Louis says a fond farewell to one of his favourite Star Trek shows, and it isn’t even canonical…
When Star Trek Continues was first started, it was a fan based Kickstarter project that offered up a chance for fans of the series to see the final years of the original five-year mission. Despite the fact that the actors are not the originals, this series has stayed true to the production values of the original series, with enhanced special effects and some of the best writing in any Star Trek series since the original was launched.
However, thanks to the recent ruling by CBS and the massively complex and draconian rules that have been applied to fan based shows, the crew behind Star Trek Continues decided it was wise to end the series after 11 episodes. This is a shame, because the cast and crew have done an excellent job. By the second episode, I had gotten used to the new cast and despite one more cast change later in the series, it has remained consistent throughout. Not only do the sets, the sound and the costumes exactly reproduce the original sets of the original series,they enhance it too.
With the introduction of new characters, special guest stars from Dr Who, Battlestar Galactica and both the original series and The Next Generation, this show has continually kept the original message of Star Trek alive. It has done so without compromise and with a genuine love of the original show. Despite my original reservations, Todd Haberkorn as Spock is both interesting and original. Vic Mignogna as Jame T. Kirk is however inspired. A very well-known voice actor, to those in the know, Vic perfectly reproduces many of the mannerisms of William Shatner’s Kirk, but does so without mimicry. His take on the character is more in keeping with the original series than Chris Pine in the recent movies. Sorry Chris. There are some other fine performances as well. Chris Doohan, son of James Doohan, plays the same role as his father in the original series. Despite a variable Scottish brogue, his interpretation of the character is excellent and very believable. Chris has also appeared in the new Star Trek movies. New crew members offer up some great performances as well. My favourite, but not everyone’s, is the new ships counsellor Dr McKennah, (played by Michele Specht). She offers up another voice that would have been useful in the original series.
There are of course other great performances, and these are just an example, but they show what can be done when people who love the subject matter are allowed to offer up their own solutions and stories. Remember too, this crew and all the guest stars on the series, are doing this for free. It’s a non-profit show that is only allowed to spend money on production costs. They are not allowed to be paid for it and only reasonable expenses are allowed.
With the recent launch of Star Trek: Discovery, it has become really apparent that CBS has lost track of the values that inspired Star Trek and made it an exceptional show of its time. It’s one of the reasons that although I like the new CBS variant, I can’t really rate it as a Trek show. It’s a brilliantly well produced Sci-Fi show, and so far it has been interesting and very cinematic in its production, but it lacks the heart of the original Star Trek concept. Whether this will be delivered in later episodes is yet to be made apparent. I do hope so.
If ST:D, (a bad acronym but somehow appropriate), does not hit the mark, then I think that fans of the original series will find solace in other shows, like The Orville. Despite its aims, Orville is less like a farce and more like a continuation of the ideals of the original Star Trek. How they will continue beyond the first series is yet to be decided, but I like this show for two reasons. Firstly, despite a few initial mishaps, most of the jokes used are relevant to the moment. Those that aren’t are shown to be bad choices by the crew, and so if they fall flat – they do so as part of the story. This works, mostly. The second reason, is that MacFarlane has picked a fantastic set of actors for his crew. They obviously have a rapport and this is shown in the way they interact. Nothing is forced, unless it is meant to be.
I will miss Star Trek Continues. It has been a brief but important look into the history of the crew of the Enterprise, and whether these stories are canonical or not, they have been in the spirit of the original series and in some way they have added to its importance. I will be sad to see it go.
The last episode, To Boldly Go: Part 2, will be aired online for all to enjoy on November 13th, but there is a sneak peek at the Los Angeles Comic Con today, the 29th October. I wish the cast and crew the very best in their future endeavours and hope to see them involved in the Star Trek scene in the future.
To all fans and creators of this show and the original series, Live Long And Prosper.
Pop over to the site: http://startrekcontinues.com to learn more about this series and view episodes.
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