Star Trek Phase II To Produce Lost Norman Spinrad Script + Watch Teaser For “The Child” | TrekMovie.com
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Star Trek Phase II To Produce Lost Norman Spinrad Script + Watch Teaser For “The Child” February 24, 2012

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Trek Franchise , trackback

This week sci-fi author Norman Spinrad (writer of the original Star Trek series episode "Doomsday Machine") released an ebook of a "lost script" he wrote for Star Trek which was never produced. Now the independent fan production Star Trek: Phase II has decided they will pick up the ball and put the script into production 45 years after it was written. More details below, plus watch the full teaser for the next Phase II episode "The Child."

 

Spinrads ‘He Walked Among Us’ To Be Shot By Star Trek: Phase II

In 1967 immediately after work finished on the original series episode "The Doomsday Machine," Star Trek creator/producer Gene Roddenberry asked writer Norman Spinrad to follow it up with another script. This time the parameters were to include a role for "Mr. Television" Milton Berle. Spinrad turned around a script titled "He Walked Among Us" but then came into conflict with producer Gene Coon. After Coon rewrote the script Spinrad felt it didn’t work anymore and convinced Roddenberry  to pull it from the production schedule. Now 45 years later Spinrad has rediscovered his long lost original draft and this week he made it available as an e-book download.

Then yesterday Spinrad was contacted by Star Trek Phase II star/producer James Cawley and the two agreed to put the show back into production. Spinrad tells TrekMovie that Cawley also offered him the opportunity to direct the episode, which he accepted. This will be Spinrad’s first time at the helm, but he has experience working on film and television and has always wanted to direct. Spinrad tells TrekMovie the plan is to shoot "He Walked Among Us" in September. For now, Cawley and Spinrad haven’t started to talk about who they can cast to play the role originally intended for Milton Berle. TrekMovie suggests Jason Alexander. He’s a good actor for both drama and comedy, and of course a huge Trekkie (who even appeared in an episode of Voyager).

TrekMovie will post a full interview with Spinrad soon, where he talks about his experiences writing "He Walked Among Us," along with more tales of working with Gene Roddenberry and more.

The Child Teaser

Phase II’s next episode to be released is "The Child," directed by Jon Povill and based on his script originally written for the original unproduced Star Trek: Phase II series from the 70s (and later adapted into an episode of The Next Generation). Here is the teaser.

The full episode will be released hopefully soon. Phase II also has three more episodes currently in post-production. So we probably shouldn’t expect to see "He Walked Among Us" for a while.

 

Comments

1. Ensign Ricky - February 24, 2012

This will be interesting to see.

2. Banned - February 24, 2012

Deleted by admin

3. Dr. Image - February 24, 2012

They’ve got the “feel’ down to a science.
Excellent.

4. VERG - February 24, 2012

Niiiiiice!

5. Jeff - February 24, 2012

OK, who left the dorks in charge on the bridge?! Now one of the crew is PREGNANT???

6. Tallguy - February 24, 2012

I read the Spinrad article yesterday and thought “I give it about ten minutes for the Phase II guys to grab this.”

I wish I was this smart about anything that mattered. :)

7. Andy Patterson - February 24, 2012

Yes, looking forward to seeing the new spinrad effort.

8. Shaun - February 24, 2012

why aren’t these amazing writers still working in hollywood?

9. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire. - February 24, 2012

I cant’ wait to see this. I also wonder if there are any other orignal scripts from Tos that were done but not used. The Child is looking pretty good.

10. Jon - February 24, 2012

#8

Sadly, most people seem to prefer reality TV and “American Idol” type shows which require no such intelligent writing, directing, or thought processes :( .

And for movies, we get such gems as Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean (and endless sequels)…each made a ton of money but require…shall we say…limited writing skills and sub-par I.Q.s to “enjoy.”

And the markets and the suits respond accordingly.

Just MHO… ;)

Jon

11. Nony - February 24, 2012

New post about the MTV set photos?!

12. Nony - February 24, 2012

(Not to be demanding or anything, I just saw them and I’m really excited :D :D)

13. denny cranium - February 24, 2012

great lens flares!

14. Melonpool - February 24, 2012

You know who else is a big Trek fan? Russell Johnson (The Professor from Gilligan’s Island). He says he’s always regretted never being cast in a Star Trek episode in his memoirs.

15. Tanner Waterbury - February 24, 2012

I had a feeling that P2 were gonna ask permission to produce the episode.

16. jamesingeneva - February 24, 2012

I gotta say, these guys do a stand up job. I wish there was some next gen episodes of similar quality.

17. Montreal_Paul - February 24, 2012

I have to say, even though the acting isn’t that great at times… I am very impressed with the stories and the effects. Not bad at all for fan production.

18. CmdrR - February 24, 2012

As always, I’m impressed by the ability to turn these out at a relatively high level of quality.

Kinda dicey on the use of musical stabs. I would have hoped for Phase II, they’d have more original incidental music.

Still, I’ll be watching the finished ep.

19. lodownX - February 24, 2012

#13

AGREED… lens flares FTW!!!.

20. Driver - February 24, 2012

So, a crewmember walking around dazed and confused only gets a shrug by the Captain?

21. Ctrl-Opt-Del - February 24, 2012

Was Scotty’s half-eaten doughnut a Simpson’s reference?

22. Ctrl-Opt-Del - February 24, 2012

*Simpsons (note to self: ignore grammar checker next time)

23. THX-1138 - February 24, 2012

#2

And it looks WAAYY more polished than TOS for that matter. What, exactly, would your point be? That productions taking place a decade or more after the original benefit from technical advances? Or just another pot-shot at TNG?

24. Montreal_Paul - February 24, 2012

I wish they would have stayed with calling it “New Voyages” instead of “Phase II” … I know that “Phase II” was the working title of the proposed second series, but honestly, it’s a crappy title.

25. Brett Campbell - February 24, 2012

9 – I believe I read somewhere that there was at least one unproduced script out there somewhere by the late, great Theodore Sturgeon (“Shore Leave,” “Amok Time” and numerous brilliant novels and short storie)s.

26. Jeffrey S. Nelson - February 24, 2012

They need better microphone pickup on the bridge set.

27. Nomad - February 24, 2012

Looking good – very polished production standards there. Also looks like they’ve been honing the acting a bit; more like screen acting now and less like the stage acting style of some earlier episodes.
Utterly fantastic work on the exterior shots of the Enterprise – modern techniques and technology, but perfectly matching the original stylistically.

28. NuFan - February 24, 2012

Sulu is fat.

29. Tony Hardy - February 24, 2012

Yes, the acting feels more natural as opposed to forced or put on. Production looks very polished. Looking forard to seeing more.

30. Michael Hall - February 24, 2012

Norman Spinrad directing a Phase II episode from his own script? Man, that is just too cool, and I haven’t even read the damned thing. Spinrad is a national treasure, and “The Doomsday Machine” (classic episode that it is) is the least of the reasons for it. Any fan of thoughtful, literate SF owes it to themselves to run out immediately and beg, borrow, or steal a copy of “Little Heroes,” “Russian Spring,” and (my favorite) “Child of Fortune”–a book so magical and timeless that it has several websites devoted just to its wonderful take on the evolution of a common human language and colorful, far-future setting. (Not to mention “The Lost Continent” and “A Thing of Beauty,” two post-apocalypse tales that invariably make their way into just about any notable “Best SF” anthology of the last four decades.) This late in his career he’ll probably never get the recognition he deserves in his home country, but this opportunity should provide a little consolation. Good for him, and good on James Cawley for making it possible.

(Which reminds me–I remember George Clayton Johnson being blown away by Phase II’s “World Enough and Time” to the extent that he also expressed interest in writing or adapting a script for the series. If any of the producers care to comment, I’d be interested to know if that’s still a possibility.)

31. Jonboc - February 24, 2012

the lighting looks great, nice balance of lights and darks….hate it when they over-light the bridge. The sound appears to be an issue though. In all, Im curious to check it out.

32. portho's bitch - February 24, 2012

If we’re gonnna cast an icon may I suggest Ernest Borgnine .? Still in good health..a comedic as well as serious actor lets give acall to lt, commander Quentin,cabbie. Johnathan Mchale.(well excuse the black hole). Plus he’kinda in keeping with the original Milton Berlecasting.

33. Simon - February 24, 2012

#18 – That’s one of my biggest peeves with PHASE II is the endless reuse of music from TOS. Even if TOS had gone to a 4th season they would have had some original music commissioned at some point. Weird they would have new visual effects but not new music…and people have offered, free of charge, to provide new music.

34. Ryan Spooner - February 24, 2012

I love Phase 2 (FKA New Voyages)… my one and only annoyance is the length of time between episode releases. It takes so long, that I almost completely forget about the series in between episodes, and only when I see a news article here do I think about it again :)

This is by no means a criticism of the work they do, I think it’s amazing. I just wish there was more of it :)

35. Patty Wright - February 24, 2012

#30.. Michael, GCJ suggested we film “Rock-A-Bye-Baby-or-Die”. He chose a co-writer to adapt it for our series and there we stand at the moment. never-say-die!

36. Khan was Framed! - February 24, 2012

This is horrible.

Please stop making it.

It’s absolutely unwatchable.

37. Michael Hall - February 24, 2012

@ 36 Khan–

“It’s absolutely unwatchable”

Yer in the wrong forum, dude. Think you wanted the story above, the one with the header that includes a Quinto, Saldana, and some guy named Cumber-something.

38. La Violetta - February 24, 2012

Ah, 36 & 37; Two Trolls, One Thread

The episode looks very clean just based on the teaser, I have to say. Sound’s still an issue, and some of the visuals didn’t seem to match dialogue (Saying to put the nebula on screen when it already was, ordering Warp 1 and showing the ship creeping along, etc.) but those are minor nitpicks. I did notice the acting seeming a lot more natural, and that’s always welcome. Heck, even the effects work and cinematography are improved.

What I’m most curious about is how the emotion investment will stack up against the original. In it we had Troi to give us an emotional bridge to the titular child, and naturally I have my doubts that a one-shot character can do the same. But we’ll see. I think performance will carry it or not.

39. Kobayne - February 24, 2012

Well, I like it. Not a movie critic but it is Star Trek no complaints here.

I re-watched ‘World Enough and Time’. If you aren’t in tears at the end, you probably might not be human.

I respect what the Phase 2 team has done and every time they step up to a new level.

It may be an amateur production but last time I have seen anything they put up as in time, effort, and money to make these great shows is theirs. Their profit margin = 0000.00$

Cut them a little slack, ok?

40. Michael Hall - February 24, 2012

@ 38–

You’re right. No need for me to get defensive on behalf of the Phase II people, who are obviously quite capable of dealing with trolling on their own at this point. In any case, my own Abrams-bashing must be getting a little old to folks by now, (or well before), and had nothing to do with the subject on this thread. My apologies. :-)

41. Phil - February 24, 2012

At last, a role for Jim Carrey in Star Trek….

The Child…..looks familiar….

42. Gorn Born - February 24, 2012

I haven’t been following Phase II, but I remember that they announced that they were going to make an episode with the Kizinti from the Animated Series. Does anyone know if that ever got produced?

43. Anthony - February 24, 2012

42 Due to technical and copyright issues, Killkinny Kats was dropped. Sorry.

36. The Nebula is most likely close to a full light year across. So going in at light speed as they did, yes it looked slow.

41. The Child was short on TNG, season 2, episode 1. Did not come out well.

44. Surak - February 24, 2012

Didn’t know Mr. Spinrad released this e-book–thanks!

Maybe its time to check out Phase II…

45. Anthony Thompson - February 24, 2012

Sounds like Gene Coon made a mess of it. He might have been a marine, but a Great Bird he wasn’t!

46. Razorclaw - February 24, 2012

I think it is way cool that the Star Trek-Phase II production is adapting Norman Spinrad’s unfilmed episode, and that Mr. Spinrad is going to be directing it. This should prove to be an interesting episode.

Interesting and better than either Starship Farragut’s production team and Vic Mignogna’s planned Star Trek project adapting the episode. After those two productions were blamed in that messy incident concerning the absconding of the Starship Ajax sets(December of 2011), I wouldn’t trust them with anything Star Trek-related.

http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?p=5440252#post5440252

47. Gary Evans - February 24, 2012

Let me say this in all seriousness. New Voyages Phase II exists because many fans care. While a core group keeps the team going between shoots it is our crew and cast that truly make this happen. These people show up, at great personal expense and usually on their vacation, to work their backsides off while putting in long hours in oft times very trying circumstances.

Then, many of our fans, also send contributions of supplies, equipment and funds.

We are working to speed up post production; we have learned a lot about production and the need to closely coordinate with effects and post production needs.

We all know the stories of how this came to be; now the continuation is the dedication of cast and crew with the support and views/downloads that keep the team going.

A post above stated our profit margin is $00.00! Actually between production, overhead, cast and crew expenses it is thousands of dollars in the negative side of $00.00!!

That comes out of the incomes of all those who participate – INCLUDING fan contributions. This is one unique hobby and it may be entropic, but the final result is worth the effort. We give the world our vision and interpretation of what the fourth year of TOS might have been.

I read “He Walked Among Us” a day ago; I believe the script is very apropos to TOS with a good story. But first, we must film “Bread and Savagery” then on to HWAU!

48. Michael Hall - February 24, 2012

@ 35 Patty Wright–

Thanks for the reply. I sincerely hope that it happens. George looks (and acts) like the world’s oldest hippie–but the last I spoke to him, he was vocal in his support of George W. Bush. Interesting guy. :-)

As for the teaser of “The Child,” my first impression is that it’s a little overlong and static (the alien whatsits sampling one crewman or so too many for my taste ), and that the selections of TOS music aren’t nearly as seamless as on “Enemy: Starfleet.” On the plus side I really liked the depiction of the Enterprise on night shift, something the series bible talked about but was very rarely depicted onscreen. (The diagnostic monitors booting up on McCoy’s entrance was particularly cool.) That the episode will probably be superior dramatically to TNG’s “The Child” is a foregone conclusion, but one that also sets a pretty low bar. In truth, it was a remarkably unmemorable show, with a shot of some puppies in the Enterprise-D nursery that seemed to go on for hours. I’m glad that Jon Povill finally got to make the show he had in mind in 1977, and am very much looking forward to seeing the rest of it.

49. BringBackKirkPrime - February 24, 2012

Amazing work as always!

50. Ken Thomson - February 24, 2012

This is really cool. Glad to see Phase II doing this episode and glad that Mr. Spinrad is going to direct it! What a thrill for him and everyone else in the project to be able to do it!

On a more serious note, I would like to say that all the bickering over production teams is painful to see as a fan of all the series. I hate to see different teams having arguments. It’s time to let bygones be bygones and move on. To each their own.

Water under the bridge. People are human, and humans can have misunderstandings. Misunderstandings can grow into huge animosity over time. But if we all decide to stop fighting, then it can end.

Call this my appeal to the better part of human nature to call a truce, and live and let live, amongst opposing teams of production companies. Maybe things can’t be forgotten, but they can be forgiven, or at least put away and not fed like the ravenous wolves they can become. Don’t pour gasoline on a fire. Let it go.

People know what I’m talking about. Let the animosity end before it tarnishes all fan films.

Ken

51. Rob - February 24, 2012

I’m really going to miss that original fellow as McCoy. In the preview clip from “Mind-Sweeper” he was shockingly bad. Phase II is so good in so many ways, I just I wish that they could find reasonably good actors and STICK WITH THEM. Sulu, Uhura, McCoy, Spock (at least Ben “Taco Bell Commercial” Tolpin) all their replacements have been mediocre. Here’s an idea: Don’t recast any TOS characters ever again. Just don’t use them and use Peter Kirk and whoever plays LaSalle instead.

I’m not trying to be an old troll. This is honestly how I feel about their casting.

52. Magic_Al - February 24, 2012

Does Gene Coon’s comedy rewrite of the episode still exist? What if a second director could shoot it using the same cast and setups simultaneously while Spinrad shoots his original? Then complete both versions of the episode with appropriately different music. Crazy idea? Probably.

This could be followed up by making the Eddie Murphy version of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

53. Rob - February 24, 2012

Al, you’re on to something.

54. Rob - February 24, 2012

Especially the Eddie Murphy Star Trek IV…

55. Rob - February 24, 2012

…starring Charlie Murphy.

56. Allen Williams - February 24, 2012

I wonder when we get to see the child.

57. Belkin - February 25, 2012

Nice effects, shame about the lazy scripting. The conversation probably went something like this.

“Hey guys, how about we use the shots through the crew quarters to do a bit of character development? You know, mayby have Scotty dozing over a copy of ‘Klingon for Beginners’, or Chekov having pictures of previous ‘Enterprises’ on his walls or something?”

“Nah. Lets go with the cheap and easy laugh and have Scotty clutch a bottle of something green. ‘Look everybody, he’s drunk again, har har har!’.”

“Oh. well I know he liked a drink but so did Kirk and McCoy – look how often they have alcoholic drinks in their hands. Scotty only ever got falling-down drunk once, and that was in the line of duty. But okay. If you really think it’s funny.”

58. Phil - February 25, 2012

@57. Perhaps, but TOS did tend to portray Scotty as an alcholic….

59. Greenberg - February 25, 2012

#33 they have used new music before and it was decidedly lackluster. I’m glad they’re using the original stuff, it’s got a lot more character then the generic stuff people tend to make these days. You can’t beat the Trek orchestra for great sound.

60. Bryan - February 25, 2012

Phase II is great! My favorite episode so far was Blood and Fire. I can’t wait for the upcoming ones. Bravissimo!

61. Hat Rick - February 25, 2012

I really admire the efforts that go into Phase II! Great job, guys and gals!

62. Paulaner - February 25, 2012

That CG Enterprise is awesome!

63. Holger - February 25, 2012

The Doomsday Machine is my favorite TOS episode and I like Norman Spinrad’s other work in SF. This is very promising. Once again, kudos to Phase II! (Looking forward to The Child, too. The trailer was great.)

64. David G. - February 25, 2012

I enjoy watching these. My only thought: Considering that I saw a near-completed cut of this episode (missing some special effect shots and without some audio fixes) way back at the 2009 Dragon-Con, this cast will be getting into “movie era age” by the time we actually get to see this Spinrad script on our computer screens.

65. Tony F - February 25, 2012

not quite as long as you think
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGBppAA4lIY

66. Dom - February 25, 2012

My one concern with the way the Spinrad script is being ‘spun’ (Ouch! Bad pun!) is that it’s being made out that some ‘incompetent’ called Gene Coon ruined it and Gene Roddenberry saved the day.

Makes me wonder if the dreaded ‘Cult of Roddenberry’ isn’t out to discredit or diminish yet another one of the old Trek’s team’s input. Without Gene Coon, I doubt Star Trek would exist today. He gave us the Kirk, Spock, McCoy team and oversaw much of the best Star Trek ever made.

Spinrad didn’t like the rewrite and the episode was ultimately written off as unworkable. It happens all the time in this business.

Glad to hear the ep’s being made though. The only thing better would be for them to make an animated episode with the original actors’ voices (with Karl Urban and Simon Pegg stepping in for our sadly departed friends!)

67. Patty Wright - February 25, 2012

I don’t think anyone is calling Coon incompetent. He tried to do the script as a comedy and it didn’t work. He might have even thought that after he did it. He tried a different tack, it didn’t work.

68. Rob - February 25, 2012

You know, it’s really important to give these guys props for making these new episodes, and ESPECIALLY for honoring the history of the classic series. James Cawley really has become a credible “Kirk” to me, as much or more so than Pine at this point. My concerns above re. replacing actors stand, but I’ll take a somewhat weak McCoy and Sulu once a year if it comes with a fantastic Kirk, solid Scott, and a Spock so solid he’s Zachary Quinto’s freaking double! Great job guys. You’re creating great new work, and can hold your heads high for the rest of your lives.

69. Patty Wright - February 25, 2012

Just in! From Mr. Spinrad – he’s making printed versions available!

PRINT VERSION OF “He Walked Among Us” NOW AVAILABLE!

For the first time ever, you can purchase printed copies of the original “He Walked Among Us”, a Star Trek: The Original Series script dated 07/25/1967.

This screenplay was commissioned by Gene Roddenberry as a vehicle for Milton Berle as a serious actor and he also sent me to an overgrown backlot village set he wanted to to try to write into the script too.

This original version was rewritten into an unfunny comedy by the line producer Gene Coon apparently unaware that Uncle Miltie was also a serious dramatic actor and a good one. It t was so bad that I complained to Roddenberry.

“This is so lousy, Gene, that you should kill it!” I told him. “You can’t, you shouldn’t, shoot this thing! Read it and weep!”

Gene did, and he agreed with me. I killed my second Star Trek, which, down through the years has cost me tens of thousands of dollars in lost residuals.

I thought the text of my original version–written on a typewriter!–was lost forever until recently a fan asked me to autograph a faded copy he had bought somewhere. I did, and in return he sent me a pdf off a scan, and that’s what I’ve put on Amazon, available as an eBook.can.

This printed version is cleaned up and is a pristine script, the way I handed it to Gene Roddenberry back in 1967.

To purchase a printed version of this script, simply send $15, plus $2 shipping to: HeWalked@gmail.com

AND FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY:

Receive a printed copy of the original script, signed by me!

To purchase a signed, printed version of the script, simply send $25, plus $2 shipping to: HeWalked@gmail.com

70. BaronByng - February 25, 2012

Absolutely fantastic CG and effects work. Miles above their previous stuff, and the cinematography’s good too. As an earlier poster said, loved the “diagnostic monitor boot up” – nice matchmove work there, and the graphics themselves had a nice 60s quality, reminiscent of the screens aboard Discovery from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Acting – better than before. It’s hard to balance being strongly present and overplaying. Lt Bernstein was allowed to ham far too much (frankly the whole exchange was a little cringeworthy and should have been edited down); the actor playing Sulu was underplaying to the point of being a lighting stand-in. Chekov and Kirk struck a nice balance, it was good to see McCoy played right on-tone for once. the Deltan lieutenant, hmm, seemed to have wandered in from the cosplay contest at Comic-Con – not really great physical presence or interaction with the camera.

Editing – was it just me or was this really slooooww paced? I think it could have been tightened up quite a bit. We didn’t need to see the energy being going through *quite* so many rooms, the Scotty gag was a cheap throwaway, the bridge scene could have been trimmed as I mentioned before – and what exactly was the point of the hallway scene?

If we were going to care about our newly pregnant Deltan we’ve never met before, maybe some time spent on meeting her, defining her character quickly would have been 60-120 seconds better spent. Either that, or use a character we already know – Uhura or Nurse Chapel, for instance?

71. Patty Wright - February 25, 2012

My post should have read “simply PayPal” not “simply send”. On Mr. Spinrad’s request, it can also be purchased at: http://www.cawleyentertainment.com

72. Patty Wright - February 25, 2012

#70…. Bernstein was meant to be “cringe-worthy”. Not everyone on our ship is likeable, and there’s a reason this guy is stuck on the night shift.

73. Jack - February 25, 2012

Quick question for anyone that might have the answer. Mr. Spinrad was the writer of the script but the characters are still property of Paramount. How is he able to SELL the script like this?

I am thrilled that he is but I am curious about this ‘legal’ issue for other reasons regarding fan fiction.

74. Magic_Al - February 25, 2012

^70. Good point about the fact that the original version of this script (as well as the TNG version) focused on a regular character and not a guest star. Not sure it makes a huge difference, though. “The Child” would have been the third or fourth episode in the 1970s Phase II, so Ilia wouldn’t be much more established than she was in her introduction in the pilot “In Thy Image” (similar to her role in TMP with most of her screen time as V’ger’s probe and not as the real Ilia. In the TV version V’ger returns the real Ilia alive at the end).

75. Corinthian7 - February 25, 2012

@72 is the printed version available outside of the U.S?

76. Do You Wanna Dance - February 25, 2012

Been a fan of Phase II aka New Voyages. Hopefully they’ll grab more veteran actors to cameo. Wish I was more local to pitch in. This seriously looks fun, even as a hobby.

77. Herb Finn - February 26, 2012

I wonder how many unmade classic STAR TREK scripts are out there,and how many of those are worthy of being made as Phase 2 episodes?

78. Tony F - February 26, 2012

you know whats funny?
I posted ACT 1 to the Child and Noone even noticed!!! HA HA HA HA

79. Fez - February 26, 2012

Really Tony???

80. BaronByng - February 26, 2012

#72 I get that, and that’s fine to do a lighthearted opener – played for laughs – but it falls flat because his performance is full of stagey ‘tics’ and bits of business… that might play well in front of the audience at an improv comedy show, but on film come across as “noise” and completely blow the illusion. If I were directing, I would tell him “Less is more.”

The other issue with that is that there’s very little “flow” between the cast members in that scene – everyone is doing a slightly different tone and rather than provide energy to the dialogue, the actor doing Sulu feels like a sponge absorbing it and killing it stone dead. So that just exacerbates the differences in tone and level between him and Bernstein.

Compare that to any bridge scene from TOS where everyone is present, energetic but plays it lightly – when one speaks, the others are taking it in and vice versa. Or in the 2009 movie, when they’re all discussing the plan of action around the whiteboard-screen – the “ball” is passed between members with ease, no clunky moments, no extraneous business. It’s a scene crackling with life and character, but with very little “business” besides the sight gag of Scotty finally getting his towel….

81. Patty Wright - February 26, 2012

Jack, I would imagine that Mr. Spinrad has connections at CBS/Viacom that fan fiction writer’s do not. Also, a lot of scripts are sold at conventions and on eBay all the time. CBS/Viacom hasn’t been coming down on them.

Corinthain7, yes. Just purchase the script and they’ll send you an invoice for the additional shipping.

BaronByng, you have a point. It could have been the director’s intention to show the difference between the “polished, experienced” crew on the Alpha shift and the crew still on the night shift. Obviously, Sulu isn’t usually in command here – it might be a rotation schedule that our crew get stuck on the night shift, or he could just be filling in for “the regular guy”.

In Act One, Povill wanted people rushing to the bridge in their off-duty clothes. While he wanted our crew in jeans and t-shirts ala “go climb a rock” we ended up not being able to make ourselves do that….it just, well, didn’t look right and “irked” our Trekkie sensibilities…but Peter is in his casual jumpsuit and takes navigation because Chekov is pulled for security duty.

82. BaronByng - February 26, 2012

#81 Good call on no jeans and t-shirts :)

Regardless of the director’s intention, it’s the technical craft of acting and the director’s ability to either bring out or rein in performances from the cast that I’m concerned with.

TV and film work requires actors – particularly those who come from stage backgrounds – to throw away what they know about playing “big” to a live audience and re-learn to communicate in-frame, with smaller things; tone, timing, the eyes. The staging and the camera work needs to support that, to follow the actors, be able to focus on faces and reactions to capture that kind of subtle interplay and emotion, even if it’s a quick intercut shot.

I found it all a little bit clumsily framed and staged – esp when Sulu gets up to look in the helmsman’s viewer, it looks physically awkward.

If Bernstein had been at the helm instead of the science station and that damned viewer was not in the way – thinking solely about staging the scene for the camera – then the interplay between him and Sulu would have been more easily contained in a single shot – and then the dramatic punch could have been delivered when Sulu got out of his chair, maybe to stand up, look and the screen and dismiss his concerns out of hand.

What actually happens is a lot of “upstaging” where Sulu has to face *away* from the camera to talk to Bernstein – you *never* upstage your principals in theatre and doubly so on film; you talk side-to-side or all facing-forwards – or you do a reverse shot so, even when turned in their chair, they’re facing the camera.

83. Jerry Modene - February 26, 2012

IIRC, Gene Coon had considerable experience with comedy – he had a lot to do, for instance, with the creation of “The Munsters” and, IIRC, is the person who converted “McHale’s Navy” from a serious show to a comedy after the former failed to sell.

As for the switch from “New Voyages” to “Phase II” – I wonder if the existence of the two Bantam “New Voyages” paperbacks (collections of fanzine stories from the 70’s) didn’t have something to do with that. I’d like to think yes, because “Mind Sifter”, of course, was the last story in the first “New Voyages” volume.

84. Patty Wright - February 26, 2012

Jerry, actually, according to posts elsewhere by Mr. Cawley, the show was titled “New Voyages” at Shirley’s(being the author of “Mind-Sifter) recommendation in honor of those books. It was changed to Phase 2, again according to Cawley’s posts, to show a new and bold direction for the show, including new actors and new behind the scenes people.

Unfortunately, and fortunately, as we are a volunteer production, the actors and BTS people are always in flux because of people’s ability to give up paid work and ability to afford the travel and lodging to come to a shoot. So the “Phase II” name didn’t end up signifying one cast and crew over the other. Because of the financial burden involved we’ve had 3 Chekovs, 3 Spocks, 2 Uhuras, 2 Sulus, 2 McCoys, 2 Scottys….. but we consider every sad loss as also an opportunity to grow. For instance, our last DP had to step out and in his stead we ended up with a guy that has actually won many awards, including an Emmy or two in his closet :-)

85. Michael Hall - February 26, 2012

@ 82 BaronBying–

Thanks for your fascinating commentary on the “Child” teaser–it’s obvious that your experience and knowledge of the filmmaking process exceeds my own and very possibly that of many of the Phase II principals. To their credit, in my experience they almost universally welcome such informed criticism, given their desire to continually set the bar higher and produce a better product. Which doesn’t, of course, mean that I agree with every creative decision they make–I expect every time I sit down to watch one of these things that I’ll find numerous nits to pick–but I know from firsthand experience how hard these folks work and how much they care about what they do. That love shows in the finished product and, for my money, it makes up for a lot of deficiencies.

(On the other hand, Jon Povill’s instincts were right to present the Enterprise crew atypically caught off-guard by the sort of unexpected encounter with alien life that would be common on such a mission; it’s the kind of playful experimentation with the formula that didn’t take place much after TOS’ first season. The Phase II producers, for their part, were entirely correct to nix the jeans and T-shirts. Good call for everyone concerned, in that respect at least.)

86. danielcraigsmywookiebitchnow - February 26, 2012

Patty what is your audition process, if someone would like to volunteer their services as on screen talent in some manner.

87. Al - February 26, 2012

So… which one is Sulu? The fat guy in the yellow shirt at the start?

88. TrekMadeMeWonder - February 26, 2012

Great opening!

The ‘ol E has never looked better! Esp that shot as it enters the nebula.

Kudos on the FX here guys!

I am waiting eagerly for the whole episode.

89. Oktoberfest - February 26, 2012

Simply amazing. Their excellent efforts give us a glimpse into an alternate universe where NBC did not doom TOS to Friday at 2100 in 1968, but instead allowed completion of the five-year mission during the 1969 and 1970 TV seasons. I can’t wait to see everything currently in post-production. The hard work by Cawley and other fans is a real treat for the rest of us. Thank you!

90. Patty Wright - February 26, 2012

#86… upload an audition video or reel to YouTube as private, and send it the link to James and I. James, to see. Me, to keep track of it for him. ;-)

91. danielcraigsmywookiebitchnow - February 27, 2012

thank you Patty. what length are you looking for?

92. Sean - February 27, 2012

SCOTTY SCOTTY WHAT’S WRONG?!!? “THE ACTING CAPT’N!!! THE ACTING IS TERRIBLE!!!!” – “SCOTTY! BOOST THE POWER!!!!” – “I CANNAE’ BOOST THE ACTIN’ CAPT’N….WE DUNNAE HAVE THE TALENT!!!”

93. BaronByng - February 27, 2012

#85 Thanks. I do mean it as constructive criticism even though it may not come across that way, and I agree with your points. It’s wonderful that the Phase II cast and crew put so much time, effort and their own money into this, and give it away for free. It certainly can’t be easy, and I do wish them to know that, despite my quibbles, it’s always fun to watch.

94. Sebastian S. - February 27, 2012

I can’t wait! I really enjoy these Phase II episodes.
Although I’m not over-the-moon with the new Sulu. The guy from “World Enough and Time” was so solid in the role (and that episode was simply amazing; the best of the series so far). Nevertheless, I very much look forward to “The Child.” From what I’ve seen, it looks better than the TNG version.

A big, fat round of thanks to James Cawley and the STPII team. May these productions live long and prosper, as they are TRULY a labor of love. Also look forward to Kitumba and the Academy episode.

Too bad the fan made Buck Rogers fell through (at least according to Erin Gray when I spoke to her at Comic Con); that would’ve really been neat!

95. Caesar - February 27, 2012

Pity that the actor playing McCoy is moving on. He was one of the best things about this production.

96. James Cawley - February 27, 2012

He is not moving on, He is back in Sickbay this June!

97. Mark Lynch - February 27, 2012

@96

\o/

That’s great news….

98. Michael Hall - February 27, 2012

“He is not moving on, He is back in Sickbay this June!”

Fascinating.

99. Adam Bomb 1701 - February 28, 2012

#25 – Sturgeon’s unproduced story was titled “The Joy Machine.” The late Trek fan extraordinaire (and organizer of five NYC Trek conventions) Joan Winston wrote a story treatment as well, titled “Perchance to Dream.” You can read about them here:

http://www.fastcopyinc.com/orionpress/articles/unseen.htm

100. "The Captain's Neck Is Broken" - February 28, 2012

Man I’m luvin’ this stuff, God bless James Cawley and Company!

101. scifib5st - February 28, 2012

Great to hear that John Kelly will be back in sick bay!!!!
We need to see Patty Wright as part of the on screen crew now!

102. Patty Wright - February 29, 2012

… a thought so thunderously horrible it silenced the world…….. ;-)

103. Fez - February 29, 2012

Lol patty…

104. Jaime Sanchez - February 29, 2012

hey guys, Act One of “The Child” is up on youtube at this address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGBppAA4lIY

105. D - February 29, 2012

I’m always glad to see Phase II Episodes. TOS always has been my favorite series, the one that introduced me to Star Trek in the first place, even though TNG is considered “my generation’s” Start Trek, and I enjoy it very much, when I think of the Enterprise, Jeffries’ original design is the one that pops into my head. On the family quilt, where each member has a panel with a picture that fits them…mine is the profile outline of the Enterprise.
Still, after all these years, while I still enjoy the 79 episodes, I’ve watched them so many times that I really don’t “watch” them anymore…they’re just on and I do a thousand other things while they’re in the background. Which is why I like Phase II so much…I get to enjoy new stories, with my favorite characters.
Thank you James Cawley and Crew, thank you very much.

106. Tony F - February 29, 2012

Realy Jamie?

107. Fez - February 29, 2012

No, Tony

108. Tony F - March 1, 2012

Exactly! LOL

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