Monday, August 25, 2008

My question for the day

I was watching Crossfire, which is about Odo realizing that Kira definitely isn't in love with him and he needs to pull out of her life and I was watching him turn away from Kira making out with Shakaar and it occurred to me - how does Odo see?

I mean, the way I see it there's two options. a)Odo sees with the eyes he makes. But that creates all sorts of problems when he's turned into a bag or a piece of the wall to spy on people - how does he see anything then? Or hear for that matter?


Okay, so b) Odo percieves everything from his entire surface space. But that creates problems too. What if he were gaseous? Liquid? And why would turning his eyes away from the distressing sight of Kira making out with Shakaar help him in any way? Because now he can see it out his elbow.

You see the problem?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Water is Thicker than Blood

I was rewatching "Ties of Blood and Water" last night and I realized two things:
a) Major Kira's character has a lot more depth than when she was screaming at Sisko's desk in the first episode, and b) The Ghemor storyline was never fully fleshed out, which means there's a fanfic in there somewhere.

On a side note, if you've never seen the ep, I highly reccomend it. It's from DS9 season 5. It has Dukat, Weyoun, and a large helping of Kira. Sisko, Dukat, and Weyoun sit down to have a drink (of poisoned kanar), Nerys and Julian have a cute moment (the actors were married at the time), and it's really sweet and sad and all those things we love about DS9.

Monday, August 11, 2008

And Friday... Partial

Friday, August 8

The first guest this day before my birthday was Malcolm McDowell. What a guy. Just – what a guy. What a guy, what a guy, what a guy. He has an amazing presence, plus what he said about my question was just – perfection.

See, when they filmed Generations, Soran shot Kirk in the back. Wait, you say, didn't Kirk fall off a bridge? Well, yes, he did. See, people were upset by the whole shot-in-the-back thing, so they decided to reshoot so that Kirk fell off a bridge instead, because someone thought we'd like that better. Yeah-huh.

So, anyway, my question for Malcolm: “Originally, you shot Kirk in the back and he died.”

He was all, “Uh-huh.”

“And they changed it so he fell off a bridge.”

“Uh huh.”

I was waiting for a reaction, so I said, “So you went from being a murderer to manslaughter.”

“Who let her in here?!?!?!” he yelled.

When the laughter died down (go me!) I said, “How did you feel about that?”

“Well,” he said, “I thought it was pathetic.”

Booya. I got high-fived as I walked back to my seat.

He's not a Trekkie. He's actually a fan of 2001. I knew there had to be at least one out there. He says it took Sci-Fi from Flash Gordon to 2001. Never mind that Star Trek was in the middle of that. Lousy thing to say at a convention.

There was a lot of talk about Heroes, which he didn't want to do but his son was so excited that he did it anyway, and by the way, his character is not so wounded as we were led to believe.

There were lots of Clockwork Orange questions, which I've never read or seen but really should, but anyway his most challenging role was something called The Monster of Rostoff, in which he played a pedophile cannibal serial killer. Good grief.

He's a good villain.

A little side note – he made Time After Time with Nick Meyer (in which he did not play the villain) and met his wife on that film. Good deal. And if you don't know who Nick Meyer is, you suck.

Someone also asked him probably my favorite question, which you could tell he was unprepared for because he never really got it. “What would you do in Soran's place?” As in, if you had to kill 230 Million people to get your dead wife and children back, would you.


Susie Plakson isn't my favorite, but she passes the time and she's tall. Really tall. Extremely tall. She's been launching a musical career, which is neat. And she's older than you'd think, is all I'll say there.

One amusing thing – did you know she was Selar? Selar and K'Eyhlar and SheQ and one of the Andorians. She beat Jeff Combs.

Anyway, she audidtioned for a doctor on Star Trek got it, and then they called her in to be measured for her ears. And that's how she learned she'd be playing a Vulcan.

I won't pretend I'm not bitter about Enterprise because that would be a lie, but Jolene Blalock, guys. Amazing.

I've always seen T'Pol as a big problem, not because of the character or actor but because she's so obviously there for the sex appeal. That said, she's so funny, so charming, and so much a fan that it just kills you.

She's been a fan her whole life.

I actually feel pity for her now – because she was the fan in the show that failed. Not that that was her fault, but what a horrible thing to have happen.

There were a lot of questions dealing with the Vulcan restraint. Leonard Nimoy has said often that he really felt repressed as Spock, that the character took a while to take off on the weekend and then he had to be back at work. She never consulted with Nimoy (“God, I wish.”), but she had a very different experience. Nimoy had to remain stoic all the time. Jolene, well...

“I was the one leaving hershey bars in Connor's toilet....and then I'd get outside and go, [crap]!, I forgot the saran wrap!”


She didn't feel it like Nimoy, I think, but she did have dreams about doing Hamlet in her living room in T'Pol's catsuit, and yes, she did say catsuit.

There was one that became a running thing: “If you were in the desert, would you want Archer or Trip with you?”


Yay! My shipper heart beats faster. She indicated that she was in favor of that particular ship, too, so good on her. I mean, she certainly seemed enthusiastic.

She wasn't a big fan of the Xindi arc – maybe if it had been more about Enterprise than the Xindi, that would be different. But it wasn't. Manny made the show better, she said. No argument here. He took the shows and took risks and they “started to bend and mold and shift.”

Yes, they did. And the most telling statement:

“Berman had a formula from TNG and it carried over to the next incarnations...first two seasons he just would not bend, would not budge.”

Which is what I've been saying for years.

She would be open to being in the new movies – T'Pol should still be alive then.

I can't say I'd object.

“My biggest influence is James Cagney...everything I do is in homage to Jimmy Cagney.”
-Malcolm McDowell

“There's nothing wrong with doing six scenes and having the world hate you.”
-Malcolm McDowell, on playing villains

“If I was gay, I probably would have married him.”
-Malcolm McDowell on Colin Firth

“Only through science fiction do you pose the question, 'what if-?'... only the sci-fi genre divides the lines between us.”
-Jolene Blalock

“Berman had a formula from TNG and it carried over to the next incarnations...first two seasons he just would not bend, would not budge.”
-Jolene Blalock

On Thursday...

Thursday, August 7

I started out with Rigel and Patrick Woida, who designed the Phoenix lander. That was cool from an intellectual capacity, but it wasn't exactly layman-friendly. There were some neat pictures, which I think you can get on the web, and a lot of humor about the ice they found on Mars, which they're very excited about. Anyway, like I said, fun, not hugely layman friendly.


Grace Lee Whitney, dude. Wow. What an amazing person to have onstage, even with two co-guests. She really has a grip on herself now, despite the problems she had at the time, and she was just amazing to listen to. Her wig that she wore – that got stolen. We'll discuss that later. She was onstage with Michael Forrest (Apollo) and Sandra Smith (Janice Lester), who were also wonderful. Sandra Smith especially – I've often thought she made a better Kirk than Shatner did.

The Okudas were also there. I missed them last year, which was a mistake. They talked about the process of TOS Remasterd and showed some great footage. Their production work was something like this:

1.Watch ep and take notes
2.Meet and rewatch ep with starship toys
4.order pizza pizza with CBS work revised over the internet

Sounds complicated.

“The Menagerie”, with the dome shot, was one that they had to force the people at CBS digital to look at ahead of time, and when they did they went “Oh, crap,” or something to that effect. I can see why. It's not exactly a common shot for today, much less in 1964 when they shot it.

They also talked about why it was needed, and I have to admit that that reason is fine with me. I always hated TOS Remastered when people were talking just for the hell of it, but it is pretty. Veeeery pretty. Doesn't change much. Okay, I lied. It changes a lot of little things. Just look at Murasaki 312 before and after. We'll live.

They added some things that weren't shown (the Gorn ship in Arena) and clarified things that were just blurs of light (Mudd's ship in “Mudd's Women”). All okay.

One thing I was not onboard with was the changing of the tombstone in Where No Man to “James T. Kirk”. We've been knocking that around for years, and now they want to come in with a magic eraser and fix it? They debated, and waffled back and forth, and finally asked the fans at a convention, who wanted to do it – but they ran out of time and couldn't. Which I'm fine with. Actually more than fine, thanking God.

I've often thought about the look of the NX-01. It's crap, and I mean that in the nice way. It doesn't look like a pre-1701 ship. It just doesn't. More on that later too, but anyway, I got the Okudas to answer my question about that. Their answer – it just rocked my world. I was so upset with them, for so long, and now, well... I still am. But at the same time, I'm not.

See, apparently, it wasn't actually more futuristic. They were shooting for something that resembles the style we have today evolving toward the tech level of TOS, and keeping in mind that in TOS they had no idea what computers were going to be capable of. Now that doesn't excuse Archer's ready room (Kirk didn't get no stinkin' ready room), but it does make me relax a little bit about their intentions. But that's not all. The best is yet to come.

Had Enterprise run all seven years, we would have seen their display panels evolve toward the blinky pattern of TOS. They were so concerned with continuity, they studied the panel blinking on TOS. But that's not the best part.

No the best part is a quote from Michael Freaking Okuda: “Since you're asking that question... we obviously weren't entirely successful.”

Holy. Freaking. Shit.

He doesn't say, “I'm sorry,” but I'll call it an apology. Which was all I wanted.

“The last year,” Denise added, “was actually a gift.”

I couldn't agree more.

Brent Spiner and Marina Sirtis were next, and they were amazingly funny. Brent is such a crackup. What I love is hearing them joke about Patrick Stewart, and how Brent is trying to be him (not really). Marina said at one point that he could do it if he'd just start dating 28-year-olds. Ouch. Marina sang Avril Lavine (I know I spelled that wrong) and then took a question from a woman who had named her son “Patrick James Tiberius Kirk”. Marina's response? “Oh my God, what did you do to your child?!?!”
Brent just wanted to know if she'd considered “Brent Data Spot”?

My cat's name is Genesis Spot.

But I digress.

They took a question from someone who was nineteen. (She was an embryo when we started!) and were asked to go into character a bit and do some improv, but they couldn't just do that. Finally Marina says, “Captain, he's hiding something,” and Brent did the head twitch. You had to be there, maybe.

One of the best questions was for Brent: how did you play Data so serious when you're so funny?

Answer? “I faked it!” Which is pretty much my whole philosophy of confidence. If you don't know how to do something, just pretend you do, or you know you can learn, and then go out and get the For Dummies book. That simple.

Anyway, it turns out someone stole the Troi wig too. What is it with wig security at Paramount! Ugh!

I'd love to love Rod Roddenberry, but he's just not being loveable. He comes and talks about, he's not funny ever. This time he brought his friend Trevor, who is his co-conspirator on and that was better, plus his mom was there briefly. She is not looking well, but then she's gotta be about eighty. She was in a wheelchair and looks very thin – but you can still see Number One, and Nurse Chapel, and definitely Lwaxana.

Anyway, Rod was annoying me there too, because he was running interference for her. Is she really so feeble that she can't answer questions put to her? Her answers, when she got a word in edgewise, wouldn't indicate that at all. And yet she's been doing this longer than Rod's been alive, why would he run interference for her now?

It worries me.

They snuck her off the stage during the showing of a video and part of me wonders if we'll ever see her again at a convention. What was sad was that there weren't many questions for her – and yes, I did ask one. Rod spent five minutes making me repeat it while she tried to answer in the background. It was frustrating.

Garrett Wang was up next, and he was really hilarious, just like I always thought he'd be. Okay, so I still have a liiiitle crush. Anyway, he had great stories, one I just love about George Takei and a similar one about Kate Mulgrew. He complained about Harry's lack of promotion, and then he told a story about meeting someone named Harry Kim who was, at one point, Ensign Harry Kim. In the Navy. Our Navy. Too cool.

He wanted to have Endgame to To Be Continued. Yeah, I think many of us, despite the years of torture by such masterpieces as “Shattered” and “The 37s” would have liked that too, given the actual ending of Endgame. Then make a TV movie or something.

Anyway, there was another story about Jeri Ryan's elbow and one about Pon Farr that I'll probably write up later. Just trust me, hilarious.

Great quotes of the day:

“Some of them I'm not enamored of.”
-Michael Forrest on Shakespeare's plays

“We love the originals – Star Trek was the first.”
-Michael Okuda

“Look, if you feel this strongly about it, why don't you come onboard. Otherwise, don't complain.”
-Dave Rossi, as quoted by Michael Okuda, after Michael had turned down TOS Remastered but then listed about 8 billion things they had to do.

“...maybe we weren't entirely successful.”
-Michael Okuda, on trying to make the NX-01 look less futuristic than the 1701.

“The last year [of Enterprise] was actually a gift.”
-Denise Okuda

“Shouldn't it be Doctor Whom?”
-Brent Spiner, on Doctor Who

“Between [Brent] and his CD and Michael Dorn and his airplane it's a wonder I can get a word in edgewise.”
-Marina Sirtis

“Star Trek will live because – look around you.”
-Majel Barrett Roddenberry

“Star Trek is Gene Roddenberry's. No one else's.”
-Majel Barrett Roddenberry

“Ensign Kim is the love child of Uhura and Data.”
-Garrett Wang

I'd just also like to say that I was gifted during this weekend by the incredible generosity of the Trekkies at this convention. They made it possible for me to do things like go to the strip and visit the Experience (for the last time ever), and I am eternally grateful.

What do you do if the matter/antimatter containment fails?

That's a video of some guy at comic-con asking JJ Abrams and Bob Orci one question.

He got a good one.

It's spoiler-free. More of a Trek knowledge one.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hey, guess what!

Really briefly becaue I found a wifi spot but forgot my notebook - I got the Okudas to answer The Question, I addressed Majel Barrett Roddenberry, I got within touching distance of George Takei, and now I discover that not only do I share a birthday with Gillian Anderson - I share one with Eric Bana as well. How cool is that!

I'll be posting a more complete thing... just...later. I have to go to the convention now. Yay!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Now I'm Angry

I love Rose Tyler. Like, a lot. She was an awesome character and I love wearing hoodies because of her, m'kay? If that's stupid, so be it. Also, I was a huuuuge Ten/Rose fan, so... yeah.

And then here comes Steven Moffat, the new head Doctor Who guy (I know I'm new to the show, but who cares, it's awesome, which is probably why I never watched it sooner - I got hook-ed) Anyway, he says, and I quote, "You have to hand it to the Doctor for dumping a slightly needy girlfriend by palming her off on a copy of himself."

Way to bring in the Ten/Rose fans, Moffat old chap!

Bill Shatner's LiveVideo

So on Bill's new weblog it has some behind-the-scenes of his WOW commercials. Ordinarily I wouldn't watch behind-the-scenes of a commercial, but he's Bill Shatner, so... wow. It shows him not knowing the meaning of something the director says. Now, I don't know what that word means either but it's an interesting choice to post on your own LiveVideo.

Two Days

Leaving for Vegas in two days. I'm getting my notes together and whatnot.

My birthday is Saturday, which is when Brannon's planning to show up (bringing Manny Coto as a sacrificial lamb and a sneak preview of 24 to distract us with).

Leonard and Zach on Sunday.

Wish me luck getting a question there.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Let's Recap

Recently rewatched "Before and After". Let's recap.

Kes warns Janeway that eleven months from now they're going to meet a species called the Krenim that will wreak havoc. Leaving aside the Temporal Prime Directive implications, Janeway welcomes full knowledge of their future.

Kes leaves the ship, and sends them 10 years closer to home.

They still run into the Krenim (in fact, they spend two episodes running into the Krenim). Anyone?

My friend at work tells me that the Krenim were expanding their space with their timeship thingy but ten thousand light years seems like a stretch for that to apply.