Star Trek: Final Frontier – Revisited!

A few years ago, after the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise but before Trek‘s big-screen revival with the 2009 film, rumors of this or that series, film, and/or project were bandied about like a Hacky Sack in Amsterdam.

One such notion was Star Trek: Final Frontier, a proposed series of animated “webisodes” intended for streaming on StarTrek.com and presenting a story set 150+ years after the events of the last Next Generation film, Star Trek: Nemesis. Things are not all roses and unicorns at this point in time, with the Federation still recovering from a lengthy, costly war with the Romulan Empire. So, the tone would’ve been a bit less polished…a bit more edgier–at least at first–when we’re introduced to the crew of the newest U.S.S. Enterprise commanded by Captain Alexander Chase.

(Click to Biggie Size)

Concept art and sample scripts were created by the team responsible for developing the series–David Rossi (Star Trek: TNG, the remastered Star Trek, etc.), Doug Mirabello and Jose Munoz–and the package pitched to CBS in 2006. Then came the massive reorganization which saw to it that nearly everyone working at StarTrek.com was let go, and the site itself wallowed in a sort of odd limbo for quite some time. Then came news that director J.J. Abrams was spearheading what would become the 2009 Star Trek theatrical reboot, and any thoughts of other television or other media series seemed to just fade away.

Though not a lot has been reported about Star Trek: Final Frontier beyond what its creators have presented on their own website and the occasional news piece such as this 2006 TrekMovie.com article, it seems that the developers are starting to spill some more beans about what they had intended for the series. A new TrekMovie.com article reports that Doug Mirabello has been updating the Final Frontier website with scripts from the proposed series’ first episodes, “The Empty Eye,” as well as previously unseen concept art. The apparent plan is for Doug to keep rolling out material very so often.

I have to say that while the designs for the new Enterprise didn’t really grab me at first, I love the whole retro look of the uniforms. As the creators mentioned early on, they were gunning for a vibe similar to the style present in a lot of the DC Universe animated series and direct-to-DVD/Blu ray features. Some of the early concept art definitely had that feel, but some of these newer pieces show a nice hybrid of that look mixed with their own stylized animation. As for the stories, it’s hard to judge until I read the whole thing, but what I’ve read so far makes me want to see what might’ve come next. I expect that even with this first proposed storyline’s “darker, grittier” tone, “The Empty Eye” still will show hints of returning/fighting our way back to the brighter, more hopeful “Star Trek universe” we all know and love.

Many thanks to the Star Trek: Final Frontier creators for sharing their work with fans. It’s a fascinating look behind the curtain at what might’ve been.

EDIT: Series co-creator Doug Mirabello visited the comments section and set me straight on a couple of key items. One big one: “The Empty Eye” is not the name of the original “pilot” episode, but instead the first of new scripts he and the team are writing, as a means of further demonstrating what might’ve happened if Final Frontier had been greenlit. So, this just took on a whole new level of interest for word-slinger me, because I definitely want to see how the team goes about fleshing out the concept as new stories are added to the mix.

So, thanks very much to Doug for dropping by!

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About Dayton Ward

Freelance word pusher. Husband. Dad. Trekkie. Rush fan (the band). Tampa Bay Bucs fan. Observer/derider of human behavior. I know where my towel is.
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7 Responses to Star Trek: Final Frontier – Revisited!

  1. Star Trek, dagged! (made Darker And Grittier) Sometimes it works, sometimes … would love to see a new series after Voyager and in the non-rebooted universe.

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    • Dayton Ward says:

      The setup for this lends itself to such a tone. I’m not opposed to DAG in general…certainly worked for me so far as Battlestar Galactica was concerned. As with anything else, it all comes down to execution.

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  2. Doug M says:

    Hey! Thanks for covering the project. I want to clear up a couple things that were slightly off in the Trekmovie article. The scripts we’re posting right now are brand new. When we originally pitched the project, we had only written the five-part pilot script (which is also available on the site, with full storyboards). We talked about further episodes and had an arc in mind for the season, but never wrote anything. Now we are going back and writing new scripts.

    Also, it’s not just me (thankfully). I wrote The Empty Eye, but Jose and Dave are working on their own scripts which will follow. And I’m writing another. So hopefully we can keep this going for a bit as along as people are reading. So go read it, and spread the word. Thanks!

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    • Dayton Ward says:

      Hey, Doug!

      Thanks for dropping by. My apologies for any inaccuracies; those are mine. I read the stuff at your blog and still managed to come away dorking it up in translation.

      Since you’re now going ahead with writing new scripts, did you also develop a writer’s guide/bible? If so, will that (or portions thereof) be shared at some point?

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      • Doug M says:

        No problem, there’s lots of words on that site. We don’t have an official bible beyond the original pitch document that outlines our world and characters. We’ve got an overall arc in mind, but those plans are scattered over many emails and IMs.

        Thanks again for helping us get the word out!

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  3. Bob Slade says:

    Sounds like it would have been a great series! Is it just me or is that phaser a bit larger than the holster ; )

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