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> "Tossed Upon the Shore" Official Review Thread, Review it!
Review poll
How would you rate "Tossed Upon the Shore"?
A [ 39 ] ** [75.00%]
B [ 9 ] ** [17.31%]
C [ 2 ] ** [3.85%]
D [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
F - Stinker! [ 2 ] ** [3.85%]
Total Votes: 52
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Rob_C
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post Sep 17 2011, 09:57 AM
Post #1
Here is the review thread, enjoy!
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post Sep 17 2011, 11:19 AM
Post #2
I am extremely conflicted as I write this review.

Not by the film - it is outstanding.

I am conflicted by the apparent end of something that made me realize life was worth living. You've probably read my history on this forum in other posts about how HF drew me out of self-exile, so I'll not elaborate on it here. I am very happy that the movie is finally out, but also deeply saddened that now it truly is . . . over. cry.gif

To business - the film opens onto a conquered Ba'ku with a heavily pregnant Grand Majan Seram luxuriating in the sun with several Ba'ku slaves, although given Seram's predilections as far as Caecus was resolved, I was mildly surprised she didn't make them wear 'slave' outfits.

The Archein Return has left the Federation scrambling to hold, with Admiral Shelby at the front, while Captain Faisal is in prison.

A refitted Helena is returning to service with a new captain, Jenna McFarland Mk. III, played by Vanessa Celso. Naturally, Rockney is as bizarre as ever, and gives viewers more than a few raised eyebrows (at the very least!) with his communications with Helen, which Jenna is surprisingly adept at handling.

In Andromeda, Ro abruptly returns to Odyssey from his sojourn through his past with Captain Sisko (ODY 3x00), to find that in the few hours he's been gone, six months have passed! Grand Majan Anira (another great performance from Jennifer Cole!) is leading her people in a civil war against Seram, with her grandson at her side.

Elsewhere, the U.S.S. Vigilant (seen in FED1-1x01) under Commander Beckett (now played by U.S.S. Angeles member James Jones (also played Science Officer Jaime Jackman in ANG-201)) finally recovers a derelict shuttle with Ben Maxwell (Tom Bulmer has been replaced by Fritz Bonner, who also gave a good performance).

Lastly, Caeleno attacks the U.S.S. Cole to capture Dais, and accidentally seizes Henglaar and Silan! (Somehow, I got the idea that Vonus was also in the movie, but I guess I was wrong) We also briefly hear Rick Pike as Cmdr. Stu Karsten!

If you're reading this review, at this point, you've probably already seen the film. Suffice to say, things are wrapped up to a satisfactory conclusion (although you gave me an idea for yet ANOTHER audio series, Rob!), and we are treated to a montage of the various HF ships down through the years, including a cameo by the U.S.S. Angeles, too long absent from HF's video eps, as well as the Cole. Helena, Odyssey, Excelsior, and even the Antietam, with a certain Executive Producer on the bridge with Captain Darwin.

The battle scenes in this film are outstanding, as is the chromakey tech.

Plus, the whole scene with stopping an SFZ in Romulan turf, preventing a star from going nova, and detecting a mining vessel . . . I can't help but think that it's both a nod and possibly a middle finger to "Star Trek XI". icon_lol.gif
If so, then I guess the future Spock in that movie came from an alternate reality where Odyssey[i/] failed.

A lot of folks pulled double, even triple duty in this film!

I noted Janice Willcocks as Vaughan's Archein assistant, a Romulan Commander, and as Admiral Willcocks on the [i]Angeles
bridge as she finally relinquishes command of her ship to Captain Dave Mason.

Yes, Hidden Frontier will continue, through Henglaar M.D., (hopefully) Voyages of the U.S.S. Angeles, and who knows what other ideas the future may bring forward?

As a certain Vulcan is noted to say, there are always possibilities . . . .
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post Sep 17 2011, 03:26 PM
Post #3
Placeholder image until I compose my thoughts:


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post Sep 17 2011, 05:45 PM
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I just finished watching "Tossed Upon the Shore," the collective finale to Star Trek: Odyssey and Star Trek: The Helena Chronicles.


While at times I thought to myself they should have called it "Shelby Keeps Retreating," I've (thankfully) composed my thoughts below.

The Bad:
Speaking strictly from a story/plot point, not a lot makes sense. Maxwell's Section 31 ship almost immediately reveals itself not just to Odyssey but also to any Romulan ships nearby. Jorian, despite being returned to "supervised/restricted" duty, seems to have incurred the ire of many people, yet pretty much has free reign to do what he wants.

Most egregious though would be Ro's decision, promptly after being promoted to an actual captaincy, to ignore Shelby's orders and detour to reunite with Corey. My issue isn't with his desire to be reunited with his husband but rather the extreme selfishness of it, which he even has the gall to call attention to when he makes his announcement to the crew -- two years later and who knows how many dead officers left behind, they can all sit tight for a few more hours while Ro goes and sees his lover. Not exactly the best set of priorities for a man expected to lead people to have.

Stadi and S'Tal. While reusing actors in various roles in the same episodes of the shows is nothing new for Hidden Frontier productions, jumping from Odyssey's bridge to Excelsior's seeing Julia Morizawa as a human and then as a Vulcan (at the same bridge station and sometimes in immediate succession!) was a bit distracting.

The plot itself doesn't really make a lot of sense to me and drags, significantly for the first hour or so. I don't know if its a case of padding or if there were just too many plot threads crammed into this, but there was clearly a lot to be serviced by this episode. There's no spontaneity to the story, everything just strums along from A to B to C, and dragging things out. I couldn't keep track of what each ship was doing because they were all going off in zig-zagging directions every few minutes. This directionless nature to the story is also very evident in a clear lack of a singular leading role throughout. Again, I recognize there were many mouths to feed story-wise and that this production would wind up having to service three disparate series, but not having that one leading character to guide the story itself is really a hindrance. I suppose the argument can be made that Ro and T'Lorra are the lead characters of what is inherently an ensemble piece, but again - apart from connecting the dots, there wasn't much going on with these two in terms of character development or growth. Ro got his people home; T'Lorra decided she actually does like humans after all. Not a lot of depth involved. (more on this later.)

To expound on the point about 'connecting the dots' - first Odyssey is barreling through Archein space. Then it's a mad dash to get to the Archein wormhole/tunnel... and then it's off to slipstream drive, magically after all the distance covered, the fireball of destruction that spit out Odyssey having minimal effect or impact on the ship beyond a shot of the burned hull passing by. The lack of consequences really lessens the piece for me, and makes Odyssey's return ring hollow. It would have been much more interesting for the crew to be making the same mad dash home and still wind up in Romulan space but with a little more suspense added to the mix. Don't answer the question right away - cut to another scene, have Ro and T'Lorra try to figure out what to do and where they are first. Let us wonder about what's going on instead of spooning answers to us every twenty seconds.

That being said, a large part of my ambivalence to the first hour of the show was due to the overarching plotline of Dais and Caeleno finally being resolved but at as slow a pace as possible. The long arc --this is something that I think Rob and the guys and gals at HF do a lot of, and when it works its great, but when it doesn't, when it just drags on and on it becomes stale. I think had the particular arc between Dais and Caeleno been resolved sooner, it might have made for more tight storytelling and easily opened up ten minutes of time to cut or dedicate to other story points.

Similarly, I was a bit disappointed with the Corey/Ro reunion. Since their premiere, both Odyssey and The Helena Chronicles were going to be inherently married to one another, just like Corey and Ro, and the driving force between each was that these two characters wanted to be reunited. Finally, at long last, here we are at this moment we should all be waiting for...

...and it happens on a viewscreen.

Talking about some techno-babble plan.

Is it realistic given the moment their in during the story? Probably. But as an audience member, it let me down. As a storyteller and filmmaker, it disheartened me that such a moment, ripe for the emotionally saturated picking was just shuffled on through airport security like it was no big thing. The scene we did get later, with the two in the lab and with Stadi marking time was nice and probably would have been just fine had it not been for the preceding scene.

Lastly, I wasn't crazy about the Independence Day/Jeff Goldblum solution to stopping the Archein fleet. Didn't like it on Battlestar Galactica when they used it either. While it was nice to see Vaughan again one last time even after we were sure he was done for (and kudos to his final farewell to the Odyssey crew), we've seen it done before and so this big "aha!" moment (or what I assume was supposed to be a big "aha!" moment) falls flat.

Flat really would be the way to describe a lot of the film, actually. I hate saying that because I love the Hidden Frontier shows. But there's very little depth to anything that happens. Its just the same faces being short-tempered, sarcastic or teenager-y about (what we are supposed to believe are) Very Big, Epic Situations. Beyond getting Odyssey home and wrapping up the "surface" stories from Helena Chronicles and Odyssey, what is this movie about? What do any of the characters learn or achieve growth from?


The Good:
As always, there are many good things to enjoy about a Hidden Frontier production and despite my preceding remarks, this one is no different.

A distinct pleasure as always is to see John Whiting on screen again, be it as Morrigu (who I wish had had a better death scene) or as Henglaar, who finally gets the happy ending he deserved after the events of "Its Hour Come Round At Last."

As I mentioned before, Vaughan's reprise was nice and surprising. His moment of reflection with Morrigu struck me as quite genuine - a credit to Matthew Montgomery's performance. Very classy. The fanboy in me wanted Morrigu to listen and then somehow send Vaughan back so Morrigu could then sacrifice himself to save the day, but in retrospect I'm glad he didn't. It would have cheated Vaughan's honor and the decision he makes to make sure his people get home.

And, while I loved the reference to Star Trek: The Section 31 Files, the mentions of Bishop and Korg too, it would have been nice to see them again.

Something I thought which was handled extremely well was the references to the Hobus star and the events preceding JJ Abrams 2009 Star Trek feature film. It would have been entirely too tempting to have Odyssey and Helena "reset" the beginning of that film with this one but that doesn't happen. A veiled reference to Nero's ship is made and then we go right back into the plot of this film. A clever, skillful reference to what we all know will come and yet leaves open the possibility that the Hobus star will later supernova as we see in JJ Abrams' film. And, on the chance that the intention of this scene in the film was supposed to avert the 2009 film, I have to give Rob and his crew props for being classy enough to at least leave it open-ended and not definitively done, thereby allowing everyone -- lovers and haters of the 2009 film alike -- to enjoy this finale.

The cameos were well done also. What a treat to see so many familiar faces from over the years! Especially Nick Cook's scene with Shelby, which was top notch, further solidifying what was already a very well-developed and performed friendship between the characters over the years. Well done. Also very nice to see my friend Vin Jacobsen in a substantive role here too. Rock on!

The score by Hetoryn is fantastic. All at once subtle, bombastic and telling, there were moments I felt like I might be listening to a John Williams piece or perhaps felt like I was in a movie theater watching this, even though I watched it on my laptop at YouTube's paltry 360p.

Vanessa Celso, the (latest) person cast as Jenna McFarland was superb. I don't think I've ever seen anyone so at ease in their part in any fan film as I did with her, and the unadulterated joy she seemed to be feeling with every word, every movement was refreshing and entertaining at the same time. She's definitely the scene-stealer of the film.

The final montage of all the Hidden Frontier ships was nice and a poignant reminder -- from the Angeles group all the way to Odyssey and Helena -- of how far this extraordinary group of fans and filmmakers have come.

Brandon McConnell's final voiceover (which I assume is a paraphrased, modified retelling of part of Homer's The Odyssey) serves as a fitting, emotionally charged and almost fanfare-ish end to this entire, incredible saga. I will admit sitting through the entire end credits hoping for a little, brief tag scene after everything and being slightly disappointed, but now that I think about it, I like the ending sequence just the way it is.

In conclusion, it's a sad day for Star Trek fan films knowing that the Hidden Frontier universe has reached its end and is folding for good, and while it's not perfect by any means (what fan film is?), "Tossed Upon The Shore" is an entertaining, if slow, two hours and a fitting end to the multiple fan series produced by Hidden Frontier Productions.

I look forward very much to your next production guys. Congratulations, and thank you so much for keeping me entertained all these years.



This post has been edited by doubleohfive: Sep 17 2011, 06:04 PM
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moonprince rhode
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post Sep 17 2011, 06:14 PM
Post #5
Okay, I just finished watching it and I am still on an emotional high from the experence. To me this has been worth the wait. I think the cast and crew did it all with style. I was at the edge of my seat the entire time. I loved seeing my favorite couple back together. Rob and all who played a hand in the creation of this epic movie. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Moon
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post Sep 19 2011, 11:49 AM
Post #6
Simon survived to the end of an episode!!! Hooray!!!
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post Sep 19 2011, 01:29 PM
Post #7
I watched this Saturday night, making this the ONLY new movie I've watched in 2011! Go you! I wanted to sit on my thoughts for a while before I reviewed, because otherwise it was going to consist of 'yeah!' and 'whooo!' and not so much of substance. So-
You (collective) have managed to make a picture that not once, made me be aware of the process behind it, how many scenes there were, the people hitting double duty, the year since- I was fully involved in the story. Oh my goodness, the whoop I let out when Ro and Aster finally (finally, finally) reunited face to face! It made me so very happy. Other things I enjoyed-
1) the fakeout with Silan. I was so proud of her becoming a nurse, and moving on from her violent past, that when she seemingly reverted I was a little disappointed, and when she came through after all, I laughed aloud. Also, when the one lady (I am so blanking on her name) took her place and got shot, I admit I wasn't watching too closely and was surprised again. It was a good way for the lady's character to redeem herself- and she greatly needed redeeming- and I was looking forward to how'd they get out of their jam. Also, Traya shoutout!
2) Shelby and Hunter's conversation- Shelby's always been ambitious, and she should be super happy, but of course, be careful what you wish for and all that. I love that with Robin gone, Shelby still has someone in her corner, Admiral or no, and she can let her hair down with him. As much as a 'shipper as I am, scenes of friendship touch me just as much.
3) Vaughn and Morrigu! I just knew things would resolve themselves in that scene, and when Vaughn admitted he had lied, I knew then. Aw! Both of these characters have grown on me- I wasn't sure where Vaughn was coming from and Morrigu was of course a baddie- and realizing that black and white is not at all applicable here just made me feel so much more than if it was needless death. (well, you will lose one, indeed.) Matthew Montgomery survives no series all the way through.
4) Poor Faisal! Hopefully since everything wrapped up so much better than expected, maybe she'll get time off for good behavior.
5) Good on Grand Majan and Caceous, taking on the Archaein challenge.
6) McFarland, who I kept waiting not to like (and I loved how everyone avoided saying her name until the last moment) but ended up adoring, because she's so someone you'd expect to do something like that. Seriously, adorbs.
7) The end, where all the different scenes of life moving forward? If I was going to cry, it would've been there. As it was, I just beamed.

Of course, there were people I missed, but wouldn't been appropriate in the storyline or totally unavailable- Traya and Pelas, Knapp, Andy (yes, I know he was 'there' but I would've killed for a S'Tal/Andy moment), Johns, McCabe and his doings- and hey, you're obviously doing something right for us to care about them all!

I'm so sad that this part of Star Trek is over for now, but so very blessed because of what it's brought to my life. Wow, if my mom and I had never thought to sit and watch "Dancing in the Dark" together all those years ago, so many parts of my life would be different, but that doesn't bear thinking about. To all those involved, past, present and future, you have my thanks and well wishes in your future journeys. May you look back on your roads and find that they took you just where you needed to end up.

Love always,
Wendy <3
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Janus Methédor
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post Sep 19 2011, 07:12 PM
Post #8
I really enjoyed Tossed Upon the Shore, however I do agree that the beginning was slow for the first hour. I can set it aside though knowing that this was to close all of the various storyline. I especially liked the end with the Angeles on through the HF historical line. I might do a more detail response later. I howvere have one question. What happened to Wozniak? I don't think he died in a previous episode. What the actor just not available?

May the Future of HFP be bright. Live Long and Prosper.
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post Sep 20 2011, 12:23 PM
Post #9
That... was fantastic! icon_biggrin.gif

Was it just my imagination, or was the whole Hobus thing your way of nodding at the Abramsverse? icon_biggrin.gif

*wants more* icon_razz.gif

Sorry, I know that's not coherent... but hey, I'm too blown away by this film to be coherent. That is something I imagine going and watching on the big cinema screen, not at my titchy little PC monitor. icon_biggrin.gif Thanks for the fun and great stories, HF Productions, you rule!
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Androski
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post Sep 23 2011, 09:47 AM
Post #10
While I think that this was a little rushed in the story telling aspect, I think that it was a decent wrap up for both stories given the financial situations plaguing the production team. I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to see Captain Johns at all. He played a not unsubstantial role in Helena Chronicles and then he just kind of disappears.

Taking everything in context though, I'd say it was a very well done piece. I'm glad I waited for it.
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bluworld
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post Sep 24 2011, 04:45 AM
Post #11
QUOTE (Androski @ Sep 23 2011, 01:47 PM) *
While I think that this was a little rushed in the story telling aspect, I think that it was a decent wrap up for both stories given the financial situations plaguing the production team. I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to see Captain Johns at all. He played a not unsubstantial role in Helena Chronicles and then he just kind of disappears.

Taking everything in context though, I'd say it was a very well done piece. I'm glad I waited for it.


Agreed. Captain Johns was missed and I'm unhappy with the way Captain Teresa Faisal ended up but I'm still happy with the finale. I did get a sense of closure. I also liked the way that the ending left room for a new adventure someday.......can't blame me for hoping icon_wink.gif
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post Sep 27 2011, 09:46 AM
Post #12
As I said before, you Hidden Frontier folks make magic! Thank you! =)
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post Sep 28 2011, 07:07 AM
Post #13
Loved it Rob, a few more space battle would have been nice but this is a fitting end to what four fan produced series?
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Rob_C
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post Sep 28 2011, 05:15 PM
Post #14
FYI, cast/crew DVD's are now available, and that is now opened up to satellite participants, anyone with a credit or helped out on any of the HF/ODY seasons. Contact me for details.

Rob
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post Sep 29 2011, 03:43 AM
Post #15
QUOTE (Rob_C @ Sep 28 2011, 09:15 PM) *
FYI, cast/crew DVD's are now available, and that is now opened up to satellite participants, anyone with a credit or helped out on any of the HF/ODY seasons. Contact me for details.

Rob

E-mail sent.
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post Sep 29 2011, 04:06 AM
Post #16
QUOTE (Rob_C @ Sep 28 2011, 08:15 PM) *
FYI, cast/crew DVD's are now available, and that is now opened up to satellite participants, anyone with a credit or helped out on any of the HF/ODY seasons. Contact me for details.

Rob


PM Sent.
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post Sep 30 2011, 01:15 AM
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Briefly, since it's nearly 2am here and I just finished watching the series finale of Odyssey/Helena Chronicles:

I'm not even sure if I were to write a thousand words, it would be enough, so I'm going for the short and sweet: WOW! icon_biggrin.gif

Happy endings (or at least positive directions) abound for all and what's even better, my favorite love story in Trek caps it all. Corey and Nevin finally make it to Risa -- and no combadges in sight! (Good thinking, Ro!)

I want to give a special shout-out to J P Tepnapa, who I have to say is a pretty damned lucky guy to have had three very sexy versions of Ro Nevin to play off of. While I know Arthur Bosserman pretty much left before the Corey/Ro romance moved into high gear, he did start things off. And then to the gorgeous Bobby Rice for the rest of HF (I still remember the wedding very well!) and ending with the hunky Brandon McConnell for Odyssey/HC! icon_wink.gif

OK, so I have to give Brandon McConnell a shout-out as well -- the expression on Ro's face when he was finally laying eyes on Corey in Sickbay(?)...relieved, ecstatic, happily stunned...it made me melt! I know we weren't ever going to see any full-out hot and heavy action, but you could sort of tell with that first kiss that there was sort of a "just you wait until I get you alone!" vibe! icon_wink.gif Talk about the real supercouple of this whole series -- that's Ro and Aster, no question!

Two hours of HF bliss that made this fan of the whole series laugh, cheer, cry (happy tears!) and finally watch the credits roll and I was simply satisfied beyond words. You all worked magic again and it was SO worth the wait.

"Thank you" isn't enough. But I suspect that you all know it means so very much more than just those two words.

Matt (Doctor_Crown)

P.S. Missed Rebecca Wood, but the actress who played MacFarland was VERY relaxed, natural and amusing. You all have had a great knack for recasts. icon_smile.gif
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post Sep 30 2011, 03:30 AM
Post #18
QUOTE (TheWriter @ Sep 17 2011, 08:19 PM) *
Plus, the whole scene with stopping an SFZ in Romulan turf, preventing a star from going nova, and detecting a mining vessel . . . I can't help but think that it's both a nod and possibly a middle finger to "Star Trek XI". icon_lol.gif
If so, then I guess the future Spock in that movie came from an alternate reality where [i]Odyssey[i/] failed.

I hope it is, at least for Hidden Frontier's timeline. It would be nice to have an alternate reality where both Vulcan and Romulus survive and all is right with the Trek universe.
(Not to mention much of the events leading to Star Trek: Online's storyline is pretty much undone)
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post Oct 10 2011, 01:57 PM
Post #19
I have to admit that I agree with much of what doubleohfive said in his post. After long delays and high anticipation, I found myself... very much underwhealmed. The plot was incoherent for much of the time and the final act was anticlimactic.

The reunion between Corey and Ro (on a viewscreen) was a damp squib and ruined the moment that people have been waiting for for a good number of years. The conversation itself was horribly misjudged. There was no "I missed you"- instead they engage in techno babble. It was a massive missed opportunity which undermined their physical reunion in Astrometrics. Odyssey's arrival back in the Alpha Quadrant was itself somewhat flat. It didn't feel special- not like when Voyager emerged from the transwarp conduit in "Endgame". There was no triumphant feeling, no euphoric moment. In a way- it was simply stated and then tossed aside. The fact that the main storyline of Odyssey was their fight to return home should have made it a special moment, yet it wasn't.

I am glad however that Section 31 was toned down significantly. I have never been able to bring myself the organisation and its portrayal within the HF universe was troubling. In DS9 no one had ever heard of the group apart from a few select individuals whereas in HF it felt as if everyone knew about them or were members. So it was relieving to see the organisation's screen time cut to an absolute minimum and I could just about overlook they had their own starships. Maxwell went down heroically and the new actor, although not seen often did a good job stepping into the role.

One arc I did enjoy was the Caleno arc which came to its natural conclusion. It was a delight to see Dais finally give Caleno what she deserved and the fact all we heard were blood curdling screams made it all the more chilling with my imagination going into overdrive. Caleno has been one of the most engaging characters from HC and I relished every word coming from her sadistic. Her arc was definitely the highlight of the movie for definite- even if it tend to meander with the rest of the plot.

The biggest problem for me though has to be the final act, which fizzled out without any impact. The computer virus came out of nowhere and it felt pulled straight out of BSG's "Flight Of The Phoenix" and I found it very difficult to believe that such a powerful enemy could be defeated so swiftly- an enemy we have come to know as being several magnitudes more powerful than the Federation. To be "de-fanged" so easily- it just didn't work. Perhaps it was because I was expecting an epic space battle in the vein of "The Centre Cannot Hold"/"It's Hour Come Round At Last" but, for me, it was so disappointing.

All in all- I was so disappointed to what was an engaging Star Trek universe. The plot meandered all across the shop before coming to a rushed, damp squib of an ending. Although there were a few moments to enjoy, much of the film lacked cohesion and pacing.

This post has been edited by worshiptheprophets: Oct 11 2011, 05:10 AM
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David W. Hill, HMD Exec Producer, Staff Editor/Audio Engineer
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post Oct 11 2011, 10:19 PM
Post #20
QUOTE (jolau @ Sep 30 2011, 05:30 AM) *
I hope it is, at least for Hidden Frontier's timeline. It would be nice to have an alternate reality where both Vulcan and Romulus survive and all is right with the Trek universe.
(Not to mention much of the events leading to Star Trek: Online's storyline is pretty much undone)


Well...I'd been waiting for Rob or Simon to respond as they were the writers...but as they haven't, I will, having a copy of the script, having talked to Rob about it and considering Henglaar, M.D. goes past the timeframe of the movie....

The answer is...yes, the Hobus event is prevented - in this timeline, Odyssey is able to undo the SFZ that would have otherwise caused it. It might differ from the "prime timeline", but HF has pretty much done that since Insurrection came out. icon_mrgreen.gif
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