Archives for category: TV Series
We are VR!

We are VR!

After Power Rangers became a breakaway success, Haim Saban and Shuki Levy decided to make another Ameri-toku series, this time, adapting three shows from the Metal Heroes series, Superhuman Machine Metalder, Dimensional Warrior Spielban, and Space Sheriff Shaider (in season two). Together these three shows would make up the basis for VR Troopers.

ORIGIN

VR Troopers began life as a starring vehicle for Jason David Frank called Cybertron. It pretty much follows the same plot as VR Troopers, but it just focuses on the Metalder footage, JDF would’ve played Adam Steele, the Troopers martial arts instructer Tao Chong would’ve helped train Adam to become Cybertron, he also had a daughter all of Grimlords minions were called War Drones, Karl Ziktor was called Cyrus Riktor, he also had a son Percy, and for some reason Jaime Kennedy was part of a Bulk and Skull-like duo. The pilot was reworked and renamed Psycon, most likely to avoid a lawsuit from a certain toy company, who just happens to own the term Cybertron.

The world got its first official look at VR Trooper in the form of a trailer that played before or after various Mighty Morphin Power Rangers VHS’, and while some things carried over from Cybertron, like Tao and Grimlord, once again there were some differences between it and the final product. For instance, Adam is now called Ryan, Kaitlin’s last name was Hall in the trailer, but was changed to Star in the series. The most notable difference, is the Troopers’ mentor Professor Horatio Hart, in the show he was an black, but here he’s caucasian, and rocking the Einstein look, and Jeb, Ryan talking dog, doesn’t sound like he’s impersonating Jack Nicholson as he does in the show.

Once the final changes were made, the show officially aired in syndication from September 3, 1994 to February 21, 1996

PLOT

The show focused on three young adults in their late teens, Ryan Steele, Kaitlin Star, and J.B. Reese, living in the fictional West Coast town of Cross World City, California. They regularly attended and were teachers at “Tao’s Dojo”, a karate studio. Ryan was the most focused martial artist; J.B. was the computer wizard; while Kaitlin was a photographer & budding reporter for the local newspaper, the Underground Voice Daily. One day, Ryan’s search for his long-missing father led him and his two friends to a strange laboratory. Inside, a digitized head of Professor Horatio Hart, a friend of Ryan’s father, Tyler, explained the truth about his life’s work of having developed extremely advanced virtual reality technology in secret. “VR” is a dimension existing alongside our own; within it lie mutants bent on conquering both worlds. The main ruler of these is a creature known as Grimlord, who, unbeknownst to anyone on Earth, has a human identity as billionaire industrialist Karl Ziktor. As Karl Ziktor tries to overcome the barriers of the true reality to allow his armies easy passage from virtual world, the responsibility falls to Ryan, Kaitlin, and J.B. of defending the planet on both sides of the dimensional barrier. They have assistance in the form of armored bodies having incredible firepower. This included eventual additions to their arsenal, such as a Turbo Cycle, Techno Bazooka, VR Troopertron, VR Shoulder Cannon, VR Battlecruiser/Interceptop and a flying, laser-blasting Skybase.

Other regular characters on the show included Zeb as Jeb, Ryan’s hound dog, who, after an accident in Prof. Hart’s lab, was now capable of human speech; Woody Stocker, Kaitlin’s wacky hat-loving boss at the Underground Voice Daily; Percy Rooney, the local mayor’s nephew and Kaitlin’s bumbling rival reporter; and Tao, the wise martial arts sensei who owns the dojo and a family friend of the Steele Family. Recurring villains include General Ivar, Colonel Icebot, Decimator, the Skugs, and more throughout.

During the second season, the show changed format very slightly. Ryan’s father was finally found and restored to normal. Then, he quickly left to help the government research further Virtual Reality based technology. With him came Ryan’s new V.R. armor and an upgrade to his powers. Grimlord’s base of operations switched from the virtual dungeon to a massive spacecraft, and added new Generals such as Oraclon, Despera, Doom Master and his Vixens. The Skugs now had the ability to become more powerful in the form of Ultra Skugs.

Like Masked Rider, V.R. Troopers never had an official ending due to the stock footage from all Metal Heroes shows running out. There were plans to use the footage from the series Heavy Shell Beetle Fighters, and use that as the third season, but the plans were scrapped, and retooled to become another show that I’ll look at in the future, Beetleborgs.

REVIEW

The show is pretty decent. Like Power Rangers, it pretty much made me an instant fan of the Metal Heroes franchise, while it’s pretty corny and cringe-worthy at times (which is pretty much par for the course in most Saban productions.), it’s still fun to watch from time to time. With the advent of new V.R. technology in the real world, I could see this series making a comeback, as either a new series, or even a movie akin to the Power Rangers movie (though that seems a little unlikely since the movie kinda bombed). Overall, while corny, and may or may not have single-handedly killed the Missing Father cliche, I still think it’s worth checking out.

RANK: 3 out of 5

Next, something.

Oh! And check out this hilarious fan dub of the show, performed by the cast themselves.

Until we meet again... ?

“No matter how old you get you never stop meeting the world.” – Ben Savage

Before we begin, I wish to apologize for lack of recaps for Season, between school, the year-long Star Trek event, along with some personal issues, I just didn’t have the time to tackle recapping the season. So with that said…

SEASON 3

So, this season sees the kids and Cory heading to high school, continuing to learn, grow, and expand on the kids friendships. But as the season progresses the kids’ lives change in some significant way. Riley for instance learns that sometimes her welcoming, happy-go-lucky behavior won’t work on everyone, that despite being a good person, you won’t always get your way with certain things. Maya finally has a family now that Shawn finally married Katy, and that her brief period impersonating Riley had more of an effect on her than she and Riley realized, and goes on a trip to rediscover herself, which also lead to Shawn rediscover himself  and realize that he’s in love with Katy. Farkle also get’s some development, during an episode about discovering their heritage and learning that he had a relative who survived the Holocaust, and was more than likely the only one of his family to survive. The only form of development for Lucas was the (godforsaken) love triangle which finally came to an end when Lucas chose Riley, and Maya and Josh decided to “play the Long Game” meaning their gonna wait for each other, and where did all of this happen, at the Ski Lodge, the very same Ski Lodge that nearly destroyed Cory and Topanga (“America’s Sweethearts!”), and who works at the Ski Lodge? a young man named Evan, who just happens to be Lauren’s son. Who’s his father? Unknown. Something surprising for me this season was that Ava got to have a storyline, and it was a great subplot, involving the split of her parents, and Auggie and Topanga (and at one point Maya and Cory) helping her cope with everything. While I enjoyed this, I kinda wished Ava and Maya would’ve interacted a little more, since Maya knows what she’s going through. Aside from helping Ava, Topanga didn’t have much of a subplot until the final episodes where she’s offered a high paying job in London.

The series didn’t see as many returning characters here, the biggest being just Shawn and a one episode appearance by Mr. Feeny, though it’s made up for it in the finale/penultimate episode (more on that shortly) where everyone form Boy Meets World, even the original actor for Josh came back. Though we don’t see all of them interact with one another (there was going to be a scene with Harley and Stuart that got cut). And I’d be completely remissed if I didn’t mention the new opening titles, which was a shot for shot recreation of the BMW (seasons 5-7) opening. As, per usual, the episodes are aired out of order again, this made evident, in the behind the scenes episode, which if you follow the production codes, is the actual series finale. Speaking of the finale, I thought it was very enjoyable, but it felt a little to similar to BMW’s finale, at least till the ending. Though I will admit, I did laugh my ass off at the Morgan scene.

THE SERIES ITSELF

This series was great, I remember when I first heard rumors circulating about a sequel series, I was excited, even if it wasn’t true, the idea of a continuation to Boy Meets World, and the idea of Cory and Topanga passing on what they learned to the next generation, however I was kinda iffy about Disney Channel airing it, as they’re not the best network to handle the things that Boy Meets World was able to tackle in its seven year run, not to mention back when they aired the series they skipped two episodes (an episode about underage drinking and sex and being friends with benefits. Yet they aired the parental abuse episode with no problem, go figure).To put it simply, they love to play it safe. But, I don’t know how they did it, but they manage to tackle parental abandonment, religion, autism, and politics in a way that didn’t involve talking down to audiences. I really hoped that GMW was going to be the show on the Disney Channel to go the distance, to break the “four season limit”, and go on for at least five or six years. But, the higher ups didn’t see it that way. There are varying reasons for why the series was cancelled ranging from lack of merchandising to the show outgrowing and alienating it’s target audience, personally, I think that’s crap. Was I upset when I found out, yes. Was I happy with the ending we got, yeah, but I still think Disney Channel should’ve stopped the whole random episode airing nonsense, and aired World Meets Girl as the actual final episode.

Oh, and if I didn’t mention it someone else will, there are campaigns to keep the series going on Freeform, or streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu of the like. While they showed interests, and the millions of subscribers kept requesting it, the Netflix campaign failed, why? because Disney doesn’t want to give up the rights. Michael Jacobs said he has said he’s working on saving the series, but only time will tell if that’ll work out or not. Personally, I hope it does work out, because the writers aren’t done telling stories about these kids, they haven’t moved on to the next stages of their lives, and we really want to see where they go. So let’s hope we’ll see them again.

REVIEW

Overall, this was an excellent season, and I’ve said before, I’m gonna keep saying it again, this was an outstanding series. Disney were complete fools for letting this show go. I mean, so what if it didn’t have much in merchandising, or that it was starting to outgrow it’s target demographic, THAT WAS THE POINT OF THE SHOWS! Girl Meets World and Boy Meets World, told the story of the trials and tribulations growing up and the things you learn as you grow. It’s like the header said, no matter how old you are, you’ll never stop meeting the world.

Lastly, to Michael Jacobs, April Kelly, Rowan Blanchard, Sabrina Carpenter, Peyton Meyer, Corey Fogelmanis, August Maturo, Ava Kolker, Ceci Balagot, Amir Mitchell-Townes, Cheryl Texiera, Uriah Shelton, Danielle Fishel, Ben Savage, Rider Strong, Danny McNaulty, Lee Norris, Will Friedle, Anthony Tyler Quinn, Betsy Randle, William Russ, Lilly Nicksay, Lindsay Ridgeway, Trina McGee, Matthew Lawrence, and of course, Mr. William Daniels.

Oh, can’t forget about Darby Walker and Sarah Carpenter.

Thank you all for three great years, let’s hope you’ll all come back again someday. And let’s hope it doesn’t take another 20 years to make it happen. Until that day…

Thunder. Lightning.

Done.

RANK: 5 out of 5

I am going to start recapping a new series soon, and I think you might be surprised what it is. In the meantime, come back when we pay tribute to one of the best shows on Cartoon Network.

"That's no good!"

“That’s no good!”

Happy (late) Anniversary, and once again we’re looking at something from the world of everybody’s favorite blue hedgehog, Sonic! Unfortunately, we’re looking at one of his downside of our spiky blue hero, at least until 2006, Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog. The show ran for a season (that lasted four years) in Syndication from Sept. 6th 1993 to Nov. 24 1996

PLOT (or lack thereof)

The series follows the adventures of the titular character Sonic the Hedgehog and his sidekick Tails as they attempt to stop Dr. Robotnik and his array of robots from taking over the planet Mobius.

The plots often used elements loosely borrowed from the storyline of the Sonic video games series. Three of Robotnik’s henchbots, Scratch, Grounder and Coconuts, are directly based on badniks that appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The series also incorporated several recurring original characters not seen in the games, such as Robotnik’s mother, Stinky the Badger, and Wes Weasley, a salesman and con-man, not dissimilar to Phil Silvers. The show’s other characters largely consist of non-human creatures, such as anthropomorphic animals and robots.

Episodes of the show normally revolved around Sonic and Tails foiling Robotnik’s latest villainous scheme to dominate the zany, colorful world of Planet Mobius. At the end of each episode, Dr. Robotnik’s plan would ultimately fail due to Sonic’s efforts, his own incompetence and the stupidity of his henchbots, after which he says, “I HATE THAT HEDGEHOG!”.

The end of the show is bookended by an additional segment called “Sonic Says” (or “Sonic Sez”, as Tails misspelled it on screen). This segment teaches viewers life lessons about subjects such as alcohol abuse and general safety. If you lived in the UK, you had the luxury of not seeing this as they were edited out of the UK airings.

There was also a Christmas special called “Sonic’s Christmas Blast” which was made to coincide with the release of Sonic 3D Blast. Depite having the same tone and art design as “Adventures”, the special seems to borrow a couple of elements from “Sonic SatAM”, like SWATbots, Robotropolis, and an appearance by Sally Acorn. Also, to go with the promotion of 3D Blast, a Flicky (birds that Sonic has to save in the game) shows up for a moment. For the longest time I didn’t even know this existed until 2004, when my local CW (then The WB) randomly aired it alongside another Christmas special I wasn’t aware of until that day, “Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas”.

Despite the silliness, the show touted a pretty good cast, most of whom you’ve heard of, like Gary Chalk, Ian James Corlett, Venus Terazo, Scott McNeil and of course the first person to give Sonic a voice, Jaleel White. The unaired pilot also had some good voice artists, like narration legend Gary Owens, and Jim Cummings, who played Robotnik in the pilot, would go on to play a more menacing Robotnik in SatAM.

REVIEW

Yeah, the show hasn’t really aged well. The characters (with the exception of Sonic and Tails) look awful, the background looks amateurish at best. It just looked and felt ridiculous. But, at the same time, there’s an appeal and fascination to it that makes you want to keep watching. And other people seemed to think so, since this show was seen the most times out of the five shows, this was the one that’s was shown the most in reruns. Overall, it’s a ridiculous series, but ridiculous in an insane way, and it’s really difficult to ignore. So, as the DIC entertainment commercials would tell you, “check to see when it’s on at your house!” And by that I mean, check it out on Netflix or something, but only if your curious.

RANK: 3 out of 5

Next, Girl Meets World returns, though not as you’re hoping it would come back.

2016 is over, and good freaking riddance! The world’s dumbest rich guy became our president. We’ve lost so many people, and apparently, even during the holidays, we still have to keep loosing people. But, there were some positives to this year, I did a year-long celebration of Star Trek, and despite a minor hiccup in September and October, I still consider that a success, I held a marathon of Robotech, tried Ecto Cooler and Crystal Pepsi for the first time ever, and only one of those drinks made me throw up, and I created an Instagram account to show off my artwork.

As mentioned, in the Big Hero 6 review, Marvel Month is tackling the first franchise in outside of animation. The 200th post is coming up soon, and I haven’t made an official decision on what I’m going to cover yet. I was planning on holding a poll on Twitter to see what people want me to cover.

I have plans on doing retrospective series on Digimon, but that’s currently being put on hold until, the final three Adventure Tri movies are released, and the new series, Appli Monsters has ended. As for movie reviews, I plan on reviewing Rogue One following this post in honor of Carrie Fisher’s passing. Next up, is Ranger Spotlight, I’ve been meaning to give my thoughts of the trailer for the new movie. And of course go over some of my favorite team-ups from the both Power Rangers and Super Sentai. Since my first interview was a success, I’m working on scoring another one soon.

So, with that said, Happy New Year folks, let’s hope and pray that 2017 will be better than 2016.

Keep a look out for the Rogue One review.

Later.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DaveRoy92

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davecameron92/

Before Kirk, there was Pike.

Before Kirk, there was Pike.

 

PLOT

It is the year is 2254 – eleven years before Captain Kirk’s five-year mission commanding the USS Enterprise.

Two weeks after a battle on Rigel VII that left seven crewmembers injured and took the life of three Enterprise crewmen, including Captain Christopher Pike’s yeoman, the ship encounters a space distortion on a collision course, according to helmsman José Tyler. It turns out to be an old radio distress signal, “keyed to cause interference and attract attention.” The crew says it was sent eighteen years earlier from the Talos star group, but first officer Number One notes they have no Earth colonies or vessels that far out. Pike declines to investigate without any indication of survivors but proceeds to the Vega colony to care for the crew’s own injuries.

Pike calls the Enterprise’s chief medical officer, Dr. Boyce, to his quarters but Boyce instead fixes Pike a martini to induce Pike to talk about the battle on Rigel VII. Pike has been thinking of resigning, burdened with making lethal decisions, but Boyce counsels against it. The science officer Spock interrupts on the intercom that a follow-up message from Talos IV indicates there are eleven survivors. Pike returns to the bridge and orders the ship to Talos, at “time warp, factor seven.” He bumps into a young woman, J. Mia Colt, his new yeoman. The ship’s first officer, a woman named Number One, says Colt is the captain’s replacement yeoman. Pike expresses discomfort with “a woman on the bridge,” assuring Number One that she is an exception, as she’s “different, of course.

Pike leads a landing party to the surface of Talos IV and finds the makeshift campsite of a disheveled group of male scientists from the crashed survey ship SS Columbia. The scientists identify themselves as an expedition of the American Continent Institute and Lieutenant Jose Tyler describes technological advances while they have been marooned, particularly in the time barrier being broken. A beautiful young woman approaches them. She is Vina, born almost as the group crash-landed on the planet. Vina strangely tells Pike he is a “prime specimen” – as three aliens with huge, pulsating heads watch the landing party through a viewing screen.

Boyce provides his medical report to Pike and reports that the survivors are in good health, “almost too good.” The scientist Theodore Haskins offers to show Pike their “secret,” and Vina leads him away from the others. Vina suddenly vanishes, along with the scientists and their camp. Talosians render Pike unconscious and abduct him through a doorway in the rock. The landing party fires laser pistols at the door to no avail and Spock advises the ship via his communicator that this “is all some sort of trap. We’ve lost the captain. Do you read?”

Pike wakes up without his jacket, communicator, and laser, inside an underground cell with a transparent wall, through which he sees several creatures of different species in nearby cells. Several Talosians arrive and make callous scientific observations about him, which he perceives not through sound but telepathy. They note that Pike is more adaptable to his new surroundings and prepare to begin “the experiment.”

The Talosians intend to make Pike experience illusions based on his memories, in order to interest him in Vina. The first illusion returns Pike to Rigel VII, with the new task of saving Vina. Pike is not interested in participating, telling Vina he is “not an animal performing for its supper,” but he is interested in learning the parameters of the illusions and of his captivity. Nevertheless, he manages to survive the illusory attack from the Kalar and is returned, with Vina, to his cell.

He learns from Vina that the Talosians have severely weakened their world and themselves by reliance on their telepathic powers. They want Captain Pike and Vina as breeding stock for a new, stronger race to repopulate the barren surface of the planet. The Talosians punish Vina for revealing this information to Pike.

The Talosians provide him with a vial of liquid nourishment and insist that he consume it, even offering to make it appear as any food he wishes. Pike proposes to starve himself instead, which results in the Keeper punishing him with an illusion of being surrounded by scorching flame and threatens to punish him more severely for continued disobedience. Pike appears to relent by consuming the liquid, but then displays another outburst of attempting to break through the containment, unexpectedly startling the Keeper. Pike realizes that the Keeper was unable to read his mind during his outburst of anger and tries to inquire more as to why this is. The Keeper, still unable to probe Pike’s mind, attempts then to distract Pike by changing the subject to Vina. Pike relents again, and the Keeper reveals that Vina was the sole survivor of the Columbia crash and confirms what she inadvertently revealed previously – that Pike and Vina were being kept to propagate Humanity and repopulate Talos IV. The conversation ends with Pike demanding that the Talosians punish him instead of her, since he is the one being uncooperative, which the Keeper regards as an excellent development in their relationship.

The next illusion is a pleasant picnic just outside Pike’s hometown of Mojave, with Vina attempting to entice Pike with the familiar setting, but with Pike still resisting, knowing that all of it is just a mere illusion. Vina then realizes that scenarios with which Pike is already familiar have not been successful in enticing him to cooperate, and surmises that he might be more easily swayed by a forbidden fantasy. The Talosians next tempt Pike by making Vina appear as a dancing Orion slave girl.

The Enterprise tries without success to channel the starship’s power to the surface to blast a way to Pike. Then Spock locates the Talosians’ power generator and prepares a landing party. However, only the females (Number One and Yeoman Colt) are the only ones transported, as the Talosians seek to give Pike a choice of mates; and their weapons and communicators appear not to work. Vina resents the competition; Number One says records indicate Vina cannot be as young as she appears.

As the rescue attempts have failed, Spock orders the Enterprise to leave orbit, but the Talosians immobilize it and scan its records, convincing Spock that the ship’s utility to the Talosians is at an end and that they will now “swat… this fly.”

Pike determines that any strong emotions keep the Talosians from controlling his mind and uses this to his advantage. While Pike feigns sleep, the Talosian magistrate tries to recover the female officers’ lasers from the cage. Pike seizes the magistrate and ignores the illusions. He reasons that the malfunction of the lasers was itself an illusion and uses the laser pistol to compel the magistrate to stop deceiving him. He now sees that they had blasted away the wall of the cage on their first attempt.

He escapes with the women to the surface and sees that the blasting operation on the door had also succeeded, despite an illusion made to appear otherwise. But the communicators still don’t work, and the Talosian says that the original goal was to put the group on the surface. Pike offers himself as a captive for the freedom of the others and the Enterprise, but Number One begins a “force-chamber” overload of her laser pistol, intending to destroy herself and her shipmates to thwart the Talosians’ plans. She tells the Talosian magistrate that it is wrong to create a whole race of Humans to live as slaves.

The magistrate’s aides arrive, presenting the summary of the ship’s records. The records have shown that Humans possess a “unique hatred of captivity,” even when pleasant, making them too dangerous for the Talosians’ needs. The magistrate does not apologize for the imposition but concedes that they will now become extinct. Pike asks if commerce or cooperation might not restore the planet, but the magistrate replies that Humans would learn the Talosians’ power of illusion and destroy themselves, just as the Talosians did. The crew members are free to go, but Vina says she cannot join them. After the others transport aboard, the Talosians show Pike Vina’s true appearance: underneath the Talosian illusions, she is badly deformed from the crash of the Columbia. They were able to make it so that she could remain alive, but could not restore her appearance. The Talosians agree to take care of Vina and they provide her with an illusory Captain Pike to keep her company.

Pike returns to the bridge, reassuring Dr. Boyce that he is completely refreshed for work, and waving off a query from Yeoman Colt about whom he would have chosen as a mate, as well as accusing the doctor of being a “dirty old man” for inquiring into the meaning of Colt’s remark. The Enterprise departs.

REVIEW

This show should not be compared to the later Star Trek series, except for the title. This sci-fi ouclassed other shows of the time 2 to 1. There had never been anything like this on television up to this point. Jeffery Hunter was pretty good as Captain Pike, though I did wish he was a little nicer to Colt. The supporting cast do an admirable job, too. Leonard Nimoy (who was just finding his character’s footing) of course was great as Spock, and I’m I enjoyed seeing him actually show emotion here.

Sure, the effects look cheap, but, this was a PILOT for the series. And the Remastered version fixed most of that. Overall, while it’s not the people were used to, its still an effective start to the series.

RANK: 4 out of 5

Next we end the year with some plans for the new year, and one more review to end out the Year of Star Trek

Trek yourself, before you wreck yourself (the cast's words, not mine).

Trek yourself, before you wreck yourself (the cast’s words, not mine).

Originally scheduled for October

The following is a review for a fan film, if you have yet to see it please click here now to prevent spoilers.

As much as I like the Kelvin Timeline movies, I wish the franchise would go back to the primary timeline, but thankfully thanks to the magic of head canon and fan theories, we get things like Star Trek Renegades, or just Renegades now (more on this later).

PLOT

Ten years after the starship Voyagers return from the Delta Quadrant, the Federation is in a crisis. The Federation’s main suppliers of dilithium crystals (the primary catalyst for the fuel used in faster-than-light travel) are disappearing. Space and time have folded around several planets, isolating them from outside contact. The phenomenon is unnatural – someone or something is causing it to happen. The need to stop this necessitates drastic measures, some of which are outside the Federation’s normal jurisdiction. For this, Admiral Pavel Chekov, head of Starfleet Intelligence, turns to Commander Tuvok, Voyagers former security officer and current head of the newly reorganized Section 31, Starfleet’s autonomous intelligence and defense organization. Tuvok must put together a new covert, renegade crew – mostly outcasts and rogues, and even criminals. This new crew is tasked with finding out what is causing the folding of time and space, and stopping it at all costs.

There were plans to make this a full-on series, and Tim Russ launched a successful Kickstarter campaign for the second and third episodes. But then, production hit a major snag. As mentioned in the Starship Farragut review, there were some new rules issued by Paramount and CBS, but here’s the story of how that came to pass.

Around 2014, a fan film was made called Prelude to Axanar, but despite, Paramount and CBS filed a lawsuit against the creators of another Star Trek fan film/series “Axanar” for copyright infringement.

Thanks to some intervention from J.J. Abrams, the suit was dropped by the time “Beyond” hit theaters. Afterwords, Paramount released new guidelines for anyone who wanted to make Star Trek fan films, they ranged from something simple like adding the byline “a Star Trek fan production” to completely unreasonable like limiting the fan films runtime to just 30 minutes (two 15 minute segments).

Because of these rules, the second and third episode were reworked to completely remove all references to Star Trek. This also affected the other fan films/series, some films/series like Starship Valiant, Pacific 201, and Trek Isolation are going to continue while following the guidelines, others like Star Trek New Voyages and Star Trek Continues ended production, and some like Starship Farragut are up in the air.

REVIEW

The movie was actually pretty good, I enjoyed it, and I enjoyed seeing all these Star Trek actors from TOS to Enterprise coming together to do this movie. I really wish Paramount didn’t put limits on fan films, cause I would’ve loved to have seen what the actual second episode of Renegades would’ve been like. Overall, it’s a pretty great watch, check it out.

Next time, we end the year-long celebration of Star Trek by going back to the beginning, where the journey began.

The ship's only as good as her captain.

The ship’s only as good as her captain.

Originally scheduled for September

So, we’ve looked at favorite characters, favorite, movies, and favorite starships in the Star Trek Franchise, but now it’s time to give it up to the real reason Star Trek has held up for 50 years, it’s character.

10. Vic Fontaine (DS9) – He may not be a captain, engineer, or even a doctor, but this hologram knew how to help the crew and patrons of DS9. Vic’s a hologram of a lounge singer, that usually talks the crew whenever they have problems or just need a breather from battling the Dominion. He even had one of the most pivotal role in “It’s Only a Paper Moon”, which I already talked about in the top 10 DS9 episodes. He may not be Doc, but he’s still a neat person.

9. Maximilian Forrest (Enterprise) – The only entry from the Mirror Universe, Forrest is captain of the Imperial NX-01, rather than Archer (who’s his Starscream-like first officer), but unlike other people in the Mirror Universe, he actually shows that he does are about his crew, especially when the NX-01 was destroyed and ordered everyone aboard to evacuate. Showing that he does share some admirable qualities from his Prime Universe counterpart.

8. Nog (DS9) – Starting out as a trouble-making Ferengi, to a seasoned war veteran. When I first watched DS9 as a kid, I never really cared for the character, but now as an adult, I’d like to think he had some of the best stories for a supporting character (two of which I mentioned in the Top 10 DS9 Episodes). He may have started out annoying, but he became a very relateable character

7. Borg Queen (First Contact, Voyager) – She’s the brains behind the Borg Collective. She commands the legions of drones under her rule, guiding them on their mission of assimilation and galactic conquest. The Queen’s first appearance in the Trek franchise comes in First Contact as the Borg attempt to assimilate humanity by manipulating time. She captures Data in an attempt to obtain the encryption codes to the Enterprise and make him more human, though he ultimately betrays her. Borg Queen’s grand entrance, as she descends from the rafters of her lair and fuses her head, shoulders, and spinal column with the rest of her body, is one of the most stunning scenes in all of Star Trek. And the character’s design, as well as Alice Krige’s chilling portrayal makes her one of the prominent female villains in all of science fiction. She later appeared in Voyager, again played by Alice Krige, though at one point she was played by Susanna Thompson (better known as Moira Queen from Arrow)

6. Christopher Pike (Kelvin Timeline) – Before the 2009 movie, we didn’t really know that much about him other than his only televised adventure as captain of the Enterprise and his later appearance in “The Menagerie”. Here he’s exactly as I imagined he would be, an experienced Starfleet officer willing to give young officers what they need to get them where they needed to be, weather it’s a kick in the butt or a “Dare to be Badass” speech to coax a certain captain into enlisting in Starfleet. We sadly don’t get to see Pike suffer the same fate as his prime counterpart, but he does end up loosing his life at the hands of Khan. He stands apart from his Prime counterpart, as he and Kirk had a father/son relationship since he didn’t even get to meet his father.

5. Tolian Soran (Generations) – The first Star Trek movie villain I ever saw. At first I didn’t think much of him, but then I saw do the one thing I never thought was possible: he killed James T. Kirk, not to mention he’s played by Malcolm McDowell. I like everyone whose seen this movie, was in disbelieve when I saw that. I would’ve loved it if the writers kept the character alive, had him fight the other crews of the franchise, that would’ve been pretty cool to see him face of against Sisko or Janeway.

4. Q (TNG, DS9, Voy) – Q is essentially a child with the power of a God, the mixture being more of the former and less of the latter, hence the annoying factor. The worst thing he may have done was put the Enterprise in the Borg’s path, earlier than the two species were supposed to meet, if at all. Actually, that is the worst thing he ever did. But without his push, we never would have had “The Best of Both Worlds”, or First Contact so it’s kind of a win-win. But in between granting Riker Q powers and transporting the Enterprise crew to play Robin Hood, something happened to Q. He still put the Enterprise-D’s crew up to a test to make sure humanity was worth saving, as played out in the TNG finale “All Good Things…”, but it wasn’t so much for him to wipe them out but rather to kinda sorta help them to save themselves. A redemptive act like that makes up for all the headaches he caused. Well, most of them. He also provided one of the best moments in TNG.

3. William T. Riker (TNG, Voy, Generations-Nemesis) – He’s a badass. Though initially portrayed as a go-getting, by-the-book officer, Riker began to show a bit of a bold streak early on in the series. And by “bold streak,” we mean to say that he is quite possibly the most arrogant character in the history of the Star Trek universe. But that’s why we love him. His over confidence and willingness to occasionally disregard the chain of command are what makes Riker so endearing. Ladies’ man, kick-ass first officer, and a can play a mean trombone, Riker is one hell of an endearing character.

2. Data (TNG-Nemesis) – “The Next Generation’s” Spock equivalent, the Federation’s first android citizen and officer, Data could have been one-note; he almost was. The best thing to happen to Data, aside from a few kick-ass, fanboy moments in First Contact, was befriending Geordi La Forge. The two characters found their relationship at the heart of some of Trek’s better episodes, with the exception of that whole emotion chip fiasco in Generations. (Damn you, Data, and your ridiculous Mr. Tricorder puppet!) Being front and center for many debates surrounding the notion of what it means to be human, Data managed to become a father by literally building a lifeform, only to lose her and gain the knowledge that death is nothing without life. He also evolved to be more than the sum of his programming, and into one of Trek’s legendary mainstays.

1. The Doctor (Voyager) – So if my Top 10 Voyager episodes didn’t give it away, I love this character. He had some of the best moments on Voyager, from trying to adjust to his new position as a one-man medical staff, to trying to help Seven regain her humanity and learning more about his own existence. I would’ve loved to have seen a canon explanation for what happened to him after Voyager came back to Earth, but I guess all we can do is imagine. Or play Star Trek Online.

Honorable Mentions

Pavel Chekov (Kelvin Timeline)

Charles Tucker III (ENT)

Janice Rand (TOS-VI)

Seven of Nine (Voyager)

Zefram Cochrane (TOS, First Contact)

Jean-Luc Picard (TNG-Nemesis)

Miles O’Brien (TNG-DS9)

Next, we’ll look at October’s entry of the Year of Star Trek (though legally it isn’t Star Trek anymore).