TrekCore’s Best of 2013: Exclusive Interviews & Video

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We're back with the final part of our look back at 2013, covering our favorite exclusive interview and video features only found at TrekCore!

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We had the opportunity to interview three of the most influential members of the 24th Century: TNG writer and Voyager/Enterprise executive producer Brannon Braga, and TNG/DS9 writer/producers Ronald D. Moore and Ira Steven Behr.

While the conversation with Moore and Behr focused predominately on their tenure on the Next Generation team in the wake of the show's second and third seasons, it offers a great deal of insight into the stressful world of the series at that time.

VIDEO Interview: Ronald D. Moore & Ira Steven Behr, Part I · Moore & Behr, Part II

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Brannon Braga's interview -- while covering things like the overuse of the Borg in Voyager and fan criticism of his writing talents -- is perhaps best known as the source of the "Enterprise on Netflix" campaign.

Braga idly speculated that if Netflix streaming viewership numbers were impressive enough, the cancelled series might be revived... but some Internet sites took his hypothetical scenario as gospel, starting unlikely-to-succeed Facebook campaigns and running attention-grabbing headlines. Braga himself eventually responded, attempting to quell the fires:

VIDEO Interview: Brannon Braga, Part I · Brannon Braga, Part II

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Our biggest contribution to the Trek world this year -- and perhaps ever -- was the discovery of a set of early, uncut episodes of The Next Generation which featured dozens of minutes of never-before-seen footage. Friend of the site Cyril Paciullo generously shared copies of several production-era VHS tapes he purchased at auction, and we worked hard to present the recovered cut scenes to the world for the first time.

Deleted Scenes - Video and Analysis:
"The Child" · "Evolution" Part I · "Evolution" Part II · "The Bonding" · "The Wounded"

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While the footage we found was uncovered too late to be included on the Season Two or Season Three Blu-ray releases, our efforts did not go unrecognized: because of TrekCore's video series, the TNG remastering team at CBS began working tirelessly to review the remaining seasons of the show... and began including fully-restored, high-definition deleted scenes on the Blu-rays for Season Four, Five, and beyond.

Feature: More Deleted Scenes Coming on TNG Blu-rays!

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And because we couldn't help ourselves, we also wanted to highlight several scenes that we want to see someday restored from the film vaults in our Scenes Worth Saving series: the often-teased Wesley Crusher's 16th birthday party, the living space jellyfish in "Encounter at Farpoint," and more.

Scenes Worth Saving: "Happy 16th Birthday, Wesley"
"Engineering Assault"· "Initial Interrogation"· Farpoint's FX Fiasco

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features

2013 was a big year for TrekCore's growing collection of meticulously researched, highly original feature interviews -- things that we've always wanted to know about, but have never seen covered anywhere! From decades-old cereal boxes to weapons-grade marketing promotions, we went where (pardon the pun) no other Trek publication has gone before!

In October, we tracked down former Boole & Babbage marketing director Pat Letsos, who finally gave us the inside scoop on 1994's The Vision, a six-minute promotional video starring Jonathan Frakes (in character as Commander Riker) advertising the company's line of computer networking solutions. This infomercial had been making the rounds on YouTube for several years, and we were excited to finally share the story behind the viral video!

Interview: Inside Boole & Babbage's Trek "Vision"

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In September, we connected with Trek collector Marc Derro, a North Carolina resident in possession of one of the few remaining Star Trek: Voyager photon torpedo media kits distributed to local television stations in 1999.

After Marc was kind enough to share photographs and video of his priceless Trek artifact, we managed to get in touch with Susan J. Sullivan, a longtime marketing executive who actually supervised the design of the torpedo kit in the first place! Sullivan took the time to explain the entire genesis of the Voyager torpedo, from initial concept ideas, to manufacturing problems, to final execution.

Interview: Blast From the Past: 1999's Photon Torpedo Media Kit

After we published this article, one of our readers in the UK surprised us by
showing off 
her torpedo, which made it all the way across the Atlantic!

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Finally, our big reveal of the fall was our massive, multi-part series covering the failed Next Generation line of toys produced by Galoob in the late 1980's. We started off in September by digging into the nationwide Cheerios cereal contest launched around the debut of the series, offering winners a walk-on role aboard the Enterprise-D and prizes from Galoob's then-unreleased toy line.

Feature: Star Trek and Cheerios, Part of a Balanced Breakfast

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We followed that up with one of the year's most popular features, a giant three-part interview with Galoob toy designers Jim Fong and Bob DiGiacomo, two artists who were instrumental in the production of the first wave of Next Generation toys. In this twenty-fifth anniversary retrospective, we covered everything from the initial visits to the TNG sets to aborted toy concepts to New York City's annual Toy Fair trade show -- a one-of-a-kind release that will should not be missed!

Interview: Galoob 25: The First Generation of TNG Toys

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As we head into the new year, we want to once again thank all of our loyal readers for sharing our stories, photos, and video features, for chatting with us on Twitter and Facebook, and for helping to support our site by purchasing your Trek toys, books, and Blu-rays through our links.

There's still plenty of news, original reporting, and archival research yet to come in 2014, so stick around -- and see you next year!

  • SFSeries&Movies

    I would welcome a new Enterprise season! Wishful thinking I know!

    • TOMR

      defo should happen though CBS is more likely to make a profit from the effort than they are a loss.

  • Ben

    Awesome job guys! Great reporting and researching! Happy New Year! God bless y’all!

  • benbess

    I would prefer to see a new Star Trek tv show or miniseries set in the Prime universe. Now that JJA has moved on to Star Wars, perhaps that’s still remotely possible? Setting it in the Prime universe would allow for a few guest stars (if they’re affordable) from TNG, DS9, Voyager, and maybe even Enterprise, but a new crew could shake things up and provide for new possibilities. I think they need to get some of the Trek writers like Moore, Behr, Echevarria, etc., involved, because of their talent and because they understand Trek and how to make it work for TV, but they also need to nurture some new talent for a new generation of Trek. A miniseries or short season of 10 episodes might be good because they could have narrative resolution and test the waters. If it works and it’s a hit, a second miniseries or season could be ordered. Netflix or maybe Amazon might be a good home for something like this. I know, it’s just a dream. We would need someone at the top of CBS, probably Leslie Moonves himself, to be interested in seeing a new Star Trek show for this to happen. He took the somewhat understandable but regrettable decision to cancel Enterprise back in the day because of low ratings, but he’s no enemy of Trek because he’s also let these incredible remastering projects for TOS, TNG, and, we hope soon, DS9 and Voyager move forward. If Moonves decides it makes sense in terms of economics and entertainment value to have a new Star Trek show, it could happen. And it could definitely “synergize” with the remasters of past Star Treks and form an amazing cross promotion. I can dream, can’t I?

    • mjdavid

      In my opinion, from a storytelling standpoint, Star Trek has always worked better on TV than on the big screen. I would love to see it back on TV, also in the Prime Universe. The Abrams films work great in his alternate universe he’s created, but I don’t think that would work well outside of feature films. With feature films he doesn’t have to pay attention to as many details as he would with a series. I also don’t think Abrams would want to commit to a Star Trek TV series.

      Also, with a TV series where in the Prime Universe to you fit it in? Between Archer and Kirk? Or somewhere somewhere between Kirk and the 24th Century? If it were just a mini-series then they could realistically pull 24th century characters from those three series into one awesome plot, make it like a ten-hour event spread over ten episodes. I’m not sure I’d want something like that on network television, though. The number of sci-fi/fantasy-style series that have failed on networks like FOX, ABC, and NBC over the last few years due to poor promotion and lack of audience is numbing. Shows that had promise and should have made it did not. If you’re not a procedural cop show, law show, or reality show then network is the wrong place to go. Cable could be an option, TNT, AMC, F/X all have great original programming. I would probably go with Netflix, however, which is having great luck with its original programming.

      One thing that’s really struck me is the improvement in quality of the original novels published by Pocket Books of the 24th Century characters. It seems they’ve decided to stick with a small handful of writers and the storytelling and consistency have been amazing. When I was reading the ‘Star Trek: Destiny’ series I kept thinking over and over, “this would make a hell of a TV mini-series.”

      Overall though, I think a lot of conditions have to fall in place for Star Trek to come back to TV. I will just continue to hope for Blu-Ray releases. ‘Enterprise’ is wrapping up in April and ‘The Next Generation’ is winding down. They’ve proven they can do two shows at once, so hopefully there’s enough interest and strong sales of the Blu-Rays to continue to the next series, whatever they pick.

      • benbess

        mjdavid: I like your thoughts here. I think setting new Star Trek show in the Prime universe c. 15 years after Voyager makes sense. Voyager ended in 2001, which is now 13 years ago. The soonest a new show (if it ever happens) could get on the air would be the Fall of 2015, or more likely the Fall of 2016. That, conveniently enough, is the 50th anniversary of the premiere of the original Star Trek. The media would be likely to make a big deal about that if it were a quality show. And by then, if they rebuild DS9 and then Voyager, all of the old Treks would have been redone in dazzlingly high def for blu-ray and streaming. The time seems like it will be right for new a new Star Trek.

        I agree that getting some top Trek writers to adapt some of the novels for a miniseries seems like a good idea. I need to read some more of those! And a cable channel or even better Netflix seems like the right place for it. I think there’s a chance it could happen. Frankly, cutting out JJA would save some money. Don’t set it in his universe and don’t use his actors, and I assume you wouldn’t have to pay him a dime.

        As you say, Star Trek works best on TV, and I have some hope that on the 50th anniversary of the original show we’ll see some great new episodes on TV.