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TrekWeb Newsbits: Extra coverage your crave!

Jan 05 | Palm Digital Media reports that the STAR TREK NEMESIS novelization was the #3 selling e-book in December 2002.

Jan 05 | Wigglefish has reviewed DS9: Rising Son and The Brave and the Bold, both 4/5 stars.

Jan 05 | The L.A. Times analyzes William Shatner's acting career.

Jan 04 | TREK novelist Peter David sounds off on the state of the franchise at his web site.

Jan 03 | Australia's TV1 will air a MAKING OF STAR TREK NEMESIS special on January 11th during its SCI-FI SECTOR @ 8p. (Thanks to 'Joe' for this)

Jan 03 | Cinescape has reviewed Pocket Books' THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, giving it an A- in its full review.

Jan 02 | FilkJerk and have ripped into Ronald D. Moore's BATTLESTAR GALACTICA script. (Thanks to 'Beth' for the tip)

Jan 01 | Dean Valentine, former UPN exec, has purchased a 49.9% stake in the Jim Henson Company with his investment group, according to Reuters.

Andre Bormanis -- Story Editor, ENTERPRISE
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  • First photos from "Dawn" now online at
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    Dec 31, 2002: TNG Season 7 DVD Box Set U.S. Release
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    Interview: Captain, Our Captain! William Shatner Still Entertaining With Self-Branded Humor and... Paint Ball? Plus STAR TREK V!

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    Typhon Station is a very fastpaced PBeM RPG with skilled, experienced players and a warm sense of bonding and community. We play at the turn-of-the-century, 2400, and are located in the Typhon Expanses, bordering the Neutral Zone, proximate to the Romulan Empire, and near the Iconian Digs, and are on the first warning route of the original Borg Incursion.
    We have three stations to post from, SB 185, USS Odyssey, and USS Wraith. They all have general and particular storylines and all interact. This game is not for the faint of heart! The writing is superb and comes hot and heavy. We have some open spots and also we will consider character suggestions. So, longtime RPGers and novices, check us out. See if you want to make Typhon Station your home away from home.

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    Typhon Station is a very fastpaced PBeM RPG with skilled, experienced players and a warm sense of bonding and community. We play at the turn-of-the-century, 2400, and are located in the Typhon Expanses, bordering the Neutral Zone, proximate to the Romulan Empire, and near the Iconian Digs, and are on the first warning route of the original Borg Incursion.
    We have three stations to post from, SB 185, USS Odyssey, and USS Wraith. They all have general and particular storylines and all interact. This game is not for the faint of heart! The writing is superb and comes hot and heavy. We have some open spots and also we will consider character suggestions. So, longtime RPGers and novices, check us out. See if you want to make Typhon Station your home away from home.

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    Posted: 09:16:28 on December 20 2002
    By: Steve Krutzler
    Dept: TrekWeb Features

    Written by Steve Krutzler

    Whether it’s commanding the Starship Enterprise or leading his troops into a battle of paint ball hilarity, William Shatner will probably always be our captain. Turning a career of criticism on its head, Shatner has embraced his own image and built an iconic entertainment brand name out of self-parody and rigorous self-promotion. Previously one might have wondered where James T. Kirk ended and the actor began, but now one can’t help pondering where "Captain Shatner" ends and plain old William Shatner begins.

    “I don’t know if I can make that judgment,” Shatner told TrekWeb this week. “Whatever I’m doing [as] a public persona is in some way a reflection of me, probably a part of me. Exactly what I am, I don’t know. I’d have to have people who know me tell you what I am. Self-knowledge is not easily revealed.”

    Shatnerian resurgence wasn’t a strategically orchestrated plan, says the captain. He just does what comes naturally, whether it’s hamming it up in commercials or parading around in a mock Starfleet uniform like one of the fans he might’ve told to “get a life” a few years ago for his new DVD WILLIAM SHATNER’S SPPLAT ATTACK.

    Shatner in GENERATIONS “I don’t think you make a conscious decision, you do whatever’s there,” he says. “Over the top? I suppose that’s an opinion, but I prefer to think of it as trying to do whatever the material requires and somewhere along the line people began to expect a kind of ironic humor, I suppose. But I don’t think it’s a conscious decision as much as doing what I think the material requires at that moment.”

    There's no shortage of reflexive humor in SPPLAT ATTACK, in which Shatner parodies himself all for charity and a good time. Gallantly leading his Federation troops, who don red t-shirts imprinted to resemble the STAR TREK II costumes (belt buckle and all), against the equally preposterously-clad Klingon and Borg teams, “Captain Shatner” is full of it—irony, that is. The paint ball match took place late this summer in Joliet, Illinois to help Shatner’s horse show charity. Naturally, you might say.

    “You might ask why not paint ball,” Shatner responds pleasantly when asked to draw the connection for us. “It’s athletic, it’s dramatic, it attracted a lot of people, it got a lot of press, it was not just different, it was unique. The event attracted 1,500 people and we raised a fair amount of money, which is not fully accounted for yet because we have sales of some of the stuff, the jerseys and things like that. We dreamt that it might be an annual event and I think that may become a reality because SPPLAT ATTACK was successful. So we have the possibility of raising money year after year for the Well’s Fargo Hollywood Horse Show, which benefits handicapped kids. So it seemed like an addendum to the horse show [and] all indications were it could be successful.”

    SPPLAT ATTACK is billed as a film that “takes viewers behind the gun sight of the people who play paintball,” and features Shatner himself up against radio shock jock ‘Mancow’ and paint ball expert Tom Kaye, the leaders of the opposing teams. It’s 80-minutes of Shatnerific entertainment, as the man himself explains.

    William Shatner's SPPLAT ATTACK “We talked about putting it in the horse show but that evolved into, ‘let’s make it the grandest scenario of paint ball competition that ever was,’ and that became ‘let’s make a movie.’ We thought, ‘hey this will make a good film.’ we film it like combat photography and have our equivalent of Christian Amanpour [Shatner’s daughter, Lisabeth] there and it’s a scenario so there was a plot and it became complicated, so we thought that would make a good film.”

    Also on the actor’s plate recently was an attempt to secure funding from Paramount Pictures to augment STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER for its upcoming DVD release.

    “I went to Paramount to ask for money to do some computer generated work on the ending of the film,” he says. “I needed about anywhere between $200,000 and $400,000 dollars. I tried to convince them that even just out of just curiosity enough people would buy the DVD to get them their money back. It would have been all new [footage]. They didn’t want to do that so we did the usual DVD. I talk at some length about the making of the film.”

    Despite Paramount’s decision, some fans have started a petition to show support for such a project. Shatner says, unfortunately, little is likely to change.

    “When it comes to spending money, the studio is very adamant about what they’re going to do.”

    Spending money on STAR TREK feature films may be something the studio isn’t eager to do after the disappointing performance of STAR TREK NEMESIS on its opening weekend, but as the man who led the first Starship Enterprise boldly where no man had gone before, Shatner doubts TREK will ever die.

    “No good drama out stays its welcome,” he ponders. “I think if you put together the entertaining elements of these things, it surely can be successful. I think we’ve got to go back to the original concepts; I’m not sure what they’re doing right now. But I think going back to the original themes seems to be the right way.”

    With all the work Shatner did on STAR TREK, we asked him what he thought was his or the original cast’s shining moment.

    Kirk, Spock, McCoy singing around the campfire in STAR TRE V “Well the most popular film was four, I believe, so that has something to do with it. I do believe that in terms of some of the relationships, the cast relationships, I think five did well.”

    The busy actor-turned-entrepreneur has a multitude of projects currently, including a film script called RELICS that he may be producing soon, and a play he co-wrote with a friend called HARRY AND ARTHUR that he hopes to put on in Vancouver. With Patrick Stewart’s journey possibly coming to an end, will we see the two STAR TREK captains explore their careers in a sequel to last year’s MIND MELD with Leonard Nimoy?

    “I’d like to, I’ve approached Patrick a couple of times. I think he’ll come to see how fun it might be to sit down [and do it].”

    You can get a copy of SPPLAT ATTACK at with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Wells Fargo Hollywood Horse Show. You can also catch the DVD in rental chains Blockbuster and Hollywood Video soon.

    © 2002 All Rights Reserved.

    React to this story below and then see what others are saying about this topic at the STAR TREK BBS.

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    Petition Update
    By BWilliams ( at 11:40:33 on December 27 2002
    URL: | User Info
    As of 10:00 a.m. this morning the petition stands at 2,147 signatures. I want to share some of the comments that have been posted on the petition:

    "By far the best 'bonus feature' on the Star Trek: The Motion Picture set was the greatly improved movie itself. I could get excited about a Trek V Director's Cut, but as it stands now... it's just not worth buying."

    "Finish of a solid ST movie, it's not a matter of what 'could have been' - it's what should have been..."

    "I think by now, 2000+ signatures on this petition alone...Paramount is in the hole $50,000.00 they will not make from the people who will not buy a movie they are not crazy about... Extra interviews will not make me buy it." (The total comes to $53,675, based on an estimated price of $25 for a 2-disc set.)

    "...give the fans what they want, or your cash cow will stop going MOOO!"

    "You have a chance here to drastically improve Star Trek 5. Don't blow it."

    "I am troubled by your unwillingness to allow a director's cut of Star Trek V, especially after what you did with The Motion Picture. ... If this is the same movie that is on VHS, then there is no reason for me to buy this DVD."

    "No director's cut, NO MONEY! It's as simple as that!"

    "...I feel that the movie could become enjoyable to most fans,... Please reconsider."

    "I will only purchase a restored version of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in a Director's Edition. There is a gem of a film waiting to be seen."

    "A proper Director's edtiion of Star Trek's most misunderstood feature film would be a good thing. ... The restored editions of Treks 1 and 2 were good starts. Don't stop now."

    "You're throwing away a chance to improve on a past failure, something that does not come by often."

    "This needs to be done,... for Shatner so the film can be PROPERLY finished the way he wanted. We deserve this."

    "Give Shatner a chance to fix what is considered the weakest Trek film, it would make a lot of fans happy!"

    "...Without Mr. Shatner's ideas in the DVD, I can't see myself paying for the DVD."

    "I was excited to hear the updates and enhancements that might have happened with Star Trek V. Without these enhancements, I have no desire to purchase this DVD."

    "...a vast majority of my Star Trek customers expect a 'Director's Edition' of all the Star Trek films, including ST:V."

    "I think it's horrific that a man like William Shatner...can't be repaid in-kind by allowing him to complete a film that should've been given top priority the first time around...."

    "If they aren't going to improve the film where it needs it, then I'm certainly not going to bother spending the money for it!!!"

    "...a new ending may actually improve the film."

    "Just because V was one of the least successful of all the movies doesn't mean it shouldn't be restored as well."

    "Star Trek V especially needs that extra incentive."

    "Let William Shatner complete ST5 as he intended and what the fans want to see."

    "To be a true director's edition William Shatner MUST be allowed to present the movie as he originally intended it to look."

    "Listen to the fans, please."

    "I found the news of Paramount not making a Director's Edition DVD of Star Trek V rather shocking. does not deserve to be cast aside like this."

    "I would have definite interest in viewing a restored version of this film."

    "This is the right thing to do!!!!"

    "I thought WE were the customer!"

    "Mr. Shatner has spoken to the effect that the film suffered tremendously by having a smaller budget and running out of time. This is almost exactly what Mr. Wise said. And when he was finished, ST:TMP was better than it has ever been. ... I believe that ST:V, given half a chance, could rise to its peers and at least be mostly watchable. It couldn't hurt to give him the chance."

    "It couldn't cost THAT much. Please let him live satisfied with his work just like you would want to live with yours."

    "It truly needs an update."

    "...I would hate to think that Paramount Pictures would allow this product to go on being incomplete expecially when the opportunity and technology has arisen to rectify it."

    "Allowing Shatner to 'correct' STV is a win-win situation for Paramount. Sales will increase and a better Paramount film will have been made."

    "If Shatner gets to redo it, I buy it. If he doesn't, I don't. Plain and simple."

    "...I would love to see this man get his movie revisioned, and released, on Paramount DVD. Spread the love." (And the money!)

    "When a man's got a vision, and it isn't fully realized, a great part is missing from the final piece...."

    And those are just some of the comments. Do the mathematics. Every signature stating similarly to the above results in $25 more that can either be invested in purchasing a properly restored Director's Edition of the film on DVD, or $25 that we can save toward something else (like TNG or DS9 on DVD). The more signatures that add up in not supporting a 2-disc collector's edition, with the film as is, results in thousands of dollars lost by Paramount. And after the hugely disappointing box office returns for Nemesis, the last thing they need is more loss to the Star Trek franchise by slapping the fans and Mr. Shatner in the face by not green-lighting the extra funds to complete the film for a DVD release.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    A few new FX
    By Jadziamidala () at 11:05:39 on December 22 2002
    URL: | User Info
    and some serious editing might make TFF a watchable film. Certainly there are the character moments amongst the Big Three to work with. Paramount's making a big mistake by not forking over the paltry $400 grand. But then again, look at how Paramount has handled the Franchise in general over the last several years.


    ...From the ashes.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    I wonder what Paramount's motive's are?
    By LordWeasel ( at 20:21:20 on December 20 2002
    URL: | User Info
    Why would Paramount NOT spend such a little amount of money (movie-production wise) to make a product that would make them so much money?

    Yes, I know in it's current state, Star Trek V isn't very good. But I am, and I'm sure a lot of people also are, curious about what the movie could be, with a little extra love and attention.

    Maybe if they realized that Captain Kirk is still a viable commodity for them, and would make them money, they'd change their minds. I know the Paramount Star Trek people are pretty out of touch these days, but are they really _that_ out of touch? Or is Shatner just not as popular as I think he is?

    I could see their decision making sense if William Shatner didn't want to do the extra work on the movie. But from the sound of the interview, it seems like he has been bugging them about doing it! Seems like a no-brainer to me to give the fans what they want and bring Kirk back to Star Trek.

    I dunno.

    At least we still have Spplat Attack...(buy now! Sorry, shameless shill ;) )


    William Shatner + Paintball = Spplat Attack

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Paramount doesn't know oppertunity
    By compupc1 ( at 13:18:55 on December 20 2002
    URL: | User Info
    I'm now completely convinced that Paramount is totally oblivious to what consumers want. Nobody wants yet another copy of Trek V. It isn't worth purchasing more than once. People want an updated version.

    And it'll only cost $200,000 - $400,000??!? They would be INSANE not to just get it done at that price. They will make less profit NOT updating it than they will if they do. Why they're being so stubborn about this, I don't know. I won't be purchasing it.



    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Might as well Bring Back Kirk
    By SeanValen () at 10:36:43 on December 20 2002
    URL: | User Info
    With Patrick likely not coming back, I say film Shatner's novel The Return, on a shoe string budget, great script, drama that builds up to a climax, he does not look that different since 1994 when he did Generations. Or some other story, Riker in charge of Enterprise, Ambassodor Spock. Although I would like the two captains kirk and picard face off against Q, the ultimate captains story.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    How would you rate the latest ENT episode, THE CATWALK, on a scale from 1 (bad) to 10 (excellent) in comparison to the best and the worst episodes of all previous Star Trek episodes?
    10: Excellent
    9: Great
    8: Very Good
    7: Good
    6: Solid
    5: Average
    4: Below Average
    3: Mediocre
    2: Poor
    1: Bad
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