Trekkies 2, the sequel to the hilarious 1997 documentary Trekkies tours the SF Cons of the planet Earth. We see more people and more places, but less of what made Trekkies both compelling and hilarious. Members of the series crews also make themselves conspicuous by their absence.
Director: Roger Nygard
Features: Denise Crosby
Assorted Trek fans
Seven years after the original film, Nygard and Crosby once more examine trekkies, profiling fans in Serbia, Australia, Brazil, and elsewhere. They also devote a fair bit of time to the United States, where we catch up with people profiled in the original film. These include Whitewater alternate juror Barbara Adams, and nerd icon Gabriel Köerner, who since Trekkies has guest-starred as himself on tv shows and found work in the industry, doing visual effects for Battlestar Galactica (2003) and Serenity (2005). Naturally, we do not see creepy Spiner-femme Anne, who has spewed much venom on the original movie, which she felt showed her in a bad light.
We do meet some interesting people, to be sure. Tony Alleyne of England, for example, has converted his entire home into a Federation starship. This chap has gone farther than the infamous Federation dentist of the original film, who had decorated his office in an SF theme. He and his staff wore NextGen outfits, and he and his wife openly discussed the fact that they engage in sexual role-play as series characters. Alleyne, however, actually lives full-time in a faux twenty-fourth century spacecraft.
He claims the project took his mind off his divorce and severe depression.
Another group of fans discuss filk, which many people feel the first film had misrepresented. Trek has attracted other types of musicians as well. The film includes profiles on Trek-themed bands, which all seem to hail from Sacramento, California.
We see other fans, less fanatical but perhaps more motivated. The Serbian trekkers turned to Roddenberry's vision in part because they have depressingly real experience of what happens when we don't practice tolerance. At this point, we get a glimpse of a direction the film might have taken, but did not.
Trekkies 2 gives us too little consideration of the whys of fandom. It doesn't even seriously attempt to answer its own subtitle, How Much is Too Much?. We've already watched the funny film about Trek fans. A sequel needs to build on the original, especially when it can't match it in the humor department.
Very few cast members appear, and none from either the original series or the Next Generation. Some actors from Enterprise provide comment, but the controversy over that show receives only indirect reference, with some fans suggesting that "perhaps" Trek should go on hiatus until those in charge can come up with "more creative" ideas.
The film toured SF Conventions, but did not receive mainstream theatrical release. Most people will see it on DVD, which features a number of extras. These include some fan films, information on the director's other projects, a commentary track, and nearly an hour of deleted scenes. DVD viewers can watch segments on Trek art, meet couples who met through Trek, and follow an interview with Free Enterprise director/co-writer Robert Mayer Burnett. Viewers can also spent more time with Gabriel and Allison Köerner. He remains somewhat socially inept, but he retains his affable personity, tempered by some perspective about his interests and his status as a "Z-list celebrity."
The amateur films don't provide a lot of entertainment. Visually, they look surprisingly professional, especially given their meagre budgets. Certainly, they speak to fannish devotion. But Köerner's short film, while it boasts impressive effects, just isn't very funny. Brian Dellis's, in which a Scotty-heavy crew shoot it out in the old west, seems like a lot of effort to capture forty-somethings playin' Cowboys 'n' Astronauts.
I'd have preferred Ken Hegan's William Shatner Lent Me His Hairpiece. That is a fan film.
Trekkies 2 provides some laughs and some small insights into fandom. It also demonstrates the widespread appeal of Star Trek. As with many media franchises, the original makes for better viewing.