Reviews | Written by Ed Fortune 09/11/2017

BEYOND THE TREK

Low budget sci-fi movies have a habit of carefully naming themselves so they catch the casual browser unawares. Beyond the Trek is, as you may have guessed, nothing to do with the Star Trek franchise and previously has gone by the names ‘Teleios’ and ‘Deep Space’. None of these names really describe the movie, but then “Boring chats in space-aged corridors’ is hardly snappy.

The plot is reasonably straightforward. The crew of the spaceship Teleios are five genetically optimised humans, who are pretty much owned by a distant and vague power, an apparently malevolent corporation/government sort of thing. These poor saps have been told to retrieve the cargo of a derelict and damaged starship. Onboard is a human, a robot (who looks like a human in make-up) and a chemical capable of fixing Earth’s ongoing environmental issues. Everyone else is dead, victims of a violent mutiny.

In theory, this should be a murder mystery style story in which the crew carefully work out who did it and why. The idea of having the investigators outnumber the suspects is rather brave, and it quickly becomes apparent that none of these so called super-humans have had any character development. Perhaps when you’re genetically perfect, personality is optional.

This is the sort of plot that should be easy to transpose into any setting; a murder mysery should stand on its own outside the genre. The thriller elements and the puzzle should be strong enough to carry the plot, with additional twists and twiddles coming from the setting. Alas, this is not the case in Beyond the Trek. What we have instead is one person sitting down, spouting gibberish, whilst people yell at them.

The movie is one of those plots that would work splendidly well as a fun little sci-fi short story or possibly a graphic novel. Mostly because then we wouldn’t have to cope with the terrible acting. The cast are interesting from an aesthetic point of view and that’s pretty much it. The performances are clearly under-rehearsed and there’s clearly been no attempt to fill in the various plot holes during script development.  As a bit of sub-standard sci-fi telly, it’s way below expectations; imagine the cheapest episode of the least interesting scifi show and you have Beyond the Trek. Ignore this and catch a couple of episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation on Netflix instead.

BEYOND THE TREK / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR:  IAN TRUITNER / SCREENPLAY: IAN TRUITNER / STARRING: SUNNY MABREY, LANCE BROADWAY,  T.J. HOBAN/ RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (US)