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 [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_… ] 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.