fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Default)
Seasons 1 and 2 of the original Star Trek. Every episode of Season 1 and 2 sans "The Cage" but with both halves of "The Menagerie" side by side (row 2), and in the bottom right corner, "Spectre of The Gun" - the opening episode of Season 3.

Things to look out for:-

- Row 8, columns 2 and 3, about 2:25 on. Round about 2:38, the Enterprise looks as if it's crossing from one screen to the other.

- See which episode's opening theme comes on first, and which one comes last.

- Towards the end, see which episode's closing theme comes first, and which last.

Video withdrawn. Star Trek has been cancelled. )
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Default)
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The current tech level would be waay lower, for one thing. Tons of modern technological items, from computers to modern sensor equipment (portable metal detectors, colour sensors, laser level and range finders, modern GPS, etc) owe their existence to some bright spark thinking them up on Star Trek.

I was going to mention "doors that open themselves," but there's a precedent for that from Ancient Greece.

And in case you think I'm kidding, look up "transparent aluminum" one of these days. And if you're wondering how aluminium can form transparent compounds at all, you haven't heard of rubies and emeralds.

Google search page

Wikipedia entry

Another Wikipedia entry

The latest high level concept from The Harrison Arsenal - Aluminium Oxynitride.

I suspect that, in another way, the world would be a much darker and more terrible place too, but not for the reason you suspect.

If you think current levels of racism, sexism and other bigotries are bad, imagine what they'd be like without the catalyst of a show like Star Trek coming along and showing the world how people of different ethnic backgrounds can and must work together.

Politically, the show's message came along at just the right time. Nichelle Nichols' Uhura encouraged young women and black people to strive for better; Walter Koenig's Chekov and George Takei's Sulu also gave people of different ethnic backgrounds hope that they, too, can attain positions of command and responsibility.

Most of all, despite the seeming simplicity of some storylines ("The Omega Glory" springs to mind with its "shock twist" "Ee'd Plebnista" ending, and the Space Hippies from "The Way to Eden") nonetheless as a cultural phenomenon, Star Trek brought out a timely sense of optimism in the American public at the time - and, when it reached international markets, the rest of the world.

At a time (the early 1970s) when TV and cinema SF was in serious danger of dying on its feet, with the most incredibly downbeat SF like Soylent Green, Phase IV,Westworld,Capricorn One and The Stepford Wives, it took a bright and shining show like Star Trek to keep that little spark of optimism alive until Star Wars came along in 1977 and rekindled it into a brilliant, beautiful flame again.

While all the world was fearfully looking to the skies, expecting The Bomb to fall on them at any minute, Star Trek kept reminding us that we had hope; that humanity still had a future, and that it would be in many ways a lot better time than the ugly present.

And even though no new TV Star Trek series are currently being made, the optimism of this show and its descendants is a message that we still need to heed in our current pessimistic climate.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Default)
I just realised something these past few days.

All the movies I ever watched, all the music I grew up with, are now kind of ... ancient.

I was talking to a friend of mine, who reminded me that her tenth wedding anniversary was this year - it was held a short while ago. I asked her what big movie was playing at the time of the wedding.

Her reply: Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula.

You know, the one with that Keanu Reeves chap. (H'mm. Wonder what happened to him)?

I was watching some of those Star Trek movies - you know, the pre-Picard ones. The first one was made in 1979, if I recall correctly.

That makes it more than 25 years old this year.

Looking at all of the things I have considered culturally important, I am perhaps a little apprehensive to realise just how old many of them are nowadays.

For example ...

22 years ago, in 1982, Philip K Dick passed away. His short story, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, however, made it onto the big screens twenty years ago this year, in the form of the seminal cyberpunk movie Blade Runner - a movie which made bankable stars out of Rutger Hauer and Harrison Ford.

In 1994, not only did we get to see Dracula, but also this was the year The Lion King made it into the cinemas.

I found myself listening to Face to Face by Siousxie and The Banshees recently - a song track which was released around the time of the movie Batman Returns. This makes it twelve years old - and the original Batman, released in 1989, 15 years old.

And it's not just movies and soundtracks which have undergone the test of time.

I was looking at the modest library of roleplaying games I've amassed over the years. I found myself looking at three White Wolf games, all set in the (original) World of Darkness - a grim, noiresque reflection of our own world.

I recall how 1993 saw the release of a game I would fall in love with - a game whose tenth anniversary I celebrated around August last year, and whose eleventh anniversary is marked by the game line's ending: Mage: the Ascension.

This year, 2004, was meant to be the tenth anniversary of Wraith: the Oblivion, the fourth game in White Wolf's WoD series. Sadly, W:tO barely lasted five years.

What happened? The Reckoning happened, now five years ago. This huge metaplot event turned the WoD on its head, set in motion cataclysmic events which led to this year's Time of Judgment and the ending of all the old game lines.

Five years ago, in addition, a new game came to town - a game I took to like a shot, a game featuring the most ordinary people thrust into the most extraordinary situations.

I am, of course, referring to Hunter: the Reckoning, the game of the common, ordinary man forced to see the Truth about the WoD.

Five years old this year. Happy Birthday.

15 years ago, in 1989, I suffered a crippling setback when a story I wrote got rejected. It was the first of many rejections, and the old story's now lingering in some back drawer: but at the time, I felt the world was coming down around my ears. I felt that I might never write again.

And now, I'm starting all over again. I've been using the Hunter game to hone my writing abilities, to give myself confidence, to show the world that I can write.

Recently, I entered a writing competition launched by the BBC. I submitted a story outline for a short tale I've already written, but which I'd need to convert to a screenplay if I ever got shortlisted.

Last year, a competition entry I submitted to a magazine came fourth, just bubbling under: the editor returned the tale with a letter telling me it was a fine story, and regretting that it had been a difficult choice to choose someone else's short story over mine in the end.

But looking back at these films and shows, these books and games, I realise something. They've stood the test of time for me, so well written were they.

And now it's my turn to write the books and stuff that will stand the test of time to come.

June 2017

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