Monday, February 2, 2015

Not The 70s: STAR TREK CONTINUES (2014-15)

There are numerous fan-made Star Trek series online. Some of these ambitious non-profit productions chronicle new adventures of the original U.S.S. Enterprise, others create their own starships and crews. The quality ranges from the embarrassingly amateur to remarkably slick and professional.  James Cawley's Star Trek: New Voyages/Phase II is probably the best known of these, and over the years, his team have produced a number of reasonably enjoyable - if frustratingly uneven - Trek adventures . But, in my opinion, the very best at capturing the feel of the classic Gene Roddenberry series is Vic Mignogna's Star Trek Continues.

The talented cast includes James Doohan's son Chris Doohan as Scotty and Mythbuster's Grant Imahara as Sulu. The sets, costumes, photography, music and overall production values are uncannily accurate, and the visual effects are terrific! Vic Mignogna, an experienced actor with lots of voice work to his credit, personally plays James Kirk, and he does a remarkable job of channeling the great Bill Shatner, capturing the man's distinct delivery while somehow never lapsing into parody (something even Bill finds hard to do these days). It's uncanny how well he captures Shatner's swagger.

The first episode, "Pilgrim of Eternity," is a sequel to TOS' "Who Mourns For Adonais," with original guest actor Michael Forest reprising his role as Greek god Apollo (this one also includes a bit part by Battlestar Galactica Redux's Jamie "Apollo" Bamber.) The second episode, "Lolani," revolves around a fugitive Orion slave girl and her owner - played by Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno (in green body paint, of course)!

The third episode, "The Fairest Of Them All," is a very well written direct sequel to the classic TOS episode "Mirror, Mirror," and it's another winner. A fourth episode has just recently completed filming, and although the title hasn't been released yet, it has been revealed that it guest stars the Sixth Doctor Who, Colin Baker.

If, like me, you find the new Star Trek films by J.J. Abrams and company lacking the spirit and style of Gene Roddenberry's original show, I highly recommend that you check it out. In fact, the Star Trek Continues crew is midway through a "Kirkstarter" campaign to raise funding for additional episodes. They've already hit their initial production goal, but are now in the process of trying to raise enough money to build an authentic Engine Room set to complement their already astounding Enterprise sets.

Episodes can be found on the Star Trek Continues YouTube Channel, and you can check out their Kirkstarter funding campaign here.


  1. First, thanks for the blog. Since I was born in 1961, this is my teen years in a bottle. I do enjoy ST Continues. The fan productions each have their moments. Acting seems to be the weakest link in most, but some need to learn how to edit a script. Long, wordy scenes that don't advance the plot must go. Roddenberry told a story of how a writer delivered a two page long scene, essentially turning the Enterprise around. Gene struck the whole thing and replaced it with "Reverse course!" Voila.

  2. Star Trek seems to be having quite a renaissance lately. Has anyone else checked out the Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover comics, The Primate Directive? I read the first 2 issues and so far I think they captured the spirit of both universes pretty well.

  3. I enjoy "Continues" so much I built a whole fan site around it at I LOVE that show.

  4. Just watched the first 2 episodes of this last night, and I enjoyed them. I noticed an improvement in the acting from episode 1 to 2. I wonder how they managed to coax Lou Ferrigno to get back into green body paint? IIRC, he really didn't like it much back when he was the Hulk.

  5. I stumbled upon Star Trek Continues by accident; I never really got into the fan productions that had come before... I still haven't watched an entire episode of 'New Voyages.' Starship Exeter's rocky start did give way to a decent second episode, and Starship Farragut feels like it might be gaining momentum as its actors actually get into their roles as real people, rather than as excited fans.

    But I thought I'd at least give the first episode of 'Continues' a shot... I ended up watching the whole thing and immediately went on to the next episode. The third soon followed, and I eagerly await the next!

    I am astounded at how these actually FEEL like real, lost episodes of the original series. Even the lighting and camera angles are just like the original series, but the stories offer new directions for the series rather than retreads of episodes already done. Yes, I know that the first and third episodes are sequels to existing episodes, but they go in directions I never would have though of myself while adding new life to the original episodes. In short, they WORK. I also notice and appreciate little hints here and there foreshadowing the Movie Era stories (notably Kirk's squinting while trying to read a book, foreshadowing his eventual need for glasses by the time ST:TWoK comes around).

    I had been suffering from Star Trek exhaustion for a long time (give it a rest, already, Paramount!), but this is a fresh 'new' start--even if it is supposed to be a continuation of the Original Series--that I can firmly stand behind and encourage others to watch.


  6. I watched the first episode and was impressed. You have inspired me to contribute to their "Kirkstarter". I look forward to more episodes.

  7. Thanks for the heads up, I just watched Star Trek Continues and enjoyed the 3 episodes very much

  8. I hope this isn't a double post, sorry if it is.

    Star Trek Continues does have a special connection to Space 1970! In the second episode, "Lolani", Commodore Grey is played by Erin Grey! It was great seeing her in something again.