Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The new voyages of the old Starship Enterprise...
There are certainly many fans of the original "Star Trek" TV show still out there writing fan fiction, attending conventions and, for some, actually creating new episodes of the show with remarkable accuracy.
One of the best is "Star Trek: New Voyages". They write and film new episodes that take place as if the original "Star Trek" continued on into a fourth season. Through private funding, they've done an amazing job of recreating, in full, the original sets...right down to the lighting and sound effects. The bridge set looks exactly like it did in 1966.
They've also recreated the transporter room, sickbay, crew quarters and more.
Although they have recast the original characters with younger actors, they have managed to get many original series actors to guest-star on episodes. They've had George "Sulu" Takei, Walter "Chekov" Koenig, Denise "Tasha Yar" Crosby, and even got Marjel "Nurse Chapel" Barret-Roddenberry to voice the computer voice (as she did for all of the "Star Trek" series and movies over the years.
It's a pretty amazing accomplishment, considering they can't sell DVDs or make any kind of money off of their productions (Paramount licensing issues). They may not win any awards for acting, but their episodes have better special effects and editing than the original show, so they are certainly worth watching, if nothing else, just to take a little step back in TV time.
Their latest episode, "Blood and Fire", was actually based on a "Star Trek: Next Generation" series script by David Gerrold (he wrote the "Trouble with Tribbles" episode of the original show). It also features Captain Kirk's nephew, Peter, who also just happens to be gay and has a boyfriend serving on the Enterprise.
According to AfterElton.com, at the time (the 80's) the network decided that this kind of storyline was too risky ("shocking"), so it was scrapped. But, all these years later, Mr Gerrold brought it to the New Voyages people, Carlos Pedraza reworked it (see his comment at the end of this blog) and they filmed it. Here is a sneak peek...
Pretty good job for a group of everyday people who do this just for the fun of it.
With the new "Star Trek" movie coming out in May...I have a feeling that these kinds of fan films might just be the tip of the iceberg for what's to come.