Svengoolie to present original Star Trek pilot episode

Fans of both Star Trek and b-movie horror host Svengoolie will enjoy the show this weekend when MeTV airs the original pilot episode “The Cage” hosted by the Chicago Television legend!

When I heard the news, I reached out to Sven’s alter-ego Rich Koz for comment: “As a longtime Star Trek fan, who watched the shows when they first aired  -yeah, I’m that old- getting to present the original pilot is a real kick for me -especially this remastered, full color version. Still blown away by the scene where Spock finds something amusing and breaks out in a big smile!”

Which begs the question, will the rubber chickens be set to stun?

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From the MeTV YouTube Page:

On Saturday, September 10, 2016 Svengoolie presents the original, unaired ‘Star Trek’ pilot, “The Cage,” at 10PM | 9C. Also, at 9PM | 8C, tune in for the first ‘Star Trek’ episode to air on broadcast television, “The Man Trap.”

Visit the MeTV website for programming info!

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“Trouble with Tribbles” Writer David Gerrold talks about the heritage of Star Trek

With Star Trek marking its 50th anniversary this week, all of fandom has been celebrating the launch of the television series that inspired generations of science fiction lovers and created a lasting legacy.

As part of the celebration, CBS Home Video is releasing a special collector’s edition blu-ray set that gives Star Trek fans a look at the series as they’ve never seen before. (I’ll be posting my review of the set in the coming week. There’s a LOT to check out!) They also had original series writers D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold doing interviews with different media outlets to talk about Trek and the new blu-ray set.

I was able to get a few minutes with Gerrold, who I must admit being a fan of for decades. In addition to writing “The Trouble with Tribbles”– considered one of the most popular Star Trek episodes ever – he’s also written the Hugo and Nebula Award winning novella “The Martian Child.” But I really became a fan when I got hooked on his “War Against the Ch’Torr” series, a tale of alien invasion that this geek discovered in high school after reading an excerpt in “Starlog Magazine.” (Gerrold informs me that he has finished the 5th book and is awaiting edits.)

Gerrold spoke to me by phone as he was on the road doing the Star Trek convention circuit:

Geek To Me: Have you had a chance to look at the set, and if so what do you think about it?

David Gerrold: I’ve looked at some of it. It’s 30 discs, you know, it’s going to take a while to get through the whole thing. But I am so jazzed by the blu-ray remasters. If you have a good TV set – and most of us have 42 inches and up now – you’re actually seeing Star Trek better than it’s ever been presented before.

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I remember we would get the dailies for Star Trek the original series, and it was a 35 millimeter print, the same you would go to the movies (to see). It was crisp, clear, there was no grain, no jumping around, no scratches, and it was on a high quality projector, right?

What you’re seeing on the blu-rays is as if you’re seeing (the dailies) but it may be even better because it’s been digitally remastered. For instance there’s a shot in “The Trouble with Tribbles” where Leonard Nimoy has some coffee on his velour at lunch. And you can see it, the coffee stain. Nobody ever noticed that before.

So, I am so excited to actually have this high-quality version of Star Trek. Because Star Trek is iconic. It’s just one of the very best things that American television has ever created. As a science fiction fan, how can you not be enthralled?

I’m excited, did I say that?

More after the jump!

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Getting paid on the Enterprise: How does money work on Star Trek?

The latest episode of Geek/Countergeek has Keith Conrad and I discussing Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary, the new blu-ray collection, and how money – or more specifically commerce – works in Gene Roddenberry’s utopian future.

Just how much do garbage men make in the United Federation of Planets?

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Eating Crow: The Star Trek Beyond Review on “Geek/Countergeek”

In this latest edition of “Geek/Countergeek” Keith and I offer our reviews and reflections on the new Ghostbusters movie. How did it hold up next to the original films?

And, after lamenting how Star Trek has lost its way with the recent movies – and even giving poor Chris Pine grief – I have to eat my share of crow after seeing Star Trek Beyond…

Now I’m looking forward to the new television series!

What did you think about Star Trek Beyond?

“Opening the Mother Box: Exploring my relationship with comic books, religion and George Lucas”

marrowAbout a month ago, I was invited to speak at “The Marrow“, an event that takes place at The Whistler in Chicago each month. At this event, storytellers are asked to read an essay that gets to “the marrow” of who they are.

As it was the first time I’d ever done something like this, I was rather nervous and wrote a piece that was to be a deep, personal exploration of my self.

It was well-received, but after hearing some of the other storytellers that evening – one spoke about trying to find a rehab facility for his ex-wife on a holiday, another about her estranged relationship with her mother and how it all started the day her mom kicked her father out of the house – I knew that I had just skimmed the surface.

Next time, if there is a next time, I’ll go much deeper. But for now, I’ll share with you the essay that I announced that I’d never read in public again. :::laughs::: I’m so full of it:

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The challenge to writing an essay about oneself, especially one that is supposed to get to the heart of who you are, is that you tend to get all caught up in your own bullshit.

You know, you get sidetracked by trying to turn a clever phrase, or using florid language that makes you sound smarter than you think you are.

You find yourself unconsciously using a verbal sleight of hand, one that distracts your reader from the truth that you don’t want them to see you tucking away in your pocket.

So there won’t be any of that from here on out…

Or will there?

(Continues after the jump!)

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Roads Not Taken: My Emotional Journey Through “The Force Awakens”

After seeing Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens almost a week ago (I was at the Chicago press screening) it’s taken me this long to process it. When the movie ended, I sat in my chair and felt conflicted. I felt like the kid who had opened all his Christmas gifts but didn’t quite get what he wanted.

Like many Star Wars fans, I’d been waiting for this installment of the Skywalker Saga for decades.  Sure, the Prequels were fine but I wanted to know what happened in that galaxy far, far away in the post-“Return of the Jedi” years.

And when you look at the marketing campaign that the folks at Lucasfilm/Disney put together, it was obvious that Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams knew what buttons they wanted to push, and what audience they were trying to reach. They wanted to reach the fans of the Classic Trilogy, the ones who grew up with Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and the rest of those iconic characters. In short, a fan like ME.

So why did I have such conflicting emotions once the credits started rolling? Why was I not flush with joy as my fellow Star Wars fans who left the theater with me? Why is there a contingent of “fans” who are declaring their hatred for the film? And finally, how do I feel now that I’ve taken the time to sort out my feelings about the film and have seen it a second time? Here’s my 2 cents (or Republic credits if you’re not in the Outer Rim) WARNING – SPOILER TERRITORY AHEAD!:

Read more after the jump!

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Celebrate the Force Awakens with these Star Wars cocktails!

This weekend, millions of Star Wars fans are going to see one of the most anticipated films in history when “The Force Awakens” finally debuts in theaters!

Now, if you’re of the proper drinking age and would like to celebrate returning to that “galaxy far, far away”, may I recommend making one of these Star Wars-themed cocktails?

They run from the fun and fruity, to downright refreshing. Just be sure to not drink and fly your space freighter. Let the wookiee be your designated driver.

Click on the images for the recipes!

Which cocktail sounds the tastiest to you? I’m partial to the “Poe-jito” myself!

I hope you enjoy them and may the Force be with you!

Is Star Wars bigger than the NFL? And what color is Muppet blood?

This week’s edition of Geek/Countergeek has Keith Conrad and I discussing the news out of D23; the “Walking Dead” prequel series “Fear The Walking Dead”; Orlando Bloom returning to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise; and how Star Wars is bigger than the National Football League!:

Oh yeah, and when you cut a Muppet, what color blood comes out?

You can let us know what you think in the comment section or hit us up on Twitter!

Listen to past episodes of Geek/Countergeek on Gabatron.com!