Thursday, 8 September 2016

Simon: Star Trek 50th Anniversary Year Challenge (with question templates)

Hi guys
Before I start I just want to say that, I know that I've already done something similar to this six months ago (in March). So this must seem like a bit of a 'cope out' from me.
I admit it kind of is...but I think Star Trek's 50th Anniversary's only going to come around once, so I might as well make the most of it!
I'd also like to say that I've got two other Blog posts in 'the works', one that I'm going finish after this (My Personal Heroes- Freedom and Peace).
The other, is one I think you'll like as it's a follow up to another one of my (more popular) Blog posts!

As you know today marks the fiftieth Anniversary of the Star Trek franchise, when on September 8th 1966 Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) aired for the first time (“The Man Trap”).

Starting a franchise which (currently) features 726 episodes (excluding Star Trek Discovery), 13 films and 100’s of books (and comics).
Obviously, this opens up an awful lot of ‘friendly debates’ between Trekkers or Trekkies alike. Each fan with their own personal story behind why they’ve become a lifelong devotee of the franchise.

Here’s my ‘current’ (as most change frequently) answers below. Anything written in a bold font is an answer I’ll always give the same response to!

Why not have a go at answering the questions (challenge) below via the two templates I've made available over at our Dropbox account.
The templates consist of an 'original version' (found on social media) and 'my edited version'. Both are fundamentality the same...but I've made a few slight tweaks (or improvements). Which I think covers the franchises 50th Anniversary better!
Once you've chosen which one you want to use, share it with your Trekker/Trekkie friends so that we can help the franchise celebrate the big 5-0!!!

Who or what is your Favourite;
My answers

1. Overall Favourite series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
I consider Star Trek: The Next Generation my overall favourite series, because it's the series that got me into the franchise originally. Meaning that it's a show very close to my heart, both sentimentally and nostalgically.
A ship, and crew I will always love!
2. Overall Favourite episode: “All Good Things…” (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
I consider "All Good Things..." to be my overall favourite episode, because it's a really fitting send off for the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast.
As it manages to combine some the series greatest hits, including John De Lancie's Q perfectly. Who they manage to neatly interweave into the main Time Travel plot brilliantly (as it links back to the series pilot episode).
Talking of which, the three time periods used ("Encounter at Farpoint", the present day and 25 years into the future) are faithfully created, bringing back some familiar faces including Denise Crosby's Lieutenant Tasha Yar & Colm Meaney's Chief Miles O'Brien.
Quite simply a masterpiece of an episode, and definitely well worth a watch!
3. Favourite Mirror universe episode: “In a Mirror Darkly” (Star Trek: Enterprise)
When your talking about the Mirror universe, you can not forget to mention Star Trek's only episode to take place entirely in that universe...“In a Mirror Darkly”.
As from the word go (special modified opening titles sequence) they take you into that 'world'. An incredible episode, with a clever piece of continuity with the U.S.S. Defiant (Constitution Class). Linking “In a Mirror Darkly” with the Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) episode "The Tholian Web".
4. Favourite Time travel episode: Time’s Arrow (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Time's Arrow has always been an episode I've looked on favourably, as I think the Predestination Paradox works perfectly.
I love the way that the crew is sent back in time to 19th Century San Francisco, putting them in the 'fish out of water' scenario. It's also brilliant episode as on top of that we get a glimpse into the mysterious Picard/Guinan relationship/friendship.
Which is never gone into too much detail, making you curious just how far it went!   

5. Favourite Federation starship: Post Nemesis U.S.S. Enterprise-E NCC 1701-E 
6. Favourite starship class: Sovereign Class
Being a 'ship geek' I found these very difficult questions to answer, mainly as there are so many iconic starships in Star Trek history.
But for me the Sovereign Class Enterprise-E best incorporates Starfleet 24th century design. Melding design and functionality, making it a thing of beauty.   

7. Favourite small spaceship (auxiliary craft): Type 11 shuttle
Similarly to the Sovereign Class Enterprise-E, the Type 11 shuttle is my favourite auxiliary craft as it seamlessly combines the functionality and design required in a shuttle.
A shuttle which completely suits the look (and feel) of the Enterprise-E...even though the cockpit set is (one of the numerous) redresses of the (Danube class) Runabout set, I still love it!
8. Favourite alien starship: Gomtuu
Just like many other questions in this challenge, This was a very difficult question to answer. As there are so many well designed alien starships created throughout Star Trek's run.
But for me nothing could be more 'alien' than the beautifully designed mysterious Gomtuu. An alive sentient starship capable of immense power, and able to support a (humanoid) crew.

9. Favourite Klingon character: General Martok (J.G. Hertzler)
Another difficult question here, as there are so many amazing Klingons. But for me Martok is such a great character, all down to J.G. Hertzler's portrayal of him.
I think out of all the Klingons we get to encounter throughout Star Trek's history Martok is the most stereotypically 'Klingon'...and it's that what makes him so great.
He reacts to things as a Klingon should, and manages to get Worf to 'come out of his shell' something no one else was able to do it!

10. Favourite Vulcan character: Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy)
When your talking about Vulcans, there's only one person you can really be talking about...Ambassador Spock.
Played by Leonard Nimoy, who not only embraced the character...but embodied it. He made the character (and Vulcan race) his own, building on this Jewish upbringing.
Inventing the universally famous Vulcan Nerve Pinch, Vulcan Salute and the equally famous Vulcan Mind Meld.  

11. Favourite Romulan character: Commander Toreth (Carolyn Seymour)
For this choice I've had to go a bit 'left field', as Jamie rightly pointed out to me (when we were talking about the challenge) "there aren't that many [Romulans] to choose from".

So I've chosen a Carolyn Seymour's portrayal of Commander Toreth seen in "Face of the Enemy" as opposed to her other Romulan appearance as Sub-Commander Taris in "Contagion".
Because I feel that Commander Toreth is one of the most stereotypical Romulans we ever encountered.
Cold, suspicious and deceitful are some of her better qualities (at least by Romulan standards)...but it are these traits which make her fantastic to watch!

12. Favourite Ferengi character: Rom (Max Grodénchik)
As I said in our Star Trek Role Model episodes, I'm a big fan of he always reminds me of me. Mainly because he has his very clever moments, but he also has his very stupid moments.
He's also a character who evolved (and developed) throughout the series, becoming quite a powerful figure in the Star Trek universe!

13. Favourite Bajorian character: Vedek Bareil Antos (Philip Anglim)

Vedek Bareil has been someone I've always liked, as he's just good honest man. Attempting to do the right thing in impossible situations. I thought his relationship with Major Kira was a great way to integrate him into some episodes.
He also had an interesting relationship with Kai Winn, effectively countering her personality. Making some great viewing! 

14. Favourite Cardassian character: Tora Ziyal (Cyia Batten, Tracy Middendorf & Melanie Smith)
Ziyal's always been an interesting character to me, as (like many other characters) she's "trapped between two worlds" (Bajor & Cardassia). That couldn't have been further apart from one another.
On top of that she's also the daughter of Gul Dukat, which obviously complicates matters.
Her internal optimism and joy of life makes her a fun character to watch.

15. Favourite Andorian character: Commander Thy'lek Shran (Jeffery Combs)
Just like with the Romulans, there are a handful of Andorians to choose from. So Once again I've had to choose the most obvious choice. Partly because of the lack of candidates...but also because Thy'lek Shran (and Jeffery Combs by extension) is amazing!

16. Favourite Planet: Risa
This is a typically obvious answer from me...but who can really say no to a pleasure planet!?
The planet that's got everything you could possible want for Shore Leave, the perfect place to go for hardworking Captains.
So it can't be a bad place to visit for the likes of me!

17. Favourite Captain: Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart)
I chose Captain Jean-Luc Picard, because I think he's such a great role model. Who's so multifaceted...which means he's got so many different 'edges' and 'quirks' to him. That just makes him the most interesting captain of the lot!

18. Favourite First officer: Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes)

As you may expect, I have of course gone for Commander William Riker. This is because he's always been a bit of a Role Model for me. Mostly likely because Riker knows how to "woo" the ladies, someone I'd like to become a Padawan learner to!
A great guy, who I'd like to spend time getting to know...most likely on Shore Leave learning from the master becoming his wingman!!!

19. Favourite Helmsman: Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell)
Ahhh lovely Dax, a women you'd be happy to put at the helm of any starship. Due to her symbiont's lifetime of experiences, which make her wise behind her years.
A fantastically fun personality, making her a laugh to be around. Definitely someone you want on your ship!

20. Favourite Science officer: Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner)
This is another difficult question, as there quite a few good choices (Jadzia Dax & Mr Spock). But for me it's got to be everyone's favourite android Data.
As to put it simply...he's just awesome!

21. Favourite Chief engineer: Lieutenant Commander Scott “Scotty” (James Doohan)
Maybe it's because I've just watched a lot of Star Trek: The Original Series recently, but I really like Scotty's approach to engineering...and life in general (happy go lucky).
I think it's this is what makes him different to all the other Engineers we see, as they take everything too seriously. Scotty (obviously) wants to explore the universe...but he wants to have fun doing it!

22. Favourite Doctor: Doctor Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden)
I've always like Doctor Crusher's style of medicine. As I think she's got a great bedside manner, which I believe helps her patients feel better quicker. She's always tries to do the right, even if it puts her in a dangerous situation.
A lovely doctor with a big heart, who's just trying to help people!  

23. Favourite Security chief: Lieutenant Worf Rozhenko (Michael Dorn)
If your talking about Security officers, you can only really be talking about Lieutenant Worf...the one man army!
The man who will always have your back, thanks to amount of weaponry casually displayed all around his quarters.
He'll always fight for the matter of honour, making him a threat to anyone willing to face him!

24. Favourite Communications officer: Ensign Hoshi Sato (Linda Park)
This was a tough question to answer, but I thought it was about time to give Hoshi a bit of the limelight. As I've always felt as though she's always been underappreciated.
A lovely, sweet girl who really knows her area of expertise. Someone you can always rely on!
25. Favourite Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) episode: “The Doomsday Machine”
Honestly whenever I think about Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) episodes this (“The Doomsday Machine”) will always be my first choice, as in my mind (at least) it's a perfect episode!
Brilliant acting, fantastic concept and a real thought provoking Morals, Messages & Meanings concerning the Cold War Arms Race (Mutually Assured Destruction).
26. Favourite Star Trek: The Animated Series (TAS) episode: “Yesteryear”
From Star Trek: The Animated Series (TAS) I've chosen the most famous episode from the twenty two episode run...“Yesteryear”.
Which gives us glimpse at Spock's childhood on Vulcan, thanks to the re-introduction of The Guardian of Forever. First encountered in the Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) episode "The City on the Edge of Forever".

27. Favourite Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) episode: “Contagion”
This was a very difficult question to answer, but after much consideration I decided on the second Season episode “Contagion”.
As it nicely combines drama (destruction of the U.S.S. Yamato) and mystery (Iconians), which is helped by some well interspersed moments of humour! 
28. Favourite Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (DS9) episode: “Destiny”
I've always enjoyed "Destiny", mainly because I love the temporal nature of the episode.
Revolving mainly around the Bajorian prophesy, which strangely enough gets fulfilled...due to what else a well crafted predestination paradox.
A fantastic episode that blends Bajorian spirituality and Starfleet needs beautifully!
29. Favourite Star Trek: Voyager (VOY) episode: “Blink of an Eye”
"Blink of an Eye" is an episode of Voyager I've always had a fondness for as I think it's a fantastic concept concerning mythology and spirituality.
As it always makes me wonder how we'd act if something like this happened in real life...or if it already has?!
Which ultimately might have lead onto the foundations for Greek mythology (a la Apollo in "Who Mourns for Adonais?). 

30. Star Trek: Enterprise (ENT) episode: “Detained”
Now this is another thought provoking episode I just had to choose. Mainly as it deals with so many important Morals, Messages & Meanings.
Concerning predigest, misconceptions & radicalisation all major problems we're still dealing with fourteen years after (at the time that I write this) the original broadcast of the episode (2002).

31. Favourite uniform: Starfleet Dress uniform 2370’s
I chose the 2370's Starfleet Dress uniform because I think it's so stylish, and just so Star Trek!
I think it manages to combine the elements of the standard uniform in such a way that it's something unique.
I don't think it'd be out of place being worn for a modern day concert. Which probably means that it's a pain to wear, but like I say...o so stylish!!!

It's such a favourite of mine, that on Star Trek Online my 'main' character wears it.
As I was so proud for completing the Diplomatic reputation system, and for promoting him to the rank of Ambassador.

32. Favourite quote: “Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It’s continuing mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before…”
What could better embody fifty years of the franchise, than the opening monologue from Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG)!
Need a say more!!!

33. Favourite Drink: Romulan Ale
Having enjoyed a couple of glasses of Romulan Ale (Blue Lagoon cocktail) at the Destination Star Trek 3's (DST3) Friday night Risa party. Which is evident from the (unfortunate) picture Sarah took of me from that night.
In light of this I really can't say anything else in answer to this question!

Read the want to be an intergalactic bartender...but don't know how?! Blog post to find out more!!!

34. Favourite Theme tune: Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG)
Maybe it could just be the nostalgia talking, but for me my favourite opening titles sequence has got to be Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG).

As I think it's a rousing piece of music which gets you pempted up for the episode. I also really enjoy the Observation Lounge 'Easter egg' featured in every opening titles sequence.
With the animated crewmembers (possibly bridge crew?) walking around the Observation Lounge!

35. Favourite “Prime Universe” film: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
36. Favourite soundtrack: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

A film I've always enjoyed, so it wasn't a hard decision choosing it as my favourite “Prime Universe” film. As I think it's got a fantastic plot, which were influenced by events of the time (Chernobyl & the fall of the Berlin Wall).

I've also got to say that part of the reason I chose it is because of the magnificent soundtrack of the film. I especially like the score when the Enterprise is leaving the Spacedock, as it's as though the Enterprise is a bird taking flight going out into the openness of the great unknown!
A great (and fitting) send off for the original cast!!!

37. Favourite actor in a leading role: Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard)
When your talking about the fantastic actors Star Trek's had over the years, you cannot forget to mention the stupendous work of Patrick Stewart.
It's his brilliant acting (and fantastic writing) that brought Captain Jean-Luc Picard to life . As I said earlier he managed to make Picard such a "multifaceted" believable character!

38. Favourite actress in a leading role: Whoopi Goldberg (Guinan)
As Gene Roddenberry said in a 1988 interview "I needed one hell of a bartender/hostess, and were thinking of getting the most beautiful girl in creation to play the part...and thank god Whoopi Goldberg called".
I completely agree, Whoopi Goldberg is one hell of an actress and she made one hell of a bartender playing Guinan throughout Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG).

39. Favourite supporting actor: Tom Hardy (Shinzon, Star Trek Nemesis)
I chose Tom Hardy's portrayal as Skinzon, because I've always thought that he'd done a really good job of playing a particularly hard role (playing a young & twisted Picard).
Which if you think about it, is more complicated than you think!
As you've got to appreciate that Patrick Stewart's a hard act to follow, when your 'attempting' to play a younger (hurt) version of his older character. 

40. Favourite supporting actress: Kirstie Alley (Saavik, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
For this question, I've decided upon Kirstie Alley's portrayal of Saavik from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. As it's a character I've always liked and enjoyed watching.
That being said, I agree with 'everyone else' as I much prefer Kirstie Alley's portrayal of Saavik. Over that of Robin Curtis's from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
As I feel that Kirstie Alley embraced the character...and made it her own!

41. Favourite Federation weapon: Type-II Hand “Dolphin” Phaser 2378
I think I chose the "Dolphin" phaser for similar reasons as the Type-11 shuttle, Post Nemesis U.S.S. Enterprise-E and the Sovereign Class earlier on in this challenge [see mentioned question answers for more details].
But put simply...I love late 24th century design!  

42. Favourite alien weapon: Varon-T disruptor
I chose this particular weapon as in the whole of Star Trek history there has never been a weapon quite like it.
The Varon-T disruptor is the most violent disruptor ever seen, meaning that it was subsequently banned by the Federation.

43. Favourite Federation technology: Warp Drive

In terms of Federation technology, I think that Starfleet would (quite literary) be no where without Warp Drive!
Making it's a necessity, one of the Federation's main 'bread and butter' technologies alongside that of the Phaser, the Transporter, and Replicator.
But in my opinion all of those are meaningless, as they can't take you around the universe to "explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations".

44. Favourite alien technology: Iconian gateways
Now this is a question I spend a lot of time pondering an answer to!
At one point I considered putting Transwarp technology, as it's the next level up from Warp Drive. But I though "that's just a bit to obvious for my liking".
Then out of the blue I thought about the 'magic door' of Star Trek...the Iconian gateways.
A piece of ancient technology which completely negates the use of transporters, starships, Warp Drive & Transwarp!
An incredible piece of technology too powerful for just one faction to control.

45. Favourite “Kelvin Timeline” film: Star Trek Beyond
Out of the three “Kelvin Timeline” films released, I've got to say that Star Trek Beyond is my favourite.
As I think it best reinterprets the Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) characters, and storyline. Whilst simultaneously being a 'love note' to the franchise at the same time, something it had to do in celebration of this pivotal year (50th Anniversary).

46. Favourite “Kelvin Timeline” character: Doctor Carol Marcus (Alice Eve)
I know what your all thinking "there's only two reasons he's picked her!"...but on this occasion you'd be completely wrong!
I actually really like her character, and I think she's got the potential of becoming a major part of the Enterprise crew in future "Kelvin Timeline" films.
I just think that in Star trek Into Darkness, she got 'undersold' and (along with Uhura) unfairly (and unjustifiably) stereotyped. 

47. Favourite battle scene: The Battle of the Bassen Rift (Star Trek Nemesis) & The Siege of AR-558 (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
There are so many good battles in Star Trek history (both in space, and on the ground). That's made it difficult to choose one particular battle, so I've chosen one for space, and one for the ground.
My favourite space battle is The Battle of the Bassen Rift seen in Star Trek Nemesis, as it's such an action packed battle between the Enterprise-E (with it's Romulan allies) and the Scimitar.
So much happens during the fight, that it results in the Romulan vessels (Valdore Class) being heavy damaged. Affectively disabling them, the Enterprise-E doesn't fair any better

48. Favourite book (story): Star Trek: First Contact Novelisation (by J.M. Dillard)
Being Dyslexic (and Dyspraxic) I don't tend to read an awful lot, meaning that I've already read non-fiction books over fictional books.
Which obviously extends to Star Trek literature, so I've not read many fiction books to choose from (non fiction books are another matter!).
So I've chosen the first one I ever read, the novelisation of  Star Trek: First Contact.
A book worthy of a read if you're a fan of the film!

49. Favourite book (technology): Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise
A nice easy introduction into Star Trek Technical Manuals, if (like me) you struggle to get through it's Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) counterpart.
It's simple descriptions, and detailed diagrams make it a book you can read easily and quickly!

50. Favourite comic/graphic novel: Khan Ruling in Hell (by David & Scott Tipton)

I chose Khan Ruling in Hell graphic novel because I thought it was interesting to see what had happened to Khan & Lieutenant Marla McGivers between the events seen in "Space Seed" and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. 

 51. Favourite author: Mike & Denise Okuda or Larry Nemecek
I know I've kind of 'cheated' with this particular question, but I find it hard to choose between them. Both the [Mike & Denise] Okuda's and Larry [Nemecek] have played pivotal roles in my young 'Star Trek life'.
As I'm a big fan of all of their [non fiction] books (collectively), I've read the Star Trek Encyclopaedia more times than I care to mention. Making it one of the foundations for my Star Trek knowledge.
The same can be said for Larry's publish works, specifically the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion. Which I've read over and over again!

52. Favourite celebrity encounter: Marina Sirtis, Destination Star Trek Germany (DSTG) 2014
I chose this 'encounter' as out of the many celebrities I've met Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi) has meant the most to me. Because (as most of you know) when I was younger first getting to Star Trek, Deanna Troi was my first crush.
So it was just amazing to finally get to meet (and chat) with Marina. Who I thought was just lovely, and just down to earth!
An amazing 'encounter'...and an incredible convention!!!
Copy and paste to complete your own!
This is Simon from The Engage Podcast signing out!

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