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Trek In The News, December 2011

Trek In The News, December 2011

There’s always something going on in the Star Trek universe, whether it’s favorite actors landing new roles or Star Trek extending its pop culture claws into our everyday lives. Here, takes a look at some Star Trek – and Trek people -- in the news.

Roxann Dawson is back in the director’s chair. This past summer, the former Voyager star acted for the first time in years, appearing in an episode of The Closer, a show she’s directed several times. But now she’s back calling the shots, having just directed “Dirty Little Secrets,” an episode of the upcoming Shonda Rhimes-produced series Scandal, which will premiere early next year as a midseason replacement on ABC.

Peter Weller, who is rumored to be in the next Star Trek film, is a favorite among sci-fi fans thanks to his roles in such films and shows as The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, RoboCop, Leviathan, RoboCop 2, Naked Lunch, Screamers, Odyssey 5, and the Abrams/Orci/Kurtzman-produced Fringe. He also previously appeared on Star Trek: Enterprise as John Frederick Paxton, the leader of Terra Prime.  Weller's upcoming projects include Forced to Fight, an action-drama, and Dragon Eyes, another action-drama, this one co-starring Cung Le and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

George Takei has completed voiceover work on the upcoming film Strange Frame: Love & Sax. The movie, described as the world’s first cut-out animated lesbian sci-fi movie, features Takei as a character named Tamadamsa. Other voice talent includes a mix of sci-fi and Trek favorites, among them Michael Dorn, Claudia Black, Tara Strong, Ron Glass and Claudia Christian. Click HERE to check out a making-of teaser.

As if J.J. Abrams isn’t already busy enough gearing up for the Star Trek (2009) sequel, he’s about to team up with Josh Schwan, creator of One Tree Hill, on a proposed new CW series entitled Maine. According to the trade paper The Hollywood Reporter, the network has given a script commitment to Maine, which will be set at an inn in… Maine. Abrams fans are probably already aware that he’s collaborating with Supernatural creator Eric Kripke on a proposed thriller-adventure called Revolution and that CBS recently gave the Abrams-produced show Person of Interest a full-season pick-up.

Anyone out there playing the videogame The War of the Worlds, which was released last month for Xbox Live Arcade? If so, then you surely recognized the voice of the narrator, Arthur Clark, as that of none other than Patrick Stewart.

Nana Visitor wasn’t kidding. She recently made the decision to move from New Mexico back to Los Angeles in order to pursue her acting career in earnest again. And she’s been a busy lady. Last month, she guest starred in the “Beeware” episode of Grimm. And she’ll next be seen on Castle, guest starring as a dog therapist in an episode that will air next year. “That was great fun,” Visitor told us. “I’m playing it straight, but the character is definitely way, way, way over the top. She’s very… L.A.” What’s next? Pilot season. “That’ll really kick off in January, and we’ll see what opportunities are out there,” Visitor said. “I’d love to do another series. I’m ready.”

An X-ray machine that fits in a pocket and most definitely resembles a Star Trek tricorder? It’s a reality… or almost. A California-based company, Tribogenics, has developed a prototype called a Pocket XRF Analyzer, and just this week secured $2.5 million in funding to support their effort to bring their products to market. Among its potential uses, the XRF Analyzer could be used at airports to detect radioactive elements, by jewelers to identify gold, and, perhaps most significantly, to reduce radiation risks faced by doctors, nurses and patients in medical settings.