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June 17th, 2006
Hidden Frontier Newsletter

Weekly Chats!
Be sure to join us for the weekly production chats, which take place at 1900 hours, Pacific Standard Time (GMT -8). Enjoy sneak peeks, early episode releases, behind the scenes stills, and much more. You'll also have the opportunity to chat with HF cast and crew members. Keep an eye on the weekly chat schedule here for special guest appearances.

HF Trivia!
In the last newsletter, we asked: Between the first and second seasons, Dr. Henglaar's nose underwent a change. What was the reason that explained it? The correct answer? He underwent puberty. The winner of the trivia was Harry Wilcox! He'll be receiving a signed copy of 702 "Bound" script!

This newsletter's trivia question is: What is the registry number of the U.S.S. Helena?

Do you know the answer? Tell us! The first correct answer will win an original Hidden Frontier script signed by the cast and crew.

Questions or Comments?
We're always looking to hear from you! If you have any questions about the show, anything you'd like to share with us, or reviews you would like to submit, you can e-mail us at hf@hiddenfrontier.com.

Zens past on Trill haunts him when he returns home to continue the tetrahedron research. Henglaar confronts his troubled neice, as Knapp presses on in the search for his daughter.

"Having seen just the rough cut [of Past Sins], I am very happy with the final product... I sincerely hope everyone else enjoys it!"

- Jennifer Cole, Episode Director
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Karl Puder, who plays General Korg takes a little time to speak to Beo about his character.
Beo: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today. My first question is: how do you feel Korg has developed as a character over the episodes he's appeared in?

Karl: For HF, Korg's story is just that he has represented the Klingon Empire in a crisis, and pushed back on the Federation regarding their request for aid. Then returned with a fleet to help Star Fleet defend the briar patch. Of course, in the latter he also pushed back on Capt. Shelby when Knapp was taken off-duty. So as a character, I think he has been fairly consistent, though these aspects have been revealed incrementally as the story progressed, and in the latter case he was more conciliatory, knowing that co-operation is required in battle, whereas in the former case he straight out demanded answers.

B: Is it possible that there's more to Korg than meets the eye, even as a Klingon (traditionally up-front with their personalities)?

K: Oh, definitely.

B: Anything you want to reveal to the Korg fans?

K: Well, his past contains quite a change. Whereas we have seen him on HF as strong in defending the interests of his people, he is reasonably diplomatic with other species (for a Klingon). In the distant past, he was fully as antagonistic as we remember Klingons from TOS. He had a life-changing experience, which you'll just have to listen to The Section 31 Files to find out about. :-) (ep 2.10) - I should make your readers listen to all of 31 to get the whole story, but I know not everyone has that much time to spare, so I'll let that clue out.

B: How did you first get into acting in HF?
K: I got into acting in HF by a double path. On the one hand, I discovered HF in 2002 and became a big fan. Eventually making sketchy plans to visit the set, just to say 'hi' in person to all those folks who created it. On the other hand, I also discovered other fan series, such as Kevin Cho's audio drama Star Trek: Pioneers, where I took on the part of voicing the Vulcan science officer, S'tak, and a few other occasional characters. From there, I discovered Eric Busby and his Darker Projects audio production. He already had a set of friends from earlier work assigned to some characters carried on from stories they had already done. In starting this new series of stories, he brought them along, but needed new characters to fill in the cast in this new setting. I just took whatever part he gave me.

At that time, Pioneers was still busy, so I asked for a non-central character to keep my time for S'tak. Then Kevin discovered that homework prevented him from keeping up the schedule he wanted for his production, so we let that slide. Eventually, Kevin merged his production into DP, as well as his storyline into the 31 one, letting Eric & Co. help with production work. By then, Eric was getting bigger ideas on where his story was going and Korg became one of the key pieces of that.

B: You were used to Korg being an audio-only part then - how different was it to be playing Korg in visual?

K: Lots of glue and paint! But also, a voice-only part lets me read the text in front of me, and do as many takes as it takes to get what I want. The video is more of a group activity, both from the assistance side (i'm just acting, others run all the equipment, as well as directing and deciding that we have a good take) and from the time side (if i mess up, i'm using not just my time, but as many as a dozen others). So there's more pressure in video, but I only have one or two things that depend on my effort. Unfortunately, memorizing lines is not my strong point.

B: How do you manage to memorize lines then? Does it just require a lot of practice?

K: Just repeat and repeat and repeat. Still, being there in person is different from my practice situations, so it still threw me off. For my second visit, I recorded all the parts of my scenes as an audio file and put it in my iPod, then set it on loop!

B: What, if anything, would you have changed about your performance as Korg over the past few episodes?

K: I think I would have practiced even more to memorize my lines, and lobbied to have at least some of my scenes recorded with the other actor(s) present to read their own lines. My mental preparation was expecting that, but none of our schedules lined up for that to happen this time. Larry was not there at all that weekend, and Risha could only be on-set for part of the day. If I had planned for that, I might have done better at pretending they were there. Still, watching the result, I have to admit that what Jenn's directing got me to do what was needed. Rob's editing of that footage made what you see just about as good as I could have hoped.

B: Anything else you want to say to the Korg fans?

K: To the Korg fans, I say two things:

a) Thank you for your attention. I know I'm having fun on this side, but hearing that you're having fun on that side makes it that much better.

b) If you like Korg in HF, then to preserve honor you must go listen to The Section 31 Files.

B: Thanks again for your time, and we hope to see you again in the near future!

(Stay tuned to Hidden Frontier for more of Korg, also you can listen to the Section 31 Files if you want to know more about Korg and his life before being commander of the Klingon fleet.)

Many people have picked up on the fact that canonical Star Trek has never included gay characters in its stories despite having been promised such by Gene Roddenberry. Hidden Frontier filled that gap and has recently been recognised by prominent weblog AfterElton.

"Star Trek: Hidden Frontier, an unofficial fan series produced by Rob Caves, has boldly gone where no Star Trek producer, director, or studio executive has gone before. Premiering in 2000, this low-budget fan production kept true to Roddenberry's utopian vision of the future. However, it also dealt with the complex romantic triangle between three of its prominent characters, all of which are male.

[Rob Caves says:] Race struggles, morality issues, euthanasia, etc. It was an important decision for me to address something that was personal to me. It was also at a time when gay people were often portrayed in stereotypes. I wanted to show a future where gay was not an issue anymore."

You can get the entire article on the AfterElton website here.

Bobby Rice on the green screen: You have to react and really use a lot of imagination. But it's almost like being a little kid and making stuff up as you go along!

Bobby Rice on his character: I like Ro. Hes not as loud and agressive as me. I think we could hang out in moderation. Plus hes much smarter than I and if we hung out it would make me feel dumb.

Jennifer Cole on her character: You will see Commodore/Admiral Cole in 704. .. It will be a very dramatic episode. I cannot give anything else away, or Dan and the ninja's will come after me!

Jennifer Cole on her producing role: We vote on scripts, cast changes (or helping to choose someone who's auditioned for a role), conventions, and more. Basically, we act as Rob's sounding board. Producers are also required to direct at least once per season...

With "Past Sins" out to you now, we've begun filming the next exciting installment as we draw a little closer to our big finale!

"Hearts And Minds", episode 704 began filming this weekend. It features the return of Commodore Cole, a character many of you have asked to see more of. And this episode does it in a big way!

Dave Mason returns to the director's chair for "Hearts And Minds". His previous turn as director was the season 6 premiere episode, "Countermeasures".

"Hearts And Minds" brings back most of the characters from the recent Hidden Frontier tapestry, so we're planning on a slightly longer production schedule this time around to accommodate the large cast and scheduling nightmare it creates. However principal photography is scheduled to wrap by the end of July, with the episode release sometimes in August.

As with our usual pace of production, we're planning to release episode 706 by the end of 2006 with the final two episodes spilling over into the new year. The final two are the most serialized yet, flowing almost seamlessly together in one long feature-length conclusion to seven years of Hidden Frontier. But before that happens, there are still plenty of twists and turns ahead, a few new characters, and of course the drama and excitement that Hidden Frontier is known for!

As always, stop on by the website for more special features, community, and our weekly Monday night chats.

Rob Caves
Executive Producer Hidden Frontier