Admirals’ Log, Stardate… um, yeah, well, letsee… it’s … oh, forget it! Computer, just plug in the Stardate later! Sheesh, like I don’t have enough to remember as it is… Now, where was I… oh, yes… Welcome to a Very Special Issue of Trekkie Central!! What’s so “Special” about this issue? Well, because I said so! You’re not buying that are you..? Okay then, because in this “Very Special Issue” ™ (no, it’s not really trademarked, I just threw that in for giggles) of Trekkie Central, you’ll be reading great interviews with Brandon McConnell, who plays the third Ro Nevin in the HF spin-off series ST Odyssey; one of my person favs Miss Rebecca Wood, and her many roles in HF productions; Heather Ashleigh, aka Dr. Henglaar’s niece Silan and lately as Kristen Laws onboard the USS Odyssey, as well as an interview with Bobby Rice about his latest fan film exploits and CGI artist Philip Hogg, plus lots more info! Woohoo! What else will you be reading? Oh, I’m sure you’re all interested in some fan fiction, right? Good! Cause we got that too! I don’t know if you know this or not, but, Trekkie Central is sure making me once again enjoy and appreciate my “Trek addiction”, because Richard just crams so much into each issue, it’s amazing! (Psst! My check should contain a couple extra zero’s for that last bit, right Richard?!?!) Anyhoo, I’m honored once again to write for this magazine, so I truly hope you enjoy what’s inside – oh, heck, I know you will! So what are you waiting for? Get to reading! Oh, yeah, if you weren’t already aware, Hidden Frontier Productions' third annual Excelsior Ball (www.excelsiorball.com) will be held June 6-8, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA at the LAX Radisson Hotel. Hope you’re planning on attending! It’s sure to be a BLAST! Yeah, I know, not-so-shameless-plug, but, hey, Richard did say I could!
Jenn aka: Jennifer Cole Hidden Frontier Producer
Ro Nevin Mark II An Interview with Bobby Rice A rare and exclusive interview 6
Ro Nevin Mark III An Interview with Brandon McConnell A special joint interview between Trekkie Central and Trekweb 10
The Evolution of Ro Nevin A Look at the Growth of the Character By Alex Matthews 14
Silan â€“ The Troubled Tellarite An Interview with Heather Ashleigh 22
Excelsior Ball III A Galaxy-Class Get-Together By Alex Matthews 26
BetrasMcfarland An Interview with Rebecca Wood 28
Fan Fiction ‘Sirens Nebulae’ An extract from an exclusive piece of Fan Fiction By Michael Ford 32
Bringing Star Trek to Life An Interview with CGI Artist Philip Hogg 36
Captains Log By Heather Ashleigh 39
Coming Next Issue 40
TREKKIE CENTRAL MAGAZINE TALKS TO THE SECOND RO NEVIN, BOBBY RICE, ON WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE ON HIDDEN FRONTIER, HIS HOPES FOR THE FUTURE AND MORE.
TC: How familiar were you with the Star Trek phenomenon before you got involved with Hidden Frontier?
"Or even a woman" a quote from Fry, Futurama, episode: Where no fan has gone before. See, I told you guys I'm a geek!
BR: Not very. I've always been a big sci-fi fan but prior to Hidden Frontier did not have a lot of Trek knowledge. As a kid when Next Gen started it was like MASH coming on, a message from the TV Gods that cartoons were over and it was time to go to bed. I actually enjoy the show now. When I came aboard HF I did some research and got into the show, especially the original series.
TC: You were the second person to play Ro Nevin, after Arthur Bosserman; did you ever look back at any of the episodes that he was in before or whilst you were playing Ro?
TC: How did you get involved with Hidden Frontier? BR: HF was my first real audition and booked role in California. The casting listing was under the TV section of nowcasting.com as a star trek Internet show. Curious, I submitted and was called in for an audition. When I wound up in Pasadena in front of a pretty little yellow house I thought I was either in the wrong place or walking into a "to catch a predator" situation. I came in, read, met some wonderful people and about four days later I got a call and was offered the role. My friends got a kick out of seeing me with a big gun, uniform, and Bajoran nose as the new kid on the website. I remember hearing "dude thatâ€™s gona be someones wallpaper"! Smiling it off I didn't understand the enormity or commitment of Trek fans. TC: Your character is one of the first gay characters in Star Trek, what do you think of that, and what do you think of the controversy that it caused with some fans? BR: I was asked if I would be comfortable playing a gay character. I really didn't have a problem with it, I was told it was a sub plot in the series and given a bit of background into the relationship between Ro and Cory. From what I understand the controversy was minimal. There were some people who did not like the idea of incorporating gay themes into Trek. But for the most part the people opposed where respectful in their opinions, apart from a couple bad apples. The majority of fans understand that everyone; whether black, white, gay, straight, Chinese, Canadian, "or even a woman" has a place together in the future.
BR: Yeah I wanted to see Arthurs character. I wanted the change of actor to be as smooth as possible. He played the character wonderfully sweet, kinda geeky, and restrained by a number of personal issues...his sexuality, religion, family, role. I tried to apply that to what I did with Ro. But I had the opportunity to explore Ro's internal struggles more so than Arthur, and I think the character really grew into something bigger. I have to credit Rob and the writing team for that. Obviously, Ro stepped up big enough to land the lead in his own series. TC: What was your favourite episode of Hidden Frontier? BR: Well, clearly the best episodes are the Ro heavy episodes. Pardon myself delusions :). I'm not sure the episode but I remember the scene. I think it was a well written and nicely played by JT. Ro comes into a bar and confesses his feelings for Corey, as it turns out he is in some kind of holo-deck. The segment allowed us to see Ro take a few more steps toward where the character was inevitable going to go, because it was not really happening. It was like seeing in live action something you might secretively write in a diary. TC: In the final scenes of Hidden Frontier there was the wedding scene, what was it like to film that scene? BR: Oh the wedding scene. The surroundings were beautiful. It actually was a really nice day; following filming was the start of the Excelsior ball. Admirably put together by the bajoran minister Andrew Foster. The guests at the wedding were made up of fans and they were so happy to be there and help make this happen. A theme that seems to resonate
with all the trek projects I have had the privilege to be affiliated with. JT and I had a lot of fun together during the shot. There's a segment without dialog after the "I Do's" where Ro and Cory walk around thanking various guest. Since there was nothing heard on film I would say things like "thank you for coming, were off to have some gay sex"! Crazy stuff just to make us laugh. Looks like weâ€™re all sharing a good laugh on camera, and we were. We had fun, it was a great day.
with all these devoted and kind people, but if I was going to get out the character switch being too 'weird' it was time. It was either after the pilot or after a couple of episodes and I thought it better for the show if the series kicked off with the new Ro.
TC: And do you think that it was a fitting ending to the Ro-Aster storyline in Hidden Frontier?
BR: I've watched a scene with Brandon to calm my curiosity. I liked what I saw. He seemed to have good pacing and presence, but that's all I've seen. I wish him all the best and hope he has as good of time as I did. They have a good team over there. Funny; I just read an interview with him on-line. I didn't even put it together that he auditioned for the role of Alex Freeman. Again, small Trek world. That's how NV got there new Spock too, that particular casting.
BR: 70/30. I do like that Ro ended up with Cory. I do like that Ro came to terms with himself. However; I think that Adam's character could have ended up with Cory as well. I think he had just as much right to a happy ending as Ro did. I don't know if it was my favorite ending, but it was the right ending. Plus, it gave way to HF's spin offs. Kinda like the end of Return of the Jedi, dancing around with a bunch of Ewoks. I like the ending...it makes me happy...itâ€™s satisfying, but could have gone many different ways and I probably would still be satisfied. I'm not making any sense am I? I'm gona make a sandwich.... TC: You played Ro in the first episode of Odyssey, what was it like being the lead of your own show? There certainly was a sense that the scale of the project was larger. We were going to do new things, and expand on what HF did in the past. I love the pilot; I think it's really cool. Ro found himself in new pants, and had to grow to fit into them. It was more work but very rewarding and a nice responsibility having the lead role. When HF ended I got an email from Mr. Caves saying that he'd love to have me in new projects as long as I want, and he understood I wouldn't be around forever. It was great working
TC: And have you watched any of the episodes since Brandon McConnell took over?
TC: You are currently starring as Peter Kirk in Star Trek Phase 2, how did you get the part? BR: James Cawley saw me in HF and liked what I did with the character. He contacted me and asked if I would be interested in doing a Trek series based out of New York. I didn't know much about it but thought what the hell. The idea all along was for me to play Peter Kirk, but the merging of David Gerrolds script and New Voyages hadn't happened yet. Now both James and David are very good friends of mine, I consider myself very lucky. TC: Can you tell us a bit about the character? BR: Remember Peter is still a Kirk, whether he likes it or not. So he is ultimately somewhat like his uncle. Obviously James is an intergalactic ladies man and Peter prefers the opposite. There is a sense of resentment on Peters behalf from the fact that his uncle can seemingly save anyone and come thru just in time for anybody except his parents. Coming aboard the Enterprise was not his choice for sure, and he is always looking to prove that he is a good officer despite being little Kirk. One of my favorite
moments in BAF is when Peter mocks his uncle to a fellow crew member. My intention was to mimic Cawley with splashes of a Kevin Pollack-like Shatner impersonation. Thank you Mr. Gerrold for that! TC: You are also due to star in Star Trek First Voyages, can you tell us a bit about it and how that show is going to interact with Phase 2? BR: Not sure yet. To be honest I haven’t read anything, but I do hear I'll get something soon. I do know that BAF starts incorporating some Phase II wardrobes, weapons, and 70s ish hippie hair. (if you've seen Peter). Wish I had more to share about first voyages but the team is working hard to get it to the standard that the New Voyages team has set. I''m sure it will be great. TC: You belong to an improv group could you tell us a bit about it, and what improv is?
BR: It’s very fun. Some of the most talented and intelligent people I have ever met are improvisers. It goes deeper than one might think. Our job is to explore the suggestion given by the audience, and then depending on the form, let it inspire us to visit different themes with honest human reaction. The funny is in the Truth of everyday human interaction. Do I sound pretentious yet? I have seen some incredible hour long shows with just three dudes having fun on stage. They don't do different segments and silly things like "whose line", but find themselves as real people in a practical situations and it is funny as hell. Right now I'm not playing but I'm gearing up to start a three person show in a month. Improv is great from everyone. I highly suggest I.O. West in Hollywood and/or Chicago. Check out iowest.com for class info. I'll never forget one of my instructors Craig Cackowski saying "Everything in Improv is the perfect thing to happen because it’s the only thing to happen". I try to apply that philosophy to more than improv in my life.
TC: Are there any other projects that you are working on that you can tell us about? BR: alljackedupmovie.com has the teen focused documentary I hosted. I did a segment for MANswers that aired last fall, and recently played the role of Richie on season 2 on the Lair for HERE tv. You can also catch me at various auditions, selling stolen hub caps on the corner of 4th and Glenaoks at 9 p.m., and using the change in my pocket to get some tacos at Dell Taco after I type this, my sandwich sucks.....................................................
IN A JOINT INTERVIEW BETWEEN TCM AND TREKWEB, WE TALK TO BRANDON McCONNELL ON LIFE IN THE ANDROMEDA GALAXY.
TC: How familiar were you with the Star Trek phenomenon before you got involved with Star Trek Odyssey ? BM: I grew up on TNG with my mother, it was just her and I growing up and we'd spend our nights around the tube watching. My affinity for Star Trek never grew much after that, but now that I've got a ship to command I'm learning just how expansive the Trek-universe is, and my curiosity and amazement continues to swell. Much like that of a StarFleet Captain in his/her search for discovery, I suppose. :) TC: How did you get involved with this Star Trek fan production ? BM: Lol, good question. :) I responded to a casting call for James Cawley, regarding Star Trek: New Voyages, where, as fate would have it, I auditioned with Bobby Rice as his love interest in "Blood and Fire." I was auditioned by J.T. Tenapa (Corey Aster), however at this point I had no idea of Hidden Frontier. I was offered the part by Mr. Cawley but, for one reason or another, we never connected again. Months later (maybe a year?), I received an invitation from J.T. and Rob Caves to audition for a different character, Ro Nevin. Apparently, after sorting through many actors to fill the role, J.T. vaguely recalled our meeting and decided to give me a shot. The rest is history I suppose. It wasn't until recently though that I realized Bobby and I had not only crossed paths but shared a scene, ironic. Hmmmm, wonder where that audition tape is? TC: Describe the character of Ro Nevin for us. BM: Ro Nevin has become a man that must constantly define his worth to himself. He is selfless and romantic. Charming and courageous. But he is not the go-to hero as Kirk was. His spotlight does not shine on his prime but rather on his definition. He is raw and unpolished, unsure and reluctant. Afraid and worried, burdened with an unwanted weight, but it is his triumph over these things that will make him worthy of notoriety. He is not a captain, but a captain in the making. He is naïve, yet knows a truth in purity. He is emotional, but thinks it unprofessional. He is twisted in conflict between duty and desire. He is loyal and he is determined. TC: What dynamics, as an actor, have you brought to the role of Ro Nevin? BM: Hopefully that of what any actor would, truth, depth and compassion. TC: The storylines seem very challenging to act (from a non actor), are you enjoying the challenge that Rob and his team set when writing for Odyssey? BM: Absolutely. Rob and writers do not settle for anything. As fans they take the writing seriously and we have a great series to show for it. Some fans have made known their angst for the apprehension of Ro in his situation tho, citing this as a weakness in the show. Ro’s inhibitions are intentional, it is not a weakness in the show, but a character flaw he must overcome. TC: You are playing the first gay captain in Star Trek history, a somewhat controversial subject among the fans. What is your opinion on this? BM: It is my understanding that in the 24th century there is no gay or straight, only love and connection between two beings. I think that is something we can all learn from. However, to address today's social atmosphere, I would have to make two points. First, to the fans of Star Trek that disagree with the endeavor, I would have to insist that negating or condemning the issue would be contrary to what ST represents and seeks to achieve; understanding through exploration. ST has always tackled controversial issues through its allegorical episodes and utopian perspective. I am not attempting to debate ones personal beliefs but if the final frontier represents the unknown, how are we to judge it without understanding it first. Secondly, I do not believe my portrayal of Ro Nevin as a gay character, to be for the sake of a particular audience or a gregarious attempt for a minority to be heard. At the core of Ro lies the same conflict of any young man, gay or straight; a boy struggling to realize it is time to be a man and to be the man that is true to himself. TC: Star Trek deals with a lot of modern issues, do you think that this is also true of Odyssey? BM: Yes, in a very clever way. Odyssey is based on Homer’s epic and yet is set in a fictitious future, however the adaptation and fusion of these genres (again owed to the creativity of Rob Caves and the writers, namely Eric Weaver) provide an allegorical canvas for today’s issues as well as timeless struggles. Themes like acceptance, hope, and survival. While characters also get to personally explore quandaries with compromise and disparity, desperation and trust, vengeance and arbitration.
TC: Ro has had a lot to deal with since the Odyssey was left stranded in the Andromeda Galaxy, how do you think that he has coped with the pressure? BM: If Ro’s façade is picture perfect, his interior is Jackson Pollock’s finest work. Everyday there is a steady build up of more anxiety, insecurity, and frustration. Ro is operating as what he thinks a captain is supposed to be; therefore hiding his unrest. But the restraint is dangerous and may become too much to control. I believe the release will be a great transition in the command of Ro Nevin. The question is, when and where will the balloon pop? TC: Did you know about Hidden Frontier and Odyssey before being cast in the show? BM: No I did not. It was HF that opened the doors to fandom with a camera to me. TC: Are you surprised by the level of fandom for the show? BM: Can you expect anything else? Hidden Frontier provides an entertainment that gives fans a opportunity to unify. How great is that! TC: You are the third actor to play this role. Have you gone back and looked at the old episodes with your predecessors, actors Arthur Bosserman and Bobby Rice? BM: I've watched a few episodes for the storyline but not to critique my predecessors. I have my own interpretation of Ro at this point in his life and intend not to falter in portraying that. While I hope that my intentions please the fans and critics, I have to be true myself and to the character as I (and the writers) see him. Someone in the forums commented that Ro gets a new face every time he faces a dramatic change in his life... I think this is fate at work. :)
TC: In future episodes how would you like to see the character of Ro Nevin grow? BM: As mentioned before, I would like to see Ro’s release. I would also like to see him come into his own and be the captain that is inside him. However, I would find it very interesting to see him overcompensating. What if Ro became too commanding? What if his insecurity produced arrogance instead of timidity? What if he constantly let out his frustration? How would the crew respond? Could they bring him back? The magnificent amount of stress Ro Nevin endures could drive a man to do anything. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. TC: What surprises can we expect in future episodes of Odyssey? Can you reveal something? BM: Hahahaha..... hmmmm...lets see, Odyssey will be nothing short of spectacular! This isn't just a ship and crew trying to get home... there is a reason why Odyssey is lost in Andromeda. Poor guys, things are gonna get a lot worse before they get better. TC: What are you future projects? BM: I'm a carpenter during the day, so there are always upcoming projects. :) Been shooting a few commercials lately and will be performing a new show with my sketch comedy group Easily Distracted in the coming months. Check us out at www.myspace.com/easilydistractedsketchcomedy
IN AN EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE, ALEX MATTHEWS EXAMINES THE GROWTH OF RO NEVIN, FROM THE UNSURE ENSIGN IN ‘THE ENEMY UNKNOWN’ RIGHT THROUGH TO THE LATEST ODYSSEY EPISODE ‘VILE GODS’.
When “Hidden Frontier” started and picked up from where “Tales of the Angeles” series, Rob Caves took several of the characters from his previous fan series, and added in quite a few newer characters, bringing in new actors and friends to take on those roles and flesh out the character he had envisioned. One of those characters was a young Bajoran science officer, Ro Nevin, a recent graduate of Starfleet Academy like many of the new crew assigned to the starship that is the main focus of the series, the Galaxy-class “dreadnought”, USS Excelsior. Nevin was a tip of the hat character to another Bajoran member of Starfleet that had served on the USS Enterprise during the run of TNG, Ensign Ro Laren. This Ensign Ro, portrayed by Michelle Forbes, proved to be quite a fan favourite and was originally intended to cross over to DS9, until Forbes declined. This lead to her character betraying Starfleet and joining the Maquis in the penultimate episode of TNG, and Forbes even approached later on about appearing in Voyager, another offer she declined. So when Ro Nevin debuted alongside many of the other new characters who premiered in Hidden Frontier's premiere 3-part episode, “Enemy Unknown”, he already had some back-story in place that was quickly explained, as the overachieving younger brother of the former Starfleet officer turned Maquis soldier. Arthur Bosserman took on this role with quiet youthful enthusiasm, bringing life to the young man who felt he had to make up for his sister's poor record of Starfleet service. For the majority of the first couple of seasons, like many of the junior officers, despite his established back-story, Ro was not really developed beyond his role on the bridge, aside from a couple of scenes in 10-Forward with his close friends, Brad Rawlins, Excelsior's chief communications officer, and Andrew Barrett, the chief operations officer. As can happen with an ensemble show, some characters were prioritised over others, so Ro Nevin was relegated to supporting status, his science officer role usually being to deliver the necessary technobabble needed to keep the story-lines grounded in a sense of sci-fi realism. One episode that broke that nd mold was the 2 season episode “Encke”, which was the beginning of a journey for Hidden Frontier in general, which took the series in a whole new way beyond the other 'canon' shows. In the episode, Ro is reunited with another Academy acquaintance, Ensign Corey Aster, a young man with obviously strong feelings for the Bajoran officer. Unfortunately, due to his traditional upbringing and religious precepts, Nevin finds himself very uncomfortable with the idea that a man has feelings for him, as well as the fact that he recognises that he does have feelings for Aster himself. Because of the clash of his heart versus his head, he ultimately rejects Aster's romantic approach, although the two do reaffirm their friendship before Aster leaves at the end of the episode. nd
For the remainder of the 2 season, and the beginning of the rd 3 season, Ro switches back to a supporting character to reinforce the story-lines that the other characters face, as the Hidden Frontier universe deals with imminent attacks by their main enemy at the time, the Grey, and the promotion of Captain Knapp to Commodore and command of DS12, while Commander Shelby assumes command of the Excelsior. But then, Rob Caves, having had a plan with Nevin from the very beginning of his creation, made the decision to bring back Corey Aster as a regular guest star rd to the series, and in the 3 season episode, “In Memory Of...”, Aster transfers to the Excelsior as their new assistant chief engineer. From that point onwards, we begin to see a side of Nevin only glimpsed at during “Encke”. Instead of simply supporting the story-lines of others, Ro
Nevin is given his own continuous story arc that would carry on throughout the rest of the series and into Hidden Frontier's sister shows.
The “Will They, Won't They?” Arc... The arrival of Corey Aster aboard the Excelsior is the beginning of a journey for Ro that had seemingly stopped by the end of “Encke”. When he had bid Aster farewell, they had parted as friends, since Ro had made it clear that he was not interested in pursuing a relationship with another man. But now that the man who clearly has feelings for him is now assigned to the same starship, Ro realises that this is something he cannot ignore, despite his best efforts. Every time Ro appears in an episode, even if he is acting in his official role as Chief Science Officer, some small part of the episode is given over to the Ro/Corey dynamic. In 'Modus Operandi', he admits to Lieutenant McCabe he has been avoiding Engineering since Aster transferred aboard, something McCabe takes in his stride. Since McCabe was also in the same Academy class as Ro and Aster, he may very well have been aware of the situation before his own transfer to Excelsior, and covers for Ro by visiting Engineering for him, when the need arises. It is not until “Ashes”, 2 episodes later, that Ro is left with no choice but to confront both his trepidation and Aster when Lefler personally asks for his help on a project. During the course of the episode, just as in “Encke”, the two are assigned to examine a problem in detail, and working closely together becomes uncomfortable for both of them, despite Aster's efforts to keep things friendly. Ro has difficulty finding a way to balance his own wants with the traditions he was raised in, even admitting to a friend he is attracted to Aster, but unsure how to deal with it. However, he does admit to Aster that he wants to find his own path in life, and does want to continue the friendship that they had began to forge between them in “Encke”. The friendship and the growing comfortable atmosphere between them is demonstrated at the end of “Ashes” as well as in the following episode, “Voyages of the Defiant”, when they are seen working together to refit the Constitution-class starship of the title to working condition. With the growing plot involving the tetrahedrons and the Tholians, Ro and his relationship with Aster takes th th a back seat until the 4 episodes of the 4 season, “Grave Matters”, in which Ro finds himself in conflict with Aster. This is due to the fact that, after being temporarily assigned to another starship, Aster finds himself growing close to a Cardassian scientist involved in the mission as well. Ro sees this as a betrayal of sorts, especially since the Cardassians stand accused of murdering thousands of Bajoran refugees on a planet near the Briar Patch, including his grandfather. Aster confronts him, however, reminding him that their own relationship, despite their best efforts, has become undefined, and he has no real place to object to anything that may or may not happen. Aster does enter into a brief relationship with the officer, before his untimely death, and it is Ro that comforts him, as well as learning a lesson regarding the fragile relationship between the Bajorans and Cardassians, and just how far people can stray from their supposed path in life.
The lesson that his grandfather was a collaborator with the Cardassians that eventually killed him and the other refugees hit Ro hard, but he tried his best to learn from it, although he does find himself drawing away from Aster. Aware that another crewmember has expressed interest in the engineer, Ro encourages Aster to pursue it if he is interested; that he should not allow whatever that exists between the two of them to stop him from moving on with his life. It is with this release of sorts that Aster does seem to move on from his feelings for Ro, and enters into a relationship with Ensign Jorian Zen, one of Excelsior's helmsmen. But to say that Ro has put his own feelings and confusion behind him would be incorrect... Season Six and Beyond... Throughout this time, Arthur Bosserman played the role as well th as he could, but as the finale of the 5 season approached, Arthur announced his desire to leave, to pursue his interest in music instead. This meant the role needed to recast, because the character of Ro Nevin had not only had a lot of time invested into it, but he was a firm fan favourite. The recasting also opened up avenues that the script writers and story creators had not been able to pursue with Arthur in the role. nd
Enter Bobby Quinn Rice, the 2 actor to assume the role of Ro Nevin. He brought a new side of Ro to life that Arthur had not been able to do himself. While Arthur had portrayed the initial discomfort and eventual friendship, Bobby's willingness to take the character a new and different way provided an awakening for the character. This resulted on-screen with Ro entering into a relationship with a Bajoran woman, Tara Abis, which, despite his relationship with Jorian, caused a reaction from Aster. Tara and Ro remained a couple for the th majority of the 6 season, but the relationship falls apart when Ro finally admits to himself something he had known for years, but had been afraid to admit - he is in love with Corey Aster. Tara was a distraction, an attempt to go down the path of someone his family tradition demanded - a man of family. Although he cared for Tara, Ro ultimately realised he had been lying to himself as well as her, and to continue would bring more hurtful in the long wrong. To her credit, Tara had begun to figure out the puzzle herself, when she noticed how relaxed and happy Ro would become in Aster's presence. She is the one to end the relationship, walking out on Ro after forcing him to admit to the both of them how he really feels. Unfortunately, his finally accepting the truth does not mean much, since Aster still in a relationship with Jorian, and this combined with the abduction of Andrew Barrett, results in his work becoming affected. After he and McCabe are ordered to 'get over it' by Shelby, they retreat to DS12, where Nevin encounters a young Klingon officer, Nej'ta, for the first time. Although the resulting conversation between them is short, it would have a lasting effect on the Klingon officer. Months later, the 2 are again reunited on DS12, where McCabe forces Ro to admit he needs to get out and move on with his own life, having been reclusive since his split with Tara. It is McCabe who engineers Ro's first 'date' with Nej'ta, during which the Klingon tells Ro he seems him as a kindred spirit, and invites him to join in a Klingon ritual which will bond them together as warriors. A somewhat stunned Ro agrees, showing just how much he has begun to accept his own identity, and together they go through a series of tests that when they pass,
acknowledges them as proud warriors. In the heat of the moment, the two] embrace, leading to Nej'ta kissing the Bajoran passionately, and although taken aback, he gives into the moment. This first sexual experience for Ro is an eye opener, and it is an experience he will never forget and one he is quick to thank McCabe for pushing him into, realising it was something he needed to do. His relationship with Nej'ta acts like a safety cord, helping him stay grounded while the war with the Tholians and Breen rages throughout the Briar Patch, and is a learning experience for him as well. When he and Aster accidentally bump into each other on DS12, they engage in one of the most talks they have had in their time together, when they both admit the difficulties their relationships are under. He admits that despite what his is feeling for the Klingon officer, he does not feel that their relationship is 'special', and after finding that Aster is having doubts about his relationship with Zen, Ro has one of the boldest moments in his life, when he blatantly suggests an assignation to Aster, which the engineer ultimately rejects, despite strong temptation. This rejection pushes Ro back to Nej'ta, perhaps due to Aster's own misgivings regarding the Bajoran's relationship with the Klingon, but Nej'ta is there
to provide what Ro needs - comfort and companionship.
Despite his claims that he indeed did have his own doubts regarding his relationship with him, Ro is devastated to learn of Nej'ta's death, openly weeping over the body, and honouring his lover's customs by performing the Klingon death cry with McCabe. It may have been the loss of someone he cared for that finally woke Ro up to the fact that life is worth taking a few risks in order to get what you heart wants. With the end of the relationship between Aster and Zen during the final conflict between the Federation and Tholian/Breen alliance, Ro is finally able to openly pursue the man he has been in love with since the Academy, and this time he is able to win him. Although the details of their relationship are unclear, what is clear is that they do truly love each other and that the many years they danced around each other only strengthened the love they shared, as six months after the Briar Patch dissolved, the two Starfleet officers are married in a traditional Bajoran ceremony on Ba'ku. The wedding is not only a beautiful event, but a symbol of the inner peace Ro has finally found after years of wrestling with his own inner demons, finally admitting he is his own person, living the way he knows is right for him...
Separation Anxiety... For the loving couple recently wed, what can be worse then being torn apart by circumstances out of your control? That is now exactly what Ro Nevin is facing, trapped in the Andromeda galaxy, millions of light years from home, with no idea if his husband is even alive. Just like Janeway in the early episodes of Voyager, it his desire to be reunited with his partner that is driving him as he finds himself thrust into a position of command he did not want. He is more than aware that it is his decisions that will keep the USS Odyssey intact, one step ahead of an enemy they barely understand, as they seek out resources and allies in this unknown sector of the universe. What is more, we have a new actor bringing his own interpretation, now that Bobby Rice has departed the role, and the mantle and history being handed over Brandon McConnell. Like the departure of Arthur Bosserman allowed Ro to be taken in a different direction, what changes will come of Brandon's assuming the role? So far, we have seen him portray Ro as he handles the constant Archein attacks, as well as the growing dissent between his Romulan acting Executive Officer and his stubborn Betazoid chief of security, while also forging a tense relationship with Kelvin renegades. He has brought a quite confidence and ease to the role, while at the same time, the vulnerability of a person who knows they are deeply out of their element, making decisions they never wanted to make. One fact to remember is that the other Ro's have always had Aster around in some form, while's Brandon's Ro is completely isolated from his true love, and will have to learn to live with that separation, perhaps for a very long time. Will this affect him in another way, perhaps willing to take risks he would not normally, or perhaps swing the other way, being cautious in order to stay safe? What direction Brandon will take Ro, and the defining relationship of this character, his relationship with Corey Aster, eventually only time will tell...
SHE PLAYED SILAN IN HIDDEN FRONTIER AND NOW PLAYS KIRTSEN LAWS ON ODYSSEY. HEATHER ASHLEIGH NOW TALKS TO TCM ABOUT HIDDEN FRONTIER AND BEYOND.
TC: When did you first discover Star Trek?
TC: How did you become involved with Hidden Frontier?
HA: I first discovered Star Trek almost 2 years ago online. There was a breakdown for the role of Silan on I believe it was Now Casting. My mom was actually the one who discovered the role and told me about it. It was pretty funny because we had no idea what the show was. I had never even HEARD of a Star Trek internet series before, and the breakdown didn't say specifically what the show was. Anyway, my mom and I thought it was an interesting role and project to submit for so we did. Somewhere between 2 days to a week after we submitted for HF I get a call from Jaytee Tepnapa telling me I have an audition for the show. I go in, do my audition and leave. Felt pretty good about it. My instincts were right because not 48 hours later I get a call from Jaytee saying I booked the part! I was really excited and very curious to find out what I was getting into.
HA: Okay, well without knowing it I just answered two questions at once! Haha...as I said before it was through audition. And like I said that was almost 2 years ago. It'll be 2 years in June actually. TC: You played Doctor Henglaar's niece on HF, what was it like playing a Tellerite and what characteristics did you have to keep in mind when playing her? HA: Yes, I was Henglaar's niece Silan. And ok, I've NEVER played an alien before, so for my first alien ever to be a Tellerite, was just awesome. And you have to keep in mind that I walked into the show knowing NOTHING! Not only about HF itself, but about Star Trek in general.
I was completely lost as to what was going on in the storyline, with the characters, and so on. So at the beginning I was a bit lost, but not so much now. Anyway, the only thing I kept thinking to myself when playing Silan was, ATTITUDE! If you've seen the show you know Silan is NOT the type of alien you wanna mess with! She'll kick your ass to put it bluntly. When I filmed my first episode I had martial arts type of movements. Thankfully I'm a dancer, and so the moves I did, and continued to do, were very easy for me to accomplish. So not only did I have the thought of ATTITUDE on my mind the entire time, I also had the characteristic of Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy was always kicking ass, and that's the character I compared Silan to. And it worked right? Haha...I mean, the on-running joke on set was that I was the Tellerite Buffy! TC: Did you enjoy playing her? HA: Well, I think that was answered before, but I'll clarify......YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Haha. I LOVED playing Silan! Not only did I get to hang out with the most AWESOME people on the weekends and have fun, I got to play this character who was a complete bad-ass and that's different than what I usually play. It was a nice change. TC: Would you play her again if asked? HA: In a freakin heartbeat!
TC: We mostly saw the character shouting the odds at someone or just in a bad mood, (except at the end of the last episode of HF), would you have liked to see other sides of her or see her have a love interest? HA: Haha, I don't think Silan would have a love interest....I think she'd kill him! You know, this is a hard question for me to answer, because as I said, the character I was playing was different from the characters I usually play. I usually play the sweet innocent girl-next-door type. And like I said, Silan was tough and a bad-ass. So, as I said before it was a nice change for me. Umm....but in terms of the character showing different sides, maybe more vulnerability? Silan's background and history is painful to her, and maybe that could have been brought out more. But my thinking was, the reason she's such a badass is because of that painful background. That's why she acts the way she does. If that makes any sense....
TC: You had to wear a prosthetic nose in HF so what was is like under the makeup? HA: When I was at the audition, Jaytee told me that my character wore a prosthetic nose and asked me if I was allergic to latex or anything like that. I said no, meanwhile in my head I'm going "what the hell's a prosthetic?" I'm such a blond because I didn't realize what it was that Jaytee was talking about until I got on set. Yea, ok....that was a day of mixed emotions. I was already nervous because it was my first day of filming. To add to that, there was this HUGE fake nose being glued to my face and basically covering my whole face. (That was the actor who played Henglaar's nose. I got my own nose a few episodes later). I was thinking the whole time, "how am I supposed to breathe with this thing on?" I have to admit that getting the nose put on at first, was a bit weird and frightening, because I'd never had anything like that done to me before. But Adam Browne, who did my makeup that day, was completely amazing and made me feel really comfortable. And now, it's familiar and I miss it honestly
TC: You have recently guest appeared in both Odyssey and Helena Chronicles are we likely to see those characters again? HA: Yes. I can't tell you too much, but yes you are going to see me again. TC: Would you like to see those characters grow within the series? HA: Hells yea I would! But like I said, you will see me again, so I guess technically they are growing. But like I said, I can't say too much.
TC: What is it like to work on a Star Trek series? HA: Haha, if this were a televised interview, my face would tell it all! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Working on the set of Hidden Frontier/Odyssey/ Helena Chronicles is the most rewarding, fun and the highlight of my week. As I'm sure you know I have son, Jayden, who comes with me on the set. What sets this group aside and makes them different from any other industry show is, they allowed me, they wanted me, to stay on during my pregnancy and after Jayden was born. Not only that, but if I'm filming and on camera, they help with Jayden. They will sit with him until I'm done filming. And they don't do it begrudgingly. They are happy to help out and they absolutely adore him! (And vice versa). And to top it off, the general atmosphere is friendly, relaxed, warm and inviting. And all that combined makes for an awesome place to work. And we have FUN! Omg do we have fun! I discovered that the friends I've made at HF are friends I'll have for life. There's nothing better, for me, than to go to work, have my son and all of my close friends with me. I am truly blessed to have found this group of wonderful loving people. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TC: What was your favorite part of working on HF and what was your favorite episode? HA: Wow, I have to narrow it down to just one part? Well I'll start with this. My favorite episode of HF was the one where you see me kicking ass....that doesn't narrow it down does it? Haha...umm....okay I think the episode I'm thinking of was either The Widening Gyre or The Center Cannot Hold. Honestly I don't remember which one it was. But it was the one where I was on screen the most and kicking more ass. You know it could easily be the episode Things Fall Apart as well, so whichever one it is that you see me the most times on camera, THAT'S my favorite episode! Haha...and as for my favorite part of working with HF...I'm gonna be a broken record here and say working with everyone involved with the show. I never have a bad day when I'm there on set. And that's one of the other reason working with Rob and the rest of the cast/crew is so special to me and close to my heart. It's because we have amazing people working on the show, and because we have those people, we can all work well together, which is the reason our show is so successful. And it's also the (other) reason our fans love us so much. We have a set that works and the end result is we produce a great show. We love what we do, and I think it shows in our work.
HERE ALEX MATTHEWS TAKES AN INDEPTH LOOK AT EXCELSIOR BALL III.
The 6 June, 2008, is the date that a lot of fans of the Areakt Productions team have marked in the diaries, and made sure to book off with whoever they work for. This year, the Radisson Hotel near LAX Airport plays host to the rd 3 annual Excelsior Ball, an event that allows fans of the Internet based shows, Star Trek: Hidden Frontier and it's spinoffs, Star Trek: Odyssey and Star Trek: Helena Chronicles, a chance to see the cast and crew who bring the show to life. th Beginning from the mid-afternoon of the 6 , starting with a friendly meet and greet session, the convention spans the following two days, finishing on the Sunday, and includes a series of panels discussing various topics and answering questions, as well as showing sneak peeks into future productions. This year as well, various other fan projects have been invited to represent themselves, including Star Trek: Intrepid, Star Trek: The Expedition and Star Trek: Diplomatic Relations. The Schedule: Friday Over the last 3 years, the number of people who attend the Ball has grown, so to accommodate what will hopefully be a big crowd, Andrew Foster, chairperson of the EB Committee, has booked the Laguna Room of the Radisson for the weekend, and starting from 1:00pm, guests can sign in and register their arrival with various staff members helping to run the Ball. Guests are encouraged to mingle, and meet the various people they have spoke to on-line or seen perform in their favourite episodes, while several activities also run co-current with this Meet-&-Greet. The activities include an HF-inspired version of Monopoly, Karaoke, watching Fan-made tributes to the world of HF, or even watching some of the older works of Areakt Studios. Alternatively, simply make your way to the bar and spend some time relaxing and making new friends, or reaffirming existing ones. Following this is a rare glimpse into the beginnings of HF, as Rob Caves and the crew of the Angeles fan club allow us to watch the Angeles film “The Price of Duty”, which is not available for download, and is only shared amongst the crew. This is then followed by the airing of the Odyssey pilot, “Iliad”, alongside the first of the weekend's autograph sessions. After a dinner break for an hour, festivities resume with a trivia nd rd contest, followed by the 2 and 3 Odyssey episodes, before the evening finishes with another contest, to be hosted by Jennifer Cole, titled “What Were You Thinking”. This evening promises to help people get to know one another in a friendly environment as the cast and crew of the invited shows mingle with the guests, and the fun-filled activities will help make everyone have a good time.
Saturday The day kicks off at 9am with the opening of the day's activities, with an hour of socialising am ongst guests and staff members, before the first autograph session runs alongside an airing of the Hidden Frontier finale episode. This is followed by the first discussion panel of the weekend, “From Concept to Chronicles: Story Development”, which will take questions from both the guests who attend and those posed online at the HF forums, regarding how stories and plots are created and evolve from script to screen. After a lunch break, it is time to focus on the spin-off “Helena Chronicles”, as their premiere is shown before the second panel deals with the main cast from the show. There, they will answer questions from the forums and the guests, about the characters they play, their interpretations of them, and for those who came from Hidden Frontier, how they have grown over the years. This is nd followed by airings of the 2 HC episode, “Obsessions”, followed by the latest offering of Odyssey, “Vile Gods”, alongside another autograph session. The Odyssey episode will get people in the mood for the following panel, which focuses on the show's main cast, who will field the various questions posed to them. The final autograph session of the day runs alongside an rare airing of the premiere episode of the Angeles series, “Return to Duty”, as well as a preview of “Operation: Beta Shield” and several other projects. After an acting competition, where guests will re-enact a favourite scene alongside some of the HF, Odyssey and HC alumni, it is time for the Celebrity Dinner, where those guests who have registered and paid their fee, will join the various cast and crew members for dinner at Cozymel's Mexican Grill. This promises to be a memorable time, with food and drink flowing freely amongst everyone (except designated drivers of course!), and will be a great way to finish off the night before everyone returns to the hotel to wind down for the night. Sunday Make sure you don't eat too much at breakfast on the Sunday morning, because the first screening is “The Best of the Bloopers”, chosen from all those mistakes, fluffs and missed cues of the past year, which will include ones from the final 2 episode of Hidden Frontier, and all those from Odyssey and the Helena Chronicles. This will definitely create a light hearted mood, as the first panel of the day delves into the actors who portray the lead Archein characters in Odyssey. The first autograph session of the day is alongside a screening of Brian Matthew's “Orphans of War”, before the next panel examines the work of the make-up team, and how they create the alien looks on a budget. After the lunch break, the day shifts it focus onto the other fan projects that have representatives at the Ball, with a screening of Star Trek: Intrepid's premiere, “Heavy Lies the Crown”, followed by the first screening of “Where There's A Sea”, a short piece that takes place several weeks after the premiere dealing with the Merchant Service ship, Ariadne. This will be shown alongside another autograph session, before the following panel introduces people from Intrepid and the other productions, such as Expedition and Diplomatic Relations, allowing them to answer questions on their work, and how it fits into the HF-verse. This will be followed by an airing of one of the latest offerings from “The Expedition” team, as well as another treat from Areakt, with another Angeles episode being shown, as the finale autograph session of the weekend is happening. The event finishes with one final panel, dealing with fan feedback, where all opinions are welcome, good and bad, dealing with anything from Hidden Frontier, Odyssey and Helena Chronicles. The evening will then be brought to a close with some final comments, before everyone is encouraged to continue with the socialising that will have been going on all weekend. After The Ball Although not strictly part of the Ball itself, 2 days of trips, called “Away Missions” have been arranged, allowing those staying longer then the Ball to go out and about with some of the cast and crew. Monday is a trip to Universal Studios, while on Tuesday everyone heads to Disneyland. Like the “Celebrity Dinner”, this has all been pre-arranged and paid for in advance, to get an idea of how many people are going to be in attendance, but should allow everyone some extra time with their hair down, hanging out with the friends they have made over the weekend, as well as have some fun as well.
All in all, it promises to be a great and memorable weekend for all involved, allowing the fans of the various productions another glimpse under the hood, into the beating heart of the world of fan productions.
FAN FAVOURITE REBECCA WOOD TALKS TO TCM ABOUT HIDDEN FRONTIER AND HER VIEWS ON THE NEW MOVIE
TC: When did you first discover Star Trek? RW: I used to watch the original series with my parents when I was a kid. I was a big Spock fan, but didn't understand much of the subtleties of sci-fi at that time...I just enjoyed the variety! I mean, it blew my mind, you never knew what would happen next. Many years later, I was blessed enough to meet Patrick Stewart when he came to Juilliard to talk with us. A friend and I tackled him in the hallway about Star Trek...well, to be honest, I was not brave enough to ask the question: my friend Andy did. And he tried to raise the tone by insisting he tried to put Shakespeare into every episode. But he was laughing - he really loved that we were nerdy enough to bring up Star Trek at a classical acting conservatory. What a fabulous guy! A true captain in my book. TC: How did you become involved with Hidden Frontier? RW: I saw an audition in backstage west (I think) for the Vulcan role of S'tal. I've always been a big Vulcan fan. They called me in, and I went. I was immediately impressed that they were so friendly and down-to-earth; this was at a time when I had tired of the prickly atmosphere on many sets around L.A. They had me randomly read a Betras monologue, which felt huge, like Greek Tragedy to me, so I pulled out my Inner Medea...the rest is history. Betras was supposed to die off after one episode, but Carlos (the writer) and I begged for her to stay, and hatched a plan. Next thing I know, it's five years later and HF is my family.
TC: In Hidden Frontier you played three characters, which one was your favourite and why? RW: hmmm I don't know that I can answer that, really, I love them all in different ways. McFarland is the most close to me, and the most fun and easy to be, really; Betras is so passionate and driven and (believe it or not) loyal to her people, she lost her mind; Vindenpawl thinks she lives for her people- they were all an experiment with myself to see "what if." like: "if I lost myself, if I stopped being Becky the woman and became merely an office, what would it feel like?" - that's Vindy. She's sacrificed herself to an office.
TC: What differences in the way you play the characters are there? RW: wellll Jenna is just lighter overall, but playing her requires more energy...it's a fine line between having the energy, and keeping it light and bouncing around. I feel completely physically different when I play her, as opposed to Betras, her complete opposite. Jenna is just as emotional as Betras is: it's the way it comes out that is different. Jenna uses humor to shield herself from the things she feels; Betras is impulsive. She feels something and -BAM! - out it comes. Betras' voice is about an octave lower than my natural voice, so I have to warm up for about an hour before working on her. Her energy is dark, it's intense, and by the end of a shoot I feel like I've been in a boxing match. Vindenpawl calls into play all of my classical voice and speech/Shakespearean training. She's a queen. I haven't had much chance to work on Vindenpawl in depth; I hope to. TC: In the final episode of Hidden Frontier the character of Betras dies, do you think that this was a fitting ending for the character? RW: oh...who said she died? ::chuckles:: yes...if she died, I think it was fitting. We did a "King Lear" thing where she turned and faced her death before she died, she approached it bravely. Actually...this is corny but...when they were filming that scene, I was reciting "do not go gentle into that good night" (Do not go gentle into that good night, [Old age should]... burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light...) However. That having been said, I'm not convinced that Betras is dead. I wanted them to end the episode with a burned, ragged leather-clad grey hand appearing over the top of a ravaged metal barrier, clutching at it, as though someone were climbing back in. They thought I was kidding...we were drinking rum and watching the first Pirates movie at the time, that might have something to do with it. TC: You are due to appear in the upcoming Operation Beta Shield special, what character are you going to play? RW: Can I answer this without spoiling things? Vindenpawl.
TC: Can you tell us a bit about the character? RW: Vindenpawl is dedicated to her people. She truly thinks she lives for them; she wakes and sleeps with thoughts on being a strong leader. I think she probably has Machiavelli's "the Prince" sitting by her bathtub, and reads it religiously. Vindenpawl is of the "we need to go to Iraq and bring democracy to these people" persuasion. Vindenpawl is of a type that exists throughout history...I'd put her somewhere between Queen Victoria and the Spanish Inquisition in degree of ruthlessness. TC: Are you looking forward to filming an episode with the people from Intrepid? RW: absolutely. I already consider them friends; it's high time we were colleagues. TC: If you could create your own 'official Star Trek series' what would it be? RW: Well I'll be honest, I'm more of a fantasy and history geek. If someone made a series somewhere between Lord of the Rings and Sherlock Holmes' Victorian (and post-Victorian) England, I'd be in heaven. I keep asking for a timetravel episode, but everyone just groans at me. TC: Your characters and also yourself, have been extremely well received by the fans, in fact your characters are some fans favourites, are you surprised by this? RW: very. I actually think they're all just being sweet. I think the fans really want to go along with the stories, with the fantasy world, and so they are excited and enthusiastic...I love them for it. TC: Apart from OBS, are you hoping to appear in any future Areakt Pictures, productions? RW: if I can, I will. I'll always drop everything to work for Rob: the respect with which the people at Areakt studios treat everyone is something so fine and rare; they've won my loyalty completely. I am going to be going to law school soon, and have dropped acting in order to focus on my studies and gain experience in the field of animal law; but I'll even reschedule a trial date for HF. They're good people, all of them. TC: What do you think of the spin off series that Rob and co have created to follow on in the Hidden Frontier part of the Star Trek universe? RW: unfortunately, I've not seen it yet...I'm really looking forward to catching up on it. I love the fact that it's based on Homer...and having been on the fringes of some of the discussions of a new series, I am sure it's fascinating and good. There is no lack of creativity in that studio! I love to hear them bouncing ideas around. TC: What do you think of the idea for the latest official Star Trek Movie? RW: I don't know much about it, to be honest, except that a friend of mine was up for Dr. McCoy (didn't get it, alas.) I suppose...I suppose it sounds good, but I do wish they showed all of the original actors the respect of including them. ALL of them deserve that.
Exc As the doors to the ready room closed Ro began again, “Commander T’Lorra as my first officer I’m intrusting you with command of the ship in my absence. To aid you and the lieutenant in the task I’ve assigned I’ve granted you access to the ships personnel records, excluding mine of course. That, I’ve entrusted to Doctor Vaughn for the time being. I expect this matter between the two of you to be resolved as well as your recommendations for department heads upon my return. Do I make myself clear commander?” T’Lorra wasn’t sure how she could begin to work with someone as distasteful as Stadi but for the sake of the mission she would try. “Understood Sir”, she simply replied. “Very well commander. I’ll see you in a couple of days. Hold position here and wish me luck.” T’Lorra gave him a nod to the affirmative not knowing the correct response was to verbally wish him luck. Satisfied, Ro left the office and headed for the shuttlebay. It took Ro several minutes to make his way to the shuttlebay and several more minutes to prep the shuttle for departure. Already on board waited two other crewman who had been assigned to join him on the trip. One, a Bajoran crewman named Iwan Par an engineering technician, the other Lieutenant Atan Rem, a human security officer. Rem was the consummate security officer with plenty of battle tested experience under his belt. Ensign Par was fresh from the academy but a proficient engineer. Ro as the senior officer on the trip took the helm and set the shuttle for departure. All that was left was for the Odyssey to break out of warp and signal the dock master that the shuttle can safely depart. The Odyssey came to a complete halt and moments later the shuttlecraft Tsunami lifted from the pad and slowly glided through the fluorescent blue shield into the cold vacuum of space. “Shuttlecraft Tsunami to Odyssey. We have cleared the bay and are now on a heading of one-five-three mark two. Estimate we will reach Kelvin space in twenty-one hours”, he reported. The Odyssey shuttlebay closed behind them as they cleared the ships energy shields. “Acknowledged Tsunami. Safe journey to you, enjoy the nebulae. Odyssey out”, the captain ordered. Seconds later she was gone in a shaft of light leaving the Odyssey in the blink of an eye. It had been just over two hours of travelling when Par rose to stretch her legs when Rem was startled by a reading on his security panel. “Commander, I’m reading a disturbance just outside of nebulae-343. It’s at extreme range but from what the sensors can ascertain there is a ship which may be under attack”, he reported. Par returned to her seat and tried to refine the sensors to get a better reading of what was going on ahead. “Any other vessels in the vicinity Ensign”, Ro asked Par. Par took a moment to respond which only raised the level of apprehension in the shuttle. “I’ve extended the range of the sensors Commander. Lieutenant you should be getting a more enhanced reading of the area now.” Rem moved his fingers quickly over his board and reported, “I’m reading no other vessels at this time, but the sensors are having trouble scanning to deeply into the nebulae.” “And the ship”, Ro asked. “Looks as though she’s a freighter Commander. Limited armament, and heavily damaged.” Par broke in, “I’m reading hull breaches on her starboard aft sir. Several breaches and sections open to space forward. We’d have to get closer before I can be sure if there are any survivors on board sir”.
HERE WE HAVE AN EXCERT FROM AN EXCLUSIVE PIECE OF FAN FICTION BASED POPULAR STAR TREK HIDDEN FRONTIER CHARACTER RO NEVIN. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A PIECE OF WRITING THAT IS TO THE AUTHORS VIEWS AND IN NO WAY IS BASED IN THE HIDDEN FRONTIER UNIVERSE. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS STORY WILL BE AVALIABLE TO READ ON TREKKIE CENTRAL FROM MID JUN E 2008.
Ro knew nothing of any pirating or raiders of shipping in this area and he didn’t want to blindly stumble into something beyond the limitations of the shuttle. Something pounded this ship hard. It was clear whatever it was had greater firepower than the shuttle. He thought briefly of contacting the Odyssey, but he had not gathered enough information as yet to warrant that. “Can we establish communication with the vessel Mr. Rem”, Ro asked. Rem took a second and made repeated hails to the unknown vessel to no avail. The incident smelled of trouble the closer the shuttle came to the freighters position and it did not go un-noticed that the nebulae would give perfect cover for the attacker to await a rescuer to become snared in a trap as well. “I’m dropping out of warp. Let’s slow things down a bit”, Ro informed. The move drew a confused look from Par until Ro reminded them that if they rushed forward they to could fall victim to whatever befell the freighter. “The freighter is being drawn into the nebulae sir”, Rem stated “Something’s slowly pulling the freighter into the nebulae”. Ro confirmed the readings on the ships position, “How long before it enters the nebulae”, Ro asked. Rem used her board to make a few calculations, “The freighter will enter the outer rim of the nebulae in about two hours fifteen minutes, but that could change.” Ro became concerned he may not be able to accomplish the away mission in time with the extensive damage the freighter had suffered. “What do we know about this nebulae lieutenant”, Par asked. Rem pulled up the navigational and sensor readings of the area. “Not much sir. From the information we’ve received from the Kelvin concerning this area of space, the nebulae has been the scene of many stories from their folk lore. It is said that a great creature resides there and devours any ship which strays close. A creature they call the ‘Khalari’ dwells within the nebulae and feeds on wayward vessels.” Par worked feverishly to gain as much information about the freighters damage as possible. She could not help but be torn by the commanders orders and the thought of possible casualties on the battered ship they slowly crept cautiously towards. Could there be another ship waiting just inside of the nebulae, waiting to jump an unsuspecting rescuer? She hoped beyond hope that Ro would increase speed thus getting the sensors close enough to scan the ship. Rem broke in, “We are now within communications range Commander”. Ro took a strained look into the nebulae as if his eyes could see something the sensors could not. A hail could bring the attackers screaming out of the nebulae and he knew it a risky move to open communications. But his duty called for him to attempt to establish contact with the freighter and then render aid if necessary. As Ro reached for the communications controls on his panel Rem shouted, “She’s Archein sir!” Ro’s eyes shot forward as he fumbled to find the engine controls. Finding them he quickly brought the shuttle to a complete stop and ordered Rem to raise the shields. His instinct was to have the phasers locked on as well, but had to remember this was the ship that was attacked and needed his help no matter who was onboard. And there was no guarantee that the attacker would see a federation shuttle as a friend..
“Archein freighter, this is the federation shuttlecraft Tsunami. We have come to render aid. Please respond”, he pleaded. The hail went without response and it began to look as if no one was there have come to who could answer. Par intensified the scanners to the maximum to pear in through the debris and render radiation. Slowly a picture of the freighters status began to immerge. “Sir Sensors are reading erratic life signs about the freighter. They’re weak but there,” Par informed. “How many Ensign”, Ro asked. Par tightened the resolution and went section by section. “Looks to be about eight Commander. Most of the crew has gathered in the engine room, two here about mid-ship in what may be a cargo hold, and the last two on what’s left of the bridge.” Ro knew now he was not only out gunned by the attacker but, outmanned by the survivors. This incident was growing more and more dangerous by the minute. “Rem I want you to send a subspace message to the Odyssey reporting our situation and need of assistance”, Ro ordered. Par asked, “Then send a distress message on all frequencies for any ship in the vicinity to aid in the recovery efforts.” Rem responded” that will likely be picked up by more Archein ships Ensign. We send that message and we’d be targeted by every Archein ship in the sector.”Ro wanted to calm things down a bit by interjecting a solution the ensign could help with. “Can we beam the crewman in engineering safely without too much difficulty”. Par focused the sensors on the section scanning through the debris, “The engineering section would be difficult due to the level of ion radiation present. I would suggest we beam just out that section and go in on foot.” “Structural integrity in that section”, Par asked. “It looks as though they’ve set up some kind of shielding around that section. That’s probably in an effort to seal it off from intruders, or to protect it from further damage from the attack. Either way, we will need them to drop it to help them.” Ro seemed frustrated but understood the desperation of the crew. He might have done the same in their place. Trouble now was to communicate with them the need shields protecting them to be brought down. Ro began to formulate a plan of action for getting to the crew without compromising their safety. He decided that the best plan would be for Rem and himself to split up and go for the crewman on the bridge and the cargo bay. Rem would stay on the shuttle and monitor the rescue efforts and also keep on guard should the attacking ship return. Par handed out the standard away mission equipment, the tri-corder, phaser and the wrist mag-lite. Out of character he also picked up two phaser rifles for added firepower. Ro gave Rem his orders which were simple, lock onto the away teams signal and keep one eye on the sensors and the other on the nebulae. They also laid out predetermined spots that were suitable for emergency beam outs, places where shielding and radiation would not hamper a quick return to the shuttle.
CGI ARTIST PHILIP HOGG TELLS TCM WHAT IT REALLY IS LIKE WORKING ON A STAR TREK SERIES.
TC: When did you first discover Star Trek? PH: I've always been exposed to Star Trek since a young age as both my parents were very into TOS. However I really didn't become truly hooked until TNG. Once I had seen that first episode, there was no turning back. TC: How did you discover Hidden Frontier Productions? PH: Ever since I started to work on CGI, I always enjoyed watching other peoples' creations. I was wondering around the internet looking specifically for fan films to watch, after seeing "Troops", the Star Wars spoof. I came across Hidden Frontier and watched nearly all the episodes within a week. I posted a few images of a 3d model I was working on of Hidden Frontier's U.S.S. Excelsior. Rob contacted me and we started to talk... the rest, as they say, is history. TC: What is it like working on Star Trek shows? PH: What can I say... it's the best job ever. If I could give up my day job, I would do it in an instant. TC: How difficult is it creating the ships and the graphics that you do, you have also been working on Federation One for a while now, and you have done the sets for it how long have they taken? PH: It depends on the level of quality you want. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so when I do something I want it done right. Both the sets and the ships take a while to create. I have a lot of trouble coming up with ideas myself, so I rely on Rob Caves and the rest of the art department. With a good design, I can model a set in a few hours. However this normally converts into few weeks, as I have to fit it in with my normal life. Ships are a little different . Once I have a design, I have to decide the best way to model the ship. If it doesn't require any close-ups, I will probably create the detail using textures on the model. This saves time both modelling and rendering. For ships like Federation One that require close-ups, the detail is modelled.
TC: How different is Federation One as a Starship, from the other Starships in Starfleet? PH: I don't think Federation One is too different to other Starfleet vessels. The design principles are the same. There are some things which are unique to F1, but you'll have to wait for the episodes to find those out. TC: What is it like reading the fans reactions to the episodes that have been released? PH: I have to say, I'm a little selfish. Once an episode is realised, the first thing I scan the reactions for is anything about the CGI. Of course I go back later to read them fully! I am constantly inspired to carry on with what I do, and every episode gives me goose bumps when I see it completed for the first time. TC: What is your favourite episode so far that you have worked on? PH: My first work was on episode 101 of ST:Odyssey, "Illiad". I guess this is the episode I am most proud of. However, my favourite episode to date would have to be episode 102 of ST:The Helena Chronicles, "Obsessions". TC: What is your favourite ship that you have created? PH: Every ship has improved my skills as a 3d artist, and I'm most fond of Federation One. She's the most advanced starship I've created, and uses all the knowledge from other ships I've built so that she is the easiest to use. Plus, I love Sean Tourangeau's design.
I’ve only been a Trek fan for the last two years, when I started in Hidden Frontier. From what I’ve seen, Star Trek has come a long way since its first airing. And I mean that in every sense. The make-up and graphics are much improved. The costumes are better and more realistic. Even though these things have changed and improved over the years, the originals are the classics that will always be loved and remembered. If someone were to ask me where I thought Star Trek should go, or if it should change I would say; “Don’t change. Keep improving and don’t play things safe. Take a chance and don’t be afraid to be bold.” One example of Trek changing for the better would be Hidden Frontier. The graphics alone have gotten so much better just in the last year. The make-up only gets better and our actors never cease to improve. One thing I agree with Rob is, Hidden Frontier touches on real-life incidences. Depression, terrorism, inequality, what to do if your ship gets repossessed by the enemy, that sort of thing. And I would say that as long as people are willing to stick with storylines that include interesting topics that touch a variety of people on all levels, Star Trek , studio & fan films, will continue to remain popular. Sincerely, ~Heather Ashleigh~
Trekkie Central Magazine Special Issue