New Piece Revealed

This is a poster I have been working on for some time now. The idea was originally conceived well over a year ago, and in the past several months I have managed to put aside time now and then to chip away at it. With my schedule opening up quite a bit recently I found myself able to make the final push and incorporate all the elements into what you see here.

My first step was to make a list of all the properties and franchises that came to my mind when I asked myself “what genre television and film series have impacted me most in my life”? The resulting catalog certainly isn’t comprehensive (I found HBO’s Watchmen series to be some of the most impactful television I’ve ever seen) nor should it be viewed as a Top 26 necessarily. But every title and character represented here has relevance to me. Once I had curated the list, which included removing properties that I haven’t gotten around to seeing but will certainly deserve a space here once I do (I’m looking at you, The Expanse), I had to begin the more difficult task of deciding how to represent these individual franchises and what layout those representations would take.

As one can likely tell by looking at this website’s page menu, Star Trek stands atop the list as my favorite science fiction franchise. Accordingly, I knew that would be given a priority placement; larger than most of the other depictions and prominently placed. The simple Starfleet delta would send the message, which in turn made me look at the rest of the list with simple logos or symbols in mind. For many that would work out fine, but a decent number of the properties I had selected never had strongly representative logos like we see in Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Thundercats, etc. so I separated the list into “logos” and “recognizable elements”. When I thought of Futurama, Back to the Future and Firefly the first thing I pictured was the vehicles those series focused on, and pictured them streaking across the poster in some fashion. So I selected six properties to be depicted by ships (or a car) and began collecting images of them to work into the design. In the end I needed to recreate Futurama’s Planet Express ship and the virtually forgotten Earth*Star Voyager in photoshop using reference images as the Planet Express ship had few top-down images available, and the only image of Earth*Star Voyager I could find was a low resolution behind-the-scenes- shot of the filming model. (Stay tuned for a future post about why the Earth*Star Voyager TV movie is awesome and how no one will convince me otherwise.)

Next I moved on to franchises with no logos and no ships. First among them was Quantum Leap, which immediately conjures the image from the opening credits with Sam Beckett standing in the Quantum Leap Accelerator, nearly silhouetted amid blue lights and smoke jets. I knew that pose would be the image and began placing the silhouette in various places on the poster. Yes….I already had the silhouette in my image files. Don’t ask questions. I decided that QLeap wasn’t quite high enough on my priority list to take a central placement so I toyed with showing half of the pose coming in from the side, which opened the door to allow Highlander to be referenced not by MacLeod’s katana, but rather MacLeod himself experiencing a Quickening in the opposite corner from Beckett. That left two corners still up for grabs, and since I was still playing with the idea of using the exterior of the TARDIS from Doctor Who as all or part of the poster’s background I gave it the top left corner. That’s three corners predominantly blue, so it was a cinch to place SeaQuest in the remaining corner.

By now I had selected Star Trek, Babylon 5 and Stargate as the three central franchises to occupy the poster’s middle. Creating screen-accurate replicas of the three different Stargates in Photoshop was not a task I was prepared to undertake, so I lifted those from online and positioned them concentrically in the middle, with a ghostly image of a Logan’s Run Lifeclock in someone’s hand showing through behind it. The two logos above and below, the three to either side and the four on the diagonal were all created in photoshop from the ground up using reference images, some specifically for this poster, others already in my files. From here it was just a matter of deciding what goes where, and what direction to have the array of vehicles traveling. During that process I remembered a few additional properties like Torchwood and Alien Nation which became “graffiti” on the TARDIS, and while it maybe wasn’t anyone’s favorite show, I realized Dollhouse could get some representation literally riding on the back of Firefly.

Some trial and error, a little reorganizing of Photoshop layers, adding in some background effects and I finally arrived at what you see here. The full size image measures 18″x24″, and down the road I am planning to either print and frame the poster, or have it printed on canvas, mounted and shipped through a website I have used before. There is already wall space waiting for it. But I would like to know what you think of this piece? Does it show off the various franchises clearly? Can you identify the 26 properties? (It’s 29 if you count spin-offs individually. Bonus points for naming everything.) Which is your favorite, and do you think any of these are under appreciated nowadays? Any and all feedback is welcome in the comments. Unless you’re mean. We’re not keen on mean here.


Back in the swing

It’s that time of year again, so the brand new 2021 Star Trek Advent Calendar Project begins here. As I did with the 2019 project, the images will represent multi-part stories from Star Trek tv series. Last time it was TNG and DS9, so this year we move on to VOY and ENT. And so we begins this year’s project with the series premier of Star Trek: Voyager, titled “Caretaker”.

Trek Advent: Day 15

This episode is especially poignant in light of the recent passing of René Auberjonois, who displayed his perpetual mastery of the character Odo in this two-part story.

Season 3 opened with this episode after giving us our first glimpse of the mysterious and intimidating Jem’Hadar in the closing episode of the previous season. Here we are introduced to a new hairstyle for Dax, the station making preparations to repel a Dominion attack if necessary, and what would become a permanent fixture for the station and the series……

the USS Defiant. And no sooner does it arrive than we see the crew point it toward the Gamma Quadrant and search for the Founders, leaders of the Dominion. What we learn about them will change the life of one member of the crew in ways that continue to reverberate through the final episode of the series.

Trek Advent: Catching Up

Missed a few days up updates here on the site, so I’ll get everyone caught up here, then post today’s Advent Calendar image separately.

This phase of the calendar takes us into what many people consider their favorite Trek series. Continuing and evolving storylines, deeper character conflict, a religious component largely absent before this point and a new adversary for the Federation in the form of three different alien species that threatened the entirety of the Alpha Quadrant.

This is Start Trek: Deep Space Nine

Trek Advent: Day 11

With the Star Trek TNG episodes finished, today’s TrekAdvent caps it off with the first motion picture for the crew of the Enterprise-D. Data gets emotional, Kirk crosses a bridge too far and nobody can decide what uniform they’re supposed to wear! In fact, Jonathan Frakes wore Avery Brooks’ actual uniform costume during filming. Luckily, the new uniforms the filmmakers originally intended to use made it to the toy line before they were dropped, so I managed to get all seven figures wearing them.
Day 11: Star Trek Generations

Trek Advent Day 11


Trek Advent: Day 10

The series that brought Star Trek back into the heart of modern culture came to an end with this feature-length story. It brought their story to a close while showing us a possible future for the crew, and taking them back to where their journey began.

Day 10: All Good Things…

Trek Advent Day 10

All Good Things…

Trek Advent: Day 9

A new day, a new #StarTrek #TrekAdvent. It’s Indiana Picard as the Captain goes undercover with a group of mercenaries to find ancient artifacts with a mysterious purpose. Picard and Riker having an adventure is fun, but watching Data yell at Worf is better.
As an interesting additional tidbit, according to Memory Alpha, this two-part episode is the first canon confirmation that Vulcan was one of the founding planets of the Federation.
Day 9: Gambit

Trek Advent: Day 8

Getting an early start to Sunday with #TrekAdvent with a Star Trek cliffhanger that dropped my jaw as a child.
Vicious Borg were scary enough, but to realize who was leading them at the same moment Picard figured it out blew my young mind. And Data with emotion? Seeing him reacquire that chip opened a door to a world of possibilities for the character. (Personally I don’t think they ever really walked through it, but that’s another story.)
Perhaps my favorite moment happened behind the scenes; Stephen Hawking appeared as himself in the episode’s teaser. While on the set he visited the bridge and sat in the captain’s chair, and made it to Engineering to look at the Warp Core. While looking at it he reassured everyone “I’m working on that.”
Day 8: Descent.

An Army of John

In the 80s and 90s it always stuck out to me the number of action heroes with the first name John. They were everywhere! For years I wondered what it would look like if they all got put together in one movie. So recently I did a search for “movie characters named John” and found quite a list. Many of them were little-known characters or otherwise unremarkable for this concept, but I managed to find more than enough to put together an Expendables-style cast of Johns. Sure, there’s a villain or two. Sure there are a few less notable examples included. But overall…..I think I’d watch this movie.

If for no other reason than being able to see three Arnolds on screen as three different characters.


Trek Advent: Day 7

Two Enterprise officers searching for their fathers. One chases a bird into his own dreams, the other chases a rumor to a Romulan prison camp. Neither find what they were expecting.
This Trek Advent two-part episode also gave us a delightful glimpse of TNG characters interacting with people and places from DS9. Geordi and Worf sharing lunch on the Promenade, Picard and Beverly having a walk and hearing Picard direct the turbolift to “Ops”, and Bashir sneaking into sickbay on the Enterprise to borrow their scanning equipment. In fact Bashir was not originally meant to be in that scene, but rather Jadzia Dax. However filming of the DS9 episode “Move Along Home” prevented her from appearing, and allowed Alexander Siddig to replace her as Bashir’s disappearance in “Move Along Home” meant he was needed there less and thus had the time to appear.
Day 7: Birthright.