Star Trek fan productions
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Star Trek fan-made productions are productions made by fans using elements of the Star Trek franchise. Paramount Pictures, CBS, and their licensees are the only organizations legally allowed to create commercial products with the Star Trek name and trademark. The fan film community has received some coverage from the mainstream media.
- In 2014, fans and former cast members organized a fan-made short film called Prelude to Axanar, setting up a Kickstarter project with a target of $10,000, but which raised well over $100,000 instead. This film is slated for release in Winter of 2014, to be followed by a full-length, feature film called Star Trek: Axanar, funded by a much larger kickstarter project to be released July 26th 2015. These films star Richard Hatch, J. G. Hertzler, Kate Vernon, Gary Graham, Michael Hogan, and Tony Todd, all mainstream science fiction actors from Star Trek and the rebooted Battlestar Galactica.
- The official first trailer for this film has been released.
On December 29, 2015 the project was hit by a lawsuit from CBS and Paramount Pictures filed in California federal court, stating the Axanar works infringed upon their intellectual property by making use of "innumerable copyrighted elements of Star Trek, including its settings, characters, species, and themes."
- A three-part mini-series directed by Tim Russ and starring several original Star Trek stars, including Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig. The first part was released in December 2007; parts 2 and 3 were released in 2008.
- Star Trek: Renegades is a fan created project to create a pilot for a new Star Trek series. CBS declined to pick up the show. Several former Star Trek actors appear, including Walter Koenig, Robert Picardo, Manu Intiraymi, and Tim Russ. It is set 10 years after Voyager's return from the Delta Quadrant. Plans have been announced for a Renegades web based series.
- An online series produced by George Kayaian (and George stars as Captain Hoyt Allen) that focuses on the human trials that we all face. Set in the Original Series timeline The Antyllus (a sister ship of the Enterprise; both are Constitution-class Starships) in the original series era, with production design matching the era. Its designation is NCC 2071, It has been mentioned by Star Trek Expanded Universe and George has been interviewd by “Warped Space SciFi”
- An online series produced by Jimm and Joshua Johnson that focuses on the adventures of the starship USS Exeter (a sister ship of the Enterprise; both are Constitution-class Starships) in the original series era, with production design matching the era. It has been mentioned by the New York Times and Register-Guard (Oregon). 2 Episodes have been released.
- Launched in July 2005, this series takes place during the original-series era, and tells the story of the crew of the USS Farragut, a sister ship of the Enterprise. As well as four full-length live-action episodes (with a fifth in post-production) and two "vignettes", Farragut has also produced two animated episodes styled after Star Trek: The Animated Series. They had also become embroiled in some controversy in late 2011, concerning their involvement in the theft of set property from the Starship Ajax set in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 4 full episodes, 4 short vignettes and 2 animated episodes have been released as of 2015.
- First produced in 2013, this series looks to chronicle the "lost seasons" of Star Trek: The Original Series (in similar fashion to Star Trek: Phase II; see below). The series features anime voice actors Vic Mignogna and Todd Haberkorn as Kirk and Spock, respectively. Other notable cast include Chris Doohan (son of James Doohan) as Scotty, author-producer Larry Nemecek as McCoy, and concurrently by voice actor Chuck Huber. It also co-stars Grant Imahara (MythBusters) as Sulu. The first episode, "Pilgrim of Eternity" (with Michael Forest reprising his role as Apollo from the original series episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?") was released in 2013. The second episode, "Lolani" (featuring guest star Lou Ferrigno), was released in February 2014, and a third episode, "Fairest of Them All" was released in June 2014 and won a Burbank International Film Festival award for "Best New Media – Drama". Star Trek Continues also won a Geekie Award for "Best Web Series". On June 19, 2015, Episode 4 of the series was posted and titled "White Iris".
5 full episodes have been released by the end of 2015.
- The first episode of Dark Armada takes place ten years after the events in Star Trek: Nemesis on board the USS Batavia, named after the famous 17th-century Dutch ship, when Capt Richardson and his crew make a shocking discovery which will determine the fate of life on Earth and throughout the Federation. It was started in March, 2005 by an energetic group of young film-makers gathered from Star Trek fan clubs in the Netherlands and Belgium. Filming began in Jan 2006, a test/pilot episode was released that September, and three short episodes were released in 2009 and 2010.
- A series with fifty produced episodes, the series is set shortly after the end of the Dominion War and centers on the starship Excelsior and its home base, Deep Space 12, as they mediate disputes between various races and fend off attacks from a powerful new alien race, the Grey. Fan Films Quarterly listed Hidden Frontier as one of the ten most pivotal moments in fan film history in its Summer 2006 issue. The BBC in 2006 called the series "the most prominent" Star Trek fan film following Star Trek: Enterprise's cancellation. Hidden Frontier spawned three live-action spinoffs (Odyssey, The Helena Chronicles, and Federation One) two 24th-century audio series (Henglaar, M.D. and Diplomatic Relations) and the 23rd-century movie era audio series "Star Trek: Grissom".
- A fan film produced in Scotland and currently the only Star Trek fan production in the U.K., Intrepid is set in the 24th century, several years after Star Trek: Nemesis, and revolves around the effort to colonise a distant and largely unexplored sector of the galaxy. Star Trek: Intrepid was filmed entirely in Scotland and was released on May 26, 2007. GMTV presenter Lorraine Kelly has a brief appearance in Intrepid and the production has received extensive coverage in both national and international media, such as CNN, BBC Radio Scotland The Guardian, and The Scotsman. Intrepid was featured on the UK Sci Fi Channel's Sci Fi 360 video podcast. Nick Cook, the executive producer and star of Intrepid, has also collaborated with the Hidden Frontier crew several times, including the joint episodes Orphans of War and Operation Beta Shield, as well as the finale of Odyssey.
- A spin-off from the Hidden Frontier team with its first episode "Illiad" launched in September 2007. It is the story of the USS Odyssey, a Federation ship which has become trapped in the distant Andromeda Galaxy. With Odyssey's captain and first officer dead, along with most of the command staff, Lt. Commander Ro Nevin is forced to take command in order to get the remaining crew home.
- Star Trek: Phase II (formerly known as Star Trek: New Voyages)
- Co-creators James Cawley and Jack Marshall aimed to complete the original series' five-year mission, with actors cast as Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew on an exact replica of the original bridge set. One episode, "To Serve All My Days," was written by D. C. Fontana, story editor on the original Star Trek series, and featured Walter Koenig guest-starring as an older version of Pavel Chekov, his character from the original series. Several other actors from the original Trek series have also now signed on to appear in future episodes. George Takei reprised his role of Hikaru Sulu in the third episode, "World Enough and Time", joining the original Yeoman Janice Rand, Grace Lee Whitney. Fan Films Quarterly listed New Voyages as one of the ten most pivotal moments in fan film history in its Summer 2006 issue, and it has been reported on by National Public Radio. New Voyages also won TV Guide's 2007 Online Video Award for best sci-fi Webisode. On February 16, 2008, during an appearance at the Farpoint Science Fiction Media Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, James Cawley announced that the series would shed the New Voyages moniker and become known as Star Trek: Phase II to reflect the transition between the original series and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. 10 episodes and 3 short vignettes have been released by 2015.
- Star Trek: Phoenix is a fan-film series that is set 42 years after the events of the motion picture Star Trek: Nemesis. The series holds to Gene Roddenberry's original timeline. The pilot episode, "Cloak & Dagger", premiered on the Internet May 2, 2010.
- Star Trek: Progeny
- Star Trek: Progeny is a fan series that is set 50 years after the events of Star Trek: The Original Series and is derived from the episode "Bread and Circuses". It is set in the year 2316 and follows Livia Avitus (Cassie Scerbo), the granddaughter of the late Captain James T. Kirk, (from his brief encounter with the slave girl Drusilla) as she carries on his heroic legacy as a Federation Special Agent. The Pilot episode "Blood of Tiberius" is slated for a May 2016 release.
- Star Trek: The Continuing Mission
- This independent production is the story of the USS Montana, a ship from the end of the era of "cowboy diplomacy" that travels seventy years into the future--into the new world of careful steps and slow deliberation. Flung to a new time and into a new culture, the crew of the Montana is forced to adapt--but this hardly stops them from facing new adventures in the 24th century. After releasing its pilot in December 2007, TCM has continued to release episodes every several months through 2008. According to the show's website, the second season is in production and the season opener "Earth" was released in August of 2011.
- Star Trek: Defiant
- This monthly audio drama produced by Pendant Productions follows the adventures of the USS Defiant from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It was honored as the best fan-produced Star Trek audio drama of 2009 by TrekMovie.com. Was cancelled in May, 2012. All the episodes have thus been removed from the internet with no reason given.
- Star Trek: Excelsior
- This audio drama produced by James Heaney Star Trek: Excelsior is a full-length, full-cast audio drama set in Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek universe. The stories are long, arc-based, character-driven, and very involved.
- Star Trek: Lost Universe
- Created by Jeff Lincoln and produced by StarForce Media, "Star Trek: Lost Universe" debuted on SoundCloud in early 2015. The Dominion War is over, the Reman threat to destroy the United Federation of Planets has been foiled, and an uneasy peace between the Romulan Star Empire and the Federation is in place. The next chapter in Federation History begins. The USS Jamestown, an experimental, Nebula Class vessel finds itself trapped in an alternate reality where the Romulan Star Empire has conquered nearly the entire Alpha Quadrant. Without allies and without a place to call home, the Jamestown begins a one-ship-rebellion against the Romulan Star Empire in an attempt to restore what was once a shining light in the Alpha Quadrant.
- Star Trek: Outpost
- This monthly audio drama produced by Tony Raymond and Dan McIntosh of Giant Gnome Productions follows the adventures of the crew of Deep Space 3 and the USS Chimera. The show premiered in 2009 and is still in active production, averaging 11 episodes per season. It was nominated for the Parsec Awards each year from 2010 to 2013, and was selected as a finalist in 2010, 2012, and 2013. Star Trek: Outpost was awarded the 2013 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Long Form). Star Trek: Outpost is notable for receiving numerous favorable reviews, praised for both its "vivid characters" and for being "leagues better than the usual Star Trek audio drama". The show is currently in active syndication on 90.9 FM KDWG and on Trek Radio.
- Improvised Star Trek
- Winner of 2015 Audio Verse Awards for Best Fan/Adaptation Comedy, Improvised Star Trek is a comedy podcast that follows the voyages of the USS Sisyphus. Initially created as live show at the iO Theater of Chicago in 2009, with a cast compromised of professional comedians, the podcast is entirely improvised from title suggestions submitted by listeners via social media, with music and effects added in post-production. The show is not a direct parody of any specific Star Trek series, but instead uses the Star Trek setting to explore general Sci-Fi premises and character-based comedy, on a starship operating contemporaneous to the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space 9, and Star Trek:Voyager. New episodes are released bi-weekly and can be found at the shows website.
- Redshirt Blues
- David Rogers' film presents the tale of a space weary security officer on the Enterprise who is sick of Kirk, the ship, and the red shirt he must wear every day. While on patrol, he meets another redshirt on his first assignment and to whom he reveals the truth about redshirts. This film was screened on the Sci Fi Channel's Exposure in 2001.
- Star Trek: The Pepsi Generation
- A 16-minute film written by Ryan K. Johnson and Darrell Bratz, with Johnson producing and directing. It primarily parodies Star Trek: The Next Generation, although it also pokes fun at Max Headroom, Doctor Who, William Shatner, and Harlan Ellison. The film premiered at the Norwescon science fiction convention in March 1988, and won best film at the convention's film festival.
- In this 1988 film, the "Ferrari" have stolen all of the Pepsi from Starbase Seven-Up, and it is up to the crew of the Enterprise to rescue it. Captain Picard, along with Doodah the android, Ya Har, Jordashe, Rigor Mortis, Sexx Toii (the Betamax counselor), Ensign Expendable, and Weasley Crushme all leap into action. Along the way, viewers meet the harried Star Trek writing crew and the Ferrari's fearsome leader.
- On August 26, 1996, the BBC aired a documentary on Star Trek parodies, and Star Trek: The Pepsi Generation was one of the featured films.
- Stone Trek
- A Flash animated series that presents episodes of Star Trek as it might have appeared in the universe of The Flintstones. The series takes place aboard the stoneship USS Magnetize. Characters include Captain James T. Kirkstone, the Vulcano first officer Mr. Sprock, and ship's doctor Leonard "Fossils" RcKoy. The series also includes a running count of redshirts killed in each episode, and fans can write in to nominate themselves to be caricatured as a redshirt in future episodes. The production's website was a Sci-Fi.com "Site of the Week" in May 2001.
- Borg War
- Borg War is a 90-minute animated movie originally distributed as individual short episodes. Footage for Borg War was produced using Trek-themed computer games (a process known as machinima) and then heavily edited to create the final movie, repurposing the games' voiceover clips to create a new plot. Borg War was nominated for two "Mackie" awards by the Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences. An August 2007 screening at a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas was the first time that CBS/Paramount had approved the screening of a non-parody fan film at a licensed convention.
- Bring Back Kirk
- When Captain Kirk was killed in Star Trek Generations, fans started the "Bring Back Kirk" campaign. The original Bring Back Kirk teaser trailer was released in 2001 and became popular at conventions, such as the 2003 Starfleet Ball and Brazilian Trek Con at São Paulo. A second trailer, released in March 2004, was mentioned in Star Trek Monthly and The New York Post's Starr Report.
The attitude of the Star Trek copyright and trademark holders toward fan works has varied over time. In early 1996, Viacom (which purchased Paramount in 1994) sent cease and desist letters to webmasters of Star Trek fan sites that contained copyrighted film clips, sounds, insignia, or other copyrighted material. In the lead-up to the release of Star Trek: First Contact, then-president of Paramount Digital Entertainment David Wertheimer stated that Viacom was targeting sites that were "selling ads, collecting fees, selling illegal merchandise or posting copyrighted materials." Under threat of legal action, many websites shut down.
Jennifer Granick, a San Francisco criminal lawyer who went on to champion cyber rights, felt that the unofficial sites should be covered by the fair use doctrine in U.S. copyright law. In 1998, then-UCLA associate professor Howard Besser claimed the entertainment industry as a whole was, and cited Viacom's actions toward Star Trek site webmasters as an example of, "exploiting concerns over digitization and attempting to reshape the law by strengthening protection for copyrights holders and weakening public rights to access and use material."
Star Trek fan films have, until recently, operated in an informational vacuum, since Paramount has made few official statements regarding their existence. Fan filmmakers have generally kept a low profile, hoping not to draw attention to themselves. However, with the demise of Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005, the fan film community began drawing more attention in the media, and even a certain amount of recognition from the entertainment industry.
On December 29, 2015 Star Trek: Axanar was hit by a lawsuit from CBS and Paramount Pictures filed in California federal court, stating the Axanar works infringed upon their intellectual property by making use of "innumerable copyrighted elements of Star Trek, including its settings, characters, species, and themes."
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Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar
Prelude to Axanar features some well known actors portraying both new and familiar characters in the Star Trek universe.
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