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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Day of the Dove”

Day of the Dove
Written by Jerome Bixby
Directed by Marvin Chomsky

Season 3, Episode 7
Production episode: 3×11
Original air date: November 1, 1968
Star date: Armageddon

 

Mission summary

An Enterprise landing party beams down to planet Beta XII-A with phasers drawn, responding to a distress call from a Federation colony that they can’t find. Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Ensign Chekov, and the redshirt are oblivious to the glowing mass of energy hovering suspiciously nearby, instead focusing on the Klingon battle cruiser that arrives on the scene.

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4

METAtropolis: Cascadia Launch Day!

Fans of good science fiction and Star Trek will be interested in this new audiobook, METAtropolis: Cascadia, an anthology of linked stories set in a futuristic version of the Pacific Northwest. This collection is the sequel to the Hugo Award-nominated METAtropolis (which included narration by actors from Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica) and features new fiction by four of its authors: Elizabeth Bear, Tobias S. Buckell, Jay Lake (who introduced the Cascadia setting in his METAtropolis story, “In the Forests of the Night” | free download), and Karl Schroeder, now joined by Mary Robinette Kowal and Ken Scholes. Their stories are brought to life by the voice talents of familiar Trek actors:

“The Bull Dancers” by Jay Lake, read by René Auberjonois
“Water to Wine” by Mary Robinette Kowal, read by Kate Mulgrew
“Byways” by Tobias S. Buckell, read by Wil Wheaton
“Confessor” by Elizabeth Bear, read by Gates McFadden
“Deodand” by Karl Schroeder, read by Jonathan Frakes
“A Symmetry of Serpents and Doves” by Ken Scholes, read by LeVar Burton

Audio samples of each story are available at the METAtropolis site, along with information about the authors and video interviews with the narrators, and you can download the audiobook at Audible.com or iTunes. This is the perfect combination of two of my favorite things, speculative fiction short stories and Star Trek; as soon as I can get a copy of it, I may review the anthology on this site as a whole or one story at a time in weekly installments.

Do you listen to audiobooks or any fiction podcasts? Does a celebrity narrator or voice talent you like influence your decision to download a story, or do you only care about the author?

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Spectre of the Gun”

Spectre of the Gun
Written by Lee Cronin
Directed by Vincent McEveety

Season 3, Episode 6
Production episode: 3×01
Original air date: October 25, 1968
Star date:4385.3

Mission summary

En route to establish relations with the Melkotians–a reclusive, papier-mâché-mask-wearing race–the Enterprise is intercepted by a space buoy with a very serious warning:

Aliens, you have encroached on the space of the Melkot. You will turn back immediately. This is the only warning you will receive.

Kirk hears it in English, but Spock hears it in Vulcan, Chekov hears it in Russian, and Uhura hears it in Swahili. It’s using some kind of telepathy to communicate to all of them. Though he understands the message perfectly, Kirk decides to disregard it pretty much immediately because “Our orders are very clear. We’re to establish contact with the Melkotians at all costs.”

Involuntary peace ahoy!

After some failed attempts at hailing them, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, and Chekov beam down to what they think is the planet, but is actually just a giant fog machine because planets are expensive. Worse, they quickly discover that their communicators no longer work and the Melkotians don’t like trespassers. A Melkotian appears and calls the men “outside, a disease,” and says that because Kirk ordered his crew to do this thing, “yours shall be the pattern of your death.”

They are then instantly transported to a low-budget, flimsy Hollywood set of the Old West.

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3

Stellar Cartography, from NASA & Caltech to your Mac or PC

As reported by Subspace Communique, NASA has made the best part of Star Trek Generationsstellar cartography–real. It’s called “Eyes on the Solar System” and it’s a browser-based 3-D environment that uses actual NASA mission data.

Explore the cosmos from your computer. Hop on an asteroid. Fly with NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft. See the entire solar system moving in real time. It’s up to you. You control space and time.

You’re welcome.

49

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Is There in Truth No Beauty?”

Is There in Truth No Beauty?
Written by Jean Lisette Aroeste
Directed by Ralph Senensky

Season 3, Episode 5
Production episode: 3×07
Original air date: October 18, 1968
Star date: 5630.7

Mission summary

Enterprise is on routine taxi duty, escorting a less-than-routine diplomat back to his homeworld: Ambassador Kollos is a Medusan, “a race of beings who are formless, so utterly hideous” that just looking at one will drive the beholder mad. But on the up side, they’re very intelligent and have wonderful personalities.

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63

Star Trek Re-Watch: “And The Children Shall Lead”

And The Children Shall Lead
Written by Edward J. Lakso
Directed by Marvin Chomsky

Season 3, Episode 4
Production episode: 3×05
Original air date: October 11, 1968
Star date: 4842.6

Mission summary

Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy beam down to Triacus, an isolated Federation outpost. They find sprawled out on the ground each of the adult members of the exploration party. Most appear dead, but one of them moves: it’s Starnes, who looks like he had a very bad night. Shaking and sweating furiously, he fails to recognize Kirk, says something about “the enemy within,” and then promptly collapses on the ground dead. Hmm. Upon closer inspection one woman has a vial in her mouth–some kind of poison. All seem to have died by their own hands.

All except five young children, who rush out and demand that our heroes play games with them. Tommy, Mary, Steve, Ray, and Don rush to Kirk, link hands together, and dance around him while singing “Ring Around the Rosie.” Twice.

Captain Kirk thinks he may now understand why the adults shuffled off this mortal coil.

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25

Star Trek 2 Villain Rumors: It’s Probably Not General Zod

As development ramps up on the untitled sequel to the 2009 Star Trek reboot film, plot and casting rumors are as inevitable as Vulcan ponn farr. J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Damon Lindelof are still working on the script, but people are already conjecturing about the possible storylines and characters we’ll see as early as June 2012.

The latest revelations, according to Trekmovie.com and Badass News, dangle the possibility of a classic Trek antagonist challenging the crew of the Enterprise. It seems many fans would happily go where we’ve gone before with a modern take on “Space Seed” and the return of a pre-wrathful Khan Noonien Singh. I think that would be a mistake given the iconic nature of Ricardo Montalban’s performance and the fact that the original Star Trek II has pretty big boots to fill. Come to think of it, “Space Seed” itself is a tough act to follow.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Paradise Syndrome”

The Paradise Syndrome
Written by Margaret Armen
Directed by Jud Taylor

Season 3, Episode 3
Production episode: 3×03
Original air date: October 4, 1968
Star date: 4842.6

 

Mission summary

Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy beam down into a nature documentary. The captain and doctor immediately fall in love with the rustic setting; despite astronomical odds, the planet is identical to Earth right down to the pine trees, honeysuckle, and metal obelisk in a clearing. No wait, that’s new. Its composition and the markings on the strange building are alien, but there’s no time to study it because a moon-sized asteroid is heading for the planet. They’re on a tight schedule if Enterprise is to have any chance of diverting it.

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18

The First Duty

Since our launch two weeks ago, we’ve received a number of public and private inquiries about our reasons for moving our Star Trek Re-Watch to The Viewscreen. We probably should have addressed the topic earlier and we’re sorry for the confusion and concern that arose as a result.

We wish we could say it was because of a bold desire to strike out on our own, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Just after we completed Season 2, we received a new blogger agreement from Tor.com. Without getting too specific, it asserted a view of our intellectual property that we weren’t comfortable with. We presented our concerns but alas, the new contract was non-negotiable, so we reluctantly chose to resign as bloggers.

The rights associated with our work are as important to us as the work itself. We decided to launch our own site and release all of our writing under a Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. Likewise, we’re using the open-source platform WordPress with the Arras theme, as designed and modified by Torie.

We always planned to finish the series we began over a year and a half ago. As for the continuation of the re-watch on Tor.com, we were as surprised as many of you were. It is of course their right to do so and we wish the new bloggers well.

To those of you who have found us here: thank you. This is now solely a labor of love. It means a great deal that so many of you enjoy our little project and we’re delighted to share it with you.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Enterprise Incident”

The Enterprise Incident
Written by D.C. Fontana
Directed by John Meredyth Lucas

Season 3, Episode 2
Production episode: 3×04
Original air date: September 27, 1968
Star date: 5431.4

Mission Summary:

On the bridge of Enterprise, Captain Kirk snaps at Chekov and Spock for no apparent reason. But it’s not just a case of the Mondays–Doctor McCoy explains that Kirk’s been short-tempered and (in scientific terms) acting like a total jackass to just about everyone onboard for days now. There’s no getting around it: Captain Kirk has come down with a severe case of douchebaggery.

Kirk turns to Sulu and orders him to change course.

KIRK: Come about to one eight five, mark three.
SULU: But Sir, that’ll lead us directly into the Romulan Neutral Zone.

Sulu, Chekov, Spock, and Uhura all look around at each other nervously. Mr. Scott and Uhura discuss very loudly that no order has come through from command to take this measure, and Kirk sharply instructs them to shut their pieholes.

But it’s too late. In the Neutral Zone, two–no, three–Klingon-designed Romulan ships appear from the ether, surrounding Enterprise.

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