Going Boldly

Star Trek: Phase II

This is an episode of a fan-made series whose storyline may be invalidated by later official studio productions.

Stardate not given: Following a mission that ended with the loss of several crew members, the Enterprise is recalled to Starbase 4, where Starfleet gives the ship a new set of experimental warp engines and a few other modifications. The crew gets a chance to grieve for their fallen comrades, and Kirk gets the Enterprise’s new orders.

Watch Itwriter not credited
director not credited
music by Fred Steiner and James Horner

Star Trek Phase IICast: Brian Gross (Captain Kirk), Brandon Stacy (Mr. Spock), John Kelly (Dr. McCoy), Charles Root (Mr. Scott), Jasmine Pierce (Lt. Uhura), Jonathan Zungre (Chekov), Bobby Quinn Rice (Ensign Peter Kirk), Wayne Johnson (Ensign Walking Bear), Chris Doohan (Lt. Arex), Jay Storey (Kyle)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green

Review: Released within days of the first Star Trek Continues vignette, Boldly Going effectively serves notice that the Fan Film Wars of 2012 are on. Even though a few episodes starring James Cawley as Captain Kirk are still in the post-production timeline, this vignette introduces us to Brian Gross (CSI, NCIS, Psych, Las Vegas) as the new Phase II Kirk. His voice is a bit high – Cawley at least had the art of Shatnerian delivery down to a science – but his physical look is dead-on. It’s best to see a full-length adventure starring Gross before grading his “Kirk-ness.”

The funeral scene opening the short story is directed and edited at a somewhat languid pase for reasons verging on meta: the names of the “lost Enterprise officers” are those of Phase II production team members who have died in recent years, and the officers grieving for them are fellow production crew members in costume. Boldly Going is almost a real memorial service for all involved.

Star Trek Phase IIThe other big change here comes with a series of stunning FX scenes showing the refit of the Enterprise. The ship’s new shape, dangerously close to the Enterprise of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, is based on designs for an upgraded Enterprise from the abandoned ’70s series which was scrapped in favor of the aforementioned first Star Trek movie. Tobias Richter adapts the design a bit to feature lighted warp engines with the familiar orange glow, and dialogue in the short indicates that these new engines could become standard equipment on all Starfleet ships if the design is proven on the Enterprise. With this vignette, the promise that was always built in to New Voyages’ assumption of the Phase II title finally comes to fruition.

Other connecting tissue is shown to another Trek incarnation: Native American Ensign Walking Bear and three-armed navigator Lt. Arex (realized as a CGI character) appear in the flesh for the first time, having previously appeared only in the animated Star Trek of the early ’70s. Arex isn’t quite up to Avatar standards, but seeing a fan film attempt a fully computer-animated character is frighteningly ambitious.

It’s no secret by now that the many changes to the Phase II format seen here – a new ship, a new actor playing its captain – were brought on by the rift that led to some Phase II personnel abandoning ship and joining up with the competing Star Trek Continues project headed up by Vic Mignogna and the makers of Starship Farragut. But while there may be some behind-the-scenes strife, for fans of these homespun Star Trek adventures, it could be a win-win situation: whatever flavor of “classic Trek continued” that you like, whether purist or attempting to realize the unfulfilled promise of the ’70s Star Trek revival, there’ll be more than enough Star Trek to go around.