Friday, May 08, 2009
Star Trek: Of Gods and Men
Well, I've seen the new STAR TREK. Well...not THAT STAR TREK. I don't know how I missed it but several years ago someone made a brand new STAR TREK! No, not THE NEW VOYAGES; those are cool but this is still something different. STAR TREK: OF GODS AND MEN is a bizarre and unexpected blast from the past that is like aTrekkie wet dream. (TrekkER's don't have those)
Originally envisioned as a three part "episode," OF GODS AND MEN presents an intelligent script, a familiar cast, classic characters, good special effects and a goodly amount of overall exceitement. Shot in 2006 as a 40th anniversary "present" to the fans (but not release until 2007) this unofficial fan-made project (like the aforementioned NEW VOYAGES) GETS the franchise in a way that the makers of some of the official episodes often don't. It's about heroism and courage and friendship. Perhaps more than anything else, STAR TREK is really a rumination on friendship trussed up in sci-fi trappings.
Who's in it? Well, for one Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig star as Uhura and Chekhov...and their alternate world counterparts! It's a dozen years after the events of STAR TREK: GENERATIONS in which Admiral Kirk died saving the universe (again) and Charlie X returns (William Wellman. Whatever happened to Robert Walker anyway?) Charlie still has his god-like powers but now also has a massive hate-on for the man who didn't, in his eyes, help him--James Tiberius Kirk. Thus, with the use of Harlan's Guardian of Forever (don't sue, Harlan. It's just a fan thing!) Charlie creates a universe in which Kirk never existed!
Other familiar characters include, of all people, Alan Ruck from Ferris Bueller, reprising his brief role as Captain Harriman from GENERATIONS and giving the best performance in this whole project! Tim Russ, the director here, repeats as the young Tuvok (from VOYAGER). Grace Lee Whitney also appears as Janice Rand an even the actor who played Stonn in AMOK TIME returns in that role. There's a few surprises even!
Familiar TREK actors in other roles include Ethan Phillips, Garrett Wang (very good!), ALIEN NATION's Gary Graham (ENTERPRISE), Cirroc Lofton (from DS9) and Arlene Martel (Spock's betrothed, T'Pring!). In fact, the way I discovered this in the first place is when I was watching BANACEK from 1974 the other day and couldn't place an actress. I looked up the cast list and found her name (Martel) , clicked on her credits and was reminded of her TREK connection. Then I saw OF GODS AND MEN as her most recent credit.
The sets are amazing! In fact, according to what I read, they leased the same meticulously re-created sets from STAR TREK: THE NEW VOYAGES. While they were at it, they even borrowed a couple of actors there. James Cawley, who recreates Kirk in the new episodes, here plays Kirk's nephew. One of the various Spock actors from ST: TNV appears here as a crewman, also.
What's bad about it? The acting is often a little amateurish even from the pros. It's still better than some prime-time stuff, though. And best of all, it's all on YouTube! Here's the trailer! It's good! In these days of the Internet, how am I just now hearing about this. I'm betting I'm not the only one, though. Go! Enjoy! Oh, and what's this I hear about yet another new STAR TREK out today? I'm always the last to know! Live long...and prosper.