FanMade: Review of Star Trek Phase II “Blood and Fire” Part 2 [UPDATE: More D/L Links]

It has been a long eleven month wait, but part two of Star Trek Phase II’s "Blood and Fire" has finally been released online. Decades after writing it as a script for The Next Generation, David Gerrold has finally realized his allegorical story, now set in the 23rd century. Find out how it all works out in the TrekMovie review [NOTE: Contains SPOILERS]


[NOTE: If you want to watch the episode before reading the review, see the link at the bottom for where to go]


Review: Blood and Fire, Part 2

The second part of "Blood and Fire" kicks off right after the cliffhanger for part 1 (see TrekMovie review), with Kirk and crew wrestling with how to deal with their landing party that is stuck on the quarantined USS Copernicus. We are soon introduced to "Blood and Fire’s" guest star, Star Trek The Next Generation’s Denise Crosby playing Dr. Jenna Yar (apparently an ancestor of her TNG character Tasha Yar). She, along with Federation medical researcher Michael Blodgett (Bill Blair) appear to have the solution for the Regulan Bloodworm problem, but it will take Dr. McCoy to figure out a cure and Kirk to keep things together with Klingons breathing down their necks, all under the threat of a ticking clock in the form of the crippled Copernicus spiraling into a sun.

Again with the Klingons

One of the welcome things about "Blood and Fire" part 2 is that it feels more like a Star Trek episode than many past outings from New Voyages and Phase II. The focus of the episode is on the crisis at hand, with Kirk, Spock and McCoy carrying most of the load. With many past New Voyages episodes we end up with an over-bloated B-story revolving around the stunt cast guest star, but here Crosby’s role feels like the right balance of a guest star in a TOS episode. Crosby puts in good performance, as does Bill Blair, who is convincing as Blodgett, who is effective as one of those Federation bureaucrats that are determined to get under Kirk’s skin. 

Blodgett (Blair) and Yar (Crosby), and some guy wondering if he is going to make it

Cawley puts in one of his better performances as Kirk and Ben Tolpin’s Spock is excellent (it is unfortunate that this will be his last appearance). John Kelley delivers his best performance yet as Bones, although at times he seems to struggle dealing with some of the medical technobabble (ironic as Kelley is a real doctor). The subplot of the relationship between Peter Kirk (Bobby Rice) and Alex Freeman (Evan Fowler) pays off in part 2 without being overbearing, with some exceptional acting on the part of Rice. In fact, the whole cast seems to continue to improve, with each episode of Phase II.

Kirk and his happy crew (except for Spock of course)

Director David Gerrold keeps an even better pace with part 2 of his "Blood and Fire." It flows like a Star Trek episode, and this time there aren’t as many dragging moments as we found in part 1. The script, by Gerrold and Carlos Pedraza (based on an unused TNG script by Gerrold) also (mostly) rings true for classic Trek, full of traditional themes like family and sacrifice. And interplay with the Klingons is reminiscent to "Day of the Dove", played well by both James Cawley as Kirk and John Carrigan as Captain Kargh.

 Captain Kargh (Carrigan) likes his bloodwine hot

However, this is the 21st century and so Gerrold also brings some modern themes as well, which can be refreshing at times, and at other times appear anachronistic. Gerrold and Pedraza also do a bit of ‘retconning’ [SPOILER TEXT: by introducing Section 31 into TOS] which may not work with some purists, but I think is kind of fun. What is most surprising about this episode is that much of the humor, which "Trouble with Tribbles" writer Gerrold is best known for, falls flat, but there are still a few good chuckles. "Blood and Fire, Part 2" is also weighed down a bit by technobabble, and I am still a little unclear on what is going on with the plasmacytes, blood worms and what it all becomes by the end of the episode.

This episode goes through more blood than a teenage vampire movie

As with Part 1, the effects are top notch for a fan film (and even many ‘real’ TV shows). The effects team have struck the right balance of using modern technology and approaches, but keeping with a sixties sensibility. Although many of the shots are unlike what you would have seen on the original show (some of which would have been impossible), they aren’t wildly out of place as some shots from earlier New Voyages episodes. The rest of the production continues to be exceptional, from sets to costumes to production design to the use of the original music. Phase II sets the bar for ‘fan productions’ of all kinds in this regard.

That nacelle got fixed up just fine — guess they really don’t need that refit

In the end, "Blood and Fire, Part 2" is a satisfying conclusion, even though the wait was a bit long. Cawley and Gerrold have told an interesting Star Trek story which also has a message or two. However, I can’t help but think that this story really didn’t need to be stretched out to two parts, and could have delivered as a more action-packed single episode. Regardless, it is recommended, especially for fans of fan films.

The human adventure continues in "Star Trek Phase II"

Watch Blood and Fire Part 2 online now
The teaser for "Blood and Fire, Part 2" is available on YouTube (see below). The full episode is also available now at the Star Trek Phase II Mirror Site. NOTE: Phose II producer James Cawley made good with his promise to release this episode on November 20th, but some of the acts have a temporary audio track. This will be fixed in the coming days. TrekMovie will update this article with the new links as they are made available.

UPDATE: More Download Links






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