Friday, June 15, 2007

Comparisons #4 & 5: ST Magazine UK/Aust vs ST Magazine US

Continuing my series of comparisons between the UK/Australasian and US editions of "Star Trek" magazine.


The good news for American fans is that #4 (MAR/APR 2007) of the US issue has much the same content as the #89 AUS (MAY/JUN 2007)/#131 UK issue. The main variations are to do with the placement of advertisements and mail order pages; the UK/Aust. version is also (as usual) two centimetres taller and one centimetre wider. Both magazines are 98 pages, plus covers - but for the first time the US edition has an extra (brief) article ("The Alpha Guide: The Klingons" by Jake Black, a primer on surviving as a UFP tourist in Klingon space) on the pages where the UK/Aust. edition features a two-page mail order catalogue for the UK science fiction store, Forbidden Planet. Previously, it was the UK edition that carried an "Alpha Guide" - to the Borg - in a bonus "Voyager" supplement.

But... (you knew there was a "but" coming) Where the "Next issue" promotion of the US edition promises "our history of Star Trek reaches the 1980s...", the UK/Aust. edition will present "previously unseen material from 'Star Trek: The Animated Series'." 32 pages of extra material again!

And that latest issue turned up yesterday, Down Under!


#5 of the US version of Titan's Star Trek (MAY/JUN 2007) is back to the regular 66 page size, but the UK/Aussie version (#90 JUL/AUG 2007; #132 UK) continues to be 98 pages.

While both versions carry the same cover banner, "Writing for 'Star Trek: The Animated Series'", above the title, the main UK/Aussie difference is the generous bonus lift-out Celebrating 'Star Trek: The Animated Series', a supplement in the middle pages. For the US version, the banner would refer only to the David Gerrold article, which both versions have in common. (David Gerrold talks about many aspects of Trek, including his contributions to the recent DVD set).

The UK/Aust. bonus material, however, features even more material about TAS:

* "The Secret Origins of 'Star Trek: The Animated Series'" by Andy Mangels, which includes reprints of official comments about a 1969 "concept paper" proposing a training ship called Excalibur; Scotty's moustache; new characters called Tun-Tun, Stormy, Ploof, Steve and Bob; and a suggestion to eliminate Chekov and his paired cadet, Chris, in favour of finding a cadet pairing for Uhura. Three early story outlines were "The Space Cocoon", "The Impossible Rainbow" and "Klingon Attack".

* Storyboard comparisons of the first two minutes of "The Terratin Incident".

* "Five best!", an illustrated episode countdown by Jake Black: "The Pirates of Orion", "More Tribbles, More Troubles", "The Jihad", "The Counter-clock Incident" and, at number one, "Yesteryear".

* "Charting 'The Counter-clock Incident'": an interview with writer Fred Bronson (aka John Culver) by Anthony Pascale.

* "Animated Pioneers" by Chris Dows: Trek tech that was first suggested by TAS. The aquashuttle, large shuttlecraft, robot ship, land vehicle, hover robots, and seatbelts.

* "Still Drawn to It", celebrating 35 years of TAS - by Kevin Dilmore and Dayton Ward.

* Mail order catalogue for the UK science fiction store, Forbidden Planet, seemingly incorporating the functions of the UK Star Trek: The Official Fan Club's "Tower of Commerce" pages.

* "ST: TAS Trivia" by Chris Dows, one text selection and still for each episode.

* "Under the Great Bird's Wing", an interview with Gene Roddenberry's former assistant, Susan Sackett, by Michael A Martin.

* Contest advertisement for Fedcon XVI convention.

The next US issue is again 66 pages, but the forthcoming #91 AUS/#133 UK issue promises a 32 page "exclusive guide to the Star Trek novel series"!

This stuff is so cool, I'm sure Titan USA will eventually find a way of getting this material to US fans.


Jean said...

a 1969 "concept paper" proposing [...] new characters called Tun-Tun, Stormy, Ploof, Steve and Bob...

*backs away slowly*



Therin of Andor said...

Yep. ;) And Exalibur (originally proposed as 6D12 Lightly) would have been able to break up into smaller pods. It sounds like Tun-Tun was already slated to be replaced by the moustachioed Scotty - and his cadet counterpart, Stormy, was to be dropped.

Some "crab/spider" business in "The Space Cocoon" was deemed unacceptable for a kids' show, but there was an effort to boost up the educational angle of each TAS instalment from even this earliest incarnation. There were aliens called trogs.

Steve was Spock's cadet companion, and Bob was McCoy's. There was concern that Kirk's companion looked too much like "any boy in the world", and Sulu's and Uhura's companions were not decided yet (although I once saw a preliminary sketch of the female cadet paired with Uhura in a different book).