>From the New York Times;

June 18, 2006
'Star Trek' Fans, Deprived of a Show, Recreate the Franchise on 
Digital Video

MASON NECK STATE PARK, Va. — Paul Sieber was wearing a "Star Trek" 
uniform in the deep Virginia woods when he found himself surrounded 
by a leathery-looking gang. 

Fortunately, the ruffians were dressed up as Klingons, and Mr. 
Sieber, with a cigarette dangling from his mouth, was preparing to 
film them with a $6,000 digital video camera. At times like this, Mr. 
Sieber, the writer and director of "Starship Farragut," must come to 
grips with the obvious — not all Klingons are trained actors — and 
bellow, "Quiet on the set!" 

>From these Virginia woods to the Scottish Highlands, "Star Trek" fans 
are filling the void left by a galaxy that has lost "Star Trek." For 
the first time in nearly two decades, television spinoffs from the 
original 1960's "Star Trek" series have ended, so fans are banding 
together to make their own episodes. 

Fan films have been around for years, particularly those related to 
the "Star Wars" movies. But now they can be downloaded from the Web, 
and modern computer graphics technology has lent them surprising 
special effects. And as long as no one is profiting from the work, 
Paramount, which owns the rights to "Star Trek," has been tolerant. 
(Its executives declined to comment.)

Up to two dozen of these fan-made "Star Trek" projects are in various 
stages of completion, depending what you count as a full-fledged 
production. Dutch and Belgian fans are filming an episode; there is a 
Scottish production in the works at www.ussintrepid.org.uk. 

There is a group in Los Angeles that has filmed more than 40 
episodes, according to its Web site, www.hiddenfrontier.com, and has 
explored gay themes that the original series never imagined. Episodes 
by a group in Austin, Tex., at www.starshipexeter.com, feature a ship 
whose crew had the misfortune of being turned into salt in an episode 
of the original "Star Trek," but has now been repopulated by Texans. 

"I think the networks — Paramount, CBS — I don't think they're giving 
the fans the 'Trek' they're looking for," said Mr. Sieber, a 40-year-
old engineer for a government contractor who likens his "Star Trek" 
project, at www.starshipfarragut.com, to "online community theater."

"The fans are saying, look, if we can't get what we want on 
television, the technology is out there for us to do it ourselves," 
he added. 

And viewers are responding. One series, at www.newvoyages.com, and 
based in Ticonderoga, N.Y., boasts of 30 million downloads. It has 
become so popular that Walter Koenig, the actor who played Chekov in 
the original "Star Trek," is guest starring in an episode, and George 
Takei, who played Sulu, is slated to shoot another one later this 
year. D. C. Fontana, a writer from the original "Star Trek" series, 
has written a script.

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