Star Trek fandom isn’t restricted to the United States, and neither are fan productions. Tonight we travel to Scotland, home of Mr. Scott and the fan series Star Trek: Intrepid.
If the name sounds familiar it was the name of the Vulcan science vessel destroyed by a space amoeba in the episode “The Immunity Syndrome“. Later it became the name of a classification of Starfleet vessels. In this series it belongs to a ship exploring the Carybdis sector and assigned to protect a civilian space colony that doesn’t want them there. But maybe they need them.
And Vimeo comes up fullscreen now. YAY!
The series is set in the 24th Century, the time of most of the later official series. I can’t seem to access the character bios at this time. The registry number is NCC-74600, making it a vessel from the novels and either appeared or was mentioned in the official series. They may have been better off with an original vessel of the same class, but they may have their reasons.
The story itself is a great concept. We don’t usually get to see the formation of a colony or a series set there. This also allows the film crew to use some rather picturesque areas for the colony. Also, the conflict between colony and Starfleet should make for some interesting sub-plots, especially the brothers who are on both sides of the issue. A third party bringing them together as the enemy also has potential.
The acting is good for a fanfilm. The characters are thought-out and developed well enough for a pilot. Acting Captain Hunter’s concerns about what he had to do to save the colony, even if it meant killing his captain, makes for an interesting character, but it does lead to one concern. If he’s in charge should his crew really be putting him down that much? It seems a bit disrespectful for a military group in the middle of a crisis situation like beaming down to a planet situation unknown. It’s a humorous moment, but it still feels off in the back of your mind.
The “usual suspects” are available. We have a half-Romulan substituting for Spock and Worf simultaneously but S’Ceris is his own character (which we actually get a moment to establish in the turbolift) so I can respect that. We also get a Trill, but we don’t get to learn a lot about her this episode. That’s actually a good thing, as you can only fit so much into a show before it veers towards exposition overload. I’m assuming we’ll get more with her in future episodes. The other stand out character was Jacen Navar. I’m really curious to know more about him. My Trek-Fu is weak enough that I can’t identify his species, but his backstory is different and I want to see what influence he has on the series. Hopefully, we also learn more about the alien attack force. Sadly, none of the three colony characters interested me that much (outside of wanting to smack Garren upside the head) but the future may offer something better as we get to know them better and the writers and actors develop the characters further.
The sets are obviously green screen coming off somewhat better than an FMV game mostly because they’re well done and overall barely distracts from the story. (I say barely because a few scenes, like the colony director’s office and some of the ship scenes are so obvious that it draws your attention.) I will say in defense that the sets for the 24th Century based shows tend to be a bit more detailed than the classic Enterprise set (not to be confused with the same-named TV show which would probably be as impossible to fully produce on a fanfilm budget) so the cheat is understandable. There are some set elements like the turbolift, control stations, and at least parts of the living quarters.
Visually, the sets and locations are well done. The special effects are hit or miss. Sometimes they’re pretty good and sometimes they look like they came from a video game from the time the show was made, 2007 (after three years of production according to their reports) but again not too distracting to me, who focuses on the story. To nitpickers that’s going to be an issue, but again, it’s a fan production that they can’t make money off of since they don’t have the license or permission (legally but if Paramount knows of them they aren’t complaining). You have to grade on a curve.
Overall it’s a good pilot but I’m hoping that if I get to later episodes they’ll get better.
- Gene Roddenberry defends the rejected pilot for Star Trek in this unearthed letter [GeneRoddenberry] (io9.com)