For many Star Trek lovers, the “Discovery” of Star Trek on Roku and other Connected TV devices is not entirely new. And for readers of this blog, you may already know what I think about the Star Trek Discovery series per my article last year. But this year, we have a new show to watch, and it features Patrick Stewart and other iconic actors from Star Trek’s Next Generation show.

I enjoyed the premiere episode, which (was) free on Youtube, and I am tempted to sign up for the entire series. Tempted, but not enough to pay them for it. Note: The following video is a SPOILER!

I did try to subscribe to CBS All-Access with what was advertised as the CBS “gift” code, but after giving CBS my name, email, DOB, and my first male child, the interface did not work, I didn’t get my free month — maybe the code expired, but it was only a week old. So I’m back to weighing the benefits of paying for CBS.

Based on my feelings for Discovery, and based on the things I’ve read about Picard on Facebook, I’ll have to pass. Why pay for it when CBS has operated as a Ad-Supported network for years, and now they expect me to change my viewing habits just for a few new shows – sorry, not enough.

I already pay for Hulu and others. I really wish CBS would reconsider their entire “all access” formula. Let’s talk about something a little more positive. Have you watched Star Trek Continues, Star Trek New Voyages, or the new shows from Tim Russ (of Star Trek Voyager) and his Atomic network? Here’s a full episode of Atomic’s “Renegades.”

I like Renegades, but I prefer the new Trek based series that they are working on. I’ll post episodes as soon as they are made public. I hope that they release the Atomic programs for free and ad-free because it’s the only way I operate. My Roku channels are noncommercial.

And I do this because I love the craft of filmmaking, and I enjoy supporting filmmakers, especially those who make programs out of pure passion for their subject matter. (You can help me support indie film here.)

And that folks is why you’ll find I write often on the subject of fan-made films. And it’s also why I showcase short films on my Free Film Festival and Free Roku Channels.

This is also why I stream great programs like “The Verse” — a Firefly short that just begs to be developed into a series. If only we fans could convince the owners of the franchise to allow fans to produce more noncommercial content. You may watch The Verse on my Roku channels, and of course it is free and advertising free like all my programming.

I’ll talk more about fan films and the regulations later in a adjunct article. This is an enormous area of controversy that I cannot discuss without going into details. But, I will say that for years, the makers of Continues and New Voyages were allowed to produce Trek programming as an homage, as long as the shows were never commercialized/monetized.

And the producers of those shows, along with the Farragut producers did respect the network’s rules that were set forth in “guidelines.” (PS: Farragut is a long-running series of fanfilms that do not get rated very positively on Youtube, so I don’t have a sample for you here.) BUT, I do stream (2) Starship Farragut animated episodes on my Roku Channels.

Something happened a few years ago. Another guy decided to make a Trek fan film, but not with fans. Instead, he hired professional crew and talent, and then he raised money — allot of money with the intention of releasing a professional (perhaps commercially viable) film. He threw it right in the Network’s face on Kickstarter and social media. In the end, according to reports – he openly defied CBS and Paramount in court. To make a long story short, now would be fan-film makers have new “fanfilm guidelines” that really put the “AXE” on how a fan made film can be produced. The films must be 15 minutes…The story-lines and characters may not be continued for more than (2) episodes, etc.

The actions of the “Axe” have effected every producer of Trek films, and I think that in turn may set the course for other franchises. And I stream them all – from Croft to Alien (see my free/adfree Android “Fan Films” app.) So, what I’m getting at here is that one selfish action may just be the thing that is effecting how the new owner, Disney handles requests to do Firefly/Serenity fanfilms. Like I say, there’s more details and I’ll do an entire article on this in the future. For now, I’ll leave you with a look at “The Verse.” — (c) Dean Lachiusa

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