In recent years Star Trek fan films have been growing in popularity and the most popular has been Star Trek New Voyages. This is mostly due to the production values and some pretty serious guest stars. TrekMovie.com talked to show star and creator James Cawley to find out what is behind this attempt to complete Star Trek’s 5 year mission. “I felt that the characters had more to say, I think Kirk Spock and McCoy are more relevant now than even in 1969,” explains Cawley. That belief set Cawley off on his rather expensive ‘hobby’ almost 10 years ago. Now with two high profile episodes released, millions of downloads, and another star-led episode about to premiere Cawley feels like they are finally getting close to their goal of making their fan production ‘as if you were to sit down and watch the TV in 1969.’
Original Sets – Original Actors
What probably got people’s attention most was the incredibly accurate recreation of the interior sets, props and uniforms of Star Trek: The Original Series. Cawley says that he began collecting and building props in 1997. Funding this hobby through his successful career as an Elvis impersonator, he poured money into building sets and making costumes which matched the look of TOS. Eventually friends and fans found out about the project and by 2003 a pilot “Come What May” was shot as a proof of concept (but not released). A year later the team released “In Harms Way” which featured William Windom reprising his role as Cmdr. Matt Decker from “The Doomsday Machine.” Cawley claims “In Harms Way” has been downloaded over 30 million times and it set the trend for New Voyages to involve professionals who were involved with the original series. Up next was Walter Koenig who reprised his role as Pavel Chekov, suddenly aging rapidly. Koenig also brought on TOS vet writer D.C. Fontana to pen a script. “To Serve All My Days” was released last November and was well received by many fans, but was also controversial over how it played a little fast and loose with continuity. But like with the previous episode, STNV used the popularity to attract more people to project.
The next episode to be released will be “World Enough and Time” which has a premiere for the cast and crew this week and will be launched on the net in April. Koenig was happy with his experience and mentioned it to George Takei who then expressed interest in getting involved. The script is based on an unused story pitch for Star Trek Phase II by Michael Reaves. Reaves came on board to produce and co-write the STNV script along with Marc Scott Zicree, who also directed the episode. The plot revolves around some anomaly (always an anomaly!) that somehow explains Sulu’s aging. Cawley won’t provide details but says that it isn’t time travel or the same disease Chekov had in “To Serve All My Days.” The team has also brought in Grace Lee Whitney who reprises her role as Rand. She will be seen with Takei on the bridge of the ISS Excelsior (Sulu’s ship from Star Trek VI) which the team also lovingly recreated just for the episode.
“World Enough and Time” is the episode that Cawley feels will really break the mold of ‘fan films.’ He explains that his goal for the episode was to truly make it ‘indistinguishable with modern network television.’ “We listened to a lot of criticisms from fans and we love it, we want to get better. For this one we really upped the ante visually and performance wise it is going to astound people what we have been able to accomplish this time” The ‘ante upping’ was not only in terms of Takei and Zicree, but the whole production. The episode was shot using 3 High Def cameras and several hundreds of thousands of dollars of donated lighting. They also brought in a professional director of photography and an acting coach. This last item is important, as acting tends to be the weakest link in all fan films including Star Trek New Voyages. Cawley also states that there are over 600 effects shots, and more importantly a new effects team lead by former Foundation artists Ron Thornton and Lee Stringer (now teachers at the DAVE school)
Takei, Zicree and Cawley on the set
New Voyages Gets Dochtermanized
One of the weaker aspects of STNV to date has been the special effects. This is something that Cawley freely acknowledges. “The problem was that the effects were done by guys with their own vision, but they were donating it on the terms that they could do it their own way,” explains Cawley. The problem was their way gave the effects a very modern feel that stood in stark contrast to the rest of the production which had the goal of matching the original show. Cawley promises that, starting with the Takei episode, everything will be as it should be. "No more barrel roles, no more road runner backups,” promises the producer. The new team from the DAVE school and the STNV producers are now on the same page to create shots that according to Cawley “look like the 4th season had the shown continued.” To ensure this trend continues they have brought in Daren Dochterman to act as special effects supervisor starting with the next episode (after “World Enough and Time”). Daren is well known to TrekMovie.com readers as leading the CGI team for Directors Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture as well as proposing the digital enhancement TOS. Although Daren is not working on the effects for the “World Enough and Time” he did create a new title sequence that will be first used with that episode. Cawley is thrilled with Daren joining the team, saying “there is no one who captures the original series the way Daren Dochterman does”
Dochterman invades New Voyages
The next episode from STNV is sure to raise some eyebrows; Trek is finally going gay. “Blood and Fire” will be an adaptation of script by David Gerrold, the writer for “Trouble With Tribbles.” The script was originally written 20 years ago for Star Trek: The Next Generation, but was shelved due to its homosexual characters. Although Gene Roddenberry had originally expressed his approval, the idea was killed off by Paramount. Cawley sees that moment as fateful for TNG, saying “As great as TNG was, when that decision was made it forever altered Star Trek…Star Trek was no longer the first.” D.C. Fontana helped get Cawley and Gerrold together and Gerrold was intrigued by the idea. To convert the TNG script to TOS they brought in Carlos Pedraza from the TNG fan film series Hidden Frontier, which also features gay characters. Cawley knows that even after all these years the show will be controversial, but says “the best episodes of Star Trek dealt with relevant issues, the issues of the day thrown into the future was the heart and soul of the show.”
"Blood and Fire" starts shooting in June and will be released around Halloween. The plot revolves around an encounter with another Starfleet vessel with everyone on board dead. The situation is related to a disease (the AIDS allegory) which is so virulent that there are standing orders to self destruct any ship where it breaks out. The two central figures are an openly gay couple on board the Enterprise, one of whom is Kirk’s nephew Peter (seen in “Operation – Annihilate”). The show will depict the couple just like any other romantic pair on the show, with no prejudices.
Mudd’s back – Then Uhura
After "Blood and Fire," STNV will follow up with “The Sky Above, The Mudd Below” – yes Harry Mudd is back. Cawley thought the show could use the change of pace, “it is much more light hearted than everything attempted….After 3 deadly serious episodes you need something to lighten up a little bit.” Harry Mudd will be played by J.G. Hertzler (better known as DS9’s Martok). The episode will also include Mudd’s battleaxe of a wife Stella (or maybe the android Stella…or both), but that role has yet to be cast. Cawley says that fans should expect more familiar faces thanks to the new Mudd, “J.G. is pulling in some heavy guest stars.” The y will also use this episode as an opportunity to get off the sets and do some location shooting. After the Mudd episode the team plan on bringing back Nichelle Nichols to reprise her role as Uhura. DS9 (and Of Gods and Men) writers Ethan Calk and Jack Trevino are currently working with Nichols on the script. Trevino tells TrekMovie.com “Nichelle truly believes there are many layers to the character that, as an actor, she never had the opportunity to explore during the original series.”
Finishing the Mission
Cawley hopes to keep up the pace of doing 2 or hopefully more shows per year. To that end he has permanently standing sets and a dedicated crew for the show. “Our goal is to finish the 4th and 5th season of Star Trek,” says Cawley. He even has the end planned out “I want to see the ship dock and the crew get those new uniforms…and have them not like them.”
for more info…check out StarTrekNewVoyages.com
all images courtesy Star Trek New Voyages
Have been watching this since the first ep., and have been very impressed. Maybe it isn’t as high quality as a tv show would be but it is very good. Just my opinion.
New Voyages is pure dreck. But not as god awful as HiddenFrontier and the rest of ’em.
Might not be so bad if Cawley stayed behind the camera– his Kirk renders this series completely unwatchable. If you think Shatner’s toupee is bad, try watching this!
Look… it may not be perfect, but it’s all we’ve got… I for one enjoy at least some glimpse into the universe I know and love…
I am glad to hear “no more barrel rolls”. I mean while I like them in some cases, such as smaller craft as seen on BSG with its viper/raider battles I allways liked the more “majestic” movement of the trek ships. I’m thinking there were some shots in “To serve all my days” that worked well as being more than the slower shots but not so far as the rolls and jumps from previous NV eps. These new pics above look great!
The article makes the effects sound as though they haven’t been that good but aside from the movements they have seemed good to me. Cool to hear even though Daren didn’t get the remastered job he will be working on the “New” episodes. Would be cool (allthough I’m sure with all the work going into future eps it won’t happen) if they could go back and do the previous shots with less of the rolls and jumps, they come off as a bit cartoony to me. Something along the lines of Exeter which to me got the shots down great with the latest ep(or the parts that are out :-).
Looking forward to these the new episodes!
Yay! gay characters finally :)
I was thinking that maybe in the future they killed all of us at birth or something.
on a side note…. wont it get kinda cheezy if every time they introduce a characte from tos he/she has been infected with an aging sickness or some equivilant of one.
I really enjoy the “New Voyages” episodes. once you get the past the fact that “it ain’t the real thing” — it is really good story telling. Kudos to Cawley and Crew, BTW — I totally LOVED “In Harm’s Way”. Keep up the nice work!
Yeah, that’s great. Condemn the show because of one actor, or an actor’s hair. Completely look past the involvement of original Trek alumni, the awesome sets, the production values, and the overall LOVE for Star Trek, and just don’t watch it because of a dude’s hair, or because Cawley isn’t Shatner.
It sounds stupid when I say it, but even stupider when driver and steve did.
Sounds like STNV is responding positively to legitimate criticism. The addition of a professional DP and more lights should certainly help the show look better. I’m sure they cringe as much as we do when they look at their footage and see the main character giving a long speech in an unlit portion of the set.
What stinks about the one or two episodes a year is that I really don’t want to see a gay episode. That’s not pushing boundries. It’s already been done in every media. If they go one episode a year, that means those who have no interest in this plot will have 2 years between episodes.
It’s like they are only doing this episode to pat themselves on the back and say “see, we made gay Trek.” I’m sure my opinion doesn’t mean much to them, and I’m sure one less download out of a million won’t affect them, but I think it’s a waste.
I want to be entertained, not preached to.
I’ll pass on that episode.
The thing that drew me into this was the incredible sets…yet it is those very exact replicas that make it hard to watch. It’s like everthing is replicated perfectly…except the actors. They seem like imposters…who are these people walking around on Kirk’s Enterprise? It would have been so much easier to for me to get into a different crew on another Federation ship than to watch New Voyages calling themselves Kirk and company on a replica of the 1966 sets. It’s also distracting when everything is top notch, but the acting and directing isn’t. I’m sooo glad they have an acting coach…I just hope some of the actors take to it. Not everyone is an actor…and with all due respect, some of the folks in new voyages have as much business “acting” as I do.
I’ve watched every episode so far, and they are improving. I’ll continue to tune in and hope there are some, among the cast, that have some natural acting ability that can be pulled to the surface . Because that is what truly needs to happen for this series to flourish. The novely of the sets is over. The novelty of original guest stars is wearing thin already. The novelty of original series writers will also grow thin unless they can come up with the acting ability to deliver the lines with the polish they deserve.
A love of Trek doesn’t guarantee good Trek….but I recognize that they are trying. Like I said, I’ve watched every episode and some were worth the download, some were not. I’ll certainly be downloading the new one in April and look forward to the improvements Cawley spoke of.
Terrible to have your prejudices challenged, ain’t it?
I’ve watched all of NV so far. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the set recreations and such; I’ve marveled at the guest stars and guest writers … but I still prefer the first two-thirds of the “Starship Exeter” episode “Tressaurian Intersection” to any full episode of “New Voyages” I’ve seen thus far.
Just think of it as a “road company” version of Star Trek. Same set, same props, different actors.
Meh. Everyone has a right to their own beliefs. Some folks think homosexuality is wrong. There are a myriad of reasons for their beliefs. Just because they’d prefer that Trek not jump onto the “Gay rights bandwagon” or whatever, doesn’t mean that their opinion isn’t valid, doesn’t have merit or isn’t without heartfelt and rational reasoning behind it. I get sick and tired of people bashing the folks who conscientiously object to the gay lifestyle. Just because they don’t agree with it doesn’t automatically make them evil or unloving or “homophobic”. In a lot of cases it’s quite the opposite.
As for the episode, it’ll be interesting to see where they go with it. AIDS IS a sexually transmitted disease, and like it or not, the male homosexual community is afflicted with it at a higher percentage in the United States than Heterosexuals (this is far from the case in Africa, etc). I am always interested in tightly written plots and this could be interesting depending on how it’s presented. I do hope it doesn’t turn into the preachy dreck that TNG sometimes descended to.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Gerrold’s writing, and while “Trouble with Tribbles” is a classic, I’ve found few of his other works worth spending great amounts of time on. I’m hoping that even with it’s controversial subject that he’ll be up to making it compelling to watch.
guys gays in trek is controversial and is worth discussing.
….but i don’t want to see any anti-gay rhetoric
otherwise I just want to say i enjoyed talking to James and plan on doing more coverage for STNV. I am encouraged by their progress especially the inclusion Daren onto the team.
keep an eye out for a review of the takei episode in the coming weeks
I will not be wasting my time on any more New Voyages. I watched one episode and it was agony. It doesn’t matter if they are improving the effects or bringing on directors of photography. The bottom line is that they have these people trying to play the original series characters. I do not fault them for wanting to make these films for fun. Heck, I’d like to go tramping around the original series bridge myself. I just have no interest in seeing these people trying to play Kirk, Spock, etc.
As far as ‘controversial’ stories go, I really have no need for that in Star Trek or any other series. I watch for entertainment, not for messages or shock value.
Having read a ton of David Gerrold articles in old Starlog magazines over the years, I’m not really a fan. “Tribbles” was a good episode of Star Trek, but I’ve never seen anything else of his that was worth a second look. (OK, maybe an episode or two of “Land of the Lost.” ;) )
The idea that this is somehow the 4th season is a nice fantasy for those who want to go with that, but I’m not buying it.
These people are amatuers and making the attempt to improve doing something they enjoy. They won’t replace the originals.
I applaud the attempt.
To the cast…Enjoy what you do… there will always be enough critics to go around… and run over when they aren’t looking.
I’m happy that they are doing the tossed gay episode.
FYI: It’s a myth that the network didn’t allow the episode. GR himself didn’t want to do it, but, as always, he blamed it on the network when asked about it.
huh! i disagree they are doing gay episode!!! come on i cant let my child watch it..
you can’t expose your child to alternative lifestyles? Better not watch Trek at all in that case.
i would let my kid watch it…in fact i think that is the point. in the future no one cares if you are gay. I doubt they are going to show gay sex. but two guys kissing is no dif than a guy and a girl
that being said it looks like they are going for stunt casting and stunt topics….but it does help with publicity.
it is kind of hard to really judge STNV. when compared to community theater of other amatuer productions it is pretty good. but if they want us to judge it as a true continuation of the series…then I have yet to see it reach those levels. But I will check out the next episode if it really is supposed to be that much better but if it isnt then i will give up on it
To Serve All My Days was actually really entertaining. Sometimes the characters, especially McCoy and Scotty don’t act like the real characters, but overall, it’s fun and entertaining. The CGI is sometimes nicer than TOS-R.
Whooo… I’ve lost a lot of faith in STNV since “TSAMD.” I looked forward to the big breakthrough (Walter Koenig! D.C. Fontana! REAL TREK!) for over a year and was *sorely* disappointed in the entire episode. The acting was, as earlier commented upon, terrible, and the pacing was painful, as if Ms. Fontana had been heavily rewritten multiple times to warp all her good material into… well, bad material. Either that or she lost her edge, which would be equally saddening. The continuity I didn’t particularly care about, but the surprise ending was a little too surprising to be poignant.
Eh, I’ll invest the hour on WEAT. They’re obviously trying, and it might amount to something worth watching. Heck, it might even be great. And I’m enough of a fanboy that I’ll enjoy it pretty much no matter what.
“Blood and Fire”… there’s a name I recognized immediately. I like the idea of updating a shelved TNG script, especially one that was so controversial. Trek is pretty cool when it gets into the controversy. But Star Trek is also, in general, completely off-base when it comes to sexuality, and I assume David Gerrold will miss all the same points concerning homosexuality. So I hope its entertaining, thought-provoking, investigative, and more than a self-congratulatory “we’re so edgy” piece. I won’t hope for a serious discussion of the nature of human sexuality or anything that might remotely favor my position, because GR wasn’t exactly into that, but I can disagree with the outcome of the episode without automatically hating it.
BTW, Anthony, now that I’ve said that, what exactly qualifies as “anti-gay rhetoric”? I mean, there are admins out there who assume that if you believe homosexuality is immoral, you must be a homophobe and therefore they censor you immediately, and then there are the admins who brook disagreement and discussion, but who won’t tolerate anything deliberately slanderous against homosexuals or offensive name-calling or the like.
Having now complained thoroughly about the last episode and the prospects for the future ones, I applaud the efforts of the STNV team and look forward to seeing what they put forth next.
We’ve come so far, yet still have so far to go. If some of the reactions here are any indication, then Gene was probably right to pull the plug on this episode back in the day, it probably would have killed Next Gen dead in it’s tracks. Can’t let a kid watch it? Seriously, has that child ever seen a guy and girl kiss? It’s no different. My parents were homophobic, but they realized that it was because they were products of their time…and they didn’t want me to be the same. They wanted the cycle to end with them. Somehow, they managed to look beyond their own fears and wash them completely away from me. My parents were able to leap beyond their personal limitations. That’s the type of people Gene presented to us in Trek, folks who were able to see that their views …while fine for them, were not universal.
#25 Nicely said.
I would’nt let my child watch it either! omg those homos, and their hidden agenda to turn the worlds population into gay stereotypes! so go ahead and let your children get back to watching television shows on your local cable that im sure contain nothing that would influence a child to do drugs, have sex, steal, or kill.
you should be just as fearful of “straight” relationships on television or in the media.
I hope you guys realize i am just kidding .. although i do not agree with “=A=”‘s opinion there is nothing anyone can do about it..
A gay themed episode is fine as long as its not heavy handed. The promo pics aren’t very promising. When the trumpets play and horns are honking, drawing attention to it being a “gay episode” that’s when I begin to worry. Star Trek has never been about hitting you over the head with controversy. It’s great when they offer a little food for thought in the course of a story, but when the headlines bark an episode’s importance and how groundbreaking it is…, it takes the wind right out of the sails. When a gay themed episode can come and go, without so much fanfare…and with out much reaction, one way or the other…..then, we will have truly achieved something.
“In Harm’s Way” and “To Serve All My Days” kept my attention a lot longer than the last two Next Generation films, let me tell you!
Sure there are some things that the New Voyages team can improve but they are working on it, and appreciate the input.
Looking forward to the upcoming “World Enough and Time”!
Sulu in leather? Oh wait, the gay episode is the one after this one.
OK, c’mon! Somebody had to make a joke here… It’s getting way too serious. And there HAVE been gay episodes in trek. DS9’s ‘Rejoined.’ I’m never quite sure whether ‘Turnabout Intruder’ qualifies. My jaw drops when it’s on and my brain fizzles out.
Anywho… STNV is great if only for the fact that it’s such a labor of love by all concerned. Paramount has ensured nobody on this project gets rich, or in some cases even breaks even.
James Cawley deserves his kudos. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who’ll be watching.
Oh, and I liked the barrel role. The whole ‘In Harm’s Way’ episode had already gone so far over the top, it was like a visual ‘what the hell!’ Just waiting to see whether they make the Chekov storyline rejoin overall continuity.
I, too, applaud the New Voyages crew for their efforts. I’ve watched all of the episodes from the quirky “Come What May” to the much more elegant “To Serve All My Days.” There has been nothing but improvement throughout the NV series run. The acting, special effects, storytelling, action, pacing, lighting, editing; everything has gotten better each time. I have no problem with Cawley’s rendition of Kirk, and the actors who play LaSalle and Young Chekov are extremely talented.
I do, however, think that Starship Exeter is a bit better at capturing the overall “feel” of TOS Trek than New Voyages. Perhaps it’s the fact that New Voyages relies a little too much on its ability to bring former Trek actors on board. It takes me out of things a bit and shoehorns them into some limited stories because the age discrepancies need to be explained.
In any case, New Voyages continues to be the benchmark, and also keeps raising the bar, by which all other fan films are judged. They’re also keeping a spotlight on Trek, and we should all be thankful for that.
“There are always possibilities.”
Oh, what could have been.
What the HELL is Sulu wearing?!
It’s funny – just now when I read NV were doing “Blood and Fire” my first thought was “Do they have the rights to that script?” Aaargh, I’m turning into a lawyer.
I liked Cawley’s quote about the new uniforms :-|)
Cawley would do better if he tried acting, instead of impersonating William Shatner doing Kirk. Enough with the facial mimicry already. I guess you should expect this from somebody who’s a professional impersonator. But his acting is the second worst, right behind the guy who plays Bones. Ecccchhhhh!
In response to ur “What the HELL is Sulu wearing” that would be an EV suit as seen in the TOS episode “The Tholian Web”… Kirk and the landing party wore those when they boarded the derilict USS Defiant. I’ve checked stills from that episodes and the costume is identical.
I have no problems with New Voyages whatsoever… so they stunt cast its true… but to be prefectly honest i have no quarrels with stunt casting. If their acting improves and alongside the addition of the likes of Takei and Hertzler.
One thing you folks need to remember is that sometimes its not always the characters and actors that make the episodes what they are.. sometimes it is the VFX, sometimes it is the music, sometimes its the lighting and sometimes its the cinematography.
A professional DOP is good as is top par VFX team like Dochterman and the guys at DAVE and the acting coach works as well.
Kudos to those guys… kudos….
Whats that old saying:
“How do you get to Carniege Hall??
PRACTICE… PRACTICE… PRACTICE”
If James Cawley would just comb his hair with the part on the left side of his face like Shatner, he would look much more Kirk-like. Or as Stanky McFibberich would say more Kirk-like for a “fake Kirk.”
re:36. Thanks, Jeffrey. I forgot to include ‘fake Kirk’ in my post above.
I keep waiting for James Cawley to break into a rousing rendition of “Burnin’ Love”. ;)
And everyone remember, we must never be critical of any “controversial themes” :|
Why does Cawley wear such an awful toupee? In tribute to Shatner? Every time I’ve tried to watch a NV ep, it gets in the way
Ive been a big supporter of new voyages since i first found it…..as for exeter finishing ill believe it when i see it,they havent updated there web site in over a year…..theyve moved on we should too. I found it interesting that DOC came aboard after his blog on fan films and how bad NV was including Crawleys acting..but im sure hes there to let them know what theyre doin wrong as usual.As for the GAY episode….trek has always been good at how SUBTLE they were at getting their point across…perhaps a planet where the inhabitants can only have sex with another planets inhabitants. They always got their point in through the BACKDOOR….guess they still are. LMAO sorry couldnt resist ;)
All right– a few things– please reread my post. It wasn’t ANTI-GAY. Just because I don’t want to see yet another gay theme doesn’t make me unenlightened, or intolerant. If anything, it’s the other way around. It seems to be in fashion to bash people that aren’t embracing gay themes. THEY are the truly intolerant. I have no problem with gay people or gay themed shows. But I have no desire to watch it.
This episode will not break any ground. It is only controversial because they have one episode or two a year and this is not exactly a broad based topic that will entertain. And that’s what Trek should be–entertainment, not preachiness.
When GR protested Vietnam, he did it in an entertaining way. He didn’t do it in some over the top, gorefest.
I don’t like seeing guys making out with each other. It grosses me out, and feeling that way and having that opinion doesn’t make me intolerant and I get sick of the smugness that people have thinking that in order to not be labeled intolerant, you have to accept anything with a gay theme.
#39 Brady is right. Subtlety is how Trek made their points. This is hardly subtle.
It’s Brokeback Trek. Been done. I’ll pass.
thank you #40 ….yaknow I never tire of hearing that,,,ya think I would, but I dont lol
I’m confused by this statement in the article:
“Eventually friends and fans found out about the project and by 2003 a pilot “Come What May” was shot as a proof of concept (but not released). ”
At the time I discovered New Voyages, “Come What May” was the only episode they had made and it was available for download. That sounds like a release to me…
It astounds me when I hear people saying how they watch solely to be entertained, and not to have their perceptions challenged.
Am I missing something? Have I been watching a different Star Trek than these people? I thought that was the POINT of Star Trek.
As far as not letting your child watch the homosexually-themed episode, I’m glad that you weren’t a parent in the 60’s, when you would have forbidden your child from watching an episode of a white man kissing a black woman. What solely entertainment, non-controversial show was that? Oh yeah… Star Trek.
Not that astounding. It may be somebody’s point of Star Trek. It is not mine.
I like it because of its visual style, the music, the stories, the characters, and the actors who played them at that time.
If a story has a message, that’s fine. Let me figure that out for myself if I want to. I don’t need to have it announced to me that, “you gotta watch this because it’s controversial.”
I want to be entertained by entertainment.
Somebody above stated something to the effect that this particular theme is no different to allow a child to watch than shows with themes of drugs, violence, promiscuity, etc. In a sense, he is right. I tend to not watch or be entertained by those types of shows, either. That’s why I basically watch no ‘modern’ TV or movies. They don’t entertain me. In another sense, there is a huge difference, which is quite obvious, no matter what your point-of-view is on the topic.
People have as much right to be against something as they have the right to be for something. It seems like nowadays, to be “open-minded” is defined as, “you must accept everything as being right.” I don’t buy it.
People who go around screaming “prejudice” all the time should maybe look at themselves and their own prejudices. It’s easy for people to scream “prejudice” at those who disagree with their own particular topic of interest, but these same people likely do the very same thing when it comes to some other topic. When I first watched “Plato’s Stepchildren,” I was not shocked by Kirk kissing Uhura. I don’t remember thinking anything about it at all. I did feel it was one of the lamer episodes, but that is another thing.
Believe me, I am not only talking about the gay theme here. I am in no way trying to imply anything in regards to whatever opinion I have on that subject. Some people will read it one way, and other people will read it another way, depending on their own “prejudices.” I’m just tired of being expected to embrace or examine certain ideas, lifestyles, or philosophies through entertainment just because they are controversial, or ‘cutting-edge.’ There is plenty of that in the news and the real world if I want to examine those issues.
Somebody above also mentioned that the Star Trek series dealt with those things subtly, rather than hitting you over the head with it. That’s a good thing. I never felt the series was being preachy or controversial in any way. Just fun to watch. If you took some message from it, fine, but it never *seemed* like the main point, even if that was sometimes the intention of the writers/creators.
I want to be entertained by fictional TV and movies. If I want to examine issues, I’ll choose another medium to do that.
Enjoyed the article. I only have one quibble with it — Marc Zicree and I co-wrote the script based on a pitch I made to Phase II. We also co-produced, and Marc directed.
Who says that forcing men on men on the audience is having perceptions challenged? Again, all of this stuff HAS been done before. There is no groundbreaking.
This episode will not challenge any perceptions. 2005 was the year of the gay movie. Not that anything done there was groundbreaking either, but at this point, it’s old hat.
All they are accomplishing here is placating Gerrold’s desire to see this script made. It’s a nice feather in their cap to have such a great writer involved in their production.
But I still have no interest in watching this episode.
Star Trek’s point is to be an entertaining television show. They did not set out to change the world. It’s not the bible. It’s a TV show. Not gospel. As I said before, when the original series tackled issues, they did so in a subtle way and did not let their goals stop them from being a tv show first.
When Kirk and Uhura kissed, it wasn’t some episode about them having a romance. They were FORCED to do it. Not that either minded, but the point was that GR did NOT beat us over the head with an interracial kiss. It wasn’t an episode themed around an interracial kiss. There was no preachy aspect. It just happened.
#44 made some damn good points. Openminded does not mean accepting everything as right. It does not mean you have to give up your beliefs in right and wrong. You have a right not to want to watch gay themed agendas and not be considered intolerant or closed minded.
To try to say that anyone who doesn’t like gay themed TV is somehow a bigot or less tolerant is actually hypocritical because THAT is intolerant. You are basically saying, “like what I like, or be given a label.”
I don’t need a fan production of Star Trek to preach to me. They should focus on entertainment, because that’s what TV is. So I’ll pass on this episode, and hope the next one is more in line with what Star Trek is all about to me.
I enjoyed NV Come what may, and the little featurette center chair, but the last one In harms way was horrid IMHO. I hope the next is better. Also to whom it may concern regarding the article above about NV, a spell check would have been nice!
Call me picky, but having given each of the various TOS fan film projects a try, so far I’ve found them too painful to watch, with poor scripts and worse acting. Cawley’s portrayal of Kirk invites more disbelief than I can willingly suspend. Even Fontana’s script.left me wondering whether she’d lost a few steps over the years. All of that said, I’m ok with the fan film concept, although it might be better to use new characters & ships, as the Exeter and Farragut projects are doing, so that the viewer has fewer preconceptions going in, and I hope they continue to improve.
Come on Braga,
The argument that Trek has always been subtle just doesn’t hold up. There are countless example of preachy Trek. A Private Little War, Let that Be Your Last Battlefield, etc., Even Enterprise, which for the most part lacked social commentary had its preachy moments: Stigma, Chosen Realm, The Breach.
My version of “what Star Trek is all about” includes some of the best preachy examples of social commentary thinly disguised as science fiction. There is usually nothing subtle about what the writers are trying to say.
#39: “..as for exeter finishing …they’ve moved on we should too.”
Folks in the audience “moving on” is understandable given the length of time it’s taking us to release Act Three. That said, those of us working on “Tressaurian Intersection” have *not* “moved on,” and Act Three will be released pretty soon.