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Wow! Another year already! As 2008 draws to a close, we have completed production on season one of all three of our Hidden Frontier spinoff shows. (The season finale of Federation One is due in January). As we look forward to a busy 2009, there are lots of new projects on the way and new adventures aboard the Odyssey, Helena and Federation One. We hope you enjoy this packed holiday newsletter, and as always, here's Hidden Frontier's holiday tribute, Santa Q (Download from Season 3 page).

Happy Holidays from everyone at Hidden Frontier Productions!

Oh, almost forgot, The Grand Majan, Head of the Archien Empire, sends her season's greetings (via Rick Pike).

It can be found on YouTube here.

Helena's season finale "Letter of the Law" will be released in our weekly chat on Wednesday December 17th at approximately 6:30pm PST (2:30am GMT). The episode features an exciting surprise ending and a special guest fans haven't seen since Next Generation.

The episode follows the USS Helena as they try to rescue the USS Odyssey, stranded in the Andromeda Galaxy. "Letter" was penned by Helena Chronicles Head Writer, Brian S. Matthews.

The episode was directed by veteran director David O'Neill. Guest stars include Melodee M. Spevack, reprising her role as the privateer Caeleno and Michael McConnohie as a new privateer, Sidron. Mike Johns and Sonia Kazarova also return in their respective roles as the spectre of the conspiracy grows.

For more details and instructions regarding the chat, check our chat page here.

This past week we kicked off a new feature to our weekly Wednesday night chat. In addition to our chat room, fans can watch or listen to a live broadcast on our UStream channel. The show is hosted by Beo Fraser and David O'Neill and starts at 7pm PST (3am GMT). Each show features either a studio live guest or a phone in guest and there is a call in number for those wishing to take part from the audience. Also questions from the chat room are answered on the air.

Our first guest was John Whiting (Dr. Henglaar) to talk about a new project and we had calls from all over the USA. In addition to HFP, topics discussed were sci-fi movie news with our resident Hollywood insider, David O'Neill, holiday topics (why is Christmas never discussed in Star Trek?) and other topical subjects. Next weeks' show on December 17th will feature a special guest from the Helena Chronicles to kickoff the release of the season finale. More information on the Wednesday night chats and radio broadcasts can be found on our chat info page.

Viewers of HFP's first Wednesday Night Broadcast got a sneek peek at a new Audio Production HFP will release beginning in mid-2009, "Henglaar M.D.". The show will star John Whiting as the irascable Tellarite Doctor as he copes with the loss of Myra Elbrey and begins to build a new life in charge of a medical team on a new assignment. Rob Caves will Executive Produce and keep continuity with Helena/Odyssey/Federation One season 2, however Henglaar M.D. Producer, Eric Weaver will oversee day-to-day operations and lead the writing staff. "While we have not ruled out the possibility of filming the pilot episode in 2009, the bulk of the series will be in the audio drama format", Caves said.

Other confirmed regulars include Heather Ashleigh as Silan who has decided to become a nurse. More cast will be announced as they are confirmed.

While the show will not take place on the Excelsior or any of the spinoff settings, that does not rule out the possibility of a crossover or two as the story unfolds. Stay tuned for more developments on this exciting addition to the HFP family!

Video teaser of Henglaar M.D. on YouTube.

Season One of Hidden Frontier has now been re-released in its original resolution (696x376). The "widescreen" format also uses the H264 codec for improved video clarity. Episodes also underwent extensive color correction, audio touch up, limited remastering of effects and enhanced sound effects. Time permitting we hope to do this to all seasons of Hidden Frontier but it is a time consuming process.

Many years ago the decision was made to release in small 320x480 format to limit piracy of episodes. However with much bigger targets out there we felt it was resonably safe to make season one viewable in the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

We hope you enjoy this re-release of Hidden Frontier Season One which can be download from our download mirrors here!

This holiday season is an exciting time to be a Star Trek fan! There are no less than four major fan film releases coming from four seperate fan film groups all in the period of a few weeks. Add to that a new Star Trek movie on the horizon for next year. So what does this mean for the future of fan films ? Has the sandbox become so overcrowded that the novelty is lost?

One thing is sure: Trek fans have always wanted to play in the sandbox. Who hasn't dreamed of commanding their own starship? And with tools widely available even an audio drama is within the armchair fan's reach. HFP is committed to telling the stories we set out to tell but I think we'll also be ready to pass on the torch to a "new generation" when the time comes. Original ideas beckon and perhaps by then it will be time to turn over the ship to a new crew. But one thing is certain, dreams do come true as long as you step up and make them happen. - Rob Caves.

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