David Waddell, a city councilman in Indian Trail, N.C. (pop. 33,518) announced his resignation from the town council with a four line letter written in Klingon, ending with the Klingon phrase for “Perhaps today is a good day (to) resign.” Waddell, who is midway through his first term on the council, has said that he can be more effective as a citizen attendee and also needs more time mount a write-in campaign on the Constitution Party’s platform for Kay Hagan’s U.S. Senate seat. His resignation becomes effective on January 31, 2014.
Actor Joseph Ruskin (b.Joseph Schlafman, 1924) died on December 28. Ruskin appeared on several versions of Star Trek, including the original series, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and Enterprise as well as the films Star Trek: Insurrection. Other genre work includes episodes of Wonder Woman, Twilight Zone, The Planet of the Apes, and The Wild Wild West. He played Galt in the original Star Trek episode “The Gamesters of Triskelion.”
Model maker Richard Datin (b.1929) died on January 24 in Reno, Nevada. Datin created the original model of the Starship Enterprise and led the team that built the eleven foot model used for Star Trek as well as other models used in the original series. In 1979, Datin left model-making and became the founding curator of the Nevada State Railroad Museum.
Special effects designer Grant McCune (b.1943) died on December 27 of pancreatic cancer. McCune got his start with the design of the great white shark in the film Jaws and went on to design R2-D2 for Star Wars, a film for which he won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. He was nominated for a second Academy Award for his work on Star Trek: The Motion Picture. After setting up his own company, he worked on films such as Spider-Man, Batman Forever, Spaceballs, and Ghostbusters II.
U, the first opera to be written in Klingon, is scheduled to debut in The Hague, The Netherlands for a three night run on September 10 at the Zeebelt Theatre. The opera will play in Frankfurt later this month. U was written by Floris Schoenfeld and Marc Okrand and tells the story of Kahless the Unforgettable, the first Klingon emperor.
At a special screening on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, following a preview of the new Star Trek film, a damaged version of Wrath of Khan was stopped about ten minutes into the movie. Without warning, Leonard Nimoy appeared on stage and announced that to make up for the disappointment, they would show the forthcoming Star Trek in its entirety.
Harlan Ellison has filed a lawsuit against Paramount Studios and the Writers Guild of America over the merchandising, publishing, or any other exploitations of his script to the classic Star Trek episode “The City on the Edge of Forever.” The lawsuit notes Paramount’s licensing of the Crucible series and includes the WGA with the claim that they failed to act on numerous requests. Ellison’s suit is based on the collective bargaining agreement entered into between the WGA and Paramount.