A ground breaking YouTube science fiction series being developed by Wrexham Glyndwr University students and alumni is set to launch on December 30.
The series, called The Sojourn, grew out of the shared interests of a group of students in the University’s science fiction society – and is now ready to debut its pilot episode, alongside a Kickstarter campaign to produce a full series.
The Sojourn follows the story of the warship Guinevere, whose crew come together in a war-torn universe to help unify humanity in the face of destruction. Alongside an accompanying fleet, Guinevere and her crew battle adversity and face new horizons together – leading an expedition into uncharted territory.
The series itself is not entirely uncharted territory for all its creators, however, as it builds upon the existing success of a popular YouTube channel, SpaceDock – which boasts more than 158,000 subscribers.
Daniel Orrett, from Northwich, is the show’s writer and creator and SpaceDock’s host. He said: “We all met at Glyndwr’s science fiction society and got talking, and the idea for the Sojourn grew from there. We’re now working on some influential collaborations with major studios – it’s suddenly become pretty serious!”
The team behind The Sojourn have also been able to draw upon the skills of a host of well-regarded voice artists, designers and more to help produce the series.
Alasdair McCabe, from Windsor, is a Renewable Energy student – and serves as the show’s editor.
He added: “We have got a lot of talented people on the project – and the push to get a pilot completedfor the end of December has meant we’ve had a lot of work to do with them!”
Among the voice artists working on the show are Larissa Thompson – who has also performed on The Templin Institute and The Centropic Oracle, Laura Faye Smith, known for voicing Rosalina in the Mario games and Ben Prendergast of Predestination and Frontier.
An international network of artists and designers have also been working on the look of the show in the months before its launch.
Director Hayden Emmett-Bird, who is studying TV Production at the university, added: “It is all looking really good now – I am getting artwork through which inspires me every day. Yet no-one who is working on the show is just treating it as only another job – it’s something that everyone is really keen to do.”
That sentiment is shared by show producer Kallum Keefe Weyman, a final year Theatre, Television and Performance student.
He said: “When I first saw some of the teaser trailers, I was taken aback by what we had achieved – I thought ‘that is really powerful.’ As well as a performer, I’m also a writer and it has been great being involved in the writing for the show.
“I’ve also been using things I have learnt on my course in developing the Sojourn – I am doing a module right now on professional development that is feeding directly into my work on the show.”
The show has also been boosted by the creative environment at the university – with the crew using some of the university’s facilities during its production.
Hayden added: “In the Creative Industries Building, where I do my course, they open to students using the space – if it’s not booked, for a lecture or class you can use the facilities, and that has been really helpful.
“It’s helped us build the Sojourn from a sci-fi society idea into something really special.”
The Sojourn will launch its pilot episode and Kickstarter on December 30. To find out more, visit the series’ Twitter page at: https://twitter.com/TheSojournHQ and the SpaceDock YouTube site at: youtube.com/c/spacedock
Pictured: Alasdair McCabe, Daniel Orrett, Kallum Keefe Weyman and Hayden Emmett-Bird