Star Trek in the Park (Aro)

January 17, 2017 at 8:13 am | Posted in Show Review | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , ,

It is the beginning of a new year, so it is time for Summer Star Trek.

This year they put on Journey to Babel¬†– notable for introducing Spock’s father (Sarek)¬† and mother (Amanda Grayson).

This is the best production yet. The adaptation for the open format was very good, and the acting did not take itself too seriously, so it was fun! Spock and Kirk were borderline  parodies of themselves Рjust brilliant. The introduction of the actors shaking created a real sensation of movement.

As usual the pre-show was talented and enjoyable. The singing of ‘Star Trekking’ was done particularly well on the night I went.

If you are a Star Trek fan, this it is definitely worth a go.


The Naked Time – Star Trek in the Park

February 12, 2015 at 9:27 am | Posted in Play Review, Show Review | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Star Trek must be moving mainstream – after all people are putting it on live and outdoors.

So, I went to the opening night of Summer Star Trek – in Aro Park, in Aro Valley. This year it is “The Naked Time“; next year it will be “Mirror Mirror“. I know because part of the pre-show entertainment is the audience voting for next year’s production :-).

Also part of the pre-show entertainment was the “Space Babes” who sang a number of space themed David Bowie numbers. But the best number was “Star Trekking” – with the audience singing along.

The ‘episode’ kicked off with Bethany Millar (one of the “Space Babes”) singing the introductory sound track – she did the whole ‘wooo’ sequence, without the musicians using an electric keyboard. In fact the live music was a flute, cello (played by the versatile Miller), violin (played by Joel Miller who also sang with the Space Babes), and an accordion.

The plot is as I remember it. Though some of the characters have had their sex swapped – presumably to cater for the cast: McCoy; Zulu; Riley and Joe Tormolen all get switched. Captain Kirk is played by James Bayliss. He and whoever played Spock – there is no cast list – provide the back bone of the story – as they did in the original TV episode.

There is only one set, and there is some very clever prop switches. So that one back drop serves as the bridge, the sickbay, a corridor, a science base, an engine room; brilliantly done. The amazing sliding doors were re-created with pitch perfect sound effects – in a very clever way.

The episode itself is noteworthy because it introduces homeopathy – through the concept of water behaving as alcohol.

Worth going to: bring a thick picnic blanket; a donation; a picnic dinner; and prepare to boldly go where you have not been before.

Star Trek: Into Darkness

May 12, 2013 at 9:46 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Or as I prefer to think of it Star Trek XI.

Director J.J. Abrams has done a great job.

Warning: Plot elements discussed.

The old gang (Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, Bones and Scotty) take on John Harrison – a Federation operative gone rogue. Harrison has killed tens of people and some of the Federation’s top captains – including Christopher Pike. Joining the crew is Dr. Carol Marcus as science officer – much to Spock’s chagrin.

The re-boot of the Star Trek universe is still underway. The death of Captain Pike by phaser fire removes all of the old story threads that originate with the Captain-Pike-in-a-wheel-chair. The addition of a new character – Marcus – creates fresh opportunities.

The film is very much a character study – of Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto), and Uhura (Zoe Saldana) gets a significant look-in. Quinto’s Spock is softer than previous portrays. In some ways John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) acts like a mirror for Kirk. How is Kirk’s disregard for the rules different from Harrison’s ruthlessness. Cumberbatch plays a superb villan.

There are some nice combat – small unit and ship-to-ship – sequences. The original TV-series was strong on script because the cost of special effects. Today’s Star Trek TV-series and films are less shackled. Abrams gets the mix right. Having the Enterprise re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere is spectacular.

The opening third of the movie does a great job of dangling a number of possible plot directions; so it is a total surprise when Harrison’s real identity is revealed. This film re-boots one of the original TV episodes – “Space Seed”.

There were moments of light-heartedness: the throttle control on the Enterprise looks like a copy of the on on Galaxy Quest.

Well done to the Trailer director – who put together a completely different impression of the film.

Definitely worth seeing on the wide screen.

Star Trek

May 25, 2009 at 3:21 am | Posted in Film Review | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I went to see Star Trek, a.k.a. Star Trek Rebooted, the other night. Warning: plot elements revealed

May 10, 2009 by

Film Hanger

Paper Hanger Blog
New Zealand

The trailer looked good and as it turned out so was the movie.

This film reinvents the characters from the orginal TV Series in a way that the original Star Trek film in 1979 did not – but should have. The ‘reboot’ is nothing like the ponderous self-tributte of the 1979 film. Instead, we see the beginnings of the crew of the Enterprise (NCC 1701); and as it turns out an alternative crew, in what turns out to be an alternative reality! To be fair, this film could not be made in 1979, the fan base was not ready for a reinvention. But, 30 years on, with the fan base widened and diversified, and the plot universe getting crowded, with the example of Battle Star Galactica to follow, it was time. The ‘new’ characters are similar enough to the old ones, that old fans won’t object (too much). While newer fans, and soon to be fans, have lots to latch onto.

The casting of Zachary Quito as Spock was spot on. James T Kirk, played by Chris Pine, has been updated to be a brasher, more testosterone driven, action character. I think that the Spock character will overshadow Kirk character in the inevitable sequels to come – Spock comes across as the more complex character.

Uhura, reflecting modern views of women, is a much stronger character. She is more assured and aggressive than the original. She could turn out to be a very complex character in later films – certainly the base is there. Perhaps a tribute to Zoe Saladana’s characterisation.

Dr McCoy (Karl Urban), Lt. Sulu (John Cho) and Esign Chekov (Anton Yelchin) don’t get much of a makeover. I suppose there is only so much time in a movie, and these three seem pretty much as they always were.

The only new characterisation I did not like was Simon Pegg as Scotty. Scotty is now young brash nerd ! Oh well. He has also acquired a green companion who does – who knows what.

This is without a doubt the first in a series of new Star Trek films. The characters are re-invented, with homage to some of the highlights from the original TV series – like ‘the kiss’. A nice touch is the death of the minor character in the red suit – in the TV series, and Galaxy Quest, the guy in red always died; well guess what he does !

The universe is re-invented too. Through time travel, an alternate timeline is created. So future films will not be shackled by ‘the past’. Needless-to-say the crew save earth (and the Federation as we will come to know it) from destruction by Nemo – Eric Bana – the film’s villain. And in a homage to previous Star Treks, Wrath of Khan, the villain is given quite a bit of depth

A must see on the wide screen.


Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.