On Saturday, February 16th, Executive Producer James Cawley announced to fans during an appearance at the 2008 Farpoint Science Fiction Media Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, that Star Trek: New Voyages would shed the “New Voyages” moniker and become Star Trek: Phase II. Cawley assured fans that the change would be more than just the name, promising that the production will have access to new people, new materials, and a new direction, but will remain focused on his original vision for the show.
“Make no mistake about it, this is a new beginning for our production. This will be the next step in our effort to provide the quality show fans have come to expect, with commitment and dedication to keeping the original series look and feel that fans have come to enjoy,” said Cawley, “As before, we will strive to involve familiar faces from Star Trek’s 40-year legacy in our episodes, as well as actors from other classic SciFi shows when we can. You will see the changes taking place over the next few weeks, but you will really appreciate the changes when we release our future episodes.”
This change naturally generates questions and we have chosen a few that immediately come to mind and tried to answer them for fans.
Q. Why are you changing the name of Star Trek New Voyages?
A. New Voyages began as a fan film project, as a bunch of friends who love Star Trek working together to prove there was still plenty of creative life in Gene Roddenberry's original vision of Star Trek. With our recent Online Video Award from TV Guide for Best SciFi Webisodes, we think we've proven that. We're ready now to move to a higher level -- Phase II, Gene's proposed title for a second Trek series that would've aired in the 1970s.
Q. Why make this name change now?
A. The almost universally positive reviews of our latest episode, "World Enough and Time," combined with our next episode, David Gerrold's "Blood and Fire" convinced us that this was the time to re-brand ourselves, to demonstrate our commitment to keep raising the bar for our stories and our production values. What better way than to literally move to our next phase, and to continue to honor Gene Roddenberry's vision.
Q. What about your original mission to continue the original voyages of the Enterprise, Captain Kirk's five-year mission?
A. Our series will continue to tell the stories of the final two years of the Enterprise's five-year mission under Captain James T. Kirk. What we want to depict, though, is the transition between what we saw in the first three seasons of the original TV series and the look and feel that we saw in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Q. What changes will we see? How will "Phase II" be different from "New Voyages"?
A. Some changes will be immediate, like our new cast members. Our next episode, Part 1 of David Gerrold's "Blood and Fire" will introduce our new Mr. Spock (Ben Tolpin) and Lt. Uhura (Kim Stinger), and bring a new character to our regular cast, Ensign Perter Kirk (Bobby Rice), Captain Kirk’s nephew. Upcoming episodes will feature our new Sulu (J.T. Tepnapa) and Chekov (Jonathan Zungre). Other changes will be more subtle, as we introduce new technology and story elements. Phase II will also feature our first spin-off series, "Star Trek: First Voyages," whose pilot episode will be shot this summer and be released originally as an episode of Phase II.