S&V Picks

Hard to believe after 35 years of interviews, conventions, and TV specials that William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy have anything new to say about the show that launched their careers. Yet behind-the-scenes revelations no man has heard before are the promise of the DVD Mind Meld ($20), available exclusively through Shatner's Web site, williamshatner.com. Fascinating.

Any Trekkie who thinks he/she/it has every piece of Star Trek memorabilia should best hop a shuttlecraft to the Las Vegas Hilton and probe the swag available at Star Trek: The Experience. Pictured here are a Federation banner ($28), Scott Bakula's cap from Enterprise ($10), a tribble ($13), a chocolate bar of gold-pressed latinum ($3), a Borg-cube mug ($13), and a Starfleet badge from a parallel universe ($10).

Among the strange, new worlds the original Trek crew explored was the "fotonovel" - a book-format retelling of the TV episodes with still pictures paired with dialogue in word balloons, resulting in a very comics-like experience. Only about a dozen Star Trek fotonovels were ever published, though they're still a historical oddity, if you can find them.

Starting with the Gold Key mags in the '60s, Trek comics had many incarnations, but they reached their creative apex when veteran sci-fi scribe Peter David briefly took over the adventures of the original crew for DC comics in 1989. His run included a memorable three-part trial of Captain Kirk, Kirk's days at Starfleet Academy, and a surprisingly moving tribute to all those red-shirted security guards who were slaughtered by various alien baddies every week.

And while you're waiting for this year's Star Trek movie, Nemesis, surf by the Roll Call site (seska.home.netcom.com), which tallies every minor crewmember ever seen, mentioned, or killed on board the Federation starship Voyager.

- Lt. Cmdr. Peter Pachal