Imagine what would have happened if Star Trek had continued as a TV series in the 1960’s? Well that’s just what a group of talented individuals have done.
Star Trek Continues is just that, a continuation of the original series, with full replica sets, in the same style and even with some of the same “ham” acting. All of the actors are new and although none of the original bridge crew are still involved, their spirit exists in those that are playing the roles.
I can’t believe that I missed this in May when it was launched…
Effects exceed those of the original and the story of the first episode – Pilgrim of Eternity – follows on from one in the original series in an effective and interesting manner. I found myself grinning an uncontrollably while watching it.
Pilgrim of Eternity, although set a few years later in time, is a direct sequel to the original series episode Who Mourns for Adonais, and stars Michael Forrest who reprises his original role as Apollo. It deals with the now aging Apollo, who has been trapped in an energy draining construct called the Realm, and how he and the crew of the Enterprise come to terms with his new mortality. It is well written and truly in the spirit of the original series. To tell you more would spoil it, but it is a worthy sequel.
Now, to some of the points that Trek fans will like.
This guy is a great voice actor and brings that skill directly into the role of Captain Kirk. Although he will never quite match the acting style of William Shatner, his mannerisms and vocal style are close enough to make him a good match for the original captain. In other words, he comes damn close.
Todd as Mr Spock is strange choice but one I can live with. He is nowhere near the same as Leonard Nimoy and doesn’t have the same screen presence, but his severe countenance is definitely Vulcan and he is in keeping with the role. I like the way he fits into the rest of the crew.
Casting another Doohan as Mr Scott is both an interesting choice and a great homage to James Doohan, his father. His Scottish accent slips at times but he fills the role extremely well. In fact it is spooky to watch because even his facial mannerisms match those of his fathers. Struggling to keep his accent sometimes conflicts with his acting skill, as it seems like he is rushing his lines, but its nothing that time won’t make easier.
Mr Nemecek is both an actor and a well-respected authority on Star Trek so it is great to see him playing the role of McCoy. Physically he is nothing like the original “Bones”, but he fills the role well and it appears he is a good actor too. I miss the southern drawl, but you can’t have everything. Whether he continues in the role is not known, as his image isn’t on the main production shot of the website, but I hope he will.
Grant is a special effects wizard with a great pedigree and one of the hosts of Discovery Channels Mythbusters series. He isn’t a great actor when he has to show emotion, but this could be because he is trying too hard to emulate the voice of Sulu from the original series. I would suggest he should just use his own voice and make the role his own.
Although she is not quite as mysterious and sensual as the original Uhura, Kim is a great actress, (and singer too), as it turns out. She also does her own stunts. She is inspired in the role as Uhura and her style is somewhat a mix of Nichelle Nicholls and Zoe Saldana. I like her take on the character.
Wyatt is not used much in the first episode, but listening to him is like listening to the original Checkov, with a slightly clearer accent. I hope his talents are used more in future episodes.
Michelle as Dr McKenna is a great addition to the original crew. The ships first counselor, (and possibly Starfleets too), she mixes comedic style, emotion and empathy all into one leggy red-headed package. Sorry, couldn’t help myself there. Love this character!
Finally, Marina Sirtis as the voice of the computer is inspired. She is just recognizable enough to make me smile. I waited until the end credits to confirm her involvement as I couldn’t quite believe it at first. Nice choice.
The Writing & Sound
As I said previously, the writing is at least as good as the original series. At times better. The dialogue is sometimes stilted, but never boring. Add in great sets and good incidental music and you might as well be watching one of the original series episodes. The music is exactly like the original series, and adds drama when needed.
Incidental sounds, like the background noises on the bridge and the swishing of the doors are all as authentic as they can be. It really is like stepping back in time. I love it that so much time has been spent getting these little details correct.
It’s impossible to believe that this series has been produced by fans of the original. The production quality is amazing and the acting talent varied and very well-rounded. I love the attention to detail and as a very critical fan of the original series, it makes me smile and want more. Just when the next episode will be released is very much dependent upon funding, but I can’t wait to see it.
Check out http://www.startrekcontinues.com to view the episode and have a look at some of the vignettes. If you want to contribute to the ongoing series then checkout their kickstarter page
Many thanks to CBS / Paramount for allowing these fan episodes to be created. It only serves to promote the genre and keep Star Trek in the minds of those of us who are eagerly awaiting a new series. In fact, here’s a hint CBS – these guys already have the sets and the skill both in front of, and behind, the camera – fund them!