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Living like it's stardate 5928.5
February 10, 2013 3:16 PM   Subscribe

Upcoming web series Star Trek Continues (warning: transporter sound) plans to pick up "right where the original left off", completing the last two years of the 5 year mission.
posted by klausman (46 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is separate from Star Trek Phase II (New Voyages)?
posted by mediated self at 3:24 PM on February 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow. The actors actually did a pretty good job capturing the mannerisms of Kirk, McCoy, and Scotty (Kirk's haircut is right on). It's going to take a while to get used to octave-too-high Spock though.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:24 PM on February 10, 2013


Neat concept, but I fail to see how these guys aren't going to get shut down by CBS and sued into oblivion if they proceed after they receive the inevitable cease and desist.
posted by asnider at 3:25 PM on February 10, 2013


I'm excited that Grant Imahara will portray Mr. Sulu.
posted by klausman at 3:25 PM on February 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


Never mind. I spotted this quote in the Wikipedia article that mediated self linked to:
CBS (and previously Paramount Pictures), which owns the legal rights to the Star Trek franchise, allows the distribution of fan-created material as long as no attempt is made to profit from it without official authorization,[2] and Phase II enjoys the same tolerance.
Presumably, these guys will be treated similarly, since they're a non-profit venture.
posted by asnider at 3:28 PM on February 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know I love every last one of these TOS fan projects.

At first glance, it does seem to be distinct from Phase II. The site notes it's a spinoff of Starship Farragut.

One thing I noticed several years ago is that the more-ambitious TOS fan film projects tend to have personnel overlap and frequently backchannel labor contributions from actual Paramount Trek people. I'll try to see if I can find any of those sorts of connections when I'm not on my phone.
posted by mwhybark at 3:49 PM on February 10, 2013


Has anybody done one of these elaborate fan series set in the Next Generation era? The only stuff that comes to mind is the Star Wreck series and the TNG porn parodies, both of which seem like a very different deal.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:04 PM on February 10, 2013


Finally, we'll get to see what the Omega 13 does!
posted by Spatch at 4:06 PM on February 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


This is making me chortle and also tear up with happiness.
posted by fleetmouse at 4:08 PM on February 10, 2013


the TNG porn parodies, both of which seem like a very different deal.

I'm not so sure:
Volunteering for Night Shift leads to fun for three crewmen who are interrupted by an unexpected Captain Kirk.
(okay, not porn, but still)
posted by BungaDunga at 4:09 PM on February 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


...maintain course and heading....
posted by mule98J at 4:19 PM on February 10, 2013


Has anybody done one of these elaborate fan series set in the Next Generation era?

reklus and I are currently, half-assedly working on scripting a sitcom set during TNG. We don't have the budget for anything elaborate (or a budget at all, for that matter), so, at best, it'll probably be sprite-based animations. Assuming it gets anywhere, that is.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 4:23 PM on February 10, 2013


Hey, it's Grant from Mythbusters as Sulu! Now if they can figure out how to get Kari Byron into a few epis (and maybe a few Uhuru-style miniskirts) I'm hooked.
posted by stargell at 4:25 PM on February 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Unexpected Captain Kirk" is the best euphemism for morning wood ever.
posted by adamdschneider at 4:25 PM on February 10, 2013 [15 favorites]


"Unexpected Captain Kirk" is the best euphemism for morning wood ever.

Captain's Log?
posted by klausman at 4:33 PM on February 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


I wish that there was an equally dedicated team of Doctor Who superfans recreating the wiped episodes. But then, maybe the Beeb isn't so forgiving of fan-made stuff. And anyway, that would be a more direct way of stepping on their toes since it would be recreating copyrighted material. There are those clunky recreations from the original audio, I guess.

In any case, I salute these people for their hard work and true affection for the source material.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:45 PM on February 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


partial followup: in June, James Cawley, who helms Phase II (formerly literally, as Kirk), announced a recasting of Kirk, handing the gold jersey to Brian Gross. Cawley said that the recasting was an aspect of a "relaunch."

Ursula, you are asking about Hidden Frontier. Here's the wikipedia entry.

Starship Intrepid is also set in the post TOS era.

Starship Exeter is the oldest of the video-era fan film projects, originally shot on VHS by brothers in Minnesota in the early 1990s. The production stalled after an ambitious shoot in Texas on a full-scale reconstruction of a Constitution-class bridge. There was overlap between Exeter and Phase II personnel.

Wikipedia is nerdly thorough on listing ST fan projects, but not complete.

For example, it fails to list YT user CHDanhauser's animated TOS fan film project, which I highlighted here in a December post.

I want to also note something which I think is interesting and which I suspect Jimm Johnson from Exeter believes and is unhappy about. I have written about Trek fanfilm professionally and interviewed various folks involved with the productions, again, in a professional capacity.

I think Exeter originated the concept of recasting the TOS roles for film, but shied away from using Kirk, Spock, et al, due to fear of Paramount. I have seen a tremendous, loving and excellent musical parody that ran for about two years here in Seattle before being shut down, in which all the TOS characters were re-embodied by new actors. Paramount even licensed new actors in audio-only roles for a series of somewhat-terrible LPs in the Seventies.

But the brilliant insight that drives the current Abrams version is that Kirk and Spock et al are literally legendary archetypes, not bound to the physical expressions of the actors that originated them. Even though the Johnsons did not use Kirk's name or Spock's character design, I beleive they are the specific historically attributable catalyst which transforms story into myth. I thank them.
posted by mwhybark at 4:54 PM on February 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Comes right up to the edge of kitsch and then takes a step back. I love it.
posted by roger ackroyd at 5:16 PM on February 10, 2013


Linking from the last episode of the real series is an interesting idea. But given what a terrible episode "Turnabout Intruder" was, not least because it hinges on the ludicrously dated and sexist proposition that a woman could not be a Captain in Star Fleet, they might have reconsidered. It really wasn't necessary: TOS episodes are essentially free-standing.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:36 PM on February 10, 2013


Whoa--wait. Kim Stinger gets to play Uhura in both Star Trek: Phase II *AND* Star Trek Continues? Talk about universes colliding!
posted by jabah at 5:39 PM on February 10, 2013


Heh, now I'm picturing something like that scene from Seinfeld with the Phase II and ST Continues crews standing and facing each other due to some space warp. Both Chekovs are simultaneously mumbling "Thees ees wedee awkvard." Both Kirks are whispering to their respective Spocks, "Only one Uhura between both crews? Explain!" Spock raises an eyebrow and responds, "I cannot."
posted by jabah at 5:52 PM on February 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


So, which universe has Phase II and which one has Continues? One of them must be from the universe in which McCoy didn't accidentally inject himself full of cordrazine.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:09 PM on February 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


CBS (and previously Paramount Pictures), which owns the legal rights to the Star Trek franchise, allows the distribution of fan-created material as long as no attempt is made to profit from it without official authorization,[2] and Phase II enjoys the same tolerance.

Hasbro could stand to learn a thing or two, hint hint.
posted by JHarris at 6:43 PM on February 10, 2013


But the brilliant insight that drives the current Abrams version is that Kirk and Spock et al are literally legendary archetypes, not bound to the physical expressions of the actors that originated them.

You can say that all you want, but Shatner might just have become an even more archetypal figure than Kirk, and I find it difficult to extricate the two.

(Saw him on Twilight Zone a couple of nights ago. Hard to recognize him, he was much younger then, but yeah, he was Kirking it up a notch even then.)
posted by JHarris at 6:45 PM on February 10, 2013


George_Spiggott: "But given what a terrible episode 'Turnabout Intruder' was, not least because it hinges on the ludicrously dated and sexist proposition that a woman could not be a Captain in Star Fleet, they might have reconsidered."

I was thinking the exact same thing: "Uh oh, this does not bode well..." But the second vignette kind of addresses the issue: Kirk tells Uhura that she would make a fine captain one day (as would Chekov and Sulu). It looks to me like they are aware of the problems with TOS and will be fixing them.
posted by jiawen at 7:03 PM on February 10, 2013


People who couldn't write their way out of a paper bag seriously believe they could do better than the writers of Stark Trek and Star Wars. Good luck with that.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:34 PM on February 10, 2013


Just finally made it to the cast pages. Scotty is being played by Chris Doohan, Jimmy Doohan's son (!).
posted by mwhybark at 9:57 PM on February 10, 2013


Stark Trek is, I think, Tony Stark's vanity webseries, Ironmouth. Thank for the threadshit!
posted by mwhybark at 10:06 PM on February 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Great Big Mulp, I know a guy who has done a bunch of Xtranormal mods to create Trek sets and characters. He has this whole saga set in a sort of alt Trek reality where the crews are all-female. Maybe you'd wanna check his stuff out and talk to him about the process. Xtranormal has its problems, but I am a fanatic for the potential of the tech. Or you could use Flash animation and do everything animated series style, like this fellow.

The problem with the Kirk-as-archetype deal is that Shatner so owned the role that for a lot of us, watching another actor play him is just weird. Kirk is an interesting character, but it was Shatner's over the top Shatner-ness that made the role iconic. That was one of the many things that bugged me about the reboot, that Chris Pine only made the vaguest attempt to be Shatner-y. EVERYBODY has a Shatner impression, make an effort! I enjoyed every minute that Karl Urban was onscreen, because while he was a distractingly handsome McCoy, he absolutely nailed Deforest Kelley's delivery and mannerisms. When he was around the movie kind of glanced in the direction of actual Star Trek, instead of following a bunch of people who didn't look or act much like the original cast as they did not-very-Trek-y stuff on the bridge of the USS Apple Store.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:08 PM on February 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, I'm not that into the Abrams stuff. I mean, I don't hate it, and it's competently produced. I did not find the performances distracting at all, more the continuity changes (ground-built Enterprise, Vulcan planetary genocide).

My actual favorite of all the fan-produced stuff is the Exeter material, cheesy acting, clumsy edits, and poor resolution included. Even though Johnson isn't playing Kirk per se, he is still reinterpreting Shatner's performance.

I don't think a pro production could actually permit a newly cast Kirk to actually build a performance around Shatner's characterization, because in the end that's not really giving the performer a chance to do what they are trained to do.
posted by mwhybark at 10:25 PM on February 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Comes right up to the edge of kitsch and then takes a step back.

Well, aside from Grant Imahara's scenery-gnawing George Takei impression. I hope he dials that back a bit in the actual episodes.
posted by Lazlo Nibble at 10:29 PM on February 10, 2013


Not too shabby. Will be interesting to watch as the series develops.
posted by davidmsc at 10:44 PM on February 10, 2013


The last Shatner impression I will ever need.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:16 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've never seen any of these, aside from clips. I can usually stand the bad acting, so time to get watching, I suppose.

I did watch Alan Ruck in Of Gods And Men, which was was an easy way to spend an hour and a bit watching some of the most tortuous continuity wank ever.
But it also contained the Charlie X/Gary Mitchell fight we have wanted to see since the '60s.
Any Star Trek that isn't JJ's Trek is okay by me as long as the woo-ping-ping background noise is there.
posted by Mezentian at 12:17 AM on February 11, 2013


"I don't think a pro production could actually permit a newly cast Kirk to actually build a performance around Shatner's characterization, because in the end that's not really giving the performer a chance to do what they are trained to do."

But actors in biopics imitate famous people all the time. Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for Ray! I'm not saying Pine needed to do a full Kevin Pollack-esque Shatner impression, but for most of the movie he was pointedly not doing Shatner, and that struck me as a weird choice. It was like casting an actor to play Elvis without having him do the drawl or the hair or the lip curl or the suits, and maybe getting in a quick hip swivel in the final reel. What's the point?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:19 AM on February 11, 2013


But the brilliant insight that drives the current Abrams version is that Kirk and Spock et al are literally legendary archetypes, not bound to the physical expressions of the actors that originated them.

Bond. James Tiberius Bond.
posted by solotoro at 2:22 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Animated Series completed the last two years of the five year mission. Its hard to say its not canon when it uses the original cast and many of the writers. And Gene Roddenberry.
posted by Billiken at 7:30 AM on February 11, 2013


But the brilliant insight that drives the current Abrams version is that Kirk and Spock et al are literally legendary archetypes,

We are struck blind by the lens flare of their greatness.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:03 AM on February 11, 2013


But the brilliant insight that drives the current Abrams version is that Kirk and Spock et al are literally legendary archetypes, not bound to the physical expressions of the actors that originated them.

Hey, stop trying to turn Star Trek into Star Wars!
posted by adamdschneider at 8:33 AM on February 11, 2013


Holy Cow. (Vic Mignogna) Captain Kirk is an old friend of mine from my college drama days. He's also a big deal on the Anime voice over circuit (Dragonball Z, Full Metal Alchemist).
posted by Optamystic at 8:44 AM on February 11, 2013


Kirk is an interesting character, but it was Shatner's over the top Shatner-ness that made the role iconic. That was one of the many things that bugged me about the reboot, that Chris Pine only made the vaguest attempt to be Shatner-y. EVERYBODY has a Shatner impression, make an effort!

A brief moment or two of homage might have been nice but, really, if we want to watch Shatner as Kirk we've got TOS and a bunch of movies. Seeing someone make the role their own is part of the point of a reboot.

But actors in biopics imitate famous people all the time. Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for Ray! I'm not saying Pine needed to do a full Kevin Pollack-esque Shatner impression, but for most of the movie he was pointedly not doing Shatner, and that struck me as a weird choice. It was like casting an actor to play Elvis without having him do the drawl or the hair or the lip curl or the suits, and maybe getting in a quick hip swivel in the final reel. What's the point?

The difference, of course, is that Kirk is a fictional character. Pine was playing Kirk in a Star Trek movie, not William Shatner in Rocket Man: The William Shatner Story.
posted by asnider at 9:14 AM on February 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seeing someone make the role their own is part of the point of a reboot.

As far as I can tell, the "point" of reboots is to cash in on nostalgia.

Rocket Man: The William Shatner Story.

Kickstarter.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:44 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


As far as I can tell, the "point" of reboots is to cash in on nostalgia.

For the studios' perspective the point of all movies is to make boatloads of money. I was coming it at it more from an audience perspective.
posted by asnider at 10:17 AM on February 11, 2013


Vic Mignogna is pretty much a fixture at sci-fi conventions for his anime voice acting work and seems like a pretty cool guy and Grant Imahara as Sulu? I'm in.
posted by lordrunningclam at 10:37 AM on February 11, 2013


Rocket Man: The William Shatner Story, starring James Spader as William Shatner.
posted by mwhybark at 12:19 PM on February 11, 2013


starring James Spader as William Shatner.

And vice versa.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:48 PM on February 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


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