Star Trek: Excalibur in 2005
Star Trek: Excalibur, a non-profit (501c) organisation with any proceeds to be donated to charity, is based out of Las Vegas and sprang up at the start of June and the advances over these few months have been nothing short of amazing!
Whilst they are still looking for a location to build their set in the area, they have recreated the Enterprise Captains chair and they are mooting small design changes to the Enterprise of the Original series. This will show that the ship is a development of the original Constellation class and is moving towards the designs used in Star Trek The Motion Picture. This is in keeping with the idea that, although their timeline is the Original Series, they are not doing a recreation of the 1960's show it will definitely have a 21st century look. They are aiming at 51 minute long episodes and have a tentative agreement with a composer for an original score. There is even the possibility it will be recorded with a real orchestra rather than being done by computer!
As regards to sets, one advantage to Las Vegas is that it is close Death Valley, Vasquez Rock, Valley of fire and Red Rock Canyon (which will be used in the first episode) all of which which will look great as alien worlds! They will be working on the "similar worlds" concept for budgetary reasons and have promised that any aliens they create will not drop into the mould of being "cheesy" or "forehead of the week". One alien who might appear though could be M'Ress, the Caitian of ST: The Animated Series
Their premise is that the USS Excalibur has been in spacedock, orbiting over San Francisco, for the past two years being repaired and refitted. This was as a result of the War Games in which the USS Enterprise, under the control of the M-5 computer ("The Ultimate Computer"), nearly destroyed the ship and killed the entire crew. Their first episode is currently titled "Beginnings" and they have a second script finished called "Odd Vulcan Out" by Camren Ted Burton, an excellent subplot for their newest cast member, LTJG Washburn.
Their latest news is that they have just posted their first promotional trailer, available as a WMV file by clicking the link from their main page. The CGI is looking good, but I especially liked the music which is a remix cut made especially for the trailer that uses "Cube Radiation" from "The Corbomite Maneuver" and "Star Trek VI Suite" from Star Trek VI.
Check out the "Slice of Sci-Fi" podcast for August 25th where their Head Writer & Executive Producer, Joseph Kerezman, was interviewed.