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Starship Exeter

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Jimm & Josh Johnson


United States

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Release date
December 19, 2002

Jimm Johnson, Joshua Caleb

Starship exeter the tressaurian intersection released 2014

Starship Exeter is a Star Trek fan film project, one of the earliest of the semi-professional fan film projects that have become an increasingly common fixture of the internet video scene. As with many other fanfilms, it created an entirely new series around an event of an established franchise. Starship Exeter is set within the continuity of the original Star Trek TV series, and features the new crew of a sister-ship to the famous USS Enterprise, the titular USS Exeter, whose previous crew were exterminated in the Star Trek episode "The Omega Glory". The films and their original characters are the brainchild of brothers Jimm and Joshua Johnson, who acted as producers and starred in the films, acting under pseudonyms.


Starship Exeter Fan Film Friday Starship Exeter Part 2 Axanar Productions

Starship exeter the savage empire 2002


Starship Exeter Fan Film Friday Starship Exeter Part 2 Axanar Productions

Two episodes of Starship Exeter have been released.

Starship Exeter Star Trek Reviewed 21 Starship Exeter

"The Savage Empire," written and co-directed by the Johnson brothers, was released as downloadable video files via the internet on December 19, 2002. Production and post production took several years, with shooting in Minnesota and Texas mixed between exterior locations and custom-built sets. The producers strove to make the film utilizing non-digital effects techniques, utilizing miniatures and in-camera effects wherever practical.

The second, a far more ambitious production titled "The Tressaurian Intersection", with a script by Nebula Award nominee Dennis Russell Bailey (who wrote the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Tin Man"), was shot in mid-2004, and released in segments over several years. Played primarily aboard the titular starship and a wrecked sister ship, the film featured elaborate sets, some elements of which were "dumpster dived" from the Mike Judge film Idiocracy that was shooting on the same Austin Studios lot. In addition to CGI effects, the film also utilized elaborate miniatures to realize the interiors of both a shuttle and ruined starship courtesy of Minneapolis-based MNFX, and to portray wreckage both on a planet and in space as built by Thomas Sasser (not all of whose work made the final episode).

Released in segments, "The Tressaurian Intersection" film suffered a protracted post–production process, with the final complete episode being released via YouTube on May 1, 2014, just months shy of 10 years from the start of principal photography.

A third episode, "The Atlantis Invaders," was to have shipboard scenes shot during principle photography of the "Tressaurian" episode, but budget and scheduling problems caused it be postponed, and ultimately abandoned.

In addition to the two full-length episodes, a humorous vignette titled "The Night Shift", written by Dennis Russell Bailey, was shot as a trial run and as camera tests at the start of principal photography of "The Tressaurian Intersection". It was released on the internet in August 2005.


Albeit not the first, Exeter's "The Savage Empire" is arguably the vanguard of the modern internet-distributed Trek fanfilm in terms of scope, production value, and large audience reached primarily through social media. A January 2, 2003 mention on SlashDot resulted in a deluge of traffic to the Exeter website and exceeded 10,000 hits per hour. The bandwidth demands proved more than Mac.Com could handle. Immediately thereafter the Sci-Fi Channel website listed the Exeter website as their Site of the Week for January 21, 2003, stating, "The end result is an episode that's actually better than some of the 'official' Trek that's been produced, and it just goes to show what fans can do with today's technology and a heck of a lot of determination.". (The today better-known Star Trek: New Voyages' first film would not bow for another year.)

The Exeter starship bridge set still exists, restored and expanded as a feature of Starbase Studios and films are still shot in it. The studio is located in the vicinity of Harrison, Arkansas.

The creators of several other Star Trek fanfilm productions—including Starship Farragut and Star Trek Intrepid—have cited Exeter as an inspiration for their efforts.

Main characters

  • "James Culhane" and "Joshua Caleb" are pseudonyms for the Johnson brothers.
  • References

    Starship Exeter Wikipedia
    Starship Exeter IMDb