An now for a major break from politics…
Are you a big Trekker? Did you love the original Kirk/Spock Star Trek (or as fans call it TOS–for “The Original Series”)? Have you seen some of those fan-made, web-based episodes that left you snickering, even if only a bit? Well, get ready for Star Trek Continues because this one is a top notch, fan-made continuation of the Kirk/Spock era Trek that is well worth your time.
There have been a few of these fan-made attempts to evoke the original Gene Roddenberry series, some of them passable, some down right embarrassing. But this one? Well, this one is a good ‘un and if you are a Star Trek fan you should take the time to watch it.
This loving homage to TOS is produced in association with Farragut Films and Dracogen Investments, and stars Vic Mignogna as Captain James T. Kirk.
Mr. Mignogna is the driving force behind the show and wears multiple hats behind the scenes. But on the screen Mignogna does a very nice rendition of Shatner’s Captain Kirk without devolving into parody. Mignogna evokes some of Shatner’s mannerisms just subtly enough that you feel comfortable identifying him as “Captain Kirk.” (Though I feel he might be a tad too short in reality. But that is easily ignored)
Mignogna even has got that Capt. Kirk walk down pat. Shatner always gave Kirk a particular walk, sort of a stiff-backed swagger that reminds one of a bit less developed John Wayne gait. Mignogna does this “Kirk walk” motion quite well.
As to the other stars, Spock is played by Todd Haberkorn. His portrayal isn’t bad, but he looks so little like Leonard Nimoy (who played the original Spock) that it is a bit hard to get used to him. Still, there isn’t anything necessarily “wrong” with Mr. Haberkorn’s “Spock,” so I expect that after a few episodes he will fit into the role just fine and viewers will be able to get in the swing of Haberkorn’s presentation.
In this first episode Larry Nemecek plays the irascible Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy. I learned after watching the debut episode that Nemecek has been around Trek fandom for years and made a documentary about one of the biggest Star Trek convention fiascos in fan history. It is called The Con of Wrath.
It seems that Nemecek is being replaced by another actor in future weisodes of Star Trek Continues, though, so I won’t really assess his work here*. I’m sure it was a dream come true for Larry and let’s just allow him that one outing as “Bones” McCoy to remember without annoying him about his performance, shall we?
(* I was just assured by someone close to the production that Mr. Nemecek is, indeed, staying on as “Bones.” So, I wanted to update this to reflect the proper facts, here.)
When I first saw the Scotty character in this show I marveled at how much he looked like Actor James Doohan who played the original Scotty on TOS. Then I realized there’s a good reason for that. Star Trek Continues hired James Doohan’s son, Chris, to play Scotty. I have to say it works out well. Chris doesn’t yet have the same acting chops his dad had, but he may develop that with time. Meanwhile he looks like, sounds like, and “feels” like his Dad’s Scotty. These folks made a good move hiring Chris Doohan for their Scotty.
As to tier three, Grant Imahara did very well as Sulu. As to Uhura and Checkov, Kim Stinger and Wyatt Lenhart were fine in those roles. I had few complaints about either.
As to the production values, about the only thing I could criticize was that there were too many footfalls heard on the sound track. Even though the TOS sets were all made of 1967 era plywood, there were never any footsteps heard as the actors walked around the bridge or other sets. Unfortunately, on this one you hear the thump, thump of feet far too often. I hope they can find a way to fix that in future episodes.
But that is a niggling worry. The sets looked great. Very authentic to the original show. The costumes were great, too. Very well done all the way around. The music is that of the original show well interspersed between the action. It was just a very authentic experience.
The special effects were also very faithful to TOS. The transporter effects, the phaser shots, everything evoked the original show quite well.
I have to say, this is the first time I’ve found a web-based, fan-made homage to Star Trek that I don’t feel silly watching. It’s one I am not cringing looking at–not cringing for myself, but cringing for the folks that made it!
Mr. Mignogna and crew should be very happy with their homage to the Kirk/Spock Star Trek. I think The Great Bird of The Galaxy would approve. I look forward to future episodes.
As to their first episode, it was a nicely written Star Trek effort. I think the writing had the same feel as those early Trek shows. And it also had a great guest star.
The episode titled Pilgrim of Eternity, co-starred actor Michael Forest as an aging, nearly dying Greek God Apollo who the Enterprise crew stumbled across in deep space. The fun part is that this is the same Michael Forest that played Apollo in the original first season episode titled Who Mourns for Adonis? And Mr. Forest hasn’t lost a single step in his acting ability since his original appearance as Apollo in the late 60′s, either.
It was very fun to see him back as “Apollo” the tragic Greek God that Kirk had to battle and into whom Kirk had to instill some humility and humanity.
Naturally, since Star Trek is owned by Paramount Studios, the folks behind this new show cannot make money off their new webisodes. So, here is that first episode, free of charge. Do enjoy Star Trek Continues: Pilgrim of Eternity.
You can see the first episode for free at the website HERE.
The Continues folks promise that the next webisode will be done by August of 2013, so there will be a bit of a wait for episode two of the fourth year of the Enterprise’s five year mission. But they have, though, made a few vignettes that will give some more of an idea of their work. See them at the Star Trek Continues website: http://www.startrekcontinues.com/.