Of Gods And Men Part 1 Released + Review

At 17:01 PM part 1 of the long-awaited independent film Star Trek of Gods and Men was released. See below for a quick review [includes spoilers]

Of Gods and Men is possibly the most ambitious of the independent Star Trek productions to date. It has been in the making for 2 years and has a number of Trek veterans both in front of and behind the camera. Designed as a 3 part mini-series, OGaM aspires to tell an epic tale in the Trek universe that both ties up some future history arcs while trying to play social commentary on our times.

The story of OGaM, crisply written by Sky Conway with DS9 vets Jack Trevino and Ethan H. Calk starts us off 12 years after the events of Star Trek Generations. Kirk is dead and a replica of the original Enterprise is being dedicated as a museum (commanded by his nephew Peter Kirk – played by STNV star James Cawley). Then, like in Generations, there is an emergency and the only ship that can come to the rescue is the Enterprise (even as a museum, it appears to always be the only ship within light years of every emergency). It just so happens that Captains Chekov, Uhura and Harriman are all on board and off they go to planet M622 to discover a very angry man with a grudge against the James T. Kirk and a fully functional Guardian of Forever…what could go wrong?


This is not going to end well

Soon enough the Guardian says "all that you knew has been altered" and we are in a darker place. Harriman is now commanding a version of the original Enterprise for something called ‘The Galactic Order,’ Chekov is now a freedom fighter called “Ketrick,” and Uhura is living on Vulcan and married. Director Tim Russ (aka Voyager’s Tuvok) uses the opportunity of moving into a different universe to also change up the directing style. While the feel of the opening minutes of the mini-series feels like TOS movie era Trek, once we move into the alternative time line things get much more frenetic and move into a new Battlestar Galactica type of style. This gives OGaM a more modern feel as well as heightens the feeling that you are now in a different universe. The pacing, especially while on the Enterprise is effective, but it is contrasted with scenes on Planet Vulcan which fell somewhat flat. Time spent on scenes that dragged could have been put to better use for a bit more exposition as some aspects of the alternative universe were a bit confusing. What isn’t confusing is that the darker universe is also giving the film makers an opportunity to make some statements about modern days and specifically questions about security vs. freedom.

One aspect of Of Gods and Men that distinguishes from other projects is that it almost exclusively uses professional actors. The most notable of these are the stars of the mini-series Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols and Alan Ruck. Each reprises their original Star Trek role as well as an alternative version in the altered timeline. In addition the series includes a host of well known actors from the Star Trek universe, most of whom are playing new roles in the altered timeline. This use of professional actors truly makes a difference and some of the acting is actually quite good. Koenig probably delivers the best performance showing a bit of range with his two very different characters. However some of the acting is uneven, especially the sences on Vulcan. With the exception of Tim Russ, none of the actors seemed to realize they were playing Vulcans. This may be explained away due to the altered timeline, but they were espousing logic with big grins on their faces…what’s up with that?  


(L-R) Ethan Phillips, Chase Masterson, J.G. Hertzler, Garrett Wang,
Gary Graham, Cirroc Loften, Tim Russ and Lawrence Montaigne

The production design for OGaM is good for the most part. They get good use out of the Enterprise sets which the Star Trek New Voyages team was good enough to loan them; turning it into two different ships (the museum ship and the Galactic Order ship). And they also get off the ship to a couple of locations to mix it up, however the Vulcan location could have used more Vulcan touches. Like with the direction and editing, the original music by Justin Durban also is effective is setting the tone for both the regular and alternative timelines while still maintaining a good smattering of Trek stings. There were some issues with sound, with some scenes sounding like the boom mike was not placed right creating an echo effect. This was not helped by the streaming which seemed to be using a very low quality sampling rate. The costumes were also overall very good, but it was never fully explained why there was such a variety of styles on either the museum ship Enterprise or the Galactic Order Enterprsise.

There are quite a few CGI effects shots and some are quite good, but it is hard to truly judge them due to the resolution of the streaming media. The effects seem to be a hybrid of the TOS movie era style with a bit of a TNG feel to them. The space shots and battle scenes really amped up the excitement level. It would be fair to say that they are better than most fan films, but not as good as those seen in the latest STNV episode "World Enough and Time." The Enterprise itself will probably fall under the greatest scrutiny…especially those pesky and hard to get just right nacelle caps. In addition most of the shots on Vulcan were not very realistic and took you out of the movie, especially with the opening establishing matte shot.


The Museum Ship Enterprise

Possibly the most problematic aspect of Of Gods and Men is the delivery technology. The Dragonfly streaming is quite choppy at times makes it difficult to watch. In addition the video resolution is not high enough to make you forget you are watching something on the Internet. As mentioned before, the audio is even worse than the video. The Renegade team tell TrekMovie.com that they are working on these issues and hope to make improvements later in the week.

All in all this first part is an impressive effort and a welcome addition to the Trek universe. It is great to see some favorite characters back in action surrounded by all these Trek stars. The production is a bit uneven, but still provides half an hour of fun Star Trek entertainment. And the good news is that there are still two more parts to come. And of course it is free!

Watch Part 1 of Of Gods and Men at the Official Site.
Part 2 should be released around the end of January

VOTE
After watching it, give OGaM a letter grade in our latest poll (right sidebar).

 

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Josro89
December 22, 2007 2:35 pm

First!

Dave Thornton
December 22, 2007 2:36 pm

LAST!
Looks good. may hold me over till december 2008. LOL

Dave Roberts
December 22, 2007 2:41 pm

The Video quality is awful as Flash is the obly available format. I will have to wait for a higher resolution version :-(

shuttlepod10
December 22, 2007 2:43 pm

Lol. I’ve been hearing about this for a year.

shuttlepod10
December 22, 2007 2:44 pm

bandwith exceeded. Another fan film no one ever gets to see.

Dr. Image
December 22, 2007 2:46 pm

Finally. Hmmm…. we’ll see…
5th!!!!! (Think I’ll crack one open!)

Scott
December 22, 2007 2:53 pm

Is the site working?

Scott
December 22, 2007 2:55 pm

Cool I just got on.
They are sending a link.

T2
December 22, 2007 3:01 pm

Finally! Can’t wait to see it.

Thadd
December 22, 2007 3:03 pm

Anyone else get the fil Inalienable rather than Of Gods and Men? Unfortunately, I was not able to dedicate the time to view the entire film, but it seems like it might be promising. It was probably a fluke I got it at all since I read that it costs 299 to watch. Figures I get something for free and I couldn’t keep it to watch later. haha

Jackson Roykirk
December 22, 2007 3:03 pm

SPOILER WARNING
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I just watched OGaM Part 1
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LAST CHANCE–SPOILER
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Regarding those rumors about Star Trek XI that include someone using the GOF to go back and kill Kirk’s pregnant mother thus altering the timeline…Did the rumor mongers confuse OGaM iwth Abrams’ film, or does Abrams’ film really use a similar plot.

The GOF in OGaM certainly looked as if it was showing a pregnant woman in Iowa right before Charlie jumped through it.

…and then there was thethat old rumor that maybe Vulcan gets destroyed in Abrams’ Star Trek. It seems somebody got there movies mixed up.

angry but i'll get over it
December 22, 2007 3:06 pm

hope it’s been worth the wait.
Oh and not first, thank god, i don’t aspire to be the first, I got better things to look forward to in life, not in a hurry to be considered an old Jem’hadar who would likely be killed anyway.

Michael
December 22, 2007 3:08 pm

I would prefer to just download the episode in ISO format and burn it to disc. I hate watching compressed fuzzy video when I have state of the art playback in my home theater.

shuttlepod10
December 22, 2007 3:09 pm

Okay. Watching it. Hmm. These credits are long. Wow. nice effects, but a little video gamey. Good acting though.

Sam Belil
December 22, 2007 3:09 pm

I just watched it. Overall I really enjoyed it!!!! The CGI quality was lacking a bit — having said that I enjoyed the story, I’m just hoping that we do NOT have to wait too long for parts 2 and 3. I liked how they snuck in James Cawley in his role — nicely done!!!!!! Kudos to Tim Russ and the rest of the OGAM crew!!!!!!!

sirh
December 22, 2007 3:20 pm

A great thanks must go out to ALL involved with Of Gods and Men! Their great devotion to the ongoing legacy of Star Trek just gave the fans, just gave me, a wonderful Christmas gift!

Again, thank you!

CmdrR
December 22, 2007 3:41 pm

This SHOULD be the future of fanzines (fanboy productions?) What great fun — and hopefully, fun to watch. I’ll find out shortly, if it doesn’t crash.
In any case BRAVO to the extraordinary people who undertook this mammoth effort.

star trackie
December 22, 2007 3:41 pm

Nothing to write home about. Really not much to say…it was free. Although I wonder why they didn’t get the orignal guy who played you know who. (don;t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t watched it yet)

brian
December 22, 2007 3:44 pm

I have to say I am very impressed with the first installment. Very cool

joe1306
December 22, 2007 3:47 pm

Wow! I just watched it, and I think it´s great! THANKS to everyone working on OGaM!!! And now let me see part 2 and part 3! ;-)

Mr Snuflleupacus
December 22, 2007 3:59 pm

CHEESEY special FX. I was hoping for much better. I thought Daren Dochterman was going to work on this…

Sam Belil
December 22, 2007 4:00 pm

Good point #18, perhaps “you know who” did not want to be a part of it OR he just might be deceased….other than that I (again) — I thought it was great!!!!

Ves
December 22, 2007 4:05 pm

I thought it was pretty good. The only real issue I had was that there was so much in common with the Mirror Universe I actually thought they were in it until they called it the Galactic Order. Can’t wait to see parts two/three though. I wonder if Shatner’s in this :P.

Locutus of Alberni
December 22, 2007 4:13 pm

Very impressive. Quite fun to see familiar faces again, even if many of them were playing different characters. JG seems destined to be playing Klingons forever. A most enjoyable excursion!

CanuckLou
December 22, 2007 4:19 pm

I’ll wait final judgment until after seeing all 3 parts but initial impressions are that it is a mish mash of too many elements from too many ST eras.

YUBinit
December 22, 2007 4:27 pm

I liked it. What I like best is that this is real Trek not greedily misguided, and officially sanctioned pseudo-trek. Which is all we will ever see from now and forever.

I AM THX-1138
December 22, 2007 4:29 pm

Actor listed as Robert Wellman in credits. Same guy?

December 22, 2007 4:32 pm

All in all a good effort but I expected a bit more after this long of a wait, the exterior space shots were jus fair with shuttles doing barrel rolls etc and moving in a very unrealistic manner. The acting was fair to good with the bad Klingon character doing the best imop, Harriman character was good too. Checkovs hair pieces are awful, so was the vulcan mans on the planet. remember folks, with fake hair you need to THIN IT OUT

Dennis
December 22, 2007 4:34 pm

I thought it was fun for what it is. It’s great to see all these actors again.
Thanks for giving us something from the Trek universe and keep em coming…….

Noleuser
December 22, 2007 4:36 pm

Chase Masterson is hot as ANY alien!

December 22, 2007 4:45 pm

Actually I thought the effects were quite good for a low-budget film.

KevinA Melbourne Australia
December 22, 2007 4:50 pm

I’ve registered twice using different email adresses and got 2 seperate links. Both take me to a screen “Cannot find that code!” – no video!!

I’ve emailed OGaM waiting for reply.

Is anyone else having difficultly getting video to work? Anyone saved the file to put up on a mirror maybe?

Cam2d2
December 22, 2007 4:51 pm

Pretty cool, although the lack of millions of dollars of production is apparent. The acting was superb, however. At least some people like to entertain the notion that you don’t need Paramount’s help to launch a movie.

jeremy
December 22, 2007 4:52 pm

Well I liked it. Beats not having ANYTHING new to watch.

KevinA Melbourne Australia
December 22, 2007 4:56 pm

Just got message – Main site has been shut down due to high traffic…. Oh well i’ll just have to wait I suppose.

Ripper
December 22, 2007 4:57 pm

na h that cant have the origina ykno cus well hes credited as William Wellman and hte original actor was Robert Walker Jr

Picard for President
December 22, 2007 5:05 pm

Great fun! Very confusing, visually, sort of a Star Trek baroque or rococo, perhaps >.

The delivery medium sucks, but for the price I’m not arguing.

All in all, I’m munching popcorn waiting for Part Deux .

MadGoblin
December 22, 2007 5:08 pm

Uh, the actor playing the primary protagonist in Of Gods and Men is not the original actor. This actor is William Wellman, Jr. Although coincidentally, both he and the original actor are “Juniors,” and were born into Hollywood.

MadGoblin
December 22, 2007 5:09 pm

Crap, as long as it took me to type of my message, my post is now irrelevant. Sorry.

brady
December 22, 2007 5:17 pm

can someone please send me the link….i opened it it started showing inalienable, I xed out and now it wont give it back to me ,,,help pleeeeeeseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

brady
December 22, 2007 5:22 pm

why did my post disappear?…i need the link to ogam….i got inalienalble instaed and noe i cant get back to it…can someone post a link that works

Prologic9
December 22, 2007 5:22 pm

I thought the FX work was poor compared to the live action material. If the CG shots had complex animations or lighting schemes it’d be one thing, but they were all fairly simple space shots. It’s not that hard to replicate the look of trek in space.

Adrian
December 22, 2007 5:26 pm

I liked it quite a bit, although I think the latest New Voyages episode was significantly better and the streaming technology really is awful. I hope that will improve for parts 2 and 3.

It’s funny how most of the Trek XI plot rumors seem to originate from the OGAM script: the erasing of Kirk from the timeline, the use of the Guardian of Forever, the destruction of Vulcan.

Skippy 2k
December 22, 2007 5:45 pm

I got both “OGAM” and “Inalienable”? I thought it was the original actor as well, a couple of times he spoke in a way that sounded like the original (yeah I guess thats something an actor might be able to pull off huh?). Not too bad, will wait for the other parts before judging fully. Some of the acting seemed a bit off, don’t know why as I know they can act but something… I think Uhura seemed the most “off” to me and that the best was JG.

I was figuring who it was from the short clip before and noticed the slide showing “the character” when he puts it up. Looks like they have also been to the “talos stargroup”(slide on the upper screen).

Mr Snuffleupacus
December 22, 2007 5:47 pm

Come on, Dennis…you and the Exeter team could LAP these FX.

Skippy 2k
December 22, 2007 5:47 pm

And I also wasn’t too big on the streaming it was to “jumpy” or didn’t run smoothly so I opened it up in VLC player and it ran smoothly.

DavidJ
December 22, 2007 5:51 pm

Ugh. I had fairly high hopes for this, but it’s basically the same tired, alternate reality/Mirror Universe fanboy crap as always– just with slightly better actors.

Am I the only one who is completely sick of these kinds of stories? Sure it was cool to see what an evil Spock might look like back in the day, or an evil Kira. But ENOUGH already. If there’s anything I’m more tired of in Trek than time travel, it’s the freakin Mirror Universe.

Edge
December 22, 2007 5:52 pm

I liked it.

wpDiscuz