With the world of video exploding, it’s exciting to see that the audio drama format is still alive and well. After a nearly three year hiatus, the cast and crew of the USS Montana have returned for an entirely new episode, Cathedral in the Void, available from the Continuing Mission Website.
During it’s initial “season” of six episodes released between the winter of 2007 and the fall of 2009, the series amassed a listenership of tens of thousands, garnering critical acclaim and reviewed on CNN. We had even named it, “Audio Drama of the Year,” in 2008.
Series producer Sebastian Prooth is proud of the series use of a ship and storyline set outside of the established series canon, but still able to weave it into the same universe. The story follows the adventures of a Federation crew plucked out of the 23rd century (from around the time of the events in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn) and re-emerging in the 24th, just prior to the beginning of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
“The benefits of working in an audio format is that we’ve been able to utilize technology to bring together talented actors from around the world without having to physically bring them together,” said Prooth.
The bulk of the original audio was completed back in 2011, with only a few characters’ dialogue remaining. Finally, it was an offer by Canadian fan and audio engineer, Matheiu Blondin, to help assemble the episode that restarted the momentum. That addition to the team, in tandem with Prooth’s desire to rejuvenate the series for an audience of today. This new episode summons up the creations of HP Lovecraft, the father of modern horror, who consigned his unspeakable creations to the farthest reaches of the final frontier. Most call them aliens. Some know them as the Elder Gods. In the time before time, they ruled the Earth. Now, the only thing that can stop their return is Captain Edwards and the crew of the USS Montana.
The episode is well paced and is immersive as an audio experience, and easy to listen to (many effect-laden audio dramas become cluttered, which isn’t the case with Cathedral. The actor’s performances are solid and not over the top. The cast is headlined by Captain Paul Edwards (Scott Martineck), Commander Darius Locke (Stephen Perkins), Lt. Commander Jack McGuire (Patrick McCray), and Lt. Commander Thomas Plummer (Nathan Wolfenbarger).
This new episode is in part an experiment to see if there’s still an audience for Star Trek in an audio drama format. They have already been drafting ideas for future episodes, but before they proceed they want to see what number of listens this episode receives.
Personally I’m a big fan of listening to audio format fiction, as I use them to pass the time on the daily work commute. Full format audio plays however have become too rare, with World War Z having been an interesting hybrid between a full cast and straight audiobook. It’s refreshing to see something in the tradition of the classic Orson Wells broadcast of the War of the Worlds being created anew today.
NOW HEAR THIS!
Full format audio plays are having at bit of a renaissance over at BigFinish.com. They do Doctor Who, the Avengers (British TV) and some other British TV adaptations, but also some original and classic fantasy and sci-fi stuff.
Full format audio drama is not rare at all. There’s close to 1,000 (yes, 1,000) at bigfinish.com, all made with professional actors and increasing by six or so every month…
I am a fan of Star Trek in any form. There is not much to talk about it the world of Star Trek. The new movie feels like it is taking forever to be made. We are so not getting a movie for the 50th Anniversary.
Oh, I think we’ll get a movie for the 50th anniversary, it’s just a question of quality.
It will either be a classic, one for the ages, or a warmed over turd.
I won’t bother telling you which one I’m betting on.
They only posted this as a distraction from the Roberto Orci directing story which is either liked by the mindless newbies or disliked by the long time fans.
Really The Keeper?
Funny… I’ve been a fan since the early 80s. I find the J.J. reboot quite good. Which category do I fall under?
This, but no story about Starship Exeter ending a 10 year long wait by finishing “The Tressaurian Intersection”?
Thanks piper kev, it’s been so long waiting for Star Trek Exeter I have to watch from the beginning. 2 new Star Trek projects in one day! I always liked the Mr. Bathusalak character.
I watched Exeter, I liked it a lot. Especially that first officer……..:)
Nothing beats Star trek Continues. Pure TOS magic.
6. Harry Ballz – May 11, 2014
My enthusiasm for this next film is incredibly low.
@6. Hey, people play 50/50 odds in Vegas all the time. If the overall body of Trek movies tells us anything, it’ll land in that middle third of good, but not great movies…
So, Danpaine, you’ve decided to CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM?
(let’s see how many show titles we can use in conversation)
15. Harry Ballz – May 12, 2014
Indeed. I’m not fond of the way they’re making Spock ALMOST HUMAN in this new timeline. An emotional, weepy human, at that.
Danpaine, the last movie was so bad, I think the writers must have CRIMINAL MINDS.
Yeah, I would think that the long-awaited completion of “The Tressaurian Intersection” would be of note, but of course things are pretty dicey at Trekmovie nowadays. More downbeat (not to mention gruesome) than I would have expected, the finale caps off a project that I personally found flawed in a variety of ways, yet very much worth the trouble of following to see if it would ever get finished. I’m glad it finally happened.
@9 and @18
Yep. Would think that the long-awaited release of “Starship Exeter” would be more newsworthy. However, I’ve come to find that most Trek news sites aren’t actually interested in news.
Harry, as I left the theater after a fruitless second viewing of STID, I felt like THE WALKING DEAD.
Thoroughly enjoyed the last two fims, especially STID. Looking forward to the next one. I would love to see a TV miniseries on the 24th century shows for 2016 executive produced by Frakes and Burton. They are very capable to handle such an undertaking.
6. Harry Ballz – May 11, 2014
I couldn’t agree more.
The great Star Trek films and TV episodes were so because of the original ideas & characters, not to mention writing. STID was none of these. Resurrecting Khan was an epic blunder!!
I just finished the entire series. This was great fun! Does anyone know of another fan Trek audio books/dramas? I wish a Klingon group would do a professional sounding readiing of The Final Reflection by Mike Ford. I love that book so much I have thought of reading it aloud my self with klingon music in the backgroud.