Sunday, 24 August 2014

Poll: Are the Borg villains or victims? Updated and extended, now with results!

Hi everyone
With Destination Star Trek and our Fan Panel quickly approaching we would love to hear your thoughts on whether the Borg are villains or victims?

So we have set up a poll on the blog to gather your thoughts on the topic. It is our hopes the results of the poll can be used in our Fan Panel. Feel free to leave your views below in the comments or you can send us an e-mail, as we'll be really interested to hear what you voted and why!

Do you think the Borg are villains for assimilating millions of people by controlling their every move?
Or are actually unfortunate victims of the Borg's search for perfection?

Could they even be a mixture of the two, starting off as a victim and ending up as a villain?

There's no right way or wrong way to answer the question! The results of the poll (so far) will be revealed and used in our Fan Panel, so every vote counts!
We'd love to know what you think!!!

The poll finishes at 11:59pm on Friday 31st of October 2014!!!

The results of the poll are as following:

  1 vote  (14%)
  2 votes (28%)
  4 votes (57%) winner

So in conclusion people think that the Borg are a combination of villain's and victims!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Three most influential/inspirational Star Trek characters!

Hi everyone! Welcome to my first blog of my three most influential/inspirational Star Trek characters! Let's face it from our childhood and growing up we all have had and still have role models, people we look up to, those we want to emulate and inspire us. Whether that be celebrities, friends or family and even complete strangers! We all have that special someone we look up to that impact our personal, professional life or both! Who was that for you...?

In my case people I consider great role models are my brother Daniel, my dad Chas and Simon. They embody certain traits from the three characters I have picked specifically from the franchise. In the sense of those I can most relate to, have helped me develop as a person and have characteristics that I admire. 

So without any hocus pocus! or ta da! let's reveal who my three influential/inspiring ST characters are and why!

1. Lt. Commander Data (The Next Generation)

Yeah that robot...sorry android fellow with the yellow eyes. Like for a lot of you he became my first favourite character (and is still one of my favs) when I began exploring the final frontier. I admired him for the child-like way he looked at the galaxy and the people in it as he strives to become more human. In a sense he reminds me of me as I am now as opposed to me as a teenager, innocent and naive about the world around him. But open minded to learning and growing, as I went to university and immersed myself into different cultures and made friends from all walks of life, which Star Trek helped me to develop. Data became the gatekeeper for me in watching the franchise in being my role model, emanulating how he saw the world and going with it as I did.

Data emulates certain characteristics for my biggest role model, my father Chas who has always helped me and others. He's got a great sense of humor and is constantly making me and those he knows laugh. This brings a lot of joy into my life. My dad always puts others first before himself and is one of the most generous, selfless and friendly people you could hope to meet. He carries these very best traits of humanity, which is what the Federation embodies, which he passed onto me.
There are not enough words in the English dictionary to describe my dad who has always been there for me no matter what. Now whenever I think of Data or watch him in Star Trek, he reminds me of who I was and have become due to him and mainly my dad whom I love more than I can say. I am proud to call him my father and truly honoured to be his son.

2. Captain Kathryn Janeway (Voyager)

That's right the captain who set a course for that nebula to find coffee! (Reference to S1, EP6 The Cloud - Voyager) I see her as the leader, the one that instructs and guides those under her command to be more than they can be. I always admired her for her great leadership skills and facing challenges and never quitting throughout the seven years Voyager was in the Delta Quadrant. Janeway has a keen scientific and exploratory curiosity and always watches out for her crew and makes them realise their potential.

Janeway became my inspiration for my dissertation at university about gender in Star Trek due to how well she is represented in the series of being the first main female captain and her traits. These are the traits Simon has as Janeway most reminds me of him (sorry mate! I know how much you love her!). In helping guide me through doing our podcast, in terms of great tips and advice, but this more applies to life in general. He made me realise the unknown potential within myself by giving me direction in my life at a time where I was lost.

He helped me achieve this by encouraging me to do volunteering through chairty work with the wonderful British Heart Foundation and acting in the Southend Shakespeare Company. This may not seem like anything special, but for me it was something, mainly the acting I had never considered. It has helped me enrich my life by expanding my horizons and Simon has been and continues to be much of a guide through my life with great advice. He is a great soundboard to bounce ideas off, particularly when we talk about Star Trek!

He has shown me I can do more and be more than I ever realised within myself and for that I'll always be thankful as he knows the true meaning of friendship. Janeway did this for her crew. For example allowing the Doctor to grow and expand his program and helping Seven of Nine reclaim her individuality and guiding her through the lessons of humanity. Both Simon and Star Trek are great guides bound in principle and enlightment and two friends I couldn't be without of. Thanks mate.

3. Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott (Original Series)

Anyway enough gushing! Now it's onto my final character of influence and inspiration, Scotty! That' scotmans from the 60s show who loves his bottle of scotch (I don't think I would ever kiss a bottle of alcohol and say "you beauty!" but then I'm not Scotty!) For anyone unfamiliar with this reference to Scotty kissing his bottle of scotch, see S2, EP 22: By Any Other Name of the Original series.

Scotty has inspired me with the traits he has, which made me think of another great role model, my brother Dan. I refer to both him and Scotty as the fixer. Scotty being the Chief Engineer of the Enterprise, I always got the impression he could fix anything with literally well anything! We'll take this wire etc, fix it with a bit of sellotape and bluetac and done! He also always overestimated the time to repair the ship, so when he does it, Kirk is always impressed he completed it "well below" his time estimation! Clever guy!

My brother Daniel has a similar ability of being very good with his hands at fixing things like broken down electrics and cars. For example he used superglue to hold down the hinges of my laptop!

I also think of Dan as a fixer in helping me with any problems I have had over the years with application forms for jobs, looking for a place to live and helping me manage my finances better. Like my dad and Simon, Dan has always been there for me whenever I needed him and helps fix things, whether equipment or me! He's the best brother anyone could ask for and I am proud to call him that and one of my best friends.

My role models and Star Trek itself over the years has and continues to give me hope for the future as I'm sure it does for you, by humans displaying kindness and compassion for each other and working together, maybe one day we can reach our full potential. In the future anything can happen! 

Friday, 22 August 2014

African Elephant could be extinct within the century

Hi guys
On Monday the BBC reported that African Elephants could be extinct by 2114. The key reason for the fall in numbers is poaching. Poachers are killing the elephants for their tusks, which they can sell. The illegal trade of tusk is becoming a serious problem due to the value, as a kilogram of ivory is now worth thousands of dollars on the black market.

The report comes from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Which shows that each year since 2010 Africa has loss on average 7% of it's entire elephant population. This equates to 35,000 elephants being killed a year (on average).
You've also got to remember that this doesn't just effect elephants, as many animals rely on elephants in one way or another.
Which puts those species at risk...and that then tips the scale and puts the whole ecosystem in jeopardy. I hate to say it but this isn't an isolated issue, similar scenarios are happening all over the world. From in our oceans to in our skies, and everything in between.

The PNAS report brings back the issue of endangered species to the forefront. Although the issue isn't a new problem, as any fan of the Star Trek franchise will know! The problem is raised in the 1986 blockbuster Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home...otherwise known as "the one with the whales!".

For everyone unfamiliar with the film, it paints a picture where Humpback Whales are extinct by the 23rd century. Which causes a problem in 2286 when a probe disrupts Earth attempting to contact Humpback whales. Fortunately the valiant crew of the Enterprise go back in time to save a couple of Humpback Whales, in the hopes they can communicate with the probe.
The future depicted in the film is becoming truer by the day, as if you look on the endangered animals list you will find Humpback whales.
Humanity has been causing the extinction of animals for centuries. So you would have thought that after all that time we might have learnt something. Unfortunately we still haven't learnt that without all the extinct species we've killed our species (in one way or another).
That could be a highly contagious virus, with only one known cure...but wait we can't get the cure as the species we need went extinct two years! Or it could just be a probe interesting in have a chat with a couple of Humpback Whales! Like I say the possibilities are endless, as you don't know what's going to happen in the future!!!

BBC News website article

PNAS article

Earth's endangered animals list

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Podcast Media Live!

Hi guys
Some of you may have noticed that over the weekend the podcast became even more accessible through more social media sites!
We are pleased to announce that we are now available via our website and our Twitter account!
Make sure you check out our Twitter account as Phil will be tweeting things everyday...and with Phil you never know what your going to get!

I would also say check out the website for a couple of reasons. Talking about Phil tweeting it is now possible to view what's he's saying on Twitter via our home page! As there's a widget set up, encase you don't feel like going onto Twitter!!!
On top of that, if go to our Downloads page you will see a recently uploaded Promo for The Engage Podcast!

TEP website home page

TEP website Downloads Page

The Engage Podcast Twitter account

These new media outlets will be alongside our already active social media sites including this blog and our Facebook page!
TEP Facebook page

We are also reachable through our e-mail address at:!

So now you don't have to look far for your TEP fix!!!

Friday, 15 August 2014

The Engage Podcast hosting Fan Panel at Destination Star Trek London 2014

Hi guys
Yesterday it was announced on the Destination Star Trek website and that that me, Jamie and Phil will be hosting a Fan Panel about the Borg on the Excelsior Stage! We will be on stage between 17:15pm-18:00pm on the Friday afternoon. We won't be alone as we will be discussing our topic with the Excelsior Stage host, Neil Green!
The topic will be centred around the two part question:
Why do the Borg assimilate worlds rather than conquer them? Are the Borg villains or victims?

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Exciting Podcast News to be announced sometime next week!

Hi guys
Make sure you stay tuned into The Engage Podcast Blog next week, as we have some very exciting news concerning the podcast...that your going to want to hear!
But before you ask it's not the news that we're going live we're not going live...just yet!
Although next weeks news will concede with when we do go live!

We know it's a bit cryptic...but unfortunately we can't tell you anything else!!!

Simon, Jamie and Phil
The Engage Podcast

Monday, 4 August 2014

Never Forget

Hi everyone
Today marks a day of remembrance, as we look back and remember all those people who fell (on both sides) during World War One. Whilst also remembering Anne Frank and also those in the Secret Annex who were arrested on this date back in 1944.

The date is being remembered throughout the world in acts of hope and reflection, this is in the hopes of joining people in unity after all the turbulence felt during The First World War.
Over here in the United Kingdom The Royal British Legion are encouraging people to take part in Lights Out. A campaign set up to inspire people into turning off their lights between 10pm and 11pm, with the hope's they will light one candle. Famous tourist attractions including the Blackpool Tower will take part in this act of remembrance. While Westminster Abbey will be leading the commemoration with a First World War vigil liturgy which will be broadcasted live on the BBC tonight.
The Royal British Legion hope to get one million candles lit across the country in order to remember each and every one of those Service men and women who gave their lives in the war to end all wars.

Royal British Legion Lights Out page

Today also marks another form of remembrance, as this is the day seventy years ago that Anne Frank and everyone in the Secret Annex were discovered and arrested, after an anonymous tip arrives at the headquarters of the Sicherheitsdienst  (SD or Security Police) by telephone. No one knows who made that phone call on that fateful day back in 1944.

Anne Frank House The day of arrest page

Friday, 1 August 2014

Minack Theatre Advice Day 8- Dad set a course for home!

Hi everyone
Before you all say it, the last couple of posts have been a little bit late. Ok I'll be fair...they are very late! As this post was originally meant to be released after getting home on the Sunday night!
Although I think you'll (hopefully) agree with me here, I've got some very good reasons and excuses why:
  1. Due to the lateness of "The Get Out" and after show party on the Friday night (18th July). Which lasted until the early hours of Saturday morning.
  2. The journey all the way back to Essex (around 339 miles).
  3. The thunderstorm knocking out my computer on the Sunday Night (20th July), and not being repaired until Thursday (24th July). Making it impossible to post anything...although it wasn't completely impossible due to a visit to Jamie's!   

In our time at the Minack we've had a power cut due to a farmer driving a farm vehicle into a power cable, the most amazing thunderstorm (which stopped the performance 2/3 through due to safety concerns!) and a pod of dolphins with random seal. I thought that it was pretty ironic that on Tuesday night we didn't have enough power for the forward to Friday night, where god seeing us struggling on Tuesday gives us more power than we can muster. By giving us the most tremendous thunderstorm. Making it an 'interesting' if not ironic experience for Surrey Opera this year!!!

View from the top of the Minack Theatre
But as my Dad said back in 2012, that just adds to the magic of the Minack Theatre! So my last tip for the Minack is that the theatre will become one of those places you will never forget, it starts when you look down at the inviting sea from the top of the countless stairs! Your show may go without a problem and may not be as dramatic as our time down there...but either way the Minack Theatre will always be apart of you!!!
Dad Advice 2012- Day 7...again!