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Thursday
Nov082012

The Empty Eye - Part One

We are excited to debut the script for the next episode of Star Trek: Final Frontier. The Empty Eye is a story in four parts, and we'll be releasing one part a week for the next month. We've also got new storyboards coming and some new concept art to share in the coming weeks. Click below to grab a PDF of the script and start reading. Don't worry, it's only ten pages.

If you're new to Final Frontier, you can read the project's backstory, check out the original pilot script we pitched to CBS, or browse hundreds of original storyboards for that pilot in the Gallery. It would help to read the pilot before diving into this episode, but it's not required.

Also, here's the full concept image of Chase we recently added to our Facebook page. We'll be sending out updates on new episodes there, so go LIKE it right now. Big thanks to Royce "FooRay" Southerland for this piece and a few others you'll be seeing in the coming weeks. Click to check out a much bigger version.

More to come!

Reader Comments (8)

At long last. Good part one. Will there be other episodes after this one?

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbatty

Yes. Both Jose and Dave are working on episodes of their own, and I am about to start another.

November 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterDoug

As the series progress, will we find out more about this universe?

November 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbatty

Yeah, once we've gotten our crew established we'll get more into the state of the universe.

November 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterDoug

I've read through the storyboard. Good job guys. I'm guessing the primary target is towards kids. I liked the story and this is an excellent tie in to the last era.

My feedbacks:
I am leaning towards the BSG dark uniforms. Kids love to be treated as adults. We can minus the gore and blood but make it realistic (hence Halo and Starship Trooper). Clone Wars does a pretty good job as well.

The ship does not make sense at all. What is the point of having a huge square. Engineering-wise, this ship would not work on a planet or in slipsteam due to the stresses. Since this is the 26th century, how about retractable nacelles.

The BUG is strange to me. Does it really has to stick out like that or be called BUG?

November 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWill Tran

Thanks! While our goal was definitely to appeal to kids and bring in a new generation of Trek fans, we also wanted our stories to have layers that adults could appreciate as well. We were big fans of the animated Justice League, as well as Batman/Superman, and those were pretty much our template.

We liked those dark uniforms too, but they would never have worked in animation. Everyone would have been a black blob. Plus, we wanted to return to the more colorful style of TOS.

The ship is meant to be more militaristic. Hence the square and the harsher angles. Engineering wise, I think it's plausible that advances in materials by this time would allow that ship to hold up to environmental stress. And again, as we've said many times, that's not the final design. If we had moved forward and gotten an actual budget, we would have brought in a designer to use that as a jumping off point and design something new. It still would have looked different, and it still would not have been the graceful Enterprise we're all used to, but it would have been much more polished. Maybe with retractable nacelles.

November 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterDoug

Sorry about the huge response, but I have a lot to say about this script. I really like the captain's concept, it looks great, and it has an obvious implication that he is going to go on away missions. I also like the slightly baggy pants, like the TOS uniform. Over all, part one is quite engaging with the mystery of the sphere, and the hook at the start with the arena fight; however, the use of the Dragonflies is very contrived, and feels like it has an obvious result, seen a thousand times in other media, but I'll get to that in detail, later.

To make the OPPONENT more interesting, you could get rid of the head, and use three eye stalks inside a special, rather flat, helmet. It might be a little like the zaku robots, where they have one eye sliding around a slit, but in this case, it's three eyes in the slit, and a rear slit. That would allow the first look of the creature to make it appear as if it has binocular vision, then at the right moment, it swings its eyes around crazy, and you realize something isn't right! A moment later, the OPPONENT could run past the captain, and it looks back, by swing an eye directly backwards.

Secondly, instead of a humanoid setup, the OPPONENT could first be seen standing humanoid style, but it moves on four limbs. In essence, it would move like a bear, with somewhat better agility while standing on two legs, and obviously better digits on the forward limbs. That way, we get a better idea that it might not just be a beast.

This changes the scene a lot, so instead of Chase going to the blind side, created out of scene, he goes to what he thinks is the blind side, or he creates what he thinks is a blind side, with a well placed attack of some sort. He should have a sharp rock, or knife, or he grabs the drone early. Either way it fails, because of the mobile eyes. A kick to the leg isn't going to do anything to an elephant size creature, unless he knows where the nerves are, or the uniforms are strength enhancing. The latter would be very cool and open up a lot of possibilities, the former could be interesting if it is made clear he knew the creature's biology beforehand, or that Donal knew. Alternatively, or additionally, to strength enhancement is making the world have low gravity, and the creature being a native; it's bones would be fragile, and Chase would be able to move like a grasshopper: think, John Carter of Mars. That adds a huge amount of surprise and possibility to the scene.

If the gravity is Earth normal, then a kick from the creature strong enough to move Chase any distance would kill Chase on contact, or at least break every bone in the contact zone, which could easily be his whole chest. The only way around that is the gravity solution, or making the uniforms also a form of extraordinary ballistic armor. The latter would be quite realistic.

I really like that Chase decides to stay and finish the fight. Him winning could involve removing the helmet, to expose the eye stalks.

ZERO
Whatever it is, it’s massive. And
invisible.
ON CHASE AND ZERO at the display. Chase peers intently.
CHASE
How did you find it?
ZERO
I have been experimenting with the
utilization of high-energy, rangedispersal
force field lenses to
focus light at extreme distances.
My observations indicated nearby
bodies reacting to an unknown
gravitational field.

Subspace sensors seem to be able to pickup EM emissions and other phenomena at faster than light speeds, allowing for extreme ranges, so they should have been able to pick up the telltales, for them, conventionally. But, I love the idea of thousands of kilometers wide forcefield lenses. Zero could mention he could have done it conventionally, and admit to liking the idea of challenge of an extremely long range, pure EM sensor. Of course, EM doesn't just cover light, it covers infrared, radio, x-rays, and so on.

Not being able to cloak the gravitational depression actually indicates the cloak is very primitive, since it's a trick TNG cloaks can do. Instead a quantum beacon could be used, which is what Daniels (good future guy) in Enterprise gave Archer to use against Suliban cloaks. The Suliban cloak uses a cloaking radiation which doesn't have to be constantly sustained, which would allow large structures to be cloaked for little power, and fits with the gravity not being cloaked. But, that would change things to the object being obvious once they approuch it, and not needing the shuttles to look, which should have been probes anyway; just because the quantum beacon is primitive, doesn't mean it shouldn't still be in use. If anything, it being simple should mean it's thrown in just because it's so easy to do so, and proper sensors should have very wide angles of use, same as ships today using guys with binoculars, in addition to radar, and clocks and maps in addition to GPS.

But, I get it, you meant anyon, not anion. http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Anyon The problem is as above, phase cloaks should cloak gravity, because it's such a basic cloak detection method. The captain jumping to their use, does have the very interesting implication of phase cloaks being the norm in the 26th century, so it's something worth keeping, but only for it to fail. To that end, I might have Zero mention specifically that anyons didn't work, and that it was the quantum beacon which did work. But, I'm obviously getting ahead of myself, since this is a phase cloak episode.

If there is no medium through which vibrations can travel, then the alien structure should not be able to listen to the Enterprise. It should either have to listen to emissions, or send a signal of its own, like a laser detecting vibrations of a window in a room with a conversation. You can't have action at a distance, not without an intermediary. Also, listening sounds exactly like what it is doing if it is detecting the ship's vibrations, regardless of method.

Frequency modulation should be completely standard by this time period, and go without saying. But, I buy the captain specifying such a low interval purely for the sake of testing the structure. I especially like that he is so quick to use such an ability.

I'm not a fan of the BUG blinking, it should realistically give her position away in a critical time, by drawing enemy attention, and serves no purpose in context. I realize it's a way for the audience to know TECH is happening, but I still don't like it, and I feel there has to be a better way to explain what is going on, simply through visuals, and follow up explanation. The first episode alone should give sufficient background not to need further explanation of the device. On a side note, I feel the device shouldn't be an implant, but something simply worn, since Trek has the tech to make a non-invasive mind probe.

Over all, these are minor things, and I would still love to watch this episode, but that's not to say I wouldn't love to see changes, too.

November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMajorD

Wow! Thanks for the response. I agree that the alien opponent could have been a little more alien, but we were really going for more of an Original Series vibe (ripped shirt and all). Not to say the alien was supposed to look like a guy on a rubber suit, but it was supposed to evoke that kind of image. In the future we'll be seeing a lot more non-humanoid aliens.

You got me on the misspelling of anyon. I'll fix that. The anion is an actual particle name, which I think is what threw me off.

A lot of the other issues (the blinking BUG, the kick not killing Chase) can really just be chalked up to the fact that we're a cartoon. It's cool looking to have the BUG blink even though it would obviously give away the redshirt's position in the dark (and I'd imagine we'll shut it off for night raids). It's fun to see Chase tossed around the ring like a ragdoll without dying. Taking the time to explain and deal with non-Earth gravity would slow the scene down, and we've got very limited space to tell our story and keep it engaging.

When Chase says the sphere is "listening" to them, both he and Zero are aware that sound cannot travel through space. The sphere is sensing those vibrations another way, perhaps through a laser-like emission of its own. Zero even tells him the analogy isn't quite right, but there's no time to go into a technobabble explanation.

November 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterDoug

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