Written by Earl Green and Robert Heyman
Directed by Robert Heyman

Official description: Buh and Burchuss beam down to an abandoned alien lab and fall victim to a mind-controlling automatic defense mechanism. When the ship is attacked, Hukka must decide if he can trust either of them.

Principal photography: January-February 1993

Jump Cut CityNotes: This is our definitive JCC episode, the show to end all shows. And it did end the show – this was the last JCC produced, and the final episode we delivered to Fayetteville’s access channel. Robert came up with the general story outline as a potential idea for a ST:TNG spec script that he eventually gave up on. We thought of some ways to recycle our ST:TNG spec ideas into JCC shows, and this turned out to be a winner. It’s also easily the most serious JCC story ever to hit tape, and that’s part of why we liked it so much. It’s clear that had JCC continued, it would have been along the lines of Future Tense. It also contained one of only two Red Dwarf references in JCC – Hukka briefly sports an “H” on his forehead; when Buh enters the scene, his forehead is resplendent with his own letter “B”!

Future Tense also has the distinction of being about 40 minutes long, the longest cable episode we delivered. It also included some nifty effects, such as the very simple “blood filter” effect (a simple twist of the focus turns the whole screen into a gory mass of…yuck!), some of the best “shaking ship” scenes in all of JCC history, and a nifty miniature effects sequence of Burchuss crawling around in the air ducts on the ship. This was achieved with several pieces of packing material used to ship big U-shaped fluorescent light bulbs, some discarded circuit boards, a couple of speaker covers, and Christmas lights. Burchuss slept on a simple piece of bubble-wrap packing cut to fit his “bed,” and his bedside table – actually the light/character generator mount from my camcorder – had Jump Cut Citya miniature Dalek on it; only Burchuss knows why. These scenes were really effective, and I was thinking at the time of building a more permanent tunnel from those elements that Robert or I could actually crawl around in. It was never built, but it would have been the first real set constructed for the show! As it stands, the “Burchuss tunnel” was very effective and I wish we could’ve done more stuff like it.

This is really as good as JCC got. We’re still quite happy with the results, the weird and eerie atmosphere of the thing, the seriousness-and-yet-hilarity of the whole endeavor…it was a good note to go out on.