Get Trekucated!

Presented by Chief Science Officer Dallas Reinhart
Get Trekucated
Get Trekucated
Creepin' on Burnham. Meme Saturdays @ #GetTrekucated
Get Trekucated
Get Trekucated
Today on #GetTrekucated's Vaporware: 'Star Trek: Phase II'

The granddaddy of all Star Trek vaporware... and thank the Great Bird that it was!

Star Trek Phase II was the pre-production title of what was planned to be a follow-up to the venerable Original Series.

There were initial pushes for a new series dating as early as 1975-76, but this push, first conceived in 1977, would be the first real attempt at bringing Star Trek back to television screens. It would also come in the ashes of another piece of Star Trek Vaporware, the cancelled Star Trek movie 'Planet of the Titans'.

Originally conceived by then paramount Pictures President Barry Diller as a flagship show to launch a brand new Paramount Television Service channel, the premise of the new series would be the USS Enterprise's second five-year mission.

Phase II would bring back the original series creator, Gene Roddenberry, and would bring the return of The Original Series cast, this time on a brand new, refitted USS Enterprise. Other talent included Rapth McQuarrie, production designer of Star Wars fame (wouldn't that be awesome!), and Matt Jeffries (yes, the 'Jeffries Tubes' guy, and designer of much of Star Trek's tech and look).

A pilot was planned, and it was very close to being filmed. Titled 'In Thy Image'.

But what killed the project.

I have a big surprise... it didn't die! Well, not in the way you think.

Phase II was cancelled, as plans for the new Paramount channel fell through and a lack of advertiser interest gave the studio cold feet. However, the project would not end.

It would just be turned into Star Trek: The Motion Picture!

Some of the ideas would not only be used for the motion picture, but its ideas would be preserved for posterity.

You can read all about them in the book Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series, by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens.
Get Trekucated
Get Trekucated
We here at #gettrekucated believe in doing premieres right! I missed seeing it same day due to work and my weekly Dungeons & Dragons session, but now I have my Mexican Coca-Cola, my pizza, and my CraveTV fired up. Got in my bat-jammies and Star Trek slippers. Casanova, the Get Trek beardie, takes his perch while the Get Trek kitty, Bebe, takes her seat. All and all a good evening. Late entry tonight!
Get Trekucated
Get Trekucated
Today on #GetTrekucated's Vaporware: 'Star Trek Suluprise'

Believe it or not, this is not the oldest piece of Star Trek vaporware, but it has been one of the most persistent, ever since the early '90s there's been rumors of this untried series. Some have even gone far enough to write a pilot!

It was speculated that George Takei, reprising his role as Hikaru Sulu, would be the next Captain to lead a series as he and the crew of the USS Excelsior boldly go where no one has gone before!

We first hear rumors of the Captain Sulu series shortly after the release of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Sulu, after watching the Excelsior with envy from afar ever since Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, finally got command of what was then Starfleet's most powerful vessel. From there, the idea sparked. What if Sulu got his own series? What if 'These are the Voyages of the Starship Excelsior'? Wouldn't it have been amazing!

Multiple writers, artists, and fans explored the idea through fanfics, novels, and comics. Sulu fever captured the trekkie audience!

And it all came to a head in 1996 when Commander Tuvok and Captain Janeway took a trip into Tuvok's memories of the time he served aboard the Excelsior under Captain Sulu's command. (VOY Season 3, Episode 2, 'Flashback')

Pushes for Captain Sulu would persist well into the first decade of the new millennium, even after Voyager was off the air. A pitch for the show would garner the support of some real heavy hitters, including Star Trek superfan and contributor Bjo Trimble, TOS alumni Nichelle Nichols and Grace Lee Whitney, TNG scriptwriter Susan Sackett, and of course George Takei!

So what happened?

From what I could find... Paramount wasn't having any of it!

Mostly the demands for a Sulu series fell on deaf ears, despite a veritable tidal wave of fan letters and petitions.

Which was too bad, because the interest was huge. And Takei, being spry during the '90s and 2000s (as later proved in such shows as Heroes), could have pulled it off!

But as the actors age out, it's possible a Sulu series is much more distant.

Unless John Cho, the actor playing the Kelvinverse Sulu, wants to take a crack at it!
Get Trekucated
Get Trekucated
Today on #GetTrekucated's Vaporware: 'The Tarantino Star Trek'

Our next entry is the the latest in the Star Trek Vaporware sweepstakes. Only recently announced, and hyped over the last year or so, there was division on whether or not it could happen... or if anyone wanted it. Some did. Some did not. Leave it at that.

Whatever the feeling, one had to admit it was a unique pairing of explosive potential and controversy.

Quentin Tarantino, the direct best known for such Hollywood hits as Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Django Unchained and the most recent film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, was seriously considered for a Star Trek film!

As distant as December of 2017, there were rumors the legendary Hollywood director was speaking to J.J. Abrams and Paramount Pictures about a possible Star Trek movie.

What did take the public sideways was he was doing a Star Trek film at all! The new movie was to be a rated R film. Considering Tarantino's filmography, full of violence and profanity, it'd be no surprise at all.

The fan reaction was mixed to say the least, with some believing an R Rated Tarantino movie would be against the spirit of Star Trek, while others looked forward to the director's interpretation of the venerable franchise.

(I for one think he could write JJ Abrams around in circles and does the best dialogues in Hollywood movies. Combine that with his ability to adjust and duplicate just about every genre he's tried, Star Trek shouldn't be too difficult for him to pull off.)

There was already a script in the works from Mark L. Smith of The Revenant fame, but it was on Tarantino's backburner as he focused on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Some of the concepts included time travel, another controversial point, with influences ranging from TNG's Yesterday's Enterprise to TOS's City on the Edge of Forever.

But what put a fork in this project?

After two years of being coy about the whole thing, it was recently hinted in december, by Tarantino himself, that he wasn't going to do the movie. That he was 'steering away' from the project.

The reasons range from spending more time with his family to working on other projects, such as a play, a five episode miniseries, to a sequel to the Kill Bill movies.

Whatever the reason, one can always wonder what could have been.

And I can personally apologize if he ends up making a Star Trek movie after all because despite steering away he's still being coy about it!
Get Trekucated
Get Trekucated
Today on #GetTrekucated's Vaporware: 'Star Trek: The Experience'

Not all Star Trek vaporware are failed show concepts. In the case of The Star Trek Experience, it has a few unique traits. One, it's a concept that actually got off the ground, only to be closed down later, and while it existed it was incredibly scaled down. Another, it's not a show, but a destination.

The original concept for The Star Trek Experience was... ambitious to say the least.

It was the 1990's. Las Vegas' downtown area wasn't getting the same attention as the Las Vegas strip. It was losing business and degrading fast. A Las Vegas redevelopment committee looked for outside ideas to bring attention back to the downtown core.

One such project was an exact replica of the USS Enterprise, built right in Las Vegas' downtown.

As in a 1/1 scale model.

No casino. No hotel rooms. No restaurants. Maybe a cantina, and the ability to see Las Vegas from the bridge. But otherwise it'd be a scale replica, as close to the real USS Enterprise-A as possible by earthly engineers!

And the nearby casinos were going to chip in for this megaproject as a way to attract business!

We know there isn't a scale model Enterprise in the middle of Las Vegas. So what happened?

Though there were schematics drawn for the new attraction, its construction would have proven problematic. Especially considering the placement of the saucer section and nacelle without additional supports, making it one difficult build.

Then there was the cost, which was an astronomical $150-160 million dollars! Lots of money at the time for an attraction without any casino or hotel to recuperate losses.

But the casinos could have taken the hit considering all that trekkie foots traffic going to their casinos, right?

The death blow came from Paramount themselves, who worried the gigantic construction project could end up being a white elephant. The project was axed.

The dream never died though. The Las Vegas Hilton would get The Star Trek Experience. It would feature a restaurant with bar, amusements, and displays. It would run from 1998 until 2008.

And though it's unfortunate The Star Trek Experience was closed, Star Trek in Las Vegas would live on as it hosts The Official Star Trek Las Vegas convention, one of the largest events of its kind in North America.

But can you imagine a scale model Enterprise in Las Vegas? It would have been crazy, ambitious, and amazing.

And maybe a bit of a boondoggle. But an epic one in many ways.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *