Four Years and 27 Days ago that’s when Star Trek Continues debuted its first episode “Pilgrim of Eternity” and now we are heading fast towards their final episode, which will be a two-part episode called “To Boldly Go”.
In the course of the last four years, the team at Star Trek Continues have continued to live up to their goal in both making a final season of the original series but also never letting their fans down in producing the content that they have said they would. Over the last 4 years, the money Continues has raised has gone towards making what will total 11 full-length episodes, 3 shorts, expanding the sets and more importantly to any Star Trek fan recreating the feel, look and love of The Original Series.
So as the chimes of midnight draw ever closer to the dreaded finish line that we all knew was coming, but we held out hope that maybe, just maybe would be a long time off, it was on May 26th of this year Star Trek Continues lead Vic Mignogna posted the following on the STC Facebook page
Not much is known about what the final episodes will consist of but what we do know about episode 9 is it will have a very! Familiar face added to the crew in the form of the one and only John de Lancie (AKA Q from TNG, DS9 & VOY), I am so excited to see what his role is in this.
One other key point of episode 9 is that the story will be co-written by Kipleigh Brown, now not only has Kipleigh started in Enterprise back in 2004 as Crewman Jane Taylor (The Forgotten) but anyone who plays Star Trek Online will know that she has a very important role within that universe as well by providing VO work for the character Kuumaarke.
Now, I can hear your minds going HUH! NO FAIR especially after reading the part about John de Lancie being cast in this episode is that not a breach of the guidelines, well here is the kicker, Yes and No!
Back when the guidelines were forged (June 2016) Continues had already done their fundraising to finish up their planned run, although they had planned for 13 episodes that plan had to be changed due to factors outside of their control, in an update to their Indiegogo campaign dated Jun 30, 2016, at 4:09 AM Linda Thompson made this statement,
“As many of you know, CBS has created a set of guidelines for fan films going forward. CBS’s John Van Citters mentioned in a recent podcast that existing fan film productions will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and that each production’s intentions toward Star Trek are key in determining its future”. (Full statement can be found here)
So even though, Continues is yes essentially breaking guideline 1 –“The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes”
And 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.”
By means of continuing with their production and hiring former Star Trek alumni, there are a few things people do tend to forget when crying, no fair and I feel these 4 points need to be hammered home
1) In essence, STC are covered by the “grandfather clause” which John Van Citters stated
“These guidelines are meant for films on an on a going forward basis”
2) But a lot of people seem to forget that John also said this in the engage podcast
“That’s correct and we have had a long history with fan productions and fan initiatives of various kinds where were very much eager to have fans involved in Star Trek I’m not sure what the best way to elucidate on all this is but we want fans involved very much so we just want them all involved in the right way that’s going to be best for fandom as a whole is going to be best for Star Trek as a whole and is going to help us evolve and bring Star Trek to a to a bigger and brighter future.
We do treat every use of our IP on a **case by case** basis we do not like paint with a big broad brush and tar and feather everything in a specific way just because that is the most expedient we have been in contact with different fan film groups over the years as well as recently I’ve had in the past week a couple of groups have reached out to me looking for clarification hopefully what I’m able to do today will provide some of that in answering some of the questions.”
3) Many people and Vic himself have stated that if told to do so by CBS they would STOP production without hesitation.
4) Alongside the three points I have covered above, there is one crucial thing missing in a lot of people simple understanding of the guidelines, and that is they are just that guidelines, not laws, rules, orders, must abide by or even commandments, so unlike one particular production that is bound to them due to a legal settlement the cast and crew of Star Trek Continues can continue with what they promised the fans and donors back in May 2016 and that is to wrap up their journey.
So I hope that clearing up a few misconceptions that people are buying into, we can now get back to what is important and although tremendously gloomy, is the fact that if you are attending one or all of the following
You are in for a colossal treat and so lucky to get to see what although will no doubt be a sad moment for everyone, not only those who have come to love Star Trek Continues but also for the many people involved in bringing this groundbreaking production to life.
So let’s help these guys go out in style and celebrate what they have done for us all and not get drawn into the mediocrity of other people’s jealousy.
If you haven’t done so already you can get tickets for these conventions at the following links.
- Florida Supercon in Ft. Lauderdale the weekend of July 27-30
- Salt Lake City Comic Con the weekend of September 21-23
- New York City Comicon the weekend of October 5-8
Star Trek Continues can be found at the following