Category Archives: Television

Star Trek ReWatch – To Boldly Go…

Star Trek – “Diversity contains as many treasures as those waiting
for us on other worlds. We will find it impossible to fear diversity
and to enter the future at the same time.” – Gene Roddenberry

Star Trek ReWatch - To Boldly Go... - The Last Krystallos

Way back in the nineties I developed an obsession with Star Trek which was to continue ad infinitum. I began with The Next Generation and fell in love with its format and characters. I’d always had a love for the stars and for escape and this series gave me everything I needed. Star Trek has become, over the years, my safe space, somewhere I can go to find solace, escape, and rescue.

I watched it religiously at 6pm every Wednesday, embracing Captain Jean Luc Picard, Will Riker, Data, Deanna Troi, Worf, Dr Crusher, Geordie, and, of course, the Enterprise D. I was hooked following the episodic escapades of the crew and their mission to go where no one has gone before. Deep Space Nine overlapped the end of TNG and I struggled to get into it, but it ultimately became one of my personal favourites of all Treks. I loved the continuing format set on the DS9 space station with a crew who weren’t even sure they wanted to be there. Commander Benjamin Sisko headed a diverse crew including Bajorans and Odo, the changeling, and a contingent of Ferengi and Cardassians as a foil. The static setting allowed for closer development of both character arcs and plots, introducing more politics and dissension, despite conflict between main characters being something Gene Roddenberry avoided. Voyager followed, returning to an episodic structure, and felt more like TNG. Captain Katherine Janeway led the way as the first female captain and took us into the Delta Quadrant. Lost, seventy years from home, Janeway had to unite a crew of Starfleet and rebel Maquis, in a bid to begin a journey to return to earth. The Borg, first seen in TNG and then First Contact, became Janeway’s nemesis and introduced us to Seven of Nine, a firm favourite.

Star Trek Titles screenshots
Star Trek Titles © Lisa Shambrook

Star Trek took up the nineties and I collected the entire series of The Official Star Trek Fact Files from 1997 to 2002, costing about £600, but devoured! Possibly, one of the biggest regrets of my life was giving away my Fact File collection to a Trekkie friend because I didn’t have space at the time for it (I had a young family, and mistakenly thought I wouldn’t miss it). I truly hope they treasure it!

Strangely, though, when Enterprise appeared in 2001, I missed it. It didn’t get a BBC2 6pm slot and it didn’t hit my radar. For a while, after that, Star Trek disappeared from terrestrial television and except for watching the movies, which I had on video then DVD, it was gone.

In 2009 it returned with movies set in the Kelvin timeline, which were fun, but not the reconnection to the TNG universe which I craved. However, in 2017, Discovery launched, set after Enterprise and almost concurrent with TOS to a degree. I was drawn in from the first episode, falling deeper as it moved on. A different dynamic from the TNG era shows, but something that filled a Star Trek gap in my heart. Michael Burnham and her crew getting lost amid a mirror universe on the unique science vessel, Discovery won me over. The second season brought in Captain Pike and relived storylines from TOS and Spock was central to its arc.

Destination Star Trek 50th Anniversary The Last Krystallos Family photos
Destination Star Trek Europe © Lisa Shambrook

October 2016 saw us attend our first Star Trek Convention. Birmingham NEC was the destination for the 50th Star Trek Anniversary in Europe and we spent our Saturday amongst a sea of red, gold, and blue. Uniforms of all generations, and wonderful cosplay! Data, the Borg, Klingons, lots of Andorians, and many more aliens.

In 2019 the full back catalogue of Star Trek became available on Netflix in the UK, and I was right there! I should have started from the beginning, but I was desperate to rewatch Deep Space Nine and we started there. Rewatching is a revelation. Much of it stands the test of time in general, and often hits home both politically and socially despite being twenty-five years or so old. There were some terrible episodes, but that’s a thing with Star Trek that you can’t avoid if you’re watching in order… unless you read these articles – TNG, DS9, Voyager – and only watch the episodes that are either great or contribute to the greater universal storyline. If you’re time limited, it’s worth it. Anyway, I wanted to watch every episode, even the bad ones!

Star Trek Deep Space Nine screenshots
Dep Space Nine © Lisa Shambrook

DS9 entranced me, I was back in my happy place, my safe place, and from May to September 2019 we watched all seven seasons. Deep Space Nine offered me much that I could relate to. A bouncing of ideas many both embracing and questioning religion – and Major Kira Nerys interested me being a spiritual woman who kicked ass, and was as stubborn as an ox, but who could look deeper and find answers. I loved Worf being brought in because I possibly, aside from Odo, related to him the most. Someone uncomfortable with people, and unsure of where he fit in, Odo, repeating this, and both finding people who loved them all the same.

DS9 gained its confidence in season four when Sisko shaved his head and the stories became morally questionable and much darker. Avery Brooks wanted to wear a goatee and shave his head but the studio refused, once they’d accepted his character sans hair, everything improved. Sisko was a Captain who didn’t always make decisions based on what was ethically right, like Kirk, Picard, and Janeway mostly did, he made decisions based on the information he had and what he could do with it. It made for a much more stimulating show for me.

Terok Nor’s design, such fluidic beauty, and different to the Federation stations, drew me in. The Cardassians may have been backstabbing reprobates, but I loved their architecture. And believe me, I’d give anything to go and stand on the Promenade to watch the wormhole open…    

Star Trek The Next Generation screenshots
The Next Generation © Lisa Shambrook

In September we switched to The Next Generation and began again. It’s been over twenty years since I last watched TNG and the early episodes were intriguing as the show tried to get into its stride. It tried too hard to emulate what I imagined was The Original Series, at the beginning, with Riker posing in Kirk-like stances, and very suspect planetary scenery! Having just watched Quark etc in DS9 the Ferengi were portrayed very differently in TNG, and watching Worf develop visually was amusing. The standard of prosthetics and make-up effects definitely got much better, and I was happy once Worf looked more like he did on DS9. Dr Beverly Crusher disappeared after the first season and we got landed with Dr Katherine Pulaski instead, but I tried to be more discerning with her character this time. (As an aside, I was fascinated to see Pulaski actress, Diana Muldaur, appear in two different TOS episodes when I watched them! It turned out that Gene Roddenberry had wanted Pulaski to replace Dr Crusher, but the desired chemistry with the crew, and Muldaur with the show, had not developed, thus Crusher returned for season three). I tried, and succeeded, in liking Wesley Crusher much more this time around. He annoyed me intensely the first time, but now I watched him more as a gifted, maybe ASD, child finding himself in a situation that would have inspired and fascinated him. I understood him more and related better.

TNG hit its best in later seasons, as it seems most Trek shows do. They take some time finding their footing but once they do it’s full steam ahead. Deanna became more relaxed, and managed to rid herself of the worst of the revealing outfits and hairdos. There were some unforgivable storylines, like killing Tasha Yar by black sludge, and, oh yes, the episode with Riker trying to be sexy on the female ruled planet, but as the seasons moved on the Borg arrived and so did better story arcs.   

Star Trek Picard screenshots
Picard © Lisa Shambrook

We finished TNG in January 2020 just in time to watch Picard, airing for the first time on Amazon Prime. Picard just blew me away, (Sir Patrick Stewart is one of my most favourite actors!) technically up to date, and a storyline to kill for. I immersed myself in it, revelling in Jean-Luc and so many nods to characters past, yet it held its own with a strong cast and story, and we caught up with some favourites. I loved it and I can’t wait for more.

Star Trek Voyager Screenshots
Voyager © Lisa Shambrook

We watched the four TNG movies, of which First Contact deserves to be crowned the best, then started Voyager in February. Picard ran for ten weeks, and we tried to catch up with Seven of Nine before she appeared in Picard! Voyager was a step back to TNG ground, but easier to get into. They definitely seemed to concentrate even more on ethics and morals, and Janeway (as Ben Sisko did in later seasons of DS9) had to confront her own morals and not always come out squeaky clean. I loved watching the EMH, the Emergency Medical Hologram, arc as he became more aware of himself and his relationship with crew members. Tom Paris and Harry Kim’s friendship grew, B’elanna Torres always drew me in, and Seven of Nine became an intrinsic part of the crew. There were some dodgy episodes, as always, but some genuinely captivating relationships like Seven and Icheb, and Seven and the Doctor. I didn’t realise as I rewatched it how much I’d forgotten from the nineties, and the last few seasons were like a first time watch.

Star Trek Enterprise screenshots
Enterprise © Lisa Shambrook

Finished Voyager in the middle of May, and moved from rewatch to actual first watch… When we started Enterprise, we didn’t know it was just four seasons, and we didn’t know what to expect. It felt a bit wobbly at the beginning, but that was probably because I was so used to the TNG era Trek. Very quickly I settled into it and although Captain Jonathan Archer was a bit annoying – much like the theme tune – I bonded well with Trip Tucker, T’Pol, and I loved Dr Phlox! The weirdness of Enterprise was the use of language and tech… no shields, they just polarized their hull plating, they struggled with transporters, and used shuttles everywhere, and Lt Reed had to make do with phase cannons instead of photon torpedoes!

I was, however, very impressed with how they dealt with the TOS Klingons appearance in an episode of Enterprise, that answered a lot of questions! I wish we’d had a full seven seasons, and, like many, would have preferred a different final episode. I am currently reading The Good That Men Do (Star Trek Enterprise Series Book 11) which covers the final few Enterprise episodes and offers a completely different ending. I do think Enterprise became one of my favourite Treks though.

Star Trek the Original Series screenshots
The Original Series © Lisa Shambrook

As Enterprise finished I knew I’d need to go on and watch The Original Series. I’d never watched it, not even reruns, so now was the time, and in the middle of June we began Captain James T Kirk’s exploration where no man has gone before… I shook off any preconceptions and just watched it. It was fascinating to watch fifty years on, and yes, some very problematic episodes, sexism definitely an issue though current eyes, even though it fought it during its era, but an enjoyable Trek nonetheless. Some of it was ridiculous, and it’s very hard to place it in its timeline – after Enterprise and amid Discovery – due to huge leaps in technology, filming, and acting, but I like to think that TOS was stuck in a future era when they, for some reason, decided to embrace minimalism, primary colours, coloured knobs and buttons, sixties fashion, and staccato acting! It deserves its place, it started Trek, but there’s a kitsch that now goes along with TOS in my mind.

Star Trek Movies DVD Set, Kelvin Timeline, and Official Fact Files
Star Trek Movies – Kelvin Timeline – Fact Files – © Lisa Shambrook

The six Original Star Trek movies and the three Kelvin Timeline movies finished our Star Trek binge. I note I haven’t seen The Animated Series, and not sure what I’ll think of Lower Decks, when it arrives, or Prodigy, but I am very much looking forward to more Discovery and to Strange New Worlds.

The Last Krystallos in Starfleet Academy Tshirt
© Lisa Shambrook

Star Trek is my happy place, somewhere I feel secure, safe, and indulgent. In general it follows my ethics and my idealism in a somewhat romanticised universe. That naïve nostalgia is being countered in current Star Treks, but the optimism and principles remain intact with characters that I will probably always relate to.

I have little time for small-minded country patriotism, wanting to embrace humanity inside a world that is willing to forgo borders and boundaries, and welcome all no matter what creed, colour, or race they are. And, like Roddenberry, I’d love to see that on a universal scale.

Our space exploration is still young, but in my heart I want to let go of my cynicism for our contemporary world, and let humanity soar into the sky among the stars, and trek across the universe, the final frontier – to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before!

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before!
© Lisa Shambrook

The rest of this post is going to consist of my Twitter posts, beginning with older Discovery tweets, then my rewatch journey posted as I watched Star Trek all over again for the past sixteen months…

Star Trek Tweets

Catching up with #StarTrekDiscovery S1 ep3 Context is for Kings… who let Shelob on board?

#StarTrek #Discovery S1 ep7 Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad. Michael at the party = me.

#StarTrekDiscovery Nooooo! Where are you! The tension was palpable and I felt sick watching. S1 Ep9 Into the Forest I Go.

#StarTrekDiscovery S1 ep 10 Despite Yourself… just opened a whole new can of alternate universe worms! Love Captain Tilly! Still traumatised by Stamets and Culber though.

#StarTrekDiscovery S1 ep 11 The Wolf Inside… twisted storyline, Stamets, Culber, Ash, Torchbearer, Sarek…

I have a #StarTrekDiscovery S1 ep 12 Vaulting Ambitions hangover. Its revelations are still spinning in my head but the worst moment for me was when Michael realised what she was eating… and “It’s never goodbye.”

#StarTrekDiscovery Just watched S2 ep 8 If Memory Serves and Wow! It had everything – retro TOS rerendering, sass, and heartbreak. I watched, literally, on the edge of my seat.

#StarTrekDiscovery Last few eps of season 2 were epic and I got shivers. Beautiful tie up and so much more I want to see! Love this show so much. Can’t wait to see where they take this in an unchartered season three.

I’m embarking on a new journey… where no one has gone before, except millions have. Now all #StarTrek is available on #Netflix… I’m heading there for my new continuing mission, though I have no idea how long it’ll actually take me to watch all the Treks! 

Just watched #DeepSpaceNine S1 ep16 If Wishes Were Horses where figments of their imaginations manifested as real… One of my dragons would now be circling if it was mine. What would your imagination bring to life? Loving rewatching ST: #DS9

#StarTrekDS9 S3 ep11/12 Past Tense with Gabriel Bell/Sanctuary Districts. 2024 and it looks like Trump’s second term… tensions mentioned in the US and Europe. At the end Bashir says ‘One thing I don’t understand about the 21st century – how did they let it get this bad?’ Yup, quite.

#DS9 S4… and we now have Worf! I’m loving this binge watch #MyHappyPlace #StarTrek

Constable Odo and Commander Worf discussing order, solitude, and how to deal with unwanted guests in their quarters #DS9 S4 ep12 Crossfire… Totally my people.

Just watched #StarTrekDS9 S4 ep3 The Visitor with Jake Sisko losing his Dad in a time warp thing. Jake growing old and stopping writing with his father lost in a temporal anomaly, all about last times and last chances which hits home. We have to live life, but sometimes it’s so hard as we try to hang on. Then watched ep6 Rejoined with Jadzia Dax and Dr Lenara Kahn. Two of its best episodes so far.

Just finished #DS9 season 5. Deep Space Nine reverting back to Terok Nor. Seasons 4 and 5 totally picked up with the action and can’t wait for the next episode. DS9 is better than I ever remembered, loving it.

I’m in a bad place right now so #DS9 S6 ep16 didn’t help. Watching Worf risk his career to save Jadzia’s life was poignant, especially as I know what’s to come in the future. #Empath… I think I’m a #Betazoid, thing’s hurt.

#DS9 S7 ep14 Chimera… loved this one so much. A commentary on being who you are and accepted for it. So many minorities could have been represented here and, oh, still so relevant and the ending truly beautiful.

Thread: Twenty years or so since I last watched #StarTrekDS9 and we just finished binge watching the entire seven seasons again. Then we watched #TheThingsWeLeftBehind and I got all emotional. I joined the Star Trek fandom with The Next Generation, and DS9 wasn’t too well received when it first aired, but it’s probably the one that’s held up the best. I have adored rewatching, rediscovering, and embracing DS9 again, so much so that I don’t even have a favourite character they all enchanted me. Garak delighted me, I relate to Worf and his confusion with human emotions, Kira and Jadzia kicked ass, Odo and Quark – just brilliant, Jake and Nog’s character arcs rocked, Sisko, Dukat, O’Brien and Bashir… the list goes on. This show is entrenched in my psyche, and I feel rather bereft now it’s done. ‘Past Tense’ made me sad, as did ‘Far Beyond the Stars’, because sometimes humanity hasn’t come as far as we hoped. ‘The Visitor’ made me weep as we lived Jake’s anguish, ‘In the Pale Moonlight’ things got real with such depth and truth and honesty about the human condition and the lengths we’ll go, ‘Rejoined’ groundbreaking for the time it was shown and beautiful, ‘Chimera’ another which embraced representation and being who you’re meant to be, and when Odo and Worf discussed order, solitude, and how to deal with unwanted guests in their quarters in ‘Crossfire’ – totally my people. Star Trek’s one of my passions, so much so that probably the only and biggest regret of my life was giving away my full collection of The Official Star Trek Fact Files after years of collecting it. Always wanted to rewatch the shows and now I’m set! We just queued #TheNextGeneration up on Netflix. Need to watch again before #Picard airs next year! 

Rewatching #StarTrek #TNG season 2 ep 3 Elementry, Dear Data is my favourite so far. On another note, giving Wesley Crusher a much fairer go this time, but still don’t like Dr Pulaski… and Worf definitely needs to become DS9 Worf – hopefully prosthetics improve each season…

The Measure of a Man #StarTrekTNG season 2 ep9… still so relevant. It seems my favourite Next Gen episodes are Data related: Elementary, my dear Data, The Schizoid Man… and I’m loving Guinan. Some episodes still problematic, others totally on point.

#StarTrekTNG hits its stride with the end of season 3 and the first episodes of season 4. The Best of Both Worlds always a favourite. Finding myself more and more engaged as the seasons move forward in my rewatch Star Trek is my safe place, my go to.

Yesterday’s Enterprise #StarTrekTNG S3 ep15. I’ve been waiting for this one, to avenge Tasha Yar’s senseless death. A darker and less coherent episode, but one to remember! Loved it and loving it as TNG gets better and darker with each season.

My #StarTrekTNG rewatch season 5 starting well with Darmok and then Ensign Ro. If I wasn’t a Betazed I’d have been a Bajoran in another life.

I don’t usually get over emotional at #StarTrekTNG, but S5 Ep25 The Inner Light always pulls at my heart strings. It’s always important to be remembered.

We’re almost halfway through season 7 #StarTrekTNG. I fear we may not have it finished before #Picard arrives on Amazon Prime, but we’ll damn well try to make it so.

Lower Decks #StarTrekTNG S7 ep15 was a poignant episode with Ensign Sito. Pretty much binging the last of this season before Picard…

#FirstContact has to be crowned the best of the #StarTrekTNG movies. Loved #Generations, but wanted Kirk to have a bigger death, though I recall that Kirk was meant to die on his own…

We’ve just rewatched #StarTrek TNG and DS9 and set for VOY next, and the social issues are definitely not hidden, but I’m not writing the dissertation, lol.

Just watched the first episode of #Picard having watched #StarTrekTNG and all the TNG movies. I am so invested in this! Loved it to the stars and back again.

#StarTrekVoyager 10 episodes in with season one Prime Factors. Really enjoyed this one, a nicely woven web of morals and ethics against the desperation of a common need and desire.

#StarTrekVoyager S1 ep14 Faces, a study in acceptance and learning that what we might perceive as our negative sides are exactly what we need to survive. #BeYou always.

Two brilliant #StarTrekVoyager episodes S2 ep17 & 18 Dreadnought, a real race against time, and Death Wish, bringing the Q back with a study on euthanasia and irrepressible life. Life is a discovery…

Two excellent #StarTrekVoyager S3 episodes eps2 Flashback and 3 The Chute… both tense, but I really wanted more from The Chute. Beautifully played themes of friendship, mind control, and politics, but I needed an ending that offered more, and offered hope to Open Sky…

Just watched the finale of #Picard. I needed that! Now for chocolate and another finale as we finish season three and start four of Star Trek Voyager. I know what I like

Scorpion #StarTrekVoyager end of S3 and beginning S4 was very satisfying, more so having just caught up with Seven in #Picard. I wondered if Voyager would be diluted compared to Seven’s reappearance, but I wasn’t disappointed. Jeri Ryan has great presence and poignancy in both. S3 was full on, but 4 looks like taking it to another level, which Trek usually does as it grows each season. The only taxing point of S3 was Kes and Neelix break up which I felt deserved more attention, then long hair Kes switching from pixie cut, too sudden. I did really enjoy the first few episodes of S4, though losing Kes was a jolt, but Seven helps. Really liked the turn of phrase and useage of words in Nemesis – also a disturbing look at propaganda, which feels very relevant these days… Star Trek keeping me sane.

Just watched #StarTrekVoyager S5 ep1 Night, very much indicative of our current situation. Voyager crossing a void: crew bored, isolated, and stressed… right where we are in a Pandemic. Seeing no stars in the sky would leave me lost, but they made it through. So will we.

Poignant #StarTrekVoyager episodes on my rewatch, S6, loved Pathfinder, Fairhaven, and ep13 Virtuoso. I love the character arc of the Doctor, Robert Picardo shows touching naive emotion in his portrayal of Voyager’s EMH (Emergency Medical Hologram) and I relate so much to his frustrations and triumphs.

What a beautiful episode of #StarTrekVoyager S7 ep2 Imperfection is. A lesson I need to embrace in accepting help from those I love, and a real understanding of how much Seven and Icheb mean to each other, poignant after #Picard…

I’m on the last season of Voyager right now, then it’ll be Enterprise. I have yet to hear this masterpiece of Star Trek themes, but have heard a lot of views about it – none good. Thankfully I’ll be able to skip the theme every time!

Finished rewatching #StarTrekVoyager and I was suprised how much I hadn’t remembered of the later seasons. Really loved it and found the final few episodes of season 7 both satisfying and poignant. Reiterating, once again, how much #StarTrek is my favourite safe place.

Struggling a bit mid first season #StarTrekEnterprise. I’ve come without preconceptions – never seen it before, but compared to its prerunners it’s meandering. I’m hoping it picks up. I love Phlox  and Tucker though, would like more Phlox, less T’Pol…

Into Season 2 of #StarTrekEnterprise now and thoroughly enjoying it. Quite something to see the parallels of technology and how they cope without using transporters, shields, and often only using their wits! Mistakes are telling but very human. Loving this Star Trek incarnation!

#StarTrekEnterprise S2 ep22 Cogenitor. Trip has grown on me so much. In this heartbreaking episode he did what I would have done in the face of discrimination and inequality. Even more poignant today. We must stand for what we believe in, even more so now. Lives depend on it.

Watching #StarTrekEnterprise S3 ep20 The Forgotten… and it’s just struck me that the lines the crew are following are so close to ours right now. Humans fighting xenophobia, literally fighting for the right to exist against races that it seems have been conditioned to hate them. How have we come to this? That people have to fight for the actual right to exist? I know Star Trek isn’t the same as what we’re going through with #BlackLivesMatter, but the parallel touched me. There are so many forgotten.

Really loved the way #StarTrekEnterprise dealt with the Klingons in S4 eps 15/16 Affliction/Divergence. NO SPOILERS please… but nicely done! Now I just need Trip to pull himself together.

Finished #StarTrekEnterprise today, I’m going to miss it so much. I’d have liked a full seven seasons personally. Archer, I could give or take, but in the end Phlox, Trip, and T’Pol made it for me, ah, and I did like Shran too! Will watch #TOS now as only ever watched a few episodes as a teen!

#StarTrekTOS which I’ve never really seen before, pilots and first few episodes. It’s making me smile. After #Enterprise it’s difficult to place this as technologically later, trying to persuade myself that this is a fashionable retro simplistic era which loved flashing lights and primary colours!

Half way through Season 1 #StarTrekTOS. It’s more enjoyable than I thought it would be in a kitsch way.  Kirk’s deadpan Captain’s Log, staccato acting, polystyrene scenery, and bad background music make me smile and make up for some questionable sexism. Spock’s cool though.

#StarTrekTOS Spock just said “I’m frequently appalled by the low regard you earthmen have for life.” Yep. I agree with Spock. S1 Ep16 The Galileo Seven.

Watching #StarTrekTOS S1 ep17 and the Squire of Gothos, Trelane, is most definitely a Q – canon or not!

Loved S1 ep19 Tomorrow is Yesterday #StarTrekTOS I’d never seen it before, but obviously recognised the connection with The Voyage Home movie and the slingshot effect. One of the best episodes I’ve seen so far.

I’m still living the idea that 2265-69 is a time when humans lovingly embraced the 1960’s, almost religiously, renouncing technology for polyester, primary colours, questionable fashion, flashing lights, knobs, buttons, and tinkly sound effects. A true homage. #StarTrekTOS

“That unit is a woman.” “A mass of conflicting impulses.” – Spock and Nomad, on the “unit” Uhura… #StarTrekTOS S2 ep3. I feel attacked.

#StarTrekTOS S2 ep15 The Trouble with Tribbles – classic, and we just had to rewatch #StarTrekDS9 S5 ep6 Trials and Tribble-ations straight after… Love it, especially Worf not wanting to discuss 23rd century Klingons!

Starting season 3 #StarTrekTOS and I’d heard that Spock’s Brain was not, let’s say, a great episode – it failed to utilise Leonard Nimoy’s skills to say the least – and the studio was in the process of trying to axe Star Trek, but yep, hoping there’s better episodes to come.

And… #StarTrekTOS – why does every planet have diamond shaped sliding doors?

Weird to watch Kang in #StarTrekTOS S3 ep7 Day of the Dove, if I close my eyes I can hear and see him as old Kang from #DS9 not the genetically problematic original, lol.

#StarTrekTOS S3 ep9 The Tholian Web… interesting after the Enterprise In a Mirror, Darkly episode… also glitter is a favourite in TOS, glitter and silver lamè space suits, bandages and plasters, plus countless costumes across the series.

Why blow up Marta, the unstable Orion? Her part in Whom Gods Destroy S3 ep14 #StarTrekTOS was the best acting Season 3 has seen. This season is struggling, possibly due to the loss of Gene L Coon, DC Fontana and a guiding hand. Though, next ep15 Let That Be Your Last Battlefield was originally written by Coon and was a real look at racism, dated, yes, but effective. Quote:

“It doesn’t make any sense.”

“To expect sense from two mentalities of such extreme viewpoints, is not logical.”

“But their planet’s dead. Does it matter now which one of them was right?”

“Not to Lokai and Bele. All that matters to them is their hate.”

“Do you suppose that’s all they ever had, sir?”

“No… but that’s all they have left.”

Uhura, Spock, Sulu, Spock, Uhura, Kirk at Cheron. Yep.

Just finished #StarTrekTOS… thankfully after a number of dire episodes the last two weren’t too bad! It’s the movies next! The Motion Picture here I come…

Closing my #StarTrek rewatch with the movies. Watching #StarTrek The Motion Picture and I could sit and watch the scenes where we fly back and forth over the refit of the Enterprise with the TNG theme for ages – my heart actually leaps – I love Star Trek. My safe space.

‘The Enterprise’ theme. I love how it moved from the movie to TNG, to both keep a familiar essence of old Trek and new TNG, plus to avoid Roddenberry’s issue with royalties on the TOS theme! This piece is my phone tone and it makes me smile (and avoid picking up phone calls) every time I hear it!

“He’s really not dead, as long as we remember him.” – McCoy – #StarTrek #TheWrathOfKhan. Spock is always the reason I need to watch The Search for Spock directly after Khan’s defeat…

“Sir, someone is stealing the Enterprise.” Probably one of my favourite #StarTrek sequences… #TheSearchForSpock.

I quite like the idea that one day humankind will be judged by some interstellar entity on how we’ve looked after our planet/wildlife. #StarTrek #TheVoyageHome #SaveTheWhales

Just finished #StarTrek #TheUndiscoveredCountry so much better than #TheFinalFrontier. This was a true send off for Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Uhura, Chekov, and Scotty. Loved it! #ToBoldlyGoWhereNooneHasGoneBefore

My #StarTrek rewatch journey comes to an end with the last three Kelvin Timeline movies: Star Trek, Into Darkness, Beyond. Wasn’t sure how they’d fit but I really enjoyed them, lens flares and all. I loved the parallels, nods to the series, the graphics, and the Enterprise made it. That scene in ‘Beyond’ with Spock and the original crew, and the rebuild of NCC 1701-A with the ‘These are the voyages…’ voice over by the crew – a nice closure – for now…

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise.
Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds.
To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before!

Star Trek

Star Trek Titles screenshots
Star Trek Titles © Lisa Shambrook

When We Judge Others Unlikable – Starring Strictly and X-Factor on Social Media

I’ve been watching Strictly Come Dancing and X-Factor
and people are very complimentary about the male contestants in general,
but the women are another story.

When We Judge Others Unlikable... Starring Strictly and X-Factor on Social Media - The Last Krystallos

Why do we judge people so much without true information? And why are confident, talented women so easily branded unlikable?

I’m very confused at the amount of judging someone’s personality on talent or media perception alone, especially women. For a start, personality is not based on talent or what we do, it’s who we are and we should never judge personality on hearsay, or without knowing someone.

Let’s take Alexandra Burke and Grace Davies. Both very talented at dancing and singing – their style might not be your cup of tea – but there’s no doubt they are amazing at what they do. However, I’ve seen so many Tweets and Facebook statuses branding these women unlikable, up themselves, over-confident etc… and it’s disturbing.

Both are open, friendly, confident, bubbly, talented, and much more, all the things we encourage our children to be when they are growing up. Yet these women are perceived as unlikable.

Grace Davies X-Factor Alexandra Burke Strictly 2017 Images- YouTube, BBC, PA, ITV

Grace Davies X-Factor and Alexandra Burke Strictly 2017: Images- YouTube, BBC, PA, ITV

How can women win or become equal when internalised misogyny is so prevalent? It appears that the majority of the comments come from women about women. Why are we tearing each other down over alleged personality?

Alexandra has danced beautifully in Strictly, been confident in her ability, smiled, wept (she lost her mum just weeks ago, so being emotional is expected), yet is judged an unlikable diva. Aston Merrygold (who lost his place a few weeks ago) was at a similar level of talent and confidence, and was widely liked and applauded. It’s been the same with Grace on X-Factor, another confident woman writing her own songs and singing with passion, bubbly and excited at the place she found herself in. The all-male group, Raksu, who won X-Factor also wrote their own songs, sang with confidence, and were friendly, fun and open, receiving much praise. Why is it different for women?

Both these women have fought, trained, studied, and worked exceptionally hard to become as good as they are in their fields, and yet, when it pays off we are so quick to judge their personality on appearances in the media.

If we show confidence in ourselves we’re branded unlikable.

I would hate to be judged on my public persona. It’s not me. I remember my form tutor at school in 4th Year (Year 10, I think) writing in my school report that I was aloof. I was devastated by that comment. I have never been aloof, shy, yes, aloof, no. It hurt me for years. I’m quiet, I build barriers, I live with crippling anxiety, yet I can be very confident teaching, speaking, and working in public. I hate being judged on a brief appearance, and a judgement is not valid until you know me.

We all have a personality, good and bad, and we can like or dislike who we want – I don’t like everyone! But I’ve become very disturbed at the way people, women in particular, have been branding other confident, successful women unlikable without knowing them.


Social media offers us an instant way to comment, to offer our opinion, to voice our thoughts without thinking (I do it too), and to become what X-Factor calls the fifth judge. We are armchair commentators, but we need to be charitable and kind to those we talk about.

I wouldn’t dream of tweeting that I dislike Alexandra, or claim that Grace is a diva – how would I know? I don’t know either woman. I can see that they are strong, confident, focused, and fighting for their place in an overcrowded world, but unless I know them personally, I won’t judge them on a few hours of edited television or a sensationalised newspaper article. We often comment without understanding that people in the spotlight are just like us. They may have developed a thick skin, but what we say can hurt, and our discernments are often flawed.

Say and believe what you wish in the privacy of your own home, but let’s be careful and kind online, and in our expressions of judgement.

Can we – and all those around us both in real life and in the media – not be happy and confident within our own bodies and minds without it being mistaken for being aloof and arrogant?

Lumia Selfie Lisa Shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

Have you ever been judged unfairly?
How did it affect you?

Television Writers who Inspire and Enchant us

Do writers get the recognition they deserve?
As a writer myself, I’m going to say that in general they don’t.
There are millions of us out there with beautiful words to share,
and stories that would blow your socks off, if we just had the chance to be noticed.

But, I’m not talking about books today, though you can always check mine out at my website


I’ve been watching The Good Karma Hospital on ITV the last few Sunday nights. It’s one of those shows where I wasn’t enthused by its name and hubby wasn’t keen on its description, but I love Amanda Redman and the trailers looked cool, or rather hot, filmed in Sri Lanka! So we gave it a try.

It’s a hit in my house, great acting by its entire cast – not just the leads, gorgeous scenery, humour and wit, lovely cinematography, and, last but not least, beautiful writing.

The third episode hit home for me. Clive Russell played an artist with pneumonia and Dr Lydia Fonseca astutely recognised symptoms of dementia. The acting was spot on, as it has been all series, showing vulnerability, compassion, and a multitude of emotions. Phyllis Logan is a gem in a part that draws you right into her dilemma. And these actors are playing supporting roles, the acting and characterisation is superb.


© Lisa Shambrook

And that brings me to the writing. I’ve name checked three actors in this post, and I could list them all, but the actors are nothing without good writing. I’ve seen brilliant actors let down by poor storylines, lousy hooks, and lazy scripts. So, the writer is vital. Again, the entire cast and production team is important as it’s an ensemble in reality, but without the writer there is nothing. I’d love to see interviews with writers on TV, but often the selling point for a series are the main actors.

Dan Sefton is the writer and creator for The Good Karma Hospital, and he deserves recognition.  His storylines and characters are delightful, painful, gritty, realistic, vulnerable, and engaging. It’s the emotion beneath the protagonists that move the show along. The moment when Maggie (Phyllis Logan) bends at the height of her joy amongst the paint powder and dancing at the Holi celebrations, and whispers “I don’t want to die,” cuts you to the quick. She delivers the performance but Dan Sefton gave her the words and script to make it work – and it works! When writing and acting come together and pour out of the screen and into your heart, then you know you’re onto a winner.


© Lisa Shambrook

I generally pick which series I want to watch according to the actors I love: Nicola Walker, Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Hugh Laurie, Amanda Redman, Peter Firth, and John Thompson are just a few that draw me to the screen, but the writers are becoming more a source to search.

Nicola Walker and Stellan Skarsgård pulled me into River last year, and I loved it. Abi Morgan’s writing, her script, was outstanding. It drew me into John River’s poignant world of awkwardness, fragility, strength, intelligence, and mental pain. I empathised with the lead, I felt what he felt, and I wept when he wept. It takes great skill to write scripts that move you.

Mike Bullen’s Cold Feet was always a favourite, but the revived 2016 series tackled depression, something Mike Bullen, himself, had experienced, and John Thompson’s portrayal of Pete slipping into despair was spine tingling. Excellent writing had me on the edge of my seat, as I’ve suffered clinical depression for most of my life, and when Pete stood on the edge of the cliff, I was right there with him. Mike Bullen’s writing was real, honest, and both he and Abi Morgan with River, were able to highlight conditions (that are often swept beneath the carpet) with truth and integrity.

Chris Lang’s Unforgotten had great stars in Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar, but it was the ensemble cast that pulled his brilliant scripts together. Chris Chibnall’s Broadchurch is another fantastic cast with great writing.

There are also wonderful dramas scripted by several writers or writing teams, like Humans, Wolf Hall, Sherlock, and many US dramas, I was a huge fan of The West Wing, and loved The Good Wife.


© Lisa Shambrook

Good actors are, generally, what sell a TV drama, but good writing is what keeps us there. Take the time to recognise the writers behind the screenplays – it’s much harder than it looks!

I know most of these series are British, and only some have been shown internationally,
but what show really inspires you, which writers are the ones that make you tick?

What’s been one of your favourite shows?