With the new animated Star Trek series LOWER DECKS set to premiere next month, now is a great time for fan films to revisit the original animated Trek series from the 1970s.
For those of you young ‘uns who don’t remember the 70s or aren’t familiar with the animated Star Trek series, it ran on Saturday mornings between 1973 and 1974 and featured 22 half-hour episodes starring all of the members of the original cast except for WALTER KOENIG (there were budget limitations, although Koenig did write one of the episodes). Episodes featured return appearances by Sarek and Amanda, Cyrano Jones, Harry Mudd, Bob Wesley, and Koloth. The series actually won an Emmy for Outstanding Entertainment in a Children’s Series…the first Emmy win for any Star Trek.
As far as fandom and canon go, the animated series (TAS) is a peculiar life form. TAS was the first time we ever learned that the “T” in James T. Kirk stands for Tiberius (which became official canon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country). Details of Vulcan from the animated episode “Yesteryear” made it into fourth season episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. And many fans consider Robert April to be the first captain of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 and Dr. McCoy’s daughter’s name to be Joanna…both revealed in TAS episodes.
On the other hand, some aspects of TAS seem to defy canon—like Enterprise crew members carrying security ID cards, life support belts (never seen before or since), NCC-1701 being the first ship with warp drive, an early holodeck nearly a century before the Enterprise-D, and an Enterprise “decoy” that could be inflated to a size twice that of the starship itself AND would fool a Romulan crew! But the show was still fun, and some of the episodes were quite good (others…not so much). And for Trekkies in the 1970s who hadn’t seen new Star Trek episodes since 1969, just hearing those familiar voices again was magical.
So it was for fans like CURT DANHAUSER and KAIL TESCAR. Each of these gentleman has created their own website dedicated to the animated series. Kail created Star Trek Animated while Curt created his Guide to Animated Star Trek. Both websites have existed for decades (and look like it), and both are labors of love by their creators.
Now, one might think that the two websites would have a lot of overlap, but instead, they feature very complementary content. Take a look at the main sections of both sites (Kail’s is the first, Curt’s second)…
Kail’s has screen caps, fan artwork (including fan comics), sounds, games, and even calendars. Curt’s, on the other hand, has a ton of information about the characters, technology, timeline, and behind-the-scenes write-ups on the production itself. Both sites are veritable treasure troves! But the reason that Curt Danhauser is being featured in today’s blog is because he has just released a brand new, original animated Star Trek fan film—“The Quintain.”
Check it out…
Pretty awesome, right? This is actually Curt’s FOURTH original animated fan film. His first, the 7-minute “The Element of Surprise,” premiered back in July of 2008. A month and a half later, Curt released the first of three parts of a 30-minute fan film titled “And Let the Heavens Fall.” The other two parts debuted in April of 2009. And then, Curt’s most ambitious undertaking, the 66-minute “Ptolemy Wept” (featuring the character of Flint from TOS’s “Requiem for Methuselah”) came out in nine parts between 2011 and 2016. You can view all of Curt’s animated fan productions on this YouTube playlist.
(I should mention that Kail also helped produce a pair of original animated fan films back in 2009. Both featured the crew of the ongoing fan series STARSHIP FARRAGUT—along with the voices of Trek actors TIM RUSS and CHASE MASTERSON. You can watch the two episodes on this web page.)
Later on, Curt also produced a series of short public service announcements (PSAs) for Starfleet, “Warriors Lessons” for Klingons, and “Logic Lessons” with Mr. Spock (including this amusing one in the animated Mirror Universe). Many are really quite clever.
Curt’s latest 23-minute episode spotlights Scotty and premiered on July 9, 2020, timed to coincide with the year marking one century since actor JAMES DOOHAN was born and exactly 15 years to the month of his passing in 2005. This year also marks the 25th year since Curt Danhauser’s Guide to Animated Star Trek debuted on the Internet. (Kail Tescar’s site dates back to 1999.)
I’ve actually been wanting to interview Curt for a while now about his three previous releases. But now that he has a new fourth one, it seemed like the perfect time to have a chat about, well, as you’ll see, pretty much everything but the kitchen sink…!
15 thoughts on “New ANIMATED Star Trek fan film THE QUINTAIN spotlights SCOTTY! (audio interview with CURT DANHAUSER)”
Thanks, somehow I missed these animated Trek series’. Thank you.
You are most welcome.
Mr. Danhauser, nice to see your next animated Trek. I’m big fan of your work, maybe – sorry Jonathan – even bigger than fan of Axanar;-). (I was that dude who alarming Barb Reader and Bernd Schneider when your first episode of fan-TAS was blocked on YT.)
What about making episode from this concept?
It’s an intriguing story idea. Of course, the challenge is in doing Decker and Ilia. You could probably replace Decker with Spock, but then what happens to Xon? Also, as with Norman Spinrad’s other script, “He Waled Among Us,” it might not be allowed for a fan film to use the idea. Remember what happened with New Voyages…
Jonathan, I know that story (becausee I’m also big fan of New Voyages – we all remembers “World Enough and Time” – and works of Norman Spinrad – I think that “The Doomsday Machine” is the best Trek episode ever, and “Riding the Torch” is one of most important Sci-fi works of 20th century), but I think that it’s worth a try.
Of course decision is not mine.
Not mine, either. But it would be quite a bit of work, methinks! 🙂
And one more thing… Why not bring Decker and Xon to the TAS? (Ilia… that’s may be a problem… but we always have another Deltans – Isel from NV “The Child” for example; a fan-crossover wink wink ;).)
Xon is possible, but Decker seems a little strange as a choice. He’d likely be the first officer (having gotten the captaincy only a couple of years later). That would leave Spock as…what? Already left to do Kolinahr? It’s pretty widely accepted that Spock left Starfleet after the five-year mission when Kirk was promoted to Chief of Starfleet Operations.
My suspicion was always that Will Decker was the XO of another heavy cruiser before being given command of Enterprise.
Decker may have temporary assignment (because reasons 😉 ) like Shelby in “TBoBW” and Jellico in “Chain of Command”, or can be presented as one of these unnamed (lieutenant) commanders from Kirk’s crew:
Promotions to captain almost always go to first officers. Spock got the Enterprise after being Kirk’s XO. Riker got the USS Titan after a decade as Picard’s XO (and XO of the Hood before that). Sulu got Excelsior presumedly after serving as Spock’s XO on the Enterprise when Kirk took the promotion back to admiral before TWOK. One would assume that Decker served at least a few years as an XO before being given command of the Federation’s most famous starship.
Ok, but… XO from another ship (maybe… USS Ares) can be temporarily assigned to the Enterprise (THE Enterprise 😉 ) as mission specialist of some sort.
Perhaps. Ultimately, it’s all purely hypothetical. Curt Danhauser will do whatever he wants to do.
Indeed. It’s all to Curt Danhauser 🙂 .
Thanks for the kind words.
Hey there, Kail! Good to hear from you. Thanks for creating a great website!
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