Star Trek fans are getting a late Christmas present thanks to West Hollywood resident, journalist and radio personality, Cary Harrison.
On Jan. 9 at 3 p.m., Harrison is streaming Star Trek: Of Gods and Men—a rarely seen 2007 video—on his websites, GoHarrison.com and TheSmartShow.org. The film will be available for on-demand viewing through the websites’ archives.
Tim Russ, best known for playing Lt. Tuvok on the Star Trek: Voyager TV series, directed and starred in Of Gods and Men, along with Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig (Lt. Uhura and Lt. Chevok from the original 1960s Star Trek TV series), plus Alan Ruck (Captain Harriman in the 1994 Star Trek: Generations movie).
An independently made movie, franchise owner Paramount Pictures gave its blessing to the film, allowing the rights to use the Star Trek characters. However, Paramount will not let the film be shown commercially; thus the film has only screened publicly at sci-fi conventions.
Immediately prior to the streaming, director Russ will appear in a pre-taped interview on Harrison’s web show at 2 p.m. (Pacific time) on Jan. 9 to discuss the film, as well as the state of today’s world through the eyes of Star Trek. That show also simulcasts on public radio stations KPFK (90.7 FM), the Los Angeles Pacifica station, and WBAI (99.5 FM), the New York City Pacifica station.
Then at 3 p.m. (Pacific time), the movie will begin streaming online, without commercials, on the Go Harrison website and TheSmartShow.org. From 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Pacific time), Russ will appear for a live Q&A about the film with phone-in callers on Harrison’s other web show, Harrison’s Hangout.
Harrison, who produces his shows from his West Hollywood apartment (one in which Marilyn Monroe once lived), said he hit it off with Russ after meeting him on the red carpet at a science fiction convention.
“I found him to be highly intelligent and thought he would be a good guest for the show,” said Harrison, whose shows typically discuss topics that the mainstream media often overlook. His show’s tagline is “preventing truth decay.”
A longtime Star Trek fan, Harrison jumped at the chance to make the video available to a wider audience.
“The movie is Tim’s creative love child,” Harrison said. “I though it should be presented to an eager global fan base, respecting the legal limitations that Paramount has placed on the distribution of such a film. As long as he’s not charging ticket prices, he can show it. That’s why I’m making it available to the audience.”
A Valentine to fans of the original Star Trek series, the storyline for Of Gods and Men ties up some loose ends from episodes of the original series, bringing back several one-shot characters.
The movie is set in the year 2306, some 12 years after the events in the Star Trek: Generations movie. All the main characters of the original series (Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy) are referenced, but only Uhura and Chevok appear.
The 90-minute movie also features several other actors from various Star Trek TV series, but not as the characters they are famous for playing – Garrett Wang (Harry Kim on Voyager), Ethan Phillips (Neelix on Voyager) and Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine).
“It’s a very good film. True Star Trek fans will really enjoy it,” said Harrison. “This is a serious movie, not a parody. There are some light, humorous moments as is typical of all the Star Trek shows, but it’s a serious film.”
Fans expecting state-of-the-art special effects will be disappointed.
“It’s not a super high-budget film; it’s more fan based,” said Harrison. “There are special effects, but they are in line with what you saw on the TV series in the 1990s. But Star Trek stories have always really been about the characters and the situations. This film does both very well.”