Frustrated with the lack of progress in development of a live-action adaptation of Voltron: Defender of the Universe, director Alex Albrecht took matters into his own hands with Voltron: The End, a seemingly high budget fan film based on the enduringly popular 1980s animated series. Best known for co-hosting The Screen Savers and Diggnation, Albrecht created a decidedly grim story set in the Voltron mythos, one in which the team ultimately fails to defend the universe.

Click after the cut to watch Voltron: The End, which stars Timothy Omundson (Psych, Xena: Warrior Princess) as Sgt. Lance Rainier, the legendary pilot of the iconic Red Lion craft.

Speaking with Wired's Underwire blog, Albrecht said that despite appearances, Voltron: The End is actually a low budget work, although his production designer Greg Aronowitz did build a three-foot Red Lion model. The results are impressive, and it seems unlikely that any forthcoming Voltron film will be as somber as Albrecht's, which has more in common with 2001: A Space Odyssey than Transformers. Which is not to say I think a Voltron movie really needs to be as sophisticated as all that, but Albrecht's piece works very well in terms of mood, one has to admit.

However, I'm puzzled by references to an "accident." Is that really how the famous Voltron Force went down? Is that how King Zarkon conquers the universe? An accident? Maybe there's more to this story than we know.