Starship Exeter

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Not to be confused with USS Exeter.
Starship Exeter
Starship Exeter logo.png
Starship Exeter official logo
Created by Jimm & Josh Johnson
Starring James Culhane
Holly Guess
Michael Buford
Joshua Caleb
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 2
Executive producer(s) Jimm Johnson
Original network World Wide Web
Original release December 19, 2002
External links

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.[1] 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".[2] 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.


Two episodes of Starship Exeter have been released.

"The Savage Empire,"[3] written and co-directed by the Johnson brothers, was released as downloadable video files via the internet on December 19, 2002.[4] Production and post production took several years, with shooting in Minnesota and Texas mixed between exterior locations and custom-built sets.

The second, a far more ambitious production titled "The Tressaurian Intersection",[5] with a script by Nebula Award nominee Dennis Russell Bailey[6] (who wrote the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Tin Man"), was shot in mid-2004, and released in segments over several years. Set primary 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. 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 principle photography.

A third episode, "The Atlantis Invaders,"[7] was in pre-production at the same time the second episode was being filmed, but 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.[8]


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 primary through social media. A January 2, 2003 mention on SlashDot[9] 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.[10] 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.".[11] (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[12] and films are still shot in it. The studio is located in a warehouse in Oklahoma City, OK.

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[edit]

Character Rank Actor Position
John Quincy Garrovick Captain James Culhane Garrovick is the cousin of the Ensign Garrovick, who joined Captain Kirk in an attempt to destroy a mist-creature in the original Star Trek episode "Obsession". Garrovick took command of the USS Exeter at the age of 37, following the demise of several veteran Starfleet captains.
Jo Harris Commander Holly Guess Harris is the Executive (First) Officer as well as the science officer of the ship, following the pattern of Spock from the original series. Harris is a human from the United Kingdom on Earth.
Paul Cutty Commander Michael Buford The ship's Chief Security Officer, he served with then-Commander Garrovick on-board the USS Kongō where the two became close friends. The Kongō was commanded by an officer they both looked up to, Captain Kosnett (Garry Peters), who makes a cameo appearance in the second episode.
B'fuselek Lieutenant Joshua Caleb The Exeter's communications officer, a blue-skinned, antennaed Andorian. The makeup is patterned on designs seen in the original series episodes "Journey to Babel" and "Whom Gods Destroy".
Vandi Richards Ensign Elizabeth Wheat Richards is the Captain's assistant, essentially filling the "yeoman" role.
  • "James Culhane" and "Joshua Caleb" are pseudonyms for the Johnson brothers.


  1. ^ Russell, M.E. (May 14, 2004). "The Fan Films Strike Back". The Weekly Standard. News Corporation. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ Hakim, Danny (June 18, 2006). "'Star Trek' Fans, Deprived of a Show, Recreate the Franchise on Digital Video". The New York Times. New York, NY. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ Asmar, Melanie (January 31, 2004). "Final frontier redux". Portsmouth Herald. Portsmouth, NH: Dow Jones Local Media Group. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Savage Empire" release info at IMDb
  5. ^ "The Tressaurian Intersection" info at IMDb
  6. ^
  7. ^ Republibot interview with director Scott Cummins
  8. ^ "The Night Shift" reviewed by Fred Dixon
  9. ^ "Fan-Made Star Trek Episode Available for Download". 2003-01-02. Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  10. ^ "The Cartoonist: A Weblog "Update: Exeter offline"". 2003-01-05. Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  11. ^ "Sci-Fi Site of the Week". 2003-02-19. Archived from the original on February 19, 2003. Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  12. ^ "Starbase Studios". Retrieved 2016-05-20. 

External links[edit]