New Voyages/Phase II , trackback
Two weeks ago the Star Trek New Voyages team premiered their third episode "World Enough and Time" in an Internet streaming event. Unfortunately at the time they were not ready for the demand and it was taken down, but the problems are all sorted out and now it is available for streaming again at a new location (small and medium WMV only…currently limited to 300 simultaneous streams). Plus there is an official bit torrent site up now as well. The STNV team have also secured even better streaming providers which should come online within a few weeks. Now that things are sorted out for WEaT, the STNV team are moving on to their next episodes. Executive producer and star James Cawley talked exclusively with TrekMovie.com about what we can expect next from the popular independent Star Trek production.
The STNV team are already hard at work on post-production for their fourth episode "Blood and Fire" based on an adapted unused TNG screenplay by David Gerrold (see related article for more details). That episode has been expanded to be a two parter so it will actually end up being episodes 4 and 5 for STNV. The big guest star for that episode will be TNG’s Denise Crosby who will be playing Dr. Jenna Yar, an ancestor to TNG’s Tasha Yar (pictured above). The other big change for "Blood and Fire" is the recasting of Mr. Spock and Lt. Uhura. Professional actor Ben Tolpin (IMDB page) will be taking over for Jeff Quinn as Spock and aspiring actress Kim Stinger will take over for Julienne Irons as Uhura. Quinn and Irons had to leave due to scheduling conflicts, but Cawley tells TrekMovie.com that he used their departures as "an opportunity to cast working professionals." Although the series has had the benefit of many professional guest stars, these two will be the first actual SAG members as regulars. It is a welcome sign to see STNV realize it can still be a fan film with the fans behind the camera.
Tolpin (left) and Stinger (right) join STNV in "Blood and Fire"
Progression towards TMP
There will also be some changes with the look of the show. Cawley will start to incorporate wardrobe from "Phase II" (the planned Star Trek series from the 70s that eventually was scrapped in favor of ST: TMP). Most of these costumes will be genuine originals purchased from the "It’s a Wrap" Paramount auction (in fact Cawley bought out everything left in their Phase II inventory). James feels that slowly introducing new elements "shows the progression" towards the end of the 5 year mission and on into the movie era. Another way he will show this progression is by introducing the character of Xon (played by Patrick Bell). He has also brought in TMP style engineering radiation suits, however Cawley does not plan on fully transitioning to the often maligned TMP style of uniforms until his final episode (whenever that is). Cawley jokes "we will show them pulling into space dock and being handed their new uniforms, which they will hate."
Left: Cawley (Kirk) in Phase II uniform – Right: Root (Scotty) in TMP radiation suit
The Dochterman effect
The other change starting with "Blood and Fire" is that Daren Dochterman is joining STNV as a visual effects supervisor – working with Joel Bellucci and the DAVE school. Although the TrekMovie.com review of "World Enough and Time" noted that the DAVE school had made marked improvements for the effects from the previous episodes, there are still some issues with the Enterprise model (and of course…the nacelle caps). Plus some of the ship movements are still a bit anachronistic. Dochterman tells TrekMovie.com that he will ensure that the effects are more in line with The Original Series, but will still be evolved (as it would have evolved in a 4th or 5th season).
Another change for STNV is the plan to start putting out episodes at a faster rate. Currently the goal is to have both parts for "Blood and Fire" (Episodes 4 and 5) out by this holiday season – just a few months after the recent premiere of the third episode ("World Enough and Time"). The sixth episode (the follow up to "Blood and Fire") goes into production in March. The ambitious goal is to release episode 6 by late summer and the seventh episode by the end of 2008. This is a much faster pace than seen before by STNV (the first episode came out in 2004 and the second in 2006).
Mudd can wait, get ready for cats
Episode 6 was originally going to be "The Sky Above, The Mudd Below" featuring veteran Trek actor J.G. Hertzler as Harcourt Fenton Mudd. However Hertzler (who is also slated to direct) has some issues with his schedule and so his episode has moved officially into the ‘TBD’ category (no sooner than 2009). Cawley has not yet decided what will be the two episodes for 2008, but he has three current candidates.
One possibility for episode 6 (or 7) is an adapted script originally planned for the (not-to-come-to-be) 5th season Star Trek Enterprise titled "Kilkenny Cats" written by sci-fi giant Larry Niven and veteran Trek writer Jimmy Diggs (who will also direct). As you might guess from the title that it involves bringing Niven’s cat-like Kzinti (to be created entirely in CGI) into the Original Series (something Niven previously did in his TAS episode "The Slaver Weapon."). The second possibility is a script from sci-fi luminary George Clayton Johnson (who wrote "The Man Trap" and co-wrote the novel Logan’s Run). Clayton had sold the script (called "Rock-A-Bye Baby–Or Die") to Roddenberry for the first season of TOS, but it was never produced. Johnson later bought it back and now wants the STNV to do it. This would be a ship-based "bottle show" about an alien entity entering and growing up inside the Enterprise’s computer and will be directed by Robert Meyer Burnett (Free Enterprise). The third possibility in the queue is an untitled script written by two (unnamed) veteran Trek writers which will be directed by Kevin Rubio (director of the most famous Star Wars fan film "Troops."). Cawley was sketchy on the details, but did say it would be a primarily planet-based episode to be shot mostly on location (Cawley actually scouted the Trek favorite location Vasquez Rocks last weekend).
So it looks like we will be seeing more and more from STNV in the years to come. TrekMovie.com wishes the team good luck and hopes they continue to raise the bar on both fan films and on themselves.
UPDATE: Next episode picked…dates set
On September 9th James Cawley posted the following update on the STNV website:
The Next episode of Star Trek: New Voyages will shoot from June 14th – 24th,2008 in Port Henry and Ticonderoga,N.Y. ! Both at the studio and on LOCATION! For the FIRST time The Enterprise crew will be beaming down and kicking ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The New Script is being written by Dave Galanter and Greg Brodeur from a concept by Howard Weinstein.
I can’t say more about the story yet, except that we will indeed be shooting a couple of Key scenes in March at Vasquez Rocks! the March shoot is by invitation only, Sorry but we need to keep the numbers to a minimum as this will be our First ever exterior shoot. This episode promises to be an all out action/adventure in the spirit of Original TOS, and I finally get the girl!
Vasquez Rocks…the next stop for the STNV crew
Related "World Enough and Time" links:
"World Enough and Time" also got a ringing endorsement from Rod Roddenberry (Gene’s son)