STAR TREK CONTINUES releases their 10TH EPISODE: “To Boldly Go, Part 1”!

Ten down, just one more to go!

Back in 2013, STAR TREK CONTINUES came in like a lion with a sequel to the TOS episode “Who Mourns for Adonais” that featured Michael Forest reprising his role as Apollo.

Now, as 2017 comes to an end, so does the 5-year mission of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 as Star Trek Continues goes out with a bang!  Their series finale “To Boldly Go” is making its debut to the public today with the first of two parts.  The conclusion will debut in 11 days at a live screening at L.A. Comic Con, and then the final episode of STC will be released onto the Internet for the general public on November 13.

Both parts were written by noted Canadian sci-fi author ROBERT J. SAWYER (his first-ever work for STC).  He is one of eight authors in history to win all three of the science-fiction field’s highest honors for best novel of the year: the Hugo Award (which he won for Hominids), the Nebula Award (which he won for The Terminal Experiment); and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (which he won for Mindscan).  Sawyer is a huge Star Trek fan, which you’ll be able to tell almost immediately when you watch the episode.

NICOLA BRYANT with the 6th Doctor, COLIN BAKER, in 1986…and today in the penultimate episode of STC.

I don’t want to give away any plot spoilers, so with the exception of gushing about a top-level performance by guest star NICOLA BRYANT (companion “Peri Brown” to the 5th and 6th Doctors on Doctor Who), I’ll simply tell you to note how awesome the music sounds.  A full orchestra made up of more than 40 student musicians from New York’s Empire Film Music Ensemble in Rochester, as well as several professional instrumentalists, recorded the brilliant compositions of Andy Farber.

While Star Trek: Discovery darkly reminds us that it is now 2017, this penultimate episode of STC is a like a warm, comfortable blanket wrapping us up once again in the TV magic of the 1960s (or if you weren’t there in the 60’s, then the 70’s or whenever you first discovered TOS).

Perhaps more than any other episode of STC, “To Boldly Go” will remind you of everything that Star Trek was, is, and can be when there is love and dedication…something the STC team has shared with us fans during the course of their own five-year mission.

And now, please enjoy the first half of this most wonderful gift to Star Trek fandom…

Major FAIR USE RULING in a separate DR. SEUSS copyright infringement case!

Even though the primary focus of this blog-site is fan films, the AXANAR infringement lawsuit brought up a lot of interest in the concept of FAIR USE… especially when it comes to unauthorized creation of content based on Star Trek‘s intellectual property.

One such intriguing fair use claim is currently in play in a controversial infringement lawsuit involving Star Trek tribble creator DAVID GERROLD (who used to be the show-runner for Star Trek: New Voyages, so there’s your fan film “connection”).  Gerrold and comic book artist TY TEMPLETON raised $30,000 in a Kickstarter to create a “mash-up” of DR. SEUSS and STAR TREK called Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly GO!  For more background on this case currently making its way through the Ninth Circuit Federal Court in Los Angeles, read this blog first.

Now, before you get too excited, no, it’s not the “mash-up” lawsuit that just had a major ruling.  However, that case will very likely be affected by another ruling that came down from a Federal District Court judge in New York City last month.

In fact, this ruling out of New York could potentially stop the Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly GO! lawsuit dead in its tracks.

Let’s take a look at what just happened…

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HOORAY! The TREKCETERA Star Trek Museum is SAVED!

What a difference two days and a 150 generous Trekkers can make!

As I told you all on Monday, the TREKCETERA Star Trek Museum near Calgary, Alberta in Canada was in danger of disappearing forever.  Owners Devan J. Daniels and Michael Carl Mangold needed $10,000 in order to restructure a loan that was taken out to fund their move from the small town of Vulcan to more-touristy town of Drumheller.  The relocation is already resulting in triple the foot traffic, but the loan payments were still too high for even the revenue from increased admissions to cover it.

Reece Watkins heard about their troubles late last week and quickly put together a GoFundMe crowd-sourcing campaign.  Over the weekend, Reece worked feverishly to mobilize fans—including myself and Alec Peters—to help spread the word far and wide to as many Trekkers.  The money was needed this week, so the campaign couldn’t afford a “slow” ramp up.  In fact, the deadline was just 24 hours!

Well, guess what?  They made it!  And here’s what happened…

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PLEASE HELP! STAR TREK MUSEUM needs $10,000 from fans in 24 hours!

Attention!  All hands in deck!

Some of you may have heard of the TREKCETERA Star Trek Museum that had been located in the small town of Vulcan, Alberta, Canada.  The museum was fully licensed by CBS with displays that included props, costumes, and set pieces used in various Star Trek movies and TV series.

BUT WITHOUT YOUR HELP TODAY, THE MUSEUM IS IN DANGER OF DISAPPEARING FOREVER!

From 2013-2016, the museum did modest business in the town of Vulcan.  But last year, the owners, Devan J. Daniels and Michael Carl Mangold (both huge Trekkers who had sunk their life savings into this museum) made the difficult decision to move out of the perfectly-named town of Vulcan (about 90 minutes from Calgary) to the not-so perfectly-named town of Drumheller, Alberta (about the same distance away from Calgary).

Why the move?

Unfortunately, the perfectly-named Vulcan is off the beaten track and didn’t bring in a lot of foot traffic.  Drumheller, on the other hand, is located in “Dinosaur Valley” and gets a half million visitors a year to see dinosaur fossils in the nearby badlands, a huge dinosaur museum, and even the world’s tallest dinosaur statue.  And if you’ve got kids who love dinosaurs, maybe they love sci-fi, too…?

Relocating was a smart move.  In just five months after reopening in Drumheller, the TREKCETERA Star Trek Museum made TRIPLE  that they had made in ALL of 2016 in Vulcan.

Devan J. Daniels and Michael Carl Mangold put their heart, soul, and life savings into the TREKCETERA Star Trek Musuem.

But moving wasn’t cheap, and it required Devan and Michael to take out a large loan to help fund the move to the new location and the construction costs of converting the new building to hold their Trek exhibits.

While business is growing and the debt is being repaid, the burden is high, and the owners are looking at a default this week.  However, they do have ONE LIFELINE…and YOU CAN HELP!

Their lender has agreed to restructure their entire debt to a lower interest rate and payment schedule if—IF!!!—they can raise $10,000 by tomorrow!

Friends of Devan and Michael have stepped forward this past weekend to set up a last-minute GO FUND ME campaign to help them save their museum.  And even though GO FUND ME won’t release the funds immediately, a local bank has agreed to cover the payment until the money hits their account.

THIS IS A ONE-DAY CROWD-FUNDING EMERGENCY, FOLKS!

If you wait until Wednesday or Friday, it’ll be too late for the museum.  It has to be today…even if all you can afford is $10 or even $1 (I gave $50, someone else gave $500).  And if you can’t afford anything, then please, PLEASE pass the following link around to anyone and everyone you know:

https://www.gofundme.com/save-the-trekcetera-museum

If we don’t help, this wonderful Star Trek museum and all of its exhibits could be lost forever!

I thank you all in advance for any help you can give.

Great news for STAR TREK: DISCOVERY…or is it? (news and editorial, part 2)

Rather than writing a review of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY (that’s coming tomorrow), I decided to take a look at the bigger picture.  Were the record sign-ups right after the premiere really “big news” or simply the inevitable result of hundreds of millions of dollars in production and advertising/marketing budgets?  Also, what does it tell us that CBS remains so reluctant to provide hard numbers about how many people actually subscribed last night?

As I said in yesterday’s blog, my goal here is NOT to try to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory for CBS.  I’m actually very happy that Star Trek: Discovery did so well in both ratings and sign-ups.  This means that the worst-case scenario—CBS simply assumes that Star Trek has run its course and is no longer a viable sci-fi franchise—has been avoided.  Nearly 10 million people watched the free network TV premiere on Sunday night.  So anyone accusing me of sour grapes is wrong.  Wet blanket, yes.  Sour grapes, no.

My desire, to be honest, is to simply take a wider look at this new series…beyond just Sunday night or this one week.  Now that the horse is fast out of the starting gate, what are the challenges facing Star Trek: Discovery in terms of keeping and growing its viewership?  Obviously, CBS is in a unique situation due to its decision to require viewers to pay to see episodes of the new series.  How does that affect their goal of attracting and keeping viewers?

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Great news for STAR TREK: DISCOVERY…or is it? (news and editorial, part 1)

The news seems to be REALLY great for the premiere of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY.  According to a press release quickly and enthusiastically circulated by an exuberant CBS, the premiere of the newest Star Trek TV series has resulted in record-breaking sign-ups for the ALL ACCESS streaming service:

Tonight’s premiere of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY on CBS All Access, the CBS Television Network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service, broke a new record for subscriber sign-ups in a single day, eclipsing the previous record held by the 2017 GRAMMY Awards®.

In addition to its single day subscriber sign-up record, CBS All Access experienced its best week and month ever for sign-ups due to the launch of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, the fall kick-off of the NFL ON CBS on the service’s live local feeds and the season finale of BIG BROTHER and the BIG BROTHER LIVE FEEDS.

Also, the free premiere on the regular CBS network was watched by 9.6 million people.

But before people start gulping down too much champagne (although there is certainly reason for celebration), I’d like to mention a few things that CBS and fans should be noting.

Now, I realize this blog is going to sound like a wet blanket, but please make no mistake: I am ABSOLUTELY, SINCERELY HAPPY that so many people liked the new show!  (I personally wasn’t thrilled with it, although I do plan to watch more episodes eventually.)

But I’m also a business strategist trained to look at multiple aspects of a situation.  As I did in my previous blog about Star Trek: Discovery, I want to take a look at the whole picture…which is, of course, impacted significantly by CBS’s decision to offer their new Star Trek series exclusively as a paid streaming video-on-demand service.

So yes, the news is definitely good for CBS.  But it might be a little too soon to consider the game won…

Continue reading “Great news for STAR TREK: DISCOVERY…or is it? (news and editorial, part 1)”

VANCE MAJOR releases SEVEN TREK FAN FILMS in SEVEN DAYS!

Last month, in an interview with fan film maker VANCE MAJOR, I called him the “Where’s Waldo of Star Trek fan films.”  The interview included a list of over a dozen different Trek fan films that Vance had written, directed, produced, appeared in, and/or worked on.

But now, after releasing ANOTHER seven (yes, SEVEN!) Trek fan films—one per day!—in just seven days, I think I need to rechristen Vance the “Oompa Loompa of Star Trek fan films”…perhaps even Willy Wonka himself!

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THE FEDERATION FILES releases “Walking Bear, Running Wolf”! (interview with DAN REYNOLDS)

Last year, show-runner GLEN L. WOLFE released “His Name Is Mudd,” the first fan film in a new anthology series called THE FEDERATION FILES.  Now Glen and his producer DAN REYNOLDS have released the second production in the anthology series, “Walking Bear, Running Wolf.”

Glen has actually worked in myriad capacities on more than a dozen different fan films (take a look at his IMdB page for a complete list) from actor to producer to set decorator, cameraman, even electrical operator.  But The Federation Files was Glen’s first chance to really take charge, writing and directing both episodes of the new anthology series.

Utilizing the sets of Starbase Studios, previously in Oklahoma City and now in Arkansas (some of which Glen himself helped build), the two episodes of The Federation Files focus on original series-era stories, the first featuring the USS Constitution and a certain interplanetary con-man, and the second featuring the crew of the USS Enterprise.

The character of Dawson Walking Bear was first introduced in the next-to-last animated Star Trek episode “How Sharper Than A Serpent’s Tooth.”  The script called for a Native American crewman who would be the only one to recognize the ancient Aztec/Mayan god Kukulkan.  That was Walking Bear’s only appearance on film until Star Trek: New Voyages featured him in their short vignette “Going Boldly” and then in the full-length “Mind-Sifter.”  New Voyages would also feature another animated crewman, Lt. Arex, briefly in the same “Going Boldly” vignette…

Walking Bear (top) and Arex shown in both their live-action STAR TREK: NEW VOYAGES appearances and also as they first looked in the animated series.

New Voyages wasn’t the only live-action fan series to feature a character from the animated series.  Project: Potemkin showed Carter Winston (from “The Survivor”) in his human form in their episode “Beach Towel” and in his alien Vendorian form in their following episode “Shovel of Kahless” …

PROJECT: POTEMKIN featured the shape-changing Vendorian Carter Winston in two episodes.

But up until now, no fan film had ever tackled the Caitian feline communications officer Lt. M’Ress, until The Federation Files released “Walking Bear, Running Wolf.”  And not only did M’Ress appear, she actually had a fairly decent bit of screen time…

Lt. M’Ress with her paws on the controls of communications…

I reached out to “Walking Bear, Running Wolf” producer DAN REYNOLDS to ask him some questions about this ambitious fan production.

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JONATHAN LANE appears as a guest on the SHANE PLAYS RADIO SHOW!

A week and a half ago, I taped an episode of the SHANE PLAYS GEEK TALK RADIO SHOW.  Shane talks to guests about all things geek, from sci-fi to fantasy to horror, movies, television, comic books, video and role-playing games, you name it!  It’s an actual hour-long radio show (like, you can listen to it in your car if you’re driving through parts of Arkansas) and also posted as a podcast.

Usually, it’s a live show, and I’m not always available to be a phone-in guest on the Saturday mornings when it’s broadcast, but this particular show had to be recorded so Shane could fulfill a family commitment.  And that allowed me to appear, as Shane has been wanting to focus on the world of Star Trek fan films.

The show was just posted online, with me discussing Star Trek Continues, the new Star Trek Film Academy, Axanar, Renegades, Potemkin Pictures, Pacific 201, the newly renamed Fan Film Forum Facebook group, and a host of other fan film related news and topics.

If you’re curious to know what I sound like, or if I can hold my own in a live recorded interview, here’s your chance to find out (and yes, I noticed the typo on the YouTube still image–don’t tell Shane!)…

AXANAR update…the news is actually GOOD!

Every so often, just for a shats and giggles, I head over the the Axamonitor blog site to see the latest “news” CARLOS PEDRAZA has to “report.”  It’s funny because, while some people like to see the AXANAR glass as half-full (if not more so), Carlos does his best to convince folks that the Axanar glass is 99% empty.  I noticed, in one of his latest updates, that Carlos included such catastrophic sub-headlines as…

  • Axanar Could ‘Take Years’
  • Failed California Studio
  • Indiegogo Failure
  • Hemorrhaging Money
  • Abandoning Nonprofit Plans
  • Bait and Switch?
  • No More Axanar

And that’s just ONE blog update, folks!!!

Sheesh, with “news” like that, it’s hard to imagine any reason to smile in the land of Axanar fandom.  So why am I and so many others still smiling?

Despite naming his blog site “Axamonitor,” Carlos seems to be very—what’s the word?—selective in what he actually “monitors” and chooses to include.  So if there are any positive things to say or good news or report about Axanar, you’re unlikely to find it there.

Fortunately, there’s other places on the Internet to get the rest of the story…including here.  And so that’s the subject of today’s blog: all the GOOD news that’s happening right now in the world of Axanar….

Continue reading “AXANAR update…the news is actually GOOD!”