STARSHIP FARRAGUT finally releases series finale “HOMECOMING” (interview with JOHN BROUGHTON, PAUL R. SIEBER, and STEVE SEMMEL – part 2)

Last time in Part 1, we celebrated the highly-anticipated release of “Homecoming,” the finale of the long-running Trek fan series STARSHIP FARRAGUT, by interviewing show-runner JOHN BROUGHTON, writer PAUL R. SIEBER, and post-production supervisor and composer STEVE SEMMEL. We found out which elements delayed the completion of the film, what it was like shooting scenes with the legendary STAN LEE, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I’m not going to bother to recap because we’ve still got so much great interview left!

But before we dive into the conclusion, I’d like to recommend (if you’re interested in Starship Farragut) that you check out this 3-part blog covering the fascinating history of this venerated fan series from 2004 – 2016. And definitely watch the finale “Homecoming” if you haven’t already…

For anyone interested in the new sequel series, FARRAGUT FORWARD, I’ll be covering that soon with John and his director in an upcoming blog. But for now, let’s continue to celebrate this wonderful fan series with a question that goes back to the very beginning…


JONATHAN – I’ve always wondered: what made you choose the U.S.S. Farragut rather than one of the other major starships like Potemkin or Lexington or Republic?

JOHN – When I first started working on this project, it was going to be called Starship Excalibur. But then I learned that JOE KEREZMAN was doing his own fan film called STAR TREK: EXCALIBUR. And he reached out and said, “If you change your name to any of the other ships, I’ll make you—gratis for life—all the chest patches that you need.” And I said okay. I wasn’t that married to it.

John Broughton as Captain Jack Carter

So I looked at all of the patch designs that Joe had created, and the Farragut, which has an oval patch design—I thought that will be easy to sew, since I was making all the costumes myself—coupled with the Navy tie-in because I’m a veteran of the U.S. Navy, opted with the Farragut. Joe supplied me with one batch of patches, and that was it. But it was enough for what we needed, until we had our own embroiderer doing the patches for our project.  All in all, I’m glad we went with the Farragut.

JONATHAN – So once you’d decided that you wanted to make a fan film, what did you do next?

John Broughton, Sr.

JOHN – Initially when I started, I pulled in my dad, JOHN BROUGHTON, SR., and other friends, and then it just kinda grew as time went on. We were able to get professionals involved in the project, then we got our first studio in St. Marys, GA…which was much smaller than the Kingsland, GA space that the sets are now in. A lot of the initial sets were built by my father, then we had other volunteers that came on board and helped out.

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STARSHIP FARRAGUT finally releases series finale “HOMECOMING” (interview with JOHN BROUGHTON, PAUL R. SIEBER, and STEVE SEMMEL – part 1)

The history of the fan series STARSHIP FARRAGUT stretches all the way back to 2004 and spans a total of 6 full-length fan films, 3 shorter vignettes, and 2 animated-style fan films (one of them featuring the voices of TIM “Tuvok” RUSS and CHASE “Leeta” MASTERSON). Farragut Films was responsible for the majority of the construction of amazing TOS sets that were also utilized for STAR TREK CONTINUES and DREADNOUGHT DOMINION and are still available for use by fan filmmakers at NEUTRAL ZONE STUDIOS in Kingsland, GA. Farragut also spawned a short-lived spinoff series called TREK ISOLATION that released three vignettes. And coming in 2022, a sequel series titled FARRAGUT FORWARD will move some of the Starship Farragut characters into the Wrath of Khan movie era Trek.

Since we have so much material for today’s interview, I’ll keep the background introduction fairly brief. But if you’d like to read the full backstory of this proud fan series, here’s Part 1 of a 3-part deep-dive into the full history of Starship Farrugut. Well, ALMOST full. The final part of that blog feature came out in early 2016, a month before the release of their penultimate episode, “The Crossing,” and a few months before reshoots wrapped on their announced series finale, “Homecoming.” Crowd-funded with about $15K in late 2015, fans expected to see a completed fan film later in 2016 or maybe 2017. That didn’t happen.

Instead, it wasn’t until mid-2020 that STEVE SEMMEL announced that he was taking over as post-production supervisor, having started off simply doing the music for the episode. I interviewed Steve in June of last year, and he promised a delivery date in the second half of 2021 “most definitely.” And indeed, that’s exactly what happened, as “Homecoming” was released on October 1. Take a look…

I reached out to three people to discuss “Homecoming”: show-runner and lead actor JOHN BROUGHTON and writer PAUL R. SIEBER (both of whom have been with Starship Farragut since the very beginning), and of course, Steve Semmel (who came on board in 2018). We covered so much great behind-the-scenes information about both the finale episode and also going back to the earliest days of the series back in 2004.

I received so many awesome answers that I’ve decided to divide this interview into two parts. Let’s get started…

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A first look at FARRAGUT FORWARD…and it looks AMAZING!!!

Two months ago, I published a blog interviewing JOHNNY K., the producer and director of the new fan series FARRAGUT FORWARD. It’s a “sequel” series to the long-running STARSHIP FARRAGUT, which recently released its own series finale, “HOMECOMING” on October 1…after five years in post-production! (And if you’re wondering why I haven’t covered that release yet, please help me nag showrunner JOHN BROUGHTON, writer PAUL SIEBER, and post-production supervisor/composer STEVEN SEMMEL to finish writing up their answers to my interview questions.)

For the past several months, Johnny K., John B., and the Farragut Forward team have been hard at work building sets and props, polishing the script for the debut episode, and even creating physical ship models in order to film their visual FX the “old fashioned way”—none of this new-fangled CGI nonsense!

On October 16, cameras began rolling for the first time on the new series, shooting footage for what will be an initial 3-minute “teaser” prologue to the debut episode. The first look fans got came earlier this week with three photos posted on the KAOTICA STUDIOS Facebook page

Talk about firing an actor!

The post included the following caption:

Fun fact: it takes the Farragut Forward costuming team weeks of painstaking work to recreate accurate uniforms for our production. The attention to detail is extraordinary. It takes costume assistant Belle Bredehoft just a few seconds to light those items ON FIRE! 🔥🔥🔥

The next day, Kaotica released two new images from the actual footage shot in 6K on the set. You can see John B. below as Captain Jack Carter of the U.S.S. Farragut in the Wrath of Khan movie era (wearing a gorgeous and properly-fitting “monster maroon” uniform)…

From the NEWS section of the Kaotica Studios website, John Broughton had this to say (reprinted with permission):

A lot of preparation and hard work went into last weekend’s shoot which paid off in being well-organized, professional, and successful in best capturing our story. More importantly, the film shoot was FUN, which at the end of the day, is what this is all about, right?

It was surreal playing Captain Carter again and wearing a Starfleet uniform, but like an old worn glove, it fell right into place, and this time, it was a bit more natural. It’s great working with Johnny K., Kaotica Studios, and all the talented cast and crew in bringing the next chapter of Farragut to life and in in the best ‘light’ (or perhaps ‘low-light’). Thanks again to everyone involved!

The other still image posted was this shot of actor WILLIAM JAY in full Klingon makeup and armor…

William had this to say:

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STARSHIP FARRAGUT is coming BACK…or is it FORWARD??? (interview with JOHNNY K.)

When last we left STARSHIP FARRAGUT, showrunner JOHN BROUGHTON and his gallant crew had crowd-funded about $15K at the end of 2015 for what was to be their series finale, “Homecoming.” Footage for that fan film was shot in 2015 and 2016, and there were sporadic updates to donors (like me) but nothing major until about 14 months ago, when it was announced that musical composer STEVE SEMMEL had taken over as Post-Production Supervisor (you can check out the interview I did with Steve here).

According to the most recent update, “Homecoming” will, at long last, be released on October 1 of this year. Here’s a trailer for that fan film, which features an eye-catching cameo by the deeply missed, legendary Marvel Comics creator STAN LEE…

While “Homecoming” was to mark the end of the U.S.S. Farragut‘s five-year mission under Captain Jack Carter (played by John Broughton), the end was just the beginning. Also back in 2015, John announced that the team would soon be launching a new sequel series to be titled FARRAGUT FORWARD. At the time, Farragut Films had officially ended their relationship with “sister” series STAR TREK CONTINUES, leaving their TOS sets in Kingsland, GA—nearly all of which Farragut folks had either built or helped to build. Many members of the Farragut team lived in the Washington, D.C. area anyway, not particularly close to southeastern Georgia.

The new Farragut series would jump forward (hence, the name) in time about 20 years, just as Star Trek itself had done with the feature films, into the Wrath of Khan/”monster-maroon” uniform era. However, with the guidelines emerging within just a few months of John’s announcement, many wondered if the group would still launch a brand new Star Trek fan series when the very first guideline said that you can’t have an ongoing Star Trek fan series. And indeed, any news about Farragut Forward pretty much stopped after the guidelines were announced.

Until two weeks ago.

Fans were ecstatic to find a Facebook post from John Broughton linking to this website announcement that Farragut Forward had finally entered pre-production! John has joined forces with independent film studio KAOTICA STUDIOS in Washington, DC, and the studio’s founder, JOHNNY KARZAI, will be directing the initial episode.

The announcement said that fans “…can expect a more ‘sophisticated’ version of Farragut…  a darker, more serious side.” And indeed, after doing a lighting test with John Broughton in a meticulously-crafted captain’s uniform, Johnny K. commented, “This isn’t your Daddy’s Farragut!”

As you can see from the above photo, John B.’s character of Captain Jack Carter has aged VERY gracefully and looks as awesome as his uniform. “I think shelving this project for 5 years has helped us greatly in many ways, including the older self!” John said in a Facebook post.

Fans already know a good deal about John Broughton (if not, then read this 3-part History of Starship Farragut). But what about director Johnny Karzai? I reached out to Johnny K. for the inside scoop on all things Farragut Forward

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