Clearly inspired by Spock’s space walk in Star Trek The Motion Picture, as much as I don’t completely concede the logic, it is a cool sequence, shot beautifully and I think one of Michael’s more likeable scenes.
I’ve said it elsewhere but I think I need to wait to see all of Star Trek Discovery before passing real judgement on the show, without context I think the show is a little misguided and lacking in hope but all of this could be rectified through the greater story arc. So criticisms and nit picks aside seeing Star Trek back on television and evolving is wonderful and I look forward to this coming half season to see where they go.
Fortunately Tilly and Stamets are probably just about likeable enough to make up for everyone else anyway LOL.
I saw the first episode of Enterprise on a media preview tape lent to me with unfinished special effects with a group of friends who were not interested (they were more excited about the Buffy Season Five… or Six whenever she came back from the dead). The song threw me out, I hated it but I loved the montage. I’d seen the ad for Enterprise using Wherever You Will Go and was really disappointed they didn’t use it for the show:
But in fairness I kind of love that horrible song now and I think Broken Bow was a really great introduction though I don’t think there are many who would argue for the temporal cold war. There are several scenes that really stand out to me in this, especially the sequence where Trip is getting annoyed by the Lorillian mother weaning her child.
But I think the fact that they completed their mission and returned Klaang to the Klingon Empire is noteworthy and I love that shot of the four of them though that red background was tempting to ignore.
There are a couple of scenes that sum up the episode Caretaker for me, one of which is of course depicted above, as the Maquis and Starfleet confront the Caretaker together, it’s unmistakeably this episode. One of the other scene I didn’t choose though it is probably my favourite is at the end of the episode when Captain Janeway orders them to head for home. The look that Kate Mulgrew has on her face in the sequence is everything.
A bit of creative licensing with the scene above, I removed the second chair that Chakotay sits in just because it was going to mess with my composition. I really love this episode, I’m not sure where Star Trek pilot episodes get a bad reputation, they are for the most part really solid shows despite requiring a little polish around the edges.
I love the burden they place on Janeway’s shoulders, she’s the one who strands them because it’s the right thing to do. I also love the trope of the simulation by the hugely advanced alien species that plays out in this episode. I struggled with Voyager during its first run, I found it frustrating that they had to reset every episode but I fell in love with the characters in my second run through and that has only deepened with every rewatch.
The response to the question of what is the defining moment in the Star Trek Deep Space Nine pilot episode Emissary was loud and clear “It is not linear.” Everyone was right of course, this is the defining moment of DS9 and Sisko’s realisation that he must move on and embrace his new path. Before this he could barely be in the same room with Captain Picard who he knew was just as much of a victim of Wolf 359. His second conversation with Picard much more civil, he is a man who has started on the road to healing, much like Bajor and the Bajoran people who have lost so much and need to heal.
This is the story of Deep Space Nine and it’s a wonderfully rich one.
The challenge with tackling these kind of scenes is a very valid fear of not being able to do it justice in my style. This is a weighty scene and I honestly felt reverent when drawing Jennifer, in no way wishing to make light of the scene and its importance. I usually play music whilst I illustrate but I didn’t with this one, probably a little silly but still.
I’m old enough to remember the first time I ever saw Encounter at Farpoint (as I mentioned over on Twitter I keep going to call it Fairpoint for some reason), it was a weird sensation because, there was no internet back then so we had no idea what might be going on apart from the photocopied official Star Trek fan-club of Australia’s booklets that would be mailed out and had photocopied promo photos etc. Also this had never been done, to my knowledge, taking an old show and putting a new generation in to replace them.
I remember not really registering Dr McCoy in it and hating the Enterprise D, I mean I did not like it at all. All the costumes were different and more organic looking and very tight.
I look back on Farpoint with a lot of nostalgia and I still think as far as pilot episodes go it isn’t that bad at all. I will admit to getting slightly misty eyed when Riker reminded us that he first met Data in the holodeck trying to whistle in Nemesis.
Also I got Deanna’s cheerleader colour wrong… sigh.
I really didn’t want to do this shot but I think it is too important a shot from the episode to avoid and besides, I’ve got 365 of these things to do, I may as well push myself further 😉
The reason I didn’t want to do it is that a) I’m not comfortable with the ships (although I’m getting a lot more so) and b) space is horrible to paint in watercolour… well for me anyway, better artists probably revel in it but I struggle with all that black space.
But take a look at that alien ship!! I mean that is a thing of beauty, a truly alien design of ship that is generally avoided in tradition non-animated Star Trek for simple production costs. I love it and it shows the potential for the animated series’ ability to explore truly strange new worlds.
The Enterprise in this drawing was made possible by an online model I found that allows me to put the ship in any position for reference. Which for me is a god send. The angle in the episode was literally just side on but I wanted a shot that showed the Enterprise approaching the derelict ship and I knew in my head what angle I wanted it to be but no idea how to translate it.
Finally how cool is it that this episode was written by Samuel A. Peeples the same writer who wrote yesterday’s Where No Man Has Gone Before. He wrote the pilot for TOS and TAS!
The pattern for the start of this year’s Star Trek 365 should be pretty obvious by now so no prizes for guessing tomorrow’s.
I know that it’s not the first episode that aired but it is the pilot episode and it’s interesting what refinements where to come. Despite the galactic barrier stuff (I gloss over it in my head) this is an exceptionally solid story. Kirk’s struggle with having to kill his friend because of what he is becoming through no fault of his own is a wonderful story full of drama and questions.
I love going through these episodes for reference shots I think the matte painting used for Delta Vega is similar to the one if not the same used for Talos IV from The Cage. My backdrop differs a little, i always have to generally take a little bit of liberty with the framing.
Let me know what you think below or over on social media and if you have any Trek friends who would like the project let them know
I thought it fitting to start the 2018 Star Trek 365 project by featuring the episode where it all began, The Cage. Deemed too cerebral by television executives this was the original pilot for Star Trek that was rejected. In television history they commissioned a second pilot episode and the rest is of course history.
I actually think The Cage stands the test of time, it’s a great story and I’m glad they restored it. I’m a massive fan of the uniforms, especially the away team jackets and I think it’s a missed opportunity by Star Trek Discovery not to feature updated versions of them.
This is a very different Star Trek in tone, there is a hardness to Captain Christopher Pike which is softened by his replacement Captain Kirk and Nimoy is very clearly grappling with how he’s going to be playing this half human half vulcanian.
This just feels great to be kicking off again with the daily drawings and I can’t wait to see what the year brings.
Also so weird to sign this 2018!!!!
Please let me know what you think, share with any friends you think might like it, make suggestions, ask questions! LOL
Okay apart from it being New Year’s Eve I’m so excited to be launching this tomorrow! I know exactly what the first illustration is going to be and I’ll give you a hint, we’re going back to where it all began!