Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by TK421, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This really is the kind of thing that's driven Dennis and DS9sega from this thread. So I doubt there'll be any updates until the whole thing is lock, stock and two smoking barrels ready.
     
  2. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    Is the Exeter blog going to be updated so that folks will know when the final "Tressaurian" ep is finished and in the (YouTube) can?
     
  3. Loken

    Loken Lieutenant Commander

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    I felt this episode was truly awesome. The opening scene of the Congo saucer section was the most memorable scene of any fan film ever. I really hope Jim and Jeff get this done because they deserve to have a fitting end to an awesome effort.

    Alec
     
  4. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    aaaaaa

    (sorry, how do I delete unwanted posts?)
     
  5. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    aaaaaa
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  6. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    HI there. New member but lifelong Star Trek fan, like many of you. I discovered the existence of fan productions on YouTube less than 2 years ago, and Starship Exeter specifically around last fall.

    Like everyone, I hope to someday see the conclusion to The Tressarian Intersection. But in the meantime I got really interested in The Atlantis Invaders. I work in television and film productions in Canada (for about 20 years now. Yikes!!:) ), and in a current project I act as story editor and thought it would be a good exercise to pore over Atlantis Invaders as a wannabe Gene Coon.

    I may have to get rough with the Atlantis Inv. , but I figured that chances are high this script may never get produced as the previous Johnson bros. Production is well over 7 years in the making, so why not go for it. I totally sympathize with Jimm and Josh in advance, as I know how difficult it can be to write a decent Star Trek script, since there already exists such a large quantity of episodes. Story editing however, is another story.

    Before tackling the script in detail, I do have some general comments on the overall story:

    (1) Apart from Commander Cutty, a black man, Starship Exeter as well as Starship Farragut (another fan production I really enjoy) seems to be populated mainly with white North American Anglo-Saxon types.

    Straying away from Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a multi-cultural, racially inclusive Starfleet, it would be nice if at least some of the supporting roles had a bit of an exotic flair to them. However in The Atlantis Invaders, aside from Doctor Fu, we get Jenkins, Joe, Sam, Schnyder, Callahan, and Watkins... No Italians? No Bulgarians, no turks, no Samoans? In the 1960’s it was highly controversial when they added a Russian character into the cultural mix. In this turbulent decade, I can’t imagine a bolder move than to add an arab crewmember, minor character or otherwise.

    (2) Despite the underwater setting, The Atlantis Invaders shares too many similarities with some other familiar Star Trek episodes: its opening segment is very similar to DEVIL IN THE DARK with its panicky miners meeting just before disaster happens to some of them. They even have the administrators meeting in a conference room when the outraged workers violently confront them. Another episode, THE CLOUD MINDERS, has Starfleet officers arriving at a mining planet hoping to recover an urgently-needed planetary resource for ailing Federation citizens. Substitute Xenite for Scurvium in this instance.

    (3) Finally, the biggest problem I had with the entire script: just what is this episode about?!? If you think about it, you can choose many of the better ST:TOS episodes and boil them down to a dramatic theme: SPACE SEED is absolute power corrupting absolutely. THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE is shocking loss leading to tragic monomania. The NAKED TIME is the realization of the necessary balance between good and evil within. WOLF IN THE FOLD is the conflict between saving a dear friend or the necessary quashing of a psychopathic monster.

    In Atlantis Invaders, what is the theme? Is it the love story between the underwater princess and Captain Garrovick? I can’t say that since it is devoid of any conflict: The two meet about a third into the story and basically fall in lust at first sight. They join together for some of the action, beat the bad guys and at the end must separate because of their respective duties. Neither is devastated by their parting because neither really changed the other for the better.

    Captain Garrovick, as played by Jimm Johnson, is dour, sarcastic and a bit of a mysogenist. These traits fit quite well with his established background (marooned as a young adult for two years on a harsh planet, losing his girlfriend as a result). While Jim Kirk is an overcompensating skirt-chaser, John Garrovick seems more the type that would tax the patience of any female that might show a sexual interest in him.

    So if not the ‘love’ relationship aspect, is it the wanton corporate pillaging of natural resources in the third world angle at the heart of this episode? That last part would be interesting given recent world history, yet it is given short shrift in favour of random shoot-em-up violence. A pity when ERRAND OF MERCY was quite adept at exploring cold war superpowers and their interference with struggling republics as cannon fodder.

    (Analysis in fuller detail to come)...
     
  7. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The version it seems you are reviewing is an early draft and not the one that was intended to be shot. I've read the draft that would've been shot and know the writer personally who was charged with completing the shooting script.

    He addressed many of the concerns you bring up from the earlier draft.

    So what draft are you reviewing? And who is the listed writer (s)?
     
  8. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    For some reason I feel reasonably confident that DS9Sega wrote "The Atlantis Invaders."
     
  9. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    DS9Sega did write the shooting draft, which is based on a previous script. He threw out that draft and started basically from scratch using the basic scenario and keeping the things he felt were interesting.

    The original plan had been to shoot the shipboard scenes of "The Atlantis Invaders" back-to-back with "The Tressaurian Intersection", but things didn't go as planned.
     
  10. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    STARSHIP EXETER
    "The Atlantis Invaders"
    THIRD DRAFT REVISION 1
    Written by
    Josh Johnson,
    Jimm Johnson,
    and
    Charles Lee Hackett

    Find it here: http://homepage.mac.com/starshipexeter/Website/frame3/bonus/fiction/atlan3b/atlan3b.pdf


     
  11. Tallguy

    Tallguy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the play? :D
     
  12. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  13. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yep, it's interesting that the PDF is still available at the site, but you're discussing a script that was discarded and completely rewritten by another writer well before The Tressaurian Intersection was filmed. :cool:
     
  14. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    Thank you GSchnitzer, that is the script version I was working from.

    And middyseafort, I had guessed that the script version of Atlantis invaders was not a final version, since the title page indicates ''third draft'', instead of ''final draft''.

    As I have said, this is a writing exercise for myself that I don't mind sharing with the members here. It is a good way to be able to help lock down any script, fix up whatever characterization problems there may be, and help cut it down from the massive 60 page draft that it is to a workable and ready-for-broadcast 45 to 50 minute finished episode...

    I wouldn't mind reading the final version of Atlantis invaders AFTER I have finished this exercise, to see if my ideas and views resemble those of DS9Sega...
     
  15. Barbreader

    Barbreader Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Is there any place on line where a person who might want to read a more... polished version might find it?
     
  16. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    The ATLANTIS INVADERS

    Getting back to the never-produced The ATLANTIS INVADERS, the third-planned episode for the STARSHIP EXETER series...

    A short synopsis for the released 3rd Draft is as follows: On the aquatic planet Atlantis VI, some frightened offshore workers meet at night but are brutalized and kidnapped by stronger native beings. One of the workers is spared, subsequently organizing many others to force the unwilling administrators to plead Starfleet for help. The nearest available starship, the Exeter, is dispatched to help.

    Shortly, Captain Garrovick and a landing party materialize on Atlantis VI and are brought to meet its administrators, including Brian Callahan, a former acquaintance of Garrovick’s. Callahan and the nameless director admit to being coerced into calling Starfleet for help, but recant as best they can. Unconvinced, Garrovick and crew question the lone survivor of the latest attack but find out very little.

    Perturbed by the Starfleet officers’ continued presence on the mining installation, Deputy Callahan bribes the workers into silence, while the Director and his aides are confronted by their silent partner, an Orion pirate.

    Later that night, Commander Cutty and his 2 security officers stumble upon 3 of the Atlantean natives as they tried to infiltrate the installation. After a short struggle, the leader is stunned unconscious while the other 2 escape with one of the security men as a captive.

    Back at a storage facility, Garrovick attempts to communicate with the amphibian by using a universal translator. They are interrupted when three more burst in with energy whips and dispatch all the Starfleet officers save Garrovick. Yet another amphibian, the female Tri’tillya uses another weapon to subdue the Captain into unconsciousness.

    Garrovick awakens a prisoner, alongside his missing security officer and all the other miners. Garrovick overcomes his amphibian guards then frees his fellow officer. They decide to seek help and must dive into a pool of water to escape imprisonment. They emerge into another area and are again confronted by a squad of amphibians, who eventually overwhelm them. Tragically, the security officer sacrifices his life in grand Redshirt fashion to protect his commander.

    Back on the surface, Commander Harris attempts to convince the Director to cooperate in locating her Captain but he refuses, even hinders all her efforts.

    A prisoner again, Garrovick faces the leader of the amphibian race, Argolas. Each accuses the other of unprovoked aggression against their kind. Argolas then accuses the miners and their technology of soiling the water that is their home and source of life. Faced with this allegation, Garrovick pledges to broker a peaceful resolution. Unwilling to believe the otherworlder, Argolas’ military leader, Drident, quashes Garrovick’s plan and he is again returned to prison.

    Above the suface inside a shuttlecraft, Cutty discovers the location of the underwater city. Inside the Exeter, Harris is forbidden to interfere by Commodore Jennings back at Starfleet headquarters and to pull out of orbit.

    In the amphibian city, Garrovick is again shackled, but is soon covertly released by Tri’tillya. They move about a deserted city to reach the throne room, witnessing all amphibian warriors speeding to the surface. With the help of an underwater beast, Garrovick and Tri’tillya also return to the surface.

    On Exeter, after discovering evidence of the colony administrator’s dubious activities that directly contravene Starfleet regulations, Harris orders a strike team to beam back on Atlantis VI and rescue the Captain.

    At the installation, chaos is everywhere as amphibians and miners clash violently. The Exeter strike team appear just in time to witness a large cargo ship blasting off into the sky. Garrovick attempts to placate the two clashing sides, but is spurned by Drident who fights him hand-to-hand. Soon defeated and disgraced, an enraged Drident stabs his king out of humiliation.

    Garrovick quickly returns aboard Exeter and it launches after the already escaping first ship. Quickly dispatching 2 Orion pirate ship reinforcements, the Exeter pursues the Woden class ship into an asteroid field where it accidently destroys itself.

    With the conflict over, Garrovick bids farewell to the Tri’tillya, who must now lead her people as her father did.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  17. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    The ATLANTIS INVADERS

    And that above was the general synopsis. After writing all of that I have a few observations to make:

    (1) The script is clearly too long: at 60 pages on paper with multiple fight sequences, it is obvious some cutting is necessary to help it fit into a 50 to 53 minute running time (nowadays with 3 minute-long commercial breaks it would have to be even shorter, but I am assuming EXETER studio would wish to remain faithful to 1965 network standards)

    (2) Going from that, I would think it necessary to combine the characters of the Director and Brian Callahan into a single character, from a standpoint of having less guest starring actors to juggle, and less FX-heavy sequences to clutter up the ending. Callahan seems to have been created only to follow the Trek tradition of having a main character’s childhood or academy acquaintance as part of the opposing side. But unlike Gary Mitchell, Finnegan or many other of Jim Kirk’s classmates and teachers, Brian Callahan’s personality (other than being a smooth-talker) remains very elusive and undefined.
    The Director seems to have been intended to be a more ruthless Nilz Baris, but his motivations are obscure other than greed, but it is never explained why he couldn’t become more rich selling to the Federation rather than the Orions.

    (3) As I’ve mentioned before, the ‘love’ subplot between John Garrovick and Tri’tillya feels unnecessary to the story (you will notice I did not mention it in the synopsis). It is also completely devoid of conflict: just why is Tri’tillya so attracted to Garrovick rather than a member of her own people? She basically betrays her people to rescue Garrovick, disobeying a direct command issued by her own father, and never does she feel anguish at doing so. And again, her personality seems very murky, apart from being beautiful and feeling sexual desire towards the Captain.
    Her character could be replaced by a male member of her race, whose only goal is to save his people and that character would fit as well.

    (4) In fact, many of the characters’ motivations are left unclear. I will enumerate them as we go more in detail...
     
  18. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Why would an amphibian have any romantic feelings towards a mammal in the first place?
     
  19. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Did you ever see "The Little Mermaid?"
     
  20. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    I don't think mermaids are on the same scale...
     

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