October 06, 2004

Star Trek New Voyages

Star Trek has a huge following, but since the original series there's been something missing. The movies were mostly good, except for the last two NextGen outings and, most notably, Star Trek V. The Next Generation was excellent, especially after the first and second seasons. Deep Space Nine certainly had a good following. Voyager and Enterprise both fall flat. But any Trek fan worth their salt can't help but harken back to the original series. Sure, some of the scripts were corny and the many of the effects cheesy, but that series captured something that all its followers lack.

Well get ready, because the original series is making a comeback! Star Trek New Voyages continues the original five year mission of the starship Enterprise, beginning with year 4. They're using modern special effects with the original ship design. Just check out the trailers (especially the second one), it looks unbelievable.

The production has recreated several sets and countless props. Actually, they can probably buy better props today than were available on the original show's limited budget.

Now the obvious question that comes to mind is, how do you do Kirk, Spock, and other original characters? The site's FAQ puts it this way: "What we don’t want is a parody – an actor imitating William Shatner doing Kirk for example." Citing the example of Hamlet and other famous characters, "many actors have and can play the roles, each offering a different interpretation of said character."

They've gained some high level support, including Gene Roddenberry's son Eugene, who is on the production team.

The new episode will be released on October 8th...coincidentally, the same day as the season premier of Enterprise. I'm willing to bet good money that New Voyages is a better show, hands down! Seeing this preview brings back so many memories of Trek, it excites me like no other preview has for any of the spinoffs. As a matter of fact, I'll be joining my friends John and Randy Friday night and we'll watch both back to back.

(I'll be posting a comment this weekend about the New Voyages episode)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Enterprise as a series is bad. I think that it is difficult to go back in "time" and do a series that is supposed to "happen" before the beloved 60s Star Trek. The one story thread that didn't make sense to me was the "Quantum Wars". The whole time travel aspect makes little to no sense as there is no series point of reference.

I couldn't stand Voyager (Politically correct) or "Deep Space 9". Just can't see the whole hanging around a spacestation 24x7. Though I have to admit, the one episode I did like, was the first time Q showed up and in one of the "realities" the Voyer was a christmas ornament. I almost fell out of my chair laughing.

I agree that StNG was better after the first two seasons. The last season was somehting of a perpetual mindtrip.

I know we go back to the 60s series because it's comfortable, like a favorite pair of jeans. I just don't know if it will fly, especilly if Kirk isn't Will-YAM SHAT--NER. ;)

1:02 PM  
Blogger Rothar said...


Without giving anything away, Star Trek New Voyages is unbelievably good. In a way I'd prepared myself for some good CGI, but really bad acting. Turns out this thing is the best Trek I've seen since the original, with Next Generation being perhaps the only exception.

The sets are not only good, they look flawless! Right down to that scope that rises out of the navigator console. They've even got useless piping on the walls.

While many of the special effects are updated, some of the old standbys are there, like big flashes of light.

I have to admit that the acting took a bit to get used to, but after 10 minutes even Spock didn't bother me anymore. The guy who plays Kirk does an admirable job, considering that if he'd overplayed it the whole thing would have become a joke. For some reason Spock's look and McCoy took the most adjustment. Scotty was pretty much dead on. (Sulu and Checkov are not present, accoring to the FAQ this will be explained in a future story.)

Best of all, the sound just blows me away. The opening sequence features the Enterprise zipping past while the original theme plays. The show's peppered with the original incidental music at just the right times. I heard many of the original sound effects including the famous bridge beeps, the red alert klaxon, and this one high-pitched whine that I remember fondly from the original Trek.

By contrast, Enterprise was underwhelming at best. Considering the episode dealt with time travel, Nazis occupying the northeastern U.S., and the mafia operating as a resistance, that's quite a disappointment. I realized that there is only one or maybe two characters I give a rat's ass about, the rest can fall out an airlock for all I care.

In short, I wish Star Trek New Voyages was on T.V. instead of Enterprise.

1:31 AM  

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