Gene Roddenberry planned to bring Star Trek back to television in the mid-1970s, under the name Star Trek: Phase II. The Spock-less series would have introduced some new characters alongside Kirk and friends, and detailed the crew's second five-year mission. But the show never happened, and parts of the concept ended up in the first Trek movie and The Next Generation. Now, after 30-plus years, fans are finally making it happen.
The fan series, which streams online for free, boasts episodes written by original series writers DC Fontana and David Gerrold and guest-shots from original series actors George Takei and Walter Koenig. It used to be called Star Trek: New Voyages but changed its name to Star Trek: Phase II out of increased confidence, as executive producer James Cawley explains. And maybe a little fanboyish desire to fulfill another part of Gene Roddenberry's legacy:
New Voyages began as a fan film project, as a bunch of friends who love Star Trek working together to prove there was still plenty of creative life in Gene Roddenberry's original vision of Star Trek. With our recent Online Video Award from TV Guide for Best SciFi Webisodes, we think we've proven that. We're ready now to move to a higher level — Phase II, Gene's proposed title for a second Trek series that would've aired in the 1970s.
The show will add the character of Xon, who was supposed to replace the absent Spock in the 1970s series, but will keep Spock as well. And Cawley plans to start incorporating other ideas from Phase II into the series — including uniforms that'll be somewhat closer to the dreaded ones which showed up in The Motion Picture. And Scotty's moustache.
The script for the show's latest episode, the George Takei vehicle "World Enough and Time", has been nominated for Best Script in this year's Nebula Awards — up against the scripts for Children of Men and Pan's Labyrinth, amongst others — so don't feel too guilty when enjoying it despite the production values and hammy acting. The Science Fiction Writers of America are right there with you. Star Trek Phase II [Star Trek New Voyages.com]