Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #138, January 1989: Klingonapalooza!

This issue is pretty much a Klingons-run-amok issue, with everything from interviews with Klingon actors to Klingon trivia, comics, and more.

This month also sees Starlog publish its annual postal statement of ownership and circulation. The total paid circulation for the issue closest to the statement's filing deadline is listed as 156,109 (up a bit from last year's 141,616), including the number of paid subscriptions of 8,993 (down a surprising amount from 18,000 last time).

And since we’re getting into publishing minutiae here, we should note that for some reason, eight of the magazine’s black-and-white pages are printed on heavy coated (i.e., glossy) paper stock, which is generally reserved here for color pages. Printer error? Who knows?

Starlog #138
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $3.50

Classified ad of the month: “SHATNER COLLECTION FOR SALE: ‘TRANS MAN’ album, autobio, more! Trek too! Legal SASE for list to ...”

And in an issue filled with melodramatic aliens, you just knew the photo captions would be fun, such as this one in an interview with actor John Larroquette, under a photo showing his Klingon character Maltz on the Bird of Prey set from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock: “‘I wanted Chrstopher Lloyd [far left] to turn to me and say, “Bring me some chocolate, Maltz,”’ deadpans Larroquette [far right].”

The rundown: In an issue chock-fulla spiney-headed aliens, the most famous of them, Michael Dorn’s Worf, takes the prime cover spot. In his From the Bridge column, Kerry O’Quinn continues his “Digging for Gold” chasing-your-dream series; the Communications section kicks off with veteran TV writer D.C. Fontana responding to the interview in #136 with writer Jerry Sohl, who spoke about working on Trek, and other readers write in to comment on recent Lost in Space coverage, lots of comments on Beauty and the Beast (including pleas for the elusive Linda Hamilton interview), and more; in Medialog, Lee Goldberg continues something I’ve always enjoyed reading, which is reporting on the science-fiction TV pilots that failed to get picked up as a series, plus David McDonnell rounds up all the genre news that’s fit to print, such as the third – or is it fourth? – title change for Alien Nation (previously AlienNation, Outer Heat, and even Future Tense).

Marc Shapiro gets in a little non-Klingon action with a report on the status of the syndicated program Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future (including a sidebar on a possible second season); then the Klingon parade kicks off with Peter Bloch-Hansen’s interview of actor John Colicos, who portrayed Commander Kor on Trek (and the decidedly non-Klingon Baltar on the original Battlestar Galactica); Will Murray interviews John Larroquette, an actor best known at the time for his work as the DA on Night Court, about his work as Maltz in Star Trek III (“The possibility of being part of the Star Trek legend in any way – I would have done a bit role if they had wanted me”); meanwhile, Bill Warren interviews actor John Schuck, who portrayed the Klingon ambassador in Star Trek IV; Mark Phillips profiles Michael Ansara, a Klingon from the original Trek series (and the only married Klingon at that point); in a three-page “The Guests of Trek” section, Steve H. Wilson profiles William Campbell (Koloth in “The Trouble with Tribbles”), David McDonnell profiles Mark Lenard (a number of aliens in Trek, including the ill-fated Klingon commander in Star Trek: The Motion Picture), and Mark Phillips profiles Tige Andrews (Kras from “Friday’s Child”).

Kathryn Drennan interviews Next Generation’s Worf, Michael Dorn; David McDonnell profiles comedian Charles Fleischer about his work in (and as) Roger Rabbit; David Hutchison announces Willow and other new genre releases in his Videolog column; in the first of a multi-part article, Tom Weaver interviews Phyllis Coates, who portrayed Lois Lane to George Reeves’ Superman; Kris Gilpin talks with Jean-Claude Van Damme about his new film, Cyborg; Jean Airey and Laurie Haldeman profile Blake’s 7 actor Brian Croucher; Marc Shapiro interviews Splash and Cocoon special effects man Robert Short; the Fan Network pages include Eddie Berganza's Klingon trivia, reader questions are answered (such as, “Whatever happened to David Gerrold’s planned five-volume book series, The War Against the Chtorr? Also, isn’t it true that, at one time, a film was in the works based on Michael Moorcock’s Elric series, ostensibly with a soundtrack by Blue Oyster Cult? If so, what happened to that?”), there are short items on RoboCop’s awards wins at the Saturn ceremonies, and more; and editor David McDonnell’s Liner Notes column talks about two-part articles, among other things.
“Half the time when I was playing Baltar, the scene started when I would whirl around in the chair, and there I would be, the regal lord, sitting up on top of this pedestal. But, I thought, ‘I’m going crazy here. I’m climbing this Leaning Tower of Pisa, on this rickety ladder.’ The most dangerous part of the whole performance was getting up 30 feet on that ladder, with four stagehands hanging on. It was way the hell up in the top of the ceiling. They shot all my stuff on a crane. What with ‘By your command,’ and all this, I finally got to the point where I thought if I talked to any more bloody robots, I would go out of my mind.”
–John Colicos, actor, interviewed by Peter Bloch-Hansen: “John Colicos: The Quintessential Klingon”
To read previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below or visit the Starlog Project's permanent home.
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