The Twentieth Anniversary of the Twentieth Anniversary of Star Trek

 

 

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The Twentieth Anniversary of the Twentieth Anniversary of Star Trek

(Originally published in issue 10 of Neo-opsis.)

The first aired episode of Star Trek was “The Man Trap,” originally broadcast on September 8, 1966.

(The fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek is September 6, 2016, which is the date the episode "The Man Trap" was released in Canada, 2 days before it was released in the US.)

 

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          One need not be religious to recognize that there has been a significant impact on society by people like Moses, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Krishna, or Mohammed. One need not be a scientist, to realize that people like Galileo Galilei, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla or Richard Feynman have had a significant impact on society. Similarly, one need not be a follower of Kirk, Spock, McCoy or Scotty, to recognize that Star Trek has had a significant impact on society

          Many shows wind up with some extremely devoted fans, but unlike all others, the original Star Trek pilot episode, “The Cage,” came with a warning to potential fans. A warning similar to the health notes on the side of cigarette packages. The story featured Talosians with the power of illusion and the ability to live and feel the experiences others go through (real or illusionary). They also play back and live through recordings of these experiences. The warning to potential fanatical fans was presented as dialog between the two main characters of the episode:

 

Captain Pike: “So the Talosians who came underground found life limited here, and they concentrated on developing their mental power.”

Vina: “But they found it’s a trap, like a narcotic. Because when dreams become more important than reality, you give up travel, building, creating. You even forget how to repair the machines left behind by your ancestors. You just sit, living and reliving other lives left behind in the thought record.”

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Susan Oliver and Jeffrey Hunter.

          Star Trek has inspired some fans to produce artwork, poetry, prose, costumes, props, movies, animations, etc. Star Trek has inspires some to produce technology, paralleling the devices found in the show. Star Trek has inspired some to try to make the world a place where people can get along, regardless of race, sex, etc. Star Trek has also inspired some to re-watch Trek episodes over and over and over, without the slightest heed to Vina’s apt warning.

          In my case, I was inspired to contribute to the betterment of mankind by adding some devastatingly funny captions to photos of Star Trek characters.

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             Not all ideas in Star Trek have come to fruition. This isn’t a bad thing in all cases. One of the devices commonly used on the show kills people by disassembling all of the atoms comprising their body. The device then creates a new person somewhere else, who thinks he’s the original person. For some reason, they give this nasty device the innocuous name ‘transporter.’ Most of the crew, and their subsequent copies, have no problem with this. Personally, I’m not too pumped on the idea of being killed, all so that some other collection of matter and energy somewhere else, can have the privilege of becoming sentient, self-aware, and having my memories and other attributes.

 

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        A noteworthy point about the starship Enterprise, is that it doesn’t have any toilets (or rather, none have been shown on any of the episodes). Perhaps this can be explained by considering other uses for the ‘transporter’ than routinely killing and copying the crew. With fine enough control, one could use a device like the ‘transporter’ to selectively disassemble the atoms comprising urine and feces, inside the bodies of the crewman. If the crewmen get quite used to such a system, most of the crew might wet themselves within a few hours of any power failures on the ship. Alternately, crewman might simply urinate or defecate anywhere they want, with the ‘transporter’ set to intercept and disassemble the atoms of the waste material before it lands on the floor.

 

        One ‘prediction’ made in the episode “The Ultimate Computer” paralleled a technology that seems about to come to fruition. It was mentioned that the Federation computers used ‘duotronic’ components, but that the M5 computer in this episode used ‘multitronic’ components. Real world binary computers arguably parallel the fictitious duotronics. Recent experiments into ‘spintronics’ should allow for circuits with more than the two states, on and off, that are used in binary systems. This could easily be referred to as ‘multitronic.’ Spintronics could give people yet another reason to assume their current computer is too damn slow, and that they need a new one.

M5 (Multitronic 5) computer. The visual interface, featuring thin rectangular lights and a round screen with swirly colours, was so popular, that the same interface was used by Gary 7 on his computer in the episode “Assignment Earth.” The Atavachron, the control device for a time travel machine used on the planet Sarpeidon, featured a similar design.

 

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Nomad

        Much has been made of the inconsistencies in Star Trek from episode to episode. Some account for this by pointing out that the show had multiple writers, and no writer had the task of arcing the stories over time and forcing consistency on the series. While these are clearly factors, I suggest another explanation. The episode “Mirror Mirror featured a ‘transporter’ incident, where Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and Uhura (rather, new copies of them created by the ‘transporter’) appear in a ‘parallel universe’. (They even managed to swap uniforms with their counterparts from the other universe.) I think the “Mirror Mirror story is clearly and unambiguously telling us that each of the episodes of Trek take place in slightly different universes, neatly explaining most of the inconsistencies. This is also the only conceivable answer as to why in Star Trek the Motion Picture, when the crew met V’Ger (an early human space probe that disappeared, and came back looking for Earth, billions of times more powerful than when it left), not one of the crew said, “Hey, this is just like that time with Nomad.” Nomad, from the episode “The Changeling,” was also an early human space probe that disappeared, and came back looking for Earth, billions of times more powerful than when it left. They were from a universe where they hadn’t met Nomad.

        The episode “Day of the Dove” featured a non-corporeal alien that feeds on hate and has the power to induce violent feelings in others. The Federation in the “Mirror Mirror universe has numerous similarities to the universe Kirk and crew arrived from, other than that they are a bunch of extremely nasty sorts. The “Mirror Mirror universe seems to be one in which the hate feeding creatures have taken up permanent residence.

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        Star Trek had ‘humanoid’ life forms living throughout the galaxy. This is unlikely in the extreme. An attempt to hand wave away this unlikelihood was done in the episode “Bread and Circuses.” This planet in this episode is Earth-like, with humans living in a society one might expect if the Roman Empire had lasted until the 20th century. Kirk asked why there were humanoids throughout the galaxy and Spock said something about Hodgkin’s law of parallel planetary development. This sounded scientific, but was of course pretty much as useful as answering the question, “Why is the sky blue?” with “Hodgkin’s law of blue skies.”

 

 

        In the episode “Return to Tomorrow,” a half million year old alien named Sargon, mentions that their race seeded humanoids throughout the galaxy. Of course, a more apt answer to why human-like aliens were common, was because classic Trek had a low budget for creating aliens. Unfortunately some of the later Trek series, which had better budgets, more advanced special effects and make up techniques, rarely had aliens that were aught but human actors with silly putty stuck to their heads. Even though most classic Trek aliens looked pretty much human, the show also had some fairly alien aliens. The group shot at the beginning of this article includes a Gorn, a Horta, a Mugatu, a Salt Vampire, a Tribble, two Pyris, a neural parasite, and a dressed up little dog from Alfa 177.

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Sargon’s napping sphere. The sphere got a later gig as part of a Romulan cloaking device in “The Enterprise Incident.”

 

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Even when competing with more modern Trek series, classic Trek is still popular, as originally filmed and now with updated special effects.

 

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Original Special effects.

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Remastered special effects.

 

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The crew of the Enterprise on Dark Star night.

 

Have you ever wondered why control panels explode in Star Trek?

 

 

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Star Trek Videos

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfpYsAdS0r0

Who was the worst villain in the classic Star Trek series? This video series examines various adversaries in Star Trek and compares them to Khan (from the episode "Space Seed," and the movie Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan") who is claimed in the movie Star Trek: Into Darkness to be "the most formidable adversary the Enterprise ever faced."

 

This video compares Khan to Balok from the episode, "The Corbomite Manuever." Where No Man has Gone Before."

New June, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

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Star Trek Stamps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEx14rXboZM

A look at the Star Trek stamps and coins we purchased.

New May, 2016

 

 

The Worst Star Trek Villain: Part Two
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8IOU3GV6UI

Who was the worst villain in the classic Star Trek series? This video series examines various adversaries in the show and compares them to Khan (from the episode "Space Seed," and the movie Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan") who is claimed in the movie Star Trek: Ascent into Darkness to be "the most formidable adversary the Enterprise ever faced."
This first video compares Khan to the adversaries in the second pilot episode, "Where No Man has Gone Before."

New March 2016

 

Star Trek Captain’s Chair

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvR2HAAsBmU

Editor Karl Johanson tries out his inflatable Star Trek chair at Cox Bay, near Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park, on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.

Also appearing in the video are Emily Kazanowski and Wendy Lightbody, and Isaac the dog.
New Sept 14, 2015.

 

The Worst Star Trek Villain: Part One
Who was the worst villain in the classic Star Trek series? This video series examines various adversaries in the show and compares them to Khan (from the episode "Space Seed," and the movie Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan") who is claimed in the movie Star Trek: Ascent into Darkness to be "the most formidable adversary the Enterprise ever faced."
This first video compares Khan to the adversaries in the pilot episode, "The Cage." Parts of the episode "The Cage" were used in the two part episode,

"The Menagerie."

New August 2015

 

Phaser Sale!

A phaser prop used in Classic Star Trek is going up for auction. Karl is offering his phaser for a hugely discounted price instead.

New Jan 2015

Star Trek Shiver Syndrome

Classic Star Trek animation.

Mr. Sulu on a frozen planet.

Created using Go Animate:

 

Zombie Kirk

Editor Karl Johanson wore multiple costumes for ‘Halloweek” at his job at ParetoLogic. He combined his Zombie Day costume and his “Science Fiction Day” costume for this brief video tribute to the classic Star Trek Episode “Spock’s Brain.”

 

Largest Star Trek Drawing Ever
Long Beach, BC.

 

    Drawing Captain Picard in the sand at Long Beach, BC. In Pacific Rim National Park.

    Filmed by Stephanie Ann Johanson.

 

Star Trek happy Birthday Animation

    A Star Trek Happy Birthday wish, created at http://goanimate.com/ A happy birthday from Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Sulu, Checkov, Scotty, Chapel, two red shirts, a Klingon, and an Orion.

 

Doodle Trek

Doodle Trek

    Some hand drawn Trek animation I did in 1987. I filmed it with a Super 8 camera in 1993. I had it telecined to DVD in 2009, then converted it to WMV and added sound in 2010. There's a bit of dirt & some scratches on the film and some compression artifacting from the DVD conversion.

Picard Gorn

Captain Picard and the Gorn

    Short animated movie about an alien encounter. I put this together in 2007 or so. This is my second Picard cartoon, as he's about the only character I can draw somewhat consistently.
    Produced with PhotoShop and AVI Constructor.

 

Trek Phaser Bouncey

Star Trek: Phaser Bounce

    A Trek cartoon I put together a few years ago.
    Produced with PhotoShop and AVI Constructor.

Trek Episode

Star Trek: The Search for an Episode

    Trek Animation - created at http://goanimate.com/.

    The Classic Trek characters go on a search for a new episode.
    Writing, production and some background and prop art by Karl Johanson. Additional backgrounds and props, as well as input on dialogue, character motion and scene timing by and Stephanie Ann Johanson. The art which isn't from GoAnimate.com (such as the blown up computers and the inside of the cave) was produced using PhotoShop 7. Elevator music by Wendy Lightbody

Transporter

Transporter

    A server cage showed up in the office at my old job. It sat in the entrance for a few weeks and lots of people wondered what it was, so I made this video and emailed it to everyone. (No audio.)

 

 

Karl Johanson

Editor of Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine

(Extended version of the original article, from issue 10 of Neo-opsis. Dec 29, 2013. Updated March 11, 2015.)

 

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