As many will know two weeks ago saw the premier of the second episode of the Internet Star Trek series ‘Of Gods And Men‘. SciFi Pulse recently caught up with long standing friend and one of the shows regular writers Jack Trevino who updated us about ‘Of Gods And Men’ as well as Phase II and some of his other writing projects. Below is a transcript of my latest talk with Jack.
SciFi Pulse:Jack when we last talked you were still heavily involved with new Voyages and you had just been asked along with your writing partner Ethan Calk to work on Star Of Trek Gods And Men. Could you tell us how you landed the job of writing for it?
Jack Trevino:Sky Conway had contacted Jack Marshall and James Cawley about using the fantastic sets of Star Trek: Phase II (formerly New Voyages). Jack recommended us to Sky and we began writing an outline. The original storyline was abandoned and I asked Sky to give Ethan and myself another shot at developing a new story. After a couple of months, we agreed on a new concept that would fit in with the original storyline that Sky and Tim had developed.
SciFi Pulse: What can you tell us about the plot? Is it set in a sort of mirror universe because well from what we have seen in the trailer Chekov doesn’t quite look like the Chekov we all got to know and love in the original Star Trek series.
Jack Trevino:It is not a mirror universe story, although I can see why many felt that it was. It is also not a parallel universe story. After Charlie Evans does something, all time changes, making the universe different and our characters thus become different people. It is not a universe that our heroes can escape from – it is the universe as it is. Just as we are trapped in this, our own timeline, so are our heroes. Charlie’s actions make the universe a tragic one in which many suffer. The question I wanted people to get from it is, “If the world is messed up, what can I do to fix it?” Our heroes find out that the answer to that question can only come from within “We” are the only ones that can answer the call to make things better.
SciFi Pulse: Your writing over the years has given you a somewhat unique perspective and you have gotten to meet and work with quite a few people from the Star Trek Universe. And Gods and Men saw you on the set working with Tim Russ and a fair few other big names from Star Trek. What was it like to work with them all and are their any humorous stories, which you’d be willing to share from your experiences on the set.
Jack Trevino: Well, as they say, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” so some things cannot be discussed. I will say that a heat wave hit upper New York the week we were filming and the temperature inside the sets rose to as high as 120°F. One can only imagine what those conditions will do to the Human body. We quickly discovered that filming late in the evening would be the best way to combat the heat. One time, Tim was about to get a shot in and the train roared by (the tracks were directly behind the building). The train passed and everything was set, he called for action and the train blew its horn. He waited again until silence. He called for action again and the train blew its horn one more time. Finally, it was gone. Tim called for action and a big rig blew past the front of the building and you guessed it – he blew his horn. Everyone exploded into laughter. The New Voyages people were a terrific help – we could never have made the film without James and his exceptional group of volunteers.
SciFi Pulse:Is Gods and Men about the redemption of Captain Harriman?
Jack Trevino:Partially, I always felt the character of Captain Harriman was never given the opportunity to show that he was not responsible for Kirk’s death. I thought that if the fans looked upon his character that way, so would the other Trek characters. Therefore, he should have been given the chance to prove he was Star Fleet material. Our story would elevate his character to hero status – something that Alan Ruck also felt was right for the character. I hope OGaM gives him a new audience and a new fan base.
SciFi Pulse: Obviously you are fan of Star Trek and have been for many years prior to your working on your DS9 Stories and of course New Voyages and now this project. That said have you ever read any of the Star Trek Novels. In particular the Lost Era novels, and if so do you have a favourite?
Jack Trevino:Unfortunately, I just don’t have time to read like I should. I try to keep abreast of the synopses as much as possible and respect the wonderful work done by the novel writers – they’re obviously great Trek fans themselves.
SciFi Pulse: Given that both are notably absent from Gods & Men. Will there be any references to the characters of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Sulu?
Jack Trevino:We do make mention of the characters and one of them in particular, plays a key part in the events of the film.
SciFi Pulse: Are there any similarities of Gods and Men and Star Trek XI?
Jack Trevino: Since JJ Abrams’ script is top secret, there are only rumours to what the story is. If there are any actual similarities, then we will be honoured.
SciFi Pulse: What are your thoughts about some of the rumoured story lines for Star Trek XI?
Jack Trevino:I have always wanted to see how Kirk and Spock came to be friends and as to how Kirk decided on whom he wanted on his ship. I always theorized on the types of scenarios that might have occurred in which these characters interacted with one another and how those interactions served as the basis for Kirk’s decision to bring them on board.
SciFi Pulse:Do you think projects like New Voyages may well have influenced J.J. Abrams decision to actually reboot Star Trek by going back to a time before the original 5 year Voyage? Because when we last spoke I heard some rumours that Paramount had actually paid the set of New Voyages a visit?
Jack Trevino:I’m fairly certain Paramount was attuned to New Voyages and what they were accomplishing with their fan film series. I’m not in a position though, to comment on whether or not it served as the basis for JJ to do a reboot. That’ll be an interview for him to comment on.
SciFi Pulse: While on the subject of New Voyages can you give us any updates as to when your story will actually make it onto the screen? Perhaps offer a few very minor spoilers?
Jack Trevino:It’s still in the pile of backup scripts. Ethan and I hope it makes its way to production status and look forward to seeing it actually filmed. I think the effects might have been a little too ambitious, but with every production, Star Trek: Phase II gets better and better with their effects. They now have Darren Doughterman on board and his work is top notch. Look for his work in the director’s edition of ST:MP -great effects which make the film that much more enjoyable.
You can find out more about ‘Of Gods And Men’ here at their website.