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CBS Steps In to Halt ‘Star Trek’ Web Production

Mar 29, 2012  •  Post A Comment

A planned Web production of a never-filmed "Star Trek" script, with unknown actors playing Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, has been halted by CBS, reports The New York Times.

"Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II" had acquired a forgotten script by Norman Spinrad, the writer who penned the classic "Trek" episode "The Doomsday Machine." He wrote the overlooked script, "He Walked Among Us," in 1967 for the original NBC series, and received $5,000 for it, but even after rewrites, the script was scrapped.

For 27 years, the script lay dormant in the archives of California State University, Fullerton. In October 2011, after a fan asked him to autograph a copy of the script, Spinrad began selling it online. "Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II" found it and struck a deal with Spinrad to film it for the Web with the writer directing it himself.

CBS heard about it and intervened with a cease and desist order. The company said in a statement, “We fully appreciate and respect the passion and creativity of the ‘Star Trek’ fan and creative communities. This is simply a case of protecting our copyrighted material and the situation has been amicably resolved.”

One question lingers, however: Why did CBS stop this production and not any others. David Gerrold, who wrote "The Trouble with Tribbles" for the original series, has had his 1987 "Next Generation" script "Blood and Fire" reworked for "Phase II" after the TV show decided not to use his script.

Gerrold told The Times, “I don’t understand CBS’s thinking on this at all. They didn’t care then. Why do they care now?” Gerrold also expressed the feeling that CBS had foolishly antagonized the Trekkers. “‘Star Trek’ fans are not a sleeping dragon that you want to poke,” he said.

2 Comments

  1. CBS / Paramount missed the boat on going after these guys a long time ago. This “Phase II” series has been going on for years and has featured actors from the original series and writers like Gerrold & Spinrad. They even brought in D.C. Fontanna to help with the writing when it was pointed out that they were a little too ‘fanboy’ and not enough ‘Trek’. CBS is just annoyed that these “unknowns” are quite possibly producing better “Star Trek” than they are.
    Gerrold is also right in saying that you don’t want to poke the sleeping dragon that is Trek fandom. They’ve united more than once to give some people in Hollywood some very bad days.

  2. CBS (Curmudgeons Being Stupid) is hoarding all it can while broadcasting makes like the titanic.

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