Star Trek

The Maltese Falcon

True story. An event was held at the American Treasure Tour this past December - an employer thanking their staff for a successful year. An extremely nice selection of food and beverages was catered for the event, and a scavenger hunt was provided for everyone in attendance. Groups of three to five had to locate ten different items in the collection and capture an image of the team members posing in front of it. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun and truly enjoy themselves.

I was stationed near the entrance to the Toy Box to be available to assist anyone with questions, or for whatever reason - except I wasn't supposed to offer clues regarding the scavenger hunt. So, one of the items members of the groups needed to take a picture of was a poster for the 1941 movie The Maltese Falcon.  For the record, I am not so old as to have been alive when The Maltese Falcon was in theaters, but I have seen the film. It's a classic and deserves to be seen:  Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre - a film noir in the finest sense of the phrase. I happened to be standing near the poster as people came by on their search.

More than once, I heard a person tell their compatriots that they believed it was the name of one of the Star Trek films. I didn't have an opportunity to ask the folks who were a little confused why they thought The Maltese Falcon might be science fiction, but I was curious. And perhaps a little amused. The notion of William Shatner, or even Patrick Stewart, playing detective Sam Spade, wearing Bogart's iconic trench coat, seemed very funny to me. Guilty confession, when I realized that these people had no idea about the film, I began standing next to it, intentionally trying to draw their attention to the film. 

So. If you think The Maltese Falcon is science fiction, I encourage you to watch it. If, however, you know it for what it is - a highly engaging film noir - but you haven't seen it, I encourage you to watch it. Truth be told, even if you know what it is and you HAVE seen it, it bears repeat viewing. It's one of the greats. And there's a poster of it displayed in our Toy Box. Not too far from posters for a few science fiction films. 

Star Trek

QUESTION:  How many different live-action television series related to Star Trek have aired on television (as of the end of 2015)?
A)  1
B)  5
C)  7
D)  12

Lovers of science fiction have a reason to visit the American Treasure Tour thanks largely to the artistic contributions of our very own Bob Omrod, creator of the Giant World of Miniatures on display in our Music Room.  Bob has devoted decades to creating scenes using characters from his favorite movies, and he is definitely a huge fan of science fiction.  On top of that, he does not discriminate between the two biggest franchises in history - Star Trek and Star Wars. They both receive high honors here.  But today we talk about Star Trek.  The idea behind a group of space travelers destined to explore 'strange new worlds' came from the mind of Gene Roddenberry, who was responsible for getting the original series on the air back in 1966. It aired for only three seasons - 79 episodes - but it impacted television for decades.  In fact, the universe Roddenberry created led to not only multiple tv series, but twelve separate movies (and counting).  Compelling stories, endearing characters, strange (but generally not scary) aliens all continue to introduce humans to adventure and thought-provoking situations.

Depicted in the above image are characters from Star Trek, the Next Generation, which aired from 1987 through 1994.  Patrick Stewart, who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the USS Enterprise created a sympathetic and respectable character with complexity and charm. Many fans of the show are anxiously waiting for information regarding the forthcoming, 2017, series in the Star Trek universe.

ANSWER:  B)  5.  The original series.  Next Generation.  Deep Space Nine.  Voyager.  Enterprise.  There was also an animated series, many movies and, potential great news for fans of the franchise, another series projected to begin in 2017.

Star Trek: The Next Generation - September 28th, 2014


On September 28th, 1987, Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered to millions of viewers with a two-hour pilot episode titled "Encounter at Farpoint."  The kickoff of this show occurred 21 years after the original Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry.



Lieutenant Geordi LaForge was played by actor LeVar Burton.  What other show was LeVar also well known for?

a) Sesame Street

b) Reading Rainbow

c) Zoobilee Zoo

Answer Below!


Get on board the star ship Enterprise with these clips from Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Then watch a fantastic interview with the ship's captain, played by Patrick Stewart!


Star Trek: The Next Generation lasted for seven seasons.  In its seventh season, it became the first and only syndicated television series to be nominated for an Emmy for Best Dramatic Series.


"I've always thought that we, as human beings, would be naive and arrogant to pretend that we are the only life form in the galaxy."  Jonathan Frakes (Commander Riker)


b) Reading Rainbow