This week sci-fi author Norman Spinrad (writer of the original Star Trek series episode "Doomsday Machine") released an ebook of a "lost script" he wrote for Star Trek which was never produced. Now the independent fan production Star Trek: Phase II has decided they will pick up the ball and put the script into production 45 years after it was written. More details below, plus watch the full teaser for the next Phase II episode "The Child."
Spinrads ‘He Walked Among Us’ To Be Shot By Star Trek: Phase II
In 1967 immediately after work finished on the original series episode "The Doomsday Machine," Star Trek creator/producer Gene Roddenberry asked writer Norman Spinrad to follow it up with another script. This time the parameters were to include a role for "Mr. Television" Milton Berle. Spinrad turned around a script titled "He Walked Among Us" but then came into conflict with producer Gene Coon. After Coon rewrote the script Spinrad felt it didn’t work anymore and convinced Roddenberry to pull it from the production schedule. Now 45 years later Spinrad has rediscovered his long lost original draft and this week he made it available as an e-book download.
Then yesterday Spinrad was contacted by Star Trek Phase II star/producer James Cawley and the two agreed to put the show back into production. Spinrad tells TrekMovie that Cawley also offered him the opportunity to direct the episode, which he accepted. This will be Spinrad’s first time at the helm, but he has experience working on film and television and has always wanted to direct. Spinrad tells TrekMovie the plan is to shoot "He Walked Among Us" in September. For now, Cawley and Spinrad haven’t started to talk about who they can cast to play the role originally intended for Milton Berle. TrekMovie suggests Jason Alexander. He’s a good actor for both drama and comedy, and of course a huge Trekkie (who even appeared in an episode of Voyager).
TrekMovie will post a full interview with Spinrad soon, where he talks about his experiences writing "He Walked Among Us," along with more tales of working with Gene Roddenberry and more.
The Child Teaser
Phase II’s next episode to be released is "The Child," directed by Jon Povill and based on his script originally written for the original unproduced Star Trek: Phase II series from the 70s (and later adapted into an episode of The Next Generation). Here is the teaser.
The full episode will be released hopefully soon. Phase II also has three more episodes currently in post-production. So we probably shouldn’t expect to see "He Walked Among Us" for a while.
This will be interesting to see.
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They’ve got the “feel’ down to a science.
OK, who left the dorks in charge on the bridge?! Now one of the crew is PREGNANT???
I read the Spinrad article yesterday and thought “I give it about ten minutes for the Phase II guys to grab this.”
I wish I was this smart about anything that mattered. :)
Yes, looking forward to seeing the new spinrad effort.
why aren’t these amazing writers still working in hollywood?
I cant’ wait to see this. I also wonder if there are any other orignal scripts from Tos that were done but not used. The Child is looking pretty good.
Sadly, most people seem to prefer reality TV and “American Idol” type shows which require no such intelligent writing, directing, or thought processes :( .
And for movies, we get such gems as Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean (and endless sequels)…each made a ton of money but require…shall we say…limited writing skills and sub-par I.Q.s to “enjoy.”
And the markets and the suits respond accordingly.
Just MHO… ;)
New post about the MTV set photos?!
(Not to be demanding or anything, I just saw them and I’m really excited :D :D)
great lens flares!
You know who else is a big Trek fan? Russell Johnson (The Professor from Gilligan’s Island). He says he’s always regretted never being cast in a Star Trek episode in his memoirs.
I had a feeling that P2 were gonna ask permission to produce the episode.
I gotta say, these guys do a stand up job. I wish there was some next gen episodes of similar quality.
I have to say, even though the acting isn’t that great at times… I am very impressed with the stories and the effects. Not bad at all for fan production.
As always, I’m impressed by the ability to turn these out at a relatively high level of quality.
Kinda dicey on the use of musical stabs. I would have hoped for Phase II, they’d have more original incidental music.
Still, I’ll be watching the finished ep.
AGREED… lens flares FTW!!!.
So, a crewmember walking around dazed and confused only gets a shrug by the Captain?
Was Scotty’s half-eaten doughnut a Simpson’s reference?
*Simpsons (note to self: ignore grammar checker next time)
And it looks WAAYY more polished than TOS for that matter. What, exactly, would your point be? That productions taking place a decade or more after the original benefit from technical advances? Or just another pot-shot at TNG?
I wish they would have stayed with calling it “New Voyages” instead of “Phase II” … I know that “Phase II” was the working title of the proposed second series, but honestly, it’s a crappy title.
9 – I believe I read somewhere that there was at least one unproduced script out there somewhere by the late, great Theodore Sturgeon (“Shore Leave,” “Amok Time” and numerous brilliant novels and short storie)s.
They need better microphone pickup on the bridge set.
Looking good – very polished production standards there. Also looks like they’ve been honing the acting a bit; more like screen acting now and less like the stage acting style of some earlier episodes.
Utterly fantastic work on the exterior shots of the Enterprise – modern techniques and technology, but perfectly matching the original stylistically.
Sulu is fat.
Yes, the acting feels more natural as opposed to forced or put on. Production looks very polished. Looking forard to seeing more.
Norman Spinrad directing a Phase II episode from his own script? Man, that is just too cool, and I haven’t even read the damned thing. Spinrad is a national treasure, and “The Doomsday Machine” (classic episode that it is) is the least of the reasons for it. Any fan of thoughtful, literate SF owes it to themselves to run out immediately and beg, borrow, or steal a copy of “Little Heroes,” “Russian Spring,” and (my favorite) “Child of Fortune”–a book so magical and timeless that it has several websites devoted just to its wonderful take on the evolution of a common human language and colorful, far-future setting. (Not to mention “The Lost Continent” and “A Thing of Beauty,” two post-apocalypse tales that invariably make their way into just about any notable “Best SF” anthology of the last four decades.) This late in his career he’ll probably never get the recognition he deserves in his home country, but this opportunity should provide a little consolation. Good for him, and good on James Cawley for making it possible.
(Which reminds me–I remember George Clayton Johnson being blown away by Phase II’s “World Enough and Time” to the extent that he also expressed interest in writing or adapting a script for the series. If any of the producers care to comment, I’d be interested to know if that’s still a possibility.)
the lighting looks great, nice balance of lights and darks….hate it when they over-light the bridge. The sound appears to be an issue though. In all, Im curious to check it out.
If we’re gonnna cast an icon may I suggest Ernest Borgnine .? Still in good health..a comedic as well as serious actor lets give acall to lt, commander Quentin,cabbie. Johnathan Mchale.(well excuse the black hole). Plus he’kinda in keeping with the original Milton Berlecasting.
#18 – That’s one of my biggest peeves with PHASE II is the endless reuse of music from TOS. Even if TOS had gone to a 4th season they would have had some original music commissioned at some point. Weird they would have new visual effects but not new music…and people have offered, free of charge, to provide new music.
I love Phase 2 (FKA New Voyages)… my one and only annoyance is the length of time between episode releases. It takes so long, that I almost completely forget about the series in between episodes, and only when I see a news article here do I think about it again :)
This is by no means a criticism of the work they do, I think it’s amazing. I just wish there was more of it :)
#30.. Michael, GCJ suggested we film “Rock-A-Bye-Baby-or-Die”. He chose a co-writer to adapt it for our series and there we stand at the moment. never-say-die!
This is horrible.
Please stop making it.
It’s absolutely unwatchable.
@ 36 Khan–
“It’s absolutely unwatchable”
Yer in the wrong forum, dude. Think you wanted the story above, the one with the header that includes a Quinto, Saldana, and some guy named Cumber-something.
Ah, 36 & 37; Two Trolls, One Thread
The episode looks very clean just based on the teaser, I have to say. Sound’s still an issue, and some of the visuals didn’t seem to match dialogue (Saying to put the nebula on screen when it already was, ordering Warp 1 and showing the ship creeping along, etc.) but those are minor nitpicks. I did notice the acting seeming a lot more natural, and that’s always welcome. Heck, even the effects work and cinematography are improved.
What I’m most curious about is how the emotion investment will stack up against the original. In it we had Troi to give us an emotional bridge to the titular child, and naturally I have my doubts that a one-shot character can do the same. But we’ll see. I think performance will carry it or not.
Well, I like it. Not a movie critic but it is Star Trek no complaints here.
I re-watched ‘World Enough and Time’. If you aren’t in tears at the end, you probably might not be human.
I respect what the Phase 2 team has done and every time they step up to a new level.
It may be an amateur production but last time I have seen anything they put up as in time, effort, and money to make these great shows is theirs. Their profit margin = 0000.00$
Cut them a little slack, ok?
You’re right. No need for me to get defensive on behalf of the Phase II people, who are obviously quite capable of dealing with trolling on their own at this point. In any case, my own Abrams-bashing must be getting a little old to folks by now, (or well before), and had nothing to do with the subject on this thread. My apologies. :-)
At last, a role for Jim Carrey in Star Trek….
The Child…..looks familiar….
I haven’t been following Phase II, but I remember that they announced that they were going to make an episode with the Kizinti from the Animated Series. Does anyone know if that ever got produced?
42 Due to technical and copyright issues, Killkinny Kats was dropped. Sorry.
36. The Nebula is most likely close to a full light year across. So going in at light speed as they did, yes it looked slow.
41. The Child was short on TNG, season 2, episode 1. Did not come out well.
Didn’t know Mr. Spinrad released this e-book–thanks!
Maybe its time to check out Phase II…
Sounds like Gene Coon made a mess of it. He might have been a marine, but a Great Bird he wasn’t!
I think it is way cool that the Star Trek-Phase II production is adapting Norman Spinrad’s unfilmed episode, and that Mr. Spinrad is going to be directing it. This should prove to be an interesting episode.
Interesting and better than either Starship Farragut’s production team and Vic Mignogna’s planned Star Trek project adapting the episode. After those two productions were blamed in that messy incident concerning the absconding of the Starship Ajax sets(December of 2011), I wouldn’t trust them with anything Star Trek-related.
Let me say this in all seriousness. New Voyages Phase II exists because many fans care. While a core group keeps the team going between shoots it is our crew and cast that truly make this happen. These people show up, at great personal expense and usually on their vacation, to work their backsides off while putting in long hours in oft times very trying circumstances.
Then, many of our fans, also send contributions of supplies, equipment and funds.
We are working to speed up post production; we have learned a lot about production and the need to closely coordinate with effects and post production needs.
We all know the stories of how this came to be; now the continuation is the dedication of cast and crew with the support and views/downloads that keep the team going.
A post above stated our profit margin is $00.00! Actually between production, overhead, cast and crew expenses it is thousands of dollars in the negative side of $00.00!!
That comes out of the incomes of all those who participate – INCLUDING fan contributions. This is one unique hobby and it may be entropic, but the final result is worth the effort. We give the world our vision and interpretation of what the fourth year of TOS might have been.
I read “He Walked Among Us” a day ago; I believe the script is very apropos to TOS with a good story. But first, we must film “Bread and Savagery” then on to HWAU!
@ 35 Patty Wright–
Thanks for the reply. I sincerely hope that it happens. George looks (and acts) like the world’s oldest hippie–but the last I spoke to him, he was vocal in his support of George W. Bush. Interesting guy. :-)
As for the teaser of “The Child,” my first impression is that it’s a little overlong and static (the alien whatsits sampling one crewman or so too many for my taste ), and that the selections of TOS music aren’t nearly as seamless as on “Enemy: Starfleet.” On the plus side I really liked the depiction of the Enterprise on night shift, something the series bible talked about but was very rarely depicted onscreen. (The diagnostic monitors booting up on McCoy’s entrance was particularly cool.) That the episode will probably be superior dramatically to TNG’s “The Child” is a foregone conclusion, but one that also sets a pretty low bar. In truth, it was a remarkably unmemorable show, with a shot of some puppies in the Enterprise-D nursery that seemed to go on for hours. I’m glad that Jon Povill finally got to make the show he had in mind in 1977, and am very much looking forward to seeing the rest of it.
Amazing work as always!
This is really cool. Glad to see Phase II doing this episode and glad that Mr. Spinrad is going to direct it! What a thrill for him and everyone else in the project to be able to do it!
On a more serious note, I would like to say that all the bickering over production teams is painful to see as a fan of all the series. I hate to see different teams having arguments. It’s time to let bygones be bygones and move on. To each their own.
Water under the bridge. People are human, and humans can have misunderstandings. Misunderstandings can grow into huge animosity over time. But if we all decide to stop fighting, then it can end.
Call this my appeal to the better part of human nature to call a truce, and live and let live, amongst opposing teams of production companies. Maybe things can’t be forgotten, but they can be forgiven, or at least put away and not fed like the ravenous wolves they can become. Don’t pour gasoline on a fire. Let it go.
People know what I’m talking about. Let the animosity end before it tarnishes all fan films.