The nominations for the Nebula Awards are out, including a nod to Steven Moffat and Doctor Who, with Blink nominated in the script category. What is perhaps a surprise though is the inclusion, alongside Blink and a selection of major film scripts, of the script for an internet only Star Trek fan film, with a nomination for the Star Trek: New Voyages episode World Enough And Time.
September 8th marks the 40th anniversary of the arrival of the original Star Trek. Whilst we’re enjoying the re-runs of the digitally re-mastered episodes on the Sci-Fi channel, following the demise of Enterprise, and with a new movie not due until 2008, there will be no grand celebration story this time around. Or so you would think.
The fact is that although Paramount may not be doing anything, a number of the actors certainly are. The project in question is called Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, and includes actors spanning the full range of the series, including Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig from the original series through to Garret Wang and Tim Russ from Voyager. Tim Russ also directs.
As to how it is being pulled together, it is thanks to one of a number of fan based teams who are putting together their own episodes. The team in question is those behind Star Trek: New Voyages. Unlike most of the other fan productions I have come across who base their adventures in the Star Trek universe, but with new characters, New Voyages is intended to be a continuation of the original series, but with new actors in the well known roles. Whilst some may question the wisdom of having other actors play Kirk, Spock and McCoy when they are so closely associated with other actors, this is precisely what is rumoured to be happening in the upcoming Star Trek XI.
So far there are two full episodes of Star Trek: New Voyages, which whilst pretty entertaining, and visually looking pretty much like the original series, do suffer a bit from being obvious fan pleasing plots with a multitude of references to different episodes that you need an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the series and books to spot. Indeed at one point there are multiple USS Enterprise’s turning up from different time zones. Having said that, things are slightly different for the third episode where thanks to the involvement of D.C. Fontana, responsible for numerous episodes over the years, and Walter Koenig reprising his role as Chekov there might not be quite so much referencing of old episodes of the series. The majority of the actors are fans, so if you’re looking for top class acting, this isn’t the place. However, what is impressive is the CGI. The credit for the person responsible is actually an alias, as the person responsible is actually in the business, and worked on the proper series themselves, indeed he was very nearly sacked when the company found out what he was working on in his spare time!
The trailer for Star Trek: Of Gods and Men is due out in time for the anniversary, as is the third episode of Star Trek: New Voyages. You can watch the existing episodes, plus trailers for the latest instalment over at the New Voyages site. This Wired article gives a lot more background to the project and how it started.