8 Ways Star Trek and Shakespeare Are, In Fact, Exactly The Same- Reason # 8

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GEEK ALERT!

 
So, I’ve been one of the biggest proponents of this belief for about a decade now,and as much as I scream it from the rooftops, no one seems to listen. And though I know I’m not the first to say this…
 

 

 
I’m making it official.
 

Because once it’s posted in a blog, it becomes the truth. You know what I mean? It’s like on that State Farm commercial. “They can’t put anything on the internet that’s not true.” Right? Right?!

Anyway, as the title says, I wholeheartedly believe that two of my all-time favorite things in life are in actuality the exact same thing! (In the vein of Superman/Clark Kent, Batman/Bruce Wayne, or Green Arrow/ Oliver Queen)

In this series I am going to list out 8 different reasons why the Genius of Star Trek is really just the Genius of the Bard himself repackaged.

So, without much ado about nothing, I give you reason number 8:

Star Trek and Shakespeare #8 – Shakespearean Actors in Star Trek

When it comes to actors in Star Trek, most either have their origins in a Shakespearean training or have been a part of a large scale Shakespearean production.
 
Don’t believe me?
 
Well, let’s just start with the two most famous Shakespearean Star Trek actors:

First, the Original Gangster himself Captain James Tiberius Kirk,

also known as the Priceline Negotiator,

Mr. Billy Shatner,

alongside him is the follicly challenged but no less manly X-men saving, moral compass wearing Capt. B.A. Picard

Sir Patrick Stewart
 
Both were official members of the Royal Shakespeare Company and, not surprisingly, became the first two captains of the franchise.
 
Coincidence? I say Nay.

But the list does not stop there. Others you may have seen or heard of include that Klingon dude hard enough to off his own boy Chancellor Gorkon (who just so happens to be played by another Shakesperean actor David Warner) and do it in the name of his people (Julius Caesar anyone?) named General “patch-over-my-eye-even-though-we-live-in-the-23rd-century-and-have-the-technology-to-fix-that-junk” Chang played by RSC member Christopher Plummer.

Just in case my description makes no sense.

Now, if your head is spinning so far, let’s take a head count, that’s Will Shatner,1, Sir Patrick Stewart,2, Christopher Plummer,3, and David Warner,4.

4 Shakespereans and that’s just one movie…. and a captain!
 
Shall we continue?
 
Adding to the list of the distinguished is that Native American Number One hailing from my hometown, Chakotay. Not only is he a seasoned Shakespearean, he even takes the time to teach workshops of the Bard.

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Did you know that that elusive Borg Queen played by Alice Krige was also a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company? Yeah, makes so much more sense now, huh?

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The Rest

Now, for the rest of this list. I will focus only on the major characters of the shows and movies. I’m sure there are some actors who have appeared in an episode here or there that have also had a role in a Shakespeare production, and I will have undoubtedly missed them. If so, please add them in the comments below.

TOS

Now, would it amaze you to know that the lovely Nyota “first-kiss-between-a-white-man-and-black-woman-on-tv” Uhura was also a Shakesperean? Yep, played in a 1983 version of Antony and Cleopatra.

 

Almost as odd, Walter Koenig, that wily Russian you just never could trust, played alongside her.

TNG

The beloved Mr. Worf, or as a roommate of mine once affectionately called him, “Ridges,” also played in a Shakespeare production, sort of. It was called Zombeo and Julecula, obviously, a horror version of Romeo and Juliet. Now, though some might scoff at this inclusion as it is in all honesty a stretch, I find it in every way fascinating, so I’m including it. (Plus, it gives me another person to add to my list, so, there!)

Plus Whoopi/Guinan “what-the-crap-is-with-your-hat?” voiced a character in The Lion King which is a very good adaptation of Hamlet. So, bam. Again.

VOY

Let’s also not forget that the unflappable, except for that bun in that year of hell, Capt. Janeway was in many a Shakespeare production onstage. From Othello to Titus Andronicus to Measure for Measure, she is a seasoned pro.

We can’t leave out the great Ethan “how-come-we-never-saw-a-chef-on-a-starship-before-but-his-character-forced-the-prequel-to-add-a-chef-reference-in-just-about-every-episode” Phillips as well.

And of course, continuing the Bardian weight of Voyager, Tuvok “who happened to also exist as a non-Vulcan on the Enterprise-B when the Nexus attacked” was also a Shakesperean.

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Reboot

And love it or hate it, let’s not forget our friends from the reboot and the amazing Ben Cross who plays Spock’s daddy. Yep, involved in a number of Shakespearean Stage productions, too!

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Not to mention everyone’s favorite deep-voiced bad guy, Benedict Cumberbatch, is even set to play the melancholy Dane in an upcoming production of Hamlet.

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Let’s face it. He wasn’t as frightening as the original.

Well, there you have it. That’s at least 15 solid connections to Shakespeare throughout the many facets of the Star Trek Universe. Not a bad start to what I believe will be the greatest blog series ever invented by mankind.

Top 10 Most Terrifying Star Trek Villains

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I have combed through countless hours of film (738 to be exact), and I have compiled the definitive list of the most terrifying villains in Star Trek. In an attempt to narrow down the list, I excluded whole races and focused solely on individual villains even though there are entire races that are quite terrifying (i.e. the spider-resembling Tholians)

10Sylvia and Korob

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Everything about these characters is just plain creepy. From witches making curses to wizards turning nightmares into reality, these little alien guys would make me huddle in a corner crying if I ever had to face them in real life.

9Q

JudgeQ

The very first time I saw Q sitting in his red and black robes judging humanity, I immediately thought of the judgment seat of God, and terror filled my own heart. Q seemed so sinister and evil, and unbeatable. And he was right. Humanity is evil and despicable. How could Picard and his crew possibly escape the judgment of Q? Even today when I see those scenes, I still feel a slight shiver run down my spine.

8-Borg Queen

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Nothing sickens me more than seeing someone’s spinal cord intermingled with mechanical pieces dangling beneath an exposed torso. The scariest thing about the Borg Queen exists in the knowledge of who the Borg are, a relentless foe who destroys worlds, can adapt to weapons, and has never been defeated. She is the collective mind of every mindless drone in essence keeping them alive and functioning. The very thought of losing identity and independence to be absorbed into a larger collective and the one person controlling all of them is mortifying.

7Locutus

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Speaking of the Borg, what’s creepier: an assimilated Borg drone or a man partly assimilated but retaining his individuality who gives himself freely to the collective and Queen as a liaison between the two cultures? No contest, huh? Locutus’ “Resistance is Futile” speech filled me with terror like nothing else. Though he wasn’t exactly frightening looking, the thought of a man who knows all of the Federation’s secrets willingly sharing them with the Federation’s most unstoppable foe seemed like a lost cause. If that was today’s world, I would have traded in my bed for an alcove the moment  I saw his red eye beam flash across the screen.

6Lore

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Dude was an emotional Data who could control a squad of Borg back when the Borg actually couldn’t be stopped. Lore made me wonder if I had an evil twin somewhere in the world desiring to end my life. Every time Lore showed up you knew bad things were going down. Plus, look at that smile. This side of sane? I think not.

5V’ger

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How do you beat a cloud?

The shear size of V’ger made it formidable. Add to it the fact that it could destroy anything it wanted plus its obsessive need to find its creator, and you get the formula for one scary villain. I think the fact that there was no face to it, just a small probe made alive from a race of machines, and that there was no way to reason with it because it had no clue what it really wanted is what made me really afraid of it.

4Gary Mitchell 

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This guy gets electrocuted and becomes a god. But not just any god, guy goes all Van Gogh (minus the ear and paint thing) and has to kill everyone using his new powers. Plus, those silver eyes.  .  . The right one is looking at you.

3Charlie Evans

charlieevans

Little Boy is the sole survivor of a crash. Aliens grant him with powers to keep him alive. Powers include deconstructing matter, altering living physiology, and mind control. Oh yeah, and he acts like a 2 year old. Great idea, aliens. This can’t go wrong at all, huh?  Don’t let him look at you…

2M-113 Creature

M_113_Creature

M_113_Hand

Besides just making you want to scream, this creature sucks the salt out of your body through its fingers. And it can take the shape of anyone it touches. Makes you think twice about that person sitting next to you, doesn’t it?

1Armus

Armus

A nice throw back to Creature From the Black Lagoon, this villain takes it up a notch. Beginning as a simple black puddle with a deep, dark, evil voice who enjoys seeing people in pain, Armus finally rises from his primoridal ooze into this figure. Shiver. And then to top it off, he has the gusto to kill off a main character just to show off its power and sucks another main character into his goop. In the end, with no way to win the Enterprise runs away with its tail between its nacelles. Dang.

Honorable Mention- The Clown

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Enough said.

Peace and Long Reads,

Justin

Top 9+1 Literary Quotes In Star Trek

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This list is comprised of my favorite literary quotes from Star Trek. There are a plethora I could have chosen from, (in fact I have 61 total quotes lining the walls of my classroom) but I had to perform the difficult job of narrowing it down. If you have others you think should be on the list, by all means add them in the comments.

Now, without further ado…

#10 from Star Trek VII: Generations

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Credit: Paramount Pictures

“What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.”

-Captain Jean-Luc Picard

 

from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

“How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life.”

Captain James T. Kirk

Saavik-and-Kirk

Credit: Paramount Pictures

(These aren’t literary quotes, but I love the ideas behind them. Plus, I needed to fill one more spot.)

#9 from Star Trek VIII: First Contact

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Credit: Paramount Pictures

“Rumors of my assimilation have been greatly exaggerated.”

Captain Jean-Luc Picard quoted from a letter by Mark Twain

#8 from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
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“Cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!”

-General Chang quoted from “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare

#7 from Star Trek Deep Space Nine: “Favor the Bold”
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“Fortune favors the bold.”

-Captain Benjamin Sisko quoted from “Phormio” by Terence

#6 from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
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“If you eliminate the impossible, whateer remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

-Spock quoted from The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

#5 from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
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“Second star to the right and straight on until morning.”

-Captain James T. Kirk quoted from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

#4 from Star Trek VIII: First Contact
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“And he piled upon the whale’s white hump. A sum of all the rage and hatred felt by his race. If his chest had been a cannon, he would have shot his heart upon it.”

-Captain Jean-Luc Picard quoted from Moby Dick by Herman Melville

#3 from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier/The Ultimate Computer
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“All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.”

-Captain James T. Kirk quoted from “Sea Fever” by John Masefield

#2 from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
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“It is a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done before. A far better resting place that I go to than I have ever known.”

-Captain James T. Kirk quoted from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

#1 from Star Trek II:The Wrath of Khan
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“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him. I’ll chase him round the moons of Nibia, and around the Antares Maelstrom, and around Perdition’s Flames before I give him up!”

“To the last I grapple with thee. From hell’s heart I stab at thee. For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.”

Khan Noonien Singh quoted and geniusly adapted from Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Let the debate begin…

The Top 10 Must Have Gifts for Trekkies

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This list is in honor of a fellow blogger of mine.(http://theverybesttop10.com) Consider it my homage.

10
The Sweatshirt

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This classic sweatshirt gives the Trekkie in your life the pride of letting everyone else know how much better than everyone else he/she is because of how long he/she has watched this iconic television show.

9
For the Ladies

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This lovely skirt goes with just about anything Trek. (Sort of.) For the beautiful, and rare, Girl Trekkie in your life who wants to share her love of all things Trek. You go girl!

8
The Phone Case

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This amazing case gives the Trekkie in your life the ability to share their love of the iconic show. It also gives them the choice to represent their preferred branch of service. (Shown here in TOS: Command Gold)

7
The Captain’s Tie

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This little ditty allows your Trekkie the opportunity to showcase their love around the office. Always stylish, this tie goes with many shirt types and colors. Perfect for any season.

6
Bottle Opener

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For the Trekkie who likes to rabble rouse as much as a Klingon. Perfect for opening bottles of Romulan Ale, Klingon Blood Wine, or any Terran beverage.

5
Salute Hoodie

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One of most amazing products to come out in years, this hoodie gives your Trekkie the option of saying hello Terran or Vulcan style. This is sure to be a hit with all the single ladies!

4
Pizza Cutter

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Cutting pizza the Starfleet way! Let your Trekkie impress his/her friends during a party by whipping out this trinket and serving up slices.

3
Captain’s Chair

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Perfect for home, office, bachelor pad, or bridge, this inflatable chair is sure to give your Trekkie a comfortable place to rest his/her duff. (Be careful, though, can be easily popped. I had one that lasted only a week before it popped. Sad day.)

2
James Kirk’s Sweat

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Let your Trekkie smell like a real man, probably for the first time in his life, by giving him this bottle of Captain Kirk’s sweat. It will help him stay cool under pressure and smell great doing it!

1
Bat’leth Letter Opener

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Why? Because it’s just plain BA! Not only will your Trekkie be able to open letters the Klingon way, but he/she can fend off a tiny midget or Keebler Elf, or something else really small too!

Well, that’s it! Feel free to comment, challenge, agree, or disagree.

(UPDATE: This is from amandagay who simply said, “because, let’s be honest, us Trekkies don’t really need much else in the way of wardrobe. . .)
Honorable Mention

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Return of the Grammar Nazi- Part 1

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Image“Great,” you say sarcastically. “Someone really posted about grammar?” Yes, yes, someone did, and this post might just save your life.

There are a million books out there about grammar. (Okay, maybe not a million, but there sure are a lot.) The best of which, and most comical in my humble opinion, (and, no, I won’t use the acronym) is Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss. If you haven’t read it, then stop reading this now, go to Amazon, and buy it. Yes, it is that good. No, no, don’t use the look inside feature. Just buy it. Yes, you in the front row? You already have it? Well, then pipe down; I was talking to the group in the back. Yes, I know most of them are already asleep. No, I won’t stop rambling. Yes, guy with drool on his face in the back. You don’t trust me? Then, why are you reading this blog on grammar? I’m telling you, it’s that good. I mean the writer is British but we can all forgive her that, right? (I kid. I love the British. They give us great tea, and married couples to obsess about, and everything sounds so much more official in a British accent. Seriously, re-read my first paragraph with a British accent, and you’ll see. Just do it. Quit arguing. I know this is a long aside. Fine, I’ll carry on then.)

Wait, you still haven’t gone to Amazon? I told you like 167 words ago to do it. Did you seriously just count all of the words?

Well, did you start with the word like? I didn’t, and neither should you. It’s a colloquialism for goodness’ sake. See, you should learn to trust me.

Image

Okay, I got off topic and I do apologize. I hope you will stop counting and at least check it out. It is a great book. Sure, you can use the look inside feature, but I will feel the gap in our trust.

I was introduced to it during my last year of undergrad work studying history. It changed my outlook on writing, and from thence I became the self-proclaimed Grammar Nazi. The book’s main purpose is to teach the reader about commas along with the author’s biggest pet peeve about people using them. I brought it up because I was going to segue into my biggest pet peeve, but as usual I followed the rabbit trail. (Oh, is that Ben Savage talking about Girl Meets World?) See, there I did it again. Apologies.

Image

My biggest annoyance when it comes to grammar, or usage in this case, is improperly using homonyms. Your and You’re. It’s and its. There, their, they’re. To, two, and too. It is something my students and frankly many adults do way too often. We really do need to fix this.

Let’s start with Your and You’re:

Your indicates possession.

For example, your new car is super neato!

You’re is a contraction of the words you and are.

For example, you’re the bees’ knees!

Please stop using them incorrectly. It hurts my head.

Next stop: It’s and Its:

It’s is the contraction for it and is. See, that little dangly thing between the t and the s. Some people refer to it annoyingly as a “flying comma”. Vomit. It is called an apostrophe. They are necessary for contractions. They scream at the reader, “Hey, there is a missing letter over here! Hey, see me? I took its place!” (See I tricked you there because I haven’t explained its yet, and I used it. Correctly.)

For example, that is a nice scooter. It’s top of the line.

Its shows possession. See how there is no apostrophe? That’s because it is the only time when an apostrophe is not needed to show possession. Confused? Yeah, well how much more confused would you be if we were discussing it’s and it’s? See paragraph above for example.

Onto There, Their, and They’re:

There is used to show location. Notice the word here inside of it? T(here). That’s a little clue and a freebie from me to you.

For example, you need to put the dwarves over there.

Their is used to show ownership. Once again, notice the word heir inside? T(heir). You are correct guy in the back with drool on his face. An heir is a person who gets their wealthy parents money. (And by the way, thanks for cleaning up the drool. I was starting to throw up again.)

For example, their son is really good at dwarf tossing.

They’re is a contraction for the words they and are. Once again, the apostrophe. Girl in the front, if you call it a “flying comma” one more time, so help me . . .

For example, they’re a really cute dwarf couple. Aww, tender.

Last and certainly not least, To, Too, and Two.

To indicates a direction, and it is a preposition. It can also be used in the infinitive form of a verb.

For example, we need to go to the dodgeball tournament.

To go = infinitive. (By the way, don’t split it unless you’re spitting out awesomeness in the form of Star Trek.

To the dodgeball tournament = prepositional phrase.

Too indicates more than enough of something.

For example, that is too much mustard!

Two is the number. It stands for 2. Or 1 + 1. That equals 2. Or two.

For example, there are two dwarves on that dodgeball team!

Thus concludes my first lesson/rant. I hope I have enlightened your day.

And just in case you were wondering: No. No dwarves were harmed in the writing of this blog.

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