Monday, November 25, 2013

1984 Interview with Angelique Pettyjohn

Recently I have been posting articles from issue #17 of the magazine  Enterprise Incidents, published in May of 1984 (see the cover here). I am still mining this issue, this time with an interview with actress/model Angelique Pettyjohn that portrayed the exotic drill thrall Shahna from the episode "The Gamesters of Triskelion." (Read her Wiki entry here.)

With a script that just as easily could have been written for "Lost In Space," (with some more dumbing-down) it is nevertheless fun to watch, as Kirk once again uses his sex appeal on an innocent alien woman to achieve escape. Another notable example of this was when he blew the mind of Kelinda in "By Any Other Name," and I'm sure you could think of a few more without really trying. "Cheesy" is the word of the day on this episode. But even bad Trek is good, and this is not as bad as some others.

The character of Shahna is best remembered by the casual viewer of the show as the "green-haired girl in the tinfoil bikini" that critics hold up as a typical example of the exploitation of women in the original series. It's true that the actress was a Vegas showgirl, and her impressive physique was put on full view in the now-famous silver halter that would have looked right at home on a Vegas stage. The voluminous green-tinted wig completed the outfit, and you just know the producers -particularly Roddenberry- were all giggity over her, so for once the detractors who call TOS sexist were somewhat justified. (One has to wonder why a warrior such as Shahna would take such time to tease her hair and apply all that make-up just to go out and fight the other thralls.)

Angelique did some other TV shows and B-movies, and  later went on to act in some adult films, and sadly passed away in 1992 of cancer.

This article reveals the poor layout that was sometimes a problem in the magazine once it went national, with most of the pages mostly empty space with one small photo. But it is a nice interview, and it's just for you Shahna fans out there that were so struck with her as a kid! Me, I was too enthralled (ouch!) with the fact that Uhura got to go on an adventure to be very smitten with Shahna. But I can certainly understand the attraction she must have had on a lot of adolescents, and I won't claim there weren't a few hormones stirred up by her "Jiffy-Pop" outfit!

(Click on images to enlarge; once open, you may have to click on it again to view full-size.)

Below, a couple of publicity photos taken during the filming.

"One quick flip over the hip, and it's roll in the hay time!"

Shahna appears to be directing traffic in this photo, and in that getup she would be a traffic-stopper; but more likely causing some accidents!.

Bonus: Below, from a coloring book put out as a tie-in with ST:TMP (featured only on the covers)  are a couple of pages with activities that will amuse you for hours on end. Or, the kids in your life. Print them out and color away!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

1984 Andrew Probert Interview

Andrew Probert has been responsible for the look of Star Trek since 1979 in so many ways, and the influence of his work still is evident today even in the new Trek movies. Here is an interview with this amazingly talented production designer and artist from Enterprise Incidents #17 published in May of 1984.

Most of the article is concerned with his work on ST:TMP, which expanded the look of Trek universe from the low-budget TV series to motion-picture quality detail and design. Sharp-eared fans (pun intended) may have heard his name used on-screen in TMP, during the subspace radio chatter that was audible over the Epsilon Nine outpost exterior scenes. "Commodore Probert" was the officer named by the voice that was relaying orders for various ships... ships that even more attentive fans may have noticed as having been named and numbered in the Star Fleet Technical Manual!

 (Click on images to enlarge; once open, you may have to click again to view full size.)
My first exposure to Mr. Probert's work was when I ordered prints of his awesome paintings of the TOS cast members from Lincoln Enterprises in the early 70's. Below is a photo of the three I ordered and are now framed on my home office wall. I wish I had gotten the entire set, but my funds were limited back then. Come to think of it, they still are...

Bonus: below, from the same issue, is a short feature that looks at the environmental suits used in the third season of the show. The rare photo of Walter Koenig in the suit is the highlight.

Bonus #2: A pensive-looking Kirk is featured in a publicity still taken during the filming of the third-season clunker "Spock's Brain."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Making of Visual Effects for ST:TMP Part 3

Welcome back (that is assuming you've been here before)! As a reward for your return, here is the promised Part Three of the article on the making of the effects from ST:TMP from Enterprise Incidents #17, from May of 1984. It contains some great images of the models, including one you don't see many behind-the-scenes photos of, namely the K'Tinga Class Klingon Battlecruiser.. First off, the cover of the issue...

(Click on images to enlarge; once open you may have to click again to view full-size.) 

Then, the article itself, full of great photos and informative text.

Below, a larger scan of the above photo, included so that you can see more of the detail.

Another larger scan of an inserted image, I thought this beautiful painting by Probert deserved a closer look.

That's it for this time, come back soon, because I will be posting much more Trek material from this issue, including an interview with "Commodore Probert" himself! (If you recognize that reference you are a sharp-eared Trekker indeed.)

Bonus link: Check out Madman's Shipyards! Cool renderings of various Star Trek ships, including a whole section dedicated to re-envisioning the Franz Joseph Tech Manual ships in the new movie universe style.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Trek-o-ween!

Here's the front of a Hallmark Card from 1993 from my collection that I thought you might enjoy. May all your hauntings be happy ones!
(Click on image to enlarge; once open, you may have to click again to view full-size.)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Making of Visual FX for ST:TMP Part 2

When the great fanzine Enterprise Incidents went national, it became a slick magazine, which meant that it got color sections, but diversified the content to include other genre films and shows. Of course, the sometimes-amateurish layout belied its fanzine origins occasionally, but the articles were well-done and I enjoyed it as much as the more professional Starlog. Making the leap to an nationally-published magazine was a big step, and James Van Hise is to be commended for his efforts, as it enabled me to find it on the news-stands, which was hardly ever the case with the earlier zine, which was only available at specialty shops. I still missed the card-stock publication of earlier days, though, when it was devoted mostly to Trek.

This time we are opening issue #13, published in January of 1984. (View the cover here from an earlier post.)   The first part of this article was apparently in one of those earlier issues that I missed, but I have parts 2 and 3 to share with you. This is Part 2, and Part 3 is coming next week or so.

(Click on images to enlarge. Once open you may have to click on it again to view full-size.)

Bonus: Below, Shatner shows off one of the wrist-communicators used in ST:TMP.
"And this speed-dials any of the names of all the women in my little black book."

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

1991 article: "The Undiscovered Kirk"

 More from the 25th Anniversary issue of Starlog, issue #175, this time featuring an interview with Shatner about the newest movie "The Undiscovered Country." Besides the excitement over the film, Shatner talks a little about the last one which he directed, and explains why he felt it didn't go over as he had hoped. I don't blame Bill for everything wrong with the movie... he was a fair director, and with a better script he could have had better success. But, as with his Kirk character in ST 6, the responsibility for anything that happens on the ship falls onto the Captain... so he shoulders the burden for the relative lack of success of "The Final Frontier." This time, the ship was back under the command of Nick Meyers, who brought it back on course for one final glorious voyage.

(Click on images to enlarge; once it opens, you may have to click again to view full-size.) 
Bonus: Another variation of the "Spock with test tubes" shot from a photo session taken after the second pilot but before the first regular episode filmed.This whole set of pics made him look more like a chemist than a science officer, but at the time, a table full of test tubes and bubbling beakers was the fastest shorthand to suggest that a character was a scientist, "doing science." At least they didn't hand him a clipboard and stick him in front of a bank of old IBM computers with reel-to-reel tapes like "Lost In Space"!

 I still get extra nostalgic seeing pics from this session, since one of them was the first photo of Spock I ever clipped for my scrapbook, or even recall seeing.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

1991 article: "Uhura's Mission"

Last time we featured some 25th Anniversary material from 1991, and we continue with the look back to that time period with today's entry; from issue #175 of Starlog comes this article on my favorite communications officer, Uhura, as portrayed by Nichelle Nichols..(Who still owns the role, I might add.)

(Click on images to enlarge; once open, you may have to click on it again to view full-size.)

Bonus: below, a couple of photos gleaned from around the web from Nichelle's early days as a stage performer, doing what she does best; dancing! 

Bonus #2: Below, from Starlog, a hilarious cartoon that looks at one of the most out-of-character moments for Spock in the entire series. At the end of the great episode "The Enemy Within," Spock, while signing off on a report for Janice Rand, says the line below with an uncharacteristically creepy leer. I know the episode was an early effort, when not all the characters were nailed down yet, but the line is something that would have been unsavory coming from anyone, much less Spock. Even coming from Kirk himself it would have been weird, if not completely unexpected. But Spock? It's like he was mentioning the unpleasantness in such a slimy way in order to see if he could get in on some of that action himself. Not cool.

Bonus #3: below, a page from a magazine article featuring a rare color photo of Nimoy as Spock on the bridge.