Space Rogues T.S.E. Frequently Asked Questions

With the overwhelming world-wide success of Space Rogues, it's only natural that some of the same questions would come up time after time. Herein, we'll attempt to provide some answers.

Onward to some World Premier photos.

What does T.S.E. stand for?

Well, now, that's a tough one. We, in fact, have several answers for it. First, the silly ones:

If you have any additional silly ideas for what it could stand for, e-mail them to us. We may get around to assembling a Top-10 list of them.

What does T.S.E. really stand for?

Well, um, I don't know how to say this, but it doesn't really stand for anything. We just wanted to make fun of those other sf shows with initials (you know SQ-DSV and ST-DS9, etc.) so we picked three letters that sounded cool.

You can't fool me! Give me the real scoop!

Oh, all right, already. The real story is that the series was pretty far along in its development before we settled on a title. For quite some time it was known as just T.S.E.. Depending on who you talked to it could mean:

And of course, in the story, T.S.E. stands for:

You imply that the Earth is gone. How? Why?

Yes, the Earth is gone, or at least believed to be. And that's all we're willing to reveal at the moment. This is one of several mysteries that get explored throughout the 113-episode arc of the story.

As currently outlined, the main characters discuss and confront this issue a couple of times prior to finding out "The Truth(tm)" around episode 60. A script for Episode 10 "Wavefront", which is currently being written, discusses what the characters know of the situation at the beginning of the arc.

Since we're planning to jump around in the arc in regards to episodes that actually get filmed, we may get to the revelation of one major plot mystery sooner or later than another one. Feel free to let us know what you're interested in; it may spur us on in that direction.

What were those ships that attack the Mirage in episode 2?

This is another mystery that will be revealed in the fullness of time. In the arc-outline they're occassionally referred to with the shorthand name "The Bork". This is not their actual name, of course; that has not been determined completely as yet. (The term "Bork"'s origins lie in the Muppet's Swedish Chef, Trek's Borg, and a rather odd game of VGA-Planets. Don't ask.)

As can be seen from their brief appearance in episode two, they're not friendly, happy folk. They'll pop up from time to time until we get around to dealing with them. Currently, it looks like they'll be the centerpiece of a multi-episode story sometime around episode 70.

One other, perhaps too revealing detail, is that the large pyramid shaped mothership is referred to, internally at Galtham Films, as "The Death Snoz." Does this mean anything? Even we don't know.

Why do they appear in episode 2?

They appear in episode 2 for two reasons. First, we wanted to introduce many of the long term plot threads in the pilot episodes, to build interest in the rest of the series. And second, because otherwise episode 2 would have no action sequences at all, and we needed a little pick-me-up in the pace of the plot.

What other things are hidden in those shoe boxes?

Ahh, the mysterious boxes of shoes (Men's, Mark II, Size 8, Left) within the cargo bay of the Mirage are a secret whose time has not come. Already, in the pilot episodes they have revealed several wonderful fruits of Captain Vanderdecken's black market dealings.

In addition to the atmospheric shuttle and small fighters seen in the pilot eps, there are also offhand references to "brandy from Gamma Station" and "sens-stim discs from Delta Station." So, we know that the Mirage has black market trading stock as well as a limited supply of useful equipment. And, if they manage to make successful contact with some of the other human colonies, they may be able to convert their trading stock into, well, other items.

Why are the talents of Lloyd and Patrick used so little in SRTSE?

First off for those of you who don't know: Lloyd and Patrick are the founders of Galtham Films. They also appeared in nearly every scene of GF's first two movies (the Whoman series.)

And before you run off and assume things like "artistic differences," remember that they also created, wrote, and cast the movie. So they could have had bigger roles if they wanted. As you can see from the following quote, one web author likes to change from writing about himself in the third person to interviewing himself.

"Frankly, we felt the cliche of most actors: we wanted to direct and produce," Lloyd said. "I know we did that with Whoman, but we wanted even more control over the final product. While we did give ourselves small roles just to keep our feet in the door, we decided up front that we wanted the best actors that no money could buy. And, as the final product shows, we easily got our money's worth."

You'll note, by referring to the credits for SRTSE, that Lloyd and Patrick did extensive work behind the scenes for the production.

You speak of 113 episode arc, do you already have the entire arc planned out?

Yes, but not in great detail. We know 10 or so major events and milestones that occur throughout the story. These include such items as "Mirage visits the Sol System" and "Mirage learns to control its inversion drive." There are also a variety of minor events that happen along the way. These include things like "The Mirage crew clues in that Murrow is actively trying to kill them." As more episodes are produced, more items will be added to these lists and to the outline.

These major events, and the known minor events are spread across a 113 episode time line, every 10 or so episodes. So, when an author proposes a script, we ask questions about what milestones they need to have happened and what problems are still unresolved to allow us to fit the story into the outline.

This does not mean, however, that episodes that do not cover one of the "major" events in the outline are filler. There are lots of really cool concepts being worked on that may have a major impact on the final story that just don't appear on the outline yet. Some of the scripts being worked on include "The Return of Dr. Befren," a look at the Paradisio system's black market, and the story of the computer hologram interface "Amy".

What about this loose end left in the pilot...?

A lot of loose ends and unfinished details were left in the pilot on purpose. We want people interested in seeing more episodes of Space Rogues to find out what happens. Some of these loose ends are obvious, some are not. Most were designed from the outset, but a few happened as just throw away lines during script writing.

Among the obvious loose details are: Janet's fiance, Murrow's prior history with Inferno, Janet's black market contacts, the fate of Dr. Befren, those odd ships in Episode 2, and the complete backup of the ship's computer core. There are quite a few more as well, some of which are not obvious at all. Unlike some other series, these details will be returned to in the fullness of time. (At the current rate of 3 episodes every two years, this may take a while...)

What are the names of Space Stations in the Paradiso System? What other devices are other stations working on?

The expansion of the T.S.E. expedition took place in a logical and orderly manner. While the engineers who planned the expansion weren't particularly creative about their names, they did plan well for an explosive expansion from a relatively modest sized expedition. The stations that have been mentioned and their focuses are (in order of construction... mostly):

Some stations, such as Beta, have spawned daughter stations that perform the same function as the parent, but in a separate location. The original station in this case is "Beta-Prime" or "Beta-One", and the daughter stations are numbered starting with "Two."

The focus of the entire Paradisio expedition has been to develop the technologies necessary to reunite humanity. The naive person (or someone who doesn't know Director Murrow at least) would assume that goal means the development of high speed starship drives. That's certainly true, in part, but Murrow has been hard as work on the other parts of his plan as well. What that entails remains to be seen.

Each person and ship is assigned to a particular station. A crew member's uniform indicates this affiliation with a black patch on the left shoulder. This patch has a red Greek letter indicating their "home" station. Ships similarly have a Greek letter near their name to indicate their home. Small ships, such as shuttles, generally note their mother ship's name rather than a station name.

There are more than a few superficial similarities between Space Rogues and Star Trek: Voyager. Care to explain?

Well, yes, there are a number of points where the two show's situations are similar, but it's superficial. Both shows feature a woman as the captain of a starship that is accidentally stranded far from home. But, that's where the similarity stops. The situations that each ship runs into are completely different. And besides, the Mirage doesn't even have a deflector dish.

Some Space Rogues dates:

Some other shows' dates:

So, as you can see Space Rogues was started well before that other show was even a glimmer in anyone's eyes. Given that the Galtham Films cast and crew have real jobs, it took a little longer to finish our project. We're confident that you'll agree that it was worth it.

Your special effects are incredibly good for an amateur production, who did them and how are they created?

Well, thank you. We considered using ILM or Foundation Imaging, but we figured it was pretty likely they'd actually want to be paid for their work. Thus, Lloyd did all of the special effects on his home computer.

The computer in question is an Amiga 4000/040. It was equipped with 14 meg of RAM (now 18), a Video Toaster 4000, a DPS-Personal Animation Recorder, and a DPS-TBC-IV. On the software side the workhorse was Lightwave 3-D version 3.5. Deluxe Paint IV, Art Department Professional, Typesmith, Pagestream 2.2, and World Construction Set were also used.

This setup is nearly identical to that used to produce the early episodes of Babylon 5. Ok, they had 20 or so machines, but other than that, it's pretty close.

Initial ship and animation design took about 2 years, coinciding with the development of the scripts and other preproduction tasks. Actual rendering of the final effects took about 6 months of 24 hour a day computer rendering. The 80 second main title sequence took about 2 months of this time. A little math shows that the computer spent about 10,000 times as much time rendering a frame of animation compared to the time it spent on the screen.

Editing of the three introductory episodes ran concurrently with the effects rendering. This worked out really well for us. In general, a week's worth of rendering would produce enough shots to fill a complete night of editing work.

Is that a literary reference in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?

Well, it's probably a literary reference. There are quite a few references in the first three episodes. There are obvious tips of the hat to Milton and Star Wars for instance. There are less obvious references to Babylon 5, Larry Niven, and R.E.M. The truly well versed might catch the hidden nods to Transformers and a rather appropriate sailing myth. Some references are spoken, some are seen, and a few probably won't be catchable until the HDTV remake of the film is made.

And now, we'd like to announce the first two of (perhaps) many Galtham Films/ Space Rogues web page contests. Our first contest is to correctly identify the largest number of these obscure references. Our second contest is to suggest an appropriate prize for the winner of the contests. This prize has to cost next to nothing, but have some value to the receiver and have some relevance to the contest.

Contest entries can be sent to the e-mail address at the bottom of the page. Be sure to include contact information, so that in the unlikely event that we ever award anyone a prize we can contact you. Cast and crew of Space Rogues may enter for their own amusement but are not eligible to win. Winners will be selected by a secret, as yet undetermined method. Contest will end one week prior to the announcement of it ending. Amusing responses may be posted to this web site. No purchase necessary; we have to be present for you to win; yadda, yadda, yadda.

Are you working on more exciting episodes?

Yes! Quite a number of scripts from throughout the arc are in various preproduction stages. Stay tuned for further news as available.

What questions are you working on answering?

We've had a lot of questions submitted. Here are some that may or may not get answered as time permits:

Can you explain the inversion process?

What is MDM?

What things can the Pocket Comps do?

How did you design such spiffy uniforms?

I've got a great idea for a story... How do I submit it?

Can you give a timeline of past events?

How's that? Any more questions? Our e-mail address is at the bottom of the page.

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Copyright © 1996-2003 Lloyd B. Eldred , all rights reserved.