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Arts and Entertainment

A Treat for Trekkies

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We live in a beautiful age for nerds. Just like your favorite superheros, you can never be sure that something is dead. Star Wars returned after 20 years of relative inactivity (though it’s questionable whether or not that was a good idea). Jean Grey, though currently dead, has died in so many forms that it’s impossible to believe she won’t return. You can’t keep popular series like Buffy (or even unfairly unpopular series like Firefly) from finding new life in movies and comics. But the big daddy of them all is Star Trek. From a series that lasted 3 years, 10 films, 6 series and countless books and fan fictions have sprung.

Despite this vast universe, Star Trek fans are experiencing a low these days. There’s a movie in the works that’s supposed to reinvent the genre – but it’s not due out until late 2008, When Enterprise was cancelled in 2005, it was the first time there hadn’t been a Star Trek series on the air since 1987 – nearly 20 years.

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But Star Trek fans are an intrepid bunch. Being the butt of many, many, many jokes can do that to fans. In April 2003, a couple of fans, James Cawley and Jack Marshall, decided that they were going to make their own episodes of Star Trek, written by and starring themselves and their friends, using real props and sets where available. After they aired their first episode in January, 2004, they got the attention of people who had worked on the Star Trek universe, including Eugene Roddenberry Jr. (series creator, Gene Roddenberry’s son), numerous writers and Walter Koenig (that would be Chekov, for those of us who are less Star Trek inclined).

The latest installment is due out on August 23rd. Called “World Enough and Time,” it was written by Next Generation writers, Michael Reaves and Marc Zicree and based on a treatment for an episode Michael Reaves had written for the never shot series, Star Trek: Phase II. George Takei reprises his role as Sulu in this episode his character never got, but deserved. Top Star Wars artist Iain McCaig (designer of Darth Maul and Queen Amidala) came aboard to help design the 700 special effects shots. The cast, the story, the production values are all in keeping with the best Star Trek has had to offer.

There is a world premiere of this stellar project, complete with the cast showing at the Beverly Hills Fine Arts Theater. Tickets can be purchased online. And, if you can’t make it, it’ll be debuting on the internet at the same time. Either way, it’s a real treat for fans, both die hard and casual.

For more info, you can go to the Star Trek New Voyages website or the Magic Time site.

Photos of the Excelsior by Doug Mazell, and the Enterprise, by Jeff Hayes. Used with permission of Marc Zicree