Posts Tagged ‘Vasquez Rocks’

Have your Kirk and eat it

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

Star Trek, in its original incarnation at least, is routinely regarded as kitschy, campy fun – a technicolour romp with overwrought acting, smooching hot alien floozies and shaking cameras and staggering about to denote being hit by photon torpedoes. It’s easy to laugh, albeit often with affection,  at the recurring themes: men in red shirts being disintegrated, repeated visits to the planet of Vasquez Rocks, and Captain Kirk shagging everything in the known universe.

However, when you were a kid (and most of us were pretty young when we first experienced the adventures of Kirk and Spock, seeing as it’s been in reruns for the last 93 years) Star Trek was never campy. When you were too young to understand limited special effects budgets, hand me down sci fi tropes and the concept of William Shatner’s ego, Star Trek was weird, thrilling and scary. 

Just another normal day on board The Enterprise

Like The Avengers‘ off kilter surrealist edge proved impossible to update convincingly for a big budget 90s remake you could never recapture the claustrophobic psychedelia of the original Star Trek now. The movies, and the subsequent TV series featured a more realistic aesthetic, and plots that relied more on action or political and philosophical issues, than mind bending Lewis Carroll  influenced fantasies.

I’ve never spoken Klingon or dressed as a Star Fleet Officer and referred to myself as “Lieutenant Commander”, but on the other hand, I spent one summer holiday watching The Wrath of Khan every single day, I know the difference between Bajorans and The Breen, and have seen nearly every episode of TNG and DS9. And I refer to them as TNG and DS9!  I also once turned down a night of sex in order to watch Star Trek themed night on BBC2 (they showed the premier of Voyager – definitely not worth it), so I suppose to most civilians I am indeed a Trekkie.

Planet of The Vasquez Rocks on Futurama

So I was initially uncertain of the prospect of a reboot. Someone other than William “The Hamosaurus” Shatner playing Kirk? Unthinkable! Surely they should just have the balls to create a new set of characters for young, sexy Academy based adventures if they must. But against all expectations the new movie, which cleverly both prequelises and sequelises the existing franchise (using the time honoured device of a temporal anomaly), is great. I won’t bother reviewing it here as many more have done it far more incisively than I can. Suffise to say, while it continues the realistic look of the previous movies but broadens the scope enough to live up to current movie standards (which the last couple of entries in the sequence most certainly didn’t – I caught some of Nemesis on TV last night and it looked like a cheap night out at a cybergoth club), both the spirit of adventure and the essence of the original crew is captured wonderfully. And having Leonard Nimoy in there for us old purists doesn’t hurt either.


6 Degrees of Francis Bacon: Day 2

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

So, last time we had Bossk, a reptillian badass from a sprawling SciFi franchise. Today we have another reptillian badass from a sprawling SciFi franchise. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome The Gorn


The Gorn appeared in the Star Trek episode Arena, in which Captain Kirk was stranded on a remote planet that resembled Vasquez Rocks with only his cunning and his FISTS. Of course, in reality James T would have had his ass handed to him by the lumbering loincloth wearing space pimp, but William Shatner had it written in his contract that if he was to go mano a gorno on a distant Californian planetoid he would always emerge victorious. That and all the green skinned venusian babes his tongue could handle.

This pic is clearly a T Shirt design, based on a popular idiotic theme. Yes, some of these illustrations will be in different styles. Feel free to print this off, wear it with pride, and no doubt get sued by Paramount.

Join us again in a few days for the third installment. Oooh what’s it gonna be? Actually I know. But feel free to guess. And after that, I am at your mercy… make your suggestions, along with your connection, for future pictures in the blog comments, on my Twitter feed, or at the Facebook Group.