‘Worst starship crew’ gets real in Voyage Trekkers TV Episode
If you’re looking for Star Trek-style sci-fi comedy, but Seth MacFarlane’s surprisingly super-serious passion project The Orville on Fox just can’t scratch that itch, “the worst starship crew in the galaxy” is here to report for duty.
The brainchild of Phoenix-area creators Nathan Blackwell and Craig Michael Curtis of Squishy Studios, Voyage Trekkers has been skewering Star Trek tropes since 2011 in the form of web shorts comprising two seasons so far.
Now, the creators are back with a half-hour “TV Episode” presentation that both stands on its own and represents a capstone of sorts on a fully realized universe that sometimes, for all the sci-fi action, feels all too real.
The very-special Voyage Trekkers TV Episode pulls off a though-provoking exploration of one of Star Trek’s core high-tech concepts — I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s a key plot element woven throughout the typical misadventures of braggart Captain Sunstrike (Adam Rini), apathetic first officer Commander Powell (Logan Blackwell) and exasperated but no-less-incapable Doctor Rena (Gabrielle Van Buren),
“This episode was a culmination of the experience we had making the web series, the love we had for the characters, and an expression of the kinds of movies we like to make,” said director Nathan Blackwell. “They say ‘make the kind of things you want to see’ and this was absolutely that.”
One big upgrade the Voyage Trekkers TV Episode boasts on top of an already impressive achievement in the first two seasons of shorts is the quality of special effects, which hold their own against some of the biggest blockbusters.
“The CGI ship was all done by an amazing volunteer in Australia, Scott O’Brien of Sigil FX,” Nathan Blackwell told Nerdvana. “He reached out to us after being a fan of Season 1 of the web series and graciously donated his time and expertise for Season 2 and returned for the TV Episode.
“The other visual effects in the show were done by the students of the University of Advancing Technology, here in the Valley, lead by Paul DeNigris.”
Asked whether we could expect further adventures with the crew of the GSV Remarkable, Blackwell was a bit cagey.
“In terms of the future of Voyage Trekkers, we just don’t know,” he said. “It’s been eight years since we started the web series, so while I’d totally love to make more, we’re also excited about telling other stories.”
Blackwell touted an as-yet-unannounced “big project” that’s also a “micro-budget feature film” he hoped to shoot this year. “It’s not based on Voyage Trekkers, but it definitely has a lot of comedy (and some drama), and it’ll star familiar faces from our previous work,” he said.