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Filtering by Tag: Star Trek

Boldly Gone: Free Thoughts on the Proceedings of Star Trek at 50, and Gene Roddenberry and fandom, for Rolling Stone

Chris Klimek

Leonard Nimoy's unflappable Mr. Spock communes with the Horta in "Devil in the Dark," from 1967. (CBS Consumer Products /  Star Trek  Archive)

Leonard Nimoy's unflappable Mr. Spock communes with the Horta in "Devil in the Dark," from 1967. (CBS Consumer Products / Star Trek Archive)

I basically got into journalism because I wanted to write for Rolling Stone. That took longer to happen than I'd hoped it might, but it was a real thrill to get to do this piece for them yesterday, reflecting on What Star Trek Hath Wrought the occasion of the franchise's 50th anniversary.

Last night, the National Air and Space Museum showed "The Man Trap," the first Trek episode broadcast (albeit not the first one produced), at 8:30 p.m. Eastern — the same time NBC had shown it 50 years earlier. It's a really fun episode that demonstrates that the rich character relationships were present in the Original Series right from the beginning, and that most of the comedy in Trek was fully intentional. (Also that what was progressive in 1966 is decidedly not in 2016. But that's how progress works.)

Thanks to Scott Tobias for suggesting me for it, and to David Fear for editing the essay. 

Warp Corps: On the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, for Air & Space

Chris Klimek

The September issue of Air & Space / Smithsonian, featuring the cover story I desperately wanted to call Warp Corps — because it's about a corps of people whom Star Trek has inspired and influenced, you see — is now on sale at the National Air and Space Museum (both locations, on the National Mall and at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia) as well as at Barnes & Noble stores and the digital retailer of your choice. You can read the feature here. Also, I'd love if if you would come buy a copy of the magazine from me for a paltry one-time fee $6.99 at the Museum during its three-day celebration of Star Trek's 50th anniversary. The event kicks off at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8 — the evening the Original Series episode "The Man Trap" was first broadcast on NBC. 

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Be Brief, I See into Thy End: Fear, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Vince Eisenson, Matthew Alan Ward, Seamus Miller, and Amal Saade in  Fear.

Vince Eisenson, Matthew Alan Ward, Seamus Miller, and Amal Saade in Fear.

I had the good fortune to interview Star Trek's resident alien linguist Marc Okrand this week, for a video that'll posting next week as part of Air & Space / Smithsonian's coverage of Trek's 50th birthday. I met Marc through his involvement in DC theatre. After the shoot, we got some coffee and talked about—well, okay, yes, about his work on various Trek movies mostly, again, some more. But we also discussed how much we both enjoyed writer/director Kathleen Akerley's ambitious new play FEAR, which I review in this week's Washington City Paper.

For evidence of just how pear-shaped the genre of plays-about-playmaking can go, consider Jackie Sibbles Drury’s unaccountably popular We Are Proud to Present…, a story about a half-dozen actors working to “devise” a play about a historic tragedy of which they know nothing. Though it’s meant to look improvised, it’s fully scripted, and the it's the single worst play I’ve ever seen in my professional or biological life. Akerley's play needs a revision, but it ducks the self-absorption that makes Drury's so, so insufferable.

Hot Buzz: I interviewed Simon Pegg for Air & Space / Smithsonian

Chris Klimek

Sofia Boutella and Simon Pegg in  Star Trek Beyond  (Kimberly French/Paramount).

Sofia Boutella and Simon Pegg in Star Trek Beyond (Kimberly French/Paramount).

What a pleasure it was to speak with Simon Pegg, an actor and writer whose work I've long admired, for my day job with Air & Space / Smithsonian magazine. I've been overseeing a special section of our September issue commemorating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, and I was especially keen to have Pegg — as the co-screenwriter of the new movie Star Trek Beyond, as well as one of its key cast members — be a part of our coverage. He was as enthusiastic and smart and funny as I'd dared hope. You can read the interview here, and my NPR review of Star Trek Beyond will be up Friday.

I wanted to discuss the blog post he wrote about George Takei, but our time was limited and I thought he'd already explained his position quite eloquently in prose. There was an obvious moment when we might've talked about how subsequent Trek movies might deal with the tragic death of Anton Yelchin last month, but I'll be honest: In the moment, I just didn't think to ask the question. Or about his role as Ogden Morrow in the film version of Ernest Cline's novel Ready Player One that Steven Spielberg just started shooting last month. He's a busy guy, this guy.

Air-Conditioned Fun in the Summertime 3: Presenting My Third Annual Village Voice Summer Movie Want-List

Chris Klimek

The Nice Guys, which I expect history shall remember as my favorite film of the summer of 2016, came out last week; Captain America: Civil War, probably the best of the Marvel bunch, is old news. But Memorial Day weekend is still the traditional start of the summer movie season. Here, for the third consecutive Memorial Day weekend, is my Village Voice list of summer movies I want to see. Light up a phone in any of these and you'll hear from me.

Enjoy those X-Men, everybody! I'll be observing the holiday at the AFI, taking in Spartacus in its 212-minute entirety.

The Spirit of 77: To Be Takei, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Hikaru Sulu and George Takei at Midtown Comics in Manhattan.

Hikaru Sulu and George Takei at Midtown Comics in Manhattan.

I am acquainted through mutual friends in DC theatre with Marc Okrand, the man who developed the Klingon language to for Paramount Pictures. I was surprised to seem him make a very brief appearance in Jennifer M. Kroot's documentary To Be Takei, which I reviewed for The Dissolve.

Radio, the Final Frontier, or To Go With Some Reasonable Measure of Boldness Where I Myself Have Not Personally Managed, Entirely, to Go Before

Chris Klimek

My first radio story will be broadcast today. You can listen to it here right now. The process of assembling and editing it was not all that much different from making these. Although in this case I had expert help -- WAMU managing producer Tara Boyle -- to make the piece sound better. The piece is about the starship Enterprise. That is, the impressively large, now-49-year-old model that appeared in every episode of Star Trek, 30 years before computer graphics became Hollywood's defacto visual effects methodology.

I initially imagined this segment as a Daily Show-style news package wherein I would feign indignation that an artifact as significant as the civilization-seeking, boldly-going Enterprise rates a spot only in the basement of the National Air & Space Museum. (Apparently they also have some spacecraft there that have actually flown in space.) That approach proved to a be little ambitious for my first time out of the gate.

I haven't spent enough time with the various spinoff series to get much of a read on them, but original-flavor Kirk-Spock-McCoy Star Trek is a thing I love. My favorite formal thing about the story is that I managed to use, chronologically, music from three eras of Trek: Alexander Courage's 1966 theme for TV series, two snippets of James Horner's score for The Wrath of Khan from 1982, and finally, Michael Giacchino's theme from the 2009 Trek reboot directed by J.J. Abrams.

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