Anton Yelchin, 1989 to 2016

With the tragic news on Sunday June 19th that Star Trek (2009) actor Anton Yelchin died at his home,  we take a look at the young actor’s career and place in Star Trek.

Being a fan of the reboot franchise or hating it, it would be hard to find a fan who didn’t like or disagree with Yelchin’s casting as the young  Pavel Chekov.  As we all know the role was originally played by the cute faced Walter Koenig in the original Star Trek series’ second season. Chekov was a character conceived to tap into the Davey Jones and Beatles fan base, to give girls and young men an idol or pop star looking character. This mostly worked and Chekov became a permanent member of the Star Trek crew.

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Despite mixed reviews of JJ Abrams 2009 Reboot of Star Trek, Yelchin was the perfect choice to play Chekov. Yelchin was born in Leningrad in 1989 to parents, Irina Korina and Viktor Yelchin and migrated to the US months later under a refugee status.

Failing to take to Figure Skating (his parents’ careers ), Anton turned to acting at a very young age, starting out in  independent films in 2000. In 2002 he landed a role in a Spielberg produced miniseries Taken (2002). This role launched him quickly into television roles including Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000) and as a series regular on Huff (2004) alongside Hank Azaria .

In 2007 Yelchin landed a key role in the film Alpha Dog which launched his film career to a new level. It didn’t take long for him to find a role in 2009’s Star Trek as Chekov.

Yelchin had a unique look and growing up with Russian parents, the accent and language came to him very naturally. His young looks and boyish innocent face made him a perfect fit to play Chekov.  He played the character with a sense of awe and nervous energy. A depiction that was very fitting to a young cadet thrown onto the bridge for his genius and skill.

Yelchin excelled in his acting career, he could carry himself as a small innocent looking boy or be an unexpected hero springing into action. A great role that shows his ability was as the lead character in Odd Thomas in 2013. In this role, he shone as the vulnerable seer of death while balancing it with a hero out to fight the supernatural.

Yelchin took to music from a young age and showcased his passion in 2014’s Rudderless, alongside Billy Crudup in a story about friendship and a love of music. Yelchin was once part of a Punk band named “The Hammerheads”.

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On June 19th 2016, Anton Yelchin Died aged 27 when a fault in his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled into him and pinned him against a pillar in his own driveway. The accident was due to a fault in the car’s design, a model that was under recall. Yelchin was found by friends when he failed to show up to a film set on time. His death at only 27 continues the showbusiness curse and adds him to the infamous 27 Club, with members including James Dean, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain.

Yelchin can be seen this summer in Star Trek Beyond, in what is now his last appearance as Pavel Chekov. Two more completed films are in post production starring Yelchin- “Porto” and “Thoroughbred“- and are due to be released later this year and in 2017.

Tributes to Anton Yelchin have been posted on many social media outlets. Many by Star Trek fans including him in the line up of big Star Trek names who have died over the years.

Yelchin was described by many as a kind and fun loving person. He was friendly and loved by many. Karl Urban (Bones) posted on Twitter and Instagram his love for Yelchin saying:

Anton was such a beautiful , gentle soul . He sought out new life experience with an unabated passion . He was edgy , incredibly talented and beautifully knowledgeable. His smile was radiant and mischievous . Truly an old soul in a young man’s body . He was a loving son. My heart , thoughts and prayers are with Anton’s family. I’m devastated. Godspeed you gorgeous man .

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Written by Shane Collier for Star Trek Eire

Sound Trek Episode 4: Star Trek Generations, First Contact and Nemesis

In the final episode of this season Eoin and Shane take a look at the themes form Star Trek First Contact and compare it to Star Trek Generations and Nemesis. The themes range in style and ability from operatic character motifs to simple reactionary melodies and a theme that’s mostly forgettable. The Good The Bad and The Ugly.

Eoin and Shane will return with more episodes later in the year as they expand their Sound Trek into further SciFi themes and explore many more galaxies.
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Sound Trek

Sound Trek Episode 4: Star Trek Generations, First Contact and Nemesis

In the final episode of this season Eoin and Shane take a look at the themes form Star Trek First Contact and compare it to Star Trek Generations and Nemesis. The themes range in style and ability from operatic character motifs to simple reactionary melodies and a theme that’s mostly forgettable. The Good The Bad and The Ugly.

Eoin and Shane will return with more episodes later in the year as they expand their Sound Trek into further SciFi themes and explore many more galaxies.
Join Star Trek Eire on Facebook
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You can also follow Shane on Twitter @PhotoShanec and Eoin @eoinsc.

Sound Trek Episode 3: The Harmonic Frontier

In the latest episode of Sound Trek, Musician Eoin and Trekkie Shane go on a journey of the harmonic differences and similarities between the Star Trek Movie Themes. Starting with “The Wrath of Kahn” , “The Search For Spock”, “The Voyage Home” and fianlly “The Undiscovered Country”.

 

Sound Trek episode 2 part 2: DS9 and Voyager Theme Tunes

Part 2 of episode 2 where Eoin explains the relationship between the Star Trek TV Theme Tunes. In part one Eoin and Shane explored The Next Generation Theme by Jerry Goldsmith. In this episode they dive into Deep Space 9 and Dennis McCarthy’s Theme and how Goldsmith then returned for Star Trek Voyager.

 

Sound Trek Episode 2 Part 1: The Next Generation Theme by Jerry Goldsmith.

In Episode 2 of “Sound Trek” Shane and Eoin continue their journey through the music of Star Trek. This week Eoin explores the “Star Trek The Next Generation” Theme by Jerry Goldsmith and how it evolved from the TOS theme, its ability to be less timeless while still creating a sense of weightlessness, adventure and fun. In part two of this episode Eoin will explain how this theme relates to Deep Space 9 and Voyager.

 

Sound Trek Episode 1 The Original Series Theme By Alexander Courage

Star Trek Eire’s new podcast “Sound Trek” follows Shane as he explores the universe of Star Trek’s music with Eoin. In this episode Eoin explains the origins of Alexander Courage’s Original Series theme, the jazz influence, and how sci-fi composers use quartal chords and whole tone scales to evoke zero-gravity and create a feeling of space and adventure. Star Trek The Original Series Theme.

Star Trek 2017 Series Rumours

As we all wait patiently for news on Star Trek 2017 all we can do is speculate. We now know who the main writers are going to be. We welcome Star Trek alumni Bryan Fuller as a show runner and Nicholas Meyer from the Star Trek films to the writers room. So far though we’ve been given only rumours and hints at what this new series will be, when and where it will be set.

Which Universe?

The consensus seems to be that this new series will be set in the prime universe. There are several reasons to believe this. As we’ve mentioned in previous articles it’s very unlikely to be set in the JJ Abrams reboot universe for legal reasons. Paramount own the movie rights to Star Trek and CBS retain the Television rights. This means that even if they wanted to make a series set in the new timeline they would have to make a deal with Paramount. A deal that wouldn’t be in CBS’s financial interest. This is a good thing as it means CBS are in a position to realistically do two things. Set ST17 in the original canon universe or create their own new, new timeline. Creating another new timeline makes absolutely no sense as they should know that they have already alienated millions of fans with the reboots. For the money it makes sense to stick to the canon universe.

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Prime Universe All The Way

 

When is it set?

There have been many rumours lately suggesting that ST17 will be set in and around  2293 in the Star Trek timeline. Just to give you an idea that’s the year Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and the prologue of Star Trek Generations are set.  69 years before the first episode of Star Trek the Next Generation, which is 2364. The reason for this speculation comes from a Nicholas Meyer interview with Den Of Geek in which he mentions Brian Fuller seeing Star Trek VI as a jumping off point. This could mean a variety of things. Fuller could simply mean this tonally. The sense of adventure and the slightly darker Star Trek, less glossy and shinny as TNG or Voyager.

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The Star Trek 2017 Crew?

It would however be a great time period to set the series in as it’s a mostly unexplored era and would knit the gap between the adventures of the original Enterprise’s crew and the Next Generation. The Undiscovered Country sets up a very interesting universe. Peace with the Klingon Empire has just been signed. A peace treaty like this has ramifications throughout the whole of the Federation and Klingon Empire. It could make the Empire look weak to it’s enemies and  as some of you may know that Klingon Empire is a massive sector of space made up of many worlds and many species not just Klingons. This could create problems with colonies and occupied worlds and many conflicts of interest, rogue Klingon Generals and Captains who don’t agree with peace stirring up trouble. It is an interesting landscape to set a series in and to create situations that could bring back the social commentary and heart of Star Trek. Plus those burgundy red uniforms and the ship designs and technology of this period are awesome.

There is one problem here however. It means that to keep it canon the show can’t be set on an Enterprise as we’ve had glimpses of the Enterprise B and their crew in Star Trek Generations and the Enterprise C in The Next Generation episode “Yesterdays Enterprise“. This means the writers will have to be true to canon events of the time period and set the show on a different ship. We could simply get the continued adventures of the Enterprise B with a now experienced Captain John Harriman played by Alan Ruck. This is a large 69 year time period for the writers to play with which leaves plenty of room to create new and interesting stories without repeating what has come before.

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USS Enterprise C

Modern Formats.

Ever since it was announced that we would be getting a new Star Trek Series in 2017, everyone has suggested that Star Trek will move to a more modern television format. For one, CBS are using it as their flag pole for their All Access on demand subscription service. Most likely we will not be getting 26 stand alone episodes with the odd two parter like the last few incarnations. It’s been heavily speculated that we’ll more likely get the Netflix format, 10-13 episodes that tie in together and follow one main story like a broken up long film. However a new rumour has hit the internet this week which suggests that Star Trek 2017 will have each season as a standalone anthology. Not unlike “Fargo” or “American Horror Story”. This would mean each season would have a new ship and a new crew or at least a new setting and each season could potentially jump to various timelines. This is a good thing and a bad thing. It opens the show up to be set in any timeline from First Contact all the way up to life after the Dominion War and the return of Voyager. The negative side is that audiences will find a ship and crew they love only to never see them again except maybe in a cameo. This latest rumour came from BirthMovieDeath.com who don’t sight their sources but claim to have inside information.

What would be your ideal setting for Star Trek 2017?

All we can do now is wait and hope that no matter what timeline the series is set in that it truly is Star Trek in feel and setting. That the characters are interesting and the stories are compelling and make you think in a way only Star Trek can. Here’s to real Sci-Fi and less nonsensical action. To adventure and hope and a strive for human evolution and progress. Here’s to Star Trek may it live long and prosper.

January 2017 is the expected release date for the new series.

Tubridy Cries Havoc and let Slip the Dogs of War

Being Star Trek fans for many years, I think it would be hard to find a fan who hasn’t experienced derogatory remarks now and again about the universe we love so much.  It’s always great to hear when someone well known declares their love for Star Trek.  Trek fans like Stephen Hawking, Richard Branson or Chris Hadfield help our cause.

It’s disappointing when the opposite happens.

Ryan Tubridy, presenter of the Late Late Show in Ireland (it is the world’s second longest-running chat show, after the American The Tonight Show)  doesn’t have much time for Star Trek fans it seems!

According to the Irish Independent Ryan Tubridy said he has no regrets about his decision to shut down his Twitter account in 2011, despite having more than 60,000 followers.

 

“I’d rather read a good book than what some guy in a bedsit watching Star Trek thinks about me.” 

I made a decision to go offline a couple of years ago and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened”.  

The 42-year-old admitted that he used to seek out “critique and criticism” in reviews but when the Internet became a breeding ground for trolls, he decided he’d had enough.

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Ah now Ryan! I’ve met you at a Star Wars convention so you obviously have time for a bit of sci-fi.  Your remark probably won’t go down well with Star Trek fans.  It does imply that we’re all lonesome lads on social media.

Have you interviewed Patrick Stewart Ryan?  Please tell him your opinions about Star Trek fans.  He once objected when an interviewer described Trekkies as “weird”, calling it a “silly thing to say”. Stewart added, “How many do you know personally? You couldn’t be more wrong.”

Isaac Asimov described us: “Trekkies are intelligent, interested, involved people with whom it is a pleasure to be, in any numbers. Why else would they have been involved in Star Trek, an intelligent, interested, and involved show?”

Maybe in some crazy way you’re just angling for a role in the new Star Trek series out in 2017? 😉

Here at Star Trek Eire we’re sharing our love of Star Trek with whoever wants to join in. We love to see fans at our screenings wearing uniforms and fully embracing the Star Trek universe but we cater for all types of Star Trek fans.  If you just enjoy watching the series or movies, come along! You won’t feel under dressed!

Some Famous Star Trek fans

  • Bill Nye – Scientist and television host of Bill Nye the Science Guy, praised Star Trek by stating that “In all the versions of Star Trek, the future for humankind is optimistic. They’ve solved all the problems of food, clothing and shelter. And you know how they solved them? Through science. Not only that, in the Star Trek future, everybody gets along…”
  • Martin Cooper – invented the first Mobile phone, was inspired to do so after seeing Captain Kirk use his communicator.
  • Michael Jones – Chief technologist of Google Earth, has cited the tricorder’s mapping capability as one inspiration in the development of Keyhole/Google Earth.
  • Stephen Hawking – Scientist, who played himself (as a computer reconstruction) on the Next Generation episode “Descent“. While on the set he wanted to see the Enterprise’s warp engine room set. After seeing it he commented, “I am working on that.”
  • Randy Pausch – the late Carnegie Mellon University professor who gave The Last Lecture. He had a cameo in the 2009 Star Trek film.
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson – astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator. He mentioned in an episode of StarTalk Radio, while talking to Wil Wheaton, that he styles his sideburns in a point as an homage to Star Trek.
  • Bill Gates – Founder of Microsoft. The world’s first personal computer, The Altair 8800, was named after a fictional galaxy mentioned on Star Trek by the computers inventor, a die hard fan. Bill Gates wrote his first software on this computer, bringing in the Computer Age.
  • Sir Richard Branson – the founder of the Virgin brand. He named the first spacecraft of his Virgin Galactic venture VSS Enterprise and the second one VSS Voyager.
  • Tracey Emin – a British artist, who created a hand-sewn blanket entitled Star Trek Voyager which was auctioned for £800,000 in 2007. (from wikipedia).

Ryan Tubridy’s quote came from a recent interview on www.independent.ie

 

BTW I’ve always had time for Ryan Tubridy, I’m not losing any sleep over his comment, but I’m disappointed!

Ronan.

Update: Mark Stephen Hughes just posted on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/startrekeire a link to an interview between Ryan and Mark. Ryan does like his science fiction, and knows some of the Star Trek characters (it sounds like more than just being well prepped by his assistants). His comment (that this article is based on) seems out of place… If he was on twitter he could clear all this up lol 😉

Sound Trek: The Next Generation Theme by Jerry Goldsmith

In Episode 2 of  our podcast series “Sound Trek” Shane and Eoin continue their journey through the music of Star Trek. (Part One of Two)

This week Eoin explores the “Star Trek The Next Generation” Theme by Jerry Goldsmith and how it evolved from the TOS theme, its ability to be less timeless while still creating a sense of weightlessness, adventure and fun. In part two of this episode Eoin will explain how this theme relates to Deep Space 9 and Voyager.


You can listen to Episode one of Sound Trek where Eoin Explores The Original Series Theme by Alexander Courage
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Meyered In No Man’s Land: Can a Trek Legend Bring Us Back to the Good Times?

By Ciarán McNulty

I first became aware of Nicholas Meyer back in 2002, when I got hold of the collector’s edition DVD of Wrath of Khan.
Aside from being aware of the Trek actors occasionally hopping into the director’s chair, at that point I hadn’t given much thought to the folks who helmed the movie outings.
But then, in this DVD’s special features there were interviews and commentary with this droll, funny, even prickly middle-aged man, who 20 years earlier had stomped onto the set of the Wrath of Khan as a relatively young upstart.
Very soon, as I became aware of his name cropping up as a writing credit on Voyage Home and noticed him returning to the director’s chair for Undiscovered Country, the man’s Midas Touch when it came to Star Trek was all too evident. Whilst I’ve never given credence to the snarky, hipster nerd opinion that only the even numbered Trek flicks are good, it did seem clear to me that the ones where Meyer had any involvement were always a cut above the rest.

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THE HITS KEEP COMING: Meyer was Star Trek’s golden boy in the 80s.

His bravado in raging into Gene Roddenberry’s world and sort of throwing away the bible in a manner, could be compared to JJ Abrams’ approach to his additions to the world of Star Trek. Yet why do I feel a horrid sick feeling in my stomach and a sense of personal insult when confronted with Abrams’ changes, whilst to this day, I hail Meyer’s cavalier approach to the series’ style and canon as so heroicly inventive?
Well for one, he didn’t entirely throw away the guts of Star Trek’s high sci-fi concepts and socio-political allegories (in fact he revelled in the latter) and secondly, the changes he made were somewhat necessary. Namely in regards to action.
Yes, the Abrams stuff gets labelled the most action-packed and it’s normally a guy like me who complains at its use at the expense of story but Meyer introduced just enough. Enough that he really allowed Trek- and specifically these spaceships we would see in near-pornographic slow-mo all the time- to finally “let their balls hang out there”, to use the parlance of Horatio Hornblower.*

The Motion Picture’s huge scientific concepts and stern-faced contemplation of them would’ve been an interesting 40-50 minutes of TV but for our beloved crew’s first big budget outing on the silver screen, it’s pretty rough-going. Meyer identified the need for a few buckles to be thoroughly swashed as he approached Trek as Horatio Hornblower in space. A concept not that far removed from Trek, as Roddenberry had indeed grown up, obsessed with those very books.
I laughed recently watching Comic Book Girl 19’s YouTube review of Fake Trek Into Lens Flares, where after a few “OMG”s and thorough recommendations to go see the most hated of all Trek movies, she declares(at 14:38) that Wrath of Khan is slow! Oh my. So, just how short is the attention span of the average youtube-authenticated movie expert?

Well, slow it ain’t. Is it motivated by where the next explosion’s coming from? No. Is it character-driven? Hell yes. But this thing put naval battles in space, man! There’s genius in Meyer’s levelling the playing field by hiding starships in a nebula so sensory equipment and even viewscreens were useless, reducing the battle to the sort of tense, nail-biting duel that logic dictates simply wouldn’t happen in the 23rd century.

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MUTARA NEBULA: Spaceship porn goes up a notch….I mean it really escalates quickly.

And that’s the joy of Meyer’s attitude to the suspension of disbelief. He throws in a montage of crewmen crowbarring floor-panelling apart on the Enterprise to manually load a photon torpedo for firing- something he admits in the commentary would be pointless- but it doesn’t matter coz it’s a great visual and adds to the momentum of the scene. A momentum clearly lost on internet-educated film reviewers born years after the fall of the Berlin wall.

 

Hmm. The Berlin Wall. That was an interesting time. I recall being about 4 years old as it came down, and not really understanding what it all meant. But luckily, Nicholas Meyer and Star Trek came along to explain it all….with Klingons!

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PRAXIS: A metaphor for Chernobyl.

The metaphor of an exploding moon representing Chernobyl and the near-collapse of the Klingon Empire representing the USSR, helped me understand the Cold War before I even knew what any of these things were. Of course, I wouldn’t really fall in love with the movie for about another 10 or 12 years but boy, is this a Trek flick to sink your teeth into. Political intrigue! Captains racing so hard against time they threaten to fly their ships apart! Christopher Plummer chewing up Shakespearean lines! It’s. The. Tits. Light up a cigarette. Nicholas Meyer just gave you great Star Trek. Usually you pay double for that, but he’s a classy guy.

 

Between these two directorial efforts, he penned the middle section of Voyage Home, wherein Harve Bennett’s writing stops once they travel back in time and resumes once they return. So Meyer is the scribe who gave us most of the fun stuff in 1986 San Francisco, although it must be noted Steve Meerson and Peter Krikes worked on drafts- I’m just not sure whether their generation of the script was before or after Meyer’s.nuclear-wessels

So, as far as Trek goes, Meyer is my guy. Meyer’s right there with Ronald D. Moore, Brannon Braga, Manny Coto and Ira Steven Behr as guys who have really thrilled me with Trek stories through the years and frankly he’s my favourite of them. And so we come to some recent news.

Nicholas Meyer will be involved in the CBS Star Trek show set for 2017. He will be a consulting producer and some sources are already tentatively crediting him as a writer- though take that with several grains of salt.

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No….Just…No.

What will this mean? Well, the sad thing for me and I’m sure many like me is that I just haven’t mustered up any excitement for this series. For me, the last bit of Star Trek we got was back in 2005, with a disappointing Enterprise finale. It slumbered for a few years before finally being killed in it’s sleep by a spectacled, lens flare-obsessed Star Wars fan who, damage done to Trek, rode off on his merry way once he got the keys to the kingdom he’d actually been after all along. He left a Star Trek franchise stranded in continuity no man’s land, where the 40 years of beloved canon that had been pain-stakingly put together to our delight, was sadly now thrown aside as old stories were polished off and made sexier, dumber and soulless.

As a result, the cynic in me finds it hard to believe that the bigwigs would now decide to go back into the original world and continue the story. And that means that even with a Star Trek great like Meyer given some sort of role(ceremonial or participatory), I doubt it will make me happy. As I said, what has been the man’s strength in the past is his ability to cast tradition and continuity aside for the sake of story and that means he might happily go along with an alternative continuity- one that might actually be very well written but that simply won’t be the Star Trek I’ve known and loved.

The news has, however, given me a glimmer of hope. Nowadays with Trek, I first want continuity taken care of, then I want story quality attended to. But I at least know that, with Meyer involved, we definitely have a good shot at the second one.

*- Horatio Hornblower never said that

Spocktail Party Feb 25th – Tickets now available

We are hosting a ‘Spocktail Party’ in memory of Leonard Nimoy who passed away on February 27th 2015.  There will be a distinctive Spock theme to the evening.  We will be playing some of our favourite Spock episodes of Star Trek (The Original Series ‘Amok Time’ and the Next Generation two parter ‘Unification’, while drinking Spocktails and cocktails from Quarks Bar, plus a Star Trek themed raffle and more.. Space is limited so please book your tickets asap.  Strictly over 18.

Pre-book your ticket here.

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