This doesn't really fit (by format) this sub-forum's 1st 2 header threads; I hope moderation will be as gentle as I invite readers' critiques to be harsh!
What follows is a header statement for an as-yet nonexistent website. As thoughtful as folks here are, I figured feedback from square one would be to my benefit. Does this say too much? Too little? Do I come off badly in tone? As all writers ask, would you want to read more?
Original Series era fan film?
Not exactly. Nor is Star Trek Redux a “re-imaging” of TOS. Exactly.
Over a decade ago, I wrote some essays as to what I’d do if given the authority to re-make Star Trek. My first goal was an obvious fannish one (since realized with Star Trek Exeter, New Voyages/Phase II, and others) – to recreate on screen the fantastic sets and imagery of Star Trek, which I believed could capture an audience even decades after their creation, and to tell new stories set in that universe. The larger goal was the same as Gene Roddenberry’s in 1964: to use a believable science fiction format to tell stories outside the parameters of acceptable contemporary television narratives.
Despite the relaxation of broadcast standards, certain issues remain untouchable, even on cable. Capitalism, patriarchy, polygamous and/or polyandrous sexual mores, above all the mixed ramifications not of fundamentalist religion, but of religion per se remain generally outside the scope of television storytelling.
In 1964, a utopian future Starship boasted a female second in command, a multi-racial crew, and a token alien on the bridge. A year or so into production, it was realized that of course
the Enterprise should have a Russian crewmember.
Of what would a contemporary vision of a utopian future consist?
In 2002, I penned a two-hour pilot script introducing the newly-launched Starship Endeavour, its captain Fazal Allende – a practicing Muslim. My navigator was a Chinese woman, my helmsman a gay man, my science officer Richard Daystrom’s son, my Engineer and First Officer female, my chief medical officer a Vulcan, my transporter officer a three-legged, three-armed Edoan. Had Star Trek Redux debuted back then (on TV or online), its vision of a unified future Earth would, I think, have struck more nerves than did Star Trek’s Lieutenant Uhura across the American south.
Overwhelmed by the impossibility of the project, I put Redux aside. But the concept refused to leave my mind. In time, another fan joined me – of his own free will, I should add – in fleshing out Redux. New characters were developed, a pair of villains introduced, story arcs worked out, scripts written and polished. In time, a seven season series took shape, my pilot followed by major events, developing storylines, and a projected conclusion. At present, about 20 episodes (all but the first forty-minute, four-act teleplays with teasers) exist, along with another 80 or so story ideas (all told, about one-half our would-be series)…as well as a projected spinoff set in the Mirror universe.
Certain aspects of Star Trek Redux are apt to take long-time fans aback. As this website’s headers illustrate, the Starship Endeavour is not exactly the Constitution class we have come to know. Nor are its technologies and operating characteristics quite in line with those dubbed “canonical.” Neither divergence, however, is intended as difference for difference’s sake. Rather, they are based upon a painstaking examination of what the Original Series (and to some degree, its sequels) showed. A shuttlecraft large enough to stand erect in (whose interior would not fit into the soundstage exterior prop), dwarfed as depicted on-air by her mothership’s hangar deck, leads to the inescapable conclusion that Enterprise was more than 947 feet in length. A “standard orbit” from which a Starship would if powerless quickly plummet is in fact not an orbit at all. An impulse drive capable of taking a Romulan warbird readily into and out of Federation space, of outpacing the planet-killer, of completing a journey to Regula requiring twelve hours at warp speed – of taking a Galaxy-class saucer anywhere
from where Geordi left it and Argyle stationary when returning to the “arsenal of freedom” – is not a merely sublight propulsor. It is for these and other reasons that my pilot script – like the Next Generation premier – takes its time in introducing not just crew, but vessel. Neither are “revisionist” for the sake of empty theatre, or purposeless grandeur – but both are unfamiliar, despite decades’ age. Thus, Star Trek Redux.
This website presents Redux in its entirety, as it presently exists. Not a frame of imagery has been shot, not a foot of soundstage constructed. For the present, Star Trek Redux lacks a cast, a crew, a budget. Its “production staff” consists at present of two men writing words. Just words. Good words? We think so. And with those words, we hope to spark the idea in others that this
fan film too should see its genesis.