Three Can’t Miss Star Trek Fan-Fics (part 3)

Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar

If you haven’t read part 1, or part 2 we highly suggest you check them out!

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek and that is a milestone for every geek. Perhaps you are a die hard fan from the early days watching Kirk and Spock trod around on wobbly sound stages trying to get it on with green aliens. Perhaps you jumped in during Voyager and still long for the moment that Seven of Nine tells you she wants to be your ‘friend with benefits’. It doesn’t matter what kind of Trekkie you are, there is never enough content to watch. The upcoming show “Star Trek: Discovery” won’t air until 2017, so what do you do in the meantime? How about diving into the world of fan fiction with some shows produced by loving fans of the Star Trek universe? There are many of them out there, in various forms of quality ranging from horrible B-movie material to tantalizing TV. We hit up YouTube and picked our top three. Our final installment is “Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar.”

Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar

We cannot finish off the list without talking about “Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar” an independent Star Trek fan production (We cannot call this a fan-fic) that has JJ Abrams and the CBS bosses lying awake at night. The show cuts in during the first “Four Year war” and the legendary battle of Axanar. It features the upcoming heroics of Garth of Izar, later featured in one of the TOS episodes as the main character. What makes the show great is not only an all star cast and a fantastic production quality but it is also depicts a very dark version of Star Trek.

Stories and episodes

No episodes have been aired yet, the only thing the world has gotten are 2 short “documentary like” vignettes (first, second) featuring an interview with the main characters in the form of a historical documentary. What might sound like a boring discovery-channel episode is actually something brilliant. The 21 minute “Prelude to Axanar” will have you turn blue from holding your breath in pure anticipation of what is to come.

Acting. The acting is top notch, this due to the fact that all of the actors are professionals who have real world experience in science fiction franchises like “Star Trek” and “Battlestar Galactica”.

Richard Hatch (Appollo in the original series of BSG), Kate Vernon (from the BSG Reboot), Tony Todd, Gary Graham and of course J.G. ‘Martok’ Hertzler. All of them are top of the line actors will manage to grab your attention and whatever geek-DNA you have like pitbull returning from a weight-watchers class.

Sets and Special Effects

Lighting and sets (from what we have seen) are top notch. Makeup, costumes are all pro-grade . The CGI is straight out of a primetime TV show like BSG or “The Expanse”. Although its quite clear that this show runs in the original TOS timeline, the ships do resemble those in the Star Trek Reboot, known to fans as the “Kelvin” timeline. They are larger, more complex and love to blow up in a ball of spectacular fireworks.

Will it ever air

“Axanar” has the potential to be so good that CBS (who have the rights to the Star Trek TV shows) may be getting worried. So much so that at the end of 2015 “Axanar” hit with a lawsuit to stop the show from ever airing. The reason? It might steal some of “Star Trek Discovey’s” thunder. CBS’s new Star Trek Show (also a prequel to TNG) will be airing in 2017. I think I could write up a 14 page article on the ins and outs of the lawsuit but suffice to say the judge has declined CBS’s original claim that they own all things Star Trek. Fingers crossed (in the Vulcan salute)

Epilogue

Aside from these three shows there are many many Star Trek Fan-shows on Youtube. While some are of dubious quality when it comes to sets, makeup or acting, you should not be quick to judge. Each Star Trek Production, from the Primetime to B-movie quality is done by fans of the genre paying tribute to the show they love. Together with the viewers they keep the genre alive. So be nice before you post a snarky comment on their Youtube channel and remember how much time and effort they put into this. Star Trek fandom is IDIC 🙂 Infinite diversity in infinite combinations, there is no good and bad .. there is only Trek Love.

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Three Can’t Miss Star Trek Fan-Fics (part 2)

Star Trek: New Voyages

If you haven’t read part 1, we highly suggest you check it out!

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek and that is a milestone for every geek. Perhaps you are a die hard fan from the early days watching Kirk and Spock trod around on wobbly sound stages trying to get it on with green aliens. Perhaps you jumped in during Voyager and still long for the moment that Seven of Nine tells you she wants to be your ‘friend with benefits’. It doesn’t matter what kind of Trekkie you are, there is never enough content to watch. The upcoming show “Star Trek: Discovery” won’t air until 2017, so what do you do in the meantime? How about diving into the world of fan fiction with some shows produced by loving fans of the Star Trek universe? There are many of them out there, in various forms of quality ranging from horrible B-movie material to tantalizing TV. We hit up YouTube and picked our top three. Up next: “Star Trek: New Voyages.”

Star Trek: New Voyages

In our second installment we take a look at “Star Trek: New Voyages”, also known as “Star Trek: Phase II”. Like “Star Trek Continues” this show is also set in the Original series timeline of the Star Trek Franchise. “Star Trek: Phase II” was in fact the name of the never-aired sequel to the original series that Roddenberry wanted to produce. It featured the voyages of the Enterprise after her first 5-year mission during TOS. The show never got aired but some sets and character ideas were re-worked for “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” and some of the story ideas were used during the production of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. The fan show Star Trek Continues/Phase II, picks up at that point.

Number of episodes

First aired in 2004, Star Trek Phase II has so far produced 11 full episodes and a couple of shorter vignettes.

Stories

The show does start out as a little over-zealous fan-tribute show that tries to cram as much ‘trek’ into one episode as possible with about as much finesse as cramming tribbles into a Klingon’s underpants. During the first episodes the number of tributes and cameo’s are a little overwhelming. But as the show matures the stories get better and better. Two episodes “The Child” and “Kitumba” are actually based on the original un-produced scripts for the never aired Phase II series. “The Child” was eventually re-worked for the second season opener of TNG.

Acting

Star Trek: New Voyages has had several cast changes during its run. All the main characters (Spock, Kirk, Mccoy etc) are portrayed by at least different actors. The first actor to portray Kirk, James Cawly, gives us a solid idea of what would have happened if Kirk had been an Elvis fan. Brian Gross, depicting Kirk after episode 9 gives us a younger, more naïve version of Kirk. But what the “core cast” might lack in acting skills is made up by the guest stars. From Walter Koeing to George Takei and Grace Lee Whitney to Denise Crosby, the original Star Trek Giants come by to pay tribute and pitch in.

Sets and Visual Effects

As is the case with most fan-created shows (and most of the original Trek series), the production quality improves along the way. The sets and costumes are great, but what makes STNV stand out is the excellent CGI. The shots of the (partly refit) Enterprise are drop-dead gorgeous and stand out far beyond anything Paramount ever produced, even in the production of shows like “Star Trek: Voyager” or “Enterprise”.

Conclusion

A little rough around the edges, “New Voyages” sometimes borders on a cheezy fan show. But this is more then made up for by great stories and the all-star guest cast that pops by from time to time.

[6]:

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Three Can’t Miss Star Trek Fan-Fics (Part 1)

Star Trek Continues

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek and that is a milestone for every geek. Perhaps you are a die hard fan from the early days watching Kirk and Spock trod around on wobbly sound stages trying to get it on with green aliens. Perhaps you jumped in during Voyager and still long for the moment that Seven of Nine tells you she wants to be your ‘friend with benefits’. It doesn’t matter what kind of Trekkie you are, there is never enough content to watch. The upcoming show “Star Trek: Discovery” won’t air until 2017, so what do you do in the meantime? How about diving into the world of fan fiction with some shows produced by loving fans of the Star Trek universe? There are many of them out there, in various forms of quality ranging from horrible B-movie material to tantalizing TV. We hit up YouTube and picked our top three. First up is “Star Trek Continues.”

Star Trek Continues

First Aired in 2013 this show is produced by a non-profit charity and takes you back to the good old days of The Original Series. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are all there, but just played by different actors.

Number of episodes

As of today, STC has 7 episodes under its belt and features some great guest stars. From Orion slave trader Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk) to Chris Doohan filling in his father’s shoes as engineer Montgomery Scott.

Stories

The pilot episode “Pilgrim of Eternity” where Apollo (seen in the TOS episode “Who Mourns for Adonais”) returns to the Enterprise is spot on! The show entertains you but also makes you think about humanity, society and all the big issues Gene Roddenberry held most dear.

Acting

The cast delivers great original performances but still manage to pay homage to the original cast. Actor Vic Mignogna has a subtle way to portray all our favorite “Shatner-isms” in his portrayal of Captain Kirk. Michelle Specht plays Elise McKennah, a character that wasn’t in the original series cast, portrays a ship counsellor that puts Troi to shame.

Sets

“Star Trek Continues” built their sets from the original blueprints of the TOS sets. Therefore everything looks just like it came straight out of TOS, but stuff doesn’t wobble when they walk around (at least not much).

Visual Effects

The special effects in the show are pretty good and they have continued to progress as the series moves along. However the show focuses more on storyline and dialogue then on flashy special effects.

Conclusion

Star Trek Continues is surely worth the watch if you are a fan of the original series. It will take a little bit of getting used to seeing your favorite characters portrayed by different actors, but they will grown on you .. fast.

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TGIF : How about a slice of Turkish bootleg Star Wars ?

What do you do if your name is  Çetin İnanç , its 1982 and you are running out of idea’s for your next movie ?  Simple : You start directing the epic adventure flick called : Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam  (The Man Who Saved the World). A wonderful B-movie full of horrible sets, bad acting, shaky storylines and Star Wars scenes.  Wait .. WHAT ? Indeed , you read that right. To “dress up” his production of “The man who saved the world” (a movie that has a story line that does not even bother to be better then a 70’s pornflick) he used stock footage from Star Wars “A new hope”. For tunes he stole the theme songs from Battlestar Galactica and Indiana Jones to liven up the movie and apparently had no idea that something like “copyright” ever existed. Funny enough the movie became an instant cult classic , so who are we to keep you from its amazing trailer .. Enjoy and try not to ruin your shirt when your eyes and ears start bleeding.

Link :  Here is the terrible truth about the movie on Wikipedia.

BONUS : It appears you are still conscious after watching the trailer, so we will give you this little easter egg : How about a full TURKISH STAR TREK movie ?   Have a nice weekend !

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TGIF : The empire strikes back .. Remix !

Yes geeks ! It is FFFRRRRiday ! That means we let go of the otherwise pretty serious geekyness and dive  into the obscure anals of the internet. ( Wait .. that came out wrong … Oh, that too)  Never mind. What we have for you is 2 hours and 8 minutes of content for which the very internet was created in the first place. Forget science, progress, communications and global economy .. forget Porn .. THIS is why we have the internet . Remember how George Lucs  gets to tinker with the original Star Wars trilogy all the time ? Well .. Fans can do that too. Stand by for 2 hours of handcrafted entertainment with rebel soldiers made out of balloons, 8 bit fighting scenes in the rebel base, cartoons, bad acting and STAR DESTROYERS MADE OUT OF PIZZA … yes ! PIZZA … Forget anything I type after this .. let go of your feelings .. and press the friggin play button for absolute MADNESS ! !

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Movie week : Movies every geek should see (5 of 5) : Hackers.

In movie week we list 5 movies every geek should see. The one I saved for last is a cult flick that will go down in history as the coolest but also the corniest movie about hackers EVER made. In 1995 it was pretty hard to explain to “Joe Shmoe” what the internet was .. let alone what a Hacker was. This did not stop Ian Softley to direct “Hackers” (1995 imdb) . An entertaining movie that tried to explain what a hacker was and how he could get into all kinds of trouble. Featuring (a then rather unknown) Angela Jolie the movie is full of strange 3D animations, Noob-proof dialoge and bright pictures to explain what the frack is going on. If you remember one thing about this movie it has to be the line “Hack the Planet” !

Hackers is available on Netflix but if you know how to torrent .. you will find it too.

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Movie week : Movies every geek should see (1 of 5) : Pirates of Silicon Valley.

Technology and geekery are becoming a bigger and bigger part of our lives. Where the internet used to be something only used by university students with beards and open-toe sandals, it is now an integral part of everybody’s life. So it is no surprise that some of the persona’s who have made that technological evolution happen , have found themselves portrayed on the big screen. Once the silver screen was the exclusive domain of fictional characters portrayed by superstars like Jean Claude van Damme and Silvester Stalone .. These days a movie about how a 17 year old college kid invented a social media network .. is a blockbuster. “Jobs” “The Social Network” … its hard to believe that silicon valley has become so rooted in popular culture that Hollywood has embraced its shady heroes.  But those are the movies that get the limelight , the big productions. This week in “Movie Week” we focus on some of those movies that never “made it big” but that Every geek should see.  3 2 1 … action.

Pirates of Silicon Valley. (IMDB 1999)

Who, in the history of technology was responsible for bringing the PC into our homes. What events transpired to bring a super expensive technology, reserved for boring enterprise calculation work to the bedroom of every teenager in the late 80’s. Who was involved, how did it happen and what is so important about a garden shed. “Pirates of Silicon Valley” shows a young Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Steve Balmer in their struggle to change the world as we know it. An entertaining movie featuring a young Noah Wyle (ER, Falling Skies) in a more unbiased roll as Steve Jobs and Anthony Michael Hall as Bill Gates.

We found this rather blocky trailer on Youtube, but you can watch the entire movie on Netflix HERE. Or you can try the torrentz 🙂 .. but we didn’t tell you that :p

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kw704 : Elementary OS and Thor Squared.

Its time to dive back into the audio podcasting after your Double Topping of F.A.C.T.S. video coverage last week. This week we grill wiseguy Thor about his experiences with Elementary Linux, a Distro spin on good old Ubuntu 12.04 with stunning looks and a soft spot for the hardware impaired. Afterwards we give you a last echo of the F.A.C.T.S. event with an interview we did with the people of Brainfreeze about one of Belgium’s most popular Manga & Anime websites and talk a little about Thor and why it is I am unable to lift Thor’s hammer.  We did have a little issue with the audio quality in the intro and outro of the show, so we hope you forgive us for this little blunder, it will all be fine next time .. We promise.

Shownotes.

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Do you remember “Captain Future” ?

Thank god its Friday : And on friday its time to set your phasers to DROOL as I bring you a little gem I found on Youtube. Before we dive into it, let me explain why I’m so excited about this. When I was a kid we didn’t have cable in our house. That meant that aside from the 2 “Belgian” Tv stations, the only thing we could watch would be some French stations, Dutch stations and German television. And the Germans were way ahead of the game when it came to having entertaining stuff for ten year old geeks like me. I remember watching open university style episodes about robots, classic german detective series (or “Crimi’s” as the germans called them) and tons of (overdubbed) cartoons. On of them was “Captain Future” A cartoon series derived from the mind of Mort Weissinger about a space-pirate captain that would gallop across the galaxy in his spaceship being a hero and stuff. I don’t remember much about the storylines but what I CAN remember is that I found he had the coolest ship and .. to this day still think that this TV show had one of the most beautiful themesongs ever composed. With a faint resemblance to the “Star Trek” opening credits this tune has a female singer, a baby grand piano and .. ahw .. just listen…

 

The great thing about the “reboot” industry today is that original ideas are hard to come by, so we need to “dive back” into the past to remake some old stuff. Time Warner has released a trailer on Youtube of what could be the next “Captain Future” feature film, but when or IF this thing is ever going to hit the cinema’s is unknown. Nevertheless, it makes for a great trailer.

So .. do YOU still remember “Captain Future” from our childhood ? Tell us about it in the “Comments” section.

 

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Turn Plex into the heart of your media consumption setup.

If there is one thing I love, then it’s performing acts of Blasphemy 🙂 Strickly technological blasphemy of course. The kind that makes operating system makers, virtual shopkeepers and DRM overlords grasp the few stray hairs on their balding heads and cry out “Blasphemy” into the digital night. To be frank : I love it to make tech do things it wasn’t supposed to.

With our Mac Mini as a central mediahub in our house, it holds all the movies and TV shows that I love to watch, and hidden deeply behind the magical fairy dust that is the Itunes library, lie hidden all my songs. Locked away in a proprietary cloud of pixy poo. 

Around the house we have several devices lying around depicting both the Cupertinian Apple, The green android goblin or boast a bold penguin. The owners of these devices have long ago banished the television from its monopolistical rule of the entertainment empire. These masters would like to consume any content, anywhere on any device. Wether this be Android, IOS, Linux or even Windows .. They would like to watch and listen to anything, anywhere .. and if possible, pickup on one device where they left of on the other.

I have done a podcast about these shenanigans once before (Remember KC0057 : Cross platform Streaming ) where I used a combination of XBMC and DLNA to get things where I wanted them to go. However technology is always on the move and there is always something better on the horizon.

Today I have been playing around with Plex. A central media hub that takes all of the content you have at your disposal (Audio or video) and “streams” that towards any connected device in the house. (Tablets, Phones and embedded devices) Aside from being the red-light district for your home media with the “plex server” It also offers a great front end to “consume” that media on whatever desktop (or media center pc) you are using.  If you ever feel the urge to crawl out from under your desk and enter the big airy meeting room with the high ceiling (Referred by some as “outside”) Plex even lets you connect back home so you can continue to enjoy whatever you have been watching before you were forced out of your house. 

So far I”ve enjoyed flawless transcoding and streaming of some of my favorite TV shows and ‘backed up’ movies to both my Tablets (Android and IOS) and am currently enjoying some music streamed from my itunes library .. on my Android tablet. Can you spell Blasphemy ? No ? thats ok .. you can just SCREAM it ! :p

The Plex server app is ‘Slider friendly’ and available for Windows, Linux, OSX and some “embedded NAS” devices. The clients will put you back a couple of bucks (about 5 or 10 depending of what you choose) on your mobile device .. but the quality and convenience is totally worth it.

In a couple of words. Download and install the Plex server, run the configuration wizzard ( Click yes yes yes and point it towards your media) Put the mobile apps on your portable devices and let them auto discover your Plex server .. Run to the bathroom and don’t come out until you have watched the entire series of Friends .. from your tablet or smartphone.

Never mind the family members who command the black monolith downstairs to consume whatever dribble they like to watch .. Get Plex and turn any device into your personal media station.

Links : PLEX. 

So have YOU played with plex ? Share your experiences or questions in the comments.

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