Back in 2014, the sky seemed to be the limit for Star Trek fan films! Productions like AXANAR, RENEGADES, NEW VOYAGES, STAR TREK CONTINUES, and a few others were all eagerly casting active, retired, and semi-retired veteran Star Trek actors in fan film roles…often reprising the very characters they’d become famous playing.
Into this euphoric maelstrom burst the fan project STAR TREK: EQUINOX – “THE NIGHT OF TIME.” Originally it was simply going to be an outgrowth of New Voyages, filmed on the TOS sets in Ticonderoga, NY with JAMES CAWLEY as executive producer. (Here’s a video from New York Comic Con 2014 announcing that). The episode was to feature actor JOHN SAVAGE reprising his role of Captain Rudy Ransom from the Voyager 2-parter “Equinox” and lead into a new series starring GARRETT WANG as Captain Harry Kim on new 24th century sets. (Ah, remember those carefree, optimistic days? Heck, James Cawley was still working with ALEC PETERS on Axanar back then!)
Ultimately, most of those plans for New Voyages fell through, but footage with actor John Savage and California actress BLANCA BLANCO had still been shot at Retro Studios in upstate New York, and it was usable. This is when producer ERIC NYENHUIS decided to take the story out independently on its own, calling the project Star Trek: Equinox, with the first episode being titled “The Night of Time.”
The full script had already been written by CAMREN T. BURTON based on an idea from Savage and fellow actor GARY LOCKWOOD, who had also agreed to come on board the new series to reprise his TOS role of Gary Mitchell (who became a god-thing in the second TOS pilot episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before”—but apparently survived and returned to normal).
Hopes were high for this fledgling fan project, which would also feature Lockwood’s daughter Samantha as a new character named Nurse Christine Roddenberry. Optimism was so high, in fact, that the show-runners were telling reporters in articles like this one that Equinox would be presented directly to CBS as a PILOT for a new series. (Yep, they were totally serious.)
The first order of business, though, was to get that footage they’d already shot assembled into a teaser—and that would require money. After a couple of failed crowd-funders like this one (with only one donor), they eventually managed to raise about $6.2K on Kickstarter in 2015. That allowed them to produce and release the following 6-minute vignette that summer…
Although it had some potential—along with two signed Trek veteran actors—a year later, the film project was mothballed. An announcement by writer Burton discussed the possibility of turning the project into an audio drama, but nothing else was ever heard about it.
That was all more than three and a half years ago…so why am I talking about it now?
One of the people who worked on the original shoot in upstate New York was GLEN L. WOLFE, whose involvement in countless Star Trek fan films qualifies him for the “Where’s Waldo” Badge of Distinction. Since that time, Glen has moved from his former home in Illinois to Arkansas and constructed his own fan film TOS sets in partnership with DAN REYNOLDS, calling the new facilities WARP 66 Studios. Along the way, Glen and Dan began producing their own Star Trek anthology fan series called THE FEDERATION FILES. Over the past three years, they’ve released four fan films:
The last of the four was directed by Dan’s wife, KELLY REYNOLDS, her directorial debut.
For their fifth production, which Kelly again directed, Glen wanted to do something special. He wanted to “rescue” that abandoned footage from Star Trek: Equinox – “The Night of Time” and incorporate it (somehow) into a new fan film…even if it wasn’t used the way it was originally intended. But it wasn’t simply Equinox getting this treatment. If you watch to the end of the credits in the completed fan film below, you’ll see no less than EIGHT different fan films listed as supplying footage. Some of these, like Equinox, were never finished and never will be. Others are still in production. And a couple were actually completed and posted online.
The film itself is actually quite ambitious, featuring nearly a dozen characters from established Star Trek canon over a multitude of settings and time periods (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Picard, Data, Janeway, M’Ress, Chapel, and of course, Ransom). Take a look…
You can also view the video here on the IndieBOOM! Film Festival website, as it is one of the finalists in the FAN FILM category. The entry that receives the most views overall prior to January 5th will be awarded a $500 cash prize.
Naturally, an effort like this deserves a decent interview! And fortunately, I was able to schedule some time to chat with Glen and Dan and Kelly all at the same time. Take a listen, as these folks are a major part of the fan film community…