The popular independent fan production Star Trek New Voyages is changing its name and changing direction. Starting immediately New Voyages will be known as Star Trek: Phase II, adopting the name of the planned but never produced ‘second Star Trek series.’ Show star and executive producer James Cawley announced the change at the Farpoint Convention in Baltimore on Saturday. Cawley talked to TrekMovie.com about the new name and new direction for the show formerly known as New Voyages.
Bridging the gap
The original Phase II was going to be the series television return of Star Trek, with most of the Original Series cast. It was to be the cornerstone of a new Paramount network. Scripts were written, costumes were made, sets were built and things were ready to go but the network deal fell through and eventually the show evolved into the feature film Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Cawley says that he has always been "enamored" with Phase II for what "it could have been." and over the last year he has been building an inventory of materials related to it. He and his team have been working with Jon Povill, story editor on Phase II as well as an associate producer on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, who has provided scripts, outlines, pitches and other background material. In addition Cawley has been purchasing many of the original Phase II costumes which have become available through the "Its A Wrap" Star Trek auctions.
The plan is to begin to incorporate more and more original Phase II ideas and designs into the series as it heads towards the end of the 5 year mission. Of course the original Phase II was to be a second 5 year mission. However, it is Cawley’s plan is to try to ‘bridge the gap’ between the end of TOS (in the third year of the five year mission) and The Motion Picture. Cawley explains:
I am in no hurry to end the five year mission, but obviously I want to see us progress towards the end of it and the start of The Motion Picture. So how to get from here to there? You can’t go at it as if you end the five year mission then do Phase II then have The Motion Picture because many elements of what would have been in Phase II are now in The Motion Picture. For example, we can’t bring in Ilia because you saw her greeting the crew for the first time in Motion Picture, but we can bring in Decker if we wanted to. So basically what were are going to do is involve certain element of the concept of Phase II into the timeline of the last two years of The Original Series.
New Star Trek: Phase II logo (designed by Daren Dochterman)
Some of this transition has already started. In the upcoming episode, "Blood and Fire" Cawley’s Kirk will be seen wearing a Phase II shirt and Scotty (Charles Root) will be sporting a TMP engineering uniform. That episode should be available by April or May. Plans are afoot to build a new Phase II-like set for engineering to appear in a future episode. In addition Cawley says that there will be "some Phase II adjustments to the Enterprise’s exterior, but only those that will allow us to see the progression to The Motion Picture." The new elements will likely begin to be seen more prominently in the episodes following "Blood and Fire." The Phase II team are planning on shooting "Rest and Retaliation" and an additional episode ‘back to back’ in June, with the first of those hoped to be out by the end of the year.
Left: Cawley (Kirk) in Phase II uniform – Right: Root (Scotty) in TMP radiation suit
from “Blood and Fire”
All in all this change of direction is a bold and potentially risky move. It is also somewhat ironic for the show that has prided itself on recreating The Original Series down to every detail. Perhaps Cawley’s recent stint on the set of JJ Abrams new Star Trek has inspired the self-described ‘purist.’ As Mr. Spock says in "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," "change is the essential process of all existence."
New cast and new Phase II character
Speaking of changes at Phase II, there are also new cast members ready to board the Enterprise. The first is the previously announced Ben Tolpin who joined last year and will appear as Spock in "Blood and Fire." And for the following episode there will be a new Chekov and a new Sulu. Both of the current actors (Andy Bray and John Lim) have other commitments and have decided to leave the show. Stepping in are JT Tepnapa as Sulu and Jonathan Zungre as Chekov. Both are experienced actors with stage and commercial work.
And to show the progression to Phase II, the character of Xon has been added to the cast (played by Patrick Bell). Leonard Nimoy was not going to join the the original Phase II so Gene Roddenberry created the character of the Vulcan science officer Xon, who was to be Spock’s replacement. The role was even cast (with David Gautreaux), but once the series evolved into Star Trek The Motion Picture Nimoy came on board and Xon was no longer needed. Bell’s Xon will appear in the new Phase II episode “Blood and Fire,” but in this case he is just joining the crew and not replacing Spock.
(L-R) Bray, Cawley, Tolpin and Jay Story (Kyle)
in a shot from “Blood and Fire”
More on cast and name/direction change at the official site.
Now this I have to see!!
Look at the bridge above!
See how modern and futuristic it still looks even today?
Why couldn’t the new Star Trek film keep the same interior design?
Should be interesting. My Phase II book by the Stevens is one of my faves.
No matter what they do with it I wish ’em the best of luck. Cawley & Company’s work gets better and better and I’m excited to follow it; that last one made me all misty-eyed both times I watched it (but Cawley, dude, enunciate just a little more for me, man … I seriously have to tap back sometimes to make out what youv’e said).
This is a cool idea!
thank god rodenbarry s second vision will be shown
Those sets are amazing!
I am going to start watching these episodes asap.
Does everyone see how retro-futuristic still holds up?!?!?!?!
To quote a late great Captain we all know and love.
“Sounds like fun!”
#2 & #7
In my eyes, that set doesn’t hold up at all as looking futuristic. The Master Control room as the TV station I work at looks more technologically advanced than the TOS Enterprise set.
Good on them!
Silly question, but did these guys win the lottery? Does Paramount allow them to turn a profit (or at least meet costs) somehow?
I have taken the time to see some of their productions, & am amazed by the professionalism of a self-professed ‘fan-production’!
Phase 2 captures my imagination as well … unexplored ground is what ST is all about. ‘Cool’
This is cool. I’m interested in how they’re going to handle the Enterprise. There was a complete design for the Phase 2 ship but I’ve never considered if it would still fit in to continuity having abandoned the show in favor of the new matrix, I mean movie. Doing the Phase 2 ship would require an entire refit in and of itself.
This will be a fascinating new aspect to Cawley’s productions, and I don’t think it detracts at all from the TOS “purist” visions. Had Phase II gone into production as a TV series, a lot of things would have looked different. The Enterprise refit was still part of the story, as were new characters and costumes. The simple fact that Cawley’s intent has always been to “bridge the gap” between the end of TOS and the beginning of TMP makes this a perfect idea.
And I have a request for Mr. Cawley: If you can use script treatments from the original Phase II, Richard Bach wrote an interesting story called “Practice in Waking” that I think would make a great episode for you. Please see if you’re able to put that episode together.
Best of luck to the Phase II (nee New Voyages) crew!
(Oh, and here’s hoping they can slip in a nod to “Black Fire,” an older Trek novel by Sonni Cooper which addressed the transition from TOS-to-TMP with a nice bit of humor back in the day) ;)
I wonder what Edith Keeler will have to say about this …? :)
See? We managed to have a third season, and now, we have managed to have a fourth. It has taken us 40 years, but we’ve done it!
Trekkies can do anything!
*Sigh* For a lifelong Trek fan like myself, Cawley’s bridge set is a joy to behold. In its lighting and detail it’s damn near perfect. The part of me that will always be young wouldn’t change a thing. None of which means that the original bridge for its archaic details wouldn’t be laughed off the screen by contemporary audiences, and justifiably so. Hopefully, Abrams has managed to capture the essence of what we love about Matt Jeffries’ original concept while allowing for technical advances and modern tastes–we’ll just have to wait and see.
I’m looking forward to more New Voyages–uh, that is, Phase II–though I hope Cawley isn’t too faithful to what the aborted series proposed to do, as I found most of the stories and script treatments that have been described in various publications to be fairly weak at best. And it’s really a shame about Bray and Lim, who were not only decent actors (Bray managed to hold his own quite well opposite Walter Koenig, I thought), but bore an amazing physical resemblance to the originals as well. They’ll be missed.
>See how modern and futuristic it still looks even today?
No, I don’t see it actually. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the old bridge design but it does look very dated to me. I’m glad the new movie will be giving it a facelift, but I really admire and respect everything that New Voyages has done to faithfully recreate it.
Love New Voyages, been a fan since fairly early on, when the original “pilot,” which name escapes me right now, and “In Harm’s Way” were the only ones available.
The Phase II idea is great–I’m all for it. Except….. …. um, can we skip the Phase II/TMP uniforms/jammies? And go direct to to TWOK uniforms? Can’t we all just pretent the jammies never happened? :)
Exciting stuff! Can’t wait to see :)
#2 I can’t tell if you were being sarcastic…but I certainly hope you were. If you were to walk into a doctors office that hadn’t been redecorated since 1965 would you let them treat you? That’s the sorta vibe I get when I see the old set. Nifty for it’s time, but really. Would I wanna travel faster than light in that thing? Um, no.
I always loved the colour, the lighting and shadows across the actors faces in TOS that Mr. Crawley has captured so well. I liked the idea that the bridge was lit by mult-colored lights from above.
I also liked the unlabled candy buttons as well. It created a sense of mystery–and the sound effects that they made when pressed–I felt that they had to make music in order to operate the ship. It just seemed so otherwolrdly. I have not seen such a combination of colour and sound in any other sci fi.
To me touch screen panels that are now featured in the other series seems so conventional.
Yeah, I too think that bridge is just awesome! I also think it is right where it belongs; in a lavish, well-produced fan production that pays tribute to their favorite old show. Whatever I may think of the acting, the “Phase 2” crew has done an amazing job recreating the look of the original series. I think it will be interesting to see where they will go from here.
However, I am one of those people who feels that it might have been a mistake to recreate the old bridge and other set designs for the later Trek episodes like “Relics” and such. While I love and respect those folks for writing us those love letters, look at all the continuity flap that has generated as a result. I am with those who don’t believe that the current crop of movie goers would buy this “classic” vision of the future. Most would find it too campy to be believable. My personal opinion has always been that they should have taken the James Bond approach with every new incarnation of Trek: New shows, new vision, same universe, same philosophy.
Let J.J. and Paramount “update” the concept for a new audience. Here in this alternate Internet universe, Cawley and co. have the opportunity to live out the purist dream and not worry about shoehorning it into “canon”. I think this is the perfect way for the two to co-exist.
Besides, he isn’t the first guy to build a starship bridge in his basement. Anyone remember John Cosentino’s Super-8 epic “Paragon’s Paragon” from the glory days of Don Dohler’s “Cinemagic”?
The way I understand it, they’re just a couple of financially well-off people with a VERY big hobby.
Imagine if you had a full-sized train set in your basement and David Copperfield stopped by your house to make the dining car disappear just before Agatha Christie reveals the murderer, and they do it for free out of respect for your love of trains.
What a terrible metaphor. I’m sorry, everyone : (
All the best to Mr. Cawley as he embarks on this new fan journey. Keep making those amazing episodes and the fans will continue to be behind you all the way.
“Phase II” isn’t copyrighted? I’m just asking.
I’m sorry to see both Sulu and Chekov are leaving. Young Chekov was a highlight of that episode and Sulu wasn’t so bad either.
Pfff, I wish they did’t steal that name. Find something out for yourselfs for crying out loud!
fanfilms can use copyrighted stuff, names images sets characters props etc as long as they dont make profit from the films…
The Phase II uniforms looked identical to the original series. Any changes would be beyond Phase II and into TMP.
Cawley must make a lot doing Elvis.
To bring a little more light to #11 and #24’s comments: Cawley said in a interview when New Voyages first started that he got permission from Paramount to produce these films. After Paramount saw the first episode, they gave him their blessing, as long as no money was being made. Cawley spent his own time and money in making the sets of the bridge, transporter room and now engineering. As far as I’m concerned, he is a purist in every since of the word. I wish him well in his forthcoming efforts!! Keep at it James!!!
come on guys for me as a relative young trekkie, im 22, the old tos bridge doesn’t looks cool. for real it looks exactly what it is, an old red coloured bad lightnend thing of paper.
i would hate it if j.j.abrams would use an exact replique in the new movie and i think 90 % of the watcher under 30 too.
#2 “See how modern and futuristic it still looks even today?”
Don’t think so ;-)
I love TOS, but unless JJ was going for some sort of live action Dick Tracy look, the original bridge would be a mistake on screen. Even back in the day of the TOS that look would blow out your retinas on the big screen.
I’m 28 and I think the TOS bridge looks cool. Not modern in today’s standards, but u see, what looks modern today looks dated in 10 years. It looks spaced out, crazy, retro-futuristic, totally unlike anything else and therefore looks futuristic and cool to me :)
Just as TOS as a whole I might add!
Wow. This answers a question I had posed to Cawley a while back. Incorporating the design elements is great, but changing the name??
I think that may have been a hasty misstep. The show was BRANDED. Now it’s been stripped of that identity. “Phase II” should remain the name of the unproduced series.
Sorry to see Andy and John leave. They were excellent.
Regarding the sets of the new film, I have a point to make…
If you compare TNG’s pilot, “Encounter at Farpoint”, with the final season — there’s a very obvious difference. Sets are better, lighting is way better, costumes and makeup are better (Crusher’s got her own hair!) etc.
Everything looks subtley slicker and cooler as the series develops. Yet in a way it’s supposed to be “the same ship” all along.
In the Trek universe, I consider TOS like a “pilot” in terms of production. The look of TOS doesn’t have to be rigidly preserved, no more than the look of “Encounter at Farpoint” has to be rigidly preserved. So I certainly don’t mind JJ Abrams giving the TOS Enterprise a “face lift” for the big screen, especially if it looks amazing (fingers crossed!).
And if ANYTHING is going to disrupt visual continuity with TOS, it’s the cast. Sets are far less significant than actors. Given the choice between having the original sets, and having the original cast, (as they appeared in the ’60s) I’m sure there isn’t a single Trekker who wouldn’t prefer the latter.
The fact is, a new cast means continuity is significantly broken, so a few style changes are not going to do much more harm. But, crucially, they will be IMPROVEMENTS. Just like season 7 TNG was a visual improvement to “Farpoint”.
To me, making things look better is NOT breaking canon. It’s just production. If JJ actually changes continuity — if he messes with established facts, if he reinvents pon farr, or “makes Greedo shoot first” (without very strong plot-oriented motivation), then that will be something to moan about.
#27 “find for themselves” OH… you mean like JJ is NOT doing?
I thnk the original bridge probably looks good and futuristic to anyone who hasn’t haunted fan boards for years listening to the cry of “those sets are made of cardboard”.
The design still works today because everything was created from scratch to make new technology. The controls aren’t modern toouchscreens or audio switchboards stuck on a wall. The screen displays aren’t conventional plasma screens displaying graphics that look like they come from your home PC. The circular stations and configuration is totally unique. The TOS design doesn’t look like anything else in Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica or Lost in Space, or Space 1999 or the real world.
The TOS bridge is totally unique and instantly identifiable. That’s why the design remains timeless.
I must admit, I´m impressed by this idea. Looking forward to it!
#38 “The TOS design doesn’t look like anything else in Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica or Lost in Space, or Space 1999 or the real world.”
I have to disagree regarding Space 1999. Like TOS, IMO its design is quite unique, identifiable and beautiful. As for the bridge of the original Enterprise, we are trekkers and we love it but there is no way that casual audience will get it other than a nostalgic show from the 60s. Star Trek has to tell wonderful stories, not bring laughs.
>“Phase II” isn’t copyrighted?
Part of the important news is that Paramount has given them permission to use the Phase II name and remaining archives.
Talking about TOS design, consider that back in 79 it was considered outdated and replaced by a new design that had a totally different look and feel. The bridge was round, the stations was in the same position but the colors, the lights, the shapes and the feeling was something new, more 70ish and like Space 1999 in my opinion. TOS visual feeling was no more.
So, in my opinion there is no absolute in Star Trek apart the vision of its creator.
This is very interesting news. I have always enjoyed the Phase II stories (well, most of them) and the vision for the show. The uniforms were going to be essentially TOS anyway, so that doesn’t bother me.
To be honest, and this is just my personal preference, I’d love to see Cawley pretend that the events in (name some episode) caused a divergence in the timeline. Then he could ignore TMP and beyond and create an alternate universe in which Phase II did exist as written.
Sure, I’d find a different way to handle Decker/Ilia (i.e., avoid Riker/Troi comparisons) but otherwise, I think a lot of the stories had potential. In particular, the two part Kitumba episode would have been excellent.
Hey, if you need a Decker, I could grow my hair back out ;)
Thank G-d for people like James Cawley, his passion for TOS is clearly reflected in his work. I thorough enjoy New Voyages and look forward to Phase II. I only hope that Abrams and crew demonstrate their passion for the ST franchise in the movie. Continue to the great work Mr. Cawley!!!!
I have to believe that the folks at Paramount look on Cawley’s efforts as something that, while not making money, keeps the temperature warm under the franchise. That’s why they gave it their blessing.
The more they look at what Cawley is doing, the more they have to appreciate just how special a franchise Star Trek actually is meant to be.
#23.. I do remember that… I still have the copy of the Cinemagic issue that spotlights it…. those were the days!
Actually, a Phase II Star Trek recreation is less jarring visually than a TOS recreation because the Phase II material is less iconic, less familiar – and therefore easier to recreate convincingly. A brilliant move by Cawley if you ask me.
I will miss their Spock though (Jeff Quinn). He was really good.
I wonder if Crawley’s “enamor” with STP2 will extend to leaving Spock out of it? As with some much of this “New Voyages” hobby of his, he puts in whatever he thinks ST should be and leaves out the part that he doesn’t.
I have always found it odd, that he seems to get the benefit of the doubt on it and the actual owners of the copyrights and franchise don’t?
#38.. I agree the basic deisng was timeless… but not the execution. I prefer plasma screens rather than backlit paper posters. Real video screens with moving readouts to blinking lights or backlit static images.
The design can remain but the details be filled in for a more real look, and I think that’s what JJ is doing.
If they simply stay within the framework of the remaining two years of the original mission, there is no need to write around Decker, Illia or the missing Spock. That didn’t occur until after the five year mission was over. If they simply incorporate the design elements of Phase II into the existing years, you have the look without having to explain other things.