Phase II releases Kitumba as New Year’s surprise

Star Trek: Phase II (formerly New Voyages), the long running fan film project, has released its newest episode, titled “Kitumba”. This is a Klingon centric episode that was developed from an original 1977 Phase II script, when TOS was going to be re-launched as an updated TV series.

Originally a two-part story draft for the Star Trek: Phase II TV series in 1977, it was rewritten into a one-part episode for this production. A good deal of the episode takes place on Qo’nos, the Klingon homeworld: which was shot on location at Fort Ticonderoga, New York, and at a local restaurant. Members of the International Klingon Federation helped out with the location shoots.

The Phase II team is busy cranking out more episodes, their next episode “The Holiest Thing” is due out in February. And there are two more episodes at various stages in the production pipeline after it. “Kitumba” is the last episode in front of the camera for the founder of the project, James Cawley. He will be replaced by professional actor Brian Gross starting with the next episode due out in February.

Click on to watch “Kitumba”

More information on “Kitumba” and alternate viewing/downloading links, including versions with subtitles:

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Gentlemen… it’s visually excellent. But still suffers from micing issues.

Very echoed. Have them use a proper directional boom mic!!! Then in the post-production process, isolate the dialog track. EQ out everything else out of the vocal frequencies…. then compress the dynamics of that dialog track so it “sits” on top of the music and room tone.

Remove the naturally occuring on-set footsteps and clothes shuffling.

Replace it with stock foley-walking sounds… the Star Trek room tones will cover up the rest.

This will make a dramatic difference in the viewer’s perception. As it stands, I had to work real hard to hear the dialog clearly in the opening when the visitors arrive in the transporter room.

nice to see more phase 2 episodes and well done it looked stunning

A Herculean effort from all involved. The most ambitious fan film to date. YMMV. Nice work, all.

I love the project… The CGI effects are better than anything I’ve seen on televised Trek, and that kinda bothers me… How is it possible that a fanmade production displays better CGI effects than the ‘real deal’.?? Is it because of the almost 10 year gap between Enterprise and this….? This will puzzle me for days…

Just watched the first ten minutes. Beautiful! I love the work you guys do. Many thanks for keeping the traditional look, pacing, music, and tone.

Impressive CGI. In many respects better than TOS remastered. CBS should hire you guys!

Nicely done.

Watched the first 10minutes and will finish watching later this week.

The production values are excellent, with superb visual effects (I agree that it’s superior to TOS remastered), with excellent sets and use of original sound effects and music. Very nostalgic watching this as it’s like coming across some long lost episode from the original series.

Well done and thanks to all involved.


First off thanks for watching, and for your comments.

I’m the cinematographer on the show, and audio isn’t my bailiwick, but perhaps I can give some answer to your comments.

First off I have not had any comments about being unable to understand dialog in any of the screenings I’ve been in. I’ve screened the film in stereo, both on monitors and with headphones. I’ve also screened it on a consumer grade Sony surround sound system.

We do use Sennheiser and Audio Technica shotgun mics in production. (Lower end units like the Senneiser K6 series and Audio Technica AT897 and AT815R) I have that level of detail, because they’re mostly my personal microphones. Yes I’d love to upgrade the mics. New mics would definitely do a lot for us. There I a huge difference in the level of audio rejection with higher end mics.

The problem is that the show can’t afford the gear to do individual track recording for each mic, nor can we have a fully staffed professional audio department with qualified mic boom operators.

We do typically have an audio recording engineer who does a live mix. This is sent to the camera live, as on many productions.

I shot Kitumba on a Red One back in 2009, and frankly can’t remember a lot of details of audio for that shoot. Things haven’t changed much though, so I’ll share some of our practices on The Holiest Thing, which we lenses in June 2013. We also shot that on a Red One.

Since Kitumba, we have added some wireless lavalier mics to the shows complement of wired shotguns.

The mics are mixed down using an Azden FMX 422 mixer and sent to camera via XLR. We also split them out and recorded the audio on a Zoom H4N recorder. The audio recorder is more highly compressed and is used mostly as a “safety” recording.

Not exactly ideal.

Now, if the audio bothers you enough, I’m dying to get my hands on a Sound Devices 788T-SSD. That would allow is to record each mic separately and a mix. It would also let us send timecode out from the mixer to camera and a digital slate so we can more easily sync in post.

I’ve never watched any of these before, but this seems to be a very ambitious ‘fan-made’ effort, so well done to all concerned.

It’s not really my kind of thing as I comes across as almost a parody of the classic TOS show to me personally…but if it satisfies a niche for others, then fair enough.

I’ll just file this as being set in yet another completely different, ‘alternate Trek universe’ to the classic show, just as I do with the other Trek shows and the current J.J. movies. But all power to all you guys and gals involved.

@ st:exp
Yes, the mic issues drive us nuts.
We do the best we can. I hope you can see past this issue and enjoy the episode based on story alone.
It was a Herculean effort for all involved.
We’re proud of it!

Very well done, indeed. The only issue I have is with the fight scene at the end: it could have been choreographed a bit better; other that that, what a nice job!

This is a wonderful episode. I think the Director Vic montagna deserves enormous credit. The staging was wonderful and he succeeded in getting some great acting moments out of the principles and guest actors including himself. Expert editing is always the icing on the cake (well more than just that). But the editor only gets to work with what the director grabbed to begin with. It’s good news that phase 2 was able to finally get this out. It was looking like p2 might have been withholding the episode just so the director wouldn’t get the kudos he deserves.
Congratulations to every one involved .

You are right. Expert editing only gets to work with what the director grabbed to begin with. Without the editors and the post production team 100’s of hours of painstaking work, the episode would have been probably shelved. The Director and everyone else received the proper credit they deserved. We are all very happy the episode was finally released!

You couldn’t be more wrong about P2 about wanting to shelve the episode.
Everybody involved making this episode wanted it released.
If anything, it was the director who held up this episode being released.

Looks great with good special effects for a fan production.

I understand that the director actually put out a “director cut” that he was happy with long ago. I think it was all moving too slow fog, not too fast

What Vic released was not authorized by the producers at P2.
There were numerous problems with Vic’s cut.
Seeing the new authorized version is definitely better in my opinion.

I hope that future fan film projects will move away from TOS era & explore future Trek history with new characters.

I understand. But the notion that Vic was trying to hold things up doesn’t seem quite right–when it seems he wanted to get something out. (Yes this version is better is better than his directors cut but he doesn’t get no credit. I think the success of this edit is due in part to him just as the closing credits indicate.

Vic is credited as director.

Right. That’s what I’m saying. He rightfully deserves the credit he’s getting.

Let’s focus on the performances of the episode.
I’m glad that P2 released this episode.
I’m proud to have been a part of it.
The recognition should go to the post production team who worked tirelessly to make the release date.

I think they _were_ credited.

And as I recall Mr Crowley announced after previous missed released dates, that p2 was never going to announce a release date until the episode is in hand. If it was a challenge for the post team to meet the date, maybe p2 should have just done what he said was gong to be done from now on.

Everyone involved worked VERY hard to make this episode, and nobody was more annoyed than us that it took so long to work everything out to get all the footage to the post-production team so it could be released.

But, we are all VERY happy with the work the post team did, and how fast they got it done considering that they only got all the footage about three months ago.

I love this episode, and I refuse to criticize it. If the fans who didn’t help make it knew of all the problems and hurdles that were overcome to get this to them, they’d refuse to criticize it too.

My mega Kudos to everyone involved with getting this episode made, edited and released. You all did a wonderful job under less than optimal circumstances.

And to repeat a quote: “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

@9 (Cervantes): Do us all a favor, and turn in fandom card. Your back-handed compliment ignores the fact that most of the participants in these projects are amateur actors who love the ‘Trek franchise enough to work for free, under tight fundraising and distribution rules. At very least, these fan projects are actually being produced, whereas CBS does nothing to nurture Paramount’s efforts, and is perfectly happy to simply re-issue the same episodes, George Lucas-style. Are there good and bad fan projects? Yeah, but I enjoy them for what they are: a series of love letters from a segment of the entertainment fandom that is desireous for more ‘Trek.

Mostly I just love love love this episode. Credit is deserved by everyone involved in call phases: pre, filming, and post. I love everything about this episode.

It was well done. ‘Nuff Said!

I wouldn’t be a Trek fan if I didn’t have a few nitpicks. I found it odd that there was so much beaming up and down without any detection. We’re at the Klingon homeworld and Kirk and Co. can beam down to a public presentation of the leader? It wasn’t until later on that they did the rerouting thing, but before that there was a lot of travelling without any consequences. I was also not a fan of Kirk’s line about stealing the car as a boy. Kirk did that in the JJ universe since he was a troubled kid without the influence of his father and had a somewhat abusive uncle. “Our” Kirk was very disciplined growing up and not the brash delinquent we saw in the 2009 film.
However, I do recognize the work and effort that has gone into the production of a fan film. Kudos to all since there is a lot to like about it. Each episode has shown marked improvements and I eagerly await the next.

@ Jeff Stimson,
I loved the line about the Corvette.
See all of us Trek fans are different, I guess.

Why do they have Kirk have the big hissy fit when he’s introduced to the Klingon at the beginning of the movie. Kirk is rude, condescending, and overly emotional, and frankly makes an ass out of himself in front of everyone in that scene. It was really cheesy and lame.

Yes, I think that for every fan who could have done without thAt line, there’s a fan who thinks it’s knee-slapping, shoot milk out through your nostrils funny and thinks its the highlight of the episode. There are all kinds of Trek fans: highbrow and lowbrow.

Do the folks behind this fan film have permission from the Kitumba screenwriter to do this? Because if they don’t, then this is plagiarism.

@Jeff Stimson, though I love this episode, of course I have few nitpicks of my own. I’m only glad those are details so minor, that they don’t even deserve mentioning. But I was interested in the points you raised so allow me to answer. Firstly, Kirk’s party didn’t beam down to the public presentation, but obviously behind the city walls. And there was no reason for anybody to stop them at that moment, nor we have no idea, if their transporter signals were or weren’t monitored. They probably were. After that, they got transported by Kargh from the planet and the signal was covered. They probably have their own mean to disguise the signal on the Enterprise that they could have used anytime. You are right, that Kirk should not have stolen the car in the prime timeline, but who knows, maybe the fanfilmmakers from Phase 2 didn’t know at the time, that JJ will create a separate timeline. And as for Kirk’s disciplined growing up… after reading the novel Best Destiny, I wouldn’t be so sure about that either. Sure, sure, books are not canon, but who cares about canon. They still influence our idea of characters, pretty much like great fanfilms like Kitumba.

Very impressive production. I’ve been a fan of this series since the beginning, and it’s been so great watching it grow and improve. That being said, I do feel it was unnecessary to try to make sense of the differences between the TOS and post-TOS Klingon makeup. We all know that the real reason for the difference was simply a makeup choice probably due to a difference in budgets. I’ve always liked the original Klingon look, and was pleased that Phase II had decided to go that route (until now). Just my opinion, and I hope that further episodes continue with the TOS look. Keep classic Trek classic, I always say.

It’s always good to see a bunch of middle age out of shape belly flubbing fan boys playing mimic the original actors in the poorest possible way. . Hopefully it’ll keep them from breeding…

And I must add I never saw a fanfilm with better CGI or better masks and make-up and I was immensely impressed with the exterior sets on Qo’noS. When they beam down and you can see the building of High Council behind them, that was for me one of the best moments in any fanfilm I have seen (and I have seen plenty). Or those new designs of Klingon ships and how detailed every models are, that’s a brilliant job for sure. I can’t wait for the next episode.

Just got thru watching the episode; nicely done with some really good FX and production values. The acting was also quite solid across the board on this one. Some of the crowd scenes were a little iffy (I kept getting images of the costume contest at a Trek convention) but overall there is no denying the passion these guys have for Trek and their stories are far truer to the spirit of the original show than anything since the TOS movies.

Gonna miss seeing James Cawley in front of the camera but here’s hoping all the good folks behind these shows continue to get the chance to make them. They’re clearly enjoying themselves and that collaborative spirit and sense of fun (something sorely lacking in Trek for a long time) comes thru in the final product.

So they had a council on ENT, then the kitumba, and then a council again?
When the teacher appeared, I was sure it must be Gorkon… while it’s very nice to see some of the greatest costumes brought to life again, this seemed misplaced not only in time.

The cruisers looked awesome! I always liked the qItI’nga’ and really enjoyed seeing them rendered so nicely! :D

James Cawley and staff at Phase 2. That was simply wonderful. I almost believed that this was a true Tos Episode. The Writing and directing and the Fx was incredible. Well Well Well Done.

McCoy: [to Akaar] What Maab has said is true. Our customs ARE different. What the Klingon(( aka the Keeper post #35)) has said is unimportant and we do not hear his words.


@The Keeper You are a troll and a useless one at that. Fortunately, you are in the minority which means there aren’t many of you to breed either.

# 35
Seems to me this comment is nothing but trolling and inappropriate here. Anthony? Letting that sort of trolling garbage on here is a great way to kill both enthusiasm and participation and clearly has no pace here.

To #35: The Keeper, BOOOOO! Keep your snippy remarks to yourself please.

The very fact that ST: Phase II has been going at this for ten years says a great deal about their talent and love for all things TREK.

What exactly have you done to keep Star Trek alive? Answer? tick tick tick…we’re waiting.

Cawley and his crew have put out eight episodes now and they have done it for free and for us fans.

Oh god, this is still going on? How many years do you commit yourself to pretend to be someone else? Make your own legacies guys.

@Alexander Ibrahim

I am a Production Sound Mixer, and I can say that this sounds fine. Low budget, but clean.
The Ent stuff sounds fine, and the Klingon Hall stuff sound suitably echo-y.

Consider the SD 633 (or SD 664) for recording, and swapping to hypercardioid mics (eg: AT 4053).
The biggest mistake neophytes make is using a mic that’s too long. For interiors and close exteriors, you want a hypercardioid mic). Outside, you rarely want more than a short shotgun (eg: AT 4073).

In the absence of any new gear, get your coverage with the characters, and/or do wild lines on the day to cover yourself. You probably did some ADR here, but don’t forget wild lines.
Also, planting mics helps with stationary talent.
Good stuff, keep it up.

To the crew of ST: Phase II: Kitumba is awesome. I loved it. I think it is one of the best episodes they have done to date.

Lots of intrigue, new plot developments, some pretty fun “Easter eggs,” like McCoy saying he hopes not to live into the 24th century… Kirk mentioning wrecking the Corvette; seeing Q’ronos’ moon; the political intrigue, etc.

Cool guest spots from Gil “Buck Rogers” Gerard and a little cameo from Andrew Probert, the designer of the refit NCC-1701.

The SPFX are astoundingly good! Better than even the remastered TOS from Paramount.

All in all, a great film. I give it an A-/B+ and yet more proof that Star Trek needs to return to the small screen!

Thanks, Phase II, I cannot wait to see the further adventures of this show.

I would seriously think by now that and its moderators would actually moderate their forums to prevent vicious and malignant comments that have nothing to do with the subject matter at hand from being posted. Clearly the comments from The Keeper are designed ti incite a flame war and malign the people at Phase II who have done w wonderful job producing an episode of a a caliber never before seen by ‘fan’ productions.
C;mom TrekMovie, please dont let the trolls ruin what is a good thing.

@30 MJ, yes Kirk was being rude; that’s why I came off the platform grabbing my whip,teach that Earther some respect! (wink wink).

@ 40 ncc73515, I figure K’sia is an ancestor of Gorkon, probably his father or uncle.

In my mind, I tried for a flavor similar to Anthony Hopkins in MASK OF ZORRO while playing the part.