Fashionably Late in the 24th Century -by Rick Austin @EvolvedRick
Oct20

Fashionably Late in the 24th Century -by Rick Austin @EvolvedRick

Star Trek has offered us some of the coolest things in sci-fi television and movies. It’s given us transporters and technobabble, great action stories and tales of intrigue, adventure and comedy. It’s shown a positive view of the future, where people can learn to look beyond their prejudices and work for the betterment of humankind. It’s been inspiring while still entertaining us. But there’s an area where it really hasn’t excelled at all, and we all know the truth here: The fashion of the future stinks. Okay, that’s not entirely true; those Starfleet uniforms usually look pretty good and quite smart. Except for those in the original pilot episode, where every crewmember seemed to be wearing an oversized sweater. Or the early Next Generation bodysuits and tunics, which were deemed so uncomfortable that the actors hated wearing them. Something can be said about the short trousers and even shorter skirts in the original series too, although those really do work once you learn to accept them. Oh, and Wesley’s early uniforms. From his grey bodysuit to his rainbow uniform, there wasn’t much to like about them. There wasn’t much people liked about the ensign wearing them either, but he did improve over time, as did his uniform. In general, however, it seemed the clothes everybody wore were hideous. From off-duty officers in weird pyjamas to aliens who appeared to be wearing your grandmother’s curtains, the fashions didn’t do much for them. Sure, the Klingons seemed to have some nice clothes at times if you’re big on leather armour, but some of the early sashes actually appeared to have tassels. It isn’t the only bling they’ve worn either, with all the facial jewellery they now seem to have in the movies. By the way, how did Nero changing the timeline in the first new film give them back their forehead ridges and inspire them to get on the piercing bandwagon anyway? I must have missed that part. But I’m digressing from the point: it seems like in the future the human race will start wearing oddly patterned, brightly coloured wool-knit adult babygrows. But that’s science fiction for you. The people behind these stories have to make things look different from what we know, so plates are now in odd shapes, bottles don’t look like bottles, vehicles look like concept cars, and hairstyles have to be more elaborate. Unfortunately, that means that the clothes have to follow suit, but there are very few casual wear outfits we’d really want to wear that are on offer. There’s one that I really liked though, and it’s in one of the best episodes of...

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The Life of Riley  -By Rick Austin @EvolvedRick
Sep14

The Life of Riley -By Rick Austin @EvolvedRick

Personal log: Lt. Kevin Thomas Riley, Stardate 2820.5 Well, it looks like I’m in hot water again. No surprises there. I swear, sometimes I think that if I didn’t have bad luck I wouldn’t have any at all. At Starfleet Academy we were taught about how Einstein figured out a better way to balance the laws of the electromagnetic field with the laws of classical mechanics. Most of it’s still a puzzle to me, I was never very good at the theoretical sciences and history. But if there’s one law I wish Einstein had figured out, it would have been Murphy’s Law. That’s the one that seems to be the real constant in my life. I’ve even taken to calling it Riley’s Law. I’ve been bounced around a few times since I’ve been on board. I thought that getting posted to the Enterprise would be the opportunity of a lifetime, and it has been. New life, new civilizations, those are all in a day’s work for us. But for Mrs. Riley’s boy Kevin it’s just been one problem after another. It wouldn’t make for good reading at Starfleet, I can tell you that. I just wish I had someone to talk to about it… “Red alert! All hands on deck! Red alert! All hands on deck!” Kevin Riley’s eyes slowly opened and he tried to focus. The alarm blared on until he leaned across the bed and slapped his hand down on it, cancelling the noise. He stared at the clock with annoyance and regretted the day that he had bought it. Like the Enterprise’s engines, he had acted on impulse when he had bought it from Harry Mudd. While some of the crew had been keeping an eye on the women that Mudd had brought with him after their ship had exploded, Riley’s bad luck had held true, and he had been one of the less fortunate men on board who had been detailed to keep an eye on Mudd himself. He had found the trader to be charming, charismatic and flamboyant. Riley had taken a liking to the man, although his mother had always warned him to be wary of any rogue who possessed the gift of the Blarney. One evening, however, Harry Mudd had produced an item from the folds of his jacket and had presented it to Riley. Riley had been dubious about accepting a gift from Mudd. Bribery of a Starfleet officer was still a punishable offence, and the officer involved was sure to receive a court-martial if it was discovered. “You misunderstand me, brave fellow,” Mudd had told him. “This is no bribe,...

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Fan Film Review: Star Wreck – In The Pirkinning   By Rick Austin @EvolvedRick
Aug11

Fan Film Review: Star Wreck – In The Pirkinning By Rick Austin @EvolvedRick

  In the reaches of deep space, a fleet of starships led by Captain Pirk are preparing to enter a strange dimensional rift called the maggot hole. Is it good? Bad? Who knows? But that’s where the story starts, and it’s quite an odd one. After this brief intro, the film flashes back to where the previous Star Wreck apparently ended, with dim-witted Captain Pirk and his crew stranded on Earth in our time period. Plingon Commander Dwarf is a hotdog vendor, the android Commander Info is nowhere to be found and Pirk is having little success in picking up women in fast food burger bars. Despite warnings of violating the First Directive and tampering with the timeline, Pirk figures that he can create a new destiny for Earth that will bring him power, fame and fortune. They just need a new ship to do it. The Vulgars tried to make first contact with Earth, but instead wound up hitting the party scene, and their ship got sold to the Russians. Seizing this opportunity, Pirk and his crew decide to take it by force and turn it into their new S.S. Kickstart. After a few years it’s ready, and soon Pirk sets out on a course of global conquest to become Emperor. It’s an easy enough job taking over, but the people of Earth don’t appreciate his leadership. Another problem is that even though a new spacefleet is assembled, none of their ships can get past twist factor 2 to explore and conquer new worlds. So when they find the maggot hole in space it seems like their prayers have been answered. Pirk makes plans to invade… only to find a parallel reality where their new enemies from a alternate Earth occupy a large space station called Babel 13. The scene is set for an epic battle between two sci-fi realities, where the inept Pirk must match wits with his long-winded counterpart Johnny K. Sherrypie. Will Babel 13’s drunk security officer Mikhael Garybrandy stay sober for long enough to do anything significant? Will Commander Dwarf ever solve the mystery of why his tactical station is the only place on the bridge that doesn’t have a chair? Will Pirk ever be able to bed a woman successfully? Parodies are always walking a fine line, and taking on both Star Trek and Babylon 5 is a tough job to do. When you add the fan-film aspect, and that this was apparently made by five guys in two rooms, it can become a worrying sign. Yet incredibly it works, and works well. Not every joke is going to get you laughing, the...

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10 Books that would have made “A Piece Of The Action” worse… 	By Rick Austin @EvolvedRick
Jul28

10 Books that would have made “A Piece Of The Action” worse… By Rick Austin @EvolvedRick

Sigma Iotia II was one mixed-up planet. In the original series episode A Piece of the Action, Captain Kirk and the USS Enterprise had to do damage control on this world because the clumsy crew of the ship Horizon left some items on the planet, including leaving behind some books. One book was called Chicago Mobs of the Twenties, and the inhabitants of this world – viewing it as some sort of holy relic – have modelled their entire culture on it. Before you know it, Kirk, Spock and McCoy find themselves involved in drive-by shootings, Tommy guns, mob hits, molls and gun-running schemes. Kirk also gets to invent the card game of Fizzbin and Spock gets to complain about Kirk’s driving and poor gear-shifting. It’s a comedy episode that doesn’t take itself too seriously. But what if those crazy Iotians had used some of the other books instead? 1) Lord of the Rings: Sigma Iotia II gets renamed as Middle Earth, the South Side is the Shire, and everybody uses rings for currency. Unfortunately for the crew of the Enterprise, a rivalry has erupted between Jojo Frodo and Bela Sauronxmyx, and both sides have raised their armies in dispute. But when the locals believe that Spock is Legolas because of his ears, it inspires Kirk to take on the role of Aragorn and try to get both sides to work things out. On the downside, the locals also assume that McCoy is Gollum, and things get worse from there… 2) Images of The Beatles: In a world populated with mop-top hairstyles and occasional long moustaches, two factions have come to power – Sergeant Oxmyx’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the Get Back Jojos. One wants to give peace a chance, but the other wants a revolution. It’s just a day in the life for Kirk, and Spock is more than willing to help! 3) The Encyclopedia of Professional Wrestling: Jojo “The Animal” Krako is ushering in an era of attitude to Sigma Iotia II, but “Hollywood” Bela Oxmyx isn’t about to tap out just yet. The only way to avoid things getting too hardcore is for the Federation to intervene. Enter the Enterprise Authority, a faction represented by Killer Kirk, Stone Cold Mister Spock and The Real McCoy. Shields up! 4) Superman – The Ultimate Guide to the Man of Steel: Does anybody remember Monty Python’s Bicycle Repairman sketch? That was set in this world. Everyone is dressed as the last son of Krypton, with the Iotian’s main cities being Metropolis, Smallville and Kandor. Will Mister Oxmyxzptlk succeed in taking over the world? Will it be Lexo Luthero?...

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Return to Sivao, Part 11 -by Gail Gerard @AvgSupermom
Jul19

Return to Sivao, Part 11 -by Gail Gerard @AvgSupermom

This series has been given a rating of PG-13 (US) and 12A (UK) Chapter 11 “Commander Data?” came Captain Picard’s voice over the comm. Data sighed and nodded. “Data here, sir,” he responded, looking over at Dreamfinder, asleep in his bed, curled up like a little kitten. She looked so sweet, so young as she slept. “Commander, have you seen the Sivaoan diplomat? We’re in orbit around Sivao and ready to transport down at her convenience,” the captain told him. “She’s here sir… and I will tell her. Data out.” Data replied, shaking Dream’s shoulder lightly. “Data… oh… that was… lovely.” she purred, blinking slowly as she sat up and stretched her entire body from nose to tail. “The captain has informed me we are in orbit around Sivao, and he is ready to transport down at your convenience” Data informed her, pulling on his shirt and uniform jacket. Dreamfinder frowned and bit her lip. “And will you be transporting down with us?” she asked, twisting her tail as he pulled on his uniform trousers and boots. Data kissed her on the top of her head and smoothed one hand down her cheek. “Of course I will, dear.” The affectionate term sounded foreign in his mouth and a little stiff , but Dreamfinder didn’t mind. She nearly tackled him, her arms going around his neck. “That’s good… because I don’t intend to let you get away again. We’re going to be married as soon as possible because I’m not losing you this time, Data. I can’t,” she said softly, her voice tense with worry. Data held her close for a moment, breathing in her sweet scent. “I will not let you go, either, Dreamfinder.” He pulled back and looked her in the eyes. “You and I will be together forever. I promise you that,” he said, his voice firm with an authoritative edge. If it meant giving up his Starfleet commission, he would do it. He didn’t want anything to ever separate them again, even for the slightest of moments. Dreamfinder smiled and eased herself to the floor. “I’d better prepare the children then and I think you need to inform your captain,” she told him with a grin on her face. Data nodded and escorted her out the door. Before he walked away to go find Captain Picard, he gave her one last long kiss, drawing it out as long as he could. She batted at him playfully. “Go on with you now!” She laughed and Data turned away, his step a bit jauntier than before. “Children… I have a surprise” she told the kits as soon as...

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Doctor, Doctor! I think I’m experiencing déjà vu… By Rick Austin @EvolvedRick
Jun09

Doctor, Doctor! I think I’m experiencing déjà vu… By Rick Austin @EvolvedRick

There’s a game that every Trekaholic plays at some point and it’s the old one of Who’s The Best Captain. There are lots of takes on it, from Choose Your Own Landing Party to What Crewmember Would You Most Like To Be Trapped On That Desert Moon Of Gamilon V. Then there’s Who’s Your Favourite Doctor. Lots of people go with the holographic Doctor from Voyager, with an encyclopedic knowledge of medicine, a golden voice and a superiority complex that’s well-deserved. Many choose Bones from the original series and the movies, an emotional curmudgeon and innovator. Some will go for Bashir from Deep Space Nine, and who can blame them? He’s genetically engineered, has superior mental and physical skills and can be a good drinking buddy. Doctor Phlox from Enterprise had a wonderful bedside manner and boundless optimism, even if he’d usually recommend a course of alien leeches. Strangely, Doctor Beverly Crusher from The Next Generation is one of the names that doesn’t come up too often. I’m always surprised at that, because she was an excellent doctor and always displayed more warmth than any of the others. She was the first responsible full-time parent shown in Star Trek, had a wonderful bedside manner and was the head of Starfleet Medical. I was once asked what her best personality trait was though and I responded by saying “Her heart.” She was possibly the kindest and most caring doctor out of the bunch. She got on well with the crew, had a great relationship with Captain Picard and taught Data how to dance. Basically, The Next Generation wouldn’t have been quite the same without her. Except it was without her. For a full season, in fact. In her place was Doctor Katherine Pulaski, and when it comes to favourite doctors her name is rarely mentioned. In fact, her name is usually found on lists of least favourite characters in Star Trek and was rarely mentioned on the show after Doc Crusher returned. She showed up late, was frosty with some of the crew, gave Picard a hard time and upset Riker by having a relationship with his dad. But the thing that really seemed to turn the fans against her quickly was how she got off on the wrong foot with Data. Conflict is important in drama, that’s just basic storytelling. The problem is when it’s handled wrong and a character suffers. It’s why Riker came over like a jackass in the early episodes, calling Data “Pinocchio” and mocking Geordi advising Data on painting. Jeri Taylor once stated how damaging it was to the character of Tom Paris to be...

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Brony Trek, Chapter 2 -by Gail Gerard @AvgSupermom
Jun01

Brony Trek, Chapter 2 -by Gail Gerard @AvgSupermom

  Upon arriving at the Golden Horseshoe Inn, another problem presented itself, this time one of currency. Currency that the Enterprise away team, who’d never expected to need it in the first place, lacked. “Well you can’t stay here, not unless you can pay,” huffed the proprietress, a thin, long legged mare named Customer Service. Data looked perplexed as he tried to quickly figure out what to do. “I have an idea… I’ll spot y’all tonight, and tomorrow you can come work on my apple farm to work off your debt.” suggested Applejack and Data nodded. “That would be acceptable. One room please.” he said, turning back to Customer Service. She showed them to a room on the second floor… not a good room but not a bad room either. Data thanked her and the away team went inside to discuss what their strategy was going to be. “Having fun?” asked a familiar voice. In a puff of smoke, a creature appeared, lounging on one of the beds. It had a spiraled horn on one side of it’s head, on the other something that resembled an antler. The body seemed to be a mishmash of different creatures–lion, serpent, pony. But the voice was unmistakable: Q. Data blinked. “Q,” he said simply and the creature slithered to the floor, landing near Data’s feet as he propped his head on his hand, his elbow resting on the floor. “Here they call me Discord… they think I’m an evil spirit or something.” Q giggled. “Discord is an appropriate name… seeing as that’s all you ever do.” Moskevitz growled softly. Discord/Q shook his head and made a tut-tut noise. “Now come on Moskevitz… a little while ago you were quite happy to be turned into ponies. I was only doing what you wished.” Discord/Q said in a wheedling, almost whining, tone. Moskevitz started to cross his arms… then fell over on his face as he realized he could no longer do so unless he was already sitting down. How irritating, he couldn’t help but think. S’Jene raised one thin, slightly pointy eyebrow. “The question isn’t whether we are happy at being turned into ponies. The question is what will it take to convince you to turn us back. We cannot, at present, contact our crew, because you have taken both our uniforms and our comm badges. You almost always ask for some kind of ‘payment’ in order to get what you want. Therefore it is only logical to assume you want us to do something for you, and when we do it, you will return us to our natural forms as well as...

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Return to Sivao, Part 10 -by Gail Gerard @AvgSupermom
May31

Return to Sivao, Part 10 -by Gail Gerard @AvgSupermom

This series has been given a rating of PG-13 (US) and 12A (UK) Chapter 10 Throughout his night watch, Cmdr Data kept one corner of his mind reserved for Dreamfinder. He wanted her to be happy, as he did all his human friends, and if no longer loving him meant her happiness, then so be it. Throughout the night, Dreamfinder slept fitfully, trying to figure out exactly what to say to Data. True, he’d broken her heart by initially rejecting her, but she was willing to forgive that now. She slept with the cat’s eye ring on her finger, the jewel turned inwards towards her palm so that she clutched it in her hand the whole night. Morning came, all too soon for Dreamfinder, because she still didn’t know what to say to Data. But she woke up earlier than she usually did, full of nervous anticipation. The kits could sense their mother’s nervousness and it keyed them up too, so that they were unusually hyperactive, bouncing off the walls and driving each other crazy. “Stop driving me crazy! Stop it right now or so help me, I will cuff the both of you.” Dreamfinder hissed at them, immediately regretting her outburst of anger. But it quieted the kits, at least momentarily. “I have to go talk to somebody, but I’ll be back in time for us to disembark at Sivao, alright? Please try not to kill each other while I’m gone.” she told them, giving them each a lick on the forehead. “Computer, where is Commander Data right now?” she asked the empty air. “Lt. Cmdr. Data is in his quarters,” the computer responded in a flat monotone, and Dream gave herself a little shake. This was it. Data sat in his desk chair, blankly staring at the screen. He’d read this memo three times and not comprehended a single word. He shook his head… this wasn’t like him, to be so distracted. Maybe he ought to have Geordi run a diagnostic on him, see if that could sort out the problem, he thought…when suddenly the door chimed. “Come in.” he said, a note of curiosity in his voice… he wasn’t expecting anyone. Dream stepped noiselessly through the door, her head down, ears drooping, tail tucked slightly between her legs. Her entire posture was one of submission and Data got up, immediately interested. “Dreamfinder… what are you doing here? Should you not be preparing to return to your homeworld? We will be there in just a few hours,” he said, taking her hands in his. She looked up at him, her ears perking just a little bit. That’s...

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Night of the Space Hippies -By Rick Austin @EvolvedRick
May30

Night of the Space Hippies -By Rick Austin @EvolvedRick

Stardate 5830.8 The campfire burned slowly, sparks rising up from the glowing embers. They hung in the air for a moment before being picked up by the warm breeze that came down from the hills. They spun and twisted about as if they were doing a complex dance to the inaudible tune of the universe, while the people sitting around the fire followed their movements with their eyes. They were transfixed by the simple beauty of it all, before the sparks faded into nothingness. The travellers sighed and inhaled the sweet smoke that came from the wood on the fire. It had an exotic aroma typical of the jamapar trees of the area. It relaxed them even further and they gazed at each other with smiles of satisfaction. Each of them joined their hands together, their fingers extended outwards forming an oval shape. They all nodded at each other with understanding. “One,” Sevrin said. “One,” his followers said in agreement. “It has been said that the cornerstones of history are the defining moments of bold action,” Doctor Sevrin stated, his assertive voice echoing in the air. “Tomorrow we journey to Hakona, the capital city of this world. Yet another colony settled in the name of scientific pursuit by the paymasters of the Federation. “The infection of science throughout this system – throughout this universe – is not for us. We’ve travelled far and long to reach our goal, journeying as fate carries us, very much like the sparks from this fire. But tomorrow, tomorrow we take a bold step into our future by seizing a vessel, a space cruiser called the Aurora. I’ve heard from traders that this ship is just the one we need.” “Traders?” Adam asked, wind blowing through his curled hair. “Are you sure they could be trusted? Did they reach?” “Yes,” Sevrin said with a slight smile. “They reached. It was nothing more than talk, information exchanged between two parties on their separate quests. They had no reason to lie, and we have no reason not to believe them. “The plan is this. Tongo Rad,” he continued, and gestured to the purple-haired young man who had joined their group. “You, being the son of the Catullan ambassador, should be able to grant us access to see this ship. This colony is one with close ties to your world. As such, they dare not refuse you something so simple.” Irina spoke up. “Do you really believe that they would just let us take it? A ship like that would have very tight security. Back at Starfleet Academy I learned that -” “They’ll do what they’re told...

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Yesterday’s Next Generation -By Rick Austin @EvolvedRick
May06

Yesterday’s Next Generation -By Rick Austin @EvolvedRick

I’ve been going through Star Trek: The Next Generation again. Well, after finishing off Voyager and with my beloved DS9‘s having fallen prey to an evil Cardassian plot, it made sense. I could have gone for the original series, but I really felt like TNG. Also it seemed like too much of an effort to get my old Enterprise tapes out. But I’m happy with The Next Generation. The original series may have been where I boldly went first, but it was The Next Generation that was “must-see” TV for me when it came out. Bizarrely I was introduced to it through a computer game magazine, Sinclair User. Every month they ran a section about what cool new items were on the market, from Bermuda shorts to strawberry ice creams, plastic sheeting sunglasses that rolled up into a tube to little rubber balls covered with strands. One month they highlighted a couple of Next Generation things. Videos, a couple of model starships, you get the idea. They talked about it being a bold new version of Star Trek, said a couple of things about Romulans and mentioned the Ferengi in a way that made them sound like they could be the biggest threat to the galaxy since Khan got his wrath on. I liked the magazine and trusted it to steer me right. I may have been biased since they also gave away free games, but I was still keen to watch it. Fast forward a bit and here I am. Wait a minute… it ended 20 years ago… so how many years have passed? Has it really been that long? Let me check: I’ve still got my hair, most of my teeth and plenty of original body parts. I’ve actually added to their size too, but that isn’t really a positive. The show’s still here with me too and I couldn’t resist giving it another viewing. I sat patiently through some of the more cringe-worthy moments of the early seasons. Picard was frosty, Riker seemed driven by his libido and far too smarmy, Data was irritating at times, Geordi was cool but stiff, Deanna sensed things but didn’t seem to help in any way, Beverly Crusher seemed wasted, Worf was the guy who stood in the background and growled, and Wesley was Wesley. Tasha Yar was there too and as the first season went on I had that ominous knowledge of her impending doom and knew I’d miss her. Oh, and those Ferengi who I was originally promised would be so amazing really weren’t that amazing at all. But I knew that already. But I knew it would...

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