Zero Room Productions wrote:Star Trek: Final Frontier was developed for Startrek.com by Zero Room Productions in late 2005 as a series of five six-minute animated segments with a continuing plot that could lead to more adventures should viewership warrant. The success of Cartoon Network's original Clone Wars series was a definite inspiration, and showed that such a model was possible. With Star Trek on television dying out and nothing new for the franchise in the foreseeable future, Final Frontier was designed to give Startrek.com original content, provide fans with a new and different vision of the franchise, and to do so in a way that was relatively low risk for CBS.
Although each of us had worked behind the scenes at Star Trek for years, this project was conceived and developed on our own time and our own limited budget. With the exception of a few commissioned designs, all the work you see here was done for free by people who are not only talented professionals, but also Star Trek fans who have grown up with the franchise, witnessed its great leaps and occasional stumbles, and contributed their time to bring fans all over the world new and exciting stories in the universe we all love so much. Animation would allow us to tell stories with a scope that would be impossible in live action, bring in younger viewers who had no idea what Star Trek was, and help return the franchise to its roots of optimism, exploration, adventure, and fun. Startrek.com was eager to distribute the new series, and from 2006-2007 we went through a series of pitches with CBS Interactive, met with animation companies to begin planning a budget and visual style, and wrote (and re-wrote) the pilot story.
At the end of 2007, the entire staff of Startrek.com was laid off, and a reshuffle of management at CBS Interactive soon followed. While CBS was undergoing these changes, Paramount was charging ahead with a huge new film to restart the franchise and abandon everything that had come before. A majority of our contacts were now gone, and everyone we spoke with at CBS expressed the company's desire to put any further Star Trek projects on hold until the release of the new film. With that release more than a year away at the time, we reluctantly put the project into limbo and returned to our families and careers despite some kicking and screaming.
It's now 2009. J.J. Abrams' Star Trek has been released to massive critical acclaim and fan acceptance, and the film does indeed take many steps to return Star Trek to what attracted many people to it in the first place. With the Star Trek franchise now heading in this new direction, we've decided to give fans a look at what Final Frontier might have been. We've provided some background to the future we were working in, an overview of the new Enterprise crew, and will be releasing scripts for the five-part pilot story. In addition, the design section and gallery contain final and concept artwork that provides a look at the visual style we were aiming for. The content of this site represents a total of over two years of hard work and dedication.
This project was formulated by Star Trek fans for Star Trek fans. We welcome your comments and criticisms and look forward to discussing the project with you, the people who have kept Star Trek alive for over forty years and counting...
Now that the "behind-the-scenes" stuff is out of the way...
Star Trek: Final Frontier takes places in the future of the Star Trek universe, approximately 150 years after the last events seen in the Next Generation era. This setting allows us to draw from Star Trek's rich past, but also to establish a new continuity that viewers can enjoy without detailed knowledge of decades of Star Trek history. The following summary provides a background for what happened in the time between Nemesis and Final Frontier. These events aren't portrayed in Final Frontier, but their echoes play heavily into the focus of the story:
In the wake of a vicious attack, warp travel has been rendered useless throughout much of Federation space. The detonation of multiple Omega devices has ripped subspace apart, marooning a handful of Federation worlds in their own systems, destroying key starbases, and stranding some Federation citizens decades of sublight travel away from their nearest neighbors and the protection of Starfleet. After investigating the attacks, the Federation discovered evidence of Romulan involvement and, desperate to retaliate, immediately declared war. The second Romulan war began, with the Romulans denying any involvement in the devastating Omega attacks.
With large sectors of space impassable at warp speed, the war quickly devolved into the 26th century equivalent of trench warfare, with heavy losses on both sides and little advancement for either force. A truce was reached, and the once mighty Federation retreated behind its borders to concentrate on rebuilding its worlds, strengthening its core systems, and ensuring that such an attack never occurs again. Starships once responsible for exploring the galaxy and maintaining diplomatic relations with non-Federation worlds were recalled to patrol the borders, and the scientific mandate of Starfleet was abandoned in favor of isolation and protectionism.
Yet there are those in Starfleet who know that humanity was meant for more, and that our foray into the stars was borne not of a desire for power but for knowledge and adventure. Captain Alexander Chase of the U.S.S. Enterprise is one of these men, and he's about to make a decision that will set Starfleet back on the right path...
The first five episodes' scripts are posted here, with storyboards posted here. I was impressed with the direction the series was heading towards, as hinted by the following lines of dialogue:
CMDR Holden (Enterprise's XO): "Two good men died today. Could have been more. Was it really worth it?"
CAPT Chase (Enterprise's CO): "They died saving a race from extinction. They died for the principles that Starfleet was founded upon. If that's not worth breaking the rules...
CAPT Chase: "Then what do we stand for anymore?"
Note the captain does not try using the Prime Directive as an excuse to sit back and watch people die before him. (Cough! Picard in Pen Pals and Homeward! Archer in Dear Doctor! Cough!)