August 29, 2016

Underrated Trek:Rascals (TNG)

Welcome back to Underrated Trek, where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. And as promised, this time I have a bad episode. I realized I’ve talked a lot about TNG’s early seasons and final year, but not so much the middle. So I decided to discuss this gem from Season 6 that no one on the creative team liked when they heard the idea. What episode am I talking about?

This is sort of TNG’s equivalent to “Spock’s Brain”. But while Spock’s Brain is hard to sit through, this one is passable. This episode was bought by Michael Piller and pretty much only he and Jeri Taylor were the only ones who liked it. But they tried to make something out of it anyway, so does the episode pull it episode off at all ? Let’s take a closer look:

August 26, 2016

Underrated Trek:Return to Tomorrow (TOS)

Welcome back to Underrated Trek, where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. I’ve talked a lot about episodes in Season 1 and 3 of the original series, but what about season 2? Except for The Changeling and Catspaw, not really. Today I want to talk about another episode that isn’t bad but no one ever seems to talk about it….

This episode fascinates me because it has some really awesome things in it, while at the same time it is boring and just damn slow at times. How can an episode do both things at the same time? Let’s take a look

August 23, 2016

A Look at Star Trek:Beyond (w Les)

With all the talk I’ve done about Trek the last eight months, I still haven’t said much about the Abrams movies that have come out the last several years. They have done a great job of keeping the franchise alive…though they have not been perfect.

In 2009 JJ Abrams shocked the world by rebooting Star Trek. Ok maybe that’s a little over the top. It makes sense, the TV series had died out and it was clear the Next Gen movies were  a bust. So why not start over? TNG was met with outrage when it came along but at least it didn’t recast the main characters. This was even more crazy! But Abrams pulled it off with excellent casting and a time paradox which gives us a new tine line while not eliminating the old one. Of course one of the big reason these movies were hits is because they reached a new fan base of young people who may have never heard of Star Trek. While not perfect I can’t deny that these films are keeping the franchise alive and well.

I asked my friend Les if he wanted to talk about it since he has more insight to the reboot movies and is a more devoted Trek fan than I.

RichB:Hello Les thanks for chatting with me today

LES:  Hi RichB.  Thanks for having me over to chat about ”Trek.”

RichB:I wanted to specifically talk about the latest film but it’s only fair to mention the two that came before it.

Star Trek (2009)

I hate we have to call it ”2009”, couldn’t they have used a surname? Anyway, I did a whole article on this when it came out so it’s easier just to link you to that. Have my thoughts changed since that article? Not really, while I admit to being nitpicky here and there for the most part I still say it was to much. It was basally ”What if Star Trek were turned into a Star Wars movie”. Check the article out here:

August 19, 2016

The Star Trek That Could Have Been

As impressive as Trek has been these last fifty years with five TV series, twelve movies, cartoons, and more the truth is a lot of ideas never got past the idea stage. For instance the first idea for a Star Trek movie which never went anywhere, a fifth season of Enterprise which would never come to pass, not one but two TNG movies which never saw the light of day, a video game called “Secret of Vulcan Fury”, and an IMAX movie which languished in production hell. But some did get past the idea stage and were even in production before something stopped it. And whether we look at rough cuts or scripts, it’s fun to imagine what could have been if these projects had gone through. Here are a few Star Trek productions that could have been but will never be.

The Cage

The Cage of course was the first pilot hey made but what people may forget is that this was supposed to be the series! Maybe its just me, but that’s really weird. Imagine Star Trek with no Kirk, McCoy, or anything we love today. Jeffrey Hunter is a fine actor but would he have been as loved as Shatner? I doubt it. Hunter just didn’t have that appeal Shatner did, I think we would have gotten tired of him fast.  And of course Spock was in it but this one smiled and yelled a lot, not quite the character we would grow to love. The pilot was rejected for being to “cerebral” and I have another word for it. Boring! I’ve seen the episode (it was worked into the TOS episode “The Managerie”) and it’s pretty slow and dull. It’s good but the kind of thing you do in the middle of the series, not as a pilot. It is fun to watch the original opening credits for the series, and why does the theme music sound so much better there than it did in the actual series? The episode was well written with some cool ideas but I have to agree with execs back then, it needed more action.


Trek came close to have a spin-off only once (not counting DS9) when Gary Seven arrived on the Enterprise at the end of Season 2. Honestly the episode isn’t bad, with Robert Lansing and Teri Garr. For whatever reason it didn’t sell which makes for a peculiar if not terrible episode of Star Trek. I think it had potential and it’s to bad it never went past the backdoor pilot stage.

August 17, 2016

Underrated Trek:The Thaw (VOY)

Welcome back to Underrated Trek, where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. Finding an episode of Voyager that I like that most do not is very hard. Because most episodes of Voyager are mediocre, so two people can have two list’s of bad Voyager episodes and the lists will have completely different episodes (except Threshold, that is unanimous). But I finally found a good one to discuss, so let’s talk about :

Last week was a topical episode with almost no action, which was boring as hell. This episode is about the same in terms of action, but is it as boring? Let’s take a look.

August 14, 2016

Five Awesome Things From “Superfriends”


I've talked a lot about how silly this cartoon was, and it really was. In previous articles I picked on the more goofy episodes, details that the show got wrong from DC lore, and how the stupid rules for children’s programming back then watered down the violence to silly levels. True I loved it as a kid, it was my introduction to the DC universe, but as an adult I can see the goofiness more, right down to the name. And it doesn’t hold a candle to the stuff in the 90’s like JLA, Batman:The Animated Series, and X-Men.

But that being said, didn’t this cartoon give us anything cool? At all? Well actually I think it did. For example all the characters were portrayed seriously and treated with respect. The stories may have been silly but the characters were always done correctly. The characters made just for the show like Black Vulcan and Apachi Chief were really good additions, you’d almost swear that they were in the comics as well. And the music was pretty damn decent right down to that awesome theme music.

Here are five other things that were just awesome either in the cartoon or spawning from it. They are things that are part of popular culture or just things that I think are just really awesome.

Comic Books
The cartoon series naturally inspired a comic run, and to be honest the comic books have many things they did better than the animated show. It was able to show more violence since it didn’t have the restrictions for children’s programming to worry about. It allowed the characters of Wendy and Marvin and Zan and Jayna to be be expanded on a bit (with a secret origin for the wonder twins for example) and it tied into DC’s ongoing Justice League title which meant that many issues would bring in other members of the JLA not to  mention some notable villains. Even more impressive, the comic books gave us new characters that would become canon and last with DC for quite awhile. They were known as the Global Guardians and it would take way to long to get into that story. Yeah the comics were still light fare aimed at a younger audience, but unlike today’s kids oriented comics which are lame they didn’t get ridiculously silly and were pretty good for what they were.

August 10, 2016

A Look at Star Trek Merchandise & Memorabilia

So for the last several months I have tried to cover as much Star Trek as I could, including expanded media. Seemed only right to take a look at the things that go beyond books and comics. The toys, games, video games and other assorted memorabilia based on this amazing franchise.

I had my fair share of toys and other stuff growing up but never went that crazy. And no I never owned a uniform. But I will go over the stuff I had that I can remember, along with a look at some other things that I sadly never owned. Of course if I covered every toy or game based on this franchise we’d be here forever. So here is just a glimpse at the world of Trek merchandise and memorabilia

Let’s start with video games…

Star Trek The Promethean Prophecy
This was a rather lackluster video game made for those of who lived in the stone age and had to rely on disk drives since it was weak ass graphics and mostly text only. In fact the game was so frustrating I usually just gave up and destroyed the Enterprise.

Star Trek TNG-A Final Unity
This was a really cool game because not only were the graphics pretty damn impressive, but it had the voices of the entire cast. You also go to pick which choice you wanted. However I don’t remember staying with it long before the game bored me. Course there are dozens of Trek games (VCR, PC, internet, and role playing) from Voyager:Elite Force to the Borg game which actually starred John DeLancie as Q. I sadly don’t have much experience with these fine games.

August 6, 2016

Underrated Trek:Dear Doctor (ENT)

With about a month left for me to celebrate Star Trek’s 50th before the official date, you’re probably gonna see a few Underrated Trek articles while I try to cover as much as I can before that cut off. And I am hoping to have something extra special for the official date (September 8 if you’re wondering) but I still haven’t decided. And yes I could and may very well do more Star Trek after that date but certainly not into October (which is Halloween of course) or the rest of the year.


Welcome back to Underrated Trek, where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. So I have tried to cover all the series as much as I can this year, but I’ve neglected two. Voyager hasn’t had an underrated article in a long time so one is due. But first there is another that is even more overdue. Sometimes an episode will topical, and the creators decide to be controversial at the same time–giving us a horrible mess that insults the characters. This is:

A few months ago I metaphorically put my foot in mouth when I cited this as a great episode. Um, no not quite. The controversy hurts it and I will get into that. So I decided the best way to find out how I really felt about this one was to sit down and re-watch it. What did I think? Let’s discuss.


August 4, 2016

Five Real Life Travel Locations for Sitcoms

Well it’s the middle of Summer now which is usually the time when we take our vacations with our families. Or by yourself like me, but it’s still fun. Of course since sitcoms are about families it only makes sense that these families would travel once in awhile. And it makes sense while the crew and cast would be all for it, after it was a chance to get out of the studio and have fun outside for a week. However for me, vacation episodes are often terrible. Taking the series out of their usual setting just makes things..weird. But it’s really cool when they series does really take the trip so that the viewers can see the locations also. A lot of times the destinations are just set dressing, but when the series really takes the trip it’s kind of cool-even if the episode is flat and dull!

Rather than discuss the episodes, I decided to focus on the destinations. Here are five detonations that series actually various series did travel to and film on location.

joey in london
Friends of course. This one very well done for several reasons. The series spent several episodes setting it up so it isn’t like we were just thrown in London. The main plot involved a story which had been running through the last several episodes, and the effects of the trip would resonate for the rest of the series especially with the Chandler/Monica relationship. True the interior scenes were in a soundstage but it was a London soundstage so still awesome. Family Ties also went there, in a horrible TV movie that I still work on repressing all memory of. And even Married..with Children couldn’t resist going to England for a three part episode.

August 1, 2016

Ten Movie Songs and/or Music I Just LOVE

Time for my annual music article. Well not really annual but it seems that way (and no I’m not counting those ear worm articles). Movies are filled with music, from theme songs to melodies in important scenes to pop songs put into spice the movie up. But when a song from a movie really gets your attention, so much so that when you leave the movie it’s the song you most remember, that is really something special.

Awhile back I did a list of songs I love from movies which aren’t so great. But most of those I hadn’t even heard in the movie to be honest. Today I wanted to talk about ten songs which I loved when I was literally watching the movie, so much so that I bought or downloaded the album (or recorded it off the radio, yes I’m old!).

These are in no specific order. And no animated films, that’s a different article.

10.Truman Show Main Theme

I did some checking and I really have not discussed thus movie enough. This movie is not a standard type of film, and it would be easy to hate it. But several things make it work. the premise is cool. Jim Carey is freaking awesome. And that soundtrack is fantastic, with some great piano melodies. My favorite is the main theme, which is soft and yet very effective in establishing the mood. The main scene it’s in this music literally does all the talking and very well! And yes it was not made for the movie and can be heard in other things. I will always associate it with this.