Koenig, Cawley Talk 'New Voyages' Surprises

By Michelle
December 7, 2005 - 10:31 PM

Captain Kirk is an Elvis impersonator, Mr. Spock works in a Virginia video game store and Dr. McCoy is a urologist from Oregon, but they are producing the original series fourth season that never was as part of Star Trek: New Voyages.

Wired Magazine has published a long features on the fan series, which films in New York. Director Jack Marshall, who is famous on the internet for the "Phantom Edit" of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, and producer James Cawley, who plays Kirk in New Voyages, co-created the series after Marshall discovered that Cawley had been assembling his own USS Enterprise bridge in his grandfather's barn.

"Marshall brought promotional skill and a crew of aspiring actors from a previous independent film project," wrote Wired's Chris Suellentrop. "Cawley provided funding, costumes, and the bridge." The two have finished shooting the third episode of the series, "To Serve All My Days", which will be available for download early next year. This episode features a script by original series writer D.C. Fontana, makeup by former professional Star Trek staffer Kevin Haney and a performance by Walter Koenig as Chekov.

"This was the episode I never got to play and never would get to play," Koenig said. "I've never had the opportunity to do something that required more than reading off Warp Factor numbers on the navigation console." In the New Voyages episode, an accident causes Chekov to age rapidly, allowing the 69-year-old Koenig to play the role. "I don't mean to be morbid, but I did have a quadruple bypass 13 years ago," added the actor. "This might be a really good wrap for my career."

"The fact that Trek pros are taking part in this fan project is something new in the world of filmmaking, the cinematic equivalent of semi-pro ball," noted Suellentrop. "Paramount permits Trek-related fan projects, as long as the creators don't profit from them...the fans in the cast and crew not only work gratis but also make cash donations to keep the project afloat. Cawley has sunk more than $100,000 into the bridge set."

Max Rem, a friend of Cawley's who uses a pseudonym, worked on Star Trek for more than a decade and produced special effects that would have cost more than $1 million if he had billed New Voyages. "All I ever really wanted back was the original," he explained, stating that he was one of the fans who wrote to NBC to try to save the original series when it was cancelled. Staffers on Star Trek: Enterprise who worked with Rem were aware of his involvement with the fan series but "basically said they would look the other way...I lucked out. I thought I would get fired." Enterprise later borrowed a prop from Cawley for the episode "In a Mirror, Darkly", which featured the bridge of an original series starship.

The full article, which contains spoilers for "To Serve All My Days", is at Wired.

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