JT Perfecthair wrote:
I will admit surprise that Phase 2 is doing Mind Sifter. I'd have thought that's a story that wouldn't do well onscreen, not because it's a bad story, quite the contrary. I vividly remember reading it at the time, and its effect on me. My concern is if you did a faithful retelling I'm not sure I'm not sure how entertaining it could be to see one of your favorite characters treated that way. Call it "The Empath effect", where a decent story can't help but get lost behind the unattractive imagery.
ah...someone who wasn't around when it was announced back in 2010.
"Mind-Sifter" is what actually STARTED "New Voyages". James met Shirley at a convention and they had a long chat. Shirley was very enthusiastic at James' idea to "film new TOS episodes" and encouraged him with great gusto to do so. She also handed him a copy of her original "The Mind-Sifter" fan fic....explaining in great depth how upset and angry she was at Bantam Books who "destroyed the story" with their edit, and she asked James to film her story, the way she wrote it, so people got to see it the way she intended. (the short explaination is that she wrote it as a Kirk and Chekov story - intending to show Chekov was basically young Kirk. Bantam removed Chekov entirely from the story)
James promised Shirley that one day he would do so and, in fact, named the series "New Voyages" in her honor. (or so he's said a few times.) As Shirley died long before it was possible to film the story, I was able to contact her family and get permission from them to proceed. (I was a friend and used to hang out in her house every weekend in the "Star Trek room" long before anyone else ever had one) Her grandson was actually planning to be a Starfleet crewman in the episode at one time.
So, it's not really a surprise.
However, it is a daring choice...as you point out. It also isn't a very typical TOS story if done faithfully...with Kirk out of his mind for the entire thing.