Star Trek Continuums

Star Trek Continues does just that by carrying on the legacy of the ’66 series. 

J.J. Abrams re-ignited our passion for Star Trek around these parts, particularly those early exploits with Kirk, Spock and Bones. If our marathon of the film series didn’t make it clear, there’s a fondness for those characters and their original timeline that has lasted for almost fifty years. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a Trekker; they are so locked into our consciousness that to deny the franchise’s rightful place in the pantheon of pop-culture is just foolhardy. Star Trek fandom is enormous, and every so often a bright spark decides to use his or her resources to give something back to their geeky brethren. Enter Star Trek Continues: a bold attempt to continue The Original Series and its continuity. Its almost an affront to Abrams and a rallying cry for the fans at the same time. And, perhaps most amazingly of all, its really rather good.

I’m a bit late jumping on the bandwagon given that my interest in Trek is cursory, but for a tightly budgeted production, this is some fantastic work. Currently one fifty-minute instalment in, Continues isn’t just a pale homage. This is a living, breathing embodiment of The Original Series’ style and tone. Director Vic Mignogna clearly put a lot of effort into making his web serial as unerringly faithful as possible, summed up best in the recreation of the Enterprise’s bridge. He even went as far as to shoot in the show’s old 4:3 aspect ratio, making this a thoroughly accurate representation of 1960s TV productions.

The cast might not be met with such open arms, but how could they ever hope to compare to not only William Shatner and co. but Chris Pine’s bunch, too? The ensemble here does an admirable job of representing their iconic protagonists. Mignogna casts himself as Captain Kirk, and while some of you might mistake this as an ego trip, the helmsman does a fair job of aping The Shat’s vocal deliveries and mannerisms. Todd Haberkorn doesn’t try to be Leonard Nimoy, and that’s perhaps wise, as he brings his own take to the “emotionless” Vulcan whilst working within Nimoy’s parameters. And Larry Nemecek makes for a suitably surly Bones.

But to give this little fan shindig some real credibilty, who other than Chris Doohan, James Doohan’s own son, to play Scotty? He was also in the transporter room in Star Trek Into Darkness for the trivia buffs out there. That’s just perfect casting to tie the, um, continuums together.

The real joy, however, is in seeing this specific iteration of the universe again. Cinematographer Matt Bucy deserves a world of credit for making these episodes look like long-lost vintage recordings. The camera work in general evokes the original so spectacularly that you can’t help but congratulate the team for pulling it off. Even the set design and wardrobe is uncanny. Complete with a retro title sequence and that indelible theme by Alexander Courage, Star Trek Continues is a true love-letter for the fans who are pining to see the original continuity restored.

Here’s the first episode below, and if you like what you see, give them a follow on Facebook. They deserve a fan base as large as their budget.

Dave James

Editor-in-Chief at SquabbleBox.co.uk. Film freak, music minion, professional procrastinator, podcaster, video-maker, all around talented git.

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7 Comments

  1. Marvin Archer says:

    Thanks for the Article Dave, I was shocked and befuddled at the episode “Pilgrim of Eternity” as I grew up with the original show. I was even more pleased that the original Apollo played by Michael Forest from the original episode “Who Mourns for Adonais?” actually returned to reprise his role as Apollo. It’s a great work and I hope for more….

    • Dave James says:

      Thank you for reading! Speaking of “Apollo”, I hear Jamie Bamber is showing up in a future episode. Just awesome.

      • Del Murray says:

        Jamie Bamber is in this episode, though difficult to spot. He’s the guy that gets blasted off the hull of the Enterprise.

  2. Chris Lagemann says:

    While I was at Phoenix Comicon, I almost left when this panel started thinking it was just another Fan Flick. I was glad I stayed as I was really impressed. Right down to the lighting and the close ups of Kirk. Even the shirtless Kirk scene was included LOL. Cheesy, but a really good story and a true homage. I’m looking forward to more episodes. Abrams can go suck an egg, Roddenberry is rolling over in his grave due to the way he trashed a great franchise choosing for glitz and effects and action and rehashing an old character. Being that Abrams never watched any of the Trek series, it’s not surprising. I’m just waiting for him to trash Star Wars as well.

    • Dave James says:

      I happen to be a fan of Abrams’ films, but I don’t begrudge Trekkers who feel otherwise. Star Wars is presumably safer considering he brought some of that feel to Trek… whether you agree with it or not.

  3. Devona says:

    FYI Jamie Bamber is in this episode.

  4. Blue Thunder says:

    Apollo has returned to the Star Trek realm. But the sadly in an episode
    produced by a group of people who have a very bad reputation. One of which, who
    gives a very unconvincing performance as Captain James Tiberius Kirk,
    himself.

    It’s a shame this episode was rejected by the Phase 2 production team. It had
    the potential to be something good and wonderful. Personally, I would have liked
    to have seen ‘Pilgrim Of Eternity’(after being heavily re-written)produced as a
    Phase 2 adventure instead of as the premiere episode of this steaming pile of
    cow droppings. I can understand why this episode was rejected and sent to the
    slush pile(the place of rejected script ideas that has become the only source of
    filmed episodes, since no writer wants to work with Mignogna and the Farragut
    Films staff).

    It really boggles the mind as to why John and Tonya Broughton, Michael
    Bednar, Matt Bucy, Kasey Shaefsky, Dennis Bailey, and the Farragut Films staff
    would partner themselves with someone who has utterly tarnished, ruined, and
    decimated whatever credibility and reputation Farragut Films has. Especially
    after Mignogna’s unauthorized release of the Phase 2 episode ‘Kitumba’. An
    incident that made fan headlines last year and certainly did not help matters
    much for the Washington D.C. based film company. In fact, it pretty much was the
    final nail in their proverbial photon burial tube.

    In the premiere of Star Trek – Continues, we are witness to what could have
    been a decent sequel to ‘Who Mourns For Adonais?’(an episode I once considered a
    personal favorite). Apollo returns to wreak havoc on Kirk and the Enterprise
    in the first episode of this new series. Michael Forest(who originally played
    the Greek god of light and purity)reprises his role from the 1967 episode.

    While there are some interesting moments in this episode(i.e. Kirk getting
    struck down(again)by Apollo, Uhura being fatally electrocuted by an energy
    discharge, Apollo’s speech in the recreation center, and Scotty’s resentment
    toward Apollo after the events from ‘Who Mourns For Adonais?’, and the exchange
    between Dr. Elise McKenna and Apollo about Carolyn Palamas’ fate), the rest of
    the episode seems more like a recycling and re-booling of a NG episode that
    involved another god-like entity losing his powers. While it was wonderful to
    see Apollo and the Enterprise crew(especially Scotty)make their peace, and watch
    the Greco-Roman deity start a new life(after learning something that the
    Olympian gods did not know before), it was not an impressive
    episode.

    If anything, it was a reminder of the dark side of Star Trek fandom taking
    physical form.

    Like I said before about Vic Mignogna. Not only has he been branded as a
    toxic narcicisst, liar(a trait that he and Michael Bednar obviously share),
    thief, crook, manipulator, and other rotten things by many, his performance as
    the heroic Jim Kirk is nothing more than a belch from a bad onion. Or in this
    case the foul stench of someone passing methane gas after eating spicy
    Italian food. Seriously, he doesn’t even have the voice for such a strong,
    heroic lead.

    William Shatner, James Cawley, Christopher Pine, and Brian J. Gross certainly
    give better performances as James Kirk than this slab of rotten Fisher’s
    Ham(i.e. Mignogna).

    It’s no secret within Star Trek fan film circles that Mignogna has a very
    controversial and very bad reputation. It is also no secret that he had tried
    and thankfully failed in his attempt to take over the entire Star Trek – New
    Voyages/Phase II production. The aftermath of that attempt led to
    Mignogna and the Farragut Films staff(the Starship Farragut team)stealing newly
    constructed sets for the Starship Ajax production and going back on their
    promise to help the Ajax team with their film(mostly because Mignogna and
    the Farragut Films staff lost out on obtaining the bridge set from the now
    defunct Starship Exeter production).

    What it boils down to is this. Star Trek Continues is nothing more than Vic
    Mignogna’s attempt at petty revenge and personal spite against the hardworking,
    professional staff on the Star Trek – Phase 2 production and his constant
    pulling of new antics pulling over and over in his single minded obsession to
    destroy “friends” and the project he could not take over.

    And that is only scratching the surface and putting a gloss on this situation.

    It’s no secret that the glamour of filmmaking can have its elevations and
    pitfulls. However, when it comes to a fan film organization going into a
    partnership with a washed up Anime voiceover artist who has a very bad
    reputation….well, all I can say is this. The Devil and Daniel Webster have been
    given a new meaning. And a very toxic one at that!

    Todd Haberkorn’s performance as Spock was certainly dull, dry, and
    regretfully one-dimensional. If anything, he could have learned a few things or
    more from Leonard Nimoy, Zachary Quinto, and Brandon Stacey. Those
    aforementioned three gave better performances as our favorite and beloved
    Vulcan. Haberkorn would have been better off in a different role. Maybe he could
    play Hikaru Sulu, again. Who knows?

    Wyatt Lenart’s performance as every Star Trek fans favorite nationalistic
    Russian navigator, Pavel Chekov, was not all that great, either. For starters,
    his eye color was all wrong(Chekov was brown-eyed, NOT blue-eyed). Second, his
    Russian accent just was not convincing enough. Lenart, for all intenets and
    purposes, was seriously miscast. Better luck next time, Wyatt. Walter Koenig,
    Anton Yelchin, and Jonathan Zungre are the better versions of Pavel Andreivich
    Chekov.

    Larry Nemecek did the best that he could as Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy.
    Unfortunately, his weakness in his performance was the lack of a mild Southern
    accent(which the late DeForest Kelley wonderfully displayed)and the strong
    one-liners that were brilliantly conveyed by Karl Urban in the two Star Trek
    prequel/reboots. Larry’s greatest strengths are that of being a writer and a
    columnist concerning Star Trek. Sadly, acting is not one of them.

    Kim Stinger’s performance as Nyota Uhura was better suited when she played
    the same role on Star Trek – New Voyages/Phase II. Especially when it comes to
    her singing voice. One wonders how much she was paid in silver to jump ship over
    to a production that she knew that would bring her some serious controversy.
    Judas would have obviously approved.

    As for Grant Imahara’s performance as Hikaru Sulu…well, he worked for
    Lucasfilm during the making of the less than popular Star Wars prequel trilogy.
    He should keep his day job with Mythbusters or something better.

    Christopher Doohan is probably the only shining light in this production.
    Sadly, it is a shining light that has severly faded by being part of this
    demented ‘French Farce’ of a Star Trek fan film. While he certainly recaptures
    the qualities of Montgomery Scott(who was played brilliantly by his late father
    and honored World War II veteran, James Doohan), it doesn’t help matters much
    that he is associated with a group of people who have a bad reputation in many
    fan circles. His talents are regretfully wasted in this less than productive
    endeavor. Frankly, his talents would be put to much better usage in either Star
    Trek – Phase 2 or the J.J. Abrams films(for which he has clearly demonstrated).

    Michelle Specht’s performance as Dr. Elise McKenna is clear statement as to
    why she is even in the film. While she is a very lovely woman and an actress
    who seems to display some talent, her only reason for being there is just to be
    a symbol of nepotism. Being Vic Mignogna’s soon to be wife, her role as a
    ship’s counselor(a rank and position that did not start until the NG era some
    twenty-five years past)is merely window dressing. The only time we see
    something dimensional out of her is during her interactions with Apollo, Jim
    Kirk(in a scene that was less than watchable – Kirk had his shirt off), and
    becoming overly emotional when she tried to use a phaser on Apollo. I can see
    why Michelle is with someone like Mignogna. Similar mentalities and
    personalities think and act alike. If not relate well.

    I seem to recall that the name Elise McKenna was the name of the 19th Century
    stage actress played by British thespian Jane Seymour in the 1980 time travel
    fantasy ‘Somewhere In Time’. Not only do we know where the entire sets from Star
    Trek Continues was taken from, we now know where Mignogna hijacked the name
    for Michelle’s character from. Unoriginality indeed!

    The bottom line is this. Pilgrim Of Eternity could have had potential had it
    been in the right professional hands. Sadly, it was not meant to happen. As a
    result, this piece of burnt celluloid refuse has become an eyesore that makes
    the bad points of Star Trek Into Darkness look pale in comparison.

    Not even Jamie Bamber’s cameo(Apollo from the useless Battlestar Galactica
    remake – interesting Apollo connection, there)as the ill-fated Crewman Simone
    helps the episode, either. It was probably for the better that his role was only
    a cameo and left at that.

    I’m still amazed that fellow Louisvillian Stephanie Zoeller Hall(a renowned
    psychologist)was a part of this as well. Mental health certainly has been given
    a new meaning.

    And what is with the ‘Spectre Of The Gun’ or Paladin homage at the beginning
    of the episode, anyway? Doug Drexler wastes his very productive artistic talents
    in that beginning segment.

    The real downer of all, is Michael Forest’s participation in this piece of
    dreck. While it was cool to see Michael return in the role as a much older and
    wiser Apollo, costume, laurel leaves, and all,(especially his wife Diana Hale as
    the Greek Goddess Athena), and his explanation of the relation between the
    Olympian gods and the phenomenon called the Realm, his stage talents are not
    entirely put to full use. Sadly, Michael Forest has not aged well in the
    forty five some odd years since he appeared on Star Trek. At times, he looks
    like(at some points)an older Charlton Heston or Yul Brynner, physically. It
    would have been preferable if he had appeared on Phase 2.

    Those who have worked on this madman’s production have certainly fallen under
    the category of ‘Guilty By Association’. Or to quote Star Trek fan’s post from a
    year past. “The folks at Farragut Films are in bed with a skunk. And the stink
    is going to stick with them.”

    Spare yourself this menace to the Star Trek fan society and stick with Star
    Trek-New Voyages/Phase 2. The ONLY Star Trek fan film with professional
    experience in cinema/television production, acting, SFX, and quality artistic
    craftmanship and integrity. Or even the original series and the first six
    movies.

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