Of Gods And Men – Part 2

Star Trek: Of Gods And Men

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

Stardate not given: The G.S.S. Conqueror captures a shuttle fleeing from the rubble that was the planet Vulcan, and its crew of two – Tuvok and Uhura – are thrown into a cell with the freedom fighters Kitrick and Ragnar. Though Uhura condemns Kitrick’s track record of death and mayhem, saying he’s no better than the Galactic Order itself, she finds herself remembering him as well, though the two have never met. Tuvok performs a mind-meld on Uhura, and stumbles across parallel memories – memories in which she has lived on Vulcan for so long, and memories in which she served aboard a starship with the man who appears to be Kitrick. She calls him Pavel, a name that Kitrick says he hasn’t used in years, and tries to convince him that they should work together – but she runs into trouble when she tries to convince him that they’ll also need Harriman, who she also remembers.

Watch Itstory by Sky Conway & Tim Russ and Jack Trevino & Ethan H. Calk
teleplay by Ethan H. Calk, Sky Conway & Jack Trevino
directed by Tim Russ
music by Justin R. Durban

Cast: Walter Koenig (Capt. Pavel Chekov), Nichelle Nichols (Capt. Nyota Uhura), Alan Ruck (Capt. John Harriman), Garrett Wang (Commander Garan), William Wellman Jr. (Charlie Evans), J.G. Hertzler (Koval), Gary Graham (Ragnar), Tim Russ (Tuvok), Chase Masterson (Xela), Crystal Allen (Conqueror Navigator Yara), Ethan Phillips (Data Clerk), Cirroc Lofton (Sevar), Lawrence Montaigne (Stonn), James Cawley (Commander Kirk), Jeff Quinn (Conqueror Helmsman), Seth Shostak (Enterprise Communications Officer), Shawn Shelton (voice of the Guardian of Forever), Crystal Conway (Grandchild), Madison Russ (Grandchild), Keith Batt (Navigator), Patrick Bell (Enterprise Helmsman), Giovanna Contini, David deFrane, Ronald Gates, Deborah Huth, Danielle Porter (Enterprise Bridge Crew), Sky Conway, Travis Sentell (Enterprise Security Officers), Jeanine Camargo, Heather C. Harris, Mindy Iden, Luke McRoberts, Moses Shepard (Vulcan Initiates), Elizabeth Cortez (T’Liel), Amy Ulen (Teacher), Rob Leslie, Joanna Mendoza, Linda Zaruches (Vulcan Citizens), Stewart Lucas, Scott Nakada (Conqueror Klingon Officers), Joel Bellucci, Tony Pavone (Conqueror Romulan Officers), Giovanna Contini (Conqueror Science Officer)

Review: Sometimes I shouldn’t open my big mouth. Remember how I was praising the first part of Of Gods And Men for not “doing a Guinan” and giving us someone who mystically remembers that history has been put out of joint and needs to be fixed? Not even ten minutes into the second segment, Gods did a Guinan.

Having said that, the whole thing is still incredibly well-executed, making such good use of the New Voyages Enterprise sets that you’d almost think they built new ones (well, aside from one up-shot of Harriman where you can clearly see the studio ceiling instead of any kind of ceiling you’d associate with the bridge). A lot of what differentiates Gods from the vast majority of fan films is down to good moody lighting and tight editing. However, this second segment’s insistence on jumpy cinema verite camera movement sometimes works against it – there are moments where I wondered what in the the world they were getting at from a visual standpoint.

The actors bring a lot to the table, though in some cases, Alan Ruck got a little too petulant as the alternate-universe Harriman – the years just melted away and it almost seemed like a much angstier Cameron Frye was barking orders to his underlings. I guess I expected him to make a slightly different choice with his portrayal, but after all, this is obviously a larger-than-life alternate universe reading of Harriman. I also caught more than a hint of Babylon 5’s Bester in Koenig’s alterna-Chekov, though that’s not a bad thing.

Where it’s all going, no one can tell. I still feel a little bit let down by the numerous hints that this would be a topical-bordering-on-politically-charged piece of Trek – so far, all I’ve really heard are various slogans about freedom, security and whether or not violence is justifiable…but not much in the way of real story examination of these ideas. I’m holding out hope that part three will pull all these disparate threads together without being a letdown.

Part two of Of Gods And Men is, perhaps predictably, the story’s “soft center” before we get back to the main thrust of things. It’s still very stylish, but quite frankly, I’m still waiting for meat and potatoes here. Lay on part three, gentlemen.