I had planned on a JoeVTF web comic, but it turns out the darn thing’s bigger than I remember, so it’s going to take me a while to go through it. On the other hand, there’s a fan film I’ve been wanting to put up for a while, so let’s do that.

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new Star Trek movie taking place in an alternate time line or some such thing. That was J. J. Abrams way of making “his” Star Trek while still using the same old crew (just different actors and set pieces–beautiful set pieces, mind you). However, I don’t think we needed to go back to the old crew, unless Abrams just really wanted to blow up (spoiler) really, really bad, which to me is almost as bad as Russel T. slagging Galifrey over at Doctor Who. (At least New Trek is another dimension.)

What I think they should have done is brought in a whole new crew. Way back when I replaced Saturday Night Galactica with Saturday Night Theater (now Saturday Night Showcase), the first video I put up was the pilot for Star Trek: New Voyages, now Phase II. (Remember) Using those sets, Farragut Films has begun making their own web series. Tonight I introduce some of you to the first episode of Starship Farragut, “The Captaincy”. However, since the episodes were posted on YouTube, that means an hour long episode has been divided into 7 to 9 minute segments. I’ll post the prologue and opening credits here, and link you to the other episodes, courtesy of their YouTube channel. The episodes (two so far) are also available on their website.

  1. Act 1
  2. Act 2
  3. Act 3
  4. Act 4a
  5. Act 4b
  6. Act 4c
  7. Final Act, featuring a cameo by the New Voyages/Phase II cast

I like that the New Voyages crew was willing to be a part of this project. (Note that the actor playing Spock isn’t the current actor.) James Cauley also donated the use of their sets, although now that Farragut Films has their own studio (and plans to make more than just their signature series), they have their own bridge set and props. The special effects are done by Neo-FX, who has worked on other Star Trek fan projects such Of Gods and Men, featuring many classic Trek actors. (I really should take a look at that, shouldn’t I?). The end result is a high-quality production on a small budget. Take that, Hollywood! And Neo-FX’s animation wing is also working on an animated version of Farragut in the style of the classic Filmation version of Star Trek. For something they can’t make cent1 on, that’s some amazing dedication!

Now about the episode itself. Starship Farragut features an entirely new crew. This is John Thomas Carter’s first day as Captain of the Farragut, a ship named after Civil War admiral, David Glasgow Farragut (pdf file). It’s lucky he already has friends aboard in the form of his first officer, Robert Tacket,  and chief engineer Michelle Renata Smithfield (or “Mike” for short), because the ship’s “baptism of fire” involves a Klingon super weapon. The only other crew member we get to know this episode is Henry Prescott, a very by the book security chief who was mentored by the ship’s previous captain. They make for a very good “core” cast, and it will be interesting to see how they handle their future adventures.

The actors are also the people responsible for creating the props and sets, much like New Voyages. The series was created by Carter’s portrayer, John Broughton, who also serves as Executive Producer. Michael Bednar is both the first officer and the prop designer, while his wife, Holly, is the human resources and casting director for Farragut Films, when not working on the starship’s engines. Paul S. Sieber serves as both security chief of the ship and director/writer of the series. All the secondary cast also works on the show, except for the Commodore, played by John’s father, and  the Klingons, who are fans. According to one of the behind the scenes videos at the YouTube page, they’re part of one of those Klingon role play groups you see some people make fun of. Well, they have an acting credit at IMDB and you don’t, so Kaplah on you! (I probably spelled that wrong, but at least you know how it sounds.)

As written above, Neo-FX has worked on many other Star Trek projects, and this episode shows why. The Farragut external scenes are on par with the “enhanced effects” edition of the show Paramount is putting out, and the animated series looks almost indistinguishable from an oldschool Filmation episode. Speaking of which, this series is mining the classic actors just as much as the New Voyages/Phase II folks at Cow Creek. In addition to Cawley, John “McCoy” Kelly, and Jeffery “Spock” Quinn of the aforementioned, the animated project is bringing in a number of past series actors and Lou Scheimer himself, the man who was one of THE people at Filmation. That’s still pretty impressive.

So they have a live-action and an animated series. Now all they need is a comic for the hat trick! I wonder if they need a writer?

My highest kudos to the Starship Farragut team, and I hope for great success for Farragut Films. If they put as much effort into paid projects as they do a non-profit fan series, they’re sure to earn and deserve it.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

7 responses »

  1. Thanks ShadowWing Tronix for writing about us . In addition to THE CAPTAINCY, we have FOR WANT OF A NAIL and A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE to watch and comment on – both won “Best Fan Film” at the THE WRATH OF CON SCI-FI Convention and Film Festival for 2008 and 2009 respectively.

    While the bridge set is being finalized, we are in pre-production of our fifth film, DAMN THE TORPEDOES, which will begin filming early next year. Starship Farragut: The Animated Episodes, will also be coming out real soon!

    On behalf of everyone involved with our project, many thanks!

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    • ShadowWing Tronix says:

      I probably won’t comment on every episode here, but I’m hoping that at least some of my 20 readers (blog’s not even a year old) will check the whole series out after watching the pilot. Although I probably will take a look at the first animated episode in the Showcase. Congratuations on your awards. They’re well deserved if the other episodes are at least as good as this one.

      I didn’t see the third episode on your site, but I do see the first two available for download, and I encourage the readers to check all of them out. I’ll have to see if I can find the third one.

      On behalf of everyone watching your project, our thanks go to you. 🙂

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  2. Michael says:

    The first act of the second (animated) episode is now out at http://farragut-animated.com/needs.html. FYI

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  3. […] Star Trek Universe to the next century allows them to play with new and fresh concepts, although if fan films have taught us anything it’s that new stories can be told with new crews but in the […]

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  4. […] and alternate continuities, but my favorite fan projects are ones that create whole new ships like Farragut or […]

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  5. […] Do you know how many Transformers fanfics and fan comics feature none of the toy characters? The original cartoon and comics (aka G1, long story I’ve already gotten into for you non-Transformers fans, who probably only cared when the crossover toys came out) each built a universe that could be expanded upon. There were other Transformers and hints of other Autobots and Decepticons that we didn’t see in the media at least being out there. That was helped with show and comic only characters like Devcon or Scrounge that hinted at Cybertronians not on the store shelves. There was a larger universe besides Optimus Prime and Megatron’s forces, and stories could be made in that universe. Beast Wars, which took place in the G1 cartoon continuity, had this as well. You heard about areas of Cybertron, former Autobots and Decepticons still in high regard or even still active, and the Japanese series gave us at least two other groups of Maximals and Predacons (under the Japanese faction names), thus also hinting that the more subdued conflict was still continuing beyond prehistoric Earth as there was still unrest between the two groups. Stories can be built out of these subtle hints. It’s why I wish there were more Doctor Who fan films beyond the creator’s coming up with their own reincarnation of the Doctor, like Professor What, and why there are Star Trek fan shows like Intrepid and Starship Faraggut. […]

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