Star Trek: Hidden Frontier (TV Series 2000–2007) Poster

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Lots of latent potential
Vidar Nerland21 January 2007
For a fan series, I must admit that Hidden Frontier is not at all that bad. But, reviewing this series can not be based on whether it is a fan series or not. The initiative in itself is commendable. The creativity as well. I reckon these are people with ordinary jobs, and a big enthusiastic heart for Star Trek. But, doing all this work. Pulling all these resources. Taking all this time, and still all those flaws.

First of all the acting, and the lines are awful. For most. The dialogs belongs in a 70's military show, not in Star Trek. The captain (Mr Squinty) looks like he is about to burst into laughter anytime. And most characters are just reading their lines. The directors should be aware of the fact that "retake" is not just a word in the dictionary. But I also guess that the series are made in the manner of "Two Takes Frakes", who directed many of the TNG episodes and movies Also, I could not help but think that most of the actors are typical Trekkies. Without going any deeper into that assumption.

My biggest concern regarding the whole project, is the quality of the releases. When they first decided to spend so much time, and resources on this series - why didn't they make it available in decent quality? Using the quick time format, with low low resolution is a waste of talent. Even the "higres" episodes is considered bad quality compared to the standard quality series are released in. Using Xvid codec, with a larger resolution and file size would have improved the experience massively. If band with problems was the issue, setting up a torrent tracker would have solved that.

Let's hope the crew decides to brush the series up, and perhaps release it on DVD, giving it the quality the project deserves.
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Dozed off for about 5 minutes...
oscar-356 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The Hidden Frontier fan-amateurs must have concluded that their Star Trek fandom celebrity reputations and egos were now on the skids and that they had to make themselves stars before making this turkey. With no real production value to speak of, this Z-movie amateur home movie cheapie was a lame excuse to develop a shocky video by hijacking and pirating a multi billion $ beloved copy-righten & trademarked science fiction genre wholly owned and protected by CBS/ViaCom, called Star Trek. Their lack of ethics and anti-Star Trek motivations are obviously showing. They are hurting the franchise.

As earlier commentators have noticed, their is no action at all in this incredibly bad video series; their scripts, unless you give credit to people walking aimlessly -- sometimes running, even -- around present day crew members homes and neighborhoods with a total lack of sets or even futuristic locations, or appearing on terribly lighted 'green screen' pirated backgrounds from other owner's software programs, or engaging each other in trivial or laughable dialog conversations preaching 'pet' political agendas. Nothing much to engage the audience's emotions or attention.

Consequently, it was impossible not to doze off for about 5 minutes during the beginning of this stinker, awaking only to witness the unsatisfactory pacing and arthritic performances of amateurs. When the words, "The End," finally appeared, I discovered that I was minutes closer to death with nothing positive to show for that realization.
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Good, for a fan made show
pippin-1428 May 2006
Hidden Frontier is a fan made show, in the world of Star Trek. The story takes place after Voyager has returned from the Delta-quadrant . It has some characters from the official Star Trek shows, but most of them are original to the show. The show takes place on the star base Deep Space 12 and on several space ships, which gives it opportunities the official shows don't have. The characters have the opportunity of a rising in the hierarchy, which characters in shows with only one ship doesn't have. The show has good computer animation of spaceships, but the acting takes place in front of at green-screen and it gives a green glow around the actors. Not all the actors are equally good, but most do fine. The episodes are character driven and the characters develop over many episodes. That is a bit more like in Babylon 5, than in most official Star Trek shows. Hidden Frontier takes taboos that even the official series has shrunk from using. All in all I enjoyed watching it.
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Has promise, but lacks a lot of the basics.
Rob_Taylor29 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
First off, let me say that I am a great believer in Fanpro stuff. I see it as a way to continue a good show long after it has been cancelled. Star Trek Voyages and Star Wars Revelations are examples of decent efforts. So I have a soft-spot for fanpro stuff that means I'll overlook things that I would ordinarily slate badly.

So on to ST: HF. Well, first off the good things. Enthusiasm is a major part of making any show believable and, for the most part, the crew of the various ships all seem to be having a good time with their roles. Next, the effects aren't bad for a home-brew effort, with nothing to make you really wince. The stories aren't too bad either. Nothing particularly innovative, but solid enough stuff and at least there are ongoing story-arcs.

But it has a lot of faults.

First off, although they quite obviously HAVE to rip-off Star Trek footage, set backdrops, music and effects, I see no reason why they proceeded to rip off virtually every other sci-fi musical score ever made. Everything from Aliens to Starship Troopers rears it orchestral head at one point or another. Likewise, much of the footage is from other movies, dutifully CGI'd over to make it look different. The Grey warships, for instance, though disguised, are quite obviously Star Destroyers from Star Wars. And the station is also rather obviously Fleet Battle Station Ticonderoga from Starship Troopers. Likewise, sound effects from various Star Wars movies appear in space battles between fighters, as does animated over footage. In one scene in either first or second season, I think, you even see two TIE fighters fly past during a battle, which hardly does your suspension of disbelief any favours.

Acting varies from the reasonable to the hideously painful to watch. Everyone does improve as the seasons progress, though, but expect to grimace at the screen a lot, especially in the early seasons. They've also made some interesting acting choices. Let's just say that the food replicators on this show seem permanently set to "cake" and leave it at that.

Make-up effects are generally quite effective on the whole. But they really ought to mercilessly club to death the person who decided to use cheap Ferengi and Cardassian masks for anything other than background use or "passing" shots. They are just beyond unrealistic. Every time I saw one of these (apart from trying not to laugh too much) I kept expecting the unfortunate soul wearing it to pull out a gun and announce that "This is a stick-up!" In one scene a "Cardassian" actually talks whilst wearing one of these. Not only do the lips not move, but the mask doesn't even have an opening where the mouth should be. Someone needs to be slapped hard for that. Couldn't they have taken a craft knife to it, for goodness' sake! There are also some well-done, but unintentionally funny make-up jobs, such as the Herman Munster look alike.

The writing, though coherent, is nothing new. Instead the script runs like a continuation of DS9, with the ships heading out from DS12 on various missions. The new enemy, "The Grey" aren't very menacing and the plot line involving them is effectively a reworking of the Borg threads. i.e. Starfleet meet the Grey, the Grey are hugely powerful, Starfleet barely escape with their lives, then through technology they begin to find ways to combat the enemy etc etc. All done before with the Borg.

Another bone of contention is the dialogue. Star Trek writers have long had the ability to write "insert technobabble here" into a script. It usually means an exposition of the latest plan to combat the enemy using "quantum phase discriminators" or "isolytic charges" etc. In other words, nonsense that tells you that they are on the case and a resolution is at hand.

The words are just gibberish really. I've no problem with this, but where ST:HF makes a mess of it is where they include real-world comments into this concept.

Tactical advice such as "We need to regroup" sounds good, but not when uttered by trio of characters already standing in a group. Likewise when asked what the situation is, a tactical officer is heard to reply "We count three battleships". He actually needed to count them? C'mon! I expected the questioner to ask him "Are you sure?" or "Can you double check". But my all-time favourite comment is this:

Captain: "Can we establish two-way communication?"

Comms officer: "No, we can only send and receive.."

Well, duh!.....

Having said all the above, the show does improve as it goes along. Seasons 1 and 2 are pretty bad, 3 shows an improvement but 4 & 5 are where it starts to get noticeably better. Season 6 so far looks quite reasonable.

I do have a problem with their choice of media for the shows though. Quicktime sucks, quite frankly and the sooner they move to divx/avi format the better. Some of us like to actually take our downloaded shows and watch them on decent size screen and not peer at a tiny QT window on a computer monitor. Not only does Quicktime make this difficult, but the 320x180 resolution the shows are in does not scale at all well. In fact, it makes the shows pretty unwatchable, like they were a tenth-generation VHS tape copy. The least they could do was to include a hi-res downloadable option.

Anyway, the show has promise, and I'm even beginning to like some of the characters. But that's 40 episodes on, so I'm not sure this says that much about character development at all.

But what can you say, it's free....

PS: Out of 28 votes, 19 people rated this show as a 9 or 10. Hmmmm... were we watching the same show? Or are you 19 all three year olds?
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Worth your time.
Nick_Cook27 October 2006
Hidden Frontier is notable for being the longest running internet-based Star Trek fan series. While the production quality is not on a par with fan productions like Starship Exeter, or New Voyages, Hidden Frontier concentrates largely on story, and in that regard it does very well indeed.

Hidden Frontier has no physical sets; instead actors are filmed against a greenscreen, and the backgrounds inserted digitally. One of Hidden Frontier's greatest achievements is the sheer volume of work they have produced. One of the ways in which this is achieved is by inserting the virtual sets at the time of filming, instead of in post-production. While this does save a great deal of time, it's also worth noting that the quality of the resultant footage is not as high as if it had been produced in post-production, though it still serves its purpose.

While it may not be everyone's cup of tea, Hidden Frontier is well worth a shot, though you might be best to start off watching the third season, since this is where the producers really start to hit their stride.
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Absolutely Useless
ralphmarquez15 January 2007
How low can someone sink while trying to recapture an old glory? ST:HF will be glad to show you.

If you are used to seeing what made for a good Star Trek show, do NOT watch this.

The writing is hodge-podge, the actors' portrayals of their characters weak, and most of all, the design work is downright doggy.

Like watching strong captains, don't look here! Like the strong Federation attitude? Forget about it here! Starfleet is mocked by ensigns wearing SPIKES in their hair.

While a seemingly mentally feeble captain shuffles about and within two minutes of the opening show's credits, Ensign Spikey is attempting to arrange a tryst with an engineer. It just degrades from there. No, not even uniforms match, for goodness sake. They are too small or too big, collars down to their chests, and TNG Seasons One and Two Uniforms mixed in with Season Three and DS9 uniforms. The strict discipline and tradition of any of the originals in lacking in this production down to the treads! The only good thing about this show is its graphics, which seem to improve a bit with each season. OK, I take that back. Who uses CG that inexpertly? The designers of this show.

Don't bother with it, it will offend your Star Trek sense, as it did mine. Not even the throw backs to previous shows can save this catastrophe.

I wept openly when i watched this, probably because my eyes were bleeding and my head almost ruptured. That bad.
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Fantastic Fan series
WinstonWolf089 March 2006
Star Trek: Hidden Frontier is a long-running internet only fan film, done completely for the love of the series, and a must watch for fans of Trek. The production quality is extremely high for a fan film, although sometimes you can tell that they're green-screenin' it. This doesn't take away from the overall experience however. The CGI ships are fantastic, as well as the space battle scenes... On the negative side, I could tell in the earlier episodes (and even occasionally in the newer ones) that some of the actors/actresses are not quite comfortable in their roles, but once again, this doesn't take away from the overall experience of new interpretations of Star Trek. The cast and crew have truly come up with something special here, and, as a whole,I would highly recommend this series to fans of The Next Generation and Deep Space 9.
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The Hidden Frontier Experience
hudsomi129 November 2006
For the record, I am not affiliated with the production in any way.

Hidden Frontier is probably the Star Trek fan film with the most episodes produced to date. Over 7 seasons (this is the last) they have produced some 50 or so episodes.

This is no mean feat on almost no budget and everyone volunteering their time and energy.

By their own admission, the earlier seasons do not have as good production qualities as later ones but as they progress the effects, green screen work and acting all improve.

I did find it difficult to "dip into" so started from the beginning and watched all the way through. HF benefits from story arcs just like all the best sci fi and dovetails nicely into the Star Trek universe in which it is set. Characters and "relatives" from the original series have been brought into the stories and add a lot to the feel of the stories, sometimes improving on the characters over the original.

The whole experience includes an excellent web site, blooper reels, a high membership forum which is frequented by many of the actors and production staff and a weekly chat.

If you are looking for high definition, high budget productions, this is probably not for you.

If you are looking for continued adventures in the Star Trek universe with stories that does Star Trek credit and makes you think, this is the one.
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Great stuff!
jedi_boyuk15 October 2005
Nicely done, and along with "New voyages" it's a great continuation! Fab to see James Cawley in the latest episode "Vigil" Check it out!

I like the growing characterisation, and think we have good replacements for the TV actors in a fan-produced piece. This show manages to capture the feel quite well, as they state on the ste, it has improved over the years with experience and I hope with some more experience, a strong script editor, and a pick-up in timing and CGI that HF will becoming more remarkable than it already truly is!

Good work to all concerned!

(I have a HUGE soft spot for Lefler & McFarland (GREAT acting), although I'm a bit tired of "Lefler's laws". ENOUGH already! Shelby's great (if a little uptight) and it's cool she got the ship. Commodore Ian's nice (like Fred Flintstone), but lacks the gritty edge of a commanding officer and does seem too pleased with himself. The Doc, Counselor, and Rawlins are right on the money in my eyes, as is the WONDERFUL Nechayev (what a beautiful accent - a REAL Russian! (Well, I'm guessing Rene hails from the Czech Rep.)

It gets my vote, and the CGI is kewl. Some of the greenscreen's obvious, but on a small budget whaddayagonndo?

Really glad I found it!

(OK, some of the acting isn't great but it's fan-made and is therefore allowed to be variable - sorry Cmm. Cole)

The gay material is layed on too thick (Graham Norton'd be embarrassed). Trek doesn't pay that much attention to hetero couples so why signpost gays with all the snogging? It's not necessary to showpiece someone's sexuality to this extent - I hope they tone it down & let Aster & Zen be people not tokens - I don't treat my gay friends any differently, They're just regular guys.

Musically it's a mixed bag. I can tell its all stock Trek OST stuff and works most of the time, but timing can fall flat now & then (the end of "Worst Fears Part 2" misses the crunch, and the edit. Love the fact they use the "Galaxy Quest" music!

I certainly can't wait for more!! Dazza

"Never give up, never surender!"

Viva les frontieres
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Awesome film
mike74f29 July 2005
I really like Star Trek Hidden Frontier it is an excellent fan fiction film series and i cant wait to see more I have only started watching this film series last week and i just cannot get enough of it. I have already recommended it too other people to watch since it is well worth the view. I have already watched each episode many times over and am waiting to see more episodes come out. I rated it a ten but i think it deserves a 12 loll My compliments to the staff of the Star Trek Hidden Frontiers on an excellent job. If u like Star Trek i highly recommend checking out this star trek fan fiction film. The detail associated with this series of films is excellent especially the ships and planets used in it
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Hidden Frontier: Where no one has EVER gone before in Star Trek
AdmJUnderwood2 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I kind of consider myself as the #1 fan of Hidden Frontier, seeing as I am among a somewhat small group of fans who have actually met most of these guys - well, not counting conventions, of course. I have been watching Hidden Frontier since 2001, and I must say I continue to be impressed by what these guys have come up with.

Hidden Frontier is the brainchild of Rob Caves and his self-made studio, Areakt Pictures, which operates out of the back room of his house. While not as "fancy" as, say, the TOS-based series New Voyages (which sometimes gets some of the actors/writers from the original series, like Walter Koenig, aka Mr. Chekov), Rob and the cast and crew of HF manage to create a series worthy of replacing that ghastly experiment we called "Enterprise". The most controversial and successful story arc has been the introduction of Star Trek's first openly gay character, Corey Aster (who was introduced in the second season), and his search to find a soul mate. Somewhere later in the series, he meets Jorian Zen, the Excelsior's Trill helm officer. In the recent story lines with these two characters (WARNING: MAJOR SPOILER! Do not read if you have not watched the series up to this point!), Zen is joined to an exiled symbiont, causing a great deal of change and some conflict in his relationship with Aster. Though the future is uncertain - seeing as the most recent episode, "Beachhead", was just shown to HF fans in the chat room last night - I think that this relationship will endure, but only time will tell.

Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek with the intention that the story be more about his characters rather than flashy space battles. Rob Caves created Hidden Frontier for that same reason - and this is what has made this series as popular as it is. As the previous comment stated, I wish I could give it a rating higher than 10, but it will have to suffice. Although next season will be the last - keeping in the tradition of seven season shows started by Star Trek: The Next Generation - I am willing to bet that we will hear much about Hidden Frontier after that final episode.
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Damn Good on a Shoe-String!
teraz_challenger28 November 2006
Okay, so the first few seasons took a while to get going on the special effects way, but from the beginning, Hidden Frontier has given consistently good story lines and performances, and have always been willing to mistakes they've made. They advice people to see newer episodes first, so they can see just how good the show is, and understand how much it has changed since the first episodes. The cast have a fantastic camaraderie and it shows on-screen.

The influx of guest actors who make their mark on the show and with fans attests also to the show, as the story lines go from strength to strength. The show has pushed barriers with its various story lines - depression, drug addiction and mainstream homosexuality - and these may have rubbed a few people the wrong way, but that is what Star Trek is and was all about. It portrays those story lines in a smart and emotional way, dealing with them subtly and smoothly.

Yes, they have used some characters from Trek history, but they have done them justice - characters like Shelby, Lefler and Necheyev, vastly underused in the show, had a rebirth in the New Frontier books, but they lost their sizzle after a while, when Peter David when more towards wild fantasy versus serious sci-fi, and HF shows those characters in a completely different light, which serves them better.

The site also allows fans to interact with chat rooms and forums and they can get to know the people involved. They release bloopers for every episode, so the fans can see what a laugh they have, because they are people doing it in their spare time, with a dedication that would make many professional actors wide-eyed in shock!

What this series, now drawing to a close after 7 years, has accomplished on such a limited amount of resources is nothing short of amazing - bringing people together, inspiring others to do the same. HF will live for a long time after it ends, as long as people still enjoy the reason it started in the first place.
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angemon1 October 2006
This is a brilliant and well made contribution by a group of fans, and considering it's made in a back bedroom on a painted green screen it's story lines are complex and twisting, and it's characters show realistic depth and dimension. The CGI created by the crew is breathtaking. While it's first season might be a little shaky, it's final few are well thought out and well shot. Some fans might have thought that the Star Trek Franchise had come to an end with the early cancellation of Enterprise, but these fans don't take no for an answer. I recommend this to fans and newcomers alike, 10/10 hidden frontier crew.

Make it so...
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Bottom Line: Trek: Hidden Frontier is a waste of time to view.
talosian217 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Bottom Line: Trek: Hidden Frontier is a waste of time to view. Maybe, the worst video you would ever be forced to see. If you enjoy bad production, the over the top gay-boy necking and ridiculous 'homo' non-Trek canon political agenda, and truly base amateur acting, this stuff maybe for you. But what does that say about your tastes? Sadly, if you need public Trek fan video validation of your gay lifestyle, maybe this video is for you. If you demand quality, forget about this fan film entirely. If you like to make excuses for production quality, maybe this schlock is for you. I live in the same town, where a lot of this video was made. Well, at least shot It's video!. And I was to be in a video bit, and quite a few of my friends were. They said (in their opinion) it was the most fun they had ever had because they were asked basically to act like morons on camera, not like Trek. When I asked if that was all they said, 'yeah and they couldn't wait to see what a piece of junk this home video turned out to be'.

We were NOT disappointed: *The acting is below porno producer R. Caves is porno editor and video tape office go-fer standards and many performers blatantly look right into the camera or are reading their lines from scripts held off camera or in front of them on tabletops. Eye lines are completely wrong. Their performances are wooden and trite.

*I wonder how proud a production crew & cast can be when they routinely "unauthorized borrowing" illegal re-use? or digital piracy? of other people's licensed art/intellectual property and routinely resorts to common copyright destruction of other people's protected & licensed properties. This "borrowed" production elements includes main title & scene music, CD-ROM screen-capture for their green screen scenes, characters, and even down to simple sound Efx from other works. The following is just some of the questionable examples of pirated intellectual property used by "Star Trek: Hidden Frontier" video series without expressed permission of the rightful IP owners: · Paramount "Star Trek VI" film clips used in Hidden Frontier videos episodes (Crew and Cast Internet publicly acknowledged therefore pirated). · Dreamworks "Galaxy Quest" © main title film music used as Star Trek: Hidden Frontier's main title music in all episodes Crew and Cast Internet publicly acknowledged therefore pirated. · Paramount "Star Trek VI" © feature film stills used for Hidden Frontier stills for green screen set backgrounds Crew and Cast Internet publicly acknowledged therefore pirated. · Simon & Schuster's "The Captain's Chair" © CD-ROM images used for Hidden Frontier stills for green screen set backgrounds Crew and Cast Internet publicly acknowledged therefore pirated. · Simon & Schuster's "Star Trek, Next Generation Interactive Technical Manual" © CD-ROM images used for Hidden Frontier stills for green screen set backgrounds Crew and Cast Internet publicly acknowledged therefore pirated. · Paramount "Star Trek" © music and sound effects used for Hidden Frontier scene music and sound effects. · 20th Century Fox "Titanic" © feature music used for Hidden Frontier title music Crew and Cast Internet publicly acknowledged therefore pirated. · Trademarked an copyrighted "Star Trek" © characters used in stories for Hidden Frontier. · Lucasfilm "Star Wars" © feature film elements used for Hidden Frontier still screen captures Crew and Cast Internet publicly acknowledged therefore pirated. · Universal's "Battlestar Galactica" © theme music used for Hidden Frontier scene music Crew and Cast Internet publicly acknowledged therefore pirated. · Paramount "Best of Both Worlds" © Star Trek TV film clip used for Hidden Frontier Crew and Cast Internet publicly acknowledged therefore pirated. Hidden Frontier purposely pirates Trademarked & Copyrighted film clips, film music, CD-ROM software still images, and copyrighted script characters involving the intellectual properties from films like Galaxy Quest, Titanic, Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica. Crew and Cast Internet publicly acknowledged therefore pirated these properties are being unlawfully re-used in Star Trek: Hidden Frontier.

**These are some of the early episodes that contain many instances of trademark violation & copyright theft, HF101-103, Enemy Unknown,HF104, Two hours a "Titanic" themed episode, HF105, Perihelion, HF106, Echoes and many other episodes Crew and Cast Internet publicly acknowledged therefore pirated.

*Hidden Frontier crew asked for fan writers to submit "spec" video scripts via Internet. Upon receiving them, amateur "writing staff" take those writer's ideas and/or scripts and change them without the permission/knowledge of the original fan writer. Then, this production crew puts their names ALL over them in the final video! It's sad that Hidden Frontier crew does this to Star Trek fans. And still makes the videos so that the scripts still look amateurish like fan writers wrote them.

*And these episodes have been put on DVDs and have been sold. Isn't that criminal or just shameful? The LAW from Motion Picture Association of America, INTERNET PIRACY: Online motion picture piracy is the unauthorized use of copyrighted motion pictures or other production elements on the Internet. It is illegal to sell, trade, lease, distribute, upload for transmission, transmit or publicly perform motion pictures online without the expressed consent of the motion pictures' copyright owner.

We (here in town) basically refer to the video as the worst video ever to be caught on tape and hope that in a thousand years it will NOT be what is used to show what our entertainment epitomized. Save your eyes, and your time. Do not bother unless you like schlock-yness.

Hidden Frontier makers are copying, disingenuous, hypocrisy, unethical, insult to Star Trek genre or Roddennberry ethics, piracy, crude theft, stealing, charlatanism or what ??? Get the facts and you be the prudent judge.
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Star Trek: Hidden Frontier is a deeply complex addition to Trek
Michael G29 November 2006
Hidden Frontier has been talked about and reported on by several news agencies for their long commitment to creating the best Star Trek stories and to providing an example of the togetherness that was Gene Roddenberry's mission. Their focus on homosexuality, depression, war, and acceptance of different races is on par or exceeds those of the other Trek series and movies. The production value started off as smaller and choppy but over the 7 seasons of production the acting has improved, the stories are more complex, and the visual graphics have gotten smoother and more impressive. In season 6 episode 1, Countermeasures, there is one of the biggest space battles in Trek history. The ships are rendered well and the space battles are impressive and exciting. The real draw to Frontier is not the ships or the backgrounds, but it is the people and the interplay and growth of characters. There are also nods to other Trek series and movies with places and characters we all know. I recommend any Trek fan to check out Countermeasures and you will be hooked!
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For a fan production, pretty amazing
AcuraT5 May 2007
This is short and to the point. The story writing used for Star Trek: Hidden Frontier is surprisingly good. Acting is all over the map, but the main characters over the years seem to have worked at improving their skills. It is hard to believe that this series has been going on for almost 7 years and will be coming to end mid-May 2007.

I will not rehash what has already been said about the sets and graphics. Considering this is all-volunteer, for no profit, it is pretty amazing.

If this was being ranked as a professional production, I would have to give it a 5 for a good story but terrible sets. However, as a fan-based production I have to give it an excellent rating as with the exception with a few other efforts, this is in a league of its own. For sheer volume, I don't think this has been matched. Congratulations to the cast and crew for an effort that many admire.
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Keeping the world of Star Trek Alive and growing
drflox9920429 November 2006
Hidden Frontiers-is more than fan fiction- it is well thought out and organized series keeping the worlds of Star Trek alive and growing. From a fun little fan project to now a well known net series; Hidden Frontiers has a bit of something for every star trek fan in it. Set in the Late Star Trek: Next Generation/DS9 and Voyager time lines Hidden Frontier takes on topics and issues raised in other Star Trek series with set stories using a well developed characters, plots, and story arcs. Star Trek Hidden Frontier has taken on social context stories that Gene Roddenberry failed to bring to the screen and has shown the development of characters in long term space assignments - the real things that happen in close quarters as well as an exciting spatial wars and conflicts Sci-Fi addicts know and love. Done in a "Green Screen" studio; Hidden Frontiers brings a rollicking cast of regulars on to the screen and into your hearts. The large ensemble cast of actors plays well together and lovingly gives their time and energy to the project. Inventive use of green screen technology, props, makes up and costumes work to make the Hidden Frontier worlds of Star Trek fun and believable. Hidden Frontier has gone where few tread to go in the world of science fiction, and thrived once they got there. Hidden Frontier offers a wonderful bonus feature of a well thought out website, with interesting discussion forums, access to creative, production and acting staff and a fun weekly chat. I highly recommend taking the time to down load and watch.
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Fun For Trek Fans
fantasmic197121 December 2006
Star Trek Hidden Frontier will surprise you in many ways. First, it's a fan made series, available only on the web, and it features mainly friends & neighbors who have the computer programs and home video cameras and sewing machines to, as Mickey & Judy once put it, put on a show. It's definitely friends & neighbors to... you can tell. A lot of these people aren't the most beautiful looking folks you've ever seen, or the youngest, or the thinnest… some of them stumble through their lines like they're walking on marbles… some of them have thick accents which makes it very difficult to understand what they're saying. Still, you have to admit, the show is fun to watch. Yes, some of the dialogue is hokey. Yes, it's a little odd (though admittedly a little cool too) watching two Starfleet males kiss (some of the kissing scenes seem to go on a bit too long.) Yes, you cringe a bit when they clearly quote from ST:TOS, TNG, other shows and the movies, or when you hear the theme from Galaxy Quest played at the beginning and end of every show. But we can get past that. Why? The graphics are very good. Better than almost anything you've seen. And sometimes, a show or two really stands out story-wise… some of them are actually real tear-jerkers.

Hidden Frontier is a total guilty pleasure in every sense of the word… but you have to give the people involved credit where credit is due. It takes a lot of effort to put on a production of this magnitude. People, sets, costumes, graphics… so I watch, I return, and I thank them.
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Well worth the faults.
SSJ_Alhazred28 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Hidden Frontier's low budget shows; the green screen effect constantly leaves visual artifacts, the costumes and make-up are often cheap to the naked eye, and the amateur acting is often on-par with the worst Mystery Science Theater ever screened.

The inexperience of the production team shows clearly with the first two seasons, both in filming and creativity. The early time travel story about the Titanic makes a lot of awful written fanfiction look genius by comparison.

So, why is it worth it?

If there was ever a testament to the value of practice and dedication, it's Hidden Frontier. As the show progresses, the writing goes from awful to tolerable to better than the common cookie-cutter cliché driven recycled scripts used in mainstream professional television. The production value increases with every episode. The terrible and nonsensical episodic plots give way to an intriguing story arc that mixes enough familiar elements of canon with original ideas to remain grounded in Star Trek while exploring new ideas and telling a new story; the use of Insurrection's setting as an area of mystery, intrigue and ancient precursors is one of the best decisions they made, surely the best in the beginning long before the series had found it's feet. The consistency through the main plot is such that it would give Voyager-era Rick Berman and Brannon Braga a heart-attack over their old "continuity is bad" philosophy.

Nearly the entire case is made memorable in some way, from Aster, Ro and Zen being the first live-action gay Star Trek characters, to Naros' cryptic past and wit, to Siroc's villainous plotting, to Shelby's command presence. All of the characters grow into roles that fill the niches of a story without becoming caricatures of literary devices. For all of the neon signs Ro makes over being gay, it's easy to see him as a real person with an actual life beyond singular issues, and this trait extends to most of the cast. It is this, above all else, that makes Hidden Frontier so enjoyable; the cast is extremely easy to care about, and tension often comes not from wishing to see what happens next, but wishing to see what will happen to the characters themselves.

Even the acting improves as time goes on, with many long-time cast members getting better over time, and those who come partway through bringing an increasing level of talent; Larry Laverne and Jim Davis as Naros and Siroc are clear standouts with spectacular performances. For my money, I like Hidden Frontier's Elizabeth Shelby better then the Next Generation original.

Another thing the show gets right is having the right balance between"cool" and "practical." Characters are rarely bogged down by technobabble, but the show throws some of the best parts of 'Trek lore at us, with the Excelsior's galaxy-class Dreadnaught refit glimpsed in the Next Generation finale never to be seen again, plenty of the newer Federation cruisers like Akiras and Steamrunners fighting alongside their more-seen brethren, and all manner of small details like having the Tholians as a main antagonist that always seem hidden behind the curtain in official Star Trek, leaving the fans wanting something instead of another run-in with the Borg or Romulans or another plot about Klingon and Human culture clashing; the latter is something Hidden Frontier actually does, but throws a twist even to that.

Is Hidden Frontier unprofessional? Absolutely. But it's important to understand that it goes from being unprofessional in mentality to unprofessional in budget, and a solid experience can be had from something unprofessional in budget when the creators know what they're doing. It won't win you over if you dislike fan-made endeavors anymore than Phase II's real sets would make up for not having the actual original cast. If you don't mind the nuances of a fan-production, Hidden Frontier is a well-crafted epic with a story arc worthy of canon, indeed, a story arc with far more depth and more memorable characters than the episodic nature of Voyager or the thinly-veiled political allegories of Enterprise's later seasons.
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Good but it could be great
lukepic12319 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
With the amount of actors they have working on the project they have a wide variety of cast. Nice starship CGI in places BUT their green screen needs some work. Anyone heard of Adobe After Effects 7, they should buy it get their keying better.

Stories are well thought out, plenty of trek elements in this to keep it in the right context. BUT BUT the idea of two guys kissing makes me wind forward the episode. Im not homophobic but i cant help that i don't find men kissing entertaining (dont mind women). Anyway... For a fan series this is good stuff. With minor improvement in their green screen, brush up acting and some guidance ratings this series is stunning. Anyway i recommend this series to who ever enjoyed TNG and DS9.
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