Star Trek: Hidden Frontier – 104 – Two Hours
Star Trek fan series have multiplied around the web like rabbits on Viagra. The pioneering series that showed fan films can have story arcs, recurring characters, and good computer graphics was Hidden Frontier. A spin-off of a private series known as Voyages of the USS Angeles, which you can only see if you know someone who worked on it or at a lucky screening, Hidden Frontier became an epic series on its own, and helped inspire many other fan productions. The production lasted seven seasons, and spawned several other Trek series and even an original science fiction series. Like all projects, there is improvement over time, one that mirrors the actual Star Trek series as well. Early episodes of The Next Generation are laughable, and Enterprise was almost unwatchable until season three. As TarsTarkas.NET will be covering the entire run of Hidden Frontier episodes, we have to start at the beginning. A beginning that will look pretty bad once we get to later productions. But a beginning never the less. There is no shame in these being not technologically sound. Judging the earlier episodes, we will keep in mind the technology of the time. The important thing is if the show is entertaining, not if the makeup is professional. That is the main criterion in which we will be making our judgments. Superb CGI effects cannot save a terrible script.
Episodes of Hidden Frontier are available online at HiddenFrontier.com. You can also see their other series and participate in their forums.
Things to know:
USS Excelsior – The USS Excelsior is a Galaxy-class dreadnought that looks suspiciously like the Future Enterprise from the episode All Good Things…. It is the flagship for Captain Knapp as he spreads his anger across the Briar Patch and gets into fights with Blue Space Jawas.
Deep Space 12 – Deep Space 12 is the new starbase built to deal with the Ba’ku stuff from Star Trek: Insurrection. Captain Knapp is in charge, and we don’t see much inside the station this season.
Briar Patch – The Briar Patch is a region in Sector 441 made of supernovae remains, false vacuum fluctuations, metaphasic radiation and planets including the Ba’ku planet. It was was seen in Star Trek: Insurrection. Most of the action takes place in this area, because fans demanded more information about the Ba’ku.
This episode sucks. I hate it. It is the worst one this season, and is just pointless fanwank. But not Star Trek fanwank, as this is Titanic fanwank. And somehow it is a fan favorite. Sigh…
This episode must have taken place after the turmoil of producing the original three-part beginning, as only a few of the characters are here, and some of the missing ones are replaced by the next episode. Not to give anything away.
Some weird crap is detected in the Briar Patch, so Captain Knapp sends Commander Joseph Johns on the USS Independence (NCC-75015) to investigate. Captain Angry has to deal with the Tzen Kethi, who make him angry. And who wouldn’t, with their hard to spell name? It makes me angry having to look it up! The USS Independence is Sovereign-class, which for those of you who aren’t as high-degree of nerd as me means it is the Enterprise-E style. Johns also gets Security officer Martinez and Counselor Elbrey on board, and one of those Junior High kid navigators, Ensign Barret.
They detect a subspace anomaly and a mystery Federation vessel. It is a wee ship, but fires super-powered weapons that make it more than a match for the USS Independence. The Independence loses warp power, so Johns orders them to fly into the anomaly to escape the attack, because entering random space effects is preferable to getting blown up by a glorified shuttlecraft.
On the other side of the anomaly they see… the Titanic! On Earth! In the past! My heart will go on…
The Titanic is a hobby of Commander Johns. Let me repeat that. This man’s hobby is “The Titanic.” Maybe his hobby should be not being a terrible captain! Captain Angry would have blown up his own ship just to scratch the paint of that mystery ship, and Johns flies into a subspace rift. The Titanic will sink in two hours…because a tractor beam made the iceberg move and hit it! Also, the Titanic movie theme is playing at this time.
I want to strangle this episode!
Johns is gonna go on the Titanic…for the mission. Yeah. Luckily, no one from the Titanic notices the Giant Spaceship right next to them, or the Captain’s Yacht being launched from it.
Why is Johns in a Top Hat?
Johns finds the tractor beam…and the first officer of the Titanic, Lightoller, who is an alien agent! Lightoller is shot by Counselor Elbrey. Because they don’t know if the Titanic is supposed to sink in the real timeline, Johns decides to save everyone who isn’t on lifeboats! What in the frak is this nonsense? Captured Lightoller won’t answer. They fly the USS Independence above the Titanic, lower stairs, and people start going up them! Do these people know anything about why a giant spaceship is suddenly hovering above their sinking vessel? Well, the choice is drown or go inside alien ship that will probably eat you. The mystery ship from the beginning returns and starts firing on the Independence, and Johns is worried that they only have 75% of the survivors. (The transporters don’t work, in case you were wondering.) At least something cool happens next, as the attacking vessel blasts the lowered stairs and we get a cool shot of innocent people flying in all directions.
The Independence is shot up some more and then sinks into the ocean.
Commander Johns is the worst captain ever. Has anyone else ever crashed their spaceship into the ocean? Okay, maybe Kirk in Star Trek 4, but that was really San Francisco Bay, and he wasn’t trapped back in time.
Captain Ziminsky of Federation Timeship Causality shows up underwater and extends shields and become a deus ex machina. She explains some idiot stole a timeship from the 29th century, went back in time to the Titanic to sink it to kill of ancestor of rival (why so damn far back in time???) and the Causality was too much of a failure to go back to the 24th century and stop the thief there (why did the stolen timeship go to the 24th century in the first place????) The Causality is also too stupid to go two hours back in time before the Titanic crash and stop it from happening, or to go back right before the guy steals the timeship and stop him then.
This episode has a lot of problems!
The Causality beams off all the Titanic survivors (to reintegrate them in the 24th century, which also makes no sense), gives power to the Independence. Now the Independence has to fight the timeship because the other timeship has to….do something…timeshippy….which is why they can’t help them fight.
The Independence fights with the evil timeship as the Causality heads for the anomaly. Can’t they make their own anomaly, they are a TIME SHIP! Gah! So Johns sets the Independence for self-destruct, it blows up, everyone dies, the evil timeship dies, the anomaly dies, history resets, and whole episode never happened. Which is a good idea, the one they should have started with!
Johns in the Independence arrives in space where the anomaly was in the beginning except nothing is there. Also, he decides to break out a Titanic model and work on it. Okay, we get it, someone likes the Titanic.
This episode sucks. Time travel reset-button episodes are stupid, and Voyager became the king of those, and by this time the producers would have noticed that as well. Yet here it is, infecting fan films. Damn you, Voyager! The rest of the plot is simply ludicrous, and the time ships are as ineffective here as they are on their Voyager appearances. You want to do good fan films? Ignore everything Voyager did. And don’t insert yourself into random movies. What is next, will Captain Knapp help Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger fight the Predator? Will Dr. Henglaar team up with Babe to help Zefrem Cochrane win a sheep herding competition? That’ll do, Henglaar.
Rated 2/10 (Gah…, GAH!)
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