I love this story about Star Trek fans filling the TV void with their own productions.
From these Virginia woods to the Scottish Highlands, Star Trek fans are filling the void left in a galaxy that has lost Star Trek. For the first time in nearly two decades, television spin-offs from the original 1960s Star Trek series have ended, so fans are banding together to make their own episodes.
Fan films have been around for years, particularly those related to the Star Wars movies. But now they can be downloaded from the Web, and modern computer-graphics technology has lent them surprising special effects. And as long as no one is profiting from the work, Paramount, which owns the rights to Star Trek, has been tolerant. (Its executives declined to comment.)
"The fans are saying, 'Look, if we can't get what we want on television, the technology is out there for us to do it ourselves,'" said Sieber, a 40-year-old engineer for a government contractor who likens his Star Trek project, at www.starshipfarragut.com, to "online community theater."
And viewers are responding. One series, at www.newvoyages.com, and based in Ticonderoga, N.Y., boasts of 30 million downloads. It has become so popular that Walter Koenig, the actor who played Chekov in the original Star Trek, is guest-starring in an episode, and George Takei, who played Sulu, is slated to shoot another one later this year. D.C. Fontana, a writer from the original Star Trek series, has written a script.
Just one quibble:
For many Trekkies, contemporary science fiction on television - such as Battlestar Galactica and the more recent Star Trek spin-offs - are too dark.
"Modern science fiction takes itself too seriously," said Jimm Johnson, 37, who presides over Starship Exeter.
John Broughton Jr., who founded the Farragut project, agreed.
"One thing about the classic Star Trek is at the end of the episode, it was pretty much a happy ending," he said. "It was sort of like The Brady Bunch. It was all tidied up."