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Star Trek Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Five years ago, fans might have been hard pressed to imagine Star Trek celebrating it's 40th Anniversary so quietly.  No Star Trek series is currently airing first run episodes, and fans can't expect to see a movie this fall to mark the milestone.  While the 40th Anniversary is unmistakably subdued, hopeful signs abound: a new film taking the franchise back to its roots is in development, and the original series is getting a controversial digital facelift.  

In 1991, the release of The Undiscovered Country celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the franchise and also marked the original cast's bon voyage: considered too old to be marketable for Paramount, The Unidscovered Country was thought to be their last shot at a graceful exit.  Fifteen years later, Shatner and Nimoy are back as the senior statesmen of Gene Roddenberry's creation and have retaken their roles as the mastheads of the franchise.  What's old is new again.

Shatner and Nimoy Mark 40

Shatner, Nimoy Discuss 40th Anniversary, Trek Rebirth With Associated Press
>> William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy spoke to the Associated Press about the Fortieth Anniversary of the Original Series.  Speaking about the first episode aired -- "The Man Trap", Nimoy said "
NBC decided that this series would be most successful if we had sort of a monster of the week to sell. What's the monster this week? And so they put a monster show on the air the first episode, and I think it was a terrible mistake, because it was really not what we were about."

>> On Star Trek 11:  "He's a very talented man," Nimoy says of J.J. Abrams.  "I think he should get in touch with us right away."
"And pay our price," said Shatner, dryly.
"That would make us happy, to be helpful," adds Nimoy, laughing.

TV Land Celebrates 40th Anniversary With Marathon
TV Land, which will be the regular home of the Original Star Trek series starting this November, is airing a marathon this weekend celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the first airing of Star Trek on NBC on September 8, 1966.

Trek, Remastered
CBS Television officially announced that they will be releasing digitally remastered episodes of Star Trek, with new special effects and music -- drastically updating the look and feel of the series to contemporary standards.  The retouched episodes will also feature higher quality sound for the opening theme, and glitches in the montage will be rectified.  Reports the official website:  "The remastered episodes have been converted from the original film into a High-Definition format, which gives viewers a clearer, crisper, more vibrant picture than before, even when viewed in standard definition.  Once stations updrage and start broadcasting HD signals, the episodes will be all ready" for that format.  The plan is to start converting fan favorite episodes first, beginning with "Balance of Terror", who's story points allow the new process to be fully demonstrated.  

How this will affect future DVD releases is not completely known.  For a full list of modifications to episodes, and where and when these restored episodes can be seen, read the official announcement.

HD Enterprise
Enterprise-A:  Paramount issued a shot, above, of how fans can
expect the digitally rendered Enterprise to appear when remastered episodes, with updated sound and special effects, begin airing in syndication this fall.

Kirk and Spock rebooted
For the Ages:  The legends become bigger than the players as showman producer J.J. Abrams reintroduces  spacefarers Kirk and Spock -- Greek heroes for our time -- to a new generation; new actors to be cast; negotiations with Shatner's toupee in limbo.

Teaser Poster
Director to be determined; possibly to be helmed by J.J. Abrams
Written by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci (with Abrams collaboration)
Music by Michael Giacchino

From Reuters:  An image (right) released July 14, 2006, shows a 32-acre maze dedicated to Star Trek on a English farm near York in northern England. Tom Pearcy used satellite technology to help him design the huge maze at his farm to celebrate 40 years since the airing of the first episode of the show.  > > > > >
 JJ's Trek
    Paramount, Abrams Start Trek Over From the Beginning

Master showman J.J. Abrams, creator of Felicity, Alias and Lost is working with Paramount to revive the fallow Star Trek franchise in the form of an eleventh feature film.  Representing a bold effort to restore the exhausted Star Trek brand name with a producer considered by many to be something of a wunderkind, J.J.'s coup has been greeted as the creative breath of fresh air fans have been requesting (demanding?) for several years.  Abrams is jumping into Trek after helming this summer's Mission Impossible 3, his debut as a feature film director.  News of Abrams' involvement leaked early; now that he's committed Abrams confirms that he's producing and may also direct.  He's currently working with writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci -- staff writers on Alias with whom Abrams crafted M:I:III -- on a script supposed to chronicle the early days of Kirk and Spock, bringing Star Trek back to its purest, earliest roots.

Teaser Poster Revealed >>
Leaving little doubt about the vintage flavor of Trek's restart.
J.J. Abrams Talks to TV GUIDE >>
Abrams talks to TV Guide about his plans; fandom, and his awareness of Trek in general.
J.J. Abrams Primer >>
Spies in heels!  Hot island castaways!  The only show in history that jumped the shark when its titular co-ed cropped their locks!  J.J. in a nutshell.

England Wheat Field

Shatner Roasted, Toupee Unsinged
Shatner: The Man, The Legend, The Coaster
William Shatner , the man, the myth, the legend -- was feted at last by his peers, admirers and nemeses alike in a rare Comedy Special Roast (the last honored Canada's other incomparable gift to the world, Ms. Pamela Anderson).  The event drew numerous notable Trek alum, Shatner supporters, haters, and hangers on.  (To be a fly on those walls!)  Backstage, roaster Andy Dick lost control and reportedly bit a New York Post reporter.  Enough about B-Listers:  the festivities, honoring the indefatigible B.Shat and hosted by Jason Alexander (Seinfeld; Kurros of Voyager's "Think Tank") were reputedly a great success.  They air Sunday, August 20 on Comedy Cendral.


>  Washington Post
> > TMZ  
> Nimoy declines; video clip from show.
> > Official Star Trek Site Report
> > Vintage Shat - Bill does Rocketman, circa 1978.

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