So I’m wandering around the web this afternoon, and a friend directs me to Star Trek New Voyages
What the . . . ? “These are the new voyages of the Star Ship Enterprise, boldly going yada yada.”
This is an incredibly complex web-only fan created TV series, set in the original Star Trek universe with amateur actors playing Kirk, Scotty, Uhuru and the others. Bizarre!
My first thought was how were they able to do this without having 17 different kinds of hell reigned down on them from Universal’s legal department! However, it seems to be a web only thing, and presumably because of it, doesn’t infringe copyright (That sounds increasingly unlikely as I type this . . . Anyone out there know the deal?)
They’ve got some of the original Trek actors to reprise their roles in the early episodes, so it’s obviously got some industry goodwill behind it. The effects are good – easily on a par with anything from The Next Generation series, and the space scenes are spot on. Some very nice CGI work has gone into this. In addition, the sets look fairly well made – replicas of those from the original series abound, and the whole thing is surprisingly convincing.
However, the acting is just awful. Bad actors, with ill fitting costumes, dodgy wigs and lighting that’s just . . . off somehow, contribute to making it look like what it is, a fan-created facsimile of the original with a tiny fraction of the budget. The few real actors that appear in it show up the bad acting shockingly. (It makes you realise how much of the acting we all watch on TV every day is actually quite good. If it wasn’t, you’d notice!)
However, do you know what? I actually really enjoyed it. Let’s face it, the acting in the original Trek series was pretty ropey to begin with, so it’s not liking they’re charting brave new waters with this one. The stories seem to be mostly well written, and there is obviously a LOT of passion in this. For all it’s faults, I realised after about ten minutes, I was watching an incarnation of Trek. Not as polished as the big budget versions, but the spark is there.
Very cool (in a highly nerdish uncool kind of way.) Check it out.