Thursday, March 26, 2015

Commemorating Leonard Nimoy's Birthday

(Click on images to view larger. Once open, you may have to click again to view full-size.)

This is the saddest Birthday commemoration I've ever had to post on this blog, coming only weeks after the passing of Leonard Nimoy. He would have been 84. Celebrating his birth so soon after his passing makes it that much more poignant. Below are some images from a publicity photo session made just before the series started filming, when the costumes were not quite what we would come to know. The shots are interesting in that they pose Nimoy with some stock chemical equipment, as if it was short-hand for saying "he's a scientist, because here he is doing science stuff with test tubes and such." Anyone out there know what that spiral tube is he is holding and what it does?

This particular set of images is special to me since the first ever photo I cut out and saved from the show was a close-up from this session.





I would like to close out this post with a simple poem written by Leonard. It could be to a loved one, it could be a prayer to God. I would like to turn it around back toward Leonard, and use it to thank him for sharing his life with us.

Thank you
For a world
Of kindness 

Thank you
For your
Endless patience

Thank you
For your
Sensitive understanding

Thank you
For
Your Love

As Spock once told McCoy, "Remember." We will, Leonard. We will. And like McCoy, we will carry a part of you within us, always.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy Birthday, William Shatner!

Happy (belated, it was on March 22nd) 84th Birthday to William Shatner, a man that makes the Energizer Bunny tired just watching him! Shatner brought a lightness to a role that could have been deadly serious, giving us a quick-shooting, hard-kissing, karate-chopping, outrageously-bluffing and awe-inspiring Captain that always led, never sent his officers into action.

(Click on image to enlarge.)
"Yeah, I'm kind of a big deal."
In honor of Bill, go back and view all of the Shatner-centric posts on this blog. The Power of Shat compels you!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

James Doohan's Birthday

I've never really known how to address birthdays of the deceased. You can't really say "Happy Birthday!" as it is a wish for someone that is no longer here to do so. So I am simply saying "let's celebrate this person's life on the anniversary of their birth." James Doohan was born on March 3, 1920, and if he were still with us, he would be 95, and we would be wishing him "Happy Birthday, Jimmy!" We wish you were still with us. We celebrate your memory and contribution to Trek by a toast of a glass of something green.



Browse through some of the Doohan-oriented posts on this blog by clicking here.

Bonus link: What happens when you combine the faces of the original cast with the faces of the new cast from the reboot? Go here and see!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Goodbye, Leonard.

On February 27th, we lost a friend. And, although I had been preparing myself for it over the last few years, it hurt worse than I thought it would.

(Click on images to view full-size. Once open, you may have to click again to magnify.)

I was on the road going to a dental cleaning appointment when my wife texted me: "Spock just died." Those three words hit me hard, and I immediately pulled over and checked online to confirm the news; hoping that it was a false rumor she had heard. It only took a moment to find out, as word spread rapidly, that Leonard had indeed passed over to the Undiscovered Country after being admitted to the hospital several days earlier for chest pains. A few moments later an old friend and fellow Trekker called and when I picked it up I said "I just heard." We spent a few moments sharing how we felt and the impact that Mr. Nimoy had on our lives.

I'm sure the same thing happened around the country as friends called other fellow fans and commiserated over the news. The bond between Trek fans has always been strong, as over the years we shared our love for the show with others like us, and when we found another of like mind, we connected to them in some fashion; at least I did. We were linked by that shared love of a bright universe where people of all races and creeds lived in harmony and acceptance, and by our love for the characters that inhabited one corner of that universe known as the Enterprise. The extended family we found there was more than just a bunch of crew members; we loved them all. Zooming in on the core of the family, we focused on the Big Three of Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Then, when the final image came into view, it was of one person; Spock. He was the one that people remember most when recalling their first exposure to the show. The first thing I ever clipped about the show from a magazine was a photo of Leonard as Spock, which I still have in my first scrapbook. This is most encapsulated by the first time Spock appeared on film in the Trek universe; we saw the ship, then came closer, and as the saucer dipped, we moved through the dome onto the bridge. And moving down beside Captain Pike, there was the one your eyes were instantly drawn to... Spock.

What Spock meant to each one of us individually is something we can only weigh within our own hearts; but to me the main attraction to the character --beyond all the great things about the Vulcan that were exciting and different-- was that in his isolation and loneliness, he reached out and made a friend; Kirk. The friendship between the two was the heart of the show, and further, the friendship and affection that the rest of the bridge crew felt for Spock demonstrated the depth of feeling that could be inspired by one that claimed to have none. All of that is summed up in one affecting image, happening at the very end of "The Search For Spock." I freely admit that when watching the movie I bawled at that moment (and still do, every time), even more than at his funeral scene in the previous film. Whereas that was about the loss, this moment was about the joy of their love for him. And that's something we all felt. I hope that beyond the sadness we feel at Leonard's passing, we can remember and rekindle the joy of that love we felt both for him and for the character that he helped create and bring to life. Click on that image below to enlarge it and see if it doesn't just make you feel good.


Over the weekend as news of Leonard's passing spread, a post that featured an article entitled "Spock: Teenage Outcast" that I had posted in the past went viral for the second time, and we had over 12,000 visitors to this blog. I like to think that the letter he wrote to a young fan struggling with a dual heritage would make a fitting memorial to the man, speaking of his insight, compassion and thoughtfulness. You can read that article below, or visit the original post that also contains many visitor comments about it:


Another older article that highlights the professionalism that Leonard brought to the role, and the price he almost paid to be true to the character, can be found here.

If you have some time and want to reflect on Leonard's media exposure over the years that I have collected, here is a link that collects all the blog posts I have made with the "Nimoy" tag.

Of course, in one way, my wife was wrong when she said "Spock just died." The character of Spock is still as alive as ever, and for as long as we can see him on the episodes and movies, and read about him in our books, he is alive. Leonard Nimoy, the caring and compassionate soul behind the stoic visage, is with us no more. But he will not be forgotten.

 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

1984 Interview With Mark Lenard

 As a regular reader of this blog you may have noticed that a number of recent posts have been from the Enterprise Incidents magazine (as opposed to the earlier versions when I refer to it as a fanzine); well, I had recently taken out a stack from one of my collection cabinets and realized how much Trek material there was left to feature. So, I will continue to post articles from various issues until I feel that it has been properly represented here and not overwhelmed in number by Starlog posts (which are now all available online in a collection anyway).

This time we open issue #18, published in June of 1984 (the year that "Splash" came out; seems like a long time ago now), and we are featuring a nice lengthy interview with "Sarek" himself, Mark Lenard. Thanks again to editor and writer James Van Hise for publishing this. Enjoy!

(Click on images to enlarge; once open, you may have to click on it once more to view full-size.)
Bonus #1: Since the article was released before the movie and there were no images of Sarek in his movie costume and makeup, below is a nice publicity photo.
 
Bonus #2: Below, another one of the1967 Leaf bubblegum cards that continues the trend of nonsensical captions.
Bonus #3: A rare autographed photo of DeForest Kelley that was found along with some others in a record jacket bought at a thrift store. Talk about stumbling onto hidden gold! Go here to view all the others, they are quite amazing!

Monday, February 16, 2015

New Rare Nichelle Nichols/Uhura Pics Surface!

STOP THE PRESSES!!!

I thought I'd seen most photos of Nichelle Nichols candid shots taken during the series that there were to see. How wrong I was. When I stumbled across these photos on a post here, I almost hyperventilated. My heart was pounding and I was breathing fast. How could these not have surfaced before? What is their source and why are they only now being seen? I would love to know the whole story behind these photos.

They show Nichelle in a breath-taking series of images taken on the set as she presents stunning dance moves and sexy poses as only she can do. And all as Uhura! Boggle! My mind is reeling. Feast your eyes on these, and pay your respects to the site that published them: The Star Trek Prop Authority.
Original Link: http://www.startrekpropauthority.com/2015/01/nichelle-nichols-rare-and-artistic.html

Update from my ST Scrapbook fanpage guest comment about it: "These were for sale on eBay recently by someone who has a whole cache of negatives. They were about 10.00 a piece for 8x10s. They had ridiculous poses of William Shatner as well which I bought. They were selling them last year for about 25.00-50.00 each and then started selling them again at a much reduced price." -W. P. Bell













Below, my reaction at seeing these newly-discovered photos!
Next time: more seldom-seen photos of the First Lady of Star Trek!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

1984 ST:TMP Special Edition Article

In 2001, fans of Star Trek: The Motion Picture were treated to Director Robert Wise's "finished version" of the film (The Director's Edition), as he had considered the theatrical release so rushed as to not be what he wanted on screen. This is to me the definitive version, the one I take out and watch now whenever I get the desire to revisit the movie. The tighter edit, the more lush sound effects, the cleaned-up visual effects, and most of all the new visuals created for it (for those that could not be added originally due to the last-minute pressures)... all combine to make it a more pleasant viewing experience, in my opinion. (Finally, we know what V'Ger itself looked like in a long shot without the cloud! I never knew in all those years it even had a defined shape. It reminded me of the ship hidden in Halley's Comet in the film "Lifeforce.")

However, back in 1983 we were treated to a longer version of the film that added in cut scenes. Did it improve it? I feel it did in some respects; some of the cut scenes needed to be back in, others are today more rightly relegated to the "Deleted Scenes" extra on the menu on DVD or Blu-Ray. But back then we were so excited to see "more Trek" that even a longer and more drawn-out version of the movie was interesting to see.

In this article by James Van Hise from his Enterprise Incidents magazine, issue #13 (the first to go national after the promotion from fanzine), published in January of 1984, we have a scene-by-scene comparison of the theatrical cut and the extended TV cut, which turned up on home video later. The intense desire by Wise back then to have a "finished version" can be seen in the write-up, and it was something that took over 20 years for him to get to do. I'm thankful we got to see him accomplish that before his passing shortly afterward.

(Click on images to enlarge; once the picture is open,
you may have to click again to view full-size.)

Bonus: Below are two more pages from the 1976 Lincoln Enterprises "Star Trektennial" catalog that was the Trekker equivalent of Sear's Catalog. I have scanned the cover and first two pages before (page 1 here and page 2 here); and I intend on adding all of them in time. There are so many things on there that I wish I had ordered back then and had now.... 

Bonus #2: Below, the cover to my real introduction to Star Trek and the beginning of my love affair with it. I had never even seen a complete episode of the show up to that point, (only snippets here and there as the parents had me flip channels around) but was starting to become aware of it and absolutely loved what little I had seen. The animated episodes were next, and added fuel to the fire!
 
The cover blurb calls him Scotty, but tell me that doesn't look like Spock that McCoy is attacking with the SpaceVac!

Bonus link: Great poster from this Trekker Scrapbook blog! It looks like Pike and Vina are having fun and doing a great job at entertaining the inhabitants of Talos IV!