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The cast and crew's love for the Star Trek franchise has overcome low budgets in order to keep the series alive through the online miniseries Star Trek: Phase II
The voyages of the USS Enterprise continue in this fan-filmed labour of love
Adhering strictly to the letter of the law that allows distribution of fan-created material as long as no attempt is made to profit from it, Star Trek: Phase II — which originally began life in 2004 as Star Trek: New Voyages — features new faces taking on the old roles, including James Cawley as Captain Kirk, Brandon Stacy as Mr. Spock and John Kelley as Dr. McCoy. (Fun fact: Cawley, who co-created the series with Jack Marshall, actually served as an intern on Star Trek: The Next Generation.)
The shoes (and uniforms) that Cawley and company have to fill may be as large as the series’ budget is low, but the love that the crew of Phase II have for Star Trek makes each episode a must-see. Alas, they only average about one per year due to the cost and effort involved, but they tend to be worth the wait, in no small part due to the contributions of original Trek cast and creators who’ve joined in the fun. Walter Koenig (Chekov), George Takei (Sulu) and Grace Lee Whitney (Janice Rand) have all reprised their roles from the original series, and other guests have included such Trek alums as Denise Crosby, Malachi Throne, William Windom and the late Majel Barrett Roddenberry. In addition, Eugene Roddenberry (son of series creator Gene Roddenberry) has served as a consulting producer on the series, and original-series writers D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold have each contributed scripts.
The latest coup for Star Trek: Phase II? An unproduced script from the original series (He Walked Among Us), written by Norman Spinrad, who hopes to convince William Shatner to play the villain. Fingers crossed, everyone.
Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.