Star Trek: Phase II “The Child” Online Now + Mini-review

The popular Star Trek: Phase II fan series has released its first episode in a year with "The Child." This new episode was adapted from a script written for the original (unproduced) "Star Trek Phase II" series from the seventies with the original co-writer returning to direct. You can watch the episode and get download links below, plus read the TrekMovie mini-review.


Star Trek Phase II’s "The Child" streaming now

The Star Trek Phase II episode "The Child" has been released. This is the seventh episode from the popular fan series. The episode has been adapted from a script written by Jon Povill and Jaron Summers for the original Star Trek: Phase II in the seventies. That script was later re-written for use on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Producer James Cawley approached Jon Povill to return the episode back to its origins on the original Enterprise. The episode features Anna Schnaitteras the Deltan crewmember Isel and introduces the young Ayla Cordell as Irska (Isel’s child).

Here is the official description:

While the Enterprise passes through a strange energy cloud, a mysterious light force enters the ship and impregnates Ensign Isel who, within days, gives birth to a baby girl, Irska. The child grows up at a tremendous rate and while she appears to be human, it is feared she could endanger the ship after a strange alien spacecraft appears and puts everyone in jeopardy….

You can watch the entire (52 minute-long ) "The Child" episode streaming now on YouTube (and via the embed below):

You can also get download links .


"The Child" is another strong outing for the Phase II crew. The story is classic Star Trek, seeking out strange new life forms, and it has a message as well.  Povill’s direction is solid, although (like most Phase II episodes) it feels a bit bloated and they probably could have shaved off five minutes to bring it more in line with standard original series running time. Also

The core team of actors for Phase II continue to improve, especially John Kelley as McCoy, who has much of the work in this episode. Cawley himself provides one of his best performances as Kirk in this episode and Brandon Stacy’s Spock is impressive. The one thing that seems a bit out of step (and this is true for all of Phase II), the characters of Kirk and Spock seems more like a members of an ensemble than the hero stars of the show. Of the two guest stars, the young Ayla Cordell is surprisingly effective playing the rapidly growing and mysterious alien child. As for Anna Schnaitteras, I felt she didn’t really have the range to handle the heavy load required of her for this episode where her character is so central.

As usual, the production is top notch and very professional. With the lone exception of sound editing for the bridge sequences (they can’t seem to get rid of that echo), every aspect of the production delivers what you would want from a Star Trek production. Worth special note are the special effects provided by Tobias Richter, Juvenal Vique and Pony R. Horton.

While there are still element of "hey lets all play Star Trek," for the series, Phase II’s "The Child" still shows that it is the best of the fan productions.

POLL: Grade “Enemy: Starfleet”

So what did you think of the latest episode from Star Trek: Phase II?



Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Boy, you’ve got to admire their dedication to Trek!

Thank god for guys like Cawley! Cause they keep the “engineering” of our franchise up and running!!

To be honest, I think this is pretty weak. Sure, the production values are high, but the acting, right across the board, is awful, as is the script. “The Child” was one of Trek’s worst entries, and this version does nothing to change that.

Just curious, I wonder how they can keep doing this in today’s economy? They can’t get any profit on this right?

@ Craiger……we cannot and do not make any profit from this venture. Everyone from cast to crew to visitors who drop by do this completely out of their own pockets and out of love for Trek. And yes….teh economy DOES effect us and hinders our ability to do more than one episode a year (in most cases….with pick ups and reshoots as needed). James is a consumate professional and is conscious of the time involved but he also is such a rallying point for the group, we all are very willing to continue to support PHASE II for as long as we have life. To the fans and supporters of PHASE II, I can only say “thank you for your support” and we definitely welcome your feedback, without which we could never continue to grow and improve.

Brian Holloway
Make-Up Supervisor
Star Trek: PHASE II
RetroFilms Studio

I never cease to be amazed at what this team creates. Congratulations!

I’ve tried to watch these episodes, I really have. But, sheesh, the acting is just so darned bad. Usually 5 minutes in, I just can’t take it anymore. The production values, sets, special effects are all top notch. Spend some more time on the acting.

Brevard: That’s the problem I have. This cast is uniformly awful–cardboard, stiff, little emoting, and half the time looking like they’re trying not to laugh. So unprofessional, which is a shame since the sets and effects are fantastic.

I still have the bad taste in my mouth left after TNG’s “The Child” aired in 1988 during the writers’ strike. This ‘version’ was a pleasant surprise.

I’ve gotten used to the acting abilities of the regular cast, and, with obvious improvement over the past few years, they no longer take me out of the viewing experience.

I thought the Xon/Spock dynamic was interesting, and it is worth developing going forward.

I am curious to know exactly how much this finished product differs from how Jon Povill imagined it would turn out in the mid-seventies.

Thanks to Mr. Cawley. That was fun, and the shots of the Enterprise were wonderful. No, it wasn’t Emmy-award winning acting across the board, but it was enjoyable.

I did mind the acting in the first episodes, but I find nothing to be picky about in those last ones.

Kudos to the entire Phase II crew. I enjoyed this episode a lot. Superb effects, solid acting. In particular, I liked how Brandon Stacy is growing into his role as Spock.

I was looking forward to this but ultimately I’m disappointed.
It felt choppy and disjointed. Has Povill ever directed before?
The young girl was excellent.
The actress playing her mother tried but fell short in places.
Mr Cawley did his usual good work. The actor who plays Spock is quite good.
John Kelley as McCoy is excellent.
I think this is one of these episodes that looked good on paper.
Getting it from the page to the screen it fell down.
Perhaps it didn’t have the budget the other eps had?
That’s the challenge of making episodic tv.
Sometimes the finished product isn’t what one hopes for.
Mr Cawley and crew:
Thank you for all of your hard work. Your love of star trek is evident.
I eagerly await the next installment.

it may not be Prime time network quality. But it is a close as you can get. Great Job Phase 2 team.

For folks like me who grew up on TOS and find most contemporary Trek to be lacking, these episodes are a godsend. I don’t care if the acting isn’t on a Hollywood level, the spirit is there in full force and I can honestly say I look twice as forward to these as I do anything else Trek-related in the works right now. Keep up the great work, Phase II!

Re 14: The original TOS run had its share of bottle shows. So I would say The Child fits in nicely with this tradition. I like the story more than Is There In Truth No Beauty, another classic bottle show.

I rewatched the TNG version of “The Child” after watching this, and found the episodes generally too different to compare, since the TNG version was really only based on the general premise. There was one thing I liked better in the TNG version, which is also, ironically, an element the original Phase II script would have had that was missing from the New Voyages/Phase II version: the interaction between Troi and Riker is presumably what would have been between Ilia and Decker. Since, in order to preserve continuity with TMP, New Voyages/Phase II changed IIlia to a different Deltan and there’s no equivalent of Decker/Riker, we miss out on the dynamics of an ex-lover adjusting to the situation. Where the TNG version is weaker is how the child ties into the threat the ship faces.

8 mins in…I had to turn off….the acting alone was soooooooo bad!

Can’t wait to watch this! It’s loading up now…

Space:1999’s “Alpha Child.” ‘Nuff said.

The bad acting just takes me out of these episodes. Sorry.

Hire some good actors!

I posted this in the April 4th Cumberbatch thread, but it was posted late last night, and I didn’t want it to be ignored. Since the closing of Star Trek: The Experience, people here have suggested the creation of a full-sized Starship Enterprise attraction as a replacement Trek Mecca for fans. Well, Ain’t It Cool News has posted a story about people planned (and feasibly designed) a full-sized Enterprise for Las Vegas, and why it didn’t happen. You can see the story here:

This one is a great improvement in many areas… and yes, that includes the acting. The direction is the most improved here, as Povill has learned not to lean to heavily on cover shots that expose clumsy blocking or overemphasize a few large bellies. No, it’s not perfect. But, it’s the best new TOS we’ve got.

Not the strongest story the Phase 2 team has done but still very well done and better than most anything network television puts out on a weekly basis.

Along with #9 AJ I really liked the Xon/Spock dynamic. I hope it’s something the producers carry forward.

People complaining about the acting. I really think it has improved over the years and the fact these good people do this for nothing, no pay whatever but for the passion I can get over the fact. Story in my opinion is what really matters.

But at the end all I can say is thank you cast and crew of Phase 2. I love what you all do!

20. Trek! – April 7, 2012
Space:1999’s “Alpha Child.” ‘Nuff said.

Didn’t that ep go a very different route?

Considering we have NO OTHER new trek episodes, am enjoying this thoroughly.

Have seen everyone they’ve done and have been very surprised. Some are good enough to be on TV (‘World Enough and Time’ and ‘To Serve All My Days’) and while the acting IS somewhat stilted, at times, I can certainly overlook that minor issue.

The stories are excellent, the effects are superior to TV and Movies.

If I EVER win the lottery, I’ll be wanting to make a LARGE donation to help them along. Would LOVE to be a special guest villain or something to that effect, just to get MY name stamped on Trek History.

Netflix or YouTube are looking for NEW programming to fund and furnish to its subscribers, why not this??

Really enjoy the effort and time put into these. At one a year, you certainly leave the audience wanting more….

Keep up the Good Work!!!

I really appreciate and applaud the efforts of James Cawley and all the other actors, writers, staff, etc… You have to be a big fan in order to do all this work for free. However, this episode for me was just so, so. It seemed to be disjointed in parts and the acting was a bit stiff. I really wish James would stop snarling and screwing up his face when he says his lines. Brandon Stacy and John Kelley have their parts right. Jonathan Zungre as Chekov needs to watch his accent as sometimes I just cannot understand what he is saying. Patrick Bell as Xon is an interesting character and could use more development. The special effects have gotten better and better. I do look forward to each and every episode to feed my need for warp speed.

I think it was great. Keep up the good work!!!

@27 if you want to help out P2 you can always donate to the cause or you can contact us thru the website and volunteer for one of our shoots… there is one in June, the 16th-30th. And thank you for your continued support of watching our episodes

Jaime Sanchez (Fez)
Star Trek: Phase 2

Can’t get enough of the guys who watch this expecting great acting.

1. Most of the acting in the original Trek is considered by most to be cheesy by today’s standards

2. These are fans who love the show, they are only doing it because they love the show. Hiring real actors takes away the fun of it. They aren’t trying to make the best Star Trek show, they are trying to make the best show they can do.

Personally I can watch the show for what it is. And it is still a little shocking to see people who read “Fan Production” and walk in with “the acting better not suck”. I know what I’m getting into and I know what to expect.

Not bad, but a number of the male crew have distractedly large hairdos? I recommend Crawley mixes in a trip to Supercuts for those guys the next time he shoots an episode.

@20 “Space:1999’s “Alpha Child.” ‘Nuff said.”

Good point! In case anyone wants to compare:

@17… an Ilia/Decker element was not part of Jon’s original script, which he only edited slightly for us. A dance illustrating the mother/daughter relationship was a MAJOR part of it but it was too long for our episode. Hopefully you’ll get to see that moving piece when a “long director’s cut” is released later.

Spocky – “Hire some good actors!”

What part of “this is a FAN FILM PRODUCTION” do you not understand???? We are the only fan film I know of who actually DOES hire some of their actors and that’s primarily because they’re members of SAG.

And, I happen to think they all do a DAMN GOOD JOB!!

St Pete Rickster –

ANY donation is needed and accepted gratefully. Even $5. So if you can handle a small donation that would be wonderful. And, of course, P2 would be THRILLED with a larger donation if you win the lottery. :D

Please…this is a FAN FILM … and we do the best we can under circumstances you could not imagine if you tried! While everyone is entitled to their own opinions clearly we have the support of some real heavy hitters (John Povill and David Gerrold as directors and Walter Koenig, George Takei, and Barbara Luna to name a few!) who would have had nothing to do with us if we were as crappy as some of you say.

Linda Falvo
“does whatever needs to be done”
Star Trek Phase II

I really enjoyed the episode, well crafted! I only have one question, isn’t Phase II suppose to represent a refit Enterprise? Looks too much like the original Constitution Class!

Although am on disability and money is tight (for everyone), I’ve donated $10 to the ‘Studio and Utility Expenses’ on the main page.

I hope it helps and I am glad to be able to hopefully continue your voyages, as many of us really benefit and enjoy your work.

Thanks for being SUPER fans that go WAY above the line of duty.

BTW, appreciate the offer on the shooting, but am in St. Pete FL and I don’t get out all that much. If you ever find yourselves down this way, drop me a line. Would love to meet and help entertain any visitors.

Thanks to everyone and Best of Luck,


I really enjoyed the episode a lot. Of all the episodes so far, it felt most like an original TOS episode. The story might not be the greatest one, but it was better then a lot of the original episodes. And the acting keeps improving, so no complaint here. I think making it better and better each time is part of the fun and challenge in makeing those. Keep them coming!

Personally, I think people need to back off on the “acting sucks” stuff.

This IS a fan film… and the PASSION therein is exceptional and noticeable throughout.

As a professional voice-actor, I think these guys produce amazing stuff… and I wish to hell I lived closer so I could get involved. :)

Phase II crew… you guys are amazing.

To me, there were only two (minor) flaws in this episode.

1. McCoy’s nurse.. she did well, but her accent is difficult to understand at times.

2. Some background noise (I think during act 3) where footsteps and such were rather noticeable.

Minor stuff… keep it up gang… and Live Long & Prosper!

The poster says “A Jon Povill Film.” Cool!

@39. But obvious thinks like getting a couple of the male crew some haircuts to reduce the ridiculous Justin Bieber-like hairdos — those improvements could easily be made.

And BTW, I have supported them financially.

41 This was a 1970’s not a 1960’s show we are Continuing the voyage …the haircuts fit the time period if the show was on in the 70’s you can bet that is what they would have had for haircuts…..

@35. Linda, it is kind of sappy to get so defensive and whiny about some valid criticisms. I think most of us really like this, but we have comments to offer as well. That is what this is here — a comments board — so you are getting comments across the board. It is what it is.

@43, If that was the case, then explain to me please why in this cast shot from Star Trek The Motion Picture, taken in 1978, does not show huge heads of hair on the cast, excepting Uhura’s Afro:

And here also is the animated series shot from 1974 — again, excepting Uhura, I am not seeing the huge hairdos on the male case that we see in some on the characters in this episode of Phase II:

Nice try, but BUZZ! Sorry, but we have Trek in the 1970’s references as show above which directly refute your point.

The best acting was by ‘the child’… nice job.

Try again
This is the screen test shot for Xon
I think he needs a HAircut

@47. A test shot for someone who never was on a single episode of Trek. I give you full cast shots from 1974 and 1978.


Well done, James Cawley and the Phase II team! ;-D
I gotta say, I enjoyed P2’s “The Child” better than the TNG version. As usual, I’m deeply impressed with the passion and pure love of the game that oozes from every pore of these fan films. These episodes sport gorgeous production value, yet retain the 1960s-era charm of TOS. The attention to detail (costumes, sets, TOS music, etc) makes me just grin with geek awe….

As for the episode itself, the Enterprise crew felt more like an ensemble in this story than the usual dominating troika in TOS (from what I understand, that’s what Roddenberry originally intended). Some really solid acting (particularly Ayla Cordell, who played Irska). I’d have to say that “The Child” and “World Enough and Time” have been my personal favorites so far, but they’re all good in their own unique ways.

And to any naysayers out there? If you think you can do a better job then raise your own money, ready your own scripts, build your own sets, assemble your own casts, create your own VFX, and put your money where your mouths are. Otherwise, sit back, and appreciate these labors of Star Trek fan-love. I think they’re terrific!

Again, as a lifelong TOS fan, I’d just like to say thank you very much, STP2 for making the dream of a ‘4th season’ a reality.
Live long and prosper! ;-)

PS: Looking VERY forward to “Kitumba” as well… that one looks to be amazing!

Well done! The VFX have improved to a point where they are almost on par with the CG effects of the Original Series!

Episode wise, it was pretty well written. Had a good original series feel, which I liked. I wish you guys would write for STO. I have yet to experience a mission like this…

The acting was good. Obciously not quite SAG worthy, but of course I don’t expect 100% professional actors. Compared to other fanwork I’ve seen, this is in fact the best!

Overall, I enjoyed it. I hope to see a vinigette (forgive spelling) with Mr. Zon going back in time to the 60s and turning out to be one of the Beatles.