There’s a new movie due soon, and the first TV series since the . . . well, since the last one.
To date, there have been five incarnations of Star Trek on TV, six movies with the original cast, four with the Next Generation and two (and counting) of the reboot featuring a young James Tiberius Kirk, Spock, Uhura and the rest of the space cowboys going boldly where no one has gone before.
Chances are if you own a TV you’ve seen some Star Trek, whether you meant to or not. But on Saturday, Feb. 20, London fans will get the opportunity to see something few people in the world have experienced when Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage blasts off at Bud Gardens.
The multimedia performance features a live symphony orchestra playing before a 40-ft screen, projecting many of the most memorable moments from the TV shows and films.
Producer Justin Freer said the event, which launched just a month ago in Florida, is a buffet for the senses.
“If you can imagine 50 years of the greatest music from across the franchise. It’s some of the most iconic music and some of the best-known scenes. You can imagine a symphony orchestra playing music from a fight scene or the beautiful music from the docking sequence of the Enterprise from (Star Trek: The Motion Picture), which is one of the most beautiful things ever written for a motion picture,” Freer said.
“So there’s a great collection of 50 years of music all set to a 40-foot-wide screen, with HD footage projected onto that screen that portrays the Enterprise over 50 years, or close bonds in space over that time or it traces man’s exploration or what it means to be human.”
Freer said one of the great things about Star Trek is that it means something to everybody and there’s something for everybody.
“On the list of many genius maneuvers of (Star Trek creator) Gene Roddenberry is that he was able to connect with everybody in a subtle way about very important issues.”
That said, Freer admitted to butterflies before staging the first show simply because the franchise does mean a lot to millions of people around the world. In a way, he identifies with director J.J. Abrams, who not only rebooted the Star Trek franchise, but also the beloved Star Wars as well — both with spectacular results.
“It never goes away, and I think it helps us to be the best that we can be and I think we have an immense responsibility to Roddenberry and all the actors and the composers. It comes with a bit of weight on our shoulders and I hope we’ve told the story well.”
While Freer grew up with The Next Generation series, he finds the older he gets, the more he falls in love with the original series.
“I love the escapism that exists — that needed to exist then. Because the technology was so limited, they really needed to convince people musically that they were on another planet fighting alien species. That was a real challenge.”
Another challenge is moving the entire production from place to place. Freer said it’s not unlike touring with a large rock band. They unload and begin to set up at 8 a.m., and then they break it all down late into the night after the show.
“But it’s worth it. We’re all after the same goal of sharing this wonderful legacy that Roddenberry created,” he said.
Tickets are still available on the Budweiser Gardens website and at the door.