Star Trek: Phase II – A Few Revisions

Alright, so now I’m a little further into this well-put together fan series, and wanted to update my previous statements.

Cawley and co. obviously felt that the first Scotty didn’t work out, and have since recast him with a moustached gentleman who has our favorite engineer’s burr down pat.

The stories have improved from episode to episode, the most recent one (to me), To Serve All My Days, was actually penned by an original Trek writer D.C. Fontana (Journey to Babel) and co-starred original series cast member Walter Koenig, as a suddenly and seemingly irreversibly aged Chekov in a call-back to the episode The Deadly Years.

Apparently, the ending upset a lot of people, but I look on it as simply as a version of the truth, it is an inherently Russian story after all, it has to end tragically, I have my own theory, but I won’t go into it, as I don’t want to ruin the story for those who may yet watch it.

I’m going to keep coming back for the evolving production values as well as the increasingly strong writing, so nice work, you’ve got me hooked on that count.

The effects continue to improve episode to episode, this is also the first episode to feature an original score, previously music cues were lifted from the various soundtracks that exist, and while I think the lifts served well, the addition of new music makes the series its own thing. Nice job.

My only stickler still lays with Cawley’s performance as Kirk. I want to like him, I mean I idolized Kirk when I was younger, but still, he comes across as trying to hard or just angry with all of his line delivery (maybe he’s trying too hard, I get that impression sometimes too). Right now, this is not a captain I would follow, not yet. I’m sure he can play Kirk, I’m sticking it out, because I like what he and his bunch have done with this amazing fan series. I certainly hope that like those around him, he continues to improve, and hopefully at some point I will be able to say, yes, he really is Kirk. I really want to enjoy his interpretation of James T. but I’m not there yet.

Like I said last time around though Mr. Cawley… Enjoy it, have a twinkle in your eye, a real smile, Kirk is The Man! You can be too!

I hope the series continues to be top-notch, and hope to see continued fan and artist support of the series.

Because, like all Trek fans, I do enjoy boldly going…

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Star Trek: Phase II

We’ve established that I’m a huge Trek fan, even as I type this the blu-ray is in my player, and I’m finishing up the episode “Shore Leave,” I’m reading the second book in the Lost Years series, A Flag Full of Stars, I’m making my way through DS9 and am hunting down the new IDW Trek series.

I’ve yet to overdose, so that’s good!

I’ve also decided to take a look at the fan series originally called Star Trek New Voyages, but updated and changed to Star Trek: Phase II, the name of the Star Trek series that wasn’t right before the launch of the theatrical adventures with Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

I know it’s been around for a number of years now, but there are only about 8 episodes currently. This is not a commentary on slow production, it’s difficult putting a fan series together, one must consider cast availability – including some very familiar guest stars, pre-production, new set design (happily they have some wonderful standing sets, including a replica of the original Enterprise bridge), scripts, and of course, there’s probably a fairly lengthy post-production schedule in terms of SFX and CG elements.

There is a lot of love in this series, you can see that those involved are fans and happy to be doing what they are. I only have a few small quibbles that won’t deter me from watching the series…

And I need to preface that with this statement… I don’t expect the characters to look like their predecessors, I only ask that they convey the spirit of who they are.

James Cawley has taken over the role of James T. Kirk, and while he seems to be the driving force behind the series, to my mind he just hasn’t gotten the idea or persona of Jim Kirk down yet. I, do hope I’m wrong, and that I can see his performance grow and change over the series. But for now, my first thoughts are, every line he delivers seems angry, even when it’s supposed to be lighter, or even flat out humorous, he’s lacking a bit of that flair, and tongue-in-cheek that made Bill’s performance of Kirk so likable.

Now, I’m not asking Cawley to mimic Shatner, that way leads to parody. I realize he’s bringing his own interpretation to the character, but currently (admittedly I’ve only seen the vignettes, the pilot and the first episode), he’s not likable. But like I said, I’m willing to let his character evolve as he finds his feet in the role… He just seems so mad all the time. Mr. Cawley… You’re Jim Kirk! Enjoy it!

I’ve braced myself for the changes in actors that I’ve seen listed when it comes to other characters, I can work with that, but I want to take the gentleman aside who’s playing Scotty in the first episode and explain to him that Scotty is a Scottish… not Irish.

But those are minor quibbles, like I said, and I’m willing to let them pass, as no doubt, all of these things will change and grow as the series goes on. They’ve already had the involvement of Walter Koenig, George Takei, D.C. Fonatana, and David Gerrold – so they are obviously doing something right!

They seem to be well on their way, and I am looking forward to exploring this new realm of fan films, and no doubt, once I’m caught up, waiting impatiently for the next one…

Perhaps they’ll let me submit a script??

Until that moment, Mr. Cawley, Captain, I’ll be signing aboard and enjoying the continuing adventures of Kirk and Company. Thanks for bringing them to life in your own way!