TV icons Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica), Tim Russ (Star Trek : Voyager) and James Kyson (Heroes) embark on a virtuoso homecoming to sci-fi TV with Blade of Honor.
The creative forces behind such science-fiction classics as Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Star Trek:Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: New Voyages, Star Trek: Renegades, Star Trek: The Next Generation team to bring to the screen the next level in small screen space-set sci-fi entertainment!
A Kickstarter campaign has launched to fund the first three episodes of the sweeping sci-fi series, also starring Alison Haislip, Cirroc Lofton, Aron Eisenberg and Brandon Stacy, with a range of rewards including DVDs, autographed photos and producer credits up for grabs to those who contribute!
From writer-producer Mark Edward Lewis, Blade of Honor fixes on Arina Kartades (Haislip), a religious, headstrong, crack Alliance Navy Star Blade pilot in a war where the human Alliance is losing against the ANIMAL race, the Calinar. When Kartades discovers that her State mandated religious upbringing was a lie, she embarks upon a forced quest to discover the true reasons behind the war. As her discoveries push her deeper into harm’s way, she must go against everything she believes in to fight a cloak and dagger rebellion and expose the galactic elite, the religious masters, and protect the ones she loves from the clutches of her own superiors and the combined military might of the Alliance and Calinar.
How hard was it to entice Richard Hatch back to science-fiction TV?
Not hard at all. He’s a close personal friend of mine who I’ve known for years. Of course, last year he was happy to join me in a Star Trek: New Voyages episode I directed called, „Torment of Destiny” where he played the antagonist, „Orthros.” He was fantastic! He’s also been in Star Trek: Axanar, and several other sci-fi productions. He’s always a „yes” to productions which have a great script, and a juicy roll for him to play.
You’re obviously a fan?
I was one of those many who, in 1977, sat in Grauman’s Chinese theater in Hollywood at 6 years old and watched this weird movie that had yellow text floating away from the screen…and then this giant space ships fighting each other with this amazing music from John Williams. I was going to be a paleontologist before that believe it or not. After seeing that movie, it was „whatever that is, I want to be a part of it.” I’m a fan of science fiction series/movies which really take on the Roddenberrian model: the future is something we can’t imagine – let’s explore it – whatever it might look like. Especially where characters/human condition overcoming are at the center of the super plot. I’m definitely a fan of that.
Is it fair to say Blade of Honor is a love letter to his series, Battlestar Galactica, as well as classic sci-fi like Star Trek and Babylon 5?
It’s a love letter to a lot of things. Certainly Star Trek and Battlestar, but also Babylon 5, Farscape, The Last Starfighter, Andromeda, and a few others. Each has its roots in something that humanity wishes to be connected more to. Each series has its own way of manifesting characters and themes which brings to light the best of what human beings are in the crucible of the worst of what human beings are. It’s the most important thing we can be telling stories about in sci-fi, and I’m all for it.
How did you come up with the idea of James Kyson?
James is a good friend of ours and is an incredibly courageous and world-class actor. He was a „yes” as soon as we asked him to play „Hoss.” He has been with us since we first started the development process. We also really wanted a multi-ethnic cast – not just a bunch of white folks. And since the nature of the Alliance is that most of the men have been killed in the 12-year war with the Calinar, women factor heavily in the cast…so we’re proud of the fact that we have such a diverse cast both ethnically and in gender. But as to James, we’d try to fit him into anything. He’s that good.
Has having those names onboard the show helped get the Kickstarter campaign traction?
We believe so. Fans really can’t get enough of Tim Russ, Richard Hatch, Cirroc Lofton, Aron Eisenberg, or James Kyson. I can’t get enough of them. We’re overjoyed that fans are responding and supporting a series which is really designed to entertain and engage them for years to come. I think we’re more excited than the fans are!
What do you hope to achieve from the Kickstarter?
If we had it all our way, we’d fund the first 5 of the episodes. That would mean we raised $150,000. Now, we have a long way to go, but it’s encouraging to have DFAT helping to spread the word – and to have reached half way toward our first goal („Turnbuckle” episode funded) within hours of our launch. We also hope to get the word spread to thousands of fans who otherwise wouldn’t know about the production, and gain support and traction from a grass-roots movement. Lastly, we’re hoping that a larger distribution source will partner with us (several have already contacted us) so we can reach even more of the sc-fi audience (hungry for great content) and create a much larger format series.
Did you ever intend to do this as a film or was a series always the go?
The closest we ever got do doing a film version was the original iteration my brother John-Paul Lewis and I created which was a TV Movie-of-the-Week. We originally wrote that 12 years ago, and pitched it to Kristanna Lokken to play the lead – who at the time was involved with a bunch of other things and couldn’t do it. We’re very happy to have Alison Haislip onboard now to play the „Arina Kartades” role. Since then, it sat as an MOW until two years ago when we decided to make it as a crowdfunded series…and then the concept of the ongoing serial series gave birth to a far deeper world and a far larger cast. You can read more about the deep world by selecting „lore” here:
We also have 9 other series which we’re planning on launching in the next 3 years using this same model, and we’re looking forward to building a family of crew, cast and fans who want to see poweruflly engaging series with actors we love and want to see more of. For now, the best thing fans can do is spread the word about Blade of Honor by sharing the posts from our facebook page:
Thanks a ton to Mark Edward Lewis for chatting with us about this amazing new sci-fi project. Make sure you support their Crowd$ourcery, by clicking the links above.