The LIEF Erikson

Friday, May 20, 2005

A Fair Go

I was recently asked to write something up on why I am supporting Trek United in their fight to get "Enterprise" back into production.

What does the loss of Enterprise mean to me? As some have realisticaly pointed out, the world did not end on May 27th. There were other programmes to watch on TV, there is good SciFi currently in production, for the Trek fan there are re-runs and DVDs. If that is not enough, you could always open a book since Star Trek in print is still alive and well. Why not accept what we are given and make the most of it?

Why not? Because Star Trek fandom is in the enviable position of being an organised voice for the wishes of Science Fiction fans and as a group we have historically shown that we can affect the decisions of the media giants. In short we don't have to take it!

I feel that Viacom and Paramount need to be told that the fans, the people who watch the programs and buy the DVDs, are not happy with the way that the production of "Enterprise" was handled. Right from the beginning "Enterprise" was plagued with a management that didn't seem to want it, dubious Production and Directing decisions, lack of promotion and lethal TV programming.

I could understand if it were a lost cause but we're talking about a Star Trek series with a potentially huge, ready made fanbase. They had to work pretty hard to lose that massive head start. It wasn't a bad concept either. To give Berman his due I think the idea of showing the history of how the Federation developed has great potential. Many didn't like the idea of a prequel to the previous series but to my mind their thinking is too linear. By going back, closer to our own time, I believe the writers gave Star Trek more relevance to the modern world than a Utopian 24th century society whose principles and history are shrouded in mystery.

I want to see Enterprise come back because it didn't deserve the raw deal it got.The show had great potential as was shown when it was handed over to Manny Cato and I think, given intelligent programming and aggressive marketing, the creative team that they had could have delivered some ground-breaking TV.

To add insult to injury Viacom management are now making statements about how "Star Trek needs a break" as if the fault lies with the concept, the genre, rather than their handling of it. What's the odds this will be used as a rationale for grounding all Trek productions - films as well as TV?

What Star Trek needs is a change, not a break. It needs a change of attitude at management level. It needs a change of format, maybe direct to video, three part mini-series or anime ... something different. It needs to realistically challenge the real issues of modern society: gay acceptance, the dangers as well as the advantages of globalisation, the destruction of the environment...

Viacom have it in their power to solve all of the problems that plagued Enterprise! Don't lay the blame Trek! Bring Enterprise back and give it a fair go!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The LIEF Erikson as a Fanzine

Why would anyone be interested in a Trekie's Blog? Well it's not your normal Blog. You won't find out how I feel this morning, have to wade through teenage angst about how my friends don't understand me or listen to rants about the quality of coffee in Starbucks. So what is in them? ...

  • The LIEF Press
    My Fan Fiction Printing House. Major series include
    • "Tales of Death and Honour"
    • "Lima Echo One".

  • The LIEF Erikson
    My editorial Blog. Comment and views, mostly to do with Star Trek and SF&F but rambling across the whole range of my interests as the whim takes me.

  • Treknology Today
    The home of my quarterly articles about Treknology in the modern world and regularly updated posts of new paper models of Trek subjects.

  • LIEFCon LaunchLog
    Keep up to date with this monthly column on the latest launches ... and the latest paper models of the spacecraft that are making the news.

  • 3D Science
    A monthly column featuring specific hands-on scientific projects available on the Web, catering to all ages and experience levels.

  • Sci Station Canada
    Science news from and about Canada

  • Sci Station Aus
    Science news and comment from Australia

  • The Hypothetical LIEF
    Philosophy and Logic, Trek-style. Well, what would you do if ...

In keeping with my exploration of the limits of what can be done with a Blog I've added a Mailing List function. Now you need never miss any of my world shattering Blog entries!

OK, meglamania aside, some of my blogs have proven to be quite popular and hopefully useful to Trek fans and the public at large. For example, the "Trek in Paper" posts on Treknology Today are started at the beginning of each month and added to as I find papermodels of Trek subjects. You could follow the Blog by RSS but if I have it correctly it will only register when a new post has against an updated post.

I have created two Yahoo! Groups as Mailing Lists - The Daily LIEF and The Weekly LIEF. Whenever I put something new on one of my Blogs I will post a 1-2 line notice & link on "The Daily LIEF" group which will be sent out to anyone who has subscribed.

Now I will be the first to point out that this will be *way* too much for the casual reader - not even my kids are that interested in everything I have written! Even the Weekly LIEF (which summarises the posts for the week) could end up just being just another In-Box stuffer. With this in mind, I have created "The Monthly LIEF" so that in the first week of each month I will send out a cummulative post summarising my Blog posts for the previous month.

Also at the end of that first week I will have available for download my Fanzine "The LIEF Erikson" which will be an accumulation of the full Blog entries in a printable (pdf) format for those of you who want something to leaf through over your morning coffee.

Taking into consideration privacy concerns, I have set the Group Web Tools so that it is a one way flow from me-to-you. For example Members can download Files/Photos, view Links and calendar or database items and partake in Polls. They can't upload files or photos, create Polls, or add to the database, calendar or links. I've left the Chat function open (although I've never known anyone to use it) but most importantly of all the Members list cannot be viewed by anyone other than the List owner.