13 , 2002, Gazette)
Photo by HSIMSChris Kovacs
It may not be his day job, but Dr. Christopher Kovacs, an endocrinologist
in the Faculty of Medicine, is the medical consultant for a new Australian
movie that parodies Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The 45-minute cartoon, Sev Trek: Pus in Boots, features an alien
life form that resembles zits or pimples. The alien zits invade the starship
Enterforaprize, and show up first as a large pimple on the forehead of
Commander Willing Piker.
The aliens eventually start to take over the ship, explained
Dr. Kovacs. I helped with the dialogue for the cartoon doctor, Dr.
Heavily Cruncher, making sure she spoke in the lingo a doctor character
would be expected to use. From the dermatological angle I provided the
correct medical terms. I also help with medical technobabble the
climax is a parody of one of the quick solutions often used on Star Trek.
In this cartoon, the crew defeat the sentient zits with the help of xenotretinoin
a spoof of isotretinoin or Accutane, a standard treatment for acne.
Dr. Kovacs had a lot of fun helping with the movie. Besides the
medical language, I also supplied suggestions for a number of the jokes
in the script so I'm actually there in the movie credits!
How did a doctor in Newfoundland ever get involved with an Australian
movie? In the era of the World Wide Web, the answer is easy. Im
a Trekkie and I stumbled across John Cooks Sev Trek Web site about
four years ago, said Dr. Kovacs. It was mainly doing spoofs
of Star Trek series, and there were contests to provide a punch line for
cartoons. I won a few. When John found out I was a physician he started
asking for input and advice on some projects he was working on.
In Australia, Mr. Cook put the video together with an international cast
Chris is quite an active member of our discussion boards and whenever
there is a dispute on any topic, he invariably chimes in with the informed
and definitive answer. Over time he's earned a reputation as an expert
on pretty much everything (with a little playful exaggeration), especially
medical matters. So when I wrote the script for my Sev Trek movie and
it required some medical technobabble, Chris was the natural person to
turn to for some scientific sounding gobbledegook.
Currently, the Sev Trek movie is only sold off Mr. Cooks Web site
www.sev.com.au/sevtrek/, although he is finalizing arrangements for a
distributor to sell it to video stores. The cost of production was minimal.
We worked with no budget all the crew members worked for
free with the plan to distribute the profits afterwards, said Mr.
Cook. As it was an Internet project with very few overheads, we
accrued little expense until we actually came to print the videos and
merchandise. At that point, we sold pre-orders of the video off my Website
to help pay for the printing.
Now that the movie is complete, technical consultant and zit expert Dr.
Kovacs continues to enjoy participating in Sev Trek discussions. He looks
forward to the movie doing well so his medical expertise can help with