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Saturday, 1 August 2020

Volante Design's Captain Pike jacket

Volante Design, makers of cool jackets based on Starfleet uniforms, have dropped their latest design, the Starfleet 2257, aka, the Captain Pike jacket. The gloriously yellow jacket is based on the Discovery Enterprise command uniform, and is a pretty loyal recreation:

The jacket is made from water-resistant stretch cotton sateen fabric, which has a "luxurious brushed feel". Rather neatly, it has a badge backing pocket, to hold the magnet backer if you choose to wear it with a QMx magnetic replica badge (so you can ping the badge of without fear the back will fall away to places unknown). Improving on the actual uniform it has two external pockets, plus an internal one. Best of all, it just looks damn cool!

There's just one little catch, for the time being, they're only going to make 25 of them! So if you want one, better get in there quick. They're expecting to ship this month. Continue below to check out more pictures:

Friday, 31 July 2020

Eaglemoss book previews: Star Trek Cocktails and Spock Mindfulness

Eaglemoss are expanding their Star Trek book offerings beyond starships, with new books covering a wide range of subjects and points of view. Two books coming soon are Star Trek Cocktails, and Mr Spock's Little Book of Mindfulness, and previews have now been released for both. Continue below to check them out.

Star Trek Cocktails is, straightforwardly, a book about cocktails with Star Trek twists. Due out in November, it is written by Glenn Dakin, with recipes from mixologists Simon Pellet and Adrian Calderbank, illustrations by Adrian Salmon, and photography by David Burton and Jess Esposito.

The book will be a hardcover release, and two covers are currently circulating; one which implies it will be a cloth-bound book, the other with just the digital art:

Set your taste-buds to stunned! These Cosmic recipes will take you where no one has gone before. They're cocktails, Jim, but not as you know them....

Have you ever longed for a taste of Romulan Ale? Or pined for the mellowing effect of Dr McCoy's Mint Julep? Perhaps a Fuzzy Tribble would get you purring? Or a soothing sip of Captain Picard's Earl Grey Martini? This voyage into the future of stylish drinking is a must for all Star Trek - and cocktail - fans. With a galaxy of illustrations, and a witty garnish of quotations, this book will help you celebrate your favorite show.

Mix the classic cocktails served on Starfleet starships throughout the Federation! Picard, Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, Quark, and more - try out each crew member's favorite!

Monday, 27 July 2020

Discovery Season 3 release date set, plus latest behind the scenes

The much anticipated return of Discovery finally has a date. CBS have announced season three will begin on the 15th of October. They updated their previous teaser video to reflect the new date:

This is how CBS describe the season in their press release:
After following Commander Burnham into the wormhole in the second season finale, season three of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY finds the U.S.S. Discovery crew landing into an unknown future far from the home they once knew. Now living in a time filled with uncertainty, the U.S.S. Discovery crew, along with the help of some new friends, must work together to restore hope to the Federation.
The thirteen episode season will begin the week after the final episode of Lower Decks will arrive (which itself will start in just over a week's time in North America), which means we're set for a solid half a year of weekly Trek ahead between the two shows.

While we're thinking Disco, continue on for a look at the latest behind the scenes bits and bobs to hit the web:

Star Trek book updates from Comic Con

A smattering of panels from the the virtual San Diego Comic Con this weekend touched upon Star Trek books, with either dedicated discussion on the series, or mentions from publishers. While there were no big formal announcements, news of several new series, books, and authors did get a mention. Continue below for all the details of novels and comics revealed.

From the world of Star Trek novels, new books were framed with in the exciting promise of a real push for greater diversity in the pool of writers producing Star Trek books - Much as I like the works of the regular writers, there is a really noticeable lack of voices that are anything other than male or white, so this is a very welcome move. Simon and Schuster publicity manager Lauren Jackson broached this subject in the All the Starfleet Ladies: Then and Now panel:
I was trying to do some promotions for Women's History Month, Black History Month... And I went to Ed [Schlesinger]'s office, Ed is the senior editor who works on, and I guess brand manager of Star Trek too. And I was like "Dude, what are we- We've got to like, work on this", and he's like "I've been working on it for so long", and I was like "let's get it underway, let's really try to diversify this list, and get the perspectives of these authors".
We dug deep, and a bunch of us got together in a room - I'm not even kidding you, it was like a war-room - And we were like "Ok, what's the strategy? Who are we looking for?". And I'm super proud, I'm super proud that Ed went out of his way, and he approached Cassandra, and we have another author under contract now.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Round 2 Model kit round-up: New Shuttlecraft Galileo kit, bigger Disco-Enterprise, and more

Star Trek model kit makers Round 2 Models have been keeping up a steady stream of both new kits and reissues of late, with their most recent release being the long anticipated brand new Shuttlecraft Galileo kit. Continue below to check out that, plus other new TOS and Discovery kits.

The Shuttlecraft Galileo kit is 1:32 scale, and comes with a set of decals that can also name the shuttle Columbus and Einstein, and indeed the Galileo II (and I suppose if so inclined the Columbus II or Einstein II too!)

IDW resume new Star Trek comic announcements with October solicitations

IDW's October solicitations have been revealed, which include one brand new title, plus an omnibus - This is the first newly announced book since the covid-induce pause and subsequent schedule shuffle; with the backlog of covid-delayed titles currently filling the schedule being caught up on by October. Continue below for the details:

Star Trek: Year Five #16
Written by Jody Houser, with art by Silvia Califano.
Election season is in full swing across the Federation, and even though it seems ridiculous, Harry Mudd is rising to the top of the polls! The crew of the Enterprise suspects that there's more to Mudd's game than just wanting to do his civic duty, and their investigation will uncover a rot that threatens the entire Federation from the inside. The final voyages of the U.S.S. Enterprise continue with the amazing crew of writer Jody Houser (Stranger Things, Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy) and artist Silvia Califano (The X-Files: Case Files)!
The book will be offered in this series' usual two covers. Either the main Stephen Thompson, featuring a Mudd presidential rally, or a retail incentive travel poster by JJ Lendl, quite delightfully for Andoria.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Trek TV news from the Comic Con virtual panel

The Comic Con Star Trek Universe virtual panel today gave us a few nuggets of news. Continue below for a new preview of Lower Decks, and updates on Discovery season three, and Strange New Worlds. But first, a whole new show:

The biggest is the reveal of a brand new series title. The Nickelodeon animated Star Trek series aimed at younger views will be called Star Trek Prodigy, and has this snazzy title logo:

Picard home video details, and latest behind the scenes videos

CBS have announced the details of the home video release of Picard season one, which is due out in October on bluray and DVD. As expected the set includes the Short Treks prequel Children of Mars, as well as all the Picard episodes.

Here are the details of all the other extra features included:
MAKE IT SO – The co-creators and Patrick Stewart discuss bringing the iconic character back to the screen, including what was compelling enough to warrant it and the obstacles they had to overcome to make it so.


COMMENTARY: EPISODE 101, “REMEMBRANCE” (Exclusive) – Executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Akiva Goldsman and Michael Chabon, supervising producer Kirsten Beyer, and director Hanelle M. Culpepper provide commentary about episode one of Star Trek: Picard.

THE MOTLEY CREW (Exclusive) – Working outside of Starfleet, Picard gathers his crew from across the galaxy. This special feature takes a look at the actors and characters that will travel aboard the La Sirena.

ALIENS ALIVE: THE xBs – A look inside the creative process behind the xBs of Star Trek: Picard, alongside Lead Creature Designer Neville Page, Vincent Van Dyke and his prosthetics studio team, as well as Make-Up and Prosthetics Department Head James MacKinnon about the process from start to stage.

PICARD PROPS (Exclusive) – Property Master Jeffrey Lombardi takes fans on a tour of the many props created for Season One of Star Trek: Picard.

SET ME UP – Production Designer Todd Cherniawsky serves as the tour guide for the main stages of Star Trek: Picard, including the La Sirena, Picard’s study and the Borg Cube. Cherniawsky, Supervising Art Director Iain McFadyen and Set Decorator Lisa Alkofer also discuss the various designs for the show.

STAR TREK: SHORT TREKS: "CHILDREN OF MARS" – Twelve-year-old classmates Kima and Lil find themselves at odds with each other on a day that will change their lives forever.

COMMENTARY: STAR TREK: SHORT TREKS: "CHILDREN OF MARS" (Exclusive) – Executive producer and co-writer Alex Kurtzman, and co-writers Jenny Lumet and Kirsten Beyer, discuss the featured Short Treks episode.


GAG REEL (Exclusive)

Loads of new Lower Decks images, plus first episode titles

CBS have released a load of new Lower Decks images, and the titles of the first four episodes. We get to see a lot of our new heroes - Ensigns Beckett Mariner, Brad Boimler, Tendi, and Rutherford - in action, as well as the bridge crew, and other members of the USS Cerritos crew. Plus we get to see more of the ship, strange new worlds, and a load of references to all things Trek! Continue below to check them out.

Episode one is, of course, Second Contact. This would appear to be the episode with the zombie goo incident we've seen in the trailer, plus a visit to an alien world:

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Non-Fiction round-up: Art of Discovery and Ships of the Line preview pages, Wisdom of Picard cover, and autobiography updates

Got a few Star Trek non-fiction book updates today, including the new cover for the Wisdom of Picard book, autobiography book updates, and new previews from the Ships of the Line calendar. Continue below to check out all that. But first....

Due out in September from Titan Books is The Art of Star Trek Discovery, written by Paula Block and Terry Erdmann. Here's a reminder of the blurb:
The official Star Trek: Discovery art book.

Star Trek: Discovery, the newest chapter in the Star Trek Universe, follows the exploits of Vulcan-raised science officer Michael Burnham and the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery as they boldly go where no one has gone before.

The Art of Star Trek Discovery explores behind the scenes of CBS's hit show, with cast and crew interviews, set photography, concept art and storyboards. With exclusive content from the first two seasons, this book is a must-have for every Star Trek fan.
Several preview pages have now been released, giving us a good idea of how the book will present its art collection:

The Wand Company tease "fully-functional" tricorder replica

The Wand Company, who have previously brought us the phaser remote control, and communicator bluetooth handset, are back, and ready to complete their TOS landing party kit with a "fully-functional" tricorder!

The Wand Company's approach to these products is not just to make a device that looks a bit like a Star Trek prop, with a practical function, but to really go to town to make a perfect replica of the screen used device, hiding inside it whatever function they have decided to give it.

The tricorder isn't due for release until summer next year, but they're excited to show it off, and so released this teaser video:

Sunday, 19 July 2020

Discovery: Die Standing excerpts, and other Star Trek novel updates

Out this week was the latest Star Trek Discovery novel, John Jackson Miller's Die Standing. The book features Philippa Georgiou, in three guises; her younger prime timeline self, the mirror universe Emperor at the height of her power, and the Emperor again, once displaced into the prime timeline and forced to seek out new opportunities. Continue below for print and audio excerpts from the book, plus some other Star Trek novel updates.

But first, via Miller wrote up a great tease of what the book has to offer. Here's a sample:
While we didn’t know her for very long, Captain Georgiou appeared again in a Short Treks episode, as well as in previous novels Desperate Hours and Drastic Measures. Die Standing, which I wrote in coordination with Kirsten Beyer of the Discovery writer’s room, opens even earlier in the character’s Starfleet career, with her serving aboard Archimedes as a young lieutenant. And once again, she’s forced to figure out a way to work toward a goal, while staying within the rules.

By comparison, Philippa Georgiou Augustus Iaponius Centarius — better known as the emperor of the Terran Empire — is bound by no rules at all. Instead, she makes the rules, and isn’t shy about enforcing her will — brutally, if need be. We meet her in the Mirror Universe episodes of Discovery Season One, at the height of her reign; Die Standing first encounters her somewhat before that. A lot of things are different in her world’s history, but one thing isn’t: the dying words of another emperor, Vespasian. “An emperor ought to die standing,” the ancient Roman said, and Emperor Georgiou certainly would have, had Burnham not spirited her away from her regime’s destruction.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

DS9: Too Long a Sacrifice #1 covers and excerpt

Out this week is the long awaited, in more ways than one, first issue of IDW's new DS9 crime noir comic miniseries, Too Long a Sacrifice. This is the first standalone DS9 comic in a decade, following IDW's only other DS9 series, Fool's Gold, in 2010 - Although DS9 has in the meantime featured in the Kelvin timeline crossover story The Q Gambit, the multi-series crossover The Q Conflict, and a few stories in the anthology series Waypoint.

IDW regulars Scot and David Tipton are on writing duty for this four-part series (they also wrote Fool's Gold and The Q Conflict). They are teaming up with artist Greg Scott, who is returning to Trek for the first time since working on a couple of Marvel Star Trek books in the 90s (including the final issue in their own DS9 series), working now with colourist Felipe Sobreiro.

The book is available in no fewer than five covers, all featuring Odo, who is the focus of this series. The A and B covers both go with an Odo lurking behind a bulkhead image, either illustrated by Richardo Drumond on the A cover, of a photo B cover. Two retail incentive covers both feature the same artwork by JK Woodward, which captures the explosive setup to the series. You can get this either with a cool pulpy title treatment, or an art only version, which is available in more limited numbers. Finally there's another photo-cover, available as a convention exclusive, supposedly for Wondercon, which would have been in April along side the original planned release of this book, had both not been either cancelled or delayed by the Covid crisis - No idea how you're meant to get this cover now if you fancy it!

Continue below to check out all those covers, plus a five-page preview.

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Lower Decks trailer gives us first proper look at the series, plus other screen-Trek updates.

With the series due to star just next month, CBS have finally released a trailer for the new animated comedy Star Trek series, Lower Decks. Steeped in TNG-era goodness, and an obvious love for all things Trek, with a generous dose of humour, it looks freaking fantastic. Check it out:

Along side this CBS have also release a new poster, which might be work a closer look, as it reveals multiple new ships, including on the right hand side what appears to be an absolutely ginormous alien vessel encountering a couple of Starfleet ships.

Continue below for a closer look at what the trailer had to offer. Plus some other screen-Trek updates.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Latest Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection titles and other Star Trek comics updates

Eaglemoss have announced the contents of four new books in the Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection. Continue below for all the details, plus a few other Star Trek comics updates.

Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection #125: The Ashes of Eden

Named for the comic book adaptation of William Shatner's first "Shatnerverse" novel. The book will also contain a couple of other DC Comics TOS Specials. Contents and credits are:
  • The Ashes of Eden
    • An adventure set between The Undiscovered Country and Generations, featuring Kirk, the decommissioned USS Enterprise-A, and some Klingon/Romulan mixed heritage people among other things!
    • Written by William Shatner and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, with art by Steve Erwin (pencils) and Jimmy Palmiotti (inks). 
  • DC Star Trek Special #2
    • Raise the Defiant
      • A TOS movie-era sequel to The Tholian Web.
      • Written by Kevin J. Ryan, with art by Chris Wozniak (penicls) and Jeff Hollander (inks)
    • A Question of Loyalty
      • A TOS movie-era meeting of Saavik and Valeris.
      • Written by Steven H. Wilson, with art by Rachel Ketchum (pencils) and Rich Faber (inks).
  • DC Star Trek Special #3
    • The Unforgiven
      • A TOS TV-era sequel to Operation: Annihilate! featuring Kirk and his nephews on a camping trip, and Orions in tanks!
      • Written by Michael Jan Friedman, with art by Steve Erwin (pencils) and Jimmy Palmiotti (inks).
    • Echoes of Yesterday
      • A TOS movie-era story that's also a sequel to Operation: Annihilate! featuring an older Peter Kirk on a time travel mission to try and save his parents in that episode.
      • Written by Mark A. Altman, with art by Ken Save (pencils) and Ron Boyd (inks).

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Little Golden Book: Star Trek Alphabet Book preview

Out this week is the latest Star Trek children's book from Little Golden Books, the Star Trek Alphabet Book. Forgoing the story element of previous books in the series, illustrator Ethen Beavers instead brings the Star Trek universe to life, in alphabetical order, with subjects inspired by TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise.

Amazon have posted preview pages up to letter G, giving us a good taste of what the book delivers. Curiously letter C gets a different subject matter between the cover and interior. Continue below for a look inside:

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Interview: Rich Handley on the Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection

Rich Handley might be a name familiar to you if you're a fan of Star Trek comics. His famously complete collection made him a key figure in bringing back into print the almost-lost Star Trek comic strips from the US and UK. More recently he's been working with Eaglemoss on their Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection; initially writing introductions for many of the books, and now as editor of the series. We had a chat recently to discuss his work on the collection, and the hope it might be able to continue long enough to get to reprint every Star Trek comic. Continue below to find out more.

So to kick off, I know you've been involved in Star Trek comics as a collector and professionally for a long time. Can you fill us in on how you ended up in charge of the Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection? And what it's been like getting to play with all the Star Trek comic toys as a result?
I'll paraphrase Commander Kor by saying it's been glorious.

My involvement with the Eaglemoss books goes back to shortly after the Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection was first announced—but my love of Star Trek comics goes back to 1984, when I was 16 years old. I'd been a Trek fan since pretty much my toddler days, as I was born in 1968 and my mother was a first-generation fan who'd watched the show all the time while I was growing up. Although I can't say one-year-old me was a fan (one-year-old me was too busy drooling on myself, sucking my thumb and figuring out how to say words more complicated than "mama" and "dada"), I was present in the room, sitting in my playpen, while my mom watched the final season in its first run. So I can truthfully say the franchise has been in my life since the beginning.

By age 16, I'd watched each episode countless times and I'd read each novel as it came out. But teenage me craved more. One day, as I was walking through a bookstore in my home town of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., a comic book cover caught my eye: issue #9 of DC's first Star Trek run. It announced "New Frontiers" on the cover, which piqued my curiosity, and the artwork was striking. I'd never been a comics reader before that point, other than perusing my cousins' funny books when I was a child of the '70s—Little Lulu, Archie, Fox and Hound, that sort of thing—so despite my love of the Trek franchise, the comics had largely been off my radar until I'd spotted that cover. I decided "Why the hell not?" and took it home, figuring that if I didn't enjoy it, I'd only be out 75 cents (comics were a lot cheaper back then). As it turned out, that wasn't a problem.

I soon began looking up local comic shops to find the first eight issues. That was easy, as they were all current. Then I went nuts tracking down the Marvel and Gold Key stories that had preceded DC's line, but this proved more challenging—still, I found them all. I've been collecting Trek comics ever since and have amassed every issue to date, including rare items fans might not know about. This culminated in my befriending Mark Martinez (proprietor of the Star Trek Comics Checklist), creating my own resource (The Complete Star Trek Comics Index), and eventually writing for Star Trek Communicator magazine back in the day, and later contributing to several unofficial Star Trek books offered by Sequart and ATB Publishing.

A few years back, I worked on five Star Trek hardcover books for IDW's Library of American Comics (LOAC) imprint, which reprinted all of the U.S. and U.K. Star Trek comic strips. The strips were scanned from my personal collection (you can imagine how tough it was to complete the full set of those stories in the pre-Internet days), and I wrote the supplementary materials for each volume. That was an amazing experience; working on an official Trek comic has always been number-one on my writing bucket list. Back when WildStorm had the license, editor Jeff Mariotte had invited me to write a tale for the Star Trek Special, but alas, since the company was about to lose the license, the budget was cut and I ended up being cut, too, since I'd been the last writer brought onboard. So joining the Trek comics fold with the LOAC books was extremely gratifying—and it opened up a door for me when Eaglemoss later obtained its license.

Monday, 6 July 2020

STO round-up: Year of Klingon gets going, plus Discovery season 2 content

Star Trek Online's Year of Klingon has got into full swing with the first major story-content expansion, House Divided. Continue below for details of that, and other new updates to the video game:

House Divided picks up the story focused on the temporarily displaced Disco-Klingon J'ula, along with Aakar, Gowron's grandfather, voiced by Robert O’Reilly (Gowron himself). J.G. Hertzler has also returned as Martok. Here's how STO outline the story arc:
With the incursion of J’ula into the modern era, more and more Klingons are listening to her message of a return to “traditional” ways. What side will Martok choose?
Here's a trailer for the new content:

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Lower Decks gets release date, and USS Cerritos revealed

CBS have made some big Lower Decks reveals and announcements today, including details of the first season's release in North America. Continue below for all the details of the forthcoming Star Trek animated comedy series..

The other big update from the series is the much anticipated reveal of the series' ship, the USS Cerritos in a new teaser poster, which also features the tagline: "Rarely going where no one has gone before".

Be always on duty with new Starfleet uniform sleepwear and bedding

Is your insomnia driven by the thought that the urgent call of a Red Alert might leave you struggling to get into uniform and dash to the bridge on time? Well fear not, the latest Star Trek sleepwear and bedding means you're never out of uniform. Continue below to check out all your options.

Sleepwear makers Intimo have launched a new range of Star Trek sleep-shirts and pajamas inspired by the uniforms of TOS, TNG, and Discovery. All their pieces are made from a fleecy polyester material, and feature embroidered insignia badges, plus other details depending on the design.

From The Next Generation there is a command night-shirt, which slightly reinterprets the uniform design to give it raglan sleeves and black back.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Year Five #12: The Mission Who Walks Like a Man, part 2 preview

Out this week from IDW is Star Trek Year Five #12, the second half of the Gary Seven story The Mission Who Walks Like a Man. This story resolves the tease from the very first book in the Year Five series, and so acts as something of a mid-series finale (and a very satisfying one too), with another twelve issues still to come to fill out the final year of the USS Enterprise's TV-era five year mission under Kirk.

The book is written by Year Five showrunners Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, with a host of artists contributing: Kieran McKeown is credited for pages 1-11 and 17-20, Silvia Califano for pages 13-16, and Stephen Thompson for page 12. Colours are also a jumble of contributors, with Thomas Deer on pages 1-11, 17-18, and 20, John-Paul Bove for pages 12-16, and 19, and Charlie Kirchoff for page 12. That twelfth page does represent that tease page from the first issue, so that explains some of multitude of credits in this issue!

Following the usual format for the series, the book is available in two covers: Either the main cover, with a menacing shadow of gun pointed at Kirk, by Stephen Thompson, with colour by Charlie Kirchoff. Or there's the retail incentive cover from JJ Lendl, who continues their travel poster series with Circe V, the planet the USS Enterprise escape pods ended up landing on.

Continue below to check out the covers and a five page preview, plus some other comics updates.

A look back at Kevin Francis's semi-lost range of Star Trek toby jugs

I love an obscure bit of Star Trek merchandise, and something that caught my eye in the hunt for such oddities recently is Kevin Francis Ceramics' range of Star Trek toby jugs. Or almost range: While the company worked up designs for at least eleven different TOS and TNG characters, only four ever appear to have made it into production - And all of those were in limited editions of between 350 and 650 a piece, so even they are quite illusive items. Continue below to have a look back at what could have been an ambitious and distinctive Star Trek collection.

Toby jugs, for the unfamiliar, are normally a ceramic mug in the form of a character, traditionally a sitting rotund man with his own mug of ale in hand. They can be practical drinking vessels, but they're more often produced to be novelties and collectors items. A few companies have had a go a some form of character or figural mug in the Star Trek realm before, perhaps most notably Applause, who produced quite a fairly large range of character's heads as mugs. A couple of years before them though (circa 1995), Kevin Francis went down a far more ambitious and artisan path.

You can get a really good sense of what they were creating in one of the designs they did manage to get to market, the Borg drone toby mug - As you can see, he's barely a mug at all! This tall standing character casts aside the typical constrains and practicalities of the toby mug format to focus on delivering an impressive ceramic sculpture. Setting this apart from your usual figurine though, at the back of this character you find a Borg Cube streaking through space; this is the handle. A hole at the top of the head allows liquid to be poured in and drunk out from, and so this is still a functional mug (if maybe slightly difficultly so).

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Picard behind the scenes: Alien make-up and prosthetics round-up

I've gathered up some of the latest Picard behind the scenes images and info I've come across in relation to the design and creation of the many aliens of the series. There are familiar species and characters here, plus some much more exotic creations. Continue below to check them out.

First up a glimpse at the recreation of one of my favourite Star Trek species, the Andorians. Sculptor Nicholas Rinehard shared these images of their work on the latest iteration of the Andorian antenna. They used a random head cast for the purposes of sculpting, so don't expect to spot this exact Andorian on-screen:

Friday, 26 June 2020

Vannen launch USS Enterprise artist watches

Watch makers Vannen have entered the world of Star Trek with two new watches inspired by the USS Enterprise and designed by artist Tom Whalen. Available now, the USS Enterprise watch is offered in grey or white variants, with just 200 being produced of each. Continue below to check them out, and find out how they were made:

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Review: Science Division's Interactive Tribble

Science Division's Interactive Tribbles have started to find their way out into the world, and one of them has found it's way to me to have a play with. It's proved to be no trouble at all, but plenty of fun. Continue below for my thoughts on the deluxe ball of fluff.

While there have been many tribbles produced over the years, at various sizes and colours (and as a tribble lover I have a few myself!), but there's never been one like this. Some have featured sounds and vibration features before, but always requiring a squeeze to make them go - This one is almost alive! Tucked inside is a little box of tricks that makes the tribble coo (or scream), vibrate, sense when it's touched, and links it up with features enables by a mobile app - Although many of the things the tribble can do can be controlled without an app (see below).

Get into uniform with the latest Star Trek face-masks

The Star Trek Shop has expanded its range of Star Trek face-masks with seven new designs joining the collection, based on TOS, TNG, and Discovery; these join the previous TOS and Picard options. Most of these fill an obvious costuming opportunity, taking inspiration from a variety of Starfleet uniforms. There's also a Star Trek pride design.

As was the case with the previous designs, ViacomCBS are donating all the profits from the sale of these to Feeding America's COVID-19 Response. Continue below to check out all the options:

TNG and Discovery uniforms are both represented by one design each, both command division:

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

TNG crew frustration continues with Commander Riker facepalming bust

It's a tough year, in recognition of this Icon Heroes have turned their facepalming busts into a series, with Commander Riker now joining Captain Picard (who himself just recently had a third edition release announced).

The new Commander Riker facepalming bust, based on a moment from the episode A Matter of Perspective, is 7.9 inches tall, and a limited edition of 1701. Made from polystone, and hand painted, this is officially not just a bust, but also a paperweight. It is also officially a San Diego Comic Con exclusive, but of course there is no SDCC this Covid infected year, so you'll just have to get one via Icon Heroes' website.

2021 Star Trek calendar previews

The Star Trek calendars for 2021 are starting to arrive already, and so the publishers have been putting out new previews to help us decide which one to choose. There's no shortage of options this year, with six designs for the US market, two for the UK, and two in Germany as well! Continue below to check them out.

My calendar of choice is the Ships of the Line starship art calendar, and this year looks like another spectacular entry in this long running series:

Friday, 19 June 2020

Lower Decks preview images, and other Trek TV updates

At last some new previews of Lower Decks have hit the net today. Continue below to check them out, plus updates from the rest of on-screen Trek:

Entertainment Weekly have released two shiny new stills from Lower Decks, along with an interview with the creator, Mike McMahan, all helping paint a picture of what this new animated comedy series will be like. Behold, our heroes (Beckett Mariner, Tendi, Rutherford, and Brad Boimler) , seemingly in a more relaxed moment:

Note (on the right) Boimler's shoes; the Starfleet branding department seem to have gone all out on that colourful footwear, with Starfleet deltas on the soles!

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Unique silver USS Enterprise from Rawcliffe's old miniatures line departs spacedock

Check out this shiny little beauty. This is a solid silver model of the USS Enterprise (aside from some small solid gold details), made by sculptor Mark Eliot Schwabe, based on the sculpting he created for Rawcliffe's old Star Trek pewter model starship range.

CBS supporting Black Lives Matter with Star Trek United streaming and fundraising event

CBS are throwing their support behind the Black Lives Matter movement with a fundraising and streaming event that celebrates Star Trek's long running commitment to embracing diversity, and striving for a better future.

CBS have found a suitable quote from Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry to emphasise this legacy:
Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences…
On Wednesday 17th of June (today!) CBS are encouraging us to tweet #StarTrekUnitedGives, and for each tweet with this hashtag they will donation one dollar towards organisations "doing the real-world work of championing diversity and fighting injustice", including Black Strategy Fund, Movement for Black Lives, and Black Lives Matter. Here are some of the stars of Trek introducing the event:

In addition to this, they have curated a selection of Star Trek episodes that focus on the fight for equality or on overcoming difference, and will be making them available to stream for free on multiple platforms, including, StarTrek.comPlutoTV for a week, and just for the day also on Twitch, also starting today.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Star Trek Online introduces the Picard Romulan Bird of Prey. Plus other new ships and updates

The Star Trek Online shipyards have been busy lately, with new and updated ships coming regularly. Continue below to check out all the latest, starting with...

The Romulan Bird of Prey seen in Picard is coming to the game. And that means we can get a really good look at the new version of the bird of prey paint job, which is only seen fleetingly on-screen (see Ships of Picard article). Behold:

Picard behind the scenes: Sets and locations

Star Trek Picard took us on an adventure spanning multiple planets, quite a lot of places on Earth, and of course a few starships too. Since the series' release, those involved in the production of the show have gradually been sharing their work bringing all those places to life. I've gathered up the latest I've found to explore the work of Picard's set designers and decorators, and location staff. Continue below to check out the worlds of Picard:

I'm going to star with starships, and of course the main ship of the series La Sirena. Picard Set Decorator Lisa Alkofer recently had a great interview with SetDecor, discussing all the sets from the series, giving loads of insights into what was built or decorated, and sharing great behind the scenes photos from several sets. Including these views into the huge La Sirena set:

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Fleet Command introduces Harry Mudd to the Kelvin timeline

The Kelvin timeline video game Fleet Command has revealed the latest story arc in the game; Outlaws, which will introduce Harry Mudd to the Kelvin timeline, and curiously seems to team him up with Khan! - Who was himself liberated from his freezer when the Augments became a faction in the game last year. Continue below to find out more.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Book bits: Agents of Influence excerpts, and new audiobook covers

Out this week is the newest TOS novel, Dayton Ward's Agents of Influence. Set in the five year mission era, this is a a Klingon focused espionage tale; the book features undercover Starfleet spies working in Klingon space. Continue below to check excerpts from the print and audio edition, plus some other book updates.

First, a reminder of the blurb:
An epic new Star Trek saga by New York Times bestselling author Dayton Ward set during the original Five-Year Mission!

For years, Starfleet Intelligence agents have carried out undercover assignments deep within the Klingon Empire. Surgically altered and rigorously trained in Klingon culture, they operate in plain sight and without any direct support, while collecting information and infiltrating the highest levels of imperial power. Their actions have given Starfleet valuable insight into the inner workings of Klingon government and its relentless military apparatus.

After three of Starfleet’s longest serving agents fear exposure, they initiate emergency extraction procedures. Their planned rendezvous with the USS Endeavour goes awry, threatening to reveal their activities and the damaging intelligence they’ve collected during their mission. Tasked by Starfleet to salvage the botched rescue attempt, Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise must discover the truth behind a secret weapons experiment while avoiding an interstellar incident with the potential to ignite a new war between the Federation and one of its oldest adversaries.

Monday, 8 June 2020

No need to worry about social distancing with your new Star Trek cardboard companions

Feeling lonely in lockdown? Well how about a full sized Gorn to keep you company? That's just one of the characters available from Prime Party as life-size TOS cardboard-cutouts. Continue below to check out their range:

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Star Trek (2009) storyboards reveal unseen and alternate creature designs

Storyboard artist Richard Bennett has been sharing some of his work from the first Kelvin timeline movie, Star Trek, revealing some really cool creature designs, and a cut scene. Continue below to check them out.

This first sequence, which Bennett shared in two posts on his Instagram account, reveals a cut scene where Spock travels through a series of conduits, and encounters a huge snake-like creature, with lots of teeth and tendrils!

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Voyager behind the scenes: Miniatures, concept art, aliens, props, and more

I've gathered some of the Voyager behind the scenes bits and pieces I've come across lately, for a look behind the scenes on the series. Continue below for a look at starship miniatures, cool concept art, props, alien make-up, and more from the production of Voyager.

This first item is a foam-core mock-up of the USS Voyager miniature, created as a reference for episodes that involved Voyager landing on planet surfaces. This is currently up for sale on Ebay (for quite an ambitious price!); the seller says they obtained it from visual effects supervisor Dan Curry, and has a note describing how it was used:
These models were created by the Voyager Art Department at my request to bring on location and used a line shots where Voyager has landed and is sitting on the ground. It would be impractical to bring the expensive model out of the motion control stage and risk damage. This technique provides an accurate reference for photographing the hero miniature in the studio as well as a temporary composite for the editors to cut into the work print to give a sense of scale to the scene. 

CherryTree fire a shrinking ray at their Picard Borg Cube PC

Borg Cube PC makers Cherry Tree have created a miniaturised version of their Picard Borg Cube model. The new Picard ITX Borg Cube PC is 7.5 inches either side, making it an eighth the size of the larger ATX model. Just like the larger version it can bit fitted out with different specs, based around either Intel or AMD processors, or you can just get it as a case to build however you like.

Friday, 5 June 2020

Mego TNG action figure preview images

Due out this month are the first TNG action figures in the revival range from Mego. This initial offering includes Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Lieutenant Commander Data, both sporting Mego-fied TNG TV era uniforms. Mego have released a bunch of new photos of both, so you can check them out, below:

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Facepalming Picard bust returns, and is now taller!

The Picard facepalming bust is back! Icon Heroes eternally frustrated polystone paperweight is reborn at a new larger 8 inch tall format (rather than 5.5 inches before). They've also adjusted to sculpt slightly, and painted the combadge on the base this time.

Picard is perhaps facepalming this time because this is nominally a San Diego Comic Con exclusive; but there is no San Diego Comic Con this year! Instead he'll be exclusively available via the distributors Previews, which means you'll be able to order him at most comic book and collectables shops, and some online retailers, such as Entertainment Earth.

This will be a limited edition of 1701. Continue below for lots more images.

Screen-Trek round-up: Picard and Short Treks home video releases, plus Lower Decks, Discovery and Picard production updates

While things are moving slowly in the world of TV production right now, there are still quite a few updates from all corners of the current on-screen Star Trek universe: Continue below for the latest from Lower Decks, Picard, and Discovery productions. But first, some home video updates:

First up, Amazon now have a listing up for the Picard season one bluray and DVD release. At the moment it's just using the basic poster art, and doesn't even have a date, let alone any details of extra features and the like. You can get pre-orders in already though, and the listing probably indicates it's just a few months away.

Meanwhile the latest home video release came just yesterday, with the US release of Short Treks, which includes all the Discovery and Strange New Worlds related shorts (leaving out the Picard prequel, which will presumably come on the Picard season set instead). Some international release dates for the collection have now been announced too: It will arrive in the UK on the 13th of July, and Australia on the 15th of July.

The collection comes with an assortment of behind the scenes featurettes (see my previous report for a full listing), and CBS Home Entertainment have been busy releasing excerpts from several of them over the last few days. Continue below to check them out:

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Year Five #11: The Mission Who Walks Like a Man, part 1 preview

Star Trek comics are back! After a couple of months hiatus IDW have resumed shipments of new comics, with Star Trek Year Five #11 the first to emerge from the Trekverse. This is the start of the latest two-parter in the series, with the rather delightful Bond-esque title The Mission Who Walks Like a Man referencing interstellar Aegis agent Gary Seven stepping into the spotlight.

The book is written by Year Five showrunners Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, with art by Stephen Thompson, partially inked by Maria Keane, and coloured by Charlie Kirchoff.

The book is offered in two covers; I think a couple of best in the series so far (which hasn't been short on great covers!). The main cover, prominently featuring Gary Seven's cat Isis, with a clever play on her shadow, is as ever by Stephen Thompson, with colour by Charlie Kirchoff. And there's a retail incentive cover from JJ Lendl, who has wholly embraced the spy movie poster style, and also features Isis, and Seven.

Continue below to check out the covers and a five page preview, plus a little comics update.