reviewed by Fred Dixon
My original review still holds true:
This twelve minute vignette focuses on the relationship between the Farraguts first officer, Bob Tacket, and chief engineer Michelle "Mike" Smithfield (portrayed by real life husband and wife Mike and Holly Bednar). It is a flashback from the present day to five years earlier before they were posted to the Farragut. Michelle was then assigned to the Defiant. (Nice little touch, she is wearing the insignia used the Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly".) She is in a bar at Starbase 12 reading a book about superstring theory written by Tacket. She is impressed by it. Tacket comes strolling into the bar and straightens out some junior officers from the Quintillis who are giving the barkeep a hard time. (The Quintillis was destroyed by the Klingons at the beginning of "The Captaincy".) Michelle is impressed by this act of chivalry. The commander picks up on this and goes over to her table. She does not know who he is or that he wrote the book. She sings the praises of the book and its author. Tacket lets her gush about him. Mutual friend Jack Carter (John Broughton), future captain of the Farragut and currently first officer of the Potemkin, comes into the bar and he reveals Tackets identity when he introduces to the captain of the Potemkin (Mark Hildebrand). Smithfield realizes that she was being played and playing with Tacket by cooling off Tackets advances.
It is nice to see fanfilm characters actually have character. We see the earnest and studious nature of Smithfield and her ability to turn the tables on potential suitors. Likewise we find that Tacket is a noted scientist, but also has a sense of humor and "interests" outside of his discipline. The Mike and Holly Bednar let their real relationship shine through the acting with little looks, vocal tones, and other little nuances. Good to see some human relationship amongst the specials effects, Starfleet uniforms and futuristic sets. Speaking of special effects, Neo-FX does a great job of showing ships in orbit above Starbase 12, the starbase itself, the Potemkin and the Farragut. Hetoreyns sound track sets a nice tone, especially the background music in the bar.
In the final version:
Farragut Films held up the release of this short because they felt that in the 2008 original that the camera work and sound were subpar in the live action sequences. At the time, I thought they have could have released it as it was. Upon further reflection, the final version shows that they were right. They did greatly improve upon it. I now also see they thought something was missing in the original telling of the story. They were right about that, too.
An outdoor bar setting replaced that of a shuttlecraft in the Farragut docking bay in the opening scene that was in the present day. The five-year flashback was still in the Starbase 12 bar. The original ended here. In the final version, a concluding scene at the outdoor bar was added that brought more closure. It ended the vignette with a more upbeat note and opened a major possibility for future character development in this series. (It was clear that Mike arranged with Captain Carter to be alone with Commander Tacket.)
Some random notes: In the outdoor bar scene, there were CGI mountains added in the background with a shuttlecraft flying about nice The bartender had a visual readout behind the bar The bar also had a viewscreen with interesting graphics The final version made it clear the Starbase 12 bar was called "Bednars Place", a nod to the co-writer Holly Bednar (along with Dennis Bailey) and both stars A shot of the Farragut in orbit almost seemed 3D it was that good
I dont give the final version "Just Passing Through" As across the board. These are now A+s. Great work.
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