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Tag: Star Trek (81-90 of 171)

What are your favorite TV episode titles?

“The Conscience of the King.” “Who Mourns for Adonais? ” “The Omega Glory.” “Bread and Circuses.” “The Gamesters of Triskelion.” Are these Led Zeppelin songs? Chapter headings for a Russian war epic? One-act plays your high school drama teacher loved? Nope: they’re just a few of the incredible episode titles from the original run of Star Trek. Earlier this month, Mack Elder, a Trek megafan with a Trek villain name, set a world record by naming all 79 titles of the original series, in order, in just under 100 seconds. The video of his feat is fun to watch. (Much like the series itself, he begins to stumble right around season 3.) And it got me thinking about the curious art of naming TV episodes.

Until the advent of the internet, I imagine most viewers probably weren’t even aware that episodes had titles. As a result, there’s a long tradition of episode titles that are little more than explicit plot descriptions. This is especially true of Friends, which made a joke out of titling every episode with the purely functional identifier, “The One with…” (sometimes amended to, “The One where…”, as in, “The One Where No One’s Ready.”)

If I had to arbitrarily point to the tipping point when everything changed and episode titles entered the cultural lexicon, it would have to be with “The Constant,” the Desmond-centric fourth season episode of Lost. Everyone I knew loved that episode, but I always remember the particular way they expressed that love: not saying, “Man, that last episode of Lost was awesome!” but rather “Man, ‘The Constant’ was awesome!” The rise of iTunes and Hulu helped spread the titles to enter the cultural mainstream, and now, following Lost‘s example, lots of shows even release the title early as a tease for fans. READ FULL STORY

'Big Bang Theory' recap: Sheldon and Leonard get robbed, and Sheldon moves away to...Montana?!

First things first: My apologies for missing my Big Bang Theory recap last week, fellow Big Bang Theorists. You can blame the amoebae that have taken up residence in my tummy and fell me but good last Monday night. (I’ll spare y’all any further description other than to relay that, stemming from my best guess for the complicated scientific names for the little buggers based on what my doctor told me, my boyfriend has decided to call the amoebae Butch and Nana. Sheldon would so not approve.) I was especially bummed that I didn’t get to commiserate with you about last week’s Big Bang, too, since a night out as Raj’s wingman brought out a delightfully unexpected flirtatious side of Sheldon Cooper — even if Sheldon himself was completely unaware that he was, in fact, flirting with a co-ed with a rather improbable fetish for super-hero merch. (As opposed to Sheldon’s completely probable fetish for super-hero merch.)

Last night’s episode continued the writers’ fearless trek into the hidden corners of Sheldon’s labyrinthine psyche, although this week’s discoveries weren’t really all that surprising: Sheldon and Leonard got robbed, and Sheldon completely flipped out. That was pretty much the entire episode, too — Sheldon’s reaction to getting robbed, and everyone else’s reactions to Sheldon getting robbed, even though Leonard’s stuff got robbed, too. Heck, Penny couldn’t even muster more than a sympathy glass of wine for her boyfriend’s plight; she saved her real aw-poor-Pooh-bear pity for Sheldon. READ FULL STORY

'Lost': Let's do the time warp again!

uwu_logoIn honor of the premiere of the final season of Lost, Prof. Doc Jensen looks at competing theories of time-travel in popular sci-fi franchises. Warning: this course may cause a migraine. Students are advised to take an aspirin before reading. (Getting stoned may also help, though this cannot be condoned by the faculty.) For more crash courses in pop culture, enroll in EW University.

Lost-Sawyer-shirtless_l“Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.”

With those famous words in Slaughterhouse Five (1969), author Kurt Vonnegut introduced one of the most memorable time travelers and depictions of time travel that literature has ever given us. The premise: Billy Pilgrim has gone crazy from failing to grapple with the horror he experienced during World War II many, many years before. Unmoored from sanity, the haunted optometrist convinces himself he’s been abducted by aliens who believe that time is eternally present, that past and future are happening in the now: Cubism made real. Pilgrim — his mind desperately flailing to save itself from its own existential crisis — adopts this conspiratorial perspective, as well as the sanguine philosophy that comes with it: that we are prisoners to predestined, already-written fate. And it is not a pleasant experience. “Billy is spastic in time, has no control over where he is going next, and the trips aren’t necessarily fun. He is in a constant state of stage fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next.”

Vonnegut’s powerful masterpiece may or may not be what you would call a hardcore sci-fi novel, although it does provide a provocative dramatization of new ideas about time described by quantum physics (and, it must be added, a perspective of reality familiar to followers of Buddhism and other mystic religions). You see the same stuff brought to life in the dark superhero epic Watchmen (Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons; 1986) in the form of all-powerful yet impotently omniscient Dr. Manhattan, a literal manifestation of topsy-turvy Relativity and the embodiment of a weapon that changed the course of history and filled the world with profound insecurity. READ FULL STORY

'Big Bang Theory' recap: Leonard's mother kisses Sheldon. Will life ever be the same?

In honor of our show’s scientific heroes, Big Bang theorists, I’m going to do a bit of an experiment with tonight’s Big Bang Theory recap. The Christmas season visit by Leonard Hofstadter’s mother Beverly, played by the inestimably fabulous Christine Baranski, was overflowing with so many great moments, so many great lines, and so mind-meltingly topped with one whopper of a smooch, I’m simply going to have to walk us through the episode, scene by scene, and highlight the great moments (and, on rare occasion, not-so-great moments) and the best lines.

So let’s start with the cold open, an unusually throwaway scene for a episode so packed with plot, but nonetheless…

Great moment: How perfect was it that Sheldon identifies with the pre-heart-expanding-three-times Grinch from How the Grinch Stole Christmas?

Not-so-great moment: READ FULL STORY

What a piece of work is Klingon 'Hamlet'

I found out two important things today. One, there is a dude who tried to raise his son to be a native Klingon speaker by speaking to him only in Klingon until the child was 3. And you thought your parents were, uh, quirky! And the second thing is the existence of this (via):

Will Klingon Hamlet eclipse Slings and Arrows as my favorite pop-production of the melancholy Dane? Hell to the no. But it’s almost comforting that it’s out there, if as nothing else than at least as a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit and our ability to seek our own kinds of joy.

What a rogue and peasant slave are you, PopWatchers?

Previously, rapping in Klingon reminded me that we all have our gifts

Clips du jour: 'Star Trek' goes 'A-Team,' Han Solo goes 'Scar Face'

Express train to mash-up town, you guys. First up, what if Star Trek is secretly The A-Team?

I chuckled. But I liked this Scarface/Star Wars hybrid better. It contains adult language, so uh, viewer discretion is advised. READ FULL STORY

Exclusive: We have the rare, alternate opening sequence to the original 'Star Trek' series!

‘Tis the season to be a Star Trek fan. JJ Abrams’ blockbuster Star Trek reboot just hit DVD. And on Dec. 15, CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment will release season three of Star Trek: The Original Series on Blu-ray. One of the extras includes a piece of pretty sweet Trek arcana that hard-core Trekkers/Trekkies (pick whichever one offends you the least) are going to eat up.

As almost everyone knows, each episode of Star Trek began with William Shatner’s James T. Kirk intoning the memorable preamble:

Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before…

As it happens, however, a rare, alternate version of Trek’s pilot episode, “Where No Man Has Gone Before” (actually the second pilot that was shot for Trek… oh, but that’s another story), began with a different opening monologue. Wanna see it, like, right now? Here you go:

[ewbrightcove “29888952001”, “52256564001”, “525”, “470”]

For those who want a transcript:

Enterprise log, Captain James Kirk commanding. We are leaving that vast cloud of stars and planets which we call our galaxy. Behind us, Earth, Mars, Venus, even our sun are specks of dust. A question: What is out there in the black void beyond? Until now, our mission has been that of space law regulation, contact with Earth colonies and investigation of alien life. But now, a new task. A probe out into where no man has gone before.

Definitely more verbose—and a little harder to memorize. And “a probe out into where no man has gone before” is a real clunker. “Probe”? Seriously? Still, I like the strong existenstial vibe of “What is out there in the black void beyond?”

Sounds like the DVD is a must buy for Trekophiles. What do you think about the rival openings? Which one do you like better? Do you think the original series would have more or less inviting with the alternate preamble? Post your thoughts below.

'Star Trek 2': Casting Khan...why couldn't it be a woman?

Oh, how the internets loves its casting rumors. Today, the nugget that caught my eye came from comingsoon.net, who not only floated the idea of Khan Noonien Singh being the villain in the next Star Trek flick, but that — “if they started filming today” — Lost‘s Nestor Carbonell would be the deep-sleeping warlord who harries Kirk and Co.

Of course, they aren’t filming today, and comingsoon.net admitted as much, but it got me thinking: If they are gonna do Khan — and I’m not convinced they should — who should play the part?

My answer: a woman. READ FULL STORY

Zachary Quinto talks up the new 'Star Trek' DVD

star-trek-behind-the-scenes_lWhile Zachary Quinto cracked not much more than a knowing smirk while playing Spock in director J.J. Abrams’ re-vamped Star Trek – out on DVD Nov. 17 — “we did do plenty of laughing off camera,” chuckles Quinto. Anyone who’s seen the leaked gag reel from the movie that’s an extra feature on the impending DVD (it’s out Nov. 17) knows what he’s talking about. “J.J. leads with a sense of humor,” Quinto adds, “and that makes it a lot easier when you’re undertaking something as large as this project was.” So who had Quinto cracking up the most? “Simon Pegg was a big culprit in making me laugh all the time,” Quinto says, but he also singles out co-stars Chris Pine, John Cho, Bruce Greenwood and Karl Urban. “It’s really a funny group of people.”

In one of the making-of documentaries on the DVD, Quinto also talks about when meeting his on-screen namesake for the first time, the very first thing Leonard Nimoy told him was that his life was about to change rather radically. So, has it? “No, not at all,” Quinto laughs, although he’s not joking. “I don’t know — maybe I should be chased down the street by rabid Star Trek fans. But I engage fans on a personal level, and I engage them as myself, [not as Spock]. It’s really important that those boundaries are clear, and that’s always been the case in my life. It seems to be working.” Hopefully, that means Quinto’s career will live long and prosper.

Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal

'Star Trek' DVD: Prepare for a deleted-scene geek-out

Star-Trek-dvd_lGood news, Trek fans. The wait is almost over. Just seven more days until J.J. Abrams’ two-disc special edition of Star Trek comes to DVD. Naturally, that means the usual loving assortment of behind-the-scenes extras, including a commentary track from Abrams and his producing and writing teams. But the nuggets you’ll want to check out first are the nine deleted scenes. If you can’t wait, here’s a breakdown of the lost goodies.

Scene 1: Spock’s birth. This was originally supposed to be the first shot in the movie. A touching and tender scene set on the Vulcan home planet with Winona Ryder (Spock’s human mother) and Ben Cross (Spock’s Vulcan pops) being handed their infant son, who the camera pulls back to reveal has, yes, pointy baby Vulcan ears! Awesome. Part of this was in the trailer for the film. And no doubt some fans were bummed when it was nowhere to be found in the version they saw. Well, better late than never. READ FULL STORY

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