"The Trek ramblings of a geeky Drag Queen"

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Sunday, 12 February 2017

Discovery: Let's talk 'Klingons'

By now you've all seen the leaked pictures of the new Klingons from Star Trek Discovery. The image was posted to Instagram by a Toronto based film extra who, according to @startrekdog (presumably an account run by Nicholas Meyer?), is no longer with the production. My commiserations go to Andrew McKay as posting snaps to social media from exciting jobs is really the norm these days, I guess he didn't get the media blackout brief and I wish him success in the future (and secretly, thank you! we were clamouring for info, even if some of it can be disappointing)

Anyway, you will also have seen the huge negative response to the incorrect look of the new Klingons? I say incorrect because clearly we know exactly how the Klingons appear in that time period as its set a mere 10 years before TOS. I'm not going to delve into inverse reasons as to why they might look like this, that is the job of the writers, but my biggest fear here is that we simply will not get an explanation. We are all well aware that the 1987 TNG Klingons had to be modernised and adhere to the tastes of an 80's audience, but thankfully the two shows were set 100 or so apart and a lot can happen in that amount of time. When TOS and the modern Trek started to dabble with crossovers it became clear that this anomaly would have to be addressed and sure enough, after 35 years, we got the answers we were looking for in the way of an episode of Enterprise and the Augment virus (genius!)

So, here we are again! We are Trekkers and you have to admit, we will swallow pretty much anything that is put in front of us, regardless of how far fetched or unrealistic it is and all we need to be able to do that is an inverse explanation as to why. We will all have to wait until Discovery airs to find out if the producers are going to provide us with one, one can only hope so, but if alas they tell us 'because its 2017 and we can', then personally, I will have a hard time going along with that. It feels sort of disrespectful to wade into such a classic, well rounded, well developed, well established show and particularly an iconic species, and tamper with it, especially if the reason for the change is to target and attract non Star Trek fans. If this had been a sequel or future show, I'd have accepted such a huge change and have assumed there would be explanation's down the line, but the fact that Discovery is set in the middle of an already familiar time, it does not make sense.

 

I have seen many comparisons made with the old Romulans and the TNG Romulans. Such a subtle change was forgiven, especially with their close genetic similarities with Vulcans who do not have head ridges, but brown face make up on an TOS actor as opposed to an elongated earless skull with hairless ridges to the back of the neck is a vastly different species. The only time that I can remember Star Trek making such a noticeable change to the look of a species without explanation was the Trill. The Trill started as an alien of the week and the species concept was so interesting that DS9 included one in their show, casting Terry Farrell who was far to pretty to cover in latex. We now except Terry's make up as the Trill species and largely disregard the one episode character 'Odan'. This Klingon situation is of course a little different, if you name something associated with Star Trek, you would only get three or four word in before you said Klingons, probably part of the reason that this new show revolves around them.

I have followed Star Trek for the best part of 20 years and have survived without it on TV only with my permanent re-watch of the shows whilst waiting in hope that one day TV would return to that universe. I can't tell you how excited I was when they announced a new TV show, how disappointed I was when they announced it as a prequel (I'm yet to meet a single person who didn't want a post Voyager show), how pleased I was when they announced it as a Prime timeline plot, how confused I was when they débuted an old rejected sketch as the title ship, and now how scared I am now that they have accidentally announced a disregard for established Star Trek lore. That being said, there is (an unspecified, delay delay delay) time for the creators to keep the fans happy, fans that have kept this franchise alive both financially and in spirit for the past 50 years.

what did Admiral Forrest said? Don't screw this up! 





Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Unwanted Prequel or a fresh start for Trek?

The Star Trek world is all a-buzz with rumours and speculation over the upcoming TV series 'Star Trek Discovery'. Being in my mid 30s, the 90s Berman Star Trek is my era, as is the case with the largest TV Sci Fi-watching demographic. Of course, The Original Series is where it all began, but after three struggling years, cancellation and nearly two decades off the air, Trek returned in the modern form that remains the most popular of all. There are many surveys and polls run on a weekly basis, the most notable being by StarTrek.com, and the results are always the same. You can bet that Picard or Janeway will come out on top as the most popular captain, The Enterprise D as the favourite ship, Data as your favourite character, The Borg as the favourite species and the list goes on. All of which are elements not shared with ST:TOS.

Ever since it was released that Star Trek Discovery was going back in time, many people have voiced their opinions via social media and I am yet to see one who was hoping for a prequel. In fact, until I do find one of those people, I'd go as far as to say that as good as 100% of Star Trek fans wanted a post-Voyager show set in the 24th century or beyond. It's very easy to understand why. Many of us have spent a large portion of our lives (20 years in my case) following this show in a forward-moving continuing story line. The thirst for seeing what comes next is strong and seeing how the prequel show Enterprise marked the end of an 18 year run for the show, it seemed unlikely that the owners of Star Trek would risk going down that avenue again. Wrong, CBS is indeed taking Star Trek 'back to its roots' as they put it. Personally I felt that Deep Space Nine took Trek back to its roots with the themes that it tackled whilst still being set in the 24th century, so why go back in time, why bookend you show before it has started and why restrict your storytelling by having the endgame already written and produced?

Undoubtedly, showrunner Bryan Fuller did his research before coming up with the concept for Discovery, so why has he chosen to ignore all the surveys, polls and fan demands of a futuristic Star Trek show that continues the investment we have all made in the show over the years? That for me is difficult to understand and has confused me no end. I have settled on licencing issues. Setting it in a time period that no one has ever really thought about, mentioned or cared about sounds insane, but for CBS, it could be a safe place. Are they aiming around Gene-produced Star Trek because there are certain licencing restriction on Berman's Star Trek? It would certainly explain them serving something up that no one has asked for.

The trio that took us back to the past.

Here is the biggest issue. Due to the lack of interest with Enterprise, ratings were low which ultimately led to cancellation and a Star Trek TV drought for over 10 years. If Discovery is not well received, we could see history to repeat itself and any hope of seeing a continuation of the show we all want could be lost forever. For this reason, I can tell you that I will be backing Discovery and tuning in, if for no other reason than to help make it successful. I made a mistake by turning my back on Enterprise because I was frustrated about resetting a show I had followed for so long. Enterprise put so much thought and effort into writing stories that incorporated the future themes and species we had in TNG, DS9 and VOY and even shoehorned in guest stars from those 24th century shows. That added insult to injury because if you're going to do that, why not just set it alongside those shows and you can have all the guest stars you want!?

A familiar forced entry.
The final episode of Enterprise with Riker and Troi, too little too late.

I of course went back and watched Enterprise during the great Trek drought and, as you might expect, I thought the final two years of the show were epic, well written and nicely characterised. It goes without saying that Discovery is going to be a good TV show, I make that determination just going off Fuller's track record. If Discovery can hit the ground running, in two or three years, could we see it spawn the next spin-off just as TNG did? Pay for that CBS All Access, Tweet about, hashtag it, get behind it. This show NEEDS to work for the future of the Prime Universe!

Coming in May 2017

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Martia: Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country Cosplay

Before I get into the details of this particular cosplay, let me apologise for the recent neglect of my Star Trek Blog. A combination of other assignments, work and even a little laziness all intervened. If ever there was a time for me to be Trek blogging, it has been the past 12 months; with Star Trek celebrating its 50th anniversary, my trip to the Vegas convention and the new details of Star Trek Discovery coming in thick and fast. My thoughts on the aforementioned will be blogged in the very near future.

For this year's Destination Star Trek Europe (not as glamorous as it sounds, it's being held in Birmingham, UK), I settled on my new cosplay, that being Martia the shape shifting villain from ST:6. Deciding on who to dress as is a tricky business, it can make you indecisive, especially with a huge universe of colourful characters to choose from. My choices have always been fairly limited however as I have to lean towards characters with a suitable flamboyance to amalgamate with a Drag Queen. Most of my favourite Star Trek gals pretty much live in their all encompassing Starfleet uniforms which stretch from their neck to their toes, a look that covers my albeit fake curves. With the exception of the ultra fitted costume of 7 of 9, the uniform jumpsuits can give a frumpy look, not to mention that in a uniform, you're in danger of blending in to the crowd at any given Trek event.
Despite Martia being covered in fur from head to toe, I was drawn to her because of her exotic look, elaborate feather hairstyling and dramatic make up application.

Martia in Star Trek VI

What became apparent very quickly is that images of Martia are either scarce or lack detail. Many of the images of her on Google are low resolution, grainy screen shots from the movie or do not show her costume in its entirety.  Add to that, there is not a single shot in the movie where you see a full length uninterrupted clip of the character. The most useful image I found was in the book 'Star Trek Costumes' by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann, a must-have publication for any Star Trek cosplayer! I drew a series of sketches where I guessed at certain elements such as coat length, sleeve openings (was it in fact a coat or a shawl?) and her shoulder pieces (was that in fact a separate cape or part of the coat?). With character cosplay, the goal is to get your outfit looking as close to the screen seen costume as possible, so I'm happy to take artistic licence as long as it resembles what I see on TV. Fortunately, Martias costume was made to look 'rustic' as though as it was hastily mashed together in the freezing wilderness, made for survival rather than for fashion. I began collecting fur samples from anywhere I could find them, as long as they didn't have an Earth animal pattern on them, I snapped them up. I was advised by my costume maker to keep the fur of the body suit thin so that I didn't over heat, but as usual, I ultimately went for the closed fur I could find to the onscreen patterning and colour, rather than a thinner alternative (my costume maker helped keep it cooler to wear by not lining it).

Collection of (fake) fur samples for the costume

After watching clips from the movie to see how the costume moved, he decided that she was indeed wearing a full coat with wizard sized sleeves (which is what was giving it a cloak look) and that the shoulder fur was actually an unused hood (understandably unused as it would have interfered with her elaborate head piece). I found a heavy brown knit fabric which was perfect for her scarf and used the same material, turned inside out to give a slightly different colour and texture as a belt to tie the whole outfit together.

One element which is always difficult to solve with futuristic costuming is footwear. Present-day earth shoes aren't often suitable and my costume maker had previously done a wonderful job replicating 7 of 9's footwear, where he covered a pair of heels with the jumpsuit material. We discussed using a similar approach with Martia's snow boots but eventually decided that a high boot would just look like cheap 'boot covers' which are a 'fancy dress shop' trick to keep a costumes cost down. After scouring the internet, I actually found real goat hair boots in Hungary which, although not quite as high as the onscreen pair, they looked like they fit right in with the snow planets Eskimo look. They are the only part of the costume which are shop bought and not hand made.

Store bought winter footwear from Hungary

I always knew that Martia's headwear would be the trickiest aspect of the costume  It is very stylised and the front feather skull cap fits and frames her face perfectly. To achieve this smooth fitted look, I took a polystyrene wig block which was roughly the same size as my head and made a Papier mâché 'hat'.

Drying Papier mâché, it's a waiting game

To be sure that the piece would mould to my head without gaps or lifting up, I did the Papier-mâché in two stages. On top of the first dried layer, I glued a network of thin garden wire and sandwiched that with a second layer of paper and PVA/water solution. This would later allow me to bend the head piece to the exact shape of my head and face.

Wire network on the first layer of Papier mâché

I found feather pads (on eBay, but they're available in well stocked haberdashery stores) that are usually used as hat fascinators. I bought two Grouse feather pads and three Pheasant feather pads and then used my glue gun to thoroughly stick them to my skull cap. I then lined the skull cap with tights material both for comfort and to soak up any moisture from perspiration (I left an extra strip of lining material poking out from the back of the skull cap which I used to sew to the inside of the wig).

Feather hat pads used for the forehead appliance

Feather trimming (in red and ginger colours) was plucked and individual feathers were pinned into a dark brown wig.

Feather trim used for hair detailing

Finished forehead piece before the hair is added

Mock up for positioning before and gluing begins

The head piece on its work block

The finished head piece

The final touches to this cosplay was a pair of prescription contact lenses in Angel Yellow and a light-up fake cigar (available from most good joke shops).


I hope this blog has helped, inspired or interested you. Enjoy your next Star Trek event and say hi if you see me over heating in a corner somewhere! Keep Trekking.

The finished article.


(PS: join me for more Trek talk on Twitter @themistyshow and Instagram @themistychanceshow)

Friday, 2 January 2015

Eaglemoss: Star Trek Official Starships Collection Review

I have been collecting the Eaglemoss Star Trek Starships since day one, yet haven't given them a mention in my Trek blogs... until now.

The collection has been a joy to have around the house.  It looks impressive when all the ships are en masse, but like most things complex and vast, niggles have cropped up (*resists urge to mention the backward Defiant decal*).

First impressions count and for their opening gambit they gave us the Enterprise D, which to this day remains the largest (aside from the specials) and most detailed model.  It also contains the largest portion of die cast to plastic component ratio. A lot of its charm possibly comes from the ships actual design, but the quality of this model can not be denied and I cannot foresee any other addition to the collection taking over the D's intricacy and beauty.

USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D. The most detailed yet?,

One thing that this collection gives us is models that have never before been physically created and the variety is astounding, partly due to the project runners' passion and familiarity with Trek, and partly because the people behind this collection are listening to the fans and supplying us with what we are asking for (within reason). The Krenim Weapon ship and the Bajoran Solar Sailor are models that I would never have expected to own, and now that I do, I can appreciate them on a whole new level.

The two most difficult things about being an Eaglemoss collector have got to be dusting and displaying. The dusting could almost be a daily job, though I admit I don't do it quite that often. The black rounded bases tend to show up every speck, and I find that a quick wipe over with my hand as I pluck each ship off it's stand to fly it around the room (with sound fx of course) extends the time needed between the 'big cloth and spray dust downs'.

Fancy displaying: how do you display yours?  There are several methods, and I've seen examples of each one posted on Facebook, all looking rather impressive, and they all have their own merits. The obvious display strategy is Federation ships together and alien ships together.  As with things Star Trek, nothing is that black and white (other than the natives of Cheron), and there are a few random 'which fleet does this belong to' moments.  For example, The Maquis Raider, a Federation built vessel but used by the bad guys... or are they really the bad guys? Well, you see what I mean.

As the collection gets larger, it's possible to start splintering off and creating small sub-groups of ships on display. I have taken all the Romulan ships out of my alien fleet and grouped them together. This is going to work particularly well with the Klingon ships, as there is a very handsome line-up of  Empire ships and many more planned for release.

For some of the stand-alone ships like the Nausican Raider, I have actually displayed them in colour groups, which look aesthetically pleasing on the shelf (Cardassian, Ferengi, Bajoran and Nausican ships are all a brown/gold colour).

Then of course, ahead of the others are the all important 'ships named Enterprise', which I've found looks spectacular facing outward in circular formation with Deep Space Nine in the center (pictured at the end of this blog).

Bad guys on top for once!

The Pesky Dusty Romulans.

Size matters: naturally, the scale of the ships is inconsistent.  If not, the Enterprise D would be the size of a dustbin lid in comparison to the Defiant, for example. It does seem that the larger ships have more detail, clearly because the smaller things are the more fiddly they become.  But as time has gone on, some of the ships have become a little on the small side for my liking - the Vulcan Surak Class and Species 8472 Bio Ship spring to mind. Aside from this issue, the plastic content seems to have risen slightly since the beginning of the collection. Another concern at the moment are the transparent components used to denote light-up sections such as nacelles and ramscoops. In the past, even the smallest of nacelles like on the NX01 were a realisticly coloured transparent plastic, yet some of the newer, larger models like the Runabout now have simple painted areas on the nacelles, a practice that I hope is not permanent.

The Specials: every so often, Eaglemoss release a 'Special Edition' model, which are larger than the general collection and, other than DS9, they have all up to now been from the JJ Abrahms universe Trek. It was of course important to include these Reboot Trek ships for the new fans, and I for one am glad that they have decided to keep them separate from the Roddenberry/Berman Trek generation, another testament to the fandom of the model series coordinator Ben Robinson. The JJverse Klingon Bird of Prey and the USS Kelvin are planned as upcoming specials.

Popular Demand: it is always good to listen to the fans, though Rick Berman once said he was never held to ransom by viewers demands. I'm hoping Ben does the same here and holds true to the all-important Star Trek canon. There has been a lot of talk about ships from ST:Online and ships from Trek novels making their way into this model series. I believe that the current 'Prime Directive' which Eaglemoss are following when deciding which ships to make is that they have to have been seen on screen in one of the five TV shows or twelve movies, and I've got to say 'Amen' to that. We can't just start designing our own ships and demanding that they get made just because we are a little Trek-starved at the moment. The only ship which may transcend the canon rule is the USS Titan. Seeing as this ship was mentioned on screen, I have less of a problem with it making it into the final line up, but I fear this could open a can of Ferengi Gree worms and start portions requesting other unknown and obscure vessels. Also, don't forget that this is a magazine series too, and the lack of and quality of information on an obscure vessel would make for a bland and pointless booklet. Perhaps a Star Trek Online model series could be an entirely different collection (if the demand really exists?) but I certainly wouldn't care for them contaminating the 'real' Trek stuff.

What's Next?: there are many great ships planned for the coming year, including some of my favourite bad guys; The Hirogen and The Malon, and of course the remainder of the Enterprise legacy; the 1701-C and Kirk's original ship.  But what is left to announce, suggest and speculate over?   Personally, I'd like to see the intricate, orb-like Xindi weapon from Star Trek Enterprise and Neelix's trusty little freighter from Voyager.

All in all, this is a great collection, and if you're just picking up the ships that you feel are most prominent in the show, may I suggest that you subscribe and collect as many as possible because you will often be surprised at the quality and unique experience of holding the three dimensional versions of some amazing space craft designs which Star Trek has produced over (nearly) 50 years.

The mothers of all ships.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Post Convention Blues


What could possibly be better than spending a weekend with the people that you have persistently watched grow and develop on television for twenty years,  in some cases even longer? For most fans of film and television, their relationship with the characters they love starts and ends with watching the movie or TV show, but for a Star Trek fan its much more hands on than that as we have the luxury of being part of one of entertainments largest ever fan bases.  Because of that, the demand for meeting the stars causes dozens of conventions all around the world and almost every week of the year.   
Me and Aron Eisenberg (Nog) 

I am a collector of personalised Star Trek autographs and have been attending conventions for many years, the first being ‘Generations 2’ at the Royal Albert Hall in London back in 1996. I have recently returned from the Destination Star Trek 3 event, also in London, and have discovered that the often mentioned ‘Post Con Blues’ is a very real thing. I'm sure it affects people in different ways, some feel down because they have to go back to work afterwards and some because they generally spend most of their time alone and they must leave their new like-minded friends behind. For me, it is a sort of sick feeling of nostalgia and loss in my stomach, the loss being the time I spent as a teenager growing up in the middle of Star Trek’s  Golden Age. A time which had three different Trek incarnations running simultaneously, with weekly events  to keep me satisfied such as a monthly magazine, fact files delivered to my door and VHS releases of brand new episodes. I had the original excitement of the season ending cliff-hangers and genuinely did not know what was going to happen next. There was  even a hotline you could ring to listen to actors interviews as they gave hints of upcoming story lines.
A small selection of my Autograph collection

The thing that depresses me the most after having attended an event like Destination Star Trek is the realisation that what has been has gone and could never return (at least not to the way it used to be). We all watch Star Trek on an almost unending loop, and by the time you’ve finished watching, say,  The Next Generation, it's been six months since you watched Voyager, so it's time to start that series over again. All the Star Trek shows (after season two of TNG) are holding up remarkably well with the passage of time, as are the movies, and it is easy to forget that over 25 years have passed since the TNG crew were in their prime. The ‘modern’ series of DS9, Voyager and Enterprise were produced to such high standards that they look like they could still be in production today, until of course you actually meet your idols! For me, there lies the problem. There is something terribly depressing about seeing a face that yesterday (on TV) was strong, commanding and comforting and today is aged, withered and tired. They are not the people you remember and it can be a little disheartening as it hits you that the show you love is as good as an antique. The last time I saw the legendary Uhura was two days before DST3, she was doing the naked fan dance in ST:5. To be confronted by a little old lady with white hair in a wheelchair a few days later only served as a reminder that the actors are ageing, that I am old and that the movies are classics. Perhaps there’s a sub conscious thought way in the back of our minds that keeps whispering  ‘’they may do a DS9 movie or one last TNG outing’’, but seeing the actors in the flesh then destroys that possibility.  I think the biggest wake-up call for me over the weekend was meeting Hana Hatae who played little 5 year old Molly O’Brian. Of course Hana is all grown up now and is a far cry from the character she used to play in Deep Space Nine. I probably know more about the O’Brian family than I do about my own neighbours, and I miss following those characters, and all of the other Star Trek personas.  We did grow up together after all. 

Me and Hana Hatae (Molly O'Brian)
Despite pining for the time when Star Trek was in the middle of its franchise boom, meeting the people that made the show a reality is the next best thing to still having the programme on air, and I will continue to follow them as we grow old together. It isn’t difficult to understand why Trek fans hunger for new (old style/traditional) Star Trek and we can only hope that CBS acknowledges this sooner rather than later. For now, lets hope the existing retired casts Live Long and Prosper.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

'The Host' and the changing face of the Trill race.

For such a huge and varied universe, Star Trek has managed to stay pretty consistent, partly due to a long-serving production team and partly due to the fans anal attitude to fine details. Of course, this is TV and after spanning five decades, the show simply couldn't adhere to the production values of the 60s show and artistic licence was taken with technology and the look of alien races when Star Trek was brought back in the 80s. This was unavoidable and widely accepted as compulsory by the fan base, yet ultimately many Star Trek episodes offered geeky explanations as to why things were altered along the Trek timeline. The most famous of these alterations was the change in the look of the Klingon race when The Next Generation added a full prosthetic make up to them which the Original series could not afford. This mystery was tackled, explained and solved more than forty years later in an episode of  Enterprise - one of the shows finer moments. Differences between the 60's Star Trek series and the 80's one were unavoidable and forgiveable, but what about between the 80's and later 90's shows?

Here is a niggle I've had since I began following Star Trek. In Season 4 of The Next Generation a race called the Trill were created, initially as the 'Alien of the week' but later on in Deep Space Nine they returned as series regulars. TNG Trill looked like a slapdash, nondescript beige forehead-appliance type humanoid which could not use the transporter for fear of damaging their Symbiont, and the Symbiont themselves, appearing as colourful neon fat slugs, could exist in human hosts for a week or so before being rejected.

Odan from TNG episode 'The Host'

Our first look at a Symbiont (TNG 'The Host')

When the producers of Deep Space Nine decided that the concept of the Trill demanded more exploration, they included one as their Science Officer. After casting an attractive young female actress, they decided they didn't want to cover her face with prosthetics and so designed a less restrictive make-up for the Trill. So, that's the TV show explanation, but what about a Star Trek cannon explanation?

Now that Trek is no longer on TV, it's unlikely that this particular mystery will be officially solved, so I guess we could take some artistic licence ourselves and theorize between us. Away we go.....

Trill Jadzia Dax from Deep Space Nine.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Which series has the best finale?

First of all, I will be starting with The Next Generation for this one. After cancellation, the Original Series just ended, and on a bit of a bum note I might add. The rest of the Star Trek series attempted to wrap up the entire run of the shows in a final two-hour special (with the exception of Enterprise).

An almost dead cert for a successful Star Trek episode is the inclusion of time travel in the story line.  The final episode of TNG went in this direction with 'All Good Things...', and has Picard flipping through three time periods: past, present and future. The story was a Star Trek treatment of the classic Dickens tale 'A Christmas Carol', where Captain Picard was sent back to when he first took command of the Enterprise and then forward to when he is retired.  It's always a kick to catch a glimpse of our characters in a possible future and see how they could turn out.  The geekiest little moments in this episode for me are in the future time-scape, when we find out that Picard and Crusher eventually got married and seeing Geordie with ocular implants (which later became a reality in the movies).

'All Good Things...' was an outstanding episode - it had action, it brought the series full circle by bringing back Q and his judgement of humanity which he started in the pilot episode, and it is concluded with Picard finally joining the senior officers for a game of poker which was a nice touch.  This episode didn't wrap up the series like some of the other closing episodes from the sister shows, but that's because it didn't need to. The Next Generation was going straight over to the big screen, so the crew was kept intact and the mission of the Enterprise was left on-going. As good as this episode is, it could have been put anywhere throughout the show's run. When it comes to finalising a show, no other terminated like the next Star Trek spin-off, Deep Space Nine.

TNG; The future Enterprise D from 'All Good things...'

Whilst Star Trek: Deep Space Nine took a little longer to find its feet than its predecessor, once it hit its stride there was no stopping it.  It's huge sweeping story arcs revolving around the Dominion War lasted several seasons, and with the show being set on a huge space station, it had many semi regular characters popping in and out every year so there were a lot of loose threads to tie up when the show ended. Never before or since have we had a Star Trek show be so defiantly concluded, with many of the crew members heading off to new lives and some even meeting a grizzly end. In my opinion, 'What You Leave Behind' is the finest series closer of any show I have watched and I judge it so because it is the only one which I have shed a tear to! The music plays a big part in making the final scenes so poignant, that mixed with flash backs of experiences the characters had and the whole crew gathering before saying goodbye to long friendships and relationships. You are left in little doubt that this is the end for Deep Space Nine, and it was, this show never made it to the big screen like TNG.

DS9: The last pan shot of the station

Star Trek Voyager's concept was a little different from the other shows, and with them spending seven years trying to reach home, it seemed inevitable that the final episode would see them achieve this. Sure enough, the final shot before the credits roll on 'Endgame' have Voyager approaching Earth escorted by a Federation fleet. A winning theme that Star Trek can always rely on to deliver a popular episode other than time travel is the Borg. 'Endgame' uses both time travel AND the Borg to give us an action-packed, high concept science fiction finale that entertains from start to finish. The main criticism from the fans about this episode is that it ends! You've heard the old adage 'always leave them wanting more'?  Well, that's what they did. Unfortunately we were clamouring to see our characters and their reactions to being back on Earth, so we ended up feeling a little cheated. All in all, 'Endgame' was great Star Trek.

Voyager approaches Earth after 7 years in the Delta Quadrant

Now, if you're a Trekkie (which I assume you are if you've read this far) then you will have been dreading this bit!  The final episode of Enterprise has been dissed and slated by fans ever since it aired.  The show had been cancelled and, had it have reached its seventh season, then I'm sure 'the birth of the Federation' angle would have been a great pay-off to fans of the series. Instead, we were given a rushed crossover/holodeck farce that focused on The Next Generation character of Riker.  While it was nice to see Riker, Troi and bits of the Enterprise-D again, the episode did very little for the NX-01 characters and only served to show how Archer's service had ultimately given rise to the Federation.  There was a little confusion from fans that mistakenly likened the episode to Patrick Duffy in the shower in Dallas and the whole thing being a dream. That was not the case.  Just look at the episode as a flash back from Riker's point of view. All the events in Enterprise really happened in the Star Trek timeline, so don't be thinking we were robbed of the four years we spent watching the show. The best thing about this episode is the closing monologue of the legendary 'Space, the final frontier' in the voices of Kirk, Picard and Archer. It has a 'lump in the throat' feeling going on as we realise that this is the moment that Star Trek was departing from our screens, perhaps forever!

Enterprise: The last Star Trek image we see on television