Sci-Fi Ventures on the Web
A dedicated company of fans has, with the permission and support of Paramount and the Gene Roddenberry estate, endeavored to create Star Trek, Season Four, of the original series. The non-profit webisodes can be downloaded or viewed for free, and feature actors playing the classical roles of the series, but in their own interpretations of the characters rather than performances that mimic the original actors. George Takei, who played Sulu in the 1960’s Star Trek, and other past Trek cast guest star and lend their support. With three 1-hour episodes available so far, Star Trek: New Voyages has won T.V. Guide’s Online Video Award for best new Sci-Fi webisode, beating out web broadcasts of television shows such as Battlestar Galactica and The 4400 and MySpace’s Afterworld.
2) Venus Rises: http://www.venusrises.TV
Hermit of the Mountain, a production company established in 2006 to make video podcasts/vidcasts, is showing their sci-fi series Venus Rises both on the Web and in January 2008, on the Illusion sci-fi channel of Direct TV. The half-hour episodes, four filmed so far for Season 1, are set some fifty years in the future, when cataclysmic events on Earth have sent humans scurrying to colonized Mars and Venus. When tensions erupt between the working class outposts on Venus and the educated elite on Mars, a group of Mars and Venutian citizens on a mining ship and a refueling station orbiting Earth find themselves caught in the middle of the conflict, with torn allegiances. The show was created by Hermit of the Mountain’s founder, Jason Birdsall, and includes the writing and acting talents of C.S. Arnold III, who has written for such television shows as Smallville, One Tree Hill and The O.C., and performances by Jack P. Dempsey, familiar from Guiding Light and One Life to Live. In addition to the episodes, streaming ancillary shorts that reveal past events of the show’s backstory – dubbed Interspace episodes – will also be available.
3) Barrier: http://www.barrier.net.nz/
New Zealand producer Sheldon Whittaker has set up a site that polls interested SF fans on the casting and development of his proposed sci-fi television show Barrier. The show is set in 2439, when a government alliance of planets has set up the Barrier Racing League to promote the development of faster starship engines. A maverick racing team trying to win the prize gets into trouble when it salvages new technology from an alien derelict.