Star Trek: Action Movie or Disaster Movie?

Spoilers for Star Trek! Into Darkness follow.

I have said up until now that Star Trek—Into Darkness is OK as an action film but is not really Star Trek or science fiction. It came to me today that the real issue is that Star Trek; Into Darkness is actually an example of a recent trend for disaster films masquerading as action films—the difference being that the protagonists fail to prevent the disaster, and treat merely surviving to snog in the wreckage as a success; patching up failing relationships while in danger is another disaster-movie trope.

It isn’t the only film lurching in to disaster territory recently, the problem being that great big explosions with thousands of bystanders killed off-screen are so much more spectacular than having the hero succeed in saving everyone. We can look forward to a lot of incompetent police procedurals in which ancestors are murdered, the descendant gets away scott free, and the last twenty minutes is them spending the ill-gotten inheritance on sexy party attendants in goldy coloured bikinis...

Measure of a holgram

One of my cable channels is showing Voyager’s last series—which I never bothered watching before. One ep is ‘Author, Author’, which turns on a pseudo-legal hearing as to whether the doctor is a person or not. They had a similar hearing 12 years years ago in ‘Measure of a Man’ but seem to have learned nothing. In fact it is outrageous that the Federation does not have any systematic test or criteria for personhood; their position that a talking meat creature is a person whereas a talking mechanical or electronic construct is not could be viewed as deeply bigoted.

The story closes with a scene of holograms digging away at a mine, literally with pickaxes and baskets to carry ore around in. Even pre-industrial miners had better equipment than this. Marooning the doctors there seem more like punishment than mere slavery.

It is also unfortunate that the writers of Trek seem determined to demonstrate that future culture is incredibly trashy.

You keep using that word ‘metre’ but I don’t think you know what it means

What is a good size for a catperson?

According to Memory Beta, caitians are 2–3 metres tall. That would have them all towering over most humans – and then what is M’Ress, a dwarf? The only other caitian depicted in film is Srrell (a background character in The Voyage Home), who is also roughly human-sized.

According to, the vedala hown in the Animated Series is three metres tall. In this case there is one frame of the animation in which she is standing next to a roughly human-sized person and does loom over her. So maybe vedala really are the size of full-sized tigers. No reason why they shouldn’t be. This matters to me because my character Lieutenant Commander  Ruh is supposed to be a vedala.

I have introduced some new characters, Ash and Ember who I have decided are a new species just so I can make up their society myself without worrying about contradicting some FASA supplement from 1977 or a Pocket Book from 1988 by mistake. Ruh is big so these guys are going to be small—once there is some gravity so they can stand next to someone, at any rate.

Just resting?

TOSS #41 The Rescuers (January 18, 2013 at 10:00PM)I have been neglecting to post TOSS updates to my Livejournal, for which I apologise. I have things set up with an RSS feed, and a recipe o IFTTT hat automatically posts updates to my Twitter nd my Tumblr. Maybe there is a way to rope LiveJournal in to this as well.

Procrastination-wise, I have made other updates as well: the TOSS cast page now has a page per person with a little more character detail in some cases.The Star Trek Expanded Universe wiki as also been burdened with new pages for John bet-Orlek and Farid Singh.

TOSS #38

Less than a year after the previous page, here’s a new one
 Page 38 panel 1
ou will see I am belatedly taking up Dave Sim’s pre-Gerhard technique for speeding up the drawing of backgrounds: everything happens in rooms with the lights turned off. In this case, the gravity is turned off as well, which adds to the confusion.

TOSS pages 36 and 37

It has taken over a year but there is a new page to go with the new URL for TOSS, my Star Trek fan comic.

In this episode, Wheel has found an excuse to loiter in a monitor room.

I am using to automatically post new episodes of TOSS and Percy Street to my Tumblr tumblog. I don’t think it is yet possible to do this to my LJ so I will be haphazardly updating by hand as usual instead.


New web site

There is a new home for Percy Street at a proper webcomic address:

Technobabble follows (copy this in to your next Star Trek script):

It turns out that creating a new web site is getting easier and easier. This time around I bought the domain name from French registrar Gandi, who provide a domain name server with a choice of management UIs—easy, normal, and expert. I have Nginx running on my Linode virtual private server humming away somewhere in London, so adding another site was a matter of creating a user percystreet, adding my SSH key to its known_hosts so my upload script works, and editing the upload script to upload to the new account, and configuring Nginx to serve the enw files and redirect from the old addresses ot the new ones. Nginx configuration is sooooo much easier than Apache.

A little while ago I tweaked the CSS for the comics pages to eliminate as many distractions as possible from before or to the left of the comc itself—this reflects my annoyance with other sites (especially news sites and forums) that have layers and layers of navigation and ‘branding’ before you get to the bit that interests you. Hope you like it!
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished

Percy Street, page 85

Not safe for work:
Some pages contain nudity


A bisexual comic-book soap opera

Current chapter: 6. ‘The Impermanence of Short-Term Memory’

Latest page: 85

Coming back to Percy Street after a while, I find myself wanting to simplify the template for these teasers—it gets reformatted badly on both LiveJournal and Tumblr, and is fancier than required anyway. Now I think about it it is about time Percy had his own web site. Something to ponder.

Update (12 Sept): Created