The Feratu Chronicles
|Created By:||Amy Rees and Jamie Rees|
|Genre:||Science Fiction and Fantasy Original (Drama)|
|Running Time:||55 - 63 Pages|
|Number of Episodes:||11 (so far) and 2 Mini Movies (List of episodes)|
|Series Debut:||7th April 2008|
|Original Network:||Monster Zero Productions|
|External Link:||Official The Feratu Chronicles site|
The Feratu Chronicles (commonly abbreviated to TFC) is an original science fiction/fantasy virtual series. The concept of the series was developed in 2004 by the sibling creative team of Amy and Jamie Rees. The series follows the exploits of an ensemble cast of characters on the far flung planet of Feratu Val. A seemingly benign planet that is not as unassuming as the human ISA explorers initially believe...
History of the Series
The genesis of the series' core characters and several major plot elements began in the Australian summer of 2004 (that's January/February for you Northern Hemisphere dwellers) based upon a creative drama game and subsequent discussion between Amy and Jamie Rees, the series' co-creators.
The series was originally intended as a prose series, titled "The Nazgul Chronicles" so titled after the vampire-like species predominantly featured in the story who were dubbed after the creepy, insidious servants of Sauron featured in The Lord of the Rings. However, after the evolution of the series' core concepts and universe during it's four year development, the name was considered too derivative of The Lord of the Rings. One of the series' major influences for it's epic fantasy elements.
In 2005, the showrunner, Amy Rees, stumbled upon the existence of Monster Zero Productions (MZP) and original scripted virtual series like the phenomenal, Somewhere Inbetween. After major rewrites, adapting the prose into script format, the first part of a two parter feature length mini movie was submitted for consideration in the MZP 2007 series line up. In December 2006, the series was commissioned by Lee A. Chrimes, Monster Zero himself. It was slated for a Fall 2007 premiere with an approximate date of early August 2007.
Unfortunately, production delays in the series caused by the showrunner's other competing commitments led to a hiatus and the series premiere being pushed back. In July 2007 the situation was resolved and the series was once again back in production with a scheduled premiere date of 7th April 2008.
The series successfully premiered on the 7th April 2008. It has currently released 2 feature length mini movies and 11 hour length episodes. The airing of new episodes is due to resume approximately mid September 2009.
The characters on the series are divided into four categories by the writer's of The Feratu Chronicles.
These are the principal characters that are involved in the majority of the plots and character development that occurs over the series. Due to the ensemble nature of the series they may not appear in every episode but still have more screen time dedicated to them in total than the recurring cast.
Anna Belknap as Sara Chalmers
Keira Knightley as Tazul Renir
Jude Law as Chardonnae Astar
Ewan McGregor as Trovenus Icarus
Rhona Mitra as Selene Eskitu CRM iere
Giovanni Ribisi as Uvere Udon
Charlize Theron as Alexandra Skyle
D.B Woodside as D'bronze Mazakelli
These are characters that have a significant role to play in the series though they do not necessarily appear in every episode.
Jared Leto as Lucif Rayne
Max Minghella as Zaizel Renir
Bill Nighy as Auron Renir
Laura Prepon as N'meira Ramont
Kenneth Cranham as Ducifer
Alex Dimitriades as Dimitri Crimson
Kelly Hu as Alexa Lucif
Ryan Phillipe as Deacon Blake
Christina Ricci as Michala Danes
Marc Blucas as Nathan Oberink
Nikki Griffin as Ann Shaston
Peter Krause as Sam Thorton
Radha Mitchell as Jennifer "Jen" Saunders
These are characters that usually appear for one episode and leave a significant impact on the cast or plot of the series. For example, the Snowfelt Agent John Kincaid in 1x07 "Cold to the Touch".
These are characters that usually have a small or background role in the series. This does not mean they are insignificant but simply that they do not have significant screen time dedicated to them. They may still have a role to play in the plot. For example, Zaizel's personal assistant Hopkins.
The series is set 400 years into the future and explores the vast regions of space within the Milky Way galaxy.
The inaugural season premiered on the 7th April 2008. The predominant focus of season one is on the far flung planet X32674, more commonly known as Feratu Val by it's inhabitants, where a recently established International Space Agency or (ISA) exploratory base has been established by humanity.
The series opens with a squad of ISA soldiers racing back to their base camp as the twin suns set, responding to an urgent distress message regarding a hostile alien threat. When they finally reach camp, the place is completely deserted. The squad splits up into three teams to cover more ground. It's only when the commanding officer, Captain Jennifer "Jen" Saunders reviews the last minutes of available surveillance that the penny drops, it's a trap! The opening sequence ends with her and her team barricaded in an armoured truck while the mysterious attackers batter away at their shelter.
The first season continues with Sara Chalmers' (Portrayed by Anna Belknap) search for the missing ISA teams and her subsequent promotion as the Human Liaison official to the Feratu. The season revolves around the Alliance or more specifically, the Aurelius clan, attempting to thwart and uncover the various machinations and plotting of the hostile Drako Bano Clan and it's allies during the tense cold war phase of their bitter civil war. It also deals with the Drako Bano Separatists pact to assist the Clan Alliance and the truth of Dimitri’s ambiguous loyalty. There is also the clandestine mission to locate the mysterious "Eye of Malice" by the joint miinish/rakesh task force for their eternal and malevolent master, The Miinish Lord.
See Main entry under The TFC Codex.
The codex is an encyclopedia that provides an in depth overview of the universe glimpsed in the series.
Trivia and other information regarding the production of the series is presented below.
- There were several concept designs for Trovenus. Initially he was from a silver skinned humanoid race known as the Chromians. The next design had a much more reptilian look as he became a reptomammal. In the end a compromise between the two extremes was used in the final design.
- There were originally plans for 9 main characters in the series original genesis. The ninth character was a human pilot named Wade.
- Three significant cast changes occurred during the production of season one of the series.
- James Marsters was originally cast in the role of Chardonnae Astar. However during the preproduction phase Jude Law was recast in the role.
- After the series’ had premiered Selene was recast from Sienna Guillory to Rhona Mitra. Due to the latter’s wider experience in action based roles.
- David Carradine was originally cast as the Drako Bano emperor, Ducifer. His recent untimely death prompted the change to another accomplished actor Kenneth Cranham.
- Originally Queen Scara of the Mortrana clan was to be a main recurring character but the role was scaled back.
- Some characters were dropped during the development of the series as the concept became more refined. These included:
- Demelza, the Empress of the Drako Bano
- Bob the Aurelius sentry
- Tonk, an androgen who was a good friend of D’bronze and Uvere
- Saris, a crime lord and occasional ally of the Miinish Lord who leads the Consortium, a crime syndicate. He originally undertook the role that the character of Ducifer now occupies.
- The Shadow Priest who was a servant of the Miinish Lord.
- Tazul initially would have had four Royal Guards who served as bodyguards. Their names were Zecks, Blusha, Kerns and Roscoe. Only Roscoe was retained and he became the Captain of the Royal Guards who protects the Aurelius palace and royal family.
- The creators’ drew much inspiration from the J.R.R Tolkien’s masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings. During the evolution of the series’ universe, several elements heavily inspired from the book series were reworked and or drastically changed to more closely resemble the creator’s developing ideas.
- The futuristic and cosmopolitan, space port loving Yorlunds were initially a barbaric, technologically backward species named Eorlings. Due to the close similarities between the Easterlings and Eorlings this was significantly changed. The original concept was for the Yorlunds to have allies that assisted them. These included the Sacrons, junkyard mercenaries and the Westerners, asiatic warriors. They were dropped due to being too derivative of the Haradrim and Variags of Khand.
- The initial concept of Raloth’s physical appearance was altered as the creators’ thought it too reminiscent of the infamous Sauron.
- The space pirate/slavers in the series were initially called the Corans of Umbor but this was changed to the Corans.
- The Miinish initially had two sub species. These sub species were the Miinish, a shorter, more slender soldier and the Miinish Ka that were larger and more brutish soldiers.
- There was originally an artifact left on Feratu Val by an unknown race that was sought both by the Miinish Lord and a fanatical human military division called the,” Terra Collective”. The group was led by General Bandon who later became the nefarious scientist Dr Simon Bandon.
- There were three different versions of the Mini Movies saga. Two versions were prose, one in script format.
- The first prose version was a darker spin on The Feratu Chronicles universe. The story begins on the human ISA base established on Feratu Val as all the personnel are slaughtered by rakesh. The ISA sends out a squad of combat hardened soldiers and scientists to investigate. They inevitably cross paths with the feratu and chromlians and a misunderstanding leads to a bloody firefight between the three factions. The survivors of the conflict end up having to work together when the rakesh return back in force. This version was considered too bleak as most of the versions of the main cast were antiheroes. This version also had a strong anti human attitude prevalent throughout the story.
- The second prose version basically charts the same events as transpired in the aired final script version though several scenes were altered or removed during the adaptation process from prose to script.
- There were plans originally for the first season run to contain 24 episodes.
- Episode 1x01 "Guidelines" was originally planned to be episode 1x03.
- There is a “lost” script that was taken from the season one schedule. The episode was initially meant to be 1x06 and was titled, “Coran Reproach”. The episode was intended to introduce the space pirate/slavers the Corans. D’bronze’s brother Trey reappears now an enlisted soldier of the Aurelius army.
- Other storylines from the episode included Trovenus, Selene and Tazul helping a peaceful village of Merats defend their homes from a rakesh faction, the Order of Zirg from stealing the Tail of Zirg. Whilst Uvere had to uncover a convoluted murder mystery involving kitu CRM iere, lies and an encrypted disc.
- There was initially an Alexandra centric two parter episode planned for season one dubbed, “The Truth behind the Ice” but the consequences of the storylines in the episodes were considered too important to compress into two episodes and were saved for Alexandra’s character arc for season two.
- The “Tycho clan storyline” was another episode dropped from season one. The plot involved Sara, D’bronze, Uvere and a group of Aurelius commandoes led by Sergeant Gaz Byrne whose mission was to help rebel leader Orion Black of the Tycho clan. They were to assist Orion Black in liberating his people from the cruel Miinish General Verok. One sequence involved Sara and Orion trying to stop a weapon called the “Hound’s Tooth” from being fired on the clan’s city.
- Other dropped season one storylines include:
- The murder of a large swathe of Aurelius nobles by interdimensional creatures
- A large battle on a bridge with Miinish
- Citizen riots in Ta Verion
- A mission to the “Canine” clan
- A plotline revolving around halting the invasion of a porcine race of raiders named the Molab and their leader, a sorcerer named the Swamp King. He was also a rival of the Miinish Lord.