Friday, 1 April 2016

Out of the Ashes: FCD 2016 - the Ongoing Mission

With just two months to go, plans for First Contact Day 2016 were unexpectedly postponed.
In February I spoke to Wil Ross and David Limburg about their plans for the upcoming April event and everything seemed to be heading in the right direction. I had some really good info and had, as always, a great chat with the two gents who were as passionate as ever about this event for UK fans. Sadly only a few days later things took a turn and their Facebook page bore the news that due to apparent conflicts with CBS the show would be delayed for 12 months until April 2017.

It seems CBS were unhappy with the use of anything Star Trek related to which they held the copyright that had been used to promote the event. Compromises had been made during 2015, material had been removed or altered to appease the network and everything seemed rosy for a time however it wasn't to be and CBS came back with more issues at the beginning of 2016. Not only that but ticket sales had slowed even after significant financial input to a hefty marketing campaign which had also meant switching to a smaller venue before the brakes were firmly applied.

While many would have seen this point as the final nail and the time to pull out, Wil and David have pushed on and this weekend will see the Park Inn, Telford host a one day special event - FCD Out of the Ashes.

Free to all First Contact Day ticket holders and just a tenner for anyone who wants to go, it still promises to be a fantastic day packed from 10am all the way through to 5pm and after that there's the option of an evening meal and a party to finish off.

So what can you expect from this one day Star Trek event? Well the itinerary is out and available to see. There will be four guests in the form of Deep Space Nine's Aron Eisenberg and J G Hertzler plus Babylon 5's Claudia Christian and Renegades actor John Carrigan. Trekyards will also be in attendance plus there's a chance to come and ask questions to myself and other media platforms including The Engage Podcast and Geek Apocalypse in a special media summit during the afternoon (really excited to do this!)

This makes the second Star Trek linked project I know of to be hit by the CBS/Paramount juggernaut in regards to Intellectual Property. It seems very likely that the reasoning is linked to the 50th anniversary and only multiplied by the upcoming Beyond and the 11 month-distant series in 2017. It seems that FCD is not the only event to be affected by these Cease and Desist notices as a few posts I've seen on various forums has indicated. Will this mean that they'll be going after other series, sites and the like?

As a non-profit event it's even more of a mystery why they're coming down on FCD with a heavy hand but fingers crossed that Wil and David will be able to stage the event in 2017 at the same venue and with the full stellar line up which will also include Garrett Wang, Gwyneth Walsh and many more.

Out of the Ashes does mean that we'll get to see some of the announced guests on UK shores if only for a one day event and, as said, Some Kind of Star Trek will be in attendance to support the FCD team alongside the other media partners. While this may be a much-scaled down event, the efforts of the organisers has to be recognised and I have no question it will still be an amazing day. 

Look forward to seeing you there and hey, come and have a chat!

Do you know which Star Trek related events are being affected by CBS/Paramount? Are you still going to the event?

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