R:STC is an innovative animated TV series which represents a unique achievement in CGI produced on a television budget. We're talking Aliens vs. Predator meets Reboot, a hard to describe sort of show that has to be seen to be believed.
First things first: Starship Troopers was a novel written by Robert A. Heinlein in 1959. Paul Verhoeven tried to adapt the novel into a movie in 1997. Two years later, Sony tried to spin a television series off the movie called Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles (also known as Starship Troopers: The Series).
The first episode of R:STC originally aired on August 30, 1999 and proceeded to be shown in rotations of the first eight completed episodes, two rendered by Flat Earth Productions (eps 12-13) and six by Foundation Imaging (eps 1-5,7). Flat Earth Productions apparently had a falling out with Sony, the owner and creator of the show, and Foundation Imaging picked up the slack just in time for the BKN Network's fall lineup. But then BKN sold part of its distribution to the Sci-Fi Channel without Sony's permission, hence Sci-Fi was forced to pull R:STC from its schedule indefinitely. BKN decided to air additional episodes as they were completed (i.e. completely out of order with numerous repeats), but several FOX and WB stations still dropped the show from their winter schedules. This means that R:STC episodes were aired only on syndicated BKN affiliate stations until the Sci-Fi channel picked it up again February 21st, 2000. Even then, the airing schedule left much to be desired, but at least you could get the show if you had extended cable TV.
Sony originally planned to make 40 episodes, but as of this writing, episodes 133, 138, 139, and 140 were scrapped due to limitations in the production schedule (i.e. they ran out of money). These last few episodes were scripted, the voice work was recorded, the scripts were storyboarded, but the shows were NEVER ANIMATED (and likely never will be). Instead, four "Clip Shows" which rehash footage from previous episodes were produced as substitutions for the four "missing" episodes. So technically, 40 episodes were completed, but the over-all story arc of the first season was never resolved. Which is a crying shame since it was such a great series! Roughnecks could have gone on for two more seasons, easily. Nowadays we are only left with fan-fiction to fill the void.
Click here for the complete story of The R:STC Debacle. This article explains how Sony and BKN both managed to make a mess of things.
Click below for in-depth articles on how the show is made:
The Making of Starship Troopers Chronicles (text only)
Is it Real, or is it Lightwave? (text only)
There probably won't be a second season of Roughnecks, but don't take my word for it, read up on what Paul Bryant (co-founder of Foundation Imaging) had to say about it:
If you want the definitive report on what was supposed to take place in the last three episodes that were scrapped, you definitely want to read: