm equally pleased that the fifth issue, A Scent of Ghosts, is set to take us back to that earlier time on the Enterprise. Continue after the jump for a peak at that issue, and more hints of things to come in the series.

Star Trek coin series

The Perth Mint in Australia has announced they will be producing a new series of Star Trek coins. Five pairs of coins will be released, each featuring a captain and ship, starting with Captain Kirk and USS Enterprise coins this month. Each coin is legal tender, valued at one dollar in the island nation of Tuvalu - You would be a little crazy to use it as such though, as they are being struck in silver, so their actual value is somewhat higher!


Each coin will be available either individual, there will be five thousand in this format. Or you can get them as a pair, in a rather elaborate transporter chamber inspired display, and there will be just one-thousand-five-hundred of these. Continue after the jump to check out all the packaging:

Here's the USS Enterprise coin, both coins feature colour prints, and Queen Elizabeth II on the reverse:



Saturday, 7 February 2015

Starships Collection issues 56-60, and more

The ships that will be released as issues fifty-six to sixty in Eaglemoss' Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection have been revealed on the new Hero Collector website. It seems the TOS TV era is finally getting some love, with two ships in this run, alongside vessels from the 24th and 29th centuries. Those ships are:
  • #56 Saber class
  • #57 Romulan Bird of Prey (23rd century)
  • #58 Borg Tactical Cube
  • #59 USS Relativity (Wells class)
  • #60 SS Botany Bay (DY-100 class)


These five issues will be released first in the UK, between September and November this year, and as ever, will follow in other markets as The Collection catches up.

Continue after the jump for more updates from The Collection:

Friday, 6 February 2015

Moby Dick in space, Tholians, and more nuTrek comics news

Ahead of the release of Behemoth, part one, next week, the first story in the new 5 Year Mission era of the nuTrek ongoing series, the creative team have been busy spreading the word about what we have to look forward to. Highlights continue after the jump below:

In a recent interview with Comic Book Resources the series writer, Mike Johnson, gave this summary of that first two-part story in the new 5 Year Mission series:
I've been thinking a lot about the voyage of the Enterprise as a futuristic parallel to the voyages of the great oceanic explorers of history, from all cultures. (Watch "Master and Commander" if you haven't seen it already, a great "secretly 'Star Trek'" movie with the interplay between Crowe and Bettany as Kirk and Spock.) Many historical accounts documented "sea monsters" that were simply organisms as alien to them as new species would be to Kirk & Co. "Behemoth" is a look at how one of those encounters unfolds in the twenty-third century. It's unashamedly a "Trek" take on "Moby Dick," complete with an alien Ahab.
He also revealed plans for a new TOS episode re-imagining coming up in the series:
The next [revisit] will be "The Tholian Webs," a 2-part story coming in issues #46 and #47. And yes, that's "Webs," plural. We don't want every story to be a re-imagining of an old episode, but it's so much fun to show how the new crew reacts to iconic characters and threats from the original series. We choose carefully and make sure we bring something new to the story.
Mike Johnson, and editor, Sarah Gaydos, were also interviewed on Visionary Trek's The Holodeck podcast recently, and Johnson made an interesting note about the shape of the series as it moves between stories:
...each two or three part story is going to role into the next one. Each story wont be hermetically sealed, they are actually going to effect and kick start the next story as we go. So it's almost like an ongoing TV series, but instead of just stand-alone episodes, there's going to be ongoing subplots, and themes, and characters. So, the idea of trying to really heighten the feeling of it being a TV show on the page is what we're aiming for, with the ultimate aim of leading into the next movie in 2016.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Star Trek Magazine previews

Due out in April is Star Trek Magazine issue fifty-three (or one-hundred-and-eighty in the UK), which is set to explore the influence of myths and legends in the Star Trek universe. As ever there will be two covers available, the regular, and a Previews exclusive. The covers and blurb below come via Things From Another World:


Monsters and mayhem take over in The Official Star Trek Magazine! It's time to strip off our Starfleet uniforms, don skimpy leather armor, and swap our phasers for flaming swords, as we delve into the classical themes, myths, and legends that have influenced Star Trek over the decades. We'll also find out how Trek couture is becoming high fashion; meet the galaxy's most notorious rogues and reprobates; and discover how Gary Seven faced off against Khan during the Eugenics Wars! Plus all of your favorite regular features, merchandise reviews, and the latest Star Trek news.
You don't have to wait until April for your next issue though, as the latest, the Voyager focused issue fifty-two, has just been released. Continue after the jump for a few preview pages from that issue, via the Star Trek Magazine Facebook page:

Monday, 2 February 2015

2016 Star Trek calendar range revealed!

Forget 2015, Star Trek has always got eyes on the future; so you'll be glad to know Universe Publishing has revealed (via Amazon listings) its 2016 Star Trek calendar range already! All four of the regular calendars from the past few years will be continuing. But joining them this year will be a fifth format! Ships of the Line is being expanded into a sixteen month calendar poster featuring the ship-tastic cover artwork from the first Ships of the Line book.

Celebrate being a Trekker in a big way with the Star Trek 2015-2016 Calendar Poster.

Available for the first time, this 21 x 15" single-sheet poster of the most iconic Federation ships is complemented by a 16-month calendar, and features art by fan-favorite Doug Drexler.

All five designs will be available form August. Continue after the jump to check out the rest. But do bare in mind these are early listings and the designs will almost certainly change before publication, which I will of course report on when they updated.

Case in point, Ships of the Line 2016 as pictured here reuses the USS Onimaru from the 2014 calendar as the cover, and sample pictures supplied are from the 2014 and 2013 calendars. Plus of course we're expecting this year's range of images to come from winners of the Ships of the Line competition, which hopefully will have supplied some creative new takes on starship art.


Book bits: Crisis of Consciousness cover, and more TOS-era news

Books news! Starting with a very snazzy new cover, by Alan Dingman, and released by StarTrek.com, for Crisis of Consciousness, the TOS novel by Dave Galanter, due out in May.


Here's the blurb:
The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise is completing a treaty mission with the Maabas, a peaceful alien race not native to the star system they currently inhabit, as descendants of refugees from a great war long ago. Several hundred thousand Maabas once took shelter on their new world, and have now been here for mil­lennia. They do not travel the stars, but seek to explore from within. The Federation’s interest is in the Maabas’s great intellec­tual resources—their science, while behind in some areas, excels in others, and their philosophy is in line with that of the Federa­tion. But just as the pact is signed, the Enterprise is attacked by an unidentified vessel. Enough force is shown to keep the alien assailants at bay, but a new danger arises. Their mysterious foes are the Kenisians—a race that used to inhabit the Maabas’s chosen world thousands of years ago, and who now want to take it back.

Continue after the jump for more book news from the 23rd century: