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Star Trek – New Visions #3: Cry Vengeance (Review)

The first Star Trek pilot, The Cage, was produced in 1964. To celebrate its fiftieth anniversary, this December we are reviewing the second season of the original Star Trek show. You can check out our first season reviews here. Check back daily for the latest review.

These Are the Voyages… aired in May 2005. Star Trek has been off the air for almost a decade; longer in the eyes of certain fans who have their own earlier cut-off dates. Although JJ Abrams brought Star Trek back to the big screen, it is not quite the same. It is not simply that – as Ronald D. Moore has arguedStar Trek feels more at home on the small screen. There is also a sense that there is a dearth of “new” stories in the Star Trek universe. One two-hour movie ever three years does not cut it, after all.

A whole cottage industry has developed around trying to sate Star Trek fans – to deliver the new episodes that it seems so many fans so desperately want. There are month comic books set within the continuity of the recent movies. There are novels that unfold in a loosely serialised format building off the end of the various twenty-fourth century shows. There are numerous fan projects churning out their own new Star Trek stories, whether featuring the original characters or a novel twist on the franchise.

Shaking things up a bit...

Shaking things up a bit…

This desire for new Star Trek is understandable. Given the rate at which the franchise was produced during the nineties, it is hard to imagine living in a world where new Star Trek arrives by drip-feed. In a way, John Byrne’s New Visions series is the most candid attempt to cater to this impulse among Star Trek fans. Using a wealth of images from the original Star Trek series, some photoshop skills, and years of experience writing comic books, John Byrne is literally able to stitch together new stories from the eighty classic Star Trek shows.

It is a bizarre blend of storytelling and cannibalism that serves as a fairly cynical metaphor for a particular approach to tie-in Star Trek material.

"Use your indoor voice..."

“Use your indoor voice…”

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Star Trek – Debt of Honour (Review)

This June, we’re taking a look at some classic Star Trek movie tie-ins and other interesting objects. Check back daily for the latest reviews and retrospectives.

By all accounts, Debt of Honour should be an unqualified success.

It’s a prestige graphic novel from DC comics, produced around the twenty-fifth anniversary of Star Trek and the release of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. It is written by celebrated comic book scribe Chris Claremont, fresh off his career-defining stint on Uncanny X-Men. An avowed Star Trek fan and comic book veteran, this should be in his wheel house. The art is provided by Adam Hughes, one of the most celebrated and respected artists of his time.

Talk about kicking off a comic...

Talk about kicking off a comic…

By any measure, Debt of Honour should count as some sort of hallmark for DC Comics’ Star Trek tie-ins. Unfortunately, that isn’t quite the case. A rather muddled storyline that is hopelessly devoted to Star Trek continuity while awkward interfacing with it,  Debt of Honour is just packed a little too tight. Charting a story from the earliest days of Kirk’s career to the aftermath of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Claremont bites off more than he can chew.

Over the course of Debt of Honour, Claremont introduces a vague alien threat that has apparently been haunting Kirk for his entire career, a new arch-foe or love interest for Kirk, and even a supporting role for Kor. Along the way, he packs in cameos and shout-outs to various parts of Star Trek lore. He even explains why Klingons suddenly had ridges around the time of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Ultimately, Debt of Honour is ambitious, but a little over-stuffed and quite over-cooked.

Warp speed ahead!

Warp speed ahead!

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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Vendetta by Peter David (Review)

This January and February, we’ll be finishing up our look at the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and moving on to the third year of the show, both recently and lovingly remastered for high definition. Check back daily for the latest review.

We’ll be supplementing our coverage of the episodes with some additional materials – mainly novels and comics and films. This is one such entry.

Vendetta was published in May 1991, which is an astonishingly quick turnaround for a novel building on the events of The Best of Both Worlds, which was broadcast in 1990. Vendetta is billed as “the giant novel”, in the spirit of Jean Lorrah’s Metamorphosis – the March 1990 novel building off The Measure of a Man and advertised as “the first giant novel.”

It’s offers a suitably epic premise – the Enterprise caught between the Borg and the Doomsday Machine with the fate of the universe at stake.

tng-vendetta

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