Fan Film, Fan Films

Star Trek: Phase II’s Controversial Gay Episode

star trek new voyages phase ii blood and fireThe most recent episode of Star Trek: Phase II, “Blood & Fire: Part One,” has been making waves for its portrayal of gay crew members on the U.S.S. Enterprise. Since its release on December 20, the show has been eliciting reactions online ranging from kudos to cries of exploitation to declarations that it’s an affront to the family values traditionally associated with the original Trek.

Written and directed by David Gerrold—the writer behind the most famous Trek episode ever, “The Trouble With Tribbles,”—”Blood & Fire” is based on a script he wrote decades ago for Star Trek: The Next Generation, which was shelved because of the mention of a gay crewman aboard the Enterprise.

Most of the controversy surrounding “Blood & Fire” centers around an unflinching intimate scene between Kirk’s nephew Peter and a boyfriend (basically picture the typical Trek tryst and replace the green-skinned babe with another guy). Michael Hinman covers the tempest in a teapot over at with his article, “Did Fan-Produced Star Trek Go To Far?” (sic). Reactions to Hinman’s reaction can be found in the site’s forums.

I’d be the last to say that I know the Phase II crew well, even though I interviewed executive producer/”Captain Kirk” James Cawley extensively about Phase II for my fan film book, Homemade Hollywood. Still, I strongly doubt that they were specifically looking to court controversy; instead, I expect they were just looking to tell a compelling story and it happened to include gay themes—end of story.

Nonetheless, each viewer should decide for him- or herself their thoughts on the episode (and that said, my take? I’m fine with it, but I ain’t passing a DVD of it on to my Trek-obsessed father-in-law). What do you think? Throw in your two cents below in the comments section.

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7 Responses to “Star Trek: Phase II’s Controversial Gay Episode”

  1. Stewart McDonald

    It’s about time that one questioned was answered. “Where there gay people serving in the Star Fleet”? The entire concept of Roddenberry’s creation and the notions that they had socially evolved indicated that such relationships were no longer met with prejudice, but we never saw them. So with an episode, written by an original series writer answering this question once and for all, I don’t see what the controversy is.

  2. cliveyoung

    I completely agree, which is why I characterized it as “a tempest in a teapot.” :)

  3. Mike K

    I would like someone to explain to me how it is okay for my very impressionable 7 year old boy to witness two men in bed making out on a show that he loves. If anybody thinks this is acceptable then you are very sick people. This scene in Phase II was not only disgraceful, it was also highly irresponsible because there was no parental warning to people like me who don’t want to subject their children to ideas like this until they are old enough to understand. SHAME ON YOU!!!

    SOMEBODY PLEASE EXPLAIN…I REALLY WANT TO UNDERSTAND!!! …and don’t throw the Kirk/Uhura kissing scene at me because that is totally different. Also, the fact that this behavior should be more accepted in the future is irrelevant since we are not yet in the future. Even then, I think it would be irresponsible to subject these ideas to small children.

    BTW: Other than that scene, I thought this was a very well done production which makes me wonder even more why it was necessary to add this scene.

    I invite all answers, comments, and questions here or you can e-mail me at

  4. cliveyoung

    I suspect it has a lot to do with what each of us as a parent is willing to expose our children to. I have a daughter younger than your son, but when she turns 7 in a few years time, personally, I won’t be exposing her to Star Trek in general, as I don’t think the monsters, killing, fighting and yes, making out (straight or gay) will be appropriate for her at that age. Clearly it’s a different story for you and your son, which is fine–parents have different approaches to parenting, and your son may be more ready for such material than my kid. I know full well that it’s impossible for a parent to pre-screen everything that a child sees, and realize you were caught completely off guard, but to be honest, the Phase II guys did a lot of promotion about the episode’s depiction of gay crewmembers and how it was a story that had been turned down by the TNG series for its gay content. If you didn’t see that information, I understand how you could be thrown for a loop once that scene came on. On the other hand, they definitely weren’t keeping the gay content a secret; it’s been a center-point of their promotion throughout the production of Blood & Fire.

  5. Mike K

    To cliveyoung:

    Thank you for a well thought out response. You’re right, I was totally caught off guard which is why I was, and still am, upset over this. I was simply doing a search for the “Of Gods and Men” series when I stumbled on to Star Trek Phase II. It never occurred to me that anyone would think of turning Star Trek in to a homosexual type of program so I did not do any research. That said, there was nothing on the web page where I found the video that would warn me of it’s gay content. That is what is most upsetting to me.

    My boy has already told his best friend about what he watched and I really hope that he, in turn, doesn’t tell his parents that I subject small boys to this garbage. Think of how embarassing and harmful that could be to me as a parent.

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