The Many Ways to Bring Back KIRK PRIME




In 1994 Star Trek Generations was released, and Captain Kirk was dead. Stone dead. Bereft of life, he ceased to be. He was singing ‘The Tambourine Man’ to the choir invisible.

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Many were not happy, it was a meaningless death for a legendary screen character who had been around for nearly 30 years. William Shatner himself followed the movie up with a series of EIGHT books set in the 24th Century, co-written by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens. In them, Kirk was revived by a Romulan-Borg Alliance to kill Picard; returned to the Mirror Universe; went on vacation to Bajor with Captain Picard (yes, really); then finally got back to captaining a Starship with Spock, McCoy & Scotty by his side.


Around 2004-05, when Enterprise was prepping for its fourth and final season, there were rumours that William Shatner would be appearing. Judiith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens pitched a story in which Shatner would appear as Mirror Kirk:

“The idea was that the Tantalus field was not a disintegrator, it was a humane way of dealing with prisoners, by sending them back in time to a sealed penal colony. Enterprise (NX-01) comes upon the colony – and Tiberius [mirror-Kirk] is there. Tiberius thinks, ‘Finally, a ship with a transporter – I can get back to my own universe, my own time.’ He basically goes on the NX-01, gets to the transporter, sets it to go back to the mirror universe – the mirror universe doesn’t exist.” “It hasn’t been created yet,” Judith Reeves-Stevens added. Garfield continued, “So Tiberius and Archer work together to figure out where the division point is between the universes, what point that one split off into the other. And as it turns out, Tiberius and Archer together are responsible for the creation of the mirror universe.”

A second idea, devised by Mike Sussman, ‘involved Shatner playing Enterprise’s Chef, who Daniels would bring into the future to preserve the timeline by successfully posing as James T. Kirk during an important event in history.’

William Shatner - Iron Chef USA


I personally preferred the second idea, we’d have technically an unseen adventure where Shatner would be playing [Chef as] Kirk. Unfortunately Shatner couldn’t agree with a fee Paramount was offering, and UPN cancelled the show.

Wanting to see William Shatner back as Kirk in the 24th Century, following the box office disaster that was Star Trek: Nemesis, a group of fans put together this live action-hybrid trailer, showing Kirk and gang in 24th Century uniforms aboard a refitted Enterprise-A, which canonically was never destroyed. I love it, it paints a new chapter for Kirk and Spock, and if you take away the captions this is a full story with a beginning, middle and optimistic end:

Next, CBS acquired the rights to Star Trek but Paramount retained the rights to make movies, and JJ Abrams started to develop a concept which would take the franchise back to the original series. There were hot rumours that William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were heavily involved and had to give approval for the recasting of their characters.  Nimoy appeared but Shatner didn’t. Roberto Orci had written a hologram-monologue scene for Shatner which was ultimately unfilmed:


Then I ask that you do yourself a
favor… put away logic, and do what
feels right. The world you’ve inherited
lives in the shadow of incalculable
devastation… but there’s no reason you
must face it alone.

And from around his neck, he removes the PENDANT that
until now, we’ve only caught glimpses of. Places it on
the table beside his younger self. The feeling in his
eyes is profound…

This was a gift to me. Representing…
a dream. One we were unable to fulfill.
The way you can now.

And moves to the door. Stops. Offers the VULCAN SALUTE:

As my customary farewell would appear
oddly self serving, I will simply say…
good luck.

Their eyes hold. Spock turns, disappearing into the
corridor. Young Spock stares at the empty doorway a
beat, his mind a jumble of thoughts. Looks to the
pendant… and realizes it’s a HOLO-EMITTER. After
considering a beat, he hits an activation button and a
MOVING HOLOGRAPHIC MESSAGE materializes before him:

brash, wry, confident — and SINGING:

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to
(stops, grins)
I know I know, it’s illogical to
celebrate something you had nothing to do
with, but I haven’t had the chance to
congratulate you on your appointment to
the ambassadorship so I thought I’d seize
the occasion… Bravo, Spock — they tell
me your first mission may take you away
for awhile, so I’ll be the first to wish
you luck… and to say…
(beat, emotional)
I miss you, old friend.

… and we’re PUSHING IN on Young Spock, taking in the
image of Kirk’s future self, the message, but above all —
the clear, unquestionable friendship these two men had…


As Spock Prime walks off down the corridor, he passes
right by a man conferring with a nurse — the man pauses,
turns… it’s SAREK. Suddenly overcome by a feeling that
the stranger who’s just passed him is… oddly familiar.

I suppose I’d always imagined us…
outgrowing Starfleet together. Watching
life swing us into our Emeritus years…


MUSIC BUILDING — glass walls reveal THE ENTERPRISE at
dock, UTILITY CRAFTS floating around it, repairing.
Standing at attention in rows, THE ENTERPRISE CREW —
over four hundred of them wearing DRESS UNIFORMS — TRACK
DOWN the faces, all proud:

I look around at the new cadets now and
can’t help thinking… has it really been
so long? Wasn’t it only yesterday we
stepped onto the Enterprise as boys?
That I had to prove to the crew I
deserved command… and their respect?

And we STOP ON YOUNG KIRK. Composed, focused, proud. A
man. And to every fan’s delight, finally wearing his

This assembly calls Captain James
Tiberius Kirk…

Kirk breaks from formation, pivots, marches down the
hangar — past UHURA… SULU… CHEKOV… SCOTTY. All
Beaming. Notably absent, is Spock. Kirk ascends the
stairs, snaps to attention:

Your inspirational valor and supreme
dedication to your comrades are in
keeping with the highest traditions of
service and reflect utmost credit to
yourself, your crew, and the Federation.
By Starfleet Order 28455, you are hereby
directed to report to Commanding Officer,
USS Enterprise, for duty as his relief.

Kirk turns. Walks to… PIKE. In a wheelchair now,
wearing an ADMIRAL’S UNIFORM. Overnight, his hair’s
turned totally grey — but despite his trauma, his
pride’s overwhelming. They SALUTE each other:

I relieve you, Sir.

… I am relieved.

He opens a BOX in his lap — glorious in repose, a MEDAL:

And as Fleet Admiral, for your… unique
solution to the Kobayashi Maru, it’s my
honor to award you with a commendation
for original thinking.

Pike containing a smirk, pins the medal to Kirk’s

(a touch choked)
Congratulations, Captain.

Thank you, Sir.

Kirk turns to the crowd. Eyes shining. WILD APPLAUSE.
OUR MUSIC SOARS. Bones leans in to Sulu, rolling his

… Same ship, different day.

As Kirk rejoins his crew for hugs and congratulations, we
go to the BACK of the hangar… SPOCK PRIME. Watching.
Moved beyond words. He turns and leaves them to it… as
he goes…

I know what you’d say — ‘It’s their turn
now, Jim…’ And of course you’re
right… but it got me thinking:


Our montage comes full circle as we END on Kirk’s

Who’s to say we can’t go one more round?
By the last tally, only twenty five
percent of the galaxy’s been chartered…
I’d call that negligent. Criminal even —
an invitation. You once said being a
starship captain was my first, best
destiny… if that’s true, then yours is
to be by my side. If there’s any true
logic to the universe… we’ll end up on
that bridge again someday.

Stops, grins. Because this is the part he needs to say

Admit it, Spock. For people like us, the
journey itself… is home.

Young Spock’s face. Lost in feelings that flood through


Orci was planning to co-write and direct a third Star Trek movie. In it, the Federation, The Vulcans and a new race were racing to get their hands on a time travel device, the Vulcans wanted to get their hands on a time travel device. In the process, Shatner and Nimoy would have appeared an older Pine & Quinto, unfortunately a new script was written (which tbf was a movie I greatly enjoyed!) and Nimoy died in 2015, before these scenes could be shot: the Prime Timeline would have been restored, ending the trilogy, with the return of Kirk Prime.



photomanip by gazomg from my idea, uniform design by Richard A Griffith

Yes they’re meant to be older Kelvin Kirk & Spock, not older Prime, but I love this image.


It’s like a curse! Yes the Kirk character was killed off, but the conversation always comes around. Of the surviving original cast, Nimoy made two Star Trek movies in 2009 and 2013, Takei, Koenig and Nichols have participated in fan films, but William Shatner has only appeared in a DirecTV commercial and Oscars sketch.


Over the last 10 years online Star Trek fan films were very prominent I had an idea that Star Trek New Voyages or Continues could do a take on ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, where Kirk in the Nexus would be shown by his younger self a guided tour of his life, reflecting on the decisions he made. But Shatner had this to say about Continues, apparently over the use of his image in their promo material:

He’s already talking about appearing on Discovery! But how?! It’s set 10 years before TOS. Note that’s not the only Star Trek there’s going to be now, there’s talks CBS want to do more, and it was nearly an all-eras anthology.

He could play Admiral Tiberius Kirk, Kirk’s grandfather, or they could resurrect the time travelling Mirror Kirk idea.


If CBS do a future show, Kirk could be shown in flashback, as a hologram or this guy could snap his fingers:


 The Kelvin Timeline movies are also rumoured to be going forward with another movie, apparanly in a time travel plot involving Chris Hemsworth as George Kirk, so maybe the Old Kirk plot can return here? Or they could do a take on the ‘Deadly Years’ episode?

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My favourite alternative to all of these would be an appearance on FOX’s The Orville. Have him as Captain Jase C Burke, flagship Captain on his last mission, just about to retire. A lauded hero who the ladies swoon for. Taking the Mick out of Shatner’s image but not too much and a respectful homage. Ed is skeptical but ends up respecting Burke.

Maybe by the end of the episode Burke finds a new purpose in life, so effectively a better finale than Generations.

Kirk in all but name.


In any case, William Shatner is 86 now, so if they are going to do this hopefully it will be sooner rather than later!?



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Poster art by

Yesterday’s Enterprise was the 15th episode of the 3rd season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It concerned the Enterprise-C  going 22 years into the future via a temporal rift, changing the timeline so the Federation was at war with the Klingons. It is often hailed as one of the best Star Trek episodes ever made, and some even say, including a member of the then-production staff, it should have been done as a movie. Roberto Orci, who co-wrote the 2009 movie, cited Yesterday’s Enterprise as an influence.


In 1994, after the final season of TNG, Star Trek Generations was released. This movie saw the final journey of the Enterprise-D, as well as the death of James T Kirk. Many hated the way Kirk’s character met his demise, and call it a ‘glorified TNG episode’.


A few years ago I found this fan trailer on YouTube




This fan trailer combines the stories of Yesterday’s Enterprise and Generations. replacing the rather unremarkable Captain Garrett with Captain Kirk. I wondered if this could be turned into a full story (when I get an idea in my head I like it sticks!!), so I put Yesterday’s Enterprise on the edit suite and cut Garrett out.


The result is a 72 minute movie which is essentially an expanded version of the episode, but with the addition of characters from TOS to give them a more epic, heroic finale. And I think it works.


Here are the episodes and movies I took footage from:

  • TNG episode: The Big Goodbye (1988) Entering and leaving the holodeck
  • TNG episode: Yesterday’s Enterprise (1990)
  • TOS movie: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
  • TNG episode: Unification (1991)
  • TNG episode: Relics (1992)
  • TNG movie: Generations (1994)
  • DS9 episode: Shatttered Mirror (1996)
  • TOS videogame: Starfleet Academy (1997)


Another major source of inspiration for this project is the unfinished fan film Star Trek: Das Vermachtnis [The Legacy], as featured in the 2003 documentary Trekkies 2 and German media.




My thinking:

  • The opening sequence is the same as Generations, with references to the ship being Enterprise-B removed. Instead of being caught up in the Nexus, the Enterprise-C is caught up in a temporal rift. We don’t see Kirk being taken. This is the ‘magic of editing’ – you think you know where a scene is going but just a few cuts can change the situation dramatically.
  • We cut to the opening of Yesterday’s Enterprise. The timeline is changed and the -D meets the -C. An away team beams over and finds Lt Castillo, who’s love story with Tasha is retained, Soran is also found.
  • The reason Soran’s plot to destroy the star is retained is to give Kirk and Picard more joint screentime.
  • Guinan’s role is ever-prominent as she has ‘feelings’ about the timeline, Tasha being alive and she knew Soran.
  • In sickbay, Picard meets Kirk and tells him he’s aboard the Enterprise-D. Like the trailer, this uses footage from ST6.
  • This Kirk is grizzled an worn out. His arc in the film is that he doesn’t want to command the Enterprise-C following Harriman’s death  so Picard has to convince him.
  • This is one of several scenes showing Kirk on the Enterprise-D, which never officially happened.
  • Star Trek VI is the fan editor’s favourite out of the first 6, yes over II! Also, the aesthetic and ages of the characters fits well – the producers used several TNG sets such as the sickbay, engineering, transporter room and crew quarters in the movie.
  •  We see Soran on the Klingon bridge, showing the enemy absent from YE.
  • Scenes of Kirk and Picard in the Nexus are used, however the context is changed so they do in fact take place on the holodeck. This is where Kirk is convinced to return to active duty one last time.
  • A major diversion is that Picard & Data visit Romulus to find Spock. Despite a friend’s advice to remove it due to overload (it has been trimmed down) this has been kept. Two reasons: (1) Spock was originally going to appear in Generations alongside Kirk but Nimoy declined. and (2) ever since 2006/07 there were rumours that Shatner & Nimoy would appear on screen together one last time. Unfortunately the latter died in 2015, but ‘Ambassador Spock’ lives on in the fan edit world. The fan editor felt that if this was going to be a better Shatner-Kirk finale then Spock should be there.
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  • Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Uhura and Chekov are the 5 out of 7 TOS regulars that appear, though Bones and Sulu are mentioned. Kirk, Scotty, Chekov and newly Uhura (via ST6 footage) are established as being aboard the Enterprise-C. Scotty & Geordi fixing the ship from the TNG episode Relics is used (although this is the Enterprise-C here, not the Jenolan!), as are Kirk & Chekov via the 1997 video game Starfleet Academy.  Starfleet Academy was incidentally the last time Shatner officially played Kirk in a full-length production, he did cameo in the role for a DirecTV commercial and a sketch for the 2013 Oscars.
  • Picard & Data finding Spock in his role as Ambassador is from the TNG episode Unification. This separate comeback plot is here simply to give Spock a more interesting  role, being the second-to-main-character in TOS and one of America’s most iconic characters of all time. The fan editor believes that Unification & Relics on their own are weak stories, however the footage is served well here.
  • Kirk & Spock are given an emotional reunion scene before the final battle.
  • Kirk & Picard confronting Soran on Veridian III is included, destroying the weapon and blowing up Soran, however again the ‘magic of editing’ allows Kirk to survive this for the true finale.
  • The true finale is the Enterprise-D fighting Klingons while the Enterprise-C attempts to go through the rift. This is the only time on screen we saw two Enterprises working together.
  • Again,we see action on the Klingon bridges. Lursa & B’Tor feature earlier in the film, and are killed off here. Also, after their deaths we cut to another ship commanded by Chancellor Worf – this is deliberate as minutes later we see the ‘real’ Lt Worf on the Enterprise-D bridge.
  • The Cardassian Slave on Worf’s ship is played by Andrew Robinson – Garak on Deep Space Nine.
  • Captain Kirk’s is last scene is on the bridge of the Enterprise-C simply giving the order to ‘FIRE!’
  • Incidentally this is very similar to Danny’s Doctor Who fanedit ‘The Rise of Evil’ in that it opens in the Prime universe, slips into an alternate one then the Prime Timeline is restored.


Even without the Alternate Timeline elements the continuity of this is ambiguous – the opening seems to be TNG Season 3 despite this film essentially being a replacement for ST7; the Enterprise-C comes from 22 Years Earlier; plus what happened to the TOS characters? Several are seen alive and well in the TNG era. Also the Enterprise-D in the end is in tact.


But does that matter, they are all ‘imaginary tales’ after all…

DOCTOR WHO: TWICE UPON A TIME – Thoughts, feelings and predictions

– Great trailer, it looks like both the Doctors get a fair chunk of action together just as Matt, David and Sir John did in the 50th
– Speaking of the 50th, the trailer gives me a very Day of the Doctor vibe with throwbacks to the past. Was that a Chumbley? a CyberTomb?
– Also there is of course a rumour that the two Doctors will be saving Gallifrey, thus this will be more like The Day of the Doctor (part 2) as well as The Tenth Planet (Episode Five)
– i was surprised by the scene recreation from The Tenth Planet. The morph was breathtaking. Are they remaking Episode 4? I’d be surprised as the whole story has DVD release, but I’d welcome it.
– It looks like it’s not a straight up story set between going to the TARDIS then letting Ben and Polly in from the freezing cold. i can’t wait to see how that plays out.
– Watching Bradley in this feels like a great follow on to his appearance in AAISAT, even though the performance will be different. He’s played Hartnell playing the Doctor in iconic recreations spanning his whole era.
– The Captain – is he Sir Alistair’s grandfather or father? Or maybe a relative of one of the First Doctor’s companions? Or the War Lord? More likely the former
– Bill – does Heather make her human again? I hope so personally so she can go back home and live her life again
– There has been talk of more cameos over the past few months -Clara, Nardole, The Eleventh Doctor, Daleks, Susan. The latter is the one I am really hoping for.

REVIEW: BAT OUT OF HELL [preview] 18th February 2017 – Opera House Manchester UK


I am not a member of the press so I’m not subjected to embargo, nor am I academic though I went to uni – I’ve been a fan of Bat Out of Hell since around 2002 – we were in the car and they played the full version of the title track, thus prompting my mum to get the album out and play it – the songs, particularly Paradise, I had heard nothing like before. I saw Meat Loaf at Hyde Park that Summer, then a year later on the Couldn’t Have Said It Better tour.


Now I am something of enigma. I wouldn’t call myself a rock fan – I don’t have loads of bands; Linkin Park, Metallica, Kiss etc on my tablet; I’m more into musical theatre. I think that’s what drew me to Meat Loaf and of course Steinman, the bombastic theatricality of the music. There’s no coincidence however, for 50 years this was all written for musical theatre. The whole damn lot.


If you listen to Steinman’s other work – Bonnie Tyler, Pandora’s Box, Air Supply etc. listen to the lyrics and instrumental there are recurring themes and phrases. This is completely deliberate, but as a Steinfan I love the continuity. Steinman’s work; which includes No 1 songs such as Total Eclipse of the Heart, I’d Do Anything For Love, Dead Ringer For Love, Holding Out For A Hero and many more, as well as musicals such as the European hit ‘Tanz der Vampire’ (based on Roman Polanski’s 1967 film ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’) and lyrics for ‘Whistle Down The Wind’, composed by the little-known Andrew Lloyd-Webber, you may have heard of him (In fact an ironic Lloyd-Webber/Steinman connection may be to come if the West End production moves onto one of his theatres!) Even in these collaborative projects the phrases and references trickle through – I love the continuity though, it makes Steinman’s work all a part of a massive musical tapestry.


Steinman’s first ever musical was 1969’s ‘The Dream Engine’. Produced at college, there were elements inspired by JM Barrie’s Peter Pan. Over the next decade Steinman would write and produce more musicals – ‘Rhinegold’ and ‘More Than You Deserve’ – on the latter project he first met Meat Loaf. Steinman however continued his desire to produce a rock n roll fantasy Pan, writing songs, some of which would appear on Meat Loaf’s 1977 album Bat Out of Hell, which would prove a great success worldwide. That same year, the Pan-based musical was workshopped in a vastly modified form, as ‘Neverland’.


Steinman never stopped working towards his dream show as his fame and success soared, drafting screenplays, stage plays and writing new songs which in the meanwhile would be released as chart hits. Some of these songs would appear on Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, a triumphant reunion with Meat Loaf.


Bat Out of Hell was rumoured to open around 2009, I vividly remember reading Steinman’s blog [in 2005!] with teases of meetings with potential creative staff and scenes and songs which could be used. The teases were so tantalising. So I was waiting 12 years! But great things come to those who wait. Part of the issue was apparently finding someone to fund Steinman’s massive vision. But the world finally caught up.


Tickets went on sale July 2016 so I had to rally up my friends and see who wanted to go. Four of us ended up getting tickets for the second ever preview performance in Manchester, Saturday 18th February 2017. Then there was an agonising 8 month wait.


I’ve wanted this show forever. I even tried to write a Meat Loaf musical as a kid. I’d predicted it would become my favourite ever musical. Obviously that was a gamble, what if it was a flop? What if producers had fiddled too much with Steinman’s vision? Steinman’s work was like my musical bible (I mean that in a very Dot Cotton way), and I wanted it putting into the context of a story. I’d been waiting so long despite the excitement I was for a bit apprehensive as one could expect. What if it hadn’t lived up to expectations? Potential SPOILERS from hear onwards:




















The night finally came. We travelled up to Manchester, filed into the theatre then it was time. The first thing you notice is the incredible set. Massive, on more than one floor. Apparantly the biggest theatre set in the world.




Synopsis: “Join the eternally young Strat and his wild gang, The Lost, as they roam the streets of Obsidian, a post-apocalyptic Manhattan, ruled by the wicked and tyrannical Falco. When Strat first sets eyes on Falco’s daughter, Raven, who has been locked away in the palace towers, he sets out to rescue her from her evil father’s clutches in a full throttle tale of teenage love, youthful rebellion and living the rock and roll dream.”


The Peter Pan influences are still very visible but a lot less obvious. The show is full of surprises. I know the songs, I know the vision, but still there were surprises. I was expecting this – Steinman is a genius! Here is the running order, with comments:


1. No Overture – Begins with Love & Death & An American Guitar – Strat
2. All Revved Up With No Place To Go/Wasted Youth – Strat and the Lost

All Revved Up with new lyrics ad an extract from ‘Everything Louder Than Everything Else’, demoed here:

3. Who Needs The Young? – Falco & Sloane

4. Out of the Frying Pan (And Into The Fire)(Extract)/It Just Won’t Quit – Strat n co

So many of us were disappointed the full Frying Pan wasn’t in there!
5. Good Girls Go To Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere) – Sloane, Zahara & Raven

6. Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad – Zahara & Jagwire

I always said this should be a duet!!
7. Paradise By The Dashboard Light – Falco & Sloane

My friend and I jumped forward in our seats and grinned when this started!! Very funny
8. Making Love Out of Nothing At All – Strat & Raven

A wildcard, wasn’t expecting this but happy to see it in there.
9. Bat Out of Hell – Strat & Raven

10. In The Land of the Pig, The Butcher Is King – Falco
11. Heaven Can Wait – Raven

With amazing flying effects
12. Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are – Jagwire, Ledoux & Blake
13. For Crying Out Loud – Strat & Raven

14. You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) – The Lost

15. I’m Not Allowed To Love – Tink [solo]
16. What Part Of My Body Hurts The Most – Falco & Sloane

Both of the above are ‘officially’ new songs but demos and performances have appeared online. Ironically the duet is now a solo and the solo is a duet. Rumour has it Meat Loaf might record  What Part of My Body for the cast album – Not Allowed To Love was originally written for the Batman musical! (Yes THAT Batman, a duet between himself and Catwoman. The director would have been Tim Burton however WB scrapped the project. I’d love to read a draft of the script!)

17. Dead Ringer For Love – Jagwire & Zahara
18. Rock n Roll Dreams Come Through – Strat
19. It’s All Coming Back To Me Now – Strat & Raven and Falco & Sloane
20. I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) – Ensemble
21. CURTAIN CALL Bat Out of Hell (Reprise)


Overall this show has everything. A phenomenal young cast, led brilliantly by Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington. Some songs have new arrangements, being obvious as this is a performance by an ensemble of musical theatre actors. The script is great, a fine story with a great balance of humour and drama. It was so much more than I was expecting. The choreography was really good too, there was one song which visually emulated Steinman’s 1981 solo music video ‘Bad For Good’, a poster of the cover hung in Raven’s bedroom. Also other easter eggs included Strat wearing a tanktop with Steinman 69 on it!


Also you may rememebr some of Steinman’s monologue pieces from the albums – there are at least four in there (Love & Death & An American Guitar from ‘Bad For Good’, I’ve Been Dreaming Up A Storm Lately & The Invocation from Pandora’s Box: Original Sin).


The characters all had their own personalities and stories, Zahara in particular was interesting – working for the villainous Falco while being a member of The Lost. I say villainous but even he has his own internal torture demonstrated in What Part of My Body and All Coming Back. There are so many layers to this show.


Technically it is something else! Earlier on I mentioned the phenomenal set, but there were also video screens either side of the stage. For scenes in Raven’s bedroom, on an above level behind a window which was mostly shut, there was a camera person following the characters round. We had pyrotechnics, motorcycles, a drone-Bat… and a lake. An actual lake. I probably haven’t covered everything – there are so many layers!! It was a true experience.


So was Bat Out of Hell worth the wait? Is it my favourite musical ever? Absolutely without a shadow of a doubt. I’m not saying that because I just saw it, I know the material so well and now it has been given a whole new life in the theatre. I was wondering how on Earth huge songs like Paradise, Anything For Love, It’s All Coming Back would fit into the story.  This was only the second preview though.


Afterwards we came across Stephen Rinkoff, who has been Steinman’s musical partner since around 1985! i could have spoken to him all night. He did say being a preview they are looking at trimming things down ‘so people can get their trains home’. He’s worked with Jim on the musicals, albums and other projects since. Audience members were encouraged to fill out surveys saying what they liked and didn’t like about the show.


In my mind I’d be happy for everything to stay and things to be added!! One song I can think of is Total Eclipse of the Heart– yes I know it’s the main love duet in Tanz der Vampire (and that arrangement blows the pop record out of the water) but it’s arguably Steinman’s most famous song. From conversations I overehard it seems Dead Ringer For Love may be a casualty – Life is a Lemon was only played in the background on a radio and teh Braver Than We Are song, Speaking in Tongues, was rumoured but seemingly cut in rehearsals? It seems this preview period will be used to gradually cut and trim.


We also managed to meet cast members who were kind enough to stay at the stage door afterward and talk to fans for ages afterwards.


Here are my friends and I with Andrew Polec [Strat] and Christina Bennington [Raven]. And yes he is dressed as Meat Loaf!


Like I said, this was the first preview. The beginning of the journey which I can’t wait to follow. The show goes to London in June. I hope to see it in July before it leaves the country and hopefully takes over the world of musical theatre. I can’t wait to see where it goes. I can’t wait to play the cast album again and again and again and disappear back in to that world (Which knowing me will happen every night for months!!).


And then maybe there will be school/college/university productions, community theatre productions, tours, DVD/blurays … eventually a movie!?! Hopefully a few theatre awards along the way.   And this potentially opens the albums to a whole new audience, Bat Out of Hell the album is 40 years old this year – Musical Theatre students will be singing these songs for years and years to come. For Steinman this show is full circle but for the material this is a rebirth.


A great example is We Will Rock You introduced me to Queen in 2003, seeing that show prompted me to buy The Platinum Collection


And this is only the jewel in the crown of the Steinman Renaissance which started in September 2016 with Meat Loaf’s Braver Than We Are. Next month Tyce Green’s solo album ‘Hero’ will feature all songs by Steinman, as will Karine Hannah’s Renegade Angel. Tanz der Vampire has just opened in Switzerland.


It’s all so exciting.

LGBT Youth Drama series pitch

Since about 2007 I’ve been trying to develop a ‘youth drama’, kind of like Skins with a dash of EastEnders’ gritty realism. It was originally set in a student house but I was advised against it and had to think of something else. A couple of years later I went to the LGBT History Month launch and it was basically a conference with teachers as well as LGBT+ students. One of the conversations with the students was about how LGBT people were represented in the media, or rather not. This got the old brain ticking. The thing about me is if I have an Idea and think it’s good I will NOT. LET. IT. GO. Ever.

I did Media for 5 years so I know about Research and Development, that happens with a LOT of shows and always have done. Also a lot of people say ‘why not just try and do a few short films’ but the ideas I’m passionate about are always series, it’s so so weird. But anywayz-

So that’s how it came about, I should tell you about the actual show!!



This is an idea for an 6 part drama series for either the web or Television.

It centres on a group of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people starting their lives at college, realising who they are and their potential to do great things.

We all know our sexuality doesn’t define us – so we see these young people laugh, cry and learn as they go through college.



  • TARGET AUDIENCE: Youth; not just LGBT
  • Give visibility to LGB&T people and their stories
  • to ‘educate and entertain’
  • To be realistic
  • Tell stories that otherwise are not being told



  • Proud is about showing LGBT people in the real world – setting the show somewhere like Brighton would not work
  • Being realistic, we do plan to address serious hard-hitting issues.
  • Although in ‘gay’ is a lot more accepted in the UK, we are still not quite 100% acceptance, however things are better than they were around the early Noughties, with the abolishment of Section 28 and introduction of civil partnerships.
  • Trans issues are almost NEVER talked about.
  • The ‘guy cheating on his girlfriend with a man’ has been played so many times. We will show a guy splitting up with his girlfriend, then falling in love with another man; my big challenge will be bringing many ‘unheard’ LGBT stories to the forefront.
  • A lot of ‘gay shows’ tend to be about sex which we want to get away from
  • LGBT won’t be segregated from the rest of society
  • Despite being a drama, there will be a large fun element.



I want to make it accessible to all, not just LGBT+ youth, but give visibility to a whole bunch of issues you don’t really see on television but need talking about, such as:

  • Asylum seeking
  • Discovering Grindr and stuff like that
  • Coming out
  • Bullying
  • Cyber bullying
  • Body image
  • Biphobia/gay self-loathing

Another thing I’m really keen to do is kind of present some ‘stereotypes’ and turn them on their head. Also of course LGBT+ people are people. This isn’t about segregation it’s about representation. Yes we have the legal protections now but there’s still a way to go to promote understanding and acceptance, particularly with trans issues.



The format I’m thinking of is 6 episodes, a beginning, finale plus four episodes each focusing on a different character. Now I’m thinking of having four characters:

Ben – 17, good looking, great performer, comes across maybe as a diva but isn’t, bisexual, with learning difficulties.

Kayla – asylum seeker with a kid, 19, desperate to keep her new life in the UK

Jake – created by my friend Martin, dorky gay guy, 17, begins relationship with a priest

Sarah – I decided to have a Female To Male transgender character as you see them represented a lot less than Male To Female, in a relationship – so how will the transition effect that?

I’ve given each character a tagline for example Jake’s is simply ‘Head over heart’ and Kayla’s is ‘She wants to live in a world where she can be herself’. All these characters are beginning a journey of discovery to create themselves.



  • Skins
  • Shameless
  • Beautiful Thing
  • EastEnders
  • Russell T Davies
  • Rikki Beadle-Blair



Now I have this idea, this vision, but how do I GET IT MADE? Now I know some of you might say ‘Get on Kickstarter or IndieGogo’ but it’s more than that. I’m a gay man. I’ve done heaps of research but I’m not bi or trans or a lesbian. I don’t know as much about those issues as some people. So I’m inviting different people with different voices to write some of the episodes and help develop the stories and make it REAL. This won’t be easy, some of the topics will get dark. But if you’re a young LGBT+ person, YOU have a story you would like to share, get involved, please get in touch. If you want confidentiality that’s fine I am sworn to secrecy.

We will deal with difficult issues and topics – the end message is hopeful but some storylines will be quite dark

  • Some will be difficult to deal with
  • Research is vital
  • The tone of the series should be naturalistic and real
  • I’d love to showcase potential stereotypes and challenge them
  • I’d love to showcase a number of different voices from the various LGBTQ + communities



Now production. It’s all well and good raising a load of cash but we need people behind the camera who know what they’re doing – sound, lighting, camera, organised producers. My role would be showrunner, writing scripts and helping the other writers. And I love casting, finding the actors who breathe life into the characters. Also I might want to be in it. A bit.

A major thing to do would be pitch to production companies, but it’s finding people to pitch to. If you’re a producer and you are interested, please get I touch. My aim at least is to get a pilot episode filmed and go from there. Now you may be asking “But if you just want to make a pilot why do you want writers for other episodes?” If you’re pitching a series you have to know what you’re later episodes are all about, and it will give the characters’ depth.


What a record!! Time to review, but I love it, all 10 tracks, each has been carved with passion – it is so so good that Meat & Jimmy reunited to make this happen.

People won’t get it but this is the first song Steinman ever wrote and a vital part of his body of work. Funny and rude, I was wondering how this would work on a record but the arrangement is typical bombastic.

2. GOING ALL THE WAY IS JUST THE START (A Song in 6 Movements)
One of my two favourite songs on the album. Back to the mini-epic songs which made Meat & Jim famous, as good if not better than Anything For Love, and no, the edits do not do the track justice. When Karla swoops in with her first line (seriously that’show I invision it) it’s just breathtaking. This song is a journey, my favouritwe bit is Ellen’s ‘You see me smile and and you swear that I can walk on air’

Was unsure fo this because of the 2006 live recording but this is a very good song. The wood joke is naughty but so Steinman. Like it

Oh. My God. When I first saw this on the tracklist i was surprised (similarly I never expected Meat to do It’s All Coming Back To Me Now) but I CANNOT STOP LISTENING TO THIS TRACK. Help. No Seriously. So different to Bonnie’s and this should be the next single. Breathtaking. Also I should mention this contains some beautiful lyrical phrases.

Left in the Dark only better, a tortured ballad

The funny thing about the opening of this is I listened to the 05 live recordign so much I can hear Meat say ‘By Jim Steinman from Bat Out of Hell III’. Just 2 minutes long Meat plays this with such a tortured vocal.

Leading out of OWIF, this is a great song, dunno what to say about it?


This is odd, instead of ‘Turn Around’ they should have used Let the Revels Begin. Unless Sonnenberg has it tied up in the musical idk. I enjoyed it but cannou hear ‘Turn Around’ without ‘Every now and then’ !!

A good-old fashioned rocker to close out. Lots of fun.

I was disappointed by Bat III and thought Jim & Meat would never reunite but here the Dream Team are again. I love this album, this is a masterpiece hands down.

Meat says it’s unlike anything before but I slightly disagree in a positive way, at long last we are back at the old school of 77 and 92 and it feels so good. I have a copy in my car already to listen to on the road as well as iTunes.

5 reasons why I’m still looking forward to Renegades (and still intend to watch it as Trek – and how that’s just possible)

WARNING : May contain mild spoilers

In 2012 it was announced that production would begin on Star Trek: Renegades, a new independent fan film from the people who brought us ‘Of Gods and Men’. Set over decade after the return of Voyager, this would feature actors such as Walter Koenig, Tim Russ & Robert Picardo all reprising familiar roles, while introducing a bunch of new characters ready for a potential series to be pitched to CBS. By 2015 we finally saw this film, an excellent production introducing a very different look at the Star Trek universe.

The finished product was a great success, I think I was attracted to it because of the veterans, a character from TOS in a very different environment and a few from Voyager – a show which never received a movie – in fact since then the focus seems to be on TOS and TNG so the DS9/VGR lot kind of get left behind most of the time. I like the idea of revisiting old characters and moving them forward, in particular moving the Star Trek universe forward as Hidden Frontier stopped producing several years prior with their Odyssey finale and Intrepid only releases one or two times a year. Most fan films produce in the area of The Original Series.

Renegades eventually announced they would be doing it all again, with an even more stellar cast – Terry Farrell as Jadzia (somehow!) Robert Beltran as Chakotay – something I thought would never happen! The kids of DS9! All way too good to be true, of course with Chekov, Tuvok and the Renegades returning from the pilot.

The first day of filming arrived in June 2016 with the veterans reprising Jake Sisko, Tuvok, Pavel Chekov… and Nyota Uhura. Renegades announced this was LEGENDS DAY, with Koenig and Nichols, in Star Trek’s anniversary year, reprising their familiar roles for potentially the last time together. This would be on top of an audio drama they have recorded for Starship Excelsior.

The day after, however, CBS released guidelines which could have crippled this production. Fan films are no longer allowed to be over 30 minutes, if a two parter and only raise a specific amount of money. This was a day before the long shoot began! The producers raised and spent thousands of dollars, gathered a cast, built props and sets, sewn together costumes and booked everything. All ready to go. This could have been a fatal blow, but the producers decided to move forward. Remove all the references to Star Trek.

Now when many fans, including myself, heard this they were disappointed. But what has happened since has proven there is absolutely no need for this. Apparantly all that changed in the script were names such as Starfleet, Chekov, Tuvok etc which had to be changed. What about the first day’s filming? Jiggery pokery in post-production will fix it. Which is why I intend to watch The Requiem as a Star Trek story still. What I hear you say? Are you mad, they’ve changed things!! Let me explain.

In 1989 Doctor Who was axed by the BBC. In 1992 Bill Baggs [… ] released a series of independent direct-to-video productions starring Sixth Doctor Colin Baker (Star Trek Continues’ The White Iris) as a mysterious Stranger with Nicola Bryant as his companion, Miss Brown. The first two were practically Doctor Who in all but name – More Than A Messiah was literally adapted from a Doctor Who fan audio and possibly the Sixth Doctor’s best on screen story – just the TARDIS didn’t feature, Miss Brown didn’t speak with an American accent and Colin of course was finally free of a multi-coloured coat! Much like Renegades, you’d almost believe Summoned by Shadows is a pilot presentation for a revival of Doctor Who on TV from 1992.

The fine line was walked even further when I n 1997 a short series of audio adventures began, starring Sylvester McCoy as ‘the Professor’ and Sophie Aldred as ‘Ace’. After the first six releases these were allowed to continue, with the protagonists names changed to the Dominie and Alice. These are still being distributed online and the BBC don’t seem to be fussed.

This is how I see The Requiem. All still the same, but with names changed ‘to protect the innocent’. The serial numbers filed off as people have said.

1: Same cast

All they have done is changed character names – O’Brien to O’Reilly; Chakotay to Cordero; Uhura to Jemison etc – there are other obvious changes like make up, no Romulans, Ferengi, Trill etc allowed. Even Tim Russ cannot wear his pointy ears to play Kovok. All the promised actors stayed onboard to play their parts. But on paper presumably most of the lines so therefore characterisations are the same. Apparantly Walter Koenig is still even using his Russian accent to play ‘The Admiral’! The first day’s footage is still being used, with combadges painted out and presumably lines cut referring to CBS IP. So we still get to see ‘Chekov and Uhura’s potential final day together.

2 : same story and 3 : Sequel to Star Trek: Renegades

The story is still the same as apparently very little was changed. Some new lines were maybe written to fit the lore of the new universe. But this is a story stemming from the first Renegades, a lot of characters are returning. So they will be referring to the first movie.

4 : Uniforms

Now I love Star Trek uniform design. These ones are tonnes better than the pilot, the rank strip and trouser/pant strip is reminiscent of the Monster Maroons and the jackets are very reminiscent of the TNG ones from Seasons 3-7. I love them, all the cast wearing them look super smart. In a way they are lucky they did design all-new uniforms, if they stuck with the First Contact design that’s where issues may have appeared. But anyone on the street would recognise them as Star Trek costumes.

5 : Same set pieces

The bridge of the USS Archer used set pieces from the wonderful restoration for the Enterprise-D in the first movie, they have been used still for this one, but moved around and disguised. The pictures look cool and they are working on a brand new design for the exterior of the ship. The scenes were shot against a greenscreen and I guess they will be also designing a whole new background.

Now I’m just a supporter and I have never been anywhere near Los Angeles, so I’m just going from what I’ve read, seen and heard online and in some places I may be wrong. I feel absolutely nothing has been lost, just moved around a bit to remove CBS IP. You can probably tell I am obsessed and cannot wait to see this story, especially as it may be the closure to Koenig’s Admiral’s story.

Those annoyed about the Star Trek IP going need not be, it won’t take much reading between the lines. I’m hoping the way this has been done will work, and I’m pretty sure it will. It won’t take much imagination to view this as being a new outing with Chekov, Uhura, Chakotay etc.