'New Voyages' Producer Describes His Trek RootsBy Michelle
May 22, 2005 - 10:30 PM
Filmmaker Jack Marshall hadn't seen Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith yet at the start of this weekend, but he hasn't ruled out plans to contribute to it, just as he has expanded on Gene Roddenberry's universe by creating his own episodes in Star Trek: New Voyages.
Marshall told his local CBS station, WUSA-TV, that Roddenberry himself had invited him to stay backstage at a convention when he was a child and sparked his interest in TV production. Now he is working with the Star Trek creator's son, Eugene Rodenberry Jr., who is a consulting producer on his fourth- and fifth-year episodes of the original mission.
"Thatís one of the reasons I went into TV production. When I was that I age, I figured out the stuff I watched wasnít real and I wanted to know how they did it," said Marshall, who worked for the Discovery Channel before going to work full-time on his filmmaking ambitions. His production company, Cow Creek Films, has produced two hour-long Star Trek episodes and is working on the third and fourth. The third episode, which is scheduled to be produced in September, will feature Walter Koenig in his original role as Chekov.
The episode features Koenig, who appears to be considerably older than the young actors now playing Kirk, Spock and McCoy in New Voyages, facing premature aging. "Sci-fi allows us to look at issues close to our hearts," noted Marshall. "It allows us to distance ourselves in order to deal with issues."
The episode was written by professional Star Trek writer D.C. Fontana, and Marshall counts among the crew many industry veterans including others who have worked on Star Trek series. "We're fans, but we're professional fans," he said. "My wife considers this as similar to putting me through college...I get my two or three years to make this happen and then I go back to working for Discovery or something."
Marshall became famous on the internet for a revised cut of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, which he created because he found George Lucas' version to be such a disappointment. He also recut the oft-reviled Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. "I just edited it down, cut it like a TV show instead and everybody loved it," he said.
The original interview is at WUSA/a>.