the popular fan film series Phase II (formerly New Voyages) has finally set the date for the release of their next episode, "Blood and Fire," Plus Phase II has a new Spock. TrekMovie speaks exclusively to him and executive producer James Cawley.
Blood and Fire coming in December
Star Trek Phase II has a Christmas present for fans in the form of “Blood and Fire: part One”, which will be released on December 20, 2008. This is actually the first episode to be released under the name Phase II and the fourth episode from the New Voyages team. The episode features guest stars Denise Crosby (“Tasha Yar” from TNG), Bill Blair and Evan Fowler; and reintroduces the character of Captain Kirk’s nephew, Peter, played by Bobby Rice. "Blood and Fire" was written by Carlos Pedraza and David Gerrold, based on an original TNG script by David Gerrold.
In an official release from Phase II, the episode is described thusly:
The horrific story finds a battle damaged Enterprise caught between an incurable contagion that threatens to overrun the galaxy, the pull of a dying star, and Klingons poised to attack. Like all of the best Star Trek episodes, “Blood and Fire” finds the Enterprise crew facing their own human fears and failings as they have to weigh the costs and decide how much personal risk to take in order to save the people around them.
Gerrold wrote the original story as a metaphor for the AIDS pandemic. The release notes:
The episode is dedicated to the gifted Star Trek alumni the world has lost to the disease: William Ware Thesis, Mike Minor and Merritt Butrick. It was also Gerrold’s intention to challenge the apathy of the public regarding the small sacrifice, yet far reaching power, of blood donations. Based on an original TNG script that was shelved because of the mention of a gay crewman aboard the Enterprise, “Blood and Fire” for Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II honors Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a non-judgmental future with the inclusion of a gay couple as part of the principle action of the story.
There is no date set for Part Two of "Blood and Fire" beyond it being expected in the near future. Here is the teaser and new opening credits:
Phase II has a new (new) Spock
Ben Tolpin (who can be seen as Spock in the above trailer), was not able to come back for the filming of the next episodes shot over late October, mostly due to commercial commitments. So James Cawley went out and got himself another Spock, who has a very interesting Vulcan pedigree. Phase II’s new Spock is Brandon Stacy, who has a lot acting experience in TV and film as well as commercial credits. But his most interesting connection is as Zachary Quinto’s stand-in (and double) for the new Star Trek. Brandon joined the Phase II crew for the October shooting of "The Child" and also did all the Spock parts for "Enemy: Starfleet" as well (apparently there isn’t a lot for Spock in that episode).
Quinto and Stacy
Cawley, who had a background role on the new JJ Abrams feature, met Stacy on the set and tells TrekMovie "the third time is a charm, he is already a member of the family and he is definitely a fan." Phase II will actually be Brandon’s third time in a Trek project. He played a villainous Betazoid in the sixth and seventh seasons of the fan series Hidden Frontier. Brandon approached Cawley on the set of the new Star Trek feature as he recognized him from New Voyages (and Cawley confused him with Quinto!). Stacy says that he was honored to take the role, saying "the first thing I did after it was offered was to go out and get a Spock wig so I can look at myself in the mirror and find my inner Spock." Stacy also sounded like a genuine purist when he asked if he would be bringing some of the JJ Abrams Trek into Phase II, saying "JJ is a visionary and phenomenal, but I wanted to put that film to the side and focus on The Original Series, because that is what Phase II is all about."
Brandon Stacy as Spock will be seen first in "Enemy: Starfleet" and then in "The Child," both of which are finished shooting and expected to be released in 2009.
More from Cawley, and "The Child" director Jon Povill, along with new images of their new Deltan, in our next FanMade update (coming next week).
More on Phase II at their official site.