Did CBS just violate their own Star Trek fan film guidelines?


With the recent hire of Rekha Sharma for Star Trek: Discovery, this has left many fans puzzled as to the future of Star Trek: Continues.

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Unless you have been living in a Reman penal colony, you know CBS vs fan films has been a hot issue. With the recent settlement between CBS and Axanar Productions, most fans felt the issue would now die down. But CBS just keeps trying to trip itself up.

The recent addition of Battlestar Galactica alumni, Rekha Sharma, CBS has potentially forced a rules violation onto Star Trek: Continues. What rules am I referring to? Well, none other than the now infamous ‘Fan Film Guidelines’.

Rule number 5 states that fan film cast “…cannot be currently or previously employed in any Star Trek series, films, production…”  The only problem here is, Rekha Sharma was recently heavily featured on Star Trek: Continues.

Retroactive Action!

When Rekha Sharma was cast in ‘Continues’ there had not been any formal announcement regarding her role on ‘Discovery’. Indeed, Rekha’s ‘Continues’ episode was posted a full 30 days prior to CBS’ accountment.

So, technically speaking, the ‘Continues’ production staff wasn’t violating any of the fan film guidelines. However, CBS has put the show in a bind; are they allowed to keep Rekha’s episode online, or do they have to pull it?

There hasn’t been any official word from CBS on whether or not they will retroactively enforce the fan film guidelines. But this, in my opinion, just goes to showcase how ridiculous the fan film guidelines are.

Guidelines or Shackles?

This isn’t the only rule the ‘Continues’ production staff has broken in the past. Most, if not all, of the episodes published, exceed the maximum 30-minute time-limit. (Rule #1) And yet, CBS hasn’t (to our knowledge) requested any episodes be pulled or re-edited down.

So with that in mind, it would seem that CBS looks to enforce these rules only when convenient. Unfortunately, that has the potential to limit creative freedom and create an unfair playing field. What one production gets away with, another many not.

As a creative team you will naturally want to push the limits of the rules; but who knows when CBS decides it’s time to enforce them? These rules serve only one purpose: shackle the creativity behind some great fan films.

What do you think about this rules violation? Do you think CBS will ask Star Trek: Continues to pull the episode? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below.