Screenwriter, book author, and producer. Wrote for 'Star Trek: The Next Generation & Deep Space Nine,' and has created docudramas for cable TV and the web.
The Young & the Jedi - Remember Folks, 'Star Wars' Is a Soap Opera
The fantastic force of Star Wars is back in our collective awareness in a really big way—like it or not. After Disney purchased the film rights from George Lucas in 2013—along with his legendary special FX company ILM—the house of mouse fast tracked new movies and various spin-offs. As genre fans now fully absorb the respected saga’s new characters and ramifications and try to embrace The Force Awakens, the newest chapter to the Lucas sci-fi universe, old questions and observations on the pop-culture saga emerge. Why is this multi-billion dollar global franchise so preoccupied with family dysfunction? Does Luke Skywalker have more in common with Luke from General Hospital? As Rogue One looms on the horizon, can we expect more of the same?
The 10 Most Tortured Comic Book Characters
When Tony Soprano sat down on his psychiatrist’s couch, it was a television and pop cultural milestone. Here was a big time gangster—the epitome of toughness and criminally cultured masculinity—airing out his dirty laundry, childhood fears, and insecurities to a shrink. Talk about shifting societal norms. HBO’s The Sopranos changed the landscape for Hollywood tough guys. Jimmy Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, or Al Pacino getting psych advice in front of millions? James Gandolfini pioneered Tony Soprano into a figure which allowed many to think: “Going to a therapist is no shame.”
Netflix Is Bringing Back Sci-Fi TV
Sci-fi TV, like any category of entertainment, sees an ebb and flow in its popularity and supply. These days it is back in a big way, and not just on cable outlet SyFy— it's coming on strong in the streaming arena. Netflix changed the game in Hollywood in distribution, and now it's competing with the big production studios to offer up some of the best original content around. Shows such as Orange Is The New Black and Grace And Frankie are great drama/comedies, but Netflix isn't leaving out nor forgetting its genre loving fans or geek squads. Stranger Things is one of the hottest new TV shows in years. You won't find it on broadcast or cable. Jessica Jones, Sense8, Black Mirror and Stranger Things are all original and exclusive to Netflix, and cable outlets like SyFy are now encouraged to make more stimulating science fiction for fans.
'Star Trek' Booze: 50 Years Of Drinking With The Starship Enterprise
For the proud accomplishment of lasting half a century, a 50th anniversary is golden. It deserves a celebratory toast for any species in any part of the galaxy, and in the latest Trek film, fans get a fun tip of the glass after a fashion. Early on in Star Trek: Beyond, director Justin Lin’s action packed entry in Paramount Pictures feature film franchise, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and Bones (Karl Urban) share a rare quiet moment by drinking together in Enterprise’s officer’s lounge. The two friends and Starfleet officers take the time to down a little Saurian Brandy—an alien drink all too familiar to fans from way back in the day of the start of the original series.
'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars' Time Travel
Is sci-fi about going forward boldly into the future or reminiscing and reliving the past? Certainly, with time travel preoccupying science fiction as both an awesome gadget, concept, and plot device, the beauty is you can do both timelines at the touch of a blinking button or the roar of warp drive. However, as a purely solid and compelling narrative—is it better to keep reaching for the mysterious future or revisiting the well trod past?
Woody Allen Sci-Fi Intellectual
“I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government.” - Woody Allen This dystopian flavored quote seems more in sync with Agent Fox Mulder of The X-Files or even whistleblowers Edward Snowden or Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. It wouldn’t routinely be attributed to one of America’s funniest comedians and creative film artists. Woody Allen is many things to many people. To Hollywood and the performing arts community, he’s a towering figure, but the Woodman as a sci-fi visionary? It’s indisputable how playful Allen can be with his movies, jokes, books and public persona, but on par with the clairvoyant visual musings and wondrous ideas of Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry, Steven Spielberg or George Lucas? For his loyal fans, however, the notion he’s a science fiction aficionado, fantasist or futurist isn’t so far fetched.
Balancing Fears of Artificial Intelligence with Sci-Fi
“Let me put it this way, Mr. Amor. The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made. No 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information. We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error." - HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey
Confessions of a 'Star Trek' Writer
In 1996, director Jonathan Frakes (Cmdr. William Riker) helmed the movie celebrating Star Trek's 30th anniversary. Co-starring Alice Krige as the seductive Borg Queen and Alfre Woodard as the resourceful Lilly, First Contact was a big box office hit and a favorite with both audiences and critics. Although that particular film Starship Enterprise was commanded by Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and had Data, an android science officer, instead of a Vulcan, the spirit of Star Trek was alive and well. Now, fans celebrate of 50 years of content that has not lost its relevance or, thanks to a new generation of Star Trek writers and creators, its style.
Carol Burnett's Captain Kirk Impersonation
American comedy can’t be neatly categorized into one absolute style, like the country from which it springs, it’s a big melting pot. From early, formative clowns such as The Marx Brothers, Milton Berle or Abbott & Costello, to the shock chuckles of Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin and Chris Rock, American funny is a uniquely varied thing. However, it’s not only a boy’s club - one thing’s clear for awhile; we’ve been blessed with several of the funniest ladies history has ever known. There was lovable Lucille Ball, pioneer in the flexible art of the sitcom. Then came the outrageous Phyllis Diller, ground breaker in stand-up shtick. And then there's the comedy chameleon, Carol Burnett. Today’s funny ladies - Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy owe a lot to those original gals, but with Burnett, the modern sketch comedy we know today was basically shaped and fine tuned. If that wasn’t enough, Burnett has more than earned her ‘Geek Cred’, after she lampooned one of the most important sci-fi icons, none other than Captain Kirk. Carol Burnett's Captain Kirk impersonation is the original spoof on the iconic sci-fi figure portrayed by William Shatner.
Rio 2016—The Olympic Games Meet The Science Fiction Games
If intellectual luminaries of Ancient Greece such as Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle could see a modern interpretation of our classic Olympic games, they’d likely be gratified their legendary athletic contest evolved into a unifying global event. Compare the ancient Olympians with our present day athletic engagement and depictions of a far flung future in sci-fi romps such as, The Hunger Games, Star Wars, and Star Trek, and if nothing else, it’s clear challenging athletic contests will survive centuries of sweeping, transforming modernity.
Star Trek Voyager's Sarah Silverman
Sarah Silverman maintains a reputation as one of our hottest and no holds barred comedians. She’s the gal with the chuckles, plus a definite point of view. With an attitude and an act ranging from no limits brashness to speculating on the very origins of the human race, Silverman’s comedy holds something outrageous or just plain out there for everyone. She’s now firmly ranked in the same rarified female, funny air as Kathy Griffin, Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho, Ellen DeGeneres, and Roseanne Barr. Silverman is well known as a funny lady now, but back in the 90s, she was a serious scientist! Though only guest starring in a two part episode, she became an active part of UPN’s Star Trek: Voyager’s crew, as she fought the evil Ed Begley Jr!
America’s Election 2016—the Presidential Candidates & the Starship Captains
Politics… The Fantastical Frontier… These Are The Voyages Of Election 2016. Its Seemingly Never Ending Mission… To Explore Strange New Candidates… To Seek Out New Gaffes And New Attack Ads… To Boldly Go Where Nobody Politically Viable Nominee Has Gone Before…