The above image and the text that starts after the banner image for my old website, Space 2049 (a few paragraphs down), are from the very first post of my first website, Star Trek: Sentinel, which was merged with my other fan site to become SciFi Regen in August of 2019.
This note, and the following few paragraphs were written in September 2019 to help orient new readers.
Welcome to SciFi Regen, a science fiction (on the small screen) news and review site that also explores what a few classic shows might look like if they were rebooted today.
That probably makes you wonder why the first image on this page says “Welcome to Star Trek: Sentinel.”
There’s a bit of a story there… and it starts back in 2014, when I was really starting to get annoyed at the lack of new Star Trek on television.
It had been almost ten years since Star Trek: Enterprise‘s final episode, and though the Bad Robot Star Trek movies were (then) coming out every three or four years, they weren’t quite scratching my itch.
I was hungry for more Trek set in the prime timeline, and was frustrated by the agreement between Paramount and CBS that was keeping a new series from being produced.
Eventually, I got over myself and decided to follow in the footsteps of many a fan before me. If the guys in charge weren’t going to give us what we wanted, I’d go off and do my own thing.
For me, that took the shape of writing scripts and stories and sticking them online for the enjoyment (or amusement) of other Trekkers.
I started with the question: if a bizarre but wonderful miracle happened, and I was given a chance to produce my own Star Trek series, what would I create?
After a lot of thought, I decided I would love to see a show set after Star Trek: Nemesis and the events portrayed in the prime timeline sections of the 2009 Star Trek film. I also knew I wanted to know what had happened to Saavik. I was really interested in her story, and where she would be in the 24th Century. My musings slowly became Star Trek: Sentinel.
Of course, months later in November 2015, a new Star Trek series was announced that became Star Trek: Discovery – which was fantastic news. It wasn’t what I would do, but that’s why they’re paid the big bucks and I’m not!
I kept going with my fan continuation, and watched with joy as Star Trek: Discovery took shape.
Initially, the site and the story were called Star Trek: Prometheus, and then it was called Star Trek: Challenger, and finally, on the 3rd of April 2016, I settled on Star Trek: Sentinel.
Why all the changes?
My idea had a bumpy ride. On the 23rd of December 2016 I discovered that a new series of novels were about to be released by Cross Cult (the German publisher of Star Trek novels and comics) called Star Trek: Prometheus. The idea was completely different to mine, but both ideas shared the same ship… and that could getting confusing.
And it did. My site has been enjoying a lot of traffic, but when it suddenly received thousands of hits from Germany in the space of a week, I knew something was up. So I renamed the ship and the site to avoid confusion. I didn’t want to mess with a licensed work of Star Trek fiction. The USS Prometheus became the USS Challenger.
Then a fan of my story told me about a series of Star Trek novels called ‘New Earth’ that featured a USS Challenger. Oh boy. So again, to avoid confusion, I changed the name of the site and ship in late March 2016.
Star Trek: Sentinel sailed the web for three years, and was a labour of love. It still is, it just exists inside this much larger site (and much bigger labour of love) alongside a few other stories I want to tell.
Why the change? Why not leave Star Trek: Sentinel as it’s own thing?
That’s a little complicated.
In 2018 I started having all of these ideas for shows I had loved, that were no longer on the air, and I found I really wanted to write them up… but I did not want to run multiple websites on the process.
As of this blog update, we’re three quarters of the way through 2019, and both 2018 and 2019 (to date) have been chock full of more than their fair share of change for me. A number of personal and professional revelations mixed with life challenges and family issues got on top of me, and I simply didn’t have the time to run the two websites I’d been running for a number of years, and the idea of running a third or even more definitely didn’t thrill me.
So I stopped and thought about it all. I wasn’t going to abandon the sites I’d poured money and time into, and I wasn’t going to just forget about the ideas running around in my head. Science fiction is really important to me, and it keeps me sane. Through every challenge I’ve ever had in life, scifi has given me hope. It’s helped dig me out of some very dark places. Sometimes, when things aren’t great, you need a little escapism – and I like my escapism with a dash of meaning and a good dose of allegory.
2018 and 2019 were teaching me I was burning the candle at both ends, and that I needed to sort my shit out and part of that was finding a way to engage creatively with the things that I loved, but in a more sensible and consolidated way.
You might laugh, but it took me a while to realise that all I needed to do was merge both of my sites into one, and expand the focus of the new site to include other things. I would save money, and I could house everything I loved in one place.
So, the two sites that I was running, Star Trek: Sentinel and Space 2049, became one. The one you’re visiting right now.
As indicated above, below these two images coming up, for posterity’s sake, you’ll see the original first post of the website that eventually became Star Trek: Sentinel. In the interests of absolute transparency, I did update that welcome every time I had to change the name of the site, so it’s not the first post unedited, but it is the first post slightly weathered by time.
Welcome to Star Trek: Sentinel (previously Star Trek: Prometheus and Star Trek: Challenger) – a website initially dedicated to suggesting a possible way forward for Star Trek on the small screen, and now dedicated to telling the untold story of Saavik after Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
Why the USS Prometheus, originally?
When I began planning this site in late 2014, I’d chosen the Prometheus Class starship to be the title ship because I loved the look of it, and because I thought it had been grossly underused since it’s introduction in Star Trek: Voyager.
It wasn’t my favourite starship design, but I thought it deserved a lot more love and attention than it had received.
In case anyone is interested, my favourite starship designs are the Constitution Class refit, first seen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the Galaxy Class made famous in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the Ambassador Class made famous in the TNG episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise”.
When I started writing Star Trek: Prometheus over a year ago, I’d been having trouble deciding on the class of vessel to use, and I had been tossing up between the Ambassador Class and the Akira Class ship, another design I liked. The book didn’t have a name, all I had were the characters and the plot, and a desire to explore the prime universe post the explosion of Romulus.
I hadn’t originally intended to name the book after a starship, despite the fact that that naming practice had been well established thanks to Voyager, Enterprise and even Deep Space Nine, it wasn’t even something I’d been thinking about. I’d wanted to name it along the lines of The Next Generation… but was having real trouble finding something that didn’t sound wanky.
I decided on the Prometheus Class by accident, while re-watching some Star Trek: Voyager episodes. Suddenly my book and the series I was going to base it on, had a ship and a name.
Originally, I had wanted, more than anything, to use an Ambassador Class starship, but had ultimately decided against it because Peter David was using one in his New Frontier series. I ended up deciding against using an Akira Class because I just didn’t know enough about it.
Eventually, on the 22nd of December 2015, I learned there was going to be a series of German Star Trek novels called Prometheus and so I had to go back to the drawing board, but this time I knew something I hadn’t known over a year ago – the USS Excalibur, the ship in Peter David’s wonderful set of novels, had been upgraded to a Galaxy Class vessel. The Ambassador Class was free to use.
That made my decision for me.
The Ambassador Class was an old class of starship, but a sturdy one. Like the Excelsior Class before it, it was still in use by the Federation decades after its first commissioning.
Suddenly, the book, my imaginary television series, and my site, were closer to what I had originally wanted them to be.
All I needed was a name, and I settled on Challenger.
The Space Shuttle Challenger and its history meant a great deal to me, and it felt right… but I quickly learned, thanks to readers of my site, that there was already a USS Challenger in Star Trek novel land, in a series of books called ‘New Earth’ by the amazing Diane Carey.
Thems tha breaks!
I was sad I couldn’t use the Challenger name, because, again, I didn’t want fellow fans getting confused (not that they would, other Trek fans probably know the novels better than I do), but I the new name was great and it suited the concept I’d developed better.
Sentinel. Noun. A person or thing that watches or stands as if watching. A soldier stationed as a guard to challenge all comers and prevent a surprise attack: to stand sentinel.
Everything on this site is a work of fandom and love. Star Trek, and science fiction in general, is important to me, and writing about it in as many ways as I can is relaxing, and to me, a meaningful use of my rare free time.
So, who’s behind this site?
A diehard Star Trek and science fiction fan, a professional writer and actor (among other things), and someone who has been working on and off in the entertainment industry for about 25 years – ever since I was a teenager.
The home page of this site will be news on all things Star Trek, while other parts of the site will be dedicated to my fan-novel and a series of episodes focused on what I’d do if I had the chance to create my own television series set in the Star Trek universe.
I hope you enjoy looking through it and reading the content, and thanks for checking out my site!