Steam Trek: The Moving Picture
By James Grahame
Join The Captain, Sooty and some wretched fellow with big ears on the maiden voyage of the NCC-1. No ladies in the away team, though. It wouldn't do to have a member of the fairer sex faint in the heat of action.
Dennis Sisterson directed this Super 8 steampunk send-up on a bank holiday weekend in 1994, based upon Ashley Levy's brilliant idea of remaking Star Trek as if it had been created by George Melies. The film made the rounds on the Sci-Fi circuit for years before being re-edited in 2007.
"The idea for what became Steam Trek was first pitched at a meeting at the National Film Theatre by Ashley Levy, who read out a story outline entitled 'Star Trek - The Silent Generation'. The group loved the idea - I liked it so much I asked to direct it - and I joined forces with Ashley to complete the script. After much discussion we agreed to shoot the film on Super-8 rather than video. Although this would be more expensive, we hoped there would be few out-takes, since there would be no lines to fluff!
We converged on the Quaker Meeting House at Billaricay Common on Friday July 2nd, and dragged ourselves out of our sleeping bags at 6am to begin filming. Filming went smoothly despite the sun taking its toll on one or two people, and we were finished by 3pm on Sunday. Only two shots needed a second take, and many of the visual gags were thought up by the cast and crew on the spot."