FanMade: Review of Star Trek Phase II “Blood and Fire” Part 2 [UPDATE: More D/L Links]

It has been a long eleven month wait, but part two of Star Trek Phase II’s "Blood and Fire" has finally been released online. Decades after writing it as a script for The Next Generation, David Gerrold has finally realized his allegorical story, now set in the 23rd century. Find out how it all works out in the TrekMovie review [NOTE: Contains SPOILERS]

 

[NOTE: If you want to watch the episode before reading the review, see the link at the bottom for where to go]

 

Review: Blood and Fire, Part 2

The second part of "Blood and Fire" kicks off right after the cliffhanger for part 1 (see TrekMovie review), with Kirk and crew wrestling with how to deal with their landing party that is stuck on the quarantined USS Copernicus. We are soon introduced to "Blood and Fire’s" guest star, Star Trek The Next Generation’s Denise Crosby playing Dr. Jenna Yar (apparently an ancestor of her TNG character Tasha Yar). She, along with Federation medical researcher Michael Blodgett (Bill Blair) appear to have the solution for the Regulan Bloodworm problem, but it will take Dr. McCoy to figure out a cure and Kirk to keep things together with Klingons breathing down their necks, all under the threat of a ticking clock in the form of the crippled Copernicus spiraling into a sun.


Again with the Klingons

One of the welcome things about "Blood and Fire" part 2 is that it feels more like a Star Trek episode than many past outings from New Voyages and Phase II. The focus of the episode is on the crisis at hand, with Kirk, Spock and McCoy carrying most of the load. With many past New Voyages episodes we end up with an over-bloated B-story revolving around the stunt cast guest star, but here Crosby’s role feels like the right balance of a guest star in a TOS episode. Crosby puts in good performance, as does Bill Blair, who is convincing as Blodgett, who is effective as one of those Federation bureaucrats that are determined to get under Kirk’s skin. 


Blodgett (Blair) and Yar (Crosby), and some guy wondering if he is going to make it

Cawley puts in one of his better performances as Kirk and Ben Tolpin’s Spock is excellent (it is unfortunate that this will be his last appearance). John Kelley delivers his best performance yet as Bones, although at times he seems to struggle dealing with some of the medical technobabble (ironic as Kelley is a real doctor). The subplot of the relationship between Peter Kirk (Bobby Rice) and Alex Freeman (Evan Fowler) pays off in part 2 without being overbearing, with some exceptional acting on the part of Rice. In fact, the whole cast seems to continue to improve, with each episode of Phase II.


Kirk and his happy crew (except for Spock of course)

Director David Gerrold keeps an even better pace with part 2 of his "Blood and Fire." It flows like a Star Trek episode, and this time there aren’t as many dragging moments as we found in part 1. The script, by Gerrold and Carlos Pedraza (based on an unused TNG script by Gerrold) also (mostly) rings true for classic Trek, full of traditional themes like family and sacrifice. And interplay with the Klingons is reminiscent to "Day of the Dove", played well by both James Cawley as Kirk and John Carrigan as Captain Kargh.


 Captain Kargh (Carrigan) likes his bloodwine hot

However, this is the 21st century and so Gerrold also brings some modern themes as well, which can be refreshing at times, and at other times appear anachronistic. Gerrold and Pedraza also do a bit of ‘retconning’ [SPOILER TEXT: by introducing Section 31 into TOS] which may not work with some purists, but I think is kind of fun. What is most surprising about this episode is that much of the humor, which "Trouble with Tribbles" writer Gerrold is best known for, falls flat, but there are still a few good chuckles. "Blood and Fire, Part 2" is also weighed down a bit by technobabble, and I am still a little unclear on what is going on with the plasmacytes, blood worms and what it all becomes by the end of the episode.


This episode goes through more blood than a teenage vampire movie

As with Part 1, the effects are top notch for a fan film (and even many ‘real’ TV shows). The effects team have struck the right balance of using modern technology and approaches, but keeping with a sixties sensibility. Although many of the shots are unlike what you would have seen on the original show (some of which would have been impossible), they aren’t wildly out of place as some shots from earlier New Voyages episodes. The rest of the production continues to be exceptional, from sets to costumes to production design to the use of the original music. Phase II sets the bar for ‘fan productions’ of all kinds in this regard.


That nacelle got fixed up just fine — guess they really don’t need that refit

In the end, "Blood and Fire, Part 2" is a satisfying conclusion, even though the wait was a bit long. Cawley and Gerrold have told an interesting Star Trek story which also has a message or two. However, I can’t help but think that this story really didn’t need to be stretched out to two parts, and could have delivered as a more action-packed single episode. Regardless, it is recommended, especially for fans of fan films.


The human adventure continues in "Star Trek Phase II"

Watch Blood and Fire Part 2 online now
The teaser for "Blood and Fire, Part 2" is available on YouTube (see below). The full episode is also available now at the Star Trek Phase II Mirror Site. NOTE: Phose II producer James Cawley made good with his promise to release this episode on November 20th, but some of the acts have a temporary audio track. This will be fixed in the coming days. TrekMovie will update this article with the new links as they are made available.

UPDATE: More Download Links

Streaming

Downloads

Torrent

 

 

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Love those fan made projects. All the love and resources. Great.

And I’m reminded just from the clip of how good a job I’ve always thought the guy playing Chekov does. Talk about paying tribute.

Excellent! Thats my weekend viewing lined up! Loving this stuff!

I love this fan production! :-) The only reservation I have is that the lighting seems to be a bit dim in the photos.

Also enjoyed the comments under the pictures! Very funny, Anthony!

I’ve always dug this show..not too sure about the gay overtones, but, no biggie really.

AND it’s great to hear Majel’s voice again.

Cawley and company actually do a really fine job.

Thank you, James Cawley and Phase II.

The Six Million Dollar Man

The new Spock looks really good and Chekov is simply amazing…Just starting to appreciate the gay relationship as someone who’s just recently got to grips with being bi……….:-)))

Well done, Mr. Cawley and Cast!!

Wow, almost mistook Captain Kargh for Michael Ansara for a sec – had to do a double take and everything – nice little nod to ol’ Captain Kang!

-24thCRS!

FIrst part had way too much time spent on the man-on-man action. :S

That Chekov is good!

I don’t know about you Anthony but I actually Bobby Rice’s performance at the end to be a little too hammy by today’s standards it almost felt like a parody of what sad people acted like in the 70’s and 80’s. I thought Cawley was excellent in that episode.

They have a message board over on their site for further discussion but a fair warning to anyone who even remotely enjoyed the new film, you can’t go three or four posts over there without someone mentioning how much they hated the new movie. It gets pretty annoying over there at times so if you can stand it there is plenty of Phase II talk to be had.

Not to reopen this debate but the problem with the love scene in the first part was just it’s length. It was nothing to do with the ‘gayness’ or ‘straightness’ of it. If it had been a man and a woman, it’d have been just as overlong and boring. Additionally, I think it could have benefitted from another take. The actors seemed to be waiting for cues or something, it was somewhat stilted.

That said, the action and effects in the first part were phenomenal. I loved the Copernicus, and the teaser scene was EPIC. The story has promise, but I’m wondering why it was made a two-parter. There seemed to be an awful lot of standing around in the first part, it may have been better served by some tightening and shortening to a single episode.

All friendly criticism, WEAT is still one of my favourite Star Trek episodes ever, period.

12 – I’m not flaming, but there’s the opposite problem here. There’s a handful of people on this site that can’t let one story pass by without expressing their blind hatred for anything after 1969.

Then there’s another handful who seem to think JJ Abrams is some kind of god, and will chew anyone out for pointing out the obvious holes in his very enjoyable film.

I am certainly neither of the above, I enjoy all Trek. I can imagine the TOS puritans are few and far between, here compared to there.

Anyway, that’s my shelf-full of worm cans opened for today. I’m off to murder some more metaphors.

Anthony,
Thanks for the review!
And listen folks, whether it’s J.J.’s film or TOS or one of it’s spin offs,or even us. We should all agree It’s all Trek!!! and Thank God after 40 plus years it is still right here for all of us to enjoy! We now get both old and new versions!
STAR TREK HAS NEVER BEEN HOTTER! Let’s just enjoy the ride.
James

THANK YOU mr cawley. Ive got a major love for star trek but it was my boyfriend who opened my eyes to your fan series. Great acting all around, and like Anthony said, you get better over time. Special thanks to Bobby Rice though. His take on Peter Kirk & Ro Nevin (on the other site) helped me come out to my parents & come to terms with being a young gay man in the Marine Corps. Its a stretch to some, but thank you guys for affecting my life in such an awesome way. Keep doing your thing. Oorah!

P.J.,
Thank You. It’s the comments from folks like you that have made this all worthwhile. I said when I first tackled this episode that I wanted it to help and affect people in a positive way… It is what makes Trek so special. It is what Gene wanted Trek to do all along.
I am so happy and thrilled it has.
Peace and Best Wishes
James

Go PJ! :D

Go Cawley! :D

This thread gives me the happy!

They do great work making these shows, but in my opinion there is one thing that lets them down. And that is the sound quality is too good. A strange complaint I know, but I’d prefer it if they emulated the sixties series lower sound quality which makes the actors sound like they are in a ship rather than a studio. In this series it sounds like they are sitting next to me in my living room rather than a starship – all a little bit too crisp and clean.

Oh no, James Cawley is posting on this page!! Sound quality in your shows is fantastic James – please keep it up (Alf quickly runs out the door and hides under the house…..)

Are they plasmacytes or plasmocytes? I also would like to read some kind of explanation how they live and what they become.

#21- They are “plasmacytes” and Spock gives a full explanation in the episode.

This is a great episode. The story is much more densely told than in part 1.
Great characters with edges. Good performances and amazing visuals.
Everybody should watch.
Thank you Phase 2-team!

@14: I totally see that as well. And I think we are in the same boat. I love everything Trek. I suppose this comes with the territory though.

To all the Phase 2 crew – keep up the great work and I will continue to enjoy it! I really enjoy seeing what ‘could have been’ after the 3rd season of TOS. James and crew deserve a shout out for their fantastic dedication to keeping TOS alive to all the fans…old and new!

Mr. "There are always possibilities"

Dear Mr. Cawley:

Your efforts, as well as the cast and crew and supporters, have really brought a lot of joy to the heart of this Star Trek fan. I have enjoyed every episode, and have shared your site with friends and family. I will continue to do so as long as you produce new episodes.

In terms of talent, it is wonderful that you have reached out to ST veterans, as well as new actors. Watching how young people interpret well known characters is, well, fascinating. Seeing pros bring life to new characters to life allows a viewer to appreciate their acting skills.

Thank you for your dedication to the vision! Good luck with Buck Rogers, which I also intend to check out.

Live Long and Propser and Boldly Go!

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire

Hey James. You guys did a fantastic job on Phase 2. There are times when Im watching you play Kirk that I forget you are not the Shat and it takes some Exceptional acting to pull that off. Not that you were trying to act like shat. I think you have made the role of Kirk your own and in that you now own the role of Kirk. Great job and may you live long and prosper. Loved the Ep.

Capt. Mike,
Thank You. I deeply love the character of James Kirk, and can only hope to make people happy with what I do. That being said, William Shatner is my Hero, and Chris Pine is an amazing guy, who just treated me so well you have no idea. To be in their company in any form is a dream come true.
James

Having no luck with the downloads. Any mirror sites out there? (Or is that Mirror, Mirror sites?)

James,

You and your team definitely have a gift… Keep up the good work!

As usual the mirror sites are overloaded. But more will be online as the day progresses.
James

Wow this is so cool, James Cawley actually posts here!
Thank you so much for continuing the Original Series.
I would have continued to watch and enjoy your series either way, but thanks so much for keeping the Enterprise the same. I feel like a piece of my child hood is continuing. Thank You so much as a fan ,please continue the good work.

“May the Great Bird of the Galaxy Bless your planet.”

James,

Your take on Captain Kirk is a definite welcome in my opinion. You bring it to a new level of realness. As for the production values of your show…Priceless!!! May I say that no other fan production has even come close to your level of excellence!! Keep up the great work and I look forward to any work that you and your wonderful team create!

Please remember folks that any one of you who might wish to play in the sandbox only has to sign up on our fourm to help make the magic. All fans are welcome to participate in June.
James

James you might want to think about also releasing versions of the episodes on Bit Torrent. Some of the episodes have made it to the Torrent sites any way.
If you posted a version direct to a Bit Torrent it might help ease the work load on the mirror sites.

@35 They actually have a BT tracker in league with the Phase II site, I just have not seen the new episode up on the tracker yet.

I wonder what David Gerrold has to say about all this? :-)

Ah, so they are white blood cells?

I know you cant make the series for profit, but is there any way I could put these to DVD? Or is there any way you would put a few episodes on DVD for order. I know that’d be a huge pain in the ass, but I’m sure the fans would love it. I know I would. Thanks again for your response to my earlier post Mr. Cawley, that pretty much made my day.

This is quality stuff!

I thought these were supposed to be the NEW voyages of the Starship Enterprise. I didn’t hear the “new”.

A minor nitpick, overall, better late than never! Phase II has always been worth the wait.

Best episode and well worth the wait. James you are absolutely fantastic in this. The entire cast is. I also want to thank you for your comment about JJ’s new movie. It is all Trek and it’s still wonderful. As long as it keeps the spirit of Trek I’ll alsways love it. Thank you so much. The special effects were incredible as well. I’m a little sad that your not going with the refit but I’m also glad that our keeping the ship since I think it look pretty cool. Thank you for making this episode oh an I loved the ending!

Oh ya and a DVD would be so cool. I’d pay money for that lol

35 nx01: BitTorrent release coming soon. As well as streaming high-def release. There is a streaming medium resolution release available now (check the forums for the link).

37 Hat Rick: I think he’s happy. He did, after all, spend a lot of time with us working on the episode.

Best,
Rob

Well done, again, JC.

You’re as much an inspiration to us as those who inspired you.

=h=

I can’t get the download links at the mirror site to load at all. Has anyone else uploaded the files somewhere?

Sorry.. we’re not allowed to make DVD’s to sell to folks… for the obvious reason that it’s blatantly collecting money…. (even if it wouldn’t begin to take a bite out of what we spent on it..)

James… part two looks awesome! All the late nights between you and the post-production guys really paid off. This IS TREK. Congrats!!

#14:
I was able to show my cousin the new movie, and he would be about as much of barometer for the regular public’s appreciation of this movie as much as anyone I can think of (being the anti-scifi, NASCAR-lovin’, football adorin’ quasi-redneck that he tends to be)… and he was floored.
He raved.
I smiled.
Mission accomplished.
Abrams and Co. have managed to pull it off.
And not to forget: Cawley & Co. can keep it coming, too.

Now if only they can get actors that are as good as the visuals – and the scripts. Cawley still can’t act and, at best, he does a bad imitation of Shatner – complete with exaggerated facial expressions, over acting, etc. – with Elvis hair too, of course.

@49 I don’t know sir. I find the TOS acting to be pretty cheesy and corn-ball-ish. This is at least as good as that. I’ve watched the original series straight through four or five times and I enjoy the show but with the exception of a few episodes and a few guest stars I would say all of the acting was pretty day-time-soapy. I also see it as part of it’s charm (as only someone who grew up watching it can).

I would even say that there are times where the acting exceeds that of TOS but mostly they are on par or just below that level. TOS acting may have held up at the time and the stories might still be good stories but compared to the styles now they seem silly by comparison.

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