Word from the Far Reaches

Posts tagged “star trek

Season 3 Lineup (Revised)

Although I’m a long ways off from having this season finished, I wanted to share our rough outline for it. I’ll even include a little teaser blurb to give a few hints about where the story is going (and how the season has changed somewhat). I am treating Season 3 as a “new” season, since almost all of it is (except for a few episodes that will be retained). Enjoy the look!

3×01: Shadows & Dust – As the Federation prepares for the mission to the Great Attractor, some of its key people and facilities are under attack by an unknown enemy.

3×02: The Silent Dark – The Enterprise crew leads an investigation into allegedly mythical entities from Spirus’ past, while Majenka Sito eyes a career change…

3×03: Kali Yuga – The mystery of the Aduul brings the crew back in touch with an old friend of Celeste’s, who is less than happy to hear about her trial and the new implants.

3×04: Wagon Train – The fleet bids the Alpha Quadrant a final farewell

3×05: Prodigal Clan – En route to the first major jump point, the fleet assists the Jem’Hadar’s ancestral “parent” race with setting up a communications relay on the edge of the galaxy.

3×06: Project Deep Sky – On the eve of the first major transwarp jump, Koth relates the tale of the Third Great Human Migration.

3×07: The Others – After the success of “A Trek Across the Stars”, Yanise and her crew are back, this time chasing after stories among the non-Starfleet ships in the fleet.

3×08: Pretend Thrones – Cale Sydrin orders the fleet on a strange (and wasteful) side mission, putting him at odds with Sito.

3×09: Pretend Kings – Sydrin’s bizarre orders have led to death and discord, but also uncovered a rogue moon… with markings that appear to be ancient Spiran…

3×10: Golgotha – Peridonis’ leadership skills are put to the test as she faces an impossible decision.

3×11: Blessed Are The Peacemakers – An elderly Koth returns to his homeworld to build a cathedral, and reflects on his past days aboard the Enterprise. (Written by guest author,Hadrian McKeggan, of STAR TREK: RENAISSANCE)

3×12: Evanescence – The fleet is shocked to find a Federation starship this far from home…moreso when they find it’s crewed by phantoms…

3×13: Anomaly of the Week – It’s going to be one of those days…

3×14: Hourglass – An apparent technical mishap summons a ship that looks like the Vanguard…except for the “ISS” before the ship name…

3×15: Older Than the Stars – The fleet finally arrives at the first “break” in the transwarp network, only to find a dying race on the wrong side of a massive conflict.

3×16: Fallen – With the fleet drawn into the conflict, and some of the crew missing, Bruce begins to lose control of his “other half” – with cataclysmic results.


Better With Age

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.


Holiday Cheer

It’s that time of year once again.  There’s a chill in the air, we had our first snowfall today, and in just two short weeks, Santa will be making his yearly trip.  No doubt those who observe the holiday will find their Christmas Eve packed full of family activities.  But, what are you doing on Christmas Eve…Eve?

Reading Frontiers, of course!

December 23 is our third and final release date for the long-delayed S2 vDVD set.  Over the past few days, I’ve seen what Paul “Blaze” Weaver has put together for us and I must admit, it will be a great early Christmas present to anyone who has enjoyed the show.  Our new interface works beautifully, without the glitches that plagued our first set.  There will be some great art, and an all-new podcast as well.

So, to wrap up what I informally began earlier this year as a casual overview of the opening story arc, I thought I’d pontificate a little over the final two episodes and the epilogue.

2×05: Second Coming was one of the higher rated episodes of Season 2 in our original run.  There is, of course, a tremendous revelation in this episode that reshapes the world of Frontiers for the rest of the season (and the subsequent season, for that matter).  With the crew mostly reunited, Sito and the Federation turn their attention towards M106 and their captured transwarp hub.

Speaking of the hub, Rikilis and Lighthart are nearing the end of their patience as well, and put their own plan in motion to take the station.

2×06: Turning Point is the showdown everyone’s been waiting for: Sito versus Rahl!  Not to mention another clash of titans that shall, for the moment, remain nameless (don’t want to ruin it for new readers).  Needless to say, everything in this one is big – larger than life.  And sadly, not everyone walks away.

As with most rewrites this season, I drew some inspiration from music.  Specifically, my future wife, Amy Lee.  Evanescence released a new album a few months back, and it’s pretty incredible.  Just imagine the action-packed and exciting trailer we could put together using this inspirational little number:

Of course, once the dust from all this settles, there are many consequences to be dealt with.  Salea, in particular, has tremendous scars from her experiences, scars that have made it hard for her to even realize who she is anymore.  Long-time readers will remember 2×07: No Matter How Long the Night as a dark but emotional piece that serves as an epilogue for the dramatic opening arc.  While I was loath to touch this script in any way (I feel Josh Legg, the original author, nailed it on the first try), some of the earlier changes and tweaks did require a slightly revised approach to this story.

I don’t want to spoil any part of this one, so let me leave you with one more tune, that truly captures the emotion and darkness Salea struggles with:

It rarely gets more real than this one, folks.  You won’t want to miss it.

Beyond that, we’ve got some truly great and classic episodes in Season 2.  It’s a bit serialized, so you’ll notice more arcs and interconnecting stories.  That said, one of my very favorite standalone episodes takes place here.

Of course, the best part about this release is how much closer it puts us to Season 3 and completely NEW episodes!  We’ll have more on our Season 3 release schedule (which will revert to weekly releases) after the holidays.  You can look forward to the return of Jaron Hatch in an all-new episode, the long-awaited debut of Henrik Anttonen,and two more scripts by yours truly (including a shocking season finale over three years in the making).  Season 3 truly puts us on the course for events that will ultimately drag us kicking and screaming to the series finale.  So it’s a big event and definitely a time to be excited for more good things.


Season 2 Cometh

This post contains possible spoilers for the end of Season 1 and the beginning of Season 2.  You’ve been warned.

When we were discussing the finale for the first season, a lot of possible scenario’s were discussed.  Our earliest thoughts saw the Frontier station itself getting destroyed by an invading Vulcan force, and Salea betraying the crew and revealing she was actually a Separatist spy.  She was scheduled to die, in fact.  We also discussed the potential return of Seryna Dalal, the death of Admiral Miller, and the idea of the crew being “stuck” in M106 with the station being destroyed.

I don’t recall what it was exactly that led us to ditch the “blow up the station” angle.  In early talks, we had the Vulcans coming out as the leaders of the Separatists, but that never sat right with me.  Forgive the obvious wordplay, but it didn’t seem logical.  But we do still find our crew in dire straights as Season 1 draws to a close.

The Separatists are back with a new weapon that can swiftly cut through even the massive hulls of Odyssey class starships.  Salea is finally revealed to be providing information to the Orion Syndicate, under the threat of having thaleron warheads launched at Tikara.  Celeste gets a promotion (eat your heart out Ensign Kim), Aidan Rahl is revealed to be alive and well (as many no doubt suspected), Admiral Miller is killed by the newly minted Lieutenant Celeste Kelly, and Kaol breaks Salea out of the brig, beaming her to places unknown.  The transwarp gate falls under Separatist control, with Lighthart, Rikilis, Temar, and his engineers still trapped aboard.  Worst of all, the Enterprise, flagship of the Federation, falls into Separatist hands after a daring escape by Sito and the crew.

So what’s in store for Season 2?  Those of you who were with us the first time will recall the opening storyline takes several episodes to resolve.  Sito, distraught over the chaos that has befallen him, returns to Spirus to gain focus.  Peridonis’Alya also returns home, to visit her ailing mother and see her Kala’tan.  Even a return to the Oracles – the sacred Spiran temple where he became a Bae’el Dao – has done little to ease his ailing mind.  Fortunately for Sito, the Order of the Universe appears to be on his side, as they send a messenger of sorts to guide him on his journey.

Peridonis’ return home is no less dramatic, as a series of brutal murders erupt near her dwelling, and she is the prime suspect.  Not everything is as it seems, though.  We do get to meet the rest of Peridonis’ family (Kala’tan), including her mother, Romadonis, and her younger sister, Kalledonis.  Siadonis’Gar (1×04: …And Let Our Illusions Die) also returns home.

I’ll be posting more on Season 2 throughout the coming days and weeks.  For now, I leave you with a brief scene from 2×01: A Place to Call Home.  Enjoy!

SITO
I think I understand. I am having a Sadi - a vision.

ANDRADE
You mean I’m not really here?
(grumbling)
Well that’s kind of anti-climactic.  No wonder my memory’s holier than the pope.
(to Sito)
If that’s true, then fine.  What’s the point of this vision?

Sito paces thoughtfully.
SITO
To show me something.
ANDRADE
Little less vague, maybe?
SITO
To show me something important.

ANDRADE
(sighs)
When I said “little less” I didn’t mean it quite literally.

SITO
The Sadi is a vision of revelation.
They are spoken of in the most
ancient pages of the Bake’el. They
come upon those whose internal chaos
 is a hindrance to the pursuit of order. There have not been any
recorded Sadi’s for centuries.
Bruce chuckles wryly.

ANDRADE
So what you’re saying is, you’re the Spiran in
centuries to be wacko enough to need one 
of these things...and that the order of the universe
chose Bruce Andrade as the one to help fix you?
(laughs)
Oh, man...you just can’t make this stuff up.  If I
were really me, I’d be dripping with self-satisfaction right about now.

Sito glares at Bruce.

ANDRADE (CONT’D)
What?  You have to admit, this has irony written all over it.

Updates!

Hello, Readers!

Things have been a little quiet, but only because we’re working on getting the S1 vDVD set assembled and ready for consumption.  Additionally, some personal tragedies have kept our intrepid showrunner out of action for a week or so.

The good news is this: this Friday, we will announce the release date of our first vDVD set.  You can look forward to a very intuitive menu design that is very similar in form and function to “real” DVD’s, an image gallery featuring the gorgeous artwork of Paul Weaver, podcasts, and more.

What’s more, the news will be accompanied by a special podcast featuring Frontiers’ creator and showrunner, Joshua D. Maley.  Learn about the origins of the series and get some hints on where its going.

So join us this Friday, February 11th, for the official word on the S1 vDVD and a special, limited-time only podcast download on the origins of Frontiers!


Rediscovering My Love

Few creative projects last as long as a television series (unless you’re Peter Jackson and you film three films back-to-back-to-back), and this is true in the virtual world as well.  I’ve seen a number of VS projects live and die in my time at the helm of Frontiers.  Many of them start strong, with a solid core creative team and an exciting concept.  Yet sometimes, they just seem to fizzle out and disappear.

Two of our illustrious forebears met with that fate: Star Trek: Renegade (the granddaddy of all Trek VS shows) and Star Trek: Renaissance.  Likewise, two shows that arose after us have also vanished: Star Trek: Star’s End, and Star Trek: Knight’s Haven (though the latter may not be as MIA as it seems).

Yet, here we are.

I recently did a podcast interview about the nascence of Frontiers – how the show began, how the concepts first took shape.  It’s a really interesting story, because it truly began in 1994, after Generations came out and Voyager was due to start.  It took a decade for those first story threads to become realized as a VS; our pilot aired in May of 2004 – seven years ago.

It’s been, I think, about two years since we’ve put out a completely new episode.  Our last release, to my recollection, was “Golgotha” back in S3.  So why on Earth are we still here, still trying to make this happen?  Why haven’t we faded into the mists like so many other Trek shows?

That’s an answer that has recently eluded even me.  When we moved to MZP-tv, we decided to start releasing episodes as if we were a new show.  This move unfortunately alienated some of our existing readers.  And since we were not releasing as regularly as we should have been, it also alienated those new readers we were hoping draw in.  And so, with the entire purpose of the “relaunch” defeated, we made the choice a few weeks ago to forge ahead with new material.  But again – why?

The answer, I suppose, is the obvious one.  I love this show.  I love these characters.  They are my contribution to a universe and a franchise that had a profound impact on me in my youth.  I’ve taken so much from Star Trek, even beyond the obvious entertainment value that the shows and films possess.  I admired the courage of James Kirk, the quiet dignity and nobility of Jean-Luc Picard, the inner strength and resolve of Ben Sisko.  Many of the values exemplified in Star Trek were things I sincerely took to heart: respect for others, regardless of race, religion, political views, or personal background.  The idea that we as human beings should always strive to better ourselves.  The understanding that while we may never reach our goals, it is still worthwhile to try, for there is much to be learned in the struggle.  And the value of things like courage, sacrifice, and honor.

Star Trek: Frontiers is a love story.  Not the love of two characters for each other (though this is a central theme throughout the show), but about my love of Star Trek – and more than that, my love of everything positive that Star Trek represents.  Those values and ideals have been trodden upon by the later Trek shows and films (those that were “new” back when Frontiers first launched), and I was frustrated by that.  Frontiers was me seeing if I could perhaps restore some of what the franchise had lost, some of those ideals that had been pushed aside in favor of more action and darker stories.  It was me saying to Star Trek, and to the fans: this is what it is.  This is what it represents.  This is what it has meant to me.

Participating in that interview put me back in touch with all of this.  Remembering back to when the show began, how it developed, why it developed, went a long way towards restoring my sense of purpose for the show.  It was definitely refreshing to be back in touch with those old feelings – like seeing a lost friend for the first time in many years.

The timing couldn’t be better, as we prepare to launch our first and second seasons on v-DVD and start the long process of wrapping up S3 so we can begin work on S4.

I hope that readers both old and new will enjoy the stroll down memory lane with us through the release of our first two V-DVD sets.  So many adventures still await our family of characters.  It’s time to get to know them again (or, perhaps, for the first time).

We will be announcing the release date of our first v-DVD set very soon.  Stay tuned!


Frontiers Updates

I hope everyone had a great (and safe) new year.  It was one to remember for me.

We’re still kicking!  I’ve been plowing through 1×10 and it’s coming together in nice (and surprising) ways.  It’s definitely far from the original script for this episode, but I think the changes will ultimately benefit both the “void” arc and the show at large.  Those of you who were with us the first time likely know that some big revelations come out in the next two episodes about a particular character – 1×10 sets up for this nicely!

Still not putting a release date out there, as we’ve got a handful of eps left to revise.  Mind you, these are brief revisions to correct grammar and tweak plot details here and there.  It won’t be as major as the 1×10 revision has been.  We’re closing in on the end of the season, and some big things are brewing.

Once we do relaunch, you can expect a bit of an advertising push on various web sites.  I know a lot of our regular readers have strayed – we hope to get those lost souls back, and add to their numbers.  Stay tuned for more details!