Post by Jon Van Pelt on Mar 3, 2019 10:20:41 GMT -6
Welcome back to the 24th century!
We at TREKISODES are proud to announce that Alex M.P. Matthew’s fanfic series STAR TREK: COURAGEOUS will join our lineup.
About Star Trek: Courageous: The Dominion War is finally over. Starfleet and the Federation Alliance were victorious. But their victory came at a high price. With all resources devoted to the war effort, many Federation worlds and colonies were left alone to defend themselves against dark forces -like the Orion Syndicate- trying to profit from Starfleet’s absence. Now that the peace has been won, it is up to the brave crew of the starship COURAGEOUS to win back the hearts and minds of those who believe the Federation has abandoned them.
Episode 1: Attention To Orders “The crew of the USS Courageous, an Excelsior-class starship assigned as one of several vessels to Sector 23, a long-forgotten corner of the Federation that is now the subject of renewed interest with the end of the Dominion War, must contend with the arrival of a new commanding officer. A standard milk run, escorting a supply convoy heading into the area, allows the crew a chance to become familiar with each other. But when a distress call diverts their attention, it’s only the beginning of a crisis that will test this crew and ship to the best of their abilities.”
Just read the first episode of "Blue Star", really enjoyed it.
There are a lot of similarities with "Knight's Haven", a scripted series I read years ago from somewhere or other, the MZP, maybe? But even in this quick 20-page opener, I can see that it's already very different. I look forward to seeing where it goes...
Thanks for reading & posting feedback Alex! Glad you enjoyed the first episode. I was part of the creative team behind Star Trek – Knight’s Haven which aired its first episode in December 2006 on VirtualStarTrek.com and unfortunately lasted only one season. It feels good to know that there are still people out there who remember the show after almost 12 years! I think that Knight’s Haven was the first virtual Star Trek series that dealt with life onboard a cargo ship. On the surface there are indeed similarities between Knight’s Haven and Blue Star (first of all because it takes place on a cargo ship and it involves a Starfleet officer), but like you said the show is very different from KH.
Next Sunday (March 18th) I’ll be posting the second episode called Ghosts Can’t Be Captain.
Post by Jon Van Pelt on Aug 12, 2017 8:00:14 GMT -6
Let’s talk Audition! One of my favorite VS .
Like I mentioned in one my earlier posts, the more characters you introduce, the more complex the story gets and it’s fantastic.
I specifically enjoyed Alex’s journey into darkness (the scene where he’s talking to an imaginary actor really threw me off guard). I guess being an actor is one of the toughest jobs there is out there. Constantly having to go to auditions, giving it everything you got and then being rejected for the part. At some point you’ll start questioning yourself; am I good enough? So does Alex so it’s really nice to see that side of an “actor’s life” as well.
Alisha: It’s through her relationship with Kelsey that she managed to find the courage to come out and explore her sexuality. Now that Kelsey is in a relationship with another girl, it feels like Alisha is struggling again to accept who she is. Kelsey was her “first contact” in to this strange new world. Now that she’s lost her (as a lover, but not as a friend) I guess she has to find a way to accept who she is and get her own life back on track. Plenty more fish in the sea.
Michael/Paula: it seemed that their story somewhat took a back seat to Alex/Alisha. Nevertheless it’s nice to see Paula becoming a more well-rounded character through the Michael/Paula relationship.
So that’s in short my review/thoughts. Looking forward to the next batch of episodes.
Post by Jon Van Pelt on Jan 22, 2017 5:44:43 GMT -6
I’ve just finished reading the pilot episode. Though it doesn’t have this ‘big bang’ that makes you sit on the edge of your seat, it does introduce the main characters very well. Definitely a show I’d want to read so hoping this series gets picked up.
Post by Jon Van Pelt on Jan 13, 2017 10:39:49 GMT -6
Hello Martin! Thanks for taking an interest in my show. BTW, just call me Jon .
This series is still a work in progress . Over the last two months I’ve been working on another webisode project of mine. Also sci-fi. I’ve sent you a PM with more details if you like to join as a staff writer.
Post by Jon Van Pelt on Oct 4, 2016 4:00:50 GMT -6
I’ve finally been able to catch up with the latest sequence of this show. Yay !
It’s fun to see the main and supporting actors evolve in some kind of ‘ensemble cast’. I enjoyed Alisha’s arc, exploring her bi-sexuality. Although in all honesty that storyline really took me off guard at first. Didn’t see that twist coming. Paula is still… Paula. Michael finally gets his own storyline (screenwriting) instead of being just “the dad”.
Reading AUDITION is like seeing a teen drama on MTV (and I mean this in a positive way of course ).
Post by Jon Van Pelt on Sept 18, 2016 6:25:32 GMT -6
Today the production team behind Enuma Elish released another teaser poster as part of the “Are you ready for the future?” promo campaign. Time for us to catch up with the showrunner, Jon Van Pelt.
VSGuide So are you guys ready for the future?
JVP We definitely are. The outline for the first season is locked and I can tell you it’s going to be an amazing journey! VSGuide How far are you into production?
JVP I guess I should start off with the news that, after long consideration, we’ve decided to write the show in a webisode format. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but at the end of the day we truly felt that this format would suit our story best. For the first season we’ve got 20 episodes planned. The writing staff is just so energized, it’s really amazing. We’ve got a first draft for the first 9 episodes. We recently finished up the treatments for the final 2 episodes so next step will be of course writing the second half of the season.
VSGuide Is there a release date set for the show’s premier?
JVP We haven’t decided on a date yet. But right now we’re looking at somewhere in May 2017. That seems like a very long time but it’ll give us the necessary breathing room to do re-writes if necessary because next to writing the first season we’re already mapping out our second. This gives us the opportunity to put even more thought into the overarching storylines and character arcs.
VSGuide Any news regarding casting?
JVP Well the biggest news I can give you right now is that Chris Pratt and David Giuntoli will not pick up the lead roles of Nathan Storme and Muhiddin Aydin. I know a lot of people will be disappointed, but we realized early on it would be difficult to keep them on board. With Avengers: Infinity War and the Jurassic World sequel in pre-production, it’s just impossible for Chris to commit to a long term TV-project like Enuma Elish. As for David: NBC ordered a sixth season of GRIMM shortly after we pitched our show to theVPN. Of course we’re happy for Chris and David, but it also meant we had to start looking for other actors to fill their roles.
VSGuide Can you give us any names? JVP (smiles)
VSGuide But you’ve finalized the casting process?
JVP For the main cast? Yes. We’re so happy and grateful that we were able to bring together such an amazing group of talented actors to carry our show. Unfortunately I can’t give you any names right now. But we’re planning to get the cast together for a first press conference by the end of October. Having said that, you should keep a close eye on the Season One casting thread. You never know if someone accidentally leaks some casting info.
VSGuide We noticed in the teaser poster that you’ve settled on an official series logo.
JVP Shiny isn’t it? We’re such big fans of Darrin McCann’s artwork here at theVPN so we’re incredibly grateful that he found some time in his busy schedule to create this for us. We’re very proud of what he came up with. The logo really nails down the coolness factor of our show. Extraordinary work.
VSGuide Final question. We’ve talked a bit about the story. We’ve talked about the cast. What we haven’t talked about yet is the ship. The actual title character of the series, the Enuma Elish.
JVP Well just this weekend we’ve approved the final design of the ship. We wanted to go with something retro yet futuristic. We’ve gone through various designs. It wasn’t easy. But I think we really found something that will spark the audience’s imagination.
VSGuide Something we definitely look forward to! Thanks for the interview Jon.
Post by Jon Van Pelt on Jun 19, 2016 9:12:00 GMT -6
“Attention to orders” – review (note: I downloaded the original version)
This is notVirtualStarTrek.com but theVPN. When I downloaded the episode I suddenly realized how difficult it is to write a good ‘Star Trek’ pilot for everyone to like. It has to cater to the fans as well being able to bring in the uninitiated. Star Trek has so much history, I know it must be daunting for non-fans to start on a new show – afraid that they won’t get everything. So first: kudos to you Alex for trying!
I think the first rule for the creator of any new Star Trek show should be: make it your own. Pretend you’re the one who came up with the concept of the Federation, Starfleet, the Klingons, the Vulcans, … . Build the Trek universe from ground up again. If viewers or readers need to know Trek history to understand a certain plot point, dialogue, alien race… Just drop it or make it part of the story in a way that lifts the experience.
So, like Captain T’Sara, I must be half-fan/half non-fan in my review of the pilot episode :
Let me just start with stating that as a fan growing up in Star Trek’s golden age, Courage feels like a natural continuation of the shows produced in that era. Everything is just perfect in this pilot. The dialogue, your descriptions, the techno lingo,… You really know your Trek inside out. Truly amazing! You own it all and it shows in your writing.
Since you’re working in an established universe, you’ve got the luxury to just jump into a story. But that can also be a serious disadvantage. When you mention “oberth-class” or “Nausican” any Trek fan can instantly visualize the scene. But that doesn’t work for a reader who has never seen Trek before. So I think that part of the script needs some more work. Explaining the universe in the action sequences without overdoing it.
This pilot episode had to introduce quite a lot of characters and you only needed two acts to do so. After that the adventure starts and we’re left at the edge of our seats when the end credits roll. I really liked the mystery surrounding the Redoubtable. Great work.
The character that stood out to me was definitely Commander Erickson. His interactions with the crew and Captain T’Sara. He’s a dedicated officer, but at the moment his judgement is a bit troubled. Really interesting what his personal journey will be.
The one thing that for some reason didn’t really worked for me was the relationship between Captain T’Sara and Commander Da Costa. Don’t ask me why, but somehow their loving banter didn’t come across as being truly meant. Somehow I feel there’s something more going on between Da Costa and Lanjar. But that’s probably just my imagination running wild .
So my end verdict:
As a fan, I really enjoyed the pilot though it may need some more work to make it accessible for people who’ve never seen an episode of Trek. From a commercial standpoint: picking up an established show like Star Trek brings in new readers who otherwise wouldn’t visit theVPN. It could draw some more attention to our original programming .
Post by Jon Van Pelt on Jun 15, 2016 4:35:27 GMT -6
Finally a pitch for a new Star Trek series! How cool is that!!!
Being a ‘Trekkie’, every now and then I feel the urge to write some good old fashioned fanfiction myself. Last time that happened was last year. Surprisingly there’re some similarities between your pitch and mine: - the setting was between the end of the Dominion War and Nemesis - dealt with different factions trying to take advantage of the power vacuum after the war - featured Orions in the pilot episode Just to name a few examples.
Of course that’s just all coincidence but had I known you were working one a Star Trek pitch, it would have been fun working on it together.
But on to your pitch:
You’ve definitely worked everything out into great detail. I think you found the right balance between action/character/adventure here. It’s Star Trek but not too trekkie. You’ve got a very diverse crew with different backgrounds to explore. Also nice to see characters from the ‘old’ races featured in the crew (Andorians, Tellarites and Deltans).
I’m really wondering how you’re going to handle the split personality of Captain T’Sara. When it comes to hybrids (like Spock or B’Elanna Torres), it often felt they searched the extremes (Spock trying to be even more logical than a full Vulcan or B’Elanna fighting her Klingon half).
Post by Jon Van Pelt on Jun 14, 2016 12:07:25 GMT -6
ENUMA ELISH. The third sci-fi show to be picked up by theVPN after REALITY (created by Brady Brown) and SYNTHESIS (created by Ciarán Graham). It has been awfully quiet since it was announced back in April that Enuma Elish would be part of the 2017 line-up. So VSGuide decided it was about time they sat down with the show’s creator, Jon Van Pelt (JVP), for an in-depth interview.
VSGuide: Let’s start this interview with another sci-fi series you worked on: Star Trek Knight’s Haven. What did that show mean to you as a writer?
JVP: I guess that’s where it all started for me. Where I learned the craft of writing screenplays. I was fortunate enough to be a part of a strong team led by Kyle West. Next to a great learning experience it was also immense fun. It was the first time I was part of a collaborative effort to put something creative out there for the world to see. Those were great years. Very fond memories.
VSGuide: What happened next?
JVP: I guess you could say I disappeared for a couple of years. But I never really stopped writing. I joined Kyle West’s Grey Cat Productions somewhere in 2011. There I worked as a writer and producer for the second season of Knight’s Haven for MZPtv as well as a creative consultant for two other projects. Unfortunately, due to various circumstances, those projects never fully materialized on one of the networks. After that, it wasn’t until somewhere in 2014 when people saw my name pop up again in the world of virtual series. I joined as a producer on The Godfather, a reboot series based on the popular movie trilogy at the Black Zero Network. And then I had one more short stint as a creative consultant on BIONIC before finally moving on to my own projects.
VSGuide: Did you just say BIONIC?
JVP Crazy coincidence, right? But I’m really happy BIONIC got picked up here at theVPN. The show has a really strong concept. Andrew (R.A. Picking) is a fantastic guy and I know he has some amazing adventures in store for us.
VSGuide: I guess this brings us to our next stop. Your new show, ENUMA ELISH. There hasn’t been much news since we learned about the show’s pick-up. Do we have to start worrying? JVP No. Absolutely not. It’s perfectly normal in this stage of production. I'm still in the process of working out the stories for our first season. None of the cast have officially been signed on yet. There just isn’t much news to report yet. Having said that. You can expect a first teaser poster by the end of the month. (jokingly) Does that count as a spoiler?
VSGuide: I admit we hoped for more! But let’s talk a little bit more about the first season. In your pitch for the show, you said the first season would be more Earth-centric. Why that choice?
JVP: Well, the whole concept of the show - which was originally called APOLLO - dates back to 2014. My initial idea was to just jump right into the middle of the crew’s first deep space adventure. I even wrote a pilot. But after I started working on the layout for the rest of the season, I soon realized it left little room to explore the origins of the crew and this future society they were born into. And that would be very important for the seasons that followed. So I decided to go back to the drawing board and start anew. Fortunately, this process enabled me to deepen the characters and strengthen the overarching storylines.
VSGuide: You mention overarching storylines. Does this mean the show will be heavily serialized or will there be room for standalones?
JVP: In this age of binge-watching , I think the audience expects more than just standalone stories. They want to be part of a journey. And that’s what I want to try the achieve with Enuma Elish. There will be room for the typical standalone adventure, but my goal is to really offer the audience the opportunity to immerse themselves into this brave new world. To become part of it.
VSGuide: That certainly sounds promising. You said the series was originally named APOLLO. Why the name change?
JVP: Interesting question. Sci-fi shows are very often American-centered. I guess I wanted to broaden our horizon. Do something different. Which is why I envisioned an internationally diverse crew. We’ve made casting calls around the globe to fill the roles. I think this alone sets the series apart from other genre shows. Having the name APOLLO attached to it suddenly didn’t seem to fit anymore. ENUMA ELISH has always been on one list or another. It’s a name I’ve always loved. I don’t know if people are aware of it, but they are actually the opening words of the Babylonian creation myth. And I guess this is why I feel the name fits perfectly for this show. I’m trying to create a new world, a new mythology.
VSGuide: When you say mythology and talk about overarching storylines, there has to be some serious planning done before you can write the first word of an episode on paper. Does this mean everything about Enuma Elish is already set in stone?
JVP: Absolutely not. And I know that must sound strange. Of course I know where the show is heading to, but the journey and where it takes us is as much a mystery to me as it is to you. We need room for creativity. Sometimes when you’re writing a story, it starts to lead a life on its own. I think, as a writer, we need that freedom. As a showrunner I try to focus on execution, not detailed planning. Writing should be fun!
VSGuide: And so it should. One last question: name one actor who you definitely want to have on the show.
JVP: (thinks hard) Gary Oldman.
VSGuide: In what role?
JVP: (jokingly) You already had your last question. Don’t trick me.