So here we are, on the evening of our Season 2 vDVD release. It’s been a long time coming, just as our first season was. It’s the last vDVD set we’ll be doing for awhile, too. Season 3 will be released weekly. It never properly finished, and the constant release problems never really allowed it to have the attention it deserved. So I guess you could say we’ll be officially “back in action” with weekly releases, although the strictly brand-new material will not be coming until late Season 3, and of course Season 4, which should arrive next fall.
I’ve had some time now to reflect on the changes and edits I’ve made to the existing episodes, and I have to say, I’m glad we did this. There was so much untapped potential in even the roughest and most amateur of our early scripts, and they were ideas I was simply unable to capitalize on it, due to inexperience and, quite frankly, a certain degree of immaturity.
I found the same experience waiting for me in Season 2. While S2 was acclaimed quite highly in its own right, I was never satisfied with 2×01. The rest of the opening arc was decent, and the conclusion still stands well on its own even today. I sat down to rewrite 2×01 back in May or June. As I was working on it, I re-read 2×02 and 2×03, and it felt to me like there was a bigger story there. I knew how Salea’s story had unfolded the first time, and it didn’t feel as complete as it should be. As I re-read these episodes, she was in there, asking me to tell all of her story.
So, despite my protestations about not rewriting anything in S2, I sat down and redrafted 2×02 and 2×03 from the ground up. It took months to really come together. I drafted 2×02 in about three weeks, and the draft of 2×03 came together in about 4 days – but there were months between there where I kept trying (and failing) to get the rest of the story out. In the original draft, Sito, Bruce, and Peri found Salea and Kaol after the explosion on Orion. Something about that just wasn’t working for me, and I couldn’t pinpoint it.
Ultimately, the story went down a different path, and introduced Salea to a new character: an Orion woman named Keali (pronounced kee-lee). It also solidified an aspect of Salea that I had always suspected was present, but never had specific plans to act upon. This was obviously an instance of the character taking control. Interestingly, this story also left Salea in a slightly different place. Originally, her actions on Orion were so overwhelming (the death toll was enormous), by the time we hit 2×07 she just couldn’t take it.
This time out, that toll was much less, but it seemed to affect her much more personally. She reached out to Kaol in the only way she knew how, the only way her culture understood how to deal with such horrific loss, and he shot her down because he didn’t understand where she was coming from. In Kealie, Salea found something of a kindred spirit. And perhaps, in her desperation to achieve retribution from the Orions, she settled for AN Orion. One that was almost as lost and confused as Salea herself.
I was surprised by the evolution of 2×03, but I feel it was surprisingly authentic character drama. In my old age, I’ve become less a fan of sappy romances, but I think what happens between these two characters is very touching, in a sad sort of way. It’s a unique situation; they just kind of go with it, neither one is or was specifically seeking anything from the other. They are what they need each other to be in order to survive the current crises, and at its end, we get the hint that they may meet again.
Too often, relationships on Star Trek, especially with a guest star, are short-lived and their impact is never felt again. This is something Salea will carry with her for a long time. Indeed, all of her experiences in this opening arc will be around for a long time.
So now, we come to 2×07. Formerly entitled, “No Matter How Long the Night,” I have opted to rechristen this episode as, simply, “Daybreak.” The original story dealt heavily with the changes Salea has gone through and was an outstandingly written episode by Joshua Legg. But this episode, like the series itself, like its creator, has grown up a bit. The introduction of Keali and the course of events in 2×02 and 2×03 have changed things, and so we must also revisit this episode.
It works as it is, but not as well as it could. Salea’s been through too much, and she’s been working through it ever since. 2×07 brings her fears and guilt to the forefront this time, by sending her back to Orion space. The Enterprise is ordered to drop off needed supplies for the task force that is providing aid. This has turned Salea into a wreck, and will take her to some very dark places.
There will be some imagery at work, and some themes, about guilt, responsibility, moving on, letting go, and learning to trust again. It also has a fun sci-fi story (this is Star Trek, after all) that takes the crew to a rogue planet, wandering the galaxy, frozen but once inhabited. The two stories weave together in what I hope will be a genuinely touching and inspiring way.
Season 2 has definitely become rife will more adult themes and content than it originally contained. I hope our readers find it enjoyable. Frontiers was once known for its ability to spin a fantastic Star Trek story, and that hasn’t changed. But we’re infusing an air of realism and maturity into our characters, tackling more difficult issues, and showing that many things do indeed improve with age.
Onto the music. The first video was shown to me by former staffer Randi Anderson. I really enjoyed the music, and found that my mind kept coming back to it as I continued to develop and write 2×03. The song seems to fit Salea’s struggle and her unexpected relationship as well.
The second piece, we featured last time. It’s a beautiful song by Evanescence that so completely captures the spirit of “Daybreak” that I had to include it again this week. I hope you’ll find the episode as enjoyable once we release it (a little later than the rest of the set, but still on the way).
Welcome back to the Frontiers universe, everyone. I hope you’re ready for a truly memorable journey.