How To Watch Star Trek Discovery

After almost 15 years the time is almost upon us, in less than 17hours the eagerly awaited Star Trek Discovery will premiere on CBS and then the second episode will be shown on CBS ALL Access, over the last week many people have been asking the same questions over and over in regards of how do I sign up where can I see it and most importantly how do I get the CBS all Access Apps.

In this quick and easy how-to, there will be a guide on where to find the apps, where to see Discovery and a guide to what time it will show in your country. 



USA ONLYStar Trek: Discovery will debut Sunday, September 24, with a special broadcast premiere on the CBS TV network airing 8:30-9:30 PM.

The first, as well as the second episode of the sci-fi series, will be available on-demand on CBS All Access immediately following the broadcast premiere, with subsequent new episodes released on All Access each Sunday.


WORLDWIDE (EXCLUDING USA & Canada) – Netflix has announced that the newest entry in the Star Trek franchise will premiere on Monday, September 25th, when the first two episodes will be available to stream.

New episodes will continue to be made available to Netflix subscribers every Monday, less than 24 hours after they initially stream state-side on CBS All Access. The first season – which runs fifteen episodes – is being split into two distinct runs; with the first eight episodes airing from September through to November. The second half of season one will launch in January 2018


CANADA – STAR TREK: DISCOVERY makes its exclusive Canadian broadcast premiere simultaneously on CTV and Space, Sunday, September 24 at 8:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. CT. Episode 2 follows immediately the same evening only on Space. The 15-episode season will roll out in two chapters, with the first eight episodes running from Sunday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Nov. 5. The second chapter resumes in January 2018.

Every episode will also be available to Space subscribers on the newly launched Space GO app, in addition to being available on and participating On Demand channels. STAR TREK: DISCOVERY will also stream exclusively in Canada on CraveTV, with full scheduling details to be released in the coming weeks.



This is easy just click below 


To view CBS All Access you must have one of the following apps to be able to use the service. 




[one-half]Apple TV – How to download apps on the Apple TV

  1. Launch the App Store app from your Home screen.
  2. Make sure you’re on the Featured tab.
  3. Navigate to an app you want to download.
  4. Click on the app icon.
  5. Click on Get for free (or free with in-app purchase) apps, or the price for paid apps.
  6. Click Buy to confirm.


[one-half]Fire TV – How to download apps

  1. Go to the Amazon Appstore from your computer, Fire device, Amazon Appstore app or the Apps & Games section of the Amazon Underground app on your compatible Android or BlackBerry device.
  2. Browse or search for apps and then open the detail page of an app you’d like to purchase.
  3. Select Buy NowGet Now or Download.

Full How To guide here –


[one-half-first]= SIGN UP TO NETFLIX = 

Star Trek Discovery, will debut on Netflix UK, at 08:00 BST

Monday 25th September 2017. 

If you want to know what time it will debut in your country



2-Episode Series Premiere September 24 8:30e 5:30p




The Fan Film Guidelines Breakdown – Part Five

In part four, I discussed, guideline 4 

“If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.”

Guideline 4, was one that caused a lot of resentment among numerous people in their interpretation of how it was worded, however, with what was covered in the last blog, I am hoping it has become clear that in no way did this guideline mean you must use only official props, uniforms etc in your productions, but you may continue to do what makes us Star Trek fans so great and that is our skills to be resourceful and make things ourselves, just do not buy cheap knockoffs.

As a result of all the information provided, anyone wanting to make and use their own props, costumes and sets are allowed to continue to do so and stay within the guidelines.

In this part, we are going to look at guideline 5,

“The fan production must be a real “fan” production, i.e., creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated for their services, and cannot be currently or previously employed in any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees.”

I have to admit this blog is going to be tricky as it is full of possible interpretations as to the motives behind CBS & Paramount’s choice to include this one, one person has called it against California state non-compete law (which it is not since you are not employed on a fan film, and even if you were I am 100% sure no one in their right mind would contest this as even under the guidelines Fan Films are still a form of copyright infringement ), others say it is a result of Axanar and Gary Grahams portrayal of Soval that was the straw that broke the camel’s back as this caused big brand confusion.

However since the early fan films, many in the past have used many Trek Alumni in their productions some examples would be George Takei in New Voyages, Walter Koenig and Tim Russ in Renegades and more recently in the troubled production Axanar, J.G Hertzler and Gary Graham were to star, (and may still do, but who knows as of yet the guys at Axanar have not released any info in the casting of their 2x15mins).

Nonetheless, it is not just Trek Actors that have helped on fan productions, the likes of Doug Drexler have helped on STC & New Voyages, D.C. Fontana, Michael and Denise Okuda helped on New Voyages. Renegades had John Eaves and Rick Sternbach and as we all know Axanar was touted as a fully professional production full of countless professionals, although with the exception of David Gerrold none of these professionals had worked on past Official Trek productions.

So why include this guideline at all, the answer is kind of simple, Fan Films are meant to be just that “FAN” films done by volunteers and not paid professionals furthermore fan films are not meant to compete with the official product produced by CBS and Paramount, the use of industry professionals on your production blurs the line between amateur and professional somewhat and it also creates a big divide within the fan film community, as John Van Citters said in the Engage podcast “productions started spiralling larger and larger there’s something of an arms race about how many Hollywood names could be attached because of this many potential fan film producers never stepped up to the plate as they would see all these big names and think why to bother mine will never be as good.

As for using paid actors, well I recently spoke to Equity the British form of SAG and after a lengthy conversation with a representative there about fan films and the guidelines set out by CBS and Paramount, the conversation was just as interesting as I thought it would be, nonetheless the conclusion was exactly what I predicted it would be.

As per SAG although not as strict in some of their rule, Equity has the same stance on their actors being a part of non-commercial productions, the actors must be paid (at least UK Minimum Wage of £7.50 Per hour) and must be compensated for their time, also they are extremely against any of their registered actors partaking in illegal activates such as copyright infringement and if CBS and Paramount have stated that no professionals are to be used in any Fan Film then as per their rules they would not allow it.

Consequently not only do Equity say actors must be paid or at least compensated for their time unless it is for a charity, such as raising money for a good cause, they also do not allow any actor to go against the wishes of the rightful owners of any IP and commit illegal activates of any kind.

Since I am based in the UK I cannot say how SAG or other acting guilds would react to this guideline but if it is anything like Equity I am certain it would be the same and would not condone their members participating. (if you are a member of SAG and know anything different then please feel free to comment below to correct my assumption)

So in short the answer to this guideline in regards to actors or professionals being “hired” by a fan film, although it is not directly aimed at them it is clear that it is not in their best interests to be involved if they think they may be at risk in any way, and the bulk of this guideline only really applies to the fan film producers. In addition, of course, the important thing to remember is, these are guidelines, not rules, not laws. They are essentially a friendly proposition that IF the guidelines are followed the copyright holders will not take legal action. The producers remain perfectly free to hire pro actors or industry professionals if they wish, and the actors and alike are free to take the job if they wish and it satisfies their union rules. But the producers do so in knowing there is a risk and there might be consequences for both the production and for the actors/professionals involved. It is worth noting that the guidelines do not supersede law and they are only addressed to the fan filmmakers them self.

It should be noted the Fan Film Guidelines DO NOT affect anything but Fan Films, this means Audios dramas and alike are not bound by them.

“The fan production must be a real “fan” production, i.e., creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated for their services, and cannot be currently or previously employed in any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees.”

[one-half-first] Randy Landers – Potempkin Pictures

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

You cannot pay anyone for their work on or in your fan film. Period. We never have. We never will. You cannot use “real” actors nor can you use any Star Trek actors. That being said, many of our cast and crew have gone on to become professional actors. Some of those continue to appear in our films although unpaid. This is a challenging situation for all fan films. At what point does an actor become professional, and cannot a professional actor be unpaid and still appear in a fan film? For example, Jeffrey Green, who plays Captain Grigory on Project: Potemkin, is a professional actor and drama instructor at a university in Georgia. He is also a Star Trek fan and has appeared in more than 30  Project: Potemkin films pro bono. Is his involvement with our productions suddenly forbidden? In the strictest sense, yes, it is. Jason Carter of Babylon 5 appeared in one of our films because he wanted to. We didn’t  pay him. He did it for fun. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Lastly, we’ve filmed in Georgia, and now we’re filming in Alabama. Both states are right to work states, and prohibitions against actors from donating their time and appearances may be in violation of that precept. If we get a letter from Paramount or CBS, we’ll re-evaluate at that time.

[one-half] Nick Cook – Intrepid

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

It’s not illegal because no one is being told they can’t work on a fan production. The studio is saying that if we do not follow this limit we are not guaranteed the protection of the safe harbour they have provided. It’s not a legal requirement; it’s a guideline for staying in the clear. If people want to violate it they can, but they increase their chances of either being C&Ded or sued (which is the studio’s right). Essentially they’ve given us a safe space to work in. No one is being forced, legally or otherwise to remain inside it.


[one-half-first]Vance Major – Melbourne

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Well, I think that’s pretty self-explanatory. Look, I work 60 to 72 hours a week at my normal job and I am a producer on several fan films on top of my independent film projects. Total of 13 projects. I deal with that on my breaks. But with the fan films, usually, I take the hit, losing vacation days from work and missing time with family, and taking up so much of my break times on the phone. I’ve never received a dime. My CGI artists never paid then either, nor would I ever. The makeup artist, I’ve given the money they’ve spent on makeup because that is an expense, but not paid them for services. This is pretty clear-cut. I can tell you, one of the productions that are out there is paying a hefty price for CGI and it makes me sick. The budget for the CGI is more than the entire Melbourne film and the first valiant film. That says something. But, I’ve kept my mouth shut, I simply don’t support the fan film. That’s where we are these days tho, ppl are worried about CGI and being better than the next guy and I’m just like “whatever” with that. All that shit comes across as condescending to me. I do my fan films for passion. My team does their work for passion. These ppl who have a start price for CGI and rates, blah. Call me crazy but I’m not on the same page as that. And I’ve seen some really good ppl out there who are really good that are just as capable. Passion doesn’t come with a price tag

[one-half]Justin Burton – Former member of the Lexington production. 

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

Well Duh Most “fan films” have been doing this for years It is only when Of Gods of men came along that Actors started coming on for roles in “fan films” And I guess that is when the others decided oh crap we have got to up the bar .. USED to be if you had a good film fans would just send you stuff to help you out props costume pieces gift cards etc… This happened in Hidden Frontier and in the early days of New Voyages. Then Crowdfunding started I think Renegades kicked it off with their multiple fundraisers then New Voyages chimed in with theirs and Star Trek Continues and along came Alec And Axanar who proved a business could be started with fan donations. So I think this is a good one to have it keeps people from abusing fandom for money and keeps scams from happening.


[one-half-first]Ray Tesi – Starship Republic

  • What is your interpretation of this guideline?

This is certainly fall-out from some specific fan productions who used professional actors and crew. I’m all for fan productions to be a product of fans and not professionals. No issue here.

[one-half]Robin –  Dark Armada:

“The guidelines set by CBS are just what they are…….. Guidelines, as it was explained in the podcast they’re not supposed to be rules and CBS isn’t going to inspect every single fan film about these guidelines. The Star Trek Fan Film community used to live by a certain code or ‘unofficial rules’, until some decided to break that code and all hell broke loose. But it’s really just common sense: making a fan film means you play with someone’s intellectual property and in our case, CBS and Paramount have graciously allowed us to do that for over a decade. The risk that they would ask you to stop is always present, so do you think it’s wise to sell DVD’s, ask for money/donations, build a studio, pretend to be official Star Trek? Only a few thought it was. Most fan productions followed a few simple rules: don’t make a profit, don’t sell DVD’s or similar merchandise and make clear it’s a fan production. The only difference today is that these rules are now officially presented as guidelines by CBS. Follow them and you’re safe from any legal action. Most important about these guidelines are that your intentions are good (the common sense stuff I mentioned before), that it’s a production by the fans for the fans out of love for Star Trek (and of course…. don’t pull an Alec). My advice would be not to try to desperately work around the guidelines, but realise that they are a way for CBS to allow us to play with Star Trek as fans. Some of these guidelines weigh heavier than other. I think I don’t have to explain that collecting more money is a worse guideline to ignore than the one about the length of your film. Whether your film is 15, 30 or 45 minutes long, make sure your intentions are good and put a lot effort, a lot of work and a lot of love into it”


[one-third]READ THE FULL PDF HERE > Fanfiction and Copyright – INFORMATION SHEET G137v02 January 2017 [/one-third][clearfix]

{} Jordan {}

right right which leads us to the point of things fan films, what you’re talking about is officially licensed quote unquote work somebody out there that wants to do the Wesley Crusher story their way he had nothing to do with you guys that is a totally different ball of wax as they say well at my bag of self-sealing stem bolts so what I which leads us to guidelines for fan films I let’s just sort of cut to the chase and say why now and what is the impetus of putting up.

{} JVC {}

What we’ve seen an explosion of fan films in recent years and we know that these come from averting a place of a very deep love for Star Trek and the  technological advances that have happened in the last years have enabled fans to tell their stories with more ease and more detailing and do some really amazing things and for many years we’ve used a simple guideline both the CBS and Paramount and in you know cooperation on this which is a Star Trek fan film is a is a is a fan creation that’s non-commercial while we thought that this was simple enough and help filmmakers understand the separation that we need to keep between professional content and fan films it’s becoming increasingly clear that not everyone is understood where that line is between non-commercial and our professional efforts and we decided to issue a set of guidelines that that should help give some shape to this and standardize our approach and the approach that fans can take to non-commercial fan-generated content.

Now I’ve seen some muttering online about this that the guidelines are you know how this is this is intended to end fan films that are not the case at all that’s not what we’re trying to do here they’re not intended and fan films but with the explosion of crowdfunding abuses have very definitely crept into the process for many it became more about the item that you were donating to get then it was about supporting a fan production for its own sake the production Started spiralling larger and larger there’s something of an arms race about how many Hollywood names could be attached how many people that have previously worked on Trek how many famous actors could you involve and that’s not really in the spirit of fan fiction, not the not the fan fiction that I grew up with and that many people I grew up with which was more.

{} Jordan {}

Would you say that it can even sort of creating a barrier of entry for people who wanted to?

{} JVC {}

I’ve spoken with some people in including some people that have been involved preferably with fan films that that it that it has created a bit of a barrier of entry to some people because they’re Star Trek fans all over the world and they don’t necessarily have the ability to access Hollywood actors and people, and even meet people that have worked on Trek unless they are able to travel to one of the larger conventions so for a lot of people they felt like well I, I can’t get at this actor that actor I can’t get these people to tell my story I don’t know if I should bother I because I just can’t compete on the level that these other guys are playing at and that’s that’s unfortunate because regardless of what someone else is doing I would think it  would be great for fans to show their  passion, however, that is,

At Star Trek  Star Trek Las Vegas in  the costume contest last year we  Started offering a you know different  levels for the for the costume contest  because there are a lot of people that  were intimidated by the amazing costumes  that you see in there like I don’t know  if I want to enter the costume contest  I’m just going to get killed by this guy  that’s been working on this Borg for 10 years,

{} Jordan {}

Right and what’s unfortunate is that sometimes some of the most creative ideas actually

{} JVC {}

They come from anywhere

{} Jordan {}

Right -they- I know the guy I know some of these Borgs  who come every year they’re amazing they  work in the garage a year and they are  absolutely remarkable and they have  discretionary income and they’ve got the  time and they make it and it’s beautiful  and then somebody will have a very sort  of ah fun metaphorical almost like Wow  why didn’t I think of that but very  simple costume and it’s not a level  playing field well I would not say a level playing field but  it’s great that you have the different  categories for those different  costumes

{} JVC {}

I’m going to go to the  Ratatouille card here since that’s one  of my favourite Pixar movies but the  idea that anyone can cook  that you can get great things from  any corner and I truly  believe that about Star Trek fandom  we’ve got fans all over the globe in  every corner that you can imagine and  they have some terrific ideas and inspirations I want to see more fans  involved and I think the guidelines that  we that we have will make it easier for  more people to enter it will make it  easier for more people to complete films  with the shorter length that’s involved and we won’t see things spiralling off into the direction of how  many cool t-shirts or ships or things like that can I get for donating instead  of donating just because this person has a great idea for a film and I want to  see that story on screen.


If you know of any links or information you think would be of use in this post then please comment below.

Project Defiant – Interview Part One

PROJECT DEFIANT is a fan film set in the TOS era of Star Trek. Based on the U.S.S. Defiant NCC 1764, “THE VINTAAK CODE,” written by Adam Mullen and produced by Vance Major, is going to be a part of a planned “Trilogy” of fan films.

The cast of Project Defiant is going made up of some well-recognized names from the fan film world, like Mark Bennett (Starship Republic), John Snow (Melbourne, Starship Grissom) and Krystal Willis (Starship Grissom, Starship Valiant).

Back in June, Vance reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in talking to Adam about the new fan film project, I was more than happy to talk to Adam as after Vance explained to me what “Project Defiant” was it peeked my interest and I wanted to know more, as the Defiant from TOS is one really well-known starship from Trek Canon that has not been explored.

After agreeing to be interviewed for Trekfanproductions, about this project, Adam and I have kept up the communication and as a result we’ve become good friends, Adam really is so easy to discuss anything with we have had some long conversations ranging from politics to just random chit-chat, I am so glad Vance introduced me to him.

In part one of his interview with Trekfanproductions, Adam tells me where he is from, what he loves about Star Trek and what his hopes are from the new Star Trek series.

“We have big plans for the Defiant and its crew. Stick around and you’ll be blown away with what it is!”

James ) Hey Adam, thank you so much for sitting down with me and not only talking about your production “Project Defiant” but also allowing me to get to know more about you.

SO I guess the first question, tell me a bit about yourself. What you do in life, likes, dislikes, introduce yourself to anyone who hasn’t had the chance to get to know you?

Adam) My name is Adam Mullen and I live in Portland, Oregon. I’m a huge Trekkie, a musician, and educator.

James) Other than Trek, what other TV shows you watch like B5, Walking Dead, and The Flash?

Adam) I enjoy watching shows like Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, Stargate, and Farscape.

James) As a big Trekkie, do you play any Trek games, if not Trek Games then what ones do you play?

Adam) I played Star Trek Online a lot back when it first came out. Every once in awhile I’ll play it, I love playing Star Trek Armada II, but unfortunately, my game disc broke a couple of years ago, and I can’t install it on my computer! Lots of hours spent on that game back when it came out.

James)I have them all on disc hehe, the only one I have never unwrapped is Final Unity, I got it for Christmas two years ago and it is still sat in the packaging, and STO well I was so into that I subbed not long ago then… I stopped playing lol oops.

So tell me about your day job, what is it you do?

Adam) I work in Special Education as an Instructional Assistant and love it. I also teach private brass lessons to students and community members in the Portland area.

James) Now we know the basics, tell me a bit about your history with Star Trek what does Trek mean to you

What Trek Actors have you met in real life if any?

Adam) I have not met any.

James) Lol, no worries, neither have I, Have you been to any Star Trek Conventions?

Adam) None. I claim to be a huge Trekkie but have yet to go to any!

James) I would not worry about that I have not been to one, well I did but when I was a kid and then it was more like a small set tour type thing. I have to admit I am not one for large crowds I find the kinda off-putting.

I ask these next questions a lot, but I find you can tell what type of Trek fan someone is by these questions LOL. What is your favourite Star Trek episode?

Adam) My favourite episode in all of Star Trek would be “The Inner Light.” It’s a very powerful episode and a life changer for Picard.

James) Favourite Star Trek Film?

Adam) My favourite Star Trek film would have to be “The Wrath of Khan,” though “First Contact” is a close second! Khaaaaaaaaaan!

James) Favourite Trek Actor/Actress?

Adam) This is a difficult question! If I had to pick one, I would say Jonathan Frakes since he plays the trombone.

James) Worst Trek Episode Why?

Adam) There are several in the whole franchise, but if I would have to pick the worst, it would have to be “Masks” from TNG. It’s the only episode I’ve only seen a few times. I can’t figure out exactly why I think it’s the worst. I’m sure most people would disagree with me (There are a couple in TOS that are complete YIKES).

James) Masks in TNG season 7 SUCKS! Yes, Brent Spiner’ acting is really good in it, that said, there is something about that episode I just cannot stand, a bit like the episodes “Shade of Gray” TNG and “Whom Gods Destroy” TOS that episode OH MY GOD it’s awful, What about a favourite Series?

Adam) My favourite series is TNG, It’s what I grew up with. The characters are fun to watch progress and the stories have a lot of great things to say about the here and now.

James) I am the same TNG is my go to series, I cannot remember a number of times I have binged that series, I have to admit though my least fave is TOS, I get why so many people love it but I just cannot watch it unless it’s on TV, although I have watched the films god knows how many times.

So with TNG being you fave series what about the series you like the least?

Adam) I don’t have a worst series. All of them have both great and not so great moments. I know a lot of people would probably say Enterprise, but I actually like the last season just as much as TNG! It deserved another season (EARTH-ROMULAN WAR!!!!)

James) I agree Enterprise is sooo! Underrated, yes like all Trek series’ it has the OMG episodes, but for the most part it is one of my fave series and really needed a 5th season, oh well that is what happens when the fans become their own worst enemies, this is one thing I am so worried about with Discovery, so many are crying about it being so different, I guess time will tell if the curse of the spoilt fan strikes again.

With you producing your own fan film, do you watch any other the others?

Adam) I enjoy watching anything that involves Vance Major or Michael King. These guys put out some great stories and I’m excited to see what else they do!

I used to watch Hidden Frontier back when it was being first made. It’s what introduced me to Fan Films.

James) I remember coming across Hidden Frontier many moons ago, it was one of the first fan films I ever saw, it is funny now that I know some of the people who were involved in its production I look at it in a different light than I did back then.

We are now less than two weeks away from Discovery, are you looking forward to it?

Adam) I am looking forward to Discovery! I’ve been waiting since Enterprise ended for a new show. I was so excited when it was first announced. Star Trek has always been a big part of my life and will continue to be.

James) When you first saw the trailer for Discovery were you worried at all?

Adam) I was not too worried. Yes, it looks very different than TOS, but I think that’s okay. Star Trek was meant to adapt (no Borg pun intended!) and change with the times. It’s meant to stay relevant to each generation of fan. I think that’s something to celebrate rather than get angry about. It’s a television show after all…

James) So many people hate the idea of so much change, and I have to admit I was worried about it being a Kelvin based show as, although I kinda like the films, I am more of a prime junkie.

What do you think about the casting choices thus far?

Adam) I really like Sonequa Martin-Green being cast as the main character. She was great in The Walking Dead and I’m excited to see her in Discovery.  

James) She ROCKED! In TWD and from the snippets I have seen I think she is going to make this show something really worth watching, she seems to have gravitas in this role. Yes I know I am only basing that upon the trailers and snippets we have seen but she is a strong actor.

What are your hopes for Discovery?

Adam) I hope it will be successful and give us new stories that will be relevant to what’s going on in the world today. That has always been Trek’s job.

James) With the departure of Brian Fuller are you concerned at all?

Adam) I was a little concerned initially, but I will just wait and see how it all plays out come this fall.

James) What look do you hope they go for, we know its prime timeline but do you hope it’s more prime than Kelvin or vice versa?

Adam) Since it’s in the Prime Timeline, it should have elements from TOS in it but it should also innovate to show our technological achievements since the 60s, very much like what Enterprise did.

James) What do you hope they do not do with Discovery, as in PLEASE DO NOT GO THERE lol

Adam) I hope it’s not so action heavy since Trek doesn’t need to have that to be relevant. To me, it’s the story that’s the most important.

James) As I am sure you are aware the whole All Access thing is causing a LOT of anger and debate, do you think the move to put it on All Access is a good or bad idea?

Adam) I’m not sure yet. That is something that I will know when it comes this fall, but personally, I don’t want to pay a fee for another streaming service. That’s not to say I won’t pay the fee to watch it, it’s just that I won’t be watching anything else on the service to make the fee worth it to me.

James) Do you think online streaming is the future of televised series and films, just as you use YouTube etc now, is TV on its way out?

Adam) It’s interesting to note that Star Trek foretold the end of the TV (even though there are several times where we see TV being enjoyed in Trek). I think streaming services do challenge the TV as a viable service for entertainment and news, but I think it may be a while before it does out.

James) What did you think of the Trailer?

Adam) I loved it! I think it was exactly what we needed and a great taste of what’s in store for us this fall! I’ve spent lots of time analyzing the trailer, watching it frame by frame.

In part two, Adam and I talk about “Project Defiant”, His new Audio Drama “A Call to Unity” and his take on other aspects of the Fan Film world he has now become a part of.


Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home – A Fans Film Review By Douglas Nary, Jr.

Forever remembered as “the one with the whales”, The Voyage Home became the first Star Trek movie to truly gain mainstream acceptance. Although time has proven The Wrath of Khan to be a more popular film, in the long run, The Voyage Home became the first to break the $100 million mark at the box office (not accounting for inflation.) There’s a really good reason for this; The Voyage Home tells a terrific ‘fish out of water’ story. You don’t even have to really be a Star Trek fan to like it; familiarity with the characters is all that is required. Anyone who has heard the phrase “Beam me up, Scotty” will have fun watching these characters make their way through 1986 San Francisco.

As with the previous film, my first impression of it began with my dad’s description over the phone. (He was still stationed at Tydall AFB in Florida. My brother and I were at Mountain Home AFB in Idaho for what would be my step-dad’s last assignment before retiring from the Air Force.) His description didn’t mention anything about humpback whales, only that our heroes become stranded in 1986 San Francisco in their commandeered Klingon Bird of Prey, which our heroes have dubbed the H.M.S. Bounty (a homage to our heroes’ similarities to the crew on Mutiny on the Bounty) The Bounty’s power levels are dropping and the only way our heroes can get back to their own time is to steal nuclear power photons from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise.

Sounded pretty cool to me. Of course, like everyone else, I was wondering what would become of the former Enterprise crew in the wake of The Search for Spock. Would they be exonerated somehow?

Fortunately, writers Harve Bennett and Nicholas Meyer (who didn’t want to be involved in Spock’s resurrection but obviously didn’t mind returning to the Star Trek fold once Spock was back) and director Leonard Nimoy were thinking not only of this, but also of providing Star Trek fans with a broader spectrum of colors and tones to the Star Trek movies in general. The last two films were filled with wonderful operatic action, drama, and themes, but Nimoy was foresighted enough to realize that to continue on with more of the same a third time would be pushing it. Fortunately, Nimoy had a much more free reign this time. Michael Eisner, Paramount’s studio head, was immensely pleased with the performance of The Search for Spock and told Nimoy, “Leonard, the training wheels are off! We want YOUR Star Trek! Give us your vision!”

Needless to say, this was music to Nimoy’s unpointed human ears. He along with Bennett and Associate Producer Ralph Winter mandated that a lighthearted adventure without a villain would be the way to go this time. Nimoy really wanted to do a theme about the earth’s ecology where the crew would return home to discover that Earth was facing a problem due to humanity’s short-sightedness in the past. For a while, he was thinking that there might be a plant that would be extinct in the 23rd Century that could be found in our present, but they could not come up with a satisfactory adventure with that.

When someone brought to Nimoy’s attention the plight of the whales, particularly humpbacks, they had found their niche. Kirk and company would travel through time utilizing the same time speed breakaway slingshot manoeuvre they had used in “Tomorrow Is Yesterday” and bring two humpback whales back with them to communicate with an alien probe whose communication would be (inadvertently) dangerous to humans but with whom the whales could communicate.

The story presented all kinds of great opportunities: humor that flowed naturally from the characters in their ‘fish out of water’ situation (Kirk’s “Double dumb ass on you” line still makes me chuckle to this day), a new love interest for Kirk in the person of Gillian Taylor (Catherine Hicks), the entire cast once again being brilliantly utilized to where no one’s role in uncritical to the mission, and the wonderfully inspired Greenpeace scene where the whaling ship’s harpoon bounces off of the cloaked Bounty. When the ship de-cloaks (coincidentally, our heroes just happen to be flying in a green-coloured ship), the whalers tuck tail between their legs and run. It’s a wonderful climax that had audiences, fan and non-fan alike, cheering. But for those of us who are fans, it is our crew’s exoneration, Kirk’s demotion back to Captain (having realized his mistake in accepting promotion before) and the unveiling of the new U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-A that is the real payoff. Upon seeing her, Kirk then tells his smiling crew, “My friends…we’ve come home.” Just as the previous film gave us Spock back, this film gives us back the greatest spaceship of all time.

Although the studio was no longer breathing down Nimoy’s neck, making The Voyage Home would still not be an easy task. The ante had been increased both with a story that demanded weeks of location shooting in San Francisco (the first Star Trek film to have any significant outdoor location shooting) and the fact that Nimoy would have to simultaneously deal with a logistically more difficult shoot than TSFS and act full time as Spock. In the interview/documentary “Mind-Meld”, Nimoy described to William Shatner (and us) that this was a very painful time for him. Although it was quite rewarding in the end, Nimoy had apparently taken some of his frustrations during this period on both the cast and Harve Bennett, straining his relationship with Bennett to the point where Shatner would have to give him a good verbal shoulder-rub to get him to agree to line produce Star Trek V later down the road. How much this had to do with why Nimoy didn’t direct another major feature after Three Men and a Baby is anyone’s guess, but we are glad that he was able to stick it out and give us a feel-good film that brought the “Genesis Trilogy” started in The Wrath of Khan to a tremendous and uplifting conclusion.

While the mainstream appeal of The Voyage Home cannot be denied, I ironically find myself actually watching this film the least of all of them. Perhaps this is because of the lack of spaceship action, the fact that it takes place in contemporary American society (which we normally watch Star Trek escape from), or James Horner’s absence in the music (although Leonard Rosenman’s score would work just fine thanks to the addition of Alexander Courage’s fanfare). Every time I do watch it though, I always find myself smiling and remembering how good it is. It may not be the spectacle for me that The Search for Spock was, but it stands out as proof that ILM does not need the black backdrop of space to make a spaceship look real.

I give Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home an 8 on the 1-to-10 scale. It is certainly a great Star Trek film, but regardless of what the box-office numbers say, I feel that there are better ones.

Star Trek IV would be the last entry in the movie-only era of the 1980’s. Ten months later, its success would lead to the triumphant return of Star Trek to television with Star Trek: The Next Generation, boldly taking the franchise into the next 18 years.


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  • Blog Author: Douglas Nary, Jr. – a freelance copywriter and author. His most recent works have included a recently completed short film script entitled “The Cage of Freedom” and the upcoming novel Supralight, for which a script version has also been completed.
  • Blog Layout: James Hams
  • Pictures and Media: Google Images, YouTube (linked videos link directly to video sources)

Boldly Writing – A Trek Fan And Fanfiction History By Jennifer Cavill

Boldly Writing – A Trek Fan and Fanfiction History 1967 – 1987 by Joan Marie Verba is a quietly wonderful book which will appeal to those with an interest in the roots of fan fiction and the development of really the first true fandom as we understand the phenomenon today.  

Verba, an avid collector and contributor to fanzines from ‘the beginning’ (she first encountered the fandom in 1969 although she had loved Star Trek from the first episode), gives us a history of fanzines from the valuable perspective of someone who was actually part of the movement.  Her own observations and explanations of events, movements and ‘characters’ give context to that which would otherwise be quite disorientating.

I must confess, previous to reading Boldly Writing I did have some idea of the world of fanzines.  I have done my research sporadically to supplement my reviews of the earlier Star Trek novels.  My own research opened my eyes to a fascinating and interconnected world of the fan and professional writing, and I got rather excited when I noticed (belatedly) links between fanzine contributors and the authors of the Star Trek TOS Pocket Book novels.  However, I didn’t know where to begin, I had some author names, some dates, some fanzine names, I didn’t know how to understand the data.  Boldly Writing fills in those gaps.

In Boldly Writing Verba methodically describes different eras of fan interactions and Star Trek fanzine production:

  • Part One: The First Trekker Fanzines (1967-1971)
  • Part Two: Steady Growth (1972-1974)
  • Part Three: The Fanzine Explosion (1975-1977)
  • Part Four: The Splintering of the Fandom (1978-1980)
  • Part Five: The Early Movie Years (1981-1987)
  • Conclusion: Since 1987

For each era Verba gives a short introduction outlining the trends of those years and then launches into descriptions of notable fanzine publications on a year by year basis.  Verba makes sure to point out stories, letters, and particular fans which will cause ripples within the fandom.  

Verba uses her often firsthand knowledge of situations to explain the context and the importance of a fanzine, fan fiction, article or convention.  The explanations are necessarily brief given the wide date range, a sentence or two at most usually unless the work/event was of particular import or Verba was in attendance.  I rather liked the sections where she described her own experiences a little more as they did break up the otherwise dry fanzine listings (not that I’m complaining, I found it fascinating!).

Of interest to many will be the section which explains the origin of the ‘Mary Sue’ character type/trope.  Verba introduces us to where the term first appeared (Menagerie 2), explains the term and provides the satire in full ‘A Trekkies Tale’ – which first appeared in December 1973.  Verba also includes a short speculation about the reason for the popularity of the Mary Sue story.

What really surprised me was the variety of content that Verba describes as being present in fanzines.  In addition to short stories and novel length endeavours, satire, poetry, articles, reviews and letters were a big part of fanzines.  Personally, I love poetry, and I find it sad that there aren’t more people writing poetry for any fandom, let alone Star Trek in the present.  The first excerpt that Verba provides is a poem called The Territory of Rigel by Dorothy Jones Heydt (1967) the form of which Verba says influenced fanzine poetry for years afterwards.  A poetry buff might recognise that it’s based on ancient Greek poetic forms.

Verba states in her preface that her motivation for writing Boldly Writing was the blasé attitude some fans had to accurately record fanzine history.  Fans and fanzines, writers and readers; they were instrumental in keeping Star Trek alive and ensuring the continuation of this franchise so many of us love:

“That’s why I care that these individuals should not be forgotten.  Although most Star Trek fans recognise the authors who write Star Trek professional novels, very few know the names of those who wrote all those wonderful Star Trek fanzine stories when the release of a new original Star Trek novel was still a rare event”.

Her passion is clear in this regard and as I was reading boldly writing and the same names kept popping up I started to feel excited about it too!  “Oh!” I’d think, “I remember this lady, she’s been writing since the beginning!” or I’d see a name of a professional author I saw and think, “Ah!  So that’s when she started!”.  Verba is, is careful to emphasise when a fanzine author would become a professional author or when a fanzine story was reworked from a Star Trek story into general Sci-fi.  A point which is often referred to in Boldly Writing is that many authors began their journey in fanzines, honing their skills with practice and criticism until finally, they made their first sale.

Another point which becomes incredibly clear (which Verba often highlights) and which I believe is very important is the predominance of female writers, editors, and organisers in the Star Trek fandom.  It is made clear that women were the driving force behind the fandom by sheer force of numbers who were involved in the production and consumption of fanzines.  Naturally, a male fan (in this case one Damon Hill) remarked that fanzine writers needed to put science fiction back into Star Trek and implied that,

“- the reason that Star Trek fanzines no longer concentrated on science fiction was that their editors were largely women (women science fiction fans took exception to this).  Those recently discovering fanzines seemed unaware of the fact that when fanzine stories were mostly science fiction, fanzine writers and editors were mostly women”

It becomes clear through Verba’s explanations throughout Boldly Writing that there were definite shifts and phases in the fanzine community and also much misinformation and fans blowing things out of proportion – some things never change, do they?  One example is the above ‘women ruin sci-fi’ or ‘there’s too much K/S (slash)’ – in 1982 Verba counts 55 Star Trek fanzines listed in Forum, only two of them being K/S.  Other things that made me laugh (and shake my head!) was the fan reaction to rumour; one of which was the fan reaction to the news that Spock would die in Star Trek II: TWOK.  Fans put an ad in the “Hollywood Reporter highlighting the tremendous financial losses to Paramount should Spock be killed in the new Star Trek movie”. Verba’s commentary on the actions of the Star Trek fan community are often insightful and help those of us who are quite removed from that era understand what was going on at any particular time.

I particularly enjoyed The Early Movie Years section, especially as Verba highlighted areas of special interest to me at the moment and I was delighted to see that my own commentary echoes fan criticism in the 1980s of the Pocket Books pro novels (I read and review ST: TOS pro novels).  I think most people would probably find this section the most engaging and the most familiar as Verba highlights trends inspired by the movies.  It is in this period that the fandom (or actually fandoms) appear to have taken the form that they have today (from my perspective), for good and for bad.

Verba concludes her analysis with a short epilogue of sorts.  The decline of printed fanzines and the rise of the internet; the disbanding of the Star Trek Welcommitee after 25 years; the continuation of the Pocket Books TOS series and their Strange New Worlds writing contests.  Verba ends with her own reflection:

“We went places and established paths where none (or at least few) had gone before, and experienced a great adventure”.

Finally, Verba includes:

  • Appendix – A List of Fanzines in this Book (self-explanatory)
  • Glossary (a terminology list with definitions – very useful!)
  • Bibliography (a list of books of interest to fanzine readers and writers)

From my perspective Boldly Writing – A Trek Fan and Fanfiction History, 1967-1987 is a fantastic nonfiction book and for those with an interest in Star Trek and general fandom development, fan literature, or relevant areas of anthropology it is absolutely a must read.  By the very nature of the content, it is a pretty dry but Verba’s own memories and interjections lighten it up and prevent it being solely a dry reference only work.  Boldly Writing is a labour of love and deserves to be more widely read but it won’t be to everyone’s taste – it’s a history book shedding light on an era of fan publishing which was in danger of being forgotten, but Verba’s work in Boldly Writing has not only ensured that the pioneers of the Star Trek fandom are recorded but also those of us dipping our toes into an era of fandom and fan fiction many years before we were born to have somewhere to start.

If this appeals to you, please show your support for Joan Verba and buy a copy of Boldly Writing – A Trek Fan and Fanfiction History, 1967-1987.


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“I Can’t Believe DSC Changed Klingons!” By Bill Allen

Why not? It isn’t the first time. The big leap was made from TOS to TMP, and in the movies that followed, each further iteration had greater changes. The Next Generation ‘cemented’ the look of Klingons for the next few shows, and that look was incorporated in the later movies…along with a few pretty drastic variations….remember General Chang? And then you had the big Revamp in the new films by JJ Abrams…

“Don’t get me started on that! That is where they REALLY screwed up! And now this stupid STD show is giving us a rainbow of those fake JJ ‘Blingons’!”

Well, what’s wrong with a little variety? Those old Klingons covered a pretty good range of skin tone as well, and the ridges, while different, are reminiscent of General Chang on Steroids…his bigger, meaner cousins.

“That ISN’T how Klingons are supposed to look!”

Are you telling me that all Klingons look alike? That sounds a bit…racist.

“I’m not racist! Some of my favourite characters are Klingons!”

Yeah, right…heard that refrain before… ‘I can’t be racist because I have friends who are—’ “don’t go building some crappy strawman just to make a lame insinuation against star trek fans to open your damn article! I’m getting real tired of you taking every chance you can to take little shots at Trekkies when you write these things!  Yes, there were changes in the past, but they were explained in Canon. They made sense!”

OK, fine, I won’t take a shot at the fans…this time. (though let’s face it, it has been acknowledged that the REAL reason Klingons changed in TMP was because of the bigger budgets and new F/X technology allowed them to do a lot more than just face paint and hairy eyebrows….Star Trek has a decade’s long history of altering and updating the looks of F/X just because they can.) I will simply ask if you have ever heard the old story of the seven blind men and the elephant, and ask you how much we really know of Klingons, and if we have only scratched the surface of their depth…

So, let’s look at canon. Time for a little refresher, Starfleet Academy style. Xenobiology 201: Klingons and Canon.

Klingons are strong. Strong, fast, aggressive…Starfleet officers are trained in various disciplines of hand to hand combat, and in ancient military tradition, physical fitness and conditioning are valued as much as academic achievement. Starfleet officers in the field are expected to maintain certain standards of physical performance…but I recall a young Starfleet officer who got into a barroom brawl with Klingons, on Deep Space Station K-7, and couldn’t even drop one.  But most of what is known about Klingon Physiology didn’t come to pass until the 24th century…during the 23rd century, the Era of Captain Kirk, Klingons were ‘the enemy’, and that seems to be all the Federation cared to learn.

By the 24th century, though,  we learn a great deal about Klingon Physiology. Much stronger than humans, with an aggressive nature that is almost primal with its ferocity, tempered by a code of combat that keeps them focused on honour and discipline and skill, rather than berserker fury.  We know Klingons are intelligent; at least as intelligent as humans if not more so, because the handful of Klingons who went through Federation training did well enough at the academy to succeed despite the deep seated human prejudices that humans had who wanted to see them fail.

Biologically, we know Klingons have an insanely overpowered ability to survive wounds with layers upon layers of redundancy built into organs and tissues. The Klingon “Rite of Ascension” involves applying ‘painsticks’ to the Klingon, and this is a weapon that can be fatal to a creature that weighed two tons…redundancy and durability makes a Klingon capable of surviving such a weapon.  An experimental spinal surgery that should have been fatal was successful on a Klingon patient because of the Klingon body’s resilience and redundancy.

Klingons accelerate to maturity very quickly. A normal human takes two decades to reach adulthood; Klingon children reach adulthood in half that time, as evidenced by Alexander, son of Worf. As a survival trait, it’s a good one…some species prefer reproducing in great numbers ensuring that while many offspring die, enough will live that the species continues…but other species survive infancy and childhood by becoming strong enough that predators don’t stand a chance.

And this strength, this adaptability, it isn’t just on the level of the organs and tissues, but goes all the way to the cellular level, with Klingons having a boosted autoimmune system (even their immune system is a brutal killing machine) capable of fighting off a disease as devastating as the Phage.

Based on what we know from some pre-federation encounters with Klingons in the mid 22nd century, this adaptability is even beyond the cellular level…it goes all the way to the DNA. The so-called ‘Augment Virus’ was an attempt to incorporate the DNA from the species Homo Sapiens Superior, and it altered Klingons, made them retain their strength and even enhance it a bit, enhancing the aggression…and the Klingon DNA altered to create the ‘flathead’ look later encountered by captain Kirk. Based on results of some of the most advanced medical science at the time, it was known that interspecies hybrids have a very slim chance of being viable….but Klingon DNA meshed flawlessly with human Augment DNA…a trait from the Klingon genome.

so, Klingons can go from ridged warriors to flat-headed savages easily, indicating that because of their adaptability, they can quickly adapt to fit a variety of evolutionary niches.

The ridges, of course, are what we want to talk about.  While it is easy to think they just have a really bony skull, there’s more to it than that. Starfleet Lieutenant Barclay, a walking catastrophe, inadvertently generated some kind of ‘de-evolution virus’. When Worf, the Klingon, was exposed to the virus, dominant aspects of a primordial ancestor of his species became more prominent…and we learn that Insects are a big part of Klingon evolutionary development. So those ridges aren’t just a skull; it shares traits with an exoskeleton. And insects are a species that demonstrate a rather intense capacity for change…larva to pupae to butterfly, or the various phases of the Assassin Beetle.

Just consider the variation among, for example, spiders….creatures that were all from the same planet. and sure, variation among species through evolution can take millions of years, on earth, but with an extremely adaptable species that easily incorporates physiological changes, such as Klingons, such variation and adaptation can take place over a few generations….spread them to planets with varied and diverse ecosystems and environmental conditions, and there could be a LOT more variation in Klingons than there is in humans.

During an interview with the creative minds behind Discovery, they talked about the new Klingon design, acknowledging that they were working to fit into Canon, to make sure the Klingons they designed made sense, not just plotwise but from a scientific, biological point of view. Read this summary at … notice that the phrase ‘Apex Predator’ is applied to Klingons, and how they explain that the ridges are not just a carapace or skull, but are more evolutionarily functional, an intrinsic part of Klingons, and part of their heightened sensory abilities.

So, we’ve had fifty years of shows showing us just how diverse, variable, and adaptable Klingons are from a biological standpoint…and we know the Klingons have an empire that is large enough to rival the federation, which means they have an awful lot of planets providing conditions that put that adaptability to the test. Klingons are still Klingons, still who they were…but now, we are just taking a more in depth look at everything they are, going beyond the tiny little sliver of what we know. 

so, remember, there are 50 years of canon, telling us of a history of a few thousand planets covering several millennia of history. Can you really say what we know is the whole picture?

  • Blog Author: Bill Allen
  • Blog Layout: James Hams
  • Pictures: Google Images, CBS, Netflix

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock – A Fans Film Review By Douglas Nary, Jr.

Going to the movies to see The Search for Spock was my reward for passing the fourth grade with a ‘B+’ average. Having seen The Wrath of Khan dozens of times on premium cable movie channels (HBO & Cinemax), I was as eager as anyone for the adventure to continue. I remember getting really excited by a phone conversation with my dad about the upcoming film. (By this time, I was with my mom and stepdad, who was stationed at Homestead Air Force Base in Florida. My dad was based at Tyndall Air Force Base, also in Florida, but more than a ten-hour drive away. I was lucky if my brother and I saw him once a year.) My dad told me of a pretty exciting trailer he saw of the Enterprise having its bridge and half of the saucer blown off and the Klingons were STILL ATTACKING!

Needless to say, it was a pretty exciting description. I saw a few TV spots for the film that showed the Enterprise backing out of a massive structure. My mind filled with all kinds of exciting scenarios as to what kind of adventure Kirk and our heroes would be facing in the quest to get Spock back. There was never any question that he would return, the real question was, “Is the search going to be fun?” It definitely looked like it was to me. Finally, I was going to get that battle between the ‘new’ (i.e. refitted) Enterprise that I had fallen in love with and those newly designed Klingons!

Now THAT’S good advertising! I couldn’t wait!

Little did I realize that the ball on this film had begun rolling long before I had even seen the previous film on HBO. Harve Bennett, the man credited with bringing Star Trek back to life by killing Spock, was told by the suits at Paramount almost immediately after The Wrath of Khan’s opening weekend, “Start working on Star Trek III!” According to Bennett, it was “the fastest green light [he] ever got on a project.”

Having observed the reactions of the test audience on TWOK and getting to know the cast and the fan base, Bennett knew exactly how this film needed to end and what the theme needed to be; it was just a matter of getting our heroes from where they were at the end of TWOK to the ending that Bennett wanted. So he started at the end and worked his way backwards. The story went through a number of interesting changes along the way, but unlike the previous film, where Bennett had a great deal of trouble finding a good narrative, he evidently found this film quite enjoyable to write, and this time almost single-handedly came up with a story that would expand the Star Trek universe as we had never seen it before.

And who would direct this rip roaring, universe expanding adventure? After Nick Meyer had turned down the opportunity to direct this film (citing that he didn’t believe in resurrections, though I personally believe he really turned it down because he was against the idea of Spock’s return since any scenes in The Wrath of Khan implying such were done against his wishes), the suits at Paramount discovered there was a talent they had all along…Spock actor himself, Leonard Nimoy.

When asked if he would “like to be involved in any way in the making of Star Trek III”, Nimoy, who long had dreams of directing features, seized the opportunity and said, “Yes. I would like to direct the picture.” He didn’t expect a ‘yes’ answer right away, but the new head of Paramount, Michael Eisner, thought it was a great idea. “I can see it in print now. ‘Leonard Nimoy directs The Return of Spock’. Great Idea!” Although Nimoy almost didn’t get the job due to a slight misunderstanding regarding his contract for TWOK killing Spock off, he nevertheless managed to iron out this wrinkle and try out his wings on becoming the visual author on a feature film.

It wouldn’t be easy. With only a $16 million budget, the studio constantly looking over his shoulder and jealousy issues from his cast mates, Nimoy would have to deliver a vision for Bennett’s story that would out-spectacle its predecessor. 

He did so brilliantly! Since tons of money was being saved making use of the previous two film’s sets, models, and costumes, Nimoy went over several new spaceship designs with Nilo Rodis-Jamero and Bill George at Industrial Light and Magic. Four new designs would be chosen that would prove tremendous eye candy for the latest Star Trek adventure. These were the Klingon Bird of Prey, the U.S.S. Excelsior, the U.S.S. Grissom, and the gargantuan Starfleet orbital spacedock. All of these models would make their way into many Star Trek productions to come.

And what kind of a ‘return of Spock’ story would be epic enough to warrant such an expansion of the Star Trek universe? Kirk himself spells it out quite clearly; this would be a story about loyalty and sacrifice, about friendship and brotherhood. In the last film, Spock gave his life so that the Enterprise and her crew would live. In this film, Kirk and company would sacrifice everything short of their lives to give Spock another chance.

And what about the destruction of my favourite spaceship of all time? Surprisingly, I wasn’t bothered by it. Don’t get me wrong; par for the damage from the previous film, the Enterprise never looked lovelier, thanks to the colourful cinematography of Charles Correll. Even crippled as she was and facing decommission, she gave her all for Spock as much as any of the other characters.

This is best demonstrated in the sequence where the crew steals her back in their effort to violate Starfleet’s quarantine on the Genesis Planet. When the Enterprise begins to back out at one-quarter impulse power, we hear the same musical cue that James Horner gave us when she started backing away from Reliant in the previous film. However, where the musical cue spoke of the Enterprise’s desperation to get a way from Reliant the first time we heard it, this time it speaks of her determination. We also finally get the fight that I’ve always wanted to see between the Enterprise and Klingons and her torpedoes kick ass before her crippled systems finally give after everything she’s been through. Scuttling the ship has become the only option left and before the crew departs through the transporter one final time, they reappear for a split second as the transport beams close on them. Was this her way of giving them a goodbye hug? I’ve always liked to think so.

But even after the ship was gone, I realized something with this film that my young mind had not yet perceived before. The Enterprise actually still lived on…through her crew. It was with this film that I first began to realize that it wasn’t the ship, the neat technology, or cool space battles that really mattered…it was these people, the crew who had by this time become an extended part of my dad’s side of the family. It was with this film that the entire cast was truly utilized for the first time. This no doubt went a long way towards resolving any jealousy issues that the rest of the cast might have been feeling towards Nimoy in the beginning.

He truly understood that Star Trek had by this time become an ensemble piece, with the entire group of seven, not just the Big Three of Kirk, Spock, & McCoy, as a larger family. Never before was this better shown than when the others wait in the wings, like a family in a hospital waiting room, while Spock and McCoy undergo the fal-tor-pan to bring our beloved Vulcan back. When I had the pleasure of meeting James Doohan at a convention in Ft. Myers, Florida in 1996 and a fan asked who was the best director they had ever had, Doohan said, “Leonard, easily!”

As with the previous film, the performances are top-notch. William Shatner, in particular, evokes our sympathy as never before upon learning of the death of Kirk’s son at the hands of the Klingon Commander Kruge. Not even the death of his wife, Miramanee, or even Spock’s death evoked such a strong reaction from him.

As for Kruge, the villain of the piece, Christopher Lloyd’s performance arguably elevates the role to more than it was written. However, it should be noted that Kruge’s sense of honour, while twisted in his case, made him and his crew the template by which all other Klingon characters since then have been based. The emphasis on honour for the first time made the Klingons more than token villains and paved the way for future Klingon characters that we would eventually actually cheer for…such as Worf and Martok.

With all of these cool new spaceships, terrific cinematography, and music from James Horner that was actually even better than his work on TWOK, The Search for Spock not only gave me the spectacle I was craving coming out of fourth grade, it touched my heart in a way that I did not anticipate, thanks to a brilliant decision by Harve Bennett to carry on The Wrath of Khan’s themes by turning them on their head. Spock sacrificed himself because the needs of the many outweighed the needs f the few. When he asks Kirk why he would sacrifice everything to come back for him, Kirk’s response is as succinct as it is heartfelt. “Because the needs of the one outweighed the needs of the many.”

The film ends with a tremendous triumph of Spock’s return and the caption, “…and the adventure continues…” leaving us with warm hearts and an inability to wait for Star Trek IV. Wonderfully written, masterfully executed, and brilliantly scored…it’s not only a great Star Trek movie, it’s one of my favourite films of all time. I give Star Trek III: The Search for Spock a heartfelt 10 on the 1-to-10 scale.


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  • Blog Author: Douglas Nary, Jr. – a freelance copywriter and author. His most recent works have included a recently completed short film script entitled “The Cage of Freedom” and the upcoming novel Supralight, for which a script version has also been completed.
  • Blog Layout: James Hams
  • Pictures and Media: Google Images, YouTube (linked videos link directly to video sources)

Star Trek Voyager Elite Force Unreal 4 Project – By Jeff Lincoln

“On Stardate 48315.6, the U.S.S. Voyager was transported beyond our control, 70,000 light years across the galaxy to the Delta Quadrant. There, without aid from Starfleet, we began our 70-year journey home. In our numerous encounters, we came into contact with many dangerous and violent species. Having a limited crew with no chance of reinforcements, we determined that we needed a specialized team to handle the more dangerous situations. Tuvok, Voyager’s Chief of Security assembled an elite force of security personnel named the Hazard Team.”

The opening dialogue to Activision and Raven Software’s Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force video game. A game that received critical acclaim when it was initially released in 2000 on PC. The game later went to receive both an expansion pack, PlayStation 2 export, and a sequel in 2003. 17 years later, the game stands as the most successful Star Trek games created. 

Roughly two weeks ago, I was sitting in front of my PC listening to a collection of Star Trek music that I’ve saved over the years, which included the main theme to Elite Force.

Which in turn prompted me to locate my copy of Elite Force and began playing it. While the game has certainly aged in comparison to modern graphics, the gameplay itself remains some of the best. Challenging combat, with stealth mechanics, and even some minor puzzles that need to be solved. The voice acting is phenomenal in the sense that ALL  of the cast behind Star Trek Voyager was along for the ride. UNFORTUNATELY, the game suffers from two problems in today’s age. First, it’s 17 years old and some modern systems cannot run the program. Secondly, where is the re-master?

The second question is one that has been overly asked in my mind more times than I can count. So, how do you combat this question? Well, simple, I put my 4 years of Game Design Schooling to work! I have played around with the Unreal Development Kit when I was still attending college, however, even that program is considered out of date now, so I instead opted to download Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 and have been actively working on ‘modernizing’ Elite Force, at least it’s environments. I actively use a Student version of 3ds Max and Photoshop to recreate the environments. Please keep in mind, this is a PRE-ALPHA Build. Meaning that some of the assets that I am using are subject to change, updates, or even replacement.

While I cannot claim that I am a professional by any means, I treat Star Trek as a passion and began work on the central location you spend your ‘between missions’ time in. Deck 4, Hazard Operations. Using gameplay, screenshots, and my own exploration, I recreated the hallways first, this way I can space out and design the appropriate rooms adjourning the halls. The hallways themselves took a little time to create as I had already created them twice before in practice. After that, I moved to the largest room on Deck 4, the Briefing Room this room proved to be a bit of a challenge due to its size and the lighting. However, after nearly 4 hours of work, I had the room completed. Afterwards, I realized I had an issue, I didn’t know how to get the doors to open and close during play. Thanks to a YouTube tutorial I managed to adapt the technique’s to fit Voyager’s style. And now, all of the doors work AND sound like they are supposed to.

The Locker Room was next and this room is where the majority of my time has been spent over the last week, Creating the assets in this room proved to be much more challenging because I had initially made the room too small. I had to go back and tweak the length of the hallway to accommodate this issue. Once I had completed the changes I proceeded to decorate the room and found that it had several walls that seemed devoid of any kind of life and set out to take some creative license and add a few replicators and objects to make the room feel more fleshed out. The room is not completely finished as I need to return to the coding aspect and create a series of controls that will open and close the large lockers the Hazard Team use. As well as create the individual nameplates identifying which Locker belongs to who.

At this time I’ve begun work on the Armory. Unfortunately, it is bare bones and not worthy of a screenshot but I plan on releasing several in the coming days. I have many more environments to complete, such as the Bridge, Engineering, Shuttlebay, Sickbay, and Cargo Bay 2, and that’s just for Voyager! I still have to create the interiors for a Borg Cube, The Scavenger Base (Klingon, TOS Federation hybrid), and several alien ships. It’s going to be a long journey. But a journey worth taking. As stated before, this is a passion project and unfortunately, I do not at this time know how to extract any of the old data for use in the re-master. Such as the music and speech files for use in-game and currently is an environmental reproduction.

I’ll end with that I am eager to continue work and should anyone wish, I would welcome assistance from character modellers animators, texture artists, and coders. While it is unlikely the game will receive an official update, all work will be continued free of charge and those assisting with the project will receive credit for their work.

Until then, keep an eye on Trek Fan Productions for more update blogs and my personal Facebook for periodic posts about the work being done.

Live Long and Prosper,



  • Blog Author: Jeff Lincoln
  • Blog Layout: James Hams
  • Blog Pictures: Google Images, Jeff Lincoln

CH-CH-CH-CHANGES – By Bill Allen

Sometimes it seems like Star Trek just isn’t as good as it used to be…

Where did CBS/Paramount go wrong? When did they start missing the mark, and seemed to forget what Star Trek was really about?  I think it happened when they brought in a director who was never a fan of the show, who slapped on all sorts of redesigns to all the visual effects, uniforms, changed Star Trek from a show about exploration and made a movie focusing on action and combat, just ignoring canon to tell the story he wanted to tell, slapping in some garbled pseudo-science what was completely unrealistic…

I am, of course, talking about Nicholas Meyer and that abominable film called “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. “


You mean that wasn’t when Trek was ruined forever? Then it must have been that guy who came in and completely changed everything, undid the relationships that made Star Trek so great to rewrite the very personalities of the characters, completely changing the looks of the uniforms to a drab, almost monochromatic kind of spread (all those grey uniforms…what were they thinking?)  altering even the classic, iconic design of the ship itself to make it more contemporary and using the latest in special effects instead of the same old 1960s stuff that worked so well, and even completely altering the look of Klingons, and just recycled an old Trek story because they didn’t have an original idea….you know, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”…

OK, then it must have been when they changed Kirk from being a great leader to making him just an overhyped criminal, constantly breaking the rules and violating the laws, coupled with all this phony ‘science;’ that would have fit better in a fantasy movie and has no place in the kind of realistic science that trek is known for… “The Search For Spock”.

OK, I get it….those are movies, obviously, a film will take a radical departure from what a television series did. Comparing the television series to films is comparing apples to a fruit orchard. It is the SERIES that matter. And I remember the complaints the fans had for the various iterations of Trek.

So, clearly, it was “Star Trek: The Next Generation” that screwed it up. Shatner et al were still alive, dammit! You didn’t need to create some whole new show with a bunch of random nobodies. And how stupid IS Paramount? You have a British guy playing a French Captain, they put a KLINGON on the bridge, they completely screwed up the uniforms—not only did they change the style, they fouled up the colour scheme…COMMAND is the Gold tunic, you morons!—and the uniforms were SO screwed up they had to change them AGAIN, because of the cheap looking production values. They couldn’t even put it on a network….they went straight to Syndication. And whose idea was it to have a BLIND guy flying the ship? IDIOTS!

…OK, OK… a couple of seasons in and we were wrong. TNG is a worthy successor. Star Trek lives on…for now.

Here’s DS9…a show designed to kill the franchise. In order to make Star Trek different, they get rid of the ship altogether. How can you have a show about space exploration if they don’t go anywhere? It’s stupid. And the station looks NOTHING like the space stations we have seen up to now. Did you see those hideous monstrosities they use for shuttlecraft? Oh, excuse me, I mean ‘runabouts’….sure, call a shuttle on steroids designed by a crack head by a different name, that makes it ok…NOT! And there is a Trill on the crew…only; it looks NOTHING like the Trill we already saw on TNG. These writers don’t give a damn about canon, they are just slapping the Star Trek name on some crappy show about a space station…basically, it is a generic rip off of Babylon 5 disguised as Star Trek in a shameless money grab.

And now there’s a WAR? THIS IS NOT STAR TREK! Star Trek is about Peaceful exploration, not war and NOT about life on a stationary outpost. This will kill Star Trek. 

Oh, wait, let’s do a new Star Trek show, even though the one we have right now is Excellent. Stupid to run another one…why not just bring back TNG if you want two shows? What the hell is this? ‘Voyager’? The Probe from TMP was called Voyager, that’s a stupid name for a manned vessel. If you are going to have a ship, why not make it the ENTERPRISE?  Oh, look, a Vulcan officer….just ripping off TOS and trying to sell it. And half the crew is made of space pirates…what decent captain would let such scum on their ship? That Captain Janeway…. what a lame choice for a captain. She isn’t tough enough to be a captain, not like Kirk, or Picard, or Sisko after he shaved his head and took the job SERIOUSLY.

Wait, that’s how it ends? What about all the loose threads? Why can’t we see what happens next, after they get home? They were one of the best crew, made it through so much…bring back, Voyager!

OK< this show Enterprise….what a disgrace. No wonder the UPN network tanked, those guys have no clue what fans want! The first ship to be called Enterprise was the Constitution class….and if this is supposed to be a prequel at the beginning of the Federation, that should be a Daedalus class ship, not that abomination that is a rip off of the Akira and has NO PLACE in Trek’s history. These writers obviously don’t know anything about Star Trek, and don’t give a damn about canon…just throwing in crap we already know, or adding adventures that were never mentioned in other series…how could a crew have all these discoveries and it never ONCE gets mentioned by Kirk or Picard? This show will kill Star Trek.

You know, I wish they would bring back ‘Enterprise’…

…yeah, I remember those comments. Fans REALLY dislike change, and they are sure to let you know it. And now, here we have a new Star Trek series. One that is building on what has come before, but still giving us new and interesting stories and ideas. A diverse cast talent from across the spectrum, updated F/X and stories that fit the spirit of Trek, while still having appeal to a more contemporary crowd.

Despite all the changes and new shows that come out over the decades, it seems there is one thing about Star Trek that doesn’t change: the fans.

Maybe it was time they DID change.

  • Blog Author: Bill Allen
  • Blog Layout: James Hams

UPDATED – Original Series Set Tour Announces ‘Star Trek Film Academy’ For Fans

It was something that was teased all week long, on Saturday at STLV 17 there would be a BIG announcement regarding the TOS set tours and fan films, this led a lot of people to get excited and conclude that James Cawley the owner of the set tours was making a move and coming back to his roots and producing a new era of his fan series New Voyages.

However, it was during the set tours live panel that included James, Doug Drexler, Daren Dochterman, Denise Okuda & Michael Okuda, that James Cawley himself announced some fascinating and unexpected news.

As of early 2018, The Original Series set tours in Ticonderoga will be opening their doors to the new “Officially Licensed Star Trek Film Academy”, James went on to explain a few things about that this is not him returning to fan films as he once did but more to be a mentor to the next gen of fans who want to make their own films.

“ We are going to be doing this star trek film academy, which means this will allow you guys to actually come and make a movie, this will enable us to teach you and guide you along the way and you will be to take home this little souvenir to treasure, it is similar to the way universal studios operated years ago, this will be way more immersive and you will be here for a whole week, and work with the people who actually made the real Star Trek episodes, “You get to feel and experience what it is like to work on Star Trek…We’re going to pretend it’s 1966 and you’re an employee of Desilu Studios”.

Further information was posted on the wiki site Axamontior by Carlos Pedraza shortly after the live panel ended, (full Axamontior article can be read here)

The Academy

Cawley’s Academy, anticipated to be a week-long experience will take fans through the story and pre-production meetings, rehearsals, lighting, costuming and makeup, then filming and post-production — all alongside industry professionals who have worked on Star Trek, such as Mike and Denise Okuda, Doug Drexler and Daren Dochterman. Fans can participate in front of or behind the camera, Cawley said.

Starting Up

The academy will start a business in the fall, with the first class and their fan films expected in Spring 2018, all using the New Voyages sets and production facilities.

Cawley is excited about the latitude he said CBS has given him with regard to scripts and integrating professional Trek alumni from both behind and in front of the camera into the fan production effort.

While many longtime Star Trek fans have criticized CBS for its fan film restrictions, Cawley reminded the Las Vegas audience, “The people at CBS are themselves Star Trek fans,” who want to support fan filmmaking. 

Just after the announcement, Carlos got to get an exclusive interview with James regarding this news, below you can watch the video which was arranged by

As soon as this news hit I was inundated with messages and emails by worried fan film producers, was this going to impact them and their productions, was this another guidelines fiasco in the making?…

Well,  I managed to grab Carlos and get him to ask James some Questions to try and get the info a lot of people had asked me, and I want to thank Carlos for taking these questions and getting the answers.

You can watch the video below to find out more, however, my understanding of these answers, fan films have nothing to worry about.

WHAT WE DO KNOW. – some key notes from the video 

1 – Anything shot will be “Pre-Approved” scripts and you will not be able to go and just shoot anything you want – scripts will be written by Trek Alumni for now! However, in the future, they may! accept third-party scripts. 

2 – It will include many Star Trek Staffers like Mike and Denise Okuda and probably anyone who has worked on Star Trek from the 60’s to today, there has been “talk” about people like Jonathan Frakes taking part.

3 – Hopes to bring in Actors, Directors from the show – For example the actors who have directed on the show.

4 – Classes could be as a large as 100 but they will be split into 2 groups of 50 and two scripts will be worked on at one time.

5 – Spring 2018 will be the first one (hopefully) – This is an extension to the Set Tour, not a stand-alone. 

6 – Pricing, nothing set in stone, however, this is dependent on who is brought in.

7 – Twice a year Spring and Fall, it is all down to the tourist season and James does not want to impact the “tourist season” by running these during peak season.

8 – Length will not exceed 15 min mark (same as guideline 1, although they are not bound by them)

9 – Distribution – films can end up on youtube, James does not see why not as it is a product and he likens it to a “video Postcard”

10 – Where does this fit in with “Fan Films” – Anyone who is making a fan film is making a fan film, this is a “sudo” fan film, it is an experience and it is like “Star Trek Camp”, similar to how Universal and Paramount did an experience years ago (see video for example)

11 – Starbase Studios – is it competition? – 11:35 – 12:04 – not up to James as obviously he does not work for CBS and it is not his game not his rule, however, if you are building out a studio it might be a concern. He admires the fact so many people have picked up fan films and done what they have done it is a testament to Star Trek.

12 – Where does James see fan films in 10 years. 

James’ biggest happiness is people watch them and love them.

James’ biggest sadness is people ended up doing things they shouldn’t have done and it ended up people getting into a competitive nature which it should never have been, it should all be about fun.

13 – Rob Burnett claimed credit for this idea, “whatever” I have been doing fan films for a lot longer than these guys so “whatever” 

14 – This is all about people being able to have fun and dress up and play Star Trek and do it along with their idols so to speak. 

15 – Is this damage control by CBS to repair fan films after Axanar, it is possible, an outreach never seen before by any IP holder. and an acknowledgement by them to the many many fans who have made fan films.