Update on Star Trek: Final Frontier – The New Star Trek Animated Series That Never Was

Back in December 2006 TrekMovie posted a story about a possible web animated series being developed byDavid Rossi, Doug Mirabello and José Muñoz. Later called "Star Trek: Final Frontier" the project essentially died with the 2007 layoffs at StarTrek.com. Now in a new interview and on their new website, Rossi, Munoz and Mirabello give out all the details on this Trek that never was.     

 

Star Trek: Final Frontier – the interview

If you need a refresher, or weren’t around back in December 2006, “Star Trek: Final Frontier” was a pitch for a web (or possibly cable TV) Star Trek animated series set in the 26th century. It was a back-to-basics approach set in a dark era for the Federation, where a new hero (Captain Alexander Chase) and a new crew of a new Enterprise tried to bring the light back to galaxy. The project was under consideration at CBS, but it died when the staff of StarTrek.com were laid off that the site went dormant in December 2007.

Now in a new interview with Trekkie Central Magazine (the official mag for the fan series Star Trek: Hidden Frontier), you can learn more about the series and its history. The article is embedded below, or you can go to issuu.com to view it there or download it.

 

Star Trek: Final Frontier – the website

The team behind the project have also put up a website all about it at zeroroom.squarespace.com. There you can see a gallery, learn about the history, the characters, the designs and much more. There are also detailed story boards.

 

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It’s a shame: I thought some of the fanboy overreaction against this series was unnecessary.

Could’ve been fun!

No offense, but the look of that fugly Enterprise makes me kind of glad this thing was killed in its cradle.

I think this has potential but I have to agree with @2, that is hands down the worst looking enterprise I have ever seen. Even the Pakled would feel embarrassed driving sardine can looking ship around.

This actually looks really awesome. At first I was skeptical, but not I want it bad!

The Enterprise isn’t cool looking or anything, not like our past beauties but the show looked like it would have been amazing!

I’d love to see another Star Trek cartoon one day, but recent vaguely similar stuff like Star Wars: Clone Wars and Stargate Infinity have been terrible, IMO.
I never managed a whole episode of either.

I loved old Star Trek: The Animated Series, despite it’s limitations. If a new cartoon can be creative, fun, Star Trekky (it’s a thing!) and not embarrasing mindless childrens’ garbage I’m all for it.

Somehow I think that’s not gonna happen…

Why don’t they just do it now? There’s more demand for Trek than ever, an animated series (especially one with a premise this cool) would probably do pretty well!

Yeah it’s a good thing this crap was never made.

I don’t know where in the process those uniform jackets on the third screen were for … the black ones with the department color swatches and cuffs … but those are badass and I want one.

This series, conceptually, sounded like a really bad idea, although I’m sure the same could be said of some of my own ideas for how Trek history unfolds post-Nemesis. The animation, moreover, looks terrible, like Kim Possible or the Erin Esurance commercials. I’m all for a new animated series (or a remake of the original), but it’s got to be better than this.

wow i’ve never hated any depiction of the enterprise from nx-01 to 1701-e, but this is a huge exception. Thats just plain horrible. I heard somewhere the instructions for the first movie was make it look plausible to be the same ship as the show, but more modern and up to date. They did that well. I think someone forgot to do that this time.

Has anyone noticed “PROTOCOL OFFICER WILLIAM PRESTON”
is just Batman Beyond Villain Derek Powers with a mustache?

Protocol Officer William Preston:
comment image?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1242081874100

http://zeroroom.squarespace.com/crew/

Batman Beyond: Derek Powers
comment image
http://multiverse-crisis.wdfiles.com/local–files/terry-mcginnis/Blight

That ‘Enterprise’ looks like a rejected design from the “Star Wars” prequels.

While I wasn’t particularly fond of this (The era and characters didn’t speak to me, specifically), I was bummed these guys never got a chance to do anything with this. Star Trek is certainly a world with enough room for stories to be told.

Perhaps if they want their story told badly enough, comic books would be a medium that would gladly accept it.

I did like the idea of the Andorians seceding from the Federation. Andorians always have needed more interplay as a Federation member – a society of Byronic heroes as hot-tempered and passionate as a Vulcan is cold and logical. But with so much in common with humans … (in fact, humans seem to be the fulcrum balancing the two).

Amazing that they were able to come up with an even uglier Enterprise than NX-01.

It would have been nice for ANY new Trek to be green-lit, but I’m not losing any sleep over this concept. The Enterprise was fugly and the story didn’t seem like it had any depth. It only would have been good as some way to get kids watching Trek and buying toys.

the character design is neat, but they kinda let the ship designs get away from them. then again, given the time frame they were shooting for story wise i guess they HAD to stray from conventional ‘Trek’. i mean, that’s what most people complained about with STO, in that the ship designs were just modified after pre-existing models. i’m sure if they did the same with the 26th century, people would ask ‘Hey…isn’t that just…’. but i thought that there was a 26th century Enterprise already, didn’t they have it in Enterprise? The Enterprise-J?

man I have been waiting for this update for four years!

I’m a huge proponent for an animated series, but this clearly wasn’t the way to go.

Trek deserves better.

Like more detailed character design & a more consistent, familiar look to the ships & weapons.

I think Bad Monkey’s Klingon propaganda video was amazing & much more what I’d want to see in a new cartoon.

A CG series like “the clone wars” would be cool too, but only if done with more detail & realism in the characters.

But the biggest problem with this: another new crew on another new Enterprise? Are you kidding me?!

You’ve got an expansive universe that’s been outlined by top sci-fi writers for over 40 years & all you can come up with is more of the same?

Lame!

No original thinking here.

Why couldn’t they do an anthology series that follows a different set of Trek characters every week, so we can take advantage of the voice talent of previous casts.
Tales about the Titan, Voyager & DS9 crews after their series, the Romulan war, Pike’s Enterprise, etc. etc, etc.

Another opportunity lost to a lack of creativity amongst writers!

As for the Enterprise design?

Yeah, it’s pretty bad, but at least it’s not Abram’s disco-ship beer factory!

Hey all, thanks for the positive (and negative) response. Here is where I put my standard disclaimer that the Enterprise design wasn’t final, and would have been a lot less blocky in the final design. Sketchup doesn’t like curves too much.

#9 – the dark uniforms were one of our earliest designs. I still love them, but they never would have worked in animation.

#19 – it’s important to remember that we were working with no budget. Our designs and art were done for free by generous professionals who wanted to help out, for a pitch document that was intended to give an idea of our vision. It was not a definitive style. If the show had been greenlit, we would have been able to do another pass that would have made the style more consistent and smoothed out the rough edges. As for “another crew on another Enterprise,” it was our feeling that that is the core of Star Trek, and we wanted to return to that.

I’m happy to answer any questions, here or on the site. Storyboards for part four should be up soon.

Actually….I kinda liked the script, and I kind of like the fugly Enterprise. It’s not the kind of Star Trek I’m used to, but I could go for it.

Kinda bummed that this didn’t get made…

This was too dark for star trek. I am glad this never came to light. I agree with some of the other posts…focus on other ships like Titan or Excelsior. No need to reinvent the Enterprise over and over. The universe is rich with aliens and other stories that were barely touched in the shows and movies.

Roddenberry was focused on the positive aspect of humanity…not a terminator type of plot.

The Vanguard series of books would also make a great story for TV. The feel more like star trek than this.

“It was a back-to-basics approach set in a dark era for the Federation, where a new hero (Captain Alexander Chase) and a new crew of a new Enterprise tried to bring the light back to galaxy.”

That sounds like “Andromeda”.

I hope they make a new animated series between the Star Trek movies, but I would prefer one playing in the alternate Universe at the same time of the last movie. It musn’t be about the Enterprise, but it would be nice if it would play in that universe and time.

As a “war story” concept it is one of the better ones out there. I am getting tired of “War Trek” in all its incarnations. This appears to use that as a jumping off point for getting back to basics. Getting back to what Trek ought to be about.

The much-maligned 26th century Enterprise design is not the greatest thing in the world, but at least it is creative (beats the pants off the Trek Online recyclables–here add a fin to the Enterprise-D, voila Enterprise-G!). Also, the story of this gives the trousers of Trek Online a beating too. Trek Online is grinding, unimaginative “War Trek.” This at least reaches for something different.

(The captain’s name could be changed “Chase” seems a bit cliche, action-heroey, but…)

All in all, not a bad effort considering their constraints.

Loved the uniforms with the jackets, might have to just go and make one one of these days. They are a cool design which would look great realized.

I would have liked to seen this. There is always room for new Trek, and novel approaches to it.

This animated series had potential but I’m sorry, the hammerhead Enterprise is just terrible. If I was the designer, I would have made it more sleeker and elegant. The Dragon Fly’s, they look a bit too much like the Star Fury from BABYLON 5.

#20 Doug, I have a question. First of all, I really was hoping to see a new animated STAR TREK series and I knew that you had something very good. My question is would you consider to have a fan art section where artists and STAR TREK fans can submit their ideas for fun? I think this would be fun for everyone to do and to show how much we love STAR TREK. Thank you and never give up on your dream.

Doug M.

I totally get your out-of-the-box approach. My hat’s off to you for trying something different. Looks like a number of commenters aren’t on the same page, but you were willing to take a few risks.

And didn’t somebody say something about risk, once upon a time?

#6 Stargate Infinity lasted barely a year, and that was cancelled seven years ago. Hardly a recent show unlike Clone Wars, which is going into it’s third season.

I seem to recall reading somewhere Rick Berman shot down a proposed animated TNG in the 90’s.

Yeah, this idea was simply terrible, in my opinion, and I dislike the ship designs (although the character designs are very similar to what we have in STO).

But in the end, Trek does deserve better than this.

This Enterprise makes JJ’s version look beautiful. And that one was plain ugly.

What someone needs to do is remake the old Saturday morning Star Trek series, using the exact same plotline and original voice recordings, and just remake the actual animation. It would only make a limited number of episodes, but the new cast could take it from there.

What Star Trek needs right now, this minute is something/anything to fill in the rather long gap between Star Trek 09 and Star Trek 2012. A TV series is very unlikely as it would be direct competition to the movie (and most likely expensive to boot. I dont see any DTDVD type situation happening either for the same reasons. The only real viable medium would be the computer animated series, similar to Star Wars: Clone Wars. Like it or lump it, it has been a success, and smartley done a new Star Trek animated series based on Star Trek 09 could work at keeping fans interested between films, and get in the kids and younger audiences as well.

So much vitriol for conceptual work. And people wonder why the networks are sketchy about greenlighting new series.

Maybe they could use my re-design of the Connie for a web based animated series?

http://www.scifi-meshes.com/forums/showthread.php?75820-Another-Connie-Re-design

Wow! I like it. I am still just amazed at the dislike some people have for this concept. While the Enterprise design isn’t my favorite (though I do like the color sketch third to last in the gallery), I think they have done a wonderful job capturing the feel of getting back to the hope and exploration of the original series.

It is interesting to see how far this concept got or didn’t get and how a lot of the same driving ideas (getting back to basics; hope; a brash, idealistic captain) matched what came in ST:09. Then again, there are people who dislike that movie too.

All in all, congratulations on what you managed to accomplish Doug M, I found it wonderful and fun. Here’s looking to the future where I hope we can all agree that any new Trek is good Trek.

This is one bad idea that died before being born, unlike Enterprise, which suffered for 4 years before the plug was pulled. We dodged a bullet with this one.

And that is not to denigrate any artistic or original concepts. It’s just that the further away from TOS that things got, the less interesting it was for me. The one thing that almost saved Enteprise near the end was how the writers began to get nearer to TOS in stories and concepts.

I wish to see new Star Trek : the animated series on tv. I like to see what the 26th century starships but I dont like this concept of starship like a hummerhead design.
Make sure it same conept of real star trek’s starships on tv as new Enterpise ship.
I would like to see an Enterprise J on tv in the future.
I think I like this new shuttlecraft Dragonfly concept design as look good to me!
That 26th century starfleet uniform seen like go to old uniform colors code is good idea. The red uniform is real security personal as officer. I think that gold uniform is a command officer as look good to me. I wish to use a blue uniform is for command officer for safely reason as dark from light but light blue or white is real doctor and nurise uniform.

Ok yeah, cool, sucks it didn’t get made, blah blah blah…but.

The animation is horrible! It looks like something a 5 year old would scribble!

40. That is ludicrous. Criticize the art if you don’t like the style (looks reminiscent of the Batman animated series), but a 5 year old? Sorry, but that’s ludicrous. Give these guys a little credit for effort, if nothing else. I’d love to see YOUR Trek sketches.

The Dragonflies look like B5! THAT’S IT! I was wondering what it reminded me of, but it escaped me.

@2 thats most likley why they killed it

@#41

A very wise man once said:

“It is far easier to criticize than to create”

Most all of the negative people fail to ever understand that, so they will always down everything they see, and never expierence the beauty of anything.

Plus, I am pretty sure #40 has never created anything at all to show you anyway.

Myself, I kind of like the style these guys were doing, and would love to see an animated Trek come back.

The TOS Purist aka The Purolator

They should take the audio from the old Animated Series and make new animation for it, maybe similar to the “Clone Wars” show.

@43

The project was killed due to massive layoffs at Startrek.com and CBS Interactive, the two groups who were interested in working together to make it happen.

The ugliness of our Enterprise had nothing to do with it, as everyone understood it was a concept, not a final design.

I think the only good thing in that entire project was worth looking at was the storyboard panels. The artist was choosing some really nice angles, very dynamic. Otherwise, it looks like a fan made attempt at doing something that they weren’t cut out to do. Alot of the art reminds me of my high school art classes. If another animated series is ever made, I’d maybe wish that Gendy (Samurai Jack), or Bruce Tim (Justice League) would be doing it.
Anyways, I’m glad this died before it caused irreparable damage to the franchise.

we need a new series like this : STAR TREK STORIES: each week a different story set in a different place somewhere and sometime in the star trek universe. it would satisfy everyone. we could revisit TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT, movies, and stories could take place in the new JJ Abrams universe as well. It would allow for many many different stories on different planets, ships, stations and settings,and it would also allow for endless cameo and guest star appearances, as each episode would be its own story, taking place in its own period. Its all star trek, and it would work.

I agree with all those who want to take the old animated series and reanimate it. Expand it to an hour. Also CBS should purchase the audio tapes from the video games from the 90s(25th anniversary, Judgment Rites and the unreleased Secret of Vulcan Fury) and reanimate those and presto you have the final two seasons of the original 5 year mission.

What’s wrong with Kim Possible? That was a fantastic show, well-written and well-animated. I don’t usually go in for “Dark Trek,” but this could have been fun — though I’m not sure I’d want it canonized.

In other — barely on-topic — news, I am really glad to see Trekkie Central Magazine getting a fairly big scoop like this one. Richard Miles works hard, and good for him getting to tell this story first.

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