New Clips From Star Trek Phase II + Production Update |
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New Clips From Star Trek Phase II + Production Update October 6, 2011

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: New Voyages/Phase II , trackback

The popular fan series Star Trek Phase II has released a couple of clips from "Mind-Sifter," which is currently in production. Check those out below, plus get an update on progress for the three episodes currently in post-production, news for the next episode to be shot, and more.


Clips from Phase II’s "Mind-Sifter" – Check out new McCoy

In June the Star Trek: Phase II team began production on "Mind-Sifter," which will be the 10th episode for the popular fan series. "Mind-Sifter" is based on a story by Star Trek Welcommittee founder Shirley S. Maiewski about Kirk having his memory erased by the Klingons and sent back to 1950’s Earth. The episode features the return of John Carrigan as Kargh and the introduction of the TAS character "Ensign Walking Bear," portrayed by Wayne W. Johnson.

"Mind-Sifter" also introduced a new Dr. McCoy to Phase II now that their original actor (and real-life doctor) John Kelley has moved on to other projects. To replace him Phase II has brought in David Sherin, an experienced local actor from Syracuse, NY. Here is a rough cut of Sherin as McCoy confronting Brandon Stacey’s Captain Spock (put in command after Kirk’s disappearance). [NOTE: Clip is rough and doesn’t have final sound]

And here is a brand new (also rough) clip featuring Kirk (James Cawley) facing Kargh (John Carrigan) and the Klingon Mind-Sifter.

Phase II Post-Production Update + Next Episode announced

Patty Wright from Star Trek Phase II has also provided TrekMovie with an update on all their episodes currently in post-production. The next episode to be released will be "The Child" (episode 7), which has just been sent off for final audio mix. Following up will be the Klingon-focused episode "Kitumba" (episode 8) which is currently being edited with Tobias Richter/The Light Works providing the visual effects which are quite extensive, including scenery extensions and replacing whole sets. Both "The Child" and a rough edit of "Kitumba" will be shown later this month at ICon 2011, the annual Israeli Sci-Fi Festival. "Origins"(episode 9), Phase II’s take on Kirk’s early years, is next in the post-production queue with VFX work already started.

"Mind-Sifter," currently in production, will follow "Origins" as Phase II’s 10th episode. The ship-board scenes were shot in June and in 2012 they will do the location shooting. And Phase II has already picked their next episode to shoot. Their 11th episode will be "Bread and Savagery" which is currently in pre production. Principle photography on this sequel to "Bread and Circuses" will begin in 2012. The author of the script has not been announced yet.

Here are some of the previously released previews/clips from the three episodes in post-production.

"The Child"



Phase II was also just profiled by WUTR’s "Hello Central New York." The visit includes a behind-the-scenes look plus some footage from both "The Child" and "Kitumba."

"Lost Vignette" To Be Released This weekend

Phase II’s Senior Executive Producer James Cawley has also announced that a "long-lost Klingon vignette" titled “No Win Scenario” will be released on October 8, 2011 – commemorating the seventh anniversary of the release of Star Trek: New Voyage’s very first episode (“In Harm’s Way”, 10/08/04.). The vignette was originally filmed in 2005 was thought lost, but was re-discovered by actor John Carrigan who worked with other members of the team to finish it.

Official description:

After being pitted against Kirk in a Klingon version of the “no-win scenario,” Kargh would hunger for the day when he and Kirk would meet for real. His hunger is soon satisfied! Starring John Carrigan, Anne Carrigan and James Cawley, the vignette features appearances by Larry Nemecek, Jeff Quinn, Julienne Irons, Andy Bray, and Paul R. Sieber. Written by Erik Korngold, directed by Erik J. Goodrich, and with updated VFX by Pony R. Horton and Tobias Richter of The Light Works.

Visit on Saturday (at 7AM EST) to check it out.

Cawley announces Wild Wild West webseries

Phase II production company Cawley Entertainment Company/Retro Film Studios has also announced a new webseries based on the classic 60’s TV show The Wild Wild West. Titled "Back to the Wild Wild West," the series (currently in preproduction) will star James Cawley as James West and Paul R. Seiber as Artemus Gordon. There is a place-holder website set up ( and here is a title sequence test:


For more information, and to find out how you can help, visit


1. TrekMadeMeWonder - October 6, 2011

I love these guys.

2. Brevard - October 6, 2011

Sorry, I just don’t get it. The acting is pretty terrible and the writing…well the dialogue if awful. I’m glad these guys have a lot of money to spend on a hobby like this and it seems to give them a lot of pleasure, but I’m not sure why anybody would want to watch it. Well, at least the effects are good.

3. Allen Williams - October 6, 2011

I like progress reports better than broken promises. It actually gives me a REAL idea as to when these are coming out.

I remember when they said there would be 4 episodes last year, I said it wasn’t realistic(although I would have been presently surprised). I was right as there was only one, but wow what an episode it was. I loved the TMP style worm hole.

I’m not sure why, but the child is one of my favorite TNG episodes, so I can’t wait to see your guys’ take on it.

4. Admiral Kirk - October 6, 2011

you just don’t get it then…

5. Sebastian S. - October 6, 2011

Can’t wait for more!
The passion and production value in each of these make them the unofficial ‘4th season’ of TOS in my book. The new McCoy does capture some of the more hot-tempered side of the late DeForest Kelley’s character (a fact I was reminded of after recently re-watching “The Tholian Web”).

And IMO, STP2’s “World Enough and Time” was George Takei’s BEST turn as Sulu ever. At Comic Con this last summer, I had the pleasure of meeting Marc Scott Zicree, one of the writers of that episode (as well as so many scifi TV shows and one of my favorite tie-in books, “The Twilight Zone Companion”). It was neat. I geeked out a bit… ;-D

Again, thanks again Mr Cawley. These labors of love you and your team put together are very much appreciated by fans like myself. May the Second Phase live long and prosper….

6. Allen Williams - October 6, 2011

awww I really liked John Kelley’s McCoy. That’s too bad, but I wish him well.

7. MikeB - October 6, 2011

These shows are great. What an effort everyone involved puts in! Very bummed though that John Kelley is leaving as McCoy. He has really grown into the roll. If I had one complaint it would be the ever revolving cast. I guess it’s unavoidable given the reality of the production.

8. Admiral Kirk - October 6, 2011

although i admit they could reshoot the scene with mccoy

9. Allen Williams - October 6, 2011

I agree with #5 Sebastian. Not only is “World Enough and Time” my favorite from this series, I consider it to be a REAL part of the star trek universe. Ironic as there are 3 episodes that are official cannon, but I don’t consider them part of the trek universe.

10. Phil - October 6, 2011

Boy, everyone seems angry…

11. Jaykay - October 6, 2011

I too think that the effort and time that these guys are putting in is brilliant! And i’m not just talking bout the actors i’m talking bout the crew, the set builders, prop makers, sound techs, video editors, seat warmers.. everyone!

Well done to Cawley, all the actors and the whole production team.

12. Daniel Shock - October 6, 2011

I really enjoy the episodes and I appreciate all the effort. It’s more than we get from paramount !

13. Dmschmidt - October 6, 2011

I’ll miss John Kelly. The Dr. McCoy reminds me a little of Golum from lord of the rings…sorry don’t know if I spelled Golum right.

14. Dmschmidt - October 6, 2011

but that being said I still love phase 2

15. claypool2011 - October 6, 2011

John Kelley was an excellent McCoy. Probably the best characterization out of the entire cast. The new guy… Well I hope he grows into the role.

16. falcon - October 6, 2011

Interesting. When I read this story the first time, it seemed to me that Spock was much colder and emotionless than Stacy’s portrayal. But I could see McCoy being more emotional. I wonder if Stacy is channeling some alt-universe Spock? Also wondered what Spock would look like in the gold shirt. The new McCoy needs a little more hair.

17. Dr. Cheis - October 6, 2011

How do you lose a Vignette, I wonder?

18. mikephys - October 6, 2011

As far as I’m concerned Phase II is a worthy continuation of the original 5 year mission of Kirk and the Enterprise crew. I am grateful to James Cawley and his team for producing these fine episodes!

19. AJ - October 6, 2011

Is this “Mind Sifter” from that old Marshak/Culbreath fanfic compilation from Bantam in the late 1970s?

20. Chingatchkook - October 6, 2011

I remember reading the original ‘Mind-Sifter’ story when I was a kid. It was in one of the first Trek pocket books that I ever owned. Great story, I could always see it as an original series story, had it been given a chance. I guess that time has come!

21. JimJ - October 6, 2011

Gotta say i loved Kelley as McCoy, too. This new guy is WAYYYYY too angry. Even De Kelley, at his angriest, never seemed out of control like this guy. The only thing missing from the new guy’s performance is foam around the mouth. LOL Sorry, not trying to be mean, it just doesn’t “feel” like Bones to me.

22. Odkin - October 6, 2011

I liked the original McCoy as well. Why do modern actors think that “snarling” their lines is the least bit manly? Real people don’t snap at each other in snarling lecturing accustory tones!

23. Donald G - October 6, 2011

Re: #19, AJ: Yes, Shirley Maiewski’s “Mind-Sifter” was published in the first Marshak/Culbreath NEW VOYAGES compilation. It was one of the better stories in the book and one I’ve always had strong mental images of how it should look, whether on screen or in an illustrated comic format.

24. trekker 5 - October 6, 2011

Very good!! I liked all that I saw!! Can’t wait for these episodes!!

25. Donald G - October 6, 2011

Of course, to fit within the parameters of the five year mission, they had to condense the amount of time Kirk was missing in the past down from what it was in the original story. It seems weird for Bones to be making this big a deal out of marking the ninety day anniversary of Jim’s disappearance. But that’s a necessary evil of adaptation.

26. Munk - October 6, 2011

I love the production of these episodes but this new McCoy is distractingly bad! The acting has always been uneven at best but this guy’s just not up to the task from what I can see in this clip. The new Spock isn’t really there either. The essence of the characters are missing.

27. Marvin the Martian - October 6, 2011

“Mind-Sifter” is one of my favorite short stories of all time, regardless of the fact it was a Star Trek tale. It’s so incredibly moving and well-told. Sad to think that author Shirley S. Maiewski passed away a few years ago, and to my understanding, never wrote anything else.

I’d prefer to see this story filmed by the Trek movie guys, but it’ll be interesting to see Phase II’s take on it, even if it turns out to be awful.

28. TrekMadeMeWonder - October 6, 2011

Yeah. Just watched the Mind Sifter clip. New Spock. Emotional? Next.
And, as for the new McCoy. ” Oh he’s rich!”

29. dmduncan - October 6, 2011

Acting is not easy.

30. Tomh, Esq. - October 6, 2011

I’ll miss John Kelly.

Best of luck on your future endeavors, Sir.


31. Davidj - October 6, 2011

Darn. When I saw the title I thought it meant clips from the original 70s Phase 2.

32. Andy Patterson - October 6, 2011

Cool! And Wild Wild West! Looking forward to that.

33. TrekMadeMeWonder - October 6, 2011

29 dmduncan

It did’nt look that hard in the “EnemyPreview.wmv.”

Cawley did a great job with that speech.

34. Thomas - October 6, 2011

I remember reading “Mind-Sifter” a long time ago. Very chilling; could make for an interesting episode.

35. Patty Wright - October 6, 2011

To be fair to both actors… this is a clip of Spock and McCoy decidedly NOT acting like Spock and McCoy and it’s not really a representation of their portrayals of the characters we know and love. The story takes both characters (all 3, if you count Kirk) to… and beyond the limits of who they are to their cores. This particular scene is the “breaking point” for both of them. (which is probably why James chose to release it.) THAT is the story Shirley wrote…and, having seen all three actors do their work on set – it is downright impressive. When you see the rest of the episode it will be easier to judge if they can, indeed, do justice to the parts they play. (They do, IMHO)

AJ, this is “Mind-Sifter” but not the version in the Bantam paperback. Shirley was unhappy with their edits to it and asked James to film HER version – way back before he was filming ANYTHING yet. It is being produced with the permission, cooperation, and participation of her family. In fact, you’ll see her grown grandkids take their place as officers on the ship Shirley so loved.

Marvin, Shirley was quite a prolific fanfic writer. She is best known for this story and for co-authoring the trilogy of novels called “Alternate Universe 4″. If you go to the old fanfic archives on line you can find many of her other works.

36. NoRez - October 6, 2011

Wow; Mind Sifter was one of my favorite fan fics. As an adolescent girl, I had no problems with Mary Sues at the time – and I of course wanted to be Jan ;-)

It took me over a decade to finally sit down and watch the movie version of ‘Interview with the Vampire;’ as I’d feared, I should have stayed away. Not sure if I want to risk having my imagery messed with again… I hope they do it honor, and I look forward to reading about it when it’s been completed. Maybe I’ll have the courage by then…

37. Buzz Cagney - October 6, 2011

ah, i really struggled to watch the new McCoy. He’s just plain angry- Bone’s was rarely angry, he was passionate.

38. Patty Wright - October 6, 2011

if you’d been living with this Spock, you’d be plain angry too. Did you see the number of transfer requests DeSalle added his to? LOL

39. Buzz Cagney - October 6, 2011

Spock and McCoy are living together in PhaseII? Wow, thats gona take some getting used to! I thought the Spock/Uhura thing was bad enough in the last fim but Spock/McCoy is really going to take some getting used to! ;-)

40. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 6, 2011

#2 watch out posting that you dont like phase 2 on here often results in getting attacked by other readers, no matter how correct you are.

41. Greenberg - October 6, 2011

RIP Charles Napier.

42. ety3 - October 7, 2011

Wasn’t Cawley supposed to be doing a Buck Rogers webseries? What happened to that?

43. Kweeg - October 7, 2011

I wish I lived closer (or vice versa) so I could help out with / on Phase II


44. LazarusNine - October 7, 2011

I have to agree with post #2. As a Star Trek fan myself, I think it’s safe to say that it’s pretty much every fan’s dream to fill Kirk’s shoes on screen. However, the problem with fan films (shows) is that fans are so desperate to live out their fantasies, their presence in the frame compromises the end result. There’s some great CGI here and the sets are impressive, but the ‘actors’ seem completely out of place – most of all, Crawley. This was obviously his pet project and he wanted to be Kirk. That would have been fine if all of his forced affect and lack of enunciation didn’t completely detract from the viewing experience. One might claim that the acting in the Original Series was far from great. Maybe they’re right, but the acting was being done by professional actors, not professional fans. As bad as the TOS acting may have been (I actually liked it), it was still leaps and bounds better than that of this fan-based series. Fans should stick to what they’re good at (obviously some are great at CGI and set-building) and then call on other talent from the outside to make their projects really shine. All that said, maybe this group doesn’t care about making a great show – perhaps, they just want to make it while spending time living out their fantasies. That’s fair enough, and no one is forcing me to watch it. Though, if it was any better, I’d probably give it a shot.

45. Enc - October 7, 2011

i had same question
also wonder if Cawley saw ‘The Mercury Men’

46. Commander K - October 7, 2011

Agree with 2 and 43…as an actor myself, I find some of the acting cringeworthy….it’s as if the actors have walked in, got changed and ran on set and read out the lines, shows a lack of character development. I’ll give credit to the sets and CGI, the sets are quite impressive actually. But again…this is fans trying too hard to be exactly like the original series actors….whereas, if u look at Trek 09, it was actors bringing out their own interpretations of the original series actors…difference.

47. Mike - October 7, 2011

Excellent!! Love it!

48. P Technobabble - October 7, 2011

43. Lazarus

“..Fans should stick to what they’re good at (obviously some are great at CGI and set-building) and then call on other talent from the outside to make their projects really shine…”

Most likely the “talent from the outside” would come at a price. I’m sure Cawley is surrounded by people willing to do most, if not all, of this work for free. I imagine these actors know they are not Patrick Stewart-level actors, but I’ve seen professional, sky-high-budget productions utilize less than capable actors. I’d say Cawley is getting more of a bargain!
In spite of whatever flaws there are, I think these people deserve a lot of praise. Some folks only want to hammer them over the acting. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to organize and produce a program on little or no budget. I had no choice but to work with inexperienced people. My credit cards were completely drained to build sets and feed people. The overall experience – and product – turned out to be a nightmare. The Phase II people are getting it done and on the screen. That, alone, is a massive accomplishment.
Just my 2 cents, of course.

49. Lt. Dakin - October 7, 2011

@45– I think Brandon Stacy is definitely bringing his own version of Spock, I can’t wait to see more completed episodes with him.

Really looking forward Phase II’s take on “Mindsifter” and “Kitumba” being realized as I read both of them decades ago.

50. crazydaystrom - October 7, 2011

Totally off topic but

not even a mention of the passing of Charles Napier?!?!?

I must have missed it. I’ll look again.

51. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - October 7, 2011

I wish John Kelley the best. From what I seen of the new MCcoy that was not very good. I hope he get’s much better but if not well. I enjoy all of the Phase 2 Eps and can’t wait till these are released.

52. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - October 7, 2011

#40. That is so sad. Yay Brother.

53. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - October 7, 2011

I meant #49. Yay Brother.

54. Sebastian S. - October 7, 2011

#41 ety3

I asked the very same question of Erin Gray at Comic Con. She told me the production simply ran out of money…. :-(

55. Mark Lynch - October 7, 2011

I found the new actor playing McCoy to be a bit jarring in the scene above. Spock was also rather emotional toward the end. However I am familiar with the story being told, having read it many times over the years. Including the unaltered version. Spock’s emotional reaction is well within the confines of the story as is McCoy’s.

As to whether the new guy is playing McCoy “properly”, I’ll wait until we see the completed episode before I judge.

Really looking forward to Mindsifter, some of the dialogue in the Spock/McCoy clip above is word for word from the book. Quite exciting…

56. cjc969 - October 7, 2011

Yes, I’m a set design geek, but…

Those candlesticks are driving me crazy.

57. CoolPT - October 7, 2011

I thought these guys were going to be doing some Flash Gordon shows. What happened to that idea???

58. BwimBwim - October 7, 2011

It’s really pretty good… that is as long as you’ve got the audio muted.

59. Daniel - October 7, 2011

When I read Mind-sifter as a kid I thought it was one of the greatest Trek tales ever told.

60. Phil - October 7, 2011

@57 hahahahahahaaaa…. funny! What was the line from the movie “Tootsie” – Director (to cameraman) – How far back can you pan to make her look good? Cameraman – How about Cleveland?

61. Desstruxion - October 7, 2011

Cawley’s a better Kirk than Pine. Pine’s ok in other stuff but as Kirk he seems like a kid trying to play a grownup part.

62. pock speared - October 7, 2011

i adore these guys. still get a thrill to see james on board the ent in star trek (2009).

those who “don’t get it” never will. these are uber-fans pursuing a dream. kudos.

63. Driver - October 7, 2011

In order to enjoy Star Trek Phase II you must lower your expectations from what this production can do vs Hollywood. Is the production good? Or bad? Essentially it comes down to personal preference. Hence, there is no right or wrong. It’s all opinion.

64. Shatoupee - October 7, 2011

Looking forward to the next episodes of Phase II. Sorry to see John Kelley go–he was one of their better actors.

65. Alex Prewitt - October 7, 2011

Change is always tough. I look forward to seeing a new clip of McCoy where he isn’t frothing (figuratively) at the mouth. I wish Doc Kelley the very best. Even his hair was finally “growing” on me. Not trying to be snarky–it bothered me at first, but I really came to accept him as McCoy.
The revolving door is the one thing that frustrates me about this terrific fan series. I understand it–I just wish it wasn’t so often.

66. Shatoupee - October 7, 2011

You do realize John Kelley’s hair on Phase II was a toupee?

67. AJ - October 7, 2011

Does anyone know if “Mind Sifter” is available in written form today? Apart from the $26 “new” book on Amazon? It’s a freaking paperback.

I also seem to recall a great story in “New Voyages” where the TOS actors are somehow transported to the ‘real’ Enterprise, and have to face down some ornery Klingons. I challenge the estimable James Cawley and Team to put THAT one to the lens.

68. Alex Prewitt - October 7, 2011

65.–Yes, I do. That’s what I meant by my comment. It REALLY bugged me for awhile–it was so weird looking and obvious, but after a time I just accepted the performance–hair and all. I actually became fond of his portrayal.

69. AJ - October 7, 2011

For all the complaints about the acting, or rotating actors in “Phase II,” the one thing we get FOR FREE from Mr. Cawley and Co. is pure love of the franchise, and unfettered enthusiasm for its canon, and attention to its smallest details. Plus kick-ass FX (for free!) and a return to TOS’s original moral fiber.

While I am not a ‘canonista,” I still, like many Trekkers my age (47!), have a TOS encyclopedia burned into my brain, in my case, courtesy of WPIX in NYC in the early 1970s. Cawley has it as well. And, while I thought David Gerrold’s ‘Blood and Fire’ was a bit heavy-handed, I still had a ball watching it before diving into the debate. And it was an all-expenses-paid free Star Trek episode written by the legendary Gerrold himself.

I guess, if you feel like complaining about the acting, go upstate and volunteer to do better. Otherwise, sit back with some Tranya and enjoy watching some fellow fans have a go at our favorite show.

70. AzarN - October 7, 2011

Brandon Stacey as Spock is absolutely BRILLIANT here. Frankly, it’s the first good, nuanced performance I’ve seen on Phase II. The new McCoy is TERRIBLE, but Stacey does a great job at hinting Spock’s totally illogical belief that Jim might still be alive and his refusal to accept what everyone else believes. I want more of this guy.

71. davidfuchs - October 7, 2011

@2 Brevard

I’m sort of with you. They are enthusiastic, but it’s just a hobby and that cripples them. The effects are pretty great, but it’s much easier to craft something in After Effects and Cinema4D than it is to come up with compelling dialogue.

I hate to say it… but if they took it *seriously* it would probably be much better. Shooting things over the course of months and doing things “when you have time for it” isn’t how television gets done, it’s not how good webseries get done. You have to have deadlines, strict budgets and editors who are willing to tell you if your writing is bad.

72. AzarN - October 7, 2011

You just know that Jim’s return to the ship will be a powerful moment for Spock, even if Cawley will ruin it with his exaggerated imitation of Shatner.

73. REM1701 - October 7, 2011

Give it UP! Crawley, U are not Captain Kirk. No matter what U wanted to be when U grew up :-(

74. Toothless Grishnar Cat - October 7, 2011

Not really Phase 2-related, but since we’re talking fan series, is Exeter still in existence? Haven’t heard from them in a while.

75. davidfuchs - October 7, 2011


It’s supposed to be entertainment. I judge it no less or more than anything with a million dollars thrown at it. What Youtube has shown is that people with no money can tell compelling, well-acted stories.

When it comes down to it, I have never watched Star Trek for whiz-bang effects–I’ve got Star Wars for that. TOS isn’t still worth watching because of the alka-seltzer transporter effect. It’s because of the character dynamic and stories.

If you had solid dialogue, great acting and a good story, I would watch three people gab in a black room (Shakespeare!)

I’m sure you can find competent actors for cheap. God knows there’s loads of wonderful writers out there toiling in oblivion.

I respect that your opinion of the show might differ from mine. But it doesn’t mean that I can’t evaluate it just the same.

76. Anthony Lewis - October 7, 2011

The acting in the original series is terrible but I still enjoy it. I find the Phase II acting to be on par.

The stigma of it being a fan film is what gets in the way of people liking it. It has the support of the people who made Trek what it was then that is all I need to enjoy it.

77. Red Dead Ryan - October 7, 2011

To everyone who is bitching and moaning about “Phase II”: SHUT THE HELL UP!

The fine folks working on this series all put in as much time, effort and money as possible. The reason why these episodes take a long time to make is because James Cawley has limited resources, unlike the major Hollywood studios. NONE of you are paying him ANYTHING, so your complaining is quite shallow and reflective of your own short-sightedness and pettiness.

The actors are doing the best they can under the circumstances. Sure, they aren’t of the same calibre of the TOS cast, but that’s not the point. The point is we get to see our favorite characters from the prime timeline taking place just after TOS with all of the old costumes, sets, and props.

James Cawley was very gracious enough to give us a show that takes on a new voyage with the TOS characters as we saw them in TOS. He’s footing the huge bills with NO help from any of the “critics” who continually try to knock his efforts down.

If you don’t like “Phase II”, then just move on, and let the rest of us enjoy the work that Cawley and co. put out.


Just how are they not taking this “seriously”? They don’t have deadlines, which is a good thing, because each and everyone of the cast and production crew have their own jobs to go to, bills to pay, and other priorities. If they had deadlines, James Cawley just wouldn’t be able to create new episodes. They also work outside of Hollywood, and so don’t have the money to build bigger productions, or to hire proffesional post-production crew. It’s all overseen by Cawley, and he also happens to have a day job that is required for him to feed himself and his family.

78. Red Dead Ryan - October 7, 2011


If it’s that simple, then why don’t you go create your own web series on your own time and money, then come back and let us see and judge your work?

That’s assuming you have the guts to stand up and take what you’re willing to dish out.

79. Phil - October 7, 2011

Yeah, I do get it. It’s fan fiction, with all it’s faults and blemishes. It’s also Cawleys sand box – if you want to play in it, well, he’s the boss. I avoided this for years, because my exposure to fan fiction was that it was horrible at worst and amusing at best. I was critical because I just assumed this was bad. At some point I figured I should take a look, on the outside chance this was actually better then something you would find on public access cable. Well, because these guys are copying TOS, they have nailed sets, lighting, and effects. Thing is, regardless of how good the surroundings look, it dosent compensate for bad writing and acting. In their attempt to copy TOS, all the acting becomes is cliched. We end up with McCoy snarling his lines because he dosen’t understand that the Dr. enjoyed a good debate, and was willing to stir the pot to get it. Those lines need to be delivered with a sense of frustration, not anger. Implying that Spock may have sinister motives is just bad writing. The only time I recall the good doctor being insubordnate was in a situation of genuine peril, not hacked off because Spock dosen’t want a memorial service. I could see this McCoy ripping a waitress to shreds because his soup is cold. Anyway, if you dial back the expectations these productions are amusing, at best, cringeworthy at worst. These clips have not convinced me to change my mind. Sorry…

80. AJ - October 7, 2011


I’m not saying ‘don’t be a critic.’ God knows, Cawley and his team lurk and actively contribute here, meaning they have first-hand access to the fanbase, and they listen and respond.

I emphasize “for free” because you can either take it or leave it. When I was at camp in the ’70s, I wrote a play based entirely on “Superman II” and performed it with my cabin-mates. Were we crappy actors? Yes. No FX at all. Respect for the material? Most definitely. We went up a storm because we made it funny, and the material was near and dear to many of the kids in camp that year. “Phase II” is that times a million on Klingon aphrodisiacs.

If the acting makes you cringe, cringe. The ‘loads of competent actors for cheap’ may have day jobs, or a lack of knowledge of the characters, or both. I enjoy watching P2, warts and all, because it’s fun.

81. Phil - October 7, 2011

@76, 77…
Hey, I can go down to my community theater and enjoy the local production of Miss Siagon without comparing it to Broadway. The problem with Phase II is that all the digital promotion that comes with it tends to hype it as studio quality entertainment, which frankly, it isn’t. It’s someone’s hobby. If you come into it with with that expectation it’s much easier to overlook the glitches. What’s a shame here is that some folks rip into the performers with personal attacks, and that’s just wrong. I have no problem thanking Mr. Cawley and his cast and crew for sharing their hobby. For those who love this, enjoy, but if you suggest this is on a par with professional productions is safe to assume you might get a little push back on that opinion.

82. Buzz Cagney - October 7, 2011

#80 for sure I agree with the thrust of your post and agree what Cawley and Co. have achieved is quite staggering. Actually it is verging on remarkable.
But……. they send what they do out into the ether and that will inevitably invite opinion.
And so it is here.
And stating that some of the acting is, well, of variable quality is a fair and valid point. Its hardly gratuitous criticism.

83. Admiral Archer's Prized Beagle - October 7, 2011

I love Phase II, but I had to stop watching that clip because the new McCoy is awful. Wish I could try out for the role.

84. Alex Prewitt - October 7, 2011

Haters gonna hate. If you like what they do as I do–great. If you have some misgivings, and can offer constructive criticism, as I have done in the past–great. The Phase 2 folks have always welcomed constructive criticism. If you just wanna get up here and say how sucky they are–please–move along.

85. Pony R. Horton - October 7, 2011


“I’m sort of with you. They are enthusiastic, but it’s just a hobby and that cripples them. The effects are pretty great, but it’s much easier to craft something in After Effects and Cinema4D than it is to come up with compelling dialogue.

I hate to say it… but if they took it *seriously* it would probably be much better. Shooting things over the course of months and doing things “when you have time for it” isn’t how television gets done, it’s not how good webseries get done. You have to have deadlines, strict budgets and editors who are willing to tell you if your writing is bad.”

First I must say to you, I am one of the two main VFX artists on PHASE II, Tobias Richter being the other one. It is NOT “much easier to craft something in After Effects and Cinema4D than it is to come up with compelling dialogue.” I work as professional VFX artist, editor, and film maker. To say what you said is insulting to so many, including myself, who put a great deal of time and effort into PHASE II. I’m also a professional writer. I can tell you from years of experience, neither is easy.

The work is done at a professional level for FREE, which is why it takes so long. Our work is easily comparable to much of what was seen on the various series’ and films, in terms of writing, VFX, editing, and general film making. Sometimes the acting is great, sometimes not so much. Gee, I seem to remember feeling the same way about every series and most of the films.

We actually take it quite seriously. That’s another reason it takes so long. We are a small group, without a huge post-production pipeline in place. Basically a lot of the post comes down to fewer than 5 people: the editor, Tobias and his team, and myself, for VFX (squeezed-in around our daily lives), and Ralph Miller, who has the enormous job of creating our series sound. All by himself.

So, I must say, since we don’t charge, we do this for free in the hopes that it will continue interest in STAR TREK at a level of quality that is seen less and less these days in films and TV, I think you should come volunteer to help us, rather than sit and fire shots from your easy chair. Whether you meant to or not, you’ve insulted a lot of dedicated people with your glib remarks.

We work hard, and we take it very seriously. Got what it takes to join us? Or are you just gonna watch our shows and then tell us how to do it “right?”

86. Christoher Miles - October 7, 2011

Thanks as always to the New Voyages/Phase 2 team(s)

It’s been a great ride following the evolution of the skills, writing and production values etc since “Come What May”.

But the actual values that matter are the CORE Values- those that reflect the heart and soul of Roddenberry Trek – and your gang has that value set in spades.

Ad Astra, Phase II team!

87. Smike - October 7, 2011

OMG…the new McCoy actor is horrible, for this role…totally out of character!

He might be a good actor for portraying a mad Irish mobster, Emperor Palpatine or something like that but McCoy?

He so totally sounds evil, full of hatred and anger. McCoy was grudgy, yeah, but never evil…

88. Fez - October 7, 2011

@86 McCoy may be out of Character but as Patty said all of the Big Three are in places in their personalities that none of us have seen… besides this is only a taste of his performance as McCoy, not the whole product… why don’t you reserve your judgement until the final product.

@84 Right with you there Pony, I feel insulted by some of those remarks being apart of the crew… If they want to try to do better, but until then and even after we are going to give it our all as we always do. I hope I get to see you for the second half of “Mind-sifter”

89. Pony R. Horton - October 7, 2011

Thanks, Fez! I hope to be there, too!

In fairness to David, every actor is going to bring their own twist to a beloved role. I’m not surprised at some of the reactions to him. I think that’s natural for people to tend to dismiss a new actor in an old role, especially when that role has become iconic.

Let’s give him a chance to make McCoy his own.

90. Khan was Framed! - October 7, 2011


This just gets worse & worse with time.

I can’t find the words…completely awful just doesn’t cover it enough somehow.

I wish each member of the cast a long & prosperous career in food service.

Tip of the day: if you are casting for starfleet officers, try hiring actors who are good enough shape to actually be starfleet officers.

91. Friendly Angel - October 7, 2011

It seems that otherwise as the production values (props, sets, costumes, effects, etc.) get better, the acting gets worse. Cawley should get people with some real acting experience, and otherwise these would be quite good to watch. As noted above, the times he’s had real actors involved they’ve all been quite good, a real extension of the show (4th season). I love the idea of doing Mind-Sifter & the sequel to Bread & Circuses. I just don’t understand if he’s going to invest his time & money as well as others, why they can’t put their ego aside and do it right. Above a couple of people have stated “who would want to wacth these” other than the people involved? Why put them on line? I think Cawley, who is obviously talented in many ways,(his Elvis show is great), should put aside his ego and let someone with experience play these parts. I know he can do whatever he wants, but as the case, egos have gotten in the way of many a missed opportunity.

92. Michael Hall - October 7, 2011

*Sigh* “Mind-Sifter” plays something like “City on the Edge of Forever” meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and I remember thinking that it was just awesome when I read the first “New Voyages” anthology back in the ’70s. In retrospect, however, there’s not a whole lot of dramatic meat (much less memorable dialogue) to the story apart from the basic situation, and due to the nature of the piece Kirk isn’t his usual, dynamic self, which in an odd way pretty much takes his character out of the story even as he occupies the center of it. So it remains to be seen if this adaptation has the potential to be a standout Phase II episode.

–And yes, I must (with regrets) add my agreement to the opinion the the new doctor needs work. It’s easy to question someone else’s artistic choices, but the performance in this clip seems forced and over-the-top, more like a parody of Dee Kelley’s irascible take on the character than anything this particular scene calls for. Are we to think McCoy truly believes that Spock is well-satisfied in his career ambition to take Kirk’s place once and for all–or is his hurtful accusation just a way of lashing out at a situation he finds intolerable? I think most longtime Trek fans surely know the answer to that one–but, judging by the performance, I’m not sure the actor does. Whatever their deficiencies as performers, Cawley and Kelley had an easy, likable rapport with each other that will definitely be missed.

I have great respect and admiration for the Phase II cast and crew, having worked with them on the “Origins” shoot last year–but it would perhaps do well for Mr. Cawley and the rest of the cast (not to mention his directors) to hang a sign above the studio entrance that says, “Less is More.”

93. AJ - October 7, 2011


Admiral Archer’s Prized Beagle: “I love Phase II, but I had to stop watching that clip because the new McCoy is awful. Wish I could try out for the role.”

Have you ever asked?

I was a bit taken aback by the new McCoy as well, but he seemed to get more comfortable with “our” McCoy toward the latter part of the clip.

One has to go back to “The Tholian Web,” obviously to see the genesis of the McCoy/Spock dynamic when Kirk is presumed dead. Kirk’s message to the two of them rightly predicts the ensuing conflict including the presumption on McCoy’s part that Spock has always desired his own command, and Spock’s typical denial. It looks as if the P2 boys are trying to rev this concept up to 11 in “Mind Sifter.” I’m looking forward to the finished product before I post any kind of review.

94. Pony R. Horton - October 7, 2011

For what it’s worth, I had to play K’Sia in scenes shot a whole year apart due to the fact that, the first time around, my performance was not up to the standards James and Co wanted, so rather than keep the lesser performance, they had me re-shoot the scene (no easy task considering we had to re-create the Klingon makeup from the year before) with a better, stronger performance. That’s why we sometimes do re-shoots. I cannot speak for James or anyone else at PHASE II other than myself.

But who knows what the future holds? If James decides he agrees with the above remarks about McCoy, maybe he’ll re-shoot the scene. Maybe not.

95. Gene's Ghost - October 7, 2011

i just wish Cawley would take all of that really good money he’s pouring into these, and make something original. You know, make something that you own, Jimmy. Leave the warmed over cancelled tv nostalgia for the studio exec pitching all of that old crap to their bosses in an effort to save their tenuous position as an imagination-free sycophant.

Just a thought.

96. Pony R. Horton - October 7, 2011

What is it with so many fans today who have so little tact in what they say?

If some of these posts represent the way TREK fans interact with those who make the shows, it’s no wonder Leonard Nimoy called it quits.

97. Jonboc - October 7, 2011

Haven’t we already see this Spock/McCoy exchange in the Tholian Web? Oh well, technically, this series shines. Creatively, the passion is clearly there. The final product, however, remains a bizarre hybrid of professional and amateur efforts that is almost surreal. Can’t really get into it.

98. Lt. Bailey - October 7, 2011

I admire anyone who will go through so much time, trouble, money and effort to create something for all us fans to enjoy. How many times have read in this website that people writein ” We need more Trek!!!”

Well these episodes seem to fill that gap and when we do get that new TV series, I hope that these go on for some time. James Cawley does a fantastic job of getting it right.

When a new TV series comes out, us fans should embrace it for what it is and not complain about like some did with ENT. While I did enjoy it 10 years ago, I really love ENT more now despite what others say about it because they wanted more TNG / VOY era show or even a show set farther in the future.

99. Tomh, Esq. - October 7, 2011

#66 – A quick Google search turned up this link:

100. secondary backups - October 7, 2011

“Sometimes the acting is great, sometimes not so much. Gee, I seem to remember feeling the same way about every series and most of the films.”

I think the “gee” part of it makes this remark a little sarcastic sounding and takes away from the impact it could have had if it wasn’t so, understandably, defensive.

but this gets to the point in my opinion: there’s always been some rough parts of star trek. is phase 2 up to the quality of “real” star trek? no. but i think you’d be hard pressed to watch an episode of phase 2 and not enjoy it. and afterward, even if you hated it, you can easily pick out at least one episode of every other “real” series that was worse.

none of them are “Sub Rosa”.

Phase 2 is fun.

101. Michael Hall - October 7, 2011

“What is it with so many fans today who have so little tact in what they say?

If some of these posts represent the way TREK fans interact with those who make the shows, it’s no wonder Leonard Nimoy called it quits.”

Well, I surely hope that assesment doesn’t include my comment, Mr. Horton. But if it does, check out the archives on this site for some of the exchanges I had with Bob Orci (particularly with regards to film critic Roger Ebert); I’d like to think that they make Harlan Ellison look tactful. :-)

102. TheRealCaptainDecker - October 7, 2011

Sorry, but Im starting to dislike Phase II more & more! I thought Scotty was bad, but this new Bones-Fella is worse!
James Cawley (who doesn’t look like Jim Kirk one damm bit…) is a Great Actor/Writer/Director! With all these great TOS Props, Sounds and FX- why not make a totally new TOS-based Trek Series???
There are sooo many Possibilities…
” Go Boldly where No Star Trek Fan-Film has gone before”

103. Erik Parrent - October 7, 2011

I love these guys. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to Wild Wild West, too. I wonder if they ever thought of taking a run at Mission Impossible…?

104. Pony R. Horton - October 7, 2011

Mike, your comment was posed thoughtfully, and I don’t disagree with it. I was referring to others, and more to a general tone I have observed in fandom in recent years that suggests some of those commenting have either no ability to be tactful and diplomatic in their remarks, no matter how accurate, or they simply wish to hurt the feelings of others with their way of delivering their opinion for whatever reason.

105. Brevard - October 7, 2011

Okay, everyone is entitled to their opinion. For those of you who have railed on those of us who do not like Phase II, take a chill pill. It is what it is. It’s fan fiction. Plain and simple. Yeah, the special effects are great (on a par with the remastered TOS, I’d say) and the sets are perfect recreations of the original. Unfortunately, the acting and writing are simply imitations of the original. And I don’t mean that as a compliment. Hobbies are great. I applaud them. It just doesn’t mean that I particularly want to see your stamp collection. I’m a professional actor and I’ve done a lot of “free” stuff over the years, so I know what these folks are up against. However, at some point, you have to look at your work and say, “Hmmmm…we should probably try that again or maybe we shouldn’t show this.” I’ve done my share of stinkers over the years and thankfully they have sat on the shelf, never to see the light of day. That’s all I’m saying here. Is it worth putting out there?

106. Brevard - October 7, 2011

Oh and for those of you who work on Phase II who have posted on here, Learn to take some criticism. You put your work out there and the nature of human beings is to offer criticism. Learn from it or ignore it. It’s pretty simple. Just don’t berate folks because the offer the opinion that they don’t like what you have to offer. I’ve had good reviews and bad reviews in my time, but I don’t lash out at the folks who don’t like my work. I learn from it and move on.

107. Gary Evans - October 7, 2011

First, and most important, as a New Voyages Phase II producer I wish to thank Anthony Pascale for his continuing coverage of our hobby! Everyone here appreciates the reporting — and the feedback whether positive or negative.

Anthony’s “” is a medium and forum for Star Trek fans. Whether we agree or disagree the exchange and interaction is a positive event.

Kudos, Anthony!

108. dmduncan - October 7, 2011

It’s inspiring to see what Cawley has been able to do. The guy is a tireless mega-fan.

109. Pony R. Horton - October 7, 2011

I have developed a way of thinking about our situation at PHASE II that some fans complain about; uneven acting, whether or not the show is “professional” enough, and various other criticisms that are generally on the subject of quality.

After having been involved with PHASE II for 7 episodes, and now Wild Wild West, after four TREK shoots, I have come to think of it as The Academy.

Starfleet Academy, that is. By that I mean that, while we do have a number of professionals in our ranks, many more are either hobbyists or, more often, young people who are trying to climb that ladder of artistic success and career. Many on our crew are doing the same thing that I used to do when I was getting my start in the late 1970’s and early ’80’s : volunteer as an intern at a local cable Public Access studio.

At PHASE II, we pride ourselves on being a safe place where newcomers to this career track can learn how films are made on a working set that turns out a STAR TREK episode for their effort. They can come and do an actual job of work in whatever area of film makng they want, on one of the coolest sets ever built, under the tutelage of professional department heads or artists, for up to several weeks per year, and it counts as professional credit on IMDB. That’s an important aspect for building one’s film career today. It’s part of “Paying Your Dues.”

I’m at a point in my career where I’m having to pay some more dues, as the methods I grew up learning are more and more obsolete, and I have no formal film schooling that is relevant these days. James Cawley and PHASE II have not only given me the opportunity to do that, they have also opened the doors for me to meet and interact professionally with other TREK professionals, like Doug Drexler and others. I would never have had these opportunities before.

PHASE II is a film making academy that charges no money to its “students” and puts out a show, without charge to viewers, while giving people a chance to form the foundations of a career, or just gather to make new friends and keep STAR TREK interesting.

Anyway, that’s how I think about it.

110. TheRealCaptainDecker - October 7, 2011

@ Brevard: You got the Point, Man!!! THX

111. Viking - October 7, 2011

I liked the other McCoy better. And he was a real doctor, too.

112. dmduncan - October 7, 2011

Anyone know how they managed to recreate the bridge set? Mike McMasters blueprints maybe?

113. TheRealCaptainDecker - October 7, 2011

Just to make MY Point here! I really like Phase II and I appreciate all the Ambition, Vision and Work in it!!!!

But all this could be made into something more!
Think of “Star Trek: Vanguard”, for example. An innovative Idea in the Trek Universe ( I first thought of an Babylon 5 Ripp-Off…) that became such an great Asset to the Trek Universe…

114. Michael Hall - October 7, 2011

” is phase 2 up to the quality of “real” star trek? no. but i think you’d be hard pressed to watch an episode of phase 2 and not enjoy it. and afterward, even if you hated it, you can easily pick out at least one episode of every other “real” series that was worse.”

For this long-time fan, in terms of the quality of its storytelling “World Enough and Time” is superior to about 70% of the original series episodes. After a godawful pilot and two shows that showed real improvement but were still in many ways amateurish, it’s the production that made a believer out of me. I wouldn’t put “Blood and Fire” or “Enemy: Starfleet” on quite that level, and from what I’ve seen I’m guessing that most of the forthcoming shows won’t end up there either. But I’ll also bet that each, in their way, will be worth checking out, filled with love and commitment to the spirit of a dumb, wonderful little space opera that even its creators assumed would be canceled and forgotten decades ago. That makes it a worthwhile venture in my book, whatever its flaws, and infinitely preferable to that slicker-than-slick corporate behemoth with the heart and soul of a spreadsheet from two years ago, that we were all supposed to be so grateful for.

115. Erik Parrent - October 7, 2011

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

– Steve Jobs

116. Charles Root - October 7, 2011

Man, I love some of the armchair quarterbacking that goes on when critiquing New Voyages. The vitriol is almost alarming, it borders on psychotic.

I really love the “This sucks you should do it this way, or stop making the episodes!” comments. Like the commenter has ANY inclination as to what it takes to put one of these episodes on. If you have some sort production credit or acting history, by all mean would you please enlighten us to your resume before you “expertly” pick us apart?

You know really, if you’re say Joseph Michael Straczynski, and you want to rake us over the coals, then I’m more inclined to listen to your criticism, but if your some neck beard that is under no obligation to watch the show that you get for free, hell you don’t even have to endure advertising during it, yea like I’m going to value your holier than thou scathing treatise.

One must also ask why on God’s Earth do you put yourself through such supposed torturer and watch it if you hate it so much? Just so you can come on these boards and prove John Gabriel’s Greater Internet
F**kwad Theory?

Sometimes I really think it’s envy and jealousy, much like those that never take personally responsibility for themselves but “hate the rich!”, these people can’t stand others having what they desire, and let’s face it, just about 99% of the people on that are on a Star Trek website and willing to comment on a fan film would give their furry tribbles, to be in a Starfleet Uniform and be filmed on the bridge of the Enterprise. Does it irk you that people took the ambition to live out a dream and you didn’t?

You know I’m a geek, I love fantasy and sci-fi, I’d love to see myself on a Lord of the Rings type show, but you don’t see me over at the “Hunt for Gollum” website ripping apart their fan-film (not that you could it’s freaking awesome!).

Might be time to for a little introspective, a little review of personal “filters” before you so callously attack others. People that are good and put time in to a hobby they love and get no profit from it other then seeing the final film completed

117. Fez - October 7, 2011

Scotty has spoken!!!

118. Michael Hall - October 7, 2011

Whew. Lord knows I don’t share Mr. Root’s politics, not in the slightest. But I surely do admire his passion.

119. Pony R. Horton - October 7, 2011

Charles and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum; amazingly enough we tend to agree on many things politically at a fundamental level.

And he’s a friend I’ve come to love and respect. Along with so many of the PHASE II cast and crew.

You go, Scotty!

120. DirectorMarkB - October 7, 2011

Wow! We Trekkers are an opinionated bunch aren’t we? I understand that everyone has their own opinion and a right to express it, but I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone who so obviously dislikes Phase II would spend so much time and energy trashing it. I’m all into constructive criticism, but the venom and personal attacks here seem like sour grapes to me.

For the record, I am the director of “Mind-Sifter”. If you have gripes, I’ll the weight of them. I do think that attacking our new Doctor McCoy is ill thought out. David is a fine actor and this was an exceptional scene. Taken out of context, he may seem out of character. That’s THE POINT. By this scene the crew is at the breaking point. McCoy is angry. At Spock. David shows more of McCoy’s gentle nature in other scenes, but they would give away too much of the plot if released as teasers.

I think David will prove to be a superior Doctor McCoy.

For those who think they could do better than James Cawley and his crew, I just say: prove it. Make your own. Put the love, hard work and passion into it that he does, then try to come up with a superior product. It’s a free country, that way.

121. DirectorMarkB - October 7, 2011

Nicely said, Mr. Root. I’m also on the other side of the political spectrum from you, but I respect you greatly and am honored to know you.

122. Patty Wright - October 7, 2011

79. We end up with McCoy snarling his lines because he doesn’t understand that the Dr. enjoyed a good debate, and was willing to stir the pot to get it.

What WE end up with is people like you complaining when you don’t know what you are talking about. Go read the original story at the link above. McCoy IS angry here – ready to kill angry. Spock has purposely been mean and miserable to everyone, and made the ship no better than a gulag to live on – and ignored every single attempt from McCoy to help. Attempted help, in fact, just makes Spock “ramp it up”. McCoy has watched Spock virtually torture the crew he cares about and every attempt McCoy has made to ease their lives just makes their lives worse.

91. Cawley should get people with some real acting experience

Again, people who complain should get their facts straight before deciding what to complain about. Every single main cast member – except for “Scotty” – is an experienced, professional actor… and they were not chosen because they live nearby and will work for cheap. Except for Kirk, professional auditions were conducted and there is footage to prove it. (This includes Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Chekov, Peter, and even Walking Bear)

Every writer, likewise, is a professional writer with a resume as long as your arm. The VFX gurus… pros.

To those of you who don’t like the show – don’t watch it, and don’t let us take up your time by repeatedly bashing us in public without any actual feedback that we can use to improve.

To those of you who like the show – and even have our back when people have vague complaints about how much we stink – thank you: and you haven’t seen anything yet! The up-coming releases will be a real treat. I am the most demanding critic of all, and they make me squeal in delight: and they are not even finished yet.

I’d say I wish I could share them with you, but unfortunately when we share bits and pieces, this is what happens. It encourages the trolls who are just waiting for an opportunity to bash us without any real content to come out in full force and makes it miserable for US to share anything.

123. Viking - October 7, 2011

Damn, guys, cheer down already. LOL

124. Charles Root - October 7, 2011

Pony & Mark, right on brothers!

On Phase 2 sets we don’t just pretend diversity we live it right!. Straights, gays, all races, multiple nationalities, men, women, young, old, liberal and conservative!

To paraphrase Dr. Peter Venkman: “Dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria! ”

So it upsets me when people denigrate our little show!

125. RobertMfromLI - October 7, 2011

First, someone above posted that we should be able to take criticism. We can. And we do. But you’ll note that there are a select very vocal few above who, for FOUR years running, do nothing but bash everything we do (check it out yourselves). That to me, is *not* constructive criticism or criticism of ANY kind. Four years ago they totally hated our episodes so much that they went off on vile rants about it and us. FOUR episodes later, and each and every episode inbetween they’ve hated them with a passion. You’d think they’d just walk away. But no, instead each and *every* mention of us on Trekmovie, they are here spouting the same vitriol. That is NOT called criticism (constructive or otherwise) – it’s called TROLLING and CHILDISH. I wonder if after the first time touching a hot stove and burning themselves, if they kept doing that too…

Now, on to those of you who actually had criticism or “negative” comments you truly deemed valid. I’ll try to address some…

McCoy’s performance: (1) Patty covered some of it above… this story isn’t quite like any you’ve seen before and the characters (due to the circumstances) are quite different in their mannerisms. Watching the episode to it’s conclusion will explain that. (2) McCoy as played by De Kelley *did indeed* have moments of pure nastiness. The Tholian Web was one such episode (just off the top of my head). There were definitely others. Once you watch ours, you’ll see, just like in those instances, things fit. McCoy has always had a love/hate relationship with Spock. As much as he loves him, there’s a part of him that *wants to* hate him… and it has come out in the past (in TOS).

The clips themselves: these are unfinished rough cuts gang. The takes you see may not even be the ones used in the episodes (or… they may be). We didn’t have to share them… but we chose to. Anthony didn’t have to be gracious enough to do an article and feature them, but he was kind enough to do so. I’d hope you’d all reserve judgment until you can see the episodes in their finished form. As it is, often we’ll end up finding a scene that in the end we don’t think worked… perhaps from our own perspectives, perhaps even influenced from the *constructive* criticism we receive. We go to GREAT lengths to try to make sure each episode we deliver is better than the last and as good as we can manage with our resources. When you all see “The Child” in the not too distant future, there’s a particular scene in it that we re-shot FOUR times until we were finally happy with it. And it was NOT an easy scene to shoot, much less reshoot. The particular sets in questions are VERY high maintenance sets that have to be dragged out of storage and reassembled and refinished every time we needed to use them. Then, there’s the whole matter of visual continuity (those sets are used elsewhere in the episode) which requires a lot of work on the parts of the sets and lighting teams – not to mention the makeup, wardrobe and continuity people. So, again, please don’t judge an entire episode based on rough cuts. Take them for what they are… us sharing early production work with you.

Acting: First big qualm I’ve seen is that our actors are not Shatner, Nimoy, etc… correct. They are not, nor will they try to simply imitate them. That would be called “imitating” and not “acting” – try to keep that in mind. Second, keep in mind, unlike when shooting TOS or the TOS era movies, our gang doesnt work together every day for months or years. Yet they’ve each managed to make the characters their own. No easy feat considering. I, for one, thought that David’s performance in this episode was amazing (as did the rest of the cast and crew) – but I had the luxury of watching every scene as it was shot.

Back to crew reactions here to not-criticism… it’s a bit hard not to take the trolling personal considering the time, energy and money the whole gang puts into this. In articles of the past, people have commented on “how (whatever) our episodes are considering our shoestring budget” – while our costs are not Hollywood level, I can definitely assure you there are no shoestrings involved. And 98% of our production budget comes from James and the crew. The same crew who then spends sometimes upwards of a grand or two to come to each shoot to work 14-18 hour days to make these episodes. Or like the post production team, or myself and the other producers… who’s work never ends for this.

I’m not asking for anyone to like our stuff, much less love it… I’m only asking the following: (1) reserve final judgment for an episode until it’s been released and everything is seen in its finished form and in context, (2) understand that the cast is not trying to imitate Shatner and Co (c’mon, aren’t any of you fans of the theater or Dr. Who or BSG or such?), (3) offer constructive criticism – heck, even simply tell us what didn’t work for you, but don’t support the obvious trolls, please. It’s not the constructive criticism that’s the problem; it’s the trolls, that after four years and numerous episodes still have to come and rant about how terrible we are. They should have stopped watching 4 episodes ago and left it at that. And finally (4) as others on the team and other fans above have said… we don’t do this for the money (it costs each of us), we have day jobs that pay for our “real lives” *and* making these episodes… so be patient as we finish them. We simply wanted to give all of you a glimpse ahead at what was in the pipeline.

To those with kind words above, my thanks, and I am sure thanks from the entire cast and crew. We do this because we love working together, we love making these episodes, and we love sharing them with our fans. Thank you.

Rob Mauro

PS: Hi Pony, Charles, James, Gary, Patty and Fez!!! :-)

126. Red Dead Ryan - October 7, 2011

I can see that the level of vitriol and poisonous remarks towards the “Phase II” team has risen since my last post.

Look, its fine to offer constructive criticisms in regards to the product that is produced, but the constant bashing of the people who work hard (for free) to provide us good old fashioned entertainment (for free) is really pathetic.

To suggest that James Cawley and his team are treating “Phase II” as a hobby as opposed to a work of art is really condescending, rude, arrogant and displays vast amounts of ignorance to what these people go through just to entertain us for an hour or so a couple of times a year.

Not only that, but the people deliberately going out of their way to put down, belittle, berate and insult James Cawley and his staff have shown themselves to be pathetic little bullies who clearly need to “get a life”!

I think this thread shows once again that Trekkies are no more civilized than the world we live in, and are all too willing to sever the hands that feed them. How pathetic!

127. Michael Hall - October 7, 2011

“On Phase 2 sets we don’t just pretend diversity we live it right!. Straights, gays, all races, multiple nationalities, men, women, young, old, liberal and conservative!”

And, last year, one neurotic Jew, I’m happy to say.

128. Fez - October 7, 2011

They just hate because we are legendary, Root… Besides, we live with the concept of IDIC instead of just preaching it we do it. It upsets me how Star Trek fans in general have gotten more and more holier then thou on fan productions because it isn’t what they want it to be, my opinion is this if you think you can do better then do it. I know that each an every episode is crafted with a pride that many of us never understand unless you were there. BTW, these scenes were rough cuts and taken out of context, wait and watch the episode in full before you bash the performances of actors that you have no idea what their performance was supposed to be… and you haters out there: you claim you hate P2 so much, then stop wasting your time trying to bash it

129. RobertMfromLI - October 7, 2011

124. Diversity…

What my brother Charles said! It’s so VERY true. The cast and crew come from ALL walks of life, from ALL ages with our youngest being 16 and our oldest decently over 60. Numerous religions (or none at all), multiple orientations, multiple races, various ancestries, numerous political affiliations.

And yet, we’re a family when we’re together. Like Charles said, we LIVE the ideals only dreamt about in TOS. EVERY day we work and hang out together. Think about how difficult some find that in “real life”. Then think about the fact that we work 14-18 hour days together, and when those days are over what do we do? We go back to wherever we are lodging and make a campfire so that we can all hang out a little longer together – for two to three WEEKS straight. It’s REAL respect and REAL friendships and REAL acceptance – otherwise, we’d be running away from each other at the end of every day. As I said above, working and hanging out with each other is a very large part of the reason we all keep coming back to do this. IDIC isn’t just some sci-fi concept that’ll never happen. Every shoot we prove it’s a reality. Inbetween shoots we do as well.

Whether you love our show, hate our show or are neutral, if there’s anything you can take away from it, I hope that thing is that there can be such a future… we’ve proven it for numerous years now, and many of us honestly feel like we’ve got second families in the rest of the cast and crew.

130. RobertMfromLI - October 7, 2011

Oh, and Hi Mark!!! No, you did nothing wrong… once everything is in context, I think people will realize that. See you in a few weeks, my friend!!!

131. Red Dead Ryan - October 7, 2011


Thanks for the clarifications! Also, I might have suggested that you guys have limited resources; I only meant that in comparison to Hollywood. And I’d like to correct one of my other previous statements that you guys aren’t professionals. Clearly you are, and it shows in your productions. What I meant was, you guys and girls work outside of Hollywood.

Anyway, I’d like to thank all those involved with “Phase II” and those who were gracious enough to reply to our posts!

132. RobertMfromLI - October 7, 2011

Hi Ryan, no, I was confirming what you said earlier. I didn’t take it in a negative way. We definitely have limited resources (you’re right) – whatever we can pool together. And to you and the others who’ve been defending us against the trolls, our thanks!


133. Patty Wright - October 7, 2011

“they do this for free”

LOL… like Rob pointed out, we PAY to do this. It not only costs us personal expenses to work at a shoot, but I don’t know ONE person that doesn’t also contribute toward the cost of making the episodes.

“to come to each shoot to work 14-18 hour days to make these episodes.”

Wow, Rob… how the HECK did you get to go home after only 18 hours?! Did you have a note from a Doctor? Can I get one?

Anyway… Shirley wrote an amazing story a few years ago. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t say “I ALWAYS wished this was an episode!” Well, it will be now….. and I think the entire cast and crew are “ramping it up” this time out. I, for one, can’t wait to see the finished product!!!

134. Michael Hall - October 7, 2011

Robert, PattyW, and Director Mark–

As stated above, I have read the short story, and it still seemed to me that McCoy’s vitriol was over-the-top in that clip. In point of fact, though, I thought McCoy’s attitude towards Spock’s captaincy in the original short story was over-the-top, even at the time I first read (and mostly admired) it.

To tell the truth, I always considered McCoy’s anger and challenge to Spock’s authority in the thematically similar scene in the original “The Tholian Web” to be pretty pro forma and exaggerated. . . one reason that for me the episode has always been somewhat overrated, in spite of the innovative visual effects and fairly solid dramatics that certainly make it a third season standout. But compared with this performance, De Forest Kelley seems practically laconic.

I will concede that this scene may very well play better within the context of Phase II’s interpretation of “Mind-Sifter,” and have no problem reserving full judgement on it and the new McCoy until I view the completed episode. Fair enough? Hope so, ’cause that’s as good as it gets. :-)

135. RobertMfromLI - October 7, 2011

LoL Michael, that works for me. :-)

136. RobertMfromLI - October 7, 2011

Patty: I’ll bring a note for you next time as well. ;-) Yeah, there have been hellishly longer days. I still remember Fort Ticonderoga and watching the sun come up… and still not getting back till a couple hours later. Or during Origins, where we’d have to wait for the ferry every night and watch a beautiful sunrise – just to catch a couple hours sleep and catch the ferry back.

137. RobertMfromLI - October 7, 2011

Note to trolls: Read #134 – THAT is constructive criticism! :-) THAT is how you do it.

138. Michael Hall - October 7, 2011

I remember those 4 a.m. “Origins” ferry rides myself, Rob. The hours were simply unbelievable. . . though not so unbelievable as the notion that, sixteen months after the fact, I’d look back at that craziness and think, “You know, that was a pretty good time in my life.”

139. Will - October 7, 2011

Double sided tape, dudes. (To stop the shirts from riding up and wrinkling.)

140. Pony R. Horton - October 7, 2011

Will… if you’re talking about the new shirt Spock is wearing, etc.? It was called “That damn velour” by the Original Cast, and it does tend to ride up and wrinkle in a way the double-knit nylon didn’t. At least not quite the same.

But if I’m wrong, Patty can correct me.

141. MJ - October 7, 2011

Agreed that the McCoy performance is over the top and not credible. Still, this aint too bad for what is essentially a bunch of friends taking a hobby to the extreme. Parts of it are painful to watch though. And weirdly enough, the production values far surpass the weak acting performances.

142. MJ - October 7, 2011

BTW, I do appreciate the fans effort on Phase II. It is pretty impressive for a fan effort.

143. KJTrek - October 8, 2011

I’m sorry… this series just doesn’t have the acting to back up the amazing visual effects and writing.

144. Nomad - October 8, 2011

It’s great to see poeple put such love and resources into something like this but I have to agree with the comments about the acting. The visuals are amazing and the stories always look interesting, but it’s hard to get past the acting and it keeps me from ever watching a whole episode. In response to Rob Mauro’s request for constructive criticism, for me the problem is not that they are not enough like the original actors, rather the opposite – they look more like they are too consciously portraying the characters as they’ve seen them portrayed rather than giving a deeply considered interpretation of their own and the result looks superficial. To be fair it is the hardest thing – or we’d all be doing it – and it’s brave of them to put their performances up here to be torn apart by people like me who probably couldn’t do as well. If the cast haven’t seen Michael Caine’s video seminar on screen acting, I highly recommend it.

145. Nick Cook - October 8, 2011

Criticism is how we learn and grow. I don’t know many people who embark on artistic endeavours such as Phase II who don’t invite and appreciate honest, constructive criticism (I know I do).

However, mindless bashing is no more helpful to any of us than mindless praise. The older I get, the harder I find it to fathom why people cannot discern the distinction between constructive and destructive.

Saying “the actors suck” is not criticism, it’s just insulting. Come on folks, how hard is it to make constructive, helpful comments?

And to those who do keep it constructive, you have both my respect and my gratitude. :)

146. Cyberziggy - October 8, 2011


Agree completely.

147. CmdrR - October 8, 2011

I continues to applaud Cawley and company. I also feel that what I see here makes me appreciate all the more the hard work it takes to make a truly polished TV series. I couldn’t do better than Cawley does. However, TOS is better. I see it in the economy of dialogue (instead of scenes that go on forever and don’t go anywhere) and little things like the physicality of the actors. Just watching the new McCoy hunt for his chair is painful (or Spock’s awkward walk in the last ep, or Chekov’s messed up Delta shield in the Keonig ep, or the waistlines of half the cast). A savvy director either corrects the actor or stop leaning so heavily on cover shots. I don’t mean this as a huge snark. I repeat, I applaud the effort, but it’s the original I cherish.

148. Hugh Hoyland - October 8, 2011

I’ll say it straight up, I admire the heck out of these people for ther dedication to making this show, very well done.

IMO is the acting dicey? Come on, Kirk looks like Elvis circa 1969, but Cawley and the others put everything they have into it, and THATS what makes it special.

All I can say is hats off people, keep up the good work and I believe GR would be proud, no Shti.

149. Andy Patterson - October 8, 2011

“50. crazydaystrom – October 7, 2011
Totally off topic but

not even a mention of the passing of Charles Napier?!?!?

I must have missed it. I’ll look again.”

We kind of got into it over at the ‘Nimoy Retires’ thread and Anthony put out a tweet about it. I think he deserves his own mention here. Yeah, Napier was one of my favorites. “Yay, brother. That’s real now. I reach that brother, I really do!”

On another note….again looking forward to Wild Wild West. What is the status of Ron Moore’s network version that was greenlit recently?

I too appreciate the Phase II efforts. Sure is an effort of love. I’d love to peruse all the resources they have at their disposal to do these. The props, the sets,…and especially the vault of sound tapes of background music and sound effects. That’d be too fun. Would love to check all that out for myself.

150. P Technobabble - October 8, 2011

Probably from the first time I came onto this website, I have always noticed the lack of courtesy and consideration some people have toward the makers of new Treks — be it Cawley’s crew, Orci’s crew, etc.
I have nothing but admiration for the people working on Phase II, and the new movies, whether they do, or do not do, everything the way I, in my own mind, might do it. But as a fan, I have to wonder about those who call themselves fans and then belittle the people who are actually, IN REALITY, making Star Trek. As someone mentioned, if it’s so easy why isn’t everyone doing it? As a labor of love, blood, sweat and tears, Phase II is probably one of the best, if not the best, fan-made programs ever made. So, while everyone is entitled to their opinion, I’d like to see the cult of rude and obnoxious people go spit their poison somewhere else.

151. Sebastian S. - October 8, 2011

I wish the Phase 2 folks could get over for the ‘supreme court’ of the movies!
At least with their passion and dedication, you know ST12 would’ve wrapped by now.

These guys do this on their own; ‘for love of the game’ as it were. I shudder to think of the incredible and amazing things they could do with a $175 million budget…

To hell with the ‘supreme court'; give the reigns of ST to someone with passion and who gives a damn!

152. RTC - October 8, 2011

I have the privilege of knowing James Cawley and Patty Wright, and I can tell you they are stand-up people who care passionately about Trek, and they surround the production with quality, talented people who share that passion. That the entire Phase II team has taken the high road here in the face of unfair and disturbing verbal assaults simply proves it.

153. Sebastian S. - October 8, 2011

#152 RTC.
Very much agreed. James Cawley and crew have turned out some wonderful work and I look forward to each new episode as I would for any new ST project.

The Phase II team do this out of love for Star Trek. That raw passion permeates the whole enterprise (no pun intended). I wish the ST movie ‘supreme court’ were so dedicated…

154. DeShonn Steinblatt - October 8, 2011

150. I’d like to see the cult of rude and obnoxious people go spit their poison somewhere else.

Impossible. This is a Star Trek site.

155. dayxday - October 8, 2011

Thanks Cawley and company for all of your efforts. I eagerly look forward to each of your productions and I appreciate your dedication, passion, and love for the source material. It shows on screen.

156. Heather Cameron - October 8, 2011

Honestly, why don’t ALL off you negative creeps just screw off with your hate and shove your heads in whatever waste disposal apparatus is available? I have seen EVERY SINGLE episode of Phase II that is out there and they work so very hard to bring the world something that is a true work of art. Furthermore, James Cawley and the rest of the Phase II family are VERY, VERY HUMAN and they no doubt very hurt and upset by all these comments…I recommend that all of you haters GET A LIFE and stop bullying people just because you feel insecure about yourselves? I, as an avid Trek fan who cannot afford pretty much any of the merchandise besides a couple pairs of packaged Vulcan ears from Vulcan, Alberta, am grateful that James Cawley and the rest of the wonderful Phase II family have dedicated time, money, energy, and spirit into creating this wonderful production so I can access a little more of Trek for free…I really, really hope I can work with these wonderful people someday very soon on whatever project (Trek-related or not) that they endeavour to create. I have ADHD and Non-Verbal Learning Disorder and because of said things, some days aren’t filled with too much hope and what Trek does for me is gives me a seed of hope (as does being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) that the future will be better and brighter if faithful endurance continues. Trek shows that faithful endurance MEANS results and kudos to those who put themselves into making Phase II….it’s not an easy journey, but it sure is worth it.

157. Denise de Arman - October 8, 2011

To the couple of posters who have stated on this thread that the acting in TOS was “terrible” – what drugs are you on??? Why did you bother to watch the show at all, if that is your honest opinion? How do you think Star Trek became the cultural phenomenon it is today, if not for the inspired, riveting performances of its chosen cast? Do not mean to be rude, however, the actors on TOS were trained, professional actors who completely inhabited their characters and imbued them with depth, passion and mythos. Example: The onscreen chemistry between Kirk, Spock and McCoy was not created by writing, special effects or props – it was a result of dedicated, conscious effort on the part of the actors to bring imaginative believability to their roles.

Do you think that TOS would have been the same show had Jeffrey Hunter been cast as the captain of the Enterprise beyond the pilot episode? Or if Martin Landau had been cast as Spock, as his name was considered alongside Leonard Nimoy in early casting? The TOS actors were trained in their craft and had extensive experience in movies, stage and other television series prior to Star Trek’s conceptualization. Look it up – your comments are embarrasing to you and show a definite ignorance on your part in regards to TOS in general.

By the way, Leonard Nimoy was nominated for an Emmy two years running while TOS was on the air – wonder how that happened, since his acting was “terrible”…?

158. CmdrR - October 8, 2011

The TOS acting is NOT terrible. It’s iconic. You want bland? Watch Bonanza reruns.

159. P Technobabble - October 8, 2011

154. DeShonn

I think I understand what you mean, but, honestly, as Star Trek stands for building a humanity of civility, tolerance and respect, a Star Trek website is the last place I expect to see any sort of rude or inconsiderate remarks.

160. Chain of Command - October 8, 2011

Acting styles, like musical styles, change with time.

What is considered great acting today might be laughable in 50 years.

Star Trek always gets a bad rap for bad acting, but if you watch any show from the 60’s there was a lot of “over-the-top” acting on almost every network series. It was the way things were done then and it was considered the right way to do it.

161. Chain of Command - October 8, 2011

That said, the acting on these fan series is……well……they’re trying.

162. Brevard - October 8, 2011

You hit it right on the head, Chain of Command. Look at any shows from the 60’s and you will see the same acting style. It doesn’t make it bad, it’s just a product of it’s time. I think that’s the problem I have with the acting in Phase II. They are trying to recreate the acting style of TOS and that just doesn’t work for today’s audience. I’d like to see them work more toward a modern style of acting with less imitation. That’s what worked with ST 2009. It’s contemporary. These folks obviously have a lot of passion and energy and I applaud that, as I have mentioned before. Anyway, just a thought.

163. MJ - October 8, 2011

Most people, myself included, who have been critical of the acting, have also praised and thanked the crew for their great effort. So why are some people getting so defensive and trying to make it like we need to pretend to like every aspect of it or we should shut up?

This constant and consistent over-the-top defensiveness just discredits the whole discussion here.

164. MJ - October 8, 2011

@160 “What is considered great acting today might be laughable in 50 years. ”

Nah, great acting is great acting. Go watch Lawrence of Arabia (49 years old) and get back to me.

165. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 8, 2011

125 I am going to steer clear of making any comments on my thoughts of the quality of the acting in phase II. But I am going to ask this because i am curious after your comments about producing a web series.

Iam actually part of a team currently in early stages of pre production of a web series based on a Original story idea. And Ill be more than happy to come back and share it with others when we are at a point where we are in production and about to post our first episode.

But i am just curious have you and your team ever considered or in the process of comming up with a web series that is based on a totally new story, not something based on a beloved tv series from the past ?

Again with out getting into my thoughts on your volunteer cast acting abilities as seen on phase II, I would actually be interested in seeing some of them act in roles in something non trek related.

166. CmdrR - October 8, 2011

For a chance to play Trek with a bunch of like-minded nuts, I’d certainly do any acting they asked of me? Climb into a stinky Gorn suit and chase James Cawley… slowly… around Vasquez Rocks? You got it!

Oh, and even behind the Gorn disco-ball eyes… my acting would SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

167. davidfuchs - October 8, 2011

126. Red Dead

It’s funny that you say dubbing this a hobby is insulting… a hobby is no judgement on the quality, it’s just a descriptor–something they’re doing in their spare time for their own enjoyment. But if it *is* art they’re making in that spare time… it’s fair game for criticism.

I don’t support comments like “X actor sucks”, because it’s not a critique–there’s nothing provided in the way of evidence. Saying “X actor’s delivery feels wooden, and that impacts my enjoyment of Y” is valid.

If all people get are pats on the back, their work starts declining in quality. I’ve seen it in art school, I’ve seen it in “the real world”, I’ve seen it happen to professional fine artists I respect.

No one does anyone any favors by holding back what they feel. How those sentiments are expressed is another matter, however, and one the internet spectacularly fails at moderating.

168. davidfuchs - October 8, 2011

@164 “Great acting is great acting”.

Eh… sorta. I think it has to do with the transition from stage to screen (on the stage you go big or go home, it’s part of the medium!) and fads. Great actors are great actors, but what people consider great acting changes. It’s why some actors manage to successfully spend decades doing roles–they’re willing to change for the role. Others have a more limited acting style, and so they might be perfect for one school of acting and not so for another.

There’s so many variables in films–the script, the director, the actor, that annoying PA hovering in the eyesight of the actor and making odd faces–that it’s hard to pick apart just what makes great films great and bad films bad in an itemized fashion. We really can only judge the sum of its parts with much certainty, I feel.

169. Pony R. Horton - October 8, 2011

Another thing to consider on something like this is the culture involved. In one acting job I found myself in a situation where the director insisted that I give what I felt, as a professional, was a very wooden, over-the-top, fulminating performance, chewing scenery left-and-right, without any real nuance or emotional arc or motivation, in direct opposition to the way the character was written by the screenwriter, and interpreted by me. But, as I was only a guest on this particular show, I did not have the power to put my foot down and do the performance the way I wanted. So I did it the director’s way.

Was this director right? In some scenes, I will admit yes. But in many others, this director was off-the-mark in the way the performances were directed, and rather than cause problems or fights on-set, most of the cast just did what the director wanted in hopes that something good would emerge from the work.

As well, many times an editor can pick a take that would make an actor’s performance look bad, but that maybe was the only usable take due to other technical issues, or maybe a less experienced editor just picked the wrong take because he or she had no sense of judgment.

Everything has to come together at that magic moment as the camera rolls, and that takes a LOT of concerted, coordinated effort, as well as a small amount of luck, and a LOT of skill and talent.

Those things all come together with time and experience. And as I stated before, we are a place at PHASE II where people can learn to make a movie with professionals and pay some career dues. We may not always be polished, but we do have a lot of heart, soul, and style.

Oh, and to David Fuchs, as to your comment “if it *is* art they’re making in that spare time… it’s fair game for criticism.”

No, it’s not. Not when we put it out for free. If you had to pay, great, criticize all you want. If you can do better, great, go for it. But if you’re not a fellow artist or film maker, if you’ve never spent the time and effort and money at your craft that all of those who make these kinds of films have, if you’re one of those types who just sits on his easy chair and thinks his opinion of our work is so important that we Must Listen, then the most appropriate words you say to us should be “Thank you.”

170. MJ - October 8, 2011

@169 “No, it’s not. Not when we put it out for free. If you had to pay, great, criticize all you want. If you can do better, great, go for it. But if you’re not a fellow artist or film maker, if you’ve never spent the time and effort and money at your craft that all of those who make these kinds of films have, if you’re one of those types who just sits on his easy chair and thinks his opinion of our work is so important that we Must Listen, then the most appropriate words you say to us should be “Thank you.” ”

Again, more of this over-the-top defensiveness. I think most of us have thanked the crew and have just have some critiques of the acting, so the vitriol of the response to our criticisms seems misplaced. With all due respect, your post here to me borders on whining and reminds me of the sense of entitlement exhibited by Jack Nicholson’s character towards the end of “A Few Good Men.”:

“I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then question the manner in which I provide it. I prefer you said thank you, and went on your way.”

171. Gary - October 8, 2011

Pros: great looking sets, the costumes all fit properly on the actors, excellent stories, obviously technically masterful as the NV episodes look like they were filmed in the 60s.

Cons: At the pace the episodes are released, Mr. Cawley will be 70 years old before he finishes “season 4.” :D

172. Pony R. Horton - October 8, 2011

Well, MJ, we’ll have to agree to disagree, because I happen think that quote from A FEW GOOD MEN hits the nail on the head.

I don’t think it’s entitlement mentality at all on my part, or over-the-top defensiveness. As a professional artist, I try never to criticize the work of another artist. I just accept it for what it is. If I’m being asked to PAY MONEY for the pleasure of viewing it, then YES I can criticize. Those that have thanked us, or offered honest and more importantly, ACCURATE assessments of our work, even if they don’t like it, fine. But too many of the critics offer only backhanded thanks if any at all.
I’d love to see what the reaction would be if some of the people posting negative remarks about our work said the same kinds of things to the actors in the autograph room at a TREK or DRAGON CON convention. Or better, approach some painter who has his easel set up outdoors and criticize his work-in-progress. See how polite his response is.

It’s not vitriol to remind those who would needlessly or insultingly denigrate our work in public that such remarks are unfair and unwelcome.

Gary, I’m OLDER than James. By the time he’s 70, I’ll be… uh… hopefully doing something.

173. Nick Cook - October 8, 2011

@167 David Fuchs. My feelings exactly. Well said Sir.

Pony, I agree with you on a great many things, but I don’t agree that Phase II should be immune from criticism just because it’s for free. I do believe that criticism should be polite and constructive however, not personal and offensive. Unfortunately, some people can’t make that distinction, and that’s a shame.

174. MJ - October 8, 2011

@172. OK Pony, tell you what. Give me the paypal address for donations for Phase II, and I’ll send you guys $10 so that then I can legitimately make mild criticisms of the acting without having to be scolded again.

Seriously, I would be happy to donate $10 — the cost of a movie ticket — if I can then have the right to make some legitimate commentary on the product.

175. dmduncan - October 8, 2011

169: “No, it’s not. Not when we put it out for free. If you had to pay, great, criticize all you want. If you can do better, great, go for it. But if you’re not a fellow artist or film maker, if you’ve never spent the time and effort and money at your craft that all of those who make these kinds of films have, if you’re one of those types who just sits on his easy chair and thinks his opinion of our work is so important that we Must Listen, then the most appropriate words you say to us should be “Thank you.”

I may take that challenge too!

But I do want to say thanks for what you guys have done because you showed what was possible to do. You didn’t leave it as speculation from a bunch of dreamers about what might be possible — you actually proved that it was. And that is VERY cool and you have my admiration for it. So thanks to all you Phase II men and women. You do an amazing job.

176. Mark Anton - October 8, 2011

I love Phase II and think that James Cawley’s Kirk is very good. I also think it’s amazing that instead of simply talking about making Trek episodes, he is actually doing it– and doing it very well! That being said, the episodes don’t come out very often. That new “No Win Scenario” mini-episode that was supposed to be posted today apparently is not. At least I can’t find it. Does anyone know where it is, or what happened?

177. Pony R. Horton - October 8, 2011

Well MJ, I guess that’s fair. It’s more than most people who watch donate. If you’re serious, go to the PHASE II website and lend a hand.


Nick, since you work on PHASE II as well as I do, maybe you can relate to this:

If you give someone you know, or don’t know, a gift, a present, for whatever reason maybe Christmas or whatever, how would it seem to you if they said, “It’s great and all, but I don’t think the fit and finish are that good. It’s poorly-made. Get me a better one next time. Thanks anyway.”

It would seem to me to be pretty tactless at least. That’s how I feel in this situation. We’ve come together to celebrate and enjoy STAR TREK at a level that few are lucky enough to do, by making our own version of it. We really, honestly, are dong it because these are movies WE want to see. And we put them on the web to share with ourselves as a group of hobbyists/artists. That others can also see them is a nice bonus, and also due to the fact that we wound-up getting such an amazing response of support from so many people around the world who asked us to make more.

We do it for fun, because we love the final product as well as the process of creating it, and we’re happy to share it as a kind of present to anyone who’d like to watch.

I just think the way some (not many, but some) seem to enjoy publicly badmouthing our people’s efforts and talents, and contributions, is incredibly selfish and boorish.

178. Pony R. Horton - October 8, 2011

@176 Mark Anton, here’s the link for it on YouTube.


179. Mark Anton - October 8, 2011

Thanks, Pony. I expected to see it at the Phase II site. But I’m just happy to get it. I’m downloading it right now from YouTube. Thanks again!

180. Pony R. Horton - October 8, 2011

Mark, it is on the P2 site, but right now it’s still a link in one of the Forum pages. It should be on the P2 site soon, a few days at most I think.

181. dmduncan - October 8, 2011

177: “We do it for fun, because we love the final product as well as the process of creating it, and we’re happy to share it as a kind of present to anyone who’d like to watch.”

The love shows in the product and you guys are the best of what fandom has to offer. In fact, if I were you guys I would take all the criticism as a compliment that the work you produce gets you the sort of criticism reserved for professionals!

Don’t let it get you down and keep on doing what you love. You are lighting the way.

182. Herb Finn - October 8, 2011

Whatever happened to BUCK ROGERS?

183. Patty Wright - October 8, 2011

I also disagree. If someone (anyone) puts something “out there” for others to enjoy, after a thank you, I think they have the right to comment on it truthfully. I personally love constructive critisim. “The acting and the writing sucks” is not constructive.

Buck Rogers’ 2 hour pilot episode is 1/4 complete. It is waiting on additional funding at this point in time.

184. Herb Finn - October 8, 2011

I’ve not read this story – but any story that has Spock pushed to the limit where he can not control his emotions seems like a good one too me!

185. Drake - October 8, 2011

They are too cool!

186. MJ - October 8, 2011

Pony, I just put in my donation of $10 as promised. Keep up the good work — I do enjoy the productions!

187. Gary Evans - October 8, 2011

BRAVOS!!! @156. Heather Cameron

188. Pony R. Horton - October 8, 2011

dmduncan @181 “In fact, if I were you guys I would take all the criticism as a compliment that the work you produce gets you the sort of criticism reserved for professionals! ”

Y’know, that’s a pretty awesome way of looking at it. Thanks for offering me a new perspective; I’ll remember it!

189. RobertMfromLI - October 8, 2011

#165: Yes, we are working on other non-Trek related projects… :-)

190. RobertMfromLI - October 8, 2011

#186: MJ, thanks! Donation received!!! Every bit helps us get this stuff done sooner. When we arent spending every penny we have on production expenses, we can shoot pickups sooner, fix the broken Mac that just started dying that we use for editing, and so on. Helps us pick up the pace. So again, our thanks.


191. Pony R. Horton - October 8, 2011

MJ, I can’t speak for anyone at P2 other than myself, but for what it’s worth coming from me, THANKS!

192. RobertMfromLI - October 8, 2011

To those of you who’ve offered your opinions or constructive criticism. Truly, our thanks. Please don’t take it personal if some of our crew take your comments personal. I’ve been on the phone with or chatted with or had email conversations with a few of our cast and crew. Sometimes the obvious trolls set the ball of negativity in such motion that it can be depressing for some of the crew – so, it’s nothing personal.

Also, anyone with constructive criticism or comments or suggestions (EXCEPT story ideas without having obtained permission from us to submit them), you can always email us from the website.

193. RobertMfromLI - October 8, 2011

#171 Gary, regarding your pros and cons. I take umbrage to your cons list!!! Your math is off!!! I’m thinking at 23 episodes average a season, James (ugh, and I) will be in our 80’s.

Oh… wait a minute… umm… nevermind. Forget I said anything. ;-)

Don’t worry, we’re working as best as we can on picking up the pace.

194. RobertMfromLI - October 8, 2011

#179/#180 (Mark and Pony), yes, for now it’s just on the forums. It will be on the website soon. I had planned on tonight, but have been busy as hell with paying work (work which just so happens to help pay for the servers and bandwidth). At latest by tomorrow, if I don’t squeeze some more time out of today. But alas, I am off to an onsite (yes, at this time of the morning: some of our customers work 24/7) and wont be back for about 5 hours. I’ve got a few minutes to fire off these messages, but not the time needed to do the video pages, update the episodes page, update the main page, collect all the mirror site links that have it (and so on), so that will have to wait till I get back (or tomorrow if I am too beat when I get back).

195. Tony F - October 8, 2011

Rob You Rock! Just wanted to say that!

196. Jim Nightshade - October 8, 2011

Just watched Corbomite manuever again…excellent writing and acting….Clint Howard is so memorable as Balek seeming both childlike and wise beyond his years kinda like yoda at the same time…when he grabs kirks hands and leads him away to show him his ship and says that he and the captain are alike both proud of our ships, then the 8 notes Alex Cour theme plays wow….a tv moment that seems bigger than just a tv show…more cosmic somehow…maybe we can get along with other races and worlds as long as we go in peace….

ST Phase 2 is most like these classic tos episodes….keep up the great work to all involved….

197. RobertMfromLI - October 8, 2011

#195 Tony: So do you, my friend!!!

198. RobertMfromLI - October 8, 2011

Thanks Jim!

199. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 8, 2011

Let me just say this, you dont see Bob Orci get all defensive on here when people criticsize Trek XI, You dont see Stallone get all upset and defensive when ppl talk trash about his movies on aintitcoolnews. You dont see Kevin smith get up in arms over criticsim from fans on any websites he visits.

At the end of the day if you put any form of art out their for the world to see then you are subject to both aclaim and criticism whether they pay to see it or not.

If you dont like the criticism then find out what exactly the people who are criticsizing dont like and change it .

You dont see the people who do those trek in the park productions getting upset when ppl criticize them do you? but then again those productions for the most part are lavished with well deserved praise and when they do get the occasional trash talking fan, they take it with dignity and dont get all defensive.

200. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 8, 2011

198 i see that you choose to ignore my question i asked you further up the thread. Its a shame cause i really would be interested in seeing several of your actors were in roles less restricting and where they can stetch their wings and create their own unique and original characters and not ones based on characters from trek. And I would be very interested in seeing what types of original non trek related stories you could create.

201. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 8, 2011

198 sorry never mind i see your response was burried in between other comments. but what i said above about interested in seeing your actors stretch their wings in non trek stuff holds true.

when you say non trek stuff are you just meaning buck rodgers and wild wild west or do you mean original content not based on past shows.

202. RobertMfromLI - October 8, 2011

#134 Michael Hall (Re: McCoy’s anger in TOS and STP2)

Actually, it’s an element I *usually* enjoyed. No, not always. Sometimes I think he went a little over the top… but even then, it kinda fit. The one thing you could always count on was McCoy saying what was on his mind, no matter who he was facing…

Think about Doomsday Machine. He was downright nasty to Decker. And after his rant, he appends “sir” to the end of it. Funnily enough, “sir” to me kinda sounded like he was saying “a-hole”. McCoy (De) was very good at turning any word into something nasty or a curse. Or the episodes where he’d be equally as nasty to whoever was pointing whatever weapon at them… including straight into the movies when he went on his rant directed at “god” after Kirk and Spock had already been zapped.

And considering how the triumvirate developed into what many consider one character (or more accurately, the three portraying the various aspects that make up a human being) – and McCoy was all the emotions, best and worst and everything inbetween, it’s also kinda fitting.

Yes, it can be jarring in a sense – just like real life experiences with real people. I’m sure most people have experienced or seen when a person has been pushed too far and they turn from being one of the nicest person to someone quite very nasty. If one is an observer for that (instead of a participant) the reaction is often “Woah! Where the heck did that come from?” – in this case, we’re all just the observers, and when the irascible, sometimes grumpy, sometimes charming, sometimes gruff, always caring McCoy suddenly “wigs out” and gets nasty, our reactions are… well, what you wrote. Just like real life.

For someone as emotional as McCoy, watching one of his other friends show nothing for *three months* over the presumed death of their best friend (and on the day that Starfleet officially declared Kirk dead) – I can see that pushing him to the breaking point. I’ve seen that happen in real life when someone’s died, and another person close to them has bottled up all that pain and in privacy lets it all flow out… crying, shaking, total mess… but when the others involved see none of that, they’ve gotten quite upset (two even very nasty). And with their own pain driving them, the nastiness is unparalleled and totally unexpected from these people who are otherwise some of the kindest people anyone can meet. All because they couldn’t see what was going on in their friend’s head and heart. And in the haze of their own pain, they couldn’t dig deep enough through the mask he was wearing to figure out what was going on underneath.

…hmmm, sound familiar? Reminds me of what little we learned from a couple of clips above. ;-)

Sadly, I cannot go into any more detail or bring up any other parallels without running the risk of ruining the episode for everyone.

Anyway, those are just my thoughts on the matter. Of all the “McCoy ranting” and “McCoy being nasty” moments, this one I think makes the most sense (but I’ve got the script a few feet away from me, and I’ve seen the rough cuts of what we’ve got, and not just two scenes). Regardless, it’s still just my opinion. Even after giving that some thought and seeing the episode, yours may still be different.

203. RobertMfromLI - October 8, 2011

201 Daniel: We have a number of projects we are working on. We aren’t at liberty to say anything further on that subject right now. Sorry.

As for the criticism, no, Orci and gang instead kept releasing spin releases… err… press releases… various of which didn’t quite work out as announced (plot holes, continuity issues, etc) – at least when they were getting slammed before the movie was even released.

But that’s irrelevant. Again, it’s not the criticism that’s the problem. I think (other than one crew member) that’s been stated by us numerous times. It’s the trolling. I don’t want to be a jerk and pick out the few individuals I am talking about, but you’ll find they have four years of history loudly stating how unwatchable our “crap” is and how terrible we are. Why are they still watching EVERY releases we post then? Why do they feel the need to, during four years running, read and post vitriol on over a dozen articles here?

204. Nick Cook - October 9, 2011

Pony, I can understand your perspective on this, and I agree with the feeling that these episodes are gifts. But they are still art, and should still be open to fair, honest, constructive criticism.

They should not be open to vitriol. And for the record, Daniel Craig’s my wookie bitch, I don’t agree with the vitriolic comments directed at Orci, Berman, Braga, or any of the others. There’s really no excuse for being rude to someone just because you don’t like their work. I don’t care if they’re a Hollywood pro, a fanfilm producer, or someone working in community theatre. Common courtesy should be a given to anyone willing to share their work.

205. Al - October 9, 2011

The Elvis hair on Kirk still kills it for me instantly

206. The Inner Light - October 9, 2011


PLEASE DO NOT… REPEAT DO NOT LISTEN TO ANY OF THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS ABOUT WHAT YOU DO. I am a fan, and do not work on the show. I have been a fan since the first pilot, and while nothing is perfect I very much appreciate what you do.

More importantly, I have turned many people on to your little effort, and they have turned on their friends to the tune of a lot of people. PLEASE REALIZE, THAT THE FANS THAT APPRECIATE YOUR SHOW TYPICALLY ARE A BIT QUIETER AND DON’T POST.

So for every negative comment on here, there are hundreds or thousands of people that appreciate what you do. It is the negative people that typically have the biggest mouths – a shame – but to be completely ignored.

Constructive advise is useful. Negativity and rudeness is excusable – but know that there are probably millions of people that appreciate what you do. Keep it up!

207. The Inner Light - October 9, 2011


PLEASE DO NOT… REPEAT DO NOT LISTEN TO ANY OF THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS ABOUT WHAT YOU DO. I am a fan, and do not work on the show. I have been a fan since the first pilot, and while nothing is perfect I very much appreciate what you do.

More importantly, I have turned many people on to your little effort, and they have turned on their friends to the tune of a lot of people. PLEASE REALIZE, THAT THE FANS THAT APPRECIATE YOUR SHOW TYPICALLY ARE A BIT QUIETER AND DON’T POST.

So for every negative comment on here, there are hundreds or thousands of people that appreciate what you do. It is the negative people that typically have the biggest mouths – a shame – but to be completely ignored.

Constructive advise is useful. Negativity and rudeness is unexcusable – but know that there are probably millions of people that appreciate what you do. Keep it up!

208. Tony F - October 9, 2011

Sorry you feel that way
But the “Elvis Hair” is what pays the bills and keeps us with a roof over our heads
Do you have any idea at all how much money it cost to Build a Bridge ?
Thank God for Elvis …
Thank God for James Cawley
for without him Star Trek would have died a long time ago..

209. Fez - October 9, 2011

@206: We understand and appreciate the fans who do honestly like our productions, unfortunately sometimes this is what we get when a select few are completely negative about the project and the people in the project, which most of us take personally because this is a labor of love and dedication not to mention it also tends to be an inditement (these comments) of a family unit that gets together to create this show.

Again, we thank all of you that do actually like the show and that offer constructive criticism… but to you trollers out there, “GET A LIFE” or actually post what you really think of the episode because it is hard to think that you’ve hated the show for four years and you still come back for more

210. pock speared - October 9, 2011

the haters need to remember:

without the buzz generated by the nostalgia of the fan productions, and the ratings for “through a glass, darkly” (props by james&co.!), star trek would very likely have vanished with enterprise…

star trek (2009) would not exist if it weren’t for the crew of phase II. this is why j.j. put james there on the bridge.

211. Tony F - October 9, 2011

210 Exactly Right ASK JJ He will tell you

212. Al Hartman - October 9, 2011

I’ve been watching the show since the first episode. And sure, there are things to nitpick with each show…

But acting is not as easy as you might think. While I’m great at cold reading, and can do things like radio productions, acting in front of a camera is another thing entirely. You have to deliver your lines, move your body in certain ways, and manage your facial expressions all at once. It’s like that old thing about patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time. But, add in singing a song too!

I’ve been to two of the shoots, and I can tell you this is no hobby. NOBODY puts themselves through the wringers these dedicated people do as a hobby. I’ve seen some of the actors nearly collapse from exhaustion, but they still showed up the next day after too few hours of sleep and delivered their lines. These are dedicated folks that my hat is off to.

I admit that I’m bummed that Doc John isn’t going to be playing McCoy. He was one of my favorite performers on the series. And I wasn’t crazy about the “new guy” in the clip. But, it’s only a clip. It’s not the whole episode, and I’m canny enough to know that part of my opinion just comes from the fact that he’s not Doc John. And, Doc John isn’t going to be in this episode. So, I gotta get over it and give him a chance.

I’ve never had problems with the acting, because this is supposed to be fun and entertaining. Most of the cast does a better job than my friends and I playing Star Trek as kids with cardboard “sets” and water guns as Phasers.

I’ve walked the bridge of the Enterprise, which NEVER would have happened but for James Cawley’s generosity (and that of the people who have helped in every way possible to make Phase II happen.)

I don’t see the point in being harsh towards this production. I think Phase II is the gold standard of fan productions. Some of the costumes are originals from the show. The sets are museum quality reproductions. The production even lent costumes and props to the Enterprise episode “In a Mirror Darkly.” That’s about as real as it gets.

I think Phase II makes Trek better than Hollywood. They are making the Trek I want to see. In producing the scripts for “The Child” and “Kitumba”, we are seeing the TV series that never was.

And, I’m one of the many fans who thought that the “Mind-Sifter” would have made a great movie. I can tell you that in the Phase II production’s hands, this story could not be any more safe or cherished.

We all might have nitpicks with the final product, but big deal! I have a lot more nits about Generations, or the 2009 movie than every Phase II episode put together!

The best way to watch Phase II is to put all expectations aside, toss a bag of popcorn in the microwave, start the episode and enjoy the ride…

A lot of dedicated and talented people gave their all to get these shows to your computer screens.

I, for one say thank you!

213. davidfuchs - October 9, 2011


Constructive criticism is not solely the domain of those who enjoy a work.

Criticizing a work does not mean criticism of the people who created it; I can say Batman and Robin was a poor movie without saying that everyone who was involved in its production should never making another movie again. I think there are very few here, even among Phase II’s detractors, who do not acknowledge that it’s a lot of effort to make such a product. You’ve got to stop taking it personally.

…And I’ve never posted a comment or critique of Phase II until this story. We’re not all serial haters. Some would very much like to see Phase II improve to the point where we don’t need to offer up any criticism.

214. pock speared - October 9, 2011

ask paramount. they track the fan productions and all things viral because that’s the future of entertainment.

it does baffle me how “fans” of star trek can be so dismissive of the guys who made sure the original ent flew again at a time when trek itself had vanished.

215. pock speared - October 9, 2011

very little of the armchair bashing here could be considered “constuctive crit”.

216. pock speared - October 9, 2011

which part of this is “constructive”?

“Completely awful just doesn’t cover it enough somehow.

I wish each member of the cast a long & prosperous career in food service.”

217. Al Hartman - October 9, 2011

I also don’t really want to see the Phase II stop doing Trek and do something “original.” I enjoy seeing new Trek, done right.

It’s not as if they are taking original scripts and re-shooting them. They are doing new, original stories inside of an established universe.

The upcoming “The Child” episode is NOT going to be a scene by scene, line for line reshoot of the TNG version. It’s going to be the episode as originally written for the never filmed TOS continuation.

The Buck Rogers and Wild Wild West shows will showcase the production teams talents in other universes.

If you bother to check, a lot of the cast are professional actors and can be seen in movies, TV shows and other productions.

In fact, a really great original show was filmed by a group of the people who make Phase II called “Starship Polaris.”

I’m looking forward to it.

218. Patty Wright - October 9, 2011

# 201 – Daniel, if you want to see our actors “spread their wings in non-Trek stuff” simply look up their careers in non-CEC/RFS productions. I don’t have time right now to hunt for their official websites for you – if you are not in the mood to google than you can look at IMDb. Unfortunately, a LOT of these actors work is in theatre. (Especially James’). Of course, Elvis is James’ busiest acting job… he’s an impersonator, not a tribute artist – voted #1 in the country by Elvis fan clubs through Graceland. (but it’s not his only stage work.)

219. Chalie X-Lax - October 9, 2011

Methinks thou brave Jm. Cawley should put aside his ego as well as his very noticable hair appliance and takith his and others very valuable time and money and hire professional actors for this very bold and noble venture.

220. Pony R. Horton - October 9, 2011

@219 “Chalie X-Lax, see? This is what I’m talking about.

Saying James has a hairpiece. How do you know? Oh, right, I forgot… you’re trying to sound witty and edgy.

We are professional actors. Obviously, YOU are NOT a professional reviewer. And your words are just mean-spirited. Is that how you boost your ego?

Have you anything actually CONSTRUCTIVE to add?

And that’s James’ real hair, by the way.
I, on the other hand, well my hairs are deserters, and I’ll never speak to ’em again!

221. Ken Thomson - October 9, 2011

109. Pony R. Horton – October 7, 2011

Well said! I had the chance to be part of “Kitumba” back in 2009 and I had the best time being part of this fantastic series.

This IS a labor of love. Please, if nothing else, remember that is what it is. Anyone can have their take on doing fan fiction. Negativity is useless. I mean, really? Either enjoy it for what it is or don’t. But what purpose does being hurtful serve?

If you are truly a fan of Star Trek, then you should at least understand that whatever people are trying to do here, and with other productions like Farragut and Exeter and many more, is first and foremost to HAVE FUN and also to share that fun and excitement with others.

Why does everyone have to ‘be right’ about everything? Just ENJOY the show and let it be what it is. To quote Spock, “It has always been far easier to destroy, than to create.”

Consider that before you tear down someone for doing their best and sharing it with everyone. Whether it wins an Oscar or not, it is there for you to enjoy. And this series is going on ten years. Pretty amazing in my book.

Peace to all.


Ken Thomson

222. RobertMfromLI - October 9, 2011

#219 Troll who posts this nonsense in response to numerous articles (err… I mean Charlie X-Lax):

For various reasons, 8 (+ or -) cast members have worn wigs or hair pieces… such as most of the main female cast from one time to another since the 1960’s big hair buns aren’t quite in fashion… or Kurt in TSAMD. James has never been such a person. It’s most definitely his real hair.

If we put some sort of hair appliance on a cast member, chances are you wouldn’t notice it. But you’ve just proven that.

223. Mark Anton - October 9, 2011

The fact that Cawley continues to play Kirk helps give Phase II some continuity that serves it very well. I, too, was sad to learn that John Kelley will not be returning to the McCoy role. I always enjoyed the scenes that he was in, and feel that he did an excellent job of capturing the spirit of the character. I think he will still appear in some of the upcoming releases, and we can be thankful for that. I understand that Kelley is a real doctor, so I’m wondering if he’s simply spending more time on that, or if he is planning on doing some new acting roles. How a doctor would be able to find time for this is also an interesting topic. But in any case, I wish John Kelley well, and I want to thank him for everything he has done to help keep Star Trek (and the McCoy character) so very much alive and well.

224. Red Dead Ryan - October 9, 2011

John Kelley was great. He will be missed. And it’s interesting that in real life he happens to be a doctor.

Is he related to the dearly missed DeForrest Kelley?

225. Ken Thomson - October 9, 2011

John will be voicing Doctor McCoy in a guest role on Starship Saladin: “Invasion!” when it is released. My fan film is all 3d animated. I hope people will enjoy it, but at the same time, it is done for fun and it will be what it is. I have a lot of respect for those who make these movies, because it is a whole lot harder than it looks, to put it mildly.

You can’t question the fan filmmaker’s heart. Maybe our sanity, but not our heart.

Oh, John is no relation to DeForest Kelley. He was very kind to play McCoy for me, and I am much obliged. The new McCoy in Phase 2 is doing a great job of channeling angry McCoy in my opinion. I really like the scene. I have read the story and it is going to be very good. “Mind Sifter” has a special kind of story to it that we never had in TOS, really, and yet it is still very much in keeping with what one would expect in such a situation. There is a reason it is memorable, IMHO.


226. Michael Hall - October 9, 2011

Sorry to have to join the pile-on regarding the comments of Pony Horton, who in addition to being a very talented artist is just about the nicest and most generous fellow you could hope to meet (and very funny as well, particularly when he dons his “Indiana Jones” get-up). But he is mistaken when he implies that Phase II should be immune from criticism just because the people involved are providing their services gratis.

What the producers shouldn’t have to deal with—and I think that this was probably what Pony meant—is the sort of gratuitous insults and self-satisfied, smirking wisecracks that pass for commentary all too often on threads like this one, that just assert the acting sucks, or the writing stinks, or that one in a thousand odd miscellany of continuity or canon errors conclusively demonstrates that James Cawley and company are most likely wasting everyone’s time and money, including their own. (In an attempt to answer your rather smug rhetorical question about “whether this is worth putting out there,” #105, let me ask you this: how many Hugos, Nebulas, and TV Guide Viewer Awards have you been nominated for, sport?)

It’s no secret to anyone who reads these forums that I thought the 2009 J.J. Abrams movie went wrong in just about every way possible. In spite of my truly profound disappointment, though, I made it a point to never attack Roberto Orci or his work on a personal level, but rather to state specifics about what it was regarding the film that I found so lacking. (This changed only when Orci, in a rare fit of defensiveness, saw fit to imply that critic Roger Ebert–who had given Trek 2009 a less-than-stellar review–was too medicated to judge his work fairly. Ebert, who by reputation is a kind and decent man as well as being a fine writer, has faced enormous personal challenges that he has borne with candor, dignity, and even some humor; I found Orci’s comment to be beyond the pale, and still do.) This is not a matter of critical theory, but of what used to be called simple, common courtesy. Trek fans, of all people, should be exemplars of practicing it.

But dmduncan is exactly right: constructive criticism should be taken as a compliment to the artist. At the very least, it demonstrates that the viewer paid enough to attention to care and have an opinion about the work. At best, it’s proof positive that the characters and events of the story took on life in the imagination of the audience and will continue to do so, in spite of any perceived flaws in acting or technique. No one I know (with the possible exception of James Cawley) thinks that TOS was anything like perfect—but don’t we love it anyway, all these years and decades later? “City on the Edge of Forever” will most likely always be regarded as its finest hour, and rightfully so–but I still wince a little at “Captain, I’m frightened!” and Edith Keeler’s wonders-of-the-future-to-come speech. (Harlan Ellison’s original version is infinitely better-written, sorry.) So it’s no blanket indictment of Phase II when I note that while I find much in “Blood and Fire” to admire the episode is overlong (and, in some scenes, overacted), or that for me “Enemy: Starfleet” was very fun and, at times, very silly.

That we can take these shows down off their pedestals and debate their virtues and weaknesses as a spur to our own imaginations and sense of wonder is as good an answer to the why of art as any I’ve been able to come up with. As for the producers who continue to work so hard to bring us this stuff for no reward other than their own satisfaction and the hoped-for attaboys: try to keep the trolls in perspective. Phase II has won plaudits from high-profile individuals like Joss Whedon and George Clayton Johnson, in addition to receiving the nominations and awards mentioned above. The occasional digital brickbat (and accompanying spoor of Doritos’ farts) lobbed from some mama’s basement just goes with the territory. :-)

227. "Check the Circuit!" - October 9, 2011

@208 and 210

While the passsion of fans, fan fiction, fan convention and fan productions have all contributed to Star Trek’s longevity, to claim that Phase II has singlehandedly “saved” the franchise is just a bit overoverstated. Don’t you agree?

228. Canadianknight - October 9, 2011

Okay… I’ve read through over 200 comments, and seen entirely too much venom for my liking.

Apparently, a lot of self-styled Trek-fans forgot one little thing.


Phase II is good Trek. It’s produced with love, by people willing to give of themselves for nothing other that having done it. Hell, some of them pay for the privilege. Sure, some actors are stronger than others, but I’ve seen worse on network TV, I’ll tell you that. :)

Those of you that love it, awesome. Those of you that can offer constructive critique, awesome. Trolls who have nothing but mean-spirited BS to offer (time and time again).. go elsewhere.

As to Mind-Sifter, I’m looking forward to it. The new McCoy…. I’m not convinced, but I know I’ll miss John Kelly.

That said, I closed my eyes, and imaging DeForest Kelly delivering those lines… 90 days after Kirk had vanished… 90 days after Spock took command… when Starfleet would officially declare him dead. Captain Kirk dead and GONE.

I can imagine De Kelly wide-eyed, barely restraining himself from going over the table at Spock…. and then I think… this new McCoy… he isn’t far off the mark.

I know the original Mind-Sifter well… and the mood of this scene… the barely concealed rage and agony… is right. Can’t wait to see the whole thing.

229. Mark Anton - October 9, 2011

I personally believe that the Star Trek (2009) movie would not have been made, if New Voyages / Phase II hadn’t so effectively demonstrated that these classic TOS characters could be convincingly played by actors other than the originals. I remember when I first started watch New Voyages several years ago, one of my first reactions was, “Man, I am really buying this. This is classic Star Trek.” I am sure that J.J. Abrams and company realized this as well.

230. "Check the Circuit!" - October 9, 2011

James Cawley as Elvis.
James Cawley as James T. Kirk
James Cawley as Jim West

What’s next?

James Cawley as Dirty Harry
James Cawley as Rowan AND Martin
James Cawley as the entire cast of Hair

It must be pretty cool to have the resources and team willing to indulge your casting fantasies. Having said that, it seems to me if you’re going to ask so much of your team in these productions, you’d do everything in your power to deliver the best possible product. On Phase II, writing, production, special effects and art direction are top notch. What is the one universal criticism? The acting. James, not that it matters, but I really admire so much of what you do to get these episodes out to Star Trek fans. But as the leader of your team, you owe it to them, as well as your audience, to put the very best actors in front of the cameras. Open up the casting. MAYBE you’re the best guy for the job…but have the courage and professionalism to find out before handing yourself the lead.

231. Pony R. Horton - October 9, 2011

@230, Just my opinion, but I feel James is a very good actor, certainly on par with most professionals I’ve known. It’s gotten to the point where, if I’m reading a STAR TREK story, I sometimes find myself picturing James and Co in the character roles in my head. He’s making the role his own, and I think he’s doing it well.

I will add that I think in regard to any of our actors playing the classic TREK parts, and especially regarding David as the new Dr. McCoy, I think we’re seeing what I call the Winchester Effect.

When he began the role of Charles Emerson Winchester III on M*A*S*H, actor David Ogden Stiers was worried that he might cause viewers to leave because they would not like a new cast member coming in to fill Larry Linville’s place.
Mike Farrell, who had dealt with the same fears when he stepped in after the beloved Trapper left, told David that there will invariably be viewers who won’t like the change and will go elsewhere for a while. But he told David that in a month or so, when they realize how much they still wanted to see M*A*S*H, they’d come back and accept the new character. And this turned out to be true.

BUT… we’re also dealing with The Darren Effect, the feeling of dissatisfaction we felt when the role of Darren Stevens in BEWITCHED was taken-over from the beloved Dick York to the not-so-loved Dick Sargent. Unfortunately, THAT situation did not work so well because we had a role that we had come to love as played by York, and then suddenly there’s this… IMPOSTER who claimed to be Darren, or Derwood, or Dolphin, or whomever, and the chemistry just was not there anymore, between Darren and Samantha, and with the audience as well.

THAT’S what David is having to deal with stepping in to replace John Kelley who, despite gripes about his acting, had begun to really inhabit the role of McCoy, and interacted so well with James’ Kirk and Brandon’s Spock. We now have to get used to a whole new interpersonal dynamic between the actors AND the characters, and there’s bound to be some fidgeting and griping for a while until we’re all broken-in.

Reminds me of something Radar said when he heard the 4077th was due to get a new C.O. : “Man, I hate breakin’ in a new guy!”

232. Michael Hall - October 9, 2011

Well, I could never figure out what a groovy, sexy witch like Samantha would see in a drone like Derwood in the first place. Man, what a killjoy!

233. Tony F - October 9, 2011

227 I would agree except ……..that I have heard it from people at CBS and at Paramount ..and from JJ and Bob Orci
There was NO STAR TREK after Enterprise
A void …
JJ Abrahms shook James hand put his arm around him led him over to his directors chair and asked his opinion on the scene they were shooting
He also thanked James for showing them the way
So with that in mind
No I dont agree

234. Andy Patterson - October 9, 2011


I think we’re kind of missing the point here. Open casting call or not. Who would love it as much as James and bring as much passion to it? It’s his toy box. His passion. His energy. His to do with as he wishes. I say good for you man! Keep going. Faults or not I’ll take this Trek over the current movie.

235. Tony F - October 9, 2011

James Cawley as James Bond!
I think we can do it

236. Fez - October 9, 2011


James as Batman

237. The TOS Purist aka The Purolator - October 9, 2011

With all due respect to Cawley…come on, brother. You’ve replaced practically every actor in your series, EXCEPT for the one actor who needs to be replaced the most – you!

I mean, I understand you want to play Captain Kirk, but you don’t look, act, or sound anything like him. And do you REALLY need to use the Elvis wig? I understand you need it for your Elvis impersonation job (which I’m sure you’re awesome at), but it doesn’t work for Kirk.

238. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 9, 2011

I will say the actor who plays Cadet Kirk in Origins was very good, wouldnt mind seeing him reprise the role of Kirk once again some point in the future, and I also thought that Colin was great as Capt. Pike

239. Michael Hall - October 9, 2011


You got enuff Cheetos stashed down there to get you through the winter, son?

240. Pony R. Horton - October 9, 2011

Soooooo….. how ’bout them Dodgers, huh?

241. Patty Wright - October 9, 2011

I have two things to say….

219/237 – it always comes back to the hair. James’ natural hair is blond: he dyes it black to perform as Elvis. It’s not a wig and, frankly, it’s not even styled like “Elvis” when he is acting on-set as Kirk. I know people have a problem with the black hair instead of Shatner-brown (I found it distracting at first myself), but as Tony F stated before – that black hair built the Enterprise and pays 90% of the bills. While many people (including James most of all) would like to see James “go blond for “the next episode” (it’s always under discussion), frankly – if James’ hair is blond it means he’s not working. If James is not working, we don’t have the finances to film. Pure and simple. Anyone that is willing to donate the megabucks that James would lose from taking a couple months off, please do so and we’ll rejoice in Kirk’s new hair color when he’s in the mental hospital on Earth!

To the detractors of James’ acting….

2008 Golden Icon Award: Best Actor performance in an Internet Series.


Your opinion is not shared by everyone.

242. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 9, 2011

You guys should see about putting togeather a captain sulu excelsior fan series or fan movie. Of course it would probably be to expensive but you could even try to get George Takei involved in it, like you did with your earlier phase II episode that had Takei.

243. Patty Wright - October 9, 2011

I’d rather we do a Enterprise – A Captain Chekov fan series with Walter involved. But then I’m partial….

244. Captain Karl - October 9, 2011

IMO the new actor for McCoy is just trying too hard. I don’t ever remember, DeForest Kelley being so gruff and forceful in his dialog for every delivery as this new actor is doing. Will miss John Kelley’s portrayal of the character.

245. Fez - October 9, 2011

haven’t we seen that movie before

246. Pony R. Horton - October 9, 2011

@242, That’s actually a cool idea. Too bad it would be too damned expensive to do it right.

247. Gary Evans - October 9, 2011

To all the “WIGged” fans … That is James real hair NOT a hairpiece. yes, he does groom, come, gel and brush/comb it to look like Elvis. He does dye his hair to resemble Elvis! His real hair color is a dark blond/sandy tint.

Continue to believe what you wish about his hair. I know the truth as do many of his close friends and Phase II associates!

Believe me, Phase II will continue – AND the unreleased episodes are in various stages of post production. Other “projects” are under way WHICH we NO longer discuss publicly.

At Halloween we are co-producing the Haunted Homestead with the Penfield Museum at Ironville, New York, then we begin our long awaited Back To the Wild Wild West effort. The location(s) are fantastic and the following matte shot is very nice!

248. The Inner Light - October 9, 2011

To the staff and crew of Phase II… Just ignore the folks that are ignorant here. Don’t even reply to their posts. It is not worth your time.

You guys are amazing. Enough said!

249. Patty Wright - October 9, 2011

In retrospect, I think Mark (the director), David (the actor), me (the adapter) and Shirley’s family (the keeper of the writer’s intentions) should thank all the folks posting here that McCoy seems too angry and over the top here. You’ve confirmed that we hit the mark!!

Beyond saying the obvious again – that people that state they hate Phase II with their whole heart are still watching it and taking the time to rail against our work – I would like to remind the Phase II crew of the following….

TV Guide’s Best Sci-Fi Webseries, November 2007. (Outscored both Battlestar Galactica and The 4400)

Golden Icon Award for Best Science Fiction Internet Series 2007-2008.

Golden Icon Award for Best Performance of an Actor – Internet Series, James Cawley, 2008

Finalist, Madrid’s International SciFi/Horror CineMad Film Festival, 2007

Script Nominated for Hugo Award, 2008 (“World Enough and Time”).

Script Nominated for Nebula Award, 2008 (“World Enough and Time”)

James Cawley named “One of the 10 Most Important Fans in Star Trek History”, 2009 (Trek

Named “As Important to Star Trek as the Spin-Off Series”, 2010 (“Sci-Fi Now”)

250. Michael Hall - October 9, 2011

Ms. Wright and Mr. Evans–

I guess you’ll be probably making these statements about wigs and hair dye as long as Phase II episodes are in production. Of course, in any sane universe for the fans of a franchise that famously headlined a touped-up actor for over three decades, the state of James Cawley’s hair would be a complete non-issue.

251. Fez - October 9, 2011

Well we have a couple of Kirk’s to choose from Shatner’s Kirk, Cawley’s Kirk, Pine’s Kirk…. and whoever decides they think they can take on the role… Personally seeing James work on the set I do not think another person could put forth the effort and the passion he does into playing Kirk. He can take a script and change wording of a line and make it into a Kirk not Shatner delivery just as every bit that if James Kirk was a real person he would say.

252. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 9, 2011

246 i know to bad it would be so costly, And i have to say that the end scene with sulu and demora in World enough and Time was a very moving scene.

253. Patty Wright - October 9, 2011

250 – Michael, if it’s not James’ hair it’s someone else’s! And almost always they are only accusing the folks with real hair of wearing wigs. It’s pretty funny that no one seems to complain about Spock’s hair not being his own!

254. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 9, 2011

While I am not entirely won over by Cawley’s portrayal of Capt kirk, I will give him Kudos for his excellent performance as Commander kirk in Of Gods and Men.

255. RobertMfromLI - October 9, 2011

#250: Michael, you’ve worked with us, you’re a member of the family. Why the heck are you calling any of us by our last names? Heck, personally, I don’t like it when anyone does that to me.

256. Dr.Diehard - October 9, 2011

I grew into the new Bones in that first scene, I could detect a little bit of De Kelly’s pacing, I think. I liked John Kelley’s take on the character, too. And the more DeSalle and Karg, the better! Keep her roling!

257. Daoud - October 9, 2011

After the Back to the Wild Wild West plays… an intriguing closing credits comes up for Hogan’s Heroes, with James Cawley as Colonel Hogan….
Is this just a bit of fun, or another pending potential project?
Hogan’s Heroes is an infinitely less expensive series: no special effects at all! Just a bunch of fake Nazis, and most of upstate New York can double for most of Germany…. Here’s hoping… always loved Hogan.
I enjoy the passion with which the whole Phase II gang works at what they do. Having made an hour long fan film 30 years ago using Super 8, and having to do special effects with film splicing and other sleights of hand, I admire their efforts. Having played McCoy in that production, I can assure you that I used my own natural hair and a LOT of hairspray to duplicate the De Kelley hairstyle.
As for the acting, I believe John’s facial similarities helped him a lot in portraying McCoy. I will miss him. David Sherin unfortunately doesn’t have the same type of facial similarity. That does make it harder. I would have suggested a bit more hair to approach something more like the Kelleys. However, as others have noted… knowing Mind Sifter well…. the intensity and anger is spot on to the source material. McCoy is supposed to be more upset than Tholian Web + COTEOF at the end combined.
Maybe the Phase II crew could provide Anthony with a different daily with another of Sherin’s scenes to show the contrast.

258. Admiral Finnegan - October 10, 2011

To all the idiots makig fun of James Cawley’s hair:

He’s living his dream & is very successful. You have to find the one thing to make fun of because you are very jealous (typical). Maybe he wears a hairpiece – so what? He can probably get more women over a weekend even with that hairpiece then you can get in your entire lives. What are your faults and shortcomings? Keep being jealous.

259. falcon - October 10, 2011

I gotta say, all the h8ters coming out against STP2 don’t make any sense. Here’s a question: What would you do if you had the money and time and wanted to do your own take on Star Trek? Uh-huh, that’s what I thought.

Let’s face it, the fans don’t own Star Trek. CBS/Paramount does. They allow James Cawley and his talented crew to do their webisodes because it brings attention to the show, they’re well done, they’re a very nice homage to the original, and they make no money doing it. This is all coming out of James’ pocket and the pockets of the volunteers doing it.

You may have differences of opinion about the acting, the set design, the music, the EFX, whatever. That’s fine. But to excoriate someone just because you don’t like something is childish and immature.

Now, to the topic at hand: I read the Bantam version of Mind-Sifter, and it sent chills down my spine. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it, but the ending really hurt. I didn’t read the original version before the Bantam edits, so I don’t know if the ending was any different. But if they do the Bantam ending, it’ll fit right in with episodes like Charlie X and A Private Little War – episodes for which there was no happy ending. And yes, I think in the clip above Stacy and Sherin capture the new Spock/McCoy dynamic exactly. “The Tholian Web” hinted at such a dynamic when it was believed Kirk was dead, but as they began to realize he wasn’t things began to revert back to normal, and McCoy even apologized. “Forget it, Bones” is still my favorite Spock line.

260. Dr. Image - October 10, 2011

A good director can evoke a good performance from ANY actor.
So I blame any PII shortcomings on that area. NOT so much on the actors themselves. (Someone tell the new McCoy to slow DOWN his delivery, please! And Stacey is great- just enunciate more clearly- more “Spocklike.”)
I mean, look at SWars eps 1,2,3. Those were NOT bad actors, It fell to Lucas to provide motivation, and he FAILED.
But basically, hats off to JC and PII. Keep up the good work!

261. Phil - October 10, 2011

@257. Somehow I don’t see these guys doing comedy…

262. Al Hartman - October 10, 2011

James Cawley doesn’t wear a hairpiece…

If you don’t trust Patty who does his hair, who will you trust?

It’s funny that there are several of the actors who DO wear wigs for their roles, and not a one has been mentioned.

If any of you Cawley critics were to actually meet him in person, you’d be deathly embarrassed at how shabby you are treating such a kind, generous, intelligent, and motivated person.

James is at the center of this production because of his personality, his talents, his perseverance, and his natural leadership qualities.

Take the opportunity to meet him and the rest of the team at a convention appearance — you’ll have a great time chatting with a group of fellow fans who really care about the original show, and their show.

And hopefully, you’ll be a lot kinder to a great group of people.

263. "Check the Circuit!" - October 10, 2011


I disagree. Good directors collaborate with good actors to get great performances. A good director should bring out the best performances from his/her cast. But that’s often simply not possible if the actor doesn’t have the experience or raw talent. Francis Ford Coppola could not get a passable performance out of his own daughter in Godfather III and it hurt the movie. If you want to deliver great product, you have to check your ego at the door. In the case of G3, Coppola didn’t and it brought down the movie.

I know STP2 is James Cawley’s toy box, but he’s leading a large team to produce the episodes. Out of respect for them, he should put his ego aside and then determine who’s best suited to play the roles….especially when it comes to the lead. So much of Phase 2 is right. Now work on the key ingredient…the cast. If they do, the audience will grow and criticisms will diminish.

Regarding the new McCoy, the team chose to release this clip. They must feel it was representative for what the actor can deliver. Most here give him a “thumbs down.” I agree. I don’t know the story leading up to that scene…but all he did was yell. There was nothing natural or organic in the performance. No pain. No genuine feeling. No connection to the other actor on the stage. He just screamed his line reading. And no director is going to fix that.

I hope I’m not lumped into the hater group. I want my comments to be constructive. And I admire what Star Trek Phase 2 is all about. As a fan of TOS, I want to LOVE it. But with the current state of the acting, I just can’t get there.

264. Michael Hall - October 10, 2011

“#250: Michael, you’ve worked with us, you’re a member of the family. Why the heck are you calling any of us by our last names? Heck, personally, I don’t like it when anyone does that to me.”

A black-sheep member in the eyes of some, I’m sure. :-) But that’s very kind of you to say, Rob, and you have my sincere appreciation for it (and all the rest of the stuff you guys do).

265. RobertMfromLI - October 10, 2011

#259 falcon re: “things began to revert back to normal, and McCoy even apologized. “Forget it, Bones” is still my favorite Spock line.”

One of mine too. One of the things I enjoyed the most about that little interchange was it was so true to each character. McCoy abashedly apologized… Spock, knowing his true feelings yet knowing he wasn’t supposed to express them uses what Kirk would say as a way of saying “don’t worry about it, my friend”.

Touching scene… after the two of them being quite angry with each other (even showing in Spock’s facial expressions and tone of voice), McCoy apologizes and Spock’s whole demeanor changes; the tone of his voice changes to gentle and he says “I understand doctor. I’m sure the captain would simply have said… ‘Forget it Bones'”.

I hope we catch that whole dynamic – I think David and Brandon did, but I guess you all can decide when the episode is released…

266. RobertMfromLI - October 10, 2011

263. “Check the Circuit!”:

Actually we all unanimously want James playing Kirk. While your opinion obviously varies, and you are entitled to it, you need to remember it is YOUR opinion. And most definitely not ours.

267. "Check the Circuit!" - October 10, 2011


I didn’t mean for my comments to come off as anything but my own opinions.

268. Rihannsu - October 10, 2011

I guess it is MY turn to chime in here. As the Makeup Supervisor for this episode and the SFX Supervisor since “The Child” and as a member of this group since “To Serve All My Days” I can honestly tell you that James’ hair is 100% his own. No toupees, no hair pieces, and in this clip I actually had to cover the VERY REAL sideburns from his Elvis show to make him look more like Kirk. These people put in a huge amount of time and money and they do not deserve the vitriol they get from supposed “fans” of Star Trek. From James as producer/actor all the way through the other actors and extras and down to the guy who sweeps the floors……..we all do this out of love for the project and will continue as long as we draw breath and have the finances to continue.
As to “Daniel Craig” and the few other here that are “professional actors” and claim to have insight………I have been a paid professional actor since the age of 17 (I just turned 48….you do the math) and I have roles ranging from national touring shows to Shakespeare to television and film. I have front-lined as well as been a background extra. And by way of a challenge……I will put ANY of my stuff up against whatever you care to submit. Part of being an actor is working a role, making it your own in whatever way possible, and taking the criticism when it comes down. You may not like a perfromance but you give support for the energy and effort it takes to create it. As an “actor” you should be far more supportive of a fan-based series that is peopled by creative PROFESSIONALS (both acting and technical). These are some of the dearest and hardest working people I have EVER worked with and further more they even get the priviledge of PAYING for the chance to do this work. The challenge is there………are you up for it.

269. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 10, 2011

268, why are you lumping me in the group of people spilling vitrol, i have not said one thing to bash the production, go back a re read my comments. In fact i said i would like to see some of the volunteer actors for these productions in NON trek productions produced by you so they arent limited to characters that obviously have a built in audience. I WANT to see them spread their wings there are several of them who i think would be amazing in wholy original characters done in a universe outside of star trek. I also said while i havent been won over by James portrayl of James kirk (nothing negative or vitrolic there, just saying he hasnt won me over yet, not saying its bad or good just saying he hasnt won me over) I do think he did an excellent job as Commander Kirk in Of Gods and Men.

I also complimented the Sulu episode “World enough and Time” and said it would be cool if your team did a Captain Sulu excelsior based show. To which Robert said that unfortunately to do it justice would cost to much.
And I was also asking him in an earlier comment if you guys ever thought of producing and web series based on an entirely original story idea, and not something trek related (or Buck rodgers or Wild wild west related) and he answered me.
So i have no clue why you feel the need to lump me in with that group, heck i am watching Blood and fire part 1 right now, if i didnt find something to like in the show i wouldnt bother watching the episodes.

To robert, I have appreciated your responses to me, but its sad that members of your team feel the need to lump any and everybody who asks a question that they might pose as a criticism into the group of vitrolic hate spewers, when none of my comments indicate as much , as you have read them and responded to most of them you know exactly what i have written.

270. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 10, 2011

And 268 as i said in my original post mentioning to Robert that I was part of a team in early stages of pre production on a web series based on an entirely original idea, I am more than happy to post a link to that once we are at a point where its ready to be presented.

That post i made was directed to him to get an answer from him, which he did answer.
And i will say it again i am excited to see what projects the retro studios/ Cawley enterainment team come up with in the future.

271. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 10, 2011

268 finally where in my post did i ever indicate I am an Actor? I am not a writer and I am a composer. No where once did i ever indicate or make statements to lead anyone to believe i was an actor (amatuer, proffesional or other wise)

272. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 10, 2011

grrr edit button would be nice lol
268 finally where in my post did i ever indicate I am an Actor? I am not a Actor. I am a writer and I am a composer. No where once did i ever indicate or make statements to lead anyone to believe i was an actor (amatuer, proffesional or other wise

273. Al Hartman - October 10, 2011

@266. RobertMfromLI

“Actually we all unanimously want James playing Kirk.”

Count me among those, except for Matthew Ewald playing a younger Kirk, who I hear was excellent!

To all, I wish you’d all cut out this wacked idea about James’ ego. If you ever met him, you’d see that egomania is NOT one of his failings. He has a healthy, normal-sized ego — thank you!

274. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 10, 2011

273 You are right Mattew Ewald was excellent as the younger Kirk in Origins.

275. Andy Patterson - October 10, 2011

On another note,….watching Feliz pitch right now. Go Rangers!

276. Andy Patterson - October 10, 2011

Bases loaded.

277. Patty Wright - October 10, 2011

@266. RobertMfromLI

“Actually we all unanimously want James playing Kirk.”

In fact, I held back the rights to this script until James agreed to play Kirk. There were suggestions – and auditions of other actors – as James was not sure he wanted to tackle this story as an actor. I saw the other people suggested…. and would not let ANYONE ELSE play Kirk in Shirley’s story. I am personally convinced that James Cawley is the only actor I’ve met besides Shatner that can do this story justice. I’ve seen his other work. And his talent is impressive.

And James’ work on set convinced me that my belief in his talent was actually no where near strong enough. In one scene that I wrote as a “fluff” scene James’ interpretation of Kirk shook us to the core and the crew that were able to leave the set during filming did so – quickly and in tears. When I recall how James played that scene It still brings tears to my eyes now. (It is not a scene that will be released before the episode. Unfortunately, there are very few scenes that can be released without giving everything away.) No, James is not perfect for every role – no actor is. But he’s made Kirk his own. He knows the character.

Re: HH. Yes, we’ve joked about it on set many a late night. If you check, that “suggested related video” on YouTube is just made by a crew member for fun. Our logos aren’t even on it. There is no planned production of HH. This is the description of the video: “This is a test – this is only a test. None of the credits are final; in fact, the production itself is not confirmed. Although Retro Film Studios and Cawley Entertainment are referenced, neither were involved with the production of this test video.”

278. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 10, 2011

277, So Wild wild Wild West is not a for certain? That kind of sucks, As i was actually excited by the prospect of seeing a Series about Jim west especially if it was something that was going to be an officially sanctioned series like the upcomming Buck Rodgers. Hope that things come togeather and the series becomes a reality.

279. RobertMfromLI - October 10, 2011

#269 Daniel: apologies for that. With over 200 posts and the feelings some of the trolls have raised in some of the crew, I expect they may have misread or misinterpreted your post, or glommed you in by accident. I think, because we’re such a close team, what upsets everyone more are the attacks on other team members, their/my friends.

280. RobertMfromLI - October 10, 2011

#278 Daniel: HH is unplanned.

281. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 10, 2011

277 oops never mind your talking about Hogans Heros,

282. Patty Wright - October 10, 2011

Daniel Craig – you have offered constructive critiques and I, for one, appreciate it. However, I will say that P2 has the unique privilege of being so connected with their fans, supporters, and detractors. When people bash us, we respond. When they praise us, we respond. When they have constructive comments, we listen.

You are wrong in saying that certain directors don’t get upset when they hear or see fans bashing them for no reason or prematurely. I’ve SEEN some of those directors get upset over just that thing. The difference is that – say – JJ, doesn’t go on Trek Movie when people complain about the plot to Trek XII and reply “we haven’t even WRITTEN the thing yet! Gimme a break!!”

Sadly (in many ways) we live in a world where a lot of people assume the person they are summarily bashing in public on the internet will never see it and, if they do, won’t be hurt by it. It’s rather silly to think that a person doesn’t have internet because he or she is “famous”. They are ALL humans and they all get hurt by unkind words. Someone I called on bashing a “real” celeb on their blog with a raving diatribe replied to me “gimme a break, it’s not like he’s going to see it!” My response was that the celeb had actually pointed out the blog to me.

Again, we just don’t SEE their hurt – while the P2 crew is very close to their fans and cares about what they think and say: as you can see by such threads as this.

To the folks who think the characters are “over the top” here – I only ask that you keep an open mind until you see the story develop and the characters get to this point – and beyond. You may still not like the characters in this story. I am not sure even – I – agree with all the character’s choices and behavior. Not everyone even likes the story. Some people HATE it. If you hate the story already, I can pretty much promise you aren’t going to like the episode either. IF you do “hate the story” than, seriously, don’t watch the episode and definitely don’t bash it or the people involved based on the story in it. (Which is what you are doing when you slam the actors for portraying the characters as written or the director for being skillful enough to get the actors to that point.) It’s Shirley’s story, not ours.

And to the folks who know the story and feel Spock and McCoy are spot on in this scene: thanks for the confirmation that we are heading in the right direction. I did my absolute best to remain faithful to my friend Shirley’s story – in fact, I started by copy and pasting the scenes in her story into the teleplay. (as many have noticed some of the dialogue is completely unaltered). The “surprises” that you won’t recognize I discussed with her many years ago and she approved every one of them. If you did like the story to begin with, I am anxiously awaiting your feedback on the entire episode. I hope fervently that P2 won’t disappoint your expectations.

283. Michael Hall - October 10, 2011

@273 Al Hartman —

“Count me among those, except for Matthew Ewald playing a younger Kirk, who I hear was excellent!”

In spite of a few on-set directorial choices I found questionable (which I’ll obviously refrain from judging or commenting on fully until the episode is released), I thought Ewald’s instincts about portraying a young Kirk were pretty spot-on in “Origins” with regards to the story’s requirements. In some ways the take on the character is not dissimilar on the surface to what we saw in the 2009 movie: Kirk is talented and self-assured to the point of arrogance, and thus more than ripe for the takedown the universe is about to hand him. But unlike the movie, where the destruction of an entire planet and culture is reduced to a mere spectacle and catalyst for one wayward cadet’s individual “growth,” Kirk’s dilemma in “Origins” hits much closer to home, and its resolution and effect on the character as we’ve known him for four decades is for my money far more believable. I have no idea if this episode will end up being a standout or not, but I’ll definitely be first in line to see the finished product.

284. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 10, 2011

279, no problem and thanks for your response again. I just want to add, the fact that you guys are able to attract the attention of Name talent both Trek and non Trek related actors, writers FX artists and the like to take part in your productions, says something of the respect you have earned for the work you guys do.

And as others have mentioned every level of filmed entertainment has its high and low points in terms of acting choices made by the talent infront of the camera, in productions both big and small.
There have been plenty of instances of seeing big A list stars giving crappy performances just as their are plenty of instances of people on yours and other creators web series giving incredible performances.

When all is said and done at the end of the day you guys volunteer your work and energies into making something that clearly brings alot of enjoyment from a decent percentage of the trek fan base.

I can only hope that when my web series that my crew and me are prepping is ready to debut it gets a fraction of the appreciation and accolades you guys get.

285. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 10, 2011

282 you are certainly correct in what you say that most people who do post that type of Vitrol do seem to have the mindset that those big names wont ever see it. And like you said its infact very likely that they will.
quite a ppl who work in the industry google their own names on a weekly basis to see what people are saying about the work they do and other things as well.

286. Daniel craigs my wookie bitch now - October 10, 2011

On a side note having just revisted in the last 24 “Of gods and men”, I found it kind of interesting that there was actually a trek story that featured the destruction of Vulcan in an alternate time line prior to the release of Star Trek XI.

287. Bob Tompkins - October 10, 2011

Credit where it’s due. I wish I had thought of it first. Bravo Mr. Cawley.

288. BringBackKirkPrime - October 11, 2011

The version of Spock in the first Mindsifter video seemed at the end to be far more emotional than Mr. Nimoy’s version of Spock, with a few exceptions when he was not in his right mind such as in Amok Time, etc. I also miss the old Dr. McCoy from Phase II. No offense to the new one, he just seems so different from DeForest Kelly’s, etc. Aside from that I’m glad they are continuing stories from Classic Trek.

289. Gary Evans - October 11, 2011

Re: James Cawley.
We all have weaknesses and our unique faults – AS WELL AS out unique talents and abilities.
More than anyone I have met in 60 (SIXTY) years James had also had many, many fortunate coincidences or serendipitous events in his life.
Begins when he was a teenager and went to work with Bill Theiss; continued with his Elvis career and those he met as a result. I know the nitty-gritty of so many of these ‘coincidences!’ That is a topic of some other day and medium.
James met Bob Conrad in person a number of years back; Bob has been known to call James – I have been personally present for some of these calls. James admired Wild Wild West and particularly Bob Conrad. The back-story is private so the details are omitted.

James is creative and passionate about his work – paid or hobby!
He now leaves many details to others – and I am now very mum about future plans UNTIL we are ready to release! So, very little details about our plans will be made public UNTIL results are in the can, as they say in Hollywood. So, do NOT expect us to publicize business or planning details – even for our Star Trek works.

We just had our smoothest release – with some hard speed bumps – thanks to the most cooperative volunteers in the fan film business and a team that spanned the globe – or at least 14 time zones.
No Win Scenario has been well received and is available for download, torrent and streaming at You Tube and other sites with German, Italian and other subtitles in the works!

MOST IMPORTANT, our thanks to the NWS production team as well as our Mirror Sites Team! Hurrah!!!

290. Pony R. Horton - October 11, 2011

@289 “We just had our smoothest release – with some hard speed bumps – thanks to the most cooperative volunteers in the fan film business and a team that spanned the globe – or at least 14 time zones.”

Gary, the trust you and James and the group place in those of us who work on these shows is an honor. To be allowed to work on something with such a great legacy is a lifelong dream.

Thank you, Gary, James, Patty, Rob, Sarge, and everyone else at PHASE II for letting me be a part of this team!

291. Jonboc - October 11, 2011

My only advice to the actors would be to play it naturally. The likes of Spencer Tracy and Jimmy Stewart come to mind. If you look like your acting, you need to start over. Also slow down. Take a pause. Fake a thought. Stumble over some words. When you look at a scene and it seems natural…not forced, not recited, not read….then, in my opinion, you will have succeeded.

292. Andy Patterson - October 12, 2011

Cool! I’d like to know Robert Conrad. Always loved Wild Wild West. Interested in seeing you guys take on it.

293. Fubamushu - October 12, 2011

I read this story in the mid to late 1990’s while I was living in Japan. I remember it distinctly, particularly references to the materials in the uniforms and Spock caring and compassion for Kirk’s shattered mind.

What I cannot remember is how I got ahold of it. I do not recall if it was a novel in and of itself or if it was part of a collection of short stories.

I eagerly await the final production.

294. Fubamushu - October 12, 2011

A quick 2 Cents:

If you compare the total production quality and value of New Voyages/Phase II episodes to the quality and value of a full budget motion picture with professional actors, the comparison falls in favor of the latter. New Voyages/Phase II episodes simply cannot compete.

But I do not think they are trying to compete with Paramount or CBS. They are doing what fans all over the globe are doing, be it Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, etc.—they are honoring that which they love.

Personally, I am impressed by the production values of the New Voyages/Phase II episodes. From a cinematic point of view, the sets and props and costumes and CGI are as good as—if not better than—those big Hollywood productions.

As far as the acting… It is getting better.

In any event, the big point is this: these guys get what Star Trek is all about and it shows. I would much rather watch New Voyages/Phase II episodes than Star Trek 2009. New Voyages/Phase II episodes are closer to what Roddenberry envisioned and produced than any of the crap that has come since.

295. Brevard - October 12, 2011

Mr. Cawley is an Elvis impersonator? Hmmmm….

296. Patty Wright - October 12, 2011

Yup. Voted #1 in the country by the presidents of Elvis fan clubs in a vote taken by Graceland.

297. tony - October 15, 2011

great job guys

298. Sarah - October 16, 2011

I want to see Star Trek on TV. That’d be great, to use Phase II. The kid who portrays Spencer on iCarly (Jerry Trainor) looks like he’d be a great Spock, if Zachary Quinto doesn’t want to do it.

299. Herb Finn - October 16, 2011

James is more than an Elvis impersonator – he is the living embodiment of Elvis!

He’s up there with Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain and Robert Morse as Truman Capote.

300. Patty Wright - October 16, 2011

He is, Herb! That’s why he’s an “impersonator”.. not a “Tribute Artist”. It’s an acting gig where he portrays Elvis for 70-90 minutes – not just on the stage, but interacting with the audience AS Elvis too…with singing as a bonus. I’ve seen older people come up to him afterward in tears and tell him that they really were transported back to the time they saw the real Elvis on stage in 19XX. That’s the whole purpose of the “skit”, so it’s got to be gratifying for James to hear. I’m quite envious of someone having a job that literally just brings joy to people: if only for 70 minutes at a time!

301. Sebastian S. - October 17, 2011


Well said, Al! ;-)

302. Ron Albanese - October 17, 2011

Hey! Wow … lots and lots of comments here – going to enjoy reading them!

Ya know, Phase II is sooooo cool … and the work on it is undoubtedly INSANE.

Therefore, it’s hard for me to grade it on any scale – it’s just a labor of love, and with regard to TOS, I’ll take what I can get.

Those actors have to play characters AND people – McCoy AND DeForest, etc.

It does make things tough when the actors are way off the mark.

This poor McCoy guy really comes off as angry, and completely dissolves the Trek illusion. If he reels it in a little, it would work a lot better.

What’s that colorful prop over Spock’s shoulder? LOVE IT!

Does anyone have a link to Cawley as Elvis? As an Elvis nut, would love to see it!

303. Pony R. Horton - October 17, 2011

@302, I’m not sure what that sculpture is behind Spock… I think it’ supposed to be a scale model of a particular molecule, or maybe some form of architectural theory model, or maybe just abstract art.

I seem to recall seeing it a lot around the sets.

304. Tony F - October 17, 2011

That was affectionatly called “The Molecule” I helped Greg Schnitzer build that
that is not the first time it has appeared in TOS
Go back and look for it
it is in Spock’s Quarters

305. Patty Wright - October 17, 2011

Ron, a good representative of his work is here:

It’s only four songs from a small show – not the full fledged Las Vegas/Atlantic City act, but it’s a taste.

306. Fez - October 18, 2011

@302 The Molecule can be seen in “The Paradise Syndrome”, “Amok Time”… ect.

307. Ron Albanese - October 23, 2011


Thanks for that link – yes, James as Elvis is pretty darn good!

308. Keith Ward - March 31, 2012

I would just like say that I have been a Star Trek fan all my life, I have only just discovered the phase 2episodes and I would like to thank you for bringing Star Trek back into my life. Keep up the excellent work LIVE LONG AND PROSPER

Keith Ward
Life long Star Trek fan

309. Frank - March 31, 2012

“BUT… we’re also dealing with The Darren Effect, the feeling of dissatisfaction we felt when the role of Darren Stevens in BEWITCHED was taken-over from the beloved Dick York to the not-so-loved Dick Sargent.”

Are you saying James will play Darren in a fan produced Bewitched? is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.