Thursday, January 19, 2006

ZICREE TO WRITE AND DIRECT STAR TREK!

The word is finally official! I'm going to be co-writing and directing the STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES episode "World Enough, And Time," starring George Takei!

My collaborator is Emmy winning STAR TREK - THE NEXT GENERATION writer Michael Reaves.

For more info, check out www.startreknewvoyages.comBut here's a visual clue as to why I'm so jazzed about this, taken when I was twelve...



And here's the article I wrote relating the amazing way this all came about:

BACK ABOARD THE ENTERPRISE

by Marc Scott Zicree
copyright 2006 Marc Scott Zicree


My relationship with STAR TREK goes way back, to when I was a kid and first saw the ads for TREK before it premiered. From the moment it first aired, my life was changed forever. THE MAKING OF STAR TREK was the book that first made me want to be a TV writer, and the Christmas present of a visit to the actual set when I was twelve (for the shooting of the last original episode ever shot, “Turnabout Intruder”) was a dream come true.

When I grew up, I got to realize my dream of becoming a successful writer and producer in television, and to meet and become friends with many of the TREK writers who first inspired me, from Theodore Sturgeon to Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson, George Clayton Johnson, David Gerrold, Jerry Sohl and Dorothy Fontana. (In fact, I even had the pleasure of working with David Gerrold on an episode of SLIDERS when I was a producer on that show.)

Selling to STAR TREK – TNG and DEEP SPACE NINE (the episodes “First Contact” and “Far Beyond the Stars,” respectively) was a further step in achieving my ambition of being part of the great history of STAR TREK, and it’s been marvelous to work with and get to know such marvelous performers as Armin Shimerman, Roxann Dawson and Robert Picardo.

There was one actor I was eager to work with but somehow never found the opportunity – George Takei. I’d always thought he was a superb actor, one who rarely got the opportunity to show his range or power.

I first met George when I interviewed him about “The Encounter” the long-lost episode of TWILIGHT ZONE he starred (brilliantly) in, as research for my book THE TWILIGHT ZONE COMPANION. Since then, we’d crossed paths many times, but I’d never had the chance to work with him.

But then several months ago, I had the good fortune to moderate a STAR TREK panel at a science fiction convention put on by UCLA. Walter Koenig was on the panel and told me about the NEW VOYAGES episode he was about to star in. Intrigued, I checked out their website and was very impressed by the high quality of the work being done.

More than that, I thought they were getting TREK right, doing it with a passion and skill and sly humor that was enviable. I ended up downloading the second episode and showing it to everyone I could get to watch it (including some friends who are running some of the top SF shows now on the air).

Which was where my friend Michael Reaves came into the equation.

Back in the late 1970s, Paramount had intended to do a second STAR TREK series entitled STAR TREK – PHASE II. The studio spent millions building sets and buying an entire season of scripts. One story they loved was pitched to them by Michael Reaves, who had just recently broken in as a TV writer. It was a terrific story in which Sulu ended up thirty years older as part of the adventure.

Ultimately, however, Paramount decided to make STAR TREK features instead and the plug was pulled on PHASE II. As a result, Michael’s story was never made. Michael filed the story away and went on to become an Emmy winner and Writers Guild Award nominee, plus a New York Times bestselling author.

But I’d always loved Michael’s story and realized that now – thirty years later -- it would make a great NEW VOYAGES episode. Michael and I updated and expanded his storyline. I then contacted the NEW VOYAGES producers and met with them. Once I got their enthusiastic response, I met with George and his manager to see if George might be open to doing the episode. I was most gratified by their positive response.

George is now aboard to star and Michael and I are about to begin writing what I feel confident will be one of the landmark episodes of TREK. And as a special bonus, I get to direct it! (Did I mention that in the years since I stepped on the TREK set as a boy, I’ve also become a director?)

So in a few months, I’ll be stepping onto those marvelous sets in Ticonderoga, New York, to collaborate with one of my favorite actors. I’m sure it will be with a sense of déjà vu. When I was a kid, they let me stand on the transporter and even sit in the Captain’s chair.

Maybe they’ll let me do it this time around, too.


STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES
“World Enough, And Time”
Writers and Director

MARC SCOTT ZICREE, co-writer and director, has written and sold more than 100 scripts, including credits on STAR TREK - THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE NINE, BABYLON 5, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, FOREVER KNIGHT and TWILIGHT ZONE, as well as numerous pilots for Showtime, ABC, NBC and syndication. He's served as Executive Producer on REAL STORY (a pilot project in association with Tom Fontana), Producer on SLIDERS, Co-Producer on THE LAZARUS MAN, executive story editor on BEYOND REALITY and story editor on FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH - THE SERIES. He's also the author of the best-selling TWILIGHT ZONE COMPANION. His work has been nominated for the American Book Award nominee, Diane Thomas Award and the Humanitas Prize.

Zicree has recently completed work on the acclaimed MAGIC TIME trilogy of novels for HarperCollins, the most recent of which, MAGIC TIME – GHOSTLANDS made the 2005 Los Angeles Times bestseller list. Additionally, over the past season he has had pilot development deals with Universal and Twentieth Television and is currently in negotiations to write and executive produce four movies for the Sci-Fi Channel with NAPOLEON DYNAMITE producer Chris Wyatt. Beyond this, he is at work on DEAD STOP, a TWILIGHT ZONE-style anthology film he will be co-writing, producing and directing, in association with Michael Reaves, CARNIVORE’s Ken Mader, BABYLON 5’s Julie Caitlin Brown, Roxann Dawson, Armin Shimerman, Robert Picardo, John Rhys Davies, and STARGATE’s Michael Shanks.

MICHAEL REAVES, co-writer, has written for STAR TREK - THE NEXT GENERATION, TWILIGHT ZONE (Writers Guild Award nomination) and dozens of other series. Recently, he won an EMMY for writing and story-editing the animated BATMAN series on the Fox Network. Additional credits include serving as writer-producer on Steven Spielberg’s INVASION AMERICA, story-editing GARGOYLES for Disney and scripting (with Richard Christian Matheson) the movie FULL ECLIPSE for HBO. Michael is also New York Times bestselling author, with more than 20 fantasy and science fiction novels to his credit, with titles published by Bantam, Tor, Berkley, etc.

Most recently, Reaves has completed co-writing the book INTERWORLD with Neil Gaiman and penning THE IRREGULARS graphic novel for Dark Horse. He is currently at work on film, TV and book projects, including the hardcover STAR WARS novel DEATH STAR for Random House.

2 Comments:

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Congratulations, Marc! I'm so excited for you. :)

 
At 11:01 PM, Blogger Action Star said...

Cool Marc, I like your blog and think it's great what you are doing with your project!

 

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