Takei Has 'World Enough and Time' For Fan FilmsBy Michelle
November 15, 2006 - 10:37 PM
George Takei called web-based series like Star Trek: New Voyages, in which he reprises his role as Sulu, "the future" of the original series and said, "Making these new shows is a pure hobby, a work of sacrifice for everybody."
In a new article in L.A.'s Daily News, Takei and executive producer James Cawley discussed "World Enough and Time", the Sulu episode scheduled to debut on the internet in March. In that installment, Sulu find himself stranded on an alien world, where he ages and fathers a daughter.
Cawley, who plays Captain Kirk in New Voyages, called the series "a dream come true", saying, "I discovered the show as a kid, and it stayed with me all these years. I wanted to be part of 'Star Trek' my whole life."
It costs about $70,000 to produce each episode, which can be downloaded for free at the New Voyages web site. The series takes place in the fourth year of the Enterprise's original five-year mission. Walter Koenig (Chekov) and Grace Lee Whitney (Rand) have also taken part in the fan-produced series.
"There's this misconception that 'Star Trek' fans are green-bodied creatures with antennae coming out of their heads. No!" insisted Takei. "They are people like [Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist] Paul Allen and Sen. Patrick Leahy, whose passion is 'Star Trek' and their dream is to be Captain Kirk on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise."
CBS, which currently owns the rights to the franchise that premiered on NBC in the 1960s, has said that the fan productions may continue so long as the episodes are not sold for profit. A producer at Gigapix Studios, where the episodes film, worked without pay for nearly two months on the upcoming episode. "The script is so good...Sulu used to be a bit player in the original series, but here he has the lead," said Don Baldaramos. "We get to see his character and personality, plus he shows a paternal side."
Marc Zicree, who co-wrote and is directing "World Enough and Time", said that the secret to Star Trek's ongoing success is its optimism. "It reassures us that al-Qaida isn't going to kill us, that we're going to get beyond this. Plus, there are so many parallels to what's happening today that even the earliest episodes are still relevant. People want to know there's going to be a better tomorrow."
The original article is here.