Going Boldly With Starship Valiant

When it comes to Star Trek, I have always considered the TV shows to be a much superior product than any of the movies to date. And it’s a great time to be a fan of TV Star Trek, because we have several completed series to enjoy (The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space 9, Voyager, The Animated Series, and Enterprise) and  a new series coming to CBS All Access in 2017 (Star Trek Discovery). But the offerings don’t stop there – we also have some great fan made projects that more than stand on their own laurels.  Some of  these efforts expand upon the original characters, tapping into a rich universe of settings and history to tell their unique story. And one effort that is doing it as well as anyone is Starship Valiant.

Starship Valiant

The Starship Valiant stories take place aboard the starship USS Valiant NCC-1707, in the timeframe roughly equal with The Original Series. The vessel is helmed by Jackson K. Bishop (played by the multifaceted Michael L. King), a complex individual that is calm under pressure and quick to strive for a resolution. The second in command is the ever capable Leeza S. Kennedy, and together, along with a formidable crew of Star Fleet’s finest, they take the USS Valiant where it is needed, often into hostile territory.

Starship Valiant

But the producers of the series are quick to pull the story back down from the stars and the technology and make it into a human one. This was one thing that Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was keen on doing, keeping it with his “Wagon Train To The Stars” original concept.  And I have not seen this done any better than with Starship Valiant’s latest story, “Starship Valiant: Crosses to Bear”.

“Crosses to Bear” explores the struggles and challenges that are faced by a doctor on a starship. In this episode a lot of the “action” takes place in the sickbay.  I won’t give anything away, but the title is a prefect fit for the episode.  David Cox, who plays Chief Medical Officer Roger Floyd, delivers a strong performance that showcases the humanity of it all. The episode is described as a story from the Starship Valiant Universe, and I find that the shorter run time (less than 30 minutes) works very well in this format.

You can find the episodes to date on the Starship Valiant YouTube channel, and the “Crosses to Bear” episode is here. Also, be sure to check out the behind the scenes features and more that the cast and crew have put together. Below is the trailer for “Starship Valiant: Crosses to Bear”.

 

Looping Infinity Squared Film Explains Popular Time Travel Mechanics

Time travel is a popular story mechanic that is used in a lot of modern (and classic) science fiction stories. In fact, one of my favorite authors, Keith Laumer,  practically made a career out of it (Dinosaur Beach, Other Side of Time). But did you ever stop and consider how many different time travel mechanics are in use in popular stories?

Infinity Squared

 

Jake Roper of Vsauce3 has certainly considered these, and has even created a video that breaks it all down for the curious armchair time traveler. The resulting short film, Infinity Squared, is an entertaining look at time travel. Well, I should probably reconsider the phrase “short film” here, since the video was created in a 10 hour looping video format. Now that should help to illustrate the point.

 


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Infinity

The earliest recorded idea of infinity comes from Anaximander, a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher who lived in Miletus. He used the word apeiron which means infinite or limitless.

source:wikipedia

The Short Adventure of Hum The Robot

What do you do if you are a lonely robot, doomed to a life of menial kitchen service, and then discover that there is more to your existence? Tom Teller and his crew from the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts attempt to answer that question with this award winning short film. The animation was a project for their advanced production class.

 

Hum Short Film

The robot Hum (ho-hum, maybe?) is happy enough in his kitchen workplace when his epiphany occurs. In many ways, the film could serve as a example that we all could possibly look beyond our existence and see more than we normally do on a daily basis. And, just as it does for the robot,  you can never tell when just such an opportunity might present itself. When you look at it this way, it’s easy to see that Hum, in his own way, deserves to be the hero of the story.

The short but somewhat gritty film lets us peak into this voyage of discovery with an ending that – well, I won’t spoil anything for you.

 

 

Star Truck

“Star Date 29.95, plus tax.” What do you get when you mix Star Trek with the Animaniacs? Why, Star Truck, of course! The clever one liners fly in this terrific parody.

 

Spock, His Best Bits

As any fan of Star Trek The Original Series knows, the ever so logical Spock could often deliver a dry but effective zinger. A calculated correction or timely observation could often levitate the mood, whether it was intentional or not. Here are some of his best bits.