(NOTE FROM JONATHAN – I’ve decided to take a two-part break from fan films to answer the question I keep getting asked: “What do you think about the new Star Trek series that’s coming out?”)
Many Trek fans are hotly debating whether or not it was the right move to “modernize” the production design of the new STAR TREK: DISCOVERY series and put a TV-MA rating on it. I’ve read passionate posts going back and forth arguing about the new uniform styles not matching those worn by Captain Pike in “The Cage” back in 1965; how the “hairless” Klingons don’t look like the ones we’ve seen on TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise; and why after 50 years we’re only just now finding out that Spock had an adopted human sister!
In my opinion, none of that is the problem. That’s not where I think CBS has steered the wrong courae, and that’s not what I’ll be discussing in this blog. I’m actually planning to check out Discovery at some point down the line. But am I the exception or the rule?
I honestly think I’m going to be the exception, and that CBS made an unwise decision to offer their new series solely through their ALL ACCESS subscription service (at least here in the U.S.).
It’s not that Trek and sci-fi fans aren’t ready for CBS ALL ACCESS—it’s that ALL ACCESS might not quite be ready for the fans!
Things got very interesting on Sunday morning after STAR TREK CONTINUES posted this message on their Facebook page overnight:
Got CBS All Access yet? STC has been invited to join the affiliate program, so you can sign up through our website now. Sign up today!
Almost immediately, fans started conjecturing what this meant for STC. Were they suddenly being accepted by CBS? Would they now be allowed to complete their cancelled 12th and 13th episodes? Were they getting a kickback from CBS? Would STC be shown on All Access?
The answers to all of these questions appear to be “no.” Apparently, STC was simply contacted by a division of CBS (likely CBS Interactive or else someone in marketing) and offered the option of becoming a CBS All Access Affiliate, promoting subscriptions to the network’s streaming service through online banners on their startrekcontinues.com website. (Note to CBS Interactive: the hyperlinks aren’t working from Mac browsers.)
It’s unclear whether or not STC will be receiving a commission for any fans who sign up for CBS All Access. STC posted on their Facebook pages that they are not being compensated. However, I just signed up Fan Film Factor for the same program and was required to agree to terms that included the following (which I screen capped)…
Bryan Fuller, showrunner for the new CBS All Access TV series Star Trek: Discovery (or DSC, for short), just announced the time-frame for the highly-anticipated new series. It’s already been reported that DSC will take place in the prime universe (not the Kelvin timeline), but now we know when:
TEN YEARS before the original series!
Fans of the Axanar project nearly had a collective heart attack (including yours truly), until we realized that this time period is actually ten years AFTER the Four Years War depicted in the 20-minute 2014 fan film Prelude to Axanar.
By now, you’ve likely heard that CBS and Paramount have finally, after decades of silence, released a series of guidelines for Star Trek fan films to follow and not get sued. Unfortunately, the guidelines were written by a group of over-caffeinated lawyers and licensing employees with little to no understanding of the concept of Star Trek fandom. In short, these rules would essentially obliterate nearly all past and current Star Trek fan films and series.
From their announcement on StarTrek.com, CBS seems almost proud of themselves, feeling that they’ve done fandom some kind of favor. And even though nearly 200 (as I write this) comments have been posted with about 90% highly negative reactions, I doubt that CBS or Paramount will see the devastating reality of what they’ve done…