A few years ago, the idea of watching Star Trek fan films would have had me laughing. My first thought would have been of the kids from Galaxy Quest making a film in someone’s basement or garage.
But then at a 2005 convention in Toronto I got a look at Star Trek: New Voyages‘ episode In Harm’s Way. The show was set in the original series and meant to continue the five-year mission cut short after three years.
While the cast showed its mostly amateur background, the effects, sets and costumes were surprisingly good. The story was entertaining, combining fan favourite elements from the Doomsday Machine, and Guardian of Forever from City on the Edge of Forever, and time travel.
From there I watched as the group went on to produce more episodes. In each, the quality increased as they took on scripts written for the never-produced series Star Trek: Phase II by writers such as D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold. They recruited Star Trek alumnus Walter Koenig, George Takei, Grace Lee Whitney, and Denise Crosby, along with even more.
Then earlier this year another group started releasing episodes; Star Trek Continues. They began with a continuation of Who Mourns for Adonais, and since then released two more episodes, one a continuation of Mirror Mirror that I felt did a better job than some of the later DS9 episodes in that same vein.
In my opinion as a Trekkie these two fan series are doing more to further the Star Trek philosophy of boldly going more than the most recent big-studio version of the franchise.
I hope they both live long and prosper (but not monetarily, because then Paramount would sue).