Sunday, February 03, 2008

Star Trek Enterprise - alternate opening credits

I watched part of the Sci-Fi channel Enterprise marathon tonight, catching a few episodes I never saw or never got to see all the way through.

Enterprise has a mixed reputation with Trekkies. While some younger fans the enjoyed new characters and stories involving the days before the original series, others hated the scripts deviated from Star Trek's historical timeline.

One common gripe about the show was the Enterprise theme song that played over the opening credits. Earlier Trek shows featured the famous theme music by Alexander Courage, or the rousing orchestra score composed by Jerry Goldsmith for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The Enterprise theme song was criticized by its detractors as too pop-rock or folksy for a science fiction TV show and out of sync with the Trek universe.

I did not mind the theme song, but I did love the opening image of the history of human exploration and space travel.

Enterprise debuted shortly after the attacks of 9/11. After being worn down by the violent images of the attacks on the Twin Towers on cable news, I played the opening for Enterprise on my VCR over and over for a quick uplift. Anything that celebrated positive human endeavors was a change from images of destruction.

Some YouTube users have re-mixed the opening of Enterprise with new music and new images. With today's digital technology, anyone with a modest computer can remake their favorite TV shows and movies to their liking.

Out of all the Enterprise opening credit remakes I've seen, this one by YouTube user Portland182 is my favorite.


The use of NASA footage and clips from The Right Stuff, along the theme music from the movie Judge Dredd, is powerful, especially as the Enterprise pulls out of spacedock and sheds connecting cables and hoses, similar to the footage of Saturn V rockets leaving for the moon.

I hope the makers of the new Star Trek film are paying attention to all the fine work that Trek fans are sharing online.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Explorer 1 - America's first satellite

After writing about the loss of Columbia and killer toy robots, I forgot to mention the 50th anniversary of the launch of Explorer 1, America's first satellite.

I love how the announcers for old newsreels read the copy with such dramatic tones. Before 24 hour cable news and the Internet, this is how many average people saw the events of the world.

Along with the news of Explorer 1 on the newsreel is news about Gamal Abdel Nasser and the merger of Egypt and Syria into one nation. Even back in the 1950s, politics and tensions in the Middle East were headline news.