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12 April 2013

Star Trek: Crew (2009)

I wouldn't say that I’m a crazy mad Star Trek fan these days, but I used to love it. I've talked about this before, but my favourite era was the original series with Kirk, Spock, Bones, Uhura, Scotty, Sulu and Chekov. What a great cast. I've got most of the films on DVD, but it’s been a long time since I watched any of them. I’ll watch the new film "Into Darkness" at some point too no doubt, but the new stuff hasn't hooked me in the same way yet. I live in hope!

"Is it really a... HOLE IN SPACE?"
Star Trek: Crew, IDW 2009

A couple of years ago I happened to spot a load of Star Trek comics in a charity shop and I bought them on a whim. One of them was "Star Trek: The Motion Picture Trilogy" which I eventually read and damn it if I didn't enjoy it too! I was hoping that it would rekindle some of the old magic and I’m pleased to say that it did. Life being what it is, I never followed up on it...

"William Shatner: Star Trek Actor Star Wars Bound"
I actually have William Shatner in my circles on Google+. Yep, me and a million other 

people. We've never conversed, and I'm expecting to stay that way... we're both busy 
men ;-) See this press release he put out earlier this month revealing that he's going to be
appearing in the new Star Wars film. Isn't this great news! I for one will be going to watch
it! ...Right after I've downloaded Google Nose.

It's over a year later but I've now picked up another of the comics from my dusty shelf. This one is called Star Trek: Crew and was written and illustrated by John Byrne. I’ll come back to John soon, but let's first have a quick stroll down memory lane.

In my teens I fancied that I might try my hand at writing a few short stories. They were all rubbish and over the years through luck or misfortune (you decide which) they've all been lost. Reading "Crew", for some reason I was reminded of one story I wrote starring the crew of the original series. I can't remember the details, but I can sort of recollect the general twist. In the spirit of giving you an insight into what made a younger King Uke tick, I've mashed up a comic story version for you. Check this out!

The disturbing first edition of Bill.I.Am 

Okay, It’s not brilliant, but I enjoyed shopping it together for you...

And another thing...

Me and Mrs Uke called this beast "Yoshi Bongo" and I quite literally drove
it the length and breadth of New Zealand before it croaked just outside of
Whitianga one sunny day. It's was a Toyota Liteace and I always joked
with my work colleagues, if I ever got promoted, that I'd upgrade it
with a Toyota Hiace. Ha ha. Happy days! See the bedding? Yep...
we slept in the back!

I’m going to share with you some photos in this post from a road trip I made with Mrs Uke from Auckland to Wellington (and back) in April 1999. Wow... that was a long time ago! It seems like only yesterday. I drove down on the Saturday and back on the Sunday. That was back in the days when I still had energy! Whilst we were there, we took in a Star Trek exhibition at Te Papa! Ah... now you know where I’m going with this don't you! YES! ;-)

Star Trek Transporters
Star Trek Exhibition - Te Papa - Apr-1999

Te Papa - Apr-1999

Computer Display
Star Trek Exhibition - Te Papa - Apr-1999

Star Trek Exhibition - Te Papa - Apr-1999

Mission Complete!
Star Trek Exhibition - Te Papa - Apr-1999

One of my old work colleagues...
Star Trek Exhibition - Te Papa - Apr-1999

Odd lizard character
Star Trek Exhibition - Te Papa - Apr-1999

Star Trek Exhibition - Te Papa - Apr-1999

I love this picture taken on the desert road south of Lake Taupo. If I'm not mistaken,
that's Ruapehu in the background. Yeah... I know that it has nothing to do with Star Trek,
but I did take it on the way down to the Exhibition...

The Bridge of the Enterprise
Star Trek Exhibition - Te Papa - Apr-1999

Some sort of space shuttle
Star Trek Exhibition - Te Papa - Apr-1999

An early piece of photo-shopping I did circa 2000.
I think that this was taken at Craters of the Moon.

Are you still with me? Let's talk about "Crew"...

Crew is effectively a prequel to the the original Star Trek series. It all feels very familiar in look and feel and revolves around Alpha-female "Number One". I don't think her name is ever mentioned, but I've done a quick Google and Number One was what she was referred to when she became the first officer for Christopher Pike who was at the helm of the Enterprise in the first ever pilot for Star Trek. So we're going back a long way here with this character.

Number One's a tough, smart-thinking woman who rolls with the punches, rescues everybody and dips out before the medals are awarded.

"Until I was the only one left"
Star Trek: Crew, IDW 2009

I'll admit that I really enjoyed the read. So much so, that when I happened to spot another Star Trek comic whilst I was out and about this week, I instantly bought it. Crew captures the essence of what I used to love about the original series. John Byrne has managed to distill down Ingredient X and capture it in comic-book form. Here's something strange and completely accidental: The comic I bought this week turns out to be another by John Byrne! What are the odds of that. It's called Star Trek: Leonard McCoy - Frontier Doctor, and it's equally good. I'm not going to talk about it now, but I think I might have stumbled on a bit of gem here with John Byrne, certainly with his understanding of Star Trek. He's got it spot on! One to keep an eye-out for!

"Yes... Harmless but an annoyance for us!"
Star Trek: Crew, IDW 2009

I'm assuming that Crew must have been originally issued as 5 separate comics, but the book I have, has all 5 in 1. The artwork is kind of retro. At the back is a reproduction of a fair bit of the story pre-colouring and it is simply stunning. The stories are great and very much the sort that you got with the Captain Kirk shows. In some ways, Number One reminds me of a female Kirk... without all the posturing... and kissing... but definitely with all the valour!

"How big is this chamber?"
Star Trek: Crew, IDW 2009

There's a lot of variety to the artwork and the story kept me interested through to the end. Bravo!

On the Triple-B, I'm going to turn down 8 promotions and hold out for that one good job.... GET ME ON THE ENTERPRISE!!!