Back in July I sent an email out to friends about 5 Year Mission dot com (recently renamed to “newvoyages.com”) about a Star Trek fan project: “Man, talk about fan involvement. There is a group of Star Trek fans who have created a tribute to the original series in a unique way: they wrote, acted, filmed and have distributed a NEW episode with the original characters (with new actors, obviously) and all the original sound effects and campy dialouge!” Their website is http://newvoyages.com/. I just found out about another fan project producing new episodes based on the original series which is just as good if not better. Read on for the link.
The 5 Year Mission group plans to create their idea of the 2 years of original series episodes that didn’t happen because the show’s “5 year mission” was prematurely cancelled in 1969 by NBC. 5 Year Mission includes all the original characters from Star Trek (you know, Kirk, Spock, etc.) with new faces.
Starship Exeter uses the same sets and futuristic time period as the original series, but offers an entirely new cast of characters (on another ship) in a similar mission to explore new worlds.
Both sites offer their shows (which are formatted in the standard Star Trek “teaser+4 act” format, all ready for commercials to be interspersed between them. I’m actually surprised no companies have thought to create some campy 60′s styled commercials for inclusion in the downloadable digital video files.
5 Year Mission is due to relase their 2nd episode very soon – in October, while Starship Exeter is currently working on two new episodes.
I was totally impressed by both of their projects by their professionalism and slick effects. 5 Year Mission offers a more contemporary feel in their special effects, and have gotten some original cast members to sign on as guest stars for the show. (Barbara Luna who played Captain Kirk’s woman in the alternate universe in the Mirror/Mirror episode for one). Starship Exeter’s effects aren’t quite as snazzy, but plays very true to the feel of the original show with all new characters which eliminates the inevitable comparison to the original cast you’re going to have to deal with for the 5 year mission episodes.
Although the episodes are heavy downloads (30 to 50 Meg for each of the 5 parts that constitute an episode), its worth it if you are a diehard original series Trek fan.