“My friends… we’ve come home.”
What do you get when there’s no Star Trek series being aired, and a fan base that – after being disappointed by recent film installments from that monster J.J. Abrams – has grown increasingly restless and nostalgic? Star Trek Continues!
Thanks to some die-hard fans, in 2012 a series of vignettes launched what I think is an excellent web-series.
It apparently all started by award-winning voice actor Victor Mignogna (he’s big in Anime circles I guess) and a group of Trekkie film-makers (it all started for me one night when I was bored, surfing YouTube). Their mission – besides exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilization – is to (and if you’re a Trekkie, you’ll know what was missing from that plug) boldly go where no man has gone before… and finish the five-year mission the Enterprise was sent on under Captain Kirk. There were two years left in case you were wondering.
The series kicked off with three vignettes, the first one being Turnabout Intruder Epilogue – as the name indicates, it’s a wrap-up to the last episode of The Original Series and acts as a “bridge” between the two series. After two more short clips they filmed their first full episode, Pilgrim of Eternity, and released it on May 26, 2013. What makes the idea for this series even more awesome is that they attempt to tie things together – for instance in the first episode they bring in an original character, Apollo, played by the same actor, Michael Forest. The vignettes and Pilgrim of Eternity were met with great appreciation from both Trekkies and some of the old cast.
After their success with the first episode, the gang launched a KIRKStarter to raise funds for more episodes. I will take here to note that all this is possible because CBS has allowed fan-films of the show they still own the rights to as long as it is not for profit. Under their KIRKStarter they sought to raise $100,000 in order to film three new episodes. They were more than successful, bringing in over $125,000 in less than a month. Since then, they have produced two more episodes, Lolani (1/8/14) and Fairest of Them All (6/15/14).
I think so far, my favourite episode has been the last one Fairest of Them All – it focuses on the alternate Mirror Universe Kirk and crew stumbled upon in Star Trek: Mirror, Mirror, and how Spock reacts to his own Captain Kirk once he is returned to his reality. If you pay close enough attention – you’ll even be treated to Michael Dorn voicing for the computer of the ISS Enterprise.
They’ve assembled a pretty good cast for their trek (note: I don’t think anyone will ever replace the original cast and crew in my heart…):
- Captain James T. Kirk -VictorMignonga
- He’s done a good job of getting Kirk down – mannerisms, speaking, dramatic lighting, etc.
- Spock -ToddHaberkorn
- While nobody will ever compete with Leanord Nimoy (that includes you Zachary Quinto), Todd does as good a job as anyone (again, that includes you Zachary Quinto – your emotion-riddled Spock can bite me)
- Dr. McCoy -LarryNemecek
- He’s a cranky old man who fights with Spock, and complains about what he is and isn’t… what more do you want?
- Scotty -ChrisDoohan
- You read that right, “Doohan”. Boom! We’ve got the son of the original Scotty to play the new Scotty. Winning at life here for this selection.
- Uhura – Kim Stinger
- Passable as a communications officer, we’ll see if they use her more as they continue to produce episodes.
- Chekov – Wyatt Lenhart
- Again, see above.
- Sulu -GrantImahara
- That’s right – Mythbusters very own! Fun to see another recognizable face here, and he doesn’t do bad either.
And in addition to the regulars, they’ve done a great job at getting cameos or voiceovers from other, more recognizable faces: Lou Ferrigno – the Hulk in The Hulk, Daniel Logan – Boba Fett in Star Wars Episode II, and Marina Sirtis – Deanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation (and if I needed to actually spell that last one out for you, I don’t know…. I just don’t know… smh)
Aside from their cast, you should see their sets – they’re amazing! They’ve really gone out of their way to re-create the Enterprise – I can only imagine the time and attention to detail that’s had to go into them. The music – the original stuff, get used to hearing that old familiar refrain. And their costuming department? Fantastic. Right down to the bell-bottom pants. It’s like being transported back to The Original Series, and you won’t even notice the difference.
With two of their originally planned three episodes funded by their KIRKStarter already done, I’m looking forward to the next one. Judging on their current rate of progress, they should have one done in about two-three more months – fingers crossed!
In the meantime, you should check them out! Either through the links above, or the links below. This is worth your time if you’re a Trekkie that misses some of The Original action, I find it refreshing to catch up with some old friends in new situations. It does a great job capturing the essence of the characters and the show; going so far as to emulate the filming ratios (4:3) and the show pacing (4 different sections based on commercial requirements during The Original Series).
They can be found:
Until next time, live long and prosper!
~ J.T. Riles ~
Categories: Stamp of Approval