Better late than never, it’s a Pilot Era post
First aired: 26th September 1987
Patrick Stewart – Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes – Commander Will Riker
Brent Spiner – Lieutenant Commander Data
Michael Dorn – Lieutenant Worf
Denise Crosbie – Lieutenant Tasha Yar
Levar Burton – Lieutenant Geordi LaForge
Gates McFadden – Doctor Beverley Crusher
Marina Sirtis – Counsellor Deanna Troi
Michael Bell – GropplerZorn
Will Wheaton – Wesley Crusher
John deLancie – Q
Spin Off Specifics:
Where did is spin-off from? Star Trek
When did it spin-off from? This season started 19 years after the original series ended.
What is different? It’s premise remains the same, the adventures of the Enterprise, but it’s 100 years later and as such a new crew, new technologies and new uniforms.
Was it necessary? Not as such, but recent movies had really envigorated peoples love of the franchise, inspiring this return to Trek on TV.
How did it compare? Very…
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I go to work, it’s fairly negative right now. I put on the TV, it’s fairly negative right now. I go out, oh wait no I don’t.
The point is, there’s a lot of reasons to not be cheerful, so I want to do some about positive stuff.
I was a kid in the 80’s. That was a bit of a magical time, new technology appearing all the time, some of the best kids TV in years, some of the best toys that went with it and a lot of my childhood was happy. One positive was that there was a guy who drove round the streets where I lived renting video tapes. I watched a lot of films during that era, but one thing I also did was watch my first few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Now, with the clarity of hindsight, I can see the flaws of that show, it’s re-tread scripts and wonky special effects of the early seasons, but to a 12 year old boy, this was magical. So despite the ground-breaking nature of the original series, or that Deep Space Nine is hands down a better show, TNG has a special place in my heart. When it ended, I was sad, but then we got the 4 films of lets say varying quality, but by the end of Star Trek: Nemesis I was glad to say goodbye. But I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t curious about what happened to the crew of the USS Enterprise E and it’s Captain, Jean-Luc Picard.
Clearly, I was not alone.
Amazon released the series earlier this year with a 11 episode run set in the timeline of the Next Generation, but two decades after Nemesis and years after the fall of Romulus depicted in the J.J. Abrams helmed Stark Trek XI. I was apprehensive, there’s been a lot of revival/reunion shows recently. This is often a sign of a lack of new ideas and a slavish devotion to our beloved shows of the past. I was less than keen on the overall idea.
I watched it of course, because I am undeniably a Trekkie.
The show first aired 24 January 2020 and the cast was:-
Patrick Stewart – Jean-Luc Picard
Allison Pill – Dr. Agnes Jurati
Isa Briones – Dahj/Soji
Michelle Hurd – Raffi Muskier
Santiago Cabera – Capt. Cristobal Rios
Harry Treadaway – Narek
Evan Evagora – Elnor
Jeri Ryan – 7 of 9
….and more besides.
This show is the story of Jean-Luc living in isolation on his family’s vineyard. He’s retreated there after storming out of Starfleet years earlier. He’s embittered and angry but is drawn back into things when a woman is on the run and somehow knows he can help. After many years, there’s a mission. He gets a crew, hires a ship and heads out into space. It doesn’t matter that he has a brain anomaly that will most likely kill him soon, someone needs to be saved.
The story was tightly plotted, the dialogue was fairly witty and the tone matched the time it was show, which was pretty bleak, but it’s the performances that make this work and Patrick Stewart is still as strong a presence as he ever was when he first put on the uniform. It played with themes of regret, of seeing something you believed in fail and how anger costs you. One thing it didn’t do is play to the myth of the old hero, who is as strong as he was 30 years ago. This Picard is an old man, struggling to keep up with the younger cast and battling health issues. Then we have the whole anti-artificial intelligence plot and the mystery of Data’s legacy and there’s a really exciting and interesting story going on here. The effects were good, fantastic actions scenes and even a few easter-eggs for the long time fans. I watched it weekly, downloading each episode as it dropped.
If you have ever enjoyed Star Trek it’s worth checking out, but if you haven’t it’s still a very well made TV show with an excellent cast and was a reminder that this franchise can have more than one type of show and work. If they left it at this one, I’d be perfectly content, but am also glad that they haven’t and look forward to whatever they do next and that isn’t a small thing in a TV landscape that I am less and less invested in. It was also sort of adorable that his dog was called ‘Number One.’
Take care of yourself everyone.
It’s another fabulous first issue
Sensational She-Hulk # 1 – January 1989
Why I picked this comic: After the more straight forward and serious minded Nova, I wanted to do something a little bit more silly. It was John Byrne at his height with a series that was chock full of witty dialogue and 4th wall breaking. If Nova was too earnest, this was the antidote.
The Comic Itself: Second chances: written and pencilled by John Byrne with inks by Bob Wiacek.. Jennifer Walters the Sensational She-Hulk is testing her strength and dexterity at a nearby circus. Unbeknownst to her, 2nd string villain team The Headmen have hired the 3rd string villains Ringmaster and his Circus of Crime to learn everything about She-Hulk and her invite was a ruse. Hypnotising her the Ringmaster gets a breakdown of her history. We learn of her past as a lawyer and how her involvement in a case…
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It’s been a while internet people. I haven’t had the time, nor really the inclination to write anything for a while, even my regular projects have fallen a bit by the wayside.
Since I last posted, we are still in lockdown, here in Blighty the government has decided to change their official policy from one of clear advice and instruction to vague handwavy suggestions. So instead of stay at home unless you are in a key or essential job, we have go into work if you can’t work at home, but don’t use public transportation. You can go to the park, but you still can’t go and see friends and loved ones at home, you can see a friend in public, but not be close to them. You can go and exercise as much as you want, but there’s no gyms. It has been somewhat confusing. We are getting daily briefings, but less and less actual information is getting across. So lockdown continues, death-tolls rise and we somehow know even less than we did in the past.
It’s been a scary and also somehow boring time and this has created unique mental health stresses in unexpected places. I am still in work, my work is not healthcare essential, but I am a key worker in that I am in financial services and people still want paying in this situation. With my wife (the MIGHTY Rosie) working from home, it wouldn’t be practical for both of us to do so, so I go to work every day as usual. The unusual is the workload, the constant interruptions and the no knowing when things would get back to normal. Giselle the dept manager was off last week, I can understand that, I genuinely can, but it dropped me and the Disney Princess into a huge vat of the brown stuff. It got so bad that she had a bit of what she called a breakdown on Friday. It was difficult to see that, partially because I know how that feels and no one wants to do that in front of people at work. The other reason is that I couldn’t just go over and hug her. She’s not a hugger really and with people I am not close to neither am I, but I would have anyway except for social distancing. The company’s director (also her brother) came in and offered to do all kinds to help, yet when I spend 2 years complaining about how we are understaffed and over worked, nowt. Still it looks like we are getting help and that sounds like a good thing. But whilst most people are working from home or not working, I am working twice as hard as ever and feeling the strain. I get up, go to work, go home for lunch, go back to work, go home. Every day of the week and I have been feeling the strain.
When the announcement came that schools would re-open early June, my primary though was “that’s nice, but my son won’t be going in.” We’ve something like the highest infection rates in Europe and we need to be sending children into places were social distancing won’t be viable. Have you tried keeping 4 year olds away from one another? Try it, it’s like herding cats. Even if children aren’t catching it as much, they’ll still carry it from their homes to one another and this looks likely to increase the rate of infection. Science may not back me up, but it still seems too soon to be doing this and it be safe. It turns out that our city Mayer agrees and Liverpool (along with Hartlepool) have chosen to defy this June return date. Our city has decided not to reopen schools on the basis of public safety. I am in the position of being proud of a political body in this country. That is a bizarre feeling I must admit. The safety and well being of my son has been my focus in this era, getting him to focus on reading and learning while he is off, making sure he keeps social distance from everyone, even his devoted grandparents and trying to manage his hayfever in an increasing warm climate is the thing that I am focused on, so I don’t see him going back to school straight away, even if other kids do. It does make me look like a bit of an anti-vaxxer, but I get the feeling that this is an unprecedented enough situation to get me the benefit of the doubt, I want his life to get back to normal as soon as possible, but never at the expense of his well being and safety.
So these are the things that are going through my head right now, well at least some of them and I felt the need to get these things out there. But here’s the thing, it’s not all doom and gloom and I feel like I need to get some positives out there.
1: My love of comics has made a resurgence, despite all of the local comic shops being closed and the distribution being stopped, I have been re-reading lots of comics as well as using the sales at Comixology to enjoy new things. DC comics have started doing digital first comics, 17-22 page one and done comics that aren’t so continuity heavy and aimed at younger and laspsed readers. They have been really entertaining and at 80p per issue, really well priced. Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and the Flash all have one and I have been really enjoying them. I think there is a Swamp Thing and a DC Girls one too, but I haven’t been reading those.
2: Local shops have become a staple of my shopping in a way that they haven’t been for years. There’s a bakers that sells the cream soda that you used to get from the lemonade van that used to visit the streets where I lived during my childhood and that’s been a lovely slice of my childhood brought back. I have also spent money at a butchers and a fruit and veg shop nearby as well as several corner shops and newsagents, rather than visit Asda or Tesco and deal with queues and shortages. Asda and companies like that will be fine, so these smaller outfits need our support and our £s.
3: Delivery businesses. There are local firms that deliver fruit & veg and others that do cakes and treats and as a result I have had some lovely cupcakes recently. I know I should be eating better right now, but damn that’s been some tasty stress eating.
4: Whilst I have not been able to binge watch TV, I have been able to enjoy what has been available and will be posting about that soon enough, but I have been able to enjoy a re-watch of How I Met Your Mother with SuperSam and the MIGHTY Rosie, a Power Rangers re-watch with Super-Sam and Grey’s Anatomy with the MIGHTY Rosie. I also watched the ‘documentary’ Chris Claremont’s X-Men, which I found interesting.
5: I have started exercising in the morning, some pull ups, push ups and stuff and now have a fitness tracker on my wrist (wow that’s a high pulse rate) and it’s kept my physical well being close to the front of my mind, which it should have been anyway and that early exercise has helped start my days off well.
6: My people. From the extended family I can only contact via social media, to my family (the aforementioned MIGHTY Rosie and SuperSam together with Lottie the Loopydog) my people have been the best thing about all this. SuperSam is reading stuff that I have given to him and we are walking the dog together and enjoying one another’s company. The MIGHTY Rosie and I are talking more and whilst we are both suffering in our mental health, we are talking about it more and being more of a team than we have in years, a year ago things were falling apart, but now even with the world ending outside our door we are good with and for one another.
7: It’s going to be okay.
I am not by nature an optimist, I suffer from anxiety and depression and as a result the negative is never too far away, but I honestly believe it’s going to all work out. The pandemic has exposed the ‘leaders’ in this world as being as uncaring as we feared, that the system is rigged against us and that all we are in reality all just in it together. But we are all in this together. Strangers say hello from 6 feet away, “Stay safe” has become the new “see you later.” We finally recognise our healthcare workers as the super heroes that they are and we are using social media to care for one another in a way we haven’t been for a long time. These are scary times, people are dying, but this shall pass and one day this will be alright and we will be able to walk in the sun again. We will be okay and if you are reading this, I hope that includes you. Well this random bit of verbal incontinence is done, take care of yourselves.
The next fabulous first issue
The Man Called Nova # 1 – September 1976
Why I picked this comic: My previous post was on the dawn of the Silver Age, but as much as the Silver Age was kicked off by DC, this blog is called My Marvel Life, so we also need to look at the birth of the Marvel Age of Comics. The legend of the comic, where Martin Goodman told the dissatisfied Stan Lee to make a team of super-heroes to match DC’s Justice League. Stan wanted to quite, but his wife convinced him to try and write the comic he’d read and if it didn’t work, then quit. Taking the monster comics of the 1950’s and adding a super-hero flavour to it, enabled this epoch making creative team to produce something a little bit special. No Fantastic Four 1, no Marvel. There was no way that I wasn’t going to include…
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It’s Thursday, it’s Pilot Era
First aired:3rd April 1971
Hiroshi Fujioka – Takeshi Hongo
Akiji Kobayashi – Tobei Tachibana
Chieko Morikawa – Ruriko Midorika
Yoko Shimada – Hiromi Nohara
Goro Naya – Voice of the Leader of Shocker
Shinji Nakae – Narrator
Hiroya Ishimaru/ Eiji Maruyama – Shocker scientists
Ryuji Saikachi – The Mysterious Spider Man
Plot: A mysterious spider-creature lies in wait. Nearby a motorcycle rider called Hongo, taking time from his research scientist job at a local university, trains for an upcoming race with his coach Mr Tachibana. Hongo is soon followed by a group of motorcycle riders, he isn’t too concerned, but sees another group approaching from ahead of him. He is able to lose them, but doubles back on himself, curious about what is going on. A trio of masked women and a larger than expected spider-web cause him to crash, changing everything.
He wakes up on a sort…
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The first proper Fabulous First Issue post
Showcase 4: October 1956
I picked this because: If you are going to do a blog about 1st issues, then how can you not start with the beginning of the Silver Age and super-hero comics’ comeback.
With the end of WWII, the popularity of the superhero waned, by the late 40’s and early 50’s only Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were ongoing concerns at DC Comics. Editor Julius ‘Julie’ Schwartz made the choice to bring some of the other Golden Age characters back, people like the Flash, Green Lantern, the Atom and Hawkman. He took the names and some of the basic ideas and created a new sci-fi take on these heroes, but none of this would have been done without the first of these, replacing Jay Garrick as the Flash with Barry Allen. If that hadn’t worked, the entire Silver Age wouldn’t have happened, Timely wouldn’t have become Marvel…
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