Star Trek is Back

Star Trek is finally back on TV…in the form of The Orville.  Seth MacFarlane, creator of the shows Family Guy and American Dad, has brought to life a new TV series in the vein of classic Star Trek — and it’s fantastic.

The show is half-serious and half-humorous in a weird way.  Personally I find the humor a bit hit-or-miss.  Sometimes the jokes fall flat and other times I can’t help but burst out with a laugh.  However, the drama is right on target.  Every episode touches on some thought-provoking moral dilemma or ambiguity, which is really what good sci-fi is all about.

If you’re a fan of classic Trek (especially TNG), then you owe it to yourself to check out The Orville.  If you’re not a fan of Seth MacFarlanesque humor, at least try to stomach it for a few episodes because the “Trekkiness” of the more serious parts of the show is worth it.


I think there’s another non-Star-Trek Star Trek show out right now called Star Trek: Discovery, or something.  Not really sure what that’s all about.  I heard they invented some new aliens and are calling them the Klingons now (ugh).  Maybe I’ll get around to checking that show out some time.  Whatever.

Things That Should Have Been

Sometimes things that are meant to happen, don’t.  While I can’t prove that meddling time travellers are responsible for some of these things not happening, I am almost certain that the following mundane things should have happened:

Fallout 3 (Van Buren)

What was it?

Fallout 3 was to be the third in a highly praised series of tactical, squad-based combat/adventure games set in post-apocalyptic U.S.A. Following in the isometric footsteps of the utterly fantastic PC games Fallout and Fallout 2, Black Isle Studio’s third installment of the Fallout series (codenamed Van Buren) would likely have been equally awesome.

What happened?

The game was nearly completed when the publisher inexplicably decided to cancel it in favor of focusing on console game development.  Black Isle Studios was shut down, and the rights to the game sold off.  Soon afterward, the publisher, Interplay, was shut down (though it re-emerged four years later).

What did we get instead?

Yet another First-Person Shooter.

The rights to the Fallout name were sold to Bethesda Softworks, who later released a Fallout 3 game using the same engine as their more recent Elder Scrolls RPG games.  The industry’s thirst for isometric, turn-based tactical games continued to go unquenched.

Pontiac Rageous

What was it?

The Pontiac Rageous was Pontiac’s quad-coupe concept car.  It had enough room to carry 4’x8′ sheets of plywood in the back.  It doubled as a race car.  And it looked like this:

What happened?

I’m not sure, but I believe copious quantities of crack were involved.

What did we get instead?


That’s right.  We got the Pontiac Aztec instead of the Pontiac Rageous.

Instead of doubling as a race car, it doubled as a tent.

Star Trek: Phase II

What was it?

Star Trek: Phase II was to be a new Star Trek series in the late 70s with most of the original crew, plus some new characters.  It was set to air on a proposed new major network: Paramount Television Service.

What happened?

The new network the show was to run on didn’t pan out and the show was scrapped.

What did we get instead?

Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Some of the sets, costumes, and characters were later re-used in this movie.

It would have really been cool to have had a second “original” Star Trek series in the late 70s/early 80s.  I wonder, though, if Star Trek: The Next Generation (and all subsequent ‘trek’ shows) would ever have happened had Star Trek: Phase II made it to air?…