The Wine Dark Sea

Star Trek: Odyssey

This is an episode of a fan-made series whose storyline may be invalidated by later official studio productions.

Stardate 61251.3: Faced with a critical shortage of antimatter to power the ship, Lt. Commander Ro orders the Odyssey to double back to a planet that has an apparently unmanned outpost with stores of antimatter there for the taking. But when Ro leads an away team – including the feuding Lt. Stadi and Subcommander T’Lorra – to the planet, the first casualty happens all too quickly and no antimatter is obtained. By the time Ro and his team are beamed back to the Odyssey, the Archein are in orbit. The Starfleet ship escapes the trap, but is still short on supplies. Ro begins to come up with a daring new plan to resupply the ship, but before he can commit to it, he must deal with the fact that no two members of his crew seem to be able to agree on how best to execute his plan.

Watch Itwritten by Beo Fraser
directed by Beo Fraser
music by Daniel Chan

Cast: Brandon McConnell (Lt. Commander Ro Nevin), Michelle Laurent (Subcommander T’Lorra), Matthew Montgomery (Dr. Owen Vaughan), Julia Morizawa (Lt. Maya Stadi), Tim Foutch (Ensign John Gillen), Sharon Savene (Seram Archein), John Whiting (General Morrigu), Adam Browne (Caecus), David O’Neill (Vito), Jacob Hibbits (Jenaan), Sam Basca (Lt. Alex Wozniak), Ben Euphrat (Lt. J.G. Teles Shanaar), Ross King (Medical Nurse)

Notes: Ensign Gillin reveals that he hails from Thunder Bay, Ontario. T’Lorra apparently has Tal Shiar ties, and Dr. Vaughan once served on Starbase 395, where he got to know other Romulan officers. The Archein auto-defense satellites were first encountered by the crews of the Excalibur and the Intrepid in the crossover fan film Orphans Of War.

Review: In this second installment of Odyssey, Brandon McConnell takes over the role of Ro Nevin from the departing Bobby Rice, who had made the role his own on the fan series Star Trek: Hidden Frontier. I can’t tell if it’s the performance or the script, but the “new” Ro comes across as almost noncommittal as his crew bickers all around him. The story is standard “new captain has to visibly take charge” fare, but the problem is: McConnell as Ro never does take charge. In one early scene he asks, “Do I need to be here for this?” as two of his senior officers argue. Intentionally or not, that line points up pefectly the episode’s buggest structural weakness.

Star Trek: Odyssey - The Wine Dark SeaThe Wine Dark Sea does have some interesting stuff going on with the bad guys, with hints of longer-range story arcs being set up between the blue-skinned space dominatrix who has seized control of the Archein, and her cabin boy. In this installment at least, the court intrigue among the Archein is more interesting than the Odyssey crew’s personality conflicts in the workplace.

Oddball tiny-detail that bugged me: why would a star chart on the main viewscreen display things in the same faux-ancient font as the show’s logo rather than the standard super-condensed Helvetica as the rest of the ship’s screens and instruments? I mean, I know we’re boldly going into fresh new territory here, but I’m a bit of a stickler for the “LCARS look” of the Federation’s computer systems. The computer-generated backgrounds demonstrate that a lot of attention was paid to getting that look right elsewhere, so I wonder why the exception here? Let’s not get into the away team not getting drenched by superimposed rain – hit ’em with spray bottles of water between scenes, guys!

The Wine Dark Sea is a bit of a mixed bag, but it’s also not a long one, not even reaching the 40 minute mark. I’m still looking forward to the next installment – and an opportunity for McConnell to zing us with a brave new Ro Nevin.