Saturday, 30 May 2015

Star Trek The Offical Starships Collection

I'll admit I couldn't see myself subscribing to this publication, the cost overall and given I wasn't interested in some of the issues put me off but I knew eventually I would be picking up one or two and the models would eventually grace my shelves :)

So here they are, the K'T'Inga-Class Battle Cruiser, the Andorian Battle Cruiser and the Species 8472 Bioship.




Eaglemoss

Kung Fury

I had the pleasure of backing the Kung Fury kickstarter and now the 30 minute feature has been released, enjoy the 80's over the topness of it all :)


Sunday, 24 May 2015

My Random Journey Through Trek #36

A Time To Stand
Deep Space Nine

The Dominion and the Cardassian fleets are wiping out all resistance within the regions surrounding the wormhole, the combined Klingon and Federations fleets are being decimated and the 7th fleet is all but lost after a disastrous engagement. Sisko and the Defiant are recalled for reassignment and he and his crew are given the recently captured Jem'Hadar fighter for a high risk mission deep inside Dominion controlled space to destroy one of the few Ketracel White production facilities.
Reunions Should be Fun
All initially goes well until they are attacked by a Federation starship and lose communications, they are forced to drop from warp and engage the starship in the hopes of deterring a fight to the death but it flees as three Jem'Hadar ships arrive and pursuit. They arrive at the small asteroid which contains the facility, it's protected by a force shield but observing other Jem'Hadar ships and protocols allows them to gain access and they beam down their empty containers (some containing explosives) and await their new supply of the drug and for the force field to be lowered for departure. However as time ticks by with no clearance tensions arise but then a huge explosion rips the asteroid apart and their ship is caught in the blast radius and is badly damaged.
During this two week plus period we are see that life onboard the former DS9 is slowly returning to normal but still Gul Dukat is refusing to turn over security to the Bajorans but Kira has an ace in the hole in Odo who when he requests his own security for the civilian promenade Weyoun instantly agrees albeit with a small request.

A Time To Stand is the season six premiere episode and is set three months after the Dominion and Cardassian assault on Deep Space Nine and the mining of the wormhole. It's certainly not going well for the Klingons and the Federation as the Dominion defeats them in every battle and is winning the hearts and minds by treating Bajor with respect and honouring their deal despite Dukat chaffing at the bit to impose his own desires upon them.
As always it's a delight to have Garak (Andrew Robinson) in an episode and the new more "rougher" Bashir is actually a breath of fresh air, granted the arrogance is still there but since the revelation of his upbringing at least it has some merit. Mind you I couldn't really understand why it was Bashir bringing news of the seventh fleet, surely during a major war protocols would mean sensitive information being passed through the com officer maybe even encoded direct to the commander rather than through the ship's doctor. Oh lets not forget Martok and Worf coming aboard the Defiant (some warning to the Captain would surely be the norm) but we did get the happy reunion with Dax and well tears to the eye, what a great couple Jadzia and Worf made. The episode flips to life aboard DS9 and we see a heavy military presence but Quark is doing good business and alas he kinda sums up how the majority of sentient races would look at the situation, it could be worse. Kira is having issues with Dukat as you would expect but it made an awful lot of sense to make use of Odo and his links to the Founders, Weyoun was only to happy to grant every request but wheels within wheels by getting Odo onto the stations ruling council it legitimises the Dominion presence that little bit more and of course moves Odo slightly further towards the Founders.

Yes I know the questionable piloting of the repurposed Jem'Hadar ship was there for a laugh but come on inertial dampeners would be default, this ship would never be a rockin'. It was an interesting look into the technology of the ship though with no chairs, replicators, infirmary and restricted visuals when from a pure combat vessel with it's intended crew made a lot of sense, amazing any ship could stand up to this type of vessel given it's advantages, power utilisation etc.
I also liked the choice of using a practical model and explosion for the asteroid base, granted it looked out of place but I am old school even though some of the CGI visuals in the episode were spot on especially as the ship rode the shock wave and was battered and bruised with no functioning warp drive and 17 years, 2 months and 3 days away from help.

A Time To Stand was an excellent season opener and kicked things off nicely as things look even more bleak for the Alpha Quadrant with the ongoing attempts to bring down the mine field and flood the quadrant with Dominion reinforcements.
Rating 8




Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Second Paradigm Review

Second ParadigmSecond Paradigm by Peter J. Wacks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I do enjoy a convoluted time travel tale and Second Paradigm delivered in spades. It was a highly entertaining story and well I'm not even going to try to explain it just start reading and lose yourself in the cause and effect and paradoxes that come with the characters manipulating time with good or bad intentions depending upon circumstance.

View all my reviews

Sunday, 17 May 2015

My Random Journey Through Trek #35

Hollow Pursuits
TNG

Deanna Troi slinks into Ten Forward in a quite suggestive manner and catches the eye of an officer (Lt. Barclay) who is leaning against the bar, Guinan tells him she doesn't want any trouble but when first Geordie then Riker berate the officer they are physically dominated and as he makes his play for Deanna the coms open up and it's revealed he is on the holodeck. Medical samples are being brought aboard the Enterprise but a fault is found in an anti-gravity sled, Lt. Barclay is called in to investigate and in reality he is certainly not the confident Barclay from the holodeck yet he claims to have fixed the sled but when tested it fails spilling more of its contents.
Geordie has a frank discussion with the Captain but is pretty much smacked down with orders to do a better job dealing with an officer in his department so he reaches out and unfortunately the staff meeting doesn't go smoothly but maybe not so bad as expected. The ship soon begins to show signs of further technical issues beyond the gravity sled, the molecular structure of a glass warps, the transporters fail a test sequence then the injectors on the warp core freeze. Barclay attempts to address his issues with the real councillor rather than in the fantasy world of the holodeck but when the pressure is on he returns and unfortunately it's Riker, Geordi and Troi who walk in on him and do not react well to the revelations of Barclays activities.
Mini Me
The Enterprise with it's faulty injectors continues to accelerate with impending structural failure and as the ship begins to shake itself apart the engineering crew with Barclay link the location of the faults to where they have been and thus perhaps they have been carrying the cause of the faults around with them yet invisible to the ships internal standard scans. After some intense library computer use they confirm the existence of the substance and provide a solution, it's implemented and the ship drops from warp, the day is saved and Barclay can take his first step away from his fantasy land and into the real world.

Lets begin with the opening teaser, pretty good and Deanna certainly was uber eye candy but as we learn more about Barclay you can understand how he got through the academy with it's psych and physical evaluations. I would say Barclay was far more suited to a position in a civilian position and consulting for Starfleet. That said at least he didn't go around picked up broken medial containers without gloves or other containment procedures. I wonder how much Starfleet spent on the anti grav sled rather than a wheeled trolley which would do the same job...
I'll admit I said out loud "Shut Up Wesley" when he stepped on Barclay during the staff meeting but at least they did address it and despite some rather petty and cruel name calling (out of place in the era of TNG you would have thought) it seemed everyone eventually got on board with trying to help Barclay. I also have issues with Holodeck use, a thousand crew and it only ever seems to be used when a main episode character requires it after all Barclay was on duty a lot of time he was using it so what were the other two shifts doing during their downtime. As for hijacking the physical and psych profiles to use in an entertainment programme surely would be against regs regardless of what Geordie said. After all that though the episode was just about saved by Picard when he he said "What the hell happened" seemed out of place but loved the slight exasperation from the Captain:)
Note to the designers of the Enterprise, a physical override if you please and since when did the Enterprise in it's early TNG voyagers have issues with speeds up to 9.9 at the very least?

Hollow Pursuits has it's plus points, there is some humour but a lot of it is forced and wanders to much into farce although it was good to see both Picard and Guinan being the enlightened elders of the ship although the points they made are just as relevant today. I like Dwight Schultz and thankfully his performance of Barclay grows significantly, credit to him and the writers but overall this is an average episode of TNG.
Rating 6




Sunday, 10 May 2015

Enterprise NCC 1701 E

I wasn't planning on getting the Enterprise E from Diamond Select / Art Asylum but would you accept that I needed something to bump up the price and get the free delivery ?
No I didn't think so :)
A very well built and slick looking model, a slight edge on the Enterprise A and original models and a much better stand which hasn't always been a bugbear of mine.


Additions to my Reading List

Well putting aside my very buoyant kindle library I also picked up a couple of Star Trek original series paperbacks Crisis of Consciousness by Dave Galanter and Savage Trade by Tony Daniel, I also bought the novel The Ables by Jeremy Scott the guy behind Cinema Sins.


My Random Journey Through Trek #34

Desert Crossing
Enterprise

On their way to Risa for a little shore leave the Enterprise picks up a distress call and they rendezvous with a small one man ship, they retrieve the ship and make repairs and the pilot Zobral offers the Captain and Trip the hospitality of his home in thanks. They are reluctant but agree and take a shuttle to his desert world and they share a meal and take part in a sporting event before getting a call from T'Pol who has been in contact with the Chancellor of a nearby city. It seems these desert dwellers are considered to be terrorists and when confronted Zobral admits they brought Archer and the Enterprise to the planet under false pretenses. He reveals that his people were being repressed and despite political changes the majority are still denying the same rights to his people and thus a strategy of attacks and bombings are under way with the desert providing safety and cover for their groups. Soon after the camp comes under attack from security forces and in the chaos Archer and Trip escape into the desert but with little water and far to travel things do not look good.
Clancy Brown as Zobral
So even in 2152 Risa had a well oiled marketing machine for being the resort spot for space faring species, good to know but it seems Porthos and the crew will have to wait since Archer has put being polite to Zobral (yes Clancy Brown rocks) ahead of the well being of the rest of the his people. It's also reassuring to see a simple welding job I assume fixing the micro fractures in the ship, not exactly 22nd century though and boy was it a tight fit getting through the landing bay doors!
I'm not quite sure I could reconcile the simple desert lifestyle with the ftl capable ships his people used but given Zobral was being a little underhand maybe this camp was more for show although the security forces are pretty ineffective given their access to satellites and associated technologies. A raised eyebrow that the cat fish loving trip had issues with snake or "essence of the male" but I guess that was a little humour injected into the story but surely the lacrosse "playing with the boys" scene provided all the laughs required:)
I liked the discussion between T'Pol and Hoshi which was exploring the idea of a prime directive, it felt forced but certainly the series should be exploring the issues involved with some casual decisions dealing with ongoing relationships and first contact. Desert Crossing did look great so as always credit to the cinematographer and the episode's director, the location shooting looked very good and even the intercut studio scenes worked pretty well with the only negative being the CGI which at times looked a little cartoony.

I'd have to say Desert Crossing was a solid Archer episode but not the most exciting although Clancy Brown never disappoints and as such it was one I wasn't really excited to see come up via the random number generator but hey there are worse:)
Rating 5





Sunday, 3 May 2015

My Random Journey Through Trek #33

Star Trek The Animated Series
More Tribbles, More Troubles

The Enterprise is escorting two grain ships to Shermans Planet bringing the now Federation colony the much prized Quintotriticale when they detect a Klingon cruiser firing on a Federation registered scout ship well within the boundaries of Federation control. Kirk orders warp 6 to intercept and Scotty attempts to beam the pilot of the scout onboard but the Klingons after seemingly toying with the scout destroy the ship and then turn on the Enterprise.
The rumoured new weapon is used to cripple the Enterprise and Koloth the Klingon commander demands the return of the pilot of the scout for Ecological crimes against the Empire and as Scotty finally completes that very tricky transport process we find it's Cyrano Jones and his tribbles.
Kirk learns that he still has control of the "robot" grain ships so uses them as rather large weapons and when the Klingons try to immobilise them the power drain is too great and their new weapon fails, the Klingons flee.
Koloth
Cyrano claims that the tribbles are now safe since they can not breed but alas they still eat everything in their path but he has an artificially created tribble killer called a Glommer which proves less successful as it's prey grows ever larger. The Klingons return and once again capture the Enterprise and demand the return of their Glommer, it turns out Cyrano stole it after selling tribbles on a Klingon world and all they want is their solution returned as it's the first of it's kind. Kirk has Scotty beam a bunch of uber large tribbles onto the Klingon ship then does a deal with Koloth to return the Glommer and for hostilities to cease.

This is the first of the animated series that has turned up on the random rewatch and it is one of the better ones drawing from the original series Trouble with Tribbles and of course written by David Gerrold. The episode is firmly tongue in cheek ramping up the comedic elements we first saw in the original series and for most part paying off especially the final comments from both Kirk and Koloth.
I wasn't overly keen on the grain ship design, didn't seem sensible for a large bulk transport and until I realised the Klingons wanted to capture the scout ship I had to say they were awful shots but later they have pinpoint accuracy, much better. While the new weapon certainly proved useful in damping modern power systems you wonder if simple ballistic chemical powered missiles and reaction firearms would still work providing a ship with a partial defence. 
I also wondered what the hell they were doing when they demonstrated the Glommer killing a tribble, that's like bringing a snake and then letting it eat a hamster just for the show, thankfully it was off screen. I was also a little concerned over the Klingon sidearms which you would assume could easily vaporise a tribble especially a big one but nope the damn things break apart into hundreds of smaller ones, fun but not realistic (yeah I know).
Still it gave us Koloth saying "Don't do that again" and then Kirk recreating his tribble avalanche with "Someday I'll learn", both had me smiling.

Overall More Tribbles, More Troubles was a good example of the animated series, lots of flaws but made for a young audience and die hard fans:)

Rating 7