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Star Trek Phase II - A Motion Picture Fanedit by MERLIN


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Star Trek Phase II ?In Thy Image? (A Motion Picture Fanedit by MERLIN)

What is it about:
When Star Trek The Motion Picture debuted in 1979, what we were seeing was the re-envisioned pilot episode of a T.V. series named Star Trek Phase II. A brief footnote in Star Trek history, the series was cancelled with only 2 weeks to go to the start of production. Following the unprecedented success of Star Wars, Paramount then developed the pilot story, ?In Thy Image?, into what we now know as Star trek The Motion Picture. Presented here as a Fanedit, Star Trek The Motion Picture has been re-edited into the style of a two-part Star Trek episode. A look at what ?In Thy Image? might have looked like had it been made.

My intention for this Fanedit:
To create a true fanedit of Star Trek The Motion Picture. The movie has always been received with some criticism and widely considered to be one of the worst of the Star Trek movies. Yet it has always been one of my favourites, and so I decided to do an edit that could try and improve the movie for others. My main aim was to improve pacing, and give the movie the look of a two-part Star Trek episode. It then seemed only natural to make it appear to be the pilot episode of Star Trek Phase II.

Original film name:
Star Trek The Motion Picture ? The Director?s Cut
A small excerpt from the introduction of the movie Contact (Warner Bros ? 1997) was used in the creation of the new titles.

New film name:
Star Trek Phase II ?In Thy Image?

Film studio name:
Paramount Pictures

Edit crew name:

Date original film was released:
20th December 1979

Date edit was released:
12th January 2008

Original runtime:
131 Mins

New runtime:
Approx 116 Mins
(Part I ? Approx 56 Mins)
(Part II ? Approx 60 Mins)

Amount of time Cut/Added:
Cuts: Approx 26 Mins
Additions: Approx 11 Mins

Main cuts/additions/alterations:
?Added: An introduction to Star Trek Phase II, and Star Trek style titles & end credits ? specially created for this edit.
?Added: 1970?s style Paramount/Gulf & Western logo.
?Cut: Star Trek The Motion Picture?s opening titles ? as previously mentioned, these have been replaced with new opening titles more in keeping with a Star Trek TV episode.
?Moved: The Klingon/V?Ger & Epsilon Station scenes now become the traditional Star Trek pre-title teaser.
?Cut: The meeting between Kirk and Sonak at Starfleet Headquarters ? This is a lovely sequence, and a good first look at Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco. But it was necessary to cut this scene, not only to help cut time, but It was necessary to cut the character of Sonak out of the movie all together (see below).
?Moved: Kirk arriving on the orbiting office complex, and his subsequent inspection of the Enterprise.
?Cut: The chaos on the bridge as Kirk arrives on the turbolift ? I never felt this was right. These are professional Starfleet crewmembers, they shouldn?t be shouting and in a state of uproar.
?Moved: Spock on Vulcan.
?Cut: The transporter accident ? Again, I never felt this was right for Star Trek, it is quite gruesome and I don?t feel it belongs. It is because I had decided to cut this, that it was necessary to cut Sonak out of the movie as this accident involves him.
?Cut: Ilia?s miraculous healing of Chekov?s injury ? it was never explained why Ilia could do this, and I always thought it looked a bit odd, and so it was cut for timing purposes.
?Cut: Approximately half of the V?Ger cloud flythrough ? for timing purposes.
?Cut: Approximately half the V?Ger spacecraft flyover ? for timing purposes.
?Cut: Some bridge scenes and exterior shots just after the Enterprise has been pulled inside the V?Ger spacecraft ? for timing purposes.
?Cut: The Enterprise recreation room scene with Decker and the ?Ilia? probe ? for timing purposes.
?Moved: Spock sneaking into the airlock room and neck pinching the crewmember there.
?Moved: Ilia?s quarters scene.
?Cut: Star Trek The Motion Picture?s end credits (including the ?and the human adventure is just beginning? caption) ? as previously mentioned, these have been replaced with new end credits more in keeping with a Star Trek TV episode.
?Numerous other small cuts and edits for pacing and timing purposes.

It would be interesting to point out here that I had also planned on cutting out all the bitterness and rivalry between Kirk and Decker. This didn?t work out because I found that after I had tried to cut the first scene between them in engineering (the argument between them when Decker finds out that Kirk is taking command), there was no suitable following scene that introduced Decker in the right way. Also had this cut been made, Ilia?s wonderment at Decker only being first officer doesn?t appear to make much sense.

Time needed for the edition:
No comment ? It took some time. As well as actually producing the edit, this was as much of a learning process for me.

Persons involved:

DVD details:
Animated main menu and episode chapter menus, with sound effects and music.
Picture: 16:9/PAL/MPEG-2 ? approx 8Mbps
Sound: Stereo Surround/MPEG 2.0/224Kbps
VIDEO_TS folder: 4.17GB

Software used for the edit:
Nero Vision Express
Dr DivX
MPEG4 Direct Maker
DivX Community Codec

Additional information links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_ ... on_Picture
I'm going to wait for a review (is this your first edit)... but I'm really interested. I've been waiting for someone to do this.

Mind you you could probably have cut another 45 minutes and it wouldn't be missed. :)

My only problem is that there's already a fan edit by this name (an edit of Final Frontier).
I know TMP was suppose to be the pilot to the new series, but there may be some confusion.
It is merlin's second fanedit.
This is my 2nd edit. My first was Trials and Tribble-ations 2nd Edition. To save confusion with Jack Marshall's Star Trek: Phase 2, I have named this one Star Trek Phase II "In Thy Image" - A Motion Picture Fanedit. I have a lot of respect for Jack Marshall's edit of ST V, and have enjoyed watching it. So not much confusion there I hope.
Just finished watching it.
ST:TMP had been on my sights for quite a while and was glad when I heard that Merlin had taken a crack at it since I was in no hurry to do it myself.
The concept itself I found slightly dubious. Any talk of turning motion pictures into tv shows always strike me as a lack of imagination.
But I kept an open mind.

The dvd starts with Merlin's logo with the Carmina Burana cantata. A nice touch.

Then the reading starts.

Apparently, i must read an essay before watching this movie. I could easily navigate out of it to the main menu but I read on.
Nothing I hadn't already read on the download page. i mean i know what this was, otherwise why downloaded?.
I'm starting to get the feeling that I'm already watching the film, you know? kinda endless...
The main menu has a nice nostalgic feel to it although a slightly confusing layout.

I go to part 1.
More reading.
Actually a lot of reading. Going back to 1964. Gene Roddenberry's entire resume. No wonder this show got cancelled. I want phasers and Klingons and all I get is CliffsNotes.
Fast forward to the actual show. A chapter-marker would have been nice but... oh well.
Luckily, there is a nice paramount logo to indicate the beginning of the movie... no wait... the tv show... do tv shows start with logos? oh well... here we go!

And yes, you guest it: More reading. Now I've watched a lot of STAR TREK and I don't remember reading being part of its style.
Hell, I don't think SESAME STREET has as much reading. 1 word, 1 number, couple of songs. Is there going to be a quiz after?
After what appears to be an eternity, I finally get something other than letters flying in space: The Klingon Birds-of-Prey opening of TMP.
Sitting through the 4 minute teaser I realized that Merlin has been too reverent to the material. The teaser is suppose to grab you so you don't change the channel.
I changed the channel.
Or more like I skipped ahead. Merlin's made a nice show opening with Star Trek music I can't identify. nice.
It's weird but the image doesn't look that good. And the sound... If I didn't know better I'd swear the entire cast just inhaled helium. oh well.

Overall Entertainment value: Pretty low.
Anyways, a brave attempt by Merlin.
So you didn't like it, well that's your opinion and I can't change it.

Firstly you only seem to have commented on the self created material I've added, and the quality and composition of the DVD itself. You haven't really said much about what you think regarding what cuts and alterations I've made to the actual movie, and whether or not you think it has been improved. Secondly, seeing that you have posted mainly negative comments here, I'd be interested in seeing one of your edits to compare mine against, but I don't seem to be able to find any. Can you please point me to a couple of yours that I can look at?

But anyway, I'll respond to your comments one at a time.

Yes there's a lengthy introduction - the intro that comes on first is an intro to why I have done the edit - don't want to read it? - try the menu button.

Main menu confusing? Don't see what the problem is there, I've certainly seen more confusing menus that I didn't consider confusing.

As for the history of Trek intro at the start of Part I: Well I thought this would be a nice touch, something for somebody watching that wasn't that knowledgeable as to what Phase II was all about. Besides, length-wise it's no longer than the overture used at the start of ST: TMP on the DVD release, and in fact that is what I used as the backing for the intro. Try watching ST: TMP with the text commentary on, what you will see during that first few minutes is very similar to what I have done. Again, don't want to watch it, try fast forwarding.

The Paramount logo: No....studios don't do this when TV shows air. But....ever bought TV shows on DVD? Well I do, I have quite a lot. Look at anything like Star Trek, Stargate SG-1, etc - they all display the studio's logo before each episode.

A little more intro at the start of the episode itself: Just an update to what's been happening in the Star Trek universe since the end of ST: TOS. Again, don't want to read it? Fast forward.

The teaser: Yes this is a little long. But I have seen pre-title teasers as long on other shows (including Star Trek). And please remember, I'm working from a feature film here, so I can only use what material is available.

Picture and sound quality: The picture was encoded at the highest possible bit-rate that I have available to me. Are you watching this on a HD LCD/Plasma TV? If so, then yes it's probably not gonna look that good. But I've compared it side-by-side with my ST: TMP DVD, and I can't see a great deal of difference. But then I'm not using anything fantastic to play and watch my DVDs with. But hey, I'm happy with it. Sound wise - helium? Again I've played back my DVD against the original ST: TMP side-by-side, and there's no difference to how the cast sound, so no further comment there. I'm a one man show, working on a very basic home PC, and my software will not suport Dolby Digital. So if you don't like the quality, then don't watch it.

As for the couple of positive comments, thankyou: The Merlin Productions tag at the opening to the DVD uses music from Wagner's Gotterdammerung. The music used in my opening titles is an alternative, but unused theme, that was created for ST: TNG.

This is the only negative comment I've had so far. So it would appear you are in the minority. I've had other messages from people saying they liked it.

it would be nice, if you could get them to post these comments here or on Fanedit.org, merlin.
Firstly let it be known now that I am not a big Trekkie fan. I like the older 60?s show and will watch them when I happen to catch it on television. Other than that the extent of my Star Trek knowledge is very slim. I am stating this because I want you the reader to understand that this review is not coming from someone who is fanatical about the series.
With that out of the way let?s get started.

In 1979 my parents took me to see this clunker of a film. Being seven at the time most of what was going on went over my head. In the end I had always found the film to be boring. In fact Merlin?s edit may be the first time I have seen this film in over 20 years. Sure I have the original dvd lost in the house somewhere, but who really has the time to actually watch everything you purchase? I know I don?t.

PLOT: this was already listed by the fan editor Merlin and more so by Kill Billme's review. I tend to disagree a bit with his review and this prompted me to right my own thoughts on the edit skipping the plot since this was already covered

VIDEO MENUS: one sour point some had is that you have a lot of reading on the disc. In fact once you play the dvd you are given a somewhat lengthy review of actually what this whole edit is about. I enjoyed reading this since I am not a big Star Trek fan. Skipping this is easy, just push the menu button on your dvd remote and you are taken to the main menu. Merlin made some nice menus to resemble a control panel complete with sound effects from Star Trek. Here you can select the first or second part of the film or see the intro credits again. Once you select which film part you want to watch you are brought to the chapter select screen. Merlin made the first chapter for each episode the plot outline for what you are about to see with more reading. If you want to skip this, select/go to chapter 2 (yes it is that easy) and the title of the episode shows and it begins.
My only gripe with this is that the reading material should have been a chapter on its own and not connected to the episode outline, but really it is not a big deal.

The picture quality is quite nice. Although it does seem a little soft, but that may be inherit from the source material used. Each episode has various fades that if shown on television would direct you to where each commercial break would go. My only real issue with the video is that on a majority of scene changes, right before a change the last frame is blue. This may be from the editing app or possibly if it was encoded, the encoder not handling scene changes properly. It does occur throughout the entire feature but because it is only one frame it is not distracting. He also remade the beginning and end credits appear like this in fact was a tv show, which I thought was well done.

Ok here is where I have a slight issue. PEOPLE PLEASE take the time to make sure everything is in sync. The first episode starts in sync and then slowly goes a few milliseconds off. It stays that way until 42 mins or so when it appears to go back on track. Likewise the second episode on the disc has similar issues (though not as much as the first episode). It is not off enough to be very distracting but enough so for me to notice it. The second issue I had is to what Kill billme described as high pitch helium voices. I can hear what he is talking about. It?s not that blatantly high in pitch but the pitch seems to be a bit higher than it should be. My only solutions for this are perhaps this is one of the very rare times when you can actually hear the 4% speed up rate from a US film in PAL format. Then again perhaps his source was ntsc and he converted it over to pal and adjusted the audio as such. I am not sure what the reason was, but it is there and you can hear it.

I think Merlin succeeded in doing what he wanted to do: Make the original Star trek movie like the two episode tv pilot it originally was supposed to be. In the process of this he took a film I never really liked and made it enjoyable for me to watch. Despite the technical flaws with this edit, I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars.
If a non Trek fan found this to be enjoyable, the chances are you will too---
Hi Tranzor

Thank you so much for your review, and coming from a non-trekkie who previously somewhat despised the film, that adds a bonus to the review.

I'm not gonna go too much into responding to each comment you've made, as for the most part you did in like what I've done. I'm glad you enjoyed the two introductions, you are a non-trekkie and that's specifically why I put them there: So non-trekkies such as yourself know exactly what's going on, and what it's all about, even if they've never seen Star Trek before. But in retrospect, I should have made the long intro a chapter in itself.

The menu backgrounds were taken by lifting images from the menus on the Motion Picture DVD, and then adding music/sound effects from the many Star Trek CDs I own.

I think the video and audio issues where probably from the way in which I have to create my edits: Due to monetary restrictions I have to use mainly either demo or freeware software in order to complete my edits. Because of this my PC will not, for the time being, process Dolby Digital sound. Because of this it also then affects picture quality because I cannot work directly from the VOB files on the DVDs. So in order to complete the edit process, I have to rip the disc(s) to either MPEG or AVI format files, and then edit from those (that will have also caused the picture "jerkiness" issues that some people have mentioned on my other edit - Trails & Tribble-ations - Extended V2). I think this is where the audio/video issues are coming from. I am looking at upgrading my current software to a pro-version that will allow me to do this properly, with Dolby Digital etc, but its gonna cost me about ?35. If you know of any editing software I can get cheaper or free that will allow the direct editing of VOB files using Dolby Digital, then please let me know.

But anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed my edit and took it for what it was meant to be. I haven't seen any of your edits yet, but I have The Thing, The Last Dawn, and Mad Max - Get To The Point Edit in my trade list. But I'll probably download them myself at some point.

Thanks again for the review buddy.

well I will give you a heads up that no one seemed to like the last dawn (the ending of it), though I still do.

I do not think most people will notice your sync issue. It is way less then a half second off. I just have been doing this stuff for a number pf years so to me I was able to tell. Either way, thanks again for your edit!
what I really liked about the LAST DAWN ending was that it was daring. Even though it did not work for me to well, I still really love it, when a fanediting project is more than conservative scene deletion for improvement. Re-arranging, totally re-focusing, bringing in the unexpected, that's what I really like about fanedits.
Dang, Jorge, that's a pretty harsh critique. I think your honesty is commendable, but don't you think it could have been presented more constructively? I know you're trying to make the critique interesting, but I think the sarcasm is pretty rude.

I'm sure Merlin put a lot of time into this edit, and it is a learning process for him, as it is for all of us. Such a smack down from a respected fan editor is probably enough to convince a guy that its not worth the effort.

I'm assuming there must be some bad blood between you and merlin that I don't know about. But even if that's the case, I worry about new people coming to this site, seeing the atmosphere and being discouraged from trying it themselves.

Well, Taolar, I have to disagree here.
I think KBM's review was absolutely ok for someone, who was not able to enjoy what he saw. Those reviews are as important as the praising ones. There was no flaming, no insult, nothing of that in the review. It pointed out in detail, what went wrong for one person to watch it, which always is subjective of course (but a positive review is as well).
I really hope we do NEVER turn to a place, where one must be afraid to post a review about a fanedit that was not to his likings.
And we all judge differently on what we find important and what not. Believe me, when I say that a lot of reviews here do not reflect my own opinion. And it is great that way.
Now does a negative review keep people from watching it? Yes. Does a positive review make people see a fanedit they don't enjoy? Certainly. And that's why it is great to have them both.
If anyone disagrees to a review, he might as well write his own one, as detailed as possible, so others get the picture. Diversity rules.

What FE does not want is personal attacks and flaming. That's why people like RHR are no longer among us.
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