“Star Trek Continues”: Fan-Made Episodes Carry on the Five-Year Mission

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June 7 2013 8:00 AM

The Trek Continues

The original “Star Trek” series had an overarching irony: The five-year mission of the Enterprise only lasted three seasons. Even that was extended longer than planned; NBC canceled the series after two seasons, but fan-based support brought it back for a third.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death from the Skies!  

That breathed life back into the show, giving us the movies, more series, and countless books and other media. For that I am very thankful. I love Trek.

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But for some, the abbreviated original mission was a tribble in the quadrotriticale, nibbling away at them. So some fans got together and created a new web series, “Star Trek Continues”. This is no fly-by-night operation; my friend Steve Dengler is putting his weight behind it, and he’s funded such web-series efforts as Geek & Sundry, “My Gimpy Life”, and many more. He told me he and the others are doing this for no other reason than love of the show. They don’t make any money from it; they simply want to do it.

“Star Trek Continues” takes up where the original series left off, even creating a vignette that takes place moments after the final scene of “Turnabout Intruder”—the final episode of the original series, a clever way of tying it all together. Two other shorts are available as well.

And now they’ve released their first full-length episode: “Pilgrim of Eternity”. It’s available for free on Vimeo, and I’ve embedded it below. Before you watch, one thing: You should view this in a 1960s original series frame of mind. Don’t expect the sort of things you would from TNG or the others; really think of this as the first episode of the fourth season of the original series. It’ll make it a lot more enjoyable.

I have to say, I quite enjoyed this. The attention to detail is wonderful, and I really like the choice to film it in 4:3 format to maintain the feel, as well as the inspired decision to reuse the original music. That maintains the triggers that let the brain know you’re watching original non-original Trek. Even the makeup and lighting are right out of the show. I’m impressed.

Spoilers ahoy, if that matters to you:

I thought the story really carried on the tradition of the first story, “Who Mourns for Adonis”, creating a sequel that flowed logically but told its own tale. I was suspicious of Apollo for the whole episode, so the ending made me smile. I was unwilling at first to give Vic Mignogna much leeway, but in fact he clearly studied Shatner’s Kirk; he even stands and uses his arms the same way. He’s quite good. It was nice to see my pal Grant Imahara, too. And they did something Battlestar never managed to do in five season: kill Lee Adama.

I’ll admit the episode is a little rough around the edges, but it really covers the original series bases. And given it’s the first one, I think they did very well. I know they’re working on more episodes, and I’m looking forward to it. Even though the crew looks different and the story was new, I have to admit a wonderfully warm nostalgic feeling watching it. Having seen every episode a billion times, it really was nice to see new episodes where they can continue to boldly go.

Star Trek Continues: the Enterprise
That sense of... Enterprise.

Photo by Farragut Films, Dracogen Strategic Investments and Vic Mignogna

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