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Star Trek Axanar: The Grand-Daddy of all Fan Films! (Part One)

 

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The USS Ares.

Based on a fairly esoteric reference from an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek Axanar is a fan film from Ares Productions that expands a little known corner of the Star Trek universe, introducing us to new characters and locales, giving us a glimpse into an exciting chapter in Trek lore!

 

 

This is a truly Trek star-studded Production featuring alums such as Gary Graham, reprising his memorable role as Vulcan Ambassador Soval from Star Trek Enterprise.  Graham also appeared as the Ocampa Tanis in the Star Trek: Voyager episode Cold Fire.  Also appearing is Tony Todd, known to the Trek world as Worf’s estranged brother Kurn, from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Todd also appeared as an older Version of Jake Sisko in the Deep Space Nine Episode: The Visitor. (Consistently voted one of DS9’s best episodes.) If that weren’t enough, he also appeared in the Star Trek: Voyager episode Prey, playing a Hirogen. Fan-favorite J.G. Hertzler, who played Klingon Chancellor Martok on DS9 also appears in a major Role in the piece. Hertzler has the distinction of being one of only five actors to play seven or more different characters in the Star Trek franchise!

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Gary Graham, J.G. Hertzler and Tony Todd in Star Trek Axanar

Another Trek familiar is Kate Vernon. She played a member of Species 8472 masquerading as a human named Valerie Archer in the Star Trek: Voyager episode In the Flesh. Aside from her being a veteran of the Star Trek Universe, Kate is better known for her remarkable performance as Ellen Tigh on the reimagined Battlestar Galactica. Another recognizable face from the Galactica Universe with a starring role in Axanar is Richard Hatch. He played Apollo in the original BSG and Tom Zarek in the new. Rounding out the cast is Alec Peters, who plays the role of Garth of Izar.

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Alec Peters, Kate Vernon and Richard Hatch in Star Trek Axanar.
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Beautiful shot of the USS Ares squaring off against a Klingon ship in Prelude to Axanar: The Four Years War.

Axanar is based on a battle mentioned almost in passing in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode, Whom Gods destroy. Garth of Izar, who was a Fleet Captain at the time, was credited as the hero of the day. This idea is where the story for Star Trek Axanar begins and grows from.

 

In an interesting move Ares Productions released a 20(ish) minute long Film called Prelude to Axanar: The Four Years War. Think of this as a documentary the History channel might produce in 300 years.  This beautifully filmed piece introduces us to the characters and sets the tone and feel of what is to come, namely the feature film Axanar, currently in production.

 

Below is that Prelude. You will see the familiar faces we’ve mentioned, and get a feel for what Axanar will be about.

Star Trek Axanar is breaking crowdfunding records, making it one of the most successful crowdfunded fan films of all time! It’s well deserved because to be quite frank, the results produced so far have axanar 7been nothing less than stunning. So often with fan productions, you have either great SFX and sub-par acting or vice-versa…almost never both. Axanar delivers on both fronts in a big way!

This article is a prelude of its own. There is another installment coming very soon where Word of the Nerd talks to Producer and Director of Star Trek Axanar: Robert Meyer Burnett. We will discuss the benefits and popularity of crowd funding and how it allows the fan to step into the role of Producer, which is an exciting concept of its own to say the least!

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About the author

Tim Piland

Timothy Piland is a classically trained tenor and opera singer. He was born and raised in the Springfield, Mo. Area.

He has performed Roles for Springfield Little Theater, Vandivort Theater, Springfield Regional Opera and Mobile Opera. He has also worked for the Puccini Festival, and the Kansas City Lyric Opera.

In his performing career he has performed roles in: Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Man of La Mancha, Die Fledermouse, La Fanciulla del West, Gianni Schicchi and many other shows.

In 2007, he toured the United Kingdom with the Church of the Incarnation out of Dallas, Texas. This included a week long engagement at Westminster Abbey, as well as a 9 day engagement at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland.

In 2009 he originated the role of the Priest in "Frankenstein, Monster" by Le Wlhelm at the Gilloiz Theater.

He appeared onstage as Rupert Giles for, "A Class Act productions," in their ongoing presentation of Buffy The Vampire Slayer: A Reader’s Theatre Parody, from March 2010-July 2013.

In November 2011, he made his directoral debut, directing "Star Trek Live Onstage: The Trouble with Tribbles," also for "A Class Act." He went on to direct 14 of the next 17 episodes of that live stage show.

Each Christmas you can also catch him at the historic Pythian Castle where he performs in a, "Night of the Dueling Santas," a Christmas dinner show of his own writing. He has been the Ghost Tour Guide for the castle since 2010.

He has been featured on The Discovery Channel, SYFY Channel, The History Channel, NPR.

He is the founder of Harvest Moon Productions and oversees events ranging from concerts to straight plays. He is currently writing a book called "Ghostly Tales From Pythian Castle," which hopefully will see production at some point in 2014.

In 2013 he was cast as Dr. Howard Lagrasse in the 5 episode silent Horror web series SHADOW BOUND, for Arcane Productions. Most recently he was cast in a role in the feature film EVERYTHING, for Parallax Studio.

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