Exclusive Interview


The fan editor of Prelude to Axanar: Redux dedicated the Alec Peters-free work to the recently deceased Richard Hatch, who played Klingon Commander Kharn the Undying. Image/Axanar Productions

Meet the Fan Editor Who Made 'Prelude: Redux'

Main Article: Fan-Edit of 'Prelude' Eliminates Alec Peters

AxaMonitor reached out to the fan who cut together a version of Prelude to Axanar that eliminated controversial producer Alec Peters’ appearance as Garth of Izar. This exclusive interview reveals why he did it and what he hopes to accomplish.

The editor, who posted his version, Prelude to Axanar: Redux, February 15, 2017, on YouTube under the pseudonym “Tom Richardson” agreed to talk with AxaMonitor on condition of anonymity. He asked to be identified only as a Star Trek fan who has worked on a number of fan series.

KATE VERNON‘s character was referred to as ‘Queen Bitch Whore of the Federation’ in Prelude.

« The line describing Capt. Sonya Alexander was cut because it came across as sexist and degrading, and it didn’t really add anything to the story. It seemed to be there just for shock value. » — Fan editor ‘Tom Richardson’

Watch 'Prelude: Redux'

As expected, Axanar issued a takedown notice on YouTube for Prelude: Redux. Currently, the video is hosted on **AxaMonitor**'s Facebook page.

Q&A with 'Tom Richardson'

AxaMonitor: OK. Let’s start with the big one. Why?
Richardson: I was very impressed when I first saw Prelude to Axanar back in 2014. Although Alec Peters is not a professional actor, I thought he did a fairly good job playing a Starfleet officer in a fan film production. But nothing in his performance felt like I was watching Steve Ihnat, the charismatic actor who played Garth of Izar in Star Trek. I really wanted to see Steve Ihnat in the role again, and have this feel like a proper continuation of classic Star Trek. Even though Steve Ihnat has no lines in the film, it is exciting to see him on screen again.

Takedown from YouTube

See also: The Shoe is on the Other Foot: Axanar Takes Down the Fan Edit

AxaMonitor: If Axanar lodges a takedown request with YouTube for copyright infringement, will you challenge it?
Richardson: I would hope that he wouldn’t do that, and that he would enjoy it for what it is: a fan edit. I also included a link to the original Prelude to Axanar film in the description. This wasn’t made to rewrite history. This was done for fun and to honor the original actor who played Garth of Izar.

AxaMonitor: The guidelines don’t allow fan films to register their work for copyright. Do you think that should apply to Prelude?
Richardson: Yes, I do. CBS and Paramount own Star Trek. I don’t think that should even be questioned.

« This wasn’t made to rewrite history. This was done for fun and to honor the original actor who played Garth of Izar. » Fan editor ‘Tom Richardson’

Alec Peters' Reaction

AxaMonitor: What would you say to Alec Peters if he takes this as a personal slight against him?
Richardson: I would hope that he doesn’t take it as a slight. With most fans, Shatner will always be Kirk and Nimoy will always be Spock. I think the same goes with Steve Ihnat as Garth. It was an iconic role.

Anonymity

AxaMonitor: Why remain anonymous? Does anyone else know who “Tom Richardson” is?
Richardson: I am a Star Trek fan first and foremost, and I am not looking to draw any attention to myself. I did this purely for fun and a love of the original series. A few close friends know that I made this special edit of the film, and they have respected my privacy on the matter.

The Editing Process

See also: 'Prelude' Director Weighs in on Fan Edit

AxaMonitor: How long did it take you to do the edit? How difficult was it? Were there any particular challenges you’d like to recount?
Richardson: It took about four weeks to create this edit. Alec’s role as Garth was a fairly large role in the original version, so a lot of cutting had to be done. The biggest challenge was finding old stock footage of Steve Ihnat that could be inserted into the film in a believable way. It should be noted that none of the Steve Ihnat footage used came from actual Star Trek. I was able to find stock footage of him from the mid 60s in a military uniform, and a friend of mine inserted him into the film on a pre-TOS style bridge. He also altered the uniform Mr. Ihnat was wearing to make it look more like an “Axanar” uniform. He did a great job bringing those shots to life.

AxaMonitor: How do you think it holds together as a film with Peters removed?
Richardson: I think it holds up pretty well. I feel that this edit of the film actually gives Garth a little more mystery. Sometimes less is more.

'Queen Bitch Whore of the Federation'

AxaMonitor: I noticed you eliminated the “Queen Bitch Whore” line describing Capt. Sonya Alexander (Kate Vernon). How come?
Richardson: There were a few lines that were cut to help with the pacing of the film. In some cases, it was because the dialogue was too repetitive, such as having two Starfleet officers speak in Klingon to describe different battle tactics. The line describing Capt. Sonya Alexander was cut because it came across as sexist and degrading, and it didn’t really add anything to the story. It seemed to be there just for shock value.

Final Words

AxaMonitor: Any final words?
Richardson: I’m just happy I could offer people an alternate way to view the film. A lot of good people worked on that film and I hope they get a chance to see this alternate cut.

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