Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Web film review "Star Trek: Of Gods and Men

Back in the 70s, Star Trek fan fiction was spread around by mimeograph sheets (ask your grandparents). Now, the fans make $100,000 semi-pro movies with actual cast members, all funded by internet donations. It's crazy! And often very good.

I inadvertently stumbled upon the fan film "Gods and Men," and after a clunky beginning, it got better. It's an alternate timeline story, the type of which we've seen before, and it has the dream mash-up of (spoiler) Charlie X and Gary Mitchell beating each other up! A fan's dream come true. It also features the destruction of Vulcan two years before the rebooted Star Trek film did it.

Trek veterans Walter Keonig, Nichelle Nichols, Garrett Wang, Alan Ruck, Grace Lee Whitney, Tim Russ (and a few red shirt-types) all reprise their roles. Charlie X and Gary Mitchell are played by character actors who both do exceptional jobs.

In the alternate timeline, Chekov is leading rebels in a takeover of the Enterprise now led by an evil Starfleet. It's Mirror Mirror, mixed with Space Seed, Wrath of Khan, and a bunch of other episodes. At the end there's a colossal spaceship battle which is awfully cool. Definitely a fan fantasy.

The drawbacks: The aforementioned clunky beginning. Clunky dialogue, clunky acting, clunky setup. (stick with it though). We need a 20 year moratorium on time travel, and the phrase "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." Both have been way overused. (That being said, it was good to see the Time Guardian again). Also a major character has an unexplained change of heart which shifts everything.

I thought Charlie X had been retconned to be a member of the Q continuity. No difference, but Roddenberry did have a frequent reliance on god-like omnipotent characters.

The web pages of the creators say they're trying to make a pilot, I say CBS should pick it up, and make Alan Ruck the captain.

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