RIP Stephanie Niznik

#RIP: actress Stephanie Niznik passed away at the age of 52 on June 23, 2019. Her death was only reported today. She played Lt. Peril in “#StarTrek IX: #Insurrection”, the Wraith in #Enterprise; Dr. Evelyn Ariza in #Lost; Lena Weisinger in #Viper; Debra Carbol in #Sliders; & much more, including playing Nina Feeney in 82 episodes of the drama TV series #Everwood.

Our condolences to her family, friends & fans. May she rest in peace.

Stephanie Niznik

Stephanie Niznik (1967-2019)

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RIP Morgan Woodward

#RIP: actor Morgan Woodward has died at the age of 93. He played Capt. Tracy / Dr. Simon van Gelder in #StarTrek #TOS, Cayman in #BattleBeyondTheStars, Old Harry Cokely in #TheXFiles, Iron Lung Man in #Millennium, Sheriff Winston in #KnightRider, Uncle Jack / Nick Hall / Tribal Elder / Marshall Victor Grennan in #FantasyIsland, Martin in #PlanetOfTheApes (TV series), Morgan in #LogansRun (TV series), Carlton Tanner in #ProjectUFO, Ben Madrid in #TheIncredibleHulk, & much more.

Our condolences to his family, friends & fans. May he rest in peace.

Morgan Woodward

Morgan Woodward (1925-2019)

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Paramount Has Reportedly Shelved “Star Trek IV”

In not-so-good news for #StarTrek fans, #Paramount has reportedly shelved plans for #StarTrekIV. Contributing factors appear to include:

  • Poor box office revenue for “Star Trek Beyond”, the third film.
  • Contract negotiations with Captain Kirk star Chris Pine (and Chris Hemsworth, who played his father George in the 2009 reboot) collapsed around August, 2018, which we reported about.
  • Attached director S.J. Clarkson has moved on to direct the upcoming>Game Of Thrones prequel pilot.

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New “Star Trek” Series Featuring Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard Coming in 2019

A new #StarTrek series will debut in late 2019 on #CBS’ #AllAccess streaming service. The new show will feature the return of veteran “Star Trek” #TNG actor Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Jean-Luc Picard.

This new series will join “Star Trek: Discovery” and an upcoming animated “Star Trek” series that will titled “Lower Decks”. This will give the CBS All Access streaming service 3 “Star Trek” series.

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Up For Auction: Lightsaber Used by Mark Hamill in Original “Star Wars” Movie

If you’ve got a few hundred thousand dollars you don’t know what to do with, the lightsaber prop used by Mark Hamill in the original 1977 #StarWars movie is being auctioned.

The prop that taught millions of kids to make “zjoom zjoom” noises is being sold for an estimated value of $150,000 – $200,000 by Hollywood auction house “Profiles in History” as part of a “Blockbuster Hollywood Treasures” auction that includes not only items from the “Star Wars” franchise, but other classic films as well.

Other items up for auction include the following:

  • C-3PO’s hands from “Return of the Jedi,” at an estimated value of $40,000 – $60,000.
  • Imperial Scout Trooper helmet from “Jedi,” estimated at between $100,000 – $150,000.
  • An original “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Stormtrooper helmet signed by Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Hamill, Daisy Ridley and other cast, available for an estimated $80,000 – $120,000.
  • The green tunic worn by William Shatner’s Captain Kirk in the show’s third season of the original “Star Trek” TV series, estimated to sell for $60,000 – $80,000
  • The leather Jacket, pants and custom Reebok high-top sneakers, plus the Pulse Rifle and Flamethrower props worn by Sigourney Weaver in James Cameron’s “Aliens,” at an estimated sale price of $300,000 – $500,000.
  • Other props being auctioned are from “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Terminator 3,” and the “James Bond” film “You Only Live Twice,” among many others.

The auction is being held from Dec. 11-13, 2018 in Los Angeles.

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How the 1988 Writers’ Strike Forever Changed the Borg

Anyone familiar with #StarTrek probably knows who the #Borg are: a fictional race of #cyborgs governed by a hive mind with no individuality whatsoever. While they were introduced in the second season of “#StarTrek: #TheNextGeneration”, were the Borg as we know them the same as what had been originally conceived? No, they weren’t.

borg-display

The late producer & writer Maurice Hurley (1939 – 2015), who worked on TNG during its first and second seasons, had something very different in mind for the Borg. His original idea was partially captured in the final episode of the show’s first season (entitled “The Neutral Zone”). He originally intended that episode to be the first part of a two-part ark that would then open the show’s second season. But that ark never happen. Instead, only part of Hurley’s original idea was used: the Enterprise travels to the Romulan Neutral Zone to investigate the mysterious disappearance of several outposts, where the Enterprise encounters the Romulans (their first appearance in TNG), who are also investigating similar disappearances.

What happened with Hurley’s original idea? The writers strike by the Writers Guild of America happened in 1988.

Writers Strike 1988

Image from the 1988 Writers’ Strike

“The Neutral Zone” episode aired on May 16, 1988, two months after the writers’ strike began on March 7, 1988. The strike didn’t end until August 7, 1988, five months later and three months before the first episode of the 2nd season of TNG aired on Nov. 21, 1988. That episode (entitled “The Child”) was delayed due to the strike and was completely completely unrelated to the events in “The Neutral Zone”.

Had Hurley’s original idea been filmed, it would have had the Federation and the Romulans join forces to fight an aggressive insectoid race with a hive mind that was supposed to be responsible for the disappearance of the outposts on both sides. However, before the final first season episode was filmed, Hurley had to get the episode written quickly as the writers’ strike was widely viewed as being imminent.

So, Hurley took a fan submitted story by Deborah McIntyre and Mona Clee and used that as the basis for the episode along with part of his original idea. McIntyre & Clee’s idea was that the Enterprise would encounter three people from the 20th century who were cryogenically frozen centuries earlier, revive them, then have them adjust to life in the future.

Later in the second season of TNG, Hurley got to revisit his original idea for “The Neutral Zone” from the first season in the episode “Q Who”. But, his insectoid race (which probably wasn’t called the Borg at the time) never came to fruition primarily due to budgetary concerns. It was initially replaced with a reptilian race design, but that was also abandoned and replaced with the cyborg race that we know today as the Borg and was designed by costume designer Durinda Rice Wood:

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What survived of Hurley’s original insectoid race idea in the Borg was the hive mind.

So, thanks in part to the 1988 writers’ strike, the Borg because one of the most powerful recurring foes in the “Star Trek” franchise. They’re appearances include the following:

“The Next Generation” Episodes:

  • “Q Who” (Season 2, Ep. 16)
  • “The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1” (Season 3, Ep. 26)
  • “The Best of Both Worlds, Part 2” (Season 4, Ep. 01)
  • “I, Borg” (Season 5, Ep. 23)
  • “Descent Part, 1” (Season 6, Ep. 26)
  • “Descent Part, 2” (Season 7, Ep. 01)

TNG Movies:

  • “Star Trek VIII: First Contact”

“Voyager” Episodes:

  • “Unity” (Season 3, Ep. 17)
  • “Scorpion, Part 1” (Season 3, Ep. 26)
  • “Scorpion, Part 2” (Season 4, Ep. 01)
  • “The Raven” (Season 4, Ep. 06)
  • “Drone” (Season 5, Ep. 02)
  • “Dark Frontier, Part 1” (Season 5, Ep. 16)
  • “Dark Frontier, Part 2” (Season 5, Ep. 17)
  • “Survival Instinct” (Season 6, Ep. 02)
  • “Collective” (Season 6, Ep. 16)
  • “Child’s Play” (Season 6, Ep. 19)
  • “Unimatrix Zero, Part 1” (Season 6, Ep. 26)
  • “Unimatrix Zero, Part 2” (Season 7, Ep. 01)
  • “Imperfection” (Season 7, Ep. 02)
  • “Endgame” (Season 7, Ep. 25)

“Enterprise” Episodes:

  • “Regeneration” (Season 2, Ep. 23)

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