Sunday 31 May 2020

More Beautiful Than Death cover, and other Star Trek book updates

Lots of Star Trek novel updates today, including excerpts and author comments, and new audiobook and back covers for TOS, Kelvin, Voyager, and Discovery books. But first, a brand new cover reveal.

Coming in  August is the second in the new Kelvin timeline novels, David Mack's More Beautiful Than Death. The Simon and Schuster online catalogue has revealed the new cover, which follows a similar style to the previous Kelvin novel, The Unsettling Stars, but this time in a more colourful red/orange monotone:

Saturday 30 May 2020

The Year of Hell that could have been an actual year of Voyager

Star Trek writer Bryan Fuller has shed some light on what could have been an actual year long version of the classic Voyager two-parter Year of Hell (the one where Voyager gets blown to bits while dealing with the time altering hyjinx of the Krenim), while talking Trek on the Inglorious Treksperts podcast.

While thinking back on the production of the whole series, he highlighted Year of Hell as a lost opportunity to take Voyager down a very different, and much more serialised, path:
The Year of Hell and the behind the scenes drama around trying to craft no only that episode, but that season, was fascinating because we wanted Year of Hell to last the entire season. We wanted to see Voyager get its ass kicked every episode, and through that season was going to be marbled the story of Annorax and the time ship that was changing things. So we would go back to it every once in a while to remind the audience that's the larger story.

Friday 29 May 2020

Splash the rainbow across the final frontier with new Star Trek Pride merchandise

The Star Trek Shop have revealed their annual range of Star Trek themed Pride merchandise, which this year is pretty ginormous! Pride flag themed designs inspired by TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, and Discovery have found there way to all manner of products. Continue below to check them out:

Naturally, as a starship lover, the Ships of the Line design jumps out to me. This features the six hero ships of almost all the live action TV series (sorry La Sirena), in rainbow hues. It is available as a tote bag, a cheerful wrap-around print on a mug, or of course as a T-shirt:

Thursday 28 May 2020

Rare Galoob TNG action figure prototypes up for auction

Two super rare Galoob TNG action figure prototypes, Wesley Crusher, and a Romulan, are currently up for auction on Ebay. These figures would have been part of a second wave of TNG figures from Galoob's first range of TNG toys; but alas the line was cancelled before they ever entered production. These prototypes are hand-painted resin figures, on a single-sided card-back. They would have been used for promotional and sales purposes before final figures went into production. Just a handful of each of these prototypes exist. Continue below for a rare chance to get a really good look at these lost toys:

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Picard behind the scenes: Cinematography, visual effects, and storyboards

I've gathered some of the latest behind the scenes insights from the nitty gritty production side of Picard today, including a look at the cinematography, visual effects, and storyboards. Continue below for a look at how the series was brought to life:

First up is this amazing video shared on Facebook by cinematographer Carlos Gonzalez, showing how a remarkable tracking crane and gimbal setup was used to capture that long meandering shot around La Sirena at the end of the series. What an incredible camera move!

Tuesday 26 May 2020

The Voyage Home storyboards

PropStore currently have a whole load of original storyboard artwork from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home up for sale. The artwork, by Nilo Rodis-Jamero and Ralph McQuarrie, includes many scenes featuring the Klingon Bird of Prey, the time warp sequence, the probe, and of course the whales! Continue below to check them out; there's some really beautiful imagery among them.

The sequences I found most striking are those showing the probe coming and going from Earth. The stark geometric shape of the probe, coupled with the directional instructions of the storyboards give them a really beautiful simplicity.

Monday 25 May 2020

Take your feet on an away mission, with new Star Trek character socks

You can turn your toes in a landing party with a new range of TOS and TNG character socks which are set to arrive in June. If you're some kind of monster, you could mix and match non-matching pair of characters between your feet to come up an ideal away team for any mission; even a crossover team-up if you wanted!

The assortment includes a three pack of TNG characters, which includes Captain Picard, Worf, and Geordi La Forge:

Sunday 24 May 2020

Official Star Trek face masks have arrived, and they're Feeding America

The Star Trek Shop has revealed the first of the inevitable line of official Star Trek licenses face-masks. The reusable, washable, polyester masks are available in four different Star Trek designs, inspired by TOS and Picard. In a move that would surely make Picard proud, ViacomCBS are donating all the profits from the sale of these new releases to Feeding America's COVID-19 Response, which includes supporting food banks and other schemes to make sure Americans struggling in these difficult times don't go hungry.

The Picard designs are revealing some new artwork, and my favourite is the fun turn-your-face-into-a-Borg-Cube look:

Saturday 23 May 2020

Star Trek comics updates: IDW releases resume from June

IDW have released their latest solicitations, for August release, with just one new Star Trek title on the cards. Meanwhile regular releases are set to resume from June (following the recent Covid induced pause), with rescheduling of already announced titles filling up the schedules towards the end of the year already. Continue below for an update on all IDW's Star Trek series.

So first up, let's check out the newly announced book. The final issue in the latest DS9 miniseries, Too Long a Sacrifice has officially been announced. Issue four continues with the same creative team of writers Scott and David Tipton, and artist Greg Scott. Here's the blurb:
Everyone is a suspect on a space station one murder away from plunging into total chaos. Constable Odo has a suspect in his sights, but there's one final piece to this dark puzzle that will change everything he thought he knew-not to mention life on Deep Space Nine-forever. Don't miss the shocking conclusion to this space noir from David & Scott Tipton (Star Trek: Mirror Broken, Star Trek: The Q Conflict) and Greg Scott (Gotham Central, The X-Files)!
The book will be available in three covers, either the A cover by Ricardo Drumond, a B photo cover, or a retail incentive by J.K Woodward. So far only the photo cover has been released.

Friday 22 May 2020

Eaglemoss to publish lost Gold Key comic, as the Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection gets an extension to 140 issues

Eaglemoss' Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection has been granted it's second extension, pushing the comic collection up to 140 issues, and giving it a chance to come ever closer to completing the mission of reprinting every Star Trek comic from the long and varied publishing history of the franchise. The latest announced issues include some real obscure treats, including many comics that have never been reprinted since their original publication, and in one very special case, a comic that has never before been published at all: The cancelled Gold Key #62!

Series editor Rich Handley announced the news on the Star Trek COMICS : Across Generations Facebook group, and gave details of the first few books in the extended run, up to issue 124. Continue below for the details of each issue (working backwards from 124, which is due in August):

#124: Splashdown
  • Marvel Voyager miniseries Splashdown
    • Written by Laurie Sutton, with art by Terry Pallot and Al Milgrom.
    • A four-part underwater adventure notable as the only time we see the aeroshuttle in action. 
  • Gold Key #62: Trial By Fire
Here's how Handley summarises that bonus story:
As a special bonus, this volume will present the unpublished 62nd issue of Gold Key Comics' Star Trek run. Writer John Warner had turned in a script for this issue, titled "Trial By Fire," but it remained in limbo for decades once Gold Key parent company Western Publishing dropped the Star Trek license. Scans of Warner's script, and of nineteen lightly penciled pages from artist Frank Bolle, have been shared informally among collectors, but thanks to Star Trek comics expert Mark Martinez, Eaglemoss has gained access to the actual script and original art pages for high-quality reproduction purposes. At last, this lost Gold Key tale is being presented to fans in an official capacity.

Thursday 21 May 2020

Star Trek ships arrive in Crypto Space Commander

Star Trek Picard is coming to the world of Crypto Space Commander, a newish massively-multiplayer-online-game developed by Lucid Sight. The game will introduce several ships from Picard, and Star Trek at large, alongside a new Borg-focused story in the game. More on that below...

But first, what is CSC? Currently in an "Early Alpha" state, the game is available to play via Stream. Set around the activities of the Sol system based Galactic Federation, the game lets players go explore the galaxy and obtain resources. What really seems to set it apart though is the focus on crafting of unique assets in the game, and a blockchain based economic model that encourages trade, and rewards the creation and obtaining of unique items. Here's how Lucid Sight summarise it:
Get ready to embark on an adventure through the cosmos! CSC (Crypto Space Commander) is a sandbox space MMO that operates a player-owned economy. Players can travel to different star systems, mine stellar bodies for resources, craft items and ships to sell, battle pirates and other players while commanding their very own starship. CSC utilizes the Ethereum blockchain to secure game assets, enforce P2P contract actions, and run the game economy.

CSC is designed to facilitate all facets of Play-To-Own gaming. Are you a traditional gamer looking for a deeper, more immersive experience? Or gaming entrepreneur looking to grow and develop next-generation economies? All players can profit on their skill and wit with CSC’s player-owned asset design.

Asset management is enforced on the Ethereum blockchain, allowing for complex actions and trustless cooperation between players. By giving players free rein to influence nearly every aspect of gameplay, the universe truly becomes their own.

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Picard travel posters now available as actual posters, plus 32nd century Federation flag merch

The productive people at the Star Trek Shop have been busy lately, coming up with loads of new Star Trek merch, including a whole range dedicated to the 32nd century version of the Federation flag coming to us from season three of Discovery, and a whole bunch of Klingon themed stuff too. Continue below to check those out. But first...

Also newly offered on the Star Trek Shop is the complete series of Picard travel posters. These were originally put out as social media graphics throughout the run of the series, and they've now had the good sense to make the excellent designs available as actual posters. Designs featuring The Artifact, Copellius, Napenthe, Vashti, Freecloud, and Aia are all available as either 16x20 inch or a whopping 30x40 inch print:

Playmates Star Trek toys box art by Ron McPherson

I recently came across the art of Ron McPherson, the artist who created much of the box art for the 90s Playmates Star Trek toy range. Between his website and Behance portfolio, he has shared much of his work on the range, giving a rare opportunity to checkout the artwork without all the other box titles and labels. I've paired each piece up with the final box art, to give a look at how the packaging design works. Continue below to check out:

I have to start with the artwork for one of my favourite ever Star Trek toys, the glorious "transwarping" Enterprise, as Playmates named the tri-nacelled future Enterprise from All Good Things....

McPherson's artwork captures stages of the transformation, complete with the hull panel flaps you have to flip out to reveal the refit components.

Sunday 17 May 2020

TNG Mego previews and other Star Trek toy updates

I've gathered all the latest previews of Star Trek action figures and figurines today, including images of the forthcoming Discovery Funko pop vinyl figures, The Coop's recent Handmade by Robots characters, and Kuzos miniatures from Factory Entertainment. Continue below to check out those, but first...

The next wave of releases from Mego is shifting their retro action figure range into the 24th century with their first TNG characters, Captain Picard, and Data. Mego Museum and Mego's social media have released some new preview images, showing pre-production samples (so they might yet get tweaked). These are currently expected to arrive from June.

Saturday 16 May 2020

Trek TV: Cast and crew updates on Strange New Worlds, Discovery, and Picard

The cast and crew of the various live action Star Trek series currently in production have been providing updates on where each series is at, all requiring some rejigging due to the impacts of Covid-19. Continue below for news from Discovery and Picard, but first some interesting info on Strange New Worlds:

Speaking to Variety, SNW writer and producer Akiva Goldsman gave details of the format of the new Pike spin-off series, confirming a much more episodic approach:
We’re going to try to harken back to some classical ‘Trek’ values, to be optimistic, and to be more episodic. Obviously, we will take advantage of the serialized nature of character and story building. But I think our plots will be more closed-ended than you’ve seen in either ‘Discovery’ or ‘Picard’.
I think one thing that we always struggled with [as fans] was that Kirk is heartbroken at the loss of Edith Keeler in ‘The City on the Edge of Forever’ and has to be just fine the next week. I think what we would want to do is keep the characters having moved through and recognizing the experiences they’ve had in previous episodes, but to be able to tell contained, episodic stories.

Friday 15 May 2020

Pike and crew to return in new Strange New Worlds series!

Wishes have been answered; CBS have heard the call for a Pike TV show, following the immense success of bringing back Pike, Spock, Number One and the USS Enterprise in Discovery, and have today announced a new spin-off series, Strange New Worlds.

The series will bring back Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Ethan Peck as Spock, with the promise to "explore new worlds around the galaxy" "in the decade before Captain Kirk boarded the U.S.S. Enterprise", and Anson Mount declaring the series "a classic Star Trek show, that deals with optimism and the future".

The three main cast members made the announcement in this uplifting video:

Factory Entertainment's Star Trek bottle stoppers, and other Trek drinkware

Need a drink? Several companies have been busy working on Star Trek drinkware recently, including glasses, cups and saucers, bottles, and wine bottle stoppers. Continue below to check them all out:

Factory Entertainment have revealed the final form of the first of their Star Trek wine bottle stopper range, which are now available for pre-order ahead of release later this summer are several designs. First up is the very shiny USS Enterprise:

Thursday 14 May 2020

Trek your workplace with new Star Trek paperclips, mouse pad, and travel pass holder

If you're looking for a little bit of Star Trek in your office-bound life, then the latest creative everyday products from Icon Heroes and Forbidden Planet should do you well. Continue below for some ingenious TOS, TNG, and Discovery designs for paperclips, mouse pads, and a travel pass holder.

You might recall some of Icon Heroes first ever Star Trek products were really fun TOS paperclips? Well they've now returned to a classic and moved it on to the next generation. Behold, the TNG paperclips, in the form of little USS Enterprise-D and TNG combadges:

Wednesday 13 May 2020

TNG INtakes ingeniously put the outtakes back in

Ingenious fan and trekkie, Ryan's Edits, has hit upon an idea so fantastic its hard to believe its not be done before: Edit outtakes back into scenes. The effect is subtle and absurd, with scenes played completely straight except for some hiccup where an actor forgets a line or messes about. Some of them are completely hilarious, and all make the characters feel much more real, with the verbal trips of everyday life. Those where Patrick Stewart slips out of stern Captain Picard mode are particularly funny. Here are a couple of my favourites:

A closer look at Discovery's prop design

Discovery's props range from the beautifully ornate reimagining of the Klingons, to the newly robust take on TOS classics, and a whole bunch in between. I've sought out the work of some of the team that brought those props to life to take a closer look. Continue below for phasers, tricorders, helmets, swords, and even a bazooka!

However what really excited me when I came across the work of Ray Lai who designed many of the props in the series, were some of the more mundane items, giving classic Trek forms a new spin. Like this delightful set of engineering tools:

Tuesday 12 May 2020

Lower Decks, CBS All Access, and other Trek TV updates

A few Trek-TV updates today. No major news on releases just yet, but of sense of how things are progressing, and the media landscape Trek is working with. Continue below to find out more...

Mike McMahan, the creator of Lower Decks, the forthcoming Star Trek animated comedy, recently spoke to Inverse, about his other new animated sci-fi show, Solar Opposites, and gave a little update on where things are on the Trek front. He also gave a nice summary of what Lower Decks is all about, and it's relationship to wider Trek:
Within Lower Decks, there is a proper in-canon Star Trek show. It takes place during the TNG era. It's on a ship that feels like it’s always existed there and the bridge crew is dealing with big, never before seen Starfleet Star Trek type stories. So every episode has a thing like that happening in it. And then, on top of that, we've got A stories and B stories that are emotionally driven from the point of view of the lower deckers on the ships. So it was an area of storytelling that people had covered every once in a while on Star Trek, but never built a show around.

It was important to me that if you know everything about Star Trek and you watch this show then it fits into Canon and doesn't break Star Trek. In fact, it grows it. And if you know nothing about Star Trek, then all of the canon in Lower Decks feels like mythological, broad understandable sci-fi stuff. So you can still enjoy Lower Decks even if it's your first Star Trek show.

Monday 11 May 2020

Book bits: To Lose the Earth cover, new book details, and schedule shuffling

Lots of Star Trek books news today, including new covers and artwork, new books, updated book details, and schedule adjustments. Continue below for updates on books on mindfulness, cocktails, starships, and the alphabet!

First up, some fiction news: We finally have a cover for the long awaited tenth book in Kirsten Beyer's Voyager relaunch series, To Lose the Earth:

Saturday 9 May 2020

1:1000 scale Discovery USS Enterprise incoming, and other model kit updates

Twenty-third century fans of all flavours should be happy with the latest model kit releases from Round 2 Models. Continue below for details of Wrath of Khan and TOS TV-era kits on the way. But first Discovery:

Having released the three hero ships of Discovery (Discovery, Shenzhou, and Enterprise) at 1:2500 scale pretty swiftly last year, Round 2's Polar Lights are now back with a bigger 1:1000 scale USS Enterprise kit. That makes for a pretty impressive 44cm+ long ship once built. Here's the box art (which seems to be a new style):

Friday 8 May 2020

The amazing aliens of Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond featured more than fifty different alien species, with multiple unique beings for each race seen among the citizens of Starbase Yorktown, the corridors of the USS Enterprise, and on Altamid. The make-up department lead by Joel Harlow created such an incredible menagerie, that there's an entire book dedicated to their efforts in the production! Harlow and his team have also shared much of their work online, giving us a better chance to get to know many of the only briefly glimpsed species of Beyond. Continue below to check them out:

One of the most exotic designs was known as Shlerm, photos here from Joel Harlow's website show off both the impressive character design and their grand costumes:

Cherry Tree assimilate new ideas to create the Borg Cube ITX PC mark II

Makers of Borg Cube PCs, Cherry Tree, have remade their smaller Cube PC, the ITX, to create the new mark II model. Here's how the describe what they've done in their announcement:
Every company has that one product they look back at and think, “Why did we do it like this and not the other way?” A few weeks ago we came to this point with our little ITX Borg Cube, so we decided to reengineer the interior completely from scratch and the results are truly amazing. We were not only able to create more room inside and make the assembly easier, but also improve thermals. The Intel i7-9700 model plateaus at 69-71 degrees at 100% load. Every Borg Cube ITX mk ii build comes with 2 HDPLEX 200W DC-ATX Power Supplies, Noctua NH-L9i CPU Cooler and improved fans. Did we mention we also were able to lower the price?

The 7.5 inch cubed PC is available in either black or a translucent green variant. It is also available either as a fully built PC, or just a case, to build as you like. I believe the exterior is the same as previous versions of the ITX, but here's a look at the redesigned insides (you can compare to the previous version in one of my earlier reports):

Wednesday 6 May 2020

Fleet Command's Borg event comes to a close with Mega Borg Cube, and Jaylah's assimilation!

Scopely have announced the finale of their months long Borg event, in the Kelvin timeline video game Fleet Command.

The final run of missions will set up an all out Borg invasion, culminating in the arrival of a "Mega Borg Cube", which obviously must be defeated!

Continue below to meet assimilated Jaylah, Borg tribbles, and check out the latest ships from the game. First though, here's come Borgy art they've been releasing to promote this:

Tuesday 5 May 2020

Alternate worlds of Star Trek Beyond concept art: Altamid, Starbase Yorktown, swarm mechas, unseen ships, and more

Star Trek Beyond took us to several exotic strange new worlds, and every one of them was conjured from the minds of concept artists, who also thought up plenty of other ideas that never got picked to go to screen. Continue below to check out Altamid as we never saw it, Starbase Yorktown when it wasn't an orb and was full of Galaxy class ships, swarm drone mechas, and unseen starships.

Let's start with a visit to Starbase Yorktown, not quite as we know it. Concept artist Milena Zdravkovic has shared a large selection of her work from Beyond on her ArtStation profile, including this radically different take on Yorktown, as a long ribbon structure, with Galaxy class ships visiting (don't panic timeline fiends, just standing in for designs to come later I'm sure):

Another really striking image shows us a Galaxy-esque ship under construction:

Monday 4 May 2020

Discovery round-up: Set photography, aliens, concept art, unrealised mirror universe, and season 3 update

In this latest round-up of Discovery behind the scenes stuff, we'll get a good look at some Disco sets, behind the scenes photos and stories from some of our favourite aliens, concept art, and details of the mirror universe that we didn't get. Continue below for all that and more, but first, and update on season three.

Replying to a tweet from actor Wilson Cruz, editor Scott Gamzon gave a quick status update on where production is:
Post production, Sound, VFX and Editorial are all hard at work from our homes.  It’s going to take longer and there have been challenges but the results will be worth the wait!
One wonders how the heck they're going to do the music from home! Here's hoping they find a solution soon and we're enjoying the far future before we know it.

Meanwhile CBS have been pushing Discovery as part of their general promotion of CBS All Access lately, including releasing this set of set photography for use as Zoom background:

Sunday 3 May 2020

Turn your baby into a redshirt

Stuck at home and just wishing your screaming baby would be devoured by a Dikironium cloud creature? Good luck, Aquarius have come up with an excellent signpost for every alien threat to know who to target, in their range of TOS uniform styled baby bibs. For more cautious parents, they also offer science and command styled uniform variants too. The cotton/polyester bids are velcro fastened with a plastic backing making them waterproof ready for dribbling babies (or you know, protection from venomous aliens). Check out the range below (images via Toynk):

Saturday 2 May 2020

Picard round-up: 360 set video, location and make-up photography, easter eggs, and more

Picard season one might be over, but CBS have still been working hard to promote the series, including increasingly some fun behind the scenes stuff coming from the official Star Trek and CBS channels. Continue below for a look at the actors and make-up artists at work, some great location photography, easter egg discussion, promo images and more.

First up, one of the coolest things released lately is a 360 video of Vashti set, specifically while rehearsing the scene where Picard and the former Romulan senator have their discussion. The video starts out tracking with Patrick Stewart as he walks into the scene, and then settles in the middle of the square. If you load it up at high res and full screen (or with a VR headset) it's like you're right there on the set, watching the hoards of people it takes to make a show like this. If you're geo-locked out of YouTube below it's also up on Facebook.

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