There is another interesting fan production in development, this time set before the original Star Trek series and focusing on another famous starship captain, Garth of Izar. The new series is called "Star Trek: Axanar" and it is being developed by a team that includes some members of the Star Trek Phase II series. The "web feature" also has just cast BSG star Richard Hatch who plays the main Klingon antagonist. Find out more about Axanar below.
Garth Gets A Back-Story in Star Trek: Axanar
The new fan production "Star Trek: Axanar" will tell the story of Garth of Izar who was the main antagonist in the Star Trek episode "Whom Gods Destroy." That episode established that before being committed to the Elba II asylum for the criminally insane, Garth was a celebrated Fleet Captain in Starfleet and hero to a young James T. Kirk. His greatest acclaim came at the Battle of Axanar, the study of which was required at Starfleet Academy. Star Trek: Axanar will tell the story of that famous Federation/Klingon battle, which took place 20 years before the original Star Trek series.
The original Garth from "Whom Gods Destroy" gets a whole new prequel adventure in "Star Trek: Axanar"
"Axanar" is the brainchild of Propworx founder Alec Peters who has been thinking about this idea for 15 years. He tells TrekMovie that he has always felt there is "an amazing story to tell" about Garth who was Kirk’s hero before an accident lead to madness and attempted genocide. The project got a jump start two years ago when Peters, an avid collector, was showing Star Trek: Phase II series executive producer James Cawley his recently acquired original Garth costume. After expressing his fascination with the character, Cawley then had the Phase II writers add a part for Peters (as Garth) in the Phase II "Origins" flashback episode which shot last year. Cawley also supported the idea of creating an "Axanar" web movie and offered up the use of the USS Enterprise bridge set, which will be redressed to appear as the bridge of Garth’s USS Ares (a new ship created for Axanar). The Phase II "Origins" episode is expected to be released before Axanar, and so it will establish Peters in the role of Garth.
Alec Peters (L) as Capt. Garth with Rob Withrow from upcoming Star Trek: Phase II episode "Origins"
The Axanar project is currently in pre-production. Peters has partnered up with John Kelly (Dr. McCoy in Phase II) and Star Trek novelist Dave Galanter to write the script, which is currently being finalized. Much of the design work for props, costumes and ships has been completed. Shooting will start in February of 2013 and run through (in different stages) to fall 2013. The goal is to release the first "bookend" vignette (set shortly after the events of "Whom Gods Destroy") in late 2013. The rest of the Axanar "web feature" will then be released as a series of webisodes starting in late 2013 and run through 2014. In all the goal is to have around 10 (or so) webisodes add up to a web feature of 75-90 minutes by the time they are all released. These will be followed by another post-script TOS era "bookend" vignette.
Casting is still being finalized, but Peters did reveal that veteran Battlestar Galactica actor Richard Hatch will be playing Kharn, the leader of the Klingons at the Battle of Axanar. Peters of course will play Garth and John Kelly will be reprising his Phase II role as Dr. McCoy in a vignette set during the TOS era, but he does not appear in the main Axanar film. Other Phase II actors will appear in the two TOS-era vignettes including Cawley as James T. Kirk.
Richard Hatch cast as Klingon commander Kharn in "Star Trek: Axanar"
The Axanar team has a goal of making their web feature "epic" and they hope to include other important characters from Star Trek lore. Peter’s reveals that we will see Soval retiring and handing the reigns of the Vulcan embassy to a young Sarek. Other roles include a young Lieutenant Chang as well as Robert April. Peters didn’t reveal any more casting details for these roles, but he did say "fans will love" who they have in mind for the role of April.
Garth’s ship the USS Ares was designed by Peters, Sean Tourangeau (who designed the USS Titan) and digital artist Tobias Richter. In addition Richter and his team are doing the visual effects for Axanar. Below you can see a test flyby video of the USS Ares.
FX test flyby of USS Ares from "Axanar"
Richter’s team has also designed (and rendered) a new Klingon D-6 cruiser, along with a number of other Federation and Klingon ships. Peters says that "The VFX will be important, not only because of the massive space battles, but because the ships are characters themselves in the story." Even though Axanar is set before the time of the USS Enterprise, Peters reveals we will see the big E in dry dock.
Klingon D6 design from "Star Trek: Axanar"
While some shooting is being done on the Phase II sets in New York, most of the production will be done on new sets being built in Southern California (including a brand new set for the bridge of the D-6). Peters explains the advantages of working in LA area, saying "there is just so much talent in Southern California, and we need to tap into that. I study at the Howard Fine acting school in Los Angeles, which ironically, two other Phase II alums attend, and so we have a ready pool of talent there as well as directors and producers who I know in L.A. who have also signed on."
Axanar will be directed by Christian Gossett, who created The Red Star, which was recently optioned by Warner Brothers and is in development there. "Christian is an amazing artist, and one of those rare talents who is both a great writer and a great artist. He understands story and how to translate that to the visual media. His first short, "Only Child" has been recognized at several film festivals and is getting Christian a lot of attention."
Costume design concepts for "Star Trek: Axanar"
Axanar has a funded budget of $50,000 so far. Peters says the show isn’t raising any money currently but they may do so in the future. He and his partners are committed to making Axanar "a very professional independent movie. "Axanar has new sets, new costumes, new ships, everything will be different, though very close to the original series."
The Axanar team has already started videotaping some behind the scenes features and those should be made available online soon. TrekMovie will provide updates on this project as it releases more materials.
USS Hermes design from "Star Trek: Axanar"
You can follow "Axanar" on their Facebook page (where there are more design sketches and CGI ships) at: facebook.com/StarTrekAxanar.
USS Ares design from "Star Trek: Axanar"
I love the Hermes design. Awesome blend of Enterprise, TOS and the Kelvin.
The two ships are done very well. I would watch this.
video is now set to public, sorry about that
Actually, Alec was established as Captain Garth in the Phase II vignette “Going Boldly”, the first appearence of the “Phase II” Enterprise and Brian Gross as Captain James T Kirk
Very nice renderings. Love those nacelles.
Guess you can make a Jeffries style ship look cool without turning it into a hot rod.
I had the privilege of meeting Alec last summer and talking with him about Axanar since then. I’ll just say that *all* enthusiasm for Axanar is more than justified! Lots of very talented folks involved, as noted above. This is definitely something to look forward to!
Looks like the Hermes is based on the USS Newton from Trek 09 with TOS nacelles. Interesting, I like it!
Sounds interesting. Nothing against Mr. Peters, but after seeing the photo of Richard Hatch might he be a better choice for Garth of Izar? Even if it breaks continuity with Peters having previously starred in the role. Have Hatch do a reverse Just for Men hair application and there you go.
The Axanar were of course seen, in Enterprise “Fight or Flight”
Well I guess that’s it. John Harrison is not Garth!
Alec has a lot of beautiful energy and is as Star Trek manic as everyone involved with ST.p2. I had the opportunity to hang out with him on the set of ST.p2’s episode ‘Bread and Savagery’ penned by Rich Chambers (see above – #6) which I guest starred in and I’m one of the Howard Fine acting school alumni he mentions in the article. When I learned he was playing Garth, it immediately made sense to me; he has the eyes for the role and I told him so. I know who he’s trying to entice to play Capt. April and if it happens, fans are going to be floored. ST.Axanar is one to watch my friends.
Looking forward to this for a number of reasons. The ships look great, getting to see a Captain April in action, and Richard Hatch as the Klingon villian? All looks very Cool.
I am curious, is Withrow pictured above with Peters the actor who played the Admiral in Going Boldly? Thought the GB Admiral was well acted and was wondering who the actor was?
@1 & @7 – The Hermes is an evolution of the USS Intrepid seen in STAR TREK ENTERPRISE (The Expanse, Twilight).
Just as the Ares could be seen as an Akira-class precursor.
The Light Works, and Tobias Richter have put together some absolutely stunning digital renderings of Star Trek ships over the years.
Their 5 minute battle sequence made for the FEDCON featuring the USS Kelvin in an asteroid field is amazing.
It’s most likely posted here already, but if not, here’s a link to their site-
(I hope this is OK to do)
And Starring Richard Hatch, as Charlie Batch!
I would love to see this and see what they do.
Interesting. The Ares looks like an older version of the Titan.
The guys did an awesome job with it and the Hermes.
Except for “Of Gods and Men”, I never watched any of the fan series/movies. Any recommendations for good fan made series/movies ?
I know I did not mean for the Ares to look like a TOS Titan but with the direction that Alec gave emit sort did turn out like that. It has been fun designing the Ares and the costumes for this. Now I can’t wait to get to work on Mr. Hatch’s Klingon look.
Referencing comment 12, the character of the Admiral was portrayed by Robert Withrow in “Going Boldy” and the upcoming Phase II episode “Origins”.
@19 “Now I can’t wait to get to work on Mr. Hatch’s Klingon look.”
With or without ridges? Just curious. I’ll be happy either way.
Very nice CGI!! Looks like a great start here.
@13 “The Hermes is an evolution of the USS Intrepid seen in STAR TREK ENTERPRISE (The Expanse, Twilight).”
I respectfully disagree. Except for the nacelles, that ship is identical to the USS Newton from Star Trek `09. It has twin secondary hulls/hangar bays below the level of the saucer section, just like the Newton. The surface detail, bridge, etc., is the same.
17. The Ares inspiration was the USS Centaur from DS9, which I always liked. In fact, the ship I designed when in high school was pretty similar, with under slung warp nacelles.
21. Klingons will have ridges, though more subtle than TNG era, think TMP.
23. Correct. The Newton was the inspiration. Though I can see how someone would think Intrepid.
Thanks especially to Rick and Jonathon for the kind compliments, as well as everyone else!
The quality and care that goes into these fan films NEVER ceases to amaze me. These are people who do this for nothing more than love of the game, and yet they yield products that would’ve made most major TV studios blush with embarrassment at one time.
I salute them as well as their ingenuity and resourcefulness and I offer my thanks for not only ‘living the dream’ but sharing it with the rest of us fans.
And I’ve met Richard Hatch at conventions on many occasions. He is as passionate about science fiction as any one of us fans. He is the real deal. He is also a very open guy who will gladly talk to anyone who shares that passion for sci-fi. I found him to be very personable and just an all-around great guy who treats the fan base with much respect.
And while I love new Battlestar Galactica VERY much (not to mention his personal involvement in it), there is also a sentimental part of me that would’ve also loved to have seen Hatch’s concept for a TOS BSG sequel series/movie bear fruit. I’ve seen his “Second Coming” trailer, and it had some interesting ideas. His BSG sequel books were a lot of fun as well. Sort of an unofficial TOS BSG final season, so to speak.
I look very forward to “Axanar.” I’m already a Phase II fan and I wish this new team (with some P2 members) all the luck in the galaxy!
Live long and prosper, guys! ;-)
@24 I personally love the Hermes/Newton ship design. Like your nacelles better.
So is this set Post “whom Gods Destroy” or are we seeing BEFORE he went mad?
Nice pictures (very nice in fact) but what is the point if one cant clip & paste to their Star Trek Stuff in their Pictures folder? to prevent unscrupulous folks to from doing unscrupulous things with those images?
This looks like great fun at the puter. Can’t wait.
Just checked the Phasebook page. Wow! That’s a lot of work.
One nit-pick… if you have steps coming out of the shuttle nacelles, doesn’t that mess up the nacelles?
Dunno. I’m no Starfleet engineer…
27. Yes, this takes place 23 years BEFORE “Whom Gods Destroy”.
28. Go to our Facebook page and you can download all the photos.
31. Yeah I agree. You won’t see steps!
When I read the headline I thought “what is the winner of season one of Survivor doing in a Star Trek fan film?”
Nice to see the trek universe expanding beyond non canon but not really into this stuff.
The images of the Hermes look fantastic, nice mix of original and alternate styles. Tough little ship.
Nice Worf reference.
Well, I guess I know how he felt now!
Post kelvin nacelle caps, weren’t they red with needles pointing out?
Tell you the truth, I wasn’t much of an admirer of fan productions.. I love what they have done with Phase II. Its more close to classic Star Trek than anything..!
By the way Hatch is a legend, Glad to be aboard..He He!!
Richard Hatch is a nice addition to the cast. He’ll make an interesting Klingon. Tobias Richter leading the CGI! He’s got a great reputation.
The Light Works, great as always!
Ihr macht das echt Klasse! :)
This project brings together the best in prop, set and ship design, CGI and illustration that I can think of. Good luck, guys!
Richard Hatch should play the lead. He actually looks like Garth and is a credible actor. Sorry, Alec as I’m sure you’re bank rolling part of this. The Phase 2 team has proven that their production is credible. The acting has always been the weakest part along with the editing, but even that has improved. I would hate to see yet another beautiful production marred by lukewarm acting. This may have started out as fan made productions and you could forgive a certain amount of flat presentation but when your mixing credible actors with novices…not so sure. Think about it.
Looking forward to this. Beautiful ship design and renderings by Tobias and company as well as the exciting addition of Mr. Hatch to the cast. I suppose we had to say bu-bye to the miniskirts one day, but I wasn’t looking forward to it. However, this costume design is very well thought out.
Whoa! Nice ships and great designs. I look forward to see the new series. I am also happy to see the ships from Star Trek 90210 are transforming into the Star Trek Universe as we know. Love the Hermes design. The Klingon D-6 looks fantastic. Thanks everyone.
“…there is just so much talent in Southern California, and we need to tap into that. I study at the Howard Fine acting school in Los Angeles…”
Well, it’s a good thing he didn’t go to that ‘other’ acting school of Howard, Fine,…and Howard! ;-D
WOO! WOO! WOO!
those ships a fantastic ! , guys do some crowd funding , seriously i will pay to make this look as good as possible.
Looks great! Good job everyone!
This sounds like a cool project, I’m a big fan of PHASE II so I’m glad there’s a clear link.
Richard Hatch is a VERY big coup, congratulations there.
The Soval thing sounds interesting – are you talking to Gary Graham about a brief comeback?
All the best, the ships rock and can’t wait to learn more.
Go Alec! Well done.
Alec did a great job in Go Boldly.
I also got to spend some time with Alec last June during the Bread and Savagery shoot.
He bought lunch for everybody a couple of times. (No small feat!)
Alec is an incredibly talented guy and I’m looking forward to Axanar.