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.