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.

Anton A Tribute

It was a week when most of us are counting down to the next movie. Others are making plans to go to Vegas or one of the various cons that are on at the moment. Then like a bolt of lightning, we got hit by the news that Anton Yelchin was dead. A talent whose career was cut short by an accident at the age of only 27. 

Anton was tragically killed by being crushed between a car and a concrete mail post. A man whose career was on the  upward path, a man whose Star Trek co stars heaped praise upon. Cruelly taken at so young an age. 

We have lost many Star Trek illumine over the past few years, sadly with Anton being so young his was completely unexpected. For my part I’d like to pay tribute to the man and his life.

He was only 10 when he made his TV debut on “ER.” But even at that age his talent shone through. His character displayed maturity and stoicism in the way he dealt with his parents death. Ironically in a car crash. His eyes, which he used to great affect through out his career, wonderfully portrayed the pain and anguish caused by his parents death. It was a powerful tv debut. 

Anton was born Anton Viktorovich Yelchin on March 11, 1989 in Leningrad, Russian. Now Saint Petersburg, Russia.

So yes he was a Russian playing a Russian and he deliberately rolled the V into W as Chekov. 

His parents, Irina Korina and Viktor Yelchin, were figure skaters who were celebrities as stars of the Leningrad Ice Ballet for 15 years. Being Jewish his family suffered political and religious persecution in Russia. Yelchin’s family moved to the United States in September 1989, when Anton was six months old. 

His age has never really been a fixture in his career. Star Trek not withstanding, where he played a teenager. In fact Only last week at the Annecy Animated Film Festival, director Guillermo del Toro unveiled Yelchin as the lead voice actor in his upcoming DreamWorks Animation series, “Trollhunters.” His characters age was 15.  His boyish looks and voice allowed him to voice or play people far younger than he actually was. 

He has a stunning CV behind him, starting at the age of 9 in the independent film A Man is Mostly Water. He has also been in;

A Time for Dancing,House of D, Curb Your Enthusiasm, the television series Huff and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. 

But  film recognition came for the role of Bobby Garfield in Hearts in Atlantis (2001), where he won Best Performance in a Feature Film for  Leading Young Actor at the 2002 Young Artist Awards. The lead in that film was non other than Anthony Hopkins.

His next notable part was Zack Mazursky, a character based on real-life kidnap and murder victim Nicholas Markowitz. In the film Alpha Dog. USA Today’s review described the performance as “heartbreakingly endearing”. In fact when interviewed after the premiere, Markowitz’s mother praised Antons portrayal of her son.

He continued working with a variety of roles, both on tv and in indie films until he crossed into the world of Star Trek with JJs 2009 film. In which as you know, he portrayed 17-year-old navigator Pavel Chekov. The same year he was In Terminator Salvation, in which he was cast as a teenage Kyle Reese.

He reprised the role of Chekov in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and Star Trek Beyond (2016), he also played the lead in the thriller Odd Thomas. His next project was to be the aforementioned Troll production. 

In his career he had won 7 awards. Not one person who has worked with him has ever said a bad thing about him. The tributes flowed freely from friends and work colleagues.

JJ you can see above, Zachary Wrote: ‘our dear friend. our comrade. our Anton. one of the most open and intellectually curious people i have ever had the pleasure to know. So enormously talented and generous of heart. wise beyond his years. and gone before his time. all love and strength to his family at this impossible time of grief.’ 

John Cho, who plays Sulu wrote on Twitter; ‘I loved Anton Yelchin so much. He was a true artist – curious, beautiful, courageous. He was a great pal and a great son. I’m in ruins,’

Other tweets swiftly followed.

Zoe Saldana was hit by the news on landing in Cuba. Her rep gave a statement to E! News, ‘She is beyond devastated and first and foremost her heart and prayers are with the Yelchin family during this time’

Paramount also released a statement; 

‘Paramount joins the world in mourning the untimely passing of Antony Yelchin. As a member of the family, he was beloved by so many and he will missed by all. We share our deepest condolences with his mother, father and family.’

The tributes from all corners of Star Trek flooded social media from TNG cast members, to TOS and so on. The entire Trek family was in a state of shock. Such a stunning talent taken at such a young age. Even if your not a fan of JJ Trek. You can’t deny his acting ability. I for one will miss his performances and I’m sure he will be honoured both at the premiere and in many other ways related to the new film.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office identified the cause of death as “blunt traumatic asphyxia,” and stated that there were “no obvious suspicious circumstances involved.”Federal regulators had previously determined that the shifting system on that Jeep model could confuse drivers and roll away unexpectedly; they had ordered a recall of that model in April. 
For us fans the best legacy we can give him is to honour his work and enjoy his last performance as Chekov. That’s a great tribute to an actor, enjoy the legacy they leave behind. Remember the man, his humour and his guile. The Star Trek cast in the sky will welcome him into the fold and we will be the better for knowing his amongst friends. 

Strike a Pose

Have you ever noticed in the Star Trek universe that when someone fires a phaser they, well they strike a pose! i mean even the ships seem to be doing it. They dont just shoot, they pose. The ships tend to pirouette and rotate or stand menacingly over the foe while raining down destruction. But the actors, well i can only assume that it is something that is taught at the academy. “now cadets today we will learn the various stances involved when firing a phaser.” star_trek_cosplay___phasers_by_eloquium-d67hphp

Not that i am saying that all poses are like the one performed by the cos player above. But they do strike some remarkable poses. in fact i was thinking about it today and as i had a certain piece on music i decided to do something, which in itself lead to me creating the new Trek News and Views You tube channel.

Go easy on me its my first go…..

click on me



William Shatner has written many books, while also being an actor/producer/director and on occasion a documentary maker. But this book unlike any other of his creations is a very personal insight into a personal relationship. 

Not many of us can say that we have had a friendship that has lasted 50 years, a lifetime in some cases. I know I certainly can’t. My longest friendship outside of relationships would be 8 years. But these two men who have figured in my life and viewing pleasure since i was a child, managed something that few of us can. It’s brave of William Shatner to put his friendship with Leonard Nimoy up for public scrutiny. The glare of Star Trek fans as well as the press was always bound to be focused on this book, advance orders hit Amazon as soon as it was made available. But it was all the more poignant because this was not just a man telling the world about his friendship. This was and is a man, in his own immutable style, paying his own tribute to not only his friend but also an icon to Star Trek fans and a well established and respected person in the field of entertainment. 

So how does Mr Shatner go about this? Well he does so in a heart felt and thoughtful way. He could so easily have gone down the sensationalist route. But no, he starts off by laying the ground of their  forthcoming friendship by showing the similarities of both men’s early lives. Now if you’ve read Leonard Nimoys biographies, as well as William Shatners various books about himself. Then the first portion of the book won’t tell you anything new. It is in essence the early part of both men’s careers. But what he does do, is show how they overlapped in various ways, how they went through similar experiences. He draws a narrative and a picture in your mind about them, enabling you to see how and why they ended up as friends. 

But his also honest, he tells how in the early days of Star Trek they didn’t immediately get on, how he upset Leonard with his casual cavalier approach to acting, which was the opposite of Nimoys methodical character driven style. He openly admits to having upset Leonard when they filmed the Horta scenes, because Leonard Nimoy thought that Shatner was making fun of him in exchange for a cheap joke. But then you see the other side of the relationship with the banter and the practical jokes, including one about Nimoys pushbike suddenly finding itself hanging from the rafters.  

The book contains some wonderful photos from across the 50 years they have known each other, some of which are true reflections of friendship. It’s nice to see that despite the well published and well known animosity that existed on the Star Trek sets, these two managed to forge a friendship and understanding. An understanding that helped them both, albiet in different ways. For instance Shatners tells the story of his wife who was an alcoholic, an addiction that ultimately and sadly led to her death. He uses this to weave in Leonard Nimoys own alcohol addiction, Which Shatner was unaware of for years, but which helped him talk to Nimoy about his wife to be and her own demons. Common ground, it may be from two different perspectives, but it helps when you can talk to someone who understands. Even more so when they’ve been there themselves. It’s this and other stories in the book that indicate how strong and open their friendship was. 


  Of course there are insights into what went on on set. The view of not only working with each but also directing each other. He comments on the rumour mill and media frenzy that circulated (pre Internet), about Spocks death and why Nimoy viewed Spock in very different ways throughout his career. 

But all through Shatner, while taking various chances to tell you more than a little about himself, conveys how important Leonard Nimoy was to him and his life. How in a business where everyone pretends to be your friend for as long as your working together, true friendship and camaraderie is rare. 


They have both had ups and downs and both have suffered marriage break ups, they’ve polarised people on various topics. Been involved in many ventures and have very varied outside interests and passions. Leonard Nimoy is an accomplished photographic artist. William Shatner a successful horse breeder and dog lover. But they have a passion for acting, for entertaining and that shared interest and passion was what brought them together and held them together. 

It’s ironic that despite all the movies and tv shows that they’ve both been involved in, it was the convention circuit that forged the bond. Being on the road and turning up at various venues at the same time. Meant that they spent a lot of time together, this allowed them time to talk to each, share life and grow a friendship. The fact that Shatner at first didn’t understand the clamour of the fan base, makes the fact that this was where a friendship was born. All the more poignant.  

Alas as Q said, “all good things must come to an end.” And sadly Leonard’s other addiction to cigarettes ultimately took him from us. Shatner conveys his pain about this In the book, plus the pain that at the end of Leonard’s life he and William where not on speaking terms. He tells us how he is at a loss as to understand why, even reaching out to Leonard via a letter only a month before he passed. It’s true that for people with terminal illness certain things do get left, perhaps he intended to contact William Shatner. But we will never know. 

What I do know is that they shared much and had much in common. To have had any true deep friendship in life is a blessing. To have enjoyed that for 50 years, is truly something to be thankful for. 

Leonard Nimoy has been Spock in my life for decades, his last outing in that role in “Star Trek Into Darkness,” Is something I treasure. He and Spock are the reason I got into Star Trek. His portrayal of the character and his acting where both sublime and powerful, he was a true giant in the field and an inspiration to millions. 

I hope that somewhere his doing something he enjoys, because to me, he truly deserves a glorious after life. 

There are two quotes that to me sum up this friendship; 

Spock Prime: “Because you needed each other I could not deprive you of the revelation of all that you could accomplish together, of a friendship that will define you both in ways you cannot yet understand.” 

And of course. 

Live long and Proper 🖖