Star Trek: Hidden Frontier – 105 – Perihelion

Star Trek: Hidden Frontier – 105 – Perihelion

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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 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.

Captain Ian Quincy Knapp (David W. Dial) – Angry! His brother was killed by the Dominion, and left Captain Knapp angry! Had a mysterious encounter during the Dominion War (The Dominion who killed his brother) with mystery aliens that made him angry, and now that he commands Deep Space 12 and the USS Excelsior he can take out his anger over his brother’s death with flaming kill-lasers. Did I mention his brother was killed?
Commander Elizabeth Shelby (Risha Denney) – Commander Shelby (yes, THAT one!) has stepped out of a time warp that engulfed her just after Best of Both Worlds Part 2, because that is the only way to explain why she is still a Commander ten years later! She is replacing Jason Munoz, who left to go be a janitor or something, they didn’t bother to explain.
Dr. Henglaar (John Whiting) – Medical Doctor, Tellarite, and an actual interesting character. Ignore the fact he is wearing a pig nose and Muppet gloves. John Whiting will eventually get fed up with them and learn how to be a makeup supervisor just so he doesn’t have to wear a pig nose. Until then, I will make lots of bacon jokes.
Counselor Myra Elbrey (Barbara Clifford) – Betazoid, used to teach at the Academy. Survivor of the Grey attack on the USS Rutledge. Has a dog named Mr. Scott. Despite her being interesting and played by a decent actress, not much is done with Elbrey in the first season.
Rayvan (Gregory Allen) – Iconian, pronounced Raven, instead of like Ray-Bands, which is what I though. But then he’d be wearing sunglasses and erasing memories. He should do that, anyway. Remember how the Iconians were extinct? Well, they aren’t. Yet.
Ensign Jenna McFarland (Adrianne Lange) – Half-Trill, Half-Human, all Navigation. Was on the USS Olympus before joining her entire graduating class on the USS Excelsior. I don’t know if she has a worm in her belly.
Cmd. Joseph Johns (Mike Johns) – Commander who does high-level stuff on Deep Space 12, I guess. I am not really sure where he is in the command hierarchy. Had a whole episode dedicated to one of his goofy hobbies, and enjoys blowing his ships up.
Lt. Toby Witczak (Matt Kruer) – Assistant chief engineer, was on the USS Devonshire during the Grey attack. Spends most of his time hitting on his boss Lefler and getting shot down by his boss. Stop putting it on the pedestal, dude! Go watch 40 Year Old Virgin for more tips.
Ensign Andrew Barrett (Tyler Bosserman) – Communications officer and starting second grade next week. If this kid was any younger, they’d have to install diaper changing stations on the bridge!
Lt. William Martinez (Anthony Diaz) – Chief of Security who looks like a Chief of Security. Thus he is the Chief of Security. I know he does so on the USS Excelsior, but I don’t know if he does so on Deep Space 12 as well. Doesn’t get enough character development this season.
Lt. Cmd. Robin Lefler (Joanne Busch) – Chief Engineer, and no longer played by Kelly Jamison. She is THAT Robin Lefler, from the TV series, and Witczak would do anything to even touch her. But he never will. Take that, Witczak! Has a bunch of laws that she will recite until you pull out a gun and kill yourself. Lefler’s Law Number 244 is “Recite laws until everyone dies!”
Ensign Ro Nevin (Arthur Bosserman) – Science officer and Ro Laren’s brother. He stares at his tricorder a lot. Not given a lot to do this season, but will become a bigger player soon.
Ensign Brad T. Rawling (Tristan Clark) – I see they’re recruiting straight out of Junior High now… Communications officer who vanishes into the wind in season 2. Went to the Academy with Ro Nevin and Andrew Barrett, which is weird because one is like 5 years older than him and the other 5 years younger. Makes bad jokes.
Ensign Amanda Hanley (Betty Bainton) – Who the Devil is this? She never appears on the show, yet she gets title credit billing? What an awesome agent! Maybe she was so young she is just a fetus inside some other cast member’s uterus…

Guest Cast:

Captain Jillson (Gabriel Koerner) – Gah, that annoying kid from Trekkies who grew up to do special effects for a living is now here in acting form, as the Bajoran captain of the USS Perihelion who goes nuts and kills some of his crew. Just like in real life.

Stardate 54529.1

The Excelsior meets with the Ambasador-class USS Excalibur (NCC-26517), getting their new first officer Elizabeth Shelby.

Yes, that Elizabeth Shelby.

Looks like Jason Munoz got fired! I guess he ticked off Captain Angry one too many times.

Shelby, who is still a commander despite it being ten years since Best of Both Worlds, immediately starts complaining to Captain Knapp “You’re in my way!” Captain Angry tells her “tough cookies!” and does more yelling at her, releasing ten years of fan frustrations at her character being so rude to Commander Riker. I am surprised they revived Shelby’s character, yet didn’t age her at all. The least they could have done was made it her sister or something, thus explaining why she’s suddenly been frozen in place (or give a back story that she went through a timewarp. Heck, they could have picked her up on the Titanic from last episode, that would still make more sense.

We have a new Lefler too?! What the frak happened? Commander Joseph Johns, you screrwed up the timeline with your Titanic nonsense! Gah! This is only the fifth episode and I already had to seriously modify my cast template! Don’t you people realize I like to be lazy?

Because it is Star Trek, they play a poker game. At least make it Fizzbin or something. Interrupted because Starfleet lost contact with the USS Perihelion, which has caused the score of Star Trek 2 to begin to play. Is Khan responsible? Nova-class science vessel Perihelion is commanded by Captain Matt Jilson. Jilson somehow got his ship close to a black hole! Dingbat.

“Black holes are the stuff of legend…” Yeah, whatever, Captain Angry. They reach the destination and…what the Frak? Why is the Executor Super Star Destroyer from Star Wars here? Gah!

They get closer, and we are told: “No Federation ship has ever been this close to a black hole.” Except the Perihelion, which is the ship you are heading towards!!!! More Wrath of Khan music plays. They beam over to the lifeless Perihelion to get data. Meanwhile, Captain Knapp is hearing voices – so he goes for a nap! He dreams of the Borg. Because he is angry.

The away team has discovered that explosions on the Perihelion happened from the inside, and no bodies are on the ship. Also, people all over the Excelsior are reporting voices and hallucinations. Everyone done gone schitzo!

To find out what is going on, they watch the Perihelion‘s captain’s logs – the Bajoran captain goes from happy to crazy and leaves to kill his chief engineer as his ship is crippled.

“I’m convinced now is the time to get underway” – Captain Angry. No crap!

First we must spend fifteen minutes looking for survivors on the Executor because blah blah blah something interesting will be found over there. And it is. Also, power drains on the Excelsior mean they can’t beam off the Away Team, so they send over a shuttle. So the interesting thing they found on the Executor was that it has a Quantum Singularity Engine, which folded space and crossed them into the Star Trek Universe. Since that made a Star Wars Universe black hole in the Star Trek Universe, it is causing hallucinations because everyone’s molecules are turning different due to the different laws of physics in the Star Wars universe.

So they must blow up the black hole or both universes will explode. Seriously. All they need to do is use a nuclear bomb and this has become a SciFi Channel movie! Instead, they will blow up the Executor and the Perihelion at the same time, one in each universe, to blow up black hole. Because that works, somehow. Don’t ask, just follow along!

So they set it all up, but first they need to set the CD to play the Genesis Wave track from the Star Trek 2 soundtrack. The ships get blown up, and the laws of physics are normal again! Hooray! Wait…just in…The President has vetoed Newton’s second law, F=MA. No, wait…Congress has overridden the veto. All laws of physics are back on the books!

Let’s go to Risa! Yeah! What is this, the let’s get drunk and get laid of the 24th century? Okay!

Talking with Shelby, Captain Knapp is angry about Gilbert and Sullivan, also calls Shelby a spy for Starfleet Command to usurp his power (what?) and Shelby asks for advice to be a better suck up to him.

It should be noted that the producers claim this isn’t a Star Wars crossover, but they just didn’t have another ship model that was big enough. Right. It is NOW, because I declare it so.

Despite the ribbing given above, this was a good improvement over the last episode. The character switch was a bit jarring, and they could have focused more on having a big empty ship and random power problems versus ending everything in five minutes, but at least they didn’t drag it on to boring levels. It is also fun seeing what random things will make Captain Knapp angry. If he ever chills out, things will get a bit boring. The show is starting to come together, and final episode of the first season continues to improve, so should make a more enthusiastic review (unless you are the kind of person who likes reading negative reviews, then you will only be slightly disappointed.)

Lefler’s Laws
46 – Life isn’t always fair

Rated 5/10 (Mommy and baby, All Nova-class ships on this show explode, boom!, explosion again, whirlpool of doom)

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