Tuesday, November 22, 2016

20 years since First Contact!: A couple thoughts to add

Occasionally, Star Trek has this thing about its movie premieres, and infamous dates that will live in infamy. And if TMP's Dec. 7 was one, First Contact's Nov. 22 was another.

Premiere dates are hardly a complete snapshot of a film, of course, but it's what the ticket-buying public most identifies with.  Thankfully, neither of those infamous dates were omens of what was to come on screen—especially this one. First Contact was the second of the four TNG films that I saw and covered up-close, and have strong memories for above and beyond the critical and fan reactions that were mostly favorable—even as in hindsight, we can see the demand of bid-screen billing and process molding what we'd always seen in the family on a weekly basis for seven years.

And even as, sadly, the awesome book I wrote most of the BTS half for, Titan's The Making of First Contact (above), was only available in the UK and some European, non-US markets.

We all have our personal memories--mine was seeing those first sets built, posing for an unused book photo on the deflector dish with the bird feeders (LOOK IT UP!) the day of that shooting, and my one and only time to hit Hollywood's famous Pink's hot dog stand near midnight with our Trek colleagues and office friends after the cast/crew screening at the lot.

Still, everyone loved the Borg, and we loved seeing them given their due in a big-budget, big screen upgrade. AND we had
the "nextgen" of the Enterprise PLUS our first Starfleet all-CGI ships! Oh, and a great, enjoyably-led film by Frakes in his debut on big screen.... and a great story with great cameos by Picardo, Philips and Schultz... and great featured performances by Cromwell, Woodard and Kriege.  Though it should be noted, compared to the Bad Robot Kelvin movies, these were hardly produced even on a '90s Star Wars scale.

In that vein, for my bit in piling on to the celebration online everywhere today, here's a rare shot at the cockpit of the historic Phoenix warp test capsule (below).

Yep, that's it.Canon-wise, "Live long and prosper" all came from this!


Anyone note the prop from another cult fave?

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