James Cawley II
June 23, 1967
Star Trek: Phase II
A big Star Trek fan growing up, in 1997 Cawley began collecting props and costumes from the original series and acquired the original Enterprise blueprints when he interned on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He went on to spend over $100,000 constructing near-flawless recreations of sets in an abandoned car dealership in Port Henry, New York. Funding the project through his career as an Elvis impersonator, Cawley and fellow Star Trek fans gathered together to begin shooting new episodes and by 2003 a pilot “Come What May” was shot as a proof of concept.
Cawley left the role of Kirk following the episode "Kitumba" to focus solely on the production aspect of the series. However, he makes a humorous cameo in the following episode "Mind-Sifter" as an Elvis impersonator in an asylum who confronts Kirk (now played by Brian Gross), referred to as having "been here forever," with the new Kirk declaring, "I hate that guy!"
Cawley’s prominent role in Star Trek: New Voyages gave him the opportunity to play small roles in a few other Star Trek fan episodes. He portrayed Mackenzie Calhoun in the 41st Star Trek: Hidden Frontier episode Vigil, and had a cameo as Captain Kirk along with ‘’New Voyages’’ co-stars Jeff Quinn and John Kelley in the premiere episode of Starship Farragut titled The Captaincy.
The starship Ticonderoga in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "The Aenar" was named as a nod to Cawley's hometown. His sets, props and costumes have also been used by Star Trek: Enterprise in the episode "In a Mirror, Darkly" and in the fan film Of Gods and Men in which Cawley also plays one of Captain Kirk's nephews. In addition to producing more episodes of Phase II, Cawley appeared in the cameo role of a bridge officer in the new Star Trek movie.
In 2009, Cawley and his production company, Retro Film Studios, secured the license to Buck Rogers, which began filming in late 2009, with plans to offer episodes online in 2010. However, as of mid 2013, no episodes have been produced or released. Cawley is also developing a continuation of the cult spy/western series The Wild Wild West
In 2012, Cawley participated along with Gerald Gurian and Roger Romage to authenticate a rare, early 1st season Captain Kirk tunic worn by William Shatner in the original Star Trek television series. The velour tunic sold in Profiles In History's Hollywood Auction 49 as Lot. 909 for $98,400 (including a 23% buyers premium), making it the most expensive Shatner costume sold at auction to date.
- That New Episode Of STAR TREK Arrives Tonight!! - Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news
- Brian Mann (July 22, 2006). "Star Trek Fan Films Live Long and Prosper". NPR.
- "A Thin-king Man's Elvis: Cawley Presley Down Pat (Sans Fat)". Daily News. 1997-01-19. Archived from the original on May 21, 2010. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
- "Wired 13.12: To Boldly Go Where No Fan Has Gone Before". Wired.
- "James Cawley To Appear In New Star Trek Movie + Talks About Visit To Set". trekmovie.com. 2008-01-23. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
- McKinstry, Lohr "Buck Rogers returns" Press Republican (Plattsburg, NY) (November 7, 2009)
- Anders, Charlie Jane (January 13, 2009). "Buck Rogers Brings Retro Space-Swashbuckling To The Web". io9.com. Retrieved June 1, 2009.
- "Star Trek Series William Shatner "Cpt. Kirk" Tunic: Lot 909 - Live Auctioneers". new.liveauctioneers.com. Retrieved 2016-10-04.