Friday 7 September 2012

Star Trek is 46 which means I'm...

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Who hasn't heard that line? Who hasn't been inspired? Apparently this opening speech by Captain James T. Kirk came from a White House document produced in 1958. For the history buffs, this was published to try and quell the hysteria surrounding the launch of Sputnik by Russia and the fear that the Commies were going to take over the world. The Space Review, 28 November 2005, published the article "Boldly going: Star Trek and spaceflight" by Dwayne A. Day, in which the author gives an excerpt from the March 1958 document “Introduction to Outer Space:”

“…the compelling urge of man to explore and to discover, the thrust of curiosity that leads men to try to go where no one has gone before.”

As an aside, I'm not sure if I remember anybody bringing up why "men" was always emphasized. I'm sure it has but then again let's hope the attitudes change even if the language doesn't. I never found "manhole" sounded right as "personhole".

The original show now known as "Star Trek: The Original Series" or TOS, aired on NBC from September 8, 1966 to June 3, 1969. Its ratings were low so as can be expected, the network cancelled the show after 79 episodes but who at that time would have guessed how influential the show would become and how it would end up with a cult following? We have now seen five additional television series, 11 theatrical films, and numerous books and games. The show supposed took place in the 23rd century and I won't be surprised if the show is still around then. But then, I'm sure the special effects will be a lot less cheesy.

Fun stuff: Online Captain Kirk
In my posting "Alan Turing, my Commodore 64, and a trip down memory lane", I describe Mr. Turing's contribution to artificial intelligence and touch upon how this has developed in the Internet age. I mention Pandorabots, a free open-source-based community involved in the development of web chatbots. A chatbot is an interact service where you type in text and the service responds in a surprisingly intelligent fashion. Yes, it's only a computer and yes, it doesn't have the intelligence of the Star Trek computer but it does show the way of the future.

On the Pandorabots web site, there is a Captain Kirk chatbot which not only talks with you but has a moving image of Kirk's head to further enhance your interactive experience. Quite amusing. Check out all the fun here.

A video about this Kirk chatbot describes how it was done:

Pandorabots SpellBinder scanned publicly available fan-compiled transcripts of 72 episodes of the original Star Trek TV series. In those 72 episodes, Captain Kirk has about 9000 lines of dialog. Pandorabots SpellBinder read these lines and created a Captain Kirk chat bot with about 2000 unique categories and 6000 responses (a category is the basic unit of knowledge).

Anybody who's a fan saw the 2009 film Star Trek, a reboot of the entire series in film. And reboot it was. Rotten Tomatoes accorded the film a 95% rating! Next up is the "Untitled Star Trek sequel" scheduled for release on May 17, 2013.

Final Word
I watched the original series when it first aired. (If that isn't scary enough, I remember watching black and white TV.) A lot has happened since then and it would seem the popularity of the show isn't going to diminish any time soon. The new generation accustomed to the latest and greatest in cinematography and special effects probably look at the original series and laugh. Even I sometimes chuckle when I catch one of those early episodes. Nevertheless, I still have a lot of nostalgia for those episodes so cheesy or not, I'll continue to watch like visiting an old friend.


Wikipedia: Star Trek: The Original Series
Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry. ... The series was produced from 1966-67 by Desilu Productions, and by Paramount Television from 1968-69. Star Trek aired on NBC from September 8, 1966 to June 3, 1969.

Wikipedia: Where no man has gone before
"Where no man has gone before" is a phrase originally made popular through its use in the title sequence of most episodes of the original Star Trek science fiction television series.

Wikipedia: Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The franchise came to life as a television series in 1966 originally called Star Trek but later renamed Star Trek: The Original Series because it garnered such a strong fanbase that it led to spin-offs including Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise.

Wikipedia: Untitled Star Trek sequel
Currently under the alias of Untitled Star Trek sequel, it is the upcoming 2013 science fiction action film, twelfth in the Star Trek film series and sequel to 2009's Star Trek. The film is directed by J. J. Abrams, and produced by Abrams, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof and Roberto Orci. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg and John Cho return to reprise their roles from the previous film. It is set to be released on May 17, 2013.

Google Doodle
On September 8, 2012, Google celebrated the 46th anniversary of Star Trek with one of their famous Doodles. The following YouTube video shows what you could have done with the interactive graphics. I'm assuming they will eventually publish the doole in their section on doodles).

Published on Sep 7, 2012 by Pflichtsender
Star Trek Google Doodle 2012 Full Interactive Movie


Site Map - William Quincy BelleFollow me on Twitter

No comments: