I remember watching The Best of Both Worlds part one on television in Australia with no idea what was coming, there was no internet to spoil things then. Ending on that amazingly good cliffhanger was agonising because in Australia we had no idea when the show would be coming back or even if the channel that carried it would show it (science fiction shows have been notoriously handled in Australian prime time – even our own produced Farscape was relegated to late night Christmas binge watching).
So seeing Picard walk out as that Borg was just really damn good, jaw-dropping television.
Whilst Patrick Stewart is always brilliant I think that Jonathan Franks and Riker get a real chance to shine in this two parter, that last scene which tightens in to focus on Riker and he orders Worf to open fire is wonderful and a great moment for the character.
Truth be told it’s Captain Kirk, I know I’ve already featured him but he’s my favourite Star Trek character, despite loving them all dearly. Not really much else to say that hasn’t already been said, I do want to mention how much I appreciate Chris Pine’s take on the character. I think he filled some very large and intimidating boots to capture the essence of the character.
He said that he didn’t watch the show to avoid studying Shatner and doing what could have been an awful imitation and so I think that it’s fantastic that there are scenes in Star Trek 2009 that he seems to be channelling Shatner’s Kirk. Especially the scene where he sits in the chair for the first time, I expect if what he says is true then the direction of JJ Abrams must be applauded.
As a side note, I think the novels (especially the film adaptations) have also helped shape my mind view of the character and I love the uneasy position of admiration Kirk is placed in after the V’Ger incident. A very public saving of Earth (I assume Picard’s time travelling adventure from First Contact were probably not advertised to the wider population) saw him elevated from the best Captain in the fleet to the saviour of Earth and all the hero worship that followed.
There’s a small line in Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country where the C in C says to the President of the Federation “Sir. …Those men have literally saved this planet.”. I think that’s a nice reminder of where the crew of the Enterprise and Captain Kirk sit in the public consciousness within the Star Trek universe.
I drew him in the TOS EVA Suit because I just like the look of it and I don’t get to draw it enough.
I was a latecomer to Firefly but I was lucky to come to it with almost perfect timing. I heard vague rumours about the show but for ages I didn’t bother checking it out, I’m not even sure if it actually aired on Australian free to air television, if it did it would have been late at night and I somehow missed it.
So I got a copy of the first two episodes through dubious channels and fell in love with it, immediately, without even realising it. I bought the DVDs the day after and for the next fourteen nights we watched an episode (novice binge watchers back then). The timing was spot on because barely a month or so on Serenity was released in cinemas.
So it was a real treat to go from watching this amazing show and then jumping straight into the big screen continuation. That screening was full of browncoats and they were so into it. It is still one of my favourite shared viewing experiences (I have very few positive shared viewing experiences), we still talk of the guy who gasped so loudly in the aftermath of the Serenity crashing, the whole cinema was silent except for this one guy. Poor bastard must have have had a heart attack at the next scene.
The soundtrack is beautiful and the film is wonderfully shot with character moments for everyone. It’s a film that has it’s own problems but none of which particularly concern me.
I still love Serenity, in fact I upgraded it to 4K, I’m not sure I can tell the difference but the film is beautiful in HD and even the special effects still hold up. So it’s a keeper for me, though I do have to offload the Blu-ray.
This is part of an ongoing series where I examine each movie in my Blu-ray collection to evaluate if I should keep it (I’m attempting to streamline as I feel it’s growing too big again). Read about the project here.
Sometimes when doing commission pieces a unique request will arrive in my inbox with a challenge. A long time supporter of Star Trek Scribbles and Lee Draws Stuff sent me a tentative message over on Etsy asking if I’d be interested in some kind of mash up. After seeing Michael quote Alice in Wonderland on Star Trek Discovery she was delighted as it is her favourite book and it really resonated with her.
I was heading off to Tasmania at the time so we discussed it, she locked in the request and I gave her the month I was away to really think about what sequence from the book she’d like to see. I’m familiar with it, I’ve read it and I’m a fan of the novel but I’m not a devotee and not really up to the challenge of capturing that without guidance.
Flash forward and after clearing a few commission pieces I checked back in and was given three sequences from the book to see what I thought. Well the Cheshire Cat was already admittedly marinating in the back of my head whilst I hiked through the wilderness. So when the conversation with the cat in the tree came up I jumped at it.
Fortunately it was her favourite as well.
So then it was to decide how to mash these two together and this was left to me. Should Michael be dressed as Alice, should Alice’s world be merged more into the Discovery universe or vice versa? Some quick research into the classic look and feel of the Cheshire Cat and I saw the page that the passage appears on and everything clicked into place perfectly.
One last decision though and I think I went the right way, should the Tardigrade be smiling?
This one is a no-brainer because frankly at any given point any of the “enemy” species on Star Trek can flip and become aligned. We’ve seen it with the Klingons and the Romulans but there are one species that do not give a shit about peaceful cohabitation and that is the Borg.
Also, it’s really fun to draw them.
Whilst I do appreciate all that they did with the Borg I do feel that deep down they weakened them as an enemy by adding the Borg Queen. Up until that point, they were a relentless assimilation machine that couldn’t be reasoned with. I mean it’s possible that Locutus also chipped away at this terrifying oppressive force but I get why they did it, some sort of concept of facilitating assimilation more readily to avoid wasted resources as misguided as that may have been. I try to imagine that they’ve done it in the past and other Borg figureheads have been created and reabsorbed.
But the Borg Queen added a convenient weak point, an interactive point to engage with the Borg and try and reason or negotiate. The Borg were in my opinion much more terrifying when they were a blank wall of assimilated faces.But don’t get me wrong, the Borg Queen is a great character still and there are patterns in nature that are reflected in this so it’s not unprecedented.
Fun fact: This is actually the 100th Star Trek illustration for this year.
I’ve also posted over on Patreon a video showing the complete process of drawing this – from pencil line to the final touches – only $1 a month gets you access to these kinds of things plus helps me buy ink!!!
I’ve got a new rig to record these videos on and it really makes the whole process a heck of a lot easier to do, one of these days I shall outline my set up for those who are interested. I was actually surprised how clearly this came up, sorry if it’s a little too long but I’m still experimenting with what is a watchable speed.
I remember watching this episode when it first aired and being struck by how brilliant a concept this was played out extremely well by Patrick Stewart. It’s a shame my favourite episode wasn’t one that used the entire cast but this is just a great story and it’s only able to be told so effectively because of all of the episodes that come before it.
It’s a bit of a mind fuck when you realise that Picard has lived a whole lifetime, it has to mess with you. I’ve only lived forty years and it’s completely shaped me as a person, now imagine living out another 40 years in a different life and having those memories and experience. The character himself must be forever changed and I appreciate that the flute becomes a regular reminder of this throughout the remainder of the series.
It really does paint Picard in an extraordinary light, the mental fortitude of having survived complete assimilation into the Borg collective, living out an entire life, helping to shape Klingon politics and witnessing the birth of warp drive first hand amongst so much else.
A really nice episode to rewatch for this challenge.
I struggled with deciding this one and then went for the first thing that kept popping into my head. I remember beaming (excuse the pun) when newly-demoted Captain Kirk sees the Enterprise-A for the first time and says “My friends, we’ve come home.” The music swells with the original series which to this point has largely been absent from The Voyage Home soundtrack and it adds a nice happy ending for the last three films.
The end scene as they all settle into their roles on the bridge just tops it off and declares that the crew is ready to go off boldly going where no one has before again.
So that’s my pick for the happiest moment in Star Trek, there are plenty more but it’s the one that jumps to mind first.
The natural choice here is almost immediately to go to the death of Spock. It is one of the most iconic death sequences and funerals not only in science fiction but in film in general. But so far this list has been very TOS heavy and I wanted to highlight a scene that took me completely by surprise and I will unashamedly admit that bawled like baby when I saw it.
At the end of Enterprise they have done such a good job at being so likeable a cast that it doesn’t matter if the first two seasons were wasted with troubled writing. In the episode Terra Prime Trip and T’Pol’s child is dying and Dr Phlox leaves them alone with the child and speaks to Captain Archer on his way out:
When you invited me to join this crew, I thought it would be an interesting diversion for a few months. Some time away from the complications of family, which on Denobula can be extremely complicated. I didn’t expect to gain another family. (close to tears) It hurts as if she were my own child.
Even reading that makes me well up a little. It is a beautiful scene, it is perfectly executed by both Phlox and Archer and it deserves a mention.
The commission request was for Han and Chewie from any of the films “as long as they are cool bros” which I love as an instruction! So I thought of instead of them on a planet somewhere or even in the cockpit I’d have them just hanging out at “home”.
The thing that took me the longest was Han Solo’s hair LOL.
It’s always nice to visit the “Wars” star universe 😉