Source: The Washington Post
Author: Frank Ahrens
Submitted by: Nina
Much as been written about Trekkers (please, not Trekkies). Now, technology has allowed “Star Trek” fans to take their devotion way beyond annual conventions and Klingon language school.
On two websites – New Voyages and Starship Exeter – fans have created hourlong episodes of “Star Trek.”
“New Voyages,” the better of the two, has produced two episodes. It’s a novel idea: What if the original “Trek” had a fourth season? And what if the roles of Kirk, Spock and others were played by, well, your buddies?
In this case, Kirk is James Cawley, whose day job is as an Elvis impersonator. The third episode, which begins shooting in September, will star Walter Koenig, who reprises his role of Pavel Chekov from the original series.
“New Voyages” posted its first episode in January 2004. It racked up 6 million downloads. The second episode in October has 22 million downloads.
UPN is closing down “Star Trek: Enterprise” on Friday, but interest in “New Voyages” suggests there remains a reliable audience. Currently, Paramount allows “New Voyages” to exist as long as it makes no money. Smart studio executives might envision a partnership.
Cawley’s group hopes for a licensing deal. “It blows my mind that if we charged even a dollar a download, that would be $22 million,” he said. “I’d be happy to give Paramount three-quarters of that.”