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How the Web saved Star Trek

From Friday's Globe and Mail

On its sunniest days, the Internet is simply a place for creativity to flourish ...Read the full article

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  1. stan unknown from Canada writes: Star Trek TIMELESS, now how do we fix music.
  2. Computer Dufus from Canada writes: This is probably one of the most enjoyable and well written articles I've read on G&M. Not just because I like Star Trek either. I like the way Ivor tied in the optimistic utopian ideals of Star Trek's "Federation" to the realities of our real world commerce and copyright. Sounds like CBS get's it also. The Kirk character's message was always "think outside the box" to solve problems just as the franchise's message is to "think outside the box to make the world a better place". The message of Star Trek is more relevant today than it has ever been. I'd bet that Obama and his administration have a fondness for Star Trek also in that it embodies their ideology.
  3. Mr. Coffee from Victoria, Canada writes: Good point, Stan Unknown. Top 40 music is a wasteland of train wrecks like Brittany Spears and TV is rife with idiotic reality TV shows. The steroid-enhanced jocks will have their fun trashing us nerds and I'm proud to call myself a Trekkie. Hey, they can always watch UFC if Trek gets under their skin.
  4. One Ton from T'ranna, Canada writes: This is the thing that terrifies the big-hitters in the entertainment industry - and why CBS was fine with giving permission to a fan-base they saw as somewhat limited (and maybe fanatical) but maybe not so fine with other things. Everyone remembers George Lucas and his legal spat over thumbs? There is an unpleasant taste of "if it has value, it is copyrighted and vice versa" in the rhetoric of the MPAA, and I'm glad these enthusiastic fanboys are around to dis-prove it.

    The power of people sharing ideas passionately trumps most other means of producing content, and the audience are becoming the creators and distributors. TV and film are starting to become like theatre - portable, accessible, and with the only difference between professional and amateur being one of quality - and subjective quality at that - while marketing becomes an irrelevance because of the power of community and word-of-mouth.

    It was bound to be idealistic, forward-looking Trekkies who milked the most out of modern technology (along with Doctor Who fans, who are being encouraged by the BBC to re-create the "lost episodes" of that series using animation, stop-motion, CGI and an array of other filmic styles). Now, if only they'd let the rest of us get-on with sharing what we love about our culture without panicking! How much MORE of a box-office record did Wolverine have to made before people realize it actually helped the film to have people see it for free first?

    And it's not just writers and actors. Anyone seen the re-edited Star Wars prequels? They actually make me think there were good films hidden in all of George Lucas' fumbling. There's also a re-edited Matrix trilogy floating around out there, with or without the Zion stuff - in fact, you can probably find a home-made re-edit of most major films online, as well as tones of re-translated subtitles.

    How these people find the time, I'll never know...
  5. Stuart MacDonald from Toronto, Canada writes: Great last column Ivor. Sorry to see you go, truly.

    - Stuart
  6. S. Forrest from Cambridge, ON, Canada writes: Stuart, where is Ivor going? I haven't read anything indicating his column is ending.
  7. Grey Geese from Canada writes: Ivor needs a radio show or a way longer than five minutes web clip!
  8. b3ar the elder from Victoria, Canada writes: Great column, one of the best I've read on the Grope 'n Flail. I'll be looking up PhaseII, thanks Ivan.
  9. Bill Needle from Canada writes: The revenge of the nerds is that 'nerd' entertainment has become the norm. Who would have guessed that Batman would be one of the most successful cinema icons of all time or that a 1977 space opera would still be going strong in the 21st century. How about that fact that pretending to be an elf or orc online in a little game called Warcraft (Dungeons and Dragons by any other name) is an occupation shared by millions. Then there are the Lord of the Rings movies, the X-men franchise, Iron-man , Spider-man, HALO and of course Star Trek. I've never seen so many people openly engaging in genres and activities that once meant ostracization.
  10. David Ho from Markham, Canada writes: Star Trek never needs saving
  11. Eee Plebneesta from Canada writes: didn't csi do a send up of this?

    irony?

    a parody of a tv show doing a parody of a tv show doing a parody of real life with insider academics analyzing the process the whole way...
  12. Michael Cnudde from Canada writes: I've visited the Phase II site... some of the episodes, especially the later ones, are very good. It is worth a look. Congratulations to Paramount and CBS for encouraging this sort of thing.

    Good column.
  13. Commander Groovechild from Canada writes: Actually, Star Trek saved the Web. The Borg sent one of their spheres back in time before the dot.com bubble to infiltrate the World Wide Web. But the crew of the Enterprise gave those half-machines a terrible pounding the Borg will not soon forget. Left in the past are surgically modified Vulcan crew members Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Michael Jackson.
  14. Raging Squirrel from Toronto, ON, Canada writes: There is another semi-pro fan fiction series called Star Trek: Of Gods and Men. It features lots of Trek veterans from Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols to Alan Ruck, Garrett Wang, and Tim Russ (who also directed). It's quite good all things considered. http://startrekofgodsandmen.com/

    I loved the Star Trek reboot - and I've been watching Trek since the early 1970s. Looks like the franchise is in good hands, or tentacles, or flippers or whatever.
  15. Peering Out from Finland writes: Playing Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon while watching the Wizard of Oz DOES have a nice soothing effect. I've heard that playing some LPs backwards is kinda neat too. Hell, i once drew a moustache on a copy of Mona Lisa 'just for fun' (Dylan was there beside me encouraging). 'Intellectual property rights' is a dubious notion at best, completely nonsensical at worst....
  16. Vancouver Canadian from Vancouver, Canada writes: Dont forget Stone Trek, where Star Trek meets the Flintstones!
    http://www.angelfire.com/fl/sapringer/STDOTCOM.html
  17. Paul Bowler from Canberra, Australia writes: Bill Needle from Canada: If your "space opera" is indeed Star Trek, the the year was 1967 and not 1977 - Mr Spock checked with Enterprise's memory banks and the Captain's Log! Yes I am a Trek fan - not a full-blown Trekkie - and I still marvel at the technological ideas that Gene Roddenberry introduced back then - warp drive, voice-activated computers, photon torpedoes, tele-transportation ("Beam me up, Scotty" - the ultimate in escapism!), tri-coders and tracter beams (or should that be tractor beams?) Good luck and good fortune to those who continue to advance to the "final frontier"!!
  18. John Doe from Canada writes: For a similar display of how much creativity an (even unintended) collaboration can achieve on the Internet check out thru-you by Kutiman. He has remixed some of the best music in years simply from YouTube clips. This guy is to the music industry what those StarTrek fans are to the film industry. We need more of that and some good platforms to enable those artists to be rewarded directly by viewers/listeners if their work is enjoyed.
  19. daniel saliken from Vancouver, Canada writes: My wife once asked me why I like science fiction (and Star Trek) so much and I explained its because sci fi is an important tool in society to let us examine taboo issues objectively when thinly disguised as racism or exploitation by Tirgons on Planet 9. Can't talk about McCarthyism or Taliban or abortion???, just set it in another galaxy and the message can be digested.

    Star Trek did this with optimism, tolerance, and inclusion that was in the 1960s (and still) generations ahead of real life.

    I heard a story that the producers of Next Generation did not want to cast a bald (less attractive) Captain Picard arguing in the future they will surely have a baldness cure and Roddenberry responded by saying...in the future they will surely not care.
  20. Perennial Optimism from Canada writes: I have heard a rumour that Ivor might be leaving the Globe. I hope this rumour is false and that the Globe does what it can to keep Ivor's writing/podcasts coming. Ivor brings a well considered and often completely overlooked view to his subjects. This article is yet another good example of this.

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