About trek news and views

Star trek news and views on anything and everything Star Trek related. We have discussions about all manner of things and do episode reviews. The cast is part of the Trek.fm network .

A fellow Trekkie

My cousin

My cousin was born in 1971 she was a kindred spirit and someone who shared my geek/nerdom. She also had the typical fire of an Irish girl and man what a temper when she blew. But we shared an awful lot in our lives, before the age of smart phones and the internet we kept in touch via conventional mail, or snail mail as it’s often referred to now days. 

Our mutual love of sci-fi and history was often the subject of conversation and we would often quote films and tv shows in our correspondence and later in iMessages and FaceTime calls. 

We shared a lot, our secrets, our troubles and our battles. She knew all about my problems in life, from my childhood and the problems that developed from it, that I still carry with me today, to my darkest thoughts and moments. Nothing was off limits as far as she was concerned. Although me being me I never tell anyone everything. 

She could make me laugh or smile and was open about her wants and desires. A rare person indeed. 

At the weekend I planned on going to Destination Star Trek and meeting up with a very good friend, but a man who thought it was ok to drink and drive decided instead to take my dear cousin away from me, from her family and from the man who loved her. 

I’ve crossed paths with death many times, even felt it’s cold touch on my soul. It’s taken family members before including my father, but this is the first time it’s taken someone who really mattered to me. Try as i did I never got to her in time to say goodbye.

Most people in my life are transient, but a small few stick around and this is one soul I’ll cherish. So to end in a way that we used to, these memories will not be lost like tears in the rain. Not until I follow you through the veil. 


Discovery cast part one.

Discovery the brand new Star Trek show gets closer and closer. We have waited a long time for new trek on the small screen. In that time the Kelvin universe has been born and visited 3 times, with varying levels of success. We have had Star Trek online an MMO, Star Trek timelines various books and now Star Trek will finally be back on the tv.

The show is going for a whole new angle, the main focus will be a female human first officer, raised on Vulcan. The show will feature two ships, it will give a new look and feel to established characters, the Klingons will return as the adversary of the federation, a whole new cast will once more tread the halls of a star ship, bringing us new adventures and new characters to enjoy. But who is who in the show.

Sonequa Martin-Green plays the lead, now if you have watched the walking dead she will be a familiar face to you. But as zombies are not for everyone here’s a few details about her.

Sonequa Was born on

March 21, 1985 in Alabama and graduated from university with an acting degree, she has had a variety of roles including;

Law and Order,

Army wives,

The Good Wife,

Gossip Girl,


And of course The Walking Dead.

Her character is, as mentioned. A human, her parents are killed by the Klingons (which has a bearing on the show), she is then raised by Sarek on Vulcan. This gives her an interesting angle, she will obviously have a hatred for the Klingons, ala Kirk.

But she should also have the mental discipline of a Vulcan. She will have the emotional outlook of a human, with our ability to leap beyond possibilities. Yet it will be tempered by Vulcan logic. She will no doubt be a very conflicted person in so many ways, because unlike Spock who was half human. Burman is fully human, with all the baggage that entails. No doubt she is a fine officer, otherwise she would not have risen through the ranks to be second in command on a Star Ship.

I for one think It’ll be interesting to see the show form the view point of the first officer because, while Star Trek isn’t just about the Captain, as a matter of course the Captain is the decision maker. To this end they tend to feature heavily in the show. I’m also sure dear reader, you’ve had the favourite captain chat at least once.

As we know from other shows, the first officer is who all the other departments report to, so this may grant us a chance to see the machine in action and maybe get more of a view than “lower decks” granted us. Of course if Discovery is an all action show, then character pieces may not happen at all, which is a shame and to me a missed opportunity.

One final note, I like the fact that “number one,” will be used as a homage to Majel Barrett in the original Star Trek pilot “The Cage“.

Next up let’s turn our attention to the science guy. Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets.

a Science Officer specialising in astromycology (the study of fungi in space). In Anthony Rapps own words, this guy is seriously intelligent, plus his character is inspired by a real-life mycologist of the same name. The real Paul Stamets, who will probably be amazed when Trek fans start writing to him and recognising him, is an accomplished scientist who has given Ted Talks, he is the first-ever recipient of the Mycological Society of America‘s Gordon and Tina Wasson Award. As well featuring or working on various documentaries.

But back to our science guy. He is the first openly gay character in a Star Trek series and his character will have an interesting role to play in our story. Science officers often feature highly in Star Trek storylines, Spock being the obvious stand out. But also Dax and T’Pol.

As for the actor, well Anthony is an accomplished theatre actor as well as having numerous screen credits. Alongside his theatre and screen work he also released a solo CD entitled “Look Around” in 2000.

As for his theatre work it encompasses, amongst others, “Henry V”, “Rent”, “Your a good man Charlie Brown”, “little shop of horrors” and most recently “If/When”.

His TV work ranges from the “X Files”, “law and order”, “The good fight”, “Spin City”, and more.

For his film work you can see him in “Twister”, the movie adaption of “Rent”, “Six Degrees of Separation”, “A Beautiful Mind”, and most recently “Bwoy”.

But his not done there, as well film,Tv, Stage and musical recordings. He also has a book, “Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent”.

Anthony is certainly a multi talented guy. He also gave a nice teaser about his character

“It is a wild journey of scientific exploration that I go on. I cannot tell you the specifics at all. But the reason that I am not just the science officer is very specific to a specific project that I am working on.

A man you may be more family with than you think. Doug Jones.

Doug is not stranger to make up and has performed some well know characters in sci-fi and fantasy as well as horror.

It all started for Doug as a mime artist in MIME OVER MATTER (1981).

Since then and apart from tv commercials, (he once did one for Tide where his contortionist abilities came in handy), he has become most well known as an actor under the make up.

From Pans Labyrinth to Hell Boy, from a clown in Batman to the Silver surfer in fantastic 4. Doug Jones has played characters that have made us think, laugh and scream in equal measure. He has an uncanny ability to make the prosthetic make up part of who he is, As a side note in Hellboy 2 he also played the Angel of Death and the Chamberlain.

Finally before we get to his character Doug also has a book, of sorts called Mime Very Own Book, co-written by Adam Mock and Scott Allen Perry, and photographed by Eric Curtis. His the muse in the photos.

As for his Star Trek character well Jones described him as;

6’8″. I’m the tallest character that’s on the show right now. I’m delicate and gazelle-like in appearance, but I’m also wicked when pushed into a corner. So, he has colors and layers. Every character on the show does, by the way. And the writers are just kickass in creating an onion in each one of us to peel back the layers and see colors and smells that weren’t there before.”

As a Kelpien he can sense the coming of death, this is because he comes from a planet where he’s a ‘prey species.’ So his race is not the dominant species on his planet, clearly there is a stronger predator race.He’s also the first of his kind to make it to Starfleet.

Gabriel Lorca

Finally in this blog let’s talk about the Captain of the Discovery. We know that he is a tortured soul, he had spent time as a prisoner. Although if it was as a pow or otherwise we do not know, he is a brilliant gifted tactician. In the actors own words;

““I’m not allowed to say that my Captain will probably be the most f**ked up,” But he has a lot of rough edges.”

That messed up bit may come from his confinement. If that confinement turns out to be at the hands of the Klingons, well that’ll be two officers on Discovery with a score to settle. In another quote Isaccs says;

“He will react in surprising ways in different situations, that he had maybe other agendas at certain points with people that were… that they knew about themselves or they didn’t know about themselves. He’s in denial about certain things.”

Lorca also collects ancient weapons and relics, which I loved. We know Picard was into archeology, while Kirk also collected antiquities including weapons.

As for the man behind the character, well Jason Isaacs has done far more than play a villain in Harry Potter (although he was awesome in that role). He was born in Liverpool in England, UK. Isaacs studied law at Bristol university, this is where he got the acting bug in the drama society. He appeared in over 30 plays and performed each at the Edinburgh fringe. To start with he performed with Bristol University and then, with the National Student Theatre Company.

He then moved to London to train in Drama at Londons central school of speech and drama.

After leaving he carved out a hugely successful tv career, performances varied from comedy to drama. He has appeared in the “Highlander” tv series, on stage in Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize winning Angels in America.

“I am a cringing, neurotic Jewish mess. Can’t I for play that once” was how he secured that role.

His first Hollywood film was in “Event Horizon”. He then appeared in “Armageddon”, played the ruthless English Colonel William Tavington, in “The Patriot”. Before playing a drag queen in “Sweet November”.

He has done voice over work for animated Batman films, played a villain in the very weird ” OA” which is available on Netflix. As well as voices in various video games, including two of the Castlevania series.

He has a wealth of acting experience behind him playing both good and bad guys. So should bring an interesting element to the role of Captain.

I think we will leave it there for now and continue this in another post.

Thanks for reading.

New Podcast

I’m Back!!


Its Been a while since i blogged, real life has a habit of getting in the way of things. But i have also been going through an awful lot on the personal front, what with health and family related issues. This coupled with an increased work load left me with very little time for anything else. These where contributing factors to me not being able to maintain the release schedule and standards of the main Trek News and Views podcast. To this end Chris Jones, head of Trek FM and stalwart supporter and very understanding guy in relation to all my ups and downs, helped me place TNV on ice.


This however has not stopped people downloading the show, which makes me smile no end, Thank you. Anyway this month i am finally hoping to get discharged from the hospital and as long as i take my lovely cocktail of meds on a daily basis i should be ok. Well once i lose a few pounds i will be anyway. Its amazing how weight creeps up on you when you cant exercise in any way shape or form!.


With all this in mind and with the advent of a new Star Trek Show, i now intend to resume blogging and also to resume podcasting.  Not weekly like i was before, but as a guest/occasional co host on shows. One of which is a brand new show that i have been fortunate enought to be in on from the off. This Show is a brand new Star Trek show and will be about Star Trek Discovery, its called “New Horizons”

THe host is someone i have worked with before, Steve Roberts. We did a Battlestar Galactica show, which i had to also leave due to the previously mentioned reasons. Steve is a well versed podcaster and an IT guy. An all important aspect of podcasting is knowing a bit of IT. With Trek Fm i was spoiled on that score, i had Chris and Matt Rushing to help me out as well as Richard and a few others.  Steve knows his way around a web page and around systems, so i am looking forward to my odd appearance and getting back behind the mic. As well as seeing where both the new podcast and the new Star Trek show will go.


I  have always enjoyed podcasting and it gave me an outlet, it was wonderful to feel part of the family at Trek fm. I needed, need that outlet. Having that time once a week or once a fortnight to geek out was very helpful. Im sure you have all had moments where you watched or saw something and just wanted to nerd out over it. To me it was that and so much more. Sure a lot of things have changed now, im no longer an active podcaster on Trek FM. Nor am i an active podcaster on Holosuite media (Where the BattleStar Galactica cast was), but i have made some good contacts from podcasting. Some of whom i hope consider me a friend, because i do them.


So now you know why i have been so lax of late in relation to this blog i hope you will undertand.  The mental illness i have fought for 95% of my life, but sometimes it gets the upper hand. The other ailments well as i said at the top, as long as i take my magic cocktail all should be well. I mean every time i take them it reminds me of the “food” in TOS, but thats the geek in me.

So to the next chapter of my geek/nerd journey.  lets get this blog more active and as i do research for the Discovery podcast and my occasional appreances, i will share what i find with you here. As well as keeping you appraised of releases and so forth of the podcast. I am also writing and researching a history podcast for release later in the year, as well as putting my thoughts and feeling into short prose. But thats not for publication on a Trek blog 🙂


I have also had the good fortune to pop up now and then on “The Battle Bridge” which is a TNG podcast on the Trekmate Network. Also on the 19th i am going to be doing my first panel at a con. About podcasting none the less. So it seems i will be as busy as ever.

Thankyou for taking the time to read this and for all the support. downloads and retweets over the past few years.

Live long and Podcast

Two years without Nimoy

As I sit here reading through Star Trek birthdays (March and April have quite a few), I realise my one regret in relation to Star Trek is that I never got to meet Leonard Nimoy in person. Leonard whose birthday would have been March 26, was always someone I wanted to meet in person.

By the time I was financially able to go to conventions, his illness had already taken a significant hold. He was no longer doing the convention circuit, much less traveling overseas. The nearest I got was watching a Skype style chat he held for an audience, so essentially he was on a big screen for us, the fans. It was great, but not the same as seeing him in the flesh would have been.

Nimoy and Spock are the reason I got into Star Trek in the first place. I watched the original series on Saturday morning tv and his character enthralled me. Here was an Alien not massively dissimilar to us, which at the time was novel. Films and shows tended to show Aliens as having big eyes, or big heads, claws, tentacles and so on.

He was also a scientist who viewed everything in a unique way, while also professing to be in total control of his emotions ( which we all know he wasn’t ). He was central to most episodes and to Kirks decision making process, plus his wide ranging knowledge helped basically every department on the ship in some way. He was an invaluable member of the crew, in the motion picture he was the one that solved the imbalance with the warp drive, he built a computer using what he basically referred to as Stone Age tools, he also saved the ship and crew members on various occasions. Including one of the most emotional moments in Trek lore, when he died saving the Enterprise. Oh and let’s not forget that beard.

But Spock not only enthralled me because of his immense and wide ranging knowledge, he enthralled me because he could control his emotions. To an extent, I mean some plants opened up emotions to him, As did his friendship with Kirk and McCoy. But for the whole he was in control. He could also use Vulcan techniques to control pain and other body functions. This was what fascinated me. 

At the time of me starting to watch Star Trek, and for several years before & after I was in a very dark place. I used to think to myself if I could do what Spock can, control pain and emotion while thinking of a way out, then I could achieve hope and salvation. I mean the telepathy would have been cool as well, but even my younger self knew that wasn’t going to happen, Mores the pity. 

As the years went by I saw Spock go through Pon Farr, have his brain removed, under go Kolinahr and of course die. But don’t worry (spoiler alert), he gets reborn.

All the time he was Spock, all the time. Even when his emotions where compromised by outside forces, he was still Spock. Still an inspiration to me, still a beacon of logic and light. 

Leonard Nimoy and his portrayal of Spock didn’t just inspire and give me hope though, thousands of people now openly admit they are scientists of one type or another because of Spock. 

 Fred Guterl, Executive Editor of Scientific America wrote ;

“I was eight years old when I first got to know Leonard Nimoy, the way many people did, as Spock on the original Star Trek series. The airing of the first episode on our black and white television was an event in my household. I was an instant and forever fan. Although the flamboyantly emotional William Shatner drew more attention, I was deeply impressed by the idea, embodied in the character that Nimoy brought to life, that science is truly the best adventure. That was plain to me even then, thanks to Nimoy.”

There are countless scientists all over the world who would tell you that Mr. Spock was their first favorite scientist. Einstein and Hawking would come later for them, but the dispassionate Vulcan continues to inspire tomorrow.

Leonard Nimoy may be responsible albeit indirectly, for some great steps taken in the sciences because of his portrayal of Spock

Incidentally researchers who met Leonard  are always desperate to give him lab tours and explain the projects they’re pursuing in peer-to-peer terms. Mr. Nimoy would nod sagely and say to each one, “Well, it certainly looks like you’re headed in the right direction.”


Also as a side note, the popular comedy Big Bang has a massive Star Trek connection and Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy Farrah, is  Dr. Bialik as she has a Ph.D. from U.C.L.A. in … neurobiology. “I tell people, I am a neuroscientist, and I play one on TV,” said Dr. Bialik.

Spock and Nimoy are an inspiration. Having just moved past what would have been his birthday, I find myself thinking about what a great character we have lost as well as a phenomenal actor. Without Spock, I would not be who I am today. I would not have been sucked into Star Trek like I was. With out Spock I would not have had a successful podcast, I would not have been able to retreat into my imagination or hang onto the utopia of what Trek portrayed in the dark. I would not have some of the friends or acquaintances around the world that I have, I wouldn’t be playing Star Trek online or even tried a whole host of other Trek related games, books, articles and collectibles, In fact I wouldn’t even have this blog. 

So Mr Nimoy and by association Mr Spock, I hope that on some celestial level you realise how grateful I am for what you did for me, for others and I am sure your proud of how Zachary is now portraying Spock. 

I lament your passing Leonard, but I hope as I am sure you do that Spock, Lives Long and prospers.

Star Trek Beyond Easter eggs

Warning massive spoilers ahead. Do not read if you have not seen the film!!

Star Trek Beyond contains many nods to the fans, here are 30 that I spotted.

1) the Franklin Registery number (NX-326) is in fact a reference to Leonard Nimoy’s birthday (March 26) 

2)There was apparently 50 species in beyond. One for each year of the franchise.

3)Kirk ripping his shirt. If you’ve ever watch an episode of the original series, chances are Kirk ripped or took off his shirt at some point. So at the start of the film Kirk on a “diplomatic” mission comments On getting his shirt ripped…again.


 When the original pitch was made for Star Trek the ship wasn’t called “Enterprise” but was in fact “Yorktown.” 

5)Sulu being married to a man. this a nod to George Takei, the gay actor who originally played the character and who has done so much work for the LGBTQ rights movement. However George himself was not happy with this move. To him it detracted from Genes original vision for the character.

As a side note Sulu’s husband is played by Doug Jung. Who co wrote the film.

6)One of the most moving scenes is Spock standing alone in Yorktown station after learning Ambassador Spock has passed away. This was a wonderful tribute and farewell to Leonard Nimoy, helped by the wonderful acting from Zachary. 

7)The Franklin, although the Franklin has been mentioned at various points in Star Trek. This one also contains another nod beyond its register number. Frank Lin is Justin Lin’s dad. Hence the gap between the K & L on the plate. (See image above).

8)The Kelvin pods or escape pods. JJ works Kelvin into most of his productions as its a tribute to his grandfather. This is also a tie in to the USS Kelvin, the ship Kirks father died on.

9)Red shirts, it’s a trope in Trek that most red shirts die, in beyond a whole host of red shirts in Engineering are killed in one go. Star Trek Beyond sees them all bite the dust. Both dead bodies spotted by crew on the ship and zoomed in on, also wear red.

10) Dialogue quotes referencing the original crew are also in the film. . Scotty tries to tell Kirk “I cannot…” when he’s asked for the impossible. Bones, reminds everyone “I’m a doctor” when sent on a mission with Spock. Spock in turn does a “live long and prosper.” The movie also closes with the main cast taking turns in the recitation of the “Space, the final frontier” monologue. Which also reminded me of the signatures in Star Trek 6, “The undiscovered country.”

11) In Star Trek “The Search for Spock,” the Enterprise is destroyed. This was the 3rd film with the original cast. This is the 3rd film with the new cast, and the Enterprise gets destroyed.

12)Kirks birthday and his reluctance to celebrate, but shares a drink alone with Bones. Is taken from Bones and McCoy sharing Romulan ale on his birthday alone, in “The Wrath of Khan.”

13) Chekov, sadly played for the last time by Anton. References a famous moment in history to being Russia, (in this case Scotch). This was a long running thing with the original Chekov. Who claimed anything and everything important in history, was linked to Russia.

14) McCoy saying “the dark ages,” in relation to medicine is a tribute to the hospital scenes in Star Trek 4, you know the one with the Whales. Where he says the same line. 

Karl Urban also confirmed in interviews that the clothing he wears in the birthday scene at the end of the film was based on clothing worn by the character during the 80s era of the franchise, as were many of the rest of the cast’s clothing in that scene.

15) The Romulan and Xindi war are referenced tying in both “Enterprise” and “TOS”. Also the transporters only being safe for cargo, goes back to “Enterprise.” There pad had only just been deemed safe for organic transport.

16) McCoy calling Spock a “Green blooded ingrate.” This was a common barb used by the original McCoy. As was the constant verbal sparring between McCoy and Spock.

17) Kirks log entry. They’re on the 966th day. Star Trek, the original series, premiered its first episode, “The Man Trap,” on September 8, 1966. Which is 9/66.

18)In the same log entry he uses the word “episodic.” This is a reference to the episodic nature of various Star Trek incarnations. Up to DS9 which had the Dominion story arc. It was the norm.

19)Spock quotes Shakespeare:

 From the first season original series episode “The Conscience of the King,” to Klingon Chancellor Gorkon’s insistence that “You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon” in Star Trek VI,  Shakespeare has featured in Star Trek. Many Star Trek actors also learned their craft in Shakespeare companies including William Shatner and Patrick Stewart. In fact in Trek lore his largest fan is Captain Jean-Luc Picard, who uses Shakespeare’s words to rescue Lwaxana Troi from a romantically-inclined Ferengi, distract a 19th century landlady in San Francisco and uses it to convince Q of the virtues of humanity. 

20) Commodore Paris:

Tom Paris was helmsman on “Voyager.” Admiral Owen Paris, Toms father came from a long line of high-ranking Starfleet officers. Commodore Paris may well have been the first.


Uhura’s necklace:

In “Elaan of Troyius,” a necklace which is actually made from dilithium is used to save the day. In Beyond, Spock uses the necklace he gave to Uhura to locate the crew, and save the day.


Krall, aka Khan:

There are more than a few similarities between these two. Both Krall and Khan were abandoned, or at least perceived they were, and both are hell-bent on revenge. Both battle Kirk and both say, “old friend,” a phrase Khan really likes using when talking to his arch-enemy, Admiral Kirk. By the way Kirk beats both, with help from Spock.

23) Scotty cracks his knuckles:

near the end of the movie, Krall is about to unleash his superweapon on the entire population of the Yorktown space station, and Scotty is trying to help them shut down the ventilation systems to prevent it. He sits down and gives his knuckles a good crack before diving in.

In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, while at Plexicorp, Scotty cracks his knuckles as his about to use the keyboard.

24) Kirks speech:

In Beyond Kirks says, “There’s no such thing as the unknown, only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.”

This speech is also given by Kirk in the original series episode “The Corbomite Manoeuvre.”

25) Kirks toast:

“To absent friends,” at the end of Beyond is also used by Kirk in Tribute to Spock in “The search for Spock.” Another tribute to Leonard Nimoy and his Spock.

26) There are a few lines in the film which die hard fans will notice, one that made me smile was “Big green hand.” In Who Mourns for Adonais?,” the Enterprise encounters the Greek god Apollo, who reaches out into space and grabs the ship with his giant green hand.

27) Another tribute to Spock was when new Spock commented on old Spocks “many lives.” This is because Spock in the original cast run of films died, planted his Katra in McCoy and was reborn.

28) Kirks promotion:

Original Kirk was promoted to Admiral, a decision he regretted and was told of his mistake at accepting promotion by both Spock and McCoy. In fact Kirk tells Picard not to leave the Captains chair in “Generations.” He says “Don’t let them promote you. Don’t let them transfer you. Don’t let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you’re there, you can make a difference.”

29) Transporters:

Scotty explains that he’s using the cargo transporter for the first time and doesn’t want to risk splicing them. “I couldn’t imagine a worse scenario,” McCoy says. This is taken from “Voyager.” In the episode “Tuvix,” Tuvok and Neelix are spliced together in a transporter accident. 

30) The Saucer crashing is a homage to Generations, when The Enterprise D saucer sections crash lands on Veridian 3.

So there you go 30 Easter eggs. I’ll write a review of the movie soon and we will be discussing on the podcast next weekend. Give everyone a fair chance to see it, before we spoil it.