This is a personal project that I worked on in 2006 or so. I particularly like the TOS era and episodes, so that's the time period I decided to go for. TOS was supposed to continue with Phase II, but that eventually turned into the motion picture featuring our friend V'ger with greetings from the machine planet.
Like so much other fan material, my stories follow the adventures an original starship, though Enterprise might make vague guest appearances. It's an easy way to isolate the material and avoid conflicts. I can also let loose and design some new characters and gadgets. Maybe that's what really pulling me in. I enjoy drawing armour, guns and warships, but I think TOS and Star Trek is better when the episodes are sort of stand-alone and explore a variety of conflicts, some slower paced.
I rebooted this project when I saw the quite nice hammerhead ship design piece made for the (fizzled) "Final Frontier" cartoon. In 2006 I had seen a TOS episode where Daystrom and Kirk try to calm down M5, a rampaging computer. It got me thinking about how a ship or fleet built by such a computer would look, so I came up with a rectangular hammerhead design of my own, I guess almost in parallel with the other guys. I think their design (with the dish set in the split front) is better than mine, but I didn't like most of their characters (some-guy-captain & spunky-girl) or the... what to call it... simplified-dynamic-figure cartoon style?
It's 2018 writing this, so my old art naturally needed some cleaning up, but I also kept a lot of the old material because I enjoy respecting and launching off older source material. I barely touched the ship designs, but my human figure drawing has gotten better so I reworked (re-posed) those. I tried to keep the human figures sort of realistic in proportion and posture (maybe my style is has some european adult-cartoon roots?). Also, it's tempting to go nuts with aliens designs when, well, drawing aliens, but humanoid figures translate better into live-action and feel a bit more Star Trek.
Some old filenames suggest that I had set my stories around 2269, right at the end of TOS. They revolved around M3, a rogue Daystrom robot, and its crew. The crew concepts were a little strange, including original alien designs like unicorn women and anglerfishmen, but some strange mixed in with the familiar can make things memorable.
Redraw of some character designs from 2006, plus a few new ones. I want many of them to be unexpected, unconventional. The captain is a cripple with a robot body (except it's actually a robot and the crew doesn't know). The doctor is a buff teethy anglerfishman. The security officer is an old (ancient) little man, etc. There's some deliberate variations of suit design, to liven things up.
This is an old redshirt design which I made a bit more presentable. UFO moonbase wig?
The main ship might be the hammerhead (MXX-03 Multitronics Experimental Explorer), or a Dakini class long-range cruiser. I guess clam/flip-phones were still a thing when I drew this.
I don't much like to sit through origin stories, especially not in superhero movies. I'm thinking of how I used to find random comics in my Grandma's attic (a long time ago). They were pretty much standalone adventures back then, but often the background story trickled in. So, for a pilot I like to see something more like a vertical slice, featuring the main components/characters/settings. Also, there's some sort of writing trick... to write the first chapter last?
The B-plot focuses on the Doctor, who, despite his good looks, has trouble getting some of the sick crew to show up. In the end he solves it by employing(deploying?) an Orion nurse...*
*Technically Starfleet crew are vaccinated against their influence though.
I found this incomplete synopsis jotted down and I'm not sure if it can be wrestled into shape. Probably not by me. There's no B-plot. Also, I'm just calling the character by their role as names are still up in the air.
The ship's Doctor (buff anglerfishman) and Second (Gorn lizard) are fighting in a strange arena with an interactive, chessboard-like floor covered by symbols. Doctor parries a seemingly deadly blow, commenting that that trick won't work twice. How did they end up here?
The ship's Doctor (buff anglerfishman) and Second (Gorn lizard) are fighting with very heavy, double-headed hammer/mace staffs, panting, sweating. Movements are slow but calculated (Gorns are not that fast). Doctor lands a strike and proclaims "Nachuc!", eyeing a scorekeeper (Nurse) who is moving strange metal ornaments on a wooden board, suggesting that this is a form of alien ritual combat or popular sport. The combatants wear funky armour, black versus white, corresponding to the layout of the score board. However, a casual observer can't tell from the strange scoreboard who is winning.
Oof! - Second groans, resuming a battle stance, clearly a little beat. Not bad for a doctor - Second grins. Well, I'm a quick study. Not quick enough! - Second pulls an impressive move. Doctor is hit in the chest. A graceful follow up hit takes Doctor down. Double Nachuc! - Second gloats. Don't feel bad, I --- But wait, Doctor has trouble getting back up, falling to a knee, clinging to the battle stick for support. Nurse! - The scorekeeper rushes in. The hit wasn't that bad. Something is wrong.
Supporting Doctor, they lumber out of the gym. In the corridor several crewmen are seen, some looking a bit worn. Nurse picks up this clue immediately, starting to make inquires.
Cut to later, medibay, full of sick people. Nurse explains to Captain that there's a virus that somehow got past the filers, and the whole crew is infected. They picked it up somewhere (not relevant?). It's a rare strain, thought extinct. They will need help, brain help! There are a few experts, but only one nearby. However, this expert has a troubled history with the Federation, to say the least (unethical brains research). With no other options, they set a course.
The crew, save the Captain, are all very weak upon arriving at the destination, a no-name, supposedly pre-warp planet (population: Millions) with a small moon. They are captured by an interceptor and wake up imprisoned. Hmm. It seems the crew gave up the ship very easily. Captain certainly thinks so.
Captain and Second is brought to Expert, who explains that the crew has been cured, continuing to explain that they will now have to participate in The Games, which seem quite deadly. Captain protests. Expert counters that she's a participant too. In fact, she is well in the top 200 and expects to beat Yab Locrant next match, making it that a top 100... and that comes with special rewards. Top 100 means relocation to district one. Expert nods to a nice, glistering city seen at a distance outside the window, silver shuttles moving leisurely between ivory towers and lazy hanging gardens. Second seems to think that the games are a pretty cool idea. Expert agrees and thinks Captain will change mind on the matter. Captain ponders this, suspiciously, and finally agrees. Great! It's settled then! People sure are behaving strangely here. The crew too.
While Expert is clever, she does not appear to be suspicious about Captain's form. Captain is actually an advanced floating robot, but as robots are not possible in this era, everyone assumes Captain is a human brain in a cybernetic enclosure... and Captain does little to discourage this view... for its own reasons.
As such, Captain is not affected by the mind control exercised by a massive lump of brain matter in the orbit (inside the small moon), built from all the previous top 100 victors. Expert made the first steps in constructing this brain, but eventually fell victim to it. Due to the orbit of the moon around the planet, Captain is able to wrestle moments of clarity out of the crew. During these moments, they investigate the history of this planet, empty ivory city, the office of Expert. They reason out what happened here, and eventually manage to construct a mind-shield. The battle at the beginning is also resolved with no casualties, in the nick of time.
Looking for the Expert, it's too late, she was assimilated into the mass of brains (having won her last match). Maybe, in a way, this is what she wanted, they speculate.
But what to do about the big brain? Is it right to attack such a creature? Maybe it claims to be new, reformed, complete, out of chrysalis (would you blame a baby?), and simply leaves before anyone has anything to say on the matter.
The people of the planet are free. But what will they do now? What a mess!
M3 finally finds the machine planet or sister unit M3. Twist: sort-of-good-guy Borg. I'm reminded of the Federation as described by Quark and Garak over a glass of rootbeer. The Xi are much more forceful, ignoring the prime directive and the wishes of others. They sometimes even destroy races who fail to be "nice", in order to protect other local lifeforms. But so does the Federation I guess.
A redesign of the ship in "Enterprise". However, '06 was after show... and I remember doing it when the show began (2001? That doesn't seem right either). Time-wobble!