TrekMovie Interview: Vic Mignogna

Art at its best is when it evokes emotions out of people who are experiencing the words and images, especially when it affects people in a positive or cathartic way. The writing staff for Star Trek Continues added another extraordinary episode to their oeuvre with “Come Not Between the Dragons”, which addresses domestic abuse from all points of view. Once again, the writer demonstrates his deeper understanding of what Star Trek can accomplish when it is used to comment on the world at large.

Rich Schepis spoke with STC’s Executive Producer and lead actor Vic Mignogna about the episode’s reception, Gigi Edgley’s performance, receiving fan correspondence and more.

NOTE: This interview took place before the Fan Film Guidelines were announced.

Fan feedback is all positive regarding “Come Not Between the Dragons”, with many noting how closely this episode is to The Original Series. Do you feel you are hitting your stride telling these stories now that you have been doing it for two years?

I think it’s perception. We aren’t doing anything different than we have ever done. I think this episode was a great combination of multiple elements that came together very well. To be honest, we still have people that come up to say that Episode 4 is their favorite, or two is their favorite. Different people take different thing from different episodes.

There are people out there who have experienced abuse, been abused or have been the abuser. This episode really resonated for them. I got an e-mail this morning from a fan who said that Episode 4 meant so much to him. He just went through heart bypass surgery, his heart was operating at 25% of its efficiency. He had a lot of unresolved issues; pain and loss in his life. Watching “The White Iris”, he said, meant the world to him and that he connected to it in so many ways.

We’re changing lives, that is what fans are telling us about the work we are doing, and healing people’s hearts. That is beyond priceless. No amount of money can replace the privilege to make something that actually impacts people’s lives. I am humbled by the amount of messages we have received in the last 16 days Episode 6 has been out, messages that state ‘Come Not Between the Dragons’ brought them to tears. I’m very proud. Everyone involved did a stellar job.

What made you decide to go with Greg Dykstra’s pitch for Episode 6?

I had wanted for the last two years as we were making episodes, to tell a creature story. I had no story in mind or preconceived ideas whatsoever. There were several in TOS and I knew I wanted to do one. When Greg pitched the story to me, not only was it a creature story, but it does another thing I am adamant about our episodes doing, which is address an important issue in a creative Star Trek way. The moment he told me his idea while we were sitting in Longhorn Steakhouse in Georgia, I said this is Star Trek.

One of the awesome parts of the episode was Usdi, especially when it becomes clear that it is a physical costume and not CG. Was making Usdi physical deliberate in keeping with the original feel of TOS that you incorporate into every part of Star Trek Continues?

Absolutely! From the very beginning it was my conscious decision that if we ever had a creature episode, most assuredly it was going to a person in a suit. Then the challenge is, how do you do that without it being too cheesy. As much as you love the Gorn, you go back and watch it today and there is a cheesy element to it. It’s endearing knowing there is a guy in an alligator costume who is so restricted that he can’t even move. But it had its own wonderful Star Trek charm.

Doing a creature episode, it could not be so cheesy that the audience would not engage in the story. It couldn’t be so bad. If we’re going to make a creature, it better be a damn good creature along the lines of something they would have done in 1967. We knew it had to be done really well so that the audience would accept it immediately in the universe to allow us to tell them a deeper and more endearing story.

This episode really stands out from a character point of view, as the audience gets to see the crew behaving in a way they are not accustomed. How fun was it on the set with all the physical attacks on one another?

I think everybody had a lot of fun doing that, and the reason it’s fun is because it’s atypical to these characters; Kirk is a good guy, Spock is a reserved man, McKennah is an even tempered ship’s psychologist. The story would have to be one that would reasonably show why these characters who normally act one way, behaved another, in the same way “Mirror, Mirror” did in The Original Series. I’m sure if you sat the original actors all down, they would probably say they loved the Mirror episode because they got to play those characters differently, but, you can’t do that every time. It would not be consistent with the characters. This episode created a way for them to behave in an atypical way. Humanity has evolved beyond walking up and clocking one another. That’s what makes it fun to do, because it is so not their characters.

Are you now worried about Michele [Specht], since she demonstrated her fighting form?

Oh yeah, she had a wonderful time doing that. She loved it. She is very funny, she has a great comedic sense to her, and knows how to play physical comedy. She fit right into what we were doing in the episode.

Another moment that stands out from “Come Not Between the Dragons” is the amount of story and screen time supporting characters received, especially Kipleigh. Is this ever deliberate on your part, or just what the story necessitated?

Kipleigh was awesome. She always does a great job, but then all of our cast members do. If the story takes us there, then I am proud to say that we have a team of actors that take us where the story dictates. If our story calls for Spock to throw people around, Todd can accomplish that. We have the actors capable of doing whatever the story calls for.

For me, it’s always been about story. As long as we are able to do Star Trek Continues, it will be about story, story, story. I’m not going to write something just to figure out new ways of giving characters more to do. If it works out that way, great.

Michele is a wonderful actress and one of our best. I received one message from a fan about the episode. They wrote they did not understand why we needed Gigi in the episode, because everything could have happened to McKennah. But that is the way I wanted to tell this story, that Usdi chooses a complete nobody from the crew. What made the story so beautiful is that Usdi chose an anonymous crewmember, not an important character like Uhura, Sulu, Chekov or McKennah. It’s just a crew member, nobody special who ends up becoming very important. It’s one of the many beautiful moments in this episode.

When we were crafting this story, I was constantly telling Greg Dysktra and James Kerwin that I wanted this to be like an E.T. story, where this exotic, special creature connects with just an average person who is nobody special. I wanted the episode to be like E.T. with Elliot, who feels like he is just an average kid. He doesn’t stick out, and then this magical creature chose him out of all the people in the world. There becomes a special and undescribed bond that they had.

By the way, do you know what Elliot’s last name is in the movie? It’s Taylor. E.T., Elliot Taylor. Gigi’s character name is Eliza Taylor. Her character’s name was my decision as a nod to E.T. It’s why I wrote those lines in the last scene, ‘when your son first came to us, I knew he had chosen me, but didn’t know why. But now I do.’ I wanted “Come Not Between the Dragons” to have that shared experience, with a crewmember and this creature as they bond. I do not believe it would have been as effective as if it was Mckennah or Uhura.

You know how many people in the world who feel insignificant and don’t feel important at all? Now they can connect with Ensign Taylor. She ends up being the most important person on the ship.

When Greg first wrote the screenplay, it opened on the bridge with some random Red Shirt handing Scotty a pad. He signed it, Kirk comes on the bridge, asks about the Lexington and changes duty shifts. As I read the script, I was milling around and contemplating the idea of a nameless nobody whose life the creature entered. I thought, let’s make Gigi the character that hands Scotty the pad. You just think she’s an extra, a nameless faceless nobody who was handing Scotty a pad.

Your good luck with casting guest stars continues with Gigi Edgley. How did she come about joining this episode?

Gigi and I have done several convention appearances together. I’m a voice actor and I do a lot of anime and pop culture cons. I have probably done three or four with her and we became friends. When Greg delivered the screenplay to me, with this woman, I started to think about who I knew who would be really great for this role? She was absolutely perfect for this. After Gigi was cast, she called me and said, ‘I assume you want me to do an American accent’. I said no, Star Trek was about diversity, I want you to be you to use your own voice. There should be Australians on the ship.

It was great to see Scotty in the chair, opening the episode.

Chris enjoyed it that a lot. We’ll most likely see him there again. I think he is a natural and I think what he’s doing is in his blood and extremely proud that he is in our family.

This episode saw a lot of destruction to the interior of the ship, with walls being ripped through. How expensive was this episode?

I love that. What a great question. One of the guys that works on our set, one of our main set construction guys is Royal Weaver. Royal has been involved in the construction of our sets since the very beginning, and as you can imagine he is extremely protective and parental of the sets. When he read this episode, he wrote me immediately, ‘what the hell is this, creature busting through walls?’ I said don’t worry we’re not going to destroy the sets.

I had no desire to destroy the sets, but we did need to figure out a way to make this work. I had them build a flat wide (8×10) sepatray wall, that was two-sided and a foot and a half thick. There were only two occasions in the episode where Usdi broke through that wall; in Gigi’s quarters and in the Rec Room.  We needed two holes in the wall. We built a wall, painted it on one side the colors as Gigi’s quarters and the other side the color of the corridor. It’s 18 inches thick so we could put all type of wires and conduits hanging down. We used the breakthrough wall for this purpose and just replaced it with one clean wall when we were finished. If you look closely, you don’t really see the creature bursting through the wall. You hear the sound effect, you look and the creature had already busted through the wall and you saw the result of the damage.

There is one quick little shot at the end of the teaser, when Gigi is in her quarters getting her uniform back on. She hears something, then the wall busts open and knocks her flying. That was two pieces of 4×8 styrofoam, painted wall color and was done in one shot. We sliced up pieces on the back so the creature could bust through the wall and make it shatter. We only had one shot at that.

The Engineering set was amazing. Did it work out the way you had hoped?

It was everything we dreamed of. When our director of photography Matt Bucy finally got in there with his team and lit the thing, the first time we saw engineering lit up, it brought tears to our eyes. I helped build that set. I was down there myself four or five times building the set, working on engineering. To finally see it finished and lit properly on set, on camera was amazing.

You have a very special cameo in this episode. How did that come to be?

Rod Roddenberry really appreciates, admires and respects what we have done. He has said repeatedly and as recent as last year at STLV on stage, that he loves Star Trek Continues and feels if his dad was alive today, it would be canon. Rod has been very kind in his support and encouragement of what we have done. We invited him to come down, and he came and had a wonderful time, everyone loved having him there. He wanted to play a Red Shirt, so we put him in a uniform and gave him some business. It was an honor and privilege to have him be a part of it, He has been a big supporter of fan production for years. He supports and embraces productions he feels are carrying on his dad’s legacy.

Any last comments about the episode?

I could not be more proud of the team that we have. Every single person in Star Trek Continues is such a valuable member. I think one of the reasons why episodes come out the way that they do is because of the people behind making it and the care and love that everyone in our team puts into these episodes.

 No one is making any money. Nobody, nobody, nobody is doing this because they are getting paid. They’re doing it because they love doing it and want to be a part of something special that moves people. It’s one of the things that makes our production special, from the guy pounding nails on set, to makeup, props, wardrobe, the main cast, everybody involved understands how special what we’re doing is, and they are happy being a part of it, and it shows on screen.

 I am grateful to God that I have been blessed with the team of people who have come together for Star Trek Continues. I never wanted to make this with hired guns. I had no interest in hiring a bunch of Hollywood people to make this. Making Star Trek Continues was way too personal and important to me to just hire a bunch of people to do it. I did not want to make this with strangers, but with friends.

When can we expect updates for Episode 7, “Embracing the Winds”?

Episode 7 will debut at Salt Lake Comic Con the first weekend of September. I am far more inclined to let out stuff we are working on instead of keeping it a secret, however the only reason we are going to wait to announce more on Episode 7 is because I don’t want it to eclipse Episode 6. It’s only been out a few weeks. I want to ride the wave.

Thanks again Vic for joining us. Look forward to speaking with you again after Episode 7.

Thank you, Rich. It’s a pleasure as always

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I’m sure anyone who enjoys Star Trek Continues is very curious about Vic’s response to the new CBS fan film guidelines and how it will affect future production and releases. Has any attempt to followup on that question been made?

Very curious.

I really hope that ep. 7, along with other fan films that are in post-production, will be released without issue from CBS/P, in light of the released guidelines.

I wish we would not loose such a great production…

We still might not. The standalone story rule may allow a series, as long as each episode is self-contained.

Except guidelines say no “series”. At least, that’s what I got from it.

“The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.”

Yeah. I’m curious whether that means just no more parts for that one story (to prevent Axanar or Renegades from doing multi-part arcs). So they could do multiple self-contained stories set on the TOS Enteprise, using their sets and crew, for example but just as long as those stories don’t continue. Maybe you’re right, though.

Hopefully some mechanism to keep Vic’s vision of Star Trek alive will be found. This interview is excellent and really highlights his love, thoughtfulness and understanding of it.

Now that the guidelines ARE out, we’re petitioning CBS/Paramount for some sort of exception to allow STC to finish what they’ve started. If you’re willing to add your name in support, here’s the link:

https://www.change.org/p/cbs-paramount-exempt-in-some-way-the-web-series-star-trek-continues-from-fan-film-guidelines?recruiter=239779306&utm_source=petitions_show_components_action_panel_wrapper&utm_medium=copylink

These sorts of petitions overwhelmingly tend to fail. I doubt you’ll even get a response from the powers that be.

Dandru,

Re:These sorts of petitions overwhelmingly tend to fail

http://fanlore.org/wiki/Star-Borne#Issue_2

“Paramount…[is] enormously impressed by the quantity and quality) of fan mail they continue to receive. The possibility seems to be slowly developing of a Star Trek feature movie for theatrical release, aimed at becoming the new Star Trek television pilot…on the network front, NBC still expresses great interest in doing Star Trek in some form. Both NBC and Paramount continue to receive a great deal of mail and have had to assign secretaries for the sole job of answering it.” — D.C. Fontana in a letter to the editor of STAR-BORNE dated June 22, 1972; STAR-BORNE; Issue 2

I sincerely hope that Vic and his crew simply ignore the CBS/Paramount guidelines and continue to make their wonderful non-profit, labor-of-love show.

Reading Vic’s mission statement for STC here, it’s really night-and-day when compared to Paramount’s approach to Star Trek. In STC, you have a show that strives above all else to be meaningful, faithful to the spirit and values of TOS, and to show us something of the human condition—to connect with the audience, to show them that they’re not alone in their thoughts and feelings. And then there are Paramount’s “Trek” movies, the mission of which Nick Meyer summed up rather succinctly: “to make another Star Trek movie.”

It’s really a bitter moral injustice to have bloated, well-moneyed, amoral corporations—CBS and Paramount—who are no more deserving nor responsible for the creative concept of “Star Trek” than STC (nor any other extant corporation) stamping out the creative and humanistic efforts of the non-profit STC simply because the former have the power to do so.

It’s really sad and pathetic, and I hope to high heaven that it winds up hurting CBS and Paramount somehow. I will absolutely not be seeing “Star Trek Beyond” in the theater. And when I do see it, I will not be paying a red cent to see it.
I’m not supporting the big monsters killing the hopes and dreams of the little guys, especially when the little guys have the superior, more Trek-like artistic approach.

Will you be watching the 2017 series?

Merchant of Vulcan June 26, 2016 11:04 am

Dunno. I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.

I can’t respect the opinion of someone who is admitting that they will steal Star Trek Beyond when they say “when I do see it, I will not be paying a red cent to see it”. Makes me think your stand is little more than empty words and that you’re just a common internet thief.

@ Harry Plinkett: If the show eventually is broadcast on regular television, he wouldn’t be paying a dime to see it. Without stealing it. Or assuming that Cygnus is in the US, and limited to CBS All Access to see the new series. For all you know, Cygnus might be in country other than the US (contrary to popular belief, the US is not the only country in the world)

I doubt a die hard trekkie is going to wait years for beyond to show up on TV. This guy is probably going to watch a stream on his kodi box or something like that. Harrys right though if u truly don’t support it then don’t watch it period. It’s a hypocritical stance otherwise

Ted,

Re:a die hard trekkie

Why wouldn’t you believe it? I’m as diehard as they come, but I put my foot down and absolutely refused to see NEMESIS at the BO and did not.

I’ve only “seen” it OTA and at that, I’ve never been able to sit through the whole thing in English, my native tongue. The closest I’ve come to watching it completely was in Spanish, my second language by education, OTA and at that I’ve only seen 75% of it.

Regardless of the way someone watches it the point still remains that if you are so anti-paramount/CBS then don’t watch it all. If you truly believe beyond is not worth watching then don’t support it period. Don’t watch it all ever. I call bs on everyone who claims they won’t watch it of course they will they’ll just do it secretly hell he could still go to the theater and see it how would any of us know? The whole “I’m going to watch it free later because I don’t support paramount” argument is silly. Either watch it or don’t but get off the damn fence

Ted June 26, 2016 2:50 pm I doubt a die hard trekkie is going to wait years for beyond to show up on TV. The average time from theater to home video is about 3 months these days, at which point point it’ll be available for viewing in various ways that are lawful and won’t entail me contributing a penny to CBS/Paramount. Another approach is to blog a film critique of the movie for educational purposes: “Why Star Trek Beyond is Inconsistent with the Spirit and Values of Star Trek.” In this way, I could not only watch but also distribute the movie under the Fair Use doctrine of US Copyright Law. And, since we’re all so concerned with the law here—since certain people are wont to equate lawful with moral—I would point out that downloading STB or watching it at an international streaming site that has it available 3 months after its theatrical release is not a violation of US Copyright Law. Distributing the movie constitutes copyright infringement, but merely downloading it or streaming it is not unlawful (provided you’re not also uploading it). So, there’s the law for those who feel it’s paramount, no pun intended. And a variety of ways mentioned herein of watching STB to satisfy your cinematic, historical and marketing curiosity without paying CBS/Paramount a penny. Harrys right though if u truly don’t support it then don’t watch it period. It’s a hypocritical stance otherwise. Harry’s wrong and so are you. There’s nothing hypocritical about… Read more »

Ted June 26, 2016 2:50 pm

I have to admit, that it’s not going to be all that much of a deprivation to wait 3 months to see STB, being that there’s every reason in the world to expect that it’s going to be mediocre at best. From the truncated writing period, to the rushed production, to the paint-by-numbers trailers, to the lowering of expectations by the cast, writers and producers—I honestly have not been particularly excited about STB, though I was still planning on seeing it in the theater. But, now the whole thing just gives me a bad feeling, and I’ll be very proud to report here periodically “still haven’t seen it” and skip over all of the articles about the movie for a few months.

P.S. And I left out the fact that it’s being directed by the Fast & Furious director. Not exactly a reason to suspect that STB will be particularly Trek-like.

At least he’s being honest about it. Somehow I don’t think it’s really going to matter with the anonymous millions who will do the same thing. For me I’m not even wasting my time to download it

Harry Plinkett,

You write that as if you actually believe BEYOND will never air for free OTA or be available for free checkout from the local public library.

I’ve had long exchanges with Cygnus X-1 in regards to copyright law and I would be shocked if he we’re to respond to your suggestion that he would seek to violate Paramount’s limited exclusive monopoly by affirming that, indeed, what you suggest is what he’s planning on doing.

You know, he could be talking about either Binge watching the DVD that either someone else bought or (and I like this idea better) get from your local public library. In line of my feelings on this, I might honesty not go see STB when it comes out, either…

Harry Plinkett June 26, 2016 12:29 pm

If I see it on Netflix or on some other streaming service that I already pay for, I won’t be stealing anything. And I don’t know how that should be indicative of the sincerity of my intentions. In any case, if I have more respect for common internet thieves than I do for bloated corporations who stamp out superior products instead of striving to improve their own. Such companies do not deserve patronage. In any case, Harry, the choice between protesting this moral injustice and displeasing you ain’t no choice at all.

Harry Plinkett June 26, 2016 12:29 pm

Makes me think your stand is little more than empty words and that you’re just a common internet thief.

I just now got what you meant by this. You’re accusing me of just wanting to see the movie for free, and using the issue of the fan production crackdown as an excuse to not pay .

PLEASE. You honestly think I wouldn’t happily pay money to see STB in the theater if it were a good movie, faithful to the spirit and values of TOS, and if CBS/Paramount weren’t destroying the only real Trek that’s being currently produced? Where the hell do you get off accusing me of that kind of nonsense? I’ve paid to see several bad movies in the theater this year already. I friggin’ paid to see Batman vs. Superman. I paid to see ST09 and STID twice each. Don’t go accusing people of having ulterior motives without cause. You wanna see STB, then you go right ahead and pay money to see it. Don’t go casting aspersions on my character.

On the Facebook page for STC, Vic has asked that people NOT boycott Beyond and NOT boycott the new series. He says that doing so will only hurt fan productions: https://www.facebook.com/StarTrekContinues/posts/1214581761908671

Glad at least Vic has some common sense.

Harry Plinkett June 26, 2016 3:39 pm

Glad at least Vic has some common sense.

On this we agree.

Vic is doing the right thing by actively dissociating himself from the backlash at CBS/Paramount. Vic actually as a relationship with CBS, and it does neither him nor his cause any good to cultivate enmity with them. It’s good-cop, bad-cop, see? Vic’s the good cop and the outraged fans are the bad cops. Purely in terms of strategy, Trekboi is right. There’s very little left to lose at this point by fighting and protesting the CBS/Paramount guidelines. Vic’s argument is that if fans cause a bunch of trouble for CBS/Paramount by protesting, then those companies won’t feel like compromising on the guidelines. But, as Robert Meyer Burnett has already pointed out, CBS/Paramount put out their guidelines without consulting any of the fan productions. So, what does that tell you? Does it tell you that CBS/Paramount are eager to work together with the fan productions in peace and harmony toward a mutually satisfactory end? If you think so, I’ve got a bridge to sell you at a very reasonable price.

BS. Thanks to the guidelines their throats have been collectively slit

Calm the heck down. Every TOS episode but one (I, Mudd) was a self-contained story. And TAS told good 22-minute Trek stories.

This doesn’t necessarily have to be the end of anything.

Read the guidelines again & at least Try to understand how much they affect the future productions- picture the productions with only amature cast & Crew- no unofficial unliscened costumes & props etc etc

So what? Aren’t they supposed to be fan films? By fans. Or are we now so entitled that we think that we as fans have a right to watch Trek done by professionals for absolutely free on the Internet?

“*If* the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.”

This doesn’t rule out making their own stuff, does it?

Jack June 26, 2016 10:30 pm

Every TOS episode but one (I, Mudd) was a self-contained story.

Yes, a self-contained story that ran 50 minutes!!

And TAS told good 22-minute Trek stories.

Extremely few. The only TAS episode that have any use for is “Yesteryear.” And, in any case, an animated show is a different format. You can do a half-hour show in an animated format, but that’s not what STC is. And, if the time constraints don’t kill STC, the prohibitions on actors will.

Twilight Zone episodes were a half hour. And pretty darned great.

Jack,

Actually in the fourth season the TZ episodes expanded to one hour. And, oddly enough, the first episode was titled, IN HIS IMAGE.

But you are right, half or one, pretty darned great.

There’s also a Facebook page calling for a boycott of CBS/Paramount

I saw that & didn’t make much sense to me, as far as hurting the Fan Film productions- what is Paramount going to do- blame the Fan Films for loss of profit & ban them- THEY ALREADY DID THAT Lol

Vic doesn’t want people talking boycott or negativity about CBS at the STC fan page, which I can understand. But, I’m not discussing it there. And frankly, I don’t see how fan productions could be hurt much more than they already have been. Corporations like CBS and Paramount understand one thing and one thing only: money. So, if you want to communicate with them effectively, you have to speak their language. To be honest, I view Paramount much more negatively than CBS. Not only is Paramount crushing these great fan films, but they’re doing it in furtherance of a vastly inferior Trek product and overall vision. But, CBS is definitely their partner in this moral crime.

Come on. Trek wouldn’t be here today without Paramount. Everything that’s happened since 1970 or so has been because of them (13 movies, hundreds of hours of TV). There’ve been sone missteps (if anything they were too protective and too conservative in making sure it stuck to Gene’s vision).

Big deal, fan series will have to cut shows down to a half hour. It’s a change, but it’s not the end of the world. Others, like renegades, will stay long and do non-selfcontained story arcs by scrubbing out all Trek references – freeing themselves of Paramount’s rules entirely (and telling original stories and maybe launching a new franchise in the process)

Jack your so missinformed & have a bizarr take on Trek history 1970’s onwards

Jack,

Re:Trek wouldn’t be here today without Paramount.

More fictional history from you. Left to their own devices, Paramount had absolutely no intention of going anywhere near STAR TREK. It was Charlie Bludhorn who bought them out and forced them to do something with it. Not that he was all that gung ho about it either, he came close to pulling the plug several times but for whatever reasons, in spite of Paramount’s counsel to the contrary, he changed his mind and kept backing it and forced Paramount to also.

STAR TREK wouldn’t be here today without Lucille Ball and Charles Bludhorn.

Great interview. I don’t watch very many of the “fan” productions but love STC and have been a donor. It feels just like Star Trek should feel and the love and care that Vic and the crew pour into it is evident. I really wish the “Powers that Be” at CBS would come up with a win-win that allows it to continue (no pun intended). Why not officially sanction it as a canon production that airs on CBS All Access, either concurrent with or in the off season of the new show? If they are worried about fan productions competing, then what better way to squash the competition. Join them!

Star Trek Continue, New Voyages, and Farragut are the closest thing to true Star Trek that we will ever get. With the new guidelines in place, CBS/Paramount has destroyed the franchise. Unless that greedy corporation reverses its stance on fan films, they will never get another dollar out of my wallet. This life-long fan will not be going to the theaters to see Beyond, nor will I be paying for AllAccess. RIP Star Trek. You may be gone, but you shall never be forgotten.

Ouch!

Star Trek isn’t gone yet.
I look forward to Beyond and StarTrek 2017 on CBS All Access.

I’m fine with this. The more “fans” that jump ship the better. I’d rather be surrounded by “real” Trek fans not pseudo, self-entitled whiny brats.

Excelsior!

Maybe they can get the wider general audience to support them for the next 50 years

Great, you & your real fans can watch the Kelvin Universe movies in a phone booth on a loop for all eternity & leave the rest of us alone lol

Leave you alone? I’m not trying to be a dick, but nobody’s making you come here – to a Star Trek movie site.

So much for the famous open minded reputation of Trekkies.

Amen! May there be many more with the same thought

This lifelong fan woyld be buying his Beyond tickets right now if they were selling them yet (why aren’t they?).

I don’t see Paramount destroying anything – they’re setting some limits. These shows can still go on, they’ve just got to be shorter (and every fan show I’ve seen could have used some trimming) and tell self-contained stories – just like TOS did (I, Mudd was the only sequel).

Or, like Renegades, they can scrub out all the Trek stuff and tell an original sci-fi story (assuming that’s allowed). And fans will be free to donate to them and support them. Heck, if they’re non-Trek, they could potentially sell these shows to Syfy or whomever.

I guess his way of addressing the Axanar lawsuit was his comments about not working with “hired guns”. I don’t have a lot of interest in these fan films, but I do think it’s sad one self-serving fan is responsible for destroying everyone else’s fun. I think back to when I was a kid, and if I had the resources kids have today how I would have been able to realize my Trek fan film ideas like this, and how upset I would have been to have the rug pulled out from under me like this. I also think back to those days, and the one kid in my class that “ruined it” for everyone else from time to time when the authorities gave us a little freedom to prove how responsible and adult we could behave. While I was angry at the authority taking away the few liberties they had given us, I was even more upset with “that kid” who cause them to be rescinded. As an adult I fully understand the position the authority is put into and blame them very little in situations such as these. And just like small actions of civil disobedience among adults can result in a crackdown if someone takes advantage of any slack authorities may offer in enforcement, it’s the juvenile inside the adult, that never grew up or learned their childhood lesson, who complains the loudest against the authority, when they themselves, despite knowing the rules, caused the action to… Read more »

It wasn’t one person who ruined it. It was a superior production that made theme big boys feel threatened. You can scream bad guy all you like but if it hadn’t been Axanar they would’ve found another fall guy sooner or later

BS. Both continues and new voyages had high standards, and were getting better when suddenly there was a problem. Why? And why was only Axanar named in the suit? Prelude to Axanar was good, but it was no better than the stuff coming from continues and new voyages.

I agree. Axanar was the catalyst for the new guidelines, without question.

Nothing has been destroyed yet.

And there’s nothing, other thsn a lack of imagination, stopping Axanar from scrubbing out all the Trek stuff (like Renegades has done) and telling an original story. The story they’re telling could happen in any sci-fi universe.

They’ve got enough cash to make a few new costumes and design some new CGI ships. Heck, they could even start selling them.

And, depending on what self-contained story actually means, Continues and NV might be able to keep doing slightly-shorter-than-now (30 min instead of 44) episodes as long as they’re not continuing arcs.

Every single TOS episode except I, Mudd was self-contained. And TAS told interesting Trek stories in under 30 minutes.

Yes there is. They raised the money to fund it using the Star Trek brand. CBS is likely attempting to shut the whole project down regardless what it’s called, or at best, reset Peters coffers to zero, and let him bring his vision to fruition on its own merits.

Maybe. But renegades is, at least so far, doing this.

Evidence?

Will the Star Trek Continues episodes remain online or do they have to delete them after the new CBS fan film rules were introduced, which they break in many ways? Does anyone know, if those rules count only for future fan films or also for older ones?

Gigi Edgley was fantastic. Overall, this was one of their stronger episodes. But again I need to object to the MarySue McKenna character always saving the day. Kirk, Spock and McCoy were all spectators, and not drivers. All the cloak-and-dagger operations with the armbands was just to highlight her, and I found it offensive dramatically that they simply didn’t deliver their magic cure to the commanding officers of the ship instead of attempting to fix everything themselves

I am really sad that Episode 7 may never be seen. Shame, Paramount, for letting an egotistical Alec Peters destroy the wonderful world of fan films.

I hope that somehow Paramount’s decision can be appealed, at least to permit 45-minute presentations like STC and Phase II.

From the NV and STC episodes I’ve seen, I think most of these stories would be fine – or better, even – if they were cut by 14 or 15 minutes.

Look at TAS.

And it might not be over. All but one TOS episode was a self-contained story.

Maybe it’ll lead to brand new franchises (Renegades has scrubbed out all Trek references) and a creative rennaisance.

Heck, 50 Shades of Gray, while awful, started out as Twilight fan fiction.

I think this episode, although it revisits the “alien vine makes everybody koo-koo for Cocoa-puffs” again, does it with a pretty brilliant flip. In fact, it’s now my
favorite STC episode, and Vic has the best bunch of crew overall. Well done!

Why doesn’t Axanar do what Renegades did – scrub all Trek references out of the script? Call it Ares, call it whatever you want. Show some real imagination.

Hardly anything has been shot, so tell an original non-Trek sci-fi story. It can still be the same general story without Trek trappings (the Terran aliance or what-have-you battling the warlike whomever and not being assisted by the clinical, detatched whomever).

Or make it even more different and show some creativity. If it’s good and fans like it, the team can do all the non-Trek fundraising they want for sequels etc. And it’s already had plenty of publicity. This wsy, thry hive donors a finished orodict and show Paramount that they don’t need them.

The FX folks are totally capable of creating strange new, non-Trek worlds, ships and aliens. Take off the darned training wheels already.

Or, does Alec not have any ideas that don’t involve Trek?

In other words, ‘Jean-Luc, blow up the damned ship.’

Aside of the ridiculous 30 minute / no season rule, there is also the inhibiting rule that no one that has worked on trek or trek licensees can work on trek films. That would include Mr. Mignogna himself, as I think he did voiceover for STO, among other things. Also no more guest actors from Trek. And of course no more VFX – because the complete VFX crew of STC has worked on official Star Trek before.

Jack June 26, 2016 10:41 pm

Why doesn’t Axanar do what Renegades did – scrub all Trek references out of the script? Call it Ares, call it whatever you want. Show some real imagination.

This is actually what I advocated when CBS/Paramount first filed their suit. If Alec Peters were smart and talented enough, and had sufficient creative vision, he could parlay this whole AXANAR fiasco into an all-original content sci-fi series. The legal roadblocks put up by CBS/Paramount give him the perfect excuse to convince his loyal fan/donor base to follow him as he blazes a new trail of original sci-fi content.

Indeed, although Peters and co. seem to thrive on being adversarial. Winning the pissing match seems more important than making a good show.

Now there’s talk (not sure if it’s serious or not) about crowdfunding an Axanar documentary – which I’m guessing will be about Alec’s Pure, Selfless Love of Trek and Art vs. The Evil Moneygrubbing Corporation. Which suggests to me that maybe they were trying to get sued all along.

Of course, I don’t actually know Peters’ motives – I’ve just been rubbed the wrong way by pretty much everything he and Burnett have said about all this online.

This is a pretty great sum-up of all of this:

http://www.themarysue.com/star-trek-fan-film-guidelines/

Some great points – these aren’t fans showing creativity, these are professionals raising a small fortune and hiring experienced Trek professionals. How is that a fan film? I guess it’s a free film for fans – but it’s not a fan effort.

And no, arguing that these professionals are fans too (which some commenters have done) is missing the point. Michael Dorn may be a Trek fan, or maybe just a Worf fan, but that doesn’t mean he can legally just go start his own Trek series.

Continues has become my favorite fan production. I do not want to see it go. I’ll sign as many petitions as it takes to see these rules relaxed.

A new trailer for Star Trek Beyond arrived today and it has new Rhianna song attached to it.

P.S. And why would an artist title a song “Sledgehammer” unless it’s meant to be a cover of the Peter Gabriel classic, one of the most popular songs of all time (and worlds better than this new one)? It’s like some new artist with no knowledge of music history coming along and naming their new song, “Strawberry Fields Forever.” Get a clue and have some respect, you self-absorbed hack.

Grandpa? Is that you?

Jack Today 12:16 pm

There’s no denying that music was better—or at least smarter—20 years ago than it is today. Scientific studies have actually been done in demonstration thereof.

Just a little pissed that another artist didn’t call you for your expert opinion, again?

Phil Today 12:51 pm

They shouldn’t have to call me. They should have a modicum of knowledge about their own industry and the history of their art form, especially when it’s paint-by-numbers pop music like this. We’re not talking about some brilliant artist who grew up in a cave and invented his own style of music. We’re talking about formulaic pop music put through a sausage grinder: lips & a$$holes go in one end, standard hot dog comes out the other.

Has the acting improved? It couldn’t possibly get worse.

Mignogna is a pretty good actor, which is refreshing, but he’s too old for TOS Kirk and he mimick’s Shatner a little too much for my tastes…he would make a much better movie era Kirk. And the registry of his voice is too high, same for the actor playing Spock. Same with Quitno, for that matter.

Not sure why CBS or Paramount should have an objection to Star Trek Continues; it’s basically free advertising for Star Trek.

Well, a bunch of folks argued that it wasn’t fair of them to sue Axanar and not others (which I don’t think is a great argument). Now the rules apply to everybody?

The best aspects of this “episode” were Gigi Edgley’s wonderful performance, and the terrific design, creation, and use of the Usdi costume/suit, IMHO. Too bad it’s a ST fanfilm, though.

CBS?Paramount is annoying!

Terrific interview. I’m going to watch the episode tonight. I remember the wilderness years between the cancellation of Doctor Who and the arrival of nu-Who. Back then, it was all amateur and semi-pro films shot for release on VHS, generally ‘almost-Who’ films or spinoff productions using characters or creations not owned outright by the BBC.

Inevitably, with the return of the TV show, these productions fizzled out. Star Trek’s small screen wilderness era is over. Vic and his team, along with James Cawley’s team and some others have done a great job and given us some terrific films.

When a history of Star Trek is written for its centenary, New Voyages and Continues will feature strongly as part of this era.

Vic and his team have done a bang-up job with a four out of five hit ratio for me. I hope any near-complete fan productions will be given leave to be released. Perhaps they’ll all need renaming as say ‘The Pilgrim of Eternity: A Star Trek Fan Film’ or something without opening titles and the guidelines can kick in fully after a set date.

I understand and respect CBS needing to clamp down with a new show’s release being imminent though.

An era is ending as new one begins. Here’s to Vic! Thanks for giving me season four of Star Trek Remastered. I hope he and some of his team will appear in the new CBS show.

“Back then, it was all amateur and semi-pro films shot for release on VHS, generally ‘almost-Who’ films or spinoff productions using characters or creations not owned outright by the BBC.”

Hmmm.

Ultimately these rules are just a guarantee of not being sued. It DOES NOT FORCE CBS to sue you if you didn’t follow them. Hopefully these larger fan films have enough contacts at CBS to basically have a degree of approval. Hopefully. (those rules are disgusting of course but I haven’t seen anyone say CBS can look the other way still whenever it wants)

Very, very good episode….it would have been a fine TOS entry.

A piece of Viacom’s Paramount history:

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