Celestial Patrol is a Free Culture (Creative Commons License) science fiction series loosely inspired by the fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek and liberally adapted primarily from the public domain installments of the “Terro-Human Future History” stories of H. Beam Piper and assorted works of E.E. “Doc” Smith, among others. The series follows the voyages and adventures of the Challenger, flagship of the Interstellar Commonwealth’s Exploratory Command. It straddles the line (or tries to) between the big ideas and social satire of the 1960s and the openness and long-term arcs of the modern day.

A key aspect of Celestial Patrol is that—more like software than art, usually—the production of an episode is reproducible. That is, versions of the episode can be created (almost) automatically from the script and a handful of assets. When an episode evolves, such as editing the script or recording dialog with human actors, the process doesn’t change significantly. In some ways, this may also make Celestial Patrol the first “open source series,” since the sources will all actually be available and meaningful.

Lastly, Celestial Patrol is produced entirely with Free Software. At least to produce the “prototype” episodes, three standard tools are used:

They’re tied together with BASH shell scripts for small tasks and Node.js scripts for larger tasks, which I've released under the GNU GPLv3.


Please do!

So far, Celestial Patrol has been exclusively a one-person show, ignoring the software used, and the script and production absolutely reflect that. Armageddon, the pilot, is an acceptable prototype of what the series can be, but is certainly flawed in many obvious ways that contributors can improve, such as…

In other words, a lot. Got a problem? Congratulations, you just volunteered!


Celestial Patrol was created by John Colagioia.

The Celestial Patrol logo is, of course, inspired by the “vector” and “orbit” parts of the NASA “meatball” logo, with the text using Cyreal’s Rationale font.

Scripts and code use Carrois Apostrophe’s Share Tech Mono font. The remainder of the site text uses Bureau Roffa’s excellent Proza Libre font. All three fonts have been made available under the SIL OFL.