This Fan-Made Episode of ‘Star Trek’ Is Quite Good

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/.

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  • Commander_Chico

    Good luck to them, hope they produce more episodes.

    The new movie, “Into Darkness” kind of sucks, made for idiots.

    Also, I prefer classic Montalban Khan to Cumberbatch Khan.

    Hard to see Cumberbatch pulling this off:

    • warnertoddhuston

      We agree 100%.

      • Commander_Chico

        It’s kind of a shame about the movie, because apart from Cumberbatch I think the new cast is pretty good.

  • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

    This was surprisingly good, and a lot of fun.

    Grant Imahara was a bit over the top, but everyone else hit it just right.

    As far as the new Star Trek movie went, I got a good sense of menace and ‘restrained power’ from Cumberbatch. You got the feeling, outside of the fight scenes, that he was (as Khan) dropping his clock speed, so to speak, so he could deal with the (to him) retarded, clumsy assholes around him.

    And another thing – yeah, I know that the Federation’s not that sort of government – but after taking a starship and slamming it into San Francisco, causing untold death and destruction, you’re just gonna put him on ice? I was all for separating his head from his body by about 50 yards and seeing if his magical tribble-healing blood could fix things up. Or perhaps giving him a trial by fire – shoot him into the sun in an unshielded, unpowered container and if he comes out the other side give him a full pardon. (Of course, if he DOES come out of that alive, there’s not that much you could do to stop him…)

    Yeah, I know it’s the old trope of never kill off a good villain, but I’m getting a lot less tolerant and forgiving in my old age – just kill him and be done with it. Kill him, cremate him, stuff his ashes into a hopper on the outside of a starship that’ll poot out a little fog of ash every million miles or so. He won’t come back from that.

    This movie didn’t grab me the way The Avengers did, but it shows promise. The new cast is indeed pretty good, Chico – and it’ll be interesting to see what the next movie is like.

    • Commander_Chico

      I get what you say about Cumberbatch, he did the best he could in conveying menace, but it was like what you said, more intellectual menace.

      I just don’t think he has the looks or the physical presence to be a superman in the way Montalban was.

      Cumberbatch is an excellent Sherlock Holmes, though.

      What bugged me about the movie were the idiotic physical things – anytime I see a guy holding on to two other guys, like Chekov did in one scene, or a scene where there is no wind resistance (Uhura standing on the aerial firetruck speeding along) it just bothers me.

      I look forward to the next movie, anyways.

      Tonight I was out in a small city in Indonesia – I was eating at an outdoor food stand. They offered me the remote as hospitality -guess what I found on? One of the lamer episodes, subtitled in Bahasa.

      • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

        “or a scene where there is no wind resistance (Uhura standing on the aerial firetruck speeding along) it just bothers me”

        Considering how unaerodynamic that thing was, I wonder if (Oh, god, we’re getting into geek territory here, lol…) there wasn’t some sort of ‘air shield’ projected to smooth things out – and maybe serve as an additional protection from heat.

        Re ST:TOS in Indonesia – shows just how far it’s permeated, doesn’t it? Bet they weren’t figuring on THAT in the ’60s!

        • warnertoddhuston

          I had three BIG problems with the new movie.

          #1. So you are telling me that a police state-warrior culture like the Klingons wouldn’t know that enemy starships and enemy personnel were flying around their stinking homeworld??? Riiiiiight.

          #2. What the hell is with that nonsense about flying in spacesuits from ship to ship IN a debris field, no less, and hitting your mark. STUPID.

          #3. So, ONE admiral was able to command the billons of dollars and the resources it would have taken to develop a GIANT new class of starship, in secret, and NO BODY would know it in a culture where technology and video, and surveillance is ubiquitous? BS.

          Those three plot points took to much suspension of disbelief for me.

          • Commander_Chico

            Right, it was the Klingons who had cloaking, not being cloaked off.

            I don’t like the whole plot device that they take Kirk right out of the Academy and make him a Captain in the first new movie. Then he fucks up and they were going to send him back to the Academy? In the TOS episode I watched last night, Kirk said he was 12 years out of the academy.

            I did like that a demented neocon warmonger like the Admiral was defeated, though.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Point 2 – Yeah, that was pretty silly… but it looked good and provided a convenient way to separate Kirk and Khan from the rest of the Enterprise. (And give young Spock a chance to contact OId Spock and find out that they’re dealing with an arch-villain that’d sooner kill them than not.)

            It’s not COMPLETELY impossible, seeing they had some sort of suit thrusters, but it was a lot like taking a smooth-bore musket, using a sub-caliber bullet with no wadding, and expecting to hit a target 100 yards off. It helps if the bullet can guide itself, so to speak.

            Point 3 – no complaints there – the whole “Secret Project” ignores a hell of a lot of logistics problems also.

        • Commander_Chico

          Yeah, some air shield or force field, I geekily thought the same thing. I still can’t buy Chekov holding Kirk and Scotty with one arm though.

          Star Trek is everywhere; I’ve watched TOS dubbed in German and Spanish.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            It’s Chekov’s Russian heritage – makes them strong like ox! (That and the massive skeletal and muscular enhancements that Starfleet obviously surgically installs in every class going through the Academy, as well as cosmetic ‘enhancements’ for all…)

  • http://www.wizbangblog.com David Robertson

    Kudos to Warner for calling TOS fans “Trekkers” instead of “Trekkies”. Finally, we Trekkers are getting some respect.
    By the way, Grant Imahara is one of the Mythbusters from the Discovery Channel’s hit show “Mythbusters”.

  • Paul Hooson

    Strangely, McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets are much like the old STAR TREK in this one way….No Bones! – But, all joking aside, Iove this post. STAR TREK is one of the very TV shows of all time. Thank you for posting this one.

    • jim_m

      STAR TREK is one of the very TV shows of all time

      Very what?

      • Paul Hooson

        A typo. Sometimes my brother talks way too much when I’m trying to write. He’s a big time distraction for me sometimes. – Very best…

  • Barb Myers

    (Though I feel he might be a tad too short in reality. But that is easily ignored)
    In reality, Vic is 2 inches taller than William Shatner, they are friends and I should know I am his mother(S)

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