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REVIEW: Starship Farragut: The Crossing

The crew of the Farragut has returned to spacedock with The Crossing, their fifth installment in their long-running series. Green-lit after a successful Kickstarter campaign, which broke the $20,000 mark out of a $15,000 target, it’d been in the post-production phase for just over a year.

Initially premiering back in February at the Farpoint Convention, it’d come out to strong word of mouth and positive comments and so we’d been excited to check it out. Continuing with the ever-popular Mirror, Mirror storyline, they expanded both on the TOS episode as well as bringing in elements from their own earlier Farragut episode, For Want of a Nail.

The Farragut receives a distress call coming from an apparently damaged USS Potemkin only to find it carrying the sword and Earth markings of the Terran Empire. The after-effects of the events in Mirror, Mirror has resulted in the Empire falling into civil war with the various alien races, led by the Vulcans, have chosen to break away. The Potemkin, led by Captain Wilcox, has come through a rift between the universes to seek the Federation’s aid in restoring the stability of the Empire.

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While Wilcox has an approach of negotiations and mediation, other members of the Potemkin’s crew plot to take a more direct route to securing the assistance of the Farragut.

The evolution of fan films’ production quality as well as acting chops has been exhaustively written about elsewhere on TrekMovie, and the bar continues to be raised year over year. That advancement has left an ever-widening gap between those productions who are fortunate enough to have ready access to professional and semi-professional actors and experienced crews, and those that are more left to their own devices and who have to gain their experience along the way. That disparity leaves those in the latter camps to win and keep the loyalty of their fans to carry the day with heart, enthusiasm, and strong storytelling.

On the one hand it’s unfair to compare Farragut to Phase II, Continues, or Horizon, but at the same time it can’t be denied that the metaphorical bar does exist and its in the mind of viewers. The Crossing unfortunately has its challenges with that bar, as the acting, direction, and especially editing is uneven throughout the episode.

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One of the advantages of working on independent projects is that those involved gain experience and have opportunities to hone their skills. In this case, unfortunately, a number of scenes are beyond the current ability of the editor to bring the pieces together cleanly. In a particular brig scene there are a series of cuts so jarring that it becomes distracting to the viewer. There’s another moment where there’s less than a second of a cut back to an earlier scene that feels like it was accidentally left in place.

Overall the story is actually pretty good and well thought out. The dialogue is similarly better on a page and in the execution. Writer Paul Sieber has created a viable storyline that by itself can readily stand alongside STC’s Fairest of Them All.

The Farragut team has upcoming episodes on their slate, and hopefully they’ll be able to take their experience from The Crossing to wow us as they embark on their next mission.

You can watch The Crossing for free on YouTube and right here.

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It should be corrected that I wrote this with Paul Sieber. I did not. Paul is a good friend and talent and my contribution was giving him some script notes and suggestions. He is one of those folks who can take comments and questions to heart and use them to his benefit as a writer so it’s always fun to be asked to give him a beta-read and critical eye.

Editor’s note: after speaking with Dave and Paul, I’ve updated the post to reflect Paul Sieber as the episode’s author.

no link to the video?

Thanks, Mike. I updated the post to include the episode in an embedded player.

Good to get back to the non-threatening cheesy fan Trek….

I thought the plot was quite good.

The only major “complaint” if you can call it that is that the armada contained Federation, Klingon, and Romulan vessels, which seems incongruous given the fact that canon already establishes that the Klingons and Romulans were NOT part of the Terran Empire.

The casting/acting issues are a given. Nothing to complain about. It’s a fan production.

I liked the department patch for Constitution especially. Some of the TOS era patches have been a little “what?” but that was perfect. A bit of the warp-arch logo, with a hint of a scrolled document. Well done to whoever designed that.

Good point on the armada, Al, but what I was trying to show was that Mirror Prescott has built a following of folks OUTSIDE and INSIDE the empire, to create his OWN empire, so it made sense that his “fleet” would be from all over the place, wherever and whomever he could recruit.

On the accidental “out of place” frame mentioned above… that was a Youtube encoding error, not an editing error, that DOES happen you know.

Well this was different like a car using a temporary spare tire on a permanent basis on a road full of pot holes yet cruising right along

Not sure what you mean by that?

It was – is strange….like a multicolored upside down neon rainbow at midnight. Something a freeze dried hippie might truly appreciate while smoking weed he found walking home from the titty bar….ya know?

What exactly are you saying?

someone needs to cast Comprehend Languages on that cat. Me? I just think the poster is retarded. *shrug* Either that, or he was trying to be coy (and failing) about the QUALITY of the effort. Yes, it was B-Film (or it’ll be on Sci-Fi next week) but the STORY is what did it for me in a good way… 4-1/2 out of 8 Halflings.

Good effort, interesting premise. However, acting was a bit over-the-top in spots, and the direction needed some tightened up. However, the real negative is that I would have seen one of the previous episodes in order to “get” the backdrop of the plot. Regardless, I am looking forward to the end of the TOS era Farragut series.

Thanks Bill Watters for covering us – we appreciate all media coverage. “The Crossing” has had thus far positive reactions from folks and our fan base has loved it. As you pointed out, a worthy story thanks to Paul Sieber who went for a darker, deeper story versus the lighthearted approach. The great original musical score is courtesy of Carl Hayes. Our DoP Wayland Strickland did some innovative camera work with dolly and jib shots throughout and in addition to editing and finishing the film, Wayland is also owed an acknowledgement to some great F/X enhancements to the film courtesy of Neo F/X. In terms of the editing critique, I thought just the opposite. Thanks to the entire cast and crew for their hard work and to our Kickstarter backers who made the film possible. Stay tuned for our last finale in the TOS genre with “Homecoming” to be released later this year and the next chapter for us in the movie-era called “Farragut Forward”.

End as in The End or IRC they wanting to go into TMP?

Thanks Bill Watters for covering us – we appreciate all media coverage. “The Crossing” has had thus far positive reactions from folks and our fan base has loved it. As you pointed out, a worthy story thanks to Paul Sieber who went for a darker, deeper story versus the lighthearted approach. The great original musical score is courtesy of Carl Hayes. Our DoP Wayland Strickland did some innovative camera work with dolly and jib shots throughout and in addition to editing and finishing the film, Wayland is also owed an acknowledgement to all of the great F/X enhancements to the film courtesy of Neo F/X. In terms of the editing critique, I thought just the opposite. Thanks to the entire cast and crew for their hard work and to our Kickstarter backers who made the film possible. Stay tuned for our last finale in the TOS genre with “Homecoming” to be released later this year and the next chapter for us in the movie-era called “Farragut Forward”.

Can’t wait to check out “The Crossing” later on tonight. Keep up the great work, John!

Thanks Michael! Wow – long time, no see. Over 15 years I think. We need to get together soon. I hope you like THE CROSSING.

While it’s not the perfect production that Mr. Watters seems to want it to be it is a fine effort. I just watched it and enjoyed it thoroughly and I have been a trekkie for 45 years. The entire crew of this film should be congratulated. Well done.

This was the most ambitious Starship Farragut episode to date, and in my opinion it’s leaps and bounds above a lot of similar projects, including their own previous episodes! Is it perfect? Of course not, no production is, including the offerings from CBS/Paramount. But “The Crossing” aims high and achieves it, and it’s a good, solid hour and twelve minutes of entertainment! Starship Farragut shares many of the experienced crew with Star Trek Continues, and that shows up in the excellent production values.

I know this is going to sound like a strange nit-pick… But in future productions might you include credits that show the full names of the characters? I happen to be one of those odd-balls who loves to read the IMDB listings for movies as I watch – fan films included – to see what else the various actors and production people have done. When a character is credited only by last name, and that last name is mentioned *maybe* once, while the character is referenced 40 times by first name, it can be a little hard to keep track. (Especially as fan film casts tend to have a lower “photo count” on their IMDB pages.)

(I *did* say it was a strange nit-pick…)

I shall now shut up, sit down, and enjoy the show.

White People in Space. It’s 5 minutes and 10 seconds until one of the 2 background people who were not white spoke some throwaway line. This feels like none of the lessons of diversity that Gene showcased all the way back in the 60s are even remembered. Not Star Trek by a long shot.

Luke – Our Chief Medical Officer, the ship’s lead doctor is played by Rakia May (an AA actress), our navigator is played by Dean Rogers (an AA actor) and our previous Security Chief is played by Eric “The Smoke” Moran (an AA actor). As someone who is married to an AA woman, I’m all for racial equality, as well as religious, sexual, and gender equality as evidenced by having a female Chief Medical Officer and a female Chief Engineer. In FARRAGUT FORWARD, the next chapter of Starship Farragut taking place in the movie-era — you will see a celebrity cameo by a prominent AA and in a position of senior leadership. Your message has been taken to heart and we’ll endeavor to be even better. Thanks.

As both a multi-racial woman (African American, Latina, Caucasian and Native American) and the newest member of the Farragut cast, this comment bothers me a lot. I don’t generally engage with these sorts of comments online but I feel the need in this case. I’ve worked with people from all kinds of backgrounds and belief systems, and the Farragut family has to be one of the most inclusive, tolerant group of people I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. As John has mentioned, he is married to an African American woman and is raising bi-racial children (in a somewhat difficult social climate, I might add; your comment is proof of this). He is one of the most open-minded and least prejudiced people I have ever met, and has surrounded himself with like minded people. Please do not try to come to personal conclusions about this group of people because you are 100% wrong. We have both regular and visiting cast members from every racial and socioeconomic background. We have people with varying levels of experience, varying ages, religions, politics, and more. IDIC. We find a place for anyone who wants to be a part of our group. And I’m not sure what Star Trek you watched, but all the inclusivity and diversity in the world didn’t change the fact that the cast members were majority Caucasian throughout, including white actors playing Klingons in essentially blackface. That is the reality of our country and the reality of casting. This is… Read more »
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Great effort! Good story! Great effects!
It is self evident that this was a HUGE labor of love!
Criticisms- pacing a bit slow (due to acting/editing), and to nitpick, starfleet female crewmembers do not use nail polish:). With all due respect, the BFI of about 90% of the crew is way above allowed starfleet limits. Not a very healthy portrail of the future:(.
Please keep up the great work and keep them coming!

Great work, everyone!–I found the story absorbing, affecting, and believable. I’ve said before about this series, the actors look like actual people rather than models and mannequins, and I think it adds to the credibility. Beautiful musical score, except it’s too constant. I would trust that the audience will stay with the story and doesn’t need to be reminded what to feel every minute.

Looking forward to the next production!

Interesting uniform on the female commander. Rather than violating canon, could we just have cast an actress who weighs less?

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