September 29, 2016

Underrated Trek:Identity Crisis (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. On my last Trek installment of the year, I wanted to talk about a special category of episodes. Some are serious. Some are funny. Some are relevant. Some are stupid, and others brilliant. Then you get an episode that makes you wonder, where the hell did this idea come from????  This is one of them:


It seems like every so often Star Trek will do a “Make-up” show, where the make-up effect is the focus of the attention. TOS had “The Deadly Years”, DS9 had “Distant Voices”, Voyager had “Threshold”, and this was one of TNG’S. But is it any good? Let’s discuss it:


September 26, 2016

My Ten Most Disturbing Star Trek Moments

As we enter the Halloween season, and begin concluding my year long celebration of Star Trek, it seemed like a good idea to discuss some of the scarier moments from this show. Yeah some may be surprised at that word but Trek can be many thing. We’ve already discussed how it can be funny and light, but it can go the other way and can be downright dark and disturbing too, with visuals which will haunt you dreams for years!

Here are ten examples of Trek moments that gave the willies!

Charlie X (TOS)
Charlie X is about a teenager who has more power than he knows what to do with. It’s pretty good especially for season one TOS. Toward the ends of the episode he begins to use that power to punish the crew. Leading to this disturbing image of a woman with no face!

September 21, 2016

Underrated Trek:I,Mudd (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. Comedies on Trek can be hit or miss, for one “Trouble with Tribbles” we have the dreadful “Profit and Lace”. There’s nothing wrong with doing a light episode once in while, but man when they’re bad they are soooo bad. Today I want to single out one light episode for specific reasons. This is:


I got the idea to do this after reading Pretty Boy’s great article on this episode, and he commented that he didn’t like it. That’s fine I totally respect that and he made some good points. The episode does become a farce by the end. But I always liked this episode. Why? Let’s take a closer look:


September 19, 2016

Top 10 Favorite Star Trek Supporting Characters

Ok let’s round out my list of favorite characters with supporting characters. Course this is a tougher category. Technically, anyone in the original series who isn’t Kirk, Spock, and MccOY could be considered supporting characters. And DS9 kind of cornered the market on supporting characters, and some may be surprised how few made the list. And villains can often be considered supporting characters, but I covered that are so no villain characters (with one or two sort of exceptions).

I need one from Enterprise and of all the supporting characters, this was the one one that made an impression on me. I must have a fondness for Vulcans, every major one has made one of my lists. Anyway, this guy was just cool. When we first saw Sarek in he original series we didn’t really understand why he hated Starfleet. Soval makes us understand, his prejudice for Starfleet is obvious but being a Vulcan he’s cool about it.

#9.Naomi Wildman
Voyager was a tough one too but I found at least one (sort of two but we’ll cover that). I did really like this character, for the most part. She was overused for a bit but that’s ok. She was basically what Wesley on TNG should have been, a precocious child who wanted to learn more but for the most part stayed out of the way. She never saved the ship or showed up the other characters. She felt like a real kid, which is why people liked her. I especially loved her scenes with Seven of Nine, somehow Naomi really brought the humanity out in Seven.

September 17, 2016

Top 12 Favorite Star Trek (TV) Villains

So I did my favorite Trek characters it was only natural I do the villains also. Since I already did movie villains, this is limited to just one’s that appeared in the various series. And yes I know these villains appear in other media but just TV appearances count.

I tried to find a villain from Voyager to put on here, but it was hard. Amazing that even Enterprise managed one memorable villain but Voyager couldn’t. The closet was the Borg Queen but since that character came from First Contact, it sort of didn’t count. Then I remembered this witch. Man was she a nasty one, betraying Voyager to the  Kazon (who were mostly dull). I hated her so much one of my favorite Voyager moments was in “Shattered” when a fully Borg’d Seven of Nine takes her out!

#11.The Gorn
So why in the world is something as corny and silly as a man clearly in a green lizard suit remembered fondly? Because fans are willing to look beyond the goofy costume, and recognize what the creators were going for. The Gorn are nasty bastards, and the fight he has with Kirk is pretty intense. Usually when Kirk has a fight you don’t really think he’s in any jeopardy (Amok Time notwithstanding) but “Arena” was a huge exception to that. You really felt like Kirk’s life was in jeopardy! I almost put The Tholians here, but they didn’t stand out as memorable as The Gorn did. And Enterprise did their take on The Gorn and to be honest, the CGI version was pretty damn cool.

September 15, 2016

Top 15 Favorite Star Trek Characters

At the start of the year I discussed the “perfect” Star Trek cast. But with the criteria involved I picked the characters I thought best filled various positions, even over a character I liked more. So it occurred to me, if I take all the criteria away, who are simply my favorite characters of all the series? Yes some of these choices will be the same as that earlier list, but for different reasons.

The one rule is these have to be main characters, if I included supporting characters I think my head would explode.  Here are my 15 favorite Star Trek (main) characters…period.

Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer stars in STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE on UPN. Photo:James Sorenson/Paramount Pictures. ©2003 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.Picking from Enterprise was…very hard. To say the least. And while Archer is not my favorite captain, as I said that is irrelevant to this list. Archer was probably the strongest thing in this series, and while he often did things people disagree with you can’t deny that he had a certain kind of charm. Scott Bakula did a good job playing him.

September 12, 2016

12 Things I Love From "Star Wars"

Last year after I had done a slew of DC Comics related articles, I felt it was only fair to give some love to the other major comic company out there.  So I listed off things from Marvel I really really  liked. This year since it’s the 50th anniversary of Star Trek I have done lots of Star Trek articles. Heck, I’ve done almost 100 articles on Trek since I started these silly blogs. What about Star Wars? Three, maybe four. Yeah it’s no shock I am just not as huge a fan of Star Wars. But why is that?

A lot of people like to compete over what is better, Star Trek or Star Wars. And while to someone who doesn’t really know these franchises they can seem similar (space battles, etc) the truth is comparing the two is like comparing apple’s or oranges. Star Trek and Star Wars are very different when you really look at them. I have said that the Abrams Trek movies were his turning Star Trek into Star Wars. That’s because of the emphasis on action and the downplaying on morals and ideas which is what Star Trek is really about. The two have their similarities, beyond space battles. Both franchises have good strong characters that have become part of pop culture. Who is more popular, Spock or Darth Vader? Heck even in Back to the Future when Marty disguises as an alien he incorporates elements from both franchises into his disguise (in one of the film’s best jokes).

I was trying to figure out why I love Trek so much more than Wars, and in reading another article I came across the answer. At least one I am going with. Star Trek has morals, and they tell good stories we love to come back to again and again. Star Wars is pure fantasy, action and adventure as we watch our heroes rise up and defeat the bad guys. Trek is about exploring the human condition, and Wars is a space opera about heroes vs villains- good vs evil. As awesome as that is, Wars just doesn’t bring me back time and again (feel free to comment and disagree if you’d like). Of course it doesn’t help there are hours of Trek and only seven Wars movies. It’s no wonder Star Wars expanded media has taken off (which I had mostly ignored for the record). And yes, for the record,  I enjoyed Star Trek Beyond more than Star Wars The Force Awakens.

Ok this is turning into a rant, I have a list to get to. At one point I though of doing a a more extensive look at the two franchises back to back, but decided that has been done elsewhere by others much smarter than I.  Besides this is about giving Star Wars some love. It was supposed to be ten things, but I added a few, and hey since I’ve talked so much about Trek I can add a bit if I want.

So twelve things from Star Wars I truly love (in no particular order):

12.The Theme

Yeah it’s pretty hard not to smile when I hear that theme music. Especially if it’s in the theater. John Williams did a lot of fantastic music but this melody will always be my favorite. As soon as you hear that fanfare you know epicness is on its way. And yes the rest of the music is good including the classic Imperial March, but if I cover all the music then this list will just be that!

September 8, 2016

SPECIAL Underrated Trek:The Man Trap (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. But today, we’re doing something a little different!

Fifty years ago today, September 8, 1966, something remarkable happened. Even though at the time, it was just another Thursday night watching Bewitched. Well, at least I am guessing that is what most people watched. On NBC a little show was premiering for the first time, a show called Star Trek! Could any of the people who tuned in on that September evening possibly imagine the silly images they saw on the screens was starting a phenomenon? I doubt it. It still amazes that back then, it was just another TV show. I always love to see old clips of promo’s and interviews the stars gave at the time, they talk as if it wee just an ordinary TV show. Of course, in 1966 that’s all it was. So what episode did they see? A little episode called :

I decided the the best way to celebrate the official anniversary of this wonderful franchise was to review the first episode that ever aired. Why did this air and not the pilot? I guess it was part of a sneak preview stunt, and the critics were very unimpressed. It did beat it’s time slot thanks to the fact it was up against re-runs. But once the new shows started up the series fell and fell in the ratings. So was this episode a good start to this series? Let’s discuss.

September 5, 2016

Ten Notable Star Trek Creators Behind the Scenes

With all this talk about Star Trek lately, I think it's really important to remember the people behind the scenes that helped to make this franchise what it is today. We all know Gene Roddenberry, who came up with the idea and was the main force which gave us the "wagon train to the stars" that was Star Trek, but who else shaped these series? Here are ten notable names

D.C. Fontana

It might be fair to say that we wouldn't have Star Trek today without this wonderful woman. She wrote some of the series best episodes including "Charlie X", "This Side of Paradise" "Journey to Babel", and "Tomorrow is Yesterday" while also doing re-writes on other stories. She also did a remarkable job fleshing out the characters, especially Spock. She tried to work for TNG when it started but her writing style just didn't mesh with the new show and, well, there's a long story there.

September 3, 2016

Ten TV Reunions That I Loved

When I say TV reunion a lot of things come to to mind. There are reunions on talk shows for instance. There are also reunion movies or new series where the original cast will reunite for something new. But I wanted to talk about a specific kind of “reunion”. It was announced that Katey Segal would appear on Big Bang Theory this season premiere as Penny’s mother. Of course, Segal already played the mother for Kaley Cuoco’s character on 8 Simple Rules making this a reunion for the two from that series.

It’s always fun when two actors who appeared together in one show reappear in another, usually as different characters. Not only is it cool to see the two together, but to see the difference in the character interactions of these very different characters can be quite striking. Of course these are not a new thing we’ve had plenty from Robert Reed reuniting with Defender’s co-star E.G.Marshall on The Brady Bunch to Johnny Galecki reuniting with Roseanne co-star’s Laurie Metcalf and Sara Gilbert on Big Bang Theory to Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell appearing together in Prison Break and Flash as very different characters. Another variation on this is when two celebrities who are related in real life appear on their relatives show, like when Missy Gold’s sister Tracy appeared on an episode of Benson (at the same time she was in Growing Pains).

Here are some of my favorite TV reunion’s either from previous cast mates or relatives that I love. This list is in no particular, and only covers times when the actors appared as a totally different character so some obvious choices may be missing.

Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd on Spin City
This was a favorite of mine, for very obvious reasons. Yes in one episode Christopher Lloyd reunited with Michael J Fox (do I really have to tell you what they starred in?). They even had a few gags calling back to that fantastic movie. It’s always strange to see Lloyd play a regular guy (for the most part). And yes Family Ties co-stars Meredith Baxter and Steven Gross also appeared in other episodes of Spin City.